Friday, 19 December 2008
People are getting into the christmas spirit with Job Parties ranging from office 'do's' to disco's on Thames cruisers and theamed dress-up affairs where Henry the Eighth throws a christmas turkey leg across the dance floor for effect.
Our own works 'do' was organised for last Monday which alas, Laura and myself didnt attend due to family commitments. But we heard all about the usual goings on when we all returned to work on Wednesday...to be honest, im glad we didnt go
So, We ourselves have been looking forward to our first proper Christmas, off work together.
We have 4 days off ending on Christmas day then back to work Boxing day for 5 days then off again for New Years eve for 5 days........or so we thought.
Yesterday, The management decided to inform Myself and a few others that, due to bad planning they have cancelled my days off on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, and to make matters worse.....its without any compensation!!!!!!!
IM not a happy bunny
So....in order to make me feel better and spread a little good news at this time of year it is with Great Pleasure and Happiness that Laura and myself, announce that we are expecting the arrival of our first child this coming July
Mother and Peanut (for that is its size) doing well
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Our original plan for this day was to cruise down to Denham Country Park and find a little spot for 1 final barbie before doing the last 3 and a bit hours back to base camp. The day dawned overcast and very breezey and a few showers accompanied our meanderings through the locks.
At Batchworth we were aided by orange lifejacketed children who were visiting the canal centre and getting instruction on locks and boats....Geoff, one of the staff was telling Nora that when these groups were being shown around the motorboat 'Roger', the question was asked of them what they thought the boat wouldve carried in its hold. Not one of them thought of Coal, Televisions being the favourite guess. I guess not many kids these days have any concept of coal. Funny the way the world changes.
It was about 3pm as we descended Widewater lock and onto the Denham stretch, Looking at the sky we decided to plod on towards the Slough Arm.
At Cowley Peachey juction, my turn was restricted by a boat moored a few feet too close to the opening so a bit of jiggery pokery was needed to complete the swing onto the arm while the boat owners enjoyed the spectacle from the comfort of their chairs on the towpath.
Just over half an hour later saw us at Highline. We decided not to continue up to the winding hole as is our usual thing, but to tie up for a change on the outside of Herbie as Neil and Cath are heading out for the River Wey on sunday and being alongside the bank will be better for them loading up etc.
Our neighbour Lydia waved us in and kindly took the stern rope and we were promptly visited by 3 of her cats who had apparantly been missing their treats due to a lack of Lady Elgar being alongside.
All finally secure and engine shut down and shore line connected saw us relaxing with a chinese takeaway.
All in all it was an excellent trip with fantastic weather. We met some lovely people, maffi and bones by name others just as faces. Visted some excellent pubs and eating places. Enjoyed the drama's of boaters antics and behaviours which although sometimes are frustrating, they are nothing compared to the behaviour of people on our roads, and what may seem like moans by me about folk, are not really moans...just observations on different behaviours, as im sure other folk would observe on our behaviour.
Valuable hands on knowlegde was learned re the boat such as the starter problem and the prop shaft, but even those incidents all added to the enjoyment of the trip and the experience of owning and running your own boat without the need to call on expert help.
These problems were really very minor, the starter problem only being compounded by the fact we were on the Thames and had to shut down the engine at every lock.
Laura's highlights of the trip were the hundreds of baby fowl and animals that all benefitted from her tesco value bread bag, The Blisworth tunnel. Having her hat rescued by the lockie at Brentford and the memory of the Garlic Mushrooms at the Wharf Inn at Fenny Compton.
For me, just being together in our home cruising through varied and changing landscapes is enough. No bad memories and thats for sure.
The log shows the following data
Engine Hours 132
back to work Wednesday
Original Post 27/06/08
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
We departed the Globe in lovely sunshine and in anticipation of the 18 locks ahead of us.
A planned short stop at Tesco in Leighton Buzzard refilled some cupboards and fluid cabinet however the waterpoint proved to be defective. It doesn't take long to leave the town behind and after Grove lock the rolling hills and fields open up again giving excellent veiws over towards Woburn.
We filled the water tank at the top of slapton lock and noticed a boat just entering the lock behind us. Goodie, if they dont stop for water we can share the climb up towards Marsworth.
Sure enough Megan and crew caught us up as we were preparing the next lock and we spent a very pleasent afternoon working the locks together. Im gonna have to start carrying a pen on the back with me so I can write peoples names down, My memory is shocking. Both the chap and lady were lovely people.We waved goodbye to Megan at Marsworth and we carried on up the seven locks to Bulbourne.
Nora steered the flight. Nothing much worthy of note except when I arrived at the third lock it was half empty or half full depending on your point of view.
I saw a couple of people at the top gates of the next lock but saw no activity to suggest anyone was coming down so I raised the paddles and emptied the half lock of water in our favour. I then saw the next lock being emptied so there was something coming down. They had exited their lock and were holding just in front of ours by the time our lock was nearly full. I think the lady on the narrowboat thought we had deliberatly emptied the lock which was in their favour as my hello was returned by the couple on the cabin cruiser but not by the Nb. Sorry folks, but it really was half an half. I still felt guilty though.
No other traffic saw us at Bulbourne and we turned onto the narrow winding Wendover Arm.
At the terminus 4 boats were in the prime positions but one of which was also moored in the winding hole which the wind managed to lay us alongside nicely. Nora managed to push the bows off and we eventually swung round and plonked ourselves in the same spot we had used last October. Nora made a lovely potato salad with scally onions and chives and I offered up the burt offerings to the BBQ Gods.The Wendover really is a lovely little canal and the moorings at little tring farm are fantastic and quiet.Slow speed on the internet here so no picsToday we start the long descent towards home.
Oh yes, MONEY MONEY MONEY. must vist the bank in Berkhampstead later
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Friday, 21 November 2008
Original post 22/06/08
SUMMER AND LIGHTNING, all around us.
We even found a couple of pegs on board to start the collection
We purchased some rather fine fudge. Rum an Raison for me and Chocolate for Nora and Choc and orange for both of us, and you cant pass the customery burger bar with out sampling the wares, which in actual fact, were probably the best burger i have ever had from a van .....far better than the cardboard I forced on myself at the Crick Boat show.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
There had been quite a fair bit of traffic this morning in spite of the rain and the tunnel mouth had the usual exhaust fumes shrouding its dark depths.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
The first boat we passed was actually towing another boat which explained all the clanging noises I could hear as we approached. It bounced from side to side in the tow boats wake. We eventually passed 5 boats in all, without incident.
At Norton Junction we teamed up with Narrowboat DJANGO for the descent of the Buckby flight. A lovely couple who where heading down to London after having wintered on the Llangollan. They stopped at Whilton for the chandlery and we waved goodbye.....if they ever read this then I hope you manage to get onto the Thames eventually. We finally came to a stop just past bugbrooke following a provsion stop at Weedon.
Friday, 7 November 2008
I went back to the BMC and pushed the propshaft, forward, back into its normal position.....I then tried to pull it back again but found I couldnt budge it.....the only thing I could find to tighten up was a small nut with an allen key head on the rear bearing. Everything else was tight.I reconnected all the batts and restarted the engine.
Forwards gear no probs.......reverse...no probs either....all very strange....The only thing I could think of was that Noras emergency reverse from forward gear direct into full reverse mustve been enough to throw the shaft backwards......We both made a mental note to always pause for a second or two before engaging reverse from forward.
No further problems or troubles and we eventually tied up on the summit just past The Wharf Inn where we had promised ourselves an evening meal in the pub.
Our evening meal proved to be quite amusing.
Nora's starter was described as Mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce.......They turned out to be thinly sliced button mushrooms in an hint of garlic oil. I had Filo Prawns with sweet chilli dip....Being a customer of Costco, I recognised them as coming from that fine emporium..."ya cant go wrong with deep fried stuff" I proudly announced to Nora as she fiddled with her mushrooms.
While waiting for the next course a couple next to us were served their main....He complained that his Sausages in onion gravey ....had no gravey...The waitress said she would bring him some in a jug.
Our steaks finally arrived but not the onion rings...We asked the waitress for vingegar, a fork and if our onion rings where expected...she said, " oh sorry, I normally work the bar, Im sure they will be here shortly, Ill just get your cutlery"
The man next door finally got his gravey as he finished his last sausage.
Our steaks wernt too bad but the chips were oven chips and Nora's veg were Raw, not even Al Dente. However, when the onion rings arrived they were spanking hot...see ya cant go wrong with deep fried food.
I appreciate that they must find it difficult surviving on summer trade but youd think they would at least get a chef who could cook instead of leaving it to Darren in a back room with a Deep Fat Fryer and a large bag of Tesco Value Mixed Salad.
Braunston tomorrow....all being well .
PS its blowing a gale outside and I think ive just heard one of the roof pots of flowers blow over
We had cast off by about eleven and chugged through the lovely winding countryside hoping to arrive at Banbury in order to stock up at the supermarket.
The sun was out but a bit of a breeze kept the heat down as we passed through familiar places to me from 15 yrs ago.
Laura decided there was no way she was going to steer in Somerton Deep Lock so that honour was left to me. Its still a great feeling going into that narrow chasm and seeing that huge slab of wood close behind you.
Aynho, where we moored and fitted out our old Harbourgh boat had seen quite a few changes. There were now moorings both sides of the canal and not just the offside where we were. Those offside moorings had also seen big improvemnets, In our day the path was an over grown muddly affair but was now neat and gravelled.
Aynho wharf itself seemed a little sad from the days of it being an Anglo Welsh base with all the usual activities but a sign in the window of the Wharf building stated it was under new management so maybe it is up for a revamp.....it looks like boats are still either built or fittedout in the yard so its good to see its still a going concern.
My timings of canal travel never seem to work out properly and it wasn't till half six that we exited Banbury lock into what I can only describe as a GHOST TOWN.
All the shops were shut up, Plenty of boats yes but where was everybody?
We tied up just under the main road bridge and set off armed with our Tesco bags to find Morrisons.This was my first visit to Banbury since it had all been done up and I didnt recognise the place. We wended our way through narrow allys past shops all shuttered up for the night and pubs with lights on but no noise from within, not even the customery smoker outside.
It was as if the towns folk had all hidden themselves away after 6 lest the dreaded Banbury Boggart should take them unawares. The Boggart had also stolen or demolished Morrisons and with nobody around to ask for directions, after half an hour we hotfooted it back to the boat and cast off towards cropredy.
Again, timings and memory failed miserably...I didnt recall it being that far.....we eventually exited Slat Mill Lock at 9pm. The pubs would no longer be cooking and yet again I had managed to avoid buying Laura an evening meal.We found a mooring, set up the Sat Dish ready for Deadliest Catch and settled down for a Fry Bentos steak pudding each......smashing.
Monday, 3 November 2008
At Godstow lock, The Lockkeeper said he'd remembered our engine from a few days earlier. It appears he likes to have a decko in the engine room doors of passing craft and state he had already seen a 2 cylinder Gardner, an old Lister and now a 3 Cylinder Perkins....It seems he does different locks on a daily basis.
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
What is the differece between slug speed and snail speed? Are slugs faster because they dont carry a shell on their backs?
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
No photo's tonight as we only have snail speed connection which kinda matches our snail speed while under way.
We had probably the quietest ever night at Henley, you know, its so quiet that you cant hear anything at all except the noise from your ears.
We woke to spanking sunshine and clear blue sky, By 8am the Henley rowers where out and about practising for next week's ladies Regatta and the Cox's were being rather vociferous....Typical small person syndrome lol.
We Cast off and got under way by 9.30 am hoping to make Goring for the evening stop. River flow's were still causing us problems, sometimes managing 3mph other times dropping right down to 1.8 on the narrows. The river was quiet again untill we approached Shiplake lock and two boats hove into view behind us who were obviously stemming the flow better than ourselves...One was a Thames widebeam cruiser and the other a narrowboat, I presume the Narrowboats are either giving it full wellie on the engines (which im not prepared to do) or they have larger props suitable for river cruising.
We enterd Shiplake lock first and were joined alongside by a Nb (Mention no names). No drama in the lock, and we intended to pull over on the left to take on water and empty the toilet cassette.
Due to our starter problem I said to the chap on the Nb that he may like to go first, He said that there were stopping for the pump out in any case....I went below on the opening of the gates and Lady Elgar kicked into life with the magic wire on the first go. I returned topside to see the Nb already out of the lock. We followed them to the Pump out and Water point mooring. The Nb promptly pulled in alongside the Pump out and I expected them to pull back to allow us to use the water point.....no such luck. He secured his tail rope and she secured her rope at the front.....she then walked upto the water hose and fed it back the 30' to their boat....so they obviously intended to pump out and fill up at the smae time, knowing full well that we also required water and couldve done this while they pumped out. Never mind, we plodded on as there was insufficient room in front of them for us....I wasnt overly bothered but it did seem to annoy Nora......Its just uncivil thats all......
By comparison......we approached the Tesco mooring at Reading and every space was full apart from a very tight gap I thought i might be able to slide into on the very end....Full marks to the Chap and lady inboard NB Cygent who came outside and pulled their boat back to give us full length on the mooring. Civil an decent...dont take much does it.
We eventually spent a couple of hours at Reading, While shopping at Tesco I put the Genny on and we did some washing while wandering round the store. Upon our return the wash cycle was just finishing and we turned round and took on 54.5 litres of Diesel at Reading marina also water and empty the elsen.
We then made all haste for Goring which should only have been 3 hours away.We texted Neil and Kath our neighbours at Iver on Herbie that our ETA at Goring was appx 7pm, well, 7pm came and went and we eventually ariived and were met on the tow path at 8pm.....Neil and Kath had already done a recce on the moorings and found all the ones below the lock taken but he guided us into a nice little spot a little way back with two trees placed perfectly for our bow and strn lines.
The four of us then wandered into Goring and plonked ourselves in the first pub where 3 ales on pump attracted our attention.
We had a really smashing evening and were really pleased that they met us but as always the evening went too quick.
Tomorrow will hopefully see us in Abingdon and a rendevous with Bones and Maffi, Ill pm then after this to make sure all is as planned.
As an aside, we shared a lock with some young folk on a Thames hireboat...The two chaps were dressed up in naval getout. The chap in the admiral hat told me that he lived in a little village alongside the kennet and Avon Canal, he said that LE was the best looking canal boat he had ever seen......Makes ya kinda proud of your home.
Friday, 24 October 2008
9.30am saw us under way from Windsor and within minutes the rain was pelting down. In fact it had been raining most of the night and now I was concerned that river levels were going to rise again and see us stranded waiting for them to fall.
I then noticed lots of little mounds on the grass opposite the boat and thought, strange, I didnt remember those mole hills before.....they turned out to be Rabbits all enjoying the evening sun.