Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Weather and snails!

Well I never!
Last night my external temperature sensor dropped to 5.1 degrees in the end of May! They do say that the temperature will increase from the weekend but it can't get much colder unless it snows! My father is bringing up my summer bedding plants for the roof this weekend and there is still the threat of frost! My legendary roof top display from last year, (see above,) is to be repeated except that this year I am going for a complete profusion of colour instead of the co-ordinated theme I chose last year. I hope that this will stop the funeral comments I received last year!

My newly furbished fish tank is still looking fantastic and extremely relaxing with rocks, caves and a plethera of plants for the fish to swim around and through. I am thoroughly enjoying watching my newly aquired apple snails as they 'speed' round the tank and cause great fun trying to count them and check they're still all OK! I have posted a link below for those interested in apple snails! One did give me a scare last night by refusing to move all evening but this morning he was out of his shell and about the tank in his usual way!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Threats and fish!


Having expressed my opinions quite publicly regarding unlicenced and illegal boats on our waterways for some time, I have been recieving sarcastic comments on this site, the other day, it took a more sinister turn with someone putting the phrase, '....looking to be stabbed' on the site on 18th May but post dated to the 19th May. Clearly this was unpleasant and Leicestershire police have taken the matter seriously as a serious crime has been committed under section 4A, (something to do with threating and provocation.) We are now undergoing the process of retrieving the IP addresses to trace the person who left the message and it is the matter of a police investigation. As a result I have closed down the unlicenced boats page as my personal safety is clearly more important than any 'campaign'. What a sad situation when people on the waterways are prepared to bring their 'land' mentality of violence and threats to the peace and tranquility of the canals. There should be more boaters and fewer continuous moorers in my opinion!

Didn't go out this weekend as my father is coming up to visit on Sunday and next weekend I am off on a walking and camping holiday in Yorkshire so I used the time today to sort out the boat: hoovered, dusted and polished, washed the carpets etc etc. Also sorted out and cleaned the fish tank with the addition of 4 'apple snails' which 'liven' up the tank, (as seen above!)

As mentioned next weekend I'm off for a week as it's half term and for the first time in years, I'm not having a boating holiday! My father, Simba and I are going camping and walking up Yorkshire, taking in the moors and Ingleborough as well as visiting my friend James and his family on their farm, (St. Leonards Farm Park in Esholt where they film Emmerdale - directly opposite the Woolpack!)

I hope to be able to add another entry nearer the time and before I go and then there will be a pause while I'm away.

Changed the gas cylinder the other day - of no interest to anyone but allows me to monitor how often I have to change it and when it's near changing again by looking on this site!!

BTW My duck has now taken permenant residence and sitting on 5 eggs 24 hours a day right outside my kitchen window. She has grown acustomed to me and the dog and now doesn't flinch when I'm working around her. Mind you she does get 4 slices of bread soaked in a bowl of water every morning! I now have to buy 2 loaves of bread a week, one good quality for me and one of the cheapest variety for Mrs. Duck!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Weekend news.

Just returned from another lovely weekend away. Went out Friday evening and met up on Saturday with Steve, Julia, James, Michael and Jess from NB Even Balance. Had a lovely bar-b-q in the evening before returning back home this afternoon. Met up with Karen and Linda from NB Wi'mopson on Saturday and they were kind enough to show me the beautiful traditional cosy fit out that she has completed on board.

I decided to visit the Battlefield line on Saturday and take a train from Shenton to Shackerston and back - what a complete waste of time and money! Not only did they charge me £9 for the trip, (£7 for me and £2 for the dog!) I was told we could go in any carriage except the buffet car. We settled in one carriage and promptly got thrown out and banished to the far back carriage because I had a dog! Dirty mugs and crushed in food mingled with graffiti on the windows and doors was what we had to contend with, together with being pulled by 'Thomas the flipping tank engine' with dozens of screaming toddlers waving flags and blowing guards whistles. I was told the trip would last an hour - well it did: 15mins. up, 30 mins. hanging around at the top and then 15 mins. back down! Don't bother is my advice to anyone considering the trip!

The return journey saw more boats than the whole of the last year! The Ashby is, without question, getting more and more crowded. I got hit by one boat that was happily cruising up the wrong side of the cut and when he did manage to avoid me, reversed into me as I crept past. I then had to shout at 2 boys who, after much effort and many attempts, had succeeded in hooking a duck on their fishing line, (the mother duck of a brood of ducklings.) Fortunately my yelling at them together with putting the boat hard astern when I saw what they had done frightened them into releasing the terrified creature. On re-telling the story to some other boaters upon my return, they told me that they knew exactly which boys they were as the wife works in their school and would inform the relevant staff at the school. Let's hope this happens and they are frightened enough to never do this again.

Ah well, another week looms! The swans and cygnets appear to have left the marina and my resident duck is sitting happily on her clutch of 5 eggs in my pansies which have now been removed from the boat roof and placed on the pontoon for her safety and comfort. I am continuing to provide a fresh bowl of bread and water each day for her. Not planning on a trip out next week as my father is coming up to visit for the Sunday and the following week I am off on a non-boating holiday for half term, walking and camping with Simba and my dad around Yorkshire. For the first year for many I will, therefore, be unable to attend Crick this year, (the bank manager shouts hooray!)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Weekend and weather again!

What a glorious week weatherwise! Came home tonight and the boat was over 30 degrees in the back cabin. Shorts straight on and rolled the cratch fully open for dinner. I plan to go out in the boat tomorrow evening and then meet up with Steve and Julia from Even Balance for a bar-b-q on Saturday but typically the weather now looks decidedly 'iffy' for the weekend. I am not going to be put off and as the wind looks low, I will brave it whatever the weather. My duck has laid another egg so I now have 3 eggs but she is not ready to incubate yet as she seems to disappear most of the time. I will lift the flower pot off the roof that she has adopted as home and leave it on the pontoon over the weekend in the hopes that she finds it and continues laying. My next entry here will probably be Sunday on my return and hopefully I won't be reporting on what a washout the weekend was!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cygnets hatch!

OK not earth shattering for many but hey - it was the highlight of my day!! This morning just as I was waking I noticed we now have 6 healthy, fluffy and cute looking little cygnets in the marina. Apparently they have already been for their first swim during the day. I am now waiting for them to venture over for feeding at my side hatch. I still meet a previous years batch of cygnets, (now all growed up!) up the cut and they still come to the side hatch to be hand fed. I have posted a picture but it's not great. It was taking at about 7.00 this morning into the sun with my phone camera on full digital zoom.

I have also posted a picture of my duck! This morning she was well nestled into the flowers and seemed quite defensive of my approach so I had hoped she was beginning to incubate. This evening, she had eaten the bread and drunk the bowl of water and left again, however she did leave 2 eggs covered carefully in the bottom of her nest. I expect she will return tomorrow morning to lay another egg. Apparently the incubation period is 21 days so I will have her for a while, I just hope she doesn't mind coming out for a ride at the weekends with me. Mick and Pam, (NB Tiger M) have 15 eggs in their flower pot and their duck has been sitting on them for the past 14 days, so we are looking forward to their new arrivals in the next week!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Great weather for ducks - but not for breeding!

Today it has poured with rain all day! In fact, it's rained so much that when I got home, my home was floating!! First day of Sats at school and the kids have been inside all day because of the rain - not great! On the up side, they are saying the weather is set to improve towards the weekend which would be great as Steve & Julia from NB Even Balance are planning on a trip up and I feel another bar-b-q coming on - watch this space.....

I have published two pictures of the duck that took up residence the other day in my pansies on the roof. They have wrecked the flowers, made a cosy nest and laid 2 eggs, however disaster! Tonight when I got home, the eggs were gone and the duck is no-where to be seen. I haven'ta clue what has happened to either the duck or the eggs. Let's hope they're OK and maybe she'll return soon.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Just returned from a fantastic weekend away. Friday night and the forecast was decidedly 'iffy' so I decided to wait until Saturday morning to decide what to do. Saturday came and the marina was bathed in glorious sunshine and one by one everybody left so I decided to follow rather than be left 'home alone'! Chell and Sally on NB Chell's Dream came up with me and we moored at Sutton Cheney. The weather was kind enough to allow a huge bar-b-q and after the cooking the bar-b-q was loaded with coal to keep us warm. We got out the garden lights to illuminate the hedge and settled in for the evening listening to the owls. The following morning we took the dogs for a long walk before Sally cooked a delicious Sunday chicken roast. As we cast off for the return journey the sun streamed through to make a lovely return trip home.

BTW, after a string of sarcastic comments from many people regarding the creases on my duvet cover in the boat pictures - I promise I will take another picture at some point and rectify the issue!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Weather and work!

What a glorious day weatherwise! As forecast, (yes I know, amazing they got it right!) the weather has been very hot today with the boat temperature reaching 25 degrees and outside hitting 23 degrees. School was shut as it was being used for polling and so I have spent the entire day writing reports. Actually I lie, I spent all the day writing reports except for a couple of hours this morning where I travelled what seemed like the length and breadth of Warwickshire and Leicestershire looking for 70 needles to be used for cross stitching next week in school. I have only just taken a few minutes out of report writing now to type this due to the fact that while I was chatting to another boater a few minutes ago, the battery on my laptop died and kindly lost all the work I had been doing up to the last save!Fortunately I am religious at saving but even so, the last 4 children have been lost and I will now have to do them again and continue on into the evening to crack the back of these infernal reports that appear this time every year!!

On a lighter note, our annual duck has taken up residence on Mick and Pam's boat, (NB Tiger M) two doors down and this week has started sitting on a healthy clutch of 11 eggs. Dutifully and as is the custom, the ducks have been given a bowl of bread and water for her. I shall, of course, keep you posted on the new arrivals but you can see Mrs. Duck in the photo above! I have also posted you a picture of the swans outside my side hatch as she is still sitting on her eggs. I shall also keep you updated with the latest on her family too.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


What is going on? A mini heatwave is forecast for the end of the week with temperatures hitting the 20's but todaywas freezing. A howling wind blew my TV aerial off line and has spent the evening banging me onto the pontoon and rocking me about good and proper! I got home from work, closed all the windows, bled the radiators and re-lit the fire again!!
A beautiful sky, (picture above,) outside the window is sillhouting the swans who are still attacking me and anything else that moves around them whilst Mrs. Swan is still sitting on her eggs.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bank holiday fun!

Just returned from a fun bank holiday away!! Got as far as Battlefield and stopped there for the weekend.The weather was lovely until the return journey home when the rain started and the wind got up, (as usual). Had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon meeting up with Derek and Sheila Mills, a couple who have got in touch with me through this site and who are 'researching' their move afloat, (see the cut contact page for their picture,)

On the return journey, I met up with Dave and Dave on NB Maxim who appeared to have blown a gasket! (that's on the boat, not them personally!) Ironically as they passed me that morning I made a passing comment on the nice sound of their engine and even offered to swap with my Isuzu, an offer they declined but later wished they had accepted! I offered a tow and we promptly got stuck fast on a sand bank! Several hours later, we turned into the marina and safely back home. The above pictures show some of the fun and credit must go to the budding photographer who is Phil on NB Harvey!!