Cool Britannia (sort of): the British thread 2019



  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Not drunk or drowning, as such, but on one trip, with the church youth group, an inexperienced person at the tiller managed to get the boat stuck on the sill at the back of a lock. As the water level dropped, the boat was at quite a sharp angle.
    I was out helping with the locks, and my baby son was in a carrycot in the cabin. Fortunately disaster was quickly averted by raising the water level.
    One of the group said she didn’t know what to do with the baby and wondered whether she should throw him out. So glad she didn’t!
  • A nasty situation - it's not unknown for boats to be completely sunk within a lock!
  • !!! I had no idea that was possible. What an informative thread.
  • In other news, we've actually put the heating on for an hour as I was frozen. On the other hand, our bedroom window is cracked open as I sleep better in cool environment.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    The late Frank Muir wrote that the great advantage of narrow-boat holidays, which he loved,

    I remember him telling one of the stories on My Word involving a canal holiday. The premise was that, having gone for some shopping, he found himself on the opposite bank to his boat. His first thought was to dig a hole in the bank to let the water out. His second, to swim across, like the legendary Greek lover braving the Hellespont. Neither idea works out. (For overseas listeners, this was a gentle kind of literary quiz, on which the two captains had to provide an explanation 'of a well-known phrase or saying' - cue absurd, meandering narrative). So: Neither a burrower nor a Leander be
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited August 2019
    No canal-boats for me - the only sailing I've done was on the ferry to Orkney and back.

    The wedding went off very nicely; the ceremony was secular (Humanist) and rather boring - the officiant read a very long account of the bride and groom's courtship, which I thought was rather unnecessary. However, our new great-nephew made his opinion known by letting out a fart of Biblical proportions, causing mass hysterics in everyone close enough to hear it. As my sister put it, "my daughter is the only bride to be upstaged by a farting baby".

    Quick exit stage left ... :mrgreen:

    After the ceremony they just kept plying us with food and drink: v. nice canapes and an excellent meal, and I must have sunk enough Prosecco to float a battleship. :blush:

    Each table was adorned with a bottle of a different sort of GIN and all the ice, fruit, tonic and accoutrements to go with it, encouraging people to go round other tables and try the different sorts. Our GIN came from the Deerness Distillery in Orkney, and was very nice indeed.

    The following couple of days was occupied with catching up with various friends who live at this end of Scotland, and we're heading back over the Pond early tomorrow morning.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    We are back home from a wet walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, very little Internet but a nice few walks in beautiful countryside. Amazing pub food!

    We still have our visitors until Sunday. Fish pie for tea (evening meal) tonight.

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Just yesterday I noticed that change in the air that betokens the change of season (confirmed by the CH coming on this morning).

    I have been at the other pre-autumnal occupation of booking adult ed classes from September to Christmas. Despite enrolment only opening last week, a lot of the art and craft ones are already full. I've signed up for the Botanical Drawing again - I find it very Zen to work on capturing the exact sheen on a grape. Plus a general mucking about with chalks and paper (I have low expectations but you never know).
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Just yesterday I noticed that change in the air that betokens the change of season (confirmed by the CH coming on this morning).
    Yes, we had a lovely sunny day out yesterday but we said it felt as if autumn was coming.

    Today it tipped down with rain all morning and then has been grey and chilly. No CH yet ...

  • The Ark is at present being gently heated by a small Electricackle Stove, as the Rayburn really doesn't need to be fired up for a while...

    ...but it has been a Gruesome Graham of a day, with wind, and ra*n almost non-stop. Doesn't feel quite like Autumn yet, though.

    My Old Mum died this week (IYSWIM) back in 2004, and the weather was exactly the same - windy, and wet, one day, sunny, and not too bad, the next!

  • This week and next are our family ‘birthday weeks’, four to celebrate in all. Was my Grandad’s birthday and my parents’ wedding anniversary too. I always expect this time to be hot and sunny, feels a let down to be so cool and wet in actuality.
  • Hmm. I've always thought of August as generally a rather disappointing month, weather-wise!

    Quite why it should be the traditional English holiday month, I know not...
  • The August bank holiday used to be the first week in August, not sure when it moved to the end (that’s one of the reasons we have a WW1 fete that weekend, we usually have lovely weather).
  • edited August 2019
    ...where we struggled with neglected lock gates in a seedy underground lock beneath a shopping centre, surrounded by signs telling us that it is an offence to commit sexual acts there and whilst being observed by the local drug dealers.

    There used to be a very large 'caged' area down there where, on walking past on the towpath, one might see young men lurking behind pillars waiting for...someone.

    That thing where you can't get the water fast enough out of a lock - I had that once 25 years ago at Perry Bar, where a top gate was fecked. We got the level down as far as it would go, tied a short slack rope round one of the lower gates and onto the prow, and backed up fast. When it tightened (with a bang!) someone was ready with a batten to shove into the gap which momentarily opened up between the bottom gates. No one lost any fingers... I think I also remember having to use a tarp to help seal a leaky bottom gate up a bit, to be able to fill it. Not the one we just knackered with the piece of rope :smile:

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    I think it was in a lock on the Cheshire Ring where we found we simply could not open the top gate, owing to a slight difference in the water level between the (full) lock and canal.

    I'm afraid I resorted to the drastic expedient of reversing the boat (which was a 60-footer), as far back as possible, and using the 10 feet of space available to ram the gate.

    Which duly opened (TBTG).

    I wouldn't do it now - I've heard of gates being knocked completely off their hinges by such foolhardiness...
  • I remember having problems with lift bridges. It's off putting to see the boat approaching when the bridge is seesawing and won't stay up.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    All this talk of having to faff about re-assembling lock gates makes me think canal-boating is really far too hard work to count as a holiday!

    My holidays are now over :cry: but apart from the ungodly hour* we had to be up yesterday to get the plane were really very enjoyable.

    As we had a 10-hour wait in Toronto, we did what one does in Toronto: went up the CN Tower. It was certainly worth it for the views, even though we chickened out of the Sky Walk, and I only ventured one foot on the glass floor - D. had been there before, and his absolute terror had been transmitted to me over the years!

    Now, as my dad would have said, back to old clothes and porridge.**

    * 4 a.m., and we didn't get home until 1:30 this morning - 5:30 British time) :sleepy:

    ** not literally - ugh!
  • I'm certain that it is warmer outside than indoors today. Mind you, this house is notorious for being cold, but still...
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    At this time of year, our house is almost always cooler than it is outside - hurrah for air-con (which I've just turned off - it's currently 22° outside but doesn't need to be as low as 16° inside).

    Having had nearly three weeks of nice moderate Scottish temperatures, the prospect of 26° but feeling like 29 is not appealing!
  • I went up the CN Tower in 2000. I refused even one foot on the glass panel, much to my friend's amusement. You've beat me Piglet. :smile:
  • St Everild wrote: »
    I'm certain that it is warmer outside than indoors today. Mind you, this house is notorious for being cold, but still...

    It's been unremittingly WET here today (and cold). The BBC predicted a 100% chance of rain at 5pm, dropping to 98% by 7pm and a thrilling 97% at 8pm. Couldn't see much difference though.
  • Climacus wrote: »
    I went up the CN Tower in 2000. I refused even one foot on the glass panel, much to my friend's amusement.
    You should have tried Blackpool Tower first, for practice.

  • makes notes
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Was thinking about you tonight @Baptist Trainfan We were celebrating my husband's birthday with a treat of his choosing, namely to have dinner on the steam train that runs from Aviemore to Broomhill. To have a three course meal in this journey entails several long stops, or we would get there before the soup was done! It was a lovely evening and Mr Cats was very pleased with it. The younger "kittens" humoured their father. They are at that age.
  • That sounds lovely. On some steam railways they make two trips up and down while dinner is served, but the shunting at each end presumably might cause the soup to spill!
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    It’s raining (again) but the forecast says no rain from 10am. That will make a nice change. :)
  • Cathscats wrote: »
    The younger "kittens" humoured their father. They are at that age.

    What age is that; enquiring minds need to know.

    I went with my kids on the east lancs preserved railway on fathers' day - the missus came too, but it ended up all a bit last-minute and rushed. That meant a plan my kids and I had been brewing for a while went out the window - or rather didn't go out the window, the plan being a stuffed owl which was going to be employed by my youngest in a Harry Potter re-enactment from one of the corridor coaches. At Rawtenstall (the terminus) you understand, for owl-reclamation purposes. So instead we ended up visiting Rawtenstall Lidl. Oh well.
  • Late teens. Young enough to know that Dad is not cool but old enough to realise that there is nothing they can do about it. Young enough to grumble behind the scenes (a little) and be embarassed that the piper (oh yes) was someone they knew from school, but old enough to come with a smile and make it a good night for their Dad. It's a nice age, I find, better than the mid teens were.
  • Well, I go away for a minute (ok, many, many, many minutes) and so much has happened to you all.

    I’ve been at Sidmouth Folk Festival in the tin tent trying not to wonder if it would blow away, and since then trying to catch up with everything before heading off for Greenbelt - today i hope to attack the weeds that seem to be growing faster than anything else on t’allotment despite autumn trying to arrive.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited August 2019
    I (whisper it) don't think autumn's quite here yet: although it's not sunny, the temperature's still in the low 20s, but feeling like 28*. D's been playing for a wedding, but I've just heard the Cathedral carillion, so I assume things are winding up.

    Judging by the look of the porcine lawn, Ride-on-Mower Bloke has been past while we were away - may he reign for many years! :smile:

    * According to the forecast, on Monday it's actually going to be 28°. :flushed:
  • Went to the theatre tonight. Checked weather forecast on BBC: 0% chance of rain until after midnight, so no raincoat. Came out of theatre: rain tipping down. Got on bus, got off bus to walk home: rain tipping down. Now drying off in front of electric heater!
  • Are you all ill? Buried under an avalanche of good cooking? Or, more likely, washed away in the torrential rain we've been having!

    I am a bit concerned as there has been no post here since August 17th!!
  • Family visits, and now busy with church Holiday Bible Club. And, after Very Wet Weather, the sun is out.
  • Epic family BBQ in Sleepy Somerset on Sunday. Wonderful food (with Mrs Sioni pulling out all the stops with a couple of salads-for-people-who-don't-like-salad.
    On Thursday the weather looked typically English, but for once we brought some nice werather over from Wales and the sun shone pretty much all day (we did get some cloud). Various grandchildren and greatnephews & g/neices played very nicely.
    We found that my sister-in-law has been traced by my late brother's second cousin, lost to the family for over seventy years, so we are likely to get back in touch with the rest of that line, who are scattered all over Ireland, both the Republic and the Province. I might not be a descendent of the Irish line (different father), but I do have some Irish credentials through my own father's mother. There could be a dangerous party in the offing!
  • Not ill (thank you @Thomasina for asking!), but for me, August is a dire, and depressing, month, which I prefer to get through a.s.a.p.

    All the Bad Things that have happened in my life seem to have occurred in August (NOT the same one, TBTG!), so if it were possible to estivate during this month, I would.
  • My bipolar has been making me slightly depressed and anxious, probably due to stress and tiredness, and I don’t often post when down. Nothing I can’t overcome though :)
  • On a more cheerful note, it's been quite a nice, sunny, day today, so the Episcopal Washing has been duly done, and dried.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I've been catching up on sleep and laundry, as you do, after being on holiday; yesterday I did very little except bake some bread and rolls and cook the (heavenly) corn-cobs* for lunch.

    The weather's been hot and sticky since we got back, so sitting in an air-conditioned château has been the preferred option. It looks like a glorious day out there - 26° and a cloudless sky, so I may venture out later.

    * The hydroponically-grown corn-cobs are back at the market - yipee! :smiley:
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    I've finished work for the holidays but we haven't left yet.

    Rouge Heights needed some extra furniture and bits and pieces so yesterday a friend took us in the car to the Swedish emporium.

    Today our dear friend Maman B (who I've mentioned here before) came round for tea bearing African beignets. Not sure on the translation here - donuts? fritters? Essentially little balls of deep fried batter and one of the tastiest things in the known universe. I'm fairly sure there must be an English name because some Anglophone countries in Africa also have them but I don't know what it is. Yummy anyway.

    We are leaving for Swisserland on Thursday.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited August 2019
    Beignet is how Tim Horton's doughnuts are translated into French: during their annual "Roll up the Rim" promotion you can gagnez un beignet - win a doughnut.

    eta: hope you, M. en rouge and Captain Pyjamas have a lovely holiday!
  • @la vie en rouge I ate beignets in DRC and they are indeed delicious. The Kenyan equivalent are called mandazi and they too are delicious but it depends on who has made them as sometimes they can be like rocks! I was shown how to make them by a Kenyan friend and am pretty sure the secret is in not being too heavy handed in preparing the dough.
    Have a great holiday.

    I'm off this morning via my brother to have two days helping with Little Beaky before his admission to hospital next week to try and sort out all the things which are making him so miserable- it's sunny here so hopefully that will continue
  • On a more cheerful note, it's been quite a nice, sunny, day today, so the Episcopal Washing has been duly done, and dried.
    Presumably the Mitre and Cope had to be dry-cleaned though - the spin-drier does terrible things to them!

  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I've won something! I went to a book festival in Newark, filled in the survey afterwards and have won a night in a rather swish b&b, an afternoon tea out and tickets to the local Civil War Museum. Booked it all up for early September.
    Enjoy the holidays LVER and family, and glad you are safely back from your hols @Piglet.
  • On a more cheerful note, it's been quite a nice, sunny, day today, so the Episcopal Washing has been duly done, and dried.
    Presumably the Mitre and Cope had to be dry-cleaned though - the spin-drier does terrible things to them!

    Very true - though I venture to suggest that you don't speak from personal experience!

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    That sounds like a very decent prize, Sarasa - hope you enjoy it!

    It's yet another hot, sticky day, so I'm keeping out of it by laundering bed linen (what a riveting life I lead). Must go and transfer same to the tumble-dryer - I'm afraid I wouldn't be without it, even in summer (there isn't really anywhere we could put a clothes-line anyway).
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Thomasina wrote: »
    Are you all ill? Buried under an avalanche of good cooking? Or, more likely, washed away in the torrential rain we've been having!

    I am a bit concerned as there has been no post here since August 17th!!

    I was away for a week, back for a week and then away again, with flaky or no wifi during the away times and with the distractions of Life when around home and work. I'm home again now and suffering with Holiday Head, unable to get back into routine.

    We've been Up North where it was wet and chilly and I can't get used to being too warm in just a tee shirt.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Last night was an evening out.

    I met LRP after she had finished work for a meal in Huddersfield's finest Indian restaurant before heading for the theatre. (I was acting being cultured for a day.)

    On entering the theatre there was a haze of smoke in the air and the smell of burnt toast. Appropriate, as the play was 'Toast' based on the autobiography of TV cook and food critic Nigel Slater. It was a good show.

    Today was a typical October day, where has August gone? I got caught in the only heavy shower of the changeable weather. I got home with every item of clothing either damp or dripping wet. Yukk.
  • I think summer is about to bounce back according to the weather man. Tomorrow I’m heading across the channel to French France to sing with my choir in Paris. Hoping I won’t fry!
  • This week is our church's Holiday Bible Club. On Saturday, following hallowed tradition, we shall be going to the beach. The weather forecast is good although we shall sadly hit a midday high tide!
  • A lovely, late summer day here, today, with a good forecast for the Bank Holiday w/e. Hope the beach trip goes well, @Baptist Trainfan!

    (A naughty Imp is whispering something to me about it being an ideal time for a full immersion baptism, in the Proper Style!)

    Having had the Episcopal Chariot suffering from Horrible Grinding Noises for some time, I eventually took the poor thing (at 830am yesterday) to the Mendologists. They diagnosed the need for new front brake discs and pads, and the job was done by 1230pm!
    What's more, they didn't charge silly money, and lent me a courtesy car for the morning (both the Ark, and the Mendology Centre, are too far away from bus stops).
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