Friday, 29 February 2008


A couple of week ago Lucy Traves came for a trip up the canal to lunch at The Rock Of Gibraltar. During this trip she took this pic

Yes I know it may not show but the space is clickable.

OK so go here

And it that doesnt work then I give up!

Thursday, 28 February 2008


My thanks to Adam nb DEBDALE who pointed out, very politely, that I had mad a big boo boo with the 'He who pays the piper' post.

I seem to be relying more and more on a memory that I no longer possess.

Ooooo ahhhhhh

What a beautiful car. Very expensive if you consider building a luxury car out of stainless steel but these body panels are all sterling silver. Just another example of the waste that oil dollars are being spent on.
Click pic for larger image

Monday, 25 February 2008

Moley is 50

This weekend saw us at Stoke Bruerne. We had been invited to a 50th birthday party in honour of Moley from the CWF forum.

About 40 members were invited from the forum, and so it was that Moley had generated an opportunity for a bunch of ne'er dowells and pirates, most of whom I had never met, to do something other than snipe at each other across the ether and correct others spelin an' gramer.

It was nice to be able to put a face to some of the names that I have occasioned to 'chat' with over the years I have been writing this blog. It was a bit like meeting a bunch of old friends.

Moley put on a fine 'do' and I am honoured that he would consider me someone he would wish to spend time with on this land mark occasion.

Our entertainment was catered for by two acts, both vastly different. A Tudor musician who came in period costume and played a number of Tudor instruments and explained something of their history and operation. He spoke in Tudor English all night.

Second on was a trio of modern musicians, two guitars and a bass, who, at my not really advancing years, I found too loud.

With the arrival of Mr & Mrs nb Bullfrog came gifts, not just for Moley but also Mort and Maffi. Mort received a pair of rubber gloves. Probably something to do with not being able to get the large size for her dainty hands (see here). I received a pack of sticking plasters. As you know I have a habit of 'doing myself bad'. Even this day I arrived with a splinter in my thumb which had gone a bit pussy. Thank you MR & Mrs B, most appreciated.

I was glad to see Tony and Mo. Tony had been through the mill a bit of late I was pleased he looked so well.

Colin and Joy, nb Sleepy Otter, came on a visit from the wedding he was attending as best man.

Every time I see a picture of Daniel he looks different. Now I have a 'live' image in my head which is totally different again. What a nice young chap he is.

So many new faces that I still only know by their boat name and some I know by whatever pseudonym they invented for the forum, as indeed did I. Most were nothing like I had imagined. Those who I had thought as short were tall, those who came across as well waisted were thin and vice versa. Some who met with Bones for the first time were surprised Mort had a lumpy jumper can you believe they didn't realise she was a girl, how silly!

I do hope I got to speak to everyone. If I failed I am sorry, stop me on the canal and demand a chat and a cuppa.

It was a great night and a real pleasure to be invited. Moley I thank you for the evening. It was a great opportunity to meet lots of forum people and a greater opportunity to spend time in your company.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Tom & Folk

Earlier this month at the village hall gig we met Tom Leary. Mort got to chatting and by the time we left at the end of the evening we had an invite to his next gig at the folk club in Banbury. We went on Wednesday, I came back to take Mort.

OK we could have picked a better day the club was having it's floor varnished this week. so the event was moved to another room in the Mill Center. A bit crowed, but hey it's a folk club!

We met Tom down near the bar and were invited to chat with him and Kevin Dempsy before the show started. Kevin like Tom is a class player, but on the guitar.

Very interesting people not an ounce of conciet and Kevin much to my surprise was even interested in my guitar playing, such as it is.

We were treated to an evening of finefolk music, Tom can really play, he is world class. Kevin produced some amazing guitar work even though he had a little practice at the beginning of each song. He and Tom hadn't seen each other for several months and so were a bit out of practice.

Nonetheless we were impressed with the show. Both men are very funny people and regaled us with some very amusing stories to intro each of the songs.

Worth the trip out. I dont normally buy CD's at gigs but I did there.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

My Dog Poo Crusade

I recieved an email from FixMyStreet today. Askng questions about my complaint. Was it sorted etc. So I answered NO! as ya do and recieved this response:- We're sorry to hear that. We have two suggestions: why not try writing direct to your councillor(s) or, if it's a problem that could be fixed by local people working together, why not make and publicise a pledge?

As I am away now writing to a councillor is no on my to do list.

and as for

"why not make and publicise a pledge. "

I have two words and the second one is OFF!

Personally I think large 6 X 4 notices saying:-
and a video survalence camera every 10 feet along the towpath might stop this menace, but no they will just let their pooches shit under the pub tables outside The Jolly Boatman, I kid you not!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Time to move a bit

Today I moved the boat away down the canal. The banks are abysmal and difficult to get near. This canal needs some serious maintenance funding. I got near to the bank and was able to moor with the stern and centre ropes. Poor old Mort says she is missing me so I will send her my telescopic sights to see if that helps.

Nite Puddles XXXXX

Ice breakers

I am not usually bothered about the speed that boats pass me unless the bank is soft and the pins pull out. However this morning a hire boat came past a a fair rate of knots.

We were on Morts boat and so were securely moored to rings in concrete. The problem was the half inch of ice on the canal was not dooing the blacking any good. We spoke to the driver who said if he went slow he lost steerage, well yes ice has this effect, so why was a novice moving a boat in such conditions. Yes I know they had paid for the weekend, but then we had all paid for our blacking. Whats more he only went to the turning point and came back down giving us all a second scouring.

Hire companie have a responsibliity to ensure their boats are operated with care and consideration. Our local hire company seem to fail in that department. Usless tossers!!!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Oh dear!

Poor old Bones. She went out to shovel all her Valentine cards through the door this morning and would you believe it someone had taken them all !!!

Aw Bless!
Deleted Deleted Deleted

Deleted Deleted Deleted Deleted

Deleted Deleted Deleted Deleted

To save loading time (mine)

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

A friend in need?

Now Mort has to take it easy with her hand I have been trying to be a house aid [sic]. I have already done three loads of washing, hoovered up the broken glass, washed the blood off the floor etc etc. When Mort asked if I would make her bed (one load of washing was bedding) I was only too happy to help, but wish I hadn't offered. Mort's bedroom is six foot long and has a cupboard over a quarter of the bed. Now for the inventory:- 1 one duvet, one blanket, one bottom sheet. 1 Double duvet and cover, one blanket made out of bar mats, one large cloak, one single duvet, 4 pillows, three soft toys, two hot water bottles and about a bin bag full of used tissues (I think she sleeps on the floor).

Now in order to get the duvet, then the blanket, then the bottom sheet on the bed everything else has to come off. The only space available for this is the 6 ft X 2 ft walk way down the side of the bed, not much room at all. It is hard enough to put a cover on a duvet in a normal bedroom let alone this shoe box, having to make a complete bed was a task of immense magnitude.

After some struggling I managed to make an almost perfect bed. Hospital corners? ..... yeah right! After an hour of hard labour, the task complete, Weeping Cross turned up. WC has had a bad day. Someone stole his bike from outside Waitrose. Some people have no scruples. WC is forgiven for not turning up earlier.

Monday, 11 February 2008

So to the hospital

Well this morning started with a bang, but you know that already.

We arrived at the JR 08:25 in time for a theatre appointment at 08:30. The sad thing is that this is the NHS and that wernt gonna happen.

We booked in, twice, sat in a little room then moved to another larger room.

Sat there a while and was called into an examination room then back to the larger sit room.

Then came the doctor and we went back into the exam room.

We sat some more in the large sit room before a nurse came to take us back into the exam room to take details, aint there a lot they want to know.

After a longish stay in the big sit room we were taken on to the day ward where we sat some more . . . . . and more . . . . . and more. In fact we waited so long I thought we were going to have to sleep there. Mort had some problem working out how the electric chair worked. I said, "Put the head band on and I'll plug it in".

At three o'clock Mort was eventually taken down without the obligatory bum peeping out of the gown, I have my uses. Finally had time for lunch. Mort returned at 4:45 pm . . . . . . . and was absolutely ravenous. The sandwhich I bought her went down before her eyes were open.

All was good in the hand department. One small vein tied off, all tendons and nerves OK.

Two hours later as we were about to leave, Mort says to staff nurse, "Do you think he needs to go to Minor Injuries to have his head looked at". Said staff nurse had a look and explained the cut was about 2 inches long but had closed.

"Why didnt you go earlier",she said.

"No time," said I, "my best friend needed me".

We arrived home about 8 we had been gone for 12 hours.


We have had a lovely weekend, weather wise. It has been most enjoyable and it looks set to continue for the whole week.

This morning started with a bang at 7:30. Mort left the boat, we were going to the hospital for a day out. I followed shortly after. Mort has a habit of not opening the sliding hatch, but just lifting it enough to open the doors. Being strapped for time I rush out of the rear, well tried and banged my head on the front of the hatch. Holding my hand on my head and doing a good impression of a rain-dance I kicked the bathroom door. Mort returned to see what all the fuss was about.

"I have banged my head on the hatch", I exclaimed through clenched teeth, for this was the only way I could talk.

"Oh lets have a look", she said.

I removed my hand and it was covered in blood,my hair sporting a fashionable blob of colour, blood red it was. I applied a tissue or two which soon matched my hair flash.

Mort looked and said, it's bleeding".

"No shit Sherlock", my grinding teeth now beginning to hurt more than my head.

Peering into the now blood matted hair she said, "Oh dear that doesn't look too good you wont be able to drive.

I looked for a hat to hold the tissue in place but could not find one of the several hats I know I have. With a small crimson trickle running down my forehead we got in the car and off we went.

You may well wonder why we were going to have a day out at the hospital! Well that is another story.

I left Mort after a disagreement on her boat, not fifty yards (or should that be meters) down the road I hear a cry for help. Mort is on the road crying. She had dropped a wine bottle just after I left and seriously cut her hand as she reached down to clear it up. I looked at the gash, for gash is the only right description, and said, "I'll call an ambulance".

"No don't be daft it looks worse than it is", she said.

"Lets go to the pub and get their first aid kit", she says.

Now I know that if her FA kit is not enough to dress the wound then it would be unlikely that the pub one would fare any better, but to the pub we went. Mort lead the way. She walked up to Mark and said can you sort this out. "Whats wrong with Maffi is he squeamish"

"Yes", she said. I let her have that one.

Mark took one look and said exactly what I had said, "HOSPITAL".

"Do you think so?".


Mark was good enough to arrange for a non drinker to run us to the hospital.

We spent three hours in the minor injuries unit. They didn't want to close it until the specialist had looked at it in the morning. We arrived home at one in the morning with an appointment for 8:30 that same day.

The morning started with a bang.............................

Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Jolly Boatman

I have been in Thrupp for some while now. I arrived early November and have not strictly followed the Continuous Cruiser rules, although I did get permission to stay through December due to my eye problems then paid and stayed through January following my broken hand and now I am having my teeth fixed at at Kidlington dentist so I have been kinda 'moored' at Gunpowder Wharf.

Anyway since being a 'resident' I have frequented the Jolly Boatman. I have had many good meals in the JB. Being there over the Christmas and New Year period, family and friends came down often.

Two birthdays, mine and Morts, were celebrated there and the staff came out on both occasions with a cake and sung 'Happy Birthday'.

The food at the Jolly Boatman is reasonably priced and of a high standard. Sunday lunch is a value for money carvery.

Steve and Joan have been the managers there for about 7 years but are due to move to the other side of the ocean and open a Brit Bar in Trinidad. Best of luck to them.

The JB finishes where the walls finish so the tables outside in the picture are on land belonging to BW while the pub is part of the Green King empire. BW allow the tables though as far as I can find out no charge is made.

The pub supports the troops, "If you are in the forces show us your Service I.D. Card for a free beer", though I think if a battalion turns up they might be a bit pissed. Should you be in the area in the next few weeks stop by, you wont be sorry.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Oil change

There are things I know that I should never forget, but without fail do forget.

Today was oil change day. Simple enough pump out the old oil, change the filter, pour in the new oil.

You must always remember to remove the old oil seal as well as the filter. If it stays on the engine the new filter wont seal and all the oil ends up in the bilge.

All I need to do now is get 7 litres of oil out of the bilge. Fortunately I have had good experience at that task this week. Morts bilge is dry.

Cosmic Sausages

As far as entertainment goes in Thrupp there isnt much. Except for a few times a year a 'do' is arranged in the Shipton on Cherwell village hall. Last night the Cosmic Sausages were hired to 'entertain'.

Me and Mort were lucky to get tickets on the door even though it was sold out!

The guys were 'on' for about three hours. We have never laughed so much for ages. The whole audience were beside themselves with laughter.

Word of warning if you ever get the opportunity to see them don't sit at the front you will regret it!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Diesel in the Bilges

I have to wonder just how much diesel one would want to store in their bilges?

I know this much, Mort seems to want to store too much. Between us we have removed well over 100 litres. 4 1/2 Jerry cans and about 50 pampers full of diesel. Today I put yet another layer of nappies in the bilge to soak up that which will not come out using the hand pump.

I can't think why she doesn't keep it in the tank like everyone else, but that's girls for you.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The good ship Bones

At a time when Mort could really do without any more problems we returned to her boat this afternoon to fill her new book case with books. She started the engine then came to help me who was having trouble closing the hatch back on her car. With that job done she noticed the engine in the boat had stopped. Further investigation revealed the fuel tank had decanted into the bilges covering the lower half of the engine which includes the starter. I have to wonder how it started in the first place.

Anyway in all things bailing it makes sense to remove ones good clobber and don some rough gear. Not Mort she removed her socks and leaving on a few modestey essential and started bailing.

About 20 Gallons later she had filled up every container she had including a few of mine and gave it up as a bad job. I wrapped her feet in Pampers so she could walk through the boat. then we repared to the Milly M for temporary accommodation and food.

Jade Who?

I am often amazed at where I appear in search engine listings. Tonight I saw an entry on my sitemeter which read

The pertinant words are Jade - Goodie - Naked. Aardvarks and Maffi's Boat was tenth on the list of 38,000. What must people think?

That will teach me to comment on the 'celebrity' of a nobody.

I'd rather be boating


Cor blimey! Sunday was a bit cold, shame really that I decided to take the boat out. I fancied a trip out and Keith finds it relaxing so off we went. The plan was to go down to Dukes Cut turn around and come back. We passed the Sheriff of Kidlington's house and waved but I don't think anyone was in. At Duke's there are still the remains of a deer that Mort left behind last week, fortunately it has stopped stinking.

There are two ways to turn a boat below Dukes Cut Lock.

1. Bows under the bridge and reverse out.

2. Stern under the bridge then forward out.

I chose option one. Wrong!

I would have been better off reversing in under the bridge then the wind, that was coming straight down the canal, would have pushed the bow round to point towards the lock for the return journey.

At the end of the day I was pointing north for the first time in months so I have a new outlook for a change.

Old friends

Saturday came, a bright and sunny day. Mort was having a triumph with her electric system. She now has a nice new fuse box installed. Then she learned how to check current draw of her lighting.

My old mate Keith (KH) came for a visit. I was drinking coffee on nb Bones when he arrived and there was no phone signal so he couldnt let me know he was there. I was thinking he was lost but he had said he would call when he got near.

I walked down the canal and found his car parked near the boat. A trip to the Jolly Boatman saw him sitting supping on ale. Mort was about ten minutes behind me. I had a table booked for 7 pm.

After dinner Keith and I repared tothe Milly M and Mort went home. Keith and I used to get rat-arsed when we met up but this time it seemed to be a bit of a struggle and we only managed to down about 1/4 of a bottle of Bacardi between us. We must be getting old. methinks.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Birds . . . . . . from Kim

...not the human variety but when we were on Exmoor the Chaffinches just landed on the car and when we opened the door they tried to get in, right little thugs!