Friday, 25 May 2012

Barbel before fifty

I am a fisherman. I have fished since I was a nipper and used to go with my dad  - which I miss. I have caught many fish but never a Barbel. It was my mission to catch one before I was 50 (soon) and recently brought a new rod and reel with a trip to the Derwent near to where I live to take this challenge out of my bucket list.

The weather has been great so on Wednesday I hopped off after work to some beautiful lakes close to Derby for a 'session' they are Carp lakes mainly and I had some good sport with two double figure fish (just) plus a couple of 5-6lb's

This is the middle lake of three - I am fishing about 7 feet deep on the dam.

The fish are in superb condition and very powerful with very thick backs solid bodies.

It so so nice.,warm and peaceful that we fished to twilight and with my last cast of the night fishing on bread in the margins I was gobsmacked to hook a small Barbel. By now I had put away my camera and it was quite dark so I slipped it back with a very big grin on my face.

Not the place I expected to catch my first Barbel and I will still go to the Derwent for a bigger version but nonetheless very satisfying.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The A6006 and Foxton Locks

Well it's a bike and boat post. I used to go into the Leicestershire wolds with some friends a few years ago. There are some great roads. not having taken my newish bike that way I had some free time this afternoon so I pointed the Pan eastwards and went off to the A6006 and B 6047. The roads do not disappoint in this area and the fact it was late afternoon and quite cool meant there was just enough traffic to make the trip enjoyable.

I had to stop after a series of sweeping bends climbing up on the B6047 to take this pic. I set the sat nav to Foxton and revisited. The last time I was here was the first trip after buying my 700 Deauville.

NB Bob Doubles was going through the swing bridge in Foxton ( I think) which I stopped for on the way back.

I still do not know this area if the top is nearer Leicester or indeed what route goes where. I really need to check my Nicolsons next time I am on my boat. It could be the Leicester ring is this years summer cruise?

The route back was Leicester then M1 fast trip back. About 120 miles all in, a nice afternoon trip out.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Considering change..... how did you decide to downsize?

More for me than you as a reflection for tomorrow or ten year time who knows.....

When you are restless for change it is a very hard feeling to dismiss. I think this comes to all aged parents who look for something else after the kids have got all grown up. So it comes to pass in my life. Reading the internet I found this article .... Clicky

Reading through the comments I like this one the most - and there was some good advice given (must be a Guardian thing)

  I have moved 29 times since 1982 and have lived in a variety of homes. My present residence is a 4 bedroom house in a rural village in Essex which is by no means small but if asked what my favourite way of living was over my colourful housing experience I would have to be honest and say a 2 bedroomed semi-detached cottage, which was very small but adequate, warm with a little open fire, that touched my heart and warmed my purse far more than any of the other 28 addresses have. This little home was all that I needed and gave me so much in return that it was the best memory that I possess! A GREAT LIFE isn't about great huge things; it's about small things that make A BIG DIFFERENCE Take the bull by the horns and remove all clutter from your life, be ruthless and give to your local charity shops all that you haven't used and will not use and start to see just how much room you do really need, it will surprise you and the health benefits are enormous, you can actually feel the weight leaving your shoulders, after all we have to store, dust and accommodate clutter at a huge cost to ourselves. We come in alone and go out alone, no possession can come with us, so it makes sense to start off loading now and spend what little time we have on this planet enjoying it not worrying about how much space we need as space in all it's entirety takes time to maintain. Time is short, we are only here for a look around......
Think small, it works!

So if you have read the article on the clicky above have you any advice - seems quite a few of you must have downsized to have a life on the boat.... or have you got property stashed away for a return to the land when the confines of the boat become too much?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fradley mooring opportunity

I recently blogged about linear moorings in response to Bruce's comments. I have just been emailed by BW about a mooring at Fradley click here for the full details.

I will watch with interest what it goes for as the last one on Hunts went for over £2,000

It does raise the point about the reduction policy again......see here for my blog with details on how BW score the merit of retaining/removing linear moorings.

You could soon be a near neighbour !

Monday, 14 May 2012

I don't wear a wig.....

Our boat is now 2 years older than when we had her painted. Justin did a good job but now nature is have her go and a few areas are showing need for attention. It got me thinking to how I should approach this.

We chose the colours to age gracefully and now I am thinking about touching the paint up. It will not match, mother nature's partner the sun will see to that so is it worth doing. I suppose bad patches of rust will need to be done, there are only a couple . One on the roof where a windlass was put/dropped/thrown and the roof hatch.

But then I am also a couple of years older, nature also has her plans for me and I accept them hopefully gracefully. No wig (I have less hair than some ...) no botox the tooth taken out was not replaced by a plate or any other expensive dental procedure, glasses are a must, but you get the picture?

So I think I will let Waterlily grow older with a little control as I do and see how she sands up against the elements.

Still saving for the next paint job so I suppose I should explore the Wayne Rooney approach of transplanting hairs from my arse to my head.... there is a joke there I'm sure ! !

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


I bet there are a fair few who have this romantic image of boating as being all relaxing and effortless. Well it is in the main but every now and again you have to do your chores. What is doubly frustrating is when you have a house and a boat so its chores x 2

This was the case this last weekend. Rachel was working so it was cinderfella here who drew the short straw with a house clean and food shop on Saturday and a boat loading, boat cleaning (with the genny out) and strimming of the mooring on Sunday. So by the time I drove back to Derby to pick Rachel up I was knackered.

Monday was a partial day of rest but included a trip the Cannock for present buying for no 2 sons 21st. Cannock is another market town not unlike Rugeley or Litchfield. All three seem to suffer from the recession more than most with lots of shops shut and further evidenced by only a few open on the Bank Holiday. Indeed the nice chap in Jessops said unless you wanted cards or mobile phones Cannock had little to offer. We fed ourselves well in the local Weatherspoons for under twenty quid shopped and left, and I doubt we will rush back. Only Stone and Stafford seem to be holding their own in this area.

Lots of boats moving, certainly on Sunday there were queues for the locks  - up to three boats at Keepers. Lots of smiling faces, no doubt because the weather forecast was wrong and there was no rain and some sun.

Met up with Bruce and Sheila for a chat and a coffee on Monday as I saw them pass us. It was nice to catch up for a longer chat that you can have on a passing boat.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Now now Bruce.....

.... as if there were not enough angst amongst bloggers at the moment Bruce is blogging about having me evicted !!

I agree with Bruce about one thing in his post and that is now nice Alrewas is. It is on a good waterway, road network and has a good balance of needed shops and pubs. It is also a very pretty village no doubt with the canal being at its centre. It is close with Stone as being top alternative places for us to live and we keep an eye on the local property market.

So (light hearted no more flame wars here) Bruce has commented on linear moorings and BW's or will it be Cart's policy. I have been involved with BW over this issue clicky here with an extract below for my blog reference.

My opinion is that there needs to be a balance. Anyone who has done parts of the Shroppie will know how stop/start it can be with linear moored boats. I like them, that is because I never cruise in a hurry and part of the attraction of the waterways is the variety of boats moored up. I like to wave at the occupants and smell their wood smoke! But there has to be some control. I think like most 'rules' to manage a situation BW's are too constrictive. I also know we are one of the attractions at Fradley. When there are no boats moving people come and wander down looking (in many cases in envy) at our little community of boats. I know I did it regularly and therefore we are a shop window for the canals and the interest/lifestyle. I sometimes think I should be being paid by BW at Fradley as part of their show!

Anyhow, the complexities of the BW linear mooring (non) removal is below, make of it what you will. One thing is for sure linear moorings are  much valued, as the last time one came up at Hunts it went for over £2,000 that is a lot when you consider no water or electricity, and for a 58 foot boat getting close to marina prices.

I like Hunts, so next time you pass give me a wave and Bruce, I am at the boat later so I'll pop down for a fight then a cup of tea !

Take care and don't take it personally, for anyone who has a linear mooring, marina mooring or no mooring, we are first and foremost boaters.

.... and finally for those not in the know of the area, this is what we are talking about, what a fine welcome to one of the oldest parts of the canal system?