Thursday, October 25, 2012

An apology and a little Something for the Weekend

First an apology.  I have just discovered a number of old comments from you dear readers that I had not previously seen, and some of them are worthy of an airing.  It’s all because I tend not to use the Blogger editor, so I don’t see any  comments that Blogger regards (goodness knows why) as needing moderating.
Anyway, here are a couple of interesting bits I never saw until today.

First, from back in August on the subject of the strangely shaped boat seen here

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We have the answer!!  From Ray T, who says ”I spoke to the owner a while ago.  It is a South Sea Islands outrigger, minus mast and out riggers. Built for the previous owner at Warwickshire Fly Boat.”  Well I never.  Now we know.  Thanks Ray.

Then regarding my gripe about the kink in Braunston tunnel in September, Peter Lee writes

 “Give those old navigators and engineers a break! Just imagine building a tunnel yourself with a pickaxe, shovel and horse and cart to do it with! Oh, and maybe a bit of black powder and a rope or two. They not only started at both ends - they sank what are now the ventilation shafts and dug between them simultaneously. This meant a fancy bit of surveying to work out how deep each shaft needed to be - and then they had to work out exactly which direction to dig. Easy these days - but not when the only tools were plumb-bobs and such. It's a wonder they managed to get any sort of tunnel at all... Makes you appreciate the skill (or maybe luck) of those tunnellers who got things more or less straight”
OK Peter, it’s a fair cop.

Thanks also to others whose comments I might have missed.

Those only interested in boats, look away now.

Sue, who in addition to giving financial support to half the vets in the South of England is also an Indigo Dreamer grumbled at me today for writing about dulcimers then showing a grotty old photo of a bit of engine.  She wants a picture of musical instruments.  Now Rock n Roll carol has asked too. OK just this once.  These are the ones I have to get into the car for this weekend.

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Starting from the back, my £12 mountain dulcimer, Kath’s hammer dulcimer made by Roger Frood (no longer making)  from Somerset, an octave mandolin by Paul Hathway from London, a 10 string cittern (lush) which I persuaded Robin Greenwood from Dorset to make about 30 years ago, a guitar (I knew you knew that) made by the great great  Stefan Sobell from Northumberland (at this point you are required to face north and genuflect), and then my sweet little Scottish smallpipes (with their bellows) made by Richard and Anita Evans from Cumbria.    The exception is the  mountain dulcimer which I bodged up from a plywood kit sometime in the 1970s.  I suppose this lot represents about half of the instruments we have, but when in their cases, plus a couple of stands, its a car full.  They all need to be got in tune, that’s 79 strings to get right, plus the pipes, which as everyone knows, are never in tune.

Q. “How long does it take to get a hammer dulcimer in tune?”
A. “Nobody knows”

Bagpipe statistics: ” bagpipers spend 60% of their time trying to tune their pipes and the other 40% playing out of tune”

Well that’s quite enough of that.  This is a boating blog. I might take a picture or two of the nutters playing at Launde, otherwise you'll probably  be relieved to know we're back to writing about canals and  boats.


Anonymous said...

Thank you - your instruments are beautiful - it would have been nice to serenade her Majesty with them when we did the Jubilee but I'm not sure what happens if you get rain in your bagpipes :-)

Enjoy the weekend!


Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Halfie said...

Neil, fret not about stringing us along with stories of musical instruments. I'm glad you piped up about them. After all, you are a boater, and you make music. Perfectly in order to write about it. If anyone's on a sticky wicket that'll be me, for blogging about my non-canal hols. (Please forgive the awful puns, and if this joins the other comments in the black hole of Bloggerland, I quite understand.)

Carol Palin said...

Really interesting - thanks for the picture - have a grea weekend and I look forward to at least one picture of the 'other nutters' at Launde!

Simon said...

ah, instrument jokes are easily recycled - I heard it as

'mandolin players spoend half the time tuning up and the other half playing out of tune'...