Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Late Final Extra

This is just a final posting to let anyone who still looks at this weblog that the principal subject of the site 'Gleemaiden' has been sold and that both of us have moved into a house in Rugby.

Of course one didn't feel too much like posting bulletins while the boat was up for sale or subsequently for some months. We wish the new owners all the best and hope that they have as much enjoyment from cruising the waterways as did we. It was a sad day when we finally left her.

Meanwhile for those those who are interested in what has been happening in our lives; I have started a new weblog, which will be (hopefully) updated regularly and provide some insight into what we do and what we experience in both travels and home life,.

The site is called 'midlandrover' because we we live in the Midlands, which is our base and travel around in a Land rover Discovery - which is pictured here. Also here is the weblink or whatever it is called.

 So, thanks for your interest and hope to hear some comments etc on the new site.

Jeeves and Wooster.    Of course the real Wooster would have bought a two seater roadster!

Monday, 18 January 2010

The new year rolls on

This is going to be an interesting year. perhaps I should have written this posting before the last one, but forget the chronology, it is the content that counts - well anyway the relevance of the subject matter.

It is now just coming up to being a year since I started this weblog, and I notice that this is posting number 52 - wow! one a week; fantastic for a lazy sod like me. I am certainly no Granny Buttons in the scheme of things.

So, as readers might have gathered from blogs passim, we have been dividing time between the house and the boat; with the nett result that the house has actually commanded more time than the boat of late. So lets start with that.

The raised vegetable beds were completed just in time for late Autumn planting of over winter crops such as onions; garlic; shallots; brasssicas and a large number of asparagus crowns. We also managed to get in over forty raspberry plants; three gooseberry bushes and some hybrid soft fruit including thornless blackberries before the frost and snow set.

Amazingly enough, we will have to start tilling the remaining beds and start our spring sowing next month, but we are glad we got such a head start already! I have been watching too many repeats of 'The Good Life' methinks, but haven't extended to goats and pigs yet. Though it seems that Jeeves now has a mind set on raising hens, fowl which did actually occupy our garden until they; were removed next door when the house was sold.

Well with any luck, we won't have to visit the fruit and veg section of Sainsbury's so often in the coming months. All in all it is rather exciting.

Now on the last posting, I mentioned that we were invited to Derek's surprise birthday party - something that certainly could not be put on this site prior to the occasion. The whole evening was a huge success and Derek certainly did not tumble to what was happening until he turned up at the restaurant in Rugby.

Derek and Sheila were at this time moored up at Napton and very solidly iced in, so we couldn't go back to Clarence for after dinner drinks, but we had their daughter Nicki and her partner Dave staying with us - a delightful couple. So we weren't short of company in Rugby either.

There are some things to be said about the ground thawing out - you get to see your lawn again; bulb shoots are peeping out of garden beds and you won't fall over walking down the pavement to the corner store. However, it isn't February yet and we all know that last this was the coldest month.

Perhaps we shall do a little more of this ice walking nonsense - and no, we don't use skis or wings, well anyway a wing and the prayer that we don't fall through! We know that we wouldn't drown, but how cold and wet would you be getting out of zero degree water and walking back to where you could change.

Here also are a couple of pictures of the marina and how we bravely used Gleemaiden as an icebreaker to charge out on to the Oxford Canal in search of fresh water and diesel fuel.

Actually not true of course - because you don't spend five hundred quid on a blacking and take it down to bare metal six weeks later. Funny thing is that NB K2 went icebreaking last year, but I doubt if even she would have got through this thickness of ice.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

A walk on the canal

Happy New to everybody who has been following this weblog. My apologies for not posting much news lately. No excuse of course, but not much boating either. We do of course visit the boa frequently, to make sure everything is shipshape and rather importantly that water hasn't frozen in the pipes or condensed in fuel tanks, we find living in the house a little more convenient at present.

Today however we felt like a bit of fresh air having been to Derek's birthday party (more of this later in the posting) last night. Well, a trip on the boat was out and setting the fire just to sit there at the marina, drinking wine and watching telly didn't seem awfully exciting either.

. . . . . so, off we went for a nice snowy walk down to Clifton Bridge and yes believe it or not we went for a walk not along the canal but on the canal! Which just goes to show how dedicated we are to exploring the waterways even when our boat is stuck in ice dock.

So here in a few words and some pictures is how we set out to follow the footsteps of the great explorers; Sir Ranulph Fiennes; Shackleton and Scott without even having to cross the equator.

The first step was to see if we could free the Framm from its icy grip and the Chief Officer put her life on the line boarding across the dangerous pack ice,

A brave attempt was made to save the stores and the rotavator seen on deck. (methinks this maybe serious case of trespass - ed)

The Terra Nova can be seen also trapped in the ice astern of the Framm.

Undaunted, the crew set off on an intrepid trip to bridge 65 to seek help from the Norwegians who were drinking with Amundsen in the nearby Crown on Newbold.

Luckily we made it before the next blizzard.

I'll tell you something for nothing though - and I hope that British Waterways know; there is a hell of a lot of bridge bits and barricades, as well as other rubbish that the local chavs have tossed into the canal from bridge 66. The first boat that goes through after the thaw will need to have the draft of an Oxford punt if the rubbish isn't removed immediately after the thaw.

Next posting will be the party and a bit on winter vegetable gardening.