Monday, 28 May 2018

Beautiful Demoiselle

I do so wish I could post pics on my blog.

We are surrounded by many, many what I think are Beautiful Demoiselle.

They are a wonderful shade of dark blue, I can not take a decent photo of them as they fly past so fast.

There must be 20 or so flying to and fro past the boat.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Crash bang wallop

There was an almighty crash bang earlier today. I could hear CHS yelling so I went to see what the problem was.

The part of the K&A we are on is river rather than canal and it's running really fast.

A boat had approached at speed and CHS thought they were trying to moor behind us. But they had lost power, the engine just died and they were at the mercy of the current.

We went out to help and managed to get the boat under control and got it moored in front of us.

It took all 5 of us, some time, lots of rope heaving and lots of nettle stings but the crew are now safe.

At one point they were nearly across the width of the river, I was hauling on the back rope and managed to get them abreast of our boat and then between us we got them to the bank.

There were 3 girls on the boat, one was the owner, she'd only had the boat a month and she had 2 friends with her who didn't know what to do but were doing their best.

A boater going the other way kept shouting at them to give the boat more power, which of course they couldn't do with no engine.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

First date

We've moved from the marina today, we are near Ufton, moored on the edge of a field with cows in.

We reached a lock just as another boat entered it, normally we would double up but as the boat in front was wedged diagonally across the lock we moored on the lock landing and went to help.
We recognised the boat, it's owner is a single lady named Maggie, this time she had a gentleman friend with her.

The gentleman had obviously thought long and hard about his trip on the boat and chosen his outfit with care! He was wearing an immaculately clean white top, highly pressed shorts and loose fitting moccasins.

This outfit maybe appropriate for yachting but for working the locks on a canal, scruffy is best.

By the time we caught up with them they were on their 3rd lock of the day and it was about 4 in the afternoon. He'd started off steering the boat but had got it wedged diagonally across the lock, so they swapped places, she went on to the boat to straighten it out, he went to work the lock.

Unfortunately Towney lock is a bit of a bugger, it's deep, the paddles are very stiff, the gates are heavy and one doesn't open properly. He was really struggling to work his side so CHS went to help, otherwise I'd have ended up doing both gates whilst he faffed around worrying about the gates being dirty.

CHS asked how far they were going, the gentleman announced that they hoped to moor in Maidenhead tonight! It's a bloody long way to Maidenhead by boat but each to their own.

As Maggie passed me I nodded towards the gentleman and asked her 'First date?'
'And the bloody last' she snarled through gritted teeth.



Friday, 25 May 2018

For fucks sake just go home!

As I've said before CHS's shift system is confusing and inconvenient, some evenings there is an added problem, people not leaving on time.

The school hires out some areas out of hours, until 9 or 10 o'clock usually, either for exercise classes, fat club and various other local groups.

I'm not sure if people assume the caretaker lives on site or, more likely, they just don't consider him being inconvenienced any problem of theirs.

Rooms are hired out until 9:30, if the room next to it hasn't been hired out then that room can be set up for 8am meetings the next day.

At 9:45pm CHS walks down to the room to find the classes still running. He has to persuade them to finish, CHS then checks the room next door, this has invariably been used and needs to be set up again. 

He sets the room up again for the meeting and then goes back to tidy the room the class had been held in. People still stand around chatting, and give CHS dirty looks as he picks up all the rubbish they leave scattered about and as he empties the bins, by now it's 10 o'clock. 

He turns off the lights and the people gradually walk to their cars, still chatting.
CHS announces that he is locking the gate and they needed to drive out if they unless they want to stay on-site overnight.

Some people always decide to sit in their cars and use their mobile phones so CHS and I drive to the gate. By now it is almost 10:30 and hour after his finishing time!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

4 sets of temporary traffic lights, 2 honking cars and a punch up.

And all before 7 am yesterday.
A journey that normally takes 20 minutes took 40 minutes.
I've no idea why either car honked me, I couldn't go anywhere as I was in a queue of traffic. The temporary traffic lights may mean that some of the potholes are being filled in.
As for the punch up, a 4x4 was following a BMW, for some reason the BMW kept slamming on his brakes. I kept well back as it looked like an accident waiting to happen.
Eventually the 4x4 overtook the BMW, stopped in front of him and got out. I drove past and left them to fight it out, they looked pretty evenly matched.

Today the M4 was closed between junctions 11 & 12, an accident had knocked over a lamppost. All the traffic then piled on to the A4! It took me an hour to get CHS to work, I went to DD2's and got her four kids ready and dropped 3 of them at school. DD2 set of for a meeting and was an hour late but still got there before the rest of the clients. It then took me another hour to get to DD1's. 

CHS has tomorrow off, so a lie in and a leisurely start in the morning I hope. I've filled the water tank and tomorrow we will look for a new mooring place.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

It's nice to be loved!

Childcare duties this morning, I asked my 3yo Dgd if she wanted to go to the park or come back to my boat.
She asked if CHS was on the boat.
I explained that CHS was at work.
Let's go to the park, says Dgd!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Thieving bastards

We are hiding in the marina for a couple of days, the local area is under siege.
Shops have hired security, a local boat hire place had the batteries stolen from all their boats and people have had their generators stolen.
As we moved away from our previous mooring we passed 3 boats heading towards it hoping to find a place of safety.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Accidents happen.

I was taking CHS to work on Friday only to find the A4 was closed due to a serious though fortunately not fatal accident, we had to divert through to Burghfield and into Reading that way. CHS was about an hour late for work.

Once I'd dropped him at work I parked my car and caught a bus into central Reading, I then caught another bus to the Royal Berkshire Hospital. CHS's hearing aid needed repairing.

There is a shortcut from the main entrance to the hearing centre. Unfortunately the flooring was being refurbished so I had to walk all round the outside of the hospital to reach the hearing centre.

After the repair was completed I caught a bud back I to central Reading and then another back to my car.
Unfortunately there had been an accident outside the fish and chip shop. So that part of the journey was also slow. Eventually I reached my car, did a small amount of shopping and then returned home.
I left home just before 11 a.m. I didn't get home until 5:30.

Oh bugger

About 20 years ago I got a speeding ticket, my kids thought it was hysterically funny as I am not a speedy driver. The road I was driving along had its speed limit reduced from 40 mph to 30 mph. I was unaware of the change and I was doing 37 mph in what I thought was a 40 area.

Last week I got another speeding ticket, this time my children and grandchildren think it's hysterically funny.
It was on a totally different road but once again the speed limit has been reduced from 40 to 30 and once again I was doing 37 mph in what I thought was a 40 mph area.
Oh well it's my own fault!

Friday, 18 May 2018

Other people's shopping

I can't help being nosy, seeing what other people have in their shopping trolleys.
Today the gentleman in front of me had 40 bottles of beer, a French stick and a tin of baked beans!
It made me chuckle.

A Tale of Two Lads

I know two young men, both in their early 20s, one, Rob, is the son of a neighbour, the other, Jack is someone we've met on the cut.
Both were disinterested in school, both left with no qualifications.
Rob has his food and booze provided along with his choice of Sky tv channels and his phone contract paid. He is always smartly turned out, at his mother's expense.  He has had 2 jobs in the last 18 months, one he lasted a whole day, the other he walked after a couple of hours as it was boring!

Jack lives on his narrowboat that he is doing up, he paid £1000 for the boat as it was such a wreck.
Jack passed us a couple of hours ago, he wasn't  on his own boat, he was moving a boat for someone, he is known as a safe and reliable boat mover, he also repairs boats and works in a local pub. He doesn't have Sky tv and he only has a basic phone. He usually looks a bit scruffy apart from when he's working a shift in the pub.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Tap, tap, tap.

I was sat in my chair relaxing, I was up at 5 and set off to DD's about 5:30. She flew out to Amsterdam at 3am, I needed to be at hers in time for her husband to get to work.
The children got up and dressed and were dropped at school. I took the youngest dgd to the park, we had a picnic lunch and at 12:15 I dropped her at nursery and then returned home.
I've done four loads of washing and got most of it dry on the whirly.
So I thought I deserved a rest, someone else decided otherwise. There was a tap tap tap beside my chair, I stood up and looked out the window. Daddy swan wanted feeding so he tapped on the side of the boat to attract my attention.
Now he's been fed I will put my feet up for a while before I go to collect CHS later.

Don'tcha just love it when.

My DD Lizzie works in an estate agency on a Saturday and has for about 5 years.
When she first started the two partners took it in turns to work alternate Saturday's but within 6 months they stopped working Saturday's and made Lizzie the Saturday office manager, the other staff were all advised of this.
Lizzie is ways happy to go the extra mile at work and often washes up and vacuums the floor before she leaves at the end of the day.
Last week there was a huge amount of data entry to do and no-one wanted to do it as it is boring.
So Lizzie ploughed through the work and it took her all day.
Just before the staff left at the end of the day Lizzie asked another staff member to wash up.
The woman refused, saying 'When did you become the office manager?'
Lizzie replied, 'About 4 years ago' and passed her a business card!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Please Nana

Today I was up just after 5am and after breakfast I set off to DD2's so she could attend the course she is on.
Dgd Eileen was searching for a pair of matching socks, eventually she found a pair that she deemed acceptable.
I asked her if she would like me to buy her some new socks.
She thought for a few moments and then said that what she really wanted were some white ankle socks with bows on to match her school uniform. It seems a classmate has socks with bows on and dgd was desperate for some of her own.
DD2 explained that they were available from Tesco so I agreed to to go and buy her some. 
Once DD2 had set off on the school run with Eileen and Norah I set off to Tesco with Suzy.
We found the socks without any problems and also chose socks for Norah, Suzy by now had spotted a Troll dress and was looking at me hopefully.
Fortunately it was reduced in the sale so I bought it for her. The dress came with a bright pink wig and Suzy wore both on our trip to the park, there is a nice park not far from DD2's and I often take Suzy there.
We left the park and went home to have lunch after which it was time for nursery.
Tomorrow I will try for a lie in as I'm doing the school run for DD2 on Thursday as she is off to Amsterdam for a day of business meetings.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Condolences

So sorry to hear that Sue's lovely husband Colin passed away on Friday.

Friday, 11 May 2018

A warning to bullies

If you are 7 years old and think you are a hard nut, don't pick on a 7 year old girl who regularly play fights with her 14 year old brother.
Because even when you get your friends involved so it's 3 against 1, you still end up in tears whilst the girl walks away, head held high and without a mark on her.
You go girl!

Why

 I'm terrified of water, can't swim, scared of heights (lock gates can be very high) and I'm allergic to willow fluff.

So why did I think it would be a good idea to move onto a narrowboat?

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Playing wildlife skittles

Today I visited DD1, the twins were 4 yesterday, I bought them clothes but slipped a chocolate lolly in with their cards. 

As I had taken CHS to work I  drove back into Pangbourne, turned right past James the Less church and followed the country roads.

I keep my eyes peeled and my foot hovering over the brake pedal on this route, often it is pheasants wandering along the road, sometimes it's deer, today it was a squirrel. I managed to miss it much to my relief, the woods are full of Bluebells at the moment such a beautiful sight.

After a few hours playing with the twins and chatting to DD1 I returned home via Hampstead Norreys, Cold Ash and Thatcham, a different route. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Changing weather

We have had a few days of sunny weather, on Saturday I managed to run the washing machine from the solar without damaging the batteries. CHS put the whirly line up and I got the washing dry in the sun too.

I turned the mattress over a while ago and I'm now on the slidy side so I keep waking up hanging off the edge. I think we will have to buy a new mattress, no doubt it will be very expensive. It will have to be made in two parts with a zippered join.

CHS is back at work and back on the late shift so I'll be going to collect him about 9ish. He has at least one more week of lates if not more, I hate this shift as it is the most disruptive.

No childcare today, SIL had a days holiday so there was no need for me to go over to look after dgd. DD's course only has a couple more weeks to run and then I will be less in demand.

I did a small shop, I found minced beef and lamb shanks both reduced. I filled the car with petrol, went to the bank and then came back and pottered about.

It clouded over a while ago and it looks like rain so I've attached the sides to the pram cover and pulled it up so the rain won't get in and the stern should keep dry.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Early morning in town.

We usually moor up somewhere peaceful, near a road bridge but where there aren't too many houses.
Last night we moored in the centre of Newbury so this morning it was a very different view whilst I was cooking breakfast.

There were high speed swans, those that were swimming with the current, there were ducks swimming the other way, paddling like crazy but not getting far against the current.

I watched a young man setting out the tables and chairs for the canal side cafe, they were soon doing a roaring breakfast trade.

There were joggers and cyclists, some on their way to work, some getting their exercise in before work.

There was a homeless man who lay on the grass on the sunshine and went to sleep.

The car park opposite soon filled up with workers and shoppers.

After breakfast we moved on and after a few hours traveling we moored up in a quiet spot at Midgham for a while.

Monday we will collect the car ready for CHS to return to work on Monday.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Usual Tuesday

So it's Tuesday, I looked after dgd as DD2 has a course to attend, only another 4 weeks left I think. I took my washing with me and got it washed and dried.

Dgd and I did some shopping,  I bought birthday presents for DD1's twins, clothes as they have lots of toys already, they are 4 soon. Dgd helped to choose the clothes, I bought her a t-shirt so she didn't feel left out.

Then back to the boat, DD2 dropped me off as I've left the car on her drive, it's easier than trying to move the car and boat and find somewhere to moor and park.

We are at Thatcham and will move towards Newbury tomorrow morning.

Rain, rain and yet more rain

We have had so much rain here the ground is waterlogged. The towpath is ankle deep in water in some places. We managed to get a long walk ...