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.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Waving the flag

What a day yesterday. There was only one event in my diary and that was to see the Queen during her visit to Banbury.Here is a picture of my flag, courtesy of the Town Mayor,

. . . . and here is the Queen's Standard flying above the Town Hall.

I also have a picture of The Queen during her walkabout but I am not too sure of the etiquette and whether I should show you that one.

The visit got a bit of negative press because a fool used the occasion to try to spoil it.

Most people, however, were pleased that Her Majesty (sorry for the previous faux-pas, see comment below) and HRH Prince Philip made time in a very busy day to meet and greet the people of the town. The Prince had been to Prodrive, the maker of very expensive big boys toys, in the morning while The Queen opened a new Cheshire home and after a reception by The Town Mayor and celebrating a 400 year old charter they left for Oxford's JR hospital and lunch at Magdelene College. Quite a good day;s work for an octogenarian couple.

We enjoyed her visit and it cheered us up on an otherwise featureless grey day.

Thank you M'am.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

"Pay now or pay more"

"Pay now or pay more
As part of BW’s licence evasion crackdown, a date has been set for the introduction of the Late Payment Charge, which was announced earlier in 2008. People whose 12 month boat licence is more than one month out-of-date from 1 April 2009 will have to pay an extra £150 for their renewal."

This is a quote from the British Waterways Boaters Update newletter. That seems good value to me. If I don't pay my licence for six months, say, I could save £350. I get charged £150 and save £200.

Have I missed something? The Best Mate says I will need to pay the license fee back dated to teh renewal date as well. I do hope that is true, because I want to see the license dodgers charged with the fees from the last renewal date for their craft, whether they have "just bought it" or not! They should insist it is licensed at the time of purchase.

Water, water everywhere. . .

Last week we had more heavy rain and in the middle of it the Best Mate suggested that we needed to check the bilge in the boat. I went to get some stuff from it on Friday. Just stepping onto the boat felt funny. A glance at the bow revealed a lowered waterline with weed exposed to the air. Further investigation found that the shower tray was almost full of water. I pumped it out and then tried the taps to see if they were leaking. No water. A quick feel under the back steps and my fears were confirmed. The contents of the water tank, about 1,700 litres, had emptied into the bilges. The bilge pump had removed some of it but a large amount of flaky rust had blocked the pump entry and there was still several inches left.

Two hours work with a Wickes wet/dry vacuum was needed to remove the water. I then went for a two hour cruise to the water point and back to refill the tank. Crew of the nb Nightingale, from Napton, opened the lift bridge for me and the Best Mate met me at the Water Point to crew down the lock, to Tramway and back for lunch in General Foods Club on the way back to the mooring. 2miles, 2 locks and 2 lift bridges and 1,700 litres of fresh water.

I switched the water pump off before I locked up the boat.