Thursday, May 31, 2012

The White Cliffs of Dover

I have been hankering after views of the sea so I took a weekend trip to Kent. I stayed in a fantastic place, had a wonderful time and spent the Saturday afternoon walking the White Cliffs of Dover.





Langdon Bay really caught my attention. You can access the ladder when the tide is out. It wasn’t on the day I went so I settled with this photograph and this and this information when I looked it up.


I do love the sea views.

Boots and the terracotta pig


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memories of Water: Tomorrow and Friday


Simpkins Lee Theatre can be found in oxford at Lady Margaret Hall OX2 6QA

Monday, May 28, 2012

Baddesley Clinton

Mark and I were out on a jaunt and stopped at Baddesley Clinton for a look around.


I was fond of this 18th Century painted glass by Thomas Jervais


There are several priests holes and the guide even told us how the owner had, himself, once murdered a priest. He bought his own pardon but continued to carry the guilt of his crime and insisted he was buried upright in the door of the church so people could walk over him every day. You can find the murderers grave under the church door mat.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Librarian


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Evening on the Thames


Friday, May 25, 2012

The roaring Badger


Thursday, May 24, 2012


This time malarkey is a slippery slope. Try and hold onto it and it flips stage left.  Look at it and it slides stage right. Stare it in the face and it glides right out of view…taking every moment with it.  When wanting it to pass quickly time sits, waves, has a picnic – feasting on it being in full view ticking slowly.  The time passes slower than one seems to age.

The Munching Slug


taken in a field by the Thames 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Braunston Historic Narrow Boat Rally 23-24th June 2012

2012 cut show poster

All the information can be found here

The Munching Bee


Taken at Baddesley Clinton 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Five Choirs Concert

What a wonderful weekend!

After work on Friday I scooted round the motorways down to Surrey to visit friends.  Whereupon we ate very well indeed.  We all wondered, at one point, whether we would have time to do anything as eating seemed to lead into coffee and into more eating!

We did find time to venture through the wilds of the town and Saturday afternoon saw us at the fair – an event that found me suitably nervous as the Kangaroo Gymnastics display team went about their leaping over cars and things. #

It reminded me of our trip to see Spelbound.  Having been informed by the lovely cleaners (and Nathan) about their performance on Britain's got talent we went to see them (but without Nathan) when they came to Oxford – it was amazing, utterly! 

On Saturday evening we went to the most amazing concert held in honour of Christine who was, until recently, the Director of Music to thank her for all that she has given to community and the five choirs who sang for us.

The atomoshphere was amazing. Christine clearly enjoyed herself (as did everyone else). The primary school choir was amazing as it rocked and jazzed it’s way through some complicated and fun music.  When the choirs all came together and sang O Fortuna (‘Carmina Burana’) it was utterly stunning.

It was a wonderful weekend of meeting up with many people I knew of old.  As I walked through the arches I felt that I had arrived home, because when I lived there it was just that – home.

Wonderful place, wonderful people, wonderful memories.

And my friends had a bath.  Even better!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Memories of Water May 30th–1st June

Kate Saffin is performing her new play NEXT WEEK!

31 May and 1 June, 8.15pm at Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall OX2 6QA

Kate Saffin's one-woman show about a woman who finds herself on a hotel boat cruising the waterways, back to her past, back to memories, back to a secret never forgotten... Part of Oxfringe 2012.

Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 for Children and available on the door.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Canoe and Kayak Hire Oxford

I have copied this from Maffi’s blog but as it seems interesting I thought I would share it.
Have you ever thought you might like to take out a canoe or kayak on to Oxfords waterways for the afternoon now the hot weather is here?

Where would you go to languish on the calm waters of the Oxford Canal or paddle along the more challenging river?

Where would you go in Oxford to hire a canoe or kayak?

Canoe & Kayak Hire
Thrupp Oxford


In Thrupp, 7 miles north of Oxford, at the old BW yard on the OXFORD CANAL you can hire a canoe or kayak by the hour or by the day/half day. You can set off in tree lined shade along the canal and then on to the river for an enjoyable paddle ‘up the creek’ so to speak.

If you can’t be bothered to make lunch we can provide a picnic lunch for £8 pp. Or you could have your lunch in Annie’s Tearoom before you set off and tea and cake when you return.

North from Thrupp will take you by way of Shipton Weir Lock onto the River Cherwell where you can go north again to Bakers lock and The Rock of Gibraltar or south down towards the old paper mill at Hampton Gaye, remembering to take the boat out before you get to the weir.

South from Thrupp to the Jolly Boatman then onward you will pass the outskirts of Kidlington and if you are fit down to the River Thames.

Phone 01865 842708

The phone will be answered by a garden landscaping company but it is all the same people so leave a message. If you want to turn up on spec ask in the tea rooms for me, Maffi, and we will get your boat out onto the water.

Set your Tom Tom to OX5 1JZ.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thames, Rain, Moving

And lo' the waters rose and it was 19days before the river was considered safe again.  I have been on my current safe mooring for 16 days.  It looks as though I will be able to move away to where I came from tomorrow morning.

It hasn’t been a bad view and the rain and hail yesterday was utterly spectacular!  I drove home in most of it…


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cathedrals again.

I wrote in my post, Church, Cathedral or Museum, last year here about entrance fee’s to Cathedrals and their upkeep.

The news tells us today here that visitors donate, on average, 55p a visit.  There isn’t even a chocolate bar in our local shop that can be purchased for that and a pack of Polo’s wouldn’t give much, if any, change.  Is that really what the public think the architecture, music, quiet, art, memo’s and history is worth? Less than a chocolate bar which isn’t nearly as healthy and the instant effects don’t last nearly as long and as for the long term affects….


This picture was taken with my new camera – A Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35.  I am not sure I like the colour arrangement.  The grass probably WAS that green but there is something quite ‘digital’ about it, more so than my previous digital camera.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Picture Book

The Thames is still running fast but I love the way the river chases it’s way through the landscape with trees rising on either side.



through the fields



The stream is still running fast, but the water levels have dropped a lot. Here is where I was moored before the water got a bit *too* high. There is a lot of mud bank showing now!


I am told we should be off red boards later today or tomorrow. This means I will need to move, however, with the stream as it is it isn’t going to be much fun getting up and back through the bridge.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Newspapers are not often seen upon the good ship Bones but having stumbled upon on I decided I would give it a read.
We are told that beer drinkers are to expect 10p off a pint of beer following bumper barley crops... I just love the idea that the paper thinks this will be seen by the drinker and not the seller!
In other news there is a blood test being developed to 'predict' breast cancer. We are told 'the test could help Drs identify women at high risk, allowing then to take preventative need iciness and switch to healthier ways of living'. Er......hello! Do we REALLY need a blood test to tell us to switch to healthier lifestyles? Surely there is enough disease in our world to remind us to live measured healthier lifestyles?

In other news the water levels are decreasing and my head is getting less confused so I think the lasting effects of the concussion are on the decline. I am looking forward to being able to move but I am very grateful for being able to moor here in safety in the first place.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sweet view

Over the fields

I took my shadow for a walk over the fields this afternoon. P1000420

Not just as an exercise regime for the Bones household but to see whether something I had stashed away in a tree yesterday was still there.  While I stood loitering looking over the quiet country landscape Boots ran around like a mad thing showing his big teeth


But Boots isn’t impartial to shadow so he came and joined in and we both our shadows stood and stared over the landscape.


The trip was successful. I have a new prize and Boots is asleep dreaming of being frightfully fast.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I am moored in a safe place for the boat and the boat isn't going anywhere until the water levels go down. They haven't done that yet so I am waiting, patiently - mostly.
It is the second Friday night here in this place where access is limited. I am not finding it easy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


It is nearly 4 months since my Mum died.  What I wrote then (here, here, and more especially here) hasn’t changed.

When Mum died I decided to give myself time to get used to ‘the change’.  I have been trying to work out what that ‘change’ is.  I can see each member of our family and friends getting on their way, the best they can, together.

The only way I can describe it is that it is like a flower growing and beginning to open its petals to full bloom.  Gentle, delicate, rooted, guided by the things around us, but ultimately facing the sun – purpose, restoration and beauty.

It is nearly 4months and strangely I find myself thinking it is about time Mum came home.  Don’t get me wrong I am not sad. I just find it strange; a life closed while ours goes on.

I can see the emptiness and the hole that her departure has left. It is like a chasm in the landscape but there, if you peer closely you can see wildflowers growing on the sides. Flowers growing with petals opening.

For one person time has stopped still, but for the rest of us life goes on.

When I was sitting by my Mothers bedside in those last hours her friend of many many loyal years came to visit and it was so lovely to see her. She sat by my mothers bedside and two souls connected in tender words and ageless.  She came twice and the first time she came Mum gained consciousness as her name was spoken.   It is one of the lasting, tender, moments of that time that I have.  It makes me realise that the greatest gift anyone can share and leave when they go is Love.  What I saw there was Love. It was out of this world. Utterly.  I left the room to leave them to share their moments.

Grief? I can’t feel grief, even now, just utter honour. That was my Mum that was. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Ducks, Running, Water.

Yesterday we were having a lovely walk in the field when we stumbled upon some ducks which one of us regarded to be good game.  One of us sped across the field but a whisker away from the tail feathers. Hurtling at full pelt along the grass almost catching them when all of a sudden the land stopped and one of us didn’t. I wonder which one of us that was.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The life jacket

I am not sure what Boots thinks of it, but I suspect he is feeling quite ‘woe’ about the whole thing.


While I was looking at the jacket on the side I noticed a rather disturbing logo on my motorcycle jeans.


I am not sure riding around with killer on the jeans is a particularly comforting thing..

Taking Tea

Vintage tea at the Queens Head, Eynsham with Miss T and Mr Lawrence.


Before it all arrived:


and after


Monday, May 07, 2012

The cake

Just for is the liner! Isn't it gorgeous!

Bones bakes 2

The cake turned out pretty good. I used wholemeal spelt flour (which was all I had) I am not very wheat tolerant but spelt flour seems a bit better than wheat flour so I thought I would give it a go. I will add more ginger next time.
The sinking in the middle is a trick I inherited from my Ma, she would
have been proud.

Eynsham Abbey and Graves.

Until it was destroyed in the 16th Century, Enysham Abbey was one of the most important Benedictine Abbeys in the Middle Ages.  The Catholics were forced to become part of the nation Church of England or be fined or imprisoned.  The Catholic priests were executed as traitors.P1000391

I had no idea Eynsham had an Abbey until I trotted through the church yard again yesterday. The first time I went I never quite made it to the ‘Abbey Woz Ere’ sign.  I like the churchyard.P1000387


I like the peace that comes with ancient stones and wild flowers as they nestle amongst the Yew trees (planted, I am told, for a steady supply of arrows).  New church yards just don’t do it for me, they seem so much more regimented and empty than the echoing hollowness of the ancient stones. I wonder what today’s church yards will be like after the passage of time.


I seem to be getting a lot of comments from people advertising their website which are unrelated to this site or the post they 'comment on'. Is anyone else finding this too? I have comment authentication whatsit on so I don't authorise the comments but..... I still don't want to have them.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Bones bakes part 1

Some time ago Sue from No Problem gave me some 'inserts' ( you can imagine how my mind boggled before she produced them) for my cake tin and the Bottles from Oakfield gave me a recipe for their delicious ginger cake. Finally I have got around to baking. My attempt is currently in the oven with only a few mishaps along the way. It has gone better than I expected. I trotted to Sainsbury this morning for the ingredients but was foiled by the margarine. Now, when I was a lass there were cartons of stuff with margarine written clearly on the tub. These days the shelves don't seem to have margarine. What they do have is a selection of butter (easy to see as it comes wrapped up nicely in special paper) and then a phenomenal amount of stuff in plastic containers claiming, on the tub, that it is just like butter, but clearly isn't in all respects. I got confused and had to phone the margarine expert ( nb Oakfield) who assisted my purchase. It transpires that when it says 'seriously gov it is just like butter' on the label it is actually margarine.
Well, that's my assessment of the situation.
For a bunch of people who don't, these days, bake or cook (or so said the said the radio this morning) there seemed to be a lot of margarine on the shelf. I can only conclude that people are still baking bucket loads of cakes. I approve. I can't believe they use it on their toast... Which sounds like another slogan from the plastic container shelf of doom.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Don’t make ‘em like they used to…

…or tea leaves have got bigger.

Sarah wrote a delicious post about tea.  I have a new tea pot and I have noticed that the holes in the spout are not as big as they used to be.  I am not sure tea pots are even MADE for tea leaves these days. The holes get clogged up rather more easily than they should.

It isn’t a problem. I love my new tea pot and I am beginning to find the pour, shake, pour of filling the mug with the brown fluid a rather therapeutic process.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The head ain't right

It is 3 weeks since I knocked my head on the bridge and gave myself concussion and I feel much better, less vacant, the fairy's.

However, it still isn't right.

Work gets hard to do after a while and simple tasks aren't so easy. I put my saucepan of porridge in the cupboard this morning and put the lid on the hob. I didn't notice until it caught fire.

Oops. Best take it easy for a while longer.

Moving, Thames, Neurosis and 6inches knocks you over.

I followed the water levels fastidiously. I have them marked up on my wall and I have the webpages of information on all the time.
The water, like my neurosis, was rising.  The latter faster than the former. I stocked up on tins, dog food, dark chocolate and plums.  I was ready, I was prepared, but I still stood on the bank measuring, drawing chalk lines on the hill and wondering what it was I should be doing.

In such situations it is best to email Wisdom on these matters. I had spoken to lock keepers and others but I still couldn't make up my mind about what, if anything, to do...other than to pack the dog off for higher ground.

It was only when I was on my boat and PJ asked whether I was home because he was arriving that I realised just how worried I was.  I wasn't worried about the things you might expect, I was just having trouble knowing what to do and I knew something needed to be done, even if that something was nothing.  PJ arrived and decided it was time to move the boat to the lock.  I had already made various phone calls and it was the right thing to do.


Fortunately PJ knows all about bridges and the Thames, and going sideways and even going backwards in through them whilst in forward gear.  If anyone was going to take me through the bridge it was going to be PJ. So he did.

PJ is great because he knows what he is doing, doesn't have a point to prove and knows me well enough to know that if I needed to do something he could rely on me to follow clear instructions and I would do it. Anyone else would just consider me useless but detachment is my forte. Fortunately I didn't need to use it.

We arrived at the lock shortly before we left the mooring and stopped in time and impressed everyone there - PJ is good, now everyone knows it.  I am not sure my screaming and pale face was exactly the way I wanted to arrive, but arrive we did. safely.

I am now moored up safely.

My companions in the field left the following day and went upstream to safety.  I walked over last night and I rather miss them. It was fun being moored together but now we are apart.

Some boaters decided to weather the storm and have remained. Scaffold poles have been positioned and wellingtons purchased.

While I was browsing the internet in my frenzy I came across this useful bit of information here The top point is very important to remember.

Floodwater is dangerous

  • Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over.
  • Two feet of water will float your car.
  • Flooding can cause manhole covers to come off, leaving hidden dangers.
  • Don’t walk or drive through flood water.
  • Don’t let children play in flood water.
  • Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks.
  • When water levels are high be aware that bridges may be dangerous to walk or drive over.
  • Culverts are dangerous when flooded.
  • Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater as it may be contaminated.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Boots fame

Boots and I took Maffi’s boat for a cruise over the wilds earlier this year and whilst waiting for the lock it was photographed and is now the front page of the free glossy mag Tillergraph.  It’s the best combination, but the worst combination too: Maffi’s boat and my dog… Molly will be spitting feathers!! At least I wasn’t on it at the time (I suppose I was doing my hair inside or something) or Maffi may not be quite so pleased to see his boat in print!


Photo things

The rainbow after the storm.  If you look closely it is a double rainbow


Scaffold poles were deployed last night. Water levels were rising


The lock landing below the lock this morning.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

River Thames

I am not having much fun on the Thames at the moment. The wind got us first and now the rain. I am glued to the Environment Agency water levels, the bank and the sky. 

here are some useful information websites:

River Conditions – are we on read boards?

Water Levels –flood risk or normal levels?  Click on the area and then click a more specific area then on the dot of the relevant lock.  You can see upstream and down stream levels.

The levels are rising but I am not sure what I can do about it, if anything.