Last night I didn’t have time to write anything other than a very quick note on here about the yachting in the Solent last Sunday and Monday, so this posting will attempt to redress the balance.
Last weekend I was invited by Rachel and Graham (and Graham’s dad) to go yachting on the solent.
It was fun, except for Monday’s rain. Here are some photos. Due to the weather they were all taken on the Sunday.
In this article from the BBC news web site about building a silent aircraft there’s one statement which I, for one, would disagree with quite a lot, and that is:-
“For passengers we think it will be like flying in a cinema or theatre seat.
“People are used to that and I think they will be very comfortable with the new design.”
Now, if I couldn’t see the outside and the whole “room” was moving and jolting without any external reference I would feel very uneasy indeed. During the only flights I have taken i sat at a window seat one way and a centre seat on the way back. When I could see out of the window at an external reference point I was fine.. I could understand how the plane was moving and why. On the way back I found it very disconcerting not being able to have an external view and only disjointed motion from the seat.
How do other people feel about this?
The last few days I’ve been camping out in the Oxfordshire countryside, meeting people, listening to music and trying to avoid getting wet. Yes, it’s the Cropredy music festival.
This year they had such innovations as street lighting, a fun fair and a bar which stayed open ’til 2am.
Anyway, here’s my story… it all began on Wednesday evening when I discovered that my air bed was terminally leaky. This meant that Thursday morning I’d have to go to Touchwood Sports and pick up a new bed as there was no way that I was going to sleep straight on the ground. So in the morning, I was up early enough to finish all the packing I could without packing the car itself. I was out by 8:15, got the petrol and struggled through the rush hour traffic to get to the shop.
While in the shop being survived I got a phone call from Lindsey saying that they were half an hour away from Banbury’s Tesco (our rendez-vous point). Because it was probably at the most problematic point it could have been when shopping, I quickly said that I was shopping and that I’d get there as soon as I could. However, it seems that Steph and Lindsey mistook this to mean that I was already at Banbury Tesco.
Anyway, I got home and was in the final process of packing stuff in the car when I got another phone call from Lindsey asking where I was and that they were waiting by the Tesco entrance. When I told them that I was still packing she got a tad annoyed. Anyway, it meant that I had to rush the packing a bit and forgot one or two items. It took me about half an hour to get to Tesco and after arriving and finding the Hunts we took off to Cropredy itself.
We got a reasonable camping position, next to the Cricket pitch. I unpacked and pitched the tent as quickly as I could as I had done no shopping, had no drink and was parched and headed back out to Tescos again.
The rest of the day was merely getting back to the camp site, getting ready and moving to the music field for an evening of music. I didn’t sleep well over night.. the countryside is just too noisey.
Friday was fine. It started with the traditional breakfast at the farm, which is now an arts centre, continued with socialising, cleaning my D70 with a can of air I’d bought at Maplins in Banbury the day before and listening to music. Oh, and taking a few pictures. Strangely enough, I did manage to sleep well overnight.
Saturday dawned bright and only high cloud but I knew from searching weather web sites with my Treo that it wasn’t going to last. Because of this, I packed up my tent and made sure that everything important was stowed in the car. The rain was due at 1pm and it arrived on time. However, the original forecast of only a couple of hours of rain was way too optimistic, hence, for most of the afternoon and early evening I, along with my big umbrella, became the main tent post in a tent roofed with a tarpallin. This tent, orginally occupied by many people, slowly became less and less occupied until it was just me, Steve Howe and his friend Lynn.
At about 6pm there was a slight break in the weather. Steve Harper arrived and we changed shifts and I went off for a comfort break and some food. I was starving as the bad weather had arrived before I’d managed to get any lunch. I miscalculated the time it would take for the next load of rain to come along after looking at the Met Office’s weather radar so got a bit wet then waiting to be served with food.
The music was fine though. Reggae, rock and roll, folk and Richard Digence.
Finally, around half seven, the weather cleared up and people started coming back onto the stage field. I took a few more pictures using my IXUS (as I’d taken my D70 back to the car to protect it from the weather). Fairport Convention came on, played for a few hours and then it was over.
I finally arrived home at about 2:15am this morning and got to bed at 3am.
Today’s been a bit of a blur. I’ve been shopping but other than that not a lot happened other than putting stuff away and accidentally falling asleep randomly when sitting down on my sofa. Now I’m off to bed.. work again in the morning… no more holidays ’til Christmas.
I woke up at about twenty to six, twenty minutes earlier than I’d wanted to, and decided that I might as well get up and on the road rather than sitting in bed. This, and the fact that I’d done pretty well all the packing and preparation the night before meant that I managed to get out of the door by half six.
The roads on the way to Aber were mostly clear, with the exception of a cattle lorry or horse box between Leominster and Rhayader and a slow car just on the approaches to Leominster. This meant that I was doing the speed limit most of the time and arrived at 10:15am, taking three and three quarters hours. Not too bad for the full length of the A44.
Upon arrival I tried to get into the Savannah guest house car park, but it was full, so I drove down to the Bath Street car park instead, went to the loo and trundled off back to the Savannah with my stuff. Luckily, just as I was exitting the guest house, one of the cars in the car park left, so i moved my car into the little car park.
I still had loads of time before the meeting up with people at midday, so i aimlessly wandered around Aber, drank a nice latte at MG’s Cafe (which is next door to the legendary Charlie’s) before walking the length of the prom and admiring the scructural geology at the base of Constitution Hill. It was then time to meet up at the bandstand, where Alec and Shona were already sitting. It wasn’t long, however, before Helen (with little Alex), Howard and Tina, Rachel, Graham and Chris, Nick, Caz and finally Jim and Catrin turned up.
The afternoon’s a bit of a blur. Mostly having lunch, drinking tea, bumbling about and chatting, I think. This was followed by dinner in a Thai place… though they had problems fitting everyone in at the same time, so we became two groups.
The day was rounded off by a trip to The Fountain pub on the other side of the bridge.
Saturday’s pictures can be found here.
I had to be out of the B&B by 10am, so after the nice cooked breakfast talking with Howard and Tina, I packed up my stuff into my small weekend bag and stashed it away in the boot of my car. it was 9:50am by this point and I knew that Rachel, Graham, Chris and Helen were going off to church and that Howard and Tina were off to buy lots of cheap reconstituted wood pulp in Hay-on-Wye, so I was at a little bit of a loose end, as it were.
I decided that I might as well just walk around and see if there were any places worth looking at and photographing with my little Canon IXUS II before others might be ready to get together and/or those at church had finished with thier duties. So, I wandered along the prom in a southernly direction, beyond castle and down to the entrance to the harbour, back along little roads to the bridge and then walked down to see what I could of the re-formulated station and the Vale of Rhiedol railway.
It was now half eleven, was feeling a bit thirsty and a little bored so walked back to the prom, sat outside PD’s Diner, drank a large latte and texted the only two people in Aber for whom I had their mobile numbers and who I knew weren’t in church, Alec and Shona, informing them of my location. It wasn’t long until Shona turned up and a little while later, Alec.
The rest of the day (before I drove home) was spent in that little area, with Alec looking at all the motor bikes sat on the prom and talking to the bikers, various talking, eating etc. going on and little Chris managing to get himself soaking wet in the sea just in time for Rachel, Graham and Chris to go off on the little train to Devil’s Bridge.. not the best of times then.
Well, by this time it was about 3pm, everyone else was going their separate ways so I did the same. I noted the time I left the car park, it was 3:15pm precisely and wondered how long it would take to get home.
Well, the traffic was horrid. On all the bits where I could pass traffic, the traffic flowed or was non-existant. However, on all the fun windy bits and anywhere where you can’t overtake, I was down to about 30-40mph, if I was lucky. And I had to endure this sort of traffic problem right down to the Oxford side of Woodstock! However, I *STILL* managed to get home in only 4 hours!!! I have no idea how as I’m sure I was averaging about half the speed I had on the way up to Aber. I got home at 7:15pm, unpacked, watched Top Gear and Coast before uploading my pictures and going to bed.
Sunday’s pictures can be found here.