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.

Lights out again!

Yet again our on-site lights have failed! I'm up and dressed and about to visit our site manager who is due here today. Last time this h...