About Me

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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Summer Cruise 17

Friday 2nd June

I spent the morning doing those odd jobs that seem to occupy all boaters at one time or another. The first was having a chat to my next boat neighbour, who had the same wi-fi aerial as me, but had constructed a homemade external reflector made out of aluminium foil and a 2 litre PET bottle – next project for me! I altered the throttle settings so that the gear lever went into neutral far easier and tightened up one of the alternator belts, before sweeping up the seeds in the well deck. I intended sweeping the cabin top too, but it started raining before that.

Instead of that I settled on making some cheese scones that I had read about in the blog of nb Waka Huia, who I passed yesterday. Anyway, they turned out amazingly well, seeing as they were only the second lot of scones that I had ever baked in my life!

My daughter and partner arrived in good time to have a beer before we went into the Greyhound restaurant, where we had a delicious meal and more beer. Because I can’t get mild ale ‘daan saaf’, I made the most of it once again.

Saturday 3rd June

I was up early again and added a bit more to this blog. After breakfast I walked the length of the moorings on the Coventry Canal, which starts just around the corner. Noting two hens in a cage on the towpath, I stopped on the way back and had a word with India, who owns nb Suzy Q, named after Suzy Quattro of course. The hens were called Thelma and Louise and I asked where she put them when cruising. Built into the stern of the boat is their hutch, which doubles as a seat under the pram hood. When moored up in the sticks, she lets them run free on the towpath where there is no danger of dogs, yet there were four Chihuahuas on board.  she owns seven dogs in all and I think she mentioned a llama too.

Further along the moorings was a man polishing his JD Beta engine, which had a brass rocker cover – is that usual? He was a widower and had finally got the boat that was his heart’s desire with centre engine and boatman’s cabin. Athough the boat was named WOL, he was also nicknamed that too.

After completing more jobs this morning, I was picked up outside the pub to go to Coventry and had a very pleasant afternoon catching up on news and cooking, as my daughter was making Stilton Puffs that she had been making for ages and something that I was bursting to taste. I have to say that not only were they delicious, but also very time consuming although very easy to make. As I will pass back through Rugby, the ingredients are already on my shopping list!

Later we went into the city for a pint of delicious mild ale brewed at The Twisted Barrel Ale Brewery in Fargo Village. https://www.twistedbarrelale.co.uk/  

Twisted Barrel Tap House.

Outside view.

This place exists in an old warehouse or workshop and The Tap House  is only open on Friday 5pm to midnight and Saturday.12.00 to midnight with about 6 or 7 ales on tap. I also learned about their pressurised containers, which were transparent plastic with a plastic bag inside. The beer is put inside the plastic bag and pressure is applied between that and the inside of the rigid container, so the gas, which can be compressed air, never comes into contact with the liquid beer. It is approved of by CAMRA, so it must be OK – well it tasted OK to me! https://www.keykeg.com/

Views of Fargo Village in Coventry.

We walked to Habibi Moroccan restaurant and were ushered through the front, past the kitchen and into the garden area at the back. Again this was a conversion of an ancient building as could be seen from the well worn brick steps. The walls and ceilings were decorated with Middle Eastern hangings  and drapes and the floor was stone chippings. Cushions were provided for the steel basic garden chairs and the very extensive menus were handed out. It would be difficult to describe the menu or the names of the dishes on it. The majority of dishes were vegetarian, but there were also some lamb and chicken dishes. We chose what we wanted, which was far too much, but doggie boxes were provided when requested. Very different and enjoyable, but far too much food. Eyes bigger than bellies comes to mind!

Habibi - the interior.

Sunday 4th June

We were watching the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack on TV this morning and I think it is coming home to the population just how close this can be to home or work after three actual attacks and several foiled plots.

Around midday my daughter said to me,
“If the answer to the question is 'Does the bear shit in the woods?' then what is the question?”
I answered, “Would you like to go for a pint?”
Which was of course the correct answer, or should that be question?

It was a pleasant experience in the nearest pub eventually, which was Marston’s.house. I say eventually, because initially there was no one serving and secondly there were only two ales on tap. I suggested going elsewhere, but there was no elsewhere within walking distance. It transpired later that the manger had not put on any more ales, because he wanted to get rid of the existing Banks’ bitter and IPA, but on being pressurised by the punters, he agreed to add Pedigree to the existing collection. We played several games of pool, despite not knowing much about the game, but we soon picked it up. I am used to playing snooker on a full size table, but this was so different, but enjoyable all the same.

Back at the house I collected my belongings and was returned to The Greyhound, where I was led astray once again, it being good weather and being able to sit outside on the patio overlooking the junction. A very enjoyable couple of days.

A technical point:- A friend pointed out to me that they could not comment on my blog and the comments section was probably embedded. I searched through the settings, which up to now I had never known existed and put it right, so you can now comment.


Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Ray!

Brilliant and thank you for changing your comments from embedded. Great lot of posts which allowed me to catch up with where you currently are and what mischief and mayhem you've been up to since we parted ways at Braunston.



Michael Daltry said...

Wey Hey a comment breweth, yes JD tugs do come standard with the inverted embossed brass tea tray to polish

Oakie said...

Thanks both for suitable comments - I am now back in business - hooray!!