Sunday, January 27, 2013



Saturday, January 26, 2013



Friday, January 25, 2013

A year again

This time last year my mother died.  A whole year. So much change. So much different.

A year.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A year

This time last year I was sitting by my mothers bedside sharing her last few moments.

Isn’t life strange.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thrupp lift bridge, again

It would appear that the £30,000 lift bridge at Thrupp (   did not includehydraulic  liquid suitable for our winter temperatures.

The bridge now requires two, or preferably three, people to operate it.  One to turn the key and put their finger on the 'raise bridge' button and then, when the bridge has raise a couple of inches, the the other(s) using the edge of the bridge to hold on to use all their might to try and lift the bridge.  This gives the bridge a helping hand and it will either continue to raise, or won't.  If it doesn't then the bridge should be lowered and then raised.  The second time is should go up without any problems.

This techique is dangerous as one could strain ones back or fall in the canal.  The technique was discovered when two work boats could not get through and CRT were called upon.  When I went to go through the bridge I was told of the 'new' technique....the explanation being that the hydraulics are a bit 'thick' in these temperatures.

A bit 'thick'....  I like that!!!
Update. I wrote to CRT about the problem and already I have had a general email saying that the lift bridge is not working properly and navigation is closed until it is fixed. They are hoping a specialist contractor will repair it within 24hours. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

On the way home

I came past this this morning and giggled... then i remembered it was a joint effort from the night before.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Waste not want not.

Another classic father moment when I was at the Ancestoral over the weekend.

He has decided to repeat his mackerel triumph with some more friends. On phoning the mackerel gooseberry sauce expert he discovered that he was one spoonful short of gooseberry jam. Just as he was about to spiral into a fit of despair he remembered that someone in the village makes the aforementioned jam.

He telephoned the lady in the village who was delighted to offer the whole jar if he wanted.  With the main ingredient of the sauce secured dad went about his business for a couple of days.

When he finally went around with his spoon (he didn’t need the whole jar) to claim his spoon of jam he arrived to discover the lady had thrown it out! Apparently, she said, it had gone mouldy. Dad has always regarded mould as an asset in the culinary department and was quite baffled as to why the jam had been thrown out. Clearly the jam had to be found and his spoonful claimed, so he asked where the compost heap was so he could go and get his spoonful.

It quickly became apparent that it wasn’t on the compost heap - the jam had been thrown into the black bin bags instead. Expecting disaster it wasn’t long before father and the lady were rummaging through the bag for the jam. By some divine providence he found it ‘still in the jar!’

This reminds me of my grandmothers cooking. Deciding that us kids were far too fussy she made what turned out to be an utterly delicious pudding. When she asked whether we wanted to know where she got the fruit from we all were very eager - ‘The compost heap’ she proclaimed.

I think my favourite menu my father has ever told me about was the infamous breakfast treat….Squirrel kidney on toast.

Me: ‘but squirrel kidney is tiny’

Dad: ‘so was the toast’

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Flood Rescue Boat Stolen.

Such is the news in our learned town.  A dinghy used in the flood waters has been stolen.  It must be the season for it – only last week I caught someone stealing my wheelbarrow.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Saving packaging

This huge parcel arrived for me today. The contents are on top of it.

Friday, January 04, 2013


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Fight, a REAL fight!

Three of us, M, B and A went for a walk with the dogs to have a look at the river yesterday.

The river warranted a good peer because the area around Thrupp has been more wading territory than field and more lake than river.  I was surprised that the levels were so changed and walking back we stopped to chat to S at the flood gate.  This lead to M, B and A wondering whether the levels were the same and whether the flood gate would open, whether we would have left it open is another matter. We had great fun and weren’t really making much progress when a fisherman from around the corner started walking towards us. 

“Oh”, said M, “I think he has come to help”.  When the fisherman was eventually in ear shot I asked him whether he had come to help.  The answer to my question was delivered to M.  It wasn’t brief, nor was it gentle or kind, but the general conclusion was the answer was no, he had not come to help he had come to push M into the canal.  As it happens the fisherman did not push M into the canal instead the fisherman decided to turn his aggression onto A. ‘If you get any closer you will get it’ he said.  I found this quite baffling. There was the flood gate, M then A and then the fisherman. A had not moved his position yet there was a mile or so from the fisherman to Enslow. Indeed the fisherman had actually walked a good minute or so to get into A’s space in the first place!!

As we walked off M wished that he had just jumped into the canal of his own accord when the fisherman threatened to throw him in.

The fisherman has been encountered before. Apparently he is a warrior he was also quite mad and I thought he was going to spontaneously combust.


Firstly one mat arrived, and then the other!  I love these two.


Then Maffi told me he had something for me so I dived up to Banbury to take him out for coffee to see what it was. He has one too…. it flashes and looks rather eerie.


Then a nearly neighbour saw my rather stunning Christmas decorations gave me this flashing snowflake to add to it.


Thank you folks!