Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tuesday 28th February 2012
Last night we went for a meal at The Stanley Ferry. Nice place, the food is almost certainly 3663 or Brake Bros, but for all that it's damned good value.
A much more pleasant day today. We set off this morning on the return journey to Leeds. At the first lock we hooked up with another boat that was heading for Castleford so we shared the next couple of locks before we turned for Leeds at the Castleford junction. We then continued as far as Woodlesford where we have stopped for the night. I took a wander up the hill to the village store because I had run out of fruit for after dinner tonight. Got a bit of a shock when I discovered that bananas you could get for 50p a bunch on Leeds market were 50p each here!
On the way up the river I managed to get some pictures of young swans practising their take off technique.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Monday 27th February 2012
Cast off from Castleford this morning. The weather wasn't too bad, still a bit chilly but it is only February after all. We waited at Castleford lock for a gravel barge to come through and then chugged off towards Stanley Ferry. The weather didn't improve, in fact it got worse, with the wind getting up and cloud thickening.
This is also the first time we have used the new washer/dryer while travelling. It seems to take less power than the last one we had, but still does the job.
Arriving at Stanley Ferry there was a definite hint of rain in the air , so much for the met office saying that things were getting better. We mooring up close to the pub and no sooner were we tucked up than the rain started in earnest. Great timing!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday February 2th 21012
After several days waiting for the weather forecast to actually reflect reality we decided to pull the plug and go for a cruise. Ever since last Wednesday the Met Office has been promising us jam tomorrow, but when tomorrow came, it was going to be the next day and so on. Finally this morning we reckoned we could wait no more, and with the sky showing a little blue we chugged off down through Leeds Lock and onto the Aire and Caulder Navigation.
Our destination to day was Castleford and by 2.30 we were tied up in our favourite spot. I then took a wander into town to get some tonic so that Cath could have a gin tonight, I also splashed out on some cream to go with my banana tonight.
This is also the first test of the 3 WiFi dongle outside of Leeds, and so far so good. Where my phone's Orange signal died for part of the trip, the 3 signal stayed good all the way here.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Monday 20th February 2012
At last I've completed the winter jigsaw. I always do one over our layup season. This one was interesting for me because many of the pieces didn't interlock but were only held in place by the surrounding pieces.
Yesterday we walking into town to catch the farmers market, this is a twice monthly event, separate from the main Leeds Market complex. Wow! some of the stalls were selling wonderful stuff (food). So tempting we had to try some. It's a good thing it isn't run more often or I'd end up the size of a house!
On a more downbeat theme, when we returned to the dock Cath was almost hit by some jerk who threw a cauliflower off a 2nd story balcony in the flats overlooking the dock. As I watched he came out again and threw another, this time hitting the water. I called the police, because if he hit a kid (or anybody I suppose) it could cause injury and he seemed proud of what he was doing. The police turned up about 6 hours later and said they really couldn't do anything about it except have a word with him.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saturday 18 February 2012
A cautionary tale, which I'm sure I won't remember in future. Having acquired a "smart phone", my son hinted that he could improve the operating system, making it faster and more power efficient. Apparently this is a process known as "rooting" To be fair he did warn me that there was a small chance of the operation catastrophically affecting the phone, rendering it dead. All went well at first, but a snag reared its head and the thing needed some info he didn't have, so he took it away to work on it overnight. When he got home in the morning all was not well, the network at his company had blocked the file he needed and the whole phone had crashed, and appeared dead. it took him three days to finally get it back. He had to get into the deep bowels of the OS and rebuild it piece by piece until it would show signs of life. He then managed to get an upgraded OS onto it and all is well again. The thing definitely works faster.
On Friday we got a phone call early asking if we could babysit at short notice. Of course we could, so Liz  came straight over and picked us up. Little man was slightly under the weather and the nursery won't take them like that, in case they spread something nasty around the other inmates.
We had a lovely day entertaining him, finishing up with a fine Chinese take away meal before being driven home.
Today I will continue the long running saga of the bathroom improvements. The weather outside is very wet but I can do quite a bit without needing to get wet.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Friday 10th February 2012
I finally got around to getting a photo of the dock iced over. I'm not terribly impressed with the image quality. It was taken on my new smart phone and I think I need to know more of how to use it properly, its built in camera seems to have almost as many settings as my SLR.
We went to see the film Carnage yesterday. It's different! A quite funny look at parents.
We're now up at Damon and Liz's house doing grandparent duties for the weekend.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Wednesday Feb. 8th. 2012
At last we have the bathroom sink back on action. The project isn't finished yet, but at least it all works. Cutting the small hole for the tap proved to be almost as challenging as the large centre hole for the sink. The last big job now is to remove the old edging strips along the front and replace them with hard wood strips which I will have to make from the left over floor boards I have. This will make a much neater job of it.
By the way, I bought the new tap from ebay and am very pleased with it. I can't tell the difference between it, at £16.00 brand new, and one in B&Q and many other outlets at between £50 and £100.
Yesterday Damon came along with Liz's big Fiat and took me out to get more fuel. It's still only 79.9/lt at this garage so I consider that a bargain in this climate. The temperature hasn't yet dropped to what the met office was predicting for this area, but I still don't want to run out of heating fuel.

Monday, 6 February 2012

On Thursday I finally got off my lardy ass and continued with the bathroom project. I removed the tap and the small tiles which the top was covered with, before tackling the dodgy job. With some trepidation (I broke the first tile I tried this on) I started to cut the large hole needed in the tile to take the hand basin and got the rough shape of it removed without disaster.
On Friday I rested, I know it wasn't the  7th day but what the heck. 
Saturday, I launched back into it and have now got the hole out to the right size without breaking tile. That's it for the day as it's rugby this afternoon. While I type this France is destroying Italy.
Saturday afternoon, and it's at last snowing. They have been threatening us with it for some time now, but of course those chuffs at the met office have lost their pine cone and seaweed. The last couple of days have been fairly cold, with the dock here starting to freeze over. Now the snow is piling up on it and a winter scene is emerging.
Sunday I continued with the bathroom, doing the final cuts to shape of the tile outline. The whole thing seems to work quite well, except, as I thought it might, the tile is too thick to blend with the edging of the cupboard. I haven't made my mind up what I'm going to do about this yet.. We now await the delivery of the tap I ordered from ebay.
Great news to see England beat Scotland, although the victory was less than convincing. The Wales - Ireland match by contrast was a cracker of a game.
Monday morning and the snow is almost gone.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Friday 3rd January 2012
It's a cold morning! Still not what we experienced last winter, but still it was -3 C when we got up.
Yesterday I finally got off my lard ass and continued our quest to improve the bathroom. Firstly I removed the old tiles and got the bowl out. The tap followed, but here I encountered a couple of problems. First,  when I installed the water I did put in local isolation valves, but here I had shared the cold line with water to the toilet. Secondly, the new tap I have ordered has different water fittings and I can see problems when I come to install it.
So, with some trepidation I started to cut the hole in one of the large tiles (600X600) to take the bowl. You can imagine that this will take a large part from the middle of this tile and I don't know if I can cut it without cracking it. I managed to get a good start and so far have quite a large hole which needs to be tidied to shape, and the signs are hopeful.
Last night I had to get out of bed to ask our neighbours to please keep the noise down. We are flanked on either side by boats owned by single blokes, and they tend to get together, drink, and make a lot of noise standing on the quay having yelled conversations with people on the shore. They were at least contrite and did shut up. This morning the larger of the two boats started up and began to move. He told me he was moving to the other side of the dock for the night because he intended to have a loud party and didn't want to disturb us again. Very thoughtful!