Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Off the blog for a while

Dear Friends,
I expect the time is very near that I'll be on line wherever I go, but for the moment sailing away - today - means no contact with my blogging friends.
Take care, I'll give a shout when I'm back!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Get the engine going

The first years I owned my barge Luxor, I gave attention to all sorts of things but only minimal work was done on the engine. To be honest I lacked the confidence and the energy to make the necessary improvements. To make a long story short, a few days of work transformed a tired old engine to a spunky little thing that is expected to take me all the way to western Belgium the end of next week.
I thought some of you might like to see how I start this 25 hp 4-stroke 2-cylinder diesel manually - It has an electric starter too.

Samofa Diesel Engine

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Eins, zwei, drei... Roger Waters

"So ya
Thought ya
Might like to go to the show." ( The Wall, In The Flesh?)

Mr Waters knows how to give a concert an impressive opening. He did so Saturday night at an open air concert in Lichtenvoorde, a rural place in Holland near the German border. My nephew Lammert, my sister's son, and I were among several thousands of lucky ones to attend. It was an open air festival with several other big names like Ray Davies, Deep Purple and Def Leppard.

* Roger Waters - Bass
* Andy Fairweather-Low - Guitars & Vocal (I saw him with a very rare 1966 Vox Guitar Organ part of the show!)
* Snowy White - Guitars
* Dave Kilminster - Guitars
* Graham Broad - Drums
* Jon Carin - Keyboards
* Harry Waters - Keyboards & Organ
* Ian Ritchie - Saxophone
* Katie Kisssoon - Backing Vocals
* PP Arnold - Backing Vocals
* Carol Kenyon - Backing Vocals

Those who have seen Waters's In The Flesh concert will know what to expect, because the line-up was very similar.

What was different was the choice of repertoire. It seems Roger Waters refused to play much of the old Pink Floyd repertoire after he left the group. Here we saw a radical change of direction: the majority of the songs were good old Pink Floyd material. Crowning it all was an integral performance of the Dark Side Of The Moon, played while behind us a real, huge full moon rose from between the trees - and that was not a special effect!

My distance to the stage was too far to even consider taking photos, but our dear friend Renate has quite a few on her blog, along with a really good review of the concert, and a link to more photos!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Grown old gracefully

One of the things we took for granted when I was a kid was the tak- tak- tak- tak- tak of barges on the way to deliver their freight somewhere in our country, latticed with waterways. It was a matter of a few years before the lorries took over, and the only answer of skippers was to go bigger and bigger.
Alle and Marja, fellow harbour dwellers, own an impeccably restored barge that is still equipped with one of those slow-revving hot-bulb Kromhout diesel engines.
They are smokey and noisy, but what a show stoppers these engines are as well.

Still it must be realised that the engine was not installed before 1926, after Verandering had been around for twenty years as a sailing barge.

Clicking on the image below takes you to a QuickTime movie of Verandering.

If you don't hear the engine I suggest you download a more recent version of QuickTime.

Anyone seeing a similarity to Pete Townshend's floating studio has a point, they are both of the tjalk type.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler in Rotterdam

The last big star we saw in concert was Bonnie Raitt, and since that is Val's area, it was she who wrote the review.
Tonight it was Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler's turn. Emmylou and I go a long way back: 1976, the film The Last Waltz where she performed Evangeline apart from The Band's farewell concert. She came, saw and conquered. We have been lovers ever since, so when Val and I met that was a fact to be dealt with, not always easily.
Yet - good English sport as she is - Val mentioned the posters announcing Emmylou and Mark in concert. I have the sneaking suspicion that Mark Knopfler might have something to do with it.

Anyway we went tonight and we saw these two masters of their trade perform with an ease that showed that long time practice makes very perfect. Their repertoire leaned heavily on their recent All the Roadrunning cd, of course, complemented by numbers from their individual catalogues, like Emmylou's Boulder to Birmingham and Mark's Why Worry, a slow one by just her and him, only a few necessary keyboard notes added by one of the five backing musicians, who were of the excellent quality we have come to expect at this level.

This was a memorable concert by two stars that are very dear to me, and who, time and time again, knew how to play just the right thing at the right moment. They've both been very important to what is now musical taste. It seems I am not completely alone at that, as about 5000 others had found the way to this same concert, which leads to a drawback of this venue: with a size like this, building up a form of interaction is practically out of the question.

We're back on board now. For the second time tonight I play our favourite of the album, This is us, if it were only for the Who-like synthesizer beginning of the song...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Must publish this Now

Two pictures, taken this very Friday evening, when the late sunlight peeked through the gap between the apartment block and the cube houses, bathing our barges in a wonderful flattering light.
It was just before 9 pm; I had delivered the shopping on VallyP's barge and hurried back to the quayside to take the pictures.

The barge with the red rim around the bum is my Luxor. Val's barge, Vereeniging is hidden behind the Luxor.

Here is our neighbour Nico's sailing clipper (paintwork in progress).

Now it is just after 10 pm the same evening.
Long live digital photography, the internet and Apple computers.
Soon to be published: an article about my 12-string Eko guitar.