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Some historical pictures of no particular interest

Lab Photo page   |    Andrew Colquhoun's photo page   |    Galapagos island page   |   
Sailing and Flying   |    Retail therapy   |    Mehitabel I, 40 years on   |    Why Mehitabel?   |    Running and Walking   |    Family   |   
DC's birthday party   |    An antique picture   |   

Sailing and Flying

Congratulations, Ellen MacArthur!
[BBC News]
[Team Ellen]

MacArthur 300 miles from finish,
heavily reefed in 40 kt headwind

DC's boat, Mehitabel, in 1979

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Good swell off Beachy Head, 1966 (from rented
Caravelle, with Humphrey Rang)

Mehitabel 1 (21 ft sloop) Middelburg Holland, 1967(?)

Piefleet Creek, Isle of Wight, (on Mehitabel 1) 1967

Mehitabel I getting keel fixed after bumping
underwater wall off Zeebruge, 1967.

Approaching the gap between Jethou and
the Grand Faucconniere rock, in Mehitabel I, 1969.
Jethou is a small island near Herm,
in the Channel Islands

A tired gull stops for a rest on Mehitabel I,
on a cruise from River Medway to Ostend, 1968.

Cherokee (Yale aviation), on which I first learned to fly
in New Haven, CT., 1971.

Cessna 150 at Vancouver International
airport (1974). Rented from Boeing Field, Seattle,
and flown to small airstrip on Friday Harbor island,
then to Canada.

Mount Rainer, from Boeing Field, Seattle.

Needles rocks and lighthouse (west end of
the Isle of Wight), taken from Cessna 150
while flying solo. About 1974.

First car (Mercedes 190SL), 1969, in New Forest.

The 190SL again.

Another sort of sailing (1972):
QE2 New York to Southampton.

QE2 entering Cherbourg.

Launch of Mehitabel II, Lowestoft, 1973,
with Humphrey Rang

Eating on board Mehitabel II, in
St Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey

View from Mehitabel II, of waves breaking
over harbour wall in Alderney, 1976.
The forecast said Force 11, but we made
it into Alderney just in time, well-reefed.

Peaceful mooring in Beaulieu River, 1981
(Margaret Colquhoun)
Mehitabel II at anchor in Lulworth Cove, Dorset.

Mehitabel II somewhere in the English Channel

Mehitabel II in the Solent
(with DC and MAC) 27 June, 1979

Mehitabel II in the Solent (with DC and MAC)

Margaret recovering in Lezardrieux, North Brittany,
1979, after being up all night in bad weather, when
rudder got damaged after catching on lobster pot
line during a night approach. We were upwind of rocks,
so had to sit up until dawn, in case we broke loose.

Circus (of sorts) came to Lezardrieux while
we waited for rudder to be repaired.
Margaret rode a llama round the ring.

Back to sailing, on Ranworth Broad, 1994.
Margaret, and Andrew in dinghy.

Sailing on Oulton Broad, 1994.

The ultimate retail therapy, Smart Roadster, bought in
April 2005 (relief from election blogging)

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Mehitabel I lives on

It is now almost 40 years since I bought Mehitabel I, but she is alive and well, sailing in the Firth of Forth.  Thanks to Google I had an email out of the blue from her current owner, Dr. Philip Bailey (an inorganic chemist from the University of Edinburgh, who bought her from a fireman in 2003, and reburbished her. I have no idea where she was between 1979 and 2001. Boats last longer than cars (and are a lot more fun). Here are two pictures he sent to me.

Mehitabel I at Peterhead, January 2003 (before repainting)

Launch of refurbished Mehitabel I, April 2004

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Why Mehitabel?

My boats were named after Mehitabel, the feline free spirit immortalised in free verse by her Boswell, the cockroach, Archy, who had the soul of a vers libre poet, but was unable to reach the shift key.

You can find text of some of the poems at Archy & Mehitabel, by Don Marquis

Here is a taste.

the song of mehitabel

By Don Marquis, in "archy and mehitabel," 1927

this is the song of mehitabel
of mehitabel the alley cat
as i wrote you before boss
mehitabel is a believer
in the pythagorean
theory of the transmigration
of the soul and she claims
that formerly her spirit
was incarnated in the body
of cleopatra
that was a long time ago
and one must not be
surprised if mehitabel
has forgotten some of her
more regal manners

i have had my ups and downs
but wotthehell wotthehell
yesterday sceptres and crowns
fried oysters and velvet gowns
and today i herd with bums
but wotthehell wotthehell
i wake the world from sleep
as i caper and sing and leap
when i sing my wild free tune
wotthehell wotthehell
under the blear eyed moon
i am pelted with cast off shoon
but wotthehell wotthehell

do you think that i would change
my present freedom to range
for a castle or moated grange
wotthehell wotthehell
cage me and i d go frantic
my life is so romantic
capricious and corybantic
and i m toujours gai toujours gai


boss sometimes I think
that our friend mehitabel
is a trifle too gay

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The rest is to be done as time allows

Running and walking

Walks in the Chiltern Hills, west of London. The blue paths have been done at least once, and we are beginning to get short of new ones.

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DC's birthday party

What's in the box?
Fuller's cylindrical slide rule, made in 1951.
The single logarithmic scale is 500 inches (12.7 m) long
George Fuller was at UCL 1868 – 1873. His slide rule was in the market from 1895 to 1972

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This antique picture was recently found at the bottom of a drawer by a colleague at UCL. It was probably taken soon after I arrived at UCL in 1964 (age 28). And I have a tie!