Saturday, 23 August 2008

A sunny day ( at last!)


Sprotborough Lock

Sprotborough visitor moorings

For a bank holiday weekend the marina is very quiet with just a few boats passing us up & down the canal. But the sun is shining & has been most of the day - will it last? Fingers crossed.

We have had a bit of a shuffle round in the marina this week, Poppy's berth was 5th boat along from the corner & in an effort to make manoeuvring easier the pontoon is quite short. The boat next along from us, Therapy, has gone off to pastures new this week - well, Burnley, so we have moved up a berth which has a longer pontoon ( I could just about clean a couple of windows now!) & should be a little easier getting Poppy in & out.

Since moving aboard we have gradually acquired an assortment of bits of wood in readiness for when the colder weather arrives but apart from an ordinary saw (which seemed like far too much work!) had no means of converting them into stove sized logs so I sent Mark off to Argos & for £29.99 he got an electric saw ( bit like a big electric carving knife) & its just the job, so all the wood is now sawn & stacked. Only slight downside was that it's a 2 handed job & my wrist that I sprained a couple of weeks ago didn't like the vibration so with lots of breaks it took longer than it should.

Last Monday we visited Conisborough Castle.

Impressive keep

View of castle from top of keep

I have often seen the castle when driving down the motorway but 1st time we'd visited & it was well worth it.

After leaving the castle we took the long way home & drove through some of Dearne Valley.
It looks like there is some good walking to be had so all being well we shall do just that tomorrow.
We also stopped off at Sprotborough & walked down to the lock. The visitor moorings looked nicely situated & we reckon it could be an ideal spot for a weekend stopover.

Note: The pics of Sprotborough are at top of page - for some reason every time I try to move them they just disappear !
I have just tried to finish off with a pic of Rosie the collie but again can't move it to where I want it so it's at the top.

Rosie lives a couple of boats up from us with Phil & Jeannie & she is just gorgeous. She sits & watches Poppy who isn't the least bit bothered by her, Rosie seems quite curious & has scampered after her a couple of times but at a word from Phil she comes back - I feel fairly sure that Rosie wouldn't harm Poppy & just wants to play. No doubt time will tell.........

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Ship shape

Has it really been 10 days since my last post? Time just seems to fly.
I spend most of my days pottering about keeping Poppy ship shape ( where does all the dust come from? I sweep through every day & there are still little piles of dust lurking in the corners)

I usually walk into the town daily to get fresh food stuff as we don't have a freezer, (which I don't miss it at all) & to get some exercise. I have noticed my weight has crept up since moving aboard so I try to get at least an hours walk a day, not having much effect yet!
Also Bluewater has a communal room which is used mainly for social activities & has some well stocked bookshelves for the borrowing of so I'm not short of reading matter.

The cratch looks great & as you can see Poppy has been trying it out.

"can I be bothered to catch that fly?"

Ideal spot for a bit of a wash

Not really sure about this corner

I have taken it down at the moment as the paint needed a touch up & then is about time we got the name on which I had made by 'Stick on Signs' at least a couple of months ago. Would have put a link in here as I can highly recommend their product but they seem not to have a web site anymore.

The painting is done but I'm leaving it for a few days to make sure it is really dry before putting the cratch back up. I've been caught before by smudging paint when I thought it was dry but still sticky underneath.

I mentioned in my last post that we'd had a visit from BW's enforcement officer & in conversation with him about dealing with non payers he said they would be removing a boat with out of date licence the following day. Sure enough a very shabby looking nb was towed by BW from Stainforth & breasted up outside Bluewater with a notice on it saying it had been seized by BW.
We await developments with interest.......

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Daft cat !

A better connection tonight so have tried to upload video of Soona sucking her 'thumb'.
Hope it's worked!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Ouch!! & an 'official' visit

As regular readers will know we enjoy a good walk now & again so yesterday with Mark having a day off we had a look at the OS map & decided to park up near Sykehouse Road Bridge on the New Junction & walk across to the river Don then follow a few winding paths back to the car via Kirk Lane Road Bridge.

On approaching the footbridge ( as pictured in The Big Splash 24th July) we past nb The Tower of Babel moored up & stopped for a natter, mainly about generators as they had theirs running. We have decided we will get a generator - mainly for the washing machine, at some point before we go continuously cruising but which type?

I have looked on The Canal World forum ( which is how I do most of my research!) but end up just more confused. There are lots of posts on the pros & cons of different generators but they seem to get quite technical & everyone has a differing opinion. Still, there is no rush, it will remain on the back burner for the time being.

Back to the walk, the 1st 2/3rds were splendid with good paths though some classic pastoral countryside & warm sunshine though the clouds were gathering ......
We had a fairly heavy shower whilst walking along the banks of the river but it didn't last long, as we left the river bank we were observed by these 2 ladies. I don't know if Thelwell did cows but if he had they would have made excellent subjects!

When we reached the last leg, a clearly marked 'right of way' on the map it soon became clear that the path was in a sorry state, it looked like a tractor or 4x4 had used it, resulting in deep, very muddy ruts. We contemplated abandoning that route & taking a longer one that would have meant a fair bit of road walking but decided not to be beaten & to plod on ( fools!!)

It went from bad to worse becoming overgrown with briars & nettles etc & by the time it became nigh on impossible (& impassable!) there was no point in turning back as it was shorter to press on. I always use a walking pole which was invaluable in helping me find my way because the ruts were hidden by the under growth but I still managed to catch my foot in a hole & slipped resulting in a painful left wrist. The air turned blue as I realised I couldn't use my hand & I had a little rant at Mark ( being navigator) that this couldn't be the right path & that we must have gone 'off piste' ( wouldn't be the 1st time!)
Eventually we came to easier walking & sure enough there was a 'public footpath' sign pointing the way we had just come. Wish I had taken some pics but before I fell I was too busy negotiating the terrain & afterwards couldn't as hand not working!

As it was so painful I was convinced that it was broken so after calling in at nb Poppy for a change of ( very muddy) clothes & a much needed cuppa Mark took me to Doncaster A&E. An xray showed fortunately not broken so just a support bandage & rest it for a few days. Oh & they cut my wedding ring off :(

Still v. painful today - not happy - but at least I'm warm & dry which is more than can be said for James from The Canvas Man who is fitting the cratch as I type. Weather & hand permitting, I'll post some pics of the finished job.

This morning as I was having a cuppa & contemplating the day ahead I was aware of someone on the gunwale. As I shouted 'hello' loudly, hoping to scare off any miscreant, I saw what I thought was a policeman. Turns out it's BW official 'Mark' checking licences which he apparently does on a monthly basis. He looked every inch the copper in hie epauletted, high vis jacket !

Update on cratch - nearly finished & it looks pretty good - the space in the bow has now become an 'inside' space. Poppy has just been in & went straight out & back in again. Think the cratch must have confused her!