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Saturday, December 05, 2009


Quiet time of the year is winter as i tend not to move around so much so not a lot to blog. Being down south here on the Grand Union is a regular thing this time of year for me with Christmas fast approaching and all the family are close by. My usual strategy is to stay a week then move on a few miles.

Recently Del & Al on Derwent 6 stopped by on their way north after cruising the Lee & Stort rivers and a nice coffee and chat was had on board D6. So with family visits, meals out and a few other boaters stopping by for a chat my social diary has been busy.

I think i mentioned some time ago i have purchased a solar panel and recently my daughter in laws father Alan has made me a mount for the panel that tilts and swivels so when i get around to setting it all up i will blog the results.

Today started off warm and sunny so i forced myself to change the fuel filters, one on the engine and the other on the electric fuel pump. Maintenance of any machinery is obviously important and with the open engine hole exposed to the weather when a decent day surfaces it`s best to get the job done.

Another little job that needed doing recently was the calorifier(hot water tank) pressure release valve pictured below. It had been dripping for quite a while but with it being located under the
bed and my back not to clever it had been put on hold with a dish catching the drips. I purchased a replacement in a chandlers some time ago at a cost of £10 which didn`t include the threaded adapter or the long pipe tail. After fitting it i went into a plumbing merchants and was surprised they stocked the same fitting and including the 2 extra fittings i paid £7.80!! So i now have a spare ready to fit without the bother of changing the adapters. The tank is mounted horizontally and removing the valve without draining the tank can be done with just a slight seepage of water so having the valve assembled ready is easier. Now not being a plumber i can only guess the water doesn`t gush out because of a vacuum effect a bit like the science lesson at school when we put a glass tube in water then put a thumb over the end and the water stays in the tube after lifting it out of the water. Am i right anyone?

So after filling with diesel and taking on coal from Peter on Bletchley & Argus (07984 900613)
it was time to move away from Hemel Hempstead. By the way as i`m sitting doing this blog Archimedes & Ara(07973 915146) have just passed here near Watford at 5pm heading north in case any boaters are interested.

I took this picture while sitting at Kings Langley waiting for the lock to fill and how tranquil it all looks but not for long. First came the Geese followed by the Swans and bringing up the rear a lot
of ducks all of them about 30 in total ended up by the lock gates tolerating each other until a mum and small child started to feed them and all hell broke out with the Swans chasing off the others with wing flapping and pecking Ducks and Geese were flying everywhere, a typical "what happens next" picture.

Just doing a bit of washing up and saw this boat arrive at the marina opposite completely
blocking the main road until the gates were finally opened. Looks like the type of boat i used to hire many years ago on the Norfolk Broads about 40` long and 12` wide.

Watford and district primary schools carol concert and with 2 of the grandchildren due to sing i had to attend. Twenty one primary schools took part with Jordan and Jack due to take the stage

but at the last minute Jordan was not to well and couldn`t attend but if you double click the picture i have circled young Jack amongst the Blue sweat shirted pupils of Highwood school. On the way out a collection was made for the local children's hospice.

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NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs