On a lighter note, then, here's a bit of an update on the last few weeks to explain the title. The spinnaker-flying bit was up in Galloway, south-west Scotland, where we got to sail with Graham's dad, Geoff, in his new boat (and to celebrate his 80th birthday of course; we hope we'll still be buying new boats when we're 80!).
The estuary of the River Fleet is where Graham learned to sail at the age of 6; traditionalists might point out the wisdom of Geoff learning to sail first before teaching Graham but they sailed, and sometimes swam, together and, 47 years later, they still demonstrate the almost telepathic communication technique that they use when sailing together:
"Do you think..?", says one
"Reckon so", says the other
and, lo, the spinnaker is up and flying!
Other crew on board find this mildly disconcerting.
|Geoff's boat Svala, a Swift Explorer built by Swallow Boats - she boasts carbon fibre masts and water-ballast so her traditional looks hide some very clever design features|
The boat lives on a drying mooring (annual cost £40 a year!!) and in the photo above, Ardwall Isle (after which Maunie of Ardwall is named) is just visible in the distance.
|An at-sea selfie - gorgeous weather but a bit chilly as the sun went down|
|Flying the asymmetric spinnaker|
|Geoff in his element|
|We were delighted to see our old Dart 18 catamaran on the beach; we had some great times with that boat. Looking pretty good in spite of its age (probably about 20 years old)|
|Graham with chainsaw, having felled a huge fir tree that was threatening to push over the summerhouse|
|The fir cleared and a nearby dead apple tree felled and chopped for firewood|
|The bonfire still smouldering - note the burnt leaves in the middle of the photo after the unplanned bushfire|
|Some time-off down at the cricket club (in the rain, of course); it was great to meet up with old friends in the village and to meet some newcomers|
|The wooden support beams for the shower tray were sodden|
|Just like a boat - out with the sealant gun!|
|The repair in progress - new plaster (luckily all the walls are pretty uneven so Graham's rudimentary plastering skills were good enough) and new boxing being made|
|The deck completed|
|The first boxes in place|
|G in his delivery uniform. The car comes with the job, which is a great boon|
|Good job G has been using the gym since we returned home!|
The focus on house re-decorating and ongoing gardening now falls to Dianne, so it looks as though we'll both be pretty busy for a while!