Saturday 30 April 2022

How much!

I know everything is going up in price so I was very glad when the coal we bought was still £14 a bag. The bottled gas had however gone up to £45, ouch.

The last bottle only lasted two months they usually last three months.

 I shall have to be more careful though we use more gas in the summer than we do in the winter because in the winter we have the stove lit 24/7. We keep the kettle full of water on the stove so it takes very little time for it to boil. My suggestion that we put less water in the kettle falls on deaf ears so I've ordered a vacuum mug to keep the water not once it's boiled. The water would mainly be used for washing up so if the jug affects the flavour of doesn't matter. 

I will try to cut down on making toast as well, it's often my go-to meal when I've cooked Steve something I don't like. Scrambled egg or  beans is an easy meal but I need to think of an alternative.

I used to batch cook but I don't now, partly because of Steve's fussyness and partly because I have no microwave. So anything I cook and freeze still has to be reheated in the oven.

Friday 29 April 2022


It was the second convoy or maybe the third so there were hundreds of firefighters involved.

This year we didn't  buy a single Easter egg, we've only ever bought small ones as a token but this year we didn't. 

What with having one grandchild who is diabetic and one who is lactose intolerant it seemed pointless. Instead each family was treated to a take away.

We have three birthdays  next month DD2 and the twins all have their birthdays in May.

Yesterday we treated our selves to fish and chips, today we went to the small supermarket for bread. I treated myself to some grapes.

I'm not sure if we are moving tomorrow, we can stay a week, it. just depends what Steve wants to do.

Thursday 28 April 2022

Wednesday 27 April 2022

New mooring.

 We moved again today, it's cold and overcast so not really pleasant travelling but we've made to a nice level mooring where no gangplank is needed. We are within walking distance of a shop where I can buy bread tomorrow. There is also a fish and chip shop so we may treat ourselves tomorrow.

We raced another boat to the last mooring spot but offered to let them breast up beside us as they only wanted to go to the pub for lunch. The river here is wide so they could moor without causing  a problem.

Sue Jay, I haven't heard from Chris, I've been following the convoy on FB, they have travelled 1400 miles, 700 on blue lights through 6 countries and delivered 20+fire service vehicles.

I've persuaded Steve to light the fire, he refuses to admit he's cold and will end up feeling unwell. I told him I was cold so he lit the fire.

The gubbins under the cratch

 The cover over the front of the boat is called a cratch cover.

Most boaters have chairs or cushions out there, we use ours as a shed, so if you think of what you keep in your shed ours is similar. There's buckets, tools plant pots etc.

Chris has reached his destination, there is a post on FB about it.

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Yesterday didnt go to plan

We had a day of minor irritations yesterday, we couldn't moor where we wanted as there was no room, Steve got stung by a bee, I got my hand caught in a faulty gate, we ran aground because someone moored on a bend. We spent almost six hours travelling and ended up almost back where we started albeit in the offside so well away from the lycra louts.

The problem with such a long day is that Steve gets exhausted and starts talking bollocks. Everything becomes a whatsit or a thingummy and I can't follow his instructions because they don't make sense. Steve gets more and more enraged when he can't make himself understood.

Steve went to bed early but I had to stay up to let Beano out for a late night widdle, otherwise he'd get me up at 3am. I slept badly as I was cold, I got up at 2:30 and put an extra blanket on the bed.

Steve suggested that we stay put today and have a rest day, which we did. Personally I think the term  'rest day' is something of a misnomer. I stripped the bed and remade it, swept the boat inside and out planted four troughs of flowers and herbs, walked Beano five times, locked umpteen boats through the lock and blitzed the kitchen. Steve sorted out the gubbins under the cratch, got the stove ready for the next cold snap and hunted out some bracket to rehang a picture.

Tonight I'll make sure there are enough covers on the bed before I go to sleep.

Sunday 24 April 2022

Who needs sleep

The convoy my son is with has reached Poland and is now heading to Ukraine. I shan't sleep well until I know he's back safe.

There are some brilliant pics of the convoy on FB loads of fire engines and lorries full of equipment.

We moved today, we're not on a good mooring but it's only overnight, the towpath is quite narrow and we take our life in our hands when we step off the boat we just have to hope there isn't a tribe of lycra clad morons heading our way.

Jaccs, I've been told that an abundance of food increases the amount of drakes. I have been known to wield the boat hook in an attempt to rescue a drowning duck.

Saturday 23 April 2022

What's happened in the last few weeks

The first mooring spot turned out to be directly in the swan flight path, they're big buggers and after a few near misses when we thought they were going to land on the back deck we moved a few feet along and out of their way.

The council workforce try hard to keep the park and surrounding areas litter free but it's an uphill battle. I picked up any glass I found, I think the locals thought I was an alcoholic, wandering around clutching empty bottles of rum and vodka.

There was also a lot of KFC wrappings around, I have to watch Beano as he's rather partial to KFC. Someone had obviously had a hot date on one of the park benches. There was an empty KFC bucket, an empty vodka bottle and a used condom. Obviously pushing the boat out with KFC and vodka had proved successful! 

The swans were courting, they look so beautiful dipping and weaving their necks and bobbing into the water. The pigeons have very little subtlety, they stomp around with their chests puffed out. I'm sure they are saying "Look at me I've got a big willy". The ducks are very pushy and aggressive, I've seen more than one female duck drowned by the attentions of four or five drakes all trying to mount her at once.

Friday 22 April 2022

Where was I

Thank you for your comments I've replied to some. 

No we don't have a washing line on the roof, neither of us is nimble enough to get up there. We do have a whirly washing line that fits on the tiller but we had so many people fall off their bikes or nearly  step into the canal that we rarely use it.

Caroline, it was lovely to see you and meet your husband.

Lincolnshire exile, thank you I've been looking at the link, lots of interesting things.

Rambler I'd recommend Robbie Cummings narrow boat blog, and Weir on the Move as these show a fairly realistic view of life on a boat. 

Ellen yes we do have some favourite mooring spots, in particular on the offside (not the tow path side) at Widmead lock and Midgham lock. Both are very peaceful. Where we are now is great for shopping, the wardrobe is now rammed with this and dry goods and the fridge and freezer are both well stocked. It's very noisy here as the supermarket is constantly being restocked and we are only a few feet from the lorry entrance. Fortunately we take our hearing aids out overnight.

Thursday 21 April 2022

I'm back!

We've moved and we have Wi-Fi.

We will probably stay until Sunday. 

We are outside Tesco and will fill the cupboards and then set off.

It's not so nice here as the towpath is like a racetrack!

Thank you for all your kind comments I will reply tomorrow.

I found out yesterday that DS2 IS on his way to the Ukraine with an aid convoy!

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Long awaited

Today was the long awaited trip to the laundrette, Steve made a huge fuss about it but he'd agreed to go so he went.

We have a washing machine on the boat but getting stuff dry can be a bit bit and miss. I also can only do a cold wash and some things really need a hot wash.

When Steve returned we stripped the bed and remade it, it's a hell of a job as there is so little room around the bed. Also doing the bed with Steve makes my ears bleed! He rants and moans, gets the bedding tangled, shouts and complains. I'd rather do it on my own but he insists on 'helping'. We will be in the area for another week and so will return to the laundrette to wash the bedding we took off today and the rest  of the towels. I may go myself and take Beano. It will give me a peaceful hour or so.

We've had a few really heavy showers today, walking Beano has entailed some mad dashes on and off the boat.

The Wi-Fi signal here is poor, as usual I have more problems than Steve. If he's watching a film I can't get any signal. I've got a few books to read but I really miss crafting. However I realised today that the quilt I made almost 30 years ago needed repairing before it could be washed. So I've cut out a few 7" squares and I'm sewing them in place, I'm also repairing some small fears with embroidery. I can only sew in good light and it's not particularly near but as it's a repair, I'm happy with it.

A guest post from Beano

Steve took my blanket away this morning, he said it was smelly.

It was smelly but I love my blanket.

I was very pleased when I realised he'd only taken it to the laundrette to wash.

I have my blanket back now.

Lynn Marie

 Steve could go on a spa day and come back full of aches and pains. It's just the way he is!

Tuesday 5 April 2022

Still here

We're still moored in Newbury though we've not made it to the laundrette yet. Steve is at the chiropractor today so I have a few hours peace and Steve will be in pain and very grumpy tomorrow.

The swans keep tapping on the window for food, there is a lot of them and they can be quite demanding. There are ducks with babies and geese here as well.

Yesterday I saw four hot air balloons drifting overhead.

There is space for us to moor at Victoria park but we decided to stay where we are because one of the boaters at the park is a bloody nuisance. He keeps telling me he's a dog psychologist and keeps tapping Beano on the head and making noises. He claims this makes Angel love him, Beano growls and grumbles!

Saturday 2 April 2022

At last.

The tree was cleared and the navigation is open, we finally got a pump out we also filled up with water and purchased more coal. There was a queue for the pump out so it took hours but eventually we were done and moored up. We took Beano for a long walk round Victoria park where he can be off the lead and play with the other dogs. 

I made fish pie for tea, I made some for Beano too with slightly different ingredients, he loves it.

We didn't make it to the farmers market but we will go on Thursday and stock up.

Friday 1 April 2022

Feeling human again

I have to say the last trip really took it out of both of us. I was full of good intentions, I planned a lot of cleaning, I achieved nothing. My get up and go had buggered off.

We've still not had a pump out as a tree came down blocking the canal, it should be cleared by tomorrow.

Steve went to collect his prescription today so I spent the entire day doing nothing apart from walking Beano.

Steve left here at 9:15 and got back at around 2:30. He arrived at the pharmacy and asked for his prescription only to behold that they no longer make prescriptions up in advance. He had to sit and wait whilst it was made up. There were about a dozen people waiting. He has been given two months supply again, I'm not sure why.

A day of doing nothing has done me good I am feeling less like a damp rag. Caring for Steve can be exhausting, he mithers on all day, worrying about the daftest things and it's wearing. Yesterday I went to Tesco's and it was 20 minutes of bliss, wandering around choosing a loaf of bread. Then my phone rings, it's Steve. He wants to know if I'm still in Tesco's, he's waiting outside and he's cold. He didn't think I'd be this long! 

I was telling my daughter about this, she said "Please don't die first mum, I can't make any promises, I'm likely to brain him".

We will be travelling with our friends again for a few weeks in June, that will make things easier as Steve will have someone to distract him.

Lights out again!

Yet again our on-site lights have failed! I'm up and dressed and about to visit our site manager who is due here today. Last time this h...