During the Spring and Summer months, Marmite loves sleeping in the engine room. Her bed is on top of the tool boxes above the generator. She loves the fact that she can lay in bed and look out of the porthole all night. Having been on look out all night, she will then spend all day sleeping.
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!
Thursday, 30 April 2015
What a fabulous day we have had today. We left our lovely overnight mooring and followed a boat up through the locks, they had left a bit before us, so we missed the chance to share. When we got to the bottom of the Stockton flight, we met up with them and were told we were in a queue of 10 boats going up with 4 more behind us. It turned out we had joined the Lichfield Cruising Club, who were out on their Under the Bridge Cruise. We knew they were going into the Saltisford Arm on Tuesday, but did not know when we would see them. We found that out this morning .
Joining the queue and working our way up the locks, actually worked out really great, because there was plenty of help. We had to do Calcutt locks on our own as our companions stopped at the top of Stockton locks, but we had the last few boats of the cruising club behind us which helped.
We turned right at Napton junction, but reversed back to the piling to moor up against, rather than chance there being no mooring space at Napton Bridge or the bottom of the locks.
Moored up just in time as can be seen by the black cloud heading our way !
I cooked lunch and have already begun tomorrows lunch, which is going to be a curry.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
Yesterday after lunch, we went out for a walk along the towpath up to Bascote Locks and back again. I also took Paddy out for his after lunch walk, so I most certainly got my steps in for the day doing over 7,000 steps in all.
After all that walking, it was then time to settle down with Parts 2 and 3 of the Hobbit. I had watched parts 1 and 2 before, but we had just bought part 3 and so we thought we would watch the whole series again. It was most enjoyable and in fact I think I like the Hobbit more than The Lord of the Rings.
Had a wonderful nights sleep. I was woken by the sound of a Chiff Chaff calling out. After a cuppa and a natter, it was time to get up to the sound of rain beating down on the back cabin roof. Paddy got a wet walk along the towpath. He absolutely hates getting wet and so was only prepared to go a short distance, doing what he needed and then doing a swift about turn and back on to the boat. I lit the back cabin stove before settling down with a coffee and the book I am reading at the moment, which is The War of the Wives written by Tamar Cohen.
The rain stopped and so at 9.55am we decided to set off for Long Itchington. We had to tackle the Bascote locks first. The first lock was fine, although I did have to shut the top gates first, because someone had been through during the evening and had left gates open. I noticed that the Welsh Road Lock gates were open this morning. I could see that someone was coming down the staircase, which was a bonus. When I walked up to lock 2, there was a hire boat moored above the lock and it was clear there was a distinct lack of water in their pound. They had managed to let some water down and another boat was coming down the staircase, which would help their cause. Keith put Hadar in the lock as it was empty and I walked up and helped the boat coming down the staircase. With more water now in the empty pound Hadar crept into the bottom lock of the staircase without hitting the cill. I felt as if my lungs were going to burst, having to wind the paddles over and over again, but it is a good workout. Out of the top staircase lock, the water level was down on the pound, so we just crawled our way to Long Itchington.
All moored up and lunch cooking in the back cabin stove as I type this. The sun is out and it is warming up a bit now. No idea what the rest of the day will being, but I am sure I can find plenty to do.
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Now that we are on the move, the idea is to take it pretty easy. So easy in fact that we lay in bed and watch The Hobbit part 1, before having what I can call a reasonable nights sleep. I was woken up at 5.15 am by someone running past the boat and then a cyclist. I have gotten out of the habit of listening to towpath movements, with us being on a secluded and secure mooring. Wide awake and my shoulders aching, it was time for the first cuppa of the day in bed. Yes we like a bit of luxury and our back cabin bed is just that on a chilly morning.
Once up the boat chores began. Breakfast for us, Mog and Dog. Paddy then got walked. After that I re-lit the back cabin stove and filled the copper kettle so when required we could have coffee on the move.
It was a complete miracle that all but one lock was with us. Usually locks are against us. Sadly we did not have anyone to share the happy event with, but that is nothing unusual for us either. We passed by our friends boat at Fosse Locks and said “Hi to Christine”, who came out to wave and have a quick natter.
We have stopped above Welsh Road Lock for the day.
I did some hand washing, which is getting blow dried hanging off the hand rail and swan neck. I rigged up a line between the two and hopefully it will get most of the moisture out and it can then finish drying in the engine room later.
Lunch was Chilli with Rice, peas and Tortilla Chips. With the back cabin stove going, I cooked lunch on there and then the kettle went back on for hot water. The stove will now be allowed to go out during the afternoon, so that the cabin is not to hot for bedtime.
Paddy has just come back from his afternoon stroll and is now prostate in the back cabin ready for snooze. Marmite is in the engine room on her makeshift bed looking out of the porthole, so she is in seventh heaven.
Day 2 of our cruise has been short, but very sweet.
Monday, 27 April 2015
This morning we finally left our mooring and set off for some Summer cruising. When Keith was ill, I was told it would be a long haul and they were not kidding. January 2014 to April 2015 that is a long haul and a half.
Our neighbour Jack and her wonderful Spaniel Poppy-Willow waved us off, as we said “Cheerio” to our mooring for at least a couple of months.
This cruise means a lot to the both of us after everything that Keith went through. I know you will be saying, that I also went through a lot as well, but hey I had it easy
Anyway we set off in beautiful sunshine and a warmish breeze. We decided to stop off in Leamington-Spa for some lunch at our favourite Chinese Buffet Oriental Star. The walk back to the boat walked off our fabulous lunch.
We have stopped at Radford Semele for the night. The sun is still shining, but the breeze is now a little chilly. Marmite was very keen to get off the boat on her lead,l so she could roll in the dust and grass. Paddy just wanted to sit on the back counter and watch the world go by, so it seems like they were just as excited at being out and about again.
We said “Cheerio” to our friends in the arm, but we hope to see friends along the way. So if you hear us coming or see us please say “Hello”.
Here is a shout out to Marian, who came to see us yesterday and showed me her crochet. It was lovely to meet you and thank you for reading my blog.
Saturday, 25 April 2015
Many will know that I enjoy walking and most of all I enjoy taking photographs.
Warwick Castle in all its glory.
Today I decided to go out and walk down through the town and towards the Castle. There were lots of people about, many of them sightseers, but also plenty of people were visiting the market going on in the centre of town.
St Nicholas Park in full bloom.
I just wanted to walk and take photographs.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
They say time flies when your having fun. Well this past year has definitely had its ups and downs as many of you will know.
Today was my birthday. Of course a woman never tells her age, but of course if you follow me on Facebook, you will know how old I am .
My best mate from in front of us Jack gave me some lovely flowers and a card, which really brightened my morning. I had other cards in the post from Keith’s family.
After doing all the usual boat stuff and chores, Keith and I walked up into town to do a few things, which also included walking around the charity shops.
I found this lovely White Stuff top in one of them for a sale price of just £2, which is an absolute bargain, because I have been looking at them on Ebay and they have been selling for much more. So as my Birthday treat, I spent all of £2 on myself. Yeah I know, I am the last of the big spenders.
After a quiet day and the chance to meet a couple of fellow boaters for the first time, Keith treated me to a meal out at Saffron Gold Indian restaurant, which is where I ate for my birthday last year. It is one of my favourite places to eat.
Blame Keith for the photo, this was not my best side. The meal was amazing as always and as a treat I was given a glass of Bayley’s by the staff.
All in all a good day to have birthday.
Thursday, 16 April 2015
After being moored up for more than 18 months, the thought of moving off is very exciting. We have both begun to get itchy feet and yes I know that sounds gross, but other boaters will know exactly what I am talking about.
With the thought that we may be on the move next week, I have begun getting the boat ready. One of the jobs I really wanted to get done was the painting of the floor in the gas locker. It has not been done for 4 years and so I set about taking the gas bottles out. I then scrapped the floor and then washed it out. Once the floor was dry I then used a wire brush on the rusty bits. The one thing I am really happy is, that our gas locker is huge and so it is easy to get into and paint. I usually use bitumen, the same stuff we use on the hull. Painting in an enclosed space means the fumes can be extreme, so every now and again I would stick my head out of the locker to get some fresh air.
Floor done, it was allowed to dry before putting the gas bottles back in. I only did the one coat for now. I will do a further coat later in the year as well as painting the walls.
Job two was to paint the cover for our inbuilt generator. For sometime we had a piece of wood in the hold to make a new door for the front of our generator, which lives in the engine room. having made the door, it needed painting and so that was my next job.
Having given the board two coats of undercoat, I wanted to paint it Grand Union Green, but on opening the tin, it was clear there was not going to be enough to do two coats and the paint had gone thick, due to standing around for a couple of years, so plan B was to paint the board black with one coat. We will buy some Grand Union Green when we are out and I will then paint the board again when we come back to our mooring. There is always a solution to a problem and that was my answer. Another job done.
Now as you will all know we have a lovely garden alongside our mooring and it needs to pretty much look after its self whilst we are away, so I got on with weeding and planting the remaining plants in the garden, as i did not want to leave potted plants on the pontoon to dry out and die whilst we are away.
I have not put in any veggies this year, because we are not going to be on the mooring to enjoy them. The shrubs and flowers should look after themselves and I know the weeds will be more than happy to grow whilst we are not looking.
The newly added Bug Hotel, now has its own sign, which I painted. So far it does not look like we have any bugs taking up residence, but possibly behind the scenes they are moving in. It has certainly been commented about. I have been asked by a few people how you build a Bug Hotel. I used a pallet, which was cut up and stacked up. Hubby nailed it together and then we filled it with straw, bits of pipe, pine cones, twigs, hollow bamboo and stones. You can add anything that you think bugs will love to live in.
So the idea now is that Hubby will see his dentist on Friday, to try and sort out a painful tooth. He has been waiting for an appointment at the dental hospital in Birmingham, but having waited months and still no appointment, his patience has worn out and his pain has increased, so he wants the tooth taken out. If that goes well, we will celebrate my birthday at our favourite Indian Restaurant and probably leave the following day. But as you know the best laid plans can always go pear shaped and so things may change.
I will keep you posted.