Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Day 2012
Good morning, and Merry Christmas to all who read this log.
Cath has been playing with her new toy, a Samsung tab. The boat is full of cries of "Why can't I do this?" and "It won't let me do that!!". However with the help of Damon (using my laptop and a video chat programme) things are getting better.
In concert with almost everyone else in the country the weather is damp, not pouring down, but the occasional shower. I don't think we'll be going out anywhere today. Cath is cooking duck for our Christmas dinner, and we'll doth try not to eat too much. whether we succeed in that I don't know.
Once again Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Friday 21st December 2012
Yesterday was our 38th wedding anniversary, but we decided to postpone the celebration meal until today. Lucky really, as yesterday's weather was foul and we had to walk about a mile to the restaurant.
Despite the forecast, this morning dawned wet and once again we thought "Those pillocks at The Met Office have got it wrong again!", but it cleared up to just a dull day and we wandered  along to Bibi's, a lovely art deco Italian restaurant here in Leeds. The meal was wonderful as we had hoped and expected.
This afternoon we've been relaxing here on board and will be heading off to bed as soon as I've finished this because Damon has just phoned to say that there's been a slight change of plan for tomorrow. Instead of picking us up mid morning to go shopping, to avoid the crush and queuing he'll be picking us up at 6.30!!! Oh joy.
With the further forecast rain I expect that The Aire will rise again overnight. Today we could still see the weir at Crown Point Bridge, and I expect if the rain continues over the next day or so that the weir will become just a ripple in the water, and Leeds Lock gates will be submerged. If that happens I hope to get some photos to put in here.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sunday 16th December 2012
It's been a busy weekend for us. Saturday morning I picked up the hire car from Enterprise, and later we drove down to Barnsley for my aunt's birthday.
We stopped off in the center of of Barnsley for a spot of lunch only to find the place crawling with policemen. there was a late afternoon kick-off football match, which was a local derby so the militia were out in force and most pubs had large signs on the doors saying HOME FANS ONLY. Very welcoming.
We finally found a Costa and settled for a sandwich and coffee before going around to her house.
We spent a pleasant afternoon chatting to family and but only stayed a couple of hours because at 90 Bobbie gets tired easily.
On the way back we stopped off at a supermarket to get something for our dinner and then just settled back with a good meal and a bottle of wine.
Sunday I had to move the car before 10 am because of parking restrictions, so I fished all our empty fuel cans out of the boat and set off for Normanton, where there is a garage selling red diesel at a reasonable price - 85 ppl.
When I got that lot back to the boat Cath told me that we were expecting a visit from the family. Not just Damon, Liz,and Daniel, but her father John and his fiance Sara. They stayed for about an hour and then we went shopping again, for a more substantial selection of things, including the all important wine, gin and whiskey. No, I'm not alcoholic, YET.
Just when I thought that was it for the day, the loo can went red, so I had to trundle that down to the disposal point.
That's it now, I'm settled in for the night and it'll take a stick of dynamite to move me.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Saturday 15th December 2012
My visit to the dentist went off smoothly and I now have a smooth end to the tooth again. Always a bit of a pot luck when you choose a new mouth vet, but this one seems OK.
The cold weather has shown up the fact that our central heating wasn't working at peak efficiency. On Thursday and Friday it seemed to struggle to get the boat up to temperature, so this morning I had a bit of a poke around and discovered that the inlet air filter for the compressor was a bit blocked. Replacing it brought the flame back to its usual shape, and the temperature of the fluid is back to its 'I can't touch the radiators' point. Lovely and warm again!
I always do a jigsaw while we're moored up for winter, and this year is no exception. Last summer I swapped one with Ian, who we shared a lot of the L&L with earlier this year, and it's now nearly completed. Embarrassingly I can't remember the name of his boat, but I'm sure we'll meet again somewhere around the system.
This morning I picked up our hire car from Enterprise and we motored down to Barnsley with a box of chocolates for my Auntie Bobbie's 90th. Gail and Derek were there as we expected. Gail has a lot to answer for in life as it was she who introduced Cath and I when they were both students. I must add that I don't regret it!!
Tomorrow we'll do a raid on Morrison's and then use the car to get a load of diesel for the boat from Normanton.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Another lovely cold morning, but because it's the middle of Leeds we're a lot warmer than many out there.
We had a lovely day yesterday. Decided to take the train to York for a look around. because the weather was so foul this year we didn't manage to get up The Ouse so we took this opportunity.
A day return is only £11.40 and takes just around 30 minutes.
Here the river is looking a lot more benign than it has of late, but it's still higher than when Lyra last visited in 2007.

We decided to visit Jorvik and York Minster.
  Looking down the Nave

 The west window of York Minster

 This is a mock up of the east window, hung in place while the original is being re-furbished. it looks very realistic.
Underneath it you can just see The Orb, a small exhibition of some of the restoration work on the window.
There are also very interesting displays of stone masonry as well.

We haven't been to the Jorvic Centre for many years, in fact since 1984 when it was first opened. Much has changed of course, and it's an attraction which we can thoroughly recommend to anyone visiting York. I didn't get any useful photos of Jorvik because of restrictions.

 When we returned to our mooring it was already dark so I got this picture of Clarence Dock dressed up ready for Christmas.

And this is our small contribution to the festive season.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Monday 10th December 2012
As seems the norm throughout the country we've had it a bit cold recently, but still nothing like the winter of  10/12. The river level is good and the dock gates have remained open.
Leeds market is full of gorgeous things to eat leading up to Christmas, but we're being fairly good to ourselves, at least until closer to the holiday time.
The same as happened last year we're having a strange festive season. Because of the work patterns of both Damon and Liz, once again the main celebration will be held over the first weekend in the new year. Cath and I will have the actual Christmas Day tho ourselves on the boat and on Boxing Day Liz, Brenda and Daniel will be visiting us, which will allow Damon to get his sleep in peace (he's on night shift).
Yesterday I managed to break the repaired end of one of my front teeth. The legacy of an old motorcycle accident (an argument with a tractor which I lost!). So this morning I had to find a dentist. A quick glance through the offerings on Google and I'm booked in this afternoon for a poke and prod around by a jawbreaker in Leeds center.
Next weekend we've hired a car to get us to Barnsley for the 90th birthday of my Aunt. This will also give us transport to fetch some more fuel for the boat from the garage in Normanton.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday 2nd December 2012
The end of the year seem to be rushing towards us. I haven't updated this blog for some time now as life has been fairly samey, and others have had a lot more to talk about than we have (floods etc.).
The water here has long receded, and the river is once again a pussy cat. The sun has been shining brilliantly for the last few days, but of course it's been darn cold.
One exciting (for us) thing was that last night our grandson came to stay overnight for the first time, This may not seem much to some out there, but believe me it was a big deal for us and hopefully paces the way to further visits. We had planned to go for a short cruise with him this morning but with the temperature outside below 0 we chickened out.
Our Hurricane central heating continues to produce heat, but is getting a lot noisier. I'm just waiting for it to fail completely so that hopefully the supplier will at last fit the later type of compressor which is supposed to overcome the failures of the type fitted to ours. For those not acquainted with the problem we have experienced with this heater, After about one year of use the compressor in it became very noisy and finally failed completely. The supplier fitted a new one under guarantee. That one started to get noisy after only a few months and we then found out that there was a known issue with that model, which the maker had addressed by changing the design. We took the boat to the supplier (we happened to be passing in our travels) and they said that they wouldn't change it until it actually failed. I was a bit put out about the decision, but had to accept it. The trouble is, of course, that they will always fail when you need them most, when it's damned cold, and then you have to wait for the replacement. I only hope that we don't get any hassle about replacement free of charge, because it is a known faulty part.
An interesting boat has been in the dock over the weekend. Looks like a nice design, as long as you don't want to do the narrow canals.