Thursday, 29 December 2011

New steps in build
Thursday 29th December,
Yesterday we both were picked up by Damon and while he and I went to the toy shop (B&Q) Cath did Granny duty. I managed to get most of what I wanted, most importantly a workbench, as without something to clamp the work cutting and routing are all but impossible. We got home a bit late so decided to have a takeaway. The nearest is Mumtaz so we gave it go, WOW, not only reasonable prices, a fast service, but probably the best take out we've ever had.
Busy day today then, I started out assembling the workbench, which took longer than I thought it should, but doesn't it always. Then on to the main job. Despite using the vacuum cleaner attached to the tools I still managed to cover everything in sawdust. This was expected and while the vac attachment on the circular saw works very well, the one on the router is totally useless. I've packed in for the day now and will continue tomorrow.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Monday 26th December
A lovely quiet Christmas, the first we've spent alone on the boat since we started with her.
Today (Boxing Day) Liz and Daniel came for a visit so we took a short walk and then went to Pizza Express for lunch. We were joined during the meal by Carol, wearing a very fetching horned knitted hat.
This afternoon we've just flopped onto chairs while I play with my Christmas present, a bluetooth headset so I can listen to music on the computer while Cath reads or listens to something else.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Thursday 22nd December
The day started with a sight of a red squirrel, a rare treat these days. Today is our last full day here so we thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of shopping because we'll be travelling tomorrow, and Saturday will be one hell of a scrum at the shops. After the supermarket I thought I might have a look at the local B&Q with the idea of getting a workbench for the boat, but the local one was very small and didn't have the model I wanted.
We then decided to go to the seaside, so ended up at Newbiggin by the Sea. Nice little place with a new visitor's centre dedicated to the history of the local lifeboat. It may be a cliché, but when you see the hardships and heroism of the local fishmen (and women who played no small part) it gives you pause for thought.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Tuesday 20th December
It's our 36th anniversary today. The day started excitingly with yours truly trying to burn down the hotel, the croissants were cold so I put one into the toaster, but that was too hot and the thing caught fire. No panic really, just embarrassing.
Later we drove over to Alnwick and strolled around the gardens before having lunch at The Tree House restaurant. This is a wonderful place, which looks just like a huge tree house and serves great food.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Monday 19th December
I finally made a start on replacing the front stairs. Having ripped out the old single step I find I can now reposition the water pump slightly, which may make it a bit quieter.
With the old step out of the way I've now worked out the form that the new steps will take, but will go no further until I get a new workmate bench to do the cutting on.
This morning we're getting ready to go away for a few days to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. 4 days up in Alnwick, with a lunch booked at "The Tree House".

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Thursday 15th December
Despite the best efforts of the weather man predicting really foul weather, this week hasn't been too bad.
I managed to get the items needed for the work inside the boat and I've started making draw retainers. As I mentioned before, when the boat heels over badly either due to the wind, or hitting an underwater bank, the heavy pan draws can fly open. I've now designed a lock for them and am in the middle of making said items.
The other thing I bought was some solid oak floor boards to make some better steps up from the saloon to the well deck. They don't quite match the maple which was used for the rest of the woodwork in the boat, but I couldn't get any of that.
Yesterday we went to the cinema to see Hugo. It's a great film and we can recommend it for all.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Saturday 10th December
Thursday night was another round of rockin' and rollin' but all the lines held despite the best efforts of the wind.
We decided to go uptown yesterday (Friday) just to get out for some fresh air. It was bracingly cold and a bit showery but good to have a wander around.
Last night was quiet and peaceful, and it should stay that way for a while.
We hope to see Damon on Sunday for lunch and we'll con him into taking us for run to the local B&Q so that I can get some materials to carry on internal DIY while the weather precludes external painting. I'm going to put in an extra step up from our saloon onto the well deck as it's a bit of steep climb with only one step at present. The other job is to try and work out a way of stopping the pan draws from crashing open  when the boat heels over. I think I've got it but only trial will tell.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wow! What a wild night that was! The wind is gusting to 40+ MPH and because the mooring piers here are short we aren't tied as tightly as we would like. The boat is rocking around so much that some of heavy pan draws in the kitchen are getting thrown open. We are safe though, just feeling as if we are out on the ocean.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sunday 4th December
Since my last post I've started to suffer my usual winter reaction to the cold. Cath is doing her best to try and make sure I don't get my chest cold but I'm still coughing badly. I may have to go and see the quack this coming week.
During the last week I've once again pumped out the bottom of our fuel tank to try to keep the damaging effects of the new additives in the present supplies. For those out there who aren't familiar with the problems this new fuel causes us it seems that the bio addition to diesel causes the fuel to dissolve any of the accumulated gunk that was in the fuel tank, and hence allow it into the fuel system blocking filters, damaging the injection pump and injectors. Engine stops! Expensive repairs! On top of that, it can also damage old rubber hoses and seals, and if you don't have the more modern neoprene ones there's trouble ahead.
The pumping does get a fair bit of c**p from the bottom of the tank, and after letting it settle in another container there is a fair bit that can be recovered.
We've just had a great weekend with Damon and Daniel doing our grand parent babysitting bit. As you can see from pic above we managed to make him tired enough to go to bed without any problems.
The Met Office is promising us snow this coming week, I'll believe it when I see it.