Category Archives: Telecommunications

Southern Woofers Have NO Manners! 20th July

Pyrford Basin to Send Church Footbridge

Rain hit Oleanna’s roof for much of last night, but by first thing this morning it had dried up. Mick headed off on a bike to find a Waitrose for a free newspaper, along with £10 of shopping. He was fortunate as when he returned we had a couple of major down pours, the sort that would soak you to the skin despite waterproofs.

Paws crossed for finer weather

10% chance of rain! Well we’d got that 10% and we weren’t going to set off whilst it was at it’s worst. By midday the sun was trying to make an appearance so we made ready to push off. A boat appeared from behind, we had a locking partner.

The Anchor Pub was already attracting customers and would be a handy place for a delivery should we need one on the way back. The crew of NB Montana were setting the lock when I reached them after dropping off some rubbish.

The Anchor

I’d set the bow rope on the port side roof, but as the boats came into the lock we ended up on the starboard side, I’d be needing a boat hook to get the rope. The hook we were left with at little Venice is nice and light weight with an aluminium pole so easy to handle.

We tied up as we’d done yesterday using the yellow post at the stern. NB Montana tied up using all three ropes, but not one of them round the yellow post. There was a lot of rushing around trying to stop their boat from surging forward and backwards, the centre line getting tighter and tighter whilst Oleanna just rose up the lock gracefully. I mentioned to the lady about the yellow post, she wasn’t aware if they’d been told about it at Thames Lock.

Time to turn the engines back on, not a rumble from NB Montana! He tried again and again, still no joy. We said we’d wait for them at the next lock, for a while anyway and left them to bow haul out of the lock making way for a boat to go down.

Pretty summer house

The next stretch was narrow and slow going. We think it was both the depth but also the current as we were heading upstream. A quick look at a map showed us that RHS Wisley isn’t too far away and to keep an eye open for an Elizabethan Summer House. There it was nestled in amongst the trees.

Walsham Lock Cottage
You don’t get bells like that anymore

The lock cottage at Walsham Flood Gates watched our progress, Mick was impressed by the telephone bells by the front door.

Moorings

Now we were back on the river, wider and deeper. The moorings by the lock looked like they’d be fun to reverse out off and not get drawn towards the weir!

Waiting, but for how long?

A boat was just coming out of Newark Lock leaving it all ready for us. How long should we wait? We decided on ten minutes or until a boat came the other way. The sun was now out, layers could be removed as we waited. After eight minutes a boat appeared above the lock, oh well we’d have to ascend as we were in the way.

A lady came to help and we left her with a message for NB Montana that we’d wait at the next lock, they’re on a mission to reach Guildford today for dinner.

This looks a good place for the way back

I’d seen that NB Huffler had moored at Papercourt Meadows a few days ago, this had to be those meadows. Wide grassy, perfect place for a barbecue, maybe on our way back. We noted a couple of places that looked deep enough to moor as boats were already tied up.

Very pretty

I hopped off just before we reached the bywash from the weir and walked up to the lock, pausing to take photos. What a picturesque scene in the sunshine with the cottage and stepped weir, chocolate box.

Family

A family of Egyptian Geese were preening themselves by the top gates which kept me occupied as we waited. NB Montana could be seen making her way through the meadows, as they got closer I spotted a second boat hot on their tail. Should we go up on our own or wait. We waited saving them an extra ten minutes emptying the lock.

This time they used the yellow post and both boats sat calmly as they rose, affording everyone chance to have a chat. Paddles were wound in unison. They’d had a chap this morning lift a paddle straight up which had sent the plume of water straight into their bow and inside the cabin. She got him to quickly close the paddle and avoid them sinking, they still had a wet floor that needed mopping up. Have to say we never go up hill with our cabin doors open just for this reason.

Nearly at the top

We led the way for the next two miles. Pretty rural turned into offices/factory at the cut side. Another flood gate at Worsfold where the National Trust work yard is. Nicholsons mentions a turf sided lock here, but we didn’t spot it, we’ll have a better look on the way back.

Bar on a chain to stop you leaning over

The river now winds and twists towards the next pretty lock, Triggs Lock with another fine cottage. The bottom gates when open lean over the channel so, as on other gates, there are chains and a bar to help you pull them towards you from a safe distance. This was to be our last lock of the day, so we waved NB Montana goodbye and hoped they had a lovely evening.

Triggs Lock

Through the next bridge was a trimmed stretch of towpath, we arrive just as a group of canoeists did, they loitered exactly where we wanted to pull in but they got the message in the end. The wind had been doing it’s best to aid us in mooring when the canoes had been in the way, but now had disappeared. Oleanna just wouldn’t go into the side, Mick hopped off but no matter how he pulled on the centre line she just wasn’t having any of it. A blast of reverse to get her back close enough for Mick to jump back on and we headed off to try the next place.

This was also too shallow, a shame as there would have been a great view of Send church from our bedroom in the morning. The next trimmed length we were determined to moor in. The bow came in close enough to hop off, but the stern wouldn’t. Any further along the river and we’d be too close to roads for Tilly, so here it was to be. Spikes banged in and plank deployed, the first time since the Lancaster. This reminded us that we really need to get a longer one very soon!

What is this?!!!

Excuse me!!! Just what were they thinking? This outside had water everywhere! How was I meant to be able to get to it? Tom showed me this sloping thing, it smelt like ours but really! No thank you!! A thin slice of tree is no good for anyone!

Tree!

However the trees here were good. Good for climbing. I soon discovered that I could jump the gap over the water and onto the roof when a rude woofer came to see me. It didn’t stay long when I showed it what I was made of.

I really wasn’t sure about this outside, so She came out to go for a walk with me. I like this, both of us discovering new things, mostly trees and friends for me. Today however we discovered that most Southern Woofers are very rude!

One came running from quite a distance, so I decided to head up a tree. Here I had to cling on whilst it shouted at me for ages. It’s Tom just smiled and walked by calling it’s stupid name. In the end She had to risk her life and stand in between us as the woofer just wasn’t going to leave. Have to say I was glad when it did my claws were starting to ache!

Action shot

I discovered that I could jump onto the side hatch with relative ease which came in handy later on when the stupid Tom came back with his exceptionally rude woofer. Doors were closed very quickly on the boat locking it out. Why was the Tom stupid? He had a lead and knew I was there so why hadn’t he used it?! Stupid and selfish, if I’d been a little kid running away I bet he’d have apologised. Maybe he is scared of his woofer and can’t keep hold of it or is even afraid that it might bite him. Anyway my Tom was so not impressed! I now HATE woofers!

Last night I’d prepared a sponge for a loaf of Sour Dough, this had been getting frothier all day. So once we’d moored up I mixed in the other ingredients and added some yeast so that we wouldn’t have to wait until midnight to bake it. It rose nicely over a couple of hours. Then as I popped it in the over I happened to give the tin a slight knock against the grill pan. My recipe warns against this as with no gluten the loaf can collapse, all those hours of rising gone immediately to waste.

The loaf looked okay as it went in the oven, but when I turned the temperature down I had a look. It had sunk by about a quarter, a big dip in the middle! I toyed with abandoning it there and then, not wasting gas. But baked it in the end, we’ll see how it turns out for toast tomorrow.

Sunken!

4 locks, 2 flood gates, 5.19 miles, 1 summer house, 1 broken boat, 1 meadow mooring noted, 3 shallow moorings also noted, 0 outside close enough, 2 rude woofers, 3 woofer incidents, 1 freaked out cat, 1 totally selfish dog owner, 1 sunken loaf, 1 migraine brewing, 1 property game put off till tomorrow.

Pausing, Power and Phone. 15th July

Ballot Box Bridge

Those trees are talking!

Just as well we’d decided to stay here another day so that I could carry on working.

Notice Alert

Grand Union Canal
Starts At: Lock 101A, Thames Lock (House side)
Ends At: Lock 101A, Thames Lock (House side)

Monday 15 July 2019 09:00 until further notice

Type: Advice
Reason: Repair


Original message:

Due to a local power supply fault, Brentford Thames Lock is currently not operating until further notice.Engineers are currently working on restoring power to the Lock and an update will be provided when this becomes fully operational.

However these things don’t tend to take too long to mend so Mick checked on the C&RT website and made a phone call to book passage down onto the Thames later this week. At first he was told that they weren’t taking bookings, but then he was passed onto someone else. This person then told Mick that the lock was operational again. Sure enough a notice to that effect dropped into our inbox as he was on the phone some 52 minutes after the first one.

Apparently in the summer you don’t have to book 48 hours in advance to use Thames Lock, Brentford, but at least we now knew when it would be manned, as the river is tidal there this alters.

Crossing things off

I spent the day doing technical drawings for panto, working my way through the list I’d made yesterday and sadly spotting a couple of things I’d missed too! By the end of the day my box of bits left to draw up only had a few things left in it. Only a few hours left and I’ll be ready for my final design meeting.

Nearly there!

Tilly spent the day dodging bikes and runners. There is definitely a rush hour or two between 5:30 and 7:30pm. The speed some of the bikes go at! So much so her shore leave was curtailed for her own safety and hour earlier than normal. She wasn’t impressed, but then she has had two whole days outside and decided to have a nap. This nap lasted until we wanted to make up our bed and had to disturb her.

Towpath Tilly

Mick caught up on the Tour de France and then headed off to get a bus into Ealing, this is where he grew up and lived until he moved to Scarborough. He successfully managed to walk past The Red Lion without going in for a pint, but also successfully managed to loose his mobile!

Being in Ealing he knew there would be an EE shop and an Argos, so that he could get sorted . But where were they? He’d look on his phone…Oh. He’d give me a call…..Oh. He’d use a phone box, found one, it did have a phone but stank of wee…Oh. At the library he was signed onto a computer so that he could see where his phone might be, the outcome likely to be on the 297 bus….Ah.

Still talking

He succeeded in getting a new phone, identical to his last and a new sim card then headed back to Oleanna. As soon as his new phone was working he gave Perivale Bus Garage a call, they had a phone that matched his description and when he called in he was able to unlock it. One phone not stolen, just misplaced.

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 buses, 1 bus garage, 2 phones, 2 boxes of bits, 1 almost full, 1 almost empty, 10 hours, 7 taken, 5 talking tress, 73 mph bikes, 4 running paws, 1 lock booked.

Shiny Boat Central. Day 2

Paddington Basin

A serious work day for me and as we are in London Mick was quite happy to head off for the day.

Traffic lights!

First he headed to Hammersmith where he used to work. Things have changed somewhat since those days, there are now traffic lights at Hammersmith Broadway. You’d no longer be able to race round in a Bedford HA van!

Hammersmith
Boats

He took a walk up to the river, you can never keep a boater away from water long. The tide was out and numerous boats sat on the bottom waiting to float again.

On the bus

Originally he’d thought of heading to Acton to the Transport Museum, but changed his mind as an interesting plane had arrived at Heathrow. So he caught the tube to Hatton Cross and then a bus to Terminal 5. Here he went up to the car park to see what he could see.

Terminal 5

Not many planes were in view, but the one he’d gone to see was. A British Airways Airbus A319 which has been painted in the BEA livery which is who Mick’s father flew for after WW2.

BEA livery

Back at Paddington, I caught up with my Production Manager for Panto, we both got confused about a quote she’d had and I got on with painting my model.

Boats nudged round the pontoon, one boat wants to leave early Wednesday morning and if a long boat pulled into the available space next to them then they’d have been trapped. Their first move meant nobody would be able to use their original mooring as they were blocking access to it. We could have moved in there, but I prefer being on the outside without people looking in all day as I work. In the end another boat who is wanting to go for water moved to be next to them, they will vacate the mooring on Wednesday letting out the other boat at the same time when they go for water.

Shades of blue

By the end of the day I had made definite progress with my model. Putting everything back into the model box it suddenly looked right. Phew!! I just hope it still looks right in the morning when I put the different scenes into it.


You will let me out! You will ! You will!! YOU WILL!!!!

0 locks, 0 miles, 3 buses, 2 tubes, 1 trains, 60+ rules, 1 plane, 2 many terms, 8 hours solid painting, 1 very bored cat, 2 hours of being stared at, sorry Tilly.

Crocodile For Sale. 3rd July

Black Jack Lock to Debham Bridge 182

What a blue sky

Today we had a lunch appointment, but before that we had a lock and about a mile to cruise.

For Sale

The lock cottage below Black Jacks Lock is for sale, I’m not sure if the asking price includes the crocodile or not, or will that be moving elsewhere. Hope the new owner gives us something as amusing to look at. Details of the house are here.

It still hasn’t eaten that arm!

Last night we did well to resist the walk up the hill to The Old Orchard, a very nice pub with great views and very good food. But we knew we’d be eating out today so refrained.

After about a mile we pulled in above Wide Water Lock, I had a quick shower and then we put on none boating clothes and walked into Denham. This is where an old colleague of Mick’s lives. Mick was Les’s apprentice way back in his GPO days. They have kept in touch through the years and getting on for five years ago Les and Maureen came to see us on Lillian when we passed through Uxbridge, bringing a very nice cake with them.

Maureen and Les

There was lots to catch up on whilst admiring their beautiful garden. Then we jumped in the car and headed round the corner to Denham Garden Village. This is a rather smart retirement village, with a spa and cafe bar. Denham Film Studios used to be on this site where films such as Brief Encounter and David Lean’s Great Expectations were made.

Pint of Pride

The cafe bar was very inviting and here we all opted for the carvery, which was one of the best roasts we’ve had (other than on Oleanna!) in a long while. Mick had his first pint of London Pride too as the conversation flowed on.

A quick spin around Denham Village itself, passing Robert Lindseys house and where John Mills used to live, a very pretty village. It was a shame that we had other things to do rather than have a walk. Les and Maureen dropped us back off at the lock and promised that they would visit us later in the year when we’re in Banbury.

Blue and green

The pound had dropped whilst we had been out. Our friends Sam and Becca had moored here when they were moving their boat back to London last year, we’d been a bit bemused when we heard that they were stuck, grounded. But now we understood, this pound needs to have the lock totally closed with all it’s paddles closed. Both top and bottom gates must leak and the pound above despite being about a mile long can drain overnight.

Doors = Gates Pond = Pound
Noisy gravel

We moved off, away from the gravel works on the other side of the hedge and made our way down the lock to find a shady place. Just past where there had been an HS2 protest camp a couple of years ago we found a length long enough and deep enough for us to pull into in the shade. A perfect place for a barbecue, but we were still too full from lunch.

I turned around and we were surrounded by teenages

Next we had to turn our attention to emails to do with our house in Scarborough. Tenants, who’d have them! It also looks like we’ll have to hold off buying boxes of wine for a while as one of the showers needs a new surround, that’s another months rent vanishing before we get it.

2 locks, 2.22 miles, 1 hungry crocodile, 2 old friends, 3 hours reminiscing about telephones, 2 glasses of wine, 2 pints Pride, 4 roast beefs, 4 hours shore leave, 2 many tenants opinions, 1 new toilet and shower, 2nd sleeve started, 2 slices of cheese on toast.