Shop front in the summer

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

its all lies!

Angela does tell some real big porky pies! I was not browsing through itunes yeasterday looking for new ring tones for my phone, I wouldn't even know how to down load the damn things to my phone to use as a ring tone, what I was doing was listening to messages that had been left on our answering phone, they are down loaded through a server to our computer then they can be played using a pre selected programme, in this case I use itunes, as the message finishes it then goes on to the next item on a play list, now for some reason itunes has downloaded a pile of silly ring tones, so you can picture the scene, I have just finished listening to a message, it finishes and then the computer starts to make the most bizarre sounds, sheep crying, cows mooing and people making rude noises, well Angela could not stop laughing, so as you can see, I was not wasting time, I was in fact working!

Its been a very busy day today, I don't know where to start, this morning got off to a busy start, emails out of the way, the lads sorted for the day, well there was only Steve and Fred as everyone else was off, then two lorries turned up with two boats on them, then the crane turned up, David came in to help with the unloading, crane set up and in less than an hour the boats were in the water and the lorries had gone along with the crane, we were craning in two work boats that were destined for the winter works at Shebdon, the company that is doing the job seemed a bit lackadaisical as they had not had the engine running and had no driver for the boat so David got the engine running, we filled up the empty diesel tank and then he went boating and took them up to Shebdon, I then went and collected him; loads more has happened today but I don't have time to tell you any more as I need to go and pick up Becks who is at Wheaton Aston with a boat that she is bringing back for us.

Until tomorrow

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

i'm back ;-)

hi all, i haven't been at work since wednesday last week, day off thursday, 3 days holiday, then guess what day off monday. i went boating for a few days with mark, 2 friends from far away newcastle upon tyne, their 2 daughters and 3 dogs, it stayed dry but it was cold, however, we had an excellent weekend.
so it is back to the grindstone today (not quite sure if i've spelt that right, but hey ho)
i have been ploughing through my in tray today, invoices and holiday bookings, i have even booked a day boat today for this friday. simon asked fred to drain 1 down and move it onto the moorings, then i booked it, so fred had to bring it back and fill it up with water, not a happy bunny, poor fred.
we have also booked phantasy for this friday, she was moored on our moorings and i asked simon if she could be brought down today so that we could get her cleaned, david said to him "don't forget you can turn her round down there, don't get taking her down to grub street to turn it like steve did last week", we did wonder where he had got to, no wonder it took him so long.
it hasn't been too busy here today, the tea room has been relatively quiet until i was left in the building on my own then i suddenly had people wanting to be served in the tea room whilst i was dealing with a customer in the chandlery and then the phone started ringing it's head off, denise was on monarch getting it ready for its new occupants today but she soon came to my rescue, thanks denise, you're a life saver. the boat was ready for when the customers arrived at 1 pm and they were happy that once they'd had lunch they could set off for nantwich.
simon has been doing simon things today, he is all caught up with his e mails and other jobs to do so he thought he would browse the i phone web site for ring tones.............what a flippin racket........i thought some one was being murdered at one point, it was so loud, we had to filter a few out as i to have to listen to his phone ringing when he is in the yard and we are all in the office.  
i can't think of anything else to report for today so until next time.........byeeeeeeee, ange.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Just as we were walking out of the door on Friday evening the phone rang. Simon promptly answered the it and on the other end were the lads who had taken Sphynx out for the weekend. The engine had stopped for some reason and they were close to Church Eaton. Unfortunately for Mick he was on call, so he departed in the van to see sort it out. I had a call from him at about seven, to say that he thought it was a little more terminal than we first thought, but could be fixed with some spare parts that we carry on the shelf and it was agreed that Mick would visit the boat first thing in the morning as the light was fading and it was making the job difficult. 

I got to work just before eight yesterday morning to prepare for another hectic day. Mick arrived soon after and gathered the bits together that he required. Once he was on board it was soon apparent that we really needed the boat back at the yard, so we swiftly my another ten berth boat available and sent the lads on their way. That's the first time this year we have had to swap some customers to another boat - it would happen on the last week of the season... Mick returned to the yard to get the other six boats and the holiday cottage ready for the oncoming customers. 

We had Bill in too to check the internals of the boats and of course Fred who did his "normal" Saturday jobs, pumpouts, gas, diesel, water and washed the fleet off as an amazing number of leaves had fallen onto the top of the boats.

As soon as all of the boats were ready I dispatched Simon to get the engine running along with Fred who would steer the boat back. He arrived at about five thirty last night - one of the reasons there was no blog yesterday...

Mick had to go to a boat at Audlem first thing this morning, so Steve set to removing the inspection plate on the top of the diesel tank of Sphynx and emptying the diesel. We've had to replace the majority of the fuel line. I don't think it has got anything to do with the "Diesel Bug" but a sign of age. She has obviously had a problem in the past as the originally supply pipe has been capped off and another pipe fitted. It has taken most of the day, but we now are confident that she will be ready for the customers who are picking her up tomorrow.

Denise has been in the tearoom today with Joyce helping out when necessary.

Winters certainly on it's way. It has been bitterly cold for the past couple of nights, and the temperature doesn't seem to have risen much today. We've had one day boat out both yesterday and today, I do feel sorry for them when it is cold and damp, but both parties have seemed to enjoy themselves.

Until next time.



Friday, 26 October 2012


Friday and its the end of another week, well it is for me anyway! Its been a cold one here at Norbury today, it was certainly a cold one last night and a windy one too, i sleep at home with my bedroom windows wide open , I got up early this mooring to find the curtains had been sucked out of the window and it was freezing, i soon shut the windows and jumped back in to bed, we have been selling coal and smokeless fuels at a good rate now that the colder weather has come, we had a further 4 tons delivered today so that we don’t run too low on stock as I suspect its going to get colder.

The lads have all been busy again today, Steve is still doing wood work on a brokerage boat, Simon has been working on a replacement stern gear all day on a boat in the dock, Fred turned the fleet around this morning and then went blacking another boat in the dock, Lee has been flitting between dry dock and wet dock applying paint to two boats, he is nearly finished on both of them, this weekend should see the back of them, Mick has been on engines in the fleet all day getting them ready for either collection this afternoon of tomorrow, We have had Billy in today to do show arounds, David has been all over the place, on hire boats in the cottage, on private boats, in the office, and on the phone taking last minute booking, which is pretty much the same as me, Denise has looked after the tea room helped by Denise while she has been in-between cleaning hire boats, all in all a busy day!

Until Monday

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Its that time of year again when we start to see the regular visitors to the area after they have been out cruising all year long, we have regular canal users that live on their boats and still move up and down the Shropshire Union canal, we have our own moorers that come home and we have our regular customers who come to us for winter moorings and works, so while the canal is now starting to go quieter we are kept occupied by looking after our regulars! Its great to see those customers who we haven’t seen for a while and catch up on the gossip from around the canal system, no doubt this will involve several pints of beer as well.

We have had a busy day today, Simon has had his head in a diesel tank that was leaking, he eventually sorted it out, then he went back to his stern gear on the boat in the dry dock, Fred has been moving boats around, as it is the last week of the cruising season we have virtually all of the boats going out so we don’t have much space in the basin which means we have to shuffle them about a bit, Fred then went and blacked a boat and did a few odd jobs around the wharf, Lee is still painting, Steve, Angela, Joyce and Mick are on their days off which has left me in the office by myself for most of the day, so I have been busy manning the phones, doing quotes, putting stock away, serving customers etc, now I am knackered! See I do some work occasionally!!!!!!


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Strange day?

 Thanks Angela for yesterdays post, I have to say though that Angela doesn’t know what a strange day is ( I am now running for cover) its true it was a strange sort of day, a busy day I know that much, hence the lack of a post from me, its been a weird sort of day today, not an overly busy day yet as I sit here typing the blog I see it is after 4pm and I have no idea where the day has gone. We haven’t been blessed with good weather today and I don’t think it has brightened up all day, it has been a typical dull autumnal day, loads of leaves on the ground now and a definite nip in the air, talking of leaves on the floor, don’t forget that at this time of year they play havoc with sticking to your propeller, which slows you down and puts extra load on your engine, you would be amazed at just how much this happens!

The lads have been busy today, Freddie is back, and it doesn’t seem like he has been away, he has blacked a boat on the dock, prepared the counter bands for painting as well as serving customers on the wharf, Lee has prepared the roof on the boat in the dry dock for repainting whilst finishing off the other boat in the wet dock, Simon has been stripping out old stern gear on a boat ready to replace it tomorrow, I have finished looking through the boats for their winter works, cleared up all of my outstanding paperwork, emails and the like, and for the first time this year I have a clear desk in front of me! Time Simon

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

strange day

it has been a very strange day at norbury today.
very quiet to start with, we had 1 day boat out 1st thing this morning and it has stayed dry for them all day.
i caught up with a bit of paperwork today and have also done a couple of holiday bookings, 1 for next year and 1 for this saturday, we have almost got the whole fleet out now for this weekend :-)
steve has been on freddie duty today as fred has been at the eye infirmary today as he likes to call it, simon has done a bit of welding on the hatch on karakoram which is a brokerage boat that we have sold, lovely couple and they are heading down to london...........they managed to boil the engine between here bridge38 and bridge 37, we attended their breakdown and hopefully they are now on their way.
lee has carried on with the painting of "whycwood" which is coming along nicely.
joyce asked if she could go home today at lunch time, i said yeah no probs...........i never had a minute to spare in their all afternoon.........simon  was out and about and i was in the shop, tea room and answering the phone and doing the holiday bookings........sods law..........and danny off karakoram wanted to pay his bill.
all in all a very strange day, let's see what tomorrow brings,
bye for now ange.

Monday, 22 October 2012

made it back

Well I made it back safe and sound after going in to the deep depths of Wales the weekend off roading, its funny how you forget work when you are miles away and are doing other things, but I did think this weekend when the sun was streaming through the windscreen that with this weather Norbury would be packed out, upon my return today however David said that on Sunday the mist didn’t clear until nearly midday, but in Wales the sun came up and from my hotel room I watched as it rose over the river Dovey, simply stunning! As it happens it was a busy weekend for them all at Norbury in way or another.

Today has been a busy one, loads of people in to see us for allsorts of things, we have all been kept busy, Steve delivering coal and gas locally, then on the wharf, helping me and David lift a generator in to a boat as well as a multitude of other jobs, Mick has been engine servicing as well as several small jobs on boats dotted here and there, Lee is painting the last private boat that will be painted here this year, the reason for this is that we start on our massive winter maintenance schedule at the end of this month and that keeps everyone busy until next March, we do manage to fit in the odd private job here and there so if you do need something doing don’t think we will turn you away!

That’s it from me for today

Sunday, 21 October 2012

I'm sorry that I didn't blog yesterday, but I am afraid that we didn't have an internet connection for the majority of the day. I tried everything possible to make it work, but I was unsuccessful! I hate to not succeed, so I went home like a bear with a sore head... I came in this morning determined to fix it. Following several phone calls to the internet service provider and swapping between routers, a lot of head scratching and losing my temper it started to work... Let's hope that it stays that way. Fingers crossed...

You really don't realise how much you rely on the internet, especially as our booking system is internet based and the PDQ machine connects through the internet. Of course then there are emails etc. and prices that are all internet based. It's seems to take an age to rectify a fault with the computers/network when they arise, but it's a good job done. Simon will think we haven't done anything when he comes in tomorrow! It's a good job that I have got broad shoulders!

It was extremely foggy here this morning, but when that cleared about 11am it turned into a spectacular day. The sun has been out and it has been lovely and warm - just like a summers day, but I reckon it will go cold tonight as there isn't a cloud in the sky!

Mick's been completing some jobs on private boats today and fitted a new cooker to Ange's boat. We had to have Ange's dog Dylan in the office with us when Mick was on the boat. He isn't used to alot of people being around, so Ange had to put his fabric muzzle on, just in case he got anxious and snapped at one of us, but he was fine and is welcome again!

 Steve's been turning boats around and moved boats around in the basin and yard. Joyce has been busy in the tearoom, assisted by Denise when it's been busy, who has been cleaning boats ready for next weekend during the quieter periods. Ange has been keeping her eye on the shop and catching up on paperwork.

That's it from me today. Simon's back tomorrow and I am sure he will keep you up-to-date with whats occurring.

Best regards,


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Thursday already

Its Thursday already, and nearly the weekend, hurrah, got a busy weekend planned, early start on Saturday and a drive in to Wales to meet up with friends and then driving up the side of a mountain, just for the fun of it! Not quite boating but sometimes its nice to have a change, we won’t be away from water for long as we are planning a stop for fish and chips on the sea front near Barmouth, I might even post some pictures next week.

Anyway back to today, although every day seems to be similar here at the fun factory, no two days are ever the same, we had a day boat out first thing which Simon got ready and David showed out, We then got a call from the folks on Phantom, they had broken down at Hack Green locks, so Simon was dispatched to that to sort it out, That turned out to be an empty fuel tank, now that’s not the first time it has happened, we reckon that hire boats are an easy target for unscrupulous people siphoning the diesel off, Simon did take some diesel with him so they were soon on their way again, people don’t realise the cost involved when an engineer has to attend a breakdown! David and Steve docked another boat for blacking, once docked he then Steve pressure washed the hull sides and then carried on with the woodwork on a brokerage boat. I manned the office and Denise looked after the tearoom, I knuckled down to doing some outstanding paperwork and writing letters, boring stuff really! The diesel tanker turned up with a fresh load of diesel, good job as we had nearly out, I am amazed that we are still selling a large quantity of the stuff, David returned to the office and did some paperwork and then it was time to go home, so until tomorrow.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

middle of the week!

Where is this week going, cant believe its the middle of the week already, mores to the point its now the middle of the month and where has that gone? with that in mind its nearly the end of the cruising season so not much time left your last trip out before the 'CART' shut the system for its winter maintenance, Although as this year has been so quiet on the canals I don’t suppose we will notice much difference!

Its been a glorious day here today, so warm I have even had to take my coat off as I was so hot, its a shame in some respects its been so nice as there hasn’t been many people around to take advantage of it, I have been busy today catching up with paperwork, valuing boats, order parts and stock, Simon has been busy with welding anodes in the dry dock, welding a diesel tank leak and also doing an engine service on an old BMC 1.5 engine in a boat that we have just sold on brokerage, Steve has been blacking, pump outs and doing woodwork in a brokerage boat and Joyce has been looking after the tea room and spring cleaning.

As I am typing this blog I am struggling to keep my eyes open as I had rather a late night last night, let’s just say it was nearly time to get up before I actually went to bed! roll on home time tonight.

until tomorrow.
Sleepy Simon

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

blowing a gale

hi, it has been very, very windy here today at norbury and no i'm not talking about simon ;-)..........ha ha
he won't thank me for saying that, but hay ho, if you can't stand the heat then keep out of the kitchen, just ask blanche.
on a more serious side it has been very windy here, we had 1 day boat out this morning with someone who is considering buying a boat for himself and his dog to live on, so he thought he would try a day boat first, they had a really good time.
joyce has been quite busy in the tea room today and we had a couple of lads on a boat last night on a b and b basis as they are fitting a septic tank to one of the cottages down the way.
simon has been doing simon things all day (not quite sure what) but at least he turned up for work and stayed til the close of business.
"tom bombardial" left us today after mick had fitted a battery management system to his boat, mick then went in search of simons vernier that has gone walkabout.....whoops, and then on to do a bit of housekeeping, i think that's a bit of tidying up in the workshop, i do hope so, can't imagine him doing cleaning of boats and the odd bit of washing.
the phones have been quite busy today with enquiries for holiday prices for next year and we have done a couple more bookings.
i have been ploughing through invoices and bank statements ready for the end of the year (31st october) only to be told that the goal posts have been moved and we have now been extended to the end of feb 2013....phew.
steve has carried on with the internal works on one of the brokerage boats and we have taken a deposit on "second chance".
that's all to report for today..........til next time byeeeeeeee, ange.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

As we wandered home from the pub last night, there was a definite chill in the air. When I got up this morning to take Annie out I flung the cratch cover back and it was as stiff as a board. There was a good layer of ice on the top of the boats and a good frost hanging from the trees. The sun was rising behind the thick fog. It was one of those mornings that are deadly quiet and it seems as though you could hear a pin drop.

Anyway, you guessed it... I'm back... I've actually been back since Tuesday and at work since Thursday, but I've been lying low!!! We had a great trip from Blowers Green, to the River Lee with my friends two boats. We left Birmingham's famous Gas Street basin and were tied up at Ponders End just five nights later, taking sixty hours. Overnight stops included The Cape, Stoke Bruerne, Cowroast and Cowley. That's not a bad bit of boating if I do say so myself. It's a great time of the year at the moment to be out boating, as the canals are quiet and you only get the real enthusiasts out and about (including intrepid hire boaters). It was great to catch up with many old friends along the way. I've got a few stories to tell, but I'll leave them for another day!

It's been a busy day here at times today. Mick and Steve undocked Ange's boat this morning and docked a private boat whilst I saw to the dayboat. Ange has been looking after the shop, Joyce and Denise have been busy in the tearoom. Steve has been doing some remedial works to one of the boats that we have got for sale and Mick has been fitting a standalone diesel stove to a customers boat.

That's it from me today.

Best regards,


Saturday, 13 October 2012


Now the colder evenings are on the way, have you got an Ecofan on the top of your multifuel stove? If not, we now stock a full range of these fans including the new 810 model.  

Guaranteed to get rid of those cold spots and circulate the warm air.

Ecofans are a range of heat powered fans designed to circulate the warm air created by wood/solid fuel/multifuel stoves or even gas stoves. These fans do not use any batteries or mains electricity.

The Caframo Ecofan® 810 UltrAir and 812 AirMax are heat powered stove fans designed to circulate the warm air created by a stove. Recent design improvements have resulted in these new models now producing higher airflow over a wider range of stove surface temperatures, compared to the previous models, delivering between 15 to 90% more air at mid to low stove temperatures.

The optimal running temperature of these Ecofans® is the same as the recommended safe operating temperature for wood-stoves of between 205°C and 345°C. Improved warm air circulation results in greater comfort and less fuel consumption.

Testing carried out in collaboration with a leading Canadian university has proven that using an Ecofan® results in fuel savings of up to 14%.

They have a thermoelectric module which acts as a small generator to power the fan's motor. When this generator experiences a heat differential between its top and bottom surfaces, it pumps out electricity. The bottom surface of the module is heated by the base of the fan while the top of the module is kept cooler by the fan's top cooling fins.


Warm air is circulated directly into the living area rather than having most of your stove's heat rise immediately to the ceiling, thereby increasing the heating efficency of your stove.

The unique anodised gold, nickel or black coloured blade has been specifically designed to deliver a very broad cross section of gentle air movement instead of a small cone of concentrated air.

Ecofans® start automatically and adjust speed with the stove temperature. As the stove heats up the Ecofan® runs faster to move more air into the room. As the stove burns down and cools the Ecofan® automatically shuts off.

Ecofans® use only the heat from your stove. The Ecofan® is the most economical way to effectively circulate warm air. It does not plug in, uses no batteries and can be used where there is no electricity.

Ecofans® are made from anodised aluminium that will not rust. Bi-metal strips in the base of the Ecofans® help prevent the fan from overheating.

It is important to read, and follow, the instructions on the correct placement of the Ecofans® to ensure satisfactory long term use and that your stove is working within the temperature range of 'best operation'. We recommend the associated use of our Stove & Stovepipe Thermometer as shown below.

ECOFAN 810 available with Nickel, Brass or Black blade (black shown) - £99.99.

ECOFAN 812 available with Nickel, Brass or Black blade (nickel shown) - £139.99.

Until tomorrow.



Friday, 12 October 2012

normal friday

well it has been just a normal friday here at norbury today. we had 1 day boat out first thing this morning and 5 shared boats returned to us. we also had pippin return with previous hirers who have had a real good time down in kinver :-)
quartz has gone out today for a week along with phantom which has gone out a day early as it suited the customer to pick it up a day early as she was here in the basin, we do try to accommodate our customers if we can.
carol (mrs handbag) has been doing the cleaning for us today and joyce has manned the tea room, i did have to help her occasionally as the sun has shone here all day and we have seen lots of cyclists pass through.
although the sun has shone all day it has been quite cold and very windy so we have all been wrapped up in our jackets, except joyce of course who has been slaving over a hot griddle......joyce ur a star.
simon (engineer) has done the internal checks on phantom and quartz and has also done an engine service on honeystreet and showed the day boat out this morning.
fred has been doing pump outs, diesel and gas on the boats that returned and simon (boss) is down on his boat in southampton, or at least i think he is, that was the plan anyway.
david off "tom bombardial" came in to collect his curtains yesterday, i spoke to him this morning, they are nearly all hanging up and he is over the moon with them i'm glad to say......thank goodness, it always worries me when you attack someone's material with a pair of scissors. i went down at lunchtime to inspect my work, they look really nice, good choice of material david alcock............well done.
that is all i have to report today, have a good evening all...........till next time ....byee ange.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Long drive

Part of my job sees me all over the country looking at boats, pricing jobs up, giving prices to people for their boats, dropping people off to move them, so today swa me up on the Leeds and Liverpool canal looking at a cruiser style boat for sale, Why o why do people have boats built with an odd layout, they obviously think its a good idea at the time but when it comes to sell the boat it really affects its value, this boat I looked at today was one of those such boats, it had a really good fit out and had been done very well but what an odd set up, it had a single bed at the back with a fold down bed next to it and a porta potti that sat in the shower tray, and a massive galley with a small and cramped saloon,this was a modern boat and the original owner had some funny ideas, anyway I didnt buy the boat!

Although I have been out and about today I was in first thing this morning and the weather was foul, and its been foul all day and not really a pleasent drive, it was busy this morning and I am glad that David is back, and he will keep you entertained over the next few days as I am having a few days off, so until next week.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tuesday 9th October

I wish I had a video camera this morning to video the drive in to work along the country lanes, there was a bit of mist which hung heavy just above the hedge rows which gave the impression of driving through a tunnel, the sun too was just above the hedge row and as I passed the trees in the fields the sun shone in rays through the mist, it was a stunning sight and I was glad that I was driving down the country lanes and not stuck in traffic in the city, I do enjoy my drive in to work, and the peace and quiet, I don’t have the radio on in the car and it gives me time for my brain to wake up ready for the day.

This morning got off to a busy start on the wharf, several boats in and out for services, phones ringing and customers coming through the door, but after lunch it went dead quiet and remained like that for the rest of the day, nothing exciting has happened today, just the lads doing the normal jobs and Joyce and Denise in the shop and tea room, No Angela today, probably a good thing as I was apparently getting on her one and only nerve yesterday!

David will be back off his holidays on Thursday so no doubt he will be giving you a rundown of his boating over the last week, until then.

Monday, 8 October 2012

poor little soldier

well as the title suggests we have a poor little soldier on our hands today........his name is simon (our m.d) and he is still not very well. at 8.30 this morning he was asking if it was time to go home, i said to him to go and he assured me that he had lots to didn't materialise.........he said to me at 4 o'clock is it time to go home yet, by which time i only had 1 nerve left and he was getting on it ;).......he went home after saying don't forget to turn my computer off and make sure everything is locked up.
it has been very quiet here today, we had 1 day boat out first thing this morning and they had a dry day at least, the sun came out just as simon went home, how spooky is that and we also saw a few customers in the tea room so that should put a smile on his face.
mick has been working on "quartz" today, something has gone wrong with the alde heating and you cannot get the spare parts for the "older" alde heating system so it has had to have a complete new system installed on it.
steve has been working on a private boat, basically tidying it up, it is on brokerage, so watch this space.
denise has been in the tea room today, it hasn't been very busy until the sun came out this afternoon, then all hell broke loose.
we have done a couple of bookings today for the half term week in october, other than that i have been looking after customers in the shop, ordering chandlery items for the shop, for example stove glass, as at this time of the year when people go to their boat when they haven't been there for a while and they light the fire the glass cracks............oops.......sorry but it happens a lot and they don't understand why.
simon has been sat at his desk croaking and david is still on holiday.
till next time...........byeeee ange.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Another stunner

It did this last year at this time, the weather that is! It was a lovely day yesterday and a superb day to go boating and today has been the same, the morning got off to a very misty start, it was that bad that the drive to work was at 30mph as you could hardly see the front of the bonnet on the car, once the sun got some strength it soon burned the mist off, and it has stayed a stunning day all day, its been a pleasure to have been at the wharf today.

We had two day boats out first thing which I showed  out and saw back in this afternoon, that left Mick to crack on with lots of outstanding jobs that needed getting on top of, Lee was in today as he had a day off in the week, that worked out nicely as he helped Steve dock a boat for survey, once that was completed they docked another boat for pressure washing and blacking which Steve cracked on with the pressure washing, Lee then carried on with preparing another boat in the wet dock, Angela has looked after the office today and has been stitching curtains, Joyce has done a cracking job of looking after the tea room and helped out in the busy periods by Denise who has been busy all day cleaning hire boats, I have been going through the hire fleet and sorting what annual works they are going to have, it soon comes around, it doesn’t seem like five minutes since I was doing it last year!

That’s it from me for today

Saturday, 6 October 2012

what a glorious day

me again i'm has been absolutely glorious here at norbury today, i hope it has been as nice for you all too.
we had 3 day boats out this morning, 2 have returned on time and the third one still was not back when i left at 10 past 5, i stood on the bridge for a few minutes and they were no where to be seen. they came past my boat at 25 past 5 :( , rather late considering they were supposed to be back by 1/2 past 4.
we have had phoenix go out today for a week with customers that have never been on a boat before and have headed off to chester, i hope the weather stays good for them.
the tea room has been fairly busy today which joyce has manned with help from denise when required and denise has been cleaning boats ready for their next trip out. i have continued making curtains for "tom bombardial" that are being collected next friday, they are almost done, i ran out of heading tape for the last 2 so that will be remedied on monday and that will be another job sorted.
simon has been out of the office for most of the day checking the boats for the winter works that is required for each boat so he may aswell have had the day off anyway ;).......he did ask if he could have the day off and i said "yes" but he was here when i arrived this morning.
we have seen a couple of boats on the wharf today for diesel and pump outs that simon has attended as you are all probably aware i do diesel but i don't know how to do a pump out and neither do i want to, thanks.
fred has had the day off today as there were no boats to turn round so he was smiling when he went home last night.
other than that i have nothing else to report, till next time.........byeeee ange.

Friday, 5 October 2012

quiet friday

hi all, it has been quiet here at norbury today, we haven't seen many boats around.
we had 2 shared boats return to us this morning, one came back on wednesday and 2 came back last night. i was doing my washing when i heard someone shout "where can we moor", "on the wharf for tonight" i said and then i immediately sent simon a text asking him not to tell them off when he arrived this morning as i had told them to moor there as we had no spaces......."no worries" he said, and then i caught the people off wolverley trying to escape to the pub through a locked gate, in actual fact it wasn't locked as i had left it open for them, they were scaling the
denise has done the valets this morning and cleaned wharf cottage for the weekend whilst joyce has looked after the tea room, she has been kept quite busy and has also had a bit of a spring clean in there a bit early and what a sterling job she has done.........well done joyce :)
i have been ploughing through boat paperwork and sending invoices to the shared boats for the work we have done to their boat during september and simon has been helping me in the office with answering the phone and taking a couple of holiday bookings. he has also been doing a quote for an insurance job on one of our moorers boats as well as nicking half my breakfast this morning, i'm ordering 3 slices of toast tomorrow then i wil have the 2 that i asked for, don't worry i won't tell amanda. he hasn't been very well over the last couple of days and i think he has a virus, not man flu  as if anyone dares to eat anything he pinches half of it.
fred has been turning boats around today and simon (engineer) has done engines and internal checks.
we have had pippin go out today for a week with returning customers who took phoenix out in june, they headed north on phoenix and have decided to head down to stourport this time, i hope they have better luck at turning round in the basin at stourport than we did when we were down there 4 weeks ago........what a nightmare :(.............poor mark.
well that's all i have to report for today..........speak soon, ange.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

what a start!

Fantastic weather this morning down here at Norbury, what more could we ask for, but what a start to the day! It all started lovely until the worst customer in the world arrived, as we were opening up there was a hire boat hovering by the wharf, the chap off the boat was standing on the wharf and a plump lady was steering the boat, he enquired as to weather we did diesel at the 60/40 split, which I answered yes, that was the end of the niceties, the woman moaned that she couldn’t get the 60 foot boat in to the 100 foot space, after they had been served the diesel and some gas she came in to pay, no problem so far, until she asked for a receipt which I gave her but that wasn’t good enough as she wanted a 'proper' receipt, the one I gave her was a VAT receipt with our company details on and a breakdown of the goods shed had, she then refused to pay, then she refused to give me her details for the declaration for the diesel , there was only one thing for it, I rang the hire company where the boat was from, the poor lady on the end of the phone just sort of whimpered, expressed her sympathy and apologised for this woman’s behaviour and went on to say that she didn’t used to drink until this mad woman took the boat out! This plump woman wondered off and then rang the hire company and enquired if she should pay, she then came back in to the shop moaning but would still not pay, in the end her partner got that frustrated with her he disappeared and came back with some cash to pay, eventually she waddled off moaning about the terrible holiday, the boat, the canal, the hire company, us, me, her partner, the diesel, the gas, other hire companies; we watched as her partner pulled the boat off the wharf and I could still her moaning at him on the back of the boat, poor fella!

It was a busy morning as we had three day boats out, several breakfast baps to get ready and a buffet for twenty people so that kept us all busy for a couple of hours, after they had all been sorted it quietened down and has been another quiet day on the wharf, a few more boats around compared to yesterday but still quiet, the phones have kept me and Angela busy, bookings for next year and general enquiries about hire boats, the some of the lads have been busy, Fred with blacking and tidying up the wharf, simon has been working on yard vehicles and Lee has finished the prep work on the next full paint job, and thats the lot!

Until tomorrow

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

smashing day

What a smashing day it has been today and what a day to have been out on the water messing with boats, for the last few years I have noticed that the weather has been better later in the year, we all try to take our holidays in this country in the summer months but I am definitely leaning towards having time off in the Autumn instead as we do get some stunning days, admittedly its a bit chilly but at least there is no rain and hardly any wind, I typed this out before the heavens opened up, which they did for a very brief moment and then the sun came back out and its been a lovely afternoon.

Not a busy one today at all, we have only seen a few boats going through and only a couple on the wharf for services, the phones have been busy and me and Angela have done quite a few bookings for next year, the lads have been busy, Simon finishing off a wiring job on a private boat, also finishing off odd jobs on brokerage boats, Fred and Steve docked a boat this morning for blacking and Fred then proceeded to pressure wash it, I think Steve went back to bed, well it was his day off after all, Lee carried on preparing the boat in the wet dock, Joyce looked after the tea room.

No more to say about today

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Birthday Girl

I have been in the office all on my lonesome today, David is off for the next ten days, enjoying himself, and Angela said that she had swapped her days off to accomodate everyone elses days off, but then I found out that it is her birthday today and I reckon she has gone off somewhere and is having a nice day with her hubby Mark,so a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ange xx

Well today started off a bit damp, grey, overcast and drizzly, but then the sun came out about midday and it was glorious but then it changed again and then rained and its been doing that all afternoon, unfortunately! We had Ember return to us today after a weekend break, lovely bunch of people, some of the party having to drive back to Ireland today, I hope they have a good crossing, they all enjoyed themselves and then they all enjoyed a hearty breakfast in the tea room before setting off, it hasn’t been a busy day today although the lads have all been busy, Steve has replaced the planks in front of the dry dock, the old ones have lasted well and they were only scaffolding planks that we put there 7 years ago,  hopefully these ones will last equally as long, if not even longer, Fred is back from his weeks holiday and has been blacking a boat in the dry dock as well as doing a few pump outs on the hire fleet, Mick has been re fitting Horny Toad after Lee has done a superb job of painting it, I will try and get some photos later in the week when its floated off the dry dock, Simon has been re wiring an engine room and fitting a new toilet, it is amazing the state of some of the wiring you see on boats and how on earth they don’t go up in flames, and Lee has been preparing the next boat in the wet dock for a new paint job that he will be working on for the next few weeks, Denise, Mrs Handbag have looked after the shop and tea room today, which has left me to look after the office, the lads and the phones which has kept me busy!


Monday, 1 October 2012


Its only Monday and already it feels like I have been here a week, I don’t suppose it helps that I have 'man flue' and that is the worst sort that anyone can get, it is debilitating and draining and today I have had Angela off and David off so I have had to look after the office, look after the wharf and all while I am poorly (I cant feel your sympathy?)

Well its October the 1st, its now officially autumn, the canal is getting quieter, the leaves are falling from the trees and in the mornings and the evenings there is a definitive nip in the air, my fires are alight at home now in the evening and we have started selling solid fuels on the wharf, its a nice time of the year on the canals, I personally think it is the most pleasant time to be cruising, although I don’t cruise the canals anymore it was a time of the year that I really loved, smoke curling from the chimneys on the boats up in to a still nights air, and everyone tucked up by a roaring fire, lovely!

Its been a quiet day really, there has been Mrs Handbag, Denise and me in the shop, office and tea room, with Mick, Lee and Steve on the yard, doing several jobs, including a broken macerator toilet, which is not a nice job, Mick has been on that one, Steve on Freddie duties and Lee doing some prep work on yet another private paint job, we have done quite well with the weather and we have only had one shower today, that didn’t last long fortunately, there’s not much more to add about today, apart from im off home now and hopefully to a nice roaring fire.