Thursday, 18 December 2014

Post quiz recovery

I think the quiz went all right, though scores were generally a bit low. Certainly we had a great time thanks to Jo and Wynne's organisation. When we do the February effort with Peter and Katy, we plan to make it the Really Easy Quiz.

Well, that's the plan...

We got to bed late and had a very slow start this morning after a broken night. As the forecast was for wind and rain, we had no particular plans anyway. After breakfasting and pottering, we ambled over to the shops for bread and more porridge oats. Back at the boat we had a late coffee and more sedentary occupation before lunch.

Afterwards, I dozed off for a bit before Elanor rang to discuss buying me some chicken thigh fillets at the Moy Park factory shop. I'd asked her to look out for some such as I've promised to supply some drumsticks to the Christmas Fuddle party on Saturday night.

OK, I know it's the wrong bit of the leg, but if I roll them up after marinating them, fix them with cocktail sticks and roast them, they should be an adequate substitute.

Finally, we managed to stagger round the marina in the wind, stopping to chat with sundry folk on the way. They are finally putting the wood cladding on the Great Wall of Mercia at the main entrance; it's going to look OK once finished, I reckon.

Since then, it's been back to huddling down in the boat. Elanor and Sal are coming round later so I'll get another walk as well as taking delivery of the chicken.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Plenty of exercise

I seem to have got a lot of exercise in the last 24 hours. First off, Elanor and I walked Sal round the marina last evening, Elanor having survived her day back at work, though she's still feeling pretty miserable with her cold.

Then this morning, after pottering in the boat for a bit, we went up to the lodge for a check round and to wait for the gas man. As I think I've said before (and if not, I should have), one of the great things about renting out a lodge at Mercia is that the same team that the maintains all the public areas in such a clean condition also does the turn round cleans for the lodges.

It's very rare indeed that we find any problems, and most of the time Kath is already onto them. Only last month she steam cleaned the oven because she wasn't satisfied that ordinary cleaning was getting it done to her standard.

So we fiddled about trying to find stuff to do and mostly failing, then I went back to the boat, fetched the iPads and we settled down to do some reading. When the guy hadn't arrived by lunchtime, we gave up, popped into the office to let them know and went and had a couple of excellent baked potatoes in the Farm Shop café.

Thus refuelled, we walked down to the village. I had a calendar to post to my sister in the States and Sheila needed to do something with one of the savings accounts. We split up then, Sheila heading for home and I to go to the pharmacy for the final instalment of my prescription.

Unfortunately, the pharmacy shuts for lunch and it was only twenty to two. Since the Co-op cash machine is still not working, I went back to the Post Office to draw some dosh for tonight. Ambling back to the pharmacy meant that I only had to wait five minutes before it opened.

The prescription was ready and, what's more, my third set of eye drops has finally made it onto the repeat, hurrah.

Back at the boat, we realised that neither of us had bought more milk. After a bit of a rest, I headed out again, collecting the now ready Gas Safe certificate from the office and buying milk at the Still Waters shop.

It's been quiet since; we've been resting in preparation for tonight's quiz session. Tomorrow should be a day off – we're hoping that Friday's weather will be reasonably calm, as we want to get a pump out before we're plunged into Christmas week.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Another good day

It's been yet another good day here in Mercia. We had a lazy start followed by a walk round the marina. Peter and Jan got held up on the way down here, but made it just after half twelve. It meant it was most of one o'clock before we got to the Cherry Tree Farm Inn and we only just found a parking space and a table inside.

After that, things went swimmingly; good beer, an excellent carvery and huge desserts. We had a lot of family goss to catch up on, naturally, and so it was quite late before we headed back to the marina.

After a good old mooch round the Boardwalk we retired to the boat for a cup of tea and some huge ginger biscuits from the Farm Shop.

Elanor has texted to say that she made it into work today and is coming round in a bit with Sally for another walk.

And that's about it – I shall now slump in the corner for a bit, I think...


Monday, 15 December 2014

Busy day

We've been pretty busy, and I'm just waiting for Elanor and Sal to turn up, so this is going to be brief.

Ocado order arrived OK - more avocados, yum

Post arrived, so plenty of inkjet cartridges again, plus my retinopathy screen all clear, plus Sheila's appointment for gait analysis in January, plus her video camera.

So we've finished off the calendars and Sheila's had a play with her un-Christmas present. Videos may appear on here in due course, you have been warned.

In addition, the week's wash has been done and we've had some exercise.

All in all, pretty good, huh?

Tomorrow, pub lunch yet again, with Peter and Jan this time. Gosh, it's tough this boating life.


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Another pleasant Sunday

For us, that is, and, I hope and believe, for Jo and Wynne with whom we lunched at the John Thompson again. Elanor, poor soul, is still suffering badly from her cold and is bringing the black hearted sinner dog round here for me to walk round the marina.

On the lead all the way, this time.

We'd not been idle before going out – with the lodge presently vacant, it was a good opportunity to defrost our fridge whilst we could store the frozen stuff in the lodge freezer. Accordingly, we moved the boxes up there and stowed the rest of the fridge contents in a laundry box in the engine room, which is pretty chilly these days.

Leaving a bowl of warm water in the fridge and the doors open, we ambled round to the Still Waters shop, where we bought kindling, dog treats and milk, a pretty odd combination even for us, but all needed.

On our return, it was apparent that things were progressing well in the fridge. I was able to drag the lumps of ice out of the frozen food compartment and get on with cleaning the inside. Sheila washed the shelves and soon the beast was chilling down again.

We had time for some reading before getting into going-to-the-pub clothes and meeting up with Jo and Wynne. We had another very good meal, both as regards the food and the talk and put the final touches to the quiz for Wednesday night.

Finally back at the boat, we've retrieved the frozen stuff and had a quiet time, now just ended with the arrival of the young women.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Getting on with stuff

It's been one of those days that turned out a bit busier than expected. It started smoothly enough with porridge for breakfast (winter is not just coming, Mr Stark, it's here). I wrote a letter to the GP, asking to have my third set of eyedrops added to the regular repeat and then walked down into the village to drop it off at the surgery together with a repeat prescription request that will see me through the holiday period.

On the way I popped into the Post Office to buy some nice white C4 envelopes to put the calendars in and a cheap black biro, having remembered on my way down there another item that needed ticking on the prescription request. As I passed the new Co-op, I checked that it had a cash machine as the wallet needed a bit of topping up.

On the way back, someone was using the said machine, so I nipped into the store and got various bits and pieces like a lettuce and some sandwich filler to keep Sheila going until the Ocado delivery on Monday. Out again to the cash machine, which now said "Sorry, this machine is not working".

So back to the PO to draw cash.

Finally back at the boat, we had a quiet time until lunch, towards the end of which Jo and Wynne turned up to suggest another trip to the John Thompson tomorrow, again for quiz plotting purposes.

Not long after that, Jules from the office rang to say that the guy doing the PAT testing was doing it now as he was in the marina to do the same for Rowan Lodge and our tenants had left early. Whilst we were up there giving a hand, Elanor called to say she'd arrived with Sally, was at the boat and where were we?

I rendezvoused with her and took Sally to the field for frisbee chasing whilst Elanor went back to join Sheila in the lodge; her cold meant that she really didn't want to be out. Unfortunately, Sally did not approve of this scheme and kept looking round for her Mum while we were in the field. She was worried enough that, after leaving a little heap for me to pick up, she set off to find Elanor, completely ignoring any commands I gave her.

In fact, when I shouted, she turned on the turbo and vanished over the horizon. Dogs, of course, are not allowed off the lead in the marina except in the fields, so I was pretty bothered. I gave Elanor a ring and she immediately went out to intercept. Sally went first to the car and then headed for the boat. As soon as Elanor called, albeit croakily, she zoomed up to her.

There was nothing for it, Elanor had to come to the field with me. Once there, we worked madam until she was reduced to trotting back with the frisbee and finally took to hiding it; when she's weary, she still can't resist chasing it, so tries to stop us getting hold of it again.

Elanor has now gone back home to bed and we are looking forward to a quiet evening.


Friday, 12 December 2014

By ourselves

It's been a relaxed sort of day, getting stuff done but without tearing about. The weather, very wet overnight, has calmed down a lot but remains very cold with a nor'-westerly wind.

Elanor, having wisely cried off coming over to walk Sally last evening, found herself full of a streaming head cold today and had to retreat from work at midday. She plans to come over tomorrow so that we can give Sal a good work out with the frisbee in the dog running field.

I'd made one of my many mistakes in the last post; John and Nev were at Braidbar yesterday, stayed over last night and had further session there this morning. By the time they'd finished, it was snowing heavily so they decided to head straight home and not dilly-dally on the way.

We're sorry to miss them, of course, but quite understand the desire to get a tedious journey over as quickly as possible.

So we've been thrust back on our own devices. Some meat shopping got done this morning, together with other bits and bobs, and we had a walk round the marina this afternoon, ending in the Still Waters shop (top up supply of beer) and the office for a new electric card (another top up, I guess).

Sheila's brought the accounts up to date, I've signed another possible owner up to the Owners' Group and otherwise we've been loafing with the paper and Sheila's latest mental exercise, a jigsaw game on her iPad.

Tonight, pork and caramelised onion sausages with bubble and squeak using sprouts from the Farm Shop, comfort food for a cold evening – not that it's cold inside the boat, of course, but pretty bitter out there even if we haven't seen any snow.