Thursday, 28 August 2014

Steady progress

These posts risk being a bit sameish for the next week, I fear, but I'll keep on with them to reassure one and all that we're still here...


A lazy start today followed by some cleaning activity. We're now spray polishing the cabin and hull side interiors, starting at the stern as there was a duvet cover drying on a rack in the saloon and we didn't fancy sleeping with the aroma of Pledge after the next change of linen. Sheila had got permission to use the big washing machine in the bungalow, so I took a load of towels over and set them going.

I cleaned the engine room ceiling or deckhead, then set to with a can of Mr Sheen to clean the walls. Sheila, meanwhile, was using a can of Pledge in the bedroom. There's no significance in the different products, by the way, just the chance of having bought different ones at different times.

We were about halfway through when coffee/hot choc time came around, so we knocked off for a trip to the Trading Post. Since Mirabilis is tied right alongside the outdoor seating area, we were all able to offer advice to Graham and Abbi as they sort and stow their worldly goods on board.

Some of the advice was even helpful...

After the break, we helped with a bit of boat shuffling, then went for lunch.

More cleaning followed, completing those two compartments before we took a bit of a rest.

After the afternoon break, we got on with clearing up the last of the gardening detritus before ambling back to the boat.

Mirabilis is scheduled to leave on her first shake down trip tomorrow morning; must take a camera along.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Back to Poynton

We left it quite late before starting out this morning; the guy tied in front of us had said that the moorings at Poynton were very full, and we wanted to allow time for some boats to move. It was gone half nine before I winded Sanity Again and headed back the way we'd come yesterday.

When we got here, there were several spaces available, including the one next to Butty Lark. So we're back where we were but pointing the other way. We'll stay here until the final boat shuffle a week on Friday, I expect.

It was now half ten, coffee and hot choc time, so we adjourned to the Trading Post with Martin and were shortly joined by Stephen and Jayne. Dolce is now in the paint shed, probably for the rest of this week.

We were able to admire Mirabilis, Braidbar 150, ready for handover to Graham and Abbi who turned up while we were there. All the very best with her, you two; the grins do wear off, but it takes a while.


Having run out of bread, I lit the oven on our return to the boat, only to find that the pack of part bakes had gone mouldy. Plan B was to walk down to Poynton and get some sandwiches there.

On the way, we discovered that the Coffee Tavern, next to the Boar's Head, was open for once. They do light meals, so we tried them out. In thirteen years of visiting here, it's the first time we've been inside.

The food was fine, if basic. We each had a melt which came with chips (fries, really) and a bit of salad. Rested and refreshed, off we went down the hill to raid Waitrose for perishables. Having shopped, we had half an hour to wait for the bus, so spent half that time sitting in the sun on a handy bench outside the Civic Centre.

Stores unloaded and put away, a final burst of gardening took place before joining the gang at the Trading Post for afternoon drinks.

Tomorrow, boat cleaning will recommence, I suspect.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Busy morning, quiet afternoon

We'd been told that a major boat shuffle would take place first thing this morning, so we got up in good time and went to the yard just on eight. In the event, only a minor swap occurred as Mirabilis wasn't quite ready to come out of the paint dock. So Tiree came out and tied outside Dolce and Caroline Anne went in.

We winded Sanity Again at the far end of the Deeps and went through onto the water point; whilst the tank was filling, I got a cylinder of gas and a bag of Mixed Ovoids from the Trading Post. As the gas and coal cage is on that side of the yard, it's always easier to load them whilst on the water point. I had a bit of bother getting the connection to seal on the gas and in the end had to ask for another cylinder.

Sometimes the connector on the cylinder is just a shade worn and won't seal no matter what you do.

Once we were full of water, we pulled forward onto the shop mooring for pump out and diesel.

Now in that happy state of water and diesel tanks full, poo tank empty we boated off down the cut to High Lane to wind. It was Sheila's turn to steer today; recently she's done all the turning round.

We were in two minds about spending the night at High Lane or coming back to Adlington. In the event it was an easy decision; the moorings at High Lane were full.

So we've tied on the 24 hour moorings opposite Lyme View marina. Having lunched, I sorted stuff in the bow locker, emptying the bag of coal into the box in there and generally sorting it all out.

Since then we've been very quiet, reading, surfing, emailing and the like. Tomorrow, I'll wind us yet again and we'll go back to the Deeps, having broken our stay there so that we can do 14 days over the Owners' Weekend with a clear conscience.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Blogging in advance of tea

The weather's not been nice today, right enough, though it's improving just a bit now. This morning, after a leisurely start, we ran a washload and did a thorough sweep of the boat, moving all the furniture out of the way and the like. I also lit the fire.

Before the washing was finished, we got a text from the Dolces, accusing us of wimping out of coming for hot choc/coffee. (I should explain that the eating area at the Trading Post is entirely outdoors.)

So we locked the boat up with the engine running and went and joined them. Easily led, that's our problem.

Since coming back from that, we've been lurking down below, reading, surfing the net, answering emails and so forth. From time to time, people huddled in their coats stroll, stagger or stride past on the towpath, classic August Bank Holiday Monday stuff.

Having run out of other stuff to do, I thought I'd get the blog posted in good time today, then we'll go for a cup of tea at the TP.

Tomorrow, a bit of boat shuffling will take place, then we'll come through for water, diesel, pump out, gas and coal before going on to High Lane for a night or two, for a change of scene and to avoid overstaying on the Deeps mooring.

Then it will be back here for the final prep for the big Weekend.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Finally Finished Fendering

It was to be expected that we'd get a lot more done this morning than after lunch, and so it proved. I achieved two things; making some bread pudding and finishing off the third fender.

When Helga left Sebeq at the end of her cruise, she passed over to us the bits and pieces from the galley that she couldn't take back to Germany. These included some part used loaves of bread, some eggs and some milk, so I've converted them into a bread pudding, adding soft brown sugar and vine fruits from the store cupboard.

Bread pudding can be eaten as cake, so when it's cooled, I'll wrap it in foil and pop it into the freezer in the bungalow for use during the Open Day.

Whilst the pud was in the oven, I got on with the final stages of the fender then cleared away all the fender making kit and odd bits of rope, storing them under the side berth.

Sheila, meanwhile, was doing a bit more gardening in the really quite sunny weather.

Finally, we made a trip to the tip with our recycling, getting back to the boat in nice time to get changed into pub-going clothes. Together with Stephen and Jayne, we had an excellent roast beef Sunday lunch in the Boar's Head.

Afterwards we ambled back to the Trading Post for ice cream before returning to our respective craft for some quiet time, enlivened by the boats and gongoozlers passing by on either side.

Finally, we rounded off an excellent day by reconvening at the TP for hot choc or tea according to preference. It looks like it's going to rain quite hard tomorrow, I fear, so we'll probably stay hunkered down indoors.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Productive day

The forecast had it back to front; we had the rain in the morning today and a reasonably fine afternoon. So the further trip downtown was postponed until after lunch and we got on with stuff inside in the morning.

This included running the engine to do a washload, filling in boat details for some of the Braidbars listed in the database behind the new website, and finishing one end of the fender. One more session should see it off. The washing machine came to the end of its cycle just on eleven, allowing us to join Stephen and Jayne for hot choc/coffee at the Trading Post.

After lunch and a bit of a postprandial zizz, I sent a couple of emails and then walked down to Poynton. I finally collected the last of the meds on my repeat prescription and got another loaf from Waitrose. Coming out of the store, I saw the bus for Higher Poynton just turning out of the side street opposite.

The driver very kindly stopped at a stop that's supposed to be out of service; I didn't even have to hold my arm out, just made eye contact.

Meanwhile, Sheila had done a bit more gardening and we've finished the afternoon guess where.

Tomorrow, we'll try and get stuff done in the morning, as we're going to the Boar's Head for lunch.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Getting down to it

First task today was to walk down to Poynton to get my prescription filled and do a bit of shopping. Sheila stayed behind to put up the notices about mooring during the Owners' Weekend.

My trip was largely successful, though Rowlands Pharmacy let me down rather. I went there first, just after nine, and was asked as usual if I would wait for the drugs. On being told that it would be half an hour, I opted to go and get on with the shopping.

A quick raid on Waitrose didn't take long, so I pottered about for a while looking at the interminable roadworks with which Poynton is plagued. Just on the half hour, back I went and asked after my prescription.

“Oh no, we're ever so busy, it will be another 15 or 20 minutes yet.”

So I left it and will go back tomorrow. I know that they are a bit short staffed, it being holiday time and all that, but a) relief staff are available and b) that's no excuse for the poor time estimate. Heigh ho, at least there was a bus due back up the hill, so I saved myself a walk.

I got back at ten and had time to put the shopping away before meeting the gang for morning chocolate. Somehow this took us up to lunchtime...

After lunch, another fender making session took place before I went and joined Sheila tidying the planted areas around the yard. Sometimes I think the main reason Peter holds the Open Day and Owners' Weekend is to get the gardening done.


More tea and hot choc occurred at half three, finishing off the afternoon.

Tomorrow, more of the same; the weather seems to be improving a bit which is very welcome.