A Quick Defrost. 8th December

Alvecote Marina

John our neighbour was about this morning, stocking up on heat logs. We chatted through Oleanna’s side hatch regarding coal and how thick the ice tends to get within the marina. I also asked if the taps freeze up, knowing the answer before I’d even asked the question.


Yes this morning as expected there was ice on the water. Only cat ice, but it’s a start. The water in front of Oleanna must get sunshine in the morning as that hadn’t, as yet, turned solid. I stoked the fire and made myself a good bowl of blueberry porridge with a big spoon of golden syrup, yum.


The stove is keeping us warm on the boat, but the floor does tend to stay chilly, sheepskin slippers help keep the chill out. Yesterday Tilly didn’t seem to eat very much, I remembered her doing this in the house and we worked out her food bowl was sat in a very chilly place. So today to encourage her to eat something I’ve moved her food bowls and laid them on a Towpath Talk so she can keep up on all things canal orientated.

She’s eating more now

First job to tick off the list was to finish painting the big model door. It just needed a bit more paint and then all the black lines to be added before I glued on the butterfly net and snow shoes. I also made a Christmas wreath, held on with some white tack, so that it was a touch more festive when opened by Abi. Time to wrap it up. I had to butcher a useful shoebox for some card and used the only two padded envelopes we had, I think it should now arrive without getting too dinted. Just need to get to a post office to post it now.

That’s the third time I’ve painted this door all different sizes

Today I’d ear marked as a day to do accounts. I excelled in finding other things that needed doing. Getting our Christmas cards ready for printing and printing out as many our current stock of photo paper would allow. I saved the folding, writing and envelope addressing for another time when I’d like to avoid doing something.

It’ll soon be time to make one for the cratch of Oleanna

Mid afternoon I set the dishwasher going with a full load, John had used the water tap in the morning so I hoped it would still work for me to top up the tank. I wound out the hose pipe attached it to the tap. The tap worked but no water came through to the other end! I’d obviously not managed to empty all the water from the pipe the day before. Time to bring it in for a cosy while in front of the stove to defrost.

Tilly brought my attention to the small pool of water on the floor under the sofa after a while. Time to try the hose again. I didn’t bother unravelling it this time, I just pointed it towards the bow of Oleanna, still no water. More time in front of the stove was required.

Third time lucky

Third time lucky, I could hear water rushing around the coiled up hose, then it stopped. After a minute or so a splurt and splutter, I had flowing water. A trickle to start with but that soon increased. By now the dishwasher had finished so the tank got filled up to the top. As soon as it overflowed the tap was turned off, hoping to avoid a puddle of ice just where we and John want to step off our boats onto the pontoon.

I wound the hose back up, emptying out as much water as possible then brought it inside to live in the shower where it can stay until the temperatures rise again. Serious water saving may be required should the tap freeze.

The north sea yesterday

Mick did various jobs around the house including putting up the Christmas decorations. This will make it more welcoming. Today it had snowed a touch in Scarborough, not enough to make a snowman, just a dusting.

Christmas lights

Far too late now to start my accounts, so I popped a couple of potatoes into the stove wrapped in foil. Then got on with candying some orange slices. Thinly sliced they were lowered into a pan of sugar and water syrup and left to simmer for a good 40 minutes. Then they were lifted out and left to dry off on an oiled wire rack. By now my potatoes were cooked so I enjoyed them with the last chicken from our Sunday roast and some corn. Very tasty.


0 locks, 0 miles, 1 big door finished, 1 parcel ready to go, 0 accounting done, 3rd time lucky with the hose, 1 little puddle, 1 top hat arrived almost before it was ordered, 2 oranges candied, 2 jacket spuds, 6 stars on display, 1 very very bored Tilly.

2 thoughts on “A Quick Defrost. 8th December

  1. Karen

    Your candied orange slices sound interesting…do you dip them in chocolate when they are dried? How much sugar & water do you use?
    Enjoyed seeing the photo of the North Sea. We’ve woken up to a pretty blanket of snow here in SW Ontario, Canada, this morning.

    1. Pip Post author

      The oranges were for decoration. You can dip them in chocolate if you want, mine were accompanying a lot of chocolate!
      For two oranges I used 1.5 cups of sugar and water. Dissolved the sugar then added the thin orange slices and simmered them for 40 minutes.

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