Friday, 30 November 2012

Low Tide05:05 (0.70m)
High Tide11:26 (2.40m)
Low Tide17:05 (0.80m)
High Tide23:31 (2.60m)
Sea temperature: 8.5
Sea conditions: calm
Weather: crisp and frosty
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The geese are still flying over as we arrive in the mornings, yesterday they almost skimmed our heads as we were swimming and whilst they are regular and familiar to us, it is very hard to identify them from below (especially when you don't wear your glasses to the beach). I had assumed that they were Brant geese, and The Poet thought perhaps Canada, but this afternoon I went down to the feeding grounds to get a better look and it seems that they may be Barnacle geese, from the Arctic. Most of the information has them wintering in the west but one group stays in The Netherlands. It's only about 85 km to The Hague from here, as the goose flies, so I guess it's possible that they make a regular detour but I will check with the local bird expert, who lives up the road. There were hundreds of them feeding in the flooded fields, which I walk through on my way down to the beach and I have just heard them returning to wherever it is that they go at dusk, to the south. We've also noticed how other birds occasionally join their ranks, ducks, seagulls and so on and I speculated about these strays using the uplift of the geese as I used to use the drag-stream of lorries in my 2CV. It transpires that The Poet also owned a 2CV when their kids were little and they imagined that the large knob, used for adjusting the headlight beam was actually for controlling the wings, I wish I'd known that.

Feeding in the flooded fields
The Alfas - as previously blogged (verb?) I have been lucky enough to have landed the new car, which I have become very accustomed to, regardless of the fact that it is way over-spec for my lifestyle. In the last 24 hours I have been even luckier not to be driving the old one as the injectors blew when Mertz was driving it to work in Hertfordshire. Having spent a great deal of money on a new alternator and battery recently I am inclined toward the option of having them replaced, regardless that a) it's an Alfa and b) it's got 185,000 on the clock and this will not be cheap. The mechanic who looks after it in Hertford has indicated that it may not be worth it, so decisions need to be made. As he's in office party mode this won't be easy and next week it seems he'll have both car there and I'll have neither here, hey-ho, back to the old days.
Dr. Sea was much needed for The Pirate this morning, who is having a tough time, he and I sat discussing the heart wrenching decision making process involved in ensuring the best care for elderly relatives, as well as the costs involved. It's never going to be easy and it is hard not to feel tremendous guilt for not devoting your life to your parents in old age as they did to you in childhood. It's even hard when they are not your parents, but parents-in-law. The Pirate needed his dose of the sea to lift his spirits and face a difficult day and the water did not disappoint. As we waded out mulling over how to live in the moment and not allow daily difficulties to take hold the sun was rising and the moon was setting, we were able to stand in the calm water with arms outstretched as if touching night and day, and time stood still. As The Pirate said: "It's cosmic!" This afternoon I followed his tracks on the beach, but it was hard to tell how fresh they were, I hope that he had this view at the end of the day too - I know it made me walk with a lighter step.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Low Tide03:54 (0.80m)
High Tide10:11 (2.40m)
Low Tide16:05 (0.80m)
High Tide22:30 (2.50m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea condition: "a full moon sea" The Pirate
Weather: damp but sunny
Joined by: Sara
Topics of conversation:
The moon is full today and last night there was an amazing orange halo around it, which none of us could explain and this morning it was still up at 6.30, hanging low and west over the river. The closer it got to the horizon the bigger it looked. The Poet is taking a full moon walk this evening as part of his work, which I'm looking forward to reading - he's promised a draft preview. The water was full of the moon too and the swell was powerful, making the water challenging. 
Korma Royal - DK had a disaster. He had planned on cooking my new favourite recipe for the family last night but had somehow managed to set fire to the spices and garlic. The smell had alerted Legs, who was the other side of the house, but sadly it was too late. He graciously admitted that she and No. 1 Son had saved it by pretty much starting again but that it was the end to his cheffing career!

Sara and The Poet had also been to the Hofesh Shechter dance performance at the weekend and we'd agreed that the music was wonderful and thought it was also very original but The Pirate's wife pointed has out that it reminded her of the themes from The Killing... listening to the two back to back proves she not wrong. The album has just been released by Frans Bak and is available to buy and on Spotify. The main theme from The Bridge - Hollow Talk by The Choir of Young Believers has become a regular on my playlists too. 

One final scandi drama item of note is that Wallander's dog is enjoying the current run of The Killing and has some interesting theories.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Low Tide03:16 (0.90m)
High Tide09:29 (2.40m)
Low Tide15:31 (0.80m)
High Tide22:01 (2.50m)
Sea temperature: 9.5 and stable
Sea conditions: Gentle waves at last
Weather: Biblical sunrise but dark clouds gathering
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The geese - as The Pirate and I met by the huts we'd already witnessed in excess of 400 geese fly over, skein after skein. One of my student groups is working on a bridging lesson this week, taking them from biology to geography by means of the study of migratory birds so I took a few shots of these transient visitors for them.

The Pirate and I discussed the freedom with which Steiner teachers are able to plan lessons, I find it a wonderful challenge to plan the flow of one main lesson subject to the next and now that I don't teach in a school I work with each group to plan classes to suit. This group have only known me since I first travelled to take part in dog trekking, so they think of me as Very Cold Claire and are keen to supplement their regular geography with a study of the far north, hence the project on migration. They will travel north in their lessons to follow the Greylag's journey and I will have a wonderful time planning their lessons.
Homeland/The Killing - The Poet was desperate to discuss Homeland, but as DK and I have not yet caught up he was banned. Gagging The Poet is not an easy task and he toyed with us as we went into the water. The Pirate confessed to falling asleep during The Killing and waking up to find that he didn't recognise characters, here's a catch up for you Pirate: The Killing ep 3/4 blog 
Sara and I were rather preoccupied having worked out that it was just over the allotted 14 days since it was assumed that there was a body in the river. Locals say this is how long a corpse takes to surface but during our conversation the boys broke into song, distracting us long enough to move on. We had to ask what they were singing, mainly because they all seemed to be holding a different tune, but perhaps it was just that we'd tuned out.
Technological upgrades and their pitfalls - Sara has been through the mill over the last week or so in her attempt to switch providers for her phone etc. as they clearly didn't want to let her go easily, but she seems finally to have received texts and calls on her new phone, now she needs to activate her iPad mini so we are crossing fingers that it will be smoother. Mertz has just been given one by his company and regardless of his resistance to anything Apple he's looking forward to using it as a Kindle. I'm looking forward to seeing if it suits me before splashing out.
Gloves - Sara's new Sealskins are way cool and regardless of the fact that she has lobster claws at the ends of her arms she is able to use the hand warmers inside. My new heated ones are not doing the job however. We decided that the best thing to do was to contact the company who make them, as they seem to be constantly developing new ones. As I don't have a microwave I need to boil them after each use but they take forever to dry as I can't wring them out and they look a bit freaky waving at me from the pan as the air moves from finger to thumb. Perhaps I just got the wrong ones for the job, and there's an alternative, watch this space.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Low Tide01:44 (1.10m)
High Tide07:50 (2.40m)
Low Tide14:10 (0.80m)
High Tide20:54 (2.40m)
Sea temperature: not taken - too rough
Sea conditions: see above
Weather: see below

Joined by: no one
Topics of conversation:
You are not really going in are you DK? It was so windy that you could lie down on the wind coming up the beach from the south and yet he did. As he was late I had wandered down the beach as Mertz and the dogs had come down to see the sea raging but when DK arrived I ran back to make sure he was safe. There was no way I was going in and he lasted for about 25 seconds as the current was so strong. Sara and The Poet had seen the sea from their house and realised it wasn't a swimming day, for normal human beings that is.
Mertz took this at the other end of the beach
Waiting for god
I was still on high as I'd been to the most incredible performance at Snape the night before -  Choreographer Hofesh Shechter's Uprising and In Your Rooms and the music had blown me away. The Yogi and Wolfie took me as a treat and we had front row seats, which I was delighted about, having forgotten my glasses, but the usher approached us as we took our seats with little presents: ear plugs. He whispered "it's very loud!". It was and we loved it. There's a taster of it here on his site: Hofesh Shechter

Friday, 23 November 2012

High Tide05:48 (2.40m)
Low Tide12:25 (0.70m)
High Tide19:20 (2.30m)

Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: EVEN WILDER
Weather: windy but dropped from the 40 mph of last night.
Joined by: The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The water - it was really rough this morning and as I got to the beach there was a full wooden pallet in the shallows, which I dragged out of the water. When the boys arrived I explained that I didn't want it going back into the water as it could do us a fair bit of damage, floating about. The Poet responded that yes, that would be unpalatable...there was an attempt to claim that he was standing in for DK in his absence - DK, the King of Puns that is

Pallets make great kindling though so I carried it home, which was my only exercise as The Pirate and I didn't go in this morning, having watched The Poet being bowled over. The rest of the country has been much worse with floods as well as gales and by this afternoon there was little sign of any wind here at all. I've just been for a really long walk and the water was so inviting, calm once more so there's hope for a real swim for the first time this week - just in time for DK's return. I'm assuming he won't have had the same problem with his morning dip as the ponds don't get rough, but maybe health and Safety have a hold there and they ban swimming if the trees are blowing about.  
On my walk I took the tow path along the river, which was like a mill pond, except for a constant ripple, moving more or less parallel with me all the way along as a seal kept pace with me. I've heard that they are curious about dogs and I've had them follow them on the beach before but this one just seemed to be using me as a pacer, keeping just a couple of meters behind all the way up river towards the bridge, where we met Legs, No I Son and Mabel.

Legs and No.1 Son were both exhausted and on a high following the massive success of their Thanksgiving bash, which they'd hosted at the local pub last night. Both The Pirate and The Poet had enjoyed the evening and said the food was amazing, as well as the atmosphere. The Pirate's No. 2 Son had spent the evening sampling American cocktails and this led to a discussion and about hangovers and alcohol induced sickness, which I am sure wasn't the reason for Sara's no show this morning... 
The Pirate is one of those lucky people who is seldom sick in the stomach, unlike me. The concept of gut feelings is something I understand only too well and I told the others about a friend who is sick when she is deeply upset. When she was at school she fell in love with a much, much older man; the father of her best friend's boyfriend. It was not a physical relationship, simply an overpowering adoration of a cultured, creative soul. They would go for drives around the Gloucestershire countryside and he played the guitar to her whilst her friend and his son cuddled on the sofa. Her best friend's mother was the only person who understood how she felt and after returning from a visit to Gloucestershire the friend's mother rang to give the sad news that he had died suddenly and unexpectedly. Of course her family had no idea how she had felt, but when she was sick for the whole day it was her father, who suffered from the 'gut feeling sickness' who realised there was something more to it. Regardless of his cast-iron stomach The Pirate said that the kind of love that is  not physical can be powerfully intense, and we all stared out to sea for a moment, before considering The Poet's comments about how the older man might have felt. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

My usual tide timetable is offline this morning so here's the app reading instead.

Sea Temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: marginal
Weather: stunning sunrise, very windy, getting stronger.
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
Was it 'doable'? Only just. The Pirate and I got in and got out again very swiftly as we were knocked back by the waves. Sara and The Poet are more comfortable with the risks than I am. I always err on the side of caution, which can be frustrating for The Pirate, who looked longingly out at them once we were back on the shingle, saying "They look like they are having fun..." but as he pointed out, it can get very hairy if he gets dragged down and out. Every now and then he reminds me of 'the time I nearly drowned' and even if I feel like throwing caution to the wind that brings me back to earth. The other two were not really able to swim but did seem to be having fun, although poor Jess was clearly very worried about them and actually started wading out at one point. She wouldn't leave the shoreline till they were safe.
My surf dude friend had been out yesterday and told me the waves were some of the biggest he'd seen in our area
Intouchables - I was totally smitten with this film last night, to such a extent that my FilmFriend commented that she's never heard me laugh out loud and uncontrollably in the cinema before, it just touched my funny bone. Sara and The Poet had seen it when it first come out and we all encouraged The Pirate to watch it, regardless of the beautiful co-star. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

High Tide02:32 (2.50m)
Low Tide09:06 (0.60m)
High Tide15:55 (2.30m)
Low Tide21:07 (1.10m)
Sea temperature: not taken 
Sea conditions: WILD
Weather: WILD
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation: 
Spacial awareness - it was so wild this morning that we opened up the beach hut to change in. The wind was strong and it was 'lashing' so the shelter was welcome, but it's a squeeze to all change in there at once so we bustled about trying not to get in each other's way and avoiding various dogs who were keen a little respite from the wind too. I realised that I should have removed the ketchup bottle at the end of the summer as there was some evidence of small rodents things, and one of the reasons for our using the hut is to keep it free of mice. I had a clear up after the others left and also found some HP, so both were removed to the Village Hall bins. The forecast for tomorrow is rain all day so I'll get down early and move the furniture about and light the gas burner.
The swim itself was invigorating and the sea had a shallow trough, just deep enough to swim in, followed by a very shallow and rough area. The Pirate and I stayed in the shallows and managed to swim, but the other 2 took on the waves.

Forgive the bits and bobs that will start to appear at the bottom of the page. I've decided that all too often I loose things that I want to refer back to and as I'm not keen in Pinterest etc. I'm going to make use of this little bit of the ether.

"I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. 
It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves: your notebook will never help me, nor mine you." Joan Didion

Monday, 19 November 2012

High Tide01:39 (2.60m)
Low Tide08:07 (0.60m)
High Tide14:37 (2.40m)
Low Tide20:12 (1.00m)
Sea temperature: 9.1
Sea conditions: shallow, choppy, undertoad.
Weather: Very windy, sunny, clouds on the horizon but otherwise sunny
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation: 
Still not The Killing as Sara and The Poet haven't seen it yet so The Pirate and I just exchanged glances.
A change in the air, the wind made it feel much colder. We didn't hang about chatting, but Luna and I had a mad 10 minutes running up and down the sandy beach to get warm, she play-attacked me and went round and round in ever decreasing circles, ruining the smooth sand. Fortunately I'd taken some pictures with my phone before she did. We all hurried to get over the dunes to the relative calm I picked Alf up and carried him home as he was delaying proceedings - he makes a great hand warmer.
Missing you already DK.

As always, my horizons are not straight...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

High Tide00:51 (2.70m)
Low Tide07:13 (0.50m)
High Tide13:36 (2.50m)
Low Tide19:23 (0.90m)
Sea temperature: 8.9
Sea conditions: perfect, lake-like.
Weather: sun, no wind, warmth in the air.

Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
Not The Killing - DK had watched both episodes and was banned from speaking about it. The format of the day was not our normal one so nor is the blog as we met for a late swim at 8.30 and then all piled back here for a sauna and brunch, where we were joined by the non swimming members of The Swimmers' families. The conversation went on for as long as we were all sauna-ing and feasting together, till around 1pm so instead of topics here's the brunch menu. It's in English, although Legs gave us the list in Norwegian as well as a 'how to eat pølse with lompe' (and all the trimmings) demonstration. DK also did a fine impression of her Norwegian cousins and had us all learning the correct way to say 'Ja' whilst breathing inward, which isn't a great thing to so with a mouth full of pickles, I discovered. 
Smoked salmon, gravadlax and scrambled egg with dill
Cheeses - Havarti, Jarlesberg, Brunost and Gouda
Giant pretzels (for DK)
4 different kinds of Herring (NOT for DK)
Prawns and quail eggs and lumpfish roe
Kaviar and mayonaise on rye bread
Various pølse - Swedish, smoked, veggie, with lompe, fried crispy onion, mustard, and celeriac (which I couldn't find in the fridge till later so just had to have more pølse, you can't have too much of a good thing)
A kind of iced, custardy briochy type cake/pastry
Dark chocolate gingerbread
Legs' famous waffles - with lots of toppings including cream lingon jam, apricot conserve and Brunost.
Buckets of coffee, jugs of juice, pots of tea a bottle of Champagne and a sneaky Akavit here and there.

Legs' famous waffles in the foreground

Eeuuw... was that herring?!

Love, and what appears to be Leg's naked bottom in the background...

Sara Lund helping herself to cheese

Floor cleaner busy at work afterwards

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Low Tide03:03 (0.80m)
High Tide09:14 (2.70m)
Low Tide15:32 (0.50m)
High Tide21:54 (2.60m)
Sea temperature: 10.4 much warmer today
Sea conditions: some intermittent large waves but generally good swimming conditions
Weather: trying hard to be lovely
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The missing man - the poor soul is still missing and as I type this morning there is the constant overhead drone of the police helicopter as it hovers up and down the river. Police vans and cars are in evidence everywhere and sadly it seems that there may be little hope of finding him alive. The police dogs followed a trail to the edge of the water yesterday. Hockey Lady know's him quite well through her golfing; his life has been a series of sad turns over the last few years since his wife died and he has been treated for depression. Of course there is always the chance that this is someone wanting to start a new life somewhere else, something I often speculate about in these situations as  dear family friend disappeared when I was young and I remain convinced that she is alive and well.
I had dragged an entire tree out of the water this morning, to stop it being washed back out (I guess I'm particularly wary of what is in the water today).
Out of Water - I took part in this art project last summer and yesterday I received some images from the event, which took place on Holkham beach. Those of us who took part have been asked to write about our experience as the performance may tour the country. It was a unique and profound experience, I found it meditative and it reconnected me to many of my deeper instincts about the sea. We took different roles in the group, swimmer or singer, although those of us who chose to swim gave the opposite impression, especially to those in the audience who knew us. My friend Sez had to be ushered of the beach as she was became concerned that we were drowning, even though I had warned her not to look back. Sara asked if I'd do it again (bearing in mind that I ended up with a serious infection in the orbit of my eye as a result of being motionless on the beach and in the sea for hours in the driving wind), and I would, regardless of the risk. This is the original text from LACE (Live Art Collective East):
At Holkham Beach in Norfolk the sea glistens mirage-like in the distance. In the early morning light a group of singers and swimmers strike out towards the water’s edge until they span the wide expanse of beach. They each look towards the sea, eyes intent, focused on the horizon, searching for something. Is somebody lost at sea?

Created by Helen Paris and Caroline Wright, Out of Water features a newly commissioned sound-score by acclaimed composer Jocelyn Pook. Stories of endeavor, of swimming, of sinking, of living interweave with haunting music, lifeguard drills, calls for help and struggles for breath.

Out of Water is a Live Art Collective East project for the London 2012 Festival supported by Arts Council England, PRS For Music Foundation’s Women Make Music Scheme and Norfolk County Council.

Out of Water debuted on Holkham Beach on 25, 26, 27 August, 2012. The performance featured Helen Paris, Caroline Wright, Laura Wright, Oo La Lume and 22 local participants from North Norfolk.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Low Tide02:12 (0.90m)
High Tide08:26 (2.60m)
Low Tide14:43 (0.60m)
High Tide21:13 (2.50m)
Sea temperature: 8.6
Sea conditions: near perfect for me - calm and deep
Weather: Chilly, sun slowly disappearing.
Joined by: No one
Topics of conversation:
The seal - The Village Elders had stopped me on the way to the beach to say that they'd seen the seal by the sluice gate, neither of them had ever seen it that far up the river before and there was speculation about whether it may be fishing as the tides have been so high. Whilst I was delighted to have a sighting and hoped it might come around to join us they did point out that they carry distemper... Killjoys!
The sun had risen as I left home, casting a deep glow across the village, lighting up the windows in the buildings by the harbour as if each one had turned on a 1000W bulb. By the time I reached the beach a bank of cloud was lowering over the horizon and the sun was rising into it. DK and The Pirate arrived just as the last warmth fizzled out.

DK's cultural importance - The Pirate's house guest lectures in pop culture, his specialist era being the 1950's - 1970's when DK's band of brothers were at their most prolific. He hadn't realised what 'DK" stood for when he came down to watch The Brave Boy take a dip yesterday and on discovering his identity had exclaimed "Standing of the Corner Watching All The Girls Go By!" Indeed this is one of the King Brother's memorable tunes, but I hope he checks in to the to see this link to DK's website: Whatever Happened To The King Brothers
And here they are as slightly younger men:

A man has gone missing from Southwold - The report spread fast around the village once papers arrived and there is concern that the poor soul may have taken his own life. By the time I had returned home the jungle telegraph had made that assumption and locals were warning The Swimmers about the possibility of a body surfacing. I hope that he may yet be found alive but the signs are not good, especially bearing in mind the recent tragedy when an elderly man drove into the harbour in his vehicle. This is from the EDP: 

David Franckeiss left his home in Mill Lane, Southwold to attend a doctors appointment yesterday afternoon.
He was last seen at the surgery around 5.30pm, but has not been seen since.
His vehicle was located yesterday at Southwold Harbour on Ferry Road. The police helicopter and the Coastguard Service have carried out extensive searches in the area where his vehicle was found, but are yet to trace Mr Franckeiss.
He is described as a white male, around 6’1” tall, with short, brown hair. When he was last seen, he was wearing brown corduroy trousers and a black coat.
Anyone who has seen Mr Franckeiss or has any information on where he may be is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Low Tide01:20 (1.00m)
High Tide07:36 (2.50m)
Low Tide13:54 (0.60m)
High Tide20:31 (2.40m)
Sea temperature: 9.8
Sea conditions: calm, rippling waves,no drag
Weather: A perfect morning, sun, frost, no wind
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
Wet suits - following Sara's research and trial of the new winter wet suit and the glorious mornings that we have been having Mertz suddenly announced that he was thinking about getting a wets suit. He can't pretend to like the cold weather or the water but he does still feel the desire to get in so he's been finding it frustrating and is admiring of Sara's determination and her ability to shrug off DK's "Jessy" comments. These do not refer to Sara's dog but to the fact that he thinks you're a wuss if you wear a wetsuit. I had the grading of suits explained to me this morning, I had completely misunderstood and thought that a 5/3 wetsuit mean that is was 5.3 on the scale but now I understand the concept of wetsuits having different zones. No wonder there are so many on the market.
Sybarites - The Poet accused me of being sybaritic this morning (has he only just worked that out?) just because I'd spent an hour in the sauna. I shall be  interested to see how easy it is to drag him out once he's warmed through next weekend. We are having our "The Killing/Sauna/Waffles-by-Legs party" next weekend and we decided that there has to be a bit of a schedule as the idea of a sauna after such a feast doesn't really work. Maybe we just have the Akatvit before hand - in the footsteps of the Vikings. A small food order has gone in and now I just have the Lidls trip to do next week, they do the best smoked salmon at a ridiculously low price.

East Hill - The Poet is using this part of our village environment as the inspiration for his current project and as the weather was so glorious today we decided to walk there this morning, rather than doing a late walk. He is studying, making notes, taking photos etc. in preparation for his writing and I shall be very interested to read the final work as I've started going there at least once a week. The views are unparalleled (other than from Sara and The Poet's house) and it is seldom visited by tourists. It's perfect spot for contemplation.
East Hill
Poorly Pooches - we had recently discussed the seasonal canine virus, which is prevalent in Suffolk, and last night I'd had a message from my friend, whose dog has been really sick, it's very worrying and a warning to all dog owners:

I  have had dramas with Kinta all week & she is still at the Animal Health Trust though hoping I may be able to get her back after the weekend. She took very poorly within 20 or so mins of our return from the usual early beach walk on Tues.  Running liquid both ends, v hunched & in pain. Looked like poison so had her to the vets immediately & they kept her there on a drip all that day & night. Tested positive for pancreatitis Weds am, then x-rayed as concerned might be a torsion. No torsion but could see something inside & a 'slight' twist. Were v anxious as her temperature was going dangerously low, so operated & rang me 6.30 to say they could find nothing but intestines v inflamed & ulcerating (old owner a vet nurse - said wd be typical from toxins). Fromus felt she should go to Newmarket so collected her once stitched up & brought round & we handed her over to their surgical team at 9pm. That vet said after doing more tests, scans & x rays they felt ok not to open her up again,  so kept her hooked up to a cocktail of fluids, pain relief & Meds overnight. As they felt her out of possible surgical intervention, she was passed into the care of the Medicdl team next morning.  They ring me twice a day & are pleased. Went over to see her y'day afternoon and she looked a different dog - bright, thrilled to see me and well. Was able to take her out for a short walk & she pulled me along but was not v happy to b returned to her 'ward' bless her. They want to get her off the fluids over the weekend and then, if assorted tests are good on Monday, will let her home. So ...  that will have been a costly walk !  Suspected cause is fungi - so much about at present & I think she could have ingested it along with a tasty morsel of manky rabbit or something. Was my vet's first thought & later I did find mushroomy bits she had sicked up in a bed. Poor dog - am so happy she will be fine though those first two days really worrying as she was not responding to treatment. Maybe yours are not the scavenging sort but only to say if dog looks at all iffy, don't hang about !  Think K was saved because she was on fluids so quickly. Not thought to be the Seasonal thing though I have sent the sicked up bits to AHT lot. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Low Tide00:22 (1.20m)
High Tide06:41 (2.40m)
Low Tide13:04 (0.70m)
High Tide19:48 (2.40m)
Sea temperature: 10.4/10.6
Sea conditions: "SCARY" according to DK! 
Weather: Grey
Joined by: Sara and The Poet and The Brave Boy
Topics of conversation:
The Brave Boy is staying with The Pirate and has not been in the sea here, although being from Cornwall he knew what to expect. It's not easy getting in on a good day when it's chilly and today was really rough, with a strong current as the tide was just turning. It was too rough for The Pirate but The Brave Boy went straight in. The Pirate looked longingly but we all agreed it wasn't safe. He was almost affronted when I told him to put his trousers back on and Sara said she'd get him in, but it's the getting out that is hard and when DK came out saying "scary" he sensibly decided against it. We'd had a bit of a scare a couple of days ago when he drifted out of his dept and The Poet and I swam him back in so we are all extra wary.
I didn't hang about much after I'd got out as the the sauna was calling and I spent an hour thawing out, reading the paper and preparing myself for moving a couple of tons of earth for reseeding. The weather was not conducive to much else this morning although Mertz and DK's son played golf in the drizzle. He beat him again.

Friday, 9 November 2012

High Tide05:34 (2.30m)
Low Tide12:10 (0.80m)
High Tide19:00 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: not taken nut we all agreed that it did feel as if it had dropped overnight.
Sea conditions: Still dragging north with strong waves
Weather: Bright but not sunny 
Joined by Sara and The Poet and The Man on the Beach
Topics of conversation: Over the last 2 days we've been joined by The Man on a Beach, who hails from Cornwall but is currently The Man on the East Coast. He blogs about the sea, the beach and the local environment, asking people from all walks of life what the beach means to them and then uploads little clips and images for each location. He started doing it just over a year ago and it has already taken over from his 'proper job' so now he is a professional blogger. I got the impression that he rather enjoys his new job! He very kindly linked to The Swimmers blog and he seems to have found a local reprobate to ask "what does the beach mean to you?"
Alfa Romeos - we are a 2 Alfa household now and as The Poet grew up with them he was very understanding when I couldn't start the new one outside their house late the other night. The very nice man from The AA (do they still run that line I wonder?) had diagnosed a battery fault, which had actually been impacting on the whole car since Mertz had picked it up. Although it meant a day of total chaos as he wouldn't let me switch the ignition off and I had to drive my student around with me all day he was right and now I have the new, new car (also fully shined and valeted) for the foreseeable future as Mertz doesn't trust it, result! The Poet's mother had a similar experience with one of their Alfas, its brakes would stick on for no reason but the garage wouldn't believe her as it never happened when she took it in. After a while she developed a second sense or the ability to tune into the sound of the car that enabled her to predict when it would happen. One day this feeling took hold so she raced down to the garage where the brakes seized as she pulled onto the forecourt and screeched to a halt right outside the doors. This caught their attention. 
The Inventor is unwell, my student's father was rushed into hospital last night with what his daughter thought might have been a stroke, due to some memory loss, but the signs are now that it is less serious but that his gall bladder needs removing. The pain had caused him to become confused but the hospital were brilliant and had him straight in for scans etc. There were deep mutterings from the assembled group about memory loss, and how it didn't necessarily mean a stroke... did it?! Most of The Swimmers know The Inventor as he is a fair weather super-swimmer and so we are all concerned for him as he has had serious health problems in the past and we are wishing him well. As his father was a Proper Actor (capital P, capital A) this led to a long conversation between The Poet and The Pirate about The Wasteland - T.S. Eliot, which The Inventor's father had recorded. I've never heard the whole thing read, in fact I'm ashamed to say I've never had the strength to read the whole thing, perhaps listening to him read it would be my way in. I shall put my name down on the list to borrow Sara's copy or listen to it on her poetry app.
Wet suits and other swimming expenses - folowing on from our previous retail therapy splurge Sara had taken delivery of an extreme O'Niell suit, full length with a detachable hood, seriously thick and seriously cool but she couldn't find a zip... it didn't have one! Apparently you are supposed to squeeze into it from the top. Squeezing out of it on the beach was never going to happen so Sara had tried the concept of walking home in her other wetsuit, to see if this would be a possibility with the new one. It won't be. Apart from feeling awkward she found that after a while all the water held in the suit dripped down and filled her boots, so the new suit has been sent back. I'm thinking we should be a test bed for swim suits, wet suits, hand warmers, clothing etc. Perhaps that way I too could make a living from blogging!
The Man on a Beach with a local
I've just returned from a late dusk walk, where I dumped into The Pirate's Wife and their house guests, apparently the youngest is planning to join us in the morning. I do hope that the sea has calmed a bit by then as the wind has changed direction and is whipping the water up. I can even hear it over the keyboard...