Saturday, 26 June 2021

On the boat at last

 .... and we have earnt it having washed and polished all but the port side of the boat today 18th June. 

We arrived yesterday and cleaned the inside, or rather rachel did while I drove back to Eccleshall for food. ( I did clean the cottage the day before so we we will go back to a clean cottage - but I have a reason for that.... more on the blog later !) 

So cleaned inside, provisioned and all but one side outside cleaned for the summer we set off to wind and moor up away from the mooring. We are on the Knighton visitor moorings for the night and will be back on the mooring with the port side to land so we can finish the boat external clean. It's given heavy rain Sunday so that'll be a cabin ( reading and relaxing day) 

Below is the difference between a wash with car shampoo and the sacrificial wax we applied. It brings up the paint but critically provides that barrier to bird poo and acid rain.

All done  ( apart from the port side cabin) 

We then set off for a mini of mini cruises to wind and moor up for the football and fish'n chips (plus beer) 

Yesterday Dover passed us.... might not mean much to most but some might remember Alan Herd ( I think) hosting a TV series about the restoration and refit at great expense of Dover.... I think she has has a few owners since. A quick boat passing chat had me complimenting the steerer on the engine who told me it didn't sound like that yesterday having developed a squeak. He tracked it down to two impeller blades in the water pump but no blades were missing off the impeller - no doubt like Percy in the past someone  ( me in Percy's case) did not check the impeller on a routine service, which is a reminder to me to do just that this winter. When did you last check yours ?? 


Thursday, 24 June 2021

This needs to stop

On the canal today (15th June)  but again not with Percy. This time with our friend and neighbour Mandy's boat 'Don't Panic'. She was bringing Don't Panic back from being blacked at Overwater and I said I'd help on the Audlem flight.  

I arrived 8.45 am to find Don't Panic just in lock 3 by the Shroppie Fly..... windlass in hand we made rapid progress up the flight  - I think Mandy said from the bottom to the top two and a half hours. We had one scary moment when the button fender caught on the top slide plate, quickly dropping both paddles sorted it, but a scary reminder how easy it is to go from simple progress to potential disaster.

I then returned home and took my bike ( again !) for another little bimble through another decent ford near Tissington. 

I do live in a beautiful part of the country 

When I got home I took Leia for a walk across the fields at the back of out cottage  - more stunning views.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Family time at Crich tramway museum

Rachel's extended birthday celebrations saw us meet up with family at Crich Tramway museum, a place her dad used to love and where he has a memorial bench with a stunning view over the Amber valley.

Sadly he died on Rachels birthday so we try and get to Crich on or around her birthday. It's always nice when family join us and this year we were joined by our son Tom daughter in law Courtney and grandson Teddy, Rachel's sister Sharon and her son Aiden and Helen Rachels next sister down.

.... and for the record Sharon in the wheelchair broke both legs falling down her garden steps  - only a few months after breaking one leg falling down the same steps  ! We had a lovely day with a lot of catching up and reminiscing. 

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Going through the water - not on the boat (yet)

A couple of days of activity after our return from down south. I took the Himalayan to a swim through a cheeky ford that runs along Butterton a lovely staffordshire moorlands village close to us.

The next day I rode my bike over to the mooring to ensure my farmer landlord James did not need to strim our mooring again - to be fair he only does it when the grass is out of control. 

Friday, 18 June 2021

Down south - not on the boat

We loved our time living in West Sussex. We, or rather Rachel lived in two lovely cottages, one in East Dean and the latter in West Ashling - I lived on the boat !

We can't believe how we used to travel up and down the country alternate weekends to see each other. All those miles, hours in cars on top of difficult and challenging jobs. On returning home.... proper owned home in the moorlands we agreed we'd make efforts to revisit when we could. Then the Chinese pandemic was bestowed on us and we could not go down last year, especially as we like to visit our elderly neighbour Gillian, drink red wine and eat olives in her orchard and talk ..... 

So As Rachel's birthday approached we booked a couple of nights in a lovely Hotel on the outskirts of Emsworth  - Hollybank House 

We left on Monday the 7th June and did the long journey dropping Leia off at my sister in laws on the way. Rachel met up with ex colleagues for food chat and catch up's while I people watched in Emsworth harbour with fish and chips .

Tuesday saw us ( after some impromptu piano playing ) walking one of our favourite walks around Bosham harbour  - done many many times and still very much enjoyed.

We then headed off to meet Gillian for Red Wine and Olives in the Orcharh. Gillian is a proper lady, really old school an interesting life and lots of views of the workld that opens up grteat discussions. Five hours later we were running late for our meal at Hollybank, in the dining room overlooking the beautiful gardens. After we ate a great meal we strolled in the 12 acre gardens and watched two deer amble through the woods - lovely.

We enjoyed the small break and will be back for sure  - there are apples to be picked in the autumn !

Monday, 7 June 2021

There is something depressing about ....

 ...a boat that is not getting used. It's partly my fault as I have prioritised my motorcycles over the last few weeks since the easing of lockdown. We did of course get out on Percy on the first easing of lockdown,  did the same on the hotels opening allowing me to tick off my Lejog on the Himalayan. 

So today after getting a heads up from Mandy our mooring caretaker that James the farmer had strimmed the grass near out boat ( Grrrrrr !) Percy was splattered with grass. Again my fault as when we left Percy after our April crusie I said I'd come back and cut the grass - cue crappy weather keeping me in doors.

Anyhow we have been over and cut the grass cleared the steps and washed one side of the boat. Percy looks semi decent now but I expect the spiders are back to making their ' we are not aboard this boat' sign.

Got a ton of places to visit and things to at home and on the boat .... I wish retirement came with a 36 hour day ! 

I didn't take any pictures of the after - we were in a hurry to get back and walk Leia and I was feeling crap as I'd had my second jab yesterday. But for the record we were on/at the boat on the 1st June.