Tuesday, 26 August 2014

6 weeks in - initial thoughts

So we have been aboard for 6 weeks now. What are my thoughts....

Well it is more tiring than I thought. That may be to do with the 40 mile a day commute I now do plus for a period of time each week we are LAT's ( Live Apart Together) meaning we are both shopping, cooking and cleaning in the respective abodes. Callum our youngest pointed this out to us early on and we are now understanding the extra demands on us individually.

It is a beautiful location. Fradley has its own character, quiet in the main during the week (except sunny Wednesdays when my fellow bikers descend on the Swan) then mad busy at the moment at the weekends with boaters and gongoozlers descending in quantity, then the evenings quieten down.

We have only had one boat moor below Hunts, I think this is a sign of the reduction in boat movement? This gives such peace and quiet.

Friendly - my fellow boaters have been nothing but welcoming, even those who's dogs have had altercations with Leia. She has been the negative so far. She has become very territorial of the boat and maybe our mooring. As we are close to the gate most have to walk past us so putting the dogs into conflict. No serious harm and the fellow boaters have been good, they keep their dogs on their leads when passing and I have to watch out for Leia. Hopefully she will get used to it and clam down a bit.

The fishing...... Now it is me living on my own canal, it's great and I have fished far too much, but my excuse is in a few months it will be less attractive so the inside jobs will get done.

I have done some outside works, just finishing off my decking to sit out on hopefully in the Indian summer we are to have. It has been a nice project and despite the insect population trying to harm me it has gone well and I am pleased with the results.

Electricity..... Now I have a confession to you tax payers. I have a charging regime that sees me take odd bits to work to recharge. I will make a payment for this to clear my conscience. However using the freezer compartment in the work kitchen fridge I take a couple of bottles of water home each night and replenish the old, it literally removes the need for the fridge to run. I turn the fridge off overnight as it is so well insulated it stays cold.

The batteries are holding up well, these were 110's replacing some old 90's with the Smartgauge helping the charge and the 135w solar panel I have only run the engine 5 times in the last six weeks and two times was to motor over to water up !! I am very pleased with how the electricity is doing. I have no illusions it will stay as is.... The dark mornings , did I mention I get up at 6am, now are coming as the evenings are drawing in but I have lamps and know at some point I will be running the engine each night for a top up, and maybe replace my cheepy batteries for some 135's and I have a plan to go to 3 leisure's. I do eye the wind generators two of my fellow moorers have .......

I have only filled up with water twice in 6 weeks, I will do it again before I go southbound for the bank holiday (stil have 1/4 of a tank so I did not bother...) but even so once every two weeks is good. I do have a shower on the boat but have mixed it with showering at work.... That way someone else cleans my bathroom ( he'll get a good drink at Christmas)

The loo, apart from my documented flood has also performed well, a cassette a week I would guess, increases when Rachel is on board for obvious reasons, I like an au natural pee so that helps !!

The temp on the boat is dropping  - 11c on the car temp a few mornings ago.  My hardy neighbour Mandy advises she holds on till October with the fire, I fear I will be a September fire starter!

The internet is good, my Samsung Galaxy 2 I got from my good friend John is excellent when tethered on the 3 one plan ( all you can eat data package) I also download programs from the catch up services and sky at work on the super fast broadband to watch ( when I am not fishing or deck building).

Skype is also excellent to keep in touch with Rachel. We have eaten meals together while skyping, it was so natural Rachel got up one time and was just about to ask if  I wanted a coffee...!

I did buy a new television. I could not enjoy the LG's 18 inch screen and wanted a HD freeview tv mainly for the football. Samsung have a great range and I opened for a nice 22inch smart TV with freeview HD. I can plug in a pen drive with a movie on it and watch it or surf the internet. Best so far has been using my Netflix account on the TV it streams faultlessly and I am using that maybe more than the free view channels.

So better than I expected. The trips down south are like a mini holiday, Rachel said the same. I am sure it will get harder in the winter, living and travelling but we'll see.

My mum is getting the dubious  benefit of seeing me most days as I drop Leia off with her. This was only done while it was so hot but it has kept going as it helps us all, dog gets company, mum gets a reason to walk on the park I get to check on my mum and we are all much the better for it. Plus at the moment I am getting my laundry done ;-)

So all in all, a good move so far, plenty of things around the corner and some already met head on (someone drove into the back of Rachel's nearly new and much liked Toyota Auris. Was a challenge but overcome.)

It works so far due to the planning and the relative locations .....



Sounds like you're very well organised Nev and I suppose it's a lot better than just crashing in front of the T.V. every night! Take care,love Pamxx

Phil "Coops" Cooper said...

Love the plain talking insight Nev. Might be down to Fradley tomorrow if weather holds good.

purplecatlady said...

Having done the trip down to Chichester this weekend ( a 5 hour slog back in the pouring rain, glad Andy was dirving!) and a dislike of more than a 20min commute to work, I don't know how you keep going. I think it's a good job you are both in lovely locations giving you the determination to keep on with it! If you need anything (dog sitting?!?) let me know xx

Nev Wells said...

Pam..... no other option in my world atm other than organised. Phil, I'll be here can you PM me on the Deau forum if you re coming over? Sharon, lovely to have your company over the weekend. The M1 was shut this morning, lucky well advertised so I only did a a few junctions of the M25 then up the M40 !! Might well take you up on the dog sitting Take care and I hope Andy's leg is better ? Now off to my bed.... an extra hour in bed tomorrow 6am instead of 5 am ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nev glad it's all working out for you. I can fully understand the distraction the fishing is.