I came home last night and today I’ve working, so it was nice, just now, to look at the photos I took while I was away and relive the moments vicariously.
I am rubbish at photographing birds. I have about six out of focus pictures of a Great Crested Grebe swimming about the marina, and at least six more when I have clicked the shutter as it has dived under water. So although this photo of a Moorhen won’t win any prizes, I am pleased with it.
That’s the ever spreading Pennywort covering the water’s surface by the way. I’m not keen on photos of sunsets either, but there something magical about cooking dinner and looking at this view.
View from the galley
Sadly I have to return home tomorrow as I am working on Sunday. I thought lots of people would turn up at the marina tonight, lured by the forecast of temperatures in the mid twenties and sunshine. Maybe they’ll come tomorrow. We are once again alone. One couple and their elderly Jack Russell did arrive tonight, they ran the engine, stowed their gear and disappeared into the (beautiful) sunset. Then the hunters started shooting. Close by. Not nice. Fortunately they have now stopped.
Older Nephew said something to me yesterday about the boat being part of who I am. I think he’s right, and in the aftermath of Mother’s and Aunt’s deaths I am enjoying the boat in a different way to formerly. So keeping the car, keeping the boat is my preferred option for the time being.
I caught up with the review section of last Saturday’s Guardian. There was a piece by Amy Grace about how she (and Margaret Attwood and Donna Tartt) wrote for Playboy. Maybe I need to reread it, but on first reading it made me very cross. Saying Playboy was tame in comparison with what was available elsewhere does not, to me, make Hefner’s empire acceptable. I remember in the 80s feeling despair when very young girls in the school where I taught appeared carrying pencil cases with the bunny symbol, the most charismatic boy in the Sixth Form (a Sikh, don’t think HH’s appeal was merely to middle-aged white men) wore wristbands with the same logo and looked up to Hefner as a rôle model. From Instagram I have been educated with the very unwelcome knowledge that many young women see their worth in their sexual attractiveness and availability. There are more cleavages and bare buttocks, sometimes pouting lips, out there and apparently posted by their women they belong to, than I would have believed possible in 2017.
I was reading when Older Nephew arrived and didn't hear his car. The crunch of gravel near at hand made me look up and there he was. Now the day was warm, though it had been chilly first thing when I had braved the Spartan conditions of the shower block to emerge briskly clean.
We had a brief discussion and decided to head out. Older Nephew had limited time, so it couldn't be a long trip. I made lunch as we travelled, and we kept our eyes on the skies watching the kestrels hovering. We also had to keep our eyes on the water. There was very little traffic but a lot of weed. MasterB had inspected it from the rear cabin window earlier at the marina.
There were a surprising number of cows with young calves, then this fine fellow lost in contemplation.
Another cow seemed to watching us.
I have been pretty good about blogging recently, but now I am afloat, so I shall probably be on gold star behaviour for the next few days. It is windy. It is wet. MasterB and I are the only ones at the marina. And as there aren't other cars, I doubt if anyone else has taken their boat out. But since I last came, my neighbours have gone. There is no boat on the starboard side of the pontoon, and tonight the wind is coming from that direction so we are missing its shelter. That may be why I am having a frustrating time watching C4 news too. The winds play havoc with the signal, and it is breaking up so much a coherent narrative is impossible.
Yet the journey was full of sunshine. Golden leaves, trees on either side of the road glinting gold, red and yellow as well as green. It was fortunate the view was good as the journey itself was slow beyond belief due to intermittent road works which meant I was travelling at the end of the school day, so parents collecting their children (what happened to walking home or taking the bus, or cycling?) clogged the roads. Compensation as I neared das Boot. A glance to the right and there were three deer happily in a brown field. I saw a kestrel too, just sitting. I left a stack of egg cartons from not only my own stock, but also Octavia and my neighbours Hugo and Jolita, at Janet Eggs, I didn't see Janet, but her husband was ther with the dogs bounding about him.
People have been shooting tonight. Gunfire has peppered my unpacking and putting away. I don't think Keats references the hunting side of autumn. A great crested grebe was swimming about the marina when we arrived, then a swan. MasterB, released from his cat basket made straight for das Boot, although I was hopeful at one point he would dig a hole and have a pee and or a poo. Doubtless the joy of clearing both awaits me before morning. Continue reading
This week’s photo challenge is Windows. I am reposting two pictures of MasterB; one sitting on the sill outside the kitchen window, remarkably insouciant – we live in the second floor (make that the third if you are in a country that counts the ground floor as the first floor); the second is of him looking out at the night at das Boot.
Not a care in the world
Well, on Thursday I went to the place mentioned in the title and posted two blogs about my journey. I know, I know, WP recommends regular blogging habits for a success it has yet to define and my irregularity has become the most notable thing about my blogging life. But hey, life is too short to obey rules for a success I don’t even begin to understand.
If you want the details, read the last two posts. If you do, you’ll learn I had an unexpected delay and so time to kill at Thorpe-le-Soken where I had anticipated a dash across the platform to get the connecting train. Admittedly I had imagined a bigger platform. Waterloo it ain’t.
Railway side of former entrance
Former grandeur 2
Former grandeur 1
Once the station entrance, now railway cottages
Thorpe-le-Soken with British Rail ( now sadly defunct) sign
Walton-on-the-Naze is by the sea, just up the coast from Frinton where, if memory serves, I spent at least one holiday as a small child with my parents, sister, great aunt, her daughter and grand daughter Alison. Under Alison’s supervision we dug man traps on the beach but I don’t think we caught anyone. Alison is now a successful (not a WP definition) artist based at Southwold. Frinton’s station platform was colourful.
Oh my goodness
For the kiddies
I am, as is often the case, still up because MasterB is enjoying some Outside Time. His Outside Time makes me feel increasingly that to move somewhere with a catflap and private garden, however small, would significantly improve the quality of his life. And mine. Hartley and Smudge, the two black and white fur balls are also outside in our garden. Hartley is very friendly to me and would be friendly to MasterB, but the objet of his affection is playing Hard to Get. Actually, I think Hartley is looking for a new home where he would gets lots of love and attention. I don’t think it’s my home, but I wish him luck.
As I have heard nothing to the contrary, I believe Ann is still alive. Ridiculous, but I can’t help feeling if she has made it through the weekend she might still surprise everyone and rise again from her sick bed.
Octavia has been looking for talcum powder and not finding it. Since she said this I have seen talcum powder on sale everywhere. There is a mystery here I am not sure I am qualified to solve. Continue reading
Summer is having a late flowering here in the UK with sunny warm days, even today, a Bank Holiday, normally an appeal the heavy rain gods can’t resist. Across the pond, Hurricane Harvey, who sounds suspiciously like a particularly driven snooker champion, has brought heavy rain to Houston. It’s all very alliterative. The electricity is still working, as is the internet. I know this as I have been exchanging emails with my friend Sue who loves in Houston. I gather she is holed up with dog, cat and a load of junk food she bought for a poker game that had to be cancelled. I have just finished rereading Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver, so these indications of climate crisis and how determined some of us are to ignore or dismiss how our behaviours are contributing to extremes of weather feels very pertinent.
Yesterday Celia and I met up for a walk around a near neighbourhood we don’t know followed by lunch at Dulwich Picture Gallery and a visit to the exhibition of watercolours by John Singer Sargent. They are amazing. I didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t this. Go if you can. My work today took me to Greenwich. On the bus back there people on their way to carnival at Notting Hill. There was a strong feeling of London being on holiday, but of course Notting Hill Carnival is in the shadow of Grenfell Tower, and the survivors and victims of that horror have been remembered and respected in this year’s carnival. Joy and sorrow coexist. Human beings are remarkable in being able to feel more than one emotion at a time.
I’m wondering if I can get back to das Boot on Sunday. If the warm weather persists I shall certainly try. On Wednesday I am heading for chatham for the day, so before I fill my camera with pictures of dockyards and Dickens memorabilia, i think I should share some of the photographs i took when I was last east.
Pontoon and mat
At the window
While I loved seeing some of my near relations at das Boot. It was very nice to be alone with MasterB when they left. He had not really socialised, spending most of the time we had company hidden under a pillow in the aft cabin.
But with few people at the marina, he enjoyed some shore leave. While he gets scared very easily by passing vessels or near voices, when it is quiet he has a courage and sense of adventure that scares the living daylights out of me.
One or more of these pictures will I hope appear in the 2018 Ginger Ninja Calendar. As it is nearly September I should be putting it together soon, so shout if you have particular favourites.
The man with the two lovely collies and the equally lively yellow Labradot told me there were damsons at the end of the path. 'Some are very big,' he asserted. But although I followed you he path I found no damsons. I did gather my fourth box of blackberries, and had I had more containers I could have gathered yet more.
Quite a lot of the smallest container, about half I reckon, I have already enjoyed for pudding after lunch. A lunch which featured a poached egg. I bought the egg this morning and it was still warm from the hen. Although I do not think I want to live in the depths of the country, car culture is one of my main objection, there are compensations. My neighbour having, though with the best of intentions, killed my thyme plant, I have bought another. I have freshly picked spinach and salad. Janet Eggs is reserving some eggs for me to take home with me tomorrow. Das Boot is brightened by a bunch of sunflowers.