Les Lobbs Diary
February 2014
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They say that time travels faster as you get older, but where did January go; I reckon all this rain has summat to do with it. Nothing planned for today; I've just received some LED lights to replace the few remaining bulbs in the van, so praps have a go at that later.
For Sale - Camouflage Jacket
06.00 - Still raining. We're off to Weston this morning; well that was the plan last night, see if there's any change when admin surfaces.
16.30 - Sun's shining, tis a lovely day, perhaps spring is here!
We blitzed Weston's shops, with me chasing head of purchasing round the aisles. I decided to come back on the motorway and it was a good trip with not much traffic. The toys are taking a back seat now and the crochet hook is back in play with blankets growing daily.
During yesterday's shopping spree, I managed to sneak a black pudding into the trolley and for my tea, I had a blk pudding and onion toasted sarnie; only trouble is when you've had one you want another, but that's life innit!
We've just finished watching a boxed set of Mrs Brown's Boys; it's a bit like Marmite, some people love it and others can't stand it, but we found it funny.
I'm getting the ladder out this morning, to change the bulbs in our exterior light for leds; it's on a sensor and comes on quite a bit, so leds should help the batteries.
05.00 - Still dark, but the cocks up and crowing already.
Talking of cocks, I made a right cock up with the leds for our outside light; I got twin terminal instead of single, but they'll come in handy somewhere. It just means that now I've got to wait for another delivery from China.
Just started raining on the roof of t'van!!
Patrick, who was on holiday from Ireland on Bondi beach couldn't seem to make it with any of the girls. So he asked the local lifeguard for some advice.

Mate,it's obvious," says the lifeguard, "you're wearing them old baggy swimming trunks that make ya look like an old geezer. They're years outta style.

You 're best bet is to grab yourself a pair of Speedos - about two sizes too small and drop a fist-sized potato down inside 'em. I'm tellin' ya mate...you'll have all the babes ya want!"

The following weekend, Patrick hits the beach with his spanking new tight Speedos, and his fist-sized potato. Everybody on the beach was disgusted as he walked by, covering their faces, turning away, and laughing, looking sick!

So Patrick went back to the lifeguard again and asked him, "What's wrong now?"

JAHEESUS!" said the lifeguard,

"Maaaaate. The potato goes in front!
We're still here despite the winds best efforts, though I suspect the roof has a few twigs and stuff on it. I've just been looking at the Scillies report for last night, they had gusts over 90mph!
We're off to Exeter, to visit the Mobility place and then pick up a couple of brace of bunnies that Andrew has for us. If I take a wrong turn, I could very easily end up at the Army/Navy store again - it's worth a try!
BTW, although the wind has dropped a bit it's still peeing down.
13.00 - What a journey; rain, spray, crosswinds and folks saving electricity, by not using their headlights. The fields are flooded both sides of the motorway and the local radio station is giving out endless warnings of flooded road closures and trees down.
We got to the Mobility unit only to find that someone had boobed and given us the wrong date; they got another chap to see me and I was soon sorted. On the way to see Andrew, there was a flooded section of road under a railway bridge and while we were turning round a Volvo went charging into it and stopped in the middle, effectively blocking the road. There were no bunnies waiting for us because the weather was too bad last night for shooting.
06.00 - Sounds calm here - long may it last.
Julie's dog doesn't like slippery floors and just freezes; he has a vet appt this morning, so Dawn is going with Julie to help lift/drag him into the surgery. It's not worth travelling with all the chaos on the roads, caused by the bad weather, so we'll probably have a quiet day in.
Dog's been jabbed and passed fit.

It's Andrew's 40th birthday today - makes you feel old doesn't it!!
If you're easily offended - don't watch this >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Weather :- Same old, same old - I think I've got webbing growing between my toes, or it could be an old lump of chewing gum.
The exhaust pipe has broken off the back box on the car and our local chap is going to weld it back in place on Monday. As we have no pressing engagements, we'll leave it parked up and start sorting the van out, ready to take to the road again for the campers meet at Ham Hill.
It will be so good to get moving again after our enforced lay-up over the last few months, but we need to get rid of a lot of the junk that we've accumulated while we've been here. All the 240v stuff like wok, kettle and heater can go back into storage, but we'll keep the toaster (it will run off the inverter) cos we've got no grill.
Dawn walked to the hairdresser's yesterday and managed to miss the showers; she said her legs ached cos she's not used to walking so far.
Bonnie she done fell in love;
she planned to marry Joe
she was so happy 'bout it all
she told her pappy so.

Pappy told her, "Bonnie gal,
you'll have to find another.
I'd just as soon yo' ma don't know,
but Joe is yo' half brother."

So Bonnie put aside her Joe
and planned to marry Will,
but after telling pappy this,
he said, "there's trouble still."

"You can't marry Will, my gal,
and please don't tell yo' mother,
but Will and Joe, and several mo'
I know is yo' half brother."

But mama knew and said, "my child,
just do what makes yo' happy.
marry Will or marry Joe.
you ain't no kin to pappy."
Bit of a disaster last night; a pair of Dawns knickers got blown off the line in the strong winds. She's not too worried about the knickers, but she's still looking for the 12 pegs.
I've often wondered who owned our van before us. I think I now know. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
05.00 - Tis piddling down again, so I'm giving the gym a miss today; not worth getting soaked when I'm at the peak of fitness anyway!
Another day stuck in the van; we got SFA done yesterday, so I may have a sort through my "computer" cupboard this morning. Where do all the cables come from, I reckon they're breeding and how they manage to get in so many tangles just laying there is a mystery to me.
Well I'm going to cook myself a decent brekky now; I've found a few boiled pots which will fry up nicely in a little olive oil and butter, also got eggs, bacon, mush and blk pudding, but no tomatoes so I may add a few beans. With a bit of toast to go with it, that should keep me going till elevenses. The secret is to get the pots frying before admin realises and shouts out "I'm saving the spuds for ????? "
Here's a link to an excellent site, that has a POI file of aires, LPG etc for Europe
An old man was sitting in his rocking chair on the porch, with his grandson on his knee. Gazing at the lawn, they noticed a worm crawl out of it's hole and slowly move across the lawn.
'Right' said the old man to his grandson, 'I bet you 5 pounds you can't get that old worm back into his wormhole'.

With this, the youngster ran off into the kitchen, reappearing a minute later with a can of spray starch. He liberally sprayed the worm which immediately went rigid, thus enabling him to thread the worm back into the wormhole.

'Wait there' Said the old man, picking up the can and walking off into the house. Half an hour later, the old man came back out.

'Here's your fiver, young feller' he said. 'Oh and here's a fiver from Grandma as well'.
Shnowin! Well sleet really I suppose, but after yesterday's winds anything is better.
We had a ride over to Ham Hill as a sort of recce, prior to a weekend meeting with friends in their campers. Going along the A303 was murder with the cross winds pushing the wagons about and I was glad we were in the car and not the van. I had planned to get a few pics, but head of photography didn't want to get out of the car, cos of the horizontal rain.
Our friend Paul is calling in today on his way to Devon, so we can swap gossip over a bite to eat. Dawn has just "popped" to the shops to get something for lunch, so I'm hoping there are no shoe shops nearby.
After announcing he's getting married, a Scottish boy tells his pal he'll be wearing the kilt.
'And what's the tartan?' asks his mate. 'Och, she'll be wearing a white dress.'
The wind has dropped, so we'll set off for Ham Hill soon. There is more strong wind forecast for later today and tomorrow. Dawn did a beef stew last night and it's been bubbling away in the slow cooker overnight; loverly smell to wake up to. The van is nearly in mobile mode, just a few things to cram into lockers that seem to have shrunk over the winter. I'm not sure what signal I'll have when we stop, so if I don't write anything for a few days, dunnae fret.
Ham Hill
Seems strange not to write "Taunton".
Well where would you choose to be on the windiest night of the year? We decided to spend it on the top of a hill and bugger did we know it; I think last night was the roughest we have spent in the van. It's still blowing now but nowhere near the strength of last night and we are getting a bit of sunshine tween the showers, so the batteries are happier.
There are quite a few vans here and it's good to put faces to people I've known for a while on t'internet.
Ham Hill
Glorious sunny morning and we've just had a full English in the Prince of Wales, with a group of fellow campers. The landlord let us park in the pub car park so that I can walk to the pub, but we will move to the main car park soon and, later today, head back to the campsite at Taunton.
A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.
Four worms were placed into four separate jars.
The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.
The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.
The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup..
The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:
The first worm in alcohol . . . . . Dead .
The second worm in cigarette smoke . . .Dead .
Third worm in chocolate syrup . . . . Dead.
Fourth worm in good clean soil . . . Alive ?

So the Minister asked the congregation, "What did you learn from this demonstration?"

Aunt Ethel, who was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said . . .
"As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"
Yesterday afternoon there were sixteen of us sitting out in the sunshine at Ham Hill having a good chinwag; if anyone had told us Friday night that we would be doing that, nobody would have believed it! All in all it was a most enjoyable weekend. This foretaste of spring has got us eager to get back on the boat and we are looking to set off at the weekend - probably too early in the year but we'll see.
I woke up thinking there was something wrong; soon realised what it was - there was no rain hitting the roof. I needn't have worried it soon started again!!
I had a chat to Roger yesterday and he and Gloria are going to try and visit us at the marina; it seems ages since we saw them and we've so much to catch up on. We are heading back to the marina on Friday, if everything goes to plan.
There's definitely a feel of spring in the air, with daffodil and crocus flowers on the roundabouts and in the hedgerows, and the peacocks here are getting in good voice.
We're popping over to see Mum this morning, to say bye before going oop norf. Harold has said we can leave the car on the site here until we come back at the end of March, so that will make things a lot easier for us. I think we have got all the boat gear loaded into the van, but I spect we'll have forgotten something.
Gt Haywood
06.30 - Yipeeeeeeeeeee. We're back at the marina, after an uneventful 3hr drive from Taunton.
Going to have a nap now, then we've got the job of transferring all our gear from van to boat - you wouldn't believe how much fun that is!
14.00 - We're back onboard, stove lit and kettle bubbling away.
Pumped out the bilges (not too bad considering the rain we've had) and got water, gas and electric systems up and running. No sign of arry or his mates, so praps they got a package deal this winter, or found a warmer boat.
It's a lovely day and it's tempting to drop the lines and motor off up t'cut. Unfortunately I've got some work to do on the engine before we go anywhere and if I don't fit the solar panel, it'll get left and left until it gets damaged or thrown overboard.
Stunning film clip >>>>>
What is the reason for the thick black line?
Man walks into the bedroom with a sheep under his arm, while his wife is lying in bed reading.
Man says: "This is the pig I have sex with when you've got a headache."
Wife replies: "I think you'll find that is a sheep."
Man replies: "I think you'll find I was talking to the sheep."
Gt Haywood
05.30 - Sounds a bit breezy out there this morning, but no rain forecast, so we should be able to get the solar panel fitted. We've got a compressor fridge on the boat and it is very good, but it chomps through the leccy at a fair old rate. That's t'plan, but I spect we'll spend more time drinking coffee and catching up on the marina gossip.
Gt Haywood
Winds gusting about; nice to hear the ropes and fenders groaning - well I hope it's the ropes and fenders!!
We got the cabling from the battery to the controller pulled through and the controller fitted in place yesterday, so today we'll have a go at the panel and fittings.
I'm going to drill and tap the roof to take the plastic corner brackets and, because of the camber of the roof, I'm going to level them with strips of thin plastic cut from plastic ducting. I reckon with a good bed of mastic twixt roof and brackets we should end up with a neat job.
I've seen a few flexy panels fitted on narrowboat roofs, but being steel the roof is liable to rust and removing the panels becomes a nightmare. We say they are stuck to the roof, but in fact they are only stuck to the top coat of paint!
A man walks into his bedroom and sees his wife packing a suitcase.
He asks, "What are you doing?"
She answers, "I'm moving to Sydney. I've heard prostitutes there get paid £400 for doing what I do free for you."

Later that night, on her way out, the wife walks into the bedroom and sees her husband packing his suitcase.
When she asks him where he's going, he replies, "I'm coming too, I want to see how you live on £800 a year".
I asked the doctor if he could give me something for persistent wind.
He gave me a kite!
18.00 - The brackets are fixed to the panel and the glands are set up ready, but the wind has been evil today, so we'll wait for better weather before we mount it on the roof. Good to have a Skype chat with Trevor today; poor chap's suffering under the Spanish sun.

B&A - How did the trip go ?
Gt Haywood
13.00 - The panel's fitted in place, with not too much swearing (I just can't stop her sometimes!). There are gurt big black clouds hovering about now, so we've called it a day. We have just got the trunking and glands left to fit, when we're sure of a few hours of dry weather; then it's connect the wires and wait for the bang.
Gt Haywood
Great news, Roger & Gloria are coming to see us on Sunday at the marina - I'd better have a shower and shave!
Solar panel is now wired in and doing its job; only thing left to do is fix a short length of trunking on the roof, to tidy the cables up. Dawn went to the van this morning and found the low voltage light winking at her; we knew they were nearly done for, so we've ordered a couple of 110amp leisure batteries from the marina workshop. I've got to remove the passenger seat to fit one of them, the last time I did that it took us ages to get the bolts out.
Gt Haywood
Lovely sunny day here with a nippy breeze, so we finished fitting the trunking on the roof and I've turned off the mains charger, to see how well the panel performs. Head of housekeeping has caught the bus into Stafford, to do a bit of shopping; it's easier than taking the van and having to park it.
We were intending to move off next week, but there are a few closures nearby (lock repairs etc,) and our choices are fairly limited. It is still good to be back on the boat though, even if we stay in the marina and try to shorten the "jobs to do" list.
Solar Panel fitted >>>>
Gt Haywood
I've twisted my knee, so we had a lazy day yesterday; the weather was no good for outside work anyway! Had a treat for tea; housekeeping picked up a tin of soft cod roes at Asda and, lightly fried in butter and served on thickly buttered white toast, they were scrummy. Actually since Xmas, I've been watching what I eat and after my shower this morning, I checked in the mirror to see what effect it was having; tis obviously working and I'm definitely getting into shape - a sort of pear shape.
The batteries are being delivered tomorrow, so that'll pass an hour or two.