|"Dancer" line up pointing to our bright lights|
And so December progresses.
Marina is lighting up on land and water. It’s
kinda nice to have coloured lights, some flashing, if you leave the boat after
1645hrs. A few boats have got a light show switched on and the numbers are
There is no doubt about the outside temperature. The question is can frozen ice get colder? Some mornings there is a deep white frost on the boats, pontoons, and grounds of the
Marina. The road gets patches of ice which I
am concentrating fully on when I am walking. Della doesn’t seem bothered by the
cold temperatures and doesn’t avoid anything that looks cold underfoot. She
loves the muddy walks and tolerates the lower leg wash, that is inevitable,
when we get to AM. A very content and happy dog who spreads her affection to
people she meets on her daily walks. Lovely.
As usual the week melts and we have been getting AM as watertight as possible. She’s not bad. Most boats have a degree of condensation. I do my Karcher workout daily and sometimes twice a day… but not always. We have tried secondary glazing, i.e. a cellophane sheet, and that seemed to have some effect but we still got water droplets forming inside the window. We realize heating and ventilation are of prime importance with a “live-aboard” and I will be really thankful if we can beat condensation. From our early days of talking toilet and water tanks with fellow moorers, conversations have progressed to heating and ‘how to beat’ condensation.
|The View down Pier-Q-liar|
And, on land, we have had a day out and driven to IKEA to check functional furnishings with storage solutions to line the walls of DolciBlue. IKEA is a great start to the day and we were early. We saw ourselves at the start of a short queue waiting for the ‘pre-store opening’ which in other words is breakfast at the IKEA Restaurant which opens at 930hrs. 930 arrived, and then 935 and no sign of the door opening until a bloke in the queue did a friendly knock at the door which alerted Security to open the door! The breakfast is a squashed 1/4 of omelette, bacon, sausage, baked beans, potato cake and half a tomato and priced at £1.50 including refillable tea / coffee /hot chocolate. I rate the self serve hot chocolate. Sadly, this visit, the hot chocolate machine was O.O.O. The coffee’s not bad actually.
|The lights are on in and out AM|
Breakfast over we entered the IKEA labyrinth and, first, in our tracks was the sofa section. The Sofa Assistant showed us a choice of two sofas that give us integral storage plus the potential to be a guest double bed. I was surprisingly surprised. I would agree to either. One is L-shaped and the other isn't! Moving along, with pamphlets in hand we passed Storage, desks and tables, chairs and lights. We didn't hang around. We know folding desks will be useful, and we have our glass dining table from NZ (if there is room). Soon we were in Kitchens. It was easy to identify what cupboards / benches would work in the new Galley. I really like the ‘kitchen’ on AM. It works well, we have ample space, and I would be happy to have a similar layout fitted. We will go for a full size pantry drawer / cupboard.
After Kitchens we wound our way to Beds. We thought a bed that has accessible under bed storage would be ideal! Thinking about how we are going to position the bed on DolciBlue can present accessibility barriers. A bed is a mattress on a base. To use the Bed base as storage we either need to have under the bed pull out drawers with the bed positioned with access from the side or from the bed end. We needed to see if there was another possibility. (Our bed on AM has been converted to meet our needs. Initially the original bed base was covered to disguise the hollow base. Chris got out the saw and cut an opening on one side of the bed, so we could store our clothes and bags under the bed. That was last year. This year we have been using 2 units that have a series of sliding plastic bins, with our mattress positioned on a board on top. The mattress slides out and then is bolstered on the gunwale side with pillows. This gives us ample sleeping room and a place for Della.) The helpful IKEA Bed Assistant, who had amazing false eyelashes, showed us a bed where the mattress base can be lifted so opening a bed base of storage room. Perfect. Now is it going to be memory foam or inner sprung mattress? The weight of the mattress will have importance. This will also mean we can have the bed positioned looking down the boat.
Finally we stopped at Bathrooms to look at wash hand basins. A brief stop and then we were at Market Hall. Market Hall begins at the junction of the Restaurant and the main entrance. I decided I had had my fill of IKEA and wanted to race over to BOOTS to buy some false eyelashes. Chris went on to IKEA’s Bargain Basement and we met back at the car.
The Sat Nav was turned on and she proceeded to direct us through down town Nottingham in the direction, most of the time, of our intended destination
Sat Nav didn’t realize that there was a new roundabout onto the A1 and we ended
up going a convoluted lesser road way. It involved the decision of should we
drive over the swift running ford or not. We drove off in another direction and
left ‘her’ to recalculate the route. Eventually we were deposited on the A1. Our
plan was to view a block of 4 garages. We were late for our appointment with
the agent and he telephoned just after we had got on the A1 to see if we were
still going to view. I was able to let him know we were only 1.3 miles away and
we blamed her on the Sat Nav, of course.
Funny thought, it took us 3 days by boat to get to
Newark and it took us one
hour by car!! I know which transport I prefer.
We went back through the outskirts of Nottingham and went to visit Bill & Beryl who used to be our ‘neighbours’ 20 years ago in Portugal!! It was lovely to catch up and to share with them the rise of DolciBlue.
While we were doing this, snow arrived in
didn’t appear where we were driving. News reports said snow in the East
Midlands but then we must be in the Mid Midlands (I am going to call them the
The other major highlight, this week, is I have booked my return flight to NZ. I am hoping for a bit of warm weather. The Travel Agent, who booked my flight, was so friendly and we had a laugh during the booking process. She needed to write down my address which I gave her over the phone. I took care to say Willington not Wellington. When I got her email with my address written on I had to email back the following to her “Woolington is actually commonly known in these parts as Willington!! Just cos I'm Kiwi doesn't mean everything is sheep related!!!!!!”
|Kaimai View, Dec 2011, from our old home in NZ|