Ash. 17th January


Improving. 1.78m today 36cm lower than yesterday

Brrrrr! Chilly morning. The levels are improving and with little precipitation in the forecast they should hopefully continue on downwards. This afternoon the flood gates at Newark opened up again, we just need levels at Cranfleet to improve some more then we can be on our way.

Photos of ice on the cut this morning appeared on facebook, thankfully we only have patches in the off side vegetation, here’s hoping it stays that way.

Tilly didn’t mind the cold fluffing up her coat to go off on the towpath. She scuttled along on low legs hoping to pounce on a friend, but they are a touch too quick for her around here.

A touch chilly under paw

Inside I stoked the fire, riddled the ash into the pan below. Time to empty it into our ashcan outside on the towpath. In the past we’ve heard lots of people going on about which coal to use, which one is better? Staying in over night, amount of heat and quantity of ash all factors people compare. ‘How do you find Excel this year? I find it produces more ash this winter.’ Etc.

Our normal coal tends to be Excel, although we have had quite a bit from coal merchants with no brand name other than smokeless, along with Taybright, Red etc. To be honest we’ve never really noticed the amount of ash varying between brands. Our ashpan gets emptied once a day to keep the stove operating as it should. Ash always goes into our ashcan, never in the hedgerow as coal ash is poisonous, never mind unsightly and can cause fires. Once cool the ashcan gets emptied into an old coal bag and disposed of in the rubbish bins. When we’re moored up our ashcan lives out on the towpath where any deadly fumes can dissipate rather than enter the boat.

The coal Mick bought from Wickes came in handy 10kg bags, easy to carry along the towpath and to move about. Boaters on Canal World Forum had said it was good, so as it was easy to collect when we had a van he bought several bags. Less CO2 and apparently less smoke.

80% less smoke compared to….?

What do we think of it? Well it seems to take longer to stop being smoky. It stays in overnight well, it gives good heat, but the ash! The ash!! The ASH!!!

Just how much ash can it produce? Masses! It’s easy for us to gauge as the ash pan needs emptying twice a day!

Mushrooms Pip Style

Whilst not emptying the ashpan I’ve made use of having the dinette table to myself, so after mushrooms on toast Pip style, I ironed vinyl numbers and lines onto the navy fabric I’d prepared yesterday.

Good news came from Scarborough this afternoon. Both our boilers are back up and running again, one hadn’t been working for a while, but thankfully it’s all good and safe just in time for our next lodger to move in. Mick has packed away the Christmas decorations and then spent some time making beds up.

Time to start alterations on some overalls for #unit21. I’m not a natural sewer so I take alterations slowly. Each pair need taking apart at the waist to loose or gain length or girth, tucks across the shoulders are also required. It seemed to take forever to get things marked out and trimmed, tacked back together to make sure they looked okay before spending fifteen minutes sewing them back together on the machine! 1 pair down 3.5 to go!

Yum num

Creamy salmon pasta tonight

0 locks, 0 miles, 9 numbers, 18 lines, 5 hours of podcasts, 2 fully working boilers, 1 river dropping, 1 cut just about ice free, 1 problematic bridge, 2 beds, 1 overall in bits, 3inches sleeves, 4.5 inches legs, 2.5 waist,1 dead stool, 2 catnip Dreamies remaining, 2 much blinking ASH!