Sunday, 22 September 2013

Life on the ocean wave


Or Frampton-on-Severn lake to be more precise.  One of the local sailing clubs had an open day yesterday, with the opportunity to be taken out on a boat.  Remembering the family motto, "If it's free, it's for me", we saddled up and headed for the water.


The top picture is the big boys in their boat.  Me and the littlest man went in a smaller one together.  I tried to ignore the four inches of water in the bottom that was slopping about and getting our feet wet.  Everyone had an experienced sailor to take them out, but once we hit our stride we were allowed to pull on ropes and steer a bit, much to the boys' delight.  The littlest boy had huge fun making the boat go all over the place.  I was trying to control him and keep my feet out of the water and duck when the boom went over and not get my hair tangled up in it and not to slide about too much when the whole thing tipped alarmingly to one side.  The boys did the leaning out over the edge thing as well and somehow managed not to fall in.  I took my little point-and-shoot camera and almost lost it when I climbed out and it fell onto the pontoon.  Thank goodness it didn't fall between the boat and dry land and into the water.

The boys wanted another go, so I took all three of them out in another boat.  The sailors were friendly and informative, and happy to let us have a go at driving.  There were lots of children sailing by themselves in little boats, and we saw several people we knew from the boys' school.  All in all it was a wonderful afternoon; something different to do, somewhere different to visit - we didn't even know the lake existed - and a great new experience.  I'm so grateful that people put in the time and effort to make events like this such a success.



On Friday I made a quick trip to the allotment to see if there was anything to harvest.  Once I was there, and the squeaky gate was closed, it felt, as it often does, like a whole other world.  The sun came out and the bees were everywhere collecting nectar to see them through the winter.


For various reasons I felt very pensive, and I spent longer than I should have just pottering around, looking, thinking and taking a few pictures with my little camera, which is often the only one I take to the plot.  Change is hard.  Loss is hard.  But just as I had news of a death (not someone I knew particularly well, but enough to make me stop and draw breath), I had news of a friend's pregnancy as well.  The flowers were still blooming.  The bees were still buzzing.  And they will, on and on, year after year.  At a glance everything looked the same.  I took a deep breath and snapped out of it.  Finding the joy in every day is the key I think.



There are still things to harvest.


The crystal lemon cucumbers (top right, under the little yellow courgette) have been incredibly prolific.  I did think I might not grow them again because they're not hugely convenient to use, but in fact maybe I will, just because of the sheer volume of the crop.

The Amazing Courgette plant is still producing courgettes, although more slowly now.


You can see that it's escaped for the plot and is headed off across the grass now.  I saw courgettes trained vertically up canes on another plot.  They were incredibly neat had lots of air and light around them.  Elsewhere I have more chillies than I really know what to do with.  This was a 99p plant I got from Aldi a few weeks ago.  It was already a good size and covered with flowers and fruitlets.  Aldi always let their plants dry out - I'm not sure why, but no-one ever waters them, so they go past their prime very quickly and then they're reduced.  The chilli recovered beautifully, but two tomatoes I also bought at the same time never really recovered.



We're off out somewhere this afternoon, to make the most of the warm weather.  It's the Autumn Equinox today, the tipping point as the nights start to become longer than the days.  But the forecast is for a warm bright day, so I will be making the most of everything.  We will do some football and a birthday party this morning, and go out and enjoy each other's company after lunch.  As my friend would say, happy days.  Hope you have one too.

36 comments:

  1. Your post has really struck a chord with me today, CJ. I find great solace in the garden or out and about surrounded by nature when I feel low or out of sorts. Loss can be hard, for many reasons. My mother in law died two years ago this month. She loved walking the footpaths of Cornwall, and I always think of her when I am out and about stomping those same paths. She was an incredible woman, and we miss her everyday. But life goes on, and she would want us to live it to the full.

    Take care of yourself. I love the picture of the rose.

    Leanne xx

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    1. How sad that you have all lost someone you clearly loved very much. She does sound lovely. You are right that there is great solace in nature. I always feel better after a walk in the countryside.

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  2. sailing! that looks fun. I only did it once and was totally terrible at it, but I'm sure my boys would have loved it too..

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    1. I'm sure they would, it is just the sort of thing boys enjoy.

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  3. I've never been one for messing about on boats but it's good to see that the boys enjoyed themselves.
    Some nice reflective thoughts when on the allotment, and a good harvest. I do like the cosmos!
    Have a good day, it's dull and drizzly here so I'll be spending some of it sofa flying. Flighty xx

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    1. Sofa flying sounds blissful. Just right for a gloomy day. I'm thinking I will try and fit in some sofa time tomorrow. It's one of my favourite places.

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  4. What a great day out, I'm not a lover of water really, but my lot would have loved that. I can't believe the amount of Crystal Lemon cucumbers I've had off one plant this year, it's such a shame I'm not keen on them. Sorry to hear about the news of a death, it's always hard to take even if you don't know the person very well.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Jo. The Crystal Lemons really are prolific aren't they.

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  5. You had me quaking at your description of being in the boat. I was happy to take refuge on dry land, in your allotment!
    I hope you have a good day x

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    1. I'm more of a landlubber too, truth be told.

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  6. Oh no - I wouldn't get on those boats even if you paid me! I'm a landlubber through and through. Glad you finished with allotment photos to calm me down!

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    1. Don't read my next post then...

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  7. Oh wow I've never been sailing in my life! What an amazing thing to do with kids! Your allotment looks gorgeous and I do love when people capture pictures of bees...
    Have a wonderful autumn and up coming week,
    Tammy x

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    1. Thanks Tammy. I love bee pictures as well. Anything bee in fact. Hope you have a wonderful autumn too.

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  8. I wonder whether my nephews were out sailing I'm not sure of the name of their club but they live in your neck of the woods by the sound of it, and they sail avidly.

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    1. There's quite a bit of sailing around here, with the river as well as this lake. Glad they enjoy it, it's a good pastime I think.

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  9. Lovely post, CJ. I know what you mean about the healing and solace of gardening. I'm sorry to hear about the death. I just learned today about a friend's pregnancy, and another friend should be having her baby this week. I appreciated the good news so much.

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    1. How lovely. It's always such a happy thing, and a bit of a miracle each and every time.

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  10. Wonderful day out! I really miss sailing and being by the sea where I lived all my life until I came to London. As soon as there's a bright day with a stiff breeze, I still want to be out on the water! Friday was great here too. I'd popped up to the college's 30 acres of gardens to do some sketching but spent most of the time meandering and photographing bees! Hundreds of them buzzing around ... I suppose it's their last hurrah before the winter sets in!

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    1. Thirty acres of gardens - how wonderful. That sounds like a really amazing day, just pottering and taking pictures. Glad you had such a good time.

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  11. I tried to learn to sail when I was small but ended up in the water more than out! Still I do like it, maybe I should try again now I'm big ;) I'm glad you and the boys had a good day.

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    1. You should definitely give it a go, I'm sure grown-ups don't fall in nearly as much!

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  12. The sailing sounds wonderful! How great it was free and they let you steer yourselves. I wish we were closer to the water. We took a sailing class a few years ago, but it was just on dry land, and we never got in a boat:) Next time, though. I think you're completely right that life is about finding the joy in the every day and valuing the relationships we've made. Hope you have a wonderful day, CJ!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Kari, hope you have a really good day too.

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  13. I'd love to learn to sail, but maybe on a lake not the open ocean where we live at the moment.

    Happy Autumn,

    Nina x

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    1. Yes, it's got to be easier without waves I think! And less chance of seasickness I'm sure. A happy autumn to you too Nina.

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  14. Although I love looking at water I've no real desire to be on it - but I did enjoy reading about your experience of the sailing open day. What a terrific event for the boys.
    The flowers are lovely and the veg look great; I'm glad your allotment sounds such a peaceful place.

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    1. You're not alone in not wanting to be out on the water! Thank you for your sweet comments.

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  15. That afternoon on the water looked like a lot of fun. I grew up near the sea and my dad is a very keen sailor, and so most summer weekends were spent sailing throughout my childhood, which of course I totally took for granted. What a great experience for your boys. x

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    1. How wonderful to have done so much sailing when you were little, lucky you!

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  16. I have a friend with a little sailing boat but after an incident with a boom I tend to steer clear. Great fun for boys though, messing about in boats!

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    1. I know what you mean about those pesky booms. I tangled with them more than once. But yes, you are right, it's perfect for small boys.

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  17. The boys must be so grateful to have a mom that takes them on such cool advertures. Also, thanks for sharing the peace you find in your garden.

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    1. Thank you Devon for saying such a nice thing about cool adventures. I think I need to work on my garden a bit and see if I can make it more of a sanctuary.

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  18. I did the training up canes with my courgettes last year - trouble is, I underestimated the size of canes needed, they all ended up snapping and causing an even worse mess.... What do those crystal lemon cucumbers taste like ? Is there a huge difference between them and the cucumber as we know it ?

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    1. What a shame. Something similar happened to the tomatoes at my allotment, because I used old bamboo canes that had been stored outside and were very brittle. Crystal Lemons don't taste hugely different to any other cucumber - in fact they are fairly bland. They do have quite a lots of seeds, and are slightly fiddlier to prepare. But we have happily eaten dozens, and everyone likes them well enough. I would grow them again purely because they are so very prolific.

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