Wednesday 31 January 2018

Renewal Time

It is renewal time for Naughty-Cal's insurance. After our first claim in ten years last year we were a little bit suspect about what the renewal would be this time around. Even though our no claims are protected that doesn't mean that the premium is.

As it turns out we needn't have worried. It has gone up by just £9 and the majority of that is made up of an increase in insurance premium tax. 

It is also renewal time for our Canal and Rivers Trust licence. We only licenced her for six months last time in a bid to split up some of the bills but as you can see we have ended up with a pair of bills together again. But neither of them is especially large so we will just renew them both for 12 months this time around.

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Back to Boats

With my birthday out of the way and a non boaty weekend in Sheffield we can start to look forward to getting back to boats again.

Not only our own boat though. We can finally start looking forward to our first holiday of the year, and somehow our first time out of the country together on the Pride of Rotterdam at Easter.

Now we have both travelled out of the country before but somehow in the past 18 years we have always managed to end up staying and holidaying in the UK. Buying Naughty-Cal meant we holidayed a lot on her over the last 10 years. 

But the time has come this year to head to the seas on some slightly larger vessels. First at Easter and then later in the year for our autumn holiday to Brittany. 

Monday 29 January 2018

Kelham Island Again

After waving goodbye to our friends yesterday morning and sending them on their way back home to Gainsborough we had a day to ourselves. What to do? It was a nice mild day so we decided that we would head down to Kelham Island again and visit the brilliant Kelham Island Museum.

A great museum we have not visited for a while but well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

Kelham Island is still very much a mix of the old and the new

New apartment blocks sitting shoulder to shoulder with old and new industry

Remnants of history taking pride of place.

The old mill race which gave Kelham Island it's name.

A man made landscape.

Old and new

A gas engine

The mighty River Don Engine

A whopping 12000hp of steam engine. A great sight when wound up to full capacity. 

More reminders of Sheffield's great steel making heritage.

And after a nice run out into Derbyshire it was back home to enjoy a venison in red wine gravy pie with cajun potato wedges and a Yorkshire blue cheese vegetable bake.

Sunday 28 January 2018

Kelham Island

We had a lovely evening with friends mostly centred around the Kelham Island area of Sheffield. It was nice to start the evening visiting a few pubs we have not been in before as well as some old favourites.

Then we moved on into town where we were slightly let down by the meal in BB's Italian when first the table wasn't ready on Time, second the service was poor and third the bring your own only applied to wine. On the plus side the food when it finally arrived was very good.

Saturday 27 January 2018

Hot Hot Hot

We opted for the quiet night in with a curry last night. Liam choosing a stupidly hot lamb vindaloo. Hats off though he ate it.

This morning we have been getting ready for our friends arriving and prepping a few bits and bobs for our pre drink ploughmans lunch.

Friday 26 January 2018

Birthday Celebrations

Today is my birthday and what better way for a boaty girl to celebrate then to stay at home!

Yes that's right. Stay at home!

Not as crazy as it may seem. We have some friends coming over to stay tomorrow night and we are going to meet some other friends in town for a night out in Sheffield.

Tonight we are going to have a relatively quiet one with a few drinks and a curry at home. We may have a walk to the local for a few beers as well. It depends what the weather is doing and how we feel after work. Both of us have the starting of a cold so if we don't feel up too it we will just settle down on the sofa with a few beers at home instead.

Thursday 25 January 2018

A Balancing Act

This year we are going to have to start off by planning our diesel usage a bit better then last year. We need to run the fuel tank down as low as possible for being trailed to the Thames. Last year we got this very wrong and ended up towing nearly two thirds of a tank of fuel up to Scotland which of course was extra weight we didn't want or need to be carrying.

This year we are going to try at least and improve on that and have at the most a fifth of a tank which will be about 45 litres and enough to get us somewhere to refuel but not too much to trail around.

On the plus side we won't have the dinghy and outboard to take this year. We just won't need them so they can stay at home in the garage this year. That will lighten the load considerably as well. We will also of course have a thorough clear out of all of the cupboards and lockers and get rid of anything we don't need to take and the water and holding tanks will be emptied as the final effort to shed some weight.

This year we promise we will not be over weight. And that is both us and the boat!

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Thinking Caps On

It is time to start thinking about what we are going to do with Naughty-Cal this year. We have several trips in the planning which don't involve her this year but what are we going to do with the time we will have with her.

It is still a bit early in the year for heading too far afield. The days are not really long enough and we are constrained by lock opening hours. 

We have a group trip planned to head to West Stockwith towards the end of March but that is quite a way into the future from now. Easter is quite early at the end of March this year and we won't be on the boat for that either. So in the coming few weeks we really do need to get some miles under our belts, perhaps on the Witham if the weather and river levels allow.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

A Determined Little Tree

I had not known Liam that long when his mum planted three seeds she found in an orange. Amazingly all three started to grow so she kept one, gave one to Liam's sister and we had one. That is probably about 17 years ago now.

Over the years the other two have passed away but this one keeps on trooping on. It has had several near miss experiences, usually associated with a move of location or a move of house. It doesn't like change it would seem. But each time we have nursed it back to health and to this day it remains in reasonable health.

Well this year it has decided to flower. It has done this in the past but not every year. But this year the flowers seem to be huge compared to previous attempts and there are far more of them.

Hopefully we can coax another 17 years or more out of the little tree.

Monday 22 January 2018

The Best Days - Part 2

A few pictures from saturday evening for you today. Suffice to say we didn't get up to much yesterday what with the weather and feeling a little delicate.

Liam pretending to be clever.

Half of the table

And the other half of the table

Not sure what Jay wanted!

Back on Rocky Rowd. That whisky didn't last long.

Trying to figure out the phone Jim?

And a lovely dinner of slow cooked pheasant and mallard with some stir fried vegetables last night to round off a lovely weekend.

Sunday 21 January 2018

The Best Days

The Best evening's out often end up being the completely unplanned ones.

After watching Darkest Hour yesterday afternoon we bumped into friends and had a few beers in the Royal William before heading around the corner for a very nice Thai meal. After which we headed back to the marina to get plugged in and heat the boat through.

The party then carried on until the early hours of this morning.  I bailed out a 3am! The others carried on a bit longer.

Sore heads all round today.

Saturday 20 January 2018

Set Up for the Day

We had a lovely chilled evening on our berth last night watching a film, Patriot Games this time, enjoying a few drinks and layer on tucking into a home cooked dinner of turkey mince spag bol with pasta and home made garlic bread. A nice start to the weekend.

This morning we have had a bit of a lie in, well 8am but we call that a lie in. Before getting up and about showered changed and heading across to Woodcocks for a fine breakfast to set us up for the day.

Shortly we will be heading into town to do a bit of shopping before heading to the cinema at 2pm to watch Darkest Hour. We think we will stay in town tonight and go for a curry later.

Friday 19 January 2018


It was a decidedly slippery start to the day with sheets of black ice across Sheffield's pavements and roads which made for an interesting morning to say the least, starting with loading up the car at 7.00am, which is usually a 2 minute job. But this time saw us both skidding and sliding around on the driveway and that's before we tried to move the car!

I'm glad to say that we did both make it to the shops to do the mini stock up and both made it to work with no incidents but others have not been so lucky with accidents right across the city.

With temperatures not much above freezing even now it will be a steady drive to the marina this evening. We want to get there in one piece and it doesn't matter how long it takes us as we are not going out anywhere tonight. We have instead opted for a quiet night in front of some TV and a turkey mince spag bol with homemade garlic bread for later in the evening.

Thursday 18 January 2018

Decision Made

It is time we started getting on with the plans for our summer trip to the Thames. We already know the dates we will be going and have the boat booked in to be towed down to Lechlade and back again from Gallions Reach. 

But now it is time to start looking into the nitty gritty of the detail. We know that we will have eight days on the non tidal river and a further seven in London. But we needed to decide where we would book our marina berth in London for the week. St Katherines Dock is centrally located but you pay for that priviledge with high mooring fees, or Limehouse a little further out of the city with cheaper mooring fees, free for 24 hours for CRT licence holders and a short public transport trip into the city? A difficult choice indeed.

In the end we have chosen St Katherines Dock. We don't plan to do this trip again in a hurry so we may as well make the most of it this time around and be right in the thick of it for the week. So yesterday I booked the berth. Decision made.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Couldn't Say No

With not all of our holidays booked in for this year yet, we were far from thinking about what we would do for holidays in 2019. Why would we? We are only 17 days into this year!

But when Le Boat came to us with an offer that was just too good to turn down for Easter next year we jumped at the chance to take it. So Easter 2019 we will be cruising the waterways of Belgium on their boat the Cirrus B. Another 2 berth cruiser, about the same size as the Capri TS that we are hiring later this year but a completely different layout.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Wrong Again

We had fully expected to wake up to a blanket of snow this morning. All of the forecasts had agreed that here in Sheffield we would have had snow through the night. But as we opened the curtains at home there was not even a flake to be seen. Wrong again!

We have seen the odd flurry as we have driven across the city to work but nothing to write home about. Hopefully it will stay that way through the day.

We have been starting to think about what we might do this coming weekend. Liam is keen to go to the cinema to watch Darkest Hour so we might do that on Saturday afternoon. Handy as the cinema is just across the pool from the visitor moorings.

Monday 15 January 2018

A Pleasant Weekend

All in all we had a very pleasant if somewhat quiet weekend. We hardly saw another soul, ok, slight exaggeration as we were out in Lincoln on Friday evening but it was still very quiet in town for a Friday evening.

Our trip down the Witham was lovely with not another boat on the move and the same on the way back although we did meet up with Lincoln Canoe Club towards Burton Waters entrance.

With the boat back on our berth yesterday morning we decided it was time to give her a long over due good clean and scrub down. I set about the cabin while Liam set about outside in the cold scrubbing down the decks. Within a couple of hours Naughty-Cal was looking like a different boat, gleaming in the last of the afternoon light.

With a few beers we then sat back and watched a few episodes of Happy Days before heading across to Woodcocks for a pleasant Sunday evening meal. Then it was time to head back to the boat and get ready for work this morning.

Sunday 14 January 2018

Good Food

We both enjoyed a nice meal at the Ferry Boat last night. Liam had a nice run eye steak with all the trimmings and I opted for the fish and chips which was more like whale and chips when it arrived!

Today we will have a steady run back to Lincoln before heading back to the marina. We have had a change of plan as our guests can't make it today so we will probably eat at Woodcocks tonight to round off the weekend.

Saturday 13 January 2018


Today we have moved on to Washingborough where we are booked into The Ferry Boat for a meal this evening.

This is the first time in a while that we have dropped down onto the Witham and our first work out lock for a long time.

We are getting lazy!

Friday 12 January 2018

Let it Begin

Let the weekend begin. First stop The Electric Bar for cocktails.

You have got to love taking your accommodation with you in a night out in town. No taxis to worry about later.

Thursday 11 January 2018

For The Weekend

We have started looking towards what we are going to do this weekend,. Well we already know what we will be doing on Sunday as we have some special guest coming along with us, but we can't say too much about that as they might be reading!

We are thinking that a night out in Lincoln tomorrow evening might make a nice start to the weekend. I need to be in Lincoln bright and early on Saturday as I have an appointment for my hair cutting so it makes sense to spend the night down there and have a few beers and a bite to eat.

On Saturday after a morning in town we will head back to the marina and get the boat tidied up and give her a good scrub ready for our guests on Sunday. We have a voucher for some money off at the Woodcocks pub on the marina so we may just end up in there on Saturday evening for dinner.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Back to Normality

Christmas and New Year's are now well and truly over, the Christmas cheese mountain is finally finished, the last of the chocolate was finished last night and the beer situation is back to normal again. Time to get back to some sort of normality again.

We have both put on more then a few pounds over the festive period so it is time to start back on the healthy eating and more exercise plan which was so successful for us this time last year. We both want to be back down to fighting weight by the time we go away at Easter which should be more then achievable with a steady pound or so lost each week.

We made a steady start to getting back into the routine last week with starting to take salad boxes to work for dinner again, slowly weaning ourselves back into the healthier meals in the evenings but still with a supplement of chocolate as we watched the TV for an hour in the evening. With that now gone the pounds should start to come off again. Well fingers crossed they will anyway.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

A Little Run Out

As we had to go home on Sunday we decided that we would make a day of it and first up headed to Meadowhall for some new shoes but instead came out with a new chopping board and a knife block and then after a quick pit stop at home we decided to have a run out to Hadfield near Glossop where they filmed the TV series The League of Gentlemen. 

It isn't too far from our house and makes for a lovely run across the Snake Pass and it would have been rude not to call into one of our favourite pubs on the way back.