Tuesday 28 March 2017

Buying stuff for the boat

I've been on a spending spree, this is what I've bought.
Ecoballs for the washing machine
A first Aid kit as Captain Hot Stuff cut his hand last weekend and we had no plasters!
Wall hanging storage to hold pants and socks.

This, to replace the dratted wine rack that is neither use nor ornament.

A large amount of washing up liquid.

I still need to buy something to line the kitchen drawers and cupboard shelves with, they are wood and have a rough surface. They are grubby and not easy to clean. I don't want to use sticky backed plastic as it's a bugger to get off once it's worn. I'm looking for an alternative and I'm open to suggestions.

I also need to buy the foam and fabric to replace the seats in the dinette.

Monday 27 March 2017

Change of name

After the last weekend on the boat my L&M has been given a name change.

We lit the stove Friday evening to check it all worked ok and for a few brief minutes the boat became almost warm.

In fact we almost reached the giddy heights of 12deg!

But then my beloved was almost overcome with heat stroke and all the windows and doors had to be flung open.

From now on my beloved will be known as Captain Hot Stuff!

Sunday 26 March 2017

Maiden voyage

We took the boat out of the marina and along the cut .
This was the Captain's first attempt at manoeuvring the boat.
It was Eileen's  first boat trip, it was a bit windy!

Saturday 25 March 2017


It's just after midnight and poor little dgd has a rotten cough, it woke her up.
She is missing her mummy, still, nana is a good substitute.
She's fallen asleep again now cuddling her Mickey Mouse toy and listening to another story about Miss Maitland's school for dinosaurs.

Thursday 23 March 2017

Performance management

The dreaded performance management has reared it's ugly head again
Every few years an attempt is made to implement something and then it dies a death.

Whichever system chosen is all stick and no carrot.
I went through hell a few years ago when we had a Head who was desperate to rid the school of all staff over 50.

I was set three objectives, all impossible, they were as follows.

1) All consumables are to be locked securely away and be easily accessible at all times to all staff!
Total bollocks as the two things are contradictory.

2) My room was to be subject to random spot checks and had to be tidy at all times.
The checks were always done after I'd left for the day! I started taking a photo on my phone every day as I left to show that I'd left the room tidy.

3) I was to show a more positive attitude.
I told my line manager that I was positive I was being shit on!

I was asked to suggest some objectives that I would like to achieve so I chose to increase my knowledge of some of the software used in the school. I was refused all training and my access to said software was blocked.

So a few years have passed and yet another system of performance management is being instigated.

We have the choice to opt in or out. If we opt in we will given 3 objectives to attain, if we exceed all three of our objectives we may be eligible for a small treat, a day off, or a box of chocolates or an even smaller pay rise. If we fail to attain our objectives we will be subject to disciplinary measures. 

If we opt out we are given 3 objectives to attain, if we exceed all three of our objectives we will not be eligible for treat or pay rise. If we fail to attain our objectives we will be subject to disciplinary measures. 

I have opted out, I'm planning on retiring in October so what's the point. I have had an email from my line manager informing me of the date for a meeting with her to discuss my objectives. I told her that my objective is to retire, but it seems we still have to decide upon my objectives. What a waste of my time and hers!

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Spring has sprung


So we went to the chandlers to buy an anchor, we need an anchor for the Thames.

There is a compromise  involved i.e. how heavy an anchor is needed to stop a 19 ton boat plus the weight of the chain and rope attached to said anchor, against the lifting capabilities of the weakest crew member, me!

So the conversation in the chandlers went like this.

'How much does your boat weigh'
'19 tons'
'How much can you lift?'
'I can lift almost 30 kilos'
'No you can't, that's much to heavy for you'
'Yes I can, I can lift 2 paper boxes at a time and they weigh between 13 & 15 kilos each'
'No you can't, try to lift this anchor, it's 9 kilos'
I picked up 2 at once, conversation over!

Tuesday 21 March 2017

My Armageddon cupboard

I'm an avid follower of MFin3 and I love her idea of an Armageddon cupboard so I've made a list of things to keep in the cupboard on the boat.

There may be times on the journey home when we cannot moor near a supermarket or we  have to push on and not moor, if this is so I want to be able to feed us for a few days without panicking.

I have 3 cupboards in the galley on the boat, one for pots, pans and ovenware, one for crockery and one for food, the cupboards are small, not a standard kitchen cupboard size and each has 2 shelves.

I will stock long life milk, my beloved won't touch it, but if I decant it into a milk bottle he cannot tell the difference, I will also have part baked baguettes, the rest will be mainly tins.

Tinned fruit, mandarins, peach slices, pineapple and fruit cocktail. Vegetables, peas, carrots, mushrooms, beans baked and mixed. Meat, corned beef, stewing steak, chicken supreme, ham, hot dogs and a couple of Fray Bento's pies. not what we'd usually eat but good for emergency cover.

The freezer will hold bacon,  sausages, ice cream and frozen peas.

The fridge will hold milk, eggs, cheese and fresh vegetables.

Monday 20 March 2017

I can't get away from the buggers

I think I've said before that there are teachers, just normal people who happen to teach and then there are TEACHERS. I spent a lot of today dealing with the latter, much to the detriment of my stress levels.
Usually weekends are free of both sorts of teachers, unfortunately one of our neighbour in the Marina is a TEACHER! Ye God's and little fishes, my cup runneth over!

Sunday 19 March 2017

Pics from this weekend

Boats in the basin.

Repaired tiller.

View from the galley windows.
The big pond is very full.

Plants on next doors boat.

It's in but not working yet.

'Free Gifts'

A small bag and a mitt

To go with the Morso Squirrel stove.

The flue needs fitting

And the hearth needs it's oak trim.

Thursday 16 March 2017

Busy, busy

Because we are away every weekend I have to fit everything else in after work, on Tuesday I left work at 2 and didn't get home until 8pm, yesterday I met up with DD1 and didn't get home until 8:30pm.
Today it's not too bad, I've been to the doctors, chemist, bank, petrol station and supermarket and got home by 4pm.

Rumours abound at work, my L&M's line manager is being replaced, it seems his team's shift system will be changing yet again. They will be expected to cover all day Saturday and Sunday, I'm not sure how it's going to work with only three people, time will tell.

On the boat, the pram cover is almost ready, the multifuel stove is in, we will be hooked up to shore power again this weekend. We're meeting the previous owners for a handover Saturday morning and I'm taking another shedload of cleaning cloths to continue cleaning the boat, the kitchen cupboards are full of all the cleaning stuff that mustn't be used on the canals, so I taking stuff with me that can be used.  I'm also taking extra bedding so my L&M doesn't freeze again.

Wednesday 15 March 2017

The damned wine rack

We are going to try and remove the fronts of the shelves if it can be done without wrecking the wood either side.
Even Softstuff's brilliant suggestion would be a tight fit so if we can remove the fronts the shelves will be more useable.

Marty has suggested that the hanging buckets  I bought from Ikea might fall off the bar if another boat goes past at speed.
I mentioned this to my L&M  so he is going to drill a small hole and add a grub screw to each hook to keep them secure.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Today I visited hell

The hell that is known as Ikea, the car park is a multi storey, bigger than some of the car parks in town.
The shop is clean, well laid out and the staff are friendly and helpful.
It is still my idea of hell.
But I did manage to buy what I went in for.

These will be fixed in the wall of the galley to hold the cutlery and kitchen utensils.

Monday 13 March 2017

Brrrm brrrrm

We are having the boat engine serviced and Mark came to give us a quote, when I phoned him to make the appointment he was surprised when I told him what make of engine.
It seems the engine was designed for sea going vessels and can even cope with strong tidal waters. Even with the size and weight of our boat he said we could easily get up enough speed to tow a water skier!
I don't think we will be testing his theory out!

Show Boat

We now have all the paperwork connected with our boat, in amongst it there was a copy of a magazine article about our boat.

She was originally built as a show boat in 2006 and shown for the first time in 2007, there are photo's of her a the Beale Park Boat Show, this is just down the road from us.

And in a few weeks we will be bring her back to very near where she was first shown.

Sunday 12 March 2017

Simply the best.

We spent last night and this morning on our boat, someone has pinched the bedding but the kitchenware is all intact. All the stuff is from John Lewis so very good quality albeit a strange mixture.

In one cupboard there are three huge stainless steel casserole pans and a cast iron griddle pan, all are too big to fit on the hob or in the oven. Another cupboard contains a dozen mugs, 17 plastic bowls but only two plates.

Once we arrived I set to cleaning all the surfaces and walls in the galley, I've asked my L&M to paint the inside of the kitchen cupboards white as they are very deep and dark.

This morning was taken up with meeting the people who are doing various repairs to the boat. There are boat safety repairs needed these were started over the weekend whilst we were there, the pram cover is leaking and the engine needs servicing.

Prices were discussed and bookings made, the jobs can't all be done at the same time otherwise everyone would be tripping over each other but they will all be done before we bring her down.

I only took a few photo's as it was raining most of the time.

A small canalware jug, it needs cleaning up, but it will them take pride of place on the shelf unit.

Our mooring for this weekend, so pretty with all the spring flowers in bloom.

The view from the galley window, across the basin in the rain.

Thursday 9 March 2017

What can I do with?

Four cupboards, three drawers and a wine rack?
My new kitchen is 8ft 5 and I think I'm really going to resent the wine rack eventually as neither of us drinks wine, is just a wasted space, and space is somewhat at a premium.
One cupboard will be for food, one for pots, pans and crockery, the double cupboard under the sink will be for the bin, brushes and cleaning equipment.
One drawer will hold cutlery, one will hold teacloths, foil, baking parchment etc. that leaves me one whole drawer to get excited about whilst I wonder what to fill it with!
I'm hoping to fit some mug hooks but I'm not sure what else, maybe a spice rack.
I have a 1cu ft. freezer which is about the size of one of my freezer drawers and I can get quite a lot in one. I also have a 2.5cu ft. fridge, plenty of room for bacon, eggs, cheese and milk.
We will take stuff up with us each time we visit and gradually get it ready for the journey home.

It was a perfect storm.

You know, when everything comes together at the same time to cause the maximum difficulty.

First he had the MRI scan, which I know is worrying him.

Then the sprained ligaments that meant not only could he not go to work, he was stuck in bed with his foot raised.

He had his new hearing aids fitted and it always takes him ages to adjust to them.

It was completion time for the boat sale, so lots of paperwork/phone calls to be made to organise the re naming, license, boat safety certificate etc. etc.

All the reasons above are why I didn't throttle him when he was being a major pain in the arse!

Wednesday 8 March 2017


Last night I slept for 2 hours, that was all I could manage whilst clinging to the edge of the precipice known as 'my side of the bed' all 6 inches of it!
Once he realised I was awake my L&M wanted to know if I licensed and insured the boat as I'd claimed or had I just given up faced with the interminable page of bumpf I'd filled in. Then he felt the need to discuss the list of phone calls I need to make tomorrow concerning said boat. Then to tell me he couldn't sleep, no shit Sherlock! I'd managed to work that one out. Finally he complained that I was jiggling the whole bed when I typed or turned a page on my kindle. Incredibly, by 7am he was still alive and fast asleep, I meanwhile was half asleep and heading for work!

Tuesday 7 March 2017


So my beloved's ligament damage is slowly improving, he cannot get comfortable on the sofa so he spent Sunday and Monday  flat on his back in bed with his leg raised on pillows, hence my decision not to do a roast dinner. Today he managed to get out of bed for parts of the day so I cooked lamb chops for him.

On top of all this he had an appointment to have his new hearing aids fitted, he would normally get to the hearing unit by bus but that was out of the question so I took three hours out of my working day (that I had to make up or forgo salary) to take him there.

We both wear 2 hearing aids, when he first had his, oh the trauma! Maybe someone would notice, they made his ears sore, they kept beeping, everything sounded strange!
We were both told to build up slowly until we could wear them full time. I put mine in at the clinic and have never looked back, I forget I'm wearing them and have even gone to bed and got in the shower with them in.

He still only wears his aids to work and the rest of the time moans that he can't hear what's being said!
On the journey home from the hearing clinic he was convinced there was something wrong with the car, if not then the back windows weren't shut properly, I kept telling him it was his new hearing aids but he refused to believe me.

Sunday 5 March 2017

Oh bugger

A couple of hours at the local Minor Injury Unit is not my favourite way of spending a Sunday morning but needs must.
We took DGD Norah home about 10ish and then on to the hospital, we didn't have to wait too long and they were soon able to diagnose the cause of the foot pain.
My L&M has sprained some ligaments in his foot, 24 hours at least of complete rest with the leg raised.
I shall need bed rest by the time he recovers, I'm up and down like a brides nighty on her honeymoon.
So no roast dinner today, sandwiches and snacks are the way to go.

Saturday 4 March 2017

Skip diving

We have filled a skip with stuff from the garden.
I put a big sign on it saying 'Please help your self'
It saves people knocking to ask if they can take stuff and it stops the skip filling up too fast.
So far lots of the things are going soon after we take them out there.

Today's Ifits

Eggs, eggs and more eggs, I seem to have lots, so it's egg sandwiches for me and the DGD's for lunch, cakes will be made with the DGD's, chocolate brownies this time.
Then omelettes this evening, that should make a hole in the amount of eggs I have.

Friday 3 March 2017

New vocabulary

It's like learning a foreign language!

Words such as:- Sacrificial anodes. Galvanic isolator. Bilges. Blacking Bow thruster. Cratch. Black water. Winding hole. Gongoozler. Butty.

And descriptions like this. Anser Pins = Steel pins attached, immediately before the stern counter to either or both gunwales of motors and butties to which straps from the stern dollies or studs of both boats can be tightly hooked or shackled when breasting-up, not only keeping the sterns together but also acting as springs and stopping the pair from riding forwards and backwards against each other.

We have the paperwork through to sign for the boat, she will be officially ours from Wednesday, she was renamed when she was out of the water being blacked, she is now called Apostrophe, it's a long story but we wanted a unique name and my beloved is a Frank Zappa fan and his favourite album is apostrophe. She is currently moored in Northamptonshire and we are in Berkshire, we will be bringing her home over the Easter holidays. I will post a list of our mooring places and approximate timings if anyone wants to see us.

Thursday 2 March 2017

Ifits again

Tonight ifits was steak and kidney I added a tin of vegetable soup to it as it wasn't one my L&M liked I also added some  curry powder and lots of pepper and I made mash to go with it. There is enough left for lunch tomorrow for both of us.

It's gradually calming down here, I collected our prescriptions today and made the last few outstanding phone calls.

Next week my L&M gets his new hearing aids so he will be able to make his own phone calls, I will still be doing the trips to the bank, Dr's etc.  as we are not within walking distance of anything here and the buses don't run to our local shops, bank, chemist.

Tomorrow my beloved has an MRI scan so he's not at work, this means I can have a lie in and not get up until 6:30, woohoo!

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Another day.

I've managed to pay for the fence repairs, I've booked my L&M's next hospital appointment and ordered his repeat prescription.

I haven't organised the boat insurance or sorted out the boat licence but as we will not own the boat until early next week I will wait 'til then to do it.

I have got a quote for the boat safety repairs £300 and told the broker not to worry about getting the vendor to make another price reduction. If the repairs were to cost more then maybe I would, but we've paid £6000 under the asking price and that's fine by me.

The contracts will be exchanged early next week, the  boat safety work will be completed along with the stove and solar panels, the pram cover repair needs to be sorted. The handover by the vendor is on 18th March.

Tonight we have ifits for tea, if it's in the freezer we're eating it, today I found some sliced roast beef that we'll have with potato croquettes (left from a co-op £5 deal) roast parsnips left from Christmas some carrot and swede mash, peas and gravy.

Trouble at the big house!

Not long after we moved here we had a visit from a man, Mike, who worked for the housing association. He was condescending and patronising a...