Monday, December 24, 2012

It's been a great four years


Happy Christmas to all our followers, family and friends, and lets hope it's a Fantastic 2013 for everyone!!!!! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bite the Bullet

We watched the weather on telly last night and they forecast rain all day to day but when we woke up it was very dank but not raining. The thing was when was it going to rain. Well we took most of the morning deciding whether to go or not. At 11.00am we bit the bullet and went for it.
 After about forty minutes it started to spit rain but not enough for us to stop.
We managed to make Braunston when the heavens started to open, and we pulled over just in time to keep dry.
 As it turned out we had a brilliant internet signal so we played our pc games for the rest of the day. The weather doesn't look too good tomorrow either so we could be here for a while....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's all so quiet, shhhh, shhhh

With the weather prospects looking good we thought we would move today. Al first of all had to change a top she bought yesterday and also we got rid of our rubbish. We had a quick chat and said our goodbyes to Jacquie and Stein on n.b Ducks 2 Water. We left at 10.00am and Al put the washing on. We got to Hillmorton Locks and again they were in our favour. The canals just seem so quiet this year and there appears to be no boat movement at all.
It felt like the locks were just as we left them two weeks ago. When we got to the top it was still very quiet and we never passed a boat. It 's lovely having the system all to yourself, the only people we saw were these workman on bridge 80 who nearly dropped this couping stone on our heads as we went through.
 We decided to moor up at Onley and this time we wasn't surprised to see no other boats here.
Del then unloaded all the wood we got yesterday and spent the next hour chopping it up.
He then cleaned the chimney and prepared us for the bad weather expected tomorrow. We still never saw another boat!!! It was getting dark by 4.00pm, with the shortest day looming up, which means they will be getting longer from the 22nd. It sure seemed a long day to us.  In the evening Al had cooked a lovely Gammon in coca cola on the stove and we sat and had it with mash and all the pickles, and red cabbage of course. It was then a good film for us with the box of Roses and wine. Yep! we slept like a log... 

Monday, December 17, 2012

No Water, No Wood, No Food

We have felt a bit under the weather over the weekend with bad coughs and colds, and the trouble is we both don't do ill......With the showery rain we just wrapped ourselves away with the fire, radio and telly to keep us company.
Today however we has no choice but to move, as the water pump was letting us know Derwent6 was low on water. We were also out of wood and were fully on coal for the first time this year. Al wanted some shopping as well. We set off at 8.30am and made our way up to Newbold tunnel.
 We had to dodge the shopping trolley's at Brownsover. Tesco have to do something about this..
We had had a tip off that there was some wood here and low and behold a tree was down.
After turning we pulled over and could fill our boots with wood. We wasn't too greedy and left plenty for other boaters.

From there is was back through the tunnel and we then filled with water.
The problem was the water pump was still making a funny noise and on inspection we found the pump to be leaking and drawing in air. We seem to be having lots of water problems this year. We then made our way to Brownsover at Rugby, where we stopped for a food top up and while Al was away Del got cracking on the water pump leak. After getting the water out from under the floor Del sussed it was leaking from the filter assembly attached to the pump. After a clean and a reseal things were back to normal (fingers crossed).
We both got finished just before it got dark. So after a busy day we fell on the sofa knackered..

Saturday, December 15, 2012

List of Jobs

After another cold night we woke up with a list of things to do. We still have a few presents to buy, some phone calls to make and need to finish sending out our cards. But most important of all was to get our boat licence off to CART as early payment means a saving of nearly ninety pounds, yep ninety pounds, all that tells you is that a lot of people don't pay it. Still it made us pay it early!!
We also managed to get the rest of the cards done, so we walked up the post office and caught the last post. We have both felt a bit under the weather recently with sore throats, aching and coughing, but our honey and lemons with a couple of paracetamol have been pulling us through. So we have been lying low for a few days.
We are getting low on wood but have a few bags of coal on the roof so it's coal over the weekend. The weather on friday was warmer but wet, and the ice was beginning to melt.
 So another chance to get those jobs done.
Well no, we didn't feel like it, so we did what Christmas is all about and sat on the sofa with a box of chocolates and a box of pringles and a good film.. Yep we felt sick at he end of it, but who cares.... The rain continued into the evening and it will be an early night for us to make sure we are well for Christmas...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Blogger's Christmas Dinner

On Tuesday morning we were frozen in again after a really cold night
Even this squirrel was gathering his nuts and berries and the moorhen's were picking at the frozen bread we had thrown out for them..

We had freezing fog all day and it was all Del could do in the cold temperatures, but chop up the wood we had left on the roof. A big thank you to everyone who has sent us cards, here are some of them up on Derwent6
Al started on the Christmas card list and we snuggled in all day round our special tree with memorabilia from around the world that we have collected over the years..
Late in the day a hire boat did break the ice for us but went into the trees trying to do so and scratched his face in the process...dangerous game this boating lark....
On Wednesday it was another cold night and the fire just about kept us warm through the night, though we still had ice on the inside of the windows in the bedroom. We were up early and had a nice shower to warm us up and with the fire opened up Derwent6 was soon toasty again. At 10.40pm we meet up with Keith and Ann on n.b. Oakfield and got the bus, first to Rugby and then onto Crick where we met Paul and Lynne off n.b. Piston Broke and John and Angela off n.b. Ellen for a Christmas dinner in The Red Lion pub. We had a really good laugh and a lovely Christmas dinner.
We all left at 3.00pm and got the bus back to Derwent6 just in time before it got dark. With full tummies and a few beers, mulled wines and a nice roaring fire, it was rude not to rest your eyes for a bit, dreaming like we used to of that one day when we will live on a narrowboat!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Copper Task

It was another cold night but the fire kept us warm. The canal wasn't frozen for a change, but we didn't think it was worth the risk of moving. Del had set himself a task today. He wanted to get the old calorifier stripped down to it's copper tank so we could take it to a scrap metal merchant close by. After breakfast he was on it, and it took about a hour to get it all off.
The tank was a lot lighter with all the insulation off, so Del walked with the tank on his back to the scrap merchants (which was about a mile away).
It turned out that they offered us twenty five pounds but Del stood his ground and said it was worth at least thirty, and in the end we got thirty pounds for it. They can't now hand over cash due to all the problems with stolen copper going on. You have to show a driving licence and you can only accept a cheque, and you are also given a receipt. So thirty pounds better off, Del walked back to Derwent6. We were now left with a load of foam which had come off the tank, four bags in fact.
Del then rode his bike up to Brownsover where the bins are, and got rid of it all. In the evening we just chilled out with telly and Christmas nibbles.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fawlty Towers and a Christmas Chinese

We woke up on Thursday morning surrounded by ice, but we had other things on our minds. We shut Derwent6 down and checked with friends in front of us, before we headed to the station. We got the train down to Kent where we first saw Pam and Alf (Al's mum and dad). We then made our way over to Bernie and Sarah's (good friends) before we had to get ready for the evening. Steve and Erica (more good friends) had arranged and paid for a surprise night out.
We had to follow them to an old haunt we used to go to as teenager's The Grasshopper at Westerham. We were taken for a meal and the food was served by Basil Fawlty, Sybil and Manuel.
As you can imaging it was just so funny with the hamster scene, the dead body, and trying to get the car to start with a stick...Oh and don't mention the war!!!! A big thank you Steve and Erica for a great night out!!

We stayed at Bernie and Sarah's for the night and got up quite early in the morning as Del had to go to the dentist. We then did some Christmas shopping and managed to get a lot done. We stayed with Bernie and Sarah again that night after a few drinks of course!! On Saturday morning we left them to do some more Christmas shopping and then popped back to Al's Mum and Dad's again.
In the afternoon we got the train back into London and then from Paddington down to Reading where we were picked up by friends, Steve and Joy. After a good catch up we then had to get ready for our annual Christmas dinner which Al has with some old time work mates. We went for a posh Chinese and had a great time, and it was nice to be able to walk back to Steve and Joy's where we stayed the night.
We left on Sunday morning after bacon sarnies and Al and Joy caught up on Strictly. We got the train back into London and then from Euston we got the Sunday slow train back to Rugby. We arrived back just before it got dark. We just had enough time to light the fire and get Derwent6 warmed up. In the evening we just got our breath back!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Crisp Cruising

Late last night a boat came past us and in the morning taking our tea to bed, we realised who it was. It was Mark on the coal boat n.b Calisto, who had moored in front of us. We also noticed it had snowed and there was ice on the canal, but it was turning into a beautiful day.
So, another early start was on the cards as we needed some diesel, gas and coal. Del had to get the gas bottle out and Mark was ready waiting for us. He got the coal and then reversed up and filled us with diesel. Believe me it's been an expensive week!
The good news was we never heard the water pump going in the night so hopefully we have no more leaks. We now have an old calorifier on board and we know a place at Rugby where we should be able to exchange it.
When Mark had cleared us, we set of to turn at Braunston. The ice on the cut had turned slushy and we managed to get on the elsan point where we did a manual pumpout, at least that saved us some money.
After turning we made our way back to Rugby, it was glorious cruising and we had the cut all to ourselves, but it was damn cold.

We soon got to Hillmorton Locks where we met our first boat which put all the locks in our favour.
At the bottom lock we got rid of the big box the calorifier came in and also our rubbish. We then stopped as it was just getting too cold to cruise any further.
Also Del wanted to chop up some more wood as we were running low and this cold weather is going to continue. When it got dark, it was nice to put our feet up by the warming fire and the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

We're Hot, Hot ,Hot.

With a load going on today we were up early. We run the engine at 8.00am as we wanted to charge the batteries in case we had any problems. Del then started on the calorifier, first draining it and then disconnecting the pipework.
After removing a few doors we were able to lift it out.
The first problem was that we had compression joints on the old tank and threaded connections on the new one. So it was a walk down to the chandlers to pick up some fittings. We also run out of PTFE tape. The new calorifier was then dropped into place after changing the immersion heater, and the jacket was then placed behind it and then we bolted it in. The next problem was that the old pipework didn't line up with the new calorifier so some pipe adjustments had to be made. The new pressure valve was then fitted and the pipework adjusted. We then filled it with water and had a small leak round the immersion heater seal ring. Hopefully a small tap round with a hammer and screwdriver has sorted it out.
After filling the engine coolant back up with an antifreeze mix, we then run the engine. Hey Ho, we had hot water again. We had a couple of drips, but a tweak with a spanner and they seemed to stop. It was then on to the central heating. First we got the pressure back in the system and then bled the radiators and calorifier. As the water was hot we will test this in the morning. It was just getting dark as Del then put the cupboards back and put his tools away. The first thing we did was to have a nice shower. Del was rewarded with a lovely dinner followed by watching the football in the evening. Shame Arsenal lost, it could have been a perfect day.....

Happy Birthday Derwent6

After another night and morning with no hot water we were grateful of warmer temperatures. The problem was it brought rain with it. We knew we had to move today but we didn't want to get soaked in the process. We ended up getting away at 10.45am with blue skies on the horizon. We turned and then got to the water point when out of the blue the heavens opened again. Cup of tea time we thought!!!
When the blues skies had reached us again, we set off and this time it seemed we had picked the right window to move. We passed bloggers Keith and Ann on n.b Oakfield and then got to the bottom of Hillmorton Locks.

They were all in our favour so we soon got through them, and all the work they were doing on them has now been completed. It was so quiet as nobody seemed to be moving except us. With a full tank of water Al made the most of the cruise by doing two loads of washing and getting it dry. We then passed another blogging boat, n.b. Valerie and we stopped in the middle of the canal and had a chat for twenty minutes with Les and Jaq, who had just set off. We caught up a bit on what they had been up to and hopefully we will see them again before Christmas.
We still had a lot to do so we hit 1400 rpm as we approached Braunston.
It was empty as we arrived so we took the first mooring spot we could get.
Del then set about looking at the calorifier again as he wanted to confirm it was leaking from the same area and not from a joint or something else. The split he repaired had gone round a lot further so all the top of the tank appeared weak. Fit new was the only way forward. It was 3.30pm, so we walked round to Midland Chandlers where we had a tank reserved.
Fernwood, our boat builder, had been very good to us by letting us use their account and also their trade discount. We paid cash and got a great price for the tank and a new pressure valve. We were well happy!!
Today is Derwent6's Birthday, yep it is four years today that we have been living on the water and for a present, Derwent6 was getting a new calorifier, hopefully!!
When we got back it was getting dark and a lot colder, so it will be fitted tomorrow. We relaxed in the evening as it had felt like a long day..
 Thanks Derwent6 for a great four years!!!