Cold and frosty start to Sunday morning in the Arm. The temperature got down to -4.9 c over night, which has given us a perfect start to the day. Ice on the canal, birds singing and the ground crunches beneath the feet, what better way to say "Hello" to a Sunday morning.
There is nothing nicer than seeing ice on the cut and the sun coming up. The back cabin was a tad chilly, but beneath the duvet all was snuggly.
All to soon it was time to get up and out with Paddy and this time I remembered my camera. I was so cross yesterday at missing the Buzzard which was sitting in a tree near the Arm.
There would not be many boats moving today with ice on the cut. When we were doing the coal run on the Leicester Line, we would push up to 3 inches of ice to make it through to our customers, as we did not have a vehicle to transport the coal by road, so it was by boat or not at all. The sound of ice crashing against the hull is still a magical sound to this day.
In the Arm, most of the boaters were still snug in their beds, whilst we were walking.
Back on the boat, we had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, before I got on with stoking the fires, getting rid of ash and doing a general tidy. I then got on with making a beef stew. In the stew was obviously stewing beef, onions, carrots, sweet potato, mushrooms and peas. Later in the day I would add the dumplings. Nothing nicer on a cold winters day. The stew was put into the back cabin stove to slow cook all day.
After a sandwich lunch, both Keith and I got on with our family trees. I am now trying to discover more about my grand-father on my mum’s side. I only recall meeting Joseph Harris once and it was only for a minute or two. My brother and I were sent out of the room. From what I can remember he and my Nan had split up. I am told he served in WWII in the 8th army with Montgomery, but like so many other men he did not come back the same man and this lead to their split. I often wonder what became of him. I learnt today he died in 1982. I wish I had known him better and seen more of him, but as it is with a lot of families secrets are hidden and families split. In fact both my grand-fathers are a mystery. I am going to have to do a lot of digging.
We are fortunate to have many friends on the cut and I am keeping some of them in my thoughts right now as they fight ill health. My thoughts are with Les and Jacqueline Biggs on Narrowboat Valerie at the moment.
Keith and Les on Narrowboat Valerie.
Jacqueline and I laughing about something. Love and many hugs to them at this time xxx