Thursday, December 29, 2005

Looking forward to a Happy new year

Well its 07-00 and once again I am sitting at the compbox blogging. I have Catherine Jenkins (a C.D. gift at Christmas) Quietly singing "I vow to thee my country" and I am inspired to Blog. I have already comntemplated the last year, No! I have sought deeply into its experiences and have come to the conclusion that It was indeed a good year for my family and I. I have regretted that its hasn`t been for some and I have sincerely hoped that 2006 will be a good year for them.

Right! thats enough in depth soul searching for now! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cathering Jenkins has just hit the High "C" in "Un bel Di" (one fine Day) Gosh! I find this early morning music session very inspiring, thinking back to my youth, it was on another plane that I was inspired at this time of the morning. I am now being treated to "Canto della bella" I am minded to stop trying to think what to ramble on about this morning and just languish in her voice, Ecstasy is indeed a dry word when listening to the beautiful voice and music before me today. Now Its A.L.Ws "music of the night" from Phantom of the opera. I realise now that am slowly becoming intoxicated!

2006 will be my sixty third year so for a new year resolution, I was thinking about becoming more responsible for my actions, words and deeds. No more will you see the Rob of old singlehandedly taking on the two young boisterous and agressive young men in the Brighton McDonalds, who were Agressivly throwing food at the subdued customers.

From the commencement of 2006 the Rob of the past will moderate his actions and deeds and set himself into the role of old gentle man! No longer will he venture out into the rough south coast seas, just to see how his boat (and indeed himself) peform. He will stop Blogging and so no longer booring the few great people that read his blog anyway. How does that sound?

I am now listening to Andrea Bottichelli and Sara Brightman singing "Time to say Goodbye" which was played at the furneral of one of my past PAs and I am feeling sad once again!

Thats it no more pissed off crap Get on with life no more futile New Year resolutiions. live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today a friend died!

Today at 04-32 a friend of mine passed on. He had been suffering from Liver Cancer for about three years when it finally took him away.

He was very brave throughout and knew that it would eventually terminate his life when he was first diagnosed and given three months to live. He was a fighter right to the end. A fellow boater he had a chequered past and had sold land in Patagonia, had been a private detective of some note, as well as a first class artist, his last commission being three painting of famous battle ships at war of which he produced a photographic likeness of them in action, less than three months prior to his death. He was indeed a very talented man.

Towards the end of his life he moved into a mobile home. He lived frugally with his one extravagance his boat which now has sadly fallen into disrepair. I shall miss him and hope that other “friends” luckier than him will read about his departure and believe that they, as “down” as they are at the moment, and for what ever reason, will fight against their bodies natural way to “take the easy way out”.

That they will gain strength, by following his example and fight for all that remains good in life, for as long as it takes, moving on to the unexplored future and not dwelling in the mental cancer of the past, that can rot ones ability to live life to the full.

Safe journey Gerry!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

RIP Simbad

I had a friendship with a chimpanzee many years ago and can relate to him, even now, more so possibly than the few friends that I currently have. His attitude to life, like mine was basic and his needs were few. Both of us needed stimulation in our lives to keep us active, food in our belly and a warm bed. He was a Young blade then, as was I, and daily I used to visit him in his domain and sit talking and communing with him.

We would start with him posturing in a wrestler like stance with his knuckles pointed down to the floor and where I could see them, he would make himself as big and as fearsome as possible (and at 15 years old that was really something to see) I would sometimes play with him by performing similar stances and run up and down the side of his cage until he decided that he`d had enough and that we should now groom each other and then I would sit with him so that he could pick at my hair (what there is) and so that I could reciprocate. I would mouth the “grooming mouth” and make the grooming noise and our friendship was assured. He was a great friend and always there for me when I needed him (he had no where else to go, bless him!)

I was fortunate enough to know him for at least fifteen years, I had discussed my career changes with him and political tactics for promotions and his advice was always correct. He would sit quietly and look at me with those beautiful, dark, bright eyes and listen to everything that I quietly “discussed” with him as if he fully understood. His Mate would sit some distance away and keep herself amused as if knowing that he needed this special contact as much as I. He was a really beautiful Chimpanzee the best looking male in the UK at the time, (unlike me)

He was an intelligent ape and when I installed a contraption to keep him and the Gorillas amused, that had a rope crossing the roof from his enclosure to the Gorillas enclosure with a Tyre hanging on both ends he used to sit patiently and wait for the Gorillas to walk under the tyre and drop it on them much to their humiliation, he used to catch the gardeners out too when they cleared the Gorillas deep litter.

One day however the male gorilla grabbed the tyre before he could let it drop pulling it sharply and he shot up twenty feet into the roof of his enclosure with much screaming and ariel posturing like a trapeze artist that had somehow worked a clown routine into his act.

I loved that old boy he really was a character. I went to visit him one day and I found his Keepers trying to revive him he was laid out on the floor of his enclosure lifeless, I was told that he had been posturing at his keeper and for no apparent (then) reason had dropped dead and fallen off his climbing frame. Even now I can relate to him and his manner of departure, but not his life, he should have been free to run as far as he liked, to climb as high as he liked and to do what he wanted. Regrettably as a wild caught baby and long term captive chimp, that could never have been.
R.I.P. Simbad

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Bah Humbug! well thats Christmas finished

I`ve now had sixty two Christmas`s and I am beginning to think, that will be the last time I celebrate it at Home. Next year I will be in the Caribbean ( or somewhere else) and my family can make their own arrangements. Sure I loved having my Grand kids around, but a daughter who`s Boy friend isn`t with her at Christmas is a haemorrhoid. Happy families :o)) .

Madison, my grand daughter, whose first Christmas it was, sat in one of those springy chair thingies and just burbled with delight, her little face and cheeks were so hot and red from her teeth appearing, I felt really sorry for her but she was such a delight. The rest of her family managed to throughly enjoy the festive spirit as well as cope magnificantly with both kids.

My adopted daughter Kim arrived just before lunch, she had a great time and was throughly adopted by Elliot as his auntie, she spent most of the afternoon playing with and entertaining him.

My task for the day was to prepare the vegetables, wrap the presents,top everybody up with refreshment, keep the washing up down to a minimum requirement and provide the fare (thats what Dads do isnt it) I have to say that I kept the "washing up" virtually to a non existant level and eficiently "whipped it away" (at the suitable moment of course, I didn`t want you to have visions of me removing it as someone was still eating, although it got close) washed it and replaced it in the cupboards like a phantom, Yea right!! more like with lots of sighs ,crashing and banging etc :o)) In the evening I was subjected to all the "soaps as both girls are addicted and my wife wanted to watch "Madagaskar" a CD she recieved from someone else who also wanted to watch it, so I sat bored for three and a half hours dreaming of my return to the sailing life and went to bed at ten oclock throughly Boored (its whats expected of me I guess!) it was a girly evening and my Girls had a great time! My son and his family went home in time to get the kids bathed and to bed in their usual routine, and now its morning!

My new year resolution will be, to not have a Christmas at home for a while and to be somewhere hot and preferably alone at the time. I`m not a too solitary person normally but I have to say that the thought of it today is quite exciting :o)).

At about 20-00 My Foxes appeared at the sound of my voice and ate heartily. spending some time with me and left about 20-15 The Vixen turned around as they left, as if to let me know that they were grateful, and they both dissapeared into the night. I stood there for a moment savouring the pure atmophere before I returned to the festivities, realising that deep downI am truly a feral sort of person and could quite hapily return, possibly one day soon, to a nomadic life on the sea.

My grandsons first train set! Ok its only a Thomas the Tank engine set but it is a train set. Much excitement from both young men as it neared completion and then after five minutes use it was stacked away for return to his bedroom for further investigation. Worth every penny just to see both of their faces when they unwrapped it. Posted by Picasa

Christmas :o((

Well up at 06-00 and vegetables all ready and prepared for lunch. Time now 12-15 and awaiting arrival of adopted daughter( anytime) and son and family (13-30) who are walking round. Dinner ready for 13.30 and all on schedule, including wife one foot off ground and rising, having downed her first glass of wine, so far! Daughter lying on setee texting (for the 30th time) boy friend in Aus, on Holiday, atmosphere tense and I am hidden away Blogging. Phew!!!!!!!!

I`m awaiting the next loud call to go and do something, must keep quiet shhhhhhhhh!
We have opened our presents. Jointly ( my wife and I) we got a lovely cofee machine (from our daughter) so I can drink Latte at home and now don`t have to go out to "Costa" ;O(( and I personally recieved Clarksons book the world according to Clarkson. I haven`t written The world according to Rob so it will have to do for now. The person who said Christmas isn`t about presents was right in our house, Te, he. I`m really looking forward to seeing everybody but I have just recieved the news that my son has just "done his back" his wife has "done her shoulder" Elliot has a "tooth coming through" as does Madison. so where do I go from here. Down to the boat maybe :o(( :o(((( oh well! happy Christmas everyone :o))

Saturday, December 24, 2005

May I wish you all a very happy Christmas holiday

To everybody who reads this "and those who don`t" I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy new year!!


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas Party (already)

On saturday night my boat club held its annual Christmas party. We turned up at six thirty to find the club decked out in Christmas decorations, holly and lights, the comitee had worked really well to get it ready along with many members (I was not one of them Im afraid). We took out seats at nicely decorated tables and enjoyed the wine and conversation, I did a spell on the bar and the new till was comfounding everybody who came across it. I was asked at the end of the evening what I thought of it and replied by saying that it was great, but that I had managed to ring up a thousand and fifty pounds instead of one pound zero five pence :o)) the food arrived and just as I finished my stint on the bar it was being cleared away so I grabbed some and sat down, ready for the show. It was brilliant!

It started with a guy, Frank (an old fellow mariner whom I have known for years as owning a joinery business) Playing a number of Akker Bilks numbers on his clarinet, Hard to sing along to these, and then he came out with his Sax and did a number of really hot swinging numbers which got the show off to a really great start. The band in the background were miming and with long wigs gitars being played with bows (bows and arrows types) tennis balls on sticks for percussion and a tea chest base played by someone out of the blues brothers, that the Muppets put them to shame. Dut da, dut da da da dah, (repeat)

Two fellow members mimed to some songs and I was hard pressed to (having extensively checked out their lip sink) form any opinion as to whether that was true or not, they were both really Good! Our membership secretary, Bill, who took the club by storm last year as a cleaned up version of Jethro performed a solo skit originally performed by Dereck and clive. he was great and very professional, as they all were (except the band).

The finale came as a surprise. A board covering the whole of the small stage swung down from the bar ceiling, with material covered holes cut into! it now faced the audience (it took the place of the curtains) It was then announced that this would be the Weybrige Mariners tribute to Queens, Bohemian Rapsody). The music started up and with the first "Queen" note (a bit late)
a "somewhat comfounded looking" glove puppet appeared in the form of a Duck, in the middle hole singing the lead (freddy Bulsara`s) others appeared in the form of sooty, sweep, popeye etc ,ets, nine in all. Brian Mays equivalent, resplended in curly wig, even had a flashing guitar when he did the solos, half way throgh one glove puppet pulled out a gun and shot another one and it all went downhill from there. We all really laughed and enjoyed the sillyness. A bow was taken by all at the end of the show, with noisey stamping , clapping and cheering following

The Disco started in earnest and I believe that at sometime everybody was up on the dance floor dancing (that is the worth of a good disco!) We personally left at about eleven thirty and the party was just getting into its full swing. I went to the club on the Sunday to assist with the clearing up and the new Commodore remarked that this was a really different sort of party this year as "there wasn`t a fight" of some sorts ;O((

(I wasn`t there last year but apparently two grumpy old male members , aren`t they always decided to settle some differences outside the club, which was of course eventually sorted by all, with a bit of sabre rattline and a bloody nose, what a shame!)

Both my wife and I enjoyed the evening and will go to the next year one, (something that as members of this and other yacht and boat clubs we have never done before)

I might even take part. I have offered to do my barbed wire chinese rings act, resplenant in gold vinyl cat suit, as shewn at the street entertainer festival in Ghent last year, Te he! or my Blues harp expertese as busked at Putney tube station last year too. God help them should they accept and encourage me :o)). I can only play one tune (dixie) and I never did get the rings undone spending hours with the barbed wire shredding my catsuit as I tried to escape, Hospitalization was nearly the order of the day :o)) but wire cutters sufficed (spoiled my rings though)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

One for Kate

“It does bother me, that the tendency to sedition is disguised and used in the name of politics ,and its true values” (Ardie 1978)

I believe, bearing in mind that the Cuban missile crisis was about this time, that what he/she is actually saying is that those who support and instigate the political correctness of all/any situation, are guilty of trying to "destabilise" the country, and further, are guilty of "sedition" ?

Ardie found!

"The attritionista`s job is to destabilise, but they can only do this if you let them!" (Ardie 1978)

Holidays at Christmas!

Holiday at Christmas:-

I wish I was on one!
I love the food and,
Drink the wine,
but really miss the sun.

So australia Canaries and israel,
think of me upon this time,
while I sit here just composing,
This Bloody awfull Ryme!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Nearly at Christmas! two of them now Posted by Picasa

My Grandson last Christmas! we have tried to stop him drinking so much wine! Posted by Picasa

Christmas last year

Was only yesterday!!!!! I had just finished reconditioning my boats 250 hp Volvo turbo diesel and my trip to the Dunkirk little ships rally was a plan on the horizon. Where will we all be this time next year? I have to ask.

I shall, probably still be moaning about Blogger allowing adverts at the bottom of my comments page (as I can`t get to grips with getting rid of them). I will also be reading "fish" if she hasn`t got fed up with me and my comments , Yvonne,Candi, and of course now Kate,

I havent got anything planned yet! soooooooooo if anybody has some Ideas I would be grateful!
I am not considering "Going to hell"!!!!!!! well not as yet anyway! so no comments in that veign please :o))

This is the first time that we won`t all be togeather as a family on Christmas day as my son now has his own growing family and obviously choses to spend it with them, and so it will be just my wife, daughter and "adopted Daughter"although I feel that we may see my son and his family in the Morning, briefly for "present exchange" and I am looking forward to that. Te he! I am really a big Kid at heart when it comes to christmas (or any other time, if it comes to that). My dog and I used to sit under the christmas tree on Christmas morning until we were told sharply to "Leave" and then we used to gnaw at the corners of the presents to try to ascertain what was in them. I miss the old Dog particularily at christmas. Sadness ................... Right shake that off and get on with life.

What did one snowman ask another snowman?....................................................................................................................................................
Can you smell Carrots? He he ha hahahahhahahahahahahahahah Well I thought that was funny :o)).

Right seriously now! its about this time that I start to think about the real meaning of Christmas or whatever it is called in other Lands? Over the years, being the jaundiced individual that I am I have decided that it is a time for Families to come to geather and do what ever they do and for card companies and retailers to grow fat on the profits of original story. (Well fairly original anyway!whatever language its written in and whatever claims it makes I also remember those who died for a "just and good cause" and remember what Ardie says about War " the Triumph of the right might over the wrong right!" I think of all the man made religions that really have to work hard on the "day/days" and those that don`t celebrate.

I think of all the immense wealth that keeps some religions in a powerfull and all manipulating position across the World and those that don`t have wealth, just belief in a story, but still fullfil the same need.

I think about those religions that allow people to be Killed in the name of their "Lord" and I am Sad Very Sad! I think about the blessing of the bombs in World war two the blessing of the young KamiKazi pilots as they left for Pearl Harbour I spare a thought for the Peace activists who risk their lives in the name of Peace, and are likely if not already dead from the hand of a "Holy Saviour"

I turn my thoughts now to what I can do? and decide that there isn`t much except that I should become a better person! I don`t do to others anything that I wouldnt except should be done to me, well mostly ( I do complain, whelmently if something isn`t right, but then again I suppose that it used to happen to me!) I do drive people off the road if they Piss me off but then sometime they win so it happens to me. I dont cheat or Lie ( much) I do wind people up but only sometimes. Generally I am not too bad. I will try harder in the future! I certainly will continue to tell my Foxes that I don`t intend to feed them anymore and that its for their own good !! But I will still keep an eye on them and make sure that they lead as natural a life as any other "Urban fox" Wow!! its a good job I dont live in Churchill I would have been eaten by now :o)) There I go again!!

I will still continue to Blog but I will probably change my personna by actions and become ???? What to do???? I will think of something! My life is booring at the moment so its time perhaps?? I certainly will continue to think about foreign ports and long sea journeys (well longish anyway!)
I will never become religious, maybe indulge in some soul searching in an meditive way, but of my own style. I will continue to practice accupuncture on myself and reap its benefits.

My family always comes first, but I will have to make some descisions regarding my health and in the fullness of time, I will try to improve upon it with perhaps Tia chi or a retun to my bags in the garage which always fire me up and make me feel better, who Knows?

This is getting to be a new years resolution which its not intended to be, I guess that being bored! I am rambling and so its time to close!
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I have just switched on my patio lights

and there for all to see are "my" three (only three now!) beautiful foxes looking back at me covered in frost and in front of the now iced up bowl of water. Soooo, I have broken the ice and poured hot water into the bowl and fed them a little something to keep them going for a short while,

I called to them and the Vixen came immediately and gently took the food out of my hand with the other two another ( this years cub) vixen, and the old Dog fox, staying back until I threw the food to them. They then ate it all and after I had closed the doors , they all came on to the patio and drank from the bowl. Their coats are really thick and conditioned now, so hopefully they will get through the winter OK.

As I closed the curtains they were sitting in a line peering in through the window, so I gesticulated to them, (how you do that I couldn`t begin to explain) that they had all the food that I was going to give them tonight and the Vixen got up and turned slowly and walked away with one look back as much as to say I will be back! the other two followed and they all dissapeared into the night.

I guess that I am anthropamorphic (spelling) as I have always talked to my animals from Elephants to shrews from Californian sealions to Gorillas and they seemed to understand a little, so I don`t find it strange for me to talk to the vixen whilst I am feeding her and explain that I won`t always feed them as they have to fend for themselves and she looks at me with those all seeing eyes and something is getting through into her head and I really believe that she knows! if not from my actual talking to her, from my actions , maybe facial expressions and or my tone of voice! that I won`t always be there for them. :o((

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Short trip to Brugge

I have just got back from a short trip to Brugge which I throughly enjoyed, it was good to see the other side of the Euro life. I found it very calming as the pace of life there was very easy. I was amazed at, like the dutch, just how many people actually cycled on "Proper bikes" not like those in the UK where, unless your a*se is in the air and your teeth are being jarred out of your head, you are not "in". The security as well , most bikes were not locked and all of them had lights fitted that worked.

It was however a bit daunting when you stepped out into a one way street to cross, having made sure that there was no traffic coming and a bycycle shot past you from behind going the wrong way (which I now believe they are allowed to do) Phewww ! Wipes brow!that was close. The cobblestones must make cycling in the wet a nightmare but they don`t seem to slow down at all.

I just loved the horses on the carriages they were so well behaved and well looked after. As for the restaurants the food was brilliant and the service second to none, local Belgium beef stew, I recommend most highly (you have to try a local dish) . The absence of vegetables on the menues was a little surprising too. We ate in a restaurant that had lobster in a tank at the door and I felt so very sorry for them! (I just can`t help it!) as we passed them, (so sad! funny, lamb doesn`t bother me, but lobster?????)

I got "verdigrease" just looking up this tower! Posted by Picasa

Does the population cycle anywhere? not much! Posted by Picasa

Chocolates, chocolates and more chocolates, Mmmmmmmmmm! Posted by Picasa

There are boat trips along the canal in the summer. Posted by Picasa

Great buildings, fantastic roofs Posted by Picasa

Just got back from a few days in Brugge what a great old city, with loads of churches, and the best carriage rides ever in Polish built carriages. I loved the horses! Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 02, 2005

Are we being over regulated and if so why

If I want to change my gas boiler, I now have to go and pass a course and join an association; if I want to install an electric plug in my kitchen I have to do the same, Why? There are so many examples of this sort of regulation in my life today that lead me to believe that the age of discovery, at least for us English is well and truly dead.

I have to ask myself will the era of greatness now emerge from the third world countries and beyond where such regulation doesn`t yet exist. Is such regulation, a not so covert, means of regulating what discoveries we are allowed to make to a level plane, a plane where no one country in europe will be better than any other. Where no competition of any sort would be likely to end in conflict, to universal unintelligent drudgery, where academia and its highly inteligent inadequates, will rule and be the only persons to be able to make "great findings" Where for the most part, people like us can only ever be able to hold a job ( true meaning: Just Over Broke) and unlike that which we are meant to believe, the pyramid is in fact now inverted and the one true worker actually supports the majority of others. for example, health workers insurance salesmen, shop keepers, dentists,Bankers, police, transport, professors, teachers, soilders, etc Do I need to go any further? I think I am making my point?

We have gotten ourselves into a downward spiralling situation. Our politicians tell us that civil servants deserve to retire at 60 and because of this the majority of us will have to retire at 68 instead of 65 why? because we live longer or because they have fudged our pension fund? I hesitate to think. we regularily divvi up out international funds to those countries who are more adapt at extracting said funds, for example every frenchman is a farmer and attract a subsidy every Spaniard is a fisherman or wine producer and the country has poor roads so off goes more of our funds. Why can`t we go back to producing our own food, steel, coal, commerce, etc Why because we have forgotten how to do so! To be continued

Some pillock

Some pillock in an orange overall in B&Q asked me if I wanted decking?

So I got the first punch in !!

Now I`m banned from the store and I will miss the pensioners discount day :o))

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Why do I think that today will be a good day?

Well! "I woke up so I`m on a profit from the start" (Ardie). Its crisp outside and the heating is working (so it has to be a good start then). I`ve had my first cup of tea and opened my compbox, read my usual Blogs, they are all good too, so its getting better and better.

I suppose my careful approach to each day could be attributed to my respect for life and possibly near death experiences I once had, when I ran out of air diving at more than 150 feet off the eddistone light, eventually arriving at the surface unconcious, blood pouring out of my nose and ears. Sure gave me a new respect for the sea and life in general. Or maybe its because of a more recent occasion when, I was given a further second chance in the form of a Titanium valve replacement in my heart, some six years ago, who knows but it sure makes you thankful for every day and builds in you a great respect for life in general believe me! No I don`t think that I`m some kind of James bond just a grateful lucky guy who f*uc*ked up occasionally, was lucky and life was very, very, kind to me.

I have been trolling through the boat ads looking for a new boat (to me that is) I rather fancy buying one from the states as they are so much more available and really much better value, they also have air conditioning in many of them and are much nicer fitted out. I would need to pay VAT on it in Horta (the Azores) before finally bringing it to the UK, dream on Rob! who knows!

I find Blogging a great release! I wonder if that is the real attraction to many others out there who actually get as much from it as I do? even though I am not very prolific at it and generally ramble on (like now).

I would really like to go out rollerblading today ( at 62 can you believe it? ) but there is a problem well two actually I don`t have any blades and the roads here are crap so thats off :o)) maybe next year, Oh I forgot! I can`t skate either! I`ll stick to trolling the boat ads :o))

Ive finished the re-furb of my downstairs shower room but it hasn`t turned out how I would have really liked it to its quite minimalist with the sort of coldness associated with that style, Magnolia walls white porcelain and tiles and Birch wood floor, all it needs now is a Japanese round wood tub and a couple of Kunji on the wall? Oh well perhaps a bit of dressing will warm it up and take away the sterility of it.

My daughter has just rung from the "posh lounge" at heathrow to say that she is just about to get on a plane for Cuba, how the other half life eh! I have always wanted to visit Cuba and live amongst its inhabitants for a while, they seem such a confident and happy people, so giving and respectful, One day Maybe one day. Well its 08-00 and light so I must get about my day Maybe I will read after I have replaced the upstairs bathroom fan with a new one (waiting to be done) maybe I will go to the cafe for lunch "The worlds is really my winkle" Te he! :o)) Who said that?