Friday, 24 October 2014

A damp quiet day

It's been a day for taking it quietly. The weather's been quiet as well, but a bit damp all day, not persisting down, or not very often, but constantly mizzly. As a result, we've spent most of it indoors, getting bits and pieces done but not achieving anything very dramatic.

Sheila's largely recovered from the effects of her flu jab, I'm pleased to say, and has been mostly getting on with her crochet. We did go round to the Farm Shop in the morning, buying meat, including pork escalopes for tonight, and a loaf of bread. I got some IT jobs done when we got back, so as not to feel totally bone idle.

This afternoon we managed a walk right round the marina without getting too wet. We called into the office to discuss displays for the Christmas Fair stand and inevitably chatted to one or two fellow moorers and lodgers on the way.

I had intended to take some photos of the new signs, but forgot the camera or iPad until we were on our way round. I planned to go back out with the iPad later, but it started raining more seriously, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

One revelation came through just now though; we've been mystified for quite a while by an occasional sound of suddenly trickling water in the wee small hours (those over 60 know what that term really means). It only comes once in a while and never more than once per night.

We've had all sorts of hypotheses; rain building up on the roof then running down through the gap in the handrail, a tap draining, water running out of a drain on the boat next door, but none have stood up to investigation.

Then, as I was idly playing a game of Canfield on the iPad, it came to me – the dehumidifier. During the winter, we have a compact dehumidifier running in the engine room during the day. It makes that space ideal for drying stuff that can't be tumbled and it reduces the condensation that otherwise tries to occur in the comparatively unheated space.

Now, a dehumidifier is, of course, a sort of inside out fridge, with a cold plate and a fan to blow the air over it. The plate shouldn't frost up particularly, but there's always the possibility of an odd bit of frost collecting in the corners. With the beast switched off over night so as not to disturb us, any such bits of frost will melt and run down into the reservoir, trickle, trickle.

You can sometimes see the same thing under a car with air con that's been parked up for a while.

Ah well, one less thing to worry about in the middle of the night...

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Steady as she goes

Racheal delivered the Ocado order in very good time today, and found her way round to the vehicle gate without diverting into any of the car parks. So either a) my instructions to the driver have improved, b) the new signs which are going up at the moment are doing the job or c) women are better at following directions than men.

Or a combination of all three, of course, since that's a classic case of what experimentalists call confounding variables. Anyway, you lot can take your pick...

I'll try and take some photos of the signs for tomorrow's effort.

Having been delivered just on ten, we got all the goodies put away in time for a slightly late coffee at quarter to eleven then pottered about until lunch.

After indulging ourselves with Melton Mowbray pork pie and mugs of soup, and having had a suitable post prandial rest, we took a walk round the marina and dumped some recycling on the way.

Sheila's feeling a bit peely-wally* after her flu jab, so we took our time about it, calling in at the shop to order some more smokeless fuel and at the marina office to discuss this and that. We may well end up manning a stand promoting the lodges at the Christmas Fair at the end of November. Could be fun as long as the snow holds off...

Back at the boat we had a cup of tea and Sheila tried on a new pair of boots she had ordered from Cotswold Outdoor a couple of days ago and which were waiting for us in the office. They look fine, a pair of Hi-Tecs with full leather uppers and bellows tongue for a very reasonable price.

Tomorrow looks like being another quiet day; indeed, we've no special commitments until the week after next, a bit of a change given the way things have been since we got back to the marina.

*peely-wally: Scots for not feeling or looking in the best of health.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Getting on with stuff

Now that the wind has died down and it's sensible to go out again, we've been able to get on with stuff. After a lazy start we pottered in the boat for an hour or so then took a walk round the marina, including the Boardwalk.

We were due for a meeting in the marina office at eleven, but got there a bit early. It meant we were able to take advantage of their kind offer of a mug of coffee before settling down to discuss the lessons to be learnt from our manning of the lodges stand at the Grand Opening weekend.

That felt very productive both from the point of view of advertising the remaining lodges for sale and discussing further promotion of the rentals. It's good to feel we are contributing to the success of the marina in this way.

We got away around half twelve and stopped in at the Farm Shop for some veg and a litre of milk before getting back to the boat for lunch.

Afterwards, I caught up with some entries for the Pub Guide whilst Sheila set off to walk to the surgery for a flu jab. I finished in time to update the Ocado order which is arriving tomorrow and to get the dinner on its way. We're having a casserole of shin beef in ale, so it needs a long slow cook in the oven to be at its best.

I was even able to make a start on the washing up before Sheila got back and took over, allowing me to do this this blog post, albeit a bit later than usual.

Tomorrow, Ocado, then we've got a quieter time for the weekend and next week.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Serious lurking

It didn't rain as much as expected overnight, but that apart, the forecast has been all too correct today. We've still got a lot of wind out there and the rain has come and gone, but been extremely fierce when present.

Despite this, stuff has got done, mostly inside the boat. I completed my tasks for the new Owners' Group site, mainly during the morning but finishing off this afternoon. Sheila has been getting on with the laundry, trying to time her trips to the facilities block to use the tumble drier to avoid the precipitation.

We did escape long enough to take a brisk walk round the marina, just making it back before the rain came on again. There had been a brief power cut whilst we were out, as a result of which the over-current breaker on the pole had popped for our supply. It does this sometimes but only if the immersion heater is on. I guess that the breaker is just a little sensitive and that the surge through the heater starting up is enough to blow it.

I've left the heater off for the moment until the storm has passed.

Sheila is now doing some accounting chores whilst I've been finishing off Steven Pinker on Style. It's a very good book but be prepared for some decent brain work if you try it.

Having eaten Pad Thai yesterday, we've not had our meat free day this week yet, so we're having the other half of last week's bean curry tonight.

Things look brighter tomorrow which is a relief for Sheila who has to go to the surgery for a flu jab in the afternoon.

Monday, 20 October 2014

It's Derby again

Another slow start as we didn't need to catch the early bus. The 10.25 was on time but very busy; we were lucky to get seats. Mind you, not many more got on before we were in the city and most of us then got off in Victoria Street. We had time for some retail therapy in Tesco and M&S (socks both times, strangely) before checking in to the Hearing Aid clinic in Boots.

After another wait, I had a straightforward session with Adrian who serviced the hearing aid and pronounced himself satisfied with its condition. He reassured me that I'd done the right thing the other month after I forgot to take it off before showering (remove the battery and pop the aid in the airing cupboard for a couple of days after drying it off.)

Pad Thai for two in the food court then a quick run round Sainsbury's for bread and the like. We were just in nice time for the 1300 back and did a bit more shopping in the marina shop before settling into the boat for the afternoon.

We've filled the water tank and taken all the vulnerable stuff off the roof in anticipation of the storm tomorrow. Des has just rung to discuss the final phase of bringing the new Owners' Group website online, so I've got some jobs to be getting on with indoors whilst the remains of Hurricane Gonzalez does its worst outside.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Like I said, quiet

Today turned out to be as quiet as expected, which can be a bit of a let down, but it's Sunday, so not much to be done about it. Don't know what I did wrong with the chicken pasta last night, it tasted just fine, put too much parmesan on it maybe (very salty) or perhaps we'd not had enough exercise during the day or it was the warm night (in October?), but we both slept not very well (that's an average of my having a restless night and Sheila a really bad one).

Anyway, got up late(ish) and pottered about setting up an Ocado order and clearing the sink drains before Elanor and Sally came across.

(To clear the sink drains when they've gone a bit slow: close the seacock where the drain goes through the skin fitting, boil a kettle of water and pour it into both sinks. If you only have one sink, pour it all into that. Leave for a little while, taking the opportunity to scrub the bottoms of the sink with the washing up brush, then reopen the seacock. You'll find that doing this means pushing your arm against the bottom of one of the sinks which is still full of near boiling water, so don't hang about as waiting times in A&E are very long at the weekend. The hot water will drain quickly away leaving a shiny sink and the problem solved.)

We gave Sal a good run with the frisbee then they had to leave as Elanor had a riding lesson. Had lunch then walked round the marina, stopping to buy some frozen peas to go with tonight's sausages.

Followed a quiet afternoon before waking in time to put some non-slip stuff under the water pump. It sits on a board with sound absorbing foam under it to stop the vibration echoing through the boat, but lately it's been walking about until the edge of the board comes up against the nearby bulkhead, whereupon the vibration...

Elanor has just rung to say that one of the horses she's been riding is leaving the stable and they are running short of big horses suitable for adult women. If anyone has a big horse and wants to know where they could put it at working livery, she'd love to hear from them.

I bought two books for my birthday. Steven Pinker's The Sense of Style (a style guide written by a psycholinguist with an international reputation) and Terry Pratchett's A Slip of The Keyboard, a collection of loads of non-fiction shorts written over all the years he's been a professional scribe. Both are very good, but looking at what I've just perpetrated up there, I know which is having more effect on my own style at the moment...

Tomorrow, busy busy again into Derby, so the blog may be a) late and b) brief.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Keeping busy, mostly

A mixed sort of day today, with a lazy start, a busy middle and a quiet afternoon. Having taken our time getting going, we pottered round to the farm shop for some meat and a loaf of bread then came back to the boat to do bits and pieces.

Sheila is working on a crochet order and I had a piece to write on Sally's behalf, describing her impressions of the dog training class for the marina newsletter. I'd finally had a chance to chat to her about it yesterday, once she'd had a decent run in the field.

I just got that done in time for lunch, after which we went round to the office to meet Steve and Carol and show them round a couple of lodges. That turned into a very good session; they were clearly very interested in the proposition and we spent a good hour and a half with them.

Once we'd got back, it was time to listen to Under Milk Wood on Radio 4, a composite production using the orginal Richard Burton recording of First Voice but with modern actors in the other roles. It was very good indeed, though I fear that the combination of a toasty warm boat and recent exercise meant that I may have missed some of it.

I've now had a restorative cup of tea and am functioning more or less as normal.

OK, as normal as I ever get.

Chicken pasta tonight, methinks, and another quietish day tomorrow before a trip into Derby on Monday.