Tuesday 30 January 2018


Monday I cooked one and a half chicken breasts with a handful of mushrooms, half an onion and two thin rashers of bacon. I added some flour and milk to make a white sauce. I cooked enough pasta for four people and we had this for our evening meal on Monday and for lunch today.
When CHS was eating his lunch his colleague announced that the same meal could be purchased for £1 ready made so I'd wasted money making it from scratch. So I added up what I'd spent.
Chicken  £1.50
Bacon         20
Onion           8
Mushrooms 23
Spaghetti.   30
Milk.           25
I haven't added in the cost of butter and flour to make the white sauce of the cooking costs but even allowing for those I think I'd still be under £4 for 4 meals and my meals are more substantial than the ready meals and a lot tastier

Scratching around for pennies updated

So Christmas was budgeted for as were two January birthdays.
We have saved up for the engine change but there have been a few problems that have increased the bill by £400, our choice mostly.
And then there was a broken tile on my house £80 there is a large stain on the bathroom ceiling and the tenant wants it repainted which means the whole bathroom needs doing.

My monthly budget starts on the first of the month so although CHS got paid last week and we still have  savings left I decided to manage with what I had.

Raiding the freezer doesn't yield much, it's a very tiny freezer but I found a few slices of liver and 4 sausages.  I found a £2 coin in the car, so my shopping list today was onions and milk. Total cost £1.46

We will have liver and bacon tonight and sausage casserole tomorrow. I have chicken thighs too but we had chicken on Monday.

CHS announced on the way to work that the boat engineer needed an empty milk bottle today so when I got back to the boat could I 'throw the milk away and rinse out the bottle'!
Throw a pint of milk away? Not bloody likely!
I had porridge for breakfast and made cheese sauce with the rest of it as I have a cauliflower, it will go nicely with the liver and bacon.

Sunday 28 January 2018

High winds and low bills

It's windy here again but I quite like the boat rocking.

We were given our electric bill today, £34 for the last quarter.

We bought a new gas cylinder today, £22 it will last 3 months.

Also a bag of logs, £6 and 3 bags of coal, these will last 10 days.

I've finished the waistcoat for Dgd, I'm hoping to take a photo of her wearing it next week.

Friday 26 January 2018

White knuckle weather

Wednesday's weather was white knuckle driving weather, heavy rain, high winds and the potholes getting bigger by the minute.

Thursday and Friday all is still and calm, sunny at times.

The weather is so changeable at the moment.

Thursday 25 January 2018

Moment of panic

I had a moment of panic, I suddenly remembered that last year when I was changing my mortgage that there was a problem with my driving license.
I'd used it as proof of ID as I don't have a passport. It had been refused as it was out of date.
With all the stress of dealing with semi literate solicitors clerks and other idiots I completely forgot about this.
When I remembered it earlier this week, it meant I had been driving illegally for over a year.
I rushed to check my driving license, expiry date 2021, phew. It isn't out of date, the solicitors clerk had read the issue date instead.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Canal time

We are having our new engine fitted this week, it's happening in canal time, this is different from normal time.
The engineer was supposed to be here first thing Monday morning. CHS was up dressed and pacing the deck by 7:30. The engineer arrived about 10. I was expecting him around lunch time Tuesday so I was pleasantly surprised.

CHS really struggles with canal time I keep thinking he's mastered it but then I realise he hasn't.

No one rushes on the canal, probably because the boats travel at 4 miles an hour people slow down as well.

Every job we have had done on the boat has taken 3 times as long as promised, but as the price remains the same I don't mind.

CHS and I have some animated discussions (blazing rows) about this when we are cruising.  He doesn't feel I'm making enough effort to break the world speed record for lock operating.

It got to the stage where I refused to go out because he got so het up about me not getting the locks and bridges open fast enough.

This was a problem as we are leaving the marina soon to become constant cruisers!

In the end I asked some of the weekend lock volunteer's to have a word with him. They explained that there is no need to rush at the locks. Slow and safe is the best way.

Sunday 21 January 2018

Cry wolf

We have had an escaped wolf wandering around, a few people tried to catch it thinking it was a German Shepherd dog!
The wolf named Torak escaped from the nearby Wolf Conservation Trust there is disagreement as to whether he escaped during the recent stormy weather when a tree fell and damaged the fence to his enclosure or whether a gate was deliberately left open.
He was recaptured unharmed before long.

Thursday 18 January 2018


I sat quietly in the staff room catching up with some marking.
I’d done one school patrol and unless I was called
on the radio, I didn’t need to do another one until
the next lesson commenced.
The school had failed its last OFSTED inspection in
dramatic fashion and I was one of the few
survivors from the previous staff who had passed
muster with the ‘New Broom team’ brought in to
turn things around.
All the solid wood doors in the school had been
changed to semi glazed,  these were named Vision
Panels, woe betide anyone who referred to them
as a window!
The idea was so whoever was on patrol could see
how the class was behaving without entering the
room.  If there was any trouble brewing the person
on patrol could step in and help.

Another change was that all the students were
now addressed by their title and surname.
Suddenly my radio burbled into life ‘Would the
patrol officer please go to Room 1 in the Churchill
block’ I picked up my radio and responded ‘On my
Typical! Churchill block was at the farthest end of
the site.  I set off, wondering as I went which
particular miscreant I would be collecting today.
Pupils who were disrupting lessons were removed
to what we staff referred to as the ‘Sin Bin’ though
its official name was the Quiet Room.

The Quiet room was presided over by Mrs Grove, a
teacher with many years’ experience who had a
real soft spot for some of the more troubled and
troublesome students.

As I approached the Churchill room I could hear
someone singing the current number 1 single in
amongst the general noise, oh well, at least I knew
who I was dealing with. I entered the class room,
smiled kindly at Mr Smith, he was an NQT and
showed great promise as a teacher, but this
particular child would try the patience of a saint.

Both her parents had attended this school, her
father Martin had been a bit of a handful and could
always be guaranteed to get caught out in
whatever mischief he was up to.
Her mother, Julie,was what we called NBD (nice
but daft). There was not an ounce of malice or
common sense between them.

‘Miss Yarde’ I bellowed, to make myself heard
above the ruckus, most of the class quietened
down, apart from the main culprit, who had a boy
twice her size in a headlock and the boy in the
headlock who was screaming like a banshee.

‘Miss Yarde’ I repeated, this time I was closer and
she heard me. She grinned, ‘Hello Miss’

‘Miss Yarde please release Mr Walker’

‘But Miss, he was rude to me, I told him I was
going to audition for the X Factor and he I sounded
like a strangled cat’

I have to admit that I had some sympathy with Mr
Walker, like many hopeful pop stars, Miss Yarde
did seem to feel that volume was more important
than talent.
‘I’m sure he’s very sorry now’, ‘aren’t you Mr
Walker’ he let out a strangled cry that could have
passed as an apology and Miss Yarde released
I couldn’t help thinking, as I escorted Miss Yarde to the Sin Bin, that her parents had been wildly optimistic when they had named her Angel!

Wednesday 17 January 2018

New Home

Thank you for all your kind comments about my story, I've no idea why the font size varies, I'll post another story soon.

And as for the new home, it's not me but the dog my DD1 has taken in from a rescue centre.

DD admitted today that she didn't think Ella would be comfortable around the twins as they are only 3 and quite boisterous. She assumed a lot of 'managing' would be needed but she could not see poor Ella left in the kennels where she was so stressed.
 DD planned, if Ella had real problems settling in, she would ask me to take her in!

Anyway, it hasn't been a problem, it turns out that Ella is profoundly deaf, whether from birth or recently we don't know.
Ella belonged to a homeless person who lived on the streets, so she has had a hard life.

Camberley Casanova

The trigger for this story came from watching daytime TV, it was, I think on Silk, presented by Robert Kilroy Silk. One of his guests, like Marjorie, arranged to meet men to fulfil her fantasy. I couldn't help thinking of what could go wrong.

Camberley Casanova
Marjorie stood at the sink washing and re-washing the same tea cup. Despite being what her mother kindly described as 'big boned' she was wearing a see through robe and nothing else, she checked the clock yet  again, another 30 minutes to go, the keys were left in the front door, the stage was set, the script memorised. She was torn between lust and embarrassment. What would Ted, her husband of 25 years think if he could see her now?

Darren mooched along the road, he should be home tidying the flat he shared with his girlfriend Julie, but he couldn't be arsed.  The keys left in the front door of the house he was passing caught his eye, he glanced around to see if he was being watched.  Darren wasn't a full time criminal, but never missed an opportunity to nick something if he thought he could get away with it, the problem was he often didn't, get away with it, that is. He was regularly up in court, but all he got was a slapped wrist, he was well known to the local police, they all recognised his skinny frame and bony face, generously covered with teenage acne He was the despair of his social worker who thought a short sharp shock, maybe a spell in prison would sort him out. Sometimes his girlfriend Julie thought that to, but she loved him so much and had done since the first day at Infants school when she had been placed next to him and he'd protected her from some mean boys.

Marjorie heard to key turn in the lock and went weak at the knees, should she run or hide, or stay where she was and hopefully fulfil one of her sexual fantasies. She'd be far too embarrassed to talk to Ted about her secret desires, but talking on line had seemed a safe and anonymous outlet for all her pent up desires. Senses heightened, she felt rather than heard him enter the room, she started to quiver, why didn't he say something, they had discussed the script at length.

Darren stood, transfixed, he'd assumed the occupier of the house was upstairs as there was no noise downstairs, he'd crept into the kitchen intending to grab the handbag he could see on the corner of the kitchen table. But there was this huge bird in a see through thingie. Suddenly she turned, threw off the robe and exclaimed 'Take me, I'm yours'. Darren's jaw dropped, then he fled, empty handed and also empty bladdered, He ran and ran and didn't stop until he reached the flat he shared with Julie.

Marjorie was mortified, her on line contact was called 'Camberley Casanova' he’d had described himself as 6'3, late 50's, tall, dark and not so handsome he had insisted he like mature, larger ladies. The teenager that had faced her briefly across the kitchen table before he'd fled, had been 5'6 tops and from the look of horror on his face when she'd turned to him did not like mature larger ladies.
The full implication of the risk she had taken suddenly hit home. Marjorie grabbed the keys, locked the front door and rushed upstairs, she threw her robe in the wash basket and hurriedly donned her usual garb of leggings and a baggy tee shirt. Minutes later after cleaning up the puddle left by her visitor, she was sat at her laptop drinking a cup of tea, soothing her shattered nerves with a chocolate hobnob. A noise at the front door set her nerves jangling, but she had the keys, they were no longer in the lock, they were on the table in front of her. 'Any chance of a cuppa?' it was Ted, her husband.

When Julie got home from work the flat was spotless and Darren had collected their baby son from her mother’s, he was making beans on toast for tea. He proudly showed her the details of the four jobs he had applied for, all minimum wage, the sort of job he usually sneered at as being beneath him. He seemed different, suddenly more mature and sensible. 'Is everything OK?' Julie asked him, 'Have you got caught robbing again?’  Darren was insistent, he was never going robbing again, he was fine, he had just decided it was time he grew up and took care of his responsibilities.

After drinking the cup of tea Marjorie had made him Ted gave her a peck on the cheek. 'Do you fancy going to that new Italian restaurant this evening?' Marjorie was surprised and pleased 'Oh yes' she replied. Ted returned to his office, once there he fired up his laptop & logged on to www.nostringssex.co.uk. He looked but the profile for 'Bored & Desperate' had been removed, he smiled & then closed down his own profile 'Camberley Casanova'.

Friday 12 January 2018


Not a weight loss diet, that ship has long since sailed!
Captain Hot Stuff is a fussy eater, he sees all vegetables as the work of the devil, apart from cabbage, broccoli and frozen peas and then only a small spoonful of them.
I'd got into the habit of only buying what he would eat.
But then I decided I was tired of not eating a greater variety of veg so last week I bought fennel, courgette, aubergine and cauliflower and I made a tray of roasted veg and ate a huge portion with my meals.
This week I bought another selection and I'm steaming some of them every evening.
CHS keeps asking 'Are you really going to eat all that?'

Thursday 11 January 2018

Busy day and lots of bruises

Today I had Dgd over for a couple of hours, I did one load of washing and filled the water tank on the boat.
I also filled the coal bucket up, this was the cause of the bruises.
I was coming down the steps onto the boat with the full coal bucket, I miscounted the steps and thought I was on the floor when I wasn't!
I landed on the kitchen floor surrounded by lumps of coal.
Dgd seemed unmoved by the bangs and crashes, she said 'I didn't fall down the steps, I was careful'
Fortunately I landed on my humongous arse so there is no real damage.
I have some Technicolor bruises and a very tender coccyx.
I had offered to look after Ella today so DD1 and hubby could take the twins out.
So after I dropped Dgd home I set off to dog sit.
Ella was fast asleep when I arrived, woke up when I sat on the sofa beside her but promptly fell asleep again.
She had one trip out to the garden (DD1 has a dog door but Ella hasn't mastered it yet) but apart from that she slept, snored and farted the afternoon away.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Newest member of the family

This is Ella, she is 10 years old, her owner had died and so she was in kennels, she was very unhappy. She was grieving for her owner and very stressed being in kennels. 
She doesn't look this sad anymore, I will try and take another photo soon.
She likes people and other dogs, she does not like cats.
She was collected today by DD1 and came to visit me on the boat. She likes me because I gave her some ham, she took it very gently.
She is now home with DD where she will be cosseted and spoilt rotten.

Monday 8 January 2018

Money woes

So many comments, so I'm not alone thinking they are mad to live like this. This is the wife who throws herself on the floor and screams if she doesn't get her own way, so I can see why he gives in, but I can't understand why he stays with her as there are no children involved.

Linda said
I've worked with people like that..they are completely clueless and will accept no counseling....boggles the mind how they can be so stupid. The poor husband is worried sick but cannot say no to her for fear of her tantrums.
Just Jill said...
I am beyond belief. They are skint, in debt and she needs another handbag costing £25. She must be leading him by the nose, or other bit of anatomy, down the path of doom.
It must be by the nose as there is very little carrot in the relationship, just a lot of stick.

Weaver said
I really think there should be compulsory lessons on financial management taught in schools because with parents like this children don't stand a chance do they?
Unfortunately I don't think either of them would have benefitted from lessons.

Joan said...
And how will they pay for next Christmas I wonder. When the husband started working with CHS he was £5000 in debt, he's now £20000 in debt.

Margie said
You couldn't make it up - could you!
I swear - cell phones should be banned in he workplace - Not only are people not doing a fair day's work but they are putting people like your hubby in danger! I don't know how he didn't rip the phone out of his hand and toss it when he caught up with him! I was surprised by his restraint too.


Blogger Chris Elliott said...
That is so funny..... not your hubby being left up the ladder.....just the whole description oh his work mate's financial woes, all self-inflicted! It's just unbelievable isn't it.

Blogger Icey said...
Aren't most kitchen appliances white? How do they not match?
My mind is officially boggled!!!
Our oven bulb unit (the whole unit not just the bulb) died months ago, we spent many months with a dark oven until I had the spare cash and remember to order the unit. Total cost £36 and half hour of our time to watch a YouTube film and to take out the oven and replace the bulb unit ourselves - now we can see what we're cooking. Such a novelty :)
I just don't understand people like the couple described in your post! The new appliance was silver the old ones were white, hence the change. I have to use a torch to see what is in the kitchen cupboards on the boat, I'm not changing the cupboards, I just keep a torch to hand.

Galant said...
This scenario beggars belief, Hester, doesn't it? We have three different appliances in the kitchen, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, none of them matching exactly but all doing brilliant jobs. Why are people obsessed with things 'matching'? This couple needs a reality check and if they can't pay their way, then the bailiffs will be calling. And to put your husband in danger for a handbag is ludicrous, no wonder he was in a rage! Yes, time financial management was taught in schools. Forget Archimedes and Pythagoras and all that, just teach the young how to balance the books instead, and I don't mean physically on their heads. Well said Margaret P

Blogger kathy said...
You just couldn't make it up could you. My l late husband used to work with somebody who was forever being rung up by his wife. They were having an argument and his lack of concentration led to my husband nearly losing his finger! He had to have emergency surgery and 10 weeks off work. No wonder your hubby was very angry. It is so dangerous, but some people just have no clue.

Cumbrian said...
Never ceases to amaze.
don't understand how some people can be so absolutely clueless. Unfortunately stupidity isn't curable

Winters End Rambler said...
My mouth is open...that's just stupidity in its wildest form. I agree with you.
There is a couple who live on a nearby boat, they don't have solar panels so cannot leave the marina. They need to be on shore power constantly. They were saying how lucky we were to be able to afford solar panels. But they go to the local supermarket and spent £30 to £70 a DAY, buying food. They then throw most of it away as they don't have a fridge or freezer to keep it in. Well they actually have a fridge freezer slightly bigger than mine but 'it's not big enough to use'. They cannot grasp that we budgeted and saved for the panels, just as we have for the replacement engine. We live on as little as possible and save as much as possible. My shopping bill comes to between £30 & £70 per week depending on what I have run out of.
We spent less on Christmas than either of these couples despite buying for 9 grandchildren.
Maybe we are just tight-fisted and mean.
It seems this level of stupidity is everywhere!

Saturday 6 January 2018

A Handbag

I absolutely love The Importance of Being Ernest, preferably the old B/W version.

But this post has nothing to do with the film.

My beloved was at work yesterday, up a ladder. The ladder was being steadied by a colleague at the foot because of the high winds. When the colleague's phone rang (he spends most of the day with his phone glued to his ear) CHS shouted down 'Don't let go of the bloody ladder' said colleague replied 'I got to answer it it's the wife'.
'Tell her you're busy then'.
'Hello darling, I'm a bit busy, is it an emergency?'
'It is! Oh what's the problem?'
'Oh I see, can't it wait?'
'Ok I'll be there as soon as I can!'

He rushed off leaving CHS to descend the ladder on his own, CHS was not impressed and when he caught up with his colleague what exactly was so important that he'd abandoned his post.

It seems that the wife had seen an advert for a handbag that was reduced to £25 and she had to have it NOW. Only she didn't have £25 and neither did the colleague, so he'd rushed of to find his dad to borrow £25 and meet his wife at the bus stop so she could go into town to buy the damned bag. 

CHS was incandescent with rage when he discovered he'd been left in a dangerous situation all for a sodding handbag. 

And why, you might ask could a married couple, in their late 30's both in work not have £25 between them.
I'll tell you.

Towards the end of November one of their large kitchen appliances went wrong and had to be replaced, the replacement was a different colour from the original so all three appliances, washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher had to be replaced so they all matched this all went on their credit cards around £2000.
Then there was Christmas, another £2000 went on their credit cards, which maxed them out, but this wasn't enough so they borrowed £750 from his parents and £400 from a doorstep lender.
Is it any wonder that they are in such a financial mess when the loan from their parents is being paid off at £50 per month and they think it will be paid off by July? Last time I divided £750 by £50 monthly payments it worked out at 15 months, maybe they mean next July!

A few hours before the handbag emergency the husband had been working out how he was going to pay his bills every month, CHS and the other caretaker have agreed that their colleague will get any overtime available. They all earn about the same amount, CHS is paid a little more as he is the senior member but then we have to rely on his wage as I've retired and only get a state pension.

Thursday 4 January 2018

Of Pythons and Hospitals and January sales.

The python drive provides double ended constant velocity drive shaft suitable for both Pleasure and High Performance applications it eliminates the need for exact alignment of prop shaft to gearbox and has maintenance free thrust bearings.

There seems to be a variety of theories as to why the hospital silencer is so called, one being that the silencer looks like it's wrapped in bandages, another being that hospitals have back up generators and these have to be silent so as not to disturb the patients. Now you know as much as I do.

We didn't buy anything in the January sales but we did sell our old engine and for enough money to pay the engineer to fit the new one.

Storm Eleanor was interesting, no damage to the boat but no sleep as we were rocking so violently.

Fruit and veg box

 This is what was in my box today. Carrots, cabbage, spinach, avocado, apples, oranges and a huge beefsteak tomato. I've already eaten a...