Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Snow And Ice At Whixall

A floodlit snow covered oak tree at Whixall (Eric)

It's looked very pretty but once the snow finally stopped falling the ice has been treacherous specially where it had been walked on. The piers themselves were clearly fairly easily  and gritted with a mixture of rock salt and grit.  To reach the canal by road meant walking along a frozen Alders  Lane so we found the spikes in a box on the boat and fastened them to our boots. Ben the dogs claws didn't do the job as well and Bambi comes to mind as he struggled to stay in his feet on slippery compacted ice.

Lots of the main country lanes have been cleared by the farmer's on their tractors. We may moan about mud on the roads meaning the car is usually dirty shortly after it's  been cleaned  but the farmers have kept the small roads cleared. Taking Ben for a walk along the canal has been fun and he hasn't minded having his coat on and walking in the snow

The marina froze solid and the boat made noises when we  moved onboard until a small gap between the hull and the ice formed. The water to the piers has been shut off before the temperature  went down to minus 7 but our tanks were full so we've  been ok.

Yesterday we had a problem with water pressure and then the water pump wouldn't turn off but after releasing the pressure release  valve on the calorifier  it turned off when the taps were turned off. Not before we had the kitchen cupboard contents out to get at the pump under the cupboard false floor to check for leaks. Eric also made sure the air hole above the water level in the water tank was cleared of ice as there may have been a pressure build up in the tank as the filler cap to the tank was extremely difficult to undo. Anyway one of the things he did solved the problem but we don't  know how.

Today after a warmer night the iced water looks to be melting. So hopefully the roads will be better and we'll be able to get out in the car to get some shopping. The post was delivered yesterday so things must have improved. The local schools reopen today too. We had most things but would have run out of bread if Phil the marina manager hadn't got us a loaf at the Coop in Wem when he went to get some chips at lunchtime in his 4x4. There wasn't any milk on the shelves as the deliveries had not got through so we were glad of me using coffeemaker and leaving the  milk  for Eric's cups of tea.

So we'll escape today after five days here. Let's  hope it' not too slippery on the roads......I don't  know whether Eric's had skid training. Keep warm and safe and enjoy your day.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Snow In Whixall

We woke to snow this morning. Pretty at the moment as it's not icy. Eric took Ben the dog out for a walk and came back covered in snow. Ben had his coat on too.

On Tuesday it wasn't  too windy so Eric took the boat over to top up the diesel as we've  been using it  for heating. We have to keep the tank over half full as the feed to the Webasco heater is high up the fuel tank. Coal, logs and sticks bought  and a short trip back to our berth. We did the food shopping yesterday  so we  have all we need.

Hope you're warm and cosy too.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Wooden Folk At Attingham Park

Just a few photos of the  new residents of Attingham Park. All were happy  and smiling. We saw nine but there maybe more hiding in the woods.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Twenty One Sleeps To Christmas

Another  week's gone by and Christmas is getting closer just 21 sleeps to go. I've written the Christmas cards, some to college pals I haven't seen for a  very long time. A few changes of address I've mislaid so I await their cards and hope they put their new address on them.

Eric put up the coloured lights  in the cratch, they look even better as it gets dark! I decorated the little living Christmas  tree that we bought in Sainsbury's.  The ornaments have been collected over the years. Last year's living tree didn't survive as it was left while the boat was in the paint shed for six weeks.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Back Onboard

Winter socks !!

We spent the weekend in Newport where we had a few very cold days. Frost on the windscreen soon melted before we took Ben for a walk around  Cwmbran Boating  Lake. On Sunday the model boats club was there and we loved all the boats but there wasn't  a narrowboat amongst them. Too cold for Icecream  but we later had Sunday Lunch at The Rhiwderin  Inn with Paula, Danni, Robin, Juls and Gwen. A last minute thing but we managed to get a table. Sorry we didn't  get to visit our daughters Clare and Sally and partners but we'll  be back again on the 20th of December for a longer stay over Christmas.

I found  my socks with toes in the cupboard so I'll have warm toes back onboard.  The boat was really cold  (5 degrees C) when we got back too cold for the freezer compartment in the fridge to stay frozen so I had to throw out the contents but the stuff in the fridge itself was fine. I had read that if it gets too cold then the fridge  won't  come on often enough to keep the freezer compartment cold enough. Next time we'll  have to leave a low heat on the boat  to keep it warmer.

The boat soon was up to 20 degree C with the Webasco diesel heater heating the radiators and the stove burning coal and wood. Luckily the hot water tank under the bed helps keep it warmer when we're home but we did put hot water bottles in the bed.

Today we got some food shopping  done in Ellesmere  and took a reluctant  dog for a walk by the Mere. He was OK when we said let's go back.

Back on the boat we needed  a new gas bottle, some coal and logs purchased from the marina and delivered to the boat by the very helpful manager Phil. Thanks.

I've been getting  some washing done when we had  mains electric  as electricians were checking the  posts. Now we're having a quiet night in and Ben the dog is asleep  by the's a hard life!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I've Done The Christmas Shopping

This year I decided to start the Christmas shopping early and got some lovely offers online for delivery or click and collect. Yesterday we went to Wrexham to finish off the shopping with  stuff I wanted to see before I buy. So it's all done and I'm pleased about that. Parcels to pack and we're  very ahead of ourselves.

We stopped  for lunch and sampled the food in the M & S Cafe and it was lovely. I had Quiche and salad while Eric had their all day breakfast. I was feeling tired and the food revived me.

This week we've  made the most of our National Trust Membership  and visited Erdigg near Wrexham  to enjoy a walk in the grounds. They do allow the dog as far as the picnic benches outside the restaurant so we had coffee and scones as I needed a sit down.  I've never really fancied  their sandwiches with their unusual fillings.

Ben the dog was yet again reluctant walking but there was lots of new smells to sniff. He enjoyed meeting some lively  young dogs but he's not interested in jumping around or play for that matter. There was quite a steep walk back to the car and I was definitely flagging, I  must be feeling my age.

This Thursday  we're  off to look after Gwen for the weekend while her mum has a mini break in Stratford on Avon. Lila the sprocker spaniel enjoys Ben visiting but for him the shiny floors are a bit of a nightmare and stairs are difficult.

All is well  on NB Bendigedig. We've  had a few more boats come to moor at Whixall Marina but there's still room if you want to join us.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Happy Monday

Well another week's gone by and we've been enjoying our life as usual. There's  always the normal day to day activities such as buying coal and logs from the marina. It differs from life in a house as we need to keep the water tank topped up  from the tap at the bow of the boat and empty the cassettes at the Elsan point. We don't mind this as it's  great to live on a boat.

We have peace and quiet in abundance, the delights of living in the Countryside. We love watching the antics of the family of swans in the marina as  the cygnets learn to fly. They no longer crash land on  the water!  We often see a  kingfisher sitting on the tiller of a nearby boat.

We're quite happy to go shopping by car to Ellesmere, Whitchurch or Wem. This week we've been to Ellesmere to get the food shopping. In the summer we can go  there by boat.

A few days ago we went for a lovely walk with Ben the dog in the  woods and the deer park at Attingham Park  and saw a couple of stags with huge antlers in the deer park. We had a long walk for us and were feeling hungry so we sampled the butter  curry and flatbread from the cafe menu  for our lunch....very nice too.

This morning the pontoons were frosty so I spread some rock salt and grit to get from our pontoon to  the green before I took Ben out. It was 0 degrees Celsius but it's warmed up to 5 now.  We decided on a walk at Alderford Lake  with a warm up in the cafe with some lovely  hot chocolate before the drive back to  Whixall.

We're warm and cosy with our the stove burning with logs and coal. Having lazy afternoon.