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.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Mooring Fees (Stealth) Increases: The Decision

I have received the Decision Letter from Canal and River trust.

I have not been successful in getting the "Reserve" lowered. The main bit of the decision by Richard Mercer, Head of Utilities is this:

The final point is the use of the Reserve Price at mooring auctions. I have found that the Reserve Price has increased over the last three years and currently stands at 90% of the target price. This percentage is applied nationally and not just at Spice Ball Park Mooring. The Trust uses its discretion as to the level of the Reserve Price and this is entirely appropriate as the Reserve should be set at a level which makes the auction economically viable. At Spice Ball Park Moorings there have been 23 auctions in the last three years. Ten of these auctions have resulted in the mooring being let at the reserve price, on three occasions the mooring price achieved has been above reserve and in 10 cases there were no bids. I think this is a reflection of the general economic situation and clearly auctions function best when there is a strong demand. A review of the auction system is to be undertaken and your complaint has crystallised the need for this review.

I have discussed your complaint with the National Moorings Manager, Jenny Whitehall. The concerns you have raised are real and legitimate. The Trust will take your points on board as part of the proposed review. Your input has been very useful.

So Canal and River trust now know that there is a national problem. I complained specifically about Spice Ball Park Moorings.

Where do we go from here?

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snowy Pictures

Because everybody loves snow

Friday, 11 January 2013

(Stealth) Mooring Fee Increases

I seem to have another person who thinks that the Canal and River Trust are way off beam on "Reserve Price" setting.

Peter Underwood of Norbury News waxes lyrical on the subject here.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Meals Out

We went out for a couple of meals this week.

I am amazed by some of the reviews I read about Restaurants and pubs. The Review sites often ask for the upload of a photograph. On Tuesday my meal was so good that I thought after I had eaten it that I should have taken a photo and shared it with you.
However all I can tell you is that the pie dish and plate are completely empty. It was that good.

When the pudding came I already had my phone in my hand so here is a handy shot of the cheesecake. I can tell you that the plate was emptied in this case as well!

Today, after working on the boat for the morning, I was in need of a pint of ale and The Best Mate was in need of a log fire. We went to The Plough in Warmington which provided both. The game pie, with mash (ordered as a special) was lovely and The Best Mate said that her pâté and baguette really hit the spot. A lovely place to chat and the muzack was quiet enough for one to have a real conversation but loud enough to listen to Queen playing "Don't Stop me Now". We have already decided that we will go back again.


We started to winterize the boat this morning. The weather forecast is beginning to come true and it looks like we will have snow this weekend followed by cold weather for a week or two.

We will not be on the boat. So I need to take some precautions.

I have: 1) checked the engine antifreeze
2) Morco water heater: drained element and the hot water system to tap level leaving the taps open. The heater element is wrapped in a towel to keep it cosy.
3) Domestic Water Pump: switched off the and opened the cold water taps
4) drained the shower head and opened the mixer valve
5) stripped the bedding and put it safe in lockers. Pillows in plastic bags.
6) removed the chimney and put a lid on the flue pipe.
7) cleaned out the fire and blacked the stove.

Have I forgotten anything?

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Towpath Talk

Not a very exciting day today. But we caught up with some of the news.

We went for a walk. Life on the towpath is recovering from the festive season and there were quite a few of the moorers out and about today. NBWilly Nilly went by with guest crew on a water run while the weather is fine. The crew of NB Athco were relaxing on a bench in the park and the skipper of NB Nene Pilot was walking his dog and surfing the net at the same time. It was good to chat with folks, not just to wish them a "Happy New Year" but to keep up with the towpath telegraph. Not the published free paper but the genuine news of real boaters with real lives and a love for the waterways.

It was good to be out in the fresh air on a dry day. The Best Mate could tell it had been raining a lot recently: there was only half a carrier bag full of litter to pick up in the park!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Weather forecast

Weather Forecasts fascinate me.

Living in the middle of the country we often find that the country is divided into different types of weather and that the dividing line goes right through where we are.

Here we see a weather front depicted right overhead.

Yesterday I caught the weather man chalking the line in the sky.