Tuesday 16 April 2024

Safety First.

 The time had come for WaL to have the four yearly Safety Check.  

The first time we had WaL done yonks ago back in 2016 I think it was, the marina we were at previously organised the safety checks for any boat that needed one altogether was organised by them there.  We didn't attend we were told we didn't need to.

We learnt later that the tester couldn't find the gas valve and "got cross".  Well when we did get back to WaL we had been charged a full call out fee, which was fine but I bet all the other boat owners had too.  
But my biggest complaint was that there were large dirty hand prints on the cratch seat cushions, oily ones.  Presumably in looking for the gas valve he'd lifted the long cratch cushions and in the manner of Eric Sykes     HERE       in turning around knocked off the Eco Fan from the Reflex Stove.  That proved to be broken and had been placed on the cooker hob not where I'd left it on the Stove.  Luckily for us David wonderful Lewis mended that by fitting a new motor onto it.
All of the above totally without proof of course but you can see why I was a bit disgruntled.

He failed WaL too, this was a four year old boat!  Some weeks later we caught up with another Fernwood boat in Braunston completely by chance, it was immediately in front of WaL in being built, a very similar built boat who also had recently had a Safety Check done and passed.  Not at all annoying.

Anyway enough of these old grudges.  WaL passed this test with flying colours.

But as the weather was calm and almost dry we took the week to enjoy ourselves aboard.

After the Safety was completed we took off for Tixall Wide, it was still terribly flooded in the adjacent fields which now look like an established water park for birds but I did notice mosquitoes buzzing about more in numbers than I would have expected, but it has been very mild, mild and wet.

We were waiting to see long lost friends you see.  Those "Boat Sharers" have now got their own boat and more to the point are home and onboard after overwintering in Canada where their grandchild resides.
The first day it was blowing a total hooley, I think it may have even been another named storm (There have been so many) anyway they arrived and we had big hugs all around.

The following day we pulled the pins and set off northwards.  I would have fancied a flit to Penkridge for a bit of a change, but with the dodgy weather and us only having another few days to play, we decided to go north, nice pubs, nice moorings, few locks and easy for us to scoot home again for appointments.
It seems "appointments" and ageing go hand-in-hand.....

So it was a shortish trip with the darling Lewis's, but longstanding Readers to this blog may recall that some years ago we plus three other Boating couples went to France boating in one of those Le Boats, looks like a bathtub, you know the kind     

Well, come June we are repeating the fun and going again.  So watch this space.  The Lewis's included.

So I'll just add a few snaps of our few days away and in a months time, we'll be back onboard WaL for a proper trip.  By then we are desperately hoping that the rain will have ceased at least not as much as it will involve a river currently on red boards.

Reader I splogged in the muddy mud to bring you this photo.  David was here at dawn and thought this was the highest he had ever seen the Trent up the arches on Essex bridge, he thought it had dropped a bit by the afternoon when I made it here. 

The back of Shrugborough Hall, I've never seen so much colour here

The formal gardens also looking wonderful considering the weather.  Puddles on the pathways never mind the grass.

Here is the Lewis's lovely boat NB Caxton.  We were leaving Tixall Wide and Caxton just about to turn to follow us.

This is a swan who was a bit annoyed at having boats invade his section of the canal.  He bit at our back button but this is Amanda's photo and he was trying to bite her arm off.

Beautiful blossom here and there.

The last day, we had to be home but I was very envious of them being out for weeks.  If timings permit we should like to see them again before June, if not then au revoir Les Lewis's.

She knocked these up on request, I think they are actually Canadian, Cinnamon Buns with cream cheese icing and yes they are as good as they looked.  Just ask her, she'll make you some.

Amanda did this rather good selfie, I hope she allows me to use it here, she called it just like the old days with us all together.

Slightly out of sequence but this is Amanda's photo of us moored up at Tixall.  Note the new path...?  I was regretful at first as I thought it will just enable cyclists to go bananas, but it's pretty good not to be paddling in mud here in the winter.


Wednesday 10 April 2024

David, I'm leaving!

 In March we had cause to leave the house and flee, we had workmen coming in.  
We were renewing our bathroom after thirty years and the plumber had asked nicely if we could be out of the house for a few days while they turned off the water, drained the central heating system and knocked out the old suite.  David said later when I told him that yes we could go away for a few days, I said a fortnight.  

I know him, he'd naff off to the golf club leaving me in all the dust and cold.  
So away we went.  

The plumber said he'd be two weeks.  

We went to Devon to Topsham on the river there bird spotting shopping and strolling plus seeing life long darling friends Rob and Sue.

One day we went to Castle Drogo which was fascinating, in that built 1911-1930    HERE     built by a multi millionaire who against all advice wanted a flat roof castle to provide an ENORMOUS area for entertaining on the roof top, despite having huge rooms inside the castle and a large terrace however almost immediately the roof leaked and continued to leak for decades.  But that's millionaires for you.

There we scrambled down the path, me in heeled boots and my best coat to the cliff top and watched a Peregrine Falcon hunting. 

Just look at this sunshine, it was glorious.

Right behind us here we watched a Peregrine Falcon soaring and diving, a sight that will stay with me.

Had the daft owner put in a slightly sloping roof it would not even have been seen.

David lodged with this newly married pair when he was a agricultural college in 1974, yes he is that old.

The beautiful view from Topsham.  I could retire to here....

We said goodbye to the adorables and moved on to belatedly celebrate my birthday to a spa hotel, a rather nice one in Buxton.  

We had visited there some years ago from Bugsworth Basin and driven to Buxton, at that time the hotel was surrounded by hoardings as the mammoth refurbishment was ongoing.  It had cost millions over budget after all sorts of problems were found with the foundations and the water, a bad combination if you ask me but oh golly how wonderful it is now its completed.

It did a fair bit of raining in March in Derbyshire as you might expect but who cares it was toasty in the spa.

Next down to the boat for a few days.  We took WaL out of the marina and sat in Tixel Wide.  It was like being in a county cottage for a weekend.  Lovely.
But my golly the surrounding flood waters..

Tixel Wide, on the left is the tow path and beyond that the flooded fields of Shrugborough Estate.

Warm enough to be in his lesser warm fleece.

Certainly needed sunnies glasses this day. 

Then lastly we joined the middle daughter Koo and her family for a few days in Centre Parks at Woburn.  Much fun and swimming was had by all.  

This selfie was taken by number one poppet, with number two poopet wanting to have a go.

Both Poppets on my bike.

And lastly my dear mother, who is well thank you for asking, here she is winning the Easter Bonnet competition at her social club and being presented a prize by the vicar, mum donated the hat to the vicar who wore it home!

So that was us, we ended up being away from home for three weeks and yes you've guessed it, the bathroom wasn't finished.

It is now.



Don't you just hate it when computers do this sort of thing?

Now do you remember Reader that our boating friends from 
NB Hodmedod sold up their home in Suffolk, sold their gorgeous boat and moved to Scotland?  Not just any part of Scotland but an isolated part of the mainland that you have to catch a ferry to? 

Sarah and David last summer.

Hodma'dod meaning     HERE  if you didn't already know.

Well David, 78, (I give his age as it a factor in their story although I hate it when newspapers give peoples ages when they have done something stupid) David has started a blog.  Now in these days of Vlogging massively widespread I shall give you the heads up as it a joy to read see some photos of the view from their front door step, so much better than a vlog.

Do go and give it and him a whirl.  I wish I had the courage to do something like that when I that young or frankly now.  

My David says I am completely risk averse, my David, loves a gamble and will happily play "Petrol Roulette" that is to say "Oh there's plenty in the tank to get us home", I refuse to play that game, he might get us home but not enough to get to the garage the next morning, however I digress.

Back in the autumn I signed up to follow David Ruddle on his blog, the link had been sent to me from John, recently of NB Ploddin' On, to sign up and receive notifications of a new posting you had to indicate areas of interest, I think I ticked art, wine, culture, lifestyle and history.  

In the follow days I received some other blogs via email that I might be interested in...

I was somewhat surprised, I think it was the "Lifestyle" option I ticked, as I said to John when I sent out a cyber SOS, I thought it would be gardening and making jam.

 a few days later again......

The next day or so saw this arriving (For the sensitive among you I have censored the image).

Then this

This was the final one, I deselected my choice and decided on another three walking, food and gardening.  From then on it's all been fine.  I am really only interested to read about David and Sarah and their quite dramatic change of living.
He writes beautifully and very descriptively too.  If you want to hear how they are getting on then hopefully this link will work, but if you did want to read about Thailand or that husband then there is a search engine on the site.