Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We found a Coal Boat

Del is still stuck on Derwent6 while Al is down in Kent with her dad, with reports that they have had more snow. They tried to get in to see Pam (Al's mum) but had to turn round due to the traffic and heavy snow, but the news is that she is on the mend (fingers crossed).

Del went on the hunt for more wood but has only found a few sticks. It's amazing that when you don't need it you see loads and when desperate none to be found. Del went to the local pub in the evening and chatted to other boaters and found out that a coal boat was iced in round the corner and the 'diesel in a can' man is also around so we should be alright. We are trying to save water already by making a hole in the ice and using canal water for the toilet using the Buckby can. The temperature in the evening was minus six again but the fire did at least take the chill off.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Well and truly iced in

Blimey it was cold last night, there was ice on the inside of the portholes, but we soon had the heating up and running and the Morso red hot. We had another sprinkling of snow and we are well and truly iced in. Al was reporting back that Pam was showing signs of improvement, but would be staying in hospital for the foreseeable future.
We are still running the stove on Derwent6 with the wood we found, but we only have enough for another three days. We do have a couple of bags of coal if needed. Everyone here has just battened down the hatches and keeping warm. It's a good job that we filled with diesel and water before we had to stop here and our waste tank is empty.
Oh! and if we do get cold we can pop along to the pub for a Mulled wine or two...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Iced in, so down to see Pam

We woke up to a light sprinkling of snow which soon covered the canal. It was minus 6 last night on our outside temperature gauge and it was see your breath stuff before the heating came on. The fire did manage to some how stay alight, and just throwing another log on helped it bust into life again. As we were well and truly iced in, it was some more cleaning inside in the morning and in the afternoon Del got the train down to Kent to see Pam. He arrived at the station and was met by Alf (Al's Dad) and Al, who then took him to the hospital.

Pam looked a bit better today even though she is still very poorly. She managed to stay awake for a couple of hours before we all had to leave. We tried to see her again in the evening but she was fast asleep and looked very comfortable, so we didn't disturb her. We ended up spending the evening with Alf before Del caught the last train back to Derwent6.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Still on Tender Hooks

It was an icy cold start on Derwent6 as it was minus four last night and the canal had frozen.

Al was down in Kent with her mum and dad and the news is all going slowly but in a positive way. We are all still taking it one day at a time but it is going in the right direction. Pam has opened her eyes and does recognise Alf and Al, a good sign. Thank you everyone for all your kind comments and phone calls. We really appreciate it and it means a lot.

Del on the other hand, on Derwent6, did the brass porthole liners, cleaned the lamp, did the hoovering and played his guitar.. but was still on tender hooks as to whether the phone would ring with good or bad news.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Waiting in Anticipation

Al stayed down with her Dad while Del woke up on a cold Derwent6. We all waited in anticipation as to whether Pam (Al's Mum) had recovered a bit or things had got worse. The good news was that we never got a phone call overnight.

Del chopped up the rest of the wood on the roof in the morning and Al took her dad shopping for a few bits and pieces to take their minds off things for a bit. Del then got a call on how things were, and the good news is that Pam was a lot more responsive....She is a tough girl!!! She had been moved wards but was still on close observation by all the nursing staff, rigged up with needles and pipes. They still don't know what the cause was.

Alf (Al's dad) seems a lot happier as Pam even recognised him when they came towards the hospital bed.

They called Del on Derwent6 in the afternoon with the news...(you just dread picking the phone up) but it was better news..

We all slept a bit more happier than last night!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Emergency Call

We were woken up this morning by one of those calls you always fear. Al's mum (Pam) had had a suspected stroke and Alf (her dad) had already called the ambulance. We were soon getting dressed and walking to the station, which was half a hour away across the fields. This is one of those moments when money doesn't matter and time means everything. Del came back to Derwent6 while Al soon got the fast train down to Kent, and arrived by midday. Pam was in intensive care all that time and Al was met at the hospital by her dad and sister (Jo)

They stayed at the hospital all day while Del waited on Derwent6 with anticipation as to what was going on. After Pam stabilised they returned home and Al stayed the night with her dad. We were going to bed with that sick feeling hoping everything will be alright.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Maiden in Distress

Del was up early chopping wood this morning while Al was busy spending money.... We parted with over £1000.00 due to the fact we had paid for our licence and insurance on Derwent6 for another year. Gulp!!!!

We ended up setting off around 11.00am and headed straight for Kings Whalf marina where after a tricky turn we manage to reverse onto the pontoon for a pumpout. After finding out that their diesel was 71p we topped up knowing bad weather was on the way. We then went down the locks at Fradley Junction and turned onto the Coventry. It was then a stop for a top up of water. It was here that we got a call from a maiden in distress, being a women on her own who had broken down on the water point. The engine had just cut out going through the swingbridge and she felt it was the battery. Once we were hooked up to the water point Del, with Multimeter in hand, went and had a look. It turned out that she had run out of diesel (less said). After getting a Jerry can of diesel, Del had a few problems trying to bleed the system, but managed to get it running in the end.

This made us a bit late for where we wanted to go, but we carried on, watching the sunset, till we ran out of light. We managed to moor up in a nice spot amongst other boaters.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Birthday Cruise

We were up early and Del opened all his cards and presents in bed with a cup of tea.... We decided to set off as the forecast is not good and it appears to be getting colder. Our biggest problem is that we need to empty our waste tank so we need to find a boatyard. We only got about a mile down the canal and spotted some more wood. Del hopped off at a bridge while Al held Derwent6 and we recovered it.

We then made our way to Rugeley passing the Power station and made a stop as we needed a big shop. Morrisons supermarket is right next to the bridge and you are able to wheel your trolley right next to the canal. We then set off again being aware of the short days and soon passed Armitage Shanks factory at Armitage. We then went through Handsacre and found a mooring just the other side in the middle of nowhere. Al had cooked a lovely three course birthday meal and baked Del a lovely birthday cake. We reminisced the night away to all the old albums we bought when we were kids. Del finished the night watching some of his Colditz DVD box set which was one of the presents Al had brought him for his special day..

Birthday Boy

51 today!!!

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday dear Del Boy

Happy Birthday to you !!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

After breakfast, we did a few jobs like cleaning out the fire, finishing the brasses, and chopping some more wood. It was then a shower and spruce up before we took a walk down to Wolseley Bridge. We posted a letter and picked up some bread before going to the Wolseley Arms, where we met Pat & Keith (Del's Mum) and Carol & Alan (nb Hollyhobble) for Sunday lunch. We ended up chatting all afternoon, and didn't leave until 7pm. We had a lovely time and the Sunday lunch is highly recommended! Pat & Keith kindly lent us a torch, and with a full moon we staggered back to Derwent6, just in time for strictly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Little tip off...

It was another foggy morning and a good day for leathering off Derwent6. With all the wood on the roof now removed Derwent6 got a wipe down. It was then a hunt for more wood and the boat behind us had given us a tip off that a tree was down at the next bridge. It was about a mile walk, but worth it as we managed to walk back with half a tree on our shoulders! We then got back to Derwent6 for a cup of tea and to rest our bruised shoulders. The sun came out late in the day and Del managed to do some brasses. As you guessed, Al was glued in front of the Blackpool stage in the evening.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Workout Day

We woke up to thick fog out the porthole and the forecast of cold weather on the way. We lit the fire early today as it just felt damp and almost rain like outside. After breakfast Al fancied a walk so she went to the Shell garage which also has a Londis store, about a mile away. Del on the other hand spent the best part of the day cutting and chopping up wood which we found yesterday. It did give him a workout, and cheaper than paying for a gym . We seem to be getting through a lot of wood at the moment, but there also seems a lot of it about.

We don't know where the day went and with the short days we were soon putting back in the porthole bungs. We sat and watched Pudsey bear in the evening and even made a donation...

The Itch to Move

We really had the itch to move today and the weather wasn't that great, but we took a chance. We got up to the water point and spotted bloggers Chas and Ann on n.b Moore 2 Life and while filling up we were offered a cup of tea...Rude not too! Walking by was Bruce and Sheila from n.b Sanity Again and we had a quick chat to them as well.
We all said our goodbyes and Al popped over the farm shop to pick up some veggies. We then went through the two locks and made our way to Wolseley Bridge where we spotted some wood. We were getting a bit low and have been lucky enough not to have used any coal yet, in fact the coal bags are starting to perish and need to be transferred into new sacks, not an easy task.Loaded up with wood and it starting to rain, we moored up just through the next bridge. We lit the fire and snuggled in for the night. We were being watched though!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our weekend away

Saturday 13th November
We travelled down to Kent today from Stafford, at a bargain price of £6.00 each way. Touch! It was our niece Ella's 3rd birthday, and we celebrated with a party and fireworks at Cliff & Louise's (Del's brother). We had a great evening, and Cliff brought out Abbot the owl to say hello. Thanks Cliff & Lou, we had a really good time as always.
Sunday 14th November

Most of the day was spent recovering at Bernie & Sarah's!!!!! Del in particular!!!! After the last Grand Prix of the season, we made our way to Steve & Erica's where we were treated to dinner.

Monday 15th November

Today we spent the day with Pam & Alf (Al's Mum & Dad) which was lovely, and helped out with a few jobs that needed doing. In the afternoon it was down to Ashford Hospital as Len (Del's Dad) had an operation that day to have a stent fitted. He was in good spirits and recovering nicely.
Tuesday 16th November

Today was Christmas shopping day!!! We trooped off to Bluewater on a mission! After a really successful day, all the pressies were stored away ready to be wrapped. In the evening, Del went off to the pictures with Bernie, Steve, David & Hannah.

Wed 17th November

We spent today travelling back to Derwent6, stopping in Stafford on the way to pick up some supplies, before catching the bus back to Great Haywood. We just made it before the rain. We could see our breath inside the boat, but we lit the fire, and after a hour and a half Derwent6 was soon warm & toasty again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day and being shot at.......

After yesterday the wind had really picked up and it was pouring with rain, so we lit the fire and went back to bed. We surfaced about 9.00am when we heard a loud bang and Derwent6 was covered in gunshot. It sounded like a firework going off on the roof. Opposite us they were hunting for Pheasant and Grouse and making a hell of a racket. The dogs were running everywhere picking up the kills. We then went on the hunt for wood, and combined that with a walk to Tixall village. We walked up to the Obelisk and then saw the lovely little church before heading back to Derwent6 just in time before it poured hard again.

The winds had picked up again and we were being rocked about a bit, but it was good fun, and we listened to the radio which was sharing people's thoughts on Armistices day, which was very moving. We also had a bit of a tidy up today and made a effort to get rid of the things we hadn't used for three or more months. If you don't use it you don't need it... that's our policy!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What a difference a day makes

After all the wind and rain yesterday, we had clear blue skies today. We went into Penkridge first thing and made our way to the market. We picked up a few Christmas presents and some tools for Derwent6. Del got a new woolly hat and Al got some new gloves. We got back to Derwent6 to find someone had come up the locks, our call to go. We went down the next few locks and soon got to Acton Trussell. It was so beautiful cruising on such an autumnal day. At one of the locks, Midland Chandlers is right next door, so it was a good opportunity to get the heavy items like engine oil and waste tank fluid back to Derwent6. We had a hint that the weather was not going to be so kind tomorrow so we pressed on to Tixall. You could see Cannock Chase in the foreground.We managed to moor up with only one other boat here so it feels we have it all to ourselves. We got the fire going and settled down in the warm to watch telly.