Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Strictly Day

For Al's Birthday, Del bought (a year ago) Al some tickets to go and see the Strictly Professionals at the Apollo Theatre in Hammersmith.

She took her friend Sarah as they are both mad fans of the show.
She left Saturday at midday on the train and met up with Sarah in Victoria, before heading over to Covent Garden for some shopping and a meal in Sartori, an Italian restaurant. Al picked it and Sarah paid as a present, thank you Sarah! The food was fab-u-lous as Craig Revel Horwood would have said..
They then got the tube to Hammersmith and got in front of all the queues to go in, and they managed to get drinks before the crowds turned up..
The Show was just amazing, non stop quality dancing for two hours.

Ten of the professionals were there and told their story's of how they got into dance..

Pasha also said  his goodbyes as he is leaving the show this year.. Al said it made her cry three times during the show and even left her very emotional when they came out..
They then got the train together, back to Sarah's in Kent..

On the Sunday Al got the train back to Derwent6 and arrived at 2.30pm with all her cards and presents that had been delivered to Kent...
A big thank you to everyone.......

Monday, May 20, 2019

Birthday Girl in Oxford

Happy Birthday to my Darling Wife!

Today we were up early and Al opened her cards and presents, before we got the train into Oxford.
It was only a 10 minute journey and our first though was breakfast.. Al loves her books so we went into Waterstones and there they had a café. It was a coffee and a croissant and a good chat on planning the day..
The Ashmolean Museum had some paintings on show from Samuel Palmer who lived in Shoreham in Kent, where Alison was born..
You can see Shoreham in these pictures today even though they were painted in the 18th Century..

From there it was time to get Al a shopping fix and Del brought some bits and pieces that she liked..

It was then time to drink, so we went to Dirty Bones which is a cocktail bar up on the terraces, and it just so happened that happy hour had started at midday.

After drinks you just have to eat, and just a short walk away was Mowgli's, an Indian tapas restaurant we like..

This gave us some time to have more drinks in a pub opposite the new theatre, where Del had brought some tickets to see the musical CLUB Tropicana, which was all 80's music..
It turned out to be very cheesy, but so very funny, we really enjoyed it..

We still had an hour to wait for our train when we came out, so another drink was in order till it arrived.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Gliding Day

Derwent6 was creaking away this morning as the sun hit the port side through the smoke on the water..
This gets very warm and the starboard side is still cold from last night. With the temperature changes it makes the steelwork expand and the woodwork has to adjust to that... You get the occasional BANG and Crack inside which does tend to wake you up early..
The good thing is it means it will be a nice day, but we wouldn't be cruising as Del wanted to go Gliding..
After a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon Del set up on the field next to us by putting out a bungee and putting his glider together.
Once trimmed out Del's Supra glider flew like the birds catching thermals above Derwent6.

He was out for a couple of hours while Al read her book and took a few pictures.
In the afternoon we just soaked up the sunshine, just like the solar panels which topped the batteries up nicely..
It was fun watching the hire boats come past us, some at great speed, so a gentle reminder of the young wildlife in the bushes made them slow down a tad.
We had a lovely sunset to finish the day, with a cruise in mind tomorrow.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Heyford for water

We set off at 9.00am and made our way up to Somerton Deep lock.
These gates are normally heavy but Al managed to do them with ease just waiting till they were ready and the leaks on the gates were much better.

In fact the leaky gates issues on the Oxford have been a lot better, probably due to the fact that CaRT have tried to save water on this canal. It was tight getting through the bridge here and a lesson should have been learnt. We were low on water, with all the washing we had done, and the bow was a tad higher than normal.
It was nice to see this sign painted which used to be very rusty, good job!!

At the next lock which was Heyford Common lock the chimney had to come off as we just didn't fit.
We thought we were then home and dry when we got to Allens Lock, but on the exit you could see the trees and thorns were over hanging the canal, not allowing you to have any choice but to go into them before you could get the stern round..
Del had left the removed chimney and rain hat on the roof and the rain hat was caught up and taken clean off.. On further inspection he could see it was still caught in the brambles and with a little bit of maneuvering managed to unhook it and save it from going in the cut..
Al was dreading the next lift bridge at Upper Heyford as it has always been a tricky one, but it was a nice surprise when all that was needed was a CaRT key as it was now electric..

Our first need was water, so we went past all the moorings and managed to get on the tap..
It was very slow and Derwent6 has a big tank so by the time we had finished we had four boats waiting for water.. None of them were in a hurry, and we just had a good chat. On one of the mooring spots we saw we thought we could get a telly signal, which is difficult round here. So a bit of reversing was required on this nice calm day and we dropped into it...
It's a bit noisy here by the railway station and Tooty wasn't happy with these massive metal things trundling by, so he never went out.. We had a good people watching spot and no one could moor in front of us, and we got telly, so we were happy.
We walked over to the little café here and had a ploughman's and a pint (or two) That finished us off for the day.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Our 10 hour check!

The plan was to get some washing done today, but we have to run the Travel power generator for the washing machine and tumble drier to work, which is a bit of a pain. Del looked at changing things over to see if they would run off the lithium batteries but needed a lead to do this so we ended up having to run the engine anyway..
On starting the engine we had a squeak and it appeared to be coming from the generator belt which appeared to be a bit loose..
Panic stations set in as Del thought it could be the bottom pulley making the belt loose. It was also due its 10 hours check, and we had done 15 hours, so action had to be taken..
All the silencer covers have to be removed to see the red mark on the end of the crankshaft pulley and on inspection it seemed things were ok.
It was weird, because on the domestic belt it had became rather sticky, maybe this was because it was a new belt. Anyway, a check on the Allen bolts and it became clear that everything was tight and it was panic over..

After checking the tension of all the belts it was a case of putting it all back together and running it up..

Al did her washing and put it out on the towpath to dry in what turned out to be a wonderful day.
Del did the brasses and Derwent6 was shipshape again..

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

On to Aynho

It was a misty start to the day and we untied and set off.
There was the smell of rape seed in the air as we passed under the quaint lift bridges.
We could have moored alright at Twyford bridge but decided to push on through the shallow section of this canal.
It helped that we had had the rain for a few days, but that didn't stop us kicking up the mud in the muddy waters.. We reached Kings Sutton Lock and sneaked out under its tight bridge..
Again the wildlife was amazing to watch.

We soon got to the difficult Aynho Weir Lock which is diamond shape.
It is where the river section here leaves the canal.. Del steered Derwent6 into its tight turn in..
and we got through in one piece.
 More lift bridges before Aynho.
Then on to find a nice mooring.

The showers arrived just as we moored up but there was also some good sunny periods which brought the batteries back up to 100%.