Monday, June 29, 2009

Great weekend!

We have just had a really nice weekend, we couldn't go too far, but that didn't matter, once you have pulled the pins and set off, your free!

We were supposed to be joined by friends but they had to back out last minute. So it was just Tickety Boo's crew of three. The plan was to set off Friday night but we thought we would wait and go Saturday morning instead. Best laid plans eh.

There have been quite a few guest boats staying on the moorings, waiting for their slot to go through to Liverpool. One such boat was a bright red wide beam with a creamy yellow roof. The boat is owned by Chris, we got chatting to him, and asked what the boat was called, he told us he was toying with the idea of calling it Rhubarb and Custard! Apparently that was the boats nickname on its mooring.

On Saturday morning Chris was moored opposite us on the public tow path facing toward Liverpool. He decided on the last minute he wanted to do a pump out before he left. The problem being the pump out was about quarter of a mile back the other way. Chris informed us he was rubbish at steering the boat backwards so would we give him a hand.

Well John looked at me and shook his head, but me being me will give anything a go once! On boarding the wide beam Chris just let go of the tiller and said to me, "Its all yours". Now wasn't quite the right time to tell Chris, I had never steered a wide beam before, let alone steer it backwards! So off we went, and I can proudly say I steered it all the way back to the pump out, and backwards through a bridge too, I was so pleased with myself. Chris commented the manoeuvre was expertly done, how chuffed was I?

It wasn't until the boat was safely tied out side the pump out that I told Chris I had never steered a wide beam before! He looked at me with a fleeting look of, are you mad woman! Non the less he thanked me very much. I then asked if I could look inside the boat. She was gorgeous, a really nice fit out and very tastefully done.

Now I will come clean, the boat was fitted with a bow thruster, which makes the job of going backwards so much easier. Its not something I have ever wanted on our boat, but I think on a wide beam they are really needed.

We eventually set off on our weekend away, early Saturday afternoon, after seeing Chris off. Well the inevitable happened, no sooner had we set off the heavens opened! Sods Law! We moored up and waited for the rain to stop which lucky for us, wasn't long, so off we went.

As I said we couldn't go far, so once we reached a nice quiet place we stopped. We were just beyond Heatons bridge, moored next to a field with a couple of horses in it. After having something to eat we just wound down and relaxed, bliss!.

I decided to call to the horses in the field, a lovely brown and white one came over to the fence, Bobby had never seen a horse close up before and his reaction was comical! His little eyes nearly popped out of his head, the horses head was probably the same size as the whole of Bobby! He promptly put his defences up and growled and barked at the horse. He really didn't like it at all, but I did manage to take some photos.

While we were out John said he would take me for a nice meal. When we got up Sunday, I cooked a full english We then just relaxed on the back deck and laughed at Bobby keeping a wary lookout for the big monster, ( The Horse )! After eating such a big breakfast we decided that on the way home we would call into the new Scarisbrick Marina for a meal. My Mum had said the meals were really nice there so we thought we would give it a try. It was quite nice to be able to sail the boat and moor up outside the coffee shop in the marina.

After studying the menu board, John and I both decided on the quiche with salad, then hopefully, ( in my case anyway ) followed by one of the delicious cakes on offer. Well, I would now like to describe how wonderful the meal was, no such luck! On waiting to be served I noticed it didn't look as if you could pay with your card! I was so disappointed. We just had enough for a coffee and a coke! So on to plan B, which was to sail out of the Marina, and on to The Saracens Head Pub for a well deserved Sunday Roast! Very nice it was too!

Changing the subject of stuffing our faces,to something completely different, Coots! While sitting on the back deck relaxing, I couldn't help but notice the plight of the mother Coots. While the baby Coots are all very cute and fluffy, with their silver grey feathers, the little buggers never shut up! They constantly screech, screech and then screech some more. The poor mother Coots must be driven nuts, its not as if they can shove a dummy in their mouths to shut them up like we can! I actually watched the Mum with one of her screeching off spring, she took so much and then she turned on it as if to say, " for goodness sake stop your whinging "! She then flounced off in a Cooty huff, and hid her self away for a bit of peace!

In the meantime John had thrown some Broccoli in the cut, this kept the baby Coots entertained for ages, diving to get it from under the water. I swear the mother Coot winked at me as she swam passed, as if she was so grateful that we were entertaining the kids while she had a rest!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ok I give up!

Well in my previous post I intended to give you a photographic run down of my life with Tickety Boo so far, good intentions hey. Well after starting out well I quickly discovered, you can't rearrange photos and position them where you want them in your post. That I am afraid is no good to me. After a quick phone call to my mentor, Heather, Takey Tezey, ( Thankyou Heather ), my problem should hopefully be solved soon. So once again I have to ask you all to put up with my inadequacy once again!

Blimey days, this blogging lark is a hoot, what! No doubt it is easy when you know how, but when you don't know how, it isn't!! Here was me thinking once I got my Lap top I would be a top notch publisher in five minutes, you know getting a phone call off Waterways World asking me to be their new editor!!!!. Maybe not!. Like I have said before, this blogging is all good fun.

Oh and by the way, Waterways World, I will have to decline your offer, I couldn't possibly desert my blogging public!...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Whats in a name?

Andy,( Nb Khayamanzi) has just given me the idea for this post. He replied to a comment I had left on his blog, telling me a boat had just moved on to his Marina called, Tickety Boo, excellent choice for a name!

This got me to thinking, of all the names our boat was nearly called!

Its starts off being quite exciting, choosing a name for your boat, then it gets a bit stressfull, (well it did for me) wondering if you have made the right choice!

Anyway,to begin with I quite liked, River Pheonix, but decided just because I thought he was a gorgeous actor, it didn't mean I had to call the boat afer him!
Next, I came up with Tiger Lily, Aurora Bourialis, (bit of a mouthfull)!Serendipity, (I think thats how you spell it),Tranquility, the list just went on and on, but nothing we came up with did it for us.

Then we went on to the names John liked. He chose Fugazi, an album by Fish of Marillion fame, now I quite liked that at the time, but then changed my mind. another name he liked was a song title, Slow Poke, by Neil Young. Now I don't know about you but I thought that was a tad risque! Eventually, after giving up all hope of ever finding a name we liked, I heard somebody on TV saying that every thing was Tickety Boo, that was it! So Tickety Boo was born. Its only just recently we have heard of other people choosing the same name, which I take as a compliment. It was obvious that somewhere on the system there was bound to be more Tickety Boo's!

A couple of years ago John said he had just seen a boat called, " My Ankle"! What a weird name for a boat. We eventually became friends of the crew, Frank and Pauline, who explained it was a play on the letters of their sons names. Personally John and I thought, " My Arse " would have been funnier!

As I have said in my Post or Comments before, we have seen some weird and wonderfull boat names on our travels, some of my favourites being, Weary Tired, Woof Bark Donkey, (If any body knows where this name originates from please let me know)Kids Inheritence,Canalgeisic,Idanoe,Idanoe is owned by friends of ours who came up with the name when somebody asked what the boat was called and they replied, " I dunno " ( I don't know, for you non scousers out there)!

Two other names we came up with after we had chosen Tickety Boo, were Ripples and Steel Magnolia, both of which are nice but we prefer, Tickety Boo!

One name that really made us laugh, and was brought to our attention by Nev, Nb Waterlily, is W.Anchor. This boat actually passed our mooring the other day coming back from Liverpool, so Nev, we too have seen the W.Anchor..........

Saturday, June 20, 2009


At last, got my template back in order, don't know about colour or font, but for the moment I will leave well alone!

I have noticed over the past couple of weeks the volume of boats has risen, passing us on the way to the new Liverpool Link. We enjoyed it when we went, but would like to go again and stay a bit longer next time. It would be quite nice to go into town for a meal, and then back to the boat in the Salthouse Dock.

So if you pass Tickety Boo on your way through to the Link, give us a toot and a wave,your more than welcome to stop and have a cuppa with us if you have time.

If you have already travelled through to the Link I would love to know how you got on and what you think of it.

Over the years since we have had the boat, we have heard horror stories about boats being bricked and abuse from undesireables. I can honestly say hand on heart that we had no problem going through to Liverpool. Maybe the odd bit of rubbish around the prop, but you have to expect that in boating.A lot of people have suggested it was quiet because all the kids were in school, but to be honest the little so and so's that cause the trouble would probably bunk off anyway!

Just before I go, I must just tell you what John and I spotted floating down the canal the other day, a floral tribute, obviously from a keen fishermans funeral. It was in the shape of a fish surrounded with white and yellow flowers, it was beautifully made, John and I both thought it was a really nice touch to think that these flowers would float passed all the places where the fisherman enjoyed to fish.

I wonder if they fish in Heaven........


Well I have had good old play on my laptop, a bit too much of a play me thinks!

I played around on my blog with new templates, new layouts, font, colour and all that. You may ask why? Well just because I could! Now I can't get it back the way it was! Did you lot out there fiddle about like this, when you started blogging, or am I just too much of a fiddler?

My followers are now at the top of my blog, as much as I love you all I don't want you there! Goodness knows where my archives have gone??? Oh come back old template all is forgiven!

Well I will try again later, see what I can do, so in the meantime, to all you readers out there, can you just put up with my higgledy piggledy lay out. I promise Mr Blog Boss, I won't fiddle again.

Thinking about it, my original template was ok, why couldn't I leave well alone.

Well Nev, on NB Waterlily, THIS is what you call a whingy blog!!!!!!

Whinge over!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dongled up and ready to fly!

Today was my 50th Birthday! Not quite sure how I feel about that!

My lovely Daughter Kirsty had arranged for an early Birthday celebration on Sunday, as this was the only day possible to round up every body to be there. When I arrived I was greeted by, Kirsty, Heather, my other daughter, Dean, my son, my Mum, brother John and my John. It was a lovely surprise when I got there, Kirsty had put baloons up, and her and Mum had laid on a spread, which was later added to with a couple of bargain buckets from KFC.

Even though I never normally open cards or presents before my actual birthday,I bent the rules on this occasion.Dean, Kirsty and Heather presented me with a big box, on opening it I was blown away to discover they had all clubbed together to buy me a Laptop!!

As readers of my blog will know I have been wanting to get a Laptop, but knew it would be a while before I could afford one.

Well as you can imagine I was like an excited child on Christmas morning! All I had to do now was get a Dongle, ( daft name if you ask me). I should have gone with my instinct and gone for T Mobile, as I have a been blogging on my G1 phone with this network for a while,even if a bit slow at times, it was good enough for me.

After asking advice, from instore and freinds, I decided to go with 3, as this seemed to be the best deal for the £15 a month. I remember reading a blog not so long ago, that said 3 was crap, their words not mine!

Well.... I am beginning to wonder if they were right! After Dingle Dongleing for hours, I couldn't get connected, and you all know how frustrating that is. All last night for hours I tried, no luck,again this morning, for hours... Fingers crossed I have been connected for an hour! Is it just teething problems? does it take hours to settle in, or is 3 indeed crap!(my words this time)

I am beginnig to chomp at the bit, wanting to race back to, Car Phone Warehouse, with tail between legs and go back to T Mobile. Luckily I am not tied to 3, I can change if I want to, I have a month to make up my mind.I don't know about being 50, after all this faffing about I feel about 92 and counting!!

Joking aside, I am really, really chuffed to bits with my new laptop,thanks to Kirstys bright idea and Heather and Dean chipping in. It will make blogging so much easier and even more enjoyable. What great kids I have, (I always knew that anyway though)!

Well, ( I am whispering saying this ) I'm still connected, so maybe it was just teething problems,if so I will be the first to apologise to 3, cap in handish!

Now I have to learn how to put photos on my blog all over again, as ts slightly different on here than the G1. I am sure given time I will work it out, and anyway it will keep this old fart out of trouble for a while!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Frog Fright!

After reading Nb Bones post about the frog, it reminded me of something froggy that happend to me some years ago.

When we lived in a house we had a neighbour called, Carol. We got on really well and spent many a sunny afternoon chatting over the fence.

I was busy doing housework one warm afternoon, I had the french doors open to let in a breeze. I heard a commotion out in Carols back garden. On going out to investigate, I found Carol near hysteria! She had spotted a frog near her back door and was terrified it was going to hop in to her house!

Carol had, had a fear of frogs since childhood which I thought quite funny, as I quite like frogs. Me being the brave one offerd to move the little frog, who had hopped in to a corner so couldn't escape anywhere. As I stooped down and went to pick up the frog to my horror it sqealed, a real high pitched noise, well Carol screamed and I just ran with fright and ended up at the bottom of the garden!

I had never heard a frog make a noise other than a croak, but apparently its a warning to predetors or when the frog is in danger. So now you know, Frogs scream! Oh and for the record , so does Carol!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

" Blue Peter " moments!

If you read my last post, you will have realised I was having a Blue Peter urge, with my DIY curtains. Well today I will show you how to make a Bilge Pump out of an old squeezy bottle, some sticky back plastic and an old egg carton! Oh ok only joking, if only it was that simple.

Changing the subject completely, I would like to tell you about my episode with a con merchant. As I have mentioned before, I work part time in a Discount store. I was on the till yesterday, it wasn't mad busy just a steady stream of customers through the check out. A young girl came through my till, I would say she was in her early twenties.

On purchasing a 99p dog collar, the girl paid with a ten pound note, as I gave her the change of a five pound note, four pound coins and a penny, she asked if I could give her change of ten pounds ?? After serving the next customer I opend the till and told the girl I had no fivers in my till ( are you keeping up?) On telling her this she said it was ok she would give me change for a tenner

On giving her the tenner for her fiver and five pound coins, she really quickly offered me the tenner back and asked for her twenty back !!! Now if this sounds confusing to you I can assure you at this point my head was spinning. I realised she was conning me and told her to get lost, and leave the shop. For a split second though I nearly did give her the twenty pound note! This all happend in seconds, I can understand how people fall for it.

Apparantly, two cashiers have been duped into giving these con merchants twenty pound notes. They are so clever how they do it, very quick, not giving you a chance to think, they often target the young cashiers ( I will take that as a compliment)! when the store is busy, which our store often is. This girl must have been desperate, the store was quite empty and she picked on an older cashier.

She well and truly got her eye wiped, and soon found out I am not as daft as I look!!

As you can imagine, getting back to the peace and quiet of the mooring, away from the mad hustle and bustle of the shop, is absolute bliss!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

DIY Porthole Curtains ( Night Time )

When we first got the boat my Mum made us lovely porthole stoppers. They were made of foam discs covered in material. As time went on I discovered the foam was'nt quite rigid enough to hold the stoppers in place. Eventually after wondering what I could use as a rigid frame I spotted Hoola Hoops in the shop where I work. You know, the ones you put around your waste, and Hoola!.

I stripped the bright pink plastic off to reveal white tubing. Perfect. I then cut to the size I wanted, and used original material to cover hoop, gather into the middle and add matching button. I also put blackout material inside the hoop so it would block out early morning sunlight. I sewed a little loop on to the stopper to make it easy to remove from the porthole. Because the stopper is now rigid, you can have window open behind it to cut down on condensation. Job done!

DIY Porthole Curtains. ( Daytime )

I have seen a lot of Boats with Lace Doilys in the portholes. I can't crochet, and couldn't find 15 inch Doilys anywhere. I managed to find a 15 inch Quilt frame, similar to the hoops you use for embroidery. I bought two and because its a double hoop on each, they would do four portholes. I cut four circles out of some net and then stapled to the hoops. They look neat and tidy, don't block any light out and didn't cost the earth! Plus they give us a bit more privacy in daylight hours.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Scary Photo!

I have just had to renew my driving license photograph. The ten year life span of my old photo was up. Off I trotted to my nearest Photo shop, where I had to sit in the middle of the shop to have a passport style photo taken.

How do the people who work in these shops keep a straight face? The very nice lady who took my photo had to redo it, because on the first one she took I was showing my teeth! How very naughty of me. The second one she said was fine.

I stuck the photo in the envelope with the form, posted it, and forgot all about it, until today. My new license arrived complete with new photo. I wasn't showing my teeth but was doing an excellent impression of a Bulldog chewing a wasp.

So now I am stuck with this terrible photo for ten years, heaven forbid I ever have to show it to anybody.

Why can't you smile on these photos, is it just to give the workers in the License/ Passport office a laugh, looking at all the glum faces. Personally I would find it quite depressing having to look at long faces all day!

Well I am stuck with my new license because I am not forking out another £26.00. That's how much it was with the photos.

When John saw the photo he gave me a new nick name, " old scare the kids". He says the nicest things.......

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Our Boy.

Bobby peeping through the long grass. Does he think we can't see him!

Too hot to handle!

I love sunny days, but don't much like very hot sunny days, I don't do heat. I could never live in a very hot country, I would melt!

However, the last couple of days have been a refreshing change from wind and rain. Its great weather for cruising as when your on the move there is always a breeze to keep you cool.

I find that hot days just make me drowsy. I am not moaning honest! Its great to see the way sunshine cheers everybody up, and brings people out in the open.

Autumn is my favourite season, sunny but cool. The colours of Autumn are stunning too. Not that I am wishing it to come too soon.

I will never understand why people spit roast themselves smotherd in oil, I can't think of a more uncomfortable passtime. Well every body to their own I suppose. The weather is due to change, according to the forcasts. Cool air can move in whenever it likes as far as I am concerned!

We have just been passed by two very impressive Hotel Boats, Taurus and Snipe, on their way through to Liverpool. I don't think I have ever seen two boats so well cared for, they are a credit to their owners. Seeing these two lovely boats has made me more determined to get Ticketys paint job underway!

Can I just say Hi to my followers and please feel free to leave comments, good or bad! Also to any new readers of this blog who may be thinking of delving into Narrow boat world, please don't hesitate to be nosey and ask questions, and if I can advise in anyway I will do. Not that I am an expert by any means, but its sometimes nice to talk to people who have had experience of living aboard, if that's what you are thinking of doing. Be warned though I will encourage you all the way!