Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas Time

We had a pleasant surprise on Christmas morning to receive a phone call from Dan (son)at 8am, who was walking with Sarah and their dogs on Hayling Island - no Christmas Day lie-in for them! Dan, Hannah and Sophia (aged one year, one week and one day on Christmas day) visited for the holiday. What fun to see them, but Lynn, Lyd and Julez all had the flu!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Strange Day!

In the midst of this cold spell we are all enjoying with snow and sub-freezing temperatures, we awoke to an amazing sight a few days ago. Everything was bright white even though no snow had been forecast. As dawn brought some light, we realized that the earth was covered with a heavy hoar frost. Beautiful!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

All hands to the pumps!

Last week was exciting! Vaughan, a fellow yacht taxi skipper and general good egg aided me with his superior knowledge and upper body strength in swinging the engine of Lucy Morales, our yacht (currently under restoration) with the ancient cranking handle and bringing the cold lump of steel to life. Flushed with success, I let the engine run for 40 minutes or so to charge batteries, give it a good run etc. As I closed everything down to go home I noticed a tiny trickle of water, which I traced to the stern gland (the area where the propeller shaft goes through the hull of the yacht). "Only a trickle" I thought, merrily going home. A few days later I went down to do a bit more work only to find the bilges full of sea water! Forty minutes later all was dry again - but ... oh dear! I gave it one more night to sort itself out only to find the bilges half full again. Time to sort it out. After a bit of contortion and the locating of a greasing nipple, a couple of squirts of grease stopped the trickle (now visually located) in its stride. A stern-gland greaser will be the answer - another little job to do. On a more positive note, Lucy M's new wash boards look splendid!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Christmas Concerts

Well Christmas has come and gone once again, or rather our Christmas Concerts. What was a sell out concert last Thursday became less well-attended due to a flurry of snow, rare for Dartmouth, that of course caused major upheaval to the transport system. The concerts contained usual pantomime with desperadoes, wee-willie-winkies and a trio of nuns to bring mirth to the assembled throng. More music this week, but with a jazz quartet.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Variety of life

River work has once again almost finished for the winter season with just the occasional taxi shift. Meanwhile the Volunteer Band is keeping me very busy with concerts and things to organise, rehearse and perform with the ever growing band. Five of my music pupils will be taking instrumental exams next week and I now spend nearly a whole school day each week teaching. The yacht Lucy Morales (!) is keeping us busy with tidying her up, and the Gypsy build is currently at a standstill until I can afford some more epoxy resin. Finally, the church seems to fill the remainder of my time. At least there is no time to get bored!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sailing, yachts and things

Continuing the busy October theme, we used the last week in the month to help make Pinafore, Han, Dan and Sophia's yacht seaworthy and sail her down to Brighton, their new home. The voyage was a little lumpy, but gratefully swift. We thanks God for His gracious protection. My favorite memory of the sail was Sophia (aged 11 months) laughing at her mother trying to fill a bowl with the contents of her stomach!
Another notable event took place in October when a Lovely gentleman named Roger asked me to take possession of his yacht, as he was unable to sail her anymore. I look forward to tidying her up and taking some of the kids from the youth club out on the water. I may have to think about changing her name though (see picture).

Visit to Durham

What a busy October! Earlier in the month we departed from Canterbury (see below) to travel up country to Shropshire. What a lovely county! This was to deposit Lydia, our budding writer, at a creative writing course. From there the remainder of us completed a 12-hour drive to Durham. Here we had a lovely time with Mum, Hazel, Katy Tony , Joseph and Cloe. How the kids are growing! I was able to deliver a piano accordion, kindly donated by Ed, to my mother.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Nephew Bobby - and parents

Driving around the world loking for Universities for Lydia has afforded us the opportunity to visit family not seen for ages. Our wet camp in Canterbury was relieved by a most pleasant afternoon spent with Lynn's brother Phil and his lovely wife Syanne, together with our newest nephew 'Bobby'. Bobby is a real charmer and it was lovely to see them all.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Comet in the River

Great excitement, on the way to visit Jireh last week I espied a Gypsy catamaran in the river. Well I just had to call on them, meeting two very pleasant people in Graham and Katherine with whom Lynn and I spent an interesting and very pleasant couple of hours. What a small world, Katherine used to work for Jubilee Sailing Trust, overlapping with Hannah by a few weeks.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

All systems go!

A new year - well new academic year and all things are starting up again. The band has had its first rehearsal and a number of gigs are in the diary, the first being a RNLI fund-raising river cruise this Friday. I have a great sextet of jazzers who will really make the Christie Belle swing!
Top of the Town Club starts up next week and we are having a change of format for the teens club - still with the emphasis on showing them that Jesus loves them.
Still waiting to hear from the school - now an 'Academy' - about teaching starting up again.
Of course, river work has been very busy but starts to run down as the sailing season finishes - apart from the more hardy mariners.
Lots of Uni viewing to do with Lyds, and we are looking forward for a visit to Durham in Oct to see Mum, Hazel and the family.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Busy week over

We have just got to the end of a busy week with our Holiday Club at church called 'Rocky's Plaice'. The club is set in a 'fish & chip shop' and we looked at the words: HOPE, BE FILLED, HAVE FAITH, LOVE and TELL. The words were linked to accounts of the life of Peter in the book of Acts and we considered the ascension of Jesus when the angels promised he would return; the account of the coming of the Holy Spirit; the healing of the lame man; the life of Dorcus and finally the account of Peter and Cornelius.
Also, it was the week the Guides practiced their rowing for Regatta and also river duties on most evenings.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Lynton with Lynn

Lynn and I escaped to the country. It was a bit of a 'stick a pin in the map' but Lynton was chosen. What a good choice it was. The campsite was small and cosy and we didn't use the car all week. Instead we walked for miles, up and down well marked paths. But the scenery! It is superb. A bit of rain did nothing to dampen our enthusiasm as we donned waterproofs and walked every path backwards and forwards and every other way!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Mum's birthday & Camping

The family all travelled to Sherwood Forest to celebrate Mother's 80th birthday. She looks younger every year!
This was followed by a few days camping at Cromer.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Summer Sailing

Lynn and I found ourselves with a free Saturday last week, well free until our Holiday Club training session in the evening. Anyway, with promise of a sunny morning, we made an early start to take Jireh out for a sail. It was lovely, and the brief showers didn't really bother us. We thought we had better return before the rain really began, but of course, as soon as we reached shore the sun came out in all its glory!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Volunteer Band Festival

Busy times mean no blogs, and it has been a busy time getting ready for the Volunteer Band Festival. We all had a great weekend and managed to win three trophies: for best concert performance, best drum major and runner-up to best Volunteer Band in the Royal Navy. Isn't nature wonderful!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Happy clean baby

Hannah's 23rd birthday!

23 today! Well yesterday, but who is to know? Dan drove helter-skelter from work in Exeter to join us in Hannah's celebrations. Dan bought his wife a lovely green pixie dress and a watering can. We bought her a teapot and the girls got her a bowl. Spoilt!!

Sophia pays a call

Sophia, our grand daughter decided to pay us a visit. She had cuddles with everyone and met Lyn Ryder and her kids. Oh, she brought her mum with her - who decided to have a birthday while she was here.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Fire in Dartmouth

A Miss Marplesque sensation was caused today with a major fire in Dartmouth. The smoke was quite spectacular as the photos show. Rumours abounded with the Cherub Inn, the Thai restaurant, then the Coop supermarket being cited as locations. The latest rumour is that it started at the Chip Shop. Anyway, Dartmouth was closed today!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Family group!

It was fantastic to have Dan (son), Hannah and baby Sophia with us this week. A few family group pics for the archives.

Daniel's visit

I was great to see Daniel this week when he visited after cave exploring in the midlands. We managed to do a bit of climbing on the sea-cliffs, a kayak trip out to Western Blackstone and he also has a spell of Yacht Taxiing with me. Our balcony provided a good ledge to do some rope-work!

Hannah and Sophia

Some pics of Hannah and our grandaughter Sophia when they visited us this week.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Langdale Pikes

Lynn and I had a day out together, choosing the Langdale Pikes for a stroll. A rarely visited track suggested by Mr Wainwright provided a very steep but peaceful ascent to the heights. Lynn made the scramble to the summit of Pike o' Stickle. The descent seemed to take forever through some dramatic gorges.

The Old Man of Coniston

Hannah wanted to climb a mountain, so we chose 'The Old Man of Coniston' as it is a real mountain, but offers reasonably simple walking - essential as Dan carried Sophia (4 months old) up and down on his chest! Lunch by Goats Tarn was followed by a slog up Goats Hause. The sisters posed for one of their '3 sisters' pics and Lynn stood on the summit with the village of Coniston 800 metres below her.

April Swimming!

Our arrival in Lakeland heralded in a spell of the type of weather that just commands a swim in the lake! Three sisters get ready; eventually they are all in - oh .. it's cooold! Look Sophia says Dad, they have turned into ducks!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Julia's 13th Birthday

Julia is very pleased with her new green camera which nearly matches her finger nails. Mum baked a birthday cake that was scrummy. The birthday - 4th April - was a busy day with a Easter Day service at church together with the Riviera Life Church, and a talk from Niall encouraging us to share the message of God's love with those who don't yet know Him. Afterwards we enjoyed a presentation from Niall on his work in Uganda. The day ended (and the next day began) with a sleep-over.