We decided Monday night to take the opportunity, while we still have the hire car, to drive down to Stone and visit Ray and Diane on nb Ferndale. We haven't seen Diane since last July when she came up to visit us during her brief return to Oz and Ray since February. We arrived at Aston Marina and had a look around the excellent farm shop there. The marina itself is lovely too and also boasts a great cafe.
We found Ray and Diane and had another look around the boat (which we'd seen in 2010 when Ray was aboard on his own). There's definitely a woman's touch obvious now. They have some excellent plans for modifications and we'll look forward to seeing the finished result.
The four of us.... actually, 5 because Banjo the dog was with them... sat out on the deck area of the cafe for a coffee. We'd chatted for a good half hour when another couple approached with 2 little white dogs in tow. It was Paul and Elaine from nb Caxton with Bombo and Sam. They are sort of fellow Australians too. We all had a great chat and it was lovely to meet Paul and Elaine after being in touch by email for the last 18 months or so. Actually it might be even longer.
I couldn't believe it when we got in the car to drive away and saw it was after 1.30pm!! Where does the time go! We went into Stone, which is a lovely canal town, and had lunch in a little bakery. We wandered around checking out the shops there before heading off to Penkridge to Midland Chandlers. Diane, we got the loo blue. :)
By the time we returned to nb PS it was after 5pm. Mick went to turn on the central heating while I sorted out the stuff from the car. Oh no! The heating won't turn on. We messed about with it in between trying to prepare dinner but no luck. Back to the boat bible folder but that told me nothing about what to do if the heating wouldn't go.
Eventually in desperation Mick rang Roger, who built nb PS, who was able to help over the phone. Nobody had told us that when we were connected to the land line for power we also had to press a button in order for the batteries to be charged. So everything has worked fine the last few days but now the batteries are run down so that the heating won't work. Button now pressed, engine running for an hour and hopefully we'll have heating before it gets uncomfortably cold! The heating does take a bit of time to warm up when it starts.
It was 3 degrees this morning.