It's been just a wee bit manic these last few weeks. I didn't mean to drop off the face of the planet but events conspired against me somewhat...mainly work!
On my birthday (17th March...thank you for asking!)I tootled off to the Gannet platform to spend a whole weekend doing health checks on the boys. It's one of the more knackering things we do as you have a 45 minute appointment with someone to go over various lifestyle issues and basic measurements (height, weight (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, body composition). Quite draining to tailor your advice and the information to everyone who comes along - especially the ones who come along year on year and still don't make changes based on your recommendations. They just continue to be heavy drinking, smoking, fat bastards! But I generally say that with a bit more tact than that - well depending on how well I've got to know the guys over the last few years. Then you get the guys who do take on board what you say and make changes and you see improvements. Those ones really lift your spirits and remind you why you do what you do.
So I was on Gannet the Saturday until Monday, home Tuesday, away again Wed (to Claymore), back Thursday, home Friday, away back to Gannet on the Saturday, home Monday, presenting onshore on the Wednesday, away to London Wednesday night for a course, back Saturday then back down to Norwich to come out to Clipper on the Wednesday which is where I am now - so I'm blogging from offshore as we speak! I'm due back into the Beach tonight for a night in a hotel before I go back up the road to Aberdeen tomorrow. Not a lot of hanging around!
Somebody did ask what I did offshore (surprised anyone was that interested). For the 3 people who are interested I'm self-employed as a Health & Well-being Consultant. That entails bringing out and delivering health information to guys (as it is mainly guys - like 99.9% of the time) to hopefully prevent them from suffering from lots of nasty diseases before their time is up! It's all about health education and prevention and avoiding having to have treatment and having loads of years of ill-health basically. We do do some onshore stuff as well but most of the work is offshore as, to be honest, the oil companies have the money to spend!
If you'd asked me when I moved to Aberdeen if I would go offshore I would have told to get right out. I found most offshore guys to be right arseholes and obnoxious. I've revised my opinion somewhat since those days. True - you get the odd one or two who are like that but most of them are a really likeable bunch of guys who are just out here doing a job. I've never been outside the British Sector of the North Sea - I have yet to enter the fabled land of the Norweigan Sector where you get lobster for tea...! It does mean that I have learned to enjoy the salubrious surroundings of the heliports at Aberdeen and Norwich and Scatsta Airports though - dead lucky me!
It's so easy to spot the difference between the guys who are going away and those who are heading home. Faces take on a certain hue of resignation and a look of "oh bugger!" when waiting to check-in or for your flight to be called. Survival suits are struggled into, lifejacket straps get all tangled, try not to fall asleep watching the safety brief before getting on the chopper. A total contrast to what happens when they land back onshore. Life jackets are off before you get back inside the terminal building and a survival suit can be whipped off faster than a stripper's knickers!
To be continued...