Thursday, 27 December 2012

Cross country

Well what an interesting drive home this morning. Liam is back at work today so we set off at the usual time from the boat only to find that our route home was blocked by the closure of Dunham bridge due to flooding.

It is a long way around so we set off in the direction of Gainsborough to the next bridge crossing the river. It made a change to try a different route home but we do hope that the bridge is open again tomorrow as it is much easier for us to get back to the marina travelling on the a5£.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Tidal Trent

We went for a little wander down the rivr this afternoon to see how it was coping with the water heading downstream.

Short answer, not very well. The bank at Torksey has been breached and the river water is thundering into the adjacent fields at a alarming rate. The caravan site behind the swan pub is in danger of becoming very wet. The fishing lakes are already flooded losing a great stock of fish to the river unless they can be saved.

The flood gates at Torksey lock are holding back a good eight feet of Trent. Rather surprisingly they have managed to drop the fossdyke almost to normal levels, it is no more than six inches above normal levels.

With more rain on the way these good be very interesting times on the Trent!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The big day

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that wherever you are you have a good one, eat too much and drink too much!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve

Well it is almost here at last. Christmas Eve is upon us. At last the boat has been declared illness free after a few days of sickness bug and Christmas cold. Maybe we will now get into the Christmas spirit.

The rain is still hammering down outside and the river level is still rising. Any hopes of a Christmas cruise are now well and truly dashed.

Today we are going to have a drive around the locality to see the effects of all of this recent rain. More pictures to follow shortly.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Here we go again

Once more the fossdyke is in flood. When will it end?

This year has been so wet that the ground is saturated so the rain has no where to go but straight into the river. What we need is a good long dry spell to allow the ground water levels to settle down.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Slow cooked pork belly

We tried this for the first time last weekend and it was really very good. The longer you give this dish the better it becomes.

So we used a good quality slab of pork belly and seasoned simply with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place the pork fat side up in the slow cooker and cover with a layer of chopped sweet potatoes.
Stick the slow cooker on low and forget about it for the day.

We let our pork cook for 12 hours by which time it was tender to the touch. You didn't need a knife to cut it. We served simply with the sweet potatoes, carrots and Brussel sprouts.

A simple dish but boy was it tasty. Perfect after a long cold day out and about on the boat.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Yesterday we had some success with the delivery round. We now only have one delivery to make on Monday.

After a slow start it looks like Christmas is finally happening in the broughton/Jennings household. Not that you would know it just by looking. The house is devoid of Christmas decorations, these have been saved for the boat this year.

Now we can kick back and relax for the rest of the week and start to look forward to the big day. Our plans for a week on the river look set to be ruined thanks to the weather. The forecast is for a lot of rain which will most probably see the river go back into flood, meaning we will be locked in, great!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Last night we sat down and wrapped the majority of the Christmas presents. A job we both hate with a vengeance.

Tonight the job is delivering a few of them, a job we equally hate. Nothing finer than a full day at work followed by driving all over Sheffield in the rain and dark getting stuck in every possible bit of traffic.

Still every cloud has a silver lining and the more we do this week the less we have to do on Monday and the sooner we get back to the boat and chill out for Christmas. Bring it on.

Monday, 17 December 2012

The race is on

The race is on for us to get all of our gifts wrapped and delivered in time for the big day.

All of the presents are bought now, tonight we will be wrapping them and then the rest of this week will be evenings of running around Sheffield delivering them each evening.

This is going to be a busy week as we rush to get ready in time. We have plans for the weekend so that is out of bounds. Fingers crossed we get everything done in time.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sunday sun

I love boating on days like this. Crisp, clear, cold but thoroughly enjoyable, perfect boating weather.

Not a sole around, no other boats on the move. Just us naughty cal and the wildlife.

That said we have not gone far. Only from Lincoln to saxilby a total of about five miles but five stunning miles. The plan, well we have had a spot of brunch and will wash it down with a pint or two before heading back to burton waters and enjoying dinner which is slowly cooking to perfection in the slow cooker. Norfolk saddle back pork belly, with new potatoes, carrots and braised Brussel sprouts.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Winter sunshine

What a change from yesterday's weather. Here we are sat in the cockpit sunning ourselves in brayford pool. We have even had to open up some of the canopy to cool it down a little, not bad for December!

We can have a lazy day today. We are not going anywhere. We are in the boat club again tonight so rather than go back to the marina to come back again this evening we may as well stay here for the day and chill out.

With the shopping already done and brunch cooking in the galley as we speak it has the makings of a great day.

Friday, 14 December 2012

The alternative Christmas dinner

The long range weather forecast looks like it is going to be kind to us again this year and allow us to have Christmas on the boat. So we are planning the alternative Christmas dinner.

So far the plan is to have: garlic and thyme king prawns, slow cooked Cajun duck with sweet potatoes, stuffing and asparagus and to top it off lemon cheesecake and coffee.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Vegetarian meals

Each week we try and have at least two vegetarian meals. When ever we say this to people they often find this a little strange considering how much we both love meat.

I'm not even sure how this started but over the years we have found some nice vegetarian meals which have become part of our menu.

Recently we have also discovered that tesco do a nice range of vegetarian sausages. The Mediterranean version being the one we have found to be the better example.

We have sampled vegetarian sausage before and found it to be bland and have an odd texture. But the tesco ones were very nice and had the texture of a proper high meat content sausage. We are so impressed with them that we have decided we will use them in any dishes we have which include sausage.

So now toad in the hole, sausage casserole and bangers and mash have all been added to our list of vegetarian meals.

Not only do they have a great flavour but they are also much lower in fat that your average meat based banger. Just another added benefit.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Scraping through

Yet another bitterly cold morning of scraping and swearing at the car before we can escape the driveway and head to work.

Whilst we don't mind this weather if we are on the boat it becomes a wee bit laborious when we have to go to work. Why is that I wonder?

Hopefully Naughty Cal should be toasty warm thanks to her extra heaters. We know that the basin is frozen over but hopefully by the weekend it should have thawed out so that we can attend the Lincoln boat club Christmas party by boat, which would make things so much easier for us.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Better late than never

This morning has seen us finally start the Christmas shopping. It seems to have taken us an age to get started this year what with one thing and another.

As we are visiting Liam's mum tomorrow evening it seemed like the perfect opportunity to deliver the first of this years gifts. One crossed off the list and all that.

On Friday I should have the majority of the other presents bought ready for wrapping and distributing next week during the evenings which if all goes to plan (let's be honest does anything ever go to plan ) should leave us with Christmas week to our selves.

If the weather is as kind again this year as it was last year then we will enjoy a pleasant week onboard naughty cal cruising the deserted waters of the river witham in the winter sunshine. Fingers crossed anyway.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Mundane Monday

I hate Mondays. Mondays mean an early start to get from Lincoln back to Sheffield in time for work. They also mean that we have to go back to the bricks and mortar and leave cal alone for the week.

Sat here in this office watching the world go about its business outside really makes me want to be back onboard and away from all of this hustle and bustle in the city.

Oh well only another four days until we are back onboard. Just four long days at work, hopefully they will pass quickly.

Sunday, 9 December 2012


Oh dear it was bound to happen at some point. I have managed to scuff naughty cal on the moorings at Lincoln.

In hind sight it was far too windy to be out and about but we were out anyway so a short detour into Lincoln wouldn't hurt!

The wind caught the bow and there was little that could be done. Crunch into concrete.

Oh well just another repair to add to the list when she comes out of the water next spring.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Black tie

Tonight is the night of our moorers Christmas party. This year it is a three course dinner and disco at our local pub the Pyewipe inn.

Naughty cal is already taking pride of place outside on the moorings ready to show off her Christmas lights and more to the point the easiest spot to stumble back too later tonight!

Friday, 7 December 2012

A day off

Well it's my day off, what to do with it.

Well first there is the cupboard under the stairs. You know the one. The one where all the junk gets forgotten about. Well it is time for a clear out of ours.

Then shopping. Great another thing I hate doing. Better to get it out of the way I suppose. At least I will get the chance to visit our great local butcher.

Doesn't sound like much of a day off does it?

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Another day

Another day at the grindstone but at least it is my last for this week. I have a day off tomorrow, my first in a long time.

But first another eight hours slogging away behind the keyboard. Never mind boat tomorrow.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


It is mighty cold this morning. Scraping the car was anything but easy thanks to it being covered in frozen rain.

The roads out of our estate were not gritted and would not have looked out of place in a skating rink. A great start to the day with lorries stuck on the hill blocking the way out of the area. Thank you Sheffield city council.

With another cold night forecast hopefully they will be more on the ball with the gritters tonight!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Some extra heat

We have decided this winter to add an extra heater to the cabin of naughty cal in an attempt to keep her warm and prevent any pipes from freezing.

For the last four winters we have just had one small heater in the shower room but decided on the back of a few weather forecasts to add another larger oil filled radiator.

The new heater isn't too big it is only 450 watts but after some use over the weekend it proved to be more than up to the job in hand. So right now cal should be toasty warm.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Still high

River levels on the Trent are still high, the photo below was taken on Friday and shows how high it has been.

Thankfully levels are now dropping somewhat so let's hope this spell of drier weather lasts long enough for levels to drop to normal and ground water levels to stabilise.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Another chilly night

We woke up this morning to find the marina frozen over, a sure sign it was cold again!

Tucked up warm in bed we had not noticed the cold. As an extra precaution this year we have bought another heater for the cabin. Nothing fancy just a small oil filled radiator to keep the chill off the cabin. This is currently plugged in for a test run over night.

Dinner is as usual in the slow cooker. Tonight it is slow cooked rosemary and garlic lamb with sweet potatoes, smoked sage and red onion stuffing, purple sprouting broccoli and asparagus. The smell is making us hungry already but it won't be ready for a long while yet.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A fine winters day

After a less than promising and quite frankly dull start to the day it's has brightened up to be a lovely crisp clear winters day.

We have made the most of the bright weather and trimmed naughty cal withe her Christmas clobber. Now we need to wait until dark for the big switch on!

Friday, 30 November 2012

We must be mad

It is minus two degrees outside, it is getting on for eight o clock and being winter it is pitch black. So what are we doing?

Going for a cruise on the boat of course! Fun times!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

More sad sights

As the flood waters start to recede the true scale of this weeks floods is starting to become apparent. Across the country untold damage had been caused.

People assume boats will be somehow immune to the problems caused by flood waters. How wrong could they be?

Here we have the sad sight of another boat which had succumb to the muddy waters. The sad story here is that this boat was bought earlier this year as a wreck and the owner had spent months restoring her to her former glory. He had almost finished. Seemingly his ropes somehow snagged the pontoon pulling the boat under.

Hopefully he will have the heart to start his hard work again and give this boat another chance.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

River Trent stoppage

A stoppage has been issued on the non tidal Trent between Cromwell lock and nether lock.

The safety boom guarding Cromwell weir has snapped due to the high flows of water and as such the weir is unguarded which is a danger to navigation.

Considering the current very high water levels there should not have been vessels on this stretch of river any how, however the stoppage has been issued as of this morning.

A dry day

At long last a dry day to look forward too with the promise of some long awaited winter sunshine. With this though a change to colder temperatures.

This drier interlude should hopefully allow the rivers time to settle back down to more normal winter levels and allow ground water levels to settle as well.

Of course the rivers slower to react such as the Trent with its huge catchment area will still rise further yet, but hopefully we should have seen the worst of the flooding by now.

The true extent of this early winter flood will take some time to fully reveal itself. It will take insurers a long time to sift through the mess and sort out the many claims. With the ground as sodden as it already is we will all have to hope for another dry winter period, otherwise there will be more of this to come.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sad sights

I'm sure with the flooding there will be many sad sights. Here is one poor dragged from her mooring.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Still a bit wet

There has been no let up in this rain. We are still getting wet and the river levels are still rising.

It is certainly the worst we have seen the fossdyke flood since we bought the boat here.

With no dry weather forecast until mid week it isn't likely to get better any time soon.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

High tide

No great surprise here but the fossdyke is in flood. Thankfully we are safe locked in the marina but many of our boating friends are not so lucky and are out on the river.

Water levels are still rising and with more rain forecast it isn't looking great. Already a couple of boats have sunk and the third was saved from a sinking by the local lock keepers. .

Fingers crossed we get some drier weather before too much longer.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Makes a change

It isn't very often we wake up on a Saturday morning on our own berth. So this morning it makes a very pleasant change.

It is cold and frosty out but we are warm and snug here in the cabin. No way was I going outside to take a picture so here is the view from the starboard saloon window!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Locked in

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. The flood gates on the marina have been shut due to rapidly rising water levels on the fossdyke.

Looks like we will be having a weekend in the marina this week. I suppose this will give us the chance to do a few of the jobs we have been putting off, like cleaning the cabin upholstery and polishing the cockpit.

Looks like being a productive rather than an exciting weekend on the cards. Winter must be here. I am sure that cal will appreciate a weekend off, her first for a long time.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Another great sunset

On Saturday night we were treated to yet another sunset over Torksey. Unfortunately this heralded time for us to leave and head back downstream and closer to our home berth.

On Sunday we had the nasty job of pulling the dinghy out and jet washing the bottom in readiness for its winter on the Davits. For now it is back in the water but in the next couple of weeks the outboard will go home for servicing and the dinghy will be hung from the Davits.

So here is that cracking sunset.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Another rainy day

At this rate we won't be going anywhere this weekend as the floodgates will be shut on the marina entrance.

We left Lincoln early this morning and it is still pounding down with rain here in Sheffield.

At least we didn't have anything planned today other than work.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


After just a few hours rain on Friday night the outlets which discharge surface water into the fossdyke were running at full chat. A reminder that after a wet summer the ground is still too sodden to soak up anymore water.

At this rate it is going to be a long winter of flooding, never mind the talk of the coldest winter for 100 years!

Monday, 19 November 2012


Well it looks like an unscheduled midweek visit to the boat tomorrow. Liam has managed to leave his phone on the boat so we have to make the trip back for it tomorrow night. Never mind.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Frosty start again

Well it's a mighty cold and frosty start to the day this Sunday. But wrapped up warm and cosy here in saxilby we don't mind. Should make for a lovely run back to the marina in the winter sunshine.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Friday, 16 November 2012

Frosty start

Well it is a cold and frosty start to Friday today. Wrapped up warm we have loaded the car with the weekends gear, trudged around the supermarket to stock up with essentials and refuelled the car ready for the week ahead.

Tonight after work we will head to Lincoln and after a quick scrub up we will head for the boat club to spend the evening with new friends.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Gloomy again

Today we have awoken to yet another grey and gloomy day in Sheffield. So here is a sunny picture to remind us of happy summer days.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


So yesterday was my mot day. A trip to the doctors saw me having a host of vaccinations to include tetanus, measles, Mumps and Rubella, and the flu vaccine.

They also took a few blood samples. for a host of testing to try to get to the bottom of a recent bout of dizzy spells which is quite unpleasant.

Whilst there they also took a smear test. A great start to a Tuesday morning. Hopefully I should get to the bottom of my recent illness soon.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

So who's sharp eyed?

The sharper eyed amongst you will have noted a change to the blog format.

We have gone fully mobile, completely scrapping the landline, broadband and the PC to be replaced with a pair of smart phones.

So what does this mean for the blog? Well it will be updated on a more regular basis wherever we may happen to be. So in theory it will lead to a more interesting blog. Only time will tell I suppose.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Back to work

After a great weekend with better than expected weather it is back to the grindstone and back to grey and overcast weather.

We rounded the weekend off with huge sirloin steaks cooked to perfection and served with garlic and chilli mushrooms, whole grain rice and a fried egg. The perfect dinner to finish off a fantastic weekend.

Now it is just five more days until we are back at the boat. Let the countdown begin.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Well here's too another beautiful morning in Lincoln. The laying up supper went well with a good time had by all and a few challenges laid down for next years boat handling competition. That should be fun.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Morning all

Well what a journey we had last night. Two and a half hours to do an hours trip. Both of our main routes to Lincoln were shut due to serious accidents so we had to go cross country. Of course other people had the same idea so even these routes were busy.

Still we made it in one piece so we should not complain. We finally managed to make our way to the boat club not helped by the gusty wind. And it is here that we find ourselves on this grey morning, drinking coffee and contemplating what to do next.

Friday, 9 November 2012

New Shoes

We treated the Datsun to a pair of new shoes, well tyres, yesterday. The front ones were starting to become pretty worn so with winter around the corner we bought her a pair of shiny black continental tyres. That is it for the spending on the car this year!

With the weekend almost upon us we can look forward to a night in the boat club tonight and again tomorrow night as we attend the laying up supper.

Liam must be looking forward too it because I caught him ironing his shirt last night!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Much needed

This cup of coffee was much needed this morning. The dark mornings, cloudy days and early evenings are doing nothing for my enthusiasm.

Thankfully we are already most of the way through the working week so we can look forward to another weekend on the boat.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Boat clubs

We always said we were not the boat club type. But since joining Lincoln boat club a couple of months ago we have become quite fond of the place. We even worked the bar last weekend.

This coming weekend it is the laying up supper which we will attend even though we don't strictly lay naughty cal up for the winter. It should be interesting.