Monday, March 31, 2008

Home again!

The sun was tryin gto break out as we set off this morning but the clouds were more prominent. As we journeyed on, more sun was evident and we finally arrived back in the marina in glorious sunshine and an almost clear blue sky except for a few fluffy clouds.

Passing through Rugby and one boat passed us and shouted how much they enjoy the blog - thanks for that. A few minutes later, we passed a boat in Newbold tunnel and a shout between the 2 boats in the gloom of the tunnel revealed it was Pete at the helm of NB Pickles 2.

It's also good to have been following the blog of Graham and Jill, (not to mention the dogs!) off NB Matilda Rose. They are from the marina here at Brinklow and have been up the Ashby. It's been great to have followed their travels to some of my old haunts and it sounds as if they're having a great time. Oh for the days of gentle cruising and no deadlines for returning! Glad you're enjoying it up there and keep the Battlefield moorings warm for my next visit!

I got Khayamanzi installed and connected back up, (boy it's good to be back on a wireless broadband and telephone!) and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and mowing the grass in the marina to start getting ready for the open day on Saturday.

Tomorrow, (1st April,) my telephone service is switched over to Tiscali and I will no longer have any ties with BT! I need to clean, hoover and tidy the boat, do a couple of large washing loads, shopping and all the usual bits 'n' bobs associated with returning after a holiday. I also need to get some more crickets for Lenny and possible a female partner for him!

An email today confirmed that my weather station has been despatched. I actually don't want it to arrive much before Thursday as school won't be open to receive it.

My brother's plans for K2 are getting closer to reality! He has seen a lovely boat that he likes and video of it can be seen on his blog. He's now at the stage of exploring ideas to make it possible.

I leave you this evening with the beautiful picture of our magnificent daffodils in the marina. More can be seen on the Brinklow Marina website.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Day 011 - the penultimate day!

Should be home tomorrow - all being well!
Set off this morning in glorious sunshine and moored up this evening in glorious sunshine - the holiday must be coming to an end! With the beginning of British Summertime today, maybe the weather has finally woken up and realised what time of year it is?

An easy and painless trip through the Watford staircase locks and on towards Norton Junction only stopping to collect some wood to throw on the fire as were fed up with the smell of coal and wanted a bit of wood smoke to sniff! Of course, after collecting the wood, one has to cut it up...

...Through Braunston tunnel, passing a big old thumping working boat and butty and then the turn. I have never seen Braunston so clear of boats. Just one sollitary little boat moored up with noone around, (and not much chance of anyone being on it either by the looks of it!) and then back out into open countryside finally mooring up just before bridge 87 on a lovely stretch and with the sun still shining. 16.5 miles, 12 locks and 2 tunnels later after 6 hours cruising and the pork jobs are sizzling nicely in the oven and the wine is chilling in the fridge!

Tomorrow - home! I'll take dad to collect his car from friends at Market Harborough, do some shopping, get diesel and a pumpout on the way in, take on water, hoover and clean the boat and then start thinking about school on Thursday and the marina open day on Saturday.

Oh and during this trip my outdoor temperature sensor 'mysteriously' disappeared from the side of my boat! I have taken the opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for some time now and ordered a complete home weather station which will allow for rainfall and wind speed measurments to be wirelessly transmitted to the panel inside the boat! It should arrive this week hopefully to school. This is the one!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 010 - Foxton and Deneb.

Set off this morning for Foxton. The sun was trying to shine between rainy showers and heavy gusts of wind caused interest at times. Pleasant cruising, (weather excepting,) through some lovely rural countryside meant that the time travelling to Foxton passed quickly. We arrived at the locks behind one Canaltime boat but as we "knew what we were doing" in the words of the lock keeper, we jumped ahead and made a speedy and uneventful passage up, only stopping at the top to buy hot chocolate and bacon rolls.

We continued on and the wind got steadily harder and harder with Husbands Bosworth tunnel providing light relief from it. Finally mooring after a total of 17 miles and 10 locks in 6.5 hours cruising by which time the rain had joined the wind and the combination made extremely unpleasant cruising.

Not more than 30 minutes passed since mooring up when the horn was heard of an approaching boat. I looked up to see a 70 foot boat pulling in just in front which I soon recognised to be Deneb. Deneb is a brand new and stunning boat with a beautiful fit out partly by the owners and partly by craftsmen from Ashby Boat Builders based on a Colecraft hull. Chris and Yvonne used to own Cygnus and were moored with me in Trinity and so I have known them for some 4 years now. Cygnus was sold and the dream of Deneb, (a binary star in the Cygnus constellation,) was realised. It was good to finally see the inside of this stunning boat and to catch up with Chris and Yvonne.

Tomorrow, the Watford staircase locks and possibly the turn at the junction for the last couple of days towards home. Hopefully the wind will ease and we may even see that yellow glow from the sky that my fore-fathers told me was called 'sun'! Right now, hills block the satellite and so I am attempting to catch up on the boat race through a very snowy picture whilst uploading this blog through 3 bars of GPRS!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 009 - Don't do it this way!

Wind, wind and more wind with a little, no sorry, a lot of rain thrown in for good measure - that just about sums today up!

Set off this morning after a fried breakfast and headed off into an horrendous wind and very heavy frequent rain storms. Worked through the rest of the locks on this section up to Kibworth top lock. These locks are a joke - they make the National Trust on the River Wey look positively as if they know what they're doing! Some of the beams are so heavy the only way to shift them is to use the boat or draw an opposing paddle to help them on their way. All the top gates swing back open promptly when closed and many of the bottom gates do likewise unless a hefty paddle is opened before attempting to close them. Several gates had lost gate paddles due to vandals which made them slow filling and there are even more paddles where the pawel doesn't fully engage thus causing the paddle to spin back down. Some of the later locks are close enough for a good brisk walk between them but the towpath is really not in a state for 'lock wheeling' unless expert in the sport of bog snorkelling!
NEVER do the Leicester Ring clockwise for the following reasons:
  1. You are travelling against the flow making it hard work for the boat.
  2. All locks will be against you as the flow makes the locks fill from the top and once on the canal all the by weirs are blocked and so the water fills the lock from over the top gates!
  3. Top gates will simply NOT close on you unless you draw a bit of water out from the bottom paddles to keep them shut which makes the job twice as long and hard.

At long last, we were back on familiar canals!

....and off towards Saddington Tunnel.

Finally mooring after 20 locks, 13 miles and 6.5 hours cruising just after bridge 71 outside Smeeton Westerby - very dodgy TV signal but 3 bars of 3G internet.

Tomorrow, Foxton and the forecast is really not good!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day 008 Leicester and beyond!

OK, finally moored up after a marathon day, (by choice though!)

Set off this morning at 9.30 towards Leicester. As we left, we noticed a few of the flood boards were running on amber alert.
A few other boats put our minds at rests and although the water was indeed running quite fast after a night of rain and Khayamanzi was working extremely hard, it was a fun ride though the weirs and locks. We even found a couple of boards just touching onto the red!
In around 8.5 hours cruising, we only met 4 moving boats! Unfortunately, due to the fact that we are doing the ring clockwise, (against the flow,) not only has my diesel taken a hammering but it meant that all the locks were against us due to them filling up with the flow!
Leicester itself was an interesting place to travel through. Absolutely no problems whatosever with everyone waving, smiling or calling out hello to us. The weather was good with only the occasional hail storm to contend with! This morning we made enquiries to BW regarding the safe pontoon moorings at Castle Gardens. "Oh we've moved them" the polite lady informed me. "Go through Birstall Lock and they're just there," she continued. We got to North Lock before getting worried having not seen them and so I phoned again. "You've gone too far" she told me, "stay there and whatever you do, don't go through the next lock. I'll find out exactly where they are." We reviewed the charts and discovered we had made very good progress so decided to push on and have a late evening instead of an early morning tomorrow and get as far through Leicester as possible. We worked through North Lock and there just in front of us were the secure pontoon moorings - at Castle Gardens! About an hour later she phoned and told me exactly where they were. Worrying when BW can loose a set of their own mooring pontoons!
Anyway, onwards past the National Space Centre....
....through interesting bridges.....
.....and the Leicester City Football Ground....
We finally moored after 8.5 hours of cruising, 17 miles and 16 locks, (all double and many padlocked!) just above Gees Lock, (no 36,) back on the Grand Union, (for the moment anyway,) not very quiet but fairly rural and safe and with an excellent satellite signal and even an HSDPA signal for the internet! Tomorrow, we can now relax a little, enjoy a fried breakfast and then head off towards more countryside and Foxton Locks

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 007 - a tale of 2 rivers.

An interesting day to say the least!

Off this morning at about 9.00 and onwards towards Trent Lock passing through the picturesque and historic Shardlow.

Onto the River Trent which is running extremely slowly and at a very low level, (pheeew!) and merrily past all the green traffic lights and 'normal stream conditions' warning signs. A quick 'pit stop' at Sawley Marina to get diesel, water and a few other bits 'n' bobs we needed before onwards towards the Soar.
The soar was equally as unforboding with the only challenges being the horrendously stiff locks and paddles and very heavy gates that have a constant liking to swinging open again the minute your back's turned unless a top paddle is drawn quickly or before closing them. Some interesting eddies and currents that 'transport'your boat into positions you wouldn't necessarily choose to be in but wide open water which is fun andexciting from the relative clam of the canal system.
You really know you're on a river when you see signs like this!
All good news to see 'open' signs and green lioghts ahead.
Managed to get through Loughborough which was a great place and surpassed my dubious concerns. Lots of major regeneration has clearly taken place over recent years and this makes for an interesting and pleasant passage.

Now moored up just past Loughborough and in a very pleasant spot: even the sun was shining briefly. Tomorrow - Leicester and a totally different story I'm sure!

Great TV signal tonight but still only a few bars of GPRS thanks to Orange and certainly not enough to reliably upload pictures. Managed to upload and publish yesterdays pics. but then it suddenly decided to stop uploading any images whatsoever so sorry folks, it seems as if all the pictures are going to have to be published the following day from when they were taken!!
****OK, managed to get some pictures uploaded - just as it starts pouring with rain, may be it likes the rain!****

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 006 - change of plans!

OK, moored up at Aston - just below Aston Lock on the Trent and Mersey: a little way before Shardlow. A quarry on one side and a housing estate on the other - beautiful! Actually it's not quite so bad as the housing estate is a long way over fields and the quarry is over an embankment. No satellite signal and no terristrial TV signal either. Only 3 bars of GPRS signal so picture are all but impossible to upload - shame, as I have some nice ones for you from today but they'll have to wait!

Now the change of plans. Ever the ambitious, we have decided to return by another route. The plan now is to head onto the Trent tomorrow, (it is open and fine apparently,) and through to the Soar and then come back via the Grand Union Leicester Arm and back to Norton Junction via the Foxton locks before the final leg through Braunston. Although there's more locks and the weather forecast is, to say the least foul - we fancied the challenge and having come this far it seemed silly not to try it!

I've now tried several times to upload at least one of my pictures from the day but it keeps timing out and simply can't cope this evening so sorry - no pics tonight!

***Wednesday update***
Managed to upload the pictures for you but only just and it took several attempts for each picture - finally managed to do it with the laptop on the roof of the boat!
Makes you thirsty doesn't it!

Not sure if the pump-out station sign is linked in any way with Marston's brewery!!

They do like their murals in Burton, and very nice they are too!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Next day - I've lost count!

Well, the forecast said bright and sunny today but it certainly wasn't that! This morning, I set off at around 8.00 ish to head towards Fradley Junction to meet my father. The wind was much less obvious although still gusty, the sky was cloudy and overcast and the frequent squally snow/hail storms stung the face.
Stopped off at Streethay Wharf for a top up of fuel, an extra 2 bags of coal and a new goat chain for mooring up with - £56!

Filled up with water at Fradley and then headed off, (with father on board,) towards the next locks and a dark, threatening sky.
The locks on the first section of the Trent and Mersey proved interesting! Fradley Junction was a breeze - no traffic, no queues - nothing but Alrewas was a different story! Chaos ruled. All thanks to a floating bonfire: an old working boat, (barely floating,) pulling 2 large lumps of plastic festooned with tarpauline sheets and bits of old wood and helmed by two interesting 'gentlemen', one of whom complained at me nosing up to him by saying that my insurance wouldn't cover me if I damaged his plastic boats, (despite them weaving in and out across the canal wacking every boat they past - I think he was joking but couldn't quite work it out!
Onwards past two interesting bridges. The worlds most narrow....
...and this specimen where we were directed to the most narrow part of the whole structure!
After several hours more cruising, (and several too many in my book!) we finally moored up at Branston Water Park having struggled to find depth of water or enough space between boats.
Tomorrow, on through the exciting surrounds of Burton On Trent and hopefully to more exciting waters!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter - Day 004

No photos today and no news! I decided to stay exactly where I was and haven't moved an inch. The forecasted snow did arrive and a thin white covering was all over the ground first thing but by 9.00 it had turned to rain and nothing was left, still very cold though with a stiff North wind blowing. Had a lazy morning and then spent a fair while spring cleaning. Hoovered, polished, cleaned the oven, the hob, the floors, the bathroom, the radiators and anything else that didn't move. The result is that much of the day, I've had to have the engine running to get the batteries back up; only switching over to the generator at about 3.00pm. I did discover one thing: like a complete burk that I am, I forgot to re-fill my cans with petrol for the generator and so now only have left the petrol I'm using! I did make enquiries about the nearest station to here but discovered it would take about an hours walk each way and so thought better of it.

I have a nice pork joint in the oven for this evening. There looks like some good crackling and so I'm looking forward to enjoying that. Tomorrow, I plan to head the couple of hours to Fradley Junction and collect my father before making our way on towards Alrewas and new territory. The weather forecast looks better now with even a bit of sunshine on the display but still the wind from the north although much less of it as the week goes by. I noticed from looking back in the blog that my Easter holiday last year began with me cruising in shorts and T-shirt - I only dream of days like that at the moment!! I'm running out of coal for heat, have little petrol for electricity and must be hitting my diesel consumption hard due to the constant head wind over the past 3 days. Hey ho! It might feel like a holiday one day. It has been nice seeing the passing boats all day today. Quite a bit of traffic around being Easter Sunday and all wrapped up like Egyptian mummies - hats, gloves, scarves, several layers etc etc.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 003 - getting worse!!

Do you ever start something and half way through wish you hadn't - that's exactly how I feel this evening! Today has got to have been one of the worse days cruising in my life.Woke up this morning and the wind was even colder than ever with temperatures not getting above 3 degrees. By the time I entered the first of the 2 final locks on the Atherston flight, this was happening....
.....and as I entered the final lock, it had become this.....
and so set the pattern of the day. A few seconds of sunshine followed by hail that whipped across and into your face; completely blinding you, followed by winds that hit the boat and pushed you right across the cut before you could do anything about it.
One thing I have just about managed to notice, is the plethora of rediculous signs that som eover enthusiastic 'waterways operative' has sprouted everywhere along the Coventry Canal! The more useful ones display the bridge numbers, long since vandalised or shot at with air guns, some can be seen floating face down in the water causing yet another prop. hazard and the more sublime display the absolute obvious. One proudly announced 'road bridge by aquaduct' but I couldn't get my camera in time. I did manage to capture this one...
The thundering lorries pounding overhead were a slight give-away! I wondered if it was a premature April Fools - could someone in the know please explain??
Finally moored up at 4.15 in a howling gale just past Hopwas. In fact the wind was so strong, it took me 40 mins to get the boat moored including twice losing the bow in the bushes the opposite side to the tow path and once a gust of wind hit the cabin sides and managed to snap the goat chain I was using to tie up with. I just about managed to leap back onto the towpath, run to the back of the boat, jump on and then fight hard to get it back under control. Of course, once I was safely tied up, the innevitable happened and the wind instantly subsided to absolute nothing!
Note the water on the towpath where heavy thrashing of the prop to attempt to re-gain control in what felt like a force 10 gale caused me to empty sections of the canal onto the bank!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 002

Well, woke up this morning and the wind was howling! The wind seems to be a feature of this whole year according to the lock-keepers weather forecast at Atherstone! It certainly was this morning but I decided to 'give it a go' anyway and set off crabbing all over the canal. There was a great spirit between the few brave, (or mad,) boaters out with jokes shared as we past each other fighting to keep the vessel under some sort of control. It was a welcome relief when you entered a wood or rounded a hill and got a little bit of shelter. The sun was shining though and between clouds it had the potential to be a lovely day. After an hour of cruising, I arrived at Atherstone Top Lock only to discover, having not seen another boat for ages, I ended up behind one and following them down the locks. An uneventful trip down with even the sun coming out at times and the wind subsiding a little as I locked down hill. There was a group of three young lads out for a cycle ride who past me as I left my mooring this morning. All day they 'leap frogged' me battling against the biting headwind. They seemed to use me as a marker as every time they got ahead, they paused for a rest under a bridge, waited for me then took off again. I reckon they were about 12-14 yrs old but lovely kids and we made jokes and friendly chat as we past each other. They got to Atherstone, rode down the locks and then turned for home after a cheery wave good bye. At the middle lock in the flight a couple of young teenagers came leaping over the fence and ran up past me being chased by their mates. After a while they turned and strolled back home. As they came alongside me, I made eye contact and they said "hi, how are you?" we exchanged pleasantries before parting. Two examples of some lovely kids along the canal to counter the many horror stories. It did cause me to muse on the difference between the kids I met today and the group smashing up the metal gate with a hammer that I past yesterday at Marston Junction. I'm sorry to stereo-type but I have a mental image of the sets of parents of all three groups in my mind and needless to say, although I can almost guarantee I was right, they weren't very politically correct images!!

Decided to moor up in the long pound between lock 9 and 10 - just in time!!
Within an hour of mooring up, this turned up....
The temperature plumetted from 14 degrees to 4 degrees and this hail left a white layer on the ground and made my Alpine garden in the front gas locker look positevly, well, Alpine! Here it is as taken through the front cratch.
Right now, the fire is roaring, the generator is humming in the distance to finish topping up the batteries and give me unlimited 240volt power, the Sky dish is tuned in well to a high signal, the beer is warming nicely on the bench and the steak in the fridge is about to be sizzled - doesn't get much better!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter - Day 001

After a lazy start to the day, I set off this morning at around 11.00 being blown out of the marina and with spits of rain in the air. The wind died down as I entered the cut but continued gusty all day long. Although the rain stayed away, (except the odd few speckles,) the wind and wind chill made it quite unpleasant! I shall start with a nice clean picture of the roof of Khayamanzi as I decided not to take my canoe with me! This picture was just outside the marina at the start of the trip.
Passing through Rose Narrowboats and I noticed this boat getting a stretch! I think it's the first time I've ever seen a boat in the process of being stretched and it was quite interesting!
At Carters Bridge, around 3 miles before Sutton Stop, I encountered a boat making arratic movements. It turned out to have lost it's gearbox which had jammed totally. Apparently the first gearbox packed in, a new one was put on having been purchased from Calcutt Boats - it lasted 6 weeks. The latest one has lasted a little longer before packing in and they were, to say the least, hacked off! You can't leave a boater stranded and so I gave Jo and Ivan a tow to Sutton Stop.
Onwards and Northwards and I revved up and kept my head down as I beat a hasty path through the bandit territory of Bedworth and Nuneaton. Past the group of kiddies smashing up a gate with a hammer, past the teenager riding down the towpath on his motor bike, past the group of teenage mums with baby strollers all drinking and smoking under the bridge, through the floating driftwood, shopping trollies, stolen and abandoned bikes etc etc. until my final mooring place just after bridge 23 on the Coventry Canal. On my way, I pulled up alongside this working barge which proudly displayed a sign saying 'free logs'. Excitedly I tied up wondering if there would be any left only to see an entire barge load - obviously not cut up by a boater! They were all either too large to be burnt in a stove as they are or had been cut up too small to safely be held whilst being sut smaller. I was very disappointed but clearly realised why they had all been left.
I am now typing this with the somewhat worrying sound of a constantly circling police helicopter. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I have about an hour to Atherstone top lock and on into more pleasant, remote and rural lands.
Locks - 1
Hours - 6
Miles - 16

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You couldn't write it!

Unbelievable! Have you seen the forecast? I mean, it's been lovely - calm, mild, blue skies, (ish) and it' good tomorrow but Thursday onwards - don't even go there! Wind speeds of up to 30 MPH, very heavy rain, freezing temperatures and even sleet and snow possible! Has someone got it in for me? I must have been someone very bad in my previous life! I just want a bit of sun and calm weather - is that too much to ask: after al that's exactly what we got during the last half term when I spent all week working on the boat and in the bilge. A neighbour recently commented that I wasn't a proper boater as a proper boater stops working occasionally to enjoy it! Good point but whenever I decide to stop, the weather is so bad I'm huddled inside round the fire so can't enjoy it and might as well get on with more work! Selling the boat in favour of a new life abroad looks increasingly more enticing every time I lok at the weather forecast!

Ah well, only one more day at school to survive then I'm off into the Arctic towards the North Pole that is Fradley Junction battling my way down Atherstone through hurricanes and getting soaked through for my troubles - lovely way of life boating. Why don't they ever show the real picture on TV?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The friendly forum!

OK, I know there's a plethora of forums out there but in my experience most end up over heated and full or any old Tom, Dick and Harry who feels like being controversial! I have started a forum for my friends to enjoy. By 'friends', I mean anyone and everyone who enjoys boating as a hobby and all it stands for. It is also a good place for possible future liveaboards to chat and ask those awkward questions that they feel they may get laughed at on other, more public forums!

Everyone can view the forum but you will need to sign up in order to be able to contribute. Membership is free and simple to do.

Find the forum here or go to the main site and hover over 'communicate' on the menu, then select 'forum'.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lazy day and the 3rd disaster averted!

Well the 3rd disaster has been narrowly averted. Last night, during some routine maintenance on the laptop, my over enthusiastic security software threw up a few warning messages about something attempting to modify my registry. In blind panic I hit the block command several times until the message vanished. Unfortunately, whatever it was was obviously a goodie as I then lost all my programme shortcuts. I couldn't access anything at all on the computer and was panicking fast. I attempted a restore but couldn't even access that. Finally, I re-booted the machine in safe mode and attempted a restore from there which worked successfully. My laptop now thinks it's Friday still so maybe there's good grounds for another weekend! I have now uninstalled the over enthusiastic Lavasoft Adaware, (this is the second time it's done that,) and am relying on Kaspersky Internet security suite and the entire performance suite of Ascentive software which I find works extremely well in being simple, safe and doing what ti says on the tin. I especially like the internet optimisation tool 'ActiveSpeed' which really does significantly speed up any connection by optimising settings rather than just relying on caching of frequently viewed pages, all of which are cleared out by regular maintenance anyway
After the warmth and stillness of yesterday, the night blew a hooley again! My new satellite settings were disrupted as the dish blew out of line but it was a very simple job this morning to set up again which was good news. A cold, wet and very windy day again today meant I have done nothing.... and loved every single second of doing nothing too! Wow do I feel good for it!

My wireless internet seems to be behaving a bit better at the momentand is connecting well, holding its connection and speed fairly well and lightening quick exceeding most bandwidth tests performed online.
I took some pictures today of the daffodils around the marina looking resplendant even in the absence of sunshine!

Plans are well afoot for the open day on April 5th. I see the advert is in this months waterway press. It would be lovely to see any friends of my blog at the open day to put faces to names or even just to say hi! If you are after a mooring then it would be even better to see you!! (Steve, remaning spaces are now going fast!!)

The weather forecast for the end of the week and over Easter is, as usual, decidedly 'iffy'! It looks like I'll be heading towards Fradley junction in strong winds and lashing rain - no surprises there then. I guess Atherston has to continue its reputation with me of always been wet and windy and even more so when working solo!

Still, only 3 more days 'till the 'off' and then I guess, I'll be joining millions of other people venturing out for the first cruise of the season. With parents evenings on Monday evening, helping my neighbour pump-out on Tuesday evening, last minute shopping and cleaning on Wednesday evening and then off on Thursday, this may well be last post from my high speed connection - the next one being via Orange somewhere around Atherstone at the end of the week. Farewell cruel world!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

That ruined her day!

Just to buck the trend, the third disaster hasn't yet arrived! In fact, today has gone remarkably well. Managed to service the batteries, polish the boat, (just in time before it rained!) cleaned inside a bit, completed lots of washing, ironing etc etc. This afternoon I got a phone call on my BT line from a lady asking if I would be willing to undertake market research into my recent contact with BT on their behalf. She assured me it wouldn't take long so before agreeing I asked her how long she had before coming off shift! Needless to say it was a very interesting and lengthy phone call which concluded with her asking if I would be willing to let BT hear the recording and contact me should they wish to - I agreed whole-heartedly!
This evening, Martyn from TravelSat, (07914 401036) arrived to take a look at my system! An amazing guy who seems to have the art of which-craft down to a fine art. After chanting a few incantations and boiling up the heads of a few lizards in a steaming couldron he had the highest signal bars I have ever seen on my screen!
A few tweaks of the aerial outside....
.....a little tinkle with the wires inside.....
.....and hey presto Wales hammering France in glorious digital colour!
Highly recommended for all things digital and 'pictures flying through the air' related!
Tomorrow, I plan to relax - is that allowed? In fact, it's starting this evening with the latest copy of Waterways World just out!
Oh, and by the way; my wireless connection connected first time this evening. It did drop half way through the evening and I had to re-start the laptop to get it back but hey, it seems good now.
Oh yes, one more thing, my Easter trip now looks increasingly like north instead of southbound. The plan now seems to be north to Fradley junction, collect 'mon pere' from there and then turn right towards Alrewas and Bourton on the T & M - another little stretch I have never done and very pretty and interesting by all accounts - any further comments gratefully received!