No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

More on the Fradley Jetty

Thursday, 28th February 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

The new jetty at Fradley looks like it's finished now with the handrails in place.

There's also temporary signs attached which say "No Mooring Permit Holders Only" which doesn't sound good.

A bit further along the canal maintenance work is underway at Woodend Lock.

Hope they re-hang the bottom gates, the one side's been
swinging open on it's own for the last six years.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Little Project to Ease My Problem.

Saturday, 23rd February 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

I can't handle cluttered things, boats/houses/cars, ( I should probably seek help ) but that's how I am and the older I get the worse I become.

Recently I've taken a dislike to the contents of the shelves behind both of our toilets.

One of the shelves, emptied, this ones at the rear of the boat.
So, what to do about it, answer, fit sliding doors. First I needed to locate some plastic guides for the doors to slide in, after wasting two hours of life in a B and Q warehouse store looking for some I eventually found it on Ebay where I should looked in the first place.
During the week Jayne called into a joiners and picked up some 4mm oak faced ply for the doors and a length of Opepe hardwood for the frame and after half a day sawing and glueing we now have sliding doors on the shelf in the rear toilet, I suppose it's a cupboard now it's got doors.
They are two separate sliding doors, the picture
doesn't show the overlap in the middle.
At first I bored 15mm finger holes to open and close the doors but then found a packet of four wooded knobs which I bought in Wilkinsons a couple of years ago and never used.
Sunday will see the shelf in the bathroom get the same treatment, I've already cut the plastic guides and wood to length so a couple of hours should see the job finished.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Today I Applied For My Bus Pass.

18th, February 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

Yes, I am fast approaching the time of life when I'm allowed to get in peoples way on the bus for free.

Like most things it's not as simple as it sounds, qualifying for a bus pass is a bit like the donkey trying to reach the carrot on the end of the stick, just when you think your there they move the goal posts, but I'm almost there now and will get my pass on the 6th March.

Being registered in Birmingham I also qualify for free travel on trains in the Centro Area which covers quite a large area in and around Birmingham.


We had a comment from Halfie on a previous blog about how to sharpen a chainsaw, well you need a tool like this.

It's a round file of a diameter to match the saw tooth which clips into a guide, the file protrudes below the guide far enough to engage in the tooth and on top of the guide there are angle lines scribed to help you keep the file at the correct angle.
It takes me about 15 minutes to sharpen all the teeth on our Stihl, but eventually you have to replace the chain, the last one I bought cost £8.09 + vat so it's not to bad.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

If you've had your bike nicked in Leamington Spa, it's probably in the cut.

Sunday, 17th February 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

The Mid-February Bulletin from the I.W.A.  carries a report  on a clean up day carried out earlier this month by the Warwickshire branch of the organisation. The aim was to clear rubbish from the Leamington Spa section of the Grand Union Canal.

Twenty eight volunteers with grappling hooks dragged out almost four tons of scrap metal, including over 30 bicycles, 20 shopping trolleys, road signs and other general junk, they even removed  a Christmas tree complete with baubles and stand, all deposited there by persons unknown.

Persons unknown is about the only description I can use without being censored.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Log On.

Friday, 15th February 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

Another load of logs heading for storage in our cratch, these are oak, the best for heat, the tree they came from had been lying in a field for 12 months, it certainly tested the chainsaw, I had to stop and sharpen the chain halfway through the job although they split easily.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

So Hungry I Could Eat a Horse.

Thursday, 14th February 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

As Halfie has brought up the delicate subject of horse meat I feel I should tell people that it's ok to eat a horse as long as it's fresh and cooked properly like any other meat.  
Jayne and I are living proof that there are no after effects.
In 1972 whilst marauding around Europe in a Transit minibus a group of us found ourselves in a Swiss cafe/bar and hungry, we ordered steak and chips (and plenty of beer) as the English do when abroad and  were served with what I remember as one of the best steaks ever, halfway through we found out it was probably horse but nobody bothered we just carried on eating and drinking, perhaps the waitress mis-understood when we said.

"We're so hungry we could eat a horse".

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Toilet Talk. (but only cassette users)

Sunday, 10th February 2013
Kings Bromley Marina.

We've recently tried a new product (well new to us) which removes the need to carry 4 litre containers of Elsan Blue onboard, for readers who haven't a clue what we're talking about, all toilet tanks on boats need a chemical added before use for obvious reasons.

Elsan now produce the chemical in dried form contained in a bag, all you do is drop a bag into an empty tank and add a little water which dissolves the bag.

 The container holds 18 bags and measures 140mm x 100mm so will make storage easier.

Each bag will treat 20 litres, our cassettes are 17 litres so that's ok, they also remove the risk of spillage and having to measure a dose.

We bought ours from Midland Chandlers for £9.98 which is reasonable when looking at online suppliers, we'll stock up when we call in again as we have a 15% discount voucher which runs out at the end of March.

WARNING  Don't confuse Elsan Blue with Esso Blue as adding paraffin to you toilet tank is not recommended and could be potentially dangerous, especially for smokers : ).

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Bathroom Talk.

Thursday, 7th February 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

One of the jobs on the boat I've been putting off for a while now is replacing the silicone sealant between the bottom of the tiles and the shower tray, so with Jayne away this week it was a good time to attack it, out came the old discoloured stuff and after cleaning and drying in went the new, I've  always found that white sealer goes discoloured eventually regardless of how much you pay for it and what the makers claim, the old sealant had been in exactly three years so it's not so bad. 

One of my least favourite jobs, working with showers and silicone.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Lack of Crew.

Monday, 4th Febuary 2013.
Kings Bromley Marina.

The crew of No Direction has been reduced to one for a week, Jayne has jetted off to Lanzarote with three other ladies for a week in the sun, I dropped her off at the Holiday Inn close to Manchester Airport on Saturday afternoon ready for her flight at 9am Sunday.

Due to the mind boggling technology with have at our fingertips these days I was able to track the progress of the plane on a map, in real time showing position, altitude, speed, distance travelled and distance to destination.

I've plenty of jobs to keep me busy starting with splitting  some oak I cut up on Friday morning, courtesy of a local farmer.