Friday, October 30, 2009

In true form I like something completely different...

but it is still a sofa:

This one is from Elite Furnishing who Phil mentioned.

I saw this sofa at Beale Park a few years ago and had a sit down - it was BOOTIFUL. Whether it was beautiful because the upholstery includes black or due to the general exhaustion I was experiencing when I saw it having stomped across a field, or whether it really is excellent remains to be discovered. I have telephoned but there was no reply....

Isn't it annoying that the style attracts me and it is the most expensive of the lot!


If I want a two seater sofa I should get a specialist one, not least because they actually open up length ways and width ways across the boat, which the others do not.

Spending the Money - a sofa

I really do not like making decisions, they are not easy by any stretch of the imagination at the best of times. I have narrowed the choice down though:

The Fusion at the Futon Company is the smallest 3 seater I can find.

The Kyoto 2 seater comes in two sizes from futons-direct as small double or double.

and then there is Wilsons of Kinver.

If I put the dimensions in a table, then Wilsons seem to be FAR better
2-Seater 3-seater
KyotoA KyotoB Thames Fusion Nene
width 137 155 124 194 188
depth 96 96 86.36 94 86.36

KYOTO A = small double £275 (
KYOTO B = less small double £285
THAMES = £595 (wilsons)

FUSION = £ 379 in the sale (was 549) (futon company)
NENE = £645 (wilsons)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

MAXI GRAB the magnet

Canal Boat Magazine reviewed a new magnet called MAXI GRAB on the market. I was rather pleased because I have actually one! I particularly like the fact that you can pull out a heavy lump on metal on a small contact point. On the website is a video showing someone fishing out a pick axe out of the canal from the tip! The magazine also said it was possible to pick a windlass out of the cut through the plastic handle - I like that too! Mine, as you can imagine, is often used and I love it.

Cork on a stick?

I haven't seen this before do you know what it is?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The coolant system

The cooling system on my engine has been a mess for quite sometime. Amazingly I DID simplify it about 3 years ago, but about about a month ago it was simplified further thanks to the talented Mr P.

Here is what we took out:

To say the new system simplified has revolutionised my hot water situation is an understatement.

To sofa or to not sofa

I have done quite a few changes on the boat over the last month or so and now I am getting to the point where it is time to think about the internal furniture. Anyone that knows my boat knows I have a sofa, but it isn't quite right - especially since the second mattress/back went missing. The sofa is actually a bed made for me by a friend. It dismantles very quickly and stores very easily, but I want a double bed, not a single one. So, I have been thinking about the possibility of a sofa bed.
Having spent a few days looking at other peoples, and in the various shops I think I want a two seater. The question is whether places like Elite furnishings and Wilsons of Kinver are better than places like IKEA. The merits of buying something from a narrowboat specialist is they have the life of a narrowboat in mind, but is the price difference between the high street and the specialists really the quality and longevity of the product or just the monopoly on the market?

It has to be a sofa bed, it has to be small, but it HAS to be comfortable.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dear Granny and Grandpa

When I first got a lead I didn't know what it was so I ate it. Mum said it was NORTY so I had to had a horrid yellow lead which I ate a few times but it just got shorter so I decided to stop. Mum said we didn't look push enough with a string lead so she bought me a new leather one a couple of months ago. I loved my new lead and mum was ever so proud that I didn't eat it. But then last night I did. Oopsie. Apparently I am NORTY. I am still really really handsome though:

Lots and Lots of Love

Your Devoted Grandson

And so it all begins...

Here starts the blog of the adventures of the owner of Campanula.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It is NOT saturday!

I haven't been feeling well enough to ride my motorbike so I decided to get the bus into the office today. I checked the time table, took the dog out, had a nice cup of tea, packed my satchel and strolled over the road to the bus stop. The wait was meant to be a mere 2 minutes, but after a while I decided I ought to check the times.. I did, they were fine so there must have been a delay. So, I waited another few minutes and then checked again, scratched my head and learnt a very valuable lesson. ALWAYS look at the right day. For some reason I was standing at the bus stop in my work clothes ready for work and absolutely convinced it was a Saturday, I don't work Saturdays!

I eventually found a bus stop with a bus and on arriving in Oxford I decided to take a walk through the University Parks.

This Panel:

Belongs to this nest:

I love the look of the pavilion nestling in the trees.

and the walk ways in Autumn are always delicious:

Even the flower beds are looking excellent!

Not a bad start to the day, or week.

That IS a good idea!

I have just been reading Daniel Oakley's blog and found that they are embarking on a new venture which I think is BRILLIANT! Read about it here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A visit from Keeping Up in the summer

Some time ago Keeping-Up came down to Thrupp for a few days, I managed to catch up with them while we were here for a lovely day out. After a delicious lunch at The Bell in Long Hanborough we went to Blenheim palace for a walk around the house and gardens.

It was really lovely to see them again, you can read more about their epic travels this year on their website here

The day was finished off in the Boat Inn in Thrupp with a group of friends including RWLP and his lovely wife from the canalworld forums who were passing through on their boat!

Dear Granny and Grandpa

Mum was very lazy this morning because she isn't feeling very well. I thought it was going to be a very boring day, and then I heard a car door bang, a mutter, and then I heard Stanley! I LOVE Stanley. We needed walking so mum took us (very slowly!) over to Annies tea rooms, I love it there:

It was awfully exciting because mum had cake. Stanley thought he might like some cake:

but I had my eye on this bird instead:

Mum says it is rude to eat birds, so we went for a run in the field (mum stood still while Stanley and I had fun):

We were so exhausted that we ended up falling asleep this afternoon while Mum listened to a story.

Today Uncle 8ch has been painting his boat. I thought it was funny that the rainbow came out just as it started raining.

I hope you and Grandpa are well. I am a bit worried about Grandpa's compost heap, it has turned into a tree. He said it was just leaves, but would you keep an eye on it for me?

Lots of Love,
Your devoted Grandson

You have to be joking!

Jail the people looking in the window I say... You can't expect to peer into peoples windows and not get surprised!

man arrested for being naked in his own house

At least he had his skin on!

Sheep, walks and Fish

I love it when James comes to visit, it is very relaxing and usually filled with fun and laughter, this time was no exception. On the way to the tea rooms to meet him I was walking down the tow path and spotted this:

To say boots went wild was an understatement. Sheep on the tow path is a most bizarre sight around here.. as I was near Mr Paris boat I banged on the roof and asked what he was going to do about it... amazingly enough he put on his wellies and dealt with the situation. With the towpath clear I carried on my journey.

James very sweetly offered to take Boots for a walk...

But I thought I had better accompany them. We tried taking a walk several times, and each time we were met by sheep or cows, eventually we managed to wind our way up to Shipton Lock where Boots ran off and started munching these:

The lock was beautiful as the evening light set in:

Annies Tea Rooms do Soup

and VERY good soup it is!

The tea rooms in Thrupp are closing for an annual holiday on 10th November for 18 days but re-opening on 28th November for the winter for Saturday, Sunday and Mondays only.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mercia Marina: Topiary

My attention was recently drawn to Mercia marina and I decided to take a look at the website to see what they are up to. I rather like topiary and was very impressed with this:

They have a couple of lovely pictures on the front page of the website too taken by Richard Triggs (NB Tichanme 2) of a kingfisher.

The website looks so good I am rather sorry I don't moor there.

Perhaps I should plant a hedge on the front deck and have a go at topiary myself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Woo Hoo

I have no idea what went wrong with the engine, but I do know that people popping in with hole saws can prove to be very handy! PJ scratched his head, looked at the engine, decided the starter motor hadn't stuck on some teeth (as the flywheel rotated freely), and then decided we should short it after all. So he held the metal accross the starter and solenoid and I turned the key. PJ has always liked fireworks, and this evening was no exception - they weren't as good as the last time I did this several years ago - that time I managed to get a small fire. Then he stopped, I turned the key and the engine roared to life. It is still on. I have no idea whether it will start again, I will try that tomorrow! PJ thinks a bit of gunge might have got caught up. We celebrated by cutting a hole in the side of the boat for the new sink outlet... but the drill died just after we saw daylight, but not enough daylight! We will try again tomorrow when he brings a mean drill home from work.

Good times.


So, it went like this:
I spent thursday on the boat with Mark doing some welding and I switched off all the engine and cabin electrics via the isolators.

I switched the cabin isolator on for the evening and pottered about

On Friday I spent the day tidying up, and then decided to move the boat. I turned the key, the engine roared into life, and then I noticed the engine electric isolator was in the tool box. I was rather puzzled as to how the engine had started with the isolator switch off, but decided mine was not to question how.

Yesterday after dismantling most of my kitchen I decided to run the engine for some hot water. I turned the key, the ignition light was on, the solenoid clicked and nothing happened.



I couldn't have a look at it yesterday because I couldn't empty the engine room anywhere on the boat because I had already emptied the kitchen into the spaces... so this afternoon I will grovel in the bilges and see whether I can work it all out.

Last night I sat in the dark on the sofa listening to the radio with no water, no kitchen and no running engine.
It is just like the good old days!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

So that is how it is done!

Since my wobbly attempts at sign writing I have been wondering what I can do to improve my non existing talent so the writing on the other side isn't as wobbly, I have been wondering so unproductively that I think it will be next spring before I get to put paint onto the side.. however, today I was pointed towards this blog, and in their post it says to use chalk. Chalk - what a brilliant idea! I suspect that chalk would make a much better outline to keep the paint in than the imaginary one I used! Brilliant!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Dear Granny and Grandpa

I am a success. A complete and utter success. Uncle Stefan thinks I am brilliant; Uncle Ian has been fattening up the rabbits for my next visit (don't tell mum, she thinks it is norty to eat rabbits); and Uncle Bottle and Arnty Wozie love taking me for walks. I like taking Uncle Bottle into the hedges at high speed to chase cats. Apparently this is norty, but the cats looks so fluffy and cute and cuddly and edible and they are irresistable. Uncle Bottle doesn't agree... sigh. Not only that but Mr Paris is beginning to fall for my charm and is getting fond of me! I never thought that would happen... especially after I ate his fish food and re-organised his boat when I went to visit (oopsie).

The only person I am not a success with is mum. This morning we went for a lovely walk through the woods and I spotted a dead mole. Mum noticed it too and gave me an eyebrow and a stern look so I skipped over it and followed her away from the mole (I did hesitate and she had to put her hand on my collar, but that was just a minor mishap). Unfortunately I felt so proud of myself I got a bit distracted and ran off into the trees to celebrate. She called me back but I didn't hear because my nose ran off, and I had to follow it because dogs look silly without noses. Anyway, before I knew what had happened I had eaten the head off a rotten old rabbit. I tried to hide the rest of the rabbit in my mouth, but it all went a bit wrong so mum, me and the dead headless rabbit did a dance. Mum won. I was frog marched home.

Mum doesn't approve of me eating rabbit, and is a bit worried that this one might mix my toes up (whatever that is), she couldn't tell because its head was gone. Mum is weird, it was just a rabbit.

We disagree on the categorisation of Rabbits.

In other news I am learning Physics; Arnty Heather wrote a clever book about physcis and mum says we have to learn all about it as it is excellent . I haven't met Arnty Heather yet so I don't know if she loves me, but I know you have. She is scottish and plays cricket (and chess), cricket has a ball in it, so I think I will like her.

Lots of Love
Your devoted Grandson