Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Having one's knuckles rapped - by CRT

Oops! This evening I looked at my e-mails and discovered one from CRT headed "Please keep cruising if you've been moored for over 14 days". In it I was very politely told that my boat had been seen moored in the same general area for more than 14 days. The message included links to the relevant parts of the licence conditions. How could this have happened?  Well, we moored by Bridge 5 for two weeks, then moved to opposite Lyon's Boatyard for a further two weeks. This was while we were working on a house we let nearby. I had hoped that moving from Bridge 5 would be sufficient, but it appears that moving half a mile or so still counts as the "same general area".

our mooring opposite Lyon's Boatyard
Very few people stop at either location, and I had hoped that that might mean that the mooring police would not have bothered. But I'm impressed that we had been clocked.

When I read the e-mail we had already moved on - to Hopwood on the Worcester and Birmingham - but I wonder what the minimum moving distance might have been. The two miles to King's Norton Junction? Or less? Anyway, we have now finished the planned work at the house so we are cruising at last.  And I am very sorry to have been judged as overstaying.

Yesterday we were in Sheffield visiting Andrew. This electrical shop in Wicker caught my eye. It looks like just the sort of shop I would have loved as a small boy. I'd probably quite enjoy it now too.

The signs on the windows look as though they haven't changed from the 1980s, advertising 'video and cassette tapes', 'drive belts' and 'stylus', among other electrical essentials such as fire elements and urn spares. It's not all in the past, though. There's a website address above the shop.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Laminate floor laid

(not on the boat.) Some of what we've been doing here in Birmingham over the last weeks is sorting out a floor in a house we let near the Stratford Canal. What we're now calling a utility room is a monopitch roofed 18' by 6' extension behind the kitchen. This appeared to be an unfinished project by the previous owners of the house in that, before we attacked it, the room had no insulation in the ceiling, a garden gate for a door to the side alley and water pipes running diagonally across the bare concrete floor. Oh, and the window frames and the clapboard exterior wall were rotten.

A few years ago we had the rotten wood replaced with white plastic, the windows were replaced with double glazed units, then I insulated and pine clad the ceiling.  I installed lighting at the same time.

On Monday last week we removed the severely delapidated side door and boarded up the hole. Tuesday's job was the removal of the copper pipes from the floor and replumbing in plastic around the edge of the room.
On Wednesday we cut and laid the sheets of 18mm ply we'd squeezed into the car the previous week. And on Thursday - at last - we could lay the laminate flooring. Never having done anything like this before, I must say I'm pretty pleased with how it went.

And here's the finished result.

It's not perfect. We found that the concrete was rather uneven, leading to the ply sheets not lying very flat. But - fortunately! - the laminate on top seems to have sorted it out. There's just a small bit of 'bounce' when entering the room from the kitchen.

Our next job is to box in the pipework where it runs across to the washing machine. At some stage we will have to tidy the end walls, but that can wait.

Today we went to Yardley Wood Parish Church for the 0930 communion service and explored the extensive churchyard afterwards. This gave way to informal paths through a forest of fern, and then this vista of rosebay willowherb.

Immediately behind the camera is a steep bank down to the canal some thirty feet below.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Diesel interference patterns after spill

We are now back opposite the moorings at Lyon's Boatyard. As we approached we became aware of diesel on the water making its unmistakeable interference patterns. If I remember my school physics correctly, this is caused by light reflecting from the surface of the diesel combining with light reflecting from the water surface, just a molecular distance further. The thickness of the diesel is so small, approaching the wavelengths of light, interference patterns are set up revealing light's component colours in a rainbow effect. I'm sure someone will tell me if I've got this wrong.

As the diesel spreads out from the original spill I believe that surface tension effects quickly cause it to be only a molecule thick, i.e. not very thick at all. So a small spill can cover a large area, making it look worse than it probably is.

The next day there was no evidence of the diesel.

This afternoon Scorpio came past.

Jubilee is tied up on the towpath.