Friday 16th June.
Whilst waiting for the Foxton Festival to open tomorrow, I had time on my hands, so I decided to make an amendment to the water cock. Keeping it closed during engine warm up is the usual practice, but when the temp gets over 90°C, I have to lift up the deck the deck and knock the lever to open it further. Obviously this is not an efficient way of doing things when on the move, so I attached a length of string to the lever and brought it up above the deck and attached a large washer to pull on. This made opening the water cock so much easier and I could do it by degrees. A pencilled scale on the deck would make it measurable between fully closed and fully open. All I need to do now is to try it out on the move. As had been said many times, simple ideas are very often the best.
The boat moored in front of me had their family arrive and this is the morning after.
One of them even slept on the floor!
Walking down towards the locks with the laptop, I could hear melodeon music and sure enough Cath Fincher was playing on the towpath, while Alan was changing the engine oil. I stopped and had a very interesting chat as I quizzed her about her melodeon and how she learned to play. I also told her and Alan about reading up on his calorifier problem on CWDF and how it had given me ideas about solving my problem.
I went into Bridge 61 and tried to get on the internet, but no joy there. I then went into the Foxton Locks Inn, but still could not connect, although there were two BT hotspots as well as the pub’s own wi-fi. There is a problem with this PC making connections without the wi-fi aerial, which is strange, even though I rarely use it without now. Finally I had to resort to posting over my personal wi-fi on board, which is akin to watching paint dry here in this wilderness.
Saturday 17th June
I was awake really early, the sun was up and the sky was wall to wall blue, so it was forecast to be a hot day, but there is hotter to come in the next couple of days. I ran the engine about nine o’clock and the water temp was easily controlled with the string. I did research in line water thermostats, but at £88 each for an experiment that may not work, I will not bother.
Later in the morning I had a walk around the festival site. There were the usual bric-a-brack stalls, CRT volunteers, lots of dog and cat stalls selling animal treats, clothing stalls, mostly for women and a waistcoat stall selling the obvious hand made waistcoats in all sorts of differing materials – now this was something that I needed as my own came from a long gone friend and was probably as old as me, so the silk lining was in shreds and it was really too small. Choosing from a selection in my size, I chose a velveteen maroon material and bought it there and then. There was a food court and beer tent with only three different real ales on offer. As it is considerably nearer than the pubs, I shall go there later.
I drove one of these Fergusons when I was about 14 yrs old on a farm.
Apart from the boiler, the guy built the rest in 4 yrs.
I walked to the beer tent later, expecting to meet up with Danny and Janice and after a while, when they didn’t appear, I took a walk down the locks to Bridge 61, but they were not there either, although Cath and Alan Fincher were, so I joined up with them and we were later joined by the Glass Barge peeps and those from The Art Boat, so good boating conversation took place until I left at 10.30.
Even by that time I had not eaten anything after an upset stomach, which could be caused by cloudy beer in The Foxton Locks Inn the previous evening. Normally I would ask for a replacement, but there was such a long queue for the bar that I didn’t bother – big mistake!
Jim and Sheila on the Coffee Boat.
I took them some Stilton Cheese Puffs later.
The Coffee Boat.
Other Boating traders.
Lots of gongoozlers down the locks.
Nutfield and Raymond were there too.
Sunday 18th June
It is going to be yet another hot one today and although the boat is shaded up to midday, it is hit by the sun all afternoon, so gets very hot indeed. I strolled down to see Danny and Janice on nb Mozark this morning and got his e-mail address, as Janice had expressed an interest in painting roses and castles and as I had written extensively about the subject, I offered to send her as much info as possible.
This afternoon decided to make the Stilton cheese puffs a la Nigel Slater, that my daughter made a while ago, but having the oven on in this heat was akin to suicide. Never mind, it was now or much later in the week when I got to Braunston, as there would be little time on the way there. Having never worked with puff pastry before was a bit of a nightmare, because of the heat (27°C inside), so I am thinking of hiring an igloo for the next batch. Although they were a bit of a mess, they certainly tasted very good. Next thing is to put the washing in soak, but don’t know when that is going to be washed, rinsed and dried.
Stilton Cheese Puffs cooked it the heat, but they tasted excellent!
Most crews here are sitting out on the towpath in the shade of the tall bushes, but there is very little wind to cool them down. The boat is cool if the draught blows through, but then all the flies come in to annoy me, so it’s got to be a compromise.