Sunday 31 January 2010

A Cold End To January!

Saturday 30th January 2010

We had initially planned to travel down to the Marina tomorrow (Sunday), for the day only. However, we took the opportunity to spend a full weekend at the marina as our plans for lunch 'back home' with friends (Joan and Bob) today was unfortunately postponed. Joan has been struck with shingles which is causing her some acute discomfort - get well Joan. We will reconvene for her birthday celebration once she is feeling better.

Left home at approximately 8.20am following a covering of snow during the night. Arriving at a sunny (but cold) Great Haywood at 10.45am. The marina was still frozen over but thawing fast in the sunshine. We lit the fire and clicked on the central heating and decided a trip by car to Trentham would give the boat time to warm up while we had a wonder along the shops.

Immediately on our return, Elaine reheated some homemade soup and this was delicious; going nicely with the crusty loaf we had bought from the farm shop. After lunch I decided today was a good opportunity to swap over the gas bottles. The boat only uses gas for cooking; so a 13kg bottle lasts about 6 months at current usage rates. I had switched the last bottle over in October and was therefore acutely aware we didn't have a spare ready for use when the current bottle expires. I had been putting off the purchase as the empty bottle we had was one of the original bottles supplied by Jonathan Wilson when the boat was new and was not of Calor origin but supplied by some obtuse welding supplies company from Sheffield, and therefore a new bottle agreement on top of the cost of the gas would not be cheap (£29.99 plus the gas). Anyway; a trip across the marina for a top up of 3 of the boats 'fuels' was required. (£10 Electric top-up; £10.oo bag of coal; and a £67.69 for gas.) Soon the bottle was fitted and we are now in the comfortable position of having a spare to rely on (because you can bet your boots it will be cold and raining when the bottle runs out); so a quick switch over is now available.

Watched a DVD and a bit of TV before stocking up the fire and going to bed. Although it was toasty in the boat it was clear to see that the weather was very cold outside as the ice on the surface of the marina was glistening in the crisp moonlight!

Sunday 31st January 2010

Woke today to find a covering of snow across the marina. Spent the morning testing out a 3G extension aerial on Elaine's laptop with an 02 card. It noticeably boosted the reception on her 3G card but still fails to deliver the signal strength she was receiving from the standard Vodafone card she had previously. No surprise there then I here you say!

A Covering of Snow on the Frozen Marina!

Travelled back up North during the afternoon; stopping briefly at Sheffield to drop off the empty propane bottle (at least Jonathan can get his deposit back on the bottle) and have a wander around a cold Victoria Basin. We did feel a little out of place as we weren't wearing our hoodies and had failed to bring our aerosols with us! An environment that was a stark contrast to that, that we had left behind at Great Haywood.