This blog is about life on board our narrowboat Sanity Again, cruising the inland waterways of the UK (mainly in the spring, summer and autumn) and living in a marina in the winter. It's the way I choose to write it; if you don't like it, there are many other boating blogs.
It's 'orrible weather out there, February at its worst, and we're stuck in the boat watching the rain drizzle damply down the windows. I've been working on a Get the Picture round for the next quiz, hee, hee, and Sheila is threatening to give me a refresher session on how to do the month end accounts.
However, running Sally in the field last week gave Sheila a chance to take some photos, so I thought I'd share them with you:
I thought I should let everyone know we're still here and thriving. We had a great Christmas in the boat (tenants in the lodge) and New Year in Walnut, in both cases sharing with Elanor and Sally. We've now moved back into the boat for the lodge closure period from 14 January to 15 February. We're taking the opportunity to do some routine maintenance in the lodge, cleaning and oiling the floors and waxing the furniture.
In other news, routine OP appointments have gone off OK, but less good is that when Sheila rang her orthopod consultant's secretary to check where she was on the waiting list for her second op, she couldn't be found on the list :(. We're waiting for a call back to find out what's going on.
We've just come through the chilliest bit of the winter so far, using a 1.5 kW oil filled radiator to make up for not having the Hurricane working. It was OK, sort of. We're getting through a lot of solid fuel and electricity.
With regard to the wretched Hurricane, we've taken the decision to abandon it. When we get away in the Spring, we'll nip up to Braidbar, get them to take the beast out and install a Webasto Thermotop instead. I'm sure Calcutt could fix the Hurricane again, at a price, but it just gets too stressful waiting for the thing to fail again. It had been behaving oddly all summer, occasionally failing to fire or firing a little late with a whoomp, but never consistently enough to merit more than routine servicing, checking the fuel supply and the like.
With our changed living pattern for next year, summer cruising on the boat, winter living in the lodge, we don't need the domestic type heating and a Webasto should do the job for us just as it does for so many others. It's very disappointing about the Hurricane – great design, lousy build quality.
Heigh ho, I'll try and do another of these occasional posts next month and plan to resume daily posting when we're cruising again. Here's to the Spring weather!
Groan! Sorry, I know my puns can be a sauce of discontent :(.
We're back in the boat just for Christmas week as we've got tenants in the lodge. Elanor helped us with the move over Thursday and Friday, using the car to shift all our bits and pieces. In return, Sally stayed with us last night whilst Elanor went to an office party. As I type this, she's just texted to say that she's on her way to see us. (Elanor, that is, not Sally.)
Thanks to that excellent chap Richard, we are now the proud owners of an Inissia Nesprsso machine. It has a small footprint so fits on the boat as well as in the lodge.
Tomorrow, we go to meet Graeme, Cathy and co at Wollaton Park to do a present swap, saving a load of postage and getting in some Christmas cheer at the same time.
We move back into Walnut next Monday for just a couple of weeks, then will be on the boat for the period of the annual closure of the lodges. We've got some bookings after they reopen, so may not move yet again before we start boating in 2016, when regular blogs will resume. First trip will be to Calcutt as the Hurricane boiler has stopped working yet again. It looks like the compressor has failed once more.
My eyes, on the other hand, showed better pressures the other day, so no op yet, hooray.
We've got kind of used to better quality coffee so the cafetière is getting a work out these days.
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.
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.
With the onset of wintry weather, we're popping down to the boat regularly to light the fire and check that all is well.
We've got a quiet couple of weeks ahead, then things get a bit busier again.
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!
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!
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.