Wednesday 28 February 2018

There and back again

We set off Saturday morning and got as far as Garston Lock.

It is a turf sided lock and  there are pillboxes either side of the lock.

CHS went through the lock to the winding hole just past the lock. I waited with the lock gates open until he turned the boat around and returned to the lock. We took a lady called Mia and her two boys Matthew and Thomas onboard and took them back to Sheffield lock. They had helped at the turf sided lock and the boys were desperate for a ride on the boat.

 One of the many pillboxes along the canal.
We returned through Tyle Mill lock and swing bridge without mishap this time and moored up for the night just before the de-gated Ufton lock.
 We set of on Sunday morning and I walked again, it saves having to slow the boat to let me off to open the locks and bridges.

 This is Towney lock it is deep and slow to fill as the gates leak so much.

 This unusual boat is moored near Padworth lock.

Hire boats at Aldermaston Wharf, next is a swing bridge and lock, this is where I get back on the boat  as this is the last lock before home.

Cold outside, warm inside.

Monday 26 February 2018

Shopping and meal plan

I'm knee deep in childcare duties this week.
I will eventually get round to posting pics and details of the rest of our weekend out.

I shopped today, a more expensive shop this time, £18.40 but the fridge, freezer and cupboards are well stocked.

This weeks meals will be, in no particular order:-

Chicken in mushroom sauce.
Chilli with rice and nachos.
Giant Yorkshires with sausages and onion gray.
Lamb chops ( because they were reduced).
Beef casserole with dumplings.
This weeks vegetables are spring greens, carrots and leeks.

Sunday 25 February 2018

Pigs cheek

Pigs cheek is best casseroled. I forgot about it until 9am this morning as we were about to move on, so I dropped it, still frozen, into my cast iron pan and put it on top of the squirrel stove. 
I didn't get chance to check it as I walked the towpath again today, another 12000 steps.
When we got to our home mooring I lifted the lid on the pan and the cheeks were cooked and very tender.
I served them sliced with roast potatoes, peas, carrots and gravy.
I don't eat pork so I made a lentil dish for myself, it cooked in the time it took to roast the potatoes.

Friday 23 February 2018

Have boat will travel

CHS has a three day weekend, woohoo, so we set off on Thursday about 4ish, we had a pump out before we left the marina and I'd filled the water tank up in the morning.
We only travelled a short distance just through a nearby lock, we then moored up at Aldermaston Wharf and waited for the fish and chip van. It turned up this week. We had 2 pieces of cod and a portion of chips between us.
It wasn't cheap at £12.20 but very enjoyable.

We set off this morning at 10:15, we were moored just before a swing bridge that has time restrictions on it, it will not operate rush hour as it would cause too much disruption to the road traffic. Still it gave us an excuse for a lie in.

The bridges and locks along this stretch are quite close together so I walked along carrying my windlass and a BW key.

I walked to Tyle Mill lock opening locks and bridges as  went. Unfortunately although Tyle Mill lock was fine the swing bridge immediately after it wouldn't open. As always happens at times like the CHS starts to panic, he's convinced I'm using the wrong key or doing something else wrong and starts yelling and waving his arms about. He keeps trying to phone me but I'm phoning CRT to report the fault.
The engineer arrived quite promptly about half an hour after my call.
Once he got the bridge open we set off again this time with me aboard.
We found a nice mooring by Theale swing bridge and as the sun was dropping and the wind getting up we've stopped for the night. I'm cooking some chicken pieces for tea, then we will sit in front of a log fire and read until bedtime.

Thursday 22 February 2018


£5.42 spent in the supermarket on bread, eggs and oranges and £13.72 in the butcher's and green grocer. I bought 12 sausages, pigs cheek, lambs liver, carrots and leeks.

Ducks and bags

 I made a couple of cloth bags from the bedroom curtains I don't think I posted a pic of them.
I'm not sure I you can see it but there s a duck eating the flowers on the front of a neighboring boat.

Wednesday 21 February 2018


I've mentioned previously that I shop twice a week as I have so little room in the fridgefreezer.
Well I have excelled myself today, my first shop of the week came to £1.59.
I bought a carrot, an onion and some potatoes.

I have a casserole simmering on the multi fuel stove, it smells delicious.

Tuesday 20 February 2018


Fecking BMV readings

As he was on the day shift most of last week and this  my beloved charged me with taking the solar readings. He has even printed of a chart for me to fill in, much to my joy and delight, as you may imagine!

Upon his return home he perused the charts and sometimes mentions that the reading aren't taken as regularly as he would like. As I have cleaning to do and childcare duties I feel this is understandable.

The other thing he was asking repeatedly was ' what were you doing when you took this reading? It's very high/low. '
I explained that when I took that specific reading, I was taking the reading, I am unable to work my sewing machine or anything else simultaneously.
This of course was not really acceptable.

Eventually I told him where he could shove his chart, preferably sideways and peace reigns once more!

Sunday 18 February 2018

Another bone of contention

This time about the parking spaces.
There are enough for everybody but some people think they are entitled to park at the end of the jetty where they moor. Whilst this would be ideal it is not practicable. At least two boaters have three vehicles and as there are six boats to a jetty you can see the problem.
At least this time we are not part of the problem as we park at the far end of the car park where there is lots of room.

I'll leave you with some photos I have taken of some of the places we have moored.

Friday 16 February 2018


Since moving on to the boat my shopping habits have changed.
I now shop twice a week, with such a small fridge freezer I find it is the only way.
To start with I spent far too much money but I've finally managed to get back on track.
I spent £11 in the supermarket and £6 in the butcher's.
I bought enough food to last until Tuesday, on Tuesday I'll have to shop for milk bread and vegetables.


I drive a small Nissan it suits me, it's not flashy but it's comfortable.
It has an assortment of gizmos, heated wing mirrors and parking sensors.
It has central locking as most cars do now and I can lock and unlock it from a few yards away.
What I'd really like though is a car that when I press the remote control would wave a flag and shout 'Cooee, I'm over here'. It would save a me lot of time wandering around car parks looking for it.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Fractious factions

Things have quieted down a bit on the marina, some of the more vociferous complainants seem to be taking a breather.

Some factions are still arguing but less so, as now the new company has taken over, more maintenance is being done and even more is planned.

We are moving on in March out onto the cut, we may return here for a winter mooring.

I'm keeping my head down until then, I find the gossiping a bit much.

I inadvertently stood on a few toes when I started boat cleaning, there are other people here who clean boats and they feel I have stolen their work.

So I have decided to give up, they won't get the work when I stop because the people I clean for didn't want to employ them in the first place.

Hey ho I can manage without the money and I can definitely manage without the grief!

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Stiff neck

I have a permanently stiff neck, it is not, as my beloved suggests, caused by swallowing Viagra too slowly!
It is caused by the way I sit and read and it is exacerbated by being tense when I drive. 
I could go for a massage but I absolutely abhor being touched anywhere from chin to ankle by anyone apart from CHS.
I'm not a hugger, I  can manage the hairdressers and could have a manicure or pedicure, anything in between is a no go area. Oh and I can cuddle babies and children now though it took a while to manage that.
If you have been reading my blog and it's previous incarnation you will know that my first marriage broke up due to my husband's insistence that we go swinging or wife swapping.
My experiences were brief but left me with  a feeling of being unclean and a deep aversion to being handled.
Anyway I digress, to aid my stiff neck I've talked to wearing a lightweight scarf round my neck, I only have one and despite washing it most evenings and drying it over the stove overnight. I found it getting discoloured on the ends. So yesterday I raided the local charity shop and purchased 4 new to me scarves, only one of them is the correct length and width for me so today the sewing machine is coming out and the scarves will be adjusted. I'm also making 2 cloth shopping bags and covering a seat cushion.

Monday 12 February 2018

One day I'll brain the bugger

So we have had some adjustments made to our solar panels.
We have a little screen  on the side of the cupboard that shows an assortment of readings.
CHS decided that to test the system thoroughly we should unplug from shore power and rely on solar for the entire weekend. This necessitated him taking a note of all the readings every few minutes and comparing them with the previous reading as 'this is merely a snapshot'. He was leaping up and down like a mad thing, checking the dial and reporting his findings and getting in a state when neither he nor I could remember the premise reading. I couldn't give a flying fcuk what the readings were anyway, I just want to know it all works.

What I wanted was a peaceful weekend with a bit of crochet.
What I got was a demented Jack rabbit leaping about the boat, imploring me to charge my phone or to turn the TV on to see if it affected the readings.
There was nothing worth watching on TV and if I had wanted to watch something it would have been impossible to hear it over his constant shouting of the readings.
This morning he asked if I was doing anything, to his great disappointment I had plans, he had hoped to persuade me to set the alarm on my phone at hourly intervals so I could note down the readings!

Monday 5 February 2018

We have lift off

That's it, it's in. The eagle has landed.
The engine is fitted and working, all we need now is the bill.
Hours of extra work by our wonderful engineer also got the bow thruster working.
We took DD2 and DGD for a trip on the boat on Friday, unfortunately one of the swing bridges was out of order so we didn't get as far as we'd hoped but they still had a little trip.
Once they'd gone home we trundle on to the next winding hole and turned the boat around and then found a nice mooring spot. 
We met up with the fuel boat and stocked up on coal.
We also met some friends who were traveling in the opposite direction and stopped for a catch up.
On Sunday we went for a two mile walk in the morning and then trundled back to the marina after lunch.
We had lamb chops for lunch, they were so tiny I made some stuffing balls to go with them.

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...