I have managed to catch up with an old friend via friends reunited. This time it is with someone I knew from Uni. We where friends, when we where in halls in the first year. We have been sending each other emails catching up on over 10 years of news.
Its rant time. I thought I would go in to Oxford to do some shopping. I never even got there the traffic was awful. So I thought I would try cowley road retail park, even there the traffic was stacked up. I was beginning to get a little annoyed, so I thought I would cut my loses and go back to Abingdon. Even around fairacres it was busy I couldn't find what I was looking for. So ok, off to Tesco's as i was running out of food. There was to many people, even the little old ladies where getting in my way. I hate shopping at the best of times, but around the Christmas period it just seems to get worse. I now have got to the point I loath shopping and the other people who seem to get in my way. If I could get things delivered to the marina I would never had to shop again. Or the alt is pay someone to shop for me, any takers rant over the end
I know i have said that face book has become obsessive, however it has had so some good. I have managed to catch with some old faces from school. It may have been nearly 20 years but most have not changed a bit. I think the next step might be a reunion a drink or two would be nice.
Well Christmas is over and I have eaten to much. I had a great time with the family and friends. I also enjoyed the boxing day walk, a typical Dad walk across ploughed fields and flooded meadows. I had to some great presents to so thank you everyone. To top it off I saw a friend in town, I have not seen her in 6 years at least. She has not changed a bit even though she has 4 kids.
Things are getting worse I have just sat down and watched "Love Actually". It got me thinking about the whole news report on how Rom com are not real life things don't actually happen like they do in the film. Of course they don't it's like the whole think with love songs , it's all a fantasy world. Then I took it a stage further, what happens if it starred Yorkshire actresses, oh god that would be a double whammy, a love story with eh by gum, what ever next. More worrying is this blog is beginning to let strangers into my rather odd world of my head, its bad enough friends read it occasionally, I dread to think what strangers think!!!
At the end of the day though, I am a romantic, so let me go and shed a tear as the film ends
I always thought moments of clarity were meant to be nice and bring things into perspective. I had one this afternoon and it is causing a little discomfort. It was about Yorkshire, more precise women from Yorkshire, why do i find them so attractive. I know one or two and yes they are attractive. What is it about them, is it the way they talk, is it there attitude and the way they look at life, I am not sure. Most have a type, blond, redhead, long legs etc so what is it about me and northerners. Is this a disturbing turn of events or what. I wouldn't mind but I only have to been to Yorkshire once as a kid and it was awful, so I have no great affinity to the place. I think I am going to lie down in a dark room and see if I recover.
I have signed up to Facebook, it seems to be taking over everything as esp as I get alerts if I get and update or message, so I am forever checking. I am hoping it is only because it is winter and its dark, cold and wet outside. If this continues if might become obsessive.
I did my good deed for the day. I had a desperate phone call from Valonia, she had an another dizzy spell. She was meant to be out to dinner with Hubby with the Morris Men Xmas dinner. I went and picked her up and took her shopping so she could have some dinner, which she was missing out on. She was fed and watered( or Teaed in this case) and settled down to watch Wallander. Whyte Swallow turned up later for tea and we had a pleasant end to the evening.
On a side issue the park is now flooded as the waters rise. The Ock has been thundering into the river at the wharf. The Thames is racing through Abingdon, welcome to the Thames in winter.
We had our Marina xmas do, well it was more of a gathering and do, it was just a drink. We being Whyte Swallow, Valonia and her hubby, Mike and Mags also came along. We had a social evening the beer flowed and the conversation flowed well up to and beyond till last orders. To top it off even Vanessa turned up late and offered to take us home. She has a convertible so we managed to persuade her to take her top off, even though it was cold, we flew home ( I can't even mention how fast Vanessa drives as the police might be reading). It was a lovely evening it was the last chance that we had to be all together until we went our separate ways for Christmas, lets hope even one has a lovely Christmas and if they have been good children, Santa will leave them a present or two. :-)
The broad face was where we had dinner and the smile was because it was such a lovely evening. We had planned to go to the local Chinese, but it has been closed for refurbishment for last few months, I am sure it is going to look good when it is finished. I had a lovely meal with Mike, Mags, Mark and Vanessa. We had a pre drink in the Anchor, and wondered around the corner to the Chinese. The broad face is a great alternative, I have been there many times. The food was great and the drink was flowing. Everyone was good form and we had a pleasant evening, we even found a nice taxi driver to take us home. We dropped off Vanessa had to go back to sort out her puppies!!! We gatecrashed Valonia for a coffee before we headed back.
I am in the process of feeding up the sexy sounding Jazz singer. No it is not a great well known Diva, it is just Valonia full of a cold. She has popped over for a bowl of soup, drink tea, and just try and feel a little better. I know you are meant to sympathise with the sick, but she made me watch reality TV, I am counteracting this by watching the Money Programme. I am sure we are both suffering in some way. Lets hope Valonia gets better, but then again she could make a fortune with that sexy voice>
I had some great news last night. One of my best friends phoned. She has been suffering for the last past two years in and out of consultant rooms trying to find out what has kept her in constant pain. She got a second opinion on Monday, the upshot was it was a good job she went to see him. He said that they could solve this easily if it what he suspects. She could be pain free by the summer. I whooped with delight at this news, it is the first positive news we have had in a long time. I just hope he makes good on his promises. Otherwise he is going to be in a whole load of trouble, if he comes through I might marry him.
Its a little cold tonight, the fire doesn't seem to want to draw tonight either. I am still sitting in my fleece trying to warm up and my toes are still cold. I am glad I don't have a temperature gauge inside as the temp reading will probably make me cry icicles
I am not sure what has made me be higher, all the coffee I have drunk, or playing crib. I was asked to stand in at the semi local, to play in there crib team as they where a bit short. I have not played in 10 years. I went to the Internet to check that nothing had changed and the form I knew to play was the one still used. I was a little nervous so go the captain to run through a couple of hands to settle me in. We played best out of 5. It was nip and tuck all the way. Each team only winning by a few points here and there. Playing in a league rather than your front room, makes it take on a whole new meaning. I was a bit dazed in the first two games, but after a fag and a cup of coffee, I was ready. We scrapped our wins and even at the end we only won by one. In fact we should have not won at all, it was just the way the cards fell. Like most things in life, in depends on the hand your dealt .
I had the old folks over. Mum brought with her all the curtains she has made over the last few weeks. They look great, I just need some rings to hang them with. Dad was great as he helped hang all the rails, top and bottom. I have six portholes so we where kept busy. They do look after me.
I had one of the most enjoyable evenings I have had in a long time. I went to the Commotio Advent Concert what a brilliant evening, you ever have the chance go. I am was not sure what I was expecting, buy my god was it good. It is chamber or choral I am not sure which. The various parts, four, eight etc it was just amazing. I can;t wait to the next one.
I have just listen to the Script do a song about trying to get a girl back. I was thinking on the way home I could have a real rant about the whole getting the girl back thing. Then on hindsight I don't think it is a good idea
The ScriptThe Man Who Can't Be Moved lyrics
Going back to the corner where I first saw you, Gonna camp in my sleeping bag I'm not gonna move, Got some words on cardboard got your picture in my hand, Saying if you see this girl can you tell her where I am, Some try to hand me money they don't understand I'm not...broke I'm just a broken hearted man, I know it makes no sense, but what else can I do, How can I move on when I'm still in love with you... Cos if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I can be, Thinking maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet, And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street.
So I'm not moving... I'm not moving.
Policeman says son you can't stay here, I said there's someone I'm waiting for if it's a day, a month, a year, Gotta stand my ground even if it rains or snows, If she changes her mind this is the first place she will go. Cos if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me, And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I can be, Thinking maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet, And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street.
So I'm not moving... I'm not moving.I'm not moving... I'm not moving.
Going back to the corner where I first saw you, Gonna camp in my sleeping bag not I'm not gonna move.talk about the guy Who's waiting on a girl... are no holes in his shoes But a big hole in his world... Hmmmmand maybe I'll get famous as man who can't be moved, And maybe you won't mean to but you'll see me on the news, And you'll come running to the corner... Cos you'll know it's just for youI'm the man who can't be moved I'm the man who can't be moved... Cos if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me, And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I can be, Thinking maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet, And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street.[Repeat in background]
So I'm not moving... I'm not moving. I'm not moving... I'm not moving.
Going back to the corner where I first saw you, Gonna camp in my sleeping bag not I'm not gonna move
For the first time in a while I went back to my old job as lock keeper. It was odd to be working outside again. I managed to pick a fork and dig over an old flower bed, I went back a few years went I use to this every day. No one looking over your shoulder, just me, the ground and the fork. Saying that the garden was full of:blue tits, great tits, coal tits, robins and parakeets, so I had a full chorus of birds, it was very therapeutic.
Mort organised a boaters banter for the end of the year. The fact it was the day after her birthday and she got lots of presents and attention was just coincidence. All the people who turned up filled the boat inn at Thrupp. Ryan and Verity made everyone feel welcome. The beer flowed along with the conversation. It was a lovey evening and everyone had a great night. It always nice to catch up with fellow narrow boaters and swap stories. I staggered out with a pleasant feeling. I have to thank Maggie for driving, making possible for Mike and Vanessa to come as well.
I went to see John Otway and the big band at the Jericho Tavern. I have seen them many times and they where as good as ever, with John throwing himself around with the same vigour as ever. What really let them down was the venue, The Tavern is an awful place the layout a small stage area and a crap bar. Just to compound it, most of Jericho is resisents only parking. I really struggled to find any where to leave the car. I would not discourage anyone form going to see John, there are still a few dates left on the tour, he is like marmite, you will either love him or hate, so go and see. ps am looking forward to the banter
I had a late night visit from the recycle checker just making sure my rubbish bag that I had left on the front deck didn't have anything that she wanted. Lolly did find a few chicken bones that she wanted, she didn't open the bag very well, she tried to spread the rest of the rubbish all over the front deck.
I had a friend over for dinner last night. She has had tough time of it recently as her and her husband are on a break at the moment. I thought a bit of good food, wine and a chance to let of some steam would be good for her. I think I am good listener and have been through some tough times as well so i hope I was able to help. I could not offer any great advice, but i don't think she was looking for that. She was glad to get out and have a change of scene. She is a fellow boater so it was a case of sticking together and working through this difficult time. Lets hope this all works out for the both of them, we can only hope and give it time.
It is pub quiz, it has been a while since I have been so I am hoping that I can engage my brain. I have also been invited to Valonia's for dinner, which is great. I have been at work all day, so it is nice to come home without having to think what to cook. I am not sure what is on the menu, however alongs as Valonia is not cooking I should be safe, cooking is not one of her talents.
I would never normally talk about someone elses bed, especially Morts. I had the pleasure of sleeping in it recently, I hasen to add I was alone(alas), before you get carried away. I had gone up for a social evening and ended staying.I do love the beer cloth throw that is on it along with the other three layers, it keeps you toasty warm. I had to return to work in the morning so alarms( I did at least two to wake me up) where set earlier than normal. When I sleep in a strange(ers) bed I am always worried I won't wake up so I tend to wake before the alarm goes off, don't ask me why. Anyway I woke before the alarm in a rather strange daze, listening to the local wildlife. However the local sounds gave me strange palpitations, I was having flash backs to the Godfather as i could hear a horse noises. I even had to check the bed then the boat as it was so loud. After I had woken up and had a cup of coffee, my head was begining to clear. When I finally left to go to work I realised the source of the noise. I saw a rather large horse in the field opposite the canal right outside the bedroom window. To say I felt a little foolish was an understatement. As a side issue, my hostess does provide biscuits for breakfast so things are not all bad. So thank you Mort for being such a good host.
I am not sure if this is good news for or not, but I am now connected to the internet. I bought a 3 dongle and now pay monthly. It was a good deal for £10 a month. I did have to buy the dongle and also put a deposit down, but as many boaters know, there are not many ways to be on line afloat. The chances are you will get more musings than normal. I am sure some of the will be stupid as it might be done when I get back from the pub.
One of the many pictures I took when we went away as a family to celebrate Dad's 65th birthday weekend. It was a lovely old school house sent on the edge of Exmoor. We had a great time for the first few days but then I caught a bug which kept me in bed the rest of the weekend. This was not ideal and missed out on several good walks it was a weekend to remember, not always in a good way.
Women talking is a dangerous thing, its even worse when a man is listening. The worst topic to be listening to is relationships. They (being women) have such a different why at looking at what they are after. This whole thing complicated thing by women who still summed up by Je ne sais quoi. No matter how good,kind,honest etc a man can be. You can have the same tastes, similar interests, love the same tv,radio,films laugh at the same silly jokes.Enjoy each others company and thats with out saying finding them extremely attractive. If he does not the X factor( I hate that program) he has no chance. I love relationships, as from each you can learn something about yourself. It also means you can learn what you want out of a relationship, you think you know all the answer,but only experience can teach you. I never realised how important timing had to be. Not matter how right you think things are and how comfortable you are with someone. If they are not in the same place with you, it won't work. The question is will you ever meet at the right time and place again? It all ways reminds me of the saying "if you love them. let them go, if they love you, then they will return" or something like that. I can tell you that is easier said then done. I have done it, she never returned as my love, but we have been friends ever since and I can say I still love her to bits. However it will be only the love between best friends and not lovers.
It was as sad day yesterday. Misha the terrorist of White Swallow has been given a new target. He went to Valonia parents as he was causing to much trouble at the marina. He is on a long holiday, learning how to behave until he returns. It will be odd not having him around, as he often would say hi as I came home, if White Swallow was out, he often curl up on the sofa. There where not many dry eyes in the house by the time we left. The comfort is he will return :-)
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It was a harsh day in Yorkshire and a man went to visit the grave of his late wife. He looked upon the epitaph and it read" She is thin". The man went to the stonemason and said you have missed of the "e". A few days later the stonemason phoned to say he had finished, so the man returned. As he looked upon the head stone it read "E she is thin"
Over the last few weeks I have been travelling to work , the world of cyclist on the road seems to have tripled. Was it a cold wet summer, did they have nothing better to do, than procreate. They also seem to avoid the cycle network system and stick to little back roads, perhaps this is part of natural selection.
I had dinner with White Swallow last night. There is nothing like good food and wonderful company to make what had been a boring day into a lovely end for all. We even managed to watch a DVD, she is a bond fan as well so we both enjoyed Casino Royal, and the surprising thing was that we both drooled over the Aston Martin more than anything else. She is great company and I am really enjoying us hanging out together. She is away for the weekend which will be the first time for a while that we have been apart. It will be strange not having her around, at least I can be of use, cat sitting.
I tried to get a small gathering of boats to have a short trip down to Dorchester over the weekend. What started off as 4 boats turned out to be one after each one dropped out. I went down with White Swallow on her boat. The weather was not the best, but we didn't get any of the rain as promised. We tied up just above Days Lock and settled in to an evening of backgammon and Scrabble( we do lead exciting lives), I lost,badly. Never try scrabble with someone who has a doctorate, you only put yourself to shame. After a lazy morning of me reading and White swallow chuckling to herself over the Narrowdog to Carcassone. We decided to walk into Dorchester and have a look at the Abbey. What a vast building for such a small village, it dominates the village and all roads seem to return to it. In between a quick refreshment break we went for a walk and found the old mill. We had to return to the Fleur De Ley (pub) for more suitable liquid recover, we spent a wonderful afternoon putting the world to rights and admiring the wildlife, as a hedgehog had wandered into the pub garden. We left late afternoon and made our way back. We took out time to the point we hit Culham after hours and had to work ourselves through. We finally made it back for a late dinner, which topped off a great weekend (sorry can't seem to able to put my photo's on)
I found myself dropping off to sleep yesterday afternoon, not normally a problem, but I was driving at the time. I had to wind the windows down to try and get some fresh air into the car. The worst thing was I really struggling to keep my eyes open. I was so close to stopping on the way home. In the end I managed to stave it off and I went swimming to help me perk up. Later on I went to a friends for dinner. We have been swapping who's turn it was over the last few days. Her spagbol was great, I did feel guilty as I could not manage it all. Here is to the next meal.
I admit I prefer dogs to cats, however kittens are very cute and very hard to resist. Saying that they have tried there luck over the last few days. I have discovered a "nice" present on the front deck, so the boat got a quick clean. The following day I had friends over and one of the kittens came to visit. I had not noticed if they had left or not, at 5am whilst licking my toes, I found out that one had been left behind and now wanted to go home. There have been no major disasters yet, but I was not able to find out where Lewsey had hidden till 5am
I watched with great amusement Valonia and her neighbour Helen trying to adjust the blinds that Valonia had brought. They where slightly to big so it was decided they needed trimming. They did this by laying them on the pontoon and then using a straight edge cutting them to size. It did not go quite to plan I was to busy chuckling to myself to offer any help. Helen, even with her practical skills struggled, but she did manage to sort Valonia's slightly wonky edges. I contributed by making the tea and not laughing to hard, both I did with great aplomb. Two blinds and nearly two hours later, just three more to go.
I have managed to survive another weekend. This included working and also catching up with bones at the boaters banter in Oxford, well I was driving. To make it worse I had a couple of days off after the weekend and all it did was spit with rain. I was meant to change the bilge pump as well, my spirit waned and so I cheered myself up with DVD's whilst doing the domestics. I am hoping to see Bones again soon, even more worrying though is Valonia might be at a loose end, which means either lots of tea drinking ( good) or Vodka(bad). I have to resist the temptation my poor liver could not cope. On a lighter note I am trying to get hold of a friend and invite myself down to her new seaside flat for a few days to relax.
It's been a while since I posted anything for a while. I am also concerned if I did it would involve alcohol, again advice to all shipping was not heeded as a bottle of wine and 3/4 of a bottle of vodka consumed later, the world had been out to rights. I managed to survive Henley Royal Regatta for another year, no floods this time. I also went to the Cambridge Rock Festival for a few days to just blow off a bit of steam.
A simple word of advice don't let Valonia any where near your Vodka unless you are prepared for the consequences. A quarter of a bottle later, I have lost all my money at Poker( beginners luck), had an impromptu sing along to the levellers and then the drama of how badly she is going to stagger whilst trying to get back home. This was all in the wee small hours and she had only come over for was a cup of tea.
I have discovered the world of canal forums. I even added a post. Its amazing how they take a life of their own. It was a good reminder about why I have a boat and what other people have been up to. I might not get out as much as I like, but at least others are getting out there on my behalf.
I was listening to Rebel Rebel by David Bowie on the radio this morning and thinking how grateful I live in the Uk to allow such things to take place. This was on the back of the news of Prince Harry and Chemical Ali coming in from the middle east.
Friday I had been invited up to a friends for Chinese New Year in Manchester. I had booked the Friday off as A/L anyway so took advnatage of a lazy day and picked a friend up from work@4. What should have been a relative easy journey, turned into a two hour marathon just to get around Oxford. We should have been there by 7 at the latest we crawled in at 9. We still managed to get to Sam's chop house www.samschophouse.co.uk is a great place to eat and we had a really nice meal even though I was really tired from the travelling. Even the waitress staff(Dina) was really good and we ended chatting to her for a while until her boss told her off for nattering and not serving.
Saturday After being generally lazy and catcing the rugby in the pub. We spent the afternoon preparing the meal, in fact I stayed out of the way as my contribution and acted as dogsbody. The food was divine 8 various dishes including lamb, beef , chciken, fish etc It was a great evening with freinds of freinds I had heard about and never met and 0thers was a bit if a catch up. I am a light weight so I slunk off to bed just after midnight, it seems the witching hour is my down fall.
Sunday Two blog entries in two days, it does make a difference having a computer handy. Anyway prob going off to the Chinese Quarter to watch the parade TTFN
Some say it's a new chapter as friends split up and move their seperate ways. I stood on the quay side in Portsmouth and said goodbye for the last time. My friends who have been together for 13 years have gone their own ways, she has gone to live in London and he is returning to Ireland in the next few weeks. I am still not sure how I feel about it, except confused. We and they have been through so much it just makes me sad that they had to call it a day, esp as I have the feeling one or the other I will loose touch with. Boo hoo..... esp Karin I don't think she will ever know, unless she reads this. This is all to much I am off
As you can see I have been away for a while. Two reasons, one my ability to piggy back onto someone else's Wifi signal( I know that's a little naughty)this time of year is a little difficult. As I have to sit on the end of the pontoon in the Marina and hope the wind is blowing in the right direction. The other reason is i lost the ability to think of anything to write. However Bones as ever has proved even chocolate can be an interesting topic, that is more due to whit rather than anything else. I am still trying to work out the best way to access the internet at home, or perhaps I could do a little extra time at work and use it there, we shall see.