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!
Saturday, 10 March 2018
Here we are with the snow all gone and the birds singing their little hearts out. Something tells me Spring has now well and truly sprung.
We put some nest boxes up in the Arm a few weeks ago.
Now that Spring is here, not only are the birds Spring cleaning, so am I. It is time to get ready for the the cruising season. This year I decided to begin in the back cabin and work my way forward. The curtains were first to come down for a wash, then the plates got their annual wash. I even washed the walls and ceiling. It amazes me how dirty they get, but I guess with the stove going, it is soot grime. Keith helped me cut the new lino and that is now in the back cabin. I want to wash the rag rug by the coal box before we go, as it is looking very grubby. The coal box has been filled to the top as well, in case of cold weather. I washed the blankets and the cushion covers. The whole of the back cabin is now sparkling, well almost. I still have the brass to clean, but I have been over it with Cilit Bang to take the worst of the grim off. Oh and I still have the gearbox to check.
Friday's task was to tackle the engine room. Keith checked the fan belts, whilst I went Teddy washing. Yes you read right. I have a shelf above the bed 'ole and on it we have our small Teddies. They were looking dust and grubby, so in the washing machine they went with other washing. They went into the drier afterwards and are now safely back on their shelf, none the worse for their wash and blowdry. Washing done, it was back on board to fill the water tank and tidy the pontoon, ready for our friend who will be pontoon sitting whilst we are away. Whilst the water tank filled it was time to start the engine room clean. Having a long haired Collie, is not idea with an open engine room, because his hair sticks to the engine. So out came the hoover and along with a bowl of soapy hot water and a cloth, we soon had the hair under control and the engine looking clean and tidy again. I still have the floor to wash, but that will happen just before we go.
After Sweet and Sour Vegetables and Rice for lunch, I turned my attention to doing some cutting back in the Arm's Sensory Garden. In the Sensory Garden we have a herb bed, which needed trimming back, so I took the opportunity to gather some herbs to dry in the boat. These will get used whilst we are away. So I have Bay Leaves, Sage and Rosemary hanging up in the boat to dry, which is giving off a lovely scent.No sooner I had cut the herbs rain began to fall, so it was back to the boat for a coffee and feet up for a bit. The evenings are still chilly, so I relit the back cabin stove, to take the chill off and to of course make Marmite incredibly happy. She has taken over one of my fleece jumpers, which has become her cosy bed for the moment, but I know it will not last, because she will move to somewhere else in a few days. Friday in many ways was a productive day, which ended with a minor disaster. I decided after dinner to wash our elderly rag rug, dusters and brass cleaning cloths. The rag rug is usually in front of our coal box in the back cabin. It is about 10 years old and has been washed numerous times. I put it in to a wash bag or pillowcase and wash on a quick wash. Sadly it did not survive the wash this time and came out of the machine with a hole in the middle, so it has gone to the bin and a new one will be put in its place. In fact we need two new ones. Thankfully Keith has some he has made in a box, so I will be looking through there to find something suitable. The dusters and cleaning cloths came out nice and clean phew.
Saturday I woke to the sound of sniffing and coughing, which means the other half has a bit of a cold going on. I am seriously hoping I do not get it before we go out. He had said he had a tickly throat, so was sucking on pastilles from Superdrug, but they are not doing the trick, so having done all the boat chores and made a Chicken and Sweet Potato, we walked up into town to buy some Olbas Pastilles which I know always work. The weather for today is supposed to be wet. We did have a lot of rain overnight and it was raining when I was woken up. I can see me having a sports watching day, what with the Paralympics and six nations rugby ongoing, I think it will be feet up day watching the TV and knitting dishcloths. I am making some new ones for the back cabin. The old ones are looking rather tatty and need refreshing.
Have a lovely weekend.
Pop back soon xx
Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Saturday, 3 March 2018
Yesterday we were blessed with yet more snow. It was absolutely beautiful this morning.
Of course before any cruising can start we need to get rid of the ice and whilst we wait for that, Keith continues to build his railway and I get on with boat jobs.
Paddy and Marmite in the meantime are making the most of being in the warm. Paddy maybe 14 years old, but he can still run fast in his dreams.
Friday, 2 March 2018
I am quite sure all of those reading this in the United Kingdom are well and truly aware that the so called Beast from the East and Storm Emma have visited and left behind them small and large deposits of the White stuff. We have been blessed with snow, ice and the windchill fact to kill off the Brass Monkeys.
The cold does not bother me much as long as I am well dressed and my feet are warm. I have been kept busy with brushing the snow off the pontoon, keeping the birds fed and watered. I have kept the stoves burning, by getting in the coal. Safety of course is important, so my stash of table salt has come in handy for the back counter and the pontoon. It has worked well to keep the ice at bay. One does not want to slide into the icy water.
I have found it most annoying that the news has had no other news but the weather. It has been mostly about people not heeding the warnings about not driving unless it is absolutely necessary. Those going out without a real cause, have actually been putting the emergency services lives at risk, because they are the ones who have to go out and rescue those people who are ill prepared for the weather and being stuck in it. Yesterday evening Channel 5 saw fit to run a two hour program called 'The Big Freeze'. As if we had not been bombarded enough by the news about the weather. I did not watch it I am pleased to say. Yes of course having this cold spell brings on all sorts of problems, but some them are of our own making. Even the news reporters around the country had actually travelled to their destinations to report on the bad weather and the fact that people were stuck. Surely the news organisations did not need to put their reports at risk by asking them to drive to snow covered places. We are all well aware of the conditions. I do not need to see a frozen reporter standing out in the snow. I think the media needs to rethink how it reports on such events and stop causing hysteria, after all it has been Winter.
So here we are into the first two days of Spring and I know it is not very Spring like, but hey it could be worse, we could be flooded out. I guess that comes next when the snow melts :-)
Pop back soon xx
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Yet again I find myself apologising for not posting for a couple of weeks. It has been a difficult time of late with the death of four people we know, three of which were good friends. It makes you realise just how fragile life is and we must all make the most of it. Old age was no part really in any of their deaths and one was a real tragedy. We lost two of our Winter moorers over the past few weeks, which has deeply saddened us all. Some of you on the cut will have known of Trevor Maggs.
Then just last week lovely Alex Bennett died on her boat after a fire engulfed her boat, whilst moored in Stone, Staffordshire.
2018 has had such a sad start in many ways and I for one only hope it improves.
So have you been touched by The Beast from the East?
I am of the opinion that the media love to hype up the weather. After all it is not the first time we have had a cold Winter spell and we have had far worse winter's. As many may know I love and adore snow, so it can do its worst as far as I am concerned.
Pop back soon xxx