Lisa sent through a photo of Oleanna this morning. The level at the docks is just about normal and Oleanna was sitting there in the rain. Yesterday it must have been sunny at the marina as the solar panels were doing a good job of keeping the batteries topped up and the engine bay got up to 8 C. It’s handy being able to check on her from afar, keeps our minds at rest.
Here in Scarborough I’ve been busy with work. A new, to me, art shop is proving very handy. I’ve not had chance to go into The Art Room yet and I can’t see what art materials they normally stock, Delia responds to emails swiftly and is very helpful. This week I was after a pad of thick cartridge paper and a wooden board so that I can stretch the paper properly. If water colour paper isn’t stretched, when you start to paint the paper cockles and will never lie flat again. In the past I’ve half heartedly taped paper to a plastic board, but this never really worked that well. So I have invested in a board that will take A3 paper comfortably. This will first get used for my boat origami paper design. Then I hope to use it for paintings of the waterways, which I’ve been planning on doing for some time now. I have the equipment, the reference, all I need now is the time!
This week I’ve started work in earnest on Panto for Chipping Norton. Sketch technical drawings enable me to make pieces of model, then do adjustments. Yesterday I finished working my way through the show, there is still lots to alter and work out, but I have solutions for most things. I’m quite happy with my galleon set, but the smugglers inn isn’t right yet! Hopefully this coming week things will get sorted before my next work arrives on the doorstep!
I’ve finally finished knitting a top for my sister-in-law which is now measured out and blocking on some new foam mats I’ve treated myself to. These will be handy to take back to the boat as they breakdown into foot squares, but once clipped together they give me 3ft square to pin items onto. They will save me pinning things out onto the back of our mattress on the boat and hoping things will be dry before bedtime!
Mick, whilst not watching the cricket, has been working on the blog. Two years ago we moved to WordPress and our current deal is nearly up. There are things we’d like to try to improve, but unless we spend more money they are proving hard to sort. Paul (Waterway Routes) suggested sometime ago we tried WordPress.org, this is free but we’d need to pay to have the blog hosted, which is all working out at a similar price to if we stayed put. We could go back to Blogger and Open Live Writer, but photos had been problematic, Mick is still working his way through the blog inserting them and I like the way wordpress works.
However we miss having a blog roll that moves with peoples posts and a forwards and back button. Mick has found the relevant code, we may need to enlist my nephew Josh into giving us some guidance with this. We’ll see what happens.
Mick is taking his time reading the book he selected from our Christmas stash. The chap has left Kate Saffin and Alarum, headed to the Exeter Canal and is now somewhere on the Bridgewater Canal.
I on the other hand have finished mine, which I’ve really enjoyed. When we first moved on board I read a lot, but in the last couple of years I’d got out of the habit. With so many books to choose from I was spoilt for choice. So when Sam from NB Red Wharf said that Canal Pushers was really good and Debby from NB Chuffed asked for a review I thought I’d best start there.
I like a good crime story and with it being set on the canals it started off on a good footing. Andy Griffee has taken the theory of a serial killer, pushing people into the waterways around Manchester and set a similar story on the Stratford, Worcester and Birmingham Canals.
Jack has just picked up a narrowboat to see if a life afloat will suit him after recently being divorced. Let down by a friend who was going to help him learn the ropes he is soon rescued by a lady walking the towpath, Nina. A friendship is formed between the two of them, Nina keeping herself a bit of a mystery.
Knowing the stretch of canal where the book is set is quite warming to a sole that misses being on the cut right now. Jack’s experience of The Navigation Inn at Wooten Wawen made me smile as it was very similar to ours when we hired our last boat from there seven years ago. Stratford with the tourists and theatre, Wedges, Packwood House, all the time Jack learning how to handle the boat as the mystery of the death of a young homeless lad unfolds.
Several plots intertwine, gradually unravelling themselves at a narrowboat pace. There are several moments where the pace speeds up which has lead to a couple of nights where I’ve kept the light on whilst Mick has snored away. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to give the plot away, as it is well worth a read. My only criticism, I’ve always walked down hill to the shops in Alvechurch, not up hill.
Verdict, a good read especially for those with a canal interest, but this is not required and it certainly doesn’t turn into a manual for narrowboat handling. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series River Rats which takes place in Bath. I may read my way down towards the Kennet and Avon via Murder on the Oxford Canal by Faith Martin. I wonder if there are enough novels to cover the whole network?
This weekends walk will prove to be a rosy cheeked one as it is currently trying it’s best to snow, although I doubt it will settle. An east wind will be whipping up the sea and will chill us to the bone, thermals needed today.
Last week we braved the climb up onto Oliver’s Mount. Down into the valley to then climb back up the other side and then further all up hill. We chose to go cross country avoiding felled trees up to the top.
Here on the summit a telecommunications mast stands. Back in the early 1990’s this was the only place in Scarborough to get mobile phone signal when the telephone exchange had a serious fire knocking out all landlines in the town. The other high point here is the war memorial that marks a view point.
We took our time looking for family names. None from the Geraghty side, but quite a few Capplemans. I shall have to dig out the family tree I was sent after my Dad passed away and see if any of them are mentioned.
Oliver’s Mount makes for a great view point. Looking down all the usual landmarks have found new positions around town (as they do!) and the South Bay looks more like a smugglers cove. Views right into the North Bay and up the coast, we took our time spotting friends houses.
The way back down we followed the roads which make up the Oliver’s Mount race track, stopping to say hello to the beach donkeys who are on their winter holiday, sadly they were just a touch too far away for a good photo.
0 locks, 0 miles, 1 level back up, 1 glimpse, A3 sketch board, 20 sheets, 0 cow gum, 1 new proscenium, 1 white card sketch model complete, 409 pages, 1 cotton top, 67 pins, 2 t-towels, 6 capplemans, 5 miles up and down, 1 bored cat in need of a hobby, 1 windswept short walk, 0 cobwebs.
Where Were We
2020. Sheepcote Street Bridge, Birmingham.
2019. Thorne Lock, Stainforth and Keadby Canal. LINK
2018. Chester, Shropshire Union Canal. LINK
2017. Lime Kiln Lock, Trent and Mersey Canal. LINK
2016. Newark Show Ground. LINK
2015. Hemel Hempstead, Grand Union Canal. LINK
2010. Bramble Cuttings, Trent and Mersey. LINK