Earlier in the week we made a flying visit to Warrior at Bill Fen. The reason for the flyingness was that we got a slot sooner than expected to get the BSS done, but the main reason for going was to pick up a few bits and bobs to borrow for Chertsey... an anchor, a VHF radio, and the keb (my, how I wish we'd had that at Glascote!)... and some little things for Chertsey to keep: my original miniature water can, which was a botawarming present when I first got Andante, and so in proper tradition must travel from boat to boat with me. It's a lovely thing, really nicely painted, bought from the K&A trust shop at Newbury, which is of course where Andante came from. Also, Warrior has gifted Chertsey an old, painted, Valour paraffin can. It came with Warrior, but of course we never have cause to use paraffin there; on Chertsey it can actually be used.
We didn't have too many worries about the BSS, but we did finally have to get round to putting some heatproof board behind the new stovepipe in the saloon - after four years! It's always been put off because of having it in our heads that it would be hard to get hold of, or at least to get hold of a small enough piece - but of course, we hadn't tried, it was just one of those thaings that hangs over you. In the end of course we just walked into a local builders' merchants (Ingles, this lot are called, and very good they are too) and they cut us a piece and it was about seven quid. Jim put it straight up, but it's not finished; it will have a piece of that copper that we got in Ely on top of it eventually. Anyway, it was all fine and Warrior now has a ticket through 'til September 2014!
Today, if all goes to plan, we should be setting off on the Great Trent Thrash (everything has to have a title like a cheap TV show now), the main object of which is to give the engine a really good workout in the hope that it will cure the oily exhaust - this being on the assumption that the problem might be caused by glazed bores. If it isn't, but turns out to be a damaged oil scraper ring as we first thought, then the engine will have to come apart - not a prospect to be relished. So we are going to give this a shot and have some fun in the process. And also, of course, visit that Shangri-La of the East Midlands, our favourite town ever, Newark. That is the destination we are aiming for; we'll get there, turn round and come back. Fast.