My life has changed a lot since I was here last, but the weather was much the same, as was the area. It was lovely.
A narrowboats journey through repair, cruising, and other joys of the english waterways.
My life has changed a lot since I was here last, but the weather was much the same, as was the area. It was lovely.
This morning I rather liked the idea of a nice bowl of custard, so I looked in my cupboards and couldn’t find any. I decided I would, as it was an extreme circumstance, settle for rice pudding. I found neither so I went back to bed with a cup of tea and sulked.
Later I was heard to remark that I haven’t had breakfast because I didn’t have any food in the cupboards. What I really meant was that I don’t have anything I fancy for breakfast in the cupboards and I decided I would get something later rather than at home. My cupboards are in fact full, albeit with dog biscuits, tuna, sweet corn, rice and mouldy butter, but they are certainly not empty!
It reminds me how we fortunate are to be able to think that we have no food, yet we do. It is a sobering thought and it is so easy to slip into the mentality that forgets reality. I am, currently, one of the fortunate ones.
I remember having no food in my cupboard and no money in my pocket, literally. It wasn’t that I didn’t have any money, I did, I just couldn’t access it. The sense of panic didn’t last long because my dear mum gave me some money and I purchased some food. I am so fortunate and I forget it often.
I value times like these when I remember that the flesh I walk in is precious, the friends I have are lovely, the people I talk to are kind and the work I do is rewarding and although there are times that I have visited the dark places of life it is but by the grace of God and the kindness and love of those around me that the sun shines upon me now.
If you are thinking of a retro-fit side hatch, doors, pigeon box, cratch or anything like that, then catch up with Kedian Engineering at Crick. He has a stand there and will have some examples. He is a great guy, very approachable and very helpful too.
Disaster! It has been hot and mum has gone Mad. At the weekend Mum took the ceiling down all of it... but forgot to buy the wood so didn't have any to put up again. It took the whole weekend to take the ceiling down, drink tea, put up new batons, drink more tea, chat, drink more tea and clear up. funny.
Then, in the night, the insulation fell on my basket with ME in it. I pottered around tapping my toe nails on the floor and eventually mum got up, but she took me to the lavatory, which I did NOT need, and failed to notice the collapsed ceiling! This happened TWICE. So, when she had fallen asleep I pottered along to her bedroom and slept on the crinkliest noisiest bag I could find. Finally she woke up, noticed the problem (I had to stare at it) and gaffa taped the ceiling up.
I thought she may have learnt her lesson, but THEN, if that wasn’t enough, the next day Mum and Uncle Mark decided it would be a good idea to move the fire.
To be honest I thought it was a good idea at first because it would be further away from my basket. I don’t like the heat much you see. Anyway, I sat outside while they did some welding inside. Apparently this is fine. Uncle Mark did the welding and Mum was chief fire officer – well, that was a mistake. They set my basket on fire. MY BASKET! It was unceremoniously dumped in the canal to put it out and flung on the roof. FLUNG I tell you.
Mum put my basket back together (with the burnt side down) and told me it wasn’t a big burn which really is not the point is it!?! If Mum thinks it’s OK she can sit in it, I am sitting in her chair from now on. It is very comfortable.
Lots of Love
One of the hazards of bee keeping is when your bee’s leave home. Mark, our resident bee keeper, hadn’t had his new bee’s very long when they did just that Balmaha was here last time when he was doing swarm prevention, I love their description “As if this wasn’t enough nature for one day, Mark padded off in his net curtains to deal with swarming bees. Thrupp always seems to have something going on when we stop here, there’s never a dull moment.”
Mark still doesn’t know why they did swarm as they were not due to swarm, and there were no queen cells. Fortunately there was another bee keeper having tea so Mark roped him in and the two of them donned suits and sorted the bees out. The other keepers wife, Delia, took the photographs – but she wasn’t wearing a suit. Mark was rather impressed at how close she got to them without being stung! I was sorry to have missed the excitement!
The photographs are truly stunning!
I spent the weekend on the maintenance point with this view:
And took down my ceiling:
Considering the bedroom ceiling was so easy to come down I thought the sitting room would be the same. It wasn’t. I don’t know what was holding it up, but the two places that were holding it up were doing a surprisingly good job! It took about 20minutes to pull the whole thing down once I found the weak points. It was a shame to dispose of the wood, and such a waste of resources, but that is what happens when you don’t do something properly. I hope that when I put the new one up I do it properly. I am using ply rather than tongue and groove.
It was a fantastic evening because Marks neighbours are musicians. Maffi had a go on the guitar and a tow path walker, Keith, did too… he was pretty good and him and his wife Linda joined us for most of the evening – they were passing through on their boat Voyager
Yesterday Mark took the flue off the stove while I was at work as it was being particularly stubborn and Boots had a lie down:
And then he welded up the hole:
I was chief fire putter outer as we were welding inside, and then outside. The only casualty was Boots' bed, but I put that out before it was wrecked or set fire to the boat.
The angle grinding looked great from the inside:
So now I am almost back on my mooring – I decided it was a bit warm so I moored in the tree’s. Needless to say it isn’t so hot today. At the weekend I am going to put the new ceiling up. I have decided on Ply for the main bit and skirting board down the sides (ply is 4ft wide and the roof are to be covered is more than that). I will put the lights in the skirting board. I have been trying out some new lights over the last few days, but they are mood lighting so I will use them on the edge, and I think I may be putting a main fluorescent light down the middle. Whatever I do I need to decide quickly!
The ply arrived yesterday so this week I will put a protective paint layer on the underside (the side that goes against the insulation and won’t be seen), although it has been suggested that I really don’t need to.
I will fit the stove in its new position next week too but I need to get some parts over the weekend. – a new flue as the old one had rotted through, and a new reducer and lugs and fire rope. I am going to be in Surrey over the weekend so I will be able to pay a visit to Uxbridge Boat Centre if I had time. I love that place!
It was lovely coming out of the tea rooms and seeing these two hotel boats winding for the night.
Friday turned out to be a hectic day, but as my friend Bob was out in his steam boat I decided to go and meet him and his mates as they came into Eynsham for the night. The ETA was 6pm so I sat and waited.
I was late for an art exhibition so I decided to call it a day and wondered back:
but then, when I looked back, in the distance I saw them:
They picked me up for the last little bit, moored up, and then went off to the pub where they were staying before the return trip the following day. Bob had forgotten his luggage
I do love steam.
A friend of mine is selling his boat. If you are interested look here
Such is my aversion to doing any work on the boat whatsoever that I am finding I am re-discovering all sorts of things that I love doing despite swearing I would never do them again. Cheshire Rose from the forum had a birthday party a few weekends ago, and I was honoured to be invited, so off I went. I decided to camp. I thought camping was a brilliant idea until the concept became a reality, however, once my tent was pitched (which I purchased on the way) I rather liked my hovel, over night was even warmer than I had expected it to be too which was an added bonus. An extra bonus would have been if I hadn’t pitched in such a way that I kept rolling out of bed. My tent was tiny compared to the tents of the hardened campers – the Moles (on the left) and Baldocks (on the right). The Baldocks tent won the style prize hands down – it had an UPSTAIRS! I looked in through the back doors and saw an aluminium ladder climbing heavenwards. Now, that’s what I call camping.
On my way to Rose’s party I was driving up the motorway listening to an interview on the radio and I couldn’t quite work out what was going on, because every now and again there was a loud ‘mooing’ noise. I wondered whether it was one of those games where every time you said ‘yes’ the cow mooed and you lost a point, but it didn’t quite seem to be. The interview finished before I could work it out but the mooing continued periodically through the news bulletin. It was only then I remembered that my sat nav was set to moo whenever I went over a particular speed.
Had mother not given me a sat nav I would never have found the place of the party. I love the sat nav, and it makes a journey into the middle of no-where infinitely more enjoyable, despite the mooing. Last time I tried to navigate without one was to see Baldock and pick up a gear box. He gave me excellent instructions but still I managed to be at the wrong end of the lane. Clearly describing where I was meant to go was getting a bit complicated and he walked over to meet me and we drove to the correct place together. I love sat nav… can you tell?!
I was just about to go out last night when I saw a lovely wooden boat coming down the cut, and as it was going to go past me I decided to sit and watch it. As it happens, it wasn’t going past me, it was coming to visit me! Peter reads my article in the magazine and knowing roughly where I moored he decided he would venture south, rather than north, and came across Ocelot, Maffi and I all who have had a mention.
Peter like many people who read my articles had some very kind words to say, but the bit that interested me, as always, was his story. He used to have a narrow boat and travelled a substantial part of the waterways. When he sold his narrow boat he decided he wanted to keep boating so purchased this barrow boat at Beale Park, it fits in the boot of his car. There is a wheel on the front of the boat and the oars slip through holes at the back and act as the wheel barrow arms.
The barrow boat was built for the Norfolk broads and has a sailing board in the middle (although he now has an electric outboard motor). Which reminded me that I was going to fix a sail to my dinghy and see how fast it would go.
Anything is better than doing the lining on the boat!
Boots and Molly enjoyed their morning walk through the filed this morning, I particularly enjoyed it because the grass is at just the right length that as Molly runs through it she gets washed – the grass brushes her and the water washes her – it’s a car wash for canines.
Following a lovely evening in the Jolly Boatman last night I went up to see Keeping Up (Allan and Debbie) and Rosemary (Janet and RJ) to wave RJ’s mum, Christine, off who had joined Rosemary for their trip up the tidal Thames and on to the Oxford. Janet and RJ are continuing their epic tour and were heading onwards. I was honoured to be invited to join them for a bit of their cruise so I accompanied Janet and RJ up to Bakers Lock on their holiday boat Rosemary. It was so lovely being a hire boater sharing someone else’s holiday – it made me see my stomping ground in a totally different light. I was sorry to wave them off at Bakers as I find them very relaxing company. The walk back was delightful down the Cherwell and Canal to the tea rooms just in time for the rain to start.
Coming up to Bakers:
Waving them off:
On the way home:
not bad for my little phone camera.
I arrived home, sat down and fell asleep, but the promise of Gin and Trifle (the new G&T) aboard Keeping Up at 3 acted as an alarm and I had a lovely time nattering and relaxing with them before returning home to my roast lamb… the smoke alarm hasn’t gone off yet either!
I have noticed space that has not been auctioned. I noticed the space two years ago, but only one space has been auctioned, and that was at Christmas time. The other still hasn’t been advertised. I realise it is possible that someone else is paying for the other mooring and not living on it, but all the evidence suggests that isn’t the case. I also know that someone else has observed the same situation.
I know there has been much discussion about the drip feeding of moorings, and to a certain extent I can see the point of it, but when an area is heavily policed and there are moorings that people would LOVE to pay for that are lying vacant, surely something is going wrong?
Some of the lining isn’t too bad, so I decided to paint it grey and see what happens. It looks much better. I wasn’t sure what colour to do below the gunwhale, I tried white but it was vile, so I tried grey but it was too cold, so I mixed a different grey and it seems to work. Annie suggested I try mauve, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy any.
I have also put up a shelf and decided that I probably want a sofa/bed and not the two chairs/beds I have.