Again, weeks have passed since my last post. The couple of weeks leading up to Christmas were hectic, not through organising Christmas and buying lots of presents and unnecessary food, as we don’t really go in for all that commercialism, only buying gifts for Sam our son, but with tying up loose ends at work (we close for 2 weeks over the festive period), so this meant working out wages for the next 3 weeks. We had one visitor to the boatyard staying in our holiday bungalow, Brenda a regular visitor. This was the first year we didn’t let any hire boats – just as well as with the severe weather we experienced before Christmas came with it freezing temperatures which froze up all the back waters and most of the navigable stretches too. It is just not practical cruising in the winter, as no matter how well the boat is heated, you can’t get away from the fact that you are sitting in a plastic tray in VERY cold water! For the last week at work all the water pipes froze solid, so all the water had to be turned off and the heating left on to further reduce anymore freezing. Throughout our whole closed period we had to keep checking that everything was safe round the yard and that all the boats stayed afloat. There is quite a lot of water stored on boats which have to be drained off and the boat especially the engine winterised, as once this water that lays around (in pipes, toilet bowls, in the engine itself) freezes, once it then starts thawing, it expands and can wreak havoc, splitting metal & plastic quite easily, which in some cases can cause the boat to sink. Once we were back at work we heard of several examples just in our very local area about boats that had sunk and engines completely cracked open wide, solely due to the owner not having the foresight to winterise them – A very costly mistake.
Once I had tied up all the loose ends at the yard, I had booked off the week leading up to Christmas as we had organised 7 days up to and including Christmas Eve as collections outside various retail premises. The 18th & 19th December we were outside with Tillie & Raven but also in my care was Vikki, another greyhound we are looking for a home for. She has been in foster care but the fosterer went away over the holidays and I have been looking after her. By golly it was cold as we sat outside. The dogs have a purpose built shelter which keeps the rain and wind of them and of course they had on jumpers and coats. I was fairly cold but managed to wrap up well also apart from I couldn’t keep my feet warm at all. In the end a Swedish friend offered me some leather fur lined boots which with a wool pair of socks made all the difference. Next day was outside Tesco at Stalham another village about 6 miles away. By far this was the coldest day for me and once I was home, after a meal I sat in our living room with the central heating on, the wood burner alight and huddled under a blanket and it took me until I went to bed that night for me to warm up properly. Tuesday to Friday we collected outside Pets at Home only missing Thursday. We did really well, not only collecting a substantial amount of money and selling plenty of snoods and knitted greyhound pups but also our main objective raising awareness of the plight of greyhounds - I was glad it finally came to an end on Christmas Eve and so were the dogs.
This was the Christmas card Nigel drew me.