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inc. pasttimes, not puzzles or tricks

The hidden treachery of exotic locales


Mike Perham, the dashing British lad, combined the two routes, taking a chance on Panama [with a 50 foot yacht, he wasn't short of cash] but not risking Suez and Aden and opting for the Cape, where the yacht club is a safe haven.

It’s of interest to me, seeing as I’ll be wanting to do some cruising to far off places but we’re moving into a time again, worldwide, when the very notion is fraught. Nowhere is safe, not even the French canals – I’ve read the stories – and as for home waters, nature provides the danger there.

That one at least is worth taking on but less convincing are the treacherous places. I was looking at the two routes around the world which boats take and you have a choice. The clipper route takes you down around the bottom of Africa, under Australia, under South America and back home.…

Of wine and shattered downlighters

Champagne CorkBeen having a strange and rather stressful time of late on several fronts, but that is the nature of things.

The wedding anniversary was at the weekend, and because of the dreaded foot problem, our trip away for a couple of days was cancelled as the thought of doing Long John Silver impressions in a strange land was not to be contemplated.

So we stayed at home, could not get into the only decent restaurant in the vicinity because of leaving the booking too late, well we could have got in but 10 o/c, too old for that, would have fallen asleep in my soup !

So we stayed at home, No 1 cooked an excellent meal, with a little help and I took a bottlee of Champagne out for the occasion.

There had to be a catch, I’m not a great lover of the drink, it has to be very good for me to get excited, but I did have a decent bottle that was overdue to be opened so I fetched from cellar (actually an inspection pit in the garage I converted, clever me).…

The economics of eating out

[The musical offering will be a bit later this evening, at 19:00.]


Tournedos – worth going out for if they’re good

Can’t speak for others but there’s always a fight in my mind, when eating out, between not being tight-fisted and yet refusing to be ripped off.

My father, as a Yorkshireman perhaps, never once took us out for a meal. Better grub at home was his comment and he wasn’t far wrong – I was blessed with a mum who could cook. Plus it wasn’t really the prqctice, except on special occasions.

Education took me out of that milieu and in later years, with my up and down economic status, it all depended on the income and the waitresses at the time. The SEC puts me as an A1 at my peak earning/level of education but I don’t buy that.

To me, an A1 is a Sir Humphrey, investment banker or company CEO, an A2 is an MP to a larger business owner or a public service fatcat.…

A day at the seaside

A female is, after all, just a person like us, sore feet, sniffling with a cold, two arms, two legs, two ears, two eyes – then if that’s so, why can’t we resist taking such into our arms?

In a similar way, this in the pic below was just a time in history, as ours is, with good parts and bad parts. I appreciate our medicines today [but not the big pharma solution].

A time which was

So why does that scene move some of us so much? Taken from Dearieme’s post later, specifically Land of Cotton Blues, is it the seaside? The pier, the chairs set out on the right on that apron, the formality of the dress – I’d adore that dress code again, with ladies and gentlemen strolling along the seaside promenade.

It really transports me, that scene, which is partly why the early 1900s was my field of study and why I’ve tried to combine some of that, particularly shutters over windows with paint detailing, riverboat look or ferry look to the craft.…

Musings from the top deck

Just have to reprint this Dilbert, via haiku:

dilbert projects

Projects behind schedule. Y-e-e-e-e-s-s-s-s.

Frankly, this building project is not one which someone my age and moving into this phase of life should have undertaken.

The issue is not the ability to make it. I was thinking the other day how one rates builders, apart from coming in on time and under budget. And it seemed to me that how close to the measurements was a good rule of thumb.

One of the earliest jobs last late autumn was the bow and my goodness, when it involves curves, I was way out, even by a couple of inches. I’m compensating now and it will turn out OK, heavily disguised by all the other furniture built in but best no one looks [cough] too closely just now.

Other aspects, e.g. the spine of the boat, the sides, the recent gluing and glassing, are not too bad at all.…