About Me

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The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.

Monday, 28 July 2008

27th and 28th July 2008 Hillmorton to Atherstone

What a lot has happened. We have bought new fenders from a boater at Newbold. Don't they look smart?
We have watched with wonder at the maneuvers of some boaters in the mad heat. We have eaten well aboard and ashore ("The Rose and Castle", Ansty) and been harangued by residents of the same village. How did we upset them? It's a long story.

Piglet left his hat in the aforesaid hostelry do I stopped and held SONFLOWER on the centre rope while he ran back to get it. My engine, a 1962 BMC 1500cc, smokes on tickover so I turned it off while we waited. Whn Piglet returned the engine didn't start! I knew the symptoms. Having been a Morris Minor owner it was characteristic of a starter motor Bendix gear stuck in the starter ring. I jumped off the boat to secure the boat on pins. The clash of hammer on pins brought out the local neighbour hood watch who shouted at us that mooring was forbidden here. There were signs from BW saying that it was strictly forbidden! The Best Mate fired back that we had broken down and I asked the lady to ring BW to get them to send out a mechanic.

I disappeared down the engine hole with the club hammer and administered a few appropriate whacks to the starter. A dog walking neighbour of the watchperson came by to explain that there was no mooring all along this stretch. I could see why. The canal is on an embankment and the upstairs windows of The Grove, Ansty might be peered into by boaters! No that wasn't the case she assured us. It was because of the sandstone!

The engine fired and we were on our way far from the NIMFYs.(Not In My Front Yard)

So today the first stop after another hammer swinging start was at a boatyard for the essential pumpout and to consult a diesel mechanic. The former was successfully completed by Measham Boats at their Boot yard in Nuneaton. The latter was less successful as Oily Andrew couldn't diagnose the fault as the starter motor was now behaving itself. He gave us his card. Told us to call if we were stuck. He would need the starter for two days at least for reconditioning as they are not readily available anymore. Not what I wanted to hear two days into the Summer Cruise!

We carried on toward Atherstone and worked down the first five locks before stopping for shopping. We chose the Co-op rather than Aldi because it was nearer! The pub opposite lock 5 looks inviting. Pooh pointed out that it is open all day every day.

We saw Granny Buttons today. I cannot tell you where for security reasons. Unfortunately, there was no-one aboard. Eeyore would have liked to meet and have a chat with Andrew. Maybe another time.

A thundery shower stopped the expetition to the pub. We feasted on stir fried chicken and noodles, prepared by the Best Mate, instead. Very nice too. After a game of Cocoa Cocoa (Eeyore v Piglet) and Uno (Best Mate v Pooh) it was bed time. The youngsters both won.

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