Saturday, 31 August 2013

Low Tide01:17 (1.20m)
High Tide07:24 (2.20m)
Low Tide13:51 (1.00m)
High Tide20:29 (2.20m)
Sea temperature: 19.1 - even DK thought it had warmed up today, so we think the thermometer is stuck.
Sea conditions: calm, very high tide, deep
Weather: sunny with clouds on the horizon, cool breeze
Joined by: The Usual Suspects and Mertz
Topics of conversation:
Food mainly - DK's son had cooked them a stunning pork dish last night, which I'd already heard about via Facebook as he'd been proud enough to post about it. Mertz demanded it be cooked for him. 
And I'd been out with Phillips to our favourite midway supper spot, The Wildebeest, and had one of the best puddings I've ever eaten, I'm going to have a go at recreating because it didn't just taste good it looked like fun to make. I just managed to take a picture before it was completely demolished and before Phillips could stop me - here's what's left of the warm orange polenta wildflower honey & rosemary polenta cake with yoghurt sorbet and honeycomb. 
It's been a week of puddings as the mulberries are dripping off the tree outside the house and I've discovered that it's not just lemon drizzle that works well for breakfast, mulberry Bakewell with mulberry gin jam goes down rather well too. Today it's going to be mulberry ice cream making for Mertz's mum, who has had a virus and a sore throat. 
Abs leaves the camp site today, we will miss her smiling face and hope to see her again on the beach for early autumn swims once the boy goes back to school. He paid me a visit this week whilst she was recharging and tried to educate me in the latest Minecraft developments.
DK's son had told him he'd enjoyed our yoga class yesterday, which he'd described as 'hardcore', the partner work we are doing at the moment has really helped me to realign my dodgy elbow, which hasn't been straightening fully for a while due to a kind of RSI - I need to stretch it straight after getting out of the sea apparently, I'm contracting the muscles as we hold hands in the waves. Whilst I can't straighten it myself he could pull it straight as part of the hamstring stretches we did. (A happy side effect, if you are reading this Yogi, it's straight this morning.)
Yesterday's practice

What we are aiming for!



Friday, 30 August 2013

Just some photos from the last few days for The Lady in Lavender, who has just left the village, to remind her of our skies.









Thursday, 29 August 2013

High Tide05:04 (2.20m)
Low Tide10:46 (1.10m)
High Tide17:50 (2.20m)
Low Tide23:34 (1.10m)
Sea temperature: 19.1 - we agreed that it's pretty much stuck here, it won't get any higher
Sea conditions: Calm, a bit murky
Weather: grey but the sun was trying very hard
Joined by: The Usual Suspects
Topics of conversation:
Bonfires - it now transpires that it wasn't just the post from our huts that has been used for bonfires on the beach but the chestnut paling has been pulled up and broken apart. This destruction is not only a nuisance but has created sharp, splintery spikes and I need to keep the dogs away, it will also mean that the whole run will need replacing, and at £5 a metre that's a proper pain. The fencing helps to keep the dunes covered in Marram grass, which in turn hold the sand together with its fibrous roots, and the dunes hold back the water. Further down the strip, where the dunes have been breached, the salt water comes in on high sides, flooding the marsh and changing the eco system entirely. At this end of the village potential flooding could have an impact on homes and grazing too.
Football - The 'Vicar's' Wife and I discussed the upcoming NCFC match, at our level obviously, which was purely about logistics of our husbands watching the games. The 'Vicar' and Mertz are 2 of the only 3 NCFC supporters in the village and he had offered Mertz his season ticket for a game this weekend - he can't go due to a wedding in the village church. Mertz had been delighted with the offer and casually mentioned to me that he was going to the game because the vicar was busy doing a wedding - I had to disappoint him by reminding him that he was doing the wedding too, albeit from the other side of the pulpit.
Oliver Bernard - Bernard, who died recently, was a brilliant, talented and wildly eccentric poet, who lived near our old house. He once spent almost a year dressed as a bishop keeping vigil at Norwich Cathederal for CND and his poem about Walberswick is deeply inspiring. He also translated Apolinaire and Rimbaud, which DK deliberately misheard and 'wondered' how hard it was to translate Sylvester Stalone's grunts into meaningful statements. I'd asked The Poet if he had access to any of the recordings of Oliver Bernard reading his own work which I've been trying to hunt down as he's, well...The Poet... Sadly neither of us has had any luck finding them yet. 
Oliver Bernard
Pam Ayres - The LE writes for Pam Ayres and was planning on getting stuck in today. She's a voice of my childhood and I'd recently been surprised to hear her on the radio being very dry. The LE told me how talented she is, and compared the humour of her poem about teeth with a little known one about loosing her dog and missing the sound of the 'tippy tappy toenails' on the floor. (It tugs at the heart strings, just read it and blubbed - I have an old dog). We mused, at length, on the way in which radio characters and voices inhabit a different part of the memory because you create the look and feel of them partly for yourself, completing the shape that the sound makes. Certain lines or voices live with you forever, sometimes in a good way, other times not. I'd had a discussion with Legs at the weekend about The Goon Show, which had been my Father's most listened to programme when I was a child, and how I'd grown up with their catchphrases being repeated over and over on long car journeys and at apposite moments, making my Mother wilt a little every time. Legs had a similar reaction to my Mother's, as her ex and his kids did the same. The LE said that when her show transferred from Radio to TV she had lots of feedback from listeners saying "WELL - they don't live in a house like that!" or "Their dog is all wrong!". (The dog was actually their dog and had his own dressing room.) Legs's Mother had similar response when she took her series Ethel and Albert, created in 1939, from radio to TV but having been introduced to both at the same time I don't have that problem. I love her show either way and I'm really looking forward to digitising the archive in the hope that I get to listen to and watch them all before they go online!
And still going strong at 97!



Wednesday, 28 August 2013

High Tide04:05 (2.30m)
Low Tide09:48 (1.00m)
High Tide16:26 (2.30m)
Low Tide22:24 (1.00m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: calm, with a strong outgoing tide
Weather: mist again, lifting, cooler
Joined by The Usual Suspects and Matthew
Topics of conversation:
Tai Chi - when I arrived The LE was throwing shapes, I mean doing Tai Chi, on the beach. It's a lovely calm sight to be greeted by first thing in the morning, as the sun rises and the mist clears.
She and I had had an unsuccessful text exchange yesterday that we needed to resolve; she needs a cleaner, The Architect has a great cleaner and I'd tried to forward her number, but it hadn't worked. I was concerned that this was because her contact details had been saved as Nicky Chablis - she had sent a text to The Architect when I was in the office saying "Floors done, bathroom done, kitchen done, couldn't find the tea bags for my tea so just helped myself to the Chablis in the fridge." The LE and I decided that as she has dogs and a sense of humour she would be perfect, even if her surname's not Chablis. The reason she's looking for a cleaner is twofold, her house is finished and she's got her new dog - Jagger. Jagger has been much discussed and today we have been invited to meet him as he hasn't had his jabs yet and can't come to the beach. He's quite the star and I suspect he will become a regular feature here. Daisy has already taught him his first trick and he is weaving in and out of legs with ease. She's also taken some great shots of him:



The Poet had been to the Parish Council meeting and as there is enough news there for an item in the paper, I won't report here. Suffice to say that he had had his eyes opened as he hadn't realised that the lady mentioned in the article who is objecting to planning permission was the lady that sold the lot of land in the first place. You really couldn't make it up, here's the article: Judge finds in favour of Parish Council
The Artist turned up with her most recent bit of flotsam, a bathing aid, or banana float (actually I think that's an ice cream sundae) which she wanted to try out. Whilst raising a smile initially it ultimately raised concern as she was enjoying herself so much, floating about, that she quickly got out of her depth as there was such a drag. She had also experienced one of those village moments yesterday, the kind I hate so much. A long standing village elder (her father was a fisherman, her husband the postman and her son is the electrician and one of our fireman) had been on the warpath as the council had received a complaint about her cockerel making too much noise and for some reason she had assumed that it was The Artist who had written in - it wasn't. In fact, as she said "I didn't even know she had a cockerel". She had, understandably, been upset by the accusation and was wondering if she should follow it up but we decided that in a situation like this it's always best to let it lie. 
Which brings me on to poor Alfie, who clearly hasn't been left to lie - he's been stripped! Although he looks very smart and it will help him to get over his itchiness, it hasn't helped him to get over his scratchiness and he snapped at The LE as she tried to put his lead on. This is the first time he's done that, he's always very gentle with us swimmers, which The Pirate thinks is amazing, but not today. I'm a tad concerned as I'm responsible for him tomorrow. If I don't blog for a while it'll be because he's had my hand off...
Matthew and I retired to the hut for coffee and 'breakfast', which he kindly provided and we agreed that there was something intrinsically right about iced lemon drizzle cake and very strong black coffee after a bracing swim.



Tuesday, 27 August 2013

High Tide03:19 (2.30m)
Low Tide09:03 (0.90m)
High Tide15:31 (2.50m)
Low Tide21:39 (0.80m)
Sea temperature: 19.1
Sea conditions: good
Weather: heavy mist, thick fog inland
Joined by: The Usual Suspects and Matthew
Topics of conversation:
Timing - I didn't swim yesterday and when I got down to the water I assumed that the others must have put the swim time back to 7.30 as no one was there. I waited till 7.20 but the mist was thick there was still no one in sight so I went in alone. It was eerily beautiful, the sun was trying to come through the cloud and the thick mist was rising over the water so that there was a bright glow on the horizon. The sea and the sky were both a strange sepia tone and there was a deadening of sound that seems to come with the mist. The swimmers gathered on the shore as I swam and dear Raffi, my dog lodger, got slightly confused by the crowd, he'd walked in with me till the water covered him and then sat guarding the beach, but now he couldn't see me so I waded to the shore to reassure him. Once the others were in DK also reassured me that he wouldn't change the time without telling me, and as we had the autumn conversation and September is approaching I guess that will be happening soon. Raffi goes home today and I've loved having him to stay, he's Willow's brother and they quickly get into being a little pack, hunting in the field opposite the house and milling about in the orchard, I'll miss him. 
The mist was starting to clear as we left the beach.



The Vicar's Wife had seen that the wooden posts from the beach huts have been removed, presumably for fires, and we agreed how annoying it was. She was thinking of bringing the grandchildren down today and as we share resources - gas, water, space etc. we discussed the new brazier, which lives in hers and takes up quite a lot of room. It's been a real bonus though, and she might even stay later on the beach and use it, as it gives off quite a lot of heat. I haven't cooked on it yet as we've also had a small portable BBQ down there, The Drapers have a full kitchen in their hut and they've been in residence for the last few days too, so I have been a bit lazy.
FolkEast - The Pirate had been to the local festival and The Vicar's Wife had been interested to see how he'd found it as it is only in its second year and she had been thinking of going, but her husband  doesn't share her taste in music (a way of life I have grown used to). It had been very gentle and we tried to work out how they manage to keep it going as it can't be cheap to stage. The two of them then had a conversation about Steeleye Span and it became clear that she was a fan and he certainly wasn't. I don't know much about them, I've just had to Google them, but I'm not sure that The Pirate can really call them a "Rock Band" as they seem to wear embroidered waistcoats and have either beards or long skirts.
Matthew and I agreed that a dose of Dr. Sea was long overdue for him and he may even return tomorrow.

Friday, 23 August 2013

High Tide00:35 (2.60m)
Low Tide06:28 (0.70m)
High Tide12:36 (2.90m)
Low Tide19:04 (0.30m)
Sea Temperature: not taken as far as I am aware, but I wasn't really concentrating 
Sea conditions: very murky with lots of seaweed scum - not pleasant
Weather: fluffy clouds, sun
Joined by: The Usual Suspects
Topics of conversation:
Village gossip - I'd been asked if The Pirate had sold his mother's house as the estate agent's board had gone, but it had actually been nicked. We often discuss how things get spread like wildfire in communities such as ours but it's not just villages it happens in. I told The Pirate about being arrested and locked up in North London once when someone had seen me taking my own estate agent board down from outside my house to use as a sledge on the heath. They'd called 999 and reported me. The police refused to believe that it was my house that was for sale and so they put me in a cell till they could get hold of the estate agent, 4 hours later and after strip searching my friend because she was carrying a screwdriver (a jeweller's screwdriver to be precise) and was therefore going about 'equipped to steal', they let us out. The Pirate thought it must have been scary, but in a situation like that it's actually laughable and it gave me a good excuse for being late to the pub - 'Sorry guys, I was arrested for stealing roadside property for the purpose of sledging'.
The meaning of life - The Poet arrived at the beach with a big grin on his face and announced that Sara had explained the meaning of life to him in the time it took to walk down to the shore from their house, and according to her thesis it is not 42, which is a shame. She gave us a one sentence prĂ©cis, which I would hate to get wrong in any way so I got her to email me:
"It is a myth about autopoiesis (self making) in Nature and psyche and it tells the story to explain "everything I think I know, why I cannot really know anything I think, and why it is that I imagine I know anything."
This set everyone off and The Pirate has been reading Buddhist scriptures  recently that talk about there being a Buddha within each of us and within each Buddha there exist all other beings, or something along these lines. Just as I was getting to grips with the idea of a Buddha shaped Russian doll DK arrived with his witty repartee, I think I was rather relieved as it was only 7.15 by this stage and my brain was not firing on all cylinders. 
The Seal - The Vicar's Wife had joined the seal in the sea yesterday and when she turned to swim away it had followed her, she thinks it was a youngster, not the big one we saw at the weekend. Even so she did say she felt she should get out of the water incase it became too attached to her.
The Pirate's no 1 Son is going through catalogues looking for new stock for the new season and he's found some gin and tonic flavoured popcorn - eeeuuuuw.. We got chatting about ways to flavour popcorn when you make it and The Poet has a very intriguing recipe which involves cooking it in coca cola. Coca cola and ketchup are 2 of The Pirate's least favourite things and The Artist and I discussed their pan cleaning properties. Ketchup is also rumoured to be brilliant for cleaning dogs that have rolled in fox poo.
Mabel was not very happy again this morning, she is clearly not keen on the whole basket on the bike experience, can you tell?
I am not looking at anyone.

I have some video footage of the whole thing somewhere, I must find it and put it on You Tube.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Low Tide05:47 (0.70m)
High Tide11:52 (2.80m)
Low Tide18:22 (0.30m)
Sea temperature: not taken but warmer
Sea conditions: calm
Weather: pouring with rain by the time we went in
Joined by: The Poet and Abs
Topics:
Abs has moved in! She is currently camping in the village with her boy and came back to my place to recharge batteries - her devices and herself - by having a hot shower and a cuppa in the dry and plugging things into the power. It was lovely to see her as she has not been well recently and although she's not up to swimming yet she was her usual sparky self. This may have had something to do with The Poet's new changing methods... Abs also found one of The Drapers' turkish towels on the beach and they were delighted to have it found. I had been at the huts till late with them and were all a bit giddy with the excitement having watched the full moon rise over the sea through the telescope and probably left all manner of stuff out. By contrast Abs said she'd had a second sense about the rain coming in the night and had cleared up religiously, which was amazing considering how warm and dry it was till late.
The Draperettes not quite getting the hang of it

Sun going down over the huts
Cozy dogs

The Ellies are away and when I got home I had an email from them with a shot of their swim yesterday in Hampton Pool, there was quite a contrast between what we called 'busy in the water' yesterday and what they experienced:
v






Monday, 19 August 2013

Low Tide03:12 (0.90m)
High Tide09:26 (2.50m)
Low Tide15:50 (0.60m)
High Tide22:18 (2.50m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: good
Weather: sunny with cloud cover on its way, warm
Joined by: The Usual Suspects and a couple of extras
Topics of conversation:
Yesterday evening we had bumped into Jess and The Poet on our evening walk and he and Mertz had had an impromptu swim, whilst the dogs and I had gathered sea lupin seeds. They were joined by the biggest seal I've seen in these waters. He, and it was surely a 'he' because of his size and proportions, came very close to them which hastened the the end of their swim, but as they got out he seemed to be standing on his tail and stretching up out of the water, his huge head tilted back towards the sky. Then he lay on his side and basked for a while, before disappearing. We were all keen to see him this morning but there was no sign, just Sara doing a very passable impression, gliding along in her black shiny neoprene.
On the way down to the beach I had seen a small Border Terrier on the village green without an owner. He looked quite happy, sniffing about and weeing on everyone's front gardens and I'd asked a family who were packing up their car if he belonged to them but he didn't, so I assumed he had been sent out to do exactly what he was doing by someone staying in one of the holiday houses. I'd carried on walking and once I'd reached the dunes I saw another one, this time on a lead with it's owner. As he said 'good morning' I thought it might be worth asking if he had started his walk with 2 dogs, "yes, I did actually" he said totally unperturbed, so I told him there was one having a lovely time on the green and he wandered off in the general direction. I saw his silhouette against the harbour as I came home, this time with 2 leads and 2 dogs. I'm not sure I would have been as relaxed, last night after their walk and their supper Luna and Willow had been round for their weekly visit to The Smiley's garden to scare rabbits and after 2 months of simply succeeding in chasing them into another garden they had actually caught one. The boys were so excited that they had sent the dogs through the gate and gone off to the pub. By the time I got back only Willow was on her bed, panting and puffing, but there was no sign of Luna. I must admit that I did panic because Luna never runs away, being slightly neurotic and clingy. It transpired that she was sitting at the end of the path, by the gate waiting for them to come back from the pub, phew. 
It was a dog themed morning as Alf is due to have a haircut, which is a terrifying thought (for the dog groomer) and The Ellies are off to Pets at Home today to get the first bits and bobs in readiness for Jagger, their new pup, whose arrival is imminent. He's an English Setter, The Ellies have much experience and love of the breed, and he will be joining the throng on the beach in the mornings once he's ready. This will mean we will have a regular canine team of 7:

  1. Jess - Lurcher and The Wise Old Woman of the pack 
  2. Bosco - Labrador and The Original Black Dog, a most gentlemanly old chap, with a liking for left over barbecue charcoal and other beach combings
  3. Luna - Lurcher, neurotic and pampered pooch with the "softest fur in the world" according to a small boy
  4. Alf - assorted terrier, blind, partly deaf and terrifyingly in charge regardless
  5. Willow - Lurcher, or mutt, depending on your viewpoint.
  6. Mabel - Parson's Jack Russell, love and bane of DK's life with selective deafness
Here are the Lurchers

More to follow of the other 3

The Pirate is back from his trip to Wales, where he had been visiting relatives and told us about that he had shamed his wife by telling a rude welsh joke, which he repeated for our benefit. I suspect she was not shamed because it was rude but because it was extremely bad. 




Tuesday, 13 August 2013

High Tide03:11 (2.30m)
Low Tide08:55 (0.90m)
High Tide15:22 (2.50m)
Low Tide21:34 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: 17.2
Sea conditions: good
Weather: a very cool breeze, warmer in than out
Joined by: The Usual Suspects but not The Artist - see below
Topics of conversation:
The Artist had been jellyfished yesterday and was not with us through fear of further discomfort. It's true to say that the pesky critters hang about in the shallow water near to the shore, where it's safe and warm and sociable, which is exactly what The Artist sensibly does - hence her having been bothered by them more than the rest of us. Whilst Sara is usually protected by her various levels of wet suit, The Poet, DK and The Pirate always set out away from the shore pretty smartish and The LE, Vicars wife and I tend to motor up and down, just in our depth, where we are usually safe. In fact the only time I've been jellyfished was whilst I was hanging in the shallows chatting. If you are reading this Artist, we missed you! 
Made up verbs, such as jellyfished - We got round to talking about swaddling as a result of a friend's kids taking over my beach hut and turning it into a nursery, where they used turkish towels to swaddle imaginary babies in the hammock (I thought the towels were lost till I went to get into the hammock and had a bit of a shock). There was much debate about whether the mother swaddles the baby or the baby is reflexively swaddled and, as is often the case, by the time we'd finished discussing it the word began to sound ridiculous and reminded The Pirate of an inscription he'd seen from John 1:14 where the translation read "..the word was made flesh and tablernacled among us..." rather than "...dwelt among us...", there are other translations here: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-1-14/
He began to come up with other uses for the verb to tabernacle, not all of which are repeatable. The LE remembered how sea otters wrap themselves up in seaweed like swaddling and The Poet told us about a terrifying experience off the South African coast when he suddenly found himself swimming through a large area of kelp, which was flowing with the current and how he'd struggled to get free, something we could all imagine and that The LE suggested would be on the mind of a brave soul whose daily swims will bring challenges of all sorts at the moment. Endurance Adventurer Sean Conway, who recently discovered the highs of cold water swimming is currently swimming the length of Britain and his progress can be followed here: http://www.swimmingbritain.co.uk
Sean says:


"The most popular question I get asked is:

“SEAN, WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO SWIM THE LENGTH OF BRITAIN?”

After 116 days of trying to cycle around the planet as fast as I possibly could – which was by far the hardest thing I had ever done – I was hungry for a new challenge. I wanted to push the bar up. I wanted to challenge myself again. It’s my oxygen. I’ve realised I am good at being hungry, tired, wet and cold. At the same time my mate Dave Cornthwaite was swimming 1000 miles down the Missouri river. I also wanted to do something in Britain and at the time I was writing my Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle book. It was then I thought about swimming Britain but assumed it must of been done loads before considering it’s such an iconic route. I then found out that it had never been done before. No one has ever even attempted it. This made me really nervous so I asked my swimming friends about it. They too thought it must have been done and when they found out it hadn’t were very jealous that they hadn’t thought of it first. It was definitely doable. That’s when the spark was lit and a real excitement for the challenge started to glow.
Another HUGE part of choosing challenges is to do things that I never thought I could to. Before I decided to go for the record for round the world cycling I couldn’t do more than 30 miles without taking the train home. And this challenge is no different. I’m no swimmer. I can swim enough not to drown but my last proper swim was a mile across a lake when I was 12. Throughout my entire twenties I did a combined distance of 3 miles – and half of that was fetching wayward frisbees on Brighton beach. I am a firm believer of Thinking Big. If you think big, people take you more seriously and things tend to work out for the better. This said, Swimming Britain is the biggest thing I have ever conjured up in my wildly over imaginative brain and I am so glad I went through with it because it’s looking like it’s going to be one hell of an adventure."

You can sponsor him here: http://www.justgiving.com/SwimmingBritain

More meteoric star gazing chat - The Ellies and I had seen wonderful displays last night. It had been very clear and very active, which had probably been one of the reasons for the sudden drop in sea temperature and whilst I'd not been very organised and got a cricked neck The Ellies had found their new zero gravity sun loungers very useful at 2.30am. I'll have a look tonight again and steal my Mother's. We talked about the romance of lying in wait for them in the cold of the night and I recalled a night in Northern Scandinavia when the sled team lay on their backs in the middle of a frozen river making snow angels and calling out something that sounded like 'likke, likke, likke' on the recommendation of our sami host, who told us it would bring out the aurora borealis. There again he also told us to scare away bears with our bare bottoms, so it could have been that the aquavit made us gullible.
Double whammy

Monday, 12 August 2013

High Tide02:31 (2.40m)
Low Tide08:14 (0.80m)
High Tide14:40 (2.60m)
Low Tide20:53 (0.60m)
Sea temperature: 18.1/18.2
Sea conditions: good
Weather: A real chill in the air "Autumnal" has been DK's word of the week.
Joined by: The Usual Suspects
Topics of conversation:
There's been a bit of a hiatus, a kind of blogger's holiday as I've been on a break of sorts as well as on a TM course, so whilst I have been swimming most of the time I've not had the time nor the inclination to sit at my computer for any length of time. This week is back to normal, or as normal as life gets during these weeks of transition, so blog service will resume.
The LE and I had had a discussion about the Perseids meteor shower yesterday and so had both been out stargazing last night, neither with any luck, but she had definitely put in more effort. They had set their alarm and driven down to the harbour at 3am whilst I'd just put blankets out on the concrete deck, which had retained the heat of the day and was rather comfy. For once I'd managed to persuade Mertz to join me by getting settled with the dogs outside. He missed them... Ironically he was the only one who saw anything - a decent meteor with a great trail. Apparently it's worth looking again tonight as it will be even more obvious but further to the west. My Star Walk app had been really useful for locating the right spot and as the others arrived on the beach we were busy doing a virtual star gaze. Sara was amused that I "would believe anything" but she did get a little hooked once she saw that it was aligned with reality, and wondered how I'd found it. I don't think she's realised what a geek I am.




The Poet arrived with a large container of engine oil under his arm, which he proffered in my direction. He has recently sold his family MG and was about to throw away the container as it's for old petrol engines and they only have new diesel ones left when he remembered my beloved old Landrover. She's due for an MOT next week so I have all fingers and toes crossed as I've done all the work I can on her but I'm not up to suspension work and there is a slight chance that the springs won't make it through this time. We discussed the joy old cars can bring, if you don't find yourself either in constant fear that you might push it too far or in a constant state of mechanic. I've had a brief window of neither of these and The Poet said it showed on my face as I drove past him at speed the other day in the old girl. It will be a sad day when 'the decision' has to be made, she's been in the family for 40 years.
Oscar Redding, actor, screenwriter and director - Sara and The Poet had discovered that a friend of the family's son is currently playing Sarge in Top of the Lake, which a few of us are watching at the moment. He's a truly nasty character and his father had clearly pointed out that Oscar isn't, when they'd seen him this weekend. 
He's got one of those faces that lends itself to slightly unsettling, misunderstood or just nasty roles that have you feeling sorry for him. 
There was much talk this morning about DK's new purchase, a dog basket with a difference that attaches to the front of his bike. He'd tried it out with Mabel this morning for the first time and if she had feathers they would have been well and truly ruffled. As we left she began to look wary and by the time we jemmied her little legs into the basket she wouldn't even eat a biscuit as a treat for being a good girl. Hopefully she will get used to it....




Saturday, 3 August 2013

Low Tide02:44 (1.00m)
High Tide09:17 (2.30m)
Low Tide15:18 (0.90m)
High Tide22:00 (2.20m)
Sea temperature: 19.4
Sea conditions: choppy - with jellyfish 
Weather: sunny and blustery
Joined by: The Usual Suspects
Oh, SUMMERhouse, I thought you said DOGhouse
Topics of conversation: today the chat went on for longer than usual as it was the grand summerhouse warming, or it could be the grand summer housewarming I suppose, but ostensibly it was to toast the new and magnificent edifice now taking up a few square feet of The L.E.'s garden. It's a thing of beauty, cedar tiled roof, lead light windows and a comfy sofa spread across the back, which very quickly had a lurcher spread across it. She can find a sofa in any house and worm her way onto it without anyone noticing, then feign sleep so that no one has the heart to move her. 
The Ellies (plural of L.E. of course) have almost finished their house, which has been completely and lovingly remodelled in a contemporary Arts and Crafts style, bringing the influences from their previous life, living on the river, to mingle with the sea here on the Suffolk Coast. If this were a blog about interiors I'd be happy rabbiting on about the perfect proportions of the rooms, sensitive colour palette, practical kitchen/dining/living space and the quirky elements which hint at their lives in Light Entertainment. The most delightful of these is an enormous interior stained glass window, which throws coloured light into the main living space and has been modelled on Thalia, the muse of Comedy. It could not be more perfect for the space, and indeed the family. We had gallons of coffee and The Ellies had pre-ordered the gourmet bacon rolls from The Black Dog Deli, complete with ketchup and brown sauce in separate pots. It's back to bog standard bacon butties at the beach hut tomorrow though.
Juicing - as a result of a juicing fiasco yesterday I was starving, so the bacon roll was much needed. Mertz and I had decided to start the day with a healthy juice, something we do regularly but never in these proportions. We had foolishly had a decent sized glass each of beetroot and swiss chard, juiced straight from the garden on empty stomachs and had been knocked out by it, and not in a good way. Nausea, dizziness and even slight hallucinations for Mertz had left us incapacitated for about 2 hours. I had to lie down and close my eyes for fear of falling over. Apparently, we later discovered from this site: Juicing book, you have to work yourself up to such a high dose of oxalic acid and one blogger even reported having a celebration on the first day after a week of swiss chard juice when she didn't throw up. All I'd eaten for the rest of the day was toast and chocolate chip cookies.
The chocolate chip cookies were supposed to be for today. I'd baked a few batches for a fundraising event, in aid of a dog rescue centre Scruples: http://www.scrupleswhippetrescue.com. At the same time I'd baked dog treats, which were tested by all the dogs on the beach this morning; liver muffins and chewy liver leather seemed to get the seal of approval, I'd had to remember to keep the bowls and mixers separate during the cooking process and had been watched, throughout, by the aforementioned lurcher. 
Liver muffin mix on the right - eeuw
Mertz has lost his sense of smell again, poor thing, and he came into the kitchen just as I was taking the second batch of muffins out of the oven - he went to grab one, but I just got to him in time. They wouldn't have done him any harm, but as they don't have an chilli in them he probably wouldn't have liked them much.
Pride in your children - there was much pride this week as Miss Lush is featuring in the local glossie: Suffolk Magazine, whilst she's not new to the circuit, being a successful writer and journalist, it's lovely that's she's currently on most of the coffee tables in the village, actually sorry Miss Lush, that came out all wrong...!  Also Sara and the Poet's son 'Murmur' is with Wara - a band whose album had been reviewed in The Guardian yesterday: London has become one of the great centres for global fusion bands, as was shown by Family Atlantica's rousing clash of Venezuelan and West African styles at Womad. Wara have a similar approach, though the emphasis here is more on Cuban dance music, given a London remix with a dash of hip-hop, jazz and reggae added in. This nine-piece band are Londoners who come from Cuba, South America, Ghana, Congo, Spain and the UK, and their songs switch between balladry and bursts of Cuban timba. There are cool, drifting vocals from Congolese-Argentinean singer Juanita Euka and rapping from Josh "Murmur" Solnick, with lyrics about the realities of immigrant London life. Then they suddenly change the mood and pace mid-song, the brass kicks in, and they head out for the dancefloor.
Beards - The Pirate's is magnificent and, we informed him, currently very much the fashion. This wonderful photographic blog is attempting to capture the moment and now that it's a year old and has a cult following the book is available: 100 beards, 100 days 
The Pirate's beard should have featured.