Friday, 28 September 2007

Horses and trains

On Wednesday I rode a horse for the first time in my life. We were doing fine until we tried a trot. Somehow the horse seemed to be going up as I was coming down and my back gave me a huge warning twinge. Back to walking! That said the horse was very forgiving and I didn't feel too bad afterwards.

Thursday and today have been long train journeys. I quite like trains, I just don't like the people who travel on them. No one seems to take their own litter away, and everyone ignores the signs requesting the non use of mobile phones. Still, I played the Grumpy Old Man role to get people to tidy up and stop shouting down their bloody mobiles.

It is nice to get home - I'm just cream crackered - can't stop yawning.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Busy Day

Today is going to be a tad frantic.
I've printed off the accounts, found the cheque books and paying in book and included a letter to the auditor, put the whole lot in a box and it is ready to go.
When I've drunk my current cup of tea, it is off to collect our new car.
On our return it is take apart a PC and put it and a whole lot of other stuff in a car and drive to Cornwall.
Once there, a bed needs to be assembled and made, before I can sleep on it, and I probably have to cook supper for my mum once I get there. It might be a trip to the fish and chip shop.

I hope to get the internet working in Mum's house this weekend, so I'll be able to post and e-mail. When these facilities are not available, somehow, life is not complete.

Further to the sailing saga above, here is a photo of three of us in the cockpit of (what I regard as) Brian's yacht. Once again Talking Ballast is at the helm, but he doesn't seem to be working very hard while Brian and I concentrate on trying not to look too worried in front of the camera.

I'm ashamed to say that it was me who tucked the Red Ensign into the stern rail, 'cos it kept hitting me in the face.

My memory says it was warmer than we look too.

Ah, well, that's enough fun, time to go and get doing.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Two days sailing

After two days sailing, I currently cannot find my "land legs". Also after being blasted by the sun (most extraordinary), and the wind (to be expected) I am very sleepy. I am also distinctly red in the face. I spent two days in the company of three other Old Boys from British Gas on a boat one of the co-owns. - Many thanks for taking us Brian. They were great company and the sailing was enjoyable without being too strenuous. Brian kindly let me do a bit of boat handling and I managed to get it out of the berth and up to the fuel pontoon without hitting anything. Most of my previous sailing experience came back and I thoroughly enjoyed it

We had two Bob's on board, so one was renamed Jonesy for the trip. Here he is in all his glory steering the boat in the sunshine this morning. I think this photo was insisted upon because we were concerned that no-one would believe we had any sunshine. Bob J had me spending a while on Tuesday taking a picture of him with the camera in my phone and then sending it as an attachment to his children. His kids must be nearly as unlucky as mine.

Brian (The skipper for our trip) bought himself a new toy - a hand held GPS - with a chart of the whole of Northern Europe.

Below is a photo of Brian and Bob O poring over it to see if it would tell them where we were at the time. I'm relieved to say that it did, and having got a bit of a look at it later, it looked a most impressive device. Brian regaled us with a very frightening story about being lost in the fog and not knowing whether he was inside or outside Cherbourg harbour. He tells us he may cross the channel at the end of the week, and is sure that his new toy will enable him to avoid a repeat. While we were admiring this new GPS, Brian expressed the view that GPS was about as much as an advance as the chronometer and the sextant in their time. I am convinced that this is correct and with the prices coming down as they are, and as a percentage of the cost of the boat and all its other costs, the thought of putting to sea these days without a GPS seems the height of irresponsibility.

We managed to drink a bit and eat a bit, and even sleep a bit. The sleeping came as a slight surprise as Bob Jones and I have been known to snore, slightly. B.J. brought with him what he claimed was a miracle cure in the shape of a spray called Snoreeze. According to Bob O who was always going to be the main sufferer if it didn't does. He reported that neither snored once. I must now get some for home use!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Disappearing offspring

Our sons are starting to disappear. One has gone back to Warwick (well Leamington Spa to be precise). He has moved into his student house and is starting all his activities for year 2. Some of it might even be academic work, but most seems connected with bridge playing and music making. His twin brother is off to somewhere for the weekend - he seems remarkably vague about where he is going, but it seems to be on the Hertfordshire/Essex border. He'll go back to Durham in a fortnight.

No. 3 son has gone back to school. He is now in Year 13 (what I'd call the Upper Sixth) and is, for this year at least, king of the hill. He needs to do some work too, and will, all too soon, be grappling with the UCAS application service.

Peace of sorts will descend. Being quite a noisy person myself, I shall miss the general hubbub of having them at home. Ah well, it is a chance to make the most of the peace and quiet. Now, where did I put that book?