Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Today we came up the Stockton flight with some great guys, Dave & Carol on Bronnington, waved farewell at the top of the flight &, about 40 minutes later hit the last 3 locks with the wind howling across the Marina-some poor chap broken down on the lock moorings (right where everyone coming round the bend bashed into him) doing everything he could to help both Barry & Bonnie on Audierne & us get into the lock - neither of us could have managed it without his help. The weather went from fine to scary in moments. Moored at the first opportunity!
I have a feeling I still won't have enough signal to load photos - but at least we have a connection tonight.
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Last few days since leaving the Hatton flight have been quiet but interesting, We had a night out on Friday in the Cape of Good Hope pub (locally known as the Cape of good Dope!) in Warwick, had a good meal and were in a prime position to sit and listen to a band who played 60s and 70s music, they were good, PJK Pees I think they were called, worth seeing if your in the area. However we did leave at the 1st interval (about an hours playing) as we didn't want to have to cross the lock in darkness and a little worse for ware, rumour has it that he has lost atleast one customer this way!!!
Moved on out of Warwick and Leamington Spa to give the animals a chance to have a good run, and also a chance for Baxter to have a change of diet! See above.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
In 23 days we operated 4 lift bridges & 144 locks, whilst travelling 72 miles - I travelled on the boat 22 miles, walking all the rest plus, of course, running up to set the next lock & running back to close gates behind MR where necessary & dog walking on non-cruising days. When I imparted this info to Graham it took him about 3 seconds to calculate that it worked out at about 2 miles a day, "oh" he added as an afterthought, "and 6 locks". Oh well, I certainly wore Muttley out. I wonder if I should try working out how many HOURS I spent walking.......
The purchase of the boots has also presented me with another dilemma. We have a rather important "boat" rule - if you bring something new onto the boat, something of a similar size has to go off. I've always enjoyed this one as it's never applied to ME before. I've now convinced him that this rule can be bent because it makes sense to keep a spare pair of boots in case I fall in - boots can't be dried out overnight in winter. However I now have a spare & an heir & even I can't justify keeping 3 pairs, so what shall I do? Do I bin a brand new pare of Gortex boots that slip & rub my ankles or do I bin my trusty friends that leak?
I also have to make a confession: as you probably gathered that wasn't a photo of my log pile (I wish). Tesco boxes and cratches don't lend themselves to such log "walling" perfection. I have now been banned from any further log collections as the cratch is full and the weight on the roof is in danger of de-stabilising the boat. I saw some smashing branches whilst out with the dogs today-oh well, cold turkey it is (for a week or so anyway).
Monday, 13 October 2008
In a panic I bought a pair on the net & had them delivered to the friends that were visiting the following weekend - boots were absolutely rigid around the ankle &, worse still, had nowhere near enough grip: coming very close to depositing me feet first (under heavy bottom gates) into the cut whilst locking down the Lapworth in the wet.
Whilst in Stratford , the first time , I noticed that my beloved "Ecco" shoe company (sooooo....... comfy) was now doing proper walking boots-so given that we had to go back to Stratford again ........
I am now the proud owner of the most gorgeously comfy Yak hide & Gortex boots. Environmentally sustainable Yaks? Don't know, don't care, but I have very, very sustainable & happy feet.
Walked thelast 2 miles & 9 locks back onto the Grand Union in a trice!
Saturday, 11 October 2008
I'm trying to get over this wood thing, but I just had to sneak in one photo - pretty yeah?
Particularly sad our friends couldn't be here as the weather this weekend has to be some of the best we've seen all year. We came down to Wootton Wawen after finding out that they couldn't come because, on enquiring with the bank why our card was refused for a Tesco order, we discovered that it had been cloned & was being used up North -the bank had picked it up immediately and cancelled the card. Therefore had to hang around until they sent through new cards/accounts to the Stratford branch. Went in by bus to Stratford today - neither of us could remember when we were last on a bus - to collect new cards. Bit chaotic as a fair on in the town centre & we had to swap buses on the way back (not at all sure why). Anyway, all sorted, thanks to good old Nationwide so back on our travels tomorrow. Have been looking at winter travels & stoppages & think we might head down towards London on the Grand Union after sorting out the BSC at Rugby & a, slightly dramatic, problem with the central heating boiler - LOADS of wood, so no problem! Only one last job to be done in this neck of the woods - a delivery of dog food at Lowsonford.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
a) I hadn't seen her
b) No financial approach had been made to her owners
c) She hadn't been surveyed
20ish years ago we had a 22ft Norman at the top of the Thames called Contented Sole II (sadly, she blew up & sank - but that's a different story!) so we adapted her name for this blog in anticipation of our hoped for state of mind in our new lifestyle.
Talking of, "state of mind" I am beginning to suffer from a serious case of OCD with regard to wood. When I said we finished chopping and sorting wood, what I didn't say was what I(he's not to blame) had sorted it into! I now have sections for lighting (dried leaves & stalks etc); kindling (up to 1"); early stage (about 1/2" in diameter); quick burn (Leylandi etc); slow burn (dense wood like Hawthorn) and wet (to smoke out any annoying neighbours-although we haven't had any YET). Up to now, he's treated this growing obsession with mild, albeit slightly patronising, humour-but when I went to take photos of each section for the blog, I could tell by the look on his face that I've gone a bit too far. I'll have the last laugh when winter sets in big time!
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Monday, 6 October 2008
I'm hiding before he removes my skin!!!!!!
Had an evening in the Bluebell Cider House, it was absolutely packed, everyone was pleasant and welcoming. The Bluebell is what a pub should be.
Saturday, 4 October 2008
We moored up about 3.30 &, as I'd been on my feet since 7.30, all I really wanted to do was sit down with my excellent book, but by the time I'd lit the fire, fed the animals, washed up, put the pasta on, eaten & washed up again, watched him get bad tempered 'cause of technical problems in the telly department, 'phoned my mum & a friend it was 8.30! Without the telly to occupy him I was never going to get any peace, so I suggested we pop up to the "Bluebell Cider House" for a pint. Had a pint and then a young lady insisted I must try the, rather luridly orange, cider. Common sense told me to make it a half but, for all that, I remember nothing else - there you go; another day disappeared without even opening my book.