Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You!

A big thank you to all the people who have phoned, text and commented on here about Del. It means a lot that you have all been thinking of us.Things are on the mend and we have been lucky enough to be making the most of the sunshine. What have we done today? Well nothing, just as it should be while Del recovers. No cleaning, no brasses and definitely no pulling on ropes. Derwent6 looks dusty at the moment, but what the heck. We just can't wait to cruise!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Operation Del

On Thursday 24th we said our goodbyes to Len and Viv on n.b. Mollie and then made our way down to Kent as Del had to have an operation to remove a lump which had appeared under his arm.
After various tests, scans and MRI's, he had decided to have it removed as it seemed to be getting bigger. We stayed the night at Al's Mum and Dads and the fasting began for Del at 8.00pm.
On Friday 25th we called the hospital at 7.00am to find out where Del was on the list to go in. It turned out that there were two bigger operations in front of him and we would get a call from them at around mid morning advising us when to come in. We got a call at 11.30am and we made our way to the hospital. After seeing the anesthetist and nurse for consent Del ended up going down to theatre at 3.00pm. The operation lasted fifty minutes and he came out of recovery at 4.30pm.... Al was waiting for him. After feeling sick to start with things improved after an anti sickness jab and Del was starting to drink well. He had a sandwich at 7.00pm and really felt a lot better by 8.00pm. He was finally released at 9.00pm by the doctor, and will now have to wait a week for the results of the lump.
On the drive home Del fancied pie and chips so we took some back for Pam and Alf  at 10.00pm and we scoffed the lot.
On Saturday 26th, Del had had a good night and found out that he had a patch on his leg of shaved hair! Al had not such a good night, worried about Del, but in the morning things seemed fine.
After some breakfast we made the decision to get back to Derwent6, as it would be a great place for Del to get some quality rest. We arrived back at 4.00pm after a bump free journey. It was lovely to be back home in the sunshine watching the boats going past, and some getting into trouble.
Del still feels a bit groggy and is still in a lot of pain but we are in the best place, home....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Having too much Fun

Another beautiful day and we were out in the cratch for breakfast, a real good fry up this time, as we waved good bye to Doug and James on n.b. Chance.
This set us up for the day and we started pottering on Derwent6. Del did the other Houdini hatch while Al gave Derwent6 another spring clean, using the new Dyson of course. While we were out we we met by Len and Viv on n.b. Mollie, who we met last at Stoke Bruerne on a time share boat n.b Valkyrie, but they now have their own boat at last.
It was nice for them to say we had influenced them into doing it. In the early evening, we got out the beers and wine and sat down for a chat. Well after talking holidays and music and our life story's we ended up playing and singing some songs on the towpath, as the drink kept flowing.
They left us at about 11.30pm as we were all starting to fall asleep. It was a good fun night!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A sleep all day, by all

Wow, we woke up to glorious sunshine this morning and the temperatures were soaring. We did take the covers off the Houdini hatches for the first time this year and then found out how much the brass work needed doing on them. So you all know what Del's job was first thing in the morning. It had to be done early as it was getting hotter by the minute. It took Del about two hours to bring them back up but it made a difference.

By lunchtime it was so hot you just didn't want to do anything and boats were mooring up around us. In fact we had eleven boats moored either side of us. They were all sitting out on the towpath with their glasses of wine while we put our wash out on the line. Sorry to spoil the view but we have to get it washed and dried when we have the opportunity. Luckily nobody minded.....
We chilled out in the afternoon with everyone else around us doing the same.....

As we were just having another beer Doug from n.b Chance came along, they had moored a little way behind us. After a long chat we were invited to go along for beer, wine and nibbles. Al had cooked some chicken wings for dips and also we took some Lemon Drizzle cake, and of course wine and beer. It was going to be a long night again as Doug and James are just fantastic hosts and we always have a good laugh.
Worn out by the sun we ended up leaving early for us, if you call 1.15am early. We tottered back in the dark, quietly trying to go past the ten boats between us with no torch and half pissed carrying chairs and dishes, difficult!!!!  but we made it.......

Meeting the Coal Boat

After a Sunday of shall we move or shan't we, it was decided we wouldn't. The plan was that we were going to turn here at Rugby and get water then move down to the elsan and do a manual pump out, but it had been so busy that the spaces were taken as quick as they were available. Al put all her cards up from the weekend and our new mugs from Zoe & Greg were in action.
On Monday it appeared a bit quieter so we bit the bullet and got water, and as we looked at the slot for pumping out someone moved into it.
Oh well plan B, we moved down to Clifton Cruisers and pulled in for our pumpout. It was a good job we did as we found out we had a blockage in the pipe and the manual pump was tripping so we couldn't have done it anyway. After a big blow back it cleared itself and yes Del was wiping down the sides of Derwent6. Nice!! That's Boating!!

We then made our way down to Hillmorton Locks and was surprised at how busy it was, we had to wait for a BW boat to be pulled through in front of us as they were bricking the top lock.
We wanted to get to Onley before twelve as we were hoping to meet up with Jules on n.b. Towcester as we needed diesel and wouldn't pay Clifton Cruisers prices.
We just about made it as we had just sat down with a cup of tea when they came round the corner. We topped up and also got a gas bottle as that had run out yesterday. So we were all set with topped up tanks and an empty waste tank. Even better was that the sun was trying to peak out.... a good excuse for a beer in the cratch....and nothing gets done after that!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

That Suck's

We got up early as we decided to move along to Rugby and pick up some shopping. As we went past Clifton Cruisers we saw the notice that it was for sale.
It is such a shame to see that these boatyards are struggling so much. As we pulled into Rugby we noticed a spot just in front of Gary and Beryl on n.b.The Answer.
We moored up and walked over for a chat. Gary was having his breakfast and as Del shook his hand he dropped his silver spoon into the cut. We had a go at finding it but it was lost in the mud forever! We did some shopping and picked up our new Dyson vacuum cleaner. We had a cleaner on board but it never had enough suction and with the dust you get on a narrowboat you need suction. Al managed to buy it with our Tesco club card points, which were double value on electrical goods, so it ended up costing us just £9.99. We are so pleased with it and what dirt it pulled from the carpet, and it's so small it fits on an A4 piece of paper......made to measure for our cupboard.
We said our goodbyes to Gary and Beryl and then moved back onto their spot, as we were close to the bend. It is really busy here and there are no spots left this evening. Del then went on the hunt for some more wood and found some not too far away. We had so many plans for today like top up with water and do a manual pumpout but didn't do any of it. Oh well that's boating!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Birthday Girl

Wednesday 16th we travelled down to Kent as Del had a doctors appointment. We stayed the night at Al's Mum and Dads, Pam and Alf's. On Thursday 17th it was Al's Birthday (29 today and 20 years practice) so it was nice for her Mum and Dad to wake up with her. Al opened all her cards and presents and then we met up with family and friends at lunchtime for a carvery at the Toby near Sevenoaks.
There turned out to be twelve of us and Al was greeted with more cards and presents. She had a lovely Bon Jovi cake made for her by Cliff and Lou with 29 candles on it (but only six would fit on).

At 3.00pm we were kindly taken to the station by Zoe and Greg and we spent the afternoon in London.
We were just in time for happy hour at the pubs and the atmosphere was just fantastic with all the union jacks flying about for the Jubilee and the Olympics.
We ended up having nibbles in a cocktail bar and just about made the last train home back to Derwent6.  Thanks guys for making it such a special day...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dark Shadows chasing us

It had been raining again overnight but the weather had improved when we got up. We had planned to meet Pat and Keith for a coffee on Derwent6, before they headed off  towards Braunston. They came round at 10.00am and we chatted for a hour before they set off.
We have had to light the fire again over the last few days, as it has got cold again. We then decided to walk to Rugby and go to the cinema as Al wanted to see Johnny Depp in " Dark Shadows"
We managed to walk in between showers and got in on Cheap Tuesday. Al loved the film, Del thought it was pants.. which shows it must be a girly film...
We walked back with a Dark Shadow cloud chasing us and we just made it back to Derwent6 before the skies opened.....

Meeting up with n.b. Thema

We did right moving yesterday as the weather was not as good today. We woke up to rain and it was windy as well. We had a bit of a lay in before getting up for breakfast. By this time it had turned to showers but you still couldn't get outside. We were then surprised to see n.b.Thema come round the corner with Del's Mum (Pat) and Keith wrapped up on the stern.
After a long chat on the towpath we arranged to meet up in the evening for a meal over the local pub. In the afternoon we chilled out in the cratch as the weather started to improve watching the boats going past. It has been quite busy here. We then got ready to go out and walked up to the pub with Pat and Keith.  We had a really lovely meal at a reasonable price and it was good company, what more can you ask for.
We got back in daylight which was 9.45pm just in time to catch up on the news before we crashed out..

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Moving for water

As you may have gathered we are taking a bit of a break from the blog as we haven't been moving as much as we normally do as we always seem to have appointments at the moment. I suppose you could say we have been feeling a bit like this.
But we had to move this morning, we needed water and also a change of scenery. We set off early today as we wanted to miss the traffic and we wanted to see the Grand Prix at lunchtime.
It was busy here yesterday and we thought we might be queuing at the locks so it was a 7.30am start. We had only got going for half an hour before we spotted some wood, so we loaded up the roof with a few bits. It was such a nice day it was right to be cruising, the wind had dropped and the sun was strong.
We crept up to the locks and saw the lock keeper walking up to us,."Where is everyone" he said, "behind us" we answered.
We got through very easily and managed to get on the water point at the bottom. There was someone else on there, so it made it very slow filling, in fact we was on there for well over a hour. It was a opportunity to have some breakfast and get rid of the rubbish and things.
By this time it was getting close to lunchtime so we moored up a bit further along and quickly set up the satellite. As we sat down the race started. It was clouding up and the wind had picked up a bit but it was still warm. After the race we caught up on a few things, as we have a better Internet signal here. Del also wanted to clean the chimney, but he managed to tread on the rain hat for the chimney, so it looks a bit bent now. After a nice dinner we chilled in front of the telly recharging the batteries, and hopefully just like these fellows, we have a new lease of life.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trip of a Lifetime

Well as you may have guessed we have been away again... We took Derwent6 to a marina and travelled down to Kent where Del and his mate Steve had arranged at trip to Germany for another mate, Bernie's, 50th Birthday, and Al had arranged some things with the girls while the boys were away.Del met the boys at Stansted on Thursday 3rd May in the afternoon and landed in Leipzig Germany at 9.30pm.
After hiring a car they then drove to Colditz town and arrived at the hotel at 10.30pm. They were greeted with beers and ended up staying up till 1.00am.
On Friday 4th May they couldn't wait to walk to Oflag IVC which is Colditz the famous POW camp from the Second World War. Since we were boys, and the Colditz series was on TV, we have all been fans. Our dads were never happy with us as we used to dig tunnels in the back garden! This was like a dream come true.
The castle has now been painted white, as you can imagine in Germany it is not a symbol they want to remember, but it has been there since the 10th century. It was these colours then, so they are trying to restore it to it's former glory. I don't think we have to worry as it was already flaking and will soon look like it's former self. It looked fantastic!!!! We walked to the courtyard where the prisoners had their role calls (Appels). It felt strange being there, and still had the eeriness of those war camp days.

We were then lucky enough to go and see the Colditz Glider which is up in the attic.This was a replica which was successfully flown from the castle in March to prove it would have flown in 1945. You will all be able to see a programme on Channel 4 in June and as we get more details we will pass them on.
We were blown away with seeing this as you all know we are very interested in model gliders.
We had the rest of the day walking round the town and there is still loads to see. Town jail, the Home Towers, Colditz Station, the Market Square, and the graves of  British POW's. You can also see the Blacksmith's where Douglas Bader (the spitfire pilot) had his tin leg's repaired while in Colditz.
We couldn't believe our luck as over the weekend there was also a festival going on in the town and live music was being played with beer tents along side..perfect!!!
On Saturday 5th May we had an extended tour of the castle booked which went into detail of the escape methods and escape routes at Colditz. You get to see the Chapel and Canteen tunnels, Airey Neave and Pat Reid's escape routes, the theatre, and prisoners quarters and exercise park.
There is a good museum there showing escape equipment and how they made it. In the afternoon we went on to another museum not too far away with loads more escape equipment and photos of the war time antics. It was then back to the town for more music and more beers and later we had a big thunderstorm over the castle, spooky! As the rain had stopped play we ended up playing the Colditz game, ("Escape from Colditz") in Colditz, how cool was that....
On Sunday 6th May it was up early as we had a long drive into Poland. We were going to Stalag Luft III (the Great Escape Camp) and the first surprise as you get to Poland was how rough the roads were.
It is difficult to find but we managed to find it. They have a very good museum there where you can go down a replica section of Harry, the famous tunnel where 120 prisoners tried to escape.
50 prisoners were caught in the tunnel and shot on the orders of Hitler. The tunnel is a memorial to those prisoners. You can also see the locations of tunnels Tom and Dick which were decoy tunnels for Harry. It turned out to be a full day..
On Monday 7th May we said our goodbyes to the Hotel manager who was very helpful and could speak English very well; he also had fantastic knowledge of Colditz and comes recommended.
We then drove back to Leipzig where we visited the City's shops and museum and finished the trip off at a good old curry house. Wow, what a trip......
On Tuesday 8th May we both then made our way over to Reading where we met up with friends Joy and Steve.
In the evening we went into town and to a concert to see a Pink Floyd tribute band called Brit Floyd..It turned out to be a brilliant light and stage show with the band. It was fantastic and we can recommend them.
In the morning we had a full English breakfast before we made our way back to Derwent6. It didn't take long to warm up Derwent6 and snuggle up in front of the telly to watch the football..