Saturday, 31 December 2011

Across the car park, boats and railway to the river

A view from my window - I have to lean out and use the telephoto lens - but even so - I can at least know if the tide is out. And in the other direction - lots of large logs seem to have washed down river looking a bit like Loch Ness (or rather Deben) monsters. Woodbridge busy with people walking around.

Back to proper blogs with pictures.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

What I had

I had pneumonia - which is a rather catch-all term. I may have had it for some time as I had not been well for a couple of weeks.

It all got worse - I breathed in part of a calcium tablet on Sunday (20th Nov). I did eventually ring 999 on Monday morning (21st - about 4-00 am) because I could not breath.

I was treated for aspiration pneumonia - which is an inflammation of lungs and airways due to breathing in foreign material. I was treated with high flow oxygen support, antibiotcs and steriods. I felt out of it and my memory of the first week is hazy, even if I spoke and wrote letters! Treatment was gentle and I very slowly improved. I think I came very close to death - it felt so and several people hinted as much  - - - .

Eventually I went into a normal ward and gradually got weaned off the oxygen support and each day got a small bit better. But I was in hospital for nearly five weeks. I think I left on the right day as I could just function OK at home.

I am now at home. I am reducing the dose of steriod very gradually. I think the recovery period is going to be long - months even. The worse you get with pneumonia - the longer it takes - apparently. Until now I have sat around, had a lot of sleep and managed to eat nice food. Getting netbook back on line is an improvement - I am watching for the onset of boredom.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Lots of proper sleep and lots of peace, quiet and food seem to be doing good. Each day is slightly better. I am warned that recovery is a long process.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Sunrise over the Deben into my living room this morning.

I am now home - feeling feak and weeble but better for proper sleep and a lot of peace and quiet.

So this just to thank everyone for cards, letters, comments, contacts, good thoughts and much else -

Will post again soon - still not even thinking to looking at email!

hooray for life

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lorna is getting better

Just a quick note to say Lorna is on the mend and will be returning soon...

- Posted by Rhoda

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Another 999 Ambulance

In Ipswich hospital - lung infection
Pretty zonked out
Will be in touch as usual when I have the strength

Posted by Rhoda on behalf of Lorna (who will hopefully soon be well enough to return herself and would love to receive cards or letters but no visitors yet)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

DYC summer evening trophy - May/June 2011
I won this in slow handicap fleet.
I am not sure how - probably by turning up for most of the races and getting two good results.
The good thing is that I very much enjoyed the racing so the cup is an extra nice thing.
Very pleasing - in a bitter-sweet sort of way. Like - am I going to have the energy ever again?

Friday, 11 November 2011

The winter is closing in with gloomy weather. A somewhat trying week in which I have not done much and only just managed to keep gloom and boredom at bay. I have not been anywhere other than the river wall and Woodbridge shops. I have not done much - a bit of geology reading -  painted a bit of the sailing club lockers - a bit of work on the U3A website - a start on a French course - visits to the gym. I am even trying to clear up some of the junk in my house - always a bad sign - - - .

Thursday, 3 November 2011

St Katherine's Dock, London
Another day - another marina.
I lived about a mile away when I was a post-grad student and walked around here then and many times since. I had hoped to sail in - but I think this an impractical plan even before I sold the Southerly. Today - lunch overlooking this basin - and I saw a kestrel over the moat of the Tower of London - a very nice day.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Keeping the sea back  - work at Thorpness
The big bags get lifted and piled along at the top of the beach to stop the waves undermining the houses and the cliffs.

I like the rough waves breaking on the gravel shore - probably the end of the autumnal sun and frequent trips out to the coast.
The cliff view last week - I took the other one from the railing to the middle left.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Minsmere nature reserve - I went by car so did not get this view
Saturday - Lorna goes to Minsmere. Typically I found more geology than birds - on the beach and near the entrance (bottom right of picture). Needless to say - drank a lot of tea and was exhausted when I got back.

Friday, 28 October 2011

the City from London Liverpool Street station entrance
Thursday: The combination of old and new caught my eye. Had lunch with Rhoda and then wandered round a market and some shops. Bought lots of thermals and drank specialist oolong tea.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Work party
Tuesdays - the winter work party at the sailing club meets every week - much activity to keep the club huse, pontoons, boat yard etc in good order. My role here - looking after a club boat, doing clearups in the boat yard (with bonfire) and painting things. That is the work. There is also the party - tea and coffee -  this week we  had lunch as well. Perhaps not surprising that I was washed out in the afternoon.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The sea at Thorpness - powerful waves
Went there yesterday and walked the beach and went rowing on the meare.

Went there today to take pictures of some rocks in the cliffs.

Bright sunshine, warmer wind today and rather a lot of tea and food in the meare cafe.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thorpness meare - a man-made lake
Another fine place - rowing boats for hire, with loos and tea room all within a few meters of each other. The car park and beach not far away.

I have now taken the anti-coagulent for some weeks and assume it has done the trick as I am no longer breathless. But I don't feel as well as I did before the clots developed. It maybe that it won't get any better or it maybe that a bit more rehabilitation is needed. Either way - one way ahead is to have little treats - today's was to go to Aldburgh and investigate Thorpness (after a regular gym session). Helped by bright sunshine and thick clothes against the cold wind.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sunday on Lookfar
It is more untidy than the words 'grossing out' imply. I spent most of the day, after going to the gym, here in the sun. I did take the large headsail off and replace it with a smaller one - eventually.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Fossil shells in a bit of Red Crag from Sutton Knoll
The picture does not relate to this post - except that I am trying to get my head round some geology for a meeting of the U3A geology group on Monday.

The side-effect of the flu jab seems to have worn off.

The tide was right and the sun was out all day - and there was a decent wind. So I motored upwind and uptide - turned round and sailed back with minimal effort using just the furling genoa. The tide is a bit late tomorrow so I may not repeat this. I have got spoiled by sailing so much in warmth and sunshine.

Friday, 14 October 2011

It is supposed to be autumn - and in some ways it is. But most of the trees still have their leaves apart from horse chestnuts that shrivelled in the dry weather earlier in the year and have now let their leaves go.

Signs of autumn in the way I live as well - start of the working party at the sailing club - regular meetings of the geology group. I have spent a bit of time writing the introduction (with lots of pictures) for the next meeting.This is a screen shot of a graph of extinctions - I don't find this the most interesting thing about the permo-triassic period although this is a nice graph.
Wednesday - a flu jab. I have felt off colour since then and I only figured out that it might be due to a side-effect of the jab. So am off to bed. Intend to resist the autumn tomorrow by having a short sail on the river - in sunshine.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sciadopitys verticillata. Sole member of the family Sciadopityaceae and genus Sciadopitys, a living fossil with no close relatives. These grew in Suffolk in Pliocene times - about 3 million years ago.
This is one of many trees planted in Rockhall Wood, Sutton - the plantation is of species that are known to have grown in Suffolk in Pliocene times.

Saturday - visited this wood and also outcrops of Corralline Crag and Red Crag at Sutton Knoll - so geology is starting up again with the usual bitterly cold wind experienced 'in the field'. Still re-habillitating inspite of said  wind and standing around for too long and getting tired.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The tidal mill pond to the tidemill. The plan seems to be to pump out the mud to deepen it so that it can be used again to grind grain - as part of the renovation of the tidemill. It seems to be a very slow business.
The weather is getting cloudy and windy. It is low tide during the day - so no sailing this week. Back to normal life.
The Plan is to do more writing, do more geology and go the gym for short workouts most days - and some boating when the tide and weather are right - as well as the usual domestic stuff, visiting beaches and keeping in touch with people. We will see - - -  the recent summer weather was good for physical and mental rehabilitation but - - .

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The river - and the river wall - looking downstream at low water with the sailing club to the right. (Taken before the good weather  - thus the clouds!)
Yesterday - another day in the sun on the river. This time we left the boat on the sailing club pontoons overnight and went as soon as the tide was in enough to cover the gravel bank and float us off.

With a light wind we went downstream against the current with the motor on, had lunch and goose winged back with the tide. The river full of boats taking advantage of the hot weather.

And today - doing nothing much in the sun ashore.

Friday, 30 September 2011

The gravel bank  off Deben Yacht Club at low water
Each time I see the exposed bank - there is a curlew feeding there.  A question. Is it the same curlew every time?

Today - another hot and sunny time spent messing about in boats - not much sign of boredom,

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Loder's Cut at half tide - the marshes are full of birds feeding on the goodies there.
Another fine day on the river - sunshine and a modest wind upstream - and an afternoon tide. The afternoon tide  is one of the highest of the year - and low water in the evening reaches chart datum according to my tide tables. Thus the tidal flow was more than usual - both ebb and flood and the marshes were all covered on my return making the rive look very wide - more like a lake.
Anchored a couple of miles downstream - at the Tips - for lunch and generally took it easy.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Across Loder's Cut - at high water - spring tide. You would not know that there are salt marshes a few cms under the surface - many-a-visitor has found out the hard way.
Another day on the river in the sunshine. Drank tea at the sailing club - lunch at anchor - coffee on the way back. It was a 'shake-down' - I tried out some new kit. Tomorrow - more of the same - different kit to try and the tide an hour later.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Just after high tide through Loder's Cut - you can only identify the Cut by a few sticks in the mud as the salt marshes are almost covered at high water - and completely covered at high water springs (Later this week).
I was going to write a diatribe about how rehabilitation is needed after health scares and set backs. But I thought this a better way to show that I am gradually getting more active. The fine weather encouraged a gentle expedition down the river for a couple of hours, punctuated by stops for coffee and then lunch. I intend to repeat the treatment whilst the good weather lasts - I may even pull up all the sails one day - if there is enough wind.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A snapdragon 24
I was tempted by this as it has standing head room and a loo. But it also needs more work than I have time or energy or money for doing. So I wisely and prudently decided not to go ahead.

This encapsulates what I have been doing for a few days - I crawled over it and made a long list - walked around and did worrying - as you do.

The anti-coagulant seems to be working - I am less breathless - but still feeling a bit feeble - too feeble to avoid temptation of exploring a boat.

Monday, 19 September 2011

This one hangs out on the salt marsh next to the marina and is easily disturbed - I was hiding behind an old boat.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Lookfar on the Deben Yacht Club pontoons - moored to have lunch and to take on water.
A happy day - a couple of hours motoring on the river in calm and sunshine and feeling a lot better - barely breathless. I even spotted some egrets on the bank but could not get close incase I went aground.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Prior's Haven, Tynemouth sailing club and the North pier where the race finished. (taken in 2007)
Scammell Dash (a race from Tyne entrance to a yellow bouy off Whtley Bay)This is supposed to be sailed in lots of wind with lots of drama - or at least some fog!

It went ahead in light airs, with 9 boats. It was won by Jeremy Whiting sailing single handed in an Enterprise. The race was run by Neal Piper on the water. Sara and the kids finished boats from the pier between the four poles (to the right of the picture) and a buoy, but without a hooter - needing lots of loud cheers instead. I hate to think what the various fishermen and walkers made of it!

I had a bit of a plan to be around for it this year - but recent boring problems put it out of reach - so we can all cross fingers for next year. It would be fun - especially as you named the race after me.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Breathlessness and associated symptoms:

I had a CT scan on Friday. There are small clots in the blood vessels of my lungs which probably account for most of the recent distress and breathlessness. I was told immediately after the scan - and I also have the medication to start treating it (an anti-coagulant called Clexane, which I take for a couple of weeks. It is injected subcutaneously - which I do myself - pretty straightforward I am glad to say). I go to discuss the longer term treatments (if needed) next week.

I have calmed down a bit after this - but not immediately 'cured'.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The beach at Dunwich - Tuesday 6th Sept.
Wind, surf and lashing rain - exhilerating.
You can deduce that I have been out and about - with Aidan on Monday and Tuesday - via various tea shops and nice places. But I continue to feel drained and not really very well.
beach, rainbow and cloud; Shingle Street Monday 5th Sept
Another good beach and over-arching weather. A metaphor for my life.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Autumn fruits
Sadly they do not taste as good as they look. Probably the dry spring followed by wet summer.

The breathlessness and associated feelings continue to mar my life. I am trying to think of ways to rest more thoroughly so that I do not get screamingly frustrated when I cannot get things done.
And I am ever-grateful to you all for reading this and for the comments - they really do help. XX

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Beach with tractor and a boat at Aldeburgh
Another excellent beach - and a town attached. I spent the afternoon there on Wednesday - good ice cream and coffee in the beach gardens. They really do launch fishing boats off the gravel beach.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Orford - looking downstream. The far bank is the inland side of Orford Ness.
I drove out to Orford yesterday (Friday), had lunch in the excellent tea rooms there and wandered along a few meters of the shoreline. The grey of the picture encapsulates my mood although it was good to see rain and clouds in a different place.

Friday, 26 August 2011

What I have not said during recent posts is that I am feeling less well than usual. This is due to being very breathless when I do anything much. I even struggled to empty the dishwasher the other day. This dates back into July.

Last week was spent worrying, getting an xray, worrying, writing emails and visiting the oncology department in Ipswich. In between - a bit of shopping and the usual trivia of domestic life.

The current position is that the breathlessness is not due to gross return of cancer - which does not show on the xray. I am to have a scan to narrow the likely causes - which maybe a reaction to Tarceva or minute blood clots or an infection.

So I am hanging out and trying (not very successfully) to be restful and calm  - and of course - - -

"But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;"

Thursday 26th August - two years since diagnosis

I called the end of the first year 'the birthday of my life ' -  it is a new life and has not been without its fun and pleasures, so I acknowledge the end of the second year of survival. This makes me sound very grand - with an 'official' birthday and a normal birthday!
And I thank the NHS oncology team at Ipswich hospital for their good care.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Titchmarsh to Woodbridge

Leaving Titchmarsh - on passage to River Deben
I left about an hour and a half before low water at about 9-00 - no wind - bright sky. I got back to Woodbridge at about 15-00 hrs. A frustrating sail as I had to motor most of the way and when there was any wind  - it was on the nose. But I got in through the Deben entrance at the time planned and without adventure. I tied up at the sailing club pontoon for a couple of hours for a rest and to wait for depth over the marina sill.

I had to walk home as I did not leave the car at the marina - a mistake. I  am off to my bunk - I mean bed - by way of a shower - I can still feel the movement of the boat.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


Feeling a bit more positive today -so I spent the morning fixing new, lighter, chain to the anchor. I had rather too short a length of heavy chain previously. I was then caught out by the weather - which threw down a lot of rain. But the boat ready to go - to catch the tide up the river Deben tomorrow - leaving quite early.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Friday - pottering around in Titchmarsh

The Backwaters at high water - viewed from the marina - complete with a Mirror dinghy and Felixstowe container port beyond.
Today was sunny and warm - although the wind is cold. I cleared up, dried wet clothes, shook out the bedding and similar useful things. I felt exhausted all day so walked along the banks round the marina and looked out across the Backwaters, watched boats come in and such like.Lots of rests.  Carvery for supper again - justified because it is good value but also quite hard to cook varied food on a small boat and away from food shops.

Thursday - I escape from the anchorage and hole up in Titchmarsh

In the marina - the cover needed due to heavy rain
I got up early again in order to escape a bad anchoring experience. I had to wait unti the boat refloated so was not free to go until 7-30. I had to use a number of techniques to get the anchor up - I did not have the strength to pull it against the wind. Lots of motoring and eventually dragged it into deep water.

I then anchored again on the way to Titchmarsh to wait for the tide - by Stony Point. I made a mess of this too although I motored it out in the end.

I enjoyed the waves going down Hamford water towards the river up to Titchmarsh - but was freaked out by the problems with anchoring and the strength of the wind.

Into Titchmarsh by 11-15. Very tired and slept all afternoon whilst the rain lashed down. Put up the cover after the rain - and then went to the carvery in the marina for supper. Very heavy rain on the way back - no umbrella so a lot of damp clothes. A rather bad day really.

Wednesday - Ramsholt to Walton Backwaters - Hamford anchorage

More mud - I anchored too close to the bank and went aground
I got up early and was off the mooring by 8-00 - went with the ebb to the mouth of the Deben and out of the river by 9-00. I motored so that I could have the keel up as I went out at low water. No problems - and I put the sails up as soon as I was out at sea.

It is a lot easier to do things at sea as there is a lot of room. So with the sails up I was at the bouy that marks the entrance to the Backwaters by 10-00 - a nice gentle reach into Hamford Water. By 11-20 I was anchored.

ButI made a number of errors here. One was to anchor too close to the shallow mud. The picture does not show it well enough to show that there was quite a lot of waves breaking on the mud. I also let out too muh rope and had a problem with the boat not turning up to the tide when the tide turned. I suspect the rope caught onto the keel - so a lot of messing on pulling up the keel and trying to work out what to do. It was OK eventually.

I was more scared here than usual. And it was too cold to sit out in the late afternoon.

Tuesday - Woodbridge to Ramsholt

Godwit on the mud bank next to where I picked up a bouy at Ramsholt
It took longer than I expected to load things onto the boat and go back for those I had forgotten - out of practice I suppose. I left the mooring at 15-00 and went with the tide. I could not get the main sail up - too windy (up to 25 mph) and on the nose. So I used the genoa and the engine.

Picked up a mooring (with some difficulty due to tide and wind) by 17-00. The river had some white horses and the boat lay awkwardly to the current for a while.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Deben and areas I am going to visit - main objective is the Walton Backwaters.
I have not been feeling as well as usual  this last week but spared you the list of symptoms combined with moans and groans. But I did a few nice things, including a quick visit to London. I now feel a bit better and figure that if I don't get on the boat and go now - - it will be autumn and too cold.

So I am off shortly to the boat - now full of food and junk. I am finding it hard to remember what to take and also I have got too accostomed to the comforts of life ashore. The plan is to go downstream with the ebb at about 15-00 hours and escape the Deben tomorrow morning (on a bad tide) - heading for the Walton Backwaters. I hope to get some network connectivity to update on progress.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I continue to feel zapped. I am now into hoping this is just a long recovery time from last week but - - - . I have been back to the gym and my muscles are OK but I am not good at the cardio-vascular. I have also done a lot of sleeping.

I have changed my diet - it seems that some of the digestion problems that I took to be simple side effects of Tarceva were actually lactose intolerance. I found this becuase I did not have much milk or cheese during the regatta and have stopped eating it since. It also means that I have not drunk much coffee this week, as I do not like it without milk.

Friday, 5 August 2011

And today - we have the pay-back. I feel wiped out and have done nothing apart from walk very slowly along a small bit of the river, collapsing onto the park benches in the sun to drink reviving juices and feel zapped. Hardly surprising - - - .

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Just before the start of the medium handicap race
Regatta last day: I did not sail as I had a hospital appointment and was not back until mid afternoon. Very wet in the morning and windy in the afternoon. There were various races, raft building and the like. I think I was too tired to sail again anyway!
Different type of race - they built the rafts in heavy rain in the morning.
The results overall for the medium handicap - the fleet I sailed in - 21 boats entered - I came 11th. I had two with a lot of points as I needed to do six races and only did four. Pleased with this - although I did worse in the race I thought I sailed the best - it is ever thus!

Bruises are healing well.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Regatta day 4: preparation paid off as I went in close to the bank. Bright and hot sunshine. No wind in the morning but racing did not start until 13-00, by which time there was a modest sea breeze. A good day.

Race 1: the right wind and a better course as it had some reaches as well as beats and a run. I sailed a bit better - but my boat speed is less than other streakers. No major dramas - apart from an almost-capsise filling the boat with water - and the self bailers are rubbish. Came 12th - lower down the fleet than I thought at the time.

Race 2: The wind got up for this. I started it and went as far as the Cut - then bore away and did some planing on reaches pretending that I was practising gybes. Then went shore, which was quite an effort and I had really had enough by the time the boat was on its trolly. Then changed, had tea and cakes, packed the boat and came home - the activities interspersed with talking to people..

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The steep bank downstream from the start - at low water - to see how close in I can go.
Preparation: I have tried to do some preparation for the regatta - this a picture of the bend in the river to see how close I can go at high water. There is less tide here and also a bit of a lift (sometimes). But a lot of small tacks disadvantages me as I am not good at tacking.
Regatta day 3: I feel a lot healthier today. Modest wind and a pleasant day. BBQ in the evening in the best traditions of regattas. A few bruises sre beginning to look impressive. Good stuff.

Race 1: I started on the line. I was not far behind the fast streakers for about half the first beat. But I got tired and gradually dropped back but I still had a good time. I came 10th. I am not sure whether the feeling of sailiing in treacle is my technique or the (old) boat with slightly difficult sail controls. It went wrong at the last mark (which was from a run to a beat) - I got tangled with some agressive small children in a small boat (calling for water when they had no overlap!) - concentration goes - I lost my footing and  - splash. But I did  get the boat up and finished the race.

Race 2:  I did intend to sail it but the course was the same two mile beat that I did not fancy yesterday - so I did the start (to get more points than not sailing at all) for practice and played with some sail settings - and had cake and coffee instead.
Launching and recovery is difficult due to narrow slipway and a lot of boats

Monday, 1 August 2011

Regatta day 2: Better sailing and good weather. The start times are limited by the tides - so today it was an 11-30 start - with the tide stronger for the first race, the wind stronger for the second race.
Race 1: I got a decent start which made me realise the limitations of other aspects of my sailing - slow tacking and also not going as fast as I think I should.  I did finish and was not last! - I was actually 9th. But the races here are very long for my stamina (the 'short' morning race was well over an hour).

Race 2: Discretion the better part of valour and I decided not to race. This was the right decision as the wind got up and there was a very long beat to the furthest mark (I think over two miles and against the tide) and a long run back.So I pottered around, ate cake and drank tea. In bright sunshine.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Regatta day 1:  A learning experience. There was bright sunshine - light wind in the morning with a lot of tide - good wind for the second race. I am in the second of four fleets to start - the medium handicap. All the other streakers are a lot faster - sigh.

race 1 - DNF - it was awful as I messed up the start. Too far off the start - too much tide - too little wind - too little skill. So I did about ten minutes and decided it was a hopeless case and retreated to eat rolls and drink coffee. Fell in trying to get from my boat to the pontoon - if it goes wrong - it goes wrong properly.

race 2 - started badly but I finished - not last but not far off. I was actually 8th - so the others must have done even dafter things - - . But I felt a bit better about it all. Again - a lot of mistakes (including an almost-capsize filling the boat with water).

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Today - we have the preparation for the sailing club regatta. This will involve going to the shops for high energy food, getting my sailing kit together and figuring out the logistics of getting launched alongside 50 other boats.
The two white marks on the bank defines the start line. (18 is a channel bouy and not part of the course). The problem is - where to start - there is a stronger current in the middle - the far side is shallow - starboard is the favoured side of the course.
I am also trying to figure out the start line. In a southerly wind the right end of the line is favoured because one needs to get to the starboard side of the course to avoid the tide downstream. But all the other boats are fighting it out there, as well as avoiding a pontoon and various moored boats. Is it better to avoid the crowds and get ahead in clear wind. So I am going to try to start at speed over the line between the moored boats. But that is only the start of course - - - .

Friday, 29 July 2011

Typical view of the Deben - low lying, wooded banks with mud flats exposed at low tide. At high tide - the drowned vegetation is just visible beyond the (traditional) yacht.
Tuesday > Wednesday > Thursday: A sail  in Lookfar. I stayed overnight in the marina and caught the ebb downstream to Felixstowe Ferry. This was very fast as the wind (up to 18 knots) and tide were behind me. I did try to pick up a visitor's mooring in the channel - but the tide was too powerful, so I did the wise thing and found one out of the tide. I grossed-around there for the rest of the tide and then took the flood upriver a few miles to Ramsholt where I picked another bouy for overnight. I am now getting proficient at getting the bouys as long as the tide is not too strong. I went to my bunk early and slept well, helped by a hot water bottle.

Thursday - Sailed upstream on the flood (HW at 11-00). The wind was on the nose but I was helped by tide and hindered by moored boats as tacking between them takes a bit of care.

It was mostly there and back again, but I did play near the sailing club for a while and went onto the pontoon there for experience and hot water. Weather - cold and then hot for a short time on Thursday - a reminder that heat is good.

Interesting - when I got up on Thursday the depression had evaporated and I have been fine since - even when I was cleaning the deck this afternoon. That's what sailing does - -

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Nothing interesting - I have felt gloomy for a few days. Sailed the dinghy on Sunday to practice tacking and gybing again, but otherwise have sat around feeling sorry for myself and bad-tempered to go with it. Dentist today - teeth good - rather better than the rest of me feels. I was not even cheered by seeing masses of butterflies last week - including hundreds of gatekeepers.
Gatekeepr - not my picture - this from an identification web site
Plan to take Lookfar out on the river for a couple of days.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cool exersise for various muscles
It makes you feel tired to look at it - but you actually do it more slowly so it is not as exhausting as it looks. I do a number of exercises like this which target all the muscle groups over two (relatively) short sessions. This week I have tried out some new ones as well. I try to make it to the gym now at the start of most days when I am not doing something else. Going to the gym  has added a great deal to my well-being. With the additional benefit that it makes depression (when it strikes) less painful. And no sweating it out on the machines either - .
This is the hardest but is done more slowly than the picture

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Digging the road near my flat.
All this week - mega lorries and disruption - interesting in its own way.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Road and car park in heavy rain storm on Monday
Monday - a lot of rain. It does not do justice to the lashing rain and the depth of water in the carpark and gutters.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A wet and windy weekend - with no sailing by me - disappointing.
I had intended to sail in the streaker Open meeting. But prudence prevailed and I did not even think of it when I got up and saw wind and lashing rain. But it was sailed and the topper fleet was especially hardy (and young). I watched in pouring rain under threee layers of waterproofs and did a few helpful things.

The baby swallows flew the nest over Saturday night. Two of them came back on Sunday when it rained. 
They look smug more than cute!

I did not sail on Sunday -  a very long race down the river to windward (and then back) which lasted over an hour and a half in strong wind with squalls - it would probably have written me off.

All a bit depressing really - and bad weather due to continue all the week into the next round of races at the weekend.  I should be used to dubious weather by now - - but I am not.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Goodbye car - uplifted early this morning by - a good and easy way to get rid of an old car. Surprisingly sad to see it go - - - .

green car - faithful friend since 2004
The week has gone by with very little to show for it - apart from a superficial reading of the easy parts of the Racing Rules and a couple of visits to the gym. A general feeling of gloom - I blame the nasty weather and perhaps some reaction to the excesses of last week.  And today I need to mend my centre board and sit in the sun before the rain and wind due tomorrow.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Another day - another best beach
Looking North towards the Deben estuary from Felixstow

Monday - I took delivery of the new car and took it out for a run to Felixstow beach - very pleasant views with car parking and a coffee shop right on the cliff top. Automatic gears take a bit of getting used to but have only grabbed for the gear stick a couple of times. It was more tiring than I expected!
Swallow's nest above a notice board at Deben Yacht Club.
Three or four swallows are getting very large and the parents fly in and out all the time.
Briefly interrupted by people when there is sailiing
More racing at the weekend - in the evening to catch to tide. Lots of nice food as well. I came second again on Saturday.
Sunday was a reminder of how awful racing can be. I got a good start but thereafter I could not get in the groove - with light and shifty winds against the tide. The wind dropped and it took half an hour to cover about ten boat lengths to the finish line. But - hey - I finished and came 4th (behind a load of Toppers). But half the fleet did not finish. Not great fun - sailing can be awful and I am glad for the reminder - in some ghastly way. I have since read up on sail settings and think I had the sail wrong for the light wind conditions - not enough outhaul.