Lived on-board Hadar

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We went to our very first ever auction here in Market Harborough this morning, and very interesting it was too. Even bought some assorted ribbon and lace plates, but missed out on the Measham ware, it went to over £200 which was as high as I was prepared to go.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Progress has been made.

Keith and I were up early on Friday, as we needed to catch a train to Kettering for a 9.10am appointment at the hospital. We always prefer to get to an appointment early. we would rather be early than late and in this case it proved to be a good idea, because having booked in Keith had to drink a jug of water and then wait until he needed the toilet. The nurse then scanned his bladder, before allowing him to do his flow test. Oh the joys of being a man ha ha ha. There is actually nothing to it. (Say's I, knowing what us girls go through). With the test done, he then had to see the charge nurse for the results. We both thought this is our opportunity to get some answers. We were invited into a room, where we heard the results of the flow test, which were good, so that was one less thing to worry about. Fearne (nurse) was really very nice, and having told her all about Keith's problem, we showed her the letter from our GP. Fearne agreed that he should be seen, as being in the amount of pain he is in, is not good. So she was straight on the phone to Keith's consultants secretary, organising an appointment to see him. Keith now has an appointment to see his consultant on the 11th February. Whilst it is not ideal, it is the best she could do and we were only to grateful to accept it. Fearne did also say, that if his pain gets out of control, then to dial 999 and come in, which is what we will do, without hesitation. So at least we have made some progress. Keith is still taking Morphine and all the other tablets he has been given and this morning he saw our GP, to let him know how things are going.

Other News:

This morning we said a fond farewell to Mo and Nessa on NB Balmaha. They have now left the basin and are heading out into the countryside. It was sad to see them go, as it has been wonderful to have their company. But they were getting itchy feet and wanted to be on the move, now that all the ice has gone and boats are once more on the move. So we wished them well, as we waved them goodbye.
It has been very busy in the basin, with boats coming and going and a few boats have now moored up on the towpath.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Having to stay put.

As many of you now know, Keith is poorly and is waiting to go into Kettering Hospital for an operation. Our GP has now put him on to more pain control medication and has recommended that we do not move whilst Keith is on this pain medication as it is very strong. As of today we are now moored up in the Union Wharf Basin for the duration, thanks to the kindness of Debbie and her team. We are hoping that Kettering Hospital, stop stalling and get on with what they know needs to be done. We are going to the hospital tomorrow for yet another test and are going to track down the Consultants Secretary to see if we can make some progress.
Our coal business is still open for business, so if you need coal please do not hesitate to come and see us if you are in the area.
I will keep you posted on any news.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There and back again.

Yesterday we delivered some coal to a customer and then set off from our mooring, with a view to making it to Foxton. Keith and I were actually really happy to be moving, but that was short lived. Despite Market Harborough Basin and a short stretch of the canal being ice free, that did not last and it was not long before we hit ice 1/2 inch thick to begin with. But it was not long before the thickness grew and grew until by the time we reach the Union Canal Society moorings some 2 hours later, the ice was 3 inches thick and we had to pull in and moor up. We had done just over a mile in that 2 hours and our trip was over. Still we did have a different view for one day, because this morning we made the decision to wind and move back to Market Harborough. The main reason for this decision was Keith's health. He was again experiencing pain, so we thought staying where we were was not a good idea for getting to the doctors. Not only that with the ice so thick we would not be able to make Foxton for a good few days and Keith has to be at the hospital on Friday morning. So we winded Hadar and made our way back to the mooring we had left yesterday. Having moored up Keith rang our GP, who contacted the hospital to see if they would take him in, which they would not, as they need to do more tests on him, the doctor at the hospital suggested upping his pain relief, so we went down to the GP's to collect some anti-inflammatories and some Morphine. It has to be said that our GP is not impressed with the way the hospital is treating Keith. I hope that when we go to the hospital on Friday, we may make some progress, because the pain that Keith is in, is making his life miserable. It looks like we may have to stay put for a while, partly because of the ice, but also because of Keith's health. Getting him sorted is the most important thing at the moment.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

On the move again. yippee.

With the temperatures going up. There has been a gradual thaw taking place. Despite the hard frost we had last night, we winded Hadar in the Market Harborough Basin this morning, so we will be on our way tomorrow. The ice was not very thick, as the morning sunshine had been on it. Woo hoo we are so looking forward to moving again. But will be back Thursday, as Keith has to go to the hospital Friday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Still going no where.

Hi Everyone.

The thaw has begun, but it is not enough for us to get underway. This morning we had heavy rain, but that is now just sitting on top of the ice on the canal and on the towpath, making it very slippery under foot. The pool where the swans and ducks have been lodging, has grown so they can now move about much easier, but the rest of the ice is still thick and unforgiving. I decided to take a walk, to collect some sticks for the back stove, because at night once I have made the fire up, I put a layer of sticks on top of the coal, which helps to keep the fire in at night. I walked back along the canal from the Union Canal Society Moorings. The canal is still frozen solid and the towpath is very dodgy under foot. I did manage to find a few sticks along the towpath. What was lovely was looking across the fields and seeing snow still lying. The rain had not washed it all away.
I think it is going to be a good few days yet, before we will be able to get moving. But they forecast almost tropical temperatures over the weekend. It should get up to +6 c, so we may see some improvement then.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Full English Breakfast

This was one of the 2 very scrummy Full English Breakfasts served at the Bell Inn in Market Harborough which we won from the local radio station HarboroughFM which we enjoyed this morning. We are looking forward to trying one of their Curry Nights which they have on a Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Full English Breakfast

A rare occurence for this blog, an entry by Keith, lol.

Now we are in our 23rd day of being frozen in, we have been keeping ourselves amused in various ways, one of which is listening to our local radio station HarboroughFM and attempting, sometimes successfully, to enter the various competitions throughout the day, all for fun. But starting on Monday 11th January they were offering the chance to win 2 free English Breakfasts at the Bell Inn in Market Harborough as an introduction to the newly refurbished premises. All anyone had to do was to phone, text or email their name and phone number to the radio station, to be drawn twice during the day. I sent mine in, and it was drawn in the afternoon! What a surprise, especially for Jo as she hadn't known I had entered, and first discovered I had when it was announced on the radio that we had won.

Following a call from the station we had to go to the studio to collect our vouchers, which we did the following day, yesterday. We got to meet Dave Smith again, who we had first met before Christmas at the turning the Christmas lights on. He was in the middle of his show at the time, but he showed us how the studio worked. A big difference from when I helped on Harefield Hospital radio back in the 70's. Not a record or cd in sight, everything is stored in computers, music, jingles etc.

Moley, the presenter who's program follows on from Dave's, and who is also the station manager, also showed us around the rest of the studio complex, including the news studio, which is slightly larger than our bathroom! We chatted for quite a while, well I did anyway, because he was fascinated with some of the stories I was coming out with about life on the canal.

We had a lovely time there and now look forward to our Full English Breakfasts at the Bell Inn, we just have to decide when we are going there, we have till the end of the month.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happily frozen in.

What a first few days of 2010 we have had. Like 99% of the UK we are experiencing below freezing temperatures and are frozen in at Market Harborough still. This is going to be our third week here, which is the longest we have ever stayed anywhere due to the weather. The overnight temperatures have been getting down to -7c, so it is freezing with a capital F. Still we could be in a worse place. We are lucky we have all we need here, including some grateful customers who we are supplying with coal, kindling, firelighters and toilet blue.
Our Year began with staying up to see the New Year in onboard with a tot of whiskey each. Just what is called for in this weather. There were fireworks going off all around us announcing the start of 2010. So goodbye to the noughties.

Apart from delivering coal to customers, we have a few customers who have been happily coming to us by car.

So how did our New Year start well, Keith dropped his glasses into the cut. They fell in whilst bending over to do up the sheeting strings after a coal delivery. So first major expense of the year was to go down to Specsavers and order himself two new pairs of glasses. They are on a 2 for 1 offer at the moment, so now at least he has a spare pair. I also needed to get my eyes tested again after just a year, as I have been having problems with my glasses. It turned out that I did need a new prescription, so yet more expense. Thankfully just one pair of lenses for me.

But you cannot put a prices on your eyesight can you?

Keith has collected his glasses today, so he can see what he is doing now. Oh the price of getting old. Mine are not ready yet.

After the shock of paying for our glasses, we decided what the heck, so went out for a lovely Indian meal at Shagorika, in Market Harborough. It was one of the finest Indian meals we have ever had and the service was very good as well. We came out of there with pleasantly full tummies, and a 10% voucher off a future meal, valid until the 16th January.... Dang that means we will have to go back again, now that's a shame. The hope is we may take friends with us next time. They also gave us a 2010 calender and a pen. We must have been very good customers lol.
I was in need of a hair cut, but as I only ever have a dry cut, I am always horrified at what hair salons want to charge. They seem to range from £12.95 at Supercuts, to high street salons that will charge anything up to £40 for five minutes work. So before committing myself, I did walk around a few to see what their prices were. I managed to find one where I could have a dry cut for £15 if I got there for 1.45pm, after that they would charge me £25. Flippin cheek I reckon, so I made sure I was there just before 1.45pm to have another 4 inches cut off the length of my hair. Back in August I had 5 inches taken off, so now my hair has become more manageble. I now feel light headed.

Yesterday I rang around our customers that we have been unable to supply coal to during this freeze in, to make sure they were all ok for coal, which thankfully they are. They can get to us if need be, so I can stop worrying about them now, as I do feel guilty if we cannot make it to them. Paddy had a dodgy tummy and was sick on our back cabin rag rug. To get it clean I had to take it into the shower and scrub it. The problem now is getting it dry, as it is incredibly heavy when wet. I managed to man handle it on to the line in the engine room, where it is drying slowly. The problem now is getting rid of the sicky smell which is still around. I may have to buy something to get rid of the odour once it is dry. Because of this Paddy did not get any dinner last night, so he spent the evening sulking.

Hadar has a large water tank, which means we can go almost 3 weeks before we have to fill up, so yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to fill the tank, as snow was forecast. It took me two attempts to defrost the water tap, but eventually the water was flowing into the tank. In all it took over an hour to fill her up as the flow was extremely slow. It meant I got the chance to chat to passing walkers and watch the ducks and swans in the tiny pool they have to swim in by the boat.

Do ducks feel the cold?

So we are ok now for a while, and I can get some washing done.

We also noticed yesterday that we were beginning to list, so I moved some coal in the hold to get the balance right, but to no avail. On closer inspection Keith noticed that the water level had dropped by as much as 4 inches and we were grounded.

This morning I rang British Waterways, to be told they were already on the case. It appears there is a leak somewhere. We thought we would try and move the boat out a bit from the bank, so Keith went out and broke some of the ice a longside the boat, but despite all our pushing Hadar was not for moving. So we fired her up and she coughed into life, but only on one cylinder, which was not good. Eventually she began to fire on both cylinders, but it was not enough grunt to move Hadar from the bank, so we gave up on that and as I type it appears we are more on the level now, which is wonderful, as we feel like we are constantly running up hill lol.

The final job of the day for us has been to take down our Christmas decorations. As always the boat looks very bare now. The tree lights packed up over Christmas, so Keith is now trying to fix them. I am now wondering what the next few days will bring. Probably more ice and some snow yippee. I just love this weather.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Harborough Fm

You know we said we could not promise anything as far as us being on the radio. Well that has been proven, because it is not happening. It seems that Health and Safety has reared its ugly head again. So I am sorry if you tuned in expecting to hear us. It was announced on air, that they did not turn up, because of Health and Safety issues.