Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The 7th Cavalry Arrive

After three weeks of racing headlong from one disaster to another things seem to be settling down a tad.

With my pushbike being stolen off the roof while moored near Stamp End Lock I had decided to move out of harms way. Taking life steady through the Glory Hole the boat engine started to lose revs. I throttled back and made it into Brayford Pool.

I tried to speed up again when I reached the open water and the same thing happened.

Limped into the 24 hour visitor mooring outside the University.

I carried out the usual checks. Its the engine getting air, derv and cooling with plenty of oil.

A check with Alan, the previous owner, came up with a couple of items to check. Was there enough air going through the engine heat exchanger? Tighten the fan belt. Could the oil filter be blocked? Do an oil change. Plenty of derv getting through.

The following night the motor bike is stolen off the bows of the bow in the early hours of the morning. A cruiser was moored within feet of the bike and they heard nothing.

Nothing has been heard or seen of the bike since.

Phone call from Abz:
Mummy says that you have had your motorbike stolen.
Yes it was taken the other night.
Why is it good?
I never liked you riding it anyway. I hope you're not getting another.
Collapse of stout party in fits of laughter.

After words with other boaters I came across Bob the mechanic. We found that we would have to move the engine to get at the workings.

Engine moved and a large bolt at the front was found to be well and truly unmovable.

Bob arrives with a large compressor and an airgun that will shift anything.

With the bolt removed the front cover comes off and the gubbins are exposed.

The cover holds the governor and other bits and pieces. These Bob has taken away to check out with the workshop.

As there seems to be little obviously wrong we are taking the opportunity to to change all the belts, seals and filters.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My aching bones!!

The weekend started off quietly enough but then my favourite mobile disaster area turned up.

In the evening we went for a bit of a stroll around Lincoln and tried to get Sims to work on the laptop.

As Abz seems to be running turbo-charged she needs something to remove some of her energy. So, she has started taking Karati lessons. Here we have her mascot and she is a Karati mood herself by the look of her.

Saturday we went off for a bike ride and followed the River Witham for what seemed like miles until we managed to find Bootham Park. It is a really nice ride along a cycleway and the route into the park is full of twists and turns amongst the trees. The first item we saw in the park was the bandstand which was custom built for posing on!!

Moving around the park and circling the lake at last we found a play area. Not bad and then we spied the Death Slide. Yes! Abz being of a cautious nature kept her cycle helmet on and managed to get up some speed as she went down the wire.

The lake itself is full of birds and as soon as you get near the waters edge they come flocking over to get fed.

The bread and cream crackers soon disappeared and Abz found that the swans were quite happy to eat any grass that was pulled up and thrown to them.

Back on board. Time to get started on the Welsh Cakes. This time with both the Mal Variation and the Abz version. Mal likes the cakes to have Cinnamon added while Abz decided that a hint of Ginger would be nice. And so they were and a plate full almost vanished as fast as you could say 'Duw'.

Sunday made for a lazy day. Had a lie in till 0700 and swift breakfast.

More cycling. this time up as far as the old bridge on the way to the Pyewipe Inn. A rather busy spot with lots of walkers, cyclists and boats going past.

The bridge is just right for Pooh Sticks but Abz cheated and let her stick drop first. I cheated even better and managed to win two out of three!!

With an hour or so to spare before Dad came to pick her up it was touch and go what could we do. In the end a phone call to Mum turned up the recipe for pancakes and five were made with various fillings. Delicious.

Its gone very quiet now and I shall collapse into a corner for a few hours to recover.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Time to move on?

After four weeks of tuition 17 pupils walked away with a hand-bound work of art in the form of a notebook. Guaranteed to last a century or your money back. :-) One of the pupils broke out into verse for the occasion.


We have folded our papers, and bodged and stitched
Continuing on without a hitch.
We have taped and ruled to all intents, and purposes for,
The right measurements.

We have mulled and stuck and pushed into place,
Cut out the parts for the book to face.
We have put on the cover, the books looking fine,
It’s nearing the end, but we are out of time.

We have pasted inside, it’s the final week,
I think you’ll agree our goal has been reached.
We have a nice notebook, put the finishing touch,
Out tutor is Ifor. Thank you very much.

Jean Bartlett
July 2009

I think I have fixed the leak on the boat engine but now need to see if it is over heating as there is smoke coming of it. This could be from the derv leak but the engine gases are getting into the rest of the boat so I will see if I can fit an extractor fan to help with cooling and ventilation of the engine room.

The lost key on the motor bike meant that I had to hot wire it to get to work. The earth wire didn’t and I think that this blew the lights so another job for the future. Luckily I don’t need the bike at the moment.

Next stop Bardney after a stop in Saxilby to fuel up. I will visit Horncastle from there before moving on to the rest of the canal system.

I decided, what with one thing and another, not to go to Wales this weekend. With so much going wrong I decided not to push my luck with the long journey. I will get a bottle in to toast my brother and sister in law on their Silver Wedding.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Things did only get better.

As I said yesterday things can only get better and they did.

Admittedly I didn’t sleep too well and was up by 0500 listening to the radio but the sun came out and the text messages came in.

Sidney and Heidi were taking the campervan out for a ride and called in for a chat. A couple of hours flew past and just before it was time to leave all the kayaks turned up and we spent a very pleasant half hour watching the people get into the water off the bank and succeeded in seeing at least one have an early bath. I hope he kept his mouth firmly shut while in the water.

By mid-day I was ready to leave for a visit to Abz. Got onto the main road but had to turn back with a flat tyre. Luckily I had only bought a pump the day before so soon back on schedule.

With Pirate Day being the topic of conversation on Face Book at the moment I assume that Abz wanted to look authentic and so had got her ears pierced. She said that it was just as though someone pinched your earlobes and that was all. Personally I am much to much of a wimp to have one done just so that I can go Har Har Me hearties to Mr Bates in September.

Off for a walk after lunch to do a tour of the playgrounds. Sadly I forgot to take my camera but managed with the one on the mobile. Not the best of photos as I think it focused on the bridge more than Abz.

Back onboard in one piece and just to be on the safe side put the bike back on the bows for the night.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Its been one of those very up and down days.

As a habitual grumpy sod my day was lifted, much against my better judgement, by the visit of my favourite hitch hikers.

A trip through the Glory Hole and into the Brayford Pool and back was all it took to get thoughts onto a more reasonable level.

But at the back of ones mind is “Do I sleep tonight” I doubt it.

I can understand why some people after being burgled go some what over the top and make sure that people like that rue the day they ever set eyes on a narrowboat.

To more happy items.

Where are the Guinness Book of Records when you need them. We all know how many people you can get into a mini but what is the number for a small powered boat? I don’t know but this must be nudging the record. I was nearly taken over by them as they reckoned they were the Beer Police and if I didn’t have the requisite cans I would have to bribe them with. They took pity and moved on in a fine state of mind.

Its been one of those weeks.

What with a lot of lifes minor irritations going on in the background things started to kick off on Thursday.

I was moored at the Pyewipe Inn and was ready with oodles of time to spare to leave for a day in Louth. A walker passing by stopped to chat and enquire about living on the canals and I was happy enough to have a chat with him. No rush. Mind you I was fully booted and spurred for a trip on the motorbike and the day was rather hot. However I was still left with enough time to get to Louth. Went to start the bike and I had left the keys on board. Moved the bike up the bank and the chain came off and broke off a bit of the cover. By now I was in a sweat and ready for the cooler air as I travelled. On the way to Louth I ran out of petrol but the reserve gave me enough to get to a filling station.

I arrived in Louth exactly on time to set out the materials and get ready.

On the way home the keys jumped out of the ignition. I had heard a tinkle, turned round to see what had fallen off, didn’t see anything but then looked down and saw the keys missing. Went back but by the time I got back they had gone.

Back to the boat. The boat keys were on the bunch that I had lost but managed to gain entry. Tried to ring Louth police but they were out or away on holiday. Any way there was no answer.

Moved to Lincoln.

Went to the motorbike shop and ordered a new ignition unit. But it won’t be in till Tuesday. Got a new lock for the chain for the push bike but had to saw off the old one.

Friday night. Four in the morning and the local morons where out and about on pushbikes. Three of them shooting their mouths off at full volume. First thing in the morning I had another look at the motorbike to try and get it started. I then noticed that the push bike that should be on the roof had gone missing. I hadn’t had time to find the hacksaw so the bike wasn’t chained up as it usually was.

One can only hope that things get better.