Sunday, December 28, 2008

Boy done good

Christmas Day

Bones' top tip from the kitchen is ALWAYS REMOVE THE GIBLETS FROM THE TURKEY! I managed to notice before the bag melted into oblivion.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The bedroom continues

The man himself weilding a tape measure:

Cutting up polystyrene makes Christmas come early - there is snow EVERYWHERE!

A Wall is up:

Phones at night

I was strolling through the dreamy spires last week, on my way to a wine tasting evening, and took these - I rather like this city at night:

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Today we went to the Lord Mayors Carol Concert with PJ and Ocelots Daughter, to admire Ocelots son doing percussion things in the orchestra. It was a real treat to listen to the Orchestra playing beautifully, and the Mayor singing..erm.. interestingly. It was super, I love orchestral music!. I had a fabulous time singing along to some of my favourite carols, but completely failed to follow the descant through on the final carol - partly because the descant I was thinking of was to a completely different carol... I did wonder why it wasn't quite working. Prior to the concert we had time for a little Christmas shopping, but I was distracted by a coffee shop.... There is always tomorrow....

The town hall is a beautiful building:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where did the time go?

Since last Friday I have been run off my feet doing glorious things! On Saturday Maffi and I went to the ancestral seat to do the annual dig of the vegetable patch. It went rather well considering it was raining. Ma had some spare cake for us at lunchtime:

On Sunday I had to juggle the boat around so Mark Paris could do some welding for me in the bedroom. Maffi co-ordinated it all for me on Monday while I was gallivanting around in College. The results are fantastic! Mark has made and welded on two brackets for the bed mechanism:

The steel work has all been vactaned, so Maffi painted the metal work with some paint I have been storing under the front deck 'just in case'. The bedroom is now a delightful pillar box red:

Yesterday morning the wood arrived for the floor, and Maffi spent the day sawing it into the correct size for the floor. Now I am back in action we will be able to get the wood to line out the bedroom, build the bed box, and construct the wardrobe. Happy days and exciting times!

I thought Bones looked very tranquil yesterday resting in the sunrise:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tiller pins

I am wondering whether to indulge in some extravagance and buy a new tiller pin. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the old one, except it isn't a skeleton. I saw a fabulous tiller pin on the back of NB Puffin the other week; it was a canon! I think I can justify a new one, by saving it for 'special occassions' after all every boater (except me) must have a tiller pin for best. I am wondering whether to learn how to make my own - this strikes me as a very good idea and a wonderful opportunity to avoid doing anything to my bedroom.

A visit from KeepingUp

Last night KeepingUp were passing nearby, so they stopped for a visit. Not only was it lovely to see them, but they gave me a birthday present:

I LOVE IT! Thank you!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Water pump fun

Hurrah. The waterpump is fitted to the engine. Next job is to get some antifreeze and check it works! In the process of sorting out the fan belt I managed to get my spanner in the wrong place and was rather bemused with the bang and the sparks... warmed my fingers up though.

I usually remember to switch the electrics off when I am doing work on the engine, but I didn't this time. I will next!

I did run the engine just to check it starts and that the alternator is still working - it is!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Weekend

The other weekend Nick asked Ocelot and I what we normally did on a weekend... and we looked at each other, scratched our heads, and decided that we spend most weekends messing around. So, here are some photographs from this weekend:

Ocelot towing the good ship while Maffi punted it backwards and Charlie moaned about being awake:

Maffi taking the boat out to retrieve the punt pole while Charlie recovered in hysterics, and the rest of us watched from the bridge waiting for him to fall in (he didn't):

Dennis managed to avoid the camera, but when we were looking at Marks panther Dennis thoroughly enjoyed chewing and hiding the stop blocks Mark was using.

and Maffi was caught jogging:

In the evening we all gathered in the Ocelot Odeon and watched Shawshank Redemption, which has to be the best film I have ever watched, it is absolutely fantastic.

Waterpump is BACK

The water pump is back... the bad news is they couldn't repair it, the good news is they found a new one for me, the bad news is it was 112 pounds! I will be VERY pleased to have it back on the engine. Many many thanks to Maffi for going to pick it up!


I wonder if anyone who reads this blog has any dexion lying around that I could have? Or perhaps you know where I can get it from?

the other side

The other half of the bedroom floor looks a bit worse than the first:

nothing a bit of vactan and bitumin won't sort out!

I think I will put the plastic sheeting down on only one half of the floor, and use cut up peices of fan belt for the other half, then I can see what the difference is in years to come.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Todays challenge..

.. is getting the temperature of the bedroom up to 10degrees so I can vactan the roof and sides....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

And tonight...

Tonight half the floor of the bedroom is drying out. I removed the ballast, scrubbed down the steel, swept it out, then bitumined the base:

Looks nice and shiny!

Bedroom Floor

My bedroom floor looks like this:


Friday, December 05, 2008


Last night Adam and Miss T came to visit, so we went to the local hostelry to sample their ale. I was in a foul mood for most of the day, but the anticipation of their arrival soon cheered me up. Not only that, but weeping cross telephoned and left a message (the signal in the local is poor), which also cheered me. Friends are good.
NOT ONLY that, but Ocelot (the greatest blogger of the world...not) has organised my morning tomorrow, and will tow me to get diesel, then drop me off on my mooring - this saves me having to punt one handed down the canal! Hurrah.

The weekend is looking good, the sun is shining which will help me fix my bike, and empty my bedroom out into the shed so I can get too sorting that out.

The real bonus of the day was a communication with my boss this morning. I asked if I could leave early so I could do some work on the boat and bike, and he suggested I took the whole day. This really DOES make things easier, and it also means I can rest my hand so the RSI goes away quicker.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Offending Article

The water pump that I cant buy off the shelf (grrr):

It has been sent away on holiday for a week or so to be reconditioned.

Fed Up

On Monday I took my water pump off in order to get a new one. It turns out that the water pump I have on the boat is 'unusual' and therefore needs to be reconditioned as a replacement was not easy to find. Everything about my engine seems to be 'unusual'! The water pump drives the engine to charge the batteries and the hot water. Normally my solar panel provides all my electrical needs, but with our cloudy skies, it isn't doing the job very well at all, so I have been using the engine. The lights are getting dimmer and dimmer, and this evening I will be wondering around the boat by torch light. With no electric, the domestic water pump doesn't work, so I don't have any water. I am also in the process of sorting out my bedroom, so the boat is a complete and utter tip. NB Bones is not a pleasant place to be. Thankfully I have my sterling neighbours to reply on, but their place just isn't 'home' like mine, and I do like to be 'home', dont we all!

This morning I woke early so I could get to work at a reasonable time. I started up the motorbike, but after a while it died. I started it again, and it will only idle at 1000revs and not roar. If I rev it it dies. It only occurred to me on my way into work (thank you Maffi for the lift!) that the air vent on the petrol tank could be blocked - I will check that when I get home.

Two weeks ago my bank card broke in half, and I have no money in my purse. This is very dull, especially when I need to get buses everywhere (thank you again Maffi for the promised lift home tonight!).

Today I have a sprained left wrist, or is it RSI? I have no idea, but I do know that punting my boat down to its new mooring (via reverse so I can fill up with diesel first) (no engine until the water pump comes back), will be hard one handed. I have punted it one handed before but it wasn't enormously fun, and I was in a better mood then!

Boating is lovely, but when something goes wrong, everything goes wrong!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Happy Birthday Maffi!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I rather like neighbours, and I particularly like mine this winter - PJ and Maffi. Our three boats are probably everything anyone wants in a boat. PJ has the power tools, Maffi's has the electricity, and I have the ... erm... table for supper, and the projects to keep us all out of trouble of an evening/weekend

Maffi has a new boat all shiny with all the mod cons and electric to supply them; PJ has a shiny boat too - but he has a proper engine and a TV with DVD (great for video nights!)! Mine is at the bottom of the pile for shine and modern stuff, but it is far more fun than either of theirs.

As you know my water pump isn't working, and this has repercussions on electrics and hot water, but I won't be going without! When I first had my boat I didn't have any electric, water, gas or heating, and it was a rather tough way of life aboard - but I did have the opportunity to share the facilities of a house dweller, which certainly eased the pain.

What is striking about boat life is how quickly ones comfort can go to pieces, and it is this that people forget about when they move aboard.

Not only that, but trust amongst neighbours and friends is important too. My bank card has snapped in two, and thus my shopping abilities are zero, but Maffi has come to the rescue.

If I didn't have the community I have around me, living on the boat this winter would be tough, as it is with the neighbours I have, I can see the funny side - and so can they!

Thanks Guys.

Monday, December 01, 2008

No water, no Electricity

Today I took the water pump off the engine because the shaft seems to be bent. I tried to find a new one, but to no avail so it is being repaired and will take one working week. The engine doesn't charge the batteries, or heat the water without the water pump on it, so I am living rather primitively for a while.