Saturday, January 27, 2007

fixed or moveable furniture?

I am one of those people who like to change their surroundings from time to time, and indeed one of the joys of cleaning (there aren’t really any!) is being able to periodically get behind furniture, or move books from one place to another thus cleaning the shelves. I call this cleaning, but really it is an act I like to embark upon periodically which is actually called ‘re-discovery’. Last night I started the big ‘sort out’ of the boat I promised myself the other day. This involved putting books from one ugly wide bookcase, into a lovely tall bookcase in a different room. In the process I have moved several bits of furniture around, and now have a vaguely ‘new look’ on the boat. This is something I wouldn’t be able to do if I had fixed furniture everywhere. However, I think there are a few things that should be fixed:
A cupboard inside the door for coats; a bed; erm…. Looking around that seems to be it. I think a dinette is a jolly good idea and but I think I am going to make mine out of four single box seats rather than 2 double ones, which can then be moved around at a whim.
Fixed kitchens are a super idea too.

Having had a ‘shuffle’ of my stuff and still not quite having finished putting it all back together, I am sitting here surrounded by chaos. I think I can only really conclude that I am not a minimalist, but a maximalist. My lifestyle really doesn’t suit boat life!

I must get my camera and memory stick to make friends so I can upload some picks!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

No Problem Blog - Excellent

I hope you are all reading the progress of narrowboat no problem - there is a link on this page. No Problem markII fit out is now in progress and there are some super pictures of the dinnette zone. I am finding this really interesting, not least because I am planning to put a dinnette of sorts on my boat. I also find self fit-out sites with good pictures facinating as it gives me ideas, and to a certain extent shows me how to do my own!

I haven't done a great deal on my boat recently, I have been away too much. As a result I am getting really pretty tired. After this evenings trip to visit a friend, and a banter in Oxfordshire on saturday (where I will also pick up some batteries for the boat) I am going to give travelling a rest.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday Snow

This morning the boat was covered in snow. To celebrate I shut the windows and lit a fire....


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

marina II

I find it interesting to hear the various views on marinas, not least because I find myself in one. It isn't my first choice of accommodation, but as there isn't another choice available I have taken the situation and enjoy it. I particularly enjoy the security a marina offers, but I do miss the great outdoors... although having said that, I am delighted not to be out and about in this weather - the wind, the rain, the floods... I feel sure I would be rowing out to my boat by now... and as the floods subside I would probably find myself grounded in a farmers field.

All hail safe moorings!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Marina Life

I have just read a fabulous post about marina life on one of the blogs on a forum I read. The author is quite right in her rant about marina life and it IS like living in a car park without decent views. The boats in the marina I am in tend to remain moored up during these winter months as the river in flood with fast moving currents that neither I, nor the others, want to contend with. The major benefit of the marina is its safety - for the boats and for the residents. I wonder if our marina is unusual in the fact that most of the narrowboats there are taken out and about frequently. Only returning to their home mooring when necessary.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

is boating cold?

No. Boating is not cold... there is certainly no need for it to be. It is winter that can get cold. I have been thinking about the temperature quite a lot recently, not least because it has been so mild. I have just lit my fire, and as I sit here I am feeling a bit of a chill. I wonder how many boaters keep their fire in 24/7. I don't, but many of the people moored near me do, and indeed one person I know lights their fire at the beginning of the season and snuffs it out at the end. I can certainly see the benefit to keeping it in, I might try it for a few days. One of the major benefits is that heat gets down to the bedroom area. There are other ways to do this - radiators and even apparently an eco-fan. I have neither... but I do have a newspaper to flap around to distribute the warm air...

I have plenty of fire wood now, and am certainly going to keep warm chopping it up. Some needs seasoning, but other bits I think will be fine for this year.

Winter is cold, and there is no reason for a boat or a house to be cold. Boating, like housedwelling gets chilly if you don't heat it or wear proper clothes.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


mental note to self.

Do not eat an entire packet of chocolate covered peanuts in one very short sitting.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Eyes, DIY, logs

great news. The eye did not need a trip to the hospital! I went to see the Dr who ruled out the worrying possibilities and I am now on steroids - I am really hoping this will clear it up.

I have finally grouted the tiles surrounding the wood burner, and have put some tiles around the marble hearth. I thought tiling was messy - but grouting is worse! I have got quite a lot of clearing up to do before my sister and bro'inlaw arrive with their new baby for luncheon tomorrow.

I still haven't made any progress on the bathroom. I also have to sort out my kitchen units. I have some worktop for the left hand side which involves taking the old stuff off. I also want to raise the units so they fit snuggly to the gunwhale, but I am not sure whether the legs go high enough!

I am picking up some more logs on sunday - from freecycle. They are silver birch.

Friday Freecycle

Todays freecycle triumph is a manual food mixer which I will pick up tomorrow. I have never heard of such a thing, but I think it may be less tiring on the arms when making meringues.

Thank you for the concerns over my duvet, I now feel like a complete wimp - both my duvets are 13togs! I am not sure whether my thermals are togged, but I am sure they are 3marksandspencers stars, and my jumper is thermal Last night I wore my dressing gown too..... I was very cosy.
I suppose it is always possible that too many layers results in trapping the heat out, not in.

I have some freecycle takers for the old blinds and curtains from the boat, and have also dropped off my stereo to another freecycler. I am now on the look out for a car stereo. I am sorry my portable was simply too big for the job with bad radio reception - I would have enjoyed wiring it in. At least I will be able to get traffic annoncements with a car stereo.

My eye has gone red again - this is intensly annoying. I have now gone through 3 tubes of stuff and the Dr said I would have to pay a visit to the eye hospital if the last lot didn't clear it up. It did... but not for very long! Looking sinister is not the new look for 2007 so I am going to have to get it sorted out.... but I am waiting for a phone call from the Dr first.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursdays Tips

This winter has been delightfully mild so far, with only a few cold snaps. However, in the night between 2 - 4 I still get quite cold - despite endless thermal tops, longjohns and a jumper. I had been using my sleeping bag as well as my duvet, but this really isn't ideal, and in a moment of inspiration I realised I needed a second duvet. I am now toasty warm. I have a duvet underneath and a duvet on top and I am totally toasty all night through. It was my grandmother who told me I needed as much underneath as on top to stay warm.


If you haven't discovered then you must. It is a fabulous system basesd on the idea that one mans rubbish is another mans treasure. I have found some super items including a perfect boat sized wicker basket which will fit under the basin in my bathroom. Not only that, but I have already had takers for some things I want to get rid of. Fabulous.


My other top tip for the day relates to maintaining a successful relationship. Do not laugh uncontrollably when your partner quite uncharacteristically makes a rather obvious DIY suggestion as if they have just solved the problems of the world... or at least only do so when they have a funny sense of humour too! This could have got me in a great deal of trouble last night, but it didn't!!!!! My beloved is top.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Quiz: lyrics

' its been a hard day on the planet, these people keep on getting me down'

Who wrote it and what is the rest? I am sure there is something about building a home out of cardboard boxes in there too....!!!
It has been going around in my head and I can't remember who it was by.

Was it louden wainwright... or am I confusing the lines with other artists - jonathan richmond... warren zevon perhaps?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Check this out: Artist Lorna Marrison

I stumbled across this today, and the work is fabulous! Many of the paintings/photographs have a waterways theme, and there is a lovely painting of a boat being blacked.

  • Artists Blog
  • AND
  • Artists Portfolio
  • Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Photo: Wallingford

    This was our first stop from Oxford on the way to Surrey in 2005. It was an exceptionally hot day, and by the time we arrived here I thought I was going to spontaneously combust from the heat. I secured the ropes and made a dash for the local waitrose where my crew member and I stuck our heads in the freezer section until we had cooled down. It is a knack I have learnt and maintained in order to cool down in the summer heat.

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007


    King Alfreds tower at Stourhead in wiltshire October 2005