Wednesday, 29 November 2017


When I got up two floppy eared black faces were looking at me expectantly for an outing,  so I took  the two labs for  a walk around the cliffs near Maughold village and a swim at Laxey beach.

Maughold church

Maughold lighthouse

Laxey beach

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Nostalgia...... boats & bikes

Clearing out some clutter I came across some old photos

Sue holds fore & aft lines in Temple lock
Above picture is of the first Thames boat we owned, back in the 80's it was rare to see a narrowboat on the Thames.


Princess 32

Birchwood 33GT our last Thames cruiser

Rest Days getting readied to be lifted in after  winter  at Penton Hook. marina 

Nikita loved the Stone lion at Beale Park

On our  old fishing boat out of Castletown IOM

... and some old racing photos

Oulton Park track day
Donington park - Rocket Ron Haslam race school
Jurby IOM race meeting (novice orange bib)

Oulton park race meeting
Cadwell park race meeting

Endurance team and pit crew
Le Mans start to 4 hour endurance event

I'm in there somewhere

My meagre racing trophies

Lastly one for the road.

Sunday, 12 November 2017


This pin reminds me of my old mate Jack Lilley who was an army despatch rider  during the Dunkirk evacuations.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Not all work no play

Lots of chores to be done at home.. what a bore they are ... mainly in the gardens. The old Landrover has come in handy for the numerous trips to the amenity site to get rid of two years worth of cuttings from trees and shrubs. I have now got the front garden under control  but the rear garden full of overgrown rhododendrons, conifers, tall birch tree, and a dead elm tree will be done by a local gardener. I have clambered up these garden pests in the past but now it is either beyond me or I just can't be arsed. 

It's not all been hard work though our daughter has treated us to a superb meal out at Mcfarlanes.

And some long walks with the dogs

Our girl planned a surprise microlight flight as a birthday treat for Sue.

Sue and her pilot.
No way in the world you would get me up in one of those contraptions, Sue loved it.  She had a half hour flight from Andreas air field down the coast to the lighthouse at the point of Ayre, over a ship wreck and a low pass over Jurby airfield runway.

Bit of a squeeze getting in to the thing.

I  had a treat too when I was taken up to Grenaby Estates for an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting, being a complete novice I was surprised how many I actually hit, Nikita is a regular shooter and it showed.

Hill walking south of the island

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Last days of the cruising season.

We left FL a few days in the new Dunchurch Pools marina while we headed to Stafford for Sue's Birthday dinner at the Shimla Palace.

Red sky at Dunchurch.
A good night with great company.

Happy Birthday from the Management

On a sunny day we caught the train to Wolverhampton to help our friends get NB Klara down the 21 locks on the BCN mainline. Great weather for lock wheeling, after a delayed start while C&RT fixed a broken paddle we whizzed down the flight.

A Freaky Friday (20% discount day) visit to Midland Chandlers to spend this months pension cheque, Sue insisted we needed a new oven/grill ...fair enough.... the oven does sometimes extinguish its flame, invariable this occurs mid bread baking and is accompanied by door slamming and on occasion an expletive, a new 12v fridge was ordered also because freezer compartment doors should be vertically hinged and not horizontally!

A gas installation engineer will fit the new oven this week, it's a little wider and will need minor alteration to the housing, the fridge we could deal with ourselves ..........the old fridge was snapped up by a K&A project boat owner on fleabay.

I've been getting FL's paintwork ready for the short days and long nights with a good clean and polish. The three fuel line filters, engine oil/filter and gearbox oil were all  renewed when the engine was shut down for the last time this year.

On a Sunday we had a lovely lunch with my sister,  niece and her number one son in the twofer in Braunston.

We go home for the first time in more than two years next week. We both need MOT's at  the doctors while we are there.  After that we head for Spain for the winter......... don't the years speed up the older you get.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, 9 October 2017

South Oxford Canal.

Since leaving the Thames we have pootled to the end of the South Oxford canal, been along this beauty of a canal so often there is not a lot more I can write about it. As this is our diary a few pictures will do.

The canal shares a stretch of water with the river Cherwell between Shipton Weir lock and Bakers lock.

Conditions were normal.

Pigeon lock.

Dashwood lock.

Heyford Common lock.

Cropredy lock bridge( canoes take a short cut)

Clocks go back this month!
Sue was helping at the lock while I waited to take FL into one of the Claydon locks,  Two ladies from a hire crew walking past to the next lock commentated "We have decided that your wife is the nicest person we have met on the canal".

Adkins lock

Bridge 100 (unnamed we call it Skinny bridge)

Maybe a blogger first - two together.