Boat Building

Boat Building
Originally uploaded by dave hanlon
It's been a thin summer as far as the outdoors is concerned. One big trip and a couple of weekends under canvas with the kids. Not that that's unusual. It's pretty much the run of things these days. For a moment there, there was the slightest glimmer of a work related trip to the Collorado School of Mines and it would have been rude not to visit the Rocky Mountain National park to catch up over a brew. Perhaps even settle some old scores with the East Inlet Trail. Unfortunately, the crisis has put paid to business travel for the time being, so I've had to stick at one and savour the memories.

One of the aforementioned weekends with the kids was real fun though. A late September get-together with the usual suspects but this time with families in tow. A veritable population explosion from five to eighteen souls. Folk have been busy these last years!

The venue was an island in North Holland. A fantastic little campsite right on the water. As Dutch as can be, surrounded by chickens and cows, with and uphill walk to reach the water.

Thim had aranged it. Water was therefore bound to be on the menu. Not before time though. We worked out that it's been two years since the last wet trip with the group. Thim even blew the dust off his Ally. Since I figured it wasn't going to fit in the car with all the other family paraphernalia mine stayed resolutely in the garage lounging under it's ever thickening layer of cobwebs. I'd written off the idea of taking to the water thinking that keeping the kids under control was going to be a full-time occupation but watching Thim piece his boat together had my palms itching. That cost Willem-Maarten a hard paddle to the canoe club to pick up a spare boat. I'll be forever grateful! That action has turned my mind back to paddling. In that respect Steve Waltons doing his bit too!

As it happens, Emily must have also developed itchy paddle hands. Maybe it's in the blood? She couldn't wait to get in the boat, and when she did, loved every minute of it. What's more, she behaved impeccably and didn't give Dad a single heart in mouth moment. Not even in the busy shipping lane. Apparently my daughter enjoys canoeing. Top notch. I'll have to blow the dust of the Ally. After all, there's nothing like going to water in a boat you built yourself!



Originally uploaded by dave hanlon
It's easy to forget that there's an outdoors in Holland. There are no hills to speak of . There's no rock either. What there is, however, is sky. Get away from the traffic and the concrete and the sky takes over. Dominating the scene and drawing the eye way into the distance. It can be breathtaking. Mountains have a way of making me feel small. Insignificant. Humble. In a strange way the polder does that for me too but it's the horizontal rather than the vertical length scale that works the illusion.

The dune landscape is very special. For me it's the bit of Holland that realy stands out. Appart from being the least touched by mans hand it's the only bit where the ground fights back. Where the ground comes up to meet the sky and plays more than a bit part. I like it. I like to walk through it. And when I see Emily in it I get a real sense that she's experiencing something of the feeling I get in the mountains. That when you're two the dunes are one great big adventure.


New PHD Products

It's getting out of hand. PHD have realised I'm a pushover. They've mailed me to say their new minimus down trousers are available. I've been repeatedly telling myself that I don't need them since the mail landed in my inbox. It's not working. Are these the addition to my sleeping system I've been waiting for? Cumulus Quantum 200 plus ultra pullover plus minimus pants could take me well below zero and save me having to buy a heavier winter bag for that winter trip I've been promising myself. Oh oh. Did I just say that out loud? Am I really starting to believe that buying gear is saving me money? Come to think of it I do get cold feet and those new miniumus socks look like just the thing.................


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