Sunday, 6 September 2015

High Tide

We have had some really high tides over the last week.  When the tides are this high, the water comes over our affectionately named 'patio'.  I used to move all the plants, but most have finished flowering anyway and I have discovered that they really don't mind an occasional salt water soaking!  We also have to watch the time too as getting on and off the boat can be a problem.  Not just the wet feet bit, but the patio to barge gangplank becomes almost vertical and it's a bit like climbing a cliff face.  The highest tide actually came half way up the patio to shore gangplank, but that was an extreme tide.  There are normally only a couple of times a year that the tides are this high and we have another lot coming up in a couple of weeks.  Then we are going to have to move as the barge behind us needs to get out to go off for repairs in a dry dock.  That should be fun (sorry Pete, I should have said a pain!).  I will post pictures.
I am staying with my mum at the moment as Dad is in hospital, but he is now absolutely fine and we are hoping that he will be home tomorrow.  I forgot to bring my ipad charger so am having to limit my time online.  I will catch up with you all soon.  Take care xxx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Following on from my last post, perhaps not the best title!  But now the light mornings and nights have passed I have finally got bedroom curtains.  Okay, I know, they will keep the room warmer in the winter, so no need for sarcasm.  
Our windows are small and high and presented a problem.  I didn't want pull across curtains as the windows are too small and close together and the size also ruled out blinds.  Sue, our neighbour, came up with the idea of hanging them above the windows on two small hooks and then unhooking one side by day and leaving to drape.
Mum and Dad had bought some lovely full length, lined, ready made curtains for their lounge but one set were too small.  However, the material was perfect for our bedroom, so they donated them to our worthy cause and went and bought another set in the right size.  Sue cut them up, sewed a pole into the hems and added two rings to each.  They work beautifully.
I apologise for the poor quality of the pictures, but the light was all wrong and it really doesn't do the curtains justice.  Mind you, we are sleeping later which is not such a good thing! Now to finish the paintwork :)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Life's Curveball

Sometimes, just when you think everything is swinging along just perfectly, life throws a curve ball at you and throws you off balance for a while.  Two weeks ago I went for a routine scan for gallstones.  Whilst I was there the technician found two spots on my liver and called in the consultant to take a look.  From that moment things moved fast and I feel that the last two weeks have been lived in a blurry and scary place.
I was called back two days later for a contrast CT scan and then we had to come back from holiday for the day for an appointment with the gastroenterologist consultant.  He explained that he felt the lesions were probably secondary liver tumours and that I would have to have further tests to try to find the primary cancer site.  I had an MRI scan and further blood tests the same day.  As you can imagine, by this point I was convinced I was at death's door and feeling like every little twinge was a major symptom.
Yesterday I finally got a call to say that the liver consultant is absolutely certain that they are a specific type of benign tumour and that I could stop worrying.  They have checked every part of my body from the knees up and I am fit and healthy.  Such good news, I feel like I have been given my life back.
The last couple of weeks have certainly been a wake up call about what is actually important and what is superficial.  Top of my list of priorities now is my family and friends, everything else slides down the scale.  Pete has been my absolute rock and I am very lucky to have him by my side.  I know that there are many, many people who are not so fortunate as me and from now on I will be more mindful of that and help wherever I can.
Enjoy life people as you never know what is round the corner.

Friday, 14 August 2015

At Last, A Holiday!

With three boats that all need work, continually working to pay for said three boats, I needed to get Pete away on holiday.  Funds are still very tight until the house is sold so we decided to try camping.  It must be 30 years since either of us went camping, but we are game for most things.  We bought a second hand tent and just a couple of other bits; a second sleeping bag and a one ring gas cooker and off we went.
We are staying in Suffolk, near Aldeburgh at a beautiful campsite run by Sue and Colin.  I knew about the campsite as I am a regular reader of Sue's blog It is a super site and very central to a lot of places to visit, well worth staying at if you are in the area.
We managed to get the tent up and fully unpacked within an hour AND without getting to divorce stage!  We certainly got a bargain with our tent, it's great.  So far we are having great fun and will be doing this lark a bit more often.

Pete finally relaxing and reading a book.  Mission achieved!

Monday, 20 July 2015


Can you see the bit of illegal parking!  The poor woman was reversing and, heavens knows how, she reversed over the wall and in to the creek.  The tide was in, but fortunately a quick witted, off-duty fireman dived in and pulled the lady free.  I guess the car will have to be craned out tomorrow as it is now blocking the shipping lane.  One thing for sure, I wouldn't like to be explaining this one to my husband!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Right Good Tidy Up

As I am now on summer holidays until September, I have a looooong lists of 'jobs' to get done.  Unfortunately the glorious weather and the very urgent need to get out in it, eg walking Alfie, pottering at the allotment, any other excuse, has taken priority and those jobs seem to be being put off whilst the list gets longer.  Yesterday was cooler, so I decided to tackle the pantry.  As I don't have a proper kitchen yet, things tend to get dumped in there and I was losing track of what stores I have amongst the 'stuff'.  Time for action!  So I got stuck in and eventually got in done.  Despite an accident with an open bottle of soy sauce being knocked off the top shelf, it wasn't as bad as I thought.  Everything is still in date (not that I take much notice of best before dates) and I have discovered lots of goodies that I had forgotten about.  Here are the before and after pictures.  I actually have another four shelves of cookbooks elsewhere (can you see a theme around me and my books?) and kitchen equipment is stored in the cupboard under the stairs at the moment.

Monday, 6 July 2015


I have been spending a lot of time with my wonderful grandchildren, but normally seeing them individually.  However, we all got together for Sunday dinner so it was a perfect opportunity to get a photograph of them all together.  Not quite as easy as it seemed, hundreds (!) of photos were taken until we ended up with this lovely picture, my babies with their babies :

Two seconds later, chaos resumed!

Hi There!

I apologise for my prolonged absence from our blogging world.  I could offer all sorts of excuses but the truth is that I lost my blogging mojo for awhile.  However, a lovely message from Connie at Crafty Home Cottage gave me the kick up the proverbial that I needed, and I also realised that I missed you all and the interaction.  I am now going to spend the next few days catching up on my favourite bloggers and seeing what I have missed out on.

So what have I been doing?  I have been gradually emptying my office at the house and transferring it to my office on the barge.  This is no mean feat as I have literally hundreds of books.  I am having to sort them out and donate many to the charity shop as I just don't have room for them all. However, for someone who cannot get rid of any book, this has proved quite traumatic!  But I am getting there and am now half way done.  Most of the books here are reference books, teaching resources and classic and modern novels.  Cookbooks and gardening books etc are elsewhere on the barge.  Can you tell that I love books?  I have to keep finding little areas that Pete can put up more bookshelves, I keep telling him that they are good ballast!  So here is my office now, I love this space :) On the metal sign are the words to You Are My Sunshine.  I just had to buy the sign and put it in my space as my Grandad used to sing this to me when I was little, it makes me smile every time I look at it.  Can the eagle eyed among you see the mouse hole?  The cheeky thing has also hung his washing out!  I will be back soon, I promise! 😘😘😘😘

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Bathroom - Done

Pete has actually finished the head (bathroom) and my office (captain's cabin!), so I thought you deserved some photos.  Today I present the bathroom.....

I love our turquoise tiles, they are such a beautiful colour, but this is quite hard to see in the pictures.  The heated towel rail came from a job that Pete did.  It is brand new, but the lady of the house decided it was the wrong colour and wanted it changed.  She was going to bin this one until Pete stepped in!  It is perfect for us and it makes such a difference to get up to a nice warm bathroom in the morning - I know, getting soft in my old age.  In the spirit of reusing and recycling the cupboard door is made from old floor boards (Pete is so clever).  All the walls and woodwork are painted in a very soft grey.
We painted the floor with some masonry paint, not sure the blue is such a good idea, it shows every bit of fluff, dust etc, but it will do for the time being :)
All the bathroom needs now are the final touches, I have pictures etc that will be perfect but they are going to have to wait until I can unpack the spare room at the house where a lot of our 'stuff' is stored.
Tomorrow I will show you the office, but first I have to work out how to get the right light to take some decent photos.....

Friday, 20 February 2015

A Quick Peek

Don't tell Pete as he doesn't like me showing off pictures of his work until they are complete but here is a quick peek of what he is up to at the moment. I thought you deserved a look. He is building my office, hurrah!  Two walls will be lined with book shelves (another one to go up shortly) and you can see the makings of a cupboard there too.  My desk will go against the bulkhead.  When we eventually get the barge moving, it will be a fairly simple job to put a wooden bar across the books to keep them in place when we are sailing.   There is not much headroom, but as I am a little one (in height at least) it is fine for me.  There will also be space for a cot/toddler bed so that my lovely grandchildren can come and stay.  It is not such an easy job as the shelves have to be made to fit the curve of the boat, but Pete is clever like that :)  I am sorry that I have been a bit MIA in blog land recently but I have been trying to finish one job whilst working at my new job too.  That has come to an end now so I hopefully will have a little more time to catch up on what you've all been doing.  Take care xxxx

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Welcome Bobby

I would like to introduce you to my beautiful grandson, Bobby, who made his entrance in to the world this morning.  He weighed in at a healthy 8lbs and both mother and son are doing great.  Emily and Rob are going to be really fun parents and Bobby will have a wonderful life surrounded by so much love from his huge and growing family.  Scarlett, Jessica and now Bobby, how lucky am I xxx

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

What Are We Up To?

It has been a while since I posted about progress on the barge.  At the moment Pete is trying to complete my office in the forepeak.  I have been working from home and need lots of space for my teaching resources.  I am currently teaching care home staff and some private 11+ tuition. I am also teaching in a pupil referral unit (a school for kids generally excluded from school) which, although it is hard, I absolutely love it and it is so rewarding.  But all this does mean a fair amount of preparation and marking and so I need space!  
There are so many things that still need doing around the barge, that Pete has now decided to start at the front of the boat and work backwards, completing each room in turn.  I will post pictures as each area comes together.
Also in the spring Pete hopes to work on the yacht, Carpe Diem, which has been neglected for a couple of years and looks a bit sorry for itself.  We are hoping to sell it this year and perhaps buy something smaller and that needs less maintenance.  It will be a wrench to let her go but it is time for someone else to love her and have fun like we have done.

Sunday, 25 January 2015


I have three boys and very handsome young men they are too!  For a long time I was a single mother, the sole wage earner and a university student at the same time.  I am a strong woman who can do most things I put my mind to.  I have always had left wing, feminist tendencies and I actively campaign against injustice to people and animals.  I believe in equality for all and embrace diversity. Education is the cornerstone of a civilised world and should be a basic right for everyone.  I have taught my sons that their partners are just that;  their equal partners whose ideas and values should always be respected.   I am not a girlie girl, I am happier in jeans with no make up on.  I think that spending fortunes on lotions and potions and brand names is a complete waste of money.  So why, why, why at the first opportunity do I go out and buy all the pink I can find for my granddaughters!!!!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Welcome Jessica!

Just a quick post to introduce you to Jessica, born at 1102 this morning and weighing in at 7lbs 4oz.  She is so beautiful and just perfect.  Kerry and Stuart are going to make such wonderful parents and Jessica will be a great playmate for Scarlett, along with the next grandchild due next Monday!  I am loving my growing family.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Still and Silent

By first light, the decks were icy and the world around us was covered with a beautiful, but freezing frost. The skies are grey and damp permeates your body as you walk along the sea wall.  There is not a whisper of wind and the incoming tide is strangely still.  There is not one other soul around and you feel as if you could be the only person in the world.  The mist has now descended on the water giving it an eerie covering, just as you imagine the River Styx would be.  The forecast for later is stormy and windy, but for now the world is silent and still.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year Everyone

Well, what a year that was!  There were certainly plenty of highs and lows. 

We had my son and daughter in law's amazing wedding.  Scarlett has been a source of delight and joy.  We have the excitement of two more babies in the VERY near future.  I was 'forced' out of my job, but now have a job that I enjoy that also gives me more time to do the things that I want to do.  My wonderful husband is still working hard to make all my dreams come true.  My parents have had a year of good health and are able to enjoy their growing family.  I love living on our barge and every day appreciate our beautiful surroundings.

will now admit that I spent a chunk of the year with the big black dog sitting beside me  (or in a state of depression for those that don't know that expression).    Depression can be a debilitating illness and it doesn't care who it takes in its grip (look at Robin Williams as an example).  I don't want you to feel sorry for me, I am just trying to raise awareness.  It is not a case of 'buck your ideas up', so please if you know anyone who is suffering, just a hug or taking time to listen can make all the difference.  I have suffered over the years quite a lot with depression, but this year it was different.  Although the black cloud was lurking, I was able to hold it at bay as I actually have a good life now.  I am able to count my blessings and recognise that there are many who are a lot worse off.  I love living on the barge, I adore my growing family and I have good friends around me.  This was the year that I was able to embrace the black dog without letting it suffocate me and that was a success in itself.

So, 2014 with its wonderful moments and its challenges is behind us and 2015 is shaping up to be a good one.  So I will leave you with a couple of photos that define my wonderful life and wish all of you a Happy, Contented and Successful New Year xxxx