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Swimming Lessons

Posted in: Featured on Friday, January 31st, 2014
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Of course I know how to swim. I can’t remember learning to but apparently I did and I used to be very good at it. My Mum to this day still laments that I didn’t take my swimming as far as it could go i.e. Nationals followed by the Olympics followed by International glory and gold.  She says “My darling first born, my favourite (She never actually said this part but it’s implied), It’s such a shame you didn’t do anything with your swimming. You had such a beautiful stroke” to which I reply “Yes Mum, but those shoulders!”. Those of you who watch the swimming on TV will know what I mean.

Image Source: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cool-pools-for-hot-days-20121026-289g8.html

My local swimming pool looking peaceful before the screaming horde descends.

These days I don’t swim often but when I do it’s in the final days of summer school holidays. That special time of the year when on reflection the pool is probably 75% pee and the shrieks of 100+ children drown out all thought.  It’s during trips to the pool like these that you learn a few swimming lessons;

  • Don’t jump into the pool from the safety railing!
  • No running!
  • Lifeguards are rarely as hot as the television would have you believe.
  • Children have no concept of personal space in a swimming pool. They’ll elbow you, knee you, kick you in the head, the legs, the arms and if you’re really lucky in the face too. And keep swimming like nothing happened. If the children are our future, then the future looks dangerous.
  • Kids never want to get out of the pool. This usually results in parents yelling and threatening and begging at the edge. The smart parents, the battle hardened ones, the ones with that look in their eyes that says they’ve seen some shit and come out the other side changed people, just pack their stuff and go. If little Henry wants a ride home, three square meals and his beloved video games he’ll be out of the pool quick smart. Must remember this technique.
  • Children can go down a water slide over 50 times and still come out shrieking with laughter and wanting to go again. They have boundless energy and can indulge in simple pleasures for hours without a care in the world.
  • Every other kid in the pool is a new friend. There are no barriers in a child’s world, no judgement, just acceptance and a general ‘lets go have fun together’ joie de vivre.
  • This one is for all the teenage girls and young Mums out there, a less than perfect figure is made so much better by standing up straight. Yes it’s happening, i’m turning into my mother, stand up straight girls, shoulders back, stomach in and boobs out!

You can learn a lot from a trip to the pool and all of the above are great lessons. But** I think the most important lesson of all is that we grown ups, who think we have it all figured out and think we know how the world works, can learn a lot from children. We should laugh more, judge less, find excitement in simple things, treat everyone like they’re new friends waiting to be made and most importantly don’t worry about tomorrow because there’s too much fun to be had today.

*Banner Image Source: http://manlypoolbrisbane.com.au/

*Blog Image Source: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cool-pools-for-hot-days-20121026-289g8.html

** Yes I can start a sentence with a conjunction, Oxford Dictionaries says so here

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It’s Curtains for bad Curtains

Posted in: Boat Improvements, Featured on Thursday, January 16th, 2014
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Psychedelic fish patterns aren’t for everyone…

and they weren’t for us.  These curtains were hanging when we bought Tygress and as much as I love bright colours I had trouble loving these. I feel bad saying that because obviously some one did love them at one point and took the time to sew them and hang them with pride in their home. But Ben couldn’t stand them and became increasingly determined to get rid of them.

 

Quirky and fun but not for us

Quirky and fun but not for us

 

Here they are in place, bright and colourful.

Here they are in place, bright and colourful.

One day after taking the time to wash them and painstakingly feed the elastic back through them Ben declares that he can bear them no longer, that they must go and I must make new ones. So despite my protests off we go to Spotlight where we became mired in indecision. Should we get that pattern, I like the spots. Or maybe this one with the curly swirls. But what about this colour. Oh this one over here is a bit cheaper. We settled on two fabrics and after going away and coming back we chose the taupe curly swirls.

Because he has a better head for it Ben took care of taking all the measurements and figured out how much fabric we needed which at under $7 a meter worked out very cheap. It’s thermal fabric designed to keep out 30% of heat from the windows without blocking too much light. The cabin still feels light and airy even with the curtains drawn.

To make the new curtains I simply used the old ones as a template. There’s a slight curve to the windows so all the hard work of making them fit the curve had already been done. The thought of redesigning them from scratch made my head hurt. The only issue I had and that held the project up was the lack of a large flat surface to spread the fabric out and trace the patterns. Lack of space is always an issue on a boat.

 

Our stylish new curtain fabric.

Our stylish new curtain fabric.

 

The new curtains hanging in the saloon.

The new curtains hanging in the saloon.

 

Eventually I got the fabric and curtains over to my folks place to take advantage of my mums huge sewing table. Patterns were made and my old Pfaff sewing machine (which incidentally is almost as old as I am) pulled out and set up on the saloon table. My Pfaff fits on the table perfectly and even though it weighs a tonne, and i’m pretty sure it causes the boat to list to starboard when I store it, i’m so glad I brought it with me.  Once I remembered how to thread it and fill a bobbin I was on my way. It wouldn’t have taken more than four hours in total to sew them up, and as straight lines are easy to sew I must say I’ve done a great job on them.

 

Tied back with matching fabric ties.

Tied back with matching fabric ties.

 

Tied back revealing our lovely big windows.

Tied back revealing our lovely big windows.

They are now hanging in the saloon generally just looking great and classin up the joint!

What do you think?

 

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2013: The Year that was

Posted in: End of Month Recap on Monday, January 13th, 2014

and we’re back!!

2013 was a big year for Tygress and her crew. The year seemed at times to fly by and at others to drag it ‘s feet frustratingly slow.  It was a year featuring contractors, boat improvements, ex tropical cyclones, fun with family and friends, countless metres of yarn and exciting, long awaited milestones!

 

Tygress

Tygress got a major face lift during 2013 which included shiny new windows, stylish blue navy canvas and comfy new cockpit cushions.  Also in a fortuitous twist of fate Tygress was reunited with her tender after a separation of a number of years and two owners. But most excitingly of all was the casting off of her dock lines for the first time in a long time. Tygress got to feel the waters of the bay rush past her hull and the wind fill her sails. No boat is truly happy tied in their berth and we were so pleased to be able to take her out, further deepening our bond with her. Even happier to be able to bring her back in safely.

 

Me at the helm on our first solo sail.

Me at the helm on our first solo sail.

 

Shiny new windows!

Shiny new windows!

 

Stylish new navy canvas

Stylish new navy canvas

 

Our comfy cockpit cushions and super cute kitty

Our comfy cockpit cushions and super cute kitty

 

Personal Lives

The defining moment of the year was in October which saw Ben and I celebrate our 12 year anniversary with an ENGAGEMENT! Ben proposed on board in a display of candle lit romance that was totally unexpected, tender, thoughtful and completely romantic. How could I say no. So now for the fun of planning and paying for a wedding while fixing up a boat…did I just say fun?

 

He put a ring on it!
He put a ring on it!

This Blog

The last year saw Blue Water Dreaming reach new heights proving the old adage persistence does pay off. We participated in the WordCount 2013 Blogathon and were nominated for Australia’s Best Blog 2013. Thanks to that nomination we have since partnered with Boom Video to provide customised add content to the site.

Providing the content is only half the challenge, attracting and more importantly retaining readers is the other half. So a big thank you to all our readers for sticking with us as we’ve been growing and improving. Thank you for reading, for commenting and for sharing in our journey. It’s not over yet so stay tuned.

 

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