Monday, 31 August 2009

Busy Bank holiday at Fradley

We are starting to get stir crazy.........we decided to stay put during the school holidays and have had some relaxing weekends on board. We came back on board yesterday just for an overnighter and boy is it busy ..... it never gets manic here as the locks pulse boats both ways but there is a steady stream of boats and three moored opposite us last night indicating that all the Fradley centre moorings had been taken.

This has made our decision to stay moored more sensible but we really want to get some water under the boat now. Before that we have to get our youngest Callum off to Leeds Uni - then we will most probably head for a new canal to us - Birmingham and Fazely (I think) for a break to the water park near Drayton Manor.

After that I'm not sure - I'd like a autumn cruise but we may end up bringing Waterlily back to Stenson for her paint job.


Monday, 17 August 2009

Cruising time soon and a paint job

We took a decision after our trip up the Caldon to sit the summer holidays tight. We have had a complete reversal in recent years from only being able to cruise during the kids holidays to not now having to. We like autumn and winter cruising so it suits us even more.

Its been quite busy at Fradley over the last few days. I wonder how many are heading for a four counties disappointment with the Shebdon embankment stoppage.

All the jobs I had ID'd to get done did get done while aboard. I really enjoyed my couple of days pretending to be a livaboard. We are a bit hemmed in at the moment as BW saw fit to tender a 62 foot mooring at 71 feet so whilst we have not had to move the new boat is right up fender to fender with us. Hopefully in a few weeks when a 45 footer moves on we may get a little more space..... unless BW decide to tender that one ?

We have made a decision on getting Waterlily painted in the New Year. Just got to save up for it ! I think we will be going local for the paint job but that will have to be negotiated - watch this space.

We have a colour scheme from a photo of another boat that hopefully will make the job easier to describe.


Friday, 14 August 2009


Well not in the literal sense.....but it occurred to me after Rachel left for work today that I do not have any form of transport available to me. I have a Brompton but that is at home in the garage. I have a job logged with one of the joiners at work to make me a nice wooden box for my bike so I can keep it on the boat. I think this is a job that needs doing sooner rather than later.

I have a list of jobs to do today...

Walk Leia
A geocache task to do
Poo cassette to empty
Some DIY on the boat
Get the gennie out and give the boat a good vac out - that might be a job too far for my ribs....

Lets see how I do


Thursday, 13 August 2009

Mobile internet geocaching and towpath conversations

So we are on the boat again. I'm taking some leave so Rachel came to me tonight after work and will do the same tomorrow.

Plenty to say but seemingly little time to say it.

1. I now have fast internet on the boat thanks the Chris from NB Belle He advised Orange were the best for this area so I have experimented with their freedom contract (I can cancel giving 30 days notice) and am typing this with 3g+ connection and streaming music from spotify This has been a bit of a holy grail for me so I am well pleased - I can stream my sky subscription to my computer plus use BBC's iPlayer

My youngest son and his girlfriend drove me over today - that makes me feel old already. While we were fishing I mentioned a geocache across the cut that I was going to find in the morning so he and his girlfriend nipped over with my phone using Geoscout and promptly found it. It did not take him long to download a slick iphone app for geocaching.

Finally an observation - people do not realise now much you can hear across the cut. Last time I was aboard a young couple came by having a very big argument about their relationship. Today the same, another couple having a heart to heart - at least this time the lady wasn't crying. So be aware its not an ocean !

Finaly finally I saw three shooting stars tonight - part of the comet passing through. You can't beat the countryside for viewing the sky at night.


Saturday, 8 August 2009

Rib's 'n' bees

Waterlily has bitten back - again.

When I was aboard with a few mates towards the end of last year I managed to crack a rib or thought I had - it was dislocated cartilage. Painful and took months to get right. Last night whilst on the boat for a simple overnighter I caught a fine roach and instead of using my landing net I tried to hand the fish out and out all my weight onto my ribs and heard the same crack and now I am in pain again. Problem is last time I managed to overdose on anti-inflammatory's and ended up on tablets to repair my stomach lining Pillock or what !!

Bees..... when we got to Waterlily last night we could not work out why only part of our mooring had been strimmed by BW. Then I noticed the bees nest entrance in the ground was covered in white powder. I suspect they disturbed the bees and they came out to protest. Instead of moving on the BW workers must have dusted the entrance and killed them !!

Bees have been in the news recently due to their decline so I am amazed BW have such an anti nature approach. I feel an email to BW is necessary.


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Favourite weather

Topical as we are having a poor summer so far. It got me thinking about what is my favourite weather. This has to be thunderstorms. I walked to the local shops from my place of work recently in a thunderstorm. There was a clap of thunder right overhead - it was so powerful and just above my head - great.

Its the expecation - dark clouds, distant rumbles then a few blobs of rain then a full show of wind lights sound and water.

Best I had on the cut was during our hire boat days when we were chased by a storm that eventually caught us on the narrows just before the Plum Pudding at Armatage. I got so wet just mooring up.

It goes without saying wind on the cut is my least favourite weather !

The Photo was taken walking back just after the storm to my workplace.