Thursday, February 20, 2014


...doesn't describe adequately how I feel at the moment. The weeks since Christmas have seemed incredibly long, and, although it's good to be spending time with our kids, we're more than eager to get back to Kantara. The worst of the weather seems to have passed (but who knows, eh?), we have plans for the rest of the year, and those plans are canal plans!

Being at the house has enabled us to get done a number of jobs which were needed here, or which we could do better here. We've had solar panels installed, we've investigated cavity wall insulation (and found it's not needed), replaced a shower pump (supplying two showers), and done a bit of gardening at times between downpours - Naomi's done more than that, bless her, and has just started a project to erect raised beds around the garden, in which to grow vegetables. Other, tidying and rationalising, work will be done as part of that, too. I've investigated a leak in the roof of the summerhouse, and await further heavy rain (although I really hope it doesn't come) to test my repair efforts. Grace has made several dresses for herself and Jess. We've been doing a fair bit of clearing out of "stuff", too, and discovered FreeCycle, an excellent way of finding good homes for things that are no longer wanted. I've just given away a couple of Kerria from the garden, and a TV a week or so ago. We have a couple of good charity shops just at the end of the road, too.

And I've broken my third exercise bike!

Looking back over the blog, you'll see that I bought my first one for use on the boat back in 2012. It developed a fault before the year's warranty expired, and i got a replacement... which failed within the year, so I got a replacement... which failed last week. Tesco Direct, from whom I bought it, have been very good about this, and replaced it each time without any problem, but they did say this time that they wouldn't replace it again, if I insisted on having the same make and model. So I've chosen another, and I'm waiting for its delivery as I type. Fingers crossed!

We were glad to be around when Said the Maiden supported Jim Moray at the Hitchin Folk Club. It was great for them to be supporting yet another top artist on the folk circuit, and their performance was magic.

 They're in the process of finalising their first full album, ready for their nationwide tour with Dave Swarbrick in April and May. Steve's engineering and producing the CD.

Of course, when we get back on the canal, there's no telling how much this deplorable weather will affect our cruising, but we have a number of trips in mind; to Llangollen, to Stratford-upon-Avon - we have vouchers for theatre tickets we're looking forward to using, to Brentford, and a trip to complete our intended Leicester Ring trip last year, visiting Coventry and the Ashby Canal.

We shall see!

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