Friday 31 January 2020

Smoke alarms

I don't understand the concept of testing the smoke alarms every month.

Mine get tested every time I turn the fecking oven or grill on.

They aren't smoke alarms, they are cooking alarms!

Thursday 30 January 2020

Will it help me sleep

The boat is full of the smell of cannabis, one of the neighbours is sitting on the front of their boat smoking a spliff.

Live and let live, it's not something I would do but each to their own.

When we travelled to Seend the year before last we passed a boat full of cannabis plants, the sides of the boat were mostly glass, it was like a floating greenhouse.

When I was a small child I spent many holidays staying with my great aunt. She had a huge garden full of fruit trees, flowers and vegetables, there were also two huge greenhouses, one was used by my great aunt the other was used by her son. He grew tomatoes, it was only recently I realised that he was also growing cannabis. This was in the 1950s, I wonder if my great aunt realised.

Towpath conversations

I was once told by a lady hire boater that I needed to hurry up and fill the lock I was operating, faster.

It seems she had arranged to meet friends in Bath the following day.

This conversation took place by the Rowbarge pub in Woolhampton, the trip to Bath would take an experienced boater with a crew 6 or 7 days.

She had never been on a boat before and her crew consisted of two small girls aged about 8 years old.

I explained that the lock couldn't be filled any faster as it was dangerous to open the paddles fully to start with. 

She carefully explained it would be quicker if I opened gates instead of just the paddles.

It is impossible to open the gates until the water levels are the same either side.

I also told her that she didn't have a cat in hell's chance of getting to Bath by the following day.

To which she replied that the hire boat company had told her the same thing, but that when she said she was going to do something, nothing would stop her.

She also informed me that it was only an hour and a half drive to Bath so obviously she could manage the journey in the boat if only people like me would work harder!

I often wonder how far she got before she realised she really couldn't get to Bath in a day.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Baby it's cold outside

The temperature dropped dramatically around 2am.

I noticed this, not because I was cold but because a cold wet nose was pressed between my shoulder blades.

To start with if he got cold in the night Beano would try to get under the duvet with us.

This is not allowed so we placed an extra blanket on top of the duvet.

Now if he gets cold his nose between my shoulder blades alerts me to this fact.

I lift up the top blanket and Beano snuggles down on top of our duvet and underneath his blanket.

Monday 27 January 2020


It seems I'm not the only one who struggles to park because of inconsiderate drivers.

My oven and grill have finally been repaired, a new fan and pcb plus fitting came to £300, but it was cheaper than buying a new oven at £800.

The grill now looks like a grill instead of a flame thrower and the oven will now cool down faster.

It also explains the mismatched cooker knobs, the previous ones would have melted!

The engineer who effected the repair has also sourced new knobs. Once they arrive there will be no more guesswork with regards to the oven temperature. The new knobs should line up with the temperature markings.

Parking woes

We had to visit the bank today, there is a large free car park behind the bank.

There were only four empty spaces in the car park.

In the spaces on either side of each empty space there was a large Chelsea tractor parked and each one was parked just over the white line. I could get my car in the space but I was unable to get out of the car myself. Usually I stop and let Steve out and then stay in the car but this time we both needed to go to the bank. 

There are no parking attendants as the car park is free so this is why people park so badly.

It was bloody inconvenient!

Saturday 25 January 2020


I'm babysitting tonight, I wasn't looking forward to it as although I love my grandchildren dearly I slept badly last night and could do with an early night.

I've been busy today doing housework as we have visitors tomorrow and I need to be up early tomorrow because of said visitors.

Actually I have enjoyed babysitting, the children have been good and all went to bed on time and best of all I have been warm all evening, even when going from room to room. I had forgotten just how good warm feels!

Friday 24 January 2020

Blocked sink.

The kitchen sink was a bit sluggish when draining, I wasn't worried as I'm pretty careful what goes down it. There is no trap, it empties directly into the canal.

I decided to leave it until after breakfast, this was a big mistake as Steve noticed the water was draining slowly.

Cue much ranting and raving, he insisted it would now mean a new sink and new granite countertop.

So whilst Steve measured and ranted I finished eating my porridge. He then went online to price up the cost of a new sink and of having a length of granite cut to shape.

Much muttering and raving went on as he compared one website to another.

Meanwhile I moved the washing up bowl, cupped my hand over the plughole and pressed down. I did this twice and it cleared on the second press!

Steve does like to turn every happening into a total crisis, it can be exhausting at times.

If my cupped hand hadn't worked I had various other remedies I could have tried, but the simplest is often best.

Thursday 23 January 2020


Early morning phone call from DD2, Dgd Eileen was throwing up, could I possibly look after her so DD2 could go to work.

By the time I got there Eileen was in a lot of pain and had a temperature. DD2 had phoned the Dr's and been advised to take her to the children's A&E.

So a change of plan, I took youngest dgd Suzy to school and DD2 took Eileen to A&E.

After dropping Suzy at school I went to Aldi as it's nearby, just a top up shop.

I arrived home at midday not having had breakfast or even a drink of water. Steve made me a cheese toasty and a cuppa and then we put the shopping away.

DD2 phoned around 3ish to say Eileen had not got appendicitis just a tummy bug and they were home.

It was nice while it lasted

For a few weeks there were three other female dog owners on the marina but one by one they have moved on. Their boats are still here as the river/canal is still red boarded from Newbury to Reading.

They have all gone to stay with their families until spring. They will be back in March when they and their boats will move back out on the cut.

I'll miss seeing them and having a chat. 

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Grumpy git

I'm a grumpy git today.

I flinched when I sat on the toilet seat because it was so cold.

I flinched when I washed my face and cleaned my teeth in cold water.

I got soaked through whilst walking Beano in the rain, five times.

I cleaned the oven today, sat on a cold ceramic floor.

All in all a day to make me grumpy.

Tuesday 21 January 2020


Still cold.

Still knackered.

Still walking Beano for at least an hour a day.

Still working on my blanket.

Monday 20 January 2020

Another day done.

A trip to the pharmacy today to collect my blood pressure meds, then to the supermarket to buy milk and finally to the service station to fill my fuel tank up.

I've made two huge rice puddings for stroke club tomorrow, I also cooked a beef curry, a chicken tray bake and four baked potatoes whilst the oven was on.

Apart from that it's been dog walks and crochet. I'm half way through the second run of colours, I'm doing them in a different order each time. The blanket is quite thick so it should be with warm.

Saturday 18 January 2020

And then he kissed me update

Thank you so much for all your kind comments especially Weaver.

It's baby steps, Steve still has regular melt downs and temper tantrums when he gets frustrated.

He'll never again be the men I married but I'm learning to love the man he has become and a few kisses and cuddles all help.


I had to frog the blanket as the sides weren't straight. But it's growing quite quickly.

I was working on it yesterday evening, Steve looked at it and asked if I was knitting socks!!

Thursday 16 January 2020

Rain, rain and yet more rain

We have had so much rain here the ground is waterlogged. The towpath is ankle deep in water in some places.

We managed to get a long walk in this morning in between showers but by 2 o'clock the rain became heavy and it didn't stop until after 10:30.

The water levels are so high that the boats moored near the wharf are above the armco, if the water levels drop suddenly and the boats get caught on the bank they will list and could capsized.

Walking along the canal I can see that some of the lowlying gardens are flooded.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

How to get your husband to go to bed early

No, not like that.

The weather was appalling yesterday, I took Beano for a walk as soon as we got back from stroke club and Steve topped up the fire.

We closed all the curtains as it was dismal and dark outside and it helps keep the heat in.

By 6 o'clock we neither of us wanted much to eat as we'd eaten at stroke club, baked fish, mash, peas and Mediterranean vegetables.

At 6:30 I turned on the tv, I didn't have the satellite dish up because of the wind so I looked for something in the library.

I decided to watch the Unforgotten, Steve didn't realise I was watching something prerecorded and suddenly announced that he,was going to bed. He trundled off but within a few minutes he returned.

He thought it was almost 11 o'clock but then noticed his bedside clock said 7:30!

Tuesday 14 January 2020

And then he kissed me

Steve kissed me today, just a little peck. 

It's probably the first time since his stroke.

We always used to kiss hello and goodbye but after his stroke he started to turn away.

Monday 13 January 2020


Wheel bearings replaced.

Decaffeinated latte drunk.

New glasses ordered.

Weekly shop done.

New slippers bought.

£231 spent.

Dog walked.

Shopping put away.

Celery and cheese eaten.

Cup of tea made.

Time for crochet.

Sunday 12 January 2020

On my hook

A blanket using autumn colours.

Boozy blackberry jam.

Three jars of boozy blackberry jam made from foraged blackberries that were soaked in vodka for six weeks to make blackberry liqueur.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Wind stops play

Or at least it stops me watching tv as it's windy enough to stop the satellite working.

Friday 10 January 2020

It's all over

Today is officially Steve's last working day, he hasn't actually worked since 17th October 2019 but it's still hit him hard and he's been very emotional today.

We've tried to keep busy, Beano has had lots of walks, we took the boat across for a pump out and we went for a pub lunch.

We went to the Angel at Woolhampton, it's dog friendly and they serve small portions if requested. Steve had a burger followed by chocolate brownie and ice cream and I had a half portion of  pea, mint and asparagus risotto. Both meals were delicious. Beano was very good and snoozed on the floor whilst we ate.

Chicken and vegetable tray bake

All in one dish, cooked mainly on the multi fuel stove and very little washing up afterwards.

Thursday 9 January 2020

Another blanket finished

Crochet granny square blanket finished  size 30 x 30 inches approx, made from 2 balls of Katya Paint yarn, gifted to me.

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Raising children

I tried to ensure my children had a good start in life.

I always lead by example, do as I do, never do as I say.

I taught them all to cook though one of my son's in law is a chef, so one DD doesn't cook often now.

I taught all of them the basics of sewing. They used to sit on the floor underneath the table and work the foot pedal of my sewing machine when I was sewing.

I read aloud to them until they started secondary school and they still all read for pleasure.

I introduced all of them to live theatre including Shakespeare's plays, they all still enjoy live theatre and one of them now does stand up comedy.

I taught them all the envelope budgeting system and one of them still uses it.

I got all of them through driving tests.

I was very blunt and honest about sex and it's consequences with regards pregnancy and disease.

I taught them all good manners.

I knocked before I went into their bedrooms.

I treated them with respect and expected the same in return.

I know I made hundreds of mistakes but fortunately they all came through relatively unscathed.

Most of all I loved them and still do.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

Monday 6 January 2020

A bad day for technology

We don't have a smart tv, just an ordinary one. The tv is however smarter than me. The bloody thing won't change channels. I really need to read up on how to work it properly!

The other problem is with my kindle. I've always read two or three books at the same time, it depends on my mood which book I want to read at different times of the day. Suddenly the kindle decided to delete one of the books I was reading and reset the other two books to page 1, bugger.

Sunday 5 January 2020

Keeping warm

I've really struggled to keep warm today we let the fire go out this morning so the chimney could be swept, it needs sweeping fortnightly.

Because the fire was out the boat got really cold, when the boat gets cold the table, kindle, in fact everything is cold to the touch. When the fire is re-lit it takes a long time to get the boat warmed through.

When I did manage to get warm I needed to take Beano out for a walk and got chilled through again as the wind is bitterly cold.

I cooked a roast dinner today, I used a chicken breast, Steve didn't enjoy it. Mind yup he's in a bad mood so probably wouldn't have enjoyed anything I cooked.  I did roast veg, parsnip, carrot and brussels, which he didn't like but I did cabbage for him. I also made stuffing balls and Yorkshire pudding.
I defrosted two chicken breasts on Friday and made Chinese style chicken with noodles, Saturday I made piri piri chicken with rice, both these meals were made using one chicken breast, I used the second one today for the roast.

Saturday 4 January 2020

Jumble Sale

Thank you for all your comments.

The jumble sale did me the world of good, lots of people to chat to, customers and other helpers.

I bought an Addis cereal box and some oven gloves for myself. I know there are concerns regarding plastic storage boxes but the cereal boxes I have are over 20 years old and still going strong.

I bought four single fitted sheets for DD1, she has a new child or two due in March so she may need bedding for two more beds. There could also be bedwetting problems with the new children so some extra sheets could be useful.

I also won a raffle prize, a box of After Eights.

The jumble sale is done in two shifts, 10 - 11:30 and 1:45 - 3:30. This is ideal for me as I means Steve isn't alone for long as I go home to walk Beano and get us some lunch at midday.

Friday 3 January 2020

I tried today, I really really tried.

It was raining when Beano and I went for our first walk of the day but it brightened up by mid morning.

We went to Aldi but they had no coal, I spent £25 on milk, bread and vegetables. I have plenty of meat in the freezer so won't need any shopping for a few days now.

I sorted out my wardrobe and have some clothes to get rid of. I'm helping at a jumble sale tomorrow so I will donate them there.

I also smudged the boat, did a few more rounds of my crochet blanket and spent some time studying my tarot cards.

I'm almost back on an even keel, not happy but at least feeling less bleak. 

Unfortunately Steve has been very stressed today and I feel as though I'm constantly under pressure.

Hopefully my time at the jumble sale tomorrow will cheer me up.

Thursday 2 January 2020


Some days I just feel bleak, not tearful or angry, just bleak, I've been like this for a while now.

The weather is dull, dismal and cold. We had a few hours of sunshine on Christmas day but none since.

Over the last few days I've made an effort to do more than just the bare minimum, I've cleaned the fridge out, a job I hate as it makes my hearing aids whistle. I could take them out but then Steve complains that I'm not listening to him.

I've defrosted the freezer and Steve helped me move the sofa bed so I could clean underneath it.

Tomorrow I'm planning on sorting out some clothes to take to the CS next time I'm passing.

What a boring post, but unfortunately that's life.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

On my hook tonight

Waking at silly o'clock

With a panic attack as I sometimes do I decided to wander around the internet.  

Have you seen the things on Facebook, they look like a word search. The first three words you see will be what the new year contains for you.

Great, next year I'm due plif, fnug and sser.

I took Beano our for an hour and a half this morning, I cooked egg on toast for breakfast on my return. 
Half way through the cuppa I made straight after breakfast Steve asked what's for lunch! 

Lights out again!

Yet again our on-site lights have failed! I'm up and dressed and about to visit our site manager who is due here today. Last time this h...