Monday, 3 February 2020

Today's the day

A year ago today I lost my mum, so it seems a fitting day to move on and look forward to a new chapter in my life.  

I've been waiting for today for several months now even marking an event in my work calendar as 'today's the day'.  Today is the day I handed in my notice at work, what a feeling that was, at 7am I pressed send on the email that has been sat in draft for months, it's had some small itterations to it during that time, but today it was good to go, such a feeling, mainly happy but a bit of a leap too.

Having worked full time since I left school at 16 this really feels like a new beginning unchartered territory, and one that is full of promise, and I'm really looking forward to it.  I now have 15 working days left till my final day 31 March, I have a lot of leave to get in so 26 Feb will actually be my last working day.

There will be some house jobs to do during March, I'll be painting the kitchen, utility and cloakroom, and Martin has his no.1 little helper back, it appears some jobs will need four pairs of hands not two.

Depending what the weather is up to during March we'll think about when to go back to the boat, we also need to think about what our cruising plans will look like for the year ahead, no more time constraints put on us by annual leave, but at the moment we are happy here at home and have plenty to keep us occupied untill then.

Spring is really around the corner with the weather being so mild this winter.


Sunday, 24 November 2019


This weekend has seen us winterising the boat, and heading home for the winter, no more weekends away till next year. I'm hoping next year to write a few more posts, this year has been manic trying to sort out mums affairs, work for me (himself being a man of leisure). But next year we have some plans so we're looking forward to that, and I'm a tad excited!

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Boat jobs for the weekend

We've been to the boat several times since February and mum passing, it's recharged our batteries, chilled us out and meant I'm not constantly worrying if we don't have a phone signal.   I must say I'm not missing the driving to Exeter, which was proving to be taxing, tiring and at times traumatic.

This Easter break we've decided to stay put in the marina, we don't do that very often, but due to the weather forecast we figured it would be less than quiet, we have plenty of times when we can go out and not join the crowds.

So this weekend my plan was to wash and then re-proof the front and back canopies, no mean feet on your own, they're huge! having the safety of the pontoon along one side of the boat made it a little easier.  Martin has been doing some bits inside the boat, which meant the inside of the boat being in total upheaval, along with the back steps being removed, he's fiddling with the calorifier and looking at how he can recirculate the hot water to make it more efficient. 

With plenty of solar being produced not the clocks have changed we have been back up to 100% by about 9 in the morning, it means we can solar dump into the hot water tank, cook jacket potatoes in the combination microwave, boil the electric kettle whenever we want amongst other things.  We don't use the shore power at all even in the winter which is a money saver!

Today (Saturday) having finished the canopies yesterday I've turned my attention to the outside of the boat, giving it a thorough was down to get rid of the soot from other moorers winter fires. I only put polish on once a year at the end of the season, glad to say though the boat always benefits from a good clean.

Hopefully the blog will get a little more attention now things are settling down and time appears to be more our own.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Rest in peace Mum

Early hours on 3 February my mum slipped away peacefully following another stroke early in January. What a strong loving mum.  So grateful my brother and I were so involved with everything about her, even at the end, no regrets at all. Love you lots mum xx

23 June 1934 - 3 Feb 2019

Monday, 14 May 2018

Pootling around

For The last few weekends we've made it away from home on a Thursday after I've finished work.  Having prepared a meal to re-heat from the day before, it's great to be on the boat, unpacked and eating our evening meal, giving me the feeling we've made the most of our get-away.

The weather has also been great, and we have been fortunate to be out of the marina in some glorious sunshine.

The bank holiday weekend saw us making the most of the sunshine and a good mooring at Shackerstone.  This enabled me to get on with touching up the paintwork along one side of the boat.  I've been really apprehensive about tackling this, but it's not turned out too bad at all.  I'd been researching some paint makes to understand how I could get a paint that would be a match for our awlcraft 2000 two pack as this is only something that can be sprayed, I've ended up getting an epifanes custom colour, this really does match our original paint and was really easy to apply, I feel confident in tackling the other side, when we have the time to do it.

This past weekend saw us arrive again on Thursday early evening, giving us time to get out of the marina and motor down to Stoke Golding, having made tea again before we came away the smell of cottage pie warming through followed us along the canal. We walked to the Dog and Hedgehog for evening drinks on Friday, and decided to book for lunch on Saturday, the staff are always very attentive, and we had some good banter from the bar staff.

Saturday afternoon we headed back to the marina, rain was forecast for the evening and as we were going to a local May ball we didn't fancy getting drenched before the event, instead we drove, which turned out to be a good plan as within an hour of our return the rain started. 

We're now back home and planning for this weekend, we'll be welcoming a special guest who is responsible for our boating adventures.  We'll also be thinking about the week after as I have some leave booked, we will be getting off the Ashby canal for a while, and that will involve some locks, that'll be the first since last October.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Space for ballgowns required!

Winterising and seeing how things have faired over winter.  We were last on the boat on 10 December, Martin had been busy lagging many of the water pipes to help protect as far as possible against any hard frosts.

The last engagement of this year was to the local Christmas dance, avid dancers (ballroom, latin and sequence) with varying degrees of execution we've had fun going along to a very welcoming bunch at one of the local village halls. So when you have a boat built you normally don't allow for ballgowns to go in your wardrobe, hmm not me!

On the Sunday morning we woke early (5 ish) I looked outside to see what the conditions were - no sign of the forecast snow yet, at 7 am it was a different story, it was leave now or get stuck for a few days, not really an option that was open to us.

After clearing the car a few times in the space of half an hour the car was loaded and we were making our way out of the marina home, 4 - 5 inches of snow by now made the trip the longest so far.  One lane of just passable motorway does not make for quick travelling, but sticking to following lorries proved to be the best policy, although Martin's stop at Hopwood Park Services could have been a different story (I'm packing proper grippy outdoor shoes for him next time, as I ended up being the one to push the car out of the car park and onto the service road)

This weekend saw us back at the boat, fingers crossed everything would be ok and certainly dry when the water was turned back on, it was, should we have doubted it? anyway all the preparation to winterise was well worth it, this year we may well do it a bit earlier, weather and forecast dependant I think.

So exactly 3 months from when we were here last, I went for a 6 mile walk while Martin pottered, we had a good bit of snoozing and on Saturday night we were again at a dance, greeted like long lost friends, the weekend has started our boating season, and oh have we missed it, it's good to be boating again.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Through Banbury to Claydon top lock

We woke to a misty drizzly day, so for the first time this holiday we donned wet weather gear, having moored quite close to Banbury we were soon approaching the outskirts, and the permanent moorings before we got into the centre and Banbury Lock.

The moorings here are plenty but as we crept passed the rather full lines we could here talk of very loud music and people not having much sleep, we had a little smile as we'd had a perfect night, out in the countryside. 

At Cropredy there were no cues like we'd seen on our way down so we made short work of it

At Broadmoor Lock the heavens opened, but snug and dry in our wet weather gear this did not deter us.  I picked up some cooking apples again by the lock side to go with some more blackberries we'd gathered, apple and blackberry crumbles seem to have been a staple pudding this holiday.

The first Claydon lock we worked through on our own but at all of the other locks there were 4-5 boats waiting to come down, this should have meant our progress was swift but it wasn't.  Boat crews were just too eager to turn locks in front of us and for them to join the large cues above each lock, so selfish, in fact one hire boat crew of all men couldn't even acknowledge us.

At the top lock we were again on our own, so worked through the lock, and moored just beyond the bridge, and chilled for the evening.