Les Lobbs Diary
In a medieval poem, who killed Sir Guy of Guisborne?
A group of chaps, all aged 40, discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because the waitresses had big breasts, &
Ten years later, at age 50, the friends once again discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because the food and service was good and
the beer was excellent.
Ten years later, at age 60, the friends again discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because they could dine in peace and quiet
and it was good value for money
Ten years later, at age 70, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because the restaurant was wheelchair
accessible and had a lift for the disabled.
Ten years later, at age 80, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because they had never been there before!
April Fool's Day again, doesn't seem five minutes since the last one.
Well it's been like the lawnmower derby round here, first few sunny days and out they come. Dawns toes seem ok and
she has had a few walks with Max, Ju's black lab.
I'm getting about a bit without my crutches now, and Tuesday we are going over to the van to see if I can remember
how to drive it. If all goes well we are aiming to go back to the boat the weekend after next; what we do then is
anyone's guess. The Macclesfield canal is one we haven't tried, so that might be a start, leading onto the Peak Forest
music is for Gloria
Sad news....from the Nestle factory today as a man was crushed to death by hundreds of boxes
of chocolate. He tried in vain to attract attention, but every time he yelled 'The Milky Bars are
on me!' people just cheered!!!
An automobile mechanic was removing a cylinder
head from the motor of a Honda Accord when he
spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop. The
cardiologist was there waiting for the service
manager to come and take a look at his Mercedes
Benz when the mechanic shouted across the garage,
"Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?" The
cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the
mechanic was working on the Honda.
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a
rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I opened
its heart, took the valves out, repaired or replaced
anything damaged, and then put everything back in,
and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how
is it that I make $24,000 a year and you make $1.7M
when you and I are doing basically the same work?
The cardiologist paused, leaned over, and then
whispered to the mechanic "Try doing it with the
Which actor is the younger brother of Shirley MacLaine?
A beautiful sunny start so, when Dawn gets back from
walking Max, we're off to the van; there shouldn't be
much to sort before it's ready for the road.
The door/security handle was seized on the van so we
ended up taking it off completely and after a bit of
to-ing and fro-ing to get off the grass we were away.
We had a good ride out to Burnham and parked in the
special Motor home bays at Morrison, where we met
Barrie, a friend from Weston. Dawn bought fish &
chips at Bridgwater on the way back and we ate them
in a lay by before returning to the campsite. My knee
stood up to it well and was only slightly swollen when
we got back home; so look out now, there will be no
We've just had a letter from the doctor; because my latest blood test was not good, I've got another appt with the nurse
on Tuesday. The weather is still bright and sunny and if that cold wind would go away it would be ideal.
pm - Clouded over now, we visited Mum and she's looking well; we've got to get someone in to put up a new fence at
the end of her garden, so I'll be on t'internet this afternoon. We are taking the van in later this afternoon, ready for MOT
and service tomorrow, then we collect it tomorrow evening. (fingers crossed!)
Two businessmen in the centre of Weybridge Surrey
were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be opened,
As yet, the shop wasn't ready, with only a few shelves set
One said to the other, "I bet any minute now some
pensioner is going to walk by, put their face to the window,
and ask what we're selling."
No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure
enough, a curious old woman walked to the window,
had a peek, and in a soft voice asked,
"What are you selling here?"
One of the men replied sarcastically,
"We're selling arse-holes."
Without skipping a beat, the old dear said,
"Must be doing well... Only two left."
Yesterday morning we had a ride to Burnham and sampled one of their famous pork and apple baps .. proper 'ansome.
The van was done by 15.00, so we picked it up and took it back to the campsite; we need to go over and fix on the
replacement door handle and do a few minor jobbies, but we've got all next week for that. The sun is out and it looks
as though we're in for a good day. In answer to the many queries, Dawns feet are fine now and show no signs of being
Got an "Irish" theme to the music links for this month; we both love Irish music and there's some great stuff out there.
A Russian couple walks down a street in Moscow when the
man feels a drop hit his nose.
"I think it's raining," he says to his wife.
"No, that feels like snow to me, dear," she replies.
Just then, a communist party official walks towards them.
"Let's not fight about it," the man says. "Let's ask Comrade
Rudolph whether it's officially raining or snowing."
"It's rain, of course" Comrade Rudolph says and walks on.
But the woman insists, "I know that felt like snow."
To which the man quietly says, "Rudolph the Red knows
The Blue Grotto is a noted sea cave on which Italian island?
A hungry traveller stops at a monastery and is taken to the
A brother is frying chips.
'Are you the friar?' he asks.
'No. I'm the chip monk,' he replies.
What is the colour of a 50 Euro note?
We're getting the hang of this riding around now; today
we visited Weston, to have a look at the new pier.
When we saw the car park charges we didn't stop; well
hardly worth taking out a new mortgage at my age. It's
been another bright but cool day, just hoping it keeps
dry till the weekend. Latest plan is to drive up to P'boro
on Sunday to visit Family and friends and from there
onto the marina.
Yesterday I had my last trip to the docs, for a while, and we visited Mum.
I had a hell of a shock in the afternoon, 'erself decided to have her hair permed .... forty seven bl***in quid; my coconut
style takes me 5 minutes with the clippers, costs nowt and I don't get problems with my fringe. Still on the bright side,
while she's stuck in that chair she's not buying shoes.
Meeting Ivan & Jean for lunch today, after taking some stuff to the van.
G&T - Are you home yet?
I was at the swimming baths yesterday and had a
sneaky wee in the deep end.
The lifeguard noticed and blew his whistle so hard I
nearly fell in!
I was sitting on the seawall at Weston, enjoying the sun and
watching the world go by, when this gorgeous young blond
girl came jogging towards me. She had no top on and just
wore a tiny bikini bottom. As she jiggled past me I nearly
had a stroke .... but she was just too far away.
I used to eat a lot of natural foods, until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
Wednesday, we had a good meal again at the Maypole; I had a fish pie with crusty bread and it was deeeeelicious.
(you would have loved it Barry)
We have fitted the new door handrail on the van and moved things around into travelling mode; we'll have forgotten
something and there'll be a bang as something flies free at the first roundabout.
We've got no car today, so I'm backing up the computer and shifting a lot of stuff onto an external hard drive, because
the computer is getting a bit too full. Dawn is sorting out last minute things to take with us.
We got to P'boro in the early hours and had a peaceful night, parked on the road in front of BC's bungalow. After
visiting family, we had a steady run up to Stafford, and what a picturesque trip it was. The A14 near Kettering is so
colourful, with polythene, paper, fast food boxes etc. all brightening the roadside and blowing onto the carriageway - a
bit off-putting as you try to avoid the cracks and potholes, but pretty in its own kind of way.
The first mate has gone down to the boat, to check it out and turn the fridge on; I'm waiting till later, when my knee
settles down a bit. It's blowing a b*gg*r here and has just started raining - I think they call it jolly boating weather - still
mustn't complain, we're moving again.
A woman was sitting at a bar enjoying an after work cocktail with her girlfriends when Steven, a tall, exceptionally
handsome, extremely sexy, middle-aged man entered. He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes off
This seasoned yet playful heartthrob noticed her overly attentive stare and walked directly toward her. (As any man
would.) Before she could offer her apologies for staring so rudely, he leaned over and whispered to her,
"I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no matter how kinky, for £20.00...on one condition..."
Flabbergasted but intrigued, the woman asked what the condition was. The man replied, "You have to tell me what
you want me to do in just three words."
The woman considered his proposition for a moment, and then slowly removed a £20 note from her purse, which
she pressed into the man's hand along with her address. She looked deeply and passionately into his eyes, barely
concealing her anticipation and excitement, and slowly and meaningfully said -
"Decorate my house."
We're on the move and bugger it does feel good! The
rain never appeared, so we set off this morning and did
the grand total of 3 miles and 2 locks and are tied up at
Weston for the night. The old girl was real sluggish till we
blasted some of the vegetation off the prop but now she's
handling OK. Last year I welded a couple of long handles
to our mooring hooks, this means that I can now remove
them if I want to do an early start and leave the crew
abed; the other advantage is that the crew does not have
to kneel down in the wet grass and dog poo to wriggle
them free. I don't think we are going to be doing long
days for a while yet, not that we used to do marathons
Seven o clock start in an 'orrible wind with a little drizzle. We didn't meet another boat until Aston lock where a C&RT
(new name for BW) workboat was coming down. After that it was a clear run to Stone, where we filled and emptied
before completing the Stone locks and mooring up. Lots of swallows and martins about and saw a few lapwings but
nowhere near the amount there was when I were a lad. There were a couple of swans sitting on nests and another one
busy building a new nest; we also saw a mallard with new chicks following her. Dawn is missing her walks with Max,
so is going for a stroll round town later on - not to buy anything of course. I've fitted the new CO detector and changed
the remaining lamps from halogen to LED to give us a bit longer battery life.
Westport Lake, Stoke
It seemed colder when we set off this morning, but someone had lifted a bottom paddle on all the Meaford flight which
made life very easy for us. We saw no boats moving until we reached Trentham lock and found a boat in it, going the
same way as us; it took the best part of half an hour to fill as only the gate paddle was working and the ground paddle
was locked and taped up - good start to the season. As we left the lock, a hire boat approached and that was the only
on coming vessel we met the whole trip - too cold for um, big girls blouses!! I don't know if it's possible, but Stoke seems
even worse than on our last trip here; there is rubbish everywhere and the place looks like a tip. Tomorrow we start
with the Harecastle tunnel and, just after that, we turn onto the Macclesfield canal, virgin territory for us.
Macclesfield Canal - Red Bull Aqueduct
There was frost on the roof when we set off at 07.00 for the tunnel and the ropes were crunchy. We were the only daft
buggers about so we were first through the tunnel when it opened at 08.00 and were out t'other end at 08.40. The
junction for the Macclesfield canal is only 10 minutes from the tunnel, just before the first locks of heartbreak hill, so we
hung a left onto it and now we are heading for the Peak Forest canal. The sun is out and has some warmth in it, so we
have stopped just after the Red Bull aqueduct, which takes the Maccy over the T&M. Head of craftwork is sitting out
knitting and chatting up the passers by - in the hope that they'll buy a blanket.
Another cool but sunny morning when we set off; there is
rain forecast for this afternoon so we've stopped a mile
or so short of the Bosley locks. We seemed to spend
ages on the silly little gauging lock at Hall Green, they
always give us more aggro than the "real" locks. There
was a water point just after the lock, so we filled the tank
and the large plastic container that Dawn uses for the
washing machine. This stretch of the canal is very rural
and passes through some fairly wooded countryside with
lots of pretty stone bridges. The Bosley flight consists of
12 single locks spread over about a mile and will be our
last lock before Bugsworth on the Peak Forest canal
which, like the emu, is flightless.
This morning started with glorious sunshine, so Dawn did a few loads of washing while I motored to the flight at Bosley.
It took us 2 hours to complete the flight; they were good locks but access across was only at the bottom end of the lock
via a small bridge. They were all ground paddles at the top and they worked well with the usual gate paddles at the
bottom. The plan was to stop after the flight, but the canal is so shallow that we were not able to get into the side until
we reached the Royal Oak swing bridge, which is where we are now moored. The whirligig is out on the aft deck and
giving passersby a good display of our shreddies; typically the sun has disappeared, but there is plenty of wind, so they
shouldn't be long drying.
We set off just after six this morning and went through the
electrically operated Royal Oak swing bridge with no
problems - there were four boats held up yesterday when
it threw a wobbly. The canal seems to be getting
shallower and I have to keep the boat in the middle of the
canal or we find bottom very easily; this makes mooring
difficult with only the designated mooring areas having
enough depth for us. Shallow water also means slower
speeds, or we drag our bum on the bottom. By setting off
early we met no oncoming boats, which would have
grounded us for sure, and when we found a mooring spot
in Bollington we grabbed it. Dawn is off into t'village to
replenish the larder, lord knows what she eats when I'm
asleep, but it doesn't seem to last long!
Royal Oak swing bridge
Yup, we're heading back to the T&M; a waterways chap told us that the canal was silted up a lot worse ahead of us, so
we decided it wasn't worth the aggro. It was dry when we headed for the winding hole just before six and, of course,
the wind was in the wrong direction, but after a bit of shunting and not a little swearing, the bow came round and we
were off. It started to drizzle as we left Bollington and has continued on and off all morning. I saw a mink dragging
something out the water and as I got closer I realised it was a dead mallard; he wasn't the least bit fazed by the boat
and was yanking away at the feathers, probably thought it was Xmas. If the weather is OK tomorrow, we'll do the Bosley
flight and get back onto the lower level.
We set off just after six and filled and
emptied before going into Bosley top lock at
07.10. All the locks were full, which meant
an easy run down and we exited the bottom
lock at 08.40; 12 locks in an hour and a half,
not bad for a couple of wrinklies!
We saw a few glimpses of the sun, but it has
clouded over now; at least it's dry and not
too cold. We should reach the Trent &
Mersey in the next couple of days.
Julie sent us this couple of pics of Ashley
and Alex in their cadet gear.
Poor old Norris took a hammering yesterday, when Dawn decided to use a hot blowy, curling thingy on her hair; he
normally only has to charge the laptops while we are motoring. I suppose if you pay that much for a haircut you've got
to look after it; I don't have that problem! We've got a small leak from one of the kitchen roof vents which I'll soon have
to sort out, I've already done all the others. They have been fixed with self tappers, so I'll tap them out and fit 4mm
stainless screws instead; that and a good dollop of mastic should cure it. We're getting a list of jobs that need doing,
like stern gland adjustment and the fuel filters need changing; I'm a bit reluctant to climb into the engine bay, in case I
can't climb out again! We just had a short run this morning and are tied up at Congleton wharf.
John went to visit his 90-year-old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of West Virginia .
After spending a great evening chatting the night away, John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.
However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking, 'Are these plates
His grandfather replied, 'They're as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal,Sonny!'
For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates as his appeared to have tiny
specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, 'Are you sure these plates are clean?'
Without looking up the old man said, 'I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them.
Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!'
Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to
growl, and wouldn't let him pass.
John yelled and said, 'Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car'.
Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted, 'COLDWATER, GO
LAY DOWN NOW, YAH HERE ME!!!'
We've decided to stay here for a day's rest!!
One of the Wild Camping forum members lives near here so I got in touch and they, David and Brenda, came onboard.
We had a good chat over a cuppa; it came up that we had never tried Staffordshire Oatcakes so they kindly bought
some for us and dropped them off on the way to Bugsworth. We've just had them for brekky with melted cheese and
bacon, all rolled up like a crepe; another taste sensation we should have tried years ago - thanks David and Brenda.
17.30 - Change of plan; the batteries were getting low and, with housing close by, I didn't want to run the engine, so we
pootled down to just before the gauging lock and tied up below Bridge 92. Bright and sunny now, smell of sausages
coming from the kitchen/galley, what more could I ask.
Thurlwood Bridge 140
We're back on the Trent & Mersey and have done eleven
of the locks on Heartbreak Hill. There are not many boats
moving, a few hirers and a few nutters like us; there's a
really cold wind this morning, so I suppose it's not very
inviting weather for boating. We had the last of the
oatcakes when we stopped and chef has got some
smoked haddock out for a risotto tonight. I've still not
tackled any of the little jobbies, cos it's too cold to be
messing about outside and besides I'm an idle beggar at
times. We see some odd things on our travels, like the
cow pictured here.
Sunny, cold and windy here, but it didn't stop us doing 14 locks this morning - extra gruel for the crew tonight!! With the
season just starting it makes us wonder what sort of condition the locks are going to be in after a summers use; there
are paddles that even Dawn couldn't open and there's not much stops her. The rods that lift the gate paddles are bent
on some of the gates which makes them b***dy hard work and we have often used one only and settled for a longer
emptying time. We have still not met an oncoming boat but fortunately most of the locks were full which made life
easier. I saw a couple of oyster catchers in a field near the motorway but have yet to see a kingfisher.
06.30 - A cracking start to the day. I looked out at 5.00 and everywhere was white and still, no wind, mist coming off the
water and a moorhen bustling about in the reeds. We've got the stove on with the kettle just coming up to the boil, so
soon have a brew on.
Some of the paths and slopes at the locks are cobbled which, while being hard wearing, are slippery when wet and
positively lethal when frosty, so we'll stay put until it warms up a bit. The sun showed itself over the bank just after six
so it shouldn't be long melting the frost.
We've got 4 locks and about 8 miles to Middlewich, where we usually spend a day and management tops up the store
cupboards; just hope there are no sales on at the shoe shops!
14.00 - Now tied up in Middlewich and Dawns off re-vittalling. We met nb Acton, "The Coalboat", as we neared Kings
lock so we topped up with diesel; I prefer to support these boats as they are about the only real commercial craft on the
Dawn stayed off the boat when we left Kings lock and walked round the corner to the first lock on the Middlewich arm
of the Shroppy. I turned in under the bridge below the lock and before I could get off the boat with a line they opened
the paddles to empty the lock; this slammed the boat against the bridge and sent me hurtling (perhaps a bit of an
exaggeration) backwards. The outcome was that the cratch frame was damaged and the Perspex window broken; it
looked worse than it was and we soon had the cratch frame repaired but need a new piece of Perspex for the window.