The Life and Times of this Old Git

Location: Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom

I'm married with two grown up children and four grandchildren, My wife of 47 years is Sue and we are the same age. My two children are Pamela (blogging occasionly under and Roy,who was recently Paralysed from the waist down due to an Absys on his Spine. My 4 grandchildren are (oldest first) Gavin, Hayley, Thomas,and Zoe. Sue and I are both retired and we're disabled too, her with a badly Arthritic back and spine, me with lung (COPD) and Heart problems.I have always loved Fishing (all sorts) Sue started fishing with me about 8 years ago, now she really enjoys it too. We both love m'cycles and m'cycling, Sue owns and rides her own bike which is a Custom 1981 250 Honda.I own a 1979 Honda CX500. We are both members of this motorcycle club ( view or join our club on or see my blog post Dec 2007 blog "Getting old, never", of course we're badly resticted now due to our illness, only riding in really good weather.Just over three years ago we lost our best friend and Baby Mojo the border Collie, Gone but never forgotten. Please feel free to use any of our photo's but do let me know you have used them, thank you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Through the Years (part 8).

This is the next post on my "Through the years" posts, it has been several months now since the last of these. So to i think to carry on I will go to my Grand children, particularly the oldest Gavin.When they were quite young Sue and I had them quite a lot as my Daughter Pam and her then husband Dave were going through an on/off thing eventually parting. As often happens during times like this there was a lot of bitterness and in fighting/unpleasantness. Eventually Dave left them and their flat in Teignmouth, and moved back to his Fathers house in Dawlish.As a result of this money was very tight for Pam and the kids so she took two part time jobs, of course then who gets the job of looking after the kids?. At the time I worked at "Langdon Hospital" Dawlish, this hospital catered for the mentally and some times phsyically handicapped too.(I could tell some stories). My job (a porter for 10 years) was only four days (4 X 10.5 hr shifts) a week on a rotation system, I then had three days a week off. Sue worked at the time as a Cook, first in a busy Sea front cafe, then for 12 years in Retirement homes. This meant that she usually worked 5 days of 4.5 to 5 hrs shifts. As you can see it worked out we were off enough to have the kids an awful lot, overnight quite often as Pam did 3 nights behind the bar of a local pub. We were obviously a lot closer to these two than to Pams second family 7 years later, for these two's (Thomas & Zoe) early childhood was spent in Germany where Wayne (her 2nd Husband) was stationed for three years with the Army. So at this time we were having the kids 2 or 3 nights and several days a week, we also took them away for a fair few week ends and Gavin even a few whole week holidays. I think I ended up as the Father figure to Gavin at this time and we have stayed especially close ever since. Hayley as the youngest of the two and I suppose being a girl got pushed out by Gavin a lot. As is usual with girls I expect, she got a lot closer to Sue than she did me.
Gavin pictured below all grown up (2 years ago) and almost good looking, takes after me then.
Here's Gavin at his Nan's 42nd birthday party (over 20 years ago). We held this as a surprise Bar-b Q in the back yard, there has never been anything wrong with his appetite.

This picture below is of a regular occurrence, when Pam used to go to work earlyish in the morning, she would come into our house and take great delight in saying to them both, "run upstairs and wake Grampy up", as you can imagine they did this with great delight. Gavin jumping up and down, Hayley just peeping out from behind me. At this time my nick name given to me by Pam on behalf of the kids was "Grumpy Grampy".
This picture was again taken in our backyard, its a little earlier than the first one by around 12 months. As you can see Hayley was still in her Carry Cot at this time. (excuse my bum please)
Gavin is now in his 24 year, Hayley just into her 22nd year. Hayley had a quite serious relationship, moving to Wales with a Welsh boy. It ended after around 18 monthe but she still lives mostly in Wales.We have recently heard that Hayley is unlikely to be able to have children (although not absolutely certain) because of serious ongoing womens problems.
Gavin, Who was also in a long time relationship has decided that women are too expensive and too much trouble. He's now doing well in his career in Computing, traveling 40 odd miles each way to work daily. He moved into a house with several other boys a few years ago, this house was run by a local youth leader and Computer boffin, who taught him his love of this subject, Gavin went on through college and eventually received his honours at it. Just a few weeks ago he took over the rental (with a work coleague) of a bungalow, which became vacant next door to where he lived. He is his Grandads best fishing friend, he says he has a lot more time (and money) now not involved with women to follow his love of Motorcycling and also compete in "Banger Racing". I did intend to post 3 or 4 more pictures on here but I'm afraid I can't find the originals to scan and post.

Joke of the day.

A teacher gave her class of 11 year olds an assignment: To get their parent to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it.

The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.
Ashley said, 'My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg-laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the car when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs got broken.'
'What's the morale of that story?' asked the teacher.
'Don't put all your eggs in one basket!'
'Very good,' said the teacher.
Next little Sarah raised her hand and said, 'Our family are farmers too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. One day we had a dozen eggs, but when they hatched we only got ten live chicks, and the moral to this story is, 'Don't count your chickens before they're hatched'.'
That was a fine story Sarah.'
Michael, do you have a story to share?'
'Yes. My daddy told me this story about my Aunty Sharon. Aunty Sharon was a flight engineer on a plane in the Gulf War and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete. She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands.'
'Good heavens,' said the horrified teacher, 'what kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?'
'Stay the f.... away from Aunty Sharon when she's been drinking"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nature day out.

During the summer we decided one day to go to the Exmoor Zoo, this friendly little Zoo lies just off the A39 a couple of miles outside of Combe Martin in N Devon. It specialises in the smaller Animals, although it now has its own "Beast of Exmoor" in the shape of "Lady" a female "Black Leopard". Also boasting Cheetah's and Maned Wolves as a couple of the bigger Species. While we there I didn't keep note of the animals we were photographing, so I'm afraid I am not 100% sure what we caught on film. Perhaps a few of you nature buffs (i was going to say naturists but thought better of it) will tell me in your comments,
1. So here we go this first picture is of the pack lead male "Meerkat" doing the classic look out duty.

2. There are quite a pack? of "Meerkats" here, they are just so lovable and cute, we spent ages watching and taking pictures.
3. Isn't this picture just crying out for a caption, so lets have some please. "Where is it I'm looking but cant see anything".
4. Isn't this Maned Wolf so photogenic and adorable looking?. He/she doesn't look so cute standing up he/she is a bit lean and gangly then, but don't tell them I said so I don't want to hurt his/her pride/
5. Naughty me threw a stone into the long grass by its side, like lightening it immediately was looking to see what made the grass move, looking for a mouse or whatever I suppose.
6. Now then what have we here?, some sort of hairy Monkey with the look of a Pekingese about it.
7. This I think was some sort of "Long eared Fox" if I remember rightly?.
8. Real good lookers this pair of "Cheetah's", the only trouble this is the only shot we could get with either of them looking in our direction.
9. These I think were "Ring Tailed Lemurs", there were quite a few of these here.
10. These"Otters" just wouldn't stay still, we followed them around their enclosure for ages trying to get them still for a picture but to no avail.
11. Now then "Otters" a pack? a tribe? you tell me.
12. A pair of I think N American "Short Eared Owls", If Abe of reads this I'm sure he will know. Anyone wanting to see wildlife photography then look no farther than here, amazing shots from someone with a very famous heritage.
13. Now then what have we here? an Australian Rugby team perhaps, there is quite a big very tame herd? here.
14. Now i am sure someone (especially Abe) will tell me what this beautiful bird is.
15. This big bird is ugly but its youngster is even uglier, certainly not in the league of looks against the previous one. I'm fairly sure it was sort of "Hornbill".
16. This one isn't the best photo so that makes it difficult, looking at it I would say some sort of "Buzzard" or "Eagle" perhaps?.
17. These we didn't actually photograph in the flesh, we took these off pictures posted around the Zoo.
18. Again this lovely lady was taken from a zoo picture, although we did take our own but at a distance and through thick vegetation so were poor. Apparently "Lady" is one of only two Females of the Species capable of breeding in the UK.

Overall a very enjoyable day for anyone holidaying in the area. During the summer months a guided tour starts every hour explaining all about the Animals and Birds and their breeding programme.
Joke of the day.
A hiker gets lost in the woods and spends the next three days wandering around with no food, finally he comes around a tree and spots a Bald Eagle asleep in its branches.He creeps up and throws a rock killing it,Immediately he sets abut eating it raw.A park ranger stumbles on the scene and arrests the hiker for killing an endangered species.
In court the hiker explains that he was on the edge of starvation and had no choice.
“Considering the circumstances, I find you not guilty,” says the judge. “But I have to ask—what did the eagle taste like?”
“Well, your honor,” the hiker says, “it tasted like a cross between a whooping crane and a spotted owl.”

Friday, November 21, 2008


On a Gale torn, stormy day in January 1899, the 1,900 ton, 3 masted ship the "Forrest Hall"was in severe difficulties off Porlock Weir, on the North Somerset Coast. A severe gale had been howling for nearly 24 hours and in Lynmouth there were flooded houses and the harbour was unusable due to huge waves. The "Forrest Hall" had severe damage including a lost rudder, she was under tow from a tug when the tow rope parted and the tug was unable to secure the rope again due to the very heavy seas. At about 8.00pm the "Forrest Hall" was in great fear of destruction and being blown onto the foreshore. The lifeboat call out came to the Lynmouth lifeboat the "Louisa"but due to the severe weather the boat was unable to launch. The Coxswain at the time was Jack Crocombe who announced that it was impossible to launch in Lynmouth so why not try taking the lifeboat over the 13 miles to "Porlock Weir"and launch it in its sheltered harbour. The rest of the crew and the crowd that had gathered could not believe what he had proposed. "Porlock" lay in a sheltered bay on the other side of the 1 in 4 gradient of Countisbury hill. The lifeboat "Louisa" weighed over 10 tons and the route was just a rough cart track over the Moor and torn by the wind and torrential rain. After a short discussion it was decided to give it a go, anything to try to save the lives of 13 trained crew and 5 Apprentices. The lifeboat crew sent 6 men ahead with picks and shovels to try to cut a path through. So with the help of around 12 horses and a 100 men the journey began up the steep 1,423 feet of Countisbury Hill. During this wild and precarious journey they had to take several detours and demolish a few posts making the journey in the end over 15 miles. The journey to the top took its toll of men and horses so twenty or so new work Horses were "purloined" to assist on the 1 in 4 downward journey.At this point about 80% of the villagers were so exhausted that they gave up and returned to Lynmouth, leaving around just 20 men to carry on.During this tricky 3 mile, muddy descent a whole corner wall of a house had to be dismantled and at one point the "Louisa" had to be lifted bodily off the carriage because it was too wide to fit between houses, 6 feet long log skids were put under the front of her then she was rolled along them, they were then picked up and carried to the front again and the whole process started all over again. After this over 10 tons of boat had again to be loaded on its carriage. Can you imagine having to try and hold back this monster on slippery cart tracks in a howling gale and heavy rain, this with little or no light as the wind repeatedly blew out the lamps. During this also having to replace a lost wheel too.This fantastic journey eventually ended with a launch from "Porlock Weir" at 6.30 am. The lifeboat braved the heavy seas and it took the weary crew over an hour to reach the "Forrest Hall"and for several hours stood by the stricken vessel which by now had managed to secure a firm anchor hold just a few hundred yards from shore.At daylight the original tug hove into sight and the "Louisa"crew boarded the stricken vessel secured a rope to it and passed it over to the tug. Within a few minutes another Tug arrived and between them they managed to tow the boat to the safe haven of Barry in Wales, all the time accompanied by the "Louisa".It might well be remembered that all the hours that the "Louisa" was at sea her crew had to keep rowing to keep her head up to the wind. Eventually this little flottila hove into Barry at around 5am, 22 HOURS later.
Below this picture shows Countisbury Hill as it is today, the road has been cut into the bank a lot lower than the original track, even so look at Lynmouth foreshore in the distance to give you an idea of this epic journey.

This photo below shows the rough route taken the 13 miles up over Countisbury hill. Obviously there was not a road as such in those days it would have been a narrow "Cart track".

This picture was borrowed from this site, it shows a rowed lifeboat but doesn't actually say if this was the one either used at the time or in the re-enactment.
This boat below stands in the centre of Lynmouth and is a replica of the original "Louisa", I believe this was the boat used by the current lifeboat crew and villagers whan doing the 100th anniversary reconstruction.
So there we have it I think that was amazing. Now a really good (but Long) poem
On the 12th of January ’99, a horrible gale blew
and our lifeboat went to Porlock to save a helpless crew.
Never had a storm so cruel swept our village by the sea
for the waves roll in like thunder and the hills shook violently
Brave men crept to their firesides and barred their doors that night
children drew close together and women trembled with fright

For hours the storm was raging no sound of life was heard
it hushed all human voices with a silence still and weird
But hark from out of the darkness a signal rocket fired
A call for the Lynmouth lifeboat the lifeboat men required
And barred doors were unbolted and timid hearts grew brave
A ship in distress they murmur to save from a watery grave

And soon the deserted village was thronged with hurrying feet
and willing hands pressed forward the lifeboat down the street
To the waters edge they brought her manned by her faithful crew
But the waves rolled in like thunder and the wind more violently
For and hour or more they battled with each high and awful wave
oh! can they never launch her and the sinking vessel save?

Stout hands grew sick and fearful and hands were rung in pain
As the men were driven backwoods they tried and tried in vain
Then a voice was heard, and strangely the crew strained ears to hear.
Carry the boat up yonder, she’ll launch from there ne’er fear.
Up yonder? A thousand feet above? And then 10 miles or more,
before we get her to the sea to launch her from the shore.

Nay; Nay; our lifeboat crew are brave and Englishmen are strong.
But they cannot risk that journey, so perilous and long.
Then through the crowd all hurriedly, a women pressed her way,
And when the crew saw her white face, they knew what she would say.
Oh lads, we fair would keep you, we need our husbands sore
but on that wreck out yonder they surely need you more.

On and save the fathers, that perish but for you,
And mothers may be on that ship, And little children too.
Can you leave them to perish, and seek your homes again.
Must it be said tomorrow our crew; was called in vain?
No never, never cried the crew we’ll go, cost what it may.
And ‘ere another hour was passed and the boat was on her way

That strange and awful journey when fifteen horses drew
The village lifeboat up that hill manned by her faithful crew
Can never be forgotten for old and young were there
And each man took a lantern and all the work did share
On and on and upwards and then the bleak, bleak moor
Is reached without a murmur with footsteps firm and sure.

No thought of cold and hunger could stay those men that night
Only a lamp rekindled or a loose wrap drawn up tight
And then a moments halting for as they climbed before
They now descend for three long miles before they reach the shore
The horses are growing weary Ah! Can they take the bend
Where the hill is steep and narrow and safely reach the end.

Words cannot tell the anguish ‘tis better veiled from sight
What men and horses suffered during that awful night
Only this, hour of hardship and then the sea at last
The lifeboat launched in safety peril and danger passed
What of the wreck the drowning? They saved them everyone
They saved the children’s father they saved the mothers son.

Me thinks the heart eternal throbbed with compassion then
And bestowed a benediction on our brave lifeboat men.

30 September 1938

This poem was obtained by Robert E. Webb. He copied this one on holiday in Lynmouth..Who the Author is I'm not sure.

Joke of the day.

Lobster Story

In a small fishing village, a Newfoundlander was walking Up the wharf carrying two at-least-three-pound live lobsters, one in each hand.
It was three weeks after the season closed! Whom should he meet at the end of the wharf but the Federal Fisheries Officer who, upon viewing the live and wiggling lobsters, says: "Well me Laddie I got you this time - with two live lobsters three weeks after the season Closed!"
The Newfie says, "No - My Son you are wrong! These are two trained lobsters that I caught two weeks before the season ended."
The Fisheries Officer says, " Trained like how?"
"Well my son, each day I takes these two from my house down to the wharf and puts them in the water for a swim. While they swim I sits on the wharf and has me a smoke, or two. After about 15 minutes I whistles and up comes me two lobsters, and I takes them home!"
"Likely story", the Fisheries Officer says! "Lets take them on down the wharf and see if it`s true."
So, the Newfie goes ahead of the Fisheries Officer to the end of the wharf where, under supervision, he gently lowers both lobsters into the water.
The Newfie sits on a wharf piling and lights up a smoke, then another! After about 15 minutes the Fisheries Officer says to the Newfie, "How about whistling?"
The Newfie says " What For?"
The Fisheries Officer says, " To call in the Lobsters"
The Newfie says, " What Lobsters?"

Monday, November 17, 2008


This blog is the first I have done for a few weeks due to a family bereavement. We are just about starting to get every thing back together again. So for anyone who has has borne with me and no blogs recently this one is for you. Its content is about water, we love water, whether that be Sea, Lake, River or stream we have a fascination for it. In my Computer picture section I have over 1200 images and I bet 140-150 of those contain shots with water in them.Please bear with me if the text attached to these pictures isn't 100% accurate as I did not always keep notes on them.
Please do click on any picture to enlarge it.
This one of Autumn is from Dartmoor.
The picture below was taken this year from the middle road bridge at Lynmouth.
This one below was again Lynmouth, this time taken looking up the river Lyn from the village.
Below a tiny summer stream, taken on the road up from "Buckland in the moor", last Autumn.
This picture below was taken if my memory serves me correctly in "Lorna Doone" country, ("Doone Valley").
The picture below was also taken on a ride into the "Doone Valley" showing a lovely old Forde, which was originally the only road.
This beautiful part of Dartmoor is a favourite motorbike ride haunt of ours (below),we spend many happy hours here in the peace and quiet of the stream, a cuppa and a sarnie our jackets to sit on, a book to read, what more could you wish for.The bridge is situated on Exmoor close to the village of "Withypool.
Below, this is the first of two taken at Dartmeet which lies on the road down to Lynton & Lynmouth.
Ourselves and some friends did the walk from here following the River Lyn down into Lynmouth, it was done as a blog earlier this year" Watersmeet Revisited".
I do hope i havn't bored you with these photographs, i hope soon to do a blog on the great Lynmouth overland lifeboat rescue.
Joke of the day.

Morris returns from the doctor and tells his wife
that the doctor has told him that he has only 24 hours to live.
Given the prognosis, Morris asks his wife for sex.Naturally, she agrees, so they make love.
About 6 hours later, the husband goes to his wife and says,"Honey, you know I now have only 18 hours to live.
Could we please do it one more time?"
Of course, the wife agrees, and they do it again.
Later, as the man gets into bed, he looks at his watch and realizes that he now has only 8 hours left He touches his wife's shoulder and asks,
"Honey, please... just one more time before I die."She says, "Of course, Dear," and they make love for the third time.
After this session, the wife rolls over and falls to sleep.
Morris, however, worried about his impending death, tosses and turns, until he's down to 4 more hours.He taps his wife, who rouses. "Honey, I have only 4 more hours. Do you think we could...".. At this point the wife sits bolt up and says,

"Now listen Morris, I do have to get up in the morning...... you don't."

Sunday, November 02, 2008


The 1952 Flood in Lynton and surrounding Area was one of the worst natural (or was it?) disasters that Devon has ever seen.The first two weeks in August 1952 had been the wettest for years, over 6"(4 months rain fell in just 2 weeks) of rain had fallen in that short time and the ground all across Exmoor was saturated and full to the brim. As a result the small streams that fed both the East & West Lyn rivers were bursting their banks and swelling the rivers to virtual bursting point.
One Author tells that at around 4PM on the 15th the sky over the village was so dark that Shops, houses and street lights had to be turned on, local residents were alarmed and concerned about an unnaturally large Black and Purple cloud that hung unmoving directly overhead, this heavy Cumulus cloud was said to resemble the beginning of an Atom Bomb, with heavy rain cascading from its base. Onlookers said that what made it even stranger was that above and around it was beautiful Blue sky. The owner of the local Lyndale hotel reported that by late ( now 9" of rain had fallen) that afternoon the flooding had started, with his hotel having rainwater that had risen to the height of his reception desk running right through the Hotel. During the night and early morning of 15/16th further heavy rain fell, and at around 2 AM on the 16th all hell broke loose. High on Exmoor the two Lyn rivers (that converge in the centre of Lynmouth) were by now bursting their banks and totally out of control, they were moving huge 3-4 ton boulders and Eroding huge up to 20ft pieces of bank. At this point I had probably better point out that Lynmouth itself lies in a deep valley, 800 mtrs below Exmoor, so water, as it built up gained enormous momentumon during its descent, the worst consequence of this was that dozens of huge trees some 30-35 feet high were pulled down . These trees and boulders were carried down the rivers virtually blocking them as they reached bridges causing them to dam. The build up behind these bridges got bigger and bigger as the Debris was carried into them, each bridge in turn held back the waters until they could hold on no longer then collapsed, as each bridge was destroyed the mountain of water progressively got larger and larger until when it swept through the village it was nearly 30ft (approx 10meters) high and travelling at over 30MPH. The rivers lost or damaged over 30 bridges during these floods. When the flood waters died down 34 people had died, more than 35 dwellings destroyed, a further 55 others seriously damaged and a 1,000 people were left homeless. Also lost were 20 odd cars, 2 Lorries, a Coach and 4 Caravans. The causes for this property devastation were mainly twofold the sheer weight of water containing these boulders and trees hitting property, then the undermining and eroding of the ground on which these were built, due mostly to the fact that a lot were built on erodible drift deposits. What made the loss of life much worse was that early August is in the main holiday season so people numbers were swollen to over 1,000 people when the norm is around 450. Overall 1700 victims were paid damages, these were paid from the North Devon and West Somerset relief fund. Public generosity of Physical help, money,Food, Blankets, Clothing and even around 140 caravans to house victims was incredible.
Below, this is the headline from the local Western Morning News Paper on the 50th Anniversary of the disaster.Please Click on any picture to enlarge and perhaps read the print.
I must thank the Lynmouth Flood museum for these pictures which Sue retook. This museum really is a must when visiting this beautiful village The picture below is the list of deceased in this tragedy.
This picture we took into a cabinet (a bit of reflection I'm afraid) to try and show how low in the valley Lynmouth is.
This picture is of the village as the clean up gets under way.
Below the power of nature is almost unbelievable until you see pictures like these.
Below, Just look at the old car swept away by the water, if you owned that now it would be worth good money.
Below, because the huge wave hit in the early hours most of its victims were tucked up in bed at the time.
This old picture (below) was damaged but was one of only a few showing the waters while still very high so I considered it worth showing.

Below when looking at this picture it is hard to believe that this area was once clear with not a boulder in sight.

Rumours of this "Freak"Weather being "Man Created" have dogged this tragedy all along. Probably because from around 1945 to 1955 the Government were dabbling with Cloud Seeding which comprised of spraying (by Aircraft) Silver Iodide on the top of cloud to try to produce rain, (which it did with varied success). Even today there is still controversy over it, did that happen? it is still a possibility, as by some strange coincidence the Government have mislaid the records on this experiment for ......wait for it........yep 1952. The link below will definitely make you think but if you do an Internet search you will find plenty more links.
Joke of the day.

WIFE,What would you do if I died?.

Would you get married again?.

Definitely not!


Why not - don't you like being married?


Of course I do.


Then why wouldn't you remarry?


Okay, I'd get married again.


You would? (With a hurtful look on her face).


(Makes audible groan).


Would you live in our house?


Sure, it's a great house.


Would you sleep with her in our bed?


Where else would we sleep?


Would you let her drive my car?


Probably, it is almost new.


Would you replace my pictures with hers?


That would seem like the proper thing to do.


Would she use my golf clubs?


No, she's left-handed.


- silence - -


SH*T ....