Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Over In A Flash

Guess who?

We're currently  still in Newport  looking after our granddaughter Gwenllian who is still on holiday from school. We're getting used to early mornings! She"s growing up fast though.

We've done the manic pre-Christmas food shopping  and then I cooked dinner for eight on Christmas day. I've been  converted to a using a steamer to cook the veg so this year the sprouts were just  right. Thanks Sally for the loan as you wouldn't  need it over Christmas.  The turkey was very good and we had some left for a curry and cold meat to go with chips. We tried a whole turkey for a change from Tesco as the use by dates were good.

Paula made delicious individual fudge and toffee Pavlovas  and we also had Christmas Pudding and brandy sauce for those with room to eat it. I forgot about the Christmas cake but we discovered it the next day.

Christmas morning started at 6.30am with Gwen setting her alarm to make sure she woke up! I love watching kids open their presents. We'd already had a pre- Christmas present opening at Sally and Dave's house as they would be away on Christmas day.  Granddaughter Scarlett opened her parcel quickly taking the clothes off the top to get to the Lego underneath.

Clare and her husband Ben had their presents early too as we wouldn't see them on Christmas day. Thanks for our lovely  presents everyone. Lots of edible presents too as storage living on a boat can be a problem. We had to try the lovely throw we were given so it's on the bed at Lisa's house where we're staying.

We visited Eric's sister Paula on Boxing day and she made a lovely spread of food. Time to catch up with family and Eric enjoyed reminiscing with his brother and sister. I always miss my brother and parents at Christmas, it's a time when families get together.

We'll Christmas is over for another year  but we enjoyed time with our families.  Back to the boat next week to recover!

The photo was Eric and Gwen in funny faces!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas from Eric, Elsie & Ben the dog. We're currently away from the boat and back in Wales for Christmas with the family.

The photo was taken with friends from Whixall Marina sharing a Christmas  meal. Highly recommended  too at the Castle Hotel in Wem. Thanks Phil for the photograph. 

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.