Saturday, 23 February 2008


We spent Friday evening on the boat, Mrs EB had been in London since Wednesday and it was a nice place to meet. I cooked us Venison Steak and chips for tea Mmmmmmm scrummy.

In the morning after breakfast we had a visit from two really nice firemen who were at Great Haywood Marina to do fire safety inspections if you wanted one, they also fitted a new sort of smoke alarm. They are optical and are not set off by the usual cooking or burning of toast. I have also booked TRB in for a service before we start our outings for the year.

We are hoping for some nice weather and a few long weekends and then we are off on a few trips.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The Boat and Caravan Show

Mrs EB and I had the afternoon's off work and popped to the NEC for the Boat and Caravan Show, it's a much hyped show and I had high expectations, thinking there would be stacks of stuff for the narrow boater...and I was quite disappointed. There were a few boats and a couple of chandlers and it was nice to view some narrow boats.

The show was huge and we both had never seen so many camper vans of sizes so big that they would struggle to go down some roads here in the UK. All in all a nice afternoon out, but I am a little disappointed that there wasn't more for us narrow boaters.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Toasty warm

Last night was spent on TRB after work we met at the boat and Mrs EB cooked us a valentine tea (big fillet steak) I had lit a fire and fired up the central heating and it was soon like a hot oven!!! over night it went very cold, so cold the marina froze I slept like a baby as warm as toast...I am guessing that the bottle of red wine helped a little.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

A short and eventful trip

We spent Friday night on board and had a wonderfully comfortable night, the central is now working!!!! Huzzah. Amy joined just after 9am Saturday and we set off for a little trip, well that was the idea, unfortunately we had an overheating problem so just after Hoo Mill Lock we had turn around and head back to the marina....grrrrrrr
It took a few hours to travel about 3 miles as we had to keep stopping and I had to keep topping up the water in the engine reservoir. Anyhooo the guys at the marina will have a good look in the week so hopefully the boat will all be fit and well for next weekend.

Apart from that it was a wonderful day and all 3 of us a had a nice time I cooked steak, sausage and chips for lunch which was scoffed down rather quickly by all of us...though we didn't get a siesta as I had hoped for as it was stop start all the way back. I think Amy saw some amazing things in the canal even a crocodile!!!!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Boat Props and Paint

This post was from 10th Spetember 2007

Today Jim came to the boat, he brought his paints and talents, and has painted the one side, tomorrow he does the other side. These photo's are only when he was painting and don't really give the artwork justice, I have some better photo's taken with my camera and not my phone (These are phone)

I will blog those tomorrow if I remember to bring the right leads home!!!!! Like a numpty I left my camera leads on the boat

Anyhoo the marine engineers took some photo's of the bent propeller which I have posted at the the end of this blog...they break my heart, but as you can see by the last picture the bend isn't as bad now. Well done John and John.

TRB's Artwork by Jim McCormack

This post was from 12th September 2007

For the last two days I have had a privilege and honour to spend time with Jim McCormack ... who? well he was the signwriter for "The Robber Button". He is a real talented man who knows his job. He does boats in two ways either all free hand or a way called masking. Some say this cheating...I don't. It's a slightly quicker way of doing it, but it still takes an artist to do it.

Jim is someone who knows his job, he doesn't mess, he just does it at a steady pace, as long as he has plenty of mugs of tea and the odd bacon butty.

Jim designes the wording and scrolls in his studio, he emails his ideas to you. He then does all the cutting out then brings the stencil to the boat. He cleans the panel and measures and adheres the mask to the panel, he paints the open bits, lets it dry slightly, then takes the shading parts out, does that bit, removes the stencil, and does the free hand stuff. It saves two days work and saved us two days payment.

I am very happy with Jim's finsihed work, it looks a 100% profesional piece of artwork that is just amazing and stands out, and is far better than some on the canal network we have seen.

Below are a series of photo's of Jim transforming "The Robber Button"

Fixing the Mask

The Mask

Mixing the paint

Filling in the mask

Filling in the shade and blending the shades (a real peice of art)

Doing the shading o
n the nose free hand

Doing the Free Hand on the panels

A Finished Panel

The Other main Panel Finshed

The Double Panel full view

A long View of "THE ROBBER BUTTON"

I am so pleased with Jim's work it has made the boat "Ours" he is a dying breed of men who served a 7 apprenticeship and worked for and with his dad. It's a talent that isn't being passed on these days, which is a shame. Jim has ambitions to only do narrow boats working from a narrow boat, at the moment he still does lorries trailers and trucks and the odd food caravan.

As I said earlier it was a real privalidge to spend some time with Jim, learning about his job and things, I hope to bump into him again soon, knowing the talent it wont be long before he is working at Great Haywood doing more boats.

How we chose the name "The Robber Button"

This post was from 27th December 2007

I have been asked again a few times about how we got the name for our Narrow Boat "The Robber Button" so here is the explination in video and transcript.

The video is from Blackadder 3; in the first episode, Dish and Dishonesty; this is the transcript:-

Edmund Blackadder: Sir Talbot represented the constituency of(Dunny-on-the-Wold, and, by an extraordinary stroke of luck, it is a rotten borough.
Prince George: Really! Is it! Well, lucky-lucky us. Lucky-lucky-luck. (as a chicken) Luck-luck-LAKK-LAKK-LAKK-LAKK-cluck-cluck-cluck-cluck- cluck-LAKK-LAKK-LAKK.
Edmund Blackadder: ...You don't know what a rotten borough is, do you, sir?
Prince George: No.
Edmund Blackadder: So what was the chicken impression in aid of?
Prince George: Well, I just didn't want to hurt your feelings. Erm, so, what is a robber button?
Edmund Blackadder: *Rotten borough*.
Prince George: Oh, yes, you're right.
Edmund Blackadder: A rotten borough, sir, is a constituency where the owner of the land corruptly controls the both the voters and the MP.
Prince George: Good, yes...and a robber button is...?
Edmund Blackadder: Could we leave that for a moment?

This sketch still makes both of us laugh, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton's wonderful script writing, Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson's impeccable timing and humour at it's best. So that is where The Robber Button's name came from.