Monday, 26 January 2009

At last...

We have finally got the shower finished, it wasn't that it took long to do the work, in fact the panels that we used ( from B & Q ) were very easy to install so long as care was taken with cutting, it was just fitting it in around Marks days off meant it took a while.
But its done & I think it looks great. I have to say that although I have always quite liked doing tiling, a bit like wallpapering in that it requires a fair amount of concentration & is oddly therapeutic, I would much prefer to use these panels should the need ever arise but hopefully that's it for DIY for a while.

Halfway there

Man at work - yes that is my chopping board under the panel!

The finished job

One little job that has been added to the maintainance 'to do' list is to cut an inspection hole in the floor - I hadn't been particularly concerned about water in the bilges & still aren't, but one of our neighbours has had a problem that gave them a few nasty moments & required some pumping out.
Ours should be fine, Poppy being a fairly new boat but it will put my mind at rest if I can check now & again. The plan is to make a 6" square hole in the bottom of the wardrobe as that is at the rear & where any water should collect plus it will be out of sight (& reach of cats!)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Calm after the storm

What storm?

As forecasted it was a bit wild here last night but with hatches well battened & the satellite dish remaining firm against the gale due to a bit of judicious bolstering with a lump of black rubber we were able to enjoy the snooker semis uninterrupted by signal failure from the dish moving.

Soona enjoying the stove

This morning has dawned much calmer with clear blue skies albeit a bit breezy, unfortunately I am not able to make the best of it as I have an annoying cough that just waits until you get snuggled down for sleep before giving you that annoying tickle.
I spent most of the night on the sofa unable to sleep so instead of going for a long walk to help the weight loss (5lbs!!) along & as Mark is at work, I am having a lazy day just pottering & watching the snooker final.

A few of my neighbours, Phil & Rosie ( sans Gina as she's working!) on nbNew Directions, Ken & Tyson on nbThe Rev Cathy Milford & Carol & Alan on nbGreat Western are all taking advantage of the sunshine and have set off up the Stainforth & Keadby to Stainforth for lunch at The New Inn.
It should be a good lunch, they do good grub, usually have a guest beer or two & with moorings right outside for customers it's certainly worth stopping by if you're passing. So enjoy your lunch guys, I'll just sit here & nurse my cough.........

I have finally got the rest of the old tiles off the shower walls & received the samples of plastic wall panels from The Bathroom Marquee which seem fine, they would do the job & they have good selection of colours & designs but as B&Q do something very similar we shall pop in there tomorrow & pick some up.

The observant among you will notice that I have my favourite bloggers listed in a blog list which is a great widget that updates whenever a blogger updates their blog. I wanted to add nb Ten Bob Note to the list but it won't let me, I have subscribed to the feed & it comes up in igoogle -it's just a bit untidy as I like them all in the same place......

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


All tucked up in bed last night watching TV when the (shore) power went off, not an unusual event - if I put hair dryer on whilst something else switched on usually guarantees it tripping off, which involves nipping out to the meter box approx 50yds away & resetting trip switch.
Not a problem during the day but on a cold frosty night when you're in your night attire ( which in Marks case is his birthday suit!) not much fun, Mark made 2 trips (clothed!) to the meter box - 2nd trip to double check & all was in order so switched the inverter on.

How soon we get used to the ease of shore power & not having to give thought to batteries, generators & running engines!

Spike, the Marinas engineer sorted it out this morning, turns out it was a fuse somewhere in the wiring in the meter box & we are now back on shore power so washing machine on, computer on etc etc.

When Poppy & Soona were at the Vets recently for their booster injections they were also given a health check & both passed with flying colours but we did raise the subject of Soona's weight & were advised that she is not overweight yet but borderline & to keep an eye on her food intake.

But I don't think the problem is too much food as she is quite a light eater, she is just a lazy bones - Poppy can't wait to be out in a morning ( waking us early doors!) & is out & about most of the day climbing trees & chasing small rodents whatever the weather. Whereas, though never a particularly active cat, at least in the summer Soona will go outside for a potter about but in winter she seems to be in hibernation mode & reluctant to move far from her favourite spot.
I have tried showing her the door & saying "off you go & play" much as my mother did to me but she will have non of it!

Soona hibernating

Saturday, 10 January 2009


Although we have had some very cold weather & sharp frosts at times giving the marina a thin coat of ice, we haven’t been frozen in as such as there was still clear water in the gap between the boats, until this morning that is.
The boat has been creaking, banging & making some really weird noises in the ice all day & although the weather forecast is for milder weather it certainly isn’t at the moment!

With the towpath being frozen hard so I was able to walk into town via the towpath this morning without getting muddy - didn’t need any shopping just the exercise. Since deciding to shed a few pounds I try to walk for an hour most days, have managed to lose 3lbs so far - not a lot but at least it’s going in the right direction!

We have had a change of plan re the shower & decided not to re-tile, I think I would always worry that it would happen again no matter how well we did it.
I like the look of these panels by Bathroom Marquee & have sent for a sample, we had something similar in our ‘house’ bathroom as a bath side & they were very easy to work with.

Our BW licence was due for renewal in November & we paid via Bluewater mid October & up to Christmas no licence had arrived although cheque had been cashed early November - not unduly worried as had receipt from Bluewater. But as still no licence in January gave BW a ring, they assured me it had been sent in November so deciding it must be lost in the post, sent a replacement which has now arrived.

I have been having a go at making bread & been trying out some of the mixes as my attempt to do it from scratch was not a great success! The mixes seem to work well & so far we’ve had granary, multigrain & sunflower ( Marks favourite). Can’t beat the smell of fresh baked bread.

Whilst looking for pics to upload thought I'd show you one of my more useful Xmas presents!

Another useful pressie was a sea searcher magnet, had a quick go in the marina, nothing but rusty nails to date.......

Sunday, 4 January 2009

A good start to 2009 ?

Well that's another Christmas been & gone. We went up to Hannah & Chris's on Xmas eve & had a lovely family Xmas.

Finlay " is it big enough"

Astrid investigating her stocking

& Chris doing a cracking breakfast

A bit of dog walking on the beach before dinner

More presents

Janis & Barry did the honours with Xmas dinner & it was a triumph!

followed by some fun & games

By new year the cold I had was improving but Marks, which had all but gone returned with a chesty cough so we dozed in front of TV most of the evening & were in bed by 11 but did wake up when the fireworks started & managed to wish each other a happy new year before falling asleep!

I don't usually bother with new year resolutions but I have put a few pounds on in 2008 & as we have just booked a holiday in Gran Canaria for February & not wanting to look like a beached whale on the beach has sufficiently motivated me to do something about it so I am officially on a diet.

The cats will be off to a cattery whilst we jet off in search of sun so they have been to the vets for their booster injections. I would like to say they handled it well but no, they both made a fuss & Soona managed to bite both Vet & Mark. I tried to explain it was for their own good but they were having none of it - not without a fight anyway!

I shall be checking out the local catteries in the next couple of weeks, when we lived in a house Rob would look after them whilst we were away but he's too far away now to do that so a cattery it is.

We have discovered a nasty problem in the shower - I spotted what looked like damp on the bulkhead that forms the inside of the under sink cupboard on one side & the shower wall (tiled) on the other. We eventually figured out that the only place it could be coming from was the shower & somehow water was getting behind the tiles. As a temporary solution we put a shower curtain up to try to prevent any more water getting through hoping to be able to wait for warmer weather before tackling it but regular checks on the damp patch showed it to be getting worse so on Friday we bit the bullet and removed 19 tiles from the bottom up before we got to dry bulkhead. Mmm.... looks like the grout has failed/cracked so no longer waterproof.

this pic was taken after several hours of drying out

What bit of research I have done, mainly on Canal World Forum ( brilliant site) says that the hull contracts & expands therefore grout must be flexible or will probably crack - as ours has. So we can only assume that ours was done with non-flexible or not done well enough.
Bit of a bugger really... Anyway the plan is to dry it out with fan heater (good job we are currently on shore power !) then redo tiles with flexible grout. Just glad we took them off when we did as it would have only got worse which could have meant a new bulkhead.

Watch this space.........