Thursday, 21 June 2018

Close Encounters Of A Bird Kind


Over the last few days birds have been coming up close - real close!  Here's a brave little soul that demanded a share of my bacon ciabatta when I was having breakfast with Calamity Jane  outside a cafe in Charlestown  yesterday.  She, for I know enough about ornithology to identify her as a girlie sparrow,  was not the only one.  A blackbird and a robin too approached within arm's length.  'Hello Esther.' I said to acknowledge the latter.  For I've written before that it's believed that our red breasted friends may be a sign that those who have passed stay with you.   

And that's not all.  Before I go for my run I warm up with a walk around the playing field adjacent to my home.  There, diving swallows swooped, presumably catching insects, within inches of my feet!  What a wonderful and unexpected communion with nature first thing in the morning!


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

An Even Distribution of Work!



I have been reading the book 'Ask and It Is Given' by Esther and Jerry Hicks for a couple of months.  It's a slower read than a novel because I'm giving myself time to digest the content.    As I've said before this is a bit of a odd one.  Esther Hicks describes herself as tapping into infinite intelligence as her words are  "translated from a group of non-physical entities called Abraham."  Even I, who has been immersed in the landscape and culture of alternative Totnes for the last fourteen years, found that hard  to swallow.  After all I did a science degree and am a down to earth Essex girl at heart.

But the teaching seems to make sense so I'm going along with it.  Applying the ideas is making a difference to my life.  The inspiration for appreciating colour out of context, for example, has its roots in this book.  A Christian friend has expressed doubts but I'm holding my ground.  We all have to find our own metaphors for making sense of life.  This is one of mine.

There are a number of exercises described in the back of the book.  I started to do one of them a few days ago.  You're supposed to take a napkin and draw a line to divide it in half but I like most of my writing, even the scrappy kind, to be electronic these days.  Google Keep will do.  On one half you write all the things that you have to do in that day.   Everything else is left to the universe  and written on their side.  Here's my list from yesterday divvy-ed out between me and 'Abraham'.  A fair division of labour don't you think?   I even forgot to buy the stamps and send the passport so that chore rolls over to today!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Back and Forth

I'm back to Cornwall today.  This time it's not so exciting as last week's little jaunt down there.  I'm taking a bit of time off in lieu and to go to Asda Opticians for a late afternoon appointment.   As my nearest branches selling  incredibly reasonably priced specs are in Taunton or St Austell it's a bit of a hike.  But worth it when I can get two pairs of varifocals for  just one hundred and nineteen quid.  The plus side is that I'll stay over with Calamity Jane and have a catch up giggle.  We always seem to cause each other to cry with laughter.

Anyway I thought I'd share a few more photos from last week, mainly from a couple of coast path walks.  There's less boats than yesterday.  I promise!


Let's get the marine craft out of the way.  I took this as I liked the contrast between that vivid blue and the orange rope.


A very different shot.  There's a big shipyard in Falmouth and you can look down and watch all the goings on. A Royal Fleet Auxillary vessel is being tarted up there at the moment.


Going botanical now.  I'm pleased off this shot of globe artichokes growing wild.  I'm pretty proud of this one.  Mind you artichokes are a bugger to eat unless they're prepared for you.  Not worth the effort in my book.


And when I was having a cider on one of our rather frequent pub stops I look up and noticed that the palm tree that I was under was in bloom.


I spotted these footsteps on the path up near Pendennis Castle. Two ladies sitting on a bench told me how there were some in other parts of town.  They mark the beat of PC Andy Hocking who died suddenly in 2015.  He was so well loved in the town that 6,000 turned up for his memorial walk.


Back in town I spied this poster in the same bookstore where I'd queued with Salty Dog a couple of days before.  I'm going to take arty inspiration from the graphics.


And last but not least the beach at Maenporth. Another photo nicked from Salty Dog.  You see that little dot in the distance.  That's me: The first sea swim in 2018.  It was okay once I got used to the temperature and could feel my hands again!

Monday, 18 June 2018

All Robin Knox Johnston-ed Out!


This blogging lark is a mixed bag.  One minute I'm scrapping around for something to write about and find myself talking about ketchup bottles.  And then something really noteworthy comes along.

Fifty years ago this bloke, Robin Knox Johnston, left Falmouth in his yacht Suhaili competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.  He was the only one to finish and became the first person to circumnavigate the globe single handed.  Last week the competitors of the 2018 Golden Globe race, set off from the town heading for the start line at Les Sables D'Olonne on the west coast of France.  I've been there years ago.  It has a lovely food market.  Apparently it is a world renowned yachting centre too.  I didn't know that.  Duh!

Anyway when I asked Salty Dog if she'd like to come away with me in Klaus the Knaus, my aged motorhome, she said that I'd have to tag along whilst she did some work.  'Would that be alright?'  I didn't know what that might involve but agreed.


I started off as Salty Dog's official photographer at a book signing with Sir Robin.   It's a bit different from my normal line of work doing dementia assessments!  'I saw someone really famous today.' I told Louis.  He looked him up on his phone.  'Wow!  he really is.' said my son.  'And he's a Sir!'  He had his first dinghy sailing lesson with his Explorer Scouts yesterday.  Maybe he'll catch the maritime bug too.


We also met Dilip Donde, the first Indian to sail around the world.  I'm borrowing his book when Salty Dog's finished reading it.   See, that nautical buzz rubbed off a little bit.


Then off to look at the Golden Globe competitors.   Here's an arty shot of furled sails. I think that's what it's called when they're all folded up like that.


And another famous boat.  Even I've heard of this one.


This is one of Salty Dog's pictures. This is the guy I want to win the race, Abhilash Tomy, another Indian.  He's so smiley.  He starts the day like me with a bit of meditation.  I stay on dry land to do mine though!


Here we are prancing down the pontoon.  Out of principle I'm not wearing anything remotely nautical.


The next day was really exciting.  The Golden Globe competitors set off for France. To see them off and commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin's achievement there was a Parade of Sails. Salty Dog was legit on the press boat but the person in charge agreed that I could sneak on. 


Here I am on it.  Waterproof courtesy of ethical brand, Thought Clothing and a charity shop jumper.  Not a sniff of Musto.  'Are you from Cornwall Life?'  someone asked me.  Their reporters must have the same hippy dippy look.  Not sure why my hair's so curly these days.   I don't eat many crusts.


Then the fun really started.  We were out among the flotilla alongside the competitors.  I thought that boats are now very colourful to make them look prettier but apparently it's so that they can be found more easily if they need rescuing.  


I think that this is the bloke that got into Les Sables  D'Olonne in first place.  He's Norwegian.  There you go.  A bit of fledgling nautical journalism.  I earned my place on the press boat!


There's that Indian chap again.  Apparently his boat might be one of the slower ones but fingers crossed. Hare, tortoise and all that.    All the boats in the Golden Globe are similar yachts with the same equipment as that available fifty years ago.  


Every man and his dog was out on the water.   Actually there was an exuberant pooch but he moved too fast across his deck to get a good shot.


And in among the big craft was this gung-ho bloke. 


Here's Sir Robin again, one of my many pictures.  There's too many to share without a few eyes glazing over so I'll hold back.   Our skipper was assertive and kept up with the front runners.  We were even told to get out of the way when Sir Robin fired the cannon to start the race!     But this one is special.   One of his regular crew members was on our boat.  I think that's why he was waving so enthusiastically.  



Sunday, 17 June 2018

Micro Motorhome Makeovers.



 I'm back home from  Cornwall but have stuff to do.  So I'll keep today's relatively short and sweet and save telling you all about our adventures until next week.     This is my new kettle in the van bought in the January sales at Sainsburys.  It replaces the perfectly functional but fugly camping kettle.  I'm very pleased with its aesthetics.


And the fact that its handle folds flat so it stows neatly in the cupboard when I drive away. 


I've been fretting over the unsightliness of the bin bag that hangs next to the entrance door.  It's the first thing I see when I wake up.  Not the prettiest sight early in the morning.  So I've repurposed one of the Trader Joe bags that the Second Martha Stewart collects for me.   The rubbish bag is hidden inside and those.  Those beautiful graphics deserve to be on display.