February 25th, 2009

A small thing, but nice to have – coathooks for me to hang my wet jackets up somewhere where they don’t drip all over the wooden floor, and for guests to hang their coats by the door when they come in. These rather nifty brass ones fold out of the way when not in use, so they shouldn’t catch on anything inadvertantly. They’re made by Nauticalia, but I got mine from Marinestore who had them on special offer at the time.

Outdoor gear reviews

February 25th, 2009

Outdoor gear is quite tricky to buy. You can go into a smart shop and spend a lot of money and come out with a lot of wizzy technical gear, but how much better is it than what you can get more cheaply? Conversely, if you get something cheap, will it actually perform, or will it let you down when you need it?

This post is a general public service aimed at recommending a few products I’ve tried and found to be worth having. Read the rest of this entry »

Resurrecting a dead PC – P2V using VMWare Fusion

February 22nd, 2009

This is a more than slightly techie post, so apologies if you were looking for further tales of life on the river. One of the reasons for my lack of bloggage over the last six months or more has been that my old faithful Acer laptop died in early August. I replaced it temporarily with an Asus eeePC 900, although that was such a pain to use for more than about half-an-hour that my enthusiasm for blogging diminished considerably! Anyway, I saved my pennies and splashed out on a new Mac a little while ago, which brings me to the mainstream of this evening’s symposium, as Tom Lehrer used to say…

I had a laptop with a nontrivial fault (either motherboard or processor – it wouldn’t boot) but reckoned that the hard disk was okay. Based on this hunch, I got a cheap caddy from Dabs and converted the laptop’s internal hard drive into a USB external disk. This let me recover my data, but the PC also contained quite a lot of software – much of it paid for – that I was reluctant to reinstall and track down all the relevant licence keys. Besides, I’ve moved to a Mac – so I bought VMWare Fusion to met me run Windows for those odd awkward things that won’t work under Mac OS. Read the rest of this entry »

Marooned, briefly

February 14th, 2009

After all of Tuesday’s excitement, Wednesday brought a day of gentle rain. By Thursday morning, the river was much, much higher – right up to the edge of the path where I’m moored – and in fact it had clearly peaked during the night as the path was still partly wet. It was also cold – and there was ice on the path and, rather more crucially, on the gangplank. Faced with an icy gangplank with the “shore” end submerged, I decided not to go into the office and worked from home. By the afternoon the river had subsided to the level we’d had on Tuesday and I managed to get out and get provisions. Snow was forecast for the early evening, and didn’t disappoint. By this stage the river had dropped quite quickly, and so lots of fun was had out in the snow rescuing various boats that had got caught on the bank. Then we (myself and some of my neighbours) retreated to the warmth of the Fort St George and warmed our cockles with plenty of Abbot Ale.

Today (Saturday) the river’s come up a little bit after the snow melted on Friday afternoon. My achievement of the day has been beating the deformed end of the chimney extension back into shape, with creative application of a crowbar, pliers and a Mole wrench. So I won’t need a new chimney after all, saving me from shelling out £100 for a new one…

There are pictures of the floodwater and the chimney here.

Water, water, everywhere…

February 10th, 2009

Firstly, some very quick apologies for the very long absence of blog posts – I’ll explain later…

This morning I was lying peacefully in bed, gradually coming to, and the boat banged against the bank a couple of times, which it often does when there’s a strong wind or a rowing eight passing. A few moments later there was a much bigger bang, and some shouting. This is less common, but not unheard of – usually it means a broadside collision by a rowing boat – but this morning the bangs and shouting continued until I jumped out of bed and realised all was not well. In fact, Innocenti was 250m downstream, having come adrift, and had been rescued by two kind gentlemen from one of the rowing clubs. Read the rest of this entry »