an exciting event this morning – my bid-for-on-ebay sailing dinghy arrived, complete with trailer, life jackets, and everything else one needs to take oneself off to Morston and pootle around in a boat.

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sadly I do need a few sailing lessons before I will actually be able to do any pootling. she is Mythos, number 7977, vintage 1967, a Mirror, designed by Jack Holt and Barry Bucknall to be made from plans given away by the Daily Mirror newspaper in return for tokens, built mostly of plywood. a classic snub-nosed pram dingy which one person (an experienced person) can handle with ease. we took her straight down to Morston for a trial sail. the launch trolley worked very well, except for a tendency to float, but I think it might be too much for me to manage on my own.

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here she is, just launched. MM’s skipper took the helm and we sailed her out, myself squeezed into the front of the cockpit just behind the mast. there is really only room for two small people or one larger. she went very well, we were most circumspect, although we managed to go aground on the marsh as there was a huge tide and about a foot of water over the saltings, and then going back into Morston had to face oncoming wind, oncoming tide as it all gushed out down the channel, and a seal ferry full of people which was not going to give way to us about every two minutes. after a lot of tacking which got more and more difficult with a gusty wind constantly changing direction we got the little outboard (on loan) going. but even then progress was so slow against the tide that I had to get out at the cockle pontoon. she is covered in a tarpaulin in the field behind the house for the next few days. Morston was so chaotic today that it seemed more sensible to bring her back and then make a decision about where to keep her for the next month or so. the car park was full to busting and there were coach loads of people arriving for seal trips, fishing for crabs off every available jetty or bridge, launching huge great motor boats – even the police were there with a boat.

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this is one of the shelves-full of charred cardboard saggars I extracted from the kiln on Saturday.

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instead I made a big saggar of the bottom half of the kiln using kiln shelves and some ceramic insulating blanket to fill the gaps,

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and more shelves for a lid, sitting on props so that the rest of the pots can go on top, glazed as for a normal firing. I fired the kiln yesterday as my normal firing, up to cone eleven about one third bent over, and we shall see what the result is tomorrow.