Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

We had a really special Christmas in south Wales. I had the mammoth task of cooking Christmas Dinner for nine but all went well except the sprouts were a bit soggy, which I suppose it better than the bullets you often get when eating out. Paula did the starters which was a great help and Sally made a trifle for dessert and of course we had Christmas pudding.

Lots of lovely presents given and received and we have a new fluffy teddy blanket on our bed and the one on there is on the sofa where Ben the dog enjoys the  comfort whenever the sofa is free. In the night it's his favourite place which makes a change from outside the bathroom door trying to trip us up on our night time trips to the loo.....a sign of age!

I loved by silly socks which Eric bought me for fun!!  Very comfy and great for wearing my Fit flops with their toe post when it's cold. I also had a big box of Number 7 products  with lovely creams and potions. The nail polish was passed onto nails are always unpainted and short!  We came back to the boat with alcohol and chocolates which will have to be rationed......I do love  a  wee tot at bedtime is on the cards.

It's been very cold these last few nights with the temperatures in the minus figures but onboard we've been toastie  once we warmed the boat up after ten days just on frost stat. We arrived back on Wednesday to 40 degrees C but it was soon up to 70 with the fire lit and the Webasco  diesel heater fired up. Outside the boat the pontoons were frosty and needed gritting which was soon sorted as we didn't want Ben slipping or us for that matter.

We did wonder if there would be electric to the boat as there was an electric fault  in the marina before we left causing the RCD's on the pontoons to trip and it that happens it trips the one in the boat and  it would need resetting. Luckily all was well and it hadn't gone off as I did wonder if I should have turned off the fridge. I don't suppose the solar panels put much in the batteries this time of year/

This morning we'll have to face the grit free  country lanes carefully watching out for black ice, so we'll one of those annoying slow  drivers, as we need some shopping  although I suppose I could get a Tesco delivery. We've plenty of alcohol to toast the New Year in depending on whether I want a hangover or not.......maybe just a little tot of Drambuie! So all there remains to say it that we wish you all you wish yourself, a healthy and prosperous New Year.


Monday, December 26, 2016

A Christmas Update

Currently in south Wales with our family enjoying a lovely Christmas break. Yesterday I donned the apron and cooked Christmas dinner for nine including our two grand children Gwenllian and Scarlett. I had help from Gwenllian  who is eight on Christmas Eve, she's excellent at peeling carrots and the sprouts after I'd cut off the bits thst needed a knife. On Christmas day she sorted out the table with serviettes, cutlery and crackers to pull.

So Christmas Day started about seven in the morning so not quite so early as I thought. I loved watching Gwen open her presents with her mum while Eric got a lie in.  Later the turkey crown and beef went in the oven and it was just a matter of getting the timing right for  1 o'clock.

Family arrived with more presents to open and lots of chatter. After starters provided by Eric's sister Paula we had the main course.  Dessert was delayed for an hour because nobody had any room for  Sally's trifle or Christmas pudding from the Tesco's finest range which was particularly boozy. Suitably stuffed we enjoyed  catching up with everyone  and watching the girls playing with their toys.

Later all  our visitors went home and we had a quiet night in with Call the Midwife and Eastenders for Christmas day viewing.  It had been a lovely day.

Today we have another get to together at Paula's house which should be fun. Oops nearly forgot to say...........................MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Three Sleeps To Christmas

We're down in Wales for Christmas, so these Welsh people are back in the land of their birth.  Although Whixall is very close to the Welsh border.  All the Christmas food shopping is done after having to search for brandy sauce in just a few supermarkets. The problem is what do we eat for the rest of the week, we haven't thought of that. Last night we had a spaghetti bolonese,  so today it maybe fish and chips as there's a shop close by.

Lisa's spaniel Lila has been giving Ben the dog lots of attention, not that he wants it.He just looks at her as she plays around him finally finding a spot where he can go to sleep in peace. We've had lots of walks or should I say drags with Lila's enthusiasm. Lots of mud and puddles so two mucky dogs.

My grandaughter Gwen and I made chocolate butterfly cakes  this afternoon and she enjoyed being messy as she could lick her fingers. No doubt there will be more messy play tomorrow as were going to a birthday party when our youngest grandaughter Scarlett  will be three.

Three, two, one  sleeps and then it's Christmas Day .........I hope it's not a too early start to the day the day!

Friday, December 16, 2016

An Update From Whixall Marina

We're enjoying having broadband, it makes such a change from hunt the Mifi signal .....which window shall we hang it in today.  

We had a surprise on Wednesday night when an electrical fault  plunged the marina into darkness. Inside with 12v lightening it wasn't dark and we turned on the invertor to watch TV. The piers were lit by the moon and torches when we ventured out to walk the dog. Luckily the showerblock stayed on so those showering didn't have a shock with it suddenly 
going dark.

In the morning the fault was found under the pier that connects us to land which raises and 
lowers as the water level changes. The wire had been chafed by the moment and it's now protected by a rubber mat until it's fixed. Electricians have been but it won't be fixed this week.

Yesterday we enjoyed a dog walk around Colemere but it was particularly muddy as was the towpath on the Prees Branch. Ben the dog wasn't happy having his feet washed!

The Christmas cards have been arriving and the tiny potted Christmas Tree sits on the coffee table reminding us Christmas is nearly here. How many sleeps?  Nine but Halfie thinks it's more. Are you counting afternoon naps?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Twelve Sleeps To Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast although with all the Christmas music on the radio and films on the TV we may have had too much before the day actually arrives. The presents are bought  so we're counting down the days in sleeps just like the children. This year dinner is at Lisa's house and it looks like it'll be about ten this year, so it should be fun. How many sprouts do you need for ten people?  The Christmas food shop is the next thing to think about closer to the day.

After being inundated with texts, emails and phone calls the BT engineer is due to arrive this afternoon to connect a phone line and broadband which we can use when we're moored up. We know superfast broadband has not reached Whixall, but hopefully it'll be better than our dongle which can be incredibly slow. It's also unlimited so we won't have to keep an eye on our data usage. We had to arrange it all online as the person on the end of the phone had no concept of a phone line to a boat even though there are phone sockets on the post on the pier, mainly because the property wasn't bricks and mortar. Online the postcode brought up a list of boats with phone lines and we added our boat. The form filling process was slow due to our signal but we got there in the end. It was also £8 a month cheaper for twelve months as an online deal.

We're currently waiting on a tracked parcel from BT to be delivered between 7am and 6pm which means we were up bright and early this morning. The rain us pouring down so Ben's walk is delayed until it stops.


The parcel arrived but the  phone/ broadband connection never happened on Tuesday due to an underground problem. Goodness how long that will take to sort out!

Surprise surprise a phone call from BT at lunch time and Wednesday afternoon we were connected to BT for a phone and Broadband package.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

It's December!

I don't believe it, it's December and the year seems to have flown by. Since changing doctors  to one in Whitchurch we've had new patient medicals, medication reviews and blood tests. We've also been invited to do the bowel screening tests and I've had a mammogram, so all checked out.

The weather has turned cold and we've had a frozen marina as well as the Prees Arm. The scarves,  hats and gloves have finally come out of hibernation. We've walked our usual walks on crisp frosty ground but today the ice on the marina has melted. Let's hope the water pipes under the piers have cleared too so we can top up the water tank on the boat.

I've bought a tiny Christmas tree in a pot but it's a bit sad compared to a cut real tree which always made the house smell of fir tree. We're spending Christmas with family anyway. Our first Christmas meal it this weekend at the Dog and Bull, yes my choice is turkey and Christmas pudding although there are other choices. Ben the dog will be home alone but we'll bring him a doggy bag!

All my presents are bought except for my husband Eric's, who gets harder to buy for and it doesn't help that we usually go shopping together. We'll have to go to Shrewsbury and go our separate ways and  meet up in Valerie's they do lovely cakes. Perhaps we'll have afternoon always looks delicious.