Friday 30 August 2019

Peeping Tom

I was walking Beano this morning at about 8 o'clock when he decided to do a poo right beside a neighbouring boat.

Like the responsible dog owner I am, I got out a poo bag and bent down to pick it up.

As I did so someone on the boat opened their curtains, and there I was bent over with my nose about a foot from their bedroom window.

No doubt my picture will be all over Facebook soon with a caption warning people about a geriatric female peeping Tom on the Kennet & Avon.

Thursday 29 August 2019

Towpath haircut

Yesterday the workmen came past to mow and  strim the towpath, the poor buggers can't do anything right. If they get too close to the boats some boaters complain that their boats get covered in grass cuttings. If they stay further away some boaters complain that the job isn't done properly.

The other towpath haircut was Steve, he sat on a chair on the towpath and I got the clippers out, grade four all over, he feels better and looks tidier now.

Wednesday 28 August 2019

A creature of habit.

Steve and Beano are both creatures of habit, any change in routine sends both of them into panic stations.

Last night I wasn't well and spent most of the night on the toilet. Beano kept padding too and fro to see me. When I wasn't in the bathroom I lay on the sofa, I could doze off in a sitting position which was more comfortable, Beano was confused as I wasn't in bed.

Steve was in a panic as DD2 and the dgd's were coming for a boat trip today and he didn't know whether to put them off or not.

I did worry briefly that I may have inadvertently given every one at stroke club food poisoning but Steve is ok and when I recalled what I'd eaten I realised that I'd had something that doesn't agree with me.

So despite feeling as though I'd been run over by a steam roller I got up and walked Beano as the little bugger refuses to walk just with Steve.

Steve was in full on panic mode, counting life jackets, drinks and sausage rolls, dropping a carton of eggs whilst checking the fridge. He kept asking me questions, not waiting for the answer and immediately asking a different question. He was generally being a pain in the arse. His panic was affecting Beano who kept getting off the boat and going to the car park gate. He thinks we are going to leave him on the boat and go somewhere without him.

By the time DD2 and the kids arrived Steve was pacing up and down the boat talking to himself, Beano won't eat his breakfast as he's scared he's going to miss something and I'm ready to brain the paint of them!

Eventually we set off, we were travelling just under a mile to a lock, going through the lock, winding, going back into the lock and then returning to our original mooring place but facing the other way.

We saw lots of moored boats with garden moorings, people growing beans, cabbages and tomatoes amongst other things. There were also swans, geese and lots of dragonflies. The girls particularly enjoyed sitting on the front of the boat and going up and down in the lock. DD2 was surprised how much work was involved in working the lock and said she now knows why I've lost so much weight.

We had a picnic lunch once we'd moored up again. An assortment of finger food as there isn't room for everyone to sit at the breakfast and.

DD2 and the kids had a great time and went home with a carrier bag of food.

All in all a successful trip and Steve and Beano both calmed down once we set off.

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Cooking for 30

Stroke Club today for Steve and my turn to cook for them, Spanish chicken with rice.

It was 93 degrees in the kitchen which
made it hard work but everyone enjoyed the meal so it was worth it.

It can be a challenge to cook for so many as the hall doesn't have an industrial kitchen, just a normal domestic set up. A five ring hob and two oven, neither of which is particularly big. There are a couple of big pans and some really big roasting tins, unfortunately the roasting tins don't fit in the ovens.

We are hoping to wind tomorrow, weather permitting, we are taking DD2 and the dgd with us so they get a little boat trip. It's only a couple of miles and one lock that we will go through twice but it will take a couple of hours and then we will have a picnic lunch.

Sunday 25 August 2019

Doing our bit

When I take Beano out for his morning walk I collect all the rubbish near our boat, next I collect all the abandoned bottles and glasses and put them on a table in the pub garden.

When we take him for a longer walk we walk to Burghfield lock or Southcoat lock, we help lock any boats through. I also pick up all the abandoned poo bags we see on our walk.

It's a shame everyone doesn't do this.

Friday 23 August 2019

The Cunning Man

We are moored near a pub called the Cunning Man. We have had an assortment of neighbours, some stay only a few hours, some stay a few days.

We've had Mystic Waters, Thrupenny bit, Great Britain, Water Lilly and many others. A while ago we saw a boat called Argybargy, yesterday was saw R G Bargee.

We've seen a few people we know from various blogs and vlogs and had a chat and w
e've locked some single handers through the nearest lock.

There is a family of swans nearby mum, dad and seven cygnets, they sail past us twice a day but don't want feeding. 

I couldn't get mum and dad both in the photo as they were too spread out and I was stood on a narrow bridge. There are also Canada geese and Greyling geese upstream a way.
We will be here for another week I think as it's very pleasant.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Composting toilet

We did look at the information about composting toilets by we'd have to bag up the solids and put then in with the normal rubbish so it's not for us.

So what does a five year old want for her birthday?

My dgd who is 5 soon has asked for a unicorn bed for her birthday. 

I asked DD2 how she was going to manage this.

It seems she has bought a 2nd hand bed painted it white and added some unicorn stickers to it. DD has bought a unicorn bed tent and fairy lights. Steve and I will buy unicorn bedding. I will also make some bunting for her bedroom.

Sunday 18 August 2019

Water in, water out.

Whilst we were at Tyle Mill we filled the water tank up as well as emptying the black water and whilst it was filling we ran the washing machine and had a shower.
This way we still ended up with a full tank when we moved off, we are considering buying a spare water tank to make us less reliant on the very sparse facilities.

We shared the facilities with another boat, they'd had visitors staying and the visitors had filled their black water tank and emptied their water tank in three days instead of the usual three weeks.

I think it would do a lot of people good to live on a boat for six months it would give them some perspective on how much of the world's resources they waste.

For example there is limited storage so there is no point constantly buying new clothes or any other piece of must have crap shown by advertisers, as there is nowhere to store it unless you throw away last weeks crap. (See waste disposal below).

Food shopping, everything has to be carried along a rutted towpath and if you buy food with lots of packaging you then have to lug the rubbish to the nearest waste point. These are also few and far between and very few have recycling facilities.

Enjoy a nice long bath?  You will have to fill your tank up every couple of days, which means finding a water point.

If you flush wet wipes and cotton buds then you will end up spending a fortune on having your black water pipes replaced when they get blocked.

Do you like your house lit up like Blackpool Illuminations, lights on in every room even if nobody is in the room? You will need to run your engine for hours and that is noisy and smelly if you are stationary. Of course you could rely on solar, as we do, but this is England and sometimes, like today there is no sun to fill the solar.

I could give many more examples but you get the idea I'm sure.

Whilst typing this Kate Bush came on the radio, allegedly she lives or used to at Tyle Mill.

Saturday 17 August 2019

A shower of shit.

A few weeks ago we bought ourselves a self pump out kit. You can buy cards to enable use of some pump out facilities but the cards can be a bit temperamental. There is nothing worse than a full toilet tank and a card that won't work.

This morning we needed to use the kit for the first time.

We moored up by the Tyle Mill facilities and set the kit up.

Unfortunately the hose was a couple of inches short so instead of the hose fitting into the elsan point the best I could do was to hang on for grim death and point it in the general direction. Gallons and gallons of macerated shit pumped out of the hose at high speed. It hit the stainless steel surface and splattered everywhere. By the time the tank was emptied I was generously splattered in shit.

But at least we know the kit works, Steve is complaining that his back aches from all the pumping and he says he'll man the hose next time. I bet he'll change his mind after a short time.

Friday 16 August 2019

Wednesday 14 August 2019


An update about Beano.

He is still doing well, he has put on weight and gets lots of exercise.

We bought him a dog tag with our phone numbers on, top of the range, solid brass. It was so heavy Beano started to look like Quasimodo. So off it came, we will buy him a lightweight one instead.

He's had a couple of frights  lately, first a couple on a tandem riding along the towpath at dusk with the biggest, brightest headlight I've ever seen on a bike.
This morning he was frightened by a chap using a garden parasol as an umbrella, he was struggling to hold it and was weaving about. I always put Beano on the lead if he looks nervous, not because he will attack, but because he will run away and I worry he will get lost, usually he runs for the boat but I don't want to take any risks.

Beano still hates the rain and gives me such dirty looks as if the weather is my fault.

He likes to sleep on our bed if he can sneak in.

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Buy no new clothes for a month

There is a lot of talk about not buying fast fashion. People are being encouraged to buy nothing new for a month.

I bought a new bra a few months ago now, before that the last new item I purchased was a dress to attend a family wedding and that was before I retired.

I don't even buy much second hand either, three skirts and two tee shirts are about it.

I do buy new shoes regularly, usually Sketchers or Hotter I'm hard on shoes and need something safe when clambering over the locks.

Friday 9 August 2019

An assortment of neighbours

We are moored in a very popular area and in the week we have been here, a lot of boats have moored nearby, some have moved on with others taking their place.

We have had Granny Spice, Bodger, Foxtrot, Together Forever, Oberon, Twelfth of Never, Lingalonga to name but a few.

One of our neighbours has plants all over her boat, tomato plants, bonsai trees, huge cacti and flowers. I'm hoping to get permission to take some photos when I see her next.

Wednesday 7 August 2019


Some boaters like to colonise the tow path when they moor.
The posh ones set up their recliner chairs, picnic table with parasol, wine cooler, BBQ etc.

Some set up a BBQ and swing ball and maybe some blankets.
These only appear in the summer months.

There are other boaters, full time liveaboard's, they tend to unload wood, a fire pit made from a washing machine drum, a clothes airer, a couple of folding chairs, a pile of bricks and a wheel barrow.

Someone passing our boat asked why all boaters had a wheel barrow on their roof, we don't so I'm not sure she,asked me but I did explain that a wheel barrow was the best way to transport stuff along the towpath because the terrain can be rough.

Sunday 4 August 2019

Pass the lavender

It's that time of year and I've been bitten to buggery.

So I've got the lavender oil out, wiped it around the window openings and anointed the bites with the oil, not on broken skin though as it stings.

I have two bites that instantly blistered and popped, one in my eyebrow and one on my finger where I wrap the yarn round when I'm knitting.

The other bites are just lumpy and itchy but I have so many on one hand I am struggling to bend my fingers.

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 ...