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Showing posts from February, 2013

A Dog's Life?

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We know that whilst we're having the bathroom done, for one night at least, we will have to stay in a hotel. This means Eddie needs to find alternative accommodation too!

He's not had his kennel cough vaccination though as he's never been in kennels before, but we know that he will need to go into one in just over a week!

Therefore, we decided to go into the local village today, Eddie included and register at a new vets so we can get him vaccinated. Luckily, we've got an appointment for tomorrow morning.

We needed a few bits from in town and decided to stop for a coffee afterwards and sat out at Costa as the sun was so warm today. Even Eddie loved it:



I don't usually like Costa coffee as a chain or many other coffee chains apart from Pret, but the one in Poynton is quite nice - plenty of tables outside and even a canopy which is great in warm weather.

Anyway, we got the bus back afterwards- and Eddie got on for free too!



I think Eddie appreciated the bus journey back up …

Wine Making

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This morning involved a trip down to the butchers to get a bit of bacon and some decent bread rolls as all my efforts with the bread making lately have been bad!

I've been in a right mood/temper the last few days too and I don't know why. Today with the sun shining, I felt back to my usual self and so after breakfast we headed out to stock up.

It's been a gorgeous sunny day, although not too warm, reaching only 10 degrees at most, but we did have a coffee out on deck on our return.

It's still sunny out now as I write this and its gone 5PM. How bizarre - I can hear some sort of creature walking on the roof right now too! It must be a duck! Ha!

For the rest of the day, I've spent most of it sorting out the admin that goes along with life and a bathroom refurb! We've been trying to decide on showers, taps, shower screens, sorting things out for delivery and also my hatch glass. I've now decided to have the glass made with drilled holes in the top corners to allow…

We Have A Date

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We have finally found out when our bathroom refurb will be done by Rob! He's coming on 11th March to start the tiling, completing all that first followed by building the two corner units I discussed HERE

All we have to do now is order the tiles, shower screen, shower to be installed and new flooring!?

We have finally decided on an accent tile too. It looks like this:




It'll go really nice with our plain coloured tiles -a contrast and definately an accent ;)

We'll just have a strip of them going along the wall where the bath is - just about mid-height. I can't wait! I only wish it was next Monday he was starting rather than a week on Monday!

Rob is coming over next week to start taking measurements and things and he also wants to us take some of the existing cladding off for then as well as he needs to see what the walls are like underneath. I'm thinking that for the next few weeks, the place is going to look like a bomb's hit it!

Today we topped up with water, diesel,…

To All The Advertisers...

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....who keep posting shit in the comments section - please stop!! Your comments go straight to spam:



Not only that, but can anyone explain to me why someone would post a comment advertising "wedding dresses" (in America, might I add) for example?!

What custom do you think you will get from a blog about a narrowboat in England?!? Us boaters are more likely to wear a bin liner than a wedding dress.

Stupid people.

What Brilliant Headlines!

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This made me laugh, that's for sure! It's better than reading about crime or immigrants.



I didn't get a copy of the paper (unfortunately!) so not sure what all the fuss is about to be honest - although I have to say we have sheep on a field next to the boat and they can be noisy sods at night!!

Nothing much to report really. Today I did a food shop to get stocked up for the week, including a trip to our butchers which usually ends up with a 20 minute natter about this and that. We had a quick coffee in town too, along with a pastry, as it was quite early still and we only had some yogurt for brekkie.

We keep having the odd snow flurry which usually stops almost as soon as its started but its still as cold as anything, meaning I can't get on with anything that I need to do that's boat related. However, I think the batteries are due for an electrolyte top-up so that'll be done tomorrow hopefully.

I won't do anything else today now apart from cook dinner, with Da…

Glass Design Idea

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Here's a quick draft design for my hatch glass with the bevels. It's a bit hard to make out but it gives me my design idea - I'm quite impressed with it.



The lines that you see in the drawing above, will be done with leading. Inside the leading, in the border area will be coloured film to give the impression of leaded lights .



Sanding in This Weather!?

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Well I got my sanding discs yesterday to attach to the drill so I can sand off the gas locker, but its way too cold to even consider doing anything like that!



I just got a light grade paper as I don't want to take the paint back completely to a polished steel. Ideally, I want to leave the undercoat on so its ready to just paint on top of - thats the plan anyway!

We've actually had snow this morning and its been quite heavy. Therefore, it looks like I won't be doing any sanding or painting until after next week now, as the weather is set to be like this until the end of next week :(

Everything I seem to be planning for at the moment is having to be put on hold for one reason or another, and I'm an incredibly impatient person! I feel fed up!!

* No sanding/painting due to weather
* No planting/gardening due to weather
* Bathroom refurb delayed until mid-March when it was originally
supposed to be end Feb

Grrr! It will all come together in the end I'm sure.

This afternoon I…

More Prospective Boat Jobs

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At the moment, we just have a piece of Perspex in our hatch, whereby we can open the hatch doors even on chilly days, having the Perspex in place so it stays warm inside!

The Perspex is a bit scratched now though and looks a bit shoddy - it doesn't do the new woodwork that Rob did for us any justice either! Rob re-fitted our hatch doors HERE



Basically, the perspex goes over the whole frame of the hatch as in the picture above (the pic is to show you the frame, not the Perspex as when I took that picture, I'd not put the hardware back on to keep the Perspex in place!

Anyway, my plan now is to replace the Perspex with a sheet of glass - approximately 62 x 55cm as the Perspex can scratch easily, even when cleaning it with a bit of window cleaner and kitchen roll!

I am then going to get some beveled glass decorations which you can then 'bond' to the glass to give a decorative effect. Something like this perhaps:



In one of my very first blog posts, I had mentioned how our new fr…

I've Got A New Friend!

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He's at the hatch whenever I open it and he walks a bit funny.... Maybe he has a bad knee like me?!

He even takes food from my hand, he's not afraid at all.



The approach:



Gonna get it:



It's one of the things I love about being on the boat - being able to feed ducks and other 'creatures' from the hatch!

It's absolutely freezing again today and I'm sure I've actually just spotted a few random snow flakes coming down!? It's not been any more than 2.5 degrees all day unfortunately! I was hoping the warmer weather we had earlier this week would continue as I have a new job to do...

The other day we tidied up outside and re-jigged a few of our plantpots around. We had one on the gas locker but it was all chipped and the design of the pot had come off during winter (I'm guessing it wasn't frost proof!).

Anyway, we repotted the plant into a larger pot which now lives outside our boat and did away with the old pot, deciding not to have anything on the gas …

Nothing Much Happening

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Well the weather has returned to a bitterly 2 degrees all day! I knew it was all too good to be true!

The winds are easterly too and so it feels like its minus 1 apparently, but I do have to agree with that. It was so cold all day I've barely ventured outside feeling a bit miserable for it!

With it being overcast too, we've not had that much power through our 690w solar bank today either, so the engine was on early this morning. For the last few days we didn't have the engine on until around 5 or 6PM as the solar panels were charging the batteries all day and gave us plenty extra to allow us to use things without affecting the state of charge on the batteries. Bonus! I can't wait for more weather like this where we won't have to have the engine on at all!

So with nothing to do and it being cold out, we've mostly been watching the birds and the squirrel(!) on the bird feeder. We got a new seed bowl a few weeks back for it which we thought would result in the squi…

Edward Keeps Guard!

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Today has been an amazing day. There was a heavy frost this morning and most of the canal was frozen over too but that quickly defrosted when the temperatures rose to over 13 degrees by lunchtime.

Its been that warm today that we've just been having a coffee outside the boat on the strip of land next to us and cannot believe we were sat outside and warmish in the sun in the middle of February! Just a shame the nights are still a bit cold!

So yes, today has mostly been an outdoor day, such as tidying up the pots outside etc with Eddie keeping watch over the boat all day...



Pawel also potted some garlic bulbs that he picked up from the garden centre yesterday:



And whilst we had some spare compost, we thought we'd sort out last years strawberry plants (that seem to be doing quite well for February!)

I remember last year when we got these strawberry plants. We were on a cruising holiday when it was really hot weather last March and found a country garden centre - just a tiny little pl…

The Garden Centre!

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The bread was an absolute failure - I'm not sure what went wrong to be honest! But if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

After lunch we decided that seeing as Pawel was off, we should do something and decided to go to Brookside Garden Centre which is a short ride from us on the bus - we've never been before despite it only being 10 minutes away and thought with the weather looking a bit better, today was the day!

We knew it apparently had a "miniature railway" and a cafe, but were shocked when we arrived. It was a whole complex!

Here's the entrance:




I wonder if we can moor here:




The miniature railway is totally under-marketed on their website - it's so cute and amazing! There is even a railway platform with luggage left behind from mystery travellers, not to mention other old and long forgotten momentos :







A 'conductor' waving off the train!:



We really wanted to go on the mini train but both agreed we'd feel utterly ashamed as two grown men o…

More Bread

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Well I started a mix for a new loaf of bread yesterday using my own yeast that has the ascorbic acid already added.

Anyway, I decided to use a mix of 400g of wheat flour and 250g of rye flour, and I've just took it out of the oven now:







I'm not that impressed so far. It lookg good, it's just not a huge loaf and feels quite heavy so I have a feeling that its going to be a bit dough-y inside.

I think the problem is that I used too much rye flour. I've since found out that rye flour doesn't contain much of the gluten fibres that gives bread it's rise/texture. I looked at some rye bread recipes and most use a ratio of 5:1 wheat flour to rye and my ratio was more like 2:1 which could be where the problem lies...

I'm going to wait until its cooled a little and then I'll slice it to see what it looks like inside. If its more like cake or sponge, I'll chuck it!!

Another Fantastic Day

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It's been another fantastic day weather wise. We were up quite early this morning as Rob was due to arrive at 9AM and we know that, more often than not he's early!

Anyway, upon getting up I noticed how warm it was despite the stove having gone out overnight - the indoor thermometer was showing 22.5!! I opened all the blinds and noticed the sun was shining in through all the windows on one side of the boat (the way our boat is moored, the sun comes in through every window on one side first thing in the morning - east!) and it felt warm through the glass! So I think that's what contributed to the warmer temperature inside.

Here's a view from the breakfast bar this morning:



And out of the other side of the boat:


Anyway, we didn't bother relighting the fire and just got on with having a quick breakfast. Rob arrived spot on 9AM and we got down to what was going to happen with the bathroom.

There's so much to plan beforehand that to be honest, I can't even begin …