Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Looking for Christmas

Fri 16 Dec - It's been a while since I wrote anything here, we've been very hectic, and although we've been to the boat, it's been really lovely not to think about the blog! 

We took advantage of the marina pump-out for the first time (we know how to have fun) and also filled the diesel tank.  getting onto the service jetty was really easy - no wind, flat calm fingers crossed it'd be like that on the way back.

With the sun breaking through the low cloud we se off down the Ashby for Stoke Golding, just a couple of hours cruising but enough, we took it in turns steering, I negotiated a couple of the really tight bends through bridges at the beginning, but then chickened out and let the professional do the mooring up manoeuvre.  The trip to stoke Golding corner was uneventful, we passed 3 boats, all jolly and chatty.

We had booked a table at the White Swan, just up the hill, and the first pub you come to in Stoke Golding, this was our third visit since the new landlord took over, glad we booked as they were full! the food was yummy and well priced, well worth a visit, home made grub by the landlord Jamie - we'll be back.

Walking back to the boat in the fog we were pleased that we'd put the Christmas lights up, it certainly gave us something to aim for.

Sat 17 Dec - a Lazy morning, we set off for bridge 22 to wind, the sky was blue and the sun was warm and the air was very still.  Once winded we moored at the farm shop just short of bridge 23 - if you've never visited spinney bank farm shop then you're missing out, Elaine is really helpful, she butchers her own meat.  We stocked up, cleared the shop of chicken sausages (they are yummy scrummy) a few joints of beef and pork.  Even ice cream was purchased! 

Back at the boat coffee was drunk out on the back seats, the sun was really warm and it was lovely just to sit and enjoy it for a while.

We made our way back to the marina, lots of jolly people out for walks what a difference the sun makes.  We had chicken sausage sandwiches for lunch mmmm, and were aiming to get back to our berth by 3 ish, which we did, again there was no breeze, and getting back to the berth was a real treat, no pirouettes today.

Sun 18 Dec - boat winterised, Christmas lights taken down and we set off home, a really festive, relaxing weekend.

Just looked lovely in the sun

Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Motor Museum

Mon 29 Aug - After breakfast we decided to walk into Coventry and have a look around the motor museum, it's a short walk from the canal basin, and free entry.  When you enter you are not aware of the sheer scale of the building and how many exhibits it has, we were gobsmacked by this, and spent a good few hours wandering around.

From bicycles, to the world speed record cars, and everything in-between, here are some photos of our visit.

When we returned to the boat the three others that had cruised into the basin with us had left, we decided to leave too after a very late lunch, so at 4 we left, and made our way back to Hawkesbury for the night, facing in a different direction and looking forward to our return to the peace and quiet of the Ashby canal.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts, an armchair, rocking horse, waste bins too

Mon 29 Aug - Coventry, after a disturbed night (too many dogs thinking they own the new area they now find themselves in) we left early, actually Martin untied and set off while I was still in bed.  I joined him shortly after a little bleary eyed, a couple of cups of tea later all was well.

Our cruise into Coventry was uneventful, but showed the not so nice side of where you can take your boat.  It had the blackest stretch of water I have ever seen on a canal, our spirits - well mine- were lifted with the smell of the bakery wafting over to us.

Along the way we encountered, coconuts, so many we lost count, two large waste bins that looked like black icebergs from a distance, a bright pink armchair, a television - no remote control seen though, a matching pair of flip flops, and a matching pair of shoes half a mile apart, many footballs, and a rocking horse, not to mention far too many plastic and glass bottles, drinks cans and rubbish bags, with the odd wooden pallet thrown in (literally) for good measure.

The not so nice:

Some of the many cans, balls and bottles

One of the many coconuts, sadly they'll never take route on an idyllic island setting

Once loved and cherished

Pull up a chair and watch....

...some television
A new art installation?

Friday, 2 September 2016

Weekend at Hawkesbury Junction

Sat 27 Aug - We left the Lime Kilns after a lazy morning, we headed down the Ashby for the 2hr trip to Marston Junction, where we turned left.  The rush hour had gone and we were on our own, lovely, ominous clouds were looming though in the distance, and we hoped it would stay dry at least until we were safely moored up and inside!  the lightening could be seen towards Coventry, and then the thunder, and then it got louder and more frequent.  We turned the corner onto the final approach to Hawkesbury junction and made a bee line for the first stretch of free Armco, where we tied up just in time as within seconds of closing the rear doors and the hatch the heavens opened.

We viewed the hire boats continuing and remembered doing the same when we had hired.

We ventured down to the Greyhound pub in the evening to see what it was like, I don't think we'll be back in a hurry, and certainly not in the summer during the school holidays, the tables were very sticky, glasses everywhere and not somewhere we would like to perch and eat.

Sun 28 Aug - We stayed put today, we're on a nice wide stretch of canal, away from the sometimes chaotic junction and we have a nice wide stretch of grass too.  There are some very large tasty blackberries in the hedging alongside, Sunday crumble here we come!

We ventured down to the Engine house bridge and walked to the convenience store just through the new housing estate, Sunday paper in hand we walked to the other pub in Hawkesbury the Boat, clean and tidy, and a local drinkers pub, but no real Ale as there is no call for it with the clientele.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Bank holiday break

Weds 24 August - We travelled up to the boat late afternoon, with the roads reasonably quiet, arriving at the boat early evening and time to settle in and have a meal on board. On Thursday Martin spent some time ticking some jobs of his to-do-list.  I walked up into the town and had a mooch around the shops, they are quite varied and an hour or so had passed before I returned down the hill.

Seen on my walk

This has to be one of the most interesting gardens I've seen.
Friday 26 August - today we planned to leave after lunch and head down the Ashby to towards Hinckley. We went shopping first though, by car to the farm shop at bridge 23, Elaine and Spinnybank farm and her husband butcher their own meat, we came away with some tasty things, not least some proper pork chops.

We left the Marina just after lunch time, and took our time on such a perfect day, even the cows were cooling off.
Cows cooling off in the canal and seeking the shade of a tree
As we were travelling along we spotted a familiar looking boat, it was Caxton with Sue and George, a quick hello and exchange of our plans and that was that.

We stopped for the day within sight of the Lime Kilns pub and enjoyed the evening from the front cratch.
enjoying the evening from the front cratch of Sonia Louise

Monday, 22 August 2016

Spuddling back to base, and snagging

The best thing we've found is not having a timetable as such, this must be the shortest cruise in the most about of time we have ever done.  We've really relaxed into boating life, we've moored in some familiar places along the way, The Tame Otter, Polesworth and The Lime Kilns amongst them. 

At the Lime Kilns we'd past Tom and Jan on NB Waiouru, once moored I went back and knocked on their boat to introduce myself, I've followed their blog from the start, and it was great to meet them in person, Tom is very talkative and covers so many subjects with knowledge that he is willing to impart, we quite like the stuff Tom puts on his blog - are we sad?

We celebrated our last evening aboard by going to the Lime Kilns for after dinner drinks, it was going to be one drink at the start, we're not into pub singers you see, but little did we know that an evening with Andy Roseby (acoustic singer) was on the cards, he was great and our one drink turned into a lot more! we even joined in the singing, got chatting to his mum and dad and a very proud grandmother, wonderful.

Being back on the Ashby canal was lovely, we were warned by other boaters passing us that the canal was 'shallow' we know this and just nodded our heads and smiled, it's not been a problem for us at all, just caution needed at some narrows and a couple of bends.

Packing the boat up to come home for the first time I found very difficult, really didn't want to leave it, but we'll soon be back.

Our first day back home and we were replying to a Mail from Bluewater asking if we had any snagging issues, we have and they were quick in arranging a visit later in the week to sort most of them, it was nice seeing familiar faces, teas and coffees duly supplied.  We've also had a problem with our generator so the company that supplied it have been out to sort that out too.  Just a couple of other things to arrange dates for and that should be it.
Moored at the Lime Kilns on the Ashby Canal

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Huddlesford to Fradley Junction

We moved from our peaceful mooring and made our way to Huddlesford, not really that far to go, but then a couple of hours is all that is needed isn't it?

Having an evening meal on board we ventured to The Plough for a drink or too.  Although there are three bridges here, one of them carrying the west coast mainline, we found it quiet enough during the night and got a good nights sleep.  We went for a walk the following day, giving our legs a good stretch felt good, and we made a circular route along the lanes into Whittington, with a brief shop in the local Co-op (surprising how big this store is) and then a rest in the Bell Inn, if you have never stopped and walked to here it is well worth it, this pub has so much character. We completed our walk back along to the towpath in the company of a local, he told us about his mum being a land girl in the war in Somerset until he reached his house.

The next day we set off to Fradley Junction, an early start, we got to the junction before 9 Martin made the turn and headed back up the Coventry canal, we moored at the end of the line of moorers still in their places from the night before, as it was drizzling I suspect they wanted to see if the day improved, it didn't much, but we have waterproofs and don't mind boating in the wet.

Heading back through Huddlesford we moored nearer to Whittington within reach of bridge 80, handy for the pub and back to the Co-op for the days paper.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Onto one of the super highways

We've loved the tranquillity of the Ashby canal , it suits our backgrounds being country folk, the turn right at Marston junction went well but we were very soon aware that we were travelling along a sort of super highway, the Coventry canal was busy and not something we are really used to. We passed Boot Wharf again where we'd launched the boat with our destination being Fradley junction, our turning point.

We descended the Atherstone locks our first locks in this boat, it's an easy flight to negotiate, and well kept by the volunteers. 
Martin safely negotiating lock three of the Atherstone flight.
We moored out in the sticks and had a peaceful night, while watching the sun set.

Sunset, ready for a peaceful night.

We're enjoying our boat and all the planning we have put in is paying off. You'll notice that the dates and days have gone from the blog & intro, due to us not (well me) wearing a watch and neither of us bothered about what day of the week it is, bliss, total relaxation!

And one last thing, I love that you are checking into the blog Mum happy reading, see you soon, love you X

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Rails and Ales

It appears our timing was just right, we got to our marina just in time to enjoy the rails and ales weekend just over the canal bridge from the marina, my favourite being a fruity little number made from rhubarb and Rose hip.
We've spent some time getting the boat sorted too and meeting our neighbours, but one of the highlights was meeting up with friends Sue and George from nb caxton and welcoming them aboard as our first guests, I think they liked our boat.
On Monday we broke out of the marina and turned left to Snarestone, we enjoyed a lovely meal at the Globe, returning to the marina early on Tuesday.
Blogging is definitely on a go slow as we are far to busy enjoying ourselves and getting to know our new boat.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

And so a week has passed

We have now been on board a week, where has the time gone!.

Launch day - it sure is scary watching your new pride and joy dangling above a lorry and swung into the canal, but the chaps all new exactly what they were doing so why worry?  Sonia Louise touched the canal for the first time and sat lovely in the cut, and was pulled alongside the wharf and diesel point at boot wharf Nuneaton.  First things first find out what and where all the keys are for. 

I got stuck into offloading my car, I'd tried to remember enough for our first day, tea, coffee, wine, beer (maybe not in that order) We then set about our first diesel fill, 200 plus litres later we were able to start the engine.  We now needed to head to Bosworth Marina on the Ashby canal, with John the engineer from Bluewater Boats on board the journey started, the engine was checked a few times through the short journey to Marston Junction, where we let John off Dave was there on the Bridge waiting and managed to take some photos of us going under the first bridge at the junction. 

We got to the marina after 9.30 that evening, Martin having made an excellent turn into the entrance and under the footbridge he soon had the boat reversing back alongside our pontoon.  Just a small matter of retrieving my car from Nuneaton, fingers crossed it was in a safe place! Car retrieved we got back to the Marina with a Chinese take-away, so a late dinner, but glad to be on our boat in our home Marina.

Friday morning was an early start, I drove the two and a half hours home again, my car windscreen needed replacing due to a rather large stone wound, at half seven that morning I was eating breakfast at home.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


Weds 20 July Ready for delivery - tomorrow! and she looks wonderful against that blue sky backdrop

Our boat, ready for delivery at the boat builders yard.
We may sleep tonight, but then again we may not!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Small things

12 July -This week the surveyor is going to survey the boat so fingers crossed that all goes well, then on Friday the fitters are coming to lay the flooring.  We also need the front canopy to be fitted, this has I understand been measured and templated.

Last week the electrics were being worked through, LED lights, wall lights and the beating heart of the boat, the engine was installed, it'd been put on the hoist on Thursday during our visit but we missed the actual event which happened later that day.
A rather blurred photo, but you get the idea.
On the home front we still have a growing pile of boat stuff in the lounge.  I've spent some time removing a sticky mass of labels from various items. 

I sent away for some fitted sheets a little while ago for the Cross bed mattresses, I'm really happy with the quality and service from Denise at made to measure. these along with other  boat laundry have been washed and aired.

On Monday we will be visiting the boat builder's again, mainly to try and go through any snagging issues, it's easier to do this while the boat is at the builders yard, then hopefully we'll know more definitely about the launch location and date, the location is dependant on the availability and ability to launch a 65ft boat by crane. 

We are tantalisingly close and will soon have a beautiful boat to enjoy, each time we visit we admire the finish, and the boat feels very relaxing inside.

So one photo for now of the interior, a bedroom full of seat cushions, hope we work out where they all go! and the cupboard handles are now all fitted.

How do all these fit into place?
The next update will now be of the launch, whenever that is, I just hope I remember that there is a blog to update! excitement is building but being contained - just.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Not quite launch day today - but the boat is named

Monday 4th July - Not quite ready so we have a slight delay. As our launch date was provisional we thought it might slip, on Tuesday we visited our boat builders and could see a week to get the electrics and associated elements (not least the engine) would take longer.  The flooring, some cupboard doors, front canopy cover still need to be fitted.  Slightly disappointing but we'd rather the last bits of the jigsaw are not rushed.

So I've had to re-arrange holiday again, and have now run out of any other options, I'm desperate for time off, the couple of days over Easter was months ago, I don't intend loosing holiday either use it or loose it!

We have a steady 'pile' of things collecting in the front room. The two reclining chairs we've had for a few years are now dismantled - fingers crossed they fit in.

We'll be visiting the boat builders later this week to see what the state of play is, but it's likely the boat will be launched sometime around or after weekend of 15 July.

On Tuesday we met with the sign writer and went through the lettering style we  wanted and how this could fit into the panels. Here is the one on the bow flash
Our boat now named

Sunday, 26 June 2016

An open weekend visit

Saturday 25 June - The day started early for us, being woken again at 4am by a very loud blackbird.  I love birdsong and I understand the morning chorus starts around this time of day in the summer, however I'd prefer not to be aware of it on some days and rest in blissful sleep for a while longer.

The Journey to Bluewater boats open weekend was different with the slip roads off junction 12 on the M40 both closed, as well as the b road, so we took a different route.  We arrived just past 10 and were a little surprised to see so many people already in attendance.

On Tuesday the granite had been fitted and on Friday some of the upholstery too, we couldn't wait to see what it looked like so hot footed it onto our boat, wow, we love it! especially the blue flecks in the granite that shine out so brightly with the light.
Granite around the hob area

Dinette seating with upholstery
Covered bow with seat cushions

We're really pleased with the look and feel of the colours and materials we've chosen, and the boat has progressed so much in the last week.

I took some time out and sat on the dinette seat taking it all in, while Martin was showing a couple around, sorry I didn't catch your names but it was very nice to meet you both and to hear your lovely comments about our boat.

The paintwork is also done now, with a clear coat over the top, hopefully this will protect the paintwork and its colour for a good while, the  bow flashes have also been completed. 

We have chosen  to have porthole bungs and these had been delivered on Friday too, I think the window facing part of the covers look great with the blue paintwork on the boat, I really didn't think it would be so similar (I had hoped it would though)
Shiny new paintwork and port hole bung
So that was our latest visit, we retired to our local pub (I can say this as they now class us as locals, asking if we'd like our usual drinks, and that they'll bring them over to 'our' table), so welcoming.

We will be back again on Tuesday to talk to the sign writer about options for placement of our boats name, this is very important to us and has to be right.

There's also a lot of work still to be done so we think the launch date will be put back a little, better that than a rush to get something done for a date we think.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

On count down

Thurs 9 June - We're on countdown to the launch of our narrow boat, this is anticipated (and longingly awaited by us) to be the 4 July, we love the date! painting is well and truly underway, here is today's update picture.
NB Sonia Louise in the paint shed
And this is the photo Martin took back in 2012 when he saw the colour choices and coach lines he liked, I think it looks pretty much spot on.
Lady Lee 2012

Thursday, 28 April 2016


Friday 22 April - After a four hour drive last night we arrived at Pinxton, with a very pleasant overnight stop in a local pub - we even took part in the pub quiz, not officially but it was good to get some questions correct.  We also 'helped' a lone participant who was not using his phone to get the answers, unlike others!

We arrived at Whalin Upholstery around half eight, were greeted with coffee and an explanation of the types of seating foams and mattress choices - hmmm time to try them out then. Where do you start, we had coverings for dinette seating, portholes and outside cushions as well as the cross-bed mattress to make decisions on.  
Just some of the material books to look through, with coffee of course
We started with the dinette, fabric or leather? we'd brought the back of one of our freestanding chairs to help us decide, these are red leather, and we know that it is difficult to 'match' strong colours, we went through all the sample books, having first taken them outside to compare with the seat, in daylight.  There was a red that was almost a 'match' but knowing this may fade/weather at a different rate and shade to our chairs we stayed clear, surprisingly Martin picked out cream! now which cream would look best? there were three to decide between, time to leave this and come back after pondering.

Next the seating areas at bow and stern, something weatherproof and that would complement the wood in the bow and the boat's paint colours when done, again out into the daylight, along with a cushion cover in a likely choice, and a decision on the contrast piping, main colour 'beige' but has a golden tinge with blue piping.

Now back to the portholes, bungs, curtains or blinds of some kind.  From the outset we've not wanted curtains so they were easy to rule out, I had thought that roman blinds might have looked ok, but as the build has progressed we like the character of the wood and the round shape of the portholes, so bungs were decided on.  Comparing suitable materials with our bedding was quite quickly done, so the bungs will be covered in a gold material on the inside with a vinyl backing coloured in the same blue as the outside cushions piping.

Porthole bung material

Hoping this will all come together when in place
We Left Whalin, after a good few hours, happy with our choices.  We were now in a position to stop off at Bluewater Boats on our journey home.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Paint - how many colours?

14 April - Our boat build is progressing really well, it appears that we cannot stop smiling as soon as we step on-board.

Having been given a paint chart to ponder at our last visit, we've spent some time looking at the colours outside in natural daylight.  We've looked through our photo store of pictures taken over several years to see what style of paint panels and coach lines we like the look of, and have pondered previous boat builds from our builders photo albums (there are lots!) to see how they might work on our boat.

Our three main colours are Navy Blue, Cream and Red, we'll be meeting with the painter to finalise their positions in due course, as well as the signwriting style, location etc, this will transform the outside of our boat from build view to finished look.

We'll be having solar panels on the roof too, so some time was spent measuring up to see how and where on the roof space they will fit.

The covered bow area is coming on a treat, with the seating area now taking shape.  We love the feel here, it's so calming and a real social space, the oak is giving a really nice hue.  We've tried to think about how we use different spaces at home, as that should translate to how we will use areas on the boat.

We really love the feel of this bow area
Sockets and switches are being installed through out as well as the low profile LED ceiling lights, we hadn't seen these to begin with and it had to be pointed out to us, blinded by trying to take everything in, it's difficult to absorb everything, but we never feel rushed.
Low profile LED Ceiling light
Our Morso Squirrel Multi-fuel burner and entertainment centre will start to take shape now, having decided on a smaller TV we think this will help to make a neater looking unit.

The bathroom is also coming along, the shower tray, enclosure and shower wall panels have been installed, as well as the shower, the basin is also situated on the countertop. 
Shower tray, enclosure and shower wall all in place
Cannot wait for our next visit, our boat is starting to get some character, and regular visits are giving us the boat fix we both need.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

One of us has finished work

25 March - one of us has finished work, a milestone indeed.

We've been busy buying goods for the boat, fire, oven, hob, microwave, sink, shower etc.

The inside of Sonia Louise is really coming on a pace, we have the bulkheads in and the wardrobes and cupboards formed in the bedroom and galley, as well as the dinette taking shape.

On the outside of the boat the undercoat is being flatted back ready to receive  another coat.

Our covered bow area is also getting some character of its own, the metal roof is now lined on the inside with oak T & G and which has a lovely warm hue. There will be seating here and a fabric cover to keep any wet stuff out when needed, but during warm dry days the cover can be rolled up etc. to create an open airy feel.

Here are some of the latest photos.

Covered bow area, this will have a fabric cover to enclose the space in winter/bad weather

Bedroom, looking out to the bow
The dinette taking shape, with side hatches either side

Thursday, 25 February 2016

A bad case of dandruff

Wed 24 Feb - An early start today awake at 4.00 away by 6.30, we had a really smooth run through the rush hour traffic, so by 9.30 we were at the boat yard ready (ok, maybe not my preferred conversation after a long drive) to talk electrics and layout.

A rough layout was marked on the floor of Sonia Louise.  The Galley needing the most thought due to the physical size of the fridge/freezer we have gone for, and which now stood in the galley space. We always knew that our layout may need to be 'tweaked' to accommodate it. Good news for us was that David already had an alternative plan and talked us through this, it took me a little while to understand what this could look like, but with input from Paul the carpenter and his handy sketch it became our option.  Shelves, cupboards, drawers, storage and display ideas were all discussed as well as housing ideas for the fridge/freezer and microwave.

Moving on through the boat the layout flowed well, the dinette, saloon, bathroom and bedroom didn't need any changes, so we could pay some attention to the practicalities of how the entertainment unit could look and what it needed to house (hmm not my forte either). 

Electrical sockets next and Simon was quick to capture locations of these by drawing diagrams on the spray foam insulation, all sorts of cable runs were talked through, mains 230v, 24v, and so on.

A welcome break came and we took advantage of a quick pub lunch 5 minutes away, here we found the bad case of dandruff, we had both caught it, ooops, this is a really smart pub too! We had been leaning against the spray foam insulation and some of this covered our coats, still there is plenty left on the boat, a really thick application has been made, which should all be good for us come summer or winter.
Thick spray foam insulation now applied.

Back to the boat yard for switches and lighting positions, choices on ceiling light positions, wall lights, and LED strip lighting were all made as well as two and three way switching combinations, oh and lighting for the glass unit in the galley we are having.

Crikey I think we have our boat layout sorted!

Friday, 5 February 2016

It's a long way to the front

Weds 27 Jan - We had a busy day today, a call into Bluewater then the scenic route home through the vale of Evesham.

To the boat first then, and how nice to see it with cabin sides and a roof, with the all important (for us) extending roof line over the front cratch area.

We were also wanting to check window positions and side hatch openings, with those now marked out in chalk, at our next visit we should see the holes - hope they're right!

Martin took the opportunity to look down the roof line, a view we'll be seeing quite a lot of in the future, it looks very long indeed!
How far?
A five minute drive to the nearby pub the Bell Inn saw us having an early lunch.  Then back towards home to look at kitchen worktop options and flooring ideas. I'm really pleased our tastes don't differ too much.

And finally, we hope we won't need them but one each side should help if we do
Ready to give a foot up...

Sunday, 24 January 2016

An open day

Saturday 16 Jan - a crisp, cold and clear winters day, our first port of call was to Bluewater Boats open day a really good run up the motorways saw us arrive in good time.

Sonia Louise has now got both fuel and water tanks fitted and the front bulkhead in place, the bow area has really taken shape.  A lot of seam welding has taken place along the rubbing strakes.

We also discussed some of the stern seating area and how the top of the cabin will be shaped to the seating either side, with some soft curved lines, as well as the options for a 'ticket/book' slot - both now confirmed through photos and chalk lines - thank you Russell.

The narrow style Dutch Barge has now moved into a different shed and is at spray foam and first electric stage alongside a Andrew Wolstenholme and Branson boat which is in a more advanced stage of build.  The paint shed had a wide beam in and the shed next to the steel shed had a nearly complete wide beam, the woodwork always catches our attention, this boat gave us some ideas for our TV mounting and chimney flue.

The day seamed well attended and the car parking area full.

After confirming some toilet options - you cannot avoid the subject - and discussing things of an electrical nature we adjourned to the pub, handy being 5 mins away! mind you there is a good choice around the area, this just happens to be the nearest.

Our next port of call was to a showroom for flooring options, handy as an afternoon tea stop, we came away with some samples and will mull these over. When we have a sample of the wood being used in Sonia Louise we will see if the colours work or if we need more of a colour contrast, we have plenty of time to think this over.

We could've called into the granite supplier too but thought we'd looked at enough today, again we have plenty of time for choosing but have had colours and preferred options in our heads for a while, we just need to see if everything will tie in together.

So that's it till the next visit, plenty of reading to do yet Wi-Fi and connectivity our current bedtime reading (well Martins at least).

Yeah, photo added, the engine bay looking as empty as it ever will!

The engine bay coming on nicely, weed hatch in situ.