A kind of record of a narrow boat and what has to be done to keep her afloat and usable.
We might even be able to tell you where we get to as well.
Hoping you enjoy the intimate detail of boating on the UK canals.
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.
Here is a picture of the Best Mate, leaning on a balance arm on the Caen Hill flight. No, she is not dressed for boating but for the wedding we were attending in Trowbridge in Saturday. The reception was in Devizes so we had to pop in to see the Caen Hill Flight on the way. The stifling heat demanded a drink at the little cafe on the flight.
This flight is a wonder. It was our first visit. I must say that looking down the flight with locks receding into the distance in an uncountable number from the top is an amazing view. We have not taken SONFLOWER onto the Kennet and Avon at all yet. One day we will. One certainty, according to the Best Mate, is that we will not be approaching from the Severn and Avon tidal waters. So our first experience of this flight will be descending. I imagine that it will be a very memorable day.
We had a lovely day at the wedding of Sarah and Chris (who have borrowed Sonflower last year). I love weddings and hope that they are enjoying this blissful state.
Only it was a different match! The defeat against Germany yesterday could have led to many a fan jumping in the canal last night. Disappointment is one thing because England played badly but the decision to disallow a perfectly good goal was unbelievable.
Where is common sense? Everyone in the stadium knew the reality at half time. Why didn't the referee talk to the German captain, admit his mistake and award a goal at the re-start?
Where is sportsmanship? Knowing that the goal had been scored, the Germans could have passed the ball into their own net to equalise the game.
But then football isn't a sport any more. It is a business. And on the basis of the decision made, it is just about winning. And that has little to do with goals scored any more.
After the performance of the England team this evening it was good to walk along the canal and see this scene. Such serenity, even in the heart of a busy town in a Friday night is a treat that would cheer up the most dejected and downcast soul.
Five live, bless them, have just reminded me of Italia 90 when England did not win their first two games and ended up in the semi-final, going out on penalties to Germany. Apparently there is hope for the hopeless.
Rooney was awful tonight. Why make the same substitutions as were made in the last match. Obviously Cappello believes he doesn't need to change the system. Any fan who watched tonight will know that he needs to put the team out and tell them to play like they do week in and week out for their team back home. As in 1966, they need to do it their way. Hurst, Peters and Moore were playing the West Ham way for England. They shined. Terry, Cole, Cole and Lampard do it for Chelsea, Rooney and Carrick do it for Man U, Carragher and Gerrard do it for Liverpool, and there are six Tottenham lads in the squad. Let them do it for England.
. . .and the living is easy! So George and Ira Gershwin's song goes and we took advantage of it for a little cruise down the canal to Nell Bridge and back. Being a Friday there was very little traffic around the town and we passed through without any holdup to enter the countryside and enjoy the irises that are blooming in the reed beds at the bankside.
The birds were enjoying the sunshine and reed bunting, reed warbler, blackcap, goldfinches and a linnet were clearly seen sunning themselves on the margin of the canal and a buzzard wheeled away to a dot against the blue sky.
We were going there and back again just because we can! My crew was new to this pleasure but he very soon came to appreciate how calming a day in the water can be.
We stopped to fry up a luncheon of bacon, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms (all in the same pan, of course) which was enjoyed moored near Twyford Mill. We were so near the madness of the rushing M40 motorway but it didn't affect us at all. What a priviledge to be able to escape the ratrun of daily life to the peace of the canal. I was reminded of a friar at Aylesford Priory (backing on to the M20, beside the River Medway) who told me in a lovely Irish lilt "The voice of the Lord is like many waters so I thinks of the sound as a waterfall!" Closing my eyes I knew what he meant.
We turned at the Nell Bridge winding hole and returned to town for a BBQ.
The boat stayed at Tooley's for a little more engine tlc.