Tuesday 30 March 2021

Catchup post

 The fuel boat is two boats bolted together in tandem the front boat is just a shell full of coal, diesel and gas bottles. The back boat is the living quarters that is shared by Paul and his dog Max.

I like the garden full of stuff, it wouldn't be my choice, especially the flamingos but at least it's different and interesting.

DD2 started her new job yesterday, well she tried to! Despite numerous phone calls and emails she'd received no information regarding her starting dates/times so she just rocked up and hoped for the best.

Turns out she starts today, still better a day early than a day late!

Sunday 28 March 2021

Saturday 27 March 2021

The fuel boat

This is Ozzie on the fuel boat.

This is now we get coal, logs, gas and diesel delivered when we are out on the cut.

He travels the Kennet and Avon from County Lock to Wootton Rivers delivering to boaters.

If the canal freezes or is blocked by a fallen tree or a sunken boat he delivers by van.

Friday 26 March 2021

Going overboard.

 Not literally though sometimes I'm tempted!

On our previous boat we had a couple of dehumidifiers  not electric ones, just the tubs. On this boat we had none, until yesterday that is.

I think I've mentioned about the smoke detectors and C02 detectors on  the boat, we have way more than is necessary for such a small space.

The same can now be said for the dehumidifiers, Steve bought 10 and they are lined up along the edges of the rooms. One of two would be sufficient but we have 10! They are not attractive and are a trip hazard.

I shall wait until Steve has developed a different obsession and then start reducing the number.

A few days ago Steve commented that he was glad I'd finally mastered the art of cooking without setting the smoke alarm off. The alarm is fitted so close to the cooker that it starts to shriek as soon as I reach to turn a gas ring on.

I nodded and smiled I haven't admitted to removing the batteries from the smoke alarm!

In case anyone think I'm being careless and taking risks, my son is a firefighter. He knows how many detectors we need and where they need to be fitted.

Monday 22 March 2021

Making assumptions

 We all make assumptions don't we.

The boat sales here on the marina are really flying, 3 were sold on Saturday. We overheard one couple who put an offer on a boat. The have been unable to travel abroad for holiday during the pandemic so they decided to buy a boat so that in future if there is another lockdown they will have their holidays on the boat! Erm, no the boat will be classed as a second home and they will not be able to spend time on it during any subsequent lockdown.

There is a boat cleaner on the marina, she admitted that as a new boat owner she'd bought a boat with a pump out toilet, she assumed that it meant that the toilet would pump the waste straight out of the toilet into the canal. When her tank was full and the toilet would no longer flush she contacted the broker to complain that the toilet was faulty.

Shank's pony beats the computer

 In the end we were able to get the census sorted, there were volunteers who walking the length of the canal system.

Sunday 21 March 2021


I've been trying to sort out an access number for the census, me and thousands of other boaters, travellers and itinerants. It took until yesterday lunchtime for someone to work out what we have to do to be counted. There is lots of information on the ONS website most of which is totally erroneous as their staff have not been trained/don't give a flying fcuk.

Gotta love a system that threatens fines of eleventy billion squid for not filling in the form but when we try to access said form "computer says no".


Saturday 20 March 2021

Knicker drawer.

 I get up by 8 in the morning, I visit the bathroom, put the kettle on, sort out the stove and get it warming up.

Through all of this Beano remains under a blanket cuddled up with Steve. I take a cup of tea in to Steve, put some clean washing away and Beano snoozes on.

I open the wardrobe door to get clothes out or food or yarn for my next project. (the wardrobes double up as pantry and craft storage) and still Beano sleeps.

Sometimes I pull out the underbed drawers, still no reaction from Beano.

But at some point I open my knickers drawer to get out a clean pair for the day.

That is the trigger, as soon as Beano years the knicker drawer opening he peers out from under his blanket. He watches as I dress and as soon as I put my shoes on he's there, wagging his tail and looking forward to his morning walk.

Following the sun

Beano loves to lay in the sun on the sofa and being a soft touch I move around the sofa so he can!

Friday 19 March 2021

Vanity mileage

 I'm not sure if it's a thing? 

I remember when posh dress shops used to do vanity sizing. The dresses were all sized about  4 sizes smaller than they actually were. This encouraged people to shop there as they felt slimmer.

Anyway on to vanity mileage, Steve doesn't think I walk Beano as far as I claim. At first he thought I was exaggerating.

I was actually going by the fitness app on my phone. So I wondered if the app was misjudging how far I walk. I don't jiggle my phone when I'm walking and I only carry my phone when I'm out. The rest of the time my phone sits it the window, the only place it gets a signal.

I've started using the Strava app, this pinpoints my route with GPS. This seems even worse, I did my usual morning walk with Beano, off the marina and along the tow path, as usual he refused to go far. I've estimated this walk to be about half a mile, Steve thinks it's nowhere near that. According to Strava it's 1.1 mile.

So is it vanity mileage to make me think I walk a greater distance than I actually achieve. Is anyone else using these fitness trackers and having similar issues?

Thursday 18 March 2021

Another trip out.

Steve had a message from the Drs surgery, the results of his blood test are back.

A prescription has been issued so I went to collect his medication.

I needed milk and bananas, the only bananas in the shop were soft and brown so I didn't buy them, I did however find a pack of asparagus reduced. I love asparagus and had it tonight to my evening meal. Steve had belly pork, new potatoes and peas.

When I saw my son at the weekend he showed me pictures of his housemates new puppy, he's a German shepherd, at 12 weeks old he is nearly as big as the Border collie, he is going to massive when fully grown. He is already learning to do as he is told.

Wednesday 17 March 2021

R.I.P Sabine Schmitz

This morning  I shed a few tears when I read that Sabine Schmitz has died, she was only 51 and had been battling cancer since 2017.

She was brilliant, known as the Queen of the Nürburgring she originally appeared on Top Gear in 2004 and many times after that.

Tuesday 16 March 2021


 DS2 came over with Leonard and we went for a socially distanced dog walk. Leonard is a very well trained Border Collie.

We walked to Aldermaston lock then across the road in to the woods, we came out at Padworth lock and returned to the marina. A walk of about 6 miles.

This is what Beano has done since we got back.


I keep writing posts and the deleting them as they are so boring.

The highlight yesterday was driving Steve to have a blood test.

He has to return on Monday for the results.

Saturday 13 March 2021

Bobbing along

 It's very windy here and although the boat doesn't rock as much as our narrow boat did it still moves about a lot.

Our back ropes are tied quite tight so that we stay against the jetty, the front rope has more slack in it so it allows some movement.

The water is filled with twigs, branches and leaves and also with stuff people have left on top of their boat, gang planks and life rings. Our gang planks is chained in place and padlocked so it's still in place.

Last year we booked a weekend away in a lodge with a hot tub, it was cancelled because of covid. We booked again for November this year, a treat for my 70th birthday. Today the holiday company phoned to say it's been cancelled. Never mind!

Friday 12 March 2021

Timing is everything

 Yesterday was a day of sunshine and showers.

It was also the day we had to get a pump out and have the engine serviced.

Our spot in the marina is on a very short jetty.

Most of the time this isn't a problem though it does mean I can't clean the windows outside.

It also make it difficult for the engineer to access the engine bay.

Because of this we needed to move on to the service jetty which is near the pump out.

It was chucking it down when we got up but by the time we'd had breakfast and got the boat ready it had stopped raining.

We had a pump out and then moved to the service jetty, we had a couple of hours before the engineer was due so I washed all the windows on the port side, the starboard ones will have to wait.

I then went out for a couple of hours with Beano so he didn't get in the way.

He is very nosy and I was worried he'd fall in the engine bay.

As I set off home it was raining but by the time I arrived it was sunny again and the engineer was just packing up as he had finished working on our boat.

We  moved the boat back to our usual spot and had just finished tying up and putting the covers up when the heavens opened and it poured down yet again.

Through sheer good luck we managed the day without getting soaked to the skin though it was very windy, which makes the boat difficult to manoeuvre in a small space.

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Don't tell him Pike

 Yesterday morning a large half eaten pike was found on the edge of the marina.

The pike was easily the size of a man's arm.

The marina staff set up a camera and were able to film an otter as it came back the following night to reclaim its supper.

Monday 8 March 2021

What a disappointment

 I went to  dd1's today to collect my repaired hearing aid.

To my great disappointment although it has been re-tubed it hasn't been repaired, there was a note included staying that I was wearing the wrong hearing aid. 

For some reason the repair service have assumed it's Steve's hearing aid!

So it means sending it off again, which means another two or three weeks without being able to hear.

Steve's very annoyed, seems to think it's all my fault.

Despite being deaf himself he talks to me with his face turned away or covers his mouth with his hands which means I am unable to lipread.

Sunday 7 March 2021

Roast dinner

 I worked out that I have cooked in excess of 2300 roast dinners, I cook a roast every Sunday and have since I was in my 20's.

Today was no exception, pork for Steve and chicken breast for me. Beano also enjoys a roast dinner, though not much of his is roasted, he had boiled potato, broccoli and chicken.

Unfortunately something in the meal makes him fart and as he is a silent farter there is no advance warning, suddenly my eyes start to water and I am gasping for breath. Beano sleeps on, oblivious.

Friday 5 March 2021

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

 Well I think it depends on the dog.

Beano is a pain in the arse to train.

I'm sure I could train him if I was prepared to use cruelty.

But today, training is all about praise and treats.

The first thing is to make sure your dog's attention is all on you. To do this you offer a treat!

Beano isn't much interested in treats, unless it's roast beef or fillet steak. He's not really food oriented, even when he was in the rescue centre and still hungry he refused all dry food. The staff had to soak it in water and even then he would only pick at little bits.

It's difficult to engage his attention, outside he is far too busy sniffing and piddling, inside he lays down and goes to sleep.

Beano won't come when he's called but he will wait for me to catch up with him if I call him. I've therefore started to say "Beano wait" that way it looks like he's being obedient.

Beano will also refrain from chasing the ducks if I say "Leave" but he will chase rabbits no matter what I say.

Thursday 4 March 2021

No idea

 I've no idea what day it is but it's grey and raining. 

Beano was cold/tired/unwell this morning, I've no idea which. He wouldn't leave the marina for his usual walk, he turned for home as soon as he could. Once home he crawled under his blanket, curled into a ball and went to sleep. He didn't want any breakfast.

But at 10:30 he perked up and decided he wanted a walk after all, we set off down the tow path where he met Peggy another boat dog and they chased around together, on our way back he met another friend Dylan and had another play. 

He still hasn't eaten his breakfast but he sometimes doesnt, mind you if I don't put breakfast down for him I get treated to the death stare until I do. He likes his breakfast to be there for him to ignore. He now seems perfectly fine, he's asleep on the sofa with Steve.

I've spent the morning checking up on various things, the hearing aids definitely arrived at audiology so I'll wait a few days more before I chase them. I've ordered some coffee from a narrow boat trader, their coffee is named after different canals so I've ordered Kennet and Avon and Oxford. I've also emailed the company I ordered a windlass harness from as it's not been despatched yet.

We were given half a bag of coal last week by someone who has put their boat up for sale, they spent a day preparing the boat for sale and decided the coal looked untidy on the back of the boat. So they asked if we wanted it, yes please, coal is always useful. I bought two more bags of coal this morning as it's still chilly and we need the stove on every day, a member of the marina staff delivered the coal not long after I paid for it. We still have plenty of logs. 

Steve wants ham, egg and chips this evening, I'll probably have a jacket potato as I'm not keen on chips or ham.

Wednesday 3 March 2021


 Still no sign of my hearing aid being repaired and returned. I don't want to send off the second one until the first one arrives safely.

The grandchildren are all preparing to return to school, some with more enthusiasm than others!

One local school has decided to have an inset day on the day they were supposed to be reopening, parents are decidedly unhappy.

It's raining here and not warm, ne'mind, spring is on its way.

Monday 1 March 2021


 Was the day of Steve's long awaited Drs appointment.

I've said all along that I think he either has gout or arthritis and I've suggested he keep his foot raised.

According to the Dr,  Steve has either gout or arthritis and needs to keep his foot raised!

We can collect a prescription for painkillers tomorrow, he has to go back  in two weeks to have a blood test and then return two weeks after that to get the results.

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...