Saturday, May 31, 2008

Back home and back to routine!

Nothing much else to add except that life is now only one washing machine load away from normality. Everything is unpacked, the second load of washing is in, the shopping has been done and the boat sorted.

When I get chance I'll take a picture of Khayamanzi in her new shiny blacking. The hull has been blacked and looks very good, the new anodes are shining under the waterline, the engine has been fully serviced, the prop protector has been fitted and is ready for chomping action but..... no replaced tiller bearing! I seem to be jinxed with this leaking tiller. No-one in the world seems to be able or want to do anything to solve it. Apparently Rose Narrowboats felt it was not necessary to replace the bearing as it is fine - what it needs is a little black rubber washer put in at the bottom when it's next out of the water!!???? A gentle reminder that it has just been out of the water and we have agreed that they will pull it out at some point in the future and put the rubber thingy on! Watch this space. I have to say the work they have done so far seems to be very good and reasonably priced so my recommendations of them still stands. Unfortunately I don't feel they have, on this occasion, met my high expectations to warrant a special mention in my right hand column of highly recommended companies. Let's see if they can solve this leaky bearing and complete the work I listed on the confirmation letter before I re-decide!

One more day to recover tomorrow before back to school for another 7 and a half weeks leading up to my summer cruise.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Last day

I shall start with the good news - the work on Khayamanzi has been completed and my brother has even taken her back home to her moorings to save me a job tomorrow. How well the work has been done etc, I shall report on tomorrow when I get to see her myself.

Last night on the spur of the moment, we decided to go off out in the evening for a mystery tour! Following little but our instincts and the lure of a narrow winding mountain road, we travelled on and ended up at the end of Lake Windermere by a car ferry crossing. A quick rummage around to find the required £3.50 from under the car seat and we decided to go across. A short but very pleasant experience with views like this:

Today, our final lazy day of being a Lake District tourist! We set off this morning for a boat trip on Ullswater from Glen Ridding to Pooley Bridge and return about the Good ship 'Lady of the Lake'. Beautiful views although Simba wasn't over impressed at being on a boat on holiday!

It did give us a chance to admire some real 'seamans skills'....
(Actually he missed it on this attempt but I made him feel better by telling him I hadn't taken a picture- I hope he never finds this blog!)
The evening saw us back over Hardknotts Pass and an evening barbecue alongside a little beck before returning home to begin contemplating 'Life after the Lakes'

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What a scramble!

Just returned from a scramble and trek up Harter Fell! The walk itself was only about 8 miles but the ascent up a path that didn't exist followed by a scramble on hands and knees up rock scree to the summit where we had lunch made it an exciting challenge! It even tired Simba out!
The descent was even trickier! The 'path' down took the route of a dry waterfall bestrewn with fallen logs from deforrestation and covered with a loose layer of scree interspersed with the occasional large boulder to negotiate- not to mention the peat bogs that sprung up on you unawares!
A nice refreshing paddle in the stream soothed the tired legs at the end of the walk before the drive back to the caravan.
Talking of driving, there are some weird road systems invthe Lakes: like this one:-
The road actually bends sharp to the left before the house but we did wonder if someone had to open the door and let us through! And then there was this interesting configuration of signage found in Ambleside centre.
The signs clearly mark it as a no through roud but the road markings suggest otherwise!? Needless to say, we turned round and went the other way.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Climbing in the clouds

Pouring rain most of the night and much of early this morning so a lazy start with a fried breakfast before deciding what to do. We eventually decided to head out and risk one of the lower walks planned, over Place Fell and along the side of the hill overlooking Ullswater. The descent was somewhat cloudy and dank with a nice little scramble up the final part. Getting down was a different matter but the trusty GPS found a safe path and no mountain rescue was needed on this occasion! The walk back was beautiful as the clouds lifted enough for us to see over Ullswater and enjoy stunning views.

A simple text from Steve as I arrived home this evening stated that 'K2 has landed'! He is happily installed at Brinklow and I have asked if he can check my boat at some point in the next few days to see how it's getting on!
Here's a picture to show boating - Ullswater style!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summary to date...

No post last night thanks to an extremely dodgy GPRS signal from Orange. The upside is that Steve is also having trouble getting an internet signal so I guess we're evens in the Edwards Blog Wars, (although if I'm honest, I think I'm a little bit ahead!)
I was meant to post 3 pictures, one of my father up the mountain, one of me up the mountain and one of Simba up the mountain but Simba's picture stubbornly refuses to upload no matter how many times I try. The mountain conquered is Bow fell and Hell Ghyll; the 6th highest peak in the Lakes. We managed it yesterday despite a howling gale that threatened to blow us right off the very summit.
Today was a lazy day as the weather was forecast to be pretty bad. As it turned out, it wasn't too bad but we did manage to get some shopping in Ambleside amidst the crowds and then drive over Hardknott pass this evening; quite an experience I can tell you! Home for a spag. bol. and salad before attempting this post!
More whenever we next get a signal......

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 2 - last day of sun!

According to the weather forecast, today is the last day of clear sunshine this week! Well it would be, not only as I'm on holiday but I need some fine weather to get my boat work all done at the yard.

Another full fried breakfast this morning to start the day right before setting off to Dungeon Ghill and to the summit of the Pike of Bliscoe. A cracking days walking. Lovely sun with a refreshing breeze and a great 8 mile walk which had everything: stunning views, not too many people, a little scramble to the top, bubbling becks and the finale of a beautiful tarn surrounded by woodland. Here we are setting off - note the people scrambling up the hill at the start of the trail.
Hopefully this evening we plan to set off into the fells to get some pictures of the sun setting over the dales before returning to our campsite, (if the awening hasn't blown away as theres a stiff breeze blowing up!)
In fact at the to of Bliscoe, the wind was so strong it was hard to stay upright as I reached up to touch the cairn on the summit. Simba had to stay on his lead as he almost got blown off the crag.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Staying ahead!

Nothing much to report but I've just spoken to my brother on the phone who is moving his boat slowly towards Brinklow. He told me he was going to update his blog tonight just to stay ahead of me. Well, we can't have that can we! I may be in the middle of the Lake District, in the middle of nowhere but technology can't beat me so I thought I'd add a quick entry, (the sibling rivalry has already started!).

Travelled up last night on a relatively clear road surprisingly enough. After managing to bust the lock on the caravan door and then break a vital pole on the awening, my tent was finally put up in the awening in the dark and very late. We're staying here - Skelwith Fold Caravan Park; well if it's good enough for Bill Oddie, it's good enough for us!

Today we went into Kendal to get some shopping; a battery charger for the caravan and some bits 'n' bobs beforeheading to Eterwater for a little 7 mile 'easing in' stroll. Unfortunately, not only was the route not exactly the most startling but it was also very well made up and so resulted in millions of others joining us at various stages for different sections of the walk. We're now going to start looking through the various sources we have for a good open and wild walk preferably up a pike somewhere!
I'll leave you with a picture from todays walk.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Last post for a while!

well, a week actually! Tomorrow, my father takes Khayamanzi down to Rose narrowboats in time for me to pick him up after school. She will then lay there for the week to get the work completed - watch this space on the report of that in a weeks time. I then leave my car, pack the caravan and head off to the Lake District for the week. Things will get a little quiet around here but sometime around next Friday, Saturday or Sunday I will have lots to report. Completed work on Khayamanzi, the walking holiday in the Lakes and the latest sibling rivalry as my brother will have been installed here at Brinklow for the dizzy time of about 3 days! (oops - I've started the sarcasm and rivalry already!)

Until we meet again, (do know where, don't know when!) bye bye and enjoy the wind and rain; it will be - I'm going on holiday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Let's play a game

OK, let's play a little game. I got an email through today which included this. The game is simple - guess what building this is...

A multi national corporate head office perhaps? Shall we look inside?

Clearly a plush, executive office suite.

Ah, a modern state of the art leisure amenity for the local community of hard working residents.

Yes, definately - that's it. Very expensive andexclusive members only club I should think.
Oh! some sort of private medical center perhaps?

ALL WRONG! It is in fact....

......a modern and brand new prison in the UK!!
I sent this to someone who replied with an email back to me saying, "I'm in the wrong job - what are you doing this Saturday? Fancy having a go at that bank job?"! It certainly makes you wonder why you spend all those hours working so hard. Especially when you read the following...

Prison vs Work Just in case you ever get these two environments mixed up, keep scrolling scroll down. This should make things a little bit clearer.

You spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell @ PRISON
You spend the majority of your time In an 6X6 cubicle /office @ WORK

You get three meals a day fully paid for @ PRISON
You get a break for one meal and You have to pay for it @ WORK

You get time off for good behavior @ PRISON
You get more work for Good behavior @ WORK

The guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you @ PRISON
You must often carry a security card and open all the doors for yourself @ WORK

You can watch TV and play games @ PRISON
You could get fired for watching TV and playing games @ WORK

You get your own toilet @ PRISON
You have to share the toilet with Some people who pee on the seat @ WORK

They allow your family and friends to visit @ PRISON
You aren't even supposed to speak to your family @ WORK

All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required @ PRISON
You get to pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners @ WORK

You spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out @ PRISON
You spend most of your time wanting To get out and go inside bars @ WORK

Now to more serious and boaty matters.
What a shock to learn this evening that Sea Otter has gone into voluntary liquidation. People simply aren't buying boats at the moment, (except my brother of course!) With the credit squeeze at the moment as well it seems as if all the really big names are struggling. Are we finally seeing the boat building bubble burst? Apparently Liverpool Boats are now only employing about 5 people havign once been the largest boat building employer. Sea Otter will, of course be very sadly missed as an excellent and innovative builder - I guess the prices of Alluminium was just getting too high to compete with modern Polish built mass produced steel.

I wonder who's next??

One final note. Dogsontour has an interesting analysis of the different blogs of interest to them. Amongst the list is the following commentary:

And then there’s the incipient sibling rivalry courtesy of the Edwards brothers
- Khayamanzi Andy and K2 Steve. Andy is a long-standing
liveaboard and blogger who has this boating lark pretty much sussed; Steve is a
blogger and not quite yet a liveaboard, although that will change very shortly
when he takes possession of a very tasty Mel Davis tug. They’ll be near
neighbours in Brinklow Marina and I’m looking forward to the brotherly blogging

What can I say? According to 'define:incipient' on Google, this word could either mean 'imperfectly formed' or 'coming into existence'! I trust the intended meaning is the latter rather than the former! I'm happy to think that me and my brother's boating relationship is 'coming into existence' rather than 'imperfectly formed'.

In the meantime.... let the war commence.....!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reports, reports, reports

That sums up the day!
Had a lazy start before heading out to get some more crickets for the lizards to keep them happy while I'm away in a weeks time. Spent much of the rest of the day getting on with some more school reports. I did treat myself to upgrading my car radio cassette player that was installed to a Kenwood CD player on offer at Halfords. The bloke even fitted it for me, (at an extra cost of course!)

The great thing about this is that it has an 'auxiliary in' socket so I can now play all my MP3's from my pocket PC through it and even the sat. nav. directions come out through the car speakers.

Another brief encounter was a quick catchup with Derek Mills of NB Clarence fame. He popped in to get a key as he has very kindly offered to take the boat from here up to Rose for me later in the week to get its survey. Tomorrow, I plan to clear out the daffs. from my tubs ready for my traditional summer roof top display and then onto more reports. A hectic week ahead looms as I begin to pack for my keenly anticipated walking holiday in the Lakes as well as organising the delivery of Khayamanzi for its work and school stuff which this week includes an evening reading pic nic on Thursday!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Help - I'm running out of time......

OK, so got home this evening and there were another 2 new boats to 'install'. The grass needs mowing again at the weekend, I notice a whole load of weeds growing up that I want to get rid of, ABNB want me to take a boat up to Rose Narrowboats for a survey, my father is hassling me for the final proof of a book I'm reading though/editing for him which needs to be off to the printers this weekend, I have 120+ school reports to finish writing, (I've only just started them,) and I need to start thinking of getting prepared for my walking holiday in the Lakes in about a weeks time, oh, and somewhere between that lot I need to go to work, oh yes and I've just agreed to give up Saturday 7th June to run the public address system for our local feeder infant school and have to attend an evening reading pic-nic that we have organised at our school next week. My own boat is abandoned and getting very messy and run down and requires a lot of TLC. I'm tempted to get on with some reports now but it's 10 to 9 and I've only just sat down and really want a few minbutes to myself before going to bed.

Excuse me - please allow me to take myself off to another place for a short while......
.....OK that's better, thank you.
Now back to reallity and the final Sats test tomorrow. Got to finish the book this weekend and sort the boat out, cut my hair, start to pack for my walking holiday, (or at least write lists,) Any volunteers in the area to take a boat up for a survey??

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A little on the thin side!

It always makes me smile when I see or hear people using technical jargon and getting it completely wrong! Now I might be making myself look stupid here, (and please correct me if I'm wrong,) but I think the technical term for the lavatory this advert is explaining is 'macerated' and not emaciated!! The Google definition of 'emaciated' is along the lines of thin, starved and bony - hardly the description of a toilet me thinks unless it's intentional and he means to say that he has never put anything down it and so it has been starved! I'm not even going to speculate on the 'sound insulation in ceiling' comment - why the heck would you want that!? I assume that 'boarded out in oak and ballasted' means that the walls are lined with concrete slabs and pig iron contrasting nicely with the oak? What an hilarious advert!

Today, the weather has been even warmer! Simba refused to eat his dinner tonight as it was too hot and although I have a leg of lamb in the oven, I know how he feels! I managed to go for a canoe this afternoon which was good and nice and refreshing, especially as on my return, I decided to get in the water and rake up some horrible green slime that appeared in front of my boat!

A busy week ahead with Sats and a presentation to the Governors on Tuesday evening.

I'll leave you with the latest promotional video from BW to enjoy when feeling stressed!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The stuff of dreams!

Another scorching weekend so far! At one point my outside thermometer on the truck read 32 degrees! Even now, the outside temperature is still 17 degrees according to my bedroom sensors. It was sunny and hot all day and is still very warm. I'm sitting here typing this with every window and hatch open and the cratch rolled up fully.
Did some chores this morning but spent much of the day mowing the grass again, (it's growing quickly at this time of year,) and various other bits 'n' bobs which included getting a pump out. Tomorrow, I plan a more relaxing day and hopefully a canoe. I do need to defrost the fridge as it seems to be struggling in this heat!
One new addition today was the purchase of a Bluetooth speaker for my back cabin.
As the ultimate gadget boy, this was a vital acquisition to my on board collection of gadgets and lives on a shelf in my back cabin so that I can now play all my songs, (which I have painstakingly converted to MP3's,) wirelessly from my handheld PC whilst dozing off to sleep!
Next week, my poor kids have their Sats tests. Half of me wants them to be revising this weekend and the other half of me says stuff the revision and be a kid - get out and enjoy the sun!
BTW, my Moo stickers arrived last week and generally I'm pleased with them although some are too small to reasonably read the text I added which is a shame - good but not the greatest success. I think I'll stick to the cards!
I also got the letter confirming my new number plate purchase and requesting all the documents to be sent within 4 weeks in order to complete the transfer - I just hope I get them all through soon as I haven't even got all the paperwork for the car in my name and in my possession yet!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Weather and moving aboard.

I'm sure every liveaboard can remember those scary moments when first moving your entire life onto a narrow floating tube and leaving the 'norm.' behind. For those of you who can't, follow the process of Steve beginning to move onto NB K2; the process of slimming down your entire life and squeezing things into every nook and cranny on the boat.

On the subject of weather - wow! What an absolute scorcher today. Very high temperatures, (24 degrees plus - high for the UK anyway,) cloudless blue skies and a glorious bright sun, I even removed my tie for the afternoon, (I was in the computer suite all afternoon with 30 PC's fans working plus 35 youngsters,) and must have been feeling in a summery mood as I allowed the boys to have their shirts untucked - something I am not renown for allowing normally! The forecast is set for more of the same for the rest of the week and possibly on into the weekend; stunning!

The other day, I ordered my private number plate for the Shogun! I'm obviously not about to divulge it on here but friends may email me privately to know it if you wish. Unfortunately my father has just gone to Ireland for a week so any paperwork that may come through won't now get to me for another week or so. My 'Moo stickers' haven't yet arrived which is a shame. The cards arrived so quickly but perhaps the stickers take a little longer to produce, I'll re-visit the website and check.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Moo mention!

OK, not the greatest scan as I can't easily get to the bed of my scanner, (it's too crowded with clutter) but here you go Andrew Denny - an example of some of the images I use on my Moo Cards in response to your post! I do use others, but these came out the best!

In fact, I've gone one step further and ordered some stickers - not for the boat this time but I've made some stickers to aid marking work in school with the most common comments on them to save me writing them over and over. I used Powerpoint to create the messages and then saved them as JPEGimages before uploading them to Moo and ordering a book of 90 stickers. I'll let you know how they come out.
Now it seems as if summer has arrived, or at least, it did for today anyway. A beautiful day with glorious sunshine and extremely warm. A morning of marina jobs and boat jobs and an afternoon of canoeing - I'll suffer for it tomorrow mind! Apparently the forecast is for the same all week - let's wait and see. It was just the day for boating or walking up a mountain and I was stuck here doing neither. The weather was a great excuse to do no school reports whatsoever though so they'll have to wait another day!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Clarence and weekend.

I start this evening with the latest on NB Clarence - she does, at last, have a wet bottom!
Here she is arriving at the launch site....

....and turning in.....

....lifted up in the air....

..... and a tight fit!
More to follow shortly.
A beautiful day today- sunny skies and warm temperatures and a forecast next week of it getting even warmer. Not so great tomorrow or Monday though which is why today was spent cutting the grass and doing bits 'n' bobs. My father popped in to visit as did my brother which was nice although I didn't have too much time to see them!
Tomorrow, more jobs!

Thursday, May 01, 2008


I read on Andrew Denny's blog Granny Buttons of his use of 'Moo cards'!

I was sold! I often use home made business card style cards when my blog comes up in conversation as well as when wanting to give my contact details to others as well as using them as a 'calling card' when passing boats belonging to fellow bloggers.

I am now the proud owner of a pack of 100 Moo cards! So simple and very effective. Just upload your images online, crop to the required size, add lines of text and a graphic and pay. Under one week later they arrive; glorious full colour images of NB Khayamanzi on one side, (borderless for greater graphic effect,) and my name and contact details on the other. Look out for my Moo cards left on a boat near you and let the cry go up, "You've been mooed"!!

Spent much of the day writing reports with a couple of hours in school this afternoon to plan a 'mystery day' that I want to hold with my English group next week! A lovely day weatherwise although it has clouded over this evening - I can't believe it's the 1st of May today! Of course, typically, just as I put the dinner on this evening a constant stream of visitors arrived with various requests ranging from wanting to borrow some diesel, finding a new moorings, introducing a friend and wanting a phone number of a good marine electrician - the result: a very warm salad meal accompanied by 2 very chargrilled looking Salmon steaks!!
School tomorrow and then 3 days off in which to juggle boat chores, marina tasks, another 200+ hours of school reports to be written and possibly a little 'me time' if I'm very lucky! I want a lesson in how to say 'no' without offending people!