Sunday, 5 August 2012

Nuts & Bolts & Swans

We've had a long weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon - and it has been wonderful. Not just the R&R, but also the culture & social time.

First, what can I say about our mooring? When we arrived in Bancroft Basin, the best spot in England was free - you simply cannot find a place to put your kitchen window that is better. A sixty second stroll across a park, past a fountain, to the front door of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

And Twelfth Night was wonderful. (We should have followed our friend's example and bought tickets to see Troilus & Cressida and Much Ado About Nothing as well, but maybe next time...)

Second, Mic & I have always loved this town. We both visited regularly as teenagers, and one of our first dates was here (to our delight, the restaurant cruiser 'Countess of Evesham' still operates from the basin and the crew complimented me on my sausage casserole!)

We met old friends and made new friends (waves at NB Copperkins) - sitting on a boat next to the RST, people stop and chat!

After two weeks, though, housekeeping has pushed its way tithe top of the agenda.

First, a hundred hours travel time in two weeks means the stern tube packing is starting to demand more attention than before. Second, the domestic battery bank has called the priest and asked for Last Rites. And third (because these things always come in threes) the new throttle cable appears to have upset the link on the engine - which duly threw a strop and demanded some "Me Time" in the shape of TLC with spanners, screwdrivers and swearwords.

And then there is the satellite dish. Please imagine as many swearwords as you can - and then add these hints if you want satellite television on your narrowboat:
1. Buy a satellite finder. Every other penny you spend is wasted without one.
2. Do not rely on smartphone compasses. Homeopathy is more reliable.
3. "Free to air" receivers will give you hundreds of channels. How's your German? No good? Buy a freesat receiver.

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