Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The waterborne motor bike

We returned from our hols on Saturday to meet up with Bottle and Mrs Bottle (Keith and Ann) at Aristotle Lane Bridge. The boat was lovely and tidy which is not the norm for Milly M. Many thanks are in order to the Bottles for bringing it back in one piece, moreso because it was correctly floating on the water and not sitting on the bottom. The Bottles had a nice week away and confirmed their wish to live on their own boat.

After they left we made our way down to Abingdon to meet up with Snibble (CWF) nb ISIS who unfortunately had passed through not long before we bought nb BONES out of storage. With that meeting now defunct we took nb BONES to Oxford and moored up at the Waterman's Arms.

Sunday morning the plan was simple we would go to the launderette with a large load of washing I would catch a bus to the car park in Abingdon fetch the car, collect her ladyship with washing done decant that on to the boat then go and swap the car for the motor bike and bring it to the boat, simple!

And so it was that we found ourselves on Sunday afternoon with the bike beside the boat with no plan and a need to put it on the well deck.

The boarding plank was, to put it mildly, aged and not up to the job of supporting the weight of the bike. A rather large sheet of 18 mm ply was commandeered for the task. This was only good for getting the bike half way on the boat. At that point the plan, had there been one, baulked and we were left in a precarious position with the bike neither on nor off the boat.

A neighbouring boater asked, "Do you need a hand?"

"A plan would be a good idea", says Mort.

With much grunting the bike was soon lifted on to the well deck where it was strapped down for the journey to the Oxford Canal.

It was at this point, in her well educated dulcet tones, Mort said, "How are we going to get it off again". There comes a time in everyones life when it is necessary to to view ones past achievements and ask if an engineering degree wouldn't have been a more useful qualification than zoology or neuro whatsits.

Again, once on the Oxford, the 18 mm ply was bought into use and much grunting and groaning the bike was at least horizontal and being supported by flesh and bone. With no firm grip on reality Mort said, "It's easy we just need to lift it another inch or so then bring it to the vertical and it will roll down the board". Yeah right!

Fortunately a kindly gent out for a peaceful stroll offered help and was not refused. Grunt, grunt, grunt, roll and the bike was deposited on the towpath. Yet another triumph for brute force and ignorance.

Meanwhile it occurred to Mort that her mobile phone was in the car at Abingdon. Doh!


Anonymous said...


If you ever need the boat tidying again, just call.:)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you returned from your relaxing holiday with a bang!
We very much enjoyed 'looking after Milly' while you were away and thank you for giving us the opportunity to take a short break which we were both in need of.
We met Snibble, Gralyn and many others who shouted out 'where is He then?'
What wonderful moorings Banbury has and only a short hop to all the shops too! (Mrs Bottle)

Maffi said...

And I shall be eternally greatful for its floating position.