Saturday, 26 July 2014

Narrowboat Central heating

Hi Everyone
Well we have had the pleasure of Maryanne with us this weekend as her and Noreen have gone over to Manchester tonight to see The War Horse at the Lowery (I am left here on my own) As Noreen was working today I decided to take a day shopping with Maryanne round the antique shops and curios shops Maryanne and I just love browsing, rummaging and scrounging. However as Maryanne is expecting in November and today was the hottest this year the trip was cut short due to swollen ankles so a quick pub lunch and back to the boat. Maryanne decided to have a lie down. I took this opportunity to have a last bash at getting the central heating fixed ( well its no use waiting for the winter and then trying to fix it) after bleading all the radiators and the heater unit I gave it one last try EURIKA it works, of course once it has started you have to allow it to run for a while. Eventually when Maryanne came too from her semi coma she was subjected to a boat that was resembling a floating sauna, even with ever aperture open you still could not breathe. This is one visit  that Maryanne will be tell my future grandchild about, “the day that granddad tried to cook me”

Anyone with a busted Webesco central heating system just ask Me ????????????????

Be Good

Big Al

Thursday, 24 July 2014

What a wonderful Day on the Cut

Hi everyone

In my last communique I said we would be back in Fettlers by the Thursday But as with everything with boating we are very fluid  and things rarely go to plan and to that effect we are still here in Scarisbrick.
The weather is so nice, the mooring is good, and the fishing excellent so why rush, my only problem is I am missing my shed I know its pathetic but and man and his shed should never be parted for to long I have even suggested to Noreen that we get a butty build a shed on it and tow it along, Well it sounded like a plan to me?????? Noreen had different ideas and having being married for 45 years  I agreed?????
Whilst we have had plenty of visitors none more special than todays I entertained Margaret and John two old school friends Margaret and I could not decide if we were actually girl friend boy friend but as there was a gang of about eight of us its hard to remember. However to chat over what were very happy times, those halcyon days of the last year of school all your dreams and expectation ahead of you Ohhh only if we knew then what we know now. I often wonder if it would have stopped us doing anything or doing it in a different way I tend to not. For It’s the mistakes we make that build us into who we are today. It was of course great to catch up, swapping snippets on the net is good but there is nothing like a good old face to face chat.
I have a little trouble with the central heating (not that I need it but winter will be here soon, it’s a very simple problem the clock just will not switch on, so having discussed the problem with the experts the census of opinion was to buy a new clock timer , Now the one I have at the moment is a 8 day clock quite a sophisticated one and so it should be at a cost of £180.00 I decided on the cheaper version of £120 yesterday I was about to fit the new clock however on removing the existing £180 one I noticed that amid the electronic wizardry was guess what a bloody £2.50 battery so if anyone wants a clock timer for a marine webesco central heating system I have a spare one.
On this Marina I have a mooring tucked up in the far corner. Now 21.00 hrs the sun has just about lost its heat and turning the sky that lovely mustard colour as it sets over Southport and sinks into the Irish Sea. I have the bow of the boat headed into the breeze so we have a soft breeze blowing the full length of the boat. There is still enough light in the sun to reflect all the colours of the boats in the water its always a spectacular sight the only other place I have noticed it was on Malta with those wonderfully painted fishing boats. Whilst we were there I was talking to one of the fishermen, when I told him I lived on a boat he insisted we took the “eye of Orpheus “ which all their boats carry for luck, ours is still above the cratch door. This evening the water is so calm I feel as if I am an intruder casting my fishing line and making the most gentlest of splashes, Ducks mainly mallards a few moorhens are nestling in the reed bed and bedding down for the night. Even now in this dying light there is a buzzard soaring high probably looking for that first rabbit of the evening to appear ( Hey we all have to live) Although I may have just painted an idyllic picture I still remember the sun sets over Openshaw you saw the odd one through the steel works fog and sometimes when they opened the furnace at night and poured the molten steel into the ingots the glow and the sparks were as good as any sunset beauty is all around us all we have to do is look.
Here are a few pics taken tonight (I missed the sunset)
God Bless

Big Al

Friday, 18 July 2014

Back on the canal

Hi everyone
Well even though I am still under the hospital and awaiting my procedure ( When did we stop calling them operations and start calling them procedures?? With the help of friends We have been on the move on only 10 miles down the canal but hey out is out no matter what the distance. Noreen and I have moved over  to Scarisbrick Marina we came over for the boat festival last weekend which is explained below I  had a stall were I gave a Canal Art Workshop I shared my stall with Robbie who is ex Navy and the best rope man in the business so if you want any fenders or buttons he’s your man. Our stall is normally the one everyone heads for I think because we have a good laugh and nothing is serious, (except the price) but as in live everything is negotiable I was even asked to go to a school and give the kids a chance with the canal art and explain about canal live as it now and its history, I am looking forward to that  
It was not only good to be out and about but meeting old friends was a real boost many of our old marina friends from Fettlers have moved over to Scarisbrick  it was quite a reunion especially as we had two nights of partying. We should be back in Fettlers for thurs but as I may be helping to move a boat on Monday and Going to see Maryanne on Tues Noreen is working Weds we may just decide to stay another week that’s the good thing about boats no matter where you are” Home is where your Boat is”. Plus the fishing is good at Scarisbrick
I have my dates not for my plumbing job it all takes place mid Aug so by the end of Aug I should be fighting fit again God Willing.
I wasn’t going to write anymore Blogs but over the busy weekend so many people said that they had missed it I apologise for that.  
Lots of visitors over the boating weekend Noreen managed to do lunch for 11 on the Sunday even though the café was only 10 yards away. Monday we had Keith Carol and Sue that was a good day and culminated in the Indian Restaurant that was also very nice
So even though we are no out travelling there is still a lot going on, everyone stay in touch God Bless to all
Big Al  

This part of an article I sent in to Soundings a boating mag, just gives an indication of the weekend

From The North

As I read so little about this area, I am writing this to endorse and give support to this beautiful corner of our wonderful waterway system. I refer to the North West from the bottom of the Wigan flight to Liverpool along the wonderful Leeds and Liverpool canal not forgetting the tranquil stretch of the Rufford branch to Tarlton and the Ribble Link. The area boasts the longest canal, the magnificent Barton swing bridge over the Manchester ship canal, the Ribble link connecting to the Lancaster canal, the exciting ports of Manchester and Liverpool. But its main attribute is the boaters and its genuine thriving boating community. 
We have just had the second Scarisbrick Marina Boat Festival a boat festival for boaters by boaters; with boat clubs, boating societies, historic societies and ordinary boaters came together for a fantastic weekend of family fun and frolics  
Friday night was a sing along folk music (well why not?) and a boaters get together, Sat we opened for the public exhibiting all the usual boating stalls from Rag rugs making, Canal Art Workshop, Rope and fender making demonstration all by genuine boaters  from the local area also for a change we had No trade stand.
Sat night was the great barn dance, what we would call “ a reet good Do” with the obligatory potato pie supper, and wonderful fiddle playing.
Sun started with an outdoor ecumenical church service combined with St Andrews Mission, which I believe is the only boaters church still consecrated and in use St Andrews was built in 1905 for the large boating community around Burscough and is still in use today. The day was enhanced by music from a brass band, sea shanties, R&B and folk music
The whole weekend was a celebrated success with all the proceeds going to local charities.
There was 300 boaters renewing old friendships, generating new ones and talking to non boaters and of course potential new boaters.
 As I previously stated the boating community here is as strong now as it was in 1905. So please come up you would be most welcome. You will discover peaceful and tranquil surroundings places of interest steeped in history and of course lets not forget two of the biggest cities in England all combined with good northern hospitality.
This is my very feeble attempt and short account of a fantastic weekend. Of what can be achieved when a community come together.
Alan Hodgkinson
NB. Buggerlugs