Friday, 30 December 2016

Bosworth Marina Winter 2016/17 # 10

 Saturday 24th December to Saturday 31st December

Sunday 25th December (Christmas Day)

Yesterday; and just for a change for a Saturday; we walked up to the village twice. The first time was for the paper and other shopping. The second was for the pub. We don’t know what Christmas Day is like here and didn’t want to be standing for an hour. It was pretty busy yesterday, so I think it will probably be busier today.

Anyway, we’ll be walking up that hill again tomorrow, again twice, and again for the paper and the pub. But, before the pub, we’ll be watching the local Hunt go by.

Now, last night we watched the film about The Lady in the Van, on BBC 2, which was written by Alan Bennett and was, supposedly, a true story. It was Bennett’s account of the 15 years that this lady spent parked in his driveway, because she thought she was responsible for the death of a young cyclist. In short, she was on the run from the law.

As a consequence of this film not finishing until 10.40 pm, we were rather late going to bed and I was rather late getting up this morning. 06.30 to be precise! Ah well, we are retired you know, and I can get up when I darn well please.

Wifey did the hoovering yesterday, so it will be all day cooking, of sausage rolls and, much later on, because we like our turkey cooked on the day, the turkey will be cooked. So, apart from a small amount of sausage rolls, Wifey should have a relaxing day.

Monday 26th December (Boxing Day)

Wooohooo! What a Christmas Day we had. A very good breakfast and a short walk with Alex. Lunchtime we had a couple of sausage rolls, as made by Wifey. Yum! Dinner at about 5.30 pm consisted of a few slices of turkey, with all the usual trimmings. No boiled bacon this year, as we had more than enough turkey.

We had a 10lb bird, complete with legs. We were going to have just a crown, which is enough for Christmas dinner and Boxing day dinner, plus enough left over for a turkey and ham pie. But, I think we have too much meat now. No matter, we’ll manage.

At lunchtime today we’ll walk up to the village and watch the local Hunt pass through and I’ll take a few photos of same. We’ll then stop off at the Olde Red Lion for a couple of drinks with fellow boaters. No doggie today as we think the sight of all those other dogs could give him a heart attack.

Tuesday 27th December

Well, so much for seeing the local Hunt yesterday. When we first visited this marina, Chris told us that about 40 boaters walked up to the village at about 11 am, to watch the Hunt pass through. Some of them would then call in to The Olde Red Lion for a beer, or three.

We’ve been told the same thing recently and, after waiting to see how many boaters converged on the office here, I walked across and asked one of the boaters who didn’t go. He told me they already went and that he thought the Hunt actually went through the village at 11 am.

So, since we were already too late – thanks for giving us a shout guys – we put Alex on his lead and started walking, with a view to grabbing a couple of drinks at said watering hole. What we didn’t account for was the amount of people who had assembled there. The whole of Station Road was awash with cars and, along with those boaters who did go, many of the attendees were walking down the hill to their cars. Unfortunately, that left many more who were filling up the two pubs.

We stood no chance of grabbing a drink, much less grabbing a seat. I don’t believe I have ever seen pubs so full of people, and they were still trying to get in and to the bar. Still, we did have our Christmas drink, only we did so on Christmas Eve, when it was much quieter. Still, we did benefit from a good, round-trip walk of about 2½ miles yesterday, so that was something. It did, at least, help to walk off some of the over-indulgence of Christmas Day.

Now, listen up good people.

Some time ago, as certain readers will know, we had a spate of ‘hacking’ of my email list. Some idiots out there have gained access to that list and have emailed some of my readers. This has annoyed me to such an extent, that I have decided to look at transferring my blog to a different site. There are quite a few out there, including WordPress and a few others. However, I’m at a loss as to which one to go with. Suck it and see, seems to be the only option.

So, watch this space for further news. I might even build a free website. Who knows?

Wednesday 28th December

By heck, it’s blooming chilly here! According to my mobile weather app, it’s currently 0⁰ C and, from efforts filling up with water yesterday, we know the pipes are frozen. We’re not yet desperate but, so long as these freezing conditions don’t last too long, we’ll be ok.

Normally, on Boxing Day, we have cold meat and bubble & squeak, which would consist of turkey and boiled bacon. However, we had such a large bird this year, that we stuck to turkey.

The day following Boxing Day – that’s yesterday, in case you’re getting confused – we usually have a turkey and ham pie. However, once again we still had too much turkey for us to cook the ham joint, so it was just a turkey pie. It was HUGE!! Far too big to eat at one sitting. So it looks like more of the same today. Not that I’m complaining, you understand. I do like my turkey pie, even if it doesn’t have any ham in it. But, what to have with it, that is the question.

As for the rest of the day, well, we’ll probably take a walk around the Water Park later, but that will be it.

Thursday 29th December

The New Year is nearly upon us and the days are lengthening, thank goodness.

Well, with regard to a new blog, I’ve decided to take the easy route and open a new blog with Blogspot. This will have a new name, obviously, but, instead of having the posts come direct to you, my friends and family, I’ll be giving you the address at which my posts can be read. I will then email all interested parties each time I post a new blog, so that you may access it at your convenience.

Hopefully this will prove to be a safer way of blogging. The new blog address will be included at the end of this, my last blog of the year. I have tried several other sites on which to start a blog, but Blogspot is by far the easiest and besides, I’m used to using it, so we’ll stay with it.
Right now, at Bosworth Marina, we have a cold snap, which has meant that the water supply has been turned off. (I actually thought the pipes were frozen) This is not unusual in marinas and we know that Trinity Marina; which is a few miles away from here; do this for three months of winter. Braunston Marina also switches off, but for the whole of winter, or so we’ve been told.

The only real problem with this, is that our nearest tap doesn’t supply water at all. However, there are one or two taps that are left open during this period, so that we can either run several connected hoses to one of those, or take a container to them and fill up. No big deal really.

Yesterday we finished off the turkey pie, with the addition of beans and tomatoes. We still have some turkey meat left but, whether it’s still edible, we won’t know until we try.

Friday 30th December

Yesterday was a funny old day for me. For some reason that I am unable to fathom, I felt very tired for most of the day. We took our usual walk into Market Bosworth first thing and, upon our return had our coffee and biscuits, after which I sat down to have a read. It didn’t take long before my eyes started drooping and I dozed off.

Some might suggest, from the above, that I have a problem with my blood. Perhaps I’m anaemic, for instance. Well, I think I can count that out, because I recently had a blood test, and that came back as normal. Perhaps I just didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Or, it may simply be that, with it being the Christmas period, I simply ate too much for my own good.

This morning I feel quite chipper and I’m hoping I don’t go the same way today. Otherwise it will be a trip to the doctor as soon as possible. It has to be said though, that my blood glucose readings have been rather higher than normal, so that might be it.

So, instead of the usual 2 x toast this morning, we’re having porridge. And, instead of a sarnie for lunch – the turkey has all gone now – we’ll have a cuppa soup. And, instead of a proper, cooked meal this evening, we’ll have a pasty. That should do the trick.

Attention please!

My new blog address will be: I haven’t entered a list of emails to send each new post to but, what I will do is email all who wish to continue reading my blog, as boring as it can be.

May I suggest therefore, that anybody interested in continuing to read my new blog, please email me and say so. I promise I won’t be offended if you are no longer interested in my day to day ramblings.

Hey! I sometimes wonder why I continue blogging. But it gives me something to do between getting up in the morning – usually 1½  hours or more before Wifey – and when I stop to do breakfast.

So, please take note of that address as you won’t be able to read my new blogs without it.

Saturday 31st December

This is it, the last day of 2016. Tomorrow will, as I have already mentioned, be the start of a new blog and the start of a new year.

Yesterday started out very foggy and we didn’t think we would be able to go anywhere. We intended going to Morrison’s for shopping and petrol, but we had to wait for several hours before we could do so.

In the event, we managed to do the shopping, but the petrol station was so packed we decided to try the garage nearer to Market Bosworth. But, that lazy so and so doesn’t appear to care too much about local customers, because he was closed. I remember coming home from Harlow a while back, and that was quite early in the evening. He was closed then. I have since learned from other boaters, that he’s totally unreliable and loses a lot of trade.

Today, as it’s the last day of the year, we’ll relax and gird our loins for the new one. We only have about three months to go and we’ll be ‘out there’, rather than stuck in here. It’s a great marina and the village is also very good, but we prefer to be cruising.

And, on that happy note, I’ll be saying ta ta for now and remind you of the new blog address once more, which is:

All the best for 2017 to all my readers.

Cheers me dears

Dave, Sheila and Alex.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Bosworth Marina Winter 2016/17 # 9

Bosworth Marina Winter 2016/17 # 9

Wednesday 14th December to Saturday 24th December

Wednesday 14th December

We planned on doing a bit of running around yesterday, which would have included posting Christmas cards, visiting Halford’s, topping up with petrol and washing the car. None of this was accomplished, because, for some strange reason, I just felt too tired to do so.

I know I didn’t enjoy a good night’s sleep and, after breakfast I felt the need for forty winks, but those 40 winks would, under normal circumstances, have set me up for the rest of the day. They didn’t and so, after driving up to the village and doing a bit of shopping, I decided it would be best if we put all that running around off until today.

Having had a reasonable night’s sleep last night, I think I can now manage all that running around.

Meanwhile, I have Alan’s 70th birthday bash to attend tomorrow. I’m hoping to call in on Les and Dave before meeting up with Alan and Co, but she has to be at the Vet’s by 11 am, so I might miss her.

Now, I would normally sleep in Darren’s bed when I visit, but Darren will also be there, so it’s the small bedroom for me. Who cares? A bed is a bed.

Thursday 14th December

Well, we finally got all that running around done. Newbold Verdun is the village that houses the Post Office, so that was our first trip. From there we called into Morrison’s and did a bit of shopping. Now, Wifey’s intentions are, on the whole, just to but a few bits and we usually use a basket. But, knowing how big her list gets, I took a trolley. Half an hour and two shopping bags full, and I was glad I did.

Next on the agenda was petrol and car wash, which didn’t take long and then it was off to Halford’s, where I picked up a small vacuum cleaner. I also picked up a screw-in and lockable filler-cap. However, since I wasn’t sure it would fit, I took it out to the car and made a new discovery about the SAAB. I discovered that, if the car is locked, then so is the flap that covers the filler-cap. That being the case, I decided I didn’t really need the lockable filler-cap. Money saved is, as the saying goes, money earned.

Friday 16th December

Today, Harlow. Tomorrow, home via my daughter in Bedford.

Sunday 18th December

Alan’s 70th birthday bash went very well on Friday and the food and drink flowed freely. Although, not so much drink for us drivers. I stayed over until Saturday morning and, on my way home, I diverted to my daughter’s place near Bedford. I even managed to get her laptop up and running again. Unfortunately, the programme I bought online, was no help at all. However, when we booted the laptop up and the password box emerged, it had a wee message below it, which read, ‘password hint – Now That’s’.

It took a while before Teresa herself came up with, ‘Amazing’, which actually worked. However, since I didn’t want her to forget it again, I persuaded her to do without a password altogether, and I removed it. She’s now a happy bunny.

At the age of 74, I’m finding this long distance driving a bit of a strain. But, with the SAAB, I have to say it’s certainly less stressful than the Alfa. Why do bigger cars reduce driving stress, I wonder?

Anyway, today is Sunday, Wifey’s sewing machine turned up yesterday and we’ll spend our usual hour in the local pub at lunchtime today.

Monday 19th December

Wifey has yet to properly unpack her new machine and we’re taking the bus into Hinckley today to see if we can find some material with which to practice. We’ll do some shopping at Sainsbury’s also.

Yesterday we walked into the village twice; that’s a total of about five miles. No wonder I’m knackered now, even after a reasonable night’s sleep. Today will be more relaxing.

Now, it’s brekky time, so time to close this laptop.

Tuesday 20th December
Yesterday was not quite as relaxing as I expected it to be. Well, actually, the first part was OK. That part where we sit and have breakfast and then, because we were taking the bus to Hinckley, a relaxing hour or so doing sweet Fanny Adams. After that it was, take the car into Market Bosworth and park in the local car park. Then, it was stand at the bus stop until the 10 minutes late arrival of the 159 to Hinckley.

The journey to Hinckley takes about half an hour, so we arrived there at about 10.40 am. From there it was a walk to the High Street and a visit to several of those shops. (Actually, we now know why so many people get off the bus early. They are then much nearer to the Britannia Centre, which leads to the High Street)

After the High Street, we then walked to Sainsbury’s and did some shopping there – a trolley and shopping bag full. After that and since we were too late for one bus and far too early for the next, we sat and had a coffee and Cinnamon Roll, before walking to the bus stop, where we sat and waited for the 10 minutes late arrival of the 11.30 bus back to Market Bosworth.

Finally, we rescued the car from the car park and drove home. Not exactly hectic, but a somewhat drawn out affair. I really must study a map of Hinckley and find a suitable car park there, which would shave at least an hour off future shopping trips. It’s either that, or we drive to Atherstone, where we can park at the Co-op and stroll around the town.

Today we’ll walk into the village and do much of nothing for the rest of the day.


As usual for first thing in the morning, we walked into the village for the paper and other odds and sods. We also called into the Surgery and asked about the results of my blood test. This was done in order to check my blood’s ability to clot. (I’m taking pills that are supposed to ensure that I DON’T suffer an embolism.) The receptionist told me that all was normal, but no advice was forthcoming from the GP who ordered the test. So, rather than take it upon myself to stop taking the pills, I now have an appointment with the aforementioned GP. But that’s not until January.

Ah well we can’t have everything, now can we?

At about 12.30, seeing such a bright sky out there and negligible wind, we decided to take a walk around the local Water Park. Blooming marvellous it was and Alex enjoyed a good run around. We arrived back at about 2 pm, so it was a pretty good stretch of the legs.

Incidentally, and before I forget, whilst we were in Hinckley yesterday, we called into Ryman’s for a new mouse – my old one now belongs to Teresa and I hate to be without a spare. I also wanted a bigger USB stick. Anyway, we walked over to the racks and attempted to remove a mouse, just to see what kind it was. Would you believe, the darned thing had been locked on to the rack? So, there was no way it could be removed for inspection. It was the same with the USB sticks.

So, since it’s obvious they don’t trust anybody anymore, I walked straight out, never to return. Instead, we took a further walk into the Britannia Centre and walked around Wilkinson’s and found what I wanted there. Not only that, they weren’t locked up and they were cheaper.

Sorry Ryman’s, you’ve done yourself no favours there. I know it’s Christmas but, if Wilkinson’s trust the British public, so can you. Nuff said!!!

Thursday 22nd December

Yesterday went without an hitch or a hiccup, as you would expect from a couple of well organised boaters with 10 years-experience.

We took our usual walk into the village where, after Wifey did the small amount of shopping, I took a look in the Newsagent’s for a Christmas Card for herself. Sadly, none was available, so I tried the Co-op, but all they had were ones for a Special Person, so I settled for one of those. We really didn’t want to drag the car out and go over to Newbold Verdun for just one item.

Today we’ll walk into the village again and, I have no doubt, we’ll walk back again. After that, well, coffee and biscuits seems like a good idea, followed by a relaxing day.

Now, it may seem that our lives consist of a round of easy-peasy days. In the main this is indeed the case, except that I now spend an awful lot of time on the mobile with my daughter, who has got herself in a bit of a pickle. Suffice it to say and without going into too much details, she needs a lot of pacifying. Not that I’m complaining, you understand. It’s just that I’m not used to all this chatter over the phone, which can be somewhat exhausting, to say the least.

Friday 23rd December

Today is the day we collect our Christmas turkey from the local butcher. Most folks will do so on Saturday morning but, since we have no wish to queue up outside, we’re getting ours today. There’ll be plenty of meat on it as it’s weighing in at 9lb. Sheila originally ordered a crown but, when she was told it would be the same price as one with legs on, she decide to get the lot.

Other than that little chore; which will involve driving into the village; we have nothing special planned for today.

Saturday 24th December (Christmas Eve)

Almost there! Less than 24 hours and Christmas Day will be upon us.

We collected our turkey yesterday morning and, as usual, Wifey managed to squeeze it into our fridge. How she does it, I don’t know. But she seems to manage it every year and, this year, we don’t just have a crown. This is the real thing, all 9lb of it, wings and legs and all. By my reckoning this will take about 3 hours and 20 minutes to cook.

Our Alex entertains us in many ways, but yesterday was quite different, even for him. Early on in the evening, while we were watching TV and he was lying at Sheila’s feet, he suddenly jumped and started spinning in a circle. When we looked we saw he was chasing a wasp. A wasp? At this time of year? Well, I know it’s been mild, but surely they can’t survive in these conditions? It’s been far too cold and windy, surely?

The answer came to us later in the evening. We bought coal and logs yesterday morning and, we assume, the poor wasp was resting in amongst the logs and must have woken up and crawled out of the log-box under Sheila’s chair. It gave Alex a fright but that didn’t deter him from trying to catch it. He missed, of course, but Sheila soon caught it, with a towel wrapped around her hand. It was disposed of through the hatch, as she normally does when we’re out cruising. This applies to bees and other insects, daddy-longlegs being one of the main intruders.

Later on we were watching BBC 2 and a programme about the creatures that lurk among things in our gardens and sheds. Not to mention our rooftops and gables. Anyway, Alex was lying across Sheila’s lap, as he does most evenings and, there on the screen was a squirrel. This animal was jumping up at a bird feeder and, afterwards, when a female came into view, it was chasing her across the rooftops. Alex meanwhile was going potty. His head was going back and forth and, eventually, the growl started in the depths of his chest. Finally, he started barking and we were in fits of laughter.

This all reminded me of Rusty, our previous Jack Russell. When driving in the car with her, she would sit between Sheila’s feet, quite quietly for the most part. However, when it rained, that was a whole new ball game. Because, once those wipers started, she would bark like fury and try to get at them.

I tell you, dogs are a fun addition to any boater’s life. They really are.

And, on that cheerful note, I’ll wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Also, to all friends and family who sent us Christmas, many thanks, they are much appreciated.

All abreast from Dave, Sheila and Alex.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Bosworth Marina Winter 2016/17 # 8

Friday 2nd December to Wednesday 14th December

Saturday 3rd December

Today I’ll be driving down to Harlow to visit my brother Alan. On the way back home tomorrow I’ll call in on my daughter, Teresa. However, ‘the best laid plans….’ Etcetera!!

Sunday 4th December

Well, as expected, I drove down to Harlow yesterday to spend the day with Alan and Val. On the way down and for some reason best known to itself, the nearside wing mirror glass came adrift and ended up resting against the body of the car. So, I pulled onto the hard shoulder and, applying some firm pressure to the glass, ‘stuck’ it back on. Unfortunately, after pulling back onto the motorway, the darned thing fell off after a few minutes. By this time I was too far away to go back and retrieve it, so I simply carried on to Harlow and, later in the day we called into a motor parts shop in Bush Fair and bough another glass. This one is a wee bit smaller than the one I needed, but will suffice until I can find the right one.

Now, you may think I should have simply put that recalcitrant mirror glass in the boot and waited until I could buy the right one. And, you would be right. But, I hate driving without wing mirrors. As a bus driver I was required to use them all the time, so their use has become habit with me. I’m sure you understand.

After watching Alan make his batch of marmalade and, after a few beers in The White Admiral later, it was home to a dinner of sausages, eggs and chips, as requested by me. Actually, the marmalade was at my request also, or, should I say Wifey’s, because she was running out and she does have a thing about Alan’s three fruit marmalade. She now has a couple of jars to keep here going. Of course, when we leave here in April, for our 2017 cruise, I’ll have to prevail upon him to make more; enough to see us through six months cruising.

Today we spent an hour in the local pub, after a walk into the village.

Tomorrow we’ll take the bus into Hinckley. This time I’ll be looking for some sweatshirts to hide these blood eruptions on my arms. These are as a side effect of my medication. I’m due to see a different doctor on Wednesday. Hopefully he’ll prescribe something else.

Monday 5th December

Frosty this morning, which means I’ll have to scrape the ice off the car before driving into Market Bosworth for the bus to Hinckley. While we are there, as you know, I’ll be looking for a couple of new sweatshirts. I also need to post off a pewter car that I sold on eBay. Sadly, it’s the only one of seven that has sold.

Unfortunately, there are no car part shops in Hinckley, well, not that we know of. However, we could take a run down to Halford’s, on Thursday for that new wing mirror.

Other than that we have no specific plans for this week. Except, of course, my doctor’s appointment on Wednesday.

Incidentally, having enjoyed my first run to Harlow in my latest car, I’m pleased to say I’m very happy with it. Finally I have become ‘one’ with my new vehicle and now know how to handle it. Why does it take so long to familiarise oneself to a different car as one gets older? Yet another mystery for someone to solve.

Tuesday 6th December

Yesterday was rather hectic, what with taking the bus to Hinckley and shopping etcetera. We lead a hectic life, we boaters. Resting up for the rest of the day, was not an option, because I have family matters to attend to and they have been taking up my ‘rest’ time. Darn it!!

Today, however, will be a rest day.

Tomorrow, however, I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning, and I’m hoping to dispose of several containers of oil and a naff radiator, to the tip. Other than that, I have no idea what’s in store for the rest of the week.

Thursday 8th December

An interesting day yesterday. Some of you are aware of a particular family problem I am currently trying to solve, and some of you aren’t. Well, for those of you who are, my visit to the doctor; which was not of significant importance; was interrupted by a phone call. Thankfully I managed to complete it before being called in to see said doctor.

Following on from that visit, we drove down to the Post Office and deposited a bunch of 50p and £2 coins. Sheila saves the 50ps and I save to £2 coins. We came away with £120 in crisp £20 notes.

From there it was off to the local tip to dispose of our broken radiator and oil. Unfortunately, one of the oil containers had some lagging caught in the lid and I simply couldn’t open it. So, that one came back with us, but only temporarily. We’ll dispose of it later.

Finally we topped the petrol tank up and went home. The rest of the day saw me fretting over this family crisis. However, after a reasonably good night’s sleep, I’m as ready as I can be to face the day.

Saturday 10th December

On Thursday I drove down to Bedford to see my eldest daughter. The trip there was pretty normal but I left it rather late leaving; about 4.30pm; with the consequence of spending the next 2½ hours getting home. It was wall to wall cars all the way home, both on the M1 and the A5. What made it worse was the dark night.

Now, as you all know, we spend 6 – 7 months cruising the canals and rivers, although we tend to avoid rivers for the most part. Nasty things, they tend to flood from time to time, and you never know what time to time that will be.

Anyway, we’ve now been living on the boat for 10 years and, during that time we spent most winters at a static mooring, sometimes on the canal side but most times in a marina. Except for my trips to Harlow, which usually occur on Saturday, with my return on Sunday, we simply poodle around the area doing shopping and such. However, it’s very rare for me to be driving at night. Therefore, I’m now 10 years out of practice and, what with the headlights glaring at me almost continuously, that ride home was very uncomfortable, to say the least.

On top of that and due to the late hour, we didn’t even bother with a proper dinner. Instead we settled for half a sausage sarnie each.

We certainly made up for it last night though and indulged in a gorgeous steak and kidney pie. Heaven! We bought that pie at our local butcher’s, but he buys them in from another butcher in South Kilworth and, as we know from experience, his pies are to die for. Our next one will be a chicken and leek. Yummee!!

Well, yesterday was not as relaxing as I had hoped, but it did pass without incident. We took our usual walk to the shops in the morning and indulged in a coffee and biscuits when we got back. As for the rest of the day, apart from having my phone glued to my ear, we muddled through it as usual.

Today, since Wifey still hasn’t tracked down the sewing machine she wants for Christmas, we might take a run down to Tesco in Hinckley and order it there.

Hey!! Success on a plate, I finally managed to find the sewing machine Wifey wants for Christmas. Not only that, I found it at Hobbycraft who, the last time we looked, had run out of stock. Also, they only had two in stock when I visited their website, so I quickly snapped one up. Won’t Wifey be pleased? And, it’s free delivery to the marina.

Sunday 11th December

Oh dear, silly me! When I ordered Wifey’s sewing machine yesterday, I ran into a problem on the PayPal site. It suddenly came up with a message that the site was unavailable, or some such rubbish. This was after I had gone through the process of paying and, not wanting to miss the opportunity of buying the machine – Hobbycraft only had two in stock – the only thing I could do was to backtrack and try again. All went well after that.

However, while we were sitting there, watching tele, my phone rang and it was a man from Hobbycraft. He asked if I had deliberately ordered two sewing machines, or had I made a mistake. So, after explaining what had gone wrong, he said he would get it sorted and I would be reimbursed the additional payment.

I’ll have to keep an eye on my PayPal account. In fact, I’ll check that now, although I haven’t received an email from them about this, so I don’t expect the payment to have gone through just yet. Probably not until Monday morning now.

Today is lazy Sunday, although walking into the village twice in one day, can hardly be called lazy.

Tuesday 13th December

OK, it seems the double payment has been credited to my PayPal account, but has yet to be paid into our bank. Such things take time and it’s just as well we’re not skint, because it could take up to 30 days. Marvellous!!

So, at about 11.30, off we trotted to the village, by car I hasten to add and we took Alex with us. Wifey had a hair appointment at 12.20, so we parked up in the local car par, which charges just 20 pence per hour, but 50 pence for two hours!! Hmmmm !! Crafty!

Anyway, of course we were early, so I took Alex for a bit of a stroll through some of the back streets of the town and, on the way back, we passed (almost) the pub we use on Sundays, which is The Old Red Lion. I say almost because, at that point I was feeling a wee bit chilly and, since we had at least another 20 minutes before Wifey would be sitting in her chair, we swivelled around and entered said establishment.

Up came a pint of Stella and a packet of crisps, which our wee pooch helped me to devour. No flies on him, you know!

Anyway, I sat there for a few minutes, soaking up the atmosphere and feeding Alex, when I decided to phone Teresa, my eldest daughter. Unfortunately, as with much of this village centre, the mobile signal is pretty naff and, although she could hear some garbled speech, it was pretty useless, so I switched off.

After a few more minutes, during which time we had finished our bag of crisps, and I had polished off a good part of my pint, I decided to text Wifey and let her know where I was. She texted me back saying she would meet me there.

Meanwhile, just to test the situation, I moved over to be nearer to the window and, hey presto, a clear signal, so I tried Teresa again and was rewarded with clear words. Lovely!! A good, long chat ensued.

Sadly I felt the need to reply to a call of nature by then but, since I had Alex with me, I decided to walk around to the hairdresser’s and wait for Wifey. By this time I had imbibed another half pint of Stella, so my situation was getting quite desperate. Had I but known it, Wifey was just paying up and would have joined me in the pub. But, as I had had enough anyway, we tootled off home.

Lunch followed, but only after a quick visit to the head. Ooooh, that was good. What do you mean, too much information? Tsk, tsk!!

Tomorrow is blood test day and I have to submit to the local vampire.

Wednesday 14th December

A few weeks ago I listed my old mobile phone on eBay and somebody bought it, or so I thought. So, I waited for the money to find its way into my PayPal account, but it never did.

Yesterday I received an email from eBay which, I thought, said the item had been paid for. Well, that particular mobile has been allocated a different use, so this ‘buyer’ won’t be receiving it.

This morning I accessed my emails and discovered I had read the message incorrectly. I should have read, ‘This item hasn’t been paid for’. Ooops!

Anyway, thanks to eBay’s Resolution Centre, I was able to cancel that particular transaction. Which was just as well, because I had already contacted this buyer twice, telling them I would not be selling the mobile after all.

Okey, dokey, that’s this blog done and dusted, so I’ll list it now.

Cheers for now and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year, just in case I forget.

Dave, Sheila and Alex, our wee pooch

Friday, 2 December 2016

Bosworth Marina Winter 2016/17 # 7

Saturday 26th November to Friday 2nd December

Saturday 26th November

As I mentioned yesterday, having checked online to determine if the skirting on the SAAB should be black or body coloured, and having decided on black, I now need to find a sunny spot in the marina where I can see clearly to apply the black.

Meanwhile, although I do have a system disc for this laptop; or is it a USB drive?; I think I’ll make another one, because the one I have is now quite old.

Sunday 27th November

Well, I girded my loins and, whilst Wifey was playing with her latest toy – a much quieter vacuum cleaner – I trotted off out with my bottle of skirting cleaner. What I expected to be a black paint like cream, actually turned out to be white in colour. However, after taking my trusty cloth in hand and liberally soaking it in this liquid, I was very surprised at how well it cleaned that skirting. There are still a couple of patches that require further treatment, but, on the whole, I’m very pleased with the result.

Having read up on the SAAB prior to buying this 2007 model 9-3, I know that changing the oil on a regular basis, is paramount to keeping the engine healthy. I also know that, if this is not done, it can result in a build-up of sludge. So, my next move will be to get Dale to service the car.

However, I’ve also noticed that, when I start the engine from cold, a warning message comes up, telling me that the car is due for a service. This warning can be turned off, as I discovered just a few minutes ago whilst trawling the Internet. But, since the only evidence of a service being carried out on this SAAB dates back to 2013, I don’t know if it has been serviced by the owner recently. Best be safe than sorry, so I’ll get it done as soon as I can.

Today will be a typical Sunday, with a walk to the shops for the paper, followed by an hour in the local pub at lunchtime. This will further be followed by a roast dinner tonight, which is something we very rarely bother with, preferring a snack instead. But, since we have a rather excellent butcher in town, we intend to make full use of him.

Monday 28th November

For yesterday, see above paragraph. Roast pork was excellent and succulent. Since we rarely indulge in a Sunday roast, it’s an even greater pleasure when we do.

In the pub at lunchtime, we sat next to a family that included a young daughter, her parents and their parents. We got chatting to grandpa, who gave us some ideas about this area and especially the Ashby canal, which we might pursue whilst we are here.

Today is a ‘free’ day, in that we’ll probably do very little of anything important. Although, I might just give the car a polish, assuming the weather allows. Other than that, we do have a bathroom tap that needs a new washer.

Interestingly, I asked Dale how much to service the SAAB and was told, the same as any car, £75.00 plus parts. So, on a bit of a whim this morning, I looked up the price of oil and filters; of which there are three; and the total came to about £68.00, depending upon where you order them from. I could, therefore, save myself Dale’s service charge if I do it myself. How hard can it be?

Tomorrow we’ll be driving to Ventura Park in Tamworth, where we’ll be indulging in a bit of retail therapy. Wifey wants a new and better sewing machine and I want some more long-sleeved sweatshirts. I also want a 12 volt vacuum cleaner for the car. I’m sure we’ll do some Sainsbury’s shopping also and we might call in at Atherstone on the way back.

Tuesday 29th November

A really cold and icy start to the day. Hopefully the sun will come out and we’ll get to Ventura Park this morning. But, as there’s no hurry, we could take the bus into Leicester and do Ventura later in the week.

Yesterday, when we went out to the car to look for polish, the key fob wouldn’t work. Fortunately we have two, so it wasn’t a problem. All I needed to do was put a new battery in. However, I wonder how I would have got out of that had I been out and miles from home, when suddenly I can’t get into the car!! Hmmmm!

Wednesday 30th November

Pretty darned cold again this morning, so on went the fan heater. Much better!
Yesterday we took a drive to Morrison’s for a BIG shop. And, it was big, a trolley load and two bags full to the brim. Most of our shopping is done in the village, simply because we have a very good Co-op, an even better butcher and a greengrocer, so big shops aren’t always necessary. However, since we needed to call in at Halfords for polish, we decided on a big shop at Morrison’s. Simples!!

So, having shopped and bought polish, we headed off home for a well-deserved coffee and biscuits.

Now, later in the afternoon, I took it upon myself to get out there and clean the windows on the car. I discovered yesterday that the windscreen especially, was in need of some TLC, so out came the bottle of glass cleaner – that stuff as recommended by Aston Martin, no less, and gave all but the rear screen a good clean. Sadly, due to the fact that we now have a saloon car, and also because I find it difficult to kneel down on my six year old new knees, Wifey has been delegated to carry out that chore.

Also, since we’ve now bought all we need from Morrison’s, and all we need from Halford’s, and since the only thing we needed to go over to Ventura Park was Wifey’s new sewing machine, we have decided not to take that particular trip. Why? Well, because, where the sewing machine is concerned, we can either order it online and get it freely delivered, or I can buy one in Harlow on Saturday. This, of course, is a decision for Wifey to make.

So, today we’ll walk up to the shops in the village, grab ourselves a coffee and biscuits when we get back, and then, once Wifey has cleaned the rear windscreen on the car, we’ll run down to B&Q in Hinckley and buy a much-needed radiator, because our one in the bedroom has a leak. On the way back from Halford’s, we’ll call into the local garage and top up with go-faster juice, ready for my first trip down to Harlow in the SAAB.


So, there was I, sitting on a bench in Market Bosworth, waiting for Wifey to finish shopping, when an email popped up on my phone, from an old friend, in which he told me he had received an email from someone who had accessed my blog mailing list. This is now the second such ‘hacker’ sending messages to my blogger email list.

Now, the obvious thing for my friends and family to do when they receive such messages, would be to consign them to their spam box. This is easily done in Outlook, because I do so myself with messages I don’t particularly want to read. My server doesn’t always filter out spam, unfortunately.

Anyway, it would be unfair of me to sit on my hands and do nothing here. However, since it is impossible to contact Google direct to explain the situation – all that’s on offer is the ‘community’ – I can see no option, other than to close down this blog and start another one elsewhere.

Of course, if anybody out there, who has access to my email address, can suggest an easier alternative, I’d be willing to consider it. But, if nobody can come up with such, I’m afraid this will be my very last posting on Blogspot.

Meanwhile, I will be contacting all those people who currently receive my blog automatically, asking their opinion.

Thursday 1st December

At the moment I’m putting aside any decision regarding the blog. Still thinking!!

Now, what did we do today? Well, after taking a walk into the village, we read the paper and enjoyed our coffee and biscuits. However, since we are in desperate need of a new radiator in the bedroom, we ventured forth, in our nice, new, shiny SAAB and made our way down to Hinckley and B&Q. Fortunately my wife is a pretty good navigator and we found the store quite easily. Apart from a slight, inadvertent diversion on the return trip, all went well.

On the way back we called into one of the local garden centres for logs, followed by the garage for go faster juice. Not that we’ve used much since taking possession of the car, but I did need to top up for my trip to Harlow on Saturday.

Tomorrow we plan on fitting the new radiator, but that will come after I’ve checked the batteries and given the engine a run. We also need to clear the engine bay of oil containers. Over the last couple of years I’ve taken it upon myself to change the oil and filter whilst cruising; purely as an interim service. Dave Hull will be asked to carry out a full service before we leave next April.

Saturday, as I mentioned above, will be my first trip to Harlow in the SAAB and I’m quite keen to see how it performs. Incidentally, with a number plate that starts YG, I immediately called it Yogi! Dumb? Of course. But, I simply couldn’t resist the idea. All I need is a small dummy of Yogi Bear for the back windscreen and I’ll be all set. Any ideas anybody?

Friday 2nd December

We topped up with petrol yesterday and managed to squeeze just under 3½ gallons. (Yes folks, I’m still using British measurements!) That amount of fuel has allowed us to cover 106 miles which, by my reckoning, equates to almost 31mpg. Not a patch on the Alfa, but then the Alfa only had a 1600 engine, whereas the SAAB is 1800 and a considerably heavier car. What I need to do now, is reset the trip meter to zero and figure out what it will do on a combined urban and motorway run of about 240 miles.

Throughout the past 54 years since owning my first car – a Hillman Estate that cost me £1400 at the time – I’ve never concerned myself with the cost of running my car. The whole point of owning one; to my mind at any rate; is the expediency of getting me from A to B without the hassle of buses and trains. The aforementioned Hillman was the best I could afford at the time, although it did cause some friction between myself and my girlfriend at the time. Nuff said!!

We’ve owned two SAAB 800s in the past, along with an Audi 100 LS, a Jaguar Mk 2 3.4, a Ford Escort xr3i; stolen and burnt out within two weeks; a Toyota Celica and RAV4, and several Alfas, not to mention company cars, always the best for economy, if you get my drift. The SAAB 800 that we had when running our shop in Kent, was a very good workhorse and allowed us to do some really heavy stocking up of the shop.

Now, having spent many weeks perusing the Internet, looking specifically for a much newer car than the Alfa; which was a 2002 147; we now have a 2007 SAAB 9-3 which, we hope, will last us until I pass from this mortal coil, or until I feel I am unable to continue driving safely. Of course, the ‘powers that be’ might decide on that point for me, but I remain optimistic on that point. Indeed, my licence is due for renewal this year, so I hope my optimism isn’t misplaced, otherwise I’ll have a car to sell.


Ok, so, as soon as we had had our coffee and biscuits this morning, and read the paper of course, we set to to tidy up the engine bay and check the batteries. I also ‘muffled’ the heater pump, which ticks away like fury, disturbing the peace in the process. Thus it is impossible to run the heater in the morning.

Anyway, all that having been done, we then set about replacing the bedroom radiator. Oh joy, was I looking forward to that chore? Everything, from removing the old radiator and removing and fitting the end bits from the old to the new, went well. The problem came when it came to offering up the new radiator which, due to a slight difference in the position of the support brackets, meant the pipework didn’t meet up correctly. It didn’t matter how we wiggled the radiator around, it simply wasn’t possible to screw the ends in for the water to flow.

So, after much hemming and hawing, we repositioned the support brackets on the wall and, after some more wiggling, finally got everything fitted and, most surprisingly, without flooding the bedroom floor. Success is its own reward.

Of course, it only took me a few minutes to type the above. The job though took a couple of hours. Normally, where specific jobs are concerned, I like to leave it to professional tradesmen. My brother Alan, being one such, was too far away to call upon, which is why we decided to do it ourselves. I HATE WORK!!!

This evening we’ll be having a really nice trawler pie – or fisherman’s pie, if you prefer.

Soon after completing the radiator fitting and, having taken Alex out; rather late as it happens; we were asked to move our car, because they are having a Jazz evening in honour of the NSPCC which, at £15 a ticket is far too expensive for us. We, of course, could simply sit in the downstairs lounge and listen to the music from there. But we’ll probably hear enough from inside the boat, so we’ll probably stay put.

And finally, on that note and having nothing more important to do today, I’ll post this blog and ask you to take note of the info regarding the ‘hackers’ of my email list. I haven’t decided what to do yet, but will let you know as soon as I have.

Cheers one and all and have a great weekend. I certainly intend to, because I’ll be visiting Alan tomorrow and, on my way back home Sunday morning, will be calling in on my eldest daughter.

Dave, Sheila and Alex.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Bosworth Marina Winter 2016/17 #6

Thursday 17th November to Saturday 26th November

Friday 18th November (Black Friday)

We have been putting off our trip into Leicester and, after much deliberation, we settled upon today. But, as you can see from the above heading, it’s Black Friday, which means hundreds of idiots on a spending frenzy. Thanks to Amazon and the like, we’ll leave it for another day.

Yesterday morning I received an email, from my new car insurers, asking for details about my No Claims Bonus and a photocopy of my Driving Licence along with the Counter Part. (That’s the slip of paper that comes with it)

Now, I’ve held a UK Full Licence since the age of 21; yes, I was a bit late; and I’ve never been asked for these details. Anyway, I phoned LV; because you can’t always trust emails and their source; and spoke to a nice man, who assured me this was the case.

I then phone Bradford and Bingley; with whom I had my Alfa insured; and the nice man there assured me that, not only had that information already been forwarded to me, but that he would also email me those details. So, far, no email from B&B. Now, there’s a surprise!!

From LV, it seems that, if I do not comply with this request within 10 days, not only will my insurance be cancelled, but I would incur a cancellation fee of £40. Hmmmm! Who’s doing the cancelling here and why should I pay for them to do so? Still, so long as the NCB comes through from B&B, I’ll be a happy bunny, because LV have saved me £300 on my insurance, which is about what B&B saved me six years ago.

It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?

Our planned trip into Leicester had one particular aim in mind; aside from a bit of shopping; and that was to call into the 02 shop, to see if they could sort my new mobile out. I am still unable to send and receive emails through this phone, despite following my server’s instructions on how to do so. Goodness knows, I’ve set up Outlook on so many laptops now, that I can probably do it blindfold. But, whatever mobile I have, I have never been able to do so with them.

What I might try to do later today; since we’re not going to Leicester anyway; is go online to 02 and see if I can open a Live Chat with a shop Guru in Hinckley, which is where I upgraded to my latest phone. Perhaps he/she can help me sort it out.

This wouldn’t be an issue, were it not for the fact that, at about 15 minute intervals, my phone peeps at me, telling me I am unable to receive emails. I already know that but, do you think I can turn the wretched thing off? No chance! So, I’ve got to live with that pesky peep until somebody can sort it out. That somebody not being me, of course.

Dunno what we’ll do today, but we’ll think of something.

Saturday 19th November

Well, I didn’t bother with the 02 online chat. Since we are going into Leicester on Monday, I’ll see what the people in the shop there have to say.

When we went to Halford’s a few days ago, for something with which to improve the state of the side skirts, the nice man there; and I had to agree; said that it should be the same as the rest of the external trim, which is black. So, I bought a bottle of stuff as suggested by aforementioned ‘nice man’. However, having checked photos of SAABs online, it seems these skirts should be the same colour as the bodywork, which is Titan Grey.

Have you seen the price of car touch-up paints these days? I think I’ll try to clean those skirts up, before I go out and buy paint.

Now, on to this blog. I have emailed everybody who, I think, should be automatically receiving my blog. So far just three have responded and told me they have not. So, I have checked up on my blog settings and, silly me, I think I put all those names in the wrong box. Hey! I’m getting on a bit, so I’m entitled to my silly mistakes.

Anyway, you should all be getting them now, you lucky people.

So, what are we going to do with ourselves this weekend. Well, one thing we really must do, is take our pooch over to the park for a run-around. He’s been to the nearby water park, but we haven’t tried him at the town park, which we’ll have to drive to.

Other than that, I have no idea what’s on the agenda. But, we’ll think of something.

Sunday 20th November

Yesterday, very cold and sunny. This morning, still cold, but raining and a gusty wind.

We didn’t bother with the park yesterday, mainly because I couldn’t be bothered. However, just for a change, Wifey bought a selection of vegetables, with which I made a thick vegetable soup for our lunch. In fact, there’s enough left over for a snack this evening.

We stopped having the traditional roast dinner on Sundays several years ago and, depending upon how the days fall – you may have noticed, there are seven in a week – we’ll either have a snack or a proper meal. So, since this Sunday falls on a snack day, we’ll finish off the soup.

We’ll also spend an hour in our local, although with a 2½ mile round walk, it’s hardly ‘local’ to us. Other than that, we won’t do much of anything.

As for the skirting on the SAAB, well, that will have to wait until I get the correct colour paint. I did try Halford’s online, but they only seem to do black. Whereas, the nice man in the store seemed to think they would have all the SAAB colours. It’s not a problem though, because first I need to see if it will clean up.

Monday 21st November

Didn’t fancy finishing off the soup yesterday, so Wifey popped into the Co-op on our way back from the pub and bought a chicken/cheese thingy, which came in a roasting tin. We had this with pasta. Quite nice, actually.

This morning; as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs; we’re planning on taking the bus into Leicester, but that depends upon the weather and, as it’s pretty nasty out there at present, if it doesn’t stop raining we ain’t going anywhere.

Wednesday 23rd November

Well, after all the rain we’ve had over the past couple of days, it looks like we’ll get to Leicester today. The weather is still fairly mild and dry at the moment and so, provided we can circumnavigate that darn great puddle at the main gate, we’ll be OK. By the way, there are two entrances to this site, one of which takes us to the towpath and one which we take when walking into the village. The one we need, when catching the bus, is the access from the lane, which joins up with Carlton Road. That lane will, eventually, take you to Shackerstone.

Our main reason for visiting Leicester, is so that we can call into the 02 shop and sort out the email on my new mobile. As I've said before!!

Thursday 24th November

Having given some consideration regarding a bus ride to Leicester, we decided to go to Hinckley instead. The bus ride to Leicester takes about 50 minutes and there’s only one bus per hour. So, adding up the trip time and time spent in town, we would have been gone for about four hours, which we considered to be a bit unfair on Alex. Hinckley, by contrast, is only half an hour away and, by taking the car into Market Bosworth, we could save some time.

So, Hinckley it was. Our first visit was to the 02 shop but, upon our arrival and after speaking to the nice young lady there, we were told that their expert was off that day. Great! Now we had to consider going online for a ‘chat’ with a shop guru. I can’t say I was happy with that idea because, unless the guru was actually handling the phone, I could see no way for him to set up my email account.

Anyway, as luck would have it, the manager of the store; quite a young fellow; was called into  the shop and, after some fiddling around and, what he called a ‘lightbulb moment’, he did something that I was unable to do. He managed to enter my User Name into the correct box. I think that when I tried to  so, I was unable to simply because I had already inserted the incorrect User Name. As a result, the manager of 02 only had to delete my information and start again. Then, once my User Name and Password were correctly inserted, in came a flood of emails. Job Done!!!

In the event, after doing some shopping, we were home before lunchtime, so our wee pooch wasn’t busting for a pee when we walked in the door. What a lucky pooch he is, to have such caring owners!!

Today, apart from an afternoon appointment with the practice nurse, I have some stuff to list on eBay. We’re having a bit of a clear-out – again – and I’ll be listing some pewter cars. These are model Jaguars that, unfortunately, I was unable to complete a set of. We were running our shop in Kent at the time and, when our customers deserted us for a new Safeway store and our income plummeted, I was unable to continue collecting them. Anyway, I have seven out of the 12 and will be listing them on a 10 day listing, so that they finish on a Sunday.

I also have a full set of 12 WWII Aircraft; a couple of which have not survived completely intact; that I will also be listing sometime in the future. Unfortunately, where the Jaguars were kept in their original plastic covers and inside their delivery boxes, the aircraft were all in one box, covered with paper stripping, so they are a wee bit tarnished and are in need of a light clean. This should only involve warm, soapy water and a very soft brush or cloth.

I also have a couple of cameras to dispose of. One is my Olympus E500, along with a bunch of accessories, and a Yashica Half-Frame. But they too are for a later listing.

So, I have a pretty busy day ahead of me, but that’s after we’ve taken a walk up to the village for the paper and other odds and sods that we missed yesterday.

Friday 25th November

Well, I managed to list all seven pewter cars yesterday, but not without a few mistakes along the way, that had me revising several of the listings. This was because, quite inadvertently, I uploaded the wrong photos. Annoying, but easily rectified.

Today, after taking a trip into MB for Wifey’s doctor’s appointment, and after coffee and biscuits, I’ll see if I can list the cameras. Other than those couple of things, today will be restful, I hope!!


Can’t be bothered listing the cameras. Probably Sunday.

Shopping done, Sheila’s doctor’s appointment also done. Couldn’t decide if the skirting on the SAAB should be black or body coloured. So, after a look online at similar cars, it seems that the darker colours, i.e., reds, blues and greys, all have black skirting. So, I don’t need to buy paint, because I already have the stuff for the trim.

Saturday 26th November

Another cold start to the weekend but, until we get our Webasto pump sorted out, there’s no way I can put the heating on first thing in the morning. I took a look down there in the engine bay, but it’s the pump itself that’s making so much noise. I had hoped that, by muffling the pipes that go from the pump to the Webasto unit, it would stop that infernal ticking, but to no avail. I’ll just have to ask our engineer to take a look. He’ll probably have to replace the pump though, which is a shame, because it was only replaced last year. Or, was it early this year, before we left to cruise around the system? I’ll have to ask Sheila to look back on her records.

Meanwhile, since I’ve now typed six pages and it is the weekend, I guess I’d better post this latest scribe.

Enjoy your weekend.

Dave, Sheila and Alex.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Bosworth Marina Winter 2016/17 #5

Saturday 12th November to Thursday 17th November

Saturday 12th November

It’s still persisting out there and it’s pretty windy too, so I’m afraid our wee Alex will have to wait awhile before he goes out. He doesn’t seem to be all that concerned and is laying by the fire. Besides which; just in case you consider me to be a heartless dog owner; when I go down to Harlow; Wifey still doesn’t get up until her normal 7.30 on Sunday morning, and he doesn’t seem too concerned. I only wish I could hold myself for such a long time. He goes out at 10 pm and I usually take him out at 5.45 am; almost 8 hours later. How does he do it?

Today we don’t have much to do and, if this rain persists, we won’t be walking into town this morning. Fortunately, the marina office sells the daily papers over the weekend and, since that’s all we need today, we’ll wait until they come in.

Tomorrow I test drive the SAAB.

Sunday 13th November

Yesterday we had rain, lots of it. So much in fact, that we didn’t bother walking to the village for the paper. Instead, I took the car up there.

Now, as you all know, we’ve bought a new, Bosch cylinder vacuum cleaner which, as we expected, is much quieter that the old Electrolux. So, having packed the old one in the Bosch box, I lugged it out to the car, ready for disposal to the tip in Barwell.

Yesterday afternoon, realising that we couldn’t take it with us to check out the SAAB today, I went out there intending to bring it back to the boat. Along the way I bumped into Daz – Darren – and, purely by chance, asked if he was in need of  a cleaner. Lucky me, he agreed to take it off my hands. What a stroke of luck!!

Monday 14th November

Hallelujah! The problem of a newer car is solved. We drove over to Toton and the Evans Halshaw site yesterday morning. Although the car we were to test drive was only 2007, I didn’t harbour any thought of it being perfect. The car in question, was a SAAB 9-3 1.8i SE and had done less than 100,000 miles.

However, we were both pleasantly surprised at the clean condition of the car. We took it for a spin around the local streets; although that was probably no very wise, because the fuel tank was banging on empty. After that there was no doubt in either of our minds, that we would buy the car.

When we bought the Alfa, back in 2009/10, we did so from a man who worked from home. The process of buying that car was short and sweet. A short spin around the streets and a good look over the car and, after signing on the dotted line, the Alfa was ours.

Where the SAAB was concerned the process took forever. We left here at about 8.45 in the morning and arrived at 9.30. The site doesn’t open until 10 am, so we had to wait for that half hour. Even so, by the time we had test driven the car and signed away our money, it was well past 12.30 by the time we had driven home, making us somewhat late for our lunchtime drinky poohs.

I have to say, I am well pleased with the car so far. However, at some point in the future; before we set off for our 2017 cruise; I’ll ask Dale to check it out. We don’t want to be landed with a hefty bill when the car goes in for its MOT in August.

This morning we’ll take a walk into MB for a wee bit of shopping and then chill out for the rest of the day.

Tuesday 15th November

The story so far: We’ve had no end of trouble with our mobiles, because the transmitting tower at Twycross has been out of action. This has caused problems with insuring our pretty, new SAAB, because the insurance companies will not accept two addresses online when applying for cover. Why this is so baffles me, but then I’m easily baffled.

Anyway, our existing insurers; Bradford and Bingley; have offered us cover at double what we were paying on the Alfa, so we’ve looked elsewhere and, through LVE have saved £300 on B&B. So far so good. Well, no, actually, because of their rules governing two addresses. Living on a boat does have its difficult points, and this is one of them.

Yesterday, whilst trying to arrange our insurance with LVE, we went to Live Chat in order to try sorting out this problem with where our bank details are registered – Harlow – and where we currently reside – Market Bosworth.

Unfortunately, since the mobile transmitter was still down, I was unable to phone them to discuss the situation and they were unable to call me. This morning, thank de lawd, our mobiles are back online. So, since my LVE quote is valid until Thursday, I will call them today and get this sorted.

Wednesday 16th November

Yesterday, after our stroll into town, our coffee on our return and reading of the paper thereof, we settled in for a quiet day. Around midday I took Alex for a walk and introduced him to our new car. Thankfully our pooch is able to contain his excitement and didn’t pee all over the upholstery. So, as I happened to be there anyway, I set up the time and date and then the radio. I’m hoping that the reception will be better as I leave the M1 and onto the A414, when visiting Alan. I always took a couple of cds with me when driving the Alfa, because reception went all haywire at that point. No amount of retuning solved the problem.

Today I ‘m not sure what we’re doing. We do need to replace the radiator in the bedroom though and that requires a visit to B&Q in Hinckley. I’ve also noticed staining along the skirting of the SAAB, which will require a visit to Halfords for paint. No doubt they will be able to advise me on that. B&Q and Halfords are both located in Hinckley, but in opposite directions to each other. Well, of course they are!!

Other than the above I also need to tackle sending and receiving emails on my new phone. This has been a problem with the last three phones. Even when accessing the Internet through Yahoo, going to my Absolute Email site and entering my details, I have never been able to get to my email Inbox. Fortunately Absolute Email have directed me to the relevant instructions for the correct settings. If I’m still unable to send and receive, they have asked that I send them precise details of the fault. Happy days.

At the moment this phone is pinging me, at about 15 minute intervals, complaining that an email I tried sending cannot be sent. Well, I know that and have tried to delete that email, all to no avail. Where are all the schoolkids when you need them? I was watching the news last night and was appraised of the 14 year old who is a multi-millionaire. How did he do this? He set up a small business, sending out reminder stickers to car owners, that reminded them of when their car tax was due. How simple is that? He then went on to but a huge patch of land for £40k and sold it to a developer for £2million. He, no doubt, would sort my phone problem out in a flash!!


First thing this morning, I tried using the mobile but, once again the transmitter is down. So, after walking to the shops and back and enjoying our coffee, I went on to Live Chat with 02 again. Of course, apart from the usual platitudes, I got absolutely nowhere and we’re still without our mobiles.

So, at the suggestion of the nice man at 02, I downloaded TUGO from the 02 site. This is a WiFi programme that allows messages to be sent through WiFi on a mobile phone. This would have allowed me to contact my daughter, using my mobile, through my WiFi unit. There’s only one problem with this, the PIN for the signing in of the programme, is sent to my mobile, which, as I’ve just explained, is not in use, because the transmitter is down.

So, being the clever so and so that I am, I thought I might download and use WhatsApp. But, as I soon discovered, this only applies to all but Windows Laptops. Oh, Joy!!!

Thursday 17th November

After downloading TUGO yesterday, to this computer, I noticed that, each time I booted up the programme it took over my screen. I’m sure there must be some way of stopping this but, since I don’t really need it on the laptop, I deleted it, pronto!

Now, the skirt along the sides of the SAAB is looking pretty stained, so we needed to get to Halford’s for something to tidy them up. We also need mats for the car and, just in case we get a bit low; like the Alfa did from time to time; we also needed a container of oil. So, off we trotted to Halford’s for said items, which gave me an excuse to spend time with my shiny, new SAAB.

I have to say, compared to the Alfa, the SAAB is a joy to drive. We seem to keep our cars for several years and, during that time, certain things tend to deteriorate, but we don’t seem to notice the deterioration. As a consequence of this, when we drive a newer car, we notice the difference. For example, the engine is much quieter and the drive is smoother. Also, as you would expect, the gear change is easier too, thank goodness.
When we got back to the boat, I decided to get the laptop out and do some printing, But, having set it all up I discovered, to my horror, that our printer had disappeared from the list of hardware. This has happened in the past and always seems to be after a Microsoft update. Remember you folks who think about upgrading from Win 7 to Win 10, you won’t have a choice. Windows 10 insists on periodic updates, whether you like it or not.
So, we now had the task of finding the printer and, after many attempts at reinstalling the software and such, our only recourse was to restore the laptop to an earlier time. I don’t much like doing this, because it can cause other upsets, but I had tried everything I knew to get the printer back, so I set to it.

Unfortunately, the first attempt failed, so I returned it to a restore point of my own making. Now, from time to time, at a point where I know the laptop is performing reasonable well, I make a restore point of my own and apply a name to it that I recognise. This action meant that I had a point at which I could return the laptop to where, I hoped, the printer was still there. Thankfully, this worked, although I did take an age to complete. The only trouble is, I notice that there was an icon missing from the desktop and, to this time, I have no idea what it was??

Now, TUGO! This is the programme I downloaded to the laptop and then deleted. Well, later in the evening I discovered, to my extreme anger, that our mobile phone transmitter at Twycross, was out of action, yet again. Poor old Wifey, she really suffers when I rant and rave at the incompetence of big business. But, she remains stoical and tries her best to ignore my tantrums.

Anyway, I really wanted to get in touch with my daughter, Teresa, so I turned on the WiFi unit and proceeded to download TUGO to my mobile via the Internet. This worked perfectly and I was able to text Teresa and Alan without a problem. So, lucky me and very happy me, I have no need to go online to 02 and have another online chat session, with someone totally anonymous and someone who can do absolutely nothing to solve the problem. All he or she can do is commiserate with my plight.

Today, if the weather improves; and it doesn’t look as though we’re in for a pleasant day; I might just give the skirting on the SAAB a going over. However, even if the weather is unpleasant, I could still fit the mats. Who knows? Who cares? It’s just another day.


The weather has not improved. Well, it did brighten up for a while, but it is now chucking it down, some of which is sleet. So, apart from dragging the dog out, we’re not doing much today.

However, many years ago; in fact, back in the late 80s; I started collecting Danby Mint Jaguars. Sadly, due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. the fact that our customer base deserted us for a Safeway store just four miles away; we became quite skint and I was unable to complete the set.

So, what is this leading to? Well, I managed to collect seven of the 12 cars and they have been nicely boxed up since the day I bought them. This morning, therefore, I have, with the help of my ever loving Wifey, been photographing them and intend to list them on eBay. The trouble is, I can’t make my mind up whether to list them separately, or collectively. Horns of a dilemma come to mind.

Meanwhile, while I stew on that particular conundrum, and while I’m sitting at my laptop and have nothing better to do, I’ll post this blog. I do hope you enjoy reading these six pages and that you enjoy the forthcoming weekend. We certainly intend to.

Take care all.

Dave, Sheila and Alex.