Thursday, 26 February 2009

Zooming in on the water situation

Well there's been a teensy but noticeable drop in the water level since the pictures I took just yesterday. I've used the "big" lens today so you can't really compare them. We're all going to be moored up on a slant at this rate…
 
 
The ducks are now using this as a gentle slope to elegantly waddle down, instead of a full on belly flop without it...


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
I thought I was well all organised this aft, shopping list at the ready, Tesco run "done and dusted." But when we got back to the boat I was really miffed that I'd forgotten a Mother's Day card and present, for, well, my mum.
 
Thing is, I have to do cards / presents a month in advance, no other system would work and I´d end up forgetting folks. So how did I miss Mothers Day?
 
Yes I know there's still plenty of time yet. But there's evidence here that being reliant on a part-encrypted shopping list, and an ancient calendar of events might need a facelift.
 
Note to oneself: Leave any future card lists till they're a month in arrears, that way it might cost less...

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Less water and no pancakes

On this dark and dreary day. Here's a couple of photos I took from our jetty, which clearly show the drop in water level at the marina. Note the erosion that's now visible at the left hand side of the island too, never seen that before...
Jumping from one subject to another, we both forgot it was pancake day yesterday till we watched the news at tea time. It doesn't mean much to us anyway because neither of us likes them. Hence we only used to participate in this strange tradition when the kids were younger, and as they grew up they all went off them too!

FLIP / FLOP… 

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Henrietta looking better than before!

And here she is, resurrected from the grim depths of the bin and in fine form once again. Henrietta the ex egg timer rejuvenated. Even if she can’t tell the time anymore, it's amazing what a difference a bit of nail varnish and some superglue can make.
 
Note the numbers have disappeared & I've even painted her wing feathers :)
 Her new home,, hope she'll be happy here in her round plant pot on the bow. She’s situated not four metres away from the REAL duck that sits in the oblong plant pot next door. So she's got a friend too, ah…
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Talking of "friends" how's this for a nice greeting? Tony the Mop might’ve sold Lock Dodger but he just can't keep away from us all. I wonder if he brought his mop with him...
...!!!...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

A duck in a plant pot

Now here's a thing...
I looked outside this morning and noticed a duck happily nestled in one of the plant pots on the jetty next door. About two hours later it was still there and I began to wonder if (she) was doing a test drive to see if it would make a good nest. A "duck nesting box" perhaps?
Could be the answer this, a ready made nest. No need for fuss n’ feathers...
 
 
OOPS, looks like I got too close...

A fully charged up decision

At the "big meeting" this aft...
 
We decided to go with the inverter / charger combi after all. I mean the inverter we have now doesn't "invert" because it's knackered, and our battery charger is an enigma to itself.

The latter is still under guarantee, so we could just exchange it. But a replacement wouldn't be of any use to us with the new setup. Ah well.

The phrase HIGH HURDLES TO JUMP OVER comes to mind...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Plan of action for that blue box in the cupboard


Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
 Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Today’s diagnosis was perhaps it's just the fan that's gone a bit "out of kilter." I remember a similar thing happened to one of the fans inside a computers of ours, there was a sticky label in the middle of it that slid down a bit. I realise this has probably got nothing to do with the battery charger problem whatsoever, but hey I tried.
 
It's now got so as it won't stop buzzing when it's been reset, it does so in its own time, (for goodness sake).
 
Anyway the boardroom table was carried in this morning, not by me because my back problem means I'm still not capable of lifting a paper bag. (I think I need a support girdle).
 
So we are now prepared (sort of) for the big meeting with the engineer and the decision making process tomorrow.
 
The agenda:
  • Can the battery charger be fixed?
  • If it can, we'll go for a separate inverter (same make) and save some dosh.
  • If it can't, we'll go for an inverter / charger, shame it's not two for the price of one eh?
  • Then there's new batteries, how many? Which type? Blah, Blah.
  • Sort out all the specs, and come up with the answers, (HA!)
Sounds straightforward enough? Nope, and you can bet your bottom dollar it won't be either...

Monday, 16 February 2009

Forget little boat niggles, there´s bigger one´s ahead

Today I thought the worst "niggle" was still my back, which has literally turned into "a pain in the arse" now. The aches have gone down into my hip too, which renders me sat here leaning on a hot water bottle, which isn't making any difference whatsoever.

BUT things just get worse, yesterday afternoon I heard what sounded like a boat engine in the distance struggling to stay alive. Then I realised this weird noise was coming from OUR BOAT (and it was nothing to do with the engine).


So I followed the noise to the battery charger. The usual almost silent steady hum, (which can't be heard outside of the cupboard it's in) had turned into a roar, with the needle on zero. Dave switched it off at the wall, waited for it to shut up and switched it back on. (Reset). No problem, it appeared everything was back to normal, so it was just a "blip" right? I mean after all it's not even a year old, so it won't happen again.

Then this aft it did just that, twice in 24 hours, this is no fluke, I switched the power off / on and it's been fine since. But that was only 40 minutes ago. (Whoopee doo). The batteries themselves are ok, so today's problem is a mystery? Give us a break here...

What with all the piddling little things that have happened in the past few days, I can cope with that sort of stuff, even have a laugh about it, well up to a point! But I can feel the stress levels rising now, this is a bit more serious.

Dave's going to phone an engineer we know for some advice later on, the only "upside" is that we were going to have a new inverter and six new batteries fitted soon anyway. So it looks like we might have to bring the schedule forward a bit.


One of those battery charger / inverter all-in-one jobby's might be a better (but costlier) option. So we might be able to discuss the why's and wherefores of all that at the same time...

Saturday, 14 February 2009

A Valentines Day filled with alternative plans

So here's the cards we exchanged, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out there's more to this than meets the eye.
This is the one I got from Dave, note how we're sat on a settee that’s the wrong colour. Is it wishful thinking that they'd dam well hurry up and deliver the new one??? (Could still be another two months yet)...
 
This is the one I got for Dave, there's no need for explanation here, it's obvious. But it's the technique he uses for robbing me of my covers that's interesting. The duvet travels with him when he turns over, it's like he has this iron grip on the darn thing, even in his sleep...
 
Wish I could do that, although I´ve learned to hang onto the duvet via reflex action over the years, so it stays put. But even then, the bottom half glides away and my feet are left open to the elements, so it's only half an answer really. Hence there was much laughter about the meaning of Valentines Day and the "romance angle" of it all...
Later on (this is where things started to go downhill), we were helping someone else pull their boat in when something went crack in my back. OUCH! Painkillers, deep heat rub and a Valentine massage helped...! But it was still aching,, if bent over sideways from the waist up at roughly a 45 degree angle it was bearable.
 
After this little incident Dave went for a shower, and all of a sudden I heard this really loud WOOSH sound. I just thought he'd switched over to the other shower, it's a double size shower base with two different kinds. There's the usual sort and another one with body jets that we never use, simply because the force of it blasts you out of the shower cubicle.
 
Anyway it turned out the shower head had come off and he was grappling about with the tube, which turned into a fire hose that was wildly out of control. Well at least he managed to catch the shower head before it fell on HIS head.

Once he'd managed to get the situation under control, this was the end result...
 

This photo shows the "master blaster" and the holder where the other one goes when it's usable...
So, "shaken not stirred" we attempted to continue with our plan to go for a romantic Valentines meal. With me almost needing a walking stick, and Dave still in mild shock we staggered (whilst sober) round to the local pub.
 
After asking if a table for two was available, we were met with another question: "Have you reserved a table sir?" By this time we looked at each other and knew the score. "Sorry, we've no spare tables available, they're all booked up."
 
On the way out I mumbled "Blimey there must be a lot of romance round here." We'd decided to go for this meal last week. The subject of "did we need to book or not" was discussed then, but we just thought nah, they'll have plenty of tables. Ha!

 
PLAN B: The very posh restaurant about a mile down the road the other way, this meant going back to the marina to get the car. Dave said he wasn't bothered about not being able to have a drink so fair enough. But when we got there, only two spaces were left on the car park, bad sign. Then we were met at the door by what appeared to be a butler, the questions and answer session that followed were just a re-run of the other place. (Humph).
 

PLAN C: SOD THIS FOR A LARK, WE'LL GO GET A CHINESE INSTEAD. Very nice it was too. Well, you’ve got to look on the bright side haven't you?
 
Summary: Friday the 13th started on Thursday 12th…

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Poppers Flowers and Snow

Here we have David sorting out his poppers in the back cabin. If it were up to me we'd have the three sides that roll up (with poppers that keep popping off) REMOVED COMPLETELY.
 
There'd be something more substantial fitted to match the rest of the cabin. But while Dave's got the "We can rebuild it" thing in his head, my brilliant idea doesn't stand a chance.
 
Here he is replacing the poppers he replaced earlier because they turned out to be the wrong size...
 
 
Here we have the vast array of tools required for the job...
 
 
[We're still in the back cabin] Let me just explain that my windows needed cleaning on Friday, (I couldn't be bothered doing them at the time.) Hence each "boat plant" in Friday's photos was perched on the table for cosmetic photographic purposes. Except for the one perched on the loo that is.
 
So here we have two "group shots" of the boat's greenery where it usually sits out back, (with clean windows)...
 
031 
Other side...
 
029
 
We watched the weather forecast last night, forget what I said yesterday about the snow perhaps turning to slush. (Bit previous there). It doesn't seem to have changed much anywhere. I gather the "thaw" that was mentioned a couple of days ago must've lasted all of an hour then.
 
Well we've escaped it all so far, BUT there's a big white blob in the sky overhead, oh look, we’ve got an instant blizzard, snow on top of ice AGAIN...!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Reject Photos

Well I said I'd do it, searched through the archives this aft and found some sub-standard, seriously crappy photos that haven't been posted for obvious reasons. So throwing caution to the wind good style, here's a selection of the ones I should've sent to the recycle bin.
Starting off with yesterday's flower power, even the fancy cam couldn't raise this one from the dead...
 
Height of summer, I thought this was a good photo till afterwards when I noticed the curtains flapping about in the breeze, and taking a starring role...
 
OK, take a wild guess...
 
There, that's much more defined...

And this is Heather about to embark on a voyage down the River Douglas, doing an impression of a rather large Satsuma. Or alternatively an orange teapot. There was something really weird going on with my right arm there...
 
Nothing to do with boats at all, me posing like a "cool dude" in Miami. Sprawled over our Dodge Charger doing the posing thing, & then at the crucial moment my skirt nearly took off without me..
.
Ha Ha...
 
So with the snow turning to mush, why not go for a trip down memory lane and re-visit your own farcical photo's? You know, the one's that always make you laugh, (whilst at the same time being really naff), and post them if you dare...
 
The bestest one's belong in the following categories: 
  • Most embarrassing
  • Most mysterious
  • Most obscure object
  • The one where the camera moved as it went "click"
And finally the one that you honestly thought was great at the time – till you checked it out later…

Friday, 6 February 2009

Flower Power

With the depressing state of the economy, I was going to write some of the relevant key phrases here. But we all know what they are (so I won't bother), then there's the weather situation, global warming, oh dear that's enough.

I've seen some lovely canal side pictures of the snow on the blogs, many of them worthy of fame on the telly. We've had no snow here at all except for the odd flake or two, which probably amounts to less than a millimetre at the worst. (No snowy pictures from here then).
 
While the sun shone down today (what a contrast to down south), I thought I'd post some photos of the plants and flowers that live on the boat to cheer us all up a bit. Didn't realise there were so darn many. So this is my alternative contribution to the beautiful snowy photos.
 
A Beautiful Begonia in the Bathroom. This particular position isn't permanent, although it does add some character to the toilet…
 
It resides here really, still in the bathroom, but not sitting on the po...
 
RHS of bow, the one on the left is lavender which smells wonderful in summer...


LHS of the bow, as for the grassy thing there, well I must see to that because there only seems to be half of it still with us...

We're in the back cabin now:
 
Three Heather's (of course) so that means there's four of us on the boat...
 
A nice little mix...
 
These are the remains of 3 fuchsia's that sadly fell to bits last week. So after a quick back n’ sides, if I put them on the front they should re-appear next year...
OOOPS, not real but looks good and sits under this table out back...
 
Well there you go, some cheery flowery stuff at a dreary time of year.
 
Coming up next week: Fertiliser assessment, do teabags really work? How to weave your own hanging basket, and the beginners guide to crop rotation.
 
PS: I've just realised how summery these photos look, just shows what a difference a bit of sun makes, even if it is freezing outside...

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Icy patches cause ducking and diving


All week we've been told to expect being covered in a blanket of snow today, till last night when it suddenly changed. The local weather forecast informed us it would be above us, below us, and to the right of us. For once (of late) they got it right.
 
So surprise, surprise, we got iced in instead. [That's what happens when you get smug about being spared.] I mean the only real snow we've seen here (at all) kindly descended on us when we went for a pump out the other day, then promptly stopped when we returned to our mooring...
Anyway, as this morning wore on it "part-thawed," but as you can see on the first photo it's still solid round the other side of the island. So armed with a loaf of stale bread and my camera I went to the end of the jetty to feed the forlorn ducks.
 
Before the first crumb reached the water, the odd hero was out and about trying to impress the others by slip sliding the hurdles first…
Within seconds I was surrounded, literally...
 
 En masse, with a rugby scrum going on for each piece of bread thrown. Jeez they were hungry, and broke up the thin ice around us in a frenzy...
 
There are now 8 swans at the marina, only the two young ones dared to brave being amidst so many ducks, which was a bit weird because it’s supposed to be the other way round.
 
It soon became obvious the swans were nervous of being out numbered by so many. They just aren't quick enough to dive in amongst several ducks fighting for one piece of bread. Don't blame them, the ducks were going for their eyes if they tried, cheeky beggars. Maybe the browny downy swans are still learning because the older ones knew better and stayed out the way.
 
Although I did manage to feed them by hand, ah...