Sunday, 10 January 2010

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

A dull cold day with snow showers. BUT the ice does seem to be melting. There is definitely water laying on top of the ice in the canal.

Yesterday there were about 20 Koreans walking across the lock over the ice. Rather them than me. There is at least 4ft of water underneath the ice.

Morons have been throwing everything on top of the ice to try and break it, so there is rubbish everywhere including food for the vermin seagulls and pigeons.

So! Where was I? Ah yes. We are finally back in England and life in the Army is drawing to a close. What to do? Yes, we think living on a boat would be fun but our 15 year old daughter has a problem. Since Granny used to drag her to Devizes Wharf to look at the boats on her exeats she hates boats. Especially Narrowboats. Still; she's in boarding school; and then she'll be off to university - in all truth she left home when she was 7 1/2. Nasty unloving parents that we are.

We start looking at boats. Went to a couple of boat shows. Visited a few marinas and saw lots of second-hand boats. One or two had possibilities but most seemed to fall apart when touched. Curtains would fall down, doors would not shut properly, smelt of damp, etc, etc.

Then our plans are all changed. David is offered a job at the Ministry of Defence, a flat in Notting Hill and another two years service. We take it. Well the pension will be a bit more by the time we eventually leave and our back door is straight onto Portobello Road!

A visit to the IWA boat show in Henley. The first boat we visit is very "twee", all chintzy with bows tying up the curtains over the portholes, a glass dining table and wrought iron chairs and Did I mention the chandelier? Not exactly us. When we get on the next boat we are shooed off by a dragon lady saying that we can't come on board they are expecting a TV crew. Won't buy a boat off her then. We make an appointment for third boat inspection, and whilst waiting for our slot we see the Warble boat. "I know!" I tell David, "We can't afford one. But let's just go and look." (Fingers Crossed!)

So on we go. We meet Janet and Kevin, the couple who design and build the boats. They are great fun. We have a rapport. The boat is absolutely beautiful. The curtains do not fall off, the draws glide. There are lots of security features and the woodwork is to die for. It is perfect.

"But we can't afford one." We say.
"We'll make one for you on a budget" Says Kevin.
"But we still have two years to do in the Army" Says David.
"There is a two year waiting list!" Says Janet.

Well; what can you say? I uncross my fingers and wrote a cheque for the deposit there and then. And, we still have not seen the other boat we had the appointment for. So we'll never know how good their boat was.

Back at work my boss asks me if we had a good Bank Holiday. "Yes" I say, "We bought a boat!"

To be continued.....

More of my Valentine cards for the troops. I wouldn't say I was cheap, but all the hearts were retrieved from Caroline's Order of Service booklets that were left behind after her wedding!!

All the cards have a white base. This one has a white Cuttlebugged panel, matted onto pink card. A pink ribbon was then wrapped around it and fixed at the back and the whole panel stuck down onto the card. I then added the sentiment (done on the computer) and matted onto pink card and the two stamped and embossed hearts.

On this one, I Cuttlebugged some shiny black card. Wrapped a dark pink ribbon around it and then a pink organdie ribbon, tied in a knot (another bit of an Order of Service recycling!)

The sentiment and hearts were then added.

This third one has a black base again, but I added some paper lace made with a punch and a large pink ribbon with a knot at the bottom. Again with the sentiment and hearts.

And finally, a pink Cuttlebugged panel, some pink organdie ribbon and bow, sentiment and hearts. Finally adding a little pink gem on the ribbon.

This time I got really clever with the Cuttlebug folders and used two at the same time!! making the scalloped border at the bottom, which I then had to cut out.

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