Monday, December 28, 2015

And now the floods

We are so relieved to have been able to get Moore 2 Life safe to Cropredy Marina.  It was such a difficult trip and now we know that the river Cherwell is in flood.  That would have stopped us in our tracks and seriously spoiled our Christmas.

I have reported our difficulties to CRT and NABO.  The charity are more likely to respond when us boaters report problems, or so I have been told.  So lets all try that tactic and see what happens.  We could also make contact with our 'boater' reps in CRT !

As it was we were able to have Christmas Lunch cooked by Tracy when we went to play with our grand children.  They are growing up fast with their technical toys.  The next party was at our place a few days later when my brother Brod with Annie, Chris Tracy and the boys came round.  Ann and I provided a buffet for them all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Driving home for Christmas

We got back to the boat on the Sunday before Christmas.  Another car load of stuff to find space on the boat.  Once unpacked we went to the cafe at the boat yard for a relaxing tea n cake.  Ann decided to bring ready meals for our first trip.

It was cool in the boat so on went the rads to warm up while the engine charged the batteries.  We wondered how much diesel we had in the tank.  Ann found a ready made dipstick which indicated more than half full, that should be enough for the trip.  There was not much water in the tank up front when we dipped our own stick in.  We had decided to use a couple of jerry cans for water.  At the end of the trip it has to be all pumped out for the winter months.

Next day we took the car up to Cropredy marina and got a taxi back.  That plan went well in the warm comfortable taxi.  Our first problem was getting the boat away from the boat yard mooring!  There were so many boats in the way.  It took a gradual process of push an shove to get us on our way.
Ann at Allen's Lock

The lift bridges down this way presented the next problem.  Many had blown down in the wind.  Normally held up with chains anchored to the ground.  The chains had broken and were too short to reach.  I was obliged to fetch the boat hook to reach up to the chain.  By now the wind and rain was testing our resolve to carry on.  Then we entered that deep lock at Somerton.  Ann was doing her best to shut the large single heavy bottom gate.  I had to use the boat hook to help prise the gate shut while down on the boat.  It was quite a struggle.

This was Hell on earth but we battled on determined to get at least half way just past Nell Bridge.  At least the wind had calmed down and there was some blue sky.  We were cold, wet and tired.  On again with the rads to get warm n dry.  We consumed one of those handy ready meals, what joy!

On Tuesday we set off after breakfast under a cloudy sky.  Please don't rain.  There were two more locks before Banbury with those heavy single bottom gates and one of them demanded the use of our boat hook again.

Chas at Slat Mill Lock

We met Maffi in Banbury and he kindly lifted the bridge for us.  He is the first boater we know to see our Moore to Life.  Thanks to him for lending us a third mooring rope.

Continuing on to Cropredy was relatively uneventful.  Once in the marina we got the diesel tank filled for the winter months.  They had kept our original mooring empty for us and we moved the boat there and tied up.

Next day it took a while to shut all the boat systems down for winter.  The water tank pumped out in ten minutes so it was just as well we had those jerry cans!  I plugged in the land line and were thankful that the charger put energy back in the batteries!  After packing the car, emptying the cassette, turning off the gas and electric we were on our way home.

Happy Christmas to all our readers.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Back on a boat

It has been at least four months without a boat for us.  All our stuff came off Moore 2 Life in August when she got sold.  It was all stored in boxes at home.
At last we arrived at Oxford Narrowboats to see and inspect our next Moore to Life. Our grandson Ben suggested having the 'smiley'.  A car full of our stuff was then transferred to the boat.  Now at least it is back in the right place.  But during the following hours and days things moved around to try different situations.

The new Beta engine and batteries were exercised for a few hours to provide hot water and a charge.  The Eberspacher heated up the saloon and cabin.  All the boat systems were checked out intermately.  Being an 'ex hire', pumps were made easy to get at and change quickly.  The majority of lights are LEDs.  A simple switch panel enabled the switching on and off power to the lights, pumps, fridge and inverter / charger.

Next day we decided to set off to Banbury in the car.  Most of the parking spaces were full and we were about to give up when we found one space.

The public were able to to go  down inside and were told about the canal history and how a lock works.
Banbury lock had been fully emptied for inspection and cleaned out. Many items were recovered including a pile of mobile phones!

Chris, Tracy and our grand children came up on the Sunday to see the boat.  Chris installed a volt meter next to that simple switch panel.   Previously I was checking the power at a light fitting!  A cafe at the boat yard provided a good menu for lunch.

We returned home on Tuesday in order to prepare for the Christmas season and write this blog!  The mobile signal was non existent at the boat yard!  Now we plan to go back to Lower Heyford on Sunday 20 th December with another load of stuff, take the car to Cropredy and get a lift back to the boat yard.   Setting off on a trip to move the boat back to Cropredy on the Monday. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Changed plans

No chance now of moving Moore to Life to Cropredy marina before Christmas.

Canal and River Trust have changed their stoppage plans.  Originally 3 locks were having work done in November/ December.  We had a plan to get through early in December. Originally there was a 3 day open gap. But now as one lock opens the next closes on the same day!

We hope to get up to Oxford Narrowboats next Friday and stay over the weekend.  Taking a car load of our stuff to make Moore to Life our second home.

I have just read the latest Boater's Update from CART.  It seems to say that you can stay for up to 14 days without a permit!  You only need the permit if you plan to stay longer.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Moorings for Christmas?

We saw that these winter moorings were empty at Lower Heyford.  Not much extra income there for CART!

Ann made the cake and several puddings for next month!

Friday, November 13, 2015

C R T Elections ?

I have done my duty and voted. Before voting I was able to read about all the candidates in the various groups.

However I was only able to vote for the private candidates.  There were eight of them.  I had to put them in order of preference.  Stella Ridgway is supported by NABO.  I know of Andrew Tidy who wanted to be elected last time but he was not in the private list.

We must now wait and see if things improve or not over the next few years.

Our next boat is in the process of being painted, renamed and refitted.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The next boat for us

We went to see the boat this week at Oxford Narrowboats.  Only the second viewing, we like it and are committed.  Some work to be done to make it ours.
 We are to name her Moore to Life.  Note the 'to' rather  than '2'.  It is back to the name of our previous boat as '3' is not right!  When we started boating we never imagined that we would have possessed so many.  Our first was shared with with friends and used at weekends and holidays a long time ago.  So that is a total of four since the 1990's!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Wild life breakfast

Our ornamental pear tree is one focal point in the corner of our garden. There are pea nuts and bird seed feeders hung from the branches.

We can watch our visitors from the window.  They range from a family of squirrels, pigeons, song birds, magpies and occasionally a Jay or two!

The squirrels arrive first and chase each other over the tree having come along the fence from the local wood.  They take their turn to hang down from the branch to get the nuts.

The song birds arrive for the seed and scatter them over the ground.   The fat pigeons try to get either the nuts or seeds by flapping their wing to hover by the feeders but give up and sweep the ground for the seeds.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


We last saw Mo & Nes at Whitchurch back in 2012.  Got the sad news that Mo has died.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Do we still need it?

Living 'on the bank' is the new era for now.  Our bungalow is occupied by all our stuff off the boat.  We have several large plastic containers with the contents now sorted for various parts of the new boat.

The boat we hope to get will be ten feet shorter than M2L so a fair proportion of our stuff will have to go.  When on a boat if you have not used it for a year then it has to go.  The same applies when you are 'on the bank'!  We have decided to call the new boat 'Moore To Life'.

Even our massive collection of pictures taken during our explorations of the waterways are getting the 'thinning' treatment.   Do have a look at our web site to see them.  They may be just pictures but they do provoke a memory.  Just reducing their capacity to put them on a memory stick so our TV can display the pictures.

It is good for us to be able to track all our boating friends by reading their blogs and making occasional comments, so keep blogging!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Morning Mist

The new owners Dave and Chris are soon to set off on their voyage of discovery.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Another boat?

We liked this one but it is not  available till the end of the season.

Friday, August 21, 2015

A bittersweeet journey

Moore 2 Life at Cropredy marina

Back in January we decided to have our boat painted but the arrangement fell on stony ground. Then we considered the implications of down sizing to a shorter boat for 'summer cruising' and started to look at the market. A cruiser or semi trad stern less than 50 feet would suit us now.

Our son suggested that selling now and buying later would get the best value. Could we face up to the idea of not having a boat for a while? ABNB gave us a valuation just based on our description. If they had created a brochure they would want to put the boat on the market before we had found another boat and charged us 6%!

It was while we were looking at boats for sale when we met Dave and Chris who were looking for a 'live aboard' boat. Perhaps it was fate, being in the right place and the right time. They came to see Moore 2 Life and liked what they saw. Eventually an offer was accepted subject to a survey. That in its self is the binding contract!

They were happy to hand over a 10% deposit after a trial run. We all then signed an agreement to sell and buy describing what was for sale. A witness also signed the document. Dave and Chris have been lucky to be able to see all our boat documentation and have us as owners to provide an in depth demonstration.

Our buyers arranged for a survey to be carried out at the marina. There were a few things that needed fixing before a 'pass' could be obtained. Every thing except the gas bottles had to be removed from the gas locker. We had anchor and concrete ballast in there! These were relocated in the well deck store space. The gas locker floor had to be painted and the bottles made secure away from the regulator. The shower pump out pipe had to be looped up higher than the outlet to ensure water could not get in when on a river. Our solar panel feed although fused was connected to the wrong side of the battery isolator and should be direct to the batteries.

It is so annoying when so-called experts carrying out work on boats do not seem to know the rules. A boat survey is so much more involved than the safety test!

During the six weeks it took from start to finish we had traveled up and down five times to remove all our personal belongings. The new owners are to rename the boat 'Morning Mist'. That was her original name when we bought her as described on the CE plate.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

August visit

We have been busy giving Moore 2 Life some much needed tender loving care.  The gas locker had a very rusty floor and needed a major scrape and repaint.  We used the locker to store an anchor and a load of concrete blocks as forward ballast.  We have been advised to remove the anchor and ballast.

Our boat has always been a bit high at the front and the ballast helped to lower the bow.  Luckily we can move the ballast to the well deck where it can reside under the front storage compartment.

So all of you boaters out there be warned, the gas locker is for nothing else but the gas bottles.  Those bottles are heavy and must be made secure to prevent them hitting the gas regulator.

Then we removed the cratch cover and gave it a good scrubbing.  All the spiders scurried away!  The boat is beginning to look like a new pin at the front.

Even the engine compartment has had some attention.  I discovered that the engine control cables and wiring loom were gently resting on the exhaust silencer!  I have managed to pull them up with tie wraps to a 'sky hook'.

Do we all need a Galvanic Isolator?  For many years we traveled the waterways without one.  Our anodes have been doubled a while ago and are still serviceable.  Out on the cut no boat is connected to an earth.  Now that we are in a marina most boats are connected to earth with their land line.  Does that make the difference?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dance n Camp

 We were invited to watch Ben dancing with the Little Big Dance company.  His favorite colour is orange.
Then the boys set up camp on the garden.  They never slept in it because the bed went flat!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Buyer Beware

An opportunity window enabled us to travel north to Cropredy.  In the sun during the drive up but then it rained in the afternoon.  The British F1 racing was on TV and we got the rain before Silverstone did!

We always leave the water tank nearly empty and on this visit the water was a bit tainted.  A chlorine tablet was dropped in and fresh water poured in.

Readers of our Blog will have noticed our boat visit habit has changed and we are content with it for now.  If we have time we take the boat out and if not we drive round to our favorite canal spots.  This time we went to Weedon, Whilton and Braunston to get our 'fix' on canal life.

We were actually looking for another boat to down size, but not down grade.  We have decided that a Semi Trad or Cruiser stern and no more than about 50 feet long would suit us better.  We have been very disappointed with what is on the market these days.  There really is a lot of junk out  there. Some agents ask for a deposit even before a trial run!  Then you cannot get it back if you decide against your choice of boat.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A tour of the New Forest

We drove across the New Forest to Burley.  A small popular village to the west of the forest.  We found a cafe and sat outside in the sunshine with Molly in the shade under the table.  Unfortunately the traffic spoiled the ambiance.
On the way we stopped at Yew Tree Bottom to let Molly cool off in a river.
We returned home via Lymington to see the Wight Link ferry arrive.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


We have been together for 49 years together!
 The cornflowers grown from seed are one of Ann's favorites.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Is it a krazy world?

Have you tried to get the itv player on your 'smart' tv?  My browser on the tv needs Flash Player to use the itv player but cannot down load it!  The BBC iPlayer works fine.  I have both itv and BBC player apps on the iPad and they work fine using WiFi.  Those WiFi TV dongles don't have itv player either.

Now we cannot afford to upgrade the rail network!  What price the alternative?  There were many protests about HS2 but now it may not happen.   New rolling stock is arriving but cannot be used.  The rail network needs the upgrade to electric.  Get rid of those dirty diesel engines.  But then we need more power stations!

I needed to make a phone call in order to register my Master Card with a supplier.  They won't answer the phone but "Your call is important to us".  Cannot do it on line.  Perhaps they could ring me and I will play music in their ear for a few minutes more!

Some foreign manufacturers are having a laugh at our expense!  They do not make things to the so called CE mark specifications.  Is it our fault for buying cheap and nasty products?

The population in the UK has grown to 65 million.   I wonder if that includes people living in boats!  Where are they going to live if we do not build more houses and towns?  Do we have enough space, power and water?

A fool and his money are soon parted.  There are rouges who will take it and give nothing back.  Don't part with your money on just a promise!

That's it folks, rant over!  Now I sit in the garden sipping tea and try to forget that Krazy World!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Visit to Crick

We used our wheels this time and TomTom to navigate us across the midlands to Crick. At one time we were told to go down a dead end road!  We saw sense and turned north.  Eventually Tommy got the message and found another way.
Our friends have a boat called Mimulus near the marina.  Dave and Lyn have a pleasant garden plot next to their boat.  We all went to the Red Lion for lunch and enjoyed a catchup chat.  In the past Dave did a lot of work refitting our boat but now is retired and concentrates on his own boat.

On our return to Moore 2 Life the heavens opened forcing us to slow down as the rain was so heavy.  Once again we have enjoyed a short spell on the boat and managed to meet our boating friends.  Now it is time to get home to meet up with family.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

We stay, they go

After a walk in the park with the girls we all move on through Banbury.  While we stay to shop our friends Sue n Vic move on down the Oxford canal.

To Banbury

We set off before 9 trying to follow No Problem but other boaters had the same idea in front of us.  All in a queue at the lock and water point.  It took a long while to get our water and loo full and empty before we could finally move on.

There were of course several boats going the same way heading for Banbury.  We helped the boat in front to get through the locks because it was to our advantage.  Some times a boater from behind would shut the gate as we left the lock.
An old mooring post.  At least it is in the right place outside the lock.  Unlike those new ones that sprouted alongside these narrow locks.

Sue and Vic got to town first and saved us a place by the park.  Then we had Sue's home made soup and Ann's hot bread rolls.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

June visit

We were all packed and away by nine on Saturday for two hours on the road to Cropredy.   A couple of trollies full of our transfer kit was then delivered to Moore 2 Life.  Water, gas and electric all turned on to bring our sleeping boat to life.  The batteries were fully charged from the sola panels.

It was just as well that we were ready to go because Sue n Vic on No Problem were arriving at Cropredy.  No time to top up with water before we moved out of the marina.  There was NP but no sign of her owners or their dogs.  At the pub soaking up a pint I suspect.  We settled for a sandwich snack for lunch before those two large black dogs arrived with S n V following.  Into NP for tea n chat.
Next morning was cool as we woke to bird song and church bells.  On with the radiators to kill the chill.
How good it is to soak up the morning on a walk to the Bridge Store.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

A change of plan

We were to move the boat to Heyford Fields Marina to be painted. When I contacted the painter he still could not give me a definite date despite his promise of a slot in June made back in January.  I have now cancelled my agreement with him.

As it happens the man who did our blacking at Cropredy Marina does topsides.  So I wait for a quote from him.  At least he does not require a deposit.

Meanwhile I continue to recover from my spell in hospital.  Done some gardening and go for a walk.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Hospital treatment

I got a tummy ache that was persistent. Went to the medical centre and saw a doctor, just walked in and saw him. He examined me and sent me direct to hospital with a letter. It was that quick. A bed was being made available so don't knock the NHS,  I was lucky it worked for me.

Quite by chance it was the same ward I had been in before Christmas. It did not take long to be examined, get a CT scan and start treatment. The problem was already healing and I was put on an antibiotic drip to clear up any infection.

During the following days a routine formed. Medication was given three times a day at 7am, 3pm and 11pm. Nurses checked blood pressure and temperature. I had a few disturbed nights.

A company called Steamplicity provided excellent meals ordered the same day. By the third day I was able to go walkabout for mild exercise and a change of view. My bed was by a window on the 5 th floor but it can be a bit cool if the window was open!

Some entertainment was provided when a helicopter arrived at the hospital twice and a road accident occurred within view! One of the patients was a young criminal chained to a guard! The guard and another changed shift over night. When they left a few days later and the criminal was putting his shoes on, the guard being hand cuffed to him had to bend down several times! You would not believe the attitude of some people. While one patient went off for an operation his partner and daughter continued to play Monopoly till gone 10 one night in the ward!

Amazingly a consultant came to see me several times, even twice on Sunday. Don't knock the NHS. At least it worked for me this time. I am back home after 5 nights inside!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Slow going

During breakfast we decided to stop again at that shop near Fenny for a few more provisions. Set off at 9 with a slow boat in front. Ann and Molly are in front walking the towpath and have to stop to let me catch up! The boat in front got stuck on a corner when another boat past the other way.

Yet another slow boat in front after we stopped at the shop!
Just past Fenny is the Tunnel Bridge and a narrow section that was a tunnel. We eventually got down two locks at Claydon where we stopped.

We walked the half mile to Claydon intending to visit the Bygone Museum but found it gone.
Heavy lorries are not meant to cross the canal hump bridge.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The summit pound

This ten-mile pound we are on is the canal between the top of Claydon locks and the top of Napton locks at Marston Doles. It needs dredging for most of its length. There are many bends in it, often with bridges at the bends! We could only achieve about 2 or 3 miles an hour. Any faster made the boat sticks to the bottom and goes strait on at the bends!

We stopped for a tea break at Fenny Compton Wharf. The Wharf Inn has a shop for essential provisions. We got coffee, tea, beans and marmalade there so it was well worth the visit.

We continued to Marston Doles where Windsong came round the corner. Roger and Pip helped us when we were on the river Nene many years ago now. We just exchanged greetings as we passed.

We continued down two locks and stopped near the engine arm but there is no phone signal here. Thankfully the TV was perfect. We have a limited time on board and at breakfast we decided to turn round. We would have turned down at Napton next day but that would have been a waste of water. Just could not face up to all those locks this time.
We are on board to enjoy the countryside not to cover miles and miles. Many fields are bright yellow with the Rapeseed. Other fields have sheep and new borne lambs. We got about half way back and stopped at Knotts Bridge 130. There is a tall radio mast and the High Speed rail link is planned to pass over the canal here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

News of interest

Extracts from Towpath Talk/Narrowboat World.

Dredging has taken place outside Crick marina before the show.  But water voles have a protected length where no boats can moor!

The IWA are encouraging contact with MP's to support for the Inland Waterways.  They are also organising the removal of invasive plants like Himalayan Balsam.

Many weirs on the Thames are being upgraded to help reduce flooding.

It seems that many canals are still being used for 'fly tipping'.  Volunteers are pulling out many large items.  Such things as bicycles, chairs, tyres and shopping trollies!

Are there fewer boats using the canals or are there more boaters not paying for their license?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A visit to the boat in May

Before leaving home we see the Rhododendrons blooming in Dibden woods.

It is a two hour drive north heading for Cropredy near Banbury, always plenty of cars and lorries to follow. We take three or four boxes containing food, clothes and electrical goods. Just cannot travel light!

Once on the boat it does not take long to wake her up by turning on water, electric and gas so we can make that refreshing cup of tea! We have a just over a week this time because we have commitments back home.

The marina is holding a boat jumble next weekend so we had a clear out. Tis surprising what you collect over the years!

The diesel and water tanks are full so the boat is ready to move. Then we get a phone call from our friends Terry and Myra. They visit on their way back from Crick and we go to the Brasenose Arms for lunch.

It is a lovely sunny afternoon so after lunch we set off north on the Oxford canal. We did eight locks in a few miles to get up to the summit at Claydon. Many other boaters were moving up and down helping us on the way.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Our boating plans

I just hope that these plans come true.  Reading the other blogs our friends write only remind me how I miss that way of life so.

We plan to get back up to Cropredy Marina on May the 12 th.  Traveling north on the Oxford and return home from Cropredy on May the 21 st.

We are to look after our grand children's animals while they are away on holiday.

Our next window of opportunity will be June the 2 nd.  Once again we move north and head on down to Bugbrooke where we are to get the boat painted some time in July.  The boat will be staying at Heyford Fields Marina for a while.

We need to get back home for Ann's next checkup at the end of June.  During July we probably will be driving up to see the painting in progress.

The Cropredy festival is in August so we will not return the boat till after that event.

Life on land is just not the same, being in one place and 'available' means that we get committed to do other things!  Just hope that while we are on the boat we get to meet some of our boating friends.  Please pencil those dates in your diary's!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Political History

Previous General Elections

1997   LABOUR          PM Tony Blair

Labour 419, Conservative 165, Liberal Democrats 46, Others 28, turn out 71%

2001   LABOUR          PM Tony Blair

Labour 413, Conservative 166, Liberal Democrats 52, Others 28, turn out 49%

2005 LABOUR           PM Gordon Brown

Labour 355, Conservative 197, Liberal Democrats 28, Others 32, turn out 61%

2010 CONSERVATIVE/LIB DEM     PM David Cameron

Conservative 306, Labour 258, Liberal Democrats 57, Others ?, turn out 65%

It is best to remember the past when deciding who to vote for.  Promises can be broken!  We should all use our democratic right to vote.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Party in the forest

It was a gathering of friends and family in the forest for Ann's 70 th and Tracy's 40 th.  Also Chris n Tracy have been married for 15 years!
We all had a fun time till midnight!  And stayed for B n B at the hotel.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ann's birthday

After breakfast in bed I went for a walk in the New Forest with Chas n Molly.
 I heard the Cuckoo in the distance and the skylarks in the air.
When I got home after having lunch out and going to the garden centre there was all these cut flowers to admire.  Thanks to all of you who sent them.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Features of the forest

We took ourselves off to Dear Leap in the New Forest for a walk round in the sunshine.
 The pine trees stand tall...
 until they fall!
Some heather and silver birch in the open heath land.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hill Head, Hampshire

We went to visit Hill Head when the tide was up.

It was a good walk along the beach with my brother.  There was a cool easterly wind and it was so misty the Isle of Wight could not be seen across the Solent.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A good week out

We got back to Cropredy on Friday and the weather has been good for us during our trip.  As we all know it was a very windy weekend.  We moved into the marina on Saturday before it got too difficult and topped up the diesel tank with 80 litres for £62.  That was 'zero rated' during the winter but next month it goes up to 60/40!

It was a bit of a challenge with the wind in the exposed marina but we used it to advantage to get next to our pontoon.  It is no good fighting against that wind!  Once tied up the aerial was set up and chimney extended.  Then it rained so we had timed our arrival well.

We got some 'Blue' for our Elsan in its taller container.  To avoid the Chinese copies.  They have a lot to answer for because the bottle does not fit under the shelf!

Tip of the week:-  Grease your cratch cover zips with Vaseline, it makes them so much easier.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Testing times

Before setting off I managed to wash down the other side and roof before it got damp.

We got the engine going, then the washing M/c.  Just to prove that we are not just fair weather movers we set off.  Above Bourton Lock the level was a bit low and we continued but picked up a thick plastic bag round the prop.  Thanks to Sue for suggesting getting those rubber gloves.

The shallow un dredged pound made it difficult to get the boat round the corners.  We stopped at the top of Slat Mill lock, lit the fire and hung out the washing.  By now the sun was helping to dry it all.

We had subscribed to Netflix and hoped that our streaming problems did not spoil the movie.  Logged on but before we could watch it they wanted me to download Silverlight.  So much better with no pauses.  I have just had to pay a bit extra to EE because I have used my allowance!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We have turned

Got down through Banbury lock, stopped near the Tramway moorings and went to Morrissons.
Just waiting for a boat to come up.

The Sovereign diesel supplier has closed.  It is a good job Dusty is still working hard with his supply boat full of diesel, coal and gas.  We passed him doing his business on our way back.

A boater told us that the pound above Bourton Lock is a bit low so we have stopped just below it.  TV and fire on at four.  Several boats have gone on up.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A walk in the park

Next day we moved on down to Banbury.  While Ann went shopping I set about washing down the roof and one side.  It had got into a terrible dirty state during that year off. When we turn to go back I suppose I will have to do the other side!

When Ann returned and after a snack lunch we went for that walk in the sunshine.
 I tried to row this thing but did not get very far!
And spring is here.

We got back just before it rained and watched 'Catch up' on 4OD.  Wanted to watch Pru and Timothy do the London canal.  Having our 4GEE dongle is all very well but 'streaming' video is still a bit stop and go.  I think pausing helps to reduce the long wait while the circle rotates.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A short cruise

Well we moved the boat at last!  Took a while to get away.  All these things to do before untying from the pontoon.  Washing machine going on mains power so we waited for that to finish.  Empty the bucket, fill the tank, open the sliding hatch, lift the fenders, start the engine. It started first time!  Hang on, remove the chimney, oh and the TV aerial.  Are we ready to move now?

We did all of five lock miles and stopped just past Bourton Lock 27.  Done three locks all with help from other boaters on the move and it was sunny.  Are we going to be fair weather boaters from now on?  Now we have to put the chimney and the TV aerial up again!  Oh good we got a picture.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A tour of the canals

We relied on 'Tommy' to get us to Bugbrooke, Braunston and back to Cropredy.  It was strange for us to see these familiar places once found by boat and now by car.

At Bugbrooke we met Mike Looby to talk about painting the boat in Heyford Fields Marina this year.  We had drawn and coloured in pictures to show him what we would like.  He showed us some colour charts and we made our choices.  No fixed date as yet but hopefully July.

Then it was off to Braunston for the shop and butcher.  Both still there including the Post Office.  The little cafe run by volunteers provided refreshments.  We got a new map book at the Marina and visited Jane and Bob Moore.  They used to have a boat called 'Hobo'.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The 2015 Eclipse

OK I cheat!   Credit: ESA/Proba-2.
We did not quite get the full on Eclipse at Cropredy but at least it was not cloudy!

A trip by car and boat

Sue n Vic on No Problem are heading down to the river Nene.  We were only a half hour drive away by car so off we go to Rothersthorp to help.  'Tommy' did the navigation for us once the post code from Sue was entered.  Robert, Kevin and his mum Sheila had started setting up the locks as we arrived.
We all met at bridge 4 and helped them down.  Kevin had gone on down to fill the locks ahead so Ann went down to join him.  Despite the cool cloudy day we kept warm with the activity.   As the boat passed we could smell the soup made by Vic, promised to revive us all near the bottom of the flight.
Once passed under the M1 we got on board as the locks were further apart.  Refreshments were taken inside the warm boat after getting through lock 15.  Then it was just two more locks down to the river.
Thanks to Robert who arranged the lift back up to the top.  We both enjoyed being able to rejoin the boating community if only for a short time.  Having two homes and getting away helps to break habits!
Back in 1999 we watched a solar eclipse when we were living in our bungalow.  I remember the street lights coming on!  That was before we set off on our adventures on the inland waterways.  Now we are back on board for holidays and experienced another eclipse!  I made a pin hole projector and saw the moon cover the sun.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


We are in the marina and this is what we see through the galley window

And this is one of the spiders. The bathroom window is the only one open when we left.  But the spider is trapped by the fly net.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Back to the boat

It took a few hours to get up to Cropredy.  Monday was busy on the road with lorries and cars heading north on the A34.  When we arrived at the marina we grabbed a wheel barrow and unloaded the car into the boat.
It actually did not take long to wake up the boat systems.  The batteries had been kept full by the solar panels.  The water tank had been left nearly empty so after popping in a chlorine tablet we pumped the water out through the taps before filling it with fresh water.  Gas on and kettle boiling for that refreshing  cup of tea.
The boat was cool n dry when we arrived.  Just pressed the button to warm up the radiators and the boiler started up even after that year we were away.  The windows started to show the condensation once we started living on board.  After packing away food and clothing we lit the diesel fire to dry and warm the boat as it cooled outside.
We had brushed out the spiders, made the bed and put in a hot water bottle.  By now we were knackered!  For some reason a different set of muscles are used on a boat!  Got the aerial back on the roof and turned on the TV, by now we had plugged into the shore power.
 This is my new 4GEE My WiFi dongle.
 Next day we walked round  to the shop in Cropredy. We are not as fit as we were! But it was good to get back to the towpath.