Friday, December 12, 2014

Busy, busy, busy!

Roy and Lee came on Friday morning, as expected, and refitted the sink with a new seal. We used the rest of the day cleaning up and loading up into the car the last of the things we needed to take back to the house.

On Saturday morning, we winterised, then drove off to Barton-le-Clay for the Christmas Tree Festival. It wasn't a good gig for the Maidens; they were simply background music, singing from a minstrel gallery, with no amplification. It was a shame, a waste of their time and the church's money. But it was a good event otherwise.

Sunday morning found us back at Kantara. We'd had a phone call from Carl on the previous afternoon, saying that he was going to finish the repair on the Alde. It suited us to go back to Yelvertoft again - there's always something we forget! - so back we went, and left again within the hour, confident that the boat was ready for the winter alone.

On Monday, I went into London to meet Michelle to share a birthday treat with her. A friend had given her two tickets to see Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre, with a meal beforehand at nearby Da Scalzo restaurant. It was a great night out. The food was very good, and the musical just brilliant. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. I've already booked tickets to take Grace next month.
The life of 11-year-old Billy Elliot, a coal miner's son in Northern England, is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson. Before long, he finds himself in dance, demonstrating the kind of raw talent seldom seen by the class' exacting instructor, Mrs. Wilkinson. With a tart tongue and a never-ending stream of cigarettes in her hand, Mrs. Wilkinson's zest for teaching is revived when she sees Billy's potential.
Since then, it's been a busy week, with Christmas shopping and a lot of work around the house, tidying rooms for Christmas festivities, and visits to charity shops and the recycling centre; all part of a general, ongoing downsizing, with a view to moving into a smaller house some time in the future.

Today, we decorated the Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

There and back again

Yes, we left the boat on Saturday, and went back to the house. It was so good, being able to leave things on Kantara without being concerned about damp and mould, safe in the knowledge that the dehumidifier's doing its job.

But we returned today.

Before we left, however, I thought it wise to go to Kwik Fit to have a slow leak from a front tyre investigated. My nearest branch was busy, and I would have had to wait for well over an hour to be served, so I drove a bit further on to another branch. They had no customers, so I drove straight in, and a guy got on with the job. It took almost half an hour to complete, then he came to see me. He told me that there was no problem with the tyre, but rather that the leak had been between the tyre and the rim of the wheel, which was a bit corroded. He'd smoothed the corrosion away and refitted the tyre, with a sealant around the rim for extra effect. He charged nothing. I was amazed, and quite chuffed!

On to Kantara, then, with just a few things packed for couple of nights' stay. The weather was cold and drizzly, the M1 slowed almost to a standstill just before junction 16. I took no chances, and left the motorway there, arriving at the marina by 2:00.

On our way here, we'd had a call from Pete of Harris Hoods, saying that he'd finished fitting our new cratch cover. And it's lovely! Made to a really high standard, and looking so good. We highly recommend the company.

And it's so much better than the old one; the way it's fitted to the hull, the wider doors with two zips each, the large window beside each door, the way the doors roll up tightly, inside or out of the cover. We're very pleased indeed. There's a possibility that we might want an additional fastener on each side, just to hold down the bottom of the back seam.

We'll see.

Inside the boat, the air was dry and not a cold as we might have expected. The dehumidifier was doing its job well, and the electricity consumption was pleasingly low. Of course, it was still cold in the boat, though. Several winter days with no heating except that provided as a side-effect of the dehumidifier leads to the warmth leaching out of the walls and furniture, so lighting the stove doesn't properly warm the boat for some hours.

Roy's due to come tomorrow morning, to re-fit and seal the sink. It'd be nice if Carl came, too, and put the Alde back together again! When Roy's gone, we'll load the car with any remaining bits and pieces we want back at the house, and the next day we'll winterise and leave the boat. We want to be with Said the Maiden at their last gig of the year on Saturday. It's at Barton le Clay's Christmas Tree Festival at St Nicholas' Church, and we pass very close to the village on our way down the M1, so it would make good sense to go there straight from here. A good way to start Christmas, too!