Sunday, 31 October 2010

Things to come ....

Well it appears the consensus is for another harsh winter, worse than the last two and some have said a thousand year winter !!

To get you in the mood........

Blacking goes west


Saturday, 23 October 2010

It must be cheaper to live aboard?

Andrew on Granny Buttons has an interesting blog post about beating the recession by living aboard. Not Andrew himself although he is/will be a continuous livaboard cruiser soon from his previous blogs.

Link here.....

In my opinion it is all relative to your personal circumstances. Based on what we pay out each month I know it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to live aboard.

Council tax
Water rates
Sky tv
Contents insurance, Building insurance
Car (insurance, tax mot, petrol servicing)
House maintenance

RCR membership

All on going costs I suppose.

The real deal is depreciation of the boat against the inflation of value of the house. We could sell up put a tidy lump sum in the bank and enjoy a low cost existence. However it is in my opinion a one way street, getting back on the housing ladder for old age or just when you are fed up with the waterways or the waterways close down (see previous post) would be very difficult. Especially so if at some point in the future there is another rise in house prices. Best bet is to buy something small rent it out so you have something to fall back on. I suppose that is if you can afford to do so. if you can't then I'd suggest you don't sell in the first place as there will be more holes in the social safety net going forward that you will rely on if you have no house to live it when old/ill/ or fed up with the waterworld lifestyle..

Oh and then there are you dependants, if they want to come visit or stay. You are not only casting yourself adrift ?

All personal thoughts, if it works for you great, enjoy.


Friday, 22 October 2010

The beginning of the end...

I'm sure many read Narrowboatworld on the Internet. There is a very good piece on written by Tom Crossley. Link here.....

It makes sober reading and for those who enjoy and love the canals their heritage and their beauty it represents a timely reminder that the reality of the situation is there are many things in the funding queue ahead of the waterways.

It will no doubt be left to the real enthusiast to work on generating the income to pay for the works to keep the waterways open, I cannot see how just the boaters alone can be expected to foot the bill when incomes are falling and costs rising.

Very depressing....

Monday, 11 October 2010

Fishing - Perch

Perch are my favourite fish. They are good feeders easy to catch and often can be taken from the margins meaning you can fish just off the front of your boat. They are also a clean fish - no slime unlike the Bream that seem to be taking up a prescence in the canal. its only in the last couple of years I have started catching them

I picked this impressive canal Perch up (plus two more like it) fishing above woodend lock last week. Just upto the makeshify jetty for the boats. it was excellent fishing, a real joy.

The fish in the canal are in very good condition and plentyful which tells me the balance is about right.


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Why not twitter.... we'll see

I watched New Tricks last night which had an angle on Twitter....

I have never given it much thought until then so had a look this morning and have now signed up. I'm not convinced that I'll tweet much (argh... I hate that terminology) but I'll certainly read - not sure what the bird equivilent of that is - I suppose listening !!

I am nosey so this might give me a fix on other peoples lives, so sad !!


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Pumping poo

Ok, blunt but it is what we do - or rather pay someone to do it.

Waterlily has a list that tells us she has a full bladder. We can leave it so as we also have a porta potty on board that we tend to use for weekend visits.

I did try to get it pumped out at Great Heywood but as it was Saturday 1pm Anglo welsh basically told us to bugger off to the marina up the canal. The Fradley floating pontoon of poo was also a bit low in the water and also on the tow path side at 4.30pm on Tuesday so it was set for the tanker pump out of the pump out so two down and still no relief.

I therefore got to thinking about a self pumpout option - electric and or manual and a couple of large containers and a quiet (mains connected) elsan.

For those who do - a couple of questions .....

1. How long does it take
2. Do you get a better job even with lower spec kit
3. electric or manual
4. What containers do you use of moving it this way
5. Do you have one for sale ?

I like the idea of saving £15 quid a go and also not being beholden to the boat yards (I take the point about them shutting down if they don't get my business but if they only want to serve me when it suits them, Fradley was shut at 4.30 I can't be blamed fully)


Friday, 8 October 2010

Bruce costs me a ton plus a Paul McKenna

That's £110 to you.

The price I have just paid for one of these....

For those not sure it is a Kindle

Bruce in Sanity Again gave a very good review of them in a recent blog post here.... it persuaded me as I can't pass over a good gadget. Also I don't like holding large books or for that matter moving them around. The other benefit is that by using the Kindle App on my iPhone (see I can't resist a gadget) I can read my books from the point I left it on the Kindle on my iPhone and vice versa. Having said that I hope to have my Kindle with me more often.

I started with Tony Blair's recent book, which I have in print but immediately find it easier to read on the kindle, plus I have brought Narrow Dog to some where in southern France, Terry Darlington's much read book. Only down side so far is I cannot find Josie Dew's books which was a test for the book store.

Finally I do feel like a bit of a I am a time served printer in a previous life and taking books electronically will mean a more pressure on an already pressured industry.

I'll hang on to the environmental angle to balance the conscience,


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Spot the problem.....

Whilst fishing at Woodend on Tuesday I heard a boat approaching that after passing got my attention.....

I like the sound of the wet exhausts burbling and gurgling away - I would not like one as understand they have some maintenance issues, mud boxes I think they are called, no doubt for a good reason?

However the boat appeared to have a normal silenced exhaust that was perilously close to the waterline, not helped by the three blokes on the counter.

No doubt whilst running the pressure of the exhaust gasses will keep the water out, but all it would take would be a speeding boater (they do exist you know) and unless there is a large swan neck within the exhaust system the engine could get water ingress.

My understanding it that the counter should be about an inch or so in the water to make the boat travel through the water efficiently. This must put drag on the forward momentum of the boat.

Anyhow they were making progress so it couldn't be that bad??


Ownerships chair (beds)

We are thinking of upgrading the furniture in the saloon. Its a straight choice between a couple of captains chairs or two of the chair types that make into beds as per the ownerships specifications. Any advice or contacts for either of the two options?


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

When it's good it's beautiful when it's bad it's still excellent.

That is being on the canals. We took Waterlily out over the last weekend. We were due back for a RCR serivce on Monday but due to the bad weather we rearranged it to be done at Great Haywood.

Just a pic and a short video to show what autumn crusing can be like !