Stand by for another blog time. . The last time we left you we were in the company of the other boat Infinity with the lovely couple Susan and Martin at Southall, opposite the local park. They went off earlier than us, stopping to say bye bye, ..Susan looking a lot better than expected after bashing the white wine the night before .. we were a bit slower getting going, we are in no rush.
|The newer Infinity with Susan and Martin|
A few miles chugging up the Grand Union we needed to replenish our supplies and there was a large Tesco store backing right on to the canal. Who was moored there as well. .
yep Infinity two !!
The bottom end of the union we haven't travelled before as last time we were here, we turned off along the Paddington Arm to go into the centre of London.
Its a bit disappointing to say the least. A lot of big vessels which are in a very bad state, people living on board, very scruffy and unloved. These boats don’t / can’t move, I wonder how they get water and more important …..what happens to the rubbish and human waste. I dread to think.
After the turn for Paddington, it was good to travel waterways we have been on before.
Brought back memories of a few years back. That was when we bumped into Lord David Trimble and his lovely wife Daphne, he if you remember, was the First Minister of Northern Ireland. We ended up sharing locks and having conversations, a lovely couple, really down to earth. A great few days.
Passing by Uxbridge, we couldn’t get any moorings due to the people living aboard and not moving, but eventually managed to get into the bank, despite a huge silt bar which stopped us getting close to the bank. Shaun my nephew lives in West Drayton so we Facebooked him and over the weekend he popped over to see us, walking the tow path. The pub we planned to have a bite to eat in was very busy ...quoted two hours wait for a beefburger !! .Noooo. Toooo long so we went to a beefeater restaurant across the road.
Lovely meal, lovely waitress, quality time, with a much loved guy.
Although we have travelled this canal a few times its funny how it never gets boring.
Sadly its not as well cared for as we remember it. Again leaky locks and poor maintenance.
I first discovered the canal many years ago when I worked in the area selling cavity wall insulation. Earning megga money, nearly three time the national average. Worked my way up in the company to area sales manager, never thought those days would end. I had a mad idea I’d love to learn to fly,.
I started to do the training for my PPL flying out of Leavesdon aerodrome. After take off we would have the skies to ourself. Alter the radio to Luton air traffic control they would give advise of any aircraft in the area, and an hour of fun. Just keep an eye on what was around, both in flight and on the ground, Berkhamstead, Hemel Hempstead...etc... after a half hours flying, Joy, my instructor would inform me it was time to turn around and head back.
This, when I realised I hadn’t a clue where we were, !! No sat nav in those days.
What did I do ??….followed the canal which we now are cruising. Cow Roast was one place that always stuck in my mind. We came through here last week. Sadly the local public house has closed since last time. Mind you it was rough last time. Happy days, but it didn't last, ran out of money and no private pilots licence.
We have done a lot of hours with the engine since we left Yelvertoft, the manufacturers recommend a full service at every 250 hours we are or were on 270, the oil pressure was dropping to nearly zero on tick over, it was ok when revving. So we decided to get a mobile mechanic to come to the boat do an oil change and fuel filters when we were at a place called Winkwell. Only a 48 hour time limit but, a quick phone call to the canal and river trust and the time was extended to 4 days . .
Mechanic turned up late.. had a bad attitude from the start. Wanted to put off doing the job until a later date..I said no way .. we had arranged a time, date and place and expected it to be done. Today !! Turns out he hadn’t brought any filters with him although we had supplied his office with all the information (including photos of the engine) regarding the engine fitted in our boat.
Also hadn't got the right oil for the engine .. he wanted to refill it with a multi grade oil 10w40 oil.. ours takes a straight SAE 30 oil. We were not impressed.
Off he went to get the filters. Gone for a couple of hours, returned and did the job.
When it came to bleeding the diesel though after changing the fuel filter, he couldn't do it.
Nearly flattened the new starter battery. In a desperate last ditch attempt he sprayed brake pad cleaner into the air intake to help combustion, you have never heard an engine bang, rattle, knock, in your life !!! After he’d finished he informed us he hadn’t fitted a new air filter, that would be posted on to our home marina, and we will have to fit it ourselves
I just sat in the boat and left Jenny to deal with him, in case I said to much. I sometimes do you know.
A few days later we had a lad phone from the RCR contracts office asking what we thought of the service. Both the engine service and the companies service.
Too quote the late magicians words Paul Daniels. . Not A lot !! we were honest, but polite, however we won’t be using them again.
One of the favourite games we have is narrow boat leap frog. We are all going the same direction. Some start early and do longer days, we start about 9.30 and have 3 or 4 hours a day so we sometimes pass, then get passed. Meeting, waving then continuing on our way.
We are moored this week end at Fenny Stratford. There is a canal festival going on.
We took the dogs down to have a nosy and see what it was all about. We went past a boat who was moored behind us when we over stayed in Winkwell. They had made a comment on Narrow boat users after they left, I made a comment that we had been neighbours the weekend before. Received a lovely reply.
As we came into the village looking for moorings we passed all the traders boats, they were lined up getting ready for the event the next day. When we walked down the tow path we saw the guys trading.. I said hello I’m the guy who said hello on Facebook. What a lovely couple.
Stopped and had a talk for a few mounts. Received a lovely hug from the girl, a warm double handshake from her fella. They are on their way to another festival at Blisworth and staying for a while as he needs to visit Northampton General Hospital, there’s a good bus service into the town.
|Fenny Stratford boat festival|
|The brass boat and crew|
|Fenny Stratford pub|
She has made a brilliant job and the boat looks like new.
Mind you Jenny is just about knackered . Stiff as a board . painters neck, so she (hopefully) will rest today.
We will be stopping off at Cosgrove village. We need a new button on the back of the boat to protect the steering gear and propeller. Also the side fenders have seen better days and we know a guy who makes them by hand. He made us a new fender for the front and fitted it a few years ago, so we have texted ahead, he's made one to measure and we will pick it up as we pass through to Stoke Bruerne where we plan to stay for a few days.
We love this little gem of a village. Great local pub, good museum and a wonderful restaurant the Spice of Bruerne.
We are on target to return to our home mooring for mid August so. . this will probably be the penultimate blog for this year.
Over to Jenny to add the pictures . . . . TTFN