Thursday, 23 March 2017

Blacking done (of the barn wall)

I have already posted the first of these images; the set here shows the progress I have made.

Just the original bits of wall to do now, but it looks a lot better. Oh, and I'll black the window frame too.

Boating soon!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Boat maintenance ahead

It's getting near return-to-the-boat time. The first destination is the Grand Junction Boat Company at Gayton Junction where we will see if they can fix the water ingress problem (from a couple of windows). I have also asked them to fix a pigeon box flap where one of the welds has come apart; while they have the boat I'll get them to replace the engine coolant.

But for now it's been excellent weather for getting on with gardening jobs. I gave the lawn its first cut of the year two days ago; today I have been moving concrete slabs and trimming the hedge while Jan has been weeding. Yesterday I finished rendering the end wall of the barn, if the weather keeps fine I intend to give it a coat of black tar tomorrow.

In the warm sunshine yesterday I managed to picture this peacock butterfly feeding from a crocus before it flew away (the butterfly, not the crocus).

We even had our lunch sitting outside! Today has been a little cooler, with a bit of a chilly wind.

edited to remove typo

Monday, 13 March 2017

What key is this lock in?

A notice alert from CRT today made me wonder ...

I can visualise the broken part so the description is useful, but I don't remember coming across the term "tuning fork" in connection with paddle gear before. I wonder what note the tuning fork would sound if struck? Perhaps, when it is repaired, one could hope that the lock would then be "on song".

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Birthday card boats

It was my birthday recently and I got a lovely card from Jan.

It's a reproduction of a painting by George Sear given the title "Working Boats" with a location. I know what the location is, do you? There's a big clue in the picture.

The butty is Ara so I guess the motor is Archimedes. The artist has evidently tried to capture the scene exactly as it was (in 2001): the motor is shown with a rather scruffy stern.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Laying it on with a trowel

Today I've been doing a job that's been waiting ever since I had the long outbuilding repaired. The walls are clay lump - except where this end wall was rebuilt with modern blocks after the roof collapsed. To cover up the ugly repair I've been spreading a clay mixture over it.

The black is the original wall, the light brown is the gable and at the bottom behind the ladder is where I applied my homemade clay render some time ago and the dark brown is what I had done today up to the point I took the photo. I hope it sticks!

When it's dry I shall coat it with a black tar varnish.

To make the render all I do is mix some of the old clay lump, which fell down, with water in a bucket.

And then I apply it with a trowel.

It takes an unbelievably long time. When I came in at 6pm - when it was getting dark - I'd done less than half the wall. And that was with a 10am start. At least the blacking is a quicker job.

(edited to correct typo)

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Red bug

While moving logs at home today I came across this little beastie.

A quick search on the internet suggests that this is the red lily beetle.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A little logging

Actually, a lot of logging. We have had quite a few trees cut down in our front garden. This is some beech. I have also been splitting ash and pine. Mostly pine.

Crocuses are photogenic, aren't they?

Monday, 13 February 2017

Chimney hard hat, the widening Thames

Well, I suppose it stops the rain getting in!

Spotted at Taverner's Boat Club, Castlethorpe.

In the local charity shop a couple of weeks ago I saw a jigsaw puzzle of the London Underground. I love the Underground so I had to buy it.

The lines were reasonably easy, not so the large areas of plain white.

While doing the puzzle with Jan I noticed something for the first time. The Thames gets wider as it traverses London towards the estuary - as it does in real life, of course.

Now it's time to put all 1000 pieces back in the box.