Friday, April 05, 2013

What's happening?

Well, there's not a lot to report since the last post. On Easter Day, we went back to St Albans to spend the day with the kids, and with our niece Kathryn, her son Jake, and boyfriend Alistair. Naomi cooked a wonderful meal for us all, and we enjoyed a really good day together. We've not seen Kathryn for some years, so there was much catching up to be done. Steve was recently back from a snowboarding holiday with friends in the French Alps, and he had a lot to relate. Then there was Jess with Said the Maiden news, and Naomi with her foodie and growing interests. Lots of chat and laughter!

Back on Kantara, the weather's been the biggest issue, as it has around the entire nation. We've had snow, bright sun and blue skies, but always a strong, biting cold wind, with frost most nights and frozen marina pound in the mornings. We're discovering how expensive it can be to keep warm in these conditions. We've used far more gas than ever before in the same amount of time. Likewise, diesel for the bubble stove, and electricity. We're using the bubble stove during the day, and the gas boiler set low overnight. A small electric fan heater raises the temperature in the bedroom quickly when needed.

We've been able to do a few jobs around the boat, but most of the remaining jobs on our list require better weather that we have at the moment. We went to Braunston today, to visit AJ Canopies, a company which specialises in making and repairing canopies of various kinds. Our cratch cover needs some minor repair, and we want to have fasteners fitted along the bottom edges so that it can be clipped to the hull, making it sturdier in strong winds and under the weight of snow. The office was unexpectedly closed, so we'll have to go back next week.

Over the past year or so, we've passed on a number of occasions a narrowboat cafe, The Gongoozler's Rest, which is permanently moored just outside Braunston Marina. Today, we went in for lunch, and were pleasantly surprised. Seating a maximum of just 14 people, it offers a good menu of breakfast and lunch food, and we were impressed with the size and quality of the toasted sandwiches we had. It's been busy each toime we've passed, and even at this time of year, and in this weather, there were ten of us eating there this afternoon. I'm sure we'll be back sometime.

Last week, we went to Rugby Cineworld to see "Trance", a strange but entertaining film with a twist or two - an afternoon well spent.
An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.

We also bought a new mattress for our bed. After a year of use, we finally decided that the one which came with the boat is really too hard.

It has to be said, we're getting restless. Having done the couple of days cruising to and from Debdale, we have a taste for more cruising, but the weather really needs to be more clement before it'll be enjoyable. Roll on real Spring!

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