This is our 2,000th post on the Oleanna blog. I remember the days when I used to get excited for the 100th or 200th post on the NB Lillyanne blog!

Back in 2014 we started our life afloat on Lillian (NB Lillyanne for new followers) a temporary boat whilst we waited for NB Oleanna to be built, we’d already waited quite a while! Lillian was bought with the previso that once we finally moved on board NB Oleanna we would have the year afloat that we’d been looking forward to for so long.

The original build didn’t go as it should have and we started to look for a new boat builder. Jonathan Wilson was the man to build us our boat, the delay had been handy as living on Lillian gave us some better ideas for the build, and some things we knew we’d not be wanting!

It took us until 7th April 2017 to move Tilly and a third of our possessions on board. That is when our year afloat started. The life suited us, so we just kept on going, an end date never entering our minds. Then covid came along. If it hadn’t been for our troublesome tenants during the first lockdown in 2020 I’m fairly sure we’d still be full time live aboards. But our house needed to be reclaimed. Would we prefer life on land to life on the water? Would we be able to afford both house and boat? We knew one thing, we wouldn’t be letting it out to long term tenants again!

So now, we spend as much of our time afloat as we can, actors lodging in the house for much of the year whilst we cruise the network. Time in the house is spent doing jobs, reclaiming and improving things for both us and those who stay there. The house just about pays for itself all year round, fingers crossed. Time on the boat has always been about travelling, more so now to make up for being static for a few months a year.

Some jobs on board have slipped in the last few years. The gunnels haven’t been touched since Oleanna was out for blacking in 2021. The grab rails have been patched but not finished. The roof is still in need of a very good wash, we’ve either been moving or it’s been raining so far this year, well that’s my excuse! The cabin sides really need a polish. But these things all take time and we’d rather be moving than doing chores. We’ve never been shiney boaters at heart.

July 2019 on the River Wey

We’ve had some questions recently regarding our new Bully Boy Batteries and how they are doing. Paul said we’d left our readers on tenterhooks after mentioning that they seemed to be charging at different rates, or something along those lines. Well I think Mick’s answer was that he’s stopped wondering why they are doing this and has just accepted it. With our new batteries we certainly don’t have the concerns over capacity as we used to, especially at the end of last year when we were down to just two of our original batteries. Because they have so much more capacity they take longer to charge, so if we are staying put for the day and want to run the dishwasher the engine goes on. This does mean we also get a full tank of hot water. But some days we’ve had enough capacity to use our immersion heater to heat the water using electricity therefore the engine is not required. We expect this to happen more and more in the summer when the solar panels provide a lot more power.

August 2022

USB rechargeable lights in cupboards. These are proving to be pretty good, so far. The one that is in The Shed has had to be charged, mainly because it is used several times a day. The others in the pull out corner galley cupboard light up every time I go in there and have made me realise that at some point I’ve taken the square baking tin to the house, hence a round batch of flapjack the other day.

I’ve also had a few people ask me if I’ll be designing Chippy Panto this year. Well, no I’m not. Before I arrived in Chippy for rehearsals last year I’d already decided that this year I wanted to boat through the summer and be able to enjoy it. Last summer we’d cruise in the mornings and just about every afternoon I would work. Over the last six years I’ve designed the last five pantos in Chippy which I have really enjoyed. Designing and painting my designs is what I really love doing, being part of a building with a family feel is very special. But last year I started to miss boating, not being able to return home to Oleanna at weekends is hard too. So in January I got in touch with John before he got in touch with me about this years Panto. I shall miss it, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to go and see Jack and the Beanstalk later this year, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas with out Chippy panto.

Rapunzel 2021

This of course will free up my afternoons so hopefully this year Oleanna will get some much needed touching up, if it ever stops raining! I do still need to feed my creative soul and I’m hoping that doing some paintings of places on our travels will do this for me.

So along with this being our 2000th post, we’ve had 3,068 comments, 17,431 photographs, 172 subscribers, on 16th June 2021 we had the most views, Friday is the most popular day at 9am, views from 96 countries, Thwaite Mills on 31st March the most viewed post, 733 likes (I suspect this is actually higher and mostly from Ade), hang on he’s just liked another! 1,845,360 words written, not including this post!

*Some of these figures may be inaccurate as I’ve had to collect the info from various places

This last Christmas I had an old friend ask what we would do with Oleanna when can no longer boat, whether that be through our physical ability to boat or should the waterways start closing around us due to lack of funding. I said we’d still keep her, find somewhere for her to be, maybe on land if needs be, where we could still stay on board. But here’s hoping our floating days will continue for many years more. We’ll keep writing the blog and sharing it with those who want to read it and hopefully we’ll get to meet a few more of you along the way.

For those of you who have followed Oleanna from the beginning in 2015, a BIG BIG Thank You for reading all our ramblings through the years. I doubt if anyone other than ourselves has read every single post. For what started off as a diary for us to look back on in years to come, for family and friends to keep up with our travels, we now have a lot of new friends, some we’ve yet to actually meet. We find looking back on posts interesting, after all there is useful information in amongst the breakfasts, socks and stamps of approval. Thank you for coming along with us.

Smiling as ever!
Click photo to go to petition

13 thoughts on “2,000!

  1. Babs

    Wow 2000 congratulations! I’ve read and enjoyed every one we might see you this year we are heading south in a few weeks time. xx

    1. Pip Post author

      Thanks Barbara!
      We’ll keep a look out for you, although you will be harder to spot than you were on Bessie.
      Happy cruising x

  2. Ade

    Ha! I do like a like! To be honest what’s not to like about being an armchair boater. Following your blog takes us there with you marvellous.
    My dad dreamed of having a Narrowboat we holidayed on one a couple of times only though. But went on trips with the Kennet & Avon canal trust! Visited Birmingham boat show went to IWA rallies all sorts but dad never managed to afford it he’s still with us at 92 as is mother at 81 but they’re not together anymore. He still talks of those old days he used to call us canalcaholics! He’d like nothing more than exploring the abandoned waterways local to us and beyond.
    When I became independent at 16 with a moped I left all that behind 1980.
    Didn’t come back to it until 2013 wow what a change the Huddersfield Narrow had been restored along with the Rochdale, the Kennet & Avon the Lancaster connected up loads of it to get up to date with!
    My first encounter with a blogger and their blog was Sue and Vic on NB No Problem soon followed by Geoff and Mags writing Seyella’s Journey, shame Geoff is no longer posting on the blog, I do wonder how Mags is. I did read every single post of that blog to date. Intend to do yours one day Pip & Mick of course as you both have been authors at different times.
    Then I picked up on Tom & Jan on NB Waiouru until they sold up and moved back to Perth. Then it must of been Lillyanne around then too!
    Never looked back always wanted to read about your travels and kind of be a virtual boater! I do hope one day to meet up with you 3 and let’s hope your cruising for many many more years!

    1. Pip Post author

      Your likes on Lillians blog this morning made me laugh out loud!
      Hopefully we’ll get to see Sue this summer, even if it’s just a quick hello as we pass.
      We spot the occasional facebook post from Geoff, I think they are still in Pillings Lock marina.
      Your dad was right you are canalaholics.

  3. Ade

    Oh and I forgot to say the teasing of all those cooked breakfast photos is never missed I can smell them through the screen! Mick does a good looking breakfast yum yum

  4. Caroline

    Well done, you are my daily read, yesterday I was searching your blog for grabrail painting, bit of insight before tackling mine.

    1. Pip Post author

      Hi Caroline. Have to say I’m likely to be making up how I do the grab rails, well based on bits and bobs I’ve come across. Ours are in desperate need and I don’t think this year I’ll have the excuse of going through Standedge Tunnel to leave them for. Oh but then again, I might!

  5. Dave (Scouts)

    Congratulations on your 2,000 post. Always look forward to reading it and miss it when you slow down in winter.

    The image link to the waterways campaign doesn’t work

    1. Pip Post author

      Hopefully it works now!
      Have to admit I miss writing the blog when we’re not afloat.

    1. Pip Post author

      Both house and boat were substantially assisted by inheritances. Now Mick is about to be a pensioner it makes a difference. You’d be surprised at how little I earnt from panto!

      1. Sandra Walsh

        Awesome. We’ve spent the two small inheritances we’ve had in the last few years, and almost all our savings. I crave a land base now after Barry’s recent health problems. Maybe one day …. For now I’m working 3-4 days a week online. So enjoying the canals isn’t so easy as it is for Barry who has been drawing a pensions since he claimed his kiwi one when we were the December 2020 at 65 😂 and now has a full British one (reciprocal agreement with NZ).
        Ah well. I’m very fortunate to have online work that I can do wherever we are. And am enjoying boating in my ‘down’ days.
        In a way you work every day and writing blogs … I know how long that takes 😉

        1. Pip Post author

          Coming along the Bridgewater over the last few days I’ve realised I’ve been working every time we’ve been this way for years, only popping up for highlights or when needed.
          As you say blog writing is a touch like work, without any financial benefit. I also save us a fortune when back at the house, decorating and sewing.
          There was another show on the cards this year, but sadly it hasn’t been successful in getting funding. The way of the world right now.
          Enjoy your days off, here’s hoping the weather improves to be able to enjoy it even more.

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