Friday, December 28, 2007

Sony H3

You will all (not just Mr Paris) be pleased to hear that I now have a new camera! I went for the Sony H3 and got it for a good price after lots of haggling. Hurrah.

Thank you for all your support and assistance!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Poe was not the first to link genius to insanity and nor will he be the last. Indeed, there are many famous people who suffer the demons of the night, as well as influential people who have gained respect from us, their public despite this faux par of depression. I could go on, and point out a long line of genius' who also suffer depression, and have respect, but there is no denying the fact that this idea is contested and may simply be romantic at best (romanced by sufferers rather than anyone else!).

Despite this romance however, depression is the unspoken demonisation of mankind, and still a swear word upon the lips of the oppressed. It comes in many forms, and perhaps that is why it is so misunderstood in our society? I don't 'like' depression and I have always seen it as a weakness, indeed I am from the 'pull up your socks and get on with it brigade' as indeed was Lewis Wolpert until he was struck down. He is author of a book I highly recommend called Malignant Sadness. I soon learnt that pulling one socks up is irrelevant when you are crippled by the demons that haunt ones mind. I suffer, I am not proud, I am misunderstood, and I absolutely 100% hate it. unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it, other than stop the demons becoming 'me' and rotting my soul. Unfortunately for that one needs friends. Fortunately for me I have chosen my friends very very well. Others are not so fortunate. If I find it hard, God help them.

The problem with depression is it takes all you are, turns it upside down, inside out, and then throws it on the fire. This is something we should be able to deal with - we all have orientation abilities, and a bucket of water can easily be made into a fashion accessory, but the problem with depression, and this is where I think it becomes an illness, is that it makes the person actually believe that they are worthless. It taunts and haunts until the heart breaks.
So, why am I writing about this?
One of my friends told me the other day that their 'shrink' (my boss prefers to call them expander's) is on holiday over Christmas and is delighted because it means a real break - people go loopy over Christmas!
I don't know, is it because this is a time of family, of reflection of weighing up the world, or is it that the 21st December is the shortest day of the year - and if you suffer from SAD you will know the importance of that.
I don't suffer from SAD, I love the dark, I love the rain, I love the cold and I love the long dark nights (I think I suffer from HAPPY) - this is the season where I am my most cheery. I know someone who does, a dear friend, and it is heartbreaking to watch as there is nothing I can do but smile, wave, keep in touch, and stand by him (in my own haphazard way) until the sun comes out. And even that I do badly!

Part of spending Christmas on the boat this year is being away from Family, and away from people that 'care'. Of course, I will never be alone, or isolated because I am surrounded by a number of acquaintances and friends, and indeed family who are just out of this world.

Having suffered concussion and having read through the advisory notes from the hospital, one of the things, that Maffi's brother Allan mentioned a couple of weeks ago (thank you!), was mood swings. Is this why I a writing the post. Possibley. However, if anyone out there is suffering at this time of year, I can't say I understand, but I do know it gets better. Contrary to popular belief the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train coming the other way!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Camera AGAIN!

You will remember AGES ago I was thinking about a camera. Let it not be said that I find it difficult to make decisions, nor that it takes me a long time to do them for I have finally managed to narrow down my choice to one camera. Before I break the bank I thought I would see what you my wise readers think about it.

It is a Sony H3 Sony H3.

I went into 3 shops today to see what the best price was. Sony did an excellent deal. Jessops did a good deal but when I went back I ended up talking to one of the chaps who was suffering from a severe lack of manners, which affected my ability to tolerate ignorance, Finally Alex from Curry's also offered me a good deal too. The deals were so good I left the shops and came home again.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Granny on Ice

Andrew Denny has been suffering from the lurgy but has still managed to read the blogs of other boaters which all mention the ice... I don't suppose it made him feel any better to realise that we are all iced in, and Granny Buttons is not being tended to.

Don't worry Andrew. Bones hasn't had a fire for a few days and is still in tact... I was going to light one last night but decided against it. I was concerned that the water in the pipes would be frozen, and thus frozen all night, UNLESS I lit a fire which would warm the pipes, defrost the water and cause a delicious flow of water. I would rather this happened in the day time than the nighttime! Anyway, the water is still in the pipe and unfrozen, so it hasn't been that cold!

I love it when the canal is frozen over; the sound the boats move through it is simply magical. I wonder if it was the same sound that Alice made when she went through the looking glass. I hope so

Phoenix 58

This morning as I walked down the towpath I saw a rather lush looking boat coming towards me, and on closer inspection I saw that it wasPhoenix 58. I read about this boat some time ago, and heard some of the views from fellow boaters, but in the 'flesh' this boat is gorgeous. It is striking with its smooth lines and different look. I have seen this before, but it was only a breif sighting across a crowded thames. Today I was able to stand on the towpath and gawp to my hearts delight as it slid past the moorings on this narrow canal. I like it.

News from the Clergy

Man DOTH have mercy!!!!

Weepingcross' bike has been returned.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good Lord Has Man No Dignity?

I have just found out that weepingcross' bike has been stolen and you can't even see it from the road. I am absolutely outraged, not only has his bike been stolen, but he made it into the local press when his bag was stolen a couple of months ago - has society no mercy? OK I understand it is Christmas and people are out pinching presents for their loved ones, but p-l-ease, this man is a clergyman, a Gothic, and although there has been no official confirmation I am sure he is a chap. SURELY Christmas is about CHRIST and it really is in particularly bad taste to pinch a bike off a clergyman to give to someone to celebrate the birth of Christ 'here you are darling, a lovely present to help you go to hell' That really is festive isn't it.

What happened to respect?

Who is going to do the blessings, give us communion at the midnight service, usher blessings upon us and govern the great choirs of the parish as they sing festive songs full of Christmas cheer? How is a clergyman meant to get to all of his appointments and services at this time of year without his bicycle.



The ice on the canal is a quarter of an inch thick this morning. I love the sounds the ice makes against the side of the boat as one moves around although I haven't quite decided what it reminds me of yet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Deer, Heron and Crow

On Maffi's birthday Kim and Jim bought over the remainders of a deer so I could do my business with it. I put it in the boot of the car in order to take it to the ancestral seat and deal with it there. Unfortunately due to my concussion etc I didn’t feel up to doing anything with it, so it has remained in the car ever since. Maffi, bless him, hasn’t complained at all. He makes the odd murmuring when we first get into the car about how I need to do something about the deer, and I can only agree, and then it isn’t mentioned again.
It isn’t only the deer I need to do something about; the crows head, and the heron are in need of attention, the latter is still in my gas locker.
Anyway, the ultimate solution is chicken wire. What I need to do is make a chicken wire cage/box, put the remains in it and then immerse it in the water until it is nice and clean. The question is whether it will work or just stop the rotting process.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Being Ill

I am not the easiest person at the best of times, but when I am ill I turn into a 5 year old, sleep and tend to be very pathetic. I am very grateful to Maffi who has been tending my stove, fending off my moods, and cooking for me. He always complains at my cooking, and to be honest I really can't work out why, I am a positive goddess in the kitchen compared to the meister. I have finally started some antibiotics and am expecting to feel tip top shape imminently, I think Maffi will be pleased as my poorliness has been taking its toll:

I am very proud of myself for not posting dead flies through his open mouth... it was SO tempting!!!!

hmm... I must write about something other than being ill!

Still Poorly

I went back to the Drs this morning as I am still broken, and I now have a secondary infection and antibiotics. I tend to go completely doo lally on antibiotics, but the Dr thinks these ones will be ok.

Maffi is nursing me to good health, or at least that is the plan but I am sitting here drinking a mug of gravy - apparently it got us through the war, and is good for me. hmmm

I think the bad head has cleared up which is good news.


I loved Jaytee's comment yesterday about my Christmas tree 'what's happened to rudolf'. It hadn't quite occurred to me that although my decorations are very festive, perhaps hanging them on a set of antlers is rather unfestive, ok, so I know they aren't reindeer antlers, but not everyone will know that will they!!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Decorations

This afternoons sick bed activity was putting up the Christmas decorations. I hung up my Victorian father Christmas', my wire angel and nunn but it looked a bit sparse, so we decided to make some snowflakes:

As you can see neither of us could remember how to do them! So we turned our talents to something different - paper chains. Here is the Maestro at work:

In an artistic flurry Maffi remembered how to do paper chain men - the scissors were flying, paper was being scattered and you can imagine my amazement and his triumph when he had finished:

Now the 'tree' looks most delectable, I am sure you will agree:

Poorly and Christmas

I mentioned earlier in the week that I thought I might have tonsillitis. I don't, but the Dr did sign me off for a further two weeks from work because of my concussion. He also said that I have a disease that is going around, and will just have to rest. I do so loathe resting.

I am spending Christmas aboard the great ship this year. I have never spent Christmas on my own before so I am rather tentative, but I am looking forward to the experience. On Boxing day I will spend some time at the ancestoral seat; our family gatherings are always quite special!

Emerald has been Found

Baldock from Canal World Forum spotted Emerald when out gallavanting and after a phone call the boat is back with its owners. Hurrah!

Well Done!

P.S. Thanks for your comment Mole - I had just found it as you let me know and was writing this!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stolen Boat

Stolen Boat called L & S Emerald

30ft Sea Otter narrow boat stolen from Harefield marina. It was green at the time, but could have been repainted. Sea Otters are distinctive boats, so keep your eyes pealed. If you do see it call PC Clayton at Hillingdon Police on 020 8246 1867; Phil Musk at Harefield Marina on 01895 822036; or David himself on 07980 013159

Wood and Coal

It is quite nippy on the canals at the moment, but I made good preparations in summer storing wood on the roof for the fire:

actually, I didn't do a great deal:

During the summer I also collected wood from around Surrey - there are plenty of tree's there being pruned or chopped down. I should take this opportunity to thank weepingcross for saving his Eucalyptus tree for me - it is all logged in his shed., and has been drying out. I have burnt a bit of it, and it smells delicious.

Although wood keeps the fire going, coal chucks out the heat. There is a coal man - Dusty Mark - who supplies the coal. I bought 10 bags a couple of months ago and they are lasting well. I bought a few more bags the other week but Maffi has borrowed those as he is running low.

There is no reason for a narrowboat to be cold in winter, it is just like a house - heat it and you are warm, don't heat it and you are not.

Well, that is the theory! I am still getting cold at night, but some new thermals and an extra hot water bottle (a pirate one given to me by Eynshamgods and MissT should sort that out!

These winter months are simply glorious on a narrowboat. The fresh crisp mornings, the sunrises, frost on the trees, and wonderful fresh air is enough to put a spring in one's step. Not only that, but it is a good opportunity to wear a scarf and hat all day!

There is however nothing more miserable than being cold to the bone. So, thank you chums, Maffi, Lockboy and Weepingcross for helping me out with the wood situation, and hurrah to Dusty Mark for supplying coal!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Skulls in California

I am rather fond of skulls and skeletons and find the internal structure of animals facinating. WeepingCross sent me this link and I love it!

Thank you!

Bit Frosty

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jericho BoatYard

It looks as though the controvesy continues. Councillers have rejected the latest round for planning permission see here

Poor Bones AGAIN

Oh dear. I have a sore throat.... I am off to the Drs this afternoon to find out if it is tonsillitis. Sob.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The sunrise from my bedroom window is simply delightful. The camera doesn't do it justice at all:

Despite having an Eco fan and the fire on all night my wardrobe (and thus my bedroom) was only 6degrees C, this is a bit chilly for me. The stove wasn't that warm either - I seem to have mastered the art of keeping the fire in and alight all night but emitting very little heat. I wonder if I can get a medal for that!

The head is MUCH better this morning, but I am still not right as I still feel a bit sick too. More rest.

I shut my finger in the door this morning - ouch!

Monday, December 10, 2007


The head is a bit better today; I am feeling a bit more with it, and less confused but still very tired.

Here is Thrupp on a dozy afternoon:

Saturday - Digging

As I have concussion I was unable to help dig my dads vegetable patch this year, but the people who said they would help still did. As it turned out Maffi and my delightful brother in-law managed to get it all done before James and His delightful wife arrived, so it was a huge success! Thanks guys. I must get concussion in time for the next dig! It was lovely to see you all.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Who was it that banged their head?

The world is strange enough, but when you have concussion it gets stranger. I am not sure who in this house has concussion... I came down the stairs and saw my mothers glasses on the window sill, then found her wondering around looking for them. Then, I went for air (all of 1minutes worth) and came in to find her vigorously stirring a cup of hot water; she forgot to add the tea bag.

Maffi is lighting the fire, and folding the paper into all sorts of peculiar shapes more suited for a Japanese competition than a fiery offering in tranquil England.

My sister has a patient sitting at the bottom of her stairs.

Yesterday the door bell rang and my dad went to answer it. He came in with a huge bunch of flowers and gave them to mum saying they were for her from him. Had I not seen the label with my name on he would have got away with it.

My concussion - my dad had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to remove 5 wasps from the curtains which turned out to be dead and not going to devour me in the night. Other than that I am lost and a bit confused. And if this post makes any sense then I am on the mend. I can't help but think it is everyone else who has banged their head!

I think I shall go and look at my flowers and go for a lie down.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Bear

Flowers to cheer Bones up.

Thank You MissT and Pieteater Adam (links on side).

Poor head. Sob.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Poor Bones

Bones has concussion.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Long Hair

I have long hair and at the moment it feels as though a thousand mice are hanging off the end of it. Long hair and boats don't go well together AT ALL. The hair works well if it is not tied up, but then it gets caught in everything - doors, windows and my arm etc. When it is tied up all the wildlife of Christendom nest in it.


This my friends is not in keeping with my glamorous stylish look.


Happy Birthday Maffi.

Bens new nose

rather delightful I thought......

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Yesterday I went to visit the Moles from CWF in their *house*. I was very disappointed to discover it is above ground rather than a series of tunnels throughout the county, but I soon recovered after a coffee and a sit down. Ben and Victoria watch the television from time to time, I couldn't quite work out what the programs were about, but I did notice they tended to watch programs which had people or creatures with the most amazing hair.

In the afternoon we went off to visit Moles boat, he has put a lot of work into the boat sorting out the rust, stripping it down and putting everything back - it was lovely to see it in the flesh! Home via one of the most delightful shops on the planet where I bought Maffi his birthday present for tomorrow. I would rather like it myself, I hope he likes sharing!

The Moles can definitely cook and I was completely spoilt all weekend with the most delicious food including black pudding, duplings, and cake. YUM. Victoria...Sponge cakes made and decorated by Victoria herself. I recommend them.
Cheese and Port sent me to sleep and I gently pushed myself into consciousness then headed home.

A thoroughly relaxing and peaceful weekend amongst a group of people who are entirely lovely, and a bit quirky - in their entirety and together. I felt quite at home.

I have been looking for a temperature sensor thing to put on my calorifier so I can tell the approximate water temperature, the Moles gave me one of their spare ones. I LOVE being given things, and I was totally overwhelemed with delight - I did resist throwing my arms around Mrs Mole and spinning her around the room, but it was difficult! Ben did his paper round during the torential rain this morning and froze. When he got back and looked settled he held my new temperature sensor which read 18.5 degrees C. No wonder he was Chilly - Victorias fist took it up to 32.5 in no time! Breakfast (a veritable feast) warmed Ben up and fueled my fire.

The Moles are fabulous; I could quite easily have moved in (AND they have a piano!)