This week…

Some pictures from the week.
Treatment for insect bites.
Measurements of the new theatre building.
My blender mockup. We’re still discussing.
You can’t work efficiently in blender on a laptop without an external keyboard and mouse.
Beautiful Greek letters! I find keyboards and mice from supermarkets are the cheapest, and the longest lasting. Apple and Microsoft branded mice – just say NO!
More clutter destined for the trash.


We’ve booked our tickets to leave Cyprus in a month-ish. This time has gone SO fast … it did last time too.

I’ve started thinking about “stuff”. Very vague, I know. More, possessions type stuff. Here’s a picture of my cupboard:

as you can see, crammed full of all kinds of bits and pieces. From recorders (blockflöten) to juggling balls to old marmite jars with elastic bands to rope to old telephones to candles to old CD players to scissors…

I know I’m naturally something of a hoarder, and don’t want to throw stuff away… but on Doulos I think I either learned to be more balanced, or else some how got even more messed up! 🙂

By the time I left AV, I had picked up quite a bit of “are we using it? No? Is it working? No? OK, then throw it away.” – I know Ant and Adam will claim somewhat otherwise *cough*oldA&Hsound-desks*cough* – but I know I’ve actually changed a lot. So now, looking at all this stuff in my cupboard, things I haven’t used in over 4 years now… I find it really hard to want to keep it.

How is it helping me to have this here? How is it helping anyone? Am I using it? No. Is it working? Well, some of it, kind of. Will I use it again?

Probably not… well… some of it? Maybe?

Sentimental value seems to be something I no longer really care about much.

I’ve thrown out the old hand-made juggling clubs (plastic milk bottles, newspaper and kitchen-roll centers 🙂 ) and broken telephones (for a juggling routine to do with communication), and some other odds and ends, but amn’t sure what to do with the rest.

Does it actually behoove me ( I’ve been wanting to use that word for AGES! ha! Done it! ) to throw stuff away?

Now I’m going back to Carlisle for a few years, and getting married next year, I need to think more about such stuff, I guess. I will no longer be a batchelor, able to just keep random clutter in a cupboard. I’m fine with that. (I’m pretty sure I’ll end up picking up more…)

I do have a lot of projects on the go at once. Juggling stuff – one day I will get back into it more; Obscure music stuff – I will take up the bagpipes one day; art stuff – I love painting, I just haven’t done any for a while; computer programming – a hobby. I don’t want a job of this! But a little is fun; graphic design… etc… etc…

But it’s not very efficient. I know I need to prioritise, cut away the cruft. I don’t NEED this stuff! But maybe not? Maybe actually having lots of clutter and things on the go is actually how I function best? Or maybe not?

Isn’t it great being decisive? Well, perhaps? Or perhaps not? Some times? Er…


We’ve been in Larnaca for a couple of weeks now, it’s good spending time with mum and dad, the cats, friends, supporters, etc.

Not so good are the mozzie bites. I’m being rather eaten – if it’s not mozzies, it’s some other kind of wee beastie of the “eating daniel” variety.

We’ve been spending a lot of time reading, resting, and meeting people.

And playing a LOT of Settlers of Catan, probably the best board game around.

Last week in Cyprus blues…

Well, we’re back in Cyprus. Egypt was fun,  I like Cairo.  I don’t like the Cairo Curse however.

The Cairo Curse is the euphamism for a local stomach bug which quite a few people seem to get.
I got it.  Woke at 4am on the day we were travelling back, and wished I hadn’t.  Not a very pleasant day, all in all. Anyway, I’m mostly recovered, I guess. Still don’t feel to wonderful, and realised today I leave Cyprus in 7 days.  So that means I have a heck of a lot of stuff to do.
So I started doing the ones I can manage without leaving my room, speaking, or walking too far.  Such as updating my blog to the new blogger template system… Alas, it’s all going a bit pear-shaped right now, and as I have to finish making a slideshow for tonight (I’m doing a Doulos presentation thingy at the Anglican church “upper room”, if anyone sees this and is interested, 7pm, all welcome….), and the template thingy didn’t quite back up all as I wanted it to, it may take a bit longer for me to update to the new template than I hoped.
 So if the site looks a bit of a mess at the moment, I’ll get it fixed and pretty for tomorrow.
I’ll also blog about Egypt as well.

The North, and sailing

I was just up in Famagusta over night, meeting the Anglican church there who’ve been praying for me while I’m on Doulos. I’m slowly putting together a video about Cyprus, and so while there was able to get some photos and a bit of video footage which hopefully I can use.

Cyprus is beautiful. The Anglican church there meets in an old old church which has been in disrepair for quite a while, and now is actually a cultural centre for the university, or something like that. So there are plenty of old icons around.

We’ve been out sailing a few times now, it’s great. The boat is pretty well amazing with all the new ropes and such we’ve put on it.

Here’s a quick photo of the Out-haul on the mainsail (the yellow lines and tackle which pull the sail out along the boom, making it slightly wider, and the shape flatter, which can help to get ripples out of the sail, thus improving the shape, and speed, take a bit of power out of the sail in heavy winds, and so on.)

Dad’s quite happy with it all, but alas last Saturday when we went out sailing, the waves were very big, and while coming back in we managed to damage the centreboard (the big wooden thing I spent time sanding and varnishing a few weeks back). So now we’ve taken that out again, and today I’ve added some glass-fibre filler stuff, and will try and finish it back to decent shape again by this Saturday. Yes, I did leave it a bit late.

Last Saturday’s sailing was fun though. We and our sailing friends went out only for about an hour, and crossed pathes a few times while tacking, so when we did the first time, I put on my best piratey third-mate voice and roared “Port side cannon teams 1 3 and 5 fire a full broadside! Naaar!” and then the next time we crossed, they made cannonball flying and splashing noises, so just as they passed us, again I shouted “All torpedo tubes togeather, fire!”

So. There you go.

3 weeks until I’m back to work, for a while I’ll be in the UK working at the office there doing mediary things, and learning stuff to bring back to the ship.

Still almost 3 months ’til I’m on Doulos again though.

So. More about Cyprus. It’s wintertime, right now. That means cold. Freezing icy blasts of super-chilled air writhing and curling around in whirlpools of semi-defrosted almost-liquid oxygen, CO2, cigarette smoke, car fumes, and various other frigid things which make up common Larnaka air.

OK. So, slight exaggeration on the whole coldness thing. It was about 12 today, I guess. Still, that’s pretty cold, especially as it was about 37 when I left Doulos.

Also, Larnaka is really clean, mostly. Not so polluted at all. It’s beautiful, actually.

I’ve been helping a little at the theatre where I was working. This is the set from their new play “The History of Cyprus in 60 minutes”, which my dad and I helped set up the lights for last week. I also recorded it on video for one of the actors. I’d love to actually record it properly, with multiple decent cameras, tripods and so on. This was just a single home camera.

I’ve also been helping my dad a little at the office, doing a bit of logo/animation, and probably will do some more soon.

I’ve been helping him a bit more with his boat too, whipping/splicing/seizing, etc. This is the new out-haul block (I think. So many ropes on this little boat, I forget what they’re all for right now, as I’ve STILL not been out sailing on it…).

Anyway. It’s funny doing all this ropework on such tiny little ropes. Kind of like working on a model railway, or something. It’s nice though. I like it a lot.

Here is the new jib sheet (again, I think). We got this rig idea from his Wayfarer Book, and then I whipped it up. There are 3 seporate seizings to to make up this next piece. It should hold nicely, and will be good to work with. I’ve no idea how much pressure it’ll actually be taking, so I look forward to going out sailing soon to get more of an idea.

Today we also started work replacing the rudder stock. The old one is kind of shot, and so we’re making it almost completely afresh from (hopefully) marine ply. This is the old one (dismantled).

And here is the new one to be. We’ve jigsawed it, and now it’s being held and glued overnight so we can finish the two halfs and then start varnishing the pieces tomorrow, hopefully.
So, I’m still getting to use my Deckie skills. I miss ships so much. Maybe it’s just I miss Doulos… but I do miss ships. I miss sea-watch. I miss working with cargo, mooring stations, ropework, water tanks, painting, loading water, blocks and purchesses, bosun’s chairs, stages, all of it. *sigh*

Is it the work I miss, or is it just the people, my ship, my home of the last 2 and a bit years?

I feel part of it is the work. I also know I was so tired of it by the end. So tired of Deck Dept, so tired of the long hours and stress as waterman.

Will I ever do that work again? Except in Dry-docks on Doulos? Only God knows…