Thursday 12th. June, 2014 – Sailing! 

I don’t have a picture of us sailing because we were on the boat and I didn’t wish to take my camera on this first venture into the Whiteadder in a boat we hadn’t sailed before in case we turned her over. But the boat in the centre of the picture is Escapade, a forty year-old Wayfarer and, once we had got the sails up, she sailed wonderfully well. It was exhilarating and made today a very special one

Up, showered and walked Mix before breakfast. Tom and Dorothy arrived as I was finishing my porridge, Dorothy to go with Rachel to Dun for their stained-glass workshop, Tom to take me to the Whiteadder Reservoir where we were to sail Escapade for the first time. We took our time about setting everything on the boat up as it should be – and we were very careful. The wind was about ten knots or maybe a little bit more so we were into a force four, normally something about which we would have been quite happy except that we didn’t know this boat at all and in my case it is such a long time since I was in a dinghy although, as I told myself, Olivebank sailed like a dinghy (except that she wouldn’t capsize – that’s quite big exception).

We pulled Escapade down into the water and soon we were off. The mainsail was well reefed and the jib was down and, as we reefed by rolling the main sail around the boom, we had no boom vang with which to control the shape of the mainsail. However, it didn’t matter, Escapade sailed like a dream and, after my larger boats, I was amazed at how close we could sail to the wind. This is going to be a dream summer – retirement is wonderful. I will have to get used to getting my feet wet as we launch and recover our boat, I have been spoiled on larger boats.

Having sailed and recovered our boat, Tom and I went to Pearsons for lunch where I had a really good Caesar’s Salad with chicken. Then it was back to Mount Pleasant where Tom dropped me and went off to his home. Here activity was in full swing. Cathy was working on the chairs and making a splendid job of them. Mum was away at an SWRI outing to Kelso, Olive was marking examination scripts on her computer and Rachel, now back from Berwick, was joined by Sandy and they started work on warping up the loom.

I had never really realised what these frames were for, but here Sandy is measuring out and collecting the threads which will make up the warp (the fixed lengths of thread) on the loom

Digger spent the day in his smallholding and I took this picture to show all the digging which has been going on over recent days:

It really looks good

Mix and I spent some time sorting out our sailing bits and pieces and in going for a walk. I also managed to take in a bit of the first Test Match (Joe Root and Matt Prior are doing exceedingly well) before it was time for supper in the farmhouse. After our meal Rachel and I watched the opening ceremony of the World Cup, followed by the first match which saw Brazil defeat Croatia by three goals to one. I’m not a football person but I did think that Croatia got quite a raw deal from the referee whose decisions seemed to favour Brazil – but then, what would I know about it. I did enjoy the opening ceremony however. The three themes of nature, diversity and football came across well. The costumes were stunning and I loved all the colours and the music.

Walked Mix and went to bed, perhaps to dream about sailing – we were to have gone to a farm sale tomorrow at Wooler but Tom ‘phoned to say that it had been cancelled because there wasn’t enough to sell. I’m sorry about that – I wanted to go, not because I hoped to buy anything, but because I love the rolls filled with sausages which are served in the canteen there. Ah well, even when one is retired, one can’t have everything!


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