Six weeks grace – seeing a bit of boating business!

Things are beginning to calm down a little here in Worcestershire, so much so I even managed to squeeze four days and nights back with Barry from Friday to Tuesday for a taste of ‘normality’.

We ventured into town one evening for a Thai meal at a restaurant mum, dad and I often frequented on my visits back to England from New Zealand over the years. It’s such a great place for food and service, we’re taking Helen and Andy from ‘Wandr’ing Bark on Friday too.

After weeks of intermittent worrying about how dad would cope in residential care, in the light of his dreadful experience last June for mum and I to have some ‘respite’, it’s been amazing to discover that he’s settled fine into a lovely nursing home. There really ARE fantastic ones out there, it’s so reassuring!

He’s in this one for six weeks to assess his long-term care needs, following which it’s most likely we’ll have to transfer him somewhere more permanent. The ‘CHC’ – Continuing Health Care – assessment takes place tomorrow. If you have no idea what this means, and I admit I didn’t a few weeks ago (and still don’t completely), it’s a process of asking questions and ticking boxes to see whether his needs fit a certain criteria whereby his future nursing care would also be fully funded.

The minefield of elderly care options, support and funding is completely befuddling. I’d love someone to have sat down with me at some stage recently, who has time and knowledge, so I could feel I have a handle on it.  I’m hopeful it’s all going to unravel seamlessly from now on, and work out in the near future …

Supersavers redeem themselves

Changing the subject completely (though admittedly still health related), during our 2010 six-month trip, I had a rather unhappy experience of Specsavers. It took months to sort it out to a satisfactory conclusion whereby I was happy with my glasses.

Since then, I’ve had a far more positive story to tell – I even went to their branch in Gisborne for an eye check where I was amazed to discover my long distance vision had improved so much I didn’t need glasses for that anymore. My reading sight however hadn’t fared so well.

I chose not to get a prescription for that, feeling I could use the cheap and cheerful chemist type spectacles instead.

Not the best choice, seeing as one of my eyes has a different need to the other …

So I finally succumbed, accepted I’d need to fork out some cash, and re-visited a Specsavers while we’re moored in Worcester for a few months. The difference in customer service, and the clarity of my sight is amazing. And I even got persuaded to try contact lenses.

I was rather hesitant at first. I’ve always been a bit squeamish of anything eye-related, and during my nursing days had to hide my nausea watching eye operations or injections.

The deciding factor was it was possible I’d need only one lens, and with that in I’d be able to read and see long distances.  No putting glasses on and off dozens of times a day. Or ensuring they’re close to hand while shopping when I want to read labels.

Sounded too good to be true, but it turned out it’s not.

I’m still practicing each time I put one in and take it out. And I find it most weird inserting something into my eye and then pinching it out again later in the day. But the advantages far outweigh this. It means I don’t have to keep searching for glasses, and I can do my own face-painting whilst actually seeing clearly what I’m doing!


Festival Bookings so far for 2015


Whilst on the boat Barry and I finalised most of our Home Brew Boat and Face-painting events for 2015. Here’s the itinerary so far:

3rd to 5th April – Middlewich Floating market
24th to 26th April – Stone Floating market

1st to 4th May – St Richard’s Festival Droitwich
15th to 17th May – Alvechurch Beer and Boat festival
22nd to 25th May – Burton on Trent floating market

19th to 21st June – Middlewich Folk and Boat festival
27th to 28th June – Lymm Historic Transport festival (tbc)

10th to 12th July – Kings Norton Canal festival
23rd to 25th July – The Birmingham Beer Bash at The Bond (tbc)

8th to 9th August – Blisworth Canal festival
29th to 31st August – Northampton Festival of Water

4th to 6th September – Stourport Floating Market
11th to 13th September – Black Country Boating Festival
19th to 20th September Tipton Canal Festival (tbc)
25th to 27th September – Birmingham Floating Market

17th to 18th October Stourport (tbc)

February Boating Articles

Talking of canal festivals, if you find a copy of Waterways World there’s a great feature showcasing a few trading boats, one of which is us! Thank you to Andy Tidy for his very fine writing and photography skills.

I also finalised a short piece for the February edition of the Tillergaph, celebrating the first anniversary of The Home Brew Boat. So watch out for that too.

The nights are beginning to grow lighter, spring is just around the corner, which means we’re almost half way through our winter mooring. Oh my how time flies.

We’re looking forward to being back out on the cut again, though for me it’s with some trepidation. At this stage the future for mum and dad is still so uncertain, and I shall be doing all I can in the next seven weeks to ensure they’re both safe and cared for when I’m no longer just up the road from them.

2 thoughts on “Six weeks grace – seeing a bit of boating business!

    • Hi Sandra, are you still warming yourselves in the sunshine or back in the cool UK winter?

      Yes, we’re booked in for The Home Brew Boat and Face-painting for Northampton 😉

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