Thursday, 27 December 2007

Caught An Unusual Break

Couldn't do any more work at the house today, we were waiting for another coat of paint to dry. Does that sound like an excuse?

So, we went to TT in the afternoon and stayed overnight, it was good to get away for a bit.
There's a problem with one of the ropes at the front of the boat, Dave noticed one of the guy ropes was fraying last time we went for a pump out, so as a temporary measure he shortened it. 

Thing is, with the canal being frozen since then, the front end’s so taut and the back end so slack in comparison, there's a bit too much room for manoeuvre! I thought we were going to end up in the middle of the marina by morning...

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas Day Already

We all went round to my sisters for Christmas day and had a great time. 
Being as our dining room is currently a building site with no table and chairs. It would've been a brick dust, plaster, paint and a few wood shavings Christmas menu at our house. Oh and then we'd all have had to sit on the bare floor to eat it...
We managed to contribute by cooking the turkey and a few other things in the morning, at least the cooker works. Even so, it wasn't an easy task because the darn thing was still frozen when my mum brought it over to us last night. It was supposed to be well defrosted by then! No worries, Dave "the chef extraordinaire" took control of the situation and with a minor tweak or two in the cooking instructions turned it into a success. Close call though.
Anyway it was real nice for us all to be together – doesn’t happen very often because there's too much co-ordination involved. (Think it's the same for everyone these days). We had a lovely meal, presents, party poppers, crackers, and a silly game or two amidst much hilarity – all the usual stuff…!

Monday, 24 December 2007

Christmas Eve Already

Spent the day running round like you do on this particular calendar date. Everything has to be ready, too late to catch up with anything during the following week! Some friends of ours came round for a drink, we all had a good laugh and it was real nice because we haven't see them in ages.
We feel like we have no choice but to stay at the house over Christmas. What with Liam being here, friends and family to see and visit,, it's impossible getting to the boat.
But we wouldn't want to unless they could all come with us...!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Forced Reluctantly Into Action

We finally started work on the stairs at the house today, "priming spindles" on the new staircase. Oh the excitement,, another step nearer to putting it up for sale so needs must.

With house prices plummeting we feel under pressure to get on with it, even if we are but a few days away from Christmas! Liam went on a lads night out while we were working like slaves.

We're following a design from a magazine, white painted spindles and stairwells, staining the handrail with oil, and the wood at the bottom with clear varnish. Same on the landing too. I looks very effective in the book – just hope we can achieve the same "chic" look.

Thanks to the credit crunch we figure APPEAL will be the biggest selling point these days,  
I hope the downturn doesn't have too much influence as to when we sell up and move on.

Just our luck eh? The housing market has been good and steady for years, then when we decide to get our house ready for sale all the banks decide to collapse... Stay positive and hope it picks up again next year eh? Doubtful.
Went to the boat after tea, the canal is still frozen, it probably never had chance to thaw out the weather's been so cold here. Took TT a while to warm up which makes sense when she’s been surrounded by ice, with no heating during the day (for a week). So we left the central heating on well into the night, looks like we'll have to do the same tomorrow.

There’s even more Christmas lights on the boats now, and the office across the way is lit up too,, it looks really nice...

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Welcome Home Son!

Dave's finished work now till after New Year – NICE…!
Also, our son Liam flew home from his Army base in Germany today, he’s on leave for 3 weeks over Christmas. It's been 4 months since he was last here, so it's GREAT to see him…!


Monday, 17 December 2007

Oh What A Sight

I remember being at Dave's parents years ago when the canal was frozen. Their garden literally backed onto the Staffs / Worcester at Penkridge, and it was a memorable sight.
When we woke up this morning it was hard to believe the extent and thickness of the ice across the whole marina, even under the pier. We'd saved some bread for the ducks before we left, we could see them all huddled together at the far end. So we went to the front of the boat and started throwing it onto the ice. We could see they were interested whilst at the same time apprehensive.

The brave ones set off first, and the others followed. It was so funny, some came running whilst slip sliding along all over the place. Others were brave enough to actually fly over, but those that did carried on "skating" on their bottoms for about 20 foot further than where they landed!
Meanwhile we were both crying laughing – it was so undignified, and they knew it...

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Shiver Me Timbers

Well we knew it was going to be cold, BUT NOT THIS COLD!
The canal froze around us during the night,, didn’t expect this…
We could hear a creaking / cracking noise around the boat which woke us up, this wasn't simply ducks tapping on the side - it was ice forming. Yet another new experience here.
It didn't bother us after that, I guess that's another step to the "I can live here full time" experience. I mean being surrounded by ice is ok, provided there's the boat in between it and us...!

Friday, 14 December 2007

OMG We Need A Bow Thruster!

ALSO, even a small but gusty breeze can cause havoc, it works something like this:

A crosswind causes the boat to keep on meandering, even after the wind has dropped for a few seconds. However, if it's constant then you're in trouble trying to fight it. The experts say, if you can learn to use the wind in your favour then you don't need a bow thruster. So we've still got a long way to go then, even though TT responds well from the tiller.This particular scenario has happened to us before and it happened again today when we "merrily" trundled across the marina for a pump out and fuel top up. It's easy going over there, the wind usually blows the same way, and helps us glide gracefully over to the Service Area.
BUT the trouble starts on the way back – it took us half an hour to get to the mooring to secure the boat, thanks to being blown every which way but where we wanted to go. Must've been comical to watch, dignity? What’s dignity?

Right now,, "using the wind in your favour" seems impossible, give me a bow thruster any day. Yet there's just the teeny tiny matter of cost to consider, at a mere £3500, it's asking a tad too much at the moment.

Just to make us feel worse, we've just discovered that most of the other widebeamers on the marina have them fitted when the boat’s being built – not afterwards. From experience we've come to the conclusion that it's more of a necessity than we originally thought, hmmm...

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Mrs Christmas!

Went to watch our grand-daughters school Christmas play this afternoon, she played the starring role of Mrs Santa.
Bless her, she put her heart and soul into it, (they all did). The story was called "Santa's Lost His Hat" so here's a picture of "Mrs Santa" after it had been found again!
After last rehearsal yesterday she'd had a little moan to her mum:
  • The top part of her costume was too big
  • The pants had one leg longer than the other
  • And the welly’s made her feet hot!
Oh I don’t know, the stresses and strains of being a celebrity. Ahh...

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Twinkly Lights

Today Dave and I went for the walk down the towpath, that´s the walk that never happened yesterday, because the whole family would've got frostbite. The wind's dropped a bit, but it's just as COLD, and with the towpath still being like a bog we didn't go far.
We took some photos of TT with the lights on the roof from the towpath, but they didn't come out so good because it was too dark. It never actually was light all day.
Here's one I took earlier from the back of the boat, but it doesn't look any better really, especially when it’s been taken through the back screen! {GLARE} Dave reckons they must be visible from the moon, (but I can't confirm that). However they look awesome at night and we´ve had some really nice comments about them.
They're in a "V" shape from front to back...

We’ve also got some nice LED lights for inside TT as well. The fancy Christmas lights that used to adorn our bay window (at the house), are now hanging from inside the doors at the front of the boat. And we bought some new ones for under the gunnels, very pretty.

It’s much more fun dressing up a boat than a house for Christmas,, and less hassle…!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

A Family Visit In Terrible Weather Conditions

Dave got up early, the wind was howling, the rain was pouring, and there he was, on the roof putting Christmas lights up. Such determination, (round of applause), it really is the most horrible day so far this year which is saying something of late.
Just typical when six members of my family were coming to visit, two of them have never seen TT before. Clearly not the best situation where good first impressions are concerned, amidst what appeared to be a hurricane!We'd arranged this get-together a couple of weeks ago, the idea was for them to come to the boat for a brew. Then for us all to go for a walk along the towpath. Afterwards, we´d go to the marina cafe for a free meal because mum and dad were picking up the tab. So Dave said he was going to order the biggest steak on the menu…
Anyway, thanks to the weather things didn't quite go to plan. Towards the end of the week we'd already abandoned the idea of a walk down the towpath. We’d watched the horrendous forecast on TV. Plus the fact that the snow had turned to sludge didn’t help.
Everyone came here to the boat first, then we all struggled just to walk over to the marina cafe / restaurant, for the Christmas meal we’d booked. It was really nice, but I don't usually have very much for lunch, so it was a bit too much for me.
Honestly though, walking over there (and back) the wind was almost enough to knock you off your feet. I literally had to hold my forehead because the accompanying rain was icy cold and caused real pain... YES I KNOW I SHOULD'VE WORN A HAT!!!
Even so, come rain, hail, sleet or snow, that cafe means a lot to us. It’s where Dave and me used to go and sit outside in summer, after a walk along the towpath. It's also where we first noticed the sign in TT's window...!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Christmas Decorations Where?

We brought 3 sets of lights with us to put up both in and on top of the boat this weekend, but it was way too windy to be faffing about on the roof. So we gave up with the idea for now.

Thing is, this year we've decided not to put any decorations up at the house, (scrooge comes to mind). No it's not that, it's a few things rolled into one really. We can´t do the entertaining at our house this year because there´s no table and chairs! With the place being in such a mess, it's a year free from being responsible for the traditional feast for us... (Phew).

Another reason for no decorations at the house is that they don't exactly mix and match very well with bare walls and floors. Yet even so, in an effort to stay festive I HAVE allowed Christmas card holders.

And last on the list is attempting to get on with some work there, it's been the least of our priority's since we bought TT, but it's going to have to be up top soon...
So the whole family is going to my sisters on Christmas day. She only lives just down the road from our house. Y
et somehow, even though we’re at the boat we still seem to have got stuck with cooking the turkey. Got stuffed good and proper there didn't we...?
However, we WILL be tastefully decorating the boat in STYLE! Even if we won't be there on the day...

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Looks Like A Busy December Ahead

The beginning of December already, I can’t believe it’s come round so quickly – probably got something to do with all the work we’ve been doing at the house AND the boat.
It'll certainly be different for us this year, because we'll be able to get away to the boat. That’s in between running round seeing folks, and trying to do some more jobs at the house while Dave's off work. Then again, having just done a re-assessment of all that lot, maybe we won't get chance to visit TT much over Christmas at all…!Dave did some insulation around the front doors of the boat today (in the bedroom) whilst I stained the wood that surrounds them mahogany, to match the doors themselves. There's nothing else mahogany on the boat, so it looks really effective as a contrast.
The weather's awful again, this will be really testing to see if we can “hack it” over winter.
Without a multi fuel stove, we have to rely on the central heating…

Thursday, 29 November 2007

A Wheelbarrow Comes To The Rescue

In the morning, in the rain, in a horrible wind, I potted up 2 nice plants out of the house garden to take for the front of the boat.
Dave wasn't too chuffed when he saw them neatly wrapped in Tesco bags, hidden in amongst all the other stuff in the boot to take with us. And they are just a wee bit heavy.
Also we had loads to take with us this week, but he reluctantly agreed about the plants to keep me sweet. Especially when I told him about the "ordeal" I'd been through with the weather (as she mops a fevered brow). What me? Over exaggerate? Nay, it's just a tool at my disposal rarely used, but it can be very effective…!
So anyway, this is where the wheelbarrow comes in handy.
After shopping we arrived at the marina, knowing we'd got about 4 journeys to and from the car lugging stuff back and forth, in the dark. (Five if you count the precious plants).
As we got out of the car I could see Dave noticed a wheelbarrow that was leaning against the wall outside the boatyard, should we "borrow" it? Well it's not like the FBI would be waiting for us round the corner, so why not...?
I told him it was dark and nobody would see, (nothing like stating the obvious), so we decided to go for it. Which I was delighted about at the time because I was shivering so much. It worked a treat too, only 2 journeys required. Phew...!

Friday, 23 November 2007

New Shower Unit Required?

We went to B&Q to assess new shower units today, just in case we had to rip the one out at TT, after a good nosy round we gave up and stopped off for a toasted tea-cake instead.
Diversifying even further from the real reason we called in there Dave had already picked up a few tools, oh, and a lamp for the bedroom at TT. It's one of those that you just tap to switch on and off, handy that (excuse pun).
Then we were dazzled by Christmas lights on the way out and spent £40 on those! I could hear my dad saying "Is it a WANT or a NEED?" Oh the number of times I hear that in my head when shopping - and totally ignore it of course.Anyway, getting back to the leaky shower: Someone advised Dave to look for cracks in the grout, apparently it's something you should do if you've had a "bump" which we did when we went to Tarleton last month.
When we checked it last week, all seemed ok and that's why we thought it might be something to do with underneath the shower base, hence a massive job. BUT on closer inspection with a torch there were hairline cracks going across in a line between 2 rows of tiles. (So it must've been seeping thru for 4 weeks or so).
Our hopes were raised, was that it? I mean was it really that simple?

So Dave removed the grout and re-grouted the problem bits. Later on I was having a nosy at the finished job & for some reason put my finger on it to check it was dry, it wasn’t. So Dave wasn’t best pleased because he had to re-do that bit, (Oops).
We tested it out later on, & NO LEAKS... Can't tell you how relieved we were about it. Or how easy it was to sort out, too good to be true on this boat? Well let's hope not, I guess it's another wait and see job.
So if ever you have a bump - checkout yer grout...

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Back To The Boat A Day Early

Did a few errands, got some shopping in, and then to the boat.
We're staying here till Monday which is nice because it'll be the longest we've been here in one go. But (there's always a "BUT" these days), we'll have to try and sort the shower problem.
Not being one to moan unnecessarily,
Can you tell how pissed off we both are…?

Monday, 19 November 2007

Unexpected Naff Event At The House Too

After our unfortunate escapades at the boat, we came back to the house feeling (and looking) like a couple of zombies. So I got stuck into doing all the grotty HOUSE jobs, but even the house wasn’t playing nice…

The washer was going, the drier was going, the tea was in the oven, the lights were on, the central heating was on, and all of a sudden the power went out...

One minute I was pulling another load out of the washer, and the next we were plunged into darkness...

It was pitch black outside as far as the eye could see, I mean are we cursed or something??? Just couldn't believe it, I can't remember the last time we were without electricity here --- HELL, WE SHOULD'VE STAYED AT THE BOAT WITH ALL IT’S PROBLEMS…!

Consequently while we were fumbling about in the dark for candles, (of course all the torches are at the boat), it made me realise just how important electricity is. We all take it for granted, but everything grinds to a halt without it. Whatever the problem, it must've been a major thing because after several mobile phone calls, turns out half the town was out.

After an hour, it came back on – then went off again just 30 seconds later...
When everything eventually came back to life and stayed that way, it was a big relief! Work delayed,, to be continued...

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Change Of Plan

We’ve both pondered on the situation with the leaky shower and decided to go back to the house tomorrow instead of Wednesday.

Dave swapped round his nights off next week. Then we can come here, assess the extent of the shower problem and bring a wide variety of tools!

Ah well, at least we have a plan now instead of just being plain confused and fed up...!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

One Plumbing Job Sorted And Another One Begins

Well Dave really got to the "bottom" of things today. After he'd dismantled the whole loo, it was obvious that the blades on the macerator couldn't move because they were totally clogged up with,, loo paper, ah well – no more Andrex 4 ply then...
Dave was really pleased that he found the problem so quickly and managed to sort it himself without any call-out, or "spare part" costs, so that was the good news…

And the bad news? The leak I discovered yesterday, we spent the afternoon drying it out and trying to make it look less noticeable. Then Dave carried out a “shower test.” (He needed one too after having his hands down the loo all afternoon). But as we suspected there was water trickling on the floor in the bedroom afterwards...

Does this mean we have to rip the shower out because it's a loose connection on the pump underneath? We’ve given up for now, can’t believe we've gone straight from one stressful "plumbing situation" to another potentially worse one…!

And it means using the toilet block that´s only half a mile away AGAIN for a different reason, as in keeping clean...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

The First Big Freeze

Well we arrived at TT tonight, can't believe how cold {shiver} it is. It's nice and warm in here now the central heating’s kicked in. This is our first night on the boat while it’s below freezing outside. Well I did cheat a bit and put a hot water bottle in the bed. Can we manage any conditions here now? I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Still no ribbons and roses though, Dave came back to the boat from work and I happened to comment that it's not much fun using a 4 litre milk carton to pee in. But its only temporary isn't it? (God I hope so).

Then there's hiding the dam thing in a carrier bag whilst carrying it to the toilet block to empty, I'm sure everyone can see through it. Ah well, temporary or not, we'll find out tomorrow when Dave, takes the loo to bits...

Just to add to complications I noticed a damp patch on the wall in the bedroom where it backs onto the shower in the bathroom, part of me wishes I hadn't seen it…!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The Tantrum Toilet

Dave's decided to have a go at getting down to business (excuse pun) and sorting the loo out. This involves:
  • Taking the loo apart.
  • Giving it a full inspection, ugh.
  • Diagnosing the problem.
  • Solving the dam problem
As you can probably understand, he will be sporting disposable paper overalls while he does whatever it is he has to do, and all this means we've gone from not coming to the boat at all (sad) - to being here for almost a week (GRIN) even if we are in a mess.
But PLEASE don't ask about sanitation arrangements in the meantime, it's not a pretty picture. Needless to say the toilet block is going to be well used till it's sorted, I have full confidence in my hubby's many talents. An absolute necessity with this boat...

Monday, 12 November 2007

A Mysterious Noise In The Middle Of The Night

We went to bed last night at the boat all cosy and warm, the wind was still blowing hard, but this strange scratching noise was keeping me awake. We've already got used to the ducks pecking on the side of the boat, (which doesn't bother either of us).

So I got up and did some detective work, turns out it was Alan's and Chris's fruit trees (housed on the bow) getting blown about tapping on the front of the boat. We're looking after them for a while, however with bare branches and no leaves, it was worse than a dripping tap.

Dave wasn’t bothered, but I had to do something. So I went outside in my nightie and dragged the trees further along.

Ah, sleep at last, I mean why hadn't this happened during the previous 2 wild nights? Well we could only think it was all about wind direction or something.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

The Problematic Loo Packs Up

Last night we noticed the loo wasn't flushing properly and this morning it isn’t working at all. We've had this problem before but it was ok the next day, so we told ourselves it was just a glitch.

But now it looks like a permanent one, bigger job than first thought – what’s new…?

We went back to the house with a list of "helpful" phone numbers, but we haven't really got very far. Looks like we'll have to give TT a miss next weekend, just a moment I need a tissue...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

First Night Aboard TT In A Gale Force Wind

Wow, it was a wild, wild night last night, up till now we wondered if TT might bob about a bit in a real gale. We’ve not had chance to check out any potential “wobble effect” in such conditions, soon discovered there isn’t any. But she did pull on the ropes forwards and backwards a bit.

When Dave rang me from work, he reckoned the ropes need tightening up. Some of the gusts of wind were really strong and a bit scary on my own...

Still, TT passed the test, kept me nice and cosy despite what was going on outside – so I guess that means I passed the test too...?

Yesterday, before we came here (but after we'd seen the weather forecast), Dave said "are you sure you want to do this?" As if I was doing a bungee jump or something...

I watched a narrowboat being launched into the marina this morning, first time I've ever seen this happen. It came in on a big wagon and was lifted across by crane which turned it 90 degrees before gently lowering it into the water. It took about an hour altogether and was quite fascinating to watch. I thought they might not bother because of the wind. Obviously, they know the limits of the weather for this procedure somewhat better than this boating novice here…!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Dave Caught A Whale!

Dave did some fishing off the back of the boat this aft. So I took this photo of one of the teensiest tiniest fish he's ever caught. I mean we were both like a couple of daft kids laughing about it...! (Aw).
Who says "SIZE matters...?"
The prize catch...
Some friends of my mum and dad's came to see us this aft, I've not seen them in ages, so we caught up on our real life stories...

Later on the weather allowed us both to walk round to "The Howarth Arms" just down the road, it's a very nice place (just like we've been told). So we stayed for a couple of hours, it reminded us of a pub we used to go to after one of our walks by the canal (before we had the boat).
Anyway, it's definitely passed the test for somewhere to take family and friends for a meal in summer...

Saturday, 3 November 2007

TT Did NOT Want To Go Back To Her Mooring

Went for a pump out this morning, the wind was ok when we set off round to the service area but when we came back it had sort of turned into a gale. Ho Hum…

There is some awareness now of how it can blow the boat about and make it difficult to control, but we still aren't sure exactly what the limit is, you know – the point where you say "Nope, this just won't work..."

We tried to get back to the mooring afterwards, but the gusts were hitting us side on, pushing us against the bank, and we were getting nowhere fast...

Dave managed to get the front end in, so I got off and grabbed the rope – with a bit of help we eventually managed it. As you've probably gathered our mooring is a fair way away from the service area, in fact we're right at the opposite end "out in the sticks." I guess that’s the price you pay for having one of the best spots...

This was the first time we'd experienced trying to move the boat in such bad conditions – lesson learned. Although, to be fair we weren’t to know the wind would turn into a hurricane after we set off, hmmm. Another lesson learned the hard way…

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Caught Up In Curtains And Cupboards

Well, we're back at TT today, last week I took down all the curtains everywhere except the bedroom. Thing is we get a 180 degree view now, and the chrome blinds on their own look ACE, but I've kept the curtains in the bedroom for that "cosy look and feel."
I took them back to the house last week and washed them, then when we got here tonight we both got tangled up while trying to re-hang the darn things. Must've looked like a slapstick comedy to a fly on the wall. Got there in the end though – very nice…
After Dave had gone to work I got stuck into organising the things we've brought here (to stay) from the house. I'm afraid that up till now we've been guilty of just piling stuff up in the cupboards, wardrobes and drawers. Neatly of course – but in no particular order, which could be problematic in the future when trying to locate particular items…
The “shove it away” system was ok while we didn't have that much here, BUT when we started to forget where things were, it was time to re-organise. Hence my mission for tonight, and as my granny would say:
"Everything in its place and a place for everything"

And it's going to stay that way, (I hope). Hey, I'm getting good at this...

Monday, 29 October 2007

The Disappearing Dent

While I packed stuff up this morning to go back to the house. Dave went up front and knocked out the small dent we acquired on last weekend’s maiden voyage. He also repainted the blacking that had been scraped off.
We’d taken my mum and dad out with us, for our first time on the cut without any guiding hands or helpful hints. Embarrassing or what…?
This was the cause, a notorious hazard that we’ve been told many experienced boaters have belted…
It´s nigh on impossible for a widebeam to pass through, easily workable with confidence and exact judgement. But we haven’t quite mastered either of those yet…
Mum and Dad on “first bump” day…
This aft we got an email from our son from his base in Germany saying he'll be over here on leave at Christmas. It'll be great to see "our soldier" again…

Summary: "A happy Monday" :)

Friday, 26 October 2007

Renaming Things

Got a visit from the "lonely swan" this aft, it posed nicely for some photos so I gave it a crust of bread. The ducks tried to join in but kept their distance, (fear of getting snapped at I think). It even took the food very gently straight out of my hand, isn't it cute?
I've also renamed the train that goes past once in a while "the lazy train," because it only seems to go at the same speed as a canal boat... It's over the other side of the canal, I think we only notice it because its winter and there's no trees in the way… It usually has just the one carriage (always empty). But in the rush hour it has two carriages packed to the rafters, with on average all of about three passengers.
I'll take a photo of it someday, shouldn't be difficult seeing as it doesn't exactly zoom past at the speed of light...

Monday, 15 October 2007

Rushing Round Is Worth It Sometimes

Got the results for my retake Assessment that I failed last week, passed it this time (thank goodness). So I sat down, did the next one and sent it off this morning. How can you tell I want it finished soon as...?
Dave dropped me off at TT on his way to work after we'd been shopping, we still have loads of stuff to bring with us. Every week we say "Ah well we won't need to bring as much next time" and it always ends up the same.

We go back to the house, I make a list for "what to take with us next week," (necessary, else I'd forget most of it). Then I start packing everything new in the storage boxes we use for trekking back and forth from house to boat, and vice versa...

This weekend things are a bit different, Dave decided to do some work at the house on Friday and Saturday, it's all "man jobs.” Messing with a radiator that's been off the wall for a while, priming skirting boards etc. So I've no need to feel guilty about being here at the boat while he's working his ass off have I...? Hmmm... But I do, never mind he'll be here Saturday, after he's been to the Chandlery to get some bits n pieces for TT. This is the longest we've been apart for years...!

He said there were 2 ducks on the pier watching him when he set off to walk to the car, it's always the same cheeky pair that stroll up and down like they own the place. Apparently one of them was so busy checking him out that it stepped sideways and fell backwards off the pier.
Rings not so distant bells for me that...

But hey, if it happens to daft ducks as well as daft people, then I don't feel as daft about going in myself...

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Welcome Home

Well, it's happened, we've agreed it's a good idea for me to come here Thursday night each week if I can. Dave will drop me off on his way to work. And with all systems behaving themselves, (touch wood), is it me or does this sound more like a submarine...? 

Aside from me running out of water, everything's been ok. Dave arrived at about 2pm today…

First thing on the "to do" list was topping up the water tank so we could have a cup of tea (priorities first). He wasn't here long though because he's doing overtime 4-10pm. At least he'll be back later on tonight and then we'll stay till Monday afternoon... Oh, and I'm capable of filling the water tank myself now (no comments please...)
Seems like the loo was either blocked or running low on water, it's great that everything's working right now. No more "quilted double velvet" loo roll me thinks! It'll have to be the bog standard stuff in future (excuse pun).

We’ve never had so many "in-depth" conversations between us about "toileting habits and procedures "till recently. Oh, and of course the delicacies of how a macerator works (or doesn't as the case may be). Anyway the "po" is behaving itself now so that's the end of that...? Hopefully no more pottyness, seems there's a lot of it about when it comes to boats and toilets...

Sunday, 7 October 2007

The First Pump Out

Nerve wracking moment this morning, setting off to manoeuvre round to the bit where you do a pump out and get fuel.

I'm sure it has an official name, a bit like motorway services, but I'm beggared if I know what it is. In Dave's own descriptive words "Hope I don't make a cock up here..."

Well fortunately he didn't, he's a natural at driving this boat, as for me, no comment. But only because I haven't really had chance to test drive it yet!  Anyway I managed to pull her in with the ropes easy enough (well sort of), first time I've done that too...

In the afternoon Dave finished off in the bathroom, (one job seemed to lead to another). Meanwhile I gave the place a good clean up. I'm going for the "minimalist" look and it's working well so far. Anybody would think I'm an interior designer, well "creative flow with gaps..."

Chilled out later on and soaked up the rest of this lovely warm day outside at the back of the boat. We spend a fair bit of time back here – it’s so beautiful and peaceful...

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Back On My Feet Again

Well needless to say I've been taking some "stick" about my unceremonious canal christening, with some concern also of course! Seems like we're all glad I didn't bang my head on the way down. Doesn't bear thinking about, although it might've knocked some sense into me! Not glad about being back at the house though…
I sent my mum a text yesterday after it had happened – she said she was in the chemist when she read it and gasped "Oh No" out loud. So then people were wondering what was up with her…!
I got up slowly, very slowly this morning, meanwhile Dave went to the boat to lay some new flooring in the bathroom. Later on he came back to collect me from the house and we both went back together. It felt a bit like getting on a horse after you've fallen off it – I won’t be going off the front for a long time, even though it was my own fault...
Dave rang Alan about the boiler, well we are but "newbie's" here, and when we tried his suggestion it worked fine, problem sorted…? We shall see...

Well, I did say I'd document the whole truth and nothing but the truth on this blog, even if it does make us appear a bit naive - we've got an excuse! Perhaps some other newbie's can learn from our mistakes???
As for those boaters with years of experience, well you can just have a laugh and a giggle at our expense, while reliving fond memories such as: "I remember when we got that / this wrong, wasn't it NOT fun?"

Friday, 5 October 2007

A Huge Careless Step

Well, it all started off as a perfectly innocent day really, the boiler guy arrived around 9am to service the boat's central heating system. So while he was messing about at the back of the boat I was "messing about" at the front…
I put one foot onto the jetty thinking I could easily make it from the boat’s well deck without using the steps on there. Not one of my better ideas, whoosh my front leg slipped forward, my back leg buckled, and in a instant it was a case of "do the splits or go under...!"
Had no choice but to settle for the latter, and with an almighty backflip double twist "SPLASH."

I couldn't believe what was happening, couldn't shout because unlike in the movies, instinct tells you to take a deep breath before you hit the water. So I incorporated a kind of backwards belly-flop to avoid the front end of the boat and the jetty.

Good job I can swim because I was dropping like a stone. Believe me it was a long way down and I was nowhere near the bottom. (This being a marina not a canal). So, fully clothed with trainers on I managed to swim back up. But then got stuck hanging onto the jetty, which is at least 2 foot above the water. There was no way I could haul my way out alone…

Fortunately Dave heard the “splodoosh,” so he came running down the jetty towards me. It took both him and the very helpful boiler guy to get me out. Bet he never thought that would be in his itinerary for today.

How totally, utterly, embarrassing. I mean we haven't even owned the boat for a week. Is this a bad omen...?
A big "egg" later appeared on the side of my shin, so we had to get it checked out at A and E which involved a trip to Chorley hospital for X-rays and an hour of waiting. (Seemed like about 4). Anyway everything was ok. Diagnosis: Bruised bone. Prescription: Icepack and painkillers.
We’ve still got no central heating though and I was shivering with delayed shock. Dave said he was worried about me so we went to the house, I “fell” into bed early and slept for 12 hours...
Jack came over before we left and told us that where TT was originally moored (at the other end of the marina) it's only 5ft deep. But where we are its more like 12ft – no wonder I never reached the bottom…

Amidst the gossip, Bob (the marina manager) told me that since the marina opened last January I was officially Number 15 in the "christening hall of fame." He said he could name every one of us but was sure there were others who kept their exploits on the quiet…
Another classic comment came in the form of "Oh, so you've been officially christened then?" Well whatever the case, I think I've broken the record for who went in the soonest after buying a boat.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I fell in, no pity please, it's not allowed because my "excuse" doesn't hold up in court due to plain old carelessness...
Well you live and learn, thought I'd given up my days of doing things the hard way years ago. Tell you what though – it won't happen again...
This day will go down in history but for all the wrong reasons. Well you’ve got to laugh about these things don't you? Oh no, sorry I can't because it hurts too much. Ouch...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Back To The Boat For An Early Start

Well, it goes like this, a guy was supposed to come round to service the Central Heating boiler before we owned the boat. But with a much quicker handover than expected, it means he's still not been.

So we sorted it out and he's going to be here at 9am tomorrow, perhaps he feels a bit sorry for us because we've had problems with it since day one. We decided we'd both better be there when he arrives. Good excuse for Dave to have an extra day off work and for us to go to the boat after boring shopping...
We arrived here (after boring shopping) and just went “Ahh,” that’s what happens to us when we walk on board. I also got my marina Wi-Fi up and running for the first time.

Are things coming together or falling apart...?

Monday, 1 October 2007

Happy Birthday Darling David

It’s Dave's birthday today & our first full day of owning the boat, here she is moored up at Tarleton when we went for a test drive...

I've had a request not to mention Dave's age, even though he does look 10 years younger than he is (true, tis true). Never mind that though I had a great excuse not to buy him a present didn't I? Simply because (no big deal) we bought a boat yesterday...

So Happy Birthday hun, I'll pick some dandelions for ya later...

What a lovely day for October, it's been so nice we even had tea outside on the back of the boat... In fact both of us just "chilled out" all day, didn't want to go anywhere, or do anything really. Mmm nice, it all seems totally surreal right now... Having said that, Dave's phone’s never stopped ringing all day with folks reminding him he's another year older...!

With a great deal of reluctance we set off for the house at about 8pm, back to work tomorrow...

Sunday, 30 September 2007

The Big Handover

Today we took possession of WB Takey Tezey and I still can't believe this IS IT...!

We both ran round in the morning, checking what we'd forgot (there had to be something) and set off at 2.30pm. Alan and Chris had already moved out all their things when we arrived. After a few last minute instructions about the way "things work" from Alan, we moved our stuff on board. Chris was a bit upset at leaving TT and I understand why, so I gave her a "Thank you" poem I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

After we'd put all our stuff away we sat down and decided to "Take it Easy." Excuse pun, guess that’ll happen a lot…
The central heating boiler wouldn't work at night, so we were cold but had a good laugh about it.
Was this our fault? Had we done something wrong? Read on...
This will be our first ever time asleep on water, in a canal boat. Night Night...

Monday, 24 September 2007

Getting Closer and Closer

As things fall into place with the boat, we're learning what we can about boating from Alan. The info he´s shared about life afloat has been a great starting point for two newbies...

All four of us can start to make definite plans for the future now and it feels good. Chris and Alan want to move on in a different way. A boat wasn’t right for them under their personal circumstances. Hence why we’re getting what is, in effect a shiny new boat…

They've been very good to us, and provided us with a lot of knowledge in advance, how much of that we can remember remains to be seen...!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Birthday Wishes

Our son Liam is in the British Army (Royal Logistics Corps) and is based in Germany.
So we mostly keep in touch by Farcebook, Messenger and email. 

He still wants to know and read about family and friends. But he doesn't get much chance to reply because he's just too busy. Sometimes he phones us up while he's on Guard Duty.

Anyway just for a laugh I asked folks still to send birthday cards for him, (to us), because the address to the barracks is for emergency use only. So I lined them all up on the floor, took a photo of them and sent as attachments with an email – well its almost as good isn't it?!

He told us one of his mates birthday is the day before his own, so there was a few of them went out for a drink and a laugh. Wish I could give him a big hug – sent him a virtual one in my email along with his virtual birthday cards...

Monday, 3 September 2007

Got Christmas Sorted If Nothing Else

Painting the ceiling, no dining room table, hence we'll have to spend Christmas Day somewhere else, oh good...

Today Dave found some inspiration and painted a coat of sealant on the walls and ceiling in the dining room - another "man job". Jeez I can't wait till I can do something to help. Ah Bless him, he worked his ass off...! The place is looking good - well "preparation wise" only of course.

It's functional, but we're without a table to eat at, and we don't intend to buy another. Which means we can't invite folks round here for meals which is a bit naff. But it's a great excuse not to have to do the Christmas cooking. Although I guess we could all sit round the garden table.
All being well we'll have made the boat our own by then, so people may be allowed round to the boat for a brief period of time (on an appointment basis only). We're a bit fed up with always doing catering at Christmas anyway. Let someone else take it on...
Meanwhile we'll just go round visiting family, some of whom are scattered across the country, so that'll take us a week or so. But we must be back here at the marina for New Year.
Hey I'm talking like we're the owners of Takey Tezey already, but we're not yet - not quite...

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Deposit On Deposit

Went round to see Alan and Chris after tea, we had a good natter and a right old laugh as usual.

Dave handed over the advance amount at the office, (part payment of the deposit) already agreed upon. Felt great, first steps in taking ownership - can't wait!

Is this really happening? Yessssssssssss it is...
Alan and Chris want this to happen as fast as we do, cos they want to build another new boat for themselves which will be called "Takey Tezey 2". Alan already has plans drawn up and sorted...!