Thursday 14 January 2010

Month number 2 and we are still waiting to start!

I have been a very busy boy this last month or so! I found time to read three "canal inspired" books and a few magazines over the Christmas and New Year period. The weather I must admit was somewhat conducive to doing reading in front of a blazing log burner, rather than cold uninspiring visits to the marina's we had planned to have a look around. Using the royal "we" we have joined a few "Canal Forums" as MandM or Mick and Maggie to give us a bit more background and to get a feel for the natives we might come across eventually on our travels.

We did venture out one cold, crisp and clear day to the canal basin in Huddersfield, just for a quick-look-see. This turned out to be a bit more of an interesting experience than we thought it would be. We found a nearby pub car park to leave the car in. A quick look at the marina showed that it was full of a variety of different sized narrow boats. Many had their Christmas decorations in place and the vista of a few twinkling lights helped to add a bit of colour to the cold drab basin. We had a walk around the boats - and enjoyed a quick chat on the towpath with an owner called Roger, who with a friend was doing some running repairs to his boat. He pointed out a couple of boats in the marina that were for sale, so we decided to go and have a closer inspection.

As we arrived at the first boat we saw someone who had "slipped" in the snow as he made his way back to the marina. It seemed it was the owner of the boat we had gone round to have a look at. Being a first aider I went into automatic mode. He was a bit battered and bruised and not altogether coherent. I had him pinned up against a car for a while, as the ground was covered in snow and ice. Eventually someone found a chair. It was at this point that I realised that the old boy was also quite full of the Christmas spirit as well. But as he had a cut leg and hand and an egg sized bump on his head - it was thought to be best to consult the professionals and an ambulance was summoned. By the time this was all over, it was almost dark, so we repaired to "The Aspley" for a warming meal.

I have a copy of L. T. C. Rolt's "Narrow boat" on the bedside cabinet ready to tackle sometime later. to be followed by "Canal and River Navigation's" by Edward Padget Tomlinson, I managed to pick-up a brand new copy for £5. I love getting bargain books through Amazon resellers.

I also did a big purchase of additional books on Amazon and included a couple of DVD's as well. The books include:


Ups and Downs of a Lock-Keeper by Jake Kavanagh "A very funny little book, well illustrated with cartoons. At the same time the book actually offers some good advice to new boat owners."

Narrow Margins by Marie Browne

Tales from the Old Inland Waterways by Euan Corrie

Voices from the Waterways by Jean Stone

One Man and a Narrowboat: Slowing Down Time on England's Waterways by Steve Haywood

Narrowboat on the Trent by John Lower "This is more of a pamphlet than a book, but it does give some useful insight into cruising the Trent."

The Forgotten Canals of Yorkshire: Wakefield to Swinton by Roger Glister

Canal and River Cruising by Sheila Davenport

The Complete Guide to Boating on Rivers, Lakes and Canals by Emrhys Barrell

Living Aboard by Nick Corble

Narrowdog to Carcassone by Terry Darlington This book cost me just 1p on Amazon booksellers...

Narrowdog to Indian River by Terry Darlington

Boat Joinery and Cabinet Making Simplified by Fred Bingham

Narrow Boats: Care and Maintenance by Nick Billingham

The Canal Boat Manual by Canal Boat Magazine

Narrowboats Explained (England's Living History) by Trevor Yorke

Living the Dream by Trevor Pavitt. "I found this book interesting, but a little bit predictable on the day-to-day, place-to-place voyage of Narrowboat Lady Elgar. I can also identify with "Elgar" who was their dog and the similarity to our dog Poppy. I found the point at which they had to give up their life on the canal quite poignant. It made me think that one day we would have to face the same prospect. But my attitude is to live for today and face whatever life brings tomorrow."

Narrowboats - Guide To Buying And Owning A Narrowboat DVD
Novice's Guide To Narrowboating DVD

Canal Guide:
North West and the Pennines by Collins

We also had a trip out to Sprotborough lock on the South Yorkshire navigation to have a walk along the canal towpath. Poppy accompanied us on this little trip and as she was being very good, we slipped her lead for a while. We met up with another couple and their dog as we were making our way back to the car. Suddenly Poppy was in the cut and doing a good old dog paddle through the thin ice covering. She had spotted a ball in the water and was on her way to get it! I was busy stripping off my coat expecting that I might have to climb down the towpath wall into the water to get her out. However, by this time she was trying to make her own way out. She was at the point of disappearing down a sluice when she was plucked from the water by the other couple. Relief came at a rush and Mags fearing the worse wanted to get Poppy home for a shower as soon as possible. Sitting in the car foot well under the warm air from the heater she seemed to be totally nonplussed by her adventure. I can't say the same for us! We did say thanks to the other couple - however, if you read this we should have offered you both much more thanks than we did.


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