Sunday, 22 May 2011

Had enough now

Last night we walked round to see some friends of ours who live in the next avenue. After a few drinks it didn’t bother us that no-one had been round to view our “desirable” property for sale on “open weekend.”
 
But this morning was different, I felt angry and stressed about the total disorganisation involved by the estate agent. It’s not like me at all to end up frazzled, I can usually rise above stress, even see the funny side (if there is one).

Today the deadline is 5pm again, neither of us are interested anymore, there’s no enthusiasm left and we just want to go back to the boat. This house just feels like a millstone round our necks now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice house. We’ve lived here happily all our married life, brought up two children here and have some wonderful memories that we’ll keep with us forever. Yet we have no regrets whatsoever about moving on…
 
When the “kids” (27 and 29 now!) moved out to pursue their own careers we wanted to move out too…! It wasn’t a case of running away from here, it was a case of running towards a new lifestyle. Neither was it an overnight decision, the intention to do something different had been there for years – we’re all only here the once…
 
Fate led us to buy the boat in 2007 and now the house is up for sale, so far two couples have been to look at it, both were very interested, but still had their own house to sell first. Forgive me for sounding stupid but what’s the point in looking round a house you can’t afford…???

Basically, circumstances changed for the better for us. We bought the boat, yet we still keep getting dragged back here every week, what with maintenance and other things, IT´S NOT WHERE WE WANT TO BE…

This is a lovely house and would make a wonderful family home, just like it did for us for almost 30 years. But now (for us) it’s like it has no soul. In true boaters language, it’s just bricks n’ mortar…
 
Next door have recently hacked down what was a beautiful tree recently, and it sort of represents how we feel about this house now…
 
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For all the time we’ve lived here that tree was beautiful, some of it’s branches hung down over our hedge in the photo. It’s quite ironic that while this tree flourished, this house was treasured by us, full of warmth, happiness and fun…

Saturday, 21 May 2011

A vintage car rally in the pub car park?

On Thursday night we went round to the pub for a knees up with some friends, when we got there this is what we found:
 
We suspect they’d been to a rally (somewhere else) and all called in for a pint of orange juice before chugging along home…
 
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Just think,, that´s something else we could bung on the roof...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Little black fluffballs

The first water hens of the season from the nest in the reeds that’s been there for AGES, (behind the boat). Out of six eggs there only appears to be two babes, perhaps they come in kit form these days…?
 
So I took some close up photos of the little tinkers – you can almost tell what they’re thinking…
Budge up a bit Ethel, I wanna be a t’internet star…
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Nope, I was here first Arthur…
 
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Mum’s over there so I’m tellin’ on ya. Mu-u-um…

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“Now I’ve told you two before, stop bickering...”
 
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Can we have tea now…?

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Pleeze mom,, “Well go and wash your beaks while I rustle something together…”
 
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Weeeee, me first – no, me first – no me, me, me…

Friday, 13 May 2011

The cutest dog you´ve ever seen

This is Tilly, or “Tilly mint drop” as I call her, she came round to see us earlier today while she was taking her owner Mark the Spark for a walk…
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Dad rescuing her from TT’s roof, I wonder who put her up there in the first place…?
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The first time we saw her trotting along we both thought Mark had bought himself a white rabbit…
Aww bless…

Thursday, 12 May 2011

A baby canal boat being born in the rain

The crane had been sat waiting for hours, it was peeing down, but there was no sign of a boat arriving. Then out of the gloom it suddenly appeared, we’d have completely missed the spectacle if it weren’t for the OUTSIZE wagon it arrived on. At first glance the wagon appeared to have nothing on the trailer at all…
 
Remember Lifeboats for canal boats? The nonsense EU Directive that came into force on April 1st this year? Well no-one else seems to have taken a blind bit of notice,, who can blame them? I think there was only us two daft buggers who fell for it, even though I made it up???
 
Thing is, with this new improved version here, we’d have to place it on one side of the roof because it’s curved, (the roof). Which means we’d have to re-arrange the ballast somewhat. God forbid, we can’t be left pivoting round the poo tank…
 
Anyway this is the upgraded (lifeboat) version, aka ”The Second Generation.” Sod plastic when you can have steel, might leave a dent in your roof but not to worry…
 
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We knew it would be a narrowboat in advance of its arrival because of the size of the crane, the one´s they use for widebeams are a lot bigger for obvious reasons. However we’ve never seen the likes of this before, even the crane looked out of place.
 
IMHO they could’ve saved a bit of dosh and dropped plopped it in there with a tractor and a large pair of elasticated stockings…

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Recent photos inspire a music fest

Broken news:
 
This is a singing blog post, so get your musical instruments out and we can have the canal boaters equivalent of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on their day off. Well we wouldn’t want to upstage them would we…?
 
Oh, my contribution would have to be my soprano singing voice, which must sound wonderful to a partially deaf cat, well a partially deaf anything really. In addition, “anything” that isn’t deaf would require earplugs.
 
It’s the best I can do because I haven’t got my recorder anymore. Besides I could only ever squeak “Three Blind Mice” out of it at the best of times, that was provided my dad had put the tape in the right place to cover the huge crack in it. The guitar I once partially owned (Shared Ownership) was only ever used as a status symbol gathering dust in the corner to impress my friends with. It’s all I could do with it really because it only had 5 strings and a bent plucker. Altogether now,,,
 
First on the song sheet:
 
“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high…”
 
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Looking at this photo perhaps that should be “Somewhere under the rainbow way down low.” The rest of it was hidden behind a massive cloud, there’s quite a few of them about at the mo… So “clouds clouds bugger off, and DON’T come back another day.”
 
Second on the song sheet agenda:
 
“By the light of the silvery moon”
 
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Now all we need is a pot of gold, some silver balls bells and we’re sorted…

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Guess what this is

Is it:
a) A drainpipe?
b) A May pole?
c) A bow thruster tube?
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OK I give in, it’s what’s on the inside that counts (very true), the word “counts” reminds me that Dave dropped a section of his (fishing) pole in the canal last time we were out? Alas, even after we’d dredged the area in question. We used a (wooden) pole off the roof and a luxury fishing net but was nowhere to be found… Not only that, it was a mid section which left him a bit short of the mark in the tackle department as it were…
 
So yes, this is his new investment, I’m pleased to announce he’s no longer a section short of a pole. Except he can’t try it out yet because he’s hurt his back – oh the irony. And how did he hurt his back? Sat outside fishing with one of his older fishing rods – double irony…
 
Or double jeopardy – not sure which…

Friday, 6 May 2011

A dead duck

This is what greeted us yesterday when we parked up for a dumpout… I might live on water but I’ve never seen a dead duck before.!
 
I took a photo because it just looked so perfect, like it was in a mirror – so in answer to your question I wasn’t being gory. Although I did put the same question to Dave at the time and he said “Yep.” 
 
It must’ve only just happened because it was so intact, I thought it was playing silly buggers at first. Then we noticed two little chicks further along, desperately cheeping and looking for mum…
Aw…
 
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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Mystery photos made me remember something

When you’ve got to back up through a lock,, then turn in an unofficial windy hole afterwards it’s always a bit daunting. Says she when all she has to do is open the lock gates, then stand and watch…
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That’s it, check out tha back end lad…
 
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And the front…
 
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When you get out of the lock, 100 yards further on, this turn is so tight for a 57 footer it can’t be done without a bow thruster to keep the front end steady. It’s always blowing a gale here (well it is when we’re about), and it’s always coming from the wrong direction, ie: \\\ at the stern…
 
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Unfortunately the boat can’t be turned the other way round, (with the wind in your favour) because it’s shallower at one side (RHS in this photo). So it still took about 10 minutes on high revs to get round…
 
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A friend of ours, (minus bow thruster) once proved the point. There was no other choice but to use the wind and turn the opposite way. The rudder scraped on the side of the bank and the prop on the bottom, end result? Beached, the only answer was to teeter down the gunnels, then physically push the bow away and jump on quick…
I once did a post about the bowthruster debate focusing on the SAFETY aspect, which sorta stirs things up from a different angle. “Girlie button?” No such thing…
 
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The “V” shaped railway bridge further on. We’ve often wondered why, because the train goes across in a straight line…
 
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This swing bridge hasn’t just got a number, it’s got it’s own number plate, the little yellow thing in the middle, bad photo, light fading, so you’ll have to trust me on this one…
 
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With the light fading fast there was just one more lock to do and we were back at the marina…
 
Oh and we gained a windlass and lost a fender (plus clip) on the way back. It would’ve been much more productive had it been the other way round because we’ve now got three windlasses and a fender short of a full set…