Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Wanted - More bloggers, your canals need you.

I have been following canal blogs for many years, well before I owned my own boat. We were sharing within the Ownerships scheme when I discovered Snecklifter, a dry witted and entertaining blog of 3 year life that extended to 5 years on the cut. It was regular, informative and entertaining. I exchanged a few email with Mike the blogger and was saddened when he went back to the bank - somewhere Matlock way I recall.

Since then I have followed many and still have an extensive blog roll on the right. There are a few that sadly pass on, not so many pleasingly, but there are a few who give up and take to the land and a few who just stop without notice.

This last group I find the hardest to contend with as it is like a friend walking out of your life with no goodbye, selfish on my part to think this I know.

Some you can see the writing on the wall so to speak and I cannot blame them for seeking out a little home comfort especially when they have done much of the system, more than once.

I hope one day to be one of the group on the right giving others a vicarious fix of canal life, even if it is 8-10 months a year. Of course this time of the year only the hardy are out and about and I include those I know who spend a good deal of time aboard on my moorings. I did it last year and it is cosy, satisfying but ultimately  hard work and can be lonely.

But for now and the reason for this post is to add another new blog to my blog roll.

My view from the loo please click the title to take you to the blog.

I'll leave the explaining of the title to Mandy, I know it will be an interesting read so I would encourage you to bookmark it or whatever you do to get a reminder there is an update.

If anyone else reads my musings and wishes to have their blog linked to on the right please drop me a line  - happy to oblige and get another slice of canal life to read about.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Possibly why people end up living on boats?

This is quite a 'foot on the breaks' equation.

It comes from this blog post.... Click me 

We all have a reality, it is the expectation that is sold to us via many different channels and peer groups. It is all predicated on pressure to do well. Work neighbours family and friends all contribute in some way, some give us the feel good some add to the pressure. 

The internet is devious, it cleverly knows what I have been 'aspiring to' and feeds me images and reminders of what I think I want to the point I start thinking I need them. Top notch subliminal marketing - not allowed on TV but everywhere on the internet. 

Clever, it really is a mind altering experience.

Ironically it is the internet and its global availability that is selling the western dream to those aspirational people in less financially stable counties to come and 'achieve'. Economic migrant they are called. 

I guess it is a real privilege of those that have seen their future, or  arrived at it to know it is not all what it is sold to us to be. So we live on boats and downscale our lives to remove the pressures of what is sadly seen as success. 

The real success is achieving happiness which is your reality if you can remove those expectations. Better still if those expectations are less than your reality you are living a positive experience?

Of course the internet is fill of blogs like the one in the link but every now and again one comes by that does make you challenge your thinking on life - well it does for me anyhow. 

One final thought, slightly depressing and delivered to me by my recent raw experiences of supporting ageing loved ones into the final stages of their lives, it arrives sooner than you think, we all will take those last days weeks months or in some cases years of relative non existence to what we have lived in the time leading up to the final chapter, albeit however brief.

So the learning point, manage your expectations, they impact significantly on your reality which in the end is your happiness. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Misty last cruise of the year.... Maybe ?

The blog post is a little misleading as we are now able to go a long distance if we wanted to (tempting). Sunday we were pointing into the stoppages with no winding hole between us so we either left Percy as she was or took an autumnal cruise to point her back the way we prefer - to Hunts lock and cruising routes beyond.

In reality we may not move again this year but that will not stop visits and maybe some work parties. 

Sunday when we got to the boat was misty and foggy - I have always wanted a foggy cruise, very atmospheric. I would of course prefer a real pea souper, this was more heavy mist I guess, but still a nice cruise. 

What we did not expect was the amount of boats moving. I guess they were all scurrying past the stoppages that start at Bagnall lock today (Monday 2nd November). We were even quizzed by a boater as he came up Bagnall - "am I clear of the stoppages now?" The tell tale surveyors marks on his newly acquired P&J showed he was either a new boater or a boater with a new(ish) boat.

The fencing was ready for the shutdown. A couple of my boating neighbours were looking forward to the peace of 6 weeks of no boat movements.

What was noted since we last did this run was the new moorings between Common and Bagnall locks. Plus the mooring x 3 above Common lock.

Interesting since when I enquired about two pieces of land in the area on both occasions  was advised it was unlikely under the mooring reduction program - remember that as I think it might have been lost in the BW to C&RT change over  !!

Another blogger passing through, this time Barry and Sandra from 'The Home Brew Boat'  Sadly  only got time to exchange a few pleasantries with Barry before they went off to their winter trade mooring at Mercia (a great idea) As I am less than 5 miles from Mercia  based I may visit to check out their merchandise.

I took this photo to remind me how the rear fenders are installed as I have brought them home to 'creosote' them as advised by Joe Hollinshead who made them for me. The same Joe that was helping Tim and Pru down those challenging Knowle locks on TV last night.

Finally a little YouTube video to keep me reminded of what my boat sounds like ! The wobble half way through was me dropping to neutral as I thought there was a boat coming down.... the reality was Rachel was waiting for me to deliver a windlass - basic boating error - we were rusty !