Friday, February 27, 2009


The Green Man told me about it ages ago, but it didn't make sense. Since then several people have mentioned it, and just when I was thinking I might look into it to see what all the fuss is about, then Granny Buttons wrote about it. AS I was feeling particularly triumphant this morning with some rather splendid programming I managed to do, I thought I would award myself some 'investigation time' and signed up to Twitter (a name that generates images of little yellow birds dancing in trees) to see what it was all about.

I must be missing something, but I really can't see the point of it. It seems to be another website to log in to, to tell other people who you have never met what you are doing - is it really THAT interesting or are we all just so bored we need little things like this to keep us going?

I think I might be missing something.....!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thats what I call crimping!

One of the many highlights of the weekend was the knock on the door on Saturday afternoon suggesting I might like to do some serious wiring... I followed PJ dutifully to his boat whereupon I was introduced to some serious tools:

Wire cutters that could take your fingers off:

Seriously large crimpers:

and the end product:

I had a fabulous time...Thank you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Last night, armed with 24 glorious pancakes, I was a complete and utter triumph in the kitchen. For the main course I conjured up a stuffed pancake dish which turned into a pancake instead of pasta lasagna with cheese sauce poured over the top. The pancakes rather rudely dissolved into the dish, but it was absolutely gorgeous. Then pudding was more pancakes.

How do you like your pancakes?

I like mine with butter and sugar. YUM. I did try one with lemon and sugar, but that just isn't quite as delicious.

Needless to say I have more pancakes left over, so there may well be pancakes all week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Those Gas Struts

Following my post about losing one of my gas struts John from nb Alacrity came to the rescue and very kindly offered me some he had. He posted them on Friday the 13th, but there was STILL no sight of them by the weekend. On Sunday evening Ryan told Maffi the gas struts that John had posted me HAD arrived after all. Verity had found them in amongst the brooms - who knows when they arrived - someone received them but failed to tell the owners of the address I sent them too!

Anyway, they have arrived safely now which is delightful for me, I am looking forward to fitting them (hint hint hint to Maffi as it is a two man job!). They are bit a shorter than the one I have already, but I THINK they will lift the bed high enough, they are certainly strong enough!

Thanks John!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Weekend

Saturday morning was so glorious that I decided to pull the pins and head into the 'country' for a spot of DIY. Maffi and PJ joined me. We all fitted in Shipton Lock and looked quite splendid as the boats lulled about in the sunshine as we worked the lock though

PJ went for a blast up the Cherwell to Bakers lock before coming back to join us, so Maffi and I turned around and came back through the lock with nb TINKERBELL

We stopped short of the lift bridge, but Tinkerbell went on ahead and gave a fine example of the Banbury/Bunbury pole technique for single handers:

and here it is in place with a lady admiring it:

We had a lovely evening moored up in the peace and quiet. Charlie came to visit too which was good fun - she had a go at doing french plaits in my hair - I rather like them!

In the morning Maffi and I pulled the pins and headed back to our moorings. PJ was rather surprised to see us awake and active at such a bright and early hour - especially as he said he was leaving early to go to Dukes and back... but hadn't!

After he held the bridge open for us, he noticed that our dog Dennis had run off down the towpath with Maffi's boat. Once I was through the lock PJ left his cup of coffee and ran after the dog:

He was in his slippers, so you can imagine what a fine running technique he adopted! He caught up with Dennis, and they both returned back to their boat.

Here is the obligatory shot of the parish church. I love the way it rests against the sky above the canal in the trees.

All in all a wonderfully relaxing weekend. I met a couple of people who asked me about my side hatch - they were lovely and had just purchased their own boat. I was rather chuffed as I had also met some lovely people the night before who had asked me about my side hatch too - they have a Kingsground Narrowboat which is absolutely gorgeous, as Kingsgrounds tend to be!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Valonia is extraordinarily talented, and over the time I have known her she has produced some marvellous expressions of creativity see here, here, here and here for some examples.

I have been very fortunate indeed, and Valonia decided to do me a woodburning! What a treat. Mine is done on a bit of walnut she retrieved from Clifton Lock. It depicts the First Person of the trinity from the Sherborne Pontifical which was written at the end of the 10th century in Latin and the Anglo-Saxon. It is thought that the manuscript originally belonged to St Dunstan.

Thank you SO much! I am absolutely delighted with it.

Load of Bollards

These bollards have been rather controversial in the boating world, and although they are installed for our 'health and safety' BW seem reluctant to show us how to use them. As a result we have been finding our own uses for them. They are good for all sorts of things - balancing cups on, sitting on, tripping over, and hanging your boat up in a lock. This weekend when out for a cruise I noticed a plea from the world of bollards:

it says 'I am hated by all please adopt me send £800 to B.W.'

£100M waterway for Oxford

New Waterways for Oxfordshire The plans for the new 'flood defences' linking up sections of existing streams and newly excavated river channels are on display at the Town Hall for 12 weeks.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Side Hatch - Martin Kedian

Canal Boat Magazine ran a feature on my new side hatch recently. Buy the magazine for all the words and lots of lovely pictures - you can get it in WHSmiths, Borders, Martins Newsagents or anywhere like that. I am absolutely thrilled with the new addition to the good ship Bones. If you want to cut a hole in the side of your boat and add a hatch, then Martin Kedian, of Kedian engineering is the man you need to talk to! He doesn't just do side hatches, and you don't even have to cut a hole in the side of the boat - you can turn an existing window into one. Not only that, you don't even have to weld anything! What can be so simple!

Fitting it in having cut the hole:

The finish is gorgeous, and now the inside of my boat is having a new bedroom lining, it looks really good!

Martin is easy to contact, and you just give him a ring, discuss what you might want, and he does the rest! BRILLIANT

Here is the advert - click on the pictures to make them bigger!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Out Cruising.

Claire came to visit last night, but she had to leave this morning when we went for our cruise, because she had to be in Bristol - she looks devestated as she waves us off!

So in a cloud of smoke the good ship Bones set off following PJ on Ocelot)

I enjoyed looking back over my shoulder to see a cheery Dennis and PJ sporting his crocodile hat as we made our way south down the Oxford

After Dukes we decided that I should tow PJ down to Wolvercote, and then he will tow be back. This way neither of us have to reverse. (We can't turn around unless we go to the bottom of the Oxford, and that is too far away and the river looks a bit too exciting for such activities!)

We did a lot of foilage inspection!

Sunken Boats in Abingdon

I mostly read boating blogs, but there are a few random ones I dip into, and today I was having a look at This Abingdon. Not least because I was in the Tesco there earlier in the week and noticed the car park was flooding, and the waters rising. Indeed, they rose so much within 15minutes of me being there that there was an announcement over the loud speaker suggesting we might like to finish our shopping and return to our cars before they became submarines.

I thought This Abingdon would have some interesting info and pictures about the rising flood waters, so I had a look. I was saddened to see that one boat is underwater on the meadows, particularly as it was a boat I used to moor near many moons ago, and it had only recently had a refit.

I do hope they owner is OK. I purchased my yellow dinghy from him last summer.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Offered: Bathroom Basin

Some years ago I purchased this basin from a friend. Following an 'episode' that left me weak at the knees over another sink, this one is going to a good home. It is splendid.

I dont want to sell it, but if anyone would like it, they can have it, but perhaps you could give a donation to cancer research (of any amount you like of course!)

Ice Skating Ducks - To Music!

EnglishBlogger (nb The Robber Button) said he would put some music to my ice skating video - and here it is! Thanks Dave!

The music is a mix of the Beatles 'here comes the sun' done for Cirque Du Soleil’s show called Love. Dave tells me the show is amazing!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ice Skating Ducks

I rather enjoyed watching the ducks ice skating around at the weekend. Here is a video of them with a stunningly comprehensive commentry (NOT). I would take the sound off, but that requires knowledge that I don't currently have!

Ye Old Hands

I need some new motorbike gloves, as the ones I have just do not keep the warmth in. They are thermal with all the trims, but being 10 years old they might be passed it.

I travel about 11 miles into work, and my hands almost fall off 3 times during the journey. If you have a pair that works for you, let me know!


Last Autumn I purchased a steel sheet and put it inside my chimney to stop all the crud from the fire oozing over the roof. It did the trick.

This weekend I cleaned the fire out and swept the flu, and noticed that the liner is worse for wear. This has happened in the last couple of months which amazed me! I wouldn't have thought it would do this so quickly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gas Struts - HELP!

I have lost the other gas strut for the bed, and despite hunting high and low I cannot find it ANYWHERE. Chances are it was left on the front deck and has landed in the cut. I have trawled the cut with a magnet, but to no avail.
Unfortunately it would seem the strut I do have is a 'rare breed' coming from a Nissan Vanette Mark II.

So... I was wondering whether all you kind people who have vehicles, whether you would hop outside and measure your gas struts! I am looking for one that is about 800mm in length (about 32 inches in real money) when extended (I.e. when your boot is open) and about 400mm (16inches ish) when closed. SO, the stroke (i.e. the silvery metal bit that goes into the black bit when it compresses) needs to be about 400mm (16 inches ish).

If you have something along those lines, just let me know what vehicle you have (and post anonymously in the comments section if you don't want the world to know!) I can do a search on ebay for one!

Cheers Folks!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Boats and Bits

I am seriously toying with the idea of sorting out my well deck. Those that know the good ship know that the drain holes are VERY low. Not only that but the well deck is quite deep. I am thinking of cutting out the current floor and raising it a foot or so. This will raise the drain holes, give me more storage underneath, and enable me to get access to the water tank to insulate it. Not only that, but the work shouldn't make my well deck any shallower than any other well decks I have seen - so the question of getting into the boat will not be an issue (i.e. I wont need a roof hatch, just a normal sized set of doors).

The question is - who could do it! I shall have to have a hunt around and see whether I can find a welder to give me a quote.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Snow in Cropredy

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Not wanting to offend...

...but I was reminded about this today, and I really like it:

Click here to listen to the song

Prodigal's Song

Here I am just a poor man,
Made poorer still by the knowledge of the riches I have squandered.
Oh, I've wandered - I stand convicted
Even knowing that the deepest of my wounds were mostly self-inflicted
Where did my heart go?
Where have I been?
You opened my eyes to the darkness and lies
And I shut them again.
And I want to go home to my Father
I want to be part of where my heart says I belong.
I want to wash my weary soul in living water
I've been away way too long - I want to go home.

Out on the boundaries of my freedom
I was looking for fences that would keep me in and I found there were none.
Only your sweet love, Lord
And, fool that I've been
You broke the chains of my heartache and pain
And I forged them again.

And I want to go home to my Father
I want to be part of where my heart says I belong.
I want to wash my weary soul in living water
I've been away way too long - I want to go home.

Jesus, Lord, please help me , I'll so full of regret
It's so hard to forgive myself, Lord, and it's harder to forget.
I need you to hold me and hear me
I need you to mold me and steer me
By the power of you Word to be the son
You've called me to be.

And I want to go home to my Father
I want to be part of where my heart says I belong.
I want to wash my weary soul in living water
I've been away way too long - I want to go home.

I've been away way too long - I want to go home.

Written by Gary Durham

Friday, February 06, 2009

Post Box for Virginia

Not a 'proper one' but one at the end of the mooring:

Self Pump Out Kits

Do they come in second hand? Actually, that just doesn't sound nice does it?

Still on the white stuff

What I like about snow:

- It is clear but appears white because of the prisms - that is COOL.

- I made a snowman when I was small called Flump and he lived forever

- The ground crunches under foot

- Looking back at my footprints and the philosophical thoughts that go with them

- People playing outside in the freezing cold getting soaked but loving it

- Footwear

- Funny walks as people try to manoeuvre safely

- Hats

- Cars going slowly

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Snow and the ministry of funny walks

Now that we have a decent amount of snow I thought I would post a picture of the good ship languishing in it this morning:

Something I love about the snow is the way people walk! It really does make me chuckle seeing people with their tiny footsteps then their long strides accompanied by the general lurching around as they try and maintain their balance. The world becomes rather comical in the snow! Even the ducks are confused as you can see from the swan and duck traces in the water in the photo above!

Not only that - but have you noticed the footwear? Maffi was giggling away this morning as he pointed out the ladies still wear their high heals and stiletto's!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Electrical Connections

In my dining room I used to have bunk beds. By the bunk beds there were some lights. When I took the bunk beds out, I removed the lights. The other day I decided to investigate the light connections further and under a piece of insulation tape (not a lot of it I might add) I discovered this:

I learnt not to wire like that at a very young age... so why didn't the previous owner?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I have always hated being ill, and have never found a single advantage to being laid up with bad colds, sore chests, scratchy throats and headaches. UNTIL TODAY!


One shiny fridge. So much easier to do when you cant smell anything!

I think I might be feeling a bit better today.

Man Flu

Oh I do loathe being poorly! I have been harbouring a chest cold for 5 days and finally, on Sunday, it decided to rear its ugly head and incapacitate me. Today I cannot stop sneezing - which is a good sign. Hopefully tomorrow I will be back to my bouncy self.

Woe is me.

Monday, February 02, 2009

NO! and YES!!!


Boating is not cheaper than living in a house, if you live cheaply in a house you will live cheaply on a boat

Buying a sail away to live in and do up is not sensible - but that doesn't mean you can't do it.

Solar panels do not make you 'greener' they just demonstrate you can't be bothered to run your engine.

Boats are not cold in winter


Solar Panels DO work

Doing a power audit IS a good thing before you invest in alternative power

BOAT does mean Bring on Another Thousand

Boats DO have lavatories

Tea Bag Mountain

Last month I mentioned the teabag mountain. This is something often found in the kitchen of Weepingcross, but the picture I had was of the new pile of teabags and wasn't really a true depiction of the tower of glory.

So, thanks to WeepingCross - here it is!