Monday 30 April 2018

Gawd it's cold

We set off this morning around 9:45 I walked the first couple of miles as there are so many locks and swing bridges close together.

We saw some people on motorised boards catching fish, they were doing a survey on the fish count from Midgham to Thatcham. They caught some huge fish but said that the numbers were very low, they had someone from CRT with them. I asked if the water quality was to blame for the low numbers but they seemed to think predation was a more likely cause.
They helped us through the last lock and when we reached Thatcham we moored up and I made lunch. 

I made spicy lamb soup for lunch and to my amazement  CHS ate it, he's not keen on soup unless it comes out of a tin of packet. As this was made from the leftovers from yesterday's roast dinner it included cabbage and peas so it was a rather unprepossessing shade of green but it was very tasty.

After lunch we caught the train back to Woolhampton and collected the car. The car is now parked near the boat so I can drive to DD2'S tomorrow to look after dgd. DD2 will then drive me back to the boat and I will leave the car on her drive until we return on Monday.

I will do a load of washing at DD's tomorrow whilst I am there.

Saturday 28 April 2018

There is no cure for stupidity

CHS had three small lottery wins, I'd been carrying the winning tickets around for a few weeks but today I remembered to cash them in.
One was for £5.50, one £5 and one was for £6.50.
The person on the till was completely unable to work out the total amount that I was owed.
I said that the three tickets came to £17, the assistant disagreed, explaining that as the amounts included 50p the total must also include 50p.
So I shut up and waited whilst the queue behind me got longer and longer.
Eventually the manager came out, cleared the queue and then asked what the problem was.
He also seemed unable to add up the amounts but did at least suggest giving me each of the amount separately, so I finally received my £17.

Whilst I was out CHS received a phone call from one of his brothers, it seems he had done a DNA test after seeing a TV advert. He phoned because he was confused, two of his cousins were showing as his nearest family match. He wondered why CHS was not his nearest match and was quite worried about the implications of this. CHS reassured him, explaining that as CHS has never done a DNA test he wouldn't be on the database to appear as a match!

Friday 27 April 2018

Rinse and repeat

ALT57, we've been aboard for a year now and we have central heating as well as the log burner.

Another busy day today, I went to DD1's this morning to help her get her twins to preschool.
From there we drove to Bicester to collect a birthday cake for her grandma who is 90 at the weekend.

My phone rang whilst we were collecting the cake, it was DD2 asking if I could babysit from 3 until 6.

We left Bicester and collected the twins, we all went back to the boat for lunch, all the children love being  on board.

After lunch we all went to DD2's and all the children played together.

DD1's husband collect Ted her an the twins at 5, I stayed at DD2's until it was time to collect CHS.

Thursday 26 April 2018

Been busy

Our boat is listing as we have a deep draught and the canal is shallow, especially near the bank. We are wedged on a small bank of gravel, hence the list.

DD1 needed a lift to A&E this morning, nothing broken fortunately, just sprained, painful but manageable. She's been advised to rest, fat chance with 5 kids and a dog.

I dropped DD home, collected CHS and took him to work, then back to the boat for a shower. Last night CHS was cold and I hadn't lit the fire, this morning CHS lit a FIRE, 6 firelighters, half a bag of kindling, half a bucket of coal and a couple of logs thrown on for good measure. It's a man thing I think, he cannot build a small fire. The boat is like a sauna.

There was a boat moored behind us earlier, a hire boat just setting off for a weeks travel. The man was hitting the tiller with a hammer, I asked if everything thing was ok and he told me the tiller was broken.
I explained that the tiller was ok, it was the same as mine. He informed me that my tiller was broken too! It isn't, but he had a hammer and a willy so obviously he knew more than me, I left him to it.

Then on to DD2's, parents evening, could I babysit might as well as CHS won't finish until 9:30.

Tomorrow I'm off to Bicester to collect a 90th birthday cake for my ex mil, DD1 ordered it but cannot drive so cannot collect it.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

No jam and no Jerusalem.

I want to make some jam, I have the fruit and sugar but the boat keeps listing badly and it wouldn't be safe. It's bad enough managing a kettle of boiling water, boiling jam would be much more dangerous.
It's bad enough when they drawers keep flying open and bashing me without the added complication of sticky red jam.

I'm still on a quest to find something to do and enquired about the local WI, unfortunately it is not at a convenient time.

I have signed up to an online course about edible wild plants, it's proving very interesting but I can only download it when the WiFi is amenable which is rarely.

I may try to download it next time I visit one of my DD's as they both have unlimited WiFi.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Rude awakening

It's chilly here and raining, I didn't go for a walk today. I looked after dgd3 this morning and once I'd taken her home and dropped CHS at work I returned to the boat and turned the mattress over.
That, I decided was enough exercise for one day, making the bed is hard enough in a confined space. Turning the mattress in the space is torturous, I had to have a rest after struggling with the mattress before I remade the bed.
After lunch I lit the stove and settled down in my chair for a snooze. CHS isn't finishing work until 9 or 10, it takes about an hour to get home and unwind and I'm up in the morning by 6, I don't have to get up that early I just can't sleep any longer.
Anyway I digress, so there I was snoozing gently when I was awoken by an almighty clatter. A boat had gone past and into the lock, when the lock emptied my boat lurched to starboard and one of my kitchen drawers, the one CHS has filled with assorted metal work, bolt, handles, tools etc flew open. I shot up out of my chair all ready to repel borders. What a rude awakening that was.

Sunday 22 April 2018


It rained heavily last night but if there was thunder I slept through it. It's been another beautiful day today, we've done very little.

We moved to the water point to fill our tank and then we moved back to where we were moored.

We also went shopping, not for much, just stuff for CHS's lunches next week and some drinks for the fridge.

Saturday 21 April 2018

I've still got it.

But I'm not sure I still want it!

I was walking away from the boat taking rubbish to the boaters bins when a man said hello to me, I replied as that's what we boaters do.
He then asked me where I lived, I pointed to the four boats moored together and explained that I lived on one of the boats.
He then asked if I was married but before I could reply he said "You must be married, you're too nice to be single".

Towpath walk

I walk along the towpath most days and these are some pics I took yesterday.

Today the soap boat was trading so I treated myself to four bars of homemade soap.
I bought Wildwood which contains Cedar, Cypress, Bergamot and Juniper. Galley soap which contains Clary Sage, Lavender, Palma Rosa and coffee grounds. I also bought Nettle and Mint. They smell wonderful.

I felt I deserved a treat as my car has now been keyed on both sides and had both wing mirrors bashed, so we need to find the money for repairs.

Friday 20 April 2018

Boat wars

We are moored near a boat called Rambling Rose, the owners have fallen out with the owners of My Girl. Both will tell anyone who will listen and some who won't listen the contradictory versions of why they have fallen out. They both get stroppy if the see anyone talking to their enemy.

I went for a walk today and someone has marked off part of the towpath and reserved it for their boat, I can't see the CRT being very impressed with them.

The marina has put a stop to private boat cleaning, it all has to go through the marina office, they charge £100 per boat, funnily enough no one wants to pay that amount!

This morning I found my car had been keyed, I'm wishing fleas and hemorrhoids on the twat that did it. I'm parked in a residential area but not outside anyone's house. Some people are just arseholes!

Someone crashed into my boat this morning, they hit two other moored boats as well. The skipper was shouting and swearing as it was everyone else's fault apart from his. He even crashed into a boat that that was moored on the lock landing whilst their crew was preparing the lock. 
The world seems full of twats today.

Thursday 19 April 2018

Shift change

One of CHS'S colleagues is unwell and awaiting tests which limits his ability to work. He is not allowed to work on his own so cannot cover the late shift or the Saturday shift.

I've said before about their complicated shift system, they work a rolling system of early, day and late shifts. The day person works Saturday instead of Monday, so there are only 2 people working on a Monday this can prove difficult as one regular afternoon job requires 3 people to be present.

The late shift is a moveable feast, the start time is dependent on the finish time and the finish time is dependent on any bookings made though 10 is usually the finish time occasionally it can be as late as midnight.

The person on days alters their shift if someone is on holiday to provide cover.

Is it any wonder I cannot keep up with the changes!

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Teapot or not teapot

One thing I miss having given up work and living on the boat is company.
I am looking into a few things to solve this problem but it is not just living on a boat it is also having to fit in around CHS's constant shift changes which I will write about at a later date.
I read recently that some lady boaters place a teapot on top their boat, it's a way of letting other lady boaters know that there is someone aboard willing to share a cuppa.
This sounds like a brilliant idea, until some bright spark started a rumour that a teapot on a boat was a sign that the boaters aboard were swingers.
I think I'll give the teapot a miss. The last thing I need is some lecherous old bugger trying to get into my knickers!

Monday 16 April 2018

Dog overboard

We went for a walk along the towpath a few minutes ago. On the way back I could see splashes by the lock gate, as I got nearer I could see it was the small black terrier from a neighbouring boat.
CHS ran across the lock gates and managed to haul him out.
The dog shook himself vigorously and ran happily back to his boat.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Back in the marina.

We are back in the marina ready for the engine service tomorrow morning.
We made it in and got tied up just before it started to rain.
We relit the fire, we let it go out yesterday as it was such a sunny day.
I've done two loads of washing whilst we are on shore power, I just need to get it dry now!

Thank you for all your comments, Col sorry illness prevented you and Sue from becoming continuous cruisers.
Teresa, I have done posts about the interior of the boat, one called All Mod Cons shows some of the inside.
Sue, yes the canal does look inviting in the sun, but as you say it's not really.

Saturday 14 April 2018

The sun has got his hat on

At last, a sunny day, we're still near Aldermaston Wharf, we locked through with another boater. They have moved on to Woolhampton, we moored up to enjoy the sun .
We will stay here tonight and tomorrow we will move on. We need to be back in the marina to get the boat serviced on Monday.
Thank you for your comments, I'm hoping the photos will make my blog a bit more interesting.

Friday 13 April 2018

Locking through

We set off this morning to the nearest water point at Aldermaston Wharf, I drove the car, CHS moved the boat. 
I arrived at the lock first and there was a widebeam approaching so I started to get the lock ready for it. It was single handed so as he pulled into the lock landing I told him I'd lock him through and open the swing bridge for him. He was very grateful as he'd spent a sleepless night worrying about managing on his own.
CHS was approaching by now so I phoned him to tell him what was going on.
He moored behind the widebeam and helped the owner empty the lock and I opened the swing bridge.
After I'd let the widebeam through and closed the swing bridge I went back to refill the lock so CHS could get our boat through the lock. I checked first that no boats were wanting to come through the other way otherwise it would be a waste of water, not that there is any shortage of it at the moment.
Once the lock was full CHS moved into the lock, I emptied it, opened the gates and CHS moved on to the water point and started to fill our water tank.
We then moved from the water point and moored up on the towpath and we can stay here  until tomorrow morning, when we will move off again and head back to the marina.
Our engine is having its first service on Monday morning as we have done 50 hours traveling since it was fitted.

A sense of style

I'm going to an event soon, it's called Find Your Perfect Style.
As my current style is Vera Stanhope crossed with Norah Batty it should be an interesting evening! I'll update you after I've been.

Thursday 12 April 2018

What shall we do with a drunken sailor

Well the sailors are sober, it's the boat that seems drunk. We are listing badly to port, it's difficult to walk along the boat without slipping. We are moving tomorrow so we'll just have to manage tonight.

I took dgd who is 3 to a local church run cafe for lunch yesterday, usually she has mato soup and dipdip, tomato soup with bread and butter. This time she requested quiche, quiche lorraine I asked. Just quiche, she said, I don't like Lorraine. She makes me laugh so much.

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Nosy neighbour

I seem to have found a way to load pics on to my blog, so if this works here is a photo of one of my nosy neighbours today.

Monday 9 April 2018


It was the anti Semitic comment I couldn't remove and it has been taken down now.


Sorry about the lack of posts, I'm a bit disheartened at the moment. I blog on my kindle and it won't allow me to add photo's.
So I seems pointless to blog about where we moor without any accompanying pics.
There is only so much I can say about CHS and I so rather than bore everyone senseless I've not bothered to post.
I also cannot remove the nasty comment left on my last post.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

How's your glass?

Is it half full or half empty?

CHS'S glass is not half empty, it's completely empty and been dried thoroughly with a tea towel.

Take yesterday morning, he complained bitterly because it wasn't raining when he got up, so we wouldn't be able to move the boat as we were still wedged on the shallow side of the canal

Four hire boats passed us at speed and their resultant wash rocked us free.

Because the hire boats had moved on there was room for us to moor on the official mooring where the water is deeper.

No sooner had we started move than it started to rain and CHS started to complain bitterly because it was raining!

Monday 2 April 2018

We're on the piss!

But without the alcohol.
We had trouble mooring and knew the back end was aground but needs must.
As the rain has continued the sluices have been opened.
This means the canal level has dropped and the boat has a very obvious list to port.
Some of the cupboard doors are hanging open unless the catches are on. It also means I'm staggering a bit trying to keep my balance.
If the levels rise we can float off, if not we will try to pole off, if that fails we will hope for a tow from a passing boater.

Sunday 1 April 2018

It didn't rain until 8pm

We had a dry day today and we've made it to Woolhampton.
We met a lovely family from London who were very interested in our lifestyle.
We've travelled about 6 miles through Greenham lock, Hams lock, Bulls swing bridge, Bulls lock, Widmead lock at this lock, the lock landing (the place where the boat stops and I disembark) was flooded so I stepped off the boat into 6 inches of freezing water!
Next came Long Cut swing bridge, Monkey Marsh lock, one of only two turf sided locks on the K&A, were we locked another boat through before it was our turn. We stopped just after this lock in Thatcham for a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea.
Then we moved on again through Colthrop lock and Midgham lock. Onwards to Cranwells swing bridge then Old Heale's lock where we locked a widebeam through first before  continuing on to Oxlease swing bridge, I didn't have to open this bridge as someone did it for us.
We finally reached Woolhampton, we had a bit of a struggle to moor as there was no room on the official moorings and the canal side is shallow and our boat has a deeper draught than some.


Whilst CHS is still consuming pork chops and pasties and scotch eggs I made myself some soup.
I roasted 3 large tomatoes, an onion some garlic and basil.
Once cooked I put them in a pan with some water, whizzed it together with my stick blender, then I added half a tin of chick peas and a stock cube.
Heated it through and it made 3 portions.

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...