Category Archives: Scarborough

Purrplexed. 8th April

Bent House Lock 46

An early start for Mick who headed off to Littleborough Station to catch a train just before 8am. Tilly and I stayed tucked up in bed and enjoyed a cuppa with the puzzles from Saturdays newspaper.

A day return to Scarborough woud have been about £70 at that time of day even with an old gits railcard, but Mick had booked his tickets in such a way that he got off peak tickets from Mytholmroyd, therefore costing £37.35 including a plus bus for around Scarborough.

View from the cratch today

On board, after the usual mornings activities I decided to give the interior of Oleanna a dust down and then a sweep through followed by a floor clean. Tilly kept out of the way for much of the time, the lack of wind and rain encouraging her to go outside.

Then it was time to investigate why our pullout corner cupboard is starting to ground and make grooves in the newly oiled floor! I’ve been wondering if the weight in the pan drawer, which is attached to the cupboard might be doing this. Maybe when I’d reattached it I’d screwed them together at a slight angle that gets exacerbated when the corner cupboard is pulled right out.

I emptied the cupboard and drawer so that I could detach the two. There lying on the floor was part of a circular piece of plastic. Was this off one of the castors? Yes. The plastic helps keep the wheel square and helps to keep the rubber wheel from flattening out under the weight. Without it the rubber wheel was flattening, a bit like a blown tyre on a car and therefore the plinth of the pullout cupboard was grounding across the floor, it having dropped by a couple of mm.

How were the castors attached? To blocks of wood, which of course had been attached from below not above. So to remove the castors we would need to remove the cupboard to be able to turn it on it’s side! A look later on from the opposite side by Mick suggests we might be able to just replace the wheel on the caster without dismanteling everything.

But where’s the top gone!?!

Tilly gave me a site report from low down. She was quite purrplexed about the whole situation. But hey hang on! There’s no top!! Someone’s stolen the top! I can’t hide in here anymore, there’s no IN to be IN! This is what the problem is, the IN, not the squishy wheel. I’ve left the pan drawer unattached until we can replace the wheel.

It’s okay there’s still an IN to be in here

Next it was time to restick some edging onto the side of the drawing board slot. This has been held on by tape for about a year. Some wood glue down between the main board and the strip, tape back on to hold it in place. There’s far too much stuff in the slot! It needs clearing out to leave enough IN for a cat.

Lunch was arepas with red cabbage, cheese and slices of apple, very nice.


Time to select the yarn for the next pair of socks. I’ve had quite a few requests for blue socks this year, so any yarn that was blue was laid on the bed. Three selected, I just need to decide how to knit them up.

Meanwhile in Scarborough Mick had caught the bus to the hospital, a blood test required by his GP, this was all very efficient. He then walked to the house to meet with our current lodgers. A coffee, chat and he picked up our post, including postcards about the York and North Yorkshire Mayor election. A few years ago we had lodgers put our postal votes on the top of a book shelf for safe keeping along with other post. Mick got the train to Scarborough especially to pick them up but couldn’t find them. They were found a few months later long after the poll. We now have a tray in the kitchen for post to go in.

You don’t need to be in there! Just checking it’s still got an IN.

Then he caught another bus out of town and headed to his dentist. His return to Seamer Station was thwarted by numerous school buses refusing to pick him up and then the next bus was ten minutes late, by which time he’d missed the hourly train from Scarborough!

I wonder what Clare made of this

In Littleborough the day had been a perfect one for cruising, no boats had come past though. I frogged another pair of socks to just past the heel, adjusted my needle size hoping this would rectify their tightness. I watched another Bake Off, more comdey biscuits and The Woman In Gold 2015,starring Helen Mirren. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting ‘The Lady in Gold’. She enlists a young lawyer to help her and they end up taking the Austrian Government to the US Supreme Court.

More yummy yarn

Mick returned home a while after 8pm. In amongst the post was a parcel from Rachel at Skein Queen, another rather yummy skein of yarn in white and blues. She’d also added in a pattern for a pair of socks. Thank you Rachel.

0 locks, 0 miles, 4ft edging re-stuck,16 tickets, 6 trains, 3 buses, 3 ignoring buses, 1 flattening wheel,1 pleasant day, 1 test, 1 set of clean gnashers, 1 puzzled Tilly, 1 skien, 1 patter, 1 omlette for 2, 1 normal result.

Meatball Hide And Seek. 19th March

Near Swillington Pipe Bridges to near Lemonroyd Marina to near Swillington Pipe Bridges

A busy day ahead for all of us.

I was awake with the sunrise in Scarborough. I popped my painty jumper over my pyjamas and started on the gloss surround followed by two coats of emulsion in the bathroom. A bit more tidying up/hiding things was needed, I also needed to track down what had happened to the keys we’d left with Duncan (not that Duncan!). It turned out that he’d added Micks and my instructions together and returned all sets of keys to where they’d started off.

All finished with a sensible mirror and shelf. It’s only taken 14 or so years

Some lovely bird had left it’s calling card all the way down the bay window, so that needed cleaning off as the window cleaners had only just been. All this under time pressure, I really didn’t want to have to return to the house to do a few things.

Meanwhile Mick moved Oleanna back towards the marina. Alongside the road he tied to the last post and banged a spike in. The Sainsbury’s driver called to ask if he could be early, which was fine with me I just hoped Mick was where he said he’d be. A couple of substitutions today, nothing that should be a problem.

A new bit of hospital

Front door was locked, I’d most probably already missed the bus so headed off through the park to walk to the hospital for my appointment. The daffodils are just starting to come out and the sunshine made for quite a warm walk. I was early and possibly jumped the queue at the breast screening clinic. Kind of wished they’d made me wait for another ten minutes as I wouldn’t have been half so clammy to be manipulated onto the scanner. But it did mean that once my boobs had been squished in all directions I left the hospital perfectly timed for the next bus into town.

Goodbye North Sea, see you in a while

An hour before the next train I went to see the sea, the big wheel being put back up, again! for the summer and got myself a gf wrap from M&S for lunch. This took me all the way from Scarborough to York to eat, 50 minutes! Biting and chewing quite a problem at the moment.


Mick stowed our shopping. Had they got confused with a substitution? 1 box of wine had been swapped for three bottles of wine, another seemingly for 12 bottles of alcohol free Corona! Once he’d stowed everything, it was obvious the beers were extra, someone else’s shopping! Two problems with it, it contains gluten and just where to put 12 bottles? Frank do you drink Corona? Would you like it?

The Ouse in York had gone down a touch revealing the amount of silt that will greet moorers at Easter. In Leeds I had chance to check out boats in Granary Wharf, pretty full and four boats moored above Office Lock, are some of these moorings new permanent moorings?

Mick had moved Oleanna back to the last silver birch and Tilly was busy in the friendly cover as I got back to the boat. River levels were down enough, Woodnook Lock now open, should we make a move today? To reach a good mooring it might take us three hours, we decided to wait til tomorrow as it would be getting dark when we arrived.

But you always say I should use the shore based facilities!

Next problem, what to eat this evening? Our shopping didn’t consist of easy none chew food. I goet some meatballs cooking with a tomato sauce to have with rice, I could cut them up very small. Mick took over cooking for the last bit, he counted the meatballs. ‘There’s only 11 meatballs!’ ‘There were 12 when I last looked’ One of them was playing hide and seek!

By the time I’d slowly eaten my meal Mick had finished his, done the washing up and cleaned the hob. I’m normally the first to finish! The leg of lamb we got may have to be liquidized if things don’t improve soon!

Another two episodes of Traitors Australia 2. We’ve started shouting at the absolute stupidity of the Faithful now, thank goodness we moved out of the marina as only the birds and fish can hear us.

0 locks, 0.5 miles, 2 winds, 3 boxes wine, 3 bottles, 12 alcohol free free beers, 1 coat gloss, 2 coats emulsion, 1 clean window, 1 house ready, 4 squishes, 1 bus, 3 trains, 50 minute lunch, 11 no 12 meatballs, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval (does the same place count again Tilly?), 1 pedicure required, 5 left, can they really be SO stupid?!

Confusing The Tooth Fairy. 18th March

Lemonroyd Marina to Above Lemonroyd Lock, Swillington Pipe Bridge

Alarm set, no time for tea, we were off walking round the marina to meet with a taxi. This driver was a little bit dull. He really didn’t get that a bike ride of several miles to reach a bigger supermarket, that only takes a matter of minutes by car, was of no interest, neither was the location of the taxi companies office! I had other things on my mind. He did become slightly less dull when he said he’d be heading to Scarborough for Easter on his scooter.

The receptionist at the dentist sent me back up the fancy stairs to await my appointment, this morning I wasn’t the only person waiting. Eva, the nice Irish dentist, asked questions. I’d been taking note of where the pain started, it had changed a bit since last week and the general conclusion was that this time it had to be my wisdom tooth. She prodded poked, x-rayed. One thing for it, it would need to come out!

Calming fishes

It was quite a relief how little time it took to be extracted. I’d imagined there would be quite a battle, but no. ‘An extraction is £150, I hope that’s alright?’ Well it had to be she’d already pulled it out, or maybe I should have haggled!

I waited for the taxi home biting on the dressing whilst watching pretty fish swimming round and round. I wasn’t really in the mood or capable of a chat on the way back and just gave directions to the driver as we neared the marina.

Mick filled the water tank. The last load of washing finished spinning before we unplugged and made ready to push off. No-one was in the office to return our gate key so we passed it on to Ruth, Simon and Wilfred their dog on NB Lily Rose. The penny suddenly dropped as we chatted away, we’d come across them at Thorne Lock last October when a barrier hadn’t been closed properly on the bridge. They’ve only just set off on their life afloat and will be very glad to put rivers behind them! They’ll be heading a different way to us, depending on how fast they move we may see them again in Lancashire.

Bye bye Lemonroyd Marina. Thank you

We pulled out of the marina and winded, heading back to almost the same mooring we’d left two days ago. Just past the last silver birch, we positioned ourselves better to catch as many sunrays as we could between the trees.

I’d wondered if I would feel a touch rotten this afternoon after my visit to the dentist. I certainly felt hungry. After careful eating I made the decision to head for Woodlesford Station to catch a train back to Scarborough. If I didn’t go today I’d need to be on an early train tomorrow for a routine hospital appointment.

Only a trip boat moving in York today, the moorings under water

Three trains later I arrived in Scarborough, picked up some food on the way to the house and then set to work.

Paper pasted in the bath for ease of cleaning up

We’ve had a bit of work done in a bathroom which now needed a touch of decorating. Some undercoat and a long length of lining paper was applied so that painting could be done in the morning. The kitchen just needed finishing off, a few items put away and the half used tube of white bathroom sealant was found to take back to Oleanna for the shower there.

Yarn yummyness!

In amongst the post was a parcel. Becca from Bluebell Yarns had promised to send me some of her yarn. A wonderful skein of greeny blue, one of purple and some 100% wool mini skeins of bright colours, useful for doing cuffs of socks. What a wonderful surprise. Thank you!

A shame it was cold by the time I’d finished it!

My treat curry and onion bhajis took a long time to eat, the smaller I chopped it up the easier it was to eat. I topped up on pain killers again, wonder how much longer I’ll be taking them for? A single bed in The Shed tonight, all other beds are made up for imminent lodgers. Then I realised I’d not asked for my wisdom tooth so that I could leave it under my pillow for the tooth fairy. Bet she’d not have found me anyway!

0 locks, 0.5 miles, 2 taxis, -1 tooth, 1 key handed over, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval (not sure if an outside can have two stamps, one for each visit?), 1 full water tank, 0 dirty washing, 3 trains, 1 bath used as a pasting table,1 bathroom prepped for top coats, 1 red light turned to amber, 45 minutes to eat my food, £0 for my tooth!

1st Stamp Of 2024. 5th March

Viking Marina to Sykehouse Junction, New Junction Canal

When I woke I popped the emersion on, yesterday I’d let it run for 90 minutes and the water was at best almost hot. I hoped for better this morning. In the end I gave it a boost by adding in the central heating and ended up with enough hot water for a shower.

Mick was soon on a train back from Scarborough, the house ready for our first lot of lodgers, just the plants to pick up at some point. I decided to give Tilly’s scratch post a make over, well the base of it which has lasted almost ten years, 8 with it’s current owner. Stripping off the old cover took some time, but with pliers and a flat headed screw driver it all came off in a dusty mess. New fabric was cut to size and then stapled on the back, the post was bolted back on and a square of fabric stapled over the bolt and washer to save it scratching the newly oiled floor. Job done, still a bit wobbly, but Tilly hasn’t complained about it yet.

Once Mick was back we went over to check out and pay our electric bill with Laird. A meter reading was done, but the one from when we arrived had gone awol. A historical one was found on the system but we’d never have used that much. Mick checked to see what our inverter thought we’d used, a bill of £32 sounded far more like it for 5 months and everyone was happy. We thanked Laird, returned to Oleanna for a spot of lunch then it was time.

Green coiled up ropes

The Nebo switch was switched on (voltage sensitive relay will be added soon) and push back was at 14:32. It was nice to be leaving the build up of diesel and urgh that had surrounded us in the marina. Mick reversed Oleanna out of our mooring, winded in the marina and then turned us to face west.

Marinas serve their purpose for us, but it’s not our natural habitat, at least this year we didn’t feel hemmed in amongst other boats having a bank side mooring. Downside of the mooring however was the amount of mud that got splashed up from puddles.

Goole caisson

Through Goole Caisson which had been closed for maintenance until ten days ago.

Weather tight

Along the long straights, a slight kink at Rawcliffe. Under the M18. Past the chunky tree house which now has a completed roof, not sure how it was five months ago, but it looks more weather proof than I remembered. Past the breach site and round the bend.

The steam from Drax cooling towers just visible in the background

Drax came into view behind us, time to wave the NORF goodbye. Well Drax will stay in view for a while, but this stretch of canal now has the feeling of the start or end of a years boating. We’re having to admit to ourselves that we are no longer full on live aboards / continuous cruisers.

It’s good to be outside and moving again

Round the next bend and towards Sykehouse Junction. Now where should we moor? Part of the bank along the New Junction is cordoned off as the metal top is leaning towards the canal. Or do we go just past the junction and moor with chains round the metal bar where Kingfishers fish? We opted to turn into the New Junction and pull up on the stretch of moorings that hasn’t been affected, easy to tie to and no wet knees.

Tilly’s excitement from inside the boat could be heard for miles! No photographic proof as she was darting from window to window checking out the outside. This is the most active she has been in five months. Our location was noted before the rules were recited, then she was off like a shot, staring into the friendly cover and pouncing. We have a happy cat once again.

Drax, Sykehouse Junction and Tilly, free again

A roast chicken was prepared, spitting on the clean oven glass, and enjoyed.

To make up for Tilly’s very exciting day I got the flea and tick spot on treatment out, never a popular thing to do and it means no head nudges will be given for a couple of days, but needs must!

Tonight will be the first test of our new batteries. Mick is confident all will be good in the morning.

0 locks, 6.5 miles, 1 wind, 1 left, 1 boat back out on the cut, 2 happy boaters, 1 ecstatic cat, 1 roast chicken, 1 tank of proper hot water, 1 blog writer trying to remember how to do maps! 1st Mrs Tilly stamp of approval of 2024.

Stocking Up. 4th March

Viking Marina, Goole


Time to get stocked up on essentials, well after a cuppa in bed. The food order was in with Tescos for a click and collect. With only one bag of coal on the roof, which we’d just opened, we needed to stock up. Viking Marina don’t sell coal, across the way used to, but there was no mention of it on their website. Whilst we’d been on board for the TLC week there had been a coal wagon arrive, sadly we’d not taken note of the company, but a quick scout round on the internet brought us to Coopers Fuels in West Cowick.

Bags of warmth

6 bags of 25kg of Excel were bought and popped in the back of the van. Now it was time to pick up the shopping, however…. I had a voice message from a lady at Tescos saying that all their systems were down so no-one had been able to pick our shopping. We could move the click and collect to the afternoon or evening or just cancel it. We had no option but to cancel our order, the van was due back in Scarborough late afternoon and there was still a visit to the tip to be done to get rid of the old dinette cushions. We’d have to go and shop the old fashioned way.

Hope they’ll move the outside soon, I don’t think much of this one!

Big signs were everywhere. They could only accept transactions with chip and pin, not even cash sales. They’d had a big upgrade to their computer system last night, this morning not even the scan and shop things worked! A big shop takes quite a bit of thinking about so I was glad I had access to the order in an email. We worked our way round the store as efficiently as possible. Blimey I hoped there would be room for everything back on board!

Not quite the right spelling

Back to Oleanna to off load, coal on roof, fridge and freezer items put away. I got a lift into town and Mick headed back across the Wolds to finish off in the house and return the van.

Big hooks half the price of B&Q!

A visit to Boyes was a must. Suitable screws to use in The Shed, roller sleeves for painting the gunnels, something to be able to store my rice pancakes in and new fun fur for Tilly’s scratch post. Fun fur was only available in a seriously shaggy length and at quite a price, so instead I bought a pair of Teddy fleece pillowcases, half the price for twice as much.

Pizza tray, pancakes, net cover.

Items onboard a boat should ideally have more than one purpose, so a pizza tray for the oven was big enough and not too chunky to store my pancakes flat, it will also keep pizzas from dirtying the oven shelves. With the net cover over the top to hold everything together, job done.

Still a bit more space left

Back on board it was warm, the stove was turned right down. Time to repack food for the freezer, everything comes with so much air around it! Mince was split into meal size quantities, a chicken jointed and skinned, five meals from one bird.

Time to select the yarn for the next pair of sockathon socks. I’m wanting to do some colourwork on this pair. Last week I tried a couple of methods for carrying floats across the back. At first I thought the ladderback Jacquard wasn’t worth it, but trying on the sample made me change my mind. Yarn selected I wound it into cakes and cast on the toe.

With Mick away for the night I cooked up some Tiger Prawns with fried rice whilst he ordered a full on gluten pizza from Pizza Tempo back in Scarborough. Tilly and I then caught up on Pottery Throwdown, a favourite.

0 locks, 0 miles, 6 bags coal, 7 bags shopping, 2 pillowcases, 5 cushions to the tip, 14mm and 12mm in case, 1 full fridge, 1 full freezer, 1 wine cellar restocked, 10 prawns, 1 pizza, 1 boat all stocked up.

9.1 pairs knitted

32 pairs spoken for

42.9 to go

£715 raised

Goodbye Tilly Towers. 3rd March

Viking Marina, Goole

Nearly a cooked breakfast

Last night we ate the last bits and bobs from the fridge and freezer, but were left with some ice-cream, hash browns, tomatoes, gluten free crumpets and eggs. Only one thing for it, although we decided that vanilla chilled medication wouldn’t really go with poached eggs.

The last round of packing. Shower cleaning, some things left as Mick would be staying a night after returning the van. Tilly assisted with the idiot check, then there was only one thing left to pack.

Last week we’d managed to close Tilly and myself in the bathroom, Mick brought out the cat caravan and opened the bathroom door for me to pop her straight in, next to no stress until she realised what was happening. This was for her visit to the vet. Today things didn’t go as smoothly. Firstly Mick had efficiently popped the bag with puppy pads and just in case items in the van before I’d put a puppy pad in the caravan. I know what you’re doing! I’d be seriously stupid not to have noticed everything being packed up. It’s quite exciting really, but also concerning too. I tried being very interesting with the bathroom cupboards to lure her out from under the bed, it worked, but she just chose to then sit under The Shed bed instead. Then Tom brought the smiling big sucking noisy thing. It got closer and closer, only one thing for it, run to the bathroom for protection from She.

Maybe I’m stupid after all!

Straight into the van. Cat caravan sitting on my knee, engine started up, we pulled out of the parking space. How far would we get today before having to stop to renew the puppy pad? Well, I am so proud of Tilly. After five minutes standing, shouting at the front of the caravan she retreated to the rear of it and sat down, keeping an eye on the outside moving past. Tom moved it far too quickly, surely that isn’t safe! She kept on shouting with a few intervals to compose herself, but we didn’t have to stop once, not once! So proud of you Tilly, so proud. No calming stuff at all today too, so proud.

I can still talk to you from in here

Straight into Oleanna, Tilly was set free. A quick shout check everywhere (she’d make a good Stage Manager) and then it was time to find a safe place. The Nicholson’s shelf was tried first, but that hasn’t been sorted yet so it wasn’t very safe clinging on the edge of it. The nice little hollow behind Tom’s pillow wasn’t there, it was full of mattress. Only one place left, the secret passageway behind the sofa. Squeeeeeze!

Lunch first. Yesterday we’d sterilised the water tank. When about a third full we’d added a bottle of Milton fluid, filled the tank up to the top, water run through the taps and then left it for about half an hour. Then the tank was emptied, the water pump working overtime. Tank refilled, we then used as much as possible. Today taps were run until they didn’t smell of Milton anymore, the kettle and Tilly’s water bowl filled from the tap alongside our mooring. The tank was emptied and then refilled again. We don’t do this often (possibly the second or third time ever) as when we’re on board all the time the water is used and replenished frequently.

Just where does it all go?!

Off loading the van meant we filled up the cabin quickly. I wanted to get The Shed sorted so things could go away, but Mick had other priorities. Popping Mick’s tool box on top of the wooden shelf on the ledge didn’t work as a temporary measure sadly. We did manage to get the hook up for the life jackets to live on, mainly so they could be put out of cat claw danger.

Green dribbles, again!

Hang on Tilly, who did the idiot check and totally forgot about the herbs and strawberry plants?! Well you wouldn’t let me outside this morning. Anyway, hadn’t you noticed, I’m only a cat!

Dinner cooking away

More things were stowed away, the bed was made up, we were finally finding places we’d be able to sit down. The last meals worth of lamb stew left from our gathering of friends went in the cast iron pot on top of the stove, two potatoes wrapped in foil were popped inside by the coals and dinner cooked as we tidied up. Tilly did manage to come out from behind the sofa and took up residence on the bottom shelf. Another busy day for us all.

My shelf!

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 handy beds, 1 smiling monster, 0 stops, 1 very proud She, 1 squeezed cat, 1 Shed still not sorted, 4 life jackets hung, 1 bed made, 1 last lamb stew, 1 big click and collect order made, 1 pink sunset, 2 green dribbles again in the bathroom! 2 boaters and 1 cat back on board.

Sunset over Viking Marina

Is That ‘Daisy’ On His Cheek? 2nd March

The last couple of weeks have been busy for us.

Shore leave permitted for another year

Tilly’s annual vaccinations. A years supply of wormer and flea treatment was sought. Sadly a misunderstanding regarding her flea treatment (they don’t know how much of a thug she is!) has meant a delay in obtaining the good strong stuff. But we will be getting a prescription, at some point, to be able to purchase it online, far cheaper than the other options.

Making sure it dies!

Test the new rug out for murderability!


Order spare parts and spare taps for the galley. The mixer tap we have is being discontinued, so we’ve bought two spares and spare cartridges for them, these should out last our boating days.

A slipper for the vac

Make the bag for the handheld vac out of sturdy fabric to go in The Shed cupboard.

The Shed on Oleanna fully sorted. I’ll come back to this in a bit!

See you later in the year Scarborough

Collect new glasses and purchase a protective phone case. Phone case not so good as it inhibits fingerprint recognition, but it is extra strong should I drop my phone. Also not waterproof! *The Power button on side of phone case has now been cut away so fingerprint recognition is possible.

Mick’s medication approved by the GP. An up in dose and a blood test in a few weeks, but nothing to stop us returning to Oleanna thankfully.

Final Sunday walk in Scarborough

My calf muscle to improve. GP surgery still not given me a date for an appointment, been waiting three weeks now. I keep hobbling and am trying to keep up my step count. Here’s hoping the doctor doesn’t want to see me!

Bathroom sink and mirror sorted in the house. Well…. This job had to be abandoned a few weeks ago due to too much plumbing in the way. Then we changed our minds on the solution. Duncan, not THAT Duncan, came round and fitted an extension to the stupid box above the sink instead of removing it all together. Only problem was the backing board didn’t want to stick too well, so had to be left overnight before the clamps could be removed. New flooring was laid. Now Duncan (not THAT Duncan) needs to finish off and then I’ll be needed to touch up the decoration over two days.

Clerk of works inspecting the job

A leaking water pipe into a toilet was fixed, but we now have a noise three minutes after flushing the toilet!

Socks knitted and sent off. I got ahead of myself so have given my sock knitting hands a bit of variety and knitted a few blanket squares for Boaters Blankets. Once back on Oleanna I’ll be back on with socks.

Gardener organised, FAILED yet again. We tried a chap who’d been recommended, but he didn’t call back.


Builder/roofer to sort leaks, FAILED. We tried a chap who said to call him in a couple of weeks, then he didn’t answer his phone!

Weather to improve for transit on river sections which can’t be avoided. Out of our control sadly.

New stoppages being added to the list. Will we be able to escape Yorkshire before April? Also out of our control. Current stoppages mean we won’t be able to cross the Pennines for a few weeks. A new stoppage at Bank Newton has closed the Leeds Liverpool, Woodnook Lock on the Aire and Calder is closed til mid March cutting off access to both the Rochdale and Huddersfield Canals. But thankfully two locks near Manchester, on the Rochdale which had been suffering from subsidence have reopened. So once we can get through Woodnook we’ll be on our way.


The house oven got a good clean, we got a man in to do it for us. The oven is only a few years old and wasn’t that bad, but now looks wonderfully sparkly. Mick asked if the chap would travel to Goole to do the one on Oleanna, sadly it was too far. Mick normally cleans the house oven, but he’s never felt the urge to get down on his hands and knees to do the same on Oleanna, neither have I!

Mick made a call to a company in Howden, they were booked up til May. But the chap might be interested in fitting us in so that he could clean an oven on a narrowboat. The lady rang back and if we could be at the boat Saturday morning he’d fit us in. Brilliant! We’d already booked a van for the weekend so moved the pickup to Friday afternoon.

Friday we continued to pack and got down to some serious cleaning in the house. Kitchen sink was resealed had new cartridges and was out of use for 24 hours so we had to eat out, Taj got our custom, their menus a touch tall for a romantic evening.

Up early Saturday. We loaded the van up with various bits and set off to Goole to meet the oven cleaner. On arrival we cleared the work tops, lit the stove, turned on the emersion. Our plan for today was to sort The Shed out so that things could go back where they live. The shelf above the new bully boy battery needed supports, however we’d omitted to bring the flipping drill with us! Oh well we’d not be able to do anything with The Shed whilst the oven cleaner was about anyway.

Nick arrived, took over the hole galley, as expected, and set to on the stove. Well you all know how much I like to cook and the oven has never been cleaned so I’m a touch embarrassed at how horrible it had got. Shelves, stainless steel trays and all the supports from the oven were popped into Nick’s caustic soda tank in his van, heated to 70C it does the job for him. In and out of the boat, his belt maybe needing to be tightened just another notch or two! Three hours later they just needed a spray down with white vinegar to neutralise the soda and they sparkled like new. Much scraping kept him busy with the double oven.

He certainly lived up to his companies name. The ovens look like new, the extractor hood pretty clean and the hob which I thought was pretty good before he started you can now see your reflection in. Well worth the money, we’ll not leave it so long next time.

The boat curtains were put on to wash, once spun they were rehung on their rods to dry in situ, avoiding shrinkage we hoped. The bathroom got a very good clean, some of the sealant could do with being redone but that can wait a little while.

Cutlery tray with obligatory section for handcuff keys and hose adapters

The van was emptied and most things stowed away. The kitchen was put back together the cutlery tray sorted out. New oven glove and saute pan, a treat for the clean cooker.

All very smart now in the galley

Then it was time to find space for all the donated yarn for my Sockathon. I’d just about cleared out the big drawer under my side of the bed a few weeks ago, today I emptied it completely. Full to the brim and a couple of bags of yarn have been found another home. Best get back to knitting socks soon!

Back across the Wolds to a hungry Tilly. Time to finish off bits and bobs of food with some pasta and a glass or two of wine whilst starting to watch the first series of Traitors USA. Yes we’ve been hooked on the English version, watched the Australian first season, now I think we’re going to get annoyed with the USA version.

Bacon, green beans, peas, onion, cabbage, two types of pasta

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 batteries with new owners, 2 sparkling ovens, 2 dripping taps, 1 bathroom sink still to finish off, 60% moved to Oleanna, so much yarn squished into a drawer, 1 clean bathroom, 1 stove backed up for the night.

Sitting Higher And A Friendly Goodbye.

Firstly thank you to Chris and Rufus for helping the blog move earlier this week and to those who commented that they were hearing us loud and clear.

It’s a touch concerning who reads our blog!

Back in 2014 we were getting ready for a life afloat, a year on a boat was calling and work for me was starting to wind down, we’d not yet found NB Lillyanne but had hopes that NB Oleanna (Mark 1) wouldn’t be far away from being completed. Little did we know what was going on back then! But in the summer of 2014 as we were finally packing up the house to move onto NB Lillyanne our friends in Scarborough got together to wish us well on our travels, a nice gathering at a local pizza restaurant and a few pints later, a lovely evening was had.

Nowadays, we get to see our friends every now and again in Scarborough, but not really often or for long enough, so this had to be put right before we left for the spring and summer months. A gathering was organised at our house last Sunday afternoon and it just so happened to be half-term too.

Lamb and veg stew

Catering for a possible twenty was put into operation starting on Friday. The cheapest way to buy lamb was by the leg, this was roasted then chopped up to be added into a stew. A separate veggie stew was made up and potatoes were scrubbed and ready to be baked in the oven. The house was given a dust down and we awaited our friends to arrive.

From left to Right.
Pip, DUNCAN! Gill, Jenny, Jaye, Dawn, Mick, Charlie (down the front) Tucker and Lee just leaning in. Ben and Frank are missing from the photo.

Sadly some friends were too far away to join us, had family visiting or had come down with a lurgy, so the numbers dropped! Never the less we had a lovely afternoon, nibbles, cheese and puddings provided by our guests. Lots of catching up to do especially for Jenny and her son Charlie who live that little bit further afield and hadn’t seen some people for about ten years. A gathering like this simply would not be possible on Oleanna, we have difficulty having two of us in the galley never mind twelve!

Stocked up for the next year

Thank you all for coming and sorry to miss those from further afield or with a lurgy. We also topped up on Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil and Charlie and Ivy‘s goodies for the boat, delivered by Charlie.

Left overs

Because the numbers had dropped our freezer, which we’d been doing a very good job of emptying, has now been filled up again, but we’ll gradually eat our way through them, we’ll just have to vary our diet occasionally!

Tuesday, Mick picked up a hire car and we loaded it with cushions for the dinette and headed over the Wolds to Goole. Time to start putting Oleanna back together again before we move back onboard.

Mick checked the Bully Boy Batteries from his phone whilst I screwed the pan drawer back to the pull out corner cupboard. The old screws had only just managed to last seven years, so new holes and screws were needed, I also added some facing the opposite direction too so hopefully they will last a lot longer.

Now it was time to move things back into cupboards and drawers that had been moved for varnishing. The galley tops also got a very good clean.

Will they all fit?

Before lunch we needed to see if the new dinette cushions fitted. The new foam is a lot firmer so it took a touch more effort to squish them into position.


The one new corner cushion, replacing two, fits well. However the end back cushion now is a little bit too long at the bottom. It’s the same size as the old cushion which was also rectangular, but now it just needs to have a slight angle taken of the bottom for it to fit perfectly. For now this is fine. But if anyone happens to have an electric carving knife as we pass, I may borrow it to trim an inch off it. All cushions are now double sided, which the original ones weren’t, so if they start to look a touch dirty we can flip them over.

Left over cheese by the hatch

We could now sit and use the table again for lunch, in comfort. Much better than the old cushions.

Life Jacket hook position

The afternoon, we checked that the new shelf for The Shed would fit. It does but only goes in one way and still needs blocks to rest on before things can go back in the cupboard. The battery below it also needs some blocks of wood round it to hold it in position for the BSS, Mick is also thinking about shortening the cables to the battery. This all needs doing before the fire extinguisher can we put back on the wall. But I got chance to decide where and how other items would be stored in The Shed rather than just being piled up on top of each other. Our life jackets will happily sit behind the extinguisher on a big hook. Coat hangers on another deep hook above the power socket, this is only for storage as they get used in the pram cover for drying washing not for hanging coats on. The window vac will happily sit in a couple of big hooks on the cabin side, but the hand held vac is too bulky for hooks and there is nowhere to be able to attach a string to hang it from. I’ll make a bag for it which will be fixed to the cabin side also. This should then leave us with little needing to be piled at the bottom of the cupboard in future, just the Brompton bag and took box, Hopefully!

See you soon

It was starting to get late, so we packed up deciding that we’d need another visit before we move back on board to finish off jobs and I also want to give the bathroom a good clean too. As we loaded up the car Alastair came to say hello and handed Mick an invoice for the couple of little jobs he’s done in Oleanna’s engine bay for us this last week.

Hopefully we’ll be back down soon to finish off.

0 locks, 0 miles, 20 down to 12, 1 lovely afternoon with good friends, 5 litres rapeseed oil, 1 car, 7 cushions, 1 a touch too tight, 2 batteries playing nicely, 1 spotless galley, 1 pull out drawer, 1 stove top kettle under the sink, 2 boaters sitting higher, 1 plan for The Shed, 1 more visit, 2 of each back at the house, 1 slightly amended cruising plan.

Happy 8th Baseplate Day! 14th February

Well today marks the 8th anniversary of Oleanna’s baseplate being laid in Tim Tylers workshop in Newcastle under Lyme. It was another year and a bit before we finally moved on board to cruise her down to Crick to meet with Lillian and fully move onboard.

Mick stood at the stern 58ft 6 inches away, 8 years ago

If you want to look back and see Oleanna’s build this is a post from our first visit. Her story starts much earlier so here’s a link to the first Oleanna blog post, 1948 blog posts ago!

Currently we are gradually getting ourselves ready to move back on board, the date still a little bit up in the air.

Sunday in the Park with Mick

Mick went down to check on Oleanna on Monday. A chat with the bully boy batteries went well, the newly oiled floor had cured so the back steps could go back in. I’ve been busy covering new and old dinette cushions and today we should receive new cartridges for our life jackets, which are currently still inflated in a closed room well away from cat claws.

The world of canals and rivers is keeping us on our toes as regards to stoppages at the moment. There is a silt build up on the River Trent which needs dredging between Beeston and Cranfleet locks. The coal boat had serious difficulty passing that way a week ago and was having to wait for levels to rise again before attempting to return to base. Since then the Trent has gone back into flood.

Can we start packing yet?

The Don Doors on the New Junction are having issues with their gearbox so are closed to the canal currently. Even if we got past them Vazon Sliding Bridge is closed to boat traffic until mid March whilst strengthening works are carried out to the north canal wall.

However we’d planned on crossing the Pennines. The Rochdale, Lock 67 is suffering from subsidence which will be worked on next week. Lock 65 is also showing similar signs and will be looked at next week to see what should be done.

Round 1

The Leeds Liverpool has a navigation restriction near Burnley, Embankment 39, so it is still navigable. Works at Wigan have been slowed by the weather so the closure there has been extended by a week so that concrete has more time to go off, the concrete has as yet to be laid. Problems near Foulridge Tunnel seem to have been sorted.

Round 2

Then the Huddersfield Narrow and Broad. There are bridge works and a lock closure on the Broad along with repairs to a wash wall which should be finished mid March. On the Narrow locks on the east side are closed until the end of February, then there is a closure in Stalybridge which should open mid March.

Round 3

So at the moment the Leeds Liverpool is looking the most promising, followed by the Huddersfield canals. Further south there has been a substantial landslip on the North Oxford near Brinklow. We’d planned on heading southwards this way, but we strongly suspect it will take a while for this to be sorted so will have to head southwards through Birmingham. Or do we wait for the Trent to be sorted and out of flood then high tail it south along the Leicester Section?

Who knows! We’ll wait and see what is open when we set off.

Thank you Beth

In Sockathon News I now have sponsors for 29 pairs of socks and have raised £655 for Dementia UK. Pair 7 will soon be finished. I now have a very large box of yarn donations sent in from all over, details of which are on the Yarn Donations page. There are still a few more people who have pledged yarn donations so they will be added as yarn arrives. I think I may be knitting for a few years to use it all up! If you fancy a pair here’s a link to my JustGiving page

  • Thank you Debby for becoming pair 30!
My friend Morag looking across the harbour

0 locks, 0 miles, 8 years old! 4 routes from the north closed, 1 bathroom delayed, 1 best mate visit, 2 lodgers, 1 fair weather cat, 2 opticians appointments, 2 doctors appointments, 1 vets appointment, 1 gathering, 1 leg of lamb, 2 boaters nearly ready.

TLC Day 8. 30th January

Salt and Pepper!

We called into Sainsburys to pick up an order from Ikea, I’d not had confirmation that it had arrived, but it should have been there since Sunday. The lady suggested looking for my delivery on DPD, she needed a QR code to scan before I could have my parcel. Then of course she needed to see some ID for me, which I didn’t have! Thankfully she believed me that I have a driving licence and handed over the order. Thank goodness we’d gone by car, it was a huge box! We chose some soup for lunch and then headed on to Goole, thankfully the sun was out today making for a pleasant drive.

More cupboard sorting, this time the cat proof cupboard. Illustrations for Seperate Doors, bits of panto model, some of these need to stay on board, others need to head for safe keeping at the house. Now we no longer live on board full time some things don’t need to be at hand should we want them. The big box of boat build details was packed along with the folder on Stillwater Narrowboats, that can be filed away somewhere upstairs upstairs, no need to look at that again.

One of my all time favourite illustrations for Seperate Doors

The office cupboard moved from port to starboard. I’d like to have a pull out shelf for the printer at some point, it now being on the starboard side means the power lead will reach a power socket. Whiltling things down is good, but I’m also mindful that we need to compensate for the weight of the new batteries and not end up on a list.

Very tasty

Mick ran the engine. I made a cardboard template for the shelf that will sit above the battery in The Shed. Pea and Ham soup, then a final tidy of various things, The Shed put back together. I could then hoover through and get ready to put a coat of Danish oil on the floor. With the hoovering done, Oleanna was winterised.

Glad you can’t see the diggers on the otherside of the Dutch River

Thankfully the day being bright, Goole looked like the Med today, I had plenty of light to be able to do the oiling. I took my time gradually working my way backwards to the bow. Making sure everywhere got an even coat, no slap dashing today. The last bit is always so hard to do from the bow steps leaning down past your toes to cover the last foot square. Done! The front door was locked, the oil can now cure over several days before anyone will walk on it.

Please dry evenly!

There will need to be another trip so that we can put everything back where it lives and give the bathroom a good clean. The Shed will need it’s new shelf and some hanging rods rather than rails, but we need to see what space we’ll have once the fire extinguisher is back on the wall.


Mick will be along sometime soon to explain more about what’s been happening in the engine bay with the new Bully Boy Batteries. I’m now heading off to chain myself to the sewing machine to cover the dinette cushions, oh and a bit of knitting too! Hopefully soon I’ll be able to show you some of the finished socks, once their sponsors have received them.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 last trip, 1 engine ran, 3 Chippy lanyards, 1 panto car, 2 phone boxes, 1 Petiti tree, 1 hoover, 2 last soups, 1 onion, 1 careful coat of oil, 1 face looking forward to not wearing a mask again, 1 boys blood pressure creaping down each day.