Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Oh No, do I have to wear a dress?

I’ve got to wear a posh dress on Friday night for a “Presentation Evening” of Dave’s at a complimentary posh hotel. It’s all to do with his job, overnight stay paid for by the company. But never mind that, which dress? Help…!
 
Giorgio A, eat your heart out.
 
Dress number 1: Must be accompanied with footless tights or else it’ll look ridiculous…
 
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Dress number 2: The little black number which needs a dam good ironing…
 
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Dress number 3: Another little black number but I don’t like the arms on it, pass me the scissors…
 
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Or, on second thoughts I could always wear the curtains instead.

Comments means votes, please…!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Three little swans a learning

Notice how the ducks aren’t scared of them now? Mum still fusses over them on her own. Without  the bad tempered dad on the scene, it´s allowed the ducks to find their way back into the pecking order of things…
 
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Learning, learning…
 
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Got it…!
 
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Cute and savvy rating 10 / 10…

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Cygnets?

I’ve been photographing the progress of The Swanlets ever since they were born. That’s a name I made up which was meant to sound cute. It did for a while but now I think it sounds naff.
 
So here’s a very basic “time lapse” thing of how the “cutie pies,” I mean “the cygnets” have grown.
25th June, at first there were four…
 
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18th July, and one had disappeared, ah…
 
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2nd August, fluff turning to feathers…
 
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17th August, stars with stripes…
 
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They’ve been a bit elusive round here recently, they bob in and out of the marina whilst spending most of their time on the canal.
 
Anyway they arrived “on tour” today so I took some more photos…

Sunday, 27 September 2009

An open and shut case

Forgot to say, (how could I when it’s such a BIG deal to me?) Wendy finished all my curtains last week, we went to collect them and what a fine job she’s done.
 
Last Thursday we half managed to put up the new curtains for the front doors, but even that was a performance because we were in a rush at the time before Dave went to work. The old chestnut “More haste less speed” comes to mind. We made a right pigs ear of trying to join the blackout curtains to the curtains themselves. This is something we’ve achieved easily in the past, without any fuss or bother at all...
 
The most obvious gaff in this scenario is to put the curtain hooks in upside down. However we got that right but it all fell down when it came to connecting the two together. For some reason the hooks wouldn’t stay put and kept falling out...
 
Even if they did stay put, nothing would line up – then I noticed the little spaces in the blackout linings where the hooks should be. Miles away from where we’d put them and the majority had scattered on the floor by then anyway...
 
By this time it was too late to carry on any further because Dave was going to work. So we just hung the new curtains "as was" overnight, minus blackout linings. Which wouldn't be much good for Dave when he’s trying to sleep in daylight the next day.
 
At last, after we’d been for a pump out on Friday afternoon we got back, and (using the technique I’d discovered) managed to get it right. So here’s a “sample” of the old curtains VS the new ones:
 
Out with the old...
 

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In with the new...
 
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What a difference eh? Just thought I’d post a photo of the front doors rather than every window…
 
Without any crazy mind boggling patterns too… (Phew)
 
Note: The not groovy 3D curtains came with the boat, so we can’t be held accountable for them. Just thought I’d be quite open about that. because it closes the door on the embarrassment aspect…

Saturday, 26 September 2009

A great day out in autumn

Today our best friends of all time arrived, (well, going back 30 years or so). We'd arranged to spend the day together and take them out on a "little jolly" down towards Tarleton.
 
They've visited us at the boat many times, but this was the first time they’ve been on board while it’s actually moving! Oh, and it's the first time we’ve taken the Lux Con down, then folded it back, hmm... The weather wasn’t wonderful but it didn’t matter…
 
I took these photos to show how the trees meet in the middle for a while along the way, it’s a beautiful sight but you’ve got to watch out for those branches slapping you in the face.
 
Looks like we’re merrily floating along in a wooded copse…
 
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Whenever we go out this way we never actually go into Tarleton because it’s a bit grotty where the boat yard is, and the owner plants narrowboats in the winding hole! (Naughty).
 
There’s another winding hole just before it, which is where we usually do a 180 and moor up just a bit further down in a beautiful spot.
 
I don’t think Dave even noticed I was taking these photos of what looks like an “in depth” conversation. When I mentioned it later he panicked and said “Oh no, you didn’t take them while I was wearing my captain’s hat did you?” (Shock horror indeed).
 
Well no, these photos were taken just before he lit the BBQ for tea, the food was delicious. It was only after that when the infamous hat suddenly made an appearance on his head, followed by a round of applause. I never worked out why.
 
Sheltering from the wind beside the boat, while Dave recalls a boating story…
 
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The “Captain’s Hat” as modelled by Barney the Teddy Bear soldier…
 
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The view from where we were sat, fields empty from harvesting, with a noisy tractor ploughing not too far away…
 
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By the time we got back it was going dark, while we were putting the lux con back together we had to use torches, it goes dark so quickly now doesn’t it?
 
Afterwards we just sat and chilled out, with drinks-a-flowing we laughed the night away and got very silly indeed.
 
Later on the “taxi service” arrived (one of their sons drove here to collect them). It was very kind of him to offer in advance, because it meant we could all get merry together without anyone having to stay sober, he he...
 
I heard someone walk past the other day saying “Ahh, this is the life isn’t it?” Need I say more…?!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I´m a celebrity but five minutes is enough!

Well I became a superstar celebrity last night. I sent this photo of the balloon that flew floated over us on Sunday night to our local news programme “North West Tonight” and got a phone call from Diane the weather girl (in person), to ask if it was ok to use it as a background!
 
Well of course, was the answer, but I stayed cool, you know like this kind of thing happens every day.
 
In reality was I truly gobsmacked, and running round like a headless chicken. We just had enough time to text and phone everybody. Then Dave even went running down the pier letting folks know to huddle round their TV’s just before 7pm.
So here it is again looking something like how it looked on TV…
 
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My name was on screen, and I was thanked personally for sending it in!
 
For some strange reason my reaction was to laugh my head off and jump up and down at the same time like a fool. I was on a roll, Diane (I mean our friend Diane not the weather girl) tried to tell me I was “full of hot air.” So I told her not to burst my bubble. Oh dear that’s too corny but true...
 
My phone never stopped with texts and calls for about an hour afterwards. I was truly “up in the air” (excuse). So I considered sorting out an agent for interviews / charity events, and I´m hoping the weight of all the fan mail won’t sink the boat.
 
Anyway, I recorded it for posterity, to show the grand kids in years to come. I mean it’s not even as if I’d been on there in person, yet when your name sits on screen for a while it’s really something. But that’s my 15 seconds of fame gone down the pan now, see, I don’t get ME on screen being interviewed about boating life, I just get a balloon and a mention, end of.
 
Dave said that at work three different people came and told him they’d seen it on TV, but (gasp) he reminded me that he took the photo not me. I've heard “I took the photo and she gets the credit for it,” several times now, but it's all a big wind up.
 
It could've been either one of us because we both took some. What happens is, when messing about with a telephoto lens, we tend to take about 20 photos EACH of the same thing, especially after a glass of wine or two.
 
Since then I fell out of the balloon and come back down to earth. Ah well, on second thoughts, I wouldn’t want that celebrity kind of lifestyle anyway. I’m happy to just be ME, with no bells and whistles.
 
Don’t need them, the door of life is always ringing anyway…!

Monday, 21 September 2009

A balloon or an upside down parachute?

Last night we were sat out back in the "Lux Con" (that’s luxury conservatory to you and me). It was a beautiful “summery” kind of evening, and all around us was calm and quiet, when all of a sudden we heard a faint whooshing noise.
 
It was the unmistakeable sound of a balloon low in the sky and very NEARBY! So we looked out and there it was, didn’t appear to be going anywhere fast (or slow) because there wasn’t a breath of wind. I think “the driver” might´ve been trying to find a “thermal” or two to give him some direction.
 
Tell you what though, lovely as it was down here on planet earth. He’d have needed to be wearing his thermals up there at this time of year. Or maybe the balloon got stuck because it had a piece of string tied to it, the little man up on the hill who was supposed to be pulling it in had stopped to have a rest. (Bless).
 
Eventually it made its way over the marina and went right over the top of us. Dave said “Get the camera out quick.” So I went running in, passed it to him and heard, “no, get me the long one out” (Pardon?) Aha naughty, he was talking about the 2 foot long lens, well ok it’s not quite that long but it sounds good.
 
See, I’ll do the “gopher” thing when it comes to taking photos because I think he secretly likes taking them for my blog. “A photo of this / that would look really good on your blog,” has been heard on more than one occasion.
 
Checkout that flame burner…
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See the upside down parachute effect? Blimey you’d be in trouble if that were for real…
 
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Slowly moving away…
 
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"Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon” along with thermals, a piece of string, a packet of custard creams, and a Thermos flask...
 
Meanwhile, back at ground level, and just across the way: Perfect Symmetry…
 
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Oh I hope we still have some more of this kind of weather to come before the cold sets in…

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Good Wood

Yesterday Dave managed to get a layer of varnish onto the wood and it looked great. But he wasn’t happy with just one coat so this morning he gave it a light rub down and slapped (sorry, carefully applied) another layer, I think it’s got the wow factor now.
 
Remember the water damage in yesterday’s post? Compare it with this…
 
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Yes, both sides (and the back bit – not shown here) are the same colour, but the bottom photo was taken in the shade…
 
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Thought it might be a good idea that, you know, to keep it all the same.
 
So, it means we can get on with setting out the market stall now. We’re going to call it “TT Turnips and co” do you think it’ll float or sink…?

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Touching up around the conservatory

Well here we are, at last we Dave can get on the difficult task of restoring the mahogany rail, to it’s former glory. It’s been water damaged in places due to the leaky old back cabin this is where a wooden support at the back used to be. But isn’t anymore. (Each side’s the same).
 
Crying out for care and attention…
 
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Dave sporting his best overalls whist rubbing down…
 
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Doing the whole thing, not just the grotty bits…
 
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The new conservatory literally STUCK up out the way. But not quite how it’s intended to be me thinks…
 
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Other side too, anything to save time…
 
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With the back bit rolled up we both said it looks a bit like a market stall that we could use to serve food to passing neighbours on the pier. We could do fruit and veg, or even various boating items. All incomings going towards the cost of the Conservatory, so it should only take us about 20 - 30 years to balance the books…
 
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Will post photos of the finished woodwork results soon...

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Goodbye don't cry!

Wipe the tear baby dear from your eye, or a splinter perhaps?
 
Anyway, may I proudly present, the remains of the old conservatory. I suggested Dave should make a little stool or perhaps a table out of it for posterity. But he wasn’t interested, I wonder why?
 
All chopped up with only one place to go – the tip…
 
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Here it is again…
 
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And just in case you missed that…
 
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Can’t even GIVE it away for firewood because it’s got primer and paint on it. We don’t want to be responsible for any air pollution or breathing problems…!!!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Totally Transformed!

So call me a big softy but Dave happened to mention one sentence yesterday, “we’ve had some great party’s with family and friends in that conservatory haven’t we?” It struck a chord that for all its physical faults. There’s been LOTS of laughs, good times and hilarious silliness in there that will never be forgotten. Oh pass me a tissue I’m going all emotional now.
 
It didn’t matter before, we could slop alcohol, drop food and it was no big deal. I’ll never forget the night that four of us were having a meal out there. The “buffet” was all laid out and grate cheese was in a bowl right next to the ash tray. (Note: INSIDE the boat is a no smoking zone). Clever clogs here flicked ash in the cheese bowl by mistake, well on the laughing Richter Scale, it was on a par with someone farting loudly in church when all is quiet.
 
It’s like you know you’re not supposed to laugh but you can’t help it. Then I made things even more side-splitting by picking up the top layer of said cheese and sprinkling it on my jacket spud. Well it all adds to the flavour! Then a big CHEERS with four glasses of wine clanging together and the wine suddenly rains down from the ceiling...
 
I mean imagine spilling a drink in the (as yet) un-named conservatory replacement? Good grief, doesn’t bare thinking about. This is the real deal, proper marine material. So if we have friends round in winter, we might have to have to ask them to bring their thermals so we can roll the sides up out the way.
 
As for having the odd smoke out there forget it, I think we may have to put an old tent up on the bow, or an awning on the jetty? OR as has been suggested by a friend who’s an ex-smoker - “GIVE UP!”
 
So moving on to the here and now, here’s some more photos we took today. Focusing on quality, I think we’re still in awe of it…
 
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Paddy next door getting his nose in there…
 
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One of the side sections rolled up…
 
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Fasteners that have to be turned to open inside, no big heavy duty zips visible, they’re all covered up…
 
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Solid stainless steel supports…
 
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I can’t even reach the ceiling…!
 
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And it’s all thanks to…
 
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Tell you what, it’s caused quite a stir round here…

Monday, 14 September 2009

The big day at long last, what a transformation!

For anyone new to the blog, this is what the “conservatory” looked like (for too long), till about 9.30am this morning when it was decommissioned...
 
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All safety pins & no poppers…
 
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After removal of sad err, (said) conservatory, a new creation was underway…
 
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After hours of hard graft, the finished product…
 
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Blimey I was knackered, my contribution (cups of tea) was hard work you know…
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Wonderful job guys, well done…
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So, the back cabin / conservatory (whatever it was) is no more, so it's with great regret that I must inform you we’re going to have to change the of it again. So as it’s got just the one to avoid confusion. I mean thinking about it just how many people have a name for their back cabin other than um, “the back cabin?”