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From Saltash

We went canoeing from Weir Quay the other day, but the light was not very good for taking photos.  There's a nice slipway and it's not too muddy.  We saw some egrets.  That's about it really.

Then today we went to Saltash, which was a bit daring of us: so far we have only gone out on the upper river, but Saltash is very nearly the seaside, down where there are speedboats and warships.  The seaside bit means that you can launch at low tide without getting completely covered in mud, but sharing the water with so many other watercraft is a little alarming.

Pp looking very intrepid, about to set off:


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What-if questions

In the event of sudden overwhelming attack on, say, RAF Benson, by, say, the serpent-spawn of hell,  do you think that the crews of the Chinook and Puma helicopters stationed there would:

a) Attack the serpent-spawn, even though the helicopters are not really designed for that sort of thing  (and I am not sure if they are even armed with anything that would be likely to give serpent-spawn anything other than very momentary pause).

b) be used to evacuate and flee the base, assuming that they have maybe three hours notice, tops, and certainly would not be able to remove everyone living there.

You can assume that they are not getting any orders from the MOD.  I've already dealt with them.

Supplementary question inspired by dhampyresa :

In the event of serpent-spawn infesting London and the French using their nuclear submarines to attempt to put a stop to the serpent-spawn before it moves across the Channel,  how much of Northern France would become uninhabitable? 

I thought there were no figs ripe

But then in the evening I went and checked, and there were three ripe ones!

Today, based on a weather forecast of no rain and light winds, we had planned a long canoe expedition, but in reality (not in the alternative dimension that is weather-forecast-land) it has rained pretty much continuously since 8am, and shows no sign of letting up.  I'm guessing this is the rain that was forecast for yesterday, then, given that yesterday's forecast was for rain which failed to show.

I and the dogs all got very wet on the morning dogwalk, and getting wet again in a canoe seems an uninviting prospect, even though it would give me a chance to test the bailer that I cunningly made from an old paraffin jug.  Tomorrow, perhaps.

Since we dutifully cleaned all the things yesterday when we could have been canoeing,   today looks like a day of writing and drawing all the things instead.  Hey ho!

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The poser

I wandered past the buddleia bush today with camera in hand, and half-raised it to point at a Red Admiral that was flittering past, before deciding it was too far away to make a good photo.  Then I looked down, and this chap landed approximately three inches from the camera lens and began... well.  Posing.  Flexing his proboscis, strutting with his little spiky legs and waving his stalkeyes.   So I photographed him.
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Running Repairs to Vingilot



"What seems to be the problem?" I asked as we arrived – not to Eärendil, oh no, of course not to him. He was shining away in the prow, oblivious to all things. (Reluctant as I am to see any good in the shiny fools who don't maintain their celestial vessels, I must in all fairness consider the possibility that he's just permanently dazzled, perhaps even blind. It can't be good for your eyes to wear a star on your brow. But that's not really the point. He's still got ears, after all.)

"Rudder's broken," said the crew member who'd greeted us.

"And you can't fix it yourself?" I was surprised. Like I said, they're a good bunch of lads, Eärendil's crew.

"Not without resupplying," he said, "and we never stop in port. They are no ports up here. No shops. It really strains our ingenuity."


from "Servicing Light-Vessels" by ladyofastolat

I should have drawn more crew really, but I find faces hard... 

There is a thief in this house



He steals everything!   And he guards it too, so you have to do swaps if he takes something you want back.  Honestly, I thought lurchers were supposed to be thieves, they have nothing on Mr Ruggie!
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Except, at long last, it IS.   Or at least it is it is for the next 12 years.   After that, r_blackcat informs me that we will be expected to bring out the second edition. I'm imagining something leather-bound and gold-embossed, for suitable gravitas.  :-D

Tell me Heather, tell me,
Whether your leaves are summer-green?
Do your blooms hang lightly,
where my brother sleeps?
My beloved brother, my brother who forgives all?

Tell me, Memory, tell me,
How he threw in everything he had,
How he burned like a star?
As I foresaw, he took the dare
To risk our fate, the curse upon our lot

Finrod's Song  on Ao3

(it took me literally hours to format it all in three columns on Ao3, I am not going to try to replicate the effect on LJ, particularly as I suspect everyone interested here has already read one of the many beta versions. )

Fireworks!

Every year, Plymouth hosts the British Fireworks Championship, in which six professional firework companies compete over two days.  You can go and watch for free from lots of places all around the city : a couple of times, Pp and I have sat on Plymouth Hoe to watch, which gives a pretty good view.  But from the Hoe, you can't help noticing that the best vantage point of all for seeing the fireworks is from a boat on the waters of Plymouth Sound...  So this year we arranged to do that.  It sounded like a great idea, up to a few days beforehand, when the weather forecast for that day went to 'rain, possibly thunderstorms'.

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We went to See the Man Engine

The Man Engine is a monstrous Cornish Miner, created in puppet form, and riding like some vast god-figure on the back of a monstrous Volvo lorry.   We went to see him unveiled in Tavistock a few weeks ago, at the start of his trek westward through Cornwall. I just unearthed some photos.     We took the hounds with us: I might not have done that if I had realised how busy it would be, but Brythen feels quite safe when he has Pp to lean on, and Rosie seems untroubled by crowds (so strange.  This is the dog that was terrified of a falling pencil on the other side of the room).

Waiting for the Man EngineCollapse )

To get the Man Engine to stand up, you are supposed to sing to him : Sten Sten Sten!  which is Cornish for tin, and there was quite a long song in Cornish to go with it.  But this was in Tavistock, and while Tavistock is certainly the most easterly of the Mining World Heritage site, it is also quite undeniably just over the border in Devon.  Nobody speaks Cornish!  Some people sang (I think the town council had arranged a choir) but most of the surprisingly-huge crowd just watched, while the little orange guy you can see below told us partially-audible tales of mining past, then the choir sang and the Man Engine stood up!
.... And here he is!Collapse )

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