Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This aint the English channel is it? Look at the size of that ship! Posted by Hello

Monday, March 28, 2005

Finally the boat is beached!

Well after all this time the boat is safetly in the yard on her cradle. The bottom cleaning and antifouling is about to be completed and the small amount of interior work needed I will commence on Thursday. Consists mainly of replacing a couple of "skin fittings" wiring a heavy duty Earth wire from the aft annodes to those fittings that have electronically degraded (Bad job Princess! for not doing it in the first place). I may have to replace a couple of anodes too. I am also about to fit an electronic programmer in the forward state room so that the central heating can be operated without getting out of bed (great for cold mornings when you need to turn up the heat) I looked at a lovely Oyster 48 in London the other day! I am truly very tempted now to go back to sail. I really fancy a long oceanic trip again! the boat deliveries have deminished ( I haven`t been making the effort really!since the owner of one of the companies that used me retired) ) so its up too me to get on with it and start to plan. I fancy Scandinavia and the Baltic in early summer, and the Caribb for Christmas :o)) maybe next year? who knows.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Halo scan? is it the same as "Halo Motor" spoken with anglo german voice (Motorola)

Well! I have just "joined" Halo scan, so I really don`t know what will happen now. I did so without much thinking about it (story of my life!)I understood that it allows you to have enhanced comments? I could do with some of that (like content) te he!
Anybody out there who has it could they show me what it does please? Pretty please!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hi Maria and Francesco! Heres one for you!  Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Guess whos got the best teeth? Posted by Hello

My daughter and gnasher, covered in food and attacking a rabbit! note the restaurant had cleared by now! Posted by Hello

The offending bunch of flowers! Posted by Hello

Gosh! he`s a trusting kid! Grumps gets lessons on how to bite! from the expert Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A not so normal sunday!

Well the celebrations went well! the food was great, company was lovely and Elliot was a star. So on to another fourty years, Yawn!!. Yeah! Booring!! it certainly hasnt been!

Prior to the lunch I booked the restaurant and paid the owner to get an amazingly big bunch of flowers for my wife, as a surprise, and what happens? my son gets my wife to cancel that restaurant and to book somewhere else, so I had to get involved again and explain about the surprise! :o(( so we stayed at the same restaurant and the surprise flowers went by the board,although she still got presented with them, The owner was to supply the card with the flowers and duly took our names and years etc so as to get the detail perfect. Come the day I didn`t immediately have a card to give my wife, so I get mine and now my wife has the "Hump", until I explain that the card will come with the flowers still, she back pedalls and all is well! Or is it?

I am really "pissed off"now (note the use, Yvonka! :00) so I take a drive into our local Mall and collect the biggest (and I mean biggest)anniversary card that I can find it must be eight feet by four feet .75mts X.5mts (not really!) and really ostentatious!! I duly sign it and take it to the restaurant so that it can also be delivered to my wife on the hope that she will now be satisfied, which she duly was!

I have to say though! it was just as well as the owner got the years wrong on his card and marked it as 35 not 40 and wrote on my behalf "to my darling Carol, my loving wife and life partner! thank you for 35 years of wedded bliss".

As my wife read it out, I watched my daughter choke on her food, laugh like a drain! and comment that she would have expected her father to phone some flourist and ask then to write that for him, how embarrising for them? she innocently finished.

I looked at the crestfallen owners face, who up until then had been joining in the enjoyment of the moment! and thanked him profusely for a job well done "it was beautifull thankyou" I said! "I could`t have put it better myself" later "I filled my daughter in" (let her know who had written it, not thumped her!!) she was mortified!! te he!

As I think i said before, I really can`t believe that time has gone so quickly. I have had a fairly exciting life and never held back when it came to taking chances, doing unexpected things, forfilling ambitions etc, in fact I have always grasped life by the throat.

I now sit here in a sort of shock!!!! what do I do? I look over my shoulder and I immediately see the start of my life, I look forward and I see the end, approaching like an express train ( guess I had better get the boat ready, quickly? :o)))

I am at that period in life, when I have to re-evaluate and chose the next phase carefully and without the petulance of youth. The point when, as a young man I would have criticised those who asked like me now, as being stupid! "you have loads of time left dont be so silly" I would say " you have done more in your life so far that a million others, collectively, have done" I can hear myself saying those very words to my Father at my step mothers funeral!.

Sure I have plenty of time left! but how do I make it count? what do I do now? I have never been one to wallow in my own mire of discontent or to be depressed by my inability to achieve, I think its time to change direction again and to search farther afield for my aims and satisfaction, maybe?

As I entered the restaurant yesterday in my ill fitting clothes of "yesterdays choice" feeling that I looked like a charity shop mannequin. (My own fault really as daily I live and die in Yachting clothes my business clothes stored in a large wardrobe of their own, I chose not to wear anything from there as they too would have been ill fitting and dated.) I realised that I was about to enter a "late life crisis" Its not pity I want its hellllpppppppppp ! Te he! :o)) Suggestions on a card please!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St patricks day blog

I love Ireland and its people, I have never met a nicer bunch of people, or visited a greener and more pleasant land. I hope for peace soon!

Its our 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Thats a "Ruby Wedding" We are all going to a nice local Italian reataurant for Sunday lunch. I had preferred to go to an "up market" Burger bar, but My son wasn`t keen as on a previous visit, Gnasher armed with a bar-b-que`d spare rib, and with himself covered in the sauce, was grabbed at the last minute as he was approaching a young man wearing a pristine white shirt. I think there was a shortage of "High chairs" and so Gnasher wasn`t restrained enough, so I have booked a high chair in advance, as a result of this escapade, and we are going to the Italian.

It really only seems like yesterday that I met a beautifull young lady and married her. it seems ( and of course it is) an even shorter time since she bore us two adorable children, and they themselves (well my son)in turn, a beautiful Grandchild. we are so very , very, lucky. Do we want for anything more? good health for all, but not for anything that we could buy.

Roll on Easter I am champing at the bit to get to the boat and get some cruising in. Today the weather has been great and it really is like spring here. Thanks to you guys out there! who read my drivel.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Saturday is Boat Club working weekend!

Yesterday I went to my boat club (rather late) to assist with some maintenence. There was a good "turnout" of about 30 people, many who come every time it is held (of course without those, freely giving people, many clubs would just fold). The weather was bright but cold and the river was moving slowly. No snow again yet but the temperature is hovering around 1 or 2 degrees.

There was a long list of jobs to be done, but as I had arrived late they were all being undertaken so I wandered around assisting where help was needed. I have to say that I felt a little un necessary but did my best to help.

lunch was served and took the form of a superb "French" onion soup with "French" bread and cheese, the idea being that nobody reduced their work outage due to gluttony (I would have done! the food was great and there was plenty of it) we went back to work in the afternoon.

The club is a very active one with about 100 members plus family, they all own boats of different sizes, all motorboats. Some of the members chose to stay on the river but others voyage around the coast of Britain in the summers. this year some of us are going to Dunkirk/France to celebrate with the few remaining veterans, of all sides, their part in the second world war. It is sad to see some of these guys in their wheel chairs and to think of their great and brave pasts. I guess " we all end up in a single bed" get there sometime :o(( Sad head off!!!

Today I have been having trouble with my "compbox" my ISP refused to open onto the net (no telephone line, what a load of cr*p!!). I telephoned the company (AOL) and waited for over an hour for a "tech 2" to be made available, they never turned up and at 22.00 I closed down. I have to say I am a little P*ssed off about that. Today I have scrubbed off all my copies of AOL (broadband included!) and down loaded a fresh set and "hey ho!" here I am again, isnt life wonderful?

It is my intention to attend the boat club again, after breakfast, and get involved in some more work. I wonder what they will have for us today. so far we have newly painted toilets, handrails around the slipway some safety lights for the entrance, a new set of mirrors behind the bar and all the windows have been cleaned along with the gutters. The whole place has undergone a massive clear out and tidy up and is looking really sparkling clean.

We have a ferry to bring us across the river to the island where our club is and the last user flattened the battery trying to start it up, so another battery was fitted to it, I arrived at the time when the spark plugs were about to be removed out of the outboard engine as they couldn`t get the engine to run, I asked why they were taking the plugs out and they explained, I asked if the engine was "getting fuel" and they replied yes! so I tried the hand pump and it quite obviously wasnt, I primed the system without saying anything and asked them if they would mind trying to start it again, which they did and it started!! another member asked what was wrong and the guy removing the plugs said " all it needed was somebody who new what they were doing!" wasn`t that kind of him? I didnt of course! (know what I was doing) but many summer holidays spent repairing old cheap outboard engines when I should have been enjoying waterskiing or diving was good experience, that told me that the plugs are usually not the real problem. It is now running beautifully. :o)) Gosh! if you find all this Cr*p interesting? you are as booring as me, te he! :o)) Roll on the summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I went to the beach today and..... Posted by Hello

Friday, March 11, 2005

I went to get my van out and ....... Posted by Hello

I worry sometimes that I !.......

I have been re-reading Blogsites back to when I had only just started commenting upon them and I am now really concerned that I may have inhibited their owners, in that, I may have caused them to restrain their creative ability with my booring !Old Man" approach?

I would really hate to think that this was the case, so I have to reiterate that if you don`t want me to comment upon your site again? just don`t answer any of my comments and I will "go away". That said!!! I feel better now that those of you who don`t really want me to comment can easily get out of it and those that do will eventually reply?

I guess that I shouldn`t approach myself too much? but I seem to have an inbuilt safety valve that tells me when I am being a Pain in the a*se ( or perhaps when maybe I think I am ?)

I still haven`t met up with Gnasher yet ( yes! he is again known as gnasher as he as recently bitten some other kids at the nursery, little devil! I don`t know who he gets it from) but according to his dad , after his holiday in the son I have a brown baby, for a grandson! I cant wait. I am planning for an Easter suprise for him. I am going to secrete coloured eggs all around my garden and then he and I are going to search for them and have a contest to see how many we can find each? I guess he will win :o)) then its egg salad for everyone (in March in england?)

Monday, March 07, 2005

No photos for a while!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another case of stutteres finger. I used Hello to include the picture of Venice and AOL flagged up that the file was too big "did I want them to include it as a word file" so I cancelled it and tried again and the rest is as they say history! multi pictures, Doh! or what? so the old confidence has gone and I am back to writing crap.

Its 03.00 on a Tuesday morning and I can`t sleep, and now am boored. Yesterday I finished helping a friend fit an on-suite shower and WC room (composite construction) and after many hours of cutting into waste systems and chasing hot and cold feed pipe stopcocks, laying under the equipment to connect shower and sink wastes, I am now free to get on with some of my more normal winter maintenence jobs around the house and on the boat (even more Booring but dont mind the boat jobs!)

The friend I mention above has just booked another trip around the world. His second in the last two years. He and his wife go backpacking. they are both over 60 and he is 67, they love it and never stop talking about their experiences. I counter this with good natured comments like "I remember when I was on the Isle of wight ferry!" and with a smile and a comment "were at it again" they get the message, bless them!

Last night we went out to dinner with them and had a very nice meal at a local pub and we ate late, I guess that why I am now suffering from innsomnia.

Gnasher`s (OH! I shouldn`t call him that now as he has stopped biting people)is due back from holiday today so I look forward to seeing him soon. I guess that he is still not walking? 17 months and still sits in the middle of the floor like "Jabba the hut" Not really!! he shuffles around on his bottom and climbs around the place using the walls to keep him upright so I guess it wont be long? he really gets into everything, kitchen cupboards etc (as they do!)cant wait to play football in the garden with him ( wife says, why dont I use a football!)not quite sure what she means:o))

Oh well time to try and sleep! Sad or what? Good night.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

venice Posted by Hello

Venice without water on show Posted by Hello

Venice without water on view Posted by Hello

who needs water in pictures of Venice Posted by Hello

Go to Venice buy a set of Gallopers?

I found this old photograph of Venice and I thought I would share it with you!

I have visited Venice a few times and really enjoy the fast water Taxi trip from the airport and the sedate trips in the gondola`s and have plenty of pictures of these events but I chose this one as it has no water in it (anyone can take photos of Gondolas and water?). On this trip my sole task was to purchase, at the best price, a set of semi locally made Gallopers (a Carosel. )I was taken to a factory in the mountain region behind Venice and shewn around a factory who`s main product was "Dogem cars" and the trailor/track, that they are used on. I had dinner with the proprietor of the factory and his son(who had been sent to Harvard business school by his father)as a precursorto my softening up so they would get the best price for their product. I had Kniocci (spelling ) and a game stew , and tried to be as frugal as possible so as not to let them have any advantage. I inspected the product and eventually purchased it for a third less than their origional asking price. we all did well I feel, and my back ground of power negotiations held me in good stead. One day I shall go back to Venice and no doubt see it in a different light. Incedently the Carosell was duly delivered on time and is still running beautifully, a tribute to Italian engineering and design, Much like the Mandolin.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Its Bloody cold here and my boats still not out of the water

I am sitting at my PC 07.30 wondering if my boat will ever come out of the water. the pedantic "NO" Marina has still not taken it out for me to do my maintenence.

It was supposed to be out two weeks ago. This year they imposed a strict "fill out a form" system so that it would become "more effecient" and, surprise, surprise! it hasn`t.The whole problem is that some of the space used by the boatyard has now had flats built on it and the developers are doing more in the future. (too many boats, not enough boat yard space) Moan! Moan! they couldn`t organise a pis* up in a brewery.

Yes it is cold here but nowhere near as cold as Poland or Japan, I guess? I met some friends at Le Cafe (with accent over the "e")Evanthia was as unkind as ever taking the mickey out of me. Paddy and Roger two very different friends of mine arrived and we tore the world and its inhabitants to shreds ! as you do.

Moving on to something with no connection to this blog so far) I say this in case you are starting to think that I have altziemers?) Where was I? Oh yes!

Some years ago I went to the London Boat show at Earls court London, and whilst walking from the tube I stopped to adjust my back pack and my back immediately whent into spasm. I was stuck in the exit tunnel without any chance of moving due to the immense pain in my back. I didn`t know whether to ask for help from the passing commuters or just accept that, as they gave me a large berth as they passed, I was seen as a vagrant who was Pi*sed. I almost expected to have been given money if I had put my hat down on the floor. I waited for about ten minutes and slowly I managed to make my way to the entrance of the show. I found the first aid post and spent two hours and 6 full strength codene (available at that time, due to the change in shift of the nurses who didn`t know that I had already had taken some!)laying flat. after this time I ventured out into the show and really was as high as a kite and still in pain. I eventually came across, a what can only be described as, a tented area, and desperate for a seat ( there never is any at shows, as they want to keep you moving ,unless of course you are eating exorbitantly priced food)I crept inside.

In the gloom of the inside and while my eyes adjusted to this, I was immediately greeted by two wonderful people a bear of a man sporting a white beard and a beautiful small dark haired lady. they asked me if I was alright, I apologised for disturbing them and explained that I was searching for a seat for a few moments and that I was not too hot, and told them about my back pain. they sat me down in the back (nearest) row seat of what looked like a theatre layout, and said jokingly that if they got no one else for their talk, at least they had got me and that I was their first and maybe their only customer. I wasnt and they had a sell out show, their talk on "Storm tactics" went down Brilliantly with people walking up too them as they left and shaking their hands in admiration, for what they achieve in their life. I waved goodbye to them (I am not sure that they even noticed in the mele that was going on around them)and left ,grateful for the rest and more so their very informative talk.

I now know that they were of course Lin and Larry Pardey ( at the time of course I didnt know who they were!) I had read all of the Hiscock "Wanderer" series of books though, and unbeknown to me the Pardeys were achieving similar aims. They sailed around the World in their 27 foot (8 Metres) un engined boat which they built themselves, and were now doing talks to supliment their cruising life.

Needless to say I never got to see much more of the show and got home eventually. Later in life I came across this web site and pass it on to any would be cruisers out there as a very informative and interesting site
" their cost consious sailer" bits are awe inspiring, given that they had no engine just a small boat, lots of sailing capability,drive, and food. and they circumnavigated the globe, and whats more they enjoyed it having met many friends, as they call them, on the way. Truly one of the nicest people I have had the fortune to very briefly meet, Thankyou Lin and Larry........ Now!!! where`s those glasses? Who am I? ... Gosh its cold! Mumble, Mumble! Nurse ! Nurse!!!!!!!!! :o))