Thursday, 30 June 2011

Just one of those weeks...

After a 7.30am start we got to Reading Tesco moorings for 9am & by 10am I was collecting my repeat prescription from the Post Office, so far so good  but when I got to Boots I found a problem with the script as one of my regular meds wasn't on the list & I had taken my last tablet in the morning ( cutting it fine, I know!).  I went to the NHS walk in centre as  recommended by the pharmacist & an appointment was made for me to return in the afternoon to see a doctor. 
As I walked back to the boat it was fast becoming a very warm day, the sort of humid, sticky warm that leaves you drained so by the time I had returned to town to see the doc for another script & walked back to the boat again I'd had enough & we decided to stay put.
A very warm & uncomfortable night followed & Mark was woken at 4am by the sound of someone trying to steal his bike. Bleary eyed we got off at 9am & 1st stop was Better Boating for some diesel & a gas bottle.
 We plodded on downstream, next stop was the service point at Shiplake, no sooner had we put the hose in the tank than a boat ( plastic 'norfolk broads cruiser' type) pulled up, a woman jumped off & paced up & down the pontoon outside our boat. She spotted Mark & asked if we'd be long " err, we've just started to fill up" so she hovered.... the hose was one of these big bore jobs, like a fire hose & it doesn't take long, maybe 20 mins, I passed her the hose, she put it in her tank, we untied ready to move up to the lock & with that she was putting the hose away!! She can't have put more than a few litres in,  words fail...
 As we cruised through Henley preparations were in full swing for the
 Regatta which started yesterday
                               Temple Island which is at the end of the nearly 2 mile course
A rather small waterfront property for these parts but I liked it.
I think there where 7 boats neatly fitted in Hambleden lock, us the only narrow boat among the sea of plastic. The sky had began to darken & as we waited for the lock to empty we had a cracking thunderstorm which certainly freshened things up a bit. 
We found a spot to moor on the Westfield Farm Moorings & tied up in the rain. £5 a night but we'd had enough for the day so it seemed worth it.

Yesterday we moved off at 8.30am, no real aim in view ( apart from free moorings!) 
Marlow Bridge, we pulled over to the visitor moorings & walked the short distance into the very pleasant town for a paper & a coffee in Costa.

As we approached Maidenhead there was a long line of  visitor moorings with lots of space so we pulled over but only stayed long enough for lunch as a road runs adjacent to the river & it was quite noisy so onward. We spotted the next visitor moorings just through the railway bridge but the only vacant spot was right next to the bridge, noisy again... we eventually found a rural spot just before Bray lock, needed to squeeze in between a couple of bushes but it was okay & apart from being under a (Heathrow's?) flight path nice & quiet. 

So all okay until Mark ran the engine at 8pm ( yes I know, but no-one else anywhere near!) for half an hour, when he turned it off the battery alarm stayed on, loudly shrieking & there was a smell of burning. So what to do? Mark's having a look & I'm trying to ring River Canal Rescue, after all that's what we've been paying for these last 3 years, time to ask for help but no-one answered the phone, I tried different numbers but no joy, I put a message on the Canal World Forum  to see if anyone had any ideas but everyone had the same telephone numbers. 
As it was getting dark eventually Mark managed to get the wires out of the back of the battery alarm & the noise thankfully stopped. I had turned my net book off at 10pm to conserve power & when I logged on to CWF this morning I had had  a message last night to say that RCR were aware of the phone problem.
When I rang them at 8am they explained that they'd had a glitch in their system so when they switched to out of hours emergency calls it hadn't worked. Steve, an CWF member also works for RCR, spotted my post & alerted RCR so not long after I'd given up & turned off their phones were on again. 
Anyway one thing that Mark had figured was that our starter battery was the cause of the problem & had connected a leisure battery as a starter & we could start the engine so we moved back to Maidenhead after breakfast to make it easier for the RCR engineer to get to us.

 Aaron arrived before lunch, took him a while to figure out how the battery alarm could still sound when the isolators were off, he thinks that 2 plates in the battery collided & that somehow caused reverse polarity, he gave some reason for the burning smell  & then he lost me !! But he put everything back together & pronounced us safe, we just need to get a new starter battery asap. 

The other fun thing that happened today was we discovered an infestation of earwigs!! We had noticed a few more than usual but I whilst waiting for RCR this morning I decided to clean the windows so I got my bucket etc & went to roll up the side of the cratch when I spotted some of the beasties & when I looked in the nooks & cranny's they were everywhere, so the cratch was off & flung on the grass, the dodger was off the back as we found more hiding in there. There must have been hundreds. A quick Google about the life cycle of the earwig & it would seem that the females had been there all winter hibernating with their eggs which have probably hatched in the spring. I know they are harmless & don't bite or sting but still, ugh!  Anyway every corner has been poked & swept, I even broke my trusty fly swat getting rid of them.

So once all was back to normal I left Mark on the sofa ( he's got a sore knee, bless) & walked into town for a few bits & bobs including a new fly swat from Robert Dyas ( I do like that shop)
We are stopping on the £8 a night moorings tonight but as yet no-one has been for the fee ;-)

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