Tuesday 31 December 2019

Wishing everyone a

Happy New Year 

Christmas presents

Every year I make stuff for Christmas, I've made scarves, hats, socks, all manner of things over the years. This year I made reusable face wipes and flannels. The face wipes were crochet and the flannels were knitted.

I also make liqueurs, usually blackberry vodka and sloe gin because I can forage for the fruit. This year I had to buy the sloes as the bushes I usually pick from had all been cut back.

For the first time I made Clementine Gin and it was delicious, I've started another batch as it is so nice.

To make any of these the recipe is:-

500 grams fruit and 400 grams sugar added to a large kilner jar.
Pour over a bottle off gin or vodka and stir.
Shake the jar frequently until the sugar has dissolved.
It will be ready to drink in about six weeks.

Monday 30 December 2019


I wasn't feeling too good when I got up this morning, Steve has a nasty cough so I may have been short on sleep.

I decided to have a lazy day, best laid plans and all that.

First I decided to change the bedding, always an exhausting task as the bedroom isn't much bigger than the bed. The mattress needed turning and we left it pulled out for a few hours to allow the condensation behind it to dry out.

Next I sorted out the fridge and prepared meals for the next few days.

Then I noticed the floor was dusty (it's the multi fuel stove, it produces so much ash) so I swept and mopped throughout.

Finally I bottled the last of the blackberry vodka and started off a new batch of clementine gin.

I sat and crocheted a few more rows of my current blanket and binge watched Call the Midwife this afternoon, with my feet up.

Foster carer

DD1 has been a foster carer for about ten years now, when Steve and I married in 2011 she had three foster children a four year old girl and her two little brothers who were 2 years old and 6 months old. The little girl carried a ring cushion with our wedding rings on, into the registry office. These children were an emergency placement so were only with DD1 for a short time.

There are different types of fostering, emergency placements, where there has been a family crisis and children need a short term place of safety.

Pre adoption placement, usually babies or toddlers placed in a foster home whilst an adoption is organised.

Long term placement where a child can never return to his or her birth parents and so need a home for the foreseeable future.

DD1 does mainly long-term placements.

I remember when DD1 phoned up and asked if she could bring two of the children for Sunday lunch, they were 4 and 5 years old. I cooked roast chicken as she told me the children liked it, she warned me that their table manners were a work in progress. The children had spent all their short lived hungry and they fell on the food like wild animals. It was heartbreaking to see.

The children are now 14 and 15, happy, settled and doing well at school.

Sunday 29 December 2019

According to the scientists

Troubles don't come in threes but humans are predisposed to look for patterns.

That's good then!

My cooker turned up its toes just before Christmas.

My wheel bearings are going.

I broke a front tooth yesterday.

Does this mean there could be more troubles to come, I hope not. I know none of the above are life threatening, they are just inconvenient, expensive and a bloody nuisance.

Saturday 28 December 2019

Beano meets Mruczec

We visited DS1 and DIL in Ealing on Boxing day. They hired a car, collected us and delivered us home the following day.

DS1 and DIL have a cat called Mruczec. Beano was polite and inquisitive. Mruczec was totally unimpressed and spent most of our visit sat on the bathroom windowsill!

Beano shared himself out amongst everyone going from lap to lap for cuddles. He was fascinated by the parakeets  on the bird feeder and enjoyed his walks around their garden and on Ealing common. 

I didn't sleep well there because once everyone was in bed Mruczec decided to prowl around to inspect the interlopers in his home and Beano kept growling. I kept a firm grip on his collar as I has visions of him and Mruczec doing a cartoon style wall of death chase around the flat.

We had a lovely time chatting and catching up with news of jobs and holidays. We had roast beef for our evening meal and cold meat, cheese and salad for breakfast.

We were home just before lunchtime and DS1 and DIL drove on to Oxford to do some shopping.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thank you

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments, I hope they gladden the heart of the kind reader who gave my granddaughter the sewing machine.

Monday 23 December 2019

Dancing for joy.

I have a very happy granddaughter.

After reading my post about my granddaughters sharing my love of sewing a very kind and generous blog reader offered me a brand new, still boxed sewing machine!

The machine duly arrived and I delivered it to my granddaughter, she was so excited she insisted that I thread the machine immediately.

I did thread it for her but when I left to return home she was still dancing around the house overcome with excitement.

She did remember to ask me to thank her generous benefactor.

I gather she has since made a dozen scrunchies, added a lace trim to a pair of her sister's shorts and made a dress for her other sister's teddy.

Sunday 22 December 2019

Humdrum sort of day.

It has been dry all day today so Beano has had two really long walks. He will not go further than the end of the jetty when it's raining so he enjoyed his walks immensely.

Steve has got the bug I had so has spent most of the day in bed.

I managed to do a load of washing and to defrost the freezer and repack it, I also dug out the Christmas presents that I've bought and made. They were stashed in all sorts of places.

I had intended to cook roast beef today and defrosted a small beef joint, but as the oven decided to turn up its toes I've made pot roast on the hob instead. We'll eat it tomorrow now as Steve's not feeling up to eating much today.


Fortunately we are having Christmas lunch at DD1's , Boxing day we are visiting DS1. 

I say fortunately as my oven has just stopped working.

Hey ho, I'm not rushing about trying to source another one until after Christmas.

I'll manage with the hob for a while.

Saturday 21 December 2019

And still it rains

We had a couple of hours this morning when it was sunny and dry but it didn't last.

Steve cleaned the chimney and then we went to DD1's to collect some computer parts that had been delivered.

By the time we got home it was raining again.

I took Beano out just before I came to bed, I checked the ropes weren't too tight whilst I was on the jetty, there is still some slack. I'll check them again in he morning.

If the ropes get too tight the boat will list towards the jetty.

Friday 20 December 2019


Despite growing up surrounded by dogs and dog sitting for various people, Beano is the first dog I have actually owned.  

My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all owned dogs. Both my daughter's own dogs. Between them there were many different breeds Dachshund's, Shis Tzu's, Jack Russell's, Springer Spaniel's and Staffies amongst others. Steve had  a couple of Weimaraners and prefers big dogs

When we decided to get a dog, mine was the final say on the type of dog we would get. Although Steve wanted a large breed I knew he no longer had the strength or energy to cope with one. I like large breeds especially Rottweilers but I flatly refused to get something that was going to fill the boat and drag me up and down the towpath. I was also advised not to choose too small a breed as they can be a trip hazard.

We have had Beano for seven months now and he is still coming out of himself gradually.

The first morning after he arrived I got up to find he'd crapped on the floor, he was sat in his bed shivering with fear. I cleaned up the mess all the time talking to him cheerfully and then I took him out.

The first few days when he needed the toilet he'd go to the door and whine. This was ok during the day but not much good when I'm asleep in bed. He only had one nighttime widdle and now if he needs to go out and I'm asleep he stands on my chest so we've had no more accidents. He rarely needs to go out overnight now anyway. I take him out at 10ish just before I go to bed and I'm awake from 5 or 6 to take him out again.

We bought Beano some toys when we got him but he didn't want to play, he would occasionally run after a ball but wouldn't pick it up, he'd just wander off once he reached it. 

When he did play with some of the other toys, he'd immediately stop if he realised we were watching.
A few days ago he played for half an hour with a squeaky toy, everyday since then he has played for ages in the evenings, it is wonderful to see.

Beano also now plays with other dogs, to start with he would freeze when they tried to play with him. Then he started to play very tentatively with some of the small dogs we met on our walks. Last week he played enthusiastically with my daughter's large dog. When we are out for a walk and he sees one of his 'friends' he runs towards them happily looking for a game.

Beano is quick to learn a change in routine, it only takes a couple of days for him to learn.

Beano still hates the rain and will only run to the end of the jetty, widdle and run straight back onto the boat. I bought him a waterproof coat to see if he'd be happier walking in the rain.

Beano's favourite place is still on my knee and he prefers crochet to knitting as he gets prodded less when I'm doing crochet.

Beano has a lot more energy now, he would always walk with me from lock to lock when we were traveling but was knackered at the end of a long walk. Now he is still raring to go at the end of a walk.

Beano sleeps on the bed between us, he takes up far more room than a dog his size should do. We have an extra throw on top of the bed as Beano likes to sleep under the covers. I refuse to have him in the bed.

Beano is still good with the grandchildren but barks and gets agitated if he thinks they are fighting. He happily let's people make a fuss of him. When he first arrived he rushed up to everyone, I think he was looking for his previous owner. Then he became quite standoffish, ignoring people who wanted to stroke him, though never unfriendly. He now wags his tail happily and will go to anyone for a stroke.


The river is red boarded.

Many locks are under water others are chained shut.

No one is going anywhere if they have any sense.

And still the rain falls.


I was told, after the event that I had been expect to attend the Christmas meal with Steve. I played dumb but actually I did know I was included in the invitation. I chose not to attend.

I had three different team leaders during my time there. The last one had no management skills whatsoever, she managed using the divide and conquer system, she had her two favourite staff members, the rest of the staff were treated very badly. This didn't affect me much on a day to day basis as my machinery was in a different part of the building.

This team leader and her way of implementing performance management were the reason I retired when I did. The team leaders favourites were given performance aims that they were already achieving, the rest of us were given performance aims that were unachievable such as to become proficient in software that was not available at school, one of my performance aims was to keep all consumables locked away at all times and to ensure that consumable were readily available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. I had no storage large enough to store the consumables and I finished work at 3:30! This is made my performance aims unachievable and would have eventually lead to disciplinary action. 

Every Christmas I was given boxes of chocolates and bottles of wine by grateful staff members. Three years before I left, the team leader sent an email to all staff saying that Christmas gifts were no longer to be given to individual staff but were to be given to front office where the team leader would share everything out equally. I received nothing, zilch, zero! This was embarrassing sometimes  as I was asked if I'd received a particular gift and I hadn't

I think the final straw was when I spoke to the team leader at midday to ask what time we were finishing as it was the last day of term. I'd completed all my work and so was twiddling my thumbs. The team leader told me to return to my room and she would let me know when she was closing the office. At 3:15 Steve noticed my car in the car park and came round to see what I was doing, I explained that'd been told I couldn't leave until I was given permission! The team leader and other staff had left at 1:30 without informing me.

Is it any wonder I didn't want to join in the Christmas meal!!

Thursday 19 December 2019

End of an era

Today was Steve's combined works Christmas dinner and leaving do. It has been an emotional day for him, although he doesn't officially finish until 10th January, he probably won't visit again.

I dropped him off at 12 and then Beano and I did a very creditable impression of blue arsed flies, collecting prescriptions, getting them filled, shopping for dog food and orange juice, swapping Beano's new coat for a different one and many other little jobs that needed doing.

We finished in time to collect Steve at 2:30 and came home, Beano had another walk around the marina when we got home. Beano had a mad half hour playing with a new toy, I cooked the evening meal and Steve and Beano are now asleep.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

One day, one task, one step

I have developed a new sleep pattern, it's manageable, three or four nights of a couple of hours sleep and then a full eight hours for one night.

I'm not complaining, lots of people sleep badly as they get older and at least having hundreds of books on my kindle I can usually find something to read.

I don't find that using the kindle makes it harder to sleep, in fact if I didn't have it I'd end up worrying whilst laying awake.

If I wake from an anxiety dream or with a panic attack, reading calms me down especially one of Lyssa Medana's books.

Last night when I woke though I couldn't read as I was very dizzy. I negotiated my toilet visits with my eyes tightly shut my eyes as everything was whirling around if I opened my eyes.

I've been awake since 2:15 but I'm not dizzy, this is good as sometimes the dizziness can last weeks or even months. I can control it to a certain extent by not making any sudden head movements but this is tiresome and gives me a stiff neck.

This particular attack has been caused by the generosity of my darling Dgd who has shared with me the virus she has been suffering from. I have a hacking cough as well.

Some winters see me struggling with dizziness from the first cold snap until the willow fluff bursts upon the scene. I'm allergic to willow fluff and I go from bunged and dizzy to sneezing and streaming almost over night.

The disadvantage of not sleeping well is that problems loom large, this can make sleep even more elusive. I try to combat this by breaking up my worries into bite size chunks.

I try to take things, not even one day at a time or even one task at a time but one step at a time. There are so many things out of my control that all I can do is focus on that next step.

Tomorrow's first step is getting Steve to yet another Christmas dinner. Once that is achieved I'll plan my next step.

Yesterday I achieved quite a lot, two separate shopping trips in opposite directions, purchasing boardgames, getting replacement headlight and brake light fitted by my lovely mechanic George and helping Steve to get the boat to the service jetty for a pump out.


Anyone who has read my blog for a while will know I used to work in a secondary school.

And will also know I don't like TEACHERS but I do like most teachers, what's the difference?

Most teachers are normal members of the human race who have chosen teaching as a career, lots of them are lovely people and even those that aren't lovely are at least bearable. They also do a bloody difficult job faced with with constantly changing targets and rooms full of stroppy teenagers.

TEACHERS on the other hand are members of a superior race, dictatorial, abrasive and completely convinced they were put on this planet to tell us lesser mortals where we are going wrong.

There was one at my last school who used to come into my office and pontificate, insisting on telling me what an excellent job she was doing compared to the rest of the staff.

I'm sure there are a few in every school, I'm also sure I will receive a load of abusive comments about this post!

On to the subject of volunteers, we had ten volunteers and they included two retired teachers and one retired TEACHER I was in the kitchen with TESCHER and another volunteer who seemed to know her stuff where cooking was concerned.

They were having a disagreement about even temperatures. The cooking instructions stated 200 degrees to cook the pigs in blankets and roast potatoes. Every time the oven temperature was set to 200 degrees the TEACHER marched in and reduced it to 150 degrees. No matter what the instructions said SHE KNEW BETTER! After half an hour of this I'd had enough and the next time the TEACHER tried to lower the temperature I snarled "Leave it!" She did!

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Ye God's and little fishes, what a day.

Today has included screaming, shouting and throwing things by Steve.

Cooking Christmas dinner for 45.

Warring volunteers.

Copious amounts of rain.

And winning a box of turmeric tea bags n a raffle.

I think I'll have an early night!

Monday 16 December 2019

The Annihilation Score now with correct information

Life currently is very difficult, at times like this I bury myself in a book.

I started a reading list on my blog but I was unable to keep it updated, so here is a list of my most recent reads.

The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross part of The Laundry Files, there are nine books in the series. The books are about a civil service department that deals with the occult.

Treachery by S J Parrish these are similar in style to the Shardlake books which are written by C J Sansome.

Hero by Lee Childs

The Reckoning by John Grisham

A History of the World in 21 Women by Jenni Murray

Sunday 15 December 2019

The condemed house

In 1979 my then husband decided it would be a good idea to buy a fixer upper!
We had a ten month old baby when we moved in, the only heating was a coal fire in the back room.
There was a downstairs toilet that had been an outside toilet, the previous owner had bricked up the door to the garden and knocked through to the kitchen.
The coal store had been turned into a bathroom, the ceiling fell into the bath a few weeks after we moved in.
The kitchen contained a butlers sink that was resting on a cupboard that was black with mould and full of slugs that came out at night.
We acquired a home made cocktail cabinet from somewhere and that along with a camping cooker comprised my kitchen for many years.

My son grew up thinking it was normal to have a pile of sand on the floor.

Eventually we had a heating system put in I got a gas cooker and the place was decorated.

The kitchen remained unfinished until we put the place on the market.

Saturday 14 December 2019

Potted Biography

I have lived in Ruskington, Sleaford, Mitcham, Colliers Wood, Southfields, Wandsworth, Bracknell, Cotham, St Andrews, Patchway, Burnham, Finchampstead, Wokingham and Purley on Thames.

The schools I attended were Quarrington, Alvey, Pollards Hill, Fortescue Road, Balham High and Pelham Girls.

I've worked as a papergirl, hairdresser, shop assistant, filing clerk, telelphonist, receeptionist, veterinary nurse, data inputter, child minder, cable manufacturer/installer, party organiser and reprographics technician. I ran my own business for 15 years and provided cabling for many large companies including Barclays and Bupa. 

I've lived in dodgy bedsits, freezing cold flats, maisonettes, a condemned house, a six bedroom house and now on a boat.

I've visited France, Italy, Majorca, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Scotland and Wales. I'm not very well traveled, lack of opportunity rather than lack of interest. I have driven across France and Spain, I have also driven through Paris.

I'm an only child but despite this I was not my mother's favourite, the dog was.

I have had an ectopic pregnancy, an emergency c section due to placenta previa and three straightforward pregnancies resulting in four children.

I'Ve had my tonsils and adenoids removed, an eardrum replaced and a macular traction repair that failed and split my retina.

I have been married twice, divorced once. My first marriage was happy until my FIL died, my then husband was badly affected and became depressed, paranoid and deeply unpleasant, he also developed an obsession with pornography. At the time of FIL's death my youngest was 3 months old. 

I'm not a very nice person, I'm sarcastic, irascible and very assertw. I will walk away from most arguments as I cannot be arsed to deal with aggravation. If I don't walk away I will win, no matter what!

Friday 13 December 2019

Political statement

I have only one thing to say about politics.

Politicians are like nappies, they both need changing regularly and both for the same reason.

Things are going to get tougher for those at the bottom of the heap.

I can't do much but there are a couple of things I can do.

Firstly when I help at the jumble sales I buy warm clothes, bedding, coats, gloves, hats etc. At the end of the sale, just before everything is sent for rags I grab anything that looks in good condition, especially smart clothes suitable for job interviews. These are passed on to a local homeless charity. 

Secondly there are items left on a table in the marina, unwanted by people, saucepan, plates etc  my latest find was a set of cutlery in a tray. I make a donation to the marine's chosen charity and pass these items to the homeless charity.

The homeless charity I support not only provides food and clothes they so help people who have been given a roof over their head but have no furnishings. 

Small things but hopefully they will help someone.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Plans all awry

We went to DD1's so Steve could do some DIY for her. When we arrived she'd hurt her neck and was in a lot of pain. Her DH had made an osteopath appointment for her and come home from work to drive her to the appointment.

Steve couldn't do the work he'd planned as the wall that was supposed to be solid wasn't! Steve went to vote, the children were happily playing upstairs so I looked after the dogs, there was my Beano, Albie who is a staffy/boxer cross and Lucy, the builders dog. Lucy is a lurcher, she is a rescue and suffers from anxiety, she was also very nervous of Beano. I found out later when speaking to the builder that he has three dogs and one is a Jack Russell and it rules the roost. Jack Russell's do like to be top dog despite or maybe because of their size. When Lucy realised that Beano wasn't going to boss her around she accepted him as a friend.

The three dogs played very boisterously, Lucy kept stealing baubles from the Christmas tree and chasing them around the floor with Beano.

Sometimes Lucy's anxiety got the better of her and she barked a lot, when this happened I put the leads on the dogs and took them for a walk round the block. Actually the dogs towed me round the block but I managed to keep them off the road and out of people's gardens so I'll take that as a win.

The rain was torrential all day today so not only did the dogs and I get piddling wet through when we went for a walk there was also a lot of standing water on the journey home.
We bought the dgd's home with us and gave them lunch and DD2 collected them when she finished work. Hopefully the children will all be back at school tomorrow

Wednesday 11 December 2019


We had dgd with us again today her temperature has reduced but she has earache. We wrapped her up warmly and took her shopping with us.

We bought 5 bags of coal as well as lots of meat, the freezer was sadly depleted, it's now rammed to the gunwhales.

It was hard work, Beano wanted to walk one way, dgd wanted to walk another and Steve was bitching because I wasn't holding the trolley still.

Never mind, all done now. Polling day tomorrow but fortunately my other DD has offered to have all three Dgd's as their school is closed.

I love them dearly but I'm knackered after three days of childcare.

I think I'll try for an early night.

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Dealing with nightmares

I don't get nightmares as such, I do suffer from anxiety dreams where I've lost someone or something or I'm too far from home.

Beano unfortunately does suffer, not the normal dog dreams of chasing and running.

He twitches and snarls, snaps and whimpers its so horrible to watch. I usually wake him by stroking him and talking softly to him.

Once he is awake he either climbs on my lap for a cuddle or if I'm in bed he wriggle up until he's under my armpit.

Monday 9 December 2019

Rinse and repeat

In September my DD was offered three months counseling, she phoned me before she accepted as the appointments were at 4 p.m. on a Monday in the middle of town. She could only attend if could provide child care and three months is a big commitment with Steve still being unwell. I agreed and I have collected three dgd's from school on a regular basis. I give them their tea and they watch tv or do arts and crafts until they collected by DD. Next week is the last appointment, so Mondays will be a little less hectic from then on.

Today the youngest dgd was unwell so she was with us all day, she's spent the day sprawled on the sofa watching ceebeebies whilst I made a rice pudding big enough to serve thirty people at stroke club tomorrow.

I've just had a message to ask if I can have her tomorrow as well, on Thursday the school is closed for polling so the girls will come here then too. DD only works from 10 until 2 so it's not a very long day and we will all take Beano for a walk which takes an hour and gets some fresh air into us all.

Steve's very dizzy and unsteady on his feet this week but he's enjoyed seeing the girls, he goes for a lie down if it gets too much for him.

Beano loves them all and cuddles up with them on the sofa.

A small taste of my life.

A 40 minute snap shot.

I was writing a shopping list earlier today so whilst I had a pen in my hand I made a few notes.

Steve and I had just got back from a dog walk.

He can't send an email (cos he's trying to sent it via Gmail and he actually uses Yahoo). I swap him over to Yahoo and he sends an email.
He can't get Facebook to work,  he's not online, I sort out his connection.
He turns immersion off, I explain that I want a shower and turn it on again.
He rattles off a list of things he wants added to the shopping list.
He can't send an email, he's trying to use Gmail again, I swap him back to Yahoo.
He turns the immersion off again but hopefully the water is hot enough for me to shower.
He can't get Facebook to work, I get him back online again.
He's complaining about his computer upgrade, he doesn't want to wait until Tuesday.
Why is his upgrade taking so long (it was only ordered yesterday).
He rattles off another shopping list.
He can't find his email, you've guessed it he's using Gmail again, I swap him on to Yahoo.
He can't get YouTube to work. I get it working.
He can't get his new book to download onto his kindle.

And on and on!

Sunday 8 December 2019

I don't think.

it matters where people are
from, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I don't have to stay with Steve. I could divorce him and walk away. I couldn't live with myself if I did that and so I keep buggering on.

Anonymous I'm not sure why you think I should have a social worker, it's never been suggested and none of the people at stroke club have one. Steve's care is not classed as medical, his physical problems are minor it's the mental problems and he has been told to get on with life.

Our wedding vows.

Saturday 7 December 2019

Feeling unsettled

The marina was burgled last night. Seven boats and a car, broken into and trashed. Many things of value were stolen.
It's not a nice feeling!


Friday 6 December 2019

And they're up.

The fairy lights are up, they cycle through a selection of patterns.

Steve struggled to master the sticky backed hooks, they are small and difficult to see.

Still we managed without to get the lights up without bloodshed.

I'm taking that as a positive.

Thursday 5 December 2019

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan d.

WorcsAnnie asked what we will do when we cannot manage on the boat any longer.

Plan A was to rent the house out and buy a narrowboat, once Steve retired we planned to travel the waterways.

The tenant we had was a nightmare and Steve had a stroke.

Plan B, sell the narrowboat, sell the house, buy a widebeam. This means we have more living space but we cannot travel as far as we had hoped because of the width of the boat but Steve's disabilities mean we cannot travel as far as we had originally planned anyway.

Plan C when we cannot travel any more we will look for a permanent mooring, still living on the boat but no longer moving on a regular basis.

Plan D when we can no longer live safely on the boat we have a granny flat planned and paid for.

Dealing with the backlash

I'm weary today after yesterday's tribulations.
So I'm not in the best frame of mind.

Steve managed ok yesterday but had obviously wound himself up as I'd been gone so long, today I have been dealing with the backlash.

This morning we went to DD1's to collect a pile of crap that Steve has ordered from Amazon. He put up a shelf for DD whilst we were there.

We arrived home and I did lunch, beans on toast.

I said I wanted to put my feet up after lunch, just for half an hour, but no. Steve decided Beano needed walking so off we went. Steve was complaining about how tired I was and decided it was because I'd walked Beano yesterday before I set off for the hospital. There is a method in his madness, by blaming it on the dog walk this means he can complain. He cannot complain about the bus service as that is not my fault, choosing to walk the dog is my fault!

After we'd walked Beano I wanted to have a sit down and a cuppa, Steve decided he wanted to put some fairy lights up. I refused to help and suggested we do the lights tomorrow. 

I sat down and put me feet up. Deprived of the excuse to yell at me whilst putting the lights up Steve decided he needed a dustpan, then he needed to charge up his new radio, which it seems can only be charged when playing at full volume! Receiving no response to this he decided to watch you tube videos again at full volume, so he could hear them over his radio.

This also failed so he decided that as I had a blanket over my legs I must be cold. He threw a full on tantrum because I was cold and hadn't told him! 

When I'm tired I get cold, I can't sleep because I'm cold and I can't get warm because I'm tired. 
This can obviously be cured by being shouted at.

One of the thing he brought up during the shouting was that he has a friend visiting on Saturday and the boat needs a good bottoming. I gave up resting and cleaned the bathroom, this was also wrong as I'd claimed to be tired so why wasn't I resting.

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Five Fecking Hours!

Five fecking hours traveling time, a five minute appointment to be told I'm still deaf but I don't need an MRI  scan after all!

I left the boat at midday and arrived back just before 5 o'clock, Steve and Beano had coped ok but we're very worried as I'd been so long.

Military operation!

I have an audiology appointment this morning, with traveling time I will be out for about four hours.

I usually try not to leave Steve for more than an hour.

My DD2 is going to phone qqhim.
I shall phone him regularly.

The marina manager knows he will be on his own.

Steve will stagger round the marina with Beano at set intervals so if he misses a walk someone will check on him.

All this for a 15 minute appointment where they will ask me why I haven't had my MRI scan yet (because I haven't received an appointment yet) then they will tell me I'm old and deaf. No shit Sherlock, I'd worked that one out.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

One thing at a time

Although we are in the marina and plugged in to shore power there are still limits to what we can draw.

Tonight we have the little heater on in the bedroom as it is extremely cold. This means we cannot have the immersion heater on at the same time.
I will turn the heater off when I go to bed and turn the immersion on so that we have hot water in the morning.

If it's very cold in the morning I will put the central heating on, but to do this I will need to turn the immersion heater off. 

The same rule applies if I want to use the washing machine, everything else must be turned off.

I also need to check that the shore power hasn't tripped before I do anything, it used to trip out regularly when we first moored here but it's much more reliable now.

Monday 2 December 2019

Jumble sale and other exciting things

We weren't actually allowed to apply for PIP, we were told to apply for ESA.

I agree about Steve's anxiety meds, I'd rather they were increased. I don't want to take stuff myself just because the Dr thinks Steve should be ok.

On Saturday I helped at a local jumble sale, it got me out for a couple of hours and I got a few bargains, some wool for dgd,  a brand new pair of sleep shorts with storm troopers on for SIL, a smart Next jacket for DD2 and a wooly hat for me, I have a few but more are always useful.

The windows on the boat had ice on the inside this morning as it was so cold, Steve's put an extra heater on today to keep the temperature up.

Today I went to buy some bedding for DD2's children, I bought them a teddy throw each, they can use them as an extra layer at bedtime or wrap themselves up in them when watching TV. I also bought a duvet cover and fitted sheets so they all now have new bedding as I bought some as birthday presents.

I wanted a new kettle as the handle on mine is broken but I couldn't find the sort I wanted so I've ordered one online.

I did buy myself 2 pairs of leggings, some socks, some gloves and a pair of Christmas earrings.

Saturday 30 November 2019

Answers to comments.

The Dr doesn't want to increase Steve's anxiety medication as he believes that Steve should be able to cope. He feels increasing the dosage would be for my benefit not Steve's. 

We have no social services involvement whatsoever, it isn't deemed necessary.

We don't receive attendance allowance as Steve can manage physically. Mentally he struggles.


There are 2,200 miles of navigable canals and rivers in the UK.

Some are joined up but others like the Mon and Brec aren't.

There is more information here.


We originally bought a narrowboat as we intended to travel on various canals once Steve retired. Some canals are narrow, have narrow locks so can only be navigated in a narrowboat, maximum with 7ft.

Unfortunately his stroke put paid to that plan so we sold the narrowboat and bought a widebeam, ours is 10ft wide and some are wider, we looked at a 12ft wide boat but felt it was too big for us.

Friday 29 November 2019

Another day done.

Steve is on medication for his anxiety, the Dr is reluctant to increase the dosage.

I will look into direct payments Deborah.

I woke up at 3a.m. to find I was hanging on to half an inch of mattress and I had no covers over me. I got out of bed and rearranged Beano, Steve and the covers and got back in to bed. I was unable to get back to sleep so I read until 7, when I got up, made Steve a cuppa and walked Beano.

After Mondays abortive trip to the audiology repair department Steve decided we needed to be there as doors opened at 9 a.m. This meant driving through Reading town center in the rush hour which is always a joy.

Unfortunately the car windscreen was iced over so we didn't leave as early as Steve would have liked, still we were on our way just after 8.

The journey took an hour and a half and Steve was finally able to get his hearing aid repaired.

From there we went to work, Steve has had two letters containing contradictory information regarding his payments in lieu of notice. I walked Beano for the half an hour whilst Steve discussed the letters and finally received confirmation of the correct details.

We then drove to the supermarket as Steve wanted fish for tea, he's not very good at judging quantities, so we have enough fish for a few meals and some of it is now in the freezer.

We arrived home just after midday whereupon a neighbour arrived, Steve had offered to pole her boat back in beside ours, she was on the tiller going backwards, having someone on the front with a pole makes it easier.

Once the boat at was moored the neighbour came in for a cuppa to warm up.

By now it was gone 2 and Beano needed a walk. On the way we start chatting to some newbie boaters, they wanted to get to Bristol for Christmas and couldn't understand why so many locks were closed. We explained about the winter stoppages, which is where parts of the navigation are closed so the locks can be repaired. They'd also been assured that all the locks would be manned by volunteers and that they wouldn't be expected to work the locks themselves. They were shocked when we told them the vollies only work April to October, only at weekends and only on a few locks, not all of them.

Leaving the saddened newbies to console themselves with a bottle of wine we got back to the boat. By now it was 3:15 and I still hadn't had breakfast or lunch.

Thursday 28 November 2019

Not a good day.

Steve had a fall yesterday, he was emptying the ash pan and leant on a fence that wasn't there. He was uninjured but shaken up, as usual he decided to self medicate with alcohol.

I had a blood test this morning, I was quite excited as Steve had offered to stay home with Beano. I had planned to sneak into Sainsburys to look for new trousers. I only have two pairs and they are both full of holes.Qq

Unfortunately best laid plans and all that, my excitement must have shown and Steve decided to come with me, no new trousers this week then.

I did have a quick word with the nurse about my twitchy eye and I explained the ongoing problems caring for Steve. She was very kind and sympathetic. But her basic advice was "Suck it up sunshine".
There is nothing else to be done.

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Being a cynical bitch

I can't help wondering what bad news was slipped out under the radar when not one, but three famous people died in one day!

Tuesday 26 November 2019

How could you choose.

Steve went to stroke club today, I made a jam sponge for them.

I took Beano to DD1's and collected some parcels, stuff to that Steve had ordered.

DD has more information about our prospective new grandchild, definitely a boy, definitely eight years old.

The lad was adopted as a tot but has developed a medical condition that the adopters are not prepared to deal with so he has been returned to the care system!

Monday 25 November 2019

And now I've developed a twitch

I'm keeping count of how many days it is before Steve's behaviour starts to get to me again.

I saw my DD's on Friday, I'm collecting my Dgd's from school on Monday and it's stroke club Tuesday so I'm hopeful that these social interactions will keep me sane for a few days.

Steve's meeting with his brother on Friday cheered him up and he was fairly calm over the weekend.

But today was a bad day, Steve got up late, we drove to the drop in audiologist department at the hospital, the journey took twice as long as usual because of road works. When we arrived the department was heaving, standing room only so he wouldn't stay, he left and we will try later in the week. All this means he is stressed and irritable.

Some days I feel as though my head is wrapped in cotton wool, nothing seems to sink in and I have trouble doing day to day tasks. My memory has never been brilliant but now it is appalling. This always improves if I can get a break, unfortunately most of the time Steve's anxiety is at fever pitch so the minute I get home he starts again.

I'm not at the cotton wool stage yet but I have developed a twitch in my right eye, oh the joy of it!

The sound of silence

Obviously I don't wear my hearing aids in bed, though I have been known to get into bed and into the shower still wearing them

This proved to be a bonus last night as the row between a floating trader and an aggrieved wife has now broadened to include the landlady of a nearby pub. 

The injured parties then took to private messaging EVERYBODY in their contacts list.

I didn't sleep well last night but I wasn't online so I knew nothing of this until I got up and discovered I needed to delete eleventy billion pm's

At some point all this activity triggered a response from Facebook as the last message I received was from another trader advising me that the protagonists have had their Facebook privileges revoked.

Maybe it would be a good idea if people had to take a breathalyzer test before they could post!

Sunday 24 November 2019

Keep buggering on

My son visited Thursday, he gave me cards and chocolates.
He's a firefighter, he's currently moving around between various stations covering for holidays and sickness for six months. He's hoping to get assigned to a station full time soon.

He absolutely adores Beano and the feeling is mutual, as soon as he sat down Beano climbed on his knee. His flatmate has a border collie that he feeds and walks regularly as they both work shifts.

Friday I had a cream tea with my DD's. Much better than stuff, it was such a treat. Steve went for lunch with his youngest brother to discuss what's happening next with the house sales. One has sold, two are due to sell before Christmas and there is another project in the pipeline.

Saturday 23 November 2019

Who needs Coronation Street (other soaps are available)

I don't watch any of the soaps, a friend once told me that my life was like a soap opera anyway.

I am a member of a lot of Facebook groups, some to do with canal boat living, some craft groups and some for the villages near where we moor. 

Last night a row erupted on a canal traders FB page. It seems one FB trader has pinched another traders husband, dear God I only wanted to know the opening times of a local trade boat!

I'm always amazed at the things people's on Facebook, umpteen selfies, some with added puppy ears why? Just why!

Umpteen post about how someone's new boyfriend is The One, it's true love, well for a week and then it's all over, complete with name calling and recriminations.

Friday 22 November 2019

Tissues at the ready

I may have a new grandchild on the horizon, an eight year old, gender unspecified as yet.

DD1 laid on a cream tea for me today, all prepared by a professional chef, he happens to be her DH. I always say I don't want 'stuff' I'd rather have a meal our or a trip. By having the tea at her house it meant we could have it at a time to suit us, midday, and I could take Beano with me as Steve was meeting up with his brother and Beano hates being left alone. DD2 drove me over to DD1's so I had a cream tea with a gin and tonic!

DD1 has planning permission to extend her house, she has found a builder who can start immediately. He comes highly recommended by people in her village. He had a job booked in but it was cancelled at short notice as the customer decided they didn't want the disruption over Christmas.

DD is prepared to accept the disruption as she is desperate to offer a home to the eight year old mentioned above who needs somewhere from early next year.

DD1 cannot afford the full price of the extension and we will be receiving our share of the profits for the first house sale imminently. I think it's serendipitous.

Thursday 21 November 2019

Karma is a bitch

Thank you all for your comments and your continued support.

Steve and I had lunch out today as a birthday treat, at one point Steve started complaining about something I was doing, I smiled sweetly and said "Since its my birthday, how about we have one day without you complaining?" He shut up!!

And now for karma, you may remember my ex tenant and all the grief she caused me. She has posted on Facebook this morning, she is having to move out of her current house at very short notice. I don't know what she's done but it seems her only recourse is to apply to the local council to be rehomed.
Unfortunately this is not an option as she and her husband defrauded the local council of thousands of pounds by claiming housing benefit on my house and on two other properties, whilst letting out the other two properties!

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Blood test.

My blood test has been moved to 28th November, I shall make the effort to go.

I took Beano out for an hours walk today, I used to walk him for an hour or so every day plus 2 or 3 shorter walks but then Steve decided to come on every walk with me which meant the walks were reduced to a slow stagger over a short distance.

Steve worries when I take Beano out, what if I trip, what if I fall in the canal, what if Beano falls in the canal. I told him I'd be out for an hour and made sure I wasn't late back. I took my phone with me too so Steve could phone if he got anxious.
I will now do this regularly, it will be good for me and Beano.

Steve has decided he wants to travel further on the boat next summer. I have agreed but I think he is wildly overestimating his ability and stamina but we will give it a go. I think it will take 3 or 4 months to cover the distance but we will see.

I'm happy enough to try the trip but I'm dreading the isolation. I know it will be three months when I don't get to have a conversation with anyone. It sounds unkind to say it but I cannot have a conversation with Steve. He refusal to wear his hearing aids means that if I try to talk to him, by the time I've repeated everything three times I've lost the will to carry on.

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Normal service will be resumed shortly

Moira, Shelley, I tried not telling him until the last minute but he gets really stressed if things are sprung on him suddenly.

I will try Moira's suggestion of telling him I can cope with his depression but cannot take the blame for it.

Mindo, no there is no one who can help in Steve's family, there is one estranged sibling, and one alcoholic sibling, the one who is visiting has his own business and a young family.

I went to stroke club today and cooked sausage and mash, Steve stayed home but was a little better when I got home. We have had a chat about things but I think he still feels everything is my fault.

At least there was a sympathetic ear and some hugs at stroke club., they also gave me a birthday card.

The blood test has been moved as the nurse is out sick, it's now on Thursday. Well that's a treat, it's my birthday on Thursday. 

I'm struggling a bit at the moment as something happened within an online group that I am part off, it left me feeling a bit raw, normal service will be resumed shortly!

Monday 18 November 2019

Busy week

Kate I had one of those days today, I just wanted to sit and howl. Unfortunately I had to collect the grandchildren from school and as I can't drive and cry at the same time I just drove.

Every day it's the same, continuous complaints and criticism, I just find it so wearing.

Anon, according to the medical people I've seen there is no such thing as post stroke personality change. They mostly seem to think I'm imagining it!

This week will be busy which means an even more stressful time.

We needed to buy coal. This meant a trip out as the coal on the marina is very pricey. Steve got upset as he couldn't work out the percentage saved between the marina coal and Aldi.

Today I tried to fill in the ESA form, I couldn't do it. Steve had a meltdown, tried to do it himself, couldn't do it. All my fault along with doing the washing wrong, not printing out a form he wanted, not walking the dog correctly. I got one bollocking after another, lost  my temper eventually which just caused more problems. 

Later I collected the dgd's from school, I'm doing this up until Christmas as DD has counselling every Monday. Seeing the dgd's cheered Steve up, they make him laugh, they have accepted that he has changed, they say he has an ouchie in his head.

Tuesday I'm cooking for stroke club, I enjoy it but Steve would prefer me not to do it.

I have a blood test booked for Wednesday, this will send Steve's stress levels through the roof, I'm wondering whether to cancel it, it might be easier.

Thursday is a free day I think, hopefully we can relax.

Friday one of Steve's brothers may visit, we may go out for lunch, not sure yet.

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...