Saturday, December 15, 2012

The scariest moment, my favourite canal quote, and Herbie’s blacking

Well going through Braunston tunnel without lights was not my idea of fun, but I wasn’t that scared, although if you ask Rick, he was very scared of doing (more) damage to Herbie as he was at the tiller.  No, my scariest moment was the other Braunston tunnel trip.  I was already scared that we would have a breakdown, but in the tunnel, with a current flowing, it doesn’t bear thinking about.  I had visions of a fire in the engine compartment and us being trapped.  So that gets the 2012 prize for scariest moment.

While I was composing yesterday’s blog I was listening to BBC radio iplayer and catching up with Mark Steel’s in Town.  If you haven’t heard it, try to ‘cos it’s great.  This time Mark was in Handsworth Birmingham and of course Brum’s canals had to have a mention. 

“ People always tell you that there are more miles of canals in Birmingham than in Venice. Which I have to say I think misses the point slightly, as with canals it’s quality rather than quantity.

You might as well boast that there’s more paint in a warehouse in Luton than on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.”  .

Tee Hee.  A fair point.  It might be lovely around Gas Street but some other bits are less salubrious.

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We do love Brum though.  We can’t wait to go back. 

While have been busy entertaining you with Awards this week (a few more to come)  Noel at Crick marina has been busy blacking Herbie’s hull.  He started early last weekend to beat the cold weather, but then it froze hard so I think the final coats might only just be finishing.  At Crick you get a pressure wash, then a coat of rust treatment, then three, yes three, coats of blacking.  Good eh?  And I didn’t even have to go to deliver the boat. They just picked it up from our pontoon and took her over to the dry dock themselves.  Noel did promise me he wouldn’t take the boat back across the marina while there was ice on the water.  It would be upsetting to put it mildly to have the brand new blacking scratched off.

Noel rang on Monday after the washing and first coats, to report on the hull and stern gear.  Just to say it was all sound.  What really pleased me though was that he commented (unprompted) on how smooth Herbie’s engine was.  Imagine my delight after all that work we had done on her this year to find that someone impartial agrees that it was all worth it.

The winner of this year’s Herbie Special Award is blissfully unaware of his or her impending good fortune.  Stay tuned in the coming days to find out who it is.

1 comment:

Rick said...

Someone once said to me "They call Birmingham the Venice of the north, but you never hear anyone call Venice the Birmingham of the south!"