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...