Wednesday, 26 June 2013

High Tide01:10 (2.60m)
Low Tide07:04 (0.60m)
High Tide13:16 (2.70m)
Low Tide19:43 (0.30m)
There is yet more confusion over tides as the website I use above say's we were low at 7.04, DK's tide table says something else and the app I use at the beach says 7.34. It was very, very low, and we couldn't detect a pull in either directions, so I imagine that the app must be the closest. 
Sea temperature: 14.5
Sea conditions: calm
Weather: dull, but the sun was trying hard
Joined by: The Usual Suspects
Topics of conversation:
The weather, of course.
It really can't make up it's mind, lit was a clear and warm evening, and the mist began to settle on the low land either side of the river as I took the dogs out at around 9.30, so I'd expected a mist this morning, but it was clear again and the temperatures have dropped again. The Pirate had seen the moon, which is on the wane, but still large in the sky, but I'd missed it.
New costume
The Smokehouse
Asda - I don't often shop in supermarkets these days, mainly because I still don't a have a car, but I'd had a day off yesterday and Legs had taken me on her travels to shops various; Asda, Morrisons, Lidls, World of Fish and the smokehouse - we know how to live. Asda was a revelation to me and I admit that I spent most of my time in the non food areas, where I discovered that they have a wonderful range of swimwear, who'd have guessed? I bought a swimsuit to try as it was only £12 and swimming in the sea everyday has taken it's toll on my array of costumes. It was given a trial run this morning and is great, comfy, doesn't shrink or sag in the water and even has some colour on it, which is unheard of for me, so I may venture Asda-wards again! (As Sara pointed out though, we really need to stick to dark colours, because the sea will make everything go dingy). There are a few smokehouses locally, but I think the one we visited yesterday may be the oldest. Shopping with Legs was thoroughly entertaining and I told DK how I seen her in the vegetable aisle taking phone calls (numerous) from her mother and her son, who each called at least 3 times during the afternoon. She is always glam and in Lowestoft Asda glam is pretty scarce, added to which she was speaking with her cultured transatlantic drawl, pacifying both generations with terms like 'honey' and 'dahrling'. As a result the shoppers were walking past, staring at her, clearly trying to work our who she was, she HAD to be a celebrity of some sort, you could almost hear them thinking. We also went to World of Fish, my favourite shop, where I have been shopping since it opened to the public, but a couple of weeks ago I'd bought half a sea trout, only to find it was way past it's best when I got it home. It had been vac packed, which they don't normally do so I suspected this was the reason and as I trust them totally I felt it was best to let them know. They were mortified and hugely apologetic and said they always like to get feedback, whether it is good or bad. When I went to pay for my salmon and brown shrimps they told me to put away my money, by way of apology, I was blown away. This is another reason I seldom use supermarkets.
Aflie's eyebrows - once The Pirate had pointed out his dog's resemblance to Bernard Ingham we began thinking of other men, who's eyebrows are magnificent. I don't have a photo of Alfie, and in a way that's better as you have to imagine what he looks like based on these:


Monday, 24 June 2013

Low Tide05:28 (0.60m)
High Tide11:42 (2.60m)
Low Tide18:04 (0.40m)
Sea temperature: 14.2
Sea conditions: calm, deep
Weather: grey
Joined by: The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The Moon - it rose at 9.07 last night, and as it did the cloud on the horizon lifted to meet the cloud going out to sea, there was the slimmest chance that it would be visible, but the timing was just wrong. Mertz had been in the pub all evening and so it wasn't hard to persuade him to accompany me down to the beach, and he insisted that I shouldn't miss out on a full moon, but banned me from posting the picture as proof...
Slim window of opportunity

Mertz preparing to moon
The seal - came to say hello, but seeing me trying to take a picture and not finding Sara on the beach, he left again.
The elderly, and why there are many to respect and aspire to in this village - we were discussing the weather and how it was just right for the start of Wimbledon and I admitted that the last time I watched it would have been when Ilie Nastase was playing, and The Pirate told us that one of the 'Ladies of the Village' Vera played tennis with Fred Perry - in Cairo. She also flew planes and lived quite the life. You'd never know it, she's so dainty and immaculate, she's in her '90's now and a real character, as is our friend Ken, who recently drove a tank at 94 years of age. Here he is as promised DK, but you might want to skip into the report by 44 seconds, depending on how your dutch is...




Sunday, 23 June 2013

Low Tide04:36 (0.60m)
High Tide10:56 (2.50m)
Low Tide17:10 (0.50m)
High Tide23:25 (2.50m)
Sea temperature: 14.8
Sea conditions: long, slow, high rollers reaching over us
Weather: changeable, sun, clouds, very windy
Joined by: The Usual Suspects plus Mertz and Abs
Topics of conversation:
Stonehenge - which is where Abs's boy is and has been for the solstice for the last 9 years. She feels her heart in her mouth even now, worrying that he will keep safe but as he had a baptism by fire when he was 2 years old and there were 20,000 people there, the worry get's less as he get's older. On that occasion he was found, safe and well and sharing a nice lady's sandwiches. He's not a teenager yet and we all speculated about when, and if, he might become a scary thing as they all do. Sara and The Poet reckoned on 2 more years of him being lovely to his mum. We are all looking forward to welcoming them to the village as residents at the end of August when they move into the camp site for a couple of weeks.
Mertz's scar - finally he's able to show off the substantial scar after his skin surgery. It's impressive and could be passed off as a war wound: had he been bitten by a shark, branded, shot? The shape of the resultant scar was also interpreted by various swimmers as a 'Y' a 'Z', the name of a past lover or question mark, (which I suggested was easier than him trying to remember the names of all the women... cue grumbling protestation from Mertz and comments of "harsh, but fair"). He went in, got knocked sideways by a wave and came straight out, which was probably sensible as he's playing golf this morning with DK's son and doesn't want to to aggravate the wound. 
The very glamorous LE
The Light Entertainment is briefly back, having been to Ascot and visiting friends. She's off again on journalistic duties tomorrow and then moving house on Tuesday so it's a whistle-stop tour and she was desperate to get a swim in. I'd had a message from her from Thames Ditton Island last week when she was sitting by the river watching the sun coming up, surrounded by parakeets, coots and kingfishers, saying she was still hankering after the North Sea. I think it is now official that she too is hooked. As she'd been to Ascot and 'wiped her face' we discussed the wonderful pictures of the Queen being delighted by her horse winning, which had been in the press. She was clearly over the moon, as was the LE, who had money on it to win. The Guardian quotes her bloodstock adviser:

"In the build-up we were trying not to get too excited," Warren, who was sitting next to the Queen in the Royal Box during the race, said afterwards. "No monarch had ever won the race and it seemed too good to be true to think that it could happen, particularly being a filly against colts.
"So we were all trying our hardest to keep the excitement under control but I'm afraid with one [furlong] to run the excitement was too much. I can't remember seeing the Queen so happy and excited and thrilled, so it was just a truly magical moment.
"For a lady that has given so much to this country to win what is probably, after the Derby, the most historical race in the calendar, it gives me so much pleasure to know that she has got such enjoyment and happiness from it. It was an amazing event."




Despite the weather our friends had cycled over the river for a BBQ yesterday and I'd set up both the wind breaks to try to give us some shelter by the huts. The kite surfers had been out for most of the evening as the waves were deep and rolling and the wind really was strong.  We'd teased the cyclists, who had come over in high vis. jackets, but actually it was helpful that we could see them in the dark, even though we'd had intermittent moonlight  The moon had been breathtaking and we are all hoping for a clear night tonight for the 'Super Moon', the term now commonly used to describe the Pedigree Full Moon, when the moon is full and closest to the earth this year. (see Huffington Green article) The tides are lovely and deep as a result, and we were conscious of the tide rising very rapidly as we swam this morning. If the weather improves a super moon swim could be in order, but the wind will have to drop a bit before then for me to feel safe swimming on my own in the dark. Next year it falls in August so that's a definite party date.

As it's been cold I'd brought some of my Father's old clothes down to the hut and Andy is a large chap, as my Pa was. Even though the high vis. jacket was fetching, it wasn't very warm, so he'd worn a toasty Gortex coat and I'd had a knitted sweater/jacket/duffle coat type thing that I always remember him wearing here when I was a kid, I've even got a photo of him in it sitting in Auntie Val's beach hut but I can't find it anywhere. Andy and I posed to show my Mother that his spirit lives on. She tells me that the sweater has never been washed and it's older than me but the smell of gun oil and cigarettes that I associate with my father has gone.

Just been for an afternoon swim in a break between heavy rain showers and there was a huge fat rainbow over the sea, I've never swum with a rainbow before. It was mesmerising.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Low Tide03:44 (0.60m)
High Tide10:10 (2.40m)
Low Tide16:15 (0.70m)
High Tide22:29 (2.50m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: rough
Weather: foul
Joined by: just me and DK this morning 
Topics of conversation:
This weather is not summer, we decided, as we sat in the hut sheltering from the wind and rain. Since I've been keeping this blog I've often checked back to see what it was like this time last year but in 2011 I started blogging in July and last year I didn't write anything over the summer months so there is no direct reference. We did remember that last year the Shaman and I met on the beach for the sunrise at the Solstice and it was nicer than it is now. I'm supposed to be getting the hut ready for a BBQ this evening with friends who are due to cycle over from north of the river, but I doubt that either of those things will be happening. Even Mabel was miserable and cold INSIDE the hut, so I wrapped her up.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Low Tide02:51 (0.60m)
High Tide09:24 (2.40m)
Low Tide15:18 (0.80m)
High Tide21:33 (2.40m)
Sea temperature: 14.8
Sea conditions: calm
Weather: grey, wet, un-solstice-like
Joined by: Back down to DK and The Pirate and The Poet (due to inclement weather and social engagements)
Topics of conversation:
The Solstice - I'd been on the beach early to do my sun salutations and not a soul was around. This was probably because it was raining, grey and miserable, with no sign of the sun but the yogi and I had arranged to be there in spirit for each other as we completed the sequence on either side of the river. She had a busy morning as she then hotfooted it up to the local radio station Blythe Valley to do her slot. This involves guiding the audience through a yoga asana live, she has a perfect voice for radio and if I wasn't in the sea at that time it would be a great way to start the day. This morning she also played out Beth's CD and I just managed to get home in time to hear it. Hopefully she'll be live next time, but she's been poorly as a result of a nasty reaction to antibiotics, which put her in hospital so it was a real boost for her to be on the radio. This was the first track played out. Thanks Yogi.
Punchdrunk Theatre - Sara and The Poet had been to see the performance of The Borough, based on Peter Grimes, last night and he regaled us with part of the storyline, it sounds amazing - immersive theatre at its best.
Stand curious in a dream and hear those voices that will not be drowned…

Punchdrunk’s The Borough is a liminal beast. It lies somewhere between George Crabbe’s poem The Borough and Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes and is formed on the threshold of the imagined and the real, existing at the interstice of the fictional and the everyday world of Aldeburgh. Aldeburgh is the original inspiration and setting for Crabbe’s The Borough and Britten’s Peter Grimes and it is Aldeburgh that will serve to ignite the imaginative curiosity of each individual visitor to this experience.
(There may still be tickets for tonight, going to check now...)
Hands - The Pirate has been noticing the difference in temperatures between our hands as we come out of the water and has decided that mine are much warmer than his. I've always felt that my circulation was particularly bad and certain it was my fingers that suffered minor cold injuries on my first Arctic trip when is was -42 and the dogs needed feeding (hard to do with thick mittens on) but I have noticed that they have been better recently - maybe this is due to the swimming routine, who knows? The Pirate certainly had much colder hands this morning and, despite the warmer water, had white patches on his palms as we left the beach. It's something to keep an eye on.
Maths and music - DK and I are hoping to help his son through a maths exam shortly and we discussed the link between the two kinds of magic. It's my opinion that no person who is naturally musical can be 'bad at maths', it's just about seeing it from the right angle (and perhaps being taught from the right angle too). Working with The Inventor on his musical interval project certainly proved this point, having had no musical education I came to it from the other direction, and my interest in maths was what made it accessible. The Pirate claims he is struggling with his harp tuition and has now decided that this is down to his lack of interest in maths - I shouldn't have opened that can of worms...
The Vicar's Wife's beach hut needs work - it's sinking - and she has very kindly allowed us to use it for the last 18 months, so we all agreed to make a contribution to any work needed. Even though we now have our little one, there are so many swimmers now that we take up both on a cold, wet day.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Low Tide01:56 (0.70m)
High Tide08:36 (2.30m)
Low Tide14:19 (0.90m)
High Tide20:37 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: 14.7
Sea conditions: good
Weather: grey but warm 
Joined by: The Usual Suspects and friends of Sara and The Poet with their 2 small children and one small dog
Topics of conversation:
The Pirate's haircut - the point had been made that he no longer looked like a bona fide pirate and I don't think I've ever seen his ears before, but the most surprising element is the The Pirate's Wife seems to approve. This was not expected as she is fond of his long tousled, pirate-esque locks. Goodness only knows what Abs will say when she sees him - she calls him Marilyn.
It was The Poet's turn to have a birthday this morning and he greeted us on the beach with a pop of a cork and some fizz, as is traditional in their family. 
 As I hadn't had any breakfast, hadn't had a drink for 2 weeks and had to drive to work in an hour I only had a small toast, but it was rather a lovely way to start the day. The Pirate doesn't drink alcohol habitually and worked out that the last glass of fizz he had was probably at The Poet's last birthday, as tomorrow is Midsummer we may have to change all that and crack open another... DK and I attempted a cod scandinavian midsummer song, and carefully were ignored, but I promised to put this link up for him.


Or there's always the Ikea commercial (banned)
By stark contrast I'm planning to celebrate the solstice with some solitary sun salutations on the beach before I swim, there's just not enough Viking in me... 




Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Low Tide00:55 (0.70m)
High Tide07:45 (2.20m)
Low Tide13:13 (1.00m)
High Tide19:36 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: 14.2
Sea conditions: good
Weather: odd
Joined by: so many people that's I'm just going to put 'The Usual Suspects' from now on - unless there are special absences or particularly exciting quests. The picture below shows the current regular group in its entirety.
L to R - Sara, The Artist, The Light Entertainment, The Pirate, The Poet, DK and Luna the dog
Over the last couple of days we've had very changeable weather and this morning was almost foggy, but it was certainly warmer. The Artist is still feeling the cold and has been swimming with her grey felt beret on, and (as I think I've mentioned before) she has the class to pull it off.
Legs's Kransekake
The balance is changing to our summer routine; chat has been less and the swimming more, this is because the weather and sea temperature make it easier to stay in for longer or because, like today the heavens opened. The rain was warm and heavy, almost tropical and we swam with it pouring all over us, and our clothes on the beach. So we didn't really get dry. Yesterday however, we welcomed DK back from his trip to Norway, he had actually swum in Oslo Fjord, which he said felt considerably warmer. The family had a great time, attending family reunions and meeting up with all generations and eating very well indeed. It was Legs's birthday yesterday and, like the Queen, she had 2 celebrations - one out there and one back here, although there appears to have only been one cake and a  mighty fine one too. DK had been the star attraction at the Jazz Club in the neighbouring town last night and both Legs and No. 1 Son had a lovely evening listening to him and the music, he's quite the showman.


DK swimming in Olso Fjord

Saturday, 15 June 2013

High Tide03:30 (2.10m)
Low Tide08:58 (1.00m)
High Tide15:33 (2.40m)
Low Tide21:49 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: 14.3
Sea conditions: shallow but with lovely big waves
Weather: Surprising sun - it came out just in time for our swim
Joined by: The Poet, The Artist and her visitors, The Light Entertainment and Mertz
Topics of conversation:
It must be summer - The Pirate had on his dressing gown and Mertz swam.
Introductions all round for the visitors, a lovely young couple who have adopted The Artist. They can't decide if she's a mother figure or a grandmother figure because of the age difference so we decided she is their fairy godmother, and there's a queue. I asked to be put on the list. There followed a love-in which Mertz put a stop to as he was desperate to get in for his first swim of the year, following his surgery. He swore, a lot.
I think they like it here
As we went in we were suddenly joined by one of The Artist's visitors who ran into the water squealing with delight, we asked why her boyfriend wasn't joining her she shouted "I'm Norwegian! He's Argentinian!" that was sufficient to explain. It transpired that I had a lot in common with them she works in TV, treks in the Arctic and was Steiner educated and I lived in Argentina as a child. It's lovely how this village brings like minded people together. We told them all about 'The Boss', i.e. DK who is in Norway at the moment on a family reunion holiday, I've since heard from Legs, who is having a lovely time and clearly enjoying the food, here's part of her electronic postcard:


Off to Hytte today, yesterday Oslo and Munch 150 yr anniversary show then coffee and cinnamon bun, more relatives, then hot dog with crispy onions, then Resistance museum at fortress, then new opera house, google it, gorgeous, then home for dinner at 5:30, then more relatives. Today more food and relatives. Eating anything set in front of me. 


Mertz and The Poet discussed a walk the Poet is on today to see wild flower meadows, he sent a link through and I hope to hear all about it tomorrow: http://www.coppinsfarm.co.uk/prices.html
Yesterday's maths exam - the last leg was yesterday, and whilst I'm glad it's over I shall miss the challenge. It was OK, but as usual I screwed up as I'd forgotten that these days the higher maths papers give you some formulae at the beginning of the instruction booklet. As The Poet pointed out I committed the sin I've been trying to encourage my students to avoid - RTQ - read the question. Still there's a chance that I got the solution after using 4 other methods to find the area of a scalene triangle, turning it into 2 right angled ones and finding all the sides took up the entire page with calculations and scribbles and arrows. In fact I think my no 1. student had found it rather amusing as I'm always telling her she makes life hard for herself.

The roses are in bloom on the dunes, always a sign of summer, although having spent the whole day gardening today I was rather cross to have finally done the summer swap over - putting all the cacti and tender plants outside and bringing the chillies and tomatoes from the greenhouse into the house - only to be caught, digging at the bottom of the garden, in a hail storm with all the doors and windows open. It then rained for an hour and a half, which was good for the garden and it rained in that which I had planted, but not so good for Mertz and the dogs, who were on a long walk...

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

High Tide01:37 (2.30m)
Low Tide07:03 (0.80m)
High Tide13:34 (2.50m)
Low Tide19:47 (0.60m)
Sea temperature: back up to 13.6
Sea conditions: choppy
Weather: windy, getting stronger as we swam
Joined by: The Poet, The Light Entertainment
Topics of conversation:
Mainly The unexploded bomb: Eastern Daily Times and whether there are any more. The tides have brought 2 in during the last fortnight and the smell of the sea is really strong - seaweed and shellfish, like a harbour - so there is something strange going on in the depths.
Yesterday we'd discussed the wonderful Simon Barnes piece on Suffolk so here is a link to that too: Twenty Minutes - Suffolk Sounds

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Low Tide05:31 (0.80m)
High Tide11:55 (2.50m)
Low Tide18:02 (0.60m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: Rough, scary, I didn't go in
Weather: cold, windy, raining, dreich - good January weather as someone shouted to me on the way to the beach
Joined by: just DK, The Poet and me this morning.
The Light Entertainment had sent a text excusing herself, she has Miss Lush and the children staying, they'd been to the Rocky Horror Show the night before, and bacon sandwiches were being demanded. She said she felt bad not to be sharing the dreich with us, and she gave me a heads up that the boss was on his way.
The Poet was clearly bursting to tell us something interesting, he was hopping from foot to foot, and he didn't disappoint: A mutual friend is part of an art show SNIP/SNAP at Aldeburgh and their private view was last night, The Poet had been and was enjoying the work, chatting about the manifesto, standing by a large installation made from interlocking wooden pyramids. He was directed to hard copies of the manifesto, turned quickly and as he did so he somehow (even he is not quite sure how) touched the structure behind him and the whole thing fell apart, tumbling to the floor in pieces. Fortunately the artist, who was there at the time, saw this as a development of the work rather than destruction, so I guess he is now a collaborative artist...
From their manifesto: "Alarming us of things to come, these youngsters don’t just put their foot in the door. They kick it down!"

We then had a short surreal conversation that went something like this:
Poet: "My Mother's coming to stay tomorrow."
Me: "My Mother's coming for our quarterly lunch today."
DK: "My Mother's dead."

This naturally lead on to the poem that my Mother had sent me yesterday:

Your Dad Did What?

Where they have been, if they have been away,
or what they've done at home, if they have not -
you make them write about the holiday.
One writes My Dad did. What? Your Dad did what?

That's not a sentence. Never mind the bell.
We stay behind until the work is done.
You count their words (you who can count and spell);
all the assignments are complete bar one

and though this boy seems bright, that one is his.
He says he's finished, doesn't want to add
anything, hands it in just as it is.
No change. My Dad did. What? What did his Dad?

You find the 'E' you gave him as you sort
through reams of what this girl did, what that lad did,
and read the line again, just one 'e' short:
This holiday was horrible. My Dad did. 

Friday, 7 June 2013

Links to Ester Williams tributes here as promised:
BBC Archive
Huffinton Post
L.A. Times



Low Tide04:19 (0.70m)
High Tide10:50 (2.40m)
Low Tide16:46 (0.70m)
High Tide23:05 (2.30m)
Sea Temperature: 13.5 - hurrah
Sea conditions: Very, very powerful drag, waves.
Weather: sunny, windy, chilly
Joined by: Sara and The Poet had to swim earlier as The Poet has given up on pee collecting and they are taking Jess to the vet. The Artist and The L.E. 
Topics of conversation:
The water was wild and as we watched Sara and The Poet were dragged south so we should have been prepared, but it was inconsistent. Strangely as we got in it seemed to be swimmable but as The Pirate and I drifted we were very suddenly in a trough with such a strong current that it made us check ourselves. At this point The Artist joined us and realised that it wasn't really the best conditions for someone who is as light as a feather to swim in. The Pirate was concerned enough to need a hand and so we played a new game: I held tight to his strongest arm and he floated, kicking hard against the current whilst I tried to walk in the same direction, pulling him as hard as I could, a great game and work out for the biceps and thighs! We made little progress though and decided to call it a day when we didn't even get parallel with our clothes on the beach. The L.E. did look a little concerned that we were battling it and waded over with difficulty, offering to "hold on to The Pirate's other bits", cue alarmed face from The Pirate. Meanwhile DK got in about 200 metres north of us and got out 300 meters south 3 minutes later, he goes with the flow.
Norwich School of Art degree show - I'd sneaked in yesterday as the moderators were going round and had a quick preview. The work was not all up but it was interesting to have a chance to read the supporting material, which is removed for the public days. There was one really striking piece, which I had a chance to discuss with the artist, who seemed genuinely surprised that anyone was interested in her work. We discussed the last year's work (which had been much more engaging overall IMHO) and I'd seen at least 3 pieces I'd have given house room, had I a house large enough to take them. The Pirate agreed that it's always a problem when you go to shows and want to take things home with you - he's run out of wall. The LE had read about some Lowry Nudes, that are coming up for auction, none of us knew he'd done nudes so it was interesting to see this image online. Strange proportions but it's that archetypal pose again.

Lowry nude
Beth's GCSE studies
The Pirate, The LE and I walked back together and talked cars all the way home, this is of note because normally when cars are mentioned The Pirate looks away and says "oh, dear, Man Talk" but as we were discussing old British cars he was suddenly engaged (The Pirate's Wife is right, he's from another age). The LE and I compared uncomfortable, bone shaking, wooden chassis car we have known as well as Triumphs. She'd had one called Ark, as in 'ark the 'erald angels sign and I'd fixed one with a hair pin whilst dressed in a ball gown.
We made tentative plans to have bacon butties in the hut tomorrow if it's fine, hopefully the dinosaur, that had been created in the space in front of the hut by small people, will have wandered off with the wind by then.




Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Low Tide02:47 (0.70m)
High Tide09:33 (2.30m)
Low Tide15:14 (0.90m)
High Tide21:25 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: 12.8
Sea conditions: waves, swell, drag, brown but fun
Weather: Cold
Joined by: The Artist, The Poet, The Light Entertainment, The Entertainer and Abs
Topics of conversation:
Abs is back! It was lovely to see Abs again this morning for her "first proper swim of the year". The water was considerably warmer than her first tentative dip at the end of April and the conditions were lively too. The Entertainer didn't swim, she took her dogs further down the beach for a walk and when she returned she said "That was obviously a very cold swim - I could hear you all squealing from miles away!" Abs took responsibility but frankly I think we were all guilty. There was a lovely atmosphere in our chaos this morning. I'd been talking to DK's son about the benefits of rising early regardless of your mood how the routine of swimming at the start of the day has changed my life, even saved my sanity on occasion. He's not a morning person. As a result he finds it fascinating that his father is, and that he can be can be so positive at the start of the day. This is one of the reasons the morning swims are so important, DK has no truck with ill temper in the mornings and always lifts the spirits as he did this morning even though he was very tired - having been woken by 'dogs various' rather than 'the black dog' that sits on the end of the bed in the night. It seems that Mabel and the visitors were all free range during the night, and hadn't settled but wandered from room to room making sure everyone was awake.
The Poet was still on the trail of dog urine and he turned up with his latest contraption, a pee collecting device - a broom handle with a pan on the end  for 'taking the piss'. On the way back Abs took hold of it and in silhouette she became a lollipop lady. 
Not surprisingly, Jess was not keen on being chased around with a lollipop so kept her distance most of the morning.
Nettle rash bum - this is the term for the feeling you get when you've been in for too long and most of us had it this morning, The Pirate declared that it sounded like a german philosopher, not an early warning sign for hypothermia - Herr Dr Nettlerashbaum. 
The L.E. had had a lovely birthday and brought down a present from Miss Lush to show me, it's an unusual and rather beautiful book, which I was so excited about that I bought it the moment I got home. Sadly I was in such a rush that I 'one-clicked' it to my Kindle instead of buying the hard copy, which is a shame as it's such a beautiful book and there are times when you need the real thing in your hand. Never mind, I'll just have to look at the pictures in The L.E.'s copy. The watercolour paintings of water are particularly mesmerising for me.

The book is called Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton There is a wonderful passage at the start of the book, which she read out to The Poet and I:
Water is elemental, it's what we are made of, we can't live within or without. Trying to define what swimming means to me is like looking at a shell sitting in a few feet of clear, still water. There it is, in sharp focus, but once I reach for it, breaking the surface, the ripples refract the shell. It becomes five shells, twenty-five shells, some smaller, some larger, and I blindly feel for what I saw perfectly before trying to grasp it.
The Artist had made her a wonderful card, showing off the shocking pink soft shuffle shoes.

Found on the beach - I've been photographing things people have made with stones on the beach this week and this morning there was a very interesting arrangement, I couldn't work out what it was at all.
Some kind of game?




Drowning - an article passes on by a friend about recognising the signs of someone in trouble in the water and worth sharing - article here: Drowning

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Low Tide01:52 (0.70m)
High Tide08:44 (2.30m)
Low Tide14:17 (1.00m)
High Tide20:25 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: 12.7
Sea conditions: Big swell, deep
Weather: sunny with a damned cool breeze
Joined by: Sara and The Poet, The Artist, The Light Entertainment, The Entertainer
Topics of conversation:
Lots this week, it's been a very social slot on the beach recently and I've been away too so this is a very brief blog catch up.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to The L.E. - she hadn't told us it was her birthday so we didn't have time to prepare, but should have guessed when we saw she has joined the ranks of fishing stool owning swimmers. It was a present for her birthday. We also should have had coffee and bacon sandwiches at the hut, and Champagne, The Poet said. Perhaps we can make that a regular ritual on a weekend following a birthday, regardless of the weather.
iTMOi - Sara and The Poet and I had all been to see this, on different nights, so there was lots of chat about Akram Khan and whether he was really retiring after the next tour of Desh. iTMOi has had accurate reviews, most found it challenging, confusing and painfully beautiful: 
...a far from perfect work, fractured and oddly paced, it is through Khan's shockingly imagined chaos that we're drawn into the creative maelstrom from which art is born. (Guardian)



...the show has a sense of the evangelical, of the possessed, as the dancers gather on stage. To the sound of a thrilling new score by a trio of composers (Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost), from that moment it feels as if we have entered the mind of Stravinsky, his thoughts, fears and insecurities scattering in all directions. (Metro)
iTMOi trailer 1
iTMOi trailer 2
Considering the riots with which The Rite of Spring was greeted with when it premiered 100 years ago it seems apposite that no-one can quite get their heads around it. After seeing it the Shaman and I had talked it through for a couple of hours before we went to bed and I'd had strange and venegful dreams all night, but this may have been as a result of sleeping in a room where some dormant Hopi spirits were wrapped up in tissue paper, sleeping peacefully.
The Black Dog Deli is doing rather well out of Mertz and I, even The Pirate's No. 1 son had commented that it was strange that He had bought a bag full of deliciousness in the morning and I'd done the same on my return from London the same day, we are going to have to cut back for the sake of our waistlines and our pockets, just not quite yet! I've even reactivated my Twitter account just so that I can follow them and see what's being delivered... Black Dog Deli Tweets
DK's son is our lodger at the moment as they have a house full of guests (including The Entertainment, known as such because she is an acclaimed London stage star) and he was keen to check up on his well being. I couldn't help him as he'd arrived after we'd gone to bed and wasn't up when I left for the beach. Mertz had done his level best to wake him with noises in the kitchen when he'd left at 6am and I'd done the same but apparently he slept like a log and had finally surfaced by 10.30.