Thursday, 29 October 2015


Sunday 4th October to Thursday 29th October 2015

This is a catch up blog, simply because there has not been a hell of a lot to write about; I want to get things up to date because tomorrow Diane will be arriving back and I am sure that there will be a few more things about which I can write.

What has been happening?

It has mainly been a case of an overwhelming workload from work – new projects coming up constantly with restrictive completion dates so it has not left much time to do anything else, especially when there is a need to keep moving.

As most would already be experiencing, the weather has now started its movement towards winter – nights are getting colder, but we are still enjoying some quite sunny days.

Pleasing to note that all of the jobs have been completed – all that is left to be done is the last bit of tidying up and a vacuum around.

I have been oscillating a bit between Uxbridge and Willow Tree Open Space, but as of yesterday late morning I am now in Paddington Basin awaiting Diane.

Very lucky to find a spot – originally I had planned to moor out at Bridge 3 but it was absolutely packed out, so as I needed to wind somewhere I carried on just to check out the basin when I spotted a boat coming out – they informed me that tghey had just left so a space was available – so it was grabbed and here I am.

No sooner had I moored up than I was approached by a guy asking me would I be around for a while on the boat - I am always skeptical and suspicious when people ask questions about personal things but in this case I was very much so.

He saw my apprehension as I answered that I would be around and then spoke about being involved with some filming for a movie which would take place in and around the basin, and that they needed 5 boats to be available as background.

I was still a bit suspicious, but he then raised the topic of compensation for our time.

After an hour or so he was back - the director was happy with the boat - they were paying a substantial amount per day and he would be just another hour whilst he prepared some contracts.
Further on and in reading through the paperwork, it became apparent that they were not just some rag-tag mob but Warner Bros. and would be filming the upcoming new Jason Bourne movie.
Having made sure that I wasn't signing the boat over, I placed my mark in the appropriate spot.
The money would cover all of our envisaged expenses for the next 4 months – all
without having to do anything much at all.
Diane is currently in Los Angeles with Mitch and Sara; after a stopover in Auckland to visit Rebecca; she did leave Sam behind in Melbourne.

I think that Diane is planning our next US holiday whilst she is there – so I will have to wait and see what the schedule is when she returns.

It will be so very good to have her back – I may even chain her to the boat to stop her going again without me.
34 Miles, 9 Locks
YTD: 848 Miles (1365 km) , 527 Locks, 14 Tunnels, 11 Lift Bridges, 16 Swing Bridges
Total: 3742 Miles (6022 km) , 2648 Locks, 112 Tunnels, 45 Lift Bridges, 167 Swing Bridges

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Nie einen Rest für den männlichen Teil der Arten

Thursday 1st October to Saturday 3rd October 2015

From one extreme to the other – whereas I had not long finished saying that not a whole lot was happening and hence the reason for the time delay between one blog to the next, here we are and three days in a row and I have been quite busy.

First up on Thursday I had a doctors appointment to check out a long standing problem with my back, and before anyone says that this has only happened since Diane has been away, it actually goes back almost 6 months and she had been onto me about getting something done about it.
Even from 20,000 kms away she has a way of getting things done and so finally I made a doctors appointment.
In my defence as to why I had not anything before now was the fact that I was still on an ancestry visa and quite clearly stated “No access to public funds” and I take that to quite literally mean that I should not access the NHS services. Now that my status has changed I decided to seek a medical opinion to confirm my own or offer something different.
It appears to be muscular – obviously having to do too much work – probably too many locks – but I need to have an X-ray and physiotherapy.
Without wanting to suggest that the NHS system could do with a shake-up, the doctor said that she would arrange an appointment time for the X-ray and for the physio to start and would advise me – but it was quite clearly advised that the X-ray would take a couple of months and the physio might be a month.
I would give you the example that Diane has just gone through with her Dad back in Australia – he needed a blood test and an X-ray – after they came out of the doctor’s surgery they walked around the corner and had both done within an hour and would be able to go back in to see the doctor withgin 24 hours – all results having been fully checked by qualified medical staff to assess the results.
This has been the norm for us over the past 25 years (and longer).

I fail to see why I need someone else to set up an appointment for me when, in all likelihood the time and date may not be suitable and I would need to ring and re-arrange another date and time; and why does it take so long to actually get an appointment.
In addition I had to ask the doctor to supply me with a set of back exercises that I can start in preparation for any physio but also just to help relieve some of the stiffness and soreness that I have.

Oh, and by the way, the doctor agreed with my assessment of my situation – I am waiting for my medical qualifications to arrive in the mail.

Friday was moving day – but not too far.
The primary reason was the need to empty two full cassettes before the final one became full as well – it would have been another 4 or 5 days but the weather forecast was good so it was an excellent reason to move – down to Batchworth Lock where the water tank was filled and the cassettes emptied – a good result and I was away within 25 minutes but just as far as Tesco where I moored for a quick trip into the supermarket.

Unlike the usual situation on Ferndale, I had allowed the milk reserves to dwindle down to a completely out of stock situation – this would never do for “she who must be obeyed” and I could just imagine the terror-filled eyes that would have been confronting me if Diane had been facing the same realisation.
Anyway, I wasn’t overly concerned and the short stop meant that there was milk in the fridge once again.
The last time I was here, the TV reception was almost non-existant for me and so I had thought before getting here in Rickmansworth that it would not be worthwhile stopping – just as well I had that mindset – the moorings were all full anyway.

So I continued a bit further along to a mooring site that I had seen when down this was just a few weeks ago – just after going through Stockers Lock and rounding the bend there are excellent mooring spots with a southerly view across the canal and no trees to block the sun; TV reception is good so my schedule of recording TV shows for Diane can continue – thus preventing any problems upon her return.

The remainder of Friday was glorious with the temperature eventually reaching over the 20C mark – more like 22-23C – and the sun was streaming in through the windows and through the solar panels.
the outlook - obviously not when it was sunny, but still very open

Looking back - just around the corner is Stockers Lock

From the list of jobs that still remain for me to take care of before the end of October, I made a few notes on some of them that I can complete during this coming week with most of the work being able to be completed over the weekend.
It is all a matter of timing and arranging things to be done in the right order – as some of these jobs involved sanding I would need to have the engine running, so tie that in with having to charge the batteries.
The front-well deck and the rear deck both needed to be sanded back and repainted, so after walking back to Batchworth to deposit the rubbish in the bins there and of course popping into Waitrose for free coffee, walking back – engine started, both decks sanded and then two coats of primer/undercoat have been finished and now fully drying through ready for top-coating tomorrow.
A real sense of achievement and I have to say the the look of it is pleasing as well.
The front deck after one coat - getting there

Back deck after one coat

back deck after two coats

So it has been anything but relaxation here on Ferndale over the past few days – I may need to take a break to recover.

Never any rest for the male of the species


2 Miles, 4 Locks
YTD: 814 Miles (1310 km) , 518 Locks, 14 Tunnels, 11 Lift Bridges, 16 Swing Bridges

Total: 3708 Miles (5967 km) , 2639 Locks, 112 Tunnels, 45 Lift Bridges, 167 Swing Bridges