Showing posts from December, 2012

Good for Boating?

We went into the local town the other day as our old DAB radio gave up the ghost and we missed Jazz FM ;) There's an independent electrical store down there which is a bit more expensive than getting it from somewhere like Currys or even online, but I'm fed up of ordering online and having problems with delivery and waiting etc.

Getting it from a shop is much easier - you can look at it, and get it there and then! I think shopping in store is going to make a comeback!

Not really sure why DAB radios are so expensive, but they all are so we thought we'd get the most appropriate one we could for our boating lifestyle.

We found a radio from a brand called Roberts which came with rechargeable batteries which charge when you plug it into mains and also has a built in solar panel - meaning that the radio can function just on solar alone and the panel will also charge the rechargeable batteries in good conditions. Sounds great although I don't suppose the solar panel will be much…

Always One Thing After Another!

I wasn't happy last night !! It all started when we had the engine on yesterday and once again the engine started cutting out. I don't think our diesel has been stolen again, but we had (stupidly!) just ran out, probably because we've only been putting small amounts in the tank Incase it DOES get stolen!

So much for a nice day with lots of scenery spotting with Eddie and trying to rest my knee which is really painful lately and has swollen up again.

Anyway, if there's readers out there who don't have a boat and are thinking how stupid we are to let the tank run dry.... It's not as straight forward as having petrol or diesel in a car.

There is no fuel indicator on a boat dashboard to tell you when you're nearly running low, or a light or anything like that which comes on. The engine just stops! You literally just have to guess how much fuel you are using/have left, knowing that an hour of engine running time is around a litre of fuel.

Hmmm. However it is still o…

Make use of time, let not advantage slip - William Shakespeare

Even on Boxing Day we manage to find time to do some "boaty" jobs!

We basically finished off the wiring-in of the new small inverter that we've fitted on a 12v cigarette socket directly to the batteries for the TV and aerial. We still had the thick cable hanging down the wall to the sockets which looked a bit of an eyesore and I couldn't bear it any more!

It all looks neat and tidy now and we've really noticed an improvement with the battery capacity. With everything we usually have on, using the main inverter was taking around 10-13% out of the batteries an hour, which was way too much! With this new inverter we are only using around 3 or 4% an hour which means a lot less engine running time ! It's fantastic. I think this also shows that it WAS the main inverter that was using the battery capacity and the batteries aren't knackered after all!

So if there's any people out there who are planning on getting a new inverter or are fitting a boat out etc, DON…

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Hope you have a great few days with plenty of food, drink and good company :)

There's just the two of us again this year on the boat so it'll be a quiet one but enjoyable all the same.

As i write this, Ive just popped our Turkey "crown" in the own which we got from Waitrose last week and also comes with some stuffing balls too - all in ready to roast tins.

Instead of boiling the sprouts I'll be slicing them finely and frying them with bacon bits and chestnut pieces in butter... mmMMmmm!

We will also be having some roast potatoes and roasted veg alongside, not forgetting pigs in blankets!

Yesterday was a bit manic as I was prepping lots of things including my chilli jam, home made mince pies and a flour-less carrot cake. We had a lovely buffet last night though and it was all well worth the effort. It was nice just to spend Christmas Eve just the two of us with nothing else to do but to leisurely make the food we'd be eating over the next…


Well I got nothing 'Christmassy' done today as we were still busy finishing up on jobs inside the boat. The new inverter needed all the cables tidying up and we had to take the boat out to get a tank full of fresh water for the next few weeks.On top of that I decided to wash and wax the boat as it was looking a bit grubby. That takes forever and is absolutely knackering! Later I popped into town as I needed a few bits from the diy store (again!). By the time I got back it was gone 4 and I still had the inside of the boat to clean up. So I made no chili jam, mince pies, or carrot cake... tomorrow had better be less hectic. I really love Christmas eve,more so than Christmas day,so I really want to have a nice day which is relaxed! I'll get up early and maybe watch some Xmas cartoons tomorrow to get me in the mood :)Right now I'm vegging with Eddie

Back to (In)sanity

We had an absolutely, ridiculously busy day yesterday! Rob came back to fit the new kitchen top, fit the new gunnels and chop the kitchen back on the other side to give us more space on one side to allow for the larger work top on the other side.

It's basically a whole kitchen remodel!

We were up yesterday at 7AM as Rob was due by 8AM and he was spot on time as always!

We'd emptied the cupboards and moved everything out of the way and put plastic sheeting down in the saloon on the carpet. I hate it when the boat is in bits like that.

We helped Rob get the worktop onto the boat and then left him to it! We thought it was best if we were out the way so we went into town for breakfast and some last minute Christmas shopping.

My phone rang at 1230 and it was Rob explaining that he was pretty much finished so we headed back to see what had been done and what the damage was!

I was actually dreading going back as I wasn't sure if in the end I was going to like the new kitchen layout... …

Just Another Day...

Since around 6AM this morning the 40MPH winds have returned. It died down over lunch time but has returned with a vengeance now! The boat's moving quite a bit as I type this, but it's a little bit exciting as its one of those moments you think "yep, I really live on a boat!"

I was at the doctors this morning having some blood taken to test for arthritis related problems that could be causing the swelling and pain in my knee (yep, I'm really only in my late 20s!) so I was out the door quite early this morning and on the train about 830.

I didn't get back onto the boat until around 1130AM by which time, P was up and had cleared the boat and took the old "tiles" off the gunnels ready for Rob arriving...

Ugh!!!!!! It looked a right mess but at least I know it's going to look a lot better and function a lot better when Rob has finished.

Basically, on the right hand side of the kitchen in the picture above, the worktop is coming out and being repl…

The Final Day in Sanity

I've not posted in a few days, partly because I've been feeling a bit under the weather and also because I've been busy arranging things for the final kitchen modifications which are taking place....oh....tomorrow!!

I feel a bit stressed about it as this is going to be slightly more invasive than the Welsh dresser style cupboard we had fitted the other week, as it involves a lot more work on the boat itself rather than a cupboard being built in someone's workshop and then just fitted in situ.

This time there's cupboards being taken out, cupboards added in, worktop changes.... and we're getting new gunnel trims from the kitchen end of the boat to the saloon end as the ones currently leave a gap between the work top and the wall above and generally look tatty. We attempted to "tile" over the gunnel to hide the gap with some tile transfer stickers but these have started peeling away and basically look a mess!

I'll detail more in tomorrow's post, but…

Wine Tasting!?

Not much has been happening really. P was off work yesterday so he went into town with me when I headed into work so he could do some Christmas shopping. He ended up waiting for me to finish work and we went for a coffee and a cake together and then didn't end up getting home until nearly 8PM!

We were both off today, so did a few jobs around the boat, mostly just general clean up stuff but we also put handles on the new kitchen cupboard as Rob had left us to choose our own.

The weather has been awful all day with 40+MPH overnight which woke us early and rain which hasn't stopped all day so we didn't have much else to do.

We also did a final de-gas of the wine that we make. We thought we had finished with the de-gassing a few weeks back and had added the finings to clear it, but I tasted the wine the other night and it still tasted fizzy. When you make wine, the reaction of the yeast with the sugar (which turns it into alcohol) also causes air bubbles. Obviously, you have to …

More fitting out...

Hi everyone

I know I've not posted for a while but the Internet has been down for the last few days. I don't know why, but it is a mobile broadband connection and these days, rather than getting angry at it and wanting to throw the iPad into the canal I just turn it off and enjoy the TV, the crisp weather outside and keep busy with general jobs on the boat that I need to get on with!

So basically, our Internet connection is temperamental and can go "off" for days at a time! I'm guessing it is because its mobile and because we're on a boat in the middle of nowhere!?

I've been quite busy anyway the last few days so wouldn't have been able to post so much. Saturday I was at work all day and then it was my work Xmas party which we had at a Thai restaurant in Manchester city centre. There was only four of us for the meal which was really nice ( and all paid for !) and then I had to get the last train home whilst the others went out for a night on the town!



Well, me and P have both been off work today, so we've been doing a few jobs around the house (boat!), one of which was to top up with water. We're getting into the habit of doing it weekly now despite the fact that our tank usually lasts us, maybe 3-3 and a half weeks usually. The main reason for this is if the canal freezes over like it has been doing, but then gets worse and worse we won't have water after 3 weeks!

Apparently, last year, everyone up here was frozen in for 6-8 weeks which would be a real problem if it happens this year. Not only that but last year was quite a mild winter and the forecasts for this year aren't so positive!

After doing that, we popped in to Andy at the Trading Post to finally buy our Ecofan. It is expensive, but we figured its definately worth it. I was talking about it a week or two ago on here.

Basically, it helps circulate the air from the stove so you get a more even distribution of heat from it rather than hot and cold pockets (heat …

Not a lot

Hi all

Not a lot happening to be honest. I called the police yesterday to report the diesel being stolen, they were quite good and told me that they were going to send a police presence to the area and late afternoon yesterday, I did see policemen walking around the towpath.

I don't ever expect them to find who took my diesel specifically but hopefully it might put someone off doing it again now, but we'll see!

My knee is no better and is still swollen and really sore. It's difficult to work on my feet all day when it's like this so will be heading back to the docs soon.

It was another chilly start this morning at minus 6 and apparently when P came in during the very early hours it was minus 7. Nice and toasty inside though with the stove kept in :)

Will keep you posted on any news. I'm off tomorrow so it ill be a case of finishing off the wine so it clears ready for bottling. I was meant to do that last week !

Thick as thieves...

This morning was another chilly start at minus 6 again! I got up with Pawel again and headed out at 630PM to take him to his work taxi and to give Edward a quick run about. I took a couple of pictures and then a few more as it was getting lighter.... Lovely morning

View out of the porthole:

The view out of the front doors and a frosted covered table!

Nothing else has happened really although a theft has occurred!

I had the engine running this morning and after around an hour and just as i returned from a walk with Eddie, the engine started "hunting" (the rev speed going faster and slower all on its own)

I really started panicking as I assumed it was something serious ( we really don't know much about engines!!!) and we've had so much expense recently with renovations and battery problems (!) it's something we could do without .

Normally, I would have checked the fuel level as we did something similar like this last year where we let the fuel tank run dry(!) but I reme…


Well we've had some freezing temperatures here over the last few days. Last night was the coldest though as it was minus 6 when we arrived home at 745PM. We'd both been in work all day but luckily when we arrived back the stove was still alight as I'd set it all on low in the morning before I'd left - it was lovely and toasty inside!!

The previous few nights have ranged from minus 2 to minus 4. Most people hate this sort of weather but I absolutely love it! Its a really magical time of year I think.

Anyway, on Friday we topped up with water which involves moving the boat around a quarter of a mile to the nearest water point. There was only very thin ice in certain places on the canal on friday so it was our first "mini-ice-breaking" session since we bought the boat! Last year we were in a marina with no where to go so didn't get to go ice cracking! I'm hoping they'll be more opportunities this year. I think Eddie enjoyed it too... You can't real…