Sunday, 30 March 2008

No boats but bikes today

Can't get much more of a contrast than bikes and boats. Four MPH against a lot more MPH. As we were at a 'dedication' (the pre curser to a baptism) in the afternoon, I took advantage of some un -forecasted sunshine and took my Ducati out for a run, and so much the better I felt for it afterwards.

My Ducati 750 is quite the perfect motorbike for what I want. its V twin engine is soooo torquey lot of grunt and plenty of engine breaking makes for a easy smooth ride.

Its not the rocket ship that my other bikes have been but on today's road there is less opportunity of enjoying the performance of such bikes.

So today was bikes not boats.

Now on to the purchase of Waterlily.........

Monday, 24 March 2008

More boat time

The plan was a nice early start out of Fradley for a couple of days in the sticks, only number two sons social life saw us getting to bed at 3.30 am so our early start went out of the window.

Those of you who know Fradley might imagine lunchtime on a bank holiday (even one when the brass monkeys were carrying their own welding kits) and so it was a tad busy as we set off towards Shadehouse woods. Luckily we were only a couple of boats per lock, and that was because we were not prepared to 'nip out' of our moorings in front of other boaters. It was busier southbound with fun and games at Junction lock with the usual issues of boats coming down the T&M working into a queue with those boats coming off the Coventry going south.

I am going to consult the 'experts' and find out the peaks for the Canal time and Shakespere boats from Sawley and Barton Turns respectively. They will come out of their bases at set time of the day and week and therefore arrive at fradley at roughly the same time each week ? (I'll let you know, so you and we may be aware of the times to avoid)

Due to the slow progress through Fradley we were hungry as we exited Shadehouse lock, so as we could, we cruised up towards canal turn (where the T&M stops its South westerly direction to that of North westerly that it maintains to its end) We moored up and decided that this was good enough, far enough from others and away from the gongoozlers of Fradley.

Good food, nice warm boat, a good book and a satellite signal was all that is needed in life - a few fish would have been nice but it was very cold and there were still a fair few boats on the move. Rachel modelling the inside of our boat while I slave away on the stove (we do take it in turns really !)

Monday saw the wind a little easier but still as cold. We had a very lazy start (managed to keep the fire in all night, I have the mastery of the squirrel now) We set off to wind at either Kings Bromley marina or Handsacre. The snow and cold wind made the decision for us and we winded at Kings Bromley.

Canal turn going back towards Shadehouse lock, you can just see flecks of snow encouraging us home.

We were back at Fradley early in the afternoon and had an uncontested trip through the locks until we stopped just after Junction lock at the 48 hour moorings for food and rest. There were fewer boats moving today and the majority we private, confirming my thinking the hire boats arrive with some degree to a timetable (to be avoided in the future).

We ended out little jaunt by mooring up and departing just after 5pm, with a return trip by yours truly to do a good vac out and some odd jobs tomorrow.

I like our boat, fairly simple but comfortable. She's not the prettiest, or the most technological, but she is simply ours.....


Sunday, 16 March 2008

On board blog

Not since this post have we been on board Waterlily. As I have said before I get restless if I do not get on the canal regularly. So as we had a spare half day we have popped over for a fix.

Fire on, soup in our belly and the first blog from the boat - makes me a halfway liveabord blogger.

That's it.


Saturday, 15 March 2008

So Comet goes......

I like trust, when realised it give you a real lift and makes the world seem just a little better.

I had only met Josie on one occasion - when she brought my boat. I gave her my bank details, a receipt for £100 she transferred lots of money to me.

We arranged to meet at Comet 2pm and once again is was a fantastically sunny Saturday. We were still emptying personal things when Josie arrived. She turned up with her fella, who was a nice Polish chap with limited English, but he certainly beat me compared to my Polish.

We chatted and I asked how much experience they had of boats and what were their plans. Josie happily told me this was the second time she had been on a narrowboat - the first time being when she viewed Comet. She then said they needed to be in Tamworth before the shops shut as they had no bedding and were living on the boat from today !!

Can't fault that approach and in some ways I admired and envied the unconcerned, "take it as it comes" attitude.

So we agreed to help them through the three locks to the junction and get them onto the Coventry. I took them through the basics of the boat - it is/was a basic boat anyhow. The polish lad (can't remember his name) was very good and took the tiller straight away. We got them pointing to Tamworth, shook their hands, wished them luck and stepped off Comet, with a little sadness as we knew she was a good little boat.

So now no boat, just some work with the brokers to try and get Waterlily....... another story.

Comet - Owned by us January - June 2007

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Bones for sale

If you want to get Bones something for Christmas........

shop here

Human skulls $500 - cheap as chips (nearly)


Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Bones on Bones

This is a Bones challenge - see here for some background.

So over to you Ms Bones.... any idea what I found?

A video to help the identification

A big thank you to John for indulging me in the weired request - hey John, can you photograph the skull I left behind on your bathroom window and email it over to me......


The sale of Comet.....

So to catch up, I had to sell Comet. I had sold our share in Sylph and registered my interest in Waterlily - so I decided, as I spent a great deal of my time on Apollo duck, (daft name, only I remember it !) it might be worth a go. At this time I really did not think it would all fall together.

I recall it did not take me too long to write up some text and add in some photo's I had taken while I was waiting for the Whilton chap to value Comet.

Looking at these again she was (is) a nice boat inside. We had spent a long weekend getting her clean inside ..

Anyhow I could not believe the number of 'hits' the advert got within the first 48 hours - well over a thousand, and then the emails and telephone calls started. I think at the height I had 10 interested parties (even after she was sold I got people emailing asking to be 'first reserve' if the sale fell through) I think boats at this price with a tidy interior and good recent survey are fast sellers and so it was with Comet.
I think it was a Thursday afternoon after the ad had been in the previous weekend I got a call from a guy who was very interested and wanted to view. We arranged 4pm as he was travelling from Stockport. 2.30 pm I got another call from a lady who said she was interested. I explained about the guy from Stockport. She told me she was standing opposite and was very interested and could she view asap. So with a little reservation I upped and drove over a little earlier than planned to meet her.

I recall them crossing Hunts lock to the gate to meet me, two ladies an older gent and a young lad - not what I was expecting. They were all very friendly and the guy knowledgeable - he was a friend who had been brought along to check the boat over.
Josie was very interested so I left them inside to discuss their position, a couple of minutes later the asked what I would take...... as I had the guy coming from Stockport I cheekily said I could only take the asking price, unless they wanted to wait to see what the Stockport guy though of it, if he offered me full price I'd take it, if not then they could make me an offer.
Bottom line - Josie paid the full price and brought it there and then with £100 deposit. I really felt bad when I phoned the Stockport guy back and said the boat was sold - especially as he was just pulling into Fradley - ouch !!

Just the small detail of getting the balance and we would be boatless ......... but was Waterlily still for sale and would she survey OK......
But before all that we had to send Comet on her way - another little story to be told.......


Friday, 7 March 2008

Most favouritist pub....

Sue comments that the Greyhound at Hawkesbury Junction is one of her favourite pubs on the system. You might imagine there a few nice ones around, and I'm sure I will find more. I do like the 'non chain' flavours. The chain pubs are ok if you want a guaranteed standard - we spent one week eating mainly Toby Carvery's as the lads (when they wanted to come with us) really liked the help yourself approach.

But nicest pub (to date ) is another Greyhound at Burston, between Weston on Trent and Stone. The walk through the village is a nice aperitif for the beer or meal. I do think that memories of a few nice times in the pub also help.

Good old beer.....

When Grandpa is away....... (on the toilet)

The Grandson and son in law come out to play.......

Spot the common theme..... ;-)

It is one we will be stopping at later this year when we head that way to do the Macclesfield


Thursday, 6 March 2008

Bet you thought I had got bored with this blog......

No such luck.

I have been away visiting friends in Jockland - beer and computer gaming (we took our anoraks as well) a good change of scene, but I am starting to get withdrawal symptoms.

Not canal related but a fine view never the less.

Plus we found a message in a bottle - which I will scan in for you to share and a skull that I left in Scotland but will recover it for Bones, hopefully to provide an identification.

I will get back onto the sale of Comet soon....... promise