Monday, 20 December 2010

Dancing on Ice





Not exactly the correct thing to do, especially at night...I promise no drink was involved and the ice is 10 inches thick...

On the survival front, the water situation is awful, none of BW taps are available and were not near enough to a house to connect any hoses, if we didn't have the car we would have to be knocking on doors of strangers and lugging it back to the boat..we are fine though and loving it...x

Monday, 13 December 2010

ICE

Well it was a good decision to go to black Prince but a bad one to decide we could hang on a couple of days...we moored about 400yards from them which eventually proved to be 400yards too far. The ice had been around for a couple of days and we had watched one of hebalck prince boats struggle to turn round the day before so didn't feel it would be a good idea to try and reach them for fuel so walked don and had a chat with Phil then returned to the boat all eager to attempt the 400yard move for fuel.
With tim on the front with a long metal pole,the woodnes one was just sliding off the ice!! and me at h the helm we slowly prodded , hacked , smashed and bashed our way through...poor engine was all i could think. it took us an hour to travel the 400 yards but we made it, refuelled and reversed back...another hour because the ice was congregating around the propeller, not a nice noise. it was a case of forward gear to flush the ice away then reverse for about 30 seconds before it was back. Repeating this got us back to our previous spot and time for a cuppa.
Our next problem was water and Black prince was all frozen up so we ventured down to the weaver, guess what...frozen.
Luckily we have our car with us so we travelled to Claymoore and thankfully their water was running. That lasted for about 3 days then it too was frozen. next stop the boat club, yippee running water well for one day anyway then they had a burst pipe so it was turned off. What would we have done without the car as we thentravelled to Anderton but no, all off. This was now becoming rediculous and we had to start taking our water containers to the house my friend was renting and fill up there.
Our other problem has been the elsans, the weaver door was locked, double locked that is, after our first visit and the boat club didn't have running water, we did empty there and flush with a bottle of water we had in the car but trips to anderton seemed the only answer. We are very dissapointed that the facilities on the weaver were not available as we would be now left high and dry if we didn't have the car.
On a lighter note i will leave you with some pictures i took whilst enjoying the peace and quiet..







sept to dec....been busy!!

Hi everyone, sorry i havn't been around but we managed to buy a couple of houses and being reposessons the sales went through quickly so we have been busy getting them rady to rent out. One has just gon to my best friend and i hope she is very happy living there. The other will take another 6 weks or so.
Any way I need to ge up to date with whats gone on in our boating life...don't expect anything too spectacular!! LOL
SEPTEMBER....The time was spent travelling back from Grindley brook to Walton on the Bridgewater..The only happenings along the way were giving a lost dog a ride from Wrenbury to Barbridge where it's owner was meeting us and the most tremendous instant downpour I have ever seen. We were lucky as we were just approaching a bridge and managed to get under whilst we put our cover up, others that had just passed us got drowned..I mustn't laugh...
OCTOBER....We continued on the bridgewater and headed first to Thorne Marine at Stockton Heath then on to The Old No 3 close to Dunham...Time to about turn and headed to Moore to pick up thier OAK SMOKED bacon MMmmmmmmmm and then to BMBC { Bridgewater Motor Boat Club}
NOVEMBER
We spent a couple o days at the club then went onto the workbay to have facilities for a welder to fill our rear end in ..Ha you know what i mean..and do a few other jobs after which we then wandered back off the bridgewater through the tunnel and on to dutton by the woods...the dogs love it here..
The towpath was terrible, nothing but wellies. We were here quite a while due to work on the houses but eventually moved on to Walton ( BMBC MOORINGS) for just a couple of days. Now getting a bit fed up of not being in a position to venture due to house commitments, the sooner theyare finished and rented the better..
Well we left Walton a couple of days later and thankfully decided to go to Black Prince a few days earlier than normal to re fue, that was a good decision.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

AUGUST and how good it was...






Well we spent our August doing quite a bit of road travelling as we have been finding and buying two properties to rent out and getting agents to show us houses on the same day was a apin and rarely happened. We seemed to be back and to every other day and it's been a pain. At the same time we have been travelling from Chirk back off the LLangollen to Barbridge as i speak. We took it slow and in fact it has been a month now since we left Chirk.
We couldn't help having a muse down the Montgomery but only went as far as the Queens head before we returned, we were on there for a week in all.
From there we went to Ellesmere, Whixhall, Grindley brook, Wrenbury and finally Barbridge. We have moved more this month thanwe have for ages and I much prefer going slower.
It has been nice to meet other liveaboard continuous cruisers who have been o the water so much longer than us and not so nice meeting one gentleman who had a go at my hubby who said " i hope your paying your council tax." I understand in one sense but everyone has the option to do what were doing but it isn't an easy option and which council would we pay it to anyway. Tim just said we have two houses also so you needn't worry.
Our animal recues have continued with cows in the water at Chirk, a calf that managed to get through a pedestrian gate at whittington and yesterday a labrador that was 7 miles from home who we gave a lift home on our boat!!!
We have also bought a motorhome which is going to come into it's own while we renovate the houses, the eventual intention is to venture over to France for a couple of months next year once work has completely finished.
I have posted a few pics, I know the water isn't clean but boys will be boys!! It was funny

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Back on the water

Hi everyone, spent 5 weeks back on land mainly at the nursing home then sorting the funeral..Lovely to be back and may i say how understanding BW were. I emailed them as the boat had been at Chirk for 3 weeks and i was worried but they said it wasn't a problem.
When we got back we spent another week at Chirk as we still had running around to do but on Saturday 14th we moved to bridge 6 near The Narrowboat Inn and today the 18th we set off again and at this moment are moored above the locks at Frankton waiting to go down at lunch time tomorrow...
May i say we felt the fuel at Chirk marina was a little expensive as they used an average price... We also found that in the Chirk area other boaters mainly hirers but some not, were very fast passing us to the point that we couldn't wait to move...it was quite crazy...it was rare for a boat to slow down. We didn't shout once, that took some restraint...
Anyway, I am getting back into everything in the slow and restful world of boating again...a few legal things to sort out, house buying for rentals etc but all that should be out of the way
One other thing..never had as many visitors in my life, proper little hostess i am these days...LOL

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

sad

Hi everyone, Just to say I havn't been blgging as my mum took ill 3 weeks ago and sadly passed away on the 10th...We had to leave millimaize in Chirk as i was staying with mum night and day, can't settle and just want the funeral over on the 22nd to get back on the water...Mum loves water so i am sure she will join me XXX

Monday, 28 June 2010













25th May - 28th june.. Wow...is all i can say



Hi all, sorry it's been a month but every time i thought about getting up to date the signal was so low it was driving me mad....Just had to pop back to civilization for hospital appointments and signing house sale contracts so this was my opportunity.
We left Grindley Brook leaving the car there as we didn't have any work the following weekend so that gave us time to recover it some how..
We wanted to get to llangollen where my son would pick me up for the Miss Cheshire pageant in Congleton and drop me off at the car on the way back. We spent the week slowly getting there and one night is particularly rememberable.
It must have been well past midnight and Tim had gone to the bathroom, he emerged a little concerned at the noise he could hear outside. On turning the tv off the noise became apparent and i can only describe it as and animal being tortured...I didn't want to hear it any more as my mind was imagining all sorts and i prayed for it to die so it as out of it's misery. Silence, thank goodness i thouht and our discussion turned to the idea of a fox having got a lamb then it started again for a minute and stopped again. Tim grabbed a flashlight and shone it around but all we saw was a couple of badgers wandering up one of the fields then it started again and dreading what we would see tim scanned in the direction of the noise only to see 2 eyes in the water just under bridge 12W above the locks. We hadn't a clue but the torch was dimming......never full battery when you need one... so we grabbed a couple of little LED lights a blanket and a landing net. Running down the bank and getting nearer we couldn't see a thing then we spotted something near the other bank so we scrambled over the bridge, down the embankment and shone the torch.....Badger.... a youngster but nearly fully grown, it was barely keeping it's head above water and as we tried to help with the net...it was too big to get it in.... it fought against us...3 attempts and although they are dangerous I was thinking of getting an and talking to Tim afterwards so was he!!! However one more attempt did it and it was on the bank.
Breathing very heavily as you can imagine and trying to walk away but no energy for that. Then it started shaking so much, I tried to get the blanket over it but it moved from under it so on the second attempt i covered it completely and it stayed still. Tim ran back and got a plastic underbed box from the roof and somehow we managed to get it in there wrapped in the blanket where it shivered away...
We spoke to the R.S.P.C.A. who said they would come the following morning but we decided to take the box to the field where the other 2 badgers were seen and leave it there till morning to see if it had found the strength to get out and go home...We had only just layed it down and barely had chance to climb back over the fence when we heard a shuffle and it was gone...what a wonderful sight that was...
Anyway we continued on our merry way the next day, boring everyone we met with oueexpedition!!!
The rest of our journey was un- eventful though lovely, we stopped at Ellesmere and came accross the Mere by chance on a walk how beautiful. The pictures show the bridge where we saved the badger, and the other was what we thought was a dead woman lying in the middle of nowhere in the long grass. She proceeded to walk along the canal bank for what seemed like forever with no shoes on...very strange...
We reached llangollen and had a couple of night's in the marina, recovered the car and then moved to Trevor. We have spent 2 weeks at Trevor and had visits from family, bought a second car!! 300 squid, thats helping to keep a car with us for weekend work and visited everything you can imagine. horseshoe falls, horseshoe pass, worlds end, panorama view, the castle, steep walk that was also made roof boxes 6 x 2.5 ft and they are at the upholsterers near Trevor having covers fitted. Didn't need t leave yet but be moved to Chirk a week ago by the poachers pocket, 3 cows have fallen in the water from opposite us and can you believe that the first one nearly needed our help to get out....bit bigger than a badger.... I have put a few more pics on of our journey to llangollen as they may bring back some memories for yourselves.

Monday, 24 May 2010

18th -24th May........SHATTERED!

Well, we had a re-check for our certificate on thursday morning then had a call from my brother regarding him being on a caravan club rally in Wrenbury and the fact that i said we were setting off and would be there for the bank holiday weekend....Ha don't think so.....it was this weekend..do we or don't we, 21hrs!! had a quick think and thought what the heck..
We never normally move more than a couple of miles as we need to retrace to get the car with us as were still working the odd day till xmas but my Brother said he would take us back for the car, great.
We set off from Stockton Heath Warrington at 2pm, just about made the Preston Brook tunnel, thank goodness else that would have put us another hour behind. Met a couple at Dutton stop lock and a little chat and said bye as they went on their way. We got through the stop lock and a mile or so on the same couple were mooring with smoke coming from their engine....This was one of those moments that normally you wouldn't question but when your time is so limited you do think twice but then the fact that there would be help only half an hour away with a tow if they needed one we moored and gave a hand, had another chat, fixed the boat and left having exchanged names etc, you know how it goes so i would like to say Hello to a lovely couple on SERENA, Judith and John,who are living aboard thanks to the kids taking all responsibility of the house so they could get on with life. Hope everything's O.K. and that you managed to find the Blog...Anyway the next tunnel was again perfectly timed and we made it to Middlewich at 11pm 9hrs later.
Next morning we set off at 7.30, no breakfast, that was done in shifts. All the locks were falling so well for us and only hit a queue at Swanley which we thought was going to happen along the way but alas as we reach Venetian empty lock, no queue.
We went up the lock here and had to stop for milk as we hadn't a clue when the next chance would be but this then led to smelling food and having egg & chips in the cafe.3/4hr later we were on our way again and not long after this decided we had had enough sun over the two days so we put our canopy up and dropped for some of the littler bridges, last minute wrangle....It was our first time onto the llangollen but we were well aware of the small locks and even though we knew we still read the lift your fenders sign before entering and commented on how tight it must be.
Tim jumped off with Kal and i waited then steered into the lock as i got about 10 foot in we stuck solid. Forward or reverse was useless..OMG i thought weve got one of those boats that has been built too wide Ha HA....no i don't think so...front fenders were down...how the heck. Tim jumped onto the roof and tried to push them down but it wouldn't work so i got the bread knife and ventured out of the cratch, cut the ropes, got covered in horrible slime off the wall...YUK.. and Tim gave them anothe push but still stuck...I went back to the helm and tried to reverse and thank goodness it worked...What idiots we felt, glad nobody was around!!!!!!
We continued on our journey and discovered that not far from Wrenbury one of the locks had been out of action for 4hrs!! lucky again.
Meanwhile my brother had been ringing me from work checking on our progress..it was now about 7pm and he called me. He had finished work gone home got ready and had left warrington at 6.45 we arrived at Wrenbury at 7.15 ish 20hrs travelling hrs over 1 1/2 days later whilst he had got there in just 45minutes!!!!! I am sure we enjoyed our journey more though as it was fantastic....
They have all gone back to work now and were still here. Heading to Marbury today, sounds nice and the weather is a little cooler giving my sunburn a rest!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

MAY 6TH TO 17TH

Headed up the trent as far as dutton stop lock...nearly stayed in Anderton to visit the Stanley but just about managed to resist....The following day we went to Moore and i bought some of their oak smoked bacon, a treat every time we pass and I don't eat any other bacon in between..
We reached Walton BMBC around 6pm and were greated by Jackie and Eddie who kindly helped us moor up. Walton BMBC have just constructed a timber Gazeebo, few windows and a door and it could be a club Ha Ha... It's just the ticket and with the addition of the wood burner evenings are a treat.
Our evening was enhanced by other BMBC boaters and a greattime was had by all, lovely to see familiar faces and to have a chat, singalong and maybe some of us had a little too much to drink...not me of course..

Sorry to friends who's picture isn't on here but this one took ages to upload for some reason so it's the only one from the night...
We stayed a couple of nights at Walton then ventured up to Thorn Marine in stockton heath for our Boat Safety check and we failed.....What.... small gas leak which has been sorted now but still to be rechecked.
Today my Sons came and we headed off for a cruise along the canal and lunch. Lovely to see them again...don't they grow up fast

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Where are we now....5th May

Well we have been on the weaver since the 29th april and are at the minute in Northwich, spent far too much money being near the town../ Tomorrow we are heading back up the lift to get fuel, havn't filled up for about 8 weeks so thats done really well.
Once filled up, watered up and toileted we are off to dutton just before the stop lock at Preston brook tunnel. Staying there the night then off to Walton to the BMBC moorings for Friday night to catch up with friends then up to Thorne Marine for boat safety check on tuesday 11th....if anything happens i will let you know....

More visitors...



15th April.....Welcome to our dear friends Steve, Denise and their children Drew and Bobby... It was another nice day so we cruised along near Marbury Park and had lunch, very nice I may say and then went on to just after Harral brokerage where we about turned and headed back.... THE LITTLE ONES APPARENTLY HAD A GREAT TIME AND TALKED ABOUT 'THE BOAT' ALL NIGHT AND AGAIN THE NEXT DAY. Thanks for your company guys, hope to see you again soon.
A week later Tim's other brother Andy and his wife Marg came so we went back down to Anderton and back to the weaver.

Jonathan's Birthday...14th April




Jonny managed to get down to us on his birthday so we had a trip down the river on the way to Northwich the trip boat as coming up quite fast behind so we headed over towards the bank to let them pass as we were in no rush. Unfortunately we didn't see the wood sticking up about a foot out of the water and as we steered the boat parallel to the bank we went over the wood causing the boat to nearly capsize, it was terrible Matthew was not impressed especially as he can't swim!! We continued with me skitting Mat for being scared...my heart was pounding!!!Any way the sun was cracking the flags, well it would have been if the wind wasn't freezing and it was time for luch.
Jonny came with his partner of 5 years donna and my other son Matthew. After luch we took them up the Anderton boat lift and moored on the trent & mersey..a lovely day

IT'S BEEN ALL GO...BUT ALL FUN

Hi everyone, thanks for coming back. It's been almost a month since my last post and it's been busy.
Just after my last blog some young lads decided to set fire to the bank just ahead of us so we set off, me with jug in hand to put it out......If you could have seen me trying to reach the water at the side of the river bank with my jug you would have fallen in laughing. Not only that but the effort of getting down the bank, getting the water and climbing back up was rediculous with so little water so i tried throwing it from the waters edge, ha will say no more.....Fire out, we decided to move..didn't want to die in a burning boat and as the offenders were almost obviousley the young men messing about in the launch that had moored behind us we changed our mooring to Anderton.
That in itself wasn't a good exprience as it was dark and Tim took the boat along the rver whilst Kal and i drove the car to Anderton, still needed for work at the weekends.
Once parked we had to find our way from near the car park to the river and as we hadn't been through the paths before that wasn't easy especially a it was now dark and scarey.
We entered the park and once about 300yds in there were some youths gathered, we passed them and i prayed that they didnt follow us and at the same time felt we were in a very dangerous situation. Luckily nothing horrible happened and we reached the bank and waited for Tim to arrive....it was such a relief to see the boat coming.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

TWO WEEKS ON.....hows it going?

Hi everyone, 2 weeks tomorrow and sooooo happy!! Still on the weaver and have moved about 2 miles Ha. Should have moved from salterford lock to winsford flashes yesterday but only managed anderton, looked too inviting for the dogs, god run area and a game of cricket with kal as he's been desperate for that..had fun.
Met Colin ad Dot on Ascot, name to be changed,at Saltersford with Bonnie the Yorkshire terrier, had met them about 5 months ago at the boat club, they were working on their boat getting it ready to move on and can you believe it they moved on the same day as us..good luck to you both.
We have been back to the house too many times!!!! but alas there's stuff to sort out and throw out and we can't wait for it all to be done but eventually that will happen.
At Anderton we met a couple who have been aboard for 2 years and taking it very slowly, thats the way, up to ripon via the rochdale and back down...7 months, how cool is that.
Hoping for our first visitors tomorrow, my eldest son and his partner its his birthday tomorrow so were going for a meal...catch up again soon.. x

Friday, 2 April 2010

AT LAST! IT'S OFFICIAL, WERE LIVABOARDS..

Well, made the move on Thursday, hugged and waved bye to my youngest son, had a tear as if i would never see him again and he said," You've done everything for me for the last 19 years now it's time for you to go and enjoy life"...that made me cry more...
I have to say that yesterday I didn't feel like we had moved aboard but was trying to tell myself, this is it. Today we had to nip home to pick up more personal stuff and that did feel strange as I brought things to the boat that I don't when were just going away cos it would be too much back and fro'ing with things.
I don't know how long it will take to feel like we have moved on, maybe once the house sale has gone through.
Our friends Joe, Sandra and their dog Fudge visited us today on their boat Jack of Hearts...pity the weather wasn't better.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

ONTO THE WEAVER FOR EASTER



Had a lovely day yesterday, weather lovely and so nice to be relaxing after the last few days. Left Barnton and headed to Anderton once there went to bool in but nothing until 3.15 that was 3hrs away but it's so lovely to not be annoyed at the wait, to be in a totally different frame of mind when your on your boat and just relax an go with the flow...we wandered down to the waterpoint and filled up, emptyed the cassette and got chatting, as you do. Before we knew it it was time to depart. Everything went smoothly and we moored up on the weaver just before saltersford lock. The weather was just on the change and we were told it's going to be 8degrees below next week....that just makes me think of warm cosy fires. Or extra CLOTHING....big day tomorrow, officially moving aboard....Yippee

Monday, 29 March 2010

SOLD, NOT SOLD, SOLD, NOT SOLD AAARRGH

Why do people mess you around so much. 3 weeks ago we had viewers and they haggled for England, agreed a price then didn't get in touch for 2 weeks, came back haggled again and vanished for another week, rang and asked if they could come and see us, haggled again, Tim was ready to kill by this time but we reached an agreement shook hands exchanged details and breathed a sigh of relief.
Lunchtime today, phone call, more haggling so I told them to forget the whole thing and go away. They turned on their tails and agreed on the hand shake the night before.

Lets just say were not expecting this to run smoothly and think they will leave their next haggle till the very last minute.

Monday, 22 March 2010







Some pics wit the boat named Maizee and Maizee showing her cute pose, don't know how Matt and I ended p upside down cos we didn't start like that.


this is peregrine at swanley marina before she moved to Harral for sale

where were up to now.

Well, still the house is for sale, just about getting my second eldest son packed off to his dad's, He's a footballer by the way, plays for Crewe Alexandra. you can google him...Matt Tootle... sorry for the plug...And we have taken the youngest out of school to home teach...that should be a laugh in itself..
WE have been so frustrated at still being here that by the end of this month no matter what we are moving aboard.. I have finished my driving school business and our party business can work alongside living aboard until the house sells. If it hasn't sold by the end of the summer we are going to rent it out and finish work completely at the end of December......Here's to the future.

I would just like to add what a wonderful experience everything has been, even at the worst points the stress isn't anything like in day to day life..talking stress Tim is having an angiogram this Wednesday so I am hoping that will get him sorted though we both think its the tablets causing the problems and if nothing comes of this he is talking about stopping all the tablets and getting on with life

Life after the Marina

Well it was a little hasty we thought at first as things didn't go to plan and we are still actually in the house nearly 10 months on. We have been moving the now called Maizee around in an official way ever since and it hasn't been as difficult as we thought it would be. We have become members of BMBC Runcorn and met some lovely people, enjoyed their company on there cruises and nights at the club and discovered things i and around Runcorn that we would never have seen if not on the boat. We have had beautiful holidays, only saddened by having to get back and so needing to move on when you want to stay somewhere. I fell in when it was pitch black trying to get to the Ariel I screamed Tiiiiimmmm as i went then quietly said Oh it's ok as i landed on a ledge with the water below my knees!!!!! Did suffer a bad shoulder injury though as i tried to cling onto something and its still troubling me now 7 months on.
We have got a Pram Cover...great... a new wooden floor as the carpet became a mess. A generator, new batteries, new chairs...didn't like green...had the dining area recovered in leather so we can wipe muddy paw pints off, and are just waiting on the price of some welding as in front cratch seats/cupboards, filling in the back of the cruiser deck and having proper doors. and an extra ledge at the back for bikes.
Oh also we got another dog, short haired jack russell and her name is Millie.
Hence the new name MilliMaize.

Preston Brook Marina

Once we felt calm we changed the boats name to MAIZEE our newly acquired long haired Jack Russell.
We settled in well at the Marina though it was a pain trying to get out. We didn't have a proper mooring and as such were on the wall at the far end and the wind always seemed to be pushing us back towards the wall. We became very good at going backwards as half the time this was the only way we could battle against the wind...on one occasion we were being directed as we moored up, us being the newbies, but unfortunately we were directed straight onto a tyre which kindly wrapped itself around the prop!!!
It took ages to sort out and i must say it was a woman that saved the day!! Me...
Sorry Gents, it just felt so good at the time....
We got onto a pontoon fairly quickly but after 6 months decided we wanted to move onboard and cruise so we left the Marina.

taking her home

Firstly i apologise for the gap in posts but life has been pretty hectic with hospital appointments and trying to sell up. However we picked Peregrine up and enjoyed our trip from Northwich to Runcorn even if we didn't have a clue what we were doing and as we approached preston Brook tunnel it was pitch black, outside i mean of course. We began to rush, we rushed through the tunnel, we rushed out of the tunnel and we rushed to the Marina, and we got shouted at!! Sorry, too fast past a boat... we made the turn into the Marina....too fast.... and nearly mounted the bank....Sorry, sounds so stupid now but even though your going slow as you think its still too blinkin' fast...
As we entered the Marina there was a friendly face waiting to help us moor up in the name of Bob, thanks Bob. We calmed down took everything in and just couldn't believe it had actually happened...Wow.

Monday, 4 January 2010

here we go..or do we

We next approached the bank who were very good. We gave all our details filled in all the relevant paperwork and were told it would take about 2-3 weeks, 3 weeks was taking it right up to christmas 2008. We didn't have a mortgage on our house so we were confident.

We then rang Harral brokerage and haggled a bit, we ended up with a price we were happy with and then it was just a matter of time.

2 weeks passed, the surveyor came and went and the bank were trying to get some news. We ended up on the last day before everyone went home for xmas being told we would get our decision that day...we didn't, christmas was awful and after christmas was worse.

Festivities over we rang the bank. We had been refused...what...how...why...it just wasn't logical..

The explanation....outgoings too much for income...still didn't make sense..

Turns out they were taking the overheads from our second business into consideration when they wouldn't take the income into consideration as it had only been running for 8 months. I had to get confirmation that these overheads were not in anyway connected to or being paid by our main business...the bank faxed everything straight through for us and we waited again.

Hooray!!! money sorted

A couple of days later 16th Jan 2009 we picked up 'peregrine' name soon to be changed.

The Next Step

With the holiday over and the intention having been to sell the house buy a boat and move onto the water we were at a loss....we decided to go boat hunting again and viewed many but none fell into our needs so the next thing was to have one built to our own spec.. We visited a few boat builders but chose Garry at Orchard Marine at the same time we kept looking at ones for sale for ideas..

it was during a visit to Harral Brokerage that they showed us a boat called peregrine, again out of our price range but had 2 seperate fixed doubles. It was a dream, so light and airy. One downfall was of course the length, 65ft, which meant missing out on a couple of canals but to not have to sacrifice the dinette for a bedroom seemed more important.

She was 2 yrs old but never been used as the owners had meoved abroad whilst she was being built only never to return due to ill health.

We went home to think about it and as you can guess we were very excited.

Ruby Tuesday..the big test.

Well October came and we were all ready, Kal was going on an adventure week with PGL so we dropped him off and the next day went to Claymore to pick up Ruby Tuesday. The only downfall was that we had to come back to base on the thursday and go to work from the boat thurs and Fri but we were still ever so excited.

With all the checks done we headed off with one of the lads through preston Brook tunnel. I steered and managed to get through without crashing!!!
At the other end he left us and we were away.......

Throughout the week we travelled to Middlewhich and back for thursday and work..
it rained all day every day and was freezing through the night...the ropes were frozen every morning...the batteries wouldn't start the heating and we were drenched all day, so much so that we bought better waterproofs when we reached northwhich.
We had to boil the kettle to pour on the ropes each morning and i went flying on ice as i jumped off the boat one evening..flat on my back.. We found that we were shattered, bed called us at 9PM! but i must say we were up earlier than normal.

Saying all that we had the best holiday we have ever had and we never stopped smiling.it didn't matter what was thrown at us it was great.

We met some lovely people saw some lovley places and had a drink in a couple of pubs.
The only sad bit was handing Ruby back, she felt like our boat so we left with our hearts aching..

test the water

Well we first stepped onto a narrowboat at Venetian Marina Nr Nantwich. Sue was wonderful, we hadn't a clue what we needed as a liveaboard. The first thing we knew we did want was one with 2 bedrooms in that we meant 2 doubles as kal was going to grow and as an every day occurance we didn't feel that a single would be good enough, and though there isn't a lot of it, he need his own space.

The first boat we saw was quite scary, it was old dark and every space was seperated by a bulkhead. we sat in the lounge area and it just felt wrong, there we were with the wall facing us onlt 4 ft away, obviousley we knew beforehand the internal width but in reality it was a shock. We looked at a few more but then Sue took us to someones on the marina. I think she got the gist of what we were looking for and this one was awesome, well out of our price range at over 90,000 but it was more open plan and so had a totally different feel. Granite worktops, light oak wood etc.

Sue invited us to come back anytime and said its a long journey andwe need to look around.

Once home we were even more convinced and had more of an idea of what we needed with regards to inverter size heating options etc. We had already made our decision to go for it and talked about the house going up for sale.
After sleeping on it, or trying to, in the light of day we decided that if we were going to do this we needed a trial run of more than just a day boat so we booked a boat from Claymore navigation at Preston Brook. We chose their 'luxury' boat RUBY TUESDAY and booked it for the October Half term. we couldnt wait..

The beginning.......

Well, even to this day we can't remember what made us do it but for some reason we hired a day boat from Barbridge in the summer of 2008. I can remember in my distant past seeing narrowboats and thinking it would be good to have that freedom but was put off by the thought that people on narrowboats were few and far between and a bit 'different' to be kind.... i was about 19 at the time!!
Anyway we had a great day, hadn't a clue what we were doing, got grounded, probably went too fast and thought the gaps under the bridges were tiny..lol

The day went so fast and when we handed the boat back we left for home chunnering on about how great it was. The only problem being that we wanted to do it again the following day. obviousley monay wouldn't allow that all the time so we spent a few weeks on the towpaths in different areas watching everyone else and chatting to some lovely people which is when we realised that there were so many people living on their boat. We had always intended to sell up at some point and move to a static caravan, had the site picked out and everything, but this got us thinking.

A few weeks passed and we gave in and hired anothe day boat this time from Bunbury. 5 minutes in to the day i was fed up and also worried because i didn't want to be fed up however another 10 minutes down the cut and all was fine. I told Tim How i had felt and he said he was the same but we had gone on to have another fantastic day and realised our dissapointment had been in the hire boat, being a fussy pair it wasn't as nice and neat, clean, quiet and as easy to handle as the previous one but and that had put a downer on the day but we got over that.

We were now wanting to do locks but it wasn't going to happen, so be it..

Once home every day was about narrowboats, on the tv, in the library, on the cut, on the internet , it just wouldn't go away. We spent time hunting down marinas, looking at boats for sale and somewhere along the line decided we wanted to pack in work, retiring early, sell the house, home school Kal and live on a narrowboat.

Having never been on one, what i hear you say, we started to go to brokers and see what they were like and agreed that if one of us didn't feel right then that would be the end of it..