Friday, 31 October 2014

Late summer again in October

Half- Term for most  schools and my last week's annual leave before Christmas. The last of the holiday boats; some zooming by; some having lost the three day madness rule, ambling along. Then you have the boat movers, who seem to zoom allong anyways; especially between marinas. 

The weather has been glorious - we gently cruised down from New Mills to Marple, where we spent four days and then onto Bosley Services, where we got to at 4,30 pm and I finished all bar one load of washing by 4 am! 

The next day, we wtook the rest of the settee base out of the boat; scrubbed ad polished the floor with inseed oil. Looking at photos of gracie when we first moved aboard, you can see what last winter's rain and mud have done to the floor. WE did consider sanding and putting a seal on it; however, the dogs would slip, we would slip and the boat rocks - not an ideal combination, so scrubbing and polishing it is, until we find a good non-lip solution we like. This maybe when we redo the kitchen - We need another two cupboards, so are now looking for ideas on things we would like. 
We spent two nights at Gurnett Aqueduct. Catching up with Simba's friend Nanook,  an Alaskan malamute and then cruised down to Bollington, another favourite location for the boys. 

Off to Poynton and then Marple ready for work again Monday! 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Autumn Cruising

We have left the Peak Forest Canal for a while; we spent a lovely weekend at Bugsworth Basin and then returned to near Swizzells Matlow factory in New Mills to collect wood.

A hard week, due to an unexpected fee to recover Simba from the pound, but unexpected surprise via our ever present coalboat, NB Alton and meeting a FB friend for the first time helped.

We gently cruised down to Marple at the weekend and will stop a few days whilst Stella attends a training course in Manchester and then a cruise to Bosley Services awaits!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

World Inequality Day

On the day, millions are blogging about equality; here are my thoughts.
The elite thrive on inequality; they always have. These people don't know what it's like to work, but not have enough money for heating and food. Yet, if they spent just a little; it would make things better.
The UK changed in the 1980's; up until then, you could, if you chose to, be in a household with one wage because you could afford it. The Thatcher government changed all that. There will be those who remember the British Gas, the water companies,  the Electricity Boards being sold off - to whom? Hedge funds mostly for massive profits. Then of course, the council house selling; but not being able to reinvest. Housing bubble created in the 1980's meaning negative equity for many when the market fell.
Of course, there was also the idea the UK could be a service economy, when any economics textbook will tell you that a balanced economy is a thrd each of agriculture,  manufacturing and service. However,  this was the start of the money is God society; comedians made fun, "loadsamoney" was the catchphrase,  talk was of how much property had gone up, adverts telling you that you had to have the latest gadget. Communities decimated by the closure of mines, factories were the first victims; but all the government of the day would say was "Get on your bike"! Of course, there weren't that many cars, so they split all integrated transport up.outside London and in order to be able to get to work; you needed a car, especially if you lived outside the metropolitan areas.
The last new Labour government started the minimum wage, but  didn't repeal any of the anti-union laws; began PFI in the NHS and continued the inequality.
It is time for the inequality to end, fair wages and equal pay for work if equal value would enable this country to prosper. I wonder if any of the current political parties have the will to make it happen?

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Summer into Autumn

We haven't gone far this summer. Due to failed engines, we were stuck in Whaley Bridge/Furness Vale for eight weeks,  including Stella's two weeks summer (well, that was advisory, summer doesn't happen in August anymore) holiday, spent on a marina awaiting a new engine.
Anyway, that is all sorted now and we are back cruising. 
We had a lovely weekend last week at the Steam Fair at Bugsworth,  meeting old friends,  catching up with gossip.  Simba had an unplanned overnight stay at Cheshire Dogs Home after going missing and being handed in. My phone had no signal, as I was in Glasgow, so phoned warden when I got back and a very chastened Simba was returned the following morning, after us paying a £91.40 fine.
That's the only problem with being on one wage; we don't have contingency money just at present, with an engine to pay for. However,  things will get better and we are getting set for winter, mooring near woodland, to collect fallen logs for the stove.
Still loving this life; even being without electricity had its own charm. The cats have a new lease of life and the dogs really enjoy going to new places, returning to old haunts. Just have to keep Simba near the boat!
A few photos and shout out to our coalboat, Nb Alton. The lifeblood of the canal, lovely people and have a in everyones lives.
Will try and do this weekly on!