Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Another job jobbed

Yesterday Yarwood had her first coat of bitumen and was left to dry overnight.  This morning early either someone was trying to tunnel into the boat or it was Justin applying a second coat of the black stuff while I was still in bed. When I emerged at 8.45 to take the dogs for a walk Justin was making steady progress along Yarwood's port side.

While we were here at Braunston Boats we also had another little job dealt with.  The two holes you see below are in the side of the boat and they did have two 'skin fittings' that vented the waste water from the galley sink and the waste water from the dishwasher.  The thing is that skin fittings can be vulnerable to being ripped off apparently and these two skin fittings were a bit close to the water line and we risked a flooded boat should the worst happen.

 Skin fittings ground away...ex - skin fittings
 Solution, two bits of galvanised pipe...
 These are pushed back into the boat, and welded into position.  The pipe comes out in the under-sink cupboard where it is connected to the appropriate wastes
 Justin welding the pipes in place
 Welded, ground back and ready for a coat of bitumen
Joe then re-plumbed the sink and dishwasher wastes to the new pipes, using two jubilee clips for each waste/pipe and ensuring that are as safe from the risk of flooding.
That's another job jobbed as my old Grandma would say!

Yarwood's slipped...Oops

Sunday late afternoon we headed from Hillmorton into Braunston in readiness for Yarwood's date with a slipway and a bucket of bitumen.  We moored up behind Parisien Star and managed to speak briefly to  Ellie and Mick as we went off the next morning to get Yarwood up the ditch to Braunston Boats slipway.
Getting 66 foot of Yarwood into position ready to come up the slipway was interesting as there was a stiff breeze blowing and things were a mite tight.  Anyway, it got done and a bit later Roger and Justin turned up to do the final preparations and get Yarwood safely out of the water.

 Joe, Roger and Justin hauling 24 ton of boat into position so that the slipway dollies will go under her baseplate.
 Getting there
 She's on and coming up

 Supervising the operation obviously!
 Justin starts the jet washing
 Justin finishes the jet washing

 And starts the blacking

Monday 29 April 2013

Service with a WHAT?

Having checked the website for the Old Kings Head at Hillmorton and found that they did serve real ale and they were dog friendly we wandered along for a pint on Saturday afternoon.  This is a canal side establishment so walkers and dogs are not going to be unusual.   There was chalk board tacked on a gate outside  signposting, 'dogs this way' - thank goodness my pair are literate I thought... 
We followed the sign to the nearest open door and entered a bar, went straight to the counter and ordered a couple of pints and a packet of pork scratchings for the boys.  Half way through serving us our bar boy noticed we had dogs and waving his arms about vigorously instructed us to go downstairs, NO dogs allowed in here he exclaimed! 
'Why not?' I asked
'The food, the food, you will have to go downstairs!' and pointed to a staircase behind us, until now unknown to us.
'Ok, can we get our drinks then?' I asked - Admittedly, getting increasingly aggrieved by his antics and attitude by now.
'No, you have to go downstairs!'

We went.

Joe returned to the bar and got our drinks and I sat downstairs as instructed and seethed...

As it turned out, the door that we should have accessed the downstairs dog friendly area was a firedoor, a padlocked firedoor with the 'dogs this way' notice lying on a shelf inside and about six feet away from the door.

We did mention to a member of staff who popped down to our little dungeon that the fire door shouldn't be padlocked but you could hear the whoosh of air as it went in-one-ear-and-out-the- other' Nil comprende...
Yet more time passes and someone with keys arrives to open the door...wrong keys though and after a couple of minutes fumbling and fussing while Joe and I mentally counted the number of bodies that would/could be piling up with smoke inhalation, she went off for another set of keys.
A couple of minutes pass and staff member returns and eureka, the key works and we are released from our own little fire trap.

This is an establishment that likely pay's minimum wages, provides minimum staff training, who in turn provide minimum service and to cap it all , the Management overseeing operation is piss poor.
End of rant.
We will not be back.. 

Lighten UP!

We left Newbold-on-Avon Saturday morning, destination, above the locks a Hillmorton if possible.  Here the towpath is wide, and flat, and dry and we had another chore in mind that would require a bit of space; we were about to visit the nether reaches of Yarwood and do a little 'disembowelling'...

 First job, locate the Tesco crates buried in the bottom of the hold
 Then, up comes the carpet tiles in the saloon
 Having cut a section  of saloon floor the trusty screw driver is used to prise it up
 The ballast is removed...by yours truly, unskilled manual labour a speciality..And Himself sets to again with the skill-saw to remove more floor
 More pavers/ballast removed...by me, leaving Joe to tidy up the void - actually the base plate of the boat
Thirty four stone of ballast removed which has subsequently found a worthy home at a boat builders

Friday 26 April 2013

A night in Newbold, or two

 Fletcher, and Floyd awaiting instructions or, wondering why had called them to wait given we had only been walking for ten minutes

Yesterday morning we were up with the lark...or it could have been the tit; whatever was heartily singing away and woke Floyd who in turn, as is his way, woke us. 
We needed to wind (turn) Yarwood ahead of our return to Braunston and the nearest point where we could do that was at the entrance to Brinklow Marina.   So off we went, a ten minute cruise, a turn and then head back towards Newbold tunnel.

 Executing the wind
 Coming back out of the tunnel at Newbold
I hopped on to the deck when Yarwood emerged from the tunnel and retrieved the rubbish I had left there in anticipation of the recycling point by the services.   We passed the Barley Mow pub, slipped through the next bridge and there were a couple of moorings available on the 14 day stretch so we pulled in and moored up.
As soon as we were breakfasted and showered I went down into Newbold and caught a bus into Rugby but, unable to find what I was looking for, I was on the return bus within the hour.  
After a pint at the Barley Mow I spent the afternoon cleaning brass and washing and waxing bits of Yarwood ahead of walking the dogs again and with all this industry, I was too tired to cook so dinner was... in the pub with the two dogs lying under our table...very nice too.
Today, it was Joe's turn to take himself off to Rugby and I took the dogs for a trek along the Avon Way Walk, a long distance path that starts in Northamptonshire at the source of the River Avon and ends at it's confluence with the River Severn...
We didn't walk that far though.
 Skirting Rugby cement works
 The River Avon, a source of delight to two Labradors who were soon in it playing
 Oh look, we have found a ball..

 Characterful  Shetland pony
Two hours later, on our way back, we came through a field of Shetland ponies.  This particular little fellow was VERY interested in Fletcher and insisted on following him across the field.  Fletcher, being a bit of a wuss (well alright, a lot of a wuss) was not amused by the attention.  In the end I had to slip an arm across the pony's neck and get him to walk politely with me rather than up Fetcher's hind quarters.

What a handful this lot must be..

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Another stress filled day

What a difference a day of sunshine makes to nature and to 'human nature'.  Yesterday we enjoyed wall to wall sunshine and after the trek to Tesco' s was accomplished, out came the brass cleaning kit and I set to with a will.   Floyd joined me on the tug deck (such a useful little chap he is...not) as I polished but progress was a bit limited as everyone that passed by stopped to chat and I had to oblige didn't I,  you could hardly ignore everyone...
I gave in eventually and settled for sitting on the deck drinking a chill glass of vino and cuddling the persistent and demanding Floyd.

This morning we set off towards Newbold to fill with water and get rid of rubbish and maybe find a mooring as Joe wanted to go into Rugby.  No mooring to be had so we moved onwards through Newbold tunnel and on into the countryside again.

 These little beauties have come out to play in the last couple of days.
 Vibrant aren't they?

 Walking the towpath towards Rugby somebody had pulled this out of the canal overnight and deposited it on the path.

 It is smothered in freshwater mussels
 I don't know what these plants are but they have also sprung up overnight it seems

 The plant structure is very intricate and quite stunning though I suspect it is a an unwelcome addition to the canal side.
 On the water point at Newbold.
We arrived at Newbold to find another boat watering and giving the side of their boat a quick wash down. They kindly offered us the use of their hose but I said 'we were not in a hurry, finish what you are doing, I'll put the kettle on.'
We were soon watered anyway and on our way again. Not long afterwards we moored up at Tuckey's Bridge and with a full water tank and oodles of hot water from the short cruise we enjoyed  long a luxurious showers before I prepared lunch.  Thereafter it was the Daily Politics Programme on Beeb2,   a bit of cleaning, a bit of reading and then walk the  dogs again.
How do I cope with this stress??

 Tonight's mooring at Tuckey's Bridge

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Which bit of armco?

So I had sorted the water supply points and decided that it was laundry day again.  Bed stripped and sheets etc. shoved in washing machine we had a later start than planned as we waited while the washing machine 'did its own thing'.  A spin-dry that went on, and on, and on, and still failed to get things dry enough for the tumble dryer.   I was ready to reach for the lump hammer ( being less than patient with techno problems) but Himself is a trifle more understanding of technical failings - if not of the human varieties - and he won out as we sodded about with various loads on the genny until all worked properly again.
Washing underway, we joined the queue for the Hillmorton locks.

 Yarwood approaching the first pair of locks (paired single/narrow locks)
 Ain't it lovely to be in these narrow locks again?
 Following a boat down the flight to lock number two
Today's 'plan' was to moor near to Tesco's and get in the provisions.  A look at the map told me that we needed to be near bridge 58 but Joe had walked into Rugby yesterday so when he told me that 'this is the bit of Armco that is ten minutes walk from Tesco', we moored up. 
Rucksacks and trolley gathered ready for the assault we set off and it soon became apparent the 'bit of Armco' Joe had spotted was perhaps not the 'bit of Armco' he had spotted yesterday.  Twenty five minutes later we were approaching Tesco.

 My Sherpa for the day
 Walking back along the North Oxford canal in beautiful sunshine

 There be Yarwood
 There be Sherpa..

The mooring is so lovely what the hell that it is 20 miles from a shop???