Sunday, October 28, 2012

Making plans for Winter

We have spent the majority of today down at the marina, getting Blue Moon ready for the colder months ahead. As we arrived at Kings Bromley this morning, it was noticeable how many chimneys were 'alive' with smoke. We took breakfast with us, and after enjoying a hearty bacon & egg 'sarnie' we set about the tasks we had travelled to do.

The main one was to fill the diesel tank to capacity so to avoid condensation contaminating the fuel over winter. Since our last top up, we had done a fair bit of cruising and the tank was about half full. I treated the tank with our regular additive before we filled and the pump clicked off at 151 litres. This year we have only used the marina for our fuel, as at least we know where it has come and there is a good turn around at the pump. It is competitively priced, but not the cheapest at 96p / £1.45, but, as moorers we get a 7% discount, it makes it worthwhile. There are so many horror stories about fuel as you talk to other boaters, but I'm not always convinced that it's the fuel, but the lack of preventative measures people take that causes some of the problems with diesel bug etc.

Back on the moorings, we drained the domestic water system and have removed the bow thruster battery to give it a good trickle charge at home over winter. Although it does get charged whilst on the boat, being isolated 50 feet from the main bank certainly causes limitations and anything to prolong it's life is a bonus.

By mid afternoon we had locked up and were on our way back home, already discussing plans for next years cruising. We will, of course, be popping down over winter to make sure everything is in order - any excuse to get away from the four walls of home - but it did feel as though our season was finally over for this year. We have had a lot of fun, met some great people and made new friends over the last six months or so and can't wait to do it all again next year.

Winter for us will be spent working for the most part and so blogs will be less frequent, although we have some things planned around music and sporting events which we are really looking forward to. As far as boating is concerned, we will spend some of the winter period researching boat painters as we have distant plans to get Blue Moon repainted (and renamed). We have some ideas, but if anyone has any good recommendations regarding painters, especially Midlands based, please get in touch. We are also going to treat ourselves to a new mattress which will no doubt have to be made to measure. Our current one has a small 'extension' as the bed pulls out on a cradle, so again if anyone would care to recommend manufacturers and suppliers, we would be very grateful.

Roll on Spring....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Man with the Golden Voice

Some of you may have seen the documentary last Friday evening on BBC4 about Paul Carrack called 'The Man with the Golden Voice'. Tonight we were lucky to have tickets to see the opening night of his new tour here in Derby.

For those that don't know the man, he was in a band called 'Ace' back in the 70's, replaced Jools Hollands playing the keyboards in Squeeze in 1980-81 and then played with Mike Rutherford in Mike and the Mechanics in the mid 80's before embarking on a solo career.

What a great night - the supporting six piece band were so tight, never missing a note and Paul does indeed have a golden voice. He played several tracks from his new album 'Good Feeling' the highlight for me being 'I Can Hear Ray'. Add 'Tempted' from his Squeeze days and Mike & the Mechanics hits 'Another Cup of Coffee', 'Living Years' and 'Over my Shoulder' and the crowd were well and truly rewarded.

The band are on the road for the best part of six months and we will definitely be trying to fit in another date or two before it ends. A great night Mr Carrack !!