Tuesday 30 June 2020

Dog walking

Witch Hazel, yes it was in a heartbeat that made me cry.

Today we went to Hounds and  Bounds, an enclosed dog walking area, we could let both dogs of the lead without fear of losing them. It's surrounded by tall fences that are dug in so even digging dogs can't escape. The lower part of the fence is covered with green sheeting so the dogs cannot be stressed by the horses in the adjoining field and vice versa.

 DD2 met us there so the children could spend time with Loulou. It cost £10 an hour to hire and was well worth it. We will go again sometime soon and will book one of the woodland walks another time.

We then dropped the dogs back at the boat and did the weekly shop.

I then had a nana nap as I slept very badly last night. I find it stressful when Steve is being difficult.

Monday 29 June 2020

Made me laugh

#1 - Talk to yourself. There are times you need expert advice
#2 - “In Style” are the clothes that still fit.
#3 - You don't need anger management. You need people to stop pissing you off.
#4 - Your people skills are just fine. It's your tolerance for idiots that needs work.
#5 - The biggest lie you tell yourself is, “I don't need to write that down. I'll remember it.”
#6 - “On time” is when you get there.
#7 - Even duct tape can't fix stupid - but it sure does muffle the sound.
#8 - It would be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?
#9 - Lately, You've noticed people your age are so much older than you.
#10 - Growing old should have taken longer.
#11 - Aging has slowed you down, but it hasn't shut you up.
#12 - You still haven't learned to act your age, and hope you never will.
And one more:
“One for the road” means peeing before you leave the house.

Sunday 28 June 2020

I'm out

I'm not going anywhere , but I'm out of clean knickers I'm out of hearing aid batteries and I'm out of spoons, so much so that I cried today whilst watching an animation. I don't do crying.

Every evening I light three LED candles, one for all those affected by covid19, one for general healing and one for the three friends murdered in Forbury Gardens.
Yesterday on a pagan group I belong to I was criticised for not using real candles, I love being lectured by idiots who think they know everything. I know many people love candles but I won't use them on a wood lined boat.

Crafty cat, I think a lot of people who grew up in the 50's were the same.

Walking in beauty, yes I swear by arnica cream.

Weaver, a lot of people don't realise the restrictions of boat living, limited water supply, limited power etc.


Thank you for all your kindness.

Kate yes I got absolutely bugger all sympathy and I made the tea myself.

Unknown, I would have loved a shower after my unexpected dip but we only hot water on the boat if we boil a kettle. Otherwise we need to turn the heating on for an hour and as it was already 27 degrees I didn't want to do that. The other way is to run the engine for an hour but boaters are not allowed to run their engines before 8 am. I settled for boiling a kettle and having a strip wash.

Saturday 27 June 2020

Could have been worse

My knees are purple, but only painful if I kneel on them.
As I fell in fast moving water I'm at less risk of Wiels disease.
And when I said the is deep it isn't, it's only about 4 or 5 feet deep, unfortunately I'm only 4'11 and as I'm 70 next year I need to stop doing stupid things like this.

Steve was, of course, full of sympathy, after asking me if I'd really fallen in or if he'd dreamt it, he immediately asked why the batteries were draining so fast and what was I doing to cause it.

My knee, the bruises are much darker now.

Thursday 25 June 2020

Twas early in the morning

Just had a very exciting start to the day, 5am and Loulou was mithering, I assumed she wanted to go out, I almost went out in my dressing gown but fortunately decided to throw a summer dress on. Put both dogs leads on, opened the baby gate and whoosh, they both took off after a rabbit or something. I had a firm grip on their leads as I never know who or what is in the field. Normally they run straight ahead so I have to gallop along the gangplank. This morning the both bolted to the right and pulled me straight into the water!
It's deep, it's river, not canal, it wasn't  as cold as I'd expected but it was over my head. I managed to get to my feet and climb up the bank, still hanging on to both leads!

I dried off and went back to bed, Steve wondered why my hair was wet. I was trying to get back to sleep when Beano started barking, the cows were chewing on the ropes, so out of bed, different dress on, same shoes so very squelchy. Across the grass to smack the cow on the bum to chase it away, second cow is in the water eating the reeds and gets her legs caught on the rope. I have to persuade her to go backwards, which she does eventually, she's very friendly and stands beside me whilst I scratch her head. Eventually the entire herd make their way to the other end of the field and I return to the boat, still squelching along in wet shoes. I have the most enormous bruises developing on my knees, oh well, the joys of living on a boat.

Spell bags

I suppose the spell bags are a bit like a good luck charm.

Something for the person gifted one to focus on.

I start with a small drawstring calico bag, the bags are about five inches by three.

I choose an appropriate rune to draw on the bag.

I always add some herbs so the bag smells nice, I have some dried herbs and I grow some on the boat that I pick and dry. Lavender and rosemary are both good, I often add chamomile but it doesn't smell very nice. I also pick and dry wild flowers that I find when I'm walking. I'm careful to only pick small amounts, comfrey is one of my favourites.

I have a book about crystals so I look up which ones would be appropriate, rose quartz, amethyst and tigers eye are all good ones.

There are lots of spell recipes on pinterest but I tend to follow my instincts rather than a set recipes.

Steve thinks it's all rubbish but that doesn't bother me, my bags can do no harm and at the very least the recipient knows I care and that I'm thinking of them.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Another spell bag

I gave someone a spell bag today she is feeling scared and intimidated by something that happened many years ago.

On the bag I drew a protection rune, I drew it in blue as blue is a calming colour.

In the bag I placed a tigers eye crystal for courage and confidence.

Hawthorn berries for protection.

Amethyst chips to protect against negative energy.

Dried chamomile and lavender for calm and peace.

Duck down, soft and warm to represent the love that surrounds her.

A beautiful feather from a Greyling goose for freedom and escape.

Canalside conversation

We are moored in the cow field, it's a popular mooring place, there is room for about 12 boats.

Yesterday somebody moved on and someone else arrived.

We stopped for a chat as we walked past, we mentioned that it would be a good idea for the boater to cover his mooring ropes with hawthorne as the local cows tend to chew the ropes and some boaters have found themselves adrift.

He pooh-poohed the idea, explaining he'd been boating for forty years and knew for a fact that cows don't chew rope.

The following morning NB Tranquil Waters towed him back to the bank and helped him moor up again, this time he covered his ropes up.

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Fecking dog.

Shopping today, I drive, Steve shops, I walk the dogs.

I got out of the car with both dogs on the lead.

I moved towards the front of the car to get on to the pavement.

For some reason Loulou decided to jump through the gap in the fence, it was about a four foot drop.

She was uninjured but couldn't jump back up.

So I had to wriggle under the fence to get her.

Fortunately Beano waited until I was safe on the ground before he too jumped into my arms. 

We then had an uneventful walk until Steve finished shopping.

Monday 22 June 2020

Hoping for a better day tomorrow

Today has been a struggle.

It's been sunny but not too hot.

Unfortunately yesterday caught up with me I've been shaky and a bit unsteady.

I'd hoped for a quiet, lazy day.

Steve received a phone call this morning from a friend who was very upset, one of his racing team was killed yesterday. He didn't want to be alone,  could he come over. He was here for a few hours until he felt better.

Then I discovered that I knew one of the victims of yesterday's stabbings in Forbury Park. He was such a lovely young man with a great sense of humour. Such a terrible waste of three lives.

I've picked up my knitting and my sewing but put them down again.

I've managed to walk the dogs and get food on the table today and that's about all I have achieved.

View from my window.

This is the view of the bank, blue sky reeds and grasses.
Sorry about the arm of the lamp in the corner, I'm too knackered to get up and take a better pic. I did a lot of walking yesterday as I was bridge hopping with the car as well as working the locks and bridges.

Sunday 21 June 2020

Moving day

Three locks, three swing bridges, four hours, Loulou's first proper boat trip. Once we were moored up I cooked roast beef. Beano and Loulou enjoyed their share.

We arrived at one lock to find two families trying to launch a couple of inflatables. They were not impressed that they had to move to allow canal boats through. They had set up picnic tables, fishing rods, Sun loungers etc, they had planned to stay there all day.

We are now at Ufton Nervet for a few days.

Saturday 20 June 2020

Having a shower.

Such a simple thing, having a shower but somehow it never is.

Firstly I have to ensure there is enough water then I have to check if there is enough power to heat the water.

Don't forget to turn the gulper on or the water will not drain away as the shower is below the water line.

Then there is Steve's contribution, no matter how many time I tell him he always decides he needs the front and back doors open so that when I get out of the shower there is a stiff breeze blowing through the boat, brrr.

Finally as I'm trying to get dry Beano decides to help by trying to lick my feet.

Friday 19 June 2020

Another rainy day

Sweet Blondie the cushion was beautiful, my daughter has it safe now. 
I will post a couple of handfasting pics when I next get my laptop out I cannot post them when I'm using my kindle.

 I took Beano and Loulou out along the towpath early this morning, we didn't go far as it started to rain really hard, we've had a few games of fetch with Loulou in between the rain showers. She is a lot more energetic than Beano.

We ordered a takeaway from a local pub for this evening, I had salmon and Steve had hunters chicken, we both had chocolate brownie and ice cream to follow.
We would normally go out for a meal to celebrate our anniversary, this was the  next best thing.

Thursday 18 June 2020

Nine years ago today

Steve and I got married, we'd been together for ten years by then.

We were at the registry office at 10am we had the shortest ceremony available and then home to hold our handfasting in the garden at midday. 

The weather remained dry until the evening by which time everyone had gone home.

We spent £400, mainly on food and drink. I made my dress and the bunting that was strung around the garden.

Instead of a bouquet I picked a few sprigs of lavender and rosemary from my garden as I left for the registry office and tied them with a scrap of gold ribbon.

One of our guests spent as much n her outfit as we did for the entire event.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

The lost art if conversation

It's been a difficult day at times. Steve seems ok chatting to other people but not so much with me.

He rarely wears his hearing aids when he's on the boat, only when he is out and about.

I know this is because he doesn't find them comfortable but it makes me feel like he's not interested in any thing I have to say.

He tends to harangue me when I say something, he almost always disagrees with me and seem to feel his opinions are the only correct ones.

Tuesday 16 June 2020


Many boaters go out of their way to help others. I  always help with locks and bridges, it makes life easier for every one.

Steve will stop and chat to everyone boaters and passers by. I'll smile and wave but I don't tend to start a conversation as I cannot hear what people are saying so there is no point.

Some leisure boaters and many land dwellers look down on liveaboards, they see us as scroungers and pikeys.

There are also a lot of vulnerable people living on the cut who do so because they find life elsewhere too stressful, sometimes because of mental health issues, addiction or other problems.

Monday 15 June 2020

Pay it forward

Over the last week Steve has been chatting to a boater that we pass when we walk the dogs. He is on a Dutch barge moored on the canal just outside the marina. He's a single handed boater and when he mentioned to Steve that he was planning on heading to Woolhampton  Steve offered to give him a hand.

He phoned us this morning at 9:30 to say he was heading off. We got into our car and as we drove off the marina we could see him traveling towards Woolhampton. 

We parked in a pub car park and walked to the lock, once the lock was ready, empty and with the gates open, we walked to the swing bridge, the Dutch barge was just coming round the corner so I  stopped the traffic, dropped the barriers to closed the road and opened the bridge. Once he was through I closed the bridge, opened the barriers and released the traffic.

When the barge was in the lock we closed the gates and filled it with water, once the levels were equal we opened the gates and the barge continued its journey and we emptied the lock, some can be left full, some must be emptied. Hopefully someone will help us sometime with a lock.

Sunday 14 June 2020

The same but different.

Beano and Loulou are similar in some ways different in others.

We've been told by a couple of JRT breeders that Beano is definitely part JRT as he has the twisted front feet, he also has a strange gait that could be caused by luxating patella.

Loulou is allegedly a JRT Chihuahua cross, she has JRT colouring and is bug eyed, she doesn't have twisted front feet and she walks normally.

Beano's coat is a mix of rough and smooth known as broken coated, Loulou is smooth coated, she is half the size of Beano. Beano chases things but it's more of a prance he is rarely intent on catching anything. Loulou goes crazy trying to chase things I'm convinced she would go for the kill if she was off the lead.

Saturday 13 June 2020

Just needs a button.

Brianna's Capelet from the Outlander collection, it will keep my neck warm next winter. Knitted with one strand of stylecraft cream DK and two strands of 4ply Shetland spun by a friend from one of her sheep. I just need to buy a large wooden button to fasten it.

Friday 12 June 2020

Rainy day

It was dry this morning when we took the dog's out for a long walk, they are getting five or six walks a day as Loulou is used to having a dog door and being able to access the garden at will. One walk takes about an hour the other walks are between 15 and 20 minutes. Today we watched the weather very carefully and went out between showers. 

DD2 visited with the children so they could see Loulou, she has received an offer on her house, DD2 that is not Loulou, so fingers crossed it goes through quickly.

Apart from that I've been knitting, I've almost finished the capelet and I have enough yarn to knit another one. 

Thursday 11 June 2020


Oh the joys of insomnia, I don't suffer all the time so I'm very lucky really.

I get the 'Can't get to sleep as my mind is replaying every unresolved issue from the last 60 plus years'.

Then there is the 'Waking up in a panic' usually worrying about a decision. So last weeks panic was 'How am I going to manage two dog's' this has been resolved as Loulou and Beano have been so good.
This weeks panic was whether my car would pass it's MOT, it did, phew.

There is also the waking at sparrowfart o'clock and being unable to get back to sleep.  Still not waking up at all would be worse wouldn't it.

Wednesday 10 June 2020


I've not seen Inspector Montelbano Weave but it looks interesting.

I watched Back in Time for the Weekend tonight it covered 1970's, the miners strike, three day week, the heatwave in 1976 the year I got married for the first time.

Mean Queen, Cottenham park in Raynes Park and I was 13 too.

We have a new grandson coming soon, he is eight, his arrival has been delayed by the virus.

Thanks for all the comments about Loulou and Beano, they are getting on well together.

Tuesday 9 June 2020

First kiss

Loulou has been avoiding face to face contact with Beano. She gets bug eyed and backs off when he approaches her so he veers off and doesn't push it.
Tonight they were sat either side of me whilst I was watching TV. Beano stretched out towards her and although she looked a little bug eyed she also stretched out and their noses touched briefly.

I don't watch much TV, too much drivel on usually but today there was a program about Tudor times on BBC4 and then A House Through Time on BBC2.

Tomorrow it's Repair Shop and then Sewing Bee. These are probably the only things I will watch this week.

Monday 8 June 2020


Loulou has her new lead, a retractable one, I prefer it as it gives her room to run around without getting lost.

Last night she slept in Beano's bed, he doesn't mind as he never uses it.

He also lets her sit on mine or Steve's knee, once he has decided which knee he wants first.

We have to feed her in the bathroom and shut her in until Beano has eaten, otherwise she eats his food too as e is a slow eater.

Beano told her off today, he barked at her when she was being silly.

She is being introduced to new things every day and new dogs, she is getting better with them.

To start with she was very uncertain getting on and off the boat, the movement made her nervous but now she is used to it and hops on and off without hesitation.

Loulou does seem to have a bit of a duck obsession, Beano chases them as he thinks they belong in the water. Loulou chases the and will follow them into the water given half a chance.

We have two baby gates, one either side of the boat so Loulou cannot jump off if she is on the back deck.

Sunday 7 June 2020

A helping hand

This morning we were up by 7:30, I walked the dogs along the towpath with two other boaters and their dogs. 

Back to the marina for bacon butties and then it was time to go.
Two boats, NB Lottie and NB Dover set off from the marina, Steve and I drove to Aldermaston lock, we locked them through and I opened the swing bridge for them and NB Sun Uppers went through too.  Then we drove to Padworth swing bridge, Steve walked on to Towney lock and I stayed to operate the swing bridge.

 I then drove to Sulhampstead swing bridge, I opened it for a boat called Pop Art Blue, closed it to let traffic through then opened it for NB Dover and NB Lottie.

From there we drove to Tyle Mill (Kate Bush used to live nearby, maybe still does). Here we hit a snag, Tyle Mill bridge was broken. Pop Art Blue were in the lock, CRT were notified and would be there in half an hour. 

It was nearly midday by now so we said goodbye to our friends and returned to our boat.

Saturday 6 June 2020


Loulou was my daughter's dog, when DD split up with her husband she rented a house where pets were allowed. After she'd signed the lease she was told that 'pets' didn't include dogs.

Loulou stayed with DD's ex but the marital home is now on the market. DD's ex is moving in with his new gf who won't have the dog.

Loulou has visited us a few times and is staying the night with us tonight if it goes ok she can stay permanently.

Beano seems ok with her, we are ensuring that he is top dog as the changes are making Loulou a bit anxious and Beano seems to have a calming effect on her.

Loulou is a very needy girl where cuddles are concerned so Steve is paying her lots of attention, Beano doesn't mind as long as he's got me.

Beano's new friend.

Friday 5 June 2020

An end to the scrubs debacle

I was chatting to a leisure boater last weekend, she has also been making scrubs.

She has a brilliant coordinator who has arranged for some people to cut out, some to sew and some to iron. There has been none of the nonsense about constantly changing sewing instructions and no insistence about only overlockers are to be used. One pattern was ordered and used, whereas I paid for two and only received one that wasn't acceptable.

I gave the scrubs I'd made along with the wash bags and remaining fabric to the leisure boater and she will pass them on to her coordinator. I really wanted to help but unfortunately my coordinator was more interested in posting on FB, getting her name in the local paper and being an all round pain in the arse. 

Thursday 4 June 2020


If you google Spell Jars you will find all sorts of information about what they should contain and on what you need to say when you make one.
Anyone can do this and do it in the way they choose, there isn't a right or wrong way. Some people use a wand, I don't, and I don't mutter rhymes either.

I would never make a spell bag for ill only for good. I would never make a spell bag to attract money or love. I would never make a spell bag for myself.

I did make a spell bag to try to help someone regain financial security after she had suffered a financial loss. 

I collect plants and other items, feathers, hag stones (a stone with a hole through it) when I'm walking Beano, I carry a cloth bag with me to hold the things I collect.

I buy crystals, often just polished chips, I grow lavender in a basket and some herbs in a box on the roof of the boat and dry them, others I buy from the supermarket.

When I decide to make a spell bag I spend some time thinking about what I want to achieve. I used buttercups for sunshine in the last bag I made, I could have used ragwort or dandelion. I just wanted a yellow flower. I put items in the bag that I feel are appropriate and I concentrate on each item as I add it to the bag. I mark the bag with an appropriate rune, I use a sharpie, nothing exotic.

I'm happy to answer questions about the spell bags but these are just my interpretations and there are many different ways of making them.

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Bags versus Jars

I'm happy for anyone to copy my spell bag idea.

There are lots of recipes for spell jars online or just add whatever you feel is appropriate.

I make bags rather than jars as I think they are safer to use on a boat, also empty bags take up less room than empty jars. I already have a shelf full of jam jars waiting to be filled with marmalade when I get round to making a batch, I bought a tin of Mamade a while ago.

I made the spell bag for friends who are setting off on their travels at the weekend.

There has been a dramatic change in the weather today, it is raining and chilly here.

Fortunately Steve has finished painting the roof of the boat and has even managed to finish the wood at the stern and he boating pole. If we get some more sunny days he will re-varnish  the woodwork in the cratch. He has done it once but isn't happy with the result as the wood is still too pale.

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Spell bag

After the success of my previous spell bag, today I made another one.

I made a safe travels bag. I didn't follow a recipe I've been planning the bag for a few weeks so I've been collecting appropriate items.

I drew a safe travels rune on the bag I added the following to the bag.

A tigers eye crystal for courage and confidence.
Dried comfrey for protection.
Dried chamomile and lavender for calm and tranquil waters.
Dried buttercups for sunshine.
Dried rose for love.
Blue lace agate chips for blue sky.
Two duck feathers, one for buoyancy and one for warmth.

Monday 1 June 2020


Barny is an amiable but very large chocolate Labrador. His owners will be back on their boat soon and no doubt Barny will visit us.

Stair gate, no problem, Barny walks straight through it, it cannot withstand his bulk.

Already have a dog of your own, no problem, Barny will walk all over it, walk into your boat and eat your dogs food.

Your children are frightened of dogs, no problem, Barny will pin them to the floor and lick them. Your children like dogs, see above!

Barny is impervious to threats and punishment and tows his owner round on the end of his lead.

If Barny visits you his owner comes too.

Barny has never met a stranger, just friends he doesn't know yet.

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...