Where Can I Begin?

It's been nearly 9 months since I last blogged and I can't actually believe it's been that long - feels like it was just a few weeks ago really.

At this stage then, I'm not sure if there'll be any readers out there, but I suppose if I want to carry on chronicling life on the boat, I need to make a start somewhere!

I think the reason for the lack of blogging is, in part, because I was boring myself (never mind anyone else that reads it!) and it was starting to feel a bit too personal. I seemed to be detailing my life over the internet for anyone to read and I suppose in some ways, I was starting to get a little uncomfortable with that. However, that's what blogging is, I know! It's a diary of sorts, which is obviously only one 'facet-of-a-diamond' in terms of "our life", but still somewhat a diary and not what I initially thought would be just a way of referencing what we had done or had fitted (etc) in the boat.

I have missed blogging sometimes and definitely miss being able to look back at what we've done or achieved, or where we have travelled etc - and its a shame as we really have done some travelling this summer! Thats also another reason for not blogging - time has just been flying by and there's always something that needs doing, appointments And just general "life" that gets in the way of finding time to dedicate to a proper blog post!

So what has been happening over the last few months.....?

- January - Rob came back and finished some bedroom work for us ( mostly trims and beading as well as boxing in pipe work etc) although we have a long list still of things we want him to finish! He is due to come back soon hopefully to alter the cross fit bed frame and new porthole liners etc.

Some new sapele gunnel trims in place before oiling:

- February - saw us take to a bit of DIY tiling! Our fire surround still had no firedboard ( I know! Don't shout or tell me how unsafe that was - we know and we should have done something sooner). Well, to make up for lost time, we decided to go all out on being "safe" and got the latest 25mm fireboard and did a spot of tiling ourselves!

We basically, made a template of the walls at the back and side of the stove and then cut the fireboard into that shape. Then literally tiled on the top with fireproof adhesive - it was actually easy as you could take the boards and tile them at your leisure whilst sat down!

One board up:


We couldn't believe what a good job we'd done!

We got so carried away, we decided to throw a few tiles up in the kitchen too as I was fed up of the wall getting stained all the time. Pav thought we'd balls it up royally but even he was impressed with how well we'd managed to do it.

- March - saw us cut the ropes for a trip to Manchester, onto the Peak Forest followed by the Ashton Canal! We had to do it that way due to timing regarding work etc, and we were dreading it with everything that had been said about the Ashton! However, I have to say, it was one of the most pleasant canals (in terms of people) that we'd ever been on. Lots of people chatting and offering to help with lock gates , so we were really pleased that we'd done it. Our trip for Manchester was to have the boat blacked which we were having done at Preston Brook in...

-April - We've always had fond memories of the Bridgewater Canal and the Trent and Mersey, so it was nice to be back on the two canals and great to see Tim Leech up at Preston Brook who did our blacking, fitted new anodes, painted us some new tunnel bands and straightened our propellor!

-May saw me get to work on giving the roof a paint as well the handrails in Rylard Gloss (hate working with that stuff but actually did a good job!)

The roof was cream, but was peeling off after abusing it by chucking bags of coal and other stuff on it, and I ended up hating the cream as it was so difficult to keep clean - so we went back to a Royal Mail Red! It took us nearly a week just to sand and prep for painting, but definitely worth it:

I even painted a stripey design on the tiller and the back doors had a fresh coat of green gloss on too:

- June - saw us turn attention to the decking. Sanding, scrubbing and re-staining and lacquering

So the boat is looking ship-shape(!) and tidy! However, jobs on the boat never cease and our toilet packed up last week, so our new one arrived today which we hope to fit tomorrow (it'll be a drama I can tell as it involves taking a section of wall out!) and I've recently spent 10 days oiling a work top (don't ask!!!)

The last few months we have been cruising around the Bridgewater and Trent and Mersey and we are still out and about now. We still have our mooring in Poynton but not sure when we will return yet - isn't that what living on a boat is all about anyway?!

Being in Manchester has been really different for us but we have definitely loved every minute of it, made plenty of new friends and basically absorbed a whole new lifestyle.

Will try and post about how the toilet fitting goes tomorrow! Wish us luck!


  1. Hey nice to see your blog again..

    I always think my blogs are boring but I try to please our friends and family by doing a few a week.

    You don't need to write much, but it is a diary of your travels too that your family will enjoy in years in the future.

    The boat looks great!

    We have a navy roof with sanding for non slip that we have not scrubbed for a couple of years..

    Sir says he is on a mission once the flowers have caught the frost..

    Trouble is I know it will be me with the scrubbing brush!

    Looking forward to the next blog.. ;-)

    1. Hi Sue, great to hear from you. Thanks for your comment, and yes I am going to try and keep it up! I always read through our old posts with a smile on my face as i remember what we've done and where we've come from!

      You sound like me, Pav has all these jobs he wants to do, but I end up doing them all! Good luck with the roof. I attempted ours 5 times in total as everytime I'd just painted, clouds from nowhere would appear and the heavens would open! Nightmare!

  2. Great to have you back! Keep it going ... please!
    Carol. Still Rockin'

    1. Hi carol, so good to hear from you and sorry for not being in touch - its all just been soo busy! How is life on the widebeam. Have you settled in now? Where are you guys based?

      So jealous, the space must be amazing!

  3. Welcome back! Even after a long gap, when you post your blog pops up to the top of my list!

    Good luck with the toilet. Rather you than me!

    1. Hi adam, hope you and Adrian are well? Glad youre still reading!

      The toilet wasnt too bad in the end, but glad its over and done with!

      Do you guys have any plans to be in Manchester or on the Macclesfield any time soon? We still need to meet

    2. We're good thanks -- in the middle of this year's three week trip. No plans to come north in the near future -- but who knows what next year will hold. I guess next year's big trip will be either east or west, but you never know, because we have family up there, and we do like it.

    3. Tgats a shame, but keep us in mind if u are ever up this way, even if ur not on the boat. Be good to meet uo and have a coffee or something.
      Hope the trip is going well!

  4. Hi! Glad to see you are back to blogging - I've missed your interesting posts...!! The boat is looking great , I love the tiling. And the fire boarding around the stove - so much safer.

    Keep on blogging!


    1. Hi Andrew, great to hear from you. Hope you're well? Are you on a boat yourself these days?

      Will try and keep up the blogging, although when I'm writing, more often than not I think the posts are far from interesting so glad to hear theres at least one reader out there who enjoys them!

      Great to hear from you again, do let me know how youre getting on

  5. Hi. You may not realise it when you are writing the blog, but is really interesting! I've got sort of involved in the blog / what you are up to, in much the same way that you can get involved in a serialised story or magazine!

    Sadly, I'm not presently on a boat - my long term plan when I bought the boat 7 years ago was to sell the house, buy something smaller / less money and pretty well spend every summer on the boat. But the house didn't sell, I ended up doing more work, not less, and this summer came to the conclusion that the boat had to go. So we put her on brokerage, and a week later we had a sale arranged. Missing it so much!


    1. Hi Andrew, glad you enjoy reading the blog - i remember your comments in the past when I used to post too as we always used to think " I wonder who Andrew is?!" as you have no profile or anything!

      Such a shame about the boat, but it always comes down to finances in the end doesn't it. I feel your pain though! There have been many times we have thought of selling and returning to land (for different reasons) but unlike selling a house or apartment, i know my heart would break if I sold the boat - you're just so much more attached for some reason?? Where were you based when you had the boat?

  6. We were near Northampton. Came up the Macc last year and spent a few days at Bugsworth - which we loved. And I am sure we saw your boat! The ball hasn't stopped rolling yet tho - there is always time to get another one! And this time, I want portholes and really secure front and back locking doors!

    My partner wants to spend a month or so of the winters somewhere warmer . I want that AND a boat!!!!!

    1. No way you came up and passed us but didn't make yourself known?! That's a shame - could have had a proper catch up! I make a good coffee too !

      I love the winters on the boat - only if they are proper winters though! Last year was awful as it was just raining constantly so everything was just caked in mud outside! Nightmare with a dog!!

  7. And I totally agree about being much more attached to a boat than a house. A boat feels like a living thing!!! How many houses have a personality - and rock you to sleep!!!


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