Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Locked out; new home; last orders

Monday 10th February to Sunday 23rd February 2014

In what has now turned out to be our last Monday afternoon tea in the cedar huts, everyone did themselves proud – it was deemed to be Indian Monday and the curries, naan bread and onion bajis were all there to be devoured.

I say that this is was our last at the marina, and that is entirely due to the usual and now increasing pettiness of the people who run Aston Marina.

The area around the huts has been locked with no access possible – you need to book a meal through the bistro and book a hut and also pay a £10 cover charge to be able to sit in there. So on a Monday afternoon in February/March when the marina is not open we will be forced to go somewhere else.

The feeling is that they only want the boats present as entertainment for the customers of the bistro/cafĂ© – the management continues to not give a st_ff about any of the boaters who pay mooring fees and in effect are paying the running costs of the marina.

On a much brighter note for the day it was Joan’s birthday – I think the gig is up on claiming 21again – so hope you had a good one too.

Roly with his "man-sized" bib - he was ready
for eating

Gordon and Roly - ready and eager to enjoy

Sammie was in on the action as well

Roly, Bev, Paul and Carol in deep conversation
A night out on Wednesday as we joined Andy, Sue, Dot and Gordon for dinner at The Hollybush – with a 2 for 1 offer, how could you say no.

The food was good and so was the beer (so I was told) and we were all back at a reasonable hour.

Not a lot happened for the remainder of last week – Roly and I reached agreement on purchasing new batteries for the boats – 4 each – and managed to save a bit of money by ordering together – so we were closer to being able to cruise again.

We opted for the same type as we already had – Trojan L16H (425Ah) x 4 – and Roly has decided on Trojan’s as well.

Friday early doors was the happy end to a week of grumbling about the cedar huts and with the week’s layoff for the 6 nations, Ireland remained on top of the table for another week.

Our emphasis for the forthcoming week was on the delivery of the batteries and their installation, and also to complete wallpapering the top half of the walls.

We also resolved our dilemma about Mondays – we simply went to The Royal Exchange – Michelle there was happy to accommodate us and allowed us to bring food – they weren’t serving food until the evening – so we have another home – well really just making it home for 2 afternoons a week.

The three belles

All of us (Andy behind the lens) - Phil (front) kept under control
by Lynn - nobody saw the hit

The three rogues

another three rogues
The wallpapering started and we got into a routine – I cut the paper to suit and Diane pasted and hung it – the new paste with size helped – and we now have 2/3rds completed.

The batteries were delivered and have now been installed – they are bl__dy heavy indeed (56kg each) and on removing the first old one I unfortunately pulled a muscle in the side of my back – Diane helped the old bloke get through it all – she’s a gem - and Paul, wrong place/wrong time – helped get the last 2 new batteries into place – thanks Paul.

Out with the old batteries...

...the space cleared and cleaned...

...new ones ready to go in
Clive Penny then connected them all and suddenly we had full battery power back again – Diane was happy and I sensed it had a lot to do with having hot water again for more regular baths – I fear that this means more tea/coffee making whilst she is luxuriating.

Thursday afternoon came along as we were just enjoying the feeling of being able to cruise again, that boozy Manx pair (sorry, I mean Andy and Sue) were keen on trying steak night at The Dog and Doublet – unfortunately for all of us the restaurant was booked out so it was The Hollybush again – oh well, if we have to!

Once again the food was excellent.

Friday was a bit of a sad day really as we came to the realisation that this would be the last day we were all together – Sue and Andy were off home in the morning and wouldn’t be back until after Dot and Gordon had left – so we made a good time of it – after The Royal Exchange we dropped in at The Three Crowns – Dot and Diane opting for going back to the boats; Sue returned after dropping them off.

Diane carefully counting the cellar-load of wine just purchased

"See that just there"

What a boring lot - tablets and pubs do not mix - even if the
Olympics are in full swing

Drinking and talking rubbish were more important
We were able to change the channel over to see the Wales v France game and so enjoyed a few more drinks, watch the game and lose track of time after it – we did however avoid the carriage transforming back to a pumpkin, but only just.

What a lovely day Saturday turned out to be – sunshine in the morning – we sat outside to eat breakfast – after which we were joined by John (nb Earl of Shannon) for a bit of a chat – well a long chat really – just enjoying the sun.

People are more friendly on boats and in marinas and more easy going than in land-based situations – more willing to engage in a chat, rather than just a quick “hello” and a wave before going without even stopping – well most are that way, but you do get exceptions.

We wandered into Stone for just a couple of things and ended up in The Star for a late lunch – and combined that with watching the first half of the England v Ireland game; after that it was back to the boat and a night in.

Sunday was a bit of a relaxing do not much sort of day and we sort of faffed around finished a few things.

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