Wabi-Sabi of boat

Our old boat Eileen is a project that’s never likely to be completed. In my minds-eye there are grand designs and the hope that the ‘next big push’ will move it towards some degree of completeness – but it never actually happens. Time’s not on my side and life gets in the way. There’s just too much distraction and not enough daylight as the boat’s located just too far from home to make an evening’s work on it viable. Still, that’s not to say we can’t enjoy it’s rough-&-ready incompleteness. We can indulge in ‘glamping’ afloat perhaps, shabby-chic without the chic and, over time, we’ve cobbled together a camping stove and sleeping bag ‘make-do and mend’ mindset that works. The threadbare space, the unfinished rough-edges being seen as an antidote to slickness. The boat’s concrete materiality is a refreshing change from the temptations of the virtual world.

This year we’ve not been able to get a-boat as much as I’d like. This picture-post is about when we did and for a few days enjoyed the wabi-sabi of the boat

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The 1930 Sun-bathing Riot

Details of LSC
The London Sunbathing Club, 1920

Campaigns for a return-to-nature, for health & fitness and for social nudity or naturism arose in Northern Europe in the later part of the 19thC and were gradually adopted by other European countries after the First World War.

Semi-clad in Croydon…

The Hyde Park Lido built in 1930 was a concrete expression of the outcome of the movements. It gave people somewhere to sunbathe legally, as it was illegal to strip to sunbathe unless on specially designated beaches.

In North London, from 1921, people gathered at the Welsh Harp to bathe and expose their bodies to the sun.

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Summer ‘Blogging Break’


Just to say that I’m taking a couple of weeks off. Hopefully I’ll see you here again in a fortnight after a bit of a Summer break.

Best Wishes


ps. the blog may go off-line for some routine maintenance during this period…

“Still Life with swan, canal & the Boys…”


Children’s Book Review: Wave the Flag and Blow the Whistle

‘Wave the Flag…’ has been a favourite bedtime read for the Boys for the past few years, a rhythmic and heart-warming railway adventure, we still wheel it out every now and then and (all three of us) happily drift away into a simpler, wonderful world of steam trains, picnics and Summer days…

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Away 10. ‘Going underground…’

The next part of the journey had a bit of an early 80s sound track to it, a combination of Dexy’s Midnight Runners ‘Come on Eileen’ and The Clash ‘Going Underground’... The reason being that the Boys overheard someone call ‘Come on Eileen!’ as we passed – a common enough experience if truth be told –  and they were eager to hear what the song sounded like. It became something of a ‘Too-Rye-Ay’ soundtrack to the days away… and ‘Going Underground’ well that was all to do with going through, and then back through, Braunston Tunnel…

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