Friday, 21 December 2007

Jonno's work party

Last night, Jonno, Helen, the barmen from their wedding, Anne, Toby and myself went out for a wild night in Wetherspoons, eating microwaved curry in the name of Jonno's work Christmas 'do (he's self-employed, and going out for a curry alone wouldn't have been much fun...) The boys and Anne were drinking, but Helen and I had to drive so enjoyed the non-alcoholic beers and cocktails. Rebels! As Jonno only has one Christmas party a year, he decided to push the boat out and had not one but TWO curries - extravagance!

Amongst such thrilling conversation topics as barge nuts, nativity plays, drained canals, ice, cars and topless boat-waitresses we managed to enjoy a nice evening in the pub to catch up before Christmas.

Upon returning to my boat, Anne and I wrapped my entire family's Christmas presents.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Ducks on ice

The canal was all frozen over this morning, so the ducks took to ice skating!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Legal at last

It's taken almost 5 months, but Muddy Waters is now completely legal - obtaining the boat safety certificate last week allowed me to trek to the BW office in Braunston (open 10am - 4pm, Fridays only) today and hand over my £630 annual licence fee! There's still a few jobs to be done, but I'm now technically free to cruise wherever the hell I like, and it feels GOOD! The weekend is here, I have a party to go to, the Christmas shopping is pretty much finished - life is sweet. :)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Hillmorton Ice

Another chilly morning today - my thermometer read -3.8 degrees outside when I woke up! Fortunately, it was much warmer than that indoors, as the trusty Squirrel stove kept me snuggly all night.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Saw the canal at Hillmorton frozen this morning for the first time since I've been living aboard - the photo isn't great, sadly...

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Loving the simple life

The last few days have reminded me exactly why I love living aboard. It's icy outside, but I'm wandering around the boat in a vest top, cooking risotto for dinner on the stove top, listening to chilled out tunes on the boat and remembering that I own this place - no longer do I pay rent or have any responsibility to anyone. Life's sweet, really. There's something so homely about cooking on the stove too, stews simmered on top and jacket spuds cooked in the fire taste just magical.

Boat safety certificate now in hand and licence application form completed, it feels like the end is in sight. There are still a few more jobs for the boat yard to finish off (new bilge pump, new steel doors) but I can't see it taking longer than a few more weeks now. I'm thinking of crusing down to Northampton to visit my old housemates when I depart from Hillmorton - it would be nice to visit the old house by boat, maybe even stay around there for a couple of weeks and check out the area from the water.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Another lesson learnt the hard way:

Boats that are not tied up properly in 24mph winds have a tendency to bang loudly against the bank and wake you up repeatedly in the night.

Monday, 3 December 2007


Tonight is the very first time since I bought my boat that it has been genuinely cold on board. I mean, there have been occasions where it has been a bit on the chilly side before, but not like tonight. I was away visiting friends and partying all weekend, which means that my fire was unlit from Friday until I returned this (Monday) evening. The thermometer was reading 6.4 degrees, and I could see my own breath in the air. Inside. I built a big fire, and tucked into my dinner in the hope that the place would start to warm up...but that was an hour ago now, the fire is doing well, but it's still only 8.5 degrees. It takes longer than I remember to warm this place up! Common sense tells me that hot chocolate would be a good idea, but the duvet is warm and I'm lazy. Common sense also tells me that next time I'm away for the weekend, I should stop by the boat to build the fire before work. Hmm...hindsight... 20/20 vision. Oh well, live and learn.

Guess I will probably be asleep before it gets warm now - the weekend's mayhem is taking it's toll.

On the positive side, the boat passed the safety certificate last week, so I'm just waiting for the paperwork now at last. Looks like I may be able to set sail this side of Christmas afterall.

This week's shopping list: Hot water bottle