Friday, 31 July 2009

Last of the Favourites from the archives for now!

Visitors on the roof…?
Harry the Heron…
Daft ducks thinking spots of red lead were pieces of brown bread…

And a cute little swallow…
Well I’ve said in the past fellow Waterways fans are welcome at TT for a cup o’ tea, but I didn’t mean on the roof…
TT about to get her bottom wet for the first time ever…
First time in a lock and first time opening one for me, heave to Heth…

One mum with 32 ducklings…
From one watery scene to another of a very different kind…
Florida 117a That kiss again, proff photo
The day I was kissed by a dolphin called Mikki in Florida, ah…
Considering this was originally intended to be a case of posting just my top 10 photos yesterday. Sometime last night I realised I can´t do a top ten at all. In reality this is only a miniscule fraction of what I would call my Favourite Photo’s! 
See this is what happens when I go rummaging through the archives doing a big re-shuffle. The order gets forgotten,, but the memories never fade, go on then call me a big softy…
Right that’s my quota of special photos posted for now, well at least until tomorrow…

Thursday, 30 July 2009

More favourites from the archives

What did I say the other day? 10 BEST PHOTOS…? Well it appears I under estimated that number a little.
Who’s da captain?
Our son…?
And his girlfriend sharing the tiller…?

Two family photo calls here: Son, girlfriend, and our daughter…
"Group hug" with grandma and grandad (my mum and dad) after a trip out on the boat…

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Only the best photos

After shuffling and sorting through all my thousands of photos on here the past couple of days I thought I’d post some of my favourites. Then I realised there’s so many, if I posted every one of them Blogspot would probably crash.
My intention was to narrow it down to 10 “stunners” in different categories (sounds very professional). But after choosing which photos to use, it hasn’t quite worked how it´s supposed to! 
So I make no apologies for adding the odd Florida photo from our last holiday there in 2006, after all they’re amidst my favourites.
OK, so we’ll start with sunsets, always a good place to start at the end of the day... (Corny but factual). Spot the difference:
Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, USA…
2006 Florida
Sunset over the town of Burscough, hmm, passable I suppose…
Here’s another taken in winter of a sunset over the village of Rufford…

A sunset on ice at the marina…
Can’t leave the moon out…

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Revealing the interior of the back cabin

Might as well show off the interior too:
I’ve been too embarrassed to post these crappy photos on my blog till now, (taken for posterity reasons only of course). But I don’t care anymore, so does anyone want to buy a “nearly new” second hand luxury conservatory?
Going cheap, yours for only ONE THOUSAND POUNDS due to such high quality materials used. So hurry, offer ends next Friday at 12 noon prompt...
Please note these pictures are of a sensitive nature and could cause permanent damage to the eyes:
Perfectly straight seams on the back section…
Two very different types of stitching have been used in this bespoke window. The one above being different to the one below, giving it a truly unique feature…
Right side section, with mouldy tramline effects and more dodgy seams…
Awesome (or even gruesome) indeed…

Friday, 24 July 2009

Back cabin to luxury conservatory Part 1

Please note, TT is on a “skew” here because Dave pulled the back end over to the next jetty for prep work. Thing is, we've decided to keep the wooden rail and the wood panels below the "mess" because it’s practical and looks nice.
Difficult to assess in photos with all the “super flaps” above it. Apparently it's all gone horrible so quick because the wrong material was used, as in not up to the job.
So here it is in all it’s yucky glory before changing anything…
Dave rubbing down the wood panels…

And just starting to paint them…
See how much those "flappy bits" let down the rest of the boat…?
It stinks round here at the moment because they’re patching up paint on the boat next door too. Anybody would think the queen is coming round to do a Royal Boat inspection – makes a change from BW doing a licence inspection I suppose.
Guess we’d better go and light the BBQ for her then...
PS: Dave thought he’d get away with one layer of paint – no chance, that’s just too eezy…

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Some late arrivals

A couple of days ago we saw a mummy duck floating about with her little brood of six tiny ducklings, one of which looked a bit odd, as in luminous!
Yesterday they came down the side of the boat and we had chance to see them close up.
Bet there’s not many out and about that are this small in July…
This little cutie-pie stands out from the crowd and certainly has star potential…

Right, “that’s enough” says mum…
And off they toddled into the distance…

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Little Things

Our grandson and his mum arrived this aft, it was lovely to see them both, they live down south so it’s very rarely we get to chance to see each other. Our grandson has grown up so much since we last saw him in August last year, what a little tinker! 
To think I was wondering if I might have to stash away some of my nick knacks. You know, ornaments and stuff, like the crystal glass decanter, the art deco vases, the three china ducks, the pair of matching bronze statues, the marble bust of King George, and the Persian carpet.
Turned out there was no need to donate them to the British museum for the day because he was as good as gold – which reminds me, did I mention the gilded toilet seat?
Bless him, no such drastic measures required, he was fascinated with the boat and more interested in being captain of the ship for a day. (The gear stick thingy was fascinating).
He has a really infectious laugh (always has), and discovered that feeding the ducks was a hilarious experience. So the rest of us giggled along with him – couldn’t help it.  
When I first saw him walk down the jetty and said “Hellooooooo” he replied by letting me know what make of car we had. Later on he did a couple of drawings and went for a walk with grandad. Meanwhile his mum and me had a good old chinwag about all sorts. Heck, we had a lot of catching up to do!
Aw, bless, grandad Dave supervising proceedings…

We had a great afternoon, it made me think, there’s some people in life who you’d really like to see more often, but can’t because circumstances dictate.
Ah well it was quality time and that’s what counts…

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Booked in at the boat house

We’ve got "first time" visitors coming to the boat tomorrow so today was a day for cleaning, (like you do). But what we both found out was that all the little jobs, the ones you keep noticing, the ones that niggle every time you look at them, and you still think "Bog off, get to the back of the queue. 
Well THEY sort of took over and kept us busy for the rest of the afternoon. Hence it meant we spent about 10 times longer wading through the “to do some other time” list than anything else. I even found myself sewing up a hole in a T shirt for goodness sake (it was about three months ago when I first noticed it).
Meanwhile Dave ended up buried under the sink faffing about with some kind of problem I didn't even know about, which involved using smelly mastic. Oh, and he ended up with about half a tube thingy (well almost) stuck to his hands.
Later on I asked him kindly to pass me something because I’d just put some nail varnish on. He turned round and said “well my hands are full of mastic, so which is worse?”
We also went over to the office today and booked TT in the boat house for a week starting 1st March, to have her bum smacked blacked, and just the small matter of a bow thruster to be fitted.
What with that and the new lux conservatory to be, oh it’s all happening you know, and it will all be documented in glorious Technicolor on here. Of course there’ll be plenty of things not going to plan. Guaranteed.
By teatime we gave up with the house work boat work and went to the pub for a meal. Just before we set off though, look who came a´ calling for their own little feast…
Ah bless, the “swanlets” are growing up fast...

Thursday, 16 July 2009

A mystery bird

Well it looks like we’ve discovered a real mystery bird today. It’s been seen flying about in the early morning and evening. Looks like a cross between a seagull or a kestrel, the same size only more streamlined.
We took these photos yesterday using “sports mode” on the camera, because it was darting about back and forth SO FAST. Then we noticed it diving vertically down into the water catching a fish, it did that twice.
I’m no expert, but even with a book of British birds I think it might be difficult to ID, and look at that forked tail! The only time it wasn't moving was when it hovered on the air currents (just like a kestrel).
It gave us a fantastic acrobatic (aerobatic?) display, but wasn't around for very long.
Reminded me of a jet fighter plane in flight, very skilful…

I guess it’s the bird equivalent of a thoroughbred racehorse…

Monday, 13 July 2009

The conservatory phone call at last we have contact

Dave rang “Canvasman" today about the back cabin restoration project, no, to put it more accurately the “re-invention” of it. Whatever the darn thing’s called.

So the guy’s going to call round on Friday afternoon to assess the construction site, what’s the best design, and how much it's going to cost (hold breath).

No pram covers please, none of us want to end up with a permanent stoop. Also, there’s a crossbeam that's been up there since day ONE, (soon to be removed). Which means anybody around six foot tall bangs their head on it. So we don’t want any more awkward body postures for those tall people to have to find. Not that the beam hits me, even wearing high heels, but for the male of our species (without heels) it’s a different matter. 

Steve wants him to check out his “conservatory” too, so Canvasman could end up with two widebeamer jobs here. Do you think that means there’s a chance of us getting 2 for the price of 1, like at Tesco? Doubtful, very doubtful.

It was suggested today by one of our nutty friends, we should use the remnants of our current “mess” to make a cratch cover for the front of the boat. Trouble is it would have to be the size of a small circus tent for a big boat, which would:
a) Look ridiculous.
b) It’s utterly useless with all the holes and rips that in it anyway.

Earlier this evening the inverter suddenly started to whir, now with all the different boat problems we’ve had of late it was somewhat disconcerting. The thought that there was a power cut outside never entered my head – it had to be the boat, or something electrical associated with it. But as it turned out, not to worry, it was all of us, as in everyone, “in the same boat,” (phew, and excuse pun).

So, everything still worked through the leisure batteries (no candles required), except for the marina Wi-Fi which was down and definitely OUT. Isn’t it strange when you can’t get online? Felt like my right arm was missing or something. No it’s not that I’m a sad case, it’s just that writing is my job, so going back to pen and paper doesn’t work out well at all for me.

There’s so many amendments to my own wittering's, it would be difficult to make head nor tail. Creative writing would turn into Crappy “write off.” I debated "defaulting" to the T-Mobile dingle dongle thingy for a while, but thought better of it.

When the leccy came back on it was 11pm, been off two hours. That’s another advantage of living on a boat then, life’s necessity’s don’t cease to function because of a power cut. Well not for a fair while anyway.

Question: Is web access classed as a necessity now?

Sunday, 12 July 2009

A naturist in Rufford

It dawned on me the other day that even though I’ve mentioned our good friends Steve and Diane quite regularly on my blog. I haven’t posted any actual pictures of them yet, camera shy? Although their boat does feature in a couple of obscure places on here somewhere.
So let me introduce you to Steve for the first time…

We were sat in “the conservatory” this aft and I saw a “figure” wandering past the back of our boat (on the embankment) taking a dog for a walk. (Was he, not the dog, wearing a white T-shirt perhaps?) However on closer inspection it turned out to be Steve, without one on at all.
But what he obviously didn’t realise (till we told him) was that from “over here,” and with the reeds obscuring his snazzy shorts it looked like perhaps, well do I need to say more?!
Then he made it even funnier by standing in the right spot and posing for the camera… Hilarious stuff, see you’ve got to be able to laugh at many things round here. The main three being yourself, your friends, AND the numerous problems / improvement projects associated with your boat that don't quite follow the intended plan.
David Attenborough voice: “This particular kind of species can be found loitering in the longer reeds on the banks of a canal / marina. Most of him is visible during the day. More commonly known as [Latin] Stevenicus exhibitionistus…”

The conservatory in all it´s glory

Now I know I’ve moaned about the back cabin in the past (just once or twice perhaps). But this is what I’m talking about when I’ve mentioned our “luxurious” back cabin letting us down. Or even perhaps letting itself down piece by piece. It’s now deteriorating rapidly.
Tut, Tut, only the popper at the bottom left still works…
The top is ripped both sides…

Doesn’t even fit together anymore…

This morning we sat and had a discussion of sorts about the problem, we both agreed that something has to be done before it literally falls down around us.
So we dug out the number of a company who’d been recommended to us ages ago, Dave rang up, but there was no answer. Could that be because it’s a Sunday perhaps? It’ll have to wait till tomorrow. (Damit)
I realise this next bit must sound a bit strange, I mean “poppers” are usually associated with curtains or something. But later on I found out that Dave had been trying to scrounge some spare ones off Steve. He´s got a secret stash somewhere, and we’ve run out...
[Oh dear, in an attempt to speed up the transition process, I deliberately forgot to remind Dave to get some more ages ago]
So I calmly requested (in other words begged) Steve to pretend he´d lost them, dropped them in the canal, given them away to a charity shop, anything but donate them to us.
Horrors abound, did this mean Dave had changed his mind and was waiting for the right time to tell me we were going to have to “make do” even longer? (After all, he’s paying).
Then it came to light that he’s only going to use the poppers to “pull things together” temporarily, till something gets organised. (Phew). I don’t care anymore, as long as he makes that phone call again tomorrow…
Later on this aft we booked flights (online) to Germany for sometime in August so we can spend some time with Liam and his girlfriend. He’s got a month’s leave from the Army, we´ve both wanted to go for a while now, so at least we had some success today!
Right, I can’t think straight anymore (nothing new), and we’re going out tonight, so I´d best get a move on…