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

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Best laid plans.

Now I am the sort of woman who can juggle many things at once, after all us ladies are know for multi tasking, but I have to admit I think I bit off more than I could chew. For today I had booked a coal delivery, which was supposed to arrive during the morning, then for the afternoon I booked Paddy and Marmite in for their vaccinations, with the aid of a pet taxi and for the early evening I had a Tesco food delivery coming. Now in my minds eye it should all work like clockwork, but that was in my minds eye.
All moored up in the basin, washing done, hoovering done, just sitting down to dinner my phone rang and the first of my downfalls was about to take place. My coal delivery was going to be late, due to the lack of a delivery to my coal merchant arghhhhhhhh. So now it will get to me in the afternoon. Ok it was time to rethink my planned day. If the coal delivery arrived around the same time as I was due to take mig and dog to the vets, one of us would stay at the boat for the coal delivery and the other would head off to the vets, ok that was sorted in my head again. Of course then my mind started running it over and over to see what other way I could arrange my day. All's I needed was for Mr Tesco Man to text me to say he was coming early then I would be completely stuffed.
Keith suggested I stop worrying, we would cross each bridge as it presented itself, so we settled down to watch 'War Horse' and yes I cried throughout it. Wow what a fantastic film, I am so glad we got it. For once the reviews were accurate and it was amazing.
Woke up at 5.30am to the sound of someone's home alarm going off, I hope it was a false alarm and they were not being burgled. The alarm went off at 6am and with both of us wide awake, it was time for a early morning cup of tea and 'Challenge TV'. I eventually got up at 7.15am when I felt I could not lay in bed any longer. I am not very good at laying in.
Paddy got a walk along the towpath and I fed the Swan's with some wholemeal bread given to me by a lady in the apartments, she popped her head out of her door and said "Would I like to feed the Swans for her?", but I only use brown bread, which is of course correct, white bread is not good for them as I posted in a previous blog entry. Swan's fed, Paddy had done what he needed to do, it was back to the boat for breakfast and to wait for what ever came first on my list of things to be done.
Lunchtime came and went and no phone call about our coal delivery arriving.
So the first thing that happened on my list was Marmite and Paddy went to the vets for their vaccinations by pet taxi, thanks to Myles from Paws 4 Walking. Both behaved themselves and were very calm when they had their injections. Paddy was not best pleased at having to go in a van and a cage, but then the poor darling only travels by road once a year as does Marmite. Marmite was not happy about being in her carrier, but she soon settled. As we were on our way back to the boat, Keith had received a phone call from our coal supplier to say they would not be delivering today, as they had been let down by their suppliers, so Keith moved the boat out on to the towpath to our Winter mooring.
This is where we will be for the next two months, whilst we do the doctors, dentists and other things on our to do list. I had not been back at the boat long, before I was off again with our trolley to go and meet Mr Tesco man, who was due to arrive between 4pm and 5pm, he actually arrived just before 4pm and he was delighted to see me waiting for him. I loaded up my trolley, thanked the gentleman for coming and headed off back along the towpath to the boat, where Keith helped me unload the trolley with all the goodies. Trolley put away, I then stowed all the shopping away. Phew what a day one way or another, the best laid plans to get our hold full of coal, did not pan out, but two out of three things is not bad. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Gallows Hill to Union Wharf, Market Harborough.

With Halloween approaching fast, the sky last night was pretty spooky.
I could not resist taking some photographs.

Travelled 5 miles in a time of 1 hour 50 minutes.

No urgency to get moving this morning, so we had a cup of tea in bed, watched a little TV and I got the back cabin fire going before I eventually got up at 8.15am. Paddy and enjoyed a stroll along the towpath in the Autumn sunshine, which was doing its best to warm the chilled air, after the temperature got down to 1.4c over night.
After all my early morning jobs were done, I got chatting to Tracy and Sam on NB Tilley and offered them some Tiller Pin covers made from plastic bags, which I had been given by another boater. They covers are knitted from the orange Sainsbury bags, which is an excellent recycling idea. We very rarely use mooring pins, so they are off little use to us, but I did say I would find a good home for them and now I have. 
At 11.35am we left our mooring and headed for the winding hole.
The Autumn colour is very vibrant now. I do so love to see the trees in their Autumn clothes.
On past the glue factory of J.G Pears.We then winded and headed back towards Market Harborough.
More Autumn Glory as we approached Market Harborough.
Leaving Market Harborough was Barbara on NB Cloud 9, she is now on her way to Warwick. It was lovely catching up with Barbara yesterday.
On arriving at Union Wharf, we winded and then pulled in against one of the pontoons. Also moored in the basin is Mo and Nessa on NB Balmaha.
We are moored in front of the Waterfront Restaurant who have several photographs of Hadar hung on the walls. We are now ready for our coal delivery which arrives in the morning.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Like a child with a new toy.

Sunday morning and a dull start, but that was not the case yesterday. Having moved up the moorings a little on Friday to take advantage of the sun, yesterday we were to see just how efficient the solar panel was going to be. Keith had commandeered one of  my logs from the hold to lean the panel against, so we could get the full affect.
Yesterday was the first day since installing the panel that we actually had some decent sunshine all day. At 1:00pm, when the sun was at it’s highest, it was giving an output of 6amps, which I understand from Keith is very good. Keith was like a child darting in and out of the engine room to check the meter to see what it was reading. I dare say that will wear off in time. We are going to think about some kind of brackets to be able to tilt the panel more securely, but until then the log did the trick. The solar panel will be a welcome addition to the boat that I am sure. Whilst he played with his new toy, I got on with a few jobs, nothing very exciting, cleaning, washing and a general tidy up.

Back to today, we have not had any sunshine, in fact at the moment it is raining. Having enjoyed my cooked breakfast which Keith cooked as always, I got on with walking Paddy and sorting the fires out. After breakfast, I found the Hatfields and McCoys on demand 5, as I had missed the first episode on Channel 5 on Thursday and so wanted to watch it. I was not disappointed with what I saw, it is going to be a fantastic series and I cannot wait for episode 2. No sooner I had finished watching demand 5 there came a knocking on the boat. At the engine room door stood Nessa off of NB Balmaha. Nessa and Mo are moored up in front of us, Nessa invited us for coffee and a chat, which was so nice of her. We locked the boat up and off we went to an afternoon of laughter and chatting. I think we covered all topics including the boaters favourite subject toilets. We had so much fun with Mo and Nessa that when I asked the time it was 3pm. We had been with them three hours, wonderful how time flies when your having fun. It is fantastic to see them both again and to have the chance to catch up with them about their travels and future plans. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Canal clear-up... what a load of rubbish! - Local News - Leighton Buzzard Observer

Canal clear-up... what a load of rubbish! - Local News - Leighton Buzzard Observer

Friday's Jottings.

It's Friday and we are heading at a great speed of knots towards the end of October arghhhh. Can someone please tell me where 2012 has gone?
I am sure as I get older the years seem to fly by, heck that means as the years come and go if I blink I may miss them. 
As we are moored up for a few days, I had a leisurely start to the day. A cup of tea in bed whilst watching a bit of Challenge TV, then it was time to get up and get the back cabin stove going, because it was fair to say it was a tad chilly. I know it was chilly because Marmite was sleeping at the bottom of the bed in the bed 'ole on the crochet blanket. 
Paddy and I then set off along the towpath past a few moored boats. Paddy had a spring in his step as we approached NB Tilley owned by Tracy and Sam, because their collie Ben was laying out on the towpath. As always Paddy was on his lead passed the moored boats and I may have changed direction if I had not known Ben, because I am fed up with Paddy being duffed up by other boaters dogs, who allow their dogs to lay out on the towpath unsupervised or on a lead. Some dogs very very aggressive when you try to pass their boat. But we passed Ben having said "Good Morning" to him and waved to Tracy. After our walk we stopped on our way back to have a chat with Tracy, who was on her first cuppa of the day. It has been a year since we saw them, so there was plenty to catch up on. They will be mooring up in Market Harborough for the Winter, so we will see a lot more of them. 
The sun looked like it was trying to come out, which would be a first for a few days, Keith wanted to move so we were out of the trees, so that we could take advantage of any sunshine which may put in an appearance, so this we did. We only move about 100 yards and immediately noticed the difference with the panel. Keith propped the panel up a little to take full advantage of the suns rays and yep the sun then went back in again grrrrrrr.
The glass on our saloon stove had a crack across the corner. When we were in Braunston we bought two new pieces of glass from Midland Chandlers and this morning we decided to fit one of them. Now because the fire has been used for the past 5 years, getting the bolts undone which were holding the glass in place was easier said than done, but eventually Keith managed to get three of them out, luckily once we had cleaned up the door we were able to slide the new glass under the one which refused to come out. 
With the new glass in and the door rehung, I set about getting the fire going. It was not long before the saloon was feeling much warmer and the back boiler was heating the radiator in the bathroom ready for tonight's shower.
The morning had got away from us one way or another, so I made us some lunch before getting on to my next job, which was to finish shovelling the loose coal into a pile, ready for our coal delivery next Wednesday. Mask donned, because I do not want the coal dust on my lungs, I climbed into the hold and began shovelling the smokeless fuel into the heap I had start a week or so ago. 
Coal shovelled and floor brushed, I am now ready for a coal delivery on Wednesday, which is being supplied by W.G Hill and Son. Paul and Tom have always supplied out coal and now we are selling coal again, I see no reason to change coal supplier. They give us a great service at good prices and are a wonderful family business. 
Out of the hold, I looked a little like a coal miner, but with a shower planned for later, I am happy to look like something the coal miner dragged in. 
The sun is back out so we are getting something from our panel at long last. It will not be enough to stop us running the generator, but every little helps, as a popular supermarket keeps telling us. 
The afternoon is flying by, so dinner is already cooking in the back cabin stove. Marmite and Paddy are both flat out snoozing, so I am going to put my feet up for five minutes. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Thursday rambling.

Busy start to Thursday. The alarm went off at 7.30am and I was up soon after. It appears the antibiotics for my gum infection have kicked in, because my gum feels more comfortable yippee. Kettle went on and breakfast was laid out whilst Keith got himself organised. He was off to the doctors for a check up and to discuss his breathing problem. But before he left, I walked Paddy along the towpath as the leaves were falling from the trees like snow or confetti, in coming were the Harborough Swans, who had Seven off spring this year, unfortunately two did not survive and one had to be taken away due to angel wing, it is now living in a sanctuary, whilst they try to reverse the damage. Angel wing is an incurable anatomical condition which is acquired in young birds and is caused my feeding birds things like white bread, pop corn and other human foods. It is due to a high-calorie diet, especially one high in proteins and or low in vitamin D, vitamin E and manganese. In adult birds it can cause death because they are rendered flightless. But in young birds wrapping the wing and binding it against the bird's flank, together with feeding the bird a more natural diet, can reverse the damage, so hopefully the cygnet will survive and will be back on the water soon. The rest of the cygnets have now flown off to find their own areas and the pen and cob are taking a well earned break, they are a beautiful and friendly pair, who enjoy knocking on the wind to ask for food. They do not get bread from me.
Back at the boat, I climbed into the hold to get coal out for the back cabin, this was a mixture of house coal and smokeless. I use the smokeless when I am cooking and on the boat, but when leaving the boat and at night I use house coal. The reason being, the smokeless coal burns to hot as it is always drawing air and I would not like to leave the stove unattended in case it gets to hot.
9am Keith was off along the towpath to the doctors and so I put the generator on to charge the batteries. Due to no sunshine, the solar panel is not giving us much free charging. Whilst charging the batteries, I put another clothes wash on, because the machine was getting a little full. With the machine doing my washing, I connected the hose pipe to one of the taps on the towpath and left the water tank to fill. The taps on the towpath are so slow it took an hour to fill the tank, which was no where near empty. It is not helped by the fact that there is a leak on one of the taps, which has been reported.
The boat has been covered in leaves from the over hanging trees, so whilst the water tank filled and the washing machine did its job, I got on with brushing the leaves off the roof, gunwales and sheeting. I know it will not be clear for long, but at least it has cut down the amount of leaves for now.
It has been another dank and dreary day, with no sign of the sun. Even though its not particularly cold, I still feel the need to keep the back cabin stove going. It helps keep the boat cosy and I get to keep the kettle boiling on it and all of my cooking is done in the oven and on the top. I do love a good fire when the weather is not up to much.
Keith got back to the boat at 10.30am, so coffee was called for. He has been given some nasal spray to try for 3 weeks to see if that helps his nose problem, if it does't then the GP will try something strong. At least the GP agreed that he does have a problem, so we will wait and see what happens on that score. Keith also had some blood taken, to see if all is well with the rest of him.
Keith suggested that we go out for lunch, as it was the Curry Club at the Sugar Loaf, which is a Wetherspoons. So I got out of my tatty clothes and donned something a little smarter. Keith and I love a good curry and today's offerings were fantastic. I had the Luxury Chicken Tikka Masala, which is a whole breast of chicken, marinated in garlic, yoghurt and chilli, simmered in a rich sauce, flavoured with tomato, red onion, spinach, coriander and cardamom, then enhanced with a little cream and butter – served with pilau rice, instead of basmati rice and was scrummy, along with that I had a large Onion Bhajis and a pint of Ruddles. Keith went for Malabar king prawn curry, which was succulent king prawns in a rich, creamy coconut sauce, with a hint of garlic, ginger and mustard seeds – an authentic dish, originating from southern India – served with pilau rice, instead of basmati rice.He also had the extras, Onion Bhajis, Samosa and Bombay Potatoes, all washed by with a pint of Ruddles. 
After lunch we had a couple of things to do in the town before we headed off to the doctors, where I went to discuss the Menopause and what I can do to help with some of the symptoms. I am having blood tests done next week, which should give me some idea as to where I am in the menopause and to find out if my symptoms are due to anything else, which of course I hope they are not. I will hopefully know more after my test results.
Back at the boat, we decided to wind and head off out into the country for a few days. 
Travelled 2.8 miles in a time of 1 hour 10 minutes.

We left our mooring and winded in the basin first, emptied the toilet cassette at the sanitary station, and then we left Market Harborough at 3.50pm.
I do so love this area and at this time of the year it really does look quite splendid, with the trees swapping their Summer clothes for their Autumn clobber.
We are now moored up at Gallows Hill for a few days. I am looking forward to just sitting back and taking sometime out, so my gum can heal and my joints get a chance to rest. Oh the joints issue may also be a Menopause problem, but will know after the blood tests. No dinner to cook, just a sandwich to make. Marmite and Paddy have been fed and the fire stoked up. The TV is on and we have a good signal, so I will be watching the F1 GP and yes I will watch the X-Factor although I am beginning to wonder why.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

MOT under way.

I knew, I knew, I knew it. Yes I have an infection under a tooth grrrrr. I visited the dentist yesterday afternoon and she confirmed what I had feared, so I am now on a 5 day course of antibiotics arghhhhhhh. I am hopeful they will do the trick and not other medical attention will be required. I have had this happen on two previous occasions which then required root canal work, these both failed and I ended up having both teeth out, so I am very apprehensive at the moment. 
After the dentist it was time to make an appoint at the doctors to discuss the Menopause, which I have been going through for five years now and I would really like to know when I am likely to see an end to the symptoms. I have been told by friends that it will end when it ends, which of course is correct, but when you hear of friends getting through it in a couple of years, it makes me wish I was in their shoes. On the other hand I did hear from another friend who said she went through it for ten years, now I really hope that is not be my fate. I will be very happy to get rid of the aching joints, hot flushes and other symptoms which are driving me mad. I am not going to go down the HRT route, but hope that a blood test can tell me where I am in my biological decline. 
Doctors appointment made, it was then on to the chemists for our annual flu jab. Keith and I have been paying for our flu jabs for the past three years, I used to get one free due to continuous Bronchitis in the winter months, but after moving on to the boats, my Bronchitis got less and so the GP stopped me having the free flu jab. Because I still felt I should have it, I have paid for it. The first year it cost us £15 each, the second year £9.95 due to more people taking up the offer of a flu jab, so this bought the cost down. This year we paid £9.99, still cheap though for the cover it gives us both. 
In amongst doing the bodily MOT, we have supplied coal to boaters and chatted to our friends in Market Harborough. It is wonderful to be back. I still have a lot of catching up to do with people we have still to see, so I am sure there will be a lot more to come.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Market Harborough bound.

Another foggy start to the day. It does make everything feel very atmospheric though and just a little bit spooky.
Despite an aching tooth, I did sleep pretty well and was up and about just after 8am having enjoyed a cup of tea in bed first of course.
We eventually left our over night mooring at 9.40am for the short jaunt into Market Harborough. Since we were last here in February very little has changed. A Willow has been cut back which was hanging over the canal blocking a proper view of oncoming boats and a large piece of hedgerow from a garden which was out into the canal has gone, but apart from that there has been no change.
On approaching Bridge 14, the 14 day moorings were empty, so the decision was taken that if we could not get a towpath mooring in Market Harborough, we would wind in the basin and come back to these moorings. 
There was enough empty mooring space for us all be it on a bit of the bend, but it would do for the 48 hours.  having moored up we went to collect our post, but the office was shut, so it will have to wait now till Thursday. On the way back to the boat we stopped and had a coffee with David and Viv on NB First Fruits. It was great to catch up with them both and to hear all their news, because they are selling their wonderful boat and moving to the seaside no sooner they find a buyer for their beautiful boat. Having left David and Viv, I had a quick chat with Don on NB Idunno, who has a Winter mooring in the basin. We will catch up with Don and Gill more over the next couple of months. It is lovely to be back in Market Harborough and I am sure I will have a lot of things to post about whilst we are here.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Yelvertoft to Gallows Hill.

Travelled 17.9 miles, worked 10 locks in a time of 8 hours 35 minutes.
Foggy or what this morning. At times I could hardly see a few feet in front of me when walking Paddy.
We set off at 8.35am with the fog very thick. The fog had looked as if it was thinning.
But as we approached Welford Junction at 11.10am the fog was once again getting thicker. The only restpite from the fog was in Husbands Bosworth Tunnel. Whilst in the tunnel I had sausages cooking in the oven, so when we came out the other end i made us some sausage sandwiches for lunch. Due to the weather there were not many boats on the move, which gave us the cut all to ourselves.
We got to the top lock at Foxton and joined a queue to go down. There were four boats coming up and whilst we waited to get under way we got chatting to some of land guys working on the canal. I always find it interesting chatting to the land crews to hear their tales. After about an hour and a half we were under way.
I absolutely love this flight of locks, they are so easy to do. We decided to carry on through the two swing bridges and onward to Gallows Hill before mooring up.
We are on one of our favourite moorings out in the countryside where it is quiet. Moored in front of us is Jim and Jenny who are good friends of ours and who we will see a lot of over the winter. Tomorrow I need to go to the dentist, because I have the beginnings of an  infection beginning under a tooth. Yesterday it began to play up and as I have had it before I know the signs. I am not a dentist lover, so Keith will need to hold my hand.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Braunston to Haddon Road Bridge No.22, near Yelvertoft.

Travelled 12.25 miles, worked 13 locks in a time of 6 hours 45 minutes.

I would love to say I had a great nights sleep last night, but sadly I cannot because having gone to bed at 10.15pm, Keith woke me up at 2.50am sniffing and fidgeting about. That was it we were both then tossing and turning, until I got up and made us both a cup of tea. I do so hate it when my sleep is disturbed in the early hours because then I have a hard time getting back to sleep. Whilst up making a cup of tea, I got the back cabin stove going with the cabin doors open and watched the fog rolling along the canal as I emptied the ash into the bucket on the back counter. 
Before we could leave Braunston, I checked the gearbox to see if the oil level was ok, it had leaked again, but I had caught the oil in a dish and so reused it. Level topped up we were good to go, well that was once Keith had checked the prop.
After half and hour of struggling, this is what came off the prop, no wonder Hadar was slower than normal. In amongst the plastic was a pair of trousers and a boaters rope.
We finally left the mooring in Braunston at 9.20am.
Braunston Church was looking rather splendid in the morning sunshine through the mist.
Pass the Braunston Stop House. Whilst we waited at the bottom lock for another boat to share with Keith went in to the chandlery to get a couple of fuses for the solar panel and some new blades for his stanley knife. It was not long before a hire boat came along and deep joy it had a crew of 12 on board.
The young crew on the hire boat had hired for a long weekend break to see if they would enjoy it first, because only one of the crew had actually done it before. They were all having a wonderful time and were more than happy to help me work the locks. I managed to get one of them to help me set the locks in front, whilst the others worked the locks with the boat in, it all worked like clock work. When we reached the top lock we thanked them for all their help and we went on our way through the tunnel, they were stopping for some breakfast. On our way through the tunnel, I put some chicken slices in the back cabin stove to warm through for lunch.
11.45am we reached Norton Junction and were back on our home waters. When I say home waters, I do not mean we have a mooring there, but because we did our coal run on the Leicester Line, we call it home these days. We arrived at Watford Locks and I stepped off the boat and walked to the top of the flight to find the two Terry's painting and Alan the Volunteer Lock Keeper for the day. We were booked in second boat up and told to move up through the first lock and moor up, as there were two boats coming down.
The second of the two boats was being bow hauled down the locks because of a split water pipe on the engines cooling system, so it was slow going, but I did go and give the two ladies a hand of which they were grateful. They were going to get a tow back to their marina from the first boat down. We were on our way up the flight, remembering to do red paddle, then white paddle with a hire boat behind us.
In no time at all we were at the top and waving to the two Terry's.
They are even giving out certificates for working the locks. We moved on through Crick tunnel.
On the Crick moorings we saw NB Oakfield, With Bottle and Wozie on board. Like us they have had a fantastic Summer of cruising and hopefully we may get to see them again for a longer chat. We ploughed on through Yelvertoft and then I spotted a mooring empty, so suggested we stop as the afternoon was beginning to wear into the evening, mog and dog would need feeding and I wanted to get dinner on.
All moored up, the TV is on, the saloon fire is lit, mog and dog have been fed and dinner is now cooking, so it is time to put my feet up for five minutes, before dinner time. I trust that your weekend has been a good one?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Cathiron west of Newbold-on-Avon to Braunston.

Travelled 12.4 miles, worked 3 locks in a time 4 hours 35 minutes.
After what I can only describe as an amazing nights sleep, it was a dull start again after a night of rain. This made the towpath rather muddy under foot, which Paddy did not enjoy as he took his morning stroll. Some of the towpath have really suffered this year and it is not helped by cyclists motoring up and down them at great speed.
We set off at 8.45am with the new solar panel working but only just because there was no sun at all until late afternoon. But any amount of power being supplied to the batteries is welcome.
Newbold Tunnel.
Hillmorton Locks. The boat in front of us very kindly set the other lock for us.
Before bridge 79 we passed Les and Jaqueline on NB Valerie, they were about to set off and so followed us to Braunston. Where we had a coffee and some wonderful Pumpkin Bread with them. 
Whilst on the move towards Braunston, I made us a Mince Beef and Baked Bean Curry for dinner, which was put in the stove to cook and whilst that was cooking I placed two Chicken slices in the oven to bake for our lunch on the move.
Bridge 79 looks finished and it looks fantastic. They have made a really good job of it, but the worry now is who will be the first to clobber it again?
Bridge 80 is coming along nicely a WRG worker (Waterways Recovery Group) was working away when we passed under. Bridge 80 had the most damage.
Good old Braunston Church came into view, it has always been a beacon to boaters. We passed fellow bloggers and friends Del and Al on NB Derwent 6, but there did not appear to be anyone at home. When we arrived in Braunston, Steve on NB Albert was just leaving his mooring to go on to the water point, we have not seen Steve or Maggie for sometime, so it was lovely to say a quick "hello" and we waved at Maggie who was inside the boat. We found an empty mooring, moored up and walked to Midland Chandlers to get a few items, which included some paint and new glass for the saloon stove, plus a spare. It was whilst we were their we had coffee with Les and Jaqueline who were taking on water.
Back on the boat, Keith went and emptied the toilet cassette and I got rid of a bag of rubbish. Dinner is cooked and the TV is on, I am watching Star Wars III. I think that is enough for today. Time to relax and enjoy the rest of my Saturday.

Friday, 19 October 2012

New Solar Panel and coal shifting.

A good night sleep was had by all on board, I woke to a dull start to the day and a muddy towpath for Paddy to wander along. After breakfast the generator went on and I put a wash on, otherwise we would both be short of under garments and that will never do. Today was the day we would get a few jobs done. I helped Keith get our new solar panel out of the hold and on to the roof, where he drilled some hole and attached some rubber feet to the panel, he also drilled holes for the padlocks. 
Whilst he got on with the electrical side, of the panel in the engine room, I got down into the hold and started shovelling the loose house coal towards the bow of the boat. Coal shovelled into a pile, I then used bagged coal to make a barrier for the smokeless loose coal. Whilst busy getting covered in coal dust, a buyer for our old prop arrived to collect it, I made us all a coffee and we had a nice chat. I looked an absolute fright with coal dust up my nose and my face was covered. I am however thankful that I bought a mask to wear with all the dust, otherwise I would be coughing for days. With the prop on its way to be fitted to a boat and goodbyes said to the lovely couple who came to collect said prop, it was back in the hold to shovel yet more coal. Once Keith had finished the electrics on the solar panel, he came and gave me a hand in the hold, which meant we were all done by 2.30pm. The hold is now ready to take on a coal delivery when we get back to Market Harborough. A much needed shower was then had and boy oh boy was the water dirty. Now I know how the guys must have felt working down the coal mines. 
All clean, it was time to turn my attention to dinner, which was going to be the remainder of the Lamb Casserole from yesterday with a few more vegetables added. That is now cooking in the back cabin stove.
After shifting coal for most of the day, I am now going to put my feet up and watch a film on Film 4, then it will be dinner time, time to feed mog and dog, time to make up the fires and finally bed time.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Mancetter Bridge 36 to Cathiron west of Newbold-on-Avon

Travelled 19.45 miles, worked 1 lock in a time of 7 hours 45 minutes. 
For the second night running we had very heavy rain throughout the night, but when I woke up this morning the sun was shining and the rain had gone. It was a beautiful start to the day as I poked my head out of the back cabin doors whilst I made the stove up. 
We left at 8.35am and headed off into the countryside. 
Whilst on the move I got on with preparing this evenings dinner. Lamb casserole with Dumplings to be exact.  Once it was prepared for cooking, it went into the back cabin stove to slow cook.
The canal is definitely getting quieter, with fewer boats on the move, many have gone back to their moorings ready for the Winter, so we were able to move freely for most of the day, only meeting the odd boat at bridge 'oles. 
Lunch was again eaten on the move, I made us toasted Crumpets with Butter and Marmite on and for afters we had a homemade Chocolate Muffin. This girl really knows how to live it up. Mean while dinner was cooking nicely.
Casserole cooked by mid afternoon and just needed the dumplings added at 4pm.
At 12.50pm we arrived at Hawkesbury Junction where we met Mark on Callisto delivering coal and supplying diesel to the moored boats.
Hall Oaks Wood is beginning to show of its Autumn colours.
With the Autumn colours comes the Autumnal skies and wonderful views. I do so love this time of year.
Our cruising day ended when we found a suitable mooring for the night at Cathiron west of Newbold-on-Avon. This will do us nicely even though the towpath is a tad muddy. A lot of the towpath along this stretch is dreadfully muddy and water logged, but where we are moored is not to bad. The light is now fading, Marmite and Paddy have had their dinner and ours is cooking in the stove. We do not have a very good TV signal, but we have managed to get Film4 which will do me nicely. Time to go and put my feet up before dinner.


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