Friday, January 30, 2009

Heating Tales

Today we received a phone call from M & L Services ( Mikuni heating engineer) to say he had the part and would be here this afternoon. He arrived and fitted the new air motor. I take back my previous moan as he only charged an hours labour, the cost of the part and the delivery charges. Thanks Mark it's all sorted. We are now toasting as we are letting the Mikuni run for an hour!
On the water heating front the immersion heater is fitted and working, so we now have an additional way to get hot water. We had a few hiccups as the first time we refilled the calorifier we had a leak and went to bed with a dish under the drip under the bed which is where the calorifier is. In the morning we drained it again and cleaned off some black sealant to get a better seal, put on loads of white plumbing tape and this time it's not dripping. Yippee nice hot showers without having to run the engine or put on the heating.

The Tale The Mikuni Heater

We are still waiting for the engineer coming with the new air motor for the diesel boiler. He has phoned to say he's having trouble with Mikuni- first they have the part then they don't!! Hopefully it'll be sorted soon. We haven't really missed the central heating as the electric heater we bought works well at keeping the other end of the boat warm and I am sure it won't cost as much to run as the Mikuni (£160 for 3 months). The solid fuel stove keeps the saloon warm and cosy. We just need an alternative source of hot water so we've been looking at getting an immersion heater to fit our horizontal calorifier and Williams and Watkins in Llangollen got the required part from Midland Chandlers in 24 hours- an amazing service.
We've had some lovely days where the weather has been considerably warmer and walking the dog has been much more enjoyable than when it's freezing. Ben has walked to all his favourite haunts and is looking forward to finding some new places to sniff and explore. I need to get a map so I can find some new walks.
My daughter Sally celebrated her birthday this week but she'd kill me if I put her age on here. She says she's getting old but aren't we all. I celebrated her birthday with vanilla custard slices from the deli and a cheeky neighbour told me if we'd have to adjust the ballast on the boat if we were eating cakes. He didn't get a reply!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cruising To Trevor And Back

We got up nice and early as it was time again to get some diesel from Anglowelsh at Trevor. We ended up boiling kettles to have a wash as we wanted some hot water and the Mikuni had failed! According to the LED display there was a problem with the air motor. The cruise heated us up loads of hot water for a shower later. Ben the dog and I had a lovely muddy walk to check out the narrow sections but there were no other boats on the move. It took four hours to get there and back. We went into Wrexham( by bus) to get a Dimplex heater from Argos to warm up the back end of the boat (bedroom end) and it does the job without the noise the Mikuni makes!
I looked on the Internet to find a mobile engineer and they arrived this morning complete with tool box but no spares! He spend an hour looking at this and that before he finally tested the motor and it was dead. I don't know why he didn't check it first as the MX40 tells you what's wrong! He's now gone away to order the part as we were unhappy about the suggestion of a second hand one. It's going to be a case of running the engine every morning until it's fixed. It's a pity we haven't got an immersion heater.
Today our boat is two years old- doesn't time fly by when you're having fun. On the whole we are still very happy with the boat other than no immersion heater. We love the openness of the layout from Northwich Boats and we've seen lots of other narrow boats.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Visiting Time Again

I've just come back from a busy few days in Newport. For the first time ever I got to Ruabon station and found seven people all waiting to catch the same train- usually there's just me. The train was quite full and my reserved seat ticket on my seat was nowhere to be seen so I just found an empty seat. A man sitting opposite me talked to another bloke ( ex army- very loud voice!) for the whole trip so I was glad to get off the train at Newport. As always I enjoyed looking at the changing scenery as we travelled along.

In Newport I met Wendy and Dilys in M &S and went to have a meal. We had steak and chips- very nice too. After a lovely chat Wendy and I went to have a look at the shops as she needed a wedding outfit and so did I. Dilys had gone on to her craft class. We tried a few things on but ended up buying nothing. Later I went to get a haircut (badly needed) at Josephs in Newport where Lisa cuts my hair when I come to town. When I left I felt more like me - I hate my hair with wavy curly bits.
Next stop was a bus to get to the chemist on the Gaer but confusion all round as Newport Transport had changed the bus numbers just to confuse me. Finally I got there and our medication was ready and waiting at the chemist. After that a fifteen minute walk and I'm sitting drinking tea and chatting to my dad. Sally came visiting and brought our wedding invitations for her wedding on July 5th 2009. We had a nice long chat before bed called me.
In the morning dad and I went for a walk down to B & Q to get a few bits and pieces and then to Pets at Home to get Ben a new extending lead and a hide ring to chew- his favourite. This was followed by fish and chips cooked by my dad. Later I caught the bus into town and met Lisa to walk up the steep hill to her house. Gerwyn and Baby Gwenllian were waiting for us. I had a lovely time with the baby and Lisa made us a salad. Gwenllian was not at all keen on her tea- lips tightly shut but they opened for some mashed up banana- she knows what she wants even at nine months.
No buses from Lisa's in the evening so Dragon taxi's to the rescue to take me back to my dad's where Clare was visiting my dad. Long chats followed by a nice warm bed for me. In the morning it was back to Newport station to catch the Holyhead train back to Ruabon. I couldn't find my reserved seat and someone else's ticket was in Coach A 20F. The conductor told me my seat was 17F - there had been a mix up. I stayed where I was in a nice forward facing seat and watched the world go by. Time flew by and soon I was off the train waiting for the bus back to the boat where Eric and Ben the dog were waiting for me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Lisa

Today our youngest daughter Lisa is celebrating her birthday. Yesterday when I rang her she was having a pre birthday meal and drinks as she's in work today. I've off to Newport tomorrow on the train from Ruabon and I'm meeting a few friends for lunch when I get there. I'm also planning on getting a haircut, doing a bit of shopping, collecting our prescriptions and catching up with my daughters Sally and Clare. Paula says we've got a pile of post to collect too. I'm staying with my dad who is expecting me at teatime. On Wednesday afternoon I'm going to see Gwenllian and be a grandma! Eric is staying on the boat with Ben the dog- no doubt Ben will keep him busy until I get back on Thursday.

Lovely Weather!

First of all thanks to Alan and Eiddwen for the lovely meal we had on Friday in The Bridge Hotel.
Well the gales forecast didn't do any damage here as it blew through the night. In fact we've had far worse weather previously. The rain pattered on the roof making quite a noise but we still slept fairly well. Today we've had heavy rain and sleet showers but now the sun is shining! Eric and I took Ben for a walk and our waterproof gear is still waterproof and Eric's new boots passed the test. Millet's in Wrexham exchanged them for a new pair when the previous pair split across the uppers after very little wear. (I'd kept the receipt). Lots of huge puddles and big sticks about so Ben enjoyed his walk, as usual he drank and splashed in the puddles, chased a few rabbits ( they escaped!) and got himself thoroughly wet and dirty. A rub down with a big towel sorted him out. We hung up our wet gear to drip dry and made some lunch.
Now Ben is fast asleep for a while anyway- soon he'll want another walk before it gets dark.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Overlooking The River Dee

Success- Eric did the morning walk and Ben went with him quite happily with his tail in the air. They walked as far as Sun Trevor where the canal overlooks the River Dee. From the canal you can also still see where the old railway line ran in pre Beeching days. It was raining but Eric said Ben enjoyed his walk and he came back nice and dirty- Ben not Eric! Not many people or dogs about when it rains so he can run free. I gave the boat a good clean while they were gone as it gets pretty hairy from Ben the dog. It remains to be seen whether he will come out with me this afternoon or just would prefer to sleep. Update- Ben came with me to play ball in the field!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sore Fingers!

Nothing much has happened out of the ordinary here since my last post It's been the usual round of chores including shopping, washing, cooking, cleaning and getting water. I've enjoyed reading a few books from the library, playing on the computer and of course watching TV.
Ben has been strange since Eric took him out for a walk and they heard gunshots resulting in Ben trying to hide and then dragging Eric back to the boat. Ben will come out with me but refuses to go with Eric if he wants to go back along the towpath towards where they heard guns. It took a few tries to get Ben to go out at all he kept jumping back on the boat and know he'll only go that way if I go too- Eric feels he can't go out on his own!
Today Ben and I went up to play ball in the field and a helicopter flew quite low over us but the dog just looked up at it to see what the noise was. We played for a while until a westie decided he wanted a fight and Ben just wanted to play ball. The owner came to get the westie and Ben had a paddle in the canal before we came back to the boat as he could hear something and didn't want to play ball anymore.
I'm not usually accident prone but today at teatime I dropped the faggots and peas on the floor and burnt three fingers on one hand. Out came the first aid box and a bag of ice. Yes they do hurt and Eric had to do the washing up. Ben enjoyed the faggots!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

We Take The Camera For A Walk!

Ben- I spy another dog!
Ben- Is this branch big enough?

A View Of Dinas Bran From Sun Trevor

So many times we go out and forget to take a camera and today we remembered on our walk along the towpath to Sun Trevor. It was extremely icy along the way and we had to walk along the grass rather than the icy towpath. Ben with four feet was much more able to cope with the icy path. As usual he found a huge branch to drag along the towpath. The scenery was lovely to see as we walked and Eric took the photo of Dinas Bran as it looks so high from this viewpoint. If you click on the photographs you get an enlarged version.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year From Eric Elsie And Ben The Dog

The inside of the boat was really cold (just above 5 degrees C) when we arrived home on Boxing Day but it soon warmed up when we turned the heating up from its frost stat mode. We lit the fire and it was soon a toasty boat. Outside it was minus 2 degrees C.

We had the hired car until Monday 29th of December so we decided to go and do a big shop in Wrexham to fill up the cupboards, fridge and freezer. We ended up at Asda as that was the first big supermarket we came to. As it's quite a way to the boat from where we parked the car we had to make a few trips with the shopping. Before we went I took Ben for a long walk towards Trevor so that we could leave him home alone for a sleep.

Before we could return the car we needed to get rid of any dog hair left behind when we removed the blanket covering the back seat. We decided to go and find a car vacuum cleaner at a garage and were in luck! The job was soon done and the car was ready to go back in the morning. Eric set off to return the car and I took Ben for a long walk along the towpath. The ground was frozen so it was pleasant to walk- all the muddy places were rock hard. On our way back to the boat an Enterprise van passed us with Eric in it having a lift back to Llangollen.

The towpaths have been pretty busy over the holiday period with an influx of walkers and dog walkers enjoying their extended Christmas breaks. The bitterly cold weather hasn't deterred them. Ben and I have enjoyed our walks and ball playing sessions in a nearby field and he still paddled in the canal even when the still water in the mooring basin was covered by a sheet of ice.

The New Year came in with a bang with the usual fireworks accompanied by barking of course from Ben the dog. He then sat in between us as he wanted a cuddle! The fireworks didn't last long and soon peace returned on narrowboat Bendigedig. Our neighbours Eiddwen and Alan enjoyed watching the fireworks from the back of their boat and we wished them a happy new year.