Archive | January, 2015

Caption Competition

31 Jan


What do you reckon this dinky donkey saw…?

The Geyser is Dead – Long Live the Geyser

27 Jan

RIP Rinnai… rest in paradise.images

It was with much sadness that I finally had to accept the inevitable and replace my 10+ year old gas geyser. It has given me good service since we’ve been together and for that I am grateful. Thank you, and I hope you’ve gone to a better place.

I do believe it could have been fixed up, were the parts available and my need for hot water not so insistent, but there’s only so much kettle boiling and cadging the use of other peoples’ showers I (and other people) can endure.

Could be that ‘better place’ will be the little boat…IMG_20140530_133436

Given that John has not tossed it into the recycling but instead found it a warm dry place to shelter for the time being, I reckon he’ll set about its resurrection and has a plan for installing it on his little boat – along with my ex water pump too no doubt. With his third world/agricultural background that’s a distinct probability I would say – since when has a lack of spares ever stopped him from cobbling something together before..? Good luck to him.

So, normal service has been resumed on the ablutions front, courtesy of a Morco D61E water boiler, which is now installed into the cupboard vacated by its predecessor…001

It’s a tight fit but, nevertheless, it does fit so I’m happy with that. And ecstatic to once again have ‘on demand’ hot water and a well-behaved shower.

(My neighbours are quite pleased too that they no longer have to stand upwind of me.)

I found the best deal from a camping shop in Norfolk – believe it or not – better than Midland Chandlers, who I’ve always found pretty good in the past. I called them on the Sunday, it was sent by courier on the Monday and arrived here on Tuesday. No delivery charge and a clear £50 less than anywhere else selling the same model. Bargain.

So, in the last six months or so, dear old Hobo…Fotheringhay - a favourite spot

Has cost me dear had some well-deserved attention lavished on her. I shouldn’t complain (when has shouldn’t ever stopped me before..?) as I have enjoyed nine virtually trouble-free years from her.

It’s the way with boats though. As someone once said… Bring On Another Thousand Smackers… or it’s a little like standing under a cold shower ripping up £20 notes. Bit harsh… at least my new boiler only cost hundreds – a house version would cost thousands.

That said, I’m looking forward to a break from spending and hope that any surprises just around the corner are all nice ones. And with any luck, the sort that pay me money…untitled-

I live in hope.

And now I’m off for a shower.

Shapes of Winter

24 Jan

As much as I do not like being cold, there are some wondrous sights to be seen in the great outdoors this time of year – if I can prise myself away from Hobo’s warm and comfy cocoon that is.

Or, better still, if the John is out and about with his camera and feeding me the pics as I toast my toes in front of this beauty…IMG_20150114_074740

Probably the biggest log we’ve had in the Squirrel to date.

Outside, muddy puddles become works of art…IMG_20141230_100820IMG_20150117_103759


Pretty patterns everywhere…IMG_20141226_085808


And this…?

Can you see what it is yet…?IMG_20150104_102918Of course – a very frozen car.

Up close, it looks almost alive, like a surreal frozen forest…IMG_20150104_102918

And the river…IMG_20150120_160823Icing over too.

Be careful where you park your bike though…


If you need to make a quick getaway.

Speaking of which…

John’s airstrip looking a little frost-bound.

And the adjacent field somewhat waterlogged but John has the solution…IMG_20150117_111246

Digging drainage channels, although it looks more like a waterfall to me.

So that’s the real world: a wintry mix of ice, water, mud and slime as dished out to us so far this season.

But BB’s head is often elsewhere.

Somewhere warmer…SA Summer 2011 and 2012 041

Somewhere brighter…SA Summer 2011 and 2012 042

Somewhere stunning…100_1603100_1730

Somewhere the days are longer…SA Summer 2011 and 2012 008

Somewhere exciting…SA Summer 2011 and 2012 027 (3)011055

Somewhere far away but never very far from my heart..IMG_0412

South Africa. Maybe next year.

Dumb and Dumber

7 Jan

Dumb: because I thought that fitting a new water pump would end my hot water woes. Wrong.

After one day only of perfect piping hot water and trouble-free showering I was back to square one. Minus one actually, because the main burner on the hot water boiler will not light at all now. I’m guessing the now constant and plentiful water pressure has scared the geezer to death. Literally.

It has a very nice home…003

Neatly tidied away in this purpose-built cupboard.

We’ve played the process of elimination diagnostic game and, as yet, are no further on. I don’t like to give up on the old Rinnai, which I’m sure has plenty of life left in it, but we’re a little out of our depth having eliminated the obvious…002But before we can go any further, John must do more disassembling/dismounting while I stand by and do the disgruntling.

With gas-safe engineers being as rare as hens’ teeth and their fees requiring a small mortgage, I have my doubts of a happy ending. Also, the local boat safety man (and, sadly, ex gas-safe engineer) tells me that Rinnai parts are no longer available and I should “bin it”.

It really goes against the grain for me to do this (without a fight) so I rang the very helpful local Residential Boat Owners Association representative, who lives in a marina just downstream of here, and he’s given me a phone number of a neighbour of his who may be able to help/advise and details of a chandler in Denham that can probably locate parts. So fingers firmly crossed.

The RBOA is an active and useful organisation, of which I’m a member, that has the interests of the residential boater very much at heart and will help out wherever it can. Its reps are all boatie people – often also liveaboards – so know exactly where you are coming from and can offer an informed opinion/relevant advice. And, if nothing else, good conversation being like-minded people.

I’m researching new water boilers, just in case, and rather like the look of a Bosch one with electronic ignition. No pilot light means lower gas consumption… can only be good.

For now though it’s back to hot water from the kettle…001Ooh-la-la!!

This pic of the kettle singing atop the roaring fire inadvertently (honest) capturing the John in his birthday suit – just after the basinful of kettle water wash in the sink routine. He doesn’t normally sit around in the altogether you understand..

But, with the frost forming outside, proof positive that living on a boat does not equal being cold. At all. Ever.

I have, however, gained extra storage space in the shower cubicle that is, frankly, no good for anything else just now.

Dumber: because I’ve managed to fill the bilge with water while topping up the water tank. This is possible because the breather tube has never been connected to the great outdoors; instead is fixed at the highest point possible above the tank and beneath the well deck. The filler sits slightly proud of the deck level though so any overflowing will end up in the bilge.

Worst thing is, I know this. I know this because I’ve done it before. Now I’ve done it again and have a water feature in the wardrobe. Again. So it’s a case of patiently aqua-vaccing…006

Until it’s all gone…004

Which of course will take days or, more likely, weeks.

And all because I thought it was a good idea to leave the water running while I did a few loads  of washing..

I like to think I’m pretty smart but do have blonde streaks put into my hair by way of providing an excuse when, like now, I do something so stupid. Once was bad enough but twice is unforgivable. I should be beaten.

Long term we’ve discussed running this tube to a pipe indoors that incorporates a kind of window, acting like a gauge. It would be ever so helpful to know the water level in the tank and relatively simple to do but, with so many other projects on the go at the mo, it’s not very high on the to do list.

A (rare for me) sleepless night last Thursday led to serious grumpiness and a total sense of humour failure on Friday but I’m over it now. My mum used to say “these things are sent to try us” but, try as they might, they will not get me down.

Because you know what? None of it matters, not a jot. I have health and happiness and a lifestyle I love.IMG_20141230_090346

So here’s to your health and happiness for 2015. The only two things that you really need.