Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Rain Stopped play

Well we really are going slowly now. Stayed here in Fenny Compton all day waiting for Darren to come and attend to the windows. The rain started about 11 and has not let up so pointless in his coming. In addition the switch to pump the water out of the shower seems to be on the way out. We have agreed to stay here another day in the hopes of better weather tomorrow. Darren has also arranged for an electrical man to come and attend to the offending switch...tomorrow we hope.
Cosy afternoon with books and crosswords etc and the multi fuel stove well lit. This was all after a good walk to the village (about a mile away) for the daily exercise. I managed to get back to Petroc with only the lightest rain.
Roll on spring!!

On to Fenny Compton

A short hop today. I walked the 3 miles into Fenny Compton as my daily exercise. It is very sad that Ellie is no longer capable of doing this length walk. She was given a short stroll before we left which is all she seems to want. The reason for the short hop was that Darren was supposed to be coming later in the afternoon to attend to our two leaking windows. Despite a dryish afternoon he did not materialise as he said it was raining in Rugby!! By 5pm it was raining in Fenny also with a vengeance...and the windows leaking!!!. Have agreed to stay over here a day for Darren to come down today. He says he will be here unless it is persistent heavy rain and will do the job between this space..........

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Set off just before 9, we are not into our early morning departures yet….far too chilly……
Watered etc at the bottom of the Napton Locks and had a pleasant days run well wrapped up in several layers. 9 locks and 7 miles today. Moored about 3 miles short of Fenny Compton in quiet countryside just as a heavy shower arrived. We have arranged for Darren to visit tomorrow to attend to our two leaking windows. However this is weather permitting and the forecast is not good! Geoff now recovering from his cold and I am starting it so we are not exactly off to a flying start this year. The weather is not forecast to improve until Friday either.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Weekend at Napton

With the engine sorted out we were free to enjoy our relaxing Sunday. In the morning Geoff & I walked up to the church for the service which was billed as Sunday@11. This turned out to be their family service and was very lively and informal. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming.

At 12.30 Emma arrived with Parga the labrador. Nephew Marc and girlfriend Mel also came. Parga and I went for a good walk along the towpath whilst everyone else watched the Grande Prix after which we all repaired to the Kings Head pub for our Sunday lunch.

Back at Petroc Parga decided to guard his patch of the canal. After some stern words he decided not to jump in the canal and chase the ducks! He just remained on guard outside the boat whilst Ellie took a much more laid back approach.

Soon after these pictures were taken the rain we had been promised for earlier in the day arrived with a vengeance. Thunder & Lightning and very heavy showers.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

A little further on

Definitely only a little further.....we left Calcutt yesterday and travelled all of a couple of miles to Napton-on-the-Hill. We wanted to be somewhere accessible for Emma at the weekend and also have a church and a pub!! We moored in a nice open spot by the Bridge at Napton pub by bridge 111. We had a good circular walk up to Napton which is at the top of a steep hill and came back to sample the pub. Good for a drink but decided that their Sunday lunches were not in our preferred price range!

Saturday morning we did the walk to the village again but the other way round the circle and found the Kings Head pub on the main road which does a carvery from 12-5. Sounds more our cup of tea as we have Emma coming with Parga the chocolate lab and also nephew Marc and girlfriend. Ellie should be pleased to see her friend Parga. Parga really belongs to Giles and Boe but he came on his Cornish Holidays last October and stayed until the end of March, so she must be missing him!

Tea time today Geoff went to start the engine to top up the batteries and found that all was not well. With his knowledge of engines soon exhausted we have called River Canal Rescue. As luck would have it we decided to join last week. There is a waiting period of 72 hours and so our membership started today!! We are now awaiting the arrival of the engineer........................

Later. Well all is now well again with the engine. The service from RCR (River Canal Rescue) was excellent. An engineer arrived in about 2 hours and discovered we had water in the diesel. In just over 1/2 an hour the job was done. How glad we are that we decided to join. We joined last Tuesday and there is a 72 hour lead-in period so Saturday was our first day of lucky can you get?

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Still getting sorted out

We did say we were not in a hurry and we are certainly sticking to that idea! Wednesday we took ourselves a little further and moored just short of Braunston. Once again a lovely spot with the tall spire of Braunston Church looking down on us. Walked up through the fields and then round to tradline fenders to buy some new pipe fenders (we lost 4 last year!) and 2 new steel clips for the other fenders. Lovely walk in the sunshine and we did our share of gongoozling en route.

Thursday morning we had arranged to take our cratch cover to A J Canopies to have one of the poppers replaced. The rain which had been forecast to come through during the night arrived at 0845 just as we were setting off.....however if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have they say. A J Canopies were brilliant. Very friendly and helpful. The job was done in 5 minutes (comes of having the right tools) and they provided us with some spare poppers and screws for the boat end with no charge. With the cover back in place we set off for Calcutt boats. The central heating had failed on Wednesday morning (Geoff was not pleased!!!!).
Sunshine most of the way but just short of our destination a very ugly black cloud was seen to be rapidly approaching. Discretion being the better part etc we hastily pulled into the offside and tied up to let it go through. When we eventually reached Calcutt they were very helpful and their engineer managed to sort out the problem. It was mainly done under the guarantee but we had to pay for an extra 1/2 hours labour because of the way the unit had been fitted. It is very inaccessible and the engineer had to disconnect several extra bits to get at it!!
We are also waiting for a visit from Darren as two of the windows are leaking in the rain, one of which he was supposed to have fixed during the winter.
Repair of central heating done we came back up Calcutt Top Lock and moored for the night. Weather is alternatively lovely sunshine and heavy showers.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

We are on our way

Well we have cut the umbilical cord from Clifton Marina. No more car and no more shore power. We chose a good day for our shakedown cruise as the sun shone at times and the temperature took an upward leap. We have travelled the great distance of 5 miles, negotiated 3 locks and were on the go for about 3 1/2 hours!! We are just short of Braunston between bridges 81 & 82 in lovely open countryside. A field of cows is opposite and beyond that a field of sheep. Whilst Geoff had his customary siesta Ellie and I managed to sit on the shore for a while....what bliss...this is what it is all about. The washing machine was in action whilst we were travelling and clothes dried on the towpath when we stopped.

Our stay at Clifton for 5 days allowed us to get settled aboard and they were as helpful as always. Geoff arrived back with Ellie on Saturday evening after her short break with John & Rosi Lillis, one of her two holiday homes. I am not sure how pleased she is to be back aboard. She is much slower than last year and I don't think she will be walking much of the towpath with us. However she is comfortable asleep in her bed in the cratch with me as I write this.

I have given in and acquired a mobile broadband modem from "3". However whilst it is capable of broadband it obviously depends on the reception just like a mobile phone and so far it keeps reverting to 3G speed. However it means I can connect any time I like so long as I keep within my 1GB allowance.

Made my first visit to a local church at Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, St Mary the Virgin. Geoff had come back from Cornwall full of cold so decided not to inflict his germs on the local population. It was "Worship for All" their version of family service. Good hymns but not very many young people in evidence.

Another front is forecast but we are hoping it will go through during the night. Another short day is planned for tomorrow as we have several things to do in Braunston. We need some new fenders and fender holders and we need to visit AJ Canopies as some of the studs on our canopy have become squashed and will not function.

I think we (Geoff) have decided that our route to London will be via the Oxford and not the Grand Union but all things are possible until we have taken the right fork at Braunston.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Settling In

Well we are nearly settled in. Geoff has returned to Cornwall to collect all we could not fit into the car. As soon as he left I set to to spring-clean the inside of Petroc....although "spring" is not the word to use at the moment. The weather for the start of our summer hols is not what we ordered. It is bitterly cold outside, however I have lit the stove so I am as snug as a bug in a rug! We don't plan on leaving here until Tuesday at the earliest and if this icy east wind is still blowing it may be after that!!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Back on Board

We are back on board after two days of unloading all our stuff. Tomorrow Geoff returns to Cornwall to collect what we had to leave behind!
The weather has been kind in that the sun has shone and the rain has not fallen so we could load in the dry. However the easterly wind is blowing and it is bitterly cold, not what we need to start our "summer" travels.
Petroc has over-wintered well, no signs of damp we were pleased to find. It is very strange to be back on board and hard to believe that 6 months have passed since we left her.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Getting closer to the off

First holiday makers are in our house so we are footloose and fancy free. Staying with friends John & Rosi for a few days. Only one snag encountered so far. We cannot fit everything in the car!! Departure still scheduled for Tuesday but Geoff will have to come back for all the left overs next Friday, which will include Ellie!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Preparing for Petroc's second year

Feverish Activity in Cornwall now as we prepare the house for our first holiday-makers this coming Saturday. We will then be footloose and fancy free to live life in the slow lane again on board Petroc