We have now been at Stretton Wharf on the Shropshire Union Canal for just over a month and though the unseasonable sunny warm weather remains with us during the day (tantalisingly suitable for cruising under normal circumstances), with temperatures well into the teens, the nights draw in and the steady silent trickle of falling leaves around us, beginning to show the bare bones of their hosts above, once more remind us that winter is not far away.
And though for one reason or another up until now, nothing very significant has been happening regarding the impending mobility of ‘Futurest’ and myself, this week things definitely appear to be stirring again. Today with the help of John’s heavy duty vacuum cleaner, I have managed to get thoroughly dirty cleaning out the engine room bilge. Always very difficult to get at with an engine in situ, today I managed to clean out many years worth of ‘JP2’ drippings that had accumulated. The slow oil build up has kept the bottom plate in perfect condition. It never appears to have been painted and the bare steel is now clean and shiny. More than I can say for myself; though I have showered and washed thoroughly there is still a distinct smell of diesel about me.
Tomorrow John is bringing the Russell Newbury, now freshly serviced, to the yard and weather permitting I hope we shall have the covers off the roof and the engine inside the ship by the end of the day. Paul the engineer who is going to fit everything together inside, is still away on leave and I am not sure when he will be back. However with the engine in place the awkward trim will hopefully be sorted and life aboard at least should be more comfortable.
Last week, since it was another barren week here, I spent a lovely few days back in Newark-on-Trent. My friend Janis, though she was working for most of the time, invited me to stay aboard ‘Roots and Wings’ in the Kings Marina. Newark is a beautiful market town with a good sized market in the square, on most days of the week it would seem. I was able to do a lot of shopping and also sightseeing that I hadn’t managed to do on the last occasion that I was there.
Janis works very hard and also late so I saw very little of her in fact. I was always very much asleep by the time she arrived home at night and then she was up early the next morning to begin her treadmill again. But I enjoyed a lovely break there and what little time she and I did have together was most pleasant. She kindly brought me back to Stretton in her car on Saturday, stayed the night aboard ‘Futurest’ and returned home the following day.
It was lovely to see her again.