Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving North

Spent a few days near Hawkesbury Junction, that is where the Oxford and Coventry canals join.
There is a marked contrast between the two in that the towpaths are so much better on the Coventry canal. We were waiting for the diesel supply boat Gosty Hill. Iain and Alison arrived in the dark evening just before 5.
They do seem to work hard and long with many more boats at the junction to serve with coal and diesel before they stop.
We turned right onto the Coventry next day, took on water and stopped just short of Nuneaton, passing the Warwickshire Canal Carrying Company, otherwise known as charity dock.
It is always a sight to see with many old boats, some of which are being restored. Then we saw that The Navigation Inn is now sadly closed. A dull cold day making us stop after less than 2 hours on the move.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

River pictures update

Our tour of East Anglia this year is now well covered in pictures of the river Nene, Middle levels, the tidal Ouse and the river Ouse. Please feel free to visit our website soon.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New cabinets

We have been living on Moore 2 Life now for many years. The galley has always lacked high storage space and the walls were just begging for cabinets. The existing cupboards have become stuffed. The time has come to fix the problem and we knew a man who can. He even has a van. Dave Bassett of We had originally used his services at Braunston when operating as D. B. Boat Builders. Dave was happy to find us as we moved along. He took about a week to make the units in his workshop and 2 days to fit in the boat.
The cabinets look as if they belong already. We have now spread things about reorganising the galley system. “Where did you put..........?”.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Preparations for a birthday

Ann made a Christmas cake and pudding some time ago which has become a tradition over the years. Brod took both back home after his visit.
Now is the time to think about gifts and cards. We have started by using the internet and getting goodies sent home. Plans have been made to get us home as well. Real shopping is ok so long as it is dry and not too cold. The town centres have the decorations hung up and we look forward to seeing the lights on. It gets dark early now so there is a good chance seeing them lit before we run out of energy! Any more gifts will be sent home by post.
We are slowly heading north now and hope to meet up with our friends on No Problem later. A stoppage at Atherstone will reopen hopefully early in December so there is no need to rush about yet. We came down through the locks at Hillmorton without needing to use any bollards on the way.
Is that a bollard up there by the road?
There has been some concern about British Waterways spending our licence money on unnecessary extra bollards being planted in the wrong places.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brother’s visit

Last weekend was special because Brod came up from the south to see us. After parking his car, walking to the boat and a welcoming drink we explored Braunston. Up the hill past the church, encouraged by a dry sunny day we went on and visited the Autumn Fair in the village hall.
Then on down to the bottom lock and up to the Admiral Nelson for a social drink while watching a few boats through the lock. The Old Plough gave us all a meal in the evening at a table near a cheerful warm fire. Next day after breakfast he was gone. We had time to catch up with family news and events and swop a few pictures. He continues research into the family tree getting information off the internet.
Having filled the tank with water we went off north for 6 miles to turn at Tarry’s bridge.

Doves at Tarry's bridge
We had ordered a Tesco delivery at Willoughby and the return trip seemed to take forever as it turned colder. Another appointment in Daventry required that we were at least facing Braunston for a few days.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Diesel boat Bletchley

This supply boat passed through Braunston to day. Clearly showing the two prices of 72p and £1.15

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Return to Braunston

We went down one lock to Calcutt Marina who are happy to fill our tank with diesel and allow us to declare our use for propulsion. Their prices were 66p for domestic use and £1.09 for propulsion. On our way back we noticed that Wigrams Turn Marina claimed to have no fuel for sale. Clifton Cruises will be selling diesel at the fixed rate of 98p based on a 60 / 40 % split. They will only sell at the low rate if you have a separate diesel tank for heating.
Molly is 4 years old this month. Ann got a special treat from the Braunston butcher, a bone to chew. Molly was lucky to be found by us and we have enjoyed her company while living on board. We had lots of help and advice while training her to be sociable. She is missing her friends Lucy & Meg at the moment while we travel a different way.
We saw Ernie & Rhonda on NB Ten Bob Note, but had to rush off to catch the bus to Daventry. They had moved on when we returned. The Christmas decorations are up in the Daventry streets and we started our seasonal shopping. There is a good selection of shops in this historic market town.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Winter snap

Having spent some time around Braunston and Daventry we moved south towards Napton. Our favoured mooring is just past Nimrod Bridge. We were expecting cold northerly winds so the trees and high hedges would provide shelter here. There is also a hard edge to cling to and a wide grass covered path, an opportunity to put out the bird feeders. British Waterways have actually managed to cut the grass! While out for a walk Gosty Hill, the diesel boat, passed by selling fuel for 70p in October. He was heading north to Ashby and plans to return in a few weeks.

It got very cold and the sleet turned to snow as we got back to the boat. The midlands got a covering of about 2 inches during that evening and caused some loss of TV signal spoiling our ‘comfort zone’ in the warm as the temperature dropped to zero outside. Thankfully the wind stayed away. The clocks have returned to GMT and we are now in the winter months. Despite the weather many boats are still very busy passing by in both directions from dawn to dusk. A busy week for the holiday boats with the school half term upon us.

We have booked our flu jabs in a few weeks time so are just moored up for a while. Need to stay near the diesel supply at Napton. November has arrived so our diesel fuel now has extra duty to pay but only if you use it for propulsion. The majority of our fuel is for heating and light so we should not have to pay too much more. We are required to declare the percentage used for propulsion so need to keep detailed records of use. You never know, some tax man may find us and ask for proof. If we are lucky the extra tax will find its way back to the waterways. The ‘Oxford Canal Walk’ between Coventry and Oxford would benefit greatly from the extra investment. Perhaps the Countryside Commission could offer to help out as many canal tow paths are public amenities.