Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014 - a reflection on our year in blogland

I now seem to do these every year, more for my benefit than yours but if you are interested this was a summary of our year, in text and pictures.

If I was doing an exec summary it would be less blogging but more time spent on the boat. Lots of miles travelled but all by car. The bike that was ever present in 2013, took a back seat or a garage position for 2014. More time apart than we have ever experienced since we were in our teens. Excitement and sadness still missing loved ones.

So...

January 4 posts starting about the cost of living afloat and some useful observations on engine use. When we filled up with diesel at Burton upon Trent as we came back to our mooring from our failed (not our fault) kitchen refit cruise from Willington the engine hours had 131 on the clock. I recall when leaving the boat earlier this week we had about 236 hours.... so in the whole year I ran the engine for just over 100 hours.... and we did a cruise to stone and back over one week.... when you consider I have lived aboard for 6 months it shows how well the boat performs  - or am I a power minimalist freak !!!! More to blog about in the coming weeks about power and the batteries.

February 3 posts reflecting on where our previous boats now were on the cut. Spooky really as when walking over the Christmas period along the Coventry canal we spotted our shared boat Sylph moored up looking good and obviously in private ownership now.



 This was taken when we were going up the Tardibigge flight some years ago now...


I blogged about the sinks we had found and were cleaning up for the kitchen refit on Percy...

Before...


After...


I finished by blogging about where we were for our 29th wedding anniversary...Wales looking at cottages to buy, if only we knew ! One thing for sure for our 30th we will not be celebrating - in February, all leave in cancelled at Rachels hospital for senior staff due to an important visit so like our honeymoon which was also not permitted by the NHS.... we will have to wait !


March 4 posts, mainly about the excellent job Adele did on our kitchen. But there was detail of me riding the bike... gratuitous Bike and Alfa shot here....


Some blurb about the greasomatic - a reminder I need to change it in the next couple of months, I did check it before leaving to come south and it was still performing well.... seemed like it had a couple of months left.

The work done to make Percy a little more accommodating for us....

Before




After


Before


After


What makes me happy is I now recall how nice the weather was in March... bike riding and also I recall cutting the carpet on the dry grass outside the boat... roll on spring, I hate winter !


April 5 posts. Dominated by two events, a great trip to America to see family and friends and news of a life change job opportunity resulting in me living on Percy and Rachel taking a cottage in the South Downs.

Before that I was blogging about oil pressure gauges - a failed experiment as I have now reverted back to Tony's very simple but logical mode of checking the oil is pumping on Percys' Lister. It is a splash system that relies on a pump to refresh the oil bath that the cups on the crank use to flirt oil over the engine inners, simple but effective.


May I peaked at 6 blog entries !! Mainly a lot of images from America...






We ended the month in Somerset with the bike group I ride out with. A great couple of days, some wet but that helps hone the skills....



June just 3 blog posts.... really about boat painting and downsizing - or decluttering. Ironic as neither came to full conclusion, the boat painting was put off 10 months due to stoppages & me living aboard and the house not selling meant the decluttering was a only part one. We have to hope both were for a reason, certainly we can see the former was.

July a heady 5 entries into my blog.... And perhaps the most intense month emotionally and activity wise for many many years in our lives.

My 1st July entry, that is quite insightful...

Sitting in the warm late summer sun, garden in full bloom and beer with wine to follow flowing, contemplating being homeless for the first time in 30 plus years.....
We will have houses but not homes... well not just yet. We have a house full of belongings behind me waiting to be spread out 200 miles away on the South Downs.
This time next week I will be a liveaboard on the Trent  and Mersey canal. Going into that eyes wide open, maybe with a tad too much focus on the long dark winter months.
It is funny to see how breaking down the home affects the cat and dog... both have become so much more clingy  - certainly the cat cannot be closer to us right now !
It's a adventure, one quite off script, interesting to re read this in 12 months to see how the pages of our lives have turned and what chapters have been written,
So the next post might just come from a floating home in Staffordshire .... or a South Downs cottage
.... to be continued !!

In some order we had a great few days in North Yorkshire - I still have cottages saved to my Rightmove list in Masham.





I embarrassed myself with a crash whilst racing Callum on the Segways !

During our good news developing Tom announced he was to marry his girlfriend Courtney and we all came together for a beautiful day in early July for the wedding.


Without taking too many sleeps we were then off on our adventure with a move down south to a cottage in the south downs.


Leaving our home of 20 years behind..


To come pretty much straight back up take up some degree of residence on Percy


I caught the middle of summer... then the dark winter, maybe something to blog about in the future


The joy of living aboard in the summer is the endless fishing....something I am looking forward to again this year.



August 5 posts.... and all fairly reflective of the new living arrangements. Not surprising really. Seems there was a lot of work going on on and off the boat to make it better, I am looking forward to finishing the decking I got installed around this time. Plus we will be adding a small bench on the water side in memory of Charles my father in law, so we can sit and reflect. I will need to add some slabs for this and a small retaining sleeper.... that will be a springtime job I guess this year.

It was getting used to the early morning starts and commute as well as the longer weekend commutes for both of us.

We did have a nice visit from Sharon and Andy - Rachels Sister and her husband.



September - 1 post ! Getting on with the routine at this point I guess, the days were getting shorter and nights colder, I do recall thinking a lot about diesel heating at this time.



October 3 posts and I have realised reading back now we only cruised ONCE in 2014... we may have winded a couple of times but we only went out one time up to the the winding hole at Meaford for a week, that is so bad and quite sad.


I also had only used 48 litres of diesel since the beginning of the year and that fill up was on the return from Meaford at the pig farm at bridge 69....engine hours 180 so I used 48 litres for 49 hours engine time.... cheap living for sure, well for diesel use !

November 4 posts... but quite an active month, and I blogged about how little I liked the month. From one end of the country to the other, well not quite but two countries in one trip when I went from the South Downs to my good friends John and Carrie in Scotland in a day.


Nice walks in the Downs...


Cycle rides in the Downs...


Window shopping at the NEC bike show


 First frosts


.. and the M25 


I also replaced the batteries and brought a twin tub washer... and there in lies another challenge to be updated in the New Year, the batteries that is, the washer is still in its box in the forecabin waiting for summer  and a forecabin refit.

December the last 4 posts of the year. No real happenings. I did catch up on the bloggers I met while about Fradley, thank you all again for the wine and coffee but more importantly the company.

So that was one of the slowest blogging years to date. A lot gone on that does not need blogging about. Let's see what 2015 brings forward.

4 comments:

Andrew Tidy said...

A good summary Nev.
Which twin tub did you buy? We have decided that the electroniccs connected with an automatic are just too much in cost and hassle.

Nev Wells said...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Twin-Tub-Mini-Washing-Machine-Portable-Caravan-Mini-Washer-New-with-1yr-Warranty-/400822893121

I got mine for £50 as a mate off FB knew of someone selling them off cheap from his motorhome forum, I have the details if you want them he may have one left



Ive got a few more of these due to popular demand.
They usually sell on Ebay at £99 and over [?IMG]

£50.00 collected from Leeds


[?IMG]

Energy-saving Twin Tub Washing Machine 3.5kgs capacity / Spin Dryer
Compact, saves energy and space
Low noise and smooth operation
Ideal for small flats, bedsits, caravans.

Measures 640MM W=365MM H=690MM Product Weight 12.8kgs
Please note New machines are tested and may contain a little water!
Energy-saving Twin Tub Washing Machine/Spin Dryer Compact, saves energy and space, lightweight, fully portable ideal for small flats, bedsits, caravans. 3.5kgs capacity

It is a semi automatic washing machine and will handle clothes weighing up to a capacity of 3.5kg. It is capable of doing both normal and gentle washes. You can use the spin operation at the same time as washing or just on its own and there are separate timers for the wash and spin operation. All you need to do is simply fill with hot water and no plumbing is required.

£50.00

Last 2 left. I can't get any more after these until next year!

Andrew Tidy said...

MG - do you still have one available? I will be in Sheffield on Monday19th Jan so a Leeds collection is possible. Do you have a contact number?

Nev Wells said...

Andy drop me an email at nev at feb14.org and I'll send you the contact details ?

Nev