Sunday, 24 March 2013

Ooohhh Errr?

Me with my designer digits ready to type this

Well where to start?.....Maybe at the end?  Getting ready this morning to go out for lunch with our friends Karen and David (owners of The Wessex Rose Hotel boat, in build at Milburns) and Robbie tweeked his back coming down the bank having emptied the ash pan!  After his shower he shouted out in agony....I rushed in....being the dutiful and caring wife that I am....and poor Robbie couldn't move....stuck good and proper and in an awful lot of pain......I was imagining ambulances and hospitals and all sorts....after an hour and 20 minutes we got him led face down on the bed...... Ibuprofen rubbed into his back, microwave hot water bottle on his back and some co-codamol.  After couple of hours he managed to prop himself up in the bed to eat his dinner (Leek and Pork Sausages, Bacon, Baked Onion, Sprouts, Leeks and Mashed Potato....just in case you were wondering) and is now trying to have a sleep after his second lot of painkillers.....still in a lot of pain and worrying about what's going to happen.

It's been snowing for the past few days here.....I reckon about 6 inches deep 4 inches....well, okay....about 3 inches....looks very impressive though.

Luckily we have been fairly concious of the fact that this sort of thing could happen.....just didn't expect it to happen so soon.  Coal is bagged up (into sizes that I can manage) and are stored in the steps inside.....masses of food (enough to last a couple of months at least).....full tank of diesel.....empty pump out toilet tank.....full water tank.....shore power....full batteries if needed....lagers.....loads of them!

The things we didn't do.....get rid of the snow on the jetty aside the boat....which is my only route to the ash pan.  Buy the crampons I wanted!!......I'm always in fear of slipping.....especially since Robbie wouldn't hear my cries for help if I fell in the canal.  Sorted....cleared the jetty and sprinkled it with Coarse you reckon it will work?  Had to use a silly little brush to do it (ended up breaking it into two) bit tricky needless to say.....NO SHOVEL? I hear you say......because I can't lift the hatch to the engine which is where the shovel (fold up) is.....Note:-change location of shovel.

Doug (RYA tutor) was due to come tomorrow to spend the day with us doing a Helmsman course but he called earlier this morning and said in light of the weather conditions it really wouldn't be worth our while....lots of walking on the gunnels (outside edge of the boat) which is deep (about 3inches...he he) with snow and everything else would take so much longer therefore we wouldn't benefit as much from the course......postponed till next Monday........that's assuming Robbie is out of bed?????  Lazy I do hope he's feeling better soon.....if problem....I will look after him cause I loves him.

I'm feeling quite empowered really....relocated ash slippy surfaces in between me and it....been keeping the fire in for about 2 weeks now.....reckon I might move the boat to Weedon for the Launch Party myself?  Nah!

This time last year we were having a heat wave?

Robbie's favourite....mine also....but it was his first
I tries to get in as many photo's as I possibly's my job

We went for a lovely long walk.......saw lots of lovely birds.....loads of lovely sights......
back on the boat after 30 was lovely and cold outside.
Here are just a few of Robbie's photo's....taken with his new camera....a retirement pressy from work.

Well done Robbie......he has an eye for it.....when I tell him.

He wasn't quick enough for this Foxy Fella

Robbie told me that the best photo's are the ones you don't pose for.........
hey he's my husband........ but he's not the boss of me!
Hopefully Robbie will be able to do his bloggin and keep you updated.....I can't remember what happened last week????  I am praying that he will be better soon. xxxxx

Sunday, 17 March 2013

First of many.......Last of one!

Well, we have been live aboards on Swamp Frogs now for just over 1 week and although we have yet to go anywhere it is a week of many firsts.....

Our first night in our new KING SIZE bed was lovely and although we were awake at 5am it was through pure excitement. The bed is lovely and comfy and although it was -4 deg and very wet outside we were really nice and toasty.

RobHel Froggies keeping the bed
tucked away for daytime

Mood Lighting
Masses of bed
Left to Right
Maldivian Honeymoon Memories
Brown's Supportive Froggies....
Giving Celtic Chris a comfy seat
Mum's handmade shoe...bless her 

Suzie has had her first bath in her new home.....and loved it! I think I'll struggle to fit but I've the shower and that too is lovely and powerful.

Big enough for both of us.....
just not at the same time!

"Shirley Frog"
who messes about trying to copy me
on the corner bath
Annie Fishes drying out on the rad
Porty Frog  
Told You!
We lit our first coal fire and 8 days ago and as hasn't gone out! Suzie has declared herself fire warden and to be honest she is doing a brilliant job!

Cosy and warm

Fireiron Frog
We have had dinner every night apart from one where we went to the pub but the first dinner was lovely....
.....How clever is this, our own design of dining table, 4 chairs and our Sky Box, DVD player and other electrical equipment to run the Sky system.

Every inch of perfection
....How about the dining table for 4? how clever eh? Well done Pete Milburn.

Loads of room to pass diners

Swamp Frogs

Table Inlay
One of the problems many boaters face is washing and drying of clothes. Well we did some research and found an all singing and dancing washer dryer....It is the most energy and water efficient washer dryer on the market today! This machine weighs the clothes and adds the right amount of water to the weight. It also doesn't use any water during the drying process......unlike many condensing dryers.....and the best thing of all is it has a 15min wash programme. We did our first wash on battery power and is worked a well spent me thinks!

We have seen many pictures of people iced in on the canals although we hadn't experienced it until the other day.....all iced in and snow laying on the ice, I have to say it was a nice sight and then the first time we've both heard the sound of the ice breaking as the boats moved about was so beautiful. Ducks walking by the bedroom window on the ice....lovely sight.....will get a photo next time!

Our first 5 days we were without a TV and I must say we did not miss it at all. By the time the evening came we were both knackered and just chilled with a beer and played cards....I did however allow Suzie to thrash me! (at mucky readers)

In Stockton Top Marina, home to Kate Boats there are a few dogs about, Jen, Pip and 3B (50p to whoever guesses it's full name) and those that know Suzie will know how scared she can be of dogs but the other day she spent an hour playing with, that is a first!

On Wednesday Andy from Milburn Boats popped down to install our satellite dome and although we didn't miss the TV it is nice now to have the option. We have a TV in both the Saloon and Bedroom so I can watch my football......with my headphones on....first match, Saints 3 Liverpool 1 ......happy days.

 and Suzie can watch Emmerdale!  But she didn't....she had the radio on whilst doing bits and bobs around the boat.... It took till Friday to watch our first night of TV. If you are thinking of having a system put in then give Road Pro a call they are very knowledgeable and prices are very competitive as they mainly deal with trucks and caravans all their stock obviously will work on a Narrowboat too!

And now to the LAST!

I am hoping that we have now done our last shop in the the time has passed I have hated having to leave the boat and "pop" to the shops! What made me dislike it even more was the sight of Suzie sat on the bank in the sun playing with Pip the dog! It's nothing to do with anything other than I don't want to be away from Suzie and our new home!

Come on Robbie.....
let's take this lovely Blakey stick for a walk
Since our last blog we've done 0 miles and 0 locks.....
.......this is a grand total of 100yds and 0 locks in the 10 days we've been liveaboards....

Till next time!

Monday, 11 March 2013

We're in!............Just.

Well, what can we say......Yet another very hectic week for Mr and Mrs Conroy.
I went to work for the very last time and was given a very good send off and a very good speech by my Boss. I did think the BUPA voucher was a bit over the top though.....Home at lunch time to pack the rest of our stuff and then Suzie and I travelled up to The Heart of England in Weedon where Michelle and all her staff have looked after us so well over the last few months so we can be ready for the BIG DAY.

The BIG DAY arrived and what about the weather eh? 15 degC and not a cloud in the sky, was this the start of the summer? Talk about the sun shinning on the righteous Suzie and I felt sooooooo good all the months of planning was about to be put into the water. The crane was booked for 2pm so we had a good walk along the Grand Union at Weedon telling anybody who cared to listen what was about to happen "we're having our boat put in the water" Suzie would shout to any passing boater! we then drove to Milburn's as I couldn't wait but then a real heart attack Cousin Lou Brown and her hubby Tony only turned up with my Mum to witness the launch (I love you guys for that).....The crane arrived and then before we knew it was all done Swamp Frogs was now in the water and looking good..... Sadly we had to leave soon after as Suzie had a hospital appointment which couldn't be changed in Southampton.

Slowly does it.......
Just about fits
Off we go.....
......of course it does Andy Milburn looks on,
 what a proud moment it is for all the team at
Milburn's. Thank you guys so much.
This is the proud mother.

Was spent at the hospital where Suzie had to have a Capsual Endoscopy which meant her having to swallow a huge tablet with a camera in it which bluetooths the pictures to a monitor she was wired up space age is this eh?
The camera that Suzie had
to swallow.....was it second
this is the question I'd ask!

 It was then back at Gary Dyer's house (not our home as Swamp Frogs is our home now) Gary arrived to say cheerio and, once again Gary,....thank you so much for the loan of your house. All day we were pacing up and down like 2 expecting parents waiting for the birth of their first child...ready for their live's to change forever... only for the midwife to say "sorry another 24 hrs to wait" SO FRUSTRATING!

That's it then......after a broken nights sleep we set off at 6am hoping to have breakfast with my Daughter Claire, hubby Dan, Grandchildren Jacob and Ellie May who live 2 hrs away....little did we know it would take 4 hrs to get there because of traffic! Another reason to live on "the cut" time has no meaning. We spent an hour with Claire and Ellie May who has grown so much and now has teeth!
Up to Swamp Frogs to start unpacking, every live aboard boater we have met has said "keep some boxes back for stuff you have bought and don't need" or "be prepared to unpack then dump another load of stuff as the boat fills up"........they are both true, so it's back and forwards to the bin I go!

We need Diesel........oo-er......we now have to move the boat albeit 50 yards but it was done with no mishaps thank there a Patron Saint for Narrow Boaters because maybe we'll need one?? other than that more unpacking, more cleaning and more trips to the bins.....we decide that we have put enough rubbish in the bins and now start to fill the car!

Off to Tesco's, now, ordinarily this is the only time where Suzie and I fall out .....we both hate shopping you see but somehow this was different. Was it because we arrived at 06:15 and the shop was empty? or was it because we have a new lifestyle? who knows.....what we do know is that we didn't fall out or have a cross good was that!

 Spent the day mooching about doing all the little jobs that needed to be done and Suzie spent the day cleaning.....anybody that knows Suzie will know what that entailed......yep hours and hours of cleaning ensuring every nook and cranny was dust and dirt free! We have also booked our helmsman's course so we can have the all important Royal Yachting Association Inland Waterways Certificate.

There you go a week of running around doing plenty but going nowhere.......It's going to be another 2 weeks before we set of on our travels for real so until then we'll be staying here at Stockton Top Marina.....

Since our last blog we have done 100yds and no locks!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Stunning Perfection !!!  Robbie is in bed and I'm sure he's gonna be cross cause I'm playing on here......I can't beautiful is that?

2 more sleeps!

How at 55 yrs old can you become like a 6-7 yr old kid at Christmas.......Do you remember the time when you were 6 or 7 and still believed in Father Christmas and couldn't sleep because of excitement?

Well that is how I feel......I'm sure Suzie feels the same, she will tell me after her usual 10 hours of sleep!!!
Big day is looming up fast, we are all packed up and ready! (almost)

Nothing else to say at this moment........

Since our last blog we've still done 0 miles and 0 locks and also very little sleep!