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Oh, how I wish I could write to tell you that summer is here again, but the past several weeks have been like a weather roller-coaster here on the island.  I do understand the implications of the dynamics of Climate Change, and because of this, I am quite aware that as the ice cap surrounding the North Pole melts, it is sending fresh water into the Atlantic.  And I am equally aware that all this fresh water is mucking up the normal flow of the Gulf Stream, which in turn, is playing havoc with the weather patterns that skip across the ocean to Europe.  But geeeeez…the weather lately here has been pretty flippin’ depressing.  Overcast skies, excessive winds, nasty cold temperatures sinking down from northern Europe, and today a phone call from a friend alerted me to the fact that he could see snow falling in Palma.  To borrow a line from the overly abbreviated spelling text-messaging formats, WTF?  Okay, so it is crap here, but the good news is that whilst it is crap here, in most of mainland Europe, it is serious CRAP.  As with most things, it will pass. 

On a different subject, when I bought Amélie last year, I discovered that she had so many ‘extra’ things, some of which I struggled to figure out what they were for.  One of them turned out to be an old, hand-operated, manual washing machine.  Here is how it works.  You take a big bucket, and fill it with soapy water.  You then put in whatever clothes you want to wash, and then take the magical-mystery-washing-machine-doo-wah-thingy and plunge it up and down for a while.  It works just like a washing machine (I have been told) and does represent a massive technological advance over what was used in the 1800’s I suppose.  As Amélie already has a washer-dryer onboard, I really don’t see a need for this thing.  So, if you have a boat and need a hand-held washing machine, or if you know someone who really needs this soon-to-be-classic-collectors-item, let me know.

My burgeoning hand-made silk scarf business is going very well.  Well, the term ‘business’ may just be a dream at this point, and may represent a sense of great optimism on my part.  So far, I have received samples of various designs from a supplier in China, and have just authorized more samples from an Italian producer of high quality silk products.  When I say ‘more samples,’ this refers to the fact that this week the cute little concept became pretty serious.  The Italian supplier really does have their act together, and a sample run for them is 120 scarves.  Yikes!  120 scarves.  I agree, it did seem like a lot, but they are a serious producer and only set up to run based on a minimum of 100 meters of silk.  So, with the scarves being 90 x 90cm, that means I had to agree to them making 120 of the little beauties.   The good news is that the 120 scarves will really mean I will receive 40 of each of three colour combinations of the same design.  Yes, this is a consolation for me, as now I will be able to see if the entire scarf project concept is viable.  If it isn’t, be prepared to receive scarves for birthdays and Christmas and whatever days you celebrate.

Also of note, this was a very important week in other ways.  A good friend, and fellow author, who lives in the UK asked me about some of the letters I have that were written by two of my relatives during the Civil War in America.  As I think I had written about earlier, I received the letters (over 100 of them, along with other family documents from years gone by) from my Aunt Peg's best friend and a long-lost cousin in California.  They are fascinating, and tell a story of the day-to-day life of two of my relatives.  I scanned several of them and sent them off.  His reply was that we should consider putting them together in a book format to enable more people to understand what it was really like for soldiers during those turbulent times.  I am thinking about it.  An excerpt of one letter, from July 1863, is below.

You have probably heard of the movement in this Department long before this.  Well we have had considerable skirmishing with the rebels since we left Murfreesboro.  Our regiment had one man killed and eight men wounded.  We are now stuck in the mud.  It having rained every day since we started but one.  We are camped about five miles from Winchester and forty miles from Huntsville, Ala., waiting for rations.  We have had pretty hard times lately, having been seven days without rations.  What little we had to eat we got from Secesh farmers.  I expect that you can get much better accounts of the movements from the papers than I can give you.  I will write again as soon as the mail route is open.

 

P.S. That crazy old Gulf Stream seems to have lightened up a bit, or at very minimum, read the 'Why the Gulf Stream Should Have a Positive Impact on the Island of Mallorca' manual.  The sun is here again, so I just finished cleaning the roof terrace of Sol y Mar and now plan on heading over to Club Nautico to do the same on Amélie.

 

the gulf stream, as it should be working

the latest in technology....quite a few years ago

design number 9731

one of the prolific letter writers

where I am going once I hit the save button

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, James B. Rieley

jbrieley@rieley.com