Tuesday 31 March 2020

Every little helps

My local hospital has an Amazon Wish List, I bought them some face masks and hand cream.

I've also signed up to For the Love of Scrubs, I've ordered fabric, tape and the pattern.

I can't do more as I think we will be stuck in the marina for the entire year, which means mooring fees of £300 a month.

Monday 30 March 2020

Late 1960's

In the late 1960's I was living in a bedsit near Wandsworth prison I was 16.

My parents divorce was relatively amicable but I was "not wanted on board". When the marital home in Wimbledon was sold  they both moved on with their lives. I was considered old enough to fend for myself.

I had been training as a hairdresser, I had no interest in this, it had been my mother's decision. I expect she fancied saving on her hairdressing costs.
My wages were £3, I worked in a salon in Knightsbridge once I was on my own I couldn't afford a bedsit in Knightsbridge nor could I afford the train fare to Knightsbridge so I found a bedsit and a job near Wandsworth prison.

My wages were  now £4 per week and my rent £3 10 shillings, £3.50 in today's money. I had a gas and electricity meter I don't think I ever put any money in the gas meter but I put a few pennies in the electric meter. I just sat with my coat on in the winter and washed in cold water most of the time. There was a shared bathroom, I was allocated to have a bath on Wednesdays. It was a race between the three of us who were on the Wednesday list to get the first bath when the water was hot. This was not really much of a hardship as I'd grown up with no hot water and no central heating. 

Once I'd moved in I bought one item every week when I got paid, a sheet,  a blanket, a plate and a cup, a knife, fork and spoon all from the local market, I bought the bare minimum so I could have some home comforts.  Apart from that I bought only food, soap and toothpaste. A loaf of bread, a tub of margarine, a lump of cheese. One meal a day, a cheese sandwich, fortunately we got free tea and coffee at work. At home I drank water.

I walked to and from work, it was about half a mile. I had little social life as I had no money to go out but occasionally a friend would visit.

Sunday 29 March 2020


Still bitterly cold here.

Still wearing my  shrug with the crispy edge.

Beano only wanted very short walks today.

Steve's got a cold and feels unwell, mainly panic I think.

Couldn't find anything interesting to watch on tv so did way too much tapestry and now my thumb aches like buggery.

I can't watch catchup tv as we only have a limited mifi.

I did a load of washing, what a boring post.

I'll try harder tomorrow.

Saturday 28 March 2020

Shrug on fire

It is bloody freezing here, it has been for a few days but it was sunny until about 10 this morning.

I went to the kitchen to put the kettle on, I use a kettle on the hob not an electric one.

Usually I take my shrug off before I go near the hob but I was so cold I left it on.

Yeah, you guessed it I set fire to my shrug, bugger.

Friday 27 March 2020


I went shopping today for us and four other boaters. The queue to get into Sainsburys was an hour and ten minutes. It's ok once you are in and most shelves are stocked. I bought an Easter egg on the way round the shop, another customer was extremely rude to me when I let an elderly chap across to get a pack of butter. I cheerfully told her to fuck off but I thought the poor checkup staff must get this all the time.

I spent £140, but between five it's not too bad.

We still cannot leave the marina, most of the Red Boarding is over as the water level has reduced but all unnecessary journeys are banned. This means we are forking out £300 a month in fees. Whilst the sun is shining we are using solar power instead of shore power.

Steve's very stressed so I'm getting shouted at a lot, this morning it was because the plates I served breakfast on were cold, I have no way of warming them with no hot water and the stoves not lit. I also got shouted at because he put some paint in a jar and then couldn't get the jar open.

I worry about my youngest son, he is driving Blues and Twos when he's not on shift.

Thursday 26 March 2020


I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who have a mantra.

I have two currently.

One is "I'm sure it would count as justifiable homicide".

The other is "Up through the clean, down through the dirty".

It's a long time since I did tapestry so I have to keep reminding myself of this.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

One for all

The marina has now closed to all weekend and holiday boaters, everyone was notified today, some people immediately announced that they were coming anyway as they were planning on doing some maintenance on their boat, they have been told they cannot.

There is just us few liveaboard boaters here now, we shouldn't be here but the canal is still Red Boarded, so here we stay.

Today has been sunny and warm, we have walked Beano around the marina, we have avoided the towpath as it is very busy with joggers and cyclists.

One of my boating neighbours went shopping today she shopped for other people too, she got me a loaf of bread. She went to Waitrose where they were giving away their flowers, so she gave me a bunch.


There is a boat near us belonging to a couple in their late fifties, they spend their weekdays caring for their grandchildren and his 94 year old mother. This weekend they came to their boat and socialised with the people in the next boat. They didn't bother to practise social distancing as "There is lots of fresh air around"!

Monday 23 March 2020

Mortgage free in Three

Elaine is doing her best to get the Mortgage Free in Three website up and running again. If she succeeds I'll,let people know on here.

Mother's Day

This is what my daughter posted on Facebook today.

Happy Mothers Day to my mummy! She taught me all the skills I need to survive this! 💪
🔹️Patience of a saint - well not quite but I'm close 😬
🔹️Realistic expectations in parenting - ok calling my 5 year old, a knob to her face isn't great but I'm only human 🤷‍♀️
🔹️A dark sense of humour - we all need a laugh in these times just don't say it loud enough for anyone to report you 🤐
🔹️To live in chaos and embrace the madness - I was raised in a home overrun with wild children, I just feel like I'm back in my childhood home. And the madness..well, that's hard to avoid so I'll just throw myself into it! 🤪
🔹️To eat what I'm given and make dinners out of almost nothing - lumpy milk featured heavily in my childhood! As did chicken 'stoup' (too runny for stew, too lumpy for soup) Last night we had 4 portions of spag bol and tonight we have 8 portions of lasagna..12 dinners all from 250g of mince! Ok its hunt the mince but that's how I was raised! 🧐
🔹️That worrying is like a rocking chair, it's something to do but it gets you nowhere - there are better things to do with my time ⌚
🔹️Life isn't about surviving! It's about thriving! - and I do! My kids do! We are thriving, and kicking the sh*t out of life! 🥳
🔹️IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD - a phrase I didn't like growing up, cos so many things felt so big but now, it's a phrase I LOVE! There's nothing better than a mother that takes this attitude to every bomb you drop! 💣
21 - mum I'm pregnant 🤰
36 - mum I'm leaving my marriage and home...🏃‍♀️
And now, in this global crisis, it's still Not The End Of The World! Thank you mum for all of it! ❤❤

Friday 20 March 2020

Dad's Army

I'm living in an episode of Dad's Army!

Steve is alternating between barking orders at me like Captain Mainwaring, panicking like Corporal Jones or predicting doom like Private Frazer!

I'm trying to keep him calm and keep myself busy, I have the tapestry I showed you yesterday, I have a massive net petticoat that I shall turn into tutus, some towels and men's shirts to cut up and edge to make face wipes with and some small bags to embroider to make into spell bags.

I only wish I could find something that Steve would do apart from scrolling through Facebook and getting stressed.

I do periodically make him get offline but he has nothing else to take its place.

I would like to meditate more and study the cards but I cannot concentrate, I unjoined (yes I know there is no such word, but you know what I mean) a couple of Facebook boaters groups as I couldn't cope with the stupidity and hysteria. Unfortunately Steve is still a member and is constantly reading out all the posts I was trying to avoid!

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Lock down

This, along with the wool and a needle was left unsold at the end of the jumble sale I helped at last Saturday so I made a donation and it came home with me. There is a lot of black in it but I'm hoping that with a good light, a strong magnifier and a following wind that I will be able to complete it.

There will be no more jumble sales for a few months.

Stroke Club is closed for the foreseeable future.

DD1 and DD2 are staying home, some of the grandchildren aren't well. They have streaming colds and no temperature but they are not allowed to return to school. Mind you the schools are closed next week. I transferred some money to DD2 to tide her over.

Lots of people have decided to spend time on their boats as they self isolate so it's very busy here.
The marina office is running a reduced face to face service. Gas and coal will be dropped at the end of the jetty and payments are to be made by phone.

We did a slightly larger weekly shop today, an extra bottle of milk a jar of coffee and two extra tins. We cannot have shopping delivered here at the moment so we have to go out.

Apart from that, it's hunker down and sit it out.

Tuesday 17 March 2020


On Saturday I helped at a jumble sale in aid of the Wessex Cancer Trust. There were two new helpers one of whom was serving beside me.

She asked if I was local and I explained about living on a boat.

She immediately went into raptures about how lucky I was and how it was her dream to live on a boat.

She waxed lyrical about sitting on the front deck with a cold glass of wine whilst watching the scenery pass by. About having no housework to do as boats are so small. About not having to work as there were no bills to pay. About having a boater's stove to keep her warm.

By the time I'd explained about the locks and swing bridges, the cost of the boat licence, insurance, mooring fees, about lugging in the coal in and clearing out the ash, her happy bubble was well and truly pricked!

Monday 16 March 2020


Thank for all your lovely comments I really do appreciate them all.

I received an email this morning to say that stroke club will be closed for the foreseeable future, four months at least. Fortunately the email arrived before I started to make the forty portions of syrup pudding.

I really worry about some of the carers who will now get no respite at all.

The jumble sale in April has also been cancelled.

I'm wondering if I need to start carrying my driving licence around with me if the over 70's are told to self isolate. That way I can prove I'm under 70.

Monday 9 March 2020

Normal service is resumed

Life is proving erm complicated at the moment, I had a complete meltdown and almost tore someone's face off last week, some patronising twunt decided to lecture me, totally stupid to get upset by such idiocy but I have a short fuse. She was lecturing me about self care and whilst I know this is important it isn't always easy. She poo-pooed my explanation and informed me that the best thing I could do was have a nice long bubble bath, as we don't have a bath, just a shower, a bubble bath is impossible, so she told me I was just making excuses!

My DD2 who is bipolar is having a difficult time, she was trying so hard to have an amicable divorce but her ex has a new gf who is insisting on all out warfare, DD2 is, throughout this, trying to protect their children, the new gf wants to get married asap hence the warfare.

Steve needs constant encouragement otherwise he'll sit on his bum and do nothing, if I push he digs his heels in. He is desperate to stop going to stroke club.

It's beginning to look as though Beano cannot see well, this is making him scared and when scared he goes into attack mode, he doesn't bite but gets very growly and snarly. He is ok in daylight but when the light is fading he gets very scared of people he is usually pleased to see.

I went for a healing session last week, I'm trying to practice what I learnt.
I'm struggling to get out of bed, feel totally exhausted but I really need to get a grip.

I don't know if you remember my ex tenant, she is on a Facebook group I'm on, well karma is certainly biting her on the bum. So far she's had to move again and had to change letting agents, her car was written off by an uninsured driver, no injuries apart from the car. And now she's posting about being in serious debt. Even I'm now hoping karma gives her a break soon!

Wednesday 4 March 2020


I'm having a bad couple of days, all I want to do is sit and howl.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Monday 2 March 2020

Old school

Kate, your comment made me laugh as did Cols about floating off the marina when everywhere is flooded.

Today I found the Facebook page for my secondary school, it was great fun looking at the photo's.

Men versus women

Allegedly the post stroke personality change affects more men than women.
The gender split at stroke club is approximately 50/50.
There are at least four men at stroke club who can be unpleasant and difficult to deal with, Steve is never difficult at stroke club.
There is one woman at stroke club who is unpleasant and difficult.
As I didn't know any of these people pre-stroke I have no idea if their behaviour has been caused by their stroke.

Sunday 1 March 2020


Some of my grand children call me cuckoo, probably because I'm a bit strange and batty.

Today we went to DD1's so Steve could work out what they need to repair their fence.

When my youngest grandson saw me he gave me a hug and said.

"Cuckoo, did you bring us anything with sugar in?"

I had a bag of jelly babies with me so each dgc had a few of them.

Trouble at the big house!

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