Les Lobbs Diary
Happy April. Yesterday we visited Nick & Olwen at Ashreigny's branch of the stray dogs sanctuary, then onto Mums for a
lunch of proper pasties. When we got back to the van, we fitted the wall mounted remote control for the inverter; with it's
little red light we should not forget to turn it off now. While we were doing the above, we ran a flex through for a mains
socket in my "bedroom"; this will plug into the inverter and save the wires for my computer trailing along the floor. When
B&Q opens at 10.00, we will get a socket and back box and then hack out a hole in the side wall, near the 12volt outlet.
It's strange that every time we alter or fit something we think that's it - nothing else needs doing, but some alteration, or
improvement, always seems to crop up.
The two pics on the
right contain "faces"
hidden in them.
I can find ten in the
right hand picture
and one in the left -
can you see any
There was a heavy frost around 06.00 yesterday morning, when we went to take Steve to work. Dawn took Alex to
hospital and he was given a removable support for his thumb, which has a small crack in one of the bones. I am going
to pick Steve up shortly and then we will pop round to see Mum; we have bought paint to do the garage door, so of
course the weather forecast is for rain this afternoon.
pm - While we were at Mums this morning, Andrew arrived with the children; he had come in the van which he has been
converting into a day camper - he has made a good job of it. They are doing their first camp over the coming weekend, so
let's hope the forecast possibility of snow is wrong. Dawn has gone into a hairdressers in Taunton, so I have been trying to
fix the lock on our side door - I think a spring has broken but can't find all the bits of it to see what a complete one looks
On the right is a very clever illusion - if you keep looking at the picture, really hard, you
should see a giraffe!
We're flitting about between Taunton, Mums and Exeter; the traffic is getting heavier on the
motorway as the holiday weekend approaches. We've had news from Portugal that Roger
has got a temporary job as a dental assistant, and that they are having a rainy spell, just
like us. I've got my Xray appt for next Tuesday, and after the van has been for it's MOT, we
will probably nip up to the boat.
This morning we picked Mum up and took her over to my sister at Bridgwater, where she is spending the weekend. The
traffic was moving on the motorway but I didn't fancy getting stuck on there if there was an accident, so we turned off at
Wellington and took the back roads. The roadsides are very pretty this time of year, with lots of primroses and daffodils
and the hedgerows coming into bloom. Dawn wants to do a bit of work on Mum's garden, and we have the garage door to
paint so, weather permitting, we will pop over there in the morning.
Here's a new puzzle.
Use the letters from the word
below, to fill in the blank
squares, making complete
words both down and across.
Not as easy as it first seems!
Proper bank holiday weather - pppping down! We got the garage door rubbed down and the side gate painted yesterday,
Dawn also "did" the front garden. Steve, a friend from long long ago when we lived in Silverton, was in Exeter for the
weekend, so he and his daughter, and grand children came to see us; it was good to chat about old times, and he may
visit us on the boat later in the year. Today it was raining so, at Mums, we put the side gate back on and Dawn had a go at
the back garden. We had left before Jean took Mum home so we will pop in before we go to t'hospital tomorrow. The
motorway was busy, with rain and spray reducing visibility, but still there were morons driving on side lights or no lights
at all. People often criticise drivers abroad, often without ever driving abroad themselves! but give me an autoroute any
day (in rain, the speed limit is reduced by 20km).
This morning, I rang to make an appt with the surgeon and got slotted in on the 18th May at Tiverton; this means we will
have about a month on the boat, before we have to come back. The four counties ring can be done in a week, but at our
pace we take about a fortnight, so that seems a good choice, after we get the boat "sorted out". While I was at Julies, I
rang Jane and Steven in St. Austell (keeps my phone bill down!) and was glad to find out that they were both well, and
planning two trips to France this year; they are tuggers. We got to the Xray dept. at Tivvy hospital half an hour early, and
went straight in, because the person before me had not turned up. After having my pics taken, the head of housekeeping
had a wander round Morrisons and came out with a couple of bags, full to overflowing.
No, it was not a spelling mistake - tuggers are people who tow caravans.
My cousin Margaret, who we haven't seen for a while, visited Mum this morning, so we popped in for a chat, before they
went out to lunch. I am now back at the van, while our acquisitions manageress is touring the charity shops in Taunton.
We are having a meal this evening with Jean & Ivan - Jean says Ivan does a mean risotto!
letter of each
word, to form
on the rung
below, so that
you finish up
with the word
at the bottom
of the ladder.
Jean was right - twas a smashing meal, rounded off with fruit crumble and custard - I'll start the diet tomorrow. This
morning, Dawn took Julie's cats in to be neutered; a good move on Julie's part, as the cats will now hate Dawn and not
her! When we got to Mums it was dry, so we treated the rust patches on the garage door - I almost got her believing the
red lead was going to be the final colour; now we want another dry day to do the top coat. After lunch, Dawn fetched the
cats back and we had a visit from Jean and Ivan. I rang to renew the boat insurance and got a pleasant surprise; it was
cheaper than last year!! Tomorrow we have Alex with us for the day; in the morning Dawn is in for the big squeeze, and
then we are off to Trago Mills to get some spices, and also drop some things off at Andrews.
Here's a good one from Roger
A Husband takes his wife to play her first game of golf. Of course, the wife promptly hacked her first shot right through the window of the
biggest house adjacent to the course.
The husband cringed, 'I warned you to be careful! Now we'll have to go up there, find the owner, apologize and see how much your lousy
drive is going to cost us.'
So the couple walked up to the house and knocked on the door. A warm voice said, 'Come on in.'
When they opened the door they saw the damage that was done: glass was all over the place, and a broken antique bottle was lying on its
side near the pieces of window glass.
A man reclining on the couch asked, 'Are you the people that broke my window?'
'Uh...yeah! , sir. We're sure sorry about that,' the husband replied.
'Oh, no apology is necessary. Actually I want to thank you.. You see, I'm a genie, and I've been trapped in that bottle for a thousand years.
Now that you've released me, I'm allowed to grant three wishes. I'll give you each one wish, but if you don't mind, I'll keep the last one for
Wow, that's great!' the husband said. He pondered a moment and blurted out, 'I'd like a million dollars a year for the rest of my life.'
'No problem,' said the genie 'You've got it, it's the least I can do. And I'll guarantee you a long, healthy life!'
'And now you, young lady, what do you want?' the genie asked.
'I'd like to own a gorgeous home in every country in the world complete with servants,' she said.
'Consider it done,' the genie said. 'And your homes will always be safe from fire, burglary and natural disasters!'
'And now,' the couple asked in unison, 'what's your wish, genie?'
'Well, since I've been trapped in that bottle, and haven't been with a woman in more than a thousand years, my wish is to have sex with your
The husband looked at his wife and said, 'Gee, honey, you know we both now have a fortune, and all those houses. What do you think?'
She mulled it over for a few moments and said, 'You know, you're right. Considering our good fortune, I guess I wouldn't mind, but what
about you, honey?'
You know I love you sweetheart,' said the husband. I'd do the same for you!'
So the genie and the woman went upstairs where they spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other.
The genie was insatiable.
After about three hours of non-stop sex, the genie rolled over and looked directly into her eyes and asked, How old are you and your
'Why, we're both 35,' she responded breathlessly.
'No Kidding,' he said.
'Thirty-five years old and you both still believe in genies?'
You should actually do this every year. More often is recommended by Kim Kommado (the computer guru) if you spend a
lot of time on the computer. I was surprised to see how well this works!
To re-calibrate your mouse, click and hold on the Y below. Then drag the Y toward the g. If it doesn't work immediately,
you might want to clean your mouse.
You daft bugger. You'll believe anything
Well we did some miles on Friday; we picked Alex up and headed into Exeter, where Dawn was mammed, and then went
on to Andrew's at Newton Abbot. Next stop was Trago Mills where, after a coffee, Dawn and Alex went in search of the
spices and some trainers for Alex. I stayed in the car, and was rewarded with a whippy ice cream when they returned - a
sure sign that they had spent too much. When we reached Mum's, she had baked some rolls and we had them for lunch,
with another coffee.
Today the garage door got it's first top coat; another one should do it, we hope. Dawn has finished throw number 2 and it
is now on Julie's line, after being washed; next project is a cardy, I think. I have renewed the van insurance and can do
the tax online, after the MOT next week. We have booked a pitch in Peterborough for the middle of next week, on our
way "up north".
07.00 - Julie has an early start this morning, so Dawn has slept over there and
will take Alex to school, before she comes back to the van. Later today, we'll
take the van in for its service and MOT, and then put another coat on Mum's
garage door. We've got most of the little jobs done, doctors visited, appts
made for the dentist, eye test and glasses for Dawn and insurances etc.
renewed, so we can have a few clear weeks on the boat. The dawn chorus
here is performed by Joey, on the right, and his mates; there are peacocks,
guinea fowl, chickens, ducks and geese on the site, still it makes a change
from the dogs in Portugal!
17.30 - When Dawn got back from the school run, we put the van into
travelling mode and left the site; we actually got a wave from the owner, no
smile though (I think he was weaned on a pickle). After leaving the van in
B&Q car park, we went to Mum's and finished the painting of the garage
doors, they look OK. We took the van in at lunchtime and the bodywork chap
is going to see what he can do about the bent trim; he does not think bashing
it back is an option, because its main function is to keep the rubber seal
pressed against the panels, and it would not give an even pressure. We are
now at Julie and Steve's until the van is done, which may be tomorrow or
Wednesday, then we are off up t'north.
We picked up the van at 16.00 yesterday and had a steady drive up here; it was slow going around Bristol, but then it
usually is. Dawn rang Ann, to let her know we would be arriving a day earlier than planned, so that Barry didn't get the
van towed away, when he saw it parked out front. The van passed its MOT, and they fitted a new brake light switch,
which means that I can use Norris again (when it's not raining). Today we'll spend visiting friends and family and continue
to the boat on Friday.
Gt Haywood Marina
We visited Trevor (Dawns brother) and Sue Thursday morning, and then went back to B&A's, where we were lucky enough
to see their daughter, Sally. After lunch we popped round the corner, for a chat with Barry's mum, and in the evening,
after a smashing meal of sausage and mash, with reet good sausages from a butcher Ann knows in Stamford, we just
chatted over a glass of port. On Friday morning, we tootled up to the marina, with just a few hold-ups and a stop at
Rugeley for some shopping. We managed to get the boat sorted enough to sleep on, with the water system providing the
only problem. The diesel heater fired up first time, so it didn't take long to warm the place up and there was still credit on
my meter after we had left an electric convector on frost stat for the winter. The engine room bilge needed pumping,
because the support pole for the stern awning had collapsed and let a lot of rainwater in; the engine room will get sorted
when the weather is dry. This morning Dawn took the water pump out from under the floorboards and we went to
Penkridge to get a replacement - £89.70, a week's beer money!!
Our engineer (low down dept) has tightened down the pump
and we were able to shower this morning. The next job was
the engine room; we cleaned out the bilge, adjusted the belt
tensions on the engine and checked levels - all OK. After
disconnecting the mains lead, I turned the engine over; it took
a few turns before it fired, but when it did it kept piling on the
revs and wouldn't stop. The stop and throttle controls were
moving on the pump, but having no effect, so I turned off the
diesel at the isolating valve and it eventually stopped. I was
standing in the engine room, beside the engine, and was
lucky not to get an earful of the header tank overflow as it
shot across the boat. After checking everything I tried again,
and got the same result; by this time the mate was getting a
trifle bothered, so, as it is still under guarantee, I'll call Barrus
Looking on the bright side, the rain did hold off until we had packed up, but it's making up for it now - never mind, we're
nice and cosy with the heater toasting Dawns toes.
In the song by Benny Hill, what was the name of the milkman's horse?
Firstly, a message for Trevor - "we've found the meths!"
I rang Barrus this morning, and they are sending out an engineer later in the week. We had a ride over to Brewood and
enjoyed a pub lunch with Paul in his local, The Swan; Paul is bringing the wee ones over to the boat, after their
swimming session on Saturday. We also found it was an easier route to Penkridge, than the way Lulu took us on Saturday
Just heard from G&T, they are coming to the UK next month, so we'll try and meet up with them somewhere on the cut.
There are restrictions on many canals, because of the water shortage;
the GU, Oxford and K&A are having problems already, and the
Olympics rule out the Lee & Stort, which is an area we would both
like to revisit. So it looks as though we will be staying "up north" this
summer. There are miles of waterways we can cruise; I wouldn't
mind going down the Anderton lift and doing the Weaver again, but
we'll have to see.
More rain yesterday, on and off, but I managed to fit the outside light for the aft deck (an LED number plate light).
Management then wanted a trip to B&M's, so off we went and found loads of bargains; it's one of those places with
everything you want, but nothing you need. The plan today is to take up the foredeck sole and inspect the water tank and
it's fittings, and I've got to splice eyes in the new mooring lines we got last autumn.
pm. The Barrus engineer has just called and will order a new fuel pump, because the rack has seized in the fully open
position; so it looks as though we are here for a while yet. On the positive side, I've done the splicing and we have given
up the idea for the water tank inspection, because we will have to empty and dismantle the side lockers and we need fine
weather for that.
As we have now got some time to spend in the marina,
we bought some plywood and are making up some new
panels for the foredeck lockers; the old ones had started
to de-laminate. B&Q also had some U section plastic trim,
which I am going to fit as protection along the top and
bottom edges; the top edge suffers when we drag out
ropes and stuff, and the bottom edge gets wet when we
get water on the foredeck. We have cut them to size,
primed, undercoated and put on the first topcoat; it's not
so easy when you have to dry the paint inside. We have
just heard from R&G, who are still in Portugal; their
weather is not so good either.
Dawn is going to start a beef stew
today, ready for tomorrow's lunch,
when Paul brings his kids to the boat.
The diesel stove is ideal for stews, as
the pot can sit on top simmering away
all day, filling the boat with a yummy
Use the letters from the word
below, to fill in the blank
squares, making complete
words both down and
Not as easy as it first seems!
Paddy goes to the vet with his goldfish. "I think it's got
epilepsy" he tells the vet. Vet takes a look and says "It
seems calm enough to me". Paddy says, "I haven't taken
it out of the bowl yet".
A few Paddy jokes
Paddy's in the bathroom and Murphy shouts to him. "Did
you find the shampoo?" Paddy says, "yes but it's for dry
hair, and I've just wet mine."
Paddy spies a letter lying on his doormat. It says on the
envelope "DO NOT BEND ". Paddy spends the next 2 hours
trying to figure out how to pick the bloody thing up.
An American tourist asks Paddy: "Why do Scuba divers
always fall backwards off their boats?" Paddy replies: "If
they fell forwards, they'd still be in the bloody boat."
There are several lapwings near the marina, and we can hear their strange call late into the evening, then all we hear is
the odd passing train, and the fenders rubbing against the hull. Most of the spiders have been evicted, or realised that we
have taken over the tenancy and are keeping their heads down. This morning we are going to mastic the trim in place on
the locker panels; I expect we will end up with more mastic on us than on the panels - we usually do.
pm - Paul and the children have just left after lunch;
they are going to get some chickens, because Paul
misses the taste of really fresh eggs. The children are
growing up fast and have healthy appetites, which is
often not the case nowadays (GOM syndrome kicking in
again). There is not much for kids to do on a boat, but
they amused themselves with colouring books and
were well behaved - a treat having them. Paul brought
us a bag of goodies from his local butcher, so now we
have real faggots, pork pie, black pudding and sausage
rolls to spoil ourselves with over the next few days.
It's like the arctic here - the winds blowing the boat
about as if we were on a sea mooring, and the rain is
hammering on the roof and covers. It's a "stopping in
front of the heater with a book" type of day. I've started
backing up the computer, something I haven't done for
a while, and it looks as if it is going to take a few hours
Because the computer is taking up the worktop/bench, we can't paint the insides of the locker panels, so they will have to
wait until tomorrow.
- yes I know, I should have done it overnight.
Good news this morning - the Barrus engineer has the new
pump, and is fitting it on Wednesday morning. We visited Paul
this morning, and I renewed the road tax for the van, using his
wifi. When we got back, we slapped a coat of gloss on the
inside of the locker panels, so they should be ready to fix
tomorrow. Dawn has nearly completed the cardigan, with the
wool she bought in Portugal, and throw Mk2 (made with the
reclaimed wool from Portugal) is now finished - see pic.