Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ticking over to Bradford on Avon

Tuesday after the bank holiday and the sun comes out again...typical

We were getting itchy about moving and pulled the pins at 10.00am. There are so many continual moorer's here we thought we would see how far we could get on tickover before we felt we needed to pull over. In this shot there are a couple of boat's that we had to pass, let's show why they are difficult to see. They cover them in grass leaves and weeds! Do they really think they won't get caught mooring there all year. Hmmmm......

It was lovely in the sunshine and the scenery was so good it didn't matter how slow we were going. We soon got to Dundas Aqueduct and it started to get really busy. All the hire boats had obviously made it here from their weekend hires. It was a bit cold in the shade of the trees but we pushed on till we got to Bradford on Avon where we met another entourage of moored boat's. We tried to moor on the moorings below the locks but no chance of that, so we had to go through the lock. When we got to the top we spotted a boat just leaving and quickly slipped Derwent6 in the gap. Phew!Al then went for a walk to Sainsbury's a short distance from where we were while Del walked up to the pub to see if anything was going on in the evening. Sure enough there was a open mic night so we had something to eat, a nice steak and salad, before we set off at 8.30pm for the entertainment.

We walked up to The Canal Tavern where the open mic was taking place. We had a few pints while watching some really good people which would have blown the X Factor into touch.. We got back to Derwent6 at Midnight, a bit worse for wear!!

City to City

We knew the weather wasn't going to be too good here in Bath and we managed to get a very cheap away day ticket on the train into London. There was only one exception.. we had to get the 6.30am train from Bath. With coats and a brolly and sleepy eyes we got to the station as dawn was breaking and just about made it on time. The connections on the trains were perfect and we were in Kent and in glorious sunshine by 9.50am. We then made our way to Canterbury hospital where Len ( Del's dad ) was. It was a great surprise to see him out of bed and reading a newspaper and looking so much better. He was still weak but had put on weight and had stopped feeling sick. After all this it turned out he had got stomach ulcers which had to be capped off to stop him losing blood. Lets hope he's turned a corner and things improve from here on.

Feeling very satisfied we then returned to Al's mum and dad before we got the 6.00pm train back to Bath. It had just started to rain as we got on the train. We arrived in Bath this time in glorious sunshine, it was like it was following us. We then walked back to Derwent6 for 10.00pm, at dusk. We definitely made the most of our away day ticket, sunshine and the daylight hours.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walkabout in Bath

It has been very busy here at bath with lots of people walking along the towpath and trip and day boats passing us all day. It's lovely to see the canals being used so much.

We had a walk into the city to see what was going on and watched a few of the buskers on the streets. All of them would have done well on Britain's Got Talent... We got back just in time to see the start of the Monaco Grand Prix which turned out to be a good race for a change. We had good feedback from friends and family that Del's dad was stable and they were a bit closer to finding out why he was so ill. So we made the decision to stay put.

We chilled out in the sunshine late afternoon, but don't think the rain is too far away

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On Stand By

We had plans today to have Hannah on board Derwent6, but due to the fact Del's dad Len is not too well and our friends funeral is round the corner, we felt that we needed to be near a railway station in case we needed to dash off. It was a drizzling morning and we didn't feel like doing much, we also lit the fire, the first time in ages. Here we are at the great City of Bath, and we don't feel like doing much. What's that all about!!!

We watched the Grand Prix qualifying and then took ourselves for a walk just to get some air, and picked up some comfort food to help cheer us up. It worked because the sun came out on our way back to Derwent6. We had a visitor to help put the shopping away.

We then settled down for the football in the evening....It was a shame that Manchester United couldn't beat Barcelona when Arsenal could.. Still there's always next season.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Back to Bath

We were up early and ready to go by 7.30am, it was cloudy but the wind had dropped and the river looked quite calm.

We soon got to Swineford Lock and then Saltford Lock with no problems, as they were in our favour. We are just loving the River in these parts there is so much wildlife to see. We soon started to get close to Bath and as the Bank Holiday is approaching we thought we would top up with water and have a pumpout. This is a small pontoon, but we managed to squeeze Derwent6 on to it. We then went through the grotty side of the city, every city has one. We then turned starboard and headed back onto the Kennet and Avon and started the tricky accent of the six locks. At the first lock you are met with the wino's, the second lock is the 20 foot deep lock where you can't open the lock gates and at the third only one paddle was working, but after a couple of hours we got to the top! We went through the two tunnels at the top with a building over the tunnel. Underneath there is a hole where items were passed down to the boats going below. We were hoping to get a mooring when we got to the park, but with a Bank Holiday on us...no chance! All the boats were spread out so we couldn't get in. We looked to untie a couple, but they were chained or string had been wrapped round the mooring ropes..Nice! So we had no choice but to move on. However it must have been meant to happen because we found a better mooring with nice views and we could get a good TV signal.. Fate!The sun had come out and we had lunch in the cratch and did some reading, so it was very pleasant. We then had a call in the afternoon to say that Len (Del's Dad) had taken a turn for the worst and would have to have yet another opperation. Poor Dad, he really seems to be going through the wars at the moment........

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rain at last!

With the rain hitting the roof like a sub machine gun and the wind howling and redirecting the flow of the river Avon, we won't be moving today. We can't remember the last time we didn't move for rain. The winds were getting up to 35mph, a no go for narrowboating, well Derwent6 anyway!!! (especially when we don't have to)

We did a few jobs indoors like lubricating all the hinges and moving parts, and adjusting door catches after the movement over the winter. Cleaning out the bilge and checking levels etc.

We also oiled some of the woodwork, but lets not be under any illusion, we did bugger all really. It was a lovely relaxing day. The sun did come out in the afternoon, but the wind was still up, so back to reading the paper.

In the evening we had a little sing song and listened to music as there was nothing on telly. We went to bed early as we wanted an early start in the morning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Leaving Bristol

It was a lovely morning in Bristol harbour and we had to leave today :-( We used up our last bit of water and our last few pence on shoreline to get the last of the washing done. We then pulled back a bit so we could fill with water, this was so we could get under the very low swingbridge as we only had two inches clearance when we came in.

Filled with water, we had a four inch clearance on the way out and it was quite sad as we left. We have loved it here, as there is so much to do, still there's always a next time!!!!We waved goodbye to the lock keeper at Nethan Lock and were soon purring through the countryside on the Avon. We are now going into the flow of the river and it seems a lot slower, but slower is good for us....After getting through Hanham and Keynsham Lock, which just seemed to take an age to fill, we made it on to Bitton and we were lucky enough to get a mooring again on the pontoon here. While we were here the old carriage train pulled up at the station on the railway above us. We are having to get used to being back on battery management and turning things off when not in use, you get spoilt on shoreline.
We had a lovely lunch on a nice light evening but the clouds were coming in... Well Del did do the brasses yesterday...................

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blustery in Bristol

We woke up early to bright sunshine but the wind was still strong and bobbing us around a bit. Al then got the train back up to London as she had an appointment, while Del spent the best part of the morning getting the seagulls bird muck off the roof of Derwent6 and doing the brasses. Don't know what was worse really!!!!!

Al got back to Bristol at 4.45pm and Del met her at the station. In the evening we went out for something to eat at Wetherspoons as it was steak night. We both had a steak meal and a desert with a few beers for under twenty quid........over looking Derwent6 as well. Touch!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Great Weekend (tinted with sad news)

Friday 20th We had a poor night as three youths, causing anti social behaviour, had decided to urinate on the end of the pontoon we were on, and one, mistakenly, decided to sit on the roof of Derwent6 and take photo's of them, a bad move in Del's eyes. After a few words and support by two other boaters they left singing Rosie and Jim! We had to leave early in the morning as we were picking up the train from Bristol into London and one of the boaters said he would keep an eye on Derwent6 for us. The train took us a hour and forty minutes. We then made our way down to Whitstable where we met up with friends Zoe, Greg, and Susie. We then went on to see Ade Edmondson in The Bad Shepherds, a folk band singing Punk songs. We had a great night and got to bed at Zoe and Greg's at 4,00am in the morning. Saturday 21st As you can imagine it was a late start. We walked into Whitstable and had breakfast and from there went to Canterbury Hospital to see Len (Del's dad) who was back in hospital with dehydration. He looked a bit better by the time we left at 7.30pm but more tests are being done on him. His new kidney luckily seems to be working fine.
Sunday 22nd We were woken up early with the sad news that a old friend had died after a motor bike accident. Del used to play football with Gary Webb (Spider) while playing for Shoreham in Kent and Al had grown up with him in the same village. It took a while to get over the shock. After spending the morning with Al's mum and dad and doing a few jobs there, we met up with Maxine and Graham at the Beeches restaurant. We were soon joined by Bernie, Sarah, Steve and Erica with Hannah, Zak and Tanya, for a birthday surprise. Maxine and Graham had bought balloons and a cake to give us all a fantastic day. We left there at 11.00pm and got back to Pam and Alf's (Al's mum and dad's) at 11.30pm, another late night!!!! Monday 23rd We were up early again and had to be taken to Swanley by Alf as the local trains were cancelled with a points failure. We ended up getting back to Derwent6 in Bristol harbour at 3.00pm We picked up a bottle of wine for the guy in the boat behind us who sent us text's every morning saying things were OK at home.

The wind was howling and the waves crashing against the side of Derwent6 but it was good to be home. As you can imagine we were totally shattered from a hectic weekend but we wouldn't have it any other way...It's great to be with friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Up to Clifton Suspension Bridge

We were up early in bright sunshine and decided to take a walk up to the Clifton Suspension bridge. We went along the harbour and then climbed the hill to get to the bridge. We sat in the sunshine. We then took a walk over the bridge to admire the view.
We walked back to Derwent6 and had some lunch with the sun glistening across the harbour.

In the afternoon we walked through the old part of the city and on to the Cinema. We thought we would go to the early showing of Pirates of the Caribbean and got there for 5.30pm. We really enjoyed the film and were walking back to Derwent6 at 8.00pm, far too early. So we had a drink in one of the harbourside bars here overlooking Derwent6. We ended up having a curry there too and got back on board at 11.00pm.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SS Great Britain (with a free coffee)

We had a bit of a lay in this morning as surprisingly it was quite quiet here in Bristol City centre. It was raining very lightly when we surfaced and we felt we needed to light the fire, something we hadn't done for a long time. We had a nice morning on Derwent6 watching all the people in the city going about their business.

We then walked along the harbour wall looking at all the old boats and trains outside the new museum opening later this year. In this shot Derwent6 is moored in the background. We then got to Brunel's SS Great Britain, and looked at the admission prices. Under concessions it included unemployed, that's us we thought, it was five pounds cheaper and worth a try. We had no proof as we don't claim benefit and ended up speaking to the duty manager. We filled out a feedback form saying that the prices board should be changed saying what proof should be required, and we ended up paying the full price of £12.50 each. We started walking round the museum and the duty manager came back up to us saying we were right and for our trouble we could have complementary large coffees in the cafe, usually £1.90 each.As for Brunel's masterpiece it was brilliant and well worth the money. You can walk under, over and inside the great ship, and they had even got the smells right. You can steer, set the sails or engage the propeller, a ship well ahead of its time. We still wouldn't want to spend two months on her, couped up in the rooms, on the way to Australia.We came out at 4.00pm and walked into town via the old town and into the new modern Cabot Circus shopping centre where the sun came out. We had something to eat in Nando's before we walked back to Derwent6. We watched the sunset with a glass of wine on the bow of Derwent6, people watching across the harbour.