Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Hello

I was somewhat surprised to see that I have a reader from Mitcham in Surrey. Surprised because I was born in Mitcham and this is the first 'local' I have seen reading the blog.

I have to ask, "Do we know each other?"

If we do please get in touch you can find my email in my profile.

Tuesday

Mort's mate Claire came for an overnight stay and and a visit to the educational metropolis that is Oxford. She arrived about 9:30 last night. I gave her my bed because of the close proximity to a proper toilet.

We dropped Mort off at work this morning and spent the next several hours around the shops, in the pubs and sight seeing. I saw for the first time the Thames near Folly Bridge from the other side of the river from Christchurch Meadow.

Oxford is one of those places that holds a myriad secrets and just has to be explored. At the Turf pub, down a back alley, in 1963, Bob Hawke one time premier of Australia set the world record for downing a 'Yard of Ale', 2 1/4 pints, in 11 seconds. Funnily enough it was also at this pub that Bill Clinton two time president of the USA famously smoked a joint but, 'didn't inhale'. Yeah right Bill I believe you!

Anyway after collecting Mort from work we headed home and a curry was consumed. Then this heathen joined Mort and Claire at a church house meeting in the village. Nice people but, I am still not convinced about this whole religion thing although having been a paid up God botherer, I can see why people do (you might be surprised to hear that I was baptised into the church at the age of 38).

Claire in her hurry to get home left her hand bag at the Vicarage. Doh!

Monday, 29 October 2007

The continuing eye saga

Hospital again today! Eye is progressing well and the gas bubble is fast disapearing. More drops. On the down side my lens has actually moved and may be causing some problem in that area. Next appointment Monday.

Told the Doc I was preparing to move away and what that entailed, he said NO! at least another two/three weeks. Doh!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

A visit to church

Mort Bones woke me up early this morning for coffee, it is difficult not to wake when the rear sliding hatch is opened, it clatters loudly. Coffee was drunk, emails were checked and showers were taken, I have copious quantities of hot water since the boiler was replaced. I went into my lie down phase to rest my eye, Bones went back to her boat.

At just after 10:30 she returned to 'escort' me to church. It was windy and wet. The service waited for us before starting, well that's how it seemed. I have long been a bit of a heathen and church isn't my thing these days, but I like to be there for Bones. Churches are strange places not really of the present day, but nonetheless calming and sensory. I thought the service was a bit 'high church' for my liking, but that's what they do here so I followed. After the service a glass of wine was offered and refused, however I had to go back for my jacket and was waylaid by a lady who assumed we had just moved into the village and was interested when I corrected her that we lived on boats. Then the vicar, Paul, also interested in the boaters stopped me for a chat. Bones was cajoled into a glass of wine while I was chatting and that was the excuse to offer me a glass again, Which I accepted.

A nice group of people full of characters.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Slack day

Not moving much so not much to say. Today was a housework day. I had intended to change my engine oil and would have done had it not started raining. Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The ECO fan

Because of the design Milly M is not an easy boat to heat. I have an Eberspacher unit driving 4.5 Kw of finrad central heating which run the full length of the boat. This is effective but costly in terms of fuel.

The multifuel stove is the mainstay of the heating system but tends to localise heat at the front of the boat. The normal entrance of the boat is via the back. Through the office across to the right in to the bathroom, then diagonally across the bathroom to the left and down the side of the bed. From there to the centre at the bottom of the bed to enter the kitchen, along the kitchen over to the left again to access the living room.

I was quite insistent that each room should be a 'room'. Each room has a bulkhead which obstructs the easy flow of air. This has its problems in that there is not a straight line between any two sections and the stove is mounted 11 feet from the front of the boat and faces forward from the LR/K bulkhead. It is because of this that I was sceptical about paying out for an ECO fan if I was only going to find out that it was not effective.

Fortunately Mort owns an ECO fan and while she wasn’t using it for her boat (she is a much harder boater than me) I was able to give it a try.

I have to say that my reservations were unfounded. While I do need to angle the fan to blow down the side access to the Kitchen the overall effect is to warm the boat down to the back of the boat. There is a difference with the fan that is very noticeable. While the Office at the rear is not as hot as the LR it is much warmer than without the fan. For this reason I will be able to use the office this winter with out resorting the Erbespacher. So all I need now is to get my own ECO fan, but I don’t think I want to part with 70 quid for one so I will be looking for a deal. Watch this space!

Where is Maffi?

I have been asked if I could have a map showing where I am on the system. Not an easy task to sort out in my present location, poor signal!

However, I have today added a link under the clock. It is just a case of clicking on the link and then selecting 'Milly M' from the list of boats on the right hand side of the page.

Those boats at the top of the list update regularly, those at the bottom not often. Milly M will, I hope, be at or near the top.

The default setting is for a Google earth type image but a normal map can be selected or indeed a hybrid of the two.

Ciao

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

What's this, a bit of class?

Andy Denny of Granny Buttons made mention here of a poetic work by an old sailor. Not wanting to be outdone I thought to post this by an old airmen, Moi.

I have had it aound for a while but not too sure if it is finished yet.

Ancient road of water still
Through English fields winds on
Toward the slowly setting sun
Muddy ditch of nutrient soup
Blackening with the fading light
History of the revolution
Beginning the rise of Empire yet
Decaying with the loss of greatness
Far from former glory falls
Leaking through the boundary set
To trespass on another's space
But in the morning sun the evil fades
And myriad rays reflect the glory
Of a sceptered isle from long ago
When hard men in wooden boats
Carried wealth across the land
In times when English industry
Hungered for the cargos therein
And the market place craved
The product spewed from
Smokey city factories.
Overtaken by rail slowly faded into disuse
For many years this eyesore
In the throes of death left to nature
Disappeared 'neath both car park and estate
Filled with weeds and silt and supermarket trolley
Bicycles, milk crates, tyres, and all manner
Of junk, garbage, waste and trash
Stinking ditch of filth and mire
Yet men of vision equal to the original Canalers
Saw the waste of this historic water
Campaigning for keeping it open
That our children might marvel at it's wonder
And continue in some small way to
Preserve the life of days gone by
Before the advent of rail brought it close
To its demise and sad finale
No longer do we see the many working boats
That once plied trade along the length
Of canals that covered the country
North to South, East to West
Instead the new boater of leisure
Sets forth from marinas across the land
To enjoy the sights of green landscapes
Rolling hills and open valleys
Tree lined fields and stones of long gone ritual
Viewed from calm waters through rush and reed.

Windows Live Hotmail

I don't often have problems with my PC and usually then because I click in the wrong place, but this new Windows Live Hotmail (which I didn't ask for) has screwed up my computer BIG TIME. It wont display properly looking like something a 5 yo might do and then it has the cheek to tell me I don't have scripting enabled. So I follow the directions and lo and behold scripting is enabled. What it might be telling me is I don't have the right scripting enabled, but then what is right?

My laptop now runs very slowly and that isn't helped by the connection I get here.

I have to ask, "Do the designers of new software have any idea of the circumstances some of us work under". "Do they have any idea of the demographics of the end users". I have to ask that because the writing gets smaller and the clicky bits appear as mere specks of dust that we should otherwise be able to clean off the screen with a wet wipe.

Yes I could increase the text size, but that would mean changing a whole load of other stuff as well and I shouldn't have to. I like it the way it was. It has become like an old pair of comfy shoes, easy to wear. I had enough trouble as it was changing from 98 to XP. I don't want Vista or any other system. I just want my computer to do what I want till the day I shuffle off this mortal coil. Is that too much to ask?

Obviously YES because they keep pissing about with my LIFE!!!

Heyford

Well what a turn up for the books! Frost every where this morning and quite chilly to boot. I went to make Mort her morning coffee and found her door ajar which is probably why her boat was so cold. My boat on the other hand was reasonably warm, the embers still glowing under the ash in the stove. The sun came out and burned off the mist by 9:30 and so melted the last of the ice off the boat.

Lower Heyford is a nice quiet place to moor . . . . . . . . at night, there being trains running all day except when you need one. Kizzie's restaurant at the boat yard serves a 'Whopper Club Sandwich' that is a meal in it's self. This eatery is unfortunately going to be closed from the 1st November until the 6th of March.

The nice thing about mooring somewhere like this is . . . . . No miserable landies.

Well this isn't getting the housework done. Ciao

Monday, 22 October 2007

Lazy Sunday . . . . . . . No!

Sunshine all day here at Lower Heyford. Today's task is to get both Milly M and Bones bilge pumped out. The boatyard here has an adapter for the normal black water pump and a filter/separator to take out fuel and oil. I took nb Bones up first. Most of the contents of the bilge came out with just a small amount of sludge left. I turned Bones at the winding hole and reversed back to the 14 day mooring with some ease. Then I collected Milly took her to the pontoon and had her done too! Turning Milly was easy but getting her to go back was a pain. The canal is shallow and she wouldn't go where she was told. It took some time and stops to let 4 other boats pass.

Why did I have to do all this? Her ladyship was out to dinner.

The guy at the yard was very trusting, waiting until both boats had been done before I paid.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

The day after the night before

Copious cups of tea and coffee were drunk this morning, JOTW gets up very early, then Mort came to make the bacon sandwich breakfast. James and Mort set off to pre-position the cars for our trip to Lower Heyford while JOTW and I took the boats to Thrupp for watering and rubbish disposal. Poor John had a little bit of trouble with the slow response time of Milly M, his boat being shorter and much more manoeuvrable.

All sorted we said good bye to JOTW and set off to LH. Me with my head on one side in an attempt to simulate lying down. Three boats managed to get in the Shipton Weir Lock side by side. It's a strange shape, somewhat hexagonal. Further discussion with other boaters suggested that another 60 footer could have got in there as well, not bad for a lock on a narrow gauge canal.
The weather today was about as good as it gets. The sun shone all day. The trip up was very pleasant. Mort and James steamed well ahead of me out of sight, but that was good I enjoyed my time. Moored up below Bridge 206 at about 5:30. Mort bought me a new club hammer because mine keeps thinking it's an aeroplane while hammering in pins.

Nite Puddles XXXXXX

Friday Night

We moved up to bridge 225 just below Langford Lane Bridge last night where we were to have a few guests for eating and drinking. No we weren’t going to eat the guests. On arrival John on the Wey was standing on the bridge wondering where we were. He was pleasantly surprised to see nb Bones coming in his direction followed by me some distance behind. Once moored Mort set to cooking and John and I set to emptying a few cans. James arrived while it was still light. Well we thought that’s about it, but were stunned when we got a call from Adam and Lucy asking, "Exactly where are you". James walked up to meet them. That was two more than we had expected to turn up. Later a voice and a head appeared over the parapet, "How do we get down there". Maurice and Jude had arrived. All in all the discussion was about the unsuitability of a boat party under a bridge in the freezing cold and it was decided that the next one would be in the summer.

Mort sang, Adam sang and Maurice sang I didn't, though would have if asked. Even us toughened boaters ended up inside huddled around the fire. I don't recall what time it all ended but it was late, though before midnight.

Friday, 19 October 2007

And away

I delivered a letter, by hand, to our annoyed neighbour this afternoon in the hope he may change his attitude to us. I do hope he read it. Well at least he didn't come out shouting at us over the water, but he did come out to see us go. I missed the opportunity to wave good-bye and strongly resisted the temptation to flip him the finger. That really would have been offensive and we certainly don’t want to antagonise him, we are after all respectable boaters not water gipsies.

Big Fish

We walked along the towpath to the bridge this morning. I often do this to escort Mort to her car. We saw some blood on the edge and some big fish scales. A little further up we saw a large carp with its side eaten away. It must have weighed about 15/20 pounds. Whatever it was that took it out of the water must have been big. Mort got the picture on her mobile.


Wyatt Earp

Last night we were again verbally abused and threatened by the sheriff. He came to the bottom of his garden and asked me if I was moving on tomorrow. I of course said no. I told him that I had phoned BW and confirmed that this was a 14 day mooring and that we would move when it suited us.

He in his arrogance called us disrespectful of other peoples privacy (he is the one who invaded our privacy). He called us arseholes and threatened us saying we picked the wrong man to make an enemy of.

We are not doing anything wrong. The law is on our side. I don't know what has happened to this man in the past, but, it must have been bad. That said there is no reason to be offensive or threatening towards us.

I have never in my first year on the canal met such a disagreeable person. What his problem is I don't know but his arguement did not bear fruit . Nothing he said to us had a grain of truth. All seemingly made up in his own mind.

I will when I return here, and I will return, offer him coffee and time to chat about whatever it is that is stuck in his craw, but I hope he has adjusted his attitude by that time. I neither want or need to be treated as less than I am and I refused to be bullied by people who should know better.

While I am writing this a BW man came along the towpath and we chatted about the sheriff. Apparently he complains a lot and always quotes rules that are non-existent.

Please if you should come down this way look out for the house with the six foot scalloped fence around. It is a nice place to moor even though he will complain.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

And so to Kidlington

Today (Wednesday) was definitely the day to move. We had lunch at the Plough followed by an afternoon snooze and set off at 3.30. A lot of the trip was at tick over past all the 'Agenda 21' moorings. At the swing bridge before Duke's Cut I missed my footing stepping off the boat, dropped my rope and pole in the water and crashed to the ground banging my bad knee, OUCH!

It was quite a pleasant trip up until we were 'greeted' by a Kidlington resident who it would seem is the self appointed sheriff for this stretch of the waterway. Bones had moored directly opposite his garden, I moored behind her. Said sheriff came out of his garden walked along a footpath, which we later found was private and he was trespassing, crossed over the lock and then walked down the towpath. I was still mooring Milly and he walked right past me. Level with the stern of Bones he said to her, "You know this is a 24 hour mooring". Well no she didn't. There are no signs and she said as much. "Your lot took them down", said the sheriff. Well if his first volley across the bows didn't piss her off, that did.

"It's 24 hours because of the proximity to the houses", he pronounced. What a load of BS. I have moored on some canals right outside peoples front doors and had no complaints.

'Your lot' now what does that mean? Are we boaters some kind of splinter group of mainstream society. Are we a band of renegade people who flout the law and remove 6X6 posts set in concrete or was he maybe hinting that we are floating scum and just didn't want us here. Either way I think my 25 years in the RAF and the good Dr's eminence in her field would rather belie his thoughts of us as anything other than good people who because of people like him are assumed to be on the fringes of society.

Another resident came along the path and Mort said, "Oh look one that smiles". To which he countered, "Have you been having some problems?" Mort explained and the chap said that the 'sheriff' was a bit of a miserable git who thought he owned the canal.

It transpired on Thursday morning, speaking to the lady on the boat in front of Mort, that Mrs 'sheriff' was obviously the 'deputy' and had stood on the other side of the canal when she moored up with a face like a fart, arms crossed over her chest, scowling like there was no tomorrow. I feel sure that there has been some animosity on this stretch in the past, but what has that got to do with us, now. Given the rudeness and poor attitude of the sheriff and his deputy I am not surprised that there may have been trouble in the past. People behave towards us in response to how we treat them. Treat me like the good person I try to be and I will be a good and loyal friend. Treat me like dirt and I will shit in your garden (metaphorically speaking).

This is as far as I know a 14 day mooring and although we were going to move off today, we will stay a while and maybe come back here for a few days after the weekend. If you should be in this area please stop and enjoy the countryside for a few days it's quite lush, some natives might be a bit up themselves but don't let that spoil it for you.

Addendum:
Have spoken to BW this morning (Thursday) and they say 14 days. Looks like I may be staying.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Mon Tue Wed

Yesterday it chucked it down all day. Shame really because we were going to move on. We will have that joy today.

We have now been moored here three days. Because of the depth I have breasted up along side Bones. She has three pins in to hold her tight. Unfortunately speeding boats pulled all three pins out on Monday, luckily Dusty came past and helped secure the boats.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The aftermath

Bones is the kind of person who, if she is up every one is up. Quarter to 8 she called me this morning. Probably because she had no milk for tea. Fortunately we had plenty of Bacon for breakfast.

Milly needs a P/O so between us we reversed down the canal to College Cruisers and there started the problem. Just below Aristotle Lane Bridge we encountered some anglers doing what anglers often do, complaining about boats on the canal. One very grumpy chappie got Morts goat simply because he was rude which was the signal for Mort to confront him face to face. It is quite surprising how disarming it can be to step off the boat and ask someone "What is your problem". After due discussion Mort quelled the situation by saying we would moor up until they had finished their fishing session which in itself completely flummoxed them, they weren't expecting that.

While we waited (4 hours) we dragged a futon mattress out of the water then disappeared of to take nb Bones to our new mooring a couple of miles up the canal. I have never sat at the front of a boat before so this was a new do for me. Just to sit while others do the steering is quite fun as long as they pay attention. Bridge 238 is a 'fixed open' lift bridge. Trouble being that it is not very high on the hinge side and it was for me to point out that Morts bags of coal on the roof might just end up in the water. A quick reverse gear to stop and Mort did some juggling with the coal and we continued on our way.

Once moored we stopped at the Plough for lunch and a pint of the black stuff. Bottle had prepositioned his car at the pub so we wouldn't have to walk back. By the time we arrived at the Milly M the anglers had buggered off and left a thank you note. Bottle set of for home and Mort & I proceeded down to the P/O station. I was expecting to have to wait till the morning for the yard to open but as luck would have it Mike was still there and agreed to do the bizz there and then. This was good because that meant I could go and moor at the Plough rather than at College Cruisers over night.

I dropped Mort of at her car and made my way to the mooring. All in all another pleasant day on the water.

Oh another weekend

Well today was a good day. Bones came back from her visit with her parents. Graham & Matilda came with gifts of wine and Bottle came with the Guinness. What a lovely bunch of people I spent the evening with.

Friday, 12 October 2007

To the Hospital

Today saw me up with the larks, showered and on my way to the hospital for the first appointment since the eye op. It's a long walk from Frenchay Road Bridge to the bus stop. I arrived in plenty of time for the appointment and was seen an hour later. What I don't understand is why did the doc want to put drops in my good eye to open the pupil when he never looked at it.
The nurse asked me to cover my left eye and read the chart. I said, "What chart". "Well what can you see?", she asked. "The wall with a bright centre", said Moi. I haven't opened my bad eye for 10 days what did she expect me to see? I was able to read the last line on the chart with my moon watching eye which is some achievement
The doc held my eye open causing some pain & discomfort (he had sharp nails) When I mentioned he was hurting me his response was, "Well if you could open your eye I wouldn't have too". Not what I would call a good bedside manner. It didn't alter the fact that his nails were unnecessarily sharp for the task.
My eye is healing OK and may be back to normal in about 5-6 weeks according to him, but that is not what I was told by the Doc who did the op. All hail the NHS!
Oh and there is good news! I can now lay down for 45 mins and sit up for 45 mins which is so much easier than last week.
So any way I left the hospital with two pupils as big as saucers and couldn't see a thing. Even stepping on to the bus was difficult and I had to ask someone to put me off at the right stop.
By the time I arrived home some 5 hours later I was absolutely knackered and needed to sleep.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Oh joy!

Well not being one to complain it is with joy in my stomach that I report at the end of another boring day Bones has excelled herself. Friday she is to cook main course at her mother's house and tonight it was try out night for James and I. Bones cooked a delicious salmon steak with fresh prepped veg and it was superb. Now I don't usually like salmon but this dish was fandabbydozie.


Nite Puddles XXXXX

Monday, 8 October 2007

Wildlife

OK so I can't do much except maybe spend too much time on here, but today while having my ten minute break, standing at the side hatch I saw two native Crayfish among the rocks. That cheered me up no end.


The bad boy Signal Crayfish


The good boy english Crayfish.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Moving on

This morning started well. Mort had a result her engine is purring like a pussy cat. 'Twould seem that there was a problem with the stop cable not coming out of stop. Not a problem with modern engines but I am sure they will have some foible that will catch me out.

OK so then we went for water, my tank being on red. Easy enough until it came to reversing back down the canal. The BT took this time to stop and we got a propellor full of junk. Added to that Mort can reverse her boat very well, not so mine. I am still supposed to be flat out so I was no help at all.

We moored up north of Frenchay Road Bridge opposite the landies house. It is very shallow and again I couldnt help. Mort went off to get Bones.

On the eye front I can open my eye for short periods but it wants to close itself. While it is open I can see the fluid level half way up my vision, strange, there are even waves on it, how cool is that.

Nite Puddes XXXXXXX

Another for the JD fans

With the onset of autumn and winter just around the corner I thought I would include this to give you a lift.





Nite Puddles XXXXXXXXXX

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Saturday

My brother Robert came yesterday for the afternoon and took a large bag of rubish away with him (I am not near a waste disposal point).

Kim & Jim came today. Which was good coz the good Dr Bones was away and getting those very cold eyedrops in is not easy. Kim also went out and bought some flowers to replace the ones on the top which had seen better days.

I can now see light and dark out of the bad eye to the point where where I can discern the fluid level across the middle of the lens. Weird!

Dr Bones came back in time to torture me with some more ice cold drops.

Through the side hatch

This mooring at Aristotle Bridge is quite nice. On the other side of the hedge is a children's park. The prim and proper of Oxford can be heard saying all the right things through clenched teeth to keep their rug ratz in check. At night it descends into the meeting place for the local yobs. Despite the noise they tend to be reasonable.

A boat that was here when I arrived last week was attacked, by that I mean someone had a go at getting through the front doors, mid afternoon. They failed!

There is a constant stream of tow path users past all day, Mothers with children, runners, walkers, cyclists and the inevitable drunks who in themselves are harmless. Two young girls passed the boat several times today, the last time one of them was definitely pissed.

I spoke to BW about my predicament and though they didn't say I could stay they didn't say I couldn't, but did suggest that if I got a ticket I should write to HQ and argue my case. It is the end of the boating season it would be nice if someone at BW would come up with a plan for people in my position so staff could make a decision one way or the other. All in all I don't really want to stay here and would be on my way if I could.

Friday, 5 October 2007

I never expected. . . . .

'Knock knock' on the window, Bones went to see who it was. She came back, "He said say its Eugene"

I don't know a Eugene, but went outside anyway. There was a chap and his wife and their baby, none of whom I knew. So I said, "You will have to help me out here".

"Eugene Baston from the forum".

"Ahhh that Eugene" It would appear I do know a Eugene.

Well it would seem the family were out for a walk when they came across a pair of boats he recognised and he couldn't pass by without saying 'Hello'. Mr Bones was out and then he saw Milly and knocked. Mort of course said, "Miss Bones 'is' in", which surprised EB because he like others had assumed . . . . . .

" Ah one would have thought you were a doctor", said EB.

"I am a doctor", said Mort.

She wears it so well.

Anyway nice to see you EB and family. Thanks for stopping by. We will probably meet again. Ciao

Thursday, 4 October 2007

My Life

Here I am horizontal face down with my head hanging over the end of the bed. This is to be my life for the next 10 days. Woe is me! My brother Robert is coming to visit today and Kim & Jim are coming at the weekend.

Bones is being a good nurse and getting some pleasure out of putting freezing eye drops in my eye four times a day.

I am allowed to get up for ten minutes in every hour, which is something I suppose. Ho hum!


Nite Puddles XXXXX

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Many thanks for all your best wishes.

It is very difficult writing when someone has been poking you in the eye with a sharp stick so this will be quite short.

OW!!! that f***ing hurts.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Agreed

I don't often agree vith Victor Swift NBW, but I have to agree when he says that employing contractors to cut grass at Watford and Foxton Locks when the lock keeper does it for free is senseless. A contractor will not care for the job as would the lock keeper and they have to pay more money, which they don't have, into the bargain What is the point!

In these days of stringent financial constraints BW cannot afford to waste money on such ill concieved ideas.

Come on BW get a grip!

Busy day

Sunday is a day of rest for most, especially of you have a detached retina....... er no. We took a trip to Halfords for oil and filters which they didn't have, but found them at a motor parts shop in Kidlington. I was not really in a position to change my oil, but was able to offer limited assistance to Mort. Unfortunately while bleeding the fuel lines after changing her fuel filter the good Dr cracked a union and had to stop until a new one could be obtained.

Graham and Matilda came for a visit. Graham is a member of the Canal World Forum and on a visit to his girlfriends digs in Oxford. While Mort cleaned up I took them on board Milly M for coffee. Graham is looking to get a boat up this way to make life easy for their relationship.

Late afternoon Dusty arrived. Dusty is the canal coal and fuel supplier on this stretch of the canal. He should have been here yesterday and commented, "They don't call me Day Late Dusty for nothing." Between Mort and I we handed over £220 to Dusty for 20 sacks of coal and 120 ltrs of diesel. Dusty is one of the good guys, he manhandled all the coal onto the roofs of our boats because he says that's what we pay for, cool. This was a great help coz Mort was cooking dinner and I can't really lift anything in my present condition. Thanks Dusty! Dusty used to be a graphic designer. His claim to fame was was the merchandising for the Telly Tubbies.

Adam and Lucy arrived prompt at 6 pm for dinner. A huge lump of wooly lamb had been cooking in my oven since 3.30. Dinner was fab and we eventually said goodnight to A&L about 8.30 pm. 'Twas a long day all in all.

Nite Puddles XXXXXX

Eye Eye

Well here I am at Aristotle Lane Bridge still. I was supposed to have heard last week about my eye op but someone at the Eye Hospital forgot to pass on the message. Saturday night I was experiencing some double vision with colour changes in the right eye. First off I thought 'wow' what a trip, very LSD, but after Bones had spoken to a colleague of hers who started life working with eyes he seemed to think that it should be sorted soonest. He suggested that Dr Bones use her title and call the hospital herself on my behalf, which she did. "Eye casualty is closed call back in the morning" Doh!

Sunday morning she actually got to speak to someone who after taking all the info down said she would get back to me. It is a little know fact that some ex-servicemen, because of their contract with the MOD can ask for priority treatment, my contract included treatment in a military hospital for the rest of my life, now there are no military hospitals as I understand it from the Royal British Legion, that has now been passed on to the NHS. Bones mentioned my service to the person on the other end of the phone, but that was met with "We treat all patients the same". I think I need to get the written word on this for future use.

Fortunately the doctor who is going to do the op came in shortly after and a return call was made less than an hour later. He said that I was supposed to have been informed on Friday that I would be in for the op Tuesday morning. Well that's that sorted at least now I know what is happening. This is the second call I should have had that was 'forgotten'. I will sing the praises of the NHS till the the angels herald my arrival at the pearly gates, they do a very difficult job under very difficult circumstances, but not passing on important information, important to me anyway, is really unforgivable.

Anyway sometime tomorrow I shall have the sight in my right eye restored to normal. Yippee!