Monday, 21 July 2014

And More Exciting News... youngest son and his girlfriend have just announced that they too are expecting a child in January, just three weeks later than my other son's wife.   Whoopee, grandchildren really are like buses, you wait for ages and then they all come along at once!  I can see that Christmas 2015 is going to be very expensive, I wonder if they will accept babysitting vouchers in lieu of a present.  This is going to be like having twin grandchildren.  Actually it is rather lovely.  My sons are all very close and best friends, so it will be great that their children are similar ages and can all play together and grow up together.  You can't beat family at the end of the day.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Scarlett and Exciting News

I haven't shown you a picture of Scarlett for a while, so here she is, quite a stunner.  I don't think I have ever met such a happy child.  She laughs, sings and dances from the moment she wakes up.  She is crawling, pulling herself up and is constantly chatting is that wonderful scribble talk that young children do.  Best of all is when she sees me her face beams with a great big smile and she lifts her arms up for kisses and cuddles, life doesn't get better than that...

Oh but wait it does ... my second son Stuart and his lovely wife Kerry have announced that their first child is due in January.  I am just as excited about this new arrival and can't wait to meet my second grandchild.  There may be disadvantages to getting older, but the arrival of grandchildren is one heck of a benefit!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Engine and Stuff

My blogger pals, Val and Mel, expressed an interest in our engine.  So here it is in all its glory.  It is a reconditioned Slanzi engine, 42hp, air cooled,  Italian made and was installed by the film company that hired the barge, along with the rudder and helm.  Apparently it only had clocked up 100 hours, but we cannot confirm that.  All we know is that everytime Pete goes to start it up, it always jumps in to action immediately. When Pete sailed the barge down from Ipswich to Tollesbury the engine performed beautifully, though Billy spent the whole trip in the engine room to ensure it ran smoothly (mind you it was the warmest place on the barge in early November, so he wasn't daft volunteering for that job).  I am hoping that Mel can add some more technical details now he has seen it. The engine room is actually quite large and the engine looks a little lost in the middle, but there is plenty of room for Pete to store more of his stuff.

I dropped in that little bit about the film company and I ought to explain.  Before we bought it and mucked around with the barge, it was hired by a film company to use in a film called 'Young Adam' starring Ewan Mcgregor and Tilda Swinton.  The film was a 'film noir' based around life on a working barge.  It was a very dark and intense film but there are some good shots of Ewan's bottom!  Of course we had to buy the DVD because it starred our barge, but I can't say it is the best film I have ever seen.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Help Please

Okay I wanted duck egg blue gel coat and I got a baby blue instead, which apparently couldn't be taken back (don't ask I won't bore you with the domestic issue!). My dilemma now is what colour to put with it.  I'm thinking a really deep, rich red, but I don't want it to end up looking like we're Westham fans.  Any ideas or suggestions?

Today we got a gift from mum and dad, a lovely table and chair set.  Doesn't it look lovely on what we affectionately call the patio.

Friday, 27 June 2014

New Beginnings

I left work last Friday and it was a bittersweet day.  I have made lots of friends over the years and so many people came by my office to say goodbye, so there were a few tears.  I have spent so long having to be fairly conservative in appearance because of the nature of the job, so I decided to go out with a final act of defiance - I dyed my hair bright pink.  It certainly made quite a few people do a double take (especially the Colonel) When I said I was going to do it, my sons were horrified - so I have kept it pink just to wind them up and I quite like it.  Unfortunately you cannot really see the colour in the picture below.

I was treated to a lovely meal out by lots of my colleagues and just a few drinks (!) and I received some smashing gifts.  I was truly touched by it all.  I will miss the gang, but I feel amazing - so relaxed, no stress and most of all - FREE!!!!  I looked after Scarlett all day Monday and on Tuesday I went up to London to meet a lifelong friend, Ginena.  She lives in Cape Town and we have not actually seen each other for 25 years since I went out there.  But from the moment we got together the years disappeared and we talked and laughed like the old days.  We had such fun, it was like being young girls again.

I have worked on the allotment, entertained friends, cooked for Pete every night, cleaned the barge within an inch of its life and caught up with the washing - it's hard work this not working lark - but I love it!  I am probably off now until after the school holidays and then I am looking at my options.  Really I would like to cut down to part time work but there are a couple of really interesting opportunities in the pipeline, so who knows.  All I know is that I have no job, no money and I am the happiest I have been in years and really excited about what the future holds.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Sunlight and Stars

My lovely blogger pal, Val, from Waterways is going to think that I am posting this just to make her a tiny bit jealous, but honestly Val I'm not!  This is our new hatch and the difference that having it in to the light and air is wonderful.  We can actually see that the sun is shining and even when we are down below, we can still feel part of the summer.  The other bonus is that we can also see the stars.  We do not have any light pollution around here, and the night sky is so beautiful.  Pete is talking about getting a telescope to do a bit of star gazing.  On the technical side for Mel, it has a wind up opener, but the whole dome can be lifted off to enable us to use the full hatch.  It is also triple glazed, so should keep us snug in the winter and the glass does something clever with keeping in/letting out heat.  For me, it means I can sit in the snug without feeling confined because of the artificial lights and I now am waiting for it to rain, to watch the raindrops bounce off the window.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Friends in High Places!!

I told them at work that I intended to take my grievances higher, bet they didn't think I would take it this far!!!

We actually had a fab day out in London. We had tickets for the Major General's Review, which is basically the dress rehearsal for the Trooping of the Colour and then on to Downing Street to have our photos taken.  No matter what I think of the military at this moment in time, no one can quite do pomp and circumstance like the British!