Thursday, 1 December 2011

A Spot Of Council Bashing.

Is this the same time of year?

I know it is always easy to give the council a bit of a bashing, as whatever they do will never be the right thing with someone.

But.........sometimes they really deserve it.

This kerbstone was ripped from it's socket by some large vehicle and stood on it's beam ends (it's since been laid down).
 As it was totally out, (and if I put it back I would probably be liable for something or other in this day and age) I phoned the council.
Ten minutes later this was marked as urgent and I was given a case number to check the progress of the repair on line.
 As I can see it clearly from the kitchen window this seemed a bit excessive, but...when in Rome... etc.

Three weeks to the day of reporting it two people arrived in a van, painted those spots, made a phone call and.................. cleared off.
That was four weeks ago!

Checking the case number, it is marked as "under investigation".
Case number? Investigation? what are they going to do, arrest it for being out of place and disorderly in public?

A bucket of cement and ten minutes would have that sorted, but that's not how things are done nowadays is it! 

Moving on,

This time last year we were three days into our forty odd day enforced capture by the ice at Ellesmere.
Today we have cut the grass, hung the washing out and enjoyed some good wine sitting in a sun bathed garden.

Good old England, reliable as ever.

Until next time...................................


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Oh Those "Stevens".

Seagals Seagulls that is..........

I just love this.

If you phone the number on the board that gull will be around with "the boys" to sort out the problem for you.

In reality though.....the people who own this seafront property have shelled out a lot of money on nets and spikes to keep the "Stevens" off the roof. 
Money not very well spent then it seems.

"Madam" has settled into the house quite well and has just loved the summer in the garden, albeit that that is my seat, not hers,  mine!

Bootfair one liners:

Selling a tray of costume jewellery rings for the princely sum of one pound each, we were asked so many times as to make it unreal,

Are those real gold?

To which they would reply..........Don't want one then!

Until next time........................


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

What are all these cobwebs doing on here?

A bit of a dusting off required methinks.

Where do you start after such a long break? 
 No point in talking about what happened long ago.

Or trying to make something out of nothing, 

 Soooooo........ lets just dive straight back in.

What a summer that was!
 Boot fairs have been the way forward to thinning out our stuff ready for a big move next year. These have been an absolute mine for the "one liners" from the "no brainers" which I will pass on in due course.

First of all though, what would you say this is?
An airport waiting lounge?

An electricity generating station?

Or maybe a McDonalds or Starbucks waiting to open?

Surprisingly you would be wrong, this is the twenty five million pound "Turner Contemporary Gallery" in good old Margate.
Yes, it is fully open here, and yes, this is the front, and yes, even the man who designed it called it an elegant shed.

What more can you say???

It is good to be back.

Until next time.....................


Friday, 10 June 2011

Well....I'm All Kinetic.

Xbox that is.

How can it be that long since I last Put a post on here?

This fine ship is one that has moved through our hands recently, we never even got the chance to take it to sea!

Moving on, there has been a couple of wills occurring so we are now looking forward to all the relatives appearing!
You know.........where there's a will..... there's a relative.

Currys have abandoned Herne Bay for warmer climes so our nearest store is now miles away, for our convenience, naturally.
You might think this is all a bit random,  but I have another birthday coming up - I feel sure you only used to get one a year when I was younger - and there is a game out for the Xbox that even made it onto the culture show the other day. LA Noir, Looks good to me.

Therefore I find myself standing in front of a fifty inch (why is this not metric?) TV connected to an Xbox in the afore mentioned miles away Currys.

This screen is inviting me to wave at it!

Looking carefully around to make sure there is not a mob of assistants hiding behind an even bigger TV giggling away, I embark at waving to the screen.

D is then the only one having a laugh, but, I stuck with it and chose an already created character named......Dappy.
Soooo Dappy is now standing in a huge store waving like a maniac at a TV screen with a D in fits beside him.

The assistant duly appeared and we were away on our toes.
Later, when the coast was clear,we headed back, and do you know what?
That damn machine put in nice large letters across its screen ....."Welcome back Dappy"

That was it for D, she was away......... we had to leave.

Until next time..................



Saturday, 21 May 2011

All Hale The Post Office!


Against all advice, I have started doing the “Lottery”.

This involves sticking stamps onto envelopes and hoping against hope that they will arrive at their destination.

Now, having said that, we have been selling a few things on Ebay recently and one of them was a nice hand painted (By me) Barometer in the Roses and Castle style of the canals.

This had to be sent to the Channel Islands.
Unbelievably the postage cost is exactly the same as sending any other post around the country.

Not quite believing this, we sent our parcel from the local Herne Bay post office at eleven fifty am - which, incidentally, is staffed by the most miserable bunch of lemon suckers you could ever wish to meet - and it arrived in Guernsey first thing the next morning....Unbelievable!

Thinking about this, that parcel has had to get from our remote South East location in Herne Bay to an International airport, from there it has had to catch a plane out to the islands and from there be delivered by van.

The Post office did this easily enough within one day, but show them a bit of the fluffy white stuff and a simple letter can take two to three weeks to arrive here from Wales.

Consistency is obviously not their strong point!
Until next time…………………..


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Knock, Knock.

Is this a sign of the times or just plain silly?

We are having a real clear out of the clutter that we had put in store before we left on our adventure.

Digging through it all, I found a box of forty brand new door knockers on cards tucked away in a corner, ah ha thinks I, there are a few shops in the Bay that might just take these off my hands at fifty pence each. Bargain!
Only one hardware shop showed any interest, but, although they thought the knockers were a really good price the buyer would have to consult with his business partner…..!!
Could you leave a sample and call back in a couple of days? Says he.

Now, you can call me cynical if you like, but ten cards would be the grand total of five pounds. Five pounds is not worthy of consulting your business partner, it is not even worthy of bothering the petty cash tin, it is just loose change in your back pocket.
The upshot of this little episode was that when I called back, they bought…..drum roll please………….one! Yes…. ONE CARD!
This was to see how they get on.

Thinking about this, it took two established Herne Bay “business men” the best part of three days to decide to spend the princely sum of fifty pence.
This attitude might go some way to explaining why Herne Bay, which is only a small town, has sixteen charity shops, numerous pound and cheap card shops, two bookmakers and very little else.

Until next time………………….


Thursday, 12 May 2011

A Bit More About That Survey.

Sometimes you just can't make it up.......

The day arrived to begin, the man from Holland was aboard with his box of sophisticated tide measuring gizmo's along with four members of the council, numerous flasks of coffee and of course us.
Off we went!

The man opened his box and - I kid you not - produced two pieces of plywood about three feet square which fitted together to form an X shape. This had a line attached to a small marker buoy and that was it.
The idea was that this would be put in the sea whereby the "Vane" would sink down into the tide run and three shore based people with theodolites would take bearings at set intervals to see how far and fast it had moved.

Well....... we threw it in and of course wood being wood it floated nicely on the surface.
Waiting for Mr Dutch guy to produce all sorts of fancy weights from his box to get it to sink, we - the crew - started looking at each other with slightly raised eyebrows.
To cut a long story short the "Vane" left the boat with an assortment of rusty spanners and shackles - that were found in the recesses of the boat - tied to the bottom of it.

Off it went only for the radio to crackle into life as the shore based people informed us that they couldn't see it because the marker buoy was too small.

Much deliberation later and it was agreed that I would place the boat next to the buoy at a set place on the hull and they should be able to see it. At this point it is worth noting that this was one of the calmest days......... ever! The sea was a sheet of mirror glass.

As I went alongside there was this strange guttural noise from out on the deck, it seemed that Mr Finger in the dam was hopping about on one leg as he was terribly concerned about the two inch bow wave knocking the "Vane" off line and giving false readings.

It was at this point that we knew this was nothing more than a box ticking exercise and not a serious survey. We were at sea! As soon as any wind blows there will be waves, not little ripples, waves, and so it was.

Chatting to Mr Edam, it turned out his firm do current suveys on..........wait for it...........rivers. Oh dear.

One day we had to abandon half way through as the theodolite on the pier head kept blowing over in the South Westerly gale, this was much to the agreement of the council folk aboard that day as the waves were washing over the stern and running up the deck causing them to huddle in the wheelhouse. Aaaa.

I would think anyone looking at those results might just want to question why there is a distinct North Easterly flow in the tides over that survey period.

But.......all the boxes must have been ticked and all the relevent hoops must have been jumped through, because Herne Bay now has its own Harbour/Sea defence.

Just don't tell anyone.

Until next time.........................


Monday, 9 May 2011

It's That Arm Again.

But.......What is it now?

Many, many moons ago before this was built I used to own and run a commercial fishing boat from Whistable - or Whitstabubble as the infamous advert for the chocolate bar Aero called it - and one day I picked up a job to do the tidal survey for this arm.

This was a two week contract through the council of back then and a Dutch survey firm.

The whole project was to build a breakwater arm to protect the town when the gales arrived and would be funded more or less entirely by the government.
Provided......that this was not to build a harbour for the towns benefit but as a serious sea defence.

Any mention of this being a harbour and the funding would melt away, so keep it under your hat for now, Are your crew ok with this?  says the men  in black  from the council.

It's amazing what time and a few changes to those in charge can make isn't it.

You can't quite see the government trying to get it's money back now can you?

Sorry mate this is existing, on yer bike.

Until next time..........................


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Where Do I Begin?

At the beginning of course!

The old home town looked the same as I stepped down from the train, and there to greet me was..............

...... this monstrosity.

Ok, we actually arrived back in a van but people in the good old days did get their seaside "fix" by arriving on the train. Nowadays though most visitors tend to drive in to a seaside town, park up and settle for the day.

Parking on the seafront was quite free when we left therefore you could almost forgive the council for charging now especially in these times of so called austerity. 

What is completely unforgivable though is the swivel eyed lunacy of some group or other that decided you can only park for a maximum of ......Two, yes TWO hours.

By the time most families have unpacked the kitchen sink from their car to the beach they would then have to move on. 

I fear people are not going to bother! 

Until next time..................................



Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Lets Have A bit Of A Change!

Welcome to Herne Bay.

Where? I hear you ask, Herne Bay I say again.
This is the little seaside town where we live.

Having not Blogged for so long because there is not all that much going on with us other than the normal humdrum things that living ashore brings, I decided to have a little go at putting this place on the map.
Only because since we have been away, the - some may say loonies - have been wreaking havoc around here.

Just down the road for instance we have the Turner Contemporary. This  "Elegant Shed/Public convenience/Total waste of money"  building has just been finished and now there is a big broohaha to get Margate cleaned up for the booted and suited to visit.

There is lots more and I will have to change the title of this Blog to actually mention Herne Bay.
Herne Bay, Just past Whitstable - of Tracy Emin fame - and quite close to Canterbury - the boss of which was on the TV the other day marrying someone or other.

I'll give this a good go and I know it is not canal related but I hope you will still read.


Until next time..........................


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Getting The Land Legs Again.

Hits and misses......

One thing that we did miss whilst aboard Ubique, was our weekly treat of seafood.

Crabs, whelks, prawns, cockles and not forgetting the good old Jellied eels, have been sadly lacking from our diet.
Please sir can I have some more?
The staff at the stall welcomed us back with open claws arms!


Grass, green green grass. Lovely for all things garden....ish.
Mowing the damn stuff though is a different matter and something that I really did not miss.
I kid you not here......... after cutting it all down today I gave the mower a service that took all of an hour and a half, on testing the mower it cut a lower stripe in the grass that I had just cut.
It's out of control this green stuff, out of control I tells ya!   Twitch, Twitch Twitch.


someone who shall remain nameless (It was D) only went and picked the winner of the National today at 14 to 1.
My two legged nag fell over as they let it out of the horse box.

Hit and a miss!

With the benefit of hindsight......with the money from the sale of Ubique on the nose of that nag we would be very, very rich right now.

It's a good job that we are sensible...................isn't it?

Hit or a miss?

Until next time.....................


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Two Weeks Ashore.

What's that in the sky?

Traipsing off the Leeds Liverpool and onto the Trent and Misery in July last year, there was quite a fuss going on about a newly imposed hose pipe ban.
Being up in those northern climes it seemed that they had never had to suffer such a thing before and stress ensued.

Having lived a lot further south we were well used to these bans.

Now there has been a good two full days of sunshine down here and apparently we have Just gone through the driest march since records began - again - We are now waiting for the first ban of the season, it won't be too long in coming at this rate.

Until next time......................



Monday, 4 April 2011

Freedom Regained.

That was a bit hectic............

I don't care what anyone says, this is not the same!

Off we mooched to a garage where we bought our last car from, only to be confronted by a Tesco. That was a bit ironic as most of our time aboard was spent trying to find a Tesco and this one fell into our lap.
The main problem though, is that as yet, Tesco do not sell cars.

Walking around trying to source a car failed dismally, as did the bus - fourteen pounds return for a fourteen mile round trip - Use public transport? I don't think so!
Are you mad?
Hire car?
Thirty pounds a day during the week, or the weekend special rate of three days for.............. thirty five pounds.
No, It's right, only a fiver more for two extra days.

We found what we wanted about forty miles from base on Friday and picked it up Saturday. Result!

Took the hire car back this morning  and we are now free again.

We used to do a bit of buying and selling boats before, so it would be easy to slip back into that just to keep the wolf from the door.
I was a little bit rusty on the finer points of Ebay and lost our first catch by being three seconds to eager.

Oh well, tomorrow's another day, as the red one says.

Until next time........................


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Another Land Based Day......mmmm.

A slight change in mood.

When I realised that I had handed Ubique over for that draft - I honestly thought it was cash, but wasn't - my mood was just about as crooked as that door.
A search on Google asking, can you stop a bankers draft?  and guess what?.... it turns out that you can, did nothing to help.
A very stressful, sweating, hair greying and floor pacing week has gone by.... but yesssss it has just cleared.
Thank the air that we breathe for that!!  
Now we can get on.

The first thing we are doing is training ourselves to be expert car dealers.
This is to avoid some sheepskin coated Arthur Daley type extracting too many of our English pounds for a pile of rust with a steering wheel.
I wonder if they would take a draft?

Until next time...................


Monday, 28 March 2011

Boatless For Nearly A Week Now!

Just what is the point of a bankers Draft???

There she is, considerably higher in the water with all our worldly goods - and one very cross cat - removed and lurking in that van.

A quick trip to the bank to pay in the tiny piece of paper that we had exchanged our beloved boat for and we were off.
This tiny piece of paper was a bankers draft which - everyone tells you - is as good as having the cash in your hand.

Oh no it isn't!!

Asking the set of teeth sitting behind the glass will the draft clear and be in our account today or tomorrow?
Thud....... that was the sound of my jaw dropping as she told us it will take the normal six days to clear.
But.... I thought this was as good as cash?  I stammered.
It is, says the teeth.
Cash clears more or less straight away, says I.
It does, replies the teeth, but this is a cheque.
No....this is a Bankers Draft that is as good as cash. is as good as cash but it is still a cheque and needs the normal time to clear.

Feeling a head banging session with a wall coming on, I dragged my jaw outside and went back to the bricks.

It still hasn't cleared as I type this.

Until next time......................