Thursday, 21 June 2018

A Celebration!
Adrian and I drove to Lancashire/Yorkshire on the weekend 9/10 June to celebrate Brother in Law Tom's 90th birthday-a round trip of 300 miles during which I stayed awake all the time I was driving! (The relevance of this will become apparent later)
It was a lovely do hosted by Martin and Valerie (Tom's daughter) and the spread was magnificent as was the weather. If ever there was a testimony to the benefit of whisky Tom is it. On great form. We look forward to 100.













Whilst in Yorkshire we visited Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal-This is Ady blocking the view of the tunnel
Talking of Adrian I am pleased to report that after much buggering about he has now got a mooring at Cow Roast and moves in during July. He's paid through the nose because of the silly auction procedure that CRT utilise which once again left me with doubts as to its provenance. 
 The important thing is he's got it and will be a valuable addition to the clan.
Sadly for every Ying there's a Yang and Chris and Gill on Eulalie are leaving for Aylesbury. They will be missed as very active and sociable  boaters who I hope will remain part of our gang. They are having a farewell bbq on Saturday, 23rd June. Here's hoping for the sun to shine.




We've had a few lovely sunsets at Cowroast. This was last Saturday


We've had a few storms as well. Last week in Waitrose at Berko it took a three minute cloudburst to flood the car park, unseat the manhole covers and leave  a number of 4x4 drivers stranded in the shop unable to reach their vehicles.




 And talking of Cow Roast rumour has it that Heineken are to spend 300k on refurbing the pub into a major food outlet so that would be good. Co-incidentally, my other local, The Lamb in Berko had a couple of worthies working on the windoes this week so who knows? We might have both pubs up and running sometime.

I took Roy, Annie and John P to Luton airport for their week on the Caledonian Canal and pleased to report they had glorious weather though from the few pictures they sent it looks like Annie did the navigational clever stuff and Roy and John got stuck into the grub. George Pattle would have joined the cruise but son Tom and partner Amber produced baby Fern so congratulations all round.









And now we have the World Cup which is saving my sanity being boatbound for much of the time.
The England opening game against Tunisia certainly had all the usual English frustrations but the right result.

I liked this following a warm up friendly at Wembley



There's nothing more boring than other peoples' ailments but mine is the exception. Ha.
What an exciting time I've been having !
If you like medical dramas that is.
I don't but just a paragraph on where we are medically then move onward and upward.
When last I blogged I had pneumonia and had missed Ollie and Jessica's wedding. I was not impressed.
Anyway after the antibiotics were finished I booked in to get the all clear from the GP and saw a v keen locum who did his best to pronounce me dead. He certainly scared the wotsit out of me.With much sucking of breath and tutting I was sent for an ECG which apparently showed I had an atrial fribullation. No I'm none the wiser either but apparently it's what they used to call a "dodgy ticker" in "Ello Ello"
He also sent me for a chest X Ray and prescribed anti-coagulant pills and a blood test. I am also to have a Spiro test. (29th June) No I don't really know either but its something to do with lung function. 
The following week I was at Harefield Hospital for an already arranged appointment to follow up on a Sleep Test for Sleep Apnoea which basically means you don't sleep properly, wake frequently, don't get enough oxygen and put yourself at risk of all sorts of deep joys.
The Consultant explained that the test indicated that I had been waking  47 times an hour for many years and this explained many of my problems including feeling knackered, high blood pressure, breathlessness and probably the atrial fribullation.The good news was that its hereditary so they couldn't blame "lifestyle" though oblique reference was made to weight loss helping.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obstructive-sleep-apnoea/

I left armed (No not using my left arm silly)  carrying a machine with an attractive Monster from the Black Lagoon Mask which I am to wear till I pop off.** 

The equipment forces air up your hooter which stops the throat closing, snoring, mouth dropping open and waking. Well I found it bloody hard at first but leaps and bounds this week so last Saturday night for the first time in years I had 7 hours uninterrupted sleep and woke feeling not rejuvenated but certainly hopeful that things were on their way up. 18 days since I was issued with the mask which I hope will now become easier. And another 7.5 hours on Sunday!
The really clever thing is that the machine sends data to somewhere in the stratosphere which I can view the following morning. Hence it was excellent news 6 days ago to get my first read out showing 100 per cent and no sleep interuptions; a situation I am pleased to say has repeated 4 more times since. The one non-100% was the result of a very disturbed night thanks to the sodding leg so doesn't count,


**Only at night of course.
Who's a pretty boy then
Back to my regular GP to discuss where we are at.The blood tests had confirmed the Atrial doings so a heart scan is required and the X Ray showed a shadow on the lung so another X Ray required. Purely precautionary I hasten to add.
Enough medical nattering. Except the Consultant told me I had to tell DVLA (and my car insurers) so that's something else to worry about.Just to add salt to the wound my leg has flared up again so I'm doing Long John Silver impersonations which coupled with the mask make for a very pretty, albeit foul-mouthed, picture. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Wedding Issue

There's been a lot of marrying going on. We've just had wall to wall, 24/7, dawn to dusk, ad nauseum coverage of the Royals which whilst I'm not anti I am fed up with the total coverage by every channel and radio station and it's still banging on two days after. Few similarities occur to me between the Windsor shindig and the much more important wedding last weekend of Ollie (son of Pam) and Jessica . The wedding was in Bath, the Reception in Bruton and the Nicklin entourage inc me stayed in Castle Carey (nr Bruton)
Here are some pictures-they are in no particular order other than in which I cribbed them from other people's Facebook sites.
You see I didn't take any. I wasn't there . More of that anon.


























It was, apparently a lovely wedding; the ceremony took place in the Temple of Minerva in the Royal Victoria Park, Bath which I knew to be a lovely setting because I went there on the Friday to check it out. The reception was in a very fine establishment on the outskirts of Bruton-converted farm buildings and a lovely setting. I knew this because again I went there on the Friday. You see I've been involved long enough with the Nicklin gang to know that when it comes to donning their finery and getting themselves to wherever they are meant to be by the appointed time they can be a tad wanting. So as I am the sort that arrives half an hour early for everything I wanted to get the timings right.
The previous day I'd thought to myself I had been unlucky enough to cop a cold for the wedding but set off determined not to let it spoil the day taking in the two venues en route.



By the time I reached our apartment in Castle Carey I was buggered. My chest sounded like a set of bagpipes and Pam soon had me round at the local GP who pronounced Pneumonia and generally scared the bejasus out of me. Antibiotics and live in hope.....and if it gets worse go to hospital.
Add caption
On reflection I was obviously feeling worse than I thought which is unusual for this hardened hypochondriac but my stated aim still to attend the wedding was met with little response by Pam. Come Saturday and I felt like death warmed up. The next two days were spent sat in a chair -going to bed just didn't work the cough was so constant- while the rest of the world span round me in a melee of posh frocks and celebration. I was so pissed off, despite being so well looked after -I've had a few disappointments in my life-who hasn't? but this was up there with the worst. I was very chuffed when Ollie rang me from a pub en route from the ceremony to the reception to express his best wishes; they are such a lovely couple-my thoughts and prayers will always be with them


As to the health of your humble servant well one thing led to another as is oft the case when things go awry. I finished up in A and E at Hemel H Hospital on the Monday after the wedding which led onto a DVT scan which showed no problem but on visiting the GP to see how the pneumonia was progressing-it had  buggered off, thank you but after an ECG and other stuff it transpires I have been stuck on anti-coagulants. Bugger! My diary for the next couple of weeks looks like a story line for Holby City! For the second time in my life my misspent youth has caught up with me. I wish he'd go away.

To other matters. A couple of weeks back I was stewarding at an open evening on Diabetes (no I don't have it-yet) at Berkhamsted Civic Centre and came across the painting below. It is obviously Town Lock by the Boat pub and I was pleased with my copy taken on my phone.




Enough for now but if anyone has any wedding photos they would like added please send them to me.....that's the Ollie/Jessica wedding of course not the other low key affair.

Sunday, 29 April 2018




It's been a good couple of weeks with the odd exception too mundane to mention here. 
The first challenge was the 4 yearly inspection for the boat's safety certificate. Much tidying and checking before the inspector calls. All went well, thank God and 200 quid later we are certified safe for another 4 years. I doubt the same can be said of me.

We had a few days of very welcome sunshine which happily coincided with our St George's Bash on 21st April. Numbers were well down this year mainly because of ill health but all were in good spirits and enjoyed fish and chips without the usual wet, windy and cold conditions we normally get. Over 200 quid was raised without running an auction which whilst boring people to death does raise a lot of money-instead we had a table where people could place items for sale -it raised £23 and most of it was left unsold so the strategy needs tweeking

Angie's front garden and Pam's back garden-both showing Spring

I don't know either. Perhaps Annie was trying on a hat she might wear to the Royal Wedding?

after all she had an original way of wearing her rose


Pam and Nat were both in great form and soon with Joseph had shifted £140 worth of raffle tickets along with the odd celebratory glass





or barrel!
Then Roy decided to entertain us with his singing which was.....different




He's nothing to do with me....or my owlhat










Roy's bro Joe looks bemused-he obviously didn't appreciate what talent Roy has.


Max and Lesley enjoy their fish and chips. Lesley is the unsung hero(ine) of the mooring. Always a volunteer and willing to help in any way . And she's got plenty to do already. Still you know what they say if you want a job done give it to a busy man...or woman in this case. That's why nobody ever gives me anything to do.









Come nightfall and Roy welcomes a moment of prayer and contemplation with a Greek Orthodox priest-it must have worked as you can see the Holy Spirit just above his head and on the table.
The week after St George's contained the actual feast day, Monday 23rd though you'd never have known it round Berko way. I was the only eejit wearing a red rose that I saw all day. A couple of flags on public buildings and that was it. Very disappointing. Even my current local (on account of my first two being closed) which celebrated St Patrick's, St David's and the Chinese New Year with dinner evenings didn't bother. And they're called the George and Dragon. Funny old world but I think after spending at least the last 30 years trying to get a bit of enthusiasm for our patronal feast day it's time to stop being annoyed.

Another boat called Independence came through Cow Roast so I took a photo. And why not.

To end the week at Court Theatre Pendley and a performance of the Arabian Nights by the Berkhamsted Youth Theatre. We were there of course because Joseph was playing the King and very good he was too. Of course I'm biased but not half as much as one very proud grandmother



As I write this the crap weather has returned. The heating is back on the boat which is rocking in the wind. It's cold. It's wet and it's April 29th. The forecast is bad. How did we get away with St George's in the sun? Amazing.


A Celebration! Adrian and I drove to Lancashire/Yorkshire on the weekend 9/10 June to celebrate Brother in Law Tom's 90th birthday-a ro...