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Monday, 25 June 2012

Henley Royal Regatta

Wednesday at 10.30am will find The Farmer and his wife yelling their heads off on the banks of the Thames at Henley. The target of our yelling will be the University of Leicester men's 8 racing against University of Southampton in a heat for the Temple Challenge Cup. I am so excited about this outing that I can hardly wait. If they are strong enough to win they will race Harvard (USA) on Thursday, and a win on Wednesday would be the biggest rowing achievement ever brought home to University of Leicester. Send these motivated and dedicated young men (and young lady coxswain) strength and stamina for their race. We shall yell on your behalf!

There is a live results feed on the Henley Royal Regatta website if you wish to know how they do, as they do it. Even if they are knocked out on Wednesday they will have done as much as one other University of Leicester team, 16 years ago. So, already, they have equalled a record.

I have my big boy home. He is out on a tractor contracting job tomorrow, and has a property to prepare for letting, and some bricks to clean in his spare time. Wouldn't want him to think his short break from study is time for...... a break.

Keep you posted on rowing news. X

Thursday, 21 June 2012

373 posts

I can hardly believe it. Technology tells me that I have blogged 373 times! What a load of words. And pictures. *struck dumb in amazement*.

North Lincs Print Open 2012 @ The Ropewalk

So, off I went in the pouring rain, firstly to Stennetts auction in Brigg, near the railway line, to see if I could purchase some fertile peacock eggs (the answer to that was 'not today'). Onwards then, still only 9am, and to Barton upon Humber. I finally found the Ropewalk, hiding at the rear of a Tesco Carpark (how inauspicious). However, upon entry to the rather lovely historic buildings I found a bit of a treasure trove, both of Art, Artistry and cake.

The 2012 Print Exhibition is displayed over two cavernous yet intimate and well lit spaces. I was the only peruser, so had plenty of time to take in the view. My initial impression: I was completely overwhelmed by the skill and beauty of the printing. I felt small. I felt hopeless. I felt intimidated. Having walked fairly quickly around the first room I gathered the courage to start actually 'looking' at the prints. Most, indeed nearly all, are absolutely breathtaking. I couldn't see how most effects had been achieved, and couldn't begin to guess. I photographed some of my favourites, and also the prize winners. The Exhibition first prize went to an absolutely staggering and well executed drypoint etching, large in scale, evocative and captivating. I could have looked into it all day. It shows a window, with the sunlight illuminating a lace curtain, and picking out some features of the room. Go and see it.

Some of the techniques: aquatint, collograph, mezzotint, relief print drypoint, etching, monotype, linoprint, relief with collage, chine colle, monoprint, etching on plaster, canvas print (with screen, line & gold leaf), woodcut, open screenprint, relief on vinyl, reduction linoprint, photoetching, etching emboss, lithograph, and a digital print.

Laughingly, I thought I was learning to be a Printer. Hahaha, I couldn't achieve all this knowledge, and this level of skill in a lifetime, never mind the 3 years of a degree!

Viewing the prints has made me realise that I will have to take some private Printing courses to extend my knowledge and techniques. Time is all that is required. I'm on it.

Crushed and humbled, I collapsed into a cafe seat, and found myself shortly thereafter guzzling a huge square of lemon cake and sucking down tea like a parched foreign legionnaire. As a consequence I 'bucked up' somewhat. The sugar rush enabled me to view the collection again, with a little more sense and proportion. There were one or two exhibits that I could perhaps match.

I departed the show in rather better spirits than I arrived, and may even go again if I find myself near the Humber Bridge.

Yet more pouring rain as I motored on to visit family members, and made my way home on flooded roads through torrents of water. Phew. Hopefully, not long til gin o'clock. Its been a big day.

Kiss, kiss. X

Saturday, 16 June 2012

marlow regatta

So, the Farmer and I arose from our bed at 5.30am and were on the road to Eton once again by 6.30am. The Baby boy was scheduled to race at 10.40am, and we didn't want to miss the fun. Couldn't help noticing that the weather was pretty grim, and growing grimmer as we drew towards our destination.

Things were somewhat different at Dorney Lake too. This was the last event permitted before the Olympic preparations completely take over the lake. All of the 'business bits' of the lake were already closed off. Therefore, we had to park absolutely miles from the boats (other side of lake). We sprinted round to the other side to meet the rowers (about 2km) carrying the Baby boy's wellingtons. He was desperate for them. The reason? The poor buggers were forced to get onto the water off the nettle and thistle strewn banks of the lake. I kid you not. It was raining, blowing a gale, and there were hundreds and hundreds of young people wading around in the lake struggling into and out of their craft. I saw some teams carrying their tiny coxswains into position on their boat on the water. Owing to the horrible weather the start line staff were unable to hold the boats on the line for an orderly start, therefore teams had to attempt to line up in a howling gale on open water and make the best of it. Good starts were difficult. Our boys did make an advantageous beginning, but were caught by a particularly strong gust of wind which pushed them sideways whilst in second position. After re-aligning the boat down the course they never made up their dropped places, and rowed like lost souls for the remainder of the course.

We rejoined the dejected sportsmen (sprinted back another 2km) in their weed infested sheep field (I am not kidding) to sympathise, and then made an early departure. Apparently, shortly afterwards, the course was cut down to 1500m, and then, a little later, racing was abandoned.

It was a horrible experience for the organisers, the observers and all the rowers. Let's blame the weather, and the Olympics. I cannot understand why the kids were not allowed to use the pontoons for getting in and out of their craft at least. It was quite, quite dreadful.

Upon our return home I am advised that the Big Boy has been involved in a vehicular tete-a-tete with a gatepost. Not his vehicle thank goodness, and all 4 people in the car are relatively uninjured. Have recommended they all scoot along to AandE for a checkover and that they have learned the courage to realise that if they don't like the way they are being driven in someone else's car its better to ask to get out than grin and bear it with unpredictable consequences.

On the plus side, we had one of those '£10 for two' MandS meals to round off this difficult and tiring day, and it was absolutely delicious. 10/10 MandS! Early night for us. And the rowers. And probably for team 'car prang' too. *sigh*.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Metropolitan Amateur Regatta Dorney Lake (Eton College) Windsor

And the University of Leicester senior men's rowing team (which included my baby boy) WON. It was  wonderful, memorable day.
Won't load film, will put it on with Utube 2moro. Got to get to bed!

Friday, 1 June 2012

rowing baby competing tomorrow

Just so that I can write it: my son is competing tomorrow and Sunday for University of Leicester senior men's 8 (coxed) rowing team at Eton College's Dorney Lake (the site for the Olympic rowing this year). And, even hoping to do well at the Regatta, which is held on the Olympic course. Good luck to all the team, and especially my boy. So proud I could burst. First qualifier at noon Saturday. Fingers crossed everyone!