Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!

Just to wish everyone a very happy Easter. We have both been on a low profile for a while and been concentrating on losing some weight.. but today put a stop to all that and we had a nice big roast lamb dinner on Derwent6 washed down with a bottle of rose, followed by a whooping great big Easter Egg. Oops!

Sorry we haven't been blogging much but we are just enjoying life at the minute and Tooty is keeping his eye on the mouse!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Return to Brum

Never a dull moment, always an adventure.. We got up early again and we went into Birmingham. Al had enjoyed it so much with Tanya she wanted to show Del what it was like now with all the changes to the city that had been made.. We got there at 11.00am and walked around the Bullring Shopping Centre which is linked to Grand Central New Street Station.
You wouldn't even know there was a station there, it just looks like a massive shopping complex..
Fabulous shopping, almost better than London, but we did notice some shops that we like missing, like Lakeland and American Eagle..
We had some lunch there, and stayed till after the rush hour, and just stayed under our parking ticket of eight hours.. That cost us £12.00 to park all day, but it would have been £20.00 if we had stayed longer than eight hours...that's city prices for you.
We got back to Derwent6 just in time to see the sunset and the red sky setting over the marina, to remind us why we love doing this..

God daughter left and music right

It was up early as we had decided to go out for breakfast so Tanya had a full tummy to drive home..
We left Derwent6 and then drove to Frankie & Benny's where a full English was in order.. We said our goodbyes and then did a bit of shopping mainly for Tooty the cat..
We got back to Derwent6 and Al picked up the washing and took it to the launderette, to get all the bed sheets done. From there she went on and had her hair cut in town. Del did a bit more painting on Derwent6.
In the evening, with Al with perfect hair, we went to The Merchants Inn in Rugby and watched a band with a few beers.
We got back to the boat at 11.00pm and luckily had the bed to fall into..

Girls Day Out

We were up quiet early as the girls were going into Birmingham to shop. We started the day with bacon sandwiches and then they left to have a girls day out..
Del stayed on Derwent6 and finished off the tunnel bands and also oiled the cratch boards while looking after Tooty (the cat)..
Del then removed the cratch cover and washed and cleaned it to get rid of all the grim and green mould in it..
He used a park bench, as you have to scrub very hard, in fact the harder the better and then it was rinsed off..
It was then sprayed with a silicon spray to make it water tight again.
The girls got  back at 6.00pm and showed off all the days bargains, then a nice steak and salad was in order.
This finished us all off and we crashed out..

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

God daughter Birthday treat

I was a lovely sunny day, so Del rubbed down the tunnel bands on the stern as rust was showing around the button..  Al tided up on Derwent6 as we had Tanya our god daughter turning up at lunchtime..
She arrived just after 1.00pm and lunch was served, it was so warm the girls sat in the cratch and chatted while Tanya did some studying for a new job she is currently training for.
Del carried on with his rubbing down and painting.
It got to about 6.00pm and we thought it was time to go and have a bite to eat. It was Tanya's birthday last Thursday and she had a voucher for TGI Fridays, so we thought it was only fair to use the voucher and treat her for drinks and dinner, any excuse lol
It was a good voucher as it allowed us to have six, yes six, cocktails. Al and Tanya were soon enjoying the evening.. Del was driving :-(
We had the table for the night and it didn't seem that expensive, we had a great time and will do it again..
We got back to Derwent6 at 10.00pm and after all those cocktails and yummy food went straight to bed..

Our anniversary treat

We spent most of the day watching sport on the telly and not doing much at all really. It wasn't until the evening that we met up with Del's Mum and Keith.
We had arranged to see Keith in a brass band he plays in called The Harborough Big Band, and it was a nice treat to have our tickets bought for us for our Wedding Anniversary. Thank you both!
It turned out to be a really good night.. You just don't realise the talent out there..
They played Big Band music from the 1930's right up to modern day and they were all bloody good.
We left there at 10.30pm and dropped into Derwent6 to crash out..

Fernwood friends going separate ways

We woke up to showers on the roof this morning and we had made the decision to move. When we looked out of the side doors a boat was going past very slowly. It was n.b Oakfield and it was great to see Ann & Keith.. n.b Oakfield is sadly up for sale, and this boat will be a great buy for someone who is thinking about this liveaboard life.. Way back, we swapped our build slot with Ann & Keith and we just went in the water before them. The sale details are on this link.(
We held the boats together and had a long chat catching up on the last two years we had missed. We used to winter in the same area and had some real fun times together, which helped us get through those short, dark, cold winter days.. It was really sad to see them go, knowing we may not see them again on the cut.
We sorted ourselves out and then set off in the opposite direction, through the rainbow ahead.
The first hurdle was Clifton Marina with its double breasted boats.. It is so tight to get through here now even though they have claimed the small arm section of canal.
We got to busy Brownsover and no moorings were in sight and when we got to the other side we could see why.
They are fitting sandbags to the bank of the moorings here. Why? we don't know, they are fitting the sandbags over the rocks which were always a problem when mooring there.
They would bang the boat if it rocked or the wind blew you, and the fenders didn't help at all, but they still remain and have not been removed.
We carried on to Newbold and it was also busy there, we then realised it was because today is the last day of the 14 day winter moorings and they change to 48 hours from the 1st April..
We got through the tunnel, but it was a bit wet from the rain we had, and got back to Brinklow marina for a pump out. The wind was very strong, and always is here, so we had to reverse up to our mooring and then quickly dive into our slot.. it took a lot of strength to pull Derwent6 in, but we managed it.. Phew!
We then went to Rugby and the Steam Turbine for a nice big juicy steak and salad.
It finished the day nicely and should make us sleep soundly..

Friday, March 31, 2017

Bridge 66A at Clifton

We moved from where we were to Clifton, one of our favourite moorings, but not for long apparently!
In planning here is over 6000 houses, a financial district and a school, the only good thing for boaters is that there will be some shops and restaurants going in.
We wake up to the birds tweeting the dawn chorus and the cows and sheep in the field opposite, but not any more. There will be a link road from Butlers Leap traffic lights linking up with the lane at the top of the locks at Hillmorton.. 
The new bridge crossing the canal will be Bridge 66A and will go diagonal.
Its nice that they are making good use of the canal, but to take away the beautiful scenery seems very sad..
You can see a full report on the bridge on this link!,%2062%20and%2069(pt)/R11-0699%20Dis%20of%20Conds%2056pt,%2062%20and%2069pt%20-%20Canal%20Bridge%20Design%20Proposal%20February%202017.pdf

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Back to meeting our boating friends again

As we guessed, Tooty stayed in all night, don't think he fancied another bath. It was a beautiful morning but we were glad to have the fire ticking over in the corner as there was a frost outside.. As the sun dries one side of the boat and warms up, there are loud CRACKING! sounds as the metal copes with the hot and cold..
We had plans to do loads, but this is canal time and basically its done when its done! Del managed to stick a few slide bolts to the washing machine cupboard doors and cut up some more wood on the roof to keep it clear. We now have a full locker of seasoned wood for those cold miserable summer nights.
We were just about to have lunch when an old friend (well his older that us, just) turned up and decided to moor for a chat behind us.. Maffi is a legend on the cut, who has been blogging for years, and knows how to put his foot down if somethings not right for the live aboard boater. We love him!
He has been travelling the system this year and will be travelling to a place near you soon..
We said our goodbyes to Maffi and Molly, never even had a cup of tea, don't know how that happened!! Too busy chatting and putting the world to right!
We were getting cold so stocked up the fire to watch the qualifying of the Grand Prix..

Second time unlucky!

Well we had a bit of a disturbed night in Braunston.. We let Tooty the cat out late and then went to bed. He's usually only out for a couple of hours, but at 4.00am Al got up and was a bit worried about him. After a quick call, he came in the cratch, SOAKED! Yep he had been in for the second time. After a towelling down he looked a bit sorry for himself and plonked himself in front of the fire licking his wounds and drying out..
We never heard a splash or heard him meow, like he normally does.
In the morning he hadn't moved, but was purring like he was pleased to be with us.. We got up early and found out that he had got back on by the rear button so was either spooked or just fell off!
We thought it was time to move again and set off at 10.00am and headed up the Oxford. The sun was trying to come out but it was still very windy, and a bit chilly..
We got some washing done and then moored at Onley for the weekend.
We had some lunch and then Del did some more work to Derwent6.
It was a nice relaxing time in the afternoon and at the end of the day Al cooked a lovely chilli with coconut rice.. We are hoping tonight that Tooty stays dry, we suspect he will stay in! watch this space!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Water Required (or was that beer)

We had heavy rain last night and when we surfaced we were listing over a bit where the ropes had gone tight with the rise in the water levels...
It was still cold but the sun was trying to come out at 10.00am so we pulled the pins (well loosened the chains) and set off to Braunston.
One of the reasons for moving was that we were getting low on water, and our first port of call was the water tap.
Al then walked up to the village store and butchers and picked up a few provisions while Del got rid of the rubbish and did some cleaning while the boat was still wet..
On Al's return we then walked round to AJ Canopies and picked up some cratch cover cleaner and spray which keeps it water tight.
We then turned and found a mooring opposite the pub, very handy! It has still been very quiet on the cut and there were loads of moorings in Braunston, again very unusual.
We had some lunch and then took a walk round the chandlers where we got some grease, rope and catches and also walked up the church where we lit a candle for Len, Del's Dad..
We sat reading for a couple of hours and then showered and walked over the pub. It was nice to have a slimming steak and salad with a few fattening beers and a bit of planning for what we want to do later in the year.. It does seem so strange now we don't have anything to worry about, (except Tooty) and we feel so freelance. We really need to do a trip this year, but where shall we go.. North I expect!
We got back to Derwent6 at 8.00pm and then went back to our reading and just chilled out.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy 80th Birthday Len

Just a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Del's Dad who would have been 80 today

Mizzy Day

Woke up to a really mizzy day, loads of heavy showers and even the cat wasn't interested in going out..
So we sorted a few things out like our insurance and banking, and Del changed our DVD player for a new one, the old one we had had for twenty years. It had just started to jump a bit and got stuck sometimes and went back to the beginning.
It was a bit ironic, because when we turned on the TV there was a news flash about the terrorism attack at Westminster in London, those poor people, I think its something we all dread....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cruising with the cat

After a bit of a lazy day yesterday we decided we should move today. The sun was beaming through the portholes and Tooty was in after a night of being out on the tiles..
He has been marvellous, and turned into a good boat cat, he meows to go out through the cratch doors (no cat flap on Derwent6) and then once we've gone to bed, meows at the porthole window in the bedroom to come back in.. We don't know how he knows which boat to come to or how he knows which porthole to meow at, but he does. When he comes in he purrs like a traction engine and seems so pleased with himself that he has found his food and the lovely warm log burner in the corner..
Anyway, we set off in the sunshine but the wind was blowing well and bitter, the good news was it was blowing from behind us so with Derwent6 just off Idle we cruised along nicely..
It was a bit tricky slowing down past moored boats with the washing machine on, as you have to keep the revs up, but we managed it..  The canal looks so different when the sun shines as you get the feeling of spring, just round the corner..
We found a nice mooring and Tooty heard the rattle of the chains as we tied up.. he gets so annoyed when we move as he has just made his territory where we are and then has to do it all again when we stop in a different place lol..
He rubs his scent up and down the fenders along the gunwale and then steps off doing the same in the bushes..
Al got out the washing line and soon had things blowing in the breeze, as Tooty watched on..
 Del chopped up the wood that was on the roof and then went on the hunt for more.. he came back with some nice Hawthorn which will do nicely through those cold spring evenings..