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Keeping out the cold

Quite an interesting look, but alas, all the eye sees is a muzzy grey-blue smudge of shapes.

I hate being cold, especially indoors. I lived in Canada until I was 29: yes, winters are below 0degC there, but every house and apartment has central heating, so you’re warm — often too warm — inside. In London, heating in my various rented apartments was dodgy; it would come on at odd hours (when cheapest for the landlord!) and often was wholly inadequate even when on. I remember one especially miserly landlord who loudly insisted an extra sweater would be fine, and forbade electric heaters (I ignored that rule, and moved out asap). And in Australia (Sydney, at least) central heating just doesn’t exist, despite it sometimes getting down to 5degC at night in winter. The combination of plug-in electric heaters (and the associated eye-watering electricity bills) and gappy windows is not a happy one.

We’ve just come out of an unseasonably early winter spell. Nights of 10degC outside — and mornings of 15-17degC inside my 1936-built apartment with its ill-fitting, thin-paned sash windows. I’ve put weather-stripping everywhere I could and stuffed rolled-up towels along the tops of the bottom sashes, which helps with the drafts but not the slow, insidious seeping-in of the cold.

Here, though, is the latest weapon in my war to keep warm indoors during winter: bubble wrap on the windows! The air bubbles act like insulation. All you do is spray water on the window and press the wrap on, bubbles facing the window. Amazingly, it seems to stay in place. You can’t see anything, of course, which could be a drawback.

And I do think those bubbles look rather blobby!

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Sextets of pelicans

Six pelicans

It may be hard (impossible?) to tell, but the six Australian Pelicans above are not the same six as in the feature photo. I photographed these birds on 3 April at The Entrance, which is on the Central Coast north of Sydney.

One Word Sunday: Six

And, this fits very neatly into “Birds seen in the past two weeks

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Not happy with heights?

Lord Nelson

Looking up, Lord Nelson

Very few people react with glee to the idea of climbing up the mast on a tall ship. I certainly never did! Looking at these photos, it seems like a mad thing to do.

Tenacious

Tenacious: look at all those narrow, wobbly ladders to climb …

In the photo below, you don’t get a sense of the height but you do get a sense of the scale.

Tenacious, with a person for scale

Not happy with heights? Nah! These crew members going aloft on Tenacious have already had four weeks to get used to it, sailing from Bermuda to Southampton.

Going aloft to harbour stow the sails! (tip: don’t look down)

Posted for One Word Sunday: Vertiginous


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Man climbing the rigging with bagpipes
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Climbing the rigging

Crew climbing the rigging on 'Tenacious', 2006

Crew climbing the rigging on ‘Tenacious’, 2006

Three photos on the theme of Climb. If you’re wondering what’s poking from the bag in the feature photo, it’s bagpipes; don’t ask.

Me climbing the rigging on 'Lord Nelson', 1994

A rare shot of me going aloft! (Safely in port, you’ll notice.) ‘Lord Nelson’, 1994

Crew climbing the rigging on 'Lord Nelson', 1995

Climbing the rigging is hard enough in normal conditions — in unwieldy oilskins and wellies, it’s a real challenge! ‘Lord Nelson’, 1995


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