Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics (World) Ignorance (Mine)

I live without a television – as do most of the people I see each day.  I listen to the radio but until this morning I hadn’t heard a single mention of the Olympics – this is probably more to do with the times I tune in rather than the broadcasting. 

There are no bill boards, there are no posters.  Most of the tickets were sold by the time I realised they were for sale, and although I did think about it later (and was offered some free tickets only last week for tomorrow’s events) I realised I would be lost amongst so much sport and so many people.

I know that the Olympics are opening this evening and after asking a friend I have discovered they are being shown on television this evening.  I hope where I moor will allow me enough internet access to tune in to iPlayer with my 3G dongle.

Hoards of people are going to London from all over the world and I haven’t any idea when they are arriving. As for where they are staying  - when I picture the Olympic site I see it with scaffolding and a pile of rubble.

Time to update some memories perhaps… as I imagine it is all finished, polished and shiny. 

I know work colleagues are worried about the traffic and certain London dwellers are considering themselves grid locked for the duration (which is…er… two weeks?)

It never ceases to amaze me, despite persistently doing it, how easy it is to be completely oblivious to ones surroundings.

If there was a medal of Olympic Ignorance I do hope I would win, it worries me that I might not….

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Why are statistics such a hair pulling out bone chilling intense screaming enterprise of agony?

I can’t do what I need to do without back up, which means I can’t do my job.

The Barrow Boat and trike

Peter came by yesterday on his barrow boat. IMAG0089

He had had a fantastic day fishing and was bursting withe excitement.  He was on his 311th trip and I went along to see him get the boat out of the water and into his car.  I thought I might be able to help but it is a one-man job… he did let me carry the batteries though.

The oars make good handles for hauling the boat out.


The boat gets lined up with the ramp


and then there it is – a perfect fit.


I also spotted this trike outside the local public house later in the evening.  I was too busy chatting to my neighbour to rush out and watch it roar into the distance:


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Premature Morris

I don't think I have ever had quite so much fun, revelation and joy out of a car as I did out of Hercules the Morris Minor. Past tense because, to cut a not very long story short, I sold him...subject to the man turning up to buy him in a week or so. We had great fun, nearly all of us drove it and the laughter was something special. Although short lived I have enjoyed owning a classic. Now I need to find another car. For one reason and another I could do with a set of four wheels quite quicky so it looks like I will be finding a modern car for now and then in the future, maybe, visiting the classic line again. I HATE CAR plays havok with my already tentitive decision making process.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Worm Recipe

My neice had several attempts at making jelly worms and after coming across a few problems my sister found the receipe...
This should stop the jelly running out of the straws before it is set.


2 packs (3 oz) Raspberry jello
1 pkg unflavored gelatin (for extra firmness)
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 cups boiling water
15 drops green food coloring
100 flexible straws (or enough to fill your container)
Tall container (1 quart or 1 liter carton of milk)

Combine gelatin in bowl and add boiling water.
Let it cool to lukewarm and then add the whipping cream and 15 drops green food coloring.
Gather your straws (don’t forget to flex them out) and put them in the container. It’s important that the straws have a tight fit so the jello stays in the straws. For this reason, a 1 liter carton may be better; you will probably get longer worms since there is a tighter fit. If you have a bigger container, a rubber band around the straws is helpful. Or you could just add more straws to fill the container.
Add the gelatin mixture to the straw-filled container and let it set until firm.
There are multiple ways you can remove the worms from the straws. You can roll a rolling pin over the straws and squeeze them out or you can hold the straws over warm water. The worms will slip right out.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Let’s go eat worms


It comes from somewhere on the internet with a reference to ‘Sunny coast kids’.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Power points

My friend tells me he has 18power points in his kitchen. He discovered this while cleaning...I will overlook how long he has lived in his house...

18 Power sockets

It made me wonder what I would plug in if I lived there.

1. Washing machine
2. Tumble dryer
3. Fridge
4. Freezer (Vast quantities of peas and ice cubes)
5. Coffee machine
6. Kettle
7. Hand blender for soups
8. Whisk for meringues
9. Toaster
10. Small lamp
11. Shredder
12. Dremmel

12 things without even thinking about it!

13. Magimix
14. Radio

Now I am stuck...

15. Blender for fruit juice
16. Iron
17. deep fat fryer that I wont ever use
18. Fly killer

Not bad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Goodbye Thames, Hello Canal

I have left my summer potter on the ancient and famous trade route of the Thames and taken up residence on the muddy ditch of the inland waterways.

Gosh it feels SO good.


Canal locks are so cute, so small and so sweet.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Coool dog

Sunday, July 08, 2012


My neighbour has gone! They had hoped to make it to Abingdon but the river didn't let them. They are now moored on the canal being safe.

When the weather calms down I think I will go back too. I could have gone this weekend but I don't fancy my chances past kings weir.

The rain is coming down, the river is coming up. Again.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Engine Porn

Arthur Brown from Canalworld put this picture up on a thread titled ‘engine porn’

It was so inspiring I went and purchased a bottle of gunk, decommissioned my toothbrush, commissioned a flannel and set too cleaning the engine under the light of my new head torch.

Happy Days.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

5th July

As the sun sets, so surely it will rise


As the storm rages, so surely it will calm


We may fall, but surely we will rise.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The great car hunt

I do love old cars. I love the way they smell, the way they move and the way they look. They have bags of character and more importantly, they are great fun to drive.

As my circumstances had changed and it was about time a few others did too I started on a car hunt.  This meant my friends, thankfully, started the great car hunt too.

The first car was inspected thoroughly by a friend, a report written (and eagerly read by us all) and a few days later I was poised on the edge of my seat with another friend in front of the computer preparing to bid on ebay.  Friend was in charge of the buttons, I was in charge of the other buttons and all good sport needs a spectator and we had one sat watching us watching the auction.  At 10 seconds the bid was placed, at 7 it was registered and for 3 gloriously triumphant fantastic seconds I had won. Then I lost. Good bye Farina.

Then another friend and I went to look at a Morris – it wasn’t quite right so we consoled ourselves with ice cream in a petrol station car park at the back end of Birmingham before driving off into the distance with the Morris Minor at the back of our minds.

Who needs a Morris anyway.

But then another friend pointed out another Morris, not just any old Morris mind you – this one had a roof rack.

I happened to be passing the location and as I would be in the vicinity for the end of the auction I headed over.  My friend, myself and another appointed spectator/support team friend carried out a thorough inspection.  We went around the block a couple of times, confirmed everything worked at the front and the spectator confirmed the back seat was perfect for the all round bone rattling experience.  We decamped to the kitchen table, contemplated the car (and roof rack) and decided a price for the bid the following day.

Armed with laptops, back up lap tops, internet, back up internet, cups of tea and nerves of steel.  I poised my mouse over the bid button on eBay and at 10seconds things started to happen.  It was so interesting I nearly forgot to bid... but I did - just in time (prompted by the other eBay back up system on the sofa). Then we couldn’t work out whether I had won, or whether I had pressed the button in time.

I had.

I told everyone who would listen that I was the proud owner of the roof rack and we went off to get it.

Boots hated it.  He sat politely in the back as Dogs can be inclined to do.  When I stopped, I opened the door for his exit and he eagerly unwrapped himself and left the vehicle at warp speed. Later I decided to go out again so I whistled Boots announcing we were off on a jaunt.  He ran along the drive to greet me and then stopped dead – clearly remembering we now travelled under a roof rack and refused to come any closer.

Even the following day he had to have a bit of encouragement…


A good night of celebrations, of friends, things and cars and in the morning I was ready for the journey home.  First I needed some pre-flight checks  and preparations to ensure I would make it home.   So after more scrabbling on the floor, a trip to the shop, more scrabbling, some hoisting and then some driving off into the morning I made it all the way home. 

So, how many people does it take to buy a classic car?

3 mechanically minded friends, an entire back up team, a celebratory empire, a batch of marmalade and one dog.

Thanks guys! You are all the BEST!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

To hope

It pays to hope. I was fed up that it was me that had to diffuse the 'conversation' between my crew and the skipper of the other boat but the boat did, as they said they would in a comment on the blog, stop on their way back.

It is easy to judge people on their initial reaction but I think I am old and ugly enough to know that stress doesn't bring the best out in people. My boat and stuff are badly damaged but shouting and screaming won't change it for anyone.

The insurance details have been exchanged, the incident reported to those it needs reporting to and Marianne is busy next door making a flan.

All incidents need a flan.

All people with broken boats and stuff need flan.

Flan rules.

The dent

The offending boat that ploughed intome was very much on the wrong side of the river on a bend.

The most disappointing thing, so far, is that the steerer of the other narrowboat didn't stop but, when my crew member said the inside of the boat was a mess and that they were on the wrong side of the river, he said he wasn't. I didn't engage in the shouting match and instead told my crew member the other guy knew he was in the wrong. There is no way he wasn't in the wrong but I was very disappointed not to have, at least, 'are you ok'.

I know where the boat moors between trips and I am hoping that when they return to their mooring (they have to pass me to do so) the guy will stop, apologise, and give me his insurance details. I am hoping that his reaction yesterday was a reaction and not a true reflection of the mans reason.

I imagine I am hoping in vein, but i will hope.

In the meantime my insurance are onto the case.

Pj, Maffi, Mel, Jan, John, Marianne, Steve and my crew member, thank you for the nerve calming, hero work and instructions on what to do.

Chris B - thanks for hero work and Tony - thank you for the information and for getting back to me - it was fantastic seeing your smiling faces coming the other way only moments after it happened.

George - thanks for reminding me where the boat's home mooring is and for your flotilla's waving and smiling - I hope we catch up on the way back!!!

Now, that is a lot of people. It goes to show what wonderful wonderful people I know and how fantastic the canal and river community are.

Now I hope.