Friday, 27 March 2009

Mercia Marina

I have kept an interest in this development as it is on my back door so to speak. (I am Derby based) After a particularly frustrating morning at work I decided to nip over and have lunch at the tea rooms there and get a proper look.

Mercia marina is a BIG development - I can imagine the investment must have been very large just based on the road alterations alone. There is little doubt in my mind the appeal is for people to use it as a 'home' as the road network is very good from this location (you can hear and see the A38 from the tea room)

Shakespeare are using it rather than Barton Turns as their base. Could this mean less shaky boats at Fradley. Its nice to see the same boats with different smiling faces on them at Fradley. They may go the other way to the Soar Trent or Erewash now?

The tea room was very nice and friendly - well worth a visit. If I was a boater there it may be a good social meeting place.

I nipped in to the Trading post to see if they had an ash can for my stove but no luck. I then ventured into the New Boat company offices on site. They have only been open since the 1st March and I recognised someone who I come into contact with in my day job. We have a lot in common (lived on the same road for one) and we had a good chat about motorbike, bikes and boats. Rod is managing the facility at the moment so we got to talking about boats and my boat - upgrades etc. Alarm bells for Rachel at this point. Boats that were in my price range (if we/I was to sell Waterlily) were identified and I looked on two. A Liverpool boat circa 49k and a Aqua Marine at circa 64K

I was not at all impressed by the Liverpool boat - the joinery inside was average - just not inspiring at all. The Aqua Marine boat was a different league and I expect would be even after a lot of use. It just felt very well build and solid....... oh dear, it was only that the saloon was far too modern that stopped me reaching for the bank managers phone number.

The electrics and joinery were very good indeed as was the engine install. However 64k for a 3 year old boat seemed a little high to me, but I am not current on boat values - I feel a night with Apollo Duck is in order....

I felt a lot better when I got back to work. The cut and canals are a fine antidote to the woes of work. (Sorry to anyone who may be worrying about their job)

Now I will be on Waterlily this weekend for sure...


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Mothers day by the cut

Not my decision but a welcome one all the same. Rachel organised mothers day dinner with her family and was struggling to get a pub or restaurant booked. Eventually she got 15 places reserves at the the Malt Shovel in Shardlow

I can highly recommend this pub, good food good prices very friendly and helpful staff and its right on Shardlow wharf.

We had a short walk after the meal up to the first lock just after Derwent mouth. All in all a good day and it gave me a hat trick of visits to the cut in one week, can't be bad.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Retirement in four counties

I have posted before, either on this or another persons blog that my favorite canal is the Trent and Mersey - followed by the Shroppie. I have been on a few but by no means all of the 2000 miles of our canals.

I recently read Bruce's blog and he commented he and Sheila had just done the four counties in 4 weeks It got me thinking that it would not be a bad retirement to just keep cruising the four counties - might even be a world record in there somewhere. We have done the four counties twice - anti clockwise on Sylph our Ownerships boat and also clockwise on Waterlily. Both times very enjoyable as we are cruising our favourite canals and enjoying the changes in scenery from picturesque through remote to industrial. Good stop offs, good towns and villages and variations in days of travel - with many locks on some days and few on others. If we added the Llangothlen then even better.

I'm sure those who have retired onto the cut will tell me there are so many more great places to go and see (Sue on No problem seems very taken with the middle levels) but right now sitting here in my office thinking of being on the cut a lifetime of four counties would be a good exchange...... just need to be more adventurous and less sensible !!


Thursday, 19 March 2009

Canal fix part II

I wonder at what point you become an addict - is that when you move onto the canal full time?

I went out for a ride on my motorbike last night and ended up at Fradley Junction... two reasons, both poor, but it gave me an excuse for a ride out

  1. To see if stolen boat Que Sera Sera had been doubled back or cruised there by some unsuspecting buyer (you will have to read the link for all the detail.
  2. To check if Waterlily was OK - I just get a bit wobbly when I hear of boats being stolen.
This is a gratuitous pic of my bike, motorbikes and canals go so very well together.

Its hurting right now - sitting here thinking of being on the cut. I need all you poetic and able scribes out there to increase the rate of your blogging to keep me topped up.


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Shardlow by cycle

Due to the declutter and spring clean that took place during the daylight hours of Saturday we gave ourselves a day offish on Sunday. The intention was a nice cycle ride down Sustrans route 6 to Elvaston castle. This is a nice off road ride on the cycle path that follows the Derwent from the park across the road from our house to just about the castle.

Picnic consumed we has the legs top do some more so we went via Ambaston to Shardlow. I got my canal fix. In fact I think it is very much like that. I feel more eased if I get to the canal - does that sound daft or does it happen to others?

We had a lovely Jam Cream and scones in the tea room by the clock Warehouse lock. I took this shot on my phone......

There were a few boats moving today while we indulged ourselves (Greygal NO......)

We were there for only a short while and then it was a slog home. 22 miles and with only three gears (my Gary Fisher mountain bike needs to TLC)

All in all a good reward for the declutter

Monday, 16 March 2009

And so it begins....possibly the latest New Years resolution

After my recent post and the comments received (thanks to Heth, Halfie, Bruce and Greygal) I am engaged now to declutter.

In fact it is a New Years resolution to have an ongoing the point my old bedside radio alarm clock has gone to be replaced by a wind up alarm clock.(Which was clutter in the office at home)

Every time I look at it or when it wakes me in the morning (horribly BTW) I think - DECLUTTER !
So its Nev versus the clutter...........

Sunday, 8 March 2009

How do you do it.......

Our home (ashore) is characterised by crap - sorry clutter. I am sitting typing this in our 'office' which is just full of clutter. I would take a photo but to be honest I'm ashamed of it !

I am also sitting here dreaming of living afloat - or spending a significant amount more time afloat - but how I'll ever clear the cacophony of clutter to enable us to do so I cannot image. So you live-a-boards - how did you get from living in a house full of stuff to living on a boat with all the associated lack of storage issues....??

Give me some hope????????????????


Friday, 6 March 2009

USA comes to Fradley

Charlotte, our long term friend (is that a nice thing to say...?) who we visited in the 'fall' last year came over for a visit and came onto Waterlily for a tootle to Alrewas and back. We had a really enjoyable day, some good food on board, I did a little fishing, and charged up the batteries. It was while we were winding that we met some people who knew the previous owners
There was some instructing (not really needed I expect but Charlotte listened intently) and a lot of talking - but there was much to catch up on.

It always a pleasure to share our enjoyment and love of the canals with friends, it was a shame 'Uncle Ho' couldn't be with us but maybe next time........

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Memory map and the Mac

Sue on NB No Problem is a keen advocate of this piece of software - so much so she recently replaced her PDA so she could carry on using it. I have agood PDA phone HTC TYTN II that I recently installed the memory map software on. It is really very good. I know how long my dog walk is in the mornng now and also can use it as Sue does for walking and Geocaching. Hightly recommended.

The only issue is there is no Mac version - no problem as I have a program called Parallels installed on my Mac that in effect makes my Mac a PC. So I have the best of both worlds.

Little boating content I'm afraid - I really need to get on the boat and do some serious cruising. My two cruises are planned, just need to sort out the the mean time I'll just dream.


Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Battery update and a reminder of previous owners

Just for me......

When we arrived on Waterlily on Sunday the battery monitor as showing 81% and 12.5v and 12.6v (starter)

On leaving after a simple two hours to wind waterlily the gauge was showing 91% and 12.8v and 12.9v

It seems to be settling down now so I don't think I'll post more unless I get issues....

whilst winding in Alrewas I was hailed by a couple who asked how long I had owned Waterlily - they were sad to hear of how I got to own her - with the death of the previous owner - they said they had met him and his wife on the Kennet and Avon canal two years ago - that must have been his last cruise. hey remarked what a nice couple they were - it reminded me of my need to write to the lady to let her know where and what waterlily was up to.

Its a sad reminder of our mortality - so I say get out there and do it before someone else takes the decisions away from you,

Stay safe,


Monday, 2 March 2009


Ok, not from Fradley - although that will be a journey we do one day I hope.

No, this view
was arrived at by this form of transport
I took the opportunity to take the first ride out on my new bike to Foxton, as I have not been there for many years.

There were no boats on the flight - mainly due to this I suspect.....

I'm not sure of the 'opening' time of the flight - I should check BW's web site

The whole place looked a lot more finished than before (15 or so since I was last at Foxton). I recall the bottom of the flight being very 'messy' I still would like to see the flight in action on a summers day - it must be organised chaos?

The bike was excellent and I'm looking forward to getting many miles on it - just need to put in some canal locations.......