Sunday 30 June 2019

Random Wittering

Yesterday we went to a BBQ, we wanted to say goodbye to some fellow boaters who have decided to move back to dry land.
Unfortunately for me it was a hog roast and not a BBQ, I don't eat pork, still the coleslaw was lovely. Steve enjoyed himself socialising with all the people. I walked the dog around the grounds so I was able to avoid talking to people.

It was 33 degrees here yesterday, far too hot for comfort I made sure Beano had plenty of water and kept him in the shade as much as possible. The evening was worse as Steve is very security conscious and will insist on locking all the doors, window's and hatches as though we were in the middle on an inner city ghetto, rather than in the middle of nowhere. Eventually words were had and he relented.

We moved today, just over a mile so only a two mile walk for Beano and I.

I locked Steve through the first lock and then walked to the car, the plan was to move the car to our final destination for the day and then walk back along the towpath towards Steve ready to open the bridge for him.

Beano had other ideas, we've never left Steve when the boat is moving, we usually walk the towpath. We got as far as the road and Beano lay down and refused to move.

Fortunately he is only a small dog so I carried him to the car. Once the car was parked and we were on the towpath again Beano trotted along happily enough. He's quite bright so I'm hopeful that next time he will come to the car willingly and not need carrying.

I usually cook a roast dinner on Sunday but I quick check of the fridge shows that a few things need using up so I'm doing spicy chicken pieces with bacon rashers, sauteed potatoes and garlic bread. That will empty the fridge ready for next time we go shopping, probably on Wednesday.

Saturday 29 June 2019


My youngest dgd had a taster morning at school on Thursday.

She stomped out at lunch time and she was livid.

DD asked her what the problem was.

It seems she wanted to stay all day and she hadn't been given any homework!

Friday 28 June 2019

Thank you

Thank you for all the advice, I have emailed the surgery with my concerns.

I have requested that both mine and Steve's records are marked Hearing Impaired.

I have explained how difficult the system is to use as I cannot hear to use the phone and the reception area is too noisy for me to hear clearly.

I have also explained the situation with regards Steve's ID.

I have said that I believe the system to be discriminatory.

I now await a reply.

Thursday 27 June 2019

At the end of my tether

I went to the Dr's today to collect hearing aid batteries and another prescription for Steve.

Whilst there I enquired about the outstanding telephone appointment with regards  my hearing aids.

It seems the system has changed, nice of them to tell me!

I now have to phone the surgery every morning at 8am to enquire as to whether or not there is an appointment available.

I really struggled at the reception desk to hear what was being said as there were three receptionists all talking at once.

I'm really going to struggle to phone at 8am as that is a busy part of my day.

I'm also really going to struggle to make the call as I cannot hear to use my phone even on hands free.

A face to face appointment might be a little easier but as my hearing isn't deemed to be a priority I can't have a face to face appointment.

An online system is being introduced, the receptionist didn't have the courtesy to tell me this. I had to go and look for it. I have registered to use this but it's not working correctly yet and when it is I have to take in my driving licence as proof of ID. 
Steve cannot register for this as he has no driving licence or passport.
I'd quite like to sit down and howl.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Vegan Market

There was a vegan market in Newbury last weekend, I went with DD1 and her family.

I bought two pies, one lentil and one curry, I shared them with my granddaughter.

I also bought two bars of soap, I love nice soap.

My dgd who is five walked around the market with me and when she was tired we sat on a bench and had a drink.

At one point she turned to me and asked 
'When mummy was a little girl, did she sleep in had own bed all night?'

I immediately replied 'Not until she was 15, so you've got a few years before you need to worry.'

I know that dgd is a very light sleeper as was DD1 and I know she often wanders into mum and dad's bed.

I also know that dgd worries because her twin brother rarely get into mum and dad's bed, she worries that this makes her 'naughty' despite reassurance from mummy and daddy.

She giggled at my reply and shared it with DD1 when we met up again, hopefully I have added a little comfort and reassurance to her world.

It worked

I finally managed to get two tee shirts from a local charity shop. One navy and one pink.
I have sewn them to the skirts I bought earlier in the year.
The navy tee I attached to the skirt that is navy, bottle green and burgundy. The pink tee I sewed to the skirt that has a lot of pink in it.

No pics I'm afraid as the dresses look terrible on a hanger but they are comfortable and I don't have to worry about them coming adrift when I working a lock.

To answer a couple of comments.

Beano has a life jacket so even if he's off the lead he is still safe.

I eat a good diet, I hate sweet potatoes and just seem to need the extra boost a banana gives me.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Doing the the dog walk shuffle

Get a dog, they said it will be good for you.
Just think of all the walking you will do.

I used to walk every day anyway, I'd choose a place and walk there at speed. Then I'd turn around and walk back slower.

Until Beano was safe to be let off the lead my walks with him were stop start stop start with frequent sidesteps to avoid him when he found something interesting to sniff.

Now he can walk off the lead I can walk at my speed though I sometimes stop dead when he starts to gallop around me as he occasionally misjudges his aim and annoyingly me.

Saturday 22 June 2019

Moving day

We've moved, we were at Woolhampton for a few days, now we are at Midgham.
Just to be really confusing, the railway station at Woolhampton is called Midgham station. The name was changed because people were confusing Woolhampton with Wolverhampton.

We traveled just under two miles, Beano and I walked the towpath opening the bridges and locks until we chose a mooring place. Once securely moored we had lunch, egg sandwiches, and then we all walked back to get the car.

We had two sets of visitors, first just after we'd moored, a couple stopped to talk about the boat, so we invited them in to have a look around.
Then when we walked back to get the car we bumped into someone we know from the marina, they were traveling on their boat, we got back in our car before they reached our mooring spot, when they arrived they moored up and came for a look around.

Friday 21 June 2019

Beano wants a kiss goodnight

If I make a fuss of another dog Beano pushes in to make sure I don't forget him. 

He wriggles between us if Steve and I have a cuddle.

Steve has been having a few better days lately and so always kisses me goodnight when he goes to bed.

When he does this Beano leaps up from a prone position and rushes over.

The first couple of times I was a little concerned that his jealousy would make him snap. I have a friend who's dog won't let her and her husband kiss. I needn't have worried, he just wants a kiss goodnight too.

He's out of luck, neither Steve or I would kiss him, but he does get a stroke and a cuddle.

Thursday 20 June 2019

A small improvement

I've been feeling a bit wiped out for the last few weeks, nothing specific, just lacking oomph.

I've not eaten any bananas for a while as the ones in the shops are all over ripe.

I did find a drink n Sainsburys, a sport drink mainly sugar and magnesium so I bought some.

A bottle does make me feel better but I really don't need that much sugar every day so I've been drinking one a week.

Let's hope the banana stock improves soon.

I'm still rushing around helping my DD's as they are both having car problems, hopefully that will improve soon.

DD1 treated me to lunch today, I drove her to collect some stuff she needs for this weekend and we stopped at Saddleback Farm Shop and Cafe. We had a sandwich and a slice of cake each.

There are friendly horses in the field next door, a large sandpit for the children and free range chickens wandering about.

Beano wasn't sure about the chickens and kept his distance.

Wednesday 19 June 2019

No Fishing updated

There is a fishing competition just along from us and Beano does not approve!

To be fair, it's not the fishermen he doesn't like, it's the big rattling trolleys that he is scared of. So he barks at them.

Beano also doesn't like cats who peer through the boat windows at him. Especially when said cat sits and cleans its bits in front of Beano as Beano's bits have been removed!

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Taking advice

I took Pat's advice and investigated the Hotter shoes called Misty.

The first ones I found were £98 a pair.

I shopped around and found them for £38, to be honest I'd have paid full price just to have dry feet.

Here they are, already wet from walking Beano this afternoon.

Monday 17 June 2019

Confusing much?

We moved the boat this morning and we will move again on Thursday weather permitting.

There is no satellite signal here, too many trees in the way, but it's not a problem as I recorded lots of programs whilst we were in the marina.

I mainly record Lewis, Midsomer Murders, Vera, Long Lost Family and a few films. I forgot to record Gentleman Jack, but I'm sure it will be repeated.

This evening I wanted something to watch whilst I knitted, I played an episode of Lewis and then after our evening meal I played an episode of Midsomer Murders. I was totally confused for a  few moments when Rebecca Front appeared on screen and I wondered if I'd pressed play on the wrong program but no, Rebecca Front who plays Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent in Lewis plays a vicar in an episode of Midsummer Murders.

I'm actually very excited about my knitting, it has holes in it and THEY ARE MEANT TO BE THERE, I'm not saying all the holes are in the right place but most of them are. Usually any holes in my knitting are accidental!

Sunday 16 June 2019

Gotta love an expert.

We have a local chap who is an expert, in everything. It doesn't matter if it's a boat, house, car or pet, he's had one bigger, better and can tell you everything you need to know from stripping it down to its component parts to making it run better and faster.

Yesterday he came over for a chat about Beano as he is an expert on JRT's too. As Beano has black skin under his white fur, the expert tells me this means he is a gypsy Jack and has been used  by travelers in a puppy farm. 

The expert has a dog of his own, a big dog, it is completely untrained, mad as a box of frogs, lovely with people as long as you don't mind him jumping up, but not so good with other dogs.

He took his dog to the vet to see what could be done to calm the dog down and was advised to take his dog out more to burn off some of its energy, so he takes it for a two hour drive every day. Now I'm damn sure when he was told to take the dog out more the vet meant take it for a walk, not a drive in the car!

He claims he can't walk the dog because it pulls, well it will, it's absolutely bursting with energy.

I walked Beano for an hour yesterday, not particularly fast but at a good pace, he is still knackered today so he's only had three short walks.

Saturday 15 June 2019

Happy to help

I'm always happy to help people when I can, especially family. Babysitting, giving lifts etc. One of my DD's is on my car insurance, this means she can drive my car legally if I need to go somewhere I'm not confident driving to. Also she can borrow my car if hers is off the road. All the family try to muck in and help each other.

This morning DS2 put my car through its MOT, it passed thankfully. DS2 met Beano for the first time and is now besotted with him.

This afternoon I received a call from DD2, she does stand up comedy and has a gig coming up next week. She phoned me for help, she had a vague memory of something that had happened with a lodger I'd once had, she was an OTT, Overseas Trained Teacher. DD could remember the story and wanted to use it in her next stand-up routine. She phoned to check the details and name of the lodger. I blogged about her and always referred to her as Katy. DD wanted to know her real name to ensure she used a different one.

For those who don't know the story, the lodger used my pc, with my permission, supposedly to produce her lesson plans and to chat to her family and friends back home. In reality she took naked pictures of her sticky bits to send via the internet. She left said pics on the desktop, where Steve found them!

She pulled a few more stunts in this vein which caused us great hilarity and DD wanted to use them in her stand-up routine, I'm happy for her to do this and she in turn will ensure she doesn't use the lodger real name.

Thursday 13 June 2019


DD1's car is in the garage being repaired.

DD2's car is being used by her husband as he's away for the weekend.

DD1 is caring for DD2's children on Saturday whilst DD2 is at work.

I'm being a taxi service for a few days, doing school runs and delivering the children hither and thither.

Wednesday 12 June 2019

I don't usually mind but

The amount of rain we are getting is ridiculous.

I don't have a single pair of dry shoes left.

Beano looks permanently windswept as his coat goes wild when he gets wet.

The water levels in the marina are up and down like a bride's nighty on her wedding night.

Some of the puddles on the marina are so big the ducks are swimming on them.

The stove is lit permanently.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Mind the gap.

We've had very heavy rain here for the last few days and the water level in the marina has been very high.

This means we have to be very careful when stepping of the deck onto the jetty as it can be a very big step, it's second nature to check before stepping off now.

Sometimes the local mill will open their slices and then the levels will drop dramatically. Fortunately as we are still in the marina we don't run aground or end up listing badly like we do on the cut.

We have to remember to tie up with slack ropes as if the ropes are too tight that can cause listing.

Monday 10 June 2019

The right time

I went to help DD1 this morning, she had to take the twins to the Dr's and its easier with two of us.

On the way home I stopped at the local co-op to buy a lemon, there were a lot of reductions so I bought a few bits.

I bought grapes, mushrooms, leeks, fresh noodles, coleslaw and mini scotch eggs and an iceberg lettuce.

The coleslaw, lettuce and scotch eggs did us for lunch with some tomato from my fridge.

I made a stir-fry with the noodles, some chopped leek, mushrooms and a small piece of peppered steak from the freezer..

Tomorrow I'll make leek and potato soup and a small loaf.

I'll freeze any leftover leek and add it to some chicken and make a pie, I'll also slice and freeze the rest of the mushrooms.

The grapes I will eat over the next few days.

A pair of deaf old buggers

Steve and I both have hearing problems, Steve's are made worse by his refusal to wear his hearing aids unless he is going out.

We both need a referral to the hearing unit.

Steve received a letter in February saying an appointment would be made for him, so I chased it up today as the letter had been filed without an appointment being made.

I have enquired about the telephone appointment I am expecting but was told that at my age I'm not a priority!

Saturday 8 June 2019

Another personality change

Not Steve this time but Beano.

When we first got Beano he went loopy whenever anyone made a fuss of him. He was a complete tart and would go to anyone.

He is now not so friendly, he's not nasty, he's happy to let anyone fuss him but he no longer tries to make friends with every passing stranger.

Maybe he's getting enough attention from Steve and I.

He still shows very few traditional terrier traits, he does have selective deafness when he finds an interesting smell but he doesn't chase ducks or cats.
Mind you, a couple of nights ago I took him out after dark for his last wee of the night, as I stepped off the boat I swapped hands with the lead so didn't have a firm grip on it, he took off like a bat out of hell wrench the lead out of my hand. He was after something though I've no idea what. I assume it was a rabbit as there are hundreds on the marina. He stopped when I called and did return, albeit a bit reluctantly.

Last night he was very funny, again, I was taking him out last thing, it was absolutely hissing down. I stepped off the boat on to the jetty and he looked at me as if to say
 ' You must be fecking joking'.
I persuaded him to step off the boat on to the jetty and from there on to the grass. He was still glaring at me and once on the grass he came to a halt.
Eventually I told him that he couldn't go back to the boat until he'd done a wee.
So, still glaring at me he lifted one hind leg a bare half inch of the ground, wee'd and then stomped back on to the boat.

Friday 7 June 2019

Splashing the cash

It's been pertiddiling down most of the day. We had one dry sunny spell and we took Beano out for a walk. He's not keen on rain, he tends to do the necessary and then head back to the boat.

I left him with Steve this morning and headed to the nearest supermarket. I was in dire need of slippers ever since Beano crapped in mine.

I bought two pairs, a fluffy lined pair for cold days and a pair of mules. Hopefully wearing them will stop me treading grass throughout the boat.

I also stocked up on my favourite decaf tea bags, I'll happily use own brands of most things but I only really like Yorkshire tea bags and Aldi and the smaller shops tend not to stock them. I bought six boxes and they are stashed in my wardrobe.

Beano managed to jump up onto a bar stool so he could look out the back window and watch for my car arriving in the car park.

Please engage brain.

Before opening mouth.

We are back in the marina getting our toilet fixed. Beano and I walked 3 miles, he was off the lead for about half the distance. His recall is getting better.

For some time now Steve has been saying how good it will be when he can be let off the boat when he needs the toilet instead of me having to put shoes and coat on and take him out.

Yesterday Steve's friend visited, they had a long conversation about Beano going off the boat on his own.

I let them waffle on for a while and then said 'All we need to do is train him to use a poo bag and it will be fine'.

Thursday 6 June 2019

Swan wars

There is still a very aggressive swan on the canal.

Yesterday there was a swan wandering along the road holding up all the traffic.

Eventually a brave motorist got out of his car and captured the wandering swan in what looked like a very practised manner.

He then walked across the bridge on to the canal bank  above the lock and released the swan.

Unfortunately this swan was from beneath the lock!

There was a brief stand off, some hissing and some posturing, then the interloper flew over the lock gates and back to his particular stretch of river.

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Limited dog walking

Not the length of the walk, just the direction.

There is a very large and aggressive swan just along from where we are moored,.

Probably guarding a nest.

Discretion being the better part of valour, we walk in the other direction.

Monday 3 June 2019

I've got mine

My copy of Tin Can Cook by Jack Monroe.

I know, she is a bit marmite, people seem to love her or hate her, but I thought that her book would come in useful.

I have a cupboard full of tins, useful when living on a boat. But some new ideas of what to do with said tins are always appreciated.

Another one

I've written before about how I love spotting funny trade names written on vans.

In this area we have Drain and Able, Jac in the Locks and Pain in the Glass.

I recently saw a landscape gardener called Life on the Hedge and today one called Back to the Fuschia.

Silly I know but they always make me chuckle.

For Pat

Feel free to moan as much as you want Pat, it's a long, hard grind, being a carer.

I frequently wanted to brain the people who insisted there was help out there I just needed to look harder.

Also those who told me I should make some time for me. 

When? When exactly was there time for me when Steve was too scared to be left alone for more than a few minutes.

Take care Pat and have a moan any time you want.

Sunday 2 June 2019

It's THAT time of year again

It's willow fluff time, the canal is full of it, great swathes of it, it's filling the boat and drifts of it lift as you walk along the towpath. Time to crack out the antihistamines I think.

Update for Readlisten.

No I didn't walk away with even half of what I was entitled to. He got the house, business, pension and savings, in total worth £900k, I was awarded £150k and it took best part of a year to get that.

When asked why I'd not been paid when I worked in the business he claimed I'd worked as a prostitute so had money of my own. The judge then told him he would be reported for living on immoral earnings if he continued in that vein.

The divorce hearing was a hoot, my ex threw his briefcase at his barrister and I had an escort to my car as he was lying in wait.

He is still in the marital home and has remarried, his wife has her own money as she was a widow.

His mother is in a nursing home, she's in her 90's.
He doesn't visit her.

I expect his mother was the same with his 2nd wife as I know she tried to cause problems between her siblings and their spouses.

Saturday 1 June 2019

Three weeks and counting

Last time I was at the hospital with Steve I went to the hearing unit, I asked about an upgrade for my hearing aids, I'd like to be able to watch TV without subtitles as I struggle to read them. My close vision is crap though my distance vision is still ok.

I was told I had to speak to my Dr, so I went to the surgery and asked, I was told I couldn't have a face to face appointment but that the Dr would phone me within a couple of days to discuss my request. This could prove problematic as I struggle to hear on the phone.

I needn't have worried, three weeks on and I've yet to receive the promised phone call!

I've shrunk.

I've always been short, 4'11 in my youth and I've shrunk as I've aged. I met up with my oldest grandson on Thursday, he was ...