Thursday, January 08, 2009

Frozen in the New Year

We have been away from our boat home for a while to celebrate Christmas and see our family.  Went first class by Cross country train with 3 bags, cat and dog.  Problems started with the taxi driver complaining about the cat.  He was not the driver we had called.  Then our train was an hour late, was to stop at Birmingham and cancelled so got on the next one.  Luckily we found seats as our reserved ones were on the cancelled train.  The train we were on then became packed full by passengers from the cancelled train at Birmingham.

Three hours later we arrived at our second home to stay with mum who will be 90 this year.  She still has a car which we can borrow to visit family members elsewhere.  But first to the medical centre for that annual check up, then to our grand children to deliver the all important presents.  Back at mum’s we set about trying to get food organised for that all important meal on Christmas day.  We had already had a Tesco delivery directly to the house.  Now it was off down the road to get the turkey meat and fresh vegetables.  Boxing day was spent with our grand children and playing with their new toys.  Their parents wanted to celebrate the New Year in with friends so we looked after the boys.  Then it was Ben’s birthday party a few days later.

It had got quite cold the day we returned to the boat.  The train was on time and we got the full first class service so by the time we arrived at the boat we were fed and watered.  On the way we saw that the canals and rivers were frozen.  So finding the boat stuck in ice was an expected sight.  We had of course put the boat to sleep before we left.  Everything off and water pumped out of the pipes.  First on with the power, boiler on and fire lit and water pumped back into the pipes.  The engine was started to charge the batteries after their rest.  The solar panels had been left connected so the batteries were in fact full.  Once the fire had got going we took our coat off and made a cup of tea.  Then we filled a hot water bottle for the bed.

It looks like we may well have to stay for a while till it warms up so we purchased some electricity and plugged in the shore line.  The diesel we have will then be used to keep us warm rather than charging batteries. 

The ice had formed a week ago and is quite thick so it will take several warmer days to melt away.  The village of Great Haywood has a farm shop, post office, Spar and Premier shops and a pharmacy.  An hourly bus service can get us to Stafford and back so we could not be better placed for facilities.

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