Sunday, 15 October 2017

Two thirds of the convoy reunites

Mick and Julia joined us at the top of Foxton Locks on Friday arvo (over a week ago now!), and came for dinner preceded by nibbles - so no dessert, even though I had planned to make little open apple tarts from my 20 minute dessert recipe book by Alison and Simon Holst (I'll post a copy of the recipe when I get home if anyone is interested). Still, when we emptied the cupboards, they got the rest of the apples and the pastry so they can make them and think of us ...

In the morning, Julia drove the car to Debdale and then walked back, prior to brekkie - she is a champion! We came down the locks in convoy, them first and fastest, and moored up. They were going to head for their mooring, but Mick had to get briefed on all the work he is doing for us over the winter.

Then he helped David diagnose the source of the water that had persistently been leaking into the cabin bilge since we bought the boat. Although we'd thought it was to do with overfilling the washing machine, it turns out it was not.
A bit out of sequence, but here is Mick putting the panel back in place

Mick and David pulled out the washing machine and then removed (16 screws later) the panel between the washing machine and the calorifier. Aha!! The leak was from a pipe connected to the end of the calorifier, seemingly as an overflow/pressure outlet. As the pipe had a jubilee clip on the open end it seemed most likely it had been connected to a previous washing machine that was dual feed (hot and cold). When the washing machine was replaced, the hose was left attached to the calorifier and angled down into the bilge. Dammit!! It had leaked slowly and persistently and the water had made its way to the inspection hatch, and created quite a rust problem in that area of the cabin bilge.

The hose is still in situ, but there is a container beneath it to catch any drips, and we will get Ed to sort it next time he comes. In the meantime, we know it won't be leaking as the water has been drained from the system.

So Mick and Julia's departure for their mooring was delayed and my access to the galley was disrupted - hence lunch just had to be at the Foxton Locks Inn, for the second time in 3 days ...

I had managed to take the pram cover down while David and Mick were heads down in the bilge, and I very cleverly dropped a couple of the fittings in the cut as I did so (DOH!!!) - so more need to be ordered for delivery to Mick and Julia's place.

Sunday we stayed on at Foxton to complete some cleaning/clearing on the boat and to work on the giant packing exercise.

And of course we had to have dinner at the Foxton Locks Inn again.
Squint and you'll be able to read it. I think it expresses it well ...

From the by the swing bridge on our way back to the boat

On Monday morning we did headed the short distance to Debdale and made our way in the the mooring after chatting with Pat (I cannot remember the name of their boat) while we waited for a few boats to be moved about.

At least the boats meet, even if the owners don't ...

Yep, it's the WaL nestled in front of us, while Lisa and David are in the Caribbean (sp?)

And we had a lovely dinner with Mick and Julia in Rothwell at a Thai restaurant that night - very yummy, and Mick and Julia's treat, thanks, team! Getting back to the boat was easy, but getting there was fraught:
  • First of all I couldn't start the car. Even got out the manual - a tome of about 600 pages ... Only to find that I needed to depress the clutch while starting the engine ... Doh!!
  • Then I failed to follow the TomTom instructions as I was focused on what Mick had told me about going past Gartree Prison. Not the way he told me of course ... So I am sure we travelled about twice the distance we needed to through the slowest roads possible at the taile end of rush hour, such as it is near Market Harborough!
The next couple of days were taken up with packing, packing, packing - for which I had to go into Market Harborough to buy two more cases. I have brought home the sewing machine to replace the one I have there which is at least 60 years old and which weighs about 60 kg - well, I exaggerate, but not by much. OK by a factor of about 6.

Mel is coming home with us as he has declared his rightful place is in the motorhome now.
Take a deep breath, Mel!

He has done the 5-2 diet so he fits in the case easily.

Wednesday was departure day from the boat but first cleaning, cleaning, cleaning inside and out. Care packages were prepared for Mick and Julia, Barry and Pauline, and Molly, plus for the B&B hosts we were staying with before heading south.

We had intended to be away from the boat by 3pm, and did well to be on our way not long after 4pm. I do clean while we are on board throughout the summer, but clearly not thoroughly enough!

We stayed in a lovely B&B called Marston Croft in Marston Trussell. We thoroughly recommend it - 6 stars out of 5. Amanda and Graham are great hosts, and Amanda provides yummy cake and bisuits, plus a wonderful breakfast. Her style is more like an NZ B&B than the usual UK experience.

Then on down to Surrey to stay with the lovely Aunt Molly. A nana nap was required on arrival, and the next day a trip into London to go to my favourite osteopath, Rupert Chapman in Warwick Way.

We are clear that we are over London - too busy, grubby, noisy. I am sure it is our age and nothing against the city really.

Dinner that night was at The Plough in Leatherhead, with Molly and Gordon and Sharon. The restaurant there is Thai and the food is excellent. David had scanned and printed in a larger size, some old family photos for Molly, so she had an extremely late night of nostalgia - looking at the the photos and  reading a book about New Brighton, near where she and my mum had been in a home for waifs and strays after their mum died.

Yesterday morning, Molly and I went to M&S in Dorking - a favourite haunt - then back to hers for lunch and then off David and I went, heading for the Premier Inn at Heathrow. A nap after the marathon of returning the car to Enterprise - returning it was simple, getting a cab back to the hotel was a challenge and time consuming, plus the driver took me far further than he needed to as he wouldn't U turn where everyone else does ...

A snooze and then dinner at the hotel with Barry and Pauline - lovely to see them again before we left.

We are now checked in, sitting in the Singapore Air Lounge with just under an hour till we are due to leave - my goodness, blogging helps pass time!


NB Holderness said...

Hi Both, I hope the trip home was uneventful. Was David consigned to 'cattle' class whilst you were once again in Business? We didn't manage to get together this year, at least I don't remember doing so, but it may be an age thing! It sounds as if you have a convoy when you are on the move now. Next year I suggest that the old regulation of having a person running ahead of your mobile queue waving a red flag to warn other users that you are coming, for many reasons, not least the fact that they will be forced to talk to you even if they don't really want to!! Enjoy your summer as I'm sure that it will be a little more summery than the one we have had here.

keep well and cheers for now, Tony and Helen.

Marilyn McDonald said...

So when are you coming to NZ to insult me in person? Make it soon, please!
We both travelled Business Class - I am nothing if not generous, darling!

We had a lovely time, but found the weather a bit pants at times. So saying, I looked at the forecast for Waikanae for the next week and it includes rain every day, dammit!

Reminder - when are you coming to NZ? Answer quickly, please!

M&D xxoo

Lisa said...


We arrived back at Debdale two days ago and of course WH had gone. WE enquired with Steve as to if you had already left although I thought not and he told us whats to do.
So yet again we miss meeting you but it will surely happen one day.

Happy winter over there for you both while we'll enjoy our usual lukewarm one here (summer that is)


Lisa & David
NB What a Lark