Sunday, 28 February 2021

Television

 I've never watched much TV, we didn't have a TV during a lot of my childhood. When I lived in flats and bedsits I couldn't afford one. We have a TV on the boat but no aerial so I don't watch live TV now. I occasionally watch old tv series on iPlayer or on Prime.

At school I once had to serve a detention, it was nearing Christmas and we were decorating our classroom. A TV programme was chosen as the theme. I couldn't help as I'd never seen the programme. This was assumed to be dumb insolence as everyone had a TV!

In later years my mother became an avid TV watcher, especially the soaps. This caused some rather confusing conversations, for example. 

Mum: Phyllis has had her shoulder surgery and she'll be out of hospital on Saturday. (Phyllis is my cousin)

Me: That's good, I hope it works this time. How's Diane? (Another cousin)

Mum: She's very excited, she's going to be a grandma.

Me: Ooh lovely.

Mum: Raquel and Curly have split up though and that's sad.

Me: Who the feck are Raquel and Curly? (Wracking my brains to work out who these people are.

Mum: You know, on Coronation Street!

I've never watched the soaps even when I have had a TV so no wonder I was confused.


I recently watched Whatever Happened to Tony Slattery, it was interesting and very sad, mental health problems are a real bastard to live with. I also watched Blitz Spirit with Lucy Worsley.




Saturday, 27 February 2021

They're coming to get me!

 I've had a few phone calls from lately from  numbers I don't recognise, I only answer the phone when Dd2 phones. She  phones once a fortnight at most. She says " The kids have gone, are you ready" I tell her I'm ready and I set off to walk Beano in the same field she is walking her dog. 

I had seven voicemail messages, some I couldn't hear but two of them I could. They stated that my National Insurance number had been compromised and that I must press one immediately. Otherwise agents were on their way to arrest me!

Some time ago I had a similar call from Bank of England they also threatened to arrest me. I didn't realise I was such a desperate criminal!

These calls must worry some people and they get conned into handing over their bank details. Personally I'd shoot the buggers who make these calls.


Friday, 26 February 2021

Starting the day with a giggle.

 This morning I put wet dog food on my muesli instead of milk.

There really is no hope for me is there!


Siebre I'm so sorry, divorce is never easy. I wish you luck on your journey.

Shelly, I have a clear mask, I just wish other people wore them.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Short fuse

 I'm lacking sleep and very irritable. I feel like Shirley MacLaine in Steel Magnolias. Where she says she isn't mad, she's just been in a really bad mood for the last thirty years!

My sleep is full of anxious dreams mainly about things I'm trying to sort out, cancelling mifi, arranging to vote and to fill in the census forms electronically and the ongoing saga of contacting the Drs surgery who, despite us being registered with them for 15 years, need us to prove we exist.

I've taken to Twitter to resolve one problem and although it looks like this has worked, I shouldn't have to use a public platform to resolve a problem. 

I have ongoing problems with being able to hear so joined a hearing loss group and have had some very good, helpful advice.

I now have a list of legal acts that I can quote to try to resolve situations and make companies aware that they are behaving in a discriminatory fashion.

Steve ordered two water butts and spent yesterday fitting them to the cratch board, he'd ordered many fittings, some of which didn't fit, some he broke. We had a trip to B&Q, their stocks are very low so he was unable to get his fill of tool porn. He did manage to soak himself and the almost filled  the bow with water!

Looking on the bright side, at least it got him out of bed. I'm sure lying in bed in a darkened room for weeks on end does noting for his state of mind.

He has always hated the dark days of winter, I once bought him a SAD lamp, he unpacked it, turned it on for a few seconds, decided it didn't work and threw it away!

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Sunday

 I made Yorkshire puddings today to go with the roast beef, I usually use frozen ones for convenience but I forgot to put them on the shopping list. 

Sometimes when I make them they are a bit flat but this time!e they rose well.

I have some batter left and will make pancakes tomorrow, I could make more Yorkshire puddings but I find that home made ones tend to get crushed in the freezer.

There is a strong smell of cannabis drifting through the boat, I know which boater it will be and he's usually quiet when he's stoned.

Beano didn't want to walk far today but as he walked almost 4 miles on Friday and the same on Saturday I'm happy for him to have a lazy day.






Saturday, 20 February 2021

Remember the boater

 Who's children were taken in to care?

What would you do it that were you?

What I wouldn't do is have a huge tatoo  and pose naked on Facebook to show it off, neither would I get engaged to someone, break off said engagement and post the accompanying slanting match on Facebook!

Me, I'd move heaven and earth before it got to that stage. I know from DD1 that there is a desperate shortage of foster carers so social workers only take children as a last resort. 

I'm sure it's difficult if drugs and alcohol play a huge role in your life, to get your life back on track.

There are choices to be made and they are hard, some people find it difficult to make sensible choices.

Friday, 19 February 2021

Comments

 JanF yes the hearts would make a nice embellishment on a card or blanket I agree.

Bettina, I only have 35 books on my kindle so it isn't full, the screen brightness changes along with a few other faults.

Ruth some hospitals here are asking for stuffed knitted or crochet heart in pairs, one to be given to a patient and one to family who cannot visit.

Beejay that sounds like a good idea.

Unknown, Craftycat and Col, all we can do is keep buggering on isn't it.

Caroline, my daughters aren't keen on me adding any more junk to the granddaughter's bedrooms.


Thursday, 18 February 2021

Self Care

I shall put the crochet hearts in a bag and there they will stay along with some blankets and shawls until I need the space and then I will throw them away.


I've just received an email from a local carers group, about how I need to practice self care. I usually delete this sort of email as I find them irritating as I'm sure many other carers do.

This post is written tongue in cheek!

It contains the usual suggestions:-

Have a long relaxing bubble bath, I cant, I don't have a bath only a shower.

Phone a friend, I can't as I can't hear on the phone.

Play some cheerful music and dance, I can't, I'm too deaf to hear music.

Binge watch a box set, I can't, anything I watch is on a teeny tiny screen and it's bloody hard work reading subtitles on such a small screen.

Read a book, I can't my kindle has gone on strike and won't download books any more.

Go for a walk, I can't it's pissing down and Beano won't walk in the rain and he cries if left behind.

Light some candles, on a woodlined boat, you have got to be joking!



Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Hearts

 


As a change from making butterflies I'm making hearts.
These also use a Bella Coco pattern and can be found on YouTube.

Monday, 15 February 2021

Lazy cook.

 I'll hold my hands up to being a lazy cook, show me a recipe with 15 ingredients or more and I'll turn away. Most of my !Dale contain six ingredients or less.

I'm the same with recipes that take hours to prepare as well. I cooked Chow Mein today, I used a mandolin to slice everything, it took 20 minutes from the first onion being sliced  to serving it up, and Steve ate it.

Partly it's to with Steve being a fussy eater, I'm buggered if I'm going to spend hours peeling, chopping, stirring and tweaking only for Steve to ask for a pot noodle. 


Sunday, 14 February 2021

Valentines Day

 And we will do what we have done for the last few years, ignore it! 

There is steak in the freezer but Steve wanted roast pork so that's what I cooked for him.

It's raining here so hopefully we will be able to get across to the pump out by Tuesday.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Boat size for JanF

 The useable inside area of the boat is about 450 square feet.

Beano, for some reason is scared of the tape measure, so all the measurements are approximate.

The boat is divided in to three sections. 

1) The bedroom which is 10ft by 10ft is at the front of the boat, it has double doors that lead to the how deck.

2) The bathroom which is 7ft by 6ft as there is a corridor leading past it to the to the bedroom. There is no bath just a shower, toilet and basin.

3) The kitchen is 7ft by 10 ft, it contains a washing machine, fridge, cooked and three cupboards. There are no wall cupboards just windows. The saloon is 15 ft by 10ft, this is divided from the kitchen by the breakfast bar which is almost 4ft wide and so buggers up the measurements somewhat.

The only free standing furniture is the sofa bed, coffee table, upright freezer and the kitchen stools, everything else is fitted

 

All done

 We were up at 7a.m. I walked Beano, filled the coal bucket, emptied the ash container, topped the fire up, scraped the ice off the windscreen and off we went. We were out for an hour and that included shopping for bread, the vaccine hub was very well organised, very quick.

Beano was hysterical with joy at our return, he rarely gets left alone, he doesn't do any damage when left but is so relieved when we're back.

I stupidly offered my left arm for the jab, as I'm left handed I probably should have had it in the right one. No matter, I shall take it easy today.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Life's too short to stuff a mushroom.

 According to Shirley Conran in her book Superwoman.

I remember reading her book years ago.

But a couple of days ago I did stuff a mushroom.

Five of them to be precise.

Were they tasty?

Well no.

They were not edible mushrooms.

We have mushroom vents in  the roof of the boat.

They should not be blocked up.

But they are very drafty and as we have the windows open in every room I decided we could do without the mushrooms as well so every one has been stuffed with a pair of socks


Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Chicken casserole


 When I went shopping I bought a spatchcock chicken and a bag of Mediterranean veg. Both reduced, I paid just under £2 for both of them.

I roasted the chicken and fried up the veg in the pan I'd just used to cook bacon in for Steve's bacon sarnie. I ate most of the veg on bagels over two meals with some cream cheese. I made chicken sandwiches with the chicken. As Steve is stuck in bed, sandwiches are the easiest thing to eat.

Today I stripped the meat from the chicken and boiled up the carcass for stock. I made loads of stock so some went with the chicken and some in the freezer for soup another day. 

Into the casserole dish with the chicken went two cold cooked  sausages, half a rasher of bacon, the last few bits of Mediterranean veg, half a carrot and half a jacket potato. I haven't added much seasoning as there were herbs on the chicken and in the sausages. I brought the whole lot to the boil on the hob and then put it on top of the stove until this evening. The casserole will be sufficient for two or three meals so some may go into the freezer.

Children

 I'm a member of a lot of boater groups on Facebook, some are full of useful information. Unfortunately some are also full of misogynistic old buggers who don't think women should be allowed on the canal.

All that aside, being a member of these groups means seeing post from from boaters I would usually avoid.

Today  a boater has posted about social services having taken their children into care. Now I am not a huge fan of social workers, having come across some pretty crap ones in my time working in a school. But the boater who has lost their children is claiming that the children have been taken for no reason. 

The boater was moored near us for a 2 weeks a couple of summer's ago, in that week we were frequently disturbed by late night alcohol fuelled arguments and fights as the boaters ex turned up and demanded access to one of the children. The boaters mother turned up to demand that the boater took back the child that the boater had dumped on her. Then the boater started an affair with the local pub owner, published on Facebook graphic details of the affair and had numerous punch ups with the partner of said pub owner, details of which were also posted on Facebook!

If this was an average fortnight in the life of this boater then I am not surprised Social Services stepped in.

The children my daughter cares for all came from homes where domestic violence was a regular occurrence, invariably enhanced by drug or alcohol addiction.



Monday, 8 February 2021

It's only a few quid

Steve and I try to support local and floating traders every month.

We spend around £20 to £30 and buy something, sometimes for our selves, sometimes for family.

So far I've bought dog treats from The Doggie Boat.

A takeaway from The Angel, a local pub.

GF brownies from KatieB.



Some plastic free soap and shampoo bars from The Proper Soap company.

Some earrings made from recycled copper pipe from by Bike and Boat.


A hand carved wooden oak leaf pendant from https://www.thewoodlandcarver.com he lives on a boat.




Some candles from a local stall that I don't have a pic of as they were for my daughter.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Broadmoor

 No snow here yet but it's very cold.

I've filled the coal bucket up and filled the water tank as well, if it gets really cold the water pipes on the marina freeze and then we have to carry water from the toilet block.

I watched a program last night about Broadmoor hospital. I had an uncle who was committed there during the 2nd world war. He became convinced that Hitler would win the war. As his wife worked in the NAAFI, he believed that she and their children would be tortured for information. To save them from this he attempted to murder them all. 

A few years after the war ended it as suggested that he be released into the care of his wife. She felt unable to have him return so he stayed in Broadmoor until his death in the 1970's. He had periods of sanity but became ill during the Aden crisis and other threats of war. I know he was badly affected by what he saw during WW1, nowadays he would probably be diagnosed with PTSD.  His wife never divorced him and visited him regularly despite the distance involved. 

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Bacon sandwich

 Janf, I was 25 so not particularly young, the first ten years were good apart from his mother being difficult. It was his dad dying that made him nasty, if I'd tried to leave he'd have taken the children, not because he wanted them but just out of spite. So I sat it out and left one week after the last child left home.

Steve's not well and has spent the day in bed I've kept him topped up with tea and sandwiches.

He asked for a bacon sandwich I needed to know what sort. Plain bacon between two slices of bread?

A bacon sandwich with an egg in it?

Or a firefighter special, a slice of buttered bread two rashers of well done bacon, in top of that a slice of buttered toast, on top of that a fried egg, then two more rashers of well done bacon and finally another slice of buttered bread.

A boater we met last year insisted that this was a proper bacon sandwich, he was a retired firefighter, hence the name.

Steve just wanted bacon  between two slices of bread.


Friday, 5 February 2021

Why I was living on the cheap

 The first time was because we moved from Bristol to Berkshire which was a much more expensive area. We moved into a house that was a wreck with no heating and no bathroom or kitchen.

Things improved slowly but ten years later, my then husband lost his dad and he became depressed, obsessive and controlling.

Over the next five or six years he became obsessed with saving money, insisted on having control of all the finances even the family allowance. Took away an inheritance I received, money I earned in my business and when I took  a second job took that money too.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

More butterflies pattern info added.

 A nice way of using up oddments.


The instructions can be found on YouTube Bella Coco butterfly.


Living on the cheap 4

Fuel.

Wear layers and keep lots of throws around to save putting he heating on.

I used to fill the oven on Sundays, I'd cook the Sunday roast and enough cakes and biscuits for lunch boxes and snacks. The rest of the week I'd try to cook just using the hob though I also has a slow cooker  and a Remoska.


I'm lucky on the boat I have the multifuel stove, we use it to heat the boat but whilst it's lit it means I can also cook on it.

Today I made a lamb casserole, in fact I started it the night before, I have a cast iron casserole dish, I put the lamb in it with some sliced onion, carrot, mixed herbs and a couple of stock cubes The casserole sat on top of the stove until 5 o'clock today. The lamb was melt in the mouth tender, I served it with plain boiled potatoes.

Once a week at least we have jacket potatoes that have been cooked in the stove, we also have a ridge monkey. We can cook toasted sandwiches and sausages etc in it it all saves on the gas.







Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Butterfly

 


I made a butterfly, I needed a break from making the amigurumi cat.

I found this instructions on YouTube it's by Bella Coco, she has lots of YouTube videos many of them are left handed.

Monday, 1 February 2021

OTT's and other lodgers

 I always tried to have lodgers who only needed a short-term let, that way if someone was a PITA I didn't have to put up with them for long.

I used to contact large companies near where I lived as they often need to put people up for a few weeks and lodgings are cheaper than hotels.

Most of my lodgers were lovely, there was the French man who was an expert on the Lascaux cave paintings, a lovely lady from Zimbabwe, a Welsh rugby player and an Italian pediatrician who had two phones, one for his wife and one to his mistress!

Some were challenging, like the vegetarian who didn't eat vegetables, the young lady who climbed out the window to go clubbing and was bought back by a  neighbour who was a taxi driver and the German lady who, after a very acrimonious divorce, adhered to the "All men are bastards" school of thought and almost spat every time Steve entered a room.

Katy was In a class of her own, she was an innocent abroad, her time keeping was appalling, she missed trains and buses regularly as she assumed they would wait for her. She got into scrape after scrape but was such a sweetie.

Hungerford to Froxfield

 We travelled from Hungerford to Froxfield, unfortunately at one of the locks Beano discovered the corpse of something grey and furry. It wa...