Sunday, 29 March 2009

More new necessary tech gear

Tom arrived bright and early to fit our new combi inverter / battery charger, and 6 new batteries today.
It’s exciting stuff when we’ve had an inverter that hasn’t “inverted” for a long time now. It even resulted in us having to chuck the contents of the fridge / freezer away from last time we were out on the cut.
Fortunately it was towards the end of last year when that happened and we weren’t going to be doing any long voyages over winter. So it didn’t really matter then, but NOW it does.
Tom had to re-arrange things “down in the depths” because of the batteries ,but he managed it. Meanwhile with the back of the boat being a “no go zone” I decided to do some “gardening on the jetty” because it was such a nice day.
So I got my bag of compost out, had a replanting and re-potting session that was meant to take about 20 minutes tops, but ended up somewhere around the 2 hour mark. Some greenery has been re-homed, some has been replaced, and a few tired looking plants have been revived, (well I think they have but I guess time will tell).
Later on we went to a good old knees up at a friend’s boat. There was no power at our boat all afternoon, and Tom was busy till after 10pm. So Dave took him a plate of food round, and stayed there to aim a torch where it was needed…!

Monday, 23 March 2009

How´s That?

Well it took longer than expected to finish off today, (like these things always do). We followed the experts advice such as: Let it all flow to achieve smooth lines blah, blah.
Et voila, we now have “Feng Shui” in the shower cubicle. That’s a chic design statement, not a person...  After we'd cleaned up the residual mess I took these photos, now is this swish or what?

See that ceiling...
I was laid on the floor when I took these next two, so as you can see it's a bit disorientating, (even confused the camera) well I have to be different I suppose...
The bedroom's next, but it'll have to wait a couple of weeks now because we've got the new combi inverter / battery charger, and new batteries being fitted next weekend. So that'll be another fine mess we'll be in then, ah well, all in the name of progress...!
PS: On the subject of progress (or not as the case might be) we've still not heard anything about the leather settee we ordered and paid for 2 months ago.
Think they'll be getting a phone call from us soon…

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Up on the ceiling again

Today it's the bathroom's turn for a roof top make over. This time we were very careful not to make the same daft mistakes as last week, but it was a much more "fiddly" job.
Part way through...
And that's where we left it for today because we were a bit knackered with all the rubbing down and painting. This job is set for completion tomorrow, so I'll post photos of the "finished product" then. To be continued...

For Mother's Day I got some nice cards and a bunch of lovely flowers from Dave, (no I'm not his mother but it's the thought that counts). For the second year running it was a "working" Mother's Day...!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

What´s in a name?

I was reading a book last night and discovered an old bookmark somebody once gave me that's years old, I'd totally forgotten about. It gives a definition of the name "Heather" and goes as follows:

"A name taken from the plant.
She is strong-willed,
and determined,
and will succeed
in everything she tries.
She knows her own mind."
Then there's another one on a little plant pot at the back of the boat which says:
"A strong woman,
Loves the outdoors,
Gives without expecting reward."
Not blowing my own trumpet (you understand), I'm no angel but they're BOTH TRUE...
This is the definition for "David" written on a tea cup I bought for him years ago, eventually the cup got chipped and was thrown away, but I kept the words in my "poems" folder:

"David - meaning beloved"
"In the hearts of others,
You’re held as a treasure.
You’re charmingly witty;
You give so much pleasure.

Your many admirers
Are quick to surrender
To your captivating smile
And care so tender.

The support you give others
Is warm and assuring-
It’s no wonder your appeal
is so alluring."
Blowing Dave's trumpet on his behalf this is ALSO TRUE...
I find it hard to believe that a name can define a personality, but these descriptions of us two are so close to reality it's uncanny.
Then again it doesn't quite explain why for example, two different people with the same name can have no connection to the meaning of it, or each other, hmm, fascinating.
And last but not least we have:
A synonym for the old gem "Take it Easy"

Hmm, OCCASIONALLY TRUE..............................

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Cause and effect of a bad smell in the back cabin

For a while now there's been a mild yet pungent "fragrance" in the back cabin, some days stronger than others, for example while it's been really cold we thought it had disappeared. But jeez it's been intermittingly minging.
Imagine a mixture of rotting vegetation mingled with a smidge of cat wee and a faint hint of Brussel sprouts. Then turn down the strong pong to a bearable but noticeable one,, you're getting close to the real thing. Ugh...
Some days the fumes have been more potent than others, especially if visitors arrived unexpectedly, (of course it would work out that way). On such occasions, and with no time to bring out the lavender air freshener first, people found themselves being herded through into the boat like cattle. God forbid if they had chance to take a breath in the meantime.
I was a bit more curious about it than Dave, especially when it was logical to assume the stink must originate from outside the boat and seep it's way in like an unseen fog. BUT that theory was trashed when stepping outside the cabin, the air seemed fresh and clean.

The above has been written in the "past tense" because I found the culprit yesterday when the spare generator was removed, (placed in a wheelbarrow and trundled off to its new home on another boat).
Aha! Hiding beneath where it's been sat was an old cloth Dave's used for fishing several times. I didn't need to ask, but gathered it had been utilised for tasks such as wiping fish goo off his hands and for some reason he’d thrown it down there. He even admitted to "rinsing it out in the marina afterwards" so that makes it better then?
Needless to say I took it outside, and wrapped it tightly in two Tesco bags till next time we empty the trash.
New rule: When removing fish slime from the hands in future, use disposable rags only, re-usable sh*tty cloths ANYWHERE ON THIS BOAT are BANNED. I don't get it, how can a guy who's clean and tidy in real life not think twice about wiping his hands on a cloth full of salmonella?
Just for the record, here's a replica of the offensive item. it was one of my top quality dusters (3 for £1.99) from yonks ago...
And this is an official reconstruction of exactly where it was found, (under the generator that isn't there anymore...)
After thoroughly disinfecting the area giving it a good scrub, then a good clean. Then a second scrub and clean (sounds like a painful facial) it smells like a rose garden now. PHEW...!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The ceiling job Part Two

Things to remember BEFORE you put your ceiling back together, hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it?
First of all, the trim that joins the wood on the ceiling. Don't put them back up before the wood trim that goes down the middle, the size of the gap may end up being too narrow.
This happened with one or two of them, the first section had to come off completely (again) and the other? Well that was a half-way jobby, whereby it was possible to lift and separate (excuse pun). With a bit of jiggling about, it was repositioned with "gentle" forcefulness...

Second of all, remember which way you're facing when marking up the wood trim LEFT and RIGHT. Yes ok, so the first one went up on the wrong side, don't laugh. (Then it had to be repositioned the other side, which caused some confusion about just where the others went).

Third of all, don't mislay your round headed screws for the vents. With three toolboxes out, pliers, hammers, and screwdrivers etc, all over the floor, it required a fingertip search to locate them. A CSI forensics team would've been a bonus at this point.

So there you go, the "finishing things off" job lasted twice as long as it was supposed to because of the extra faffing about involved, but it all turned out well in the end...
The finished job (PHEW)
PS: Because it looks so good we've decided to do the same thing throughout the boat. So it's the bathroom next and then the bedroom. Even more banging and crashing about then...

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Sorting the ceiling at last

You know the “designer” ceiling job we were supposed to start last Saturday, but had to give up on because of the weather?
Well I booked some fine stuff for today, which like Halfie suggested would hopefully be shared amongst us all. (Asking a lot?) Anyway it turned passable so we got started.
The centre section ripped off...

The panels outside drying in what had become a wind tunnel by this time...
Almost back in place...

All panels back up (what a job) still not finished though, it was 9pm by this time and we'd both had enough...

So it was a joint effort with a lot of farting about involved, but worth it. At least it didn't rain, and the wind meant the undercoat with two layers of paint dried in one day. Meanwhile Part two of this work in progress will continue tomorrow.
There's a thick layer of sawdust on EVERYTHING now, (can even TASTE the stuff). But there's no point cleaning up yet...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

A goose that´s lost it´s compass

Yesterday I noticed what appeared to be a rather large duck over on the island. But after careful surveillance for a moment, it turned into a goose doing an excellent job of blending in with the ducks. It was even being stalked by one of them which bravely tried to suss it out for a while. (Never seen any here before, on the ground that is).
Perhaps it took a left when it should've turned right with the others or maybe it's an outcast, ahh. Whatever it's personal situation may be it looks totally befuzzled and lonely so I gave it some bread.
However it stayed well back from the duck frenzy going on in front of it. They're all that busy bonking each other at the moment, and they're VERY hungry. Guess it helps keep their stamina up, amongst other things.Anyway this lone "goose on the loose" reminded me of a "geese" confrontation we got mixed up in while Dave was fishing at a secret pond we used to go to (before we got the boat).
Let me set the scene here, I would sit in my "luxury spectator chair" (yes that's really what it was called), and hover gently above ground whilst: Reading, passing butties, and sometimes being a pain in the ass concerning noise levels, (nope, no fishing for me).
Although I did net the "big buggers" for Dave and nearly got dragged in once.
Anyway one day, after Dave got all his tackle out, (no comment) some very aggressive geese suddenly appeared with babies and chased us off. So shaken not stirred we packed up, and moved further on.
But considering we carried round the equivalent amount of baggage as would be required for a two week holiday in Barbados, this wasn't an easy operation. We had to keep sneaking backwards and forwards to retrieve the job lot without being attacked. Anybody stood behind us with a video cam would've captured a gem of a comedy scene.
I say all this in the past tense because nowadays Dave just steps outside and sits on the jetty, rod in hand, happy as can be. Sometimes I sit on the front of the boat next to him for old times sake, but it has to be WARM WEATHER!
Meanwhile back at the "secret pond" here's one I caught earlier, well he caught it,, I netted it.
Oh, and Dave says to let you know it's a carp...

And this is an innocent bystander that thought we were a couple of nutters, I could tell by the expression on his face...
It was comforting to know that he was behind a wire fence, but he wouldn't go away and he ponged a bit...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Down Tools

So why a picture of the ceiling?

I once saw a feature about a new boat in Canal Boat mag. It had the full length of that "middle bit" on the ceiling painted cream... (Is there a proper name for it? I know it covers up all electric wires n stuff).
Anyway it was so effective I showed Dave the photo, to which he responded "Hum, looks good" which translated means "Don't get carried away dear, impressive but don't go there." OK (I got the message) but it didn't stop me subtly trying to "plant a seed" within the odd sentence or two.
So we were at B&Q (our second home) the other day and Dave suddenly suggested getting some paint to do that "middle bit" on the ceiling. [Stifled gasp of surprise from me] Result, but I still remained a cool dude about it.
Today we were supposed to start the job, Dave reckons the wood's got to come down first, then we can paint it out back because it’ll be easier. BUT what with wind, rain, hail, and snow, (yes it's THAT BAD). It´s way too cold, and even in the cabin it wouldn't work.
So I suggested we do it all inside which wasn't warmly received at first because he was bothered the boat would stink of paint. Personally I couldn't care less if it smelt of manure for a couple of days as long as the job's done. Besides paint doesn't pong as much as it used to these days.
Either way it's all been postponed till next weekend...

Saturday, 7 March 2009

A crane might come in handy

And this weekends "man job" project is...
Removal of this diesel generator that came with the boat. It was never connected up by the previous owner, it's never been needed or used, so tatty bye...
All you can see above is a small part of it, apparently it was bolted down good 'n proper, so what a performance Dave's had getting it free.
He would've had to lift it up above his head to get it out of the engine bay because even when he's stood on the floor down in there with the engine. His head only just reaches the floor of the back cabin, and he's almost 6 foot tall! Yep, that’s how deep it is down there!
Being very careful and using "fancy footwork" seems to be essential.
So he and Alan are currently using a "makeshift" strap to lift it up. There's a fair bit of banging and crashing going on out there. Just hope it sounds worse than it is. Anyway, it's going to a nice home so good riddance to it!
Meanwhile I'm staying inside the boat out the way and pretending like I'm not here. I don't want to end up being the resident gopher, so if I just keep quiet...
This photo doesn´t do justice to the amount of wide beam space down there, and the "genny” being craned out is, (was) at the back on the right "under the hood.”
Couldn't get the engine in the photo as well, looks like there isn't one...!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A reincarnation that isn´t a carnation

Well all has calmed down again since I locked myself out of the boat last night, there hasn't even been any sarcy comments (yet).
My mum called this morning to collect her jacket and mobile phone, (which were locked inside). I mean not having a mobile phone within arms reach these days is like going without food or water isn't it? Even for mum’s.

I rescued this plant from the back of the boat yesterday, at the time it looked beyond repair. It must've been feeling the cold and drooped somewhat (no comment), even it's leaves were shivering. However lo and behold I woke up this morning to find it had come back from the dead, but it'll have to stay inside now, ah...