Thursday, 31 December 2020

Happy New Year

I won't stay up to see the New Year in, I never do.


I don't make New Years resolutions either.


Let's hope next year is a better year.

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Wittering on

 I've had two mother's in law, one did her utmost to cause trouble, even to the extent of claiming my first born was not her son's baby. DS1 is the spitting image of his dad but you can imagine the problems her comment caused. My other mother in law was lovely. I've always tried to be a good mother in law, offered help but not interfered.


I'm at a loss with the tier four rules but since I leave the boat only to walk the dog a few times a day and to drive Steve to the shop, weekly, I don't think I'm breaking any rules. I actually don't care, I'll just carry on as I am. I've walked with DD2 and her dog, I've not seen DD1 since before Christmas, and then it was just to collect parcels and drop off gifts on the doorstep. I shall continue this way what ever tier we are in.


We had a pump out this morning, it was cold but not raining and we thought it best to get it done before the marina freezes over.

The water pipes on the marina are frozen but fortunately we have a full tank, we will keep an eye on the situation and top up when the pipes thaw.


Steve has complained that we eat too much chicken, he'd like more variety, I suggested that as he does the shopping he buys something different!


Monday, 28 December 2020

A Christmas past

 I've just been for a legal, socially distanced dog walk with with DD2, Beano and Loulou both had a great time and both got covered in mud.


DD2 and I were reminiscing about Christmas when she was a child. The one she remembers really well is the one where I was working until gone midnight Christmas eve. I was getting a cabling order ready for our installers to fit during the Christmas shutdown and was working 18 hours days.

The installers collected the order just after midnight, I then started to prepare food and wrap gifts. The mother in law was staying as she was a widow, she wouldn't stay with her other son as they were JW and  always had egg and chips on Christmas day.

The other in-laws were due on Boxing day, personally I think sis in law used her religion as an excuse to be lazy as she always put loads of Christmas decorations up and gave gifts. I had cooked turkey, ham, beef and pork, loads of different veg, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets and yorkies I'd made lemon meringue pie and trifle. I'd also made three dozen mince pies. I was working from Boxing day onwards so I'd made loads of food so everyone could help themselves over the next couple of days.

Christmas day started early with the children opening their presents, I'd bought my husband a gift voucher for a flying lesson, he complained that one lesson was pointless, he bought me a box of Dairy Box chocolates. The mother in law complained endlessly because I hadn't made a Christmas cake, I never made one as no one liked it.

I served Christmas lunch from my hot trolley and placed the trifle and lemon meringue pie on the dresser beside the table. 

By now I was feeling sick with exhaustion having not slept at all the night before and from working long hours for the previous week.

We took our seats at the table when the mother in law spotted the trifle and lemon meringue pie. She immediately launched into a complaint about the lack of Christmas pudding. Something else I didn't make as no one liked it.

I stood up, walked to the kitchen, slammed a tinned Christmas pudding down in front of her, I'd bought it specially for her, I turned and went to bed and left everyone to it. 

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas eve

Beano is asleep as we walked five miles this morning.

Steve has taken out his hearing aids out and is watching YouTube at full volume.

I was sewing but my eyes are sore so I've swapped to crochet, I can crochet without looking.

We have no decorations up, no lights twinkling and no gifts to unwrap, Steve hates Christmas with a passion so we tend to ignore it apart from the food.

I've cooked a very small turkey crown and we will have pigs in blankets, cauliflower cheese and roast potatoes tomorrow.

We have three Christmas cards up, one was sent to my DD's address and has teeth marks in it, Albie, DD's dog obviously got to the post first, which makes me smile.

The temperature has dropped and it's very cold out but it's warm enough on the boat.

I hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow and let's hope 2021 is a better year for everyone.

Making something from nothing.

Over the last year I have received items prettily packaged in coloured tissue paper and chiffon bags. I've saved all these and used them to make the granddaughters Christmas gifts look more expensive than they actually were.

I bought some pretty hair slides with unicorns on and some with shiny frills  and pastel pompous on.
I kept the little toiletries from when we stayed in an apartment whilst having the boat blacked.
I made a few small crochet items and some felt decorations.
I saved some bangles from the bag of broken jewellery I bought from the charity shop.

Each item was wrapped in pink, lilac and peach tissue paper and then in a aww chiffon bag. Each bag had a small sweet in it as well.

I hope the girls enjoy opening their gifts.

Each child was also given some cash but I thought some little gifts would be enjoyed too.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Bubble bubble toil and trouble.

Yes I know it's a misquote.


DD1's 16 year old was sent home at the beginning of last week along with 49 other students as one member of the bubble had a positive covid test.


DD2's six year old was sent home earlier the same week along with 49 other children as a member of her bubble had a positive covid test.


Christmas presents have been left on their doorsteps, hugs and kisses mimed through the windows.


Roll on the vaccine!

Monday, 21 December 2020

We disagree

 Steve and I disagree.

About the vaccine.

About Margaret Thatcher.

About Princess Diana.

About the information in the newspapers.

About the BBC.

About me wearing an armful of thin bangles.

About fresh food versus tins/packets.

About home cooked food versus ready meals.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Weekend

Beano was given a shower yesterday and sulked for the rest of the day, he is less itchy and more comfortable now.


We've had emails from the marina and notifications from CRT regarding the rules for tier four, most of these we will ignore because they don't apply to us. I don't mean we will break the rules but instructions on how far we can move, and using canalside facilities don't apply as we are not moving.


We've had a lot more rain, parts of the canal are red boarded so no movement is allowed. Or if you do decide to move, your insurance is invalid.


Another day here of nothing but housework and dog walks. Roast lamb will be cooked, Steve bought a leg, I may try to bone it as it makes it easier to carve. Once it's cooked and carved I shall freeze some, a leg is far too big for our needs


Saturday, 19 December 2020

Tier 4

We are in tier 4,  the marina is closed, no visitors allowed, the shop will be open for coal and other essentials and they will still do pump outs.

It won't make much difference to us we were planning on Christmas on the boat with just the two of us.

We still need collect a prescription and buy the milk, bread and vegetables to see us over the Christmas period.

I need to phone the Drs to arrange Steve's next sick note, I'm not sure how I'll cope if life gets any more exciting!

Some good news

DD2 was working in a school for children who have been excluded from main stream school and she loved it, unfortunately they were absorbed into an academy and her job no longer existed. She was tuped into a mainstream school but it wasn't what she wanted. She needed the job so got on with it but didn't enjoy her work. She's been keeping her eye on Green Sheets and applied for two jobs working with the sort of kids she loves. One job was only a six month contract the other was a permanent contract, she was offered both jobs but chose the one that is a permanent contract so she has some security.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Comments

 Just a couple of quick replies.

I've never received a flu jab invite but Steve has, when I enquired I was told I'd be informed when I was due but never heard anything.

I'm expecting to have to chase the surgery to get the covid vaccine.


I don't want to use wire on the decorations as they are for the grandchildren and I'd worry about them picking their fingers.

In out, in out

We are doing the covid hokey cokey here, we are in tier three.

It won't make a lot of difference to us, we shop once every week to ten days, we eat out occasionally, I'm finding it hard not seeing the grandchildren or anyone else.

I had a brief word with DD1 when I collected some parcels today, I'll see her next week again just for a few moments when I drop off the Christmas presents.

Steve won't have the vaccine when it's available as his mum had the flu  vaccine every year and it made her ill!

I'll have it as soon as I can, I've never had the flu jab as I haven't had flu since I was about 16. 




Tuesday, 15 December 2020

What next

 I want to make some felt tree decorations, I have felt, embroidery thread and a box of beads from broken jewellery.


Unfortunately I cannot see to thread the needles, a couple of months ago I could still see to do this. But now even with my daylight bulb and magnifier I couldn't manage it.


The decorations are now on hold until the needle threaded I have ordered arrives. 


So it's back to crochet shawls, I've photographed all my yarn, I just need to choose the colour scheme.


There is a distinct lack of some colours so I treated myself to some more yarn!





I may use the oddments  below, along with a ball of Parchment which is a very pale beigey grey.



Monday, 14 December 2020

Master criminal at work

 Either there is a new scam going around or I'm in deep trouble.


I answered the phone yesterday to hear a recorded message from the Financial Crimes dept Bank of England. The message informed me that there was a warrant out for my arrest and to press 1 to speak to an advisor. I was warned that if I didn't press 1 and stay on the line the police would arrive as they waiting outside my house. Anyone spot the problem with this?


Yeah, I don't live in a house!


I don't think I've ever had enough money to have committed a financial crime.

I have a new man in my life!

 Living with Steve isn't easy and my new man cheers me up and makes my life a little easier.


He always has a smile on his face, Beano isn't keen on him as we always see the man when he's working, he has a noisy job and Beano isn't keen on noise. Beano also prefers women to men. It's taken some time for Steve and Beano to develop an affectionate relationship.


I can only spend a short time with my new man every few days.


We have joked that he could hide in a cupboard on the boat and have even had a practice run.


Here is a photo of my new man hiding in the cupboard.




Henry is 650w so I can use him as long as the immersion heater and washing machine are turned off.


Chris, no the shawl isn't for anyone in particular.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Shawl number 2

 I've finished the second shawl, I was playing yarn chicken on the last green row!





Saturday, 12 December 2020

Not all at once

The immersion heater heats the water.

Carruthers, our system doesn't work that way.

We run a fridge freezer so when calculating what we can use on the boat this has to be taken into consideration.

If I'm buying something it must be under a kilowatt.

A quick wander around any electrical store will soon show you that many kettles, toasters and hair dryers are out of this range along with many other appliances.

I could run a slow cooker but there is no point as anything that needs long slow cooking sits on top of the fire.

We don't have an electric kettle, toaster or iron, my only kitchen appliance is a stick blender.

If I'm heating water for a shower or washing up I can't run the vacuum. If the washing machine is on I can't have a heater running. I can run one thing at a time, not all at once.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

I've got another one ready

Steve mentioned today that the notebook we use to our shopping lists was nearly out of pages. I told him I'd got another one ready to use. He's considering having "I've got another one ready" engraved on my grave stone. I rarely run out of anything as I always stuff as backup.

Shopping yesterday and more crochet, nothing else of interest.

Today Beano and I walked just over three miles, I managed to collect some ivy that CRT  had cut back and a few snippets of holly. When we got back I took some twigs that were destined for the bonfire and I've made to pentagrams, I'll post a pic once they have the greenery attached.

We had a disturbed night last night, one of smoke alarms started to chirp as the battery was running low. I couldn't work out which alarm it was, we have far too many on the boat, even my son who is a firefighter says so. I had to wake Steve in the end to track down the culprit and replace the battery. It then took me ages to get back to sleep.

I have a few pairs of fingerless gloves but I can't knit or crochet with them on, Keth, the turtle dove ones are lovely.

Being plugged into the electric on the marina isn't like being connected to the mains in a house, what we run has to be juggled as there is only 16 amps to each boat. If we have a heater running we can't have the immersion on, I can't run the vacuum and the washing machine at the same time.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

By 'eck its cold

The temperature hasn't risen above 1 degree all day. Beano's walks have been very short, that's Beano's choice, not mine.

I'm wearing Motown clothes, Four Tops, I'm also wearing thermal long johns, short socks and welly socks.

I cooked Steve a full English for breakfast and roast chicken this evening, it warms the boat up when the oven is on. We have had the stove on too, the kettle sits on the stove so it boils quickly for hot drinks.

Shawl number two is being crocheted thought sometimes my hands are too cold to grasp the hook.  My hooks are either bamboo or have plastic handles so are warmer to hold than metal ones. 
Shawl number one has gone to a new home, this one is done using fewer colours so there wont be so many ends to weave in.



Friday, 4 December 2020

Flowers


 Today was the funeral of a much loved member of the marina staff.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Visitors

 My son came and his gf visited today, he came to collect the apple crumbles I made for him weeks ago, I now have more room in my freezer. I gave him a couple of cartons of custard too. Beano loves my son and as soon as he sat down Beano climbed into his knee.

It wasn't as cold today so Beano didn't need to be under the blanket. He could sleep on the rug in front of the above but he craves human contact at all times.




Beano knows how to keep warm!

 Being a mainly Jack Russel dog Beano should be tough and energetic.

But yesterday it didn't get above 1 degree here all day.

I managed to persuade Beano to get off the boat briefly a couple of times but he turned for home as soon as he'd performed his ablutions.

This is how he spent the bulk of the day.



Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Cheap and cheerful

One of my favourite meals when it's really cold and dismal outside is bacon and potato hotpot. I originally got the recipe from The Pauper's Cookbook by Jocasta Innes. I no longer have the book but I can make the dish from memory.

I don't weigh or measure anything I just cook by eye, the finished dish looks awful but tastes delicious.

Today I used two and a half rashers of bacon, you can use gammon or even leftover ham from a joint.

Cut up the bacon and put it on the hob in a cast iron pan, cook gently until the fat runs, add thinly sliced onion and potato and stir until everything is coated in the fat. Cook gently until the onion is softened.

Sprinkle some flour over the mix then add milk to make a thin white sauce. This needs long slow cooking so I put it on the multifuel stove where it sits all day.

I think the original recipe suggests cooking in the oven with the lid off for the last half hour but I don't bother. I serve this with baked beans for Steve and boiled cabbage for me.


Steve thinks it would be improved by adding mushrooms but then Steve probably thinks ice cream would b improved by mushrooms!

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

New home

The shawl is on its way to a new home, or it will be tomorrow when I get to the post office.

It is on its way to a dog lover who will not mind that there are Beano hairs crocheted in with the yarn!

I'm knitting a second capelet, the first one was knitted with cream and brown yarn, this one is all brown.

When it's finished, or if I feel like a change I shall carry on with the gingerbread men and women. I have made little Christmas patterned cotton gathered skirts for some of them.

I'm also hoping to make some tree decorations from felt and buttons and I'm planning my next shawl, I shall do three or four rows of each colour next time, that way there will be less ends to darn in.



Monday, 30 November 2020

I'm fed up with Bermondsey

 I've nothing against the place itself, I've never actually been there.

Unfortunately my kindle is convinced that's where I am which means the weather forecasts are wildly incorrect.

I repeatedly enable location services and it works for about ten minutes but then after that it reverts to Bermondsey again.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Oh my poor back

 Today Beano and I met up with DD2 and her dog Loulou for a socially distanced dog walk. Both dogs had a lovely time, chasing each other around and rootling in the undergrowth. Loulou is a good little hunter and was looking for rabbits. Beano was just enjoying her company.


Unfortunately we lost Loulou for a while and by the time we'd tracked her down and persuaded her to leave the rabbit hole we'd been out for an hour longer than intended. My back has put in an official complaint!


My kindle is still throwing the occasional hissy fit, the light level keeps changing and I cannot send or receive emails.

I need to get out my laptop, charge it up and get emails that way. Why is nothing ever simple?


Thursday, 26 November 2020

Defrosting the freezer

That was this morning job, obviously I did it all wrong!

The correct way includes tearing a strip off your shirt and knotting it around your forehead and painting green stripes across your cheekbones (anyone else seen Rambo?) Then the sofa and bar stools all need to be thrown into the bank and the carpet rolled up and removed also. Then commences a couple of hours of hacking, swearing and screaming when the hacking hits fingers rather than ice.


My way is different, I unplug the freezer and take the drawers out, I fill two containers with hot water, place them in the freezer along with a small towel in the bottom of the freezer, another one in the floor in front of it and close the door. I empty the contents of the drawers, wipe the drawers over, list the contents in my notebook and then refill the drawers. I then make a cup of tea. Once the tea is drunk I remove the containers of now cold water and the towel, wipe the inside and outside of the freezer and replace the drawers.

My freezer is very small and not frost free.

So what is in my freezer?

Gammon steak x 2

Hot and spicy chicken wings 1 pack

Burgers x 2

Hotdogs 1 pack

Sausages 1 pack

Pork chops x 3

Chicken breast x 3

Minced beef x 3

Steak x 3

Sea bass x 3

Fish fingers 1 pack

Naan bread x 4

Peas

Cauliflower/broccoli

Spinach

Mushrooms

Injury peas (frozen peas not to be eaten but to apply to an injury) I pinched this phrase from someone else.




Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Lights

I have some led candles on my altar as I won't have real ones, I consider them too much of a fire risk. I'm dangerous enough at the gas hob with my layers of scarves without adding extra naked flames to the mix.

I used to have glass vases with fairy light in but there are no flat surfaces on the boat so I got rid of the vases and the lights.

There were butterfly fairy lights on the old boat but Steve didn't like them so I gave them to one of the dgd's

Next year's calender arrived today, paintings done by Dru Marland of life in the West end of the K & A. My delivery of felt and buttons has also arrived so some crafting lies ahead.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Sparkle

 We went to l look at the Christmas decorations in the garden centre, they were very pretty. 

I didn't buy anything as I don't decorate the boat. I may hang a cluster of mistletoe up but that is for Yule and I hang it against the wall so it is not for kissing under.

I used to love Christmas, not the money side of it. I loved the lights, the music and the sparkle. Steve has always hated Christmas and his continuous whinging eventually ruined my love of it and now I ignore the event as much as possible.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Definitely a damp squib

 As Alison says today has definitely been a damp squib.

It's not a big birthday, I'm 69 but it would have been nice to see my kids.

Afternoon tea had been planned but cancelled due to lockdown.

Still first world problems.

Steve and I are planning a trip to the garden centre on Monday, weather permitting.

They may have their Christmas display up and it will be nice to see all the sparkly stuff.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Computer says no.

My kindle fire has been playing up, it suddenly stopped downloading books, I had 10 outstanding. Every time I tried it said No Internet but I was able to download video.

I contacted amazon, followed their instructions but still nothing.

Steve decided to help and managed to delete all my existing books!

I eventually had to do a factory reset, my books have now downloaded but I don't think it's the end of the problem.


Weaver I'm so glad you are back. I found the gingerbread pattern on YouTube, I'm just starting a second one.



Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Finished

 It's not very good but it will do for a first attempt, hopefully the next one will look neater..


Birthday card

Today I posted a birthday card, doesn't sound like much does it but it entailed a three mile walk. It was hard going as the towpath was very muddy and my wellies kept getting stuck.


There is probably a letterbox nearer, but getting to it would entail a walk along a road with no pavements.  I avoid walking Beano along the roads as he always wants to walk down the middle of the road regardless of any traffic. At least in the towpath we just have to dodge the puddles.




Monday, 16 November 2020

Waste not

Steve isn't a fan of leftovers but I refuse to waste food, after all I've paid for it.

We had roast beef yesterday, it was a bit tough but not too bad. I served it with roast potatoes, cabbage, peas, cauliflower and broccoli in a cheese sauce and gravy. The cabbage was fresh, the other veg were frozen as Steve's not keen on veg but I am.

This morning I sliced enough of the beef to put in a baguette for Steve's lunch for today and tomorrow. The rest I cut into chunks.

I softened some chopped onion in a little butter along with a couple of sliced mushroom and the last piece of a red pepper. I added yesterday's leftovers, a handful of peas, one piece of cauli, two roast potatoes, the last of the gravy and a dollop of cheese sauce. I added some water from the kettle, brought the whole lot to the boil in the hob and then transferred the pan to the top of the multifuel stove. It will sit there bubbling away until later. The leftovers will disintegrate so they will add flavour but not be seen. We can have a big bowl of beef stew with mashed potato and the leftovers are nowhere to be seen!

Sunday, 15 November 2020

I was being polite

When I used the phrase bride's nighty, I was being polite, I nearly put whore's drawers.

Amazon has six Philippa Gregory ebooks reduced to 99p each so I've just had a spending spree.


It's still raining on and off, Beano and I are doing the dog walk hokey cokey, in and out between showers.

My dgd asked me to crochet her a gingerbread man, I've made a start but it currently looks more like a misshapen penis than anything else. I'm hoping that adding the arms and face will improve it's looks.




Saturday, 14 November 2020

Bride's nighty

It's raining hard and has been all day.

The marina staff are doing regularly at patrols to check that all the boats are safe. If their ropes are too tight and The levels rise The boat can list. The staff will also be checking pram and cratch covers as they can sometimes fill with water.

The water levels are up and down like a bride's nighty on her honeymoon.

The rains is hammering down and the staff at the nearby mill are manning the sluices attempting to keep the water levels even.

When I get off the boat to walk Beano there can be anything from a six inch step down to a four inch step up.

Without the sluices being manned we'd be up on the grass by now.

Friday, 13 November 2020

New dog on the block

Beano has made a new friend, a small, very bouncy dog on the marina. He's very friendly, very barky and has absolutely huge ears.

According to his owner he is a Dorky, a cross between a dashund and a Yorkshire terrier. He and Beano had a lovely play together this morning.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Don't panic!

 Yesterday around lunch time I bought a book from Amazon.

By the time I went to bed last night the book still hadn't downloaded, I restarted the kindle but still nothing.

Got up this morning, still no book, restarted the kindle yet again.

By now I was starting to panic, a life without books is not worth living!!

I took Beano out for his mid morning walk, when I returned I checked my kindle, whoopie do, there was a green bar snaking its way across the bottom of the pic of the book.

So my full blown hysteria was averted, phew.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

What am i doing

I'm still working on my half granny square shawl, it's slow going as there is very little natural light in the boat and the colours are rather muted.

When I can't see to crochet I'm frogging a waistcoat I made and didn't like.

I've posted off a baby blanket to a pregnant boater who had her boat broken into and her baby clothes trashed.

I'm walking Beano a few times every day.

I'm disappointed because I had afternoon tea planned with my children and it's been cancelled because of the lockdown, we will reschedule but probably not until March. I miss my family.

I've ordered next year's calender and ten Yule cards from a boater who's work I love. I purchased and wear a very rude badge that she produced.

 https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DruMarland?ref=shop_sugg


I've finished reading:-

Still Life by Val Mcdermid.

A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin.

Dead Lies Dreaming by Charles Stross.

I've started but not finished an assortment of rubbish books.

I'm currently reading Brian Helsing, the world's most unlikely vampire Hunter by Gareth K Pengelly. As you'd expect with a name like Pengelly, the book is set in Cornwall.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Witch hazel

 Everything is ok there will be a post up soon.

Finally,

My hearing aid has been delivered and I've arranged to meet DD1 in the local park to collect it.


Even better Three have sorted out Steve's phone, it's taken 12 weeks from the day he purchased it, I have no idea if it was all Three's fault or if it was Steve's. Either way it's sorted now. 

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Towpath conversation

Thank you, there is a park near where dd1 lives I may suggest meeting there when my hearing aid finally arrives.

I was walking Beano this afternoon, as we are now in lockdown again there were a lot of people walking and riding bikes along the towpath.

One guy was wobbling badly as he past by and I noticed he was sat on his bike strangely. Instead of sitting on the bike saddle he had the top of his leg on the saddle.

His was with another cyclist who may have been his wife.

She "Sit on the bike straight"

 He "I can't the saddle keeps disappearing up the crack of my arse"

She "If you didn't have such a fat arse  the saddle wouldn't get lost"

He "Oh fcuk off"

I couldn't help but laugh, the whole conversation was said with such good humour.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Hearing aid.

My  hearing aid is being posted out, but until the post office starts delivering to addresses such as "The green boat next to the third poplar tree" by lock 25 I have to have stuff delivered to a house. I'm not sure if I can collect it because the household exceeds the rule of six and as my blog comments show the world is full of nasty spiteful people who's only joy in life is being an arsehole. I really don't wish to get my dd in trouble by visiting her and for someone to report her for breaking the rules. 

Anyway it is a moot point as it hasn't been delivered yet.

Of course you are entitled to you opinion Carole and well done on getting through hard times. I find the anonymous comment about " people managed before food banks and children thrived" incredibly naive either that or like Keth said there is a difference between the deserving and the undeserving poor.  There have always been hungry children and it's appalling that the situation continues.

So I say yet again, just feed the poor bloody kids who are hungry, never mind why they are hungry, just feed them.



Friday, 6 November 2020

Comment moderation

 I'm getting swamped with spam, adverts for hackers, herbal cures for aids and now adverts for vampires. It's taking me ages to delete them every day. Hence the moderation.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Technology, trials and tribulations thereof

But first, on the subject of feeding children, someone has complained about people who have big cars and gadgets for their kids and yet still use a food bank.

Again, I don't care, just feed the bloody kids.

If someone is made redundant or loses their job for whatever reason this doesn't mean that all their bills are suddenly stopped. If they have sky tv, a mobile phone or whatever they are still under contract, the bills still have to be paid. Even if these payments are putting them in debt they still have to be paid.  Bank accounts can be frozen leaving people with no access to money. I'll say it again, just feed the poor bloody kids.


And on to the title of this post, the motor is buggered on our satellite dish so we can't watch tv. The system is 11 years old and will cost at least £1000 to replace, I don't watch enough tv to make it worth paying that. A friend of Steve's tried to get our fire stick working but with limited success as the subtitles don't show up. So Steve bought some headphones and whilst trying to connect them (with the handle of a wooden spoon, don't ask) disconnected the DVD player! 

Never mind, I have unlimited data on my phone so  I can watch tv via the phone. Only no, I can't, as my phone is showing Emergency Calls Only. We seem to be in a black hole signal wise.

I was invited to a zoom catch up but was unable to join in because I had no signal, I was also asked if I would be interviewed about living on a boat but again I couldn't participate.

I am still waiting for my hearing aid to be repaired, but even if it turns up now I cannot collect it because of lockdown.

I shall post this blog and it will hopefully upload when I drive to the chemist tomorrow.



Monday, 2 November 2020

I dont care why

The canal side cafe near where we were moored was one of many local places that provided free meals for children during half term.

I don't care why the children are hungry, whether it's because their parents are struggling financially or whether their parents are feckless.

At the end of the day I just feel that if children are hungry they need to be fed.

I'm not interested in political hot air, people can talk bollocks about the why's and wherefores. 

Just feed the kids!

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Winter mooring

We made it, we're in the marina, last year we were here from the end of October until the end of June. Hopefully we will only be here until February and weather permitting we will get out for a few days.

The fuel boat arrived yesterday morning, he was going back to base to restock. We bought four bags of coal and filled up with diesel, £100 in total. We locked six hire boats through Padworth lock so there was room for us to pass. Then went through the swing bridge, got into the next lock, I was about to close the gate when I noticed another boat approaching the bridge so we waited for them.  Because we are 10ft wide, Aldermaston lock is one of the few locks big enough for us to share with another boat. 


We let them go first as they are trying to get through before the winter stoppages at Crofton come in to force tomorrow so they  are travelling from 6am until it gets dark. We arrived in the marina and got a pump out, £20 and then moored up in our place. We closed the front and back covers by which time Beano was getting impatient, I let him out and he checked out the entire marina to see which of his friends are still here.
I then made  sandwiches for lunch, after we'd eaten Beano and I walked back to get my car and then did some shopping. The immersion heater is on so we have hot water, woohoo.
I shall have a shower after I've walked Beano. I shall strip the bed, do a couple of loads of washing on a hot wash as we have shore power and sweep and mop the floor. Beano will have a few walks and I shall do some more crochet.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Capelet pattern info

 The pattern for the capelet came from Ravelry, if you search for Outlander there are nine pages of Outlander inspired patterns.

I used the one for Brianna's Reunion Capelet as it was free.

I've not watched Outlander or read the books but they have a huge following I believe.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Hook and needles

Thanks for all the suggestions and offers of spare parts, I checked out Specsavers on my way past but they were seeing appointments only so I've posted off the broken aid.

I knitted this capelet some time ago but I've only just got round to attaching the button. It keeps my neck nice and warm.


 I've started a granny shawl now.


It's a half granny square that is turned at the end of each row. The pattern can be found on The Patchwork Heart blog. I'm not using exactly the same colours as I'm using yarn from my stash.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Bugger

Thank you everyone I shall try the Epley manoeuvre.

I took some photos yesterday of where we are moored, there are donkeys in a field nearby. Also Beano heading home for breakfast.





The bugger is that the tube in my hearing and has snapped. Audiology is still closed so I have to post the aid off for repair. I did this for one of Steve's a few months back. It cost £14 in postage and took three weeks to get it back.

Monday, 26 October 2020

I lost yesterday

 I spent the day feeling very dizzy, this makes clambering over the lock gates a bit of a challenge!

Hey ho, it's the same every year, I'm dizzy all winter and then when the weather improves and the pollen count rises I start sneezing. It's all to do with my ears, I did speak to the Dr's about it a few years ago as when I was working it was difficult to keep bending over to operate the machines, but they couldn't suggest anything helpful.

 I'll adapt to the dizziness in a few days I expect but it is annoying as it wakes me up when I turn over in bed and getting up for the bathroom means hanging on to the walls as I stagger along.

I cooked beef with roast potatoes, colcannon, and veg for Steve but I couldn't eat it. I'll cut up the beef and make a curry with it this evening, hopefully I'll manage to eat some of it and if not I'll freeze it.

Friday, 23 October 2020

I'm oblivious.

It's not as dangerous as it sounds but I'm oblivious to traffic lights.

I don't mean that I ignore them of course but I don't really register how many are red or green when I approach them.

Steve, on the other hand rants and raves and seems to think there is some divine or demonic intervention that is turning the lights red as we approach, as a form of spite.

I received a £20 Amazon voucher yesterday, I bought  the latest Val Mcdermid Still Life and the latest Ian Rankin A Song for Dark Times. I haven't finished War Lord by Bernard Cornwell yet.





Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Oops

I defrosted a tub of what I thought was cooked minced beef today to make into cottage pie.

I placed it in an enamel dish, cooked and mashed some potato to top it with.

I put it in the oven until it was piping hot throughout and the mash was nice and crunchy.

It tasted ok but it was actually liver and bacon!

Oh well Steve didn't notice it wasn't minced beef.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Oooh Bliss

When I helped at the outdoor jumble sale I spotted a large zippered hoodie. 
It's made by Abercrombie  and Fitch, it's denim blue in colour and lined with faux sheepskin fleece. 
It's size XL so there is room for lots of layers underneath.
This morning I wore it for the first time. 
Oh boy is it warm and soft, I can see it will get a lot of wear this winter. 
The sleeves are miles too long but I can either turn the cuffs back of let them dangle over my hands as an extra layer of warmth.
It should have cost me 20p but I bought the hoodie and a DVD and made a donation of £5 as it's for a good cause.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Emptying the rubbish and wardrobe contents

 No nipping out to the garden to the bins for us, the rubbish point is near where we park the car, so it's quite a hike, it make you very conscious of how much you throw away.

Rambler I get very irritated by people who assume life on a boat is idyllic but have no idea of the reality.

My clothing section of the wardrobe has six shelves, the top one contains a net underskirt from a wedding dress and some pink chiffon. The next shelf contains my hats, scarves and gloves. Under that a shelf with my three long sleeve t-shirts, three short sleeve t-shirts, two vest tops, one jumper and one sweat shirt. The following one contains four pairs of leggings and two pairs of shorts ( these are actually cut down leggings). The last  two shelves contain finished lap blankets and a basket of assorted fabric.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Shopping trip boater style.

I think Loulou enjoyed her stay with us, she saw DD2 and the children regularly and now she is home I  collect her and take her for a walk sometimes with Beano.

Pat, thank you, I'll look for those hooks.

I needed to shop today, urgently.

There was no milk, no butter, no potatoes, one egg and one slice of bread. Steve's ankle was very painful so he decided to stay home with Beano.

We are moored a mile and a half from the car so I took the big rucksack, climbed over the lock gates, walked to the car, drove three miles to the shop and back and then walked back to the boat,  climbing over the lock gates again. 

We should be ok until early next week now, there is meat and fish in the freezer, fruit and veg in the fridge and lots of tins and dry goods in the wardrobe. My wardrobes are shelved and there are three of them, one holds all my yarn, one holds my clothes and one contains food. I also use one of the bathroom cupboards to keep jars in.






Thursday, 15 October 2020

Loulou's story

DD2 came across Loulou one day when she gave someone a bag of children's clothes.  Loulou was for sale for the princely sum of £10. DD2 didn't want a dog but she was worried that someone else would buy her and use her for dog fight bait. DD2 intended to take Loulou to a rescue centre where she would be safe, but she fell in love with her and kept her.

When DD2 left her husband she rented a house where pets were allowed. Unfortunately pets did not include dogs so Loulou stayed in the marital home with DD2s ex. Once the marital home was sold the ex moved back in with his parents and wouldn't take Loulou. Steve and I volunteered to take Loulou in as she is a lovely little dog. 

Whilst all this was going on DD2 had to move from her rented house as the landlord, who had been living and working in America, lost his job so had to return to the UK. DD2 found another rented house and in this one she is allowed a dog. As the children were missing Loulou so much she returned home to DD2.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

A boaters day

Up at 7:30, use the warm water that's been in the kettle on the stove overnight to have a wash. Boil the rest of the water to make Steve a cuppa. Refill kettle place back on stove ready for when Steve needs it.  Walk Beano, come back, either Steve or I will add coal to stove, riddle stove, empty ash, fill coal bucket. I feed Beano then make breakfast.


After breakfast I wash up using the last of the water from the kettle and Steve opens the cratch cover which is the front cover then we both drop the pram cover which is the back cover. We haul the boat back on to the water point,  get the hose out and fill the water tank. This takes over an hour, 65 new houses have been built nearby, they are supplied the existing pipework so the flow rate is very slow. 


We then cast off and move down to the marina where we get the black water tank emptied and buy four bags of coal and a bag of kindling.


From there we pootle on to find another mooring place. We try to find somewhere where we will get some solar. If not we will have to run the engine for a couple of hours a day to keep the fridge and lights running. We moor up and get the cratch and pram covers back on just In time as it starts to rain.I


By now it's mid afternoon so I make a sandwich then walk Beano again, a short walk as Beano doesn't approve of rain.


I spend the afternoon reading and working on my crochet blanket.


I fall asleep whilst reading, only for about 20 minutes.


I cook our evening meal, walk Beano again and then it's back to my book, I'm reading Blessop's Wife  by Barbara Gaskell Denvil.


I can't crochet in the evening as it's very dark on the boat as the lighting is very dim. I have a bright light on a stand but cannot run it unless we are plugged in to shore power.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Please engage brain.

 Before posting a review. I've been reading the reviews of the lodge we have booked in November.

Ones reviewer complained about the lack of places to walk their dog, I'm struggling to work out what sort of dog needs more that the 2000 miles of towpath available.

Another reviewer complained about the lack of view, the  lodge webpage states there are stunning views across the marina, the reviewer was not happy as all he could see were boats!

Sunday, 11 October 2020

A meal out with entertaiment included.

 We went out for breakfast today, we are moored near a canal side cafe so we didn't have to go far.

There is a waterpoint  in the cafe garden, the CRT promised to move the fence so the waterpoint outside of the cafe gardens. That was a couple of years ago a nd the cafe owner is still waiting.

Whilst we were enjoying our breakfast another boater came along with a bucket. He turned on the tap and proceeded with his weekly wash. Some of the cafe customers were horrified, I just kept thinking how cold his hands must be doing all that washing in cold water.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Hey Big Spender

 I helped at a jumble sale today, an outdoor jumble sale, brrr.

It's 9 degrees here, we have the stove lit, Mrs Grumpytits has been standing on her balcony complaining!

I bought myself an Abercrombie and Fitch hoodie, a DVD The Favourite with Olivia Coleman and two pairs of hi-vis socks. They came to the grand total of 60p, I paid extra as it's for a good cause.

The socks are proper hi-vis, I bought them to put over our mooring pins when we moor up, we worry that people will trip over them.

There is a DVD player in the lodge so I will take The Favourite with me to watch.

We are still working out the logistics of Steve's friend visiting us at the lodge. If he's out of hospital we may go and collect him and take him with us.

About 18 months ago he had a motorbike accident and broke his back, last week he raced again for the first time and broke his pelvis. I think I it's probably time he gave up bike racing.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Still listing,

 But we are currently listing the other way, we could adjust our ropes but it's raining again so we will probably be back on an even keel soon.

Four hire boats passed us today, two of them hit us, Steve went out to help them regain control before they got jammed across from bank to bank. I didn't go to help, I will lock people through but all the boats had at least six people on board so I thought they could manage.

We've booked a week away, a treat for my birthday, we may take Steve's friend with us, he's had an accident but hopefully he'll be out of hospital in time. He may bring his girlfriend which could be hard work. He likes his women skinny, stupid and adoring!

TV problems are ongoing, I can watch BBC 2 or Channel 4, I have to get up to change channels as the remote control doesn't work and the subtitles are sporadic!

Fortunately I have a blanket to finish, a capelet only just started and a book by Jim Butcher to read.


Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Cooking on the piss

 Cooking on the piss is very challenging, I wasn't on the piss, the boat was. A drop in water level found us with the middle of the boat resting on a gravel ledge.

The heavy rain we've been having has meant that boaters, marina staff and CRT have been kept busy managing the water levels. Opening and closing locks and sluices.

The levels have been up and down like a bride's nighty, ropes have to be tightened and slackened off regularly depending on the levels. We have had two days with no rain so the water level was stabilising.

We were listing this evening when I was cooking our evening meal. I have to hang on tight to the pan handles to ensure nothing slides off the hob. I was only preparing a simple meal, ham, egg, beans and hash browns. 

When everything was ready I served up, Steve and I were sat side by side at the breakfast bar eating.

Suddenly with a glug we slid off the bank and we were level again. It was quite disconcerting but more comfortable to be floating again.

It's now raining again!

Sunday, 4 October 2020

It's hell out there I tell you, hell

 We have short bursts of intermittent wifi, we went to the marina for a pump out, I spoke to someone who used to live there on her boat. She has to work from home because of covid, she has phones on Vodafone, O2, Three and EE she still cannot get enough signal to work from her boat so has had to move in with her mum. So it seems to be a general problem, not just us.

We went to town to get Steve's phone sorted out yet again. Into the Three shop, all masked up and plastic screens between us. That's fine but there is music playing which makes it difficult for us to hear and I can't lip read because of the masks. There is a very voluble African matron at the next desk, she keeps repeating that she is a queen in her own country and so deserves respect. In the queue behind there this is a chap who is heatedly  discussing a recording contract that has gone tits up. I have no idea if the problem with Steve's phone has been sorted.

We are also having TV problems, the satellite motor stopped working so the dish wouldn't open or close or turn to lock on to a signal. So I could only watch programs I'd recorded. Then Steve's friend Bob visited and suggested a fire stick, we already have one so Bob tried to get it working, this meant finding an electric extension because our tv is so old. Eventually he got it working but he could only get one line of subtitles showing so not much good for me. Also I only watch tv occasionally and having to press eleventy billion buttons across three different channel changers really put me off. So Bob persuaded Steve to buy some Bluetooth headphones, these duly arrived, in attempting to set them up Steve used the handle of a wooden spoon to ram a cable through a hole in the shelf and in doing so disconnected all manner of other things! Now I am unable to change channels, the DVD player doesn't work and there is no volume at all for the headphones to transmit and there are now even more buttons to press.I

We have torrential rain it's forecast to last until friday, parts of the river and canal are yellow boarded as it is too dangerous to navigate. We cannot move because the flow is too fast. Someone in a nearby house has complained about the smell of woodsmoke, we aren't burning wood  but she wants us to turn the stove off even though it's our only means of heat. She has also complained about us running the engine for an hour a day so we can charge our kindles  and have lights on at night.

I just love people who buy a house near the canal and then complain endlessly about the boats, the fishermen, the people on the towpath and the noise of the ducks quacking!

I shall post this quickly before I lose signal again.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Its been a busy few days

 What with prepping the cooking apples and helping DS2 and DD2 with various things. I'm always happy to help them as DS2 has dropped everything to come and sort out my car when I've had problems and both DD's will drive me places if I'm not confident or if it's going to be dark before I get home.

Steve and I spent a day helping some friends who needed to get from the K and A to the Thames quickly. Steve did the locks and I did the swing bridges, it was a long day and bitterly cold with a lot of standing around. I can walk 5 or 6 miles with no problem but standing for any length of time really buggers my back.

DD2 has been dealing with a pile of chaos and crap. She has sold the marital home and organised buying another house, at the same time she has had to move out of the rented house she was in as the landlord lost his job abroad because of covid and needed his house back. The house she is buying is a new build and the completion date has been put back also because of covid so she's had to find another rental property.

The good news Jan Jones is that DD2 is allowed her dog in the new rental house. Much as I miss Loulou the grandchildren we're desperate to have her back. Beano and I went to visit Loulou yesterday and she was so pleased to see us. I'm collecting her a couple of times a week to take her for a walk and also bringing her back to the boat on the days when DD2 is working.

Sewing mamie, we've had a few problems with fishermen but most of them are ok. We've been warned that there is a very stroppy fisherman at Kintbury but we haven't been there this year.

Wendy Hallett, it isn't an easy life is it, it is bloody hard work and very isolated, more so I think for women. It seems to me that there are more men than women on the cut. I had started to build a social life for myself on dry land, but covid put paid to that. We've met our share of dickheads and idiots but we have also met lots of lovely people too.

Today I cooked roast beef for lunch and an apple cake went in the oven at the same time. I've joined a FB group made up of people fighting depression so I'm hoping to gain some benefit from that.


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Freebies

I collected my car today, I'd left it in the marina for a while. I set off at 7:30 this morning, it's about 2 miles and I didn't want to walk Beano once it got hot.

There is a table in the marina where boaters put stuff they no longer want, I check it out every time I'm there. On previous visits I've found a chopping board, a hanging rail and some storage containers. I've often placed things on the table that I no longer need. Today there was a pressure cooked there. I brought it home and have it a good scrub. I will download the instructions for it and print them out.

DS2 phoned, he'd taken his car in for repair and had planned to walk the six miles home. He then realised that there are no pavements for most of the journey so he phoned to see if I could collect him. I went to collect him and he persuaded my new phone to connect to my car, I'd had a few attempts but couldn't get it to work. He also gave me two bags of cooking apples from his tree. I took Beano with me partly because he hates to be separated from me and party because DS2 loves Beano to bits.

A sad statistic

The children that DD1 fosters have, between them 17 siblings and half siblings that are in care. Some have been adopted, some haven't. 
Seventeen children who's lives have been blighted by alcohol, drugs, domestic abuse and incarceration. It makes me want to weep.

Monday, 21 September 2020

I'm confused

 First I am accused of being wealthy but begging for financial help then I'm accused of lying about having retirement accommodation, the accommodation has parking and a garden.

 Just because it has no communal facilities doesn't mean it's imaginary. Maybe it was my description of it being retirement accommodation, maybe I should have described it as the property we intend to move into when we leave the boat.

Also if I'm wealthy I doubt very much if council accommodation would be provided.

Living on a boat isn't a cheap option and I have never claimed it is. We don't pay council tax or normal utility bills, we use solar for our electricity and buy bottled gas.

Rose there are pros and cons with being static. There is water and electric to the jetty, there are also rubbish disposal facilities and pump out on site. When we are moving we have to factor in where we can next empty our black water or fill up with clean water. Being static means we are very close to the boats either side so it makes our boat dark inside and we have no view apart from the neighbouring boat.



Sunday, 20 September 2020

Late again

 This time it wasn't us that was late it was another boat.

it went past yesterday evening, we were a bit concerned as it was getting dark. They got close enough for someone to jump ashore but they couldn't get the boat all the way in.

A crew member was hanging on to the front rope but the current is quite strong here and the back was against the far bank.

We went out to help and managed to get the boat in to the bank so they were safe.

Hound of Hecate, thank you for your kind offer but I won't have candles on the boat, too much of a fire risk. I only use LED candles.

I have deleted the anonymous comment, I have some sympathy with people who are so bitter as they must be very unhappy but I don't feel the need to allow them space on my blog. I have never claimed to be poor, I would never start crowd funding on my own behalf. I am more than happy to purchase the items I need to help with my hearing. Unfortunately the company want me to check with audiology before I pay and I cannot do that as the audiology department is closed.

I love how people make sweeping statements such as Adult Services have a duty of care, maybe they do but when they are either closed or overwhelmed they cannot help. I believe Kate Steeper and Cumbrian along with other commentators have experience of the 'help'  available.

The retirement accommodation has no communal facilities it is a stand alone unit.

I will follow up on the other helpful suggestions made and continue to vent when things get on top of me but for now here are a couple of pics taken by a fellow boater with a drone.

We were moored above the lock under a willow tree.




Hungerford to Froxfield

 We travelled from Hungerford to Froxfield, unfortunately at one of the locks Beano discovered the corpse of something grey and furry. It wa...