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Febuary 21 2010 – A year since I left

Hello,

After a very relaxing half term, I return to school to resume the term’s work. Sitting on the train gives me a chance to reflect on life, the universe and everything. I find it amazing that already, a year has slipped by since I sent the first Boat Kid e-mail, since I stood outside Tallis House and looked up, complete with my illusions, my dreams, my fears.

I have since lost those illusions, the dreams have either been accomplised or slipped even further away. My fears? Let me say they have changed. I have different things to worry about now. I find that slowly, I am beginning to be accepted by my peers for who I am. I will always be rather strange to them (I am strange, there’s no question about it!), but I am learning to live with them, as they are learning to live with me.

I find it fantastic, and rather touching that despite my long abscence from the yachting scene, many still reply to my e-mails, tell me the news, reminice. And to those people, I have to say thank you. I have found that the sure knowledge that I have true friends, albeit far away, has kept me sane through many a difficult time. Knowing I have friends has enabled me to survive the English eduational system. Thank you.

Memories often come back at me, even now. I remember you, the laughs, the Karaoke evenings where everyone wished I’d shut up, the oddjobs, the day to day really of the life I left behind. It is stupid for me to wish I was back with the old life, it is unfeasible. But this does not mean I want it to disappear, it is too much of who I am for that. So instead, I will remember fondly the great times, and hope to see my friends again, wherever this may be, and hopefully, extremely soon. Amazing how one hankers after th day-to-day news when you can’t get it!

I will conclude this e-mail by firstly apologising if I sounded maudlin, sentimental, and hope to hear from you very soon; or better: see you!!

Till then, fair winds, kind seas!

Christo, the Land Locked Boat Kid.

December 23 2009

Hello all!

I hope this e-mail finds you well and that you are having a festive time (for all those snowed in in England, no sarcasm intended). But after all, ’tis the time for celebration, seeing friends, eating and spending far too much, and threatening to never look at a pair of scales again. For it’s Christmas season of rejoicement, cold, and naf-ness. Isn’t it great!

I apologise once more for the horrendous gap between e-mails, but I have a) been busy, and b) even lazier. I look back with horror and see that the last e-mail was in October (oops!) and even then I didn’t update the website (big oops). Forgive me. I’m a teenager. One advantage, though, is that this e-mail will be full of endless and boring anecdotes that intersperse themselves throughout my banal life. Huzzah!

After a long (and cold, and wet and miserable etc, in the same vein for 5 pages…) term at school, I finally (Finally!) left after a rather hectic morning sorting out travel money, and ways of getting to Coventry. I then went to stay for the night with Tony and Jan (Red Marlin), and I must thank them again for their tremendous hospitality. Not to mention the great fact I was seeing pals again!

When I got back home, one of the things I found for me was a letter sent to me by the town council. I’m not French, nor resident in France, so this was unusual. I opened the envelope. Inside, I found my call up papers to the French Army! Not even French, and stuck in national service – arrgh! It gave me quite a shock! Luckily all was sorted with a quick phone call, and I do not have to join the Foreign Legion. If anyone disbelieves me, I would be more than happy to forward a scanned image.

Sorry for dragging on about that, but I needed to do that to get the required tone of boredom in. That, and it’s the only bit of real news I have. At “Le Grand Osier” (our house) in France, nothing much has happened, except the fact that we have an overblown and overdecorated tree in the sitting room, a smell of cooking in the kitchen (long live Mum!) and regular shouts of “Shut up!” from various members of the family when I start warbling carols. Admittedly my voice is a tad on the flat size (steamrollers come to mind), yet they aren’t getting into the Christmas Swing of Things. Oh well, we’ll all stuff ourselves silly anyway.

Whilst I remember, a quick mention on Christmas trees. Something Dad would never permit me to do would be for me to buy about 20 Christmas tree lights (I’m talking of the delightfully awful flashing ones here) and draping them around the lower mast, in the shape of a tree. And of course, an effigy of Ringo (Star -gawd, what a howler! Sorry!) at the top of the mast. That would be hideous beyond belief, but it would be utterly hilarious. If anyone has actually done that, they’re a lot braver than me!

For those who know him, Mike (Roam) is staying with us over Christmas, and remarkably, he doesn’t mind me mentioning that he knows me! Curious! Most sane people would pretend to not know me, my name, or anything else about me when in company of others. Then again, we do all live on boats, so that must explain a lot!! Yep, it really is Christmas, criminally bad jokes are beginning to be told. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

That’s all my news, I’m afraid. I’m sure you’ve all been and done exciting things like climbing Everest, or visiting Antarctica (for those in England, ten meters from the front door will count as an equivalent for both!), so please keep me updated! Merry Christmas to all!

Christo

The Land Locked Christmas Nutter


October 9 2009

Hello!

I trust this e-mail finds you in fine fettle, and that you have not been tapped on the shoulder by that grim, sinister, overrated Swine flu. Luckily, I have not (touch wood) and hope it will stay that way.

Where are you now? I always love reading about your travels, and long silences get boring. Not to mention the worry that I’ve been moved to the Junk box.

Right, time for the boring bit – the update!

It hasn’t been too bad, actually. I’ve been doing pretty well academically, despite the heavy workload (IB is good, but a killer), and I’ve got into hot water with one or two teachers for handing prep in late. Oops. Not so good, my grades will suffer.

On Monday and Tuesday, we had field day, and for me, this meant a CCF trip. So, on Monday morning, packed up for a night on a field, armed with a gun (I’m not joking) I set off to Barnham training area to do exercise with the Army section and a few fellow RAF people. Now before you all start writing to the MoD about letting run around Norfolk with a big gun, I would like to point out that it wasn’t loaded most of the time, and I was in a contained area. Finally, the gun I was issued was so rubbish that when it did come to firing at other people in an ambush exercise, the damn thing jammed, and I failed to get a single shot off. Grr.

We arrived at Barnham at around 11 am, and set up camp. We set up our tents, if you can qualify the poncho things we were issued as a tent, and then had a very healthy meal of chocolate, dry biscuit, crisps and a bottle of water. We later did a patrol; that is, the army patrolled, the RAF was cannon fodder (actually, no rounds were really fired) and we kept getting captured. Annoyingly, we couldn’t pick off the patrol at a distance, we weren’t allowed to. So we sat there till they wandered over and said “You’re nabbed” (or similar). The evening was more fun though. After a foul meal of army ration packs (they are horrible!) we set up the ambush exercise. Basically, it was the same thing – Army against RAF, though I was put with the Army due to my inexperience. After a safety brief, including demonstration on the danger of blanks (the standard rifle does an impressive job on an apple at close range, ie, lots of damage) we set out. Once we were in position, we waited about a minute, then our machine guns opened up. We had two LSWs (Large Support Weapons) and they would signal the start of the attack. When they opened up, rifles either side of me opened up with everything they had. And it was incredible. Even through ear defenders, the banging was impressive, and the sights! To my right, spurts of light showed the rifles, to my left, the LSW pumping blanks into the night, a flickering intense orange light. And me? Well, my first shot, my gun jammed. I cleared it, and it jammed again. Three times, that damn thing jammed, three times I had to clear it. I didn’t get a single shot off. And buy the time I’d finished the 3rd un-jamming drill, the enemy patrol had been wiped out.

The next day was more fun, though the night was rubbish. Still dressed, in a sleeping bag on the floor, with a cold wind blowing through the open ends of my tent, my night was not the best one. This was made worse by a fellow cadet with a sense of humour tying some string to the top of my tent, and jerking at it all night so that the tent kept shaking (Foley!). Anyway, awoken at 6 am by another cadet blundering around camp, I got up at 7, and then it started pouring down. Have any of you cleaned a gun you hate in the rain? It’s horrible, don’t do it if you can avoid it. Still, after the initial drenching, we moved on to RAF Marnham for a DCT range, and squadron visit. The DCT range involved a sort of computer game based on the rifles I’d used (or not, as the case was) in the field. We did target practice on the range, then a simulator where we had to kill insurgents as they ran towards us. Fun, but hard. After a great lunch, courtesy of the RAF kitchen, we went up to the Tornados. These jets are quite old now, but still going strong. The first thing you think when you see it is how similar it is to a bulldog – stocky, but very powerful. It was great, we had a guided tour of the aircraft, being shown missiles, ECM pods and cannons, after which, I got to sit in the navigator’s seat! It was great; it beats spots off Mianda’s chart table in terms of equipment and buttons!

After all that, back to school where I panicked because I hadn’t done enough prep. Eek!

I’ve finally finished the info bit, sorry it took so long. Still, last LLBK e-mail for a bit, I hope to see you in Turkey when I arrive in 8 days’ time!

See you soon,

Christo


September 18 2009

Hello,

I hope you will forgive me for this long period of silence, but the motor boat of prep has overtaken the sailing boat of my intellectual capacities, so I am left with very little time in which to write. The news here is that I am doing the IB course rather than A level. This has many advantages, i.e: a greater variety of subjects to study, but also disadvantages, i.e: extra work. Lots of extra work. Arrgh!

To be perfectly honest, I don’t exactly help myself – I’ve signed up for extra curricular activities left, right, centre, even above! Mr Jones, the choirmaster made the mistake of allowing my ill-reputed voice to join the choir (luckily, that particular facet of my reputation hasn’t reached him yet!). Hopefully, this will raise the quality of my Karaoke performances, but somehow, I doubt it. Earplugs, anyone?

I’ve also signed up for the school production, playing the part of Mantalini in Nicholas Nickleby. My character is a horrible letcher who married his wife for her money, and subsequently wastes it, reducing her to bankruptcy. Sounds right up my street!

I will repeat the early warning signal one again, as the fateful day draws nigh – my arrival in Turkey has been set for the 18th of October – and I arrive at something like 2 am at Dalaman… Pity me. No, just joking, it’s really going to be worth the slight discomfort to see the blue bays of Gocek ripple in the autumnal breeze, the sheen of boats’ hulls, and the (hopefully!) smiling and welcoming faces of my friends on board them. I miss that lifestyle.

Still, I must admit that things here have improved considerably. I am not exactly about to be voted coolest, hippest, best looking guy in school, but, hey, at least the general attitude towards he has improved! It’s hard to put in words what has happened exactly, it’s more like the Katabatic in Simi, felt (and how!) in Pethi, but hardly noticeable in Simi harbour itself. OK, not the best image available. Rather than something going over me, its more a sort of undercurrent. Inevitably, there are still some asses who haven’t grown up yet, but still…

Though it seems a little repetitive, please do e-mail me. Hearing from my friends many hundreds of kilometers away from me means more to me than you can know. It shows me that I haven’t faded into the bilge of forgetfulness,and if I have, hopefully the e-mails I send you drag me out of there like a can of beans bought 20 years ago when your boats were launched, and recently discovered whilst cleaning the bilges out to have more room to keep beer! But honestly, I really appreciate keeping up the contact.

If you’re ever in Norfolk, I don’t know why you should, but if you were, do feel welcome to drop in, come and see me in my land locked exile from the deep blue Mediterranean sea.

I hope to see as many of you as possible over the course of my stay, and I beg all Karaoke goers not to start a fund to keep me as far away from Paul’s microphone as possible!

I hope you soon on land, or on the high seas.

Christo, the Land Locked Boat Kid (soon to be released on parole)

August 31 2009

The Land Locked Boat Kid hits the broadsheets! Sort of. Here is a letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph concerning Laura Dekker, the Dutch would-be single hander around the world – at 13!! Good for her!

SIR – In 2003, my father decided to buy a boat and follow a life he’d dreamt of with his family. At the time, I was only nine, and my brother only seven. Despite many criticisms, he took me away from a world of conformism and tedium, giving me a unique experience.

Learning on-board as we sailed the Mediterranean taught me to appreciate other people and embrace different beliefs, and gave me a broader outlook on the world than most 15-year-olds have.

Laura Dekker (report, August 29) wants to sail around the world alone at 13. I wish her the best of luck, and find the Dutch government’s reaction absurd. It should be using her as an inspiration for teenagers, not placing her under state care so psychologists can assess her.

There is a name for people like Laura and me: Boat Kids. This has more to do than just living on a boat: a Boat Kid is more open to strangers, has a more adult perspective on the world and is, frankly, often more sensible than landlubbers.

Christopher Tracey
Dinan, Brittany, France

And here is the link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/6114599/Patients-are-more-interested-in-nurses-practical-abilities-than-in-the-letters-they-have-after-their-names.html

August 28 2009

Hello, where ever you are!

Two days ago, I went through the harrowing stress and minor panic of waking
up. This may seem a strange state of mind to be in when rising from
slumber, but it is clear when I say two words – results day. Ten am at Le
Grand Osier found Dad, Mum and myself crowded round a telephone calling the
school to get the results. A few minutes later, the alea was jacted. Here
are the results that I recieved:

English : A* (there are advantages to an English Teacher Dad!!)
Physics : B
Chemistry : C
Maths : A
French : A*
Spanish : A*

So, after all, I had quite respectable results. Which was very reassuring!

A snippet of news: The Land Locked Boat Kid has been picking the
padlock and fetters of land, and is returning seawards in his own way.
I’m building a boat. I’s just about finished, and I hope to test-sail
her tomorrow. Then, paint her, at some point fit the deck, et Voila!
My own home-built kayak! Here is the link to the plans for those
interested:
http://koti.kapsi.fi/hvartial/
So, not quite sailing in Turkey, but a bit nearer to the water. I’m
naming her Dragonfly. Next step – a 45 ft-er!!

I hope you are all well, and look forwards to seeing many of you soon!

Fair winds!

Christo, The Land Locked (?) Boat Kid

August 8 2009

I hope all you are all well, wherever you are, and that the weather is pleasant in your whereabouts. It’s a bit up and down here in France.

What is the latest news? What interesting snippets can be passed on? Though away from the marina and its social life, updates are always very gratefully received!!

I recently made the mistake of looking at a calendar, and got a bit of a surprise. Indeed, I only have 30 days until vile school calls, and I return on the 7th of September. Still, I have a good event to look forwards to – half term! It seems absurd, but I’m already eagerly anticipating the next holiday, even if I still have a month of freedom left.

Freedom. Hmm, let me review the events of my summer holiday. Uneventful hardly covers it. Then again, crashingly boring is only applicable in parts. This past week, I have been stuck under a ride-on lawnmower, trying where three professionally trained mechanics have failed over the past 12 years, i.e, getting the bloody thing to work. This latter activity has been spent tidying up the mess made by previously mechanics trying to be too clever, dismantling the linear actuator (used for lifting the grass cutting deck) that the aforesaid mechanics installed, and uttering profanities from a horizontal position trying to get anywhere at all. Hardly a dream holiday. Yet I enjoyed most of it, “every minute” would be an exaggeration. At least I got the grass cut!!

Reminder of the early warnings: my arrival date in Turkey has been set for the 17th of October (Henry’s birthday, incidentally), at around 1am. I hope that the first few days of the break will be spent in the Fethiye Korfezi area, then the remainder spent in Marmaris, catching up with marina bound buddies. I hope to catch up with many friends, and remind the yachting community that even though  I am gone from the many social venues, the arrangement is not a permanent one (unfortunately for anyone within a 50ft radius as Paul on Antigua Lady makes the fatal error of letting me near a Karaoke machine!).

Do keep in touch, and I hope to see as many of you as possible in a couple of months time.

Fair wind, kind seas, and if you’re in England (or France), don’t forget the umbrella.

Christo, The Land Locked Lawnmower Mechanic (temporary status only)

July 22 2009

I hope you will forgive the long silence, but the past fortnight has been spent basking in the luxury of freedom from school. Endless trudge and toil are far away, and now pleasant calm has returned to my spirit. That last bit being pompous nonsense. However, the apology is sincere.

I am now waiting for my GCSE results which arrive on the 27th of August (?!? Why so late?) and am hoping against hope for at least one A*. Hoping. But now academia is temporarily forgotten, and I’m working on a fitness program prior to returning for the rugby season  back at school, where I hope I’ll get into a team. My eagerness surpasses my talent, but that means little seeing as I’m rubbish! Still, it’ll be fun, being grabbed by the ankles and flung in the mud by a bloke who is 6 foot 5 and looks like a hungry shark. The joys of sport!

But, onto more important things. Where are you? How are you? As I always say, I really do love to receive e-mails from my friends, seeing as it shows that even though my flat voice and un-dulcet tones (Paul on Antigua Lady can confirm that last bit!) are no longer forced on long-suffering yotties at karaoke venues around and about, I am not totally consigned to the forgotten lockers of the mind. So please write soon.

ADVANCE WARNING!!! I’m coming out to Mianda for the October Half Term, and looking forwards to seeing as many people as possible. If you wish to hide, assume a different name or leave the country when Christo is around: Beware! He’s coming out soon! Just thought I ought to warn you! If you don’t wish to disappear mysteriously for the duration of my stay, I would be delighted to see you, as I can honestly and truthfully say that I have been missing the yottie life, and seeing you again would bring back happy memories of cruising on board Mianda.

I hope wherever you are, you are well, and enjoying fair summer weather (It’s raining here in France. Typical!).

Fair winds, and kind seas!


June 12 2009

Who can describe the marvelous feeling of leaving the exam hall for the last time? That’s what I felt at 10: 50 am this morning as I finished chemistry paper 1. Now, glorious freedom!

I am also going gliding on Sunday, which will be extremely enjoyable. For gliding, we use Grob Vikings, great gliders, and I will try to remember to bring my camera, and take photos of the whole operation, which is interesting, to say the least.

Rather scarily, last Tuesday I went sailing in 420 dinghies, serving as crew to a girl called Flip, Englands topper champion who sailed for Britain in oppies! I must confess that I was scared stiff, as even though the wind was only 3-4 on the Beaufort scale, it seemed a darn sight more! And I also managed to shoot my non-existant reutation by refusing to helm “because I was scared”. Of capsising with a champion on board, and showing how bad I truly am.

I must say though that I am finding my contempories hard to live with, and a lot of their “teasing” is extremely unfunny, to the point of being annoying or offensive. However, I have found a very good friend in Captain Scoles, head of CCF stores, and a really nice chap. I wish all seargent-majors were like him!

The e-mail list was a stupid idea, as many have told me (in various degrees of anger), so that has been abandoned. Apologies to all.

All future e-mails will automatically be put on the website, so please feel free to leave comments on content, or anything really. Thanks.

May 22 2009

To all those who have already ready received this e-mail, sorry for the delay and randomness of the e-mails – but I’m afraid it probably won’t improve. For those recently added, prepare yourselves for irregularly space e-mails containing (mostly) drivel. Here goes.

Exams are at the peak of their activity, so everyone is at the ebb of their energy. Listless, tired, pale students wander zombie-like from lesson to lesson, while the 3rd and 4th form struggle on towards the end of the year. Exhaustion reigns in the 5th form, lower and upper 6th. Then again, the latter still find time to haul a bin up the footbridge all other years need to use to get over the bridge, string balloons all around, the who caboodle embalmed with “Fragile!” tape. Immature, I say.

Once again, tired of terra firma I have decided to leave the stress of exams and go flying – again on Thursday. I really love the CCF! Funnily enough, I had the same pilot as my first flight, Mr. Childs, and though he didn’t recognize me, I recognized his catchphrase “If you get sick, I won’t tell the girlfriend” (my reply “I don’t have one!”. Wish I did, though).  I could see the sheer glee on his face when I timidly asked for some acrobatics – he must have already been plotting on how to terrorize yet another cadet.

Takeoff was pretty smooth, we climbed to 3, 500 feet, and just rehashed some turns and trims. Then, the acrobatics. I did a couple of Chandals, pulling up sharply, rolling to left or right, then falling out of the sky, straightening wings and pulling up to straight and level flight. Hang on to the stomach! I then wished I hadn’t had Capt. Scoles’s chocolate bar before the flight…

Then, a quick loop, before a little recovery straight in level, to quell my stomach’s brewing revolution. During this, my pilot asked what I would like to do. “How about a four point turn?” I asked. WHAM! The pilot threw the plane to 90 degrees. WHAM! Upside down. With no centrifugal force holding me to my seat, my bum was about an inch off the cockpit seat and I was hanging in the straps, and wishing that they were a little tighter! A second later, 90 degrees again, then straight and level, and with me feeling decidedly weaker! Back on the ground, the ground crew knew I had been doing aerobatics because of the colour of my face! My solution to calm the bobbing sensation in my stomach: use gravity, and polish off some packed lunches!!

But now, back on Earth, and back to boring reality, I feel obliged to talk of exams, school, etc. I am at last getting the feeling I am becoming more a member of the community rather than a superficial, superfluous growth superimposed on the house. And though the exams are tough, I am pretty satisfied so far with the ones I have done. Still, one this Friday, then half term (!), and after that, study leave. More flying next Friday, field day, and a visit to Imperial War Museum Duxford. Cool!

To all who receive this, please do keep in touch, as I really love reading the latest news, even though I’m a little sad I can’t be involved in it!

April 28 2009

The first week back at school, and the second halfway through…

Things haven’t been too bad actually, I have been doing a medley of activities, and I have been doing pretty much OK.

Last Sunday, thanks to the CCF, I was taken to an airbase specialising in glider training. Unlike my earlier flight in the Grob Tutor (incidentaly, the gliders were Grob Vikings), we had much more to do. After a hasty departure on my part (I got up a bit late. Oops!), two other cadets, Mr Peaver (French teacher, and ex-head of CCF here) and myself piled into a car where Mr Peaver took use to the base. Another school was there, but luckily, few cadets were there. What was great was that we had to help the gliders take off an land by attaching towing cables or holding wingtips level. I was lucky: I got 2 seven-minute flights in, and a long 27 minuter, where my pilot found some thermals and we shot up. We returned to land after 2 loop the loops – really cool on a glider. The glider takeoffs are vicious, you accelerate to about 60 knts in about 3 seconds, and pull 2 Gs on takeoff. Actually, the take-off preceding the 27 minute flight was particularly vicious – I later found out from the winch man that his hand slipped whilst accelerating us! But it was good fun, and enjoyable.

I had French oral exams this afternoon – Mr Peaver reckons I’ve got 50/50 for it, and It’s one more exam behind me. Cool!

My shooting has improved a bit, and my bullets are much closer together than they were at first. However, my shots need improving, but I’m working

April 12 2009

Phew! Three weeks of “holidays” already done and dusted! Still, the “holiday” has been mainly work – revision, ensuring I won’t get F minuses in all my subjects, etc.

Back off to Gresham’s in less than a week, and there begin exams by the dozen, and work by the lorry load. I can’t complain though, I enjoy school (though that may seem an oxymoron), and I’m looking forward to returning to Tallis house, and seeing all my friends again. However, at school we will have Tallis run – up at five o’clock, run about 7 miles to the beach, then take a dip in the North Sea. Ugh! Then breakfast on the beach, and coach home in time to attend the first lessons. Pity me.

I hope that you have had a pleasant Easter, with no gales disturbing you, here in Brittany, we have had a heat wave (a Breton heat wave, that is. That means a few clouds, but glorious sunshine. I love global warming). Last batch of students arrived, they seem a nice bunch, which is always good.

March 14 2009

I was honestly amazed this morning when I looked in my calendar and saw that I only have 6 days of school left. How did all that time slip away so  fast? It’s incredible how one loses track of time, despite the total novelty of school. I think I’m beginning to settle, but the process is slow, like trying to get a CQR into a weedy bottom (i.e, with a lot of patience). Boat idioms are rubbing off, school boy idioms are going in. Sort of.

Schoolwork is understandable for the moment, sure I get the odd grey patch, but I’m pretty much on form for it all. What is really getting me is the mountains of prep that I have to do. Annoyingly, I get a lot one day and none the next, and I’m a bit paranoid about completing all the prep I have in one evening, even if it isn’t due for a week. Also, I’m having to learn anew, whereas most people are revising. Doc. White, the head of studies reckons we ought to be revising approx. 3 hours per day on our revision, but I think I’ll be working twice that figure just to get to level. I’m a bit deppressed about  the physics, there is such a huge range of topics to study. Also, Mr Matthams, my physics teacher reckons a B grade will be good. And GCSE’s are getting even harder. Arrgh!

The other boys in school don’t quite know what to make of me, I think. At times, the 3rd and 4th form give me pure hell, and it takes a lot of self control to not thump one of the little sods when they are making obsene comments about one’s parents. I often feel like giving up on my generation. Funnily enough, my best friends here are a buch of German 6th and 5th form boys who are in Tallis with me. They are polite, charming, and very friendly, and I have a really good rapport with another Christopher.

On to dreaded school meals. For the most, I don’t understand the amount of flak the boys (and girls) give the kitchen, schhol meals here are, on the whole, good. Then we get beans and sausages a la carte and rhubarb pudding. Then I begin to understand. The rice pudding makes you want to forget the stuff for life (I now understand you, Dad). But not all is bad, the chile con carne is passable. I think the proof lies in the staff: If they are willing to eat the food, why are we complaining? Teachers aren’t stupid, and they won’t eat rubbish food. Therefore, the food is obvously OK. At times.

I would like to thank everyone who has replied to my e-mails, it’s great to receive news from my friends, and also reassuring that though
I’m gone from the marina bar or the bays, I haven’t been entirely forgotten. Thanks.

Febuary 28 2009

Phew! Here endeth the first week of school in Greshams (If you haven’t received my 1st e-mail, please reply so I can resend it), and, overall, I have enjoyed it heartily. And yet, part of me, a large part at that still misses Mianda, and the warm bays, the friends, the social activities… How can I describe all my feelings about boarding school? There are just too many of them.

I have stared shooting as a sport (using a .22 rifle) and though I am rubbish for the moment, perfection will come with practice. Also, I like all the teachers, and I think like me, so luckily, I have no problems there. I am making new friends in Tallis, and though it may sound corny, I am sure that some of these friendships will be life-long.

For those interested, and masochists, here is a list of subjects I am doing. If you’re not interested (or if you are sane) skip it.


– English = I am studying “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and the class
discussion is great for new ideas
– Physics = A bit above my head, but I am working hard to catch up.
– Chemistry = Pretty basic for the moment, but I think it is getting harder.
– History = Not for an exam but, for fun, I am studying the Vietnam
war and hippies. Very interesting actually!
– Religeous Studies = Like history really. It’s pretty basic and I
understand virtually all of it.
– Spanish = I’m doing pretty well here, which is good. My teacher is
helpful, friendly, and a real joker.
– Maths = It’s all understandable for the moment, though I panicked
mildly today as we “revised” some calculus. Which I’ve never done.

I have joined the RAF section of the CCF, and am immensely enjoying it. I’ve done a basic gun drill, and on Thursday, I went flying in a two-seater trainer aircraft. The thing is so sensitive! You feel every tiny ajustment. I cannot wait for the next opportunity to fly!

The first week has been pretty hectic, as we have being doing “Tallis Entertains”, effectively a review, which has had everything frantic. I am pleased to say that I actually led a song in on the harmonica (“There is Nothing like a Dame” – South Pacific), which was very popular. There is so much musical talent here, it is unbelieveable! Daily, we go to chapel, which I love seeing as we actually sing decent songs, as well as praying (Roman Catholic  music is rubbish). The chapel is a superb old Norfolk building, done in the dry flint style. The choir is equally magnificent. I am enawed by their talent. Kareoke nights would benefit hugely from them!

I’m off to bed now, a week of new discoveries, emotions and exitement have left me as drained as a teapot after a Womens Institute meeting

Febuary 14 2009

I will not be returning to Mianda in Spring with the rest of the family (though I may pop out during half term). The reason for this unexpected sequence of events is caused by the fact that my Grandmother has informed us that she is willing to pay the high fees to put me into a English public school (boarding, evidently), and so on Sunday the 22 nd I will be meeting the other boys of Tallis house, Gresham’s school for the first time. Mum and I take a ferry to England on Friday afternoon, drive up to near the school on Saturday, and I will actually start school the next day. For my boat-kid, homeschooling background, this will be quite a culture shock, and will take getting used to, such as having to cross the footbridge instead of nipping across a relatively quiet country road. I hope that you will e-mail me as I don’t want to lose contact as well as sight of many good friends made during my cruising time in Turkey. Gossip will always be appreciated, and hopefully I will see some of you during my brief visits to the boat.

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4 Responses

  1. Great website, good buddy! Keep it up!

    Alex

  2. The body of pupils that I have been elected supreme councillor of, feel that your comments about your fellow students are harsh. We are incredibly hurt. We try our hardest to beat you into submission. However, if you feel the situation is turning towards your favour, then we have a problem, Jnr. CPRL Tracey.

    Best wishes, you Bounder!!

  3. Fantastic website! keep up the good work.

  4. Great website!

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