Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Countryside fix

It was bright sunshine this morning with a touch of frost, yes frost, we don't know what that is either. Del wanted to get to A J Canopies to see if they had something to clean the cratch cover with, and when we walked in we could see some universal cleaner on their shelf'.. It cleans and also protects the fabric and waterproofs it. All you need to do is scrub it on and "you can do this as hard as you like" the lady said.. It gets all the green mould out, doesn't damage the stitching, and stops any water leaks you have, the more you do it the better it comes up, oh and it lasts ages.. All sounds too good to be true doesn't it, so watch this space..
Del walked back to Derwent6 and Al walked up to post a letter before we left.. As we pulled out it seemed deserted, but we needed a countryside fix.
We took a nice steady cruise as we were also doing our washing as well.
Derwent6 is getting to know this stretch of canal really well and can nearly do it on her own but once the washing was done we stopped..
 Once we were moored we got out the washing line and Del was chopping the wood up.

It soon started to get cold as the sun went down so we snuggled back inside Derwent6 and played games all afternoon.....and remembering to watch the canal programme on the telly this evening..

Weekend Static

Over the weekend we decided to stay put.. It has been so quiet here at Braunston with moorings all around. On Saturday Del got the papers and we sat reading till midday. Then we made the mistake of walking up to the Plough pub to watch Arsenal on BT Sport.. well although they were advertising it, their system wasn't working, so we had to walk up to The Wheatsheaf and by the time we got there they were 3-0 down.. When they went 4-0 down we walked home with the hope of picking up some Fish and Chips on the way, and you guessed it the chippy closed at 1.30pm so at least we were going to be a bit slimmer. 
We drowned our sorrows with a bottle of wine back on Derwent6 and Al cooked a lovely Lasagna and we ended up having an early night..
Sunday was one of those chill out days, as the traffic went passed too fast as usual, but I suppose we will have to get used to it now.. We resisted the pubs Sunday Roast 2 for 1 as Al had cooked a lovely bit of Pork on Derwent6 and as you can image that finished us off for the day.. Del spent pretty much most of the evening watching the Great Escape programmes on the telly........

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Free Beer and Peppered

We were woken up by the early boats going past us here at Braunston, so we lit the fire and had some breakfast. We had just finished when there was a tap on the boat by Angie and Dave from n.b. Lady Ester. They are having their boat painted at the moment and it was good to see them.. This got us going and we decided to go for a walk. We first made our way down to A J Canopies but found they were closed. We are looking for something to seal and clean the cratch cover as everything we try doesn't seem to work.. So we then walked up to the shop as we had a few things to post. We then had a walk up to the Wheatsheaf pub to see what was going on and then walked back along past the church back towards Derwent6.. It was nice to stretch our legs a bit, but you could feel a nip in the wind and it was getting colder again.. We then decided to stop off at the Boathouse pub and have our free beer courtesy of Sue on n.b. No Problem who had printed off a couple of vouchers for us, thanks Sue.. We also had some nibbles to go with it in the sunshine overlooking Derwent6. We went back home at 3.00pm and chilled for a couple of hours before getting ready to go out again..
At 7.45pm we went out up to The Old Plough Inn to see Dave Pepper, who was a session guitarist (who is a liveaboard boater) who is now a singer/songwriter.
He has played with the Kinks and other bands all round the world including Canada and Nashville,  and has even written a song about Braunston Tunnel. He has also written a Christmas song for Status Quo which could be out at the end of the year.. We had a great night dancing and singing the night away with some boating friends.

 We got back to Derwent6 at 1.00am, just!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tasks in the Wind

We woke up early and made plans to move today. Al wanted to pic up some bits in Next and also a few things in Tesco's (the heavy stuff) so we moved up to Brownsover and turned and topped up with water.
Del helped Al carry the beer and wine back to Derwent6 and then we set off again..
It was very windy and it had got worse as we pushed off so we took it steady up to Hillmorton Locks.
Things were going fine till Al whacked her arm with the windlass when the catch never went down fully, so a nice bruise there..
We got to the top and the wind got more difficult but Derwent6 was so heavy with a full tank of water and a full tank of diesel, together with our waste tank that needed emptying so it wouldn't move us too much.  The forecast wasn't so good and heavy rain was forecast for late afternoon so we pushed on back to Braunston..
When we arrived there wasn't many moorings so we decided to go through and empty the waste tank.
With some careful maneuvering Del managed to reverse Derwent6 onto the pumpout station. We had a good flush out and then got going to find a mooring.. We managed to get a spot right outside The Boathouse and it was tricky holding Derwent6 in the wind as we tied up, especially with Al's arm.
Del was happy as we got telly for the football...  We had just finished our warm up cup of tea and the rain started.. Good timing!  So we are very content at the moment...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

31 years good

It's our 31st Wedding Anniversary today Yep 31 years ago today we were looking at our future and hoping to be successful.. Who would have thought then that we would be living on a narrowboat  somewhere..
Here is the paper cutting in the Sevenoaks Chronicle of our special day

Well we had a lovely day.. We opened our cards in the morning and then got the 11.40am bus into Rugby for 70p each. Our first stop was a new Dongle and we have decided to change from Vodafone to 3, because we could get more data, on a better dongle, and the signals seem stronger.. Time will tell to see if it was the right decision.  Happy with ourselves we then went had had something to eat on our Taste Card. We went to Prezzo's where we got a two for one deal, and we got to say our meal and service was fantastic.
We then popped into Asda and picked up a few DVDs we had wanted and planned a nice night cuddled up on the sofa watching one of them..  For the rest of the afternoon we went to The Merchant Inn pub in Rugby where we had a few beers and reminisced the last thirty one years. We got the 5.30pm bus back to Derwent6, excited about trying out our new dongle. We now get 3G premium which will run at 42 megabytes, only a bit slower than 4G  which runs a 50 megabytes.. They must have turned us up at the minute because our speeds were just fantastic and we used half a gig in a few hours.. Later in the evening we watched one of our films, all very romantic..

Monday, March 17, 2014

Country 2 Country

After a day of rest on Saturday and watching the Rugby and Grand Prix qualifying we set about our big day for Sunday..
We left Derwent6 at 8.30am and headed to the train station.. here we got the fast train down to London and then got the tube over to the O2 Millennium Dome where the Country 2 Country festival was going on..

We had got tickets for our Anniversary which is coming up on Wednesday and there was one guy performing that we had always promised to go and see if he came over.. We were starving so we first found a nice cafe where we could have a whole hearty breakfast which would do us for the rest of the day..

Afterwards we then had to do some planning as there were a few country music acts performing around the outside of the O2 Arena..
The music started at 12.00pm and we first went to see a band called Hometown Show and they kicked us off to a good start with some old hillbilly stuff. From there we walked over and saw a guy Stevie Agnew who sang with a girl and they were brilliant and we could have watched them all afternoon, but we had so much to see.
We then walked round to another stage and saw Tom Wright with some great guitar work.
We then saw a guy who had sounded good on iTunes.. His name was Alan West and  he wrote stuff with an old looking boater guy called Steve Black....well these songs just sounded fantastic live and a great acoustic sound.. 
It was then back to the Brooklin Bowl stage and another group were on called Raintown. 
We just had time to grab a beer and get a good spot before they came on. This was a couple who were engaged to be married and she had a brilliant voice. It was starting to get packed at this stage. When they had finished, we went round all the stalls and merchandise before heading into the main arena.

We had only been seated for ten minutes when Bob Harris from Radio 2 came on to introduce Chris Young, one of our few big Country singers in the states..
He has a fantastic Country voice and got the crowd going.. We then had two bands, (who we've got to say we were a bit disappointed with), one was The Band Perry who were very rocky but the girl singer seemed to be shouting over the band. They were a family group and full of energy but it just didn't suit this type of venue. We then had Rascal Flats who were well known in the crowd and had a good following, but the lead singer had a really high pitched voice and it wasn't our cup of tea. They also had a hour and a half set and came off after 55 minutes...... hmmmm
Still we had the main man to look forward to...
Brad Paisley is a singer we have been following since we went over to the USA in the 80's and we love his voice..
Del's Dad also loved him and one of his favourite tracks was "Who needs Pictures" which was played at his funeral. Del wore his old Bootlace he used to wear at all the Country functions he used to go to and it felt we had a little piece of him there, he would have loved to see Brad perform.
He was just brilliant and even though our expectations were high he exceeded them.. Not only can he sing but boy can he play the guitar...Wow!  He didn't play Who needs Pictures, but did play our favourite, "Mud on the Tyres" He played for two hours non stop and it was a great show..
We hit the crowds as we left and found a short cut to the tube and managed to get back to Euston just in time to grab something to eat and get on the last train. We didn't want to pay the food prices inside the arena at the O2, with £5.00 a pint and £4.00 for a bottle of diet coke, and also £12.00 for a burger and chips and £7.00 for a hotdog........they are having a laugh!
We arrived back on Derwent6 at 1.15am and just flopped into bad with our ears still humming!!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chicken Soup

The plan was to leave early this morning but on surfacing the canal was covered in a blanket of thick fog.. Pea Soup!  
We left it for an hour and then thought we would try to get to the locks in the hope that when we were going down the locks the sun would have burnt through and vision would be back to full capacity. So we left with about 10 metres of visibility and it was a bit dodgy getting through the bridges, when you can't see them..
Still we made it to the locks.
We thought they might say it was too dangerous to go down but they said they would all help us.. 
We soon got to the bottom and was on our way, but the fog still hadn't cleared but was a little better than at the top. We took the turn at Norton Junction and at last we could see sunshine.
Here we noticed Jacquie on n.b Ducks 2 Water and stopped for a nice chat and a catch up to make sure she was alright. It was lovely to see Jacquie.
We then made our way to Braunston via the tunnel. It had been so quiet so far as no other idiot would travel in the thick fog like we did.. The tunnel was the same and we didn't meet anyone.
On the other side we spotted some wood so we loaded a bit more on the roof, well it is free..

The locks were in our favour till we got half way down then we had to fill the last three.. In the last one we left Derwent6 in the lock while we went to the Chandlers.
Here we picked up our new glass for the wood burner which cracked the other day, a job for tomorrow.. We idled our way through Braunston and then back out into the countryside, heading back to Rugby..
The sun was out and we had clear blue skies with the new born lambs in the fields.
Still very quiet for a Friday we got to Hillmorton where we met up with Keith and Ann on n.b. Oakfield. Keith very kindly offered to help us down the locks even though he had just poured out a  cup of coffee.
So with mug in hand he was on the lock gates.
So it was another speedy decent and we were on our way again, blimey this was turning into a long day and we had just about had enough.. We found a nice spot which Derwent6 just fitted into.. It had been a lovely cruise!!
Al had a roast chicken cooking while we were cruising and it was just about done by the time we moored, and the smell made us so hungry.   We were soon stuffing our faces in front of the telly, and with full tummies after the long day it finished us off. When the sun is out you just can't beat this life!!!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fog on the Line

We wanted to leave early this morning but when we looked out of the porthole it was thick fog here at the end of the Welford Arm.. So it was a case of waiting!!
We sorted out some things while we waited like rubbish, and a quick tidy up.. Del pulled out of the Wharf at 8.45am and it was still very foggy.. When we got to the lock we could only see about 15 metres..... tricky, but we were very careful.
 It was quite eerie as we went up the arm and then made the turn on to the good old Leicester Line..
It makes it so different when the weather changes and in a funny way more exciting..  The sun was trying to push its way through the fog, but really seemed to struggle. It made it quite damp and cold in places as we worked our way through the twists and turns of the contours of the countryside.
At midday you could feel the sun warming the roof up and it made it very hazy. We passed Yelvertoft and we passed three boats all of a sudden as the sun came out.
As we got to Crick the sun was out in full glory, and you've got it we then had a tunnel..
Crick tunnel is so wet a the moment, so it was wet weather gear on and go for it.. We passed another boat right in the middle, but with no problems. Al then moored up Derwent6 in our favourite spot with the sound of the lambs.
Del then unloaded the wood and started chopping it up and soon had the locker filled while Al read her book in the cratch in the sunshine.
Del then went on the hunt for more wood he had spotted nearby on the way up. We soon had the roof loaded up. Al then made some fajitas which we had with a bit of telly, then Bob Harris Country on Radio Two, followed by the football.........lovely