Tuesday, 12 August 2014

High Tide, Low Tide

Today there was a fairly high spring tide and I thought you might like to see how much water comes in. Here is a picture of my neighbour's barge, taken from our aft deck.  This is not a really, really high tide, as the water is often much higher.

And here is a picture at low tide.

The mudflats at Tollesbury are quite well known.  A few years ago the sea wall was broken and the land flooded as an experiment to create natural flood plains.  It has worked quite well, but is still constantly monitored by DEFRA to see if this method of flood defence can be rolled out elsewhere.  They had thought that a lot of the natural habitat and subsequently the seabirds would return once the land was flooded, however the ragworms had other ideas and they have thrived in the marshes.  So if you need bait as a fisherman, Tollesbury is the place to be.  That said, we do have a good amount of different birds around that entertain us for hours.  We also have samphire all around us, which people pay an absolute fortune for.  Can't see why though, personally I think it's horrible!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Windows and Weather

Poor Pete, he is trying to finish the windows for the wheelhouse as the glass is arriving during the week.  He has made the actual frames and is now sanding them down and filling.  Unfortunately the weather isn't playing the game and he is having to sand them down indoors.  Lovely, sawdust everywhere!  I have closed the door to below decks, but every time it is opened there is a whoosh of sawdust, it gets in EVERYWHERE!!!  But, I am not really complaining as I cannot wait to be able to use the wheelhouse.  It will house a couple of large bunks for seating/sleeping and my big table for entertaining.  There will be a large chart table (over the water tank) and eventually the ship's wheel which will control the hydraulic steering.  It has windows all round so will have the most amazing panoramic view of the marshes, Mersea Island, sea wall, other boats and barges.  I am sure that we will use this area more than any other.  So carry on Pete, I don't mind a bit of dust and I will keep the cups of tea coming x

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Wedding Preparations

Phil and Lucie (Scarlett's mum and dad) are getting married in four weeks, so we are busy at the moment with all the preparations.  Hen party last Saturday , which was fun but made me feel seriously old!  On Monday we went to France on a booze cruise to get all the wine for the wedding.  We started at Carrefour and did a bit of wine tasting in the car park  (thankfully my Dad remembered a corkscrew and glasses)

And then we went to a wine merchants just outside Calais that my dad has been frequenting for years (that is who I get my bad habits from!), where we actually bought most of the wine from.  We had a lovely meal in a fish restaurant down by the harbour in Calais. And no, I didn't eat mussels, I had a beautiful salad :)

I must show you this picture of Lucie doing a bit of wine tasting (she is going to kill me!). Classy bird, that's why she fits in to our family so well!

All in all, a smashing day out.  All I've got to do now is try and find a hat that I like and I'm ready for the big day.

Monday, 21 July 2014

And More Exciting News...

...my youngest son and his girlfriend have just announced that they too are expecting a child in January, just three weeks later than my other son's wife.   Whoopee, grandchildren really are like buses, you wait for ages and then they all come along at once!  I can see that Christmas 2015 is going to be very expensive, I wonder if they will accept babysitting vouchers in lieu of a present.  This is going to be like having twin grandchildren.  Actually it is rather lovely.  My sons are all very close and best friends, so it will be great that their children are similar ages and can all play together and grow up together.  You can't beat family at the end of the day.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Scarlett and Exciting News

I haven't shown you a picture of Scarlett for a while, so here she is, quite a stunner.  I don't think I have ever met such a happy child.  She laughs, sings and dances from the moment she wakes up.  She is crawling, pulling herself up and is constantly chatting is that wonderful scribble talk that young children do.  Best of all is when she sees me her face beams with a great big smile and she lifts her arms up for kisses and cuddles, life doesn't get better than that...

Oh but wait it does ... my second son Stuart and his lovely wife Kerry have announced that their first child is due in January.  I am just as excited about this new arrival and can't wait to meet my second grandchild.  There may be disadvantages to getting older, but the arrival of grandchildren is one heck of a benefit!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Engine and Stuff

My blogger pals, Val and Mel, expressed an interest in our engine.  So here it is in all its glory.  It is a reconditioned Slanzi engine, 42hp, air cooled,  Italian made and was installed by the film company that hired the barge, along with the rudder and helm.  Apparently it only had clocked up 100 hours, but we cannot confirm that.  All we know is that everytime Pete goes to start it up, it always jumps in to action immediately. When Pete sailed the barge down from Ipswich to Tollesbury the engine performed beautifully, though Billy spent the whole trip in the engine room to ensure it ran smoothly (mind you it was the warmest place on the barge in early November, so he wasn't daft volunteering for that job).  I am hoping that Mel can add some more technical details now he has seen it. The engine room is actually quite large and the engine looks a little lost in the middle, but there is plenty of room for Pete to store more of his stuff.

I dropped in that little bit about the film company and I ought to explain.  Before we bought it and mucked around with the barge, it was hired by a film company to use in a film called 'Young Adam' starring Ewan Mcgregor and Tilda Swinton.  The film was a 'film noir' based around life on a working barge.  It was a very dark and intense film but there are some good shots of Ewan's bottom!  Of course we had to buy the DVD because it starred our barge, but I can't say it is the best film I have ever seen.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Help Please

Okay I wanted duck egg blue gel coat and I got a baby blue instead, which apparently couldn't be taken back (don't ask I won't bore you with the domestic issue!). My dilemma now is what colour to put with it.  I'm thinking a really deep, rich red, but I don't want it to end up looking like we're Westham fans.  Any ideas or suggestions?

Today we got a gift from mum and dad, a lovely table and chair set.  Doesn't it look lovely on what we affectionately call the patio.