Saturday, 21 November 2015

Catch up

Just a quick bulletin:

  1. Still no appointment for Sheila's other foot.
  2. My eyes, on the other hand, showed better pressures the other day, so no op yet, hooray.
  3. We've got kind of used to better quality coffee so the cafetière is getting a work out these days.
  4. Wifi access is not too bad in the morning, but slows right down in the late afternoon. Wynne James is going to get me another Solwise router to sort that out.
  5. We came second in the last quiz, just, 89 points against 92 by the winners. These were Peter and Melanie, together with Terry. We'd persuaded the Cootes to have a go... It was a very good quiz, too, highly enjoyable.
  6. With the onset of wintry weather, we're popping down to the boat regularly to light the fire and check that all is well.
  7. We've got a quiet couple of weeks ahead, then things get a bit busier again.
See you later!

Monday, 9 November 2015

A change of plan

I thought I should do a bit of a catch up as stuff has happened since the last one. First off, Richard of Indigo Dream kindly let us know that he was able to obtain a Nespresso machine for us very cheaply by ordering a largish quantity of the capsules, something he was about to do anyway.

As a result, he's got us an Inissia for a price I won't mention here in case of jealousy, but it won't bother the credit card, let's say. We now possess ourselves with patience until he and Sue are next up here. What good friends they are, and all down to the power of the blog.

Next up, we've been having a good time here in the lodge and gave Elanor and Sally sanctuary from the Burton fireworks both last weekend and this. They slept in the boat whilst we stayed in Walnut. The only thing is, we've become so attached to lodge life and its conveniences that the thought of letting it out gets harder and harder.

In fact, we've decided that comfort and convenience are more important to us than raking in every last penny we can make, so we've decided to stop letting. We'll honour the existing bookings, obviously, but by the end of next summer, we'll be able to use the lodge as our alternative to boat living, staying in it over the winter (except for the closed month, mid January to mid February) and boating in the summer.

It's an odd feeling – the end of eleven years of exclusively liveaboard life – but the right one, I'm sure.

Finally, we had a brilliant evening yesterday. Peter and Mel of Inkling came across in time to see the marina firework display and stayed for dinner, our first non-family guests to do so. We get on really well with them, having very similar senses of humour and a good deal in common in other ways.

I'll blog again in a while, so don't give up on me!


Sunday, 1 November 2015

A great morning

This is a one off blog post to record an important day – we finally got to have a proper natter with Sue and Richard of Indigo Dream. ID is in Mercia for the winter and Sue and Richard, accompanied by Ollie, had nipped up for the weekend.

We had a great session talking hounds and boats, and hope to have another when they're next up. We were also deeply impressed by the quality of the coffee. A Nespresso machine is now on my Christmas present list ;).

Thanks you two three, it was great to meet you thoroughly at last!


Monday, 26 October 2015

Taking a break

We had a great weekend with the family, even if it was a wee bit tiring...

We've decided to move into the lodge for a few weeks. We'd taken it off let for November and most of December anyway, in the hope of Sheila getting a date for her other foot op before Christmas so we just took an extra week.

We've spent most of today moving stuff from the boat to the lodge and are now preparing to watch a DVD for the rest of the afternoon.

This blog is about living on a boat, not in a lodge, so I'm going to take a break from it while we're up here. I'm getting a bit stale, anyway, to be honest. I'll see you all again in December, though I may pop out an odd post if I've got something to say.

Take care while I'm gone, now!

Friday, 23 October 2015


Keeping well exercised in the winter is important, so today we walked to Betty's Farm to buy some meat for the weekend. It's a solid walk which took a bit longer than usual. This is because we set off from the boat at ten and by half past had made it as far as Still Waters, having stopped to chat to numerous folk on the way. We were finally on the road by quarter to eleven.

At Betty's we bought a selection of meat and some banana shallots. I'm planning to cook chili con carne for the family tomorrow and the shallots make a pleasant change from onions. We stopped to commiserate with Simon about the loss of their best ram, taken from the field just behind the house and butchered on the spot in the middle of the night. It's a bizarre choice of animal to steal as it's the middle of the tupping season and the meat will taste even stronger than a ram's would anyway.

The police are seeking the perpetrators, obviously, and a broken knife was left behind to give Forensics something to work on, but there's not a lot of hope. It's not just the loss of a favourite animal that's distressing, it's the thought of several men with very big knives loose so near the house that's alarming. The ram weighed 17 stone, so it will have taken a gang of them to overpower it and drag it away.

Having had yet more chat with various folk on the way back it was nearly noon before we were in the boat. After lunch and a short break, we set out again, to the office about one or two things and to check the post and then into Midland Chandlers to take advantage of their Freaky Friday offers. Oil absorbing mats, cratch cover cleaner, some Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure (ready for the next time the prisms decide to leak) and a rechargeable torch/nightlight were obtained with a 20% discount.

On the way back, we popped into the lodge to check out a central heating problem (the clock had lost track of the time) and to set up the aforesaid torch. Back at the boat, we've been doing IT stuff.

Tonight, Beef Sovereigns from Betty's and tomorrow, an invasion of family to look forward to. I'll try and blog, but can't promise.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Great evening, quiet day

I'm pleased to say that the quiz went very well last night, albeit to a somewhat reduced turnout, only seven tables rather than the ten who'd booked. No matter, folk seemed to be enjoying themselves and we achieved a goal we've had for some time, to get all the teams to score better than 50% and still to have a clear winner. This proved to be Peter and Janet's team from the other Sanity with a stonking 78 out of 90, so very pleasing all round.

We had a lazy start this morning with only an Ocado delivery scheduled. It turned up at 10.15 – the only downside was that the driver hadn't looked at his notes and had actually arrived and parked in the car park before ringing me, so I had another brisk walk across to the vehicle gate.

Once it was all on board and checked off, we did a bit of constructive loafing until lunch. Since then, we've had an amble round the marina, dumping recycling as we went and picking up milk and firelighters from Still Waters.

Elanor and Sally are looking in this evening. That often means a delayed dinner; I've put a veal casserole in the oven so we can have it whenever we get round to it.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A Derby Day

After a good night's sleep, we were up and about in good time and pottered with various tasks until it was time to get the 10.22 for Derby. It wasn't too late today, for which we were very thankful, it being a cool, damp sort of day with rain ever-threatening.

The main aims for the trip were the purchase of a new pair of shoes each, a visit to Lakeland, checking out the price of some stuff in Wilko and getting my six-monthly hearing aid check. Lakeland was no trouble and we found some shoes for me quite quickly, in Clarke's, but Sheila's needs were harder to fulfill. All she wanted was a pair of simple flatties, deck shoes or loafers for preference, but none of Clarke's, Debenhams or M&S had anything like.

Abandoning the search for the moment, we had lunch in the food court, Indian street food on naans, very yummy, and then went to Wilko where we bought some vin ordinaire glasses, one of ours having got broken the other night. At 95 pence for four, we won't be too worried if another one goes west.

Adrian the audiologist saw me on time and we were soon done there; next time in March will be longer as I'm to have a repeat hearing test. Amazingly, I've had this aid for nearly two years now.

We had time both to buy a loaf of nice bread from Sainsbury's and to take a wander through the Eagle Market, where Sheila found a pair of basic flat courts which fitted well, had leather uppers and cost all of £15. We still had most of half an hour to wait in the bus station before an exciting ride back on the V3.

We've been taking it easy since, recruiting our energies for tonight's quiz mastering. It's the first of the season, so we've tried to keep it reasonably easy, honest, guv.