Thursday, 14 August 2014

I hate Horseflys

Suffering today, the local Horsefly community objected last night when I took a spade to my mooring to put in some slabs and a new storage bunker. By the time I realised they were having a go it was too late and I had ben bitten 12 times.... So it was a shower and them lathered with Anthisan to try and hold the swelling and itching.

So this morning I was awake at 5.30 aching from the digging and itching from my encounter with the little buggers. The new protocol will be insect repellant now every time I am working outdoors. They got me 3 times last week when fishing and I thought I was ok in long jeans last night and still got one bite on my leg.

I look like a drug addict at the moment.....


Having read up on the bites it is clear the best approach is to hold the itching as the scratching can introduce infection. Keeping an eye for tell tale signs of infection... where is my nurse when I need her ?

Live and learn as they say - at least my bunker is up and now relieving the pressure on the fore-cabin so I can actually get in and find stuff = vacuum cleaner !!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Madness and I am part of it

Chris Rea wrote about it, he called it the road to hell. I have listened to it many times but now it is a part of my life as it was my route down to the cottage we have in West Sussex. It is the M25

7.50 pm Thursday  there must have been a 10 mile clockwise queue, thankfully I was going anticlockwise.

Anyhow this is a boating blog so I thought I needed to make the contrast.....

6.15am..... for the last few weeks



There is no greater contrast, and I am lucky I can dip between the two.... with the majority on the boat I'm pleased to say.

I have a list of things to do.... and buy. The TV is now a smart 22 inch tv - gone is the 18 inch LG - anyone want a cheap little used TV ? Two captains chairs and a stool will be onboard after the paint job.

Outside.... decking that is next weekends job hopefully if I can get my lads helping me on my birthday ! Then it will be a small slabbed patio area, two outside areas to use are essential. Then some savage pruning and I will have my wildlife viewing platform.

First outside job is a better store for a few bits, that will free up a wood store and coal store close to the boat to get the necessary to keep me warm over the coming winter.

I'll feel better about living aboard when I have these areas done.... then a patio heater may just appear??

Thursday, 31 July 2014

The best of evenings and the worst of evenings....

Well... the fishing last night was fantastic.

I caught large Chubb, large Bream, large roach and large Perch. The icing on the cake was to catch a Zander, not caught one of those before. Wow what a scary looking fish, I am advised they are up to 8lb in the canal by Percy.




I did pay the price... I now have three tell tale large red itchy lumps on my lower legs. I would really like to know what insect it is that gives such a bite  - any ideas. I'll spare you the pics but I am sure most boaters have experienced them at one time or another?

Now the bad bit...

Washing my hands after my fishing session the bathroom smelt like a gents toilet, fair enough I am home alone at the moment, more blue maybe... then I noticed it was wet behind the Thetford loo... Anyhow it appears I had not put the cassette in correctly or maybe a bit of paper was stopping the seal, result a few fluid ounces of my finest was in and around the back of the loo and had seeped under the bath. So it was scrub and strip down to clean up my mess  - literally !!

I had to have a whisky to get rid of the smell that had invaded my sinuses. All clear now and a lesson learnt.

Chores tonight so no fishing... well maybe not as much as last night !!



Tuesday, 29 July 2014

24 years a sad reflection

Well its the first blog for a little while. Many miles driven but only about an hour on the engine clock since moving aboard. A lot of that is to do with how the boat was planned, plus the great sunny weather, long days and a little planning on my side.

The boat is providing a nice home, very peaceful and the weather has been a welcome moving on present, I still get a lot of joy opening the back doors each day to glorious early morning sun.

I am finding too much time to fish at the moment with boat chores taking second stage, I am the bad boater with a poo tank on the well deck ready for cleaning out and a weed growing out of my rear fender..... as I say too much fishing. This weekend may well see the grass cut again and the gas locker painted.... may happen, then again may not.

Anyhow tonight a little sad reflection as its 24 years since my dad died. When I think of all the things we have done in that time he was not here to see or for me to share I do get a little sad. The things I would have liked to have shared and the way my lads would have enjoyed their granddad .... well not to be.

The cottage we have is just 3 miles from Glorious Goodwood, I know he would have loved to have made a visit there, well not to be - but I can imagine and often do with him with me at these locations.

I regrettably do not have a faith I envy those who do but I console myself with my belief of the afterlife, that of holding memories and talking about people, they live on in both and while we remember they have an afterlife. it is fitting that as we also grow old so do their memories and they gradually fade into a very personal history.

So I am having a glass of my dad tipple - Whisky, not Haig, as he used to drink but a Glenmorangie a bottle I keep on the boat to help remember my dad, pleasingly brought by my two lads.






Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Glamping, wedding, house move out, house move in x 2 plus move onto the boat - all in three weeks - busy, you bet !!

I have just posted on Bones Facebook page that living on a boat is exhausting... well with a lead up like the one we have had you can understand.

So..... in chronological order;-

The Glamping. 

We had a week in North Yorkshire - just outside a fantastic Yorkshire village called Masham  it is worth clicking that link alone for the picture ! As in my previous post Tom and Courtney brought us a lovely Christmas present of a week in a lodge.



Cooking as on a wood burner as was the hot water (luke warm water) 


No electricity and 6 beds all on top of another.... a real tester for the family, we were in the 'cave' at the bottom.


This little video gives a feel for its beautiful location.



While there we visited the Forbidden Corner a great day out, but I'd not recommend being locked into the coffin !!


Next day was full on.... off to Go Ape in the Dalby forest

Not being a fan of heights I was please that I did it without embarrassing myself.


It was hard work on some of the crossings with swinging beams to walk across. The zip lines were the best, trying to arrive facing forward was an issue for me !!

Callum showing how it should be done


Emma with a certain technique...


Rachel showing the reverse landing technique


Rachel avoiding the pile of bark shame...


Courtney NOT avoiding the pile of bark shame...


Tom full Buzz lightyear show


The video zip wire selfie..


After lunch it was the Segway safari....


Some expert manoeuvring....

There was the obligatory crash, I took a tumble whilst lining up an overtake of Callum when Tom stopped to look at a squirrel I think !! We did not fess up to our hosts of course !! No pictures as i was bleeding too much and putting my dislocated knee back into good order (ok I might have exaggerated that a little) 

The day ended with fish and chips penny arcades and ice cream at a popular seaside resort - any guesses?










The final full day saw us all just enjoy the woods and cabin then the lads went Clay shooting and the ladies washed a pig I think ? (no photos thankfully)





... and the winner was.....again, he won when we did the same in Scotland a couple of years back !


Friday, we packed up, went to Betty's in York for one of these.... then back home to pack the house (me) and work (Rachel) plus a couple of viewings !!


The packing

Our home stayed intact until the final viewing on Saturday 28th June at 2pm when after a viewing I started deconstructing 20 years of living and packing us up - all in two days. I even impressed myself !

The wedding 

On Wednesday the 2nd July Rachel and I at last got the daughter we had been missing when Tom got married to Courtney in a very simple ceremony (their choice and no doubt lots more pics next year when they get properly married in France)

29 years 138 days wed



Just wed, same love just time difference.


Then a nice meal and drunkedness for some (pictures not published)

The first house move

Two days later ......8.30am our movers turned up and within 4 hours had us empty and on the way down sarf'


5am next morning we were up and loading the car with all those bits we could not pack and headed to meet the wagon in West Sussex.

As we arrived the landlord of the pub appeared with a tray of coffee for us... nice touch. By 8.30 pm we were showered and house all sorted (thanks to an Ipad app and Callum and Rachel's hard planning) and I was sinking my first pint of Arundel Castle in the pub.

Sunday came and we drove into Chichester for a breakfast.


Coffee in the sunshine of our Sussex cottage garden



The boat move

We got back to Derby late afternoon and loaded the car with those bits due to live on the boat with... thankfully not a lot, thee 'barrow loads' (my new best friend is my orange wheelbarrow). I went first and left Rachel with the final clean of the house amd to bring Lilly our cat, who is not as keen as Leia on the boat 

Sunday 9.45pm we were aboard eating a nice pasta meal thanks to Alrewas Coop. We got a nice card from Mandy and Bonnie a neighbouring moorer. 

6.30 am my alarm went off to my new routine. I was please my hard work in the plumbing department resulted in a nice hot shower from the water heater (no engine running for hot water...) the new water pump being so much more efficient than the old one.

Opening the back doors I was welcomed to this part of my life with a beautiful sunny morning to walk Leia in (she loves it !!)


Percy is looking rough but I can now give him some TLC before he gets a new coat of paint in the autumn. Not a bad country cottage?


Our morning walk to Common lock and back



 Not too many to share with....


Not a ripple ....


Someone wanted to get through Fradley early though...


Leia in her element


So mission for now accomplished, all to plan I guess, well done to Rachel and I for this part of our lives. No small feat.

O'  - the final house move


I was able to hire one of the work vans at short notice as Tom was badly let down by Enterprise... This one I had not planned but it went ok in the end. I should be a Tetris champion for this one !

So if you are in the Fradley area look out for me as there is more than a good chance I will be aboard.







Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The powerless fridge

We have been Glamping.....enjoying a Christmas present from Tom and Courtney. I'll blog more about it later but on reviewing my Photos and with my impending move aboard I was intrigued and inspired by the fridge arrangements at the hut we stayed in.

The hut had no power.... Yes you can survive without electricity. To get around keeping food cool they had made up an outside fridge that looked like this....







Quite simple but very effective. I guess if it can go into a shady dry area it would work very well.A nice little project after sorting out the mooring properly for extended living (read either a raised deck area or wooden patio to eat from)




Tuesday, 1 July 2014

'Tis nearly done

Sitting in the warm late summer sun, garden in full bloom and beer with wine to follow flowing, contemplating being homeless for the first time in 30 plus years.....

We will have houses but not homes... well not just yet. We have a house full of belongings behind me waiting to be spread out 200 miles away on the South Downs.

This time next week I will be a liveaboard on the Trent  and Mersey canal. Going into that eyes wide open, maybe with a tad too much focus on the long dark winter months.

It is funny to see how breaking down the home affects the cat and dog... both have become so much more clingy  - certainly the cat cannot be closer to us right now !

It's a adventure, one quite off script, interesting to re read this in 12 months to see how the pages of our lives have turned and what chapters have been written,

So the next post might just come from a floating home in Staffordshire .... or a South Downs cottage

.... to be continued !!