Tag Archives: Hobo

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.

Pleasant in Cheshunt

16 Sep

BB has moved home again.

But before BB leaves BB, if you follow my drift, here are some shots from the other weekend when John’s no. 1 son came to play.

Like father…003 like son… 002Will these gates ever open…?005And I think Hobo has another fan…IMG_20130826_180323 (2)Roof’s looking good don’t you think…?

We admire this pair…013And like the look of this almost tropical river garden… 014And John covets this aluminium canoe…017

After a very happy month (really – a month?) in Broxbourne, Hobo has taken us further downstream to Cheshunt and pastures new. A new stretch of water for Hobo and towpath for me, new neighbours, new views from the window,  new roads/pubs/shops to discover and a new mooring for the car. The emphasis, you may have noticed, on new.

That, for me, is the beauty of the continuous cruise (albeit limited to the River Lea for now). Call me a gypsy but the prospect of learning and making home of ever-changing surroundings is a joy;  constant stimulation and a true antidote to boredom and stagnation. And, of course, a source of inspiration and ammunition for this blog.

We did some river shopping on the way…002

BB negotiates a deal for a sack of coal – fire season being here once more – and establishes his round for future reference, just about managing to ignore the mess it makes on the newly painted roof…001

What a wonderfully civilised way to do one’s shopping eh? Bye for now then…006But not for long as we share a lock further on… 008Where John could drool over the Lister JP2 engine, which does sound rather good..009

So, my new spot…


Because I have to remain mobile, land-wise, we usually start by finding  safe and convenient parking for Hobo’s car. Turns out that this neck of the woods is just about perfect for this; Lea Valley Park running alongside the river from Waltham Abbey all the way up to Ware. Not only is this a marvellous place to walk and cycle but it also provides vast, free car parking space adjacent to the towpath. And comes complete with a WC,

A café…004 even an ice-cream boat…003

Spot on then.

There’s been loads-a-money thrown at this area – just a mile’s walk away is the Lea Valley White Water Centre, which we duly investigated during the gale-force winds and biting cold of yesterday. We concluded it was a good facility, albeit in a structured/health and safety conscious sort of way. You know how it goes – stay away from the edge, keep behind the fence, no swimming and so on – 2 out of the three which we totally ignored, it being rather too cold for taking a dip…

Didn’t seem to put these partakers off though…002003014015See the girl up front, hanging on to the sides and no paddling to do?016 Well that would have to be me. John though would prefer the wild ways of the river itself, with all its unpredictability, danger and especially the lack of that annoying coach chappie, constantly shouting instruction to pump up his charges. Horses for courses. Or canoes. Whatever..

So, back to the immediate neighbourhood. This is what I see from the boat, looking across the towpath…002I’m surrounded by water… 005

And these are some of the locals…006 007I’m liking it here already.