Saturday 23 May 2020

3400 hour service, NEW stove glass and more freedom - to go nowhere....

Hey up,

It's been too long (again) since my last diatribe.... I'd have written something sooner but I've been trying to decipher 'Boris's' most recent set of instructions  - bless him.

Poor chap - I think the layman's version is just that more people need to go out and become exposed/recover/die to build up the herd immunity just not too many at once... anyone with half a brain should be able to have worked that one out but as usual, the twitter snowflakes are choosing to catastrophise and "blame" any one - EVERYONE  for something... whilst doing this, their lives are ebbing away along with the countries ( and their children/grandchildren's) financial security.  Hey ho...

Anyway - moving away from there - in fact, apart from posting the occasional 'legs Ellis' shot and pics of swan families, I'm trying my hardest to keep my use minimal.... it DOES have the occasional "use" in the form of a public tweet at an agency who are generally crap at doing what they are supposed to but even then you get accused of throwing toys out of your pram - I think my latest one was when I had a moan at crt about the constant breaking down of the swing bridges and I suggested they may as well just order the concrete lorries to fill in the entire canal - given the lack of maintenance, it's about all it's good for... a sarcastic over-reaction on my part I admit, but some folk DO take it very seriously.

So - back in boaty land, it was time for the 3400 hour service  This one included all 4 filters (2 fuel, 1 oil and 1 air) - Although, to be honest,  I could have stretched the diesel ones out a bit longer given how clean they looked when I'd got them off.

I've been using a plastic bag wrapped around oil filters for years to reduce the mess, but splashed out this time on a zipper one and decided it was much tidier than the cheaper ones I've used previously.

I did mess up a bit however by NOT filling the primary diesel filter before fitting it and cause I had the main one off at the same time, it did take a fair bit of pumping through to bleed the air out - no matter... that's the nice thing about simple tractor engines... if it won't start it's usually something simple stopping it rather than an invisible electrical fault.

WHILST I've been doing dirty chores, I thought I may as well replace the - now VERY scratched and dirty fire glass again... Having ordered what I THOUGHT was the right size "generic" glass a while ago, ahem , when I came to fit it I discovered it was half an inch too long /wide.  Bummocks...  It was a saving of 20 quid over the proper Arada part so I was about to chuck it away and order the RIGHT size when it occurs to me it might be worth trying a tile cutter on it to 'make it fit'

I didn't have one on the boat and of course no where that would sell such a thing (thanks to Covid) would be open.  I sent Ian at Pennine Cruisers a text to see if he had one I could borrow - and ONCE AGAIN, he came to my rescue .... calling around with it which was very helpful.  I'll bet there's not many 'businessmen' who'll lend folks things that they could charge them for doing if you follow (well other than my dad used to for the folks who couldn't afford to/the young uns )... Anyway - after a few scores on either side (the glass being mika I think) AND a bit of chipping away with pliers, the glass would now fit in the rebate and the job was done - saving 20 quid... well apart from the cost of a bottle of wine to say "thank you" to Ian.

I've made a promise to myself to clean the new one EVERYDAY and try my hardest not to scratch it... an easy one to keep during the warmer months when you can let the fire go out overnight - less so in mid winter when the fire is always on "hot" mode lol.  We'll see how I manage... so far so good.

I've also taken of late to using those instant fire logs to get a quick blast of heat into the boat on a cold morning/night and when one has been going for about an hour, I chuck a few coals on/around it and it doubles up as a fire lighter too.  A quid a go from Poundland and  given the lack of kindling that has been around without a massive queue around B & M carpark, they've been a blessing. Writing of Poundland, I must give them a bit of credit here...  RIGHT the way through, they've adopted a sensible approach with a lack of hysteria - as such, there have never been massive queues to go in and they expanded their range to include bread/milk and eggs - very commendable of them... now OK - I realise the latter WAS to enable them to justify being "open" but fair play to them.   

More and more little places are sticking lines of tape 2 metres apart int he street outside and putting up notices in windows saying "only 1 person allowed in shop at a time" - fair enough... point is, they are trying to work around things AND keep their heads above water... whatever funding THEY might have been able to have get hold of NOT lasting forever or in some cases, even covering their early losses. 

 I'm still unable to get anything with only a "bounce back LOAN" scheme available... that bit sucks actually because of course a LOAN has to be repaid and I'd only just borrowed a massive amount for the divorce.... but it's my issue not yours so I won't moan about it (much) here...

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After Boris's latest "speech" - CRT were quick to send out an email with an update on "their take" on it...  alas, it was JUST as confusing as the Prime-Ministers lol.    

The day after, (and as a result of a twitter/facebook backlash I suspect), they explained what they actually meant using better English...  the crux of it being non-live-aboards were now allowed to visit their boats, go on  a little chug but NOT over night on them for some silly reason.  Of course, anyone with a reasonable amount of jobs to do on their boat would be expected to drive to it, do a bit, drive home and them repeat the journey until their jobs were complete... HARDLY sensible really....

In addition to this, from early June, navigation will reopen "properly" (them needing time to  un furlough staff - whom in my opinion shouldn't have been furloughed anyway as it was a perfect time for repairs to be done when boats weren't moving and with BETTER weather than the winter stoppage program - of course that would assume crt had competent managers... which it appears they don't). 

Yesterday, afternoon (you know - Friday before a bank holiday) they sent out the notices saying that the Mac, Peak forest and Leeds and Liverpool navigation  would NOT be re-opening due to a shortage of water... the latter being caused by them in the first place for draining down the reservoir up top, to inspect/perhaps do something... a knee jerk panic due to the one Whaley bridge over toppling last year...  in short - I'm losing my faith in them... UP until now, despite MANY challenges they've caused, I'd been a supporter... I suppose, ideally I still am but there is only SO many times you can kick a faithful dog before he'll turn around and bite you!

They HAVE intimated there may be a "window" to allow boats to leave the canal (this one) but knowing them,  (ie given they gave 24 hours it was closing in the first place) it might not be long enough to us to get through and off it... IN WHICH case it will be a crane and lorry affair and I'll pursue them for the costs.... no point in having to pay twice the amount for a business licence if you can't actually run a business due to them.

Apparently they'll issue another update on 29th May.... can't wait. Meanwhile, "Ellis" will continue to chug back and forth in this tedious pound between the bottom of Gargrave and top of Bingley... and get stuck at broken swing bridges as and when they go kapuut - which is about every 3rd one at the moment...

Where did I put that concrete order?

Until Next time....

Saturday 9 May 2020

VE Day... Shroppie-shelf Fenders and bugger all....

It's been an ok (ish given the circumstances) period since I was last here...  Everyone is fed up... tensions are building and all of a sudden, the world is full of folk with 'opinions rather than solutions'.

I've plenty of both but on occasions, keep them to myself with my inbuilt filter.  SOME folk think I don't HAVE a filter...  they'd be amazed at how much I actually DO block from coming out of my big gob mouth.

The whole "don't move your boats unless it's for services thing - combined with the so called water shortage which has closed this canal IS getting under my skin a bit now.  I honestly don't see why boaters moving around -"socially distant" by the very nature of boating, is being advised against... I really don't.  It's not like your bum on a  lock gate is going to spread Covid is it? -  WHAT'S MORE annoying is all the muppets on facebook / twitter and the like, condemning any boat that IS moving... THEY don't know why a boat is moving - what happened to tolerance of other folks? - more and more people are gradually becoming brainwashed into thinking Covid is everywhere and we can get through "life" by avoiding it forever... I'm afraid the irony is that a lot of the "vulnerable/oldies" we are supposedly protecting, would be happy to make their OWN decisions... instead, they are being peer-pressured into hiding away  'self isolating' and dying inside anyway.

Perhaps a simpler approach should be IF folk are so worried about becoming sick and dying, they should opt to hide away inside for as long as it takes to get either cured/inoculations developed or herd immunity.  THAT way, there'd be enough delivery slots available from the supermarkets and the rest of us can carry on as normal taking our chances BEFORE the whole economy - and perhaps more importantly, the younger folks financial futures are totally trashed... it may already be too late for that one!

Folks in the street are leaping into the middle of the road to avoid coming "too close" to others on the pavements - I mean, a bus is a LOT more dangerous to " Patrena Mad Woman" than walking 3 foot closer to me than she'd prefer...  Same goes for super markets... I may have mentioned this before, but the other day in Tescos (which I am now boycotting for it's Nazi like staff enforcing the 1 way systems)  - I forgot spuds and the powercrazed shop girl KEY worker watched me walk all the way back up the veg isle keeping my distance I must add from other people, only to shout at me to turn around and go the other way...  which I duly did - ONCE I'd picked up spuds!  The reason WHY there are such big queues in the car parks is that when one person stops to think for a moment about something to buy, EVERYONE else in the "herd" behind them ALSO has to stop... ergo, a weekly shop for everyone else in  the shop, takes as long as the dithering bint who can't decide between broccoli and cauliflower takes...  JUST GET BOTH...  ... in the end I reached past said woman and the look she gave me... well you'd think I'd crapped in her basket.

Rant over...

SO then ,  VE 75th Anniversary...  a beautiful day in Skipton... there would have been the boat festival and commemorations taking place...  - instead, little groups of  neighbors sitting in chairs outside their houses a few metres apart trying to make the best of it. 

'Ellis' wasn't on her (well what feels like her ) home-mooring outside Pennine...  we'd been on an essential boat journey down to Aldi (well you can't carry shopping THAT far on foot)  and when we'd come back another boat had nipped into the space...  to be honest though, whilst its my favourite place to moor - the boat behind is one of those chaps who runs his engine FROM 8pm to whenever... which gets on your nerves if you are in bed and he's still running it - ergo, a break from that was due anyway to soothe tensions.    The "other mooring" by Gallows bridge did for a couple of nights and when a couple of the old girls that usually sit near the Fred Trueman Statue turned up for a natter, I rustled together a little VE day picnic (just a few sarnies,antipasta, pork-pies and chicken calzone) - along with a bottle of  Cava.

I even FINALLY used the paper/foil plates that have been in the larder cupboard for about 2 years...  

They made a lovely lighting effect on the ceiling of the boat before I took them outside..

It was nice to have a natter with them and for a short while, things felt a bit more normal...  The swans turned up with their 11 signets for feeding which was lovely too..

When we'd finished our little picnic and drinks, I suggested we could do with topping the water tank up so if the ladies would like to sit on the bow, we could chug along to the tap and then continue back to the basin..  they lept (literally) at the offer and we chugged our way back outside Pennine with them on the front.  

Once they'd departed, I got out the "space-saver" wheels I'd ordered from Ebay the other week - NOW colour coded to match  Ellis... they ARE a bit big for here but DO stop the hull from banging on the sloping sides under water... making for a much quieter night ... prior to this I had been using 2 old wheels Ian from Pennine had loaned me.  It's good to have my own set and they both fit in the rear locker when not deployed.. They'll certainly come into their own when we eventually get on the Shroppie again - that blooming shelf causes havoc with mooring pretty much anywhere other than "designated mooring points"...which tend to be full of boats anyway... these will allow much more freedom.

At some point when a shop selling quick-links/d-shackles opens again, I'll splice one on rather than tying  them to the fender hooks so crudely.

That's it for now -  bugger all else is happening... I'm plodding on with my sign language  course... remind me to post a link to it in case anyone else fancies a go... The new bosun put it together in a bid to raise some cash to finance the missing earnings during "furlough" - THERE's another word very few folk had even heard of until recently....ANYWAY - the link to it is on the other laptop so I'll try and think on next time to begin a blog posting using that... (one for work - one for recreation if you follow)...It's not expensive but as I'm a slow learner, that's a GOOD thing lol.  

I wonder what Boris is going to say when he addresses the nation tomorrow night?- can't think it's going to be particularly helpful but I remain open minded.

Until next time....