Saturday, 26 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Welcome back, I hope you had as good a Christmas where you are as we've had here on the boat.

poster made by my gorgeous grandchildren

We arrived in Bugsworth Basin on Christmas Eve and were surprised by how deserted it is. 

Christmas Day saw us following our usual traditions and after preparing the veggies and squeezing the turkey into the oven we adjourned to The Navigation Inn for a couple of beers. The Christmas Kiss ale was on perfect form.

Someone asked me the other day where we were going for our Christmas dinner "as you can't cook a decent meal on a boat" ?????

Wanna bet? 

The turkey was the smallest one I could find and at 4kg just fit in the oven

The dinner was great and for once I didn't burn anything due to excess alcohol. I reckon we'll still be eating the remains of the bird for a while but I always enjoy the leftovers more than the actual roast. Well who doesn't like a good turkey curry and turkey soup...........not to mention all those butties, pie and salad.

Bye for now X

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Carry on Cruising

Hello again, nice to see you. Are you ready for Christmas yet?

We've finally escaped from the marina and set off this morning on our way to Bugsworth Basin where we're spending Christmas.

It's been a beautiful day for cruising and it was great to be moving again. There were lots of walkers about and the biggest Kingfisher I've ever seen flew alongside the boat.

The trees and plants seem to be confused by the warm weather we've been having recently. I saw several trees which were starting to bud and also these primroses which were blooming beside the towpath.

The sun shone as we crossed Marple Aquaduct which has had a lot of work done to it since we were here last.

Marple Locks are deep and heavy to operate so I drove and Roger did the hard bit. One of the locks (sorry I can't remember which one) is leaking heavily through the side wall and the boat got soaked. I'm glad we had the cratch cover down as the bow would have been flooded but at least it washed some of the muck off the roof.

Roger had help with the locks as a fellow boater friend of ours, Phil, came to give us a hand. Once we'd got to the top of the flight and moored up we adjourned to the Ring o'Bells pub and "paid" him with beer. His help was very welcome but it was even nicer to catch up on the local gossip as we haven't seen him for a year or so. Hopefully he'll be able to join us with his wife and boat in Bugsworth next week and we can carry on where we left off.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

A Rude Awakening

Hi, Lovely to see you here again. I hope you're well and making the most of the mild weather.

I find marina life extremely boring which is why I haven't inflicted the mundane minutia of my current day-to-day life on you. We are both recovering from nasty colds gifted to us by our lovely grandchildren when we saw them last month, but that's a small price to pay for having had such a wonderful time away with them.

We had a rude awakening last night - literally - as the Carbon Monoxide alarm went off just after we'd got to sleep. The fire was very low and banked down as it was still 12' outside when we went to bed, so we opened the door and windows and the alarm stopped shrieking. Chico wasn't impressed as the alarm is right above his bed and he took himself off to hide under our bed at the other end of the boat. To be on the safe side we left plenty of windows open and went back to bed.

Checking on the internet this morning the main reason for carbon monoxide poisoning is due to a lack of ventilation but as we have 5 mushroom vents as well as plenty of low level ventilation grilles throughout the boat we didn't think that would have been the problem.  Just to be sure I took all the vent covers off to have a look and I was gobsmacked!  We've had an awful lot of spiders in the boat this autumn due to the mild weather and they seem to have taken up residence behind the grilles.

Our mushroom vent covers have an insect grille behind them to keep mossies and spiders out while still allowing a good flow of air

When I took the covers off almost every vent was full of spiders webs that looked like cotton wool

The grille covers were almost totally blocked which had drastically cut down the ventilation

A quick clean with an old toothbrush soon had them clear again.

Cleaning the vent covers is usually one of my spring cleaning jobs but in future it'll be done before we start using the fire in the autumn.

So that's my tip for the day. If you haven't got a carbon monoxide alarm - GET ONE!

And don't let the spiders bung up your holes...............

Bye for now

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Quick Update

Hi, nice to see you again.

I've been away for a few weeks looking after my mum who finally had her knee replacement operation. Unfortunately she was quite poorly after the op and had to stay in hospital for a week rather than the usual 2 days but she's much better now and is much more mobile.

We've also had a week's holiday in a very wet and windy Cumbria with our children and grandkids. The house we'd rented was HUGE and it's been a bit of a shock coming back home to the boat which seems very low and narrow. I suppose I'll soon adjust.

We're currently moored at Portland Basin Marina as Roger is helping the owner refit a boat. I'm hoping we'll manage to escape before Christmas, but if not we'll definitely need to move shortly afterwards to get past the winter maintenance stoppages on the Marple Lock Flight due to start at the beginning of January. It's a long time since we were last on the Macclesfield Canal and we're both looking forward to visiting old friends and checking out some of our favourite pubs.

Bye for now