Dear blog.........

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Tue 1 Sep 2015 12:25

Dear blog,

First we must apologise for neglecting you for so long, but in fairness we’ve had a few things to do of late, but it is a poor excuse though. Anyway, apologies and here we are again.

So what has happened since the trip on Magic to Barcelona? Well, we had the fun of a summer trip to the UK to see lots and lots of people, plus meeting Mysha (who is gorgeous and grandchild no. 6) and attend the wedding of Chris and Tanya, which was wonderful. In addition we travelled nearly 3500 miles in a small car (Fiat 500) and saw a good deal of the country, from Cornwall (Sue and Malcolm) to Aberdeen (Chris, Tanya, Alice and Isaac and Tanya’s mother, Lillian), Westcliff-on-Sea (Sue, Paull and Michael) to Glasgow (Andy – 12 stents and looking great, and Lesley) by way of Centre Parc’s in Sherwood Forest (where we had a great time with the children and grandchildren all together, the first time we’ve achieved this), Birmingham (Sue and Ron), Havant (Phill, Ruth and Ollie), Reading (Jenny, Paul, Shayla, Amaya and now Mysha), North Yorkshire (Pam and Ellie), Lincolnshire (Ian and Karen), Ferndown and Poole (mum’s) – some visited more than once.

Chris and Tanya’s wedding was small and good fun, her dress was stunning by the way, and we hope Tanya is well in Algeria on her latest rotation, and her mother, Lillian, is fine and well back in the middle of Russia and enjoying the Mexican Train Domino’s.

We swam in the “dome”, canoe’d on the Thames, had fish and chips in Aberdeen, wandered round a damp Harrogate, walked the beach in a chill and damp wind which seemed to come from Siberia at times near Mablethorpe, strolled a canal bank in Birmingham, toured Bateman’s Brewery, had lunch with Ju and Liz with Andy and Lesley in Glasgow, walked in Cornwall (Penryn and Falmouth) where we also saw some J Class Yachts racing, but they were some way away off the coast so we didn’t actually see very much really, and had some very nice tapas, paddled in the sea once or twice, played a few hands of Icelandic Rummy, learnt the card game of John, also strolled around, briefly, Reading, Havant, Portsmouth, Chichester, Leigh-on-Sea, Southend, Aberdeen, Maldon, Poole and Swanage, saw the America’s Cup AC45’s racing, this time very close off Southsea, and well done to Ben Ainslie, a first and a second. Oh yes, and we visited IKEA. Naturally. Well, we do, don’t we!

All in all, quite a trip, lots seen, country toured, miles added up, many folks met (some we haven’t seen for quite some time) and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Thank you to everyone who looked after us so well – we have both put on a bit of weight!

It was while we were at the America’s Cup racing that Susan hurt her back, something that still troubles her – riding a rib at high speed and then to come off a wave at speed did something to the muscles in her back and caused her, and sometimes still does, quite a bit of discomfort. Things are on the mend but it is slow progress, as most things seem to be concerning back injuries.

The trip was 7 weeks of travel and spending time with folks across the UK and we were somewhat exhausted when we returned to Lagos. With Susan’s back problems we took things slow and have been gradually getting back into the pace of life here. Some folks we knew from last year are also here, Linda and Vic (Gretel), Melwyn and Brian (Manatee of Hamble), Seba and Joanna (Luna), and are planning to spend the winter in Lagos and we will be interested to meet some new folks as they pass through – we have been “recognised” from the Yachting Monthly articles we wrote a while back (fame, or infamy more like) which included small photo’s of us - interesting.

Lyn and David (and Maisie) from Scarlet invited us to join them for some sailing along the Algarve coast and we jumped at the chance, so we leaped on a slow train to Villa Real de San Antonio near the border with Spain with a marina on the lower reaches of the Guardiana river, and had a really pleasant and fun week heading west, particularly when we anchored up in Culatra where we also bumped into, but not literally, folks from two boats we met last year, Les and Bob the dog (Gee Bee Jay) and Ian and Carol-Ann (Ostryga – nope, we’re not sure what it means). We explored the old towns of Faro and Olhao, where we found a really nice Indian restaurant for some lunch, and much of Culatra island. We also managed to briefly meet Mike and Jeanette who's yacht, Dutch Link, was in Bruce's Yard for a few repairs. It was an excellent week on Scarlet, a Beneteau 45, with fantastic hosting, great meals, great company and a drop of wine or two, and we will be joining her for the Bluewater Regatta as crew, so we are looking forward to a good few days of racing. Lyn and David will also be spending the winter here. Some piccies from the trip will be posted shortly.

So now we are getting back in the groove and will post an update following the regatta in due course.