Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Christmas

St. Nicholas was a fourth century bishop in Asia Minor and is buried, circa 346 AD, in his cathedral at Myra. He has become a patron saint to many categories of people over the years. He is honoured throughout the canals of Europe as the boat peoples special saint. In Britain he is known as Father Christmas while in America they refer to him as Santa Claus. In France he was called Papa Noel. The giving of presents results from the saint learning of a poor man who considered selling his three daughters. St. Nicholas visited the property anonymously and tossed a bag of gold through the window. It landed in a stocking hanging up to dry.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Crossing Boarders, a medical tour.

Where else can I start but at the beginning, the 4 th of December. A lump appeared distorting my face. It did not hurt much! (No sense no feeling?) I got an emergency appointment to see the doc the same day! I waited an hour and a half! The Doc said I had a bad tooth that should be extracted! She just gave me Antibiotics.

Next stop the Dentist. Not seen one since leaving the boat! Found one locally and just walked in. Within half an hour the offending tooth was out. Not NHS of course!

Just keep taking those Antibiotics that make your poo go soft but that lump just got bigger! Went back to the Doc who just looked at me and booked me a 'Fast Track' appointment at the hospital. That arrived a week later for the 19 th December.

I ran out of pills by Saturday. Had to ring 111 for advice. The only place open was in the next town so we went there and got more antibiotics that did not help.

I was in a loop of despair not knowing which way to go. Another option was an Emergency admission at the hospital. This bypasses all the medical routs so far taken. So I entered that other NHS door.

I joined the queue of other poor souls where some were smoking outside! After about an hour I was assessed for priority and taken in. A week earlier than that 'fast track' appointment!

A thorough examination followed by Xrays and a bed later that evening. I was to stay in three days. An operation took place early next morning to drain the abscess for that is what it was.

Once in the Hospital environment medical care is constant and effective. I was given two meals a day, monitored for medical conditions and given intravenous drips of antibiotics. The surgeon even came to see me several times. The drain under my chin was removed and I was discharged when they considered that I was better.

I went back to the Medical Centre and Dentist to tell them what had happened to me. Now the Dentist wants to see the Xrays taken at the Emergency department. The Medical Centre may not even get them! I certainly won't see them!

Now I must keep my mouth clean three times a day.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Forest flood

 Dibden Enclosure
Kings Hat's river is in flood

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A walk in the woods

This is Dibden Enclosure in the New Forest.

Friday, November 07, 2014

One of the fallen, 1918

An ancestor on my mother's side was Richard Knight, 1880/1918. 
May we remember all who gave their lives for us.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

New Forest

I am sure you all are getting board with our kitchen picture so here is a pony!
And this is at Ashlett Creek, looking across Southampton Water.
I am not sure about that landing stage for getting ashore from a boat!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kitchen refit, 2

 I can wash up in the kitchen sink now.
But the gas hob has no gas so Ann cannot cook on it yet.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The new view

The window provides more light!
And a better view.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kitchen refit, 1

In a day it was all gone!
 Starting with the tiles
 Then the wall
And the bigger window to go in soon
We have a camping stove and the oven set up in the spare room.  Washing up on the dining room table.  Contents of the kitchen in boxes somewhere on the floor!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Not long ago I saw the President of America admiring the stones at Stonehenge.  Time off away from politics talking casually to a single family of four.  Just the five people and a camera man to record the event.

Then I saw the President of Russia shake hands with the winning driver of a Formula One race held in Sochi.  Time off from politics to meet as human beings.

Normally these Presidents have such power to control the world either side of a fence.

We are so lucky to be able to live in such positive times.  But take care, either President could affect the stability of world politics and your life!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Too good to be true?

Have you heard about SULNOX ?  They have mixed fuel and water in a stable emulsion.
Look at their website here.  Nano technology has been involved.   Demonstrations on busses and boats are being performed.

If it is true when can we have it in our tanks?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Glorious September

I always find the month of September the best, nature has settled after it's growth.
This is our 'Summer Row' at its best.
Then Josh was 12.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Got out for a drive

Ashlet Creek, near Fawley.  Molly went for a swim in the salty sea!
We just like to look at the boats.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Revisiting a canal

When I was travelling on our narrowboat exploring all the wonderful places I often thought when I was old and not on the boat that I would visit the waterways by car.
We went to visit the Melksham River Festival on Sunday and had a boat trip on the River Avon.
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is to restore the old canal to a navigable waterway.
We met our friends Terry & Myra at Melksham and went on to Devizes.
And revisited the Kennet & Avon canal.

I'm not that old yet!  Anyway we still have the boat, just not living on it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Kitchen Diner

But it is not in the kitchen!  This is the prelude to our kitchen refit.  The wall cupboards are on the dining table.  Every thing needs to be moved out.  Some of it is in boxes on the floor.  Now where did we put the…...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Visiting the Boat

An opportunity to go up to the boat was possible after the bathroom refit.  Geoff and Margret were nearby and invited us on board for dinner.
Next day we volunteered our help to get them part way up the hill.

We then proceeded to rid the boat of all those stowaway spiders that got in when we were away.
After a sweep through Dave and Lyn paid us a visit.

We have now cleared the boat for 'summer' use.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Forest walk

We got out on Sunday and drove to Kings Hat.  Then walked to the open moorland.

Marsh Gentian found near wet ground

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wot a relief

It is all finished and smart.
The kitchen is next month after I have saved some more cash!
By the way we plan to spend a week on the boat soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Outside Loo !

Oh what a state to be in.  Just hope nobody is looking when we need to use it!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bathroom refit

We are having a bathroom refit!  Bits and pieces everywhere, it is an obstacle course getting through the property.
Ann never did like green!

That's better.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The garden

We just love our garden and our family.  Missing the use of our boat while sorting out the kitchen and bathroom refits.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Life With a Narrowboat : Part 1

Well it's my first 'publication' with Lulu.  This first book is about discovering the inland waterways.  It is an epub file and can be read using Adobe Digital Editions.

Please go to this link to download the file.

Do let me know if it works for you.  I am working on Part 2 and 3 and will publish them if this one sells.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Ghost ?

At the top of the Adderley Locks and past bridge 66 we entered Brownhills Wood. It was so thick the suns rays found their way past the branches producing an eerie feel. It felt cooler in the shade. A lonely fisherman sat quietly on the towpath.

Ann and Molly walked passed the fisherman who spoke but she did not hear the words. Somebody was cutting the grass using a noisy machine dressed in a protective mask and goggles so all you could see was his glowing eyes in the dark woods.

Which one of them was the ghost that is known to haunt these woods I wondered?

As I passed the fisherman slowly in my narrowboat I asked him if he had ever seen the ghost. I heard his reply as the grass cutter had passed on. "It is too noisy for ghosts" he said.

There are many stories of ghosts that haunt the waterways.  Based on the tragedies that the boating families endured in the past.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Big Butt

Them gardeners need big butts.  That gardener lurking in our garden has nearly emptied it again after this dry spell.  It will get full again in good time as we are expecting some rain soon according to those clever computers.
The big butt

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Colour in the garden

Ann has a new camera from Argos.
A Peace rose at its best

A Poppy at its best

The gardener doing his best

A bird getting the nuts

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Web site updates

Just to let you know that I have updated the Book pages with an edited text and added links to the picture pages.  Also just added a political page with text taken from the book.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spring Watch

Yes I know it is nearly Summer with the longest day next weekend but I came across this in my book.

Near Tixel

The field opposite is full of sheep and lambs, all with their heads down eating breakfast in the morning. Later the lambs were seen gathering together away from their mothers. Like they were going to school and getting to know each other in the playground, pushing, shoving and exploring the field. At one time they were all down at the edge of the canal getting a drink. "Oh, don't fall in please." Mothers and babies have numbers painted on their woolly coats so they know who belongs to whom! After their adventures in late afternoon all the lambs were running around bleating and looking for their mums. If they went to the wrong mum they were pushed away. Eventually they all settled down for the night together again as families.

We enjoyed watching Spring Watch on the BBC having recorded the programs earlier. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer 2006

Here is an extract from our book/blog when we were travelling with Sue n Vic on the river Nene.

Sweltering heat
Over the weekend we enjoyed the sunshine with temperatures in the 30s. The willow trees have been producing a lot of seed that float down like fluffy snow and the boats are getting covered. A lot of spiders have been making their webs, which have captured the seed as well as flies. Tables, chairs and sun brollies have been out on the grass for several days. Sitting out for an hour or so, especially in the afternoon or evening when the sun has gone behind the trees.

Keep Britain tidy?
We had enjoyed a very hot weekend when many boaters were out and about. There were BBQ's, children in small boats, and swimming in the river. The countryside and nature provide a place to relax. BUT after the invasion we were upset to find so much left behind with bags of rubbish and BBQ trays thrown into the bushes. A black burnt patch where the BBQ lay on the grass and uneaten crusts of bread left for the dogs to find. The Environment Agency do not seem to provide any means of proper disposal at their moorings.

Fotheringhay Castle
We arrived here and moored at the castle mound. A local farmer owns the site and charged us to stay. Fotheringhay Castle is no more than a hill with the remains of a moat round it. The first Earl of Northampton originally built it in 1100. Richard the third was born here in 1451, made himself king in 1483 but was killed in battle at Bosworth in 1485. When the Queen of Scots abdicated she was incarcerated here in 1567 and had planted Scottish Thistles that are still growing here! She was seen as the figurehead of the English Catholics and executed here by Queen Elizabeth the first in 1587.

Boating gave us the opportunity to travel, meet people and learn some history of places we visited.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

'D' Day Dad

My father was the Navigator on board HMS Argonaut in 1944.
He was one of the first to know the date of 'D' Day when he sent this Top Secret 'Chit' to key Officers.

This is his story:-

HMS ARGONAUT - Our Task in the Invasion off GOLD Beach

On D-Day 1944 I was aged 27 and Navigating Officer of a fast modern cruiser, HMS ARGONAUT, armed with a powerful battery of eight 5.25-inch dual-purpose (air or surface) guns. At 0515 as dawn broke we reached our allocated position as one of a line of 35 Allied cruisers, battleships and monitors, each of which had been tasked with putting out of action one German coastal battery. We were tensed up expecting a hail of enemy fire but to our surprise all was quiet, we anchored and I fixed the position of the ship. Another surprise was that our spotting Spitfire circling over our battery reported no sign of activity. However it was not long before the next cruiser to us, HMS AJAX, asked for our assistance in knocking out the German Naval Battery on the cliffs at Longues-sur-Mer. This consisted of four 6-inch guns in massive concrete emplacements. History records that AJAX and ARGONAUT fired 179 shells at the battery, scoring direct hits on two of the guns and finally silencing it by 0845. This was the only German heavy battery to return the attacking ships' fire on D-Day. Too huge to demolish it remains there to this day, and photos of it have appeared in the recent flood of D-Day media coverage.

There were further calls for fire from our forward army observers on shore or from Spitfire spotters. We moved about off the Normandy coast for a further 4 weeks, firing a total of 4,395 shells at enemy targets. We re-ammunitioned once in Portsmouth, but by the end our guns were so worn that they all had to be replaced before our next operation which was in support of the landings in the South of France on 15 August 1944. The Germans admitted that the cruisers' fire was very effective, e.g. on one occasion we destroyed Tiger tanks about 10 miles inland.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Wildlife Garden

This cheeky squirrel is called 'Fluffy'.  It actually got up the bird pole which was meant to stop the rodent!  We have many other visitors to our garden.  There are two jays, two great spotted woodpeckers, two pigeons that Molly chases off, crows, rooks, magpies and a multitude of song birds.  A robin is often on the ground after we have done the weeding.

Their food is now on our Tesco favourite list!

New Forest

We drove out through Beaulieu to Hatchet Pond.  The deep lake was dug out in the 18 th century to serve an Iron Works.
There were some swans and ducks on the water, not seen by us since leaving our boat on the inland waterways.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

EMail scams

If you have received an email which appears to be from us that has a link to a private message do not click on the link.  If you do you had better change your password, I have been caught twice and changed my password twice.  You may find lots of strange messages in your Sent Mail and Inbox.  Delete them all.  Reduce your contact list to a minimum because they may get this scam as well!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dibden woodland

The Rhododendrons are all in flower now.  As seen on our walk through the local woods.
While the damp conditions continue I have been working on up loading more edited chapters of our book 'Life with a Narrowboat'.  While doing so Ann and I relive the memories.  Just so pleased that I had written so much during our travels on the inland waterways.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A bit of colour

'Tis not much but it is my first rose in this garden! Velvet Fragrance.  And yes it does smell sweet.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Forest Flame

Preparations are being made to move our Forest Flame sideways.
It provides a splash of colour in our garden.  Just hope it likes its new position.  It only has two chances!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The last Chapter, 2012

I have at last uploaded the final chapter of our adventures on the inland waterways.  It is Chapter 18 that tells about our trip on the River Thames in 2012.

Go to our website at

It may seem odd that Chapter 17 is missing but I have set myself the task of editing the other Chapters and splitting Chapter 5 which covered two years.

Let me know what you think about the links to our picture pages in Chapter 18.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A new fence

We are pleased with the efforts of one man from 'Spadework'.  A very professional job done during the day.
And we have already started to tidy up!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Our website update

Our web site has been updated.  Pictures of canals and rivers from one end to the other now include our  last years exploration in 2013.  Please visit the site at

We had started discovering the inland waterways back in 2001 on the Oxford canal.
Cropredy, Oxford Canal

Having discovered most of it we then proceeded to explore it all again over the years.  Heading north, south, east and west.
Goldaming, River Wey (South)

Near Skipton, Leeds n Liverpool (North)

Bath, Kennet n Avon (West)

Paddington, (East)
And we got to know many people doing the same.  Oh what a wonderful life it was.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Home sweet home

We are still hoping to see our boat some time this year. Just cannot believe we are in the sixth month back on land.
 While walking through the woods with Molly the blue bells are in profusion.
Spring time near where we live.