Monday, 27 August 2018

Bugger

I got up this morning to find the boat listing badly again, the water level had dropped 8 inches. It's so bad that I had to hold the kettle on the hob as otherwise it would just slide off.
After his first cuppa CHS got up and went straight into Corporal Jones mode, rushing about adjuring me not to panic. I wasn't, I don't.

So we had to move, such a shame as we were only one week into a 2 week mooring, if the water levels hadn't dropped we could have stayed another week. 

We are now on a 24 hour mooring so need to move tomorrow as well.

CHS is now nursing a panic induced headache and feeling very sorry for himself.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Bobbing along

It has rained here most of the day so we've stayed in and kept warm and dry.
The upside of all the rain  means that the water levels have risen and we are afloat again so we are no longer listing.
We are bobbing along again new.

CHS has watched the GP, I've restarted a crochet shawl I abandoned when the heatwave arrived.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Makes me chuckle

There are a few local companies who have names that make me chuckle, we have:-

Drain and Able.

Jack in the Locks.

Pane in the Glass.

And yesterday I saw a van with Purdy Gates written on it, now is it really the name of the owner or is it a play on Pearly Gates.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Overgrown and overlapping

But first.
I hate those people who set off for work so late that they need to drive at eleventy billion miles per hour so as not to arrive late. Part of the route I drive to take CHS to work varies between 50mph and the NSL, I never drive over 60mph as there are often dustbin lorries and cyclists ahead. But there is always some muppet who needs to drive up my arse because I'm not driving at the speed he/she would like. Also it is not quite light now in the mornings so I am coming up against my other pet peeve. Cyclists, dressed head to toe in black with no lights on their bikes!

Overgrown.
The path I walk along to get to the boat is getting very overgrown, I'm considering having blades fitted to the wheels of my wally trolley, in the style of Boudicca. That would soon take care of the long grass and nettles.

Overlapping
I think it was Tracy Ullman who said that her mother served leftovers so often that no one knew what the original meal had been.
We had lamb chops one evening with mashed potatoes, cauliflower and peas. I did extra mash on purpose as I knew there was a small amount of minced beef in the freezer. I cooked the beef with onions, mushrooms, grated carrot, oats and a handful of lentils. This stretched the beef far enough to make not only cottage pie, which used up the extra mash but also left enough to make spaghetti Bolognese for tonight's meal.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Slightly pissed

Not me, the boat, the water levels are low so we are listing a bit. Not as badly as we were during the night, I got up to go to the toilet and slipped across the floor.

I have no energy, hence the lack of posts, maybe my potassium is low, I'm eating a banana every day and I have an avocado for my lunch today.

DD1 & 2 are camping together this week, so I hope the weather stays dry for them.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Sometimes I despair

Of ever cooking cakes and biscuits successfully ever again.
It is not easy cooking on the boat, oh I can cook ok on the hob but the oven, that's a whole other ball game.

It has two temperature settings, very hot and off.

Anything on the middle shelf just sits there, raw and glaring at me.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be best to replace it but that would cost in excess of £600 and I may find the new one no better.

I could buy a second hand one for less but then that also may be no more efficient,

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Thatcham

It's supposed to rain tomorrow so after a visit from DD and the grandchildren we moved on.

First of all we had to wind, and we did it the oldfashioned way.

CHS started the engine so he could use it if the boat went off course.

I stood on the bank hanging on to a rope attached to the stern, CHS pushed the prow out and the wind blew steadily. 

Within a very short time the boat was pointing the other way and off we went.

We've stopped at Thatcham, there are visitor moorings with rings and a nice pub, The Swan, nearby.

If the
forecast rain arrives tomorrow, we will sit tight.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Newbury

We have arrived in Newbury, there is a fair on at Victoria park so we moored further along towards the dry dock.
It's six miles and nine locks, but as we went on to get water and then  turned round in a winding hole we went through an extra lock.

Today CHS met a boater after his own heart. He is doing 12 hour days and his crew work to military precision whilst the skipper shouts instructions like a regimental sergeant major.

My daughter has her own butler

I phoned my daughter yesterday and a very young person answered the phone.
I said hello, who is that?
'It is I Joshua Jones' my four year old grandson replied.
DD2 says he rushes to answer the phone and open the door, it's just like having a butler.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Back to civilisation

Apologies for the lack of blogging, I'm too tired as I'm working lots of locks each day.

We rushed to Devizes as CHS had arranged to meet friends there, we were supposed to be travelling back slowly, but CHS's is impatient, so we are travelling back at speed too. 

We were the first boat into the bottom lock of the Caen Hill Flight on our journey home. We were in the lock by 8:10, we buddied up with a hire boat and we did the flight in 2 hours 10 minutes. We moored at the top for a couple of hours and went to the local shop for supplies, mainly beer and tinned food, they don't sell meat.

We then buddied up with a different hire boat to do the top six locks. We then had a long, lock free trip which gave me chance to recover. Buddying up is good as it means more people to work the locks with me, but sometimes I find it hard to keep up with the other crews when they are in their 40's and I'm considerably older.

We had hoped to moor at Wilcot, but the cut was too shallow there, so we moved on to Wooton Rivers.
The next day we moved on to Crofton, nine locks and a tunnel, we visited the Crofton Beam Engineers Café and bought a slice of coffee and walnut cake each. We moored overnight and were able to get rid of our rubbish there.

We'd hoped to moor at Great Bedwyn but there was no room so we carried on, we found a mooring just after bridge 91 where there was a long stretch of unpopulated Armco.
CHS wanted to carry on but I'd done nine locks and was knackered.
It seemed to be a bit of a black hole, we had no phone signal, no TV signal and no Wifi.
This wouldn't normally be a problem but my kindle chose Saturday to throw a hissy fit, CHS insisted I hadn't charged it, like that's a possibility!

The following day we pressed on to Hungerford, a nearby boater came and helped me open the swing bridge by Hungerford church and asked if he could share the lock with us. He asked me to show his wife how to work the lock, she's been on the boat for eight years and couldn't do it. I showed her how, talked her through what to do. He pointed us in the direction of some moorings that were just at the back of Tesco's. We moored up and went shopping as by now we were running low on supplies and some of our meals were a little random.

We stayed overnight and moved on this morning three miles and three locks to Kintbury, again CHS wanted to travel further towards Newbury, but I only slept for two hours last night  and needed to rest.
Tomorrow we will fill up with water and move on to Newbury.



Monday, 6 August 2018

A grumpy landlady

We moored in Sells Green at the weekend, we met up with friends and went to the Three Magpies for a meal.
The food was good but the landlady was extremely rude.
Unfortunately we had also arranged to meet another set of friends at the same pub on Sunday 5th.
The landlady was, if possible, even ruder.
Below is a copy of the email I sent to the brewery!

We visited The Three Magpies on Friday 3rd August, the food was good but the landlady's attitude was appalling, she was rude and abrupt. She brought food to the garden and was rude to people who didn't hear their name called.
She also snatched some advertisements out of my hand that I had been given by a nearby business. Unfortunately we had arranged to meet friends there again on Sunday, the landlady's attitude had not improved, we were moved from table to table as she couldn't decide where to place us. She seemed to feel this was our fault. We were treated as though we were an inconvenience rather than paying customers. Suffice it to say that we will not be visiting this establishment again!

Convoy

We set off this morning towards the Caen Hill Flight, lots of hire boats were returning to Foxhangers.

We ended up in a convoy of 7 boats.

Once past Foxhangers we buddied up with a hire boat from a different company, they carried on up the flight, we moored up and will start the flight at sparrowfart o'clock tomorrow morning.

Boat names

Yesterday we saw a boat called Gum Bumper!


Sunday, 5 August 2018

How long

I've just read a post on Facebook, I belong to a few boater groups, very useful for asking advice.

One of the groups is called Women on the Cut,a lady joined the group a short time ago but now she was saying goodbye.

She and her husband had split up after only six weeks of living on their boat.

They have been married 14 years!

As I've said before, boat life isn't for everyone.


Burnt, bitten and stung

We met up with friends yesterday and took them on a boat trip, we went to the Barge Inn, Seend.

We sat in the garden and had a snack and a drink, it was busy but we managed to moor right beside the garden.

It was 3 locks and 2 swing bridges to get there and the same to get back, it was very hot.
We went through the locks going with a single hander, he was very grateful for the help with the locks.

There was a winding hole just before the last lock, the next one was through yet more locks and swing bridges, so we winded before the lock and reversed into the lock with the help of the single hander. He then lashed our boats together and towed us through the lock and bridge and untied us as we got level with a mooring space outside the pub.

I was extremely grateful as I really didn't fancy doing any more locks than absolutely necessary.

It was 28 degrees, I managed to get a sunburnt nose, stung by a wasp and bitten by mozzies, oh the joys of boat life.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

All Cannings to Devizes

We've made it to the top of the Caen Hill Flight.
We're moored up in the pound just before the Flight.
We moored up before it originally but unfortunately we had moored by a wasps nest and we both got badly stung so we moved a bit further along.
We will be up just after 6 in the morning as we need to be ready to move as soon as another boat arrives to travel with us.
It saves water if there are 2 boats in the lock together.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Honey Street to All Cannings

A leisurely trip today, just an hour and a half, there is nowhere to dump boaters rubbish at Honey Street so we moved to All Cannings to empty our bin.
We walked to the Kings Arms for a drink, lovely flowers outside the pub. The food is good to I believe but we didn't eat there, I cooked on the boat.

A face at the window.

Mooring on the towpath means that mostly all you see is people from the knees down.
Occasionally a dog will come up to the window for a closer look and when we moor in Woolhampton the pirate cat peers through the window at us.
My favourite is small children, especially toddlers who squat down to peer in, we always give them a friendly wave and reassure their parents/grandparents that we don't mind.
We even sometimes get adults bending over to peer in, a lot of boaters keep their blinds and curtains closed on the towpath side whereas I close mine only if the sun is beating in. So mine is needed of the few boat you can peer in to.

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 ...