Wednesday, 20 September 2017

More spending

The new shower has finally been fitted in the house, much to my tenants joy. £320 for shower and fitting.
£80 to have the boiler serviced.

We have received our new bus passes, they last until 2021 so that is a small saving.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Spending money

Despite stocking up last week when we finally got a working fridgefreezer, I still spent nearly £40 today on food for next week, much more than I should for just the two of us, but less than I've been spending whilst shopping every other day.

I bought a small piece of lamb for Sunday lunch, I shall turn the leftovers into a casserole.

I also bought some 2 chicken pieces, 2  burgers, 4 potatoes, broccoli, and cabbage, I have mushrooms and onions left from last week. I forgot to buy carrots but I'll get them on Monday. We ate the burgers today in soft rolls.

The plan is to make some portions of lamb casserole and chicken curry for CHS to take to work next week. He's working until 10pm each night so he'd prefer to eat at work.

I will make a vegetarian curry for my lunches next week and use up some of the tins from the cupboard.

More downs than ups

It's been a week of ups and downs.

Work is busy, I knew it would be, some people are really worried about me leaving, they are not sure how they will cope.

We have the usual intake of new students and staff, one brand new year 7 managed to get sanctioned on his very first day! It doesn't bode well for the rest of his time at school.

Some of the new staff are nice, one even commented on how nice and calm it was in my department as his previous experiences had left him expecting chaos and bad temper. Some are less so, especially the trainees who think the term 'support staff' means servant.

CHS was told on Thursday that he was expected to extend his shift today, he refused, we have plans.
We are expected to change our plans at the drop of a hat even though those higher up the food chain have known about this for almost 3 weeks.

We are both annoyed at the lack of notice, a colleague suggested it was just an oversight that more notice was not given.
I replied that once, maybe twice could be seen as an oversight, but that as no reasonable notice is ever provided, it is an insult. The support staff are not seen as being valuable enough to have their plans and arrangements taken into consideration.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Bashed and battered, shaken and rattled.

Not a peaceful night last night, the wind blew mightily for most of the night.

We boinged against the jetty a few times and got generally bounced and rocked around throughout the night. CHS got up at one point to close the windows as they were rattling so.

We lost our chimney top, but we have lost a few over time, 3 or 4 at least, I'll order a new one tomorrow.

We fared better than some people on the marina, a lot if satellite dishes were hanging over the edges of the boats. We don't have a dish so we didn't have that problem.

There was also a tree down but it didn't do any damage fortunately.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

There may be trouble ahead

There is at least one grumpy boater on the Marina. This boater has complained about everyone and everything on the marina.

Eventually, in desperation he was moved to the end of an otherwise empty jetty.

It seem to work and there were no more complaints.

But now there is a problem looming, there are 12 new boats arriving, there will be no more spaces free, hey ho, if he complains about me he'll get short shrift.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Peeling fingers and a blocked wee pole

I'm a bit tired at the moment, I'm doing two jobs.
I'm still doing my school job and I'm boat cleaning when I get home each day.
Because I'm tired the old grey cells aren't working to capacity, so when I noticed that the skin was peeling off that's of my fingers I was a little disconcerted. Eventually I realised it was the fingers that I scalded a while ago, the skin had been dry and rough and eventually peeled off.

When Captain Hot Stuff announced yesterday morning that his wee poles were blocked I immediately assumed a trip to the Dr's was on the cards and offered to make him an appointment. After a few minutes of confused and confusing conversation I ascertained that what he actually said was ' The weep holes are blocked'.
Weep holes are small holes in the window fittings, they get filled with moss and need cleaning out occasionally. Much less painful than blocked wee poles I'm sure.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Making money, spending money

I'm now have some 'one off' boat cleans booked for next week on top of my regular bookings, so there is a trickle of money coming in.
Next month will be my final pay packet and it will be only about £300 so I need to keep building my customer base.

We have ordered a new fridge/freezer £169. We finally found somewhere that had one in stock that we could look at and measure.
We've also bought a new gangplank that doubles as a rescue ladder and a brollymate.
It fits on the tiller and will hold a brolly or a small whirly washing line.

We lit the stove today as it's rained all day and was pretty chilly. The cost of having the stove lit was slightly  offset by using it to make lunch. I opened 2 tins of soup and stood them on top of the stove. I had pea and ham, CHS had mushroom. The soups  were piping hot in about 20 minutes, this also cut down on the washing up as there were no pans to wash.

I've got a rash

I was reading on the MSE  forum recently that to get a good night's sleep it's best to sleep naked.
Someone said she'd tried it but got very little sleep because her husband thought it was an invitation and was all over her like a rash.
I always sleep naked!

Cleaning the boat means I spend a lot of time on my knees, CHS always sees this as an invitation!

Yesterday we went to a colleagues 60th birthday party, I wore a dress for the first time in 6 weeks, as I was wearing heels I also wore sheer black hold ups, CHS love's hold ups.
We were a little late to the party, like I said I have a rash, but I like it!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Spot the difference

I thought I'd write a post about the difference between cleaning a house and cleaning a boat.

You may think that there would be no difference apart from size but in fact there are quite a few differences.

For one thing there is no hot water and unless I want to go through all the palaver of finding the stopcock there is no running water. I manage with buckets of cold water, changed frequently. I usually take my own bucket having recently come unstuck using the boat owners bucket only to find it had a hole in it!

I take my own cleaning caddy with me too, most people keep enough equipment on board but there is nothing worse than trying to clean anything with one grubby jiffy cloth  and the last dribble of cleaner in the bottle.
I use microfiber clothes, I have a couple of dozen and I sling them in the washing machine when I get home. I have bicarb, white vinegar and Astonish in my caddy too along with a paint brush and toothbrush to get into all the crevices. Best of all is my extending microfiber duster, great for removing cobwebs and mine fits up into the mushroom vents.

There is also unlikely to be any electric, so no running the vacuum over the carpets. It's hands and knees with a stiff brush to get the carpets clean. I take my own stiff brush and finish off with a damp microfiber cloth.

Look look! Where where!

We have decided to buy a new fridge but it is difficult to find one to fit in the available space.

CHS wants to go and LOOK at them before we decide which we want to buy.

Ok in theory but actually there are not many places where you can look.

There is Currys but last time we bought something from them the delivery was a nightmare, the cooker was a fortnight late and badly damaged.

There is John Lewis, but that means visiting the town centre, something we avoid at all costs.

CHS suggested Iceland, saying that we could then visit Wickes as it's next door.
Iceland don't sell freezers any more and Wickes moved about 2 years ago.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Bit of a gap

It's been a while since I last blogged, it's been busy here with friends and grandchildren visiting.

I've done a couple of boat cleans so a little extra in homecoming in.

I also managed to scald my left hand quite badly and as I'm left-handed it proved quite inconvenient.

I did it at around 5pm and sat with my hand in cold water until almost 11, fortunately it didn't blister but it was very sore for  a few days.

We went for a public today, we nearly didn't stay as there were four very badly behaved children there, running around, screaming and shaking salt and pepper all over the floor. Their doting parents watched them and smiled fondly, I was very tempted to use my death stare, but fortunately they left the pub before long.

Monday, 21 August 2017

A busy day and a group of plonkers.

We had a lot of rain last night so before we could set off for work we had to slacken off the ropes a bit as the boat was beginning to tilt.
It means there is a bigger step down to the jetty when the water level rises.

I dropped CHS at work at 6:30 as he is on the early shift, from there I went to Tesco, I wanted 2 black short sleeved t-shirt for cleaning in, a small washing basket (I bought a lidded bin) this will stand in the shower when we aren't using it. I also bought new razor blades, some stationery for my new job (a diary and a notebook) lunch for CHS and some milk. Then on to Waitrose to get some olives that they didn't have in Tesco.

From there I went to DD2's to collect Eileen and Suzy, we went to the Range where they took an hour to decide what they wanted, I didn't need them to rush, they had such fun spending the money I gave them. Eileen chose some colouring books, Suzy chose a purple poodle. I also bought some food colouring and cake sprinkles that DD2 wanted. We then dropped CHS's lunch in to him and he admired the items they had chosen, then we went on to McDonald's.

Ye gods, that was a riot. Eileen wanted a chicken nugget kids meal and no drink, Suzy wanted the same meal but with a drink, I got them both a fruitshoot just in case, I bought myself a milkshake.

We settled at a table whereupon Eileen decided she wasn't hungry  but was very thirsty, so she drank both fruitshoots, Suzy ate both meals and drank my milkshake!

Meanwhile a group had gathered at the table directly behind us, 6 men and 2 women all in business suits. They had laptops, brochures and folders full of paper.

Now I've read online about how 'it's not necessary to have an office to run a business' and 'just arrange to hold your meetings in a coffee shop'. Ok, fair enough, but McDonald's? In the school holiday, how stupid!

My grandchildren were very well behaved but both were chattering 19 to the dozen, the business meeting behind were not happy an tutted frequently.
Until I turned round, smiling sweetly and said,  'It is the school holidays you know, you haven't chosen the best meeting place'.

After we'd eaten Eileen wanted to go home and start on the colouring book I bought her, Suzy wanted to come back to the boat to feed the ducks.

I dropped Suzy home and then collected CHS, we came home and I cooked chicken breasts in tomato, olive and herb sauce.

I've filled in my new calendar and made notes of what I'm doing when, I've washed up, cleaned the windows and swept the floor. Now I'm putting my feet up.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

From little acorns

Another boater came over today, to ask if I'd clean their boat for them, we agreed terms and I have the keys, I start next week.

I also have 2 more boat cleaning jobs in the pipeline.
CHS is not best pleased, he think if I'm retiring I should sit around and do nothing, but I'm not good at that.

He also feels it's a bit degrading for me, but he wouldn't try to stop me, he values his life too much for that.

I said if it bothers him he can tell people I'm self employed!

 The owners provide all the cleaning equipment and consumables, I provide the elbow grease.

Somehow I don't think I will look this glamorous!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Sometimes I fancy a threesome

I sit and fantasize about having two hunky men.
One of them being CHS of course.
I go quite weak at the knees just imagining it.
Oh the joy and excitement, two men at the same time.
One to drive the boat and one to work the locks.
I could just sit in the cratch and enjoy the scenery.

Friday, 18 August 2017

What a difference a day makes

We left sunny Sonning this morning and made our way to Tesco, I can't see me shopping in Tesco again though as this is the new mooring fee. £100, that's a bit steep.

We stocked up on a few things and then turned the boat around and headed along the Kennet and Avon.

We travelled through the Oracle without mishap but a few minutes later the heavens opened.
We had thunder, lightening torrential rain and hailstones.

We started to open the next lock, but had to stop, we couldn't see what we were doing.

We managed to reach Burghfield and we have moored up for the night and lit the fire.

We both had a shower to warm up and had a quick drink in the Cunning Man and then returned to the boat.

I cooked lamb chops, new potatoes, broccoli, cabbage and carrots.

Then it was feet up and kindled out.

Uri Geller

So here we are in sunny Sonning, the land belongs to Uri Geller, it's £10 to moor overnight and the money goes to charity.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Such excitement

 The view from the side hatch today
Is it a house or a fort!

What an  exciting day it's been today!
We left Cooham just after 10 this morning and headed back to Marlow as I wanted to have a look in the charity shops for a couple of summer tops.

We arrived at Marlow Lock Moorings about midday, the moorings adjoin a small park and the path through the park leads eventually to Marlow High Street.

We went for a walk along the High Street, there are 5 or 6 charity shops there, so I was spoilt for choice.
We eventually arrived back at the boat and I made lunch, hot dogs in finger rolls.
Just as we finished lunch when a 70ft narrowboat hoves into view, they had hoped to moor above the lock but there was no room and they needed to get some shopping.
We invited them to breast up alongside us which they did.

No sooner had they tied up and left their boat than a man in a hi-vis jacket arrived to tell us that the park was being fenced off in 5 minutes and there would be no access for a few days whilst flood relief work was carried out.

We explained that there were 6 boats on the mooring and that people would need to get back to their boats.

Hi-vis man said they had 5 minutes to return to their boats as the park would be fenced off. He insisted that there were plenty of signs and that we and the other boaters should have read said signs. CHS asked him to point out the signs as there were none on the moorings, he walked to the park entrance with CHS and triumphantly pointed to the sign. which read 'Flood Relief work starting here this summer' Well that was really helpful, no dates and nowhere did it say that the park was to be closed.

I phoned the company that own the mooring but they couldn't help, I then phoned the Environment Agency, who tried to help but it is such a huge body they couldn't find out who I needed to speak to. They did eventually arrange for the lock keeper to come and see me, but he didn't arrive.

CHS, in the mean time was still talking to the contractors who were due to close off the park and he managed to persuade them to leave the park open until 6am tomorrow morning

After that, who knows, we understand that the work need to be done, but signage needs to be in place. Many people live aboard as we do and how can they just be refused access to their home.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Onwards and back

Yesterday we had lunch here at the Bounty Pub at Cockmarsh, it's a fascinating place. We had sausage and onion baguette for CHS, bacon and brie toastie for me. 

 Then we moved on through another lock to here, we moored on our own private island.
This was the view from where we were moored.

 And this is where we were at Cliveden.
Today we have moved back towards our home mooring. We are at Bell Rope Walk in Cookham, free mooring from 10 - 2 and only £6 for an overnight stay.
We walked through Cookham to the Station where there is a shop, we bought a couple of demi baguettes and some smoked mackerel  which we had for lunch.
CHS treated me to an ice cream from the van that parks near the flood relief plain and we stopped at the Crown for a quick drink, then back to the boat for lunch. The pic above is of the opposite bank, what a beautiful view.

Get out the scissors

I bought a new top, it's patterned cheesecloth, it makes me look like an aging hippy but I like it.
Even when I bought it I wasn't sure about the sleeves, they were a bit long and floaty.
I wore the top today for the first time and the sleeves lasted through just one lock, then out came the scissors and I cut the floaty bits off just below the elbow.
Once we moored up I got out my needle and thread and  neatened the raw edges by hemming them.

I bought the top because I realised I only had 2 short sleeved t-shirts to my name.

Monday, 14 August 2017

On the move.

We set off from Aldermaston on Friday just after lunch.
We had Dgs with us, he is 13 and very useful helping with the locks. We moored at The Cunning Man pub, had a meal there and stayed over night.
In the morning our son in law collected Dgs and dropped off the Dgd who hadn't been on a boat trip yet.
We went through the Oracle shopping center and along the Kennet and Avon then on to the Thames at Caversham.
We moored at Tesco, did some shopping and Dgs was collected by her dad.
We then moved on to Sonning where we paid £10 to moor for the night.
Today we stopped at Henley for lunch, I made a ploughmans for us.
We have now moved on to Marlow where we have found a quiet mooring for the night.
We find it best to moor up by 4 or 5 o'clock otherwise it can turn in to a bit of a scramble to find somewhere.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

New blinds

New kitchen blinds fitted today by CHS.
Now both windows are the same instead of the previous mismatch.
The blinds are also much safer than the faded curtains that were there
Who in their right mind hangs curtains above a gas hob!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Money in, money out

Money in.
I received a refund from British Gas from when I moved out of my house, £155.
I received a pay rise at work, backdated for four months £7, not per month, for the entire 4 months!

Money out.
There was a problem with the central heating, £184.

Learning to fly

This little chap crash landed on to the boat behind me yesterday.

Sorry about the appalling pics but I couldn't get any closer for fear of scaring him.
He sat there for some time chirping away whilst Mum & Dad kept flying past shouting encouragement.
Eventually the wind picked up and became very blustery, at this point I'm sure Mum & Dad shouted 'Just spread your bloody wings and jump'
Well he did and he took off, flying on his side to start with, but eventually he got the hang of it, straightened up and off he went.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Probably the last baby blanket I will make for a colleague as I am retiring in October.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Just a thought.

I received a text message today from someone I know announcing her engagement to the man she lives with.

I went to buy her a card, whilst browsing I did wonder why they don't do cards that say.

Congratulations on your engagement, at least now you won't spoil another couple!!

Cynical? Moi? Never!!

My beloved is a trusting little soul, he thinks he's cynical and suspicious but he isn't, not at all.

We are gradually meeting other boaters on the marina, especially CHS as he is usually working on the out side of the boat, I'm usually inside.

A nearby boater is being done up, it's a wreck, but the owner claims he wanted a project to work on.

He came over one afternoon to tell us all about the boats history, and his.

He invited CHS over to see his boat the next day, 'He seems like a nice bloke' said CHS. 'Yes' I replied 'But I think he's looking for free labour to help him do up his boat'. 'Surely not' said CHS.

The following day CHS went to see the boat, forewarned was forearmed, sure enough help was sought. Now CHS is always willing to help people with something quick, but this is a 10 year project and the owner is looking for a regular commitment every weekend.

I just cannot help being suspicious of everybody's motives.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Plans? What plans

CHS made a plan, he would finish work at 2 on Tuesday, I'd collect him promptly. 

We'd be back on the boat by 2:30, out of the marina by 3 and in Thatcham by 5.

We'd eat at the Swan pub that evening and the following morning 2 of the DGC would be dropped early then we'd set off for Newbury and then on to Kintbury!

This is what actually happened.

I collected CHS promptly at 2, we got half way back to the marina when CHS remembered he'd left the boat padlocks at work!

We drove back to work, collected the padlocks and drove back to the marina.

The boat was all ready to go and we finally left the marina a 4.

We got as far as the Rowbarge pub in Woolhampton, to find out that the Mikron Theatre Group were putting on a play at 7:30.

So we moored up and stayed to watch the play.

I phoned DD1 who dropped 2 of the DGC off at Woolhampton.

I made bacon sarnies for everyone and we eventually set off about 10:30, it rained lightly but persistently until about 2:30.

We managed 4 locks and 2 or 3 swing bridges, we lost a windlass but didn't lose any children.

We reached Thatcham and we were all soaking wet and chilled through, so we moored up and whilst everyone changed into dry clothes I cooked chilli for everyone.

DD arrived an hour later and collected the DGC who all said they'd had a great time.

The weather remained showery so we stayed in Thatcham until this morning when we set of home.

We are now moored back at Woolhampton, it's lashing down with rain, we're nice and snug on the boat so we will stay here until morning.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Putting two and two together

Yesterday was a day of awkward chores, I dropped CHS at work before 7am, I had to go to the Dr's and they don't open until 8am, the next place on my list didn't open until 9am, this left me with a lot of time to kill.

I decided to treat myself to a cup of tea, in Waitrose as it was the nearest place.

I text CHS to tell him I was in Waitrose as I know some people who work there.

I was in the café and I looked around, there was an elderly couple at one table and a man about my age at another.

This is where it gets complicated, Tracy, the daughter in law of CHS's work colleagues, Tommy, works in Waitrose, it was Tommy who rushed to tell CHS that our friends van had been parked on our drive for 2 hours. This was because he was doing some garden work for us.

About an hour later I got a text from CHS saying 'You were right, I've just been told that you are in Waitrose having coffee with A MAN'.

So Tracy had seen me in Waitrose having a cuppa, she'd phoned her father in law to tell him, also reporting that there was A MAN in the café at the same time as me, he was at the opposite side of the café, about 7 or 8 tables away.

Tommy then reported this to CHS, they put 2 & 2 together and made 740.

I realise that they all have very boring lives but jeeze, I can't even have a quiet cuppa without being spied on.

Whilst I was in Waitrose I did bump into my tenant's mum, she lives next door to my house and it was she who first asked if I would let her daughter rent my house.

I think it is a case of Be Careful What You Wish For.
She is finding it difficult living next door to her daughter. The children are noisy and spend all their time running up and down stairs screaming. The adults spend all their time rowing and screaming.
And she keeps having to look after their dog for them, the dog at least is quiet!

I did have to chuckle!

Monday, 24 July 2017

One of those days

I had a list of things to do today,  drop CHS at work, go to Dr's and collect repeat prescription, go to chandlers and collect life jacket that has had a new gas cylinder fitted.

I dropped CHS at work at 7, drove to Dr's and sat in the car park until they opened at 8 o'clock.
No prescription, 'Are you sure you ordered it?' says patronising receptionist.
'Yes I'm sure, here's your email acknowledgement!' I replied passing her my phone.
'We can get it ready for you in an hour.

Drove to the chandlers to collect life jacket. 'Are you sure you left it with us, there is no sign of it here'
'Yes I'm sure here is the email YOU sent to tell me to collect it today!'
'Oh yes, here it is'

Thank god for email or I'd have been getting the runaround all day.

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.