Monday, 29 August 2011

The Cows !! – BW Cut Costs

Monday 22nd August to Sunday 28th August 2011

11 Miles, 3 Locks – for this week

Totals: 711 Miles, 595 Locks, 22 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 12 Swing Bridges

It used to be that when you were younger, the day after you got a haircut was always a lot colder than the day before and because of the haircut you thought you were freezing; well the boating equivalent was this week – Richard from RML Services (Mobile Marine Engineers) came on Thursday to take away the diesel heater for a service in preparation for winter – what happened the next day? – Winter arrived – well, Friday was a very cold and wet day and probably would have been a day when the heater would have been on, but it wasn’t there – in fact Thursday was a fine and sunny day up until 5 minutes after he disappeared around the bend below the Hillmorton locks – then it got colder.

Thursday was also a memorable day, as earlier on it seemed to me that BW must have read my blog last week and seen the two guys mowing the towpath grass, when we were moored at Hawkesbury Junction – at Hillmorton we had a mother and child double act achieving a similar result but at a much reduced cost (see pictures); so I am thinking, were BW the real instigators of this escape from the adjoining field to get the grass trimmed on the cheap.

"not quite my best side"

"try that again - I forgot to smile"

Back to being a single-hander means that locks are a potential place to hold up other crews and I was aware that the Hillmorton locks with three relatively close together should be traversed early; with this in mind I set off on Saturday rather early but quietly; I also needed to fill the water tank so a stop at the water point – the one nearer to the locks than the other – knowing that the boat in front (on the long term moorings) was empty – hadn’t seen anyone there at all and it was all locked up – I gently and quietly pulled in – obviously not quiet enough for some. The woman from the boat 50 metres back poked her head out and whilst I could not hear all of the words, the ones that I did told me that unlike the name of the boat I might be wrong to say she was lady-like.

Seemed strange to me, because standing at the back of my boat I could clearly hear the noise from a major road nearby and the trains from the line – both of which were more audible than the engine on the boat.

For my favourite sister-in-law, Vivienne, I have including these pictures of Banjo as she has requested.

Looks just like a gremlin before he is fed after midnight

The left-ear up, right-ear down technique

This is the same dog that this week has achieved the following:

1. decided that he would lie on his back and scratch it on the grass on the towpath – on the towpath grass that was sloping down to the canal – the same grass that was still wet from the overnight rain – the wet grass would have been fine – the splash into the canal gave him away – yes – slid down the grass and straight in – he did manage to scramble out himself

2. as I was about to exit the top lock at Hillmorton and before I had engaged the prop, the sounds and the water splashing onto the back deck gave him away again – despite telling him to stay on the boat he has decided to jump on/jump off on either side of the boat – I guess this time he mistimed – he had a few more miles to think about what he had done.

3. has decided that canal water tastes better than fresh water from the tank on board

Moving along the part of the canal shared by both the Oxford and the Grand Union a sad sight for those whose interest lie in the boating heritage – a boat moored on the bottom

Someone will see value in restoring it
- not me

NB "Iceberg" - 90% below the water

A walk into Braunston on Saturday, was followed by a thunderstorm on the way back to the boat and not just the lightning and the thunder but we had hail as well – result was a drenched dog; my umbrella protected all of me but my shoes.

He is a bit cleaner now after the bath – a pastime he decidedly doesn’t enjoy.

So we have settled in for the long weekend – a long weekend signifying the end of summer – I think that arrived last Thursday at 11am.

Sunday was a chance to have a day off from work and anything else to worry about – first real day off in two months – a phone call from James on Friday to see where I would be on Sunday and then another this morning to make sure of where we should meet – The Boathouse (on the canal) – walked into the pub at just after 12 and didn’t have time to even order a beer when he was there – neither Debbie nor the two girls – Rachel and Kathryn – knew anything about it and were very much surprised to see me walk out to the car to greet them.

Had a really nice day – walked back to the boat so that they could spoil Banjo; talked a lot and then back to the pub to have a meal – they left about 5 hours after arriving, but it was such a good afternoon.

Above everything else for this week the very best news of all is that Diane has booked her return ticket and will be back in mid September – so we now only have to count the days off the calendar.

1 comment:

  1. I love the photos- thanks heaps. Poor Banjo- lucky hes used to rain but dont think he ever went swimming at home before. You should give yourself a day off more often. Im sure Diane will be glad to get the nb cruising over many locks. Not long to go now!!! Yippee. mmmmm dont think I made big spelling blunders this time!!Love Vivienne