Monday, 7 October 2013

Simon Arrives to give MM a Slightly Overdue Service

Monday 7th October, 2013 still in Braunston.
After breakfast, we walked into Braunston village to make some phone calls (there is no signal at all down by the canal). In the local shop, there was a notice telling how the village has sent 1,291 "goody" parcels to our troops in Afghanistan. There was a lovely picture of all the soldiers saying "thank you".
MM will be two years old this week and hitherto we have had not a single problem with her. This morning, however, we awoke to find that there was a little water on the floor in the galley. Then the toilet stopped working. What was going on?
By sheer good fortune, Simon (our lovely engineer from Kingsground), was coming today to do MM's (rather belated) 750 hours service. Guy sat at the window watching for him.
When Simon arrived we told him that MM was SO excited that "her Simon" was coming to visit that she had wet herself!
As Simon came on board he said that it was almost like coming home! We were very touched.
The engine service went without a hitch and, when Simon had finished, we persuaded him that the other jobs could wait - and we all went for "second breakfast" at the Gongoozlers' Rest, just a few yards up the towpath. The "All Day Breakfast" was as good as ever. M and Simon both had the "full works" and cleaned their plates!! The cafe was full of boaters and buzzing with boating talk.
Back on MM, Simon soon identified the source of the water on the floor. It was a connection on the central heating that had come a bit loose. R had already fixed the problem with the toilet before Simon arrived.
After hours of trouble free running, the stern gland is playing up again. Simon looked at it and it will probably need to be attended to properly when MM comes out of the water in the winter to have her hull re-blacked.   The stern gland has done over 900 hours and is beginning to show signs of wear.
Braunston is a very busy boatyard and a beautiful classic boat and butty went past, but the butty was going backwards! They were just moving her from one mooring to another, but it looked very peculiar.
Earlier in the day, M had called her friend Sheila who was her yoga teacher when she lived in Daventry. Sheila and her husband Bob still live in Daventry and they both came over to have tea on MM. After tea, Simon bade us farewell; it had been so nice to see him again. We have always regarded MM as "his" boat since it was Simon, together with Jon Atwood the carpenter, who created her.
Sheila and Bob most kindly invited us back to their house for supper. They were even good enough to drive us to their house via Waitrose so that M could pick up a "few bits".
They live on Borough Hill in Daventry, only yards from M's old house and, since M used to work at the Waitrose store, the evening was a real trip down memory lane.
We had a super evening with Bob and Sheila, eating our supper in their garden by candlelight with the scent of roses all around. As it got cooler, we retired into their warm summer house and sang old traditional songs together. Lovely!
Today: No movement.

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