Saturday, 25 February 2012

No tides here

Water temperature: 29
Water conditions: no waves, being a pool and all.
Weather: sun streaming in through the windows
Joined by: my friend Red, a small, fat child having a swimming lesson and 2 ladies from Hertford.
Topics of conversation:
Blimey, it's hot!! I'm not used to this, Red is a pool swimmer and so she IS used to it, I just followed her lead and did lengths, till I got wrinkly. It's also odd not swimming against a current and I felt as if I was zipping along. There's a sauna too and no one in it in the mornings so I lay there for a while pretending to be in Sweden again, my imagination having to work hard.
We blew all our kitty on a wonderful meal and a rather lovely bottle last night so once we felt as if we'd swum it off we spruced ourselves up and headed for breakfast, which we decided was to be our main meal of the day as it is part of the deal. A good decision, it was one of the best hotel breakfasts I've eaten: pineapple, figs and peaches for Red and muesli and seeds for me to start, then she had a croissant and I had cheese. We both followed that with scrambled eggs with mushroom and grilled tomatoes and I had smoked salmon with mine. That kept us going all day and now we are being idle and have ordered room service for an early supper so that we can return to the spa for an evening swim, sauna etc. Red is also a masseuse and has promised me a foot massage before bed, talk about spoilt!







- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 24 February 2012


Low Tide05:55 (0.40m)
High Tide12:10 (2.40m)
Low Tide17:53 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: 6.3!!! UN-bloody-believable
Sea conditions: calm, slight swell
Weather: Warm, but not as warm as yesterday
Joined by: no one
Topics of conversation:
The Canadian's son's stamina - I'd bumped in to The Canadian on my way over and so was slightly late as we'd been discussing his son, who had been disappearing over the horizon on his bike. He's doing a GCSE in something that sounds like a great subject and involves him having to cycle and ski a lot, neither DK nor The Pirate could help me to work out what it's called. He's very keen and yesterday he had cycled to school, playing in a football match, done circuit training, had tennis coaching after school and cycled home again. He's also doing photography and I've leant him a precious book which I hope will help him with his current project on movement and motion. I suspect that if he can sort out his GCSE's so that he has to spend his time skiing, cycling and taking pictures, he'll sort life out in general.
DK and I weren't late - even though we had both been to the same party, in the local, last night! It was a lovely evening and held in the honour of John, barman and prince charming of The Anchor. He's leaving to go to Australia to play rugby and we will all miss him no end. I suspect that he may have a slightly sore head this morning but he's got a week before he goes and I've just sent him a link to the blog so hopefully he'll stay in touch (otherwise I'll put the other photos up JH).





The crisis in the Catholic priesthood. The Pirate had seen a programme about the training of priests last night and had discovered that this year there are only 19 starting the course. We speculated how many there would have been 40 years ago and The Pirate explained that he had been to a college, set up for the purpose when he was doing his teacher training and that it was a huge and magnificent building the size of St Pancras station. To make the point about how very large it was he told of his shock at walking into the lavatories and seeing that the urinal stretched as far as the eye could see. He also told how he and his fellow students sang the theme to Doctor Who in the corridors, which we both then sang on the beach wooooeeeoooooo.
My mini holiday - I'm very excited. Today I'm off for 3 days at a country house hotel and spa, as the guest of a wonderful friend, who is treating me. We wondered how warm the water in the pool will be and whether I will need a cold plunge pool too. The Pirate said he can imagine us with cucumber slices on our eyelids, so I shall have to raid the salad and stage a photo.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Low Tide04:43 (0.40m)
High Tide11:01 (2.40m)
Low Tide16:48 (0.70m)
High Tide22:54 (2.60m)
Sea temperature: 4.2...? It really didn't feel like it
Sea conditions: a strong undertow, small waves
Weather: very strong wind whipping about, chilly
Joined by: The Poet today, Lyla yesterday
Topics of conversation (over the last 2 days):
DK was not with us yesterday, he was playing golf, neither The Pirate nor I really do sport and so when The Poet and he discuss the latest state of play etc. we just look at our feet. In fact today The Pirate confided that he feels that one day he may be found out. I clearly have been.
We were joined by Lyla, Bosco's daughter, yesterday - she's a swimmer! She's quite mad and charged up and down the beach being an extreme version of Bosco as we got ready to swim. She also likes to pick up large stones and drag them into the sea, then she tries to drown them and save them. She and Willow didn't really see eye to eye as Willow wanted her to replace Mabel as rough and tumble partner, but she wasn't interested. She followed us into the sea and swam in a little loop around us, just making sure we were OK but not trying to save us, which The Pirate feared she might. Bosco was clearly exhausted this morning after she'd been staying for a day.
Dry sack acting as a windsock
It was very windy this morning and whilst none of us were initially keen to stay in the water for long it was actually pleasant to be out of the wind under the water.
There was quite a lot of ribbing for both The Poet and DK this morning. DK was late and so we told him we'd been speculating about whether he'd been the pub last night or not and The Poet doesn't normally join us when the sun isn't out so we feigned shock - he'd misinterpreted the weather. He's usually at college on Wednesdays but his group are on a field trip today, this led to discussions about how tutors take the easy option with trip, although having had to fill out risk assessment forms and conform to school trip policies I do know that it's a right pain from that point of view.
The Pirate and I then discussed how different each year can be when you are teaching the same thing. With the Steiner curriculum that doesn't happen for 7 years as you stay with the class as they move but I still remember thinking I'd failed the first class when I came round to plan Pythagorean theory the second time around.
I didn't hang around chatting this morning, for some reason I really began to feel very cold and it took ages to thaw under the hot shower.

Monday, 20 February 2012


Low Tide02:14 (0.70m)
High Tide08:54 (2.30m)
Low Tide14:41 (0.90m)
High Tide20:46 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: 3.4
Sea conditions: very high tide calm sea
Weather: sunny, crisp, frost on the ground and the sand was frozen solid
Joined by: The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The tide, one of our high ones today, I'd had to walk the long way around as the bridge was underwater at each end and the waves were making strange pools on the shoreline. This meant that the swimming was good though, nice and deep straight away, a bonus in this icy weather as the cold doesn't creep slowly up your body.

No sand!
Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain by Roger Deakin. Deakin was a nature writer and filmmaker who also taught English and co-founded Common Ground, the arts/environment organisation, his writing has always been close to me - especially Waterlog and so I was intrigued by an event this weekend:


Taking the Waters



18-19 February
A Weekend Navigation
Aldeburgh Music’s new cross-arts winter weekend takes to the waters this year with a wide-ranging and fascinating exploration of the meanings of the marine, the estuarine and the waterway in film, art, literature and thought.
Starting from Roger Deakin’s modern classic on swimming, Waterlog, acclaimed writers, artists, film-makers and thinkers will reflect on the paramount importance of the fluid spaces of the planet, in this unique location shaped so profoundly by the tide and its impacts.

A day-long enquiry into the cultural meanings of water, featuring exclusive presentations from prize-winning author Robert Macfarlane on the late Roger Deakin and folk songs of the Waterways performed by Olivia Chaney.

Acclaimed writer Jay Griffiths (Wild, an Elemental Journey, described in The Observer as ‘a profound and extraordinary work’) will speak on the sea and its mysteries, while, alongside the photography of Jason Orton, writers Jules Pretty (The Luminous Coast) and Ken Worpole (350 Miles) will trace the  Eastern Coast.
Noel Burch will introduce the UK theatrical premiere screening of his pioneering documentary essay film The Forgotten Space (2010). Made with Allan Sekula, it follows the high seas global supply chain our consumer lives so depend, and the lives left in its wake. 


Roger Deakin
Roger Deakin
I hadn't had the courage to go on my own, fearing all sorts of potential for disaster after last week's destruction of a classic, but discovered that The Poet and his wife had spent Saturday there so I was intrigued to hear about it. The Poet felt that the presentations from the writers were overworked and rather turgid, perhaps not as relevant to Deakin's work as he had hoped. He summed it up nicely by saying that he just wished Roger Deakin himself (who died in 2006) could have popped in to tell them to get on with it! DK is also a fan of his writing and we all mused that as he didn't suffer fools gladly it would have made him weary - his writing has a beautiful simplicity about it. I'm not feeling so bad about missing it now but am resolving to re-read Waterlog. I loved Wildwood - A Journey Through Trees and my copy is falling apart from re-readings whilst travelling through Asia on a train and loosing my thread but I still have Notes From Walnut Tree Farm in my Amazon wish list so perhaps that is next on my growing list of must reads. I drove past Walnut Tree Farm on my way to work for about 8 years and many of those who were involved with my school knew him well - I suspect that is why I haven't actually read it yet.
The Noisy Neighbours - Following a very cordial meeting with the aforementioned neighbours it sounds as if DK has had a result, the trampoline is going! We can all sigh a breath of relief and hope that they also forget about fireworks next year. The Poet hadn't been aware of the dispute and we discussed how dreadful such things can become. I remember someone saying "it's always the wives with the knives" and I suspect it was The Poet, but as he then told this joke he may be forgiven:
At the height of the Intifada the Israelis and Arabs realised that, if they carried on as they were, they would end up destroying each other so they decided to settle the matter with a dogfight. Whoever won would earn the right to rule the world.
The Arabs found the biggest, meanest Rottweiler they could find and crossed it with a wolf, fed it steroids and then trained it to be a perfect killing machine. Only its trainers could handle it.
When the day arrived the Israelis turned up with a strange little creature with short legs that looked like a dachshund. Everyone felt sorry for the Israelis but placed their bets on the huge creature winning. The cages were opened and the two dogs faced each other. Within seconds the little dog had not only killed the beast, but had eaten it all up.
The Arabs, shaking their heads in disbelief, approached the Israelis "We don't understand. Our dog was developed and trained to be a killing machine! How could this happen, what kind of dog is that?" "Ah well.." replied the Israelis "Before the nose job, he used to be an alligator."










Thursday, 16 February 2012


High Tide04:46 (2.30m)
Low Tide11:02 (0.90m)
High Tide17:33 (2.10m)
Low Tide23:39 (0.90m)
Sea temperature: not taken but it is certainly higher than 1.5
Sea conditions: Calm with rollers
Weather: No breeze at all so it felt deceptively warm as we got undressed.
Joined by: briefly by the chief LOTV with her dogs
Topics of conversation:
The LOTV's recent holiday, where they and avoided the snow and had wonderful weather, even though they only travelled as far as Portugal. She looked well and rested and said she felt invigorated by the warm weather. We told her we were going to be invigorated by the cold sea. Mabel wanted to leave the beach with her so we had to tempt her back with gravy bones.
Why there weren't any surfers and why the water was so low when the tide was supposed to be half way, we wondered about Arctic winds and surges from Scotland whence cometh the forecasted cold weather shortly, but finally admitted that we still don't get it. We did get  good swim in though, it's the first time in a while that I been able to complete more than about 10 strokes and it felt great to actually swim, with no wind it wasn't bad getting out and getting dressed again.

My Dog Tulip - the latest film that Babs and I went to see last night, I really, really didn't enjoy it. It's an animated film of a memoir written J. R. Ackerley and I didn't like the style, characters or content.

The reviews I'd read had been mixed but as a dog owner I assumed I might fit into the half that loved its insight and understanding of how a dog's mind worked. I wasn't.  One IMDB user review said: The art work is quirky and a lot of it is storyboard animation but I still feel that this will only appeal to real dog lovers . If you're not one, you might struggle to see what all the fuss is with this bloody dog!

The only thing I liked about it was the tagline: Sometimes love really is a bitch.

My dog Willow had decided that I wasn't to lie on the sofa and drink coffee before my swim this morning and pounced. She repeats the word "mmnnnnBAP!" very loudly at this close range and the combination of dog breath and ringing ears got me out of the house a little earlier than normal I must admit.


Half term is filling the village with families and whilst we have more than our fair share of Boden clones marching along the boardwalks with mummie-on-mobile in tow we also seem to have some who really appreciate the beach, I found these written in the sand on my walk this afternoon.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine

video


High Tide02:26 (2.60m)
Low Tide08:47 (0.60m)
High Tide15:02 (2.20m)
Low Tide20:51 (0.80m)
Sea temperature: Well it said 3.5 but I find that hard to believe and said as much to DK, who took it personally as the thermometer is his and now I have to get my own bloody thermometer!
Sea conditions: small waves
Weather: sun trying hard to get through
Joined by: No-one
Topics of conversation:
I'm finding it hard to remember them all as I am still reeling with joy from having been sung to by DK for Valentine's day - no one has sung to me since I was at school and going out with a boy who could. DK sang My Funny Valentine with caveats. I'm going to ask him to record it for me....

Monday, 13 February 2012


High Tide01:39 (2.70m)
Low Tide08:02 (0.50m)
High Tide14:13 (2.30m)
Low Tide20:01 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: calm, really calm
Weather: no wind which made all the difference
Joined by: No one
Topics of conversation:
DK is unwell - thinking of you DK
My new hat - I love my new hat. My Intrepid Friend came well prepared for the weekend, with spades and blankets and torches etc. in the back of her car and the most wonderful fluffy hat, which I coveted. When she left yesterday evening I went into her room to see the bed all neatly folded back and what looked like a large racoon lying by the pillow, once I realised that is was not actually a racoon but that she'd left her hat behind I grabbed it to make sure she took it home but she insisted I keep it. Now that's a true friend, and I suspect that my new hat will also become a true friend. The Pirate was impressed, not simply with my hat but with her kindness.


The Lives of Others is truly a great film and this morning I passed it on to The Pirate - I am writing this here, not just because it's a great film but also because The Pirate asked me to remind him that it was in his rucksack and I know that The Pirate's Wife occasionally reads this, I don't want her to miss the movie - it's right up her street.
The Eulogy - The Pirate is writing and reading the eulogy for their recently deceased friend, having also honoured her husband in the same way. I have such admiration for this kind of tribute especially when the person is so close. I know I couldn't  do it.
Supermodels - an example of how rambling our conversations can be as this started because we were discussing a local dog, whose head is too big for his body (but he is still growing) and went on to those whose heads appear big because they are so skinny and the term 'lollipop head'. In between we managed to discuss our own extra pounds keeping us insulated in the cold weather and The Pirate's view of the awful experiences that models can have, having sat next to one at sixth form college, as well as our nieces. His was scouted at The Clothes Show but turned down a modelling career even though she "will break a few hearts" according to Mertz, and my niece, who worked as a model for romantic, historical book covers. Lots of lovely shots of her gazing into the distance from superimposed cliffs exist somewhere. It's her 21st birthday today which makes me feel old so I went home and had the most decadent breakfast - porridge with sultanas, cinnamon, honey and fresh cream.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


High Tide00:57 (2.70m)
Low Tide07:21 (0.40m)
High Tide13:30 (2.40m)
Low Tide19:18 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: 1.5 (although the first temperature registered was 0.4)
Sea conditions: calm, no waves and very low tide
Weather: a light dusting of snow everywhere, cold breeze, grey and heavy cloud threatening more snow
Joined by: My intrepid friend
Topics of conversation:
My intrepid friend, having thawed out her gear box and made it over, walked down with me and we met up with The Shaman and her family on our way to the beach. They were planning to make use of the low tide and snow to do some geometric sand drawing, think crop circles on the beach. The group included 2 under the age of 5, their dad (an artist) and a Russian student who is studying with The Shaman at the Princes' College and they were armed with sticks and string and lots of layers. We all met up and paused on our way across the estuary as skein upon skein of geese flew overhead. The Shaman's online name is Nannagoose, so I think the small people were especially delighted to see them. The dogs nearly ruined their canvas as the flat sand spread out in front of them but actually they were keen to get back into the dunes, where the smell of rabbits hung over the frozen earth.
Sand circle group



Intrepid Friend being intrepid
Not a very good shot of the results

Snow dunes had now become hazardous as we made our way along the top ridge of the shingle. The snow had banked up, frozen, formed a solid crust and then been covered in sand, but now it was covered in another layer of snow and we couldn't see what we were stepping on. Sometimes we marched through soft sand that looked like snow, other times we found ourselves perched precariously on top of frozen crusts which gave way as we tried to move. Our feet would sink through and our legs would be almost knee deep. Not quite as risky as my walk to Norway last April across the frozen lake when the hard crust gave way to a couple of feet of snow below but about as unusually precarious as a Suffolk beach walk can get, where's a Viking when you really need one?

We met up with DK and Mabel, who was very pleased to see us, and my Intrepid Friend and I filled him in on our evening's excursion last night, even though we are still struggling to find the words. In the programme it was described as:

Faster Than Sound: I Burn for You
After Dracula by Bram Stoker
‘I Burn for You’ is an atmospheric new music theatre work inspired by Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire novel Dracula, created by composer Ian Wilson and stage director Tom Creed.
It brings together an astonishing line up of performers including the Hungarian death metal vocalist Attila Csihar (Mayhem, Sunn O))), and Void of Voices) – whose remarkable voice has been described as operatic – in the vampyric role.
He is joined by virtuosic vocal improvisers Phil Minton and Elaine Mitchener and acclaimed musicians including saxophonist Cathal Roche, accordionist Clive Bell and electro-acoustic improviser David Toop.
Now I'm a bit af a Bram Stoker expert, hence the interest, I've probably read the book 4 times and have a velum bound copy with wood-cut illustrations so I'm a hard audience to please, but I don't think any of the audience can really have been pleased by the 50 minutes we experienced. It was so laughingly bad that the two of us dare not even make eye contact for fear of loosing it altogether. I'm intrigued to read any reviews following the performance as we tried to work out who they were aiming at and ended up thinking it was probably purely for their own pleasure. Attila Csihar has a voice made from rocks and razor blades and had the show not revolved around various other improvised voices and strange little men playing hollowed out sticks and creating sound effects from bowls of twigs, he probably could have held the audience in the palm of his hand. One woman in front of us actually put her hands over her ears and eyes in terror as he clambered onto a table and began to growl. He was wearing quite nice boots too.
Attila Csihar

Attila Csihar in the snow

Saturday, 11 February 2012


High Tide00:16 (2.70m)
Low Tide06:41 (0.30m)
High Tide12:50 (2.40m)
Low Tide18:39 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: 1.5 degrees
Sea conditions: calm, smooth, small waves
Weather: cold and clear
Joined by: no-one
Topics of conversation:
The Lives of Others - not village gossip but a film DK had seen and raved about, it won the Oscar for best foreign film and he's lent me the DVD, which I'm looking forward to. One of the tag lines for the movie is "Nothing is private, nothing is sacred" (actually it does sound a bit like living next door to your mother).
Various reports of severe frost and cold. The met office app said it was "- 9/feels like - 11" degrees here this morning which was corroborated by the boy who does the papers at the village shop whose car thermometer read - 9, but the postman had the lowest reading of - 11 when he got up. He joked that it had risen to - 6 so he was going home to put his shorts on. The sea had frozen where the tide had left a trench and there was ice floating in the shallows as the tide rose towards us. It's the first time we've had to wade through ice in the sea, but it was beautifully calm and the sun was bursting through the clouds. We didn't stay in for long through fear of feet not ever working again, this is a hazard of cold water and low tides - your feet have so much longer in the water than the more padded parts of your body.
The approach



The Pirate has company

Whether we should be locked up - the distinguished son of one of the LOTVs is up for the weekend and he walked along the beach as we came out, he didn't respond to our greetings of "good morning" he simply stated that we ought to be locked up and walked on, unfortunately taking Mabel with him, whether he wanted to or not. His response may have had something to do with The Pirate's loud whooping as we came out. If I didn't know better I'd have suspected he'd been on the brandy to prepare him for the swim, now there's a thought...

As I was leaving the beach I bumped into The Shaman, who has been away for weeks and although I've missed her terribly and wanted to catch up she insisted that I keep going so that I could get home and get warm - I think my teeth may have been chattering. In fact there were a few people on their way down to the sea as I cycled home, mostly wanting to see if it had frozen.

Guests - I have a dear friend coming to stay for the weekend, she will not be joining us for a swim, having a heart condition, but I hope to drag her out of bed in the morning to see the sunrise if it is as beautiful as it was this morning. I'd also like her to meet Mabel. Her arrival has been delayed by the weather - her gearbox was frozen this morning and she rang a while ago to tell me she was still stomping around the garage "in a right old bait", I haven't heard that expression since I was at school.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Low Tide04:35 (0.50m)
High Tide10:55 (2.40m)
Low Tide16:39 (0.70m)
High Tide22:57 (2.60m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: rough
Weather: Very cold, ice formed over snow, strong freezing wind
Joined by: The Lady in Lilac
Topics of conversation:
Weather/whether - I had walked the dogs along the beach before we all met up by the huts and already formed my own opinion, but we all respect each other's decisions to a certain extent so we walked up and over the dunes listening to the waves roaring, feeling the wind chill and discussing whether or not we'd be able to go in. The wind was fierce and the waves were not high but they were very strong and the swell was visible. Whilst we may occasionally be foolhardy, we're not brave enough for both rough seas and serious wind chill. The Lady in Lilac usually follows our madness from afar, via this blog, and so she knows that we don't wimp out unnecessarily and we certainly didn't feel the need to prove ourselves in front of her, in fact she may even have been a sobering influence. DK wavered for longer than The Pirate and I and had his communion with the sea by dipping his new wellies in the foam, but eventually even he decided against it.
The sand had been blown in from the water's edge and the shape of the dunes has changed, not just because the wind has blown them but because it has covered the snow drifts, as I discovered when I stood on a drift, thinking it was a dune.




Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Low Tide03:50 (0.60m)
High Tide10:19 (2.30m)
Low Tide15:57 (0.80m)
High Tide22:18 (2.50m)
Sea Temperature: ranging between 3.1 and 2.4, depending on whether the thermometer was stuck down my cleavage or held in my hand.
Sea conditings: calm, slight swell.
Weather: sunny, cold breeze, air temperature was 0.9 (Mertz had left the house at 05.45 and the car told him it was -4 as he pulled of the main road.)
Joined by: no one but The Poet joined us yesterday and deserves credit for doing so after the wrap party
Topics of conversation:
Getting undressed - DK and I tried to discourage too much chat so that The Pirate would get on with disrobing and then he caught us out by chatting and getting undressed, the next thing we knew he was shouting to us from the shingle.
We did have time to discuss the work of art that Son no. 2 had produced on the village green, it is a masterpiece and the tallest snowman there has ever been on the village green, complete with coal for buttons. The Smallest Pirate, who is only 4, wanted to put the nose on but clearly couldn't reach! She has also coined a new name for Legs, as she misheard her name and now calls her Ostrich. I don't think I can think of anyone less likely to bury their head in the sand.


Not being hungover and having nearly caught up with Borgen. Following the last performance on Sunday there was a rather libatious party at the pub, with speeches, bouquets and game pie. I didn't eat, which didn't help the hangover the next day but we have returned to our winter routines now and DK and I had both enjoyed a Monday evening in with our respectives, eating supper at a normal time, having one glass of wine and catching up on missed Scandinavian dramas.
Movie posters - The Pirate had seen a poster at the weekend for Carnage, which had the tag line "The best film of the year" he felt this wasn't much of a recommendation as it was only the first week of February. Babs and I got together and planned our next 5 weeks of movies at the weekend and The Artist is this week's diversion. I need diversions as this is the first year since we moved here that I don't have an arctic trip to look forward to in spring. I saw one of our 2011 team later in the day and we both agreed that it doesn't feel right, although he is off to the Maldives...
We had the conversation, which I guess we should have had some time ago, but it's only now that it is proper cold that we dared to go there: will there be a day when we don't go in because it is too cold? There have been a number of scaremongering reports of possible temperature drops in this part of the world and we did decided (I think) that if it drops to -13 as predicted, we might not go in. We don't want DK to damage his fingers and put his piano playing career to an untimely end. I also realised that this week is not the time to address losing the extra pounds put on over Christmas/flu season/panto cakes backstage - Dawn French says so - what a relief!

Dawn French has revealed that she can no longer swim in the sea after shedding seven and a half-stone because she feels the cold too much.


The actress, who is still getting used to her new shape, said she had never been unhappy with her size, and does not plan to lose any more weight. But she claims there has been a downside to her weightloss.
''I like to swim (in the sea) but I've found it much harder to get in the water with less weight. Before, I had all this lovely blubber - I had my own wetsuit. Now I can't get in the water in the winter months. I don't have enough flesh to keep me warm.''

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Link to murmuration phone clips for Nikki

As promised - the starlings starting over Nikki's house.


Low Tide02:18 (0.90m)
High Tide08:58 (2.20m)
Low Tide14:32 (0.90m)
High Tide21:00 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: too rough to take the thermometer in
Sea conditions: see above
Weather: snow drifting, very strong wind, cold
Joined by: Mertz as an observer only
Topics of conversation:

Mabel's first proper snow - she was very excited and as DK couldn't drive up to the cliff field car park because of the snow drifts she had to be put on the lead to walk to the beach as he was afraid he might lose her in the snow because she is so tiny. Luna and Willow absolutely love the snow too and had been going mad all the way there, chasing each other and tearing across the dunes. Willow had jumped over one dune only to land in a drift so deep that she disappeared, she was rather embarrassed as she tunnelled out and shook herself down.
Drifts
We decided that we would have to go in, even though it was rough as we'd battled our way thus far, but it wasn't safe to try to swim out. Mertz had his phone with him, so took some pictures. I was rather alarmed and said that I didn't want him putting my arse on Facebook, DK's response was "but can he put your face on Arsebook?" Here are some of the shots he took.



Over the dunes
Warmer in than out

A bit rough


Getting dressed again isn't easy

Saturday, 4 February 2012


Low Tide01:28 (1.00m)
High Tide08:00 (2.10m)
Low Tide13:48 (1.00m)
High Tide20:15 (2.20m)
Sea temperature: 3.1 degrees - a record low since DK's records began
Sea conditions: waves, deep, not great swimming but not bad enough to stay out as it has been on occasion recently
Weather: snowing with the wind coming off the sea
Joined by: no one
Topics of conversation:
Due to the weather we didn't really hang around much today, it had snowed and settled a little over night and the flakes were still falling in the bitter wind. But we did manage a brief review of the performance of Wind in the Willows so far and DK informed us that he'd been able to introduce the young leads (one of whom is The Pirate's no.2 Son) to those who are influential in the local arts festival. Whilst this is encouraging he did also say that it was in the pub last night, after the show and after a few drinks, fortunately Toad doesn't drink as he's 17 and ambitious. When he'd left the dressing room on Thursday I'd heard him being asked which pub he as going to, "the one where I will be applauded the most!" was his tongue in cheek reply. Mertz later informed me that when he'd played Toad at school he'd had to drink from a whisky bottle full of cold tea and even that hadn't helped him to remember his lines, nor did it keep his blood pressure down (The Pirate also told me about new research on the relationship between tea drinking and reducing high blood pressure). The Pirate hasn't seen no. 2 Son perform yet but is getting the positive feedback that only a father deserves, I was able to confirm that not only does he do the role justice, but he's also a joy to work with, even if he does wipe Toad's warts off each evening in an over enthusiastic moment of face grabbing.
DK's guests for the weekend - The Birdwatcher and his family - have wimped out of travelling up to the east to see tonight's show due to the weather forecast, this is a shame, but understandable as it is becoming more extreme as the day goes by. The Pirate is working about 45 miles away today and hoping for it to hold off till his return, but he did suspect that some of his students may not turn up.
Mabel and I both left the other two on the beach changing as they are happy for us to do in this weather - The Pirate fears for his modesty in the wind and cold.
 I left my two at home - Luna didn't even look up as I packed my rucksack.