WHAT a palaver it's been the last 5 or so weeks. Before you start, I've already apologised for being rubbish at blogging this year ... it's just been a busy and trying season... my own fault really I suppose. You see the thing was, WHEN I put together this years routes, I was not in the most positive of places ... grieving my mothers death and then I had to put that on hold to deal with the end of my marriage (well CP but it's the same thing)... ergo, finances were weighing heavily on my mind - all of a sudden having to work out how to factor in debt repayments (divorce loan) that was never a consideration of the orignal 'business' plan.
Basically, I didn't leave enough "off days" between guests throughout the year.... being focused on getting as many trips in as possible to mitigate the addition financial burden... and that was even BEFORE Covid had ever darkened our shores. Anyway - having learned the hard way how tiring it can be doing this without days off, in 2022 and beyond, I'm factoring in an extra day between guests so that once the laundry, cleaning and re-stocking is done, I can have a day "OFF" properly. Well that's the plan anyway.
So then - going back to Early September. I can't recall whether I mentioned but after our first trip up and down the Ashby - which incidentally really IS nice (but shallow), on our guests departure, I noticed during the 1st laundry load, that the voltage wasn't right ... I put it down to new batteries maybe just being a bit higher than the old ones. HOWEVER, by the time Ellis had been tied up in Coventry Basin (not sure if that's worth the effort tbh but it's ticked off now), for a night, it became apparent that Auxiliary alternator wasn't working at all. With guests arriving about lunchtime (this was 11am btw), I panicked and rushed out to buy a generator... annoyingly, I'd given away the old one (it had a small leak) just before we'd gone through Standedge tunnel in April) - of course the only one available in Machine mart (which is really close to the basin in Coventry) was more expensive than the one I wanted... Hobsons's choice meant I had to buy it anyway. So, armed with a new genny - and then after a 2.6 mile return walk to get a can of petrol, we set sail/chug and began our journey with Fred and Shirley to Market Harborough. Luckily, they were returning guests and didn't (outwardly at least) object too much to having to use the genny to keep the fridge/freeezer running. The weather was very kind to us and we had some lovely days (ignoring the noise of the genny)
After Watford locks, we stopped off for a night "plugged in" at Crick Marina - I had become concerned that the 'new' batteries were getting too much of a hammering and not enough charge.
Whilst waiting for the 2nd alternator to arrive, I got a message from Adam of Briar Rose - he and Adrian were in the area and about to go up Braunston Locks... with a little time before lunch, I nipped over to say hello. I'm sure he won't mind me stealing a photo he took from their blog