Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Sophia at 2 weeks

Not more baby pictures I can hear you say - sorry, yes, and a lot more to come I have no doubt! We drove down to Portsmouth the day after boxing day to deliver Lynn for a week of granny duties. It was lovely to see Sophia and her mum and dad again. Sophia has a soporific effect on all who hold her - or so it seems. Also in the photos, 3 sisters!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas 2009

The traditional Christmas Eve picture in front of the tree was posed for by Lydia and Julia, this year wearing their stockings! Christmas morning dawned bright and cold in Dartmouth and we enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ with our dear friends at church. We looked briefly at Anna, an elderly but godly widow who witnessed our Lord when he was presented at the temple when just a few days old. We were challenged by Anna being where God wanted her to be; that she gave thanks to the Lord God for Jesus; and that she told others about the arrival of the promised Messiah (Luke 2:38).

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Slapton Sands

After delivering Lydia to a friends house so she cold have a girlie flix & kebab night, we took advantage of driving back home along Slapton Sands to stop and take a quick stroll down the beach. This is such a lovely stretch of coast!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Sophia - first Grandchild

We thank God for the safe delivery of Sophia Grace to our daughter Hannah and her hubbie Dan on 17th December. We have all had a cuddle and look forward to enjoying being grand parents!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Lord's Prayer

My dear friend and brother in Christ Jesus, Jonathan from Portsmouth asked if I would set The Lord's Prayer to music as he would be going through it with the Eastney Church next year. I want to thank God for helping and giving a musical setting for this, and it flowed straight on to the paper. You can hear the electronic version on my Phil's music link in the side bar.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Winter Sunrise

This has been a week of concerts, rehearsals and general busyness, but I awoke this morning to a beautiful sunrise with the sun low in the sky shining on the underside of the clouds. What a beautiful world we live in; what a wonderful God!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Office in a case!

I thought you may like to see my three offices. The green backpack is my River Officer/Yacht Taxi office; the black case in the middle is my teaching office; and the big silver one on the left is my Volunteer Band Office. This space-eco system works very well so long as I leave home with the right office!

Monday, 16 November 2009

New Banners for Band

Today we took possession of some superb music-stand banners for the Britannia Royal Naval College Volunteer Band. They were made and very kindly donated by Joe and Jayne from The Canvas Factory in Fosse Street, Dartmouth. They look spectacular and will have their concert debut at our Christmas Concerts on 1st and 2nd December.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Happy HanDan House move

Yesterday was one of those days. Lots of carrying boxes full of everything and reenacting Bernard Cribbins 'Right said Fred' as we struggled to extract a piano from Hannah's and Dan's flat and insert it into their new home. The day was a success, with the rain only arriving at the 11th hour; and our only failure was a corner section of settee which struggled with the front door and lost the battle. The photos show the happy movers in a state of 'well worn out' as one younger in years might say.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

First Volunteer Band Gig

The newly formed Britannia Royal Naval College Volunteer Band performed for the first time today when we led the parade for the Royal British Legion's memorial parade and service in Dartmouth. At least half of the band had never marched before, let alone marched whilst playing a musical instrument! However, they were superb and very well received by the town. We played the regimental march of The Tank Regiment in memory of Brett Hall, a young soldier known to many of us who sadly died recently as a result of injuries received in Afghanistan.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


This weekend we had a house full of family and Lydia's boyfriend. They converged on us to enjoy the blessing we had of seeing Lydia and Julia tell what Jesus means to them and to follow our Saviour through the waters of baptism as witness to their faith.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Slapton with Gran

It is lovely to have Gran with us this week; Gran Durham, not Gran USA. My mum is with us and will be here this weekend when Lydia and Julia show their faith and love for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in believers baptism. However, today we went for a walk at Slapton Sands, looking at the birds on Slapton Ley and visiting the American Sherman tank at Torcross.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Dartmouth Orchestra

Rehearsals with the Dartmouth Orchestra are proceeding with vigour under the direction of our maestro Sid. We looked through A Moorside Suite by Gustav Holst this morning and I tried to come to terms with a borrowed cor anglais! Actually it wasn't too bad - the instrument is fine, so blame the driver!!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Volunteer Band

Lydia and I have just got home from another rehearsal of the Britannia Royal Naval College Volunteer Band. We are working towards a couple of Christmas concerts on 1st and 2nd december and I have chosen a fairly ambitious programme - but the band is up to it. No one has complained about the 'brutal' rehearsals, but they are capable of playing well and just need the right direction to make a big difference.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A week of meetings!

It has been one of those weeks! We had a meeting of CTID (Christians Together in Dartmouth) yesterday where we enjoyed a presentation from the Torbay Street Pastors team. Whether we need to start a team in sleepy Dartmouth is debatable, but the team are certainly making a big difference in Torbay, by God's grace and strength. Today we had a church Deacon's meeting and got through a lot of business towards our work of bringing glory to the Lord our God of all creation. Saturday will see three of us trundling off to Bristol for a day of teaching of the subject of 'Doing Theology'.

Monday, 12 October 2009

RM Band Service Memorial Service

Lynn and I travelled to Portsmouth to attend the annual Royal Marines Band Service Memorial Service. The new Princial Director of Music, Nick Grace has invited all serving and ex Directors of Music so it was a delight to catch up with all our old former colleagues. We then briefly visited Hannah and Dan to take a few items of furniture to them.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

'Rock Solid' Sailing

A long promised sail for one of our kids from the church club was realised today. It was not the best day for it with strong winds forecast, but anyway, Stephen, together with Ciaran and his dad Chris, one of our helpers at the church clubs enjoyed a couple of hours of sailing, motoring and fishing (unsuccessfully) on the river.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Thurlestone Arch

Oh dear, oh dear! Why I hear you ask .. well today we joined some other home-eders for a day on the beach at Thurlestone in South Devon. We took the kayaks and paddled through the natural stone arch at sea, them we swam out the 200 yards or so and swam through the same. The sun was shining, the sea was blue, the raw untamed nature of sea, stone and us made a fantastic picture. I forgot to take the camera.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Indian summer

Driving the Dart Harbour Yacht Taxi around the harbour this afternoon was made very pleasant due to gentle winds, sunshine and interesting people to talk to. The only problem was that it would have been a great day to have a sail. The picture below was taken by John, a colleague who is also a yacht designer.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

BRNC Volunteer Band

Since the removal of the Royal Marines Band from Britannia Royal Naval College last year, there has been much effort into creating a brand new volunteer band. This happened last night on Monday 7th September 2009, an historic occasion when the BRNC Volunteer Band was re-born after an interval of 60 years during the tenure of the RM Band. We had over 30 musicians turn up, many of them ex RM Band, and the standard of playing gave me much to be enthusiastic about.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Hazel and Regatta 2009

Dartmouth Regatta 2009 came and went with the usual invasion of tourists all eager to see the rowing, flying displays and the Royal Marines Band. In between such excitement they caught crabs, chalked pretty pictures on the pavement and risked their lives on the fairground rides. I performed my duty as safety boat for the guides rowing practice, and in one of the pictures you can just about see the guide teams rowing to victory against the scouts - hurrah! We had a special treat when Hazel, my older sister came to visit for a few days. She and Lynn visited Greenway House, the former home of Agatha Christie; no doubt you will be able to read about this on Lynn's blog. You can see them both aboard Jireh travelling up to Greenway Quay, where they were charged 75p each for the privilege of landing!

Monday, 17 August 2009

I have driven past the signs for Berry Pomeroy castle on many occasions, wondering why I couldn't see it standing proud on a hill-top, like most of Britain's castles. We found it tucked into the side of a wooded valley, a castle yes, but not in the sense you would normally think. It had fortifications against those dreaded Devonshire serfs, but was in fact no more than a stately home. But what a lovely home it must have been in its heyday! It is today a very interesting castle, complete with stories of ladies in dungeons, tragedy and of course, the attendant ghosts. But all we saw were screaming kids on a birthday party 'treat'! Despite this, it is highly recommended, and a lovely day out.