Sunday, 31 January 2021

Check ?

 Oil - Check

Engine Manual - Check

Karndean - Check

Fire board - Check

Stove - Check

Stove base - Check

Well thats all my supplied for the jobs lined up but one other check....

Check the boat  - ?? 

I will because I consider it safe to do so and I have work to do that'll keep my mind occupied as well as my body. 

Who'd have thought we'd be going through such mind summersaults just to visit my boat and do some jobs.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Off out cruising

....that would have been last year. This year it's sleep eat repeat, like most of the UK and the world it's groundhog day. 

I checked back on my last year blogs at this time and we were off out for a cruise and it was green warmish and we were free....

We went for a walk from the cottage today and it was I think the least enjoyable walk I've had from here in all the time we've been here. It was cold with a fine drizzle onto slushy icy wet roads. It felt like a million years away from the cruise we did in January 2020.

We are lucky we have a good friend and boaty neighbour who keeps an eye on Percy for us and has sent some pictures of Percy in the ice and snow at Shebdon ...brrrrrrrr !!

All pictures courtesy of Mandy NB Don't Panic 

In looking back at last years January blogs I was reminded of the sad loss to the boating world of Bruce Napier of NB Sanity Again. A full year, I often wonder what he would have scribed about the last year and the state of the world. His writing was always interesting and entertaining. 

I need to visit the boat to retake the measurements for the curtains and today the two very well packed sheets of 25mm fire board arrived from Midland Chandlers so they need to go ( less packaging ). I fully intend working on Percy in the coming weeks, I think I have most of what I need now to put the stove in the back cabin and do the big engine service, just a shame I canot or should not overnight as it would save trips. 

I think the saving grace is this period of mucky cold snowy weather will depart and based on the time of the year we could get one or two quite cheery days into mid/ late February, hopefully it'll feel like instant spring !

Friday, 15 January 2021

Changing my batteries after 7 years !

Seven years from a set of batteries is not bad going. Over 1,000 charge cycles but I started to notice bad performance and I got a warning they needed a service ??

Ok, not my boat batteries as they have been in two years now  - need to check that ( was February 2019 so not quite 2 years

This is the battery  - or batteries as they are four linked together from my MacBook Pro late 2013. Still a fine machine I7 processor 16gb of Ram 500gb SSD and a lovely retina screen. So when the Macbook started shutting down unexpectedly I sought out Apple to see what they'd charge for a new battery   - just short of three hundred quid !! I have other things to spend that on so I sought the sage advice of YouTube and found a fella replacing one with an OEM battery from IfixIt. 

Eighty pounds DIY just don't puncture the thing that is stuck into the Macbook with industrial grade adhesive strips.

This is after removal, using adhesive remover and fishing line pulled under the batteries to separate the batteries from the case  - slowly does it. 

The new set it for hopefully another seven years - I'm retired so canot afford this tech but it is good tech. Charge up fully then leave it connected to the mains for another two hours. Then completely discharge it and then charge back up to 100% - this apparently is needed to calibrate the computer to the battery 

All done and I'm writing this using the same Macbook. Now what to spend that saved money on !!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Who doesn't like a stat or two

I've always liked playing with numbers and recording unnecessary  bits of information. When we were younger and money a lot tighter I used to work out our spending and income each week ( remember when we were paid weekly in cash !) This extended to monthly accounting in a blue ledger book I still have for posterity. I moved on to Microsoft money in latter years but now in retirement thankfully I just spend ! 

I don't record all spending on Percy just fuel ( more for how much is left in the tank) or how many hours I have done since last fill up etc. 

One stat I'm pleased about is the number of posts I did last year - I smashed my Percy blog record by some margin.

Never hit over 100 before and my 113 for last year was 2.17 blog posts a week 

It was 20% more than my previous best year in 2013 - the first full year we had Percy

It was a splendid 135% more than my worst year in 2014.

Ironically it was the lockdown that gave us the opportunity to use Percy more and did those two long planned trips the four counties and the Llangollen and back. The blogging each day no doubt helped plus I had more time to blog about other stuff during the year.

Hopefully this year will be more blogging about Percy and a few jobs I need to do.... the next blog will be just that ! 

Reverting back to house stats that got me thinking of this post in the first place.... Today I upped our electricity direct debit as we are using more electrical heat sources as this is renewable ( remember my pledge to change here)  

I initially was a little annoyed as this was mainly due to Rachel working from home.... but then I realised she had not been doing the 50 mile a day 3 days a week commute to work. 

Look away those of you that live aboard or have a thermally efficient home. Our energy use is reflective of us living in a cottage over 200 years old with single glazing and three bedrooms so not too tiny. Also I do feel the cold - could be called a wuss lightweight etc but I can afford not to be cold and have always said I'll pay what it takes to be warm. Having said that we are looking at using more renewables and will be spending on double glazing this year to reduce heat loss. (Plus we have two wood burners now and each walk I bring back a chunk of blown down wood for next year) 

Reviewing the info it's interesting how over two years we used a difference of just 21 litres of oil. The savings was on cost with the pandemic dropping the cost of oil to a very low price. Savings on fuel for commuting was impressive even if we did have to heat the house more. 

When all combined we were a decent chunk of cash for Motorcycle spending up on 2019.

Anyhow better get to the vets with a wee sample from Leia. Poor Leia is getting old and had started with kidney failure, the vet suggested a choice of quality or quantity of life left sadly. I opted for quality as I would want myself, no point her living longer in pain and discomfort. 

As Forest Gump advised "My Mom said life is like a box of Chocolates, you never know what your gonna get" Leia and me are both heading for the coffee cream !