Thursday, 9 November 2017

For those who don't know - why there has been no blog since August

(Posted by Alan)

OK, I know we are not really very good at keeping the blog up to date, but at least this time I have a fairly good excuse.

The year had already not gone to plan from a boating viewpoint.  The temporary failure of the gearbox on "Sickle's" replacement engine early in the year meant we had to abandon plans to continue taking both boats together around a series of festivals, and instead just do much of what we had planned at that time with just "Flamingo".

However August was meant to see us at least a bit back on track, and the plan was to take both boats to our favourite festival of the calendar, namely the historic boat event at Alvecote.  On the last day we could set off without a big rush to get there, Cath David, I and 2 large dogs travelled up to the home mooring, with two cars well filled, and loaded up the boats.  Only because of delays due to road closures had we not already set off, when I took a call from our other son, Michael.

Before dislocation dealt with
"Hello Dad - I've broken my ankle playing five a side, and I'm on my way to A&E".  I don't think any of us immediately realised quite how momentous those words would turn out to be, but the immediate result was we had to throw as much stuff as we could into one car, (including all of us and the dogs), and set off for Watford General.

Realigned, but still swollen.
The reality, as things unfolded is that he had sustained a very bad 3 part fracture, (a "trimalleolar" fracture), and that once they had manipulated it to get everything back roughly in line, he had to lay with leg heavily elevated for 6 days before the swelling had even subsided sufficiently to allow them to do the necessary surgery.  He then acquired 2 stainless steel plates, and necessary fastenings, apparently enough to guarantee setting off airport body scanners. It rather looks like parts purchased from Screwfix.

2 plates and lots of screws
Although discharged quite soon after the operation, he has not  been given permission to try any load bearing on it until the very last few days.  So for around 11 weeks he has been largely unable to do very much for himself, requiring crutches or a walking frame to get about at all.  Obviously throughout he has remained unable to work, (and even when he can return, will not yet be OK to drive).

Same time, different angle
So this has very much taken over our lives, and not only did Alvecote not happen, we have until recently been unable to get to the boat to start to reinstate the heating and hot water system, most of which we had scrapped earlier in the year, assuming we would have time to put it back before the weather got too cold to be on the boat without heating,

Fortunately Michael's improving situation has allowed us three brief trips to "Flamingo", during which time we have often been cold, but the weather has been unseasonably mild, and I have been able to make much progress on the revised plumbing, to include a new calorifier, (effectively the equivalent of a domestic hot water cylinder), and revised radiator layout.  Of which, no doubt, more to follow in a subsequent posting.

Anyway - that's why absolutely no boating has happened since I last completed a blog post.