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  • Day44

    A tremendous amount of work done by John and his team this week. All the fireplaces are now out and bricked up. The floor in the left side of the house between the living room and 2 upstairs bedrooms has now been replaced. The concrete floor in the kitchen and downstairs toilet has been removed, damp course laid and re-concreted. The windows have been ordered and arrived on Friday. The gas supply is now laid to the house and is ready when we need to get some heating and plumbing installed.

    So, Sharon had the day off yesterday as John and Rich were coming up and I was playing apprentice. The aim of the day was to get some windows in. I got the pressure washer going and tried to clean the smoke offfrom the bricks above and to the sides of the living room windows. I used some TFR and smoke remover along with a wire brush. It’s massively improved but I think it coild to with a bit more fettling. We managed 5 windows which is great. There are only 3 left to install but the ones they still need to replace are currently functional. It’s made such a difference, the whole house is light and feels bright. Unfortunately Rich broke one pane of glass but only slightly. It’s fine for now but we’ll replace when we need to.

    Sunday morning saw Sharon and I go up for primarily a clear up. I removed a door and frame from the master bedroom entrance and a remaining bit of wall suspended from the ceiling on the other side. I also removed the ceiling from the downstairs passage and downstairs toilet and ripped out any old remaining wiring that was very charred along with the slightly scorched door in the toilet. Slowly but surely the burned stuff is coming out We’ve still got to decide what to do with the beams in the kitchen, I’m going to see if they will wire brush next weekend and if the smell is any better. It’s almost gone but there’s still a small trace. Removing the charred cable and ceilings may have helped, we’ll just have to see. We then had a good clean up, John came up and foamed the windows in and then we left.

    Progression will be a bit slower until after Christmas as John goes in for his operation on Tuesday. We wish him well and hope all goes well.

    Very happy with where we currently are, really enjoying it and we’ve only had it for 7 weeks.
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  • Day36

    Well, there’s been quite a bit of activity this week as John and his team have been there. We now have a fully functional front door although it is only temporary, the lintels in the front room have been replaced front and back, the fireplace in the kitchen and the bedroom have been bricked up and all the beams in the living room have been replaced. Most of the charred wood has now been removed apart from the odd doorframe and door and a few other bits and bobs.

    So yesterday Sharon and I went up and my task was to remove the dividing wall between the 2 smaller bedrooms, remove all the plaster from them and remove the ceilings. I also needed to replace the tap in the toilet for an outside one so that we can connect a pressure washer to it when we get the chance. I started off by sorting the tap, we didn’t get to put it to use with the pressure washer as we ran out of time but a good simple job done. As I made a start removing the dividing wall in the bedroom, Sharon started picking up all of the bits of wood around the garden that were left and put them on the fire site ready for the next fire. The side wall came out easy enough and I then came down to remove the acro’s so they didn’t fall when I started to knock the main wall down. I was just pointing out to Sharon what the next step was when there was an almighty crash and the whole breeze block wall came crashing down. Fortunately we were near the door and shot out at a fair rate of knots. Sharon was a bit shaken, I just saw it as a bonus as I no longer had to knock it down. We were lucky though, could have been quite nasty.

    Sharon’s Mum and Dad paid us a visit, fetched us a bottle of milk and a connector for the tap, Spok and Denise followed shortly after with cakes 👍

    I proceeded to remove all the plaster from the walls before heading up to the loft to kick the ceiling down. Spok returned to offer some help. He helped Sharon whilst I finished the demolishing of the bedroom ceilings. I have to say it knackered me, I kept getting cramp in my leg and it was a very long way down. But I managed it.

    The mess in the living room was huge. About 2 foot of plasterboard, lattes and plaster. Team effort to bag it all and clean up. Spok left about 4ish and Sharon and I worked on a bit and managed to get it all bagged, cleared and swept. We both left last night absolutely knackered but a good days graft and left in a nice state ready for us to get in and clean up today.

    This morning, clearing up was the aim of the game. We wanted to be home for just after lunch and we managed that. We managed to clear out the large bedroom, de nail all the beams in that room and sweep them all down so that when the plasterboard goes on the ceiling, debris wont fall down in to our eyes, although that’s a way off yet. We also cleared up the rest of the downstairs. Spok and Denise came up for a site inspection, really nice they are so interested and keep coming up, also John came and took a trailer full of rubble away.
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  • Day30

    So after last weekend off due to a visit from our friends, we were back on it this weekend. My Dad went up mid week and started digging the trench ready for the gas supply being installed a week on Thursday. So our first job was to finish that. It was real donkey work. We dug down 18” at a width of 12” for 5 meters. The ground was as hard as hell breaking shale and road stone mainly. However we managed it and the trench is now in, hands full of blisters as a reward for our efforts.

    We found out this week that we are potentially going to need full building regulation approval for the renovation and the whole house has to be brought up to 2017 spec. I had some fairly scary thoughts about what would need to be replaced but after a conversation with John he is going to speak to a private building control company and arrange a site visit. We’ll take it from there.

    Sharon had the day off on Saturday and went and did the Christmas shopping. My Dad and I went up and started the task of removing the floors from the 2 bedrooms above the living room where the fire started. Obviously we worked back on ourselves as do not to fall down in to the living room or get stuck at the wrong side of the bedroom without being able to get back. It was also quite dangerous as the floor joists were charred and very weak but again we managed it. We then moved on to removing the charred joists. We took a circular saw to them, split them in the middle and then pulled them out. We left the joists in below the bedroom walls and removed the boards around them before acro propping them up and finally removing them. It looks really weird when you walk in the living room and 2 bedroom walls are suspended in mid air above you.

    John also turned up yesterday to take another couple of trailers full of bricks and chiselled off plaster to his caravan park. On his second visit of the day we managed to get his van and trailer stuck in the front garden. Took us about half an hour and lots of digging, bricks, pushing and grunting before he finally got out. I reckon he probably took another 5 or 6 tonnes yesterday. A massive help. We also had the site inspection from Uncle Spok today and I think we passed 👍

    Next we turned our attention to removing all the plaster from the stairs. Slowly but surely we are removing anything that’s burnt and charred so hopefully the smell will start to disappear. It’s loads better than it was but its still apparent. We managed to get the whole staircase and hall stripped and the door casings out at the bottom of the stairs and thrown on to the ever growing pile of wood round the back. We got everything swept up and bagged up before calling it a day.

    We decide to go up today for a couple of hours as John wanted to come up and measure up for windows. We decided we were going to stay until 1pm. Sharon came with me and my Dad and worked hard as ever, clearing and fetching and carrying for us as well as being chief Tea maker. We started off by removing the rest of the chimney breast in the kitchen before moving on upstairs and taking all the plaster off the walls in the main bedroom. Another few tonnes of rubble but again we managed to get it all bagged and thrown outside. John duly turned up and measured up all of our windows with the exception of the 2 kitchen ones as we are going to remove them, build the sides up and replace with one larger window. He has also measured all the joists and various other items. He’s going to speak to building control tomorrow and get prices for windows. Also had a visit from Spok and Denise and they were well surprised how quickly it is changing.

    We packed up about 1.30pm and dropped my Dad off and went home for some lunch. We decided to go back and give the whole place a good sweep out and we knew Spok and Paul were coming up about 4 to burn some rubbish. We managed to get all tidied up and swept out and all the rubbish bagged, there’s probably about another 3 tonnes for John next week now.

    Paul and Spok arrived about 3.30 and lit the bonfire 🔥. It wasn’t long before it was well ablaze and lots of rubbish was being burned. I helped carry some of the wood down snd chucked it on while Sharon made us a cup of tea with a mince pie made by Lynne. I nipped Sharon home about 6pm and went back. We had a cracking night and managed to burn almost all the rubbish on the back including all the charred wood we stripped out of the house as well as all the trees and bushes cut down by Paul over the last few weeks.

    All in all a tremendous weekend, long shift today which wasn’t really planned but we’ve achieved no end.

    Thanks to everyone who’s been involved and kept coming up to help and support us, it really helps push us along.

    Until next weekend .....
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  • Day15

    So today saw a mass of work in the garden. I can’t take much credit for that, it was down to Paul and his team. They have chopped down the 2 massive trees which was a huge job. We went up there for a look just after lunch and they had got the branches off them both. Whilst we were there they decided to fetch the largest one down with me, Paul and Spok on the rope guiding it so it fell on the garden. We took up the slack and Pete started to saw through it with the chainsaw. Sharon was filming from behind us. As Pete got through and the tree started to fall, it became very apparent if we didn’t move and quickly, we would be squashed !! The very last few seconds of Sharon’s video was 3 men running away, footage of the ground where Sharon was running and a load of expletives 😂😂

    A great team, all worked very hard and the change in light and looks is brill.
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  • Day15

    This weekend has seen more progress. Spok and Paul have been up in the week and had a fire, burned a lot of the wood and trees that were cut down last Sunday. I have heard from Cadent Gas and they want to come and lay the gas supply as soon as they can despite me being told it would be after Christmas. I’ve agreed on the 16th November and have now ordered a recessed meter box. The trench will need to be dug out in s couple of weeks time and the meter box fitted.

    On Friday evening my father and I went up and set about removing the copper tank out of the front bedroom and disconnecting the pipe work (most of which was lead) which we did successfully. We also disconnected the old cast iron bath. The plan was to leave the cold water tap in place to the kitchen sink and remove everything else. Unfortunately we cut through the cold water supply to that tap instead of the hot one, the result was we took the lot out. The cylinder was emptied painstakingly by filling up a bucket at a time and throwing it out of the bedroom window. All in all though, a productive evenings work.

    Saturday and Sharon joined us. First job of the day for father was to reconnect the water and get a working tap which he did in the toilet. We then took the old bath out and it is currently sat on the back garden. We plan to eBay that and see if it’s worth anything. I filled the trailer with all of the scrap metal. John turned up with his big trailer and took two and a half tonnes of rubble and plaster to his place for his caravan park which was great. However since then we have replaced it with about another four tonnes. He is quite happy to take that when he gets a chance too. Spok came up to see how we were doing and he Met John. We got Johns opinion on the walls that the girls have scrubbed, although they have come up brilliantly, the time factor and the fact we’re going to have to chisel them out for the re-wire has made us decide it’s probably better to remove it all back to brick. A bit more work but at least when its done the whole house will be like new. He has also said he can change the 2 windows that were the pantry and bathroom in to one in the middle of them which I think will be better.

    We then progressed to removing the ceilings from the kitchen, taking the plaster off the walls in the back passage and downstairs loo and bagging up all the rubble. We snapped all the lats from the ceiling up and bagged them up for sticks for Spok. We then ripped out the old back boiler and fireplace/cooker and dragged it outside ready for scrap. We were lucky that a scrap man came round and we sold him the copper tank and lead piping and he took all of the other metal away too. This freed the trailer up and we took all the plasterboard to the tip in it. Again a good days graft.

    On Sunday morning I went up and made a start on removing the chimney breast out of the kitchen an when we took the ceiling down we learned that it wasn’t load bearing. Although 2 of the kitchen beams were supported on it, we can remove these and put a couple of longer ones in to sort that. The job was really hard graft. My dad came about 10.30 and have me s hand, it was painstakingly slow and hard but 98% of it is out, bagged up swept up and ready for the next visit in a couple of weeks.

    We have also measured up the beams and floorboards required for when we replace the floors and a John is going to order them tomorrow all being well.
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  • Day1

    So today we embarked on our very own house renovation project. This house was severely damaged by fire back in March and needs total renovation. Prior to today, we had the house cleared completely as it was crammed to the rafters with stuff, none which was any good and the whole house smelled of charred wood, plastic and masonry.

    Currently the only access is round the back through the back door as the front door and most of the windows are boarded up. We dutifully arrived about 9.30am after having breakfast with Spok and Denise at the cafe in Oldcotes. Spoke and Denise offered us some help and we very gratefully accepted.

    First job was to remove the board from the kitchen window and the front door to allow us access before emptying the car of all the tools and cleaning products we thought we would need. We did quite well, only forgot wire cutters. Once in, Sharon and Denise made a start on cleaning the sink out and the toilet - a job I’m happy I didn’t have to be involved in. Spok and I focused on the main bedroom. The ceiling had partially been destroyed which allowed us access to the loft. I went up and removed all of the smoke infested insulation throwing down in to the bedroom. Spok and I then bagged it all up in to wheelie bin liners and threw it out. I then went back up and removed the whole of the ceiling in the bedroom before we threw all of the plasterboard out on to the front garden ready for us to stick in the trailer another day. At this time Sharon and Denise moved on to trying to wipe down the walls with some TFR to try and remove the smoke. They also ripped up the kitchen floor tiles and generally gave the downstairs a good scrub where they could. Spok and I then progressed to clearing all of the insulation from the other side of the roof along with no end of more junk including a carrier bag full of lighters, a brand new sealed game of scrabble, a full roll of carpet and no end of other stuff circa 1970’s. Again we bagged all this up and the Sharon and Denise gave the front bedroom a good sweep.

    We stopped for a cup of tea and a sandwich, Sharon was very prepared with flasks and sandwiches and goodies which went down very well.

    Our next job was to drill a 22mm hole through the wall from the back of the house in to the passageway in readiness for the electricity supply to be fitted on Friday. Getting power was quite easy as Spok knows nearly everyone on the street, we chatted to a few of the neighbours and there was some good banter. Next door but 2 (Wally Parish) connected us up with a couple of extension cables and I drilled the hole. I thought that would be difficult but it was actually quite easy, however mounting the fireproof board for the termination point was less so. A combination of slightly too big a hole for the plugs, not being able to see and having to move the ladders out of the house every time I needed to get new rawplug or screwdriver saw me getting a bit pissed off. A trip to B&Q for some bigger plugs that I didn’t use saw me approach it slightly different when we got back and all turned out well in the end.

    Denises Uncle (Paul) turned up to give us some advice about 2 massive trees in the back garden, we’ve decided they need to come down. Again the garden is like a jungle and there is masses of wood. 4 wheelie bins and countless other item scattered about all over the place. It appears Uncle Less (who used to own the house) was a bit of a hoarder.

    We packed up about 3.30 just as it started to chuck it down, a very successful day, massive thanks to Spok and Denise for their very hard work and help and Paul for his advice.

    This blogs going to go on for a very long time but will provide a great reminder when its all done (assuming we get that far).
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  • Day19

    So this evening our adventure has come to an end. It's been a blast(mainly an arctic one) but we've seen places and sights we've never seen before. We've met lots of people, done lots of things, we've been spoiled and we've enjoyed ourselves.

    Check out was 12:00 noon today. Neither of us slept very well last night due to a brat balling its eyes out all night from 9 until about 6 this morning. It wasn't a baby either as it could talk and its father did nothing but shout at it all night. Not good but we don't know the circumstances.

    We were up and about, showered final packing in to the 3rd case done, bags checked in to concierge and out in a diner by 10. I had the most amazing steak and eggs, Sharon having all American pancake breakfast with no end of extras. It was a real feast and set us up for the day. We had quite a bit to fit in today, needing to be back at the hotel for 5pm for our car to the airport. The weather has been amazing considering the TV said and our phones were forecasting terrible winds and rain ☔️ I was in Shorts and a T-shirt only, woohoo.

    First stop of the day was "The High Line". A disused railway that had been turned in to a park. Literally a couple of blocks from us and quite nice. It took us out to the Hudson River and wax about a half a mile walk, lots of pretty flowers, sculptures and some great views. From there we moved on to Times Square for a cuppa and a chocolate muffin, very welcomed. We then progressed to Central Park via "The Late Show" studios. We were very pleased with ourselves how well we got ourselves around from memory having only been here once before and that was 5 years ago, we've only used public transport once and that was cos we were knackered.

    An amble around Central Park was nice and quiet and away from all the hustle and bustle, I didn't fancy a horse and cart ride as I think if they do a big shit on the way round it would stink and I don't really fancy that. So we just wandered. When we left, we did that via 5th Avenue and via the Apple shop. I kept my hands in my pocket 🙁. As we got to Trump Tower there was lots of security and road closures as Don himself was staying there !! There was a lot of activity and it was very buzzing. At this time the weather predictions became true, the heavens opened and it chucked it down, storm force winds joined in too. We couldn't complain, so we hot footed it back down to Times Square in to a Deli we know and had a sandwich and a drink, before continuing back to our hotel. We arrived like a pair of drowned rats but we were jovial.

    We got ourselves changed and our cases out and sat outside the hotel under the canopy in the rain waiting for our car. It arrived within a few minutes and we were taken to JFK to get our flight home. The traffic was horrendous, it took an hour and a half to do about 30 miles.

    So that concludes our adventure, thank you all for following and for all your messages as we've gone along. It's been difficult replying but we have read all the ones we have had a lovely time and have enjoyed sharing it with you all.

    Until next time, Au Revoir

    Love from Lee & Sharon xx
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  • Day18

    Today saw us let loose in New York. The weather today has been ok on the whole, it was raining this morning and had been very cloudy all day. But the rain cleared up mid morning and the temperature has been good.

    We started the morning in a New York Deli for breakfast, I had a steak and cheese omelette with potatoes and toast, Sharon just went for a vegetarian omelette. I took water, Sharon decided to go for the "Skinny Trip" shake, cucumber, carrots, and spinach. It looked disgusting and judging by the animation on her face it didn't taste that much better.

    We then walked down 7th Avenue to find the "Iron" building before moving on to find the bridal shop "Kleinfeld". Apparently it's featured in the garbage to program that Sharon watches called "Say Yes to the Dress". By some miracle it was closed today and only open for alterations tomorrow, how awful. However Sharon got her picture there which she was very happy with. The traffic is horrendous all over New York due to the UN conference. There are lots of road closures and the city is gridlocked. The media really are going to town on it and the security is very high.

    We moved on and headed for The World Trade Centre. It was quite a walk, about 4 miles but was pleasant. We passed many interesting buildings and parks as well as a fire station with a memorial outside for the staff that died as heroes on that very sad day. We were invited in to take a picture of the truck and the firefighter was lovely. Makes you think what the emergency services could face each and every day they go to work. When we reached the site it had changed so much since we were here 5 years ago. The One World Observatory is up and the memorial gardens and Waterfalls are complete. Again very sobering when there and there's still a massive hole in the skyline. We spent a lot of time reading all the info and taking everything in. We were going to go up the observation deck but we were advised against it as there was zero visibility due to the fog.

    Moving on, we walked to Battery Park and took the Staten Island Ferry across to the Island. As we got there we got straight off and on the next one coming back. The whole purpose of the trip was to see The Statue of Liberty. The ferry sails right past it and the view is good (on a clear day), the whole service is run free of charge, 24 hours s day, 7 days a week. A cracking service and very busy. As we sailed back we saw 2 military helicopters flying side by side around the Manhattan skyline and out to Staten Island.

    We had walked a long way so decided to get the subway back to Penn Street Station at Maddison Square Gardens which is literally round the corner from the hotel. We then set about buying a 3rd suitcase due to being overweight and sorted a taxi out for the airport tomorrow night. All done.

    Finally this evening we wandered back up to Times Square stopping of for some dinner on 7th Avenue. We've walked 11 and a half miles today and we've had a blast.

    Last day tomorrow, late flight home and check out at 12. Weather forecast is for it to chuck it down all day and the tail end of a hurricane to hit so an interesting day ahead.
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  • Day17

    So today was the day we had to leave our floating luxury hotel after 15 fantastic days. It's been amazing. So we decided to be up early this morning to see us sail in to New York, alarm was set for 4.45am 😴 😴 It was still dark and still foggy but a lot warmer and well worth doing. We sailed right up by the Statue of Liberty, past Manhattan before finally docking on our berth in Brooklyn. The waters were as calm as anything. At 5am the decks were full of people doing the same thing.

    All the restaurants and buffets were open extra early this morning as they want the ship empty by 11am. As we were up and about early we decided one last meal downstairs in the restaurant rather than the buffet. It's great to be served and to say goodbye to some of the waiters we've got to know. A final cup of tea and a couple of Lemon Danish pastries at the back of the ship overlooking Brooklyn Bridge to the right and Manhattan to left, before picking our carry on luggage up and heading for Club Fusion to disembark 🙁.

    Once off the ship we were greeted with US immigration, always a pleasure (NOT) but to be fair it was quite painless this morning. By 9.30am we were in a taxi to our hotel, The Marriott in Chelsea, Manhattan. It's quite nice and extremely central, just 5 minutes to the Empire State Building and about a 20 minute walk to Times Square. Our trip took us over the Brooklyn Bridge and up through downtown Manhattan. Traffic was horrendous due to the UN Conference taking place all this week. We've just seen on the news that Donald has arrived Safely at Trump Towers !!

    As our room wasn't ready, we left our luggage with the concierge service and set of in to town, heading for Times Square. We stopped of at Macy's for some lunch along the way. The weather was very warm but very cloudy. We've done little more but walk around all day, 10 miles according to Fitbit. We had tea in Grand Central Station and had a wander in to The Grand Hyatt where we stayed last time.

    It's 9pm here now, still 24 degrees and we're just back at the hotel totally knackered. Although it was the last day on the ship, we've still got a couple of days here to enjoy, and it's a lot warmer - have I mentioned the weather at all over the last couple of weeks?

    So that's it from us tonight, more tomorrow.
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  • Day17

    Cruise : Iceland and Atlantic Explorer
    Ship : Crown Princess
    Captain : Martin Stenzell
    Ship Tonnage : 113,561
    Length : 289.6 meters
    Breadth : 36 meters
    Height above sea :60 meters
    Depth below sea :8.5 meters
    Max no of passengers: 3599
    Max no of crew: 1201
    Ship delivery date: May 2006

    Southampton to Lerwick (Shetland Islands) 865 miles
    Lerwick (Shetland Islands) to Akureyri 802 miles
    Akureyri to Isafjordur 200 miles
    Isafjordur to Reykjavik 217 miles
    Reykjavik to St Johns (Newfoundland) 1639 miles
    St Johns (Newfoundland) to Halifax 611 miles
    Halifax to New York 754 miles

    Total miles since Southampton 5088
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  • Day16

    Last full day on board today so have to make it count. I feel a lot better today as the drugs I got knocked me out and I slept really well. First job of the day was to check the speciality breakfast in the dining room. I nipped down to see what it was whilst Sharon got herself ready. Bingo - "The Lumberjack" breakfast, Steak & Eggs, my favourite and twice on the same cruise. That was the start to the day I enjoyed. The weather was pretty much as it has been for the last week, heavy fog, poor visibility but increasing temperatures. We did see some bright sunshine about midday for a couple of hours but it's back to thick fog again now. Unfortunately that's the forecast for the approach in to New York in the morning, it's not going to stop us getting up at 4am to see the skyline if possible.

    We went to the back of the ship and sat out for an extra cuppa before having a wander to the atrium where we just sat and soaked up the atmosphere. Meanwhile, Elwood took it upon himself to run riot around the ship - See attached pictures!! After we had chased him around, it was time to go back to the room and pack. I must say, Sharon does a cracking job of it, would be rude to interfere 😂😂. I took to cutting my hair and having a shower when disaster struck. A little over half way in to the hair cut the clippers stopped. Serious shit !! And I had charged them thoroughly. However it did appear that they were flat. Fortunately I managed to cobble together a couple of extension cables and got them working. I had visions of a visit to the nice ladies in the Lotus Spa with a hat on and begging !!

    We decided to go out on deck about lunchtime as the sun was out, we both went in the pool which was nice and warm. As it was a bit wobbly the water sloshes about all over and makes it quite fun. We were in there for about half an hour before we moved on to the hot tub. Always a lovely feeling jumping in to the hot spa.

    Next on the list was a quick visit to the Trident Grill to get a chicken breast burger and a slice of pizza for Sharon as we were short of time because there was a talk about navigating the ship on in the club fusion. We made it there and it was a brilliant presentation, made better as the officer doing it was actually driving the ship when we went on the bridge, Michael, nice guy and from England too. Another interesting fact, he told us the size of the fuel tanks on board hold 750,000 gallons of fuel and then said if you filled it up in England at the rate of fuel of £1.15 per litre it would cost a tad over 4 million pounds to fill it ⛽️. He was really good and knowledgeable and only 22 years old, he's a third officer. He took questions at the end, Sharon asked whether we had actually crossed the Arctic Circle, he replied that they did speak about it as we were so close, but the weather put pay to it and it wasn't really safe to do it. We got 6 miles from it which Sharon is more than happy with.

    As I said busy day, next on the list was Afternoon Tea in the Botticelli Dining room. When we arrived I asked for a table for one even though Sharon was with me, just getting the Maitre D back for playing tricks on us all holiday, he wasn't quite sure whether I was serious but I put him out of his misery fairly quickly. He's a great guy. The Afternoon Tea experience on board is a really lovely experience, many cakes, scones, sandwiches and pastries as well as tea. Two ladies played the violin as we were stuffing our faces. They were very good.

    We are now all packed, suitcases outside waiting for collection and we've just had our Gala Dinner in Horizon Court. We're just going to go for a wander before returning here for a drink and retiring for the evening. We'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to see us dock if possible and we are excited about that. So goodnight all until tomorrow ⚓️🚢🍹🇺🇸
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  • Day15

    The last stop before New York greeted us this morning. I was up early due to not being able to sleep with this full on head cold. I was going to sneak out and have a cuppa on deck but Sharon woke up so we went together. In true arrival style it was very cloudy with no sign of sun at all, however the temperature had crept in to double figures. It was a lovely approach, land on either side with lots to see.

    We went for breakfast in the dining room whilst most people left the ship before leaving it ourselves. The quayside was really nice, very busy as there were 4 ships in but lots of shops, bars and restaurants. We hadn't booked a tour, we were just going to wander around and do our own thing. First on the list was a chemist for for man flu tablets and a few other essentials before Starbucks for some tinterweb.

    As we left the ship there were lots of local guides and maps. We decided to walk up to the public gardens first. They were lovely, very well maintained and vibrant colours. Again lots of reference to the UK, in particular a lot of Scottish references. We saw a few people we knew off the ship up there so had lots of chats on the way around. We then moved on to to "The Citadel", except we had to climb up cardiac hill to get there. Well worth the effort. It was an old fort like place with lots of weapons and Scottish Soldiers still guarding it. It was free to get in as Canada are celebrating 150 years of something, being Canada probably. The views were stunning from up there. There was lots to see and do and you could even fire a real gun, someone did and it was that loud I nearly fired something in to my pants !!

    Things started to change around lunch time, a big hot yellow thing made an appearance in the sky. Woohoo, at last. It was lovely to finally have some heat. We walked back to the ship along the waterfront which again was very pleasant. Once back on board I tried to get some sleep whilst Sharon went to look at the tat for Sale in the quayside. It was useless really, this cold really has taken hold. So when she came back we went out on deck to see the sail away. The open decks were very busy mainly due to the weather but as soon as we got out to sea the fog made a reappearance and visibility was back to only a few meters. Only one thing for it, hot tubs. We sat in the tub as it went dark and we said our goodbyes to Canada 🇨🇦

    It's 9.20pm now, we're at the back of the ship having a drink 🥃and we'll be of to bed very soon to try and get some sleep, I've not slept a wink for the last 2 nights so hopefully the tablets we've bought might knock me out.

    It's been a lovely day, Halifax is a nice place to visit. We're now winging our way towards The Big Apple 🍎 due to dock there at 6am on Sunday morning. So we bid you all a good night although it's the early hours of the morning back in the tropical United Kingdom 🌴
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