Wednesday, 31 October 2007
I have to ask, "Do we know each other?"
If we do please get in touch you can find my email in my profile.
We dropped Mort off at work this morning and spent the next several hours around the shops, in the pubs and sight seeing. I saw for the first time the Thames near Folly Bridge from the other side of the river from Christchurch Meadow.
Oxford is one of those places that holds a myriad secrets and just has to be explored. At the Turf pub, down a back alley, in 1963, Bob Hawke one time premier of Australia set the world record for downing a 'Yard of Ale', 2 1/4 pints, in 11 seconds. Funnily enough it was also at this pub that Bill Clinton two time president of the USA famously smoked a joint but, 'didn't inhale'. Yeah right Bill I believe you!
Anyway after collecting Mort from work we headed home and a curry was consumed. Then this heathen joined Mort and Claire at a church house meeting in the village. Nice people but, I am still not convinced about this whole religion thing although having been a paid up God botherer, I can see why people do (you might be surprised to hear that I was baptised into the church at the age of 38).
Claire in her hurry to get home left her hand bag at the Vicarage. Doh!
Monday, 29 October 2007
Told the Doc I was preparing to move away and what that entailed, he said NO! at least another two/three weeks. Doh!
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Saturday, 27 October 2007
Friday, 26 October 2007
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
The multifuel stove is the mainstay of the heating system but tends to localise heat at the front of the boat. The normal entrance of the boat is via the back. Through the office across to the right in to the bathroom, then diagonally across the bathroom to the left and down the side of the bed. From there to the centre at the bottom of the bed to enter the kitchen, along the kitchen over to the left again to access the living room.
I was quite insistent that each room should be a 'room'. Each room has a bulkhead which obstructs the easy flow of air. This has its problems in that there is not a straight line between any two sections and the stove is mounted 11 feet from the front of the boat and faces forward from the LR/K bulkhead. It is because of this that I was sceptical about paying out for an ECO fan if I was only going to find out that it was not effective.
Fortunately Mort owns an ECO fan and while she wasn’t using it for her boat (she is a much harder boater than me) I was able to give it a try.
I have to say that my reservations were unfounded. While I do need to angle the fan to blow down the side access to the Kitchen the overall effect is to warm the boat down to the back of the boat. There is a difference with the fan that is very noticeable. While the Office at the rear is not as hot as the LR it is much warmer than without the fan. For this reason I will be able to use the office this winter with out resorting the Erbespacher. So all I need now is to get my own ECO fan, but I don’t think I want to part with 70 quid for one so I will be looking for a deal. Watch this space!
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
I have had it aound for a while but not too sure if it is finished yet.
Ancient road of water still
Through English fields winds on
Toward the slowly setting sun
Muddy ditch of nutrient soup
Blackening with the fading light
History of the revolution
Beginning the rise of Empire yet
Decaying with the loss of greatness
Far from former glory falls
Leaking through the boundary set
To trespass on another's space
But in the morning sun the evil fades
And myriad rays reflect the glory
Of a sceptered isle from long ago
When hard men in wooden boats
Carried wealth across the land
In times when English industry
Hungered for the cargos therein
And the market place craved
The product spewed from
Smokey city factories.
Overtaken by rail slowly faded into disuse
For many years this eyesore
In the throes of death left to nature
Disappeared 'neath both car park and estate
Filled with weeds and silt and supermarket trolley
Bicycles, milk crates, tyres, and all manner
Of junk, garbage, waste and trash
Stinking ditch of filth and mire
Yet men of vision equal to the original Canalers
Saw the waste of this historic water
Campaigning for keeping it open
That our children might marvel at it's wonder
And continue in some small way to
Preserve the life of days gone by
Before the advent of rail brought it close
To its demise and sad finale
No longer do we see the many working boats
That once plied trade along the length
Of canals that covered the country
North to South, East to West
Instead the new boater of leisure
Sets forth from marinas across the land
To enjoy the sights of green landscapes
Rolling hills and open valleys
Tree lined fields and stones of long gone ritual
Viewed from calm waters through rush and reed.
My laptop now runs very slowly and that isn't helped by the connection I get here.
I have to ask, "Do the designers of new software have any idea of the circumstances some of us work under". "Do they have any idea of the demographics of the end users". I have to ask that because the writing gets smaller and the clicky bits appear as mere specks of dust that we should otherwise be able to clean off the screen with a wet wipe.
Yes I could increase the text size, but that would mean changing a whole load of other stuff as well and I shouldn't have to. I like it the way it was. It has become like an old pair of comfy shoes, easy to wear. I had enough trouble as it was changing from 98 to XP. I don't want Vista or any other system. I just want my computer to do what I want till the day I shuffle off this mortal coil. Is that too much to ask?
Obviously YES because they keep pissing about with my LIFE!!!
Monday, 22 October 2007
Why did I have to do all this? Her ladyship was out to dinner.
The guy at the yard was very trusting, waiting until both boats had been done before I paid.
Saturday, 20 October 2007
All sorted we said good bye to JOTW and set off to LH. Me with my head on one side in an attempt to simulate lying down. Three boats managed to get in the Shipton Weir Lock side by side. It's a strange shape, somewhat hexagonal. Further discussion with other boaters suggested that another 60 footer could have got in there as well, not bad for a lock on a narrow gauge canal.
The weather today was about as good as it gets. The sun shone all day. The trip up was very pleasant. Mort and James steamed well ahead of me out of sight, but that was good I enjoyed my time. Moored up below Bridge 206 at about 5:30. Mort bought me a new club hammer because mine keeps thinking it's an aeroplane while hammering in pins.
Nite Puddles XXXXXX
Mort sang, Adam sang and Maurice sang I didn't, though would have if asked. Even us toughened boaters ended up inside huddled around the fire. I don't recall what time it all ended but it was late, though before midnight.
Friday, 19 October 2007
He in his arrogance called us disrespectful of other peoples privacy (he is the one who invaded our privacy). He called us arseholes and threatened us saying we picked the wrong man to make an enemy of.
We are not doing anything wrong. The law is on our side. I don't know what has happened to this man in the past, but, it must have been bad. That said there is no reason to be offensive or threatening towards us.
I have never in my first year on the canal met such a disagreeable person. What his problem is I don't know but his arguement did not bear fruit . Nothing he said to us had a grain of truth. All seemingly made up in his own mind.
I will when I return here, and I will return, offer him coffee and time to chat about whatever it is that is stuck in his craw, but I hope he has adjusted his attitude by that time. I neither want or need to be treated as less than I am and I refused to be bullied by people who should know better.
While I am writing this a BW man came along the towpath and we chatted about the sheriff. Apparently he complains a lot and always quotes rules that are non-existent.
Please if you should come down this way look out for the house with the six foot scalloped fence around. It is a nice place to moor even though he will complain.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Yesterday it chucked it down all day. Shame really because we were going to move on. We will have that joy today.
We have now been moored here three days. Because of the depth I have breasted up along side Bones. She has three pins in to hold her tight. Unfortunately speeding boats pulled all three pins out on Monday, luckily Dusty came past and helped secure the boats.
Sunday, 14 October 2007
Milly needs a P/O so between us we reversed down the canal to College Cruisers and there started the problem. Just below Aristotle Lane Bridge we encountered some anglers doing what anglers often do, complaining about boats on the canal. One very grumpy chappie got Morts goat simply because he was rude which was the signal for Mort to confront him face to face. It is quite surprising how disarming it can be to step off the boat and ask someone "What is your problem". After due discussion Mort quelled the situation by saying we would moor up until they had finished their fishing session which in itself completely flummoxed them, they weren't expecting that.
While we waited (4 hours) we dragged a futon mattress out of the water then disappeared of to take nb Bones to our new mooring a couple of miles up the canal. I have never sat at the front of a boat before so this was a new do for me. Just to sit while others do the steering is quite fun as long as they pay attention. Bridge 238 is a 'fixed open' lift bridge. Trouble being that it is not very high on the hinge side and it was for me to point out that Morts bags of coal on the roof might just end up in the water. A quick reverse gear to stop and Mort did some juggling with the coal and we continued on our way.
Once moored we stopped at the Plough for lunch and a pint of the black stuff. Bottle had prepositioned his car at the pub so we wouldn't have to walk back. By the time we arrived at the Milly M the anglers had buggered off and left a thank you note. Bottle set of for home and Mort & I proceeded down to the P/O station. I was expecting to have to wait till the morning for the yard to open but as luck would have it Mike was still there and agreed to do the bizz there and then. This was good because that meant I could go and moor at the Plough rather than at College Cruisers over night.
I dropped Mort of at her car and made my way to the mooring. All in all another pleasant day on the water.
Friday, 12 October 2007
The nurse asked me to cover my left eye and read the chart. I said, "What chart". "Well what can you see?", she asked. "The wall with a bright centre", said Moi. I haven't opened my bad eye for 10 days what did she expect me to see? I was able to read the last line on the chart with my moon watching eye which is some achievement
The doc held my eye open causing some pain & discomfort (he had sharp nails) When I mentioned he was hurting me his response was, "Well if you could open your eye I wouldn't have too". Not what I would call a good bedside manner. It didn't alter the fact that his nails were unnecessarily sharp for the task.
My eye is healing OK and may be back to normal in about 5-6 weeks according to him, but that is not what I was told by the Doc who did the op. All hail the NHS!
Oh and there is good news! I can now lay down for 45 mins and sit up for 45 mins which is so much easier than last week.
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Well not being one to complain it is with joy in my stomach that I report at the end of another boring day Bones has excelled herself. Friday she is to cook main course at her mother's house and tonight it was try out night for James and I. Bones cooked a delicious salmon steak with fresh prepped veg and it was superb. Now I don't usually like salmon but this dish was fandabbydozie.
Nite Puddles XXXXX
Monday, 8 October 2007
Sunday, 7 October 2007
OK so then we went for water, my tank being on red. Easy enough until it came to reversing back down the canal. The BT took this time to stop and we got a propellor full of junk. Added to that Mort can reverse her boat very well, not so mine. I am still supposed to be flat out so I was no help at all.
We moored up north of Frenchay Road Bridge opposite the landies house. It is very shallow and again I couldnt help. Mort went off to get Bones.
On the eye front I can open my eye for short periods but it wants to close itself. While it is open I can see the fluid level half way up my vision, strange, there are even waves on it, how cool is that.
Nite Puddes XXXXXXX
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Kim & Jim came today. Which was good coz the good Dr Bones was away and getting those very cold eyedrops in is not easy. Kim also went out and bought some flowers to replace the ones on the top which had seen better days.
I can now see light and dark out of the bad eye to the point where where I can discern the fluid level across the middle of the lens. Weird!
Dr Bones came back in time to torture me with some more ice cold drops.
This mooring at Aristotle Bridge is quite nice. On the other side of the hedge is a children's park. The prim and proper of Oxford can be heard saying all the right things through clenched teeth to keep their rug ratz in check. At night it descends into the meeting place for the local yobs. Despite the noise they tend to be reasonable.
A boat that was here when I arrived last week was attacked, by that I mean someone had a go at getting through the front doors, mid afternoon. They failed!
There is a constant stream of tow path users past all day, Mothers with children, runners, walkers, cyclists and the inevitable drunks who in themselves are harmless. Two young girls passed the boat several times today, the last time one of them was definitely pissed.
I spoke to BW about my predicament and though they didn't say I could stay they didn't say I couldn't, but did suggest that if I got a ticket I should write to HQ and argue my case. It is the end of the boating season it would be nice if someone at BW would come up with a plan for people in my position so staff could make a decision one way or the other. All in all I don't really want to stay here and would be on my way if I could.
Friday, 5 October 2007
'Knock knock' on the window, Bones went to see who it was. She came back, "He said say its Eugene"
I don't know a Eugene, but went outside anyway. There was a chap and his wife and their baby, none of whom I knew. So I said, "You will have to help me out here".
"Eugene Baston from the forum".
"Ahhh that Eugene" It would appear I do know a Eugene.
Well it would seem the family were out for a walk when they came across a pair of boats he recognised and he couldn't pass by without saying 'Hello'. Mr Bones was out and then he saw Milly and knocked. Mort of course said, "Miss Bones 'is' in", which surprised EB because he like others had assumed . . . . . .
" Ah one would have thought you were a doctor", said EB.
"I am a doctor", said Mort.
She wears it so well.
Anyway nice to see you EB and family. Thanks for stopping by. We will probably meet again. Ciao
Thursday, 4 October 2007
Here I am horizontal face down with my head hanging over the end of the bed. This is to be my life for the next 10 days. Woe is me! My brother Robert is coming to visit today and Kim & Jim are coming at the weekend.
Bones is being a good nurse and getting some pleasure out of putting freezing eye drops in my eye four times a day.
I am allowed to get up for ten minutes in every hour, which is something I suppose. Ho hum!
Nite Puddles XXXXX
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Monday, 1 October 2007
I don't often agree vith Victor Swift NBW, but I have to agree when he says that employing contractors to cut grass at Watford and Foxton Locks when the lock keeper does it for free is senseless. A contractor will not care for the job as would the lock keeper and they have to pay more money, which they don't have, into the bargain What is the point!
In these days of stringent financial constraints BW cannot afford to waste money on such ill concieved ideas.
Come on BW get a grip!
Graham and Matilda came for a visit. Graham is a member of the Canal World Forum and on a visit to his girlfriends digs in Oxford. While Mort cleaned up I took them on board Milly M for coffee. Graham is looking to get a boat up this way to make life easy for their relationship.
Late afternoon Dusty arrived. Dusty is the canal coal and fuel supplier on this stretch of the canal. He should have been here yesterday and commented, "They don't call me Day Late Dusty for nothing." Between Mort and I we handed over £220 to Dusty for 20 sacks of coal and 120 ltrs of diesel. Dusty is one of the good guys, he manhandled all the coal onto the roofs of our boats because he says that's what we pay for, cool. This was a great help coz Mort was cooking dinner and I can't really lift anything in my present condition. Thanks Dusty! Dusty used to be a graphic designer. His claim to fame was was the merchandising for the Telly Tubbies.
Adam and Lucy arrived prompt at 6 pm for dinner. A huge lump of wooly lamb had been cooking in my oven since 3.30. Dinner was fab and we eventually said goodnight to A&L about 8.30 pm. 'Twas a long day all in all.
Nite Puddles XXXXXX