Thursday 31 January 2019

The Day After Tomorrow

We awoke this morning to a scene from the film the Day After Tomorrow in Sheffield. No snow, (the picture is one from March of last year) but a thick layer of frost and ice had formed on every surface and the thermometer was reading -5 degrees. Chilly to say the least.

Now that the sun has come up it is slowly thawing but the roads and pavements will remain pretty icy today as the temperature is set to struggle to get above freezing.

We can pick the Hyundai up after work today. They have traced the problem to the battery not being at it's best. We suspected it wouldn't be as it was flat when we went to test drive the car so we had to go back a day later when they had jump started it. Now AGM batteries don't like being left to go flat or jump starting so it was never going to be a good combination for it. So Hyundai are going to replace it for us and they are, or they should have already by now, going to install the latest software updates onto the ECU for us. They say that this will make the stop start more effective as well as a number of other small changes to the engine mapping which should make the car a few mpg more efficient. 

We shall see. But we don't hold out any great hope on that last point.

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Modern Technology

Just over a week since we picked up the new car it is now back at Stone Acre Hyundai, Sheffield to be plugged in. That's modern technology for you as there is nothing we can do to check if there is a genuine problem or not. It needs to go back to the dealer for diagnosis. 

It is something and nothing. The stop start isn't working. Now we probably won't even use it. But we have bought the car on the understanding that everything is working as it should so it has gone back for them to have a look. And while they are at it they can do a couple of little bits we have found as we have looked around the car. Nothing major but all bits that want sorting out.

On the subject of modern technology we have caved in and finally bought a Firestick for the smart TV. This cheap TV has turned into an expensive purchase!

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Changing Recipes

Since getting Sydney way back in April 2018, (it won't be long until we have had him a year, where has the the time gone?) We have found that we are changing more of our recipes to ones that he can eat to mix and match with his usual Lily's Kitchen dry dog food. To give him some variety in his diet and stop him getting bored with his food.

He loves a simple roast dinner with meat, roast potatoes and vegetables. In fact he is a strange dog and will wolf his potato and vegetables down before touching the meat!

But he is also a fan of fish, salmon in particular being a big favourite of his we have discovered. But it is when it comes to stuff like stews and casseroles we have really had to change. We no longer add onions so that Syd can have a portion as well. And have you tried finding gravy granules that don't have onion in them? I can tell you it is tricky but now we know which brands to buy we are sorted.

Monday 28 January 2019

A Few From the Weekend

A few pictures for you today from a lovely weekend with friends.

Friday night was bath night for Sydney

And he had a mad hour while drying off

Before settling down for the evening

Making himself home at Steve and Zoe's

Where's my treat?

Cocktails and a really nice meal in The Clock House.

Before heading home for a karaoke session.

And then back home yesterday for us. Syd was a little off colour yesterday and was sick on our walk around West Stockwith and then again in the car on the way home. He clearly wasn't himself yesterday as he just slept the whole day and wasn't that interested in a roast dinner last night! He seems himself again this morning though.

Sunday 27 January 2019

A Great Night

We had a great evening in Gainsborough last night. We had a lovely meal in The Clock House and a couple of beers before heading back home and cracking out the karaoke machine.

I feel a bit worse for wear today!

Saturday 26 January 2019

Birthday Buddies

As it is my birthday today we are heading to a friend's house and will be going out for a meal later. 

Looking forward to this greatly.

Last night we bathed Sydney so that he is nice and clean and fluffy for his sleep over. We did of course then get the requisite hour of charging around the house afterwards while he dried out!

Friday 25 January 2019

A Weekend Off

No DIY this weekend. No boat jobs. No car jobs. We are having a weekend off!

It will be our first one for a long time. It is my birthday tomorrow and some friends have invited us to go and have a night out with them while their son baby sits Sydney. So of course we couldn't turn that chance down.

It seems highly likely that we will be in need of a quiet day on Sunday to recover. 

It will be business as usual next weekend though when we start painting the picture rails, skirting boards and door frames in the hallway. So only the one weekend off.

Thursday 24 January 2019

Trying New Recipes

Since the new year we have been making an effort to try out some new recipes. Some healthy some not so healthy, but our favourite so far has to be one we tried earlier this week. Butternut squash macaroni.

It is quite a simple dish buy boy was it tasty. 

I did some prep work the night before by roasting the butternut squash to make things easier the next day. Then when we were ready for the meal it was simply a case of making the squash flesh into a puree and stirring it through a home made white sauce. How easy is that? Then add some part cooked macaroni pasta stir though the sauce and place into a dish. We topped this off with some 3% fat protein cheese (we have recently discovered this and it works great melted on top of things) and some chopped chillis. Then it was baked for 20 minutes at 200 degrees.

I served this with some homemade garlic bread but a simple side salad would have been enough. It was really very filling and very tasty. Definitely one we will be having again some time soon.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Unexpected Advantages

The new front door has finally been fitted at home. A nice simple blue on the outside and white on the inside composite door. It looks so much better then the old tired wooden front door as you walk up to the house but also has come with an unexpected advantage.

Well we think it is a combination of the new door and the new flooring and sealing off a few draughty gaps on the hallway flooring, but the hallway downstairs and the kitchen are feeling much warmer. 

The hallway and kitchen, which leads straight off the hallway with no door between, have always been a tad on the cold side. Now they are not as hot as the rest of the house by any means but there is a noticeable temperature increase which also means that the heating is not working as hard as the thermostat is in the hallway. 

We didn't expect quite so much of a difference from just a door and a bit of flooring and now we have left ourselves wondering why exactly we left these changes quite so long. We should have done this years ago!

Tuesday 22 January 2019

From the Coast

Sunday was our chance to stretch the I30's legs and find out how it handles on the motorway and the A roads with a trip to Scarborough and Bridlington. As you aready know we were very impressed and it made for a lovely day out.

Scarborough Harbour

An interesting conversion!

Checking out the pots.

A walk along the pier

Tides gone out

We have spent many a happy hour on this grand old lady in the past. Sadly she was looking in need of some serious TLC.

The lighthouse

Memories of the past

Looking out to sea

The view across to Flamborough Head

Bridlington Harbour

Syd wasn't sure what to make of her

Crashed out on the way home after a busy day. He didn't wake up until we pulled onto the driveway at home!

Monday 21 January 2019

Dashing Through The Snow

Sydney enjoyed his first taste of snow on Saturday. He was loving bouncing around and pouncing on it. Judging by the weather forecast for tonight he could well be in for a treat and seeing some more in the morning!

It is tiring work charging around!

Sunday 20 January 2019

Day Tripping

We had to test out the new car properly so today we have had a run out to Scarborough and Bridlington. The car is better than we had hoped for and eats up the miles effortlessly. Hopefully we will have many years of happy motoring with this one.

Sydney enjoyed his day out and he likes the extra room in his new car. He was crashed out for the almost two hour drive back.

Now time to head home and prepare dinner for later. Roast chicken and all the trimmings.

Sorry about the lack of photos this weekend but the blogger app is playing up on my phone!

Saturday 19 January 2019

So Did It?

So did we take delivery of the Hyundai? Yes we did. We are still waiting for a couple of small parts to be delivered. But we have the car.

It wasn't really the weather for a proper drive out last night what with the sleet and snow. So hopefully we can have a proper drive out today after the new front door is fitted.

Friday 18 January 2019

Will I t or Won't It?

We received a phone call from the car dealership yesterday to say that the car may or may not be ready for us to pick up this evening after work. Not a very helpful phone call to say the least as we need to sort out the car insurance to swap over.

The best they can do is tell us as early as possible today whether it will be ready or not. If not today then we will have to wait until Monday to pick it up instead. Not the end of the world of course, but we would have liked to try it out this weekend and have the chance to take it for a good long run somewhere. Perhaps to the coast.

So I guess the question is, will it or won't it be ready for the close of play today? Watch this space.

Thursday 17 January 2019

Tis Cold

We awoke to a very cold, frosty and icy start in Sheffield this morning. It had been forecast but it was still a shock to the system when we stepped out of the door. Sydney was not impressed when he went for his morning walk in the park.

And neither was I when I realised that Liam was taking my car to work this morning as it was having an MOT. The Nissan has great heating for an old car. And I was left with the Mini with not so great heating and which takes an age to get warmed up. Deep joy.

We would usually just take the one car to work but if the Nissan fails it's MOT and can't be driven that would leave us the wrong side of Sheffield without a car, which would be no good.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

More New Things

And so last night we eventually finalised all of the paperwork for our new purchase. Our new, to us anyway, car. 

We are not daft enough to buy a brand new car, no way. We don't like throwing money away. But we have bought a three year old Hyundai I30 1.6 CRDi Blue Drive. Doesn't really roll off the tongue that does it?

At just three years old this car has lost two thirds of its price from new! Daft really as the car is still like new other then a tiny scuff on the back bumper and the fuel filler cap being off colour. More haggling power on the price for us as Liam is in the right job for getting that sorted himself of course.

The car still has two years of it's manufacturers warranty remaining which is always a bonus. And the running costs if the manufacturers figures are to be believed are going to be less than the Mini it is replacing, which was exceptionally frugal to start with!

The car is zero rated for road tax and the engine service interval is 20,000 or 24 months whichever comes first so servicing costs and running costs should be minimal.

All being well we pick the car up on Friday after work leaving the Mini with them. Then this weekend after the new front door is fitted and the new door lights it will be time to take it out for a drive. See what it can really do.

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Flying Start

It is turning out to be something of a busy week. Yesterday the roofers were in at home doing some minor repairs to slipped and broken tiles on the main roof and replacing the flashing on the kitchen roof.

Last night we were haggling like hell and brokering a deal on a new, to us anyway it is three years old, car. We did eventually settle on a deal after 90 minutes of bargaining but by this time the dealership was shutting down for the evening so we have left a deposit and are going back tonight to do the paperwork. Hopefully we should be able to pick it up on Friday evening after work if sorting the paperwork goes to plan this evening. But more on that later in the week.

With the roof sorted, the flooring in the hallway sorted, the car almost sorted and the new front door due to be fitted at 9am on Saturday morning we are making a flying start to the list of winter jobs we needed to complete this year at home.

Monday 14 January 2019

Being Productive

It was when all was said and done a pretty productive weekend. The flooring in the hallway is now completed and looks much better then the previous grubby cream carpet. Although the laminate is just a temporary base for the soon to arrive vinyl flooring, it will be far easier to keep clean in the meantime. It looks much fresher and brighter and really lifts the look of the room.

We now have a better idea of what work will be required on the boat. No nasty surprises as of yet and we can now start to gather together the bits and pieces that we will need to get the work done over the next few months. No rush on this just yet as we are having a few weekends getting stuff sorted out at home first.

On the car front. We looked at plenty yesterday afternoon and are going back tonight after work to test drive on particular car and hopefully strike a deal but that all depends on the numbers involved as we know that it needs some paint work doing too it which we had not bargained for when buying a nearly new car. We had wanted something to just put the key in and drive away. But if the price is right we can get the work arranged. Of course it helps that Liam is in the right line of work for that.

Sydney was not the most amused that things are changing at home. He is a creature of habit and his favourite drying carpet has now gone. I'm sure he will get used to the new floor soon enough. He has a new front door to contend with next weekend!

Sunday 13 January 2019

Home Benefits

One of the benefits of being at home is that I can cook us a hearty yet more healthy cooked breakfast. This morning we have had dry cured grilled bacon, baked mushrooms, air fried hash browns, baked tomato and oil less fried egg. It was just the ticket to start another busy day.

This morning we just need to finish off a couple of minor bits to the flooring in the hallway.  While Liam is doing this I will have a bit of a clean up upstairs, change the bedding and generally potter around.

And then this afternoon we are going car shopping. We have decided that we are going to replace the Mini with something bigger and then when my Nissan finally dies we will replace that with something smaller.

And after an afternoon of shopping we will come back to a slow cooked coca cola Gammon joint which is blipping away in the slow cooker as we speak. I think I will serve that with roast potatoes and a cheesy vegetable bake.

Saturday 12 January 2019

All Ashore

This morning I have nipped across to the marina to check that the boat was safe and secure in her temporary new home ashore.

We have a good spot this year tucked away. All looked good with the boat with the exception of the fishing line hanging out of the drive. We knew we had a leak so no surprise really.

I have given the inside of the canopies a good scrub as they had started to get a little mouldy. The fabric foam has worked wonders and they have come up as good as new.

The ropes and fenders are in the boot of the car ready for their annual wash in the washing machine.

And while I have been busy at the boat, Liam has fitted the new temporary flooring in the hallway.

It has been a productive Saturday.

Friday 11 January 2019

Seems Strange

It seemed strange this morning to not be rushing around and getting things ready to visit the boat. We almost had a relaxing morning of it.

Well I say almost but we did have to get to Liam's work slightly early this morning so that we could give the Datsun a quick once over and check everything was working in time for its annual MOT next week. It needed just a slight top up of brake fluid and a rear number plate light bulb and it is good to go to the tester early next week. Fingers crossed for yet another pass for the old girl.

It will seem weird heading straight home tonight, well after we have called in at the supermarket on the way home anyway to pick up a few bits and bobs that we need for the weekend and a sneaky pizza for tea tonight. 

Tomorrow we have a busy day with Liam fitting some laminate flooring in the downstairs hallway. This will only be a temporary flooring solution and will at some point soon be covered over with some vinyl flooring which will run through from the kitchen and into the hallway to match. But the now not so cream carpet in the hallway has to go. It was never going to work with a dog. And the laminate flooring will provide a level surface for the vinyl anyway. So not all is lost.

While Liam is tackling this little job me and Sydney are going to nip across to Lincoln to check that the boat is OK chocked up ashore and do a couple of little jobs. The inside of the canopy needs cleaning and the cockpit throws need bringing home for a good wash with the cockpit upholstery having a good wipe down as well.

All being well we should both be finished with our jobs by mid afternoon and then we can head out somewhere with the dog for the rest of the daylight hours.

Thursday 10 January 2019

Another Quiet Year

It looks as though Naughty-Cal is set to have another quiet year this year as yesterday we decided to have a change for our summer holiday and booked a lodge in Cornwall in July.

We had been set to have a group trip to Wells next the Sea this summer but as usual the group dwindled to just us. The others deciding that they would head to York instead. We didn't fancy York and we just didn't fancy Wells on our own. It just isn't the same without a group of friends there. So we have opted for some time by the south coast in Boswinger instead.

Now by shear coincidence we have ended up with the same lodge that we had a few years ago on the Seaview International site. Last time we visited this was a pet free lodge but this time around it is a pet friendly property luckily for us. 

It was a very nice three bedroom property with a lovely large open plan lounge, kitchen and dining area, a very handy utility room, large family bathroom and three good sized bedrooms with the huge master bedroom having a lovely dressing area and en-suite shower room. I think this should do us nicely again.

All we have to decide now is which car we will be taking.

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Making Lists

What with so many projects in the pipeline both at home and over the coming months on the boat we have had to start making lists of what needs doing and when to keep on top of everything. If anything the boat list is somewhat easier than the house list.

So far the boat list comprises:

  • ·         Full service to sterndrive to include bellows, anodes, oil and bushes
  • ·         New trim tab anodes
  • ·         New trim tab bellows
  • ·         Clean and polish trim tabs
  • ·         New raw water intake pipe
  • ·         Dismantle and clean out raw water coolers. Reassemble with new gaskets.
  • ·         Grease stern drive bushes
  • ·         Check all battery connections and clean up as required
  • ·         Full hull and superstructure polish and wax
  • ·         Cockpit clean, polish and wax
  • ·         Cabin GRP surfaces clean, polish and wax
  • ·         Replace USB charging socket at helm
  • ·         Fit new VHF aerial connections
  • ·         Apply new antifoul to hull
  • ·         Touch up sterndrive paint as required.

The list at home at the moment is a moving goal post. But by the time the boat is back in the water we aim to have a lot of these jobs ticked off the list.

  • ·         Replacement front door (due for fitting next week)
  • ·         Roof repairs to include replacing damaged and broken tiles and hip tiles and new flashing to kitchen roof (due to be completed this week)
  • ·         Fit new temporary laminate flooring to hallway to replace carpet
  • ·         New internal doors to kitchen, living room, stair cupboard and two bedrooms
  • ·         Gloss all wood skirting boards, door frames and picture rails in hallway
  • ·         Wall paper hallway
  • ·         Fit new matching vinyl flooring to kitchen, hallway and bathroom
  • ·         Replace central heating pump and motorised valve
  • ·         Power flush central heating system
  • ·         Replace radiators in kitchen and hallway
  • ·         Replace radiator in bathroom with heated towel rail
  • ·         New bathroom suite
  • ·         Replace kitchen work surface
  • ·         Replace kitchen wall tiles
  • ·         Replace kitchen cupboard doors

We don’t imagine for one second that we will have all of the house jobs finished by the time we are relaunching Naughty-Cal but it would be good to have made some marked progress in ticking off the jobs as we would like to get this little list finished off this year in time for making a new list next year!

Tuesday 8 January 2019

Up and Away

We got the news yesterday that Naughty-Cal had been taken from her mooring and had been lifted out of the water, her bottom given a good pressure wash and that she was safely chocked ashore and plugged in for her three month period ashore.

We enjoyed a good long session with her in the water from October 2017 right through until now, so it is time for her to enjoy a well earned break and for us to give her some well earned TLC over the coming months.

Our time will be split between weekends working on the boat and weekends working at home. We really do need to get a programme of works carried out at home before the boat goes back in the water. But at the same time we have plenty of jobs to keep us busy on Naughty-Cal as well as we will hopefully split our time 50-50 with the boat and the house.

Now we have to come up with a couple of plans of attack!

Monday 7 January 2019

Sunday Fun on the Salt Marshes

Sydney loved his walk on the salt marshes yesterday. So much so that we will definitely be taking him back there sometime soon. He loved all of the different sounds, smells and landscapes.

Heading to the beach

The key to the marshes?

Wintertime on the marshes

Looking out towards the Wash. It looked lovely and calm.

The edge of the dunes

Charging around in the long grass

This is fun

Is anybody home?

Collection of whale bones found on the marshes

The tide still flowing out of the creek

We finally found a pub! Our first two choices were full of ramblers with no room at the inn!

One exhausted dog.