Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Old England

The weekend was full of fun and frolics and by the time it came to Saturday evening England was in full swing.  Behind the hedge next to the tent (put up in two swings due to winds and rain) a BBQ began. Lighting the charcoal proved to be an interesting feat of engineering and finally the fires were left unattended to do their bit while the humans warmed up and sheltered in the now flooded tent.


With the promise of high winds and rain I left before dark and trotted my way along the towpath to secure the good ship. Boots supervised in his ‘I am standing, it is just the world is the wrong way around’ pose


An early night didn’t prepare any of us for the early morning and 6 people, several phone calls, lots of rope and all the pins we could find ensured that the boat that had come un-moored was secured safely.  The owner started trying to rescue the boat at 4am before waking me at 6am…. ‘why didn’t you wake me earlier’ I asked.  ‘It isn’t right to wake people up before 6am’ was the reply.

Good old England.

The drought was declared but people only took it seriously when the hose pipe ban was issued and then ever since then it seems to have rained!  Sunday was a deluge and the new path was looking a little bit worse for wear:


There is clearly no weather that puts off the trekkers


and the only reason I wasn’t a bag of nerves was because my boat is moored to pole in the foreground.  It is a useful pole and perfect for balancing a tea tray on (Miss T’s photograph)


Friday, April 27, 2012

Disaster!!! Cats Ahoy

We are moored next to a field which is heavenly. Especially as there are several dogs who can all have a good romp together.

However, a new boat has arrived and they don't have dogs. They have cats.

This is so bad. They are moored behind me. Boots, as I am sure you will have determined, is delighted.


I did determine that the cats have a cat flap but I don't think that will be much help in the field.

So, can I trust my skills at scanning for a tabby in a field or not. The answer is probably not and thus I will have to keep boots on a lead from now on.

Woe. Poor poppet won't get his daily run after all.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Windy old moody old weather

Changed my mind shock.

I often do as it happens. Or rather, I develop and change my views despite how much I might argue them at the time. I do listen and change and adapt but I rarely do a u-turn.

I have done a u-turn

It is ironic that having thought and pondered so much I wrote thispost on suicide and declared that I couldn't see why it was selfish.

I understood, but it still didn't seem to make sense.
It does now.
Vocalising things like that has opened up a few avenues of discussion of different approaches and I find myself utterly understanding.
Selfish, but more an absolute and utter waste of a person. A person who was clearly ill (even unknown to themselves) and for whom there is always help.

Help isn't easy to get and I hope that as the time goes by it will be easier and more accessible and accepted.

Until then I hope anyone on either side of the coin knows their unique place in this world and let their friends move the earth for them.

Stanley and the hat

Stanley, having discovered that the world is now privy to his bed-shame, would like everyone to know that he CAN be cool


Dog Photo shoot

A great success as you can see



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stanley and the Basket

There was a fire, and in front of the fire was a blanket spread out and a basket for a tiny dog. There were two big dogs. The tiny dog was away.

Stanley was on the blanket.

Boots wanted the blanket and shoved Stanley out of the way


but Stanley wanted to sleep as well, and there seemed to be only one other suitable place.


Poor Stanley wasn’t very happy at all.  He couldn’t sleep standing up so he settled down.


He looked quite comfortable, if not a little disgruntled.


But they made up in the end.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sweet Thames

The Thames has some lovely little boats and out walking this morning I took a photograph of this rather eye capturing one.IMAG1764


Monday, April 23, 2012

Dog on a boat


Mooring, continuously moving or not.

They seem to have their knickers in a twist again and once again I am siding with the continuous cruisers. Having done continuous cruising, marina mooring and linear moorings I am with the continuous cruiser.

Canal boat magazine published a letter suggesting continuous cruisers should pay a mooring licence. This is rather crazy as a mooring licence is there so individuals can moor in a particular area for longer than the specified bank time of 48hrs, 7days, or 14days.

Continuous cruisers have no need for a mooring licence. They don't moor longer than those periods in a particular area. I wonder why this keeps coming up?! Continuous cruising is not the soft option people seem to think it is. Having to move ones boat rain or shine, health wealth, illness, poorness is not an easy number. If there is a family emergency it can take ages to get to a loved ones side. To visit a pharmacy, a Dr, a hospital, a friend can take forever. If a continuous cruiser needs to moor up for a period of time they do, usually (as far as i can gather) in a marina, a temporary linear mooring, or on dry land. Then they pay.

 Paying to moor up for longer than the backside allows is something they do when they need to it. I may be a minority but I rather like continuous cruisers. They are out on the cut constantly, monitoring, reporting problems, teaming together to clear or report things when they come up. I am pretty sure they look after the bank better as well. Mooring carefully and considerately. They also see a lot of the system which means they can make helpful comparisons and see how the waterways are changing for better or worse as time goes by. Not only that, but with blogger we all get to share in it.

I have spent nigh on a year moored up not really boating anywhere and during that time my attitude became half land, half boat, and now I am out and about I am reminded how fortunate I am to have a mooring at all. Continuous cruising isn't as easy as people think. I don't think they should have to pay more to moor. Why single them out? They don't need to pay unless, like marina and linear moorings, they want to stay in one place longer than the specified time.

To charge continuous cruisers means that everyone should be charged to moor on the bank. I wonder whether that will come in, all moorings cost, even the 24hour, 7 and 14 day moorings. Would non continuous cruisers like that? On the waterways everyone needs everyone.

This ridiculous segregation of pointing that one group gets it easier than another group is nothing short of insane. People are people and make the choices they make and the reasons for that are not public knowledge, they are private between the boater and the licensing/mooring authorities.

At least while people are busy slitting eachothers throats they are too busy to remember about the waterways? Gone are the days when boaters can delight in eachothers different freedoms?

 My father, when I was younger, pointed out to me that when I held my hand up and pointed at someone else as if they were a problem there were three fingers pointing back at me. It seems to me that more often than not that criticism lies in our own hearts, not in the lives of others.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Long gone, I hope, are the days where people think depression is a sign of the weak.

Ooh no, these days it is a sign of being strong too long, highly intelligent (the curse of the genius....), or as my sister said in some cases it is called responding normally to an abnormal situation. I used to confuse depression with suicide.

The two are different and although not necessary mutually exclusive it is possible to have the former without the latter, and ironically, perhaps, the latter without the former. Either way for something that will affect most of us in some way or another the stigma still, I think, rides high. Not as high as it has been in the past, but high enough. May it fly low.

Finding help in the darkness seems to be a struggle just as living with it is.

In order to access my email with yahoo I sometimes notice adverts. Today I came across this one and I like it. I like the raising awareness of depression and mental illness. Once in the loop recognising the signs seems straight forward but it's the 'what to do about it' that can be hard to come by. I quite like this article as it says 'don't bottle it up, tell someone close to you how you feel' which coupled with one of the symptoms it quotes 'Loss of self confidence and self esteem' shows what a double edge sword this can be.

It isn't only up to the sufferer to speak it is up to all of us to have ears to listen. Even to those not close to us I guess. The article

Weekend rambles

The concussions is over (there is a residual of tiredness but that is to be expected!) and I have had a lovely weekend with my Pa who seems top be getting on well. Someone has put a new plant on Mothers grave, no note so we don't know who it is from, but we do know she is missed by many. It is strange now, after these months, that Mother isn't actually back yet. Don't get me wrong, I am not sad, it is just strange. The house doesn't feel empty either. I don't keep expecting to see my mother I do, when I arrive, automatically walk into the room where she was for so long. She is gone. Dad and I had a fabulous walk around Wimpole hall parkland. Since having Boots I have discovered the parklands of these Nationsl Trust properties as he isn't allowed in the gardens and certainly not the house. Wimpole Hall has a rather fine eye catcher (folly photo to follow). It is years since I was there last and now there are keep out signs which is a shame. I had some fond memories of watching the world go by there with a friend. Last night I was spoilt rotten with a feast fit for a king. The residents had even cat sat out their cats so I could go (I had Boots with me). There were a few hair raising moments were the dear kitten decided to come home and the older cat, mostly allusive I discover, decided to come back too. The time flew by and I loved it. Thanks guys for going to so much trouble, it was so lovely to see you both. So onward and home.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sunset on the Thames



Friday, April 20, 2012

Troughs at Dukes

Someone has cleared a hedge at Dukes Cut lock!

From Dukes Cut Lock:



How about that then? History under our noses, under our hedges and now there we are… for all to see!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Out at Jamie’s with the Mosh.

I thought it a little odd, when we were all out for our friends birthday, that the waitress put two tins of tomato’s on the place next to me.


But at Jamie’s Italian that is what they put the platters on. I like it!




Marianne’s amazing chocolate extravaganza went down a treat. Our friend even shared it…which was quite an achievement!

Celebrating birthdays with friends is quite good fun. I think it might catch on.




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Back from holidays

I have returned to my desk after a little holiday on cloud cuckoo land.  The flight was cheap and involved a fast walk, a bridge a blinding flash of light, a sit down on the floor for a while and then, just like magic the whole world changed.  People starting thinking I was being weird.  I had a rather lovely time and I have come back to the office feeling rather bemused and strange, but it was SIX days ago so I must be better.

In my absence I have been rather worried about the banana that I had left on my desk.  Who wouldn’t be?

It was lovely and green when I departed and there it has sat unattended for many days.  So faithful a fruit is it it has sweetly passed through that horrid yellow phase they go through to the black phase, just in time for my return. 

I don’t particularly like Bananas (at all) when they are that ripe but what am I to do? It has waited patiently, faithfully, loyally for my return and hasn’t caused any disruption in my absence.

So I ate it.

Gobbled it up.

Scoffed it.



That is one worry over.

Lower Heyford to Thrupp


The Cleeves




River Cherwell


Near enough Home


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Banbury to Lower Heyford



P1000069 P1000094

Friday, April 13, 2012

Charlie and the Lock Shots

Charlie arrived prompto and off we shot into the distance, towing a boat off the mud, down the Claydon flight, through the menu at the Red Lion Cropredy, took on water, sherbet and sleep, unsilled the boat and then Charlie left.  In amongst that there was plenty of time for a bit of lock posing.





Thursday, April 12, 2012

Taking Tea with the Chaps.

Passing through Pigeons Lock and Kirtlington Quarry on the southern Oxford canal you would find it impossible to miss the line of carefully laid tables along the canal side edge and the find sheds, on legs, for the chickens. If you want a bit of quintessential England, this is your spot.

The chaps and I took our motorcycles for a ride out for afternoon tea.  This is the first time I have ever been to Jane Fanner’s empire and it is an absolute MUST. I loved it.



The piano and the baby

Baby, as it is known, has travelled far and wide with me, in miles as well as mind, and when I am settled Baby comes out; we are both home whether it be temporary or permanent (although all homes are temporary as the only real home is in the security of ones mind).

Baby had a home on the good ship Bones until things started to change and at that point the hammock that held Baby was slug high, hanging where I could see, but no-one would have known what was inside.

In full view - but unseen,

in public yet very private.

I have periodically wondered where Baby may rest and have toyed with shelf upon shelf, but it has never felt quite right.  It has been so long that I had forgotten what home looked like.

Now I have a piano and it took me a few days to realise that finally Lizard and Baby have a home again. 

Baby doesn’t particularly like being in full view (which is partly why there is a hammock involved), but now the hammock lies flat and the space behind the flap provides a new home.

Baby. Home. Good. (Lizard isn’t in this shot.)


Photo thanks to Miss T.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunrise at Napton






Hillmorton Church

Through this yard is the most unexpected sight. As I strolled through past the most amazing jumping dogs (worth a visit in themselves) barking ferociously I wondered what to expect but as I opened the gate to the churchyard and walked along the path I was delighted.  I found myself in a pretty, wild English churchyard. 


There is this bit of graffiti/art under the bridge on the way.