*****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, 20 October 2018

Homeward Bound Day 5.

Hello friends and followers.

We must be the luckiest people in the world right now for the weather, because yet again we woke up to a beautiful Autumnal morning. There was a nip in the air and a little bit of mist around, but the sun was already trying to wake up along with us both.
We set off from Rugby at 8.35am, destination Hillmorton Locks. But before reaching the locks, we enjoyed the morning glow. In the distance a hot air balloon was up, which has been the first one we have seen this year. I saw a Muntjac deer in a small wooded area, browsing away without a bother that we were passing with our noisy old boat. The Kingfisher was ahead of us and a Heron flew behind us, making me realise life just does not get much better.
We arrived at Hillmorton Locks and a lock keeper was on duty. He waved us to the towpath side lock, which was empty. He helped a hire boat down on the offside lock, whilst I got us through lock one. The lock keeper was most surprised, when he saw me stepping from gate to gate to get to the otherside. He reckoned he had never seen a lady do this. So I was his first. I always open a gate and then step over the void to get to the other gate. Of course this can only be done on single locks and unless you are very sure of foot, you should not attempt it. We thanked the lock keeper for his help and moved onto lock two, which had boats coming down, so we just went straight in once they had vacated the lock of course. The third and final lock was ready for us, so we had had a smooth passage up the pretty locks, with amazing volunteer lockies, who are always so chatty.
Having left the locks behind, we cruised on our way. There were lots of boats coming towards us and we were very mindful that on this twistie and turnie section of canal, we were likely to meet a boat or two in bridge 'oles. It turned out our caution was unfounded, because we met them all on the straight bits.
Soon Braunston Church was view. It is a beacon to boaters that they are nearing Braunston.
On the run in, a lovely lady on a boat named Florence waved us past, and we headed into Braunston aware that it being a weekend, we may not get a mooring. We passed the first lot of moorings and nothing doing, but then just as we passed The Boat House Inn, a 70ft boat was pulling out, so we pulled in. Now that was a result, because no sooner moored up, there were a heck of a lot of boats passing us looking for moorings. Many of them went and winded at the marina and came back past us. Phew.
All moored up, we stood and had a natter with Sheila and Jim on Islonian. We have not seen them for ages, so an hour went by in the blink of an eye. After a coffee, we went to Midland Chandlers to get some fire rope, weedhatch tape and some more fire cement. None of it was to costly, but always handy to have on board. The rest of my day will be spent, cooking dinner, walking the dog and putting my feet up. Tomorrow is a day off and possibly lunch out.

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 19 October 2018

Homeward Bound Part 4.

Hello Friends and Followers.

After a peaceful nights sleep, we woke this morning to a cold start and mist upon the water at Hartshill.
It was a cracking start to the day and a joy to walk Paddy amongst the mist. We set off this morning at 9am and wound our way through the mist, which was eerie but beautiful. I never ever get fed up with seeing mornings like this morning. I do however get fed up with those who leave their rubbish all over the towpath and in the water. I am also noticing that magnet fisher people are also leaving what they have dragged up along the towpath. If you are going to pull it out of the water at least have the decency to dispose of the findings properly, because it is a sure bet, that it will end up back in the cut. Today it seemed to be the day for people speeding through bridge 'oles. What is that all about?
We always approach bridge 'oles on tickover, especially when the bridge 'ole is a blind approach. Three times today we were so glad we were on tickover, because boats approaching from the other direction came through at a break neck speed. Just as well we knew what we were doing.
At 11.55am we took the turn at Hawkesbury Junction and into Sutton Stop Lock.
We found a new crew member at the lock. Poor Bagpuss, is in need of a good wash and a loving home. I will be giving it both.
Geese in a flap at Ansty. At Hawkesbury and Ansty the visitor moorings were lacking boats, which has to be a first for us.
Autumn colours at Newbold Tunnel.
We arrived in Rugby at 4.35pm and are now relaxing for the evening.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Homeward Bound Part 3.


Hi Friends and Followers.

Last night we were treated to a fantastic sunset over Willington. There is always something so special about a magical sunset and with the red sky at night, came a glorious morning.
There was a chill in the air when I took Paddy out for his first walk of the day, but it was still stunning.
Once breakfast was eaten, I relit the back cabin stove, filled the Copper kettle and got the boat ready for the off at 8.40am. We seemed to be the only boat moving for sometime, so had the cut to ourselves in the early morning sunshine.
The Autumnal colours were evident again through Hopwas wood. There is something truly breath taking about Autumn and all it has to offer. Of course we all know we are on the downward spiral to Winter, so just make the most of the Autumn whilst you can.
First locks of the day were at Glascote.
We then cruised on past the Samuel Barlow at Alvecote and stopped at Grendon services to empty the loo and get rid of the rubbish. No water was needed, as we filled up yesterday and we should now be fine until we get home next week. Lunch was Bacon butties on the move. I love it when I can cook on the back cabin stove. When I am not cooking, then the kettle is always boiling.
We arrived at the bottom of the Atherstone flight at 1.40pm, so decided as it was still early we would carry on up the 11 locks. Joy of joy the locks were in our favour and when they were not, it was because a boat was coming down. We only had one lock against us, which has to be a first. We completed the flight in just under 2 hours.
We moored up at Hartshill at 4.30pm. I swept the saloon flue and then got on with doing us something for dinner. Paddy got a walk and his lunch, which was rather late, because he will not eat when we are on the move. He has his tea to eat later on when Keith has walked him. A fantastic days cruising. Now looking forward to a peaceful evening and an early night.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Homeward Bound Part 2

Hiya friends and followers.

Following on from yesterday's post. I had one of those nights which drive me mad. I slept on and off. Paddy was on the move most of the night, which meant I lay awake listening to him rummaging around. I am not sure what he was up to. It may just have been he was restless. Anyway a disturbed night for me. On waking up after short nap, I made us a cuppa and then got the back cabin stove going. We left our mooring near the aqueduct at Rugeley at 9 am and headed to a mooring in Rugeley, where we could moor up and go food shopping. One space available, which was a result, because we fitted in it. 9.20 am we set off with trolleys in tow to walk to Aldi, where we picked up what we required. Back at the boat, I stowed the shopping away, whilst Keith got the boat on the move at 10.10 am. Food stowed away, I made us both a coffee.
We had a lovely start to the day with the weather warming up and the sun doing its very best to come out.
The Autumnal colours are really beautiful. I got on and cooked us some Bacon butties, as we headed for our first lock of the day.
We arrived at Woodend Lock to find there were three boats in front of us. One of the boats asked us to go ahead of them, which we thought was very kind. In no time at all we were all down through the lock and heading towards Fradley Locks.
We turned onto the Coventry Canal at Fradley Junction at 1.30pm. We took on water on one of the slowest taps on the system in my opinion.
All in all we had a fabulous days cruising, with a few boats on the move.
We are moored up for the night near to Whittington.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Homeward Bound.

Hello friends and followers.

It has been an amazing few days. We spent the weekend at a private party at our boat builders, with lots of wonderful people. There was a lot of chatter, laughter and fun, but all good things come to an end and now we are heading home.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Fungi and Acorn.

Hello friends and followers.

There are somethings you just have to smile about in the Autumn. I smile at the colours which brighten any Autumnal dull day. Today my heart was gladdened by the sight of Fungi.












The sight of a toad stall made my smile a mile wide. I always associate these with fairies. The colours are so beautiful.
More fungi.
No idea the name, but it was pretty.
Lots of fungi.
Such a delight to behold.
And finally the pretty Acorn.

Pop back soon xx

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

To Stafford and back.

Hi Friends and Followers.

Have you enjoyed a good Tuesday?

I have had a lovely day, which began with the usual cuppa in bed, whilst listening to the local radio station, which this time is BBC Radio Stoke. This radio station is great. It makes me giggle. They are doing 50 ways, in 50 days for Children In Need. They are given modes of transport, which they must find and travel in a forward motion to complete the task. They have done paddle boarding, segway, horse, milk float, lorry and all done with degrees of hilarity.
When I eventually got up and dressed, Paddy was still very much asleep in his bed. These days, we have to wake him up, to then get him out for his walk. The old boy is beginning to struggle, which makes us fear that the day is drawing closer when we will have to make a decision, which no pet owner wants to have to make. But we have always said, we will not allow him to suffer. Anyway once he was up and got his legs in order, we had a nice stroll along the towpath in the sunshine. The birds were singing, which always gladdens the heart somewhat. Back on board and Paddy enjoyed his breakfast, at the same time as we ate ours.
Today we were going into Stafford.
It had been a year since we had been into the town and we were both interested to see how well it was doing since last years visit, which was disappointing due to all the shops which were empty. We caught the 101 bus, Keith using his bus pass and I had to pay £6 for a day ticket. Having arrived in the town, it was all to apparent that there were even more shops closed down and some of them big name stores. The M&S was empty because they have moved into the new shopping area, as have New Look.
The new area is very well situated, but it has meant in the town there are large buildings empty. On the plus side a new Wetherspoons has opened and it looks like some independent shops have opened. But it is still in need of some inspiration. Hopefully if we visit again, possibly next year we will see a turn around, because Stafford is a lovely town. We had lunch in the new Wetherspoons, having had a cup of tea at the old Wetherspoons, which is in the old cinema and in fact they still show films there on a Wednesday evening. It is well worth a visit and it has to be my favourite Wetherspoons. Going back to the new Wetherspoons the Butlers Bell, we had 2 meals from the menu for £8.99. We both had the Beef cottage pie, which was really lovely. I however could not believe my eyes, when a young lady on the table opposite us, sat there brushing her hair, whilst everyone around her was eating their food. Even when her lunch arrived, she carried on. Goodness knows what her boyfriend thought, but he was to engrossed in his phone, I think to take notice. To me it was the height of rudeness and not particularly hygienic.
Where have peoples table manners gone?
Having covered every corner of Stafford, we headed home on the 101 bus, to find Paddy still snoozing in his bed.
So my day was a lovely one. I did not spend a lot of money, in fact I bought some sweets and that was my lot, because there was nothing I really needed. Keith on the other hand bought some more bits for his railway.
As the evening is drawing in, I have lit the stove to keep the chill off and I will be spending the rest of my evening reading Daughters of Courage by Margaret Dickinson. I absolutely love her books. I may even do some more crocheting. Oh and on the mention of crocheting, I posted two more blankets off to The Border Collie Trust.

Pop back soon xx

Monday, 8 October 2018

Totally Connected?

Hi Friends and Followers.

Today has been a lovely day. I spent the morning drinking coffee and chatting to my dear friend T. We last saw each other last year and so had plenty to catch up on. We met at Wetherspoons and that was where we stayed for the whole time, because there was just so much to talk about. Whilst nattering, I could not help but notice the amount of people who were in the pub and were all on their phones and not talking to their partner or friends, hence the cartoon at the beginning.
I do not have a smartphone.
Why you ask?
Why, because I cannot get on with them. I am not someone who wants to be on her phone all day. I do not want to be checking it every five seconds and then spend hours walking around with it in my hand and not taking any notice of what is going on around me. I do not want the internet on my phone. If I want to use the internet, I will go on my laptop. I do not want music on my phone or a camera, but it seems you get the lot these days.
A good few years ago, when we were doing the coal run from market Harborough to Crick, we called into an O2 shop in Market Harborough to have our yearly upgrade, which we were allowed because Keith used to work for BT. I asked the young lady if I could just have a phone.
She said "this is the selection we have".
I replied "No I just want a phone. I do not want a camera, internet or music on it"
The young lady looked at me like I was 90 years old.
She replied "Sorry Madam, we do not do phones like that".
I ended up with a sony walkman phone, because it was as basic as I was going to get. I did like it but never used the gadgets.
Since that time, I have bought myself a Doro, which had big keys and I absolutely love it. I do not have the internet on it. It does have a camera, but I do not use it. For me I like keys to press and none of this swiping.
I see to many people totally ignoring the people they are with when we eat out, because their phones are more important. I even see people crossing the road whilst texting or checking their phones. People are sadly addicted to their mobile phones. I am pleased to say I am not. Yes I have it turned on each day, but I only check it if a text message should come through or the phone rings. Other than that I never look at the thing. The battery could run out and I would never know, because I quite often forget to even take it out with me. My phone gets turned on in the morning and turned off at 8pm at night. If I want to do the internet, then I will come on my laptop. I do not want to be contactable 24 hours a day 7 days a week thank you. So NO I am not totally connected and that is the way I like it. I enjoy Facebook, Twitter and my Blog, but in my own time. I have people sending me messages and wondering why I do not answer for hours or even days later. I end up having to explain to them. I am not online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I know some people will see that as me being strange, but that is just how I am. I will do what I want in my own time and when I see fit. I am not online to fit in with other people time schedules.
Sorry if this was a mini rant, but the internet whilst it can be a great tool for some many things, it has also taken over our lives, well not mine, but you know what I mean.

Am I wrong with my thinking?
Do I need to get with it?

Pop back soon xx

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Relaxing.

Hiya friends and followers.

You will have to forgive me if my posts for the next few days are not scintillating or exciting, but I am having a few days of doing very little, or that is the hope anyway. We are staying put for a few days, which will give us the chance to catch-up with friends. Yesterday we walked into Stone, to see what if anything had changed and I can say things were different. The farmers market was on for starters. The farmers market was on as part of the food and drinks festival, which we had decided we would not be going to because it was £7 a ticket. But we did enjoy the farmers market which was along the high street and was bustling with folk. Shops have come and gone and the biggest one was the Co-op, which has left a big hole in the town, but it looks like it maybe soon filled by another well known store, but we will see. On the whole Stone is doing pretty well as far as shops being taken up. There is also a new M&S food hall on Westbridge Park. It was felt that this happening saw the Co-op go, but who knows. Anyway Stone still has a lot of charity shops, which of course makes me very happy. There seems to be independent shops appearing in the town, which is always nice to see.
On our way back to the boat, we popped into the boat yard where our boat was built to say "Hello" to Roger and the others that were there. Even one of the Steve's who helped build out boat was there. we had not seen him for years, so it was wonderful to catch-up with him. having drunk coffee and chatted it was 5pm and time to get home to feed his lordship (Paddy) and get ourselves something to eat.

Today (Sunday).
It has been a day of crochet and listening to the radio. I did walk into Stone to see where the post office had moved too, because it was located in the Co-op. It seems it is relocating to further down the town and will be open on the 15th October. But we will be gone by then, so I will go into Stafford to post my latest blankets to The Border Collie Trust.
I have made six so far, but I am sending off two for now. Back on board the boat it was time to cook lunch and I felt the need for bubble and squeak. I love it with brown sauce and this time we had it with pasties. The rest of my Sunday was taken up with crochet and reading. Resting is helping with my Sciatica, so that is of course a bonus and my tablets are helping with my Costochondritis. All in all I will be just fine after a few days of not doing locks or heavy lifting. I really have to get to grips with my boundaries. The problem is in my head I am still 18, but my body is telling me something else. Oh the joys of getting older.

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 5 October 2018

Hadar's birthplace.

Hello friends and followers.

It maybe October, but it is oh so mild. We had an incredibly quiet night at Ingestre and having taken my pain medication, I slept well. I did wake at around 6am, because Paddy was having a wander around the boat. I drifted back to sleep until just before 7am, when I got up and made a cup of tea, to find Paddy fast asleep in his bed. With his age, we think senility maybe taking hold, to add to his problems and that is why he is wandering around in the night or early hours. After a nice morning brew, we were up and Paddy got his morning walk along a quiet towpath. Due to his back legs going wonky, he cannot cock his leg for very long these days, so quite often ends up weeing as he walks, which is not ideal, because his legs get wet. I do however giggle at times at his behaviour. Oh the joy of getting older. I just hope I do not end up doing that when I reach his age :-)

Once I had lit the back cabin stove, checked the water level in the cooling, washed up, tidied up and made coffee, we set off for Hadar's birthplace.
First of the locks was Weston Lock. Once through there, I put a laundry wash on, which was done by the time we reached Sandon Lock. I always use a quick wash, when on the move.
This sign at Sandon Lock looks back to a bygone time. I think it needs a new logo.
There were plenty of boats on the move, which meant we were fortunate at the remaining locks. It is always so handy when you reach a lock and someone is just coming out of it, especially as I am suffering with my Sciatica, and Costochondritis, A few days rest and my tablet will see me good though. I am not one for sitting down and not doing things, so I will not let any of it beat me.
We arrived into Stone, knowing that the Food and Drinks Festival was going on, so we did not think we would get a mooring below Star Lock, but we were fortunate to find one mooring spare and so we grabbed it. We wanted to go food shopping, so having moored up, we got out the trollies and headed off to Morrison's to get a few supplies. Stone was busy with people heading for the festival, so we were walking away from the festival site and everyone else was walking to it. Morrison's was pretty quiet, which suited us.
Back at the boat, I did not bother putting the food away. I put the trollies in the galley and we moved the boat forward to the water point to top up with water. Once that was done, I got Star Lock ready and off we went again.
Lime Kiln Lock was the last lock of the day.
Hadar's birthplace and a place we call home when we are not in Warwick.
We are moored up for a few days of rest and relaxation, plus a lot of catching up to do with friends.

Pop back soon xxx

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Penkridge and beyond.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Penkridge overnight was very quiet, but it did not stop me waking up at stupid o'clock. I think my body clock is having a melt down at the moment and no idea why. There was I awake and that then meant Keith was also awake, so yes you guessed it, I made us a cuppa. Once I am awake then there is very little chance of me going back to sleep properly, so we got up early and decided we would walk into Penkridge to have a look around the Antiques and Collectors Fair, which opens at 9am. Before heading off for the fair. I walked his lordship Paddy, we all had our breakfast and then i got on with a few boat chores.
We walked down to the fair and although there were a few interesting stalls, there was nothing on them that we wanted. However I did go into one of the charity shops and buy a pair of curtains, which I will use to make a door curtain and some cushion covers for the saloon. This will not be done until we are back home on our mooring though. I bought a pair of 72" x 44" curtains for £4.99 and I absolutely love the material.
Back on the boat, we took the decision to move off, so having had a coffee, lit the back cabin stove and got the boat ready for the off, we headed for Filance Lock and beyond at 10.35am, which is late for us.
Usually you can find yourself in a queue at Penridge Lock, but it was ready for us when we got there.
The Autumn colours are enough to gladden the heart.
Time for a dip and a drink.
There was plenty of boats on the move. We reckon that we saw more boats on the move today, than we saw throughout the Summer cruise. We certainly knew we were getting close to the T&M.
It was fabulous to see Magda on Wea-Ry-Tired. We had not expected to see her and so we only had time for a quick natter.
We left the Staffs and Worcs canal and turned onto the Trent and Mersey canal at 3.30pm.
Hoo Mill Lock done and time to find a mooring.
Moored at Ingestre for the night. As I was about to start writing this posting, there was a call "Hello, is anyone there". It was Snooty Coot. It was lovely to have a catch-up with them, before they set off in the fading light.
See you maybe tomorrow.

Pop back soon xxx

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