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, 24 March 2008

Nee Nah Nee Nah

Easter Bank Holiday Monday and we are all tucked up inside and snug warming ourselves against the icy blasts as the temperature outside plummets to below zero.

Then we get a call from a friend who are enjoying a canal holiday with friends on an Ashby Boats 10 berth 68 footer. There's been an accident and one of the crew has a suspected broken finger. They had come down the Ashby and the Oxford canals as far as Fenny Compton Wharf. Could we help?

As soon as we finished lunch we dropped everything and got in the car and headed through blinding snow showers for the Wharf Inn where we rendezvoused with the casualty. We swapped our two boys for the casualty, her mother and her sister and headed for the Horton Accident and Emergency in Banbury.

Two hours later, triaged, examined, x-rayed and strapped up we returned to find that the nb Bosworth had made good progress through Claydon flight and was emerging from the bottom lock.

The cruising plan had been amended however. No longer was the target to get to Banbury or even to Cropredy. The crew of intrepid arctic navigators were now willing to allow the captain to turn the craft at the next winding hole and return by the way they had come.

After a perfect turn we ascended two locks together and then left them to enjoy the rest of the holiday on the return to the Ashby Canal.

In spite of the most unseasonal weather the whole crew seemed in excellent spirits. We hope to hear all the news of their exploits over lunch on Friday.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Anuone seen ny galsses?"

Yes, that is what happens when one hasn't got their spectacles. I met a boating m8 at the GF club for a beer on Friday and managed to lose my glasses somewhere between the bar and the table. What is most annoying is that I had already managed to lose another pair on Thursday and these were the "spares" with one of the nose rest bits missing from when I dropped them on the floor and trod on them while looking for them!

The most amazing thing is how much you miss them Blogging is so hard without them U wukk be in the opticians tomorrow morning getting anoither eqo pairs.

Friday, 14 March 2008

We meet again

Here are Jo and Keith with their beautiful replica of a GUCC Northwich Class working narrowboat, nb Hadar. Jo left me a message to say they were in town and I walked down to the 14 day moorings to meet up with them again.I love to chat to canal folk. Funny, the conversation came around to engines again! This time their wonderfully restored National DA-2 Deisel which sits proudly in the engine room. Not just any old National 3 cylinder engine like we saw recently restored in Canal Boat (Dec 2007) but this one is one of just TWO! Must make getting spares a little difficult!

The boat is a real worker too, proudly displaying a commercial license and having a cargo of coal on board for any prospective purchasers. Jo made it clear that They were not trying to intrude on "Dusty' who is the boating coal merchant on this stretch of the Oxford Canal. They had spoken with him very recently about the nightmare of diesel excise duty changes! They want to stay on good terms. But....if anyone is hard up for a bag or two the stock is there!

Jo reminded me that it was 2005 when we last met in town and they were then in the process of having Hadar built. It was good to see the dream come true and I wish them well on their travels around the system.

You can keep up with them on their Hadar's blog. Can SONFLOWER'S LOG be promoted to "Boaters we've met" now Jo?

Monday, 10 March 2008

Catching up

This morning I was in need of getting out and the First Mate had noticed nb Griffin moored in town. I gave the skipper a call and caught him practicing the organ in St Mary's Parish Church. He told me his wife was on board because she was sitting a chicken-poxy grandchild. I decided to get some excercise and walk down to the boat to have a chat.

They are amazingly talented people who demonstrate that retirement is not a time for sitting still. Acting as locum organist, singing in cathedral choirs, grandchild sitting, sick visiting and keeping up with the shopping from a continuously cruising narrowboat by public transport is an amazing feat.We came away from having coffee and a chat with a sense of wonderment.

Having spent a couple of weeks in Banbury because of its wonderful transport links to Birmingham, Reading, London and playing the organ in a local church in Sundays they are now moving onward toward Loughborough as a hospital boat!

They plan to spend a bit of the summer on the same canals as we plan to visit. They will be pointing the other way when we travel north so we may bump into them then for another catch up session.

Booked In

Richard has finally responded after a reminder on the phone. SONFLOWER is now booked in for 10 days hammering and sawing at Kate Boats in Stockton. Hopefully the work to the saloon will make the boat more comfortable for the new role that she has as a holiday boat. We hope to provide seating around the stove for the family and visitors. All we have to do is get the boat to Stockton Marina on time.

That should not be too demanding. Stockton is only a day and a half away for a good ownership timeshare crew doing 4mph and cruising all daylight hours. It will probably take us most of a week, cruising for an hour or two before breakfast and lazing around most of the time with a fishing rod in my hand. Nice bream at Braunston, carp at Cropredy and Fenny Compton (NO FISHING in the marina or between bridges 136 and 137A to protect the hundreds of HUMUNGOUS carp that dwell in the marina and feed out of your hand) plenty of good roach almost everywhere. There are also a lot of jobs that need doing apart from the BIG project.

Before then we will need to clear some of the accumulated clutter out of SONFLOWER. It is really amazing how one collects novels that you know you wont read again, magazines with one article that you might read again and newspaper to light 100 fires instead of just the one. That is without the cupboard full of half used batteries, secondhand brass screws, handles, rope ends, a horn that stopped working three years ago but I might get round to repairing sometime and another one that is new but never worked properly anyway......

Also there is that cupboard under the sink with two 'spare' water pumps that need overhauling, or the front locker withere the never used anchor is stowed and on top of it are all the pots of paint with a remnant remaining that might be useful sometime for touching in.

Probably enough to keep us at a refuse disposal station for a couple of hours! Better look one up on Nick's Canal planner.