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Are we finished yet?



I'm pleased to say finally we are insulated and have render. Credit to our plasterer who has been brilliant and done an amazing job. The colour is Ecorend marble white so is a very clean white looking colour rather than the yellow/grey looking off whites we saw but we like it. The plasterer came in the early hours before the sun as it was blinding trying to apply it in direct sun over the past couple of weeks. Once we have the aggregate round the house and plants etc I don't think it will look too crazy. 


Waiting for the anthracite guttering to be fixed on and some of the plastic work and roof edging needs some TLC and if I hear the word 'mastic' again - which seems to be the answer to everything cladding and plastic related I'll strangle the builder.  Also need fan covers attaching and our lights putting on which should be next week.


Thought I'd share these pics. We have started to apply Bitumen paint on the bricks below DPC and this has smartened up the area where the bedroom/dressing room is where it is the split level inside with steps and rooms are higher than the rest of the house. We haven't finished all the way around yet.








Loving the front door now with the render. Despite it being black in a silver frame and the anthracite windows we think it looks fine.






This is the back of the house into our utility with the stable door. The hose pipe isn't on the render it's fixed onto a galvanised post.




Of course we still have lots of garden work to do, no double garage and no dressing room etc but prices so high we have shelved things for now. Probably the most exciting non-house related news is we bought a boat which took a chunk out of the house budget!




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Looking very sharp ?I personally love the colour if going for white, go white.

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1 hour ago, Buzz said:

Looking very sharp ?I personally love the colour if going for white, go white.


Yes we do too, no regrets there.

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Well done looks great, you must be well pleased with yourselves (boat looks good too) ultimate garden ornament.

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6 hours ago, SteamyTea said:

You need to get more PV on the boat and fit a water source heat pump.


Haha there's a thought!


Just one panel on the boat which feeds the batteries as it's all 12v.

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4 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

In roof solar?


All looks good.



Yep in roof solar, something which is great - with the excess solar doing the hot water we haven't had the ASHP heating the hot water for months. 

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Looking very sharp, bet you are glad you've got the render in place now! ?


Have some not so good memories of narrow boating when i was little with my parents, throwing up all night with 'sea' sickness! Yep you read that right lol

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Looking very good.  All the better for having a boat tied up, that plot needs a narrowboat.

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

Looking very good.  All the better for having a boat tied up, that plot needs a narrowboat.


Currently cruising back home, she's a lovely boat!

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3 hours ago, MikeGrahamT21 said:

Looking very sharp, bet you are glad you've got the render in place now! ?


Have some not so good memories of narrow boating when i was little with my parents, throwing up all night with 'sea' sickness! Yep you read that right lol


The render has made such a difference!


Sea sickness! It did take me some getting use to last night which was our first night but I think I'm used to it now. It's only 26.5ft so you probably feel more movement on this one than the larger ones.

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Seasickness is not a function of boat size. Ask everyone that has taken the ferry to the Isles of Scilly. Like a narrowboat, it is shallow draft, so rocks in a peculiar manner.

You can make simple stabalisers for when you are moored up. Just metal dustbin lids in a rope tied to the side.

Or a very large gyroscope, which can also store energy.

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The Scillonian III is generally referred to as the Stomach Pump.


I don't know why you would get sea sick on a narrowboat on a narrow canal with no flow, tides or waves.  Unless you are transiting on the tidal Thames through central London.


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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

The Scillonian III is generally referred to as the Stomach Pump

Yes, but we are getting a new one.  And not an old Channel Ferry design this time.

1 hour ago, ProDave said:

I don't know why you would get sea sick on a narrowboat on a narrow canal with no flow, tides or waves

It is because it is to do with the person, not the vessel.  It is a mismatch between what the senses say, and how the body reacts to it.


Prone to motion sickness? Your sex, diet and shoe size may be to blame

We are finally solving the mystery of why motion can make us queasy – just in time to help us deal with nausea-inducing VR headsets, driverless cars and space tourism

HEALTH 19 August 2020

By Helen Thomson

New Scientist Default Image

Somsak Bumroongwong/Eyeem/Getty Images; Neyro2008/Getty Images

IT STARTS behind your eyes, a niggling ache that heads down towards your stomach where it tumbles and turns before building towards a climax of vomit. Bleurgh! Motion sickness.

This has been a human affliction pretty much since we began travelling on anything but two legs. Most of us have experienced it, and it is likely to become even more prevalent when we all become passengers as driverless cars roll out, space tourism takes off and virtual reality headsets take over, both in the gaming industry and, increasingly, for virtual meetings. Even before covid-19, environmentally conscious businesses had started adopting VR technology to bring international clients together.

Motion sickness is clearly related to the movement of our body and head, but why this results in nausea has been a long-standing mystery. Now, however, evidence from brain imaging and genetics is helping scientists get to the bottom of it – as well as suggesting new ways to solve the problem. It turns out that there is far more to motion sickness than you might think. Your genes, gender and diet all have an influence. It might even come down to your foot size.


The word nausea derives from the Greek for “ship”. But motion sickness goes way beyond the odd queasy sailor. Seasickness has had a big impact on history, influencing the outcome of several military conflicts, from the battle of the Red Cliffs, which marked the end of the Han dynasty in ancient China to the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English in 1588. And, of course, motion sickness isn’t confined to the high seas. There are reports of ancient Greeks and Chinese feeling nauseous while being carried aloft in Sedan chairs or travelling by horse and buggy. Their solutions included fasting, drinking the urine of young boys and hiding earth from the kitchen hearth in their hair.

Today, there are more ways to induce motion sickness than ever. One in three of us easily succumb, another third will experience it in rough seas or on a roller-coaster. Nobody is completely immune. We aren’t the only species affected, either: cats, dogs, even a variety of birds and fish feel it. In fact, the only animals that don’t are those without a vestibular system.


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A new idea about motion sickness can explain why car passengers are more likely to feel nauseous than drivers

Imgorthand/Getty Images/iStockph



This gives us our first clue as to what the cause might be. The vestibular system is a delicate assemblage of structures within the ear that detects motion (see diagram). It includes three semicircular canals filled with fluid that sit at right angles to one another. As the fluid sloshes around, the system sends signals about rotational movement to two places. The first is the brain’s cerebellum – the region responsible for balance and movement – and the other is the brainstem, which links the brain to the rest of the body and includes areas that trigger nausea and vomiting. The vestibular system also transmits signals to the eyes, which stop the world from blurring as we move our head.

Early ideas about motion sickness put it down to overstimulation of the vestibular system. However, if that were true, why would sailors experience nausea after returning to land? Why don’t we suffer motion sickness when jumping around on a dance floor? And why is the driver of a car less likely to feel sick than the passengers?

Attempting to address such anomalies, a second idea posits that motion sickness results from conflict between different kinds of sensory information. When you read in a car, for example, your vision of the book and the dashboard tell your brain that you are stationary, but with all the bumps and turns, your vestibular system is convinced you are moving. These conflicting signals make it difficult for the brain to create a coherent sense of balance, which triggers nausea.

Something unexpected

This “sensory-conflict” idea has problems, too, however. If a novice and a seasoned sailor stand on the same deck, for example, they receive the same sensory signals but have different levels of nausea. There is a third possible explanation for why. Rather than resulting from conflicting signals between your eyes and ears, this idea frames motion sickness as a conflict between these signals and what your brain expects to happen.

This is the idea embraced by Charles Oman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1990, he argued that when you make a movement, your brain subtracts the actual sensory input from the expected pattern of neural activity, and what’s left is a “sensory-motor conflict signal”. This is generally small, but it spikes when an unexpected obstacle or motion is encountered, resulting in a corrective response from the brain’s motor systems. You then rebalance yourself and the conflict is extinguished. However, if the conflict signal is stimulated over a longer period, it triggers motion sickness.

This would explain why we don’t feel nauseous when we jive around a dance floor, but do when we are swayed by high seas. It also explains why sailors get motion sickness on dry land – their sensory expectations don’t fit with the stable environment. It even explains the mysterious immunity bestowed on the driver of a vehicle: being in control gives you more accurate expectations of your movements. There was just one problem with Oman’s idea – nobody could find evidence for it in the brain. The required network of neurons was missing.

“Why don’t we experience motion sickness when jumping around on a dance floor?”

Meanwhile, Thomas Stoffregen, now at the University of Minnesota, had another idea. His research, measuring the subtle movements that people make to maintain their balance at sea, led him to believe that an inability to control our posture is to blame. His studies also indicated a simple solution to motion sickness: when sailors increased the width of their stance, making them more stable, they felt less nauseous.


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Ginger stimulates the vagus nerve, which may explain why it can reduce nausea

Getty Images/Design Pics RF


The debate looked set to continue. Then, Kathleen Cullen, now at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, inadvertently discovered Oman’s missing neurons. Her team had trained monkeys to move in a specific way to get a treat. Occasionally, the researchers would disrupt this movement – by placing a weight on top of the animal’s head, for instance – causing a mismatch between the animal’s expected and actual head motion. When this happened, there was a spike in the activity in some neurons in the cerebellum, cells that didn’t seem to be active when the animal generated its own movement. “It suggests that the cerebellum can perform this amazing computation within a millisecond, in which it compares an internal model of sensory expectation based on prior experience with actual sensory information,” says Cullen. Now her team has shown that when an animal subsequently adapts its movement, the internal model is updated and the neurons stop firing.

“I was startled when I saw their work,” says Oman. “These neurons arguably play the critical role in motion sickness.” But one piece of the puzzle is still missing, he says. Neurons are known to project from this region of the cerebellum to areas of the brainstem that trigger nausea. “It would be a clincher if we could establish that they are the same neurons Cullen’s lab has been studying,” he says.

Despite this progress in understanding motion sickness, questions remain about why some people are more prone to it than others. Why, for example, do female sailors seem more likely to be affected than male ones? And why do women, especially pregnant women, consistently report more symptoms of motion sickness during VR experiments than men?

New Scientist Default Image

One possible explanation for this sex divide rests on a decades-old idea about why motion sickness exists at all. Vomiting is a handy reaction to ingesting bad food, but what is the purpose of being sick in reaction to movement? “Motion sickness is so physically disabling that if there were no positive reason for its presence, natural selection should have acted strongly to eliminate it,” says Michel Treisman at the University of Oxford. Such thinking led him to suggest that it is a side effect of our robust reaction to poison: the network involved in keeping us balanced is an ideal early warning system for detecting the unbalancing effects of toxins. Unfortunately, anything else that makes us unbalanced has the same result. If so, it would be beneficial for women to have a lower threshold for motion sickness so that, when they are pregnant, the fetus has increased protection from toxins.

It’s in the balance

Stoffregen’s research suggests another explanation for why women are more prone to motion sickness than men. “They have different distributions of body mass,” he says. “Women carry weight lower in their hips and have smaller feet even when compared with men of similar height.” As a result, women may be less physically stable, he says, so find it harder to balance when faced with unexpected movements.

Genes also seem to play a role. In 2015, consumer genetic analysis company 23andMe conducted the first genome-wide study on motion sickness in some 80,000 people and found 35 sections of DNA associated with the condition. The genes involved are related to the development of the eye and ear, and to glucose regulation – women who have particular versions of them are up to three times more prone to motion sickness than men who have them. How the genes influence motion sickness isn’t known, but people who experience more motion-induced nausea tend to have lower levels of insulin than those who don’t get sick. Because insulin helps us stabilise glucose levels in the body, the researchers suggest that stabilising glucose through your diet – by eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, for example – might help to keep motion sickness at bay.

“Why do women report more symptoms of motion sickness in VR experiments than men?”

Closing the case on what causes motion sickness and why some people are more susceptible might lead to new pharmacological targets. Currently, the most effective drug for it is called scopolamine, which works by blocking chemicals that transmit information from the vestibular system to nausea centres in the brain. However, it can cause dry eyes, drowsiness, headaches, palpitations and urinary retention. Antihistamines work too, and probably in a similar way, but they also have side effects.


Regardless of what might be making you susceptible, there are other things you can do to reduce sensory conflict that leads to nausea. Oman recommends staring at the horizon to help synchronise visual information with motion, and keeping your head and body as still as possible to limit unexpected external forces. “Soldiers flying in transport planes found that strapping their head against the seat reduced their sickness,” he says. Habituation training also works. Just as sailors eventually get their sea legs, so prior exposure to the sorts of motion you are likely to experience while travelling can reduce your chances of becoming seasick.

Few other traditional remedies have been tested. “Some people swear by things like pressure bands [worn on the wrist],” says Oman. “There’s no good evidence for them, but any clinician will tell you that placebos can be useful.” There is evidence the placebo effect alone can reduce motion sickness. “When I meet sailors who swear by these things, I say ‘if you believe in it, do it’,” says Oman.

Some ideas do have a little evidence behind them. Studies suggest that ginger can reduce nausea during pregnancy and chemotherapy, and although the jury is out for motion-induced sickness, ginger activates the vagus nerve – which runs between the brain and gut and controls aspects of nausea – and there is evidence that vagal nerve stimulation can reduce motion sickness. Adam Farmer at Queen Mary University of London found this when he fitted volunteers with an epilepsy device called NEMOS – an earphone containing two electrodes that stimulate the vagus nerve as it passes behind the ear. Another way to stimulate the vagus nerve is by breathing slowly and deeply. This simple measure has been found to successfully decrease motion sickness.


New Scientist Default Image

Standing with a wide stance and staring at the horizon are two ways to reduce seasickness

piola666/Getty Images


The latest idea is a wacky-looking pair of glasses, which are claimed to stop motion sickness in 94 per cent of users. “Seetroën” spectacles, produced by carmaker Citroën, feature four rings – two framing the eyes and one at each side of the head – half-filled with a coloured liquid. “The liquid moves in the same way as the liquid in the inner ear,” says Antoine Jeannin, CEO of Boarding Ring, the company that developed the glasses. “It’s like a visual inner ear, which helps reduce sensory conflict.” Jelte Bos at Vrije University in the Netherlands thinks it is a nice seasickness idea. But the glasses only give information about two of the three planes of motion, he adds. “So I’m a little bit sceptical,” he says.

In future, the best solution for motion sickness might not be a pill or ginger or a pair of special glasses. There is a growing realisation that we need to improve the technologies that make us nauseous in the first place (see “Sexist technology”). “We don’t design the oceans, but we do design VR and driverless cars,” says Stoffregen. “We can’t be held responsible for seasickness, but we are damn well responsible for the technology we create.”

Sexist technology

Motion sickness is predicted to become more widespread with increasing use of nauseainducing VR headsets in gaming and for business meetings. Part of the problem is their size. Bas Rokers at the University of Wisconsin-

Madison has found that the lenses on the average VR headset are too far apart to work properly for the eyes of 5 per cent of men and 90 per cent of women, and that this results in greater risk of nausea. “The technology is sexist,” says Thomas Stoffregen at the University of Minnesota. “VR can be up to four times more nauseating for women.”

Even a perfectly fitting headset can cause queasiness. This needn’t be a “necessary evil”, says Rokers. The technology could identify when users start to move their head more – a sign that they are starting to feel sick – and pause the game. It is also possible to help people adjust to the cues that make them nauseous by introducing these more slowly.

The easiest solution is to get rid of the most nausea-inducing aspects of an image altogether. Unfortunately, this involves reducing the image contrast. “The irony is that this makes the display worse,” says Rokers. “It creates a tension between the engineers who want to make things look as good as possible, and the vision scientists who want to make VR more tolerable for more people.”

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Our boating friends who have a 72ft and accompanied us for lots of the first day said you definitely feel movement more on a smaller boat and certainly in the locks or when larger boats pass. I do suffer with travel sickness on most transportation but the movement must be minimal here as I haven't needed to take any tablets. Fast trains make me so I'll especially if facing the opposite way to travelling.

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Ok so I had to post this, we haven't sank or crashed and made it back home. And yep, the garden was definitely missing a boat - we love it!









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When I used to live near where you are I hired a “shorty” like yours from the marina at whixall moss fir a weekend, great little boat.

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It's a four birth complete with two double make up beds, wet room with shower hose from sink and kitchen facilities.




Table can be put in between those chairs which make up a bed.




That pulls out to make a double bed too.

Edited by canalsiderenovation
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Lovely.  I wonder who will be the first BH member to visit you and arrive on a narrowboat?


There is something cute about the small ones like that, and a lot are called "half pint" or something similar.


Is that a chimney for a wood burning stove on board?


And like @joe90 the first NB we hired was about that size also on the Llangollen canal.

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3 minutes ago, canalsiderenovation said:


Would you believe me if I said it's a four birth. It has two double pull out beds (or a double and two singles), toilet with sink and pull out shower hose which is a wet room with pump and kitchen!

Yes I would.  Was it ex hire?  The hire boats tend to maximise on bed space and are not necessarily the best if you want it for long term cruising.  I think we once had a 72ft boat with 12 berths, though not all were in use (we had booked a 60ft boat and this was what we were given as a free upgrade)


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55 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Is that a chimney for a wood burning stove on board?


Indeed it is!




51 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Was it ex hire? 


No, it is a Midway 265 boat built by Piper in 1999 (the first one). Not ex hire, privately owned and we know it's history from when it was built as we tracked down the man who built it.

Edited by canalsiderenovation
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On 26/07/2021 at 17:08, canalsiderenovation said:

Our boating friends who have a 72ft and accompanied us for lots of the first day said you definitely feel movement more on a smaller boat and certainly in the locks or when larger boats pass. I do suffer with travel sickness on most transportation but the movement must be minimal here as I haven't needed to take any tablets. Fast trains make me so I'll especially if facing the opposite way to travelling.


I'm the same - boats, planes, cars all have the capacity to upset my delicate balance system.  I find pendolino trains particularly affect me for some reason, and especially so if it's dark outside and I can't use my vision to normalise some of the movement.


The house looks brilliant. I love the pure white render - have made a note of the name as our house will be rendered in white. Love the front door too. Very stylish.

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