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Everything posted by Timbo

  1. Timbo

    Oulton Week

    I'm looking forward to it! So if If RT hugs one bank and the boat towing her hugs the other, we should be OK? How long was that steel cable you wanted me to buy Dave?
  2. Ellie stowed cakes and fresh ground coffee, cheeses and lashings of beer, no ginger, in the galley. Broads Edge slipped by and up ahead I could see the turning to Sutton. Gracie was bouncing up and down with excitement on the step beside me as we both helmed RT, her engine gently ticking over, gently down the river . Lots of things tick. Clocks, watches, I suppose ticks tick too, as do bombs! BANG! RT's engine stopped dead. Gracie yelped, I swore. “What have you done?” asked Ellie. I quickly checked that all of our mooring lines were safely tucked out of the way and not trailing in the water. They were. Behind us the stragglers from hand over were making their way down river and we were drifting into midstream and turning to block the river. Asking Gracie to 'please stand still', I went out on deck and deployed the bow mudweight to halt RT's progress downstream. Fortunately, RT is equipped with mudweights fore and aft for fishing purposes, so the aft mudweight was also deployed. I have to admit I struggle to lift and deploy the 25KG weights. I'd heaved the bow weight far enough to pull RT's nose into the reeds and bushes on the starboard bank. Ellie and I now used the aft mudweight to pull RT's stern out of the middle of the river. Hoisting the weight, swinging it back into the water, pulling on the line and then lifting the weight to begin the process again. While I made sure we were secure I asked Ellie to phone Doug or Dave for advice. Dave answered first, and after getting me to check the prop shaft, look for oil in the tray (there was none) we started discussing...my phone rang out loud. I could still hear Dave speaking, but my phone was ringing. I looked at the caller id on the screen. It read 'Dad'. The old boy has been gone these last years, but he was ringing my phone now! “Are you alright?” Ellie must have sensed I was somewhat shocked. I showed her my phone and got back to discussions with Dave. We flagged down a friendly privateer who kindly towed us back to the grassy bank in front of the wetshed. To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. Crushed, devastated, bereft, distraught. None of these words could do justice to how gutted I felt. “I think we are going to need some spannering!” said Gracie giving me a hug. Ellie set about making a fry up. Ellie instinctively knows when I've over-done something and I'm flagging and in need of energy. After tea and the washing up was done, the theme tune to the A-team boomed around Kingfisher Quay as Super Dave arrived in his Spanner-Mobile. He strode around the wetshed, two giant spanners in his hand and 'spannering' was definitely going to happen! Ellie and Gracie set off on the march to the toilet block as Super Dave arrived beside Royal Tudor. “I've been fitting a galley!” he said, adjusting the gusset of his spandex tights, tweaking his mask and removing his silk cape before climbing aboard RT. Dear reader's, it just shows the depths of my distress that I made no comment at the time! Super Dave spannered for all he was worth! Ellie and Gracie returned and put the kettle on to make a cup of tea while we let RT's engine cool down and then spanner some more, but it was no good. RT's engine would not turn. Gracie's voyage had come to an end already, or had it? As Doug telephoned to see how we were getting on I was feeling totally crushed. I passed the phone to Super Dave so that he and Doug could talk technical. Things were not looking good. However, Super Dave passed back my phone, hitched up his tights, twirled his moustaches and activated the BoAT SIGNAL! You could hear the dots and dashes of the Morse Code 'da da and diditing' over the airwaves as Super Dave hatched a plan. Back at his secret hideout he had a spare engine which RT could borrow. A fellow caped crusader was being despatched to our location to tow us to Beccles so that Gracie's voyage could continue. After the Wooden Boat Show, RT would be towed to Super Dave's lair where the spare engine would be temporarily fitted to give us a chance to repair RT's engine! “Tea and cakes are ready!” Gracie called from the galley. Super Dave was ushered into a seat and plied with tea and cake. “Everything looks better after tea and cake!” said Ellie. “Yes it does Grandma!” agreed Grace.
  3. The Further Voyages of Grace “This is the BBC Light Programme!” A small coin drops into a tin cup. “Thank you!” And so begins our journey to Norfolk. This time Ellie had packed the car, so she and Gracie sat in the back seats, the beagles were in the boot space and I had the luggage for company in the front seat. Of course, this meant I could bring none of the items I wanted to bring and those that I was allowed to bring...were not in sufficient quantities! I had taken the time to record a selection of my favourite episodes of the Goon Show to while away the miles, the episode we were listening to was The Jet-Propelled Guided NAAFI. Now, dear listeners, I mean readers, if you should ever chance to listen to this episode, for extra giggles, swap around job descriptions and titles to reflect Broads related organisations and locations! The miles flowed swiftly with me chuckling in the front and Gracie giggling in the back at Bluebottle's 'naughty sausinges'. “I don't know what they are talking about Timbo or why it's funny, but it is so funny!” Soon we were at Stalham and after opening up Royal Tudor, Gracie and I took 'The Boys' for a walk while Ellie pottered about tidying. “It takes acorns a long time to grow, we did it at school. How old are these trees?” asked Gracie as she scooped a handful of new acorns. Some things, well...most things, I'm pretty lousy at. Some things I'm good at. When it comes to landscape and history I'm on very firm ground, even in a marsh. So adapting the information for seven-year-old Gracie I told her of the Great Storm of 1703, of cows blown into treetops, roofs collapsing, ships sunk and the devastation of England's oak trees and how important oak is to the English navy and economy. We touched on enclosure and how to estimate the age of trees (those we were looking at 1760-1810 give or take), the work of John Evelyn and Roger Fisher, 'Acorn Fever' and English naval officers scattering acorns through holes in their britches. I made sure to 'drop a fart' while demonstrating scattering acorns. Never underestimate the power of a good fart joke when educating kids of all ages, or cows blown up trees for that matter! Back at Royal Tudor I made ready to do all those little jobs I'd put on my list since our last visit. However, we had been visited by a crustulam navicula aedificium perito manducans, or 'Doug' as we like to call him. We had new window hoppers, a new hatch in the galley floor to stop me falling into the bilges, batteries charged and connected and not a crumb in sight! “We will have to buy cake for Doug!” exclaimed Ellie. “Unicorn cake?” asked Gracie. “Lots of cake!” confirmed Ellie. So I contented myself with doing essential engine checks before being dragged to Tesco. I lifted the cockpit floor and yes, the engine was still there! Tesco. I hate shopping. No, let me correct that? I hate aimless shopping. It's probably the geographer and cartographer in me, but I tend to map out the location of products in a supermarket. I cannot be doing with wandering aimlessly about starring into fridges and freezers and groping bread loaves. Luckily I had an excuse and while Ellie and Grace did the shopping, I sat with 'the boys' and gave them a drink. I whiled away the time talking to Mike (Chameleon) when he rang. Mike is another tortured soul, who like me, is regularly held hostage to 'the shopping' and we regularly 'conflab' while our respective other halves are 'on the shop'. Finally we were back on board Royal Tudor. 'The boys' had partaken of one last walk, Ellie was putting away the shopping and Gracie and I started RT. Her engine started first time, I gave her some revs and let her idle a while while I made sure all was well. We exited our mooring and RT was responding much better to the helm than she had of late. Gently we glided from the mooring. A nudge astern and forward and she easily swung to face the opening of the wetshed. A gentle nudge forward and we smoothly exited the shed and made our way down river. Ellie was still pottering in the galley and Gracie sat with me at the helm of RT, whose engine was gently ticking.
  4. Timbo


    There is in fact an old bottle of Adsil still in amongst the 'gubbins' that was found wedged at the back of one of Royal Tudor's lockers!
  5. Ah...a true Brit through and through then!
  6. Mean's a doctor is on board. Could be fun! I'm of Yorkshire, Jewish, Irish and Scots origins, born in Singapore...which according to some bloke I met in the Brit Club in Bahrain makes me Welsh!
  7. The rules were changed in 2004 and are about to change again. To wear an un-defaced blue ensign on your vessel you do need to be a serving officer in the maritime forces or an active reservist in addition to any award made to your vessel. The fine is currently set at £1K. It's something I had to look into on behalf of my Dad (Uncle Albert) and I had a nice chat with a chap at the Admiralty on the subject. He explained it as 'like wearing a regimental tie if you were never in the forces or getting an SBS tattoo if the closest you ever got was delivering spuds to Hamworthy Barracks'. Apparently it is the right of every British Citizen to fly the Red Ensign and is the flag you are supposed to fly and not the Union Flag. (When working abroad we would always carry a red ensign in case of emergency. We were told British troops apparently treat anyone flying the Union Flag with suspicion.) Fly the union flag and it means the Queen is on board. Fly the Flag of St George means there's an Admiral on board. On board Royal Tudor I have Uncle Albert's collection of flags. He shinned up many a mast to collect them, so there's the masthead from HMS Carrysfort and the pennant from the Commodore's staff car that he swiped. I decided this weekend at the wooden boat show I'm going to make a light box to frame them and put it in 'The Captain's Cabin' on Royal Tudor along with Uncle Albert's cap ribbons and his bosun's whistle.
  8. Something Doug taught me...sharp tools and the right tools for the job. I have two sets of chisels, planes, scrapers, basically anything with a blade in it Pauline. I keep one lot on or around the boat and the other lot is either in my car boot or in my workshop at home. The ones on the boat have a habit of getting chipped and generally abused, so tend to be almost useless. If I need to do some serious work, then the chisels come out of the car boot...BUT I keep a very close eye on them as sharp chisels attract the eye of those who like to chop through nails or open paint or varnish cans with them! When I've finished with them...they go back in the car, which is locked! Sharpening woodworking tools can get to be a hobby all on it's own and generates it's own set of tools!
  9. Timbo

    My Day

    Nope. The trauma is too much!
  10. Timbo

    My Day

    My day? My day? No! Just don't!
  11. Timbo


    Are they there yet?
  12. Put away those naughty chemicals and heat guns Pauline! Random Orbital Sander Mouse detail sander Selection of sanding discs and pads A sharp card scraper
  13. Timbo


    Did they collect £200? If they passed Herbert Woods two and a half hours ago they should be just passing Wroxham Broad?
  14. Congratulations guys! Hopefully I'll catch you on your trip up north! I've found the best mooring strategy developed from my natural sleep pattern. As soon as I get on the boat I can't help it, but I'm in bed early and I'm up early. So by the time the slugabeds are just leaving their moorings in a morning I'm mooring up for lunch. By the time they start looking for an evening mooring...I'm already moored. Having said all that...I noticed the other week that it was a lot quieter on the Northern Broads than usual.
  15. Timbo


    Erm...Pauline...it's not the yellow one going backwards is it?
  16. Is it just me, or does it happen to everyone? Is there some diabolical biological process at work? I can distinctly remember going to bed one night in the 1990's, slim, athletic, well dressed...I had a tailor for gawd's sake...John Lobb shoes...and then I wake up in 2019 looking like the result of an experiment which involved feeding a whole pig to a grey haired monkey, shaving the monkey before smearing it in grease and then throwing it through Tesco's clothing department?
  17. A quick tip on purchasing...I bought my heating system direct to the manufacturer, told them I had been recommended by a fellow NBN member, which I had (not that we have any deal with them at all), and they gave me discount. The Boat Show had just finished so they also kindly applied the Boat Show discount. I ended up getting the system for half price.
  18. Someone suggested I put pen to paper a little while ago. I was re-reading the 'much flogged' book Ghosts of The Broads the other week, there's a copy kept on RT, and thought perhaps it's time for a reboot? Recently I've been researching the perfume industry in London between 1700 and 1900, a period in history when they were still defining alchemy from chemistry. So, I started digging into the thought on alchemy prevalent at the time through original and contextual publications. While doing this, I stumbled upon a story I found incredibly interesting, which linked various people through history with places I hold dear and know well, from my Cambridge College, to Thurne Mouth to St Bennet's Abbey. So... And yes, I am looking for guinea pigs and editors to see if I can turn my hand to writing. I can churn out an essay in minutes but trying to write in a way that holds the attention, keeps the story moving at pace and getting the reader to keep reading really is challenging. How am I doing so far?
  19. Fascinating Nigel! Lincoln Grammar School was amalgamated with Lincoln Christ's Hospital School. There is a gap in the list of headmaster's of the Lincoln Grammar School between 1875 and 1911 which Frank must fit into? Heads of Lincoln School 1852–1857: Revd George Foster Simpson, previously the first Rector of the High School of Montreal 1857–1875: Revd John Fowler 1911–1929: Reginald Moxon 1929–1937: Charles Edgar Young 1937–1957: George Franklin 1958–1962: Patrick Martin (later headmaster of Warwick School, 1962–77) 1962–1973: John Collins Faull (later headmaster of Tewkesbury School, 1972–?) 1973–1974: Arthur Behenna
  20. Under the heading 'strange but true' comes the information that, contrary to popular belief, there are just as many young people that suffer a stroke as do old people. This was something I found out when it happened to me. One minute I'm as fit as a lop, the next I'm sitting in casualty being spoken 'at', rather than 'to', by a young medic. “I think you've had a str...” the medic had started to say before I keeled over and the lights went out. I could remember a moment of warmth and security as I regained consciousness. Someone was holding me and stroking my brow. “Yuh alright sunshine, nuh worry mi wi protect yuh from harm.” a female voice with a heavy Jamaican accent whispered. I tried to sit up, but my limbs were leaden and unresponsive. I tried to speak but my tongue clove to my dry mouth. “Nuh fuss lie still an nurse Phoebe wi luk afta yuh.” whispered the voice as cool and refreshing as the water I was being given to drink. Over the coming weeks and months, Nurse Phoebe became my rock. A constant in the wreck of my life. She was beautiful, both inside and out. Certainly old fashioned, her attitude much older than the twenty-two years she claimed to be or looked. Her starched white apron over her blue dress and traditional nurses cap made a stark contrast to the drab grey smocks and scrubs of her colleagues. Above all, it was love that made her stand out. To the doctors and other nurses, at best, I was broken and needed to be patched up and sent on my way. At worst, just another backside to wipe. No, Phoebe was different. Who cared if she looked old fashioned. Who cared if she seemed to appear when I needed her? Who cared if she seemed to walk through walls? The bloody 'Trick Cyclist', that's who cared! The psychiatrist grasped my chin, shining a light in my eyes. “Peduncular hallucinosis!” “Bless you!” I said looking to see if Phoebe had appreciated my quip. But instead of her usual infectious grin, tears trickled down her cheeks. “You have damaged the mid-brain resulting in your experiencing hallucinations. It's rare, but it does happen. Patients can see all manner of people, animals, colourful patterns, usually in the evening but they can occur at any time.” “What? So I can add being psycho to the dodgy speech, arm, hand, leg and dribbling when I eat?” I eventually spluttered. “Oh, the hallucinations can be short term, although they could last for years. Some people enjoy them you know! I've prescribed a sedative, for now, we'll soon have you out of here and back to work!” “Wonderful” I mumbled as a nurse in grey scrubs jabbed my arm with a hypodermic. At the end of my bed, Phoebe seemed to shimmer as she clasped a fist over her heart and then pointed at me. My eyes grew heavy and Phoebe faded from view before everything faded to black. 'Out of here and back to work' the 'Trick Cyclist' had said. I was certainly 'out' but 'back to work'? You see, there is not a lot of call for archaeologists and historians that have difficulty stringing a sentence together let alone operating a damned shovel. Can't dig, can't talk and can't teach. “We do have the reputation of being 'the friendly college', but there's not a lot we can do with a fellow having trouble with his 'worms' as you just put it!” the Master had said. It served me right for trying to sneak through the Old Lodge instead of going through the main entrance. He was bound to catch up with me at some point. “And then there's the drinking. It simply won't do!” Again, he was right. It simply wouldn't do. There just wasn't enough of it to make me stop feeling. Ever since the stroke, I felt wrong, on edge. Do you know that feeling when you were a kid and you were really, really in trouble and your brain was working overtime trying to predict your punishment? Or when your Dad was drunk and belligerent and arguing with your Mum and you knew any minute his fists would start landing punches? That sick feeling when you know something is so dreadfully wrong but there's nothing you can do about it? No? So, just me then. But that's what I felt like twenty-four-seven, ever since Phoebe had faded from view. Drinking had helped, proffering a few blessed hours of oblivion but then I'd missed the company of my imaginary friend. You couldn't say it was drink and drugs, because I'd stopped taking the medication in the hopes of catching a glimpse of her. “You need to sort yourself, John, find a purpose, something to do.” “Like what?” I mumbled wishing I'd kept my mouth shut. “I'm glad you asked, Professor Cornelius, says he can make use of you.” “Never heard of him.” “Well, he's heard of you and you are expected.” “Where will I find him?” I asked knowing it was already a done deal. “Norfolk.” “There isn't a Norfolk College.” “The Norfolk Broads, John, The Norfolk Broads!”
  21. Ghost of a Chance The traffic lights on either side of the ancient bridge went through their cycle once more. This time casting a sickly green glow over the pilot's office on the starboard bank of the river. I took another pull on the bottle of Jack, anything to kill the godawful feeling of dislocation and uselessness. In front of the short dyke that housed the day boats a Ripplecraft river cruiser, trussed up for the night, gently swung at her moorings. On the bow sat a young woman swathed in a blanket and nursing a mug. She glanced at me with what I took for disgust before quickly looking back up to the bridge. The lights of the pub flicked off. As the last customers weaved their way to the bridge to get back to their boats the traffic lights changed colour again. Away to my right the sound of galloping horses and the rumble of iron-rimmed wheels meant the night's entertainment was about to begin. A ball of fire burst from behind the pilot's office and headed for the bridge, the holidaymakers oblivious to the hell that was careering towards them. I took another swig of Jack and settled down to watch the fun as rotting horses pulling a blazing coach passed right through the holidaymakers traipsing over the bridge. Dried flesh and sinew framed the gap-toothed grinning maw of the coachman as he whipped the desiccated horses dragging the fire wrapped landau. The dumb-springs of the careering carriage dug into the parapet of the bridge and sent sparks out over the river and onto the Ripplecraft river cruiser moored below illuminating the upturned face of the woman on the bow. Undead footmen, limbs flailing, screamed and cackled into the flaming orange glow of the burning coach as the lead horse hit the wall at the centre of the tiny humped bridge with a sickening crack. The screams of the broken animals were joined by those of the occupants of the carriage, which tipped precariously over the parapet wreathed in flame. The frantic thrashing of the horses rocked the carriage. With an explosion of flame and flailing limbs, the carriage toppled over the edge. Flaming debris thudded into staithe around me as the landau dropped into the river which erupted in a flume of spray and mud. “You saw that!” demanded the yachtswoman who had leapt ashore and was now shaking me. This was new. I was not used to people sharing my hallucinations. “You've taken a hurt, what made you sit so close you feeble-pated loon?” demanded the woman. I looked down at my leg from which a twisted piece of metal jutted. This was also new. I'd never been hurt by one of my hallucinations!
  22. I'm sorry but...my good friend MM on the CB radio having 'random chats' keeps bringing thoughts of Karl Pilkington to my mind! What's your 20, how many candles are you burning?
  23. Paragraph 12 of Schedule 5 of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 gives the Broads Authority powers to deal with abandoned vessels. These powers were exercised earlier in June to remove a boat. https://www.greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk/news/abandoned-boat-at-yarmouth-yacht-station-used-for-drugs-1-6102491 I would imagine the biggest constraints would be geographic and financial, although thinking about it the Public Health Act 1935 would also come into play with regard to notice and execution. However, the only document on policy I could find is dated way, way back in 2010 and is only a draft and I have no idea if it was adopted as official policy.
  24. Welcome aboard Clive!
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