A Christmas Aboard Rampage

December 27, 2010

I seem to recall a promise some months back that we would try to post “little and often” every few days.  We now recognise that this is never going to happen.  In the summer we never want to sit inside working at the laptop so the blog is always much delayed.  In winter, (or certainly whilst we’re here in Corfu anyway,) there just isn’t enough news to warrant daily – or even weekly blogs, frankly.

The Skipper addresses the winch on the pontoon

So what have we been up to in the last three weeks?  Well D has done various jobs round the boat while I stuck to routine domesticity and lots of needlecraft with some socialising and the occasional trip to town thrown in for good measure.  In particular Duncan has been doing some emergency work on the anchor winch.  Had the Kipper himself been writing this blog, you would doubtless have had all the whys, wherefores and details of remedial steps taken.  Since I am at the helm today, suffice to say it has been stripped and repainted and should last a while longer.  It’s to be hoped so as they are not cheap pieces of kit. (Skipper here – it’ll last for years but just as well to nip these things in the bud, so to speak.)

Duncan has also spent a certain amount of time working on our bicycles.  His own bike sulked after its dip in the briney and had to be stripped down, told it was loved and reassembled.  Mine, jealous of all the attention, developed a recurrent puncture on the back wheel.  (Why is it always the back wheel which means getting involved with the gears etc?)  After the third repair, it was spoken to severely, (plus we found the minute piece of glass in the tyre that was causing the problem,) and there has been no further trouble.  Sadly the effort required to tackle the anchor winch and bikes left no residual enthusiasm to address the hot water – or lack thereof – so the situation is unchanged in that regard.   

Christmas lights

To be fair, Duncan has been off the road a fair amount one way and another this month, (although he did find time and energy to make three large jars of pickled onions!)  First, after many years remission, he had an outbreak of gout which was very miserable, and just as this was improving he managed to put his back out – probably heaving the above-mentioned anchor winch around.  Those of you who have known Duncan for a while will be aware of his slight tendency to self-destruct so it will come as no shock to hear that as he became finally mobile once more, he then developed a nasty sore throat etc which obliged him to retreat once more to his bed.

I have been very domesticated, baking cookies, mince pies etc and doing lots of knitting and lately tapestry work too.  The latter created another little job for the boss as it happens.  I was given a lovely tapestry of Padstow Harbour by my sister, Liz, but when I came to look at it, quickly realised that I would need a frame in order to work on it.  We had an expedition into town on the bus to look for one as there are a number of haberdashery establishments, but none appeared to stock a tapestry frame so D said he would make one.  Good as his word, a few days later I was presented with a magnificent frame made from a broom handle and some timber from an old chair salvaged from a bin …  I am pretty novice at tapestry work but it is most enjoyable.  However it requires good light so in the evenings I have been Knitting for Britain – or to be more accurate – for my grandchildren in Ireland! 

A festive saloon

On the social front, Jake and Vicky from “Peddlar Returns” and Rosemary, David and Boogie the Dog from “Time Out” joined us for a meal a couple of weeks ago and the following Saturday we all met on “Time Out” for an amazing roast supper.  We have also ventured to a local hostelry known as “The Beer Bucket” which is every bit the low-down dive it sounds but has the redeeming feature that we have managed to win the pub quiz two weeks on the trot!  Despite this display of bad manners on the part of new-comers we were welcomed by the regulars and as a result have made friends with some of the local ex-pats.  Other marina friends, Corinne and Claudio from “Levithia” were supposed to join us a curry on 23rd but Corinne had the same lurgy that has laid Duncan low so that has had to be postponed until both are fully recovered.  The bug also meant that we had to cry off our invitation to Christmas dinner aboard “Pedlar Returns” so on the morning of 24th I sallied forth to the local AB supermarket to buy provisions for Christmas Day.  Believe it or not, after 32 years of marriage, this was our very first Christmas with just the two of us.  I wasn’t greatly looking forward to it and would always prefer to be with my children and grandchildren but it wasn’t too bad all things considered.  The boat looks remarkably Christmassy with tinsel, mini tree and lights both inside and out and we had lots of good things to eat and drink including the obligatory surfeit of chocolate!  The weather is fairly grey and damp so we didn’t go anywhere and beside, D spent a fair chunk of Christmas Day in bed while I sat in the cockpit with Padstow Harbour and eight different shades of grey tapestry wool. 

We hope you all had a very happy Christmas – our thanks to all who sent cards and emails.  We will be back in UK for several weeks through January and February and hope to see many of you then.   

Very best wishes from us both for the coming year.   



  1. Sympathies to the Skipper! We had a very quiet Christmas too – its not supposed to be like that is it? Am currently trying to develop a cold or maybe shingles (?) as I went back to work today whilst everyone else seems to be off. Ruairidh and Helen no longer get good toys for Christmas – we still have the wii from a few years ago though. Oh well – case of wine beckons. C U Soon! Love T xx

  2. Duncan, thanks for the tips and link to your blog, I´m finding there´s quite a virtual sailing community out there!

    Just reading your last entry, if you suffer from gout, then the best cure (which also keeps you trim in the winter and avoids colds and flu) is to take a garlic tablet every morning. Apparently it keeps the uric acid levels down. That, and plenty of water and exercise after a particular heavy session of (in no particular order of importance) alcohol, red meat, or shell-fish.

    Oh, and if you want to keep your wife happy, you buy the ones that are odourless!

    Happy sailing, and if you pass back through the Balearics this year, drop me a line – jclackson@gmail.com.

    Happy 2011 and fair winds

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