Saturday 26 December 2009

West Mersea Boxing Day Swim 2009

West Mersea's annual Boxing Day Swim. Last year, my son went in. This year, his elder sister joined him. The snow has gone from all but the darkest corners now, and the sun was shining, but there was a chill wind blowing.
Hundreds turned out to watch the the brave souls who were prepared to turn blue and goosebumpy to raise money for an organisation of central importance to the island - the RNLI. Crewed by highly trained volunteers, Mersea's lifeboat is busy all year round, providing offshore assistance to those in trouble on the water, from windsurfers and jet-skiers to sailing and motor vessels of every kind, as well as helping the other emergency services at high water when the Strood is impassable. Our own boat was joined today by the Clacton lifeboat and crew. Last year's swim raised over £5,000 in sponsorship, donations and takings from the sale of hot drinks and mince pies on the beach.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Christmas Greetings from the Muddy Island


Well, it's been a turbulent old six months chez Musings. A period of much upheaval and change. Bad stuff, good stuff, but none of it stuff I've felt inclined to share on the blogosphere.

But I have a feeling that my blogreclusiveness might be nearing its end. I'm really looking forward to 2010. New year, new decade, new life.

Meanwhile, if there's still anyone out there who occasionally visits this spot, I'd like to wish all my erstwhile blogfriends (very sadly missed, but perhaps all is not lost . . .?) a very happy, peaceful and hopeful Christmas.

Juliet xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday 17 June 2009

New Town Kings - Round and Round

OK, this is one of those Proud Mother Moments. But I hope you'll also agree that it's a great song by Colchester's best-loved band and a rather brilliant video by Olivia (whose films have featured on Musings before, but this is her first professional job).

(It's also one of those Frustrated By Technology moments, because I can't get Blogger to post this in full widescreen mode, so you don't get to see the whole of it. (If anyone knows how to fix this, please get in touch asap!) So, if you lose the right-hand bit of the screen watching it here, please go to YouTube and see it in its full glory. )

For more about the New Town Kings' upcoming gigs (including their European tour), go to their Myspace page.

Monday 1 June 2009

Wednesday 27 May 2009


Hello. Still haven't cracked this life/work/blog balance thing this year, I'm afraid. I have approx 40 blog posts half-written or sitting unwritten in my head: just haven't been able to get into the swing of actually finishing them off and launching them into cyberspace. Meanwhile, here's what happened above tbte earlier, following the wholly unspectacular disappearance of the sun from the sky, and a few minutes' gentle greyness:

Thursday 14 May 2009


12.5.09 . . .

Sea salt. From ancient times, the estuaries and marshes of Essex have been at the centre of the salt making industry.

Some 'Fascinating Facts' about Mersea Island . . .

. . . and a favourite song for a favourite person (sorry about the visuals - not to my taste, but tis the only clip on youtube):


Tollesbury, 9.5.09

Trinity Lightship, the base of the Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust , and home of the Tollesbury webcam, from which, if you are so inclined, you can gaze across to the Muddy Island.

Is there an apt number plate of the year award?

. . . . walk this way for a wild goose chase . . .

Wednesday 13 May 2009


8.5.09 (more catching up with the backlog ...)

You may have noticed in a previous TBTE this striking newcomer to the Besom Fleet (pronounced 'Buzzen' locally) - the Strontium Dog, a trimaran recently relaunched after a lengthy rebuild: you can find out more about her here and here (hit the appropriate news button on the right-hand side of the page).

She couldn't be more different from her 'traditionally built' neighbours, but I think she's very beautiful indeed: I speak aesthetically, not nautically, being rather sadly lacking on the boaty knowledge (or indeed boaty anything) front.

The Sunday Service

A bit more catching up: on Sunday 3rd May, I took my girls to The Sunday Service - no, nothing to do with going to church, I'm afraid, but one of a series of musical afternoons hosted by the Love Bistro at the Minories in Colchester.

In the blossom-filled Minories gardens, and against the picturesque backdrop of the eighteenth-century folly, six local musicians entertained a relaxed, 200-strong audience for three hours.

There was a lovely inclusive atmosphere, with an excellent barbecue, a bar and plenty of tea and cakes - something for everyone, from dancing toddlers to persons of maturer years (ie even more mature than mine!) reclining on tartan blankets.

Ev and Mary, aka 'Dog Friendly' - a guitar and flute/sax duo - set a wonderfully upbeat tone to the afternoon.
Tony Gibson - trombonist with Colchester Ska/Reggae Band the New Town Kings , but playing here in his singer-songwriter guise, was accompanied by Andrew Poonian on tabla and joined for a couple of songs by singer Adrian Johnson.

Young Colchester singer-songwriter Laura Younger rounded off the day's music making.

It's so wonderful to see the garden and folly being put to such good use. Altogether a jolly good way to spend a Sunday afternoon, albeit a disappointingly chilly one (but that's May bank holiday weekends - at least it wasn't tipping down with rain).

The next Sunday Service at the Minories - and let's hope it's bathed in summer sunshine - is on Sunday 31st May at 3 pm and will feature Ragged String Band, Dionysus (Rob, Chris and Tony from the New Town Kings playing dub), Animal Noise and Tony Gibson. Andrew Poonian will be providing an African drum workshop, too. Tickets are £5 on the door. See you there!