Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Padstow and St Merryn

Lucy had a browse around Padstow while I went off for a walk along the coast with some friends.  I stopped at St Merryn church on my way to my friends.  It is a beautifully peaceful churchyard and I was surprised to see so many war graves



with a friend to show him what to do Boots rather liked the beach at Constantine




It was such a wonderful time together and after a trip to the pub, a spot of lunch and a good natter I headed back to pick Lucy up.

On the way back we stopped off at Flushing which looked very picturesque in the mist.  When we returned a few days later the mist had lifted and it didn’t feel nearly as poetic as we originally thought. That didn’t stop us enjoying a cream tea on the harbour.



Boots at the beach

Lucy and I have been looking forward to our trip to Cornwall together ever since our trip together in February.  We had a good time and had planned this trip to coincide with the end of a particularly busy time at work.

When the week we were going away finally arrived a few things happened and we weren’t even sure we would be able to go. It was touch and go as we piled out bags into the car, but when we finally arrived and found ourselves looking out to sea there was no turning back.

I am not sure Boots felt the same way.P1010511

This was his first trip to the sea side and he wasn’t at all sure it was a good idea.  The sea raging in caused him to level his eye brows and look worried.  He skipped about a bit but he wasn’t too sure about it at all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

bang crash wallop

Yesterday was not a good day. If it was going to go wrong, it did.

Actually, it was probably not as bad as I had decided but with several days of simply not enough sleep I was struggling.  To top it off I went to put my motorcycle on the side stand and before I knew what had happened it had fallen over. Heaven knows what happened but I managed to swivel everything back into the upright position, pick up the bits that had pinged around and make the bike secure. 

I telephoned the shop to order some replacement parts and abandoned the vehicle to its fate. This morning I went to the shop to pay for the parts only to find they had arrived!  I was very impressed… I will be more impressed if they fit. 

In the good old days I was rather renowned for loosing my temper when trying to fashion or fit something to a motorcycle that was flitting around the end of my fingers being repaired.  The spanners would fly up the driveway one way and I would storm off the other. It wouldn’t take long before I would sheepishly return and be seen scouring the gravel and bushes for the offending articles to the general chuckles of my supportive friend who was invariably working on something else on the other side of the drive.

This evening scrabbling around on the tarmac under the dreamy spires of Oxford I will be a picture of calm.  I just hope the bit fits…otherwise I will be getting the bus home….

Monday, October 29, 2012


What is it about 16meters?  Nearly all of the auction moorings that are coming up that ‘might’ be suitable for the good ship if I was inclined seem to be 16meters long, which is just too short.  I wonder if they allow any error in the boat size, I don’t suppose they do.  I recall someone bidding for a mooring not too far away from me, they won, but then they weren’t allowed to moor there because they were deemed too long – even though they fit. I know they fit because the mooring came up again but this time it was a bit bigger and they bid for it and won. 
In the good old days the moorings used to be 70ft and then some strange sizes came up that seemed barely big enough to moor my bomber boots and now the moorings are something just too short to moor the boat.  I find the whole thing perplexing.
Wind turbines blades, in some areas of the world, are 16meters long.  I wonder whether CRT are using them to measure out plots these days. 

Summer Cruising

My friend Mel has just sent me this picture from the summer cruising on the Upper Thames. I love it!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Busy reading

Over the cliff!

Walking the coastal path from mullion. How fantastic. Gulls crying, sea roaring and dog sleeping by my side as I sit on the rocks on The cliff edge arranged conveniently into a chair.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boots on holiday...

The thought of exercise....

Friday, October 19, 2012

Inflatable rings: Rescue

I have a life ring, not inflatable, on my boat.  I have often wondered whether I could throw it to anyone in need. I have also wondered whether I could throw it in such a way as to not knock them out or break their nose.  I would love to say that I could throw it within easy reach of them so they could get to it, but I am not sure of that either.

I have often heard the merits of a life ring on the boat being discussed.   Having just read this article in the news I don’t think I need to wonder about this any more. Instead of wondering I think I will start practicing my throwing.

Mixed Signals


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spiders in the mist


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

LOOK!…..A Cat

After coming across a boat drifting across the canal with engine trouble we helped tie it up and I headed up the lock to get out of the way while the chaps on the other boats helped out.  Boots was rather bemused by the kerfuffle but his confusion soon turned to delight… because Wren’s Nest’s cat had decided to go for a jaunt…. Boots spotted Jade hanging out in the bushes.


A Cat! Let me go!




Monday, October 15, 2012

Daniel Oakley is for Sale

Daniel Oakley a 55ft Jonathan Wilson Trad with a Vintage Gardner is for sale.  More info and pictures here

Friday, October 12, 2012

Strange sight

This was the last thing I expected as I drove around the corner. A burnt out caravan with a tree stuck through the window.....


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I remember now!

So that is why I don’t ride my bicycle on the towpath.  I had almost forgotten how good I got at puncture repairs last winter. 

Advice from Canal and River Trust:

Oxford Canal, Hedge cutting South East Waterway
Monday 8 October 2012 - Friday 1 March 2013 We have commenced the annual hedge cutting round, starting on the 1st October running until 1st March. Please be aware this work will result in thorns on towpaths. The specification includes the clearing of cut thorns from the tow path following a cut of the previous year’s growth, our contractors will blow/sweep/rake/clear the thorns off the path, however there will be areas where some thorns remain on the towpath or blow from the hedge onto the towpath following windy conditions. If you are planning a cycling trip please follow link for helpful tips. If you have a pet be mindful of tender paws picking up thorns on the path and under the hedgerows following this work.
Enquiries: 03030404040
You can find all stoppages at the url below:
Please do not reply to the email. It has been automatically generated.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Evening Cruise: Picture Book

After a really most terribly wonderfully enjoyable evening in the Great Western Arms with Neil and Kath it felt as though the weekend had arrived already… which it duly did

After fiddling about withe ironing board and doing some jobs on the boat


and after fiddling about on the towpath and walking the patient dogs


I set off for the north



The light began to fade


And I moored up in a rather pleasant spot.

The following day I meandered into Banbury for the canal day.  The crowds gathered, the sun shone and the place was absolutely thriving.  I loved Herbie’s bunting made from recycled bags


and this mirror caught my eye


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Dashwood: Cap’n Boots

We had a lovely day last Saturday moving my gorgeous friends boat up to Banbury in the gorgeous crisp autumn light. Boots was in full swing when he eventually work up (for about 20minutes) at Dashwood Lock



Friday, October 05, 2012


After the wretchedness of the summer collision that messed up more things than I care to mention the boat has been repaired.  The damage to the gas locker, bow, doors and internal wall are all fixed.

Here is the bow



and after


I am delighted.

The boat was waiting for my return last night and the first thing I did was play a tune on the piano. Oh how I have missed the piano!  Then, after moving a few bits around, I pootled off for a lovely evening with Herbie in the local pub.

What a fantastic day.

Now I have to put everything back and in the right place because everything is a complete and utter mess at the moment.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Spankingly sparklingly clean!

I thought I had done rather a good job with my tin of gunk, time and toothbrush but when I gazed into the engine bay of Herbie I found myself drooling.

Isn’t it shiny!


Herbie tells me my boat, post repair, is on the towpath which means the yard have finished with it!

Excited? Me? yes. I will be the one skipping rigadoons for the rest of the day waiting to get home to have a look!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Rest In Peace

I have listened to some beautiful music.

I have sat in some beautiful quiet.

I have had my soul washed in chords that I have held.

I have found home where I thought there was none.

Chris knew beauty; she orchestrated it. I was never held under her baton but I sat engulfed in the sounds of those that were. A door opened, a path unfolded and I was bathed in sound.

May you rest in peace.

May you rise in glory

Good night Chris. Thank you. Sleep well.