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!