Thursday, 30 November 2017

Acting the Goat

We have always been interested in trying out some goat meat but have been struggling to find a reliable source in Sheffield. Finally I managed to track down a source online, but we were a little bit wary of buying meat on the internet. But earlier this week we relented and bought an order of goat along with a selection of game and other meats from Alternative Meats.

I have to say that I am very glad that we did and we will certainly be buying through them again. The meat arrived on time and very well packaged. It was all still frozen through with no signs of any defrosting from the delivery process. 

Last night after managing to thaw the diced goat we had a goat curry which I had left in the slow cooker all day while we were at work. It was super tender by the time we got home and it was nice to have a dinner ready for when we got home. It only took ten minutes to cook the vegetable bahji and rice.

We decided to check out how good goat meat actually is for you and surprisingly it is lower in saturated fat then chicken and is also a very good source of iron and B vitamins. So I think it will become a staple on our week night menu.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Getting Organised

We have made a vow to be more organised this year around the Christmas period. We have already started the Christmas shopping, but non of that Black Friday nonsense for us. No we have done it the traditional way, trudging around shops.

This morning we have been and bought the wrapping paper and some tags so that tonight we can start the arduous task of wrapping everything up.

At the present rate of progress we will have everything wrapped and ready to distribute by the end of this week, so that next week we can start the delivery process and by the end of next week it will all be done and dusted so that we can sit back, chill out and relax.

In other news as expected Liam got a letter from the Passport Office yesterday inviting him for an interview. So he will organise that tonight and the hopefully his passport will arrive before Christmas and we can get on with planning our holidays for next year.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

A Grand Old Girl

We always like to see old boats out and about and there is one in particular that has always caught my eye on the run into Lincoln. Poem, a keel of some description. But we have never seen her move. Until Saturday that was when we met her coming the other way. A grand old girl and nice to see her getting a new lease of life.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Spoiled For Choice

We are a bit spoiled for choice for places to eat close to our home mooring. Yesterday we decided it was time we had something from The Pyewipe, we have not eaten there for a little while. As usual the food was very good, I had the beef Sunday lunch which was very tender and tasty and Liam opted for the steak and mushroom pie which looked delicious with it's homemade chips on the side. I might try that the next time we go in there. Maybe next weekend as we don't have much planned again.

We ate quite early for us at 3pm, but this gave us chance to head back to the marina in the last of the daylight and settle onto our berth to watch Taxi Driver and a few episodes of Friday Night Dinner before heading to bed for an early start this morning.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sunny Sundays

After a cracking night in Lincoln last night we are having a quiet day today. We have been out for breakfast followed by a walk around town. We will soon be heading to the Pyewipe for Sunday lunch.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Can't Fault That

Our stay in the new Woodcocks Hotel was really good last night. We can't fault the rooms or the breakfast this morning all served with a smile. Excellent service by all.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Another Friday With No Boat

For the second Friday night in a row we won't be staying on the boat.  What's going on?

This time we will be a little closer to Cal though as we will be in the marina, just around the other side at the Woodcocks Pub. 

Staying in a pub? Well sort of!

The Woodcocks, or more to the point the brewery, Marstons, have just built a brand new hotel in the grounds of the pub. It is now finished but not due to open for another couple of weeks. So to test out the staff and make sure that everything is up and running as it should be, a selection of people have been invited to stay in the hotel, which will be booked to capacity, and have breakfast in the morning for a very small fee.

How could we refuse this opportunity? We had to take them up on the offer. Staying in a brand new hotel, not even open yet and have a cooked breakfast, all for £1. We couldn't say no. 

Of course we will be having a few drinks in the pub and something to eat this evening. It would be rude not too.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Warm and Cosy

We had a drive out into Derbyshire to The Strines Inn on Tuesday after work. It was a wet and windy miserable evening but we got settled in next to the fire and enjoyed a warming game casserole served in a giant Yorkshire pudding with a pint.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Three Out of Four Ain't Bad

So three out if four ain't bad right? But alas it will not be four out of four.

Liams driving licence was waiting for him on the door mat on Monday morning just six days after he sent it off for renewal. So that is both of our driving licences and my passport back within a week.

Unfortunately Liam's passport is not going quite so smoothly. He did in fairness have a letter from the passport office waiting on the doormat on Monday, just not the one we wanted. Apparently we had not filled in all of the required sections of the form. I find this hard to believe as we went through it with a fine toothed comb but there we have it. So a second form has been filled in and will be posted back today.

Fingers crossed this time it goes more smoothly.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017


We had a lovely meal on Saturday evening in Spice Mystery in Saxilby. We had a good crowd and the restaurant did us well.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Donna Nook

With such a crisp, clear day yesterday it would have been a shame to waste it. So we jumped into the yellow mini and had a run to Donna Nook to see the annual seal pupping. Trouble is so did everyone else within a 50 mile radius so it was really very busy and the last two miles of the trip to the car park were nose to tail standing traffic. Still it didn't ruin the day and it was a nice run out.

Sunday, 19 November 2017


It is a properly cold and frosty morning this morning. We suspected it might be as there was ice on the cars as we walked back from the Indian last night at around 10pm.

We were and still are nice and warm onboard Naughty-Cal though. The heating ticking away.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

A New Addition

Here is the newest addition to the fleet, our Mini One D.

Yes I know it's bright yellow but it came up at a price we couldn't ignore. So we are now the, erm..... I think proud owners of a very bright car.

Well we won't lose it in a car park!

Friday, 17 November 2017

No Boat Tonight

There will be no boat for us tonight?

I know. What's going on? It's Friday night, why are we not going to the boat?

Well the answer is quite simple, we are going out with friends instead for a meal and whilst we could have then made our way to the boat we have decided that it would be easier all round if we just stayed at their house instead.

It will be back to business as usual tomorrow when we will head back to the boat and from initial plans so far we will be heading to Saxilby for a few beers in the Sun Inn and a curry at Spice Mystery. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

All Change

We heard the sad news yesterday that Naughty-Cal's long term neighbour Idle Ways, a little Norman 23 was being removed from the marina. Idle Ways has been our neighbour since we moved into the marina in 2008. Is it really that long ago?

We didn't mind mooring next to probably the oldest boat in the marina as it was narrow, giving us plenty of room to get into our berth and somewhere to moor the dinghy. But also it rarely moved so we didn't have to worry about it bumping into us on a regular basis.

Now Idle Ways is gone we will have to think about putting out fenders down on the starboard side to try and fend away any damage, unlikely as that will be because as we all know fenders are never in the right place if someone is going to hit you!

So I wonder who our new neighbours will be?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Planning For Easter

With my passport arrived, signed and put away for safe keeping in the safe and Liam's  passport application sent away and in the process of being sorted out we have decided that is would be nice to have a bit of an Easter getaway. 

So we have decided to book an Easter mini cruise with P&O to Amsterdam. It will only be a short break and will only give us one day in the city along with two nights on the ship but it will get us away somewhere different and will be a pleasant change of scenery. 

The ship sets sail in Good Friday and will have us back in Hull for Sunday morning so we can finish of the Easter break with Sunday and Monday on board Naughty-Cal. It should make for a pleasant break.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Making Plans For Christmas

As we are leaving Naughty-Cal in the water this winter having carried out the maintenance work in October during our extra short period ashore, we have decided that we will have Christmas on the boat this year. There are only the two of us to please so why not make the most of the short break we will have from work?

We have booked Christmas dinner in the pub at the marina. This seemed the sensible choice as we don't know if the marina will be frozen over or not. If it is we can walk around, if not then we can go around on the boat and use their mooring, maybe mooching off somewhere after dinner if the weather is going to be kind.

Monday, 13 November 2017


We had a really very lazy day yesterday. After breakfast in town and an hours walk around the city we decided to head back to the marina. There was a real fresh feel to the day so we had the diesel heating on pretty much all day.

It was a tad blowy as we set off from the CRT visitors moorings and we had a real struggle to keep the boat in a straight line but by the time we got back to the marina we managed to find a brief lull in the gusts to get back on our berth and tucked up safe and sound again.

Liam got his passport photos and the form countersigned and posted in the postbox at the marina and then it was time to settle back with a few drinks and while away the hours watching some TV, mostly Friday Night Dinner which we have recently rediscovered.

Later on we enjoyed a lovely meal of slow cooked peppercorn chicken with baby carrots and kale. A perfect way to end what has been a great weekend.

Sunday, 12 November 2017


We had a nice day in Lincoln yesterday. We had a few bits and bobs to do first. Posting Liams driving licence forms and going to the bank to replace his faulty bank card, followed by a spot of shopping.

With the neccesities done we then hot the town for a few drinks followed by a nice meal in Huckleberrys which was excellent as always. We both chose burgers this time which were spot on.

Today we are having a chilled out day. We will shortly head into town for breakfast and a wander around before heading back to the marina. I have a nice free range chicken to stick in the slow cooker later.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

A Question

If there is no oil involved in frying an egg is it still fried?

This was this morning's breakfast, turkey sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns and oil less fried egg.

But is it fried?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Staying In

We have decided to have a quiet night in tonight. So I rustled up a curry earlier in the week that just needs warming through later and serving with some rice and a vegetable bahji. We have a film downloaded and ready to watch and the boat fridge is full of cold beer waiting for us to arrive and the heating will be ticking away by the time we get there with the boat toasty warm.

We won't be staying in all weekend though. We have quite a few odd jobs to carry out in Lincoln tomorrow. Liam needs to go to the bank to replace his faulty bank card,then we need to go and post both his driving licence and passport applications, then we need to do some shopping for sunday lunch and a bit of Christmas shopping to boot. Before finally grabbing a few early evening drinks and then heading to Huckleberries in town for something to eat at about 7pm. A busy day ahead.

With such a busy day planned for Saturday we have decided that Sunday should be a quiet day. So I have picked up one of the lovely free range chickens we had in the freezer to put in the slow cooker for Sunday dinner. No doubt we will pick up some lovely vegetables to accompany it from the markets tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

That Was Quick!

Well that was quick and a lot less hassle then expected.

As I said earlier in the week just one week after posting my licence renewal to the DVLA the new photocard was on the door mat.

Well yesterday exactly a week after posting my passport application I received a notification from HMPO that my new passport would be with me this week. 

Now I must be honest we had expected the passport application to be more problematic as my previous adult passport ran out in 2010 and I didn't have any details from this one or many of the details to fill in the form about family. So to have the application accepted so soon has come as a bit of a surprise to us both.

Now let's see if we can do the same for Liams driving licence and passport. He has been and got his photos this morning. I have already filled out his forms so we will post them both this weekend after he has gotten his photos countersigned tomorrow evening. 

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Winter Fettling

We started a few of the minor winter fettling jobs at the weekend. The one that has made the most immediate difference was cleaning the inside of the canopies. Over the last few months the top section had started to grow an impressive array of mould spots. It was time to tackle these. First with Henry the vacuum cleaner to get any loose bits off. Then with some Tesco Fabric Foam. This you simply spray on, let it fizz for 30 seconds and then wipe off with a clean damp cloth. Easy job but the results speak for themselves. Not a trace of the mould anymore.

While we were over buying the diesel and getting pumped out we also bought some bulbs for the forward and backward facing navigation lights that sit on the radar arch. At some point over the summer the bulbs have both failed, but as it was summer and we were not really cruising at night it has not been a problem. Now that the nights have well and truly drawn in we needed to get them refitted. The bulbs have not been installed yet as Liam has managed to tweak his back so scrambling around on top of the boat was not an option. Maybe this coming weekend it might have eased off enough for him to fit them?

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Le Boat

We had better start brushing up on our French as yesterday we booked our autumn week break on Le Boat's Capri TS. Starting from the Le Boat Messac base in Brittany we will be heading out on an out and back cruise from Messac to Josselin and back to Messac again. 

Time to start reminding ourselves of all those french lessons we had at school, if we can remember that far back of course.

The boat isn't as big as the one that we hired this year on the Broads but it is big enough for the two of us for a week. We know the boat that it is based upon is Broom 29 and they are a fairly roomy boat inside for their length. It does mean we will be sharing a shower room and loo this time around though!

With the hire boat booked it was also time to book the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo. As we have booked so early we have got a decent discount off the return fare and a cabin upgrade to an outside cabin for the night sail across to Brittany. It is a day sail on the way back so we won't need a cabin but we have booked reserved seats in the premier lounge instead.

Now we just have the small matter of getting these passports dealt with. I got a text message from the passport office on Saturday to say that they had received my documents. So fingers crossed it won't be long before mine is back. Liam's will be sent off at the weekend after his mug shots have been countersigned. So we should have plenty of time to get this sorted.

On the ID front, the DVLA have been really on the ball as my new photocard licence arrived yesterday. Only a week after the application went in!

Monday, 6 November 2017

A Bit Sharp

We awoke this morning to a very sharp frost and much colder temperatures then had been forecast for the Lincoln area.

We had been toasty warm on the boat with the heating coming on a couple of hours before we had to get up. Thankfully we had seen fit to install the engine bay heaters and heaters in the cabin yesterday afternoon. The first real frost can often catch folks out but this year as with others we have installed ours in the nick of time.

A few more nights of freezing temperatures like this and the marina will start to freeze over, the extremeties of our lake were already starting to just ice over this morning. It will take much more cold weather to freeze our berth though. It is one of the last to freeze and one of the first to thaw.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Quiet Night

We had a quiet night in last night with a few beers, a film and a lovely meal if rock salmon, baby carrots and kale.

After a steady jaunt down river to Torksey we had a couple of drinks in the pub before settling back on the boat with the heating on toasty warm.

This morning we have had an hours stroll through the golf course and will shortly be heading back to the marina before heading to Woodcocks for some dinner later.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Topping Up

Today we are topping up the relevant tanks with water and diesel and emptying the holding tank. All the boring jobs!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Getting Renewed

It has come around to time to renew our driving licences. In all honesty mine was quite out of date and I am ashamed to say it is just one of those things that just kept getting forgotten about. But last week the forms were filled in and with the relevant mug shots sent back to the DVLA. In a couple of weeks the new cards should arrive.

Whilst on the theme of renewing ID we also decided that it was about time we renewed our passports. Since buying Naughty-Cal nine years ago we have not been abroad so they were well expired. With our trip to Brittany in the planning for next year we thought we had better start thinking about getting them renewed leaving plenty of times for any unexpected problems that may arise with the applications. So my application went in the post on Wednesday and Liam's will be going in next week. Which should hopefully mean that by Christmas we should both have our new passports and new driving licences, so that is done for another ten years!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Winter Upgrades

With winter fast approaching it is time for us to start making our usual list of little upgrades that we need to carry out on the boat during the quieter months. 

We do this work over the slower months so that come spring we are ready and set and raring to fly full swing into the cruising season. No hold ups by minor niggling jobs.

This year will be slightly different as we will be keeping the boat in the water afloat for the duration so the jobs we plan to do are mostly inside jobs, other then a quick polish of the topsides and a scrub of the canopies when the weather allows. 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Warming Up

Now that we are finished with our holidays for this year, with the exception of the Christmas break of course, it is time for us to start heading into winter cruising mode.

This coming weekend we will be adding the winter heaters to the engine bay and the cabin to keep the frost damage at bay. We do this every year but this year it seems that the first of the frosts are a bit early so we are taking no chances and getting the heaters in now. Which will no doubt mean that the weather will change it's mind and be unusually mild instead!

As we are getting the boat ready for winter we will also top up the fuel tank. As our cruising on Naughty-Cal has not been that extensive whilst at home this year we have hardly used any fuel at all when compared to previous years, but on the flip side we have hardly done any miles either. At this rate we are looking at only having completed half the miles per year then we usually would!