Address To Haggis.

Burn's Night Supper saw Chris, in his best Mrs Doubtfire accent, address the haggis before it was devoured by a boatload of ruffians.

Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns.
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin'-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill, Your hurdies like a distant hill, Your pin wad help to mend a mill In time o need, While thro your pores the dews distil Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight, An cut you up wi ready slight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright, Like onie ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin, rich!
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive: Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve Are bent like drums; The auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 'Bethankit' hums.
Is there that owre his French ragout, Or olio that wad staw a sow, Or fricassee wad mak her spew Wi perfect sconner, Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash, As feckless as a wither'd rash, His spindle shank a guid whip-lash, His nieve a nit: Thro bloody flood or field to dash, O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread, Clap in his walie nieve a blade, He'll make it whissle; An legs an arms, an heads will sned, Like taps o thrissle.
Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, And dish them out their bill o fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware That jaups in luggies: But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer, Gie her a Haggis!
We're still not entirely sure what it means.

The Ice Breaker.

The thaw has started and we were woken this morning by the shudder of the boat bouncing off the edge of the ice in the pool around us. It feels uncannily like we are forever bouncing off a lock wall... And into the wall on the other side. So, off I trundled, barge pole in hand, to free us from our ice prison. See the small section of broken ice in the photo above? That is all I've managed to do so far. The ice is over five inches thick and terribly hard work. I'll have amazingly magnificent and rather manly muscles before this day is out! I'm also hoping that by breaking up the ice the cats will not want to walk on it anymore. I've heard too many stories of pets drowning... Actually, dogs to be specific, but still, it's not worth the risk.

Morning Stillness.

Icy On The Inside.

It was so cold last night that our hatch tried to ice itself shut from the inside. We are beginning to thaw now as the temperature rises above freezing. I certainly wouldn't recommend walking on the ice now!

Thames Ice Exploration.

We have had sub-zero temperatures for over two weeks now and last night Whyte Swallow declared that the ice in the mooring basin could support her weight. We donned our artic clothing and ventured outside for comfirmation. Whyte Swallow nimbly stepped from the pontoon and JUMPED UP AND DOWN on the ice. She didn't die, so we thought we'd have our very own ice adventure. May I present:


Whyte Swallow survives the "jumping" experiment.

Rob proves that he can walk on water.

Lolly wasn't too sure that it was a good idea...

But didn't want to be left out.

Lewsey had already discovered that she could walk on the ice (probably by falling off a boat and not getting wet)

Rob and Lolly walk where no two or four legged beings have walked before.

Morning snow. Lolly and myself exploring in front of our boat after breakfast this morning.

Oh, the fun!

(Photos 1 and 6 belong to Whyte Swallow.)

When It's Cold Outside...

The chunks of ice covering the moorings become at least an inch thick.
It has been nice to curl up in front of the stove whilst the ice creaks passed seemingly a dream away. It is only when you leave the comfort of the boat that you realise the danger and damage these minus temperatures cause. The water point beside us has burst and the one for the elsan disposal couldn't take the strain anymore and gave up the will to live yesterday.
Poor Whitewater arrived home to a spot of water damage to his boiler and Mags, his nieghbour, didn't fare too well either.

But still, it is so beautiful and still outside. And this morning we woke to a dusting of snow.