So long, since my last post on the Blog. Life seems to have had other needs and time spent writing and online seemed not to be important..!

Life around the Longhouse has been filled. The garden is greening with plenty of summer rain and a few sunny interludes. I finished building the greenhouse, we can now have a better climate for veg and salad growing, therefore extending the season in these parts. The veg plot is growing well and I have begun some harvesting of Lettuce, Spring Onions mostly, but also Oriental Greens and soon we should have Carrots, Beetroot and New Potatoes.

Elsewhere around the plot, I have Sweetcorn and Squash growing in a sunny spot. The Woodland garden is providing a good show of Foxgloves. The Pond area has provided a good show of Yellow Flag Iris, Water Forget-me-Not and the Tadpoles are very active. Soon I will be moving a lot of the Flag Iris to a new position (they can get a bit invasive if left to their own devices..!) Plans for the late Summer include building a Jetty out into the pond to provide a better viewing platform of the pond life.

After a late frost in May my new 'Maiden' Apple trees I planted at Christmas were affected badly. Only one tree seemed to have survived. Out of the five planted, one is romping away, one is bouncing back strongly, two might make it through and one seems to have been lost :( . The Raspberries are struggling a little, particularly the 'Polka' Autumn fruiting variety, again I will have to wait and see if they bounce back later in the summer.

In the 'garage' I have finally got around to starting work on the Mirror Dinghy I was gifted a couple of years back now. It needs a complete overhaul really. Most of the plywood Hull is in decent shape, I epoxied in three patches in the fore area and have strengthened the outer hull by sheathing in 4oz fibreglass cloth with an extra layer of combination matt along the Keel (will help with the rock and shingle beaches around here). Once this is completed I will give the outer structure a couple of coats of Marine Gloss.

In order to make working on the boat more easily I constructed a 'dolly'. Wide enough at 60โ€ to lay the boat on upside down at 90o and narrow enough to support it right-way-up. Mounted on 3โ€ castors it can be easily moved forwards/backwards/sideways, in/out of the garage etc.

After the paint job I will work on the inside. Take back all the old and flaky varnish, then re-coat with International โ€“ WoodSkin. I have already prepared the Boom and Gaff, Rudder/Stock and Daggerboard while waiting for materials to arrive. Woodskin is an oil/varnish mix that has better maintenance regime than varnish, is generally tougher and longer lasting.

Some upgrades to fixtures and Standing Rigging and replacement of Running Rigging. We should be ready to sail again by late July, early August. My intention is to use this little dinghy to explore in a different way to when in my canoes, go a little further afield, camp onboard; maybe go for a longer journey...

I might need to think up a name too...!