Monday 14th January to Saturday 19th January 2013
What a busy week we seem to have had – busy without any planning; busy
without any fuss; and busy without seemingly anyone seeing it coming.
We have been off to see movies – 2 in fact – Les Miserables and The Quartet –
both of which we enjoyed and of course both very different. The former was all
sung without any speaking parts but brilliantly done – Hugh Jackman in the lead
and Russell Crowe in a role which would not have been something most would
imagine – but well done as a film. Most interesting were the parts played by Helena
Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.
We were accompanied by Carol and Barry (nb Winton’s Folly) and had a
The Quartet included Billy Connolly which had him playing a more sedate role
of himself really – a Billy Connolly without four letter words – same comedic
outlook; and Maggie Smith whilst good was outshone by Tom Courtney to some
Andy and Jean (nb Josephine) asked us at virtually the last minute if we
wanted to go and as we had already said to ourselves that we would like to see
it, the answer was pretty easy.
The weather this week has been making a transformation from the snow of last
weekend through a spell without any snow, but still quite cold with some
chill-inducing wind and then back to the harshest of snow and wind that we have
so far had during our time over here.
A couple of trips into Stone were also included in the week that was – one
by the two of us and the other just Diane and Banjo; not really surprisingly
the towpath was easy to negotiate – being quite well frozen and hence no mud –
we did observe a couple of boats willing to attempt to break through the ice –
one going up the Aston Lock and the other upsetting other moorers as it left
Stone heading south. There are usually good reasons for wanting to travel in
these conditions, none of which get any sympathy from those moored up and
hearing ice crunching against their boats.
The other main activity of the week was filling water tanks – as this
weather doesn’t give much opening to do so, and the times when taps aren’t
frozen is even less we found the many were of like minds and opportunities
presented themselves on both Wednesday and Saturday mornings – hoses were
joined together from the one tap that was not frozen completely and on each day
we managed to fill/top-up 6-7 boats on the pontoon – it took that problem away
for all of us.
Not that I should lower the satisfaction of the movies and topping up the
water tanks (and the general camaraderie of such an effort), but I was very
pleased with filling the diesel tank on Saturday – the wind has dropped right
down to virtually nothing, no snow or rain, but I filled the tank using the
jerry cans and a cordless pump courtesy of Roland – the outcome being 80 litres
used in 32 days at an average of 10 hours a day which meant the Mykuni is
performing to specification – 250mls per hour; it allayed some fears that I had
that the tank might have been further down than I thought.
We have been snug and warm inside with the diesel heater and using a small
electric heater for a little over ₤3 per day including all of the electric appliances
that we use – can’t beat that.
We do need to be careful about placement of the heater – on Thursday night I
went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea but in doing so I noticed a strange
smell – a semi-burning odour; it took a few seconds to realise that Banjo (with
his jumper on) was laying right in front of the heater without any space between it and him – the feeling is
that much longer and we could have got the rolls, cheese and tomato sauce out
and had our own hot dog.