Monday, June 15, 2015

And soon we travel!

It's been a strange time, this past couple of weeks. Having only been back at the boat for a week or so, we paid a flying visit back to the house last Thursday evening, to oversee the erection of a fence at the bottom of the garden on Friday. Naomi had work to do, and couldn't be there. As soon as the job was completed - and they made a very good job of it - we got back into the car and drove back here. And once back, we got back down to doing a number of smallish jobs in preparation for our first cruise of the year. Mid-June, and we're only just going out! The price we pay for getting the paintwork done. On top of the one with a £ in front of it!

Last week, we saw "San Andreas" at the cinema. 3D, and very effective for it. It's a good film. Not much of a story, and what story there is is rather hackneyed - divorced hero risks life and limb to save endangered daughter, rescues ex-wife along the way, and is reconciled with her after their joint effort to find said daughter. But the casting is good, and the acting very much better than it might have been in a film which relies extremely heavily upon CGI. The special effects are indeed very special, with quake-struck cities shaking, toppling, crumbling and flooding. Action-packed, and very gripping. We loved it.
A seemingly ideal day turns disastrous when California's notorious San Andreas fault triggers a devastating, magnitude 9 earthquake, the largest in recorded history. As the Earth cracks open and buildings start to crumble, Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson), an LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, must navigate the destruction from Los Angeles to San Francisco to bring his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario) to safety.

But most importantly, we're off cruising on Wednesday. Meeting Michelle at Stoke Bruerne on Saturday and heading off south and back for a week. Fingers crossed for decent weather. It's far from settled down to accepting that it really is summer now. Before Wednesday, car MOT, stocking up with food for three, cleaning and tidying up. And Simon's coming to look at Kantara's various electrical eccentricities. Then GU South, here we come!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Well, what a day!

I'm sure you all had the same kind of weather as we experienced over the past couple of days. In fact, I believe there were those who suffered worse. But it was quite something here! Very strong, gusty wind against which you had to lean if you wanted to stand still or walk into the wind. Cold, too. We lit the stove for several hours during the afternoon. And torrential rain on and off. I was going to hose Kantara down, but the elements did that for me. I took and Tweeted this photo less than two hours before it all started, saying, "It's good to see the sun again!"
In one of the gaps between the rain, I took these pics of the marina pound. The boats were all rocking and rolling, and no-one dared move.
To those of you who aren't boaters, it probably doesn't look too bad, but believe me, if you're in a seven-foot metal tube, you get thrown around quite a lot!
It was while I was out in such a wind, filling the water tank, that my best watch fell off my wrist and into the pound. I got the magnet on a rope straight away, and I was sure it was hitting against the watch as I moved it around the area where I thought it had gone, but all I got was a single link-pin from the bracelet, bent, and quite obviously the reason why the watch had fallen off. I had to give up. There came a time when, even if I had managed to retrieve it, it would have been too full of muddy water to be useable. I was very sad. It was an expensive watch, given to me by a very special group of kids some fifteen years ago on the day I left Bishopshalt School to take up a post at Sir Frederic Osborne School. They had been my form, my tutor-group, for five years. I've lost the watch, but I still remember them very well, and that's much more important to me.

Having seen the DVD of PItch Perfect last week, Grace and I went to see the sequel the other day. Just us and a lone bloke at that screen. Half-term break's over! It was good fun, and I really love the acapella music in both films, but this one wasn't as good as the first. They didn't pull out anything original. Shame.

The new carpet was fitted today. It took the guy nearly three hours, and he did a fine job of it. It looks great. An excellent solution to the carpet problem which has been with us for a couple of years or more.

Despite our concerns, it seems now that there is no problem, either with the batteries or with the charger. both apparently functioning as they should, and I'm not sure why they weren't a few days ago. The jury's still out on the solar panels, though.

We're going back to the house tomorrow, just for a couple of nights, mainly to collect the rest of the stuff we need for life on Kantara through the summer and autumn - and early winter.

Things are coming on well with my book. Have I mentioned that before? Encouraged by the few other narrowboat books I've seen and read on Kindle, I've been writing my own, based on our experiences leading up to Kantara and into our first three years on her. The working title is "Life with our feet under water". It's different, I think, with three particular ingredients which I hope will make it a bit special. Watch this space!