Ups n Downs


Oh happy daze! When I first started to learn the guitar, the first song I could play was The House of the Rising Sun, I’m pretty sure that’s a standard. Then I started with some other stuff but I really wanted to play Bowie’s Space Oddity, but it was tricky, the first bit is so easy once you get the strum right, but then, after lift off the chords get more than a little difficult for a beginner, and so it was out of my reach for ages (actually about 30 years). I am pleased to say that I finally learned it all the way through this week, I think Vee is happy too, after all these years Major Tom has finally got off the ground. A gripe I’ve always had with the guitar is that some people make it looks so natural, so easy, and I really have to work hard at it, I now realise that these people have put in many hours to make themselves look natural. I wish I’d known that 30 years ago.

It absolutely hammered down the other day, streams of water were coming down the sides of the boat, and of course I haven’t put the tarpaulin over the boat yet, that’ll wait until the last possible moment. We have a few leaks, but all things considered they’re not enough to worry about, a couple of dribbles in the salon and (unfortunately) one over the bed (but it’s on Vee’s side 🙂 ). Whilst it was raining a car raced past us on the towpath, bloody idiot as the towpath doesn’t go anywhere. He stopped and started reversing back once he realised, but between the rain, the dark and the close proximity of the canal he could barely see where he was going. There is a chain in front of the area before JP’s gate, I think it’s there to stop the fishermen from using his drive as a car park. The driver got out and took the chain down so that he could turn around, not a big deal but the bugger didn’t get out after turning and put it back, I guess I’m being a miserable old fart but, I think that’s just rude, I have no idea what he was doing down the towpath anyway, crappy GPS I suppose, who else would drive down a towpath?¿! Any hoo, the point of my telling you this is to say that this was the first day that we did not step off of the Adventurer (five months aboard today can you believe), “big deal”, well you gotta remember that we are very much outside people, but no so much when it’s raining cats and dogs, you can keep that.


As I write this I am listening to the new Kate Bush live album, Before The Dawn. I so wanted to go to these shows in London and would have gladly swapped the house in Spain for two tickets, (remember, I sold the house for a little over a thousand €uros). The album is brilliant, only one listening so far but considering the recording has not been adulterated in any way, she really is brilliant! The Ninth Wave segment, as expected is simply awesome.

I am thankful, we’re looking after JP and Ilse’s house and in return we get electric and WiFi, they said it was for free but I am putting some money aside each month, just in case, these rads do burn power. It’s a shame that we don’t have easy access to water though, they had to winterise their house meaning they shut the water off, gutted as we have to cart the water in from a few hundred metres away, no biggie but it does take ten trips to fill the tank to full with our little (borrowed) jerrycan.

Every one has gone now, the Aussies and Kiwis left a while ago, and then this week was the mass exodus of the Brits, either going back to the UK (ha ha… why exchange one cold place for another?) or to warmer climes, (lucky bastards!). It is going to be a bit weird here for a while, we are (for some reason) going to the next River Rats meeting next weekend, I think we said yes as there’ll only be three people, quick meeting.


Courtesy of Nicki Bloom

Uncle Ken passed away this week, I haven’t seen him for over thirty years but I still feel the loss. He used to give me a lift to school with his kids for a brief time when I was twelve, I wasn’t in the best of spaces at the time but seeing him most everyday went a long way to making things a bit better. He got me into violin music, I used to really like the Four Seasons tape that he played in the car, that Range Rover he drove, I was small for my age and that car seemed massive. He gave me the tape, maybe he finally got sick of my asking him to play it, I had it until it wore out years and years later. If you were to ask for one word to describe Ken, that word would have to be gentle. Miss you Ken, rest well.


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