*****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, 20 January 2017

How to silence a scammer.

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Hi Friends.

It was a stonker of a morning when I opened the back cabin door, I was greeted by a frost and clean air.

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The air was so still that the reflections on the water were so clear. I love mornings like this. For a change we had sunshine to follow, which we have not had for some days. Paddy had a spring in his step, when he climbed out of the boat and jumped off the back counter to head off for his walk. It was rather slippery under foot, so whilst he was not bothered by the ice, I was being a little more careful. On our return to the boat, Marmite was sitting on the step waiting for us to return, knowing full well she would get her much needed breakfast. Anyone would think she was never fed. Animals sorted, fires sorted, next I had the bed to strip, as it was bedding wash day today. Whilst the bedding was washing, I got on and remade the bed with a crisp, clean duvet cover, sheet and pillow cases. There is nothing nicer than climbing into clean bedding. After the washing was done, it was hung in the engine room and back cabin and did not take long to dry, with the stove going.

It was 11 am and time to start thinking about something for lunch. I had decided on doing Singapore noodles with Chicken, this is a dish we have had at Wetherspoon’s, it is in the menu for two meals for £7.99. I began preparing the veggies and the chicken. At 11.30 am the phone rang. I answered it and a gentleman told me he was from Microsoft, I listened to his Indian voice and though nah this is not right, so put the phone done. No sooner I got into the galley the phone rang again, but this time Keith answered the phone. The following is what happened next as told by Keith.

Just had an interesting 1½ hour conversation with a scammer. He said we was from Microsoft and was trying to tell me that my computer was causing errors. He knew and quoted my CLSID, which he then got me to look up according to the description below, even pointing me to the errors as also quoted. Despite telling him I had worked with computers since 1982 as a computer engineer, and knew more about computers then he, I was passed to 2 other colleagues, 1 supposedly an engineer and the lady was in registration, all coming out with similar statements, especially emphasising that my Microsoft licence would be revoked and my computer closed down!

Whilst all this was going on I was cooking lunch which got spoilt, but I did have a giggle at Keith picking thie scammers apart. . At this point Keith asked the man to ring back so we could eat our lunch, and during this time Keith did some research on-line and found the following:-
"A CLSID is a Class Identifier stored in the Windows Registry — at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID, but I don’t recommend that you go digging into the Registry unless you really know what you’re doing. Fortunately (from the point of view of interfering with Registry entries), the scammer doesn’t need you to edit the registry to find the CLSID he’s looking for. He simply has to persuade you to run the ASSOC command. It’s easy to do: you click on the Start button, Run, type in CMD to get to the command prompt (DOS prompt) and type ASSOC. That runs through a long list of file associations, telling you (for instance) that “.xltx=Excel.Template”.
Since it’s a long file it scrolls straight to the bottom, but if you’re really interested in seeing exactly what it contains, you can get it to go through page by page by typing in “assoc | more”: however, the scammer wants you to go straight to the bottom so that you’ll see this entry:
ZFSendToTarget=CLSID{888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062}
That’s the CLSID on all PCs and is not unique to your computer. Amazingly, it’s also the one that the scammer quoted. And I bet that if you have a recent version of Windows and go through the same steps you’ll find that you have it too. In other words, the scammer can’t see your CLSID or anything else on your PC, including your Event Viewer logs. Unless, of course, you fall for the scam and give him remote access with AMMYY or LetMeIn.
Event Viewer? That’s the tool he uses to persuade you that the transitory errors inevitably flagged in its logs are “evidence” of a system problem or malware infection. Of course, they’re no such thing."
I did not think we would hear anything else from these scammers, how daft was I because one of them rang back Keith told him that he had sent an email to Microsoft and that until he had a reply to it he was not going to proceed any further, to which he hung up and so far has not rung back. I must admit they were very convincing and it was disturbing when Keith was threatened with my pc being closed down, but fortunately he knew what they were trying to do. Now don't get me wrong but considering all 3 that he spoke to said they were in San Francisco California, they all spoke with an Asian accent, and when he asked to speak to an American to prove they were from Microsoft in America, none of them could do so, surprise, surprise. So please be warned about these phone calls, and pass on, or share if you wish, as less suspecting and savvy folks than us may get caught out by it as it does sound very convincing. If you do get a similar call even if you ask for names they give you names, the two I was given were Richard Harrison, and Anne Johnson, bearing in mind the accents were Asian!

I have already spoken to a friend, who also had the same thing happen to her, thankfully she was not taken in. These people were so persistent, I am glad it was their phone bill and not ours. I wonder how many people they do actually manage to scam each day?

After such an exciting morning, the afternoon was really boring, so I will not bother to send you to sleep.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

It’s a cat’s life.

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Hi Friends.

I know, I know you are all going awwww to the cute picture of the day. I did exactly the same. I know for a fact we would never have gotten Marmite in boots and a cat when she was a kitten.

The title of this post is because I think I am coming back as a boat cat in the next life, because marmite has the perfect life style. She usually stays awake a lot through the night looking out of the port holes. She keeps a vigil in case there is any activity outside that she should know about. I suspect she is watching for rats and other cats which come past the boat. We know other cats patrol the area, because I see them most days. Once Keith and I are awake and having our cuppa in bed, she see’s fit to come and pay us a visit. She is mainly checking to see if we are getting up, because in her opinion she should be fed no sooner we are awake. Once we decide we are getting up, she then wants to play sheet wars with me. I roll the duvet up and put it in the cupboard and then roll the bottom sheet up, but usually before I can do this Marmite has dived under the rolled up sheet and is attacking it with all four paws and her teeth and woe betide if my hand gets in the way, she may only have Eleven teeth left, but she still puts them to good use. I have to wrestle the sheet off of her, which is of course a huge game. When she has finished, she them wants Keith to pick up up for a cuddle, this means I can then put the bed away and close the door on the cupboard.

Cuddle with Keith over, she starts meowing and meowing for her breakfast and she does not stop. I usually take Paddy out for his walk, before feeding either of them, so when we come back from the walk, she is sat on the back cabin step still meowing her disapproval at not being fed. At this point I feed her her fish and at last we have peace. It is not as though she has no food, because she has dried food in a dish, but she always likes her fish in the morning and evenings.

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After breakfast, if the back cabin stove is lit, she will head into the back cabin and sleep on top of my sewing pile, this is a pile of things I need to either adjust or mend. Marmite loves sleeping on clothes. She will stay there for most of the day, sometimes only putting in appearance when the end music for Tipping Point comes on, because she knows it is then teatime.

Yesterday I emptied a basket with plants in I had been given, I scrubbed it clean and hung it above the stove to dry. This morning I put it on the box beside the fire and Marmite immediately thought “Goodie”. She climbed into it and went round and round in the basket trying to get comfortable. Because the bottom of the basket was rough and uncomfortable, tis went on and on, so me being soft I put my old sweat shirt in it for her.

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She has been in the basket ever since all snuggled up and looking like the cat who got the cream.

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This will be her favourite place for a few days, she will then get fed up with it and move on to somewhere else. Keith made her the rag rug under the basket, she slept on it a couple of times and now she does not want to know it.

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Marmite is the cat that rules our boat and she rules us and Paddy. Paddy put his nose up to the basket and Marmite made it quite clear he was not to come near. She will stay there until teatime and then we will have the meowing all over again until she gets her fish. Marmite is a fish cat, she does not like meat. We tried her on Chicken, Beef, Rabbit etc, but she turned her nose up. No sooner we gave her fish, she was one very happy cat.

She definitely has a Cat’s Life.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

X-ray and the Kingfisher.

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Hi Friends.

It is another drab and miserable day. I do not tend to let the weather bother me, but when it is so miserable, it can drag you feeling to rock bottom and I know some suffer during the Winter months. For me I am a very optimistic person and never let anything get me down for long.

This mornings excursion was to the hospital for a chest X-ray. They say that the NHS is failing us with its delays, well there was no sign of that. I made the appointment yesterday, when I got back from the GP and my appoint was for 8.50 am this morning, now that is what I call quick. Warwick Hospital is known for its very good appointment system. We both walked to the hospital, the first hurdle to get over was actually crossing the road, because it is a nightmare in the mornings, with the rush hour traffic. We were fortunate this morning, because a very kind driver allowed us to cross in front of him, so thank you to that gentleman. There are going to be big road works done this year outside the Arm, we went to see the road layout at the library and asked if a crossing of some sort could be put in along the road, to make it easier for us and many others who want to cross. We were told it would be looked into, but it was not planned for this new road layout. So we will see what happens. Anyway we crossed the road and walked to the hospital and into the X-ray department, which was very quiet. I had literally just taken my coat off and sat down, when I was called through. I did not have to gown-up, I was told to take my bra off, but leave my jumper on and in I went and had my X-ray done. All done and dusted in 10 minutes, I reckon that is amazing, when we are in an age when the NHS is being stretched.

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On our way back to the boat, we stopped to chat to a couple of our Winter moorer’s and the Kingfisher put in appearance. It is always such a joy to see the Kingfisher. I hope to get out with my camera and get a better photograph.

Back home and I headed off to the laundry to do a wash. Whilst the machine did its thing, I came back to the boat to prepare lunch, which was going to be steamed cod fillet with roasted vegetables. I am trying my best to eat healthy. To be honest I do not eat a lot junk food. I am not into McDonalds etc. I like homemade food. There is nothing nicer than preparing a meal, cooking and then eating it. So the roast veggies were going to be Sweet Potatoes sliced, Onion, Red Pepper, Mushrooms, Carrots and the remaining Sprouts, which were looking a little sad, but would be fine.

With lunch cooking and the wonderful smell spreading throughout the boat, I re-lit the back cabin stove, because there was a distinct chill and damp feeling coming from there. No sooner the heat began to permeate around the cabin, Marmite curled up on my jumper on the side bed and that would be where she would stay until teatime.

The whole day stayed miserable, there was not one glimmer of the sun, so our solar lights are pretty dull now that the darkness has taken over. But it did stay lighter long today, so the lighter nights are coming and with it Spring will follow. We already have Snowdrops out and the Daffodils are beginning to push up through the grass. If we get anymore frosty weather they will be knocked back, but it is mild at the moment, so everything has gotten confused.

The day has ended with me doing my Daily Steps chart and today I have done 6149 steps, so not 10,000, but I will strive to get there by the end of the week.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Wet, wet, wet.

Hi Friends.

The picture at the top say's it all really. It has been a wet old day and miserable to boot.
This morning we were awake at 6 am, now this was not planned, I had set my phone alarm for 6.30 am, but it seems that because I did not have my glasses on at the time, I set our little alarm clock for 6 am, so the alarm went off at 6 am and awake we were. The reason for the early morning call was due to the fact I had a GP appointment at 8.30 am. Because of the early hour, I made us our first cup of tea of the day and the TV went on. I did not need to open the back cabin door to see the wet weather, because Carol Kirkwood as always gave us a very concise weather forecast and yes it said it would be wet, this meant a wet walk to the surgery. I do not drive and we have not had a car since 2005. The GP surgery is about a 15 minute walk from the boat and when the roads are busy it can take longer, because crossing the road can be a bit of nightmare.
Having drunk our tea and listened to the news, which is pretty much all about Donald Trump and him being swore in as the 45th president of the United States later this week, it was time to turn the TV off, roll the bed up and close the cupboard door. Dressed and off walking Paddy by 7.15 am, which Paddy was so pleased about NOT. He took one look at the rain and thought Arghhhhh no mum, please do not make me go out in this. But needs must, he had to go out. Because it was still dark, I took a torch with me, in order to make sure I could see what I was picking up. With leaves on the ground, it can sometimes be hard to see where he has gone. Paddy was quick to do his business, because he was desperate to get back on the boat. Paddy and Marmite then got fed and whilst they ate I got on with stoking the fire up for the day. With having two coal stoves on board, we do get a lot of dust, so that needs clearing away every day, this I do with a damp cloth. Using polish is a waste of time and money, because it just spreads the dust over other things I have found and to be honest using a damp cloth does the trick.
8 am it was time for me to don my waterproof jacket and head out into the doom and gloom of a wet morning. The traffic was horrendous outside the Arm, which is pretty usual on a weekday morning. I was however very lucky because the nice drivers out there allowed me to cross the road between the cars, which was very kind of them. The walk was rather soggy, what really annoyed me more than the rain, was the speed in which cars came past me, because the puddles on the side of the road, then found themselves all over me, even though I walked right away from the edge of the pavement. Some drivers I am sure do this on purpose. I arrived at the surgery a little sodden, my trousers came off worst from the puddle drenching. I had 15 minutes to wait to see my GP, this gave me time dry-out a little, so when I met him I did not look like a drown rat.
8.30 am I was seen by my GP, and I have to go for a chest x-ray tomorrow. I also have to stay on the Amitriptyline for another month and then stop taking them to see if the Costochondritis has settled down. I am still having problems with pain, which I think is associated with my Hiatus Hernia, so I am still on Omeprazole twice a day and  to add to that I am taking Ranitidine twice a day, to see if that works. I have a month on the Ranitidine which is supposed to help with Acid reflux and this associated with stomach issues. We will give it a go, because it would be nice to be totally pain free.
The GP I am seeing is so nice, he is with the practice until August and I hope he stay's because I prefer him to the one I registered with. He was the one who told me to take Ibueprofen, which is not good for people with stomach problems. He has done a couple of things which I now question, so have decided I am not seeing him again. So I do hope my new GP stay's.
8.45 am I left the surgery and walked into the town to go to the chemist, but with it not being 9 am, I went to the Tuckery cafe for a coffee, whilst I wanted for the shops to open. The Tuckery is a common cafe, non of this expensive tea or coffee, just good old plain drinks and food. I cannot abide Costa or Starbucks, they are over rated and over priced, give me a common old cafe any day.
9 am off to the chemist to hand in my prescription and came out £25.20 p poorer. I had a 10 minute wait for my tablets, so went for a wander around the charity shops. After a wander around the charity shops, I collected my tablet and wandered home in the drizzle.
I booked my appointment for my x-ray on returning home and made a nice hot coffee. Marmite was the first to greet me. It always feels like she is is giving you a dressing down, because you have been out without her, either that or she just wants to know where you have been and what you have been doing.
I spent the afternoon doing more to the family tree, this time I am doing Keith's family tree, so keep watching, I think I may find some interesting things, because there seems to be an awful lot of Lodges who came from High Easter, Essex.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Change the nappies.

Hi Friends.

Here we are on a Sunday and the weather is a little yuck. Gone are the cold frosty days and are replaced with rain and more rain. I love the cold and frost more and if we have some snow thrown in that is even nicer.
Yesterday was a day for doing very little. It began as it always does with the cuppa, walking the dog, breakfast, stoking up the fire. I then did a laundry wash. Keith went off up to the Royal Mail sorting office, because the postman had left a note to say that they had a parcel for him which the postage had not been paid for. So off he went in the rain to collect the parcel and pay the £3.00 owing. The parcel was more trees for his railway layout. Laundry done and the time passing, I made a coffee and contemplated what to do next. Lunch was next on my list. The remains of the cottage pie were heated up and I did a few veggies and gravy. I am a big believer in using everything up in something, I and Keith hate waste. I never throw any food away unless it has gone totally rotten, I am not into sell or use-by dates, they are a load of hogwash.
After lunch, I decided I needed to stretch my legs and so walked into town to pick up Keith's nasal spray, which they did not have when I went in Thursday. Being a Saturday, the market was on in the centre of Warwick and because of the weather it was all rather quiet. I do not think the stall holders did very well. I collected Keith's spray and had a quick wander around the town, which helped with my steps for the day.
On my steps for the day. I try to do 10,000 steps a day, which equates to around 5 miles of walking a day. Both Keith and I started this after he was very poorly in 2014 and have kept it up ever since. Being honest, I do not always achieve this, but I do my very best.
Back home in the warmth of the boat, Keith was still working on his laptop. So I got on and made a coffee and then sat down and tackled the family tree again, this time I was looking at Keith's family, which has an interesting spin on it. Keith's great-grandfather found out when he was 15 years old that he did not have a legitimate father, so I am trying to find out more about his real father, who had the name of Middleton. This may prove to be problamatic, but I will give it my best.
Having done as much as I could for the evening, it was time to put the mouse away and put my feet up for a while. With the dark night still very much with us, all's I want to do is watch the TV in front of a roaring fire until bedtime.

So back to the beginning and it being Sunday. A day of rest it used to be called. Ha ha not when you live on a boat, because there is always things that need to be done and that was definitely right for me. My list of jobs for the morning, were to do the usual stuff, dog walking, breakfast, fires. But after all of that I lifted the floor in the back cabin to change the nappies. Yes there is where the title comes in. Before Christmas, I changed the nappies, which I put down to catch the condensation which gathers under the floors during the Winter. If I do not put nappies down then at the end of the Winter, I can end up bailing out over an inch of water from under the floors. I suspect many boaters do not realise this happens under their floors in the Winter. To get under the floor it means moving the coal box, which was almost empty, taking up the rag rugs and lino and then lifting up the wooden floor. Yep the nappies were well and truly sodden. Not sure if you can remember when toddlers walk around with heavy sodden nappies, they hang low. Well these nappies were well and truly sodden. I replaced them with nice dry ones and then put the flooring, lino and rag rugs back down. The coal box was then put back in place and a new bag of house coal was poured into it. I like to start the back cabin stove off with house coal. House coal does not burn as hot as some of the smokeless fuels. Back cabin all back to normal, with Marmite watching on from the side bed. All's she wanted, was for me to light the stove, but that would not be done till much later in the day. Next job was to get rid of the soggy nappies, fire ash which once cooled goes into old coal bags and to empty the good old toilet cassette. Out came the small trolley, I sat the cassette on it first, then the bag of soggy nappies and the ash bag on top. I trundled to the Elsan and bins to dispose of them all. I know not many ladies on boats likes doing the toilet cassette, but it has to be done and it has never bothered me.
Whilst I got on with all the jobs, Keith was trying in vain to load Adobe Photoshop on to my new laptop, unfortunately because the disc is old and scratched it would not load on to my laptop, which was odd, because it loaded on to his alright. It looks like we are going to have to buy a new disc.

The weather did not improve, so the rest of my day was spent, cooking doing the family tree, stoking the fire, doing the family tree.

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