Tuesday 26 February 2008

Leaving Matilda

Yes, we have had to leave her today to return to Norfolk, firstly to have the Caravan serviced,secondly to have the Animals MOT'd and last but no means least, to visit Jill's Mum. It was a big wrench, especially having settled in so well onboard. Still we will have plenty of cruising to do later.

Monday 25 February 2008

Home Moorings

We arrived at Brinklow Marina on Friday having cruised for 5hrs with my daughter, Karen and two grandchildren, Dainion and Chenelle. They all had a lovely day, Dainion was a natural on the tiller. Brinklow Marina is set in 44 acres of beautiful Warwickshire countryside. We had a choice of fingers and decided on one which is at the top end, which is quiet but open to the North and South Westerlies, makes mooring interesting. Tomorrow we are returning to Norfolk for a few days, The Caravan is booked in for a service, 3 of our animals have vets appointments for their annual MOT and of course weare visiting with Jill's Mum. It is very windy this evening, Matilda Rose is rocking quite well, but not as badly as a caravan would, she wouldn't at 20 Tons.

Wednesday 20 February 2008

1st Night out since moving onboard

It is now sixteen days since we went afloat, and tonight we decided that we would have our 1st night out, it was a struggle to make the effort but we were rewarded in spades, with good company and good food. We have been, for the last three days following or being followed by Sue and Dave from NB's Beefur and Sans Souci, finally meeting them for a drink in 'The Folly' at Napton Bottom Lock. Good luck with the new job Sue, anyone on the Llangollen give Sue the pleasure of your company, she is taking over the Tourist Information office at Chirk.

Monday 18 February 2008

Iced In

It would seem that no one, at Cropredy going north, wishes to use their boat as an ice breaker. I am not impatient to leave but I am certainly not going to us Matilda Rose as an Ice breaker having spent out good money to have her bottom blacked 2 weeks ago.

Sunday 17 February 2008

What Retirement?

When we had our needlecraft shop, many of our customers who were retired used to complain that there were never enough hours in the day since they retired, I used to think they were exaggerating, they were not. The idea of retiring to a narrowboat was to lead life at a maximum of 4mph so far we have been more stressed than when we owned our own business, well not quite, a nicer kind of stress. Today we managed, with our childrens help the last placement of our cars, to Brinklow Marina on the North Oxford Canal. Yes, finally seeing where our permanent, albeit transient base will be. Tomorrow will be the start of the next cruise from Cropredy to Brinklow.

Saturday 16 February 2008

sort of day off

arrived at cropredy yesterday & had much banter having lent our sea searcher to some fun people from "NB Hero" who had lost their chimney. sunny days and chat. moored up, let Daisy out who promptly jumped on the back and ran down the water side of gunnels. Both cats now confined to barracks due to unacceptable stress levels on my part. Continued to unpack today and found, despite my continued cries to pack similar priorities together, some surprising revelations - my essential knife sharpener packed with two cuddly toys and a pack of xmas cards for next year, ormaybe this years that never quite happened. canal frozen now, must remember not to lob anything out of the windows!Good news - no more pooh in my wardrobe recently!

Thursday 14 February 2008

recent misadventures

to elaborate a little. having bought dogs life jackets they, of course didnt have them on when we deceided best place to get them off was when we rose to top of lock. Baxters enthusiasm landed him in the water & hooked out quickly by long hair. Needless to say jackets are now on at all times - the handles mean you can move them about like handbags as well as fish them out. However, they are now convinced that they can't bend their backs and will no longer jump up stern steps! A strange smell pervaded yesterday and it's source revealed itself when I reached for clean clothes ( OK i'm not so hot with this inside out, back to front stuff) to find we had a leak below the pump out filter, or somewhere or other, resulting in MY clothes covered in pooh - solved a few cupboard space problems - I can do minimalism! This morning had an early start to be at boatyard in Banbury by 10.00. Let cats out for rummage and hunt on towpath as usual and realised old Ted wasn't sitting about as usual, but taking off down the towpath at a serious and determined trot with belly swinging in the very cold wind. G in shower, me in dressing gown & wellies after him - thank god no local dog walker spotted me; nor husband with camera (he's usually very canny at capturing me on camera in my finest moments of humiliation!

Wednesday 13 February 2008

We are Here!!!!

We have made it aboard, not without misadventure, but everyone has survived the transition so far. It has been an extremely hectic and very tiring experience. Ted had to have an operation the morning we picked up the boat, We have had an engine failure on the river cherwell (that was fun......not) and Baxter has been overboard in a lock. No pictures as yet as I am still to un-pack the camera. Thats all for tonight will give you much more info when we have all settled in properly.

Saturday 2 February 2008

Thank you

Jill and I went to see Matilda Rose in the dry dock at Banbury, she was looking right grand with her newly blacked bottom, but also like a fish out of water. I would like at this time to extend my thanks to Mathew Armitage of Tooleys Boatyard who have carried out the blacking and rectification works that were identified at the survey.
I want to make a special thanks and recommendation for a man who spent time far above the call of duty, he has taught me so much and had so much patience when carrying out the survey and that is Barrie Morse.
Time is standing still, we have less than 48hrs till we take the helm of Matilda Rose, but it seems like an age. Tomorrow we shall be prioritising our boxes for the move onboard. Role on Monday.

We have Escaped

It's now 2.20am Saturday morning, we were so tired last night we callapsed into bed at 7.30pm in our freinds house in Oxford. A lovely house(with a washing machine) and who could ask for better freinds. Ditto the lovely people who bought our shop who made the transition very easy and even walked the dogs for Jill after the house clearance men had finished and I was at the boatyard with the surveyor - and could see how exhausted Jill was. The kindness of customers and freinds alike has restored our faith in human nature. Despite what the papers would have you say, there are still some very special people around in this world and we thank them all. We have many letters to write when our lives settle into our 'new normal' - what ever that may be?