The Perfect Seat

So, you need the right shoes for running, the right glass for your beer…

Now the right seat to watch videos

The Perfect Seat

Provided of course that the video was something like this.

Oh yeah, I have a kayak again… no more swimming ūüôā


When rivers go bad

On September 6th, the innocuous¬†seeming Henmore brook, which runs past the end of my folks garden, rose by more than 10 foot and burst the river-defence boundary wall, flooding their bungalow very suddenly, at 3am ūüė¶


The whole thing, the event itself and especially the aftermath, has been a bit surreal. When people ask how things are going, I do find myself sometimes actually telling them, and this means launching into rather a list Рvery sorry about that!

Well, the list is too long really to go into, the important thing is, things now, this beginning of December, truly seems to be a turning point, with things looking better each day, rather than worse:

After some heavy-duty fans and industrial dehumidifiers working for a couple of months, the house was declared “dried out” in the first week of December, and the joists and floorboards are being replaced this week. Mum and Dad are managing remarkably well, despite everything, and are in a small but cosy rental¬†home on the edge of town. They should be able to move back into their house in April.

We’ve been so lucky to have the¬†help of a lot of brilliant friends and family – helping with the clear-up, providing cooked meals for the team in the first week, or just listening to how things are, sending kind messages, and being a shoulder. Can’t help but feel rather unlucky in terms of what happened. But¬†amazingly fortunate in the brillaint¬†friends we have.

Looking forward to Christmas, which we’re going to spend in a very nice village pub.

This picture, from a couple of months ago, is especially for Si¬†¬†(check the view from the window)¬†, who will know exactly what it is. ūüôā

Emergency Dam

And on Guitar…

Video, enjoy.

Grade I with 3 drops, near Stoke

Not posted for ages, and I guess that other folk have been too busy paddling to post. Good stuff. Anyway, here is a picture that I feel needs putting up. And would be good to hear about any adventures you’ve been having, xh

Rachel handed in thesis

Hooray! Rachel’s pinned down all those pesky microbials, caught them with a butterfly net and pressed them with blotting paper into a beautifully bound tome full of learned things, all pretty and HANDED IN!!! So now she’s allowed out at weekends, yay. Good effort! Welcome back to the world!

The Mary Celeste

This is the moment when Mike and Phil recovered a raft, upturned and floating down the Soça river, just about to enter the Slalom section, where it was probably about to have quite an exciting time, all alone without a driver. Top river booty!

As you can see, despite starting our trip quite definitely in Europe, we had been inexplicably transported to the misty Mekong. We could only presume that the crew of this ship had been looking for a despotic American-military-man-turned-local-warlord, and had been shot with poison arrows and abandoned, left gurgling in the swirling water, their last mission in vain.

Luckily for us, the poison arrows had miraculously all¬†missed the rubber inflatable craft entirely. So we¬†resolved to run the slalom course in our new toy – a good road test, which we were looking forward to immensely. First, nevertheless, we felt we should really head upstream a little, in case any of the drowned crew hadn’t actually drowned yet, or were still busy gurgling through their punctured lungs, and would like a biscuit, or a throw-line,¬†or some helpful pointing and shouting. Our only clue to the former inhabitants of the raft was a pair of old¬†converse trainers, tied into the seat well by their laces, a poignant reminder of¬†the¬†doomed former occupants. Ah me.

Well, you will be pleased that the story did not turn out¬†quite as¬†tragically as we had feared. After some interval, the pilot, a local raft guide,¬†turned up completely unscathed, undrowned,¬†not surrounded by the¬†murmuring pale¬†ghosts of¬†dead adventure day-trip clients,¬†¬†and clearly hoping to be teased mercilessly for a long time by English kayakers repeating the same jokes again and again and again, and holding his raft hostage. By hard bargaining and nifty negotiating skills, Phil and Mike cleverly¬†persuaded¬†the raft guide into promising us a free raft trip: (“Yes, yes! I understand! You want a raft trip for free.¬†Yes, that’s fine. I speak English. No need to ask again, I understood the first time. I already agreed.¬†Stop repeating your hilarious ‘jokes’ about the autopilot not working. Mercy.” ) And then equally cleverly noticed that¬†we didn’t¬†actually want a raft trip with a company which flips its rafts and leaves them to float unmanned¬†downstream, with us swimming in the river – After all, who wants to¬†go down¬†a river totally¬†without a boat, huh?

So¬†Phil¬†and co¬†left the¬†grateful¬†raft guide to his own devices and went canyoning instead. We’re not stupid.

Photos by Sara and Penny

LUCanoe – new website

New website for LUCanoe: