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BEATING THE JANUARY BLUES and money saving tips for narrowboaters

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Tue Jan 3, 2017 at 9:50am



As a rule January in the UK means its going to be cold, wet and rather depressing, but it does have its good points as well. The canals are at their quietest so for those who fancy a few days cruising (weather permitting) then now is a great time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the waterways.

During January many of us make New Year Resolutions, but how many of us actually stick to them? Well research shows that only a very small amount do, only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.

Here are a few pointers to help you keep on track and succeed this year

1. Clearly define your goals.

2. Put it in your diary and set up reminders.

3. Track your progress.

4. Publicise your goals via social media.

5. If you get knocked down get up again, never quit.

Follow these 5 easy steps and join the elite 8% who will be celebrating their success later in the year.


If you have left your boat and are staying ashore this winter don't forget to make regular visits to your narrow boat.

Try and visit your boat regularly to run the engine for around an hour, this pushes the oil around and helps prevents rust, it will also help top up the battery.

Remember to re grease the stern tube if you do run the engine as every time the propellers turn it breaks the seal. While you're there you should also pump out rainwater and clear the cockpit drains.

Follow these simple steps whether you are cruising or mooring to ensure your boat is in the best of health this winter;

  • Fill up your diesel tank to ensure you have enough fuel
  • Have around 30% of anti-freeze in your water and heating system
  • Ensure you have enough solid fuel for your stove
  • Make sure your pipes are well insulated to prevent burst pipes
  • Check the batteries are in good working order
  • Make sure the boat is well ventilated to reduce the chance of condensation arising.
  • When mooring protect the hull by hanging planks of wood alongside the boat to prevent ice slabs bumping into your hull.
  • If you are unable to cruise and get stuck for a period of time then you will need to have a backup service if you use a pump out loo. Carry a cassette toilet to use as a back-up should you be unable to empty the pump out toilet.


It's a new year and a good time to start using seasonal ingredients in your cooking.

If you are starting a healthy regime there are plenty of seasonal veggies to keep you going these are all low in fat; butternut squash, cauliflower, carrots and parsnips and are perfect for making into hearty soups.

Seafood and fish
that are at their best this time of year include mussels, skate and salmon.

Roasted or stewed seasonal lamb and duck make a comforting evening meal.

And lastly make the most of winter fruits in crumbles and cakes.


We all know its cold, wet and dark outside and the sofa seems more appealing than anywhere else right now, but don't be a couch potato try and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to keep you fit and healthy. Now is a great time to join and gym or exercise group as many places have promotional offers, so come on check it out!


  • Get a good nights sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods -  Selenium rich foods like oatmeal, seafood, nuts and legumes protect against depression and mood disorders 
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise daily, at least 30 minuutes.
  • Laugh and have fun.
  • Take up a new hobby, new year equals new starts.
  • Beating the Winter Blues


Here are some simple things that you can do to help our wildlife this winter;

  • Feed the birds – put out plenty of bird food, particularly waxballs and mealworms.
  • Break the ice – break the ice in bird baths, ponds and puddles to allow wildlife to have a drink.
  • Tread carefully - try not to disturb places where animals are likely to be taking shelter, especially during a cold snap.
  • In warm spells – if we have a warm spell, it might be an idea to put out some cat food and water for any hedgehogs which might awake.


When winterising your boat for the first time, it’s helpful to make a note of what tools you’ve used during the process, so you can then quickly get them together for the next time!  There is nothing more annoying that forgetting the one vital tool you need for a particular task. 


Baking Month, Bath Safety Month, Blood Doner Month, Braille Literacy Month, Codependency Awareness Month, Fat Free Living Month, National Hobby Month, Hot Tea Month, Mentoring Month, Oatmeal Month, Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Slow Cooking Month, Soup Month Stalking Awareness Month, Thank You Month, Weight Loss Awareness Month.   
Looks like we are going to be busy!


Follow out top tips to save money in January a time when most people are trying to catch up on finances after the expense of Christmas:

  • Start the year with a fresh monthly budget
  • Make the most of the sales
  • Print of coupons for supermarkets and shop around
  • Recycle old mobile phones, DVDs, CDs and clothes. is one of many websites you can use to sell your old mobile phone. Try using ebay or Facebook to resell your unwanted garments.
  • Have a dry January. If, according to figures released in 2014 from the Office for National Statistics, you are an average British household that spends £15.20 a week on alcohol, by not drinking for the entire month of January, you could save over £60. 


Audlem Lock Open Day
21st January 2017, 10am to 4pm
Lock 13, Audlem Lock, Shropshire Street Audlem Crewe, CW3 0DX

Audlem Lock Open Day take a look at the winter works happening at the site. Visitors are invited to see first-hand the works taking place to restore and repair lock 13. Take a look inside the drained lock and walk along the bottom of the lock chamber up to the temporary dam next to the by-wash weir.



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