Les Lobbs Diary
March 2014
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Gt Haywood
St David's Day; are you wearing your daffodil? It's definitely getting colder here, if it keeps it up I may have to put a vest on. The boat has warmed up nicely and the locker doors have shrunk back to their proper size. Following recommendations from fellow campers and boaters, we have bought a Karcher window vac. Condensation is always a big problem, but this little beauty has the glass dry in seconds and Dawn has used it to dry off the shower walls rather than use cloths which will steam up the boat as they dry. It must be good, cos I haven't been able to wrestle it off head of cleansing to try it myself. The new batteries are in the van waiting to be connected up, but they'll have to wait till I'm mobile again.
On a bitterly cold winter morning, a husband and wife in Dublin were listening to the radio during breakfast. They heard the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the Snow ploughs can get through. "So the good wife went out and moved her
A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snow ploughs can get through. "The good wife went out and moved her car again.

The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer says,
"We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park...."
then the electric power went out. The good wife was very upset, and with a worried
look on her face she said, "I don't know what to do. Which side of the street do
I need to park on so the snow ploughs can get through?"

Then with the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married
to blondes exhibit, the husband replied,

"Why don't you just leave your car in the garage this time."
Gt Haywood
I've certainly done a good job on my knee this time; can't see me up and about for a few days yet.
We've had to postpone R&G's visit, cos it wouldn't be very polite for me to be shouting from me bed at t'other end of t'boat; damn shame cos we've been looking forward all winter to seeing them.
First mate checked electrolyte levels in the boat batteries yesterday and all are good.
The toys are on display with the blankets, in the passenger seat of the van; the two large "dressing up" dolls have sold already, so I may get a scrape of marge on my dry crust, if I keep on Geppetto's right side.
Gt Haywood
As it looks as though we are going to be stuck in the marina for a while, it seems a good time to have a clear out. We have very differing views on what to keep, with me being of the opinion that most things will "come in handy", while Dawn thinks "rubbish, bin it"; it makes for a few interesting discussions.
We use memory sticks for our music and, after a time, get fed up with listening to the same stuff again and again, so I'm sorting out some different tracks on the computer, which I can put onto sticks later. The trouble is I come across something I haven't heard for a while and have to listen to it right through; it's going to take ages!
Dawn's going into Stafford on the bus this morning, to get a few "things", whatever that means!
A caring husband sees that his wife is busy
In the kitchen and offers to help.

He: “My dear, what can I do to help you?”

She: “Take this bag of potatoes, peel half of them,
and put them in the big pot to cook.”
Which is the odd ball out?
What number comes next in this sequence?
We're on the move; knee wasn't getting any easier by resting it and the sun was out, so we put the lines on and set off south towards Rugeley. When we reached the Staffs & Worcs junction, we were told there was a delay in the repairs and the Colwich section was still closed. About turn and we headed north and, after 2 locks and 3 miles, we are now tied up in Weston. I don't know what it's done to my knee, but it's swollen up and frobbing like a good un.
We saw our first little egret of the year and the swans are nest building - in the daftest places, as usual!.
1,3,2,6,4,12,8,24, ?
A bright, crisp morning and a really enjoyable few hours cruising has brought us to Stone. Head of catering decided to cook a cottage pie while we were travelling and of course the smell came wafting back to me; by the time we had tied up, I was starving! I think we will only stop a day and then head back towards the marina for the weekend.

05.00 - We've had some rain overnight but it seems to have stopped now. Yesterday, head of acquisitions dragged her granny trolley into Stone for a few groceries and b*gg***d if she didn't "happen" to pass a shoe shop that had a closing down sale. I suppose I should be glad there was only one pair that appealed - she's already had a solar panel for her birthday!
There's an Aldi near here and they have cooker hood filters on offer today, so a visit there is on the cards afore we set sail. The filters are to cut up and use in our SOG unit on the van; if you don't know what a SOG is, it will be easier to google it than me explain.
13.00 - We set off shortly after the shopping was put away and within 10mins it had started to rain; twas only light and not cold so we carried on through Aston lock and we've now tied up below B86.
Gt Haywood
Another rainy night, but it had stopped by 09.30 when we set off. As we came out of Sandon lock, our prop took a liking to a ruddy great sheet of plastic wrapping and head of underwater clearance was none too happy about clearing it.
We met a few boats today; I think it's the spring like weather that's got them moving.
There are lots of fluffy baby aah lambs about and the birds obviously think it's spring, cos they're singing their little bills off. The drake mallards are ganging up on the poor defenceless females (huh, they love it really) and we've seen loads of fieldfares this year.
On the banks the celandines are coming into flower and there are still snowdrops blooming.
Which is the odd ball out?
Gt Haywood
07.00 - Well, according to the weather men, the next few days are going to be fine, so praps a good time to start on the paintwork. The roof takes a hammering with ropes and stuff over the season and there are a few patches of curling paint that need sanding back and re-painting. We managed to do the gunwales at the end of last season so they should last till autumn.
When we set off t'other day the boat was real sluggish, but now we've got rid of some of the underwater vegetation that had grown over the winter, it's handling a lot better; still not up to water skiing speed yet, but OK!
Gt Haywood
Big change of plans - my bliddy knee is getting worse, so Julie is driving up Monday to take us back to Taunton. The plan is then for her to bring Steve up here during the week to fetch the van and I've got to try and get an appt with the doc. Bugger, bugger, bugger.
I suppose it could be something simple with my knee, but I don't hold out much hope and am expecting to have to wait to see the surgeon who did the op.
"Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl."

The priest asks, "Is that you, little Joey Pagano?" "Yes, Father, it is."

"And who was the girl you were with?" "I can't tell you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation."

"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?" "I cannot say."

"Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?" "I'll never tell."

"Was it Nina Capelli?" "I'm sorry, but I cannot name her."

"Was it Cathy Piriano?" "My lips are sealed."

"Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?" "Please, Father! I cannot tell you."

The priest sighs in frustration. "You're very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself."

Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, "What'd you get?"

"Four months holiday and five good leads..."
I got a text from the wife yesterday, saying she was in Casualty. Well I watched the full programme and I didn't see her.To top it all, she didn't come home last night and I'm starving!
Gt Haywood
I took the splint off my leg this morning and it seems a bit easier, so we've asked Julie to postpone collecting us and we'll see how it goes.
It's another sunny day but there is a nippy breeze which makes you put a shirt on. Over the last few days I've managed to get the worst part of the roof rubbed back and have put the first gloss coat on this morning.
Gt Haywood
11.00 - It's still a bit nippy here despite the sunshine. Dawns popped into Stafford on t'bus to grab some bargains. We've got a friend visiting later today, so looking forward to a chat and catch-up and we may take the boat out for a short jolly.

Gt Haywood
Our friend Penny arrived yesterday and spent the night in her motorhome, after eating with us in the evening. This morning was misty and cold, so we didn't start until 10.30, when we headed towards Rugeley. After Colwich lock we saw smoke coming out of a hedgerow and by the time we had stopped there were flames spreading through the hedge. Our chief fire officer leapt into action with her trusty bucket and soon had it under control. It looked as though it had been started by dumped ashes from a wood burner.
We turned round at Rugeley aqueduct and tied up for a lunch of tea and sarnies. By the time we were ready to continue, the sun had broken through and we had a very pleasant trip back to the marina.
Gt Haywood
After saying bye to Penny yesterday morning, we had a lazy day in the marina. Julie and Steve are coming up Saturday, to collect us and take the van back to the site at Taunton, so today we have to transfer all our gear over to the van.
My hernia op has been brought forward and my pre op is next week; my knee is still not much better but I'm going to wait till after the hernia op before I see anyone, cos I don't want that cancelled again!
It is quite foggy at the moment, but hopefully the sun will show later, as forecast.
Gt Haywood
Ah well, last day on the boat for a while, sob.
J&S should get here about lunchtime, so we've plenty of time to finish up things here.
18.00 - Back in zunny Zumerzet. I couldn't get in Ju's car, so came back lying on the bed in the van, while Steve drove and Dawn navigated - a ride like that would cost a fortune at Alton Towers!
It's dry here, so we have parked on the grass and there was enough daylight left to fit the 2 new leisure batteries. The seat came out easily and the cables didn't need altering so a straight forward job for a change.
An 80-year old Scotsman went to the doctor for a check-up.
The doctor was amazed at the great shape the old fellow was in and asked, 'How do you stay in such great physical condition?'

'I am Scots and I'm a golfer,' said the old fellow, 'and that's why I'm in such good shape. I am up well before daylight and out golfing up and down the fairways, I also have a wee nip of whisky on each hole, and that's it.'

'Well,' said the doctor, 'I'm sure that helps, but there has to be more to it. How old was your dad when he died?'
'Who said my dad died?'

The doctor was amazed. 'You mean you are 80 years old and your dad's still alive. How old is he?'

'He's a 100 years old,' said the old Scottish golfer. 'In fact he golfed wi' me this mornin', then we went to the topless beach for a walk and another wee dram, and that's why he's still alive. He's a Scot and a golfer, too.'

'Well,' the doctor said, 'that's great, but I am sure there's more to it than that. How about your dad's dad? How old was he when he died?'
'Who said my granddad is dead?'

Stunned, the doctor asked, 'You mean you are 80 years old and your grandfather is still living! Incredible, how old is he?'
'He turned 118 last month,' said the old Scot.

The doctor was getting frustrated at this point: 'So, I guess he went golfing with you this morning too?'
'No. Granddad couldnae go this mornin' because he's getting married today.'

At this point the doctor was close to losing it. 'Getting married?! Why would a 118-year old bloke want to get married?
'Who said he
wanted to get married?'
What number should logically replace the "?"
What number should logically replace the "?"
Nose is peeling, should have used factor 90! What a scorcher yesterday; there was a girl from a van near us out sunbathing in a bikini, not that I noticed, you understand.
It looks as if we're going to have to find another car as our old banger is getting very reluctant to go into reverse and it's not too keen on first and second sometimes; there's a lot of welding needs doing to get it through the MOT, so it's scrapyard bound.

What a cracking day, even if we did spend a large chunk of it in Exeter hospital. Any road up, that's another pre-op done in readiness for my hernia op next week - if it's not cancelled yet again!
Head mechanic has oiked the radio/cd player out of the car, cos it's fairly new and no point leaving it in for the scrapyard to crush or flog. The insurance is in place and she picks the "new" car up on Friday.
We had a power cut at home this morning and my PC, TV, DVD, and music system all shut down
Then I discovered that my phone also didn’t work and my mobile phone battery was flat and to top it off it was raining outside, so I couldn't play golf.
I went into the kitchen to make coffee and then I remembered that also needed power, so I talked with my wife for a few hours.
She seems like a nice person.
04.30 - Tis bugger, bugger, bugger time again.
I went to my GP yesterday, cos my knee has not improved and he told me that getting my knee right was far more important than the hernia. He is going to speak to the knee surgeon and thinks I'll have to cancel the hernia op, so they can have another go at my knee instead.
Why does nothing ever go to plan?
Another fun packed day yesterday. Dawn collected the car and carried on to Mum's, to do a bit of gardening. As she was driving back to Taunton, I got a phone call telling me to go to the hospital and see a knee specialist as soon as I could. I arrived at A&E at three o clock, had some Xrays taken and was examined by a chap from the ortho team. Then it was blood tests etc. and a long wait until the main knee man came to 'av a look. Their first thought was infection in the joint, but blood tests ruled that out and they could not come up with a reason for the pain and stiffness. I have now got an appt on Monday with the surgeon who did the original op, so no nearer an answer really, other than to know it's not infection.
On the bright side, head of transport is happy with her car and it is comfortable to ride in.
05.00 - That was a sharp drop in temperature last night, good job we hadn't got the bedding plants in. We can't do much today until we hear what time my appt is; if it's reasonably early, we may call in Mum's afterwards. I spent yesterday afternoon putting Linux Ubuntu onto the old laptop that Dawn watches videos on; must be OK cos she watched a couple of Inspector Lyndley episodes last evening without any muttering or swearing!
I'd heard nowt by 11.00, so I rang the hospital and was told they knew nothing about an appt and the surgeon was finishing his clinic at 12.00. Super Gran took me haring down the motorway and we got there just in time to see the main man. After examining it, he could come up with no logical reason for the pain & lack of bend, so I'm in for exploratory day surgery on Wednesday at 07.30. This means that my hernia op is postponed yet again!
Dawn took the Corsa to the scrapyard this morning and was given a yellow jacket and hard hat before she was allowed to drive it onto the weighbridge.
A young girl walked into Tesco and on her way round she saw the bloke who had his way with her the previous evening, after they had met in a pub.

He was stacking washing powder boxes on the shelves.

"You lying toad," she shouted "last night you told me you were a stunt pilot"

"No," he said "I told you I was a member of the Ariel display team"
05.30 - Just put the water heater on for my shower "with un-scented products" and then we're off to Exeter hospital for the knee team to have another go at my knee. This has been arranged since Monday, so won't be at all surprised to find when we get to the ward, that nobody knows anything about it and of course I have no letter of admittance.
Dawn finished doing Mum's back garden yesterday and is creaking a bit. In the night she shouted out "Chris wake up, it's quarter past six"; took me a while to convince her it was only quarter past three!
10.00 - I'm back, that was short and sweet!! Got booked in at the hospital and settled down to wait. The surgeon then said they had 2 emergencies added on the operating list today and, as I was a late addition, I was given the choice of waiting and seeing if they could slot me in, or come back Friday - I'm going back Friday.
Glorious day here, may get the chairs out later.
We got one job done yesterday - fitted a battery box for the add-on leisure battery; I bought it when a chandlers had them on offer last year, so it's time it was used. It tucks in nicely behind the driver's seat and makes a neat job of covering all the connections and holding the battery in place. Dawn asked at the scrapyard and they said we could use their weighbridge to weigh the camper; it'll be worth doing when I'm mobile again, cos they are doing more weight checks on the continent now.
The contract is up on my phone, so I'm changing from Vodafone to 3, sounds easy dunnit! A month ago I filled in an online form to get the unlock code (it's an Iphone) and it's still not here; I've got the PAC code for changing my number over to 3, but with the phone still locked to Vodafone I can't do anything. If you try to ring me and get no response, please try on Dawn's phone.
Dawn's birthday today, she's ?? years old, but doesn't look it! (I'm not allowed to say how old she is, clickety click)
I spent yesterday in hospital, listening to my stomach growling "
full English" while I waited to go down to the theatre. They had a pull and a poke, and an explore with the camera thingy, but have decided they need to fully open up the joint again, so back in Monday morning. I don't know what we're doing today, but I think I can hear the pitter patter of raindrops on t'roof so jogging's out.
Happy Birthday
A cracking day here - glorious sunshine.
Dawn's popped over to see Mum, but I've stayed in the van cos my knee still feels wobbly and I don't want to aggravate it before tomorrow's op. The car's booked in for a service on Thursday, with the garage just up the road from the campsite, so quite handy.
05.00 - Birds are awake and chorusing away. Fortunately the guinea fowl are not early risers cos they do make a racket; Dawn reckons they sound like squeaky bed springs (she has a good memory!).
Reet, I've got to have my shower, "with unscented products" and then we'em orf to t'hospital yet again; at least there are no parking problems at this time of the morning. I don't know what they've got against scent, I miss my dab of lily of the valley behind me ears, but who am I to argue.