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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Monday, 19 January 2009



A rather belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to anybody following my blog, on this, the official, ‘most miserable day of the year’. Apologises for not having had much to say of late, but having taken the decision only to blog about our boating adventures there has not been much to report since having our stove fitted in November.

It amazing when you receive a comment especially when it comes all the way from Taunton in The US of A, courtesy of Bill Rodgers, happy that you have enjoyed reading about out little exploits, I hope 2009 produces some interesting happenings I can report on.

Thanks also to Swampy for your comments and good luck with your hopes and plans to win the lottery to finance your boat and I remember our meeting on a beautiful day in deepest, darkest Aston.

And thanks also to Brian & Diana, from N.B. Harnser for your interest. Skyy is still tucked up at Wigrams Turn Marina and our new stove is great. I see from your blog www.nbharnser.blogspot.com that you are now boatless whilst having a repaint, hopefully you have got a cosy place to hole up in until Valentines Day.

In the meantime we have spent four weeks during November/December, in France, dog sitting for friends. Their huge log fire and deep bath helped in our decision to offer our services, but we didn’t reckon on thick snow and minus eight degrees at night, but lots of healthy dog walking kept us fit and warm.

Christmas and New Year was spent in Spain with Jacquie’s Brother and family, a great time was had by all. We extended to three weeks in total, obviously trying to miss as much UK weather as possible. In fact we arrived back on Skyy on Friday 9th via Birmingham airport, see below. Very soon the stove got the boat up to temperature, the Frost-Stat on the central heating having kept the boat safely above freezing whilst we were away. Amazingly by the following Monday morning all of the ice in the Marina, which was up to three inches thick in places, had melted, it and water supply to the pontoons was back on. One boat on the marina had not had precaution taken against the frost, sadly this boat filled up with water leaking from the fresh water storage tank which then refroze in the rear cabin Opps!!

We had our first experience of flying from Birmingham airport, via Ryanair. and were very pleasantly surprised. The parking at Airparks, an off site parking facility, was first rate, park up, drop of the keys and get on the bus and ten minutes later we were at the terminal.

Our concern about the strict weight allowance on Ryanair was not a problem as we had bought a luggage scale and ensured that we were within limit. Everybody was very friendly, from check-in to flight attendants, including a member of the security staff who tried to persuade me to let her taste the Tesco’s tinned Christmas cake that was in my hand luggage, to ensure that it wasn’t going to explode. Such a change from the indifferent attitude of the staff at Gatwick. The flight took off and landed on time and the car hire at Mercia couldn’t have been simpler. We will definitely be using Birmingham airport again.

I don’t expect that we will be going very far before April, but I hope that some friends and family might visit before then and a short cruise to a pub would be in order I think. We now need to start planning our 2009 adventure, and it is possible that we might start with the Grand Loop down to London via the Grand Union, River Thames and the Oxford, not sure which way round we will go yet, but I would love to cruise passed the Houses of Parliament and under Tower Bridge, now that would be an adventure.

Watch this space!!