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

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I'm Free.

Hi Friends.

I'm Free. I sound like Mr Humphries from Are you being served. But that is how I feel.
Yes we broke free this morning from the tie which has been Market Harborough for the past six and half weeks.
My mobile phone alarm went off, singing out "Hey Sexy Lady". I don't feel that sexy at 6am in the morning, but it does always make me smile. I pressed the snooze button which gave me 10 minutes of grace and then I really did have to get out of bed. I was so unimpressed by the sound on the roof of the boat. It was hammering down with rain, which did not bode well for our coal delivery. All our deliveries have so far been done in the dry (someone up there looks after me). Up and dressed the kettle went on and I did us Mushroom on Toast. We had just sat down to eat, when there was a knock on the boat, it was Chris from Hill's Coal Merchants. He was early and raring to go. So I downed my breakfast, grabbed my donkey jacket and leapt off of the boat to open up the sheeting. It was a miracle the rain had stopped as if ordered too. Because it was still dark, Keith switched the hold lights on, so I could see what I was doing. Whilst I sorted the sheeting out, Chris began to unload our coal. Keith then started handing the bags of coal to me and I stacked them in the hold. We had loaded half of the 2 tonne load, when another Chris arrived to collect his coal for his steam loco, so there was time for a coffee and a natter, before we loaded the other 2 tonne. With it all safely stowed away in the hold, we paid Chris and sent him on his way to his next delivery. Whilst Keith washed down the steps and stones, where we had been walking in the coal dust, I got the hoover out and gave the boat a clean through. With two coal stoves we have such a lot of dust on board. Keith having washed the steps etc, topped up the water tank and then put the hose away. With all jobs completed and coal deliveries made, it was time to bid Market Harborough fairwell, so we waved goodbye to everyone and set off. Of course we were ever hopeful that we would not have to return due to the thick ice. The first quarter of a mile was fine, but we then began to hit the ice, first it was 1/2", then 1" and it went up to 3" and we though heck this was not great. Whilst Keith fought with the ice, I put some Sausage Rolls in the back cabin stove and the Kettle was already boiling ready for a much needed coffee. We then had 3" ice for about half a mile and then it died out. There were clear places especially between Gallows Hill Bridge and Bowden Bridge. After that the ice was patchy. Some 2 hours and 25 minutes after setting off we arrived at Foxton and moored up. It felt very satisifying moving for the first time in ages. I rang the hire company to let them know that they can get their boat back as it was clear for them.
Since being moored up people have been getting in touch with me to find out if we made it and because we have they are going to follow us to Foxton. I have that pioneer feeling ;0).
Having eaten lunch and settled in for the day, I have just noticed I have coal miner's hands again. They are covered in coal dust grime and not looking to pleasant. I will be cutting my nails again tonight, because they are split and looking unhappy. Oh the joys of being a coalwoman. I do love my job though.
Yesterday with us moored up on the Sanitary station mooring overnight, Marmite had a visit from Benny. Benny and Marmite have a love, hate friendship. Marmite taught Benny a lesson last Summer, when he ventured to close, she bopped him on the nose, but Benny still likes to pay her a visit.

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