Wednesday 28 November 2012

A little side trip

I didn't write a blog entry last night, the "goggle" just wasn't having it.  It got by second quilt block finished - I started it on Saturday at the sewing group.

I've had a couple of emails from home saying the weather is getting really hot.  One report of 35 degrees and this morning another saying it's going to be 38 degrees!  Not missing that at all.

I'm heading off this morning for a few days visiting my friend Claudia who lives in Germany.  Finally.... the Christmas markets.  I've been wanting to see them for nearly 30 years!  Actually, it would be nearly 30 years - since we became penpals in high school.  What an enduring friendship from so far away.

So the blog entries will be a bit irregular over the next few days.  Back on deck on Sunday.

By the way.... it's a stunning morning..... and the ducks can swum under the pontoons again.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Back to normal water levels

Firstly to Lynn from nb Stanley, who left a comment on yesterday's post, everything's looking fine from what we can see.  I only saw your comment this evening after having coffee with a few from your pontoon.  It sounds like the same happened over there as what did here and they looked out for the boats that were unattended. 

This morning the water had receded but there were boats with their backsides stuck up on the decks.  The marina owner went around and helped groups of guys trying to push 16 tonne narrowboats off their pontoons.  The boat next to us was wedged by the steel plate below it's rear fender but it wasn't long until all was well again.

There was a good turnout at today's moorer's afternoon tea. Last week there was half a dozen sitting comfortably at the round table, today we had a dozen squeezed around.  It was cold so sitting like sardines didn't see too bad!  We enjoyed meeting a few more folk moored here in the marina.

We had our heating unit returned today!  It's so nice tonight to have the whole boat warm and no noisy fan heater. 

Photos of today's afternoon tea (some eyes closed or not looking at camera but at least we have everyone) :
1. Ray (nb Ferndale), Mick, Mike (working on nb Ferndale's galley)
2. Me, Diane (nb Ferndale), Jo (nb Gentle Presence)
3. Andy (nb Josephine), Ray again
4. Diane again, Jo, Jean (nb Josephine)
5. Jim and Joan (nb Two Jays)
6. Elaine (nb Caxton), Malcolm and Gill (nb Shoehorn)

Monday 26 November 2012

Rising waters

When we got up this morning the floor was on a distinct lean.  What a strange sensation - like walking uphill.  Looking out the porthole the reason was apparent.  Overnight the water level had risen quite a bit and with our mooring ropes secured to hold the boat against the pontoon we were now wedged tight against the decking and that side of the boat couldn't lift any higher.  Lesson : leave a bit of slack in the mooring ropes!

It only took a minute to rectify and it was a relief to have the boat moving under our feet again.  I don't like it at all walking around the boat and it not moving.  We've become used to it.  When Elaine came over the other day she found it odd to have so much movement in the boat.  nb Caxton has pretty much a central walkway the whole length so the boat doesn't move about as much as you walk.  We're used to it now.

It was quite cold but the sky was blue and it really was a lovely day.

I worked a couple of hours this morning, catching up on missed time from during the week.  We planned a Sunday lunch at the nearby pub.  It's usually an easy walk along that road that goes onto Stone.  Today with all the rain we've had the roads were awash with water.  The ground is already waterlogged so new rain has nowhere to go.  There isn't a footpath, just a bit of a grass verge, and with the cars racing by splashing through the deep water we were almost drenched a few times.  Every time we saw a car coming who obviously intended to just plow through the water we'd try and dive out the way into a driveway.

We had an excellent lunch of cod and chips at the Three Crowns pub.  You can see from our plates below that we bailed out on the mushy peas and asked for garden peas instead.  Our budget allows for us to eat out once a week so this might become a regular!  We've booked in for Christmas lunch so that will be nice.

When we arrived back at the marina there appeared to be a little conference going on between some of the boaters on our pontoon.  When we came down to the gate we immediately saw the reason.  The water had risen another 2-3 inches while we'd been gone.  There are more boats with the owners not about than there are with someone in residence.  They were releasing the mooring ropes on the boats that were pulled tight against the pontoons.  We needed to do the same... again... and the boat next to us as well.  It didn't look like all that much further before we'd be floating over the pontoon and into the field!  Well... maybe not floating off anywhere... but if the water level goes over the level of the decking it's going to be very difficult for us to leave the boat.  We haven't bought wellies as we just don't have enough space and the thought of feet drenched in freezing canal water.... hmmmm.... not nice.  There's more rain predicted so tonight and tomorrow so we'll just have to see what happens.

I had another work task to finish this afternoon and promised myself I could go for a walk around the marina only after I had it finished.  Diane from nb Ferndale and I went for a walk late this afternoon and poor little Banjo the dog is almost needing a run up to jump back onboard!  Stepping from the boat onto the pontoon is getting higher and higher.  From the other side of the marina we could see across to the river which has burst it banks.  The water is just rushing down over the towpath and filling the canal.  Apparently the flow into the canal was greater earlier in the day but it hasn't stopped.

A few from today :
1. What a lovely morning
2. Mick at lunch
3. And me
4. A lovely idea - framed pieces of old wallpaper and a piece of an antique quilt
5. Here's lunch
6. The Three Crowns - thatched on the left hand side
7. The view from the front of our boat - nb Stanley - the ducks were swimming under that pontoon the day before
8. Looking back down our pontoon to the security gate.  All the fenders now above the level of the decking
9. Our stern with the water touching the underside of the pontoon
10. Mick's photo of the breached river
11. The canal at front with water running in across the towpath
12. From a higher vantage point - you can see the river beyond the hedge (not usually!)



Sunday 25 November 2012

A cold start to a day of stitching

This morning we woke to an extremely cold morning.  The frost wasn't quite as heavy as we'd had the weekend before but it was really cold getting across to the amenities block for a shower.  My hands were freezing.

I had an enjoyable day today attending a local quilt groups "finishing day".  I had nothing that needed finishing but it was a chance to chat to other patchworkers and I made good progress on my next UK block for my quilt.  I also got inspiration for a couple of other projects.

I had checked out the buses and knew where I had to be at what time.  Just as I was getting ready to go I mentioned that we had some little parcels to post back to Australia so Mick decided we should walk into Stone together and he'd post the parcels and I'd catch the bus from there.  On the surface that plan sounded fine to me but by the time he messed about and we finally got going we didn't reach Stone until 10am and I'd just missed a bus.  I did get there eventually to the village hall in Tittensor, having been given directions by the friendly bus driver.

A couple of the ladies very kindly offered me a lift back to the marina so I took one of them up on the offer.  I would have had to leave early if I was to catch the bus back and walk back to the marina before dark.

Mick checked out the Christmas day menu at a pub up the road and we've decided we'll book in for lunch.  Bit of a treat to not have to cook on Christmas day!  It sounded like a very nice menu.

I see Ray has posted a couple of the photos he took of our return after the pumpout and diesel visit : click.
He seems to have omitted the false start in between those two photos!  Thanks Ray!!

Today :
1. A very narrow ice block
2. The gate to our pontoon
3. The deck where they have tables and chairs in better weather looked like an ice rink
4. Gorgeous baby jacket knitted by Ruth (and she even had her own label sewn on it!)
5. Future project - Christmas tree from log cabin quilt blocks

Saturday 24 November 2012

Pump out.... fill up....

We were up later than usual last night - me so I could make contact with the office during business hours - Mick to watch the end of a movie that finished at midnight.  This morning we had the biggest sleep in yet, not getting up until nearly 9am!  It was a glorious morning and we felt we were wasting it by sleeping in. 

With the sky blue, the sun out, and the wind relatively calm we decided we should brave the trip to the loo pumpout and diesel filling station over at the marina bridge.  Ray from nb Ferndale came along for guidance.

You have to go out the exit, onto the canal, and back in the entrance to get back to our mooring.  All good coming back from the canal into the marina entrance but our first attempt once we turned to reverse towards the pontoon wasn't quite far enough across to be able to pull the boat back.  The angle was much too sharp.  The wind was picking up when Mick moved forward into the open area of the marina basin to try and re-align and we were pushed of course.  He was getting rattled by the audience so decided to turn around so we approached from the opposite direction.  At least this way the pontoon opposite kept the boat from blowing off course.  It really doesn't take much wind to be a nuisance when you have such a broad flat surface for it to hit. With the front fender against the that pontoon it was much easier to turn the stern round to where it needed to be.  Next time we'll give it a go facing the way we were originally but not letting the bow of the boat past the end of the opposite pontoon.  It's a good buffer from the wind and a good way to keep the bow from blowing out of alignment.  Practice, practice, practice.

I booked tickets to Germany for next week.  I'm going to visit Claudia, my long time friend.  Since my very first trip to Germany in 1999 I've dreamed of seeing the German Christmas markets and finally I'm going to get there. (It's ok Diane, we'll still go to Birmingham!)  It's been 2 years since I've seen Claudia so we're looking forward to catching up.  It's only for a long weekend but it will make a nice visit!

Photos of a sunny day :
1. The pumpout and diesel are on either side of the marina bridge so you moor underneath to use the services
2. Mick and Ray
3. Looking back towards our mooring from the bridge
4. Mick at the gate to our pontoon

Friday 23 November 2012

Stitching and shopping

This morning I was thinking about my 4-10 sewing group back home.  While we had breakfast they were having dinner.  I wished I was there with them, and not only for Rachel's sticky date pudding.  I have my first quilt block completed in the UK for my hexagon star quilt so took a photo of it to show the girls.  Mick took a photo of me shivering in the wind at the front of the boat.  I emailed them to the girls at sewing and within minutes there was a reply.   Then came photos of the girls with a printed copy of the photo I'd sent them.   Thanks for the photos!  It was great to see them all busy stitching.  I see the tables have been re-arranged.  No posh table any more?

I had a look yesterday for quilt groups in the Stone area.  I found there was a "finishing day" on Saturday in a village not too far away.  I emailed the lady organising it and I'm going to go along.  There's a bus there with a stop about 1km from the marina.  Perfect.

Yesterday Elaine from nb Caxton asked if I'd like to go into Stone to shop today.  After our visit to Aldi yesterday we had a few things still to get so the trip was welcome.  How exciting to go shopping in a car!!  It's the first time in 7 weeks.

We decided we wanted to put a rubber mat outside the boat front and back so that we step down onto them instead of the wooden decking (which can get very slippery).   I'd seen some at a carpet store in the mall in Stone so we started off there.  Then while buying groceries in Morrisons we saw that they had rubber mats too so we bought a couple more.  Elaine took a spill the day before so she wanted enough mats to get from her boat to the gravel path at the end of their pontoon.  We can't really do that because we'd need about 100 mats to reach all the way to the gate.  Have a look at Elaine's new stepping stones : Click

I see I have to fess up about my funny story of the day (thanks Elaine!).  As we walked out of the supermarket today there were 2 men selling raffle tickets.  I didn't notice where they were from but having determined that the prizes were small enough to fit on a narrowboat Elaine decided to buy a ticket.  I turned back to buy one too.  The man asked my name and phone number to write on the raffle ticket stub and then asked where in Australia I was from.

He said "Do you have lions in Australia?".
Me : Ummmm...... "No".
He : "I think you must, they're everywhere in the world." 
Me : "Well, I've never seen one."
He : "I have a friend who has been there and he said you have lions."

It was at that moment that I glanced at the writing on the front of his flouro vest "Lions Club".  Oh dear, I think he and I were talking about different lions!!  When I told Elaine on our way out we laughed so hard we cried.

I did some work and Mick did some of the little jobs on his list this afternoon.  We whittled away another hour at least discussing whether we should move the tv to be mounted against the wall instead of sitting on the cupboard at the front of the boat.  It would mean we could actually sit side by side to watch it instead of almost one behind the other.  We joke about it saying it's like sitting in Business Class.

Then we cooked up a batch of pumpkin soup and Elaine came and joined us for dinner and a chat.  The wind really picked up this afternoon and was hitting the boat broadside.  We were really being buffeted about and the water out in the marina was so choppy.  At 5pm it was so windy and the rain was so heavy I thought Elaine might think better of venturing out along the pontoons in that weather but by 6pm the wind had died right down and the rain was nowhere near as heavy either.  It was an enjoyable evening and despite the best of intentions we must have discussed loos on 3 separate occasions!

We're going to need to do the loo and diesel in the next couple of days so it would be nice if we could have a calm day to do that.  We're not too keen to attempt getting back onto our pontoon in the wind.  Maybe tomorrow.

Sewing photos today :
1. First finished quilt block in the UK
2. Braving the cold 
3. Hi girls!  Alison, where are the hexagons?
4. Corliss holding up my photoNice quilt Rach.


Thursday 22 November 2012

Recipe - Big Red (UK) Shepherds Pie

Have you heard that title before?  I posted a recipe when we were at home that I'd seen in a tv advertisement.  It used a tin of Heinz Big Red tomato soup.  Well.... they don't have it here!  In fact they simply don't have plain condensed tomato soup, it's all cream of tomato and you use it just as it is in the tin.  When Mick was keen to start on dinner last night I couldn't think of what we could do with what we had left.  There was just a few bits and pieces of veg left but we did have a couple of beef steaks in the freezer.  I decided we'd have a go at re-working the shepherds pie recipe using a tin of soup.

This made enough for us to have 2 dinners for 2 of us, and some leftover on toast for a lunch. It was really good!

Tin of tomato soup
A couple of tablespoons of tomato paste (to try and compensate for the orange soup!)
A teaspoon of stock powder, or as they have here in England "Knorr's granules" (we only have chicken but beef would probably work even better)
2 sticks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 teaspoon garlic from a jar
About 400g beef mince (Mick chopped the steaks up and whizzed them in our little food processor)
Mashed potato
Grated cheese

(You could also add frozen peas, beans, corn etc)

Cook the onion, celery and carrot in a frypan until softened
Add the mince and stir until browned
Add the tin of tomato soup, tomato paste, the stock powder and maybe 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water (swish around the soup tin first!)
Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reduces down to the consistency of a pie filling
Spoon the mixture into a suitable dish
Top with mashed potato
Sprinkle with grated cheese
Bake in a moderate oven for about 15-20 minutes

Aldi... UK

We had a meeting with the Eberspacher man this morning so made sure we got up early.  He duly arrived right on time, and buried his nose in the engine hole straight away.  About 2 minutes later I heard the heating turn on!  What?!  Don't you just hate that.  I've turned that darn thing on about 20 times since it stopped working and not a thing happened.  He just thought he'd press the button before he started doing anything with it and the stupid thing worked.  We had a little conference and decided he'd take the heating unit away with him to test it and see if they can determine what's wrong with it..... because there obviously is something wrong with it, even if it's intermittent.  The error message that's being displayed (it has a list of codes and when it fails to start as it should it stores an error code) means a couple of possibilities so it's better they take it and work out what's wrong rather than letting him go and then we find it won't start again.

The heavens had opened during the night and it rained on most of the morning.  I had a phone call for work and a lovely chat with my employer.  Dare I say I miss the office?! By then it was looking marginally better outside.  We were low in the grocery department as I'd missed out on going to Aldi with Diane the other day so we decided we'd brave the drizzle and go before lunch.  The first part of the walk was across the marina field (getting increasingly muddy) and then down a lovely country lane (the road at the lowest point beginning to flood).  It was pleasant despite the rain.  Once we turned onto the main road the walking was less pleasant.  The cars and trucks were rushing by at such speed and there isn't naturestrips here like we have at home.  We kept getting sprayed with water from the trucks. 

Aldi looked pretty much identical inside as they do at home.  The products were different though as I think they try and stock local stuff when they can.  We have a lot of Aussie made products in the Aldi stores.  I picked up some of my favourite German products - Lebkuchen which Claudia, my German friend, often sends me at Christmas.  It was strange choosing vegetables because I always look where they come from and try and choose local.  Egypt? Peru? Slightly different to what we're used to but I guess it's hard growing veg in such a cold climate.  We were pleased to find we could pretty much get by with groceries from Aldi and an occasional topup from a big supermarket because there's always some things we want that they don't stock.  And now, with the most perfect of timing, I have an offer of a trip into Stone to shop in the morning!  Thanks Elaine!!

On the walk home the rain had stopped but the mud/flood factor had increased.  The slightly flooded road was now deep with water so we had to walk on the little side bridge to get past.  The mud in the marina field was also sloppier.  I'm going to have to find a pair of boots!  I did buy a really cheap pair that are like wellies on the foot part and soft padding from the ankle up.  They were only £9 but I didn't realize the sizing here was different to at home and they're way too big.  We've been using them for walking across to the shower as they slip on your feet without having to pull them on and they have a good grip on the pontoons.  They're no good for going walking though - they're so loose on my feet and not much better on Micks.

It took us 2 hours to complete the shopping mission.  I can't believe Mick so happily browses around a supermarket!  He'd carry on like a pork chop if he had to come to into a supermarket at home.  He's even taking an increasing interest in the cooking - he did start with this at home and said when we were away and he had time he'd help more.  Last night I worked and he actually turned out the whole dinner.  It was good too!  Recipe in separate blog entry coming up.

This afternoon I talked to Claudia which only serves to make me hanker for a visit.  I'm working on it.

The temperature cooled this afternoon but the skies cleared.  Just as the light started to fade we went for a walk around the marina.  It was a lovely evening.  I really enjoy being in a marina late in the day like this.  It was the same at Aqueduct.  The water is so still, no boats moving about, everybody's tucked inside, smoke whisping from chimneys.

Photos : 
1. From the marina bridge - no wind so still water
2. There's our boat, over there!
3. Our pontoon is on the left with every boat neatly moored facing out
4. Can you spot us?
5. A shake of a bread bag and they emerged from between a couple of boats
6. Mum, dad, and five brown tinged youngsters

Wednesday 21 November 2012

A Christmas tree!

Today was a much milder day.

Mick had the shower in bits so we've used the showers up at the marina office building.  Not ideal with nowhere dry to put your clothing or towel (maybe they haven't heard of shower curtains!).  It was ok though.  I went early and left my boots and coat outside the door and took a huge plastic bag to hang on the door with everything else in it.

I had another good days work while Mick beavered away in the bathroom.  I was going to walk to Aldi with Diane but had forgotten about the cratch cover fellow coming to see us.  He duly arrived and we discussed what we wanted so now we just have to wait for them to have time to do the job.  It won't be before Christmas.

Elaine from nb Caxton was walking by when I was out the back so she came in for a coffee and a natter.  As I typed this blog entry I saw she had posted on theirs.  She's taken a slip on the pontoon which is something I'm worried about doing.  At least where they are they have gravel along the end of the pontoons - we have another strip of decking with water on the other side of it.  You can just see the water on the left in the first photo below. PLEASE.... don't let me slip and fall in!

When I saw her photos I went out in the dark to take a photo of the marina building with the tree out front.  It's very nice to see the first signs of Christmas.  Wouldn't it be nice if we had a white one.

Yesterday at our afternoon tea, Diane and I thought we might go by train and check out the German Christmas market at Birmingham.  It's the largest outside of Germany.  I'll look forward to it, but in the back of my mind I'm hankering to see the real thing.

We're looking forward to seeing the Eberspacher repair man tomorrow.  It will be nice to have the whole boat warm again rather than just the living area.  The washing doesn't dry very well when the boat is so cold.

Photos :
1. This is the view from the back of our boat.  See the Christmas tree lights behind the marina office?
2. And zoomed in - they brought the tree in on a truck today.
3. This evening.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

A work day

Today was a work day for me.  It was nice to work without a pending lock, or knowing we need to move on, or that the weather is glorious and I'd rather be out for a walk!  We actually had rain this morning.

Mick got stuck into working on the shower today so we'll be using the marina facilities for the next few days at least.  When cleaning out the shower pump (the shower base is actually below the waterline so a pump is needed to pump the water out) he noticed that the shower had been leaking into the space beneath the pullout laundry hamper.  A lot of the grouting was cracked so it's not surprising.  There was also a loose tile that had a shampoo dispenser mounted on it so he wanted to remove that and re-glue the tile.  Then there was all the grout to chip out and the whole lot re-grouted.  Boy, was he in his element!  He knows what to do with this stuff!

As it turned out we now have half the tiles removed.  The other wall - the one against the dinette - was quite wet behind the tile that he removed so he ended up taking off some more.  At least it will all be re-glued and re-sealed and re-siliconed properly.

We had a walk around the marina to check out the cratch covers on other boats.  Tomorrow we're meeting up with Scott from Kinver Canopies to talk about a new cratch cover. 

Then, on Wednesday we have a fellow coming to repair the Eberspacher heater.  The weather has been much milder today so the little fan heater is working a treat.  At least we're not cold. 

This afternoon we had afternoon tea in one of the little "huts" in the marina.  Diane from nb Ferndale, social butterfly that she is, has organised for boaters to meet there every Monday over Winter.  It's a good opportunity to meet some of the others as nobody is out and about too much when the weather is cold.

I've been back into my sewing lately which I'm happy about.  I use my little re-chargeable battery operated Daylight.  It's an excellent thing.  I'm missing another monthly sewing group get-together this week so thought I should get motivated and finish the quilt block I'm working on and send the girls a photo of it.  I have until Thursday morning!  It's nearly done.  That got me thinking that I should try and find a sewing group for over the Winter. I haven't found a patchwork shop yet but surely there must be something in Stoke.

Monday 19 November 2012

First day at Aston Marina

Moored at Aston Marina
Total to date : 130 miles, 95 locks, 20 lift bridges, 7 tunnels, 6 aqueducts

Dear, oh dear.  We were given a £10 electricity card when we did our marina paperwork yesterday.  There was a little credit left on our meter from the previous moorer so I said to Mick we'll add the extra credit later.  BIG mistake!  We were warm last night while watching tv and Mick decided we should leave the borrowed column heater on overnight to keep the chill off the boat.  In the middle of the night Mick was up and rummaging around with a torch.  We'd used up the last of the credit and the heater had gone off.  He decided at 12.30am that he'd go out with the electricity card and top up our meter.  I don't know exactly what he did but he came in mumbling and grumbling (and a little worse).  He'd somehow managed to buckle the card so now he couldn't get the meter to accept it. 

In the morning it was cold when we woke.  In fact it was so cold that my nose felt like an ice block.  It had been the coldest night we'd had so far.  Looking out the rear hatch of the boat everything had turned white overnight with an extremely heavy frost.  The spider webs on the boat next door were frozen and our little timber taff seats were covered in prickly slivers of ice. The pontoons were totally frosted over.  Our portholes were covered in a thick layer of ice - both inside and out.

The marina office doesn't open until 10am on Sundays so there was nothing we could do about our power problem until then.  We rugged up to have our breakfast - Mick with his beanie on his head.  I had a lukewarm shower - with no central heating the only way to heat the water would have been to run the engine and we didn't want to disturb the neighbours on a Sunday morning.  I was so cold by the time I got in the shower that the lukewarm water felt just fine. 

We rugged up again to walk down the towpath to find Ray and Diane on nb Ferndale.  By then the sun was fighting it's way out and the serious frost was beginning to melt a little.  It was turning into a stunning day.  We walked briskly along until we spied their boat ahead.  The engine fellow diagnosing a clogged fuel line.  While he sorted the problem we all had a cup of tea/coffee and a chat.  Somewhere through the drinking of my cup of tea I got feeling back in my toes!  Finally the engine coughed back to life and nb Ferndale was on the move again.  Mick and Ray walked on to the lock to prepare it while I stayed on the boat with Diane.  I think there was more talking than walking as they didn't make any headway on us towards the lock despite our slow speed. 

We were all aboard heading into the marina so they could pump out (the loo) and fill up (the diesel).  I walked back with Nicky from the marina office to resolve our electricity card problem while the other three took the boat out the exit and back onto the canal and back in the entry of the marina to moor nb Ferndale back onto her pontoon.

Next was the boat inspection as Ray and Diane hadn't seen nb Parisien Star yet and then it was off for Sunday lunch at The Wayfarer.  The hire car that Ray and Diane used for their holiday wasn't being returned til Monday - it was our first car trip since 12th October. 

Back at the marina I spent a few hours working and the day was all but over. 

Yesterday before we left Stone, Mick had gone to the Food Co-op for a loaf of bread.  He returned saying there was a headline on front of one of the newspapers saying this Winter is expected to be the coldest in 100 years.  Surely not!  I wasn't quite sure if he was just trying to wind me up.  I did a google search and although it appears that this publication may be prone to over-dramatizing , sure enough :

It says; "BRITAIN will grind to a halt within weeks as the most savage freeze for a century begins.  Temperatures will fall as low as minus 20C in rural areas, forecasters warned last night, while heavy snow and “potentially dangerous” blizzards will close roads and cripple rail networks."

Now, this isn't a welcome thought... I think I'll buy another coat, a pair of waterproof boots and some clip on ice grippers for our shoes!

Photos of a frozen start :
1. First thing this morning
2. And a couple of hours later
3. 8.30am this morning - minus .5 outside in the cratch, 4.4 degrees inside
4. Next door spiderweb
5. The frost on the roof of the cabins defrosted on the sunny side
6. Frozen foliage
7. And frost sprinkled holly
8. Mick found a pushbike that had been dragged from the canal!
9. nb Ferndale coming into the marina for the second time
10. Ray, Ray.... Diane had spilled gravy on her top



In the drink to date : Elly - phone charger (retrieved - it floated!), Mick - sunglasses, Mick - hearth brush, Mick - mooring hook (retrieved with sea searcher), Mick - reading glasses