Changing Seasons, Sunshine, and Self-Pity

The day is warm, the skies are blue and I am feeling sorry for myself.

The reason? I have a cold. An unaccountably achy neck and shoulder on Friday was the herald of a lurgy to mark the change from summer to autumn. By yesterday morning I was sneezing and using up paper hankies at an impressive rate. By evening my nose was as pink as MasterB’s. Some might even say pinker.

Mr Pink Nose

Somehow it doesn’t look as cute on my face. Continue reading


Cookie Cat Crisis at Christmas

We are heading for a possible crisis.

Cookie cat. Christmas.


On Friday night she slept in my flat. On my bed. MasterB relegated to the sitting room. I really don’t want a repeat of this. She is lovely; a sweetheart of a cat, but this is MasterB’s home and I don’t want him to become Cat Number Two. On the other hand, I don’t want her freezing her fur off outside in the December nights.

She came in tonight. MasterB was out. There is a new cat on the block; a pretty black cat with a white bib. Cookie and MasterB in temporary alliance against it. Which is how Cookie ended up in here on Friday night.

Her visit informed me that she loves catnip. Tonight I handed her, with the catnip teabag she had lovingly and thoroughly licked, over to the neighbours who are taking most responsibility for her, but who are crucially away for Christmas.

Easter Plans Gang Agley

Easter last year, and I was afloat, wandering in the light with my camera around the marina.

Until a week or so ago, I was planning on much the same for this Easter. It would be a chance to chill away from the capital, spend some time with Mother and Aunt, to do some spring cleaning, to ready das Boot for the summer and see if I could finally get some decent photos of birds. Then a couple of things happened. The weather double backed and cuddled itself into its February guise. It snowed. The forecast predicted icy winds. It was spot on. Well done the meteorologists. The second thing was that I caught a cold, not one of those couple of sniffs and its over colds. No, this one was a humdinger; explosive sneezing, constantly running nose, a headache like Zeus’ after Hephaestus hit him to facilitate Athene’s birth. I started to rethink. Mother isn’t well and I don’t want to give her something that could prove fatal. A freezing cold marina is not a lot of fun, and don’t even think about the shower block, it is Baltic. Then the sun came out. My cold started to clear. With sunshine it could be bearable, I thought. Maybe ask Aunt if I could bath in her flat. Wrap up warm and check out the pub in the near village for a treat.
So this afternoon I headed out to the car meaning to taker it to be washed. My garagiste had recommended a place nearby. Not a moment too soon. A fox had pooed on the bonnet. Not a good look. The car wouldn’t start. Not the battery, but a padlock symbol. The car was immobilised. I looked at the manual. Something had gone wrong with the programming of my key. I tried the spare. Same problem. I went over to the garage. My garagiste is away, but his second-in-command came to have a look. By this time it was after five. He frowned. Maybe tomorrow, but he’s not supposed to be at work. So it looks like Easter will be in London after all. MasterB will be pleased. Despite the cold, he has just demanded to go out again.
Maybe I need to take another look at the camera I am interested in…
And I could snatch a few days in a week or so.


Amazing. It is a nice evening. I can see sunshine and blue skies. This afternoon my fingers were at the mauve end of the blue spectrum. After niceish weather on Saturday and Sunday in comparison with what we have been having in recent weeks, I foolishly left my gloves at home. Mistake.
NotCat might have been more than eager to get outside when I arrived home, I am only too happy to defrost indoors, wrapped up in a thick vaguely Icelandic cardigan. So it was quite funny to see that there is a new photo challenge today called blue.
I was going to make the switch to summer pyjamas tonight, but snuggly winter ones are far more appealing.
Anyway, two blue photos, though I am not sure I shall link them back to the challenge.

Garden Blue

Boat Blue

Replay: Snow Afloat

This is turning into three post Sunday. Yesterday I reposted something from Janaury 2010 on my old blog. This is the post from the following day. It’s even more appropriate now as it snowed here overnight.

Boats covered in the white stuff under a clear blue sky in early morning. A Photographer’s Dream.

Snow was not forecast. Minus one centigrade does not mean snow.

I slept extremely well. Warm and cosy under my flannelette quilt cover. Until Cat woke me up because he was hungry. It was about four in the morning. I looked out of the window at next door’s boat and thought it looked a bit fuzzy. That bothered me, so I kept on looking and it gradually dawned on my sleepy brain that it was ice and snow that interrupted the outline.

I went back to bed. Continue reading

Replay: January 2009 First Trip to the Pump-Out

I’m reposting three posts that appeared on MyT in January 2009 and putting them all together. I’m not claiming any wonderful literary qualities, but they remind me of how it felt then when I was just getting used to das Boot, and just how cold a boat can be in winter with the doors open…

Open Waters

I had imagined my first sortie in das Boot as a gentle and short one. Enough to convince me that I am worthy of my Helms(wo)man’s Certificate without being too challenging.

However, the toilet on das Boot dictates otherwise. Either it’s full, or something more serious is amiss. So, in a couple of weeks it’s off to the Pump-Out. The Environment Agency has sent me a lock key that I desperately hope I shan’t need. I have yet to study the map, so I am keeping my fingers crossed there’s no lock along the route.

Pump-out means emptying the tank. I’m assured it’s not difficult and I shouldn’t worry, but of course I am. Gillian McKeith would probably think it a good day out. I’ll reserve judgement.
It may turn out that the tank is not full, but that something moved where it shouldn’t have gone during das Boot’s transportation. If so, it’s a trip to the boatyard. In Putney, a young man at the chandlery where I was buying fittings for the electrical hook-up, told me that boat stands for Bring Out Another Thousand. It’s a phrase that has been proving alarmingly true. Continue reading