Thursday, 27 May 2010

Pillings Lock and France

I actually got round the ninety degree turn in Loughborough in one go this time. Unlike last year when I got caught out by the wind and needed to be, embarrassingly, hauled off by a passing boater. Also the Soar is a totally different beast when not in flood as it was last time.

Well we actually arrived at Pillings Lock Marina before the office closed on Tuesday so I took advantage and bought an electricity ticket and hooked up the umbilical cord. What a revelation. There is little of interest to us in marinas in general but mains electricity is brilliant. Lisa loves the marina and says that it is run very professionally.

Unfortunately the inevitable happened and I got shouted at for placing my rubbish in the wrong bin. Oh well, you live and learn. Everything is very convenient but we will hardly use any of the facilities on offer. We always feel as if we have to keep the noise down and talk in whispers. We don't like to open the hatches but on the towpath they're always open, even in the middle of winter.

We are off to France tomorrow evening and Lisa will return next week to complete the school term while I lie around in the sun (well that's what Lisa says). I haven't even thought of packing the car up. Tomorrow evening maybe.

I always say that I will attempt to keep this blog up over the summer but it rarely happens. Maybe this year. When we get back in September we are planning to spend a bit of time around the Soar and Trent and attend Nottingham Beer Festival. Well that's something to look forward to isn't it.

See ya.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Summer venture

It is about this time of year that we decide which marina we are to put ourselves into for the three months of summer when I have to go off and run our small campsite in France. Since I am away and Lisa is in charge, she has the choice as to which marina to go in to. This year it is to be Pillings Lock on the Soar. It has the right feel for Lisa and will be a complete change from Alvacote where she was last year. It was more money than Alvacote but they didn't demand the six hundred pound deposit that Hinckley Marina demanded the year before with only two hundred up front. It also has a holiday feel to it which may not be such a good thing for Lisa.

So we are on our way there starting last week where we managed to get to Hartshill with the four day view to be at either Trent Lock or Shardlow by this weekend before moving up the Soar. It leaves a little leeway for potential flooding on the rivers but at this stage that looks unlikely. I reckoned that six hour days would see us there without a problem although I was to be wrong (I have a record of vastly under-estimating time taken for trips) and they ended up being nine hour days with one eleven hour day thrown in for good measure. At Shardlow, we decided to have a Saturday night BBQ and managed to set fire to someone's hedge and they came out to the towpath to complain. Oops.
I don't see any damage

On the way a cyclist flagged me down to ask if I had a pump to fit their bike. Always the good Samaritan (not), I did and they were soon on their way again. Then, at bridge 15 on the Ashby, a hire boat decided that he would share a bridge 'ole with me. Not a bad idea as it is easily wide enough, but they started to panic as the entered the 'ole and tried to put it into reverse and we inevitably collided. Oh well, these things happen. No damage done. The rest of the journey was quite event free but it was all a tad hot at the tiller and Lisa had little sympathy with me (surprisingly).
Pickles No 2 at Shardlow
On Tuesday we are hopefully heading up the Soar to our new mooring at Pillings Lock. Quite looking forward to that as well. All in all, I'm quite looking forward to the next couple of days. It's all bound to be a huge let down.
My new netbook (note the Linux stickers)

We have exceeded our monthly allowance with T-Mobile as I have been downloading all my  and open source linux stuff to fill my new netbook with. My ten year old laptop is still going strong but has been retired for less demanding work as it was all getting a little too much for it. Bless. I may use it for experimental software on older machines, something Linux is perfect for. I still need my MS Windows partition as Lisa now wants to use it to save her bringing her work laptop home. I can hardly complain, can I?