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!
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
How hands on are you?
It has been a wet Wednesday and from my galley window all I can see is wet, wet, wet ( There is a song in there somewhere). The forecast was for the rain to clear, which it did by mid-afternoon. On days like this why bother moving unless you absolutely have too. As we are still on our mooring, we can just stay indoors and do nothing if we felt like it, but that is not my way. OH can quite happily sit playing on his laptop, but I get itchy feet (there is cream for that I know). So for me it was walking the dog in the rain this morning, which I just adore, especially when there is a warmth to the rain. Paddy was not impressed, but that is his way.
Back home, I hung the washing in the engine room to dry, made a coffee and contemplated my next move. I had the choice of making more cards or knitting dishcloths. I am in production mode for the Saltisford Arm Heritage Weekend, which is coming up next month, and I know jolly well I will end up panicking at the last minute, if I do not get a handle on making these things. So I knitted a couple of dishcloths out of 100% pure cotton. They sell like hot cakes, because with a knitted dishcloth you can boil it bleach it and miss treat it and it will still be useful months and months later. I would therefore be leaving the card making till after lunch,
I got on with card making yesterday afternoon, in all I made over 150 cards and so I felt very virtuous at the end of the day.
With lunch in the oven, it got me thinking about the jobs I do on our boat. I seem to be a Jack of all trades, but of course a master of none.
I fill the water tank every 2 weeks.
I take my turn emptying the rubbish and toilet cassette.
I can strip down our engine and put it back together.
I check and fill the gearbox.
I do most of the paintwork on the boat inside and out.
I can clear the propellor through the weedhatch.
I can steer, stop and moor our boat up.
I can steer in and out of locks.
The list could go on, but that would probably bore you to death.
There are a number of ladies who single hand their boats and so have to know all of these things, but how many ladies do nothing on their boats, it is the man who does all the jobs?
More recently a very good friend of ours Jacqueline on Narrowboat Valerie, has become a single hander, after the loss of her devoted husband and our good friend Les. Jacqueline had a wonderful teacher in Les and she is coping on her own, with a little help from friends as she cruises the cut.
So if you were in the situation of being alone and single handing would you be able to do it?
I know for a fact that I would be able to cope, because I have had a wonderful teacher in the OH, who has let me tackle all of the jobs on our boat.
I do know and have met many ladies who do absolutely nothing on their boats. I met a lady some years ago who lived on a widebeam boat with her husband. They were moored behind us and we got chatting as you do when moored up with other boaters. I asked her whether she steered the boat and the look of horror on her face was priceless. She told me she does absolutely nothing on the boat, her husband does it all and I somehow knew that would be her answer after I saw her beautiful nails.
My next question to her was. "What would you do if you were cruising and your husband suddenly collapsed on the deck".
Her reply was "I would scream for help".
I said to her "You are in the middle of nowhere and there is no one around to hear your screams".
Her reply was " Then I do not know what I would do".
To me it is so important, if you do nothing else on the boat, at least learn how to get your boat to the bank and learn how to moor it up, because at the end of the day it could save your partners life.
I love tinkering on the boat and learning how things work. We have a new generator and so I am now learning all about it, just in case I have to deal with a problem with it and the OH is not around. These days you can go on an RYA courses for narrowboats if you are concerned. They are priceless in giving you confidence on how to move your boat and how to tackle problems as they arise.
I remember when we had our other boat and the OH had chest pains. I had to get the boat into the bank and moor it up, which I did without panicking. Thankfully the OH was fine after spending some time in hospital.
It really pays to know as much about your boat as you other half does. Not only that it is fun to both have the same interests, well I think it is, which probably makes me rather odd.
Anyway back to my card making. After lunch I did get on with finishing my cards which made me feel very accomplished, because I did not have to worry about getting them done at the last minute. All I need to do now is make up labels for my products and I am ready for the Heritage Weekend in September.
Pop back soon xx