Thursday, 30 June 2011

Joe Blogs #2

Lesley has gone off with the dogs so than I can get busy slapping a bit of paint to the internals of Caxton. So while I wait for the paint to dry and before reruns of Nude Trampolining for the over 60s comes on, I thought I'd have another go a this blogging lark as herself spends hours at it.

Already I can forsee some potential for problems ahead. The colour chosen is 'Oxygen' which I have been told matches the border tiles in the galley. However, this is not the case - does this mean I will have to re-tile the galley?

As usual with decorating more time is spent on preparation than doing, plus on a narrowboat there is no spare room to put the junk treasures that adorn every surface so it all gets moved to somewhere that you can trip over at a later stage.

This is part of the bathroom ready to be painted.

The finished item 'Oxygenated'.

Here we have the saloon and galley after painting - it looks better without curtains and wall lights etc. maybe I will leave them off as a nice surprise.

These things are a pain to put up and will be replaced by a couple of nails and some string.

Bought this stuff in one of the sheds. I was told that unlike many masking tapes it can be left in place for long periods without having to use a gallon of panel wipe to get rid of the glue when you take it off.

It is definitely targeted at the DIY sector as it is much more expensive than the normal masking tapes. The backing is less flexible so long straight lines would be easier, but in my opinion following compound curves on areas of car bodywork would be difficult. The blurb mentions its use for emulsion paint and has cautionary words about solvent based paints, though I know that it has been used with cellulose and two pack without problem. I also think that the marketing and design people have had a field day as the packaging (a strong plastic tub like tupperware) is over the top and adds to the cost. They say it protects the tape from damage and provides a useful container for screws etc. but I'd rather pay less for the product and do without this level of packaging.

Thats enough rambling time to get back to work!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Two birds, one stone

I am off to Essex this morning with Floyd and Fletcher - Mum's cat is just going to love that - to stay with my Mum an catch up with family.  Joe is staying on Caxton and is going to redecorate the painted panels inside the boat - result!!

Monday, 27 June 2011

On Parade at Glorious Braunston

 I drove to Braunston yesterday morning having dropped Joe and dogs at Hartlebury Common for their walk.  The GPS informed me that it was 60 miles; car, GPS and Lesley duly arrived and parked up in the top field where a £10 parking fee was extracted but as all proceeds were going to charity it felt money well spent.   The Wharf at Braunston was heaving with enthusiastic gongoozlers, rivet counters, kids, dogs, Morris dancers and boaters.  The cut was jammed with old working boats and some 'still working boats'.

My first port of call was the marquee to visit Lockside Antiques and to see Graham and Evelyn Booth where I bought a couple of bits and bobs for the new boat, Yarwood.   On leaving the marquee the first person I saw was Sarah Edgeson with her working boat Ling and before I knew it I was accepting her invitation to board and join the parade!  How good is that..?    On board were fellow bloggers James and Amy of  Nb Lucky Duck and before we had pulled out of the arm we were joined by Adam and Adrian of Nb Briar Rose.

 James at the helm of Nb. Ling
 Amy on the gunwale
 Adam clinging to the side
 My view as we entered the marina watched by the crowds.
The tents are the rustic accommodation for the show weekend.
 A working boat as it would normally have been seen, fully laden and low in the water
 Moored six abreast across the cut - I know there are six seven bows in this shot but the boat on the left is not moored, it is on parade.
 Following NB Kestrel out of the marina
 Nb Thea, the model for our new boat
 The laden boat moored up again
Look at the bow on this approaching, a big Woolwich  Northwich I think.  Laden, that bow would be in the water like the previous picture. 

I stayed several hours, thoroughly enjoying the spectacle, before heading back to Stourport and Caxton.
Thank you Sarah for the chance of riding 'on parade' in Nb Ling and it was lovely to meet fellow bloggers, James, Amy, Adrian and Adam and of course, Graham and Evelyn.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hello Peoples..

Roger and Pip on the lovely Nb. Windsong
Yesterday morning Pip and Roger of Nb. Windsong arrived in Stourport, I had been pre-warned by Pip but I was just too late to hide...
They had just finished watering when I tried to sneak past with Floyd and Fletcher, but we were spotted and press ganged into getting Windsong moored up in a windblown basin.   Having arranged to meet for a drink, I continued with the dog walking which turned out to be dog-swimming session so the boys were in no state to join us at their favourite pub, The Holly Bush, where they are usually supplied with hot pork crackling as a treat.  
L-R Joe, Cassie,Pip, Roger, Me
However, Cassie, Pip and Roger's Golden Retriever wasn't going to be left out so she joined the jolly party at the Holly Bush and she got the crackling - no mention of this was made to the boys though so no letting it out of the bag...please.
After lunch Pip and I plus three mutts went for a walk on Hartlebury Common; Pip will tell you that it was a route march of marathon proportions but my version was that we went for a wee wander.
In the evening we all went out for a curry and spent 3 happy hours putting the world to rights, as you do.
It was lovely to see them again and have a few hours to spend together.
I am off to the Historic Boat rally at Braunston today, leaving Joe and the dogs to do their thing in Stourport while Nb.Windsong is away down the Severn.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

By Lamp Light

Last week we bought a 'Francis' lamp on Ebay.  Joe has dismantled the lamp and inside is a plaque that is stamped, Simpson Lawrence Glasgow.  The lamp is type M1547 and the serial number S67/2396.  From a trawl through the Web it seems that 'Francis' were bought out by Simpson Lawrence and now Simpson Lawrence manufacturers of ship gear, deck fittings, winches and the like, has stopped trading.  I have found a company that deals in Simpson Lawrence spares and is aptly named, SLS, and have emailed for any information they might have. Does anyone know anything about these lamps?

The lamp as we bought it

 And with the application of the above (buy shares we are going to be buying a lot of this) and elbow grease we now have something that is beginning to look quite respectable, below.

Friday, 24 June 2011

New Blog

I have started a new blog for the soon to be started new boat.  The name of the new boat  is YARWOOD and the blog is Nb. Yarwood, simples!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

220 acres of...

Ten minutes walk from Caxton's mooring is Hartlebury Common.  Hartlebury Common is 220 acres of heathland that is managed by Worcester County Council and is there for all to enjoy.  This has become a regular spot  for walking two Labrador's, it's just perfect.  Floyd gets to sharpen his hunting skills as the place is teeming with rabbits - but, they are all in their beds when we walk there so Floyd just gets tantalised by what for him is an overwhelming aroma of wabbit..

 Fletcher gets chase a ball endlessly - I think I will be carrying him back to the boat one day as his chasing exhausts him!
Hartlebury Common, once owned by the Bishops of Winchester, has been designated as  a Site of Special Scientific (SSSI) which will protect it from the developers no doubt.
 Spot the ball?
 Their very own 'beach' on TOP off the escarpment.
 There's a wabbit down there somewhere..
or is it here perhaps?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Up periscope

Joe is watching 'Submarine School' on the goggle box and finding it fascinating....  There must be some ironing/knitting/brass cleaning I can find to do, yawn....

Hello Hadar!

When I took the dogs for a walk late afternoon yesterday I spotted a great 70' working boat sitting in the basin at Stourport - relieved that my eyesight was still up to scratch I wondered should I knock and say 'hello'?   I had only ever seen Hadar in passing but as  Keith and Jo are fellow boaty bloggers I took the liberty and tapped on the side and introduced myself, and Floyd and Fletcher of course. 
Best part of an hour later we parted company having covered, boat builders, propellers, loo's, paint, each others cruising plans and watched the shenanigans of Hotel Boats OAK and ASH turning around, spraying all an sundry with his prop wash and shouting instructions at his hapless crew, quite entertaining really..
It was lovely to meet the Hadar crew and the advice on 'compensated' propellers they gave me is being followed up; thank you folks, until next time.....

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Many hands make light...

We roused ourselves early yesterday morning, well actually that is not strictly true, Floyd roused us at 4.50am - apparently he was hungry/lonely/dreaming or something and needed ATTENTION! 
Never mind, we were due to get up and out sharpish because we had arranged to meet Adam and Adrian on Nb Briar Rose at the bottom of the Tardebigge flight and help them work up through the 30 locks.  

We drove to the bottom of the flight at Stoke Pound, parking in the pub car park (The Queens) and gave Adam a call " Where are you???"
They were just coming through Stoke Wharf lock so we walked down to meet them. 
We could not have had better weather, it was absolutely perfect and we soon got into a comfortable rhythm, four people knowing what they were about and just working with quiet efficiency.

 Briar Rose, Adam at the helm
 Here we go, bottom lock of the Tardebigge, bottom gates open and ready for Briar Rose

 Adam and Adrian have swapped roles, Adrian is on the tiller and Adam is now locking with Joe and I
 Meet Thomas O'Malley, lock cat
 It didn't take long before someone was sitting about on the job..
 Adrian, 'in charge'
 Yet another lock-wheeler sitting about... Adam looking very Bear Grylls..
Done and dusted, 2hrs 45 mins, and Briar Rose is moored up for lunch, easy peasy.

We shared lunch together and then Joe, Floyd, Fletcher and I said our farewells and headed back to our car.  We then went and paid a visit to Barnowl Narrowboats before heading back to Stourport ahead of the evenings rain showers.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Trip to Kings Bromley and...

A trip to Kings Bromley Marina on the Trent and Mersey canal was the order of the day this morning as we went to collect the Francis lamp we bought on Ebay yesterday.  And, being that close to Fradley Junction and the Muckie Duck how could we not visit and enjoy a pint with all the other gongoozerlers?

The Swan ( Mucky Duck) at Fradley Junction.
The reason for the trip, a genuine 9" diameter Francis lamp for the bow of the new boat.

Rally Nice

We took a run up to Stourbridge yesterday, specifically, the Stourbridge Arm and the Bonded Warehouse.  We had heard that there was a boat rally of Russell Newbury owners/enthusiasts and that Dave Moore was doing a painting demonstration.  We went to get some inspiration for the livery/colour scheme of the new boat.

 The first boat we saw was the newly painted KYLE, Brian Jarrett's boat.
 I think was probably the first tug that caught my eye all of two years ago at Bugsworth Basin.  The sign painting is work in progress at the moment.
 The Bonded Warehouse.  We couldn't get in to see the warehouse as we were not 'in thee club'.. perhaps we will get to see it in October when there is an open day.
 The heavy industrial style door hinges caught my eye on the boat.
 Two pigeon boxes, one plain at the back and one decorated with roses etc. in the foreground.
 We liked the scumbled framing of the name panels
 Yet another tug to drool over.. - nice bow too
I was quite taken with this as well.....
Have we firmed up our thoughts on a colour scheme...well we thought we had but now..

Friday, 17 June 2011

TV tonight..

The automatic TV remote control has returned...bringing the car with him I might add.

It's a man thing...

It is common perception that Man, if God had finished the job, would have had a TV remote appended to his body somewhere.   My Man has gone away, can I work the telly? 
I have enjoyed listening to Radio 4 anyway so why should I worry...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Hello car, long time no see

Joe went off yesterday morning to retrieve our car from storage.  His journey involved getting a bus from Stourport to Kidderminster where he caught a train into Birmingham and then another train out again to Peterborough.  The car was dropped off at the local garage for a service and an MOT and Joe then caught yet another bus to Bourne for an overnight with friends.  Today or tomorrow he will return with our car which will make it a lot easier to do the running around we will be doing when the new boat build starts which is only a couple of weeks away now.. exciting times

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Last night..

Last night Joe and I, (I can't get used to the new 'Joe and me' of modern English), watched 'Terry Pratchet: Choosing to Die' a program we had recorded on Monday.  We were both deeply moved by the programme, about the right to determine how you choose to die.  Horrible disease's, Dignitas, Switzerland - you get the picture.  It seems inevitable that the UK, or perhaps England, or Scotland will eventually allow people to choose their own deaths, safeguards in place of course, and save people having to 'go' earlier because they need to get their failing bodies to a foreign Country.  You might draw conclusions about my views...


I set off with the dogs late morning, calling in at the marina office to return a signed mooring contract and a  certificate of insurance for Caxton, before heading up stream to Bewdley. 
At almost the first opportunity Floyd launched himself into the river from a fishing point. 
What Floyd had failed to recognise was that he wasn't going to able to get out. 
Not a problem he thinks, bark at Mum a couple of times and she will rescue me... 
So carefully laying rucksack on the muddy bank - 'Mum' lies herself on it to avoid some of the mud, and slipping ever so gently down the bank towards the river she  reaches down  to assist the beloved hound.  She can't reach. 
Taking Floyds slip-lead she manages to get him to put his head 'in the noose'and hauls him up the bank where he shakes himself all over her and walks over the top of her prone figure to get safely to shore.
By the time we had reached Bewdley the mud had dried somewhat and there were no comments heard about poor dress standards or 'hedge backwards'...  

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Magic combination

River Severn just north of Stourport

 A magic combination, one river and two labradors.  Floyd and Fletcher are competent and keen swimmers  most Labradors are, it's a breed attribute afterall, so easy access to the Severn is proving very popular with the dogs.  We have been out walking along the towpath each day as well as a ball game in the extensive park here in Stourport but yesterday I bought an Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (2.5 inches to the mile) so we can explore this part of the world properly.

a bit of grazing as well

 Having been for a swim
it is now time to roll