Friday, January 24, 2014

That moment when..

....I explain to my boss I have just been to the eye hospital to have my eye sorted out and they say:

Boss: Didn't that happen to you before?
Me: yes, but to my ear.

Followed by a long comical pause where I feel about 5 years old......

If anyone needs me I am rapidly developing my 'getting things stuck where they shouldn't be' reputation.

Maffi (King of the eyes) don't worry!  The eye is fine.

The world outside my window

The view outside my window is heavenly.  I rolled up the window obscurer and there was this view. Oh how lovely.

2014-01-21 09.05.24

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bloody Bastards.

It is 9pm.  There I was sitting in my arm chair enjoying the faint sound of the church bells wafting over the fields in the silence when Clancy moored opposite decided to start their engine. 9PM!!!

WHY oh WHY oh WHY.

It is 9pm.

It drives me potty that people have absolutely no consideration for their neighbours or the importance of quite evenings let alone sleep.

Fortunately I have earplugs that cut out the noise of thus particular engine and I will go and out them in and calm down.  Goodbye quiet evening,  Hello earplugs.

Come morning I will probably remove the swear words in the title as well.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Morning Walk

2014-01-20 08.26.29

2014-01-20 08.29.10

2014-01-20 08.29.38

Added – how weird!  I took the pictures on my camera and it was rather dark and moody. I transfer them to here and they publish MUCH lighter and don’t look nearly as good.  I am getting used to my new phone camera but it is taking a while!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Rest in Peace

I wonder whether Spike could see us at his funeral today.  I wonder whether he would be surprised to have seen me there.  I imagine he would be, not least because I was quite surprised to be there too.

I recall Maffi phoning me with the news that Spike and his dog, Milly, had been found dead earlier that day.  I think most of the towpath experienced my surprise.  Dead?  Goodness.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning crept in on Spike and Milly and took them from this world.  So wretched and so unbelievably unnecessary.  Sad, sad, sad.

I remember the last time I moored up near Spike and Milly.  I put the boat alongside the bank and I stepped of it with the centre line.  Milly appeared from no where and hopped on the boat. I laughed, as usual, and got back on the boat to get her off the boat.  I reappeared to find Spike sorting out my mooring ropes.  It was a bit of a ritual. We would chat when we met, go our separate ways and chat when we met again. I enjoyed our encounters.

 Milly was a character in her own right, everyone says that about dogs, but she really was and I used to find her rather amusing.  Milly and Spike were always together and absolutely priceless.

So, I sat there in the crematorium surprised to find myself at Spikes funeral. 

I have often said that our lives affect the people we least expect. Help comes in unusual places and so do smiles.

I wouldn't say I knew Spike, and I wouldn't say he knew me.  I certainly don't make a habit of attending funerals, quite the opposite.  I know Spike knew my name, but so many people do. So there I was and I found myself feeling proud.  I don't know why...perhaps because I feel privileged to have met Spike..  Most of all I feel privileged that for a part of my life my foot steps trod near his.

His footprints certainly affected mine with fun.  Now they lay heavy and silent.

Rest in Peace Spike and Milly.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It isn’t all CRT


This bad picture is of an old BW pan. The pan has been a feature of this area for a while and has periodically annoyed me with its insensitive mooring regime.  It spent some time swinging out into the cut at Shipton on Cherwell until someone moored it to a tree on the offside.  Then it loitered on the lock landing at Bakers Lock where it sported some chalk writing from another passer by trying to use the lock landing suggesting the owner should ‘think of others and not just themselves’.  After a while it rocked up opposite me where it has been loitering on its thin string in the rain.

I was away, and on my return I noticed that it was filling up with water. 

I had expected the owner to come along at some point, but they did not. So, when there was an an inch or so before it was going to go under I called CRT.  I could have stopped work and gone and pumped it out myself, but I just didn’t feel like it.   Considering the amount of rain we were having I thought the owner would come along and do something about it.  CRT took the licence number down and said they would find the owner.

Then it was day two and there was about an inch to go. So I called CRT again.  They put me through to someone else who said the pan was sold on to a contractor and they would get in touch with them and get them to sort it out.

Then it was day three and there was half and inch to go.  I made sure I had access to help and pumps but I decided to call CRT again (so I could get on with my work and not have to stop to deal with the boat).  CRT seemed, again, to find this news.  I was put through to someone else who took my number telling me they would phone me back.  Amazingly they did.  And again. Then they told me someone would be there within an hour.

A lovely chap from CRT came along and took some time to pump the boat out.

It took 3 phone calls.  It pays to persist.

I suppose that if it had sunk then CRT would have got the flack -  I had to phone them 3 times; what if I had stopped at the first and gone on holiday for a few days.  I didn’t really have to phone them at all – I could have stopped my work and taken hours out of my day to deal with it.  Would I  be at fault if the boat had sunk?

I suppose the owner of the craft would have been the last person to be at fault if it had sunk.  What a fiasco it would have been trying to raise it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend of Walling

I was quite surprised when I took the old ghastly wall covering off and saw that the steel was in reasonably good condition.  The insulation (polystyrene) wasn’t even glued in so I had expected to see evidence of corrosion due to condensation forming between the steel and the polystyrene but it was in pretty good condition.  Especially as this is the kitchen.


The top did have some corrosion but it wasn’t excessive by any stretch of the imagination and there was no insulation there


Amazingly where tape had been used put over the box section the steel underneath was clean!


I took out some old electrical cable that I disconnected within days of having the boat. The cable seemed in good condition but it had made indentations into the polystyrene


The tongue and groove flew up and looks rather good.  I had intended to have cupboards on the walls but the gaps between the bearings/tubey whatsists/ is a bit big so I am reconsidering that.  Strangely my ‘I must have cupboards’ has turned to ‘ooh shelves’

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Kitchen

The great kitchen re-fit has gone rather well.  I was fed up of the lousy height of the work top and have raised it to be a meter.  Those few inches make all the difference.  Cutting the bookcase in to the work top has finally meant that the old clock case finally has a home.


Phase 1 (floor units) is almost complete.  Phase II is wall unit galore.

Phase 1 went surprisingly smoothly, but it is quite remarkable how quickly any major project on a boat makes the whole place an advert for squalor and despair.  Getting from the door was quite a challenge.  It became quite normal to climb over flooring and wriggle through floor cupboards in order to get out of the boat.  Boots was unimpressed in his entirety as the entire boat seemed to unwrap around him.

Monday, January 06, 2014


The bulkhead made from Oak from the skip looks pretty good.