Category Archives: River Weaver

Sharing. 30th March

Ten years ago today we stepped off our shareboat, NB Winding Down for the last time. Well Mick visited her again when showing prospective purchasers around. But the 30th March 2013 was the end of a three week cruise when we’d moved her from the then Carefree Cruising base at Elton Moss near Sandbach to a new base at Welton Haven on the Leicester Section.

We’d really enjoyed our near four years as shareboaters. Four weeks a year onboard the same boat (despite every owner bringing and leaving their own cling film!) had been made the most of.

A week iced in at Aqueduct Marina where we only got to move to top up with diesel and have a pump out.

A March trip when we had to buy ourselves sun hats and suncream and ventured down the Anderton Boat Lift onto the River Weaver. We hope to return this year to spend more time on the river.

The odd extra week came our way that other owners couldn’t use. Hmmm!

It was an affordable way to spend our holiday weeks from work afloat.

Ten years ago we didn’t know where to go for breakfast after packing the car to set off back home, we ended up on the bridge over the M1 at Leicester Forest East Services. Following three weeks of the tranquillity of the waterways the chair scraping noise from mid morning diners was SO loud it had us in stitches.

In the last ten years we sold our share, bought NB Lillyanne to keep us going until we had Oleanna built. The start of our original build wasn’t so good and we had to start all over again, but it was certainly worth it, as Oleanna is a far better boat than she would have been.

NB Winding Down we think is now based at Aston Marina outside Stone. Originally she was blue, then green and very recently she has returned to being blue again, just as we’d got used to spotting her in bright green. Maybe we’ll pass her this year and be able to say hello again.

Up in Scarborough it’s been a busy time. The back bedroom has been decorated. New curtains made for the living room and dining room on one side of the house. The sample of the front cloth for panto last year is now stretched on a frame and hung on a wall. The room may now have to be called the wave room as it also contains a set of photos of wave dodgers in the North Bay here in Scarborough.

Last week we had a day out to Bempton, hoping to see Puffins. Despite both of us having lived in Scarborough since the 1990’s neither of us had been. Sadly it was far too windy for the Puffins so we had to make do with thousands of Gannets instead.

The duvet that sprung holes last year now has a new cambric cover. My painting dungarees have had an upgrade, new elastic, a patch and new pockets for extra kneeling pads, which I’m hoping to make out of some giant mug yoga mat offcuts. They are now considerably more colourful and maybe a little bit in theme for this years Chippy Panto. Yes, I am returning for my fifth panto at Chippy. I can’t say any more about it at the moment as they haven’t announced anything yet. But it promises to be very colourful and toe tapping, it may have the audience dancing in the aisles!

The house is a very full house at the moment with two lodgers and tonight it will be opening night of Comedy of Errors at the SJT. We’re heading along to see the show and await to see what a lobster has to do with the Shakespearian comedy!

#unit21 played it’s last two shows at The Storyhouse in Chester last week. What a show! It was a shame to not be there for the final performance, but Chester is a long way from Scarborough. I’ll be meeting up with some of the Dark Horse actors in a few weeks time on a different project.

We keep in touch with the waterways. Our friend Chris on NB Elektra has a live bowcam so we can get a pootleing fix. He’s currently on the Shropie and it looks like it’s been raining this morning. We tend not to watch so many vlogs, but do pop by The Pirate Boat to catch up with Heidi every now and again. It’s nice to see a few bloggers are back out and about on the water too. NB Bonjour, NB Briar Rose, NB What A Lark, NB Hadar, NB Ali’s Dream to name a few. I’m getting quite home sick.

Our planned cruise now has slight alterations due to a family get together and work commitments for me. So we now have a firm date for when we’ll need to be back on board and heading towards the Pennines.

Saturday will see me taking up route on the sofa or my Mum’s nursing chair to knit. My Sockathon will start after breakfast on the 1st April. I need to average a pair of socks every three days, hopefully I’ll manage more, but we’ll see. Donations of yarn are starting to arrive. I’ve collected my sock yarn stash together along with needles and the patterns from last year. I just need to work out what gauge each yarn will knit up at, I’m hoping I can do this by comparing yarn using wraps per inch rather than knitting a swatch for each yarn. Fingers crossed, or should that be needles crossed! Any suggestions of things I can listen to or watch whilst knitting would be appreciated. We don’t have Netflix or anything you have to pay for.

I’ve promised myself a walk each day so that I keep moving, I can’t cease up, there are lots of locks to do soon. I will also be helping Tilly to make her Hot Paw Buns as Easter is getting close.

Fundraising so far? I’ve just about reached two thirds of my target! Thank you so much to those who’ve donated already. Still a way to go once I start knitting. If everyone who’s visited the blog this last week chipped in £1 I’d be sailing towards my target of being able to train up an Admiral Nurse with the skills and knowledge to support families affected by Dementia.

0 time to write lists, 2 skeins to make into cakes!

Restoring Power. Catch up 4th March

The weather forecast next week looks to be cold. What’s new? Well it’s going to be colder than it already is up on the north east coast. Goole looks like it will have below freezing temperatures. When we left Oleanna we’d left her with everything sorted for such a cold spell, she was plugged in with the thermostat ready to kick the heating on should things get really chilly, the advantage of our Aldi boiler being able to run off electric when hooked up.

Daffodils are coming!

However in the last couple of weeks Oleanna has been turned round by Alastair ready for when he has time to do jobs on her. Mick left him with some keys and the camera on board had broadcast movement a few days after his last visit, so we knew she’d been winded. She’d been unplugged from the mains, turned around for easier access, then plugged back in again, Oleanna has two hook up points to make this easy. However inside there is a switch you need to flick to select which end of the boat you are hooked up to, Alastair didn’t know about this. So for a couple of weeks Oleanna has been living off free solar, but should the heating need to come on it wouldn’t work. Someone needed to flick the switch.

Mick caught the train down to Goole a now familiar journey and if you break your ticket in Filey it’s cheaper. Oleanna was given the once over checking she was ready for minus temperatures and the switch was flicked to accept power at the stern. A catch up with Al from NB Summer Wind was had and a chat with Alastair.

The alternator chap he’d had in mind to refurbish our faulty one is no more. Another company said that unless it was something special/historic then it wouldn’t be worth doing! Well they obviously didn’t want the job. We’ll be scouting around in Scarborough to see if anyone here can help us instead.

Topping up the diesel didn’t happen again as Laird had just run out as Mick arrived. Hopefully next time.

The other job today was to meet up with Sean from SPL Covers, who just happened to be at the marina on another job. Our covers are in need of some tlc, too much use. The pram cover front window has had a hole in it for a couple of years and this year it has made a few friends. These happen when it gets folded down for cruising, a crease happening in the same place time and time again has taken it’s toll. The window has also gone quite opaque too, so this will be replaced.

The cratch cover zip that failed early last year will also be replaced. I tacked it together last spring so it was about time it was replaced. Mick checked to see if SPL could clean them too, however that would likely take several weeks to happen and we’d rather the covers were back on Oleanna as soon as they can be to help keep the weather off.

A productive visit.

Admiring the view on high

Meanwhile on land.

Last week was production week for #unit21 in Huddersfield. The upgraded set went in easily but as the temperature of the set increased we found a problem with the fabric it was covered in. When the flattage arrived in the cold it was very baggy saggy. But as it warmed up in the theatre it tightens up making things look wonderfully smooth. However the upgrade to the set involved slitting the fabric to insert LED lights and perspex to create fake neon. In hindsight the original covering of the flats and upgrade should have been done in a warm environment when the fabric was taught, not an easy thing when workshops tend to be chilly places! This is also the first time either Graham or myself have used Ripstop on a set.

So as the set warmed the fabric tightened starting to distort the slots the lights were in. Clamps and cable ties stopped the movement, but the fabric carried on doing it’s thing. Thankfully the atmospheric lighting doesn’t show any of our problems up after a touch of colouring in with a Sharpie was done.

The actors did a couple of run throughs for technical purposes, then a full dress rehearsal where one of our new Led strips decided it didn’t want to do green, the main colour required. So sadly on photos we have a rouge strip and on press night it and it’s partner were unplugged.

The show was very well received and there were plenty of familiar faces in the audience, including Vanessa Brooks who used to be the Artistic Director at Dark Horse, also Pete Massey who used to work at the SJT in Scarborough. It was great to be able to have a catch up with him and Rach his wife after the show.

#unit21 is now on tour for the next few weeks. The Lowry in Salford 3rd 4th March, Chroma-Q in Leeds 10th March, The Junction Goole 15th 16th March, Storyhouse Chester 23rd 24th March.

Decorating of the back bedroom has started. Well the decorating bit hasn’t yet started, it’s more the demolition stage. I’d hoped to be able to remove the cornice and ceiling rose that would never have been in such a bedroom, but they have turned out to be plaster and very well attached. With my back still making me cautious they can stay for a while longer, the last thing I want to do is be patching up a ceiling.

Blistering paint

Lots of patching up and some paint stripping to do, interesting how some new Eco friendly paint stripper has and hasn’t worked even with being left overnight to work it’s magic.

A new sewing machine has been invested in along with a cordless drill that matches the sander I got at Christmas, so we now have three batteries between tools.

Tide’s out

Estimates for new windows have been coming in, all very expensive. The funding we’d applied for from the council to help insulate the house we were told a few weeks ago had run out, but yesterday we had a phone call suggesting there are now more funds available. We’ll have to see what happens on that front.

Our cruising plans for the year have had to be slightly altered. Two offers of work and an invite from my cousins will see us heading down south rather than staying in the north. It will be good to see family members at something other than a funeral and I think I was 18 when I last spent any time with my cousins kids. Hopefully there will still be enough of the summer to return northwards to accomplish our original plans of cruising the River Weaver. The life jackets have had their annual service, left inflated in a room over night well away from any cat claws.

#unit21 socks

Pip’s Sockathon 2023 will take place during April this year. A charity has been selected, a conversation with their Community Fundraising Executive has been had, so I’d best get my needles ready. There are still some things to sort for it but there will be more news on that front very very soon.

A Sunny Scarborough Sunday walk

So for now that is all our news. Stay warm everyone, I can safely say it is far warmer on a boat than in our house!

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 wind captured on camera, 1 boat unhooked, 1 boat rehooked, 1 new sewing machine, 1 drill, 2 batteries makes 3, 1 red strip, 9 ensemble, 2 job offers, 1 workshop, 1 family get together, 1 brown bin, £30 curry for 2, 1 soda bread, 1 bored cat, 4 troublesome doors, 1 job made longer, 1 room stripped back, 36k or 26k? 1 charity, 10 pairs maybe this year, 1 vanity project, 174 x110, 1 blind, 2 covers at the menders.