Thursday, 18 September 2014

Maintenance and mates


Yesterday at Cosgrove was a boat maintenance day for us both after a lie in and late breakfast.

David did boat housework, so the inside looked spic and span – all while still in his dressing gown – very suburban, I thought.

I scraped down, sanded and treated the little bits of surface rust on starboard side of the boat. Strangely, there are far fewer on the starboard side than on the port side. Most of it was on the roof in the channel made by the handrail. There was a significant amount of surface rust though on the roof either side of the starboard slider rail for the top hatch – that isn’t surprising really as the hatch is off centre and the starboard side is lower than the port side of it. The paint had flaked so was easy to get off totally.

Previously I’ve used the scraper on the business end of the wirebrush but yesterday I got out the scrapers I’d bought in Macclesfield – much more effective, with better scraping ability and much more purchase for my hands – made scraping much easier. I also find that the sanding blocks are better than paper – easier to handle, fewer bumpings of my knuckles and my hands don’t ache. My hands do however get filthy with dark blue paint dust as well as Firtan which I have taken to wiping on with the ubiquitous blue paper towel that we bought in Midland Chandlers – it is cheaper than paper towels from the supermarket and looks proper butch! However using it to apply the Firtan is a bit girlie, I think.

I had washed off the worst of it all when there was a tooting behind us. Out I went to see Jaq and Les about to come past. An invitation for a cuppa was called for so they stopped, ‘just for a few minutes’ (yeah, right) and stayed for well over an hour, drinking tea, eating gingernuts and the remains of the chocolate brownie, swapping recipes, laughing. Jaq and I left Les and David to chat among themselves while she took me to see the composting toilet – we are going to get one as the ROI is positive over a 4 year period for 5 months of each year based on a pumpout every 2 weeks. Are you impressed with the business casing done for this purchase? (D & I have agreed it is a higher priority than a solid fuel stove.) David and Les were then down in their engine bay for some reason and discovered much water – a leaking stern gland. Because David appeared carrying our hand pump, I think I can be safe in assuming the guys pumped out most of it so they weren't transporting the canal from one place to another ...

The upshot of the visit was that we are meeting up today at one of their secret moorings (if I tell you, I’ll have to kill you) and we are having dinner on their boat. See, we were originally going to have dinner with them tonight, but we all thought we’d cancelled that because of dinner together two nights in a row between Grafton Regis and Yardley Gobion earlier this week. But Jaq and I were having such a good conversation we decided it needed to be continued – Dale Spender, women’s studies, reflecting men at twice their natural size (Virginia Woolf) … David and Les will not be emotionally safe tonight, but they will be well fed. I guess they can't have everything …
 
Speaking of which, this photo from the other night shows Les looking scared (he has his neck scrunched to expose it less to my rabbit punch possibly) and I'm not even touching him! He's not that much shorter than me, but he is on his knees for some reason I cannot remember ...
David and I went to the Barley Mow in Cosgrove for dinner last night – the food was lovely and the chardonnay was OK. We crossed the canal through the horse tunnel which has a decided dip in its roof.
It is only just higher than me

I am not sure of it was built skew wiff for a reason - I did wonder about the horse harnesses being on one side or another but the horses would have traversed it in both directions

You can see the dip in the roof part way through

Today I have to replenish the cupboards at Tescos at Wolverton – Barry and Pauline arrive tomorrow night, so plenty of food, nibbles and booze required. We plan to work them hard so need to feel and water them well!

5 comments:

Jennie said...

Hi Marilyn, Thanks for the comments on our blog. We spent two days at Autherley doing a big clean and touch up on the outside, so understand where you are coming from. We are not 100% certain where you are, but if you are still to go past B111 - do watch out for the Globe Inn. There is a large magnet just outside that has a strange ability to stop boats - or so Chris always told The Captain and Boatwif from nb Cleddau when he was in charge of the helm many years ago!!
How wonderful to meet up with Jaq and Les - Chris has met them, but unfortunately the day we were due to meet up I came down with a tummy bug, so kept well away. One day.....!! Re the composting loo - we are converts and would thoroughly recommend one. Easy to manage and no expense after the initial outlay and you can 'empty' anywhere if need be. Double bagging the solids and sending to landfill is a lot better than the many millions of nappies that end up there every year. When do you go back to NZ? Enjoy the rest of your trip and maybe we will meet properly one day? Jennie & Chris nb Tentatrice.

Les Biggs said...

The reason I was kneeling before you fruit was we were discussing the width of corridor past the bathroom etc. Quite why I started in the galley is lost in alcohol mist.
Lovely to meet you both again and again and again, when did you say your flight was,LOL
Lesxx

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Jennie, There are two things in first place on the list for beibg fitted either as soon as we arrive back on the boat next year, or sooner, if they can be arranged: solar panels to keep the batteries charged and significantly lower the diesel cost for keeping them charged when we aren't cruising on some days (or not cruising far enough), and a composting toilet. we think the ROI on both items is sound.
It has been lovely to meet Jaq and Les - saw them yesterday and again today for chocolate pudding on nb Valerie. Had to say goodbye today until next year as they are heading south and we are on our way to Barby for mooring up for the winter.
Cheers, M

Marilyn McDonald said...

Mmmm... I stand by my unspoken assertion that you were kneeling before me awaiting with trepidation the verdict on whether you should be knighted or beheaded. I decided on neither - no point in rewarding bad behaviour, mate. Jaq, a linguistic question: I wanted to write 'mate' as Les says it with a glottal stop - how is that represented in letters?
M&Dxox

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Marilyn, In butchered English Mate as pronounced by Les would be spelled something like May-eh! with a glottal sound on the second syllable. Lovely posts this and the prior one. We had such a good time with you both. We've had a few stressful days and didn't get around to reading blogs or posting until today. All will be revealed.
Love JaqXX