Thursday 31 January 2013

Four seasons

Well yesterday was an interesting weather day, a real four seasons in one day sort off day.

It started off really rather mild with pleasant sunshine only to be replaced with windy, squally rain showers. Shortly followed by hail storms, snow showers and torrential monsoon style rain accompanied by thunder and lightening.

Glad we were in the office!

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Getting ready

With the time for naughty cals liftout looming ever closer we are starting to get together all of the necessary bits and pieces ready for her service and spruce up.

One set of propellers are boxed up ready to send for refurbishing, the sterndrive service parts are on order, oil has been delivered, and polishing gear is being checked to make sure it is in good order.

Better to be prepared than find out at the last moment things are not working as they should be.

We still need to gather together a few things but these will mostly be found at the Newark boat jumble in a couple of weeks time. From here we will get our antifoul paint, new ropes and new fender ropes. We plan to buy a new set of personalised fenders later in the month.

By the time she is relaunched early next month naughty cal should be looking like a new boat what with her fresh polish, fresh antifoul, new ropes and fenders and new canopies. We can't wait. It is great to see her looking fresh and clean and at her best.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

A treat

As it was my birthday over the weekend we decided to treat ourselves to some nice, quality rib eye steaks for Sunday lunch.

And we knew that they had to come from Doddington Hall farm shop, just a short hop away from the marina. They were a little on the pricey side but you do get what you pay for.

The steaks were thick cut and tender to the touch. Aged too perfection and marbled with just the right amount of fat to keep them moist and succulent.

A quick flash fry in the griddle pan and they were ready to serve rare and at their best with some homemade garlic mushrooms and grilled fresh tomato.

No need for steak knifes here. The meat fell apart at the mere sight of the knife, just as steak should be.

Monday 28 January 2013

Here we go again!

So the fossdyke is now in full flood, again. Seems to have been the story of this winter so far.

Once again we are safely locked in the marina whilst the canal steadily rises outside. Brayford pool is once again bursting its flood wall with the waterside premises yet again at risk of water inundation.

With more rain in the forecast it is any bodies guess where the water levels will peak this time and wether the levels will recede quickly enough for us to escape the marina this coming weekend. Cabin fever is starting to set in!

Sunday 27 January 2013

After the freeze

Well after the freeze comes the thaw and in this case what a rapid one. In the space of 24 hours all of the ice and snow has gone.

In its place rising river levels as the water makes its way downstream. So yesterday we were frozen in and today we are locked in as the flood gates that protect the waterside property here at the marina are locked shut to hold the fossdyke at bay.

Oh well. Maybe we will get out next weekend.

Saturday 26 January 2013

The thaw

Well after the big freeze the thaw is certainly setting in quickly today. It won't be long here, just a matter of hours by the look of things, before all signs of the snow and ice are gone.

This has the makings of a glorious day, blue skies and not a cloud in sight. The lake is rapidly returning to its normal liquid state and naughty cal can soon again enjoy liquid water around her hull. Happy days.

Friday 25 January 2013

Back online

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. We have been struck down by the dreaded virus. Four days of lying in bed feeling like death warmed up. Great!

Just as I am shaking it off Liam has succumbed. Might have to write this weekend off as a bad job!

Thursday 17 January 2013

Passed with flying colours

The nissan was in for its annual mot yesterday. It is always a nervous day. Will it pass? What will it fail on?

Well we needn't have worried. She passed with flying colours yet again. Not even a warning. In the words of the tester she is "spot on."

Wednesday 16 January 2013


Tonight we have the pleasure of entertaining Liam's mum and her husband. Not very often we get this pleasure so we always enjoy it.

Last night was spent having a quick clean up before deciding what we would cook up for dinner tonight.

In the end we decided on chicken breast stuffed with garlic and herb cheese and wrapped in smoked streaky bacon served with garlic and herb new potatoes and wild rocket salad with a honey and mustard dressing. Simple to cook but very tasty. For desert one of my favourites, cheesecake. This time a creamy chocolate version.

Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Bangers with a twist

As the cold weather has set in for the foreseeable my evening meal plan has turned into a lust of warming, cosy meals.

Tonight it is bangers and mash in a giant homemade Yorkshire pudding smothered in a rich mushroom and onion gravy. It doesn't get much more homely than that.

Now for the twist. They will be vegetarian sausages. We are still attempting to eat more healthily whilst still maintaining our favourite meals. Ok so Yorkshire pudding and mashed root vegetables may not be the healthiest foods around but dramatically reducing the fat content from the sausages is a step on the right direction.

Monday 14 January 2013

Let it snow

Well despite forecasts of snow for much of the weekend it was only this morning that we awoke to a slight covering.

As we listened to the forecasts we missed out on a weekend of alright boating weather. Our only trip for the weekend our Friday night jaunt to the boat club.

Never mind. There is plenty of time to catch up later in the year. For now we are safely back in Sheffield awaiting more snow.

Friday 11 January 2013

All set

All is set for the weekend. Just a few hours left at work and then we can chill out and relax for a couple of days.

With snow on the weekends forecast we have taken the extra precaution of sticking a couple of spades in the car in case we need to dig ourselves out!

With the weather set to be wintry over the weekend we have not made many plans other than to head to Lincoln for a few beers in the boat club tonight. After that we will probably head back to the marina and sit it out from the comfort of our own berth.

Thursday 10 January 2013

All change

So it's all change with the weather again. From mild and decidedly wet to dry sunny but bitterly cold. Good old British weather!

Thankfully we left all of the heaters on the boat when we left on Monday so naughty cal will be nice and warm and keeping the frost at bay.

Meanwhile here at home we have the daily grind of waking up, staring at the car in disbelief, bickering over who's turn it is to scrape it, begrudgingly pulling on shoes and venturing out into the freezing temperatures.

Never mind. It's Friday tomorrow so we can look forward too a couple of days away from the mill.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Homely meals

What can be more warming on a cold winters evening than a plate full of perfectly cooked roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and loads of rich ale gravy?

It isn't very often we eat this during the week due to time constraints. We usually opt for quick and easy meals that are simple to prepare after a long day at work.

But last night we tucked into the roast beef with gusto. A real pleasant change. Maybe we will do this more often now we have found the secret.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Booked in

Well naughty cal is now booked in for this years lift out and chock ashore. This year we have chosen the middle of February for the task which should give us plenty of time to get her ready for the new cruising season and our first break of the year.

By the time she is relaunched she should be looking like a new boat, fully polished and gleaming white with fresh anti foul paint and her new hoods. Finishing off the look will be new ropes and fenders but it is the unseen servicing that is the important part of the process. A full service on the stern gear should hopefully ensure she is as reliable as ever during the coming year.

Monday 7 January 2013

Home again

Well that came around quick but we are back home and back to work again. It didn't seem like a very long weekend this time.

The weather wasn't too bad on the whole, at least we managed a weekend out of the marina for the first time in a long time.

Next weekend is going to have to be a weekend of cleaning. Naughty cal is starting to look a bit grubby with the winter grime taking hold and muddy feet making light work of making the decks dirty. The joys of winter boating.

Sunday 6 January 2013

A mixed bag

Well the weather has certainly been a mixed bag today. We set off from Torksey in brilliant sunshine this morning only to travel a few hundred yards and be veiled in thick fog. You couldn't believe the difference in such a short distance.

Now back on our home berth we are tucked up warmly with the heating doing a grand job and garlic chicken in the slow cooker. A warming meal to finish off a cold day.

Friday 4 January 2013

The figures are in

Well with a final flurry of the calculator our figures for 2012 are finally in.

Over the year we travelled 1382 miles and through 74 locks, using 1226 litres of fuel in the process (which includes fuel used for heating and the odd hour idling)

This equates to an average fuel consumption of 5.07mpg over the year.

Despite 2012 not being one of our most adventurous years we have managed to rack up more miles than in previous years and a higher lock count.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Bringing in the new year

This year as in previous years we brought in the new year at the marina with naughty cal.

News years eve was spent in the woodcocks pub on site, no taxis needed here before we walked back around to our friends house where we had left the boat at the bottom of their garden!

New Year's Day was brought in with the first BBQ of the year. Well when you are feeding so many hungry mouths its easier than cooking on the hob!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Back to work

Well that came around quickly. The first working day of the new year. Doesn't seem like we have had over a week off work.

The commute back to Sheffield was again longer than usual due to the bridge at Dunham still being closed due to flooding. Hopefully it will be back up and running by Friday.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

A new year dawns

Well happy new year to one and all. 2013 has dawned and with it a whole new year of discovery and opportunity.

So let us hope that this year is filled with happiness and plenty of good cruising weather.

Looks good today.