Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moving up

Just some pictures of recient events before and while we went up the Braunston locks and through that tunnel.

Moving north

Moving south

Rock n Roll and Moore 2 Life side by side

Passing the Admiral

Moving out

Entering the tunnel

And finally, inside!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Census at Clifton

Somebody gave Sue a few spare forms so at least some boaters on the Grand Union were able to do their duty to Queen and country. Sue gave me one of the code numbers so I was able to fill in the census form on line. We are now known as wanderers of the waterways. It will be interesting to see the results of this national survey to find out how many people are living in ‘mobile homes’. Perhaps the government will respond in some way to improve services they provide for those mobile users of the waterways. “Don’t hold your breath”.

Original colours now for Badsey
We had rushed all the way to Rugby and back to Clifton in order to purchase some vinyl flooring for our galley. It was a cold grey day which tested our resolve to keep going. Then Sunday was better for us as we stayed put and enjoyed a Sunday roast dinner with George n Carol on board.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Still waiting in Braunston

Ann went off to see the grand children again while I wait for post.

So far a pleasant few days going walkabout with Molly as the spring season develops.
Carol and George were kind enough to invite me round for a meal one evening on board Rock n Roll. I had cooked liver & bacon for my first meal on my own.
An engineer called to fix the grill which was inclined to go out before the toast was done. It was just a loose nut causing the flame sensor to go open circuit when hot.
I had done my duty and requested a census form to be sent to Braunston but as yet it has not arrived.
We had not intended to stay so long and were getting low on diesel so when Gosty Hill turned up I was happy to get Ian and Alison to fill the tank.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Social events and boats

We find ourselves staying in Braunston for a while. Sue n Vic, Les and us all went for a meal and chat in ‘The Boat’ right by the canal. Next day we helped No Problem and crew up the Braunston flight of 6 locks to the summit. Sue n Vic were soon on their way to that tunnel after saying our good bys. We walked back down on our own and Les invited us in for tea as we passed Valerie.
A day later Rock n Roll, Seyella and Windsong arrived on the scene. It was a completely unarranged gathering of blogging boaters which lasted for a moment. At one point the canal was almost blocked as we exchanged greetings over the roof of boats.
We went off on a bus to Daventry to get away and enjoy the sunny day. It was sad to see a few shops closing down. In particular Nobes the handy huge hardware store. We had lunch in our favourite cafe on the corner which had changed hands. But still a bright clean place to sit and enjoy snacks, coffee or meals.
On our return we had time to visit the marina and see the gathering of Share Boats. They offer the means to own a smart boat and enjoy exploring the waterways for a month. Seems huge private investments are going into boats and marinas these days. It is such a shame that the public purse is not so willing to keep the waterways in good repair. It was quite noticeable how much frost damage had occurred during that hard winter. Many loose bricks requiring a lot of re pointing or replacing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Computer widows or slaves

Which one are you? That ‘computer’ does so much and we have all grown to rely on it so much. How can we get on without it now? Having upgraded to Windows 7 my Toshiba Satellite with ‘only’ 1 GB memory was just a bit slow. It was OK for XP in the past. Upgrading presents so many problems with hardware and software compatibility. Our good friend Sue has sorted it out by increasing the memory to 4 GB. Much faster now.
There are so many things we can do on computers. We can communicate with other like minded souls through this blog or our web site, control finances, collect pictures & music and even load Kindle books. Even food can be ordered and delivered.
I need to limit my time ‘computing’ because there are other things to do. Time together with Ann, moving & painting the boat and getting out for walks seem more natural and necessary for a balanced life style.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Wet, muddy n grubby

Seem to be drifting along slowly but making some progress heading south. The town of Atherstone has had a makeover since we last passed this way. The shops along the roman street have been painted and the town is busy with people.
Back on the canal it is a different story. The damp weather has just made the poor state of the tow paths worse. Puddles and mud making it difficult and unpleasant to walk.

This was back in 2004
It is such a shame that the lock keeper appears to have left. In many past years the flight of locks were so well kept with painted gates, cut grass, trimmed hedges and tubs of flowers at the top lock cottage.
Any volunteers that British Waterways are looking for will have a hard act to follow. Apparently ‘Job Seekers’ have been volunteered to work on the tow paths around Stoke. The teams have been set to work cutting back vegetation, repainting metalwork and resurfacing the paths. A scheme organised between the government. B. W. and the local council. Let’s hope that will encourage the general public to show some respect to the canals.
Despite our seemingly slow progress we have got through that grubby town of Nuneaton. Rubbish is being thrown over into the canal at bridges and covers the banks with drink containers, plastic bags and goodness knows what else. Perhaps the council here should be getting volunteers to clear it but maybe they don’t care either.
We are now on the Oxford canal and stopping around Rugby. The tow paths here are no better.
The sun came out to play its warmth on the land and we walked round Newbold Quarry lake with Sue, Vic and the girls.

Why is that left there?

Simple, just put it in there.

Just a quiet place.
We then stopped the night at Clifton. Ann went up to the shops to get her hair cut and bring back the post. I set to and cleaned out our oil fire which needs scraping out every two or three weeks. The oil leaves behind a handful of carbon deposits which needs a sharp knife to loosen it. Also discovered that the securing screws had got loose and the whole fire had moved a bit.

Next day was sunny n warm which made for an enjoyable trip up the Hillmorton locks. The rare cast iron 150 year old gates have been taken out, restored, painted and replaced. But the lock paddles are always hard to lift on this flight and the winter stoppage has not improved them.
Moved on to a mooring near the prison for naughty boys. Later we were joined by Les on NB Valery.