Saturday, 29 November 2008

Oh What A Difference

Remember Tuesday when I took those lovely sunny photos? Well here are the exact same views again in the THICK FOG we had here today. Which made everywhere, (well what bits you could actually see) look distinctly eerie...
Here comes “Grace” who appeared from the gloom all of a sudden and zoomed in to ask for some bread. Must have keen eyesight eh? She's back on her own now, think the baby swan has flown the nest.
The ducks and water hens deserve a mention for their sheer courage and determination of coming so close to the swan. So they all got some bread, carefully thrown in opposite camps to prevent any bickering...
Today had to be the coldest so far this year, Dave wanted to get further on with the "doors and hatch" job. Which meant we were exposed to the elements ALL DAY, it took ages for us both to defrost later on. Thing is time is limited when you’re still working and other “boat jobs” turn up...!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Here Comes The Sun

I took these beautiful photos this aft from our mooring at the marina. You'd think it was summer apart from the fact that it´s freezing cold, oh and no leaves on the trees, but never mind.
Very pretty, apart from the last one which came as somewhat of a surprise really.
Views of the island opposite us, taken from the front of the boat.

Views of Parbold hill to the left of us. The canal is situated between the bank and the trees, with the towpath at the far side. Oh and the marina entrance / exit can be seen in the next two, again on the LHS...
The the quaint village church just behind us..
Later on in the day Alan did a 180 turn of his boat. Meanwhile Tony the mop (007) stood at the bow, trying to work out what to do with his hands when there's no mop in sight...
This is weird, just five seconds later Tony suddenly turned into an apparition. A luminous green BLOB of the supernatural kind? Notice the ducks running scared too. SPOOKY...
Nope, I didn't alter that photo in any way, honest, it just turned out like this. This must be what happens when you mess with mops and CIF too much...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

An Angle Grinder And A Nail File

Today Dave started on a job he's has planned for the past few weeks. All I can say is that it involves the hatch cover and the back doors...

The procedure has been explained to me step by step on many occasions, and each time the plan appears to have been modified somewhat. This is usually the point at which my ears shut down and "Yes dear" or "No dear" are uttered in all the right places, (I hope).

As you can see, when "one" has cut a slice of steel off a door using an angle grinder, "one" then needs to give it a manicure using a file. And yes this photo is the right way up, I did a double-take on it myself...
I do now have a better understanding of this particular undertaking because there's a visible difference starting to emerge, even though it’s still a "work in progress".
The objective: To make the doors and hatch cover fit better, so as to get rid of the gale force draught.
He also want to transform the hatch cover so it slides open. At the moment it's a "lift, then slide" motion, (which isn't very good for the shoulder blades).
Something else too, he´s fitting a proper Yale lock on the doors. I mean we have locks already and will still be using them, but they aren't quite as sophisticated.
OK folks hatch down, time to watch some TV. Gripping report when the job moves on a pace to follow...

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Grace And Beauty

Last year there was a Lonely Swan that made the marina its home, if I remember rightly it took off sometime in June and disappeared.
That was about the same time that Harry the heron moved in to take over as the "centre of wildlife attention" round here.
Since then the roles have reversed again, Harry disappeared from the marina a few weeks ago. Meantime the swan has returned and this time he / she is not alone anymore. (We're assuming it's the same one!)
So let me introduce you to "Grace" (mum) and "Beauty" (the rather large baby) Ah...
Notice the duck hanging around in the background, out of the way of a peck, whilst scanning for crumbs…
I got these photos when they came down the side of the boat in an effort to be noticed. Ever hopeful that the human they'd spotted would have a loaf of bread to hand, and this one did. Hmm, cute and smart.
I wish I'd been quick enough to get a photo of the "stand off" that occurred between Grace and Paddy (the golden Labrador next door). He stood well back on the jetty, but his curiosity still got the better of him, couldn't help himself.
They both managed to hang onto their "personal space" (just), ensuring a safe zone between them. It was highly amusing to watch, hence I was laughing my socks off...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Officially Living Aboard At Last!

Our new tenant moved in yesterday and we were out of there quick smart.

Takey Tezey is now our new home, still can’t believe this is happening! What a performance we’ve had to go through letting out the house, you wouldn’t believe the red tape and hassle.

We got the perfect tenant though, a university professor! He travels all over the world and will use the house as a “base.” What more could you ask for?

The house has been for sale since April, we’d much rather it had sold. But alas not in the current housing market, this wasn’t the plan at all, and it’s not really what we want but never mind.

Plan B: We’ll wait a couple of years and try again.
The up side is we’re where we want to be full time, that’s all that matters…!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Armistice Day

What does each poppy represent? In my own words:
A young innocent boy,
He joined the Army,
He fought for his country,
He became a man,
He died with courage and honour,
Another hero lost...

This may not be a traditional poem associated with any war, but to me it signifies the spirit of a soldier and how he grows in strength to succeed:
IFBy Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And---which is more---you’ll be a Man, my son!

The work the Royal Legion do, both in the past, and today deserves to be honoured too…

Friday, 7 November 2008

The Last Job Before We Leave The House For Good

Clear the garden shed!!! Well we’ve got to sort the darn thing out, our new tenant moves in soon!

The house is all ready and waiting but..
Our garden shed is an enigma, full to the brim with what? All I can actually see is:
  • Four garden chairs
  • One plastic fold up chair
  • A big sun brolly to go over the garden table
  • A washing whirligig
  • A few plant pots of various sizes
But who knows what else lies within this Pandora's box? Do we really want to know? It’s a job we've been putting off for months (nay, years).

As we yanked various items out of the cavern and into the garden, we were both gobsmacked at some of the sh*t we’ve saved. Thank god the house is done and ready!

Eventually the grass was covered in various heaps of rubbish, there was a lot of wood. Why? It reminds me of my dad, his garage was the same (and still is) over the years he's joked about making all sorts out of "that wood in the garage.” It didn't matter what presents we asked for when we were kids. Even a new bike for Christmas wood would be "made from the wood in the garage." But nothing ever came out of there.

So I won't bother going into the details of all the crap we found, I'd still be doing an inventory tomorrow. Except to say, it's all ready for yet another "trip to the tip" tomorrow.
We’re on a first name basis with the guys "on patrol" there now…

Monday, 3 November 2008

Ducking And Sliding?

Here we have the duck version of Dancing on Ice, as you can see it takes great training and skill, sadly neither of which they possess...

 Here they are Line Dancing on ice with the dance tutor (bottom left) showing them the moves.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Shake a tail feather baby...
And here they are Break Dancing through a gap the swan made for them earlier...

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Take It Easy

Earlier on this aft Dave started work at the back of the boat, but I don't think he really got in "the zone" because he didn't get very far. It's a big job tackling the doors and the hatch cover, cutting metal n' stuff, he's not got round to that lot yet. It's still at the "prep" stage. He keeps explaining dimensions and the likes to me, but it goes in one ear and out the other. So it´s time for a break, sit down with a glass of wine, and relax...

I just realised I'd never posted a photo of this little cutie pie. It too has some meaning because it's one that Chris gave us when we first bought the boat. She's good at making cards like these, it's her hobby, I’d be no good at it though, not enough patience!

Ah... Take it easy folks...