Sunday, 31 October 2010

Joomla! Days - fantastic

17-40 hrs: I have been trying to learn more about Joomla! - largely out of curiosity and interest. It will also help me to manage the U3A web site, which uses Joomla!. So I signed up for this two day Joomla! event in Ipswich - 20 minute drive away. Joomla! is a Content Management Systerm used world-wide for creating and managing web sites - It is Open Source and free to download the core product. They referred to it as an ecosystem of people contributing code, writing extra bits, creating web sites for clients and much else - in amazing profusion.

So a weekend of wall to wall Joomla! from 9-00 to 5-00, apart from excessive amounts of excellent food and drink and lots of talking. 

I will report on one thing - I have volunteered to contribute! Not code - but documentation - there is a wiki at I have offered to look at the Getting Started pages, which should be enough to stop the onset of boredom.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Scammell-Dash results - October 3rd

20-25 hrs: 
Results for the race round the yellow bouy - now called the Scammell-Dash - sailed in a lot of wind and a reach there and back. Well done everyone and sorry not to have been there.

    PY Start Time Finish Time Elapsed  Corrected
Nick & Sarah 59er 905 11:50:02 13:45:46 6944 7673
Alan & Gill Ent 1116 11:50:02 14:17:23 8841 7922
Loz Laser 1078 11:50:02 14:17:23 8841 8201
Gerry & Rosie Ent 1116 11:50:02 14:19:15 8953 8022
Clive Laser 1078 11:50:02 14:20:20 9018 8365
Lorry & Caragh Ent 1116 11:50:02 14:20:30 9028 8090

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

the wind and the rain - -

18-00 hrs: Turner's Orford Ness lighthouse: the weather was not this rough today and we did not go to Orford - but putting off our sailing trip gives me an excuse to use this great image.

We were intending to take Lookfar down the river for a couple hours this afternoon - but - gusts up to 40 mph and heavy rain put us off. Instead - we went to the mouth of the Deben by road and had lunch in the cafe at Felixstowe Ferry. And then we walked along the sea wall until we got wet.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

I sail the Laser again - -

18-45 hrs: I took the Laser out again today - the wind was strong at times and I planed like this picture (taken in the Tyne estuary some years ago)  - same dry suit - new hat - different boat - no waves - same mega-fun. The wind is very gusty along the river, and there are also wind holes and big wind shifts - it is quite testing and one cannot just get onto the plane and stay there for a mile or so. But I stayed upright - almost fell in backwards when the wind dropped but I was quite careful!

I stayed out for well over an hour and was no more tired after than I would have been a couple of years ago - I had to work harder to  avoid moored boats and mud banks than I would in the Tyne estuary or out to sea. And I lobbed the mast into the hole much more easily than I would have been able to do without weight training - so hooray for that as well.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Deben from Woodbridge

10-30 hrs: See yesterday's post for a continuation. Nasty weather today - so am ashore.

Lookfar is berthed in the Yacht harbour - this shows the river to the Tips and connects to the chartlet in the previous post. One nautical mile is the distance from 52-05' to 52-04'. It feels a lot further because of the way the channel winds around and the big gusts of wind and the boats on moorings. Challenging sailing in lots of ways - but I miss the big waves of the North East coast.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The tides are up in the middle of the day - so sailing if weather OK

20-20 hrs: Today - sunshine - a down river sail with a good, if gusty, wind, but returning for a late lunch due to tides. Tired for the rest of the day. This is the Deben downstream from Woodbridge. I normally go down river at least to the Rocks. At high water - it is all blue; the yellow bits are muddy mud, deep enough to sail over at high tide.

This follows on from an interesting week. U3A geology group, work on U3A web site, pruned a large bush outside the sailing club, had lunch with Aidan and watched too much TV in the evenings because I had got tired doing things all day, but not cuts -TV.

Doing things- good - due to new wonder-drug.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

To the beach with fossils - - Bawdsey

11-30 hrs: Friday's expedition - not the most beautiful beach but it is interesting  - a wave cut platform over London Clay; cliffs of London clay undercut by encroaching sea; some dramatic landslips; sea defenses to the north; Red Crag beds at the top of the cliff - out of reach; plant fossils on the beach; lots of interesting pebbles.

The beach extends along to the Deben, where there is more gravel (and sea kale growing at the top of the beach).  A tiring walk as it is on stones most of the way and no nice tea room to go to afterwards -but fun.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

To the lighthouse - Orford Ness

20-44 hrs:  Approach to Orford Ness lighthouse

 A view of the lighthouse and the sea condition - glad to be looking at it from the shore.

Today - Saturday - ferry to Orford Ness at 10-00; worth getting the first one as the site felt properly remote. A walk along made-up tracks and a shingle path to the very edge of the Ness, where this wonderful lighthouse teeters on the brink of the shingle, although when it was built (in 1792) it was some way back from the shore. Excellent day out - saw lots of other interesting things - walked 9 kms - finishing with tea and cake in Orford Tea rooms.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A favourite place

19-45 hrs: A favourite place - Covent Garden - a view almost matching a late seventeenth century print of the same buildings when it was a fruit and veg: market.

Today - lunch with Aidan in a pleasant eaterie off Drury Lane. A walk round a few shops and the Covent Garden area before heading back for the train - all at a normal pace. I am feeling well and renewed.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

- and a fourth day on the river - in a Rib!

12-30 hrs: Sunday was also spent on the river - this time doing rescue. The picture was taken in August - and shows the view downstream with a fleet going to race in a wider part of the river - at high water.

This Sunday - bright sunshine all day - lots of wind but the boats stayed upright as they whizzed round. I sat around in the sun on a RIB and watched sailing - another very nice day.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Three days on the river - expedition three - Saturday

19-20 hrs: Not a boat - but the digger that has been working on the river bank for ages. Sailing out of Woodbridge - I pass close by.

On Saturday - off out again. There were gusts to at least 25 K. - I went downriver and back as before. I timed it nicely and managed to hove-to for lunch again but drifted fast in the gusts. Another lovely day - and a good contribution to rehabilitation.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Three days on the river; expedition two - Friday

9-20 hrs: On a mooring outside the marina - looking downstream - the entrance is just behind the main sheet.

On Friday - more wind so I put in a reef - not very beautiful in the picture, but it worked well with a smaller genoa - newly cut to fit the furler. I sailed off the mooring and did not use the engine except to get back into the marina. This time I went only as far as Waldringford - and hove-to for lunch - returned whilst the tide was slack - so got back at good speed. The wind direction changed in the gusts by 45 degrees - so I had to adjust course and sails all the time - good stuff and hooray for weight training and stronger muscles. Feeling well and the rash has almost gone.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Three days on the river; expedition one - Thursday

21-30 hrs: An egret in Woodbridge. There are lots along the river - normally too far away to photo - or I am too busy sailing (or both).

On Thursday - very little wind and too much motoring. I foolishly went too far (to Ramsholt) where I picked up a mooring for lunch and stayed too long. So I had to bang back against the tide to get to the marina before the water over the sill was too shallow to get in. Made it OK. Nice day - sunny intervals. Makes me feel better altogether.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Whatever Happened to Feminism?

20-35 hrs:  a radio 4 programme -

Recent studies have shown that women are due to shoulder nearly three quarters of the burden of budget cuts - why are feminists not marching on the Treasury? Good question. Interesting programme and links on the web site.