Saturday 27 November 2010

Happy blog day to me, happy blog day to me

Remember - remember the 27th of November, its a day that will go down in infamy.

Our "Rose of Arden" blog is one year old today. Well, I must admit when the blog started we did not have a boat - and when we did we were going to call the boat "Wits-End" the same name as the house. Then the name Rosie grew on us. Why, we even started to look a bit like Norman Vaughan (who he?). His main catchphrase was "Swinging" (before the more modern meaning) and "Dodgy", accompanied by the appropriate thumbs-up or thumbs-down sign, to denote good or bad news.

Why, it only seems like this time last year that we made our first posting. Time passes by so quick when you are enjoying yourself - this old adage is so true.

Norman Vaughan: His 1969 advert for cadbury's Roses chocolates slogan was "They say that roses grow on you, They seem so nice it must be true, They say that roses grow on you, Roses grow on you"  Well Rosie has grown on us! So the name just stuck and Rose of Arden is still unique.
                                                                       Norman Vaughan  1923-2002

Some first year Blog and Boat statistics
Miles                                    123
Locks                                     79
Swing bridges                         9
Blog postings made.           157
Blog word count            88,292
Largest Posting                3,898 words
Picture Count                     414
Total number of visitors  3,597
Number of countries             31

The blog was started with the intention of documenting our experiences (plus the trials and tribulations of early retirement) of becoming proud boat owners. In this quest we have eventually succeeded and we now have Rosie who is our pride and joy. The blog was extended to include looking at all the paraphernalia associated with narrow boat ownership - solar panels - wind driven generators - shoreline electrics, ropes - anchors and satellite TV. We digressed to motorcycle ownership as well as my early life living alongside the canal. Add to this the search for suitable moorings and documenting our early voyages. During this process we have met many supportive and helpful people over the last year.

We have by chance come across some nice people along the way, who have become canal acquaintances, if only for a short-time. We are looking forward to meeting up with them all again, from time to time a little further down the canal. The real joy for us is that some of the people we have met have now become confirmed friends. These are people that we know we would be happy to spend more time in their company and we would welcome them in ours.

During this time we have met a few people along the metaphorical canal towpath that we assumed were friendly, but it eventually turned out to be otherwise. We have also met the odd one or two who were so full of their own self importance that we felt the need to shake our heads and look away. However, we actually came across one group who were hived off into several different cliques. Where withering comments that were whispered behind each others back was the norm. In some instances it was plain open warfare, with clear hostile opposition to each other, even to the point of great mutual irritability. This was a group of people who could never agree collectively, left from right. However, what was patently obvious was the all consuming jealousy they had for each other. That under pinned the whole charade and they have the brass neck to call themselves boaters.

Life is peppered with individuals with problems. Some with what I think is acute loneliness and others with very large chips on their shoulders. So what have I discovered from this first real exposure to the canal.
I have learned that the canal is no different to anywhere else, it is peopled by the same people that you would find on every road and street in Britain. Some of them are obviously bound to become care in the community cases. However, some of these individuals have no real interest in the boating lifestyle. Their only interest is in - peer group - mutual back-scratching - in an exclusive self appreciation and aggrandisement society. At the same time all this is augmented by a total loathing and detest for all others who don't share their warped idea's.

Theirs is such an aimless, sad and boring life and they would not understand if you tried to explain! But enough about the canal ne'er-do-well's - onwards and ever upwards and into our second year!

Kitchen Area

Here are a few pictures of the interior of Rosie. She doesn't always look so tidy, well that's what the Memsabib says. You can click on them to enlarge the view.

Saloon and back steps

Our boat shell was built by Price Fallows in 2004 using single piece base, side, cabin and roof plates. The boat was then fitted out to a high standard by Richards Narrowboats


Rosie has a pump-out toilet but we have a cassette for whenever we just want to spend the odd day on board.


Kitchen looking forward


Rosie is a very comfortable boat to be on and as the time gets ever closer for our retirement we are looking forward to the spring arriving. Just so we can get out on the cut and get some cruising miles under her keel.


Saloon looking forward

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