13. Feb, 2018

WHERE TO START ..........

Sorry for the delay but as usual our time spent in the wharf does not really endear itself to writing this blog as we don’t really cruise anywhere, so no adventures or stories about the pubs and places we have visited.

But our life a board does continue, so what have we been up to?????

At the end of the last blog I was still looking for work and I am happy to say I have (fingers crossed ) found a job that should last me until the end of March, having said that I am laid off today due to lack of work, but hey ho that’s the joy of being an agency worker. I went back to Brett Martin for a day doing the easy job, and was hopeful of staying there for a while, but alas it was not to be. I went for an interview for a very interesting sounding job in quality, the firm produced fire damping systems for the motorsport industry (including F1) and army vehicles, but my conscious got the better of me as they were looking for someone permanent, and obviously I would have been off at the end of March. I did not want to waste their time training me, and it also took the chance of someone else finding permanent employment away, to honest for my own good (and it paid £10per hour).

The Captain has been beavering away improving things on our boat to make our lives easier. He was a very happy bunny when the boat passed its BSC, with only a slight gas leak in the gas locker. The very nice gentleman who came to do the BSC was very helpful, and the leak was fixed with his help so we are safe and legal for the next 4yrs. On a more annoying note (for him), he has been trying to contact the guy at St Pancreas Cruising club, about joining them on their cruise on the Thames down to and beyond the barrier in May, but as of yet has not managed to get an answer, will keep you posted on that trip.

We have had our first cruise out for the year 2018, although only down as far as the Ashby canal and back. It was to support Col and Mags on Regal Romantic. Col had serviced his engine and it was blowing a bit of white smoke out, so he wanted to give it a run to clear any muck out of the pipes. It was a cool and cloudy when we set off, but not too bad. We cruised to the beginning of the Ashby before winding and returning to the Greyhound for a well earned pint. As Col and Mags have never done a lock, we went to look at the little stop lock there, and as luck would have it there was a boat just coming through. This gave them a better idea of how a lock works, and the crew on board Honey Bee were friends of Fred and Lisa who we met at the IWA  boat festival, so that was nice. After our pint (I could have stayed there all afternoon) we made our way back to the wharf, it had turned colder and we were very happy to be moored up and back in front of our roaring fire. Regal Romantic performed excellently, but I am not sure the same can be said for Cols steering at times, but who am I to say my steering is worse lol.

Now to an Englishman’s favourite topic the weather, obviously its wintertime and so it’s cold, but it has also been very windy and the boat has rocked and banged, and I have lay listening to all the different noises that it makes hoping that nothing blows off the roof, or any damage is done to our home. I love the sound of the rain and the pinging of hailstones is something to be heard. In this inclement weather we do stay warm and cosy on the boat. The Captain has got keeping the fire in 24/7 down to a fine art, and I don’t do too bad either when called to.

Life on the wharf in the winter is very quiet, but we do see our neighbours now and again. Obviously we have seen quite a bit of Col as the Captain has been helping him out with bits and bobs. Paul has been working hard in the garden and keeping the bird feeder topped up for our feathered friends. He is doing a great job, and the garden will look wonderful in the summer. I am still going for a pint with Ange, and Jenny very often joins the Captain and me when we head off to the Bricklayers for a pint on a Friday. We did loosely organise a meeting in the Bricklayers for the wharf, well we sent out messages saying we would be there, and hoped people would come along, and they did, a great night was had by all. Will do this again before we leave.

And of course I couldn’t do a blog with mentioning our favourite topic beer. We have a number of excellent places to drink in Coventry including Twisted Barrel, The Windmill and now Byatts Brewery tap bar. In the future we will be going to the Derby Beer festival, over 400 beers so plenty of choice. Leicester beer festival to catch up with Heath and Jennifer, all being well. Coventry, which is the smallest but still worth a mention. We also discovered the Windmill is holding their spring festival just before we leave, so that’s another one for the diary.

And finally the cats Bubbles and Sam. As with all cats they dont like the cold wet weather of winter so tend to stay on boat. Sam, is an old lady now and doesn’t seem to like going down the gunnels, but is happy to jump off the back of the boat. Bubbles with his thick winter coat goes out at teatime and usually comes back licking his lips, really don’t know what he is finding to eat, and I am not sure if I want to know.

And on a final note Coventry had won its bid for the city of culture 2021, so it is to be hoped money will be spent on its canal heritage on the towpath and in the basin.

Spring is on its way so our adventures will commence, watch