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.


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