Saturday, 29 November 2014

Not bad for the month I dislike the most

I was not looking forward to November, it is the month I least like in all the year. II can't think of anything that is good (apart from the respect the country shows on the 11th) Anyhow the sooner it is over the better. But it does not mean I have been standing still, far from it, just s busy as ever s here are some images of my November.....

Started in East Dean with a beautiful walk in the woods. This area of the South Downs is beautiful and it feels unpopulated which is surreals when you look on the map, but a lot is huddled on the coast and off to London. One excellent offer is the footpaths and bridle paths, well marked and lots of them.



It was a really early start back to work on the Monday, the university has a leadership day each November and as a 'leader' ;-) I needed to be in Derby for 8am so the alarm went off at 4am and I was rolling in the CRV at 4.30am

Don't worry readers I am able to look after myself this is the sort of meal I provide for myself, I follow the habit we have always done by eating at a table.... no lap dinners, one concession is the laptop with Netflix on it as we would normally converse over food and I only have the dog, and she never answers back !! The pizza made two meals as did the salad and beetroot.


Next day we had the first real frost of the year.... was I cold, only walking to the car. I kept the fire in most of the month, softy that I am a toasty warm 24c aboard most of the time and fridge like in the back cabin - my winter fridge.



Then is commute, work, commute until Rachel comes back, but due to shifts this was not until Saturday am so the weekend was a little short as a couple. 

More frost at the start of the next week but the fire was doing a sterling job.... and I am thinking of taking this out why?



Leia was found to be taking some liberties, she was wacked from a long walk and took to MY bed !!


So it was back down to Chichester middle of the month for a really lazy wet weekend where we just lounged about..... a few walks some shopping but the weather was so bad we just stayed put really....

Then after a 400  mile round trip it was back to this....


Too much coffee too much paperwork and too many emails.... but it pays for the lifestyle so I should not complain (too much)

Highlight of the week was attending a lecture from Simon Weston.... a real inspiration, someone who has overcome so much and still has a smile and sense of humour.


The last weekend in Staffordshire was spend at work would you believe... overseeing our largest open day on Saturday, followed by a trip to the theatre (another venue owned by my university and a site I visit often) to see 'little Voice' excellent I am always in awe when I am entertained so well by good actors. Getting back to the cold boat at 11.15 was not so good, but I had set the fire. I cut those light and forget logs in half - makes a jumbo fire lighter and they burn hot so we soon were tasty warm, plus a hot water bottle - did I mention I don't like to be cold !

Sunday we woke up and pondered our day.... I had seen a Facebook post from a biker friend (Coops) who was off to the NEC bike show. We have not been there for many many years so as we were half an hour away we went....


The 1600 BMW felt good, but there was so much tech on the bike I could not imagine it being safe to ride - far too distracting. But if I have a benefactor out there who wishes to have one delivered to East Dean step forward !!


The Triumph Trophy was interesting and I have asked for a brochure.... stopped short of a test ride. It did feel a little remote but it does have the right amount of rider support.... I can see a bimble out maybe at some point !

Now this felt right..... note the smile of a man who knows he already has the right bike ! Honda ST1300 Pan European, and we have taken ours to Europe and hope to again next year - destination Colditz


Being of a certain age  did try a Harley.... but my arse would not take the riding position.


This one caught my eye.... 1100cc different from my much loved CB200 but it looked very similar to me...... happy days


Finally I tried a GSX750 ... nope but it reminded me of my VTR1000 Firestorm


... And then it was back to the 40 mile a day commute......I did take my Quadcopter up to get some images of our sites.....






Went to the cinema to see Interstella  on Wednesday night with my eldest son Tom - excellent film and entertainment

Thursday evening it was revisiting the 'road to hell' I certainly know what Chris Rea was thinking when he wrote it !


So up to date..... today we got the bikes out for a 17 miles blow out around the South Downs. I picked a treat of a route .... more pics rather than words.


























Not sure what tomorrow will bring.... it'll be cold next week so the fire will earn its keep.

Around 2000 driven miles and 17 cycled for November !

Goodbye November..... see you next year hopefully !!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

There really is a Santa (NOT) ;-(

I have recently joined the Narrowboat User Group facebook pages, lots of friendly posts. Last night someone posted an Amazon offer - one of these brand new for a quid plus 3.99 P&P


I was outbid for a second hand one off EBay a few weeks ago and I was going to pay £35 plus a drive to Nottingham to collect.

Got the email confirmation late last night for a December delivery. It'll be ideal in the forecabin for times we need to get our smalls cleaned, not as convenient as a front loader but no install worries and literally no cost.

Thanks Narrowboat User group, top link.

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Location:Fradley

Sunday, 16 November 2014

If only...

.......they had build a canal in the New Galloway forest I'd be sorted !!

A few weeks ago I took a road trip from Chichester to Stranraer  - 480 miles, covered it using the Honda, CRV - 4 wheels rather than ST1300 -  2 wheels, never mind, this chapter of my life is bikeless which is sad.

It was for a trip to see my good friends John and Carrie and their two little dynamo's. I had provisionally agreed it when I thought I would be homeless while the boat was painted, this is now July 2015.... when I should be larging it up back in the homestead, no commute, bike in the garage, as much electricity as I want to waste as well as water and heat etc, anyhow that is next years story maybe.

So I set off Monday am and got to their farm house in the twilight of a Scottish winter - just in time for the tail end of hurricane something or other to whip through....

video

We had a great time as it was the kids half term....



My kind of beach.... all to ourselves.




We had a day in the Galloway forest.....and had all seasons in half an hour





The farmhouse location is stunning...


The only hiccup was when messing about with the radio controlled planes and quadcopers John's plane lost its valiant battle with an unexpected wind. We build them with sophisticated flight controllers that have GPS and altimeters in them but even though the plane knew where it was trying to fly back to the head wind was pushing it back up the West coast of Scotland. We thought we got a Ltt and Long fix as it was running out of battery but we suspect after the last broadcast is was blown a long way off form this last fix.... ouch !!



All in all an excellent and restorative break. Thank you John and Carrie






Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Leave my boat and do not darken its doors ever again....

.... and with that the old batteries were swapped over. When we got Percy there were a couple of 85 amp/h batteries installed with a 90 amp/h starter. Kev my neighbour had a couple of 110's he had got under warranty from Norbury I brought off him and they lasted a just short of a coupe of years and were never looked after.

Even with my modest power demands they slowly lost more every evening and last time Rachel was aboard we killed them to the point the bath pump would not operate.  So they were replaced with a couple of 110 sealed types and as there was a deal on at MC I replaced the starter at the same time.

They are doing very well, I have not run the engine this week... the solar topping them up and the fridge is off as the back cabin is now may fridge/larder for the rest of the winter. In fact it is colder in the back cabin than the fridge was! One of the benefits of Percy is its compartmentalisation.... lots of doors. This keeps the bathroom/bedroom kitchen and saloon warm with the engine room buffering the back cabin. Fridge in the back cabin currently 26c in the saloon.

Anyhow a before  picture....





















....and the after picture


One benefit was the threaded posts rather than clamps.... tidier and tighter fit and safer when installing as you can see they are close to the bulkhead. It is a job to to when you are not in a rush.

Lots of other stuff that I should have blogged about but when you send so much time aboard there seems less time or maybe less inclination to blog, shame really.