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Monday, April 11, 2016

From Our Keyboard to Our Front Door

"I love ordering things online because when they arrive it's like a present to me, from me. " ~ Anon.

   As Les mentioned previously, the spot near Birdingbury Wharf and the Boat Inn pub on the North Grand Union Canal is a great place for having items delivered to a boat. It offers easy access from the road, a house address right across the lane from the canal, plenty of space for a delivery van to park, and a good gap in the hedge to bring things through to the boat. We had some crucial items that required an easy delivery location but we also needed to be in Braunston to take advantage of the Midland Chandler's Freaky Friday Sale offering 20% off everything in the store.
   It was decided that we would cruise up the three Calcutt locks onto the North Oxford Canal, stopping at Napton to spend two more nights visiting with our friends Andy and Tina, and then cruise into Braunston for the sale, after which we would come back to Wigram's Turn, down the Calcutt flight and moor up near the Boat Inn again for our deliveries, then turn around and go back up the flight, cruise back through Braunston, meet up with family and then cruise off North to Rugby and beyond. We thought we would escape the North Grand Union quickly after my knee healed but our old boat has other ideas. The batteries are knackered and need replacing, and we have to purchase the things we need for boat jobs when they are on sale. Such is life on a narrowboat.
Birdingbury Wharf is the good delivery place near the Boat Inn, on the Northern Grand Union Canal. The green line is our boat moored up. The Calcutt Lock flight takes you down toward Birdingbury Wharf and on into Warwick, or up towards Napton-on-the-Hill. The small red circle at the bottom is near Wigram's Turn where the Northern Grand Union and the North Oxford canal meet. It is also where Napton-on-the-Hill is located. The red circle on the upper right is in Braunston where Midland Chandlers is located. The double canal bridge arches are across from the Chandlers.
   We arrived in Braunston shortly after the chandlers opened at 8 a.m. and two refrigerators were already heading out the door on trolleys. Luckily since we arrived early we were able to moor up at the chandlery. We had a list of items, and were paid up and out the door fifteen minutes later, with Les hoiking a huge tin of bitumen on a trolley. We have blacking to do soon.
Freaky Friday Goods!
   We moved the boat ahead ten feet to the service point and dumped our rubbish, filled up with water and watched the new owners of author Terry and Monica Darlington's boat Phyllis May II cruise past. 
   As we were setting off, I spied NB Millie M. on the chandlery moorings. Maffi was in town so we breasted up next to his boat and had a quick natter as he came back from the sale with his goods in tow, then we headed off in different directions; and that is often how things happen on a narrowboat--time enough for a short chinwag and then everyone cruises off.
Saying goodbye! Maffi, dog Mollie, and his boat NB Millie M. He backed up stern first through the left arch in order to turn back towards Braunston Marina. We came through the right arch with our bow pointed back down toward Napton, Wigram's Turn and the junction with the Northern Grand Union and yes--once again the Calcutt locks. The roof of Midland Chandlers is poking up above the footbridge, their mooring empty now that we have all moved on. 
   We headed back down toward Napton and down the Calcutt locks to moor up near the Boat Inn in order to take delivery of a few things we needed: groceries from Tesco and four new batteries from Advanced Battery Supplies. Many thanks to our friend Robert Rogers for sharing this excellent web site. They offer reasonable prices and free next day delivery. Currently they have a special offer going for narrowboat batteries and the prices include VAT. 
   As it happened, just as we moored up our alternator crapped out on us! Good thing we were in the perfect location for River Canal Rescue (RCR) to pay us a call. An engineer removed the alternator and took it away for testing. It turned out to be knackered beyond repair and we ended up with a brand new alternator--not a refurbished unit. The alternator was covered under parts replacement by RCR and we were only liable for the £50 pound excess/co-pay.  
Tesco delivers to NB Valerie.
NB Valerie, new batteries, and the courier with his van. Easy-peasy!
Each battery weighs 25 Kilos/55 Lbs. each!

   After taking our Tesco groceries aboard, the four new batteries arrived soon after and the new alternator was fitted later the following morning. Sorted! 
   In the mean time, feeling like extras in a British re-make of the movie Ground Hog Day, we worked our way back up the Calcutt locks, and moored up in Braunston. A delightful day was spent in the company of our family who came up from Watford to visit over a lunch of fresh baked bread, homemade Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, and Brownies. Did we get pictures? Well of course not because we did our usual Les and Jaq thing: we had such a good time with our daughter in law, her mom, and our grandson, that we forgot to take pictures!!! 


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Hi Jaq and Les, It looks like you have swapped a 5 mile prison for one with a slightly larger exercise yard at the minute! Is it the halfway house arrangement perhaps to get you used to life on the outside again?
But with new alternator and batteries on board, and a new knee in good working order, your release has occurred and you'll be off all over the place again.
Glad the alternator altercation had a happy conclusion!
Biggs hugs to you both, Mxox

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

LOL! It's all good now!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs