Sunday, 23 July 2017

A gift

I helped out someone on the marina and this is what I was given as a thank you.

Friday, 21 July 2017

He's fallen in the water

I have been telling CHS for weeks to get some new shoes. 
The soles of the pair he wears for work are worn smooth and have no grip.
I have repeatedly warned him that this isn't safe on the boat, but of course he didn't listen.
I even put a pair of the sort he wears in the Amazon shopping basket but he didn't bother to buy them.
Today, by the time we arrived home it was raining, as he has a great aversion to getting wet CHS hurried along the jetty, leapt onto the back of the boat and promptly slipped off the back of the boat!
As he had hold of the tiller he only got his legs wet from the knees downwards but he has a Technicolor bruise below the knee.
He has taken himself off to lay on the bed with his book to recover.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Piddling wet through

It was raining this morning as I set off for work and as I have to walk along the jetty and across the car park to get to my car I decided to dig out my cagoule.

Could I find it? Could I feck!

We have a wet cupboard where we keep out coats, it's just by the back door.

My cagoule should be in there, in fact my cagoule probably is in there but it is totally buried.

So I got piddling wet through going to my car.

You may remember that when I decluttered ready to move on to the boat I discovered that CHS had 17 winter coats and jackets.

I donated ten to our local homeless charity, this was sometime last summer.

It seems that in the interim CHS has acquired yet more winter coats, there are 12 of the buggers in the wet cupboard and not one of them is mine.

So I got piddling wet through walking to the car, when I mentioned this to CHS he suggested I use an umbrella.

Unfortunately as I was carrying my hand bag, my lunch, the rubbish to put in the skip and the keys to get out the marina I didn't have a free hand to carry an umbrella and even if I did it is also buried in the wet cupboard UNDER HIS 12 COATS!!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Two more days

Until the summer break starts, I have very few specific plans.

I'm meeting a friend and bringing her to see the boat.

I shall see my family.

I shall finish the curtains and other sewing for the boat.

I shall finish a baby blanket and maybe start another.

I shall go days without seeing anyone other than CHS.

It will prepare me for retirement!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Starboard coach lines all finished

So I spent the day looking after four of the DGC, CHS finished painting the coach lines.
He's done a brilliant job, the boat looks stunning and I love the colour scheme we chose.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Paper Jenga

We wanted some empty boxes at work, so I unpacked this lot!
It will last until the end of term with any luck.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Rocking all over the world

The boat is rocking a lot at the moment, the signwriter moved it to another jetty to work on it and retied it differently when it was returned to our usual place, but we are used to the motion now.

DS has returned from Rome, so my cat feeding duties have finished.

Saturday I'm looking after four of the DGC whilst DD2 is at work.

DD1 has recovered well from her surgery, one less thing for me to worry about.

Thanks for all your recent comments over the last few posts, I'll try to reply to them all here.

Amy his retirement age is 68 but I cannot see him managing to carry on with such a physical job for another seven years.

Margaret, thank you.

Marilyn I'm glad you enjoy my blog.

Lol Col, she's felt like home from the first day we got her. I make so many typos because I cannot see clearly, it's so frustrating.

Lol Sue, we get asked that a lot.

Rambler, she's named after a Frank Zappa album.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Named at last.

This was supposed to be happening the week after next but the sign writer had a cancellation so came and did this.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Another space saver

I replaced the shower curtain on the boat, the old one was plastic and clung to whoever was in the shower.
I swapped it for a white waffle fabric one, but the new one was was way too long.
I cut it to length, hemmed it and them made this toilet roll holder with the fabric I cut off.
It fits in the space between he shower and the window.
CHS put a hook in the ceiling to hang the toilet roll holder from.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

It's curtains for me!

A very blurry photo of the first set of finished curtains, they are sagging at the top as there aren't enough hoops on it to hang the hooks on.
We are changing all the metal rails for standard curtain rails at some point as the current metal ones are a mix of brass and chrome and they are also a mismatch of sizes, it looks as though someone got a job lot cheap and just put them up randomly.
I don't have a preference as long as everything matches, the existing curtains were annoying me as they were six sets on he boat and every set was different. Maybe it was a fashion thing but it didn't appeal to me.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Making money part 2

Thank you for all your kind comments and suggestions regarding making money and thank you Lisa who was unable to comment and so emailed me with some information.
I think it is unlikely that I will earn enough if I have just one string to my bow, so I will try for a few different things to have an assortment of income streams.

Bonnie, we do not have the correct safety items or insurance to charge for boat trips.

Tania, we don't have a spare cabin, maybe on the next boat.

Eeek, I'll look into that, thanks.

Margaret, no luck as yet but I will continue to plug away.

Lydia, Rebecca, I will look into house/pet sitting.
I am considering a separate blog that would carry adverts and am working on a couple of ebooks.

Elizabeth, I'm glad I'm not the only one who's found surveys a waste of time, emmadrew's website is useful, thank you.

Sewing and sewing lessons are also something I will advertise, Icey & Col.

Pam, you are very kind but my crochet isn't up to 'selling' standard.

A few other things I have come up with:-

I will apply to the holiday boat company next door to become one of their cleaning crew on changeover day. 

I will also see if any of the local colleges use life models, I have no problem with nudity and have been told I have a good body to paint as it is lumpy, overweight and scarred. Supposedly more interesting to paint that a perfect body.


Life modelling

On my hook

A baby blanket for a colleague.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Making money, saving money

I'm retiring in October, the rent from the tenant is supposed to make up for my loss of salary. At the moment I'm running at a loss, but I'm working on the theory that as long as all the big spends are out of the way by October we should break even.

Some of the things I used to do to save money when we lived in the house are no longer doable on the boat.

I cannot batch cook as there is no freezer to store extra meals in.

I cannot stock up on yellow sticker food for the same reason.

I shop every 2 or 3 days as there is very little storage space in the cupboards or fridge.

One of the bloggers I follow did a post entitled 'How I make extra money'
I did read it but the blogger is doing all the things I used to do.

She has a lodger, she dog sits, she does overtime at work. I have done all these and more but they are no longer available to me.

I have no room for a lodger, no room to dog sit and there has been an overtime freeze at work for the last eight years.

So what next, I've signed up for survey sites but I'm never in the group they are looking for.
As I'm CRB checked I could babysit, but I cannot see to drive at night so wouldn't be able to travel home.
Cashback sites are no good as we don't purchase enough stuff to make it viable.
I have sold stuff in eBay but only stuff I'm getting rid off. I don't buy stuff to sell on as I have no room to store anything I bought.

I have until October to think of something, I'll let you know if I find something successful.

Evening sky

Monday, 3 July 2017

Freezer problems

There is only a tiny 1cu ft freezer on the boat and we're having problems with it. It is part of a Shoreline combined fridge freezer, it looks a bit like this.

If we have the temperature set so the freezer keeps things frozen the fridge ices up and doesn't work.

If we alter the temperature so the fridge works everything in the freezer defrosts!

So today I threw away a bag of frozen peas a a handful of frozen chips, we will use the freezer as an extra fridge space.

Captain Hot Stuff isn't sure he can live without chips but he's going to have to try.

A replacement would cost about £500!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Sulky sat-nav

My sat-nav has a cob on, it won't talk to me. it's probably fed up with me ignoring its instructions and going my own way until I get near my destination.

On Friday after work I decided to drive to the hospital where my DD was to visit her.

I'd had a message to say she was out of surgery and ok.

She's always been the one who needs her mum even though she is 36 and I knew she was still feeling fragile from losing Barney.

According to google maps it was a 45 minute drive to the hospital, so I allowed an hour!

Now I am more than capable of getting lost in a car park never mind going round a very complicated motorway junction, so I really needed my sat-nav.

No joy, it would put up a map of where I needed to go but the voice refused to work. I'm not that keen on looking at the screen instead of the road ahead but I decided to give it a try.

I finally made it and it was worth it just to see the look on her face when I arrived.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

R.I.P. Barney

The Best Boy Ever

Barney was put to sleep today, he was 14 years old and had heart failure.
When DD Helen got divorced she kept the dogs, her ex husband is in the army and couldn't keep them.
Barney loved everybody, he accepted all the foster children that DD has cared for, he offered unconditional love to them all, accepted cuddles and rebuffs with equal equanimity.
He snuck into their beds and pinched any food left unattended.
When Helen had her own babies he loved them too, he tried to be gentle and they soon learned that his wagging tail was to be avoided.
He never snapped, growled or grumbled even when they climbed all over him.

He was fine at the weekend, seemed quiet and off his food on Tuesday and today seem quite unwell.
Helen took him to the vet and after a brief discussion it was decided that the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep, Helen stroked him and talked to him until it was over.
She has taken him home to bury him in the garden and will plant a tree on  his grave.

 Dogs aren't allowed on the sofa!

Barney was convinced he was a lap dog.

 His farts were silent but deadly
Barney looking pointedly at a biscuit one of the children is eating.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A full and frank exchange of views!

In the week and a bit that the tenant has been in my house I have spent in excess of £1200, mainly on repairs to the house.

Understandably when the tenant phoned to say the shower had stopped working after 4 days and that the toilet seat was broken I was not best pleased.

I knew that some of the things that were broken were probably past their sell by date but the toilet seat was the final straw.

It's less than 4 months old and wasn't broken when I cleaned the house.

I called  in my lovely and reliable plumber, got a quote from him then copied the relevant page of the lease and went to see her.

I explained that I wouldn't be replacing the shower immediately as it had been working fine and as it would cost £300 it would have to wait. There is another shower in the property and the broken one is over the bath.

I also told her she was responsible for replacing the toilet seat, this didn't go down well!

She then announced she wanted a different plumber, so I said that would be ok, but that she'd have to pay the bill.

I explained to her that according to the lease, she is liable to pay for any repairs.

Her reply 'Oh I didn't read the lease, it's too long'!

So I showed her the copy of the relevant page and told her that from now on every item damaged would be inspected by a professional to ascertain whether it was fair wear and tear or carelessness.

She will be billed for any damage caused by herself and her family.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Sewing with DGD

DGD was here on Saturday she likes to make things, so we made these.

We made 6 in total, 2 of each fabric, they are shirt cuffs, unpicked from the sleeves and sewn along the edges. It gave her some practice using the sewing machine. They aren't big enough to hold a mobile phone but then she is only nine and doesn't have a phone yet.

The rest of the shirts won't be wasted, they are being turned into tops for me.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Space is at a premium.

On the boat, everything we have has been pared down to the absolute minimum.

Particularly in the kitchen, it's taken me a while to adapt as I had such a huge kitchen before.

One of the problems has been the size of the fridge freezer, so Captain Hot Stuff decided to invest in a 12v cool box.

Imagine my surprise when this was what was delivered!

It's fecking huge!! To be fair to CHS, the one he ordered has been discontinued so the company sent the next size up!

We now have no shortage of cold drinks of cold anything else for that matter.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Get rich quick.

I'm not going to, that's for sure.

The tenant's deposit is in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme account the rent went into the joint account.

As she moved in half way through the month I only took £485 in rent.

So far I've spent
Professional clean,              £230
Replacement of broken tap, £120
New washing machine,        £303

Now one of the toilets is broken!

The plumber is going to fix in next week, more  money, ouch.

If it's going to carry on like this I will have to start charging her for the repairs!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

It's beginning to feel a lot like

Christmas, I mean home, as more items find their place.

The DGC's favourite books, picture books for the youngest, Jennifer Jones Won't Leave Me Alone, We're Going on a Bear Hunt and My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes.
Longer stories for the older ones, Fantastic Mr Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch, also on this shelf is a cuddly toy and a games compendium. 

A few favourite books including crochet, plant recognition and dressmaking.

CD's, Frank Zappa, Joe Jackson, Phil Collins and Dolly Parton.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Buying shares in Curver

I wish I had, (other makes are available).

I haven't bought all the baskets and boxes new, some I already had and some have been given to me or been bought 2nd hand.

 Stationary, tarot cards and yarn.
 Potions, lotions and toiletries.
 Towels, flannels and sundries
Kitchen rolls, newspapers and bin bags.

Space is at a premium and having stuff loose on the shelves looks untidy and it means moving stuff to reach other stuff.

I'm sure that china and wooden storage would maybe look more attractive but plastic won't break very easily and it wipes clean.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Only I

Could go on a helmsman's course to enable me to safely steer the boat an end up involved in a police chase!

We were on a wide beam, isn't she beautiful.

We were practising turning the boat around when we noticed two men running through the gardens of the houses that back on to the river.

One of the men jumped into the water and started to swim towards the boat, we cut the engine to be safe but he changed his mind and headed to the opposite bank

The other man was attacked by a dog in one of the gardens so he also jumped into the water but he held on to the bank as he didn't seem to be able to swim.

Our instructor phoned the police who were already nearby as they had been called to a burglary.

We collected the police from one side of the river and ferried them across to the other side so the could catch the one that got away.

When asked for a description we said he was a heavily built man wearing jeans and a red tee shirt and he was wet through!

Once he was caught we ferried the police officers back to the other side of the river so they could meet up with their colleagues.

All very exciting and gave me lots of practise at turning the boat around.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Oh bugger

Just when I think there is light at the end of the tunnel it turns out to be a fecking train coming towards me!

I was booked on a helmsmans course for the 6th June but it was cancelled, the next possible date was suggested to be the 13th June but the date was not set in stone.

As I'd not had confirmation by Friday I went ahead and booked to have the house sterilised on the 13th. I'm meeting the crew there at 10 to let them in.

Then I received a phone call asking me if I could collect two of my Dgd's from school at 3:15  on 13th as DD2 is going to hospital with DD1 who has an appointment about her hernia operation that is to take place soon.

At 9:30 tonight I received an email telling me that the course is going ahead and I'm to be there at 9:30 and the course will finish between 3:30 and 4:30.

I can't see work letting me have time off at such short notice even without all the other complications and I still feel like carp!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

It's curtains for me

I finally made it to Dunelm to look for curtain fabric, I immediately found exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.

 This is for the bedroom curtains, I'm not sure if you can see but it is little white stars I wanted something with a small print so there isn't too much wastage when matching the pattern.
 This is for the living/dining area curtains plus 2 quilts to fit between the doors and the glass of the side hatches, they will cut down the draughts in the winter. This is a slightly darker blue with small white spots, another small pattern to save on wastage.
I have a good eye for colour, not for putting them together, but I can shop for fabric that needs to match something I already have and I can pick the correct colour.
I bought some 2 inch header tape, I think 3 inch would be too deep for such small curtains and 1 inch doesn't have enough body.
These are two of our neighbours, Pancake and his wife Orange Sauce!

I shall have an early night tonight, I have a sore throat and I'm wiped out, we don't have any grandchildren staying this weekend, I need a rest and it wouldn't be fair on them to have them over and not give them a good time.

Thursday, 8 June 2017


The house is empty.

The tenant is expecting to exchange today.

The boiler service is booked.

The smoke detectors are in, so are the Co2 alarms.

The washing machine is ordered.

The tenant is nearing a nervous breakdown and so am I.

I'm totally knackered.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Solar panels

Fitted and working, all we need now is some sun!
Captain Hot Stuff had to hold the panels 
still in high winds so the engineer could fit them.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Cheap and tasty

I bought 4 chicken thighs yesterday, they were £1.49.

I boned them, rolled them up and sprinkled them with rosemary, oregano and garlic, then I roasted them.

I have a cupboard full of tinned food left from when we brought the boat back from Crick.

So I used a tin of new potatoes, 35p, I rinsed them well and put them on a tray with a little oil.

I put them in the oven along with the chicken thighs and also a lidded pot of frozen vegetables.

I made gravy with the strained juices from the chicken.

CHS & I had a thigh each, there is another one with the potatoes, veg and gravy for his lunch tomorrow and the last one will be sliced when it is cool and will go in my sandwiches for lunch.

I forgot to put the veg in before I took the pic.

Half term

As it's half term I had two of the DGD's with me for a couple of hours.
There's not much left at my house for them to play with as some of my toys have been given to them to take home and smaller stuff has been moved to the boat.
But there is a bucket of sand left over from a building project, lots of water from the tap and some trowels, voila, sandcastles on the decking!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Why is my time not important

My timekeeping is quite good, I'm not often late when I go somewhere in fact I usually arrive everywhere a bit early.

So why is it that everyone who has come to collect stuff from me via EBay, Freegle etc. feels it is acceptable to arrive at least an hour late?

The only person who arrived promptly came from Milton Keynes, everyone else has only travelled a couple of miles.

I know I have plenty to do at home but I have things to buy, collect, deliver as well.

I think it's very rude.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

I ache

But, every cupboard bar the one under the stairs is empty.

Bags and bags have been dropped of at various charity shops.

The wheely bin is rammed full.

There are stacks of boxes mainly packed but some are still empty.

There are piles of stuff waiting to go to the tip.

People are collecting items in dribs and drabs.

The lawn has been mown.

Tomorrow the sweeping and dusting will commence.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

What The Fluff

The boat is covered in fluff, there are great swathes of it everywhere.

It rolls itself into balls that drift away if you try to pick them up.

The fluff is from the willow trees.
It plays havoc with the painting of the boat and it makes me sneeze.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Do coat hangers breed?

I decided to vary things a bit in my decluttering, so once CHS had sorted his clothes I gathered up all the coat hangers in the house, the plastic shop ones went to a friend who does a lot of fete's and fayres.
The wooden and padded ones are ready to go to the boat and the bought plastic ones have gone to DD1, with five children in the house, that means a lot of clothes so they should be useful.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Eileen to the rescue

Eileen and I were walking round the marina today we were going to throw some rubbish in the skip.

Eileen pointed to one of cars in the car park and said 'that lady is screaming help'.

We walked over to the car, she had been locked in it for an hour and it was hot and sunny.

I tried the doors but they were locked.

'Can you find my husband, he's on a boat, he has the key's.

She didn't know the name of the boat but I recognised her husband from her description.

I ran to find him and he released her from the car.

He had the central locking remote in his pocket and must have pressed it by accident, locking her in.

She came to our boat for a cool drink to recover.

We exchanged names and phone numbers, so she can come over to our boat if she's here again.

After she left  Eileen asked what the ladies name was and I told her Wendy.
She then asked what Wendy's husband's name was.

Captain Hot Stuff said 'Mud!'

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Counting the pennies.

Music magpie £14
Fridge freezer £25
Gtech vacuum £35
Fish tank £32

More stuff listed on eBay.
What didn't sell on eBay is now listed in facebay.
Just a few days left but it's half term next week, so after a weekend spent painting the boat I have three full days at home.
Captain Hot Stuff has sorted his clothes, given his tools and gardening equipment to DD1 and thrown away loads of crap.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Still slogging on

I've sold my fridge freezer, someone offered me £25 and I accepted.

I had arranged to go straight to DD1's after work yesterday to look after my twin grandchildren from 2:30 until 5. But I detoured home first to switch off the freezer and put my washing up bowl in the bottom of it.

The DGC were very pleased to see me and the blueberries I took with me.
I read lots of stories, had lots of cuddles and they both tried my ID badge on.
They were 3 earlier this month so are toilet trained and talk in sentences now.

I got home about 5:30 cooked our evening meal, sliced turkey, new potatoes and assorted veg.

I was about to attack the freezer when a friend of ours turned up, it was late when he left but at least the freezer had defrosted completely.
It was almost midnight by the time I finished washing all the drawers and shelves.

I was up at 5 this morning, but no cuppa for me, I had a fasting blood test booked at 8:30.
I snuck to the post office after the Doctors as there was a card through the door yesterday to say a parcel had arrived and needed collecting, it's the final hanging rack for the kitchen.

I have a huge bruise and blood filled blister from where the nurse stabbed me, I think she was a bit ham-fisted as I don't usually mark that badly.

This evening the freezer was collected along with a chest of drawers. I've swept and mopped the kitchen floor, CHS & I have gone through 3 drawers and two baskets that CHS had filled with crap, he will sort his clothes out tomorrow.

The WM has been on twice and the lines are full, the washing will probably dry before I go to bed, mind you I shall not be going to bed very early.

Monday, 22 May 2017

A bad decision

I made a bad decision on Saturday after dropping DGD home, there are various routes back to the marina, I made the mistake of driving past Englefield house!

I thought at first there had been an accident as there were so many people lollygagging around on the side of the road.

Then I realised they were hoping to catch a glimpse of Pippa Middleton's wedding guests.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Don't buy a narrowboat

Unless you like dogs and spiders, in abundance!

Today we met Jacob the Dalmatian, Froufrou a French bulldog and Baxter, a very barky Rottweiler, he's friendly but noisy and probably quite terrifying if you are of a nervous disposition. 

Spiders we have in abundance, all small ones so far but I'm expecting larger ones in the autumn!

I managed to sprain my finger this weekend, I don't think it's broken, I tripped over a folding chair as I climbed into the cratch. As we don't want the chair I took it and another identical one round to the marina office. There is an area where people can leave things they no longer need, other boaters can then take anything they want. The 2 chairs had gone within half an hour as had some plastic plates that we didn't want.

Fecking idiots

I have items listed on eBay, one of these items is a fish tank, minus the fish obviously.

Someone has messaged me telling me that I have listed the item incorrectly!

Well it's my bloody fish tank so I think I know how big it is.

But he/she informed me that I'd made a mistake.

I replied saying that fish tanks are deceptive and hold more water that you'd think.

I have now received emails telling me I'm stupid, yada, yada.

I have reported the idiot to EBay, somehow I  don't think they will be winning the tank.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

More stuff gone.

DD1 has collected all the gardening tools, a rug for DGD's room and assorted other bits and pieces.

I'm taking my sewing machine, a shoe box full of fabric, a small cutting mat and a box of haberdashery and notions to the boat. I'm also taking my crochet hooks and some yarn.

This is my current yarn stash, I'm debating how much I can fit on the boat!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Still sorting and decluttering

I have filled my bin and that of a neighbour who is away (I have her permission to use her bin).

I am taking 2 or 3 bags to various charity shops every day.

I approached my Local Project Linus about my many crochet blankets, they aren't interested as they only accept quilts, fortunately the Basingstoke group will take my blankets.

I have made the grand sum of £8.50 on Music Magpie, and donated the rest of the CD to a charity.

I need to photograph and list two more items on Ebay.

I am sending my needle-felting supplies to an MSE'r who has been very kind to me.

I have sorted my yarn and given some away, I may give more away, I just need to see how much I can smuggle aboard the boat.

DS has collected the TV, DD1 is collecting the radio, scales, rug, mirror, baskets and door hangers.

DD2 is collecting the kitchen sundries.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A little piece of heaven.

The last couple of weekends the weather has been ideal for working on the boat as it has been overcast but dry. 
Last night we had torrential rain, it hammered on the roof of the boat.
This morning, glorious sunshine so I was able to take some photo's of our home marina.
We took the boat across for a pump out, there was a widebeam already there so we breasted up against another boat until the area was clear.