So the year ends and a new one starts

It’s been a tough year all round this year for pretty much every one. What with the rise in energy bills, the extremes of weather, the war in the Ukraine and so on, most people will be glad to see the back of it. We have been quite lucky with it all. Our energy bills have stayed pretty static – mostly due to careful use and the good insulation in the building. In any case, we, as tenants, haven’t been hit with the extra costs of insurance and energy for the fabric of the building.

Still, a new year always gives people hope of a better one so we shall hope along with everyone else. It has been a noisy time here over Christmas as we had all the family around for the 27th – some on Zoom – for a session of Christmas carols with myself on the concertina and my son-in-law Matthew on the guitar. Great fun.

I did one last trip to Tesco and the pharmacy on this cold morning. It’s 13c – 56f which isn’t that bad but the wind is a bit strong so it feels cold. As I came around University Avenue I noticed that they are starting to wrap the University accommodation block. The wrap they are using looks a lot flimsier than ours so, with the wind whipping off the waterfront, I wonder how long it may last!

To finish off the blog for the year, let’s have one last look at Alert. She spent the Christmas with us.

Well, that’s it for the year. Thanks for reading the blog and I hope that you will continue next year. Please tell your friends about it so that the following can grow as that makes me feel that it is all worthwhile.

Happy new year for 2023 to you all.


It’s Christmas

Well, I am not going out today! We have my youngest and her husband coming for lunch and then my eldest and husband arriving for afternoon tea. We had our middle daughter over yesterday and my son arrives on 27th with his crew. On the 27th we are having a carol service all to ourselves. Son and eldest with families here and the other two on Zoom. I will be playing my concertina and Sam’s husband, Matt, will hopefully play the guitar.

Given the state of my arthritis, we don’t of much for decorations. We have a display every year on top of the sideboard.

The stick figures to the left were made by Samantha many years ago, as was the little bubble Christmas scene on the right made by Wendy. The nativity scene is a very old member of the family. It sat on top of the television for many years when we lived in Gidea Park. It followed us to Tuddenham and is still here on the Waterfront. That make it over 30 years old. The last item is the Father Christmas on top of the lighting. I brought this back from the USA in the late 1990s when I was in Minneapolis for a meeting with US Bank.

All in all, there are a lot of memories here. May I wish you all, around the world, a very happy Christmas and a prosperous (??) new year.

David and Valerie

Wharf repairs and wrapping

Good afternoon (or morning to some). I went out this morning to have a look at the wrapping progress but found a couple of other things to interest me first.

There was a thumping noise coming from Cliff Wharf(?) which is where Suntis used to dock until they found out that there was a possibility of subsidence. It turns out that a man was working away pile driving with a small machine.

There was an array of concrete circles on the surface of the dock.

It turns out that there has been some work going on to stabilise the dock with injections of resin. I don’t have the full picture but, anyway, it seems that when Suntis arrives on 2nd January it will be unloaded here rather than on Eagle Wharf outside the Aurora. However, I am told that they will be back on Eagle Wharf for the arrival after that so who knows what has been fixed?

Secondly, one of the survey boats has tethered on the Island so, just for once, I can get a clear shot of her.

Lastly, it seems that there is a surfeit of Fairline boats lined up outside their facility. There is a lot of money in this lineup.

Back to the big wrap! Our side is now partially wrapped. Carters have made a decision to stop the wrapping process to leave those still unwrapped with a “wrap free” Christmas. This is very kind of them and, I am told, incurring them with some extra costs.

They have a staircase up our side of the building. I am glad that I don’t have to walk up them to the top.

The black panels sticking out are protective against falling debris. I am visited a neighbour that is currently wrapped (they are on the west or waterside) and you can see a good amount of light and some details. Mind you, they get the direct sun in the afternoons. Being on the north side, we don’t get any direct sun so we shall see.

Last thoughts

It seems that there has been a small gas leak from an old facility (way pre-Orwell Quay) but with the use of a clever robot they have fixed it. Also, I have complained to EWS about amazon using the cupboard by the lift in Capstan House as a repository for their parcel deliveries. All of a sudden, according to Amazon, they have left the parcels in “the utility room”! The door is clearly marked as a fire door and states that it should be locked at all times so we shall see what happens. When not doing that, this is how Amazon do their deliveries.

I have complained to Amazon but to no effect. How surprising!

Xmas lights

I must be mad! Finding things for the blog means sometimes being creative. At other times, it is stupidity that reigns! Last night is a case in point. -2C 28.5F and I choose to go out looking to take photos of the various Christmas lights along the Waterfront. It was a cold in my wheelchair and taking good photos whilst your hands are in thick gloves is not easy. Anyway, here goes.

Suntis is in for her usual bi-weekly unload. There has always been a tiny Xmas tree on the top of the boat but this year they had extended the lights and got a bigger tree. Mind you, as they have two searchlights blaring for either side of the superstructure, it was quite difficult to get an angle when I could show just the lights. This was the best that I could do after some hard Photoshop work. Oh well.

I rolled on down to the Cult CafĂ© where they have a large tree in the window. Ignore the spooky torso to the right – smile.

The walk along the Waterfront from the Uni down to the Customs House has been decorated with strings of lights.

Down at Isaacs they are still in full World Cup mode but have also got some nice decorations up.

Coming back to the University, I could now get a photo of the council Christmas tree. This is a very nice sight on a cold night.

Feeling very cold, I moved back home. Squeezing up onto the Podium through the barriers put down by Anglo-Nordern for their unloading, I was able to get a photo of the trees. These are an annual treat.

One last little surprise – this is in the corner of Carter’s office. Not a good shot but the best that I could do up against all the conflicting lights. Nice that they have made the effort for some Christmas cheer.

Well, that is it. Was it worth getting cold for? I think so. Enjoy these images as the Waterfront gets into Christmas gear. I would expect some of the yachts to be decorated so I might have another go in a few days. We shall see. If it stays as cold as this then maybe not!

A bright but cold day on the Waterfront

45f – 7c here on the Waterfront but clear blue skies. It was a lovely trip out today.

I don’t know what I would talk about if there wasn’t and cladding issues around. It seems that they are catching though as it is spreading across the quays. First up, there has been a big yellow tractor parked around for the last week or so. I finally found someone to ask what it is for. Here goes –

They are taking the glass out of the balconies. Once removed, they are brought down and put into a special holder.

The the big yellow tractor (not big yellow taxi – Joni Mitchell – if you are old enough to remember that song!) then lifts these holders onto a lorry to into storage.

The concrete wall behind the render can now be quite clearly seen.

They are getting on with our side of the building now. We no longer have men walking backwards and forwards outside our windows.

They have a second team working on 7 Anchor Street. I don’t know – they have to come from Lowestoft every day and then I heard one of them singing! I did check if that was allowed – it seems that it is in moderation.

Apex Scaffolding has a 2nd compound up beyond the wharf where Anglo-Nordern unload. I am hoping that there won’t be any clashes.

Further on, on my way to the pharmacy, I came across even more activity on the University accommodation block. The scaffolding is rising up.

They appear to be covering in all of the windows. I am not sure what that is about.

I have a laugh with the Apex people and they are very helpful in explaining what they are doing. I asked a guy from the team on the Uni (NOT Apex!) what it was all about and I got a single word answer “Cladding!” Thank goodness we have Apex.

On my way back I came up through the Podium to check on the situation around the door there. It is very well laid out to ensure access in a safe manner.

Well, that’s all. I hope that you enjoyed today’s trip around the Waterfront.

Sorry but more scaffolding!

It is very cold out there today. I was wrapped up in an anorak and gloves, as was Steve, the site manager when I spoke to him.

The west wall, facing the water, seems now to be complete.

They are working on both the North wall – our side – and around the Podium door which is closed off during the day for safety reasons. It is, of course, opened up after work.

It seems that we are shortly to have our patio doors locked. We have been fortunate to have it left this long.

Today is a “skip” day according to Steve which I suppose means that they are to replace the current skip with an empty one.

I think that they are getting on very well with removing the outer skin on the south (Patteson Road) side.

That’s about it. Sorry I don’t have more interesting things to show but as the winter draws in the activity on the Waterfront will come to a halt and all I will have will be the Christmas lights and tree, any new or repeat visits by boats or, oh no!!, more scaffolding! Welcome to December.