Saturday, 20 August 2016

Tomlow (a week of all weathers)

One advantage of being back at Tomlow is that the towpaths are not so narrow as recent mooring spots.  This means I can take Buddy out on a bike ride each day.  Mind you it has been so hot this week that Buddy hasn’t been up to going for long walks – we have tended to go out before it gets too hot and then again in the early evening.

Buddy cooling off under his own parasol

I found another good circular walk on Tuesday that took in yet another site of an abandoned medieval village, the village of Caldcote.  As with the villages near Braunston, the landowner is not allowed to till this land.

The undulations of yet another abandoned medieval village

On our return I noticed the boat was rather loose on its ropes.  We are moored in the middle of a straight of about 200 yards in length and have chosen the optimum spot to make the best of the direct sun.  Unfortunately, the canal seems to be so busy with speeding boaters that the boat gets pulled in all directions when they pass us.  The names of many boats reflect the slow pace of life, e.g. Tortoise, Andante, Slowcoach etc. but one boater that seemed to think he owned the place and didn’t slow down when passing us was on a boat aptly named The Speedy Whippet.  It reminded me why we tend to moor near bridges and bends as there is more of a chance people will slow down in those situations.  I don’t want to make it sound that everyone speeds, it’s just that I get irritated by the lack of respect it shows.  We do make a point of being really friendly and thanking those that do pass at a considerate pace.

Our mooring half way down the Tomlow straight

I got out some chains, that I use for mooring sometimes, to help strengthen the mooring position.  Stupidly I dropped one of the chains straight into the water.  I resorted to my trusty magnet and managed to rescue the chain on the first sweep.

Mooring chain rescued by my trusty magnet

On Wednesday I met two guys, at different points, who were both cycling along the Grand Union canal.  They were both wild camping overnight; one in a hammock and one in a small tent on the towpath.  The hammock guy said he tended to put his hammock up by bridges so he didn’t disturb boaters but I didn’t quite follow the logic.  Although they both had the same objectives, one was covering about 50 miles a day and the other was lucky if he managed as much as 10.  The second chap said he spends more time talking to walkers and boaters than cycling.

We have cooked on the barbecue every weeknight this week as the evenings have been so balmy.

Barbecue long finished but still sitting outside

Drinking red wine from our favourite goblets purchased from a Yorkshire pottery

Whenever I do a job on the outside of the boat I always hear a voice saying things like, “That spanner should be attached to you by a piece of string” or, “You’re going to slip in if you lean out any further”.  I nearly always ignore these voices and Thursday was no exception when I removed the tow bar from the rear.  As it was, I didn't have any mishaps but it could so easily have been a disaster. The tow bar is used to put a car bike rack on to carry our bikes when we are cruising.  I was taking it off as we want it on the new boat and needed to take it to the boat builder when we visited him on Friday.  

Tow bar half removed ready for fixing on the new boat

It always makes us feel excited when we see the new boat - it's really not long until we get her.  It was also good that my Dad was able to join us as well as he is really interested in the joinery side of things.

Another reason for visiting the boat yard was to try out a sofa we had bought from John Lewis but was not available in any store to try before we bought it.  We had it delivered to the yard and fortunately we found it really comfortable.  You can’t tell from the picture but it is really small and cosy and rather suits us – it is only 120 cm wide!

Our new sofa, called the Little Professor, ready for the new boat.  Sophie said it looks very professory!

As expected, they are still painting the outside, so there hasn’t been any progress on the inside but here are the latest shots of the paintwork.

The masking tape will be off after the final coat due this week

Here the masking tape is covering up the cream coachlines


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