No posts for a few days as we are moored in a dead zone, no wifi, no phone signal. I've walked a couple of miles to send this.
Monday, 31 May 2021
Friday, 28 May 2021
DD2 recently moved in to her new house, it's a new build on a new estate. I have to say I'd never but a new build as I've heard so many horror stories. DD2's house is no exception
Within hours of moving in she discovered water running down the walls. One of her children was having a bath, DD2 assumed they were sloshing the water around at went upstairs to tell them to stop. But no, the problem was that none of the pipe fittings had been tightened so all the joints were leaking. She phoned the building company only to be told that this was impossible as the problem would have been pick up and put on the snagging list.
The following day she discovered the same problem with the downstairs plumbing, phoned again and was given the same line of bollocks about the snagging list.
As part of the estate is still under construction DD2 hunted down one of the plumbers and persuaded him to come and address the problems. He was there for two days!
The turf in the back garden was laid without the ground being levelled so it started to die. DD2 sorted this problem out her self.
Yesterday she discovered that one of the kitchen worksurface brackets has been connected to the mains electric. Yet again she phoned the building company, this time she was told that this was impossible as the house would have been given a final electrics test and said test would have been signed off. DD2 knew this as she'd already spoken to Steve about it.
DD2 quoted chapter and verse on all the safety issues involved and no doubt put the fear of God into whoever she was speaking to. The problem was being resolved last to heard.
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
This post has been triggered by unknown's comment about riding a bike.
I was born in 1951, my parents were 18 and 32 when they married.
A few months after they married my mother became unwell, she suffered with nerves, she went to the Dr who suggested a baby would cure the problem. In due course I arrived. Shortly after I was born it was decided I was not the cure needed and my mother returned to work.
I was cared for by a local childminder, something I still have occasional flashbacks about all these years later.
Once I started school, my holidays were spent with assorted relatives, some of these were happier than others.
I'm not sure what my mother thought marriage would entail but housework, childcare and cooking were certainly not on the agenda. As she was a smoker I assume mum was rarely hungry. Breakfast was coffee a a cigarette, lunch wasn't really thought of though occasionally there might be half a thinly sliced mars bar or a few spoonfuls of condensed milk.
I'm not sure if things would have been better had I been a boy or if I had looked less like my father's side of the family. I was certainly not a child that paid for the dressing.
My mother never did find a cure for her nerves and lived with many phobias, thunder, lightening, small furry animal's, snakes, opticians, doctors, hospitals and dentists to name but a few. I believe she self medicated with alcohol or maybe she just liked a drink or four. She was never a nasty drunk but she could be unpredictable.
What does this have to do with me not owning a bike?
I was not allowed to learn to ride a bike as I might have an accident, I was also not allowed to learn to swim as if I did I might go near water and drown.
I've always assumed these worries were more about her fear of hospitals than worry about me. Her fear of them meant she was unable to visit me when I had my tonsils out age 4 or even when I had my own children.
My parents were married for over 20 years and the only thing they ever rowed about was my mother treating the family dog better than she treated me.
My mum often said she was surprised I was so affectionate to my own children as she had never been that way with me.
After my parents separated my mum had quite a lot of short term relationships, none of them lasted. Unfortunately mum loved to flirt and dress provocatively but got very offended when men wanted anything other than a platonic relationship.
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Sunday, 23 May 2021
Another day of wind and rain here, we were thinking of moving today but put it off as a friend of Steve's was supposed to be coming for lunch.
As it happens the friend cancelled but I'm glad we decided not to move as the weather is, yet again, atrocious.
The rain is so heavy that the water levels are up and down like a bride's nightdress, the sluices are working overtime attempting to compensate. We will eventually reach saturation point.
I've now made 20 friendship bracelets and I have another 20 cut up ready to plait.
Ellen, thanks for your concern, the letters are not a scam, just the usual disorganised communication from the local benefits department. Hopefully they will realise that Steve isn't claiming benefits before they waste their time phoning him.
Amanda I gather that although Diana complained about the tabloids and the tv journalists she wasn't adverse to letting them know where she'd be at times when she wanted publicity.
Weaver yes, wet boating holidays are truly miserable, the boats that are due back tomorrow have been struggling along today.
Saturday, 22 May 2021
Steve has received three letters, they were dated a few days apart.
The first was to inform him that his benefits would be stopped as he had refused to send in a fit note.
The second was to inform him that his benefits would be stopped on a certain date as he will have reached retirement age.
The third letter was to tell him he MUST attend a health assessment interview by telephone in June as he missed the previous ones and if he doesn't attend his benefits will be stopped. How he is meant to have missed previous telephone appointments I'm not sure as he hasn't missed any calls.
These letters would be confusing enough on their own but when you consider the fact that Steve receives no benefits it all becomes slightly barmy!
Steve applied for the new style ESA merely to ensure his stamp was paid for the first year after his stroke. This was to ensure he had enough contributions to collect his state pension.
I'm struggling to understand why people are shocked at the behaviour of the BBC, I've always known that the BBC was referred to a Anti, not Aunty. Maybe I'm cynical, scratch that. I am definitely cynical. I expect reporters to be dishonest just as I assume politicians are also dishonest.
I am beyond bored with the Harry and Megan saga, yes he had a shitty life but he had a privileged shitty life. Lots of people have had a worse time but at some point they have made the decision to put the past behind them where it belongs and have a good life.
Friday, 21 May 2021
It has rained almost non-stop today and although the wind seems finally to have dropped its still cold.
We've seen four boats go by this evening, one share boat and three hire boats. The crews were, without exception, piddling wet through and all looked extremely miserable. I can't say I blame them the weather is absolutely foul.
Beano has been jumping off the gang plank and peeing on the nearest patch of grass before running back on to the boat.
We now have a huge Dutch barge moored near us, it appeared yesterday evening about 8:30, the river is quite wide here so there is plenty of room.
I bought some duck eggs today from a nearby house, I like duck eggs for a change sometimes, especially when I'm making a cake. Steve's friend is visiting on Sunday, I'm making Hunters Chicken and I will make some brownies as well.
Wanda, thank you for you email.
Thursday, 20 May 2021
Angela, some beads would be wonderful if you can spare them I have lots of tiny beads but I need larger ones to fasten the bracelets, thank you.
Debby there are no laws to make people keep their dogs on a lead on the tow path, unfortunately some people are so besotted with their dog that they cannot see the problem. Siebrie, most of my clothes are covered in mud anyway as it is currently very wet and muddy here. I was told years ago about lifting my knee to stop a dog jumping up, I think it hurts their chest. I don't usually do it as I like dogs but this one would have knocked me over.
I know that Beano can be a stroppy bugger sometimes so I put him on the lead, to so many owners their dog is their baby, Beano is spoilt but I never forget he is a dog.
Looking out the window I can still see the same tree so the ropes must have held last night despite the high winds, whether the gang plank is still in place, I'll check one the kettle has boiled.
We are in a row of nine boats, so it's quite sociable here though one boat is empty and one boater is nocturnal.
Beano has met another boat dog, she is called Doris and we are not far from his friend Daisy.
A lot of people were late for work yesterday as a herd of cows escaped from a nearby field, they were wandering up and down the road stopping the traffic. They were out for a couple of hours before they were rounded up. Fortunately none of them made it on to the A4 as it's a busy road.
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
This morning Beano was very reluctant to get out of bed and when I took him out for his first walk of the day, we set of in the same direction we had taken to collect the car yesterday.
Beano turned to me with such a look on his face, ears flat, I knew he was thinking Bloody Hell, not again.
So I turned and walked in the other direction, he still didn't want to go far but at least he didn't look so horrified.
Beano has met another boat dog called Doris, she's quite big but Beano was ok and of course we are moored near our friends so we see Daisy lots too.
I had a run in with a dog walker yesterday, they have a very large black dog, probably a cross breed. It was running along jumping on other dogs and people.
He jumped on Daisy and made her yelp twice and Daisy likes other dogs. Daisy's owner complained but the owners explained that their dog doesn't need to be on a lead as he's only playing!
I knew exactly what Beano's reaction would be if the dog jumped on him so as the tow path is quite narrow I picked him up, whereupon the dog launched himself at me in an attempt to reach Beano. Fortunately I was prepared and brought my knee up into the dogs chest which it didn't like. It was a minor miracle that we didn't all end up in the cut.
The owners were not pleased by my reaction, they were worried that I may have hurt their dog. I probably did hurt the dog but not enough to injure it. I suggested that it should be on a lead but they disagreed. So I suggested they keep the fecking dog away from me or I'd continue to knee it in the chest every time it jumps at me.
I've spent the evening making friendship bracelets.
I'm trying to use up my stash of assorted craft stuff.
I have a bag of thin paracord in assorted colours.
The picture quality is poor but I've made some plaited and some half square knots.
They aren't finished as I can't get to the beads I need to finish them off.
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Daniel, my aids block out some tinnitus but not all. I can hear better than before but they don't block out all background noise. I have Specsavers own brand which I believe are phonak. They incredible when streaming music or when listening to a film on TV. I'm finding that they get better as I get more used to them. I can have them for 90 days and if I don't get on with them I can return them for a full refund.
Ellen, no we don't have storage elsewhere, we sold, gave away and donated everything apart from the bare minimum when we moved on to the boat. I have very few clothes, a few pieces of junk jewellery (I shared my good jewellery amongst my granddaughters). We have four plates, bowls, knives, forks etc. Two sets of bedding, a few DVD's. It's amazing how much you really don't need to live comfortably.
Chris, we are hoping is isn't too much of a risk as it is a new uni and they are desperate for student accommodation.
Today we moved to a different mooring, Beano and I walked there doing the locks and bridges, after lunch we walked back to get the car, just over 6 miles in total.
It's been another day of glorious sunshine and heavy showers.
Monday, 17 May 2021
We have had everything here today, heavy rain, blazing sunshine, hail, thunder and lightening. Dog walks have meant dodging the wet stuff.
We took our rubbish to the collection point, Steve wanted to stop at the cafe for a bacon butty but they weren't open despite the owner saying he'd definitely be open.
We will probably move tomorrow weather permitting, the river upstream from us is red boarded. The recent heavy rain has increased the flow and in some parts the water level has risen 12 inches.
It's DD2's birthday soon we've bought her a lawnmower and strimmer as a combined birthday/housewarming gift. I ordered it from B&Q via click and collect yesterday evening, she collected it this morning around 10ish.
Mickey the bodger has done a roaring trade in between the showers, he sells plants as well as his woodwork and this morning had to go out to collect more clematis plants.
Chris, there was no real plan to invest in BIL's business, he was visiting Steve occasionally after he'd had his stroke. He told us about one of his projects where he'd bought a large house in a large plot in an area that was popular with students. Students nowadays don't want grubby bedsits in dodgy areas so BIL planned to turn the property into apartments. The local planning dept were keen for there to be more student accommodation in the area to go with the new uni. Within weeks of him buying the first house he was approached by the owners of the nearby houses who also wanted to sell to him. This was all very well but there were seven properties in a row and BIL couldn't raise enough money to buy all of them. He asked if we'd be interested in buying one of the properties with him. All went swimmingly to start with but then lockdown meant that the work stopped for a while. No sooner were the places ready to sell than BIL was called for jury service. Fortunately his estate agent and solicitors will work evenings so every thing is bobbing along nicely and we will get our dividend later this year and then see if there are any more properties in the pipeline to reinvest in.
Sunday, 16 May 2021
Thanks for that info Keth.
Annie and Moira, I'll see if I can join a library.
The weather was ok this morning so we moved our friends up through two locks and two bridges. By the time we got home it was bucketing down and it's still raining now. But the boat was warm as we bought coal from the fuel boat and it didn't take me long to cook Sunday lunch, roast lamb today.
My friend and I walked the tow path with our dogs and the men stayed in the boat. Someone was walking a dog and stopped for a chat, her dog is a 7 month old Irish terrier called Dillon, very bouncy, very friendly. She has found it difficult to socialise him with the lockdown restrictions so wanted to walk with us. I explained that if he jumped on Beano he would get told off. She was happy with that so I let Beano off his lead and as expected, every time he pounced on Beano, Beano snapped at him but he didn't bite. Dillon was totally unfazed but did stop pouncing on Beano, all three dogs ran along the tow path happily until we reached our destination.
This evening DD2 messaged me, it's her birthday soon and we'd asked her what she wanted as a combined birthday and housewarming gift. She needs a lawnmower and strimmer and asked if we'd contribute towards them. I found a special offer on the B&Q website so ordered them via click and collect, they will be ready to collect tomorrow morning and DD2 doesn't work Mondays.
Steve had a phone call from his brother, the one who's business we have invested in. Despite the problems with covid all seven properties are finished and are under offer. Unfortunately his brother has now been called for jury duty but he is managing to fit in work in the evenings.
Saturday, 15 May 2021
Our current neighbour is a bodger, as in a woodworker, not someone who makes a bad job of things. He has stools and other items he has made on top of his boat, it's very busy here so I hope he makes some sales. He has a lovely lurcher, unfortunately Beano isn't keen as the lurcher is friendly and bouncy.
There are a lot of boats going past, there are vollies on duty, they are being kept very busy. The tow path is also busy with walkers and cyclists, even a motor bike has roared past.
We have seen three 14 ft widebeams go past, they barely fit in the lock, I'm glad we didn't buy one that size, we did look at a 12ft but decided it was too big for us.
There is one free space on the visitor moorings where we are, nobody wants to moor there as it is changeover day for the hire boats. The hire boats often get out of shape as they leave the lock and crash into the first boat on the mooring.
We have alternate sunshine and showers here, the showers are very heavy, Beano will only walk when it is not raining, if it starts to rain when we are out he turns tail and runs home. He only gets short walks some weekend's depending on where we are moored, a high proportion the cyclists on this stretch are arseholes who think they own the tow path. I'm saving up for an ashplant staff to fend some of the buggers off!
I've managed to get music playing from my phone to my hearing aids, Steve's not happy, he's worried I won't hear bikes or sirens but I'm only intending to listen to music when I'm on board. Next I'm going to get some audio books for when my eyes get tired.
Friday, 14 May 2021
And voices and the phone and the tv!
Yesterday I collected my new hearing aids, the Bluetooth facility works brilliantly on the phone and I can hear really clearly.
The Specsavers I used is in a large supermarket so I went shopping as soon as if had them fitted. They sounded a bit strange to start with but by the time I left the shop I was used to them.
I parked near the tow path and started to walk home when a boater asked me where the best place was to park. I told him and then chatted for about 10 minutes, it was wonderful to be able to good a conversation.
The aids are rechargeable, they charge overnight, as shown in the pics. I cannot add the pics where I want as I'm using my kindle fire and it's a law into itself at times.
I have connected my aids to my computer but I can't connect them to my kindle tablet, the audiologist did say this would probably happen.
Thursday, 13 May 2021
I think most boaters are very helpful, we aren't unusual, though word soon gets around if someone takes the piss. The tow path telegraph is very efficient and we will walk away if we see certain boats coming along.
In some ways it's like an old fashioned neighbourhood. People will knock and ask to borrow stuff, I've given out a length of tin foil, a cup of milk and a potato since we left the marina.
When we bought our first boat and were travelling from Crick to Reading we were given so much help and advice by experienced boaters. The least we can do is now help others, Steve was given knee pads someone who saw him kneeling on the tow path cleaning the boat and I was given a potato masher when I realised I didn't have one.
Boaters who travel a lot to new places don't know where the nearest shops are, so can run short of stuff. They also may not have a car though most do have a bike
When I lived in a house I always kept well stocked cupboards, I do the same on the boat so it's no hardship to share what we have or give someone a lift in the car.
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Weave, yes it is Hawthorne, it's very pretty.
Col the CRT employ spotters who walk the canal but they only pass weekly, one was murdered a short time ago near Aylesbury.
JanF, Steve wasn't bothered about paying for a pump out, it got us on the move once it was done.
Beano seems to be fully recovered and is no longer limping.
Yesterday was very busy, we are moored not far from a particularly difficult lock and swing bridge.
I hate doing this one on my own as you need to get the lock with the boat still in and the gates open but the boat needs to stay in the lock until the bridge is open. This is because of the strong current where the river joins the canal.
To make things worse you cannot see the bridge from the boat so whoever is operating the lock has to gallop to and fro to let the boater know they can proceed. Once the bridge is open the boater needs to give the engine some welly and race towards the bridge.
We helped nine boats through the lock yesterday, two were wide beams which have to go in the lock alone the others were narrow boats and two can fit in the lock together. After the first six boats Steve was knackered and was about to return to our boat but the next two boats were single handers, one was a lady we know well, who travels with her dog and cat. We helped her and another single hander through the lock before returning to our boat. There were no more boats then until early evening when a huge Dutch barge came through, again we want to help the couple on board as the wife is six months pregnant.
Today started badly, Beano took a tumble, possibly in a rabbit hole and has been limping all day.
When we went to fill up with fresh water and empty the black water tank there was a boat moored on the water point. The maximum stopping time allowed for doing this is four hours but this boat had been there for two nights and wasn't intending on moving for a few more days yet.
This meant we had to go to a different pump out and had to pay £18.
Because of this it was midday by the time we set off to our next mooring. Despite the hiccups the journey went smoothly and didn't take too long, our friends came along as crew, on Friday we will do the same for them.
There was plenty of room on the mooring and one of Beano's friends, Sparkle is moored nearby.
The afternoon was warm and sunny and we sat on the back deck until 6 o'clock chatting to passers by.
Beano's foot seems to be bothering him less now, hopefully it will be completely better by morning.
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Sunday, 9 May 2021
Anonymous, I am unsure why you feel I should have reported something to the police that is being dealt with by social services. Also I did not say the boater was violent to the child. I have however frequently made reports to the police and social services when I believed someone was in danger. I have done this as a member of the public and as part of my child protection duties at work.
Button, I'll have a look in YouTube the bowl copies sound interesting.
Steve is searching.
He is convinced that somewhere out there is THE ONE for him.
Pre covid, he would have searched in person, currently all his searches are online.
He's had short ones and tall ones, thin ones and fat ones, soft squishy ones and hard tough ones.
Unfortunately none of them have been THE ONE!
So for Steve the search continues, I meanwhile have a cupboard full of squeegee's and the solar panels still need cleaning.
Saturday, 8 May 2021
I watched Home Truths yesterday, Ian Wright talking about domestic violence, he suffered badly as a child and although he had anger issues he seems to have released these on the football pitch rather than on his family.
There is a boater who posts on Facebook, she criticises her local social services for taking her children away. She sees no problem in subjecting them to her lifestyle of alcoholism and domestic violence.
Three out of my four foster grandchildren were removed from their parents because of drug/alcohol addiction and domestic violence. The children are doing well now, but two of the children are still affected by what they endured and who knows if problems will occur once they are old enough to have their own children.
There are two members of my extended family who were affected not by domestic violence but by a total lack of love from their parents. One had a mother who only wanted daughters, she was cold and disinterested, the effect on her children was such that they were given full time free nursery places in the 1970s to offer them some level of care, when such things were rare.
The other child along with a sibling was seen as an encumberance after a divorce, shunted from pillar to post, relative to relative,. The parents rowed continually about who's turn it was to care for the child who was unwanted by both. This person now struggles with feelings of inadequacy, and despite being successful in their career has doubts about their own self worth.
JanF, I bet that does cause some smiles.
It's Saturday, I've worked that much out.
Yesterday Steve had to put extra pins in to hold us steady, many boats were travelling way too fast.
It's raining today and due to rain all day.
I pity the poor hire boaters who are collecting their boats today.
Beano will only go out when absolutely necessary and then for the shortest possible time, his choice, not mine.
A lamb casserole is simmering on top of the log burner, it should be done by this evening.
I shall bottom out the bathroom once Steve has finished in there.
I quite fancy some cake so I might make one later, or I might buy a slice of carrot cake from the nearby cafe.
I've been offered space at a craft fair, well I say offered, in fact someone needs help filling a space, I need to wrack my brains for something to make. I have lots of stuff, fabric, yarn, beads, I just need ideas. I shall have wander around Pinterest this afternoon.
Friday, 7 May 2021
I've no idea what day it is so I've given this post the title of Today!
Exactly Kate, disagreeable old git sums it up.
My dgc twins are 7 soon, and they are self isolating as a child in their class has tested positive for Covid. They are getting mice and guinea pigs as birthday presents, their older sister already has rabbits and gerbils and DD has a dog.
We had breakfast at the canal side cafe this morning, the CRT have just doubled the rent which I think is appalling.
I've done two loads of washing as it was sunny this morning with plenty of solar, most of it is almost dry.
Now it's time for another episode of the Repair Cafe and some crochet.
Tuesday, 4 May 2021
Today has been spent dealing with an outbreak of word salad from Steve. He's very stressed so talks gibberish and gets cross when I can't understand him.
I tried to collect some parcels today but the road I was travelling on was closed, I tried to follow the diversion signs but at a double roundabout there were no more signs so I came home, I'll try again tomorrow.
I had a salad wrap for lunch, the lettuce in the salad has been grown in a tub on the roof of the boat.
Today is my nephews wedding anniversary he and his wife got married at 12:30 on 4th May 2006, 123456.
The news is full of Prince Harry appearing at a concert to call for fairer vaccine distribution, I really can't see how J.Lo prancing around and grabbing her crotch is supposed to help!
Yesterday was the anniversary of Madeline McCann going missing, I used to work with someone who had stayed in the same complex. She believed the parents were very irresponsible as they were a long way from the apartment where the children were sleeping.
Monday, 3 May 2021
Hazel, I've purchased my aids from Specsavers they do their own brand aids which are actually Phonak, I could have paid just £495 for new aids but I want Bluetooth so I can stream music from my phone directly to my aids. I have downloaded the app for my aids and I need to decide whether I want my phone to be answered automatically or if I want to choose whether or not to answer it.
Here is a link to the aids available from Specsavers, I've ordered the Specsavers advance elite. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
We are no longer listing, we've moved the boat a few feet and we are now on the flat.
It has been cold all day and now it is windy and raining hard. I bought a bag of coal a few days ago and I'm so glad I did.
Beano days had three walks today of about two miles each and he is snoozing on the sofa now.
We had a meal out yesterday at a nearby pub, we met up with one of Steve's brothers and his girlfriend who we'd not met before, she seems very nice and I really enjoyed a meal I hadn't had to cook.
My hearing aid has been returned from audiology, yet again no repair has been done as the constant chiming is caused by wax in my ears! This was the final straw, I've ordered private hearing aids.
My ears were checked by an audiologist, I do not have wax in my ears. I was given a hearing test, I have moderate hearing loss in one ear and severe loss in the other.
I have chosen to have rechargeable aids as I think that replacing the batteries will become more difficult as my eyesight deteriorates. The aids have Bluetooth so I can play music directly from my phone to my aids and I will be able to use a phone again. I have already downloaded the appropriate app and it will be set up when I collect my new aids in two weeks time.
The aids are on 60 day trial and if I don't get on with them I will receive a full refund. They can be retuned as my hearing deteriorates and will last between five and eight years. The main reason for an upgrade would be because of improvements in technology. The audiologist told me there are aids coming online soon that will translate other languages. When he told me this I said "Oh like a babel fish." He laughed and said " Hitch Hikers Guide" he knew what I was talking about.
The aids cost almost £2000, and I think payment plans are available. Yes I could have bought cheaper ones but for me it's about quality of life and because I'm worth it!
Saturday, 1 May 2021
We are listing because our black water tank is nearly full, the tank is on the left hand side of the boat, because we are listing we have drifted on to a ledge.
We are tilting because our water tank is low. We carry 1000 litres of water on the boat, the tank is at the front so the low water level means the front of the boat is much higher than normal. We don't want the tank too full at present as the engineer is coming to look at our bow thruster on Wednesday and the bow thruster is near the water tank.
It's a bit like the Crazy House at a fair, walking can be a challenge!
We travelled from Hungerford to Froxfield, unfortunately at one of the locks Beano discovered the corpse of something grey and furry. It wa...
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...
That app is life changing thank you so much.
I collected my car today, I'd left it in the marina for a while. I set off at 7:30 this morning, it's about 2 miles and I didn't...