Sunday, 25 September 2011

Thought of the day

When we went to the house yesterday, I found this posted through the door, from the local branch of the British Legion…

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What do you think when you look at this…? Being a soldier’s mum, for me it’s:
  • The heroes who’ve given their lives for this country and freedom, especially the brave soldiers killed in Afghan…
  • The families of the fallen…
  • If I keep it our son might be safe, and his name will never be on it, so I’ll put it somewhere safe aboard TT…
In reality it’s just two small pieces of wood stuck together right? Wrong, it’s a powerful reminder of courage, strength and endurance beyond the call of duty. How proud we should be of our soldiers and how grateful we should be to them all for our freedom…
 
Yet even so, if we tell our soldier how proud we are of him, we’re met with humility, and “mum, it’s just my job…”
 
And that puts the GREAT back into Great Britain… When few things do...
“It is the soldier” by Rupert Brooke...
For anyone who takes their freedom for granted, reflect on how that freedom was granted:
"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us Freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us Freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organiser, who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who serves beneath the Flag, who salutes the Flag, whose coffin is draped in the Flag, who allows the protester to burn the Flag.
It is the soldier, not the politician who has given his blood, his body, his life."

And be thankful...

Monday, 12 September 2011

Wind Check

Blimey, what’s it like where you are…? We’re aren’t half being battered by some heavy gusts here…
 
I wonder if these young trees will ever stand up straight again…
 
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No, it’s not the sea…
 
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Reeds behind the boat…
 
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And trees…

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And an angry sky…
 
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Even so, it hasn’t rained all day so it could be worse, I mean we could be sitting in water…
We had a surprise visit this morning, Dave’s (twin) brother and his wife who live in Hertfordshire rang up and announced they were stood on the car park…! No time for a quick whip round with Heather’s feather duster then…
 
Later on this aft we witnessed the bizarre sight of several cows running down a road with one falling down the canal bank. Very dangerous, I didn’t even think of grabbing the camera.
 
We gathered a fence had come down in a farmers field and they were all being a bit too nosy for their own good, after a nice leisurely walk along the towpath that is…
 
Hope you’re safe and sound wherever you are…!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Two extra passengers

A continuous cruise to the pump out palace and back. Mark the Spark wanted to have a practice at driving a widebeam. So we set off with two extra passengers, Tilly mint drop being the other one.
 
Tilly came aboard first, at this point she was asking me where her dad had gone…?
 
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Ahh, lift her up top and there he is with uncle Dave…
 
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Dad pulling a funny face,, no hang on that’s how it usually looks…
 
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“No I’m not having any of it…”

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“Aunty Heth, what’s my dad doing driving your boat…?”
 
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“Dad, what you doing driving this boat…?”

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Stats and Facts of the voyage:
Wasps splatted: 1
Boats we passed: 2 narrowboats, 2 widebeams and a Dutch Barge
Cups of tea made: 3 (one with sugar in)
Trees we counted: 2 (big ones)
Total amount of time taken: Approx 1 hour (not including time spent pratting about)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The squirrel and the chimney sweep

Come on then, own up, who hasn’t swept their chimney yet ready for winter…? A friend of ours was telling us about how it should be done properly, so came round today with his chimney brush. Dave took all the bits out from inside the stove - with some caution seeing as he’d never done it before…
 
For newcomers to the blog, we only had the Squirrel installed early last December, and we kept it lit for almost 3 months over winter. (Many people did). But we’ve hardly used it since then…
S
o cleaning today involved:
  • Removing the 3 fire bricks.
  • Removing the 2 cast iron plates at the top of the stove inside, to expose the hole in the roof of the fire where it joins to the flue. [No doubt someone will remind me what they’re called.]
  • Removing the door.
Then the two of them got on with the fun (but very messy) job of jiggling the brush up and down the flue via the chimney outside. Before they started the job, the inside of the fire looked about as clean as is possible, no sign of potential for anything much to have built up anywhere…
 
It was hard to believe how much soot came down, the ash bucket was empty before they started the job, but check this out. We burn coal and use wood as kindling to fire it up, (excuse pun). But none of us expected this much sh*t to have built up in the flue / chimney…
 
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Dave finishing off putting everything back in it’s place afterwards…
   
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A happy Squirrel after having had colonic irrigation…

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As for Dave himself, well that’s a different matter, he played the role of the original chimney sweep character very well, ended up with a black nose and forehead. I didn’t say anything for a while – thought I’d wait till he noticed, but he didn’t. Needless to say when I eventually mentioned how daft he looked and asked to take a photo of him, he declined the offer…