The autumn supper and dance of the Great Ouse Boating Association at the fine old Maltings Building in Ely

After deploying a sprinkler on my lawns, the day ended with a clear, starry night leaving a damp slippery ground as we left this late evening’s autumn supper and dance of the Great Ouse Boating Association in Ely. The day updating my investments, rushing before midday to get into St Neots to do building society transactions and then on to Great Paxton and to buy a new petrol 2-stroke strimmer which worked well later on my slipway and riverside frontage.

More escalation of the Western military presence in the Gulf was announced today but there were also more indications that the blockade was working. Food and medicines are now being allowed in for humanitarian reasons.

A better night and then a more normal routine. We still had to get Debbie out to school on Saturdays, but she seems to catch the bus quite happily. I did my morning chores, put the sprinkler on the lawn in the riverside garden, and then settled down quite happily to my office paperwork. I was updating the investments – particularly National Savings Certificates and building society accounts – and then filling in reams of new forms for new issues etc. I carried on until coffee break and then had a bit of a rush before midday to get into St Neots to do building society transactions and then on to Great Paxton and to buy a strimmer. Having suffered in the past with a variety of electric strimmer’s, all of which either wore out just failed to do the job, I decided on a petrol 2-stroke machine which had the necessary power and durability to do the job in good time from one week to the next.

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After lunch and some more desk work organising my priorities, I decided to go out to try the new machine and found it particularly good. I started by strimming the area around the top of the slipway in the aftermath of the bonfire. Having got rid of a lot of the excess vegetation, I was able to pile the rest of it into the brassier and get at the ground. I continued on down the slipway, moving a number of very indignant swans that seem to have made this area their home this summer. Then the long slog along the river frontage – both around the grass and up the bank so as to leave the whole area the tidiest that it has been for some time. This took until after tea and I was left very tired with my arms aching considerably, but it was a good job, well done. There was then a rush for both me and Diana to get ready for this evening’s autumn supper of the Great Ouse Boating Association. It was held in the fine old Maltings Building in Ely, where we had enjoyed our meals and cinema films this summer, but the whole area had been cleared away to make the space. It was a long drawn out affair with cocktails, a meal and then dancing to an organist until midnight.

The Harbourmaster of Kings Lynn was there to give a talk on safety with regard to the particular problems of the Denver to Kings Lynn area. It was interesting to talk to other guests about their boating season and their exploits but the average age was in their 60s and the music and tunes was very definitely aimed at the older generation to be so as to be quite boring in the extreme. The volume level of the sound also made it difficult to hear conversation. We were pleased to leave in the end, but had met some nice people nevertheless. I just could not understand the very high average age in view of the fact that the Great Ouse navigation had only been recently restored in the last 15 years or so. I think that their committee needs some younger blood, but I do not want to get involved myself. A clear, starry night with a damp slippery ground as we left Ely after midnight and they were talking of ground frost later on. More escalation of the Western military presence in the Gulf was announced today but there were also more indications that the blockade was working. Food and medicines are now being allowed in for humanitarian reasons