Monday, December 21, 2009

To all our readers

Well as you have guessed it we haven't blogged for the last couple of days. It is coming to the time when we need a rest. We have loved doing the blog and keeping in touch with everyone.

We will be spending more time with our friends and family over the Christmas period on and off Derwent6, as that is the whole reason for us doing what we are doing, what is life without people...

Yes, Derwent6 is important to us, but what would any of it be without friends to share it with. We just want to say we have loved Derwent6 and we have just had the best time over the last twelve months helped by all the people we have met on the canals..long may it continue!!!!! Derwent6 is wrapped up nice and warm and being well looked after..........

We would just like to thank all our readers and new friends we have made during 2009 and we will be back blogging in the new year.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas & a Happy New Year!!!

Thank You All xxxxxxxx

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Another cold night!!!! at least the fire stayed in last night. We woke up to snow half filling up the porthole window and ice on the canal, but it did look very pretty. After listening to Terry Wogan signing off his last show, (not that we're Terry Wogan fans) we spent the best part of the day watching the snow coming down and listening to the dreadful traffic reports all round the country. So bit of a lazy day for us. We saw a couple of boats go past breaking the ice, but that's not for us. It feels so Christmassy with the snow and the fairy lights and a roaring fire on Derwent6 why would you want to be anywhere else....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cold and Frosty morning!

The fire went out last night for some unknown reason but we did have a good night. Thank god for the central heating which allowed us to get up and relight the fire. There was a heavy frost on the ground and roof of Derwent6, and the sun was shining in through the portholes, it was very pretty outside. Del waxed the roof and did some brasses while Al cleaned the inside. Then the whole world fell in and the weather turned so quick and before we knew it it was snowing a blizzard, why, because Del done the brasses. We soon had about a inch of snow on the gunwale. Thirty minutes later the sun came back out. Weird!
We closed the doors and snuggled up as the wind started to pick up and it just got colder. We listened to the radio in the afternoon, something we hadn't done for a long time. In the evening we watched a bit of telly and got into the Christmas spirit with a bottle of wine.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

God it's Cold

We had the fire going all last night and to be fair it was a bit hot to sleep comfortably as we like to sleep cold, but we did want to wake up in the morning. Well we never got any ice, good news, but it was so dam cold, but we had no rain or snow, so we decided to move on. With about five layers on we set off and it felt like the canal was on the border of freezing up. We then spotted a cow stuck on the towpath and made a call to the local farmer to let him know. Hopefully that cow will have a nice Christmas.

We were being followed by this Kingfisher for about a mile and in the end he thought he would have his photo taken. Shame we still only have the back up camera. We then got to the bottom of the Buckby flight of locks and thought we would top up everything before the cold snap at Whilton. With Diesel at 65p a litre and self declaration and a pumpout at £12.00 we felt quite smug with ourselves that we can deal with anything now. We used the chandlery and picked up the oil and filters for the main service soon required. They were a bit expensive, so we will be looking for some cheaper options, now we know what to look for.
The locks at Buckby were very difficult to operate and leaking quite bad, a surprise due to the fact they drained them last year and spent a lot of time fixing the paddles and gates. We did pass another boat coming down and they were an older couple who couldn't shut some of the gates. This was handy for us as we could go straight into the locks, but we could see the problem because it took both of us to close one of the gates. It had started to rain with a bit of sleet in it so when we got to the top we moored up and got water. We were so cold at this point we didn't want to move again, we couldn't feel our fingers or our cheek bones. Derwent6 didn't let us down though, it was very warm and toasty inside and with Christmas songs playing in the background and that warming feeling it made us feel very Christmassy. A Shepards pie warmed our tummys and we soon fell asleep all cosy and warm. We just looked outside and the snow is coming down....Ummmm shall we move tomorrow!!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weedon our way up

We left early this morning again with a damp mist and it being very cold, but it didn't stop us moving on today. The worrying thing was we could hear one of the multi belts slipping on the engine, but as the engine warmed up it disappeared, something to look at later we think. We soon entered Blisworth tunnel and we were amazed at how much warmer it was in there. We could feel the cold air when we got past half way and got near the tunnel exit. The scenery was fantastic with a cold damp feeling and peace and quiet. We had no locks today as we made our way up to Weedon. We loved this phone aerial disguised as a tree.

We got to Weedon at about 1.00pm and just about squeezed through as they were doing something to the marina, and all the boats were out on the cut. They were adding pontoons and things, all we can say is there must be some money in marina's.

We saw a spot which looked a bit tight for Derwent6 but we gave it a go and we slotted in with inches to spare. The rain and sleet started to come down and we thought it might freeze, watch this space to see if we can move in the morning.

We then had a look at that belt slipping, so off came all the engine covers and on adjusting the belt noticed some play in the adjusting pulley, which we had mentioned to our boat builders Fernwood ages ago because it was squeaking in the mornings. We ended up adjusting it to stop it slipping, but it has made the squeak from the pulley worse. A call to Fernwood we think....We also carried out some engine checks while we had the covers off, like antifreeze checks and stern gland greaser, levels and engine mount bolts checked. Derwent6 will soon be due a service in the new year.

After messing about with the engine we played games all afternoon, all good fun, with a bit of telly in the evening.

Monday, December 14, 2009

While the sun shines

We had a slight drizzle this morning, but had the itch to move. As we pushed off there appeared to be a blue patch so just like the north star we followed it. The rain stopped and we had a hazy sun on our backs as we went through Cosgrove lock and made our way on to Yardley Gobion, minding the older ducks on the way.. We passed only one boat and it was very easy cruising with very light winds and it was at this point we felt that we were back in the very rural part of the country again. Does anyone know what happened here? We then hit the Stoke Bruerne flight and most of them were in our favour. At lock 19 someone had left a fridge right by the lock, Umm wonder where that will end up. If someone can be bothered to get in their car and dump it here, they might as well take it to the tip, the mind boggles.... It then started to rain as we went through the last two locks, and we decided to top up with water. We know we appear to be topping up with water all the time but we do have a big water tank and if you leave it to get low it can take a hour and a half to fill on a slow tap. Also we always do our washing when cruising and it uses a fair bit of water, so it pays to top up when you can, and at the least inconvenience to others.
The rain by this time was getting heavier, so we found a mooring opposite the water point and moored for the night. We have switched to coal now the temperature has dropped as it lasts longer and Derwent6 gets hotter than ever. You can also keep it in overnight.
All the boats around here are decorated on the outside for Christmas and Derwent6 looks a bit bare. Good job the brasses are clean and it reflects the lights from the other boats and looks rather pretty. This is the first time for about three months we are now back on 2G. We really have been spoilt from being around London and having the super fast 3G+, lets hope they get it all over the country in 2010.

Yummm lamb chops tonight (with mint sauce) so another snooze could be in order.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Al modeling and on the telly

After a lonely night for both of us, Del got stuck into his song writing and Al sorted some bits and pieces out at her Mum and Dad's. Del met Al at the station and we got back at around 3.00pm.

Al downloaded some of her photos of Lisa's day in London and here are a couple for you all. We then opened up all our Christmas cards which Al had picked up from Kent, with one of Al's mince pies of course. We even had one from Canada and we know they follow our travels. Thank you all so much and Happy Christmas to you all.
In the evening we will be watching ourselves on the Russell Howard Good New's Show on BBC3 at 9.00pm tonight, yes we are on the telly..... you can also watch it on iplayer ( ) we are in the last 10 minutes of the hour show.....we will be signing autographs later.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Al in London again, Del in the Poop

We got up early and walked to Wolverton Station as Al was meeting up with her friend Lisa. They were going down to London as they were having a photo shoot done which Al bought for Lisa's 40th birthday. Del walked back to Derwent6 and started leathering it off. At this point a guy walked past with his dog and his dog decided it would Poop right by Derwent6. Del was canalside and gave the guy a shout but all he did was pull his hat over his ears. Twenty minutes later he could be seen walking back, so Del went inside and got a Tesco's bag. "What about your dog poop you left by the boat". With a confussed look he said "What Poop, Oh I haven't got any bags" Del then pulled the Tesco's bag out of his pocket and said "Use this one". After going up to the poop he then said "That's not my dogs poop" (it was Del who saw it do it) and then threw the Tesco's bag into the canal. In the hast to get the bag out of the canal and stop it going into someone's prop, the man was off like a rabbit, so Del shouted at him " I'll pick it up then" and used the bag to collect the poop. By this time he was so far away, but if he comes this way tomorrow Del will be following him home to dump on HIS doorstep.

Del then got rid of the rubbish and the dog poop and then did a few things inside Derwent6. The rest of the day was just chilling out. Al stayed late in London and stayed at her Mum and Dads for the night. A lonely night for both of us!!!!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Steady trip to Cosgrove

Thick fog here this morning, so we waited for it to clear a bit before heading off. We had non event journey and the scenery wasn't that good to shout about, through this section, but it was nice and quiet and trouble free. We did go over two aquaducts and passed this fellow made out of scrap metal. We managed to get to Cosgrove, before it got to cold for us to continue and the temptation of the fire glowing was to great. We moored up and the mooring warden ( Hazel, a nice lady ) came along with a welcome notice and made us feel very welcome with it. It's a nice feeling when someone is looking after the boat when your not around.We went for a short walk in the afternoon just to stretch our legs, before we sat down and warmed up. While we were just sitting comfortably the coal boat came passed and with a side window out and a shout we picked up five bags of Stove Glow to see us through this cold snap, we're supposed to have.
Then we did manage to sit down and you guessed we fell asleep. Al did manage to make some mince pies, with loads of rum in them, and then we had a nice steak for dinner, no wonder we fell asleep!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh please can I go and see Santa ( I'd like some slippers)

Lovely bright start to the day today, so we decided to do a bit more Christmas shopping. We set off on the mile trip to the Milton Keynes shopping centre. The Christmas decs were great and probably the best we have seen this year (so it beat London).

We manage to get all the things we wanted including new jim jams and a new top for Al and a new pair of trousers and a pair of slippers for Del.....a pair of slippers for Del we here you ask, and yes, they had run out of pipes...... The thing is, a boat has to be vented, and you get this draft which runs along the floor and makes your feet cold, so slippers are the easy answer. We got more Christmas pressie's as well and had lunch out at Cafe Italia, a nice change. It was good to see a proper children's fun fair and a crib in the main arena with good old fashioned things going on all day. It was also refreshing to see the five year old kids sing Christmas carols and all the Mums & Dads videoing and taking photos, something you don't see nowadays.

We then made our way back to Derwent6 before dark and were surprised how warm it was inside even though the temperature had dropped. We lit the fire and run the engine for a hour and half before chilling out for the evening.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Keen to get to Milton Keynes

As usual it rained over night after Derwent6 had been cleaned but the rain had cleared by the morning and it was all systems go for moving. We left at 8.00am and thought we would top up with water while Al popped along to Tesco's. Then Del moved Derwent6 along to the Tesco's entrance so Al could bring the shopping trolley right up to the cratch. Fantastic especially when there was a beer offer of 30 beers for £15.00. We then made our way down through Stoke Hammond and on to Fenny Stratford We did pass two Alvechurch boats and caught a boat up at the three locks at Soulbury, so it felt quite busy today. We find it amazing that some of these locks date back to 1802, our history is just the best.Note the swing bridge in the middle of the lock. The sun was out but it felt very cold though there was no wind. We knew when we were getting into Milton Keynes due the to prop picking up bits and pieces, such as a towel at one lock and a piece of rope at the next, but it never hindered us. Check out these prices, £3.50 for as much as you can eat carvery, Monday to Saturday, it was packed by the way....We found a nice mooring and then set about getting some wood chopped up so we could keep nice and warm. Well it was so hot in Derwent6 tonight we had to open up the cratch and the side windows or maybe it was the lovely curry Al cooked for dinner.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Day in London with a friend

Al caught the 10.00am train into London from Leighton Buzzard this morning to meet up with her friend Sarah. They spent the day doing some window shopping around Covent Garden, having lunch and soaking up the Christmas atmosphere. Meanwhile Del cleaned Derwent6 in the sunshine. The day seemed to go very quickly for Del today so not much got done. Del spent at least a hour talking to the guy on the boat behind Derwent6 about his plans for the rest of the year.

So it was a relaxing day for both of us.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Just in time!

Woke up to pouring rain and thought we won't be moving today, but when we got up at 8.30am there were some blue bits in the sky. So it was pull the pins as we made our way up to Leighton Buzzard. We made good progress passing the new marina which will be selling diesel by the way, and then on to Grove Lock and then into the town centre. We started to get a few spits so we never took any chances and moored up. Al had just enough time to go and do some food shopping while Del set up the TV and washed the gunwales, before it rained cats and dogs. It was just fab listening to the rain smashing against the roof and watching the smoke from the chimney. As it started to ease we thought it best to stretch our legs. So we walked into Leighton Buzzard for a look around. It was nice with all the Christmas lights on in the wet and we were surprised at all the nice shops they had. We got a small axe for kindling and some saw blades and Al got her stickers for her last Christmas cards she's making. Then the heavens opened again and we got a bit wet getting back to Derwent6, but when we opened the doors it was like a furnace on board...Nice!

In the evening we just chilled out with a pizza and a beer and a good film....