*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Friday, 27 March 2020

Day 1: Self-isolating.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Here we are Day 1 of self-isolating. You may ask why we are bothering to self-isolate when we are on a secure mooring at the end of an arm. We took the decision to self-isolate because in the Arm we have elderly and poorly people living on their boats here. We are both 100% sure we are not carrying anything nasty, but to be certain we want to make doubly sure for the peace of mind of others. We will sit out on our pontoon and potter, but for us it is the right thing too do. Once we have done our self-isolating, we will then wander around the Arms grounds. I am not actually sure I want to venture out of the Arm even for shopping when the time comes. We do have a Sainsbury just a five minute walk up the road, but there will no doubt be queue's and that I am not going to inflict on myself. At the moment we have enough supplies to last the 14 days and a friend who has had the virus has offered to get us supplies, as she is now immune. But we will see what happens as the day's go by.

This morning we had a nice leisurely wake up, with a cup of tea in bed, and the TV on for the news. My legs are certainly telling me to do very little today. Having crept out of bed gingerly, I stoked up the fire and turned my attention to food. I decided to batch cook some mince beef out of the freezer. First of the batch meals is a Madras Curry, which will do us at least two days. I have some Naan bread in the freezer plus Onion Bhaji's and Samosa's in the freezer as well, plus plenty of rice. The rest of the mince will probably make a cottage pie and a pie, but we will see. We are a little low on vegetables, so I may need to use the frozen vegetables for a while. I am all about making use of everything I have available.
After all the cooking, the only thing to do is eat some of the hard work. I have to say it was lovely. The rest will freeze for later on. The remainder of the mince has been fried off with half an onion ( using the other half for dinner tonight), a tatty leek, frozen tomatoes, four remaining mushrooms, a couple of oxo cubes and a dash of pepper. It was put on the coal stove to cook slowly during the afternoon.
It has been another glorious day, with wall to wall sunshine. I did venture out to sweep the chimney and get rid of rubbish, but today was all about relaxing. I may feel more up to doing more tomorrow. I have realized my knees are not as young as they used to be and so need some TLC for a day or two.
This virus has made me realize that life is cheap and then some. It does not care if you have wealth, housing, fancy clothing or the latest car. It is impacting on everyone's lives, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do as you are asked by Boris Johnson. Not even he is immune we now know. Stay at home and look after your loved ones. Potter around the garden and do the jobs you have been putting off, but do not pack a picnic and think you can go off trekking because your life is worth so much more. There will always be time for fun when this is all over and it will be over. The more we do as we are asked the quicker this will go away.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Day 20: We are home.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Travelled 2.9 miles. Worked 21 locks in a time of 4 hours 10 minutes.

It was a very frosty start for us this morning.
The sunrise was glorious and it bode well for a sunny jaunt home to our mooring.
We arrived at the top of Hatton locks at 8 am.
Fellow boater Harry New off of narrowboat Warwick, who was moored right by the top lock, very kindly went and set the first half of the flight for us. Hopefully one day we can repay his kindness.
Harry left us having set the first half of the locks and we then had the rest of them against us. The towpath although quieter, we still saw cyclists, walkers and runners, who were not doing social distancing and so I had to second guess them at each lock in order to keep out of there way. One woman who was pregnant, even began coming towards me to ask a question. She was getting way to close when I ask her to stop and think about her social distancing. Her reply was "what do you mean". I had to ask her again to keep her distance, because we were social distancing. She was less than impressed, but I am sorry she should have been at home being pregnant and not walking the towpath.
We finally made it home to the safety of our mooring. Having done overall 73.3 miles and worked 71 locks in just three and a half days. We would like to thank CRT, because they helped with some of the locks and a huge thank you to Harry for helping us this morning.
It is now time to self isolate and relax.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Day 19: Heading home part 3.

Dear family, friends and followers.

After a very quiet night in Birmingham and a really goodnight's sleep, we woke up early to silence, which is unheard of in Birmingham. I got up and made us a cuppa and we sat listening to the latest virus news. None of it is ever good news at the moment sadly, but if we all do our bit, we will come out the other side. Yesterday we learnt that two of our friends have been battling with the Coronavirus. Both have are getting better, but they were both very poorly. Then today one of my Facebook friends, sent me a message to say that she and her husband have also both been going through it. They have had a mild version of it and caught it off their son. Boaters are NOT immune to this virus, even if you may think you are.
Anyway, having sorted ourselves out, we set off at 7.35 am and headed out of Birmingham, which was eerily quiet.
Even the towpaths through Birmingham were quiet. It has to be hoped that people are heeding the warnings about staying home.
We saw the first ducklings of the year. This mum was looking after Fifteen little fluff balls. Despite all what is going on in the world, mother nature and wildlife is carrying on regardless. It certainly gladdened the day.
By 2.30 pm we were beginning the descent of the Lapworth locks. It was all quiet to begin with, but then we began to see walkers and cyclists. It is quite obvious that people have no idea what 2 metres looks like, because they were not socially distancing themselves. I was making sure I kept well clear. I even had to ask one lady to move away from me and to observe the social distancing, when she was coming towards me as I walked across the lock gates. At first she just kept coming and I almost had to shout at her to make her understand. She did not seem to understand what she was doing wrong. Anyway finally the penny dropped and she moved away from me a safe distance, so I could get off the lock gate. I really do not understand why people are not heeding the warnings. Boris said that we could all exercise and then go home. Some people seem to think this means a day out sitting by the locks in the sunshine.
On a plus side though, lots of folk are staying home and working in their gardens. We have had lots of children waving to us from their houses and gardens, which always makes me smile and yes we always wave back. It is so easy to be down at the moment, but there is always a plus to every minus.
It has been a beautiful day, even the goats at Tom O' the Wood goats were enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.
The last tunnel of the day. Shrewley tunnel is always very wet inside.
Our cruising day ended at 5.30 pm. We moored up alongside Hatton railway station. A late dinner of pasta and a much needed cuppa. Tomorrow we will be heading down Hatton Locks.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Day 18: Heading home part 2.

Dear family, friends and followers.

After what was a very restless night for me (worried), we woke before 5 am and I made us a cuppa. Listening to the news again this morning after Boris Johnson gave us his talk last night, it is clear to us that we are so doing the right thing by going home.
6 am the alarm went off, which meant it was up and at them. Early breakfast and boat chores. We set off at 6.55 am and headed for Autherley Junction and then Wolverhampton 21. My hope was that we would not meet any one hanging around the locks, because I honestly was feeling I would lose my rag with them. It actually turned out we met a boat coming out of our first lock of the day. They had come down the flight yesterday, moored up three locks from the bottom over night. On hearing Boris, they decided to wind and head back to Alvechurch. They very kindly allowed us to go ahead of them whilst they winded. As we worked our way up the flight, I set the lock for them to come up behind us (observing the 2 metre social distancing). It all worked really well, albeit a lot slower than we would usually be. We did meet people walking, cycling and running, but I was thankful they kept their distance. We did meet a CRT man checking the water levels and he was saying that CRT are working on a skeleton staff now and are only doing water checks and emergencies. He also told me about what happened to his wife yesterday. She works for ASDA and yesterday she had to help stop someone from taking more than they needed out of the store. The man coughed in her face and told her that he hoped she dies. What the hell is wrong with people? Anyway she is handing in her notice, because the CRT man said we do not need that sort of behaviour or the extra money. I feel so sad that mankind can be so awful at times.
We stopped at Neptune's Wharf in Tipton to get some supplies, using two small shops, which had everything we needed. I am really trying to keep away from supermarkets, whilst people are being so ridiculous. Having got our supplies we then headed towards Birmingham. I really think that people did not listen to Boris last night and understand how bad this is getting and will continue to get, because every man, woman and dog were out today either walking, cycling or running. At Brades Locks there were even people drinking beer and soaking up the sunshine. Please, please, please stay at home and listen to what you are being told.
We are moored in Birmingham and will make another run for home tomorrow.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday, 23 March 2020

Day 17: Heading home.

Dear family, friends and followers.

This morning, we sat in bed this morning drinking our tea and listening to the news on the radio. There was an overwhelming need to go home, because we feared an impending lock down coming. Having discussed it, we decided that we would wind the boat and make for home.
When we came out on the 6th March, none of this was looking likely, but as we all know people have not been getting the message about social distancing or self isolating and this has been causing major problems all over the country. I had this feeling of foreboding this morning when I woke up which made me aware that we should go home. Only this morning I read a friends Facebook post on how they had issues at locks because of crowds of people standing watching, none of them social distancing and when she asked them to do so they got aggressive. I really wonder what the mentality is of people who would put their day out before their health and the health of their families?
On our long day today, we met a heavily pregnant woman, her three other children and partner walking the towpath with others passing them by closely. I felt like screaming. it makes me so angry and sad that people fail to listen and this will end in a lock down.
I know some may say we are panicking. Well the way I felt this morning, I was panicking because I can see what is coming. It is a shame that we must head home, but we will be able to sit on our mooring, connected to the electric and we will have plenty to do once we have done our self isolation.
Please, please stay safe out there and stay well.
Judith sorry we could not stop for a chat, we wanted to get as far as we could. You both stay safe and well xxx

Pop back soon xxx


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