Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Winter wonderland

I can only imagine what is must be like on the mooring :-(

About 6-8 inches and still snowing - I'm off to bed as I have to be up at 5.15am to see if we can open !

From our bedroom window

4.15 am

Not normally a time see much of. Wide awake checking flight and travel information. Rachel is flying to Glasgow this morning and I am due in work as the snow caller, to make sure our site is open and talk to the press office to give them the call that then goes to the local radio TV and onto the web. it is an important job and someone local who can walk to work has to do it - ME !!

It is snowing steadily at the moment and we have a forecast for heavy show all day and it could last three days.

So tea and make sure Rachel gets off ok then walk the dog and go to work all before 6am.


A pic of Fradley on late Sunday


Monday, 29 November 2010

Running repairs

Last but one visit to Waterlily found the central heating pump not working. The pump is a little noisy so I feared the worst. However on further investigation I tracked the fault to a failed pipe thermostat I put into the system a couple of years ago One of the benefits of blogging is I know it was October 2008.

I went onto eBay and got an brand new one inc delivery for just over a fiver. Not sure how it can be made marketed shipped and profit taken but I have to presume it makes someone money.

As we will be leaving the fire in and pump on I did not want it running unnecessarily so I have just wired in the replacement, set it to just over 40c and we will monitor it. It does sometimes wake us in the night but then it is just doing its job - when the pump does fail I will replace it with something a little quieter.

I should say I think our system was designed to work pumpless based on pipe thickness and uphill runs but it does heat the boat better initially with the pump on. We can of course override the thermostat by changing the temp on the dial forcing it to run all the time.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

....by the skin of my teeth !

I'm blogging from Waterlily. It is -2c outside and a warm 22c inside.

When we arrived there was no water coming from the taps, but the pump did cycle and pressure the system. We lit the fire, topped up the antifreeze in the header tank of the central heating (back boiler from the Squirrel) and boiled up some water we brought with us. We left the taps open with the pump off and after about an hour they started dripping followed by running water. We gingerly turned on the pump and it pressurised the system again and stopped -hopefully indicating a pressure test on an unfrozen system.

I think we just about called it right. We will keep the fire in as best we can while we have this cold weather.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Wind turbines

No, not those little ones that boaters use, my good friend John who we visit regularly in Scotland is having two big ones on his farm land.

Only problem was he needed some muscle (!) to get the bases in so in true DIY SOS fashion I organised a work party to move 53 cubes of concrete from one part of the land to another.

It took us all day but we managed it. It needs about 3 weeks to fully cure. Hopefully they will be up before Christmas and putting free power back into the grid.

I really like this part of Scotland so empty of people only problem is no canals


Thursday, 25 November 2010

TV icon...

I really am a fan of the 80's tv show Auf Wiedersehen Pet So when a friend organised a bike ride (motorbike) up the northwest coasts Salburn etc calling at the transporter bridge and then for a Parmo I was in line.

A few pics to remember the day. All in all about 340 miles and a great days biking.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

It has to have a canal connection

I could not resist taking advantage of the Bike to Work scheme recently offered. I have three light hearted ambitions

1. To visit America - Done twice now
2. To catch a Barbel, its still out there waiting for me....
3. To cycle from Lands end to John O'Groats !!

Spot the connection ....

So my new ped arrived last week and I started my 'training' with a 10 mile shake down ride on Saturday touching the Peak District then Sunday with a 20 ride out to Willington.

Can you spot possibly the most expensive boat (secondhand) on the waterways?

Six boats up from the bottom £170,000 to you - yeah right

Looking down into Duffield as I test the granny gears.


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A little autumn cruise

Having enjoyed Andy's cruise log of his recent trip on the Caldon I really need to get a catchup on what we have been doing.

Due to family stuff we have been remote from Waterlily for a while which will soon be addressed. Our last trip was a service visit to Shobnall. They are one of the friendliest near us and it makes for a nice trip out and back.

On our way into the village we passed Bruce waiting above Bagnall lock.

We had a really nice trip out stopping at Alrewas for food - it is so good to have the pick of the moorings this time of year.

We did get a real deluge on leaving Burton which allowed me to get the benefit of my tiller brolly holder.

We hunkered down at Branston and 'enjoyed' watching those few boats pass in the heavy rain - come on don't pretend you have not enjoyed that smug feeling?

Next days was once again bright sunshine and a deep joy to be moving on empty canals back to our mooring.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Why we get our internet connection aboard

Next time you get a connection - or complain about radio tv or internet spare a thought for these guys - keeping us connected

Click here if you can stand heights !!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Coming to a weed hatch near you

The colder weather and the high winds plus the time of year are depositing a large amount of leaves into the cut.

A couple of years ago I took Waterlily out with a couple of friends and we got stuck in Woodend lock. This lock collects all the leaves that fall from the trees in the long pound from Kings Bromley marina and beyond. We had to bow haul the boat out of the lock as no amount of reverse/forward delivered any propulsion.

I still envy you out there in this lovely autumnal weather.

Take care