Harwich and Dartmouth

Clive and I have had an odd couple of weeks apart, a most unusual event for us both and not planned for, it’s just the way it’s turned out. I had an excellent week dog sitting Fergus. We visited my parents in Broadway for a couple of days where he was thoroughly spoiled before I headed on to the Essex coast. We spent many hours walking the coast, (me) throwing and (Fergus) chasing tennis balls and sticks. The best walk was one along the River Stour at Wrabness at high tide. The sun was shining in a perfect blue sky and the autumn colours were magnificent. The Oak, Ash and other trees were stunning all along the shoreline and I couldn’t keep Fergus out of the water. It was a perfect beautiful day and a reminder of just how lovely the Essex coastline is – unspoilt by over development, a haven for wildlife and with an abundance of mainly native trees, from new to ancient – and the best weather the UK has to offer.

Fergus grabbing his ball

Fergus grabbing his ball

Liquid Amber - most beautiful tree

Liquid Amber – most beautiful tree

On the foreshore of The Stour

On the foreshore of The Stour

Perfect blue October sky

Perfect blue October sky

One wet dawg

One wet dawg

View towards beautiful cottage nestled in the fields beneath Grayson Perry''s 'House for Essex'

View towards beautiful cottage nestled in the fields beneath Grayson Perry”s ‘House for Essex’

Across the Stour to Suffolk with Holbrook School on the other riverbank - aka 'the cradle of the Navy'

Across the Stour to Suffolk with Holbrook School on the other riverbank – aka ‘the cradle of the Navy’

House for Essex at Wrabness with The Stour beyond

House for Essex at Wrabness with The Stour beyond

My good pal Elizabeth came to fetch Fergus last Tuesday with her sister Gemma, more walks and Fergus undecided who he should show allegiance to – certainly not to Gemma’s spaniel Sophie who he ignored cantankerously. I miss him terribly when he’s not here though I am very happy he is living in such a good home, with great friends, loved and cared for, and he’s far happier than he could ever be living aboard our yacht. Even in the cottage he can’t get up the stairs any more (like quite a few friends!) He can still get on the sofa mind, much to Clive’s chagrin. He was 12 last March as is still in fine fettle, though has gone rather deaf in the last few months. Not a bad thing with bonfire night coming up and bliss! he cannot hear gunshots. Hurrah! Every cloud….

Fergus enjoying an afternoon nap

Fergus enjoying an afternoon nap

At very low tide on Harwich beach with Felixstowe in the background

At very low tide on Harwich beach with Felixstowe in the background

Clive sadly missed out on the ball chucking fun as he stayed with Distant Drum, having a ‘swell time’ at high tides as the Atlantic sea poured into the Dart, carrying out searches on where the rain was getting into the cabin and fixing the Eberspacker central heating. The latter he succeeded in doing within a couple of days, the former is taking somewhat longer. Tracing where water is getting in to any property or vessel can be a hard task, even when it is seemingly obvious. Headlining down, tools out, buckets on the floor, rain lashing down outside and still no obvious route sussed. Luckily we have a good canopy that he has put over the foredeck and as long as the rain isn’t lashing horizontally, foiling Clive in his endeavours, it’s pretty effective.

Though he missed the Fergus fun, he and his brother Jason did enjoy a weekend food festival in Dartmouth, with around 60 different stalls serving every dish known to every west-country man woman and child, and we watched the rugby semi-finals from opposite sides of England, texting each other with a running insightful, aghast, obtuse commentary.

Our neighbours on the next boat along in Dartmouth, Tim & Erica, took Clive under their wings last weekend, sweeping him off the see the rugby world cup final at the yacht club. The All Blacks won in style and Clive won first prize of Famous Grouse whisky in the raffle, and Tim won the second, a bottle of Gordons gin. What could be known as a win win win situation!

I have cracked on with the felt heart shaped brooch making and Clive came up with a good name for the enterprise – Heart Felt Designs! Hurrah. I want to make about 100 before embarking on making other felt objects, animals etc, as I envisage them as the main bread & butter stock on a market stall. I’ve so far made 46 and counting. Here is an example of a few.

HeartFelt! Designs

HeartFelt! Designs

We’re reuniting tomorrow (picture me running down the platform, tears streaming, arms outstretched – more likely out of puff after realising I was going to be late for the train, force 5 gale in my eyes) ready for a weekend in Worcestershire celebrating my parent’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary with (almost) all the family.

More later……

Double rainbow in stormy skies above Felixstowe today

Double rainbow in stormy skies above Felixstowe today

Lovely sunset at Ha'pennu Pier

Lovely sunset at Ha’pennu Pier

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