Saturday, November 19, 2016

Time flies - with not much on its back

The past week, since Michelle returned home, has gone by really quickly, though we can't actually remember all that we've done. That's due to a blend of boater's time sense and poor memory, I guess! We do seem to have done an inordinate amount of shopping for very few items. But my shopping tour de force was the purchase of a length of hose for the engine air filter. Exciting, huh?
You'd think it'd be easy to find, wouldn't you? But I tried loads of places like Screwfix and Screw DIY, and Steve tried his various sources, too, but to no avail, though one motor factor Steve knows "might be able to get it in in December". My last hope was an engineering supplier in Rugby, but they didn't have any that size. But they did know a man who might! They directed me to Ideal Hose, not far from them, and he had some! Only about five or six metres of it, after which they wouldn't be stocking it any longer. I only wanted a metre and a half, and was impressed when I found he sells it at any length you want, not simply by the metre. I was even more chuffed when he discovered (i) that it wasn't listed in the price-book, and (ii) it wasn't in the stock-book either.

So he had a priceless (literally), non-existant (to all intents and purposes) length of 50mm plastic hose. What could he do with it? He gave it to me. A very satisfactory conclusion to my quest! I took it home and fitted it, with a smile of relief on my face.

I saw Mark the other day, the guy who fitted a new Morse mechanism for us a few weeks back, and I asked him to pay us a return visit. When the RCR mechanic doing our annual engine service started the engine up a few days after Mark had done his work, it was idling too fast. The Morse cable hadn't been fitted properly. Mark looked duly shamefaced, and will be back to put things right.

We want to clean the cratch cover and the taff skirt before the winter sets in - if it hasn't already. There's nowhere on the marina we can spread it out for washing and re-proofing, so we'll take it back to the house and use the front drive. For that, we need two or three days without rain, both in St Albans, and over the boat, since we don't really want her uncovered bow to get too wet. The forecast suggests we can start work on Tuesday morning, and have several days of dry weather. Here's hoping!

"Hints and tips" got a couple of 5-star reviews on Amazon UK recently,

Great book with lots of interesting and useful tips, I learned a lot!
We are currently in the 'research' stage and will hopefully buying our boat early next year.
Although we thought we had done a lot of research already, there was still lots that this book
taught us. It is also really nice to actually hear advise from someone who is already living
aboard. Very helpful book!

and I stumbled upon one for "Life with our feet under water" on Amazon US that I'd not seen before.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Roger and Grace sound like nice people, with a tolerance for things going wrong (just as well)
and an appreciation of people in general and their chosen lives in particular. Having rented
canal boats a couple of times, I could understand the narrative as Roger discussed recalcitrant
locks and narrow winding holes. This book has inspired me to go and do it all again.

Very gratifying, and it helps me to press on with my next book, "Moving home with our feet under water", which is progressing quite well now. I'm still not even thinking about when it might be published.

It'll be supper-time soon. Earlier, I visited Squ!sito, the local Italian bucher's shop and delicatessen. We'd driven past it so often, and never visited, so today I put that right. It's a super little shop doing a big business. I came away with home-made beef burgers and pork and fresh apple sausages. We'll be trying one of those tonight!

Who could resist those sausages?

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