Thursday, 30 December 2010

Grey Ice

What was supposed to fall as snow the other day actually fell as rain, lots of it. That sat on top of the ice for about 24 hours before freezing as the top layer of the sandwich.
 
The end result, ugh, not very appealing to the eye really…
 
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Weird photo of the day: This rather large crack at the end of the jetty looks a lot like the shadow of a dead tree. Totally useless but worth a mention…
 
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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A Whirlwind Wedding!

Forget Prince William and Katherine (or whatever her name is), today was OUR soldier’s wedding day…!
 
Yet another bittersweet moment. We still haven’t met baby Ryan, and we both wish, wish, wish, we could’ve been there… In Germany.
 
We only found out a couple of weeks ago, (as did they) about the wedding, so it’s been short notice for them too short for us. But never mind, as long as they’re happy that’s all that counts…
 
Doesn’t this photo (taken on Skype today), make you just want to weep with happiness and poignancy under the circumstances…?
 
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Look at that, Ryan smiling at the camera, they told us he was smiling when they said their wedding vows…
So here’s to Liam, Maddy & Ryan, our hearts are with you all as you celebrate your special day…    
Tears are welling up – I’ve got to go…

Sunday, 26 December 2010

A shape shifter

We’ve discovered a phallic symbol on the roof of the boat next to the chimney… (OOO missus)
 
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There’s something not right here isn’t there? This is a double skin chimney pot and look at that…
 
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Hmm…
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We spent Christmas Day, just us two, on the boat all cosy and warm, no hassle – just BLISS.
 
Started on the champers around lunchtime, and we’ve saved the second bottle for today!
 
So Happy Boxing Day folks, (doesn’t sound right) but it’ll do…

Friday, 24 December 2010

Just a little message

To all my friends and fellow boaty bloggers, here’s wishing you a Very Merry Christmas…
 
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And a Happy New Year…
Now grab a glass and I’ll get the champers…

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The BIG Squirrel

Is literally what’s saved us from selling the boat, we fed him some nuts overnight, and he kept the boat warm, warm, warm, warm, ALL night…
 
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Spot the eco fan kindly donated by Mark the Spark…
 
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Branded on both sides – good enough for a Christmas card…
 
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The Chimney…
 
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For the safety conscious, those lights are further away than they look in these photos. (We were even given another BIGGER chimney as a “freebie” to experiment with). Thing is, it won’t fit round the collar, but never mind it’s the thought that counts…
 
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So we’d like to say a BIG “Thank you” to both Mr Stoves… 
 
Two guys who worked their asses off in such adverse weather conditions. As much as we wanted it to be, this was no “rush job.”
 
They took their time to attain a very high standard of workmanship both in terms of how it looks, and the all important safety aspects.
 
Even they were taking photos of the finished product because after fitting out new boats for a living. This is the first stove they’ve installed “retro style” on a boat that’s already fitted out.
 
Well we have to be different don’t we…?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Who needs a freezer?

Never mind “Frozen Britain” and all the gloom ridden reports, let’s look on the white bright side.
 
One of the few advantages of deep snow in the week previous to Christmas is the extra freezer space we all acquire, at no extra cost or carbon emissions. What with double the amount of food shopping, plus a BIG fat turkey to make room for. Simply pop outside, bury your Turkey and trimmings amidst the bright white stuff, and bob’s yer uncle.
 
But that’s provided you can get to the shops in the first place, or there’s anything left on the shelves when you get there of course…
 
So in summery summary it’s such good timing this year and as a bonus even helps out with climate change. Or in this case, we’re helping ourselves to climate change…
 
Cheers to “Frozen Britain,” here´s some prime examples of good places to bury your goods…
 
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Even a graveyard if you’re desperate…?
 
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Freezing fog setting in earlier. About half an hour after I took this photo. We couldn’t even see the front of the boat from the lux con at the back…
 
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Ice on the windows inside this morning for the second day EVER since we bought the boat, where’s that Squirrel…?
 
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Besides the freezing fog there’s been every kind of severe weather you can think of here today – including a foot of snow, and:
  • Black ice.
  • Even worse, a snow and black ice sandwich.
  • Snow that’s turned to solid ice – in mountains.
  • A temperature of minus 17 degrees for two nights running – a record for the north west.
I was going to say there’s been no action as far as the stove is concerned when I started writing this post. But there is, it took both Mr Stove’s three hours to get here today – what would normally have been a 20 minute journey.
 
Yet they made it and finished off the job properly, that’s all that counts…!!! It’s still a learning curve for us, so photos tomorrow of the glowing product.
 
End result, we’re on fire NOW…!
 
This is such a big deal – turns out a little Squirrel was make or break for us with life afloat. It’s definitely a “make” success…!
{Rips jumper off}

Sunday, 19 December 2010

How to install a Morso Squirrel 1410 wood burning stove on a boat

Against all the odds, re: whether the weather would allow work to begin in the fire place first place…
  • Step 1: Get Mr Stove (and his associate) to do the job for you – safe in the knowledge that they know their stuff.
  • Step 2: Sit back and watch, without getting in the way or appearing to be on inspection duty.
  • Step 3: Take loads of photos to share with your friends.
  • Step 4: Make lots of cups of tea. 
Over the past two days both Mr Stove’s have proved that their standard of workmanship is of the highest possible. Each step of the way, time has been no object. Perfection, professionalism and safety has been their priority amidst hard graft…
As you know we started off with a virtual and unimaginable concept…
 
Which turned into this, fireboards in place, squirrel being tried out for placement…
 
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Then this, tiles in the hearth last night…

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Meanwhile the squirrel sits patiently next to it, waiting to be fed…
 
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And the hole in the roof inside tonight is bunged up with a towel in a plastic bag, simple yet sophisticated…
 
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The roof outside yesterday, a bucket full or three of thick snow removed, but no hole in sight yet…
 
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Preparation: With all tools in place we heard the boat scream as it was being cut open, but didn’t dare go outside…
 
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Mr Stove fitting the chimney collar today…
 
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Afterwards, all set and ready to go, but not yet because the flue needs some adjustment…
 
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A reality check on day one, was this really happening…?
 
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Well, the two "Mr Stoves" are back tomorrow to finish off. Being a couple of perfectionists ourselves when it comes to boaty jobs, we’re both very impressed…

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Never seen the likes of this before, Part two

Took these at 3pm this afternoon as a comparison thing, to show the vast difference gloomy light and bright light makes on roughly the same snowy views. Oh and it had stopped actually falling from the sky by this time which was a bonus.
 
It’s them there jellyfish again and they’re getting bigger…
 
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The island…
 
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The country bumpkin train must’ve had wheels after all…
 
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Towpath bridge…

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Left a right mess trudging back n’ forth didn’t I…?
 
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Behind the boat looking right…
 
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The village church…

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Coming up tomorrow: Squirrel installation photos, Chapter 1: “Mr Stove delivers…”
 
THEY’RE JUST DRILLING THE HOLE IN THE ROOF NOW, I SAID THEY’RE JUST,, Agghhh…

Friday, 17 December 2010

Never seen the likes of this before

Well not here anyway, I mean not since we got the boat has it been buried! Last night a deathly hush descended all around and the snow started falling. By this morning we had a foot of the stuff that was NOT forecast. 
 
I took these at 8am amidst the doom and gloom of the crack of dawn:
 
The lumps down the jetty resembling little snowmen were plants…
 
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Forget bow thruster this is bow blasted…
 
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The island…
 
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The towpath bridge…

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Spot the abandoned (one carriage) country bumpkin train somewhere in the middle there…
 
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The snow laden back cabin, and the village church with a snow covered spire in the background…
 
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Frozen ropes…
 
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A green box turned white…

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Behind the boat looking right…
 
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The boat next door with nobody home and no heating to melt the snow. Looks like it’s got a sad robot face on the side – was not my doing, I’d have made it look more convincing with a smile...
 
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The view, (or lack of) from the back cabin…

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So going by past record where our luck’s concerned, neither of us thought Mr Stove would make it. But he managed to get here a couple of hours late, having tip-toed past several abandoned cars on the way. Through dreadful driving conditions, he was determined to get here and we really appreciated his efforts…!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

How to install a wood burning stove, design first!

And placement…

Well I could say we had a cracking good time yesterday choosing tiles for the hearth, but I won’t because in reality it was a right pain in the ass.

Walking up and down the aisles we seemed to be spoilt for choice at first, but that soon got cut to size when it came to details. We wanted floor tiles (for the floor) and wall tiles (for the walls). Simples. But all the floor tiles were MASSIVE.

Eventually we found some that were more flexible(?) As in they can be used anywhere under any conditions, and are as thick as floor tiles. At a cutie size of 6 x 6 ins, we bought the job lot required…
 
Here we have a real tile in the virtual hearth, in fact that one in the photo is right underneath the “virtual” stove…
 
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As you can see we went for a nice light colour that will easily wipe down. And with the appropriately named “charcoal” grout as a contrast, the latter can’t go any darker. See there is some logic in there somewhere.
 
Mr Stove and his mate Mr Stove 2, came round to confirm plans last night, work is due to begin over the weekend – can’t wait…

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Rescued from the hotel prison at last

Well Dave came to release me from confinement today, he also visited me on several occasions during the week. I was even allowed out on bail for the odd meal (and quiz night), so it could’ve been worse I suppose…? No.
 
With a tag round my ankle and subject to good behaviour we went to B&Q to choose some tiles for the hearth, and couldn’t find any. Then we went to a tile specialist place, and it was shut...

So we went back to the boat to have a re-think, and came to the conclusion we should go back tomorrow, being as it’s Monday by then…

So here’s a couple of photos of the new virtual fireplace…
 
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Minus squirrel and all it’s parts…
 
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But it’s a start isn’t it…?