Magnetic Kingfisher

Our friends in Sheffield bought us a very special present a year ago - a kingfisher made from cutlery (mostly spoons) by a talented local artist. With the subject matter it just had to decorate Albert. With its magnetic base adapted from a lawnmower clutch it was ideal for a prominent position on top of the stove.

Cutlery Kingfisher

It now appears that the artist who made our Kingfisher, Jason Heppenstall, has had a significant commission. Carrying on the ornithological theme, has now made a bigger and better bird, a peregrine falcon that now sits outside the station in Sheffield. The falcon is made entirely of IKEA Allen keys.

Falcon and artist Jason Heppenstall

The message must be - when you have constructed your flat-pack furniture don't throw away the tools they could be handy one day!

Bathroom Finished and Negotiating Ice in the Marina

Today we visited Baxter's Boatyard at Yardley Wharf to pick up Albert after the bathroom refurbishment.  The new tiles, sink, basin and taps and the joinery required all look very good. We are very pleased with the job that Bob did. With the weather (snow and ice) progress was a little delayed but the job looks the part.

New Wash Basin, Tiles, Taps and Worktop

It was time to move Albert across the marina from the boatyard moorings to our own mooring just a few yards away. As we got Albert ready Mike Askin and Victoria passed the wharf going north with horse boat Mercury in tow as a butty. Unfortunately my camera wasn't to hand.

Mike has recently posted another of his excellent You Tube videos of his escapades with Victoria. This time it was of Victoria and Mercury breaking ice (and braving the snow) on the Tring summit. I presume that today's journey was part of the same trip.

Our trip (yes trip!) was across the marina but it proved to be eventful. It was clear that earlier in the week there was ice in the marina and it was not safe to move the boat. Today with temperatures rising the marina looked calm and the water clear. But what we didn't know that just by our berth there was a large submerged sheet of ice just a few centimetres below the water. We had to break it up to get moored up. Luckily it wasn't thick enough to damage our new blacking but the noise from the prop was impressive and for a while maneuvering was not straight forward.

New Shower and tiles

So early next year we shall spending some time cleaning and tidying up the cabin and then making some other further improvements.

Bathroom Refurb Progress

Today I visited Baxter's to check on the progress with the bathroom refurbishment. All progressing well although a couple of plumbing fittings are awaited.

Tiling in shower

The tiles look good, especially the border tiles which match the curtains.

Stony Stratford Christmas Lights 2017

Now December is here the build-up to Christmas is increasing apace. Yesterday was the switch-on of the Christmas lights in Stony Stratford. Its an event that's growing every year. In now includes a Christmas market, food stall, a fun fair, music, and the not to be forgotten annual lantern parade. Four years ago I reported on the event. Over the intervening years it's got bigger and better. This year there were hundreds of lanterns.

Lantern Parade, Stony Stratford

Waiting for the switch-on

They're on!

As before, Rose & Castle Morris, based at Stoke Bruerne, were performing.This time with a longer build-up to the switch-on, more of the event occurred during daylight and I was able to film their performance.

Rose & Castle Morris performing on Watling Street, Stony Stratford, Dec 2, 2017

I've filmed Rose & Castle before, back in 2009 at the New Year celebrations at Stoke Bruerne. I reported then that our friends Geoff and Shirley both danced and provided music for the men's side, Rose & Castle and the women's side, the Queen's Oak based in Potterspury. Geoff & Shirley are still very active with both sides. 

I see they will be back performing again at Stoke Bruerne on New Year's day.