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













Friday, 31 March 2017

National Kindness Day.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

It is National Kindness Day today.

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What act of kindness have you received or have you given to someone else?

The kindness campaign has been started to to commemorate the anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales Death. It seems hard to believe that it was 20 years ago that Diana died.

I can understand the campaign, but do we need to tell people to be kind? Shouldn’t it be a part of our everyday life. Whether it is opening a door for someone, paying for someone to park their car or buying a cup of tea for a homeless person, do we need to shout about it, or should we just do it anyway?

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Thursday Feeling.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

Yes as the title of the post say’s it is Thursday and we are still at home on our mooring, with lots of jobs getting done. We are still waiting for the Generator to be fixed, but whilst we wait it means I can get on with other jobs. The weather forecaster this morning, said we would have sunshine today, so me taking him at his word, decided to get a large white’s wash done. Basically anything that was white got washed and freshened up. It seems the weather did not actually hear the weatherman this morning, because it rained for most of the morning, but I still got on with the wash and hung it out on the line after lunch, when the sun did finally put in an appearance, which was most kind of it.

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After I had finished with the laundry bag, Marmite thought she could put it to good use, by hiding and snoozing in it for a while. She does love bags and boxes.

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I have been busy crocheting baby blankets and today I finished another one.

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This one is Brown’s, Reds, Blue’s and Green’s. I thought I would get away from the White’s for a while. Just hoping someone like’s it enough to buy it.

My garden is coming along nicely. With the warmer weather, everything is growing at a rapid rate, including the weeds and being home I get to see it and can tackle the weeds. The main problem in our garden is bindweed.

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The Bee’s are out and the odd Butterfly and the birds are singing earlier and earlier, which is a joy to hear. There is something wonderful about hearing the first birdsong in the morning and the last birdsong of an evening. It makes me feel so alive. The older I am getting the more I just sit back and chill. There is little point in worrying about things, because life is for living and enjoying everyday, no matter what it brings. We also have the joy of the nights drawing outwards and therefore staying lighter for longer. It makes you wonder where the Winter went, because the Winter was not to bad at all.

As you all know I am not into writing about politics, I like to leave that to the experts. But I will just say Brexit has begun and I look forward to seeing the amazing possibilities for this beautiful country of ours. None of us knows how it is going to go, so let’s keep it light hearted and embrace the challenge, after all we are British and we will carry-on regardless. Ok that is enough on politics.

This weekend Wasp’s Rugby Team are in Ireland playing in the European quarter final against Leinster, so good luck to the guys. Also playing this weekend is Coventry City football club, they are playing Oxford United in the Checkatrade trophy final at Wembley. Although I am not a Cov fan, they are our local football team and so I wish them well. Cov City have had a dismal season and it looks like they are going down, so to win the final at Wembley would be some consolation. Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

IWA Calendar Competition.

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Hello Friends and Followers.

Some of you may remember me saying I had entered the IWA (Inland Waterways Association) Calendar Competition for 2018. I learnt a few weeks ago that the photograph above was going to be the month of June’s photograph, which made me extremely proud.

Today I have learnt that in the overall competition for the £150 prize, I was a Runner Up.

If you took the time to vote for me, then please accept this as a sincere Thank You. I am so pleased to be having one of my photographs accepted. I may even enter next year.

Such a waste.

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Hello Friends and Followers.

A rather chilly start to Tuesday, but the sun did put in an appearance and it did warm things up somewhat.

Early doors, we got a knock on the boat. It was a delivery of a new memory card for Keith’s phone.

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The packaging was complete and utter over kill by PC World. I cannot understand why companies waste so much packaging on such a small item. It could have been sent in a letter size Jiffy bag. It is about time companies woke up and stopped wasting packaging.

I had two loads of laundry to do this morning. I was hopeful if the sun came out, I could dry the washing on the line, so at 8.20 am, I was sat in the Arm’s laundry watching my washing go round. It is more entertaining, than watching the soaps on the TV. Whilst I got on with the laundry, Keith headed off into Warwick to buy a new shaver. Last night his charging line decided to dissolve in a puff of smoke, which I could smell from the back cabin. This is the third line which has failed and so rather than spending anymore money on another, he decided to buy a new shaver. Warwick did not have the one he wanted, so he caught the bus into Leamington and got exactly what he wanted. The online price was cheaper than in store, so he asked why. The lady on the till did not know why, but she let Keith have the shaver at the online price.

Washing done and hung out as the sun came out to warm the chilly air. My next job on my day’s list was to clean out the cupboard and drawers in the back cabin. I wanted to put the Winter clothing away and bring the Summer clothing out. It also gave me the opportunity to get rid of things which have not been worn in the past few months. To be fair, I did not get rid of much, but there were somethings which needed freshening up, so they will be in Thursday’s wash. Drawers and cupboards all sorted and our Winter clothes put in the box in the hold, I then decided that Paddy needed his Spring wash. I bundled him into the shower and gave him a good shampoo. Considering he has not had a wash in a year, he was not all that dirty, but it did freshen him up.

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Having gotten the soap out of Paddy’s coat and allowed him to shake in the shower, I lifted him out of the boat and on to the pontoon, where he spent the afternoon drying out. Job three crossed off of my list I got on with lunch. Keith arrived home just after midday and lunch was pretty much sorted by 12.30 pm. We had the remains of the curry I cooked yesterday, along with rice, naan bread and poppadom’s. It always tastes so much nicer on the second day.

After lunch, I filled the water tank. We can usually go 2 weeks, before filling up and at a push 3 weeks if need be.

As the afternoon wore on, I got on with a bit of gardening and watched as the dark clouds began to gather, so with the weather closing in, I got in the washing, which had dried nicely. Not long after I had brought the washing in, rain was thumping on the roof of the boat. We have not had rain for a few days, so it is welcome for the plants I have moved.

it is now time for me to sign off for the day. See you on the other side.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Where did it go?

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Hi Friends and Follower’s

I hope your weekend was a good one and you remembered to put your clocks and watches forward one hour?

I had an enjoyable weekend, with lots of gardening involved in beautiful sunshine. So you can imagine my dismay when I awoke this morning to a chilly overcast sky. Where did it go? I am talking about the sunshine. The weather forecaster said we would have sunshine today, but looking at the sky I think there is little chance of that today.

With more gardening to be done yesterday, we made the most of the morning digging over the bed, removing weeds and unwanted plants, which had not survived the Winter.

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In one of my solitary Bee homes a Wasp decided it would be a great place to take a snooze. I did touch it to make sure it was alive.

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When we moved onto our mooring there was a solitary Yucca plant, which had not flowered in all the time it had been there. Once we uncovered it from the brambles and rubbish, it has flowered every year. Last year we had four flowers on it, but it made the plant top heavy so we had to secure it with ropes to stop it falling over. We decided that we would take the old big Yucca out, because it was unstable. Keith was tasked with sawing the trunk and I got the job of holding onto the rope holding it in place. At the appropriate moment, I gave it a swift pull and the old Yucca was no more, but we do still have four younger plants, so look forward to seeing if they will flower in the future. Anyone who has had or has a Yucca will know that the point on the end of the leaves are deadly, they are like daggers and can cause a nasty injury. Last year I got spiked in the head and that was painful for days. Whoever had this garden before us liked spikey plants. We have not only the Yucca, we also have Pyracantha and Mahonia. The Mahonia got a hair cut as well.

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I have had a nest box in the Mahonia for a couple of years and I know that a Wren has over Wintered in the nest box, so I had never cleaned it out. But with me trimming the bush back, I thought I would give the box a Spring clean. Above is the old nest I pulled out. Such a beautiful creation. I have put the nest box back and hopefully it will get used again by something. After lunch we did a little more digging and moving of fruit bushes, before calling it a day and watching the first F1 race from Australia. The result was not the one we would of wanted, but a good race nevertheless. Our evenings entertainment was at the local pub for the quiz night. That did not go to well, we were second from bottom, but it was a good evening and a pint is always welcome.

So here we are, it is Monday and the sun has not appeared. I took the opportunity to turn up a pair of cords for Keith, cook two beef mince dishes. One was a curry, which we had for lunch and the other will be a cottage pie for the coming days. The rest of my Monday will be taken up with sorting out cupboards and having a general tidy.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Hello Sunshine.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

Firstly, who watched ‘Comic Relief’?

We watched it until 10 pm, that was the latest I could keep my eyes open till. What an amazing amount of money they raised? £71 million pounds wow. I absolutely loved the Red Nose Actually, it was brilliant as was James Corden with Take That.

What a fabulous Saturday we have had. The sunshine was from dawn to dusk and it was lovely and warm. With a good day came lots of jobs done.

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I got on with painting some new mop poles, as our old mop pole has snapped in half, due to old age and rot. I have made a long and a short one. I like the short one for the gunwales. Tomorrow I will give them another coat of undercoat. Having painted the poles, I got on with a spot of gardening in our own garden.

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I did do some weeding before we left for Birmingham, but you know how it is, weeds never stop growing. I also took the opportunity to split the Strawberry plants. I had far too many for our garden, so gave some to our neighbour and put some in our sensory garden.

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Whilst I got on with the gardening, Keith got on with putting the brass strips we got in Birmingham on to our back cabin doors. Try as I have, no matter how much I paint the tops of the doors, the paint and joints always cracks, so the solution was to put brass strips on top. Once Keith had cut the brass, drilled the holes and made sure they fitted, I smothered the wood with sealant and Keith then screwed the plates in place. Hopefully this will keep the water out and make it look much better. Friends of ours have done this on their boats and it works a treat for them. It just means for me more brass to clean.

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After lunch, I did a bit more to the garden, but by late afternoon I was feeling verso slightly shattered and so decided to call it a day. Tomorrow is another day and I can do more gardening. Of course we must remember to put our clocks forward tonight. So we will have one less hour in bed. I hope this does not mean I will wake up at 5 am, because at the moment I am awake at 6 am, which is so annoying. If I could just get to 7 am I would be a very happy lady. People keep telling me, that with age comes less sleep, because the sleep patterns change. I am so hoping they are wrong, because I like my sleep. No sooner my head hits the pillow I am in dreamland.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Losing the plot.

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Hello Friends and Followers.

Yes it is official. I am losing the plot. Something is clearly wrong when you take the dog out for a walk and you are wearing odd shoes. Silly thing was I knew something was wrong with the way I was walking, but even though I looked at my feet, I could not figure out what and then the penny dropped. I was wearing two different walking shoes. One brown the other blue.

So here we are it is Friday and the weekend has begun in my opinion. Task list for the day. Get a laundry wash done and hang it out on the rotary line, to blow in the chilly breeze. Don’t you just love seeing washing blowing in the breeze? I love to see a line of washing blowing in the breeze, more than a rotary line of washing. For some reason a long line of washing is a beautiful thing. So after watching the news in bed with a cuppa, it was up and about and walking the dog with the odd shoes on. Paddy could of told me I was wearing the wrong shoes, but no he just wanted me to look stupid. I do so love our laundry room in the Arm. we have three washing machines, three tumble driers and a spin drier, it is a brilliant room. To do a quick wash it only costs £1, and only takes 32 minutes. Once my washing was done, I got the pleasure of hanging it out on the line. But whilst in the laundry I like to wipe down surfaces and machines, sweep the floor and do a general tidy. Now maybe you can answer this, if you use a tumble drier. Do you clean out the filter, before you leave the machine? On the odd occasion I have used driers, I have always cleaned the filter out after I have used the machine. Mainly because I do not think others should have to clean them after me. All three filters were full of fluff and it looks like they had not been cleaned for a while. Why would you not clean the filter? For starters the drier works better with a clean filter and I would not want anyone else having to get rid of my fluff. I do find it annoying that people do not clean up after themselves grrrrr.

Back on the boat, it was coffee time and fire stoking time. In the mornings I like to have a coffee and catch-up with my E-mails and Facebook. I always look in my Junk Mail and giggle at some of the rubbish I get. I do not need to extend my manhood, nor do I need to help my erectile dysfunction. I do not need house insurance or double glazing. None of my Junk Mail applies to me ever, but it can make me giggle.

The morning sped along and soon it was lunch time and today we had homemade Beef and Mushroom pie with Roast Potatoes and vegetables with fruit and yogurt to follow. To work of such a scrummy lunch, I got out my gardening gear and went and started on the Arms car park beds.

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After I had start, Keith came out to give me a hand, so we soon got the first long bed done. Lots of weeding done and the soil forked over. It looks a lot better already.

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An early caterpillar was feeding on Borage, so we left him to it, even though I had planned to dig it up.

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Our first Ladybird of the year came out to warm itself in the afternoon sunshine.

Having worked on the Arms flower beds today, I plan on doing our own garden over the weekend, as the weather is set fair.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

What can we say?

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Hello Friends and Followers.

Nothing that we are going through right now, can compare to what happened in London yesterday. Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to those who were caught up in the attack yesterday and our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones and to the loved ones who are still in hospital. The emergency services did such an amazing job yesterday and one police officer made the ultimate sacrifice, with loss of his life and he will be forever remembered.

Having been home for a few days, we are still trying to work out what is wrong with our generator. Keith is in contact with the company who distribute this model and we are seeking help from others, who know about generators. Hopefully we can find a solution to why it will not start, so that we may get on with our cruising season.

Whilst at home, we are also addressing the loose bolts on the prop shaft, because they had come loose again. We think we have a solution to this problem and today our friend Simon came out to see if he can help us with that solution. So all is coming along nicely and we should have a solution by next weekend.

Yesterday’s weather was not pleasant, with plenty of the wet stuff, so I did very little all day, which suited me. It is kind of nice to have day’s when you just chill out. Most of the afternoon was taken up with watching the news and the unfolding situation in London. Today the sun is shone with a chilly breeze, after a frost overnight and we spent the day getting on with looking into the electrics of our generator. I am the kind of woman, who likes to know how things work, so I have been the one holding the lamp and passing over tools, while Keith tests circuits and fuses. So far nothing has become obvious as to why we cannot get our girl to work, but I am sure we will prevail and all will be working soon. Our friend Simon is also going to see if he can find out what is happening, so between us we should find an answer. I had made a Beef and Mushroom pie for lunch, but we decided to go to Wetherspoons for Curry lunch and a pint. I do love their Curries and there is nothing nicer than a pint of Ruddles, when one is much needed. The place was heaving with people, so lunch was delayed, but with lots going on with us and our boat, we had plenty of time to chat and decide on what to do next.

Back home, I got on with putting the boat back into some sort of normality, because we had the floor up in the back cabin and the shelving out in the engine room, all this needed sorting out. I made the decision not to put the shelving back in the engine room above the generator, because we would only have to take it out again, so I stowed that away in the hold for the time being. I covered the exhaust with a cloth, so Marmite does not get any of the fibres from the exhaust cover in her paws. She is a little put out that she cannot sit on the tool boxes and look out of the porthole, but she will get over that in time and it is not forever.

I am looking forward to The Great Pottery Throw Down Final tonight. Tonight’s finalists are Clover, Ryan and Richard. I cannot guess who will win, because it is so close, but good luck to the three of them.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Woman’s Work.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

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At home and the home fires burning. Yesterday evening was spent hooking up power, telephone, TV and settling back in. I was so ready for my bed at 10 pm. Doing the Hatton Flight really did me in and makes me realise I am not getting any younger. My joints we aching and my ribs were sore, so bed was welcomed with me hugging my pillow and drifting off into a deep sleep.

Tuesday morning came at 6.30 am and a cup of tea and BBC1 news, we were home and back to a normal routine. Marmite paid us a visit, before diving beneath the duvet for a bit of warmth. Luxury this morning was having toast in bed, before getting up to begin the day’s chores.

8 am I was off walking with Paddy and posting another card sale from my Ebay page. My Long Tailed-Tit card is proving popular. Back from our walk, both Paddy and Marmite got their breakfasts before I went off to the laundry to get a wash done. Whilst I did the laundry Keith set off with our new trolley to do a food shop. Laundry done and hung up in the boat, I then got on with re-lighting the back cabin stove and making up the saloon stove. The hoover was put around and the floors washed. With having our residential mooring and a landline, I have the joy of being able to use a hoover. Paddy moults all year round and his hair blows like tumbleweed up and down the saloon floor, so it is a joy to be able to hoover it up, rather than getting on my hands and knees with a dustpan and brush. It is the small things that make me happy Smile.

I got on with doing some vegetables for roasting with sausages, which all go into a pan together and went into the back cabin stove to roast to their heart content. Keith came home, looking unimpressed. He only had one wheel on his wagon. Our new trolley had failed, one of the wheels had broken off. Thankfully it happened just outside the Arm’s gate and so he did not have far to get home. There seems little point in taking the trolley back, because the fare alone would cost more than the trolley did, so we will keep the bag and buy another trolley. Groceries stowed away and lunch cooked and eaten, it was onto taking up the back cabin floor, so Keith could take a bolt off the gearbox. With bolts coming loose we have decided to try and stop this happening again, so Keith was going to go to Torry’s the hardware store in Warwick to get longer bolts and nuts, so we can add a locking nut on the end, this should solve the problem. When he came back we thought we should speak to an engineer about our poorly generator. The engineer is in Plymouth, but we were prepared to pay for him or one of his colleagues to come up to Warwick, but it was clear having listened to their conversation, that this was not going to happen. For the engineer to come out it was going to cost a lot of money, the suggestion was to find someone closer, who knows about our make of generator which is a Kohler inbuilt generator. This is looking like a longer job than we had hoped, but hey ho what will be, will be. I am not going to get wound up about it, instead I just went online and did some searches. I have found a couple of places who maybe able to help us and we have e-mailed them.

During the afternoon, I turned on the TV and out signal had gone completely. I checked all the connections and nothing, so thinking logically, I borrowed our neighbours satellite connection, to see if it was our wire and I was right, something was amiss with our connection. I then undid the aerial from the boat and on inspection it was corroded, so I did some cleaning up, made a brand new connection, screwed it back into place and yay it worked. I am a capable woman with a spanner. During the afternoon I spent a couple of hours catching up with my neighbour and other boaters still here after the Winter. Mind you it still feels like Winter, with the wind today. Spring has sprung as far as the Daffodils are concerned, so here is hoping the sun comes out and warms my bones a little more over the next few days, weeks and months. The rain forecast has now arrived and it is expected to stay with us all day tomorrow. I think it will be an indoors day tomorrow with films.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Best Laid Plans.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

I wish I could say I have good news to brighten your day, but alas I do not. We are back home in Warwick.
I am pretty sure there is someone out there with a voodoo model of Hadar or a doll of Keith and I and they are sticking pins in this model or doll. The reason I say this is because if it is going to happen it will happen to us.
On Thursday (16th March), Keith and I went into the Birmingham City to get a few things. I wanted some new PJ’s from Primark and we wanted some bits from the market. Whilst having lunch in the Big Wok, we discussed Keith having a smart phone, because we do not have one. Yes I know we need to get with it. I personally do not feel the need for one, but it could be an advantage for one of us to have a smart phone, so after a delightful lunch, we found one of four Carphone Warehouse stores in Birmingham and learnt all there was to know about having a smart phone. For 99p extra to what we pay already with BT, Keith could be up and groovy with a new smart phone, so we decided to do it. Now we were told with this phone you cannot possibly go over your allowance for internet data and the phone was easy to use for someone new to being smart. Back on the boat, Keith soon got to grips with his new phone, but having downloaded a few apps he found he had gone over on his internet data. But we were told he could not do that, another trip to the store was called for, but that would be for another day. There were niggles with setting things up on the phone, but nothing that between us we could not solve.
On Friday we had arranged to go out with friends Margaret and Nigel for lunch. They had very kindly cooked for us twice, so we thought it would be nice to treat them to lunch. We walked into the city as I wanted to get some pasties from the market and Keith paid another visit to Carphone Warehouse. Having got what we wanted we walked to Margaret and Nigel’s place and decided between us that they would like to try the Big Wok, as they had not tried it yet, so we made our way to the buffet, which was pretty packed when we arrived. Both Margaret and Nigel really enjoyed the food and are sure to visit it again. After a lovely lunch and chatter we went back to theirs for coffee and yet more nattering. They are lovely friends and we love spending time with them both. 5.15 pm we said “Cheerio” to them both and walked back to the boat, where both Marmite and Paddy were waiting patiently for their dinner, which is not easy for marmite, because she likes her food on time. I suggested Keith put the generator on for an hour to charge batteries. Try as he may he could not get her to start. She then started for around a minute and stopped never to start again. We had plenty in our batteries, but her not starting was an issue, because we do rely on her when we are not moving, mainly because we do not like to run our vintage engine when moored up, because she is old and loud. Also if something should happen with our engine, the generator gives us power and hot water until the engine is fixed, which would take a while, because we have to have parts made for her. So what to do?
After discussions we decided that we would make our way back to Warwick, where we could get the generator engineer to come and look at our girl. Getting the generator fixed we felt was more important than doing the BCN Spring Cruise or anything else we had planned, because we need her to be reliable, especially with the trip we had planned for this year. Both of us were looking forward to the BCN Spring Cruise, as we have not been to Walsall Town yet and it was a chance to catch-up with people we know. After what was a pretty sleepless night on Friday night, we got up Saturday morning and made Hadar ready to set off, or I should say I did, because Keith went back to Carphone Warehouse to ask them about being over charged for the data and he wanted to know how to turn the data off, because in the instructions it does not tell you how to do that. Whilst he was gone, I got the boat ready for the off, lit the stoves and got rid of rubbish. We said “Cheerio” to Birmingham at 9.55am and set off the top of Lapworth. We got to Bournville and had to stop because Keith suspected out alternator was not working properly, so whilst he tightened the fan belts I cleared plastic bags off the propeller. We had felt something go onto the propeller and we were right. Hadar tends to tramp when she has something on her blades. Half an hour later we were underway again and actually had a lovely cruising day to Lapworth, where our friend Jacky lives. Having moored up at 4.50pm and cooked dinner we joined Jacky for a coffee and a catch-up. Both of us slept incredibly well Saturday night, although it was warm in our back cabin, because the stove had not gone out. Nothing though was going to stop me sleeping.
Sunday morning we were awake at 6am with no plan to set off until 9am, as we did not wish to wake anyone to early. I got on with boat jobs, such a sweeping the saloon stove chimney, lighting the back cabin stove, washing-up and sweeping floors. 9.25am we left the top of Lapworth and set off down the Twenty Locks. Some of the paddle gear on the locks is really hard to work, even though it is well greased. We did get some help from a volunteer lock keeper, who although he has a C&RT badge, he does not wear the uniform or a life jacket, which I did comment on and was told by him “They have not got me wearing one yet and they never will”. Anyway I did thank him for his help. We over took a hire boat which we had been following, as they pulled in for water. At Twelve noon we turned at the junction and so were back on the Grand Union Canal. Our destination for Sunday was Rowington and the Tom O’ the Wood pub for lunch. I felt we deserved a Sunday Roast and a Pint. The pub was very busy and because we had not booked we had an hour and half to eat lunch, before the table we were given was required for people who had booked. So if you want to eat at Tom O’ the Wood, book a table. Keith ordered Beef and I had Pork and oh my goodness it was fantastic. We had heard the food was good and it certainly was. Lunch was washed down with a pint of Windrush, which we had not tried before, but that as fabulous. As not to hold anyone up, we were done with lunch in an hour and I did thank the lady for fitting us in. Great pub, amazing food and service. Well worth popping into. Pleasantly full we waddled back to the boat, which was nice and warm from the back cabin stove, I had not lit the saloon stove because it was so warm. By the time we got to 5.30pm, there was a definite chill in the saloon, so I relit the saloon stove, having swept the chimney in the morning. The cabin was a little foggy for a while, because the flue was cold, but once the fire got going all was snuggly and warm for the evening. We have been gripped by ‘Game of Thrones’ and are now on series 3. I am so looking forward to getting the other series in the future.

Monday morning and it was raining lightly, so we left Tom O’ the Wood and headed for a mooring above Hatton Locks. With the rain getting heavier, we moored up to see what the weather was going to do, because the forecasters had said it would clear up during the afternoon and you know they were right. At 2.15pm we set off down the Hatton flight. At lock three, I could see someone waving at us. There was a boat up front and he was waving to say they would wait for us, which was very welcome. We share the rest of the flight with a lovely German couple, who were hiring their boat for a week. They had been over for the past couple of years cruising the canals of the UK and were very good. The gentleman went ahead and set the locks, whilst his partner moved the boat with Keith moving Hadar and I closed the lock gates behind. it worked like a dream and at 5.40pm we were back home on our mooring.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Fur Balls.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

In the photograph above, it looks like butter would not melt in Marmite’s mouth, but believe me she is not all sweetness and light. This morning whilst I was slumbering in beneath my duvet, Marmite was coughing up a fur ball right beside me on the floor. If you have never heard a cat coughing up a fur ball, go and watch Shrek, when Puss in Boots does exactly that, or I bet you can find a video on You Tube. It is not a pleasant noise and especially when you are woken from your slumber. I am glad I looked over the bed, because otherwise I would of probably stepped into her parcel of fur and having done that a couple of weeks ago, I had no intention of doing it again. Having coughed up her present to me, she then leapt on the bed and demanded we get up and feed her. Yeah like that was going to happen at 6 am in the morning. The only thing I did was make Keith and I a cup of tea. Marmite had to wait for her breakfast and that usually happens once Paddy has come back from his walk. Whilst we are out walking, Marmite will sit on the back cabin step and wait for us to come home, she will then screech at me to feed her, before she expires. This is despite the fact she has dried food in her bowl at all times. This little madam likes her tinned fish and nothing will stop her demanding it or your attention. Once she is fed and has had her morning wash, she will then retire to fed for the day, until 4.45 pm when she will begin to ask for her tea. He meowing will go on till 5 pm when she will get fed alongside Paddy, who just sits and waits in silence. I think he realises with all the noise Marmite makes, he would not get a woof in either way, so he will sit and wait until it is his turn and then wags his tail in appreciation. Demanding cats are known to be, but blimey Marmite takes it to the top and then some.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Finding Sarah Ann Thacker.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

We are back in Birmingham and moored just inside the Oozells Street loop, outside the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham City centre.

This morning I was on a mission. I wanted to find the final resting place of my Great Grandmother Sarah Ann Owen (Thacker). From the information I have she was buried in Key Hill Cemetery.

SARAH ANN OWEN (THACKER): At the time of her marriage to Alfred Evans Owen in 1874 her residence was stated as Stour Street, Birmingham.

The 1911 census states that Alfred and Sarah had in all 15 children but by the time the census was taken 4 of them had died.

CENSUS NOTES:

1861 - Lived with parents and siblings at 4, 3 Court, Ryland Street, Birmingham.

1871 - Lived at Bishopsgate Street Court, Birmingham, with parents and siblings.

1881 - Living with husband & daughters Amy, Rose and Millicent at 56 Chester Street, Birmingham.

1891 - Living with husband & children at 14 Tindal Street, Birmingham.

1901 - Living with husband & children at 9, Caroline Street, Birmingham.

1911 - Living at 3 Regent Place, St. Marks, Birmingham with her husband and children.

When son Harry joined the Army in 1916, Sarah was stated as his next of kin and her address was given as 99 Hingeston Street, Brookfields, Birmingham

Birth 23 Mar 1854 • Birmingham

Baptism 30 Sep 1855 • Leamington, Warwickshire, England

Residence 1861 • Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

Residence 1871 • Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Relation to Head of House: Daughter

Marriage Sarah walked to the church from her home in Stour Street. 23 Mar 1874 • St.Mark, Birmingham, Warwickshire Alfred Evan Owen (1853–1911)

Birth of Daughter Amy Louisa Owen(1892–1976) 03 Oct 1892 • Birmingham

Residence 1901 • Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

Residence April 1911 • 3 Regent Place,St.Marks Street, Ladywood, Birmingham 1911 Census

Death of Husband Alfred Evan Owen(1853–1911) Jun 1911 • Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Death 1936 Dec after a fall on the dark cramped stairs in her home at the age of 84, she was buried in Key Hill Cemetery.

Sadly we did not find her final resting place, which means she is no longer looked after. I would have so liked to have found a headstone and left her some flowers.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Wolverhampton and back.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

Yesterday (Monday) we said goodbye to the Black Country Living Museum and headed off for Wolverhampton.

Coseley Tunnel is an amazing structure, it is just sad that people feel the need to scrawl all over it. They have no concept of the history of the Birmingham canals and it structures. We had an uneventful cruise to Wolverhampton, where we pulled into the sanitary station, took on water and emptied the cassette.

We reversed out of the dock and onto a towpath mooring behind Narrowboat Granny Buttons, which belongs to Andrew, but he was not at home. We were having lunch, when there was a knock on the boat. A gentleman asked if we could help rescue his hat, which had blown off as he cycled along the towpath. I tried firstly to reach it with the boat pole, but it was just out of reach and with the wind blowing, it was moving to the offside, so I got the grappling hook and between Keith and I we tried to get the man’s baseball cap back, but to no avail. The gentleman had paid £30 for this hat and had not had it long, but we just could not reach it, no matter how hard we tried. He was thankful that we had tried, but cycled off hatless. I think if I had paid that much for a baseball cap, I would have been pretty miffed at not getting it back, but he seemed fine with the fact that he waters of the Birmingham Canal had claimed his cap. After some lunch we walked into Wolverhampton to see what it had to offer, like with most towns and cities, it is suffering from closed down shops, but on the whole it is a lovely place. We went searching for Blooms a men’s outfitters, because Keith wanted some new corduroy trousers and one of the gentlemen at the Museum recommended them and now we can also recommend them. If you want good old fashioned service, then this is definitely the place to go. Nothing was to much trouble, we were called Sir and Madam and looked after to the highest standards and Keith got his new pair of corduroys.

Back home on the boat, we did very little for the rest of the afternoon and evening. ‘Game of Thrones’ is our DVD of choice at the moment. We have almost finished the first series.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Day 2. Black Country Living Museum.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

Sunday morning and although it was overcast, it was mild. It was so mild no coat was required for the whole day.

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We were to spend another day at the Museum.

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There is something so magical about this place, it is actually very calming amongst the hustle and bustle.

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Many of the cottages had their fires lit and cooking was going on. Turnip soup at one house and vegetable soup at another. The smell was wonderful.

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Today was quieter, there were not as many people about, but this was not a bad thing, because it gave me plenty of opportunities to take photographs.

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We spent most of the day chatting to the people who volunteer at the Living Museum and it has actually made us think we may volunteer at some point. Both Keith and I would enjoy helping out and talking about boats.

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It really is a special place and well worth spending the day here.

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Eventually the sun came out, even one of the pigs was enjoying the suns warmth on her skin. The other one was still in bed.

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Today was my turn to queue for the Fish & Chips. Joking, this was at least 2 hours before it opened. We did get there for 11.30 am and not long after the shop opened, there was only a couple of people in front of us.

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So our weekend at the Black Country Living Museum has drawn to a close and we cannot thank the people there enough for such a wonderful time. Special place and special people.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Black Country Living Museum.

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Hello Friends and Followers.

Having spent a peaceful night outside the Black Country Living Museum, today was the day we got to enjoy all the place has to offer. We have been here a few times before and have always found something different going on and today was no different.

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We were ready to go in at 10 am when it opened and it was so quiet, which is just the way I like it, especially for taking photographs.

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I wanted to take Black and White photographs, so having it quiet meant I could capture the surroundings as it may have been back in the day.

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We had a fabulous time talking to lots of people there and were treated to the Warwickshire Regiment re-enactment folk in there WW1 army uniforms.

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Apparently they come to the Back Country Living Museum a couple of times a year and spent the weekend talking to the public and doing re-enactments. It was brilliant and they were so lovely.

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Lunch was of course Fish and Chips, the best anywhere in the country and they were washed down with a pint from the pub on site.

I do not think there is any better place you can visit all day and keep the whole family happy. I am looking forward to tomorrow when we will do it all over again.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Almost a disaster.

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Hello Friends and Followers.

It has been so lovely being back in Birmingham. Yesterday (Thursday) we wanted to look for Keatleys, who sell metal. We were looking for some brass strips for the top of our back cabin doors. We had been given directions from a friend and so after the usual morning stuff, we set off down the Farmers Bridge Locks to find the road and the factory.

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Down the flight you get a great view of BT Tower, which dominates the Birmingham sky line. Almost down to the bottom of the locks, we walked up on to the road and there it was Keatleys and hopefully the brass we wanted. As we walked in through the doors, on the right hand side there was shelving, with off cuts of metals. We spoke to the gentleman behind the counter and he suggested we search through the piles, find what we want and he would trim it for us to the right size. We did indeed find the brass we wanted and it was trimmed down for us and we were charged £1 for the off cuts, this was a complete and utter bargain. Having left the factory, we walked back into Birmingham, had a cuppa at the market cafe and a quick wander around the market, where I bought six large sausage rolls for £1 and they are beautiful, because we had one each for our lunch. After lunch, I thought we should lift the floor in the back cabin and check all the nuts and bolts, to see if it would cure the knocking.

We lifted the first board and all seemed fine, but no sooner we lifted the second board, I saw the problem immediately and so a slight disaster was averted on Thursday afternoon. From Saturday, when we came up the Lapworth locks, we have had various tapping knocking noisy, progressively getting worse. Discovered what was causing it. One of the universal joints on one of our prop-shafts was coming unbolted! All tightened up again, but we think we need to have split pins fitted through the nuts to stop them coming undone. Even some nylock nuts were loose! To think what could of happened, had we been on the river, actually it does not bare thinking about. Both Keith and I were really chuffed we had sorted it and all nuts and bolts were checked and will be regularly checked whilst we are out. Thursday evening was spent with friend having dinner at their place, we had a wonderful time.

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Birmingham looks fabulous at night.

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I enjoyed taking night shots.

This morning (Friday 10th March), we were going to put our repairs to the test, as we were heading off.

We set off at 9.20 am and there was not a knock or a bang to be heard thank goodness. The weather was very overcast with low cloud and drizzle, which did not bother us much, I relit the back cabin stove to keep the chill off and to boil the kettle and later on more sausage rolls would be heated up. Along the way we called into Caggy’s to see if he would be able to help us out with split pins, but he was unable to help us, so we will wait now until we get home. Our destination today was The Black Country Living Museum. We made it to Factory Locks, which were all set in our favour.

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The pounds can be low here, but today we were fine.

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Keith had that smoke gets in your eyes feeling.

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We arrived at the Black Country Museum and there was only one other boat moored up, so we winded and moored up. We decided that would would do the Museum tomorrow and therefore we would go and find Aldi and do a shop. We donned our rucksacks and walked across the footbridge to the Dudley Tunnel building, we walked past the sanitary station and up the grassy bank, through the Dudley Tunnel car park to the main road where we turned left and walked up the hill and there was Aldi. It was not far to go at all. Shopping done and a downhill walk back to the boat. It has been a good day, but looking forward to tomorrow.

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