Friday, 31 July 2020
Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Yesterday we left Abingdon at about 9am, we went through Abingdon lock and moored up on the other side to get rid of our rubbish and fill up with water.
We then headed on towards Sandford lock, it was chilly, cloudy and windy with occasional spots of rain.
We were overtaken by five boats on the way to Sandford, when we reached the lock all five were on the lock landing and the lock gates were just opening.
The lock keeper waved us us all in, we were last in and last out. We moored just past the lock landing, we are close to the bank but Loulou managed to fall in twice!
We walked over to the Kings Arms and had a meal there, Steve had Hunters chicken and I had scampi.
This morning we moved on, we got to Iffley lock to find it was broken, it took about an hour to get it fixed and we were on our way. The next lock was Osney, we are now moored between Osney lock and Osney bridge. The mooring is free for the first 24 hours, maximum stay is there days. I walked into Oxford, to the Westgate Centre to do some shopping, I bought some new shoes as the sole is flapping on my current pair, I've glued it a few times but it is a trip hazard, dangerous on a boat. I also bought two new hoodies from Primark, I always buy men's hoodies, the pockets are bigger. I bought three when we first bought a boat, Steve now has one of them and one I threw away any the end of last winter. The one I had left was very stained and worn so it will go in the bin along with my shoes.
Tuesday, 28 July 2020
Monday, 27 July 2020
We moved à few hundred yards today.I
We needed to fill up with diesel and the barnyard was only open for an hour.
There was another widebeam filling up so we got ready and as soon as they pulled away we took their place.
I was already wet from walking the dogs, I stood at the front of the boat in the rain and managed to get the rope around the bollard as we moored by the diesel pump. We spent £43 as we hadn't used as much as we thought. We do have a fuel gauge but it doesn't work properly. When the tank is full the gauge registers three quarters and when the gauge drops to half that mean we are empty!
We went under the bridge and it was already raining harder again so we decided to moor up until tomorrow morning.
It was very difficult to moor, there were a lot of boats moving, it was chucking it down and the wind was hellish.
Fortunately another boater took the back rope, I was hanging on to the front rope and I'm bruised from where it was across my back as I struggled to hang on and pull the boat to the bank.
Sunday, 26 July 2020
I would have liked to have looked around Abingdon but unfortunately I haven't had chance.
I stayed on the boat as Steve's friend was planning to visit but was then unable to but by the time he was able to let us know I'd run out of time.
The dogs had a long walk, there was a bit of a problem with a child, both dogs are usually ok with children but are always on the lead when there are lots of people and dogs around.
A child of about 10 or 11 ran at Beano, he was waving his arms about and shouting at him so Beano barked. The child's father remonstrated with me and said the child just wanted to be friends. Loulou was ok she let the child stroke her, I did explain that it was not a good way to let a child approach a dog but the father disagreed.
Saturday, 25 July 2020
Chris, Steve steers the boat, it is far too heavy for me to manage. I can manage for a short time but not for long. I also cannot see over the roof of the boat.
Trish, a weekend boat is probably a good idea, I miss having a garden, I also miss having lots of hot water.
There is no satellite signal here so no tv but I'm not much of a tv fan so it's not a problem.
We are staying tomorrow night as well, we will fill up with fuel and water on Monday morning and then head off.
It rained a lot today, there was a brief shower as we approached Culham lock, the lock is 7ft 6in deep and I would have really struggled to get the role around a bollard but fortunately there was a lock keeper on duty with a boat hook and he managed to snag the rope from my hook on to his.
We managed to moor up and take the dogs for a walk before the heavens opened. Steve and I had fitted the pram cover and then he went to find the opening times of the facilities when the rain started. I dropped the back panel on the pram cover, shut the side hatch and closed the cratch. I then wiped down the parts that got wet, Steve arrived looking like a drowned rat.
Cleavers are small buds from a plant that get stuck to clothes and dogs.
Ian, thank you so much for commenting, you really made me laugh, I enjoy your blog but for some reason I'm unable to leave a comment.
Friday, 24 July 2020
We left Wallingford just after 9 this morning and found a 24 hour mooring at Clifton lock just after 1 o'clock, there are just two boats here.
The mooring is low, so no lifting the dogs on and off, it's quiet so the dogs are relaxed and not constantly barking at passers by.
There is no satellite signal so I shall read, this week I've read The Tamed Wife by Phillipa Gregory, Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovich and I've just started Out of the London Mist by Lyssa Medana.
I did a load of washing as we travelled along and had a shower when we arrived, I even managed a nana nap, something I have done since Loulou joined us.
Tomorrow we will move on to Abingdon and hopefully find a mooring there.
Thursday, 23 July 2020
Goring was lovely with many old buildings, the only fly in the ointment was a pissed evangelist who insisted on explaining his beliefs to us and trying to convert us!
The moorings, like many on the Thames are very tall, more suited to cruisers than narrow boats so Beano and Loulou had to be lifted on and off the boat numerous times.
Wallingford is also lovely and as anonymous said, we found everyone very friendly especially the water bailiff who collects the mooring fees. The 14th century bridge is absolutely wonderful.
We moored on the left hand side when we arrived but mid afternoon a boat moved on from the right hand side so we moved across. The bank is a little lower on this side so I am able to get on and off a bit easier with the dogs though I still have to lift them on and off.
We booked a table at one of the pubs, it's ages since we ate out so we were really looking forward to it. Unfortunately after an hour we still hadn't received our food. Eventually after a few enquiries they claimed that the order hadn't been processed. My request for a refund was refused as allegedly if the order hadn't been processed no funds would have been taken from my account. We came home and I checked my bank account and fired off an email to the brewery. I received a reply fairly quickly apologising and saying that the issue would be investigated. I then received a phone call from the pub explaining that our order had been delivered to the wrong table and that my money would be refunded.
We were very disappointed as we'd really been looking forward to a little treat.
We shopped at Waitrose, bought milk and bread so I could make a sandwich for lunch.
Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Sorry about the sudden silence, we are on the move. Lack of time and lack of energy mean there will be gaps in blogging.
We have travelled from Burghfield to the far end of the Childe Beale mooring and then on to Goring.
Today we are heading to Wallingford, everywhere is very busy so it can be difficult to find a mooring. When we can't moor it means a longer day which is tiring.
Saturday, 18 July 2020
I woke up with panic attack and it's still rumbling around.
Every dog walk today has been a nightmare, the towpath has been full of speeding bikes I got thoroughly pissed off with having to leap out their way dragging the dogs to safety.
They won't slow down even when asked and some ride two abreast taking up the entire path.
They have no consideration for the elderly, families, kids on bikes or anything else they treat the towpath like a fecking race track.
Friday, 17 July 2020
We have motion activated lights at the front and back of the boat, the front light was activated just before 1am.
This was followed a few moments later by Beano, who sleeps on our bed at the front of the boat starting to growl.
Then Loulou, who was sleeping in the living room, started to bark and ran to the stern. She doesn't bark usually when Beano growls though she will sometimes come in to see why Beano is growling, it's sometimes because he is dreaming.
I got up, grabbed my dressing gown, slipped my feet into my shoes and opened the back doors. Both dogs ran out barking, I couldn't see anything but if anyone was about I expect they scarpered.
It's now almost 2:30 the lights haven't been triggered again, hopefully I'll get back to sleep soon as I'll no doubt be awake by 4am.
I'm currently reading an interesting book by Brené Brown.
In it she discusses the effect of criticism on her work.
My blog contains my thoughts on my life it is not my work.
Brené talked about how the most negative and hurtful criticism is always anonymous.
This is how she addresses the problem of anonymous criticism. She says "if you are not in the arena getting your arse kicked like the rest of us then I'm not interested in your feed back" I have paraphrased her words slightly.
I have taken the decision to delete all unpleasant anonymous comments from now on as I refuse to accept criticism from someone who is too scared to use their real name.
Thursday, 16 July 2020
Wednesday, 15 July 2020
Beano has a kong toy, it unscrews to put the treats in and it has a small hole that the treats can drop out of as the toy is chased around. The treats do not drop out fast enough for Beano so he has learnt to unscrew the toy.
Loulou started off trying to eat Beano's food so we fed them in separate rooms for a few day. Now we feed them both in the kitchen. Loulou stands and watches Beano eat and finishes what he leaves. Loulou decided Beano wasn't leaving enough for her so now once she has eaten her food she pushes her bowl across the floor. It makes quite a noise and Beano turns around to see what's happening. Loulou dives into Beano's bowl and finishes off his food.
We still have no satellite signal but this mooring is nice and bright, for although there are overhanging trees we are on the river here and it is wider than at Theale.
We've had neighbours for a couple of days, two friends sharing a boat Mick and Lina, they also have a dog. When Lina walks the dog I can hear her shouting at the cyclists. "Slow down you fecking bastards, mind my dog". I don't blame her it's a bit like the M4 on the towpath between 5am and 9am. After that I think most people are working so there is less traffic. Unfortunately my dogs cannot wait until after 9am to go out so we have to brave the lycra louts. I make sure I am wearing my hi-vis jacket and my favourite badge it says First rule of the canal. don't be a c**t.
I have taken enough crap now, especially in the last couple of days so I now make sure the dogs aren't blocking by the path but I make sure I am. There are big signs everywhere saying that pedestrians have priority. As boaters we pay in excess of £1000 to licence our boats and this allows us to moor on the bank. I'm buggered if I'm going to be force to jump aside for some prat in lycra.
I don't mind other people on bikes in fact I don't mind bikers in lycra, it's the arse up head down, oblivious to everyone else type that I hate with a passion.
I'm considering buying an ash staff, I can lean on it when I'm walking and use it to thwack irritating prats with.
Tuesday, 14 July 2020
Still no Dr's appointment, ring again tomorrow.
I bought four books yesterday, a Rebus book that I seem to have missed, the latest Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk. They should keep me occupied for a couple of days.
Daring Greatly is all about how people's lives are governed by shame, not feeling good enough, slim enough, clever enough. Also how shame encourages one person to be cruel to another. It's an interesting read, especially as this is how my last line manager operated. Out of a team of eight there 'the chosen one's they were the managers friends. Then there were those aspiring to be chosen, struggling to fit in and following every fad the line manager adopted. Under the guise of Team Building little exercises were set, everybody needs to buy a specific dress to go to the end of term meeting is everybody needs to buy a Pandora bracelet, and similar suggestions. It was like dealing with the mean girls in school and totally unprofessional.
Monday, 13 July 2020
Flis, it is an ear problem it is a tumour that presses on the balance and hearing nerves.
I phoned the surgery today but there were no appointments available, I need to phone every morning at 8am until the Dr has a telephone spot free.
DD2 took me to collect my car at 10am this morning, as I was driving home the car behind me was being driven by a blind man with a very small dick. I know this because he insisted on driving almost touching my exhaust in his very large car with his headlights on full beam. He was obviously annoyed because I was adhering to the 40mph speed limit. As I was driving along the slip road towards the dual carriageway I increased my speed up to 60 ready to join the fast flowing traffic, he started to attempt to overtake me. He didn't notice the signs announcing that the outside lane was closed! He blasted on his horn, whether at me or the road workers in not sure but then he had to pull back in behind me. Heyho, I obviously ruined his day.
Three photos I took today, swans and cygnets swimming past.
Loulou on guard duty.
Finally the view from the back deck as I drank my first cuppa of the day.
Sunday, 12 July 2020
We've moved, we are in Burghfield not far from DD2.
Three locks, a swing bridge and a gentle cruise. We moored up about 2:30, walked the dogs and then I cooked lamb and new potatoes.
We will stay here about a week as Steve is laying laminate for DD1, he did one room yesterday and will do another room one day soon.
I'm investigating getting an MRI scan done privately, it was suggested at my last audiology appointment that I have Vestibular Schwannoma. I should have had a scan arranged but Covid means the length of the waiting list is astronomical now. I feel I need to know if my hearing problems and dizziness are caused by a brain tumour or if it is something else.
Friday, 10 July 2020
I often don't sleep well, I have too much crap rattling around in my brain.
Last night I managed to sleep a little better and could have slept longer only just after 6am the motion activated night light in the bathroom fell off the wall with an almighty clatter.
The noise woke the dogs up and they started barking so I gave up on sleep, got dressed and took them for a walk.
Thursday, 9 July 2020
The moorings here are quiet so we moved up on to the visitor moorings. This means we don't have to use the gangplank, a great advantage when trying to get off the boat with two dogs.
I walked back to get the car yesterday morning so the dogs had a two mile walk.
Unfortunately it has rained for the last couple days so the boat smells of wet dog and wet washing.
Steve doesn't like this mooring, too many overhanging trees make it dark and he hates the rain but it is supposed to be here tomorrow.
He slipped yesterday and thinks he's damaged a tendon but he only limps when he remembers so it can't be that bad!
He's in a foul mood, swearing and finding fault with everything. He's not doing anything useful just being an all round pain in the arse
He mentioned earlier that when I swept the floor I hadn't wiped behind the doors, I handed him a cloth and told him to do it himself!
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
Sue there are no visitor moorings at Aldermaston Wharf, we sometimes moor on the towpath below the lock and after the swing bridge but the people in the houses complain a lot so we don't stay for long.
One home owner became very irate and threatened to call the police when we moored. He had been assured by his estate agents that when he purchased his house it included the stretch of towpath in front of his garden. I phoned to check with the Canal and River Trust, when they stopped laughing they said the towpath definitely still belonged to them.
Above the lock the canal is too narrow for us to moor although narrow boats can moor there.
There is a small canal museum at the Wharf it is above the tea rooms where we have stopped for breakfast occasionally.
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
We've moved from Ufton Nervet to Theale.
At 9:30 we moved the car to Tyle Mill, walked back to the boat. At 10:30 we moved the boat to Tyle Mill, through a lock and a swing bridge, we emptied the black water tank and filled the clean water tank. This took us until midday so I made a sandwich for lunch so we could eat on the move.
We arrived at the next swing bridge, opened the swing bridge, let a day boat through, followed them to the next lock where there was a problem, a damaged and leaky paddle, we were stuck, it took two hours to fill the lock!
The day boat was able to turn around and head back, we just had to sit and wait. By the time we were through I was freezing, we moored up near Theale, it's a nice village but the moorings aren't that close to the shops.
We are on the towpath moorings so we could stay three weeks but there are lots of overhanging trees so no satellite and very limited solar.
We may move tomorrow, either to Burghfield or maybe just on to the visitor moorings, they are full at the moment but there may be space tomorrow. The visitor moorings are 48 hour but we can stay seven days as we had disabled status.
As we'd been moving there was hot water, woohoo I was able to have a shower, lovely.
I then cooked chicken chow mein for tea.
Tomorrow I need to walk back and collect the car and move it here.
Monday, 6 July 2020
I have a new kindle, my old one no longer held the charge, three pages of reading and it was flat.
It didn't owe me anything, I've had it many years and it owes me nothing as I use it every day and often read for hours at a time.
The old charger doesn't for but there was a new charger included.
It fits the old case so I don't need to buy a new one.
After three attempts at uploading my content I have up and just upload the few things I use regularly.
Saturday, 4 July 2020
Poor Beano has a sore paw, I can't find any serious damage but it is a bit red.
He is limping a little bit but only occasionally.
Unfortunately he makes it worse as every time a dog walks past the boat he races up ready to repel the enemy.
This is obviously painful and he stands on the back deck with one paw lifted, looking pathetic and waiting for me to lift him down
If it doesn't improve I will take him to the vets.
It's hire boat day!
4th July and most of the hire boat companies are starting up again today.
We are expecting it to be busy this afternoon.
We rarely travel on the days the hire boats leave and return to base.
This is because the canal is busier and full of nervous boaters, boaters who think they are still on the motorway and boaters who have underestimated how long their return journey will take and are racing back to the marina.
We find a quiet place to moor, get our windlass and bridge key to hand and get on with our day. We keep an eye out for anyone in trouble and lend a hand if we can.
Friday, 3 July 2020
I think I have met my children's new daddy.
His name is George Milton, he is the chief medical officer for the World Health Organisation, he is a widower from Houston, although he is currently based in Aleppo in Syria.
He is head over heels in love with me and knows we are destined to be together.
He would love me to move to Houston (although he can't remember which state Houston is in) and is happy to pay my fare and for me to stay in the best hotel for three months so I can get to know him better.
Unfortunately as he is currently in Syria he cannot access his bank account and due to covid restrictions uk citizens are not allowed to book hotels in America!
So he needs me to transfer eleventy billion quid into his Syrian bank account and he will repay me!
I usually ignore FB requests from men unless I know who they are but sometimes I just enjoy stringing idiots along.
Thursday, 2 July 2020
Thanks for all the hugs and kind comments, I do appreciate them. I also know there are many people worse off than me.
Pam, yes I can get the hearing aid batteries posted out to my daughter's but then I still have to collect them from there.
Loulou loves to play fetch, she gets very excited, she chases the ball and brings it near but not right to me, we're working on it.
The first time I played with her Beano got a bit upset, Loulou was yapping, growling and bumping her nose against my hand trying to get the ball.
Beano thought she was being aggressive and tried to stop her, I gave Beano a Kong to play with to distract him.
Now he let's us play ball and doesn't worry, he doesn't play ball himself although we have tried to encourage him. He will chase a stick if it's thrown but just eats it, he, not bring it back.
Wednesday, 1 July 2020
Sometimes I just want to walk away.
Sometimes I want to run away screaming
I woke up this morning swamped with terror.
No particular reason, it just happens more often than I'd like.
I lay still, clutching at the covers and breathed.
It didn't help much.
What's that saying "feel the fear, do it anyway".
The attack has subsided a bit, I'm up, I've walked the dogs.
My heartbeat is still too fast but no longer racing.
A email from my Dr's, one of their Carers Information emails.
Same message as usual, there's lots of help out there, just ask.
In fact there is nothing, never has been.
Very confusing conversation with Steve who was very upset to read that Virgin Airline had gone bust, I couldn't understand why he was upset, we have no need to fly anywhere and no family members who work for them.
I checked the article he was reading, it was Wigan Athletic football club, not Virgin!,
Plaster on a smile.
Keep buggering on.
We're getting sorted slowly and are down to the last couple of boxes. These have Steve's name on them but if I don't want to be ...
I have 8 boxes packed and awaiting collection. Cass has covid and can't collect our boxes. Steve's in a strop as its very inconvenie...
I remembered to close the curtains last night so I didn't get woken up by Beano barking at the security patrols. Let's hope I can...
It's far too hot to pack, but pack I must. Steve has decided he doesn't want to move with mismatched boxes so he bought 50 huge matc...