Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Mick and his magnetism !

Tuesday saw us making our way through the suburbs of Leic. with all double locks against us, which meant we had to empty them to get us in, and then fill them to get us out. I said to Mick, get your sea searcher magnet out and while we wait we can have a trawl about and see if we can find lost windlasses and the like. Anyway Mick said " I'll have a go here" and promptly caught himself a lock paddle. !!!!! Would it come off? Wold it heck as like. I said that I hoped no other boats turned up, espeacially hire boats, as we would look proper gits. We tried all sorts of permutations and I was saying " oh you will have to leave it then" when with a bit of teamwork, him pulling, me and the boat hook pushing, we managed to get it off ! Its now been put back in its bag, never to sea! the light of day until absolutely necessary.

Tomorrow I will tell you about The Tequila Stuntman. Anyone know what it is ????

Sunday, 26 July 2009

a beautiful flutterby and a bream

Leaving Loughborough we had a good haul of ........................

FTBT + 3 = I dunno, about 29 ?. We had a nice trawl there, althoug one is not actually a tennis ball. its pink and bouncy.

The River Soar is a really pretty river and arriving at Mountsorrel Lock , we encountered a scruffy boat, no mooring ropes, as such but complete with two drunks. I didn't realise this, until they started coming into the locks with us. One of them could hardly string two words together. He whined to me that he had Athur Itis in his arm, to which I replied that I had a bad back, but was still able to work the locks. He got off with it, as a another boater arrived to help me with the locks. They then said " Are you going up to the next lock?" " NO, we are stopping for a pint" We weren't but I didn't want to do anything more with them. Drunk, doped and ,I think, daft ! well would you?

Mick did a good deed this morning and rescued a butterfly?/moth from the river and it wasn't until she opened her wings, did we realise how beautiful she was . Look at this. A peacock butterfly.

So, tomorrow - monday onto Leicster, put, put put and a curry... Is that pc???? perhaps not.

Oh, Mick caught a bream,so I had better show you a picture of that, as well. !

Friday, 24 July 2009

Wednesday pm we were moored nr Willington. Not too far from an airfield...........East Midlands International Airport.! But as it was such a nice mooring, we decided that the planes would stop about midnight until about 6am. WRONG. After midnight, they bring out the big guns. Cargo 747's. Cor, they don't half roar as they pass over the top of you. but this was our view.
I also picked the first blackberries of the season. They were a bit
maggoty, but after Mick told me that maggots can't breathe underwater, I submerged the fruit in water for a few hours, then made some little pies. They were ok, but the pips get in my teeth.
FTBT - 1 Not sure what the total is now. 26? Mick threw it to Finlay and F headed it over the side. Now you know why we have so many TB's on Trundle.
So we have had a pump out at Mercia Marina for £13.70. Then stopped at Kegworth last night. Nice mooring, still abit close to the airfield.
FTBT - 1 ( aGAIN !).. Finlay headed it into a load of deep brambles this time.
So before leaving F and I had a walk along the path, by the River Soar( really lovely), and a few yards up an old bloke and his dog were sitting on a bench, behind a small wall. As we got closer, I saw this black stoaty like creature " up n over" the wall. So I shouted to the old chap( he was watching me coming along). " Is your weasel tame?". "Eh ? what weasel?" " The one that just came over the wall RIGHT in front of you". Anyway he hadn't seen it and neither had his dog. Are you thinking what I am thinking? Anyway, we decided it must have been a mink, and then I got into such a long convo with him about all sorts of things, that Mick had decided to bring Trundle to me.
So we trundled off to Loughborough. A spot of stocking up is in order, as we need to find somewhere out of the way, to do some painting, thats if the weather allows.
Also the latest followers of the blog are about to descent on the uk.! Thats Chris and Bruce from Canada. Don't forget the flag, you two.
They will eventually be making there way up to Chris and Mike in Bradford, who would like to come and see us, but we seem to be getting further and further away, so will see what happens. Hope you both have a good trip over and look forward to seing you, if its possible.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

We were moored last night twixt Fradley Junction & Alrewas. Very nice mooring.

Amusing boat names :- Wobbly Bob and Esio Trot ( tortoise backwards), very appropriate for a NB.

Well a sign of the times, I guess, we watched moorhens building a nest ( bit late), it started off with a bed of weed, then topped up with a Salt n Vinegar and a Cheese n Nunion crisp packet, and then another load of weed. aaah. Perhaps its good insulation? or perhaps like us they like crisp sheets at night !!!

I'll have to take Mick to specsavers. We arrived at a bridge-hole, and he signalled to the boat the other side to pass through. No responce. He signalled again. Nada. I looked through the bins and it turned out it was a stationary boat- no-one aboard. Hey ho. could happen to anyone, I suppose.

Ha.! Don't we know the holiday-bods are about. Hire boat company Canaltime a.k.a. Analtime-with 4 person crew took one look at us coming along SLOWLY and decided to panic, engaged forward gear and rammed straight into us. No damage done, except the other blokes pride. He said he was very, very embarrassed. So he should be.

But there we go, we all have to start somewhere, and looking a complete git in front of competent boaters is all part of the fun.

Said hello to Mike and Valerie on NB Dragonfly. We were rafted up with them 2 years ago, down Burwell Lode on the river Cam

Whilst at Fradley(we need a pump out !!!!), where there is water, toilets, rubbish bins etc, but NO Pump Out, we decided to top up the water as I had done a load of washing. For the non-boaters, in the side of the boat near the water line, there is a hole to let out the waste water, from showers, handbasin etc. I was just emptying washing machine, not aware that a young mallard was investigating said hole. Yup, you've guessed it. an almighty squawking and quacking and one very clean and shiny mallard. I watched him have a preen up, so he seemed ok. but'of course' he will smell of YlangYlang & Lotus flowers, now. Hope the others don't give him a hard time.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Finlay morphs into a ......

............................ Pheasant ?????

Moored up at Norbury. What a great spot, it has a BW sanitary facilites, that are the best I have seen so far. Great showers, great moorings and great Bookswap. Grindley Brook take note !

This time it came up trumps with this tame pheasant. We all watched him strutting his stuff along the tow path, peering into boat windows and when Mick took Finlay off for a walk, he investigated his food bowl. Finlays, not Micks. ! I wander if he will make it to 12th August? We were all licking our lips at the thought of him sitting in a casserole surrounded with baby shallots, mushrooms, red wine and herbs etc. MMMMMMM.

As we moored up today at Penkridge, I noticed that a boater had left a mat behind on the tow-path. It looked in a reasonable state, until I turned it over. They had used it to cover a pile of dog sh.. muck. A few buckets of canal water, fairy liquid and a scrubbing brush soon sorted that out. Its like new. and talking of canal water, Finlay is now banned from drinking it. To a dog it obviously tastes like best bitter, but no good for his tum.

Question 2.
Is this a) an exotic new breed of waterfowl?
or as Mick jas just stated " Its obvious that its a BW worker pushing a wheel barrow". Some people have no sence of humour, honestly. !

Thursday, 16 July 2009

We are just north of Autherley Junction and its...................Raining.!
Had fun at Tyrley locks yesterday. The boat coming down had an old chap as Skipper, a plump lady and a very thin lady smoking a fag as crew and 2 nervous, unruly dogs. Both dogs are off the boat at this point. Bloke gets through lock and tells border collie to " git on 'ere,gel". She doesn't. So while matey sanksidoodles off down to the next lock, myself and another young chap at the lock, try to round up this frightened dog. After about 10 mins of us blocking and caoxing and herding her to go the right way down to the next lock.( shouldn't she be doing the herding???), the old chap shouts back " 'ave you get the other dog, then?" WHAT ?
" have you got another dog, loose then?" " Yes" he replies. " well send one of those women up to come and get it then". FaG Ash Lil turns up, and gets hold of the other terrified dog, and informs me, through a cloud of smoke, that she told the old chap NOT to let them off. He obviously takes not a blind bit of notice of good advice. Hey ho.
Question 1.
What is fundamentally incorrect about this sign?

Monday, 13 July 2009

Not quite "Narrowboats at dawn"

Hey up,

Haven't downloaded all pics yet, so you will have to wait for the quiz.

My goose calls seem to be improving. Twice now I have, oh whats happend to the script?, honked at some geese, and they have started following Trundle. Result.

Ooooh we had a bit of canal rage this afternoon. It was almost a standoff at Bridge 67. Mick held his nerve, however. I was in the galley and saw a boat from the other direction coming to the bridge-hole, but it was obvious it was ours. Mick signalled to the other boater that it was our hole and we were coming through. What did he do? He opened his throttle , his bow went up,and he tried to get there first!!!! what a numpty. I had looked up from making tuna sarnies and saw him closer still and gulped. But as I say Mick held his nerve and the ELDERLY guy in 60footer backed off. As he went passed Mick stated that it was HIS bridge-hole( nah nah nee nah nah), but was met with a stony silence . I wanted to shout " you should have gone to Specsavers!".

The Audlem flight was as lovely as ever, and looking at the map and having gone on to Canal Route Planner, we are taking our battery(Dud) back via Worcester. New ground. Yippeee

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Assorted short tales.

I am trying to catch up with the blog from badly scribbled notes, sorry folks.!
For the people that do not narrowboat, at certain BW sanitary sites- loos, showers, pump-outs_NO!, and elsan empties etc. people often leave and take books.

Grindley Brook takes the prize as the most boring book swap. EVER !!!
for example on offer was :- The Accounting Framework,another book on numeracy( whoever left these should be shot and I hope they didn't take a really good book in return!), a french phrase book, a portugal road map( why?), a knitting pattern book( I bet that was those two septugenarians on the 62footer ! what ladies these were, they went past us at 8.15 AM ! no less,playing 50's music REALLY LOUD ! ) and a couple of Mills and Boon, The Holy Bible- hey I was tempted but it will take me ages and I have loads of good books before that one.

Fishermen and Narrowboaters.

Where to start.
Who pays more for their licence to use the waterway?
Who always smiles in the face of a surly fisherman?( that one is great fun)
Who always asks nicely, when the fisherman have set out their paraphanalia on the MOORING POINT ONLY- NO FISHING,to move !
After all this politeness, whos narrowboat dog lets them down and pisses on the paraphanalia !

I have had another enquiry as to how old Finlay is. He wont be long for this world if he keeps this up, I can tell you !

Amusing Boat name _ PILBARA- On the side of the boat was a map of OZ. one half was hi-lited and said Western Australia.2nd half said Uninteresting and Largely Unexplored. !

Hack Green locks.

I spied my third pair of mens underpants !

Next post is quiz time for you lot !

My Birthday

Around my birthday, Susan and Dennis came over for a visit.They booked into a hotel for a few days and then they met us at that unpronouncable place that has a large Aqueduct. Ponty-something-or-other !.So we did the aqueduct and then on to the town of Llangollen. Quite busy, interesting as it has some narrow stretches where you need another person to check out boat movements, as only wide enough for 1 boat at a time. Dennis and I were the tow-path runners, and I used Finlays bright yellow poop shovel, as a sign to Mick as to whether to stay or move.

For future visits, we have decided that for us april or september is best and do the run into Llangollen from Chirck at about 5.30am !!!!! when everyone else is still knocking the zzzz out.

The next day was my birthday and we were meeting Sue and Den at Ellesmere. Off we went,early, drinking Bucks Fizz. Nice and quiet and then at about 7.30am ( I did say it was early !) Rebecca phoned to wish me happy birthday, and as we were going along Mick was talking to Thomas( 3 and very talkative !!!!), came to a lock and there was a small but powerful wier to one side, and an Irish BW worker about to have a brew on the other . I got off Trundle to do the lock and Mick started calling for help. so I suggested that he put the phone down. No. He ended up on the small but powerful wier,Irish BW worker laughs and says " O'ill come and help". I did tell him to put phone down says I, but he was talking to his 3 year old grandson. " ahh, well dat wood be difficult. O'ill get him off di weir, missis."
He did and I offered ONE of my home-made biccies to have with his brew. I proffered the biccy tin, and just as I am saying " Have two" this big meaty paw dives in and he says " Great, o'ill have tree,missus, day look roight grand". Ah well, I didn't mind he was a roight grand fella for getting me auld fella off the small but pwerful weir.

Emma - Poo-Pointing Pooch

Brian tells a very good story and kept us laughing, and with his Lancashire side-kick Ian on NB Warrior, we had a lots of laughs and enjoyed their company immensly, so here is a picture of them,and then I will tell you about Ian and Joans dog- Emma .

Can you tell which one is Victor Meldrew aka Brian ????

So, Ian and Joan inherited this lovely dog called Emma. Her party trick is that when a dog poops close to their boat, she goes and stands near it and stares at it until someone shovels it up. Very funny to watch. What a clever girl ! Finlay liked her.

Mick Meets a girl from his past !

We had decided to do the 7 miles of the Montgomery Canal.This will be a really lovely canal when it is finally fully restored. So the idea was to get as far down and explore and then work our way back up slowly. Also a woman at the lock, gave us info that the best moorings were just past the canal cafe. So duly arrived, and the weather is glorious. We had been the first at the lock and it is limited to how many boats can be down there at one time. so we were the first down of 7. As we trundled past a pub, a head poked out from NB EthelMay and this lincolnshire voice asked if we were the first of a few ? No we are the first of about a dozen !!!! We were eventually to meet up with Victor Meldr..... I mean Brian and his wife a bit further on.
So moored up, sun is shining, washing is drying and chairs out on the tow path, G & T in hand.

2 ladies arrive to see if there is enough room and depth for them and their boats. NB EthelMay- crewed by Brian(Victor)Carol and Trixie( dog) and NB Warrior- crewed by Ian and Joan and Emma( dog). They arrived and eventually we met Brian and this is how the convo went twixt Mick and Brian:

Mick - Where are you from?
Brian - Lincolnshire, mate
Mick - where abouts?
Brian - Spalding, mate

Hang in there, it does get better !

Mick - We lived in Spalding, in fact I lived down Wygate road when I was a kid
Brian - Aye up, Carole, this bloke lived down the same road as you did
Carol - well who is it then?
Mick - My names Hargrave
Carol- bit of a pause......... Not Michael ????

Well that was that, it turns out that they played with each other when they were little, or perhaps I should say they grew up living opposite each other.

Time for a break, will be back shortly.

Leaving Llangollen

Hello again. As you may realise, no internet connections and mob phone signals poor. Anyway, we have had a great time down the Llan ,and The Montgomery was absolutely wonderful.Very rural and peaceful and beautiful. So what has been happening? well the roof is painted and looks nice, but still have other painting jobs to do.

FTBT = Finlaystennisballtotal + 2 = 25?

Note to Gerry on DASH. Really enjoyed Sepulchre, Many thanks and will pass it to someone I will think will enjoy it too.

The new battery we bought on the Leicester arm is ..........duff !. so we have to return the same way to get it replaced, so will not now be able to meet up with Debs in Brum. Sorry about that.

Saw another WEED boat, and kept passing them at various spots and eventually managed to say hello at Ellesmere.

Ha, Ellesmere ( not to be confused with ellesmere port). Watching a film one night and , well I was, Mick was watching it through his eyelids!!. and I heard a noise. Is that a duck with boots on ? so I looked through the curtains and spied a white-jean clad leg,hanging off the side of the boat, with a couple of lurking kids hanging about on the tow-path. I told them in a loud voice to " please go away", Mick woke up saying whats up,. whats going on? Some numpties are trying to steal your fishing rod from the top of the boat, dear.Never seen Mick move so quick, by which time the nice young boys were legging it, not having managed to steal the rod. Mick chased after them shouting " you little ........." I will let you all fill in the expletives, and while your at it, I didn;t actually say "please go away". !

Kids ! give me a dog. anyday.! Which brings me nicely to the story of Emma- Poo-Pointing Pooch. !