Friday, August 30, 2019

Home Mooring

We had the itch to move this morning in the sunshine after a wet night. Del sorted out the ropes and pushed us off from the bank.. With the rain the canal felt quite full and very clear and it made pleasant cruising.. We passed under the new road bridge and then soon got to Clifton Cruisers.
It was getting busy with boats again and we just kept it slow as we got to Brownsover.
We then passed over the aqueducts at Elliot's Field and headed for Newbold.
We then met a boat on the tricky bridge here, and you can see the damage to it where it has been hit in the past. I never know why they don't plate these bridges to try and preserve them from boaters who can't steer..

We waited at Newbold tunnel for a boat to exit and then proceeded on towards Coventry. We pulled into our home mooring on our pontoon where Derwent6 is in save hands.  Well it's not really a home mooring, it's just a safe haven that we feel comfortable with as we get good service, its easy for the car hire company, and THEY ARE JUST NICE PEOPLE! Busy week ahead so watch this space!

Wi-Fi Upgrade goes wrong

Every day has jobs and today was another one of those days..
Del had got a FREE internal house modem when we acquired the new Mi-Fi dongle we got last year..
Now with the lithium batteries we have found we can leave on the power to the modem as they only take about 12 watts.. This gives us an internet connection to Derwent6 all the time and we can now rig up security even when we are not there..
Not only can alarms and cameras be set up but also we can see what is happening with our batteries to make sure these things work..
Del fitted the modem and changed over the sim card, and then set up the network using the new codes. He also fitted a special little Wi-Fi aerial to the roof and the signal was amazing from such a small thing..
We then Wi-Fied in and things seem to be working twice as fast as the old dongle, so we are happy bunnies.. We still have a temporary set up as we want to trial it around the system and in weaker areas but the first signs are good..

Then it turned into a disaster as when using Google and Explorer we got a security breach on both by the Security software we pay for each year. These things do panic you a bit and we reverted straight back to the dongle and things were fine again.. The good thing is we will now look for a better static modem.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hot Bank Holiday weekend

On the Saturday Del left early in the morning to go down to Kent to get his model gliding fix. By lunchtime he was on the North downs and the models were in the air soaking up the thermals..

It was back to friends Bernie and Sarah's for a lovely BBQ which Bernie had done in the warm evening and then it was to bed early.
In the morning Bernie and Del were up at silly O Clock and they picked up the other member of the gang Steve. They drove up to Grantham where there was a BMFA Nationals model show on and looked for a bargain, (but never found one).. From there they went to Sewstern where there was a model gliding competition and took in some tips (maybe next year..)

From there it was a drive back to Kent in the heat where we dropped of Steve and then had another BBQ with a few beers round Bernie and Sarah's..
It was a train back to Derwent6 on the Bank Holiday Monday, which with the Notting Hill carnival going on was a bit of a nightmare, it took Del four hours..

Al had Derwent6 to herself and looked after everything including Tooty the cat. She chilled with a book for a couple of days..
With all this sunshine the solar panels have kept us from running the engine, a massive investment this year..

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Never a dull moment

We were up early as Al was cutting Del's hair. We then got a text saying Marilyn and David on n.b. Wakahuia were close by and Marilyn had made some cheese scones for elevenses. They arrived at 10.45pm and sure enough Scones were on the table.
We met Marilyn and David on our trip to New Zealand in their campervan and we knew they had a boat in the UK which they use six months of the year.
It was so lovely to see them and those scones were to die for..
We were just chatting when Hilary and Andy on n.b. Maisibert came by on their return trip.. They promised to stop for a coffee and that's what they did..
 It was great to see them all again having a good time..

We were a bit pressured as Del had his osteopath appointment at 2.00pm and we had a bus to catch at 1.30pm. We made it and got to the appointment bang on time.. We were there for an hour as the osteopath pulled Del about and could feel the problem.. Del has had this problem for about 18 months and we think it happened when he lifted half a tree on his shoulder one winter. He now has another appointment in a couple of weeks and has some exercises to do along with an ice pack as well.
When we came out we had some time for a coffee before we headed back on the bus to Derwent6. It had been one of those quick days, and we wondered were it had gone....

Changes at Clifton and a feel good film

Well we have seen some changes here at Clifton with the new bridge going up and the new town Houlton just round the corner..

The footpath is now all open again and the tarmac is going down. Anyone who remembers this section will just remember allotments and the cows with horns in a green field.
The good news is that they don't plan to build houses on this section of link road, so we still see some greenery in the area as you can see from this artist impression. They are saying there will be 14km of cycle and footpaths to enjoy.

Al used the day to get some more washing done as we were loaded up with water, and Del sorted out the fire by giving it a polish and sorting out the lockers ready for the winter..
In the afternoon we were greeted with some lovely company. It was Andy and Hilary on n.b. Maisibert with a crew of Andy's daughter and grandchildren..
We soon had the chairs out and a couple of bottles of wine with nibbles..
As the light faded we split and went in for dinner and we relaxed in the late evening..
The following morning we had planned to go into Rugby, so we said our goodbyes to Andy and Hilary and then jumped on the bus into town.
Del had been having a problem with his neck and thought this might be a good time to try and get it sorted, so we headed straight to an osteopath who had been recommended to us.. We managed to get an appointment for tomorrow and then walked round town picking up things Al needed like birthday cards and some new team readers (1.25 glasses)  from the pound shop.. We then jumped on another bus to Elliott's field shopping complex where we had lunch in Frankie and Benny's on our two for one taste card. We then went and saw the film "Blinded by the Light" which tells the story of how a young Pakistani lad from Luton was influenced by Bruce Springsteen, just like we are..

One of the best singer songwriters of all time! If you appreciate music and what it can do to you, then you will love this film which is set in the 80's. Any film which tells a true story with a happy ending is good for the soul.. We loved it!

From there it was back on the bus into Rugby as we needed to pick up a couple of heavy bags of shopping in Asda before getting the bus back to Clifton. We crashed in front of the telly when we got back which was lovely.. So back again tomorrow to the Osteopath's and whatever else we feel like..

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Pain at the locks

It was a lazy start for us but we wanted to see Rachel and Wayne off on n.b. Daniel with Ann following close behind..

 We set off at 9.15am and joined the boats making their way up to Hillmorton.
It was very busy (by our standards) all the way and it made it very interesting as we passed some boats in tricky places, but the weather made up for everything as the sun charged the batteries to 100%
We got to the locks and thought it was going to be very busy but it wasn't too bad and we got into the second paired lock.
Just as we pulled out a hire boat was going down and then a yell was heard by a woman as the paddle fell down, not on the safety catch.. It hit her on the leg and she had to sit on the lock in a lot of pain.
She did manage to walk to the next lock but it was a lesson learnt, as she said it will be sore in the morning. A lesson that locks must be treated with respect!
We then had the volunteer at the next lock who decided to tell Al how to do a lock.
She was happily helping a couple up the lock as they didn't know how to do one and were on a day trip boat. The volunteer told Al  'you're doing it wrong, you need to do this my way' and told her to stop what she was doing.. We then waited 30 minutes, which was a bit of a pain, as he showed them the way to do it 'his way'. Del was holding Derwent6 all this time and the boats were stacking up behind us.
We got into the lock at last and as he let us down the lock Del told him that the second pound was very low on water and needed attention.. He was helpful, but not helpful, if you know what we mean.
As we exited the lock we did notice the water point was free and Al had been doing a lot of washing, so we topped up..
 We then got a short sharp shower and the brolly had to go up (you can see the clouds coming). It stopped just before we got to our mooring, which was empty so luck was on our side.

We relaxed for the rest of the day and it was lovely in the sunshine.. Del did a bit of wood chopping to get the wood seasoned for the winter.
Al had cooked a nice steak dinner and we watched a film, something we hadn't done for a while..

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Fully loaded

After a poor nights sleep with cat we decided to leave Braunston today. Tooty wanted to go out at 2.30am and when Del opened the door there was another cat in the cratch. Tooty was not happy and had this look on his face that could have killed.. He then sulked for a bit and came back in in a huff...
We left at 8.30am and thought it would be good to have a productive day. It started by us going along to the water point.
We know this area so well as we winter round here, so know how to avoid the busy periods. Filled with water, we then slipped round to the marina where we had got a pumpout token yesterday.
We emptied the waste tank and felt good as we pulled out with not a moving boat in sight..
As we crept back to where we came from it suddenly got busy, but we still managed to pull up on the Midland Chandlers moorings to get a few bits It was mainly things for winter like a new glass for the stove and a new blacking cleaner to try and brighten the fire up a little..

We waited as a trip boat went past us and then carried on the journey towards Rugby.
Still trying to steer the boat, we followed patiently.
We were just saying to each other that we will need some wood shortly for the autumn, when round the corner a tree was down and all cut up for us..
We pulled over and loaded up Derwent6 with the hope it gives it a bit of time to season a little..
Happy days, full of wood and water and a empty poo tank, we now needed to find a mooring and carried on for a bit.
We soon caught up with the trip boat again as they were weaving all over the place.
This made our mind up to stop at Onley.
Al had already done a couple of washes and was hoping to get the line out to dry everything. On checking the weather it had turned to sunshine and showers so we had to keep a eye on things. We then had a horrendous thunder storm in the distance and the washing went in and out like a yo-yo.
Later on we heard a couple of boats mooring up behind us and it turned out to be Rachel and Wayne on n.b Daniel followed by Ann on n.b Pratty Flower who we met at Cropredy. After a chat and some dinner on our boats we met up again in the evening with a bottle of wine and had a few beers together.

As always we had a good time. It was an easy walk back to Derwent6..

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Admiral Nelson (Round three)

We were up at 6.00am woken up by Tooty the cat wanting to go out, but not today as we wanted to get away at 7.00am. After a cup of tea we left nice and quietly as so not to disturb the hangovers from last night. Just as we did it started to rain again, typical! So with Del under the umbrella we left Napton and its windmill behind us.

We soon got to Wigrams turn, and as we call it, the M25 of the canals. This is where the Oxford and the Grand Union canals join and there are a lot of marinas as there are a lot of different ways to go from here.
As it was only around 8.00am it was still rather quiet as the sun came out, but this was the plan as we wanted to get moored in Braunston.
 We only passed three boats as we approached the village and were very surprised to see loads of mooring spots when we turned up, where has everyone gone?
We sorted ourselves out and then Del did the brasses, while Al cleaned inside. At 3.00pm we walked up to The Admiral Nelson pub on the locks where there was a food and drinks festival with some live music, right up our street, but the sad thing we noticed on the way was the chandler's on the bottom lock had gone. When we arrived at the festival it was packed and a band was setting up. There was loads of eating places, Wood fired pizza's, Curry, Fish and chip wagon, wraps, etc.

It was more beer in plastic glasses for us, which we were now used to, but first we thought it would be nice to have a rum cocktail as a warm up.
We found a nice spot on the bank, with the sunshine in our faces, right by the lock.

Again the smell of food gets you in the end and fish and chips won the day. You just can't beat the smell of the great British fish and chip wagon. At about 5.00pm the clouds came over and Del could smell rain (and if you remember Del did the brasses), so we found a snug spot inside. It tipped it down for about half an hour and the bands had to stop for a bit..
The sun came out again but it had just taken the edge of it and we felt we had drunk enough over the last few days, so we took a nice walk back as the sun set.

After a bit of telly we were ready for bed. Another lovely day!