*****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.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Last day of 2011.

Yesterday being the 30th December, we walked up to see Jacquie and Stein on NB Like Ducks 2 Water, but they were not at home. On the way there we saw Andy and his dog Lyra coming heading for the Midland Chandler moorings, so after discovering that there was no one on Like Ducks 2 Water, we walked round to Midland Chandlers and had a few words with Andy who was out and about for a few days. It is always nice to catch up with him and Lyra.


Keith went into Midland Chandlers and thanked them for their help with the battery wiring, we then walked back to the boat and after a coffee we got on with completing the rewiring necessary to bring Hadar up to scratch, we had run out of time the day before. I was once again the gopher (spelt correctly this time). With all the usual jobs done and nothing much else to do we got on with the job in hand and completed the rewiring, well when I say we I mean Keith, because to be honest the electrics goes over my head a little. I do try and take in as much as I can but I only have a small brain, which is getting smaller the older I get. I can do the basics though, which I think is important when living on a boat. Keith added a cable from a battery –ve terminal to the hull. Luck would have it that one of the cables he removed the day before yesterday was a perfect fit, so now the –ve side of the 12v is now properly earthed to the hull. Phew. He then ensure the 240v Earth was also connected to the hull, which apparently it wasn’t, but it is now so phew again. It turned out that he had disconnected at some point, which we cannot recall, we can only think it was due to a previous problem which I know have no recollection of. But at the time it must have been important. Keith is now happy that everything is as it should be electrically speaking. We are now going to keep our fingers crossed, that this improves things now that we have the extra freezer on board. With the electrical work done, the day was a bit of a damp squid with it raining most of the day, so we did not get the insulation work done on the generator, we sat and watch a couple of films instead.

New Years Eve, wow I still cannot believe the year has gone this fast. After walking Paddy and having breakfast, it was time to think of what the last day of 2011 would bring us. The generator was run to charge the batteries, which were low having left the freezer on all night. Having sorted out the fires, I suggested we paid a visit to Jacquie and Stein on NB Like Ducks 2 Water, so we locked up the boat and headed off up the towpath, to find Stein tying the boat up on the sanitary station in order to fill up with water etc, so we walked on round to see him and Jacquie, but before getting there we said a Happy New Year to Peter Underwood on NB Blackberry Way who was setting off from his mooring in front of us.


Stein invited us on boat their beautiful boat, where Jacquie made us a coffee, which we enjoyed with Mince pies whilst chatting about anything and everything. Jacquie and Stein have been on the water some 6 months now and look very happy with their choice. It was wonderful getting to know them as we chatted and I am sure we will see a lot more of them whilst we cruise the waterways. After a couple of hours of chatting, we wished them both a Happy New Year and left them in peace.


Back at the boat it was time for some lunch, we then got on with taking down the Christmas lights and all the decorations, which have served their purpose. Normally I would leave them up until the 12th night, but as we have been having battery problems, we have not had the lights on, so as I see it there is no point in keeping them up. The Christmas tree and decorations are collecting dust from the fire, so taking them down also made me put the duster around to clear the dust. With the decorations put away for another year and the dust laid to rest, I poured us both a pint of Old Speckled Hen and we settled down to watch the new Ben Hur made in 2010. The end to 2011 will be a quiet one for us and no doubt we will be in bed before midnight, so I will take this opportunity to wish you all A HAPPY NEW YEAR. I will see you in 2012.

Chat soon xx

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Last Thursday of 2011

Hi there.

Yep it is the last Thursday of 2011, where did this year go?

I keep asking myself and others that question and I still do not know the answer. The year has flown by, maybe because I have had such a lot of fun this year as far as boating is concerned. Of course like any other year, it has had its down, but I can honestly say there have been more ups.

Like most mornings on the boat, it began with a cup of tea in bed, whilst I listened to the Sparrows arguing over the food in the bird feeders. Sparrows are in real decline, even back in 2006 there were worries about the Sparrow and their numbers and that worry has not changed and because of these large population declines, the house sparrow is now red-listed as a species of high conservation concern, so I have watched these Sparrows over the past few days with fascination as they munch their way through the nuts and seeds.

Up and about, I took Paddy for his morning stroll along the towpath and saw NB Like Ducks 2 Water. Jacquie and Stein walked past us yesterday, whilst we were chatting to Elaine off of NB Relaine, so we had a quick natter, we are going to pop round and see them over the next couple of days and catch up with their news over a cuppa.

After some breakfast, Keith went round to Midland Chandlers to pick up our new battery cables. We had 3 people say that our cables from the Victron invertor/charger and the batteries, and between the batteries, were too small,  so the plan for today was to replace them all. I did non of the replacing that was left to Keith to do, I was his gofer for the morning. Our existing cables were 40mm and we have replaced them with 70mm ones.

For the past couple of years we have been trying to get to Whaley Bridge to get Brett from Kuranda to check our electrical system, especially following the blown up battery incident, which was not a lot of fun. Recently we have been having problems with the charger not starting up correctly, which has steadily been getting worse, so yesterday Keith telephoned Brett for some advice and he confirmed our cables were to small. More expense which is just what we could do without.

After taking up the back cabin floor, we began with taking out the old cables and replacing them with the new ones, which went far better than either of us expected. In all it took 2 hours start to finish which was not bad really, considering the scale of the task of 4 batteries to rewire and new cables to feed through from the batteries and master cut off switch to the Victron. Especially as it is something you really need to take time over to make sure that you get it right first time, and especially making sure no accidental shorting occurs, sparklers are for Bonfire Nights only! We will only see the real benefit of this when we change the batteries for new ones, because Brett reckons the ones we have at the moment, which we only bought a couple of years ago will be shot, so I can see more money evaporating from the bank account. We will pick up new batteries if needed when we do eventually get to Whaley Bridge this year. Job all done and the floor back down, I relit the back cabin stove, which I had let out overnight because we knew we would be working in the back cabin and it would have been roasting. With the stove warming up, dinner is now cooking for tonight. I wasn't much help with the rewiring, but having a gofer did mean Keith did not have to keep getting up and down to get things, and I learnt a lot by just watching him. They say your never to old to learn.

Chat soon xx

Man arrested.

A man has been arrested after the discovery of a woman's body in the Grand Union Canal in London. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16346461

Sad to think she will not be seeing the New Year in.

Hotel Boats For Sale.

Another boating business is up For Sale.

Is it something you would like to give a go, then maybe this is the pair of boats for you.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

It's all over.

Hello readers.

Well that's it another Christmas over with, I guess we are now on the countdown to the next one, with the New Year almost here we will then have the highlight of 2012 to come with the Olympics being held in this fine country of ours.

So how was your Christmas?

The days running up to the New Year always seem very boring to me.

Our Christmas was a quiet affair on the boat. Having done the usual morning stuff, I got out of my everyday clothes and put a skirt on and a pair of heels, which I never normally wear on the boat. I have worn skirts before, but very rarely wear heels on the boat because boats and high heeled shoes are not a great combination. Keith even dressed up as well for Christmas Day, of course only Paddy and Marmite were going to see the changes, but hey I know it made me feel more festive. All the festive cooking was to be done in the back cabin stove, so I cooked Pheasant for dinner with all the trimmings, which although I do say it myself was very nice, for pudding we had a mince meat pin wheel with ice cream, the mince meat was supplied by our good friend Elaine. I am gonna have to put in an order for some for the Christmas to come. After a very enjoyable dinner and glass of wine, we settled down for the festive films, but the wind got up and was blowing the TV aerial around so our signal was constantly interrupted, which meant we could not watch the films properly, so we delved into our new DVD's and watch the last two Harry Potter films, which I have to say were well worth the watching. During the evening we did not bother with a meal, we just picked at nibbles. I went out and checked whether the TV aerial had moved in the wind, and found out that it was a couple of inches off line, and hey presto it gave us our TV signal back enough to watch "Downton Abbey", which I wanted to watch no matter what and I was not disappointed. Yippee Mary is not marrying that dreadful Carlisle and is now going to marry Matthew at long last. Poor Bates what will be come of him as he fights to clear his name, I cannot help but hope he and Anna have a wonderful life together in the end. I know it is only a program, but it is a flippin good one and much more interesting to watch than the very depressing soaps. Why oh why do the soaps all have depressing subjects for Christmas?? I stopped watching them some Eleven years ago, because they had got out of hand with their doom and gloom. So Christmas Day was a quiet but lovely one for us.

Boxing Day began with a cup of tea in bed (no surprise there). Then it was a walk with Paddy along the towpath before enjoying a breakfast cooked by my better half. Fires were stoked and kettles were filled before decisions were taken as to what to do for the day. The decision was very little, which meant more films, so we began with "Goodnight Mr Tom", followed by "Garfield 2". It was a shame they were spoilt by all the adverts for sales and  holidays, come New Years Day they would be advertising Easter. Lunch was  nibbles, because we were both still recovering from Keith's cooked breakfast.

I do not know if it is just me, but did you notice that Boxing Day everyone seemed to go out walking and cycling, and not to mention boating? It was like Piccadilly Circus on the canal and on the towpath. So staying in was the right thing to do.

Tuesday 27th December. Having let the back cabin stove out over night, the back cabin still felt warm, so warm that we slept with the hatch open slightly. Its December and so very mild, to think this time last year we were frozen in at Market Harborough. What a difference a year makes. After breakfast and walking the dog, it was time to get on with some boat jobs, which included taking the back cabin floor up to check the gearbox oil, tighten all nuts and bolts and to empty out a small amount of water in the blige. So far there is very little under the floor due to condensation, which is very good, this is probably due to the mild conditions. With the floor back down, the rag rugs were shaken and put back, I then took the full toilet cassette down to elsan to empty it and to get rid of a bag of rubbish, but on my way I got chatting to Betty and Graham off of NB Tranquility, I was there so long Keith came looking for me. It had been sometime since we had seen them both, so it was lovely to catch up on all their news.

Lunch was eaten at The Boat House, over a pint of Marstons. The place was heaving by the time we left with the waitress rushed off her feet. She had told her boss that they would be busy, but her boss reckoned not, so he did not put on any extra staff, which turned out to be a bad idea, because they were over run by customers. I offered to get the waitress a pair of roller skates, because she is going to be exhausted by the end of the day. We enjoyed a lovely meal and on the way back called in to see Keith and Ann on NB Oakfield. Unfortunately we caught them in the middle of their lunch, but were still welcomed on board, where we enjoyed a coffee and a natter. Keith was talking batteries and invertors with Keith (confusing I know) and we chatted about our plans for 2012, not that any of our plans are definite. There came a knock on the boat and it was Lynne and Paul off of NB Piston Broke, who we have met in passing, but never to chat to, so it was nice to meet another boater and blogger. No sooner we got chatting to them, there was another knock on the boat, this time it was Betty and Graham off of NB Tranquility, so as Keith and I were the uninvited guests we gave up our seats and said our goodbyes to what was now a crowded boat. It was lovely to see everyone though.

I did a recent posting about adding a new freezer to our boat, which is fantastic by the way, the downside is the we now need another battery, because the ones we have are not lasting all night, this is not a huge problem, because we can get one and Keith can fit it. We are also having an issue with our inverter which is more of a problem, because it is saying the batteries are charged when they are not, whilst using the generator, so it looks like we may have to call someone out to look at that again. I can see the bank balance screaming in January, but these things must be seen to.

We now creep ever closer to 2012 and hope that it is a good year for everyone. I will see you in the New Year xxxxxxxxx.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas.


To all my blog visitors I wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2012.

It is Christmas Eve and time for me to take a break from blogging and just enjoy our Christmas.

May I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all my readers during 2011 and I look forward to being back in 2012. Have a wonderful festive time with family and friends, and remember to stay safe out there. xxx

Before I sign off completely, I will do one last post for today. We were awake early drinking our usual morning cuppa, whilst discussing the days chores. I was then up and off the boat with Paddy walking the towpath in the early morning light.


Across the fields the sun was coming up, giving off a warm glow.


It is morning's like this that make it great to be a live.


When I got back to the boat, it was time to get the stove going, so I could cook the Pheasant, then got on with cleaning and tidying the back cabin, whilst Keith got on with wiring a switch for the new freezer. Just as I finished the back cabin tidy up, Adam and Adrian came past on NB Briar Rose on their way to collect their turkey from the butcher in the village, they said they would call on us on the way back, so I got out of my everyday tat and put on something more in keeping with the festive season, after all I wear the same sort of clothing all year round, so it is nice to dress up a little at Christmas. With my dirty togs destined for the washing machine and some mince pies warming in the back cabin stove with the Pheasant which smelt devine, there came a knocking on the side of the boat, to which Paddy barked. It was Adam and Adrian bearing gifts of mince pies which we enjoyed with tea and coffee. It was lovely to catch up with them both and to hear about their plans for 2012 with their boat. Far to quickly it was time for them to head off, as they wanted to find somewhere to moor for the night.


Hopefully we will see them during next year out and about on their lovely boat.

I checked the Pheasant and it was cooked to perfection, alls I had to do then was to strip the meat off of the bone. The meat will be cooked in gravy for tomorrows Christmas dinner and the bones will be used for stock.

I am now going to put my feet up and watch a Christmas movie, so on that note once again Merry Christmas and I will see you on 2012. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 23 December 2011

Didn't we have a lovely day.

Hi Folks.

Yesterday ended with Keith washing up after dinner, a shower and then us sitting in front of the TV until bed time. The back cabin where we sleep smelt fantastic, because all day I had, had a gammon joint cooking in the stove for Christmas. Before we crawled into bed I checked to see if it was actually cooked, which it was and for that I was thankful because otherwise we would have been smelling it all night and little sleep would have been had. So with the Gammon joint left in the galley over night to cool, I got a wonderful nights sleep. Keith reckoned he tossed and turned all night because he was to warm. I did let the stove go out over night, because I knew we would be out all day today.

Awake early and a cup of tea drunk, we were up getting the morning chores done, because we were off into Daventry. I know we must have been mad with it being so close to Christmas, but as we had no Christmas shopping to do as such, we wanted a day out and a little bit of retail therapy, so we caught the 10.35am bus, which was a little late, but that was probably because the roads were busy. It cost us £4.70 for the both of us return, which is not bad. The weather was supposed to be wet, wet, wet, but there was just a slight drizzle when we left Braunston.


We arrived in Daventry and our first stop was to find somewhere for a cup of Coffee. Having enjoyed a nice coffee at the Milk Bar, we then set off with one of our objectives to find a Freezer thermometer. We tried Tesco, Waitrose and Aldi which we thought would be good places to find such a thing, seeing as they sell frozen foods. Bit we were wrong there. Still the visit to all 3 made us glad we had done all our food shopping already for Christmas, because they were all heaving with impatient shoppers. We then found a little electrical shop which had exactly what we were looking for. As so often when we go out we spent some of  our day browsing around the charity shops, and the market stalls. I got myself a nice skirt to wear over Christmas. Yes the legs are coming out over Christmas, so it is bound to snow (Of course I know it won't, the weather people have said so). Lunch was hadat The Saracen’s Head. Keith and I both had the Chicken Tikka which we always enjoy at any of the Wetherspoon's pubs, with half a Ruddles Best each. That set me up for the rest of the day. I told Keith this was the one and only curry dish he would be having over Christmas, because our Pheasant would only probably do one meal, two if I use the left overs in a casserole.

saracens head

Because we know our TV signal here in Braunston is dodgy, we went in search of some more new DVD's to watch over Christmas, Blockbusters did us proud, with 3 we wanted to see at reduced prices and what was even better was when Keith went to pay for them he was told The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Blu-Ray was actually £7 and not the marked £10, which was even better, we do love a bargain. Also we bought Angels & Demons from a charity shop for £2.99, which is the film after The Da Vinci Code

The weather on the whole had not been to bad, but it did decide to chuck it down just after we got to the bus shelter to wait for the bus back to Braunston. People were running for cover as the wind blew the rain horizontal. The bus was running last as it had been earlier but unlike some people moaning, we were happy to wait. Our journey back to Braunston was wet, Keith pushed the stop button so we could get off at The Boat House Pub, but the bus went up into Braunston village, so we whilst we were there we walked to the butchers to see what  meat he had that we could put into the new freezer.


Whilst we were there browsing the meat people were coming in to pick up their turkeys and trimming for Christmas Day, I am so thankful it is only us two for Christmas lunch. I was hoping to buy their delicious lemon chicken pieces we bought from them last time we were here, but sadly they did not have any which was a shame because they were really yummy. I did purchase some sausages, pork and lamb chops which all looked nice and will make a welcome addition to the new freezer. We walked back to the boat in heavy rain, so we were a little soggy by the time I unlocked the boat. I got changed and hung my soggy trousers up to dry. I then cleaned the back cabin stove chimney and grate before relighting the fire. I also had to get some coal out of the hold, so got wet yet again, but hey ho.

The back cabin stove is now nice and warm, as is the cabin. I have dinner to think about which won't be much because we ate out. We will then settle in for an evening in front of the TV I think, after our great day out in Daventry.

Chat soon xxx

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Another day closer.

Hi Folks.

Are you ready?

Is the shopping done, because we are another day closer to Christmas. Christmas came early on board Hadar, with an early present.

Oh dear it seems I snore arghhhhh. I am not known for my snoring normally, but Keith prodded me twice in the night, because apparently I was snoring. I can only put it down to the fact I am a little bunged up at the moment due to the damp weather. Keith it has to be said was also snoring, but instead of prodding him, I just turned over, which made him move as well. I come from a family where my father snored very loudly, so loud that he could be heard from one end of the house to the other and when I was a child we lived in a long house. I remember my mother taped him one, to prove to him that he snored, but he would still not have it that he made such a din. Gosh tapes, who remembers those? They were a flippin pain when the tape got tangled up and you could always guarantee that it would happen you your favourite tape. CD's is a huge improvement, as it the MP3 player. I am not into the i-pod thingy. Anyway enough of that, having woken up later this morning, I heard a boat go past with a lovely sounding pop, pop engine this was about 8am, so as I was awake I got up and made us both a cup of tea, which as per-usual was enjoyed in bed, I also sorted out the back cabin stove.

Talking of stoves, remember to regularly sweep the chimney and also check that your smoke alarms and CO2 detector alarms are working properly. Yesterday a boater had a lucky escape, when their dog kept barking frantically up and down the boat trying to wake them up, which eventually he did. Through the night smoke had been seeping into the cabin. If it had not been for their dog, neither of them would be here today. So do not delay do the checks, it may just save your life. I also read in the new Towpath Talk that a boater had a lucky escape, having removed the batteries from their alarms. Life is way to short as it it, why make it even shorter???

With all the morning jobs done, Keith and I went off to see Tony and Paul Redshaw to discuss silencers for our inbuilt generator. The silencer we have does the job, but we would like to get it a little quieter if possible. We spent about an hour chatting to Tony and Paul about all sorts of things, including the silencer which will be looked at in the new year. We then went on to Midland Chandlers to have a look for a few things, whilst there we asked about a freezer we had seen on their website. Now whilst they did not have what we were looking for, they did have another freezer which would do the job, they were also prepared to do us a good deal on it as it is Christmas. Having ummmmed and arghhhed we came to the decision it was exactly what we wanted, so I did the deed and paid the Philco PHCT36FZ.Freezer

We said we would collect it after lunch with our trolley. On the way back to the boat, we called on Keith and Ann on NB Oakfield, but there was no one about, hopefully we will see them before Christmas. Back on the boat I made us some lunch, we then got on with moving the tumble drier from its home and into the hold, because the new freezer was going to take its place. Keith then put in the wiring for the new freezer which runs off of 12volt. We then made our way round to Midland Chandlers, collected the new freezer and made our way back to the boat, where we unpacked the freezer from its box. Keith and I then man handled the freezer into the engine room and through to the galley. Keith wired it up, switched it on and now we are waiting for it to freeze. The new freezer is such a welcome edition to the boat, because it means I can take on more frozen food, which means more supplies. We already have the Shoreline fridge/freezer, which has been excellent, but I have always wanted extra freezer space and now I have it.

I spoke of Towpath Talk earlier in the posting, well I sent them a photograph of ice on the canal and it has appeared in their gallery, so thank you to them for posting it.


With the new freezer purring away, I then got on with cooking some Liver and Onions for dinner, this will be had with mashed potato and vegetables.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Time to move on.

Hi Folks.

Map image

Onley to Braunston 3.8 miles travelled in 1 hour 50 minutes.

Having spent a lovely weekend out in the countryside, it was time to move on to what would hopefully be a mooring for the Christmas holidays. With the ice of the past few days all gone, there would be no smashing or crashing past moored boats. Before we left the mooring, I remembered to gather up the bird feeders from the make shift bird table, I have on occasions forgotten and left them behind. I did however leave behind the fat balls to keep the birds happy. I am quite sure someone else will put more food out.

9.35am I cast us off and got us underway, whilst Keith was doing something in the back cabin. I do so love standing at the tiller, even when the sun is in my eyes, which it was this morning because it is so low in the sky at this time of year. As we approached Willoughby Keith took over on the tiller whilst I made us both a coffee.


As we got closer to Braunston I spotted Ian and Alsion on Working Boat Gosty Hill moored up some way from the bank.


We exchanged a few words with them, wishing them a Merry Christmas, they are off up on to the Ashby Canal for Christmas and are very well loaded.


As we went past they cast off and got underway.


Braunston Church came into view, like a beacon of hope.


Behind us the sky was getting ever darker, which meant we were about to get rather wet. As it turned out it did not rain much at all.


Overhead a Buzzard was getting harassed by a Crow, which would not leave it a lone. We arrived in Braunston and met up with Keith and Ann on NB Oakfield, who were taking on water at the water point near Midland Chandlers. We exchanged a few words of our plans before we continued through to the water point and elsan disposal between the A45 bridge and the stop house to empty out and top up. We also took the opportunity to fill up our 2 water carriers so we have plenty of water on-board whatever the weather brings. We winded at the marina entrance and returned to a mooring opposite Tony Redshaw’s which will do us nicely for the Christmas holidays, during the winter these moorings are 14days.


We had thought of stopping on The Boat House moorings, but they are now for patrons only and only 24 hour, which is a real shame. Obviously people have been abusing their hospitality, so now there are restrictions. We have stayed there for a weekend, but have used the pub whilst there. It is a shame when a few spoil things for the rest of us. We had not been moored up long, when Del and Al on NB Derwent 6 came past on their way to Norton Junction. I popped my head out of the engine room door to wish them a Merry Christmas and hopefully we may see them in the new year. 

The TV aerial has gone up, but we have no BBC channels again, oh well as long as we have ITV for "Downton Abbey" over Christmas I am happy. I have no plans to do much for the rest of the day, but who knows what may come to pass.

Chat soon xxxxxx

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Winter has arrived.

Hi Folks.

I mentioned we had a home made bird table outside the galley window.


Yesterday the birds were very eager to get some food that they did not have to find for themselves.

Keith and I got a few jobs done yesterday, he was busy with wiring jobs, he wired in a small inverter for the back cabin TV and he wired in his power supply for his computer, if it is successful he is going to do the same with mine. I on the other hand moved some coal in the hold, I then tidied and polished in the saloon, straightened up the Christmas tree which had a drunken droop going on. Just as I was making lunch Maffi came past us on NB Milly M, so I signaled to him I had a cuppa on if he wanted one, with a thumbs up I made him a cup of tea whilst he pulled in, in front of us. We stood nattering with him for about half an hour, we then noticed the very dark sky coming over our heads, so Maffi was on his way before the heavens opened, which unfortunately they did as he left. We will not see him now till probably the New Year, so wished him a happy festive season as he headed off to Oxford for Christmas.

The rest of yesterday was spent in the warm watching films on TV, drinking coffee and keeping the fires stoked up.

This morning (Sunday) I woke to another heavy frost and ice on the canal.


At 7.30am Keith had gotten up to visit the bathroom, so I got up and stoked the back cabin stove, to being up the heat level a bit as it was a little on the chilly side. I then put the kettle on for a brew, whilst that was boiling I saw to the saloon stove as well. Kettle boiled it was back to bed to enjoy my early cuppa, whilst listening to the ducks walking around on the ice. Ice makes some incredible noises as it cracks against the hull of the boat. I could also hear the birds squabbling on the bird table, as they all wanted something to fill their tummies against the cold.

8.30am it was time to get out beneath a was time to climb out from beneath a warm duvet, because Paddy wanted to go out and Marmite was making it known she wanted feeding.


As we set off along a frosty towpath, I caught sight of some brave or would that be mad runners running up to the top of Blaby Hill.


I actually cannot think of anything worse than running, but for some it is everything, so good luck to them. Paddy and I were quite happy to stroll along the towpath.


Back on the boat Keith was making us a cooked breakfast, which filled me up for the morning.

The sky began to darken and the snow began to fall yippee.


Now I of course realise not everyone enjoys the snow and it does cause havoc when travelling or getting around, but I am just a huge kid at heart and I love the snow. We will not get much no doubt, but I love to watch it fall, if it settles that is even better.

With the fires backed up, it is now time to enjoy my Sunday. I have no plans to do much today and I know there are a lot of movies on the TV, so I think it maybe a movie day in between cooking, cleaning, looking after the other half and the animals.

Have a fun day xx

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Not looking good.

We had thought that we would go back on to the Leicester Line come the New Year, but it is not looking at all good, if the update is anything to go by. We already knew the water levels are well down, so have stayed away.

British Waterways Notice.

Restriction: Grand Union Leicester Line - Lock 18 Kibworth to Lock 30 Kilby
02 Aug 2011 until further notice
Associated Regional Office: South East Waterways
UPDATE (16 December 2011): As a result of the continuing water shortage and the anticipated limited boat movements on this length, the canal will close temporarily over the Christmas and New Year period.
The closure dates will be 25th, 26th and 27th December and 1st and 2nd January. Outside of these dates the canal will continue with the opening hours of 1000 hours – 1400 hours.
We will continue monitoring the water situation and provide further updates where appropriate.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Rugby to a mooring between Br 80 and 81.

Hi Folks.

Rugby to the middle of nowhere, 6.6 miles, 3 locks travelled in 3 hours 20 minutes.

We had planned an early start, but did not wake up until 7am, so after a cuppa in bed we were up and dressed and I was off the boat with Paddy for his morning walk. I was bitterly disappointed that the forecast snow did not arrive, the only thing we had was rain, which of course is very welcome at the moment.

Having had breakfast, we donned our rucksacks and made our way to Tesco for our last food shop before Christmas and the New year. It was pretty quiet, so we managed to get on with what we wanted to do without pushing our way through the crowds or queuing at the till. In fact we arrived at a till as the person in front was leaving, perfect timing. We lugged all the shopping back to the boat, a pack horse would have been so useful, because it was all up hill to begin with then a short walk into the park down hill before we got back to the boat. I opened up the boat and the galley window and Keith passed the bags to me. Before unpacking the shopping, we emptied the two toilet cassettes and got rid of rubbish, Keith then fired up the engine, whilst I untied the boat. As we left the mooring  at 10.10am Al and Del on NB Derwent 6 waved us off and said they would see us tomorrow. It was onward to Hillmorton to fill up with water, before climbing the locks. We could not get right into the bank to take on water, so we had to watch our footing, because the bank is grass and was slippery with the mud, but with no accidents, we filled the tank and I then walked up to set the first lock, which was sure to warm me up, because it was cold.


There is still only one of the pairs of locks open, but with it so quiet, there was no queuing, even though we did see a boat go up whilst we were on the water point.


Keith carried on without me whilst I shut the gate, I then walked up to the next lock.


Keith held the boat in the pound whilst the lock emptied.


The lock gates is alive with fungi.


Lock done it was on to the last lock, where we met up with Nick Wolfe off of Working Boat Aldgate, he was off to saw up some wood. As we would not see him before Christmas we wished him a happy one, before we all went on our way.


At Bridge 74 Tarry's Bridge, where there used to be stabling for canal horses, the stables have been turned into accommodation. They look very tastefully done and I love the train.


We cruised past Barby Marina, which looks rather sad, because it is still unfinished. The boats which have already taken moorings there are having to moor around the edges of the marina, which cannot be that great.


After a very pleasant cruise on a cold winter morning, we arrived at bridge 80, which is desperate need of repair. Is this going to be another bridge lost?

Just after the bridge we moored up on a nice deep mooring and this is where we will stay for the weekend. Someone has made a bird table out of an old draw front and a pole, so I made the most of it and put the feeders out. Within a couple of minutes we had our first visitor, a Robin came calling followed by Blue Tits, a Green Finch and Long Tailed Tits. I will be taking photographs over the weekend. We have TV but no BBC channels, but I am not to bothered by that.

Last night we watched "The Kings Speech" and I thought it was brilliant. I can see why people raved over it now. It is a must have for the DVD collection.

Right off to sort out dinner. Chat soon xx

Thursday, 15 December 2011

We moved.

Hi Folks.

We moved from our overnight mooring on the towpath at Rugby and on to the Broughton Park moorings opposite for a few reasons.

Reason one was the boat behind us, ran his generator till gone 9pm last night. Now as any good boater knows you are not supposed to run your engine before 8am or after 8pm, but it appears some people think they are above this. We sat watching the Royal Variety Performance and 8pm came and went as did 8.30pm, I was beginning to think that I would be going round to ask him to turn his generator off. 9pm came and went and then phew it was turned off. It would not have been so bad if it had been at the bow of the boat, but with it backing on to our back cabin I had visions of us going to bed with it still running. I am of the opinion, if you need to run your engine or generator after 8pm then either moor in the middle of no where or at least have the decency to knock on the boats near you to ask if it is ok. It is not much to ask is it? So the generator went off and peace was restored. We did not actually go to bed until 11.30pm because we sat up and watch the end of Die Hard 4.0.

Reason two was when I walked Paddy this morning I walked him over to Broughton Park to see if it was correct that the Elsan was in working order again, as reported on Keith and Ann's blog NB Oakfield. Yippee they reported correctly that it is indeed in working order once again, so we want to empty our cassettes and thought we would have to cross our legs until Hillmorton, but that is now not the case, so thanks Keith and Ann for the information.

Reason three was the weather forecast. The forecast is for gales and snow, now the snow we would cope with on the towpath side, but were more worried by the gales because we were moored on just other peoples bits of rope tied into the concrete bank, which may well have held, but we were taking no chances. We also did not want to moor up on pins, because they would have pulled out. Unfortunately we could not get our chains to fit anywhere along the stretch we had, so decided that the ringed moorings on Broughton Park were a better option, so after getting back from my walk with Paddy, we had breakfast, fired up the engine and moved all of a few feet across the cut. Securely moored up, we both felt happier with our decision, the only draw back we have no TV this side of the canal grrrrrrrr.

At 10.45am we gathered a few items including Bonnie Bear and headed off back to the towpath side on foot to go and have a coffee and mince pies with Al and Del on NB Derwent 6. It was Bonnie Bears first visit to our friends, so it was her first cuddle away from our boat.


I think she enjoyed herself, she certainly had a smile on her face.


We had a great time with Al and Del, before we knew it the time had sped on to gone 2pm and it was time to leave them in peace. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with them, I think we must have covered very subject under the sun apart from toilets. That has to be a first. Back on our boat Bonnie Bear relaxed in the back cabin, whilst I made us a sandwich for lunch, we then headed out again with our small trolley to go and get Paddy's dog food and some cat litter for Marmite. I was going to buy her cat food there, but Tesco are cheaper, so will do that tomorrow if we are not snowed in. Whilst we were out and about the mince and vegetables were cooking in the back cabin stove for a Lasagna, which we will be having for dinner tonight. I have layered it up with lasagna sheets, white sauce and cheese and it is now cooking in the stove for tonight's dinner. So no TV signal, that means we will be delving into the DVD collection tonight. I may just have to put "The Kings Speech" on tonight. Everyone has raved about it, so I am looking forward to seeing it. The solar lights we bought yesterday are working in the back cabin and look lovely. It makes a change for something to work first time, normally I land up taking things back.

Right time to check on dinner. Have a good evening, stay safe and warm xxx

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Newbold to Rugby.

Map image

Hi Folks.

Newbold to Rugby 1.25 miles travelled in 35 minutes.

Not exactly a huge cruise today, but it is serving a purpose, because we want to stock up for Christmas and the New Years festivities. Before we got under way. I was up and off of the boat with Paddy for his walk, which took us down to the post box in the village to post off our boat insurance, I also took the opportunity to put a coal bag with ash in it, in the bins by the Barley Mow Inn. I like to put our cold fire ash in bags and then deposit it in BW bins, rather than throwing it into the hedgerows. I know a lot of boaters do just throw it in the hedgerows which is fine, I just prefer not to as I think it is unsightly.


We set off from the 48 hour mooring at 9.35am, the morning was cold, but dry and the wind had dropped which was appreciated. This part of the canal is not hugely beautiful because you are beginning to enter Rugby and the industrial side of the town. But it was quiet as we approached Rugby, our hope was there would be a mooring for us and thankfully we were not disappointed, because just as we passed under Masters Bridge we pulled into an empty mooring behind Maffi on NB Milly M and Al and Del on NB Derwent 6. Maffi very kindly took the bow rope as I stepped off of the boat with the centre rope. There are no rings or proper piling, so many people moor on pins, but we were fortunate to find bits of lopped rope along the concrete, so used them to moor up on. I just hope they hold now, with the wind expected to get up again. There were moorings on the opposite side of the canal, but you then have a lot further to walk, so we are going to stay put for now.

Having enjoyed a natter with Maffi, we had a coffee before walking  to Maplins with Keith's shopping list as follows:-

We returned back to the boat with these plus the following:-

Keith wanted the invertor for our TV in the boatman’s cabin, which up till now we have been running of the main invertor, but he has decided to fit a separate one specifically for this TV, it will save having to get out of bed to switch it on or off! Now I love that idea, but we will still have to get out of bed to plug the aerial in hahahahaha.

The resistors are so that he can convert our Christmas LED lights to operate directly of the boat 12V supply, rather than batteries. So this will save me having to charge up the batteries, which is a good idea.

The cable is for wiring up the invertor, this is over my head, so I will leave that job to Keith.

Whilst Keith was looking for his bits I wandered around looking at lots of interesting stuff, but I then spotted the solar powered LED’s, which I have been looking out for, and at half price at £9.99 a set we bought two sets. I love fairy lights they will also save us battery power.


Keith then spotted the radio. We had thought of waiting for the New Year sales to get a new one, but with £20 off of £49.99 we felt we would probably do no better in the sales, so bought one. Our old radio’s display failed a couple of months ago, and although it still worked it was difficult to tune into radio stations without a display.

With our purchases all bagged up, we walked back to the boat and I got on with making some lunch. I was just about to slice some Cheese when Al and Del came past the window, so I nipped out and said "Hello" to them both. We stood nattering for a while, before agreeing to meet up tomorrow for a proper chat over Mince Pies and Coffee. So we have that to look forward too.

With lunch eaten Keith installed the radio with out much fuss or drama and I got on with putting up one set of the LED’s, in the back cabin, I just need to wait 6-8 hours for them to charge up. So all in all we have had a fruitful day.

I now have to think about something for dinner. I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do today, but I am sure I will come up with something.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas is coming.

What annoys you????

I do not know if anyone else has been watching "That's Britain", it tackles what drives us brits mad. It has me thinking about what annoys me and I am beginning to think I am a Grumpy Old Woman, because my list is endless.

1. Dog Poo (in bags or otherwise).

2 Litter.

3. Mobile Phones in Restaurants and Cafes.

4. Manners.

5. Respect.

6. Swearing when it is not needed ( I see no need to swear). I am talking about the F and C words.

7. People who seem to walk right through me.

8. Cyclists who think they rule the towpaths.

Ok will stop now because I could go on and on, see told you I am a Grumpy Old Woman ;0).

Tell me what annoys you????

Another life lost.

Dangers lurk around every corner it seems and I was sad to read of another young life taken by the game of jumping locks.

Locks are not places to play, they can be dangerous. This is the second death this year due to jumping locks. My worry now is that locks will be deemed so dangerous that they will want to fence them off.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Grimes Br. 26 to Newbold.

Hiya there.

Grimes Br. 26 to Newbold. 5.05 miles travelled in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Hiya there.

Another stunning morning after an overnight frost and the temperature getting down to -2.9c.


A corker of a start to my day, what with walking along a crispy towpath with Paddy, then setting off in the sunshine at 9.30am, having spent a lovely weekend on the Grimes Bridge mooring.


I said goodbye to the horses munching hay in the field opposite and said hello to a lone Magpie, who was chattering in a tree as we passed under Grimes Bridge.

There was hardly a cloud in the sky as we met more boats on the move, than we had seen in the past week or so.


We arrived at Stretton Stop (Rose Narrowboats), where I stepped off the boat to open the swing footbridge, being careful to make sure I was sure footed in icy conditions. The last thing I need to is to injure myself before Christmas.


We left the swing bridge behind and headed off towards Newbold. Trains were coming and going along the railway line which runs along side the canal.


No matter what the weather I love every moment of the life I have. What is there not to like on such a clear and beautiful day. I dipped inside to make a coffee in the back cabin.

In no time at all we were heading through Newbold Tunnel.


On reaching the other side we pulled in for to fill up the water tank at the water point. Whilst I kept an eye on the boat, Keith went and had a look at the Barley Mow Inn notice board to see what was on the menu, we decided we would have lunch there, but that could not happen until the tank was filled and a mooring was found. Keith checked on the mooring situation, to find there was plenty of room for us on the 48 hour moorings, so with the tank full and NB Heron waiting to use the water point, we moved off and let them take our place.

All moored up, we shut the boat up and headed off back to the Barley Mow Inn for some lunch.

barley Mow

The pub was taken over by a new family a couple of years ago and they made us feel very welcome. There is a warm friendly atmosphere and with the Christmas decorations up, it looked lovely. We enjoyed our meals and a pint each of Old Speckled Hen. A definite place to eat if you stop at Newbold.

When we moved to find our mooring, I noticed flowers and cards by bridge 50. The landlady at the pub told us that a few days ago a man drowned in the canal by the bridge. So very sad at this time of year for something like this to happen. It was unknown as to what had happened. News Release.

It is now 3.15pm and the afternoon is descending into evening as the light fades. It is shower night and then I will settle in front of the TV.

Congratulations to Little Mix for winning "The X-Factor" last night, they are the first group to ever win the show. Marcus Collins was so gracious in defeat. I am sure that Marcus will have a glittering career and look forward to seeing what he does with his singing. I guess the next big TV event will be "Dancing on Ice" in the New Year.

Right off to make a coffee and then it will be dinner time.

Chat soon xx

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A day of doing very little.

Hi Folks.

Sunday was a day of doing very little. It began early as seems to be the norm these days. Maybe it comes with getting older, but for some odd reason, I wake up earlier and earlier. At this rate by the time I reach my mature years I will not be sleeping at all, which is never good.

So after a cuppa in bed whilst watching  TV, it was then time to take Paddy out for his walk. Whilst we were out rambling a long the towpath, Keith was on the boat cooking me breakfast, this morning it was Bacon, Mushroom, and Poached Eggs on Toast. he had Black Pudding with is, ewwww I am not a lover of all that cooked blood, so gave it a miss. After breakfast I got on with sorting out both the fires as per-usual, whilst Keith did his thing. The generator charged the batteries and Marmite and Paddy ate their breakfast. Sunday has always been a baking day for me, so I thought I should make some cake, because the cake box was empty. I made us a Lemon and Lime Drizzle Cake, which should last us a few days. I then turned my attention to cooking some Bolognaise Sauce for dinner, which we would be having with Spagetti. I like to make my own, but will occasionally use jar sauces. My Bolonaise Sauce, is made with Red Wine, Garlic, Onions, Oxo Cube, Tomato Paste and a tin of chopped Tomatoes. The smell from the back cabin during the day was sublime. With dinner taken care of it was time for some lunch, so we finished off the stock from the Oxtails I made a stew with a couple of days ago. Those three little Oxtails had fed us for three meals, so well worth the £2.95. Soup was enjoyed with buttered bread and a slice of the Lemon and Lime Drizzle Cake.

The rest of my afternoon was spent watching Sunday films, making coffee and tending to the fires. Paddy jumped up on my lap for a cuddle, he is such an old softy, but once he wriggled to much he was put back on the floor, of course this made Marmite jealous so she then settled down on my lap for half an hour, by which time it was time to get up and put a Rubarb Pie in the back cabin oven, that will be pudding after tonight's dinner.

Tonight it is the X-Factor final, so come on Marcus Collins. Actually I like Little Mix as well, so who ever wins will be fine. But I do have a soft spot for Marcus.

I hope your Sunday has been a lovely one xx

Celebrity status.

It seems that Bonnie Bear is becoming a celeb, she has now got her own facebook page. I am now wondering where this will end. Already people are booking her for hugging sessions. Next it will be autographs.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Bungy Bear.

Bonnie bear was washed as you will have read from her previous posting, she then hung around in the shower to drip dry.


She then thought she was going to do a bungy jump, but in fact she was left hanging around in the back cabin for a day to dry in front of the stove, for company she had the smell of a stew cooking in the oven.


A couple of day on she is now happily enjoying the side bed in the back cabin. I have a feeling she is going to be putting a lot of demands on me from now on. She has already said she will only accept hugs by appointment.


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