Back To Life On Land. 20th November to 3rd December


Well it’s been two weeks now since I returned to Scarborough. From rushing around on panto for five weeks calm has now been restored.

Different sticker this time

The day after I got back we both had our Covid boosters. Mine was at the Rugby Club where I joined another 1399 people being jabbed from my doctors surgery. Mick headed to a nearby church to get his and was offered a flu vaccine at the same time, so he had one in each arm. Five days later I got my flu jab at Boots. Mick ached a bit and we both had sore arms for a while, but nothing to complain about really.

Normally after opening Chippy panto we have a few days relaxing in Oxford before heading northwards dodging stoppages. The first year we got to see quite a bit of a festival of light around the city and two years ago we watched the Thames rise and rush past moored boats on East Street, we were glad to have been on the canal!

This year being in Scarborough didn’t stop us from what now has become a bit of a tradition, sitting on the sofa recuperating and watching a few episodes of Morse. I think two years ago we started the box set at the very beginning, the first episode and first murder having taken place opposite our mooring in Jericho. We decided to carry on where we left off, this years first episode being ‘The Last Bus to Woodstock’ Quite apt as I’d avoided that situation the other week when returning from visiting the London Leckenbys. There had been an old lady on my bus, but I doubt she was as nosy as the one in Morse.

The valley in the spring

Then ‘The Last Enemy’. This started with a narrowboat pootling along in the sunshine, quite badly steered, which ended up in the off side vegetation. Immediately our brains started to whirr, where was this? Short pontoons on the off side, slight bends, a building in the background. Hang on, the body was found just about opposite to where we’d moored at Thrupp a few months ago! Thankfully the inaccuracies of the canal system quickly struck (as they do in Morse) with talk of divers searching at the next lock. This would either be Shipton Weir Lock which is upstream or Roundham Lock which is quite a long way for body parts to have drifted to. It was nice to see Thrupp back in the 80’s, I wonder if any of the boats on the moorings are still the same? The Boat Inn certainly has changed a touch.

By the seaside

Our first Sunday walk in Scarborough had us waving to Jaye and Duncan on the way down to the South Bay to have a look at the sea. Not the longest of walks, but good to see that Scarborough was still there and have a few cobwebs blown away.

Banbury Guardian

Rapunzel Panto, Chipping Norton Review

Reviews of the panto have been coming in. So far everyone seems to love having panto back on stage. Chippy is a favourite with many, I even get a mention or two! Sadly a week after I left a Pippin tested positive, the companies PCR tests all came back negative so the show could go on after a days cancellation.

Oxford Mail

But at the beginning of this week one of the main cast had two lines show on their lateral flow test, everyone was sent back to Banbury for another PCR. Unfortunately a second positive was found in the company. The shows have been cancelled this week and so long as no-one else gets two lines the understudies will go on next week, I bet they are busy in their living rooms rehearsing. JJ who plays the Dame seems to be catering for those affected and leaving tuperware food parcels on door steps, I so hope they all stay well.

Hello! It’s me!!!

I have a shadow where ever I go, Tilly occasionally goes out to explore, but more of her time is spent moaning and complaining. I ask her every day when we’ll be back on the boat and moving the outsides again, so far She hasn’t given me a reasonable answer!

What are they doing to that TREE!?!

Thank you for the messages from people regarding the weather last weekend, I believe Scarborough was on the news. It was very windy and we had snow in town, plenty more up on the moors and wolds. Footage of wave dodgers filled social media as always.

Our street ended up being closed to traffic as there was a tree happily rocking away in the storm on Saturday. The council came to check it over, but it was too windy to do anything about it. They returned on Sunday to start to chop it down and on Monday afternoon it was ‘Timber!’ So much boaters gold!

Red Onion and Feta Quiche

Mornings have been spent doing a bit of work for #unit21 which will be here before I know it. Plenty of costume shopping and rearranging the build budget. The green light for the build was pressed this week so it’s all systems go, well for my friend Graham. I’ll do a days costume fitting before Christmas and then that should be it for me for a while.

We’ve had deliveries, smokeless coal, 2 veg boxes (so far) and the milk lady is back delivering three times a week. Our Christmas food order is in, just needs a final tweak. Now present deliveries are starting to arrive.

I keep making a mental list of which jobs need doing in the house this winter. One corner of the kitchen needs attention from where the leaking roof has left it’s mark. We’re not convinced all is sorted in that corner yet, the guttering hasn’t been clipped down fully so waved around in the storm and some roofing felt now encourages drips down onto the window sill below! We’re waiting for the roofer to call us back! The cosmetic side of the repair will wait a while longer.

That experiment turned out to be a bit messy!

I decided to give my knees another week off before getting on with some decorating. Sanding all the woodwork in the hallways is going to take some doing before I can give it a fresh coat of paint and some of the wallpaper needs replacing. One pair of curtains also need lining , if this is all I manage to get done this winter it will be fine as right now we don’t have the money to do more major decorating jobs. A plumber has been to check the two boilers over, the old one needs some work which hadn’t been picked up during gas safety checks when the house was rented out. So money is better spent there this year.

Just a bit of extra ventilation!

A couple of days ago Mick caught a train down to Thorne to visit Oleanna. A final oil change before winter hadn’t happened, so he was wanting to get it done sooner rather than later. He was prompted to visit as Sarah at the marina had called saying that there was a kitchen window open. Had we left this open on our brief visit? Or had someone else opened it?!

Train timings meant he had time to pick up some oil from Boyes in Goole on his way. Sure enough the window was open, thankfully the weather last weekend must have been blowing from the port side so had avoided coming in. It certainly looks like it was us who left it open. Unfortunately in amongst the new filters onboard there wasn’t the one needed for the oil. So other than running the engine for an hour and closing the window Mick had had a bit of a wasted journey.

I’ve been trying to go for walks everyday to keep my knees working. Walking in the footsteps of the local yeti and seeing the sea is a good thing. My left knee seems to be behaving other than feeling a bit stiff. Hopefully this will pass and I’ll do my best not to kneel when I start decorating.

Hello Frank

After being back for ten days I dropped Frank a message and sure enough he was round for a cuppa the following day. There were slight complaints about the lack of biscuits on offer! If he times his visit well this week he’ll be able to try out the sample batch for this years Christmas biscuits. It was very good to see him and hopefully Mick has planted a seed or two about some carpentry jobs we’d like him to do on Oleanna this winter.

We now have two bookings for our house next year from the SJT, which is great. If anyone fancies a few days relaxing by the sea in Scarborough we can highly recommend our friends house, Friths. Fleur and Ruth have worked their socks off over the last year making their house cosy, quirky and very welcoming, it has just recently opened for bookings.

Mike from Alchemy has spotted Oleanna on Google Street view, when she was out for blacking earlier this year at Goole Boathouse. That means that both our boats have appeared at one time or another. A shame we weren’t in shot this time, we were certainly around as the stern doors are open.

Mushroom and cabbage risotto

The latest news on the towpath grapevine regarding the breach on the Leeds Liverpool Canal is that it will reopen hopefully March next year. The latest C&RT notice says they are installing more secure dams either side of the breach. Designs for the repair are well developed and structural works are in the detailed design stage so that materials can be ordered ready for the new year. We’re not as yet sure which way we’ll be heading when we set off, but having the Leeds Liverpool as an option would be good. In the meantime we need to decide on whether we should be buying a Gold Licence for the coming year. These run from January to December, we’d trade in our standard licence for the few months remaining on it and then we’d be able to spend more time on EA waters during the year. We just have to decided where we’ll be going.

Candlelit Chinese take away to celebrate our 19th year together

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 failed oil change, 1 closed window, 2 weeks of resting, 9 costumes bought, 1 budget rejigged, 2 veg boxes, 1 emergency rug, 2 tax returns submitted, grade 3, 1 box of filters, 4 jabs, 1 bored cat, 1 street view, 3 Morse’s, 1 new variant, 1st waterways painting, 2 go Gold or not? 1 Pip glad to be cooking again, 19 years with my fella.

7 thoughts on “Back To Life On Land. 20th November to 3rd December

  1. Dave (Scouts)

    Ha!, its not just you that notices continuity errors in Morse. We don’t pick up so many of the canal ones apart from the obvious ones. We do notice a lot when they are driving and turn into a street you can’t go down or worse take a junction and end up on a completely unrelated street.
    Lewis was good for that and Endeavour even worse.

  2. jennie230

    I have been following the misfortunes of the Chippy pantomime on the news and online, Pip and I really hope they are up and running again soon. We were at the RSC on 27th November when there were 4 cast members ‘indisposed’, so a multitude of understudies. Not that you would have known as they were all excellent. Congratulations of your anniversary and many more to come I hope. Jennie xx

    1. Pip Post author

      Thank you Jennie.
      Chippy panto should be back up and running this week with some alterations to the show which hopefully will mean the company stay safe for the rest of the run. Glad you got to the RSC and they had cover for those indisposed. Not all theatres can afford to have understudies on standby, but maybe this year they can’t afford not to.
      Pip x

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