Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tiller Pin

When I arrived at Braunston for the historic boat show the first people I bumped into were James and Amy from Luck Duck who said they had a present for me and it was on Chertsey, so off we went.  To say I was surprised would be an understatement. The present was from John and Jackie Pippin. Inside the puffy envelope was this:

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A new tiller pin. They found a boot last in Emmaus and made it into a tiller pin. Boots & I are delighted. I used to have a dolphin tiller pin which I was never keen on and then lost, so I used a valve that I was given by a friend James on a boat called Wild Goose. It came from one of his vans when we were teenagers, but now I have a new, perfect tiller pin!

Thank you VERY much!  I am overwhelmed and delighted, it was such a lovely lovely thing to do to make it for me. Thank you.

A week already?!

A week has passed, and what a week! I have had a great time.  Pete and Elizabeth on Bella finally arrived in Thrupp and I took the opportunity to spend some time with them. I wasn’t too sure about them when I met them the first time, but I was in an interesting place, so it was probably me more than them.  They have been down a couple of times and I have watched from a distance. They are an intriguing couple, and I like them.  It isn’t the first time my first impressions have been formed on my hang ups rather than reality, thank goodness they don’t have grudges!  Kate and I were invited around for supper and we had the most wonderful evening chatting nattering and eating. Elizabeth is quite a whizz in the kitchen and was completely un phased by my allergies – I, on the other hand, was rather phased by the caviar and chocolate fondue.  They left to go north today.

I had a lovely visit to the ancestral seat on Saturday to empty the gash bucket cook lunch and supper for mum. Dad has done a wonderful job on the garden, it is just beautiful.

On Sunday I went to the boat show in Braunston. This has to be the best show ever. It is about people and boats, not selling boats, not commercial but pure fun. It was particularly good to see Sarah and Jim on their old working boat Chertsey.  I have a lot of time for them both and have shared some wonderful times with them; far too few!  I am looking forward to seeing Chertsey develop in their hands.27062010052 27062010050

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It was lovely catching up with so many people I haven’t seen for an age at Braunston. There were several people I thought I might see, but didn’t.

After Braunston I had a conference for two days, I have had little sleep, seen lots of people, had a great time and am suffering from brain fry! Good stuff.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A week of Bones

On Saturday we met in the Boat Inn with Sanity Again, No problem and later BlackBess and 8ch. By the time Wrens nest arrived we were past it. It was a really lovely evening, full of laughter and interesting things - some of us ate but there was quite a long gap between ordering and being served so I will remember to book next time! I was drinking the most vile drink in the pub a vile pale green J2O – it lasts all night! NoProblem had a present for me which got us wondering:

A Badger Skull.


I was a bit baffled by it as it seemed different to the one I gave my friend for his 30th birthday, and I did wonder whether it was a dog. I am pretty sure it is a badger though, probably older than the one I gave my friend.

In the post on Tuesday a lovely little package arrived from my friends Teresa and Dave – I used to moor next door to them (almost) when I lived in Surrey. It was something they found in the woods in Devon.


I often get parcels delivered via the same person, and he is so intrigued by some of the shapes that he waits for me to open them to see what I have got ‘this time’. I don’t think he was disappointed with the unusual gift.

These skulls are an incredible reminder that we are put on this earth to look after our environment and everything in it. Within our life cycle other creatures are born, grow old and die and have, hopefully, had offspring. The rate our planet is changing not only affects us, but everything around us and I think all to often people forget that. It isn’t only humans that need looking after (and judging by the way I am judged, and the way I judge, not to mention amnesty international, we aren’t very good at even that) but animals need looking after too (as do trees, plants and fungus!). Hopefully all of them will grow to be old like the bearers of these bones. Life is precious and the skeleton is the carrier of life.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am often reminded and think of Tortoise


At Thrupp Lift Bridge


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Picture Book: To Great Tew

On Saturday morning 8ch, Boots and I took  parked the car in a beautiful village called Nether Worton and strolled across the fields to Great Tew.  The church in Nether Worton is connected directly to a residential building.190620101205

When we arrived at Great Tew Boots was delighted that there were not only enough kittens to warrant a sign, but they were also slow:


Fortunately we didn’t see any. Great Tew is full of thatched cottages190620101188 190620101193

And has a post office/flower shop/ tea room.


I was rather taken by the china tea cups:


Timmy and Annie who run our tea rooms in Thrupp used to run pubs including the Falkland Arms in Great Tew.  I went there many moons ago and was amazed by the sheer number of choices of whisky behind the bar. You could also buy a clay pipe and some tobacco or some snuff.


Revitalised with tea and armed with our map we made our way home.


This pipe coming out of the wall of the Manor House, with the archway and the greenery reminded me of some of the photographs that The WeepingCross has taken of holy wells. I wonder if there are any in this area.


This gate mechanism caught my eye (not literally)190620101202

And there is a bench next to this tree – a beautiful place to sit and survey the view.


Boots loved it… once we managed to escape some rather frolicking horses and avoid the horse field altogether. He wasn’t entirely convinced about being lifted over fence, wire and bush, but he got the hang of it eventually.


We arrived home at lunch time and saw that bloggers No Problem and Sanity Again had finally arrived in Thrupp after a tantalising will they be here today or not (mostly not) journey down the canal. Every time I checked they had moved one lock! I did wonder if they would arrive at all. After planning an evening in the Boat Inn I went home for my snooze. This was welcomingly interrupted by a local,Peter Darch, who came to show me his Levis – what a beauty!

Just as the tea rooms were closing when my friends on Wrens Nest arrived for the evening with their friends.

190620101206 They arrived just in time and we had a lovely cup of tea together.

Flowers in the sun

I have decided to have another go at planting flowers this year, and they are looking rather good, even if I say so myself!DSC06607

The towpath flowers are looking divine too. We have had a flurry of iris’ just near my mooring.


I have also noticed more of the grp cruisers on the canal this year.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Brass Plaque

Casper-Ghost sent me this beauty through the post a few weeks ago.


He didn’t do the BMC one and suggested I changed my engine to something else… then he got some new stock and this arrived. Isn’t it beautiful.  Casper does several different engine types, so if you haven’t got one and want one, then you can get one from his eBay shop by clicking here

It seems a shame to drill a hole through it to mount it so for now it is on my table shining at me.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Isn’t Rhubarb a funny word!  Jim on NB BlackPig is moored next to me at the moment, and when he got home today he gave me some Rhubarb. I am very excited and will have it for tea!150620101158

On the subject of Pamphlets

Maffi just pointed this out to me:140620101147

So you can put a solar light in the garden to kill the bugs? Just WHOSE home is it!?  What IS the world coming to.

Maffi says, and I quote “it’s a bit like trying to empty the canal with a thimble”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Foaming Lavatory Seat

I was flicking through one of the pamphlets that came through with the magazine and was reminded of a particular event when I came across the ‘soft comfortable toilet seat (buy one get one free)’140620101146

Many moons ago when I was driving up to Arisaig (which is the most beautiful journey) to catch the ferry to the Isle of Muck. I stopped for a cup of tea in a delightfully pink doyley infested tea room in Glencoe.  Whilst there I took the opportunity to go to the lavatory. I opened the door and was amazed at the sight in front of me. The lavatory seat was about 2inches high and made out of a royal green vinyl (that looked like leather).  I lowered myself upon the throne wondering whether my feet would touch the ground once positioned. They did, but only because I sank, with a speed I have never sunk before, into the lavatory seat. That too was made of foam and it was the most un-nerving experience ever. 


Maffi did a good turn for some hire boaters when they were in Heyford. The hire boaters were so appreciative they wrote to Canal Boat and to Waterways World telling them about what he and the yard (Oxfordshire Narrowboats) did for them.  The letter was published in both magazines.

What WERE they thinking?! I have to live next door to him… he is INSUFFERABLE!

If you haven’t seen it, buy both magazines and have a look.

Well done Maffi!


I cut my hand about 10days ago and it healed up nicely, but periodically it itched. It never lasted long so I didn’t think anything of it.  When I was out boating on Wednesday my hand got really itchy in the afternoon and a periodically itched in the evening. By Thursday morning my wrist was swollen,red and itchy.  Over the course of the day this spread all down my arm. I went to see the Dr who gave me antibiotics and drew a line around the red saying ‘if it gets worse give us a call’. It had crept out of the line before I had even left the surgery.  I called again when it had moved 3cms further up my arm and was told not to worry but if it got worse to call. I wasn’t sure what worse was.  Anyway, I decided to call them again as it wasn’t going away. I saw the duty Dr and by midnight I was in hospital on IV antibiotics.  Modern medicine is amazing. I was delivered home on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday I picked up my weeks supply of oral antibiotics and since then I have felt woozy dizzy and wobbly but I presume that is the antibiotics.  Today I am feeling better and tomorrow I expect to feel much better. 

It is good to be home.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A lovely day..

During my lovely day out on the boat yesterday I discovered that the cloud appreciation society really does exist and I had a member of it on board. This was very fortunate! The clouds were admired down to the minute and we were moored up munching a delicious lunch through the downpour. 

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Dear Granny and Grandpa

I tend to stay out of the kitchen when mum is cooking just in case she thinks I would like some. However, today I had a momentary lapse and I found myself staring at her in amazement and she gave me a piece of parsley. Oh Granny and Grandpa, it was DELICIOUS! I took it off to my basket and munched on it and with every bite it got more delicious.  I went back for some more but Mum gave me something of what she was cooking. I think I will stay out of the kitchen for a while.

We went to visit Uncle James. I like to sit on his rug looking regal:


Uncle James is amazing in the kitchen. I like to watch him:


My eyes nearly fell out of my head when I saw supper - he produces the most amazing meals:


but sadly he doesn’t like sharing


Lots of Love


Monday, June 07, 2010

Bring back the stocks

My car was broken in to so my sister and I made a rather splendid designer window for my little red car:


It lasted all the way to Uxbridge before it exploded so I took it off and purchased some cling film on the way home. Just as I parked the car it started to rain so I wrapped the door up:


panic Clingfilm-ing is rather fun!  The window is getting fixed this afternoon thanks to my friends Keeping Up who are going to meet the repair man.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Grant to buy a boat:

Oxfordshire city council has awarded 50K for a local voluntary run organisation, Dovecote, to buy a narrow boat in order to teach kids about the waterways, nature and their environment. What a wonderful project! Read about it here

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Flowers Looking Good



Many Dead Things

I was visiting a friend over the weekend who recently visited Many Dead Things by Alex CF  (more here)  in London. Unfortunately I won’t be able to see it as it closes tomorrow, but if you are in the vicinity, it looks superb!

I shall we waiting eagerly for it to come back again!

Boaters – the target of EA pollution drive