Sunday, January 31, 2010

A walk to Sunday Lunch

After a very cold night, and due to the fact we watched Andy Murray's attempt at the Grand Slam, we were up early. After that we needed a walk and some fresh air, So we decided to walk to Gumley and go the The Bell pub for their Sunday lunch... It is about half a mile away from Foxton and only took us thirty five minutes. We walked the road way there as we didn't want too much mud on our boots. We had just a fabulous lunch which is all homemade, and you can tell the difference. We then needed to walk it off, so we walked back across the fields which brought us back to the locks. We had this Robin which we made friends with, as he seemed to follow us all the way back to Derwent6. When we got back we were knackered, so watched a film in the afternoon and telly in the evening.

We are still iced in here with the ice at about two inches thick, so no movement around here. With the temperatures in the minus three's and four''s tonight we won't be moving tomorrow.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ice again, but clear blue sky's

Got up and as expected the ice was covering the canal. It was about half a inch thick, but it wasn't long before someone came by us and broke it all up. We fancied a walk so set off up towards the locks to see what was going on. Everything was open including the museum, but the thing that took our eye was the coffee for a pound. We sat up at the top lock with the sun on our faces out of the wind and nearly fell asleep. It is very peaceful here and it wasn't long before it was packed with people, both car parks were over half full. There has been some movement of boats today going up and down the locks and it was nice talking to some of the people enjoying the lovely day. We then walked back to Derwent6 and threw up the cratch cover and sat in the sunshine looking at a fantastic view. Del polished the towpath side of the boat because it had got so warm. Del took the rubbish back up to the top lock, while Al read her book. In the evening we watched a bit of telly. Two boats passed us late, one, a hire boat who came by so fast, don't know why, he wasn't going to get through the locks, the locky had gone home... Still we made him feel a bit sheepish...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Trip to harborough

We had rain over night which was better than snow, but it did make a hell of a racket on the roof, it must have been bloody big drops of rain. We were up early as Al was getting the bus into Market Harborough. They run every hour and only cost two pound return from Foxton village. Al had a lovely mooch around the shops and picked up a few bits and pieces, retail therapy........... bliss. In the evening we just chilled with pizza and the BB Final.......aren't we sad lol.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A full day cold cruising

Left early this morning as the sun was trying to come out and it looked good for a lovely days cruising. We just chugged along at three miles a hour watching the world go by, and were pleased that bridge 32 had been repaired. This had the big orange bollards under it for ages and it was always tight to get through. We soon got to the Welford arm and were surprised at the lack of boats here. As we went round the corner and on towards the Husbands Bosworth tunnel, the towpath had been closed and a lot of work had been done dredging and repairing the towpath, it did need it badly. The tunnel was surprisingly dry..... When we got through the tunnel, the sun was still out with clearer skies and it started to get really cold. Al wrapped up with two hats, a scarf, four layers and a blanket over her legs on the stern. It was only the Tia Maria coffee's and the bacon butty's that kept us going. We love the countryside around here as the canal follows the contours of the hills and weaves it's way towards Foxton. We had been cruising for five and a half hours today and done 13 miles, a long cruise for us. We moored up with a nice view across landscape. Luckily the fire had been going all day and Derwent6 was like a sauna inside, we soon warmed up nicely. We passed three boats today and one passed us late in the evening, so still not much movement. We had an inkling that the weather might freeze again (minus four overnight) so we thought we would get somewhere where water was available, in case we can't move.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Admin Day

Today we decided to have an admin day due to the fact we had a slight slither of ice across the canal.Al had loads of paperwork which she wanted to go through, and Del was happy waxing the roof. The sun was out in the morning, and yep, after Del had finished the brasses it rained at about 4 o'clock. We also went out and did some sticking as we seem to have loads where we are, and Del did manage to get a splinter in the process.We made a few phone calls and watched telly in the evening... Relaxing day though....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Diesel do, dammed if they don't

Didn't get up too early this morning as we were waiting for the Marina to open. So Al walked to the Co-Op while Del wiped down Derwent6. When you go through a tunnel the water droplets, when they dry, leave a white deposit which is a bugger to get off. He also did some brasses while waiting for Al to come back. We then got our diesel at 67p a litre and Derwent6 took 160 litres, the most we have put in at any one time. We then set off for the countryside and soon passed Yelvertoft's new marina. We were amazed at the size of this place and how fast they had changed the landscape, you could still get through ok though. We did have to laugh at this sign which said "Switch off engine and coast slowly past the dam" ...... We didn't turn off the engine, but did go very slowly past!!!!

The sun had come out and a hot air balloon was floating above us, it was like a picture postcard. We could feel it getting colder in the afternoon so decided to pull over in a nice sunny spot with just fields around us. We then thought we might as well have lunch and a peaceful rest of the day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wild and Free

Yippppeeeeee we set off this morning at around 9,00am and the prop groaned into action after not being used for nearly six weeks. It's the longest Derwent6 has been static since it went in the water. It felt so good to be moving again and you felt like you were starting another adventure, who knows what is round the corner.
It wasn't long before we got to the bottom of the Watford Flight locks and we were surprised at how much work had been done here. There are now nice wooden boards at the bottom so you don't damage the sides anymore when tying up and the ponds had all been redone and were trimmed, together with new lock paddles. The gates were still leaking bad and you have to watch the bow still when going up, also the water tap wasn't working due to a burst pipe in the freeze.
We got to the top and saw our first lambs where the mother was still licking them and they were still trying to find their feet.
We then got to Crick tunnel which after all that snow was wet, wet, wet, and it was also very smoky with all the chimneys going. We had three boats in front of us as everyone had decided to move today. When we got out the tunnel we stopped for water and emptied the waste tank, having a cup of tea while we waited. We needed diesel and planned to get it at Crick Marina, but it was closed on Monday's. So with another cold snap on the way we thought it best to moor up for the night and get the diesel in the morning.
This gave us the rest of the day to relax a bit and chill out. It was nice to be looking at different scenery for a change. We also managed to get some washing done while moving, so Del might have some clean pants in the morning!

We just tried to load the pictures but the camera settings had moved to a high setting and on 2G here they won't load.... So we will put them on later....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Repairing the manual pumpout

Well how are we doing..... Our fuel is at a quarter of a tank, our water is at just under half a tank and our waste is at 3/4 of a tank....So a manual pump out was in order. As you might recall, it had packed up, and as it's not the best of jobs, we have been putting it off. We had just got rid of the smell we used to get in the engine room and most of that smell was the cleaner we were pouring down the loo mixing with the stuff you pour in the tank. We had to take the electric pump to pieces and inside are two rubbers which help to syphon the tank. We had a peanut (well it looked like a peanut) stuck in one of these rubbers! After getting it working we took five barrel loads to the elsan point at Buckby top lock, but it did bring it down to just under half a tank, giving us another 12 days grace. This took up most of the day and so we didn't move, maybe we will tomorrow. We have had enough of it here now but we've got to say it was a good place to get stuck....Luckily it did help that we had a coal boat stuck here as well. After a good shower we just chilled in the evening....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saying our goodbyes (till next time)

Hooray the ice has now gone and we could move.... We say could, because we had arranged a couple of meets with some boating friends.... We set off at 11.00am across the fields to Daventry and after doing a bit of shopping and posting a few cards we meet up with Keith & Ann off n.b. Oakfield....( Oakfield is also a Fernwood boat and we had swapped our build slot with their build slot as they had not sold their house at the time, after swapping they sold it a few days later. We are so glad we got in the water when we did and it was a big thanks to these two nice people that we did... So as you can see we had lots to talk about including the pros and cons of Fernwood... but in fairness it was all good..... We both love our boats.... We had a nice (cheap) lunch and then made our way just before it got dark.

In the evening we only just had some time to chill out before Andy & Hilary off n.b Maisibert ( came round for a evening meal on Derwent6. They had been so helpful over the iced in period that we wanted to thank them... Andy is known on the cut as "Sponge Man" for his delicious sponges and for desert he brought one round. We put on some music, played some music (The Derwent6 Song) and poured back the wine and had a really good night.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rocked, Stocked and one smoking Barrel

After a couple of days down in Kent, we arrived back to Derwent6 at lunchtime. We've had a lovely time. After being all rocked out, we stayed at Bernie & Sarah's and in the morning David very kindly dropped us off at Barming station where we caught the train to Shoreham to see Pam & Alf (Al's Mum & Dad). We had a lovely day with them, and apart from popping out to collect a new chain for the chainsaw, and visit the bank, we just chilled out. The following day we caught the train back to Market Harborough, trying out the relatively new service direct from Kent into St Pancreas station. It only took an hour, and was a great service straight across London cutting out the underground. Back at Market Harborough we were met by Pat & Keith, and after picking up a few bits from Sainsburys went back to their house for dinner. In the evening we went to watch Keith practice with the band, trying to perfect their songs for a couple of gigs they have coming up.
This morning we were driven back to Derwent6 and started warming the boat up. In the afternoon our Tesco delivery arrived, so we are all stocked up.

Derwent6's chimney is now smoking again!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nickelback to London (but not without delays)

It is now only half a inch thick here and you do feel you could move but when we looked in the cold and shady areas it hasn't thawed so well and could still be a bit tricky...

We were up early this morning as we were very kindly being picked up by Andy and Hilary who dropped us at the station and we got the train down into London. We were on our way to Wembley to see Nickelback.. We were ready to rumble!!!!

Well we didn't know how true that would be.... On getting to the train station we had forgotten our train ticket authorisation code and we couldn't pick our tickets up at the office and in the end had to get on the train without them. We managed to get on to and managed to get the code and a very helpful train guard said he would allow us to get the tickets when we got into London.
Shortly after this the train braked gently and then very hard followed by loads of smoke pouring from the brakes and a smell of burning. This was then followed by a loud bang from the front of the train and loads of stones flying up underneath and down the sides. The train came to a stop about 300 yards after the bang and the smell off burning and the smoke continued. It all went very quiet.......... Then over the intercom the driver said "sorry for the delay but there has been a fatality"

With our heads out the windows a British Rail guy walked up to the train and Del asked "has anyone been hurt". Very distressed he said "Oh yes someone has hit the train"

The transport police turned up and took the driver away and got a replacement driver. The train was then inspected then very slowly taken into Luton where we had to change trains, and a sheet was put over the front of the train.... We were all shaken up!!! We still didn't know if it was a jumper or a British Rail worker that had been killed. This has now appeared on the internet.

When we got to London, we met Hannah David and Bernie luckily in the queue waiting to get in at around 3.00pm (the concert didn't start till 8.00pm). We grabbed something to eat while our place was saved, and when we got in around 6pm, got right up on the barriers.

We had a fantastic night......Daughtry and Nickelback were just brilliant...
They played for about three hours and we didn't get in till about 2.00am in the morning, it had been a long and eventful day, but it was worth it...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Feels like your arm in chains

Nice sunny day again so Del after having withdrawal symptoms, cleaned the brasses... As they hadn't been done for about a month they were pretty hard going....... he was out there for about three hours and still didn't finish them all as his arm felt like it was falling off. Al got up to date with loads of bits and pieces she kept putting off....

The ice here is thawing fast but we still haven't seen any boat movement.

In the afternoon Del then put a new chain on the chainsaw and it now cuts like a knife through butter.... We chopped up a few logs, so we are well stocked up for the next cold spell (Oh yes there will be another one) We then watched a DVD and a bit of telly in the evening....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunshine on Ice

Not much to report today... After another frost last night, the ice on the canal is a lot thinner, down to about an inch. The sun was beaming down on us and it was creating a layer of water on the ice, which made it look like the ice had all gone. It was so warm in the sun we even opened the cratch covers today and cleaned off the gutters on the roof.
In the afternoon Andy and Hilary popped in for a coffee. In the evening... as if we haven't seen enough of the stuff......yep it was Dancing On Ice.... Just going on the canal to practice now!!!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drafted in

We had a lazy day today but we did get a couple of jobs done... the highlight of the day was some guy who thought he would try and break some ice. try being the word.... After ramming the boat moored in front of him he gave it up as a bad job, and then couldn't get back on his mooring due to the broken ice. It is still at least two inches thick here, so we won't be moving for at least another 48 hours. We had been having a draft coming through Derwent6 and couldn't work out where it was coming from. It turned out it was coming through the floor boards where the rads were fitted and with a bit of sponge it's now sorted.
The hoses came out today and we all managed to top up with water, so we can have a shower in the morning!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We want to move now!

With such a mizzy day in prospect we stayed in.......Del updating drivers all day and Al reading her book.... The ice is still covering the canal but we've got to say it is thinning. The poor old batteries are now starting to struggle in this cold weather and we seem to be running the engine longer and longer to keep them up to full capacity. We are getting a bit fed up with it all now and just want to move on. We are at half a tank of diesel and half a tank of water, and the poo tank is just over half full. But we're still on a high and have loads of things to look forward too. Watch this space!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In the pub again

Oh No !!! more snow...we woke up to about an inch or 25.4mm in new money.. We had a morning just relaxing as we were meeting Pat & Keith off n.b Thema for lunch in the New Inn. Dropping off our rubbish on the way, we got there for 1.00pm and had a good catch up as we hadn't seen them since Del's Birthday back in November. The food is now very good in the New Inn and we came out of there with very full tummy's... We then went back to Derwent6 for coffee's before they headed off at 4.00pm, before it got dark. It snowed lightly all day, but never seemed to lay very much...good job really! In the evening we just watched Liverpool lose to Reading with another pint or two.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A walk into Daventry

It had definitely warmed up a bit as the snow was starting to thaw on the towpath. So we decided to go for a walk today as we had not had a lot of exercise recently and really felt we needed it. We took the canal route back towards Braunston tunnel and then took the canal feeder up to Daventry reservoir. At one of the bridges we noticed a car on it roof and went out to see if everyone was ok. A lady was stuck in the middle of the road after she had locked her keys in the car, panicking after sliding down the hill out of control.
It was so pretty in the snow and it wasn't long before we were walking round the large lake and going under the underpass into Daventry. They had these lovely paintings in the underpass and we spent a bit of time looking at them all. We knew it was market day but Daventry was still very quiet. We were gasping for a coffee and thought we would go to Weatherspoons with it's £1.29 hot chocolate and 99p coffee. We got a nice spot on the sofa by the fire and could not resist the prices for lunch. We had ham, egg and chips for £1.99, a January offer, and when it turned up it was a decent plate full... We then wandered round the town centre ending up in Tesco's to pick up some small bits we needed, before heading back to Derwent6. The walk takes exactly a hour and it was 4.00pm when we finally got back. All red rosy cheeked we sat by the fire to warm up with a nice cup of coffee and some chocolate. We certainly didn't lose any weight on our walk but we did get some good exercise!
In the evening with nothing on telly, we played games all night...very relaxing!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Coal was the Goal

We got up early as we wanted to hear Chris Evans Radio Two Breakfast show and what his first track would be.... It was the Beatles with All You Need Is Love just in case you didn't know or aren't bothered.

It had definitely warmed up a bit and we could see some signs of thawing, but the ice was still pretty thick across the canal.

We decided to get some coal and took a walk down to Jules on the coal boat. She was in this time, as the last time she was out in her van making deliveries. We managed to get four bags of Stove Glow and a bag of kindling on the sack barrow and struggled back through the ice and snow to Derwent6. As we thought that was a job well done we didn't do much else all day. Al made some cakes in the afternoon and Del watched some DVD's, just a nice lazy day.......

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A warming Sunday Lunch

Late start today due to another late night last night.... After showers we made our way to the pub where we met up again with Andy & Hilary for Sunday lunch. We had a great meal and we sat right next to the warm cosy fire. Afterwards we set out to take Cassie their dog out for a walk and thought we would bring them all into the world of Geocaching. It wasn't long before we found the first one and we then set out to do the second but it went a bit wrong because we ended up in the middle of a field. We must have entered the wrong co-ordinates! Still we were close to Derwent6 so it was back for a coffee and a chat... They left at around 5.30pm and we sat and watched a bit of telly all evening....Dancing on can practice here at the moment! It's just been a lovely weekend!!!!!