Rain Rain Gone Away!

So much for thinking summer had come back a week ago! The past few days we’ve had a drenching here in Whitchurch. Almost persistent rain since Wednesday evening. We were halfway through cooking chips on the ‘Ronnie Sunshine’, when Papatuanuki, the Sky Father, gifted us with a deluge so huge we had to abandon the cooking and transfer inside. We didn’t leave the boat until this morning.

Kim and I have both commented recently on how it feels as though since lockdown eased here, we’ve hardly seen blue sky. Whereas throughout the 80 days of lockdown it felt like the sun shone almost daily. Could the renewed pollution from the now incessant traffic have contributed to this? In my mind, it’s a definite possibility!

Sharing Narrowboat Living Inventions

Thanks to the lovely reader who emailed after my last post, to share her with washing line suggestions. Barry had made one that hangs on the side of our boat. Theirs was from when they spent around six months of the year on the waterways and involved a boat hook and large bolt to hang a line from the stern. Away from passers-by so no chance of a garrotting!

We love hearing about inventive ways of ‘making and doing’ things for narrowboat living. Here’s a couple of others that Barry previously made for washing – inside the boat though:

The rails at the side of the fire are extremely affective – when the fire’s on! Though it’s been damp, it’s not QUITE got cool enough to light a fire inside. The rope in the cratch was our ‘outside’ line, but it’s a bit awkward to get in and out of the boat that way if it’s full of doing clothes!

Tomato & Bread-Making Update

Remember we got a free cherry tomato plant from Hurleston Lock Cottage during the (first) lockdown? That was on 25th of April. I’ve not attempted to grow them on board before – and I don’t think I’ll bother again! What a palaver it is. It’s a disproportionate amount of effort for a few tomatoes! Seven to be exact. I don’t think anymore will be appearing.

I shall savour each one – that’s if they ripen within the next eight weeks as that’s all we’ve got left before our flight to New Zealand on 16th August …

More successfully to report is that after a few practices, I think I’ve almost perfected bread making by hand! It’s a lot like a Vogel loaf, which we love It’s an NZ bread, and I know you can buy it in Sainsbury’s. I had it on order when this Superstore let us down badly. So I shan’t be buying it there any time soon!

Next Moves

We’ll have been at this mooring close to the new Aldi in Whitchurch, for our allowed 14 days next week. Time to plan our next moves.

We’ve considered moving along the Llangollen Canal to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct as Kim’s not seen or experienced it. But sadly Wales only announced on yesterday that they’re loosening their lockdown from 6th July. Probably too late for us to get there and back in time in-between Kim’s and my work. We must have internet access.

It’s likely we’ll have started our journey south by then, to where Areandare will be staying over autumn and winter. On a positive note, we should get to Anglesey at the end of July. Not by boat of course! We’d got five days planned with Lisa, Rob and the boys at the end of May, which was obviously cancelled. I re-booked on Thursday (fortuitously!) for the last week in July, in the hope restrictions would be eased by then. The gamble may have paid off …

Also on Friday, the UK government announced a move on 6th July from level 4 to Level 3. I’m not certain what that means (for us) yet. Or whether it’s a good thing ( I don’t want to put a ‘dampener’ on it!). Apparently the number of daily cases and deaths in the UK is reducing, so although the virus remains in the population, and there may be new clusters of cases, it’s not ‘bad’ enough to stay at Level 4. I find it all fascinating. Here’s what the BBC says:

The alert level was reduced from level four to three on 19 June. That means the epidemic is in general circulation but transmission is no longer “high or rising exponentially”.

Announcing the change, the chief medical officers of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said: “There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues. It does not mean that the pandemic is over.

The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.”Level three is associated with a “gradual relaxation of restrictions”.

It’s the first time the alert level has changed since its creation on 10 May.”


Rather different to New Zealand where ANY SINGLE CASE causes a national and international media and public frenzy!

Eight weeks and one day to go. Hopefully the warm (!) summer weather will prevent the pesky virus from taking full advantage of us ‘opening up’ more to it.

A Rare Day Out

Today we were collected by Lisa to go and see them – in their garden at a safe distance – for the day. It was their 15th wedding anniversary on Thursday, and we’d arranged to go then. It would have been rather uncomfortable sitting outside then!

Our eldest grandson made us a delicious lunch bless him. The sun shone so we were able to play outside all day. Oh how we took such simple pleasures for granted before the world changed …

Happy summer Soltice everyone!

COVID-19 Symptom Study

You guessed it! We’re continuing to report daily, answer any new questions requested, with no symptoms. Only 57 days to go – then we’ll stop. If all goes to plan 🙂

7 thoughts on “Rain Rain Gone Away!

  1. Sandra, It was not the UK government which changed the alert level but the English government ! The devolved nations are being much more sensible – two are led by women of course !!
    It is quite irresponsible the way that the media assume the England is the UK. With this virus the stakes are too high for this kind of careless reporting.
    The devolved nations are far safer places to be – about time Boris realised that and then we could all be safer.
    Nothing like a good rant at this time of the morning !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Glad that you are all well – i’ll now contue my reading so that i can catch up with your progress.

    • Oh goodness, huge apologies Graham! I’d far rather be in Scotland or Wales tbh. New Zealand will suffice, with another incredible female leader. I’m just researching my family history and was hoping that most of my relatives were from Scotland, but only my dad’s dad’s side is and I can find out only sparse information which disappoints me. I’ll just have to come up in person! One day we’ll meet again … Until then please both take good care 😉

      • We look forward to seeing you anytime, anywhere! We are certainly missing our time on the cut, it seems so long ago now.

        Searching Scottish historical records, as you may already know, has the advantage that a woman keeps her original surname, so it is easier, especially when you are dealing with fragmantary information, to be certain when you have the correct family. When I was researching buisness links between some Scottish engineering companies it was amazing what looking at some family trees threw up, which without the confirmation of the name would have been missed.

        Just a pity that the Scottish canal network is so sparse – you can’t have everything!

        I see that we have Boris up in Scotland today doing what he can to boost the demand for independence. Such a thoughtful gesture.

  2. We’ve also got a brolly mate and bought the whirligig to go with it. Just so long as it’s not too windy it’s a great way to dry clothes. We also have an airer that exptends sideways but packs down very small that we bought from Wilkos three years ago.

  3. Hi there, Sandra and Barry,
    You are right about the media frenzy here in NZ re the cases coming in across the border as NZers return home. I do wish both our media and some members of the public would look a little further afield and see just how effective our government has been in comparison to others …
    Re the clothesline thing: I know Barry is an NZ DIY master and probably has rolls of No 8 wire onboard … However we bought a rotary clothesline from Midland Chandlers – it has a tripod stand so it can be placed on the ground, but we always put it on the top of the swan’s neck using a brollymate (which I’ve only used for a brolly once until I wrecked the umbrella going down the Watford Locks and got it caught on one of the bridges …) We also have a couple of racks for placing on radiators that work just as well outside on the roof handrail. And when our roof was black I could get jeans dry in half an hour on a sunny day …
    Stay safe, team, Mxx

    • Kia Ora Marilyn. I’m flabbergasted when I read criticism of the NZ government. They are so far ahead of any other country! So transparent. Decisive. The protocols were on place but people didn’t follow them. Hopefully now they will!
      Great ideas for washing drying. 😉

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