Day 262 – Reflections on Lockdown

posted in: Stories | 0

Today has been a day of boat jobs.

I had hoped it would just be this morning, but things did not go to plan and it took all day!!

However, before all that, Fiona played the Christmas game with Honey ‘Where’s Mr Elf’ (blog cover photo).  Honey is getting really good at it!

On our morning walk, Honey was limping with her cut foot, see yesterdays blog (Day 261) for more details about that.  She seems to start limping if she walks too far, so she is getting regular salt baths for her foot!

So my first job, after Qi Gong and a shower, was to clear up the broken glass on Leamington Lift Bridge, although when I came to it, I found that it was one of those rare occasions that the bridge was open.  So I had to wait a while, until it was shut.

But I managed to get all the glass up eventually.


Next, I decided to do my Saturday morning job of filling Discovery’s water tank up, I last filled it up 12 days ago!  That time it took exactly 25 minutes, but I set my timer to see how long it would take this time and nearly exactly 25 minutes again!

Unlike last time, I just got on with other jobs, cleaning the wood burner out, etc…whilst it was filling up, checking my timer to check it as it approached 25 mintues.


Next job was to fix my solar panel.  You may remember on Day 224, Pierre came to have a look at it, saying that I needed a new box that connects the wires from the solar panel to the Leisure Battery.  Graeme from  Edinburgh Computer Repairs gave me one of the boxes which he had spare on Day 254, so I set to get it fixed.  It took a while to work it all out, especially as I didn’t have any instructions for the box and I couldn’t find any online.  But I connected the box and it seemed to be charging.

For over a year the Leisure Battery has been charged all the time by Halfords Battery Charger (like you get for a car when it has a flat battery).   The battery charger is powered from the mains electricity via an extension lead.  This comes out the kitchen window and round the boat and then into the engine area.  Where the battery charge is plugged in and then connects to the Leisure Battery.

Once the new solar panel box was all connected up, I switched the battery charger off and went to see if the pump was working that is powered by the Leisure Battery and it wasn’t.

So I disconnected the Solar Panel Box and reconnected the battery charger and that didn’t work either.  I fiddle around with it for about an hour and still the Leisure Battery was not working.

The Leisure Battery, provides lights on Discovery, the pump to bring water out of the kitchen tap and powers the Bilge Pump.  The bilge is basically the hull of the boat, which collects with rainwater when it rains.  I was now a bit worried what to do especially as it was nearly 2pm, there was forecast for heavy rain this evening and it would be dark in a couple of hours!  So I phoned Gandolf and he came down on his bicycle.

He had a look at it for a while, phoning a friend for some ideas, without much success.  He said he had a spare Battery Charger at Graeme’s computer shop, so we both headed over Graeme’s shop and I picked up Gandolf’s Battery Charger and also Graeme lent me an electricity reader.

Then I headed to my flat, as electricians were in doing work in the flat.  The work that needs to be done to get it onto the Landlord Register.

Then I came back to the boat, connected Gandolf’s Battery Charger and tested the electricity on the Leisure Battery.  It was now up to 13v.  Excited I went to see if the water pump for the kitchen tap was working and it was.

Phew!  What a relive 🙂


So my Leisure Battery is now working, but powered how it was before, with a battery charger.  I will need to look at the solar panel box again sometime.

But I have learnt lots about the boat and how the solar panel works and how the leisure battery charges.

I will now have to go and buy a new battery charger, before I return Gandolf’s !!

This evening it has been a Zoom organising meeting, for our Energy Christmas Gathering for Saturday.  I am writing a Panto!


Readers Corner

One sharing today.



Pat posted a Facebook comment on yesterdays blog (Day 261) saying:

“Buy A Good Sleeping Bag And Some Feet Warmers… Should Keep You Snug….😃 Stay Safe and Stay Well…☘️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☘️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿“.

Thanks for that Pat!  Although, the issue is not so much about staying warm in bed as I have two thick duvets, two blankets and a full set of Pyjamas.  As the boat is open plan (the whole boat is just one room), the challenge is finding a way to warm the boat up in the evening, but not so hot, I can’t sleep at night.  Its practice – I will get there 🙂


Christmas Music Corner

You will remember, that I shared singer songwriter Andrew Huggan’s hit Christmas song on Day 258, ‘Staff Christmas Party’.

Today, here is another one of his Christmas songs from 2017.

So here we have – When Snow Falls

I love this one 🙂

As I come to the end of this blog, I fear that the boat is too hot, last night, the temperature was perfect and I slept well all through the night, the first good night’s sleep since the weekend!  I felt so much more refreshed and connected to myself today, relaxed and a new lease of energy 🙂

Whilst waiting for Gandolf to arrive mid-afternoon, I decided to light the fire, as the boat was really cold.  Then when I headed out to Graeme’s and then onto my flat, the fire had nearly gone out.  It was great to come back, to a warm boat, it was just about right.  I then put on some wood, but I think it has been too much as the boat feels really hot.  Although, it is only 24 degrees, however, it is quite warm outside, so that maybe the problem.  Also, I am still wearing many layers of clothes and my thermals and have been sitting next to the fire for a good few hours.

Fingers crossed it won’t be too hot and I will sleep ok.

With the electrician doing the work he did, it feels that the flat is starting to progress.  I had hoped to continue painting tomorrow, but I need to catch up on all the work I was planning to do today, including finishing writing a Pantomime!

What I loved about today was that despite it being cold, I was outside most of the day, doing jobs on and around the boat.  It’s great to be outdoors, even though it is cold, I would have just sat in the flat all day if I still lived there.

Honey just sat on the towpath waiting for me to finish, although I eventually told her to go on the boat as she looked like she was getting cold!

Stay Warm!

Jim x