Friday 30 June 2017

Super peacefulness but the chores still have to be done

Most who read this will already be aware of why they are on the canals as they have the option of peacefulness as we can choose our home location for the night, for 48 hours and up to 14 days - then we move on through the same beauty and find the same again.

I have this on my mooring also so I do not need to move but I want to. One of the reasons to retire and sod the work treadmill with all its associated BS.

My cup does indeed overflow'th with tranquility and peacefulness. On the boat fishing, in my valley walking.

I did a further walk the other evening  - into my valley and out by Kingsley far bank. Over canal, under railway across river, then into a water meadow then up the side of the valley.

It was a little bit of a 'blow' walking up the other side so I took the opportunity to sit on someones bench and soak in the view.

Watch the one minute video below, turn your volume up and enjoy the sound of silence !!

Anyhow this attracts a few canaloholics so 'back on the boat' the longest day has come and gone. One day on returning (with Leia I did not leave her aboard) the boat was a balmy 40c !!

Nothing for it but an evening of slow nightfall watching nature go to sleep while sitting out in shorts and T shirt fishing.

On another evening I had chores to do - water up as cold showers were the order of the day. Percy has two tanks joined by a connecting pipe, to fill up fully it has to be done slowly  - I recon I have 2 x 200 litre tanks, my in line water meter somewhat confirmed this.

I pulled Percy back to give the mooring a decent cut and strim. You can see from the next picture what happens if you do not do your own grass cutting for the £1600 a year mooring fee.

I did strim Mandy's mooring but it really should be being done by C&RT  - I ask them not to as they have damaged my boat on more than one occasion. 

Then it was more fishing !!

Thursday 22 June 2017

Clocking off ..... proper life decision

Not a small scale clocking off.... a real life event as I have resigned from my job of the last 29 years and 11 months and will be no longer a paying in member of society come the 8th September 2017.

I will be retiring into hobbies/bucket lists/house husbandry and all things not work related.

Work does define you - it does/did me and when you get joy from work that definition is a positive one, however when you eventually realise you are grinding and grudgingly working through your day it is burning precious seconds only a fool or a desperate man would continue to spend those seconds in such a negative way.

I have worked solid all of my life - never been unemployed. I started my print apprenticeship on the 4th September 1978 and have worked since.... that will be 39 years to the day. When I set out on my working life I do recall having a goal - or aspiration/dream of finishing when I was 55.... well I will miss that target by 23 days  - 23 days over 39 years is not too far off ?

There is a back story to me ending work, nothing sensational but if we ever meet I am sure parts of it will be told, maybe not.

I'll end this note by reminding myself of what was said on a related course quite recently.

Don't call it 'retirement',  call it 'reinvention' 

So for the last time I'll take something from a work sponsored course and say I am reinventing myself, stripping off that work definition I have assumed in the past with gladness and in the latter years with a little bitterness. What will a reinvented Nev be .... well time will tell.

And that is the most important point of all - time ....there are few opportunities in life to buy time but by sacrificing my pension and excluding myself from the pursuit of material wealth I hope to be more relaxed happier and content. Time to try it out .......

Monday 5 June 2017

Is it wrong to dry your underpants in the oven?

Well needs must....

I am on the boat for the next few days and it was not entirely planned. The result was a stash (of clothes) and dash this evening as I have a course in the centre of Birmingham tomorrow.

Driving in was not ideal so I have got a cheap day ticket to Birmingham from Burton on Trent in the am.... means I can have a longer kip Lia gets a longer walk and I do not need to worry about the M6 !!

Anyhow me pants were still a bit wet on the airer in the cottage so I have put them in the oven for a little while to dry off.....

Rachel will never know  ;-))

Percy is welcoming as ever. Tea and toast and a relax then an early night.

Brought my three phone with me for the internet and seems 3 do not want to be outdone by EE .... this is my onboard speed test result...

64mb a second is about as fast as I have seen in all my tests  - well done 3

Sunday 4 June 2017

Internet - what you might want to know

Ok, so there is a back story to this little bit of info. It's a story about BT and their poor approach to customer service and the service they offer. It's to do with the new cottage we live in but I'll save the full story until I have been through the Ombudsman process.

Bottom line is we moved here to our bit of rural tranquility and brought the EE mifi device off the boat to maintain that all important internet.

Now the history of my internet for the boat was I was paying over £15 for 15gb of internet on a rolling contract (November 2016) A fellow boater flagged up a deal link here for 32gb per month for £14.50 ..... I jumped on it, cancelled my old rolling contract and got double for a quid less. I was happy and have been using this 32gb allowance all winter on the boat and now in the cottage.

The 4g in the cottage is still useable to stream and for all other stuff, just the 32gb limit was getting tested and a couple of months I was running out towards the end and having to top up at £15 for an extra 10gb, that was lost at the start of the next month frustratingly.

All the problems with BT and the extra cost when running out saw me look around and it seems the big two (for me) are now doing home Broadband via 4G with better 4g routers

  • 40gb with 3 is £24 per month 
  • 50gb with EE is £40 per month
I was tempted but knew from Cruising the cut's Vlogging he was paying £27 for 50gb !

So I phoned EE.... they were brilliant as I said I was thinking of leaving to go to 3 (when I undertake such exercises I always have my expectation agreed with myself and I was targeting 64gb for £30)

.... they made me two offers 
  1. 64gb for £24 per month on a 12 month contract
  2. 64gb for £17per month on a 24 month contract
24 months is a good timing for us  for reasons soon to be blogged about so I jumped at this. Very happy.

Now info part 2 that may be of interest......

We get a decent speed on the mifi unit 

However I wanted something that had a ethernet port on the back to pass the internet through the house and direct to the PC (in case I could get a gaming ping) and the TV downstairs on the freeview recorder box.

So I opted for this  - TP-Link AC 750 4GLTE Router 

My well used and much valued MIFI unit is below the box....

I ran the same speed test with the unit in the same location and got this ....

Now that is faster than the fibre I used to get in Derby and three time faster than the best BT could offer me with fixed broadband, at pushing 30 quid a month !

Now I know it is 4G and will have possible weather interference, but equally I think where I live I'll have little by the way of contention from other users of the tower/mast. Bottom line  is time will tell but for now I am saving a decent wad of cash, and getting a lot more for my money.

In case you have a hook up or have a rich supply of electricity the TP link is a decent bit of kit and no doubt as it is mains powered it gets more from the antennas to pick up the 4g signal.

Hope that helps someone get better internet ......