Coffee restored

Using Sugru to fix the coffee machine
Using Sugru to fix the coffee machine

Disaster. The steam lever on our trusty coffee machine snapped. After a brief realisation that what we’d assumed all these years to be metal was actually plastic, the wider and infinitely less palatable truth dawned: no more morning coffee!

I set to work with an old piece of oak, salvaged from a bed headboard bought for £1 at Fakenham auction, and an amazing fixing putty called Sugru. After cutting, planing, filing and sanding the new lever into the right shape, the Sugru (the red stuff in the photo) is applied as a flexible putty. It is then left overnight and sets rock solid, bonding the wood to the broken plastic.

The new wooden lever is actually easier to control and much more tactile.

Morning coffee restored!

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Photographing seasons’ change in Blakeney Harbour

Boat against the September sunset in Blakeney Harbour
Boat against the September sunset in Blakeney Harbour

There are signs all around of summer’s farewell in Blakeney Harbour, albeit one protracted by days which continue warm and dry. The dusk light last night was very different from just a few weeks ago, something I only noticed when I looked back over the photos from an evening walk along the Cut. As the sun sets ever closer to the mainland, retracing the steps of the westward arc which took it far out over the sea in mid-June, so the harbour itself changes in character.

The evidence mounts in other ways too. The mooring jetty for the big barge has returned and, one by one, the little boats will start to disappear from their buoys, seeking a cosy berth on land. The car park is becoming sparse and that subtle tipping point has been reached where there are few enough walkers on marsh that people have started to say ‘hello’ to each other again.

Cleat and rope overlooking Blakeney Quay
Cleat and rope overlooking Blakeney Quay
Sunset over Blakeney Harbour in September
Sunset over Blakeney Harbour in September
Sailing gear at sunset in Blakeney
Sailing gear at sunset in Blakeney
Wooden boat detail overlooking Blakeney Cut
Wooden boat detail overlooking Blakeney Cut
Boats at dusk in Blakeney Cut
Boats at dusk in Blakeney Cut
Looking down the causeway beside Blakeney Cut
Looking down the causeway beside Blakeney Cut

A night to swim

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It was a still evening and the tide was ebbing slowly. Away to the West, the sun glowed red and low behind the Holkham pines. If ever there was a night to swim in the green waters of Blakeney’s harbour channel…

I walked down to the old houseboat and swam back up towards the quay, against the tide, and with Bonzo paddling away beside me, lay back and let the cool evening water drift me back to my starting point.

In the distance, calling across the marsh from Cley, the first big skeins of geese were filling the sky with their clamour, speaking of seasons’ change.

An evening walk on the marsh

Evening sky glow over Cley Marsh

The wind was in our faces and blowing from the West as the sun, shrouded in cloud, fell below the horizon. We were walking yesterday evening through the marsh from Cley back home to Blakeney. The sky, which has provided some spectacular sunsets over the summer, was in a different mood, but no less beautiful. In place of the classic orange disc melting into the harbour waters, Nature provided a maleable feast of shifting hues: colours you would not imagine possible in the sky, from cherry pink to luminous orange.

Set against a stage background of soft blue, grey clouds, these lights shone with intensity.

A few ducks, the vanguard of the larger migrations yet to come, flew fast across the face of the wind. Out on the sea bank, the Watch House stood dark against the dusk, a reminder of how small two little humans are in this wide landscape of marsh, sky and sea.