Friday, 27 April 2012

Stocking up the Store Cupboard

More rain! Looking for jobs to do that keep me dry, so back to TM today to go through the cupboards and throw away any out of date food ready for a restock. The restocking has required a complete rethink as we generally eat out when doing short cruises. The next trip will be for several months so cooking is a must. We have acquired a Cobb portable bbq (the one the Hairy Bikers used) and we have good cooking facilities on TM so it should be no problem.
Cupboards sorted so off to Sainsbury's in Derby. 
The River Trent burst its banks just as I drive over the bridge at Shardlow, so pleased we moved the boat From Shadlow Marina on the Trent to Dobsons Wharf on the T&M.
Anyway, back to shopping and three bags full of herbs, spices, mustards, oils, vinegars, pasta, rice, tins of tuna etc etc. Sainbury's is the only supermarket that stocks the essential ingredient of our preferred cruising tipple, Italian Spritz. Made with 4 parts dry sparkling wine 3 parts Aperol plus Ice and a slice of Orange. 
More Aperol!
Sainbury's Cava on offer so had the last 4 bottles plus all 3 bottles of Aperol on the shelf. Back home, still raining, to cold for Spritz, had a nice cup of tea.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy St George's Day

'Once more unto the breach, dear friends' and 'Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'.

For far to long the flag of St George has been a symbol hijacked by extremist organisations. It is time to take it back and once again be proud to fly it.
It am a Shiresman by birth and have lived in the Shire Counties of the Midlands all my life. Us Shiresman were called the backbone of England.
I am British and proud of Britain, but I identify with being an Englishman, and like all good Englishman I am tolerant of other races, religions and beliefs.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Back in the boat at last

Although TM had been back in the water for almost a week we have not been able to do much as the new Sterling inverter/charger was being fitted. Initially things did not go to well as the new unit was to big to fit in the cupboard that housed the old separate inverter and charger. Problem solver by removing the fridge and fitting at the back of the original cupboard. Second problem was we could not find the wires that came from the bow thruster battery, it left the bow and just disappeared. If all else fails read the instructions in the back of the boats owners manual. All problems (so far) solved, fridge back in, inverter/charger now working fully, so we can now get back onto the boat and start to clean up.
As you will have read in previous posts the new paint job required taking the boat back to metal, which produced lots and lots of dust. The windows were covered with cardboard to reduce the dust in the boat, but it is still covered in a light blue coat of dust. Back for a full day of cleaning today plus the big job of removing all the stuff from the space under the stern steps. The previous owner used it for storing tins of paint bits of wood and anything else you don't know what to do with on a boat, and I have just carried on, but now all the paint is useless as the boat has changed colour, so it all must go.
I have posted the first outdoor photo of TM now she is finished in the paint shop, dont look to close she is still covered in dust.
The odyssey starts two weeks on Tuesday!!
Thanks to Tom and Jan on nb Waiouru for being the first to list this blog on their blog. I have been following the fit out of Waiouru with great interest and look forward to meeting you on the cut.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

I'm with Maffi on this one

I have just read Maffi's Post "Every Once in a While" commenting on the item in the May issue of Canal Boat Magazine.
The vast majority of people we have come across on our travels have been respectful of the waterways, and of other users of the waterways. They have been helpful, friendly, social, and, in general our journey has been made richer by their company.
All I ask of people is that they pay there BW license and they treat us as they would expect to be treated.
If you have more time to cruise than I have, well lucky you.
If you have more money than me, so be it, I have enough for my needs.
If you have more skills than me, great, I hope you will help me out if you see me stuck somewhere.
You wont have a better boat than us because we love TM, as I am sure you love your boat.
The majority of us are happy to calibrate other peoples achievements, but a small number of our communty view the world through green eyes, seeking to deny people of that which they cannot have themselves. SHAME ON THEM!

Friday, 13 April 2012

First view of Tilly May in her new livery

 Right about now TM will be gracefully slipping back into the Trent and Mersey. Paint job and art work all finished and ready for a clean. Unfortunately the shine on the paint job made it impossible to photograph the art work in dry dock without a refection. 
The paint job is a cream roof with teal blue sides highlighted with dark blue and cream.
We are over the moon with the art work done by Norton Signs. John has spent over 2 days on the various bits that he and Jan agreed. In addition to the name John has painted a small May blossom designed on each side of the boat front and back. Darren warned me that allowing John and Jan together may well result in a hefty sign writing bill, he was so right.

The final touch was the diamonds on the bow. The last few bits and bobs will be sorted on Monday and we will be ready to sail. We have a list of folk who want a tip out on TM so I think we will be operating a few day trips weather permitting.

Monday, 9 April 2012

I Hate the M5!

We have just returned from our long weekend away at the Forest Inn Hexworthy Dartmoor. The inn is run by old fiends from Donington so we had a few to many beers when we arrived on Friday. In fact we had a few to many beers all weekend. The only down side to the trip was the traffic on the M5 at Bristol. We have arrived home to find an invoice for the boat work which means it is all finished so we will see her in all her glory tomorrow. Cant wait! 
Sorry about the Forest Inn photo it is a split tone HDR image but the only photo I could find.
The Forest Inn Hexworthy

All in all it has been a busy time since I finished work. The wedding I photographed last Thursday went well if a little stressful, as it was my first wedding on my own. A drunken weekend with James, Irene, Dave, Julie, Swiss, Kelly and Jo. Now we have the boat finished so I will have trouble sleeping tonight. 
Its a hard life!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Today is the start of the next stage of our lives!

Today I finally finished work at FAL. Food Analytical Laboratories started life almost 6 years ago when myself and five other partners started a food testing business. In July 2011 FAL metamorphosed when we sold the business to Intertek ( a very large international testing company). After a short earn out period, it is now time for me to move on.
FAL's 6 year journey had some large ups and downs but the journey was made so much richer by the friends I left behind today. I am sure their future and the future of FAL is much more secure now it is owned by Intertek.

Tomorrow I am photographing a wedding at the Priest House. Friday we are off down to the Forest Inn on Dartmoor for a few days to see old friends and probably drink to much. By the time with get back Andy and Darren will have the boat finished and ready for us to finish kitting out. We have a big event in Castle Donington to organise on May Day, then on May 8th we set sail on our odyssey of unknown length and destination!