Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Cancel Murphy bring on Shakespeare!

" When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions"

My last post listed our trials and tribulations and things happening in threes.

Ray managed to semi-resolve the problem with the car, we are now mobile but not completely fixed. Our Renault has two fuse boxes, one is mentioned in the owners handbook the other isn't. The first is a fairly normal car fuse box, little blade fuses for lights, horn etc. The second, cunningly concealed behind the battery, acts like a distribution board and has large blade fuses. One of these had corroded and broken off, problem is Ray cannot get the broken bit out! He has bypassed the fuse and we have a mainly working car, all the essential bits at least. The central locking doesn't but that is a minor inconvenience.

Luckily the car was running before my hospital appointment to have the stitches out of my finger so I didn't have to get to Stafford by public transport. All seems well with my finger except for the fact that they tell me it will be nine to ten months before the nerve is fully healed and that during that time I will experience various odd sensations ranging from numbness to pain! At least the scars seem to be healing nicely thanks to Doctor Lesley's scar treatment oil!

At long last the gearbox was put back on the boat last Monday, a bit of a pain to get everything lined up but working well. Problems solved you might think, however, on the previous Thursday Kathy's boat Destiny had refused to start we thought it might be her starter battery but even connecting her up to the generator didn't solve the problem. We charged all her batteries via the genny so she had power as Ray was tied up working on the gearbox. Then, on Tuesday,once we were sorted he started to try and resolve her problems. He thought the glowplugs might be the problem and luckily we had some spares because two of those he tested were duff. Those were replaced, Destiny's was engine running, the plan was to collect some wood, move down to the boatyard ready to fuel up on Wednesday morning and move to the Anchor at High Offley.

Wrong! When Kathy came back from wood collecting she could smell diesel! A split fuel line! So on Wednesday morning Ray and Kathy went off to get a fuel line, by the time that was sorted we had just enough time to get to the boatyard and get both boats fuelled up before they closed. Kathy and Ray then did a bit of night cruising to get to the Anchor while I took the car there. That was interesting as the pub is set back from the road, closed except at weekends in winter so no "pub" lights and looks just like a large house. So I thought I had taken a wrong turn and was at the wrong canal bridge so went off in search of the right one! After getting completely lost I found my way back to the Anchor and managed to park.

All well with the world at last? Not quite, when Ray turned our engine off on Thursday he found we had a diesel leak! As we were heading for Peterborough for the weekend Ray had no chance to even look at it on Friday morning so he is now in the engine bay trying to find the leak. This weekend was, as everyone knows, very cold, so we came back to a frozen canal. Also, in spite of Kathy's best efforts to keep the chill off the boat without burning too much wood and coal our water pump had frozen and so had the pipes! The pump has thawed but so far the pipes haven't. At least the boat is warm, although Ray isn't!

We did have a lovely weekend with Mandy, Tony and the kids to celebrate Mandy's birthday. One thing I do miss is having enough money to go visiting whenever I feel like it.

In the past three weeks we have travelled 3.1 miles

So far we have travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Murphy is alive and well and living in Staffordshire.

Murphy's law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong and at the worst possible time. I'm not sure who's law says things happen in threes but they are doing their bit too.

At the moment we have an immobile boat, problems with the gearbox, an immobile car, problems with the electrics and an injured me, sliced finger open on baked bean tin lid and had to have surgery to repair the nerve. The lack of car means seeking work is virtually impossible, wouldn't be so bad if the boat was OK, at least we could go somewhere where a car was less essential. As it is we are stuck in the middle of nowhere, unable at the moment to resolve any of the problems, and unable to earn any money so exceedingly broke. Add that to a two mile hike to the nearest shop, apart from the limited tinned groceries available at the boatyard about half a mile away and the nearest bus route is about a mile and a half away. Life is not very good at the moment.

In the past four weeks we have travelled 7 miles and 1 tunnel

So far we have travelled 737.2 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels.