Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A friendly face at the window...

A couple of days back I was tidying a few bits away in the office when an inquisitive face peered in. It was 'walkie mans' red headed collie!

Walkie man's boat

Quite a surprise as he had headed off in the opposite direction to us about three months ago. He had been up to Shropshire, down to Gloucester and loads of places in between.  He is on his way to Birmingham and then south on the grand union to the southern Oxford canal. We left him for a day or so to head back to Fazeley ready for Pip and John's day trip.

They made pretty good time arriving at about 10.30 from their 120 mile drive. Deb made some fresh oat cookies (recipe to follow) that went down well with a pot of tea. The weather was warm when the sun was out but cooler when the breeze picked up. We had planned a fairly early lunch of risotto and a fresh seedy loaf of bread that Deb had proving in the airing cupboard. As the weather was pleasant she decided to make use of the Cobb BBQ/oven and we sat and cooked outside. The early afternoon flurry of passing boaters nearly saw me accepting offers to sell hot portions of creamy risotto and pop round to the chippie for our lunch!

Shortly after a rare occurrence transpired. A boat passed that I recognised the name of! Said boat was Fair Fa'. Don't know what I remembered it for though. Deb did. It was Sandhill no 3!

Let me explain, of course for any non boaters. When you buy a new narrowboat you usually approach the company to fit and finish and they collaborate with the company who manufactures the hull. So it could be and ABC boat built with an XYZ hull. Lois Jane is a Sandhills boat using an Alexander hull. LJ is sandhills no 1 of about 28ish, I'll add some more details to the blog at some point about all that makes up LJ

Fair Fa' is in fantastic condition having had its faded original red paintwork covered in a very well done blue scheme a year or so ago. Pat was chilled out with a brew but Sheila had just done another load of washing for her three visiting grandchildren. To top it off Pat and Sheila also have a young husky size dog and a matching three month old puppy! Rather them than me :-)

We were up and off from Fazeley early today. Shopping done before 8.00 and first boat off the moorings just after. As our patch of a couple of days ago was free we decided to stop here again following a pleasant her or so chug through the countryside. We will be here for a couple of days as it has a nice wide towpath so I can get the log saw out later and do a bit more DIY, half of the skirting boards removed, and re-varnished.

Sanding down the old varnish

Ready for coat two
Walkie man came out to say hi, not impressed with our early start he had walked to the same shop as us and back to his boat before we were even up, completing his six mile round trip by 7.00!! He doesn't even consider that a walk, merely a pop to the shops! He is going out for a WALK! this afternoon :-)

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