Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Glamping, wedding, house move out, house move in x 2 plus move onto the boat - all in three weeks - busy, you bet !!

I have just posted on Bones Facebook page that living on a boat is exhausting... well with a lead up like the one we have had you can understand.

So..... in chronological order;-

The Glamping. 

We had a week in North Yorkshire - just outside a fantastic Yorkshire village called Masham  it is worth clicking that link alone for the picture ! As in my previous post Tom and Courtney brought us a lovely Christmas present of a week in a lodge.



Cooking as on a wood burner as was the hot water (luke warm water) 


No electricity and 6 beds all on top of another.... a real tester for the family, we were in the 'cave' at the bottom.


This little video gives a feel for its beautiful location.



While there we visited the Forbidden Corner a great day out, but I'd not recommend being locked into the coffin !!


Next day was full on.... off to Go Ape in the Dalby forest

Not being a fan of heights I was please that I did it without embarrassing myself.


It was hard work on some of the crossings with swinging beams to walk across. The zip lines were the best, trying to arrive facing forward was an issue for me !!

Callum showing how it should be done


Emma with a certain technique...


Rachel showing the reverse landing technique


Rachel avoiding the pile of bark shame...


Courtney NOT avoiding the pile of bark shame...


Tom full Buzz lightyear show


The video zip wire selfie..


After lunch it was the Segway safari....


Some expert manoeuvring....

There was the obligatory crash, I took a tumble whilst lining up an overtake of Callum when Tom stopped to look at a squirrel I think !! We did not fess up to our hosts of course !! No pictures as i was bleeding too much and putting my dislocated knee back into good order (ok I might have exaggerated that a little) 

The day ended with fish and chips penny arcades and ice cream at a popular seaside resort - any guesses?










The final full day saw us all just enjoy the woods and cabin then the lads went Clay shooting and the ladies washed a pig I think ? (no photos thankfully)





... and the winner was.....again, he won when we did the same in Scotland a couple of years back !


Friday, we packed up, went to Betty's in York for one of these.... then back home to pack the house (me) and work (Rachel) plus a couple of viewings !!


The packing

Our home stayed intact until the final viewing on Saturday 28th June at 2pm when after a viewing I started deconstructing 20 years of living and packing us up - all in two days. I even impressed myself !

The wedding 

On Wednesday the 2nd July Rachel and I at last got the daughter we had been missing when Tom got married to Courtney in a very simple ceremony (their choice and no doubt lots more pics next year when they get properly married in France)

29 years 138 days wed



Just wed, same love just time difference.


Then a nice meal and drunkedness for some (pictures not published)

The first house move

Two days later ......8.30am our movers turned up and within 4 hours had us empty and on the way down sarf'


5am next morning we were up and loading the car with all those bits we could not pack and headed to meet the wagon in West Sussex.

As we arrived the landlord of the pub appeared with a tray of coffee for us... nice touch. By 8.30 pm we were showered and house all sorted (thanks to an Ipad app and Callum and Rachel's hard planning) and I was sinking my first pint of Arundel Castle in the pub.

Sunday came and we drove into Chichester for a breakfast.


Coffee in the sunshine of our Sussex cottage garden



The boat move

We got back to Derby late afternoon and loaded the car with those bits due to live on the boat with... thankfully not a lot, thee 'barrow loads' (my new best friend is my orange wheelbarrow). I went first and left Rachel with the final clean of the house amd to bring Lilly our cat, who is not as keen as Leia on the boat 

Sunday 9.45pm we were aboard eating a nice pasta meal thanks to Alrewas Coop. We got a nice card from Mandy and Bonnie a neighbouring moorer. 

6.30 am my alarm went off to my new routine. I was please my hard work in the plumbing department resulted in a nice hot shower from the water heater (no engine running for hot water...) the new water pump being so much more efficient than the old one.

Opening the back doors I was welcomed to this part of my life with a beautiful sunny morning to walk Leia in (she loves it !!)


Percy is looking rough but I can now give him some TLC before he gets a new coat of paint in the autumn. Not a bad country cottage?


Our morning walk to Common lock and back



 Not too many to share with....


Not a ripple ....


Someone wanted to get through Fradley early though...


Leia in her element


So mission for now accomplished, all to plan I guess, well done to Rachel and I for this part of our lives. No small feat.

O'  - the final house move


I was able to hire one of the work vans at short notice as Tom was badly let down by Enterprise... This one I had not planned but it went ok in the end. I should be a Tetris champion for this one !

So if you are in the Fradley area look out for me as there is more than a good chance I will be aboard.







Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The powerless fridge

We have been Glamping.....enjoying a Christmas present from Tom and Courtney. I'll blog more about it later but on reviewing my Photos and with my impending move aboard I was intrigued and inspired by the fridge arrangements at the hut we stayed in.

The hut had no power.... Yes you can survive without electricity. To get around keeping food cool they had made up an outside fridge that looked like this....







Quite simple but very effective. I guess if it can go into a shady dry area it would work very well.A nice little project after sorting out the mooring properly for extended living (read either a raised deck area or wooden patio to eat from)




Tuesday, 1 July 2014

'Tis nearly done

Sitting in the warm late summer sun, garden in full bloom and beer with wine to follow flowing, contemplating being homeless for the first time in 30 plus years.....

We will have houses but not homes... well not just yet. We have a house full of belongings behind me waiting to be spread out 200 miles away on the South Downs.

This time next week I will be a liveaboard on the Trent  and Mersey canal. Going into that eyes wide open, maybe with a tad too much focus on the long dark winter months.

It is funny to see how breaking down the home affects the cat and dog... both have become so much more clingy  - certainly the cat cannot be closer to us right now !

It's a adventure, one quite off script, interesting to re read this in 12 months to see how the pages of our lives have turned and what chapters have been written,

So the next post might just come from a floating home in Staffordshire .... or a South Downs cottage

.... to be continued !!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Tipping point

Picture first.....


I guess there comes a time when acquiring is replaced by disposal. Sometimes slowly, other times like now for us with some focus. Moving homes or to boats focusses the mind and so it was today the first batch of charity boxes and loaned out furniture was loaded into CRV. We called it the tipping point in our lives. From now on in the house will become less a home and the changes come thick and fast, we wanted an adventure!

It's 'less is more' - a good strapline for a 5' 6" boater I guess !!

One good think about having the boat already is much of what is needed is there, just clothes to sort, so there may be more disposal in the coming weeks. All to the charity shops, paying it forward a little bit as well as we have 'been there done that' for car boots and not too enamoured with the expectations of the Ebay buyers out there. We have been lucky to have been able to acquire so much 'stuff' so let someone else have the benefit of our stuff?

Keeping a home in bricks and mortar helps as there is not a complete disposal challenge, I doubt we could do that, too many memories.




Monday, 9 June 2014

...Call that a boat lift

Just sorting through some old pics and video and I found a video I took last year when we called by the Strepy - Thieu boat lift on the bikes on the way back from Luxembourg

Click below for the Wiki info on it

Click here....

I took a three minute video of it taking numerous boats up, it is worth watching or fast forwarding to the lifting bit.


We have yet to do the Anderton, I am not being disrespectful as the Anderton was built for doing a specific job as the Strepy was. Just many year before so respect for the builder of both lifts.

The Anderton lift is on the list of things to do in my own boat, alongside the Ponty aqueduct and the river Thames by the houses of Parliament.

For now just enjoy the engineering involved in this lift.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Boat painting.... suggestions encouraged

Lat year I booked Percy in to have a complete repaint. (gulp)

We did this as I blogged about for our last boat Waterlily and were very happy with the job Justin at Mercia did. However when talking to him months after he admitted it would have been easier for him to give me £500 and not bring the boat in. Honest and now he does not offer boat painting !!

So I did a trawl of the forums and got some good reviews of John Sandersons work. He was with Phil Speight and took over Phil's business when Phil semi retired.

Link to his web pages here....Click me

We had to book year and a bit in advance which gave me some confidence there was a good demand for Johns work.

Last year I went over to meet John and look at his work in progress, plus talk options on colours. Now we still have no great idea on what colour we should opt for. In some ways we would like to keep with the maroon but its a real fader.... John advises he has a much darker red that  might appeal. We like the green we had Waterlily painted in, not sure with Percy's portholes and smaller windows it would look the same.... some thinking for sure.

One thing we will do is replace the five windows (we will leave the portholes as they are but polish them up as they come out) I have an appointment with a window company who are visiting next week to measure up so I can be sure I have the windows that fit and have them in time to refit after the paint job.

I would prefer a hopper type as the sliders are good but not for leaving open overnight (if it rains while asleep the water pours in !!) I like to sleep with the windows open and go to sleep listening to the night.

I just might have to find somewhere to live in the autumn while Percy is being painted !!


Friday, 30 May 2014

A bank holiday in the wet....

.... not that I mind the wet, it is a part of living in this beautiful country. I have been to many countries that have the same boring weather day after day, give me two or three season in a day, if nothing else it gives us brits a good opening line.

Anyhow, to keep my blog diary current we were on the bike in the wet over the Bank Holiday. It was the annual Honda Deauville meet. We have been to a few now, Ireland, Wales, Arundel and this year it was Somerset/Devon, and a bit of Cornwall.


That is myself and Rachel on the bike in front, heading over Dartmoor. The real joy of these meets is that the local organisers take us over their favourite roads (and cafe stops). We did just over 700 miles for the weekend. 

On the Saturday I opted out of the organised ride at the lunch time stop and was able to make progress back to the hotel in some very dramatic weather. The rain was so heavy it was triggering the vox on my autocom system.... Still there is something very perversely enjoyable about piloting a big fast motorbike in the rain on challenging roads. Good for the confidence also.

If you want to get the feel for being on the bike.... have a look at this video, I put my Gopro camera onto the wing mirror  pod and got a good bit of video.


I'll certainly enjoy watching this in the depths of winter !!

One thing I should say is the hotel we stopped in is worth a visit.

It is a training hotel for special needs adults, very inspiring to be in their company, and helping them get some real world learning.



Our room was on the front on the first floor with a great sea view.

Now the boat needs to attention, plus I should tell you about the paint job !!