Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Manly Ferry Trip

The Manly Ferry Trip was acknowledged  in a US travel mag as being  one of the worlds most beautiful journeys in the world....not bad for   $6.60! Click Here

Lets hope the good ship NB The Manly Ferry carries on the tradition! I think she might cost a tad more than $6.60 though.

Lovely old poster ... not a new Ferry !

Monday, September 26, 2011

Narrow Boat Stern Glands

The majority of narrowboats seem to use the old stuffing box type stern gland with replaceable gland packing. They have to be constantly filled with grease which is a pretty grotty and dirty job plus they leak!

I wonder why boat builders and owners are not changing over to a more clean and modern system.
We sell stern glands of all different types and the main selling point is that the bilge keeps dry.

When I was still on the tools a few years ago I fitted a bellows type to a yacht that was going on a world cruise, he sent me a letter when he was half way around stating that he had dust in his bilge!!
I wonder if the reason they are not used is because canal water could be classed as abrasive? It would be interesting to know.

So a few types of gland seal...
The first one is a the Volvo Penta seal affectionatly known as the "dogs dick"
Dead easy to install with very little maintenance it has a built in bearing and 2 floppy seals

Volvo Penta Seal 
The next seal is a manecraft seal, English made, easy to install no maintenance pretty expensive in Oz but probably not too bad in the UK  
Manecraft seal 

The last seal is a Lasdrop Gen11 seal, we sell heaps of these, USA made easy installation and no maintenance
Lasdrop Gen11 seal
Dont get me wrong Iam no trying to sell any of these products, just wondering why they are not being fitted. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

3rd Open House and a Very Rainy Sunday

Another open house yesterday, and another good turnout.  Had a meeting with Sasha the real estate God and he gave us a list of  feedback from the last 3 open houses (including Saturday). Basically everyone loved it but not suitable for the majority because it doesn't  have the obligatory kiddie friendly garden. So far 2 contracts have gone out and he thinks another will go out on Monday, fingers crossed.

We  also went to an auction yesterday click here not one bloody bid except one from the vendor for $980,000 I really thought it would have gone for over a mil, it was in a great location, one street away from the beach, but.....very small and  only 2 bedrooms and no parking.

So we are as ever optimistic.....12 days to go!

As for today, it absolutely pissed down all day like we haven't seen for a while and only got up to 14 degrees!
We went for a drive and a bit of a walk with the doggies but it was just too wet, so we got back home just after lunch cracked open a bottle of bubbly and we sat by the computer doing different spreadsheets on what to do with our cash once we a property here plus Aussie term deposit or buy a UK property and Aussie term deposit or just an Aussie term deposit. And what did we decide on? Lets sell the house first and work it out from there.

And lastly as I am typing this we are listening to Canalside radio from Bollington....sad or what.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

World Doom and Gloom

This morning's news was all bad on the financial front ... American stock market crashing again, Eurozone going down the gurgler and the Aussie dollar plummeting against the American dollar.

Its a joy to get to work and read the canal blogs where there is no mention of the world doom and gloom ... the worse that seems to happen is that a boat goes past and poor Johnny spills his tea or workers cutting the grass make a mess of some shiny paintwork!

I cant wait to be in the same position where all we have to worry about is our little sardine tin and where shall we go today. 

Only hope all the negative financial vibes don't affect the house sale!  Fingers - and everything - crossed for our 3rd open day tomorrow - and a meeting with Sasha - the Real Estate guy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This happened on one of our favourite walks very close to our house. High powered car and low powered brain cells don't mix. Very very lucky couple.

He wasn't even pissed!!   


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lazy Day

Saturday was another busy day getting the house ready for inspection and tidying up the garden. Then we watched Australia get beaten by the Paddy's.......that wasn't suppose to happen!  To finish off our Saturday we went out to dinner with friends before watching Arsenal get beaten again! Now that did make me laugh.

Sunday morning we awoke to a clear and hot day, so we thought 'bugger it' today is the day to have a rest. In the afternoon we went down to Little Manly.
Little Manly Beach
As the name suggests, it has a much smaller beach than the ocean beach.  It is our favourite part of Manly as it is off the main tourist route and this is the area that I (Paul) first moved to 31 years ago. I met a lot of friends at that time who also lived in the area, and as a matter of fact we are going out to dinner with them tonight (they are all POMs!)
Next to the beach it is now a park with free BBQs  and is a nice spot to sit and veg out.  (It used to be a gas works, they did a real nice job converting it to a recreational area.
From Little Manly with Sydney City in the distance
Its not Pink its Salmon coloured 

Collins Flat Beach
Manly Ferry heading to Manly

Manly Hospital on the hill

To the left on this pic you can just about see 'Jump Rock' where kids love to go and jump ! (...even though Manly Council have put up a 6 foot fence to try and stop them ... they just jump off the top of it !)
Federal police training centre

Loads of POMs on the beach playing soccer !
Obligatory ban everything sign!!!!
Of course, there are the Manly Council signs - banning everything that might be considered fun (double click on pic to see more detail).  Everyone ignores the 'no drinking' sign though !

Shark proof swimming enclosure at the beach

Second Open House

Saturday was our second open house, all went well according to Sasha the real estate god. Two couples came back for a second look so that was good.
Last Thursday he rang us because a lady couldn't make the Saturday open house so could she come come on the Thursday, no probs says I. So Elaine had to delay some of her clients and spend a couple of hours getting the house to presentation standard again. Apparently she has been travelling around the world for a number of years, she now want to settle down and has friends in our area. She is cashed up and loved the hopefully she will make us an offer we cant refuse.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quote of the Day !

One of my clients gave me this quote today .. he thought it apt considering our future plans - I like it ! (Posted by Elaine!)

  • Houses, are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them. They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the vegetable not the animal world, rooted and stationary, incapable of gay transition. I admit, doubtfully, as exceptions, snail-shells and caravans. The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting-place.
  • by Arthur Ransome (January 18, 1884 – June 3, 1967), who was a British children's author

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Double Trouble

On Saturday I noticed  a big dent in the bonnet of Elaine's car, plus 3 dents on the roof! Looks like some twat has been practising his parkour moves on her car!

... and today there is a bloody great dent in the back of the ute. Some one must have overdone the touch parking or their parking sensors failed.

Never mind  they are both insured and as they say 'worse thing happen at sea'!  We will just have to pay the excess !!!!

Had a great night out last night, even managed to catch a bit of the England vs Argentina rugby game at the pub, there were hundreds of back-packing poms having  a good night down there.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1st Open House

 Had the 1st open house today from 2.00-2.30. Sasha, our real estate guy. just rang -  he had 12 groups go through - his second highest of the day!  (They show approx 10-12 houses on a Saturday).

The feedback was 'very good,  immaculate presentation' (thanks Elaine) and a few really interested parties.
Next step is Monday - he calls them all and gets their feedback and interest after the weekend.

... then we do the whole episode again next Saturday!

We were up early getting the house looking all super-dooper so tonight we are off  to the pub and a very nice restaurant in Manly called the 'Pantry' - which we affectionately call the 'toilet block' because that is all it used to be (now it has the toilets underneath it !).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Update on the Chicken saga - and a farewell to Ant !

The chicken must have had a good old night in the laundry - when we went in there this am there was poo everywhere - who would have thought a chicken could poo so much - she had even jumped up on top of the toilet seat to do one ... good girl !!

Anyway, after delivering the fliers last night and not hearing a word from anyone this morning, we were beginning to panic about what to do with her ! (Especially with our first open day being this Saturday !).
So - this arvo (about 3 pm) when I drove back from a job, I thought I would have a look at the street behind us - to see if I could find a 'chicken-looking' house !  I was in luck !  I met a lady in the street, who directed me to the house at the back of her who she thought had chickens !

So - I went and saw those people, asking them if they had chickens and the lady said she did indeed have one !  So - I asked her if that one chicken might have gone missing !  We went to inspect the run and it was indeed chicken-less - so I went and got her and took her home ! Apparently, she hadn't had her wing clipped lately, but had never tried to escape before !  I was very happy to leave her with her lovely home and her deluxe chicken-run!  It turns out her name is 'Dog' !!!  ... quite appropriate since our two wanted to have her for tea!

Anyway ... when I went back in the laundry to clean up .. she had left us a pressie ... how special !! We will savour that egg like no other !  One day I would like to have my own chickens - so it was a good intro!

Anyway - with all the chicken saga going on ... we forgot to mention that our lovely nephew has departed these shores and is now back in Blighty!  Here is a quick pic I took when I was farewelling him to the Shuttle bus !  He was here for 3 months in total - the place is pretty empty without him here - although I am glad he wasn't here for the chicken ... he is the biggest carnivore I have ever met !!! :) 

That's my lot for today ... settling down for the evening with a glass of champers - to celebrate our 'for sale' sign board going up outside the house !  (any excuse !) Elaine xx

Rugby World Cup

Bugger all to do with canals and narrowboats, but this made me laugh.........GO THE AUSSIES!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chicken Anyone

Just got home from work when we heard the dogs going nuts on the front deck, checked it out and there was a bloody chicken!!

We live in the city for Christ sake, what do you do with a chicken? Eat it of course, only problem with that is that Elaine is a big time vegetarian.

The said chicken is now safely ensconced in the laundry and Elaine is going around the streets putting chicken found flyers in the neighbours letterboxes.

I wonder......chickens on a narrowboat....nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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The Campaign Begins!

The ads are in the papers and on the Internet click here its all go for the 1st open day this Saturday, I really hope we sell before the auction, but either way 1 month from now we should know exactly where we stand.

Good news is that yesterday the  Reserve Bank of Australia held the interest rate at 4.75%  so the buyers should be out there.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Canal Webcams

Just checking the canal webcams before leaving work for the day, and I would have to say the weather looks decidedly rotten click

Of course this is at 8.04am UK time. Hopefully your weather will improve later!

Here in Manly its sunny and 26 degrees at 5.04pm :-)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Melbourne Weekend and Long Lost Relos

We arrived in Melbourne on Friday afternoon, picked up the hire car and went straight to the Hotel. Bags deposited, we spent the rest of the day walking around the city and being good tourists.
At night time we took a cab to Lygon Street,  which is famous for its Italian restaurants.....we had Thai ! :)

On Saturday we drove up the Dandenong ranges - to Gembrook,  which Elaine goes into in more detail below.

On Saturday night we went to the Crown Casino where we won $21.00!!!! ... and then lost it!   We had dinner later (at 10 pm!) at a very amusing Italian restaurant.
On Sunday we went to St Kilda (which, once again, Elaine describes below) and in the afternoon we went back to the city for more exploring of the city and headed off to the airport and home late afternoon.
All in all a great weekend in a not so bleak city....and they do make very nice coffee!
Flying in over Melbourne
The Yarra river

Southbank where we stayed

The famous Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station

1930s tram on the free circle line

On Saturday we headed off to Gembrook, which is a beautiful little village in the Dandenong Ranges - you can click HERE to see more info about Gembrook and also Elaine's Uncle, who is an Artist.
A Cockatoo overlooking the party !

Family pic !

Long lost cousins !

Catching up on a few years !!

The Gembrook cottage and 'Aunty Pat'
Long Billed Corella in Pat's garden

At last .. some young 'uns for Ant to converse with !

The youngest members of the tribes !

View from the veranda .. not too shabby !

More long lost cousins ! (He was shorter than me last time I saw him  - Elaine)

Elaine and Lynne

Paul snuck off with Ant to check out Puffing Billy !

Sunday ...

Elaine's Uncle and Aunt run a stall at the St Kilda Esplanade Market - most Sundays !
Uncle Lionel aka Leo Buckley - paints personalised book marks to-order and 'Aunty Pat' is in charge of card sales (beautiful pen and ink prints of Melbourne and the local wildlife).

Lionel has also written a book about drawing - you can find more info on that by HERE

The Stall

Constant flow of customers all day

The whole stall is built on a small trailer and all folds up after use 

Artist at work !

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Off To Melbourne

We are flying off to Melbourne tomorrow for a 3 day break, Melbourne to us Sydneysiders is commonly known as the bleak city and Mexico to name but a few. There is a great rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, Sydney has great weather, fantastic beaches, incredible harbour, Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the best harbour in the entire world, held the best Olympic games ever, and I could go on for ever, Melbourne however does nice coffee!! 
Our main reason for the trip is so Elaine can see her Auntie and Uncle for probably the last time before we take off to the UK. We are staying in a hotel in the city but will drive up the Dandenong ranges to see them on the Saturday.  We are taking Anthony with us and will obviously have to go out and have a few drinks whilst we are down there, Anthony leaves us next Tuesday and heads back to the UK and Sheffield Uni.

Should be a good trip, we will post some pics next week.