Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cold outside (but nice and warm inside)

Blimey no frost last night, we must have had some cloud cover, but it was still blooming cold. When you went outside it was freezing. So it was a stay in day today. Del sorted out the pipe he got yesterday and sorted out the bilge while Al......hmm got back into her book.. You can't avoid going outside, you still have ashes to empty, coal buckets to fill, and Derwent6 can get so hot you just have to get some air.... In the afternoon we had an invite to go round to Paul and Lynn on n.b. Piston Broke for tea. Al had made some shortbread and Lynn had made some scones, so we had a bit of a feast... We talked about everybody and everything. Then Al got a phone call to say her mum had fallen over and had to be taken into hospital by ambulance. So we went back to Derwent6 at 6.00pm, and waited for the news as to what the verdict was, and were on tender hooks all evening waiting for a phone call from Al's sister Jo. She had to have some X rays and loads of other checks, but after getting back home at 11.00pm, she seems ok .. It seems a clear night tonight, so we might be iced in in the morning, best get the spare water container inside....

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pipe fitting recovered

We heard the creaking of ice as we got out of bed this morning. We could also see the swan's on standby for their morning breakfast. The ice was not thick, as you could see it rippling on the water, but it was still difficult for the ducks and swans. We then had an old boat which hadn't been painted or blacked for years break through the ice leaving a trail behind it. The sun was out and it was turning into a nice day, so Del went out on his bike to pick up the pipe fitting that broke the other day. He ended up in Braunston at Union Carriers. They couldn't find the plastic version of what we had but did manage to find a brass one which will be a lot better and won't go brittle through the winter months like the other one did. Del biked back along the canal and found it very hard going due to it being very sticky, but the ice had all gone though. He got back to Derwent6 at 4.00pm. Al had her head in a book for the best part of the day and enjoyed herself in the warmth of Derwent6. In the evening we listened to music............. still reading.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Goodbye, Hello.

We got up late today (well it is Sunday) just in time to see Keith and Ann on n.b Oakfield leaving. As they went into the distance Jaq and Les on n.b Valerie came by. They stopped for a chat and were enjoying some time to themselves and in good spirits.
After breakfast we did our separate jobs. Del prepared Derwent6 for the cold weather ahead and Al finished off the paper work we had collated on board. It's amazing just how many receipts you gather through a year.... We have decided to stay put through this next cold snap as we have everything we need. We have water not too far away and a shop just up the road, a pub if we need it and an Indian restaurant if we fancy a night out.. Why move!
Late afternoon we watched a film and then Al watched her Dancing on Ice and Desperate Housewives. We never got to bed till midnight......

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Catching up with the World

We decided to have one of those chilled out days today so after a big fry up breakfast we sat down in the morning reading the papers which Al had walked to the shops and got. It was nice by the fire chatting about the weeks events, and it gave us a chance to see what was going on in the world. In the afternoon Del watched the FA Cup football and Al made some flap jacks. We got a text from Keith and Ann saying that they were going to make a move tomorrow, so would we all like to come round for coffee. Al brought her flap jacks with her and Ann supplied us with coffee and nibbles which turned into drinking beer. We came back to Derwent6 at around 7.30pm and blobbed in front of the telly for the evening.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Back Home!

We left Bernie and Sarah's at 8.00am and made our way back down to Al's mum and dads and had a couple of hours with them before we got on the train and made our way back to Derwent6. It was lovely down in the southeast but as we got back into the midlands it started to rain. They were short, shape and bitter showers but we managed to dodge the worse of the rain. We got back to Derwent6 at about 4.00pm and then had the task of cleaning the chimney while the fire was out. It took three hours to get Derwent6 warmed back up to it's rightful temperature. It was nice to be back home....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy 18th Birthday

Happy 18th Birthday Hannah Winter
We left this morning to go down to Kent, leaving Derwent6 in the good hand of local friends. We got the train down at lunchtime to get together with Al's mum and dad where we saw their first daffodil in their garden in January. We then left there to arrive just in time to meet up with our goddaughter Hannah who is eighteen today and she had just got in from her studies...it was a nice surprise for her!!! We all went out in the evening to a local pub where she brought her first round of drinks (and long may it continue....) We then all had food and carried on celebrating till late into the evening, I'm sure she will be out with all her mates in the local town of Maidstone over the weekend and probably won't want another drink after that... We stayed the night at our friends Sarah and Bernie's, Hannah's mum and dad.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buses, Kindling, Brasses and a Pub

We were up early as Al was going on the 9.45am bus to the Rugby big Sainsbury's with all the girls here at Hillmorton. After they had left Del got cracking on pallets we had, making two big bags of kindling. This is ideal for when we go back on wood in the spring. The girls arrived back at around 1.00pm and we had some lunch. Then Del did the brasses in the afternoon... In the evening we met up with Keith & Ann off n.b Oakfield and Paul & Lynne of n.b. Piston Broke at 6.15pm. We all walked up to the the Stag and Pheasant where we had a few pints and a lovely meal. It was good fun catching up with all the local gossip and taking the mickey out of each other. We managed to get back at 10.00pm just before it started to rain.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Well needed rain

We woke up to the sound of heavy rain which here on the canals we are pleased about due to the lack of water everywhere. After breakfast we decided to do a bit more spring cleaning. (Anything we haven't used for three months comes off.)
It's surprising how much you collect and how much you don't actually use, but we managed to get five big bags of rubbish. After the rain had stopped, Del then walked them down to Hillmorton Whalf and popped in there to see if he could get the part he needed for the manual pump out. Well even though there was a sign saying it was open it clearly wasn't. A guy came over and tried to help and after a lot of hassle he found the keys to the shop, he had a good look around for the part, but we couldn't find one. Al read her book all afternoon and Del carried on on a circular walk back to Derwent6. We just chilled in the evening with the footy.........

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cruising with lots of nice people about!!

It was a lovely morning and a good day for cruising we thought... So Al walked down to top up our wine quoter before we set off. We soon got to Clifton Cruisers where we needed that pumpout we wanted yesterday. We were greated by the two lovely dogs they have. We were the first boat they had seen for a few days and were open arms to help us. We trickled up the canal till we got to the locks soaking up the scenery, sitting on our new seats on the stern. The locks were in our favour and we soon made our way through them. Someone had left these nice little memento's tied to the lock gates, there are some nice people about...... At the next lock BW helped us through as they were working on the lock next door. The guy helping turned out to be the nice lock keeper who used to manage Foxton Locks, so we stopped for a chat. We got to the top and thought we would soak up some of the sunshine, we had also caught up with n.b Oakfield and n.b Piston Broke, so we moored up just in front of them. We had our lunch out on our new cratch seats and were met by the girls Ann and Lynne walking the dogs. We just chilled in the afternoon in the quiet of the countryside and the sun beaming through the portholes till the sun went down.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Plan B

Plan A was to go up and turn today and then get water and then do a manual pump out at Brownsover..Ummmm wrong!!!! All was going so well, turned OK (even in strong winds) got water, (even though it was flooded round the water point) and got in OK at the elsan at Brownsover. Then the pipe broke which fits on the stern of Derwent6 to drain into our container. Hmm .. We tried super glue and managed to get one container out before we had to stop.With Clifton Cruisers closed on Sunday (which we thought would be one of their busiest days) we decided to stay put and try and get a replacement one in Wickes ( it's got our name on it). Well not in this case as they didn't have one... So Plan B is to stay here till Monday and go along to Clifton in the hope we can get a pumpout there and pick up the new part we require at Hillmorton. It was a good job really as the wind had got up even more and it would have made the locks tricky.
We moored up on the other side of the canal again as we get a good TV signal here. Al was pleased as she wanted to see Dancing on Ice and Desperate Housewives in the evening!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cushions collected

We had the threat of rain again with black clouds looming up on us, so we got up early as Al wanted a walk round the shops and Del walked to his secret stash of pallets for Kindling nearby, and quickly broke them up before it rained. We had a call yesterday saying our cushions were ready so we got the bus into Rugby and collected them. Chris (the guy who made them) kindly gave us a lift back to Derwent6 in his van, so we didn't have far to walk with them. We are so pleased with the outcome, and he did some other cushions as well for us. The weather was iffy all afternoon, and we wanted to move on, but the wind just got worse so we sat tight. Del wanted to get a new Antifreeze tester and they have a good little one in Halfords for just £1.99. So we listened to the radio in the late afternoon and chilled with a film in the evening.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wet lazy day

It was a horrible yucky morning so it was hard to get out of bed. We got a phone call saying our cushions were ready from Chris at Manor Upholstery, at least this got us out of bed. The weather just wasn't good enough for us to go and pick them up and we ended up agreeing we would pick them up tomorrow. We couldn't get them in the morning anyway as Gosty was expected at midday, and he arrived bang on schedule, bringing heavy rain with him.....we got soaked!!!. We bought five bags of coal, something we had never done before as we try to use wood when we can. I guess we have just got a bit lazy!! That's why we had one of those lazy days, reading and gaming... Good fun really!.........and we do need the rain!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lunch out and a heavy shop

The ice has all gone now, but we still have some things we wanted to do here so we stayed put for the day. We spotted some wood over the other side of the canal so Del walked over with the barrow and picked some of it up. We are down to our last few bags of coal and diesel is running a bit low, but rumour has it Gosty the coal boat should be through tomorrow (what we gonna do without them?)
We like going to the all you can eat buffet at Pizza Hut where we fill ourselves right up. We do this before we go food shopping so you don't buy more than you need! Del needed some new blades for the wood saw and from there we both went down to Tesco's and picked up the heavy items Al can't carry back on her own, like all the tinned stuff, bottles, and cans. Back on Derwent6 we got rid of our rubbish picking up everyone else's on the way (so that's our good deed for the day....)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Need for food and the big screen

We still had ice but it seemed a lot warmer this morning, so maybe later we might get the chance to move. We had run the fridge down for the weekend events so we needed food, or it was back to beans on toast. We were then passed by bloggers n.b Piston Broke and n.b. Oakfield. This cleared the way for us but we were warned it was still bad in places. By the time we left the ice was very thin and just under the surface, we just took it really steady. We got up to the Tesco's moorings and used the spot that Paul & Lynn and Keith & Ann had just vacated. After setting up the telly Al walked to the store and picked up some essentials. The big heavy stuff, we will both pick up tomorrow. We had a lovely lunch and then decided to go to the cinema. We both wanted to see Spielberg's "WarHorse". The screen was packed, the busiest we had seen it for a long time. We thought it was very well made and very moving in places. Al cried all the way through it, Del said Rolf Harris's "Two Little Boys" comes to mind...........

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A 60th Wedding Anniversay weekend celebration

You guessed it !! It's been another busy Del & Al weekend.. We started off on the Wednesday by going to see David on his twentieth birthday and we had a nice Indian meal. We then made our way back to Al's mum and dad's on the Thursday, as it was their 60th Wedding Anniversary. They were the first to show us the card they got from the Queen. We had a Chinese lunch and played games with all the family together. Friday we had to sort out bits and pieces for Saturday, like balloons, cards and table plans. Saturday we took Pam and Alf to a hotel in Tenterden where we had a 60th Wedding Anniversary celebration. Joining us was Pam's bridesmaid and also their nephew, the son of the best man, together with seventeen friends and family. It started with a lovely afternoon tea followed by a meal in the evening with us all staying overnight. We had breakfast on the Sunday morning and said our goodbyes to everyone. We then took Pam and Alf to Hastings (an old haunt of theirs) where they watched the sea and walked through the old town reminiscing. On Monday we sadly had a funeral in the local church, of a close neighbour of theirs, Vera, and afterwards we were at the village pub for the wake. With the news of their 60th anniversary in the paper and on the bill board outside the village store they become sort of celebrities. Just what Vera would have wanted!! This was quite a draining weekend and we were pleased to get back to Derwent6 on the Tuesday. It had been so cold while we were away and Derwent6 really took some warming up; in fact it took four hours. The fridge gauge was showing the coldest it had been for a long time and the cupboards had condensation in them and had to be left open for a while. We were also iced in, so we couldn't go anywhere anyway.We did manage to collect our licence for this year so we are legal again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Locking to the Upholsterers

We were up early to say our goodbyes to the other bloggers here at Hillmorton as we were all going our separate ways. We followed n.b Oakfield through the first of the three single locks and were surprised that there were two other boats queuing behind us. We were even more surprised when we saw two hire boats trying to get into the single lock in between us and n.b. Oakfield. This would have taken all the water out of the middle pound between the locks. Al managed to persuade the hire company to let us through, after the first of their boats had gone through. Phew!
We passed n.b Oakfield at the water point and we took a steady pace up to Clifton where we spotted a nice mooring and decided to moor up for the day. We had done all of three miles!!!
We had a nice ploughman's lunch and chilled for a hour as n.b Oakfield passed us again, still finding time to repair the shower fixing, where a screw had rusted through.
We had been given a tip that there was a good upholsterers nearby so we decided to give them a ring to see if they could do our cratch cushion covers. They had been cracking and falling to bits since we had a water leak problem from new in the cratch from the roof. Our boat builders fitted a wooden rail to stop the water coming in but it had already soaked the covers which eventually got into the foam and damaged them. We use this area all the time and just wanted new covers so we could sit out there again without getting a damp bum. Chris, the guy from Manor Upholstery said he could fit them in for us if we could get them down to him today. We had to walk about a mile and a half with them, but we managed to find and get them there. He works in a garage in his garden and has a nice little business going. He was really helpful and said he will get them done as quickly as possible, good news!!!
After our walk back it was nice to just relax in the evening still aching from carrying those cushion covers a mile and a half.