Wednesday, 25 July 2012


There are more flying creatures inside than out. Our spiders are overwhelmed by the sheer number of them. It's like a scene from a horror movie.

They are everywhere!

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Busy at Abingdon
Sun is out.
River is heaving.
People everywhere.
Never seen it so busy.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Too much Coffee, Too many Cigarettes

It hasn't stopped raining. And it's been a nerve frazzling week. Wondering if we would drift up and over the bank, or not. We came sooooo close. But thankfully, skillful water management by the thames lock keepers kept everybody safe and sound. Hat tip to you, Gentlemen.

Lashed a pole to the stern, so that it could ride up the wall. And dangled our mudweight over the bow, so that could do the same. It would have given us about a six feet safety margin, should the river have poured over into the meadows. But, thankfully, it didn't.

safety pole
A dutch barge owner ('Flat Over Crest') got set adrift by the Salter's Steamer. He was sat on his throne, as you invariably are, when such things happen. The first thing he knew about it, apart from the obvious 'north sea' rocking about, was that trees were proceeding rapidly past his window. Thankfully, his engine was running at the time, and he managed to berth himself before getting swept down into the bridge or any other boats. A big boat like that could do a lot of damage. He was still a white shade of pale, when I talked to him about it over an hour later.

ear drops?
Unfortunately, I am stuck here for another week. There is no improvement in Sumo's ear condition, and now he's on steroid tablets too. I have to take him back for another checkup next week.

When the river has stopped flowing so rapidly, our good friend Adam has volunteered to come and help me move the boat down to Sonning or Bourne End. Very grateful for that, as I wasn't looking forward to doing it on my own. Especially in the heaving rain, and without a life jacket. Cheers, Ad.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

More Rain

Oh, more rain?
How lovely.

As you may have gathered, we had another trip to the Vets today. Sumo's picked up an ear infection from swimming in the river. We're not sure if it was thames water in the ear, or just water in the ear that caused it. But it's definitely a bacterial infection, and it needs treating with ear drops. Have to take him back in 7 days to make sure it's cleared up. Apart from that, he is fine. We got an excellent service from Abivale Pet Hospital, again. Previously, we've had to wait up to a week for ear swabs to be analysed in the lab. But they were able to do it in under 5 minutes, on the premises. Which was great.
So, errrm, now I'm an overstayer. And a part of Abingdon's problem. Which makes me feel bad. Thankfully, things are not so busy down in town, and there are a few spaces still available. There seems to be movement on the wall moorings too. So, it's not like the place is stuffed full anymore. The almost perpetual rain seems to have kept the majority of hireboats away too.

Actually, there was a break in the miserable weather a couple of days back. And I was summoning up the courage to set off down the river on my own, singlehanded; when I read about this.. Somebody rammed Bones's boat! (blog). And it didn't seem like such a good idea, after all. Now it's started raining again..

Lighting a fire in July feels pretty weird.
But I'm glad we have it.


"harrumph.... Not very patriotic!", said one of the vet receptionists, when I stated that I would be trying to avoid the whole 'Olympic' thing. The torch is due through here on Saturday, and she felt quite indignant that I wouldn't be turning out at 6.30am to witness it's procession through the town. That's because I don't need to. Our friend Toby wrote about the whole sad and depressing 'spectacle' of it... here.

I don't care who jumps the furthest into the sandpit. Or who can throw a weight the most distance. Or who can row down the river the quickest. None of that interests me in the slightest. In fact, I unapologetically, find 99% of all sports incredibly dull to watch. If they are your thing, that's fine. But please don't ask me to share your enthusiasm.

To equate a lack of caring for a state/corporate sponsored sports event, with a lack of an individual's patriotism, was to my mind ludicrous. And as an ex-naval man, I was also kindof appalled. Patriotism, to me, means more than just waving a flag around at a sporting event. So I bit my tongue, smiled, and walked away.

When Paul McCartney sings "hey Jude", I will most definitely not be watching. :-)