Archive | March, 2014

Where They Hung the Jerk Who Invented Work…

26 Mar

There’s been a lot going on since I was last here so much to report – if I can just figure out where best to start.

So let’s begin with a song, by way of a treat. Do have a listen, especially to the words…

Isn’t that something? Make you smile?

This is now the official Hobo tune; The Big Rock Candy Mountains, AKA The Hobo Song. How fitting.

Loving those lyrics and the guitar picking.

In fact we love it so much that it has inspired a theme for Hobo’s long-awaited sign-writing job. Watch this space.

Funny stories are always good and this next one is very recent. It’s one of those too good to be true tales with a sudden and perplexing ending.  And very definitely a short story.

I found myself a little job at the end of February…busy-office-worker-2225634

18 hours a week, to consist of some admin work for a nearby computer firm, plus writing their blog. Earning those much needed pennies, plus expanding on the writing experience – and getting paid for it – as was my aim at the top of the year. Perfect.

I settled into the office routine…images

Learned their ways and kept up to date with tasks as required, and worked on the blog from home. It was a very different sort of blogging to what goes on here, needing to be technical as, naturally, all about computers. Not something I have a great deal of knowledge of, me no sort of geek, so required much research. They liked my work, publishing both of my posts without alteration, pleasing me no end and proving I can do this, do it well and to a deadline.

On the third Friday in the job, I was given a glowing assessment and all seemed well. They were happy and so was I.

Come the following Thursday (last week) they called me at home to say my services were no longer required, not to go in the following day and they’d pay me till the end of the month. No satisfactory explanations were forthcoming, leaving me stunned and deeply puzzled…images (1)


I hate mysteries that I can’t solve and can only conclude that the colleague who showed me the ropes did not take to me. That, coupled with the fact that when my predecessor recently called in with new baby, it was apparent that she and said colleague were the best of buddies, leading me to believe that maybe she wanted back in. A few unkind/untrue words and I’m toast. Binned. History.

That has to be a record, at just three weeks, beating even my brief career in farming…    Tell you about that sometime.

I’m not beating myself up though. In fact am enjoying life as I prefer it; choosing my getting up time,  setting my own deadlines and spending more time on the water. Suiting myself.

That said, I’m in touch with a restaurant just up the road, with regard to doing some work for them. This should keep the wolf from the door, while I seriously set about promoting my blog writing services.

I have a million and one (979 actually) more pics from John, now home, having accidentally ripped his entire SD card. Quite a bit of sorting/deleting to be done before I can upload them here but I’ll try and pick out some goodies before too long. Promise.

This being the tail end of his trip…100_3075

So, Boatbloke is back! Spent a very pleasant weekend catching up, eating out, walking along the Cam…

And unblocking the drains. Romantic eh?

Hobo has a long-standing – or stagnant – problem with waste draining from the kitchen sink. It has never been good, requires regular plunging but this winter even that wasn’t working. I poked and prodded with all manner of long enough, thin enough and flexible enough  implements, all to no avail and, much against my better judgement, resorted to the drain unblock-er gunk. That didn’t work either and just left me with a sink full of deadly poison, which wouldn’t even seep away slowly, and gave me nightmares about it melting the enamel off the sink.

I even resorted to crossing the river with the binos to see if the skin fitting was bunged up from the outside but couldn’t see a fish/duck/ lump of mud/body or whatever sticking out from the hole.

All down to some poor plumbing (pre-boatbird ownership) as after the U-bend the pipe narrows and actually goes uphill. Never going to work is it?

John to the rescue. We jump into the farm’s little row boat, armed with pokey things, and head for Hobo…100_2042

Curtain wire is the essential tool and, once John got us secure and adjacent to Hobo (he bravely standing in the unstable little boat and hanging on to the hand rail), I set about wiggling the wire. This soon released the blockage, which simply can’t be got at from the inside, and bingo – the sink was drained.

A lovely day for messing about on the river, albeit a bit chilly, and an opportunity to view Hobo from a different angle…100_2045

As we headed back to the slipway…100_2047


Good fun and a result. Long term we need to fit a larger skin fitting that will take a bigger diameter pipe that doesn’t have to run uphill. Obvious really.

She’s due a blacking this year so, while she’s out of the water, that is what we’ll do. Even though I hate the thought of holes being drilled in boats.

We also managed to clear up  last year’s deck building debris, now the ground is drying up a little, and then got to grips with all the empty bottles, cans and other detritus. A very unsightly mountain that has nothing to do with BB. Honest.

Only insofar as it has been my onshore view forever. Not good.

John got busy with the secateurs and plans to burn the ever-growing mound of tree cuttings to make way for a bit of a veggie patch. I fancy some spring flowers under the willow hedge, as well as radish, beans, marrow…..  the possibilities are endless.

I have no pics of the before (too ashamed) but will chart the progress and the after here.

Can’t wait.

Hills, Views, Caves, Stones, Bones and… a Space Turtle?

2 Mar

Our roving reporter is on the case again, sending more shots from his latest visit to the the west coast of South Africa.

They went walkabout into the wild and wide open spaces…100_2720_stitch

Around and about the area where Geoffrey currently lives and works.

They went up in the hills…Southern skies lodge from the hill opposite

And above the Rooibos tea fields…rooibos 1_stitch

They walked and climbed in the sweltering heat, which he said reached a staggering 47 degrees C on occasions, swimming in reservoirs to cool off.

John said he thought it was a bit hot!

They kept an eye open for caves, knowing the signs and getting a feel for finding them…100_2813

Large…bushman's cave

A bushman’s cave.

And small…caves, large and small

Complete with bones, this one. Click to enlarge and have a poke around.

They had a sleepover in one of them…100_2804


A room with a view…

100_2779Especially on a misty morning…cave 2_stitch


But sadly no paintings to be found.

Been said John’s a bit of a caveman. Like father like son, I’d say.

Geoffrey douses the fire…

dousing the fire

Where they cooked up sausages and drank  beer. No stomach churning bush tucker trials here, though it’s hardly glamping.

There’s lots of these…100_2761

And these…100_2774

Not sure what either are called but some are found only in this area.

And here’s the space turtle…

Rocks eroded into wierd shapes, space turtle

Or, if your imagination is a little jaded, rocks that have eroded into weird and interesting shapes. 

I don’t expect there’s too many of these about. What do you see?

Speaking of rocks…100_2493

A rare collection of treasures…Nature table R

I imagine the bulk of these were collected by the boys but if I know John, he will have had a hand in a few of them.

He loves all that archaeological stuff. Hand axes, digging stones and so on. John just has a knack of stumbling on these relics and cannot go anywhere without bringing back nature’s souvenirs.

He will spend hours perusing these in museums. We have some fun days out.

We have some back at the bus too – spoils from previous years – obviously irresistible to the John.  

Even back in the UK, we’ll go for a walk and he’ll end up with a pocketful of bits and bobs. Sometimes he even picks up washers, nuts, bolts, rubber bands or other such useful items, which he hands to me like presents to be cherished. And I do,  of course.

Maybe it’s a condition with a name – like Tourette’s. But quieter.


Unlike me, John is very much a morning person and captured this…Klipspringer at dawn

Klipspringer – a small African antelope – at dawn.

Some of the panoramas are 2/3/5 or more pics that I’ve stitched together. That really is such clever software.

Now John knows I can do this, he is taking snaps with stitching in mind and I look forward to the next batch.

This one has to be my current favourite…view 1_stitch


Don’t forget, you can click on any of these images to bring up to full size. A further click will enlarge that particular area of the photo, should you wish to see even more detail.