Thursday, January 19, 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Just A Little Bit Of Snow

We  left our boaty home on Wednesday morning leaving a  heater on low  due to the  forecast cold weather. We always seem to forget  something and this time it was our  hats. In the  past we've forgotten  shirts and had to buy some. It reminds me of the time  as a  family  we went on holiday and left our costs hanging by the door so we needed to buy five  coats when  we arrived  in North Wales.

We stopped  at the  arboretum  outside  Hereford for some  lunch and a walk with  Ben  the  dog........with the  wind it was really  cold and  Eric  ended up with leaves  on his head. Few dogwalkers  were out and no children as it was a school  day and  far too cold for the younger  ones.  

A quick stop  to shop at Marks and Spencer in Newport Retail Park to pick up an ordered  shirt for Eric as you can only get  the longer  length  shirts online. I ordered some jeans  for me too  to get the right length  and size.

We arrived  at Lisa's house and the car was soon emptied and the  dogs  running  around the garden. Tea was from the nearest  fish and chip shop. Our granddaughter Gwen soon had her grandad helping her with her puzzle book. 

On Wednesday  we attended my uncle Ivor's funeral and he had a very  nice send off. At the nearby country club we had  time to  catch up  with relatives  we only seem to see  at weddings  and funerals.  It's  worrying  when  you realise  the older ones  are dwindling and you become  the oldest ones in the family. We were chatting about funeral music and thought 'Help' a Beatles song would be a good one as the curtains close around the coffin.

Last night we met up with Eric's brother Robin, his girlfriend  Juls and his sister  Paula  for a meal at the Cedar  Tree  near Ikea  in Cardiff. First of all I thought  we were  going  to Ikea for meatballs  when Robin said Ikea but it was the restaurant near Ikea.

Today Lisa's off to San Francisco  on a trip with Sally while  Eric and I look after Gwen and the dog for a few days. So today we're off mud larking down Tredegar  House  Country  Park trying to keep Lila the sprocker  from getting  too dirty.......she loves mud and puddles so she may end up in the  bath!

After a few  unsuccessful  attempts I managed to upgrade my phone so the blog can now  have pictures. I couldn't get blogger  to upload  photos on my tablet and I rarely take a camera and it needs to be plugged in via USB to get the photos off the camera on the  laptop.  In the end it was easier to order the upgrade online and  pick it up in store after arriving at a store  to find they didn't  have the phone  I wanted  or they had one but someone else had ordered it so I couldn't  have  it.

Gwen in her school uniform
Òops I nearly forgot we did have ten minutes of snow which just  covered the top of  the car but it was soon gone!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

It's January 2017

I was very boring sleeping through  the strike of midnight by Big Ben in London but Eric told me the fireworks were amazing when he got into bed. I sleepily wished him a Happy New Year. We obviously didn't have noisy fireworks near us in the marina so Ben the dog wasn't freaked out.

Life goes on NB Bendigedig the Christmas tree is now on the bow of the boat in it's little pot minus the decorations and the boat looks a little bare after the sparkly lights. No pine needles to clean up as it was well watered. It continues to get a good soak with the rain we've had today.

It's been cold the last few days going down to minus 6 degrees so the boat was frozen in and we woke to creaks as we moved until the ice loosened it's hold. The marina was well and truly frozen with no water on the pontoons as it was turned off and anyway the pipes were frozen. As it thawed there were leaks so it had to be turned off again. The boat's water tank holds a fair bit so we can still shower or use the  marina facilities which still have running water.

A few evenings ago water was in abundance as a burst in the  loft above the empty top flat caused it to flood and the flat below it too. A phone call to Phil and the water was turned off but I can't imagine the water damage in the flats.

So dog walking has been on wet and soggy or crisp and frozen ground but we've still had our walks. Ben the dog is fine enjoying being back on the boat where he's safe from Lila Lisa's spaniel who was feeling very frisky over Christmas. Our Ben wasn't interested .....just as well as nobody wanted collie/ sprocker puppies!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

We had a really special Christmas in south Wales. I had the mammoth task of cooking Christmas Dinner for nine but all went well except the sprouts were a bit soggy, which I suppose it better than the bullets you often get when eating out. Paula did the starters which was a great help and Sally made a trifle for dessert and of course we had Christmas pudding.

Lots of lovely presents given and received and we have a new fluffy teddy blanket on our bed and the one on there is on the sofa where Ben the dog enjoys the  comfort whenever the sofa is free. In the night it's his favourite place which makes a change from outside the bathroom door trying to trip us up on our night time trips to the loo.....a sign of age!

I loved by silly socks which Eric bought me for fun!!  Very comfy and great for wearing my Fit flops with their toe post when it's cold. I also had a big box of Number 7 products  with lovely creams and potions. The nail polish was passed onto nails are always unpainted and short!  We came back to the boat with alcohol and chocolates which will have to be rationed......I do love  a  wee tot at bedtime is on the cards.

It's been very cold these last few nights with the temperatures in the minus figures but onboard we've been toastie  once we warmed the boat up after ten days just on frost stat. We arrived back on Wednesday to 40 degrees C but it was soon up to 70 with the fire lit and the Webasco  diesel heater fired up. Outside the boat the pontoons were frosty and needed gritting which was soon sorted as we didn't want Ben slipping or us for that matter.

We did wonder if there would be electric to the boat as there was an electric fault  in the marina before we left causing the RCD's on the pontoons to trip and it that happens it trips the one in the boat and  it would need resetting. Luckily all was well and it hadn't gone off as I did wonder if I should have turned off the fridge. I don't suppose the solar panels put much in the batteries this time of year/

This morning we'll have to face the grit free  country lanes carefully watching out for black ice, so we'll one of those annoying slow  drivers, as we need some shopping  although I suppose I could get a Tesco delivery. We've plenty of alcohol to toast the New Year in depending on whether I want a hangover or not.......maybe just a little tot of Drambuie! So all there remains to say it that we wish you all you wish yourself, a healthy and prosperous New Year.


Monday, December 26, 2016

A Christmas Update

Currently in south Wales with our family enjoying a lovely Christmas break. Yesterday I donned the apron and cooked Christmas dinner for nine including our two grand children Gwenllian and Scarlett. I had help from Gwenllian  who is eight on Christmas Eve, she's excellent at peeling carrots and the sprouts after I'd cut off the bits thst needed a knife. On Christmas day she sorted out the table with serviettes, cutlery and crackers to pull.

So Christmas Day started about seven in the morning so not quite so early as I thought. I loved watching Gwen open her presents with her mum while Eric got a lie in.  Later the turkey crown and beef went in the oven and it was just a matter of getting the timing right for  1 o'clock.

Family arrived with more presents to open and lots of chatter. After starters provided by Eric's sister Paula we had the main course.  Dessert was delayed for an hour because nobody had any room for  Sally's trifle or Christmas pudding from the Tesco's finest range which was particularly boozy. Suitably stuffed we enjoyed  catching up with everyone  and watching the girls playing with their toys.

Later all  our visitors went home and we had a quiet night in with Call the Midwife and Eastenders for Christmas day viewing.  It had been a lovely day.

Today we have another get to together at Paula's house which should be fun. Oops nearly forgot to say...........................MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Three Sleeps To Christmas

We're down in Wales for Christmas, so these Welsh people are back in the land of their birth.  Although Whixall is very close to the Welsh border.  All the Christmas food shopping is done after having to search for brandy sauce in just a few supermarkets. The problem is what do we eat for the rest of the week, we haven't thought of that. Last night we had a spaghetti bolonese,  so today it maybe fish and chips as there's a shop close by.

Lisa's spaniel Lila has been giving Ben the dog lots of attention, not that he wants it.He just looks at her as she plays around him finally finding a spot where he can go to sleep in peace. We've had lots of walks or should I say drags with Lila's enthusiasm. Lots of mud and puddles so two mucky dogs.

My grandaughter Gwen and I made chocolate butterfly cakes  this afternoon and she enjoyed being messy as she could lick her fingers. No doubt there will be more messy play tomorrow as were going to a birthday party when our youngest grandaughter Scarlett  will be three.

Three, two, one  sleeps and then it's Christmas Day .........I hope it's not a too early start to the day the day!

Friday, December 16, 2016

An Update From Whixall Marina

We're enjoying having broadband, it makes such a change from hunt the Mifi signal .....which window shall we hang it in today.  

We had a surprise on Wednesday night when an electrical fault  plunged the marina into darkness. Inside with 12v lightening it wasn't dark and we turned on the invertor to watch TV. The piers were lit by the moon and torches when we ventured out to walk the dog. Luckily the showerblock stayed on so those showering didn't have a shock with it suddenly 
going dark.

In the morning the fault was found under the pier that connects us to land which raises and 
lowers as the water level changes. The wire had been chafed by the moment and it's now protected by a rubber mat until it's fixed. Electricians have been but it won't be fixed this week.

Yesterday we enjoyed a dog walk around Colemere but it was particularly muddy as was the towpath on the Prees Branch. Ben the dog wasn't happy having his feet washed!

The Christmas cards have been arriving and the tiny potted Christmas Tree sits on the coffee table reminding us Christmas is nearly here. How many sleeps?  Nine but Halfie thinks it's more. Are you counting afternoon naps?