TLC Day 1. 22nd January

Clicking away in the car

A hire car was picked up this morning and soon we were on our way over to Dewsbury. I took with me fabric samples I’d received through the post from Just Fabrics. These were pretty good for recovering the dinette cushions, but maybe Fabworks would have something better.

Fabworks obviously

The River Ouse looked quite full as we passed over it on the A64, the River Wharf at Tadcaster was reaching the top of it’s flood banks too. We soon were wiggling our way through back streets between old mills in Dewsbury and pulling up in the car park. I went ahead to have a look round and shortlist some fabrics whilst Mick stayed in the car to give the lithium battery man Mark a phone call.

It really is fab

It’s quite a few years since I last visited Fabworks, maybe when I was hunting for curtain fabric for NB Lillyanne. The warehouse now has more lighting and things seem a touch more ordered than ten years ago. There are still the large bins of offcuts which you buy by weight, wonderful wools, cottons, silks, curtain and upholstery fabric.

Rolls and rolls and rolls

I short listed a couple from the masses, then consulted with Mick. One had some paler pattern which would get dirty from a certain second mate not being able to wipe her feet on entry into the boat! So we went for some Laura Ashley fabric at £15 a meter, I suspect it used to be more like £40. I checked my calculations and 8 meters and a couple of reels of matching cotton later we were back in the car heading back east.

Our roll on the table

Next visit was to the Designer Outlet in York, Destination Joy ! Blimey it was busy. We headed upstairs for some lunch before heading to Whittards to stock up on my morning brew, Afternoon Tea. On line it is currently £9 a packet, here it was £5! Bargain. We then paused to see if the Sketchers shop might have some trainers for Mick. The last few years we’ve both worn Shoes for Crews shoes whilst on the boat, their anti-slip can’t be beaten, but they are quite flat. Both of us have niggling backs or calves a the moment so we’re trying shoes with a slight heel for a while to see if that helps. Mick found some trainers which were 100% waterproof at nearly half price. We’d done well.


Next round to the north of York to check on some vinyl for a bathroom at the house. The chap in the shop didn’t want to tell me how much it would be and I was keen to await the arrivals of some samples at the house. Too much sales banter for my liking. We did stop to look at their fake grass, this has come on leaps and bounds since I last used some on stage, I still prefer the real stuff in real life.

Not allowed to buy any yarn at the moment

Hobby craft was next here I wanted to buy another canvas for a painting in the house. There were plenty to choose from and I’d reckoned I wanted one twice the size of the one I’d used for Lock 21 of the Wolverhampton flight. There was a stack of canvases with a price of £10 on top, brilliant and surprising as the others were a touch more expensive. At the check out it turned out it should have been more expensive but as the only price shown was £10 I got it at the bargain price.

Round to the east of York we called in to see Mark and Sarah who Mick used to work for before boat life took over. It was lovely to see them and get to see their new home, The Good Life. Sitting at the edge of Elvington airfield they have masses of garden and a fantastic workshop. The space in there is as big as The Round stage at the SJT, what a wonderful space to make things in with a great view, admitedly it was dark when we were there. A great catch up.

Missed parcel

Back at the house Tilly had become concerned that she would have to start feeding herself, our journey back delayed by a crash on the Malton bypass. Through the door was a card from Royal Mail, they’d tried to deliver a parcel. Hopefully they’d be okay delivering it to a neighbour as it’ll be a busy week for us.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 car hire, 8 meters fabric, 2 reels cotton, 1 pushy salesman, 2 prices noted, 1 canvas, 2 sketchbooks half price, 2 ex-telecoms, 6m x 6m workshop, 1 lathe, 1 plum and almond cake, 1st parcel of the week, 1 very hungry lonely forgotten about cat!