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Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
DOWN AT THE BOAT and bits of SEATTLE
The plan this time is to isolate the water tank and leave all the taps open so any water left in the pipes has some room for expansion. All the pipework on NB Valerie is the Hep2 plastic type which i am led to believe will stand the freeze better than copper. Any other suggestions will be well received. The central heating system has anti-freeze solution running through it`s veins so all is well there.
Was planning on leaving Thursday but the temptation is to go sooner, Thanks Joanne/Kev.
Pictured above part of the flight from Vegas to Seattle. 250+ passengers over 3 classes, just how does 200 tons fly threw the air at 500+mph. It`s a long way down but from 35,000ft you`ll only crash once but if you have those thoughts why board in the first place so best just watch the movie.
Map of the area around Seattle. It could be America`s answer to the BW map of the UK waterways.
The first Starbucks was this one here in Seattle opposite the Pike Place market opened in 1971. Starbucks invasion on the world began with their first out of America site in Tokyo now they are in around 40 countries world wide.
Now i wonder what health & safety here in the UK would say about this. The driver operates the holder from the cab and delivers or collects your bike at the Pavement/Sidewalk depending which side of the pond you talk from.
One of the top attractions is the Seattle Needle standing at 605` tall. Built for the World fair in 1962 the restaurant 500` up revolves, at least the outer part does, and so finely is it balanced all that is needed is a 1.5 hp motor. Fun facts about the Needle HERE.
Views from the viewing gallery 520` feet up.
The Experience Music Project combined with the Science Fiction Museum is housed in this stainless Steele clad building. Inside the entrance hall is dominated by a guitar monument stretching up 3 floors. None of the pictures i took can beat this interactive one here. Inside the building are 12 studios where you can try out many types of musical instrument, all the studios are soundproofed and if you watch the video below of me in action you can hear why.
So i`ll just leave you with this video of me having fun in one of the mini studios in the EMP.
scroll down, the vid just wont stay where i put it.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Plenty of time to read and dream of the Summer months ahead and cook a nice hot meal like my sausage casserole last night.
Sorry the link did not work in the last blog. Although i have corrected it now.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
FALLING IN LOVE
On opening his inbox on the 9th Nov 2009 his heart missed a beat upon seeing one that had all the markings of the Inland Revenue seeking money. It began -Dear Sir........ Now being a laid back Water Gypsy the first instinct was to read no more and throw it to the Lions in the delete box, no news is good news so the saying goes. But then again if he just read it first and then fed it to the Lions, well how would they know? and life could drift on. So bravely he stood on deck facing un-known dangers with a force 9 gale blowing and lightening bouncing off the gunnel's.......
sorry about that, thought i was writing a best seller. So he scrolled down and below, heavily edited - it went on and on, is what he read.
Subject: U.S. follower
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 19:16:26 -0800
Per your request within your blog I am following your NB experiences as well as those of NB Living in Sanity (Sheila and Bruce), NB No Problems (Sue and Vic ), NB Poppy (Julie and Mark), and the NB Quidditch.............................................................................
I just discovered narrow boats and canals mid October while watching Burt Wolf’s Travels & Traditions on PBS. He was on the Canal Du Midi in France. It roused my...................................
.........as my one weakness!
To your good health,
Pullman WA USA
Ok the storyteller has got us this far now i`ll take over.
That folks was the first of 300+ e mails and phone calls that have bounced across the pond in the last 14 months and despite what you read above i love those e mails to be of book length.
Politeness....no hang on the politeness has always been there, Formality, is the word, was still the order of the day in the comment of Nov 11th below with`Hello Sir` but formality was to end on the 18th with all communications being` Hello Les`. Nowadays it`s..........well different.
It's nice to read you are back on the move again. The pics....
.......them first!! :)
Safe Journey to you.
Casually mentioning in one of my e mails my wish to re-visit Las vegas i received an e mail on the 12th Jan 2010 inviting me to visit, 9 weeks! before getting an invite must be losing the charm eh lads, Jaqueline and stay a while at her home. Well l played it cool and said plans were not made yet and could well be into 2011 before the Vegas trip took off so thanks but no thanks. What was i thinking i hear the blokes shouting, listen i`m thinking this crazy woman wants me to make a 2 plane, 1200 miles trip from Vegas for a visit. I know it`s a big country but is this what they call in the area so pop in.
So as the months went by the bond between us grew to such an extent that after much talk of flight options i decided that my bucket list needed another tick and Vegas was planned for around October.
Now it so happens that my loved one works for Washington State University and in October she would be on University business in Seattle. The suggestion was made that i visit Seattle and she would collect me from my hotel and we would drive the 6hr journey back to her home in Pullman when she would take some leave (vacation). Only 55mins on the plane so why drive for 6 hrs, my mind is whirring, meet at my hotel. The flashbacks are becoming clearer it was the hotel part, oh my god she is a crazy, Hitchcock and the Bates hotel, no it`ll be ok just have to be up early and out of the shower before she arrives.
On a sunny Sunday morning Jaqueline drove into the hotel car park and i knew then my 3 hrs late into the night Internet session had paid off........she was definitely not one of the photos on the FBI most wanted list. As she walked across to me all my nervousness and thoughts of will she be the hostess from hell were melted by the lovely smile that beamed across to me and after the customary hug the conversation flowed like we had known each other for years. The six hour drive seemed just a couple of hours with many stops to through some beautiful country. Driving to Jaq is the preferred way to travel, why be above the beauty when you can drive through it.
I suppose it only fair i share that smile with you all.
Ok so you can put away the sick bags or the tear soaked hankies depending on how you took all this on board because for you the story is over. As for Jaq and myself i think that `Dear sir` letter was our starting grid and the car park meeting was when the chequered flag was lowered. As for the result i see the the podium with two people standing on the No. 1 spot.
Check out Jaqueline`s blog HERE. where you can read the full `dear sir` letter plus all the other posts.
February will see me back in her arms for a much longer visit and all being well Jaqueline will be on board NB Valerie for a visit later in the year during which time she is hoping to bump into some fellow bloggers.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
COMMENTS & MY BUCKET LIST
This post was interesting, how long did it take you to write.
This came in 2 days ago and was comment on a blog i published in March! No links to anything, and these type are common, so what`s it all about. If it had come in when the post was published in March then i would have approved it and answered as i normally do. The rubbish with links i can understand but this type baffles me. Is it some....oh i don`t know but if you folks out there have any idea let me know. Another point is in the link I supplied above i previously had managed to copy and paste the comment from my E Mail notification but now it seems not to want to paste, again anybody any thoughts?
Anyone recognise this section of canal? The picture was taken back in my days of non blogging.
These two know where it is in fact all four of them know, but Kiernan & Keira two of my Grandchildren are the only ones with voices and they say it`s in the Belgium village of Adinkerke that we all visited a while back. Better known as Tobacco Alley it`s a big attraction not just for Brits buying tobacco but also the French. With prices of rolling tobacco here half the price of the ferry company`s and a third of UK prices it`s no surprise so many flock there. Best thing is it`s just 35 mins drive from Calais and they take £ sterling and give you change in the same. Lovely selection of chocolates as well, a lot hand made plus you still get your canal fix.
Spent 5 days in Vegas and never put so much as a dime in the slots, all i wanted to do was wander through this make believe world created by visitors from around the world who have financed it all by gambling.
Free shows include the water show on the 10acre lake fronting the Bellagio, the volcano erupting outside the Mirage or the musical Pirate show at Treasure Island with the boys sailing in to invade the girl pirates ship.
The biggest free show was the un-limited access to all the hotels with their casinos ,restaurants and shopping streets themed to be Venice, Rome or Paris etc.
The Luxor Hotel pyramid shaped and covered in tinted glass has 2,500 rooms. You would be
wrong thinking the pic on the left is the main entrance because it`s only the way in from the monorail that connects just 3 of the hotels at one end of the Las Vegas strip.
The 6 pictures above are all indoor shots and as you walk along that sky appears to be moving.
No i did not, who gets pleasure going up-side down.
bit longer to find out about the change of plans. Meanwhile buckle your seats and i`ll cross off
another item on that bucket list.
Ok so the return trip to Vegas and the helicopter are 2 off the list so now the next part of the journey to Seattle and see what happens there.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
ANOTHER STEP BACK
Lovely scene below from the front of the boat unless like me you just don`t like being tied to one
spot for to long. That towpath looks reasonable but take my word for it there are several sections that are just ice and walking and staying upright has become a new skill i have had to acquire.
Looks so pretty, calm peaceful doesn`t it but not far round that bend saturday last a man in his 30s was found dead in the canal. I had of course already heard on the towpath telegraph about the
poor bloke but what was nice as i walked out past the long deserted scene were the many bunches of flowers and candles that had been placed at the spot. He must be missed by many. It was however spoilt 45mins later as i returned the same route to find them all kicked into the canal. I say kicked because surely the scum bag that passed by for sure didn`t bend down to pick them up before scattering them on the ice.
with my small set of wheels became my saviours. My rough estimate of the boat tank contents was about 35 litres perhaps a little more but as we are all aware in those lower levels lie sludge and water not ideal for the delicate workings of an injector pump. Now as i said before i have been using the generator to charge the batteries but that doesn`t give me hot water and i do miss my shower and being able to flick on the central heating first thing.
So with the contents of the already filled can and 2 trips along the towpath i know have approximately 90ish litres on board so all is well for a while. It was worth the walking just to be warm and clean because a sink full of water, heated on the top of the solid fuel stove, is just not enough for a good wash.
Back in mid november the boat decided it was not going to start one morning although the starter motor was full of life apart from the weird noises it was making. If i new then what the problem was i would never have used that kind of language. so only thing to do was remove the starter to make a decision of burial or some TLC. Now as i don`t believe in keeping a dog and barking myself i called on the men in white vans with RCR painted on the side.
The result was that one of the splined rivets (see right pic) holding the 2 parts of the drive plate together had broken away and become lodged in between the fly wheel and starter mechanism. So starter now works but the drive plate is in big trouble is the diagnosis. Cutting the story short parts ordered and fitted and you can see in the picture above left all that was holding it together was the circlip that when i removed it the two parts, well they parted. So i suppose a blessing that the starter failed when tied up or i could have been in a sticky situation along the way.
Another walk another day begs the question has the thaw begun? did i oversleep a few days during
which tempretures rose and i can now move the boat from the block of ice cream that has held it so tightly for what seems months. No it`s just the R. Avon passing through Warwickshire on it`s way to the sea.
Big old chimmney on that boat, bet it`s warm in there.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
BIT OF HISTORY
So we start at the present and work back but be warned it could turn into a Mills & Boon novel so sick bags at the ready if un-like me your not a romantic but that`s later so just keep the bags handy for now.
So in true blogger form we start off with some snowy pics and as usual i`m later than everyone else
much like catching a pic of the first spring lambs the prize for which if l remember correctly usually goes to fellow bloggers Sue/Vic on `No Problem` or Del/Al on Derwent 6. Lamb pictures
are available on other blogs.(added to stop the Law Suites). Anyway i claim the first pic of the year of NB Valerie iced in at.........the side of the canal. Phew! that was close, lose my 007 status if my cover is blown. Also can i be the first to wish everybody a happy Easter, what! - you know the eggs will be in the shops on Boxing day.
In the piece of Video below taken about the 2nd or 3rd day of the ice forming the crew of 3 spent an hour or so up to the start of the film just smashing the ice to get the boat to move at all before managing their great escape although where to and why we will never know. At least it kept one stir crazy boater (me) amused for a while.
WATCH VIDEO HERE
So what`s next, ah! my trip to the shop and what i bought........ok stop shouting those sort of things bore me as well. I did a few weeks back have a yearning to see the family and of course the G`children, you`ve all done the same i read the blogs, so a long w`end (5 days?) yes but as boaters a w`end is any length we choose. Now it so happened my good friend for the last 8/9yrs Amanda half my age and 10 times better looking- how hard is that...seen my pic- needed a man to do a bit of decorating. Give mand a hand on the land .Sorry I`ll get my coat. Just 1 days work and she gave me a lift the following day to her friend, my d in law Bev`s house and then i ventured off the following day to see the rest of the family Kev/Joanne & Steve/Ozlem in Luton. So a nice visit all round which will keep me going between the phone calls until Christmas.
Amanda and her son Owen
To be continued. Good to be blogging again. Spread the word please.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
KNOCK KNOCK anybody there?
Mid April was the last normal blog post shortly after a relationship breakdown within the family hit me real bad and l just handled it badly. All is well now and has been for quite sometime but the blogging feeling just wasn`t there until these last 2 months, yes i know l keep on about those months but patience.
Well as you all know other blogs are available and in the absence of mine you must have gathered that the Water road has frozen over and us water gypsy`s have been imprisoned like Knights in white satin. Never in my 5 yrs afloat have i known it to get this cold and the solid fuel stove has been working overtime to keep the cold at bay.