Monday, 25 July 2022

Arrive, clean, walk and leave

We didn't get the chance to polish Percy last visit  we called over today and did the above. Still not possible to go out due to Leia's health limitations. We were introduced to the new Jack Russell puppy on a neighbouring boat called - Leia Princess Leia from Star Wars.... exactly the same name our Leia was given fourteen and a half years ago - quite a sad moment to be honest.

After the polish we took a walk for food at the Great Haywood cafe then a walk to Tixall Wide and back.

Chatting to a neighbour boater about the state of non navigation on the canals now  - seems most of the northern canals are closed in some part or not accessible .... no point going north through the tunnel as the Cheshire locks are closed the Caldon is closed at Hazlehurst  and the Macclesfield canal is closed top and bottom of the Bosley locks. I feel for the hire boaters the hire companies and the hotel boats - a real poor performance in water management from C&RT - we all have seen and experienced leaking lock, so to see the nice new sign at Great Haywood junction telling people distances to cycle was a smack in the wallet from me. 

Anyhow some pictures ....

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Not for me canal boating...

.... in this weather !

Been there done that and it's not great. When I lived aboard I had some scorchers but nothing like this. Coming back from Belgium yesterday on my bike the highest temp the onboard ambient sensor read was 39c... Today Tuesday the 19th July it's going to hit 40c we are told. There were bikers at the tunnel yesterday who had turned around from trips into the south of France due to the heat and fires.

Being inside a 60 foot metal tube when is roasting hot outside is not comfortable and the solar gain make night times bad as well.

My live aboard friends you have my sympathy.... the cottage having two foot thick walls and blinds is a comfortable place .... bike and car washed early this morning  ( minimizing water use) a load of washing on the line is very dry already. Leia was walked also early.

No doubt back to normal tomorrow but don't underestimate the mess we've made of our eco system.... I for one think we are seeing a compounding effect where the global warming is feeding on itself. It's good news that Friends of the Earth took our Government to task about its climate change approach and have won a victory that means our government will have to review its approach to make it achievable.

In my mind it's not about massive change but change is incremental parts by everyone and calling out those organisations that are not doing their bit.

Enjoy the sun .....


Monday, 18 July 2022

In a world of waste

We all must try and do a little bit of recycling or more importantly re using.

It's a semi selfish  position as I enjoy tinkering and fixing stuff. It challenges my mind and keeps my body dexterous. We use recycled materials on the cottage where ever we can and try and focus on maximising green energy - more on that later in the year hopefully.

I find watching YouTube videos of computer repair very relaxing  (!)  and have been fixing up relatives old IT. I'm at the point I need to redistribute this tech and I'm pleased to be able to do so. 

A 15 inch MacBook is sorted now with a new SSD and the latest operating OS from Apple. Apple only support the last 3 OS's and their old kit is not upgradable to these OS's. There is a team of dedicated programmers who have this sorted and I use a patch to allow the Mac to run the latest OS. Less to the recyclers less new stuff made = better for the planet.

I also was given an old non working Acer laptop from another relative house move. Brought a charger for it and a new battery, turns out the IO chip is faulty meaning the keyboard does not work on all keys. So I took a punt on an EBAY spare or repair laptop same make and model that had it turns out a duff screen (plug a external monitor and I got it up and working fine). So the motherboard was taken from one and gifted to the other ( the one from the relatives with the working screen) Now I have another perfectly functional laptop that's going to one of my sisters for a new home.

I still have a couple of other Macbooks to sort, one will become a Chrome book   and the other has an I7 processor in it so that will become my travel macbook  - rather than taking this macbook I'm typing this on now that is 9 years old an I7 that still is perfectly serviceable ( I've upgraded the M.2 drive on it to 1TB and also replaced the battery)

So if you can make do and mend  - our world needs it and of course it'll allow you the comfort of an easier conscience as and when you do need to buy new.

Now.... do we need two cars ? 

Make one good one form two duffers. 

Open heart surgery on the windows laptop. It's great to be able to give them a decent clean out as well  - the fans for the CPU's get quite clogged up. 

One perfectly working laptop ready for another few years  - well until 2025 when Microsoft stop supporting windows 10  - it might run Windows 11 but we'll see then 

Friday, 15 July 2022

An explanation on Percy

Well she got a good clean early July. We visited with buckets and sponges and set to giving Percy her much needed wash and brush up. 

It is easier in the marina as we have water on tap ( but we had that at Shebdon) we had a safe place to stand and clean ( but we had that at Shebdon) we didn't have much space to put stuff ( we did have that at Shebdon). We were able to wind Percy to clean the other side despite the wind in the marina - they are wind bowls for sure. ( we didn't have that option at Shebdon although we could push over to the tow path or cruise to Grub Street or Knighton woods to wind)

So not wax polished  yet but washed with a turtle wax wash. July is another busy holiday time for me and Rachel. Sadly Leia is not stable enough to be on the boat anymore and we can't leave her for more than a few hours so that means for now Percy is in the marina prison. I think if we were bank side we could take Leia as she's be easier to get on and off the boat and out for her regular comfort breaks - another downside of marina life. 

Some photos ....

I'm still trying to convince myself that the marina is better for how we use or don't use the boat now  - but we are on two lists for farmers moorings ! 

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Crich family time

Rachel had an extended birthday celebration culminating in a double family get together at Crich Tramway museum. It's our go to family place as its where her dad used to like to visit and he has a memorial bench overlooking the Amber Valley near the smelting area of the museum.

Crich was quiet as they were undertaking repairs to their overhead cables so the trams were not running... we gave them some much needed custom and they looked after us so very well. 

Better to have photos than my words...

We had our own room to chat and celebrate 

Lots of presents for Rachel 

Granny with Benny 

Getting the latest news between families 

Rachel has a special relationship with her nephew Nathan 

It felt like we had the place to ourselves 

This little fella seems to smile a lot 

Three of my four sisters 

Our little family  - teddy was off playing as can be expected 

Some of Rachel's family 

Rachel Joy and Pippa on Charles' bench 

A special and precious family day 

Thursday, 7 July 2022

A little bit of fishing

Fishing commercial lakes has pretty much spoilt my fishing on the canals. However it's easy and safe and convenient and during the summer you are pretty much guaranteed fish. 

Instead of walking Graham and I opted for a days fishing in late June at Birch House fisheries, equidistant for each of our homes. A very hot summers day ensued with the fish taking anything off the top it would seem. It was so mad I did not fish with a float , just a floating bait ( bread, cat biscuit ) or a held up bait such as half a prawn.

I bagged 40 carp from a pound to under 10 pounds. So easily 150-200 lbs of fish and they were still feeding when I gave up at 3.30pm from 7.30 am. Last time I fished there I got 50 carp ! 

Just a record of a days friendship sharing a passion ( more for Graham than me )  I think next week it'll be a walk  - more challenging for sure.

The mice had been busy over the winter  - little buggers 

Not a bad place to spend a day 

Saturday, 2 July 2022

A place to revisit for sure

In April I was due to ride to the lake district and do the passes - Honister, Hardknott and Wrynose. The Chinese virus of mass infection got me and I had to put the trip off. Spring forward a couple of months and I was off finally just for three days to explore the passes and the area once again on my smaller Royal Enfield Himalayan  bike - very suited to the trip.

I chose an off motorway route up (and back) through the moorlands peaks and dales of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

The next day I was up and out on a predefined route that was about 140 miles taking in the lakes passes and the sea side. I've only ever been into the lake district twice and that was to climb Scafell Pike for the three peaks challenge. I was very soon taken by the stunning landscapes and remoteness of the place.  

The passes were a mix of 33% inclines and descents with off camber switchbacks on poor road surfaces with the added challenge of sheep and lambs plus other motorists of varying confidences - and rain, as I went up the rain came down. 

Last year I rode the pass of the cattle or Bealach na Ba in north west Scotland near Applecross which is a right of passage for motorcyclists, that was interesting but these lake district passes were much more technical and more of a challenge. I enjoyed Honister pass the most as it wasn't so peaky but much more beautiful.

Lunch at St Bee's

Honister pass

I think this is Wrynose pass

This (I think) is coming off Wrynose pass  looking down and up Hardknott pass 

Honister pass was my favourite 

These were a few looking down to Windermere 

Above Derwent water  - this was a bit extra a friend suggested I ride and I'm glad I did - there were some decent drop offs to the left hand side as I went up. Came up through Borrowdale and over the tops to Keswick  

I cut the ride short at just over 100 miles as I was getting tired and it had been a wet on and off day. Plus I was a bit punch drunk of the roads and the scenery. It also gives me a reason to go back and find more routes and ride some of the passes again (in the dry !) 

I am so pleased I've quite late on discovered this part of the world - it was so much more than I expected. Why go abroad when there are such jewels on my backyard. Add this to North Wales The Peak District  Scotland plus Ireland why would I ever need to go further afield. Speaking of North Wales I think that will be my next trippet so need to start planning some of the smaller roads where my Himalayan excels.

The ride home the next day was equally lovely - however if I ever talk of coach holidays please shoot me  - two coaches turned up in Settle as I was having my coffee and sarnie and it was like a scene from the walking dead! I called to have a coffee with no2 son in Buxton and that delay saw me get the only weather of the day as there was a great big cloudburst waiting for me over Ipstone Edge ! 

Don't fanny about with your lives, no one is guaranteed a tomorrow, and if it is you could end up on that coach tour ! Seize the day  - it is strongly advised!   

As to boating the dog is not able to do the boat anymore so all we can do is go and clean Percy, that's tomorrows job. Today is house cleaning  - life is not all trips and adventure  !