Thursday, 30 April 2009

Swallows and Amazons porthole glass....

Bonnie has done a great job with the glass to go in the small oval portholes in the bow doors. The colours are fused glass and the black detail is painted in. The rocks are 'bumpy' glass to give it texture. We are delighted with our Swallows and Amazons touch!

The picture is a copy of the front of the latest edition of the 'Swallows and Amazons' book, which we think that, in it's turn, is a copy of the picture on the original First Edition.

I've just had a text from Ali telling me that she has put the blacking on. We are going over again tomorrow, taking our friends Ang and Tony to see progress, so more photos over the weekend.

A lovely afternoon at Barrow on Soar

When we left Beacon on Friday we went for lunch at 'The Boathouse' at Barrow, with a garden right beside the river. We had a lovely lunch and there was plenty of room for the girls and the dogs to play. Boswell (Emma and Ben's dog) is a very handsome Hungarian Vizsla with a lovely nature, and our Golden Retriever, Cassie, is in love with him!! He loves the water, and Ben spent ages throwing a tennis ball into the river for him to bring back. Cassie, who doesn't like swimming, but will paddle, decided that she would launch herself into the river as well, such is her devotion to her hero. She didn't stay in many seconds though, and spent the rest of the time drying out! After lunch we went for a long walk beside the river, all had an ice cream, and found a perfect tree for climbing and photos.

Flo climbing trees with Daddy

Made it!

Big ice cream

Emma, Ben and the girls - with Boswell in the bottom right-hand corner

Nanna and Granddad (aka Dandan) with the girls

A few more pictures...

As I said in my last blog, we hadn't got any photos of our granddaughters on the boat - luckily Emma had taken some and has sent them to me so here they are:

Flo and Milly


How do I get out, I've only got little legs?

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The family visits...

Our daughter Emma, along with husband Ben, and our two gorgeous granddaughters, Florence, aged 3 1/2 and Amelia (Milly) aged 2, visited this weekend so that we could take them to have their first look at Windsong. Florence had been very excited about seeing it, and after being shown inside, was fairly nonchalant - you could hear her thinking "Ok, seen it now - let's go". Milly was just happy to sit on the floor eating Smarties, until she discovered Ali's biscuit tin, and the Jaffa cakes inside! Unfortunately, we were all off the boat by the time Rog went back on to take the photos, so there aren't any of the girls on the boat.

That's Ben and Milly on the left of the picture. It also gave us an opportunity to have a proper look at the signwriting, and we are very impressed. Sheila had also started on the mid-way scroll, but hadn't done the shading as she needed to know whether we wanted some red in it instead of black, as, of course, black wouldn't show up. We decided to take her recommendation as she's the one who knows what will look best. She will be back to start on the other side next tomorrow and Tuesday, and then back to finish off the following Tuesday, as she has another job on starting on Wednesday.

Looking fantastic!!

The cupboards are all back in the galley now, and Neil has made me a lovely little cupboard in the corner over where the drainer will be - it will be handy for tea and coffee, or maybe for glasses - not sure yet. The granite worktops have not arrived as expected, but I'm sure will be there soon. After they are fitted and the sink and hob installed, there won't be much left to do in the galley, just the final installation of the oven and other appliances, and the fitting of the overhead cupboards, and the rest of the cupboard doors.

Above is the 'wine and beer cellar' (also for fresh veggies) - it will keep everything lovely and cool, sunk into the galley floor.

Another trip up next Friday - hopefully with another set of visitors, so more photos then.

Signwriting begins..

Last Wednesday Sheila from S.A.B. Signs started on the signwriting. Unfortunately, we weren't able to go over to Beacon to watch her work, but Ali sent us some photos so we could see progress. In the first one, she has finished 'WINDSONG' and is just starting on the shading - you can see her planning marks if you look closely at the 'N' and the 'G'

Name, scroll and shading complete

Number panel complete

Friday, 17 April 2009

Latest Visit

Not a lot different to take photos of on our latest visit to Beacon - the bedroom cupboards are back in after being oiled, the shower room cupboard is still out, as are the galley cupboards, as you can see through the stern doors in the photo below. The granite worktops have been ordered and should arrive and be fitted next week, so it's all hands to the pumps to get the galley cupboards oiled and re-fitted in time for Mr Granite (Ramon Fernandez from Quorn Stone) to do his stuff.
The bedroom flooring is down, as is most of the shower room floor, and a bit in the galley
The water system and the central heating system are now filled and checked for leaks - none found, thank goodness! Some of the lights are also connected up and working, and very pretty they look too!

The painting is still going well going well - all taped up with green masking tape for the trim, which is in the process of going on

Caution! - Man at Work!

Look how shiny our paintwork is - like a black mirror. Oh dear, we'll belong to the shiny boat brigade! Never mind, I'll soon change all that - my steering sometimes leaves a lot to be desired!

Sheila Smith at S.A.B Signs is due to start on the signwriting next Wednesday - unfortunately it is doubtful that we will be able to go up and watch which is a pity. However, daughter Emma and son-in-law Ben, and grand-daughters Florence and Milly are coming on Thursday for the weekend, and to be given the grand tour, so hopefully we will go up on Friday, and Sheila should still be there beavering away.

Oh, nearly forgot - the engine is just about all connected up, just the exhaust to finish.
So there has been a lot going on , just not much to see! Hopefully, when we go up next week there will be much more to photograph.

It is hard to beleive that it will all be ready and on the water in four to six weeks time - there still seems such a lot to do - Neil, Ali and Andy are working flat out to make sure it is ready. They are all heros!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

A chance meeting.....

We took Mum back to Northampton this morning, after her having spent Easter with us, and decided that we would go to the chandlery at Whilton Locks for a few bits and pieces. We parked the car and decided to have a walk up and down the locks first, and spotted a pair of familiar faces walking towards us. "Derwent6!" I cried. Not having met Al and Del before - they were a little surprised until we told them who we were, but we've seen so many photos of them on their blog they were instantly recognisable. Needless to say, we stood on the towpath, getting in everyone's way, and had a good old natter for about half an hour. It was lovely to meet them both, after having read their blog for so long, and we promised to go and see them again at Crick. It's great that you can meet up with people that you've never met before, and instantly feel that you have known them for ages, all because you've read their blog, and they've read yours. Long may it continue!! (Sorry, no photo as we didn't have the camera with us, but Del took one, so that may appear on their next blog post.)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

We're free!!....

Just a quick little post to say that today is officially the first day of the rest of our lives!

Rog retired from the RAF at midnight last night, after over 37 years service to HM and today is his 55th birthday. I don't suppose we'll feel properly retired for another month or so as we are still in our Married Quarter until Windsong is ready - launch due mid to late May, but for the time being we will just enjoy being free of the stress of having to work for a living!!!

Happy Birthday, love, and Happy Retirement!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

More painting photos..

As promised, a few more pictures of the progress of the painting. The black, red and cream is all but finished on the starboard cabin side. There will be a red line between the cream and black, and a black line, between the cream and red around the panels.

Andy - who didn't manage to escape the photo!

Neil has built the cratch front, and it's looking really good. No photos of the inside today as there is even less to see, as a lot of the cupboards have been removed for oiling. Some fitters would have done the oiling with the cupboards in situ, but Ali says that they like to take them out so that they can get the oil on every bit which is not possible with them still in place. We are impressed at how thorough they are.

We then went on into Loughborough to visit Bonnie Brooksbank at the glass design studio where she works - we had decided to have something special in the small oval portholes in the front doors - firstly because we wanted something unique on the boat, and also to keep out the light at 5 o'clock on those bright summer mornings (the ports are flush with the doors so they can't be 'bunged' and we didn't want curtains). Rog wanted the Swallows and Amazons crossed pennants, but I wasn't sure. When we got to the studio, Ali's sister Helen was also there doing some glass work and she got on the computer to see what she could come up with, and this is it:

It is the cover from the latest edition of the Swallows and Amazons book - the colours are exactly right for our bedroom, so Bonnie is going to do a version of it for the ports - minus the writing. Thanks, Helen, for finding it - we owe you a beer at Sawley Marina's Open Day (hope you are coming!)

Just as we arrived at the glass studio, Ali called and asked us to call back in when we had finished as our corner Bubble diesel stove arrived 5 mins after we left, and we wanted to have a look at it in place to see whether there would be room to fit a row of Vicorian tiles each side. Sadly, there wasn't as there is only a four inch space, and the tiles are 6 inches wide, we will have to re-visit East Midland Tiles to choose something else.