Friday, 25 February 2011

Birmingham to Kinver - Part 1

Only in blog terms - that's how far I've fallen behind with the blog and, once that happens, the process of catching up is daunting. The sensible thing to do would be to start from here and now on the Staffs & Worcs, but I can't do that without missing out on some treasures like the meet up with Seyella and Rock n Roll ( you'll have read all about it on everyone elses blog anyway). So I'll just put up some pictures from the missing 2/3 wks to catch up. So....part 1 a visit back to the seaside to see Mum. No car this time so trotted along behind her scooter and saw bits of Caister I haven't seen before.

A shortcut through the cemetery was fascinating because of the local lifeboat - there have been so many tragedies.

A quick pop up out of the station at Norwich between train connections .... it seems I just can't get away from boats.
 Back to MR in B'ham about 3.30pm in the rain and he pulls pins!!! So we leg it down the BCN in the gathering gloom
It was just about dark when we moored behind Caxton at Bumblehole (and still raining), but the last hour was spent in the tunnel so it didn't much matter. Convoy re-established ready to start our much delayed cruise to Chester - OK so we're now heading South, but boating wouldn't be boating if you couldn't throw in the odd diversion when you fancied it!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Twang - Guapa (Official Video)

I forgot to mention that whilst I was awaiting Jill's return from her mothers I was accosted by a couple of guys with cameras and variuos bits recording equipement. One of the guys asked if they could use the boat as a backdrop to a pop video, the other said could he be cheeky and use the boat in the video with the group on the top with us cruising upto the bridge. I of course agreed, and here is part of the finished video.
If you look very carefully you will see a cameo appearance by Daisy the cat.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Free Electric, well not quite!

I had a delivery yesterday of a tilt and turn solar panel and controller,so as the weather was suitable today set about fitting, but by the time it was up and operational the Sun went in.

Oh dear Solar amps only showing 1 amp but it was 5pm and overcast
Well it had by the time I managed to take these photos.

Monday, 14 February 2011

A tour around B'ham University Campus

Waiting to have our new solar panels delivered here to The Vale, so took a walk through the University Campus as I'm getting very fed up with the race track mentality of some of the cyclists round here on the towpath and Daisy is in danger of getting squashed by joggers! Oooooh how I hate cyclists on towpaths - which is, of course, not fair as many are perfectly pleasant; but sometimes, grrrrrrr.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A day for reflections

Woke to glorious sunshine but quite a heavy frost - no wind and the reflections in the water were gorgeous. The sort of day that you could do no wrong with a camera and all was right with the world.
 You can see the frost on the golf course in the gap behind Daisy

 This poor old cottage is now sporting a 'sold' sign - hopefully it will soon be restored to it's former glory
 I love the reflections of the underside of the railway bridge here - I had plenty of time to admire them as we had another prop foul!

 Almost perfect mirror image

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Well done Lyons Boatyard

After the Sunday boatyard shuffle to make room for MR, we woke on Sunday morning to a  ' bridge' across the canal - G was adamant that he had tied the front rope of the boat in question. I believe him.
 The yard rectified our vibration problem by redoing the job and replacing the engine mounts they had suggested, with the recommended Vetus mounts - no arguments, no hassle, no charge (we just paid the difference in mount costs) and there is now no more noise or vibration in our living quarters than if the genny is running. When you fork out a load of money for a job and it's not right it leaves you with a big sick feeling of, at best, hassle and court cases. Not so here; everything was put right with no quibble or ill feeling. So thank you Sarah.
Then look who turned up - I assumed she was round to borrow a cup of sugar but, no, she was after G's sewing machine. My boys were delighted to see her of course, but no Floyd & Fletcher???
The two boats will be back together very soon to continue our much delayed cruise to Chester (fingers crossed)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Have we missed spring & summer?

We delayed our return to the North Stratford due to the strong winds, but the forecast was worse still for Sunday so we filled with water and set off on Saturday. We were surprised to come across this blanket of leaves impeding our progress, it was just like autumn. I hate travelling when its windy, he - understandably - gets very stressed and I do everything wrong.
 It was generally miserable and overcast so the pictures didn't come out too well
 MR turning onto the N. Stratford at Kings Norton junction - the dogs and I failing to keep up with the wind driven rocket man.
 Under the disused wooden guillotine stop lock, ready to thumb a lift, out of the wind's impact on MR
 On Sunday we went exploring in the new parkland off of bridge 4 - it's good now, but will be glorious when it's matured.

 We helped the boatyard move some boats around in the wind to make space for MR
May not look an ideal mooring to you and I, but rummaging under these huts was Daisy heaven.

More pics from the 'new' mainline BCN

It's so dramatic and  so much larger than life compared to the little country canals we're usually found pottering on.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

I hope OUR 'phone hasn't been tapped

Himself took off to Scewfix and 'phoned on his way back to tell me that he'd bought me some presents - a new lump hammer and a grenade. I just prayed that MI5 hadn't tapped into our 'phone call.
I get all the best and most feminine presents; mind you, I'm well equipped to do some serious wood splitting now - maybe I should follow Bones's new fashion and try some skirts, naah; I'd just get tied up and fall in the cut.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Waterpoint Moorers - update

About two weeks ago I published a blog (entitled,  'Name and Shame') having encountered NB Sunset Nomadic, yet again, moored on a waterpoint. NB Caxton found it still there several days later. Three days later I found another boat moored on a waterpoint which had almost certainly been there for a week. I took Paul's (Waterway Routes) advice and e-mailed BW with photographs and circumstances of the 2 offenders.
I have now had  these responses - sorry, they are in the wrong order.

Dear Jill,

Thank you for your e-mail and the information you have provided.

The officer for that area, Wayne Roe, has been in contact with the owner/s. Hopefully this should be sufficient to avoid issues in the future. However, should you encounter any more problems or have further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Wayne and/or myself direct.

Wayne’s e-mail address is
Tel: 07920 278 135

Yours sincerely

Sheila Shaw
Enforcement Supervisor - Wales & West
Tel: 07748 658040
Post: British Waterways, The Dock Office, Commercial Road, Gloucester GL1 2EB

From: Enquiries HQ General 
Sent: 24 January 2011 11:14
To: Graham Budd
Cc: Sheila Shaw
Subject: RE: Boaters mooring on waterpoints

Dear Gill,
thank you for your e-mail and for supplying us with this information – it is very helpful.
I have passed your correspondence on to the local Enforcement Manager and I am sure that they will look into the situation further.
Kind regards,
Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways

This is only the second occasion that I have made a formal complaint, strangely both occasions left me feeling less than satisfied (doesn't help when they can't spell your name correctly). Has he contacted both boats or just one?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Three years on board and a pair of sore heads

The 3 years have flown past and, I am very pleased to say, I have absolutely no regrets about the decision to buy, and live on board, Matilda Rose. Safely back in Birmingham we had a celebratory meal out and then rounded off the evening at The Prince of Wales where our favourite performer was hosting the open mic night.
Nursing hangovers we were dragged cruelly out of bed at 9.15 am by the arrival of the service boat delivering our coal and diesel - not due until 10.30 - oh well, it wouldn't be a celebration without a hangover!
 Having got stuck in the ice the other night, I discovered another ' hidden' gem. If you scrabble from the towpath on the new BCN mainline down this deep hollow, you can go through the tunnel under the canal and the railway line into Sheepwash Urban park.
 Acres of paths and lakes and pretty much deserted (can't be used by many as I didn't even come across any deserted dog poo!).
 I met one lady walking this 6 month old dog and one fisherman. The boys spent a lovely hour playing with the pup and, somehow, the subject of  The Anchor pub on the Shroppie came up - the lass had been in there  on a regular basis since she was 15 as it was her grandfather's local. We swapped tales of Olive's (the owner) rudeness and she informed me that Olive's daughter was getting ready to take over and was, also, now quite good at being rude - seriously though; it's a great pub and one hell of an experience; just make sure you ask for the proper cider/beer etc and be sure to wear a very thick skin!!! Oh; don't go if you are allergic to cats as one of the locals still walks up with his cats.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

High Bridge & Saltwell Woods-tech dept found the photos

In 1858 the 75yd Brewin's Tunnel was opened out to form this steep-sided cutting and this single span bridge was built to carry the existing road across. The walkers on the towing path give you some idea of the scale.

 The Black Country is the butt of many jokes and is much maligned - yet another lovely woodland area, behind Lodge Farm Reservoir, is Saltwell Woods. Birmingham is not only central to our history and canal network but it really is a very special area; yes it has it's dumps; but doesn't everywhere? A little bit of effort finds some very special places.
G's lovely daughter Karen doesn't follow our blog 'cause it's too country for her - she's right, here is a load more 'country'

and one very happy, exhausted, dog
It's a hard life!