Monday, 24 November 2008


Well they've closed the locks either side of me for about 3 weeks so I'm staying put, doing quiet things like battening down hatches, cutting wood, short walks, long sleeps.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Smouldering collar

With all the excitement and trauma of the spider incident (hey, I live a quiet life you know!), I was too busy staring nervously at the darting shadows from flickering candles and firelight to notice my stove flue was smouldering at the collar. I happened to notice a glowing edge where the wood met the flue and put the fire out in a right panic.

I thought there should maybe be some fire cement or something between the metal and the wood and that I hadn't been doing my maintenance properly. But when I phoned up a nearby chandlery, they said there should be a good-sized gap between wood and metal, which makes sense.
Now I'm chipping away at the charred edges which won't look pretty but will hopefully avoid a disaster.


Ok, the screaming has just about ended. Two days ago I felt something tickling the back of my neck.

Come on Carrie, you know you can go back into the bedroom if you try ;-)

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Phew, I'm a bit knackered after travelling today. Only a few miles but several locks, including a small staircase with the leakiest front gate that soaked the cratch + gas locker and somehow managed to sneak under the cratch cover and soak my wellies too. Being off the boat and watching it down in the staircase, I just felt powerless.
Then there was the Bratch locks which, if you haven't met them yet, look just like a three-lock staircase but are flight without a pound in-between, just six feet of filling space. The lock-keepers have shut up shop there now it's November, so I had to manage alone which was hard work, scurrying between opening bottom paddles and opening top ones to not flood the whole place out. With the bridges in between, you couldn't see what was happening in the lock below! Added to the stress was the fact that my dog and I couldn't just step off the boat on entering the lock (going up) as we normally do. There was no place to step off, so I had to shut the dog inside and climb the gunky ladder. I don't mind climbing, but the dog goes into mad-dog mode, scrabbling at doors and curtains and howling like a jackal. Sure enough, once I could let him out again, he'd ripped my lovely red velvet curtain at the front door and pulled loads of books off the shelf. Little sod.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Hyacinth bucket & jackdaw

Ooh - not much solar power available these days. I'll have to be quick ;-)

Loads of rain though - I've had 130 litres in the last 10 days.
A jackdaw came and built a giant nest in the well deck - look!

Something else I discovered is that hyacinths may be a lovely splash of colour when everything else is dying back, but they've got a yucky smell that fills the whole boat! I can't put it outside because it's not the hardy outdoors type and may perish and I'll have hyacinths on my conscience for ever. It may have to join the jackdaw's nest though.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Recent photies

Annoying the Hunt..

Giant woman stalks the woods.

Went up the Stourbridge canal after its breach. This sign was on a half-filled lock which looked funny cos it looked exactly like every other lock - a deep drop!

Lying on the leaves, looking up into beech trees

Worth getting up early.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Witch hunt

Nothing to do with Halloween, just BW's online method of encouraging people to inform on non-licenced boats. I was reading how another boater and blogger actually posted about informing on another boater. God, some people have no solidarity and no empathy! And I believe the blogger has two homes: his boat and another place to live when not boating.
I really wonder what lies behind this sly urge to harm another person. Perhaps it's a need to feel important or powerful or is it jealousy? After all, you are harming someone unknown to you, so it can't be personal dislike. I just don't get it. And the complete lack of shame in the action!
When so many are suffering financial hardship and home repossessions are up by 70%, how could anyone take pride in increasing the chances of someone's boat home being taken away.
I pointed out to the blogger that the costs of rehousing ex-boaters is exhorbitant to tax-payers and also that the few boats I've noticed without licences on display (which doesn't mean they don't have one of course) tend to be owned by people who can't afford to drive, run their engines to keep fridges and computers going, burn coal, buy consumer goods etc. In other words, they seem to live low-carbon, quiet lives, hurting no-one.

I had the same feeling of disbelief when I went to see my parents who live near a very small town in Wales. Everyone round there is white and someone saw fit to contact immigration about the single ' dark-skinned' person working crap hours in a takeaway cafe. He's been deported, to face who knows what dangers.