Monday, August 12, 2013

The Gloomiest Day of the Year

 Why? Because the Glorious Twelfth, the start of the British grouse season, always makes me think glumly of approaching autumn. It goes with the Edinburgh Festival and the Queen going to Balmoral and shops selling "back to school" stuff, all of which send icy fingers creeping down my spine. I do not like the thought of winter, especially, a Western New York winter, apart from the ski-ing, perhaps. But hey, let's dwell on the beauties of summer while we still can.
  Yesterday, let' face it, was about as good as it gets. As we sailed out of Buffalo harbour, an array of pretty spinnakers dotted the horizon. The "J" boats from the club down the river were having a race.

And here's one coming home with some Buffalonian landmarks in the background:  on the left, the Ugly Tower and City Hall, to the right, Buffalo's only skyscraper, the HSBC building, which I believe is no longer technically the HSBC building, since HSBC have moved out. So, apparently, have most of the other tenants, leaving it, like a lot of Buffalo's bricks-and-mortar, practically empty.

And more following...

   There are few man made things as graceful as a sailing boat. Which is more than I can say for the moron-driven powerboats which delight in cutting right across our bows, leaving us to bump around like a ping-pong ball in a jacuzzi.   As I recall promising, anyone who does that will be exposed in these pages, so here goes....And this one came seriously close. Where's the sheriff's helicopter when you need it? (That's Canada in the background, incidentally.)

   Before I met hubby, I never gave much thought to the powerboater versus sailor debate. But I have to say that the latter learns rather more about the meaning of life. You have to work at it, fiddling with all those lines and sails to get them right. Things don't always go smoothly. There's a limit to what you can tell the wind and weather to do. You are really a very small cog in the universe and you have to be patient and in tune with nature. Sometimes you're frustrated, have to make compromises, even accept defeat. But when things do go well, there is no more glorious feeling. Sailing is also described by hubby as, "The art of going nowhere, slowly and at great expense."  Powerboaters, on the other hand, just want instant gratification, which can get boring after a while. And even more expensive.
   Now this is quite one of the loveliest boats in the harbour, sadly not ours. A pity about the buildings in the background. Buffalo has not made the most of its lake frontage.

The lookout pooch (spot him?) is a nice touch.

And off she goes, towards the Ugly Tower. Talk about Beauty and the Beast.

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