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

Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year’s Eve.

New Years Eve began at 6am with Keith clambering over me to visit the smallest room on the boat, so whilst he was up he made us both a cup of tea, which was drunk in bed at such an early hour. The wind was blowing a hooley outside, but all was warm and cosy in the back cabin, even Marmite paid us a visit to say “Good Morning”.

8 am it was time to get up and start the daily routine, of making up the fires, taking the dog out for his walk and having breakfast. Today in some respects was different though because I found myself thinking about the year we had enjoyed and then looking forward to the New Year we were about to begin. I got to thinking about the highs of 2012, which for me was visiting places I had never been to before and the sheer excitement of using the Anderton Lift for the first time. Also part of the highs was meeting many old friends, but also making new friends, who we hope to see again sometime on the cut. We have been to a few festivals in 2012, all of them great fun, I think the ones I enjoyed the most were, the Northwich Festival, Shackerstone Festival and as always The Village at War gathering at Stoke Bruerne. Some very good memories. The lows of 2012 included having to buy five new batteries and redoing their electrics, which cost us a lot of money, but that is the joys of owning a boat, you take the rough with the smooth and move on. We will have to tighten our belts for a few months.

With the boat jobs done, there was a knocking on the engine room door, one of our regular customers had arrived for a couple of bags of coal, so we got to chatting about our plans for New Years Eve, he and his family were having a party and for Keith and I well, we had thought of going to Br 61 at Foxton, but with the weather closing in and with Keith having another doctors appointment on Wednesday, we decided we would stay put. I cannot see the point in wasting diesel to go there and back and not only that neither of us are big drinkers, and I would prefer not to sit around watching others getting drunk and making fools of themselves all for the sake of the New Year. Just the way I am I guess. So we will be staying on the boat, I am cooking us a nice dinner and we will open a bottle of wine. We will stay in nice and cosy, watching TV and toast the New Year in before heading off to bed. I have a feeling I may not make it awake till midnight, but I will do my best.

I hope what ever your doing, you have a wonderful evening.

Sunday, 30 December 2012



As we plunge ever closer to the New Year, I want to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to all our customers old and new, you really are important to us and we thank you for your support, threw the good and bad times. Hopefully we will see you during 2013 somewhere along the cut.

I also want to say thank you to all of you who has taken the time to read my ramblings such as they have been. I cannot promise they will be any better in 2013, but I will do my best to keep them interesting.

I dare say we will all be asking “What will the next twelve months hold in store for me and those I hold most dear?

I hope that I will have a healthy 12 months and that those I hold most dear will have the same.

"Remember start living life and stop letting life live you. Remember it's not how many don't love you that matters but how many you love."

Our New Year will begin with taking on diesel, doctors appointment and then we will head South, so I will say once again before I go.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, may it be kind to you where ever you are xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nice and cosy.

Keith has been making another rag rug. Yesterday whilst sorting the pieces in to a bag, Marmite thought it would be a great place to settle down for a nap.


She did not give a hoot that we were trying to fill the bag with pieces of material cut for the rug.


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Day.

It began at 7am for me, but for Keith he was awake at 2am. I think he was hoping to see Santa ;0). Cup of tea in bed whilst listening to Hfm, with Dave Irvine playing Christmas tunes. Paddy decided as his Christmas treat he would climb up on to the bed between us for his Christmas cuddle, the cheeky boy. 8.30am it time to get up and take him out in my scruffs, no point dressing up to walk along a muddy towpath.


Whilst walking, the Kingfisher flew from tree to tree and the church bells rang out across Market Harborough, what a perfect way to start the day. Breakfast was eaten, mog and dog were fed and the phone rang. Now Hfm were doing a competition to win a bottle of Champagne. Dave would ring a random number and providing you answered “Ho, Ho, Ho” you got put into the draw for the Champagne. Now I knew no one else would be ringing, so I answered with “Ho, Ho, Ho” and yes it was Dave wishing Keith and I a Happy Christmas. There I was live on air chatting to Dave and knowing that people from across the area and the world would be listening. Dave asked me all about Christmas on the boat and how I manage to cook Christmas dinner, he also asked the old age question, “aren’t we cold on the boat in Winter? to which I answered No. It was wonderful to have a chat with him and to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas that knows us.

Morning boat jobs then got done, and I ironed my best top, yep the iron came out which is not something that happens very often, but it looked a mess. There I was all dressed up to the nines for Christmas Day and waiting to go out for Christmas dinner and so I thought it was time to heat up the mull wine and a couple mince pies, which were soon consumed. Neither Keith or I have ever had mulled wine before and I have to say I do like it. I opened a present from a friend and now have a new Apron and some smellies. Keith opened the watch he bought himself and I had a couple of small items from Keith in my stocking. No I was not wearing them at the time ;0). As you should already know we do not buy presents for each other as such, as we just do not have the room.

12 noon it was time to put on our rain coats and set off to Wetherspoons, The Sugar Loaf, where our Christmas Dinner was waiting. When we got there the place was alive with Christmas cheer, with people having a drink before they either went home for their meal or sat down in the pub for their meal. We were shown to our table and given a glass of Champagne, which was a nice surprise as we thought we would be buying our first drink. Our first course was soup, Keith had Tomato and Basil and I had Carrot and Coriander, both we were very nice.


We both had the full traditional Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings and both of us were almost beaten by the sumptuous meal. It has to have been one of the best Christmas dinners I have ever had. We were given some time to chat and our lunch to settle before pudding arrived, which was Mint Chocolate Cheesecake for me and Christmas pudding with custard for Keith. Finally we had a cheese board and coffee, we were both very full to over flowing by the time we had finished our excellent Christmas meal, full marks to the chef he did Wetherspoons proud and I told the manager that, and so we did not have to pay for our coffees. Praise where praise was due.

3 pm we left The Sugar Loaf and plodded our way back to the warmth and comfort of the boat and our comfy chairs which was where we stayed for the rest of the day. Neither of us could eat another mouthful of food, because we were completely full from out dinner. I did make us coffee. The TV went on and we watched The Lord of the Rings and Downton Abbey. OMG is Matthew dead arghhh nooooo.

We both had a wonderful Christmas Day and here’s to next years. Blink and you would have missed it because it flew by, I guess that is our age.

Whilst eating lunch Wetherspoons had the Sky news on and it was pretty devastating to watch, car crash on the M6, fire and shooting in New York, fire in the Philippines shanty town and a plane crash oh this must be Christmas. I did spare a thought for all those who would not see Christmas this year and to all those who were suffering. I count myself so very lucky.

Merry Christmas. xx

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve.

It is Christmas Eve and it has been raining hard for most of the day, bringing the water level up by six inches. I feel for everyone caught up in the floods at the moment, I do not suppose they will be having a Merry Christmas, so my thoughts are with them.

Last night Keith and I donned our glad rags and headed off down into the town to Veneto’s the Italian Restaurant for an evening out with Hfm the local radio station who we are very good friends with. It is the first time in a few years that we have been out to a party, so we were both quite excited, so excited in fact we arrived way to early, so had to walk around for a bit whilst we waited for others to arrive. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces, many of the DJ’s who do an amazing job at the radio station.


There are so few local radio stations around these days and so it is important to support them. Hfm is brilliant with its support for the surrounding area. We had a three course meal and a bottle of wine all of which was very nice. We got to chat with people we already knew and people we had never met before but had heard on the radio. By the time we left it was 11.00pm and I was very much ready for my bed. When we got back to the boat we did not linger long before heading off to bed. There was I thinking I would sleep like a log, but no such luck, both Keith and I were awake at 4am with mouths so dry they resembled the bottom of a parrots cage. There was only one thing for it a nice cup of tea. I know we should have been sleeping, but the dryness of our throats kept us both awake, so there was little point fighting the urge for a cuppa. Cuppa drunk, we did settle back down beneath the duvet for another couple of hours, the alarm then went off at 7am, because Keith had a doctors appoint to go to at 8.30am. Up and about, I lit the back cabin stove, so I could put a gammon joint in the oven to cook. I am trying out something others have done and that is to cook the joint in Coke Cola. I know it sounds mad, but I am told it is scrummy, so I am giving it a go. I will let you know what I think once we have eaten it. Generator went on at 8.45am  to charge the batteries. and whilst Keith was at the doctors I got on with a few things. Once he was back it was coffee time and time to start enjoying Christmas, so the Roses tin came out as did the mince pies. We will not be peaking to soon, after all there is tomorrow and Boxing Day ;0). The TV went on for all the festive films, darn it we have none of the BBC channels, so I guess it will have to be Film 4 or the other channels which do work, as long as I can watch “Downton Abbey” tomorrow night I will be happy ;0). So the Gammon is still cooking slowly and the smell is divine, if it tastes as good as it smells it will be amazing. Dinner tonight is going to be Scampi and Wedge Potatoes, something simple before the Christmas feast of rice food begins. Later it will be feet up and a film, before hopefully getting a whole nights sleep.

I will again wish you all a Merry Christmas and I will see you on the other side of the festive fun, because tomorrow I am not going to pick up my laptop, well that is what I am telling myself right now, but we will see he he. So Have a happy festive time everyone and thank you for staying with me.

Friday, 21 December 2012

All done.


That’s it I am done. This morning I walked down into town to buy the vegetables and fruit we will need over Christmas, oh and I came back with a bottle of Mulled Wine, which neither Keith or I have ever had before. I have no idea why we have never had it before, the wine that is but I cannot remember having ever drunk it before, so I am looking forward to trying it with mince pies and cheese.

The town was pretty quiet, but it was 9.30am so I guess not to many people were out and about on such a beautiful morning.


After all the rain we had yesterday the Welland was well up, although I think it had dropped a bit overnight.  With more rain forecast I expect it will come up again.

Before I went down into the town Keith and I supplied one of our customers with coal, before they headed off to Debdale for a pump out, because the one in the basin is still not in use to private boats. So they are having to cruise all the way to Debdale and back to get pumped out which is not ideal. Hopefully the problem will be resolved in the New Year.

Today is supposed to be the day the world ends, so this maybe the last posting I ever write and you ever read. If the prediction does not come true, I will see you tomorrow.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

If looks could kill.

I could not resist photographing Marmite whilst she lounged in the back cabin on the side bed.
But something tells me by the look on her face, she was not impressed.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Merry Christmas Everybody.


It is that time of year when everyone is busy getting ready for the festive season. So I thought I would wish you my happy readers a wonderful festive time. May Father Christmas bring you what your heart desires and you glass overflow with human kindness. Have a wonderful time xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

2012 NORAD Tracks Santa (HD)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Engines and Washing Machines.

A couple of days ago, we ran the engine which we like to do once a week when moored for more than a week, this is to ensure it runs on both cylinders, because the engine is an elderly lady she gets a little out of sorts if she is not run. We have found in the past that if we do not run the engine for a more than a week it only runs on only one cylinder for about 10 minutes before the 2nd cylinders comes to life. So by running the engine once a week we help to stop this from occurring. That is the theory anyway, because we did this a couple of days ago and despite running for some 15 to 20 minutes, the engine only ran on the 1 cylinder, which caused alarm bells to ring, and the pound signs to flash before my eyes.

Yesterday morning we stripped the engine down, Yes we, because I know as much about our vintage engine as Keith does. First thing to do was to take the rocker covers off. All seemed ok in that department. Keith then wanted to see which cylinder was not firing, which is easy to do, by running the engine and using one of our large screwdrivers, he put it in the right place and found out it was the sternward cylinder which was not firing.

Step 2 was to bleed the injector pumps to ensure that fuel was feeding through to them. Keith started with the sternward pump, and having loosened it some air bubbled out along with some fuel, so here was the problem. He then checked the other pump and that bled perfectly. Before replacing the rocker cover he restarted the engine and wooo hoo, both cylinders were firing, which was music to our ears. We had both been fearing the worst that it was going to cost us a small fortune to put right, but a bit of knowledge and no how and we sorted it ourselves.

This morning it was the turn of the washing machine to get a run to see if it was running ok, because the last time I used it, it threw itself around the galley like something demented. With great trepidation I weighed out 2kg of washing and laid it in the washing machine evenly, added the detergent, shut the door and switched it on, with my fingers crossed, so not an easy thing to do with fingers crossed. I had selected the rapid 32 minute wash, so for the whole 32 minutes I listened to every sound the machine made and phew  much to my relief I need not have worried, the machine worked perfectly and it stayed in its bay. I had visions of it misbehaving and another bill to pay to have it looked at. I think the problem has been, I have not been putting enough washing in it and probably putting to many items of the same sort, meaning it has not be level when spinning. You would think at my ages I would have learnt by now as I have done thousands of washes in all sorts of machines, but hey ho you are never to old to learn.

Monday, 17 December 2012

You go first.

As you are probably aware by reading my postings, Marmite and Paddy are the best of buddies and have been since the day they first met. They sleep together, play together and love watching the world go by together.


Yesterday it was a stand off in the galley as to who would move first, whoever moved first was going to be the one instigating the play, which happens every day, when they charge up and down the boat after each other, it never fails to make me laugh. Nine times out of Ten Marmite always wins, but Paddy comes back for more punishment day after day.


The Christmas tree is still fascinating to Marmite and last night she thought she would play with the decorations with out me noticing. She will never learn. I would not mind betting that when we are not on the boat, she is there playing with the baubles.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A beautiful day.


It has been a lovely warm Winter’s day, with no wind and lots of sunshine. You could have been mistaken for thinking Spring had arrived early, but of course we know that cannot be because Christmas Day is just around the corner and people are running around like headless chicken buying up the shops, well that is how it seemed yesterday when I walked down into the town. The town was in fact heaving with people trying to complete their Christmas shopping and in the process they were forgetting to smile, even if through gritted teeth as they walked through people like me who have no further shopping to do and yet I felt like I should apologise for their rudeness. I guess I could have left my bit of shopping for another day, but with photographs to hang and no brackets to hang them with a trip to the shops was called for.

Today Sunday as I have said was a lovely warm day and it meant I could get on with my list of things to do. First I had to do the fires, then walk Paddy. Keith cooked us breakfast as he always does on a Sunday and I do so enjoy being spoilt even if it is for one day. After my lovely breakfast, I got the hose out of the hold and connected it up to the water tap to fill the tank, which I have taken to filling once a week whilst we are on a mooring. Whilst the water slowly filled the tank and I mean slowly because it trickles out of the taps on the towpath, but there was no hurry. So whilst the trickle carried on into the tank, I went and emptied the toilet cassette and got rid of rubbish. Back at the boat, I then fired off some Pork loin steaks for dinner, which would then spend all day slow cooking in the back cabin stove. On to the next job and that was to give the bathroom a good clean, it has been a little neglected of late. The flannels were but in my boiling pot on the back cabin stove to boil for half an hour. By the time I got through my Sunday list it was then lunchtime, so I made us some lunch, then sat down with a coffee to enjoy some Sunday afternoon films. Sunday afternoon was to be a quiet affair, feet up and a chance for me to carry on working on my spider web phone cases.

Mog and dog were fed at 5pm and soon it will be our dinner time, the Pork loin steaks are cooked to perfection we will be having them with potatoes, carrots and parsnips and for afters we have Rubarb pie and ice cream. So on that note I will say “Cheerio”.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Another sad loss.

One of the pounds at Meaford on the Trent and Mersey Canal near Stone was drained this morning as police searched for Mr Holmes. Another very sad loss at this festive time. My thoughts go out to his family.


Poorly Paddy.


I have no idea what he had eaten but yesterday Paddy was not a happy boy. Throughout the day he kept bringing up bile. We first knew he was off colour when we got back from town and found that he had been sick in the engine room, this then continued to be the case throughout the day on and off. For the first time in ages he was not even looking for his evening meal, he just lay in his bed looking all sorry for himself.

This morning having not been sick all night, he was eager for his walk and has had his three bone shaped biscuits, so we will see what today offers.

I still have no idea what caused him to be sick, because I know he has not eaten anything out of the ordinary.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Body found under ice in Northamptonshire canal - Crime - Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Body found under ice in Northamptonshire canal - Crime - Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Someone dying like this is dreadful at anytime of the year, but when Christmas is just around the corner, it seems so much more tragic..

Supplies and Placemats.

Hi Folks.

There is something amazing about watching the water freeze in front of your eyes and that is exactly what happened last night. I watched out of the galley doors as the water on the canal began to freeze as the temperature dropped below freezing again. It was a little like watching the ice come towards you like in the film “The day after Tomorrow”, ok not that dramatic but that is what comes to mind. The temperature got down to –5.8c last night and so this morning I woke to the sound of the ice creaking, it is almost as if it is singing when it cracks. Keith got up to visit the toilet and with the movement of the boat the ice cracked along the length of the boat. As I have said before this is my favourite time of the year, and I love what the Winter throws at me. Whilst Keith was up he made us a brew and I got up and worked on the back cabin fire, breathing some life into it after it had been dampened down over night. It was not long before I could hear it roaring away, so shut the bottom door and enjoyed the warmth being given off, as Keith and I sat in bed drinking our first cuppa of the day whilst watching “Are you smarter than a 10 year old”. I can honestly say I am not, but it is funny to watch people falling down over very easy questions and yes I am a little smug when I know the answer.

8.15am time to get out of bed, mainly because my bottom was numb sitting up in bed. Once dressed it was time to take Paddy out for his first walk of the day. He was well up for leaping off the boat, but as it was a little icy, I helped him off in a more gentle style. The towpath was not slippery for a change, so I allowed Paddy off the lead once past the moored boats for a bit of a run. The one thing with Paddy is, once he has had enough, he will turn around and head back to the boat, and we had not gone far, before he did just that, he had done his business, which was picked up and put in the poo bin. Back on the boat breakfast was ready and so having fed mog and dog, I got to sit down and have my breakfast. The generator went on at 9am to charge the batteries for the day.

After the batteries were charged, we headed off down into the town to buy our supplies for blacking next March. Wilkinson’s was are destination for paint brushes, rollers and trays, white spirit and rubbing down paper. We came out of Wilkinson’s without the rubbing down paper because they did not have what I wanted, but we did get some shower sponges and water filler refills, the rubbing down paper can wait for another day.


I have been looking for basket to hold my washing up liquid, scrubbing brush etc over the galley sink and Homebase had what I was looking for. It was a little more expensive than I hoped for, but beggars cannot be choosers and it does fit nicely where I wanted it to go. Having got the few bits we wanted we slogged our way back up the hill to the basin and the warmth of our boat, where I made us a coffee, before we had a visit from Gary our printer man. He is making our placemats, coasters and key rings for next year and wow I am absolutely delighted with what he has done so far. Gary wanted to show us what they looked like now they have been printed and we cannot be more pleased.


The placemats include the photograph of Marmite and Paddy and I am over the moon with it. Next years supply is fantastic. Not only are the boat ones included like this year, I have used some of my wildlife photographs for some of the other mats, which I am very excited about.

Talking of Marmite, she has become increasingly interested in the Christmas tree.


I saw her batting one of the Christmas decorations with her paw, so it looks like she has found a new toy to play with.

This week seems to have flown by, it will soon be Christmas and wow another year will have past.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A woman’s work.

I am so honoured that I get to see the seasons come and go and I especially love the Winter. I love watching it in all its glory. This morning we are frozen in with the temperature getting down to –3.3 c over night, thankfully the fog has begun to lift and it looks like the sun may pop out later.
With us being on a Winter mooring until at least the beginning of January, I have not had much to write about, but I did think to myself that yesterday (Tuesday) was a busy old day for me. It all began at 7am with me stoking the back cabin fire, making a cup of tea which was enjoyed in bed. When I stepped off the boat with Paddy it was very foggy, bringing the temperature down, I walked Paddy along the towpath and watched the Kingfisher scoot past me on its way to find some unfrozen water. Whilst I was out Keith laid up the breakfast and put the generator to charge up our new batteries, which are doing a sterling job. After breakfast a customer came around to collect two bags of coal, I then delivered four bags of coal to a boater in the basin. It was then time to stoke the saloon stove up for the day. I found time for a coffee before heading off to the sanitary station with the toilet cassette, rubbish and a bag of ash, which all got dumped one way or another. Phew time for lunch and five minutes break.
After some lunch, I headed off down to the town to do a couple of things, I always find the walk back up the hill hard work, but it does get the old heart pumping. By the time I got everything done it was well into the afternoon and I was beginning to feel as if I had done a hard days work, arghhhhhhh I hate the four letter word. Time for my second coffee of the day and a chance to sit down and watch Dickinson’s Real Deal. There is never any rest for the wicked, because I then had dinner to cook, animals to feed and after all that the fires needed stoking for the night. All in all it was a busy old day, but you know what, I would not have changed it. I am the sort of person who likes to keep busy.
What did Keith do? I know your wondering.
He helped me get the coal out of the hold for the customers, which is a huge help. They say a woman’s work is never done and today has also been busy so far.
With the frost came ice on the canal and cobwebs shimmering in the sunlight. The fog had lifted which meant Paddy and I enjoyed a nice walk with the sun looking like we may see it.
The canal is frozen again, so the ducks are finding it hard work.
The ice in the basin was thick enough for the swans to stand on. They were very grateful for some bread this morning.
Today was Tesco food delivery day, but before that I stoked both the fires, finished writing the Christmas cards and posted them and then at midday Keith and I gathered together our boxes and bags and shut the boat up to head for our food delivery. I got the trolley out of the hold and we strode off around the basin which was slippery under foot to the back of the Waterfront Restaurant where we were going to collect our delivery. 12.30pm Mr Tesco man arrived, he unloaded the crates and we filled our crates with food. On returning to the boat, Keith passed the crates through the galley doors and I then stowed the food away in the cupboard, fridge and freezer, we are all set for Christmas now. I have a small delivery coming next week with the last items we need for the festive celebrations, it will also last us into the New Year, whether we are still on the Winter mooring or have moved off. After stowing away the food, it was time for lunch and a chance to watch an afternoon movie. Later on it will be time to cook dinner, stoke the fires, feed us and the mog and dog, so I am off now to have a coffee and a mince pie.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

All lit up.

Christmas has arrived on board, with the putting up with more fairy lights. Now that we have power in our new batteries, I changed the solar lights on the tree for something much more sparkly and fun.
Paddy wanted to get in on the photograph.

Cats and the Christmas Tree.

Brussel Sprouts.

You either love them or hate them, I love them, but have to say that as a child I did not like them, but was always made to eat at least one on Christmas Day. These days my tastes have changed and I love Brussel Sprouts. If like me you like Sprouts but are never sure what to do with them, then why not give this recipe a go.

Sausages with Winter Veg.

4 sausages , regular or reduced-fat
2 parsnips
2 or 3 medium potatoes
175g Brussels sprouts
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard.
Garlic if you like it.

Grill the sausages for 10-12 mins, turning frequently. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the parsnips and potatoes, then cook in boiling salted water for about 10 mins. Shred sprouts, add to the pan for the last 2-3 mins and cook until all the vegetables are tender.
Drain and mash the vegetables, then beat in the milk and mustard with salt and pepper. Serve with the sausages.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Never rains unless it pours.

We have been having battery issues for sometime and so Saturday we called into a local firm, “The Battery Store” to buy some new domestic batteries for Hadar. The  Battery Store advertises on our local radio station Hfm. Having chatted to Stewart and his son Henry, we selected the appropriate batteries and not only did they deliver them to Union Wharf for us, but even gave us a lift back, which was not only excellent service, but it saved my legs.

Keith and I began stripping out the first of our old batteries and we then discovered that these new batteries were too wide to fit in the trays, now we had thought that the batteries were a standard size, but it appears not. Keith rang Henry up and Stewart delivered a new set of batteries, which was very good of him. The afternoon was wearing on into the evening by the time we got them all fitted and connected up. But immediately we noticed a difference.

This morning it was time to clean the old batteries up, because they had grease on the bottom, so I knelt on the back counter with a bowl of hot soapy water whilst Keith handed me the batteries, so I could clean them off. Whilst cleaning up the old batteries, we discovered that the original 2 batteries, which were installed at the time that one of our batteries blew it’s tops off due to overvoltage charging 2 years ago, had both got splits in the cases, so we were right in thinking that all 2 had in fact been damaged and I am just pleased that we have replaced them all. It was actually a shock to see the splits in the cases.

Our new batteries are traction batteries, which are usually fitted to such things as fork lift trucks, so it will be interesting to see how well these perform. At the moment they are performing really well, in fact so good that this morning we did not run the generator, and when we ran it last night it was for a far shorter period of time, compared to the old batteries. This will definitely reduce our use of diesel quite dramatically. I am glad that we can now stop worrying about how much power we have.

This year one way or another it has been a very expensive year as far as the boat is concerned, but that is the joys of owning and living on a boat, you have to be prepared for these things to happen and have the funds to pay for them.

Bag Puss.

I had literally just got back from the town with my shopping, when Marmite decided it was her turn to get in the bag. I love the expression on her face.

Young Heron

Union Wharf has a new young visitor. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Late Night Shopping.


Friday night saw Keith and I head down into Market Harborough for late night shopping, where there were Reindeer to pet, Bands, Singers, Food stalls and Charity stalls to enjoy. Hfm our local radio station were on hand to provide Christmas music and a stage for a local Take That group to preform.


We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and despite a little drop of rain, it did not dampen the spirits of the late night shoppers who turned out in their thousands. Although we did no shopping we did have something to eat and just soaked up the atmosphere.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ice, Ice Baby.

The canal is frozen again this morning.
The temperature got down to -5.7C
 The ducks can now walk on water.
I do so love it when there is ice on the canal, it gives off such wonderful patterns.
The towpath is a nightmare, it is like glass and I fear someone is going to hurt themselves falling over. I stuck to the grass behind the boat with Paddy this morning, because when Keith took Paddy for his walk along the towpath last night both he and Paddy began sliding all over the place. Everyone stay safe out there.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


The little darlings in my header photograph have shown their true colours. They may look like butter would not melt in their mouths, but believe me they are no so innocent.

Yesterday I put some frozen cooked chicken in a bowl to defrost on the draining board with cling film and a plate on the top. I stupidly thought it would be safe, because neither Paddy or Marmite have taken any notice of defrosting food before. That all changed yesterday, because Keith and I nipped down the town to do a couple of things and when we came back the bowl was on the floor and the contents devoured. Now I am assuming that Marmite did the uncovering of the chicken, she then pushed the bowl to the edge of the work top and Paddy did the rest. Of course that is what I am assuming, because Paddy could not have reached the bowl on his own so they would of had to work together. I did have to giggle, because I had visions of them working out a plan of action to get to the prize. When we got back Marmite was asleep in the back cabin and Paddy was in his bed as if nothing had happened. Luckily I had more chicken in the freezer so no harm done. I was actually more worried about the affect it would have on both their stomachs, but there was no price to pay for their thieving, which was very lucky for them and me. To think of the mess it could have left if they had both had upset tummies arghhhhhh.

So from now on I will not be leaving anything out to defrost, unless I am there to supervise.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Today I saw something I have never seen before. It was a car with eyelashes. Yep the headlights had lashes.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Happy Lady.

There are days when nothing seems to go right and you actually wonder if anything will go right again, thankfully I am blessed with not getting to many of those these days. But having had problems with cameras over the last few months, I did wonder if I would have any luck in the direction, well today my luck changed, because I got my Samsung pocket camera back from being repaired and to fill my heart with glee they also repaired Keith’s Samsung pocket camera in the process. It pays to send a letter with the repair it seems, we explained that my camera was still under warranty and the screen went exactly the same as Keith’s camera did and his was out of warranty, so could it be a fault with the camera. It seems it may well have been because although we paid to get Keith’s repaired mine was done free, so thank you very much to Samsung for making me a happy lady. Shame on Curry’s and PC World who did not want to know.


I am glad to have my little camera back, as i can take it anywhere.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Coldest day so far.

Over night the temperature got down to a chilly –4.7 C, but as always we were nice and snug inside the back cabin with the stove fire staying in all night.
There was a definite sense that Winter has arrived, with a layer of ice on the canal, this time it covered the whole stretch of the canal including the basin, which bought back memories of the past three years when we have been frozen in. This spell is however not expected to last.
The Harborough swans were finding movement difficult because to get anywhere they had to break the ice first. They certainly did not have to worry about going hungry though, because people were coming out and feeding them throughout the day. After a lovely brisk walk along the towpath, Paddy and I got back to the boat, to find Keith cooking breakfast, which was large Mushrooms on Toast, one of my favourite breakfasts. After breakfast, I made sure both fires were made up, I then got the coal in for the day.
Whilst we are on our Winter mooring, I am filling the water tank once a week. The water taps along the towpath are so slow that it takes over an hour to fill the tank, so leaving it till the tank is empty would been a good couple of hours waiting if not longer, as it was it took well over an hour to fill the tank and that was only after I defrosted the water tap. This the joy of living on a boat during the Winter, but I love this time of year and so just get on with the job in hand no matter what the weather. Water tank filled and hose put away for another week, it was time for a coffee and my mind turned to what to do next.
I got on with making a Turkey thigh stew, which contains, onion, carrots, potatoes, turnip, parsnip, mushrooms and soya beans, having got it cooking on top of the back cabin stove, I applied the lid and put it in the stove to slow cook all day.
Yesterday I began to do some spider web embroidery. I am planning to make a mobile phone holder if all goes well. I bought the embroidery silks, material and hoop from the market yesterday in Market Harborough, I think it will keep me busy for hours.
As the day has worn on into the afternoon the smell of the Turkey stew is creeping along the boat making my tummy rumble. I will be adding some dumplings to the mix later on. But for now I am going to put my feet up and watch a Sunday film. So have a wonderful day and thank you for reading my blog ;0).

Congratulations to Charlie Brooks on becoming Queen of the Jungle last night. I really enjoyed this series and found it was to close to call as to who would win it. I really have enjoyed watching it and cannot wait for next years. One of my favourites was Eric Bristow purely because he said it was it was and was just himself.

Day after the day before.

Having had my tooth out yesterday (Friday), I must say I did feel a little sorry for myself for the rest of the day and in the end having been on the painkillers, I took myself off to bed at 9.30pm. I did not even see David Haye leave the jungle awwwww. I just felt I needed to go to bed and sleep, which is exactly what I did until 7.30am, so it was well worth putting my head to bed. Whilst closing the boat up for the night, I looked out to see a foggy old night.


I woke up Saturday morning and on waking up, I was so pleased that my gum no longer hurt and my mouth actually felt pretty normal, even though there is a gapping hole in the my gum, but at least no more pain. I got up and made us a cup of tea and we sat in bed listening to the radio for an hour before I got up to do the fire and then to take Paddy for his walk along a frosty towpath with sleet beginning to fall. There was a thin layer of ice on the surface of the canal, meaning we got down well below freezing last night, on returning to the boat I checked out temperature gauge and it said _4.2C, so yes it was very chilly over night. It is not set to last though as rain is coming back in if the forecasters are to be believed. Breakfast was enjoyed by all of us. Marmite was especially pleased to see food in her dishes because they were both empty, which was why she kept pestering us whilst we drank our first cuppa of the day in bed. Marmite is a cat that hates being hungry, I cannot say I blame her, I am not a happy bunny when I am hungry. After doing all the usual morning stuff, Keith and I walked down into the town, so I could get vegetables.


Marmite thought that the veggies needed inspecting after I took them out of my rucksack, normally she would be in my rucksack like grease lightening, but no she was more interested in the veg.


With lunch out of the way it was time to dust off the Christmas tree and decorations once again. We do not bother with much and this year all our lights are being run by the sun, so we if do not get any sun there will be no Christmas lights ;0(. My day was a lovely one all in all and I am now beginning to get into the Christmas spirit.

The gap where my tooth used to be is healing up nicely now, I have been washing out with salt water so in a few days I should be able to eat on that side.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Had it out.

tooth fairy

Having had problems with a gum infection for a few weeks, this morning I had the troublesome tooth taken out, so no more gum infection I hope. I am as you probably know by now not great at going to the dentist, but this morning it all went really well. The lady dentist put in three lots of local anesthetic before getting the pliers out to extract the tooth, which I could hear cracking under the pressure. Thankfully the tooth did come out cleanly, so I just need to keep the area clean and allow the clot to form properly over the extraction site. I was feeling a bit light headed, so made myself some soup and a roll, which made me feel better, but there will be no hard food things for a couple of days, I do however have to do salt water mouthwashes so the gum can heal. My dentist showed me the tooth afterwards and it was mainly filling, so it was probably a good thing it came out.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Ritz Cinema

This may not have been the most stunning building, but it had stood since 1939. The Ritz Cinema was the last to be planned by the Union Cinemas circuit, as they were taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC). The cinema was completed and opened it on 22 May 1939 and it gave pleasure to many in the area. The Ritz was fitted with with Cinemascope in 1955. In 1961 it became the ABC and as well as showing films you could get your weekly fix of Bingo. The cinema closed on 25th April 1978 with apparently a Bruce Lee film finishing its days as a cinema. It was leased to Silverline Entertainments and became a bingo club. It remained on bingo until 1982 when it was closed. Kwiksave then took it on as a supermarket, but when they left the old Ritz building fell into decline. There have been many rumours as to what it was going to be used for but the rumours have died along with the building.
This was the Ritz a few days ago.
This is the Ritz today. It stands no more. In its place there are going to be retirement apartments and shops. I think its a real shame that such a building has been knocked down, it would have been nice if at least the front of the building could have been saved and incorporated in the new build. But I guess they call it progress, we will see when it comes to selling the apartments, because Market Harborough already has a lot of retirement apartments and many are still sitting empty.

My Day.

Wednesday morning began with me waking early with tooth ache, deep joy. It appears my gum infection is kicking off again, just as well I have my dental appointment tomorrow arghhh. I did manage to get back off to sleep and woke again at 7.30am when I heard the alarm clock click to 7.30am which was when the alarm was last set for. Wide awake I got up and made the other half and I a cup of tea, which was drunk in bed whilst watching “Are you smarter than a 10 year old”. Clearly neither of us are smarter than  10 year old because we got a couple of the questions wrong. Having been depressed by my lack of knowledge I got up at 8.30am, because Paddy was stirring in his bed which meant he wanted to go out and Marmite was on the prowl for food. Paddy got his walk first along the towpath, where we met Caroline and John heading off on NB Vanyar. We would not see them again before Christmas so I wished them a happy festive time and they headed off to Foxton. Back on the boat, I laid up breakfast and fed Marmite and Paddy. Breakfast over, it was time to relight the back cabin stove and make up the saloon stove. Fires done, time for a coffee and a catch up with e-mails and blogs whilst the generator charged the batteries.


Loved this posting on Facebook, it would definitely apply to Marmite, she loves boxes and bags, as you will have seen from previous postings.

With batteries charged and e-mails sorted it was time to get some jobs done. I had to climb into the hold to get the days coal for both fires. With s being moored up close to the bank, I have the option to bring coal in everyday, if however we were moored away from the bank, I would probably bring in a weeks worth. Today was my Tesco food delivery day, so a with it being delivered between 12 noon and 1pm, I was ready for the walk to the waterfront restaurant by 12.45pm, which is where I would take my delivery. Keith pushed the trolley, whilst I carried the boxes and we waited for our food to arrive. At 12.20pm Mr Tesco man ran me to find out where I was, he was at the bottom of the road, but soon appeared around the corner. Between us Keith and I filled our plastic boxes, loaded up the trolley and then before heading back along the towpath, we said “Goodbye” to the very nice Tesco man. Using the delivery service is heaven because it means I can get tinned stuff and all the heavier items, which this time included cat litter. I do however like to go down the town to buy my fruit and veg, so I can pick it myself. Once back at the boat, I stowed away all the food and then made us toasted crumpets for a late lunch. Having done all that it was time to sit down and put my feet up until it was time to start dinner, feed the animals and make the fires up. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?


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