Christmas Blog

I’ve been a bit slack at writing my blog the last few months, I think because we haven’t been sailing and it is called Distant Drum Sailing. However I shall crack on with an update as we are almost surrounded by water regardless here in Harwich, and Distant Drum has been very close by all summer and autumn.

Patricia behind. Along with Galatea and the smaller Alert, these ships' crew patrol the UK coast managing the buoyage to keeping us safe on the high (and low) seas

DD on Ha’penny Pier with the Trinity House ship Patricia behind. Along with Galatea and the smaller Alert, these ships’ crew patrol the UK coast managing the buoyage to keeping us safe on the high (and low) seas

I had a great birthday party in October in the Harwich Town Sailing Club – Sue helped me cook three huge curries and lots of lovely friends came from all parts of the UK, many staying in local hostelries, in our cottage and at Sue & Howard’s house. Perfect evening, a really clear sky and a beautiful moon. We had ‘open boat’ after breakfast the next morning for friends to see Distant Drum, and Fergus came to stay for two weeks holiday by the sea-side. Suffice to say he DIDN’T come aboard DD, hurrumphing on the shore and refusing to walk down the gangway to the pontoon. It was in this fortnight the incident with poor Bruce occurred (see previous Blog).

Clive’s brother David moved to Torquay in the autumn and went to see a doctor there about an ingrowing toe-nail giving him gyp. Whilst there he had a coughing fit and the doctor sent him for a scan immediately – cancer in one lung. Just this last week he has undergone major surgery in Plymouth hospital to remove the tumour, which involved cutting out one of the three lobes in his right lung. Very happy to report he survived the operation and there were no complications. He’s very weak, however undergoing intensive physiotherapy to exercise and expand the remaining part of his lung to fill out the space the tumour occupied. Recovery will be a slow and steady, one day at a time. Incredibly the hospital was so full when he reported there on Wednesday evening ready for the operation the next morning, they had no beds and they put him up in a hotel nearby for the night. It didn’t matter, a new lease of life for David.

If you want something done, do it yourself, and that’s what I’ve been doing…. call me DIY Davies! My DIY adventure began in September. The cottage came with a very old boiler, and an extremely badly design kitchen which I detest. There was a loud washing machine next to the sink, which beeped for hours after finishing a spin and drove us to distraction. The door kept falling off too so my plan was to replace the boiler with, as it turned out, a much needed new one, installing this higher up than the existing one, in the small space between the kitchen and bathroom, so I could put a new quiet efficient slim line washing machine underneath it. There was a low ceiling built from wood above the old boiler and I had to take this down in order to free up much needed space. Oh boy! The existing boiler packed in the day before the new one was installed – the exact same thing happened in Stansted when I started renovating Chapel Hill House (in fact there the washing machine packed in too, here I just threatened it with news that we could go wash our stuff at Sue & Howard’s house, so don’t even think about it!) I spent a fortnight sorting out the complicated electric wiring stringing low across the ceiling, moving lights, replacing plugs and junctions, rewiring – thank God for the mobile phone camera, click, unscrew all the wiring, refit the junction box, rewire, check the photo…. I’m very relieved to report it all works. Then insulation, plasterboard – that took forever! And painting, adding a bit of Essex beach hut design to counter the tar, which kept seeping through the white paint, Finally a new shelf above the new washing machine for our towels etc. D’nah! Two months later I have created a proper little utility, hurrah!

One thing I vowed to do this autumn was take down a redundant chimney breast in a small bedroom in the cottage, TICK, and in the new year I am going to continue to dismantle the breast down into the kitchen to free up much needed space for my redesign. Watch this space.

D'nah! Now for finishing off and making good

D’nah! Now for finishing off and making good

I love being part of the Complementary Therapy team since early July at St Helena Hospice in Colchester. I am constantly learning more and more about Reiki energy and how it works and it’s been really good experience for me, especially when faced with friends who are suffering from cancer, injuries, etc – too many, including David. I am confident in offering Reiki knowing how beneficial it can be. I have use of a room at the Harwich Wellness Centre too, alongside a team of great people offering Hypnotherapy, Acupuncture, Hot Wax treatment for arthritis etc and Spiritual Healing. Also now selling Neal’s Yard products, which I love and can never afford, sigh. I can look longingly, ha!

HeartFelt Endeavours is my business name for the Reiki, the brooches and wristbands etc, and I’ll be adding new ventures in the New Year. I’m just getting the website ( done…. slowly – trying to do it myself. Give me another month (or two).

A very Happy Christmas and splendid New Year one and all.

Big Love for 2017 XXX

A Happy Christmas from Clive

A Happy Christmas from Clive

And a Happy Christmas from me

And a Happy Christmas from me

And a Happy New Year from Cpn' Jack & Fergus

And a Happy New Year from Cpn’ Jack & Fergus

Distant Drum in a beautiful November sunset, Harwich International Port in the distance on the River Stour (photo courtesy of Simon Ashley)

Distant Drum in a beautiful November sunset, Harwich International Port in the distance on the River Stour (photo courtesy of Simon Ashley)


3 thoughts on “Christmas Blog

  1. smlewis2013

    Great blog Sarah. You don’t mention that you made the lovely Xmas wreath in the his and hers portraits. I Iove the way in each photo if you look really hard you can just make out the photographer! Merry Xmas xx


  2. Nico

    If it wasn’t for the fact that its you Sarah, it would be pretty unblinking believable that you installed a new boiler. I’m impressed. You two are amazing. Have a grand Christmas! xx



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