*****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..*****

Monday, 30 March 2020

Day 4: Time to do some jobs.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Here we are into a new week and we are all probably going a little stir crazy being in lock down, but remember if we all stay within the confines of out own houses and gardens we can make a huge difference. I know there are still those who are flouting the guidance, because they think it does not apply to them. I would ask them to really think about whether your trip is necessary.

We woke up this morning to the sound of lorries and diggers. I kid you not. There is a big road work program going on outside of the Arm and up towards Stank's Island. They are doing huge road improvements and because of the roads now being so quiet, because most people are staying at home, it for them is a good time to get on with the job, because they were getting behind the schedule. Now we are told that they are observing the government guidelines to keep each other safe, so we did not hear birdsong this morning, it was replaced by the sound of digging and lorries. Just hoping none of the workmen get this virus or give it to anyone.
Watching the news over our first cuppa of the day and yes of course it is all about the virus at the moment. The BBC breakfast gang are social distancing on the couch, which is quite surreal and there are no guests in the studio, everything is being done online.
How on earth did we ever manage without the internet?
Just think we would not know half of what we know now if it were not for the internet. For many at the moment the internet is their lifeline to keeping in touch with family and friends across the world with Skype etc. We are certainly making good use of it and of course it means I can still ramble on my blog. It has certainly made me think about how they ever coped during the wars. Of course there is always a dark side to everything and there are those taking advantage of people on the net, as there are a lot of Coronavirus scams going on. Please be careful out there.
Whilst the other half did his morning exercises, I went and changed the water for the birds to bath in and drink. It was actually quite nice out, with the sun popping in and out. Gardening was definitely on my to do list for the day, but first job was to give the boat a wash down, because I never got the chance to do it on the day we arrived home. I am not one who likes it all nice and shiny, but I do like it clean. The paintwork is over 12 years old and still going strong. Hopefully I can keep it going for another few years, before we need to get her repainted.
Lunch today was left over cottage pie and frozen veggies. For pudding we ate some left over from Christmas bread sticks with cheese. I then realized the bread sticks were out of date. Hey ho they tasted absolutely fine and were still crunchy. I am not one for dates on things. If it looks good, smells good then it will darn well taste good.

As you know gardening was on my list and that is was exactly where it stayed, because it decided to rain after lunch, so no gardening for me today. There is a plus side, I will be able to get out and do it tomorrow weather permitting.
I did go out and take some photographs, because at the moment a part from the weeds, the garden is looking pretty good. The Rhubarb is coming on a treat. I am hoping that next year we will have a good crop. This year I am going to let it settle in. I am hoping once we are free to move around, that I can get some manure for it.
The Wild Strawberries are in bloom, so if nothing else we will have Strawberries.
We have Forget me not's, which is a real joy. I am going to move some of them once they have flowered, so we have them all over the garden.
The blessing with being back on our mooring at this time of the year is, I get to see what is growing in our new garden and I will see what survived the move from our old garden. At the moment, I have only spotted a couple of plants which I think may have gone to the garden in the sky. Some of the bulbs which were planted by the previous moorer are not flowering, so I will be digging those up and replacing them with new bulbs in the Autumn. That is another job which will be keeping me busy.
As the weather warms up, I am very much looking forward to sitting outside and enjoying the garden. Just wondering if the road noise will still be as loud as it is today? I am guessing because we have had peace and quiet for a few days, it now seems so loud outside.

May you all be keeping yourselves safe and well.

Pop back soon xxx

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Day 3: So very quiet.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Have you noticed how quiet it is of a morning?
Having put the clock forward, we woke up at 7 am (was 6 am). We heard the first plane for days, but no traffic on the road what so ever. Then the Magpie decided to have a chat from the tree above our back cabin. The Robin and Wren joined in with the chorus and then a Wood Pigeon thought it would be nice to end the song with a Coo. With everything going on and no traffic, the sound of birdsong is absolutely wonderful. I was wondering if they are having to sing so loudly now they must know there is no other noise for them to fight against?
We sat in bed with our cuppa, watching the news and hearing what is happening around the world, with the USA the most infected country, although we do not seem to be hearing much about China anymore, so who really knows.
Up and about, with the bed rolled away and the cupboard door shut on it for the day. It was time to think about daily chores and what I could occupy my day with. I fed the birds and the Bank Voles, who are still living in our wood pile. I know this because the food disappears very quickly. They are probably so relieved to have us back, so they get their food treats. I will try and photograph them over the coming days. Having fed the birds and the Bank Voles, it was time to feed ourselves. We only had cereal this morning, with milk of course. I do not know about you, but we have found ourselves eating less since the Coronavirus kicked off?
Talking about food. I finally managed to get a delivery slot for a food delivery. It is not until the 9th April, so we will manage until then, with bread and milk coming on Tuesday with meat and vegetables. The 9th April delivery will be for tea, coffee, butter, cheese and things we most definitely need. There is no bulk buying because you are limited to how much you can purchase, which is absolutely right under the circumstances. There is not even toilet rolls on the list, because we have enough for the time being. I am kind of hoping people will get the message not to bulk buy or stock pile and things will even themselves out for everyone out there who is struggling.
With the fire stoked, hoover put round and a coffee made, it was decision time on what to have for lunch. Now most boaters will always have at least one Fray Bentos pie in their emergency ration cupboard and we are no different. So today's lunch was a Chicken Fray Bentos pie, with mash potatoes, white and sweet potato, because we are coming to the end of the spuds. I also used up the end of a cabbage, which was looking a little sad, but it tasted fine (roll on veggie delivery). It has been sometime since we actually had a pie in a tin and I had forgotten how scrummy they are.  No pudding today because we have no fresh or tinned fruit (diet going well).
After lunch and yet another coffee, I nodded off. Yes I actually feel asleep in my chair, which is totally unheard of for me. I think those three and a half days getting home finally caught up with me. Feet up, I sat and watched 'The Glenn Miller Story'. I love that film and it is perfect for a Sunday afternoon watch.
The sun has been shining today, but there has been a bloomin cold wind. I know the wind had a bite to it, because I had a quick stroll around our end of the Arm. We all need to exercise, preferably close to home, otherwise we are going to end up overweight and couch potatoes. I will do a short stroll each day and some other exercise. I am hoping to do some weeding as well, but not when it is blowing a hooley and cold.
Sunday on a whole was a lovely day of doing the bare minimum. Monday will see me up my game and I will be getting on with jobs, because it will be so easy to be a couch potato and that is not me at all. So I will see you on Monday all being well.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Day 2: Not self-isolating now but social distancing.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Here we are day 2 of what was going to be self-isolating, but having spoken to our site manager this morning, we can move around the site, which is locked to the public and is shut to boats and boaters unless they moor with us. The main thing we wanted was our post from the post room, which we have been allowed to get. Because the site is on lock down, the postie cannot come in, but our amazing site manager is collecting the post from the sorting office twice a week. Now whilst we have been told we do not have to self-isolate, we will be making sure we keep our distance from other moorer's in the Arm, which is not difficult because we are an end mooring. None of the other boaters here have any symptoms, but I for one want to be careful because we do have elderly and those with suppressed immune systems. We have moorer's who have come back from Spain and Egypt and they are all fine, but even so I am cautious. I will be out doing our garden, so be prepared for lots of gardening posts. But today I am still in recovery mode from our dash home to our mooring.
This morning we were awake early listening to the sound of a Wren warbling away and a Robin joining in. There was no traffic sound at all, which was wonderful. Whilst we do not want Coronavirus or anyone to die, this lock down will be doing wonders for getting the pollution down to a minimum. With every minus comes a plus they say. Wildlife will be walking across roads safely and wondering where all the traffic has gone :-). I made us a cuppa and yes we did as usual when we are on the mooring watch the morning news. Of course it is all about the virus at the moment and to be honest it is depressing news when you hear about all the deaths across the world. So many families losing loved ones. It is all so tragic.
Up and about, I got on with using the other half of the mince I cooked off yesterday with the last of the Carrots and Mushrooms. I added some tomatoes and made a stock. Today's lunch will be a cottage pie, which will do use for two days.
I saw this Cornbeef Hash video, whilst I was sat drinking my morning coffee. I always have Cornbeef in the cupboard. It is part of my emergency food supplies for when we are out cruising. Quick and simple meal, which will do at least a couple of days.
Talking about food. There is a definite issue with getting a food delivery from any of the supermarkets, so I have been shopping local whilst getting home. We used small shops. Now we are home, I am going to do the same. Our local butcher does deliveries and we can order online, so I have placed an order for next week. Also a local pub is delivering fresh fruit and veg, plus bread and milk and I am going to try and get an order placed for that as well. Yes we will pay a little more, but it keeps local businesses going and they deliver, so no need for us to leave the security of our mooring. Deliveries will be placed at the gate, and we can then collect them. We will see how this works and I will of course post the results. We have a freezer, so we can freeze it until required. I am not bulk buying, I am getting just what we need for a week or two.  Shop local if you can because it may just save a business.

Shopping update: We have a fruit, veg, bread and milk order coming :-). A lovely lady rang me and sorted it all out. If this works well we will keep it up. Of course we will still have to find away to get things like tea, coffee, cereals etc, but hey one step at a time. I will keep trying to get a supermarket order in, but I am less worried now.

The afternoon was spent watching 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves' with my feet up. I could of gone out and done some weeding, but to be honest I could not be fagged. The news that over 1000 people have now died in the UK from the virus, is so upsetting. My heart goes out to all their families and friends at this incredibly difficult time. Even those who have underlying health issues, it is to early to die. I will say this again as I did yesterday PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO AS YOU ARE ASKED by Boris Johnson, because this is the only way we will get through this crisis and it is a crisis. We all now know that even Boris is not immune from getting it, so look after yourself and your family, by doing what is right.

Pop back soon xx

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


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