Tuesday, 18 November 2014

On the road

The 900 year old Christchurch Priory Church has a most splendid setting.

It is itself the most splendid setting for all sorts of events in addition to its primary purpose of Christian worship…

and it's hard to imagine a better setting for a graduation ceremony.

On Friday night the class of 2014 graduated from Moorlands College, from which I retired three years ago after 25 years. No pictures of the actual occasion, I'm afraid, but as ever it was a great event, with the address given by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. It will probably turn out to be the last graduation ceremony for students I personally have taught.

Saturday morning we were up early to get to Mansfield by around 11 a.m., for the annual get together of the Boaters Christian Fellowship, which we joined last year. Coming through the New Forest just before 8 we found another of those scenes which are so hard for the non-expert to photograph.

The mist was sitting in the valleys (if they are grand enough to carry that name) and the tops of the hills were rising out of it. The sun on the clouds in the sky made for a pretty magical picture.

After a good day with the BCF people, we got back to Erin Mae on Saturday night for the rest of the weekend, and then on Monday morning cruised round to the Great Haywood Anglo Welsh yard to get her winterised.

The manager Keith is really helpful, talking me through the process so I can do it myself next year. One of the things I had not realised is that running the taps to drain the water tank does not drain the calorifier (hot water tank). The water pump by then is pumping air, which comes in at the bottom of the tank, rises through the contents and out of the exit pipe at the top. Nor does this particular tank have a drain at the bottom. So we removed the pipe from the top, and Keith used an old water pump and a hose to extract most of the water.

He also lent me a couple of old batteries to put in Erin Mae while we take our current set down to Evesham marina (who sold them to us a year and a half ago)  for testing. Keith's initial test with his gizmo suggested that one of them was in a very different condition from the others. Unfortunately, the initial test at Evesham found no difference between them. However, they're going to send them off to the distributors for testing, and hopefully they will conclude that I haven't been imagining the problems I've had with them.

Finally, home again. We've probably put in almost as many miles this weekend as we did in the whole of late summer and autumn on Erin Mae!


  1. Did you encounter Ken Matthews during your early days at Moorlands?

    1. Indeed. And when he came back to do his MA I supervised his dissertation!

  2. That is a fantastic picture of the church, the sky is amazing.

    We're still thoroughly enjoying your blog, it's our Sunday night treat catching up with your adventures,

    Alison and Mike

    1. That's really nice! I have this resolve not to just let the blog die this winter, like I did the previous two. But I'm afraid it's inevitably a bit less "boaty" while we're away from Erin Mae.

  3. Its a small world - We assisted Ken with a bus based youth work in Grantham just after we got married back in 1989.