Friday 31 March 2017

Dirty diesel

I changed both fuel filters this afternoon. I wasn't expecting quite so much muck in the first filter/agglomerator.

It looks worryingly how I imagine the dreaded diesel bug to look, but the actual diesel was the usual bright pinkish colour. I'll next suck up some diesel from the bottom of the fuel tank and see what that's like. The engine has been running fine.

This is the top part of the first filter arrangement: the bolt through the top holds the filter in place with the metal bowl underneath.

Two fellow bloggers' boats passed our temporary mooring at Gayton Junction today, neither stopped. Waiouru motored past while I was in the Grand Junction Boat Company office - I saw the back end disappearing towards Blisworth. Jan (Jubilee Jan) had exchanged a few words with Tom, who said he was coming back. Well, Tom, if you do, we won't be here. GJBC will be having the boat for a couple of weeks to do a few jobs while we return home. The other non-stop boat was Briar Rose. I had, by chance, seen and spoken to Adam and Adrian as they were leaving Thrupp Wharf Marina by car to collect BR after its blacking. I had been picking up our car. As they went past in the same direction as Waiouru I was dripping with diesel.

Tomorrow we have to be up early as we have a BCF event in Banbury (not canalside) and we need to leave the boat ready for the work to be done. I'll blog about the work when we return to the boat in a couple of weeks.

Thursday 30 March 2017

Navigation pub, Stoke Bruerne

I'm posting this from my telephone while sitting in the Navigation waiting for food to arrive. I'm drinking a pint of tasteless Hobgoblin. How can the beer be so poor? Perhaps it is just too cold.

We set off from Thrupp Wharf Marina at 1445 in lovely warm sunshine. It was quite breezy but definitely T-shirt weather. I'd have worn shorts if I'd packed any. Apart from the bottom lock all the locks needed turning - most needed the top gates shutting too.

We tied up in the long pound ... and are sitting in the pub with rumbling tummies. (In case you're wondering, Jan is making use of the free wifi too.)

No photos as my camera is on the boat (and I wouldn't know how to get photos from camera to telephone).

Thursday 23 March 2017

Blacking done (of the barn wall)

I have already posted the first of these images; the set here shows the progress I have made.

Just the original bits of wall to do now, but it looks a lot better. Oh, and I'll black the window frame too.

Boating soon!

Thursday 16 March 2017

Boat maintenance ahead

It's getting near return-to-the-boat time. The first destination is the Grand Junction Boat Company at Gayton Junction where we will see if they can fix the water ingress problem (from a couple of windows). I have also asked them to fix a pigeon box flap where one of the welds has come apart; while they have the boat I'll get them to replace the engine coolant.

But for now it's been excellent weather for getting on with gardening jobs. I gave the lawn its first cut of the year two days ago; today I have been moving concrete slabs and trimming the hedge while Jan has been weeding. Yesterday I finished rendering the end wall of the barn, if the weather keeps fine I intend to give it a coat of black tar tomorrow.

In the warm sunshine yesterday I managed to picture this peacock butterfly feeding from a crocus before it flew away (the butterfly, not the crocus).

We even had our lunch sitting outside! Today has been a little cooler, with a bit of a chilly wind.

edited to remove typo

Monday 13 March 2017

What key is this lock in?

A notice alert from CRT today made me wonder ...

I can visualise the broken part so the description is useful, but I don't remember coming across the term "tuning fork" in connection with paddle gear before. I wonder what note the tuning fork would sound if struck? Perhaps, when it is repaired, one could hope that the lock would then be "on song".

Saturday 11 March 2017

Birthday card boats

It was my birthday recently and I got a lovely card from Jan.

It's a reproduction of a painting by George Sear given the title "Working Boats" with a location. I know what the location is, do you? There's a big clue in the picture.

The butty is Ara so I guess the motor is Archimedes. The artist has evidently tried to capture the scene exactly as it was (in 2001): the motor is shown with a rather scruffy stern.

Friday 10 March 2017

Laying it on with a trowel

Today I've been doing a job that's been waiting ever since I had the long outbuilding repaired. The walls are clay lump - except where this end wall was rebuilt with modern blocks after the roof collapsed. To cover up the ugly repair I've been spreading a clay mixture over it.

The black is the original wall, the light brown is the gable and at the bottom behind the ladder is where I applied my homemade clay render some time ago and the dark brown is what I had done today up to the point I took the photo. I hope it sticks!

When it's dry I shall coat it with a black tar varnish.

To make the render all I do is mix some of the old clay lump, which fell down, with water in a bucket.

And then I apply it with a trowel.

It takes an unbelievably long time. When I came in at 6pm - when it was getting dark - I'd done less than half the wall. And that was with a 10am start. At least the blacking is a quicker job.

(edited to correct typo)

Thursday 9 March 2017

Red bug

While moving logs at home today I came across this little beastie.

A quick search on the internet suggests that this is the red lily beetle.

Wednesday 8 March 2017

A little logging

Actually, a lot of logging. We have had quite a few trees cut down in our front garden. This is some beech. I have also been splitting ash and pine. Mostly pine.

Crocuses are photogenic, aren't they?