Friday 31 May 2019

It was over before it finished

I read an article in the daily wail today about a woman who's husband insists on complete financial control, she won't leave him as she doesn't want to disrupt her children's lives.

It reminded me of my ex, every receipt examined minutely to ensure I hadn't wasted his money on a pair of tights or other fripperies. A couple of days ago it was the anniversary of my first wedding day. I was married for 25 years and although I sat it out until I was 51 and my last child left home it was my mother's death some years earlier that signaled the beginning of the end of my marriage. 

My mother had no money, she lived on her state pension so I paid for her funeral, or rather my ex considered that he  had. We ran our own business but I worked unpaid therefore had no money to contribute towards the funeral. The complaints from my then husband, encouraged by his mother were ceaseless. I was berated regularly in the days leading up to the funeral and for weeks after. On the day of the funeral my husband and his brother got extremely drunk and within an hour of the funeral I was back at work whilst he stayed home and got even more drunk.

During our divorce he told me, finally, that he loved me very much but he mother had drummed into him that he shouldn't be too nice or generous as I would take advantage of him. Well done mum!

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Drizzly day

You know that thing, when it's damp out and it turns your hair frizzy?

It doesn't affect me, I have a lot of hair and wet, dry or damp it never becomes frizzy.

Beano's coat, on the other hand is severely affected by the damp. When he comes back in from a walk he looks like he's been dragged through  hedge backwards.

I'm keeping his brush on the shelf beside me and brushing him regularly.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Beano has a play date.

I took Beano to DD1's today, it was the first time he had met her dog Albie who is a staffy cross, I think he's crossed with a boxer, he's very big and bouncy but there isn't an ounce of malice in him.
He cheerfully accepted Beano telling him off when he got a bit too bouncy and happily shared hid food with him.

DD1 had DD2's children today so there were seven of the grandchildren there, the youngest boy is besotted with Beano and loves his soft silky ears, Beano loved all the fuss he got from the children.

All in all it was a very busy day for Beano and ever since we got home he has done nothing but sleep.

I can't wear skirts but.

I bought three anyway.

I cannot wear anything round my waist, or what passes for a waist in my case.

This is because of various medical issues.

But I saw a online vintage shop selling Indian cotton skirts, they had six, they were £10 each including postage, I ordered three.

They all have drawstring or elasticated waistbands and the three I ordered all have  dark red or petrol blue in the colour scheme. My plan is to raid the charity shops and find some tee shirts that go with the skirts. I shall then stitch the skirts to the tee shirts to turn them into dresses.

Monday 27 May 2019

Hey big spender

We are back from the Crick boat show, we had a good time, Steve and Beano coped well even though the show was crowded on Saturday and I caught the sun.

There are lots of exciting boaty and non-boaty things to see and buy.

Steve bought some long arm loppers as he gave his last pair to DD1 as she has a garden full of trees and bushes.

I bought some fudge, a flower garland to go round my sun hat and two necklaces I spent £12 in total.

The hotel cost an arm and a leg but we had budgeted for it and for the food we ate.  
The hotel was busy as they had a wedding on as well as being full from the boat show but the staff were very helpful and efficient, two staff members made a huge fuss of Beano which he lapped up.

There was a gaggle of small bridesmaids in the wedding party aged between 3 & 5 who all swooped on Beano to give him cuddles which he also enjoyed.

We didn't stay for the entirety of the show, we'd seen enough during the preview day and the first show day, the journey home was uneventful with no hold ups.
We arrived back home just before lunchtime and I turned around and went straight back out as I'd promised a other boater a lift to Aldi. I didn't need an ordinary shop as I went a few days ago, so I did a freezer shop and filled the freezer up with meat and fish.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Race memory

My paternal grandfather died when I was 3 months old, I obviously have no memory of him though I have seen photos. 
He was a foreman in a brickmakers and he always wore a weskit or waistcoat.
Every time he stood up he straightened his weskit in the same way, he grasped the bottom edge and tugged it left right left and two pats to the bottom button. 
When my oldest son stands up he does exactly the same with his shirt, left right left and two pats to the bottom button.

My youngest son has many of my dad's voice mannerisms, when my dad first died I nearly cried every time I spoke to my son they hadn't spent enough time together for it to be mimicry.

When I went to A&E with DD1 and Dgd I noticed that Dgd curled her pillow the same way I curl mine, in an effort to find a cool bit.

Friday 24 May 2019

Crick in my neck

We are in Crick, staying at the Holiday Inn. We went to the Crick boat show preview day yesterday it was easy to get around as it wasn't too busy. 

Unfortunately apart from the ice cream van, most of the stalls I wanted to see don't open until today. I'm hoping that Beano will stay with Steve whilst I have a look around.

I didn't sleep well last night I seem to be allergic to something in the room, also the bed is very small and what with Steve sleeping like a starfish and Beano wanting his share it was very cramped.

I will start training Beano when we return home but there hasn't been time so far between getting him settled and coming away.

Thursday 23 May 2019

I'll tell you what I want

What I really really want.

I want a cream tea with decaf tea and a mooch round a couple of charity shops. My DD's have promised to arrange something soon, well as soon as the measles have left the building.

I'm sorry if I made some of you cry, it is what it is and I think it is better to let people know what the hidden effects of a stroke can be. There is very little official information and I was certainly given to believe that Steve's behaviour was not connected with his stroke and would improve. Mind you I was also assured that there was lots of help available and there isn't. What help is available is hedged about be all sorts of criteria that we  don't fit. I have to say that the Stroke Association Club have been absolutely fantastic and someone there is always happy to listen to me whinging on.

If, by blogging I can make someone else feel less alone, make them understand that these are common symptoms affecting stroke survivor's, then I shall be happy.

Helen, we weren't in Newbury, so it wasn't our boat but Newbury is a lovely place.

Twiggymoon in some ways it would be good for Steve to return to work but he isn't well enough to do the job. He has a meeting with HR in June to discuss his exit strategy. He has another 4 months on half pay sick pay, I assume they'd like to stop paying it.
I can understand this but it wouldn't be fair.
There has been a suggestion from the medical team that he should look for a part time office job but it's not what he's used to and I cannot see anyone being keen to employ him at his age.

I'm sorry not to mention each of you by name but your comments and support are heart-warming and greatly appreciated. 

Today we moved to the marina, we are going away this weekend and we don't want to leave the boat unattended on the cut. Beano and I walked 5 miles in 74deg heat, but he was game and trotted beside me happily. We did it as 3 separate walks and he had access to fresh water regularly.

I cooked chilli this evening, I put some of the mince aside for Beano after it was browned and before I added any flavourings, he had this with some brown rice and some of his James Wellbeloved food. He is fast asleep on the sofa and has been for some time.

Just to end on a more normal, for me, note. Whilst I was opening one of the bridges, I was shouted at by an irate dog owner, it seems it was my fault that she needed to cross the bridge immediately as she couldn't control her dog. My dog was standing patiently beside me. I thought of many intelligent and articulate replies whilst she stood the other side of the canal ranting at me.
But I waited until I'd closed the bridge, she had crossed it and was eyeball to eyeball and replied with two words, the second one was OFF.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

I miss you

I was talking to someone at stroke club, her husband died seven years ago and she said she still misses him every day.

I miss my husband too.

I miss the way you used to sit beside me on the sofa, now you sit at the breakfast bar on a bar stool.

I miss the way we used to make each other laugh.

I miss you kissing me hello and goodbye.

I miss you copping a feel every time you walk past me.

I miss the way you used to read things out loud that made you laugh.

I miss just being able to have a conversation with you, every conversation now turns into a row as you find everything so confusing.

I miss you giving me a hug.

I miss sex, all you want now is a 68.

I miss your godawful jokes that you'd told me a hundred times before and I still laughed.

I miss you nudging me to point out a pair of sexy shoes, you always had a thing for stilettoes.

I miss the way you trusted me with money and never questioned what I'd spent it on. Now you question every Amazon purchase and get annoyed when I can't remember, even though the reason I can't remember is because it's something you have bought.

I miss the way you were never suspicious if there was a number you didn't recognise in my phone. It broke my heart today when you found that postcode written on a scrap of paper and started to interrogate me about it, you didn't recognise it even though it was the post code for your best friends new address.

I miss the way you used to hug me if I cried. I've never been much of a crier but now you shout at me and ask what I've got to cry about as you are the one who had a stroke. I've only cried twice since October.

I even miss the way you used to hump me if I was bent over.

Most of all I miss the way you used to love me.

Thank you for all your comments, if I do stop blogging, it won't be because of some nasty comments on my blog.
Cumbrian, I assume making nasty comments is the trolls idea of fun
It could be someone from my past but I'm sure there is more than one troll commenting .
Wanda, that's funny.

I am irritated by the comments but not seriously bothered, if I was I'd block all anonymous comments, but lots of anonymous commenters are nice people with nice things to say.

I'm also of the opinion that whilst the trolls are entertaining themselves on my blog they are leaving some other poor bugger alone.

My life has been full of ups and downs and still is, I'm dealing with other family matters that I cannot post about as well as dealing with the fall out from Steve's stroke. Over the years I've dealt with shit that would make you hair curl. I will survive!

I wish I was Anonymous

I could have the most perfect life.

I wouldn't have made the mistake of marrying a man who 20 years later would go on to have a stroke.

I wouldn't have made the mistake of following a dream of living on a boat surrounded by nature.

I wouldn't have left a difficult marriage to find some happiness.

I wouldn't have given a rescue dog a loving home.

If I was Anonymous I could be some boring old fart, sorry, sanctimonious twat, who has so little going on in my life that I feel the need to criticise everyone else who has a life.

I suppose it's jealousy which is horrible, it eats people up inside but the only cure is to get out there, grab life by the balls and wring some joy out of it. Sitting at home, brooding on the unfairness of life and criticising others will just make things worse.

Yes I moan and whinge on my blog, it's my blog, I'm allowed to. Sometimes my sense of humour isn't understood, I'm sarcastic, acerbic and vicious at times. But if you don't like or understand it then feel free to move along to another blog. I can recommend a few where life is picture perfect and no one ever makes a mistake.

There are parts of my life that are full of joy, but if I wrote about my sex life I'd get arrested.

Tuesday 21 May 2019

For you, I'll make an exception

As a boater and a dog owner I try to ensure my dog doesn't piddle on another boater's ropes.

This isn't easy as dogs do like to piddle on anything sticking up.

Yesterday a couple of Hooray Henry's went hurtling past in their motor launches.

We could hear the cries of 'Slow Down' as they approached.

They were only going to the nearby pub but by the time the had imbibed a skinful each they decided to stay overnight just a short distance from us.

As Beano and I enjoyed our morning constitutional he was overcome by the urge to piddle on their ropes.

I let him!

Monday 20 May 2019

Is it or isn't it

The measles that is, one of my DGD's was recently diagnosed with the measles, I assumed she'd not been vaccinated though I found out later that she had.

DD rang to tell me and I was able to reassure her that she had been vaccinated as had her siblings. DD's husband has no idea if he was vaccinated and his parents don't know either so he was vaccinated as a precaution. 

About ten days after DGD was diagnosed DGS went down with the same illness. 

Today DD phoned to tell me she has the measles, according to the Dr about 3% of people who have been vaccinated will go on to catch the measles. I haven't been vaccinated, I had measles when I was a child. 

I now have a blocked nose, a sore throat and a temperature and have had for a few days. I'm keeping a very close eye out for a rash.


Steve's not well today, he's gone to bed to rest.

He got very confused a couple of times, not able to remember where my daughter lived etc.

Usually if he's like this in the morning we stay home, apart from maybe a short walk.

Today though we had arranged to take his friend out for lunch and didn't want to let him down. 

Steve coped but was bad tempered all day. 

When we got to the pub I left the men in the garden trying to choose a table whilst I went inside to order some drinks and collect the menu. At some point Beano slipped out of his harness, got away from the men and ran across the garden, fortunately he ran straight into the pub and straight to me.

Sunday 19 May 2019


I decided this afternoon to sit and watch TV for a while, I'd done the housework, walked the dog twice and prepped the evening meal.

I settled down in front of a program about Roger Moore, it was about 20 minutes into the program and a huge boat hove into. view. It was designed as a sea going vessel and even travelling against the current it was traveling far too fast.

We, along with other boaters moored along this stretch of bank all remonstrated with him but he carried on either unable or unwilling to slow down.

We didn't become unpinned as we have a spring line, this stretch of river runs very fast even at the best of times. But our boat moved along about 15 feet, as it did so I lost the satellite signal and the TV screen had just a message on announcing the loss of signal. CHS had to make a grab for the gangplank and I shouted a few choice epithets out the window.

Eventually the boat drifted back to it's original position, we re-positioned the gangplank, reset the satellite position and peace reigned once more.

Saturday 18 May 2019

There is a reason

Why we got a dog.
CHS has developed a penguin like waddle since his stroke but I noticed when he walked DD1's dog he walked normally.
Having a dog of our own means he walks regularly as he takes the dog out, he also walk properly and doesn't waddle, the more he walks properly the better it is for him.

Friday 17 May 2019

Our new crew member

We've spend the last couple of weeks visiting an animal rescue centre, they had a lovely JRT cross who needed a new home.  He was dirty, skinny and scared when we first met him, but look at him now! Wednesday was his first day with us and within a couple of hours he was asleep in the sunshine on the back deck.
 Today was his first boat trip, we fitted his lifejacket and put his bed under the tiller, within a very short time he knew he had to go in his bed when the boat was moving.

He is actually asleep in both these photo's, in fact sleeping is his favourite hobby!
He prefers to sleep on his back with his feet in the air.

Nothing is known about his history but he is good with people, children and other dogs. 
He rarely barks but cries if he is left alone.
He must have been someone's pet as he is housetrained, walks nicely on his lead and recognised the sound of the fridge door opening as soon as he arrived.

Made it

We made it, and we managed to moor up before it started to rain.

We will move on tomorrow and wind ( turn around ) and moor up back where we are tonight but faces my the other way. 

We will stay here a few days, but that way we will be facing the right way as we want to moor in the marina next weekend. We are hoping to go to the Crick Boat Show and the boat would be safer in the marina.

Thursday 16 May 2019

Moving day tomorrow.

We want to move tomorrow so hopefully it won't be raining or if it is, then not too hard.

I'm not sure how far we will go, CHS has big plans but if he gets tired I'll call a halt, we can stop overnight and move again the next day.

We may stop on an overnight mooring and then move on to a 14 day mooring afterwards. It's easier to moor in some places in the bigger boat as we have a shallower draft but it does depend on the width of the canal.

We aren't having to drive so often this week so it's been a little easier. On Monday I drove 112 miles, not that far, but due to road closures, diversions and road works it took me almost six hours.

Wednesday 15 May 2019


I sometimes get asked if there is anything I miss about living in a house.
Ceanothus is the answer. I had a huge one in the back garden, it was beautiful and I miss it.


Hetty I will try soda bread next time.

Wendy T I have a problem with part baked baguettes, CHS loves them and will go through my entire stock a soon as I buy them.

Anon yes please, I'd love the recipe.

Jeannemarie and Susan I'm glad you like my blog

Chris, it was delicious

Twiggymoon, yep I want one too, I don't have room for a breadmaker or a food mixer.

Pat, me too.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Today I've been on the verge

Once something sets me off I just can't stop.
Firstly Kate and Col's comments made me laugh.
When we took CHS's friend out for lunch CHS was doing his familiar penguin waddle that he has adopted since his stroke and his friend, who occasionally has a dig about me being five years older than CHS, was hobbling along because of the pins in his back. I told them both that it was like being with a couple of geriatrics. This made the friend laugh which caused him even more pain which made me laugh.

After this I read something that someone had written about some staff training that included a gingerbread man, this made me  laugh so much I cried.

After all this the slightest thing set me off.

Sue, thank you, dgd is ok, she has croup, t'other grandma diagnosed whooping cough and scared the bejesus out of everyone. DD spoke to her GP who recommended a trip to A&E, t'other grandma suddenly decided she was too busy to help! I'm no expert but my oldest son was born prem and at that time the whooping cough vaccine was not given before the age of three years old. He caught whooping cough at 22 months, I well remember the distinctive whooping noise. He and another of my kids also regularly developed croup, so I can tell the difference.

Last but not least, I've never watched an episode of Jeremy Kyle, I don't approve of cruelty to animals and the show always seemed to me to be like bear baiting.


So if I didn't live on a boat I wouldn't have fallen down stairs 25 years ago?

Thank you for all the comments about bread and breadmaking.

I will answer them later. I'm currently recovering from a three hour stint in A&E supporting a family member.

Monday 13 May 2019

Mothers pride, it ain't

It is our desired intent to cruise further when CHS retires. Up until now we have been bridge hopping, mooring near a bridge so we can keep the car parked nearby so CHS can get to work.

To this end we have been working on plans to make this possible. We've had huge solar panels fitted that will run the freezer and the washing machine.
We have looked into buying water butts so we don't need to fill up so often and an elsan so the black water tank doesn't need emptying so often.

CHS has accepted the need for long life milk so the only problem left was bread.

My beloved found a YouTube video some months ago about making no knead bread on a narrowboat.
He has mithered on for months about me making said bread, I've made bread before by hand but needed a no knead loaf to save my joints. And no there is no way CHS would do the kneading, he hates anything sticky. (Stop tittering at the back there).

Anyway I finally succumbed to his ceaseless wittering and made a loaf. It looks ok smells great but I know it was a waste of time.
CHS's taste in bread runs towards soft and squishy with a soft crust. Nothing like the loaf I've made at all. Mothers Pride it ain't! Still the ducks and I will enjoy it.

Sunday 12 May 2019

Another tale of stupid

A boater had a problem earlier in the week, they needed to fill up with water but someone was already on the water point, so they moored against the bank nearby.

After a while the boaters mobile phone rang, it was the C&RT, they had received a complaint from an irate lady saying the boat was moored on private land and must be moved immediately.

The boater explained where they were moored and why and C&RT agreed they were not on private land and could moor there for 14 days.

This information was obviously forwarded on the the complainant who I shortly afterwards marched up to the boat and demanded it be moved. It seems the lady had bought her house over the winter period because liked to look at the canal. She had not been warned by her estate agent that there were boats using the canal and that they would be mooring within sight of her garden.

Saturday 11 May 2019

Ouch, ouch, ouch

My right shoulder is giving my gip. It's always a bit stiff and I have limited movement in it. It doesn't hurt all the time and this can be part of the problem as I often forget it's limitations and move it unwisely. Then boy do I know it, the pain makes me feel sick.

The damage was caused about 25 years ago, the night before my mother's funeral. I fell downstairs and landed awkwardly.

I didn't sleep that night but sat up in a chair dosed up on painkillers, I got through the funeral the same way.

I've been driving for a couple of hours every day for the last ten days, hospital visits and other stuff, much more than I usually drive and so my shoulder is complaining. Driving makes me tense especially with my backseat driver panicking beside me and the more tense I get the more painful my shoulder gets.

I try to avoid painkillers and usually settle for a small gin with lots of tonic, it takes the edge off the pain and more to the point it relaxes the muscles so it's a win win situation.  I may need a new bottle of gin soon but as the one I'm drinking has lasted 18 months I don't think it's a problem.


Kelley I love the Vera series, I think Brenda Blethyn is brilliant.

I was talking to a stroke club volunteer who is a Geordie.

She says the only fault she has with it is that Vera introduces herself as Vera Stanhope, whereas a Geordie would pronounce it Stannup.

We decided that Vera pronounces her name as Stanhope so the rest of us know what her name is.

Friday 10 May 2019

The Dressmaker

There are a lot of prerecorded programs left on the satellite box on the boat.

Yesterday I watched an Australian film called The Dressmaker which I really enjoyed.

Today I'm watching Lucy, which is a bit more bloodthirsty.

It's years since I've watched any films, we don't go to the cinema and only ever had the most basic freesat so these films are a real treat.

No shit Sherlock!

So I'm thoughtless for not realising that someone who has had a stroke could have dementia like symptoms!

Realise it? What the fuck do you think I'm living with 24/7.

It might get better, it might get worse, it might stay the same, nobody knows.

Yesterday we visited an old friend who is in hospital after a crash.

This friend is the least empathetic person I have ever met and he acknowledges this.

During the visit CHS went to the toilet, his friend looked at me and said ' How the fuck do you cope?'.

It says it all if even he can see a problem.

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Say that again

Someone at stroke club asked me recently when my beloved would be able to start driving again after his stroke.

I explained that he gave up driving over 30 years ago after an industrial accident.

One of the volunteers joined the conversation to explain that her husband didn't drive because is 6 ft 4, she told us it was illegal for him to drive at his height.

I nodded and smiled politely, at the same time wondering what planet she's from.

I had a lodger who was 6 ft 7 and he certainly drove a car.

Tuesday 7 May 2019

The joys of married life

You know that thing, it's early in the morning.
The weather outside is dismal.
You are snuggled up in bed.
Suddenly your husband gives you a nudge.
' Look at this' he says.
You turn towards him, full of anticipation.
Only to find he's waving his mobile phone around.
There is a dongle connected to the controller for the solar panels.
He proceeds to give you chapter and verse on how many amps the panels are putting in compared to how many are  being used!

Monday 6 May 2019

Non, je ne regrette rien

There seems to be a misunderstanding here.
We could afford a one bedroom flat in Reading.
Why on earth would I live in a flat with the same view out of the window every day.

On the boat, this is what I see.

I wasn't complaining about my life, I was complaining about the dickheads who were upset by my sense of humour.

I don't sleep well, I think it's an age thing, so I'm knackered, so are a lot of other people.

If you don't like my humour, don't read my blog.

Col, you made my laugh.

In other news, moving day went well, there was very little wind, I walked between some locks and travelled on the boat between others. CHS was knackered by the time we moored up so I persuaded him to stay onboard and watch the beef joint cook whilst I walked back for the car. I walked three miles in total, it would have been better with a dog, but it was a lovely walk. 

Today I made 30 portions of chocolate sponge ready for Stroke Club tomorrow.

Also my blog will be changing soon, possibly in July, more on this later.

Saturday 4 May 2019

Thank you

For all your supportive comments.

Allegra, I hope things improve for you soon

There is something else rumbling along underneath that I cannot write about because there are legal issues involved.

Moving day tomorrow, weather permitting, we can move in the cold and rain though it isn't pleasant but if the wind is blowing it makes moving very challenging.

Heaven forbid

That I should find something amusing.

Let's face it my life is so easy and enjoyable.

This week a relative has received a cancer diagnosis.

An old friend has been involved in a bad crash and is still in hospital.

Another friend has been medically retired as his ankles have crumbled.

My ex tenant is still not happy with her new landlord.

I'm trying to support a neighbour who may become homeless soon through no fault of her own.

I'm short on sleep and still dealing with the ongoing health problems CHS is dealing with, he is still waiting for an appointment that was promised five months ago.

Thursday 2 May 2019

More training needed

My grandson is 15, he had a supply teacher in class today, while she handed out pens, he kindly wrote on the whiteboard how many pens she'd giving out, 15... he wrote pen15 (penis) on the board and she thanked him! 

He then realised that on the back of the worksheet, there was a QR code, which took him to a PDF with the answers on... Seriously, had she not taught teenagers before

Wednesday 1 May 2019

We have power

The solar panels are on and working.

It's taken almost 2 days but they are worth it, I can run my washing machine when we are on the cut.

Trouble at the big house!

Not long after we moved here we had a visit from a man, Mike, who worked for the housing association. He was condescending and patronising a...