Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Our Barge Garden

This post is inspired by a post from Val over at Watery Ways and her canal side garden.  I thought I would show you the natural garden around the barge.  We have to be very careful about what we 'plant' and leave around, so that we do not upset the natural habitat as we are in an area overseen by Essex Nature (who incidentally really don't like boats and do all they can to get rid of us, even though we are probably more marine/environmentally aware than many landlubbers!).  So, politics aside, I keep flowers, herbs etc on the decking or decks.  But I am going to introduce a few things to our 'garden'.  I have just planted a crab apple tree in the hope that one day I can make crab apple jelly.  I would also like to introduce a quince tree.  We have wild blackberries, rose hips, haws, samphire, sea beet, purslane and various other edibles around us already, along with thistles, nettles and dandelions.  Our wild flowers are very pretty when they are all out in bloom and I will add a few more traditional wildflower seeds next year for a truly spectacular display.  By the way, yes you can see a buddleia, not really a native but lovely in full bloom and great for the butterflies.  And the beauty of this of course, is that we don't have to mow it!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Happy Birthday Scarlett

One year ago tomorrow this little girl came in to our lives.  She has been such a delight and has given us so much joy.  I don't think I have ever met a child who laughs so much and dances and sings all the time.  Here she is with her first car, with mummy and daddy and finally giving her proud Nanny the best cuddles ever. Happy Birthday Scarlett, we all love you so much xxx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Baby Bumps

Some more wedding photos to show whilst we are waiting for the official photos of the day.  Here are two of my sons with their ladies and bumps!  The girls are looking so beautiful, definitely blossoming in pregnancy.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Just For Connie....

More photos to follow (when I have sorted out some good ones) but this is just to show my lovely blogging pal Connie my hat as promised.

Oh and a cheeky one of my beautiful niece and granddaughter who were both bridesmaids.

Friday, 5 September 2014


Okay, I felt so bad that I couldn't wait until Sunday and besides I will want to show off some wedding pictures then (and yes Connie I will include the hat!), so here goes.....

Ib - my new job is going great thank you, no stress and lots of freedom. Oh and it is actually illegal to harvest the samphire to sell, but good idea!

Margy - we will be installing a ship's wheel with hydraulic steering gear.  The boat made its own 'hole' within a couple of days and always goes back down flat.  It was initially one of our concerns but all has worked out well.

Mel - there are plenty of grey mullet swimming around.  The recipe Pete was given is; clean and gut the mullet, lay on silver foil with thyme, rosemary and a house brick, wrap and bake for half hour.  Open silver foil, throw away fish and suck house brick, it has a better taste than the fish!  Don't know really how true this is but Pete has never bothered trying!

Margy, Connie and Jo - the samphire has a very salty taste, but perhaps Chickpea could give me a recipe that might make me change my mind?

DC - shame I cannot call myself flat bottomed!

Val - we have a spare bed now if you want to experience the mudflats for real xxx


I have just noticed that on my last couple of posts, my replies to your lovely comments seem to have disappeared.  You must think I am so rude, especially since some of you have asked specific questions.  I cannot apologise enough, I don't know what has happened to my comments.  My son is getting married tomorrow so I am a little tied up until Sunday.  But please come back then and I will answer all your questions.  Sorry again :-( I love you all really xxxx

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Poo Bin

Due to the really rubbish summers that we have in the UK, we found that the buckets of poo on deck were not decomposing quite as quickly as we wanted.  Visitors were beginning to ask what the line of double stacked buckets along the side decks contained and their faces were a picture when told!!!  So we needed a different tack.  Research showed that a hot compost bin would decompose the matter very much quicker and that these were used in the Scandinavian countries which are even cooler than here but where compost toilets really have taken off.  We let our neighbour Sue buy one first, just to see if they worked!! And it did, so here is our new Poo Bin.  The heat is created by the decomposition process and the bin is insulated to keep the heat in.  We have to be careful to get a good mix in to help with the decomposition.  We put in vegetable peelings, shredded paper/cardboard, food remains, bread, toilet paper, floor sweepings etc and of course the contents of our compost toilet.  The temperature has to be kept above 30 degrees; there is a thermometer on top of the bin, alongside the airflow outlet.  It means that the toilet can be emptied on a regular (weekly) basis rather than wait until the bucket is full and can be emptied when visitors are expected, an empty loo is a bit more palatable to some squeamish guests!  Other bonuses are that we have cut our carbon waste a bit more and that we can compost the loo paper rather than burn it AND we don't have to spend £9.00 per bucket every time we needed a new one (we didn't, we improvised!).  Now we only need one bucket - anyone want to buy a used bucket with lid - only used in the compost toilet once!!!