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.


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