Saturday, 31 January 2009

The seriously silly search for a new settee

Today started off as a bit of a nonsense really, and continued in the same vein. Dave said he'd seen another warehouse place selling settees /sofa's (whichever) so we headed towards it this aft.

It all started off “well” as usual, and descended from there. First of all we went down the wrong road to get to the car park. Then, after turning round through another store's car park, we re-emerged onto the main road next to a roundabout. So we did a big U-turn, went back and STILL couldn't find the entrance. "This had better be worth it" I muttered.

Then we found a side road with no sign but never mind. It even had a barrier to the car park and looked legit. There was this little guy sat in a box (you could only see his head). Parking was free, and it was quite obvious he was bored to death just pressing a button every time a car came in or out.

I mean you could understand “the personal touch” if entering a high security area. Various risk assessments being made on both car and passengers. So I failed to see the point of him being there at all,, so did he by the look on his face.

Anyway we got the feeling (pointless barrier or not) that it must be a place that needs some protection due to the high value and quality of the goods inside. [Hey we're onto something here].


Next door appeared to be a massive charity warehouse, it was only when we walked inside bells started ringing that it was in fact all one place... Now I'm all in favour of charity warehouses, in fact charities everywhere. But it came as a big shock to the system to see a few leather chairs and the odd settee, all of which were in a worse state than our own.

Then there was the neon orange one and a fetching olive green jobby, both of which managed to refract the light in a touching shade of puce. While we were stood there pulling strange faces at each other and tittering loudly. An old guy came over and said "Can I help you?" Oops. "No thanks," we both headed for the door at breakneck speed. I didn't half give Dave some stick – he’d prattled on about how promising it looked from the road, (that's the one that didn't have a turn off). Yet another place to cross off the list then...

Next was a trip to Preston Docklands, and amidst a mix of reluctance sprinkled with a dash of hope, we trudged into DFS {Dodgy F*****g Sofa's} with half open minds. But after 35 minutes of being stalked by a sales assistant (desperate to pounce), we eventually slipped under the radar and left. Both of us disappointed with the lack of choice and (still) inflated prices, oh dear and they’re going under.

BUT we knew there was another "settee place" round there somewhere, we thought it was "CSL" but it turned out to be "SCS.” Amazingly the prices were right, and there were about four we liked. The mandatory sales assistant was following us around again. But at least this one kept his distance, and pretended to be fiddling with his clipboard every time we turned round.

After giving several different designs a “test drive” with Dave getting tangled up in his tape measure every time, (both of us instantly forgetting the measurements). He eventually spotted the one.


"What about this H?" I would've walked right past it because by that time they were all starting to look the same. Differentiated by colour alone – besides I thought he was having a laugh. There'd been a fair few ugly articles we'd noticed and joked about "that’s the one” (when it wasn't).

Eventually we narrowed it down to two, and whichever was comfiest won. The sales guy hovered, by this time he was totally tuned in to our ramblings, and moving in on his target fast...

It didn't take long for us to decide, the cheeks of the bottom laid it all bare, and one was infinitely supreme. Next decision was colour, the one in the shop was dark blue. Even though we both liked it colour co-ordination inside the boat dictated otherwise. However, it would've looked stunning placed on the roof of the boat, matching the blue paintwork that gleams all over the outside.
[
Note: Going back a few months for a moment, when we made the decision about getting a new settee. We've said all along that it would have to be cream, or perhaps a shade darker, end of.]

Back in the shop we didn't like the shade of cream on the flip chart, there wasn't a "shade darker" option. But the next colour was burnt orange (no thanks). Hmmm, what about BLACK then? We both liked the dark blue, but hey BLACK goes with anything right? We were happy with that change of mind so who cares.

Summary: After months of going with (definitely) no other option but CREAM we settled on the exact opposite of BLACK.

Then followed a rather bizarre conversation with the sales guy as follows:

Dave: Don’t suppose you can you do me some sort of deal here?
Salesman: No, sorry...
Dave: We want it delivered to a boat, will that be ok?
Salesman: Yes, no problem, we've delivered to boats before...

Me: You're not about to go bust are you?
Salesman: (Laughing) No, we've just been taken over by a huge corporation called (blah, blah), so we're pretty secure right now. DFS is trying to join the same consortium, but with their massive debts it's not looking good for them. (Smug)...
Dave: Ah, that explains why it was empty in there then...
Me: Are you sure you're not going bust???

Salesman: Ha, Ha, Yes I'm sure, now would you like to take out our Guardsman Warranty for leather goods?
Dave and Me: Well yeh, no, yeh,,,
Dave: How much is it?
Salesman: £40 for 5 years...
Dave: Oh that's alright then, yes...
Salesman: It's per chair...
Dave: But it's a settee...
Salesman: Yes but it's two recliners that have a mechanism so they join together...
Dave: So can we just pay a warranty for one half then?
Me: Well no, because if we damage one side, you can bet it's the half that isn't covered. (Bear in mind that if one side was favoured in such a nonsense contract, there'd be recliner failure in the other half within a week anyway).
Salesman: [Not letting go] Well for example there's a lady got her new settee the other week. After 2 days she sat down, caught her keys on it and ripped a hole in the arm, so we took it back and replaced it... Oh and it covers any pet damage as well...
Dave and Me: No pets, no problems there... (Pause)


At this point the conversation in a furniture store turned truly bizarre:
Dave: But we used to have a snake though. (TRUE, but where's the relevance dear?)
Salesman: OOO I once came across a snake in India, it was massive, I just ran, they frighten me...


We could both see that we were onto a loser trying to persuade him that some snakes are friendly including ours, till she popped her clogs after 13 years…
We could also see we were onto a loser with the Guardsman warranty for the snake proof settee. Well it's only another £80, might as well eh?Then just when we thought this bizarre conversation was over, we were were informed it could take up to 13 WEEKS for delivery, woah! But we had no choice, they said they'd give us a week's notice beforehand.

PHEW, sorted at last – I think...
So, remember the charity warehouse where we started off today? Well they collect used furniture free of charge, so guess where our present chairs will be going...?

Friday, 30 January 2009

A sad day

It´s with great regret to announce that:
 
Tony...
The Mop...
 
...has sold Lock Dodger and moves out tomorrow when the boat is handed over to the new owners :(
 
He will be sorely missed by us all, I mean it's not everyone can say they have a neighbour three boats away, who's sense of humour reminds them of an even more talented version of Peter Kaye :)
 
GOOD LUCK TONY!
 
Hope everything works out, both now and later this year with your plans for having a new widebeamer built.
 
We all went round to the local pub for a drink tonight. It was quite surreal, won’t be the same here without The Mop to laugh at with!

Monday, 26 January 2009

The thrones, but not the toilet kind

Let me introduce you to our chairs, they've been an integral part of the boat ever since it was fitted out. As you can see they're those recliner jobby's and just like a nice firm bed supports the back. In fact these chairs have been of great support to our bottoms all round.
 
But alas, the time has come to bid a fond farewell. Why? Well the leather's beginning to split in places and a hole has appeared in the arm on one of them, I tried sewing it up but it didn't work. I have to say they look pristine in these first two photos in an attempt to prove us wrong...
 
That's mine on the left, and his on the right. It's funny how we all have a favourite chair to sit on isn't it? I mean even with a settee there's a "favourite" side...
 
Anyway, whatever kind of statement they're trying to achieve above, this is the sad reality, and no it's not muck...

 
So, tis a shame to say the time has come,, we need something new to park our bum's on...

We decided to replace the chairs with a two or three seater settee a while ago, but for some reason it's taken us a few months to do anything about it. I suppose it's because we've had a shopping splurge recently, so while the chairs haven't actually collapsed on us they've had a temporary reprieve...
 
There's a big "furniture warehouse" about four miles from the boat, yet another place with "70% off in the sale" plastered across the windows.
 
So Dave suggested we go there this aft for a "look round" and for us this usually translates to buying if we see the right thing, but not this time. Talk about over-priced and sub-standard, jeez where did the 70% go? Had we got it wrong? It was more like a "70% ON sale."
 
We had to laugh, what a rip off. There were loads of fabric settees with MASSIVE flowery patterns on them, which would be just perfect for "Aunty Beatrice." On the other end of the scale, there seemed to be plenty of designer stuff for the "upwardly mobile" professionals. So that explains why we couldn't find anything then. Ahem, we're not quite in the same league as Aunty Beatrice and her sunflowers yet either.

However, there was one leather settee that was REALLY NICE. Just the right size, lovely and comfy, looked GREAT and came in at £999, with a measly £50 off. So it was time to walk out because we'd get something similar at DFS (Dodgy **"Flippin"** Sofa's) for half the price.
[** ** That could be a different F word, but I won't use it here.]

I tell a lie about coming back empty handed, we did come back with something. Dave called in at Tesco for a paper, and I got us a new washing up bowl because the other one had gone a funny shape...
 
So in a nutshell: We went out to get a leather settee, and came back with something to wash the pots in. (Figures).
 
---
 
IHang on a minute, there's a strange woman just walked down the jetty at the side of our boat! She leaned over the bow at the front and shouted "OOO it is big isn't it" to a guy (who stayed on the pier looking decidedly uncomfortable).
 
There's two other widebeam's nearer to the (security?) gate, so why walk past them and nosy at ours? Oh the cheek of it. I've just had a look out the back cabin and someone is politely telling them that if they aren't visitors, then they shouldn't come through the security gate. OK, so it was open because someone was going in and out with stuff. But it has got a BIG sign on it stating:
 
"Moorers and visitors only."
 
All someone needs to say is a surname or the name of a boat to anyone and they would be politely guided there. The "inquisitive factor" doesn't bother me out on the canals at all, but that was ignorant and invasive. {Humph} I personally wouldn't have the gall to walk down a private pier for a nosy.

Maybe people don't realise it's the equivalent (in house terms) of someone standing in your garden. Then looking through your front room window, and making comments about the decor with no intention of speaking to anyone inside. It's just not the done thing with anyone’s property.
 
On the other hand if it's someone who reads my blog, and wants to pay a visit to see us, genuine visitors are always welcome for a chat and a cup of tea. Now that is the way it works...
 
Rant over...

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Trying not to trip the light fantastic

Remember the 12V lights for the ceiling that arrived in a cardboard box the size of a dustbin? Well today was the day of "installation" (the lights not the box). It's all about having four lights in the kitchen rather than two, great idea in theory. But is Dave the Rope as nifty with wires? Yes. 
 
Last night, some wood removed, marked off and ready for action...

Later on - more bits removed...
Getting down to business today, insulation visible...

 
Only one little mishap occurred, the holes drilled in the ceiling were a tad too small (too late to go back by then). So they needed a bit of filing down which created a lovely dusty mess to clean up later on. Well at least it was easy to see the layer of sh*t because this strange yellow thing in the sky was shining down on it all. 

And,, tonight the finished product...


Lovely job eh? It's bright enough in there to slice a cucumber by the millimetre now. As for the disco ball well that goes up next week.
 
Dave's enthusiasm for this project was catching. After the job was finished, he said he couldn't wait till it went dark so he could see the full effect, (me too), like a couple of kid's on fireworks night...

Monday, 19 January 2009

Picture Perfect

What a lovely sight today, a nice sprinkling of fluffy white snow across the hills to the left of the marina. This is the view we are lucky enough to have even from our mooring.
 
Meanwhile we had a light sprinkling of grey MUSHY PEAS here, so I'm not posting any photos of that. And the camera was so unimpressed it wouldn't take any close up shots of the gloom, no great loss...! 
Picture card stuff, although I forgot to switch the flash off so it looks black and white, see I'm learning...

Now if I can just find the off button...

Dave was chuffed to bits today when the extra lights he'd ordered for the kitchen ceiling arrived on time from Screwfix Direct. But when he checked them out there were no bulbs inside. How naff is that? So it's another trip to B&Q then.
 
I suggested just putting them up for effect then there's no wires needed either. I don't think he even heard my crappy idea because he was too busy squashing down the massively "outsize" box they came in. It was big enough for a chandelier...

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The future of the humble windlass

Well here it is, just thought I'd post a couple of photos showing the "new improved" version of a windass (sorry, pet name). I mean windLass we bought yesterday.
 
Honestly these have to be 2 of the most boring pictures I've uploaded yet. But they clearly show the plastic twirly twizzly tube thingy that resembles a rather long toilet roll holder. In fact I think it could even manage a kitchen roll…
 
 
Nevertheless It's a magnificent invention isn't it? A bit of plastic that stays put while you turn the windLass (saving one's nail varnish from flaking off).
Now all we need is for someone to invent a remote controlled windLass that turns itself,, hence saving any manual intervention at all...

Saturday, 10 January 2009

To Go Or Not?

Minus five degrees again last night, we could hear the crackling ice as we got frozen in yet again good style.
 
So what's happened to the forecast of "milder weather" then? I mean a positively balmy (barmy?) PLUS 5 degrees was predicted for one day last week, but we missed out on the excitement of it all here.
 
Yes there was a thaw that lasted almost a day, and we innocently thought it would be enough to melt the ice. I mean even if it went sharply cold again, it wouldn't be enough to re-freeze the water would it? I think we based this theory around the old chestnut "I've started [to thaw] so I'll finish" but alas no.
 
So this morning after a lengthy debate or two about:
A) Going for a pumpout.
B) How desperate we were, (excuse pun).
C) Whether we could last a couple more days.
D) Whether we should risk smashing through this lot.
 
The upshot was NO WAY…!

 
The camera hasn't quite captured how bad it was for real. As you can see it’s thawed over yonder, but there were still layers round us.

We can only hope that the loo indicator is lying to us again, it's told us the tank's full before and yet lasted a bit longer. Which gives us some lea-way for emergencies. (Rather this way than the other eh?)
Oh dear, my blog is being taken over by toilet humour...

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A Swan And The Sun On Ice

I was a bit worried about this swan earlier today, so I kept checking it was OK. It was curled up on top of the ice (without moving) for about an hour when I took this photo. Yikes! A cold bum stuck to THAT for so long, (feathers or not) cringe cringe...
Not long after, someone threw it some bread and it still didn't move (more concerning). Anyway, I didn't look out for a while, and just before tea I noticed it had disappeared across the other side of the marina so it was ok. No need to bash through the ice then, (phew). 
Sun across the ice... 

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Hippy Happy New Year!

Here's wishing A Very Happy New Year to everyone…
Takey Tezey in 2009!!!