Monday 31 December 2018

The Final Day

It is the final day of 2018. What to do with it?

Well first of all was an unexpected lie in. Even the dog didn't want to get up at 9.30am.

After a leisurely breakfast we have had a nice walk around Wisby nature reserve and will shortly be heading to the marina again where we will be drinking the new year in with friends.

Some good news today. Sydney has passed his rabies test so will be ready to travel come what may in April.

Sunday 30 December 2018

On the Ditch

It is a beautiful morning on the Fossdyke. We are currently heading for Lincoln for the day after a nice evening in Saxilby last night.

We had a slight problem with Naughty-cal this morning when the supercharger decided it would operate at all revs instead of just above 1500rpm as it should. So it was quickly back to the mooring for a look. Problem turned out to be the trip switch on the clutch control box. Not sure why it tripped but it is something to keep an eye on.

All is now working as it should be and we are enjoying a steady plod to Lincoln. We are the only boat on the move so far.

Saturday 29 December 2018

To The Beach

As it was due to be s bit breezy this morning in Lincoln we decided to head to the coast for the morning and give Syd a run in the beach.

He loved it as always.

Now we are heading back to the boat and will shortly be heading to Saxilby for a Chinese takeaway tonight. Might even have a couple of drinks in the Anglers beforehand.

Friday 28 December 2018

Boat Time

Time for some time afloat we think.

It is Liams last day at work for four days and while I am off work I may as well make the most of the day and give the boat a good scrub inside and out.

She comes out of the water soon and scrubbing the outside is easier in the water than out. So it needs doing now or we will make life harder in a few weeks.

I have already put on fresh bedding and as an extra treat have added a nice mattress topper. We have been saying we will do this for years and have never gotten around too it. So it is our Christmas treat for the boat.

I have managed to wedge quite a lot of food and beer in the new boat fridge but have forgotten something for lunch so me and Syd will have a treat at lunchtime and go to the chippy in Saxilby.

Thursday 27 December 2018

Getting Smarter

After a great day out with friends yesterday we are now back in Sheffield. Liam having gone to work and me at home waiting for some chaps from EDF to come and fit our home smart meters.

Back to the boat tomorrow for a nice short break on board Naughty-cal. Our last before she comes out of the water.

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Boxing Day Lunch

Today we have finally made it down to the boat. It seems like a long time since we have been here but everything seems in order.

It is only a one night visit this time as Liam has to work tomorrow and Friday. But we have a good day lined up with a group walk to the Pyewipe Inn for Boxing Day lunch.

Should be fun as we have quite a large group of both people and dogs!

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all

With love from Liam, Rachael,  Sydney and Naughty-cal.

Monday 24 December 2018

The Crawl

Today we have decided to find out where in Sheffield we can take Sydney. And so far we have been pleasantly surprised.

We started with a very nice four mile walk from home to Kelham Island where all of the pubs are traditional and dog friendly and have just worked our way into town.

Where one of our old favourite pubs is very dog friendly to our surprise.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Soggy Walks

It has been a decidedly soggy day in Sheffield. So we have taken the opportunity to clear out the cupboard under the stairs, no mean feat at all and give the oven and extractor fan in the kitchen a good scrub.

With this little lot done it was time for a soggy walk in the park followed by a drying out session in front of the open fire at The Strines Inn.

We are now back at home after battling through rubbish traffic with dinner prepped for later and a beer cuddled up on the sofa with a beer.

Saturday 22 December 2018

Getting Muddy

We have enjoyed a muddy walk around Rother Valley Park with the family today. The kids and the dog have loved it.

Time to get this little dog home, washed, dried and warmed up a bit.

Friday 21 December 2018

The Big Clean Up

With family coming to stay it is time to have a big clean up at home and get the place looking semi respectable at least.

We had hoped to have the new front door fitted by now but alas that is not to be. So we are doing what we can with what we have to hand.

Sydney is helping in his own special way which usually involves untidying what had just been tidyed!

Christmas curry will soon be going in the slow cooker for tea later. This will make a nice easy dinner with just some rice and samosas to prepare just before we are ready to eat.

Thursday 20 December 2018

Odd Jobs and Water

Today we have had a busy day already. We were up bright and early and started the day with a hearty breakfast.

Then it was onto Chesterfield to visit a friends carpet shop to find a piece of temporary carpet for the hallway. We plan to radio or this in the next couple of weeks after the new front door is fitted so it is just a temporary job but it has made the hallway look better for our guests tomorrow.

On the way back we had time to visit Tapton Lock on the Chesterfield Canal to stretch Sydney's legs before heading back  to fit the carpet.

While Liam was busy with the carpet. Sydney and I paid a visit to The Little Sausage Shop to stock up with Christmas goodies and some food to see us through the weekend.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Waiting In

It is the first day of our holiday and so far we are sat in waiting for the BT engineer to arrive. We couldn't even have a lie in as the appointment time is 8am to 1pm.

A boring start to the holiday so far!

Tuesday 18 December 2018

The Final Day

Today is our final day of work before we break up for the festive period. But don't be fooled it won't be a quiet period, certainly not for the next few days at least.

Tomorrow we have the BT engineers coming in to fit a new phone line and install the broadband needed by the new smart TV we bought a few weeks ago. 

Then on Thursday we are going to pick up and fit some new carpet for the hallway. Cream carpet was never really ideal in the hallway but since getting Sydney keeping it cream has been an uphill struggle and we have finally given it up as a bad job. So a new darker colour carpet is going to be a temporary fix until we get sorted properly and have some vinyl fitted in the kitchen and hallway to match. We also have a few other odd jobs to do around the house on Thursday.

On Friday we have Liam's mum and husband coming down from Scotland to stay with us for a couple of days. They couldn't come over Christmas as she is working Christmas day and Boxing day so they have come down a few days before instead. It will be nice to have a proper catch up.

Monday 17 December 2018

Venturing Out

As nurse Sydney had been very good for us while we were ill and we were feeling a little better yesterday afternoon we decided to have a drive out into Derbyshire to Matlock Bath to take him out for a couple of hours.

He loved all of the new sights, sounds and smells but was not quite sure what to make of th huge koi carp in the pond.

Today, we are back to work. We only have today and tomorrow to endure before we break up for Christmas so I'm sure we can manage. I have my work survival kit on my desk comprising drugs, fluids, sugar and coffee!

Sunday 16 December 2018

Day Four

It is now day four of staying at home. Cabin fever is starting to set in.

Liams cold appears to be about a day behind mind with the symptoms he is displaying which would probably suggest I got it first and gave it to him.

It is early in the day yet and I don't want to jinx it too much but I do think I feel a bit better today.

Sydney is doing a great job of being nurse and checking we are both ok.

Saturday 15 December 2018

Staying Home

It is with some dismay that we have had to admit defeat and face reality that we are not well enough to drive to Lincoln and attend our E Pontoon Christmas party.

We had been looking forward too it for weeks. I'm sure everyone will have a great time in our absence.

We have taken the dog out and are now back at home hunkering down from the cold outside.

Thursday 13 December 2018

Perfect Timing

We have both been blessed with being perfectly fit and healthy all year. So it is sods law that we have both started to come down with what feels to be a rotter of a cold just a couple of days before our E Pontoon Christmas party and for Liam just a day before his work's Christmas party.

We are both feeling decidedly groggy and run down, with sore throats, terrible bouts of sneezing and of course the obligatory snotty noses. 

I think a whisky or two might be in order tonight to try and pickle the germs. But for now at work a cocktail of drugs, coffee and other remedies will have to suffice instead!

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Delivery Duties

This morning we turned the Nissan into a makeshift Santa's sleigh loading her up to the rafters with presents and boxes some of which are to be delivered this evening after work and others have been sent with their respective courier companies across the country.

The living room is starting to get back to normal again now what with the majority of the gifts out of the way and spare items which have been sold sent away to their new homes. We are getting our home back again.

Not quite though the last present will be delivered Monday evening next week and then we have done the duties for this year. We can sit back, relax and let the festivities begin.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Testing Times

It is now 30 days since Sydney had his rabies jab. So tonight we are off to the vets again for Sydneys blood test to check that the antibodies are there and offering the correct levels of protection.

All being well by next week we should have the blood test results and then three months from that date he will be fit for travel to the EU whatever Brexit decides to throw into the mix.

The daft thing is under current rules he could travel now with his passport. But if the rules change on March 29th we would only have a few weeks to get together the necessary paperwork which just wouldn't be enough time.

This cheap holiday won't have worked out quite so cheap by the time we have gotten the dog sorted and ready to travel. But never mind. We next time we travel with him there will be none of this fuss. The paperwork and vaccines will all be in place already.

Monday 10 December 2018

Getting Cosy

After the efforts on Saturday to get the fridge up and running and in it's new home, it was nice yesterday to have a chilled out day and have no rushing around anywhere.

The fridge by the way is excellent. We had a few concerns about it on Saturday evening as the compressor was running none stop pretty much all day on Saturday. But it turns out we just had it turned up far too high. So high in fact that it was starting to freeze the beer!

With it turned down to a more suitable temperature the beers are ice cold and the compressor is running very little each hour. We are now happy it is working correctly and as an added bonus it fits in far more beer then the old fridge.

Back to yesterday and we had a very pleasant day in Lincoln. We decided to stay in down hill Lincoln as the market was up hill making it very busy up there. So to start with we had coffee in the Cosy Club where Sydney made himself very Cosy indeed. Coffee turned into cocktails and we enjoyed a lovely English Garden cocktail.

Then it was time to move on to do a little shopping before heading to the Treaty of Commerce for a couple of drinks, followed by a drink in the Royal William on the way back to the boat. And after all of that we had a steady cruise back to the Pyewipe Inn to grab some dinner. Liam had stilton stuffed chicken with bacon and chive mash and I opted for the steak and ale pie, both of which were lovely.

All too soon it was time to head back to the marina and wrap up another weekend. Not many more left for this year now. This morning was a chilly start with a thick layer of ice on the car. That took some scraping off at 6am I will tell you!

Sunday 9 December 2018

Beautiful Morning

It is a beautiful morning on the Fossdyke this morning. Bright and sunny but crisp and cold.

We have now left Saxilby our destination of last night and are heading into Lincoln for the day.

Think we will head to the Pyewipe for dinner later.

Saturday 8 December 2018


The new fridge is now insitu and working. Not an easy job though and three hours of faffing and swearing.

On the plus side it fits more beer and is super quiet.

Friday 7 December 2018

Jenga Friday

On a wet and thoroughly miserable Friday morning we set about playing car jenga trying to wedge everything into the Nissan that we need for this weekend on the boat. Really not helped by the overly bulky packaging for the new fridge. It certainly won't be getting damaged in transit, let's out it that way!

Tonight with the weather looking set to stay grotty and a tad on the breezy side we are planning to stay in the marina and hunker down with a few drinks, a warming home cooked chilli with rice and homemade garlic bread and a good film to while away a few hours.

Tomorrow after a lie in, which probably won't turn into a lie in as the dog will wake us up we can set about the task of fitting the new fridge. Will it be a straight swap? I somehow doubt it. Nothing is ever that easy is it?

Thursday 6 December 2018

A New Entrance

Yet more expense in the run up to Christmas. We have decided that the now very shabby looking hardwood front door at home has to go. We have been saying this for the last five years at least now. But it now has to go.

So earlier this week we had someone come and measure up and this morning we got a very reasonable price through for a new composite door so we have told him to go ahead with the job.

Hopefully we can have it fitted just in time for Christmas which should smarten up the approach to the house no end.

Now the photograph opposite isn't the front of our home of course, it is just there to show you the style of door we have opted for. A plain and simple door which matches the plain and simple styling of the house. We have chosen a blue colour with brushed chrome fittings with simple obscure glazed panels and an obscure glazed single panel fan light above.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Unwrapping and Wrapping

Last night when we got home we decided it would be wise to unwrap the new boat fridge and fitting frame just to double check that we have all of the required fixtures and fittings. There is nothing worse then starting a job only to find that you have some bits missing.

Upon unwrapping the goods we found we had all of the required parts and we had a good look around the new fridge which on first glance is really quite impressive. It is certainly more of a proper little fridge then the old Engel managed to be with a proper little freezer compartment, that we can remove if we find we need more fridge space, a proper salad and vegetable tray, proper bottle holders in the door and plenty of shelve space. 

Happy that we had all of the requisite parts we then set about wrapping it back up again to transport it to the boat on Friday evening.

Tonight we have the next part of the wrapping process as we have a sack full of gifts to wrap up ready to be delivered next week.

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Cooling Down

We have finally made a decision on which fridge to get for the boat. We have finally opted for the Waeco CRX50. Not the cheapest option by any means. But then again none of the 12v compressor fridges are a cheap option!

The Waeco won the day mainly due to it's very frugal power demands. The technical data claims that this fridge uses half the power of our previous Engel model which was really for it's time very low power consumption anyway.

Another benefit hopefully will be the compressor which claims to be whisper quiet. Now quite who's whisper we do not know but it will be a bonus if it is quieter then the Engel as the fridge is located really very close to the bedroom so the compressor noise can be heard quite clearly in the bedroom area. Not that we found this to be a problem as we quickly learned to ignore it and it never really bothered us.

We really must say a big thumbs up to MGD Online where we have purchased the fridge. Not only were they significantly cheaper then most other places online but having placed the order at 1.45pm yesterday I recieved an email by 2.30pm to say that the order had been processed and the fridge and fitting kit would be with us today. Excellent service.

Now we just need to fit it this weekend!

Monday 3 December 2018

Into Derbyshire Again

Yesterday after a hearty full english breakfast we headed out into Derbyshire and had a lovely day in Castleton. It was another grey and drizzly day but it was surprisingly mild for the time of year.

Sunday 2 December 2018

Moody Waters

It was a moody day out in Derbyshire yesterday as we walked around the reservoirs at Ladybower and Derwent. The most hanging to the hills.

Water levels are very low at the minute and the remains of the old village long since flooded can clearly be seen.