Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The next jobs

A quick update

Undercoating the roof this weekend, possibly two coats, we shall see.  This is in between my first chainsaw lesson which consists of safety, safety, safety followed by cross cutting a felled birch tree, the results of which, if not rotten will be transferred to home for further seasoning.  After this we will probably cut some pre-seasoned wood.  I am tinkering with selling it on as there is a huge supply but not sure if this is viable.

Was at an event in London, the Park Plaza hotel over the last few days.  Nice hotel but £3.50 for a small bottle of water!  No surprise the hotel was full of our American and Japanese friends.  Just 50 yards away, same bottle 95p in the local.  Nice hotel though.  I walked along the embankment next to the London Eye and looked out for narrowboats, sorry none to be found.  You can appreciate why the Thames at this point is a daunting challenge with these trip boats ignoring any moving traffic.  I did have the naughty idea of playing loud salsa music as I passed Big Ben but decided to play safe and play Boris the Spider by the Who (connection - Boris Johnson, London Mayor)

Back to the event in the hotel, we were having a business dinner (No, I did not drink or get trolleyed like some!).  A chap next to me was showing off his Ariel atom (aware of these as my brother owns one) and I in turn showed my hand, a picture of the boat.  A vote then ensued on the table and the narrowboat won 8 to 1.  I celebrated with another glass of water (how well behaved was I with free booze flowing).

Monday, 27 June 2011

Painting Time and the chainsaw

Well, its time next saturday for the undercoats on the roof, weather permitting.  Am looking forward to the painting as it is the pre-cursor to the rest of the boat.  It is also probably the last opportunity on the boat prior to the lounge re-fit, due prior to end of July.

Now the chainsaw.  I have decided to buy one and have formal training.  The puppies breeder has a large wooded area as part of their property and a chat with the owner who we know through friends, reveals a joint interest in wood cutting and a need to thin out the wooded area.  Hence the chainsaw and the opportunity to have enough wood for as long as I cut it.  Ok we need to season it but there is plenty already seasoning, so we should have stocks for this autumn/winter as well as a supply to other friends.

The dangers of chainsaws are recognised and all the necessary safety equipment including trousers will be purchased as well as a formal training course and mentoring by an existing experienced wood cutter.  It is a serious business that requires serious attention.

Hopefully, some piccies of the painting next weekend

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Willington to Shardlow and back

Not a bad trip all told.

Tried the Motion X GPS and its fine, except you need to keep a weather eye on it.  Trip down was really nice, locks not too bad, no rain.

Mercia, soon to lose the cooling towers ready for a gas fired power station.

At first this sign seems a little odd

 It makes sense when you see how close the road is to the canal

Some repairs needed to this bridge BW, looks worse than the one which was owned by the brewery.

Lovely poppy field

And Whatever from CWDF I think?

Ate in the Clock warehouse which was enjoyable.  Quite a poor tv reception below the Shardlow lock.

Very popular location as it was quite full.  Next say we found some numpty had moored at the lock, making landing impossible so Missus was dropped off at bridge before.  The offenders were advised by a chap in a land rover before we got there but advice was not needed as the sign was midships to the hire boat so they knew fine well that they should not have been there.  Ordinarily I would not have been bothered but there was no where to land.  Thats life, won't be the first and won't be the last, the funny bit was the hirer asked if I needed any help - guilty conscience lol.

We doubled up on the way back and had a 30 min wait at Swarkstone.  The boat is behaving superbly - touch wood.  One boat we shared a few locks with was Kathryn Louise, his story of three engines was quite interesting.  boat was 6 month old when he purchased it - without a survey tut tut.  Engine was screwed.  he bought a recon, that died too.  he now has a Beta 38 I think (if thats the one down form the 43) and is happy so far.  Very nice couple, chilled and easy going.

We got hit by some lovely rain on the way back but our waterproofs saw us through.

Paintwork is still flaking off on top but no matter as it is going to be wet and dryed and painted before too long.  One thing I noticed was the lack of vibration from the new deck boards, such a difference.

Oldest child is at Henleys womens regatta this weekend, doing some training for her outing at the vets races in a few weeks.  Jo is also in the BRC at nottingham soon - busy girl.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Whatever the weather

So, tomorrow is boaty time.  We are going to Shardlow come what may.  Probably find somewhere near the Clock Warehouse or the other pubs.  The Clock is good because its in a good canal position, away from the houses and next to the turning point.

No matter how crap other things are the boat is our hideaway, our place which protects us from the other bit of our life - work.  I could get all philosophical but basically people forgot we are only here for a while - the problem is what makes us agitated is different in all of us. Ah well, I will be palm reading on me boat with a bottle of the hard stuff to hand,  have I had a hard day you think, nope I have had a day off!

Our home brew wine is a hit.  it actually tastes more light semillon chardonnay that it does pinot grigio.  I am back to my old ways.  I learnt home brew from a 79 year old retired squadron leader by the name of Eddie Edwards.  He could make sherry he could and it was bloody strong15% by volume.

I am now making some chardonnay and will be buying some more demijohns so I can increase production.

My new BW licence appeared in good time, I have determined that avoidable contact is the best way of working with BW.  send a letter and keep a record as well as send by recorded delivery and you get action.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Alas, farewell to Mercia Marina

Just emailed our notice of intention to leave Mercia end of July.  A sad day because Mercia is truly excellent.  The only reason we are leaving is to venture into new territory.

As new owners Mercia has been superb with excellent facilities, including a shop, cafe, Midland Chandlers and of course the team at Aqua Narrowboats.  All is not lost as we will be popping back as and when Lola needs a warranty service or other work doing, Aqua have proven themselves a competent and professional company.  We may even change our mooring habits if we can get a decent 6 months deal as having Lola at Mercia over the winter is a great benefit to us, we will see next year.

So hello Kings Bromley in August!

I expect us to go down to Shardlow on Friday, weather permitting.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

A trip to Branston and back

So, off to Branston we went Saturday Lunch time.  We stopped westbound at Branston rather than continue past and turn at Barton turns.

Off to the Bridge Inn we went for 5.45 pm.  Good decision to go a little earlier, within an hour it was full.  Food still up to usual excellent quality.

I have been checking out a new Iphone app, Motion X-GPS. Pretty good at recording distance, speed, map location etc, more research still required though.

Came back this morning.  I awoke at 7 am and suggested we make a move given the impending weather.  No, was the answer, we will go at 9am, just as it started raining, and we all know how it rained, all day, much needed for our farmers and gardeners and allotment owners, but I did get wet.  Still moored up, checked bilges and away we went back home.

Off again next Friday am and we have not decided where to as yet.  I am thinking about a trip to the Clock Warehouse or maybe the navigation on the Erewash, the weather will be the decider.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

No real boaty time

Ah well, no boat time this weekend save taking her for a fuel fill up and removing the Genny for some work on the allotment.  Will be out next weekend come what may as I will be spending 5 days in the office with no parole!

Boating will be to the usual branston unless I have to be rowing transport manager for Johanna.  If that happens we will just pop up to Willington and overnight there.

The allotment is a new twist for us, we have only just go it and already we have started to put it to work.  A quiet start because we want to understand how to "allot" our parts properly.  We have been researching and I now understand that there is more to this than one thinks, especially with clay heavy soil, apparently some lime is needed and some week later, some manure.

Doggy matters

In response to a question, they are fox red Labrador puppies with full pedigree records and these are running retrievers.  Puppies do not usually get to run until about 18 months but this can vary.  The puppy we will be owning will be determined four weeks in, we are lucky to have first choice.  Out of the seven pups there are three girls, one of the girls will become ours.

More pictures

one full and contented puppy

One caring mother
 So Lola, as she will be called (yes the same name as the boat, long story), will be acquainted with the boat as soon as the injections have fully taken, then it is off to a week or two on the boat, with Lola safely secured in the cabin, those child gates do come useful again!