Saturday, 15 February 2014

Dragons, Dumplings, Daimlers and Danny... pt 2


The weather continued to stay fair, and whilst Deb got a couple of work shifts in I started on a few of my winter outside jobs. Both gunwales now re sanded, primed and painted. Lord help the next person to clatter into the side of me and bare the steelwork again. I expect to at least get through the Smethwick locks in a few weeks time before any scratches are apparent. The one or two rust spots on the fore deck were one or two more than I expected once I got the electric file out and started work. A day of scrabbling around on the cold deck had it sorted though. Ground back to metal, rust converter on the biggest pits, primer, undercoat and topcoat (the older slightly off colour one) ready for final top colour in the Spring.

Take a bit out, sand it, varnish it and put it back in

A few more little rust spots than I thought

Primed, topped and ready to go

I had also arranged a coal delivery. Oh for the fallen trees on the side of the cut, its one of the very few down sides to winter mooring in the middle of the city with its first class local amenities, secure moorings and brick paviour pathways (gonna miss that when we're trudging through the mud in a few weeks time). Deb was working on coal delivery day, so I had my first solo trip out round Brum and back to the water-point between the NIA and the Wharf to await the delivery. I was glad of another dry wind free day. I wasn't going to get caught out by a potential early morning delivery so had finished my trip and moored up by 07.30. I watered up, did two loads of washing, watered up again and went to empty Nelson (long story) before Deb was back for a mid morning break and to help load the delivered coal.

See... Told you it was sunny

It was still very early when I went to the facility block to empty nelson. There was a smell of smoke in the loo's. When I went in it was obvious that someone had been sheltering there and had left a few of their bits and pieces. Its only a few degrees above freezing at night, not much more in the boaters loo block. You forget that Birmingham is such a large city and there must be a large contingent of homeless people looking for shelter at this time of year, they're doing no harm and these private facilities have got to be safer than the city centre underpasses. 

I popped back later in the day with some rubbish. Danny had written a note and left it in the loo's.

The following day I went back with a jumper that I had on it's way to a charity shop. I left it for Danny, someone had also left some food and a pint of milk. It does make you stop and think how lucky we are, even on the worst of our bad days


  1. How heartfelt James, that note and circumstances really does make us appreciate all that we have. I hope Danny comes across further nice people like you and others that had left something, I would have done the same myself and helped out. See you both soon I hope :) where will you head for after Brum ?

  2. Hi Jacquie - just seen your comment :( heading off northish next week, up the shroppie. How about you?

  3. Hey both, oh I shall miss you again then, I am going up the Leicester Line and Soar ( dependent on levels etc ) I haven't been that route before, so it will be new territory, rivers neither !! 90% of folk, think it'll be ok for me. The Shroppie is lovely. I'm glad you enjoyed my home city. Will drop you a line on Deb's e-mail at some time. Have been busy prepping boat, and should start my exodus mid week. Have fun lovelies, I shall be "following" you on the blog..............x Jacquie