Monday, 21 May 2012

Low Tide05:18 (0.70m)
High Tide11:44 (2.40m)
Low Tide17:43 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: 11.4 yesterday
Sea conditions: low tide and a little choppy
Weather: peculiar - the forecast had been for it to warm up but we woke to a north wind and thick sea mist
Joined by: Mertz - because he wanted to win a bet
Topics of conversation:
The film unit - by the time we climbed over the sea wall the unit was in place and the make-up lights were on so we assumed that they will start filming during the day, although the Village Elder said that the scene they have planned for today is a dusk scene. With the weather as it is this morning they could certainly shoot day for night! It's an ITV drama which may or may not be called The Lost Child (which was the title of one of the Prime Suspect series so perhaps we'll spot Ms Mirren later) but I'm sure I won't be giving too much away by saying that the scene they are filming in the marshes involves the search for a child, which become the search for a body. How grim. The Pirate said that we should have a screening in the village hall of all the shoots that have taken place here, he started the list with "all those underwear shoots on the beach". I've even filmed here a couple of times, because it was cheaper to stay at home and get my Mother to do the catering! Hopefully there will be no disruption of our swimming routine as they are here for a couple of days.

Talking of catering this led on to my request to borrow Legs's Kitchen Aid in her absence - I hope you don't mind Legs - I promise to look after it. I've got a lot of baking to do and it's not my favourite form of cooking so it will help me out no end with muffins, biscuits, flapjacks and Rolo tarts for the wake/celebration (we intend to send Liz off in style) and Luke's screening later this week. My Maid of Honour arrives tomorrow and is particularly partial to a flapjack. I shall start this evening with the Rolo tarts, which Mertz can take to work tomorrow so that the developers can be guinea pigs. 
Herman the German Friendship cake is now on the move too - The Pirate's Wife wasn't in and I gave it to No. 1 Son, who is a professional chef so that one should be safe, as should the one I've given to my Mother, but I suspect the burden will be too much for DK, who has to keep him alive till the return of Legs later in the week. He greeted him with distain and asked why he should have to look after Herman, who was "in the way". As I've removed the Kitchen Aid from the kitchen I pointed out that he would just live in that space till I returned the machine and Legs could take over. He only needs to stir him once a day till Thursday...
Herman divided and ready to go

Awaiting me
Awaiting the Rolos

Humanists and their hang ups - Mertz is doing some work for the International Humanist and Ethical Union and he told us about a meeting in which they had needed something to prop up a projector and someone brought in a Bible. They'd been surprised that there was a Bible in the board room but their Norwegian VP had told them that propping up the projector was it's sole purpose (he'd also wished them a happy 17th of May). The Pirate launched into one of his rants about there being something deeply physiologically twisted about people who are so vehemently anti-religion and said he hadn't been surprised when he'd discovered that Aleistair Crowley's parents had been Exclusive Bretheren, who had sent him to an evangelical school. Working on the theme I asked what he thought might have led Richard Dawkins to hold the beliefs that he does, he replied "his Mother was probably a nun... DON'T PUT THAT ON THE BLOG!" DK and I persuaded him that there is a need to preserve these nuggets of Pirate Gold however.

The bet
Truth and lies

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Low Tide00:55 (0.60m)
High Tide07:52 (2.20m)
Low Tide13:18 (1.10m)
High Tide19:18 (2.20m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: Calm and very high, not much beach left
Weather: still bloody cold but the sun was out briefly, the forecast is terrible according to a link Mertz sent me first thing this morning: BRITAIN will be plunged back into winter this week by a freezing Arctic blast – putting summer on hold for at least a month.Temperatures could plunge as low as -6C (21F) from today with some areas facing up to 2in of snow. Much of the country is braced for night-time frosts, bitter cold winds and icy rain to make it feel more like winter until at least the middle of June.
It's hailing as I type...
Joined by: The Poet and Jess
Topics of conversation:
Mabel wrangling - The Poet brought a tether to the beach for DK to try out on Mabes. It looked like and instrument of torture, a giant corkscrew that they screwed into the ground, through the shingle, to hold her in place. It was nearly as long as the ice drills we used to get water in the Arctic so it held fast. She was held in place near our bags, much more satisfactory as she was able to snuggle up in DK's clothing and be near the other dogs, who wait on the beach whilst we swim. Luna doesn't, she thinks she is superior. She's such a snob. The Pirate said he thought we could recreate the Early of Shewsbury's crest with our hounds. Mabel was fine with her stake, till it was removed from the ground and then it seemed to take on a malevolent force and she cowered away from it,  just as she had when she'd met a lead pig in our garden.
Lobsters - there was a fishing boat checking floats and we speculated about their purpose. The Pirate's father used to have a fishing boat and he would string nets between floats and often return to them to find only the heads left, seals being the culprits. We weren't sure if they were pots, as they were so close and one of the boats on the harbour has a licence to catch shellfish. There are certainly lobsters off this beach, my Father was partial to the small ones, which Freddy would bring to the door saying "I got a couple of red 'uns for you" when he'd caught them by accident and boiled them on the boat.

More circumcision and the Old Testament - the return of The Poet brought fresh discussion of the procedure, surgical or otherwise and also of the current trend away from the practice, even within judaism. The barbarity of the Old Testament is not normally something you'd expect to discuss on the beach before breakfast but as 2 of our company are very knowledgeable about the religious texts I was enlightened when The Poet retold the most gruesome story of rape, revenge, mass circumcision and the deaths of an entire city of men. You don't find those in my sanitised version by  David Kossoff, which I use in schools!
The Bridge vs the book - DK asked if I'd seen the latest episode and I'd explained the conflict I'd had last night. My new book had arrived and I'd not finished the last one so that had taken precedent. Now that my new book has arrived I doubt The Bridge will get a look in this evening either. I confessed my pathetic excitement at starting a new book, only to discover that I'm not alone, so I feel less 'sad'. DK is currently immersed in the Steve Jobs biog by Walter Isaacson and is fascinated, if a little repulsed. We discussed the missing empathy gene . My new book sits tantalisingly on the stairs, still in its cardboard. It's a home day today but I MUST NOT START IT YET - I have to make a minimum of 30 felt balls and clean the house. A friend is trying to persuade me to go to a Zumba class this evening but quite frankly anything that takes me away from chapter one and needs special shoes is not getting my vote at the moment. I also have an aversion to exercises with made up names, regardless of how much fun they are supposed to be.
And still it sits there...

Monday, 14 May 2012

Post script

Herman the friendship cake is doing well, it's day 2 today which means I should be handing it out on the 23rd but I'm hoping you'll be able to get it going for Legs in her absence DK. There'll be a portion on its way to you too Pirate's Wife.

Herman link:

High Tide06:47 (2.20m)
Low Tide12:05 (1.10m)
High Tide18:09 (2.20m)
Sea temperature: 10.7 on Saturday
Sea conditions: Rough, deep, cold and murky
Weather: really bloody cold. Much too cold for this time of year, wind, rain and grey with a tiny sliver of blue sky slowly disappearing over the horizon.

There goes the blue sky
 Joined by: No-one
Topics of conversation:
Why are we here? This morning felt like one of those winter mornings when we question why we even bother, so we questioned why we bother - it's May for crying out loud and it was just foul on the beach. The Pirate has been away and so he was determined, but even he wanted to get out once we got in. The shelf was particularly steep and the waves were breaking on it so once we were in the trough there was no joy to be had, just a struggle to remain buoyant, fight the undertoad and avoid the crashing waves. The undertoad is powerful today. We didn't last longer than a couple of minutes.
The Pirate had had a nasty fall in Yorkshire and this was another reason not to take too much of a risk as his elbow has a nasty 'Owwy' on it. Owwies are what his granddaughter calls evidence of what my mother-in-law calls 'buptidoos'. We exchanges tumble terms as I'd had an argument with a slab of concrete and have a 'crook' toe. Most of these terms are pretty self explanatory; an ouchy, a whoops-crash, and even what The Pirate apparently said too loudly in front of a stationary bus full of passengers when he took his tumble - an ohshit.

The incident of the dog in the night time - I'm not quite sure what this would be called but poor old Bosco had not been well in the night and so The Pirate had not had a good start to the day either, but they both seemed well recovered and Bosco put up with Mabel stealing his newly found ball and shredding it in front of him with characteristically good humour.
Yorkshire - The Pirate and his wife have just returned from a trip and had a lovely time, finding yet another great B&B through Alistair Sawday's Special Places to Stay site, which I'm putting in here so that I remember next time we need one. Apparently the countryside up there has really benefited from the weather and is even greener than the Hockneys.
The beach hut - The Swimmers now have full use of The Vicar's Wife's beach hut. I spent a few hours at the weekend clearing it out whilst Mertz watched that football match with DK and his son - about which there was a lot of chat this morning, even The Pirate had heard about it! The hut hadn't been opened for a couple of years as it needed digging out and the charity has just had a digger in to help hold back the dunes. The mice and other critters had taken it over so brooms, buckets of bleach, bin liners and scrubbing brushes were needed, but by the time he made it down to the beach yesterday evening the dogs and I were settled in with a table and chairs, a wok burner, coffee, tea and a hole in the sand for a wine bucket. The Vicars Wife brought down some lovely 70's curtains and the look was complete: Shabitat. Once the cleaning smell has gone we shall put it to use, in fact we should have done so this morning it was so cold. I'd had a typical village text from her on Sunday morning:
GR8 text speak from The Vicar's Wife

Mouse proof? I wonder
The last of the sun

Wine bucket

Boogie board as a bed
The bris - The Poet didn't join us today, his nephew is being circumcised and this led to uncomfortable conversations about later life circumcisions. It's a good job that The Buddhist wasn't here as he is also a Urologist (an Urologist? Doesn't sound right) and would have gone into detail.
The Weather in the US, which is apparently in the 80's where Legs is. Blimey, send some over here would you Legs? Saturday gave us a taste of what it could be like at this time of year and we had all revelled in it. It was lovely yesterday morning too, I spent the whole day in shorts.
The Bridge - DK is being good. He promised Legs not to watch it till she gets home so for a change I am further ahead than he is, hmmmm... what's it worth?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

High Tide02:08 (2.50m)
Low Tide08:02 (0.70m)
High Tide14:16 (2.50m)
Low Tide20:38 (0.40m)
Sea temperature: 11.4
Sea conditions: Low tide, big waves - what a difference a day makes
Weather: wet and warm, 14 degrees
Joined by: no one (just DK and I today)
Topics of conversation (there wasn't much hanging around today as it wasn't very nice):
Legs has arrived safely at Annie's - if you are reading this Legs - love to Annie, Elizabeth and you.  - an emergency edit was needed, phew. Good job I've got all his passwords as Legs is away and their Wifi is down again.
DK's son's latest project, he's here working on a compositions in DK's garret for the next few days.
Whilst this was not today's text conversation it resulted from my comment about August on the blog yesterday so worth reporting:
The Pirate's wife:
"If it is August then that would tie in w him not shooting his dad and knowing to kick him in the balls and w Saga's theory that the killer needs the detective in some way and the killer being v slight BUT maybe there is never one killer just a controller of vulnerable others mmmm....
PS what on earth would be the theme if we had a The Bridge party for the last episodes? x
PPS The Pirate says all us girls should come in leathers and change our tops mid meal.
" That sounds interesting... the other theory I didn't tell The Pirate this morning is that the killer is logged on to August as his ex on chat. Which is how he gets his info but how does he get riot gear?"
The Pirate's Wife:
"Just got this from No. 1 Son who is watching last week's episode as we text 'did u notice the son had a checked scarf like the killer? Coincidence?'
"AND the nasty jouro is wearing a checked coat with black gloves when he comes out of the hospital..."
And that's where it ended. DK and I forgot to finally discuss the ending of Homeland too.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

High Tide01:14 (2.60m)
Low Tide07:18 (0.60m)
High Tide13:29 (2.50m)
Low Tide19:47 (0.40m)
Sea temperature: 10.5
Sea conditions: Spookily calm
Weather: it had been chucking it down but stopped as I left home. 11.4
Joined by: The Poet (no Jess today)
Topics of conversation:
The Poet is not quite a daily swimmer yet and he had, we now discover, thought we were having him on about swimming every day. He came over the brow of the hill saying "Oh! So you really do swim in the rain!" Yes, we do. We discussed weather that stops us and decided it was only the rough sea, with gales and perhaps lightning that would stop us. Fortunately we've never had to put the lightning one to the test as thunder storms seldom occur first thing.
The sand spit. The spit has been steadily growing over the last few months and this morning the tide was at it's lowest as we arrived on the beach and this provided us with a dilemma - where to settle down and change. The shingle led down to a trough of about 10 inches of water, then there was a wonderful raised belt of soft sand before the calm still sea. The trough was beautifully clear until the dogs charged through it. We decided that the shingle was safest as the tide had torn in at a rate of knots yesterday and it had just turned. The dogs all waded through to the sand spit and Bosco took a stone to play with. He began his ritual of claiming it first. This involves washing it in the water and then taking it to a sandy spot and rolling all over it. Then he digs around it in a circle, without touching the stone itself. Today he was in the zone and produced his own work of art - perfect hexagrams.

W.G Sebald (1944 - 2001) - last night I saw a remarkable film by Grant Gee on The Seven Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald. The book itself has had a profound effect on writers and artists since it was written, as has the author, who lived in Norwich in later life and taught at the U.E.A. Gee is an interesting filmmaker, with a background in music videos and documentaries. He made a couple of seminal films with Radiohead in the 90's and in 2007 he made Joy Division which I haven't seen but it's now on my list. Patience (After Sebald) is billed as a documentary but it is more complex than that, part homage, part investigation and a platform for people whose works and lives have been changed by Sebald to give tribute. Some of those are in turn people who have impacted on my way of thinking with their own work, Marina Warner and Tacita Dean giving their usual erudite views. The interviews themselves are recorded in black and white close up and layered with footage of the walk that forms the backbone of the book as well as shots of the origal text and images from the book, found material and images from Litmap. Litmap is a project, currently in development, which plots the geographical references within literature. A sound recording of an interview with Sebald gives an insight into the way in which he uses language and how he feels about the process of writing. He always wrote in German and had a translator work closely with him for the english editions, even though he could have translated them himself. When the text itself was used in the film it was spoken by Jonathan Pryce, whose voice makes me weak at the knees and helped to suck me in to the melancholic journey the film took through the book. Of course the impact was that I got home and began turning the house upside down to find my copy so that I could read it again, with renewed intrigue and the understanding that the reason I had found it inaccessible on first reading was more to do with my own insecurities and anxieties at the time. It will also be interesting to reread it now that the humour has been exposed to me. The Poet has ordered the DVD, so we thought we should have an 'after Sebald' evening, perhaps walk the part of the journey that passes in front of their windows although, as Adam Phillips says, the idea of a pilgrimage walk is not something that sits well with Sebald. The writer Robert Macfarlane talks about making an attempt at following the route only to find himself in Lowestoft, in the sunshine, with children laughing and playing in the fountain. This didn't sit easily with the tone of The Seven Rings so he abandoned the walk.
W. G. Max Sebald

The man who introduces films at the Art Centre - I can't bear his introductions to films and this often puts me off going, especially on my own as I don't want other people's views to infiltrate my mind. Last night I went prepared with my iPod and headphones so that I didn't have to listed to him, but fortunately there is a festival on at the moment and the film had been chosen by one of the organisers, so he introduced it buy telling us how he came across it when working with a group of teenagers and then told us how long it was. Perfect, that's quite enough of an intro thanks.
The Bridge - The Pirate's Wife has all sorts of theories already, one of which is so off the wall that it almost has to be true. The actress has a scar on her lip, that she keeps touching, this apparently links her to the homeless woman in a coma. Still I suppose that's no worse than me spending half an episode thinking the murderer was August.
Legs - She's off to the States today and we wished her love and luck on this trip to visit her folks.
Grey - there was a an overall sense of grey this morning until The Pirate and I reached his house where this glorious iris shouted SPRING at us. The Pirate is off 'Oop North' later and although the whole visit is not joyful, he will be visiting the site of Hockeny's iPad landscapes - a different kind of pilgrimage, which I look forward to hearing all about.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

High Tide00:22 (2.60m)
Low Tide06:33 (0.50m)
High Tide12:44 (2.60m)
Low Tide18:58 (0.40m)
Sea temperature: 9.7
Sea conditions: Low water, grey
Weather: Grey
Joined by: The Poet, Jess and Abs on Sunday
Topics of conversation:
Welcome back Abs! It's been a while since she was able to join us and it was lovely to see her again.
Danza Contemporania de Cuba - The Poet, Sara and I are going and very much looking forward to it, sadly my usual 'dance partner' can't make it so I'll have to go without her. The thing I love about Cuban dance is that its such a mash up, there's a great spanish word that they use a lot 'mezcla' which describes it perfectly and doesn't really translate as 'mixture' it's much more.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Compilation Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday

Low Tide02:28 (0.60m)
High Tide09:11 (2.30m)
Low Tide14:48 (0.90m)
High Tide21:00 (2.40m)

Sea Temperature: 10! Double figures at last
Sea conditions: Wildly varying with wednesday's conditions being ideal and resulting in a real swim for all
Weather: see above
Joined by: The Poet and Jess
Topics of conversation:
Auschwitz - Dk is visiting this week with his son.
Flotsam - I've got a new buoy, makes a great space hopper
Frankenstein - both the current production and the story
Golem - the beings created from mud in Judaism (not the ones from the Lord of the Rings)
Other creation stories and teaching The Old Testament to children
Old gothic hospitals in Kings Cross
Falling off bicycles
Lone Pirate

My New buoy
Ghost wolf