Sunday, 29 November 2009

My stove

It's turned pretty cold and I was enjoying the warmth from my stove this morning when I noticed just how much I depend on it.

There's my coat drying out from yesterday's downpour and my gloves hanging to the right after handling wet ropes. There are my muddy boots crisping up nicely on the step.
My endlessly congealing salt is drying out - yet again! Does everyone else afloat suffer from wet salt?! I'm doing my breakfast toast on the top, yum. And a towel from washing my hair is drying out under the window. Needless to say, my wet hair is also steaming away, this side of the camera :-)
Of course, I know that all that moisture is rising up and making its way to my bedroom at the far end of the boat and also creeping into the cupboard, awaiting the salt that lives there in-between stove lightings!

Friday, 27 November 2009

John Craxton

It wasn't until I heard 'Last Word' on the radio that I knew John Craxton had died. I loved his work. This is called 'Dreamer in a landscape' (1942)

Friday, 20 November 2009


I don't much like the small strip lighting I have on the boat, preferring candlelight. Now I've also bought a paraffin lamp and really like its warm glow and the fact that it generates heat too. Not as lovely as Sarah's lamp on Warrior but still useful :-)
I was looking at burning a more environmentally-friendly oil than paraffin and saw a website called Judy of the woods where it shows you how to make a veg-oil lamp. You can burn used cooking oil or olive oil, so I had a go with the second, just to see if it worked. Well, I think I need a proper wick rather than string as it's more like a match than a lamp! My next question is, could I burn olive oil in my new paraffin lamp.

I'm enjoying being on the move. The wind has been a bit of a challenge but the rain has been very considerate and held off until I moored up for lunch, then it stopped and the sun re-emerged just as I finished my coffee.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Letting loose

It's fun being on the move again - just a trip down the Macclesfield canal for a couple of weeks but feels good to be travelling.
I came across this loose boat this morning...

It's the third boat I've found wandering in the last couple of months and each time, I suspect it may be other boaters letting them loose. The reason I think that is because the mooring pins are carefully laid on the bow and stern deck and the centre rope, held by a chain, was unclipped and that placed on the roof. Also, each time, the boats have been moored in fairly inconvenient places - where the canal is narrow and shallow (in today's case) or perched on the end of permanent moorings.
Trouble is, if you have a problem with where a boat is moored, I guess there's nothing stopping you from moving it along but just letting it loose gives other boaters a hard time. Maybe it's just me, but I find it hard to go past a loose boat without at least trying to get it back to the bank. After all, the returning owner won't be able to access it at all.
Lovely sunshine yesterday, wild, wet and windy today. The nice thing about boating is that you never quite know what you're going to get next!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Ashby canal & UK Coal

This photo is a couple of years old, when I was on the Ashby canal. Back then I remember reading about hopes of restoring/extending the canal up to Measham but as usual, money was the problem.
Now I see that UK Coal is planning on developing an open cast mine near the village of Measham. One of the sweeteners? Extension of the canal! There is strong local opposition as can be seen on their protest website even though it seems that people do generally want the canal to reach their village. Much as I'd like to be able to continue a little further along that pleasant stretch of water, knowing I'd be heading towards the envionmental nightmare of an open cast mine would put me right off. Good luck to the people of Measham in their fight.