... ... ... Seven years in an unassuming narrowboat on the waters of the "longest, friendliest village in England"  


What is a "macerator"

Posted on April 19, 2017 at 4:40 AM

: 'macerate' means  "soften by soaking in a liquid"... Latin .'macerere' ... derives from the Greek. Archimedes would have been macerating when he had that Eureka moment then. I'm well acquainted myself with ' maceration' on board and ashore. On Pentargon, our Flahavan's Oatflakes are soaked overnight to ensure beautiful porridge in the morning. Maceration of the feet in warm water with Epsom salts helps with exfoliation of the trotters and with with nail clipping ... (don't mention Steradent or dentures please, but it does relate to maceration... On board we soak our marrowfat peas and Mung Beans ...  as we sail around the cut ...


8.15am, Wed.19th April 2017 Bridge 43a on the Coventry canal. Overhead is Watling Street with which we have remained in occasional but ongoing contact with since leaving the River Darent in Dartford on the 10th October 2016. An excellent night's sleep has been enjoyed; the sun is shining in a clear blue sky; coffee has been brewed and two boiled eggs are on the go with toast when

NexDoor's engine fires up ...

NexDoor had arrived under cover of increasing gloom last evening in a 60' floating corridor. On board, a lovely couple, second day's hiring and their first outing of 2017. They had tied up 'longside and we'd chatted as I helped them secure just short of the landing stage for Lock 5. Old hands who get a couple of weeks afloat and always early in the season. This boat is very new they say.  ...  they  had backed off from Lock5 in gathering gloom and used convenient rings to tie up beside Pentargon, which I had parked a boat length down from the landing. I was pointed in the other direction so deck to deck conversation was convenient.

The bottom gates of Lock5 at Atherstone yawn when the lock is empty and because Lock5 is self emptying, or was when I was there, a boat going up in the morning from NexDoors position can slip the rings and rope directly into the lock. The gate is light. from that admirable vantage one can rope right into the lock without starting the engine or even staying on the boat. You just pull gently and the boat does all the work ... and it is a single handed operation ...  let some water down from a top paddle and the gates close theirselves ... and stay closed while you let more water in. I've been very entertained watching erm novices ... who have not yet discovered this little trick ...  

I'd suggested to Next Door the previous evening that if they wished to set off early, they could be in and up the lock in a flash. Last night's boat had come down the flight, haring it towards Polesworth, so it was likely that all five locks would be in their favour. They could make a clean sweep of the remaining five to Atherstone top before anyone had even gotten up. Boaters generally don't get going too early on this lazy canal and especially on this beautiful stretch ... 

So! When I heard Next Door's engine firing up, I reckoned ... [wrongly as you will shortly see] ... they were up for a "fast away".  I popped out to greet them wiith the morning's felicitations and offered to lockwheel them up the flight..they could have had the breakfast on the fly

He sez "We're not in a hurry away at the minute!" 

"We needed to start the engine to go to the toilet"

I'm incredulous. This 'state of the art' canalboat

needs lecky ... to replenish their overnight use

watching telly or whatever modern boaters do.

They now have to start the engine

to run the alternator

to generate electricity 

to charge the batteries

to supply the power

to run the "macerator"

to go to the toilet. 

Next Door also shared that the ' heating system' on board only works while the engine is running. This was explained through a huge cloud of steam/smoke emitting from a pipe. I left him to it and retreated to the innards to muse over this bit of strangeness. To perform a bowel evacuation on this brand new steel narrowboat, one has to be in possession of a workable voltage in the leisure circuit.

I mused as to what one might do, when this boat develops an electrical glitch so that there was no leisure voltage. On the forums, almost half of all boaty troubles fall are electrical. My boat is 1973, with an onboard "Airhead" composting toilet. When I want to shoot a log I just sit down and pull the firing pin. Oh! And the heater uses lumpwood charcoal.

Look up "Heat"in the page listing.

CARDAMOM:  As an aside, These days I have a cuppa coffee in the morning,

hand ground in Pentargon's grinder with cardamom seeds added in.

Cardamom has excellent laxative properties.

The seeds for coffee, the pods for tea! 

Polesworth Library Sat.20Apr.17 ... 

St. Pancras Library Fri4Jan2018 ....

Brandon Groves Sat.10Aug.2019

yes these blogs are tended regularly.

maybe someday they'll be my dinner.

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