Saturday, 7 January 2012

Tool time

6 January

There’s loads of provisioning to do before we move on to the boat at the end of March. Well, to be more accurate, it looks like I will move in a week or so ahead of Pat, as she will be in New Zealand at that time, as our daughter Erica and her husband James, are expecting their first born around that time.

I  found some Garden vouchers in a drawer while clearing out some clothes on our return home after Christmas and I discovered they could be used in Homebase, so we had a bit of a spend up in the Hatfield branch on Tuesday.

I got a tool box, a toffee hammer, small bow saw and some wire cutters (essential for cutting away any foreign bodies wrapped round the propeller). We also bought a hose for filling up the water tank and a safe which John is going to hide in a secret location. Just hope he remembers to tell us where he puts it! We also got one of those fold up porters trolleys for moving our gas bottles around on a half price deal. I am still trying to persuade Pat to get a head torch, but she won’t have it. I have one and think they’re great.
Part of our shopping haul at Homebase for essential supplies

We also went into John Lewis on Wednesday and ordered the Amtico Spacia floor. We have chosen a dark oak pattern. It’s pretty expensive, but we know it’s hard wearing and looks good, and will complement the light oak woodwork and cream walls.
Spacial Royal Oak - Our flooring

Yesterday, while in Boots we kicked off provisioning the first aid box and yesterday afternoon I posted a note on one of the boating forums about the sort of first aid stuff experienced boaters have on hand and got some very interesting replies. One of them was to have a can of Coke close by. If you go overboard and get a mouthful of canal water, drinking the coke kills all the bugs you have imbibed. Evidently this technique is used a lot by canoeists.

The Eastern Leisure team at John Lewis brought me “Water Way” as a retirement gift and I got around to loading it this week on to one of the laptops we have. This is a very detailed mapping system of the whole river and canal network of Britain, Ireland and France.  I must say I am very impressed with it and I am sure it is going to be very useful. You can get a lot of what is on there from the various editions of Nicholson’s canal guides but this mapping system gives you the local dentists, bakers, doctors, florists etc, with phone numbers and links to their web sites.  It also has details on all the pubs, restaurants, library’s and WiFi hotspots it knows of, and encourages its users to keep it updated.  It’s also great for calculating journey times, and takes into account “real boating”. You can attach a boating sat nav to it, or so Mike Kelly, the brains behind this system told me, when I rang him to get an access code, but I can’t really see the point of that. At three miles an hour at the max, you can hardly get lost.
The water-Way Mapping CD

Finally, and most importantly, my lump sum has reached my bank account. At the beginning of this week that seemed very doubtful and with a deadline approaching for us to make a major payment to the Kingfisher boys, we found that John Lewis had been dragging their feet, getting everything in place, and blaming it on a third party insurer, who my contributory pension was with. It took several phone calls and for me to call in my old boss, but it has been resolved, which was great relief to us both.

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