Thursday, July 26, 2007

Free at Last

Couldn't leave yesterday (Monday) cos the weather was so Poo!!
so we decided to leave on Tuesday and it felt like the great escape, we seem to have been at Pillings Marina for so long that we are starting to go stir crazy.
But all's well today the suns shining and I've got my shorts on for the first time in ages, so we joined Plan B and made an exit out of the Marina,

As we turned right at the wharf in Loughborough, now closed due to new visitors moorings being built which by the looks of them should be really nice when finished,
we stayed outside the Albion well it would be rude not to call in to say hello.

A walk into Loughborough to do some shopping and lunch, it's a lovely place to stay the centre is so close and the public house so welcoming.

Wednesday weather not too cleaver but the Soar fully open so decided to press on and see how far we can get.

And this is it, Kegworth shallow lock, as far as we can go for now, a phone call to BW reveals that the Trent is closed for at least the next 2 days,

So while there is a break in the weather it's time for jobs around the boat.

Scrubbed the roof which was getting really grubby from all the time spent in the marina,
touched up a few paint scratches below the gunnels and decided while the paint was out might as well paint the boat pole the same colours as Lorimar, and must admit it does look better than plain wood.

Decided to drill some holes in the top of the battery boxes as they are in the engine compartment and they do struggle to keep below 30 degrees C and a bit worried that if summer ever does arrive the they might start to cook.

Just past Kegworth lock are 4 or 5 lovely little pre-fab type bungalow's all with there own mooring at the bottom of the garden, really nicely cared for and a credit to the owners.

The couple that live at No. 14 explained that last week was a worry for them as the Soar had risen to just below the steps on the bungalow.

But now as you can see it's nearly back to it's normal level.

Here you can see every body starting to congregate, waiting for the Trent to open,
Surprise surprise another escapee from Pillings Marina Dave and Sandra on NB Catherine arrived in the afternoon to join the waiting convoy,
still with so many boats escaping from the marina gave us all loads to chat about in the evening,
Son Andrew called today to say that he had just sat his final exam at college and is now a fully qualified carpenter, so a big well done to him, very proud of you son well done.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Looking Forward to Monday

Not had much to blog about just lately, weather has been Poo!! and Lorimar has been moored at Pillings while we have been away for the last two weeks working at Priory marina in Bedford.

We had originally planned to cruise to Bedford as I had been offered two to three weeks servicing work at the Marina, working on the Canaltime boats moored there,

but due to the river Soar being in flood we had to revise our plans and travel down by car and stay on one of the Canaltime hire boats at the marina,

turned out to be a wide beam so had plenty of room and good facilities, they are very nicely equipped with everything from microwave to dishwasher on board, but you can't beat the comforts of your own boat so we are really looking forward to returning to Lorimar this weekend, especially after two weeks of changing shower pumps, bilge pumps, replacing faulty wiring and safety checks + general oil and gas servicing on boilers and appliances.

But weather permitting we are hoping to go cruising on Monday, probably only going to be a week away unfortunately so will probably head of towards Fradley and see how far we get, because the week after I've got more gas repairs and general servicing of the Canaltime hire boats at Sawley Marina, still at least it means that Canaltime must have been impressed for them to offer me more work, even though they had to pay all our expenses for the car and provide the wide beam to stay on free of charge and that's not cheap these days,

most of the people staying on the hire boats seem to be either American or Australian which made for some interesting discussions in the evenings over the odd beer and bottle of wine of course.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

From this !!

To this in one night.
Woke this morning at 6.30am and took this shot of a lovely sunny day,
we thought the rain was never going to end, and last night spent time revising Lorimars build plans to check out the possibility of turning her into an ark !!
But no need now,
Yippee !! the suns got it's hat on.

But we still have to trudge 200 yds. or so to get near the car parking area through thick, deep mud. Doh !!

The walkway as it is now.

You can see from this shot that it's along way to walk, even if we had real paths and no mud.
The work has re-started on the pontoon pylons today, the lads started at 7.30am making hay while the sun shines, I suspect.
The forecast for to-morrow and the weekend is again unsettled and the soar is still in flood, so nothing else to do but sit and wait it out.
A few owners are a bit fed up as it's there annual holiday and are just sitting around at the marina waiting for somewhere to go.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cheeky Monkey

Today's lovely the suns shining and a chance to get the chairs out and do a spot of fishing, but Deefer had other idea's first she pinched my bread roll that I was using for bait, then while I was fetching another roll she decided she would pinch my chair. cheeky monkey !

The marina work force dug a massive hole with the jcb and buried the large tank that arrived on site a while back, I think it must be for the pump out station.
Work on placing the pylons is still underway, and Paul hopes they will be all in place by next week.
Weather permitting of course.
The river is still in flood conditions and the floodlock remains closed, so not much chance of any day trips for now.

Rain, rain and more rain

The weather may be Poo !! but the work goes on,
Lorain's favorite Lab picture put in the galley.

Picture frames for the living room being painted to match the decor,
Lilac, Lilac and more lilac Lorain's favorite colour.

Rain stops play

Brilliant news the open day for the marina on Sunday went great with plenty of people looking around all day,
and Paul was over the moon, as the pylon machine has finally arrived and 5 pylons have already been put into place, this means at this rate it won't be long before the pontoons will be floated out into position.
Then the weather broke again and the poor lads tried there hardest to carry on, but eventually had to call it a day.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Barbecue on the patio

At the moment on our temporary pontoon mooring we have so much space it's like having your own patio,
so nothing else to do but have a barbecue, lets face it the weather has been glorious.

Invited some new friends to join us.

First visitors

Our very first family visitors,

Vikki and boyfriend Scott from Great Yarmouth,

It was lovely to see some family and catch up with all the goss. surprising how much you can miss out on in a month.

Good to see you both, we hoped you enjoyed your visit, just got to convince your Mum & Dad to visit now.

Hint Hint Reg.

Crick to Pillings

Just thought I would let you know,
Since leaving the Crick show we have travelled 49.6 miles and done 44 locks.

Scariest moments on our travels so far have got to be :

  1. Watford staircase locks
  2. Crick Tunnel 1528 yds.
  3. Husbands Bosworth Tunnel 1166 yds.
  4. Foxton staircase locks
  5. Atherstone locks

But it has been a great learning curve for us both and we have really enjoyed ourselves along the way.

For now we have got to stay put and get ourselves organised, get the final inspection carried out by our friendly boat inspector Mr. David Broach,

and of course collect the last of our belongings that are scattered around family members houses and then work out where to put it !!!

Pillings Lock Marina

Well we have arrived,

a place I wasn't looking forward to arriving at, not because of the marina but because for now it means an end to a fantastic two weeks of cruising.

Pillings Lock Marina not in it's finished state but does promise to be a lovely place in the very near future.

The pontoons that will form the main walkways to the finger moorings are all placed around the outside of the marina ready to be floated out into position when the pylons have been driven into the marina base, but unfortunately the machine to do this has been delayed.

On a plus side this means that we have a brilliant position on the side well away from the construction crew and overlooking the marina.

On a minus side it's a walk of about 200yds. to the car parking area, not far but if it rains it turns the walk into a mud bath something like an unploughed field, and of course the dogs have to go out and they come back after a 5 min stretch of there legs and sniffing everything in sight to turn the boat into what I can only describe as a war zone, this then takes us half an hour to clean up and get back to normality.

but it hasn't rained that much so it's all good !!!!

Oh yes sorry about the pics it's not really that dismal looking although the day was a bit overcast, I had been messing about with the camera settings on the previous evening trying to get a good night shot of the marina and forgot to put the settings back to auto. what a Muppet !!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lorimar & Plan B (Heartwood Narrowboats Crick show boat last year) share a lock on our way to our moorings for the night in Leicester, we hope to find room on the pontoon in the basin by Castle Park, Peter and Diane from Plan B have stayed there before and have fond memories.

Cruising on after we stayed at Castle Park, we had a great day and evening, went shopping in town (Lorain's favorite pastime) and went for an Indian with P & D, fantastic little place, no alcohol license so took a bottle of red and a white for the girls, and was entertained by Peters tales of the cut and stories about the places and people they had met while cruising last year.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

At Foxton flight we had chance to explore, because there was a 4hr. wait to go down, the museum & inclined plane is well worth a visit anyway,
work on the lift is coming along and they now have a new observation point, and you can take some great snaps from there.

Lorimar with Leicesters football stadium in the background, an amazing looking place.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Crick Show

Brilliant, the weather was traditionally wet but the atmosphere was priceless, loads of people came along to wish us well, and it was brilliant to meet all the people that have been following the blog.
We just could not believe that people wanted to stand in the pouring rain for over an hour just to look over our boat, it certainly makes you proud,
waterworld visited and asked if they could send a film crew to spend a day with us, for there new series.
Canal boat magazine are coming in July to give the boat a test and do a write up, Hope they don't want me to drive or the article will be all about how many things we can bash into. well it is a contact sport !! so I'm told. and anything under the gunnel's is fair game.

How Many

Entering the first lock in the flight.

When I said I would do the locks nobody told me how many there was, says Lorain.

Lorain takes the helm.

Our first ever flight of locks, but we got on ok!
Mr. Locky was more than helpfull and told us always open red first and leave a lock in front empty, and we managed ok. Lorain decided I should do the driving and she would do the locks. I did give her the choice Honest!!

I Spy Granny Buttons

Was days before Crick, when we came up the cut and could not believe our eyes it's Granny Buttons says I, who says Paul, Granny Buttons says I, been following Andrews blog for a long time, and rushing to get the camera was the best shot I could get.

Paul enjoying the trip as much as us, thinks I, no prizes for guessing what he's holding but it's not tea.

Lovely pub on the way and rude not to stop and partake in refreshments.

Our first stop on the way to Crick and been new to all this Paul the builder decided to come with us and teach me everything he knew on the way. Just worried I would damage Lorimar before he got chance to show it thinks I

Taken from the bridge at 5.30am. you can still make out the mist on the canal.
I know, I know, 5.30am is much too early to be up and about, but just excited,

Cruise to Crick

And the first dunking went without any problems, and we spent our first night afloat at the marina, well they had some nice ales so would be rude not to.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Transport arrives to take Lorimar to Festival Park Marina for her first dunking, from there we will cruise down to Crick boat show

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Looking Good

When you see something coming to life that until now was just an idea gives you such a warm feeling inside, and we really couldn't have had a better signwriter.

Deefer and Daisy's Bedroom

Paws for Thought

Signwriting 2nd Day

Trouble is with sign writing it's the sort of trade you just can't help watching, you really try hard not to be a pain and keep watching, but you just can't help yourself.
Lucky the sign writer was open to new idea's and we spent a good few hours of the day just throwing ideas in the air and discussing them until we came up with something we all agreed would be good.

Lorain wanted Deefer & Daisy to feel at home !!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Countdown to Launch

This is a link that shows time left to launch date,
Lorimar will be launched at 10am. on Friday the 18th. and once all relevant checks have been carried out by Heartwood Narrowboats we will be setting of for Crick. I must admit it will be a nerve racking day for us all, but hopefully things should go ok.
We hope to set off on our maiden voyage on Saturday which will give us 5 days to reach Crick and ready Lorimar for the show.
We are really looking forward to seeing all our new found friends at the show that have been following our blog site and the beer tent of course, which should be a good time because apparently it is tradition for the builders to buy all the beer we can drink Ha Ha

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The finish of the blue panel is that good you can even see the reflection of the workshop roof.

The cream with blue panels and red coach lines lookes just as good if not better than we had imagined,
This friday we are meeting the signwriter and Elite furnishings are coming along to take final window measurements for the blinds, but thats Lorains department, colours of fabrics and furniture are not my favorite topic, nor Pauls come to that.
Thank goodness for Lorain and Maria xx

Ian is in his element, Paul is so busy with the installing of the electrics, systems, engine and heating system that he has virtually left Ian in charge of the wood working and as usual it has not been a daunting task for him, Paul has taught him well and it certainly shows.

Maria has been busy making the exterior look as good as the interior, the gloss finish looks fantastic and now that the panels and the red coach lines have been added Lorimar is certainly a head turner.

Let there be light

This picture shows what Paul has been busy doing, all the control panels now installed connected and tested,

This shows a view of the arched doorway in the living room, on the right leaning against the side is the start of the door,

Nearing Completion

Book Shelf / Rad Housing in living room

Bedroom Cabinets Started

Well no one said it would be easy !!!

but I must admit we didn't realise just how difficult it was going to be,

Six months seemed to be a long way away, but before you know it, it's only 3 weeks until Lorimar gets launched, and time seems to have gone in a flash, all our plans to do this and that while waiting for the build ?? half the things we planned to do never got done and most of the people we where going to visit never got seen, so our apologies to everyone.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blown Away

Well we visited the builders this weekend as arranged and met Lee our granite man there, what a great chap, He had to travel from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire to Stoke on Trent but not a moan at all, in fact was only too pleased to help out, He and his brother Mark got straight on with finishing the tops as they had left the sink holes and hob hole to cut on site because Lee was concerned about the granite being damaged and cracking at the weak points during transit.
And to cut a long story short Blown away is the only way I can describe how they look, but judge for yourself.
As for progress on the boat building Paul has been busy finishing the galley area ready for the granite, if you can see at the end of the galley left hand side you can see two doors, Paul has decorated these with a decorative piece of elm that he has had for years and it looks fantastic, and I know I keep harping on but it's this what makes our builder so special, the enthusiasm and finishing touches make all the difference.
Ian has been busy in the bathroom making the cabinet to his usual high standards I can see this boy going far in the future, his attention to detail is second to none.
Maria has been busy tiling and painting and has managed to get a great finish on the base paint, so all in all it was a very good visit and we seem on schedule for the boat show at Crick.