Dileas Agonistes

Dileas, pronounced Djeelas by the way, is in agony. She lies, deeply wounded , wedged in a secret passage. I initially thought that a few of us could probably work her free and so we set about it on my first evening back from Freeeance.

For some reason she would not budge.

For some reason she would not budge.

Forget it. We could not move her at all. It soon became clear that the poor boat is not only badly beaten but is also filled with about 20 tons of sand.

I reckon that if I can lever up her bows a few inches using a long lever, following the famous adage of Archimedes, “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.” then we can start shoveling out sand from underneath.

Sakurai san finds me a perfect metal pole for a lever and more importantly, Jeremy arrives from Geneva. I now have a lever and muscle. My knee condition is a big drawback as I have difficulty crouching and lifting.

Long Toed Stilt. You can actually see their middle long toes. Well I can. The ring indicates that the bird came from China. Maybe on the same flight as Jeremy.

Long Toed Stilt. You can actually see their middle long toes. Well I can. The ring indicates that the bird came from China. Maybe on the same flight as Jeremy.

It’s great picking people up from the airport as there is the amazing stinking pond hard by. I always stop and see what is going on.

This old airport gets me down

This old airport gets me down

Anyway, Jeremy and I attack the shipwreck. We lift the bows and start shoveling. We move tons of sand but find no buried treasure.

Pieces of eight.

Pieces of eight.

And you never saw me take snuff, the reason being that in my snuff-box I carry a piece of Parmesan cheese--a cheese made in Italy, very nutritious. Well, that's for Ben Gunn!"

And you never saw me take snuff, the reason being that in my snuff-box I carry a piece of Parmesan cheese–a cheese made in Italy, very nutritious. Well, that’s for Ben Gunn!”

Clowns to left of me Jokers to the right Here I am, stuck in the middle

Clowns to left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle.

I can see clearly now. Moving Dileas is going to be a project for the next few weeks / months. Once out from between Scylla and Charybdis, we have to get her back to the house some 300 meters away. How?

 

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Poor Dileas

Oh no!

Sitting in the lounge in Charles de Gaulle  on my way home, I get this.

“The peak of the typhoon last night (it went straight over us) coincided with a high tide. There is sand over several low-lying parts of the road this morning.

That being the case, I thought I’d better go and see how your boat fared. The first bit of bad news is, it was no longer there―nada. We had pulled it as far up into the gap as we could and chained it to the rock. Well, the chain was still there…

So, I walked a bit further down the beach and, lo and behold, good news! There was your boat, firmly jammed into that little crevice that leads to the next beach.

The next bad news: it had clearly had a very rough night, and it is going to take a lot of work with a sander and a fiberglass repair kit to make it seaworthy again.”

Hot tears drip onto my keyboard.

Hot tears drip onto my keyboard.

Notwithstanding, had it been me who pulled Dileas up into Dead Man’s Gulch, I would undoubtedly have done a much lazier job than my friends and the Typhoon would have blown her off to Bali.

Oh dear,oh Dileas.

Cha b’e là na gaoithe là nan sgolb.

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St Dude Arthaud 2014

I want to live in Sandy and Zandra’s chateau for ever. I could hide Steerpikely in one of the top bedrooms and no-one would ever know I was there. I would sneak out early in the morning and snuffle around in the forest, rubbing loam and pine needles into my naked body. I would read and write and play with coloring books in the evening, sitting  beside a wood burning stove, drinking fine wine and gorging myself on the produits de la belle France and laughing with the Mac Gillivrays.

The little window top right would be my room

The little window top right would be my room

You may think it is a pool but in fact it is full of brine for steeping jambons

You may think it is a pool but in fact it is full of brine for steeping jambons

Zandra photobombed by badger

Zandra photobombed by badger

Minimalist

Minimalist

We go to buy food, we eat gloriously, we see a Bonelli’s Eagle.

Happiness and Joy

Happiness and Joy

Selle de Chevreuil

Selle de Chevreuil

Zandra is a ceramicist.

This one of her Bulls

This one of her Bulls

Bliss

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Big Tits

I am staying with Mac Gillivrays in the Valromey. They live in a 11th? century chateau in a valley that looks much the same now as it did then.

As a gesture towards modernity they have a bird feeder which, in the autumnal gloom, is much visited by tits.

The Great or Big Tit

The Great or Big Tit

The Coal Tit

The Coal Tit

Pussycats sat and watched with me

Pussy cats sat and watched with me

The Blue Tit

The Blue Tit

His name is Ginger

His name is Ginger

Marsh or maybe Willow Tit. Cannot remember the difference.

Marsh or maybe Willow Tit. Cannot remember the difference.

Her name is Mimi

Her name is Mimi

I spend hours sitting in the garden, watching the birds, watching the cats, the cats watch me, the birds watch me, it is very quiet and harmonious.

A Nuthatch

A Nuthatch

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Freeeeance

So I am in France, which is a very beautiful country to look at.

The Sweet Baby Jesus Gate in Rians

The Sweet Baby Jesus Gate in Rians

Huge Typhoon headed for Okinawa.

My hotel room

My hotel room

Annecy

Annecy

Eat my lunch

Eat my lunch

Itinerant Cheese woman

Itinerant Cheese Woman

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If You Miss This One, You’ll Never Get Another One Bee-dee-dee-dee-bom-bom to San Fernando.

So this is turning into an epic. I have to be in the south of France for 30 minutes on Tuesday morning. I start by changing flights to avoid typhoon heading for Okinawa. I am now in Tokyo in the middle of the typhoon I was escaping from. This morning I head out for the station to catch the Narita Express train to catch my Paris flight. It is still pouring with rain but not windy. I hobble for miles through corridors,tunnels, underpasses and the like.  This is Tokyo so there squillions of other hobblers. I finally find an information desk, “Narita Express wa doko deska?”

“Oh good morning sir, I am terribly sorry that all trains to Narita have been cancelled due to the typhoon.” says impeccably made-up and presented young lady in surprisingly equally impeccable English. What typhoon? It is raining but no wind.

Anyway it turns out that if I go to Nippori there may be trains from there to Narita.

I stand on a platform that has Narita written on it for a while. Nothing happens. I phone Naoko who sends a text in Japanese explaining my problem. This I show to an attendant who says “Hai , Narita starship, platform 15.”  I get there to find signs saying Narita Starship cancelled because of typhoon.

Things are looking bad and even if I get to Narita, what are the chances of the flight taking off?

The cry goes up “Last train to Narita!” I scramble aboard wide eyed and breathless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg8DhjQOtzM

actually this is better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMyNcMG7Ryk

Last train to Narita.

Last train to Narita.

This seems to be a local train and stops at about a million stations but eventually gets to the airport.

I am now in the lounge with lots of others. All flights are either cancelled or delayed except to yes you guessed it Paris! I really am a very lucky person.

Hooray!

Hooray!

The Japanese of course are impeccably calm and smiling throughout this difficulty which would send most nationalities into baying for blood mode.

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Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

The typhoon that I escaped from is now approaching Tokyo. I awake to find that  is hosing it down. As I leave the hotel an old lady comes up to me with an umbrella. She  gifts it to me knowing that I will die without it.

I slosh my way to the subway, my jeans already wet to the knee. I vaingloriously pride myself on my ability to get around Tokyo on the complex but marvelous subway system. This time I blow it and slowly realize that I am not headed to Shinjuku but Braintree in Essex. I jump off on one leg and head back to the city. Unfortunately the car that stops in front of where I am waiting on the platform is a green car. These I now know are more luxurious and justifiably more expensive. A very polite lady eventually arrives and informs me that I am where I should not be. I am then taken off to the ordinary and packed normal carriage. It is like running the gauntlet. Everyone keeps their eyes down as I am guided dripping in disgrace to where I belong.

It is not cold but very wet

It is not cold but very wet

I arrive in Shijuku at 12:00. I have a hotel thanks to Naoko but what time can I check in?

Finding a hotel in Tokyo is only possible by taxi. I leave the subway station and stumble around in the pouring rain trying to locate my hotel before I finally get a cab. Even the cab driver has no idea where, in the maze of tiny streets that is East Shinjuku, my hotel se trouve.

We finally get there at about 12:00 and I ask, dripping and sodden when I can take possession of my room.

“Hai!! 3:00″

I skulk in shop fronts

I skulk in shop fronts

It is lonesome on the streets of Shinjuku in the early afternoon on Sunday with no place to go and the rain pounding down.

The Japanese are masters of umbrella protocol

The Japanese are masters of umbrella protocol

Why are they not wearing skirts?

Why are they not wearing skirts?

So I am afraid that today was washed out.

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