Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wave goodbye.......Say hello


Me thinks we should dedicated this blog to David and Karen as they've given us tremendous support over the last couple of months and now they are off to the Kennet and Avon Canal. Thank you both as you have been to us like a comfort blanket is to a baby (i don't mean a dirty old rag that the baby cries for every time you wash it) you have been there for us when needed.
My back has now improved and we can now move about on the Canal so what do we do? we head back to Stockton Marina where our Swamp Frogs was launched back in March. We left Napton and took a couple of days to get round to Stockton. We are getting quite used to people commenting on our boat and it's colour when a passing boater shouts "lovely colour, what is it"? to which Suzie shouts back "green"! leaving a boater going the other way really perplexed, poor bloke!
When we got to the Marina we were greeted with...."How are you both"? "was anybody hurt"? "how long were you stuck for"? "how much damage was done"? "were you scared"? Initially we did not have a clue as to what they were on about but then it dawned on us......Now, those that know Suzie will know she likes to tell the odd story so when we met a resident of Stockton Marina a few weeks ago and he politely asked how's it all going? Suzie told him this big story about us crashing in Braunston Tunnel being hit by 2 boats from the bow and the stern......the Tunnel was shut for hours while they dragged us out, lots of damage.....boat taking on water, worst crash for over 100 years....I'm sure you get the picture. Well, John (not his real name, I'm saying it to protect Colin 1st boat on the left as you enter the Marina) fell for the story and then ran round the Marina telling anybody who'd listen.....hence the comments when we arrived....hehe
Why were we back at the Marina?.......It was the Launch of The Wessex Rose Hotel Boat It was lovely to be there for David and Karen who over the last couple of months have become good friends so it was great to be there for them and so that Suzie could be in the odd picture or 2, not to mention the TV as The Wessex Rose has been filmed throughout it's build for the TV programme George Clarke's amazing spaces which will be shown in the autumn on Channel 4
Can you imagine the hold up on the 

Well, here it is, made the news too on  both local
and national Radio and TV

2 cranes required to lift 50 Tonnes of Hotel

Look at how close the truck is to the water

And in she goes.....

Andy managed to get hold of the tiller before
Milburn's Launch Co-ordinator could!

David and Karen with part of the team that built
The Wessex Rose

Oh yes, on top of the boat.....Milburn's very own
Launch Co-ordinator and it ain't you Steve!
We stayed at Stockton for a couple of days to give David and Karen a hand and then we had to leave much to Suzie's dismay as we had walked down the cut to Long Itchington which is a lovely place AND they had a beer festival over the bank holiday w/end but nope, I had other plans and wasn't going to share them with Suzie...... We're going back to Weedon I say to her on the day we leave...,,WHAT!....AGAIN!.... WHY?.... NOOOOO.....she screams at me. It was very difficult not to tell her the surprise I had planned for her REAL birthday. We get to Buckby Top Lock and moor up and wait.......For Sandie, Steve, Reece and Kayleigh to turn up. funnily (tho not for them) while moored at Buckby we had blue sky and the 2 mins it took them to walk down the towpath the heavens opened and they came aboard like 4 drowned rats, sorry but it was kinda funny as the sun came back out straight away. My plan was for them to cruise with us down to the good old Heart of England where they are booked in for the night. Great fun was had by all, although I was a bit nervous when Sandie looked up and said...."can I have a go"?.....why was I worried? she did turn, my turn says Steve who did equally as well. I have to say that both Reece and Kayleigh behaved themselves impeccably as although it's new and exciting being around locks can be a dangerous place.
They left early Sunday afternoon but it was a headache worth having seeing Suzie's face when they turned up and all the s**t I got for leaving the beer festival behind...hehe loves you my dear!
We stayed at Weedon the next week and on Suzie's "official" birthday we had breakie with Michelle in the pub who did Suzie a rather special breakfast.

How many people have a candle in their eggs eh?
We left Michelle and took a short taxi ride to Napton Junction where we met up with the now cruising Wessex Rose hopped aboard and helped them cruise down through the locks to Weedon. What a lovely day we had, the sun shone and we stopped and had some lunch on the deck.

"Karen, do you think anybody has noticed us"....
......says David

The girls hold the boat while I stand in the shade.... was hot and I needed to cool down!
We got down to Weedon and moored the Wessex Rose just behind us where they would stay for a few days and the next night David and Karen treated Suzie to a birthday party.....I mean a launch party where those that helped build the Wessex Rose came for drinks and nibbles.....needless to say we gate crashed and had a great night. 18 people comfortably stood  about drinking and chatting. We could get 18 people on our boat but wouldn't be much fun all stood in a line!
On Thursday David treated us to a dinner aboard to sample what their guests would be having....what to say, it was beautifully prepared and tasted wonderful. Their guests are in for a treat.....Roasted butter-nut squash soup with croutons, Braised stake in ale, followed by Crème Brulèe all home made by David.....MMMMmmmmm.
The next couple of days we spent painting our personalised "fender holders" that Milburns made for us and I also washed half the boat hence all the rain since!
Now for the good bit......We now have to make our way to Crick as we've said previously our boat is being shown. Prior to the show Canal Boat magazine did a feature on us and this came out this week. This "Boat test" could make or break our enjoyment at Crick as quite easily they could've said....."what a pair of nutters" or "the worst laid out boat we've seen" but they didn' use the word's of Adam Porter...."In short, it's one of the cleverest boats we've looked at in a long time - the results of a good combination: owners who have thought carefully about what they want, and a builder who knows how to bring it to reality"......How proud are we! it's on to Crick to enjoy the festival.

The front cover no less

Go and buy the magazine to read the full story!
So like the Title says......we've waved goodbye to 2 very lovely people and now it's time to say hello to new folks as we now move on to pastures new......

Since the blog before last (as Suzie has no interest is how far we've come or how many locks or tunnels) we've done 29 miles, 23 locks and Braunston tunnel yet again!
This gives a grand total of 49 miles 100 yards, 46 locks and kinky Braunston tunnel 3 times.

(we've also caused a bit of a stir on the Living on a Narrowboat website but more on that in the next enthralling episode of.......FROGS ON TOUR!)