Saturday 29 April 2017

Working on the boat

 DGS helping Captain hot Stuff sand the rust spots on the roof.
 DGD also sanding rust spots
My contribution to working on the boat, I was going to crochet a porthole cover but saw this stained glass style sticky backed plastic and decided to use it instead.

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Moan, moan, rant, rant

Yet another rant, yet again about work, but this one is a bit different.
As with any school we have some students with an assortment of problems.
Again as with most schools we end up trying to pick up the pieces left by crap parenting.
We have parents who mollycoddle their children to such an extent that at 18 years old they are incapable of the simplest of tasks such as catching a bus.
At 15 I was travelling from Wimbledon to Knightsbridge on public transport daily to get to work.
At 16 I was living in a small bedsit in Wandsworth and managing my own budget.
We have parents who don't give a flying fuck about their children, these parents are a pain in the arse.
But the worse parents of all, I think are the ones who insist on a pretence of a home life that is hunky dory, when in fact it contains all sorts of horrors.
We are then left trying to help a child with no clue as to what is causing the problems. The child is then labeled as difficult through no fault of their own.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Going, going gone

Today I got rid of some scissors and pinking shears, a bag full of Tupperware type boxes with lids, 2 jugs and a bedside lamp.

Tomorrow I'm sorting out my reels of cotton and dividing them between me and both DD's.

I'm being ruthless, another bag of kitchen stuff going to DD2 tomorrow.

3 vases to the local charity shop along with assorted knick knacks.

Monday 24 April 2017

Why me, why me?

So we are going to rent our house out whilst we are on the boat. We've checked out Rightmove and Zoopla to see what the going rate is for a 3 bed house in this area. There is some variation but we have made a decision about what we will charge.

Another house in my road is also rented out, it's smaller than my house as is the garden and it is being rented out for £1200pcm. It's newly decorated and very trendy looking.
We are not charging the same amount as this as it is way over what other houses in this area are being rented out for.

My misfortune is that the expensive house is being rented by the family of a colleague. Said colleague spent some time today demanding to know why her relatives were paying so much rent when I was going to charge so much less.

She informed me that in Germany excessive rents are banned. Well that's as maybe but how the hell should I know why they are paying over the odds. I assume they either fell in love with the house and had to have it or that is was the only one available at the time they were looking.

Sunday 23 April 2017

Ow, ow, ow

I've done 6 lots of washing and got it dry mainly outside.
I've cleaned the washing machine filter.
Gallons of water and gunk came out.
I've scrubbed the floors downstairs, to mop up all the gunk from the washing machine!
I've packed up a lot of my craft stuff and now I'm knackered and my hands hurt.
I was given a small bottle of prosecco a while ago, I'm very tempted to open it.
Unfortunately I can't I don't have any grip left in my hands.
I should have asked Captain Hot Stuff to open it before he went out.
I didn't want the prosecco then, now I do.

Saturday 22 April 2017

Barging through

So what's the difference?

A work colleague calls my boat a longboat, but that would mean it is a Viking war ship like this.
Other people refer to it as a barge, but to be a barge it would have to be 10ft wide.
Just to confuse the issue completely there are a lot of 10ft wide boat on the canals and they are called widebeams, there was one stuck at one of the locks we had to negotiate on our journey home.
The correct name is narrowboat but I'm not pedantic about it, you can call it whatever you like.

Once she has had the water tank and fuel tank filled she tends to wallow a bit and doesn't handle particularly well.
At these times Captain Hot Stuff tends to call her 'This Fecking Boat' as he struggles to steer her round corners!

I'm Astonish-ed

Doing housework on the boat is like tidying a dolls house.
Whether sweeping and mopping the floor, cleaning the galley or wiping the surfaces all the jobs are very quickly completed.
There are two cream leather recliner chairs in the living area, they ten years old and in good condition, unfortunately they were also filthy!
I had tried everything to clean them but nothing touched the layer of grime on them.
In desperation I attacked them with some Astonish and it worked miracles. 

The  chairs are now much cleaner and I feel comfortable sitting on them.
I wouldn't recommend anyone else try this as I could have ruined the leather, but they would have had to be replaced if they hadn't cleaned up so I had nothing to lose.

Friday 21 April 2017


The kitchen is 5ft 6ins by 5ft 10ins, today Captain Hot Stuff fitted another hanging rail, this one is magnetic.

He also fitted a rail near the stove to dry tea towels on, it will also be used to dry underwear, not when the stove is alight but when it is dying down.

The living area is 9ft by 5ft 10 and very cosy when the stove is lit.

The dining area is 6ft by 5ft 10.

The bathroom is 5ft 10 by 4ft 10.

The bedroom is 9ft by 5ft 10.

I have just chosen the new curtain fabric, the curtains on the boat are very tatty and none of them match. We will have blinds on the kitchen windows but I'll make curtains for the other windows. I tried to order the fabric I liked and got a message, card declined, I thought this was strange but assumed I'd miscalculated.

I tried another card and got the same response and I know there is money in that account.

I then tried the Tesco credit card and that was also declined, methinks they have a gremlins in their system!

Wednesday 19 April 2017

A quick trip to the pub

We are hooked up to shore power so the washing machine has been on twice and the laptops are on charge.

Captain Hot Stuff has been getting to know the neighbours (he's been working on the outside of the boat) I've been working on the inside.

DD is going to give me a lift home tomorrow to collect my car until then we are on the Marina, not that it's a problem as it is a lovely sunny day.

We walked to the nearest pub, hoping to get lunch, but decided it was too expensive £17 for sausage and mash, maybe we're just tight, so we had a drink and walked back. It takes about 45 minutes to walk there along the towpath.

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Home at last

We left our overnight mooring on the Thames just before 9 this morning. Twelve locks, six swing bridges a trip through the Oracle shopping centre and nine hours later we arrived at our home mooring only to find someone else moored on our jetty.
We have  a temporary mooring for tonight, hopefully there will be room for us on another jetty tomorrow!

Monday 17 April 2017


It's cold and rainy here today but we went to Tesco and bought milk and bread etc.

We bumped into some fellow boaters who we met at Crick boat show last year they bought a brand new boat there but aren't happy with it, a year on and they are still trying to get the snagging list sorted. Left to his own devices Captain Hot Stuff would have bought the same boat, the salesman was persuasive but I vetoed it. I was not popular with the salesman but I didn't trust him.

Someone three boats along from us tonight, has got and old fashioned engine, I can hear it chugging away it sounds wonderful.

Sunday 16 April 2017


Lots of visitors today, family, friends and work colleagues. We are near enough to home for people to come and see us and the boat.
Everyone loved the Squirrel stove, many questions were asked and answered about the boat and onboard facilities.
Some people assumed that we had no heating or hot water.
Some even assumed that we didn't have a flushing toilet.
We do, we have a macerating flushing toilet.

Saturday 15 April 2017

More housekeeping on the boat

This post is for someone who asked about the washing machine, this is mine.
 It's a Candy Aquamatic, it take a 3.5k load and has a 30min rapid cycle.
The machine is tucked away by the steps up to the stern deck.

There is no tumble dryer so after the debacle of losing our clothes and the airer the clothes are hung over the curtain bars and they will dry overnight as the Squirrel is pumping out a lot of heat.

Abingdon to Beale Park

It's been warmer today, we set off from Abingdon just after 9 and went through Culham, Clifton, Day's, Benson, Cleeve and Goring lock. Just to confuse us the same lock keeper that was at Abingdon yesterday was at Cleeve Lock and Goring Lock today. This is the second time we have seen the same keeper at two different locks.

We had intended to moor at Wallingford but the moorings were full so we moved on to Goring, there was room on the mooring but this was the view from the window.
The towpath is level with the roof of the boat so we moored long enough to watch the African Queen turn around and pass us (I'm sure I watched a TV programme about her).
Then we set off again until we reached the Beale Park moorings.

Sorry about the poor picture quality, the sign is some way away.

The views here are much more pleasing.

Friday 14 April 2017

Housekeeping on the boat

Every day I sweep the floors from front to back, today I treated myself to a dustpan and brush that I can use standing up as it was killing my knees sweeping up on my hands and knees.
Every other day I mop the floor from front to back, I say mop but it's me on my hands and knees with a damp cloth.
Every day after we've used the shower I mop it dry, we have a gulper, it sucks the water out of the shower when it's in use but it always leaves some water behind so I mop it out and leave it dry.
Every day, after tea and before bed I spent a couple of hours working my way through a list of other jobs. This week the jobs have all been in the gallery, the cooker was filthy, I'm cleaning it bit at a time, today it's the cooker knobs, they are soaking in hot water and will be scrubbed vigorously soon. Whilst I'm doing this Captain Hot Stuff is scrubbing the rust marks off the roof or cleaning the windows.
Speaking of the cooker, there is no handle to the grill pan, I am managing with an oven glove but I will need to get a handle at some point.
Just before bed we load up the stove so it is still going in the morning. In the morning it is riddled and more coal is added.

Gotta love google

We decided to stop at Abingdon today, we had been travelling for about four hours and gone through four locks, Osney, Iffley, Sandford and Abingdon.
Abingdon is beautiful, many old buildings and an abundance of barber's shops.
It was cold and windy, so we decided to stop for lunch I googled 'Weatherspoons in Abingdon' and up popped The Narrows. We had fish and chips and a drink for about £12, great value and if we want anything else to eat later I'm sure a sandwich will suffice. It's still cold and windy so we will stay here overnight.
Tomorrow we will make an early start and head to Benson.

Thursday 13 April 2017


Yesterday we met DD at Thrupp, I took some pics as it was so pretty.
Some yarnbombing

Cottages beside the cut

We are now moored in Oxford, near Osney bridge, there was a heron under the bridge, we have seen a few but this is the first time I was able to get a picture, albeit not a very good one.

We had lunch at the Four Candles in Oxford and this evening went to The Punter for a drink. I bought some free range eggs and mushrooms from a farm shop yesterday and some gammon from The Pig Place, so it was gammon for tea.

After yesterday's laundry debacle I decided to dry the second load of washing inside overnight, the squirrel was lit so everything dried quickly.

We have been shopping to replace the items lost in the cut so now have clean underwear.

I have persuaded Captain Hot Stuff to give up his attempt to complete an eight day journey in five days so we arrived at nine this morning and will not be moving on until nine tomorrow morning.

We have registered to moor here for 24 hours and bought a week's license for the Thames though we only expect to be on it for a couple of days.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

It isn't a holiday it's a fecking route march.

Yesterday we lost a many hours when two boats got stuck in a lock together, it took a long time for them to decide who was going to reverse out, and even longer for the reversing to be accomplished. Today we have had to try and make up the hours we lost.

Apart from that until today our biggest crisis afloat was breaking the salt cellar.
Today we outdid that.
The first half of the day was ok, we met up with DD2 and the dgd's, they came to collect dgs, we managed to moor in Thrupp and DD was able to park in a pub car park everything went well, DD even bought some beer with her for Captain Hot Stuff as his supply was running low.
First thing in the morning I had used the washing machine for the first time.
I hung the wet washing on the airer in the prow of the. All went well until the washing was almost dry and then it toppled into the canal and sank without a trace.
This is, of course, all my fault, I had suggested we close the cratch cover to protect the washing but my suggestion was pooh poohed as being ridiculous and pointless!
We will be mooring in Oxford tomorrow and purchasing some new underpants and tea towels!

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Day Five

A very brief post today as the mifi doesn't want to play. 
We are at Lower Heyford and almost two hours over schedule as two boats got stuck in a lock together and we had to wait for one of them to reverse back out.

Monday 10 April 2017

All around my hat

On Sunday and Monday it was gloriously sunny and 20degs, it was also windy, so much so that I lost my hat. It was blown into the canal and we couldn't retrieve it. Without my hat  I got a bit sunburnt. In Banbury today I bought a new hat. I may not need it was it has been overcast and 12degs.
Today I have been coated in Aloe Vera and wishing I had wooly hat.
We had an entertaining trip through the lock in Banbury, an inebriated gentleman wanted to jump across the boat whilst it was in the lock. I persuaded him that he could easily break a leg if he missed and landed on the boat. I suggested he try the jump when the lock was just full of water!!!

Day Four

We stopped in Banbury today and stocked up on essentials, bread and milk and crisps and chocolate for dgs who is working so hard helping me with the locks.

We have just eaten chilli for tea that dgs helped me make and now we are sat in front of the stove watching the flames.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Day Three

We are moored near Claydon locks, we did ten locks today and need to do thirteen tomorrow. We are hoping to reach Banbury and get to a supermarket.
Nannybeth our boat is bright blue and has Cloudberry painted on the side of it.

This was the view from the back of the boat when moored this evening.

Saturday 8 April 2017

Day Two

We survived the Watford lock flight!
We're having a few WiFi problems, I will update when I can, but I'm having problems loading pics.
Tomorrow we are tackling the Napton locks.

Day One

It's nearly 8 and we have moored up for the night.
We left the Marina and set off along the cut.
We are through the very wet Crick tunnel and within sight and sound of the motorway.
Tomorrow we tackle the Watford lock flight.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Going, going gone.

My dining room table and chairs have gone, my sofa's are going soon.
My coffee tables can go in the bin.
I have found a home for the fish.
Someone wants my tumble dryer.
I'm getting there!

Tuesday 4 April 2017

The journey home

The journey has been planned, 114 miles, 6 furlongs and 77 locks, there are 28 bridges, 4 small aqueducts, 2 tunnels and a partridge in a pear tree, and here it is.

We are leaving Crick on Friday early evening, through Crick tunnel and towards the Watford Staircase.

Then on to Norton Junction, there we join the Grand Union Canal, Main Line, on towards Braunston.

From Braunston we go on towards Flecknoe and then on to the Oxford section of the Grand Union Canal where we bear left on to the Oxford Canal Southern Section - Main Line through Napton Locks, Marston Doles Locks and on to Fenny Compton.

Next we get to Cropredy then Little Bourton and then to Banbury, on to The Pig Place and after that we cross the River Cherwell.

On to Somerton deep lock, Heyford village after which we may look for Jane's Enchanted Tea Garden, then to Thrupp and Annie's Tea Gardens, we will not stop at any of the tea gardens but it's nice to look out for them.

Then Kidlington lock an Wolvercote Junction where we travel along Dukes Cut on to the Thames and Isis Lock, Oxford City Centre is about half a mile from Folly Bridge.

Next is Abingdon , Culham, Clifton, Shillingford, Benson, Wallingford, Goring, Beale Park where our boat was first shown on Beale Lake at the yearly boat show.

From there it's Whitchurch, Mapledurham, Purley, Tilehurst, Caversham, Pipers Island, Fry's Island and then past Heron Island where we turn on to the River Kennet and through Reading town centre, there are traffic lights on the river through the Oracle.

On to the final stretch, Southcote, Burghfield, Theale, Sulhampstead, Ufton, Padworth and finally Aldermaston.

Monday 3 April 2017

A Jolly Up was arranged

There is no I in team and sometimes no scone either.
A little treat was arranged at work by a member of my team.
Scones with jam and cream, yummy.
Not that I was included, I'm only part of the team when it suits.
This particular time it obviously didn't suit someone.
Roll on October!!!

Sunday 2 April 2017

Being on the boat sooths my soul.

Problem floor

I don't think I'm ever going to get the floor of the boat clean.
It is only a small area but with no room for a vacuum cleaner or even a broom the only way to clean it is on my hands and knees.
Therein lies the problem, no sooner am I on the floor, head down and arse up when Captain Hot Stuff is overcome with lust and my floor cleaning is interrupted!

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...