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 fire......it'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.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Getting Ready For Winter

Today we purchased some secondary double glazing from Sainsburys Homebase, it's basically a pack with clear film and double sided sticky tape. It works very well in keeping the windows fairly free of condensation. Sometimes they mist a little bit and it definitely seems to keep the boat warmer. I left some windows so they can be opened.

Condensation with no film

No condensation  just rain outside

The cratch cover is looking good. Yesterday morning it was covered in frost with the first frost of the year at Whixall Marina. It was gone by the time I took Ben out.

Today it's wet outside so my new walking boots will get an outing and I'm hoping I have dry feet ( update  feet dry).The dog has a new coat to keep him warm and dry and he surprised us by being happy to have it on when we tried it for size in the Countrywide store in Whitchurch. It kept his back nice and dry just a wet head and legs. Do they do hats for dogs?

Sunday, November 05, 2017

I've Been To Barry Island

We've just spent a week in south Wales on granny duties as it was half term in Wales. We'd already had half term in England a week earlier. Most of the week was warm and sunny and we had a trip to Barry Island. We didn't run into Nessa, Gwen or Uncle Bryn from 'Gavin and Stacey' but we were on the same spot as Nessa played the slot machines in the Amusement Arcade and granddaughter Gwen had chips from 'Boofy's Chip Shop the favoured chip shop. Eric and I sampled the baguettes and paninis from a nearby cafe.  Barry Island  was the favoured place in my younger days......long before 'Gavin and Stacey'. I always remember the numbers painted on the promenade walls so we knew where to find our family as in those days the beach seemed huge. Now it's so much smaller.

We walked the dog at in the parkland at Tredegar House  although as usual he was on a go slow until we turned around to head back to the car.  Tredegar House  is undergoing restoration on it's roof but it looks to be nearing completion as the covers are off and the scaffolding from the front of the house has been removed.  The National Trust took over the management of Tredegar House, it's gardens and Parklands in 2012 from Newport Council, Access to the park grounds and children's play area is free  but you do have to pay to park unless you are a member of the National Trust.  We have been in the house itself but usually it's a dog walking destination.

On Friday afternoon we had a late lunch at the 'Rock and Fountain' in Penhow with Lisa and Gwen, The food was delicious and we'll be making a return trip. Perhaps a good venue for Eric's 70th in February. We'd barricaded the bottom of the stairs with chairs at Lisa's house to stop Ben falling down the stairs and returned home to find it had worked with no dogs upstairs.

On Saturday we returned home to Whixall to the boat with its's new fitted cratch cover. Thanks to Tony Saunders at Bethsaida Covers  for an excellent job. Ben can't try to jump off the water side of the boat now.