From last night:
'Here, now, 500 feet above sea level, thunder rolls lazily over the Goyt valley below with lightning flashes washing the peaks and troughs of the undulating landscape momentarily visible as heavy rain, hypnotically soothing, beats down on the roof of our floating home. Bliss.
Words for me are like tools, but, unlike tools neatly put, chosen to complete a particular task, words are almost thrust at me from within, some so nearly identical in meaning, but separated by subtle nuance, a choice truly defining us if we really want to reach out to people. With a painting, I can see and feel the artists interpretation, my interpretation even, whereas a photograph is all about accidentally capturing a moment in the life, the being of a subject. The subject controls the scene, is the interpretation, ever more so when posed. A painting, a photograph, a thousand words? For me the pleasure of painting in words, what my senses, emotions, responses and influences contribute to the whole contained in the picture of my minds eye, is an expression of honesty. It is heartfelt and therefore risks leaving me sometimes vulnerable. Those who know me will, at times, have seen that, my eyes moist, my voice breaking, lost for words.......
8th Jun 2016, 13:01
Much has gone on in recent weeks that has seen 'wilvir' in and out of dry dock for her four year cycle of below the waterline maintenance and boat safety certificate inspection, which she passed with flying colours. My only set back has been the frustration of not being able to access Moblog due to a 504 server error, which remains a mystery.
We're now moored 500' ASL on the upper Peak Forest Canal overlooking Strines and the Goyt Valley. Stunning in the Summer sunshine of the past few days.
6th Jun 2016, 19:58
Moored in the shadow of this Manchester gasometer reminded me of these giants of suburbia that, as a youngster, seemed to mysteriously rise and fall in eerie silence from one day to the next. I always felt ill at ease passing beneath these immense structures, expecting them to collapse in on themselves at any moment, which urged me to quicken my pace and emerge into the sunlight from the vast shade created by its presence with the comfort of my own shadow for company.
17th May 2016, 00:04
1. Leaving the tranquility of Dunham Massey.
2. Stern apartments overhang the cut.
3. Soccers hallowed ground.
4. About to lock up into Manchester.
What a day........left Dunham Massey, at just gone 0700, under a beautifully sun dazzled blue sky. After reaching Manchester around 0930 we completed the Rochdale nine after just one delay brought about by the telltale loss of propeller thrust and steerage. A dive into the weedhatch found the propeller fouled by a towel wrapped constrictor like around the blades, which I was fortunately able to remove with ease. Then we began the Ashton rise of 18 locks when another telltale loss of thrust followed by the engine stalling told me there was something seriously amiss down below. This time I lay face down in the stern with my head down the weed hatch for over an hour while I cut away a continental quilt, which had well and truly fouled the prop by winding and jamming itself squid-like around the blades so that the propellor was completely obscured and locked solid. Then, 30 minutes later, we found ourselves faced with a lock that wouldn't empty due to a hydraulic top gate paddle stuck open and the pounds above and below fast emptying of water causing the boat to start grounding out. I managed to reverse the boat back into the lock below us and dropped into the pound below that where the levels were holding.
Despite the best efforts of a Canal and River Trust team arriving to fix the problem, it will have to remain unfixed until the morning. We are now moored close by Manchester City's home ground until CRT can get us on our way again. It's been a long day and my knees, unsurprisingly, are complaining. Time for bed........
9th May 2016, 14:52