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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nether Heyford

Monday 10th November.

Fred Tarry’s Coal Yard, Nether Heyford.

Oh my goodness what a night we had. It had to have been one of the worst night’s weather we have experienced since living onboard Hadar. The winds were gale force and the rain was lashing down for most of the night, giving us both a disturbed night’s sleep. Thankfully when the alarm clock went off at 6.30am, the wind had dropped and the rain was holding off. We needed to be up early, so that I could walk Paddy, then we had to undo the sheeting and drop the side sheet ready for our delivery of coal from the coal yard. 7.30am the yard opened and Richard came and greeted us. Richard was telling us that he had not had a coal boat loading from his yard for sometime, so was pleased to be able to supply us. For us it makes sense to use Tarry’s as it is right on the canal. We prepared for the first pallet of House Coal to be delivered to the boat, with each pallet holding a tonne of coal, we would be unloading 5 ½ tonne, that’s 240 bags of coal on to Hadar. I climbed down in to the hold, so that Keith could pass the coal bags to me, where upon I stacked them in neat stacks. We have chosen to take on 2 tonne of House Coal, 2 tonne of Taybrite and 1 ½ tonne of Cosycoke. Cosycoke is a new coal and is a mix of Maxibrite and Newflame. It performs like Taybrite, but has less ash and is cheaper. We also have ½ a tonne of Excel left from our last pick up which has sold well. This time we also decided to take on Kindling, because we have been asked a lot for it. We started loading at 7.45am, taking a couple of 5 minute breaks, we were finished by 9.15am, just as the rain began to fall all over again.
Whilst Keith sorted the sheeting out, I went and did the painful task of paying for the coal. As many of you must be aware by now, fuel prices have gone through the roof of late and this also applies to coal. We have found that any profit we made since last year has all been cancelled out, because of the coal prices. Our profit was swallowed up by the price of this load we have just taken on, and therefore we could not take on the 8 tonne we had hoped to collect. There was not even enough left to pay for a pint of beer. But that is how these things go; everyone is in the same boat (so to speak). Having spent some time chatting to Richard about the diesel situation and how he sees coal and diesel prices going, we then left the coal yard and moored up on the other side of the canal, just past the yard. It carried on throwing it down with rain, so we did not bother going any further. I relit the saloon fire as it has turned cold again and felt very damp due to all the rain. We would be in for another stormy night.

Tuesday 11th November.

Nether Heyford.

This weather really is getting beyond a joke; last night was yet another very wet and windy affair. And even when we woke up this morning it was still blowing a hooley. I got up and made us both a cup of tea, which we enjoyed in bed. Marmite saw it as a good chance to climb in under the covers and lay between us. Goodness knows how she manages to breath under the duvet. The overnight rain had stopped which was a blessing, so having drunk our tea, we were up, dressed and Paddy was looking for his morning walk. With the wind still blowing I wrapped up warm in my North Face jacket and hat, before opening the back cabin doors to the world. Whilst walking Paddy I spotted a fox on the other side of the canal, he was not at all bothered by seeing us and went abut his business. What a wonderful sight to greet such a depressing morning. Back onboard Hadar, we had breakfast as did Marmite and Paddy. Keith and I then wrapped up against the weather and took a walk in to Neither Heyford which can be reached from bridge 32 where we are moored. It is only a short walk into the village. One of the first things to greet you as you walk in to the village is the large village green.Nether Heyford is a pretty little village, with houses of a variety of styles and ages. It also has a church, which looks very much like Weedon Church, so it had us wondering if it was built by the same person.In the centre of the village there is a One Stop shop for provisions, newsagents, butchers, a hairdressers and two pubs The Forester’s Arms and The Olde Sun. It was well worth a stroll around. It also has the Bliss Charity Primary School, which was built from money donated in the will of William Bliss, who had been born and brough up in Nether Heyford. Having walked around the village, we made our way back to the boat for a nice hot coffee and lunch. We shall see what the rest of the day will bring.

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