Tag Archives: appliance

A Euphemism By Any Other Name

Friday 5 June 2020

A Euphemism By Any Other Name

A day of cloud and rain showers interspersed with sun. If we had been at sea, they would have been squalls. It was a fitting setting for a trip to Thetford. As anyone remotely conversant with narrowboaters and narrowboat life knows toilets are a common and frequent topic of conversation. I say conversation* I suppose more akin to discussions between Celtic/Rangers supporters or Liverpool/Everton supporters. There is rivalry shall we say. And yes, there is more than one type

  • Pumpout – think of a slurry/holding tank meets Mr Dyson‘s worst nightmare
  • Cassette – no, not the music format of the ’80’s but a small box that fits into a toilet-like affair
  • Compost – conjuring up the garden idyll of everything coming up roses, except that it’s your waste

We didn’t actually travel to Thetford. We currently have a Thetford Cassette toilet. It looks brand new. It looks like a normal toilet right up until the little indicator thing on it goes from green to red. Then it becomes a pain in the somewhere a lot lower than the neck.It’s a simple affair to empty: turn the toilet around, fiddle around looking for some kind of release mechanism (I wore gloves) and lift out the cassette. Could I do this? No!

I eventually found the catch (after Mu had cranked up YouTube – be careful what you search for) but it wouldn’t budge. It turns out I had the flap open rather than closed (could have been fatal if I had forced it). Flap closed, it came out with ease. It was heavy. We drove around to the sanitation point (Elsan point). No point in struggling by foot, parading what you are doing if you don’t have to 😉

I have carried out the above procedure before in the past. It’s not for the squeamish but after cleaning commodes for a living at one point, it’s old hat. With the cassette back on the boat, I cleaned it to within an inch of its life and clipped it back in.

It’s Simploo Delightful

Mu and I have decided we are going to get a composting toilet. We think the Simploo suits our style. A composting toilet separates fluids from solids, at source. The fluids are more easily emptied, the solids dry out (shrinking down by 80% of their original volume and can be bagged and binned. If you are interested in more detail (no, not that kind of detail) this YouTube video is the one to watch.

So, next time you go to the toilet, spare a thought for us. Oh, maybe not.

On loftier news, our oven shelves and oven grill pan arrived today – no more singed arm! The sun came out later after lashings of rain and we went for a walk along the canal towpath. It was windy but gorgeous. It meant that afterwards, we could sit out and enjoy our evening meal on the stern. Still using the baking tins.

The wind stayed into the evening. The trees by the canal swayed in their uppermost branches and the water rippled past between our boat and the one moored next to use. It gave the feel that we were were on a river. the clouds glowed pink against a blue sky and the sun fell.

*The ‘discussions’ on the merits of the different types of narrowboat toilet are fiercely debated and opinions are rigorously held.

rp – peace and narrowboats

I Am Officially…

Thursday 4 June 2020

murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - I Am Officially... - coffee cups image

I am Officially…

Elevenses – I am officially a Hobbit!

Twoses – doesn’t have the same ring about it but I’m going to make it a thing!

Mu spent most of the day looking for a ring (not the one ring), to connect the water filler cap key, so I don’t drop it in the canal. It’s innthe lock-up somewhere…

We insured Silverdale today. It’s a lot easier than insuring a car (cheaper), we have belongings cover included. We used Collidge & Partners as we used them before to insure our previous narrowboat: MIRRLESS. We feel better now.

I discussed yesterday’s incident with the lost nozzle with the Marina Office and they said they would get someone onto it. A little later, true to their word, Tim knocked on the roof. I explained the novice boater mistake . He went off to get a torch (a long thin one). He came back (phew!). He looked in the tube then went off to get a tool or implement or something. He came back (double phew!). I left him struggling to retrieve the nozzle from the pipe. There was little help I could provide. After some time, a hand pushed open the door, holding the offending item. It meant success! I just can’t thank Whilton Marina enough – thank you Tim.

I continued filling the water tank (without the nozzle this time). It filled much quicker with the obstruction removed. The nozzle was consigned to the spares box. Everything was back up and running and working as it should. Oh, I fixed the horn! A bit of sandpaper on the terminals, re-connect and the horn tooted! We can go in tunnels and warn oncoming boats they are about to ram us or vice versa. Does this qualify me as a Marine Engineer now?

For evening repast (we skipped fourses) we had barbecued pasty- unintentionally. The oven is an Indesit gas oven. It’s full size, fully functional and really pretty good. All except for there being no oven shelves or a grill pan. It makes using it tricky. Toast is effected by holding slices of bread in a frying pan, under the grill by hand. The frying pan we have, while not cast iron certainly feels like it in weight when you hold it at arms length for any length of time! I have no hairs left on my right arm due to singing. The aforementioned pasty had to sit in the trusty baking tin (it’s a multi-functional marvel). The trouble with this was that the tin was in direct contact with the base of the oven. This is also the source of the heat i.e. gas flame. The pasty cooked quickly but with a black base. Charcoal would be a good descriptor.

We have now ordered oven shelves and a grill pan.

Nineses – a cup of tea and a chocolate from the box in my hamper. Then off to bed to officially read Lord of the Rings (I’m inching my way through it).

rp – peace and narrowboats

Wash and Tumble

Tuesday 2 June 2020

murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - light play on roof image

Wash and Tumble

Water reflected light skittering of the roof interior of Nb Silverdale. Another glorious day. Coffee on the forward well deck.

Mu used the washing machine today. It is a Superbrite AGP1445 Twin Tub washer spin dryer and is a 240 volt machine (not 12 volt as we had originally thought). After a thorough cleaning and pouring of excess water, from the hose onto the carpet, the wash went well. The tumble was started, just as I answered a call from work. The tumbling started out as more of a grumble and built into a full blown argument. It thrashed and banged. At the same time a high speed train shot by on the line, up above us, on the embankment. Then another shot past in the other direction. Mu realised she hadn’t put the little ‘hat’ (her word) onto the washing, as it span. This reduces the noise to whisper levels. I was falling about laughing, trying to keep the call together.

I don’t think Matt on the other end of the call knew anything about the chaos at this end. If he did, he didn’t let on. Priceless!

After washing, the excess water has to be drained into a bucket. As we are only using small amounts of nature-friendly washing products, we can empty the bucket straight into the canal. You are allowed to empty grey water into the canal as it does not affect the wildlife.

The washing machine now sits toward the back and to starboard, next to the steps – in readiness for its next wash and tumble. It’s tucked out of the way until next time. For a small footprint in both size, water requirement and electrical usage, we recommend it. With its little hat on.

rp – peace and narrowboats

Stay Frosty

Sunday 31 May 2020

Stay Frosty

Just a quick fridge and freezer update – they weren’t working but now they are (see Moving Aboard Silverdale). Both the fridge and freezer are Shoreline products and were kindly fitted by Whilton Marina before our arrival. They are 12 volt appliances and so run directly off the batteries efficiently (hopefully). 12 volt appliances are a lot more expensive than their 240 volt counterparts. For reference and the stats geeks out there, we have

  • Shoreline RL 102 Larder Refridgerator 12/24vdc White
  • Shoreline RU 102 Upright Freezer 12/24vdc White

Both fridge and freezer have settled in well. A little too well! The fridge is cool. Supercool! In fact, the cider cans were frosty. The back of the fridge was glistening with ice crystals like something from the ice queen’s castle. It will need defrosting every other day at this rate!

Time passes – a eureca moment dawns…

Panic over. It seems that we were turning the dial in the ‘Arctic Expedition frozen most northerly point’ direction, rather than the ‘sunny Bahamas beer fridge by the beach’ direction. It’s calmed down now. We won’t have to de-frost every other day 😉

Stay frosty!

rp – peace and narrowboats