Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Waterlily is now for sale - Please pass on the link

She is up photographed and has her own brochure now....

http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/feature.phtml?id=284510

Please pass this info around as you see fit.... blog about it would be even nicer ;-)

Thanks

Nev & Rachel

Monday, 17 December 2012

Absolutly shattered !

Owning a boat can be hard work, owning two is more than double hard work.. Anyone says different hasn't owned a boat.

I wanted to get Waterlily onto brokerage before Christmas. This is based on the thought that many will be making New Year plans and will have time to both surf and view....

So to get Waterlily on brokerage.........

There were some fixtures I wanted to take off so early Saturday I went ahead (Rachel was doing family stuff that included a hairdresser, I have little need for a hairdresser nowadays) First job was to remove the solar panel and controller install, not too bad, I installed it simply, no holes in the roof for cables or the panel (good decision). I swapped over a few other bits, nothing if you are reading this thinking of buying Waterlily that is a detriment to the boat, just personal bits. I then set to cleaning the outside.

I bloody well hate trees, over autumn the leaves left on the boat roof had stained, it took considerable scrubbing to remove the stains , I think weathering will eventually remove what I did not but they were very stubborn. I then washed and rinsed both sides plus front and back. After that both covers came off and were scrubbed to get the green algae off that was taking hold. One thing I have a problem with is joint pain and boy was I going to be repaid for stretching my should joints to the max with all the scrubbing !

I was now just about out of water.... my super reliable water gauge told me (another bonus for the new owners) so I packed up and was just scuttling across the cut to the Hunts water point when I spied Rachel arriving (about 3.30 now) A quick conflab resulted in taking on her good suggestion of locking up Hunts and Keepers and watering at the visitor moorings. By the time we had done that it was dark as we pushed Waterlily off the waterpoint to the last visitor mooring looking at Junction lock. Just before leaving for Water I took this last photos of Waterlily on Hunts lock moorings.
Percy was still unlocked so we took what we could carry over to Percy.... stopping to chat to Kev on Such as Life with the result of a an offer of 2 x 110ah wet batteries for £100 brand new. Good deal for all parties and ideal to upgrade the 2x 85ah or so on Percy of unknown vintage.

Back to Waterlily for the car shuffle next. We were planning on a Sunday cruise to Great Haywood boat sales at the marina meaning a car shuffle was in order. So we drove both cars the 45 minute journey to Great Haywood. left the Honda can came back in the Smart. I started to remember I had had no lunch so we took the easy Mucky Duck food option. I don't normally do mixed grills but I ate the £11 offer at the Swan washed down with two pints....the day was almost at an end, apart from a late walk round the Fradley pool with my trusty lantern as all the torches were on Percy.

I had a bad last night on Waterlily, too hot and despite taking pain killers before bed still woke up at 1.30am needing more. Age is a bugger of a thing....I eventually got off only to get woken by the alarm clock at 6.20am for a pre dawn start for day two.

The boat was ready by 7.15am and I walked up and set Junction lock. Nothing moving apart from us.... quite magical even if it was very cold, but no ice.





We locked up the three remaining Fradley locks then set off for the countryside via Woodend lock. This lock does attract a lot of detritus and I fished out a scaffold plank and a couple of very nice rounds that will make someone a evenings fire for sure. Then it was beautiful cruising all the way to Great Haywood, constant amazement at the lack of moving boats ( we passed 5 all day) plus lack of boats at the honey pot moorings with no boats at bridge 69 none at Woolsey bridge and only 4 below Great Haywood lock and the same above.



Woolsey Bridge moorings

We eventually reversed into mooring 41 at Great Haywood at 2.15pm, checked in, dropped keys off then started the unloading of the boat..... just as we were finishing we got the first viewing, a lovely couple from Leicester, looking to go up from a 45 footer, hello if you found you way to our blog.

A quick clean inside .... we will be back over the Christmas break to do better, then car back to Fradley to pick up the other car then drive home, unload all the stuff the the garage to be sorted over Christmas as I am not taking half what we took off Waterlily back onto Percy.

Mission accomplished. Percy on our mooring at Fradley and Waterlily on brokerage at Great Haywood.




Monday, 10 December 2012

It looks like it will be Great Haywood

I called over to see Great Haywood boat sales on Friday and the gentleman took my number and advised I'd get a call back. I did today from Ellie who was very enthusiastic, just what I want to hear especially as the boat buyer will hopefully get the same enthusiasm.

It looks like Waterlily will be heading for sale with them from Great Haywood marina. This is something we wanted as we needed her to be safe, offline with accompanied viewings only. They are not the cheapest but I expect worry free sales....I was impressed when i viewed boats there before, and the follow up calls seeing if I was sorted. They answered emails quickly also.... all good signs.

The other benefit is that thay have a slip there for surveying - if any interested parties need a survey. We had one five years ago so that might be good enough for someone to save a few hundred quid?

Just keeping an eye on the weather, I expect some ice over the next day or so but then it is mild wet and windy to clear any ice away. Ideally we would want her on brokerage before Christmas to allow those new Year dreams to be realised with the ownership of a very nice boat !!

It will also allow us to make the arrangements with CART to swop over the mooring permit.... and give them some  more money !

Watch this space....

Friday, 7 December 2012

Sad times

Just sad, nothing boating related and not something to blog about.

Sad I suppose also that we will be parting company with Waterlily soon, well she will go on brokerage which means apart from checking her we will not be spending any more time on her. It's funny how attached you get to a bit of floating steel, I think it's the happy times and good memories we have. I think as and when she sells I'll close the blog with a montage of images of our time owning Waterlily. That is of course if she sells, fingers crossed.

I will be leaving some printouts so anyone who does view will be able to visit this blog and spend as much time as they want seeing how we have improved her and where she has been.

I have been moving possessions off Waterlily today.... see Percy's blog for more ....

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mooring shuffle

Percy came to Fradley click here for the final leg. I was back at Fradley today and moved Waterlily onto the mooring of Don't Panic. Mandy is recovering from a bad accident and is, with permission, recovering on the Junction/keepers permit moorings. This will allow me to sort out the sale.... just getting valuations, then depending what I decide we will publish the details here.

 Waterlily will make someone a very nice boat..... we have done a lot of work on her in all the right places !



Sunday, 2 December 2012

Iced in... maybe

Not sure how the Trent and Mersey is fairing in this recent cold snap. Getting Percy our other boat back to fradley is becoming a trial....

Click here for the pics !

Friday, 30 November 2012

Two boat family

We now have 110 foot of boat (s)  Only for a limited time as poor Waterlily will be up for sale soon.

We completed on Percy today. Jill and Tony Redshaw are a really genuine nice couple and it is a privilege to take their boat on for as long as we can before he is passed to someone else to live with !

For some photo's click here..... clicky me for Percy

I'll keep posting on both sites for now and will keep Waterlily blog live until she sells. ;-(

Take care

Nev

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Meeting the bloggers

As tomorrow should be the hand over of Percy... See here for the details  I nipped over to Waterlily at lunchtime to collect some essentials for the cruise back from Braunston. As I approached Hunts lock I met Maffi helping Geoff  lock down to the coal boat. What a really nice pair of fella's they both were. Unfortunately I was on a tight timescale so was limited in the chat I could have.

Good to meet two entertaining and much read bloggers at last.


Maffi striking a pose...


Geoff taking Seyella out of Hunts lock

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Come visit....

As time progresses my ramblings on this blog will hopefully cease as we enjoy and develop our ownership of NB Percy.

I have a very good following - see you all over there on the right, I'd like you to come visit my other blog and keep me going with your comments and observations  as well as some useful advice.

I can't promise it will all be honey but like the best blogs it will be warts and all.

See you on the other side.

Nev

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Insurance - who do you use...?

So getting close now.. the list is done for what I need to complete before Friday....and insurance is up there.

We use craftinsure for Waterlily at the moment. Costs us about £120 per year. I have just completed the on line quotation for Percy and it is coming out at £225 with a £150 excess, down to £191 with a £300 excess.

The other company I am drawn to is Towergate..... they give options:


The Breakdown option appeals as at the moment we are paying for RCR £155 for their silver cover.

I have just printed off the towergate policy docs so some bedtime reading.

I'd be interested in who you use and why?

Thanks

Nev

Sunday, 25 November 2012

At least there are no ridge tiles on a boat

Last night at the bricks and mortar address we found our roof was leaking.....not much we could do at 11pm so this morning saw me up on the roof resetting three ridge tiles. Plenty of wind to add to the risk assessments with the method of access being revised to access to the dormer roof via my next door neighbours garden.

Just another example of the ease of living aboard..... yes I know there are plenty of other day jobs to take up the time, but I need as many reasons to liveaboard as possible !

So question is will the new raft of rain wash out my hard work today? But with all the flooding about that is a really small problem.

Hopefully move Percy on Friday, Boating !!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Meet our new boat

I did not want to temp fate. Now we have the results of the survey, no big issues we are on the home straight so I'll open up the link to my new blog all about NB Percy.....

Click me and tell me what you think.....

Nev

Sunday, 18 November 2012

2 cylinder Lister in Braunston tunnel

Not really a video, more a snippet of audio as today we cruised through Braunston tunne aboard a boat powered by a 2 cylinder Lister - CS2 to be precise.

More tomorrow hopefully




Saturday, 17 November 2012

House maintenance v's boat maintenance

So today has seen me sorting out the central heating at home. Yes I always wait until the cold weather starts to do this. Over two weekends I have sorted the cold radiators so the house is now very warm.

I reflected on the respective maintenance demands of house v's boat. They are very different and I think the house beats the boat hands down. There is plenty to fettle on a boat, and I suppose it depends on the install.

You don't really want to know about our Vokera boiler etc at home as this is primarily a boaty blog. So the boat....We (or I as I do the maintenance) are attracted to simple and if possible varied systems for our boating. Many will advise that a solid fuel stove and back boiler are in the main bullet proof. In fact the best advice is not to have to rely on a sole form energy for the whole boat. It is of course personal preference and also personal risk management.

Waterlily has a very effective back boiler with a pipe stat controlled pump. Hot water from the calorifier via the engine or via the back boiler... two loops in the cylinder. Battery charging via the solar panel and engine.

So here is the interesting bit... well it is for me anyhow. The boat we are having surveyed on Monday is pretty much the same with the exception of no water tank.... it has a gas water heater. Now I don't favour this as in my mind if you have to run the engine to charge the batteries you get hot water also. But if you do not have to run the engine as you have wind or solar you get no hot water. The real benefit of a gas water heater is instant always on hot water (as long as you have gas and who runs out of gas??) It has been an issue for us when overnighting on Waterlily and not being able to have a shower in the morning before work - or have a cold shower as when we arrived on the boat the batteries were fully charged from the solar.

The potential replacement boat has a bath - fantastic. My fibromyalgia sometime demands a good soak.... with the water heater there is no limit to the amount of hot baths - apart from what water you have on board.

Anyhow, it's good to have options and simplicity. Hopefully shortly I can really expand on the other boat in detail and tell you why we went for it.

Enjoy tomorrow it sounds like it is going to be a nice day !






Thursday, 8 November 2012

Survey booked

Hopefully not tempting fate, the survey is booked for a week on Monday. We will be helping the current owners move the boat to the yard for the survey.

I hope he is as good under the waterline as he is above.

Trying not to get too excited but it is difficult, I really don't want to be disappointed again!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Margaret Wells

She died yesterday, she was my mums good friend, no relation. We grew up knowing her children and she always lived in the west end of Derby where I have lived in or close to all of my life. She was a nice person lived a good life, a traditional life, I know what that means, and now she has passed on.

This is for me to reflect on when i re read my old blog posts.

RIP Margaret, we will miss you but not as much as my mum will.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Is it just me....

There seems to be a higher number of bloggers taking winter moorings this year than in the past. I suppose it could be the bad ( read ice) winters over the last couple of years. I can understand the attraction of connected water and reliable power. Those here at Hunts who live aboard don't have too many home comforts. There is a dedicated water supply but it is over on the lock landing and does freeze up, and that is if you can get to the point if the canal is iced over.

We are aboard with the fire going and the boat nice and warm. I know that is a big step away from 4 months of natures attrition. Good luck to all who live completely off the grid and those who are in or headed towards marina security for the worst of the weather.

It's such a long way away from those heady days of summer, well we did get a few, where the boat was so difficult to cool. I think our weather and swings of light and dark make our country so interesting, I'd not want to live anywhere else.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

An offer has been made and accepted....!

Not going to give any more details....some distance to go yet but watch this space...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Four more years

I worked (for the paying job) on the boat yesterday afternoon waiting for Jeff Greatwood the local BSC engineer to come and check Waterlily.

He was, as before, very helpful and patient with all my questions. He has some history with Fradley having run Swan line for 20 odd years. He still lives in Alrewas and gives it a good review.

Having done all the tests and calculations for the ventilation he declared there was nothing to stop him giving me another 4 years of BSC


If you want Jeff's details just click the photo to enlarge it, highly recommended. The only painful part was the loss of £150 !!

After work, well the battery died on my Macbook, the light was fading and Fradley was back to boaters only, I really like this part of the day at Fradley. I took Leia for a walk up the woods on the offside.



This hire boat was on the move in near darkness, I was a little envious. There were a few boats on the move today, scuttling through the area before the stoppages on Monday, it really will be quiet then.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Gas locker and safety certificates

So I have my four year boat safety booked for Monday PM. This was my post when it was last done....wow has that 4 years passed quickly.

Anyhow the test can't be done without testing the gas systems and at the moment my boat is a gassless boat as the two cylinders are removed for the locker painting - problem. Well a bit dramatic really as over a couple of weekends I have emptied the locker and wire brushed it and then treated the bits of inevitable rust, then last weekend I primed the space. So after work today I hotfooted it, well drove over, and after learning my lesson with groin strains and bad backs I literally painted it from the inside. A slight squeeze but quite a nice place to be, especially as the wind was up and the temperature had plummeted. I painted all but where I was crouching then lifted myself out and leaned in to complete the job, very satisfying.

The test will be tomorrow afternoon when we go back to the boat and have a overnight stay, we need the gas back for cooking and for the boat safety to be completed on Monday.

In between we are going to view two more boats tomorrow. I almost felt guilty as I locked up Waterlily tonight, she is a very nice boat !!

I'll let you know what where and the thoughts after we view.......

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Lock in

.... not of the beery type, not sure they happen any more with the new relaxed licensing laws?

No this refers to the stoppages. At Hunts we will be locked in literally between the Junction Lock repairs and the Alrewas lock repairs. We cannot even cruise up and down the 2 mile stretch as there is only one winding hole just below Bagnall lock.

I understand and support the works being done. However some planning would have helped keep the canal open if they had done Woodend rather than Junction at the same time as Alrewas lock.

It is a particular problem for one of our neighbours. Mandy from NB Don't Panic has had her fair share of drama recently being helicoptered off the moorings with a badly broken ankle. It means when she returns to her boat she possibly could be stuck without diesel or pump out, seems this will be resolved by the help of people on the mooring, plus hopefully some support from CaRT mooring and enforcement staff, watch this space. 

The locks at Fradley do need some attention so the repairs will be well received.






Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Sick to the bottom of my stomach

Wow.. how do I write this without resorting to a major rant.....anyhow here goes, might be of interest to some.

You might remember this post.....clicky here

Well on Monday I received this.....

Dear Mr Wells

Please forgive this unsolicited email, but we thought you might wish to be informed that L'Attitude Adjustment is now available again after the agreed sale failed to complete.  If you would like an appointment to view, please let us know.

Kind Regards

ABNB Team


How delighted we were. Straight onto the email and arranged a second viewing on the Wednesday morning at 10am.

Viewed, loved the boat again and within 6 hours of viewing the boat we had made an offer quite close to the asking price and within £500 of the price the boat had been sold for previously. On the home straight now, finances secured and advised ABNB of this with an offer to buy the previuos survey to speed things up.

Then we got this......

Dear Neville & Rachel

I can confirm receipt of your email and that I will discuss with the vendors the details of your offer.  As you probably know, they are in Canada at present therefore we have to take account of the time difference for phone calls etc - I will let you know as soon as possible the outcome of the conversation.

One complication has arisen in only the last few hours - the previous interested party had been asked to contact us regarding the refund of their deposit, but have instead, today, informed us that they have reconsidered and wish to put forward a new offer.  In these circumstances (when more than one offer is received in the same working day) both offers must be put to the vendor and their decision reported back to each of the interested parties (no details of any offer can be revealed to any other party, of course, for ethical reasons).

I can fully understand that this will be a frustration to you, taking into consideration the previous circumstances, but we have done nothing to influence the timing of these events and can only proceed in a manner designed to be as fair to all parties as possible. 

Kind Regards



Now call me cynical...... add in your own perception of what was happening here.

Just now received this......

Dear Neville & Rachel

I have now received the vendors' decision regarding the two offers put to them for L'Attitude Adjustment, one of which was the offer from yourselves.

I am afraid that I have disappointing news in that they have instructed us to accept the offer of the other party.  I am particularly sorry to disappoint you a second time regarding the same boat, and empathise with you that the timing of the receipt of the other offer was very unfortunate for you.

I can only hope that another suitable boat comes onto brokerage in the near future, and wish you well in your search.

Kindest Regards



The timing of the other offer was 'very unfortunate for you' I'd have to agree with this 110% What to make of it ....well that is down to your own interpretation.

We are so very frustrated. Its not just about all the time taken in viewings, time taken off work, financial arrangements etc, but the dreams that get shattered in an instant.

Well onwards and upwards as they say. I think I need to get out on Waterlily sometime soon!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Canals in Scotland?

My beautiful wife organised a week away for us as part of my 50th birthday. So last Saturday saw the new workhorse Honda CRV loaded to the roof literally with the two of us Leia the dog, Tom and with a stop off in Leeds to collect no2 son Callum.

I had kept them all on the insurance so we could share the 10 hour drive to Whitehills on the Moray Firth . It was a good drive up the A1 then through Edinburgh, over the Forth bridge up past Perth, Dundee then via Aberdeen to our destination.


This is our cottage - Wale cottage right on the sea wall

The beaches around here are fantastic, made more so by the lack of people on them. On Sunday after a leisurely start we walked the Beach at Cullum.



Here is the family .......it was so nice having them with us

Sunday night was clear as a bell so at 11pm Callum and I drove 50 miles (!) to what is supposed to be one of the darkest places in the UK.... except the Moon was waining so it spoilt the party a little.



This is the Milky Way I am told. I took it by putting the camera on the telescope with a 60 second exposure.


We saw a few shooting stars as well. It was worth the 100 mile round trip if only for the total peace and  beauty of the location we stopped at. We also saw Deer, Badger, Owl, Rabbits and Fox. We got back 2.30am cold but well happy.

On Monday (as the lads were leaving us Tuesday) we went clay pigeon shooting, not something I or the lads had done before but very enjoyable. I was the least accurate with Callum winning the competition .... well  we are blokes after all.






This is the action shot of Tom pinging the first clay then moving onto the second....

The winner getting his "Clay" trophy from Rachel

Monday evening we got an amber alert from Aurorawatch uk, that subsequently turned into a red alert. It was the night between two clear nights our bit of coast had cloud cover. We drove till 1.30am up and down the coast to see the lights but were unlucky not to. There was a spooky green glow to the cloud and at one point a shaft of green light came through a break in the clouds but it does not constitute a viewing so we will have to come back !!!

Due to work commitments both lads had to go back home on Tuesday and both has chosen different times and modes to do so.... Tom flew back and Callum being a student got a £40 train ride home to Leeds. This gave us a day in Aberdeen, granite city I think it is called. The Esplanade is worth a visit, once again lots of empty beach.


It is the supply centre for much of the North Sea drilling operation, lots of ships coming and going.











A bit bigger close up .....














Wednesday saw us walking along the beach to Banff. Another fantastic walk along empty beaches.

Here is the canal link......

Banff was where Tim and Shane Spall overwintered in 2011 as part of their around Britain tv trip. They had Princess Matilda repainted in the ship year we visited yesterday at Buckie. Banff is a very nice place, just the right size with beaches to die for. If I had £150,000 I'd be viewing this property, right on the sea front....

It was about 7 miles round trip, the harbour at Banff is very picturesque I can see why Tim and Shane chose it.

The town is very nice to, certainly the lower part away from the main road.
We went west on Thursday, to past Buckie where we did have the whole beach to ourselves. The tide was just turning and it was revealing the beach as we walked.

Leia is in her element here......












Mind you there is always someone who wants to spoil the peace and quiet.

video

Today (Friday) is very stormy.....and poor Rachel is down with a chest infection, so it is a reading coffee drinking relaxing day. We may do a distillery later....or we may not. Whatever is has been a great few days break. 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Canal Royalty

It's something you hear about when people refer to the old working boatmen and women, and rightly so. They had a hard life and the latter workers stuck at it and in some ways bridged into the next 'life' of the canals. This new life is characterised by the live-a-board, those who take a brave decision to move aboard, yes I think it is brave to step aside from the umbilical cord of bricks and motor and all the connectivity that comes with it. So these people are the new generation and in my opinion true custodians of the waterways, they look after it for me while I am at work ;-)

So today I met canal royalty. I have hailed Les on a couple of occasions when doing our own bit of cruising. I then started to read of a true romance (and I'm a bloke remember) his princess lived thousands of miles away, living a completely different life. I started to wonder if was reading fact or fiction, it was so unlikely but so worthwhile, especially as the two life journeys had been so seemingly difficult. The writing was compelling, the story was absorbing, as soon as a blog entry had been consumed you were left waiting and wanting more update, the next instalment.

Like all fairy tales this one had the very best of endings, the English gent gets his bride and the princess gets to live in her stately home.

So back to today, I visited that stately home and it rivals the best. It's one full of love and laughter. Its represents everything that those desiring to live-a-board must aspire to. It was certainly helped by the lovely smell of baking cake when I was invited aboard!

We chatted for a good couple of hours about life, boats, culture plus much much more that will no doubt come to me in reflections as the days pass.

So in my book this pair are canal royalty as they represent so many canal users but they are at the top of the tree in their story, their use of the canals and what came over most was the love of the life they lead. Better not shout about it too loud otherwise there would be a massive rush to buy boats.... and I know how hard that can be !

I came away inspired, certainly by the lifestyle but I think more so by the obvious love and affection between the pair, it was nice to see the last chapter of the book in real life. Long may they cruise the waterways.


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Boat viewings - dissapointment

After our recent failure to buy a very nice boat I lined up a couple more viewings - same builder - the now defunct Severn Valley. Why this builder, well they were latterly based on a decent shell and the layout and standard equipment installed appeals. 58 foot, trad, diesel heating bath, expandable bed decent kitchen good engine, good electrical install...some have bow thrusters....

Problem is the two I have viewed, one at Kings Bromley marina and the other at Ellesmere were very disappointing.  I recently read a thread about selling boats and the seller was criticised for not showing the engine bay. I agree this is the signature area for how well a boat has been looked after/maintained.

The two I looked at this weekend were messy, compared to the one you would have eaten your dinner off. Interesting thing is there is a run on decent boats at the moment they are selling, no doubt with the demise of so many builders good second hand boats are in demand - plus it seems life afloat is getting popular again... or people see it as a cheap way to live?

No problem, it was a nice 160  mile trip out on my bike today. Called in on Waterlily, she is a great boat, just not long enough for me but if we cannot find anything soon we will give it up and stick with what we have, she is not at all bad.




Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Chirk and Wales beyond

Unfortunately not by boat. It was in our new (old) car. We have parted company with the ever unreliable VW polo and brought a little bit younger Honda CRV. It is part of a master plan of relocations..... but in reality is a want as much as a need. However so far it has got no2 son back to Leeds with all of his 'stuff' and as the post title describes a recent long weekend to Wales.

It was to take my father -in-law back to Wales where he had lived for 40 plus years and where Rachel did a lot of growing up. We stayed in a great guest house Bryn Elltyd   please give the link a click, you will be impressed as we were, even though we stayed in the pig sty and my father-in-law stayed in the Hobbit hole. It is based in some fantastic scenery with the steam railway running at the end of the garden.

We started the weekend with a stop off at Chirk castle.... worth a visit, I'd have preferred a walk by the canal but I am saving a lot of the Llangollen canal for when we visit it fully on our boat.

A short walk from the guest house took me into this lanscape....

I know steam trains saw off the canals, but who can resist all that fire, water and engineering....

We did electric mountain on Saturday which was also very impressive and the secret bunker in Nantwich on Monday on the way back. I opted out having done it before and took Leia for a walk by the canal, stopping at Adderley top lock and helped a flurry of boats through.

All in all a good weekend, even if the canal links were tentative. But we do not have our parents for ever so it was also nice to be able to be apart of a visit back to Wales.


Monday, 24 September 2012

Quiet on the cut...?

After my considerable disappointment , see last post, I went out for a ride on my bike, 110 miles up to Buxton, then over to Leek, stopping off at Stone then a call by the boat at Fradley. There was one cruiser on the mooring below Star lock at Stone and nothing at Woolsey bridge moorings.

I gather there was a burst of activity after the school holidays but the drop in temperature and race towards darker nights seems to be curtailing the majority, shame we have no plans for a cruise anytime soon....


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Being used.....?

So an update from my last post. We went to see a boat, it was what we wanted it was something we could live on in a lot of comfort, it was very expensive.

We were advised after the viewing an offer had been made on the boat but refused. The next day I emailed the broker ABNB asking for a second viewing as we were very interested in the boat..... no answer. A couple of days later I emailed again, this time getting a response saying fine for a second viewing, could ABNB have my contact details (they already had them) to contact me prior to the viewing on Wednesday AM. Tuesday pm I still had not heard from ABNB so I phoned to confirm the viewing, bearing in mind this was an expensive boat and I was going to make an offer..... they told me it had been sold !!

I asked more than once if my interest and plans for a second viewing had been relayed to the owners...... ABNB never confirmed this. So I have to assume the owners were not aware of my significant interest before they accepted the offer on the boat. If it had been my boat I would have wanted ABNB to tell me of the interest before I took an offer on selling my boat. Sick, yes I was and whilst ABNB were sympathetic, it went no way towards making me feel anything other than used to generate a higher offer from the original viewer of the boat. I am very pleased for whoever has brought the boat, they have something very special, as to the way I was dealt with by ABNB...... well you can make up your own mind on that one. Interstingly, and I may be paranoid here but I was on the ABNB Friday mailing list..... I never got this weeks update??

So, very frustrated - towards the end of the week close, very close to taking a big step but seems we were not being taken seriously.... dangerous I'd say in any sales situation, especially for the poor person whose item is being sold by a third party.

One thing I have noticed since boat builders have gone under, the trade in good quality second hand narrowboats is brisk.... last time I looked at Great Heywood boat sales their stock of boats on brokerage was very low.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Life changing decisions.....

Some really interesting posts lately.

Sarah blogged very honestly about her year out living on Chertsey and Bakewell. I like reading Sarah's blogs as she seems to give an honest account of her experiences, good and bad and this was most evident in her blog entitled 'Happy New Year' Aside from the fact I fully understand the New Year context as I work in Higher Education (HE) and in a week it will all start again with lots (thankfully) of new and returning faces - some of them lecturers from their scholarly activity over the summer! Sarah tells a tale of a year off that was good but not as she expected. My wife recently asked if I'd be happier working on the waterways.... I said not as I feel making it too accessible  would take the enjoyment from it.

So then Halfie is taking a well earned rest from the world of work. Unlike some he has opted for this end of career move, but it will no doubt mean much more time afloat - will it diminish the return he gets from being on the water?

When I read Les and Jaq's blog  - NB Valerie  I reach for the boat keys and the phone to tell my boss its over...... they seem so at peace with what they have. They have love also but we have that in spades so can it be that easy and does it never get bad?

Then my neighbour Mandy from Don't panic wrote very honestly and deeply recently about being at peace in isolation that can be found on the canals. I can really connect to this. I look for remote moorings when out and about and try and avoid where possible the honey pot sociable mooring on the system. I might be missing the food and drink that some seem to share and enjoy  - almost every day - NB Chance leads the pack on this one for sure.

Finally John and Louise from NB Blue Moon are heading back to reality after their recent cruise.... they end their blog .....

"Oh well it's back to reality on Monday for us both. I wish this retirement lark would hurry up !!!"

So why the post today and with this reflection.... well we are viewing a boat tomorrow that we could live on in some comfort. That is all I am saying as it is a million miles away from reality right now, but for tonight I have one foot closer to realising a life changing decision  ;-)

Nev


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Hard workers...

Look away those of you who are now happily retired. Not that you do not deserve your easier life after decades of hard work.

No the title refers to those who are getting up at the silly hour I am today......my reasons are health related but talking to a fellow boater yesterday he will be up now getting ready for his long day doing more than one job. As was yesterday a full 12 hours. Plus another boater on our mooring who does long shifts in the NHS.

Nothing new for those hardy boaters who used the canal for work purposes when a moving boat was money. It is in the main an idilic lifestyle of pastime we hold so dear now but there is no doubt is was a real test especially during the long cold dark winters. It must have been a test of resolve to be trudging along in the wet and dark on some remote canal tow path  - very different to how they are used today.

So as I type this with my cup of tea my thoughts are with all those quietly going on their way to earn a living.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

So painful

I have just paid for my 2012/13 boat license. With prompt payment rate this is a cost of £710.24  Add that to the recent mooring payment of just over £1200 means it is costing us just short of £2,000 to float my boat in a muddy  (our moorings are very muddy) ditch..... and I mow my own grass and maintain my own mooring.

Of course my wife working in the NHS has had a 0% pay rise for the last two years and I have had 1%  CaRT tell me they have increased my license fee by 6.4% and will increase it by 2% more than inflation for the next three years. That is no small increase. If I were a saver or retired my savings would be attracting diddly squat.

It makes me wonder how folks maintain their boats on the cut all in. It really is a dedication to the waterways. I'm sure there are some big sacrifices folk make to keep on enjoying the canals and rivers so CaRT better prioritise the infrastructure in their spending plans as I feel I am doing more than my bit and am a super contributor as well as a friend.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

A new blog is a blogging treat - Shell Bell

Ok, I read canal blogs, there is a big list of them over there on the right.....

It is for sure vicarious cruising for me as I don't have the courage to give up the day job just yet.

So when I discover a new one its like buying a new book without the buying bit. A regular reader of my rambling is Norwyn on Shell Bell. I have found he has a blog here... Click Me

So over the next few days I'll catch up on all that is Shell Bell, thanks Norwyn

Friday, 24 August 2012

Apple to be recommended

My youngest has recently purchased a nice new Macbook pro laptop for University. I got his old one .. which was generous as they still command a good price even second hand. 

The battery and dvd drive were both FUBARR'd. On checking for latest software updates after installing Mountain Lion, then checking to see what it would cost for a new battery and drive Apple advised it was still within its 3 .. yes 3 year warranty. You get these extended warranties when buying from the Apple education store. 

So booked in for a Genius appointment at Apple store Meadowhall advised a couple of days and within 48 hours had it back with just under £200 of parts and labour and a nice newish Macbook pro 15 inch.

The Apple store is worth a visit, done the London and New York ones but this was the busiest by far.... even on a Friday evening and Sunday evening.

As an aside they did get some money from me for ...... a sleep monitor. 

I suffer from Fibromyalgia and poor sleep is part of the condition. I am my own worst enemy and I know regular bed time and regular length, are critical to aiding good sleep. This device records the type and length of the different sleep patterns over a night and gives a score. I will continue and observe impacts such as work, amount, time to bed, time to awake, location to see if I can improve my pattern.

Anyhow.... as I say Mac to be recommended

Nev

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Captain chairs or bed settee

I got a recliner last birthday which I'm afraid I don't find too comfortable. There is a pad at the top that pushes my head forward giving me an aching back/neck.

At the Mercia marina show I tried out a Wilsons chairs which was much more comfortable  ( I think my chair was from a department store)  I am sure I will replace my chair but we are dithering as to whether to replace the little settee we have with another recliner or a bed settee. I don't think the boat is big enough for more than two so my choice is the selfish one.... two captain chairs, however Rachel is erring on the side of sociable caution and thinking of a Wilsons bed settee.

What do you have and why..... it might help me make up my (our) mind?

Nev


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Did I mention my event.....

Spot the event from this picture....

What a great cake made by the mum of my sister in laws bloke. It taste great and the cabin is in the process of being demolished .

There is even a little Leia on the front !

Nev

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Thieves strike on my mooring - Hunts lock mooring up for auction

Just really annoying that I now cannot trust our moorings. I kept two jerry cans at the back of my wooden locker, they were empty but I use them over winter to keep the tank topped up. Last time I mowed the grass they were there today gone. It really makes me sad that even in the community boaters and more frustratingly those who moor with me at Hunts someone thinks it is ok steal someone else's stuff.

I will give stuff away, I have done and I'd go out of my way to help someone if they needed it. I hope whoever took them gets benefit from their dishonesty and in those quiet period of reflection feels a little remorseful.

That and the constant mowing of grass is making me think of marina moorings. For security and also the lack of maintainence. I cannot trust BW now CaRT not to damage my boat with their so called maintainence not even rings at Hunts and they are asking for £1700 for a auctioned mooring at the moment.  If you are bidding think again, no maintainence and the risk to your property does not make it a good offer.

Down in the dumps today on boating for sure.......

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Laura's Wedding

As I am in the process of having these musings printed by year as a record of what I did for my offspring and their offspring if they have them I wanted to record my neice's wedding.

Hardwick Hall was the setting and it was even from a blokes point of view beautiful. So tasteful so gentle so much Laura and my sister Pam.

More pictures than words....







Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Heartbeat and support stockings

....two very entertaining British tv shows I'm afraid.  We were away again on the bike last weekend meeting up with friends from Ireland and other from across the country for a couple of days biking in and around North Yorkshire.

Saturday saw us ride over to Whitby, compulsory fish and chips then on to Goathland for more compulsiry ice cream and visits to Scrips garage and the Adensfield pub, great.


Sunday saw us off again through some fabulous scenery a=s we headed to Holmfirth for a drink of tea in Sid's cafe and a quick nip up Nora Battie's steps.

We rode back through some of Derbyshire's finest roads to CMC in Chesterfield for tea and cake before heading home with other going in all directions after a great weekend. Problem with this bike is its too tempting to ride and poor Waterlily is getting neglected.

It really would be rude not to.

Ok the canal link......while up in the hills we did pass over a few canals or more likely rivers that were navigable, I really must do some research on the Leeds Liverpool and Huddersfield narrow canals as if the give this scenery pay back they have to be worth the effort?