Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Low Tide 03:41 (0.80m)
High Tide 10:11 (2.40m)
Low Tide 16:11 (0.80m)
High Tide 22:29 (2.30m)
Sea temperature: not taken (last time I took it was Monday - 15.2)

Sea conditions: good waves, deep water
Weather: bright and silvery, a strong breeze on the beach
Joined by: The Usual Suspects (apart from DK who is in France working on his memoirs) 
Topics of conversation:
It's not just been my schedule that's been all over the place over the last week with work commitments, late nights and house guests. DK decreed a 7.15 swim time for the main group just before he went away and apparently this lasted only until he went away, when the rest of them decided to revert to 7.30, but didn't tell the occasional swimmers. This has meant that the short stretch of water on our patch has been swum from 6.30, when the first LOTV's take to the water, then The Rev Cannon seems to have persuaded his wife to go slightly later at around 6.45 as  I encountered them leaving as I arrived just before 7. There is then a steady drip feed till around 8, when the final staggers arrive. Over the last 5 days I've been joined by The Inventor, who has been staying with us and recently by The Osteopath, who has gone from full wetsuit to bikini overnight. 
Wetsuits were a topic today too as Sara has kindly leant me a couple of hers to try. I've never won a wetsuit before and I found it very awkward and uncomfortable, especially around the neck. I hadn't realised (foolishly) that wetsuits need to be high and tight around the neck to keep you warm and I have a fair amount of scar tissue in that area from surgery. Not only was it uncomfortable but it was alien, as I haven't even worn a polo neck for years. One of my tasks today is to research wetsuits to see if I can find something that works for me when paddle boarding. There are just so many variables that I'm stuck already.

Jochem Voogt of Novobaots is introducing me to the delights of paddle boarding, a sport which ticks every box for me; you take it at your own pace, you can use it for silent and solitary exploration, wave bashing or even just hanging out in the water, and it's good for core strength. It was Jochem who restored Greylag (previously featured) and I spotted him paddling down river one evening when we were eating fish and chips on her with The Architect. The only problem is that Jochem is not just a boat builder and furniture maker, he's an artist - he's made a beautiful wooden board for himself and now I want one. Having been sent message with a photo from one of my ex-students the week before, showing him paddling with his teacher on a lake in Santa Fe which read "You'd like paddle boarding!" and then seeing this board - I'm hooked. Perhaps the key is for me to see it for what it is, a collaborative work of art, as he's happy for me to be involved in the design, and my height, weight and Landrover create a formula to decide the length and volume of the board.
Jochem on his board (with my house in the background)
Jess had been poorly and had a seizure yesterday evening - she's a 15 year old lurcher, with very long legs, and it had been scary for her and her owners. The vet was very supportive and has even supplied them with Diazepam to be administered as a suppository in case of further attacks, which got us all squirming a bit. She seems well recovered today and had a play with Jagger and a gravy bone and hopefully will continue to feel better.
The Artist and I had had fun after our swim yesterday as she is going to work with an inspirational teacher in July and he has asked her to find photographs of her environment to use. She wanted to work with some of the shots I've taken by the harbour and shoreline so we spent an hour or so going through around 9,000 images on my computer. It was like a game, I skimmed through the events with the images as large thumbnails and she stared at the screen making noises as she saw something that she liked. The noises varied from 'OOOh!' to 'Ahhhhhhhh' or 'nooooope' and then we created a shortlist, which she had to whittle down further. The criteria were: man made structure in the fore or middle ground, clouds or waves, depth of perspective. I'm honoured that she has chosen them.

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