early one morning travel

Foggy start

Looking out of the cottage first floor window at the line of fishing boats tied up next to each other in Killybegs harbour. Ireland’s premier fishing port and we are smack bang in the middle of it. 

They are wonderful looking boats. The nearest is Pacelli D383. Most people here are associated with the fishing industry one way or another. Times are not great since they were forced to give up some quota post brexshit. UK waters. Mackerel don’t recognise territoriality 🙂

Bright lights are still on around the quayside as it is very foggy, a fact that was drawn to my attention by the foghorn blasting out periodically. Presumably from a nearby lighthouse.

John has gone off surfing with Toby and Lils. 7am start. They are welcome to it. A hardy bunch. John does not have a wetsuit which he may find out to be an issue. We will know soon enough.

Everyone knows everyone here. Was in the Harbour Inn early doors yesterday chatting to an O’Rourke from Leitrim. Mam was an O’Rourke from Leitrim. Spent the night with the extended family: Fidelma, Dearbhla, Rory, Lachlan, Cathy, Claire  et al. Tara Hotel and The Fleet.

Today’s entertainment is a boat trip to the cliffs of Slieve League. Hoping the fog will have lifted. The forecast is good and the fog should burn off. Light winds also which is obvs desirable when going on a long sea journey. 3 hours apaz. Right now the fog does seem to be getting heavier though!

There are signs of life in the cottage. Noises from a downstairs bathroom. I am in the kitchen. A good orientation and hence the view.

I have breakfast options this morning. Sausage sandwich or bacon sandwich. The sausages are Irish recipe and I am tempted. The bacon is just the rubbish you get in supermarkets. Ditto the sausages really but I do have a soft spot for ‘Irish recipe’ as mam used to sometimes serve them up when we were kids. 

Two sandwiches are an option but I do need to pace myself. This trip is a marathon not a sprint. I’l mull it over. No rush. It is a Saturday morning in Killybegs and most non surfers are still snuggled up in bed.

I can see a scenario where a stroll around the corner to buy a paper might be in order. Fishing Times or similar. If they sell it anywhere it will be in Killybegs.

We are joining the boat at one pm this afternoon from a spot in front of the Ahoy Cafe. A goodly emporium if you are looking for bodily sustenance before a long voyage. Or anytime you are hungry I suppose. Had breakfast there with Rory a couple of trips back.

Then just along from there is the ship’s chandlers. A truly wonderful aladdin’s cave selling every kind of cleat, block and tackle and rope going. I love that kind of stuff and have to restrain myself from buying any. Don’t really need it although it would of course look great in the shed. If there was any room which there isn’t. I guess a block and tackle would be perfectly positioned hanging outside under the overhang at the front of the shed. Hmm. I still regret not buying the spitfire squadron scramble bell from Hemswell Antique Centre a few years back. It was a bit on the big side and I already have a bell, albeit a ship’s bell. Keep meaning to go back and see if they still have it.

THG is now up and a second cup of tea has appeared. For the record I made the first, for both of us. I just opted to drink mine in the kitchen where, as you know, I was able to look out over the harbour, were it not blanketed in fog.


a state of ecstasy

Long old drive today. Two hundred and ten miles or so. Boring motorway most of the way. Arrived at the Gazelle and have a room with a wonderful view. Menai Straits and Bangor Pier. To the right in the distance is the Menai Suspension Bridge. To the left Beaumaris.

Quite a self contained spot here. Once you’ve arrived you have the pub, the view and nothing else. It is fine. We finished dinner quite early and are now listening to Sheffield United versus the Red Imps on the wireless. Crap connectivity.

It must be said I am sat outside the Gazelle in a state of ecstasy. The Menai Straits  have the gentlest of ripples on an otherwise flat surface. Birdsong surrounds me. Over the water Bangor Pier stands serene, still, with small flocks and individual sea birds flying across its reflection.

Bangor itself is hidden behind the hill, on top of which is the old university building. Green and red triangles mark the route to the ancient slipway in front of the hotel and there is a hollow red diamond near the landside end.

Two different coloured bands of seaweed line the pebbled shore, the lighter nearer the water. To the right, in the distance, stands Telford’s famous suspension bridge. Still in operation today we drove across it en route to our destination for the night. A row of white painted cottages lines the shore opposite.

This is a perfect place to spend time before breakfast. I had to open the front door and let myself out. As I write I have just spotted movement on the pier and zooming in with my camera I can see a light in the cafe with someone inside busying themselves with preparations for the day.

When in this part of the world we normally stay in the Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon but as we are catching the ferry to Dublin today we thought it made more sense to stop at the Gazelle which represents a shorter drive to the port. Wow what a result.

The pub itself was full of families having dinner but the restaurant section was pleasant with great views out over the water. We had a couple of drinks, ate our food and whilst the sun began to set retired upstairs to listen to the Imps beat Sheffield United on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

All in all a great start to our trip.

early one morning

the blink of an eye

My right eye blinked open. I could see the time was 5.25. a m. The left eye was buried in the pillow. Awake I contemplated getting out of bed. Should I leave my comfortable spot and get up and do something? It wasn’t even my turn to make the tea. I don’t mind that. Taking extra turns 🙂

Dawn is with us, accompanied by her avian chorus. Welcome to the day.

A busy morning ahead. No rush, for anything. I see snail trails on the patio. We need a pet hedgehog. Wouldn’t need to feed it. Just let it live in the garden and eat slugs and snails. I say this every year but have never got around to building a hedgehog house.

Twilight in the garden. Minimal lighting in the shed. My Lagunitas IPA sign and a couple of handmade lamps from Prendinas. Marseterchef on in the TV room. Silence.

It’s been a busy day. Tomorrow morning the house will be a hive of activity as we load up the car for our trip. All the paperwork has been printed out. Car valeted. Haircut had.

The haircut is a story in itself. I went to Antonios as it is easy to park in Tesco and wander around the corner onto Wragby Road. There are two barbers in residence: Antonio and Alfio, or similar. Antonio is very quick and chatty. Alfio is extremely slow with no conversation whatsoever. 

I arrived at the barbers and there was one guy in front of me in the queue. The two As were clipping away. Then Antonio finished and the next bloke went and sat in the chair. Oh no I thought. I’m going to be stuck with slow Alfio. Fortunately Alfio was so slow and Antonio so quick that the latter had finished the next punter before Alfio’s chair became vacant.

Phew. I strode up and sat in the vacant chair in front of Antonio as soon as it was empty. Yanow the haircut is nothing special but it is number two back and sides with a trim off the top. All I need. All I ask is that I can’t grab the hair at the back of my neck. It will last me a couple of months. £12. No problemo.


warm in the conservatory

My goodness it is warm in the conservatory. I’ve opened the door and moved to the shaded side. Shouldn’t complain really. It’s been such a poor summer weatherwise. 

It is still early. A cup of tea is at my side and once I’m ready for the day and THG has departed for church I mean to roll my sleeves up and get some jobs done. The rolling up of the sleeve will only be metaphoric as I will undoubtedly be sporting a t- shirt of some description. Not sure which one yet as most of my faves are already packed in my big yellow duffel bag in readiness for our forthcoming trip. 

Ditto my Hawaiian shirts. All my Tommy Bahama collection except the Christmassy one plus the made to measure jobs modelled on TB. Hardly worn them this summer. I’m sure they will come in handy in France.

Our first stop is going to be Ireland however. Dublin and Donegal. Killybegs to be precise. If you’ve never been it is a wonderful place to visit.

So in the meantime the last three days in Lincoln are all about getting ready to go which, in THG’s mind means getting the jobs done. Fair enough 🙂It includes putting away most of the camping gear I brought back from the Eisteddfod. It’s been sat in the living room for two weeks pending me deciding what to take with me on the trip. 

The tent etc is going to be there for emergencies once TGH has flown home. “We” wont be staying in it which is fair enough. There comes a time when comfort and luxury takes precedence over the great outdoors and camping. I’ll still be in France for a couple of weeks with the lads once the sheilas have left and will be prepared for any eventuality.

It won’t be a totally work free trip. That’s the benefit, I suppose, of internet everywhere. I have a number of conf calls lined up. You might say “hey Tref you have to be able to switch off sometime”and you would be right were it not for the fact that this is going to be a seven week trip. The wheels of industry will still need oiling. 🙂

I’ll be taking a jumper to Ireland. Just in case. And a raincoat. We have to be realistic here. WIll hopefully not be needed. Much of the time will be spent getting wet on the inside anyway.

Gotta go. Passports to dig out…

Jobs done, and more, mostly. Still a bit of wire to attach to the side fence in the garden but precipitation has started.


damp Thursday

‘Tis a damp Thursday in August. Veering towards the end of August. 24th. Parents will be starting to think about offloading their offspring back into the education system, some for the first time. Mixed emotions. A sigh of relief for most. Tense excitement for newbies.

Dampness is par for the course. I’m just glad I was able to get the shed sprayed yesterday. All is well in the jardin des Davies.

The roof of the shed is under continuous bombardment with acorns from the holm oak above. This will continue well into the autumn. Keeps the squirrel population going, unfortunately. I daresay squirrels serve a useful purpose in the food chain/ecosystem. The bombardment is more bemusing than a nuisance.

At eleven forty four I’m thinking of life, the universe and lunch. I also need to pop into town to go to the bank. Bit of a nuisance but sometimes it’s the only way to get some stuff done.

The dampness fled for friendlier parts. I am now sat in ‘t shed with doors wide open. Quite a bit of traffic noise, mitigated to some extent by some calming classical music toons emanating from my speakers. I sense it will soon be time to change the mood to upbeat.

Spent some time sorting out the rugby tickets for Nice. We will be there for a week, taking in Wales v Portugal and Italy v Uruguay together with immersion in some Cote d’Azur culture. Vin, pain et Picasso. That sort of thing.

The games we are seeing are scheduled at a very respectable five forty five pm. This means a leisurely lunch easing into the time we need to set off for the stadium. Not totes worked out the logistics yet but sure it will be fine. 

In an ideal world we would grab a cab back to the campsite but suspect that is a bit pie in the sky with tens of thousands of punters leaving the stadium at the same time. Probs want a few sherbs before heading back anyway.


I do 35

It was 35 years ago today,

THG said I do, yay yay,

Still together as a team, fair play,

What a wonderful day, wonderful day.


Breakfast in Bebington

Breakfast in Bebington. A groundbreaking novella not modelled on anything written by Truman Capote. The patio doors are open. The rain has stopped. The deluge. Forty days and forty nights. Unprecedented(?) 

After the rain the planet comes back to life. People emerge from their shelters,  blinking eyes in unfamiliar sunlight. A dove appears in the garden picking up twigs, presumably to repair its nest.

Last night Wales, Ireland and Scotland won their respective world cup warm up matches and we royally dined out in The Refreshment Rooms. I had chicken liver pate followed by ham, egg and chips. The pate was very nice, fair play. Home made. It came in a small ramekin covered with a layer of fat. Could have done with less fat and more pate. I managed. Simple fare.

Today we are off to Chester on the train. Merseyrail. Meeting Barbara and George for lunch. Tapas. I daresay we may stroll to the Rose and Crown this evening. Sample the best that Bebington has to offer. If you are in the area, swing by.



We are off on our travels again today. The Wirral, The Eisteddfod and The Isle of Man. It is chucking it down here but fortunately I don’t have to pitch the tent until Tuesday afternoon. The forecast for Nefyn on Tuesday morning is also wet! If it really comes to the crunch I can kip in the Defender 🙂

We don’t need to set off before lunchtime as we can’t get in to the AirBnB until after three and are already mostly packed so no rush for anything this morning. We are even plugging the cool box in to a 12v socket en route. How organised is that?

Arrived at the AirBnB at 3pm. Uneventful journey ably assisted by Waze which took us around what seemed to be huge congestion on the M60/62 near Manchester, fair play. I have Waze on even when I know where I am going, purely for this eventuality.

Lovely cottage and an internet connected telly that has the Amazon Prime app. Logged on to watch the rugby. Mustn’t forget to remove the TV from my account when we leave.

Headed to the Refreshment Rooms in Rock Ferry tonight with cousin Jeff and Glenys. Booked it last time we were over when we went in there for a cawfee. Have to book well in advance, apaz. Rock Ferry is a dump but you can tell from the size of the houses lining the riverfront that it was once v posh. Had a gated community with guards to keep out the hoi polloi. Riff raff. Undesirables. You know the type 🙂

The riverfront at Rock Ferry is what you would call post industrial. Relics of Liverpool’s past as one of the world’s great ports. We won’t go into what trade it was built on. 

The White Star Line was based here. The offices have distinctive red and white bands in the brickwork and the sinking of the Titanic was announced to the assembled masses from a first floor window. Long time ago now.

We do love coming over to Liverpool. Drop me a line if you are here and fancy a cawfee, or an elderflower cordial or simlar. You would have to give me some notice re the latter. It is extremely unlikely we have any in.

The biggest question of the day is when to crack open a tinnie. They have left us some lager in the fridge.The only issue is that it is Carling which is one of my least favourite lagers in the whole world. Honestly I can’t understand how anyone drinks the stuff. I’ll probs wait until the Mighty Wales come on for their game against Angleterre. Just getting ready for the Rugby World Cup in France, as you may have noticed. 

You may not have noticed of course. You might be one of those people who switch languages without even realising you’ve done it. Bit like me, clearly.

Back in Lincoln the members of the Shed Appreciation Society are congregating to watch the match in the Prince of Wales. I understand that they do serve Carling there but also Peroni which makes it ok.



Pleasant game of golf

Pleasant game of golf with Jezzer and Ajax yesterday afternoon. Dropped the clubs and cars off at home and met in the Strugglers for a couple of beers before heading to the Castle View curry house round the corner. It was rammed and I’m glad I had the foresight to book. There have been after effects!

This morning it is yet another relaxing start. Got a few errands to run and packing to get on with. Specifically I need to pick my Macbook up from the menders and stop off to buy some steak for tonight’s tea. Expecting my car back today as well but don’t know what time that will be.

I feel that my approach to today will be low stress and casual. Seems like a plan.

After breakfast each day I have a cup of tea and then move operations to the shed. I do this whether I am working or not. It is my space. Peaceful. Right now I’m sat reading and listening to the birds. All moments in life need savouring. Enjoy it while you can.

In keeping with my approach to the day I had a relaxing bath after dinner. Still had some radox bubble bath left. This is unusual for when we are visited by offspring some of them are known to take baths as they only have showers in their london flats. The little darlings normally use up all the bubble bath. Result.

I have a book to finish off. May nod off doing that.


The small trolley table

Goodness me it poureth down in Lincoln. This was foretold. By the good folk at the Meteorological Office. Wherever that is. Near a field of cows somewhere deep in the country. Unless it’s been sold off to foreign investors. You wouldn’t have thought they would sell such a strategic national resource to the Americans. Or the Chinese. The cows are how they decide whether it is going to rain or not.

I quite like it when it rains steadily. Apart from the fact that one of our gutters needs repairing. It’s very relaxant especially when sat in the conservatoire waiting for my tea to brew. Tea to brew, brew to tea, just like that.

Just noticed a snail trail on the mat by the conservatory door. Hmm. Should track it down. Can’t have gone far. Not sure I can be bothered right now. Later.

Still the rain falls. It is set for the morning. Good job the cricket finished on Monday.

The small trolley table in front of me is painted white and grey and has wine and spirit labels pasted to the flat surfaces. Alva Finest Brandy, Walkers Fine Old Cognac, Grand Seal Port, Lemon Gin, Caveau Cognac amongst others. 

These are facsimiles of originals we have that were collected by THG’s dad during his years as a Customs and Excise officer. It is a treasure trove of brands that you never hear about these days. I scanned them all in. No way we would want to stick the originals down.

THG’s dad Keith was a solid chap. He was chairman of his local allotment holders’  committee and at one time ran two separate plots. Sunday dinners at the Websters often involved fresh vegetables from the allotment and their back garden was always a riot of colour during the summer months. He is the source of THG’s horticultural expertise. 

I have no idea how she got to be so good at University Challenge 🙂 Just naturally brainy 😀One of the reasons I married her although I only found out about the University Challenge bit many years into our relationship.

The interior of the shed is brightly lit. Raises the spirits on a dingy wet day. I prefer to have the doors wide open but right now it is jumper weather. Sometimes I’ll stick some classical music on in the shed in the morning. Haven’t today but there is yet time.

Righto that’s the day started. Off to see what the rest of it brings…


two themed day

Two themed day today. Bit of work stuff this morning. Have been writing a very interesting article (obvs) on CLI Authentication and will finish that off. Then this pm I’ve said I will clear the garage out.

Clearing the garage is no small task really. In theory it involves emptying the garage, chucking a few bits and then replacing everything more tidily. Not sure an afternoon is enough but we shall see. Today is the only day the weather will allow me to do it. It’s golf on Thursday, the other non rainy day in the forecast. Also I don’t have my car right now as it is getting a slight scrape to the paintwork addressed so if I need to nip down to B&Q or similar I won’t be able to.

The slight scrape occurred whilst reversing into an impossibly small gateway at our rented cottage in the Isle of Man. Won’t do that again in a hurry, probs, maybs. Off to the IoM again a week on Saturday as foot passengers. The Steam Packet wanted silly money to take the car on Saturday sailing. That’s what you get when dealing with a monopoly. As it happens my dear sister Sue will already be over with her car and can pick us up from the ferry terminal.

We will be travelling light, for once. There is already a kitchen sink in the house in Peel. I quite like the idea. Footloose and fancy free, ish. Not really done that since I was a student. September will be similar except we are taking the Defender to France, with the kitchen sink no doubt, because we can.

Outside the shed it feels autumnal. Plenty of red apples on the tree, runner bean crop in full flow. The blackberry picking has been very successful. They’ve just started to come through and all the rain we have had has resulted in large juicy berries. We will be picking most nights this week, Thursday apart when I’ll be playing golf. The freezer will need filling to get us through the winter. 

Nothing quite like THG’s blackberry and apple crumble with Ambrosia Devon custard. Hot crumble, cold custard. Custard is a dish best served cold. A pudding that brings light to the darkest winter months.

As I clear out the garage I will be picking out my camping gear for next week’s expedition to the Eisteddfod in Pen Llyn. I have booked a caravan pitch with electric hookup at the Cae Mawr campsite. My small Berghaus tent might look a bit incongruous amongst the monstrosities that are caravans but it will do me. We have no spare campervans and in any case it makes a lot more sense to drive over in a luxury Land Rover than in a fifty year old campervan.

The electric hookup will keep my coolbox running, power the phone charger and the teppanyaki grill that I will be using to cook breakfast. Seems right really. My tent is a three man tent which really means it is perfect for one person. The inner is lined in black so that the early sunrise doesn’t wake you up at the wrong time, ie before 9am 🙂Truth be told I am an early riser. 

It’s three pm and I’ve downed tools where the garage is concerned. Much progress made but still more to do. It’s already a lot tidier. I need to stick some more brackets on the walls so that I can hang stuff up out of the way. For example we have three or four spare golf bags and clubs. These do get used very occasionally when the lads are home on holiday so they do want keeping. There’s also a camp bed. Again not often used and so wants sticking out of the way somewhere.

My camping gear is starting to come together. RAB 4 seasons down sleeping back dug out of the cupboard. Essential for the unpredictable wilds of Pwllheli. I figured I might take a flagpole with me as well. Put up my Manx flag (salutes).


moving home

Hannah and George moved into their new home in Chelmsford over the weekend. It’s a major milestone in life. It felt exactly the same as when I moved into my first house on Waldeck Street thirty nine years ago!!

The major difference is that when I moved it all I had was my “stuff” and a double bed and a fridge that had been left in place. H&G had two full transit van loads and two Land Rover Defender with the seats down loads.

Team ‘family’ kicked into action and we got them in. Knackering though especially the two nights on an airbed and the lengthy periods of driving. We went for the airbed option rather than a hotel because we wanted to be in the middle of the action. Was the right thing to do. 

We left them late yesterday afternoon to get on with their lives. V exciting.

This morning, after a good night’s sleep in our own bed, the discomfort of the spare room floor has been forgotten. Coincidentally I will be spending some of next week in a tent in similar conditions. Somehow being in a tent makes all the difference. The main issue tent-wise is the late night/early morning trip to the facilities, especially if it is raining. We are talking North Wales here. I’m hoping my pitch will be next to a hedge but not totes confident. It’s a roll of the dice.

We are due some heat. July has been a washout, mostly. Pretty much normal British summer weather. There is no sign of change. This is far preferable to the forty odd degree temperatures they have been seeing in southern Europe. Why would you go there on holiday? This is where we are bound in September but I’m very sure things will have improved by then. Probs. Praps. Maybs 🙂

Got an email from the Apple dealer whilst we were away. They have ordered parts for my non-charging Macbook Pro. Didn’t say what but unlikely to be cheap. Hooray for my foresight in taking out AppleCare. Will renew it when the cover is up, if they do that sort of thing.

The garden is very green. Hardly a surprise considering my comments on the month of July. Tomato crop, though bountiful, still not ripe. The shallots and onions however might well be lifted this week. I have time at the back end. Looks like a reasonable crop of eating apples. They do still need to grow a bit more which is something out of our control. ‘Cookers’ not as plentiful this season.

The kale crop has been very successful this year. This is all well and good. Whilst I don’t mind greens with my dinner the kale has been very prevalent, entering the menu both at lunchtimes and for evening meals. Reminded me of the second world war where at certain times of the year there would be a glut of particular vegetables. Carrots for example. Different era.

Meanwhile I have to drop the car off at the garage. See ya later.

Having not been able to pay the Dartford Crossing toll over the weekend as their website was down for maintenance (for four days!) I am now in a queue to get onto their site as four days worth of motorists try to pay. The experience has not been great with either the tunnel (massive congestion) and now the website (massive congestion!).

early one morning

pictures, poetry and plays

Up early, before six am, having had a good night’s sleep. The rain has moved on for now after leaving its mark. The front room is still a jumble of odds and ends waiting to be packed into the car for tomorrow’s journey to Hannah and George’s new place. A canteen of cutlery, lampshade, soft furnishings, a wallpaper steamer. Odds and ends.

The conservatory sits still like a painting or photograph. The piano, table and chairs and rocking chair, picture on the wall, plants. Must be the light. Raindrops adorn the glazing. The doors are more than slightly ajar.

I have two bookcases in this room. The one next to the door which we had custom built to fit the space is made of walnut. It holds perhaps four hundred and fifty books on seven shelves. Quite a wide bookcase that is secured to the wall at the top. Would not be good if it toppled over.

The other bookcase is smaller and is built of some African wood perhaps. Don’t recall where we picked it up. It contains mostly poetry and plays.


Six men in a boat

The rain has gone. The gutter on the store room/potting shed needs fixing but that is another story.

There is something quite special about a garden after the rains have gone and the sun begins to shine. I was going to say romantic but I don’t think that’s quite the word. The shed doors are open and a slight breeze moves the seed heads on the grasses near the deck.

In the greenhouse we will today be trimming back the foliage around the tomato plants to encourage growing and ripening of the fruits. Looks like being a good crop after what seemed like a slow start.

Today is a day for getting stuff done as tomorrow is somewhat of a wipeout being the lads boating trip from Burton Waters. Jezzer bought the trip in a charity auction a year ago so we thought we should get it in before the next Burton Club hog roast and the next auction.

The trip starts at 10am and will involve the trading of much nautical banter and the consumption of grog. Suspect they don’t sell grog in Waitrose so we may have to improvise. The biggest issue I foresee is the absence of a refrigerator on the boat. Even if there was one I doubt it would be big enough to hold all the supplies we are likely to be bringing along. 

The last thing you want on a lads boat trip is to run out of supplies. Look out for the movie: six men in a boat. No Montmorency though. Apart from me they are all dog owners and it would be a recipe for disaster if it were six men and five dogs in a boat. I doubt there would still be eleven passengers by the end of the voyage.

There is limited scope for exploring distant horizons on a boat from Burton Waters. Turn right and you get as far as Torksey Lock. I think there might be one pub, maybe two in that direction.

Turning left, sorry to the port side, takes you past Carholme Golf Club and into the City of Lincoln’s great harbour that is the Brayford Wharf. Here you will find a multitude of hostelries eager to sell you refreshment and sustenance that will keep you going for your return journey.

We need to book a cab out but THG has said she can provide transportation back. It is unlikely that the day will finish there. When sailors hit port they like to let their hair down after a long voyage in cramped conditions.

I suspect that, apart from the decision on which pubs to visit, the hardest bit will be to find a volunteer to drive. Personally, despite being the holder of an RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate, I would prefer to sit back and enjoy the journey rather than have to navigate the perils of the Fossdyke Navigation, at 5mph!

I daresay you will hear more of the jaunt at least when you go to see the film and in the meantime I have a Macbook to take to the menders. Ciao…

The rain hath returned. Not quite in biblical proportions but heavy enough to render my trainers, left drying on the conservatory step, unusable for tomorrow. I am sitting in the front room avoiding the television. THG and I could not agree on a mutually acceptable programme.

Instead I am listening to some jazz classics, currently playing Summertime with Ella Fitzgerald and Satchmo.

I am ready for tomorrow’s voyage into the unknown. Suitable clothing laid out: shorts and t shirt and all relevant food and beverage items cooling in the refrigerator. Taxi is booked for oh nine thirty. Prior to departure I have an eight thirty conference call to discuss changes to the website and I need to cook and eat a sausage sandwich. You can’t go on a long sea journey without suitable fortification.

We cast off at ten o’clock shortly after which the sun will officially be over the yardarm. This is a later start than when we are off to the cricket or the rugby. We are clearly approaching the trip with suitable deference to to health and safety, it being a waterborne adventure.

Nobody has any real notion of what lies ahead, none of us having previously been further than the horizon. Will we encounter seaborne Leviathans? Scylla and Charybdis? Dark haired sirens with the body of a fish and hypnotic screams designed to draw us onto the rocks? We must remain strong, resolute, hiding our personal fears and drawing deep on the false confidence induced by navy rum.

Shipmates one and all. Jolly Jack tars. A lifelong bond of friendship that can only be created out of hardship, common experience and being cooped up for six hours on a small pleasure boat on the Fossdyke Navigation. We are prepared for anything that Neptune can throw at us.

I recall earlier this year when walking along a beach on the Yucatan Peninsula in the Caribbean seeing a coconut washed ashore and thinking to myself such is the way that desert islands become a lush green paradise. There was plenty of evidence of palm trees seeded in this way.

This feels very similar to the anticipation now being felt in advance of tomorrow’s great voyage. I will shortly repair early to my hammock for hopefully a good night’s sleep to prepare myself for the journey.

Goodnight to all adventurers out there.


shred of evidence

This morning I’ve been shredding the evidence. Well, just loads of old receipts and snailmail. Also been for a swim, had two conference calls and popped to GoOutdoors to buy some new sandals. Had to order them in as they didn’t have my size. Snorraproblem.

After lunch I will mow the lawn.

The onions are doing very well. I’d say potentially harvestable in the next week or so and certainly before the end of August. Also the blackberry picking season has just got going. THG is a dab hand at blackberry and apple crumble, yum.

Hannah and George have just moved into their new home.

V exciting. I remember the day I took possession of my first house. All it had in it was a double bed and a fridge. It’s all a 22 year old bloke needed really. Somewhere to keep the champagne and somewhere to drink it.

Macbook is booked in for some TLC

Was a bit of a result really. I was pondering whether being two years old it was still under warranty. Upon investigation I discovered that I had the foresight to take out Apple Care at the time of purchase. Were my middle name not Trefor it might be Foresight. 

I realise that many of you will now say there is no such name but I would like to bet that somewhere in the US of A there has in the last few decades been someone born whose parents named him or her Foresight.

Didn’t have my size in stock.

The sandals that is. This will be my third pair of Merrells. They don’t last forever but they are very comfortable and good for walking in. The idea is not to have to use socks all summer. I also need some new flip flops but GoOutdoors stopped selling them. 

Popping into town tomorrow.

When I pop into town tomorrow with my Macbook I’ll swing by Sketchers. My old pair were Sketchers and v good. Bought em in the Sketchers store in San Francisco during Nanog before the world closed down for business for two years.

Didn’t know we had a branch of Sketchers in Lincoln.

This shows you how often I go into town. Hardly ever. I often pick a family member up from down there. There’s a handy spot near the Cheese Society which is a great shop but one I only visit at Christmas whereupon a small fortune is laid out. Difficult to know when to stop when it comes to cheese innit.