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.

Friday, 17 October 2014

What a difference

... a day makes. After yesterday's loafing around, it's been all go today.

First off, the bistro meal. Main thing to say is that it was very good, well cooked and presented and reasonably priced for the kind of place it is. That is, a bit trendy with industrial chic decor, exposed cabling trays and air con units and the like, and a short but enterprising menu.

The service was brisk and efficient, almost too much so, but friendly and informed. Sheila's Scotch egg starter was a real hit, a duck egg in pork and black pudding sausage meat moistened with port and a bit of salad to go with it. Add a side of chips and it would make a good lunchtime meal. My carrot and coriander soup was the weakest item, heavily over-creamed so that all the other flavours were obscured, even the fresh coriander.

It was served in a half pint enamel mug with good fresh bread but left the appetite not so much stimulated as smothered. This was a shame as my wild game bourguignon was delicious. Sheila appreciated her chicken supreme too, though the parsnip mash potatoes didn't taste of much parsnip.

Desserts are very heavy again; next time I'll settle for cheese, I think. We shared a triple tasting dish of two kinds of chocolate mousse, dark and white, and some treacle sponge which was supposed to be cheesecake.

All in all, a good hour's worth of entertainment and feed for less than £25 per head even before the moorer's 5% discount.

Today, we've been for a pump out and diesel and I've done the end of season oil and filter change, including scampering over to Midland Chandlers when I discovered I was short of oil.

Jo popped in with a belated birthday card and some excellent beer to drink with it; Jo you are a great friend and thank you!

This afternoon, we've seen quite a lot of Elanor, first off discussing a new phone contract with her and then, later after she'd been into Burton, exercising Sally. They've gone off with Sheila to see Geoff, Mags and Meg on Seyella whilst I catch up with this. Seyella is just in for the weekend so it's good to have a chance to catch up with them.

Tomorrow, a bit quieter again, probably.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

I grow old... I grow old

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
(The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock)

Never thought that I would end up quoting TS Eliot here, but there's a first time for everything and seeing that this is my Six Five Special, today is as good as any. Actually, it's more a case of I shall wear purple, as my mini rebellion the other day was to buy seven pairs of brightly coloured socks from M&S having worn nothing but black ones for ten years. Thank you Jenny Joseph.

Yesterday's were a pinky red and today, yes, purple. They look like nothing on earth emerging from blue trouser cuffs, but as many of my readers may know, one of the compensations for getting on in years is joining the Rhett Butler tendency.

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

As may be imagined, I've had a very laid back day with a lazy start, a couple of nice emails (and thanks to Jo and Ann for their best wishes too) and later phone calls and texts from the dispersed family, east and west.

This afternoon, a walk round the marina and a package from Korea for me. No nothing exciting, just a good deal on poly tubing for extracting fuel samples from the tank.

Tonight, our first meal in the Bistro, tomorrow, a pump out, I think.

No, for the boat, twit.

some people...