Saturday, 5 April 2014

There Are Some Jobs....

Now I believe in equal opportunities and that I am probably capable of doing most things that a man can do.  However, there are some jobs that I am quite happy to leave to Pete.  We have a compost toilet, which has been fabulous.  It works by separating the liquids from the solids and has an electric fan to take away any obnoxious smells.  The wee just mixes with the other grey water from the sinks, washing machine etc and gets flushed out.  The poo is stored in a bucket until it is full.  Then the bucket has a lid slipped on and it is left on deck until it composts down.  We have a very posh compost loo that has a screen that slides back when you sit down (men have to sit down too as their aim can be a bit dodgy!).  This means that you don't actually get an eyeful of the contents of the bucket every time you use the loo.  Oh, it has just occurred to me I should have given out a warning first, I really, really hope you are not eating your dinner as you read this post.  If you are stop now whilst I continue.

Well the loo worked fine until yesterday when the screen stopped sliding back and stayed open,yuck!  I decided that it was definitely a Pete job to investigate the reason why, mainly as he has a much stronger stomach than me.  After a bit of procrastination Pete went off to investigate.  It turns out a stud has broken off that means the lid won't catch closed.  Simple really, we have ordered the bit needed.  But I think that I will bow to Pete's superior knowledge about these matters and leave him to fix it!!!  Until then I have to master the art of lifting the lid with my eyes closed and backing up slowly......

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Somewhere To Eat

At the moment the wheelhouse is being used as a workshop.  Eventually it will become our living area, with a seating and eating area.  It will also be a working wheelhouse with wheel, chart table and all the other thingy-me-bobs that you need for sailing.  Until that time, as you know we are living exclusively below decks.
We have been eating off trays on our laps, but on Sunday we invited mum and dad over for lunch for Mother's Day and Rob and Emily joined us.  So we needed somewhere proper to eat.  I sent Pete up to the house to collect 'the table'.  Now we do actually have a wonderful huge farmhouse type table that can sit everyone in Tollesbury (okay not quite), but that is too big for the snug.  'The table' is a beautiful oak table that is perfect as it is a fold down table, but opened out comfortably sits six.  But what makes it really special is that it was my grandmother's table and where my Dad ate all his meals as a boy.  It is still in wonderful condition and I love the fact that it is still being used.  It is one piece of furniture that I will never get rid of.  Here it is folded down, covered up and sitting quite comfortably in the corner of the snug :).  Now Pete and I can have some cosy dinners sitting at a table. Emmmm where did I put the candles.......

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Lovely Day

What a glorious sunny day and doesn't it lift your spirits.  I got in to a spring cleaning mode, so had a good clear up.  With all the work going on, we live with a constant layer of dust everywhere.  But just for a few hours today everything is clean and tidy and the doors are thrown open letting in the lovely fresh air.

Now I'm done (housework doesn't take too long here, thankfully), I am sitting on the aft deck watching the watery world around me.  The tide is in, the birds are playing, boats are returning from their weekend away and I have a lovely cup of tea and a piece of homemade fruit cake.  Doesn't get much better than that.  Hope you have all enjoyed your weekend x

Friday, 7 March 2014

High Ropes

Look what Fellowship Afloat have built just the other side of the sea wall next to the barge.  Pete thinks they have built it just for us, but there is absolutely no chance of getting me up there! Fellowship Afloat is a charity that teaches children from deprived areas to sail and the high ropes are an extra bit of entertainment for the kids when the tide is out.  I can't wait to see them playing on it as I love the sound of children laughing, but I think there may be a few screams.  I am also not sure it will do my blood pressure much good watching them from a concerned motherly point of view!  Roll on the summer....

Friday, 28 February 2014

Harbour Ways

Ages ago I reviewed a book called Watery Ways by my lovely blogging pal, Valerie Poore.  It was about how she came to be living on a barge in Rotterdam and the adventures that she had as she fell in love with the way of life of the liggers (we call ourselves liveaboards here in the UK).  Val had a dream to own and go faring in her own barge and Harbour Ways is how Val worked so hard to realise that dream.  I have been eagerly awaiting this sequel and I can honestly say, with my hand on my heart, that I was not disappointed.  As soon as my copy arrived last Saturday, I sat in the armchair in front of the woodburner and that was where I stayed until I finished it.  I am absolutely amazed and completely in awe of the amount of hard work and all the skill that Val put into renovating her barge.  She took on jobs that I would not even consider doing, such as woodwork, plumbing and many other really hard traditionally 'male' jobs.  I laughed out loud in many places.  Whenever boat owners get together, eventually the conversation always turns to plumbing and toilets.  Boat plumbing is a whole new world and involves seacocks, macerators and lots of twists and turns in very awkward places.  Val describes her antics with Vereeniging's bathroom with a real tongue in cheek sense of humour, which I am sure covers up a lot of the swearing that probably took place!!! I also loved the various characters that Val introduces us to and all their quirky ways.  If you want to get a flavour of the work that goes in to living afloat and get a taste of living in Rotterdam I urge you to read this book as it comes with my top notch recommendation.  You can get a copy at or Amazon.  Thanks Val for such a good read x

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bargains and Boarding

I had seen a rug in Ikea that I really, really liked.  The colours were perfect.  But my sensible head wouldn't let my impulsive heart buy it.  It was expensive v it was worth it - we were not ready for it v but they might sell out - waiting a while won't hurt v I want it now!  As it happens Ikea discontinued it :( Then on Sunday it appeared - on eBay - my rug - £15 Buy It Now.  I have never hit that button so quickly!!! It was two minutes from work so I picked it up Monday lunchtime.  And here it is, my rug in situ.  Isn't it lovely...

Pete has been busy putting the tongue and groove on the wall up the side of the stairs.  We were originally going to put it all over, but Pete worked out we needed over 2km of boarding and that's was a serious amount of money!  So as he is a plasterer by trade, guess what the alternative option was?  Yep, plastered walls.  Some doubters were a little dubious, but we have probably had the stormiest winter getting blown all around and it has held up beautifully, no cracks at all.  Perhaps that is testament to the craftsman that Pete is.

Every day the barge moves on further and I love it even more.  Although workwise things are still up in the air and I am living with a serious amount of stress, this boat is definitely my safe haven.  A place where I feel at peace and it is the first time that I gave ever felt truly at home.  If I was a cat I would be purring.......

Saturday, 22 February 2014


Okay, so it's not a wardrobe - but there is a huge amount of wasted space under the stairs.  One thing that is guaranteed when you live on a boat - there is never enough storage space, so you have to make use of every available inch (or centimeter for you foreigners!).  Pete is in the throws of creating a wonderful cupboard, complete with shelving to store stuff.  The vacuum cleaner will live under there, along with things like the dehydrator that we don't use every day.  The area goes under the deck and under the stairs.  The door will be under the deck, to the side of the stairs, which means the other side of the stairs needs blocking off (is this making any sense).  Rather than a blank wall, he is going to make a bookshelf out of it.  Some of my cookery books will live here.  I say some, as I actually have a few too many, but I enjoy reading them before I cook the beans on toast.  Here are some pictures of the job half done and I will post some more later of the finished article.