Friday, March 31, 2017

Bridge 66A at Clifton

We moved from where we were to Clifton, one of our favourite moorings, but not for long apparently!
In planning here is over 6000 houses, a financial district and a school, the only good thing for boaters is that there will be some shops and restaurants going in.
We wake up to the birds tweeting the dawn chorus and the cows and sheep in the field opposite, but not any more. There will be a link road from Butlers Leap traffic lights linking up with the lane at the top of the locks at Hillmorton.. 
The new bridge crossing the canal will be Bridge 66A and will go diagonal.
Its nice that they are making good use of the canal, but to take away the beautiful scenery seems very sad..
You can see a full report on the bridge on this link!,%2062%20and%2069(pt)/R11-0699%20Dis%20of%20Conds%2056pt,%2062%20and%2069pt%20-%20Canal%20Bridge%20Design%20Proposal%20February%202017.pdf

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Back to meeting our boating friends again

As we guessed, Tooty stayed in all night, don't think he fancied another bath. It was a beautiful morning but we were glad to have the fire ticking over in the corner as there was a frost outside.. As the sun dries one side of the boat and warms up, there are loud CRACKING! sounds as the metal copes with the hot and cold..
We had plans to do loads, but this is canal time and basically its done when its done! Del managed to stick a few slide bolts to the washing machine cupboard doors and cut up some more wood on the roof to keep it clear. We now have a full locker of seasoned wood for those cold miserable summer nights.
We were just about to have lunch when an old friend (well his older that us, just) turned up and decided to moor for a chat behind us.. Maffi is a legend on the cut, who has been blogging for years, and knows how to put his foot down if somethings not right for the live aboard boater. We love him!
He has been travelling the system this year and will be travelling to a place near you soon..
We said our goodbyes to Maffi and Molly, never even had a cup of tea, don't know how that happened!! Too busy chatting and putting the world to right!
We were getting cold so stocked up the fire to watch the qualifying of the Grand Prix..

Second time unlucky!

Well we had a bit of a disturbed night in Braunston.. We let Tooty the cat out late and then went to bed. He's usually only out for a couple of hours, but at 4.00am Al got up and was a bit worried about him. After a quick call, he came in the cratch, SOAKED! Yep he had been in for the second time. After a towelling down he looked a bit sorry for himself and plonked himself in front of the fire licking his wounds and drying out..
We never heard a splash or heard him meow, like he normally does.
In the morning he hadn't moved, but was purring like he was pleased to be with us.. We got up early and found out that he had got back on by the rear button so was either spooked or just fell off!
We thought it was time to move again and set off at 10.00am and headed up the Oxford. The sun was trying to come out but it was still very windy, and a bit chilly..
We got some washing done and then moored at Onley for the weekend.
We had some lunch and then Del did some more work to Derwent6.
It was a nice relaxing time in the afternoon and at the end of the day Al cooked a lovely chilli with coconut rice.. We are hoping tonight that Tooty stays dry, we suspect he will stay in! watch this space!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Water Required (or was that beer)

We had heavy rain last night and when we surfaced we were listing over a bit where the ropes had gone tight with the rise in the water levels...
It was still cold but the sun was trying to come out at 10.00am so we pulled the pins (well loosened the chains) and set off to Braunston.
One of the reasons for moving was that we were getting low on water, and our first port of call was the water tap.
Al then walked up to the village store and butchers and picked up a few provisions while Del got rid of the rubbish and did some cleaning while the boat was still wet..
On Al's return we then walked round to AJ Canopies and picked up some cratch cover cleaner and spray which keeps it water tight.
We then turned and found a mooring opposite the pub, very handy! It has still been very quiet on the cut and there were loads of moorings in Braunston, again very unusual.
We had some lunch and then took a walk round the chandlers where we got some grease, rope and catches and also walked up the church where we lit a candle for Len, Del's Dad..
We sat reading for a couple of hours and then showered and walked over the pub. It was nice to have a slimming steak and salad with a few fattening beers and a bit of planning for what we want to do later in the year.. It does seem so strange now we don't have anything to worry about, (except Tooty) and we feel so freelance. We really need to do a trip this year, but where shall we go.. North I expect!
We got back to Derwent6 at 8.00pm and then went back to our reading and just chilled out.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy 80th Birthday Len

Just a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Del's Dad who would have been 80 today

Mizzy Day

Woke up to a really mizzy day, loads of heavy showers and even the cat wasn't interested in going out..
So we sorted a few things out like our insurance and banking, and Del changed our DVD player for a new one, the old one we had had for twenty years. It had just started to jump a bit and got stuck sometimes and went back to the beginning.
It was a bit ironic, because when we turned on the TV there was a news flash about the terrorism attack at Westminster in London, those poor people, I think its something we all dread....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cruising with the cat

After a bit of a lazy day yesterday we decided we should move today. The sun was beaming through the portholes and Tooty was in after a night of being out on the tiles..
He has been marvellous, and turned into a good boat cat, he meows to go out through the cratch doors (no cat flap on Derwent6) and then once we've gone to bed, meows at the porthole window in the bedroom to come back in.. We don't know how he knows which boat to come to or how he knows which porthole to meow at, but he does. When he comes in he purrs like a traction engine and seems so pleased with himself that he has found his food and the lovely warm log burner in the corner..
Anyway, we set off in the sunshine but the wind was blowing well and bitter, the good news was it was blowing from behind us so with Derwent6 just off Idle we cruised along nicely..
It was a bit tricky slowing down past moored boats with the washing machine on, as you have to keep the revs up, but we managed it..  The canal looks so different when the sun shines as you get the feeling of spring, just round the corner..
We found a nice mooring and Tooty heard the rattle of the chains as we tied up.. he gets so annoyed when we move as he has just made his territory where we are and then has to do it all again when we stop in a different place lol..
He rubs his scent up and down the fenders along the gunwale and then steps off doing the same in the bushes..
Al got out the washing line and soon had things blowing in the breeze, as Tooty watched on..
 Del chopped up the wood that was on the roof and then went on the hunt for more.. he came back with some nice Hawthorn which will do nicely through those cold spring evenings..

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Honeymoon Recovery period

Oh my Goodness! what a lovely day yesterday, but we were feeling it this morning, aching, voices gone and feeling fat from over eating..
Yesterday we opened all our cards and then got ourselves ready.
We then went out for our Sunday lunch at The Folly pub and our reserved table was right by a roaring fire, perfect!
With our candle lit and our huge dinners on the table we tucked into the food and the bottle of wine we had ordered.. It all got a bit cosy as we reminisced over the last 38 years together.. Yes there have been some ups and downs, and we have lost some lovely people along the way, but despite all this we just realise how lucky we both are. We know you make your own luck, and you have to work very hard to put yourselves in certain situations, but in life you have to take advantage of the good times.. You just never know when that will stop, and your situation can change in a instant.. Live life today, not tomorrow, there may not be a tomorrow! Our motto on Derwent6 is "Born to be Wild, Looking for Adventure in whatever comes our way"
So where were we, we had lunch and treated ourselves to dessert, and with full tummies and a warm fire went back on the beers and G&T's
At 4.00pm Dave Pepper was setting up for an acoustic session, and before long a few others had turned up with a harmonica, a wash board, more guitars and singers.. Well the afternoon turned out to be a bit of a jamming session, and yes we were both singing along to it all tapping anything we could find, fuelled by drink..
We got back to Derwent6 at about 9.30pm, just!.  made the bed and fell into it..
So today is recovery day, we are just chilling, looking at the rain and getting some things sorted out for our Spring trip on Derwent6 (more of that later)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

34 Years (who's counting)

Its our 34th Wedding Anniversary today and a great 38 years together..  We met in Shoreham Village hall in Kent, and danced to "Three Times a Lady" like most in that era.. Did all our courting in Shoreham and walked up on the hills there.
We got married in Shoreham Church at midday on the 19th March 1983 and went on to the Monte Carlo restaurant for our reception.. From there we left at 6.00pm and stayed at a hotel at Heathrow, where the next morning we flew to Florida for our honeymoon..  We have never looked back from that day..
Today we are going to the Folly Pub at Napton on the Hill for a nice Sunday lunch and they also have some music later on the day... Lovely memories and happy days...

A window of Opportunity

After looking at the weather we only had one window of opportunity today. The winds were calm till midday and the rain was due at some point in the afternoon, so we set off at 8.00am

It was lovely cruising but it had turned a bit colder so it was wrap up, with hats and gloves on the tiller..
It is still very quiet on the canals and we never passed a boat, but it was lovely scenery.. It was a two hour stint and we soon got to Napton where we turned into the winding hole and the wind did its job..
We then saw a nice mooring, so reversed Derwent6 into it with ease..
Al then went up to post a couple of letters and also get some shopping while Del sorted out some engine jobs..
It then got very windy and started to rain so we banked up the fire and stayed put..

A Contrast Day

We looked out of the porthole window to see the wind blowing and a cloudy day, bit of a contrast from yesterday. It also felt a bit colder and it was an effort to do anything..
We sorted out some paperwork in the morning and put the world to rights (as you do)
It felt so lazy we both had to do something in the afternoon, so Del polished the underside of the roof brasses and Al cleaned inside all her cupboards in the galley and some boat work (not housework lol).

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cruising the Spring Sunshine

We left this morning around 11.00am after the fog had cleared, and made our way to Braunston. Blimey has Spring really started, it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. We passed the new marina entrance at Dunchurch also the widebeam which had found a spot to turn around.
It was also nice to see the lambs bouncing around..
Braunston was quiet and there were loads of places to moor, but we took a sharp right turn and headed towards Napton..

We stopped at bridge 100 and found a nice spot in the sunshine where we had lunch..
It was then chill time for Al as she read her book, while Del chopped up a bit of kindling for the next cold spell.
We then noticed a boat we hadn't seen for ages, n.b The Answer. It was nice to have a good catch up with Beryl and Gary..
It was getting dusk as we got back and Tooty was sussing out the new surroundings by climbing a few bushes..
With football in the evening and a lovely Chicken Kiev what more could a man want.. Oh just a nice sunset with a beer.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wide beam on the Oxford, that's wrong!

We both feel so good being back on Derwent6, you could hear the birds singing, and the splashing in the water the ducks were making... We didn't know what time it was and didn't care either.. We were encouraged to get up by Tooty the cat who wanted his breakfast.. It was a dull day but we wanted to move just to cruise again..
We left Clifton and made our way up to Hillmorton Locks where we were surprised to see the lock keepers working.. They had a school trip organised and were showing the kids how a lock worked, but as we got there they all had to go back to school, but the lock keepers locked us through anyway before they packed up, that was lucky!
We got to the top and took things nice and slow, just as well because when we got to bridge 83 we meet a wide beam, yes you read that correctly, a wide beam on the Oxford.
They had been told they could get to the Barby straight to turn round, as they wanted to see if they would be able to get to the new marina at Onley, they couldn't!!!!
They had already hit the just repaired bridge and were thinking how do we get out of this one.. We told them, reverse all the way back to Braunston. We carried on and moored at Onley prison moorings where the new marina is being built..
Half hour later along comes this wide beam in reverse.
We tried to help by finding a wide section of canal but it was too shallow for their 60 foot boat..
We said our goodbyes and they carried on reversing and we heard the scraping of the roof on bridge 82.
Shame, it was a nice boat, but our licence fee will be on fixing bridges up the Oxford if this carries on!
Al put her washing out and then we had a walk down to see how the marina was getting on. Blimey its a big site and will take a few boats.. Apparently it has fibre optic broadband and heated pipes to stop freezing through the winter!