Shop front in the summer

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Only 3 Inches thick!!

The ice is only three inches thick but it takes some breaking, We have had to dock a couple of boats today which meant that i had to spend a couple of hours in the snow on the back of a day boat ice breaking, it is hard work and it takes all of the blacking off the hull and the noise that the prop makes chopping through the ice is horrendous! When the canal had working boats using it the canal companies had to keep the canal clear of ice and this was done with a horse drawn ice breaker with a team of horses and a team of men, they would stand either side of a bar running down the length of the boat rocking it back and forth as the horses pulled the boat along, often riding up on to the ice before it eventually broke, now that must have been hard work! You don't see that sort of ice breaking anymore! Both boats finally under the cover of the dry dock, we are fortunate that we can have two boats in our dry dock as it is a wide dock.

Its snowing like mad here and the temperature has dropped a lot since this morning so i would imagine that the roads will be bad tonight. This weather makes moving boats around very dangerous and Paul has all ready slipped today, fortunately only his leg went into the water and not all of him. Poor Bernard is fitting an engine today and hasn't got much in the way of cover, i suspect he will look like a snowman by the time he finishes today. Paul is still winterising boats and draining systems down, Fred is cleaning the two boats down in the dry dock, ready for some paint, Ange is paining the office, Amanda is still sorting through the chandlery and i have been showing people around a boat, you wouldn't believe that people would be looking at boats in this weather but they are!

As promised here are a couple of shots of Norbury from the office door this morning(you don't think I'm going out there taking pictures do you)

Until tomorrow


Monday, 29 November 2010

Its getting colder

It is amazing just how cold it has been this weekend and its getting colder! The thermometer topped a new low this year at an amazing -13 here at Norbury, it goes with out saying that the canal is well and truly frozen over,it has been reported that it could drop to -20 this week, i have seen it down to -16 here in the past, David reported that the shops water had frozen, the toilets froze over the weekend and just about ever thing froze! Every boat that we have here is frozen in solid now and this weather will have frozen any boats water system if it hasn't been either drained or protected, There will be a lot of broken boats out there when the thaw comes. We have several boats out at the moment, one has abandoned his break and is leaving the boat until the thaw, worryingly we have not heard from our hire rs so they could be stuck anywhere!

I have had a good weekend down in Southampton which was no where near as cold as up here! I was very pleased upon my return to see that the new office and chandlery are looking superb, well done to everyone who has put loads of effort into making such a good job! Amanda has been busy today painting the floor in the chandlery and the walls in the office, Jay has not been on his usual cooking duties all day but has been going through the chandlery and having a good sort out, we have all been trying to stay in the warm, poor old Paul has been outside most of the day though, i hope he has a nice big fire to go home to, Mick has been on a break down to a 1.5 BMC that would not start, Lee has been putting the finishing touches to the boat that he is painting, i have to praise him as he does do a very good job.

We have a new name here now, his name is James, he has worked here once before on a work experience scheme and he Is now the replacement for Dean who has disappeared of the face of the planet!

While typing this Eddie from the fisheries which is a large trout pool just down the road has just popped in for his diesel for his generator and reported the the thermometer was reading -15 last night, I said it was going colder!

I will take some pictures tomorrow of the place covered in its snowy blanket (it was too cold this morning)

Until Tomorrow

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Brass monkey's!

It was certainly a cold one last night. Reports say that it dropped to -11°C (I can believe it!). I have never known our water to freeze within the buildings here at Norbury, but the only tap that seems to be producing water this morning is in Wharf Cottage.

That's the cottage that we do B&B in and also holiday lets. It's very popular during the summer months, but bookings do quieten down during the winter. It's really cosy in there with the oil fired central heating on and a fire roaring up the chimney whilst you look out over the canal basin and open fields.

The lanes are treacherous, so I very much doubt if we will be busy in the shop and tea room today, although saying that we have been in previous spells of bad weather!

Here's a couple of pictures that I took this morning before the sun was breaking through.

Well, we really did make good headway with the chandlery and the office yesterday and things are really coming together now. Mandy's doing sterling work sorting through a big pile of chandlery and putting it into some order on the shelves. We've had nothing but good comments from our customers that have been in since we started the refit, so for those of you that haven't managed to get to see us. Here's some of what your missing!

Firstly the new Chandlery Department...

Dedicated area for stoves, chimneys and accessories

And our new office!

Now there's just the dreaded yellow to get rid off. Whoever would of dreamt of painting walls yellow. I ask you, any colour but yellow! Must of been round the twist...

Simon told you about the new boat that was delivered by road on Thursday which came from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Well I need to get her advertised today, so keep an eye on our website for updates.

Paul's keeping busy out on the yard to keep warm! Steve is going to finish the shelves off in the office today and Mick's just off out to deliver some coal in Gnosall.

You'd be surprised how many coal deliveries we actually do by road as we do free delivery on ten bags or more within a ten mile radius. Our coal prices are advertised on our website here. We used to deliver by water too, but when I sold Hyperion back in February it left us without a carrying boat. I do miss coaling by boat, because even before I came to Norbury it was something that I did on a weekly basis throughout the winter.

Here's me steering the Midlands and Coast motor boat Jubilee loaded with 20 tonnes of domestic pre packed fuel for local distribution at Bugbrooke on the Grand Union Canal back in 2002.

'Tis time for breakfast now and a hot cup of coffee, then get some office work done!

Bye for now.


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Snowy Saturday

Well, it was a bit of a surprise when I got up this morning to see snow everywhere!

This was the scene as I walked down the arm this morning.

And this was the view from the bridge looking over the basin.

Some of the snow had defrosted earlier, but it has started to freeze hard again now (@ 15:50). Weather reports say that it is going to get down to -6°C tonight, which could make things a bit slippery for the morning!

We've been busy sorting the shop and office out today, it's really started to come together and will look the part!

Paul has been busy draining down our boats that aren't going out within the next two weeks and has left the heating running on the boats that are due to go out shortly to prevent burst pipes. The weather forecast is for these Arctic conditions to continue at least for another two weeks. That's something to look forward to... I must admit that I do like the snow and the ice to a certain extent, but it isn't any fun to be working or travelling in.

Working in ice and snow is something we have to take into consideration with all of our staff. It's so easy to slip on gunnels and land in icy cold water. So this slows jobs down, as it takes two people just to move a boat from A to B (that's something we do regularly!) in case one of them slips into the canal.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Bitterly cold Friday

It went really cold last night and it has been seriously cold here today, leaving home this morning it was -5 and it has not got above freezing all day but the sun has been shining. This weather plays havoc with the water taps on the wharf and the pump out hose thus making the turnarounds hard work, we have had four boat being collected today so poor old Fred has been very cold today doing his turnaround duties. Here are a couple of shots of the boats at 9.00 am this morning
The little springer is now water tight again as all the plating is complete, we have even managed to get a coat of black on it today, she will have another coat of black and then she will be lifted back into the water next week. Paul has been busy all day with draining the boats down as its going to be another cold night tonight.

The chandlery is looking more like a chandlery rather than a bomb site but the office is far from finished, more pictures once its looking a bit better.

I will have to stop typing as i cant feel my fingers now as David has turned the heater off as he is using the socket for his drill to put the new wall coverings up!! So until I'm off home, until Monday.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Freezing day

As the title suggests, its been freezing here today at Norbury and we now have ice on the canal!
Work has continued regardless and will do even when we have to start breaking the ice to move boats around, hopefully it wont freeze to hard just yet, the forecasters did say that it was on its way and they werent wrong!
Work on the office and chandlery is progressing and i reckon another couple of weeks and we should be sorted
Some of the owners of Sillhoutte came down today to check on the works to their boat and were more than happy with the progress
Lee has been busy putting on the top coats on to the boat in the dock and that is coming along nicely, it should all be finished by the middle of next week
The plating is nearly finished on the Springer and providing the snow keeps off we should have that blacked and finished by next week and back in the water and while all this was going on a new boat arrived today to be craned in to the water
this is another one to go on to brokerage to be sold, keep your eye on our website for the details. Im sat in the office just waiting for the alarm engineer to come and move the alarm box, everyone else has gone home now and its very quiet here all by my self. Until tomorrow. Simon

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


As the title suggests, its been mayhem for the last few days, we are having a re vamp and moving the office and chandlery around, its been a bit quiet aver the last couple of days which is a good thing considering the mess of the place, when its all done the place will be getting a new lick of paint and then some fresh stock ready for the new season, the picture opposite shows the new office still under construction, the yellow WILL be going!!!!Jay doing something other than cooking in the tea room, he does do a superb breakfast!

As you can see, the place needs some sorting out, hopefully it will be somewhere close by the weekend.

The weather has gone very cold and there was some ice on the canal this morning, i will take some photos tomorrow so watch this space,

Until tomorrow.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Very long day

This will be a short blog as we are all still hard at work and it is 9.00pm! It been a very busy day here at Norbury, we are having a massive change around, we are moving the office out of the poky little hole in the middle of the shop, moving the chandlery, moving the middle counter and till, it will make much more room for chandlery as we are improving our stock, making a bigger office and reception by moving it to where the chandlery used to be, in the process of all of this we are going to repaint the chandlery and new office, new carpet in the office, luxury ha? What it means for our customers is more reception space, more counter space, much better communication with staff and more chandlery for them to peruse! Come take a look in a few weeks and let me know what you think.

That's all from me for today


Sunday, 21 November 2010


If you didn't know it already, we are the cheapest retailers of diesel; at a boatyard, in the country!

Well you do now!!!

There has been much talk in the waterways press about the loss of what we know as red diesel and the wider spread use of bio diesel and/or a diesel mix to improve Britain's carbon foot print. The trouble with this is that the diesel will degrade over a period of months and will need to be "cleaned" to bring it back to life. Well our supplier has offered us a couple of options and as from last Friday we now stock "Ultra low sulphur red diesel". This does not need to be cleaned and the good news is that it is the same price as the diesel we used to stock. And, remember that we allow all of our customers to declare the percentage used for propulsion on each tank that is filled.

We also sell two types of diesel additive (Marine 16 and Fuel Set), which conditions the fuel and removes moisture, which means that it prevents or kills the dreaded Diesel Bug. We treat our tanks regularly and due to our high turn-over, this is never a problem for us. But, if your boat has been standing for long periods (particularly if your diesel tank is not full, which causes condensation therefore water contaminating the diesel), or you have picked up some "dirty fuel" from a retailer, it could be for you. So that means that we strongly suggest that you use an additive.

Our diesel is currently priced at 61.9 p per litre for domestic/heating use, but it does change weekly, to allow us to remain competitive.

Well I just dashed outside to take a picture of Empress exiting the arm and disappearing off up the canal and the camera battery died... That's Simon's fault for not putting it on charge when it's not being used - well you've got to blame somebody haven't you?

An hour or so has now passed by, so I've charged the camera battery and taken some shots for you!

This is the view across the basin this morning. Here we have Sylph and Sandpiper resting for the week, moored next to the boats for sale. We are busy with customers today, who are looking over the boats and coming into the office with lots of questions. The tea room is also busy. It is full to capacity at the moment with a cycle club taking refreshments before they pedal any further.

Here's the progress on the boat that is being plated.

Although it was Willoughby's turn to be docked this morning for pressure washing, blacking and some paintwork to take place, we have docked a boat for some rudder repairs. The rudder had come lose on the shaft, meaning that it was making steering very difficult! So the two boats are currently sat in the dock whilst Paul does the repairs. Once this is done, we will flood the dock, remove the other boat and re dock Willoughby so her works can take place.

Here's a couple of pictures for you.

There's a few boats passing by today, for pump outs, coal, diesel and gas - mainly our regulars. It's lovely this time of the year when there is less traffic on the cut and the water is clear. It nearly looks good enough to drink, although I wouldn't and suggest that you don't either! I also don't think you can beat the smell of the water when the dock is filling, it's the same smell you get where water is running over a weir or when you draw the 'centres' on the Grand Union when the locks empty. Some people probably think I'm odd, but if you have ever experienced it, you know what I mean.

Now I bet your all wondering what 'centres' are. Well that's the name boatmen call the gate paddles on the top gates of locks. I suppose it's because they are in the centre of the lock?

Here's a picture of Victoria and Stanton on the recent Jam 'Ole Run re-enactment at Stockers lock on the Grand Union showing the centres raised to fill the lock.

Well, I'm going to get on with some advertising now. Back over to Simon tomorrow. See you at the weekend!


Saturday, 20 November 2010

All go today!

Well although it has been a quiet today with passing traffic, it hasn't been for us!

It started this morning. I had to get two of the boats that we currently have for sale ready for prospective buyers to take out and test. They only go up to the winding hole at Grub Street, but it gives them a good feel for the boat. Unfortunately I didn't get to go out with them as it is more important for me to stay here and man the fort. So, it was time to hand over to Fred who did a sterling job. Upon their return a firm sale was agreed with the one boat, which means that Long in the Tooth is now Sold "subject to survey".

We've also turned Phoenix around and she has now gone out for two weeks hire with her new occupants aboard. Several of the shared owned boats have also been collected and set off for their next voyage.

Bernard and I have just lifted the new engine into the engine bay of Silhouette, here it is sat on a pallet on the forks of the tractor. Looking all sparkly, ready to serve many years as the motive power, charging and heating unit for Silhouette.

Mick has also nearly finished installing her new hob, grill and oven, which I will let you have a look at tomorrow once it is all in.

Jim's finished blacking Empress, which means that we will be flooding the dock in the morning ready for the next boat to go on.

The boat that we have on the bank that requires a new bottom, has had some good progress made on it over the last day or two. I just went to take a picture, but it's gone dark!

Talking about the weather, it's been another cloudy day here at Norbury, with very little wind. The sun didn't manage to break through once again, but at least the fog has cleared!

I'm off up to the Anchor at High Offley again tonight, but this time by boat - one has to get a boating fix when your craving for it you know!

Speak tomorrow.


Friday, 19 November 2010

Foggy Friday!

Well, we woke to thick fog this morning, although it did look like the sun was going to burn through at one point unfortunately it didn't and the fog has got even thicker now.

Another busy but uneventful day at Norbury!

We've turned four boats around today. Mick is busy installing a new hob, grill and oven on Silhouette. She is now at the stage to accept her new engine, which we will hopefully lift in tomorrow - I'll take some pictures so you can see. Steve's been busy making our new counter and office furniture as we are going to have a revamp next week. Bernard has had a couple of engine services to do and Simon has been up to the Chester area this afternoon to look at a boat and he hasn't made it back to the yard due to traffic, or he has sneaked off to the pub!!! :-P

I've had the chance to have a look at Empress on the dry dock this afternoon. She certainly is a beautiful shape and totally streamlined! Jim's busy with brush in hand blacking her as we speak.

Friday night, so I think its a quick drink in my local and back home for a take-away and a night in by the fire!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Busy day so far

Well Thursday has got off to a busy start, you can tell its winter as the shared boats are coming back in early! David and I have been making room on the wharf for their Impending return.

Sue off No Problem has cast her ropes off and has now disappeared in to the distance to try her new prop and see if it stops her 'prop walk' I remain sceptical! She had a bit of a lie in this morning and scared the hell out of me when she appeared at the window in nothing but here Pyjamas!! poor Old Vic! Just kidding Sue xx

Empress is all pressure washed and cleaned off and as i promised yesterday here are some pictures of the old girl, Empress that is and not Sue!

Empress is quite special as she is reputed to be the oldest surviving purpose built motor narrow boat in this country, she dates from 1887 and was originally a steamer for the former FMC (Fellows Morton Clayton The prop on this boat was 33 inches when she was in steam! that is one BIG prop. I rebuilt the boat over a few years between 1995 and 2000 the worked the boat for about three years before finally selling her to the current owner Jim Taylor who is doing a grand job of looking after her, and it is a pleasure to have her on the dock her at Norbury again.

I think we are becoming experts in the renovation of burnt out boats, here is the latest one to arrive and be lifted out of the water to have a full make over, this will be the third one that we have done in the last few years and is the second one this year, although this one is pretty bad and not only needs half a new cabin but will require two new sections of hull where it is badly buckled, Will keep you up to speed as and when things are taking shape, no rush with this one!

here is an old springer that we have started to plate, this one is about 20 years old and was only built of of thin steel in the first place so now it needs over plating, quite an easy job and should take about a week, well if the rain holds off, once completed it should last for another 20 years without any issues.

Mick is busy today, he has sorted out the leak on a shared boat and is now stuck in to the engine eclectics on another shared boat, Bernard is winterising Nebulae, Lee is still busy applying more paint to the one in the Wet dock, David, well David is doing what David does and i never quite know what that is most of the time but he does seem to get it done, what ever it is! and me well I'm typing a long blog today so i can stay in a nice warm office!!! Arr i have just remembered what David was doing, he has been rapping up a vintage engine that is being collected for delivery down to London, that reminds me we have another engine that has got to be palletised for delivery down to Southampton, i suppose i better go and sort that out.

Until tomorrow

Very late!!

Sorry about how late todays post is, I was working until late this evening and by the time I got home, had a shower and my supper it was getting on a bit.
What a vile and disgusting day it has been, sorry no photos,it has just been to foul to venture out to take any pictures, i did have to go out to help dock 'an old girl' (not my mom) sorry mom xx, To be exact it was Empress, now i will take some photos of that tomorrow as she is a very old ex FMC steamer, in fact she is reputed to be oldest surviving purpose built motor narrow boat in the country and she has a lovely underwater shape, so some photos tomorrow of her 1887 iron hull.

Talking about tomorrow, i will see you then.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

good intentions!!

Well today started with good intentions! i thought seeing as it was a very cold morning, very hard frost and misty Norbury looked stunning so off i went armed with the camera to get some nice pictures to post on the blog, been a busy day so last thing this afternoon i downloaded the pictures and typical, no internet again! its been on and off all day and i could not get it to stay on last thing so i gave up, shut up the shop and left for home, so here i am typing this from the comfort of my place. As the sun started shining this morning and melting the early morning frost on the boats Norbury was a perfect picture, if i can get the internet to stay on tomorrow i will post some pictures then.

Its been a busy day as i have already said and we have even seen some boats on the move today, a few on the wharf filling with diesel and buying coal and one en-route to its new mooring at Over water marina at Audlem, now that is a superb marina if you havent yet seen it and according to sources is nearly full, if that is correct then that is good going as most marinas seem to have plenty of empty berths at the moment, people must be coming on to the Shroppie at the moment as our moorings seem to be nearly full up again as well although that situation can change at any time!

Fred has finished blacking the boat on the dock, while Paul welded a new set of anodes on to the hull, Bernard has been busy all day with engine services and then we saw one of our motor homes go out for a couple of weeks, its amazing that people are still hiring them at this time of year but both of them are out this week and are out for a few weeks, Paul was also getting boats ready to go out this week, again amazing that they are still being hired, not surprising really as they nearly all have solid fuel stoves on them making them ideal for this weather.

Ive been busy making the necessary arrangements for the craning and transport of another boat that is coming to us for sale, this one is a 45 footer and is coming from the Leeds and Liverpool canal, The word must be getting around that we seem to be the only brokerage that is selling boats at the moment, we must be either doing something right or we just have the right boats for sale!! you tell me?

Any way my dinner is nearly ready, so just enough time for a quick shower and then dinner so until tomorrow, and i promise to post some nice pictures even if i take them on my phone and up load them from home tomorrow.


Monday, 15 November 2010

Monday morning blues, or not ?

Well im back from a very nice weeks break, i didnt go abroard or anywhere really exciting but i did have a nice break, did some boating down on the Solent, Sat, Sun and Monday and the weather was superb and we had the South to our selves, virtually no other boats out so it was wonderfull, we returned to our mooring in Burlesdon on Monday afternoon, cleaned the boat off, winterised the engines and water system and got it ready for the winter,we had an excellent meal in the Jolly sailor on the evening(pictured opposite)and headed back home in torential rain on Tuesday! i then spent a couple of days in the garden at home, i know me in the garden lol and then Friday saw us down in deep South Wales looking at another boat!

the picture on the left was taken on the Solent over the weekend showing how calm it was and how sunny it was.

Back to work today, now usually after a week off there is all sorts of stuff to do and loads of catching up to do but today has been lovely, not to manic, no problems and everything seems in order!! hats off to David he has kept everything in order and i see he has kept the blog up to date, even if he did miss a day!

It started off really cold, -3 on route to work but then the sun was out nice and early and it has been a stunning winters day on the wharf, we have even seen some boats on the move and a few on the wharf, The shop is now taking shape after selling off all the fishing tackle and Amanda has been working hard to get it all cleaned up and everything in its new place, we now have a dedicated stand and area for all the stoves, chimneys and paraphernalia that goes with keeping you and your boat warm, sorry there are no pictures, you will have to pay us a visit and take a look for yourselves!! I will take some pictures next week of the mess we are just about to make as we are moving the chandlery, office and counter, redecorating and painting floors etc, its a big job and im sure it will take quite some time to complete but it will be worth the effort as it will give more space, both in the new office and in the chandlery. Mick and Paul have been cracking on with Ember and that is looking very good, i think it will prove to be a popular boat in the summer,Paul has winterised Sphynx and put that to bed for now while Lee has been applying more primer to the boat in the dock. David is now off for a couple of days for a well earned break, im sure he will still stick his nose in tomorrow.

Until tomorrow


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sunday and work continues

It's a peaceful morning in Norbury this morning and there's still a few signs from Halloween! The pumpkin on the stop plank store came floating by yesterday and a local boater fished it out so it can still be appreciated by passers by.

When I got in the Landy to come to work this morning, the windscreen was frozen over and the roads were a bit slippery here and there. The remainder of the frost from last night has now gone leaving it grey and cloudy over us, but work still continues!

The water board are trying to find a leak on the main. Apparently usage in Norbury Junction has gone up over 4,000 litres - that's a lot of water! So they have got all the grids up down the lane. Here they have even found a fire hydrant that we didn't know existed!

Lee's now at the stage of priming Strait and Narrow. Here she is with her first coat of primer on the cabin sides.

Mick has now finished installing the new engine in Hope...

and the cabin top has been painted, although it does need another coat before she is handed back to her owner!

Sunday's are docking days too! So here is Silhouette going on the dock, for pressure washing and blacking. She is the first shared boat in for Winter Maintenance.

So there's some pictures for you today, to make up for the few days last week that I didn't get around to uploading any, sorry!

Simon's back tomorrow, so he will probably be blogging during the coming week.

Speak soon. David.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Sunny Saturday

It's been a busy day here at Norbury today.

We had two day boats go out this morning, they've gone down towards Wheaton Aston and will hopefully be back for 4.30pm as they are going out again tomorrow. We've turned a hire boat round too and we have got people staying in our holiday cottage. The owners of one of the shared owned boats that is based here are also having there meeting today.

I'm glad that the wind has eased and the sun's been out, but it has started to turn chilly now. There hasn't been many boats passing through for the last few days. I guess that they decided it was easier to stay 'put' than being blown up the canal sideways!

The winds over the last 2/3 days have reminded me about going to the Port (that's Ellesmere Port) at Easter about three years ago. I (along with a couple of good friends) took Hyperion and Ethel. The wind was that strong between Chester and the Port that the majority of the boats ended up getting blown against the bank and had to be towed off. That's the benefit of having butty, and a good butty steerer at that - you can work together to keep the boats moving and in the centre of the channel. Here's a picture of me decending Bunbury staircase with the pair.

I've finally finished the advert for No Frontiers, that's the 69 foot boat that has just come in for Brokerage. I've just been totting up the invoices that were left on board. Over £25k has been spent on works and parts in the last five years! Click here to read all about it! But in the meantime here's a picture of her.

That's Fred proving that he does know how to steer a boat! He has took some training, but he's getting there... I've seen the white's of his eyes on a few occasions when we have been towing boats back to the yard! :-)

Yesterday afternoon I received the deposit for Long in the Tooth, meaning that she is now officially UNDER OFFER and off the open market. So that's Shongalolo, Maggie Bloggs and now Long in the Tooth all sold, subject to surveys.


Friday, 12 November 2010


Friday's seem to come round so quickly. It's turnaround day once again.

We've got four shared owned boats turning round and one of the hire boats going out today. Here's the view of them all lined up this morning, ready and waiting for the engineers and cleaners.

I had a nice evening last night. After a couple of drinks (yes I know, it was a few more than that!) and a good laugh in the Royal Oak at Gnosall with some friends after work, it was then back to Lucy's boat for dinner but that was courtesy of Sue. It's good to have friends around at this time of the year, short days, long dark nights and all that! It's a shame that I haven't got a local within walking distance...

The road back to Norbury last night was covered in debris from the high winds. There were branches, twigs and leaves everywhere. We were just praying that a tree didn't fall down as it had done only a few days previous. A poor lady from the village was driving her car along the road when a tree came down right across her bonnet. Luckily she wasn't hurt but the car was a write off - what a shock that must have been! The winds have certainly been violent. A farmer friend of Simon's and mine had his brick built porch blown off his farmhouse during the night - reports Blanche who delivers our newspapers. It was a good job that we stacked the chairs and tables and all the signs in front of the shop last night, or they would have all blown away by this morning.

Ange is busy packing up the fishing tackle in the shop. We have sold it to a trade customer which will allow alot more space in our shop for our new stove and chimney display and to introduce some new stock - so watch this space. Once it's all built I'll post some pictures. Paul will be starting on it later today.

The boat on the dock has now had it's three coats of Intertuff, 6 anodes and a new rudder cup on the skeg, so the docks flooding as we speak ready to take Hope. Remember? That's the boat that we changed the engine in. We going to pop her in the dock so she can have a new coat of paint on the cabin top, where we disturbed the paintwork removing the access plate to get the engines in and out.

I need to catch up with some Brokerage paperwork and advertising today. Which; I'm sure, will keep me busy for most of the day. You can soon get distracted by ringing telephones and making sure everything runs smoothly on the yard.

Time to get started!