Sunday, 12 December 2010

Pump it up

The water pump was running when we woke up this morning. I feared the worst and thought that the impeller would have worn out. On inspection, I realised that it is a diaphragm pump and they can run dry without a problem. We've been running low on water lately and were down to the bottom of the water tank but I couldn't see any water in the filter meaning that there was a blockage somewhere. I think that a piece of ice formed into the pipe nearest the tank and stopped the flow.

A very wet hour later, pump out, pipework disconnected, stick wirey things up and down the pipework, blow through and the problem was sorted. I had already rang around the local chandlers and there was not spare parts to be had anywhere so it was fortunate that the pump was good. I was the one who built the system and it was built with ease of maintenance in mind.

I have been reading blogs this week and someone had changed their starter battery and it took four hours due to bad planning by the builders. Also someone else is living in a hotel as the radiators give out insufficient heat for the size of their boat (and the loo tank is full and can't be emptied). Boat builders have a lot to answer for don't they. I'm always boring people by saying that low tech always works but high tech may not.

We've had enough of being iced in now. The novelty has well and truly worn off. A little sun would be lovely please. Thank you.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

From a warm comfy bed to a frozen one.

We arrived back at the boat after a wonderfully relaxing weekend break at the folk festival. It really was very good although I'm still not convinced about Butlins and Lisa is still not convinced about folk music. We may have to try it all again next year.

The boat was frozen when we returned. Fortunately I dropped Lisa straight off to work before I got the dog from the kennels, returned and lit the fire and the Rayburn. It took about four hours for the boat to recover to it's original cosy state and the water gurgling around the central heating system. Sam was not impressed and sat on the chair in front of the small Boatman stove shivering for the first hour. I think she's forgiven us for leaving her in her dog hotel.

I was quite lucky with the calorifier as ice had formed inside it, expanded and water had been forced out of the cap of the element, past the rubber seal. Fortunately it was not tight enough to keep the water inside and distort the cylinder (at least I can't see any through the insulation). I'll make a vow to be more prepared for Christmas.

Thought I'd post a winter picture of Pickles No2 before the ice melts and the picture would look stupid.Or I would do if Blogger would let me. It's seemingly impossible today.

Is Blogger the most useless piece of software ever written? Everyday I get more and more exasperated with all things Google. Maybe it's time for a change. I've now got a parallel, identical  blog in Wordpress and may move across lock stock and 2 smokers if it all works out.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Here we are at The Great British Folk Festival at Butlins, Skegness. A bit of an epic journey here and the weather worsened with progress. We were both going on different weekends. I was off to a folk festival and packed accordingly with a small day sack with one pair of jeans and a pair of underpants. Lisa was, however, off to Butlins and packed with two changes of clothes per day into an extremely large suitcase that occupies the whole rear of the car.

I have again been proved correct and the Skegness statement of it's Bracing has been proved correct and the wind bites right into you. People can't see what you're wearing under your overcoat.

The Friday evening entertainment was reasonably good, the accommodation is clean and the food is edible despite the garish primary colours and loud piped music. It's a good idea to keep away from the carbs and stick to the protein.

Butlins and the captive retail outlets have all got the demographics of this temporary populace completely wrong. The paper shop is full of Daily Mails and The Sun and he only ordered one Guardian. I'm afraid it's full of bearded, jumper wearing liberals and they're not likely to read the Mail.

There's not enough real ale either. They have set up a small real ale bar beside the main bars but the queue for the real ale is horrendous whilst the main bars are relatively quiet.

Lisa has also been recounting her childhood experiences of Butlins and showing me around the place reminiscing. "Yes, very interesting Lisa. Can we go for a pint now otherwise I'm going to slit my wrists."