Friday, 16 June 2017

Half way through June.....

I wear glasses. Varifocals since you ask. 
Many years ago I arrived one Friday evening at my then boat, Molly Rose and having blown away the cares of the day I stood on deck looking into the canal and watching the mesmeric movement of the water lapping against the hull. Then I saw two terrapins gently, almost playfully, nudging on the waterline; an unusual sight. However one of the local cottages had a pond and I knew he kept terrapins and it wasn't unheard of for such creatures to be in the cut anyway.
I thought it warranted a photo so went inside to get my camera. On looking through the viewfinder I discovered that my terrapins were, in fact, discarded triangular teabags ( I don't think they exist nowadays).
Molly Rose and the top of Annie's head
I've worn glasses ever since.

Talking of Molly Rose, friends Roy and Annie passed her on their way back from Birmingham and took a
 picture. Nice to know she's still about.

On the opposite 
bank here at Cow Roast, tied to a piece of Armco banking, is a small piece of blue rope. Fixed there many years ago by a passing boater to moor onto, it fools me every year at least once. with or without glasses. When the weather permits I like to have the side hatch open so that mid-muesli I can watch the swans, coots,passing boats,whatever. Yesterday morning, between rain showers, I was disposing of a cherry pip with a well aimed phhhht through the hatch and thought "Ah! A Kingfisher!" Of course it was the bit of string-again fluttering in the breeze.

 So the camera remained on its hook, out of reach and switched off.
Then a Kingfisher flew by, pausing only to glance through the hatch as if to say "Silly old sod. Fell for the blue string trick again".

I'm very happy at the moment because the cherries are at their finest and apart from the fact that they are good for me in reducing gout they also make the boring muesli more palatable. This morning's cherry count however ended badly from a romantic point of view.
========================== The hatch is closed at the moment as it is raining. Sunshine and showers are the order of the day and reflect how I feel about the election result. Pleased that Murdoch and his heinous newspaper thugs failed to stop the Labour progress but like everyone else unhappy that we now are in a weaker position for any negotiations including the odious Brexit.

I like a gamble, adds a touch of excitement to life, but Theresa and advisers really caught a cold on this one. Mind you the bookies got it wrong as well. As did Cameron last year on 23rd June.
One thing is certain. Nigel Farage won't be able to keep his snout out of the trough now Nuttall has gone. That's depressing.

Where do we go from here?
Well it's as long as a piece of string really. Blue string of course.
Thank God for Kingfishers.

 I've decided that the Times at £1.60 is no longer to be my daily read. I used to justify buying this Murdoch organ on the grounds of the crossword, which nowadays  rarely gets tackled and the weekly column by the late , great , much lamented Alan Coren.
I will miss the Matthew Parris column on a Wednesday but Monday to Friday I am switching to the "I" a much cheaper and better read with a good crossword. I cannot however forego the Times on a Saturday with its Prize Crossword which usually lasts me till Tuesday anyway.
Time for some instant garden. I wasn't going to bother with the mooring garden this year or so I kept telling Pam. She didn't believe me knowing I can't walk round the plant nursery without succumbing. This morning whilst the rain abated I went for it. Here's Phase 1

The knee which has troubled me since before the wedding (see blog before last) has been improving very slowly-two forward one back -so to speak. I am meant to walk every day and resolve to do so but a fortnight's interruption because of Mr Knee is very demotivating.

But first my water tank needs filling. I keep putting it off but I know I'm low as the prow of Independence is about 4 inches further out of the water than is normal. I can water the garden first. I would have assumed that the showers this morning would have been sufficient but Pam, who knows everything, tells me that baskets etc need lots of water so a good dowsing must been given.

Needless to say half an hour afterwards it will chuck it down.
====================================== Natalie has a meaningful birthday. (They are all "meaningful" but this one is divisible by 5,10 and many other numbers.I know it is considered bad form to spill a girl's age but the perennially young Nat easily passes for under 30 both in looks and vivacity. She had a bbq on the beach at Newquay and though the weather could have been kinder a good time was had by all.
A Very Happy Birthday Natalie and best wishes for the year(s) to come.

In celebration I cooked some scones! Or rather slightly overcooked them but not bad for a first attempt. The boat smells sweeter for the baking smell; which is an improvement on the normal cross between wet carpet and curry....only joking. Sadly for Natalie I suspect they will be gone by the time she next visits Hertfordshire but that's life-when they're scone they're scone..
 Talking of cooking I'm not famed for being a natural quiche eater but Pam's Salmon and English asparagus quiche pictured here was amazingly good and dispatched with equanimity. Sorry Nat you missed that one as well.


The weather is now set fair for a few days so Knee or not the shed must be tackled....

A/ cos it's a tip
B/ cos I need the gazebo from somewhere in there
C/ cos I  want all my old photos out-currently stored in crates....somewhere
D/ cos I need to create some storage room for stuff that's cluttering up the boat/car/my life.
E/ cos God alone knows what's living in there. Perhaps it's time for a little glis glis relocation.

About three feet into the shed jungle I find the first crate of photos. Fatal. I am looking for one in particular, which I don't find...yet, but, of course I find many others that bring back memories, good and bad, sad and weird.
Here's a weird one. **I came second overall but first in the Belisha Beacon class.
(named after Lord Hore-Belisha-such a shame they weren't called Hore Beacons. Can't think why not)

**7 Balls PH (Harrow Weald) New Year's Fancy Dress. No idea what year.

There will be more photos next time. Can you contain your enthusiasm?

Owl (on the right) leaves Cow Roast (and the love and care of Jim and Sue) later this month moving to new moorings in Windsor. Victoria is passing through on her way to Braunston for a rally of historic boats . 

Here's another old photo. Long time Cowroastians will recognise "Scout". This was the day she left heading for the yard at Winkwell to have the superstructure removed. The plan then was that she was headed for the Thames as a sort of shed cum dump for some moorings down there but someone last week reckoned she was still at Winkwell. Again I'm not sure of the year....perhaps 1998?.....

Those of you that follow my career as a minor minor celebrity will need to get the scrap book and glue out for the second time this year following so soon on my appearance in the Berko Gazette as a Mediaeval fruit machine. This time I can be seen trailing behind Pam on a Hertfordshire Health Walk; a scheme sanctioned by the GP practices in the town to encourage people to join in on a regular short stroll with a chance for a cuppa and a chat. The scheme (which Pam has joined and is training as a Leader) is aimed at the unfit and or elderly and lonely so I don't know what I was doing there. Anyway it's a jolly good idea -why not try it.

Can I get an hat trick of Gazette appearances?  We'll have to see if my garden wins the Best Kept Mooring display being run by CRT.....oh that reminds me-I was going to water the garden and fill the tank wasn't I............

Talking of joining things here's a cartoon

and for the dog lovers....

Busy weekend planned. Off to that there Lunnen Town with all their city ways for a birthday/anniversary party on board The Old London Vessel shippin out from Lambeth Pier on Saturday night.
We're staying in town on Saturday night and off to Ronnie Scott's for Sunday Lunch. It promises to be the warmest couple of days since records etc. and no doubt will present photo opportunities especially of historic vessels. I intend to enter the National Historic Ships UK's Photo Competition again this year so who knows....I might get my picture in the Berko Gazette again.
Seems to be growing....

Have a lovely weekend.

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