Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Hmmm, now I wonder if we could match that on Friday evening's English Channel crossing?
The plan is to leave the Hamble at around 6pm, aiming to pass the Needles just off the western end of the Isle of Wight at approximately 9pm just before the light fades; and then it’s a straight passage across the busy English Channel to Alderney where we hope to arrive around 8am – 80 miles or so at roughly 5 knots per hour will take us a total of about 16 hours so with fingers crossed for the weather and sea state, I guess we’ll be still all be a little tired when we tie up in the picturesque harbour at Alderney.
The English Channel at night is always a challenge as its one of the busiest shipping areas in the world so everyone will be ‘alert’ and watching the eerie dark shapes of big ships moving this way and that in the darkness! We usually arrange shifts – 2 hours on and 4 hours off depending upon how many crew we have. One guy always on the helm of course and at least one on permanent look-out which is such a critical and important job to do while everyone else tries to sleep below until woken and then immediately get up on deck, blinking and rubbing eyes, ready for their shift.
Although busy, mid-Channel is also a very lonely place especially at night, regardless of the weather and there’s a lone single buoy mid-Channel which looks surreal when you pass it by – it marks the midway point of the 5 mile wide separation zone of the two 5-mile wide shipping channels (westbound and eastbound) so it’s a fairly important feature in an otherwise featureless seascape, completely out of sight of land!
The boat we have this time is called Jane’s Buoy, a 10-berth Sun Odyssey 43 built in 2005 – if anyone is interested, you’ll find it here. At this moment there are only 6 of us on board so I’m sure we’ll be able to spread out a little! I usually get allocated a cabin to myself anyway because I’m told I snore – what, who me??
The overall plan is to cross the Channel and visit the Channel Islands of Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey before heading further south to the lovely
Of course, the weather, wind, sea-state, crew state etc all play a part when sailing so if everything goes ‘pear-shaped’ its possible we could just stay put on the mooring at the Hamble for 10 days!!!!!! Anything more than a Force 5 or 6 on Friday will certainly make us rethink the plans!!
Watch this space………………….!
Now here is a nice photo which I’d like to share with everyone – it’s of (l to r) Ian, Barbara, Jon, Chris, Craig, Chris, Robert and Lin - otherwise known as the Bandicoots!! – enjoying a quiet evening out together and a ‘curry’ at the Rupee Room in Collaroy.
Good friends, good times! We look forward to joining you again hopefully in November!
Clare seemed fine, still more than a little sore and heavily bruised of course but she said she felt better and stronger as each day passed; obviously having ‘Mum’ around like a cross somewhere between a house-chore ‘White-tornado’ and Florence Nightingale helped!
Clare had her follow-up appointment at the hospital this morning (Tuesday) – its two weeks tomorrow since the surgery. The news seems good although there’s a slight problem. The good news is that the operation to remove the lump in her breast was successful and there’s apparently no cancer in the lymph nodes – the not-so-good news is that the surgeon feels that he would like to remove a little more of the tissue around the margins of the area where the cancer was which means that Clare will have to go through another (slightly less traumatic) operation on 8th August to do this. I think this is really just a precautionary measure to make sure that they have got all the cancer and it hopefully won’t return.
The surgeon has assured Clare that the surgery will be less severe and it is possible that she will only be in for 24 hours. Following this they will decide what treatment, if any, she will require.
So with just a little proviso, we’re feeling somewhat relieved!
We would like to thank everyone again for their support and continuing concern which we very much appreciate.
Saturday, 7 July 2007
I talked to them both earlier and all seems fine - Clare gets the results on July 17th so 'fingers crossed'. She'll probably learn then what treatment she needs.
She's still sore but less so as each day goes by so hopefully she's on the mend.
Thanks to everyone for their concern and good wishes which we really do appreciate.
Friday, 6 July 2007
Oh and the photo? Well it was taken at Studland in Dorset in July 1977 - wow that's 30 years ago!!
Pictured from left to right are Andrew, Clare, Richard Lally and Simon Lally (standing) - today between them they now have a total of 7 offspring of their own, amazingly 6 boys and only one girl, our Jessica!!
And coincidentally, Richard and Simon's parents, Chris and Diana were with us only last weekend - so there's another long-standing friendship which we cherish so much; I think good friends are a precious gift - don't you?
..........where DO the years go to??
Thursday, 5 July 2007
If your life is headed in an undesirable direction, this is the day you can change it. If there are dreams you are longing to fulfill, this is the day you can follow them.
On this day, you have a world full of choices. On this day, there are more possibilities than ever before.
Of all the days you've ever lived, and of all the days to come, this is the one special day that now matters the most. For it is on this very day that you can now think and speak and act and love and live.
Give yourself a quiet, peaceful moment, and grasp the immense value that is now yours on this very day. Then step forward and fill it with beautiful life.
-- Ralph Marston
John visited her and said she was ok but still obviously groggy from the anaesthetic but sitting propped up and quite chatty.
She's since had a reasonably good night and she tells me in a text that she's sitting by the bed more than just a little sore which I guess is to be expected; but she seems in good spirits and ok.
Shirley is going to see her later today so I expect I'll get more news and detail afterwards.
Monday, 2 July 2007
….an old Rocker gets excited again! What a great concert!
And would you believe it I even enjoyed some of the Rap too!
Elton John, Nelly Furtado, James Morrison, Lily Allen, The Feeling, Fergie, Duran Duran , The English National Ballet, Status Quo (oh yes!), Joss Stone, Orson, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp (oh yes, again!), Tom Jones, Will Young, Natasha Bedingfield, Pharrell Williams, Bryan Ferry (YES!), an Andrew Lloyd Webber performance, featuring Donny Osmond and Andrea Bocelli, Rod Stewart, Kanye West, P. Diddy, ‘Take That’ and then Elton John again.
Oh yes and then of course even Freddie Mercury got in on the act as a video of Diana’s early years played – and Freddie sang, ‘Those were the days of our lives…………..’ – a very poignant and emotional finale.
A wonderful and very entertaining 6 hours!! And the new Wembley - WOW!