from 'The Journal of Alacazam', by Mary Swift...
Wednesday 18 July 2001
Dick woke up (and also woke me up) at about 0730 hours to a beautiful morning. We have slept solidly all night so if there was a gale then we slept right through it. I fall asleep to be woken again at 0900 hours. I begin to wonder if Dick doesn't like me sleeping in.
He'll have to get used to it, because at the moment our sleeping patterns are clearly different. After years of being woken up by an alarm clock I relish waking up naturally.
The real reason he is disgruntled of course is because he still can't get the email to work on the laptop. For some reason he cannot fathom, the mobile phone keeps switching itself off.
He decides to go ashore to buy a newspaper, milk and bread to get away from the computer for a while but promises to phone 'Sea-call', an electronics company based at Penryn, when he gets back.
He does and they can't help, so he spends a few more frustrating hours at the computer before giving up. I sensibly keep quiet and bury myself in reading the Daily Mail and attempting to complete the crossword/puzzle section.
Murphy arrives in his dinghy. He is on his way to his yacht where he is carrying out repairs to the engine. He has just called to say hello and to point out his house and the place where we need to land the dinghy.
It is 1400 hours and we decide to go ashore into Falmouth for a wander, a drink in the pub, a browse in the bookshops etcetera. Very pleasant.
Dick has fallen asleep and I suddenly realise the time, we are going to be late for Murphy's dinner. The wind is blowing hard and the river is a little choppy but we don wet weather gear and life jackets, phone Murphy to let him know we are just leaving and head up the river. It's quite a long way and we cannot see Murphy when we approach the private slipway. I am sure we are at the right place, but or course I have forgotten the phone and cannot contact Murphy.
As we carry the dinghy to the top of the slipway and safety, luckily for me I see his car approaching. A few minutes later we arrive at his house. What a superb location. He has designed and built the house himself (quite a feat), the front garden is enormous and the view from all the front windows of the house looks down over Falmouth Harbour to Pendennis Point and to the sea beyond.
Pam has already arrived and we are introduced to Oscar and Olive (two parrots who have to be in separate cages because they do not like each other) and Bingo (a lovely old black cat). We have a tour of the house and admire all the wonderful photographs of Murphy, and the world-class yachts he used to crew on as foredeckhand in the America's Cup, that adorn the walls. He has led a very interesting life, not least trying to rebuild a replica of a Cornish tin mine on Gouda in the British Virgin Islands.
We settle down to a very good meal and thoroughly enjoy our evening with Murphy and Pam. We decline their kind offer to stay the night and return to Alacazam at about 0030 hours.
Thursday 19 July 2001
Woke up early but I stayed in bed until 1000 hours, Dick is reading his book. He spends a few more hours trying to set up the email and getting more exasperated and bad tempered by the minute. It is driving me insane and I am becoming very irritable and sarcastic (who, me?).
To relieve this, I try cooking yesterday's recipe from 'The Daily Mail', 'Pea and Broad Bean soup with mint and créme fraiche' (I had bought fresh peas and broad beans in the pod from Tesco's yesterday).
When cooked I tried to mash the beans and peas by hand but this did not work so decided to try out the electric blender using the inverter. It drew a lot of amps but only for a minute and the blending was very successful (at least it got Dick away from the computer).
It is good to know we can generate our own 240v electricity via the inverter and not have to rely on shore power. We ate the soup for lunch and it tasted really good.
It was time to get out and about, the weather was fine so we went by dinghy to Penryn to take the Aries Wind Vane bolts back (the ones we had purchased a few days ago had proved to be the wrong size).
The tides were in our favour this time and we moored beside a fuel barge at Penryn. We spent a pleasant hour ashore, visiting the Chandler's and had a drink in the village pub, before dinghying back to Alacazam.
Tomorrow we will check out the forecast again with a view to leaving at lunchtime.