Monday, 22 October 2012

A week of first's

Hi again 

Well with this next post, I run the risk of coming over as having lead a sheltered life or being just downright sad at a couple of firsts for me this week. But in coming to that decision, for those of course that don’t know me yet and no doubt have their views, please remember that we are relative Narrowboat and liveaboard virgins and are therefore seeing and doing things outside of our normal rut of life.
My first is a picture of a Kingfisher. Yes I know, pretty sad, but back home in Jersey you don’t see many (actually take out the M of many) any Kingfishers over there. I’ve spotted one or two on boating holidays over the years, but never really been close enough to snap a picture. My excuse for the poor quality of the photo is that we were travelling at the time and every time we got fairly close to it the little bugger decided to fly further forward. So in the end, it was maximum zoom on a moving boat when camera shake is normally enough with the hands alone and that’s my excuse over. 
Second photo and whilst I was on dry land this time it was a long way up and circling with his buddy. Chap went past on his boat and said I’ve been waiting all morning, just set off and I’ve seen two red kites. Nothing special I thought gazing across the meadow looking for a couple of kids with kites, but nothing doing so wondered if I was on the wrong track. Then saw two birds, two being the operative word, put two and two together and now assume that this is a Red Kite although I don’t even know if it is, but maybe someone could let me know.

Now for the benefit of those who know me becoming worried about my change in bird watching direction, don’t worry, haven’t lost my Mojo so here's a photo to help alleviate any concerns that you may have.

Next first is logs, yes logs, not the ones you buy in bag though, but proper logs that you make yourself. Well, I suppose you don’t actually make them, but you have a hand in shaping their final days. Confused, you will be after this weeks episode of Soap. (Bit of a random comment I know that comes from an American program called Soap, showing my age now). To clarify, I found myself a fallen tree and set about chopping it up into moveable sizes to get them up the embankment and onto the boat. Manual labour! I know why I’ve always worked in an office now. Need to get myself a better saw though as it took me ages with the poxy little blunt one I’ve got and then I’ll get them down to stove size pieces.

Not a true first this next one I suppose, but trying to play with my camera more than:

  1. Turn it on
  2. Point
  3. Click
  4. Turn it off
And to again just prove that this is a ‘Boating’ blog and we are aboard and not just arm chair continuous cruisers, here’s a ‘thought about’ photo taken of the Lock Keepers house and lock at Minshull Lock on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.



Had another sort of Boys on Tour this weekend when I went on my annual pilgramage to the Theatre of Dreams, yes Man Uniteds home ground Old Trafford, with may mates Steve and Alan from Jersey. Plenty of beer as usual and a 4-2 win to round it off. No photo's though as I'd have probably left my camera in some pub.
Just at the top of the Llangollen Canal as I write this and if it's as good as it sounds, hopefully there'll be some good pictures to be had over the next three weeks we're planning to be on it.

That's all for this post and so to sign off . .

Day 20 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 51.5 miles and 19 locks further on from when we started.


Friday, 12 October 2012

An Extended Vacation

Hi there

Handed in my notice at work back in June and for the first time since leaving school am now classed as un-employed having clocked up 32 years and 15 days with the Company. Left behind some amazing friends and colleagues who have always left me with a happy feeling when they’ve popped into my office, some when they entered and some when they left. J

Received some great nautical leaving presents, such as a Ships Bell, Bosuns Whistle and a mounted Barometer and Clock, the latter of which along with a gift of a thermometer from our friends Steve and Ang (They like Elvis by the way, but we don’t hold that against them) a few years ago form the now called ‘Badger Sett Weather Centre’. Nicky’s been absolutely amazed at my weather predictions so far and thinks I should get a job at the Met Office. Truth is that I Google their site and is then ready for when her in doors asks what it is looking like for tomorrow, Simples.  

The Ships Bell and Bosuns whistle are located at the back blunt bit (sorry the stern I should say) and we’ll be learning how to pipe extinguished visitors aboard. I’m training Nicky as to how the bell works, but starting off with easy lessons at first. One dong means ‘Tea’ followed by one or two further dongs for the amount of ‘Sugar’ that it should come with. Early days, but the results are looking positive so I’ll be increasing Nicky’s ‘Dong Vocabulary’ in the coming weeks.

Only wish I’d cottoned onto this back at work and got a bell for my office as I’m sure our ladies would have been delighted to cater for my Dongs (not). Talking of the office ladies, here are some photo's of a few of them dressed up and ready for a night out, now who said Jersey was a safe place!

Planning to be on board now until Christmas when we’re going back home (Jersey) for Christmas and depending on the job front (or not) will either stay over there or come back to the boat for a while longer. So this is us now aboard for eleven weeks for sure, so there should be a few blogs to pick up on.

With the good bits out of the way though, we didn’t get off to a good start, although it came with a happy ending. To cut a long story short, one of our boys (the older one Binks) got hit by a car about six days into our journey, but got up and walked away from it albeit grazes and cuts to his head, around eye and some other places as well. (Little bruv can be seen looking after big bruv in the photo)
To see it happen, I still don’t know how we’ve got two dogs on our journey with us and we can’t help but still think ‘what if’. The Nantwich Vet Hospital was absolutely great as was the lady who hit Binks through absolutely no fault of her own and in fact we’re in no doubt at all that her quick reactions actually saved his life. The happy ending is all that matters though so the BOYS remain on tour.


The weather up here so far has been absolutely amazing (as predicted by the Badger Sett Weather Centre of course) and has seen Nicky out and about in T-Shirts which is usually an event saved for the height of the summer. Started to slip the last day or two though so a bit cold and miserable now (the weather that is not Nicky) and this was honestly predicted by weather centre as the Barometer has been steadily dropping and continues too do so.

And just so you know we’re actually on the boat, here’s a picture of us moored up in Middlewich, Badger Sett is the second one up on the right.

Travelling wise, we’ve only managed to clock up 16.5 miles and 4 locks in the last ten days so at this rate we don’t expect having to get our passports stamped on our way out of Cheshire for some time yet. I think our motto should be ‘Nothing to do, all day to do it and no time to do it anyway’. Oh well, if that’s as bad as life gets then I think I could come to like it. 

So as the man on Big Brother says:

Day 10 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 16.5 miles and 4 locks further on from when we started.