Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Aaarrr! Posted by Hello

aaargh, m'hearties Posted by Hello

Dogsbody Jameson Posted by Hello
Sitting on the roof of the boat
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Pirate Adventures

A weekend of boating with blue skies and pure sunshine it wasn't. But a weekend of boating with (take a deep breadth) rain, hailstones, lightning, english pubs, sheep, a fierce dog, ducks, 100 locks (ok, slight exaggeration) and 12 pirates speeding across the Grand Union Canal at a ridiculously fast 4 miles per hour, it was!!

Arrived at Leighton Buzzard on a sunny Friday afternoon to claim our boats - Jade and Ivory, got ourselves some name badges. Tash, Liv, Kirsten and me got there first and were suitably renamed: Miss-Chief, Duck Spotter, Deck Scrubber and Pirate. We made our way to Tescos to stock up, met up with Kelly, Geordie and Mick and got our lesson in canal boating.

Armed with our hammer, key and brute strength (yep, me too!) we mastered the art of opening and closing the locks so that we could change the water levels. Speeding along at the speed limit of a whopping 4mph, we made it past a swing bridge that was due to close at 8pm. It was 8.10pm - we cheated a little and no-one was watching! We parked the boats and made our way to our first country pub to meet more of our pirate crew - Joyous, Jameson, Stavros and Lisa. Food, drink and a game of bip and bop later, we made it back to our boats for some kip before heading off into the high seas in the morning. Pirate Ride da Riddims (Mick) dressed in his pirate hat, eye patch, hook and reggae t-shirt jumped aboard for mutiny. Well, kind of. He and Captain Geordie prepared the boats and before the full crew had opened their eyes, we were off again. We moored by another english pub for breakfast - this time to await our final crew member - Mel. Breakfast was a feast with eggs scrambling on one boat and bacon sizzling on the other.

Setting sail (I really should find out what the correct term would be...) after our tums were full, driving was a bit zig zaggy (at least when I was the tiller girl) and there was the odd bump but we're 'ard pirates and we made it through. A break a few hours later to another english pub, a little walk around a church and graveyard and Man Utd vs Arsenal on the telly and it was lunchtime. Tuna and veggie spag bol. Yum.

Back at the helm were the star Cap'ns - Liv and Geordie and we kept on going through hell fire and brimstone - that's hailstones and lightning to you. Joyous also offering her tiller services just before the storms started. They did a sterling job (seriously! It was goddamn painful out there) and the scene was incredible. It was raining so hard, the water was jumping back into the skies and the surrounding sheep huddled together.

Shortly after the storms - though still very much wet - we found a turnaround point and turned around. We decided to moor for the night. We read, listened to music, played cards, ate biscuits and drank lots of tea (bet you didn't realise it was a pirate favorite!) and then it happend. The sun came out :o) We opened up a bottle of wine, cranked up Nina Simone and sat on the roof of the boat to watch the ducks. It was beautiful. And the rainbow across the hills I saw on a little walk confirmed it. I love boat life!

Pirate Night

At 8, we made our way to our next english pub for mutiny! Dressed in our pirate gear - with a little help from some aliminium foil, pirate bandanas, a coat hanger - oh, and Conner's hat, hook, dagger and eye patch (thanks fellow pirate), we were ready. We amused the non-pirates in the pub - I mean scared them shitless..., ate massive lamb shanks (well Mick and Geordie did. I had the fish), drank lots of Pinot Grigio (another Pirate favorite, I assure you - Rum is SO last weekend) and Mick and Geordie got talking to the chef - Steve.

Disco on the boat

Steve the chef invited us to a mate's caravan party and after calling his 'mate', told us we'd been univited - apparently, the caravan party was already full and would not be able to accommodate 12 pirates. Pah, who wanted to go anyway?! We ended up back on Ivory (or Jade, can't remember which) with bottles of Polstar, Vodka,Gin, more vino and whatever alcohol we had left on the boat and started to play a game of 'I never, never...' We heard a knock on the door and it was the return of Steve the chef who'd come to party on our boat as he'd confirmed the caravan party wasn't all that. We played the game well into the night and well...I never, never learned so much about my friends before in my life. Interesting and The Sun front cover material but the drink makes you forget...

Remember pirates, what happens (or what is said) on the boat, stays on the boat!

We ended the night with some disco tunes from the ipod, dancing in the small space we could and on the roof (before Pirate Ride da Riddims told us it wasn't such a good idea...)

Sunday morning and a lie in - Mick must have been tied up! Making our way back to the Buzzard, there was a lot more sunshine, more sheep, swans and lying on the roof. We picked up some new pirates (Mel's sister, her boyfriend and the kids) and cruised on to our last english pub for lunch. We had Pimms, sticky toffee pudding and pirate tattoos for the kids and set sail for the final time. This time, back to the Buzzard.

It was a fond farewell to Ivory and Jade. And as night crept in, we walked to the train station back to London.

Macy Posted by Hello

Macy Gray making a guest appearance! Posted by Hello

Will I Am and Fergie..having a moment Posted by Hello

Chrisy and Sylv Posted by Hello

The drummer Posted by Hello

The horny horn boy Posted by Hello

The sax Posted by Hello

Table drumming Posted by Hello

Will I am Posted by Hello

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Apl d Ap Posted by Hello

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The Black Eyed Peas

The BEP kickin 'ass Posted by Hello

A lovely gift from Joyous, Jameson, Mick and Tash - I was on my way to see the BEP. Along the way...there was a manic rush to sell extra tickets, a broken shoe (don't get the faux birkenstocks from Shelley's...), a new pair of sparkly brown shoes, ticket selling and bumping into Suz in the queue.

The gig - brilliant. You just can't beat the BEP for kick ass performance. Best bit and when I was temporarily deafened by my sis, Chrisy - when Apl di Ap decided to take his top off and wrap himself up with the filipino flag ;o)

Archie, mils, Gooks, me and Joycie at Mils bday lunch Posted by Hello

Mum, auntie Benny and uncle Roy - Mils' bday lunch Posted by Hello

The bday girl - she's 24 Posted by Hello

Jason and Mils Posted by Hello

Daniella and Millie Posted by Hello

The girls Posted by Hello

Down in one Posted by Hello

Millie and me Posted by Hello