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!
Friday, 3 December 2010
Cosy fires and toes.
The past few nights I have been sleeping like a baby, and I have put it down to having my new hot water bottle, which is keeping my feet toasty. I usually put the bottle at the bottom of the bed an hour before we retire to the back cabin for bedtime. Keith has his own bottle, so we do not have to fight over who has warm feet and who does not. Keith usually takes his bottle out of the bed when he gets in. I prefer to keep mine in. So having slept very well again, I woke up at around 5am and because Keith was up visiting the smallest room on the boat, I made us both a nice warming cuppa. As I sat up in bed drinking my tea I could not help but notice that even with a thin blanket of snow outside everything seems so quiet. You could have heard a mouse moving, it was so quiet. The silence was broken when an owl hooted from a tree near the boat. There was no singing birds, no car noises, and no one walking past the boat, not even a dog barking could be heard. They say ‘Silence is Golden’ and I could not agree more. Having drunk our morning brew, we settled down beneath the duvet for another forty winks. Marmite must have been a little chilly, because she jumped on top of me and then curled up on my feet. She really does not like being cold. The kettle on the stove began to whisper gently, which meant the fire was still alive in the stove. Having stoked the fire up for the night at 8pm, I am always amazed that it is still alive and kicking when we get up. The only thing I need to do is rake the ash out of the bottom and leave the door ajar for a few minutes. I then have a roaring fire once more. My stick and ash trick really has worked well this Winter so far. There is nothing worse than waking up to a cold back cabin.
Because we have woken to virgin snow for the past couple of morning’s, when I decided to get up, I opened the back doors of the cabin and saw that we had not got any new snow, but a very heavy frost. The previous day’s snow was still laying on top of the frozen canal. At this point I really had to get dressed, because Paddy was asking to go out and Marmite wanting feeding. With the bed rolled up and put away. I donned my coat, hat and gloves and plodded down the towpath. With snow still covering the ice on the canal, I got to check out the new footprints on the ice. This morning there were prints by the Ducks, Moorhens, local cats, a Rabbit and a Fox. Eve on NB Chateau Neuf, actually saw the Fox walk past their boat on the ice. I would have had my camera ready for that shot. There is something very refreshing about walking out and about in the snow and ice, I really do love this weather.
Back onboard for a cereal breakfast and another cuppa. We then needed to walk down the town, because Keith had a doctor’s appointment. A couple of weeks ago he developed what looked like a burn mark with a blister on his thigh. It turns out he has Shingles, thankfully it is very mild. He does not have to take tablets or anything, because it should go on its own. But there was I saying he must have burnt himself. Shows what I know hahahaha. Having heard that news there was nothing for it, but to go to the indoor market and have a coffee. We then got a message to say Keith’s new laptop was in, so we went and collected it. Keith has spent the afternoon loading all his software on to it. He has the new Windows 7, which looks very nice. The most difficult part of getting his new laptop was handing over the money for it. December always seems to be an expensive time of year, even though we do not spend out on Christmas presents and yet it always ends up begin expensive. But Keith needs a laptop, so as they say needs must. He is now happily back online. Since being back at the boat, I have made a coal delivery and taken another coal order. I am so thankful that people can make it to us by car, because I do worry about my customers. We have been hearing of boats having frozen pipes, which is never good news.
With this cold blast everyone has their fires lit and yet I do wonder how many cleaned their chimneys before lighting up?
I cleaned our chimneys before we lit the stoves back in October, but after some lunch, I re-cleaned the chimney on the back cabin stove. Although the soot and crud does drop down the chimney on to the baffle plate, some of the tar does stick to the chimney sides and needs to be given a helping hand to drop down. Keeping the chimney clear, means your fire works better and it also stops you dying from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. We have both a Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm on the boat, infact we have two of each, so they are situated at both ends of the boat. One can never be too careful. Chimney swept the fire was roaring away very happily. There is nothing nicer than a cosy fire to sit in front of.
I am now off to decide on what we will be having for dinner tonight. The only thing I do know is we are having Crumble for pudding. Have a good evening one and all and thank you for popping in xxxxx