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













Saturday, 25 February 2017

Hooray for the Weekend.

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Hi Friends and Follower’s.

Ok I do not know about you, but I am wondering already where this year is going. The week seems to go past so quickly. This week has flown by and we are ready and waiting for the Six Nations Rugby to being again. Unfortunately this will be the last weekend we will see the rugby on the TV as we are off out and about next week and we will not have the TV just DVD’s. I suppose we could always find a pub showing the matches if need be, but I can always find out the scores online.

So did you and your property survive Storm Doris?

I was out in it Thursday and it was not to bad. When I arrived home our archway over the gate to our pontoon had been propped up by Keith because it was bent over when he got back from our food shop. The metal arch was actually rusty and therefore gave way in the strong gusts of wind. Friday was spent sorting it out and instead of a new arch, which we do not have time to find before we leave the Arm, we tied the Honeysuckle to the fence, so hopefully it will trail itself along the fence and look fabulous when we get back. What was left of the arch went into the bin. Another thing which succumbed to the wind was our back cabin chimney cover. This was a mystery, because the cover was a tight fit, but it has definitely disappeared, so we spent Friday afternoon in the town looking for another saucepan to fit. When you do not need a saucepan, the charity shops have lots of them, but because we wanted one, we could not find anything, so we ended up buying on from the Original Factory Shop for £5. It was in fact a set of three, the label inside was from good old Woolworths. So the middle pan will be a new cover and the other two will get used at some time or another. I had not just gone into town for the saucepan, I needed to pick up my medication from the chemist. I had seen the GP in the morning and he put me back on to Amitriptyline, as my sternum and rib pain has come back since stopping the tablets. I am just hoping it settles down whilst we are out on the boat.

Friday evening was spent with friends Dawne and Stuart at the Lebanese Restaurant Aqua Food & Mood in Warwick. It was our first time eating Lebanese food and we both thoroughly enjoyed the food and the evening and we will definitely be going back again in the future. We had a selection of starters between us and for my main I had Chicken Shawarma. This was thin slices of chicken marinated in garlic & spices with rice and salad. It was absolutely beautiful. The staff were lovely and extremely polite and helpful. Great food, wine, service and that adds up to a great evening.

Saturday morning and it is still a tad breezy out, but nothing like Doris threw at everyone. I got on with doing a laundry wash first thing. I am trying to get all the important washing done before we leave for our cruising season. Whilst the washing machine was taking the strain, I returned to the boat to make up the saloon stove and sort out a few other jobs. I got on with preparing the vegetables for our lunch. I am roasting Peppers, Leeks, Sweet Potato, Cauliflower and Mushrooms and we will that them with fish.

The Six Nation’s Rugby is back, so we will be glued to the TV this afternoon.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Doris blows her top.

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Hello Friends and Followers.

I hope you are all safe out there, because it has been blowing up. Storm Doris has been showing her true colours across the country. Sadly there has been a death and lots of damage.

We woke up this morning at 4am. It was not to bad then. I have absolutely no idea why were were awake, but were so I got up and made a cuppa. Storm Doris was on the weather forecast and how we should all take great care.

By the time we got up at 8am, the winds had definitely gotten stronger and the boat was beginning to rock. I took Paddy out for his morning stroll and made sure everything on the pontoon was secure. There was a lot of crashing going on across the cut where the housing estate was, but all seemed well in the arm, just a few twigs were blown off the trees.

8.45am Keith went off shopping to Aldi and I got ready to go out. I was off out with the girl’s for the day. I know it was not exactly the weather for going out, but for three crazy girl’s it was fine. Jack picked Dawne and I up at 10am and we set off for Weedon Antiques centre. There were lots of branches down and wheelie bins blown all over the place. Now I can understand branches being down, but as for the wheelie bins, people knew this storm was coming, so why did they not secure their bins yesterday, or if they had to be out for the bin men, then why did they not make sure they bought them straight back in and put them away. There was no excuse really. We arrived in Weedon and walked over to the Antiques Centre. It is a fabulous place, with some beautiful furniture and nick nacks, but we saw very little that we wanted to buy.

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We all quite fancied this old school desk and chair, it bought back memories for us all. I did ask Jack to check if there was any chewing gum under the desk, because from memory that was always where it was put during the lesson. Having finished in the Antiques Centre, we then drove the Heart of the Shires, shopping village. We have visited it before by canal but never by road, so this was a new experience. We decided to have a coffee and lunch first before we looked around the shops.

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We had lunch in the Darlington’s Tea Room, which was lovely and can be totally recommended. Whilst trying to battle against the wind, we visited all the shops, which all offer something at reasonable prices. I am quite sure the next time I visit, it will be by boat. The wind was howling around the buildings as we made our way out to the car. Our next port of call was Braunston Wharf Chandlery to pick up some paint. The journey back to the Arm was indeed an adventure, with the wind gusting across the open land. We saw lorries leaning over as they sped up the dual carriageway and we even had to battle against the wind. I have never been a driver and on days like to day I knew why. Jack did a sterling job and got us home safely. We were never in any danger out with Storm Doris, because it did not seem to be as bad as it was made out to be, but I guess the weather forecasters have to make sure we are all aware of what could happen. A lovely day was had by the girlies.

Keith was home, when I got in, he had put most of the shopping away and was painting one of his railways buildings. I made us a coffee, before putting my feet up for a bit and to rest my back. My Sciatica is back, so I will have to take it easy for a couple of days. I have an appointment with my GP coming up, so will speak to him about my back if it is no better. My evening will be spent watching the Pottery Throw Down and then I will retire to my bed.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Welcome to hump day.

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Hello Friends and Followers.

Are you ready?

For what you ask?

Storm Doris, that is what. This mild, meek named lady (my Nan) is coming to blow us away according to Carol Kirkwood on BBC weather. Ok I am exaggerating, storm Doris is going to bring us strong winds and rain. My Nan was named Doris and she was meek and mild lady, who would never blow anyone away, she was so sweet and my favourite Nan. But we are all asked to be careful out there, so we have prepared for the wind by putting our solar panel down flat on the boats roof and putting things away that could possibly be blown about.

Last night we held our last Board Games evening of the Winter, because come March 1st most of the Winter moorer’s will be heading off on their cruising season. Some are turning right out of the Arm and some are heading up the Hatton flight with us. Our last Board Games evening, was celebrated with Gin and Tonics and snacks, which was kindly bought to the evening by June and Ian on Narrowboat Amy Jack A Max. A fun evening was had playing board games and just nattering, which is what the once a month event is all about. We look forward to doing it all again come October/November.

Wednesday is hump day and for me it was washing day, but not laundry this time. I wanted to wash the boats sheeting and cabin side, on starboard side of the boat, which is on the pontoon side, because over the Winter it gets little sunlight and therefore goes green. As I was going to fill the water tank, I decided to do the boat washing at the same time, so filled a bucket with soapy water and with my large scrubbing brush, I got on with scrubbing the sheeting and then with a sponge washed the cabin side down. Once the water tank was filled, I sprayed the boat down and got rid of the soap suds. I would like to polish the cabin side before we go, but a lot depends on the weather between now and Tuesday.

Boat all washed and clean, I put the hosepipe away and put the kettle on for coffee. Lunch was made and cooked, today we had Cornbeef cakes, with Sweet Potato Chips and Peas, followed by Fruit and Yogurt. After lunch I got on with preparing things for the laundry noticeboard, which has been looking neglected and empty. Now it has places to eat in Warwick, Recipes and Tips, where boaters can share them with each other and an area for local events. Hopefully whilst I am away it will fill up with lots of wonderful information.

My afternoon was spent catching up on e-mails and the family tree. I received an interesting e-mail from Wiki Tree, which told me I was 40 degrees from the Queen.

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I thought my only connection was my date of birth, which is the same as hers.

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I am also apparently 33 degrees from Abraham Lincoln, now that is interesting.

Monday, 20 February 2017

No one home.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

The birds were singing early this morning. We were awake at 6 am and ready for a cuppa. Keith had his dental appointment this morning, for an aching tooth, which had been playing up on and off all weekend.

7 am up and about well Keith and I were. Paddy was still in his bed and showed no sign of waking up, let alone getting up. Marmite was up though asking for her breakfast as usual. With Keith going to the dentist, I was off to the dry cleaners to pick up our waterproof jackets, but before I set off for town, I made up the saloon fire and washed up. I then donned my waistcoat, grabbed my bag and off I went. Now I had more than enough time to get to the dry cleaners, so I took the long route down by Warwick Race Course, which was looking splendid in the morning sunshine. I then walked up Linen lane, which has quite an incline, which always gets me puffing. I then crossed the road to the bus station and into the town. I did a circuit of the town to have a nosey in the shop windows, because many of the shops were not open yet. I made my first port of call the bank and then the Executive Dry Cleaners, only to find it did not open until 9.30 am, this therefore gave me time to look around the charity shops, before going back to the dry cleaner. I got there just before 9.30 am and parked myself on a bench to sit and watch the world going to work. There is something wonderful about people watching. 10.45 am came and went and still the dry cleaners did not open. There was no sign on the door to say they do not open on Monday’s and my cleaning ticket said to collect on Monday, so either the gentleman got it wrong on the ticket, or something had happened to the person who was supposed to open the shop. I saw no point in getting cross, because for all I know, some thing must have happened to who ever opens the shops, I just hope it was nothing dreadful. It is so easy to get annoyed when something like this happens, but without knowing the circumstances what is the point. Far worse happens and I can go back and get the jackets. 9.50 am I decided to stop waiting and to head home, where Keith was back from the dentist having had a filling. This was an expense he had not planned on. The dentist was nearly £54 better off from Keith’s visit. I am wondering if there is any poor dentist out there?

So dilemma, did I leave picking up the jackets till another day or should I go up during the afternoon. After lunch the decision was made to walk back into town, to see if the Executive Dry Cleaners were open. I am relieved to say it was open and there was a lovely lady behind the counter, who wrapped our jackets in a plastic cover and folded them so they would fit in my lifetime bag. We had a lovely conversation about the weather and the amount of people walking around Warwick, as it is now half-term. I handed over my £10 and said “goodbye”. Now I need some rain to see if the waterproofing has worked. If it has I will most definitely go back to Executive Dry Cleaners again. With nothing else to do in town, I headed home to find Keith lounging in his chair watching TV. Having put the coats away, I decided to wash the back cabin blankets. I do not want to leave everything to the last minute as I still have to wash and polish the boat, if the weather holds out, which I doubt it will.

DID YOU KNOW?

In 1547 Edward VI, aged 9 years old, was crowned at Westminster Abbey. Edward, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sunday Hugs.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

Happy hug Sunday. Just thought that you may need a hug.

It was another early mild start and so my decision was to get my back cabin curtains and bedding washed and then hung out on the line, to blow in what little bit of wind there was. I do so love seeing washing blowing on a line and I do not mean rotary lines, I mean the long lines that you see in someones back garden, with a clothes prop holding up the middle. When I lived in a house, I always had a long line, down one side of the garden path, with my clothes prop to prop up the line in the middle. When the children were young, it was always lovely to see their clothes blowing in the breeze and bedding. You cannot beat the old ways. Rotary lines are fine, but there is nothing like a long line in my opinion. Anyway washing done and hung out to dry. I spotted whilst in the laundry a pair of Bullfinches opposite our boat, but bloomin typical, by the time I got back to the boat and sorted my camera out they were both gone.

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A male Chaffinch was sat in the tree near me singing away, whilst Mr Blackbird, stood on top of the hedge listening..

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Clearly the birds think Spring is here, because they are all singing away and out and about. It will not be long before they are nesting.

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Whilst chatting to our neighbour, I spotted this Moth, which was blending in well with the timber work on our bunker.

Before lunch, I did an hours work in the Arm’s garden’s, cutting back a bit of weeding. The ground is to wet to dig, so that will have to wait until it dries out, which means I will not get any digging done before we leave the Arm.

The morning drifted into the afternoon and I followed Wasps Rugby Team online as they played Sale Sharks. Despite a valiant effort Wasps lost 34-28. But they did get a bonus point and are still at the top of the Aviva table, so things are not all bad. To make up for their loss, I sat and watch ‘Never Been Kissed’, I love that movie. So a wonderful end to the movie, it always brings a lump to my throat.

Right I am off now, so have a lovely Sunday evening. I will see you on Monday.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Spring Cleaning.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

So who watched ‘Celebrity Carry On Barging’. I so hate the word Barging, when it should be Narrowboating, but hey ho. I am still loving Lorraine, even though she fell in, she was non to bothered by it. Not sure the people on the wide beam were to impressed when she hit them, but as we all know it happens, even with the most experienced boaters. There were things said by the narrator which made me cringe, because they clearly had not done their research on boating, but despite that I did laugh with them and at them, so another good program.

Saturday morning and the birds were singing early. We were awake at 7 am with a cup of tea to hand and the news and weather on TV. It was going to be a good day to get outside jobs done, which was music to my ears.

After breakfast, walking Paddy and feeding both Paddy and Marmite, I was in the mood to get jobs done outside. The first thing on my hit list was to clean the brass, which I had neglected all Winter. I fail to see the point of wasting Brasso, when you need to clean everyday over the Winter, whereas when it is warmer I can get away without cleaning for three or four days depending on the weather. To look at the brass work, it looked really dirty, that is why I am not showing you a photograph, because it was disgusting. Out came the Cillit Bang and Brasso. I know people use a range of things for getting their brass up to scratch. Brown Sauce, Shiny Sinks, Brasso on its own, but my product of choice today was Cillit Bang. Spray it on, give it a gentle rub and hey presto the worst of the grim is off. I then finished off with Brasso.

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I cleaned seven portholes, four pigeon box portholes, Terret’s, mushroom vents, bullseye ring and back cabin brass. It was all done in just over an hour. When I do it next week, it will be so much easier to do. I want it to look nice and clean for when we go out.

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After the brass was all done, I sanded down the back cabin step and teak oiled it. Doing it at the beginning of the season, means the wood is protected until we come home later in the year. I want to try and wash and polish the paintwork next week, weather permitting, we will then be all ready for shoving off day.

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Yesterday I told you that I had tidied the pontoon. Today I washed it down and made sure everything was stowed away. I then turned my attention to the garden. My neighbour and I swapped fruit bushes. She wanted to get rid of a Gooseberry bush and I wanted to get rid of a Goji Berry bush. We tried growing the Goji berries, but had no real luck with them, so hopefully our neighbour will have more luck. I tidied a bit more in the garden, before calling it a day at 3.30 pm, when the temperature had begun to drop and it was looking rather miserable out. The next couple of days are supposed to be nice, so I have the back cabin curtains and blankets to wash. Spring is really in the air for me, or it is just the excitement of getting ready for cruising.

It is almost 4 pm and my day is almost done, I feel like I have cleaned everything I am going to clean today. Poor Keith’s toothache is back. He was fine yesterday, but today it is back. It is just as well he is going to the dentist on Monday. I am now going to put my feet up until dinner time. No idea what this evening has in store, but I am sure I will find something to do. I have plenty of crochet and knitting to get on with.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Getting in cruising mood.

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Hi friends and followers.

What a beautiful day I have had. It all began at 6 am with a mug of tea and the BBC 1 news and weather on. Carol Kirkwood was happily telling me, it is going to be a lovely day and how right she was. The moment I opened the back cabin doors and stepped off the boat with Paddy, it was evident the temperature had gone up significantly on a Winter’s morning, or can I now say Spring, because that is exactly how it has felt today. Even Paddy had a spring in his step this morning, whilst we walked and listened to the birds singing. Because it was so warm, I was in no hurry to stoke up the fire, instead I went and did a laundry wash first thing. Having hung the washing to dry, I then swept the saloon flue, which was clean and required no added cleaning. It will not be long before I am letting the fire out in the saloon. I will then just have the back cabin stove going when we are on the move, for hot water and cooking. Before getting on with boat jobs, I made us a Cottage Pie for lunch and prepared the veggies we would be having for lunch.

With it being so lovely outside, I felt the need to get out and tidy the pontoon, ready for when we set off. I like to leave a tidy home when we are away, because visiting boaters may stay on our pontoon, whilst we are away. Firstly I put the remaining six bags of coal which were on a pallet into the hold. On top of the pallet, I arranged our pot plants which I like all in one place when we are away. It was at this point I discovered that someone had half inched our watering can. At first I thought maybe it was in the bunker, but no it had gone. Who would want a rusting watering can? To say I was annoyed is an understatement. I was fuming. Pontoon all tidy, I started to sort out the things we would be taking with us on our cruise this year. So shears, spade, fenders, ant powder and life ring all went on the boat. I have a mental list in my head, but I just know I will forget something.

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Whilst doing jobs and listening to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire our phone went and it was Jenna the researcher. On the Lorna Bailey show today they were asking “are dog owners more sexually attractive”?.

According to this study of 1,000 singletons. The research found that 63% of people find dog owners most attractive, in comparison to 18% of totally wrong people who fancy cat owners. Keith sent a message saying where did we stand we have a cat and a dog. Jenna rang back and asked if I wanted to talk about Marmite and Paddy on air, which I have done before, so was happy to oblige. Of late if I am on the phone, Marmite see’s fit to come and join in the conversation. She loves to meow and purr down the phone. I have no idea why she thinks this is fitting, or maybe she knew she was being spoken about. Anyway I do not think the study is correct.

Lunch over with, it was back to working outside and this time our garden got my attention. The ground was way to wet to get on to, so I just did a bit of hand weeding and tidying up. No doubt when we come back from cruising, it will be full of weeds. But hopefully we will have lots of Strawberries and Blackberries. Although I say it myself, everything was looking much tidier and I was satisfied with my day’s work. I will have a new list for the weekend, which include polishing our brass, which has not been done all Winter.

Tonight’s TV viewing will be ‘Question of Sport’, ‘Carry On Barging’ and whatever else we fancy after that, looking at the TV Guide it maybe Non-Stop with Liam Neeson but we shall see. I may just be ready for my bed by then, having been awake early for two days running.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Heading for the weekend.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

We are racing towards the weekend yet again. Where has February gone?

We were awake at stupid o’clock this morning, it was in fact 4 am. What woke me up was Paddy scratching and banging against something whilst he scratched. Then he decided he needed a drink. So if you cannot beat them, then join them. I got up and made Keith and I a cup of tea, which we both needed. I then snuggled down beneath the duvet and drifted off to sleep eventually, but of course no sooner I thought I had gone to sleep, I was awake again and it was 7.55 am, so no time for another cuppa, I had to be up to take Paddy out, as he was on the moved and Marmite made it known she was ready for her breakfast.

Morning jobs completed. I packed our two washed jackets in a bag and headed off to the dry-cleaners. The gentleman there said he could re-waterproof the jackets for me. I left the jackets with him until Monday and fingers will be crossed that it works. Whilst in town, I had a quick wander around the charity shops and found nothing of interest, but the walk always does me good and you never know if you will find a bargain. Whilst I was in the town, Keith had caught the bus to Tesco to pick up, washing powder, cat food, nappies and toilet rolls. When he got back he announced that he had toothache. So I got him to ring the dentist, but they cannot fit him in until Monday morning, so I think he may have a painful weekend. His toothache did not stop him eating his lunch, which in keeping with our toast once a week menu, we had Spagetti on Toast today, with fruit and yogurt for pudding. After lunch I went down to the office with a new batch of hand knitted dishcloths, which the shop sells for me. I wanted to make sure they had enough whilst I am out cruising. The shop in the Arm is also a meeting place for people, who are in the Arm for Winter and for visitors who pass through. Our meeting room The Cedar Room was book out for the day, so we had people coming and going. Even though it is Winter, the Arm is still full of life and wildlife. The Kingfisher has been around again, landing on people’s boats. It is always a joy to see the Kingfisher.

As the afternoon wore into the evening, rain set in and the temperature began to drop, so I re-lit the back cabin stove, to take the chill off the cabin before bedtime.

It was the ‘The Great Pottery Throw Down’ and tonight’s challenge was to create ceramics with the theme of Japanese style ceramics. The potters were asked to make a sake set, which they did incredibly well, some of them were beautiful. Their Throw Down was a 15 minute session at the wheel to see how many rice bowls they could make. It was a brilliant program Nam won pot of the week and James rightfully went home. I did however think Ryan’s sake set was stunning in black and white.
Their Spot Test was to carve an intricate design into a lantern using a technique known as ‘the devil’s work’. There were again some nice designs. This series is already getting very good, just a shame we will not see it to the end, because we will be off cruising soon.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wet Wednesday.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

How was your Valentine’s Day?

Did you get proposed too?

Or did you get forgotten?

Today we had a day out in Royal Leamington-Spa. We caught the G1 bus, I had to pay £4.90 for a day rider, but Keith used his bus pass. I am so looking forward to the day when I get mine. Knowing my luck, by that time they will have stopped doing them. Anyway we were meeting up with our friend Maxine for lunch and so took the opportunity to go in early and get some shopping done. There were several things we wanted from Poundland, which included dog biscuits and micro cloths. We also went into Wilko to buy Universal cartridges for our water filter. For a box of three it cost me £3, so I bought two boxes and these should last us whilst we are out cruising. All our shopping now is to do with making sure we have a stock of things for when we are away. Just after 10 am we went into Wetherspoons for a cup of tea and who should be there but our neighbour and friend, so we joined them for a natter over our lovely warming mug of tea. Chatter done, we all went off in different directions, we headed off to the road with all the charity shops in it and did not find anything of interest in any of them. We must have been in half a dozen shops and nothing jumped out and said “buy me”. Some of the shops have gotten so expensive now, I guess that is because of where they are, but it puts us off buying. Whilst walking past a shop, I spotted in the window this adorable dolls house.

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Everything including the house were handmade. It reminded me of a dolls house, that used to be in the library of a house my grandmother used to work in. This dolls house was huge and was also handmade. It had lighting and was stunning. As a child I would be able to go and look at the dolls house, but I was most definitely not allowed to touch anything. Funny how seeing the one in the shop window bought back a childhood memory.

It was now 11.45 am and we were meeting our friend at 12 noon outside of Oriental Star our favourite Chinese Buffet.

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We quickly nipped into Tesco Extra for sweetner’s and Robert Dyas for a nosey. Maxine was then waiting for us to arrive. We always love meeting up for a chat and catch-up over lunch. The buffet is always fantastic, with a wide selection. Well worth a visit, if your in Royal Leamington-Spa. Lunch over, Maxine had to leave for home and we wanted to walk to Aldi to do our food shop. Joy of joy it was raining, but thankfully not to heavily. Walking the mile or so to Aldi was a great way to walk off our lunch. By the time we reached Aldi the weather was most definitely turning wetter. We did our food shop and bought a couple of extra’s. It was very noticeable that Valentine’s Day had not gone well for Aldi, because they still had a lot of things for sale. The flowers seemed to be going well, maybe because they were reduced. Food paid for and rucksacks on our backs we set off for the bus stop in what was now yucky rain, which was getting heavier. The bus stop does not have a shelter, so we had to brave the rain, which does not really bother us. We caught the X18, which went the quick way to Warwick bus station and then caught the G1 to outside the Arm, this was good because it meant we did not get drenched.

I stowed away all the goodies we bought. Marmite wanted to see what was in the bags as I took everything out. Marmite cannot help herself when it comes to boxes and bags. If she can get in it, she will.

With the weather now closing in, we were glad to be nice and snug on board, the TV went on and coffee was made. That would be our day done.

Before I go though, I spotted this sign outside a Barber’s in Warwick.

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I think ladies hairdressers are missing out on a trick here. If men can have Whiskey and Beer, then why can’t us ladies have Wine and Beer, or Whiskey if they prefer. I wonder if the hair cut is more expensive? I guess I should have asked. But I think it is a brilliant idea.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valentine’s Day.

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Hi Friends and followers.

HAPPY  VALENTINE’S DAY. I have never been one to go wild over Valentine’s Day. Keith and I used to buy each other and a small gift, when we first got together, but we then decided that we would not bother. Last year bought me a lovely pair of earrings, I had seen in an Antiques Centre. This year Keith bought me a very pretty charm.

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I have not decided whether to put a Silver chain with it or to wear it on my earrings. I took Keith out for lunch. I said “we can go anywhere you like”. His choice of place was Wetherspoon’s. We did both have a lovely meal, Keith had the Singapore Noodles with extra Chicken and I had the Chicken Tikka Masala. Both dishes were as good as always.

I have never been over the top with Valentine’s Day, because like other celebration days, it has been over commercialised. It is written that In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around £1.3 billion is spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent. Just think of all those tree’s which were chopped down to make the cards?

Monday, 13 February 2017

Another Monday.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

Last night (Sunday), we had a late night having been to a pub quiz. When we got home, I made a cup of tea and we sat down and watched ‘Live at the Apollo’. I did not get into bed until 12.30 am, which is incredibly late for me. I am normally in bed by 10 pm.

7 am and I was awake, so there was only one thing for it and that was to make the first brew of the day and watch the BBC 1 News and Weather. As always it was hard to find any good news, but the weather was looking more hopeful for the middle of the week, when we are told the temperature will get back into double figures.

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Today was Paddy’s weigh-in day, so after he had been for his first stroll of the day and had his breakfast, we set off to the vet’s. I am sure he knows the route we take, so I took him a different way, that got him confused and it was not until we got close to the surgery, he began pulling on the lead. Paddy loves the vets. His weigh-in revealed he has gone up to 16.1 kg, which I think is the highest he has ever been. Now whilst this was great, we do have to think about keeping it under control, because if he puts on to much weight, it will affect his week back legs. This past couple of weeks he has been playing with his food, so I was told to cut his food back a little for a while to see if he gets back to his normal eating pattern, so we will give that a go.

Back home, I got on with sorting the fires out and Keith was working on things for his railway. Tom and Jan came into the Arm to get Waiouru pumped out. We arranged to have a coffee and a natter in the afternoon. Tom arrived during the afternoon, with the sad news that Jan was not feeling to well, which was a real shame. I think between Tom, Keith and I we managed to put the whole world to right in the space of two hours. It is amazing how quickly time flies when you are having fun. All to soon we said cheerio to Tom. Both he and Jan will be heading off tomorrow, so we may not see them again this year. We of course wish them well on their travels and with the future.

Miserable.

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Hi friends and followers.

Blimey what a damp and dank Sunday. No sign of the sun and the temperature was cold, so I stoked up the saloon stove and re-lit the back cabin stove, to keep the chill off the cabin. It must have been chilly last night, because Marmite decided to sleep at the bottom of the bed last night. She spent ages going round and round and scratching at the duvet to make her bed. I think she eventually settled, as I fell asleep so have no idea if she stayed on the bed or moved. She was not on the bed when I woke up.

Paddy got his walk and on a Sunday through the Winter I open the site up, so the car park and middle gate needed unlocking. It was raining, so Paddy was not best pleased and was quick to do his business, so he could get home quickly. Marmite was sat on the step in the back cabin screaming for her breakfast, she really hates to wait, whereas Paddy got into his bed and just sat there waiting for his biscuits. I really think Paddy could teach Marmite a bit of patience. With them both fed and breakfast done, I got the coal in for the day, emptied the ash buckets and got rid of the rubbish. Oh joy of joy when I walked into the Elsan shed. Someone had taken the hose off of the tap and left the tap running, so there was water everywhere. Thankfully we have a drain in the floor, so most of the water had gone down the drain, but why do people have to do things like this. They should leave it as they find it. The hosepipe is on the tap for a reason and there is absolutely no reason why it should be taken off. I cleaned up the surface around the Elsan, before leaving. Grrrrr

Lunch today was to be Liver and Onion’s. Once prepared, I put it on the stove to slow cook, the smell was wafting through the boat, which made my tummy rumble. I do love Liver, which is a little odd, because as a child I could not stand it. I am the same with Sprouts. I could not eat them as a child, but I love them now.

The afternoon was spent watching Rugby. Poor Scotland got beaten by France. I felt so sorry for the Scotland players who got battered at time by France, whose pack was a lot heavier than there’s. Greig Laidlaw limped off with an ankle injury and from then on it was down hill, with head injuries to follow.

Our evening entertainment was a pub quiz, which we almost came last in. We were saved by half a point. It is true to say we missed Maria in our team, she had to work.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

It snowed.

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Hi Friends and followers.

As the title say’s. It snowed, not a lot, but we did wake up to a dusting of the white stuff. If I had my way we would have five feet of the stuff and I would not be able to see over the top of it, unless I stood on my tippy toes, because I am five foot tall. The last time I recall that happening, it would have been in the 1980’s, when where I lived the snow was over the hedgerows and it was like walking and driving through a toboggan run. It was really fabulous. Yes I know it is not for everyone, I appreciate that, but I am just saying I love it. Maybe I should be living in the Artic?

So yes we woke to a dusting and nippy temperatures. It did not get down below zero, but the temperature did not get over 3 c all day and we kept having flurries of snow and sleet. This sort of weather does not stop boat chores having to be done though. So my chores as usual were stoking the fires, getting rid of the ash and rubbish, emptying the toilet cassette and a laundry wash. In this morning’s wash were the Summer cratch ropes. We have two sets of ropes, a Winter set and a Summer set. The Summer set are white, whereas the Winter set is off White. I wanted to get the Summer set washed ready for when we set off in March. White’s all done and drying, I turned my attention to a nice warming coffee and a catch-up on my e-mails. I always giggle at the junk mail. I never open anything that I know nothing about, but I do enjoy the titles and subjects. Today’s treats were for flowers for Valentine’s Day, Erectile dysfunction and PPI. On Social Media, the new Channel Five program Carry On Barging seemed to be top of the discussion list. Many people complaining about the title and the use of Barging, because it is narrow boating and no one is barging anywhere, depending on how you read the word. Anyway once you get past the title. it is about four celebrities Debbie McGee, Simon Callow, Lorraine Chase and Nigel Havers learning the fine art of narrow boating. This week they were on the Kennet and Avon Canal. There was also complaints about them hitting a moored boat and possibly going to fast. I think people have failed to realise that they are like first time hirers. They have to learn the fine art of mastering a boat which can have a mind of its own. Of course hitting someone’s boat is not something anyone should do, but I bet every first time hirer has done it at one time or another. They did not show the response of the boat owner, but I got the impression from listening to Simon Callow, the boater owner was less than impressed, which I can also understand. My reaction would have been to go out and fend them off and explain to them in calm terms the error of their steering. There is little point shouting and screaming and particularly if it includes bad language. Nothing is gained by bad language. It clearly affected Simon’s confidence, because he did not steer the next day.4

After lunch, it was time to get settled in for the long haul. With the weather being so miserable, there was nothing else to do but watch TV.

Rugby Six Nation’s again this weekend. So my afternoon and evening were taken up watching Ireland V Italy and England V Wales. The Ireland game was slow compared to the England V Wales, which was played at quite a pace, with England coming out on top in the end.

The evening’s entertainment on TV was so poor, that we sat and watched ‘The Hunger Games’. We had seen film one several times, but Keith bought me the collection for Christmas, so we decided to sit and watch those until we could not keep our eyes open any longer and our bed called. We watched three out of the four discs and really enjoyed the films.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Nippy days and coffee with friends.

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Hi Friends.

After yesterday’s coal stacking escapade, I thought this morning I would be waking up as stiff as a board, but no I was actually quite good, even my ribs and sternum were alright, which was a bonus, because I am hoping to stay off the Amitriptyline.

Nippy day, so both the stoves were lit early doors, to make sure we stay nice and snug. Keith was off to the DIY shop Torry’s to get some paint and brushes for his railway, but before he left, we lifted out the empty gas bottle from the front locker. We will get the gas bottle replaced tomorrow by Ian, who was not in today. For some odd reason I had thought we needed two replacing, but much to my surprise it was only the one, so the bank balance will not be hit to hard, before we head out cruising.

We had a bit of list on this morning, mainly due to us not stacking the coal evenly, but also the water level was down a little, so I moved some coal over the starboard side, to level us up a bit. I dare say I will be moving it back once we are level water wise.

Before I go any further, I want to comment on something that happened yesterday. There was breaking news on the BBC that Tara Palmer-Tomkinson had died at the age of 45 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour last year. That is so incredibly sad, to die so young. What annoyed me was that having said that she is the God-daughter of Prince Charles, the reporter then began to talk about her life, which is fair enough, but I really felt there was absolutely no need to go into her drug addiction. It was totally irrelevant to the fact this poor woman had died. Everyone does something in their life, that later they regret. I just felt it was crass and out of order. Ok rant over for now. May TPT as she was known by rest in peace. Smile

Jan on Tom off of narrowboat Waiouru are out on the towpath outside the Arm and the plan was to go and visit them whilst they are here. At 2pm we closed the boat up and headed off to join them on their lovely boat. It is amazing how quickly three hours goes by, when you are nattering about anything and everything. I think we must have put the world to right in that three hours. Hopefully we will see them again before they head off. I will be making the coffee this time.

The weather forecast for this evening is for a chilly night, with a frost and possible snow flurries. Bring on the snow please, I would love it. –1 c they are saying, so it will be icy in the morning and a cold weekend. I am never cold whilst living on the boat. How can I possibly be cold with two coal stoves? It always fascinates me how the forecaster say it is freezing when in fact it is not really that cold, well not in my opinion.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Busy old day.

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Hello Friends.

According to Carol Kirkwood on the BBC1 Weather forecast, the weather is set to get colder over the next few days, so today was the day to make a start on getting our boat ready for setting off on March 1st.

One of the biggest jobs, was to put all the remaining coal on the boat and as far forward as possible to bring the bow down in the water, this will make it easier for me to get on and off the bow with my short legs. At times being short is a wonderful thing, but not when you are trying to climb on the bow when the bank is a little suspect. We had stored some of our coal in the bunker and on a pallet, it amounted to almost a tonne of coal. Keith and I got the coal out of the bunker and whilst I stacked the bags in the hold, Keith handed the coal to me from the pontoon. We work well together, so it did not take us to long.

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Whilst doing this the postman came with my card and envelopes for my photographic cards and with the ‘Game of Thrones DVD’s I bought off of Ebay. Like a small child. I was eager to open my DVD’s and check they were in good condition, because you never know when buying from Ebay, even if the seller say’s they are in good condition, what they consider good and what I consider good are to different things. I opened the parcel and checked through season’s 1 and 2 and all was fine. Got to seasons 3 and 4 and there was a disc missing from 4. Oh joy thought I. So onto Ebay I went and left a message for the seller. I said to Keith “I bet they have left it in the DVD player and forgot to check that all the discs were in the cases”. Low and behold sometime later I got a reply to my message, apologising for the missing disc, and yep I was right, it was found in the DVD player. The good news is they are going to send it to me ASAP, so no harm done.

With the coal all stacked and hold tidied, we put everything back in the bunker, it appears we have had visitors of the rat variety. So Keith put a board down on the floor to cover the hole in the floor, I would love to see them get through that. Job done and all washed up, we left the boat and walked into town to buy some batteries and to get Keith’s waterproof jacket dry cleaned and re-waterproofed. The dry cleaner suggested we washed it ourselves and he would then waterproof it for us, because according to the numerous symbols on the label inside the jacket, it cannot be dry cleaned. I looked at the symbols, but apart from the washing machine and temperature one the others were double dutch. So I will wash the jacket and the dry cleaner will waterproof the jacket for us for £3.

As neither Keith or I had, had any breakfast, we decided to have an early lunch in Wetherspoon’s. We both went for the large Vegetarian Breakfast and a mug of tea and to say it went down well is an understatement. Having enjoyed a splendid breakfast come lunch, we walked around the Charity shops, picking up a couple more DVD’s for £2, a light weight jacket for Keith for £3 and a fleece for £4.99. Keith’s old fleece is going to be cut up to make a new mop head for the boat. Nothing gets wasted on our boat, if I can find away of recycling something I will.

Back home, I needed to tend to the saloon stove, which I had forgotten to make up during the morning. I also relit the back cabin stove, because the temperature was most definitely dropping. Some places are possibly getting snow, I wonder if we will have any?

During the afternoon, I looked on Ebay for season’s 5 and 6 of Game of Thrones, they are going for pretty high prices, so I may well wait for a while, or look in the charity shops. But I will get them eventually.

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I think Paddy got a little confused, or he just felt like lying under his bed. He does do some funny things. Marmite walked past him and you could see what she was thinking. That dog is losing it big time.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

It’s a start.

Hi Friends.

Beautiful start to the day today. The sun was out and all was well in my world.

Morning jobs included laundry, stoking fires, emptying bins, cooking lunch and making coffee several times.

When I sat down for my 10 am coffee, I was checking through my social media and came across this picture, which was posted by a friend.

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This is not yet going to be rolled out across the country as far as I know, but in Lincolnshire they are going to tackle to problem of dog poo. I reckon it is one of my biggest pet hates, because if you own a dog you should clean up after it. I have dog poo bags in pretty much every pocket of clothing and I have been known to offer dog owners a bag if they have not got one. I do not use doggie poo bags, I buy the scented nappy bags. You can buy something like 200 bags for £1, so what is the excuse?

I do have issues with this new ruling though. How many patrol officers will there be and can they really police this?

I agree wholeheartedly with owners being made to keep their dogs under control. In my opinion, no dog should be off its lead unless it is in the middle of open ground somewhere and no dog should be running free in a children’s play area. No matter how well you think you know your dog, the slightest thing can make them turn. Our old boy is an angel, but do I trust him? No

I hope other councils watch and learn and maybe roll this out, but to make it work, they need people on the ground.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Rugby all the way.

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Hi Friends.

What a fabulous weekend of sport. Of course if your not a rugby fan then it will have passed you by without any recognition. Saturday’s match Scotland v Ireland, was a brilliant match, with Scotland coming out the winners 27-22. Greig Laidlaw’s face said it all about the win and how much it meant to the team and fans. It was a great way to start the 6 nations. The England v France match in some ways was more brutal and not as pretty, but England kept up their winning streak with a 19-16. I cannot help but feel they will need to do better than they did against France though. Match three was Wales v Italy. the 33-7 score line does not really tell the story of an Italy who really were up for this match and how hard they worked, but in the end the number of penalties they gave away meant Wales got the upper hand in the second-half and a much needed win. If the games were anything to go by, we are in for a great 6 nations.

With the Rugby being on, all jobs got done in the morning over the weekend and then it was Rugby all the way, oh and films. Sunday evening we went and joined in with a pub quiz and got to the dizzy heights of 2nd place out of 7 teams. Last time we played we finished 4th out of 6 teams. The only problem with doing to well, is your expected to keep it up.

Monday morning arrived again, and because of us getting to bed at midnight, I was not awake until 8 am, which for me is late. With it being 8 am I still enjoyed my cup of tea in bed, whilst watching the morning news and weather. Mind you it was so nippy in the back cabin, I did not need Carol Kirkwood to tell me we had a heavy frost over-night and our temperature got down to –3.5 c. Just past 8.30 am Paddy began to stir, so it was time to crawl out from beneath what was a lovely snug duvet and climb into my boat working clothes, because today I was in the mood to get a few jobs done.

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Back from walking Paddy, he and Marmite got their breakfast, and I got on with job one, which was to sweep both chimneys. It was a pleasant surprise to find both of them pretty clear. Job two was to take the nappies out from under the floor in the back cabin and in the galley. All the nappies were full of water and ready to be changed. I disposed of them and the cold ash from the stoves in the bin store. I always put our cold ash in old coal bags as we do not have anywhere to put it here on the mooring. Time for coffee and a thought as to what other things I could do. Lunch was put in the stove to cook, we were having left over Chicken stew and Dumplings. I always love Dumplings on a cold day. Whilst I did that, Keith got on with trimming Paddy’s paws. We keep the fir on his feet trimmed and his claws cut. We have done them since the day we got him, although I am thinking I may get the vet to do his claws next time, because he is getting non to happy with me doing them these days. I think it is his old age. Like all men he is getting grumpy (JOKING). With the remains of Paddy’s hair on the floor, it was time to hoover through the boat, which sent Marmite fleeing to the back cabin. She hates the hoover.

After lunch, which was scrummy, I got on with some crochet whilst watching Film4. Oh talking about films, I have become hooked on ‘Game of Thrones’. You may remember I got the first series from a charity shop. Having watched the first series, I decided to get the next three off of Ebay, they should be arriving this week. When we will go out cruising in March, we can sit and watch them as we do not bother with the TV when we are out. We have a large DVD collection, which keeps us amused on miserable days.

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Today marks The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee.

It has been 65 years since Her Majesty acceded to the throne.

On 6 February 1952, King George VI sadly died following a prolonged illness. Princess Elizabeth immediately acceded to the throne, becoming Queen Elizabeth II and taking on all of the responsibilities which came with her new title.

In the photograph, The Queen is wearing a suite of sapphire jewellery given to her by King George VI as a wedding gift in 1947.

What an incredible reign this amazing woman has had. I love this new photograph of her, she looks so beautiful. Long may she reign.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Happy Friday.

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Hello Friends.

Yes it is Friday. Where did the week go. The first weekend of February is almost upon us and I still cannot believe January has passed by. It looks like it will be another year which flies by. Whoosh and I will miss it no doubt.

Yesterday I forgot to post, I do apologise. It was a pretty uneventful day. The highlight being the sorting out of the bathroom sink hot tap. I know, I know I lead an exciting existence. The problem with the hot tap was it was running slower and slower, mainly due the fact that we were having problems with turning it on. So Keith decided to tackle it (not literally). The spanners came out and he was on the job. I did have to look on You Tube to see if they had a video on this tap, because Keith could not get the gubbins out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR6vnfNLr-8.

Eventually with a bit of effort, it did come out and the washer was fine, even though it has been in there for 10 years. I cleaned up the taps bits and Keith then put it all back together. Hey presto the hot taps works perfectly now and for once this was a boat job that only took 10 minutes and not hours, because something has gone wrong.

So here we are a little closer to the weekend and Storm Doris has not yet put in an appearance and I think she is no longer a storm, so maybe they will keep Doris for the next one, should it decide to kick off.

It was such a pleasure to see the sun this morning. It has been do drab of late and rather moist. I am really wanting to get out on the garden, but see little point of coming in caked in mud. One of my jobs this morning was to do the laundry. It was bed turning day. I like to turn the mattress and I therefore change the bottom sheet and pillowcases and turn the duvet. Our mattress is in three parts, so we can put it in our cupboard, so once a fortnight I change the three section around, so they wear evenly. Bed stripped and turned, off to the laundry for a quick wash. People on site always gather in the laundry and end up nattering. This mornings topics included Brexit, Trump and Sugar Free Farm. Such a diverse range. Not getting political on here, so not talking about Brexit or Trump. The one thing I will say is I know Brexit is used for short, but I actually hate the word. As for Sugar Free Farm, it was a good program and has made me and others here think. The interesting thing for me was the low fat spread and what goes into it. I am thankful I cannot have it and have to have butter. Laundry all done, and hung on the boat, it was time for a coffee and the usual catching up on e-mails and social media.

After lunch, I took myself off into town to get myself a trim. I had been putting it off, as I wanted to wait until we were about to go cruising, but today I just felt like I needed to get it done. I only ever have a dry trim. I have allergies to some shampoo’s, so prefer to wash my hair before going to the hairdressers. Having long hair means a dry trim only takes a few minutes and then I am done. Today it only cost me £10, so that was a bonus.

Paddy

This was Paddy in 2007.

Home on the boat, Paddy our ageing Boarder Collie, so showing his age. He is being very picky with eating, and I am just hoping this is not the slippery slope to him leaving us for the Rainbow bridge. He has been dodgy on his back legs this past few weeks as well and at 13 years old, we know it is only a matter of time. We will know when it is his time and we are not going to let him suffer.

Well it is now time to sign off and put the laptop away. I wish you a wonderful weekend and I will see you on the other side.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Wet, wet, wet.

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Hi Friends.

It is a soggy start to Wednesday and it is not going to improve for the rest of the week. We are being told, Storm Doris maybe coming to call, so we may need to batten down the hatches, but we shall see. Carol Kirkwood warned this morning that although the weather front for Friday has no name yet, it could be upgraded to Storm Doris. Doris was my grand-mother’s name and she was a meek and mild woman, so lets hope the storm has her traits.

Because of the weather forecast for the rest of the week, Keith decided he was going food shopping today, instead of tomorrow, so I did him a list and off he went with rucksack and trolley. Unfortunately it was already raining when he left, so he would be coming home a little soggy around the edges. With him off food shopping, I got on with cleaning out my cupboard.

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When I say mine, Keith and I have a cupboard each in the saloon behind our chairs, which we use for all our bits and bobs. Mine has been getting very untidy of late, so today was tidy day. I have found the best way to do such a job, is to take everything out and then go through the contents, before putting back the things I wanted to keep. I always love it when I have tidied something and it all looks organised.

Next job was to clean out and stoke the fire, which is always a dusty job, so afterwards I got the hoover out and ran that through the boat. Floors and mats all hoovered, I got on with washing all the floors, including the engine room floor. Phew time for a coffee and a catch-up on e-mails and social media.

Blazing from a papers headline ‘Bursting balloons is louder than a shotgun blast - and can even make you DEAF’. Oh cone on, shall we all ban Balloons now? I have a vision of children turning up for parties and being supplied with ear defenders. Lets get real please. I know that some children and people are scared of balloons bursting and I completely understand that, but this is really getting silly. I thought it was madness, when children were told they could only play Conkers if they wore gloves and safety goggles. Stop, Stop wrapping our children and grandchildren in cotton wool.

E-mails and social media caught up on, Keith was back from his food shopping trip to Aldi. For anyone reading my ramblings for the first time. Keith has taken over the food shopping. We used to have Tesco deliveries once a fortnight, but since Keith got his bus pass, he has taken to going to Aldi, which has cut our food bill by quite a lot and it keeps Keith fit. When he arrives back at the boat, I always take the trolley and rucksack from him and stow away all the goodies for the week. Treat for this week is their Indian Meal for 2 for £3.49. We have had one before and it is very good. Tesco’s can be as much a double. Neither of us are huge ready meal fans, but sometimes it is nice for a change. Today’s lunch was Ham and Pineapple Pizza with added Red Pepper and Mozzarella Cheese and for pudding fresh fruit with Greek Yogurt.

I still have not started my cross stitch, this mainly because other things have taken over my life. 1 being my family tree, 2 crocheting new baby blankets.

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This one will be lilac and white. I finished the pale green and white one. I now have something else to be doing. For Christmas my friend sent me a knit your own scarf box. In it there are knitting needles, wool and so called instructions, not that I need instructions to knit a scarf, but the instructions do not tell you how many stitches to use for the amount of wool they have given you, so I am going to have to guess.

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I think 3 projects on the go is enough right now. The scarf will not take me long, although this funny yarn takes some getting used too. I think perhaps I will keep my cross stitch for when we are out cruising this year. I am already collecting DVD’s for the trip, as we do not use the TV when we are out, we just watch DVD’s. After lunch, we walked up into town and whilst in there I bought ‘The Deer Hunter’, ‘The Book Thief’ and ‘Last Knights’, all for 99 pence each. Our DVD collection is pretty eclectic, Keith likes things like Alien, but I cannot watch it. I end up having nightmares. I am more into chick flicks and things like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I think that is why I am really into ‘Game of Thrones’ right now. I loved the first series and hope to get the next four series before we head out, that will give us plenty to watch.

Despite the gloom of the morning, most of the afternoon was dry and it actually felt more like Spring. The bulbs are coming through and the birds were singing. Unfortunately it is not going to last.

Canal Life - Past

Barging Along - WW II film promoting Britain's inland waterways

Renfrew and Lucy

British Waterways There Go the Boats





Fabulous film.

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