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!
Monday, 21 August 2017
Here we are into another week and creeping towards the end of August. Please tell me if you can, where this year has gone?
I am at a loss as to how quickly this year has disappeared and we have hardly done any boating. On the bright side there is always next year and the canal are not going anywhere so to speak.
News on the generator. Hopefully all being well it should be completed this week. I know this may sound a little crazy, but I am looking forward to hearing what it sounds like and to whether it is quieter than our last one. I am hopefully that it should be a lot quieter, but we will see. I will post the outcome when it happens.
With the past few days being so up and down with the weather, I felt the need to cook today, so this morning having walked the dog, fed him and the cat and sorted a few boat things out, I got on with the job of deciding what to cook.
First on the list for making was a Cheese and Potato Bake. Now I know there are many different ways to do it, but this is my way.
I firstly peeled three good size potatoes, sliced and diced them and put them on to boil. I then made a plain white sauce. My way is to add a heaped dessert spoon of butter to a pan and melt. To that I added a heaped dessert spoon of flour. I mixed it until it looked a little like breadcrumbs. I then took it off the heat and added a little milk at a time until it was creamy. I put it back on the heat to cook through, stirring all the time. Once it was bubbling I removed it from the heat and added grated cheese to my tasting. By the time this was done, the potatoes were cooked, so I drained them and left them to cool. In a pan I then added a diced onion and sliced leek and allowed them to brown slightly, before adding them to the cooled potatoes. The white sauce was then poured over the potatoes, onions and leeks and mixed together.
Next to make was a Cornbeef Hash pie. I sweated off some diced onion and sliced leeks, whilst this was happening I opened a can of cornbeef, sliced and diced it and then added it to the pan of sweating onions and leeks. I allowed this to cool. I then made some pastry, for this I used 3 oz of butter and 6 oz of self-raising. Having rubbed them both together and added water, it was time to roll out the pastry and line a dish.
With lunchtime done and dusted, I spent time in the office talking over the details for the Heritage Weekend, which is held on the 9th and 10th of September. It is only about three weeks away, so coming along fast. No sooner we are all set up for it, the weekend will be over and we will begin organising for the next year. I still have cards to make for the event, so I need to get a wriggle on with that.
It has been a quiet day really, which has not been helped by the weather. I have such a lot I want to do painting wise, but unless I know we are going to have at least two or three days dry, there is very little point me painting or beginning the process.
Is it me or are we becoming an angry world?
I am noticing more and more how angry people are getting. This is not just in the real world, but on Facebook and Twitter. I belong to a couple of groups on Facebook and I am seriously thinking of leaving them due to angry people and the abuse they give others. There is absolutely no need for it and I for one do not do angry very well, but neither do I tolerate it. I have been there done that, got the t-shirt and DVD and so it is not going to be part of my life again.
What annoys you and would you become Mr and Mrs Angry over it?
Pop back again x
Saturday, 19 August 2017
Since we came back from dry docking and the blacking of the boat's hull, I have been trying to get some paintwork done, but the weather has not been to favourable. I finally managed to doing the touching up on the starboard side and so we turned the boat back around. It was sods laws that when we decided to turn around boats were coming in and going out, so we had to wait our turn. Back on our mooring and for us the right way around, I was hopeful that I could get on with more touching up, but yet again the weather has been playing her part. I did manage to give the cabin side a polish ready for the Autumn and Winter weather. I also managed to get the galley doors rubbed down and re-varnished, as they need to be done pretty much every year. I am hopeful that I will get some painting done next week.
I have been volunteering in the Arm doing the gardens, ever since we took up our mooring. I feel as a resident I should help out to keep the place looking nice for the visitors, whether it be by boat, car or foot. So yesterday I was cutting back bushes, strimming long grass and nettles down and cutting up dead branches and stacking them neatly by the weed bins. Whilst doing this I saw a rustling in the leaf mulch and there was a beautiful frog trying to find shelter. Because I was clearing branches, I did not want to step on the frog, so I moved it to my pond for safety. I looked in the pond this morning and froggy has disappeared, so I am unsure as to whether it was hiding, or it may have climbed out and made a hop for it. Anyway that was my good deed for yesterday. I enjoy volunteering in the Arm as it is always lovely to how beautiful our surroundings look when the jobs are done. We have a couple of new young volunteers, who are a joy to work with as well, but like with any place open to the public more volunteers are always needed.
If I am a little quiet on my blog, it is because there is very little going on at the moment, but please do come by for a nosey to see if I have posted.
Pop back soon x
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Hello Dear Friends and Followers.
What a beautiful day?
After the past few days of chillier weather and no sunshine, it was a joy to wake up to sunshine and some warmth. This would be a good day for painting, well that was my thinking. So up at 8 am and already painting by 8.45 am. The second gloss coat has gone one, which has given me joy. I did have an ulterior motive to getting things done early. Keith and I wanted to go to the Classic Car Sow in the centre of Warwick. We went to last years event, which was brilliant and so were looking forward to having a nosey.
The sky was blue and people were already gathering to pick over the classic cars.
This beautiful car was for sale.
For the engine lovers.
Who remembers the Panda Car. This one was still working on the bet until 1973. A blast from the past when he sounded the siren.
This little beauty really caught my eye. It was immaculate.
The town was buzzing, which was really wonderful to see.
An old girl, but still beautiful.
This Rolls Royce we felt should have been in the centre of town, instead it was down a side street. A stunning car.
We like to go to these sorts of things early to avoid the crowds, because it is so hard to get photographs with people walking in front of the car and camera all the time. Having walked half way around the event, we went to The Tuckery for a cup of tea, which then ended up in us having a breakfast. They were run off their feet and I was so tempted to offer them a hand, even if it was just with the washing up.
Having walked around the other half of the event, it was back to the boat for the afternoon and a Sunday film. Todays delight was Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston. it is one of my favourite films.
Pop by again x
Saturday, 12 August 2017
Hello Dear Friends and Followers.
Hooray we have a spell of dry warm weather. Anyone would think that it had been October, but of course we all know it is August. I have finally begun doing some of the mounting list of paintwork. Thursday I did the preparation work and Friday and today I began slapping some paint on. I am only touching up, so nothing mega exciting. When painting I like to get up and start early, so it has all day to dry, so I was up at 8 am and was painting by 9 am, this gave the paint all day to dry. I am hoping to do the second coat of gloss tomorrow.
Having done the painting, it was time to do a spot of weeding and planting of some Sweet Williams, which had seeded in a pot and were now ready to go out. They will not flower this year, but next year they should be lovely, well that is if they survive the Winter.
About a month ago we rescued this bird table from the canal. This morning we finally got round to repairing it and I found a spot for it in the garden. It may not last forever, but is sits nicely in the shrubbery.
Marmite was having a nice afternoon snooze out on the pontoon, whilst we did all the hard work. It is most definitely a cats life.
2.30 pm it was time for a coffee and a Saturday afternoon movie. I am a sucker for Westerns and todays offering was Rage at Dawn on Spike.
Following are a few photographs I took whilst out in the garden.
Thank you for popping by x
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Well what a day weather wise. It has been more like October than August, but that is the joys of the British weather, because we never really know what we are going to get. That is what makes the UK weather so interesting and I personally would not change it for the world.
This past few days have been pretty uneventful. I had to go for an appointment with the practice nurse about my HRT. I got my weight checked, that has gone down which is a good thing. I have been cutting down on portions sizes and I am not eating crisps, chocolate or sweets as much either. My BP was nice and low, mind you it has never been high, so I am doing just fine. Over the past months I have been thinking about coming off of my HRT. My first attempt was a total failure all because my male GP told me to just stop taking it. Now whilst this may well have worked for some women, it did not work for me. I went into meltdown, with the Menopause smashing down on me like a tonne of bricks. Because of hormone overdrive, I was immediately put back onto my HRT, which I was so thankful for, but now I feel I want to try again, but this time with the help of the female nurse practitioner, I am going to do it slowly. So Saturday was the first day I did not take my HRT and I will do the next couple of Saturdays, before adding another day and then another. You get the picture until I am off it and then we will see what happens. I have been Menopausal now for Ten years and so I am hopeful that I am possibly through the otherside. I have only taken the HRT for Three years though, so it has not been long. Now if this attempt to come off fails, I will go back onto the HRT and stay on it for a while longer. I know you are probably thinking, why bother coming off of it?
Well I am not one for taking tablets or medication unless I absolutely have too, so for me this is the right time.
The rest of my weekend was spent watching the Athletics World Championships and films. I decided to take it easy. I still think of Sunday as a day of rest, unless I have to be busy.
Monday and the weather was not helping me get my paintwork done, so I caught up with some tidying of the boat. I grouted around the flue of the chimney in the saloon ready for the Autumn and Winter fires, which are creeping in on us all.
After lunch I went online and had a message from someone telling me I had been used on Instagram. Apparently my facebook photograph and name had been used on Instagram to publicise a naked lady page. I was not only upset I was also furious. How dare someone do this not just to me but anyone else. Immediately I asked people on my Facebook who use Instagram to check their profiles for my name and if I was on it, then they should block and report it. I do not have an Instagram account, as I do not have a smartphone, so I have no idea how this happened. Anyway I found a way of contacting Instagram and asked them to take the profile down.
This morning I was told that the account had been taken down because of its content, which I am so pleased about.What makes people want to do this to others. The content of this page was not at all nice and I found it offensive that my name should be associated with it. I am hoping this is the end of it now. It did make me think though about the pages I do use and how secure they are though. I think we all must be aware that there are some not so nice people out there.
I do not get much time to read other boaters blogs, but when I do, I tend to binge read. One of my favourite blogs is that of our good friend Jaqueline on NB Valerie. She has been through so much this past few years and having been left on her own after the death of her husband and our friend Les, Jaqueline is cruising the canals as a single hander. She is an amazing lady and writes in such a beautiful way, so if you get the chance and the time do read her posts.
So here we are into August and you just know that the shops will soon be putting the Christmas fare on their shelves and trees in their windows. In away I am in Christmas mode, because I have just started making my cards for Christmas. I wanted to make a range of Winter cards for the Heritage Weekend event in September and so I need to start them now. I will not post the photographs yet, as I would hate for you to be thinking Oh My Goodness she has joined the Christmas band wagon. It will not be long before we are lighting our fires and hunkering down on the cold nights.
Where has this year gone?
Bye for now x
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Have you ever noticed, that you plan things for the day and then nothing ever goes according to that plan?
Well I am putting it down to the mischief elf. On a regular basis I make plans for the day and I can pretty much guarantee that the plan never happens. Take to day.
We were awake at 7 am, so as per usual I got up and made us both a cup of tea. I fancied tea rather than coffee this morning. I allow myself one cup of tea a day due to to my Nickel allergy. Tea is the biggest offender for having Nickel in it, so I have to make sure I do not over dose on Nickel each day, otherwise I become poorly. This is a long and painful story, which I will not bore you with right now. Back to the start of my Wednesday. We sat in bed drinking tea, whilst listening to Trisha Dodo on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. Marmite decided that having slept on my feet for most of the night, she was not done with me yet, so she plonked herself down on my lap, curled up into a ball and immediately began dreaming. I knew she was dreaming because she was growling in her sleep and her paws were twitching. I wonder what cats dream about?
8 am it was time to fold away the bed and get on with my jobs list for the morning. Before I could even pull the bottom sheet up, Marmite had pounced on the corner of the sheet, she felt like this was a threat and needed to be attacked along with my hand. Sheet wars seems to happen regularly for a few weeks, she then goes off of it, probably because it is hard work. So we had sheet wars and then I was allowed to put the bed away, whilst she had a morning cuddle with Keith. There was a time when she hated being cuddled by Keith, but she has clearly mellowed and realises it is actually nice.
On with the morning list.
1. Take dog for his walk.
This morning we took a different route which completely befuddled Paddy, because he gets so used to his routes, so when I change it he looks at me as if I am completely crazy. He does enjoy a new route though, because of all the new smells, which of course he has to smell and then pee on. Paddy does make me giggle, because he has to pee and walk at the same time these days. I think it must be an age thing. I am thankful that this does not happen with men, well not as far as I know and no I am not talking about my other half.
2. Fed mog and dog. I put mog first because she hates to be second best when it comes to being fed. She has been known to pince Paddy's food if I keep her waiting. Paddy on the other hand will just sit and wait. At the moment he is eating pretty well again, which is a joy and so we have stopped worrying about him.
3. On my list today was going to be Saltie Day Boat polishing day. Yes I have said I will give Salties paintwork a much needed polish. There was a slight problem with this idea though and that was the weather forecast. It was not favourable. But I am not one to be put off, so at 9 am I gathered my rags and polish and headed off to polish Saltie. I did the bow, which showed a marked improvement in the shine on the paintwork. I had just started on starboard side and the weather thought it would throw a spanner into the works, because it began to drizzle. You know the little stuff, that gets you very wet. So I had to down tools and go back home, feeling ever so slightly miffed that it was only 9.30 am and my plans for the day were already turned upside down. There was only one thing for it and that was to make a cuppa and wait and see. Coffee in hand the rain stopped and I got back to the polishing of one side of the boat up until lunchtime, when I had to of course cook lunch. It was very exciting we had beans on toast, with fruit and yogurt for pudding. After lunch I finished off polishing the starboard side and was rather pleased with the outcome. Another job off my list.
4. With the polishing done, I was in the mood to do some weeding in our garden, so sorted that out, then strimmed the edges of the lawn behind our garden. I then trimmed our hedge and made it look nice and tidy. I do like a tidy garden.
That was it on my list for the day, so now I am sat typing this update and thinking what shall I do tomorrow?
The rest of today will be spent watching the TV as we have the news and DIY SOS on later and if I am still awake, I may see a movie on film4.
Pop back tomorrow xx
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Have you ever had a day when you think. What the heck happened there?
That was my day yesterday.
We were up at 8 am and the usual stuff happened, walking the dog and boat chores for me. Keith decided to nip off to Royal Leamington-Spa for me as Marmite needed cat food and cat litter. So whilst he went off, I hoovered the saloon and galley, washed floors and tidied. I had just sat down with a coffee, when I heard a voice shouting my name. It was a neighbour asking if I could help him rescue a caterpillar (yes I said a caterpillar).
Keith arrived back at the boat around 10.30 am with cat food and cat litter, only to tell me he had chest pains. I stashed away the cat items and he rang our GP, to be told by the receptionist that he needed to ring an ambulance. He dialled 999 and spoke to the person on the other end of the line, who asked him all sorts of questions and decided that she did not think it was life threatening, but would send an ambulance out anyway. Some 5 minutes later a Paramedic car arrived, with a lovely young lady driving. I met her in the car park and helped her with her bags of equipment. Blimey it amazes me that they do not suffer with extended arms and back issues, because it was quite a weight to lump around. Having gotten her into the boat, she began to ask Keith questions, she did an ECG and other tests and also decided she did not think it was life threatening, but because the pain was getting worse and it had extended through to his back, she thought she should take him down to the hospital. So whilst she settled Keith into the car, I closed the boat up and joined them for a trip to A&E. We arrived there at 11.30 am and Keith was immediately seen. Another ECG was done and blood tests. We then had the wait for the blood test results. Eventually the results came back and there was something not right with the heart test, so they wanted to redo it. More blood taken and another wait. The ECG came back ok, which was good news. As we waited more and more people were arriving and it seemed that chest pain in the men was top of the list of problems for the day. Because we only needed to wait for the results, we were moved to Ambulatory Care on Guy Ward, where others were sitting waiting for results. Keith was then seen and examined by a junior doctor and asked yet more questions. I enquired if Keith could possibly have a drink, as neither of us had had anything all day. The junior doctor very kindly made us both a cup of tea. It got to 6 pm and I thought I needed to let paddy out, so walked back to the boat, sorted Paddy and Marmite, got a quick drink and then walked back to Guy Ward, where keith was sat waiting still. He had been for an X-ray though and the consultant had seen him. In the bay there were six people waiting and four of them were waiting on results due to chest pain and they were all men. 8.10 pm we finally were allowed to leave, after the blood test came back normal. So we were no further forward to knowing what was causing his chest pain, but thankfully it had eased a bit.
Once we got back to the boat, we had our first meal of the day and to say we were famished was an understatement. We both went to bed at 10 pm shattered. I always find sitting in a hospital tiring and yet I have no idea why.
This morning we woke up at 6am to the fact that it was the 1st of August and I had an appointment with the practice nurse at 7.30 am. It was my appointment for my HRT and a discussion on whether I can begin to come off of it. I have been Menopausal for Ten years now and on HRT for at least Three years. Last year my GP told me to just stop taking it, but this had a dreadful effect on me, bring on all the Menopausal symptoms in one go, hence the fact I was immediately put back on my tablets. I am ready to give it a try again, but this time I am going to do it at a more sedate pace. For the first month, I will stop one tablet a week, for the second month two tablets a week and carry on until I am down to one a week and then stop. So wish me luck. BP was low and weight was down, so all is good in my world right now. I am not one for taking pills and as I am paying for my prescriptions, I could save £8.60 a time, so that is a bonus. I am still on my Omeprazole though and I will be long term. I have booked my Well Woman check-up, so will find out what my Cholesterol is doing. If these things are offered, then why not take them?
Having returned to the boat from the medical centre, I had my breakfast and then set off into town to pick up my pills. I had a quick walk around the town charity shops, I nipped into Holland and Barrett to talk about good Cholesterol and what were the best foods to eat. Whilst in there a woman was standing outside with a greyhound. As I went to leave the shop, she asked "Would you hold my dog for me, so I can go in and shop". I of course said that I would be only to happy to happy to look after her dog, whilst she went in and did her shopping. The woman explained to me that her dog was very nervous and was not good with people, but I assured her she would be fine with me. I took control of the greyhound for a couple of minutes, then the shop assistant said that he would take over, so i could be on my way. My good deed for the day done.
By the time I got back to the boat, I was well and truly ready for a coffee. It was only 10 am, but i felt like I had done a days work already.
I wonder what the rest of the day will have in store for me?
Pop back soon x