Monday, 28 March 2016

Stove update - hopefully

Well I spent a good hour and a half emptying an 8 ton skip I have been loading over the past couple of weeks  - the reason this.....

I have been trawling the internet for a suitable replacement for the damaged back cabin stove on Percy, most were not in keeping and/or expensive. Rachel suggested a direct replacement which I had not considered as the original was a stove from a railway guards van. So I googled guard van stoves and eventually found a site that seems to sell 'new' stoves. As it is the Bank Holiday I have not yet received a reply but I have my fingers crossed. Not sure if they are replicas or from a large batch that were never fitted, regardless it is a direct replacement (would need painting black of course) and the old one was perfect looking and performing.

Why the skip diving.....well I brought the old stove back home hoping I could repair it but on closer inspection the area where the pipe connects was thin and on trying to remove the pipe the stove cracked away leaving a very big hole. So it all went into the skip  - first followed by a lot of garden rubbish and a bathroom suit plus four walls of tiling ! When I found this ad I realised the plate at the bottom was a special 'made' part by Tony Redshaw for Percy as was the door to the ash pit that was effective on controlling the burn. Both had gone into the skip with the stove so they were the bits I was after.

I did recover them after an hour of skip emptying so I am just waiting on the vendor to hopefully get in touch.

Prior to my skip diving I went over to Percy to check I had not left the 'door' on the boat as it was a little like looking for a 'needle in a haystack' or a 'bit of metal in a skip'. I had only left a small brass infill for the cooking area or pot warmer at the top and the bolts to fit it. It did give me a chance for the second mow of the grass and a 120 mile ride to the boat on my bike via Derbyshire and Staffordshire moorlands. Just got to give the bike a clean now !

I am lucky in that we (in University land) get the Tuesday off as part of Easter so I have some options for tomorrow:-

  • Visit the boat and clear the fore cabin out...
  • Carry on tiling the bathroom (in the house)...
  • Clean and ride my motorbike...

What to do  !! - The tiles won !!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

No one would have believed ......

 .......that in the last years of the 19th century that 

human affairs where being watched from the 

timeless worlds of space

What a treat for us to have a break and drive over to Greenwich to stay with our youngest and his partner Emma for a special treat of a West End visit to  Jeff Wayne's Theatre version of War of the Worlds.

It was a theatre deal so we had a three course pre theatre mean at the Bloomsberry Hotel . Just an excellent evening. 

This album has been a central piece of music in my life and it was quite surreal to think of when I used to listen to it on vinyl on one of the first purchases of my young working life my 'HI FI - complete with built in tape deck. I still have the album in the loft at home on vinyl.

The cast and the set was truly brilliant and how Jeff Wayne conducted with enthusiasm all evening was just a marvel to watch. I closed my eyes on a few occasions and there was not differentiation from the recording - a real compliment.

David Essex and Jimmy Nail were truly brilliant with my vote to Jimmy for his acting and singing.

I only got one cheeky shot prior at the Dominion theatre view was much better I was trying not to be told off for taking the pic !

Prior to the theatre we took a walk onto Greenwich Park  which at the top of the hill near the observatory and the meridian line gives some great views of London 

A real privilege weekend. I might get a cheeky ride on the bike later this afternoon as I have fitted a new battery and a new indicator relay after the dog has been walked in the downs and the lawns mown. 

Then its another 200  mile trip to work in the morning to add to the 400 already done this weekend

Saturday, 12 March 2016

I wonder if this might catch on....

I went out with a good friend today to 'collect a tag' .... let me explain.

I ride out with a really good group of motorcyclist and have some good friendships from  the internet forum we arrange meets via.

There is always a reason to arrange a ride out or just ride out for your own pleasure.... those who have a passing interest in motorbikes will have noted a few bike posts on my blog.

The group operate a regional 'tagging' game. This involved posing your bike at a location  - ideally with a clue in the picture or in the words that describe the picture.... the game is set, so if you want to collect the tag (bike tagged in the picture) you do your homework, replicate the picture with your bike in it  then take another picture at another location wth your bike in it..... simple.

So today I rode 100 into deepest Kent odd miles and collected this tag...

Previous riders pic...

My bike my pic....

Then I ride to take this pic.....

I wonder if there is an appetite for those serious boaters walkers and cyclist to do the same for the canals ? I have a picture in mind ?? Post pending I think ......

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Feeling deserted

Call me paranoid but I thought I'd get in front of the game and gave the grass on my mooring a mowing the other evening. I have my signs up not to mow next to my boat but after my experience of last year  - click here for that  I did not want to take the risk.

As to that complaint I am waiting for the surveyors report - there is no doubt now the contractors chipped the new paintwork, but I'll blog about it down the line when the complaint is wrapped up.

So why am I feeling deserted, well chatting to my fellow moorers at Hunts I was updated on the news... two of the long term moorers and one mid term (less than 5 years) are off giving up the boating. They all have their reasons and quite obviously they are not obliged to keep boating but it is always sad to see people you have shared a common joy and 'chatted' to move on and the pages in their lives that were boating related are closed.

One couple I am advised just were fed up with the really wet weather. Living off grid as you do at the moorings is hard work and those that do it or have done it need to be recognized for their fortitude.

One other boater, my neighbour is off on an extended cruise - lucky bugger. So I expect when I return to living afloat three boats astern of me will be gone so I will have quite a view.

The good news for some is that there will be mooring opportunities at Fradley coming up. The moorings have a good mix of activity but peacefulness and are in essence very rural by nature. Alrewas is a 30 minute walk away and the cruising routes are excellent. C&RT's contractors have been known to damage your boat but I think they have learnt that lesson by now.

So I am now starting to feel like the old hand down there.... I think there are now just 5 boats that have been there longer than me.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Youtube anorak - part of a club, men (and a lady) in engine rooms

Its been a long day.... 5.30 am start lots of decisions have been made and I am richer in my pocket for being paid to make the decisions.... the world of work. Don't you love it....well some do not as they have retired, you know who you are !

Anyhow what tenuous link can I make here.... to relax on my sofa (not on the boat sadly) I repaired to Youtube with wine to seek out videos of men & ladies starting all sorts of exotic and sometimes not so exotic engines in engine rooms on boats. Well it relaxes me..........

So I have in no order of preference ...

A Seffle semi diesel - hot bulb !!

Petter S  - another blow lamp hot bulb

.... and of course the best of them all 

All a bit more complicated than turning a key - in most instances. Not for everyone but those who want oil as their eau de cologne - enjoy.

I cannot be held responsible for those that sell their granny for an engine such as these after indulging in this engine fest.