Monday, February 28, 2011

A Six Hour Day

It was cloudy and we wanted to start making our way south so we set off at 7.15am. We soon got to Nuneaton and the council here really need to get their backsides in gear. The rubbish in and around the canal was horrendous, it is such a shame that in a stressful world, in this hard working town you can't go and relax around the canal that runs through it. You really did feel like stopping and picking it all up, it was like taking a boat through a refuse tip. The dog poo and graffiti was everywhere, this is where community service should come into action, then locals could look after it and catch the culprits doing it. Once we got through avoiding the telly's and the sofas we got back out into the countryside passing the entrance to the Ashby canal. We then got to Hawkesbury Junction and through Sutton stop and on to the Oxford. It started to get really cold as we headed through Ansty and Brinklow, but it was still lovely cruising and we saw our first lambs. After six hours we got to the pretty Newbold tunnel and pulled over for water just the other side.

We then moved up to Rugby and were meet by bloggers Keith and Ann on n.b Oakfield and were able to meet Paul and Lynne who also come from Kent, on n.b.Piston Broke. We were very kindly offered beers on both boats and ended up staying with Keith and Ann till about 7.30pm. We got back to Derwent6 and had something to eat, exhausted by the days cruising.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gunners out of Bullets

We thought the weather was going to be better today, but as we got up it rained again. It rained all day on and off, with it being light then heavy. So our plan of moving was scuppered. It had also turned colder so we lit the fire and had a lay in. We eventually got up and had some brunch and prepared ourselves for Arsenal in the Carling Cup against Birmingham....Wish we hadn't!!!!!!

After the game we checked out that tree we found yesterday, and loaded it onto the roof. Al watched her Dancing on Ice in the evening and Del won't be watching Match of the Day.........

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rainy Day

With the rain hitting the roof we weren't moving today.. It just never seemed to even slow down and the towpath turned into a mud bath. So we caught up with some paperwork and updated some software as we have a good 3G signal here. The good news of the day is that we got a call from Alan Watts of Axiom Propellers and he wants to inspect the prop when Derwent6 comes out of the water for blacking, later next month. As you all know Derwent6 was one of the first narrowboats to have the Axiom fitted and we have been very happy with ours from day one. It has it's faults, but the benefits by far out way the faults. Axiom are working hard to sort out these faults, by us all giving them good feedback.

We watched the Rugby all afternoon and they were two great games with us beating the French.

The weather eased off at around 4.00pm and Del manage to clean some of the brasses and get some twigs for kindling. On doing so we spotted another tree down...... maybe look at that tomorrow....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Locking before the rain

Just like last night we had a beautiful red sky this morning which didn't bode well as we wanted to get up through the locks today. Anyway, we set off and soon passed Mo on n.b Balmaha and got to the locks. We were pleasantly surprised that they were in our favour and got through the first two of the eleven. We then spotted n.b No Problem and n.b Moore2life as we made our way up the rest of the flight. We could now see the new gates at lock seven which stopped us getting further south for the winter, but this lock still took an age to fill. The locks were in our favour all the way up as we passed three boats coming down, this sped things up for us, (not that we were in a hurry), but we were still thinking about that red sky and when it was going to rain. We had few gongoozlers (all be them ducks) when we got to the top. A fresh wind was starting to get up and you could feel rain in the air, but it was still pleasant cruising. We got to Hartshill and the weather was holding so we pushed on to Valley Cruisers marina, where we felt the first spits of rain. We just got moored up before it poured down.. The first thing we did was have a shower to get warmed up and the fire did the rest. We soon both fell asleep on the settee listening to the rain hitting the roof. We were woken up by a call from BW about our gold licence, they soon call you if they want your money........ so it won't be long before we can pick up our new licence...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tree blocks the canal at Polesworth

It was so much warmer and spring like this morning and we thought we would let the fire go out, as we decided some cruising was in order. We moved down to the water point and topped up the tank as Al wanted to get all the washing up to date. We soon got through the slow Glascote locks and then pulled up outside Narrowcraft boatyard. We had a pumpout even though we could have gone another four or five days and we tried to fill with diesel but their tank run out at 34 litres. Good job we were only topping up and not desperate.

We carried on to Polesworth and were held up again with a tree down across the canal...Bingo!!

BW were cutting it up, so Al held Derwent6 under a bridge while Del walked up to see what was going on. They were cutting up the tree and putting into a holding barge. "any chance of some wood" Del asked. "Sorry, but we're not allowed to give it out or everyone will want some" he replied. So Del hung around and helped them with the tree and helped clear up. "So even boaters can't have this wood, it will be less for you to unload" Del asked again. "Oh go on" he said. and with that his mate got the chainsaw and cut it all up for us. We loaded it onto the roof and were waved through. With Derwent6 now full of water and nearly full of diesel and the roof full, we were a tad heavy. We took it easy to a mooring we like just the other side of Polesworth. Del then got out the chainsaw and cut up most of the wood to get it in the locker to dry. We then did the brasses on the roof. With football all evening we took a full earned rest with the sky turning red outside.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sort Out Day

We had rain overnight and it was drizzling on and off through the morning so we thought it would be a good day to sort out some of the paperwork and things we had been meaning to do for a while. We had cards and parcels to write, wrap and post and also wanted to send off for our Gold Licence. We thought that we might be able to get this processed at Fazeley, but no. BW can issue the gold licence here, but have no facility to process a refund on your existing licence. Typical!!!!
Not wanting to shell out the full amount, we stuck it in the post! So don't shout at us for not displaying our licence!!
We umm'd and ahhh'd whether to move in the afternoon, but with the forecast good for tomorrow we stayed put and chilled out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back to Fazeley for a Curry

The weather didn't seem as bad as they said it would be so we decided to chance it and move. We were both getting the feeling it was time to move on. It wasn't long before we passed Ness waving frantically out of one of the portholes on n.b Balmaha. It also wasn't long before we had to pull over with a bag wrapped round the prop and then to top it all BW decided to block the canal and we had to wait 15 minutes for them to move out the way. With the chimney smoking nicely we had smoke in our eyes most of the way but it was very pleasant cruising. We passed through Whittington and then Hopwas before we got to Fazeley Junction. Just as we moored up n.b Balmaha were hot on our tails and passed us.

We then had a quick shower before we walked across the fields again to Ventura Retail park and headed straight for Roasters again for one of those pork sandwiches, Yummmmmmy.....

We then did a shop at the massive Asda's here and came back with our arms full and rucksacks heavy on our backs, we must be getting fit now!!!!!!

We had just enough time for a sit down and a read before we were out again in the evening.

Alan & Carol wanted to see us again before we headed south so we thought we would go back to the Tame Otter in Hopwas for a drink, which we had passed earlier.
We had a lovely evening but all the talking made us hungry again and Alan fancied a curry and knew a great one in Tamworth. It would have been rude if we hadn't jumped in the car with them. Jalali's was a old haunt of theirs and is set in a old chapel. We had a super meal and after mixing three drinks and finishing with brandy we don't know how we got back to Derwent6. Luckily Carol managed to find our mooring through a housing estate. We got to bed at around 1.00am, after saying goodbye to our friends.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Whistling again

The weather was a bit poor so we thought we would stay put for the day... We needed a new whistle for the kettle and when we asked in the Kitchen shop last time we were in Lichfield, they said they would change it for us, free of charge, as there had been a fault with them. So we set off across the fields and over the level crossing to the bus stop where we caught the bus into town. It was a good thing to do on a mizzy day. We picked up a few bits at Wilkos like brushes and red Oxide paint, but we were a bit disappointed they had run out of their 79p fire lighters, we even got them to check the stock room.

We then had a coffee and a cake at our favourite Caffe Nero and then got the bus back to Streethay. It was lovely to hear the whistle of the kettle on the stove again especially when you're dying for a cuppa.
We sang some Bruce Springteen late into the evening with a glass of wine or two...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Good to be back together

After a late night a lay in was required........but Al was up early and after breakfast with Erica, Steve, Tanya & Zak she made her way back to Derwent6. Del did some clearing up before she got back as blokes do.

It had been raining here for most of the morning and the towpath had got very muddy. So Del met Al halfway so she could change into her wellies and get back to Derwent6.

We spent the afternoon catching up on the weekend events........

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wicked!!! and so were Quo

Del woke up with rain dripping on the bed as the porthole over the bed was leaking. The drain hole had got blocked with brass cleaner (no surprise there then), so he was drying sheets by the fire at 3.00am in the morning. After catching up with sleep the first job was to clean out all the drain holes in the portholes. We usually do this on a regular basis but had got a bit lax of late.Al on the other hand was meeting up with Tanya (our god daughter) and getting the train up to London to see the show Wicked at Victoria. They went to a new chain of restaurants called Chipotle, (who do Mexican food) in Covent garden first, then the Trocadero for ice cream, before doing the show.

In the afternoon Del got a call from Alan & Carol who were going to see Quo Motion at the Feathers in Lichfield. What a great night and the band were fantastic and not to be missed if you like Status Quo. Del got back to Derwent6 at about 1.00am