Friday 28 December 2012

Ear worms...

...don't you just hate them?

4.00 am this morning I lay in bed with the song, "don't jump off the roof Dad, you'll make a hole in the yard" going round and round in my head. I have been afflicted with this particular ear worm since Christmas morning when 'Stewpot' was reliving the childrens'  favourites of my youth; Puff the magic dragon, the runaway train, etc., etc.
I confided this to G this morning (will I never learn?) and he's been happily whistling it through his teeth ever since...grrrrr!
Oh well, could be worse - it could have been the laughing policeman...ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha..ha ha ha ha ha....

Thursday 27 December 2012

My glass is definitely half full

 I'm not iced in (I can move when I want)
 I can reach dry land without getting my feet wet (wellies are stowed away)
 I can fill my water tank without moving (my washing is up to date).
The rain is relentless  (my dogs don't want to walk).
I have a copy of the Hairy Dieters cook book (everything I eat can be resolved after the silly season)
 No one expects me to be anywhere  (2013 is completely unbooked)
 Might as well have a snooze then
362 days to Christmas - some of the boaters round here have their lights up already - now there's enthusiasm for you!

Monday 24 December 2012

To all of us that have loved and lost this year

I raise a glass to absent friends.
Merry Christmas everyone. Here's to more temperate weather.

There's an add on my blog

London to Paris £29. Now that is very tempting - any dog/cat sitters in the vicinity of Ely?

Sunday 23 December 2012

Well that's it then

What we don't have we can live without. I will not go anywhere near a shop until after the silly season now. I will not stress about the fact that I'm rather low on Daisy milk - she'll just have to drink semi-skimmed like the rest of us.
The schedule for this week is/was a funeral on Friday (way too many this year), Mother-in-laws today and step-daughter's Boxing Day.
 The dogs have been invited by special dispensation and, given that they were up to their gunwales/plimsoll lines in mud, we had a cunning plan - drop them off at the poodle parlour 8.00am Friday for a quick scrub down with Dettol and a wire brush whilst we went to the funeral outside Norwich. We did say that a trim would be good if they had time. When we picked them up they were pretty much scalped so we had to go to the pet shop at Soham and buy big, fleecy coats for them to sleep in; given that they are no longer allowed on the furniture and above the waterline I was worried that they woudn't be warm enough.
I have to say that their behaviour was impecable and I was very proud of them.
(Note to Dreamers and Greygal - no pizzas or mince pies were nicked - suspect Boxing Day will be more scary as it will have around 8 small people wandering around with food at dog height).
I walked them across the parks by the River Wytham at dusk - I wouldn't want to be out on the kayak in that lot!!

Friday 21 December 2012

Collapsing banks and fuzzy felt

Some very large lumps of bank came past this afternoon
Swans, ducks, moorhens and coots seemed to be grabbing a free ride but were actually pigging out on the banquet it provided. Not so much a take away more a lunch on the hoof web
I returned from my shopping trip to some visitors: Lesley, Kevin and Ted.
Teddy looks on in disillusionment at the 'adults'
All playing with Kevin's new Samsung Note II. Oh dear. Whatever happened to Spirograph and Fuzzy Felt?

Thursday 20 December 2012

The true cost of homemade sausage rolls

Simples ... there's not going to be any sausage rolls. I'll stick with the mince pies

I hope I don't walk past Highland cattle or turkey farms this week

Wednesday 19 December 2012

The true cost of homemade mince pies

Cooking pastry requires quite a high oven temperature, so the first step in making your own mince pies is to clean the oven - if not, the smoke alarm will be heard far and wide so:

  1. Buy comprehensive oven cleaning package £3.20. Put oven shelves in bag provided with the gunk and dump it on the bank overnight (please ensure you are moored in a remote area). Wipe remaining gunk all round oven wearing marigolds (preferably pink).
  2. In the morning, whilst suffering a nose bleed and still wearing ancient PJs, re-apply the marigolds, stuff loo roll up your nose and take a jug of water out to rinse off the shelves in the bag. Wave to passing dog walker who, for some inexplicable reason breaks into a run. 
  3. Regain warmth of boat and rinse out gunk in oven.
  4. Send willing slave husband to nearest shop to buy mince pie tins £4.35.
  5. Send willing slave husband back to shop with cake storage tins and return with pie tins £6.15.
  6. Roll out shortcrust pastry £1.20
  7. Remove cat from rolled out pastry.

   8. Apply pastry cutters (£2.99) to pastry only to find cutters are too small or tins are too big
   9. Do the best you can by rolling circle very thinly to make it bigger
 10. Fill with mincemeat (£1.20) wack on the top and bake in very clean oven
 11. Take first batch round to your mate on Yarwood. Batch test with a glass of sherry and a toast to    

True cost..................priceless

Tuesday 18 December 2012

I'm starting a new savings account

Once the grandchildren get past a certain age they always ask for money for Birthdays and Christmas' because they are saving up for something special. This is because they don't want to hurt your feelings by telling you that anything you buy them will be crap/uncool/last season.
Well, I know it's a bit late in the day, but if anyone wants to know what I want for Christmas and my Birthday in March, the answer is money. Not because I don't like your taste or lack trust in your judgement, but because I am saving up for something very special.......... a crane and a low loader to get MR out of here sometime before Christmas 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday 17 December 2012

Stuck 'til Feb 2013? Could well be Easter

I was shocked to see NB Harnser's blog for today re Salter's Lode. I had heard that the sandbank outside Denver sluice had been dredged but had returned; I hadn't realised how badly and that there was another outside Salters. Mervyn, the Environment Agency man, said that it would be dredged again, but probably not before Easter - I've just looked up the dates for Easter 2013 and Easter Sunday is March 31st!!!!!
Oh well perhaps we'll get down to Bedford again if we get a dry spell.

I'm glad I like it here

Yesterday dawned bright and sunny again so Lesley and I set off for pastures new for the best part of 3 hours. This time we had a firtle around Isleham Marina before returning via Manor Farm, Thistley Green (sounds like the sort of place you might find 'Diddy Men') and back in to the top end of West Row where we found a village shop (which had closed 20 mins before we arrived) and an 'ex' pub.

Approaching  Isleham Marina along the lock cut and  flood bank
The original course of the River Lark

 I can't believe that all this wood is still here - adjacent to a Marina with residential boaters!

 That hedge is a master class in trimming - I wouldn't want the job, but there was a Bentley in the garage so they can probably afford a man
I once had a house with a hedge like this (although, thankfully, not so long), whilst cutting it one day I stretched for a branch on the far side  and the ladder fell away behind me - I spent an uncomfortable couple of hours balanced across the top on my tummy until a neighbour came home from work and set me free!

Sunday 16 December 2012

It's Christmas on Matilda Rose

We're all lit up
 You'd certainly see us coming in a tunnel - not that there are any on the rivers 
 Just the cones to spray and the holly and stuff to collect and assemble next week
This will be our first Christmas spent on MR. I am looking forward to it but also feeling very wobbly - it will be the first Christmas in 18 years that I've spent without the presence of a parent. Does that mean I'm all growed up now?

Saturday 15 December 2012

Friday - as forecast - was a washout

Lesley and I agreed to walk the dogs in the morning before retiring to the pub for lunch. Unfortunately, our walk took two hours - 20 minutes too long to avoid the lashing sleety rain. Never mind, a hot shower, pint and a spot of lunch soon sorted us out. Did it rain. After a filthy wet and windy night, the River was up a, very useful, 18 inches this morning.
I say useful because the landing stage here, at the end of the pub garden, is very high up and we were having to lift the dogs in and out. Now we don't.
A beautiful day for walking again and significantly warmer. I set off downstream along the Lark towards Isleham Lock. The River footpath is very narrow at the best of times and a rise of 18" plus a defrosted slippery surface made for a little too much excitement for my liking.
 Steady round the corner Mr B

 I was glad to get off that bit and join the boat in the field
 Fortunately the horses showed little interest in us
 This is the point where I left the River
 only to be confronted with another one
except this was meant to be a Drove!
 the Drove took me back through the village of West Row which is actually where we are (although everyone says Judes Ferry)
 A pretty little church
 with a decorated tree in it's porch
 and a small village green
 with it's memorial
 Mr B doing a pretty pose for me with the sun adding a bit of back lighting
Home again by 1.30 in time for a pint with the Yarwoods before putting up the decorations (I blame it on NB Tacet - G's been nagging me ever since he saw that they had theirs up). Lesley had been baking a cheesecake of the savoury kind and G had knocked up a ring of his famous Chelsea buns whilst I was out walking. Both were absolutely delicious and saved me from having to cook a proper meal. Another really nice day; I like it here. 

Friday 14 December 2012

Flying visit

Given that we are moored on the pub moorings at Judes Ferry, we have absolutely no time stay restrictions (other than the good nature of the landlord) and I have been thoroughly enjoying new and varied walks. Such has been my enthusiasm on each return that I  inspired Graham to join me yesterday. He needed to find a post office in Mildenhall but, if he were to catch the bus in, he would have had to wait for 2 hours to get a bus back. Being  a Thursday he couldn't wait in the pub (we've declared Mondays and Thursdays alcohol free days at the moment) so I suggested that we walk in with the dogs and get the bus back.
The path was so good (and really pretty) that we reached Mildenhall a lot quicker than expected. The Post Office is in the Co-op so he sent his parcel and picked up some milk and fresh vegetables and it was still 45 minutes until the bus was due. I was lovely and warm whilst walking, but had started to get really chilly standing outside the shop, so I said I would walk back with the dogs which would mean he could get a coffee somewhere. To my amazement he decided to walk back with me!
I liked the little bit of Mildenhall we saw, if the weather is better I may go back in tomorrow and have a good look around
It's a pretty, traditional, market town
Given the time of year, I was surprised to see it pretty much deserted
Walking in from West Row (as we did) you walk passed the Grade II listed Wamil House
I had a look on t'internet to try and find it's history but, apart from some of it being destroyed by fire, there is nothing much there - unusual
When we got back to MR we checked the pot to see what we could have for dinner. Mmmmm.........looks like no beer and no dinner. With all that exercise it looks like being a healthy day!
sorry about the focus but it kept waving it's claws about