Sunday, 30 December 2012

Twixt Christmas and New Year

Jemma has had a sociable few days aboard even spending some quality time with the original Lucy Belle who gave the boat her new name.

Pillings Lock Boat House cafe came up with the goods again serving up a great Boxing Day breakfast. Christmas lights twinkled on lots of boats and it was all very lovely.

Our first night aboard was punctuated by the sounds of express trains giving full whistle followed by a police helicopter flying round the marina.

The next day we learned that a freight train had derailed just behind the marina. Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident but it has caused chaos to the main line to London. As it was carrying limestone from a Buxton quarry, at least they will have a start with the materials to rebuild the collapsed bank! The accident appears to be as a result of the continuous heavy rain flooding the tracks and causing dangerous subsidence.

We pressed on with our list of jobs and have done lots of sorting out of cupboards aboard Lucy Belle. Boring work but it means that everything will be much better organised. We faced up to the dreaded first pump out of the Mansfield Traveller toilet tank. Not knowing how to do this, we feared the worst, but it all seemed relatively painless. The real achievement has been the installation of the Horstmann programmable thermostat which means that the boat will be frost protected. This very clever piece of technology should automatically switch on the heating if the temperature drops below 5 degrees C. It also means that, when we are there, the heating is set to come on at 6am and we can get up to a wonderfully warm boat. Had a fantastic curry at The Spice Cube in Montsorrell, a village that was also suffering from flooding. It was fortunate that we were the Defender with a decent wading depth. We plan to take the boat up to Mountsorrel soon, mainly to give us some relief from working on the boat. 

So what with Christmas stopovers at various family members, Jem has had an exhausting time and even given her brand new bed, she needs to recharge her batteries at home with extra long snoozies in readiness for our new year party. We plan to go to Lucy Belle next on the weekend of Leigh's birthday and take her out for a spin. All this, of course, is weather permitting. We know that the marina staff are keeping a close eye on water levels. You'd think having a boat was quite useful in times of flooding but it just isn't that simple. 

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