Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Birthday's and Hogroast

We travelled down to Kent on the Friday to see Al's Mum and Dad and get a few jobs sorted out..  Al also had to have a blood test done. We stayed the night and then after sorting out a few more bits we went down to Bernie and Sarah's where we were meeting up to go to a beer festival and hogroast at Del's brother Cliff's..
We also met up with Samuel who's Birthday it was on Friday.. he got a new guitar for his birthday and was putting it into practice with the entertainment at the hogroast..
We got back to Bernie and Sarah's in the evening and stayed there the night..In the morning it was Hannah's 20th Birthday and she was going out with a few of us to eat at a restaurant in Maidstone

We were up early the next day and after dropping Sarah off at work we headed back to Al's Mum and Dad's. While Del was painting the shed, Al took her Dad, Alf, back to kings collage hospital in London for a consultation as to whether he has more treatment on a minuet tumor they have found on the last scan. The verdict is that he will have it treated under a full general and it should get rid of it once and for all..  We stayed with them for the night.
We were up early the next morning as we planned to get he train back to Derwent6. We were dropped off by Alf and had no problems getting up to London. When we got on the tube there was a signal problem and we ended up travelling half way round London to get to Euston and we missed our train. We had booked advanced tickets and thought we might have to pay again, but after asking at London Midland they said that we needed a bit of paper from the London Underground to prove the fault was theirs. We then got replacement tickets for a fast train back to Rugby. When we got off it was raining cats and dogs as we walked the mile back to Derwent6. We got on and first stuck the heating on followed quickly by the fire loaded with wood.. It took us an hour and a half to get Derwent6 up to temperature.. Oh but when it was it was lovely..  We wanted to move in the afternoon but the weather was so bad. We have very little water and a full waste tank and also Al has picked up a bit of a chesty cough over the weekend somewhere and had to go to bed early with honey and lemon. Lets hope things are better tomorrow..

Monday, January 27, 2014

R.I.P Auntie Betty

We heard some sad news last week that Del's Auntie Betty had passed away on Wednesday morning..  She was such a lovely lady and you just always felt she was around if you wanted her. Del used to live very close to her when he was young, and grew up with his cousins, Robert and Julie. She will be sadly missed in the Heasman family, but is now being looked after by her husband Pete and Del's dad Len.. She will always be remembered......
As for us on Derwent6, we have been sitting tight for a bit, but our water is running low now and also our waste tank is on the high side.
After Al's dad scan we got the results. The large tumour has been sorted but they have noticed the small one is showing some activity, so some electrical zapping is required..  Al & her Dad are seeing the consultant today and hopefully this can be done under a local anaesthetic and that they can zap it away for good.....

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Catch up, we're HD ready

We have been static for a few days so we haven't blogged much. On Friday it had turned a bit colder but still mild for the time of year and we were pleased to see Mark on coal boat n.b Calisto turn up.. we took on three bags of coal as we still had two bags from the six we brought from him last time..
We have done well on wood so far this year, due to all the winds, but it is getting to the time where wood is harder to find and it might just get colder for longer.. We also topped up with diesel which might just see us through February. We have been keeping warm and snug on Derwent6 as the evenings start to get a bit longer.
We woke up on Saturday after some rain overnight, and Al walked up the shop with Ann on n.b. Oakfield. The towpath was heavy going but they managed to get a paper and a few treats for the guys. We spent the best part of the day listening to the radio while reading the papers...a really nice chilled out day.
Sunday it was a lovely day with blue skies and Keith and Ann had decided to go cruising. We said our goodbyes as Del was leathering off the roof and even managed to clean n.b. Oakfield as they set off. 
In the afternoon Del wanted to see the football so walked up the pub to watch the Chelsea v Man U  game.. Al started the dinner, got rid of our rubbish, and then met him later for the second half.  We came back to Derwent6 later with the smell of Lamb shanks cooking on the stove, and with the drink up the pub we had worked up an appetite. Al watched her Dancing on Ice before we had an early night for an early start tomorrow.
On Monday the alarm went off at 7.00am and we woke up to a really heavy frost. It was really pretty and the heaviest we had had this year so far..
Al got ready for a train she was catching down to the hospital to meet her Dad for his check up scans in London. Del was soon out doing the brasses on Derwent6, so rain is on the way.
On Tuesday we were iced in, but it was another lovely start to the day.
Del was up finishing the brasses on the canal side and then had a go at getting Derwent6 HD ready.. We had a HD sky box given to us by Del's brother Cliff, and we had had trouble with the remote, but Del's mate Steve had an old remote in his shed. It had been in there three years, and when he found it the red light still flashed on it.    So with new batteries we set it up, and even with our old card it all worked OK.. Lets hope its as good at getting the satellite signal as the old one was. Del was doing the brass porthole liners when Al arrived back home. We had a catch up with what had happened while we were apart and then watched some telly before another early night..

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Working an Appetite

It was another horrid start to the day with rain followed by heavy showers.. The towpath here is like a mud bath and wellies are required to get anywhere... you don't even feel like getting off Derwent6 as you just bring mud back inside if you're not careful...
Del had no choice, as we needed some more wood for the fire.. We still had a couple of logs left on the roof so after changing the chain on the chainsaw he set to work at chopping them all up..
He managed to fill the locker again so we have enough for a week... In the meantime, Al sorted out the inside.
We had worked up an appetite and had arranged to go out for a meal with Ann and Keith on n.b. Oakfield as we had a 50% off main meals discount voucher...
We met up at 6.00pm and made our way to the Table Table Butler's Leap restaurant and after a ten minute wait got seated at a table..
We had a lovely meal and a good chat and catch up before we headed back home for 10.00pm.. We like these sort of days!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy 50th Birthday Sarah

Well we have been doing nothing over the last few days... Hmmmm not true!
We have been down to London as it was our friend Sarah's 50th Birthday and we had all arranged a surprise, meeting up at an old haunt TGI's Friday's in Piccadilly..
We got down the muddy towpath with the plastic bag trick over the boots and some careful side stepping to get to the station at 10.00am.
We still nearly missed our train when we got there because we decided to have a coffee before hand!
We got to London and walked around Leicester Square and Covent Garden before we made it to the restaurant and met some of the others.. 
We all hid behind the bar when Sarah turned up and Surprise!!!! She was amazed to see us all. We all sat down for a lovely meal, and she opened her presents.
We then marched out of there at 7.15pm and walked over to The Piccadilly Theatre and got the tickets for the production of " Dirty Dancing" Sarah is a big dancing fan so was so pleased to have this arranged for her....
We watched the show (which we've got to say is one for the girls), but the blokes did well to sit through it.
We came out at 10.00pm and then found a Sports bar close to Victoria station so it was easy for everyone to get home..
Here Del split and made his way back to Derwent6 while Al went down to Kent with Sarah where she stayed the night, as her Dad had an appointment the following day..
In the morning Al got the rain back to her Mum and Dads and then took her Dad to the hospital, and things turned out fine there and everything was on time so she was soon back on the train back to Derwent6.
Del got back to Derwent6 at 1.30am in the morning and woke up to find that Keith and Ann on n.b. Oakfield were moored in front of us.. After sorting out the chimney with a good clean, and then warming Derwent6 back up, he was very kindly invited round for a cup of tea and a cake by Ann and Keith, waiting for Al to return.......lovely. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

On a cold and frosty morning

Yesterday we decided to stay in Braunston even though the weather cleared up a bit in the afternoon. Del did some of the brasses and Al cleaned that floors... It was going to be a early start in the morning.
We managed to get up early and just as day broke Del set off, it was about 7.30am. There was a frost last night so things were looking very pretty as we crept out of the village.
The canal was close to being frozen as all the puddles were iced over and the fields white.
We soon got out into the countryside and the smoke from the chimney went into wind, and behind us, the sun was trying to poke it head out from the horizon. A gentle reminder of why we do this..
We took it nice and easy on our way to Hillmorton Locks not passing any boats, even moored boats were very few and far between..
We did spot this unusual pair.
As we got to the locks we found one was out of action and the other one looked like a bubble bath, or a bar of Aero, so into the bubble bath Derwent6 went.
All the locks were against us, but it was only time, but everyone we met today seemed so miserable, blimey its a start to the new year, they've got a long way to go...
We got through the locks and then found a nice mooring for telly and a bit of sunshine, if we get any. After setting up, Al got the bus into Rugby and picked up some shopping from good old Asda's. Just back before dark we chilled with some music in the evening..

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Cruising again

Oh it was so nice to see the wind had dropped this morning, it was still 15mph but not the 30mph plus winds we had got used to.  Got to move, we had been on our mooring for too long and we needed a change of scenery.  We first backed off to the water point and had just got the hose in when CART decided that they would cut the grass and the hedges.. It took six men to do this, yes six, a nice easy new years number.. They could have all been volunteers for all we know but they all looked like they knew what they were doing....
We then backed off and turned for Braunston Tunnel.. We kept a eye open for more wood and there was still a bit left where we picked some up before Christmas.. We stopped and managed to find a bit in amongst all the sticks. We waited at the tunnel entrance as a boat was going at fifty knots, it turned out to be a CART boat, good job we didn't meet.
We got through the tunnel without meeting anything and then hit the locks with two boats coming out the top lock. It was a shame because two boats were also in front of us going down so we had to fill every lock.
It took us a hour and a half to get down and in the bottom lock we went to the chandlers to get our new chimney hat which disintegrated in the winds.
We managed to get a slot up by The Boathouse where we know we can get telly... We also then noticed a new scratch in the side and damage to the gunwale which may have been done in the winds, maybe by a boat blown into us while we weren't aboard. Just as we got moored it rained so good timing really.

Enoughs enough

We got up this morning after another disturbed night of wind and rain.. We have had enough of it now and just want to move on, cruising is what we love.. As the morning went on it did clear up a bit but the wind just put us off taking chances again.. We don't need to.. We did some jobs as usual. Cleaning out the fire, Al run the Dyson round and she also made some rock cakes.. Del took all the sticks off the roof and just gave Derwent6 a general clean up..  It has been warm for the time of year and it just makes you think we have it coming.. At least all this rain is not snow..
We plan to move tomorrow just so Derwent6 can stretch her legs a bit..

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Decks are Down

Ohhh Christmas ends today.. So we were up early as the wind had been battering us around all night and wasn't going to let off this morning. We had breakfast and then set about the task of taking down the Christmas decorations.. It all went away under the settee very nicely even though we have a few extras.. I suppose for the next three weeks we will be finding bits of tinsel all over Derwent6.
So what did we treat ourselves to over Christmas? We always try to spend our money on something which will benefit us later on.. We spent our money on LED's this year.. We got a new led for the 21 watt bulb in the cratch which takes it down to a 4 watt LED. We also got a new 240 volt LED bulb for our lamp in the saloon as we found we hardly used it because even though we had a low wattage 12 watt bulb fitted it was still power hungry and took a while to warm up. We now have a LED which is only 6.7 Watts and comes on straight away..
We also replaced some LED's which have discoloured slightly and don't now give out a full light, they now build them better..

We spent the rest of the day planning January or trying to.....

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Dangers of Boating

We should have moved today but to be honest it has been too dangerous with the high winds and heavy rain.. You still get the idiots that feel they are better than everyone else, who push off and then whack the side of you, or the guy who goes past you sideways hitting the bridge because they weren't made to go sideways through..
We have enough coal and wood to last a few days so we have sat tight, loosening off the ropes when needed. Del emptied the bilge out, because the rain we had had gone over the hatch cover and flooded the engine bay.. but things were all Ok.. Al went into Daventry on the bus and got some extra bits for us to enjoy. We have both decided we need to lose some weight after the Christmas binge so we will do what we done last year and slow down on the drinking on Derwent6.
We were sad to hear about Spike and his dog Millie at Banbury on the tramways, who has been found dead from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. We feel sad today as we got to know him as he walked his dog past us everyday out in the countryside there, he was a smashing fellow and it just highlights the potential dangers of living on a boat.. Derwent6 has a CO alarm, and two fire alarms...... R.I.P Spike, boating in the skies..
We had a lot going on last year, as all our followers will know, and this year won't be any different, except we plan to travel and do a bit more boating.. Del managed to get the wood we had on the roof chopped up today but he is having trouble with his back again.. He has been struggling with sciatica which is due to a trapped nerve that works round your back, groin and runs down your legs making it hard to walk and bend.. Exercise is the best fix.. and we get plenty of that..
We have now found out that it is going to be bad on Sunday night so we will be staying put for the next 48 hours.. Itching to move again now!!!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!

Well we have taken a break from the blog and this is what we did over Christmas
We got down to Kent on the Saturday before Christmas to pick up all our presents sent on line and see Al's Mum and Dad. It was very well decorated with Christmas lights all down the road as we turned up.. We soon got cracking on wrapping presents..
On the Sunday we went to see nephew Thomas (who has been on Derwent6 a few times) as it was his 15th Birthday. It was lovely to see all the kids so excited about Christmas, and poor Thomas with all his Birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper.. The following day Al had a funeral to go to (what a rotten time for the family concerned) and we also had a few jobs to do with Del putting up a couple of lights for Pam and Alf . On the evening before Christmas Eve we had a horrendous storm and the winds were so strong we lost a few tiles off of Al's Mum and Dads roof.. We also had a lot of flooding in the village and only had one route in and out. We had a power cut at around 8.30pm right in the middle of the Arsenal/Chelsea game and Del wasn't happy.. It started to get cold and we all went to bed at 9.30pm. In the morning the power was still off and Del spent the morning repairing the roof and power came back on at midday on Christmas Eve. It was then a dash out to deliver some of the presents we had for family and friends.. We managed to see Maxine and Graham and Richard and Lisa before getting back through the blocked roads of fallen trees..
We woke up to the sound of the Church bells on Christmas Day as we opened some of our presents, and Al went off to church, as for the first time we had no Christmas dinner in the oven. We had arranged to go to Cliff and Louise's pub, The Roebuck in Harrietsham, and when the pub had closed in the afternoon they had twenty of us for a Christmas dinner.. It was lovely to see all the kids, family and friends all round the table for a fantastic Christmas dinner..
It was so well arranged and the meats of Pork, Beef and Turkey were to die for.. The day was well thought out and well spread out so we didn't feel bloated as after dinner we opened all the presents and the kids got their main presents from Santa.. 
We then had dessert followed by cheese and biscuits with just the best cheese board ever.. Thanks guys for a great day and a lovely memory..
On Boxing Day we had arranged a meal at the Ole George Inn pub in Shoreham village where we had arranged to meet all of Al's family.. We got there at midday and then at 12.45pm all the rest of Al's family turned up. This was a bit of a celebration of Alf''s news of recovering from his tumours.. It was great to see three generation's of the family together...
We had the rest of the day to catch up with some of the telly we had missed and pigged out with even more food..
On the Friday Al wanted to go to the January Sales and we got up early and went to Bluewater to try and find a bargain. We were fine for the first hour we were there and then it got so busy.. We chilled with a coffee and a nice lunch and when we couldn't stand it anymore we hit the queues to get back to Al's Mum and Dads. We did pick up a few bargains, some new clothes, a new frying pan and a torch which has a magnet on it for working round the engine..
On the weekend we had some time to ourselves, and as the weather was bad again and we ended up going out in the afternoon.. We managed to pop in and see Steve and Deb and their daughter Leanne who was over from the States, it was a good catch up, and lovely to see them all. We then went on to Terry & Ron's where they had arranged a get together with family and friends.. We had a evening playing games with the kids, and eating some lovely food, together with a few drinks ..  We went back to Bernie and Sarah's where we stayed the night and Del felt a bit worse for wear in the morning.. We had planned to do some more visiting but we had to recover all day.... We did manage to get out in the afternoon to pick up a new telly for Al's Mum and Dad in the sales before we headed back there for the evening.. We had a lovely evening tea with cheese and all the pickles..
On the Monday we were up early and then travelled down to see Zoe and Greg in Whitstable and we ended up having lunch with them, a lovely surprise.. Rummage and Jumble were pleased..
We left there at 3.00pm and then made our way over to Folkestone...
Surprise!!!! we went to the bungalow of Paul and Lynne who used to own the boat n.b Pistonbroke. the look on Paul's face was a picture, in fact he closed the door again on us in disbelief..  We drunk more tea and had a lovely catch up, Paul telling us all about his tales at the Battle of Britain museum and working on the Spitfire Merlin engine. He was in his element. It was lovely to see them...
We left at 7.00pm and got back to Al's Mum and Dads at 8.00pm.
On New years Eve we had the morning running around as Al's Dad had a doctors appointment and Al had a hospital appointment, we even managed to pick up a timber board for Al's Dad on the way, for a project he has going in the bedroom upstairs. In the afternoon we got ready to party and got back to Bernie and Sarah's to get ready.. At 8.00pm we went over to Cliff and Louise's pub again where food and a singer had been arranged.. We had a lovely time seeing in the new year with friends and family with champagne and party poppers. (but Del did forget the camera)
On New Years Day, Bernie and Sarah had arranged an Indian Curry takeaway with everyone.. We all had a lovely time seeing in the new year in style..
We came home on Thursday and the trains were very busy, but we managed to get all our presents back in one piece.. The only damage through the storms was the rain hat on the chimney that had flown off and was broken into three pieces. We first had to warm up Derwent6 and then we unpacked leaving a lovely restful evening till the winds started to get up again.. Oh we have had a lovely time but it is so good to be back home!!!! Happy New year Everyone!