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Les Lobbs Diary
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October 2012
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Contact us
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It was entertainment night at the Senior Citizens Center.
Claude the hypnotist explained: "I'm here to put you into a trance; I intend to hypnotize each and every member of the audience."
The excitement was almost electric as Claude withdrew a beautiful antique pocket watch from his coat.
"I want you to do exactly as I tell you and each of you keep your eyes on this antique watch. It's a very special watch. It's been in my family for six generations."
He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting, "Watch the watch, watch the watch, watch the watch..."
The crowd became mesmerized as the watch swayed back and forth, light gleaming off its polished surface.
A hundred pairs of eyes followed the swaying watch until, suddenly, the chain broke; it slipped from the hypnotist's fingers and fell to the floor, breaking into a hundred pieces.
"SHIT!" said the hypnotist..
It took three days to clean up the Senior Citizens Center. Claude was never invited back.
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01/10/20102
Napton
One of our fire alarms went off during the night, so I had a look round, found no problem and got back in bed: just before 06.00 it did it again and as I took it down to remove the battery, I saw one of 'Arrys' little friends crawling out of the holes in the side. It looked a fine morning, so I set off, with the moon shining brightly and my tunnel light on. A barn owl flew over the cut and passed back and forth across a stubble field, looking for his breakfast I presumed. The top pound was still low and in lots of places I had to slow right down to keep control of the tiller. As we approached Napton top lock, we had a call to say that Barry & Ann were coming out to meet us at the bottom of Napton flight. We made good progress down the flight until three from the bottom, where we had to wait for a barge and butty loaded with coal. The butty had his rudder off and was trying to lower it into place by means of a rope hanging from the bridge; this blocked our exit from the lock and by the time he had gone into the water and fixed it, Barry & Ann were here, so we tied up above the bottom lock. The Folly pub is near the bottom lock and we had a very good meal there and a cuppa back on the boat before B&A headed homeward.
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02/10/2012
Newbold - Rugby
This morning at 07.00 we went through the bottom lock at Napton and then had a lock free trip, until we reached Hillmorton on the North Oxford canal. This flight has twin locks, side by side and is not one of our favourites. Another boat was going down in the lock next to us, when we realised he had a problem - his bow had caught on the damaged brickwork of the lockside and he was tipping over as the lock emptied. His wife dropped the paddles at the bottom, while Dawn ran across and opened the top paddles to fill the lock and refloat him. This all happened in seconds and makes you realise how dangerous locks can be; they were experienced boaters and it really shook them up. We continued on to Rugby but haven't seen them since; I expect he stopped for clean underwear!! When you see things like this it makes you wonder if BW, or Canal & River Trust as they are now known, would not be better off doing repairs to locks like these, rather than going round painting everything black and white.
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Four old timers were playing their weekly game of golf, one remarked how nice it would be to wake up on Christmas morning, roll out of bed and, without an argument, go directly to the golf course, meet his buddies and play a round.
His buddies all chimed in and said, "Let's do it! We'll make it a priority; figure out a way and meet here early, Christmas morning."
Months later, that special morning arrives, and there they are on the golf course.
The first guy says, "Boy this game cost me a fortune! I bought my wife a diamond ring that she can't take her eyes off ."
The second guy says, "I spent a ton too. My wife is at home planning the cruise I gave her. She was up to her eyeballs in brochures."
The third guy says "Well my wife is at home admiring her new car, reading the manual."
They all turned to the last guy in the group who is staring at them like they have lost their minds.
"I can't believe you all went to such expense for this golf game. I slapped my wife on the butt and said,
‘Well babe, Merry Christmas! It's a great morning -- intercourse or golfcourse --' She said, “Don’t forget your sweater.”
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05/10/201
Polesworth
Yesterday, we arrived at Atherstone and Dawn had a stroll round the shops, while I put a coat of gloss on the roof. The rain held off until the night so the paint is OK; it was grey when we left this morning, but remained dry and we got through Atherstone flight in two hours. Polesworth is a popular stop, despite the dog poo, but when we arrived here after lunch there was only one boat tied up. We were in the saloon when we heard a chap saying "hello, hello" - head of retailing, thinking she had a blanket sale, shot out, only to find a chap answering his mobile, bless.
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Use the letters from the word below, to fill in the blank squares, making complete words both down and across.
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FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS.....
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FOOTLOOSE
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How many "F"s in the sentence below?
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08/10/2012
Rugeley
We spent Saturday night at Huddlesford and left yesterday morning. The mornings have certainly been varied, with thick mist some mornings and brilliant sunrises on others. I'm surprised when I talk to people, they often can't remember when, or if they ever, saw a sunrise; it's one of nature's most beautiful sights and it's completely free - I suppose the government would tax it if they could! Dawn is touring Rugeley while I write this drivel and then, if it has stopped raining, we will head back to Gt Haywood. We had a scare going up the first lock at Fradley - I took the boat into the lock and while Dawn was closing the gates, I went down for a wee. When I came back up, the boat had drifted to the front of the lock and Dawn was opening the paddle. I put it in reverse and realised something was wrong when it just stuck there, Dawn dropped the paddle double quick and there was a crash from inside the boat; the bow button had jammed between the gate and the sill and was holding the bow down as the water rose. Damage :- 2 dinner plates broken and various bits and pieces on the floor after exiting the cupboards, we were very lucky. When people ask about locks I always say stop at the back going up and stop at the front going down; what do they say about familiarity??
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WARNING :- Condoms don't guarantee safe sex! A friend of mine was wearing one when he was shot dead by the woman's husband!
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What was the name of Puff the Magic Dragon's playmate?
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Trivquiz
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09/10/2012
Gt Haywood
The marina washing machine has taken another hammering this morning, while I finished off the 1000hr service that was interrupted by the bottom problems. The injectors all came out without much trouble, but I had a game getting the new one in pot two to seat properly. I did it eventually ( after dropping the copper washer in the bilge) and bled the system, it's now ticking away like a sewing machine. The belts are OK, so I'm going to leave them and adjust them at the start of next season. The weather has been good, so I got an undercoat on the parts of the roof that I couldn't reach from the towpath.
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11/10/2012
Gt Haywood
Reet, we're getting stuck into some of the "another day" jobs; 12v socket fitted up front for charging kindle etc and I managed to solder legs onto an LED that was limping badly. Over time, I have rescued several fenders and management has decided it's time to sort out which we really need and which we can get rid of; the aft deck now has them all laid out and a magnificent collection they are. With smaller gas bottles we have storage space in the gas lockers and what better to prevent vibration, than a lining of fenders that will come in handy one day. The roof repairs now have a gloss coat so should be OK until the spring, when we will attack a few more rust spots - never ending job. We had a walk, in the drizzle, to the farm shop for some veg. and found that they were changing their opening hours during the winter months.
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Carrier bags with a difference
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13/10/2012
Gt Haywood
On Monday we are taking the van down to Taunton, where we will stay at the campsite for a couple of weeks. We have decided to postpone/delay our winter trip to the sun until we are a bit more certain about my op date. With this in mind, we have not drained down the water system on the boat as we hope to be living on it most of the winter. Dawn is transferring gear across to the van and making lists, so that we don't forget anything - we will!!
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15/10/2012
Taunton
We left the marina at 03.00 this morning and were in Taunton just after 06.00; a good trip with clear weather until Bristol. I heard on the news at 09.00 that 2 south lanes were closed near the Weston Super Mare exit and there was a large queue at Bristol, so we struck lucky.
When we got to Mum's there was a letter with a pre op appointment at the end of Oct, with the operation on 12th Nov --- YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I'm not sure how long before I can play the violin, but we should still be able to have a bit of time in Portugal.
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4lb tomatoes (green or red)
4lb apples, cored
1lb onions
1 ½ pints brown vinegar
1oz salt
¾ tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 ½ tbsp med madras curry powder
1lb brown sugar
¾ lb sultanas
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Chop up toms, apples and onion
Dissolve sugar in vinegar
Chuck it all into pan & bring to boil
Simmer for 2 - 3 hours
Makes approx 9 jars

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Tomato Chutney
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Dawn has just made a load of our favourite chutney. I've put the recipe here; it's dead easy, even I could make it!
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19/10/2012
Taunton
We're getting to know this stretch of the M5 again, zipping up and down it like B.A. Flies. In the ex gov store, we found some 20 ton mooring line (about 3" dia) which I'm going to try and make into a bow protector. After heavy rain, the side sluices on some lock approaches can be quite fierce, especially on the S&W and the Shroppy, so if I can make a bumper it might save a bit of the banging about which we get now. The ex gov store is the sort of place you can spend hours in, trying to find a use for some of the things they have, whether you need them or not - we usually come out with our arms full. Mum did us a cottage pie for lunch yesterday and has already cooked our Xmas cake; she's hanging onto it, and the marzipan, until nearer the time, because marzipan doesn't seem to last long when Dawns about. Our head of handicrafts has got knitting and crochet projects on the go and is producing some good stuff.
G&T - are you going to be available to Skype on Sunday and if so, what's the best time?
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How many minutes are there in one day? (No calculators!!)
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Trivquiz
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Trivquiz
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A woman went to the doctor's office where she was seen by one of the younger doctors. After about four minutes in the examination room, she burst out screaming as she ran down the hall. An older doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was, and she told him her story.
After listening, he had her sit down and relax in another room. The older doctor marched down the hallway, back to where the young doctor was writing on his clipboard.
"What's the hell is the matter with you?!" the older doctor demanded.
"Mrs. Terry is 71 years old, has four grown children and seven grandchildren,
and you told her she was pregnant?"
The younger doctor continued writing and without looking up said,

"Does she still have the hiccups?"
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22/10/2012
Taunton
Yesterday was a "baby" sitting day - nowadays that means mending punctures, fitting brake blocks and generally trying to make their bikes roadworthy. Dawn thought I needed a change, so she pushed one of the buttons in on the washing machine and the whole panel fell inside the machine, leaving four holes wi' nowt in 'em. As we sized it up, we realised what a splendid job they had done when they fitted it into the units! ( I thought the builders had fitted it but I think Dawn said it was fitted by some right bankers). After removing 4 mtrs of skirting and 3 mtrs of kick plate, we were able to wriggle it far enough forward to allow me to remove the top panel, while Dawn tipped it forward. The panel was still dangling on it's ribbon cable and I was able to click it back in place; there were no fixing screws to be seen so I pinched a couple out of a toy artic lorry and fastened it in. After more swearing we edged it back in place and hid the toy lorry - I'm expecting, on a future visit, to get "Grandad can you fix the wheels back on my lorry, they've fallen off"!
Today we had a trip to Barnstaple, to visit friends Paul & Lisa and exchange news and gossip; both looked well and promised to see us on the boat, if we get down near Bath next year as planned.
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Keep Smiling, It makes people wonder what the hell you're up to!!
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25/10/2012
Taunton
We spent this morning in RD&E Hospital having my pre-op check. After taking an armful of blood, testing my BP (which was high!), an ECG and having a gang of student doctors try to pull my leg off, I was sent away with leaflets and a dvd on knee and hip replacements. They have asked me to keep a check on my BP, but of course my machine is on the boat, so Dawn is getting another from Argos when she takes Max (Julie's Labrador) for a walk. It looks as though it will be 6 weeks before I can drive and that will make it after Xmas before we can head south.
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gloria
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Use the letters from the word below, to fill in the blank squares, making complete words both down and across.
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My mate had a sex change operation from male to female, it went really well. He's still trying to reverse out of the hospital car park!!

Use the letters from the word below, to fill in the blank squares, making complete words both down and across.
UNANIMOUS
AFTERNOON
28/10/2012
Taunton
Today's Mum's birthday - 97 not out. Jean and Dawn are preparing stuff to take to Mum's, so that we can all have lunch together, rather than go out for a meal; Julie, Andrew and the kids are taking her to the Ruffwell tomorrow lunchtime. The night time temperatures have taken a drop, with ice on the screen some mornings. (Oh to be in Portugal!) Yesterday we went to Burnham on Sea, to have a mosey around; it's a busy little place with a long seafront, but the tide was out and all we could see was sand and mud, with a few puddles.
Five surgeons are discussing who were the best patients to operate on.
The first surgeon says, 'I like to see Accountants on my operating table because
when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.'
The second responds, 'Yeah, but you should try Electricians! Everything inside them is colour-coded.'
The third surgeon says, 'No, I really think Librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order.'
The fourth surgeon chimes in, 'You know I like Construction Workers... Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would.'
But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed, 'You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine, and there are only two moving parts - the mouth and the arsehole - and they're interchangeable'
There are three switches downstairs. Each corresponds to one of the three light bulbs in the attic. You can turn the switches on and off and leave them in any position.
How would you identify which switch corresponds with which light bulb, if you are only allowed one trip upstairs?
30/10/2012
Taunton
Steve dropped the car round to us, on his way home from work, and we shot down to Newton Abbot, to visit Andrew and the kids. On the return trip to Exeter, we called at Trago Mills to collect some spices etc., for Mel; we will drop them off on our way through Portugal. The place was heaving because it was half term, and the little darlings were charging about everywhere - bless 'em. When we got to Mum's we were greeted by the smell of freshly cooked pasties; we both ate two and were thoroughly pogged as we drove to Bridgwater to deliver Jean & Ivan's pasties. Andrew had pointed out that the front tyres on Steve's car looked a bit low on tread and, when I had a look, he was right; management has just phoned to say there is a queue at Kwik Fit and she is having a walk round town while they are fitted. We have paid up to Sunday and plan to travel to Peterborough on Monday, with an overnight stop at Chateaux Barsby, and then onto the boat on Tuesday.
Happy retirement barry
Happy retirement barry
Welcome to the world of the bewildered