Thursday, 31 July 2008

Feeling lonely.

Thomas has gone home and I'm on my own in Granny's bungalow. The weather is grey and wet. All in all, I'd much rather be at home with my family.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Heros and Seagulls

The Hero.

It is hard to put into words the mixture of feelings after talking to James last evening. He clearly had to come out of a hectic Paris restaurant to talk to Thomas and me, and he was equally clearly on top of the world. He was not able to give many details but it sounds as though the last day of his epic ride to Paris was truly memorable. Everyone in the family is in awe of his achievement and hugely proud of him. He has raised an enormous sum for the Big Issue foundation and proved to himself and everyone else what he can do - not that he ever doubted his own ability.

His achievement brings home to me that our children are a lot more adventurous that I was at their age. Somehow, I feel a little older and frailer today.


Are a pain in the arse. They start their morning squawking here in Gerrans at around 04:30 to 05:00 and once they've got going, one has little hope of sleeping through it. The only consolation is that Thomas finds them more annoying than I do.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Thinning out

James has set off on his cycle ride to Paris. Today is the London to Portsmouth leg, and I hope he is going well. He stayed last night with Rob and Sue (to whom great thanks are due) and had to set off at 06:45 for the start in Twickenham.

Chris is still in Liverpool and no contact has been made with home which inclines me to believe that he is fine and having a great time.

Thomas and I set out for Cornwall this afternoon, so Jini will be left on her own with the decorating.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Decorating - part 2

The hall is just about done, now come the stairs and the landing. The two shades of green look good. I'll bet money that no. 3 son doesn't notice when he comes home from Liverpool next week.

Sunday, 20 July 2008


Due largely to my dislike of the pastime, it is a long time since I have done any decorating. This weekend we have decided to redecorate the hall and landing. So far, so good. We spent a long time deciding which colours to choose - my beloved having a big dither in Homebase - but now we are well underway. It has been made simpler by the twins being very helpful and doing useful parts of the preparation.

Only one oddity so far. I have disconnected the doorbell and if I switch off the electrical supply to the doorbell at the adjacent isolating switch some bleeps at intervals. I cannot identify what it is that's bleeping, which is a bit of a puzzle.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Many Thanks to Brian, and the two Bobs for their company while sailing. The Picture of Bob and Brian on the left proves that we did have a fair bit of sunshine and thanks to Bob for letting me share in his sun tan lotion. We were blessed with two days of wind and sun, calm seas, food and drink. Result - I'm exhausted. We really enjoyed the sailing and I was pleased that my skills at navigation had not completely left me. Particularly pleasing was that I managed to steer a course that avoided making a tack while at the same time kept the boat going at a fair speed. For the last 300 yards we spent half our time looking at the echo sounder to check the depth, but it meant we had a relaxing and reasonably speedy return to Shamrock Quay

We told each other silly (and funny) stories, compared lifestyles and generally put the world to rights.

The second picture is of the converted lightship in Haslar Marina, Gosport. It is a terrific conversion to provide a bar, restaurant, showers and toilets and is comfortably the best I've seen in any British Marina. Well Done, Haslar.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Going home

I'm off home today, and the stay in Gerrans has been uneventful and I'm looking forward to sailing from Southampton on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday, 7 July 2008

I took the test too.

My daughters cat, The Empress Theodora took the personality test and detailed the outcome in her blog. Clearly she does not agree with the assertion that she is insecure. Anything that is good enough for the Empress Theodora, is good enough for me, so I took the test too.

My results are:
Your Existing Situation

Volatile and outgoing. Needs to feel that events are developing along desired lines, otherwise irritation can lead to changeability or superficial activities.

Your Stress Sources

Has an unsatisfied need to ally himself with others whose standards are as high as his own, and to stand out from the herd. This desire for preeminence isolates him and inhibits his readiness to give himself freely. While he wants to surrender and let himself go, he regards this as a weakness which must be resisted. This self-restraint, he feels, will lift him above the rank and file and ensure recognition as a unique and distinctive personality.

Your Restrained Characteristics

Insists that his hopes and ideas are realistic, but needs reassurance and encouragement. Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense.

Circumstances are such that he feels forced to compromise for the time being if he is to avoid being cut off from affection or from full participation.

Your Desired Objective

Wants to make a favorable impression and be recognized. Needs to feel appreciated and admired. Sensitive and easily hurt if no notice is taken of him or if he is not given adequate acknowledgment.

Your Actual Problem

Needs to be valued and respected as an exceptional individual, in order to increase his self-esteem and his feeling of personal worth. Resists mediocrity and sets himself high standards.

I think this sums me up rather well, so despite my scepticism, there might be something in it. You can take the test here.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Wet Summer Sunday

Today is the day of the men's final at Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix. It is no great surprise to me therefore that it is hosing down with rain and has been most of the day. I spent most of the morning in bed and since getting up have devoted my time to watching the GP on television (I was only going to watch the first 5 laps, but it got interesting), and finishing the accounts for the small charity for which I am Treasurer. Thus the day has not been a complete disaster.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Taking myself in hand

Recently I've been filling up a form to get quotations for annuities. They offer significantly better rates for people who have diabetes and heart problems like angina, and since I have both of these I could benefit significantly. Then it struck me that these insurance companies are not charitable institutions and only offer improved rates because they expect one to live a much shorter life.

Now my fitness level is not good. I am not a complete couch potato but running is definitely something to be avoided in my book. As a result of this realisation on my part, a fairly pointed remark by my beloved wife and some non-stop nagging by No. 3 son, I have decided to take myself in hand.

Swimming is my chosen activity and for two reasons. One, it exercises all muscle groups and I can increase the length of my swims gently. Two, there is a brand new swimming pool within easy cycling distance of home. So, at 8:00 this morning I presented myself at these nice new baths and purchased an introductory membership. I was surprised to find that I could manage lengths more easily that I expected, but disappointed to discover a band of elderly ladies who swam slowly up and down the pool four abreast and talking continuously. I may have to put out a contract on them! I felt brilliant after the exercise, the endorphins creating and unusual effect (for me). So now I've started all I have to do is persevere. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Well, I'm home, so I guess mother has got others doing her dirty work. Home this week is full of birthdays and other celebrations. Today is my beloved's birthday and tomorrow is Chris's 18th. Tonight Chris has gone off to the leavers ball and he looked half decent (see picture). His date for the evening is a lovely young lady named Jenny who looked as though she would administer a good slap if he needed it.

To see his and his friends depart to this Ball reminded all the parents present that the time since they started at Solihull School seemed to have flown by. They really are nice young people. This remark prompted the reaction that nice young people have nice parents and then we realised that we'd got this the wrong way round. Nice people tend to raise attractive offspring and no. 3 son has many friends who are a great credit to their parents.

Today Chris has been playing the role of White Knight riding (well driving actually) to the rescue of one of his young lady friends whose car has had a puncture. I was proud of him for his efforts until he told me that he couldn't find the spare wheel on a Ford Fiesta. I really must teach him to read a handbook in these circumstances.

Nevertheless, his heart is very much in the right place and the young lady concerned regarded him as a hero. Well Done, lad.