Friday 30 January 2009

Sitting on the Dock of the eBay...

The eBay auction for 5 of our items ended today. Lunchtime saw us glued to the computer as the minutes ticked down on the first item - Rog's Mess Dress (I know, I know, sad or what? but it was quite exciting seeing the bids go up in the last couple of minutes) The Mess Dress went for a good price, and we also sold one of my ballgowns, our dining table and six chairs, and a display/TV cabinet. Only one item remained unsold - our wall unit, but they are really out of fashion these days so we weren't surprised - we'll put it on again and have another go.
The auction for the first of the our BBC transcription LPs ends on Sunday, and we have high hopes for that - hope we aren't disappointed! Watch this space.......


The correct bank statement arrived this morning, and is safely faxed to '3'. Rog called them and told them he'd faxed it and they said that it could take 24 hours to appear on their system - why am I not suprised!! "Your credit check is ok though" - I should bloody hope so! Now we just wait and see!!

Drawers, drawers everywhere...

Not a huge amount of progress to see and photograph on the boat this visit, but a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes that we couldn't see. However, Neil has made the cupboard doors for the bedroom, and built 2 lovely bedside cabinets, each with 5 drawers for the unmentionables. I asked for all the drawers on the boat to be behind cupboard doors, to give a uniform appearance to the interior - and it means there are less handles for me to bruise myself on - I'm good at doing that! My one unchangeable rule for the boat is NO SHARP CORNERS!
As I've said before, we are having maple for the bulkheads and cabinetry, with oak for the trimming to make a bit of a contrast. Therefore the cabinets have oak tops, and the porthole liners, frames for the houdinis and around the side-hatches will be oak.
We are very gratified to hear that the customers for the next boat after us at Beacon were so taken with the maple/oak mix when they came to have a look, that they have chosen the same mix for their boat! Immitation is the greatest form of flattery, I always think! ( Lesley, take note - I have nicked your idea of a boatman's cupboard for our saloon, but with a glass door in the top cupboard - hope you don't mind!)

Large cupboard

Double wardrobe

Bedside cabinets - somewhere to put the early morning tea that Rog always brings me - he's good like that!
Small drawers for the small drawers - well not so small in my case!

Tiling behind the loo, (essential with a bloke on board!) - the front of the blanking piece will also be tiled

We had decided to go with our original thought and have Corian for the galley worktops, and then were persuaded by Ali to go and look at the granite anyway - she had showed us on our previous vist how easy it is to scratch the Corian - so we went to see their supplier, Quorn Stone and we were convinced! The result is that we are having granite worktops in the galley! The photo below doesn't show up the colours particularly well, but it gives an idea - it is a mixture of greys and browns, and looks so much better than the sample piece of Corian that we had - a bit darker, but we're both in love with it, so that's ok.

With all this weight in the back of the boat we'll have to keep the water tank well topped up or we'll be travelling down the canal on our rear end (that was one reason I was a bit worried about having granite, but it's not much different to Corian apparently) "Not to worry", say Ali and Neil, breezily, "We'll just take some of the ballast out of the back and put it in the front". What stars they both are - it never fazes them when I change my mind about anything - and I do that a lot!

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Mum - it doesn't fit...

We have been whiling away the time between visits to Beacon by doing some clearing out - we did the glory-hole under the stairs yesterday, and, among other things, found Cassie's puppy bed. On spotting it on the dining-room floor, she made a bee-line for it, and couldn't understand why she didn't fit in it any more - she had a lie down anyway!


We have got a bit addicted to selling stuff on eBay - not that we've been doing it long, but have sold a Tivo (old hard-drive TV recorder), and a TENS machine. They didn't go for much but at least it's better than chucking them on the tip. We have some other stuff with bids all of which end at the weekend - Rog's RAF Mess Dress has a bid of £102 so far, with 13 people watching so hopefully it will go a bit higher, and we have a few watchers on some furniture. I can't see that going for much either, as it's all quite old and very traditional in style. However, we have some old and very rare BBC Transcription LPs - we have found a website that gives record auction results, and some of the LPs we have got have gone for a good few bob (one made a huge £800 a few years ago!!!) When we discovered this we got very excited, and spent the rest of the day cataloguing the rest, and putting one on eBay to test the water. If it does well - or even if it doesn't, we will put the others on a few at a time and, you never know, we might make enough to pay for the washing machine and tumble dryer! Keep your fingers crossed for us!

The Bank and '3' versus us....

Rog spotted a really good deal from '3' just before New Year - mobile broadband and 500 mins for £22 a month, saving us around £10 a month on two separate deals. We duly trudged into Peterborough (I hate Peterborough!) to the '3' shop, only to find that it was an internet deal - but they did the paperwork for us anyway. We then had a phone call from '3' informing us that we had been chosen for a random fraud check, and they needed us to fax them a copy of a recent bank statement with the account details, and our address on. We didn't mind as we have been subject to a mobile phone contract fraud ourselves. But the problem is that we do internet banking, and don't get paper statements - and here the problems started!

Rog phoned the bank and asked them to send him one, in the post, explaining exactly what we needed. "Certainly Sir"they said. A week later nothing had appeared.

Second phone call to the bank. They said there was nothing on their system to say we'd asked for one and we should go to the branch in P'borough and they would print one out and certify it. Rog did that. "Not good enough" said '3'.

Third phone call to the bank - "Nothing on the system to say you've asked for one Sir - very sorry - we'll get one out to you" By this time Rog's blood pressure was going up! One week later still nothing.

Fourth phone call to the bank - I did it this time as Rog was in serious danger of losing his temper big time - spoke to a lovely lady who promised to get it to us, but it could take 10 days. On Saturday it arrived - in a hand-written envelope with no address on the statement! Ahhgggrrr! Much gnashing of teeth. Spoke to '3' again (we were in danger of losing the order as they had already held it over for a month) They said to fax the statement and some other forms of proof of address, but they couldn't guarantee that it would do. Rog did this.

A call from '3' on Monday morning - "have you sent the fax" "Yes" Rog said. They said they hadn't received it!!! More gnashing of teeth.

Another call to the bank - same lady - it turns out that they can't produce a statement retrospectively that has all that we need on it, so we changed the internet details to ask for paper statements again, and she changed the date that it is produced today. We will wait and see if it arrives!! ('3' have held the order again - but not for much longer, I fear)

The bank also had the cheek to charge us a fiver for a 'historical statement, but the nice lady at the bank said she would credit our account - it would show up today. Rog had a look this evening - it's there under Refund of Charges - but they've debited it not credited it!!!!! I think I'm going to slit my wrists!!! I'll have to phone them again tomorrow!!! We can't understand it - we've banked with the same branch for almost 34 years, ever since we've been married, and always been really happy with their Customer Service - they've undone all that in one fell swoop! Personally - I would have told '3' to stick their deal - but Rog doesn't want to do that as it is so good (apparently even Mortgage lenders accept a bank certified statement as proof of address so why won't they?) Watch this space - we'll keep you posted.

If you've managed to stay awake through this boring saga - we are going to Beacon again on Thursday, so more pics of the boat then.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Another visit...

We made another visit to Beacon today to view progress - Neil has made a good start on the bedroom....
Large cupboard to the left as you come in the front doors
We will store the ironing board and any other largish stuff in here."Ironing board"? I hear you cry!! Well, I'm not intending to do much of that (we have bought a little board from the now non-existent Woolworth's just before they closed their doors for the last time) but I thought that we ought not to look like tramps if we want to eat in a posh-ish pub once in a while! Special occasion maybe! I think that I might keep the wrapping for posterity. After all, it might be worth a bob or two in years to come. It could be a family heirloom to hand down to the kids - there isn't going to be any money left after we've paid for the boat!!
We have a couple of directors chairs for extra seating, they will also go in this cupboard, along with anything else that won't fit anywhere else.
Double wardrobe to the right as you come in the front doors - hanging below and three shelves above
This will be the main clothes storage - although I'm not planning that there will be a lot of clothes that need to hang up, so part of the lower section may well be used for other stuff - shelves above will hold t-shirts, jumpers and things. We will also have two small bedside cabinets with drawers in for the undies and sox (not built yet) and over-bed cupboards for anything else (also not built yet)

The cross bed is constructed - this is it in the closed position

Then with one of the extension pieces pulled across

And with all three extension pieces pulled across

Neil has made the extension in three pieces so that it can be put up by one person if necessary. Good idea, although neither of us is planning to spend much time alone on the boat, you never know when circumstances may dictate otherwise. We will have a two-piece mattress. Originally we were going to have one with a hinged bottom (!) section, but that would have meant that the mattress could not be turned to ensure even wear, so we decided on two separate pieces - we won't feel the join through a topper and a mattress cover.

The loo has been fitted, with just a bit of pipe-work to finish. Neil has built a nice little box to fill in the space behind, as we didn't want it too close to the bulk-head. He has also ensured that the vacuum pressure is constant and that there is no air entering through the pipework so it doesn't lose the vacuum - it's been constant now for about 2 weeks, so no problems there.

The khasi in place

The tiles inside the shower have now been grouted and look lovely - so glad we chose them instead of plain white!

I had a bit of a wobble about the tiles that I had chosen for the splashback in the galley, so I persuaded Rog that I needed to go and have another look as we were so close to East Midlands Ceramics in Loughborough We also had a quick look in B & Q which is just over the road, but I didn't like anything in there. I had originally chosen two colours for the splashback, but have decided just to use the one colour with random decorative tiles with a chrome motif (once again we forgot to take photos of them) I'm much happier with them now I have seen them again. Also having a bit of a re-think about using Corian worktops, as the composite is on an MDF base - don't like the thought of MDF on a boat. So Ali is going to speak with her granite man and price up real granite. She thinks that the price won't be all that much different. We shall have to see how it pans out.

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Sunset from the porthole!! ...

Well, it would be if we had a porthole to take photos out of yet - but as it is, it's out of our front door!
Mum was really quite poorly over the weekend, but yesterday morning she decided that she was well enough to travel, and please would I take her home to her electric blanket?! This I did, and this morning she was well enough to be left, so after doing some shopping for her, I came home to Rog. She will recover much faster in her bungalow without having to worry about the stairs, so I left her too it. She has a very good friend who only lives a few minutes away, and drives, so she will pop in every day to check she is still on the mend, and get her any shopping she needs.
We have had a beautiful day today, after the coldest night of the year, and were rewarded with this beautiful sunset, which the camera doesn't really do justice to.

Saturday 3 January 2009

And Mother came too.....


We went up to Beacon again last Tuesday, (apologies for my tardiness in posting this blog, but I've had the lurgy ever since Tuesday afternoon, and haven't felt much like concentrating on writing this until today)

We took my 81 year old Mum with us as she's been dying to see progress - she can't wait to come cruising with us. She had a bit of a struggle to get up the stepladder and into the boat, but she made it, and was very impressed. (David Bailey forgot to get a photo of her on the boat, so you'll have to take my word for it that she was actually there!)

Much progress has been made - the Travel Power is in, and the electrics are coming on a treat.

Most of the plumbing is in, and Neil was just starting to pressure up the water system when we arrived and stopped him from working. Best of all, the tiles in the shower are up, although not grouted as yet, and they look great.

We will probably not go up next week - Mum is now in bed with the flu, and as soon as she feels well enough to travel, I will take her home so she can be ill in the comfort of her own home, and stay a few days until she is well on the mend - that will probably take up most of the week, so we will go to see progress the week after. Neil says he plans to start on the bedroom cabinets very soon - in fact he may have started on them already, so there should be lots of changes by then.