*****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.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Friday, 17 January 2020

The weekend is almost here.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Where did the week go?
We are well over half way through January and I am already wondering just where Christmas went, it seems such a long time ago now. I always remember my Nan telling me that the older you get, the quicker the years fly by. As a child you think, don't be daft. But it is oh so true, the years are flying by. This week has been a whirlwind week, and yet nothing mega has happened really.
The weekend is almost here and I have not a clue as to what I am going to be doing. I think it may include watching films though.
Remember this little chap, I spoke about on Wednesday, well this morning I held out my hand with some meal worms in it and he was so tempted to come and sit on my hand to get his breakfast. I am going to keep working at it and who knows I may get photographic proof of it. I sent the hubby off to Tesco this morning to spend some money we were given as a gift at Christmas. We decided to spend the £10 on a Chinese ready meal box and extras. Why you ask? Well Tesco is doing a deal on a meal for two in a box for £5, where as Sainsbury's is £8, so a no brainer that the other half should get on his bike and cycle to Leamington-Spa. Of course he could of just caught the bus with his bus pass, but I think he required the exercise. Any way he arrived back with a back pack of goodies which will do us for a couple of meals. My Friday has so far included doing a laundry wash, sending hubby off on his bike and me comforting a lady by our pontoon.
I had come back from the laundry room and was just about to empty the ash pan contents into the metal bucket, when I saw this woman standing at the stern of our boat near our pontoon, she began walking towards me and said "I hope you do not mind I have put some flowers in the water". I told her it was absolutely fine. Through floods of tears she went on to tell me it was for some one who was being cremated as we were talking. I gave her a huge hug and asked why she felt she could not be there ( I think family issues). It turned out she had only heard about the cremation at midnight and as it was up country she could not get there in time. I hugged her even tighter, at this point because otherwise I was going to cry. She said that leaving the flowers by our boat felt like the right place after she saw the glass hearts hanging in our trees. She said "It felt like a sign". Oh my word, somethings really touch the heart. I invited her in for a cuppa, but she wanted to be on her way, but thanked me for my kindness. It made me realise how special life is and how we should hug those we love, because one day we will leave them or they will leave us. I just hope she is alright and that she will find peace, because that is all any of us truly want in our lives.
With the feast of food delivered by bike by hubby, it was then time to fire up the oven and decide what we would be having for lunch. I went with the spare ribs, chicken chow mein, with nibbles. It was indeed a real feast all paid for by a dear friend and we will do it all over again tomorrow, because there is enough for two days.
The forecasters had said we would be getting sunshine today, they said nothing about rain, but yes it rained. The garden is so sodden, I cannot get out on it and I have outside jobs which need doing. But until it dries up a bit all those will have to wait.
As the day has worn on the sun really did not come out that much, so no gardening for me today. It has been an indoor day, so I got on with crocheting and tidying the boat. Even though there is only two of us now on the boat, it still gets dusty and untidy and I cannot abide clutter. When you only have such a small living space, you have to be tidy. I do need to de-clutter a bit, but that can wait for warmer weather, because I need to get into my end of the hold, where my shop will be built. As we have a fire in, we have coal in there and that needs to be gone before I can start to strip things down. I am very much looking forward to getting my shop up and running. Then I can get more stock ordered.
Yesterday I was playing around with some of my photographs and the photograph above came out like this.
I do sell my photography on Redbubble.

Well that is enough rambling on for one day and I have battered your ears enough. Have a fabulous weekend.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Stormy old time.

Dear family friends and followers.

I hope this rambling finds you all keeping well and if you are poorly may it brighten your day.
Today has been more like April with sunshine and showers.
This is a view from our engine room doors, showing how moody the sky was at times, then all of a sudden it would chuck it down with rain. If I was one for being outside this afternoon, I would have been in out, in out and shook it all about, as it was I did my walking this morning when it was dry although cloudy. At least we have gotten rid of storm Brendan who did his best to have us rocking and rolling. The only thing we did notice was the rain and our wind chimes doing a merry dance. I actually took them down and put them away, so they did not get broken and the noise did not keep us awake or our neighbours. I think we can probably say that this Winter has been extremely wet, in fact I am trying to think of a wetter one and I cannot. If only we could send our water down to Australia, where they are desperate for some substantial rain.
After a lovely walk this morning, it was back to the boat to sort the stove out and to empty the ash pan. I then fed the wildlife which visits our garden on a regular basis.
The Bank Voles always get fed first, but they always seem to be the last up to eat. I reckon they are snoozing and are only woken by the smell of food for free.
Mr Robin comes and visits everyday. Of course I cannot be sure it is the same one, but he is very friendly. I am hoping to get him eating out of my hand at some point. He loves the meal worms I put out for him.
The Blue Tits then caught wind of the fact that there was free food available, so they came in their numbers to enjoy breakfast, before the hungry Wood Pigeon came and took most of the food.
Now I am a lover of all wildlife, but the Wood Pigeon and the Magpie always bully the other smaller birds off of the food, so I am going to have to take action. I am going to put some wire around the table which only the smaller birds can get through. I am hoping that this will stop the larger birds nicking all the food so quickly.
Whilst photographing the birds, my attention was drawn to the Squirrel on the opposite bank, who was tucking into an old loaf of bread left out by a fellow moorer.
I learnt something new this morning, because I have never seen Squirrels eat bread. This Squirrel certainly enjoyed tucking in and was not a bit bothered by me watching or photographing it. Not sure if the moldy bits are going to be very good for its health though :-(.
Wildlife fed and sorted, it was time for coffee and a catch up with e-mails and Facebook. I am very fortunate to have many wonderful friends on Facebook, but I do wonder why people send me friend requests that I have never heard of and they do not seem to have any of the same friends I have. The one thing I do is bin them. I will not add people I do not know unless they tell me where they met me or which friends we have in common. I am well aware there are lots of scams going on out there and so it is not worth taking any risks. I can actually say that all the friends I have, I have actually met at one time or another. I am in fact hoping to meet up with some of them this year when we go cruising, whenever that will be, because until I get my hospital appointment, we cannot make any firm plans. Hey ho that is life. I am quite sure if we do not go cruising as early as we usually do, we will find lots to do, like my on board shop, which we have been planning for a couple of years. Watch this space to see what happens.
I am back to my crocheting and have been given some lovely donated wool by friends, which has kind of kick started my crocheting habit again. I had a break over Christmas and the New year and then found it hard to get going, but I am back on the case.

Yesterday I had to go and have my eyes tested as it had been 2 years since my last test. I have reading and long distance glasses these days, so it is never a cheap affair and yesterday proved to be the case again, as I needed both sets replacing. It has made a huge difference to me though, because for years I have struggled with things blurring together and odd things happening like me walking left (I kid you not). I finally found an optician who knew exactly what one of my issues was and has put it right. I need reading glasses anyway, but they also needed a prism in my right lens and this has changed my life. I now have one in my long distance glasses as well, so I no longer walk left. You can only imagine how dangerous it was when walking along the towpath or pavement :-). So after having had all my measurements done, it was confirmed new glasses required. As we paid over the money, I gave a sharp intake of breath. The saving grace was my second pair were half price, but needless to say it still emptied the bank balance yet again, which has meant January has been very expensive on way or another.

As Wednesday draws to a close. I am thankful that I have my health (pretty much) and the love of a good man and my immediate family, because we have friends going through so much at the moment, what with life limiting illness and family bereavement. It puts our own lives into perspective and makes me especially realise how lucky I am.

Hug the ones you love, because tomorrow is not certain.

Pop back soon xx

Monday, 13 January 2020

Winter... What Winter?

Hello family, friends and followers.

The title of this rambling kind of say's it all for us in the UK. Winter, what Winter. We are into January and it is so incredibly mild for the time of year.
Already the bulbs are coming up and their are buds on the bushes in our garden.
Even our Heather's are in flower.
Even the Heather's we moved in October are in flower. The only problem is, if we get a cold snap the flowers and bulbs will be in for shock. The only weather on the horizon for us is a storm named Brendan, which is supposed to hit us overnight and into tomorrow. There maybe some rocking and rolling going on tonight, so I will make sure everything is tied down.
This morning we were awake with the Larks, because we were getting a new set of Five batteries. Our old batteries are over six years old and are pretty much dead. We ordered the batteries just before Christmas from Warwick Batteries, which is just across the road from us. Up and dressed, we stripped the flooring out of the back cabin and took up the flooring. We turned off all the electrics to the boat and undid all the batteries. Keith then passed them to me out through the back cabin doors and I lifted them onto the pontoon and lined them up for removal.
Having stripped out all of the old batteries, we then put them in the wheelbarrow two at a time and wheeled them to the steps where we carried them to where they were being picked up. Keith then phoned the battery company, they delivered our new batteries and took away our old ones.
By the time we had reconnected the batteries back up and turned everything back on we have whiled away 2 hours. Jobs a goodun though and we should be alright for at least another six years all being well.
Living on a boat, means these jobs have to be done and it pays for you to be able to do it yourself, otherwise you also have to pay for someone to do it for you. yes we paid for the batteries, but the time was our own.

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 10 January 2020

Bank Vole Action.

Hello family, friends and followers.

A few days of walking, being in pain and getting results. I have been having tests for pain in the Liver area. I have had two sets of blood tests and an Ultra Sound scan and so far it has all been inclusive and I am still in pain. The first set of bloods showed my Liver was so angry and it was not due to alcohol, because I hardly drink anyway the scan showed a couple of cysts but nothing more sinister. I then had the second rounds of bloods, which showed the first round of test results had improved and were back to normal, but it showed that another test was abnormal, so now I have to wait for an appointment with a consultant, which may not be until April :-(. The problem with being in pain, is you can take very little that does not affect the Liver, so I am kind of putting up with the discomfort. The GP asked me again today, how much do I drink on a monthly basis and I had to say very little, because that is true. Even over the festive period we drank hardly anything. We had a bottle of wine and a glass of mulled wine Christmas Day and a tot of Whiskey on New years Eve to see in the New Year and that was it. We only really drink if we eat out and then it is only a pint of beer or a bottle of wine, so I know that alcohol is not causing my problem.

Anyway it will come out in the wash I hope. Until I get answers I am getting on with things when the pain is not to bad. Today I fed our Bank Voles. I say our Bank Voles because they live in our log pile.
I can watch them from our open galley doors, which I put perspex in when it is dry. This morning I put them some food out, when I fed the birds. I then stand and wait for the little darlings. They come out leisurely, so I wonder if they are still sleeping when I put their breakfast out. I like to think that the wafting of the foods smell wakes them up and there they are stretching and yawning at the thought of breakfast that they do not have to find. Anyway I love to stand and watch them running about in the wood pile. This morning I saw at least three Bank Voles, but I suspect there are more. When you consider they only really live for a year if they are lucky, because they get predated by birds, cats etc it is wonderful to have them in our garden.
The rest of my day was in limbo whilst I waited for the GP to ring me and that did not happen until 2.45 pm, which meant not much left of the day to do much and to be honest I did not feel up to much. Hoping tomorrow will be better.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Up with the dawn chorus.

Hello family, friends and follower.

You will all be pleased to read, I did actually get out for my walk yesterday afternoon. There was a gap in the weather and so off I went. I never really decide where I am walking until I set off. I feel that I will be greeted by nice surprises if I do a different walk every day. The afternoons walk took me across the canal a couple of times, up Cape Road and back down Birmingham road. In all I did 1.266 miles, which whilst not that far, it was enough for the day. By the time I got back, it was time for a nice coffee and a sit down to watch an afternoon film, before sorting our dinner. Over the weekend, the hives made an very unwelcome return, so I have been keeping a food diary, in order to try and figure out what has been setting me off.
Today I was awake with the dawn chorus, with a purpose because I had to be at the GP surgery for 8 am to have blood tests done again. I gave my armful of blood to numerous blood tests. At one point the nurse and I had to give the vein a good talking to, because it was getting slower and slower at giving away my precious red gold. Eventually we persuaded it to let the last drop drip into the tube and I was on my way into town. I then hung around in town until 11 am because I had to see my GP. There was little point in me walking back to the boat, only to have to walk back for 11 am, so I went and had a coffee and a tea cake in the local cafe Tuckey's. At 9 am I strolled around the charity shops, buying another Annie Murray book 'The ladies of Lilac Street which has been added to to my collection and a pair of green trousers, which I had been looking for for a while. I met a few people I know and had a natter, which took up some of my time. Eventually the time came for me to walk to the surgery, where I was seen on time. My scan was inconclusive, so hoping the second lot of blood tests helps, but I am also being referred to the hospital. Oh the joys it is now my turn to be on the NHS treadmill. This could of course put pay to any early cruising this year, but health comes first every time. Hoping I will know more by the end of the week. Keith came and met me at the surgery and took me to lunch at our favourite Thai restaurant, which was fabulous as always. We then took a leisurely stroll back home and coffee was made.
I am hoping that tomorrow I maybe able to get out in the garden a bit, but we will see what the weather has to say and how I feel.

Pop back soon xx


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