Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Proud Dad

Daddy Dave with Scarlett born  23.12.13
Just had to share this photograph of a proud Dad.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Hectic Christmas- Puppy, Baby And Dangling Dog

Well Christmas is over for another year, two days of madness and it's back to normality although we're still finishing off the Christmas food. Our Christmas started a bit differently this year as we were invited to a Christmas Eve meal at Ben's (our son in law to be)  mother's house to meet some of their family.  We had a pleasant evening, we haven't been out on Christmas Eve for years. Poppy the pup came with us and Ben the dog stayed at Clare's house.

At the moment the dog's are separate in the house with the pup having the run of the kitchen, sleeping in an open topped pen at night. She soon learnt to escape, so a blanket is pegged on to keep her in during the night. Last night she got out again so the new addition to her pen is a lid to definitely keep her in. When she got out in the day she launched herself on Ben the dog but all he did was warm her with a growl and she ran away back down the stairs. He's been quite patient the other times she's jumped on him but we decided to take things slowly as she's still very small compared to Ben the dog.

Christmas Day started with some lovely presents before I did the dog walking while the turkey cooked in the oven. We tried pheasant and duck as well and teased my dad that the turkey had shrunk in the oven but the joke was lost on him he thought the pheasant was a chicken! I cooked the Christmas dinner this year, I hope its somebody else's job next year. Sally ended up having a NHS Christmas Dinner while she waited for somebody to remove the cannula in the baby's hand so they could leave the hospital and go home. Gwen had a great time with a pile of presents to open and her mum Lisa helped with the mountain of dishes.

Gwenllian with her great granddad
We had tea at Eric's sister Paula's house although nobody was particularly hungry after Christmas dinner, we just had to have a little bit of the lovely buffet. Just  a family get together  and by nine o'clock we were back at Clare's feeling rather shattered.

Boxing Day started with dog walking, which very nearly turned into a nightmare. I stopped and waited by a low walled bridge over a derelict lock and Ben decided to launch himself thinking it was just a field wall.... without looking! He ended up dangling by his neck above the water in the lock. Luckily I was able to pull him up none the worse for his experience, because his collar stayed on and the long lead took his weight. I grazed my knuckles and felt a bit shaky but thank goodness he was on a lead as there wasn't much water in the derelict lock to break his fall. As the lock was derelict there wasn't a gate at the bridge end so he could have got out if I lowered him down, but at the time my instant reaction was to just pull him up.

In the afternoon we went to see our new grandaughter Scarlett and her new parent's who now know how shattered you feel with a new baby. My dad, her great grandad came too, and we had a photo of the oldest and youngest members of the family. Later we had a lovely buffet tea at Clare's house. Gwen had a great time with more presents to open and she was delighted to  help Scarlett open her presents as she is too little. She's also delighted with her little cousin as she's not the baby anymore.

Scarlett a new great granddaughter for my dad

So now we're back on our boaty home again, in Whixall Marina.......it's all quiet again after a busy few days.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A New Arrival.......Grandaughter Number 2

We arrived at Clare's house on Sunday afternoon, definitely a bit of a shock for Ben to see the new pup there. He wasn't interested but a he's so big and she's so little a baby gate separated them until she grows a bit.Although she's called Poppy we nicknamed her poopy as she manages to get herself in quite a mess in the mornings. She sleeps in a large pen so at least the poop stays in the pen.

Today Ben is a bit happier although Poppy managed to escape into Ben's side of the baby gate and launched herself at Ben. He didn't react, just stood still until Ben ( the fiancee) took her away. We left Ben dog sitting and he told us they had been asleep on the settee with on dog either side of him......so perhaps they'll be alright after all.

Our day started with a text at seven am to tell us our new grandaughter Scarlett had arrived, three weeks before her due date.....so the waiting is over. Mum Sally and Dad Dave are flighted with their new baby girl who looks the spit of her mother when she was a baby, alhough Sally was ginger and Scarlett is dark haired.

new-born Scarlett

We braved the shopping madness at Tesco to stock up with the Christmas food. The madness on the roads was unbelievable people in such a rush, taking unnecessary risks right before our eyes.

In the afternoon I went with my daughter Clare to see her wedding dress and then we went to see the new arrival Scarlett with her mum and dad. I did have a cuddle, she's so small at six pounds but Sally was a five pound baby so was even smaller. My youngest daughter Lisa was also at the hospital with grandaughter number 1 Gwenllian, who said 'I am not the baby any more!' 

Two more sleeps now until Christmas Day and Gwenllian is so excited. Scarlett won't know it's her first Christmas but her arrival helps make it a special Christmas.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rocking Last Night.....In The Wind

The wind last night was certainly rocking the boat, with hailstones or lashing rain hammering on the roof too. We had a few big bangs until Eric pulled out the tyres from the engine bay and wedged us in to stop the bangs. Taking Ben out last thing at night was fun, the wind was so strong it nearly blew you over. 

This morning the sun's out, its 3 degrees C but feels warmer as the wind has dropped. Somebody's plastic top box was floating in the marina this morning but other than that the boats appear OK. When the rain hammers down we always wonder if the water will find a way in somewhere but it didn't so the seals around the mushrooms and chimney must be intact.

Our daughter Clare had an unexpected surprise the other night with an early Christmas present of a little collie pup called Poppie from her fiancee Ben......let's hope Ben the dog and Poppy become mates otherwise Christmas is going to fun.

Ben with puppy Poppy
Six sleeps to Christmas, which will be spent on dry land in Newport with our family. Just got stocked up with some coal and logs to keep us warm when we get back on the boat where we plan to see the New Year in.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ten Sleeps To Christmas

Our little tree on NB Bendigedig
We arrived back on NB Bendigedig on Friday and the first job was to light the fire and switch on the heating to warm up our chilly boat. The heating worked so it was soon nice and warm. We'd bought a little three foot artificial tree as our pot grown one was looking decidedly brown and unloved after three years use. I did water and feed it but it needed  more. The new tree was soon up and decorated with white twinkling lights, red and green baubles and the usual little figures. Now it feels like Christmas is getting closer.

Last night we went out for a Christmas meal with more than thirty boaters from Whixall Marina. One of the boaters' Ron arranged it at 'The Dog and Bull' so there was lots of good food, drinks and the usual  chat went on.....boaters' always have plenty of tales to tell.

Today we had lunch out with Nick and Liz who'd come from their winter mooring in Llangollen to meet us in Ellesmere. They'd booked a table at 'The Red Lion' where we enjoyed more good food, drink and more chat. In no time at all it was nearly three o'clock so we said our goodbyes until we see them again.....which will be pretty soon as I forgot the Christmas cards!

When I was teaching the children would always tell me how many sleeps it was until Christmas Day now Tesco tells us too   ....................Ten sleeps to Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Getting Ready For Christmas

Oscar getting comfy on Eric's lap

We've spent a few days in Newport  and are on our way back to Whixall tomorrow. Thanks to Clare and Ben for letting us stay yet again. My new crown is fitted so definately no toffees for me. Eric has recovered from his chest infection and feeling so much better. Ben and I have had some walks in familiar haunts with me getting muddy boots, although Ben managed to stay pretty clean.

It's been a sad week too as Paula's little dog Oscar never recovered from his eye operation and is now in doggy heaven where he can howl as much as he likes. The vet said he was a very vocal dog and joined in with the barking dogs with his howling! 

The Christmas meats are bought for our Christmas dinner at Clare's and stored in the freezer as are the Aunty Bessie's roasties and parsnips. The pudding's bought too! I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner and we'll be back in Newport on the 21st of December. Then it's time to get the sprouts, carrots, stuffing balls and pigs in blankets.

Clares bought a real tree this year and I love the smell of pine needles. It's decorated  with silver coloured baubles and white lights ready for the Christmas presents to be put underneath on Christmas Eve. Ben the dog's got presents too. 

Lisa's home has a tree too and Gwen is looking forward to Christmas. In school she was an 
angel but I didn't get to see her performance as the school restricted the tickets per child and Lisa didn't know whether we would be in Newport. 

So the presents are bought and wrapped ready to bring to Newport, we're all ready for Christmas.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Another Week's Been And Gone

I can't believe another week has been and gone. Nothing unusual  has happened all week, it's been the usual run of dog walking  ending in muddy dog and muddy boots. We've also been shopping, made some nice meals including my favourite paella with lovely king prawns- on offer in Tesco's! 
The boat has been toastie warm as the diesel heating now works and we have the coal fire as well. We also have an electric heater for the times when the Mikuni refuses to fire up. That's the answer to the usual question of 'Are you warm enough on the boat?' 
But Eric has been feeling off colour this week and  a head cold finally ended up leaving him with a very chesty cough which was getting worse not better. So a trip to Newport to see our doctor was on the cards. We went on Wednesday and stayed overnight at Clare's house before returning to the boat lunch time today. As I've said before, our doctor operates a walk in surgery in the mornings which means it's easy to see him, or one of his partners, rather than make an appointment at a doctor In Wem.
So I am keeping him warm and toastie ....the doctor did ask him if he was warm at home! He'll soon be feeling better with the antibiotics prescribed. I hope I don't get it! It's a pity the flu job doesn't stop you getting colds.