Sunday 12 July 2020

Will she or won't she?

We made the journey to the boat on Monday 6 July, after rush hour, really still quite quiet on the motorways, we arrived ready for coffee, soon unpacked and everything stowed away in fridge and freezer, enough to keep us going for 10 days or so.

The boat is filthy, covered in soot from the winter fires on those boats occupied during the winter, a grey film that lingers, but the outside can wait for a clean.

On Tuesday we had some things to do inside before the BSS later in the afternoon, the day as one forecaster had said was 'grotty'.  I vacated the boat after lunch and sat in the car, our first boat safety every, not sure why we were nervous but we were, all done and dusted after an hour with a pass, great stuff, no nasty surprises an some compliments to boot.

We stayed put, due to the weather getting worse, we'd break free on Weds instead, even if there was wet stuff.

Weds dawned and we started getting ready to leave, but then our departure was curtailed somewhat, a dead starter battery! hmm, nothing for it but plug the shoreline in and see what transpired with that, so after coffee and lunch, there was enough in the starter to start the engine, but would it stay charged or would we be stranded, we then tried the generator battery, that was dead too! oops not the best of getaways, but with things tested to make sure they were being charged by the alternator, we left after lunch, turning left and out towards Snarestone.

We decided that a longer run than normal should be done, giving everything chance to recover, so that's what we did.  We passed Derwent 6 and both commented how nice it looked, clean with shiny brasses.  We turned at Snarestone, and headed back to shackerstone and moored on the first bit of arnco on the sweeping bend opposite the long tern moorers, a nice spot and away from the bridge. it has persisted down since.

We move on Friday.

Sunday 5 April 2020

A couple of weeks into lockdown

So here we all are dealing with lockdown, some better than others I would think.  For us it's meant some skype calls with family, our skype dinner party has not gone ahead yet, we need my sister in law to be pursuaded it is a good idea I'm leaving that with my brother, it would give a lighter mood to the situation outside of our bubbles.

We joined a live video over facebook yesterday (Saturday) it was with one of the dance hosts whose dances we attend locally - or did before all of this started, it was great to get some dancing in.  The hour and a half was well thought out, and having gone outside to the patio we danced under the stars and moon, said hello and sent requests, joined in some banther.  The audience varied, but most touching was the older contingent, many having never used technology in such a way before, some without their dance partners but still joining in being able to listen an put in requests or just to say hello to friends, for this group a lot are within the most vulderable age group, it gave them some time to hear something normal and joining in with a group of people they know but cannot be with.  The evening was made a great success by the people who hosted it and those who joined in, we'll be looking out for the next one.

Our days are full, deciding what to do and where to be, either in the garden or indoors, currently due to the weather being so lovely we've spent a lot of time outdoors gardening, and giving the summerhouse another coat of paint.  I've also sown some seeds, some of the hollyhock seeds my dad saved back in 2012 he passed away the year after and I've not had the inclination to do anything with them till now, so fingers crossed they do something, it's right on the end of the time they should be viable, we'll see what happens.  I have gloss painting indoors for cloudy/rainy days, that looks like next week at some point.

And lastly some photos of spring in our garden, take care x

Thursday 19 March 2020

Keeping things normal

We like many are trying not to get too caught up in the panic that seems to be escaling when food shopping, we are sticking to our normal shop, but have an added pressure of making sure Martin's mum is well stocked, at 92 her decision to not venture out of the house was welcome, best stay in and be safe (and away from the madness of the queues and lack of wheelchair capability at the local stores).

Our choice of store is changing though, local smaller shops for bread and milk, people only shopping for what they need here helps, we don't need to use a car for this either so getting some excercise as well is great, going to the larger shops for fruit and veg when needed.

We have no other need to go out at the moment, we are doing some work in the house so that will keep us out of trouble for a while, and it helps with the 'social distancing' we're hearing so much about.

We're due to go on a small uk break in April and so far that is going ahead, it's not been cancelled but that may change.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

First outing

Last week we went up to the boat on Tuesday, spying a lull in the rain for a few days, leaving mid morning we got to the boat at lunchtime

We filled the water tank whilst eating lunch and put things back on line for our cruise, we also decided to stay put in the marina for the rest of the day and night.

Early on Wednesday we slipped out of the marina and went out towards Snarestone, some days on our own was on the cards, the sun was out and we were happy to be out making the most of the day, en-route we started our first cruise as we had our last with some kingfisher spotting, one day he'll stay put in a place that doesn't stretch to the limit of my camera zoom, but like anyone will tell you it's such a lovely thing to see.

We took our time and I made the most of the combined engine use and in-put from the solar, using the microwave to cook a fish pie for later in the day and getting hot water, Martin has cleverly installed a recirculation switch which means the water in the calorifier is distributed throughout the tank and circulated to give an even temperature top and bottom, it also stays hotter for longer.

we got to the end of the Ashby and turned, the wind doing its best to sent us sideways in the winding hole, but perseverance ensured we got around, there was one boat moored this side of the tunnel but out plan was to go back through and moor on the 48 hr mooring providing the driest and least muddy option for now. With the batteries at 100% and the afternoon sun getting through the trees they stayed that way till quite late in the afternoon.

On Thurs we were awake early and decided to move a bit further, just away from the trees, past the really boggy part of the towpath, the wind was picking up but there was blue sky and solar to be made use of! 10 mins later we were settled in the open.  

I went for a walk detoured into a field to avoid the bog and then walked through Snarestone to the Alpaca farm, it's relatively new and is a nice short walk, it has a wool store and knit and natter groups if you want to join, but I'm happy browsing through the reduced yarn just in case I see something that interests me.  There is also a tearoom and this is usually well attended, worth a walk if you are in the area.

I settled back at the boat, we had lunch and I continued with some knitting, I've brought a Christmas project with me and want to make some progress with it.

We stayed here till Saturday morning, when we pushed off at just before 7.00 (saw the kingfisher again but photos not great) with the aim of getting back to the marina for breakfast, and really before a breeze picked up which would make in difficult to get back into our berth.  All went really well, tied up by 9 and breakfasted we headed out to Morrisons in Hinckley a short car ride away, with the aim of getting veg for Sunday lunch back at home, it took longer than it should of with so many queues at the checkouts, shopping madness is an understatement, we'll be shopping in our normal way!  On the way back we called into Spinneybank farm shop (bridge 23) to collect our order.  Unfortunately the farm is being given as a delivery address for supermarket deliveries, and while this may seem acceptable to those doing it, it really does have an impact on those trying to run a business and normal day to day life, please stop and think.

On Saturday evening we went to the dance in Stoke Golding village hall, met up with friends we have made and had a lovely evening, sadly it will be the last for a while as like most things now social gatherings of this kind are being put on hold, still we may even get some time to learn some new dances during the next few months.

Sunday's journey home was very wet, with 40mph speed restrictions due to the amount of surface water, but again we got home in time for breakfast, let the fire and settled back home.  We enjoyed our first trip of the season and hope the boating season won't be curtailed too much.

Thank you Jo for your comment, hope to see you at some point too.

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.