Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book learning #57

Lincoln's melancholy by Joshua Wolf Shenk

This is a Presidential biography, not a textbook on depression. I picked it up (almost three years ago) as a presidential biography, enjoyed that part and also enjoyed the mental health part.

As mentioned, it's taken me almost three years to finish this. A transatlantic move can do that. A transatlantic move and a missing book, a missing book that is then picked up again in between some others.

Despite the logistical struggle to read and finish, I thoroughly enjoyed this account of Lincoln's life, work and mental health. The contrasts between the fabulously gothic nineteenth century approach to the mind and the more clinical twentieth/twenty first century treatment of depression was illuminating. The accounts of Lincoln's own depression and struggles centered the work in a way that a more straightforward narrative about depression would probably not. In short, I learned a bit about depression that I would not have done otherwise. I also learned a bit about Lincoln.

I absolutely loved the gothic tone, found the overview of Lincoln's career fascinating and was completely absorbed by the Civil War chapters ( LIke so many, this was the Lincoln I first learned about). This book (or at least the final couple of chapters that I've just polished off prior to a few new arrivals on the 25th) perfectly fitted my present mood, the dark winter nights, the bitter cold, the American gothic Victoriana. Wonderful stuff.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book learning #56

The secret history of the IRA by Ed Moloney.

I've always been interested in Irish history, always felt that republicanism made sense. Reading this didn't change anything in particular, didn't cast any new light on the main events as they were often passed over with a glance. This was not a chronological account of the last 40 years. The real story here was the internal politics of the IRA since 1969 and the dealings of a certain Gerry Adams in taking over the organisation and heading it into a peace process that continues to this day.

In some respects it read like the Sopranos, just not as nice. There were aspects of the story that baffled me, no mention of the Brighton Bomb of 1984. The Birmingham 6 and Guildford 4 were never mentioned (although the Balcombe Street gang, who one can assume had a hand in the bombings were on a number of occaisions) and many of the attrocities were quickly passed over. Reading on, you began to understand, this was not about a list of bombings and murder but how the IRA leadership dealt with it's continual internal feuding, negotiating and violent games. Still, the last split, which created the Real IRA was detailed, their most notorious action, the 1998 Omagh bombing was not.

The political side of it was fascinating, the posturing on all sides, the deals with Libya, the global angle, the role of the Catholic church and also seeing how the situation changed over the years from civil rights marches in the late 60s through the terror of the 70s into the stalemate and near defeat of the IRA in the 80s.

I enjoyed this, absorbing once I got beyond some of the annoying omissions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas gifts

Ah, Christmas in a primary school. Gifts a plenty, Just check out a couple of examples from this year's haul.

The thoughtful, considerate English girl who appreciates that Christmas is about Jesus but also that one should not neglect the sophisticated palate.


The fantastically Kochmanesque American kid who gets it. He just gets it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The kite

The wind blasted the south. The last of the autumn leaves scattered to the four winds, scattered in an extremely fast and violent manner.

The man found a few stolen hours in the middle of a week, he found a glorious blue sky and a kite.

When you fly a kite you look skywards, the crick in your neck feels like hope, nobody can fly a kite by looking at the ground.

When you fly a kite you have to negotiate with the wind, the very strong wind. The sort of day that many people would rather be inside out of the blastzone finds you hanging onto your kite as it wheels and dives and climbs and hovers. You negotiate, you try to negotiate, but you know all too well that the wind will always have you. Have you and beat you.

The man found a field, nothing too special, on the edge of town, but once the kite was airborne, the place was transformed.

Dog walkers hurried past, picking up their shit, saying hello and letting their animals sniff each other's backsides.

Some of them noticed the kite, some of them may have thought "What a wanker, flying a kite". Some of them may have thought "Wow, a kite, I haven't seen a kite in years." They look skyward for a moment, then they return to picking up shit.

It was a stolen moment, those are the best.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Thanks to Greg and Kris and AWS for posting responses to my writing project about identity.
It’s only fair that I indulge you with my view on the subject.

Where to begin?

There are so many aspects to an identity, so many experiences that it’s hard to know.
It’s also virtually impossible to fill out every part of it, not even the most thorough autobiography can give that much, nothing can give the detail in the way that just being yourself over a number of years can. Add to this the fact that there are parts of one’s identity that would best not be shared over the airwaves! There are a number of paths I could tread.

The geographical?

Living a really good (wind assisted) stones throw from the house I was born in, after less than half a lifetime away, first in a West Country university town and then abroad, in Brooklyn. I suspect the fact that I am still a passionate believer in Brooklyn over New York City says something about me, I also suspect that the fact that I am a passionate believer in Norfolk over the rest of the United Kingdom also tells more than I would perhaps wish.

The spiritual?

Not a church going man, I’m with Clement Atlee on this (and on so many other things too) “Like the idea but I can live without the mumbo jumbo” I’m also not bothered about other religions either, sure they have their merits (and don’t doubt that I’ve looked into this, I have. Like a lot of good atheists, I’ve studied hard and taken years to get where I am today, I also appreciate that I might not be where I am today, tomorrow). Let's keep our ideas about beauty and faith and try not to pervert the ideas of others,  I believe in humanity, I love trees and am probably happiest on a beach with my family or flying a kite in really strong winds (or sometimes both!) That’s how I feel close to any god.

The personal?

Sure, I’ve lived an amusing life and have slowed down enough to find a gorgeous wife and raise a cute son, we’ve two more on the way so things are busy but in a great way.  I’ve joined the ranks of the permanently tired/holding down a good job/getting by brigade, And you know what? I love it!


 I get up each morning and most days I look forward to what I have to do. I try to do well in any job I’m given. Apart from my current career I think removals man was the best. Sitting in a big van, traveling the country, no two days the same, clear, achievable success criteria and bacon sarnies.


No Pasaran! They shall not pass. If we all come together we can defeat fascism and hate. Come on people, how about it? I’ve got tonnes of ideas about solving problems but most of them involve society making some firm rules and the individual making material sacrifices. I can’t see how my ideal state would come into existence without some type of leftist secret police, perhaps child informers. I would love to return to one moment in time and remove forever the chance for the internal combustion engine to be developed. I’d love us all to use horse and cart and bicycles and sailing boats and steam trains and yet I like nice stuff and 21st century perks. I vote because if you don’t vote you're not involved. I despair of the politics of hate and fear.  It's with sadness that I’ll not mourn the passing of this current government, no matter the affection I feel for our beleaguered Prime minister, but I’ll despair at the arrival of the next lot. I like Billy Bragg,


Books, Books, Books. The written word is king, the musical note is prince. Put them both together and I’m a happy man. Put them both together in place where I can hear them live and I’m in a delightful state. Some of my favourite memories are of a few friends picking up guitars in the open air and singing and playing. Of course there’s always footy. All sports pale by comparison, its "city till I die" for me old chum (then a dose of baseball I picked up whilst in Brooklyn, Go Mets!) I also love the open air, sailing and when it’s too windy for that I try and find a way to fly a kite.


Sure, I’m a Norfolk man through and through, then an Englishman. Married to a Rhode Island girl with our son born a few blocks from where the Dodgers used to play before they went west. In my quiet moments in Brooklyn I thought of myself as a Norfolk-American, perhaps I still do.

I’m also really tall, I like that.

Coffee, not tea.

Beer over wine but wine over nothing!

Toast is very important.

I love radio, possibly more than telly.

I feel like I could write about this stuff for a very long time and still not quite get to the bottom of where my identity lies, As I said at the top, it’s such a brilliantly complicated thing. If I were to be thought of as anything, I’d like to be thought of as an optimist. I believe in the power of people, individuals or groups, to do amazing things. Take a moment to think about your life and the things that you have overcome, we’ve all been through some crazy stuff. Did we achieve by getting angry, bitter and fuelled by hate? No. Whatever we did, we did because we worked hard and worked alongside some other people to reach the goal. That’s the sort of thing I like.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The full english

Last weekend I spent a lot of money (almost a tenner!!!) on a full english.

It was, OK. I suppose. Sort of.

This morning I spent 3.75 at a leading supermarket cafe.

Bloody delicious!

Look, don't mess about with mushrooms, poncy bread and wierd trendy stuff, give me thick white sliced buttered toast, beans, two sausages, two bacon, one egg, black pudding and lots of tea. Thank you.

The lady who brought it to me ( in under 10 minutes) apologised for the delay (What delay??) " Sorry that's taken so long, my toast has been rubbish today" I loved this, so english!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I hope nobody minds.

We've decided to break with the tradition of sending Christmas cards.

1. How many trees do we really need to chop down for this?

2. The postal strike?

3. It takes ages to write them out (and they must be handwritten).

4. We love you all anyway, just feel the love!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Group writing project update.

A few days ago I put out a hook about identity.

I got a couple of responses, Greg and Kris writes about his diverse American upbringing and his roots on the west coast.

The wobbly spaghetti lady writes a heartening piece about the epedemic that is Facebook.

Thank you both for your thoughts and the time you took to write.

I'm still thinking on my response.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


1. You spend a very windy day at the beach flying a kite.

2. You remember how brilliant kite flying is, go online, do some research and buy an entry level stunt kite.

3. It arrives, defying the postal strike.

4. Where's the bloody wind?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Democracy in action

This evening, through a mixture of circumstance and someone else's bad luck and ill health, I was quietly thrust into a position of quite large responsibility.

For about 45 minutes all eyes were upon me. It was my job, as Senior Teacher and representative of the school, to publicly count the votes for the Board of Governors election. Two positons, Four candidates (one an incumbent).

If you'd have told me beforehand, I'd have said something along the lines of "no hassle!"

Stand in front of a silent, scrutineery room and count votes.

Then announce the results.

Without smiling.

Even though you really, REALLY, want to!

I actually felt very proud.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Group writing project

From time to time, blogs such as Tillerman invite readers to contribute by way of Group writing projects.

Here's mine.

Today I was on a bus full of kids from my school. It's a small village school with a great sense of community and a good identity. We have a catchy, unusual nickname and lots of people all around know us by that. Many of the kids live in the village, a few others live very nearby.

Some of the kids started singing the old school trip/football ground favourite "Shall we tell them?"

"Shall we tell them?
Shall we tell them?

Who we are?
Who we are?

We are -insert name of neighbourhood/village/town/city/nation etc here
We are -insert name of neighbourhood/village/town/city/nation etc here

Mighty, mighty -insert name of neighbourhood/village/town/city/nation etc here"

So you can see, the journey was noisy and fun, along with the farting noises and punching between the seats we had a good time.

The thing that intruiged me, and got me thinking about this post was this.

Every time the kids got to the bit "We are......" They responded with a variety of different places.  Twentyfive kids on the bus and about half of them identified with some other place. Such vocal identifications then sparked internecine yelling with other kids who 'hated' that particular place. Most kids chose a bunch of places for some good reasons (oh yes, we heard all the logical and not so logical arguments) and then it got silly (it always does, and then there are tears).

I began thinking about identity and rivalry. How even in a school that is a tight and friendly community this banter still exists, is alive and kicking. It made me smile.

I got to thinking about my own identity.

Multiple identities.
Conflicting identities.

And the rivalries that exist alongside those identities.

OK. Bear with me.

I want to hear about an aspect of your cultural identity and to counterpoint that, an aspect of the rivalry with another group that surely must, by definition,  exist alongside it.

It might be anything, A city fan writing about United, A Tory writing about Labour. A boy writing about a girl. The subject warrants some discussion, well I think so anyway.

If you feel so inclined, blog it, but please drop me a line so I can read them.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009


OK, here's the deal.
On October 27th we should be finding out the gender of the twins.

We are still hoping for two happy, healthy babies and are only finding out genders in order to aid forward planning.


Boy/Boy  7-1 

Boy/Girl 2-1 fav

Girl/Girl 4-1 (call it a hunch)

OK. Tell me what you think!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Be kind

That's all I want to say.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book learning #55

The Lion and the Unicorn; Socialism and the English Genius by George Orwell.

If it's autumn, it's Orwell. This particular book is an old favourite, one of the very few books that I can reread.
Anyone interested in English society, culture, politics and history (or any one of the aforementioned) should read this book.

It's Orwell's 'why we fight', his perspective on the England of 1940, what's worth fighting for and what should be swept away at the next possible opportunity. I've been fascinated by it since I first read it over twenty years ago and whilst aspects of it are clearly dated, enough of it still makes sense when thinking about modern Britain (Orwell, the consumate Englishman, never refers to Britain throughout the book).

One of the things I appreciate about Orwell, which comes through in this book, is his own pragmatic approach to socialism and patriotism, the two are compatible and  should be regarded alongside each other. He decries the right's ability to hijack patriotic feelings in order to pursue capitalist economic policies. 

I could go on.

I have recommended this book to people (my wife included) who have looked upon the UK from the outside, some of them read it, appreciated it, but for others it seemed to not quite give them what they were looking for, then I realised, the audience Orwell was aiming for was the English working classes/reading classes of the 1940s. It's not a guidebook in that sense.

This book still means something to me as someone who cares deeply about the cultural, economic and political future of the UK, less of a naked patriot than I used to be (except when the World Cup rolls along) but still in love with the old girl all the same.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't ever say trying to renew your car insurance isn't fun or exciting.

I call the original insurance company after having spectacularly dumped them following a dalliance with an internet bargain site.

"Hi, I er, cancelled my policy and incurred a tonne of charges on Saturday. Any chance I can restore my original policy, get a refund on the charges and continue cover on my new vehicle like nothing ever happened?"

Insurance lady "Let's see"

Me " It's nothing personal"

IL "Oh, I'm taking this personally, I'm so upset right now that I'll go home tonight and cry and cry and then I'll drink a bottle of wine or three and then perhaps do something stupid like kill myself. I'm that upset and it'll be your fault".

She actually said that.

She proceeds to go over my details, my wife's details and certain aspects of our personal life.

IL "Right, you want to transfer from a Peugeot 106 to a Vauxhall Zafira?"

Me "Yeah, we're expecting twins"

IL "Umm, That would be fun in a 106"

Me "Yeah, hence the upgrade to the Zafira" (DUUUH!!)

IL " I see it's your wife's birthday soon, that's nice"

Me "Yep, better get her something nice"

IL "Diamonds".

Me "I'm haggling for cheaper car insurance, I used to drive an old Peugeot and you think I can afford diamonds?"

IL " Call it a woman's instinct, she'll love them"

Me " No way! Not now"

IL "Find a way"

Needless to say I was right to flirt with the internet, even following the charges and fees for breaking a contract I still ended up a tenner better off.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Buy my house

Wanna own the home of a blogging legend?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Book learning #54

Paris, THe secret history. Andrew Hussey.

Well, This just adds another brick in my tower of admiration for the world of public libraries.

In a state of literary ennui, I was browsing the shelves of the local (and quite fantastic) local library when I came across this. It came home with me. I liked it.

Beginning with the prehistoric stuff and moving through the Romano-Gaulish history (most of which I learned from Asterix and was delighted to discover from a real book that so much of what Asterix had taught me was true) and moving through some disgusting medieval developments, sketchy seventeenth century intruigue, the great French Kings, the 1789 revolution, Napoleon, Commune, World Wars and 1968.

Thoroughly readable, entertaining and really, very sexy, this was a good read. I've known Paris down the years, after New York , London and Norwich* it must be my favourite city.

*Favourite cities. In order.

1.New York
2.Brooklyn (keeping the dream alive!)
7.Paris (OK, I misjudged this a bit)
10. Washington DC**

**Based on limited experience and OCD American history fixes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

West Runton

Norfolk has a delightful and reasonably varied coastline. From my house you can get to dozens of beaches with different characters within an hours drive. This evening my dad, Henry and I drove up to West Runton, between Sheringham and Cromer. A car park, one of the world's friendliest teashops and a gorgeous beach. the weather was perfect, we were in heaven.

To the left of the groyne is the chalk beach, full of amazing chalk rockpools.

East, towards Sheringham, Wells and Holkham.

The silhouette is my dad.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I wasn't there that day. My wife was. 
She doesn't often talk about it.

In my family we have traditions around grief and loss, some of them make sense, some of them not so much. In the conventional world it seems appropriate to recall the first, fifth, tenth anniversaries and so on, to say the right things and lay the wreaths in the correct places. In my self it makes sense to cry when it feels right, to hug when it's needed, to laugh when things are funny and so on. I was always told that those in grief need support and memories long after the funeral, in the days and months after the mourners have left, that's when my mum would visit friends with cakes and appalling jokes and sit around and remember the loved and lost.

It feels a bit like that today. My thoughts have turned to those who still live with that day, everyday.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Random House

Spent too much time talking to estate agents today.

Man#1 told too many cutesy stories.
Lady talked for hours,  I lost the will to live.
Man#2 was great.

We're going with Man#1. It's about selling the house.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Some news

Don't know if it's


or girls

or possibly a mix but we've just been confirmed with twins.

I'm off to meet a man about a big car tomorrow evening.
The estate agents are coming round on Saturday.
I sense 2010 will be busy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A new start?

I'm liking the new Norwich.
I think I'm almost liking them alot.
I might even start believing in them again.

My reasons?

I'm no fan of the folk who run footy but Mr McNally, the Chief executive, seems to be a man who is keen to halt the dithering. The dithering that has been a big part of our fourteen year decline. Keeping Bryan Gunn on as manager after he had failed to keep us in the Championship was wrong. His sole aim when he took over in February was to keep us up.

He failed.

McNally came along and saw that. After the 7-1 defeat against Colchester he made a decision and carried it out.


Paul Lambert was hired and has introduced a new air about the place, the old guard are looking uncertain and I like that. When we were relegated I was telling anyone who wanted to listen that we needed an aggressive youngish coach who was not afraid to do things his way, a dash of the early Clough? A hint of O'Neill?

I think we've got him.

Another good point has to be some of the fresh, young talent coming in. This matter is best summed up by the silver fox. I watched City get beaten 4-1 by Sunderland last night, an entertaining game despite the result. Dad is becoming slightly besotted with a 17 year old boy. I would be worried but it's not all bad. Tom Adeyemi reminds my father of his first love, the World Cup winner and City's 70's icon Martin Peters. He sits there and mutters "He's the new Martin Peters". I've not heard my dad talk that way in years, if ever.

Old love, England's hero and City star, Martin Peters.

New love, 17 year old 'wunderkind' Tom Adeyemi.

In the car on the way home a caller to the radio offered mild, slightly ambiguous criticism of Adeyemi, My father's response?

"Piss off! You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about!!!" 

On another Adeyemi related note, I sat behind some of his schoolmates. I was only aware of this when the player was warming down after being substituted towards the end of the match. One of them shouted at him, he turned, waved and said hello and all that, then on about his business. I have heard all the tales about the old days when players used to travel to the games on public transport but have never actually seen a player with such a normal local connection.  He is, in every sense of the word, A Norwich boy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The way through the woods.

We're 'staycationing' at my parents house for a week as our kitchen is being refitted.

Last night as we were about to settle down to watch 'Frost Nixon'* we noticed a family strolling along the main road.
"LUNATICS! THEY"LL ALL DIE! FOOLS! SOMEBODY, MAKE THEM STOP! OH THE HUMANITY!" (and that was just father trying to find the remote control).
It's fair to say that we were alarmed by their seemingly carefree amble along the middle of one of Norfolk's busier 'B' roads until we remembered that the road had been closed for 24 hours for essential maintainance.

So Frau Random Doubt and myself took advantage of the live in babysitters and took a stroll ourselves.

*Mutually acceptable viewing
West, towards Wicklewood.
West, towards Wicklewood.
South East, towards Wymondham Abbey.
West, towards Wicklewood.
The B1135 towards Wicklewood.

Despite the sound of workmen in the distance there was an amazing sense of calm, It made one think of a world without cars.
It was beautiful.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Geekfest 2009!

A sneaky trip to Duxford.

The nephews loved the saucy artwork on the side of this B17, "She's got BOOOOBS!!!"
A full on lads day out was enhanced by the aforementioned B17 actually taking off.

And flying away...

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I've decided I don't like figs.
A kind neighbour cornered me with some the other day.

"Oh you must try them, they're delicious"

So I took a few and left them to ripen on the kitchen window sill.
Today, whilst emptying the kitchen in advance of next week's renovation I thought "better try one, can't live a life less travelled" and all that.

Not for me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Award winning Blog!

A medal for turning up at a regatta but not actually entering a race was not the only thing won around here over the last few days.

The top person's sailing Blog Propercourse
has voted TRDOWM's Hickling Broad Regatta post (see below) as it's best regatta blog post of 2009!

I'm not sure what we win and I'll be looking for the invitation to the glitzy awards ceremony in the post (once the postal strike is over of course). This award means a great deal to all of us here at Mondale House as it's voted for by the listening public and record buyers and not the record company fatcats.

Thank you, and thanks to Jamie, Will and Sim for making the weekend such fun.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hickling Broad Regatta 2009

It all started out as an idea over drinks. I had dragged some fellow dads along to see a film, only to find that the cinema showing the film was, well, not actually showing the film.
Having popped into a pub to discuss my inability to select a cinema the conversation turned to boats. It was suggested that a sailing trip might be a bit of a laugh.

With a bit of time, knowledge and the go ahead from Frau Random Doubt I set about organising a summer jaunt. I called my favourite boatyard and made enquiries, knowing that a date isn't a date until we've all got a) our wives permission and b) the date cut in stone.

Hickling holds an 'alternative' regatta every year in August. It's an occasion to meet and be merry, you certainly don't have to race which was handy as that might require effort and skill. We were happy just to get there, and with such light airs that was an achievement on it's own.
August 8th, 2009. Hunters Boatyard, Ludham, Norfolk. Buff Tip is ready to go. Four of us, Myself and Will (sailors) and Jamie and Sim (non sailors) were about to spend the weekend sailing, drifting and drinking and eating bad food.

Arty shot of Buff Tip's main.
One of my favourite aspects of the weekend was the enthusiasm of the 'non sailors' for getting stuck in, having a go and (pardon the bloody awful pun) learning the ropes. Both Jamie (above) and Sim did really well in some difficult (hardly any wind) circumstances.
It didn't take a pair of binoculars to see that Buff Tip was in a spot of bother.
Woodcut strutting her stuff on Hickling Broad.
The outward leg was tough, very little wind and lots of tacking up narrow rivers. I normally object to such things as mobile phones when sailing but it was nice to be able to text the race committee and let them know of our progress. It was also nice to receive their sarcastic responses.
A view of Hickling from Buff Tip.
A spot of civilised sailing. We swopped boats halfway through the outward leg but forgot to swop facilities. I was thus left gasping for my celebratory pint upon finally reaching Hickling Broad. Woodcut had all 6 bottle openers on board! We had to engage them in order to ask very nicely for a bottle opener so that the CO could have his customary pint.
Our gorgeous moooring at the top of Hickling. Woodcut on the left, Buff Tip on the right.
We had left Ludham at 10am. The plan had been to arrive at Hickling just after lunch. We finally moored up at about 5.30pm
The Hickling Broad regatta (NOT to be confused with the Hickling Broad Sailing Club regatta) was a delightfully laid back bohemian affair. An open b.y.o barbeque, a selection of benches, bunting and a tent.  Most of all a friendly, mildly disorganised approach to sailing and life and fun. A small spot for free spirits in the middle of a world of turmoil.
The view from the barbeque. If you look very closely you can see my barbeque speciality, banana bacon. I asked the gathered few what the 'rules' were for the barbeque. "Oh just bung it on, come back in half an hour". About an hour later the same man strolled over to us and pointed out that it might be worth checking out the barbeque as our food was clearly cooked and people were getting quite enthusiastic about the banana bacon.

I loved the old Land Rover with ketchup and stuff for people to share, I also loved the fact that there was a tinny little radio in the middle of the lawn gently playing Radio 3. 
Your host, Will with Woodcut's extensive bar.
Sundown at the prize table.
The weather on both days had been outstanding with only one slight problem, little or no wind. A sailing weekend needs a bit of a puff.
Dawn. Still no wind. (Then again there never is at dawn)
Sunday morning can mean only one of two things, Church Parade or black pudding!

We chose the black pudding option.

Sim gets stuck in.
I don't like to brag but I can throw together a bloody good brecky when needs must. The others laughed at the teapot when they saw it on Saturday. By god they were grateful on Sunday morning. Endless gallons of tea!
The regatta committee got the flag up a few minutes before the sailing club, thus 'claiming' the broad for the day.
Before we left on our homeward leg we were presented with medals. I love medals! 
Ross (regatta organiser) presents Will with his 'longest distance travelled to visit regatta but not actually enter a race' medal.
Woodcut on her way.
Jamie and Sim getting us through Potter bridge.
Heads down.
Geek shot of rigging on Buff Tip.
Yours truly  wearing that shirt. I had forgotten that the day before, Norwich had been destroyed 7-1 on the opening day of the season. even in the slightly rarefied atmosphere of the Broads I was happily heckled by a few well intentioned types.

All in all a truly delightful weekend, the weather could only have been bettered with a bit more wind, we spent most of our time sailing and the rest enjoying the company of some of life's better souls, boats and humans.