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

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Village at War Weekend and beyond.

Hi Folks. I am sorry I have not posted any photographs from our fantastic weekend at The Village at War Weekend, this has been due to a very poor signal on my dongle. However all is not lost Keith has posted some on Hadar's BLOG. We had an absolutely amazing time and I want to thank everyone for taking the time to come and say "Hello" to us both, you all help to make the weekend for me. The list is endless so I will just say a Huge Thank You to you all. 
Today was leaving day.
We travelled from Stoke Bruerne to Norton Junction 14.8 miles, worked 7 locks in a time of 7 hours 10 minutes.

8am we set off through the tunnel. Back to Gayton Junction where we took on water etc. 

We passed our friends Elaine and David on NB Patience, they had just got back from a weekend away, so we had a quick chat as we passed, it was then onward to the Buckby flight of locks. I made us a coffee and we also had some warmed up sausage rolls on route.
At Gayton Sheila and Colin on Milan had passed us, but we caught them up and they allowed us to pass them as they were heading to their home mooring at Bugbrooke and were in no hurry. It was wonderful to meet them at Stoke Bruerne, they are such a wonderful couple and we look forward to seeing them again sometime.
When we got to the locks NB Moonshadow was ready and waiting for us in the lock, they had waited 25 minutes for another boat to arrive on the request of the volunteer lock keeper. We shared the locks with them all the way to the top. 
Having cleared the locks we moored up just after Norton Junction on a mooring we have never been able to get on to before.
It has been a longish day for us and I think I will have nice hot shower and an early night.

Friday, 28 September 2012

May the weekend begin.

Before the weekend gets under way and I am busy chatting, meeting and greeting, I thought I would take a few moments to update you on Stoke Bruerne and the Village at War. It is beginning to take shape.
One tent up.
The tents have been going up. 

Two tents up.
Tomorrow they will be filled with people in war time dress.

Ice Breaker Laplander.
Boats have been arriving over the past couple of days.

The Cheese Boat.
Geraldine and Michael will do a roaring trade over the weekend.

Fudge Boat.
As will Heather and Tony on The Fudge Boat. 

We have moved our boat back a little so we are now in front of Corona. Trevor arrived this morning and it was wonderful to see him and again. Trevor is a mind of information and I could happily sit and listen to his tales all day. 
David has been making sure the historic and working boats have found a space above the locks. 
As today wore on more and more boats arrived, above the locks is nearly full now, so boats may find themselves breasting up if they arrive later this evening.
As for me well I have got my dress and shoes out for Sunday best. Tomorrow I will be wearing my bib and braces and my hair up under a scarf, so if your coming and you spot me, please come and say hello. I managed to get all the brass work cleaned without it raining down on me, I even cleaned the engines brass and copper for Keith. The hoover was put around the boat to get rid of Paddy's hair and the dried grass we seem to have collected. The boat is now all ship shape for the weekend.
Today we had a visit from Adam off of NB Briar Rose. It was nice to see Adam, we had a good old chat over a cup of tea. It was lovely to catch up on his news. Stoke Bruerne is beginning to fill up with bloggers. We have Jayne and Ray on NB No Direction moored in front of us and I know other bloggers are arriving with their boats, so I will post about them when they arrive. 
As the afternoon wore into the evening, I nipped out to take a few photographs and ended up meeting Sean on Laplander, whilst chatting to him I asked if he would like our old engine oil, which he was more than happy to take, so having got back to the boat and taken the oil out of the hold Keith helped me lug it down to Sean, he then poured it into his tank. His steamer runs on old engine oil. Great way for us to get rid of it and free fuel for him. 
It is now dark at 7.465pm, arghhhhhhh the nights are drawing in at an alarming rate and I am now going to put my feet up. Have a wonderful weekend, I know I am going too.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Trent & Mersey Canal - breach at Dutton, 26th Sept 2012

This is not good and will take some time to repair. Check out the stoppage page http://www.waterscape.com/things-to-do/boating/stoppages/results?waterways%5B0%5D=98&search_data_by%5B0%5D=stoppage&start_day=27&start_month=9&start_year=2012&end_period=all&end_day=27&end_month=9&end_year=2012&subtn=+Find+Stoppages+

Sods Law.

As you know from my previous posting we had a lovely day out in Northampton and came back with a Television, which we bought in Argos, it was half price and had everything we wanted for our saloon. Got the television back to the boat, plugged it in with great excitement as it was going to be nice to watch a decent picture and for the television not to keep losing the signal or so we thought. Keith switched it on and immediately we knew something was not right. The picture seemed very dark, but we thought ok the settings need changing, which we duly did and whilst that did make a difference, the sound was a real problem. It sounded like someone was speaking from the bottom of a metal bucket. I know it is had to imagine, but believe me it was dreadful, we also got awful feedback from the speakers despite trying every setting in the sound area. It is sods law that when ever we buy anything new it is either already broken or it breaks within days of getting it and this was the case yet again. We tried to watch 'Love Actually' and it was excruciating viewing with the sound as it was. There was nothing for it, but for Keith to take another bus trip in to Northampton to return the television and to either get our money back or if they had one a replacement. 
Yesterday morning Keith set off on the 10.10am bus back into Northampton and whilst he was gone I paid a visit to Pam and Mac on NB Mona Lisa. Pam had hurt her back so is a bit immobile at the moment, but she had been busy making me some new cabin lace.
I have new galley door lace with swans on it for one side.

And for the other side a cat with a ball. Not the best of photographs, so will try and take some better ones with my camera.
Pam also made me some new port hole lace in the spider web pattern. Pam did this pattern for me a couple of years ago and I love it. I spent a lovely couple of hours with both Pam and Mac, drinking coffee and chatting about everything under the sun. I did not get back to the boat until 12.30pm, but wasted no time in putting my new cabin lace up. I had a quick bite to eat before walking to the bus stop to meet up with Keith, who was walking back to the boat with a new television under his arm. With great trepidation we set it all up, plugged it in and turned it on, I was praying this one was better and that it was not going to be the same. Much to my relief it was completely different and a triumph. The picture was incredible and the sound was fantastic, it was not like being in a bucket. 
Having watched a bit of afternoon television just to make sure the new television was working properly, we went out to The Spice of Bruerne for dinner. As always the food was excellent, as was the service. Every year when we come to The Village at War, we always had an Indian meal. If you love Indian food this is well worth a visit, the food is out of this world.
After what had been a disappointment with the television, everything ended well in the end. Argos changed the television without any hesitation, I wish it had been the same with Currys  and my camera.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Didn't we have a lovely time.....

Didn't we have a lovely time, the day we went to Northampton.

Yes today was the day we got on the number 86 bus, paid our £12 for a return ticket for the both of us and headed off to Northampton. Last September we made the same trip, but on the 27th September when it was  much hotter weather than today. The journey by bus is almost an hour, as it takes you through we passed through Roade, Blisworth, Collingtree and Milton Malsor. It was a wonderful opportunity to see some stunning houses.
We got off the bus in the centre of the town.
All Saint's Church was one of the first places we saw. You can read all about the other places we saw in my posting last year BLOG. I give a description on the history of the place and some of its buildings.
Northampton was pretty quiet to begin with, but as the time wore on the streets got busier. Whilst walking around, I spotted the Express Hair Company and it was offering a trim for £9.90, now to me that is a bargain and beats Supercuts who are charging £13.95. I do normally use Supercuts, but not today. I walked into Express Hair and did not even have to wait. Within 10 minutes I was done and dusted and was told that my hair is in very good condition, which really pleased me because I last had it trimmed in February, I only wash it twice a week, condition it once a month with a leave in conditioner. I never blow dry it, colour it and I have not permed it for years. So I am all trimmed up for a few more months. We had a wander around the town and noticed a few places which had been open had now closed. The Chinese Buffet Aroma was closed, despite the fact it was supposed to be open from 12 noon till 5 pm, so we had lunch at Eastgate a Wetherspoons. After lunch we walked down to the River Nene.
The river was up a bit, like with most rivers at the moment with all the rain we have had. In some parts of the country there is a lot of flooding, we are fortunate that there is none of that going on here at the moment.
Keith and I really enjoyed our visit to Northampton, which ended with us buying a new TV for the saloon as our old one has begun to pack up.
Having done everything we wanted to do we headed off to the Grey Friars bus station and sat in Bay 6 for our bus to arrive at 4pm. On the way home we could see in the distance some heavy rain dropping on someone and for us the heavens opened as we got to Milton Malsor, but by the time we got back to Stoke Bruerne the rain had thankfully stopped, because we did not have coats with us. 
Back on the boat, dinner has been eaten and now I have my feet up for the evening.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Toddler saved from drowning.


Just read this and thought about a couple of days ago when I saw a toddler coming a long the towpath on a push along tractor. Nothing worrying about that your thinking and your correct. What was worrying was the fact that his parents were along way back down the towpath as there pride and joy was speeding along. I had visions of this child losing control and ending up in the canal, neither parent would have been close enough to grab him, so I did say to them "You need to keep up with your child, because he could drive into the canal". The mother with a look of horror on her face ran down the towpath to gather her child up.
Parents need to be aware how dangerous canals are.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Busy selling day.

Brrrrr a chilly old start to Saturday, the back cabin was cold, so I got up riddled back cabin fire which took no time at all to spring into life. There was soon warmth filtering across the cabin. With the cold start came a mist rolling along the canal as I opened the back cabin door to take Paddy for his walk up through the Woodland Walk, where the birds were chattering, probably talking about how chilly it was and whether they need to fly south sooner rather than later.
After breakfast Keith and I set up shop, laying all our wares on the roof of the boat. Whilst waiting for customers, Keith got on with the rag rug he is working on and very good it looks too. I got on with making a sausage casserole, which spent the day slow cooking in the back cabin stove. It was not long before we had customers and all in all we had a very good selling day, the weather did of course help.
A Virgin Atlantic hot air balloon flew over, it is only the second hot air balloon I have seen this year. Maybe the weather has kept them from flying or should I say drifting. I have always fancied going up in one. Also during the afternoon a Spitfire flew over, it was either heading to an event or away from an event, but it could have also been checking out the lay of the land for next weekend, because a Spitfire is supposes to be doing the air display. During the day we met lots of lovely people, some of whom bought items from us which was very kind of them. Whilst watching the day go by, I sat and read 'Grumpy Old Women', which made me giggle a lot, what is more scary though is the fact that, I could see myself as I read on. Oh my I am turning into a grumpy old woman.
Look who is on the front of the Village at War programme. Don't we look a happy pair? I like to think that we were just showing how miserable the war years were. I do look like I was deep in contemplation and Keith well he was eating his sandwich, which of course was bread and dripping. I feel honoured to have been put on the front of the programme.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Winter curtains and Aussie newcomers.

Rain was forecast for the day and we kind of got rain, it was not full on but a sprinkling during the afternoon. I did not bother putting the sale stuff out, just in case it did chuck it down, instead I went off with my dustbin liner and litter picker to clear up the litter in the wood along side the canal. The wood is a lovely walk up the hill to the top of the tunnel, but it has been spoilt by the litter and dog poo, when I say dog poo I don't just mean the masses on the path but the 30+ bags of dog poo I collected in the hedgerow and in the under growth. 

What is wrong with people?

If you take the trouble to bag the poo, then why the hell can you not put it in the dog bin?
Sorry I have steam coming out of my ears grrrrrrrrrr arghhhhhhhhh.

Wood and towpath cleaned up and rubbish bag put in the skip. It is at least tidy for a day.
I cooked us a chicken curry for dinner, which we will have later and then went out to take some photographs  of that ever was out there.
Loved this Poppy which was blowing in the wind.
Shall we fly off or not?
There have been a few people about today, including some school parties. When I got back to the boat, Keith was chatting to some people who were on a day out.
This is their car, as 1937 Rover, what an absolute stunner and in excellent condition.
It was also lovely to meet Elly and Mick from Victoria, Australia, who have just bought themselves Narrow Boat Parisien Star and are looking forward to cruising the waterways of the UK. We look forward to see them and their boat as they embark on their dream. It is a wonderful feeling when you achieve your dream, so we know how excited they are, but also realise they are going to be on a huge learning curve. 
A few weeks ago I shared with you a photograph of the winter curtain material for the back cabin, well today they were finished and have now been hung in the back cabin ready for the Winter. I know, I know it is not Winter yet, but as I have lit the stove the dust will begin to gather and the lace on the Summer curtains will discolour, so I decided to change them now. I am really quite chuffed with the New Winter curtains and I still have a full curtain to make some more.
The signs have gone up for the restricted moorings for the Village at War Weekend. There are a couple of boats moored up, which have clearly been there for a while, including on which has a out of date licence, if they are still there come the rally weekend, they may have to be moved so booked in boats can actually moor up.
The day is now drawing to a close and I have really enjoyed today.

Meet and Greet.

Thursday was supposed to be a largely dry and sunny day, so I decided to set up shop. Keith helped me get some of our sale goodies out and we laid them out on the roof with a hope that we may sell something throughout the day. I in fact only sold some kindling and some silk flowers and that was to Geraldine off of the Cheese Boat. We had not seen Geraldine when we arrived at Stoke Bruerne, but we did have a good old natter with Michael. So Geraldine came to see us on her motor scooter. It was wonderful to catch up with her and all her news. As for the weather, well it was not working according to the script, because no sooner shop was set up, spots of rain began to fall, so we put everything back on the boat, the rain stopped and the sun came out and so did all our sale items, five minutes later the rain began falling again, this happened a further three times, by which time I was exasperated and decided to only put out a few items. Keith and I waited all day for another sale, but we did not sell another item and that was due to the lack of visitors. Oh well there is always another day and time.
During the day the Fudge Boat Sanity? arrived with Heather and Tony and so yep we stood on the towpath chatting about their year and where they had been. As we stood chatting to them David Daines came along the towpath, with news of the moorings for the Village at War weekend. He had allocated moorings for the trading boats and we were ok to stay in our usual place. Again it was great catching up with David. In a year so much had happened and peoples lives had changed, some for the better and some for the worse which is a shame. I am sure over the coming week we will do a heck of a lot of chatting to people we have not seen for a year.
After dinner, which was cooked in the back cabin stove, we went off to a talk in the school room of the Stoke Bruerne Museum. The talk was done by Brian Mayland and it was all about his early years of boating and how he got started. He showed some wonderful slides of the early days on the cut with the old boats and boating families. David and Elaine our friends on NB Patience also came along, so we got to see them again and there were a dozen other people at the talk, so a nice turn out.
By the time we got back to the boat it was gone 10.15pm and we were both in need of a coffee, which we sat and drank whilst watching a bit of night time TV. Off to bed at 11.30pm, I lay in bed listening to a Little Owl who was in a tree opposite the boat, it actually sounded as if it was sitting on the roof it was so loud. It was a lovely way to end a great meet and greet day.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Weedon Bec to Stoke Bruerne.

Travelled 10.5 miles in a time of 4 hours and 40 minutes.

Woke up to a very chilly back cabin, so while the kettle boiled on the gas stove, I relit the back cabin stive to generate some heat. Once up and about with all the morning jobs done, we left Weedon Bec at 10.05 am, despite it being a little chilly the sun was shining and it was going to be a wonderful day.
It was very busy at the Weedon winding hole, with three boats winding as we got there.
Pass Stowe Hill.
We waved to Elaine as we passed her and David's boat at High House.
Looking very sad.
Wondered where Reckless went off to, now I know it is at Furnace Wharf being worked on. If you do not know the boat Reckless it was part of a series called "The Boat That Guy Built" which was on the BBC. The boat was not actually bought by Guy Martin, it was purchased for the series and went up for sale after it had finished. The boat needed a complete refit and it looks like it maybe getting it, although the wall paper is the same.
These guys could not read.
We stopped at Gayton Junction to take on water, empty toilet cassettes and get rid of rubbish.
Onward through Blisworth.
Had a quick natter with Tom, we will see him and Pam at The Village at War Weekend.
In to Blisworth Tunnel.
Boat coming in the opposite direction.
Out the other end.
We arrived at Stoke Bruerne, Keith winded the boat and we moored up on our usual mooring for The Village at War weekend. A lovely couple on NB Ticketyboo, were every patient as they waited for us to wind and reverse into the mooring, as they wanted to reverse to the winding hole. I had a lovely conversation with them before they headed back to Blisworth Marina. We went and said hello to Michael on the Cheese Boat, and then got chatting to some lovely people on a hire boat. All in all it has been a fantastic day. 


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