... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Latest update

Well, it would be plenty... if the engine would start. It's 10 o'clock and we should have left by now. The main cause of the non starting seems to be the battery, which hasn't liked its rather crude charging regime over the last month or so. On top of that of course everything's so very cold and choggy. The dilemma now is, do we give it a bit of artificial help, warming up the engine room with an electric heater... or does that just risk us being stuck tomorrow morning in the middle of nowhere. Or will the engine retain enough heat from the day's running to make things a bit easier tomorrow. Obviously by the time you've sent in your answers on a postcard, the decision will have been made. I'm sure that if we can get it started, then we will go, and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

It is such a beautiful day. It must be cold, because water is freezing as soon as I spill it, but since making the most significant discovery of my life - warm clothes work - I am scarcely noticing. I was of course much too hot in the night, as I hadn't managed to get the stove to settle down, and I certainly didn't want it to go out. So I was up at midnight, to see the moon shining through the trees onto the frozen canal, at three, to feel that the air was perhaps a bit warmer, then at four, woken by the almost imperceptible sound of snow on the roof.

This morning there was a light dusting of white over everything, and now thyere is bright sunshine. All the taps are frozen of course, so we are very glad of Chertsey's water tanks, and the fact that we can take off the cover , break the ice on the surface, and ladle out the water with a jug. I am obsessed with amassing as much hot water as possible - hence last night's title.

Just now there was the most extraordinary sound, as Debdale (was it the Debdale? Was that even perhaps Adam, but more bearded than when I last saw him?) came through breaking the ice. It's not very thick, but he said it had been hard going. We shared the fear that it could well get worse. So should we give up, not set out? Well, apart from the fact that we're supposed to be off the mooring by Tuesday, I just don't want to give up or to miss this opportunity at least to try. I guess you'd better watch this space.


  1. We will be sorry to see you go, but I can understand your reasons. I am at home all day today so if you do get going don't forget to give me a wave as you pass bridge 64. It's about 3.5 hours to Great Haywood Junction, another 9 hours to Cut End then an hour up to Stretton so have yourselves a good time ice breaking and I'll see you around the circuit next year perhaps. All the best, have a good road and as always - don't bang 'em about

  2. Hi Sarah -- yes it was the Debdale, and the Adam! It was a lot easier going once we passed a boat going the other way, even so, things seem to take much longer in this weather. We're now at Tixall Wide, and the ice is very thick here. It was difficult getting into the side, and I'm a bit worried about getting out again in the morning. Hope you got the engine going -- if you could go past us and break the ice, that would be great!