Friday, 9 November 2012

All sorts of preparation

Thursday 25th October to Wednesday 7th November 2012
3 Miles, 5 Locks for this fortnight
Totals: 1429 Miles, 1155 Locks, 46 Tunnels, 24 Lift Bridges, 96 Swing Bridges

It never seems to take any time whatsoever between the ending of one event and the start of the next one.

In retail terms that amounts to easter eggs appearing on the shelves on Boxing Day – I just think that 27th October is way too early to start seeing Hot Cross Buns – seen in Heron Foods in Stone.

For heavens sake – we haven’t finished with the feasts of Halloween and Xmas yet – let there be time to finish those first without such a substantial overlap.

For anyone who hasn’t yet seen the new James Bond movie Skyfall, then rest assured I am not going to let any of it out of the bag here – suffice to say that, yes we have seen it; it is different to any other of the movies; there is a surprise at the end; and it hasn’t put me off the London Underground.

The most interesting part of the movie experience was the ticket purchase – as is normal Diane takes care of this – we always go on a Tuesday (some would say tight-a**e Tuesday), but it is cheaper – anyway, the tickets for this Tuesday were cheaper than normal and not seen on the displayed prices – not going to look a gift-horse etc etc; I did suggest to Diane that maybe the young girl (should I say very young girl) behind the counter may have thought that my lovely wife also qualified for an aged-discount and didn’t think she needed to produce any proof of such.

I ducked just at the right time to avoid the whack that I probably deserved for suggesting it.

These cold and frosty mornings are certainly quite wondrous as the sun comes up in a clear blue sky and then glistens off the ice on the roofs of the boats before finally removing all trace of the overnight deposits. In itself the sun is so very warm and it remains so in the open air – just so long as there is no breeze, because when that comes up the cold air just seems to rip right through.

We must enjoy this whilst it remains because we are sure that it won’t be that long before it is all gone.

 Spotted something very weird and strange whilst we were walking along the towpath in Stone - the Canal Cruising Company had all of their boats out their boat yard - this is in the last week of October - business sounds like it is very good - admittedly the weather has been a bit on the better than not so good side this time of the year.

Look! No boats - at the end of October - worthy of the photo

Lyn and Phil, whom we know from our summer adventures to and from Liverpool this year and who live here in Stone, very graciously invited us both to Sunday dinner. Very eager to enjoy their company we accepted and had such a great time – and the food was lovely as well. On top of that they picked us up and dropped us back to the boat. I think we can include this in our must-do-again list.

They are very dear people.

We are still umming and ahhing about the kitchen and where to source the everything – the quote from the local suppliers was way way out of the ballpark – double the price of others – sorry but no business their way.

We think we have the right package at B&Q so now just a matter of ordering the worktop (which we have done) and picking up all of the base units, doors, drawers, handles, hinges, end caps, end panels etc etc etc (oh a packet of screws – I am sure we will need that).

We will take care of the pick up when we return from our week away to south Wales, whilst the boat is out of the water being blacked, engine and Mykuni being serviced with Tina and Rob Paramore here in Stone – Banjo is off to the kennels for the time.

The short cruise up to Stone through the 5 locks was just the thing to clear out the need for a little bit of a cruise – just took our time; sharing the lock duties and just a few miles in total by the time we headed on a bit further to wind just before the Meaford locks.

Very glad that Diane steers and handles the boat so well – I think she is the better at handling it all and that leaves me to just look after the locks – unless there are lots of moored boats as there is between locks 28 and 29 (at Stone)

Very luckily (although we know it was planning) we managed to moor up just as a few spots of rain appeared and we were quite happy inside watching it rain outside.

Off to Wetherspoons for her Tuesday steak dayout and to the chandlery for some stove parts – the burner plates that arrived were the wrong size so hopefully this can be rectified. 

Wednesday arrived and passed like clockwork – move the boat into position; the sling was put into place and the boat gently lifted out of the water and placed onto the sleepers without incident. (Although it is always a bit of a nervous time as you see your home up in the air.)
Slings in place and starting to lift...

up she goes and almost in place.

after the water cleaning - not looking too bad at all

no blistering and the anodes will last another two years

a little work to be doe on the rudder - packing required in the
cup holding the rudder to stop some of the vibration

after the first coat - the botom looks pretty good - so
does the model at the top

The car was duly picked up and Banjo was dropped off at the kennels.

The job done – we spent the night on the boat and off and away on Thursday morning.

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