Friday 2 October 2020

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

 We spent the next couple of days working on the boat trying to get troublesome non shiny sections on the side to become shiny, these were under the portholes and under the hinges on the side hatches... Something to do with not having done the job last summer and then lockdown and finally having red paint...  

Oh don't think we have not been warned of the perils of red paint, well just the thousand times but I do so love it.

Its a bit of a story of how WaL became red, we had planned to have her grey, cream and black trimmed,  the back two panels red with the name on.  We were on one of our periodic trips to Fernwood when Mr Fernwood (Ken) took me aside and under curtains of plastic sheeting and showed me the progress.  David at this point was off with Julia (Mrs Fernwood).  
Ken said, well we done this, looking at the two panels but what about if we run the red all the way along and with great enthusiasm and expansive arm movements.  That was that, I said yes carry on and I just love her colours.  

It was AFTER she was painted that the sound of deafening sucking in on teeth, shaking of heads and tut-tutting could be heard.  
But I've never regretted the choice but am looking forward to that distant day when she is repainted and we have Two Pack which all tell me needs no more polishing.
I wonder if that is true.

Fairly shiny don't you think?  

So in between all this we went a walking on a gorgeous day.  Up onto a bridge and away over the River Trent onto a series of paths and fields, sadly a few of these fields were occupied by cows; dry cows, calves and god help me large curious bullocks.  Now I know its odd but as a dairy farmers wife of a few years standing now but I do not like cows, of any size.

So the following pictures are from a couple of walks over the next few days making the most of the last of the summer sun.  Marilyn these are for you, the colours are late turning this year.

Elderberry turning pink.

Holly, no berries

Don't know but a late entry.

Hawthorn turning red.

River Trent, looks small but OMG it did some flooding last November.

Little darlings who played "What's the Time Mr Wolf" with me all along the field.

I saw this horseshoe on a new bit of fencing, I like to think of it having come off a horse while it was pulling the plough.

We thought this was on a wild rose, but I have no idea what it is.

Hawthorne turning yellow.

Hawthorn berries a delicious red.

Campion, again a late entry.

David had the map with him, but even so finding the footpaths was a hard job in places with a farmer who had horses in a field had three or four electric fences barring the path.  Down our way he would have been arrested and got life in prison but up here its all a bit lax.  
See below: 

Not terribly well maintained.

Now we came upon a muddy marshy wet spot, pond is too prettier term but these birds were there.  I'm not sure at that distance what they are but if you Reader think you know then do please share.  Looking at the RSPB identify a Bird page HERE my best guess is a Plover or Sandpiper.

We also saw an Egret and a Snipe, I was just getting my camera to get a shot of both but they were quicker than me sad to say.

Gorgeous wild violas, "Dreadful bloody weed" said David, "It's a bugger to get rid of".  I might need a bit longer to work on him Reader.

Then these two arrived.  The Lewis's, see his overalls under his arm....?

They came for the afternoon.  We had another of those M&S's Meal Deals too, the lasagne one again, delicious it was too.  Amanda brought an apple cake and we had tiramisu, the Weight Watchers version (not).

No it's a hot air balloon.

Time to leave finally, tomorrow was going to be wet.  As the weather had been so very good in Staffordshire, we had extended our stay.  David had sacrificed not one but TWO golf matches and I was happy.  

The day we departed I was supposed to pack enroute but it was so sunny and warm I sat on deck enjoying it.

Our mooring for the last few days.

Looking though towards the River again.  Just lovely.

Now talking of Fernwood, this chap called out as we slipped by "Is that a Tyler hull?"  
Well now this was a first for us actually to have the hull correctly identified... Yes we called back 
"I thought so, I helped make it, I can spot them, he continued, 
"See those downward drains?  They don't look much but they take ages and are difficult" 

Sadly he is currently furloughed but fingers crossed that the industry gets back on its feet.

Turning into Great Haywood marina.  I hope it's not the last time this year, if we can and there is a settled spell of dry weather we'll pop back.  Covid19 permitting that is.

Bye for now.


Thursday 1 October 2020

A pump out, phew.

 The next bright and sunny morning was just as windy, we hurried along to Aston Marina with the dangerously full poo tank and our legs crossed.... Small queue at Aston Lock, it empties quickly and fills slowly due in part to the leaks.

So as we got to the marina entrance, David saw that there isn't any rubber lining the concrete, can I just remind you Reader that we had painted the gunwales, well to get in, with a fierce cross wind and no rubber protectors, David whacked on the gas and we rocketed in with professional use of the bow thrusters.    He also managed to avoid the wooden jetty which is at an angle luckily without any moored boats on it.  
David was confident that as the wind was behind us as we were lining up to the landing that he could do it.  Now this landing had tyres along it but its crazily short.  I jumped off with the centre line as David kept the bow thrusters going while I fumbled with the TINY rings, I wrapped it through twice but then there is nothing to secure the rope to of a 70' narrow boat with the wind trying to take her back end off again.
Small panic.  
It reminded me of the bad day last year, when we were on the wide beam mooring up at Sonning, with the wind against the boat, David helming and little me given the task of holding her while D hammered in the stake.... On that occasion two passing Boaters helped me as did an unexpected and sudden change in the wind direction...

I could not secure the front rope as WaL had overshot the TINY jetty.  Two huge bollards at the back so David tied her there and came to help me.  He tied the excess rope to a section of railings.
The very nice lady came down to us bringing a token for the pumpout, how sweet of her.  David asked her who had designed such a crazy pumpout
"Who's to blame you mean?" she replied laughing, Not me!

Well not only is it a SELF pumpout but its also the most expensive to at £20, no blue and DIY, the most expensive that we have previously had was £18 we think, with £3 for water which he then fished out the canal with a watering can (how we laughed) but this was not DIY.
Unless you know better Reader?

Well after that we jollied along the canal to a pretty spot, me in a winters hat, just past a bridge to help our visitors tomorrow.

We thought that after doing another coat of oiling on the doors and himself having another bash at polishing we'd go to the pub for an aperitif. 
We set off via the bridge just behind us only to be informed by a friendly resident that this path was closed by the council due to a landslip into the stream with it follows.  
We'd have to move the boat for the visitors later.

The view over the river valley as we walked to the pub at Burston.

The pub was rated somewhere David read.  HERE  and I am pleased to report that not only the menu looked good but the staff masked and efficient, a very comfortable pub and that when we do not have a fridge full of M&S treats we will return to.

Supper was Tasty Treats, followed by chocolate and cherry mousse.