Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Highs & Lows

The lows .... no we didn't get out after all & although very disappointed we think we made the right decision as the wind has been very strong all w/e and only dropped last night - just in time for Mark to go back to work! Might have risked it had we been more experienced but common sense prevailed.

The highs...
They did it! We went through to Hull to watch the match in the Barraccuda sports bar - got there nice & early to get a good spot - good job as it was packed. Not the best football but no matter as Windass did the job & some very happy fans

Then on Monday we went back to Hull to see the team being welcomed back - this was the scene outside city hall, not the best of pics as I had forgotten my camera so this was taken on my mobile-well not actually my mobile but the spare on loan from Carphone Warehouse who have since rang me to say mine is repaired & ready for collection so Mark has taken the spare into Hull with him today & will call in to swap them back over.
Then yesterday the rain arrived so lazy day playing golf on the playstation & watching DVDs.
Forecast for this week seems to be an improving one so fingers crossed for this coming w/e so we can finally get out!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Bank holiday forecast !!.......

Typical! I have been looking forward to this weekend as we plan to head off for a couple of days & it will be 1st time we have 'slept out' as it were ie not within the confines of the marina.

So whats the forecast? Wind & rain, hey ho- shall just have to get on with it, tho I've just got the paintwork repaired from the last (1st!) time we were out in the wind but hopefully this time we shall manage better.

We are not setting off until sunday as we are in Hull tomorrow - need to pick up some odds & ends then find a pub with a big screen to watch the Tigers v Bristol City. We have sky on Poppy so could stay at home & watch it but Mark wants to soak up a bit of the atmosphere.
Really hope they do the job & get to Wembly as they have worked so hard this season. Fingers crossed.........

Monday, 19 May 2008

Stainforth & Fishlake

After finishing updating my blog on Friday I went outside to be greeted by this family demanding breakfast,

followed 5 mins later by this flotilla bearing down on the young family & although the little ones stayed close to Mum they didn't seem to find the swans too intimidating.

Since getting the boat, selling up & moving aboard we have had little time to devote to our other passion - walking. We have always enjoyed walking the Wolds, but now living in S. Yorks are keen to explore the local area - also it is our favourite season with the hawthorn blossom in all its glory so as the forecast for sunday was sunny but not too warm - ideal walking weather, we got our chores out of the way on saturday & set off at 10.30am down the towpath towards Stainforth.

All was going well until just after Thorne lock when we came across a fishing match, with anglers every few yards all with the huge poles across the path. The very 1st one also had his stuff spread out all across the path & at that point there was no way around his equipment. He stared grimly ahead -pointedly ignoring us, so I carefully stepped over but in doing so just tapped the end of the pole with my foot - well !! the air turned blue. I did point out that the towpath was for all not just anglers but that just provoked more foul language! I wanted to also say 'I think I pay more than you to use the canal' but didn't want to add fuel to the fire.

Anyway after a shaky start I have to say that all the other anglers seemed quite happy to move their poles out of the way as we approached & we even got a couple of good mornings!

At Stainforth we stopped off at The New Inn for a cold drink before leaving the canal to follow the banks of the River Don to Fishlake, this pic is Fishlake church in the distance with the hawthorn at its best.

A pretty, well looked after village & this pic is the beautiful carving around the south-west doorway at St Cuthbert's Church.

A brisk walk then along the bank back to Thorne - somehow we managed to go slightly 'off piste' & got a bit lost finding our way back into the village but managed to emerge near the Delves Cafe so had well earned toasted tea cake & coffee. Got back at 4pm, so a good days walk & all being well we shall be heading towards Stainforth next Sunday but this time by boat & yes I will be keeping an eye out for that angler!

Got on with some painting today & most of the touched up bits now have had their 1st gloss coat. Poppy is a bit miffed as she has had to stay in to keep her paws out off the paint, shame.....whilst Soona coudn't care less, always happy to snooze the day away.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Hull for the day

Spent most of the day in Hull yesterday, root canal work completed so last visit to the dentist for a while.
Had a look for a puppy crate or something similar as it's been suggested that whilst cruising it's a good way of keeping the cats safe & still be able to have the doors open but I couldn't find one that seemed quite right & how would they have accessed the litter tray?
On getting back to Poppy & sitting down for a much needed cup of tea I realised the solution is already here - as I said in an earlier post, the steps to the bow pull out revealing some useful storage space in front of the watertank & since moving aboard has housed the litter tray ( the bottom step lifts up so is jammed in the up position for cats easy access ) I have also shoved all manner of other stuff under there so I'll give it a clear out & then when cruising put in some bedding & food 'shut' the step. Hmm... worth a try. Meawhile Soona is becoming quite confident at this boating lark
Whilst Poppy's daytime favourite spot

Another job to do whilst in Hull was pay a visit to Carphone Warehouse as my mobile which I have only had 5 or 6 weeks has started losing its charge. I assumed that they would just replace the battery - silly me! No, it has to be sent for repair - when I explained that this was my only phone they grudgingly gave me a standby phone. Normally a deposit has to be paid for said phone ( in this case £100 !) but when I remonstrated about their customer service they waived this - but will have to pay should I lose it. Not very impressed with their attitude.

Got most of the damaged paintwork primed & undercoated this week so hoping to get a coat of gloss on today - forecast is overcast but dry - fingers crossed.

A colleauge of Marks lent him some canal related books to read, one of which is Colin Edmondsons 'Going it Alone' what a useful little book! especially for beginners like us. Found I can purchase my own copy through the Canal Junction website for £4.50 so a cheque will be on its way today.

The sat dish, which by the way is doing a brilliant job, we were able to watch Hull City thrash Watford on their way to Wembley !! is still fastened on with parcel tape - a little unsightly & only meant to be temporary so I ordered a magnetic base from Road Pro which, according to the blurb will allow the dish to be securely fastened even to a curved & non slip surface ie our roof! It arrived yesterday so watch this space......

This pic was taken Saturday at about 7.30 am, the young swan then came to the boat for breakfast.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Nuts & bolts

When I told people that I was retiring early to live on a narrow boat most people said 'what will you do with yourself all day, won't you get bored?' Hah! Fat chance... I'm finding myself quite busy thankyou.
Take yesterday, spent chunk of morning on paintwork before realising that rubbing compound wasn't really doing the job so decided to clean the windows instead ( I had cleaned the boat last week but left windows somewhat streaky) supervised Soona when she decided to go outside - she was fine , sat on the deck for a while then wandered off onto the path - rolled in the dust, came back onboard to spend rest of day snoozing on the bed.

My immediate neighbour took his boat off for a pump out and Poppy decided to drift across his space sideways so with a bit of assistance from the chaps had to haul her back into position & tie up with extra rope.

Had a bite of lunch, swept, mopped & dusted inside(were does all the dust come from?) then went into town for some odds & ends. One of our neighbours pointed out that we had a bolt missing from the chunk of metal that holds the tiller in place (sorry, don't know its technical name!) I had noticed so was now prompted to do something & as there is a useful hardware shop in Thorne was able to get a nut so that's sorted. Also got some wet 'n' dry sandpaper for the painting job.

By the time I was back from town it was gone 3pm so had quick cuppa before a bit of sanding - much better with the wet'n'dry.

Oh & I also did a bit of washing and all in all a busy day.
If the day ever comes when I'm at a loose end I've got a stack of unread books but then I also want to check out the local leisure centre for 'learn to swim' courses. Plus I have been told about Waterstart who are based in Thorne & run some useful courses including diesel engine maintenance which I quite fancy doing.
Think it will be a while before I'm stuck for something to do!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Not the best of birthdays......

Monday morning, washing in the machine, mark gone to work & the cats still asleep on the sofa beside me so hopefully a quiet few mins in which to update blog.
Thursday I made a start on the damaged paint work, after looking for advice on various web sites decided to take off rust with wire wool before giving coat of red oxide - I used rubbing compound to flat it before adding 1st coat of paint - all seems to be okay & shall get another coat on today.
Saturday dawned hot & sunny - it was Marks birthday so we had planned to nip to tescos bright & early & then don walking boots - but Soona had other ideas!
To back track somewhat- on friday Poppy had decided it was time to explore, she disappeared into the hedge and I crossed my fingers.
She reappeared an hour later, a bit dusty but fine & spent the rest of the day hopping expertly on & off the boat obviously recognising the boat as home. Soona meanwhile showed no inclination to leave- not really surprising as back at the house she would never venture further than the back yard & would always stay firmly in her basket if any strangers in the camp.

So I wasn't unduly concerned as she sat on the deck whilst we prepared breakfast & birthday boy opened his presents, a new watch & a walkie talkie ( to ease communication whilst locking etc!)
I then realised she had gone, to cut long story short - day ruined. We seached the marina & surrounds on & off all day asking the other residents to keep an eye out. Everyone saying 'don't worry - she'll be back' Mm...... Soona not being the most streetwise of cats I was very worrried!

A few of the residents were having a barbie & game of boule to which we were invited but we hadn't the heart & then at 9pm there was a thump on the roof another thump in the bow followed by a yowl & she was back. Phew! I really did think we wouldn't see her again. Yesterday she stayed in all day seeming happy enough to sleep most of the day - I may see if she wants to go out later - under supervision!

So yesterday a much better day, the sun shone, had a visit from son Rob partner Nikki & three grandchildren Joe, Naimh & Pheobe then Hull beat Watford in the playoffs. Brilliant!

When Lainy was here last week I had asked her to take a look at the inverter as it didn't seem to working - she agreed there does seem to be a problem so took it with her to exchange for another. So currently without an inverter . Hoping to get a replacement soon as we would like to take the boat out for a weekend soon.

The early morning mist has cleared & the washing finished so on with the chores.............

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Settling in

A week and a day since the move and it has flown as been so busy. Just about set straight and feeling quite settled and at home.
The sat dish didn't seem to have suffered any harm from its dunking & was reaffixed only to fall off again at the next puff of wind so is now secured with parcel tape - looks a bit heath robinson but will do pro tem till a permanent fix can be sorted.
Went shopping at nearest Asda on sat am which was on Dome leisure park, Doncaster approx 14 miles but passed a Tescos at Edenthorpe (9 miles) so may try there next time instead. I usually find Asda a bit cheaper but given extra fuel to Asda probably not much diff !
Went for a walk around Thorne Sat afternoon, didn't take OS map so got a bit lost - didn't realise how big Thorne is also had wrong footwear on so sore feet.
Sunday visited by Scarborough branch. Astrid & Fin seemed quite taken by the boat
We intended to have a pub lunch & walked up to the Canal Tavern where we had had a lovely meal on friday teatime to find they only had the carvery on sunday lunch which ruled Mark & I out as we are veggies so opted for sarnies back onboard which the kids prefered anyway.
After they had gone off home (via Meadowhall!) we settled in to watch Hull City v Ipswich, lost 1-0 so now down to the playoffs - fingers crossed.

Monday, acc to weather forecast was going to be showery so decided to get the train into Sheffield as we wanted to see 'Joy Division' film which is being shown at Showroom cinema. Have not been to Sheffield city centre before and what a pleasant experience! Water features, gardens & a vibrant street market, made for a very cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The cinema is great and we shall certainly be back - comfy seats and not ear splittingly loud sound which usually puts me off going to see films. They also have a bar/cafe which we didn't try but looked inviting - perhaps next time. But no rain, it was a beautiful warm & sunny day!

Lainy came yesterday and fitted the door and a fantastic job she has made of it! The weather was warm & sunny so I decided to leave doors open & see how the cats reacted.

Ist peek!
Poppy being brave.
Soona went into hiding as 'stranger' onboard ( Lainy!) and remained under sofa rest of day whilst Poppy ventured out onto stern deck & seemed quite happy to sit in the sun without venturing any further.
Think they were a bit miffed at bedtime when the way was barred.......
So all in all things going well and if this fine weather holds I will attempt to repair the damaged paintwork before the rust sets in.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

All this & sky + too!

This was the view from the bow at 7.30am - bit of an improvement on city life eh!

We got aboard yesterday about 2.30pm stopping off on the way at Waudbys nr South Cave to pick up a Kerstan sat dish & a battery charger, think the sat dish was good value at £99 although not sure how much it's worth this morning as it was in the water!

Anyway I digress - just managed to get everything aboard before the heavens opened for a 2 hour downpour and somehow most things have found a home apart from the microwave which looked huge in the kitchen so will see if we can do without or look for a small one.
Poppy had howled all the way from Hull whilst Soona seemed to take the journey in her stride ( she is much more used to car travel, being a frequent visitor to the vets - she gets anal sac probs now & again - don't ask!!)

Once out of the cat baskets they had a good prowl round with Poppy eventually finding a spot on the back of the sofa which is where she is sitting now,
Soona kept finding odd spots to hide and for a chunky cat did very well to get behind cutlery drawer! She also seemed to feel safer sitting in the cat tray

As you will see the steps out to the bow are removable so we've moved them aside & managed to get the litter tray in there, might move into the cratch when we get it fitted.

She loves heat and eventually succumbed to the charms of the stove & settled in for the evening.........

Although if you were to ask me where she is right now..... I put the washer on before starting the blog & think the noise has sent her into hiding again.

The sat dish is/was a great success - only took 10 mins fiddling ( once the rain had stopped) and brilliant pic - we weren't sure we'd have the sky+ functions but its fine & my progs that had been recorded were all there so had our tea watching Clocking Off & Mark was able to enjoy the footie, without having to find a pub with sky - which would have been a chore !

I banked up the stove & the 4 of us went to bed - nuff said!! though I'm sure they felt more secure spending night with us but will be pleased when door fitted. Stove out this morning so not got the knack of keeping it in overnight yet. All suggestions welcome!

Back to the sat dish, appears that the suction pad failed & into the water it went during the night & is not working ( hardly surprising really) so will wait to see if it dries out, if not, well I did say they are 'only' £99!

Washing just finished & Soona back out of hiding so into the shower & on with the day..............