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


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


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.

Fruit and veg box

 This is what was in my box today. Carrots, cabbage, spinach, avocado, apples, oranges and a huge beefsteak tomato. I've already eaten a...