…you are a fan of Jack Vance, you may be wondering about the name I’ve adopted here. In Vance’s Lyonesse trilogy, there appears a character called Carfilhiot, cruel and arrogant, and really one of the villains of the piece with whom I do not really wish to associate myself. Nevertheless, his name, and that of his ‘twin’ sister, Melancthe, have stuck in my mind for many a long year as really excellent names to use when the occasion arose.

Books are a bit of a problem here. I’ve always been surrounded by hundreds of my books, and buy dozens every year. Here, I’m stuck with the few I brought with me, and some appalling popular fiction stocked for tourists. I’ve been reduced to downloading classics from The Gutenberg Project, and have renewed my acquaintance with Sir Walter Scott, John Buchan and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve also been bathing in nineteenth century poetry – so much more satisfactory than most of the tripe that’s written these days. One of the books I did bring with me was an old Penguin Odyssey, but I haven’t had the urge to read it yet.

Spent the afternoon scraping paint off the boat. Apparently it has to go back to the bare wood for preservation. You’d be amazed how many coats the previous owners slapped on over the years. In places it’s a quarter inch thick!

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