Friday, 22 August 2014

Why don't men die in their sleep?

They can’t do two things at once, of course. Keep reading below ...

Across the canal from our mooring at Westport Lake

He only started to move when David went up on deck to photograph him - you can see ripples in this photo but not in the one above
Now, I give you fair warning: much of today’s post is going to be wifely complaints about a husband – mine, in point of fact. So if you don’t think you can cope, please stop reading now. As they (sort of) say on TV, this article contains scenes that readers may find distressing. (By the way, the heron pics above were just to lull you ...)

Episode One: I may not have told you before, that the stern bay cover which allows access to the weedhatch has the screechiest hinges. Instead of fixing our horn, we could have just opened and closed the cover a few times and it would have been ten times louder than the strangled goose imitation that our horn used to do. I had tried WD40 without much success, so Ed suggested we use some engine oil if we didn’t have 3 in 1 onboard. We didn’t, so David helped me by opening the 5L container of oil and I carefully (there is a clue here) tilted it and got a wee dab on to a paper towel. Then I applied said paper towel to the hinges, top and bottom. The screech lessened but was still present.

So David, bless his heart, decided on Wednesday evening, to finish the job, and what’s more, to remedy the screechy hinges on the gas locker. I am not sure how he did it, because I was not nearby (truth to tell, I was drinking chardonnay down in the saloon), but he managed to spill oil over the engine bay cover, the stern bay cover and the gas locker cover. He swears he didn’t actually pour it on, but it sure looks like he stood up with the container, tilted it at 45 degrees and instead of applying the paper towel to the neck of the container, he must have let rip with a gap between them and turned around a couple of times as well ... (What was it Joan Rivers says about men and toilet seats?? It must be on youtube somewhere.) To be fair, he has cured the screeching hinges. He has also traipsed oil on to the carpet on the steps leading down into the galley and into the boat.

Insult to injury, he left me to do a clean up job on the rear deck yesterday while he watched the news … Today we bought some 3 in 1 oil, so at least if he decides to remedy anything screeching (not me, by the way) he will be unable to spread oil far and wide.
A brief respite: Yesterday, before we moved off from Westport Lakes we walked to Argos and purchased a topper pad to make the dinette double squabs more comfortable. The topper pad we chose came with 4 microfibre pillows which we didn’t need and don’t have room for. So from Argos we went to a charity shop on the Tunstall High St and off-loaded the pillows. Result – less for David to carry and less to have to find room for on the boat. (This afternoon though David discovered we only have two spare pillows … AARRGGHH!!!)
We thought Tunstall was interesting (in an NZ way), as it shows the changes wrought with so-called progress - outsourcing of industry and big chain stores moving in are a recipe for dereliction of the centre of towns, I think.
Tunstall High Street obviously had a more affluent past - look at those rooflines and chimneys.

Now with more of the street level view - apart from charity shops, I notice there are a lot of nail salons in high streets that are heading downwards. Not surprising that formerly successful small businesses close though - one block off this street is a retail park: Asda, Matalan, Argos, Next, Harveys, etc. Shops that rip the heart out of small towns.

Buildings at the bottom of the High St

I liked these places though - walls between the footpath and the small front 'gardens'. At home we would not appreciate the samey samey nature of these homes, but here they seem to fit.

I decided not to walk around the lake when I smelled the water as we headed for Tunstall, and when I saw this rancid mess
Episode Two: Then last night, the true ‘not being able to do two things at once’ reared its ugly head. I had cooked tuna mousse for dinner and when it was ready, I opened the oven door, turned the oven off and left the mousse in to cool with the door open. I have to take some responsibility for what followed, as I am usually vigilant about where David is when the oven door is open – it’s his cataract, you know. So he came past me and I wasn’t watching. He went up the stairs to check something – maybe how clean I had got the rear deck (GGGRRR!!!), and then stepped back down without looking or thinking or remembering (ooh, that’s 4 things – so no wonder!) – right on to the open oven door. ###@*^@##%++@#^ or AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

So the hinges are a bit fubarred. The door closes but the hinges have to be pushed in to shut it. Fortunately for him, the oven still heats up well – I cooked braised steak and onions for tonight’s dinner and I have just cooked a curry for tomorrow night. I am not sure if it will be effective for things that require even heat, like Yorkshire puddings/toad in the hole or cakes, so it will have to be tested further. (By the way, Wednesday’s toad in the hole was lovely, as was the brown onion gravy that I made. I think toad in the hole is one of my favourite foods, esp with brown onion gravy, potatoes, peas and carrots – total yum! I will be very distressed if the oven no longer cooks toad in the hole properly - a 40 year marriage could be on the rocks ...)

I will get Barry, who is a DIYer of a high standard, unlike David and me, to have a look at it tomorrow, and see if anything can be done.
The Toby Carvery across the marina from us at Black Prince/Festival Marina
Today we have had a cleaning and shopping day. Firstly we went supermarketing and purchased matching granny shopping trolleys at Argos on our way. They worked a treat carrying back all the shopping which included wine, cider, beer, cans of beans, etc. 
Our two granny shopping trolleys - 'next stop: the home' we think we can hear our lovely but harsh daughter saying ... Must take after her dad. In fact it was her dad who said we should pose under the sign ...

Then we did the cleaning: the boat looks spic and span, vacuumed, swept, floors washed. I went off to the Wedgewood and Royal Doulton outlet shop and managed to buy 7 plates, and only paid full price for one of them. Cheapest one was £1.50. Others ranged between £3 and £6. Total spend £39. David went off to PC World (after I returned – I think he thought my spending gave him permission to go shopping for a 3rd radio for the boat, not counting the iphone and the ipad– does he not think he may have to put his pension towards a new stove at some point soon?) and spent £39.99 on a digital radio that he got cheap because its volume button was missing. Maybe we could scrape up the oil from the gas locker hatch and process it to make a plastic replacement … 

Forgot to say we met some more NZers today, in the Festival Park Marina. They are from Raumati South. It is truly clear that antipodeans are colonising the cut.

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