Last weekend was the Tipton Canal and Community Festival. We previously traded at this event in 2014, as The Home Brew Boat, on the Sunday only. This time we both traded – and what a magnificent weekend we had.

All the people I met were incredibly friendly and appreciative. I had the most photos of facepainting shared on my Facebook page ever!

Tony and Julie, from NB DamperVan, moored up alongside us – Barry will be working with them at Merry Hill from tomorrow (Saturday 24th) evening selling calendars for The Calendar Club, through to 4th January. He’s doing Wednesdays and weekends – The Home Brew Boat will of course continue to sell via the website.

I’ve been on the boat continuously for almost three weeks now, and relished being a part of a number of fun social gatherings whilst in Tipton too – impromptu ones next to the boat, or at The Fountain Inn. I was extremely grateful to only have a short walk to the railway station to get to Birmingham City University Monday to Wednesday too, and felt very fortunate it’s a temporary commute. Read More

Black Country Boating Festival 2016

So much has happened since I last blogged. I frequently have an intention to post an update, and then get waylaid …

Consequently I’ve a strong suspicion the blog could be a casualty as one of the spinning plates that I’ll allow to stop spinning temporarily, on and off, over the coming weeks and months.

I’m keenly aware of my previous (and occasionally current) propensity to spread myself too thinly, and then experience that engulfing, panicky, overwhelm feeling. It’s not good for my health, adrenaline coursing around my veins and picking up a dose of cortisol to boot could seriously reduce my lifespan and I’d rather take steps to prevent it whenever possible.

Being mindful of this means I’ll find a way to keep the balance of our boating life and businesses, and our land-life commitments in the autumn and winter.

It remains to be seen how successful that’ll be … Read More


Last weekend Barry and many other traders settled into the embankment at Merry Hill for a Roving Canal Traders Association Floating Market. The event began on the Friday afternoon and evening, featuring an ‘Illuminated Boats’ spectacle.

I was sad to miss the fun of the bustling days and frivolities of the evenings, though I too had a brilliant time with my eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons celebrating her 40th birthday (incredible, she’s almost as old as I am!).

A fantastic photographer called Mark Cresswell took some amazing photos of the Floating Market, and he’s kindly given me permission to post them here. Do check out his Facebook page (CanalSide Art) for more incredible images. Read More

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