We're moored in the peaceful (for Deb) area just south of Whilton locks. You know the bit, sandwiched between the M1 and the mainline train between London and Birmingham. If the wind blows the right way you can just about hear the sheep in the field opposite over the constant noise.
I've ordered some new paint from Whilton chandlers and have to wait for it to be made up and delivered. I really need three one litre pots of blue, one of red and one of yellow. It's Masons P enamel, about as good as you can get and makes my rather amateurish painting look merely average rather than poor. It's not cheap, nothing boaty is. At £35 per litre I decide I can make do without the yellow and red for now and spread the blue thinner, do I order two litres.
We've still got some of the slightly less blue paint that we found on LJ that I have used to finish painting the taff rail and give the rear deck a good go over so a thin, correctly coloured, top cost should suffice. Luckily the cabin sides, at least from a few feet away look fantastic, still glossy deep paintwork despite being there for, fastly approaching, fourteen years.
|I managed to find one or two rust spots|
|Back to blue, slightly wrong blue but ready for final sand and top coats|
Before painting was started it it was time for a good clean out of the engine room. It was getting a bit grubby so needed a good scrub over but we also had some oil and gunk in the bottom of the engine drip tray. The engine being in a soundproof cocoon makes it really difficult to get to. There has been oil/water here since we bought LJ but we used a bit of oil since the last oil change so I need to monitor it to see if it was burned off or a leak, I suspect that we may have a leak from the bottom of the dip stick where a heavy footed RCR mechanic booted it out of the way (link). All told I got about six litres out with the pella pump and Deb had to crawl into the hole to get the last bits out. All cleaned now though.
Deb's next stop on the hearing aid trail was to see what the doc had to say and hopefully get a referral through the NHS in Reading. We had already done it all through Poole but they were pretty useless and saw the only real option as a quite invasive operation that was only averagely successful in the medium term and about 50/50 success rate long term. We hired a car to get down to Reading, spent a lovely afternoon with Pip who was looking after the biggest Labradoodle I have ever seen and then made our way down to see Jess in Poole in the late evening.
|Big King Charles or small Deb day?|
Saturday morning was back to the painting but this time at Jess's place. We'd promised that if her and Lee had got the garden started we'd do some more DIY and paint all the rendered outside parts of the house, luckily most of it is still the 1880's red brick so not too much to do. Our reward was afternoon tea chez Jess. She had been busy baking before we arrived and had a variety of cup cakes all arranged on a tall cake stand, scones with clotted cream, sandwiches and posh lemonade.
|Deb ready for a treat|
|I think Lee may have to put up with a bit of 'Girly' stuff around the house|
Late afternoon Deb finally choose some material for our new curtains and portal bungs (we've only been looking for about a year) so loads of sewing needed when we get back aboard. Several hours Saturday evening evening were spent at our favorite south coast restaurant before we walked the few hundred yards back to Jess's absolutely stuffed.
Sunday was a mission to get Stan sorted. Well the bad news is Stan will remain an only child for at least another week.
|This is Stan|
|All these pics are mobile phone ones so not fabby|
|Stan lives in the chimney breast|
|In a tank - obviously|
His water has been tested and the tests were all the wrong colour so they wouldn't let Jess buy any more fish! Not like that in my day, you just bagged them and took them home. Jess was disappointed but a bit of retail therapy soon cheered her up :-) It is dead handy Jess working in retail and we were finally able to decide on some new glasses. So next time we have visitors you can drink your wine from Dartington crystal glasses (half price and a further 20% off) instead of Nutella pots eh Doug and James!
We had a great time in Poole with Jess and Lee. Jess really is the hostess with the mostess as my mum would have said, and whenever a teacup was empty more, (and cakes) was offered. We hope to pop down to see them again before too long. Sadly we had a fairly early start today (yes I am actually up to date on the blog) as we had to get the hire car back to Enterprise in Daventry before 11.30 and hoped that we could stop off and pick up a bit of shopping on the way through Towcester (pronounced Toaster). We had a Toyota Aigo this time, it's their basic entry level car at about £35 all in for a Friday to Monday weekend. It was an ok car but when we arrived back it had only sipped fuel in all the Monday M3/27/A34 traffic and my estimations of it's capability soon got higher. We covered a little over 300 miles and spent about £38 on petrol, not bad for a little engine.
Tomorrow will see us up through some of Debbie's favorite locks (not) on the system, the Buckby fligh (not that many of them but some of the paddles can be right shits and the gates unbalanced and heavy) before plodding towards Leicester for bottom blacking.