Monday, April 30, 2012

Taking a break.....

Over this weekend we have just sat tight in wind and rain and taken a bit of a break from the blog for a bit..

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Oh yes! we do do in the rain

We woke up to rain beating against the porthole but knew we would have to move today at some point. The barometer was rising slightly so we may have a chance. The rain turned into a fine drizzle and we made the decision to go. We had to go a mile and a half before we could wind (turn round) and after about half a mile it started to rain hard.
We don't do cruising in the rain, but there will always be a time when you have to, just like these guys cutting the grass in the wet.
We could have winded at the new marina at Barby and with the bad weather it was very tempting, but we did the right thing and carried on for another mile and winded as they had little signs saying "No Turning". With the rain, the wind picked up as well so it made turning a bit difficult but we managed it. We also spotted some more wood on the way down, so we stopped on the way back to collect it. The weather did clear up a bit on the way to Braunston. When we got there we thought it would be busy but in fact it was empty with plenty of moorings if you wanted them.
We first got water which took about a hour to fill ( Derwent6 has a big tank) and while filling Al walked up to the shop for some goodies (mainly beer), and we had some lunch. It was then round the corner for a pump out at last. The tank had gone 18 days a record for us, so no more holding it.....
We then made our way back and were going to moor in Braunston, but no chance. While we had got water and emptied our tank the moorings had all gone, they were even double breasting.
So it was on to bridge 103 towards Napton for a change over the weekend just as it started to rain again. We moored up at around 4.30pm damp from cruising all day. We just vegged in front of the fire when we stopped, we must stop over doing it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sitting Tight

We should have moved today as the waste tank is close to the brim and has gone 17 days, but the wind here was so strong we thought we would sit tight for another day. (no pun intended!) The day did have a lot of showers, but we felt we should have made a move. So what did we do.. well nothing really, although Al did get the bus to Sainsbury's for a top up shop, We still have the fire lit, just to take the chill off Derwent6. Del was doing some research work, (more about that later) while Al made a lovely lemon drizzle cake and read her book.
When we went to close the doors because of another shower, we had this lovely rainbow looking at us....
Lets hope the weather is ok tomorrow!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Keeping warm in the rain

We woke up this morning to howling wind and rain and we just wanted to pull the sheets over our heads and let it rain... It's a nice feeling listening to it hitting the roof while the wind rocks you back to sleep. We had to get up as we had an invite for coffee on n.b Thema moored in front of us. They were planning to go today, but conditions said No!
We left Pat and Keith at around midday as they planned to go at the best opportunity. They took a chance with it still windy, at around 2.00pm, we hope they got on alright. We just put another log on the fire and sorted out some on-line chores we had to do. While the rain came down the highlight of the day was n.b. President and n.b. Kildare going past, one of the only steam powered boats left on the system and you will be able to see it in the pageant of the Diamond Jubilee.

We are in a position here where we now need a pump out and may have to move in the rain tomorrow as the weather doesn't look too good. In the meantime, it will be the footy tonight!     

Down for Doctors

On Monday we sorted out Derwent6 and travelled down to Kent again, this time Del had a doctors appointment. We had excelled ourselves again by getting a £3.00 ticket down to London from Rugby, so we made the most of it.
We first went to see Al's mum and dad again and we got there just before they were going to bed, we stayed with them overnight.
Then on Tuesday we set off to the doctors and then came straight back to Derwent6. Our ticket back cost £5.00 but we managed to get a fast. All was going well till we got to Rugby where the train suddenly stopped. A freight train had broken down in front of us,and the line was blocked, so we had to go backwards. The driver then announced that we had to go back to Milton Keynes and change trains. Everyone was up in arms.... The train then changed lines and turned into the Northampton train which stopped at Long Buckby.. We got off as we knew we could get the bus to Rugby from there. We ended up getting back to Derwent6 at around 6.30pm and were pleased to see n.b Thema moored up in front of us. Pat ( Del's mum) and Keith were sitting out in the sunshine as we arrived when it was raining down in Kent.
 Pat had also made us a lovely apple and blackberry pie.
 We got Derwent6 warmed up and they came round for pie and drinks.. We had a good catch up till 10.30pm when they left and we crashed out into bed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Being Shepherds and Shepherds Pie

It was another lovely start to the day so Del was outside cleaning Derwent6 while Al cooked a lovely fried breakfast. We sat in the sunshine finding it hard to get going but Del always finds it easy to do some brasses. It wasn't long before loads of boats started to pass us and one of them shouted that a sheep was caught in the brambles two fields away. All we have done this week is look after the sheep, where and who is the farmer?. The fields around here are leased out by the prison to different farmers so you never know who owns what is in them.

So Del walked down the canal and located the sheep, baa-ing away under a hedge, on the other side of the canal. He came back to Derwent6 and walked round the other side armed with scissors. When Del approached the sheep wasn't happy and tried to go further into the bush and nearly into the canal.

Del had to grab it by the scruff of the neck and give it a bit of a hair cut while it was kicking like a bronco. Still with a few brambles attached it kicked and ran to join the others. It did stop and give Del a look to say thank you. With a good dead done Del got back to Derwent6 just in time to meet the Cooks on the coal boat. We had their last 30 litres of diesel still at the cheap price, but we needed 90 really. Still that should help us through the cold snap. It was then time for us to settle down to watch the Grand Prix while eating a nice shepherds pie Al had cooked!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Preparation time

Well it looks like we could be having another cold snap, lets hope it brings a lot of rain with it. The day was a beautiful start and we were woken by the swans and the cows waiting for breakfast.
Del was then out sorting out the wood and making sure the locker was full to the brim by cutting up what we had on the roof. (Oh Del's back is still not brilliant, but you know what he is like, it won't stop him doing anything.)
Afterwards he looked for more wood and stocked up the roof again..  He's well trained!!!
We managed to do this just in time before the heavy showers hit us. Inbetween we had some lovely sunny spells which brought out the wildlife.

 It was then an evening with the telly, until late evening when we had a sing song.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Baa and a Par on the towpath

It was a lovely start to the morning and Del as usual was out doing the brasses. As he was doing them some helpers turned up, they had escaped from the field two bridges up from us. So for the next couple of hours we spent the time trying to get them back in.. It has been busy here today with loads of boats moving around and it wasn't long before someone turned up we knew. It was Andy and Irene off n.b. Kamili which is the newest Fernwood boat on the water at the moment. They had family on board but stopped to have a chat. We even had the chance to have a look around, and as you can image their boat just looked fabulous. If you want to see it, it will be at The Crick show, but it will be appointment only.
They had to get off as they were meeting more family later on in the day and the weather looked like it was going to change. We then had more action on the towpath as the guy on the boat in front of us decided to play golf, yes you read it right, golf. He got his clubs and a bag of balls out and started chipping a ball along the towpath, perhaps he was learning how to find the water on the golf course, he found it a few times here.
Al then decided to clean out the cupboards and wash all the plates and dishes in them, a real spring clean. Del was lubricating the doors and hinges on Derwent6. In the evening we listened to music and watched a DVD.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A new Rugby Shirt

We didn't blog yesterday as it was a very wet day (good news) so we pretty much did the same as the day before and nearly finished our books. Today is more showers and we needed to get out. Del was in need of a new pair of jeans and shirts, so Al was as pleased as punch that we were going to Rugby for the day. We got the bus at HMP here which is about 400 metres from Derwent6 and made our way to the town centre. It passes a big Sainsbury's on the way which Al will investigate later on. When we got into town Del picked up a new shirt and then we made our way to Weatherspoon's for lunch at £3.00 each. Afterwards Del picked up his jeans and Al picked up a new book to read. We posted a couple of cards before we caught the bus back. We managed to miss any showers that we had, and they had turned out to be heavy ones.
We kept the fire alight and it was very welcoming when we got back. Just as well we did because the heavens opened again as we arrived, and we could here the hailstones hitting the roof. This did however water test the leaking portholes we had, all was fine!!! It did however affect our TV signal, so we played some music till it stopped. More rain bring it on!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heads in a Book

We have both our heads buried into books at the moment and we stayed in bed reading till 10.00am. After our bacon butties, Del looked at a leaking porthole we had, which dripped when it rained and Al had to keep a piece of kitchen roll under it. It turned out only to be a bit of sealer under the collecting rail.
It was then back to reading for a couple of hours, and after lunch Del went out for a walk and got a bit of local knowledge of the area. We had showers during the day so everything was done in between these. We also managed to collect a bit more wood to keep us topped up. So an easy day for us... you can guess what we did in the lovely light evening.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Need for Feed

We felt the need to move this morning as we heard the weather is turning again and we needed water. We also needed shopping provisions and a change of scenery. So Del turned Derwent6 round with frost still on the roof while Al got rid of some rubbish and waited for Mr Tesco. Del pulled up on the water point and just as we got the hose in Tesco's turned up. So loaded with water and shopping we set off through the tunnel. We met four boats on the way through and followed another which did get hit by one of them....we were lucky!!! We linked up with this boat down through the locks which made things a lot easier. At the bottom lock we met up with Andy and Hilary off n.b The Maisibert, but couldn't stop as it was too busy and we wanted to get out of the village and into the countryside. It was lovely cruising in the sunshine and it was nice to be moving again. We got moored up by 2.00pm and had some Mexican fajitas in the cratch. We spent the rest of the day reading and wood hunting and enjoying the sunshine......

Friday, April 13, 2012

Boys and Girls day out

We travelled down to Kent again on Friday and went to Bernie and Sarah's where a nice Sausage and Mash was waiting for us. You won't believe it, but we managed to get a ticket to London for just £3.75, our cheapest fare yet. We had an early start in the morning so it was an early night.
Saturday morning Bernie and Del were up early. They got picked up by Steve and then got the train up to London and had a nice big breakfast in Lambeth. We then made our way over to the Imperial War Museum where we had a look around. We then went to a meeting we had booked for Bernie's 50th Birthday. We had joined The Colditz Society, as children we were all fans, and as you are aware Derwent6 has a Colditz Castle on board. We had a great day being shown old footage of the castle and the glider built in the attic being flown from the castle. There will be a programme on Channel 4 later in June. Afterwards we went back round the museum, before we hit the bars. We got the train back and then finished the day off at an Indian restaurant. Al spent the day shopping with the girls..
Sunday morning we watched the Grand Prix early and then after helping Bernie with the kitchen for a bit, we got a lift to the station and made our way back to Derwent6. We arrived back at 6.00pm, where we watched the football and Al managed to stay awake to watch her Desperate Housewives.

Spring Clean

It has been very busy through the locks here at Norton, so we feel we have done our bit for saving water by not moving over the Easter period. We have had a lot of boats mooring here in the evenings but by 9.30am they have all gone! We have heard about nightmare queuing at the locks at Watford, taking three hours at times. Also at Braunston they have been waiting in the tunnel to go down the locks (don't ask why they can't breast up) and we can see the queues at Buckby flight. All good fun.
We had a busy day in between the showers as Al had one of those spring cleaning days and a sort out while Del played with the engine and of course did the brasses. He also managed to chop up all of the wood on the roof so we now have a locker full for those cold spring evenings.
In the afternoon we got chatting to the boat who moored in front of us and we helped them with their diesel bug problem. Then Dave and Angie on n.b Lady Esther turned up closely followed by John and Ali on n.b.Triskaideka. We are not ones to turn down a 'fancy going up the pub' offer.. We met at 7.00pm and had a bite to eat and a few drinks, all being merry (and a bit loud) at the end of it. The landlord was glad to get rid of us at 11.15pm. We had a lot of rain while we were in there and had to play dodge the puddles on our return to Derwent6.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A trip to Braunston

It was a cold night as we let the fire go out, so one of the first things was to relight it again. This got us up and ready to go, so after some breakfast we decided to go to Braunston on the bus. The bus goes via Daventry and only cost £3.10 return. It is quite a long bus ride though as it goes round the houses a bit. Del wanted to get another door retainer at Midland Chandlers, as he broke one yesterday, and can you believe our luck they only had one left. It is a nice walk from the bus stop via the lambs on the footpath. We got the bus back to Derwent6 and was back on board by 12.30pm. The rain had held off all morning but looked threatening. Del then managed to get the other catch done (learning by his mistakes) just before it absolutely tipped it down. More rain, hurrah!!!
We chilled for the rest of the day watching loads of boats passing in the very wet weather. These new ducklings were loving it in the sunny spots in between.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What a picture!!!

Ahhh back in rest mode... It was a bit of a lay in for us this morning but with loads we wanted to do we ended up getting up at 9.00am. Del took the confetti off the roof and wiped down the sides. We then decided to go for a walk. We walked down the Buckby flight and was amazed at how busy it was. The last time we walked down here it had been dredged and no one was around. We first went to the chandlers which is now called the canal shop. It is still a treasure trove with bits and pieces everywhere. We picked up some picture hangers and screws, yep you heard right Derwent6 is going to get some pictures. We then walked down to the new chandler's which is very different from the old one, and both sell groceries......We liked them both but we don't know how they will both survive in today's climate. After getting back to Derwent6 we had lunch out in the cratch as it was bright sunshine. Del then set about putting our pictures up. Bernie's (the 50 year old) dad had painted some watercolour pictures of Derwent6 and as you can see they just had to go up. They looked fab. A big big thank you to Tony for painting them and I'm sure he will take orders if anyone wants one of Derwent6 or even their own boat.
Del then set about the rear door stays. Well one side went fine but when doing the other side the drill snapped and got stuck in the hole, the tap got jammed and to top it all it didn't line up and a tap with the hammer snapped the catch..Oh dear!!! So we now need another catch and a drill..
It was feet up in the evening looking at our pictures..