Boatwif Blog

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Detained at Tixall

Thursday 2nd June, Tixall to below Shutt Hill Lock, (Staffs and Worcs Canal) An early start had been planned, hence at 0740 the engine roared into life, stuttered, and at 0742 stopped. Efforts to restart it led to what sounded like flooded cylinders. Pauses – investigations – breakfast – thinking time – and at 0820 a call to RCR (River and Canal Rescue Service).  By 1030 a cheerful and quietly confident marine engineer (plus apprentice) had trundled along the towpath...

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A Peep into the Past

Wednesday 1st June, moored at Tixall Wide, Staffs and Worcs Canal Glad to report a tranquil, drama-free day … three previous times Cleddau has been moored up here, first in July 1994 (archives checked, it was Cleddau’s first long distance cruise), then in April 2008, as an overnight stop during the Kennet and Avon to Macclesfield Canal transfer, the Physicist was with us) and again last year, during which we were nearly boarded by pirates… (See blog, Tuesday 31st August)....

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The Friendliness of Folk

Tuesday 31st May From Stone (Trent & Mersey Canal) to Tixall Wide (Staffs & Worcs Canal)     Generally folk are very friendly and helpful.  Our neighbour at home has reacted to our concern that milk may have inadvertently been left in the fridge with a Milk removed – you could have made cheese e-mail response. This morning Cleddau drew up in front of the chandlery in Stone and while the Captain disappeared to do unspeakable sanitation and rubbish disposal duties...

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Bumper and dodgem boats

Monday 30th May From Stoke-on-Trent to Stone, Staffordshire     Rain did not halt play today. The Captain springs to life at the sound of an alarm clock, ready to follow whatever the day’s plan is.  He is soon vocal, indeed articulate, posing questions, seeking opinions. This morning he offered to debate with Boatwif the full pros and cons of sticking to the plan, that is, a prompt departure so as to reach Stone by early afternoon or a delayed start...

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Customised

Sunday 29th May From just north of Congleton to Stoke-on-Trent         “What was so wonderful about Wayne?” asked a friend last week, referring to the blog Cleddau on a test cruise. We were ecstatic about his ability to translate our bumbling ideas for a bathroom wall cabinet into a made-to-measure cupboard. See photo as evidence.  Last thing last night the camera was picked up to record the appearance of the front door and window customised bungs and screens, which...

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Tick. Tick. Tick. And Tickover…

Saturday 28th May     Boatwif and the Captain were home for all of five days, five days only to make the final preparations for Departure Day for the 2011 Summer Cruise.     If in panic, make a list.  The beauty of a list is that tasks completed can be ticked off, thus giving the ticker something of a sense of preparedness, or at least, of progress. The This Week list had 17 items, all but two related to the upcoming...

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Cleddau on a test cruise

Tuesday 17th May – Friday 20th May Techno Son-in-Law and Physicist Friend had campaigned to do a third annual spring cruise to Bugsworth. Diaries and calendars, i-phones and gizmos were consulted, dates agreed and time booked off work. Then a complication: frustration over the lack of close-to-hand storage space for toothbrushes had mounted. A call to Bourne Boats: any chance of an over-the-basin cupboard and shelf before the summer cruise? A date was given: deliver boat to Kerridge by 0900...

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A Dawdle for a Dinner

Saturday 14th May     The list of jobs to be done was long: second airing cupboard door to be fitted; first airing cupboard door to be varnished; exact measurements of the window panes in the front doors to be taken; cupboards to be reorganised following acquisition of some storage boxes; an audit of stuff hastily stored under the dinette weeks ago to be made…  Our arrival just before 5pm coincided with the outbreak of a seriously heavy rain shower and...

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From waterbus to waterhogs…

Wednesday 27th April   Contracted to care for the Cheshire One during the remainder of the Easter break we drove her south on Tuesday, she our back seat driver. Wednesday dawned: time for trains, inter-city and underground, and a liaison at Camden Town tube station for a Girls and Grannies Day. Excitedly the two girls (ages 5 and 7), both bird-watcher daughters, and the two Grannies (ages unrecorded) made their way to Camden Lock, boarded a waterbus – and arrived...

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Messing about on a boat

Thursday 21st – Monday 25th April     Messing about on a boat gives an impression perhaps of those Three Men in a Boat, struggling to complete a camping boat trip on the Thames, or of punters poling their way past any number of Oxbridge colleges.  Well, camping no, poling yes – and a great deal of mess – and messing about.     We had arrived on the boat early on the Thursday afternoon of the Easter weekend. It was...