No Touching The Gunnels With Your Toes. 27th 28th July

The House, Scarborough


Tilly was right to sulk with us as we were heading away for the night, but we would be back, she knew that really. After six years and four days it was time for us to spend a night at our house in Scarborough.

Shh, secret golf balls

With no Enterprise office in Skipton we’d had to look elsewhere for a hire car and Skipton Self Drive came up trumps. The depot was about a ten minute walk away from our mooring, so very handy and at £30 a day for a small car it was on a par with prices from Enterprise. Mick headed off before breakfast to pick it up and made use of the car park at Morrisons until we were ready.

Narrow roads, traffic jams and a crane!

The drive to Scarborough was a very slow one. The sat nav suggested a couple of hours, but our route around Harrogate and Knaresborough was plagued with road works and very long queues. But we arrived in Scarborough just gone 1pm and headed straight to Sainsburys were a click and collect order was waiting for us. We’d ordered essentials like toothpaste, garden waste bags, milk and of course to keep Mick happy cheese twists!


At the house the fridge was turned on, a bulb moved from the utility room to the downstairs toilet (we’d forgotten the bring the one we’d bought last time!) and we could have a cuppa with our lunch. It takes forever to get anywhere in the house. To go to the loo on the boat can never be more than 20 paces, but in the house double or triple that. Stairs too!

Office in the kitchen

Mick sat and waded through the post, then spent much of the afternoon ringing around utility companies. I headed upstairs upstairs to find some bedding.

The new cat on the block

Six years ago we’d never imagined we’d be away for so long and even though my memory is pretty good I could not remember where things had been put. Duvets were easy to find, one bag even had been labelled, but the others were a case of opening them up and checking the sizes. Why did we have so many single duvets when we didn’t have a single bed?!

In the end I found a 15 tog king size duvet, one cover that would fit it, one fitted sheet and a couple of towels. To my amazement the vacuum bags things had been put in six years ago were still vacuum sealed, things smelt a little bit musty but an airing over the banister rails soon got rid of that.

Happy soul with his breadbin

The next request from Mick, did we still have a bread bin. Well the poor soul has had to live without a bread bin and a toaster for six whole years! I’d given him a whole shelf in a cupboard for bread on Oleanna too! Back up the windy stairs and I found it straight away.


Next gardening tools. We’d brought sheers from the boat and a tenant at some point had left a pair that looked quite good. Just where had the gardeny box gone? Soon found and there was everything that would be needed apart from a yard brush.

The canopy at the SJT . The restaurant opens this weekend and cinema back on in August

The afternoon was spent trying to tame a rose bush that used to send out a few shoots each year, now it was taking over the skyline of Scarborough. I managed to fill a sack and a half before the heavens opened and gave me a good soaking. Then with muddy wet hands I couldn’t turn the front door knob to get in so had to hammer on the door to get Micks attention.

By the end of the day, all utilities were back in our name, we could sleep the night and I’d made a big hole in the garden.

A distant relative I believe

I made an order on line for some fish and chips from Cappleman’s who do gluten free and we headed off to collect them. They were very tasty and were accompanied by a bottle of white wine which had made its way into our essentials shop.

About to tuck in

After a shower and a failed hunt for a hairdryer, a big list of jobs was written up as we sat on the sofa looking at a dining room table with a ladder resting on top just a few feet away, no TV for us.

Yum! Cooked in dripping just how they should be.

The 15 tog duvet was maybe a bit of overkill, but I suspect the summer weight one, if I’d found it, would have been too light weight. With a wider bed and space all round it in a huge room it all felt quite weird. No touching the other side of the boat with your toes or clambering over Mick and Tilly in the middle of the night to visit the loo. The seagulls woke us both up at 4am just as the sun was rising, they didn’t want us to forget they existed and serenaded us for a couple of hours. Oh how I’ve not missed those rowdy buggers!

Our neighbours trees have gone, we’ve nearly a sea view!

Just as we started to drink our cuppa in bed Mick’s phone rang, a plumber was on his way to talk about a boiler that wasn’t working. By the time Mick had quickly had a shower there was a knock on the front door and the chap who’d done work for us ten years ago was here to meet with us. The house has two boilers, one of which had ceased working a little while before our last tenant moved out. It obviously needs replacing before winter. We also had a short list of other jobs needing attention, including a gas pipe that had been put in after the kitchen floor had been dug up a few years ago and the builder had damaged it. The way the pipe had been done worked, but is not suitable as the pipe it passes through is a different metal. We can either dig the kitchen floor up again, or go for an electric hob instead. The latter will be the solution. Good we got to see the plumber as we can get things moving on that front if his price is okay.

Gutters half cleared

A shopping trip to B&Q for a new mop and bucket, some window putty, a door mat and two brooms. One for the garden, the other for Oleanna.


The grass got a cut and all five rose bushes were trimmed back. I know it’s not the best time of year to be doing this and I have no idea really what I was doing, but they needed taming, luckily there was no Sleeping Beauty awaiting to be discovered in the flower beds.


Can anyone help me identify a few plants please?

This bush has tripled in size since we left, it has clusters/pompoms of little blue flowers earlier in the year. A huge bush with loads of yellow flowers. And one that at the moment has clusters of berries, it possible has red flowers earlier in the year, but I’m not sure.

The lean to roof a job for next time

Three small trees were removed/chopped back. A mass of ivy pulled out, the hydrangea dead headed from last year and Mick gave the forsythia a trim back into a better shape.The garden looks a lot better. Next time we’ll have to tackle the back gardens!

Lots to pull out in the back garden

Six years ago houses on the street were being rented out, but now there seems to be more owner occupiers and a community feel about the place again. The chap two doors up came for a chat. Since Mick moved in back in 1991 he’s never had a conversation with this fella, turns out he’s the Town Crier! There will be celebrations in the street for VJ day when he’ll be crying for all to hear from the top of the street.

A full car load

Once the kitchen floor had been washed, this is more floor area than we have in total on the boat, three windows liberated from sticky back plastic, the carpets hoovered and the car full of garden waste had been emptied at the tip it was time for us to head back west.

This time we took the back roads, confusing the sat nav, but avoiding holiday traffic on the A64 to York and most definitely avoiding Harrogate and Knaresborough road works.

The second compartment just started

Back at Oleanna Tilly was ecstatic to see us, sulking forgotten about and head nudges all round. We treated ourselves to an Indian take away as it had been a productive visit. Just a long list of jobs to work through on our next visits.

Tilly had helped herself to her toy box

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 hire car, 2 routes, 1 big big house, 1 plumber, 5 sacks, 2 fish and chips, 1 bottle, 2 brooms, 1 mop, 2 buckets, 1 collapsible, 5 windows liberated, 1 tidyish garden, 1 happy Mick, 1 toaster, 1 breadbin, 1 loaf of bread left in it! 1 very happy cat, 0 poppadoms!

4 thoughts on “No Touching The Gunnels With Your Toes. 27th 28th July

  1. Debby

    Hi Pip,
    I’ll have a stab at your plants. The second two are Hypericum. The first one, if it’s low to the ground and tough stems but not a bush, is Rose of Sharon, good ground cover, cut old stems back at the end of winter to be tidy or (like us) leave them. The second looks like one of the bush ones, can’t tell which but it would have yellow flowers similar to the Rose of Sharon but probably a bit smaller. If it’s actually quite a small plant it may even be a wild one, hold a leaf up to the light, if it has small translucent dots on it it’s Hypericum perforatum. The first one I’m not sure. Is it growing against a wall or a free-standing bush? Close-up of flower and leaves needed!

  2. Jo

    Hi, I think your big bush may be Ceanothis – that’s what the leaf looks like anyway. It has blue flowers as you describe. Jo ex n/b Sarah Kate

  3. anneadrevans52

    The big bush on the left is a ceanothus. They like seaside towns and sunshine. They were prolific in Exmouth. The other two are probably both a Hypericum with the top right being probably Hypericum “Hidcote” or St Johns Wort and the bottom right probably Hypericum “kouytchense” This one can be a thug with seedlings popping up all over the place in any nook and cranny ie the bottom of a wall which can cause a problem for the foundations of the wall! Glad you had a successful time in Scarborough, it must be great to have your house back xxx.

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