Monday, 29 September 2008
Sunday, 28 September 2008
'Oh look at DITCH, yippee.....'
The top board, of planed ash approximately 6"x 48", cost a whopping £65! Little wonder that build costs are rising with timber costs as high as that.
Below, the cratch cover has been quickly fitted to show me.
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Friday, 26 September 2008
The photo below was taken from the cabin as you enter the cross bathroom.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Pete the Post delivered the latest version of Canal Planner today. I can now happily immerse myself in watery routes and real ale pubs to my heart's content. We are still intent on heading south to London and on towards The River Lee and River Stort in November and December, dodging the closures and praying that the weather is gentle with us on our debut journey.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
We ordered this light weight folding sack trolley from www.screwfix.com and it arrived yesterday. Just the job for transporting gas bottles etc. and avoiding hernias. It only weighs 4.1kg but is capable of carrying 70kg with a height adjustable handle and robust wheels. The really useful thing is that it will fold down to a compact 29"x 17" x 2.5" and fit neatly into Caxton's front locker.
Monday, 22 September 2008
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Saturday, 20 September 2008
It has all come round so quickly and Barn Owl have been brilliant builders - always prepared to go the extra mile, very focused on the quality of their product and a thoroughly lovely bunch of people to deal with! How lucky are we?
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Where are we going to go for our first sortie?
Well actually the second trip because the initial journey following Caxton's launch is pretty straightforward. We are expecting to be 'dropped' into the Severn in or near Stourport and from there it will be up the Staffs and Worcs to Great Haywood, onto the Trent & Mersey to Fradley Junction where we will turn onto the Coventry canal to Hawkesbury and then the Oxford to our base at Brinklow.
Quick oil change Joe and then it is off again, but where?
I've a fancy to head off towards London and then go up the River Lee to Bishops Stortford. A bit of fancy footwork could see us avoiding the couple of closures en route prior to Christmas. We could then show off Caxton to our family based in Essex (nothing wrong with being an Essex Girl I'll have you know) before heading back again. Or, we could go down the Oxford and Thames and see friends at Woodley near Reading or..
Then there is next Summer, Lancaster perhaps, BCN exploration? Lincoln?
Rearrange this saying; Your is Oyster World the!
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
The sponsors, Pedigree Petfoods being the biggest, are also now scrabbling to distance themselves from this 'prestigious' dog show.
So come on The Dogs Trust, your turn to prod the self-satisfied, incompetent buffoons that preside over the Kennel Club; call for their sacking and replacement with people that truly care about canine welfare, have the medical knowledge to influence healthy breed standards and put a halt to the kind of breeding practices that have brought about this miserable situation.
Monday, 15 September 2008
The house sale is progressing but as house sales do, maddeningly slowly. Caxton is on schedule, which for a boat build is phenomenally unusual and the parcels will arrive in there own good time.
On Caxton, I spoke to Stuart at Barn Owl this morning. He had worked all weekend varnishing Caxton's woodwork. Four coats of varnish have gone on the interior woodwork and he expects to put five coats on the door fronts. The chrome mushroom vents have been fitted, the fixings for the plank and boat hooks are in place on the roof and Caxton's stainless steel chimney is on order. The inverter turned up this morning apparently and that will stimulate another flurry of electrical activity.
I am hoping that Stuart will send some photo's tonight for me to post on the blog.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
So we like curry.
So on holiday recently we hunted down the local Indian restaurant..
A table for four please
Have you booked?
Eh..just take a seat please.
Whirling dervish impression coming up..
We watch an urgent conversation take place and then a middle aged couple being politely urged off of a table for four onto an adjacent table for two.
Two pair of flying hands lay a table and we are invited to take our seats.
Menu's are quickly thrust into our outstretched hands.
Do you want a drink please?
And a poppadom, yes?
And we are off to the fastest Indian in the West Show.
The starters are ordered in double quick time and duly presented, well perhaps not 'presented' exactly, more slammed down; with a smile of course.
No sooner finished than the plates are cleared, a trolley wheeled in and dishes of curry are being loaded on to the table, anywhere they will go, to a staccato list of their names, Bombay Allo! Meat Madras! slam, shuffle, Tarka Dhal, Tarka Dhal anyone? Plain rice! Nan bread! Nan bread, who wants the Nan bread...?
As we were working our way through the culinary delights of our Hunstanton curry more and more people were cramming themselves hopefully into the minute waiting area.
Have you booked?
Eh, please wait here...
Flying waiters working double quick time, flying dishes of fragrant curry, flying plates and cutlery and soon, inevitably, the crescendo of flying smashing glasses.
Watching this frenzied activity was entertainment in itself...
Our meal finished, we asked for the bill and while were awaiting that we turned our attention to our neighbours at the next table, the couple that had been gently displaced by our arrival. They were still eating and also watching the bedlam that was unfolding around them. Eat faster, we joked, less of that conversation please , eat, eat, go, go..
The only delay to our rapid transit through this meal process was the 'Carol Vorderman' working out the bills at the bar. It took ten minutes to get the bill but otherwise, just about the sharpest, fastest, funniest turn around time for a meal ever.
And as we threaded our way to the exit...
A table for four please
Have you booked?
Eh, just wait here please...
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Friday, 12 September 2008
Anyway, my task, if I was to accept it, was to try and bring a semblance of order to this outpost of 'civilisation' and start the sort-an-pack necessary for our impending move.
Tipped in the nearest corner to the door was an assortment of decorating tools, a large assortment of decorating tools. Further in, the lawn mower with my golf bags and trolleys on top and further in still, a full height shelf unit weighed down under a plethora of redundant paint cans.
Fighting my way through paint cans that were new when Adam was a lad, I managed to create a substantial load for a tip run, reserve for the prospective new owners of our cottage the few tins of paint that actually match the colours in the house, ring fence the few cans we might use (yeah, likely I know) and box and pack enough decorating tools to start a small, but select, decor enterprise.
Why do we do it? Why, oh why, do we keep every pot of paint that has even a microbe of paint in it?
Is it going to be like this on the boat? Will we have a multitude of 'touch-up' paints, primers, rust treatments, wet-an-dry etc. And more importantly, is there a marine division of the Arachnid Union?
Thursday, 11 September 2008
The gas locker for Caxton is at the stern and access to the bow locker is from the well deck rather than the conventional top hatch. We were therefore able to specify that the windows on the cratch would open outwards in much the same way that a window on a house operates.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
It seems however that I might need to employ a butler with this set because, and I quote: '...should be removed from the dishwasher immediately drying cycle is complete and polished with a soft dry cloth - do not mix stainless steel and silver cutlery in the dishwasher'. The problem is, I can't for the life of me, remember where have I put the silver?
As long as they are suitable for opening paint cans and as impromptu screwdrivers that will be just fine.
Third purchase, new saucepans. These are those Tefal Compact saucepans that are guaranteed to outlast Methuselah, stack inside each other and fit in a sock drawer. Well that might not exactly be the marketing-speak but the pan handles fold in, the lids compact and they all stack in a very confined space. And, lets face it, a narrowboat is a confined space.
We have only just received our 8gig IPod in the post and Joe is happily filling the little gadget with a large chunk of our CD collection as I type. We planned to get an IPod as a means of saving space and restricting clutter on board Caxton and to that end we have specified that the radio should have an IPod docking station. Smart or what?
Having now seen how you get music on to an IPod I now realise what a Podcast is; you see, I am getting there, it's just that by the time I do everyone else will have gone home!
The brake pads were not worn, the brake discs were not pitted and the tyres were just dandy thank you. So basically an oil change, a new oil filter, new air filter, check brake fluid, screen wash, tyre pressures, adjust handbrake. Oh, and replace the diesel filter. One and half hours later...
"The car's just fine Mrs K, be ready in a minute, here's the bill.. £315"
Ever felt ripped-off?
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Oh alright...., the shower enclosure then.
And, here the Cludgie, as my Glaswegian husband would say. On the wall behind is the electric flush switch and the wee (pun) thingy that tells you that your husband needs to empty the cassette (Too heavy dear..).
Saturday, 6 September 2008
I DID NOT LAUGH.
Well maybe just a little bit then.. Alright, quite a lot then.
I did make him another sandwich though..
Fletcher is keeping a VERY low profile right now.
Today we are off to Peterborough to have a look for good quality wet weather gear and new waterproof walking boots.