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Friday, 28 October 2016

Not stood still.

Well it is over three weeks since we left the boat and arrived back 'up north', and it doesn't seem like my feet have touched the ground at all. It makes me realise why I enjoy the boat so much when we are away. After arriving home I decided to head back the very next day to collect all the rest of the stuff as we were unsure when we would be able to go down next, so 'rather be safe than sorry'. The trip down was in torrential rain for a while but it soon brightened up and I arrived back at Streethay quite quickly. I soon had the jobs done and the car loaded and heading back to Hull after checking that the yard had the keys. When we left they were very busy and I was just checking that the keys got put in a safe place and labelled! I had left Helen cleaning the house as we had very important visitors on the Monday.

Yes it is David and Marilyn bloggers from 'Wakahuia' who are over from new Zealand for a flying visit to family and managed to fit us into their schedule for a night and a bit of a catch up. David and I talked politics late into the night, which is something you can't say happens too often. Their visit was too short and they were off again on their circumnavigation of the country, or so it seemed.

Helen and I have been pretty busy with training and volunteering for the Hull, City of Culture 2017. I must say always after the training we are geed up once more. We have done a couple of sessions volunteering at the 'Pod', and information centre at the travel interchange (read bus and train station). It is quite good fun, despite the regular doom mongers, and I think folk are really getting interested more and more now.
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I have been attending two choirs a week since being home and with one of them I have already appeared on stage at the New Adelphi in Hull. It is a club where my kids would hang out, and I had never been before, but I have now sung on stage where the best rock acts in the country have sung. Mind you it is only a couple of semis knocked through in a residential street, but it is iconic!!

I have also carried out my normal History Walks around Hedon where we live and have spent ages compiling a Ghost Walk for the season. It took me lots of research etc but it was great when 36 turned up at the first one last Wednesday. The next is Halloween Night, this Monday.

It has also been my birthday and Helen took me out for the day. We left the car at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds, at Market Weighton and walked up to the village of Goodmanham. These must be the first lambs of the year, or more likely the last of the year! The pub in the village has their own brewery All Hallows. I had a couple of pints of their liquorice stout 'No Notion' that at 5.2% went down a real treat. After the meal, as it was my birthday I had another pint of their lovely dark mild 'Peg Fyfe' at 3.8%, just to wash the lovely meal down you know. Good job there are plenty of  hedges on the walk back to the car. That evening we went to the Hull Truck Theatre in Hull to see a new play by Janet Plater (daughter of Alan) called 'The Gaul' about the sinking of the freezer trawler from Hull in 1974. I wondered how on earth they would stage it, but it was a really great play, excellently acted and staged that had us laughing and crying in equal measure. A great end to a birthday.

We decided to have a walk by the Humber today. You used to be able to walk right past Alexandra Dock but as they have built a new Siemens plant for building off shore wind turbines there they have diverted part of it round the land side. It was beautifully still today and you got the full effect of the big skies today, with a view of the ferry terminal too.

As part of the permission for diverting the footpath they had to place several pieces of public art on the new path. The first is this 'The Rebar Goodwit' by Jason Heppenstall. It is largely made out of chains by the look of it.

The next one is 'Packing the Gaps' by Luke Beech. Not quite so lovable!

A little more user friendly perhaps is 'Sheepshank' by Holly Lawson. I'm sure that you knotters out there will recognise the sheepshank knot used to shorten a rope!

There was a ship in discharging the towers for the offshore turbines. At the right hand end of the suspended lift, on the deck, is a crew man for scale.

This one reminded me of the poems on the lock beams around the system. It is by Debi Kebble and is titled 'Ebb and Flow'.

This one is 'Past and Present' by Peter Ronald Coates and appears to be made up of the arms that were attached to bucket grabs used suspended form cranes to discharge bulk grains.

There was a lonely curlew having a nice paddle in the low water mud  just off the dock.

Another big sky and the remains of an old wooden keel off Victoria Dock that is now a 'village' but retains alot of the features of the old dock.

Believe it or not this is the River Hull, and I used to take ships up here! Looks a bit better when there is a little more water in it though, plus it is easier to get the ships in!

The fences around the port, and almost the first thing that passengers on the car ferry will see have been disguised by a complete run of banners like these that promote the City of Culture year. It is all set to go off with a bang on New Years Night when we will have a firework display that has been promised to be better than the London one the day before. Not long now. Book your train for hull as it is going to be great, something happening everyday of the year.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Left all alone.

We set off on Saturday in rather dull weather but it wasn't cold as there was no wind.

This is the external part of our new flue. The proud lining will fit into the new stainless steel chimney that Kym is providing soon. They are so busy that they are a little behind but as we wont be on the boat there is no rush for it. We lit the fire to 'cook' the new flue. It didn't make much smoke at all and I was able to black it whilst we were waiting to go home. It has all been done to try and prevent the tar that can be seen on the collar and roof doing the same once we have been repainted.

It was a heavy heart that we set off and we went along almost at tick over to prolong the agony as much as possible. The dull weather was matching our gloomy moods at having to 'abandon ship'.

There is little autumn clour in the hedges and trees but the farmers have been converting green and gold fields to brown ones so that the cycle can restart.

Approaching Streethay it appears to be a very busy yard. So it proved  as there was lots of work going on on boats, engines etc.

It was great to 'Starling' and butty 'Ethel' moored up looking really tiddley in Cowburn and Cowpar colours. 

We went alongside and filled up with fuel so as to minimise the air in the tank so hoping to prevent the diesel bug taking hold by allowing water from condensation occurring over the winter. It was 59p/litre too. We were directed to the berth we were to occupy for now. No sooner had we lashed her to the pontoon than the rain started and it didn't relent until we left, further adding to our dour mood. Our son and his partner finally arrived and we were able to fill up the space left in the car once four people, a budgie and a cat and accompanying paraphernalia were loaded.

We arrived home and had to go for fish and chips as there was nothing else in the house. Helen has a bit of a rule that we don't have fish and chips, well fish at least, south of Stoke, as we have had some horrendous experiences. She will also not buy them from anywhere that also sells pizzas, kebabs etc. 

We will not have much time to feel sad as we have a very busy few months coming up and I need to get into the habit of making a weekly and daily lists so that I don't waste time and get through the long lists. As we will be busy I got up early'ish and went to get the paper and then jumped in the car and headed back to the boat. I filled it up with everything else we were bringing home, which was most as the boat will be having the windows etc taken out when it goes for it's repaint. I also had a few little jobs to do before leaving her.

We will be going back nearer the time and take down the curtains etc but for now the dust sheets are up.

I brought everything off the roof inside and covered the pullman with a n old blanket

I pulled all the soft furnishings away from the bulkheads and set a couple of green house heaters to come on at 2C just in case there is a cold snap.

I cleared the roof but looking at the photo I have remembered that I didn't take the rope tails of the plank rack.

We will be going down to the yard prior to the job to finalise the colours we want etc. I thought I would take a picture of the sign writing as we want something similar to this when the new writing is completed. When we told some people we were coming to this yard Streethay ( as in a road and cut grass) they looked at us puzzled and then came up with 'Oh, you mean Stre th ay', with a 'th'in the middle. How on earth they managed to be convinced that that was the pronunciation is beyond me. Then again I am a PATH, BATH bloke rather that PAFF and BAFF type. By the way the Streethay is pronounced as the road and mown grass way.

There will be occasional blogs from now on so keep looking out for them.