The WitchCrafters Blog

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Welcome to The Witchcrafter Blog. Our blog is a warts and all diary of our day to day life & we hope you enjoy reading it. We can be found throughout the Summer trading at various Festivals, Rallys and Canal Events providing an eclectic range of Hippie Clothing, Fairtrade Giftware & Hand Made Accessories.  When we are not out and about, our home is a 57' Narrowboat moored on the beautiful Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire.  Can we keep our heads above water and stay afloat?  Follow us to find out and get an insight into our self financing semi-nomadic off-grid lifestyle.  We would love you to add your comments or ask questions, we feel this is a two way blog and welcome your contributions.,  The Witchcrafters Blog

 

 

23.04.2018
Ronni Payne
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How Can I Display & Store All My Hats? Between me and Yogi we probably own over a dozen hats.  Plus we sell them on the stall and currently all of them are homeless or in need of inspirational and cheap display ideas. Storing our hats when living on a boat is a bit of an issue. Space is tight and they can get crushed and bent out of shape. Plus we don't have straight walls that we can hang them against, so  they are left all over the place getting damaged,in the way and on my nerves.  Time for project sort the hats out. We also have a similar issue on the stall, space is at a premium and we need a cost effective way to display the hats we have to sell. We want them to go home on peoples heads and not in the back of Monty (Our trusty motor home).  I had a look on Google and found Hat Rack Ideas on a page by www.donpedrobrooklyn.com. There are some cracking ideas there, the picture above is a contender :0) There are a couple of other ideas there too, that I might have a go at. I just need to find a bit of chain, or perhaps curtain wire, if I can remember where I have put it......and do I even have any hooky pegs things?  Awesome Hats I only really sell one style of hat, I do have others but this one is by far my favourite. I have christened it the AWESOME HAT.  It is the first hat without a brim, that actually suits me!  I have never been able to carry off a bobble hat or beany style.  The laughter of people around me tells me that when I am wearing one.  But for some reason these hats look good on me!! It was a revelation for me and I think they are magic and totally awesome.   They are made from recycled silk and wool, are lined with a wide belt of felt for comfort and come in a multitude of colours. I always have a lot of fun on the stall trying to convince folk to try them on.  They give the same argument that I have been giving for years. 'It won't suit me!'. but once I have given them the secret on how to put them on, 9/10 will purchase immediately when they see themselves in the mirror. Its brilliant :0)  I sell them for £12 + £3 P&P Hopefully I will have time to put them on the website soon, but in the meantime, if you would like a sneak peek at what I have available, EMAIL me and I will send you some photos.
The last few days & weeks have been devoted to preparation.  Finding & ordering lovely new things.  Unpacking and checking deliveries, which is always exciting!!  Making new items for the coming season & testing out ideas for new ranges.   Unfortunately, with a lot of Fair Trade Clothing, size is an issue, a lot of the clothing items do come up on the small side.  Extra Large is not very Large, and Small is very, very small.  With this in mind,  I have tried my best to get as many 'Free Size Items as I can, I want to be able to cater to the more voluptuous customer and have ordered XL/XXL & XXXL where ever possible (hoping that some of the lovely things I have purchased to sell may even fit me)! Some do, and some don't, but as I said, the manufacturers idea of XXL and mine are still a long ways apart.  'One size fits all' - fits not quite all unfortunately.   So, to the first goal of my new blog.  To reduce my body so it will fit into 'one size fits all' clothing.  Today I ate my first grapefruit in approximately 15 years! Well, its a start..... That said, having spent the last 15 years or so of my life as a big girl I have learned how to adapt and overcome. This is why I am a big fan of the Poncho.  It will pretty much fit anyone, comes in many different weights of fabric, hides a multitude of sins and is comfortable to wear.  I have a few different styles and designs available and will be making them available to purchase online in the near future.  If you can wait that long, just make a comment or send me an EMAIL and I will send you some photos. I have also been making a lot of stock items and as I have a very short attention span as well as 'tangentitis' (prone to heading off on a tangent every 5 minutes).  I spend my days flitting from one thing to another, to another, to another and so on.  Today I have mostly been playing with tumble stones.  I have been experimenting with different ways of fixing my handmade wire pendant bails to different tumble stones and am quite pleased with the results so far.  I use non tarnish silver plated artistic wire to make my bails.   This is one of my designs on a piece of Tigers Eye.  I just need to pull it about a bit in a week or so, make sure the glue is up to the job.  Once I am happy I will make an adjustable knotted cord to hang it on and it will be available to purchase. Tiger eye is the birth stone for Gemini and is a warm stone with rich sunny, golden and brown colours.   I find it a hard one to resist picking up.  It is said that it can help with boosting your strength of conviction,  courage, self-esteem and confidence in your abilities.  Which would make a lot of sense to me.  Being self employed can be stressful at times and perhaps the Tigers Eye just offers me that boost at times when I need it.  
Trading From The Boat First New WitchCrafter Blog - The last few years have been very busy and a lot has changed since I last posted on here.   We have a different boat, we have now been self employed for a few years and I think, we are finally starting to get the hang of it!!   I have been filling out my diary religiously for ages instead of posting here and as I appear to be spending more and more time on my lap top lately and the diary pages are becoming emptier and emptier, I thought it might be a good idea to transfer my diary online.   So, this is what my blog is going to become. Basically, my warts and all diary. This introductory post is a bit wordy, but I thought it was in order for those of you who don’t know me.  So, with no further ado, this is who I am and what, most likely I will be talking about and sharing with you in the coming blogs.   My Mental & Physical Health - Although to all intents and purposed from the outside looking in my life would seem idyllic, my brain is always churning stuff about and worrying about stuff that hasn't even happened yet.   I am currently a very overweight 50-year-old female with a 20-year history of chronic depression. Sounds lovely doesn’t it lol, I thought if I shared my trials and tribulations and mad hatter schemes to lose weight , keep sane and keep food on the table on here you may find it an interesting read.  Possibly even helpful, but more likely just bizarre.   My Lifestyle - My lifestyle is completely different to the 'norm' and I think I am pretty different too, but I am hoping that once I start to share my thoughts, problems and fears, I will soon find out I am not that different to a lot of you in truth.  Which is why I actively encourage you to comment with your views and experiences too :0) This is a two way blog.  I have always found it impossible to stick to anything for more than a few days so am trying a new plan. If history is anything to go by, this blog could be short lived, but am going to give it a go anyway.  You never know, this could be the start of a whole new chapter in my life.  :0)  Basically, I aim to find and combine lots of little things that I enjoy doing, and that I can stick too that will help with my weight loss and improve my mental health.  All of which will be shared with you.  The good the bad and the ugly!!  My Work  - My other half and I are self-employed.  We own and run 'The WitchCrafter Fairtrade Clothing & Giftware Emporium' and we travel around the country, visiting all kinds of outside Festivals, Events & Rallys in our motor-home 'Monty'.  We sell Fairtrade Clothing, Giftware and Accessories as well as my ropework and jewellery creations.  If you would like us to attend your event please get in touch. Illustration of Our Stall We have an events page HERE where you can find of where we will be trading next, as well as seeing all the years coming events in one place.   I am a Knotter, (not sure if that is the correct terminology but that is basically what I do lol).   I make decorative knotted rope work items for narrowboats. As well as; bracelets, key-rings and other items.   I can often be found giving demonstrations of how to work with rope at  the festivals I attend.  These are very popular with kids and adults alike. I show folk how to splice & make loops in rope, as well as how to make bracelets and keyrings.    I also enjoy making my bespoke and unusual accessories out of tumblestones, cord, rope and wire which I am working on making available on the stall and online.    My Lifestyle  - My partner, dog and I live on and sometimes  trade from, our narrowboat The Great Escape.  The boat provides all of us with just under 57' x 7' of living space to house stock, materials and worldly possessions.  We live what is commonly referred to as an 'off-grid' lifestyle and you will be hearing more about what that is like to live without water and electricity on tap.  As we live and work on our narrowboat, we are what is known as 'Roving Canal Traders' and have been for a few years now.  It basically means that the license we have, which is provided by the Canal & River Trust, allows us to trade from the side of the boat anywhere on the UK canal network.   If you would like to learn more about becoming a Roving Canal Trader try out RCTA (Roving Canal Traders Association).  Well, now you know a little about me and what you can expect from this blog, I hope you will keep an eye open for it popping up on your Facebook timeline, or in your inbox.   Please feel free to leave your comments and subscribe to this blog. I would love to know what you think xx
24.06.2014
Ronni Payne
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We decided to head off on the Monday after the Festival. Big mistake really because everyone else did too!!  It took us 3 hours to go up 3 locks and when we arrived at the junction for the Shroppie, we were 4th in line for the lock, in a small crowded pound. I used to mock boaters with 2 Way Radios.  I had an 'Eww get them' attitude, till I got some cheap ones from Aldi for us.  I was so fed up with us shouting at each other over the engine noise, running back and forth with info, it really was a no brainer.  They prove invaluable when you are up at a lock behind a bridge with a boat coming through, you just squeeze and speak.  Which for me is much less stressful. Well most of the time it is, at the Shroppie junction Yogis stress was starting to come through though......  I am at the lock, with all the other 'lock wheelers', behind a bridge helping boater number 1 of 4 through the first lock.  We were all chatting about how busy it's been, long day etc etc..when the peace was disturbed by my radio, on full volume...."Fuck this babe, it's a fucking nightmare, I'm on the fucking bottom, there's no fucking room and nowhere to fucking go.  Fuck the Shroppie, let's go back up the Trent & Mersey". I looked around the sea of shocked middle aged, sunburned faces, some with chins on the floor, others looking at me with very concerned expressions.  Who was this sweary man on the end of my radio? Lol. Would I be safe to return to my boat?  I knew he was just venting, but they didn't lol. I just smiled and made my way back to the boat laughing to myself, imagining the conversations that were going on behind me.   We went through Kings Lock moored up and simultaneously suggested a pint in the pub. Great minds eh :0). After some refreshments we carried on and headed back towards Wheelock. Pictured above is the river Wheelock which runs  through Wheelock. ( Wheelock is derived from an Old Welsh source meaning "winding river" ). There's not much there, there's a big pet food place (overpriced), small local shop for bread, milk & chocolate and a rather good fish and chip shop!  The Cheshire Cheese Pub has a good basic menu and a very friendly welcome also.   We also did well there trade wise because it's 26 locks to Kidsgrove one way and 8 locks to Middlewich the other. There is a service point with water, elson and rubbish and a good turnover of boaters stopping for lunch or the night before heading on up or down 'heartbreak hill'. Pictured above, the Cheshire Cheese pub and what used to be the Nags Head, now an Indian restaurant. I was secretly pleased we had decided to come back this way as I had wanted to go into Sandbach and hadn't had time on our way to Middlewich so I knew what I would be doing whilst Yogi was tending shop. :0)Sandbach is a lovely little market town, very oldy worldly and EASILY accessable by bus or alternatively apx 1 mile walk from Wheelock. There are two massive Saxon stone crosses, elaborately carved with animals and Biblical scenes including the Nativity of Christ and the Crucifixion which dominate the cobbled market square. Aparentley dating from the 9th century, and originally painted as well as carved, they are said to be the finest surviving examples of Anglo-Saxon high crosses.  There is little known why they are in Sandbach or where they came from, or why they were made even, but they are pretty impressive even now. The Stone Crosses in the Market SquareShopping purchased, charity shops scoured and high street well and truly checked out. We were ready for the track back up Heartbreak Hill to Kidsgrove. I've just found this fab time lapse video of the journey from Wheelock to Kidsgrove.  This was made by another boater in 2011. Excellent stuff!! Really gives you a feel for it :0) and saves me telling you about it again :0)http://youtu.be/Q3dsEygx6vMSome photos of our journey ............ Finally arrived at Kidsgrove :0)
Forgive me diary for I have sinned!! It's been two weeks since my last blog!!In my defence, I have been busy at the Middlewich FAB Festival but I didn't realise it had been that long!!  I have a lot to tell so may have to split it over a couple of days to get it all down.  CRT ASSET? Shame, am sure it was beautiful once :0(The festival was brill, we met some old friends and made some new ones :0). Had a couple of very late nights!!  Thankfully no hangovers though and the only casualty of the weekend was one of my plant pots which a very talented, banjo playing boater fell/sat on at 1am.  Old Canalside property, boarded up and looking sorry for itself :0( 'The Bad Shepherds'This was the week that Rik Mayall unfortunately passed away :0(. There was some concern that Ade Edmondsons band 'The Bad Shephers' wouldn't be playing due to this, understandably so. But, the show did go on and some friends who were there said it was made all the better because inbetween songs, Ade would tell the audience anecdotes from his and Riks past making the whole evening an unofficial tribute to the man. I wish I had been there to see it. RIP Rik, you will be missed. XxxI have to recommend 'The Big Lock Public House' in Middlewich. They do pots of tea and you can sit outside on the veranda and watch the world go by below you. Which we did, a couple of times. Well, you have to support local businesses don't you :0). We also went to their weekly quiz night, there were a few of us in our team, Sheila & Smiffy from the Vapes Boat, Sandra & Barry from The Brew Boat, Simon the Harbour Master for the festival, the Sue & Dave from the Baked Potato Boat, chainsaw Artist Jezz and Michelle who does fantastic portraits and pictures. We only came 7th though :0( but we did get a box of choc cites for our efforts :0)Middlewich itself is not a bad place to be, the High Street leaves a bit to be desired bit there is a largish Tesco, a Lydl and 3 overpriced charity shops which were disappointing.  The bus's run every half hour to Crewe so as my post had finally arrived at Kidsgrove on the Friday, I decided to take the 1hr bus/train journey to go collect it. I checked my timetables, and left to catch the 10am bus to Crewe, this would get me to the station in time for the 11.07 train to Kidsgrove. So should arrive apx 11.20, do a bit of shopping, collect post and catch train back. Simples...............No, not simples, 11.07 train has been cancelled and the next one isn't till 12.07!  Bugger. I walked back to the bus stop to see if I could get a bus to Kidsgrove from there, Yes, the number 20, due at 11.15.  So I stood and waited for that instead. 11.25, still no bus :0(. Must've been cancelled, I definitely hadn't missed it, next one due at 11.45. 11.45 comes and goes and I start to make my way back to the train station to get the train instead. Hoorah, bus appears over the hill. Arrive in Kidsgrove 12.45. Did not take into account bus goes the ziggy zaggy spaghetti route. Hey ho, only 1.5 hours behind schedule.  Boathorse Road on way to sorting office. Queue in Post Office collect card for underpaid postage (the reason for delay) get directions to sorting office in the aptly named Butt Hill. Get sympathetic look from post office worker when I tell them I'm walking there. I know why now.  It was 2 miles, uphill all the way!!  Collected a nutter enroute, just after I took the picture of the Boat Horse Road sign, I should never have stopped to take it!!  She was very nice actually,  but I do attract them don't I!!  She told me she was on her way to photograph the fire station as that was her hobby. She liked fire stations. I told her I preferred firemen, but I think the comment was lost on her :0(By this time it's 1.30pm. It occurred to me that most Post Offices close for lunch between 1 and 2 so I would probably get there when it was closed for lunch, let's face it the day wasn't going well so it was bound to happen. I decided to check and was horrified to find out that it closed at 1.45 and didn't reopen till 3.45!!  Then followed a 15 minute power stomp up the rest of the hill thinking to my self all the way 'Please still be open, PLEASE STILL BE OPEN !'  I imagined myself banging on a locked safety glass door begging to be given my post while the men inside ate their egg sandwiches and ignored me and my nightmare of a day.  Out of breath, sweaty and probably quite red faced I arrived with seconds to spare!!  I had my envelope!! Hoorah!!  All I had to do now was get back to the boat...........Long story short, I proceeded to get on a bus that went round in circles for an hour then took me back to where I had started.  Managed to get to Congleton and then had 1.5 hours to wait for the next bus to Middlewich. 5.30pm I got back to the boat. True to form a 2 hour round trip had taken me ......7.5 hours with an hour route march thrown in for good measure!!   Bunting Flying High :0)The next day the question on every boaters lips appeared to be 'How did your journey go yesterday Ron?'  I relayed my tale, much to the amusement of all and sundry many times and by the afternoon it was wearing a bit thin lol. 6am that morning someone had managed to sink a boat in the lock above us and cause a fatality scare by leaving their windlass on the grass and their hat floating in the water. The lock was closed most of the day and the pound was double and treble moored due to the traffic build up. We had agreed to double moor with Trisha & Nick but they were stuck above the sunken boat. It was late afternoon before they managed to get through. Yog had to 'remove' a hire boat from our side to make room lol Tony Hales CBE and Chairman of CARTI can't remember if it was the same day or a different one, but I had also been 'surrounded' by born again Christians who set about trying to save me from myself I think.The broomstick on the back of Rae and the fact I trade as The Witchcrafter probably prompted their question 'What is a Pagan then?' But the subsequent Spanish Inquisition and basically intimidating and sexist behaviour was totally uncalled for, I honestly think, if they thought they could get away with it they would have dragged me off and burnt me at the stake!!  After that experience, Trisha appearing out of no where and asking 'How did your trip go yesterday?' Went down like a ton of bricks lol 'Fuck Off' was my knee jerk reaction by this time, but unfortunately it went square in the face of a rather shocked, grey haired man who happened to be walking past at the time!!  'I am SO sorry!!' I apologised profusely for my profanity, I was highly embarrassed and had to then explain my 7.5 hour nightmare the day before which had caused the outburst. He was very understanding and went onto introduce himself. It was Tony Hales, the chairman of CART. I had to sit down.............To make matters worse, Richard Parry searched me out the next day, on Mr Hales instruction to ask me how my initial meeting with said Chairman went!!!I am not sure how I feel abou this........... Lol
07.06.2014
Ronni Payne
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Today started well, bright, sunny and the towpath full of people.   Our neighbours (who we got the windlass from yesterday Anne & John) were having a chat with us and were talking about my tiller tassels. They were having a bit of a problem with their tiller. It was the kind that folds up to let you in and out of the back of the boat. Unfortunately, every time John went out the back, he was hitting his head on it and had the scars to prove it!!  Yogi had a look and came up with the idea of hanging a monkey's fist from a turkshead knot so when the tiller is raised the monkey fist hung in front of the pointy bit of the tiller. :0). Sorted. He showed me what he meant and I got on and made it :0).  I wish I'd taken photos but I forgot :0(  They were very happy though. John had also been down to the lock and found Yogis favorite windlass and gave it back to him!! Result :0) We sold a couple of other bits during the morning and I finished off painting my roses and generally tidying the boat.  With a nice tidy boat, fridge magnets and lanterns all done and ready to be sold Yogi decided to move further up the cut to somewhere nearer Sandbach. My post had still not arrived in Kidsgrove and the easiest way to get there now was by train. We stopped by a new housing development in Ettily Heath about 1/2 mile from the train station.  Local Chippy, only good for lunch though ;0)Yogi has been doing most of the exploring here as most of the time it has been raining and I tend not to go out in bad weather if I can help it :0). He doesn't mind though and has been doing a brilliant job of making sure we've had a plentiful supply of Jaffa cakes and chocolate biscuits.  You always need a fry up!!!Whilst he was out and about he came across a house he would actually consider living in!!  It's most odd and nothing like I've ever seen before?  An airplane in the middle of a housing estate, you could not make it up!! Yogi Airlines!!!!
Saturdays weather, as we knew it would be, was shyte.  The thunder was so loud it woke me up!!  I wondered what the hell was going on??   8.50am and I was already bloody up! Sitting in the boat whilst a very aggressive storm hammered the boat outside.  It was pouring with rain,  thunder and lightning flash banging every few minutes and it was like that all day. The air was grey and Judge was not a happy puppy :0(. Needless to say, not much was achieved. It didn't let up either till late in the evening. I lost most of the day as I went back to bed for a couple of hours with a headache.  I think the atmospherics were messing with my head. Saturday DELETEDBut today normal service is resumed.........it's lovely :0). We started early and was already in Middlewich by 11am. Early start on a lovely bright morning :0)At one of the locks the traffic on the road next to the canal was behaving very oddly. Once the cars had cleared, the reason became apparent!! 'Im sure they said left at the top of the road!'We also passed this huge factory, with piles of white stuff inside, as well as outside. We were confused until I saw a lorry that had British Salt sign written on it. I thought it had to be salt and the lorry confirmed it for me. Piles of the purest 'white'Well, upon further investigation it would appear salt has been central to this areas industry for over 2000 years!!  Following the Roman invasion, Middlewich was named Salinae on account of the salt deposits around it, it lies on the site of a prehistoric brine spring.Salt manufacture is mentioned in the Domesday book, and by the 13th century there were approximately 100 "wich houses" packed around the town's two brine pits. By 1908 there were nine industrial scale salt manufacturers in the town, with a number of open pan salt works close to the canal, however salt manufacture in Middlewich is now concentrated in one manufacturer, British Salt. The salt is sold as the Saxa brand by RHM, and by others e.g. supermarket own brands. Salt produced by British Salt in Middlewich has 57% of the UK market for salt used in cooking.  Well, I never knew that!!!More information on the subject is available here:http://www.middlewich-heritage.org.uk/mnu-introduction-canals.htmlWe had a short stop at Kings Lock 71 just South of Middlewich, to grab some supplies and a couple of hours trading before heading down the last 4 locks to the centre of town. Altogether we travelled 4 miles and done 8 locks today :0)Stopped for supplies  at Kings Lock 71  Couple of hours trading :0) Feeding the swans :0)So now we are all tucked up and cosy in Middlewich. I had a quick stroll along the high street and found 3 charity shops and a vaping shop. They will be investigated most thoroughly tomorrow :0). With a bit if luck my post will have arrived in Kidsgrove because we are getting a bit far away now, over an hour by public transport!!The High Street, closed on Sundays :0(
06.06.2014
Ronni Payne
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What a day yesterday was!!  I completely embarrassed myself at Upper Thurlwood Lock 53, the first of 14 locks we would be going through on our journey of 3 miles. In my defence, I had only had one cup of tea but that is no excuse for basically forgetting how to work the lock!!I left Yogi untying the ropes and headed off up the towpath, the lock wasn't far and already had a boat coming up inside it. Man was working the lock, I thought he was a single hander but his wife was off picking wild flowers :0). We chatted while the lock filled and I offered to open the gate for them as we were coming in anyway. I sat on the gate waiting for the water to equalize, having a little push now and then as you do. 'Erm' said the man 'you're on the wrong side of the gate?'  'OMG!!' I jumped round to the correct side and proceeded to open it for them 'I do know what I am doing, honest!!' I said, quite pink with embarrassment.  The couple grinned and chugged their boat out of the lock watching whilst I had a complete mental block and couldn't work out where to attach the windlass to the paddle!!  'Other End' Lady says, seeing my confusion. I was so embarrassed!! And seeing Yogi pointing and laughing at me did not help!!To start with, it was quite overcast, not too windy but most of all DRY. We had a couple of longish stretches where I got to ride on the boat. But most of the way I walked. Nothing unusual there! Some of the balance beams are starting to show their age but I kinda like that.  It adds character I think, all those gulleys and laughter lines :0). In contrast to the beauty of the beams are the paddles.  Theyre amazingly heavy and also very stiff!!  I consider myself pretty strong, rarely needing Yogis assistance but one of them I think I managed two turns before I gave it up as a futile effort. Sod that, I was knackered by this time too!! A particularly small pound, you can just see Yogi sitting at the bridge waiting for the next lock to fill. One thing we did see, which I've not seen before was a farmer in the field next to us rounding up his cattle to bring them in on a quad bike. The farmer on the quad wasn't that unusual but the way the cows made their way back was quite a sight!  Basically, they walked, single file, across the field back to the farm!!   I had to take a picture!! Is this normal bovine behavior?  This was our last lock for the day. Wheelock Bottom Lock 66.  Just above the lock Yogi spotted some nice logs so he disappeared into the field to collect some while I attempted to get Judge off the boat. He has taken to hiding under the bed when we move and I called him many times but was ignored.  He even ignored Yogi when he called him!!  We ended up having to turn the engine off just to get the dog out for under the bed for a wee!!This is where I ended the day as I had started it.  To begin I had lost the ability to work a lock. By the end I had lost the ability to use a windlass!!  Yup, you guessed it, I had now developed flying windlass syndrome!! Resulting in Yogs fave windlass residing in the Trent & Mersey just outside lock 66 :0(. Luckily I didn't hurt myself :0)We moored up, me feeling sorry for myself and a bit banged about from the windlass incident and Yogi his normal sympathetic self 'Ha Ha'ing at me. Fortunately, the boat behind us had second hand ones for sale and he bought me a nice shines new one :0) SHINEY :0)
04.06.2014
Ronni Payne
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Just the red to do now, and a bit of prettying :0)
03.06.2014
Ronni Payne
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While we were moored at Red Bull Services I got a commission to make fenders for a model tug boat. I wasn't keen initially as I hadn't made anything like that before and was a bit unsure of myself. Yogi as always was,  and told him ' Yup, she can do that for you, give us your number and we'll call you when they are done'. Bloody Hell!!!  I thought to myself as I measured the front and back and tried to imagine what I was going to do.   His boat was lovely, he'd carried it proudly all the way up the towpath to show us. He gave us his number, which I thought was a bit short at the time and told us his name was Mr Nutty. That night, I had a play and managed a not too shabby back rope, the next night I finished the front. I was pretty pleased with the results too :0). Even though I say so myself. The next day I tried to call him, but the number came up as not recognised.  I thought it was a number short, but just put it down to a 'Midlands' thing. Hmmmm, apparently not, what to do now?  We had told him we were going to move at the weekend which he didn't see as a problem as he walked along the canal quite regularly. 'He'd find us' he said.  So I hung the baby fenders up in a bag in the kitchen till he did. This morning I had a bit of a brain wave. I dialed the number and added a '0' to the end.  Number not recognised, '1' was a little old lady who had never heard of Mr Nutty.  Quite a difficult thing to ring a complete stranger and ask 'Is Mr Nutty there please?'  I kept having flashbacks to the Mr Men books I had when I was little. I think she thought I was the nutty one!!  '2' no answer , '3'  the conversation went something like: Me: 'Is Mr Nutty there please? '. Him: 'Yes?', Me: 'Hoorah!!, I've found you!!' Him: 'Who is this??' I then went onto explain who I was, and the trouble with the phone number and that his fenders were ready.  'I wondered why you didn't ring, I've been looking everywhere for you!!'  The poor chap had been trudging the towpath looking for us and had actually been in the pub opposite where we moored last night having a disappointed drink!!So, Mr Nutty brought his tug to the boat today for Minature fender fitting. I even spliced little tiny rings on the ends of the ropes so he could fit them over the little bollards.  No mean feat either because I had to use forceps to make the splices!!  I left the ends long and advised him to cut them when he got home and rub a bit of PVA glue to seal the ends together to neaten it right up. I was really pleased with the results and had to share it with you!!  The best bit was, Mr Nutty said he was 'Propper Chuffed'!!  He is going to come and see us at the Middlewich FAB Festival and bring his Trawler for me to do!!  Yogi just looked at me all proud with an 'I told you you could do it!'  look.  Little boat, on big boat :0)