Saturday, 31 December 2016

Swallows and Amazons.. a review

It is probably a little known fact that Steve the Wargamer (for that is I, a pen name I took from my other interest ) developed a love of sailing purely as a result of Arthur Ransome ... seriously... I have no other explanation for the fact that I have always wanted to sail, own boats, and be on the water since an early age...

I must have discovered Ransome when I was about 11 or 12? So over forty mumble mumble years ago..  and I devoured them...  repeatedly... and in fact I still read them now.

The books hark back to a quieter time, when kids were allowed out to have real adventures, before mobile phones/computers and all the other "labour saving" bolleaux that now infests our every activity, existed..

Ransome wrote a number of children's sailing books which featured the Swallows (the Walker family children) and the Amazons (the Blacketts).. he also wrote a few featuring the Callum children (Dot and Dorothea) who featured in the Swallows and Amazons books, but also featured in a  couple of stories Ransome wrote set in the Norfolk Broads - the majority of the books though were set in the Lake District and featured the Walkers and the Blacketts and their sailing and camping based adventures...

Which is a long preamble with the aim of pointing out that I had very high expectations of this film based on a life long love of the books.

So this is the film of the first book, and I'll say up front, I do hope the company responsible please please please makes some more, as I thought the film was extraordinarily good..

Set in the mid-30's (which is slightly later than the book but not enough to make a difference, and by the way the period detail in the film is fantastic) the book is about the first meeting of the Swallows and the Amazons, while the Swallows are camping on an island in the middle of the lake...  there is the same back story of Captain Flint (the Amazons Uncle Jim who lives on a houseboat) as in the book, there is also the same story of the "war" between the Swallows and Amazons over the island, and the midnight raids to capture each other boats..  so far, so very much like the book..  and the boats and the sailing clips were really good....

What the film has done though, is to also put in a sub plot where Uncle Jim is being hunted by a couple of Russian spies...  not in the book, and a lot of people have got quite hung up on it, but I thought it fitted well and was quite clever - Ransome himself was alleged to have been involved in Russian politics (he lived there for a time and was married to a Russian). It didn't overwhelm the original story, and I thought it was a clever way of explaining the theft from the houseboat (which in the book was just burglars)...

An excellent film - well worth a watch - 9/10

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Sunday, 25 December 2016

...and so it starts...

...ships stores and enhancements are arriving... 

These were a bargain - four half metre strips, warm white LED's,and change from seven quid all the way from Hong Kong - how do they do it..??  So these are destined for underneath the shelves in the cabin as downlighters for some much needed lighting..


This is a two fold purchase - one it allows me to trim the boat better by sitting further forward in the cockpit, and two it allows me to reach into the cabin to get stuff without letting go of the tiller..

...nuff said [clicky] ...though to be honest, I have no idea why I've bothered as I have a dreadful track record with these buggers..  
 
Safety feature more than anything else.. "pre-owned" but a decent price and good condition

Restocking...


...and last, Santa delivered this, this morning - looking forward to finding out what I've done wrong so far.. ! 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes....

Best wishes to all of my reader - here's to fair winds in 2017, and soon back on the water......

...by way of a seasonal picture here's the now traditional lobster pot tree in my local fishing village (Emsworth) snapped on the phone while I was on my way to work the other morning..




It really was a beautiful morning...



Thursday, 1 December 2016

Go Alex!!

The guy is a complete and total racing animal.. he's wondering around that deck - in the middle of the Southern ocean - like I walk around my lounge...  


Brilliant footage and only posted today....  for more on his position and his race in the Vendee Globe click here