*****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.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****













Friday, 20 April 2018

Day 27: BCLM for the weekend.

Hello Lovely people.

Oh yay we are beginning to feel human again. I still have a headache and the snuffles and Keith has a sore throat and the snuffles, but it would appear the virus is going away. We woke up to a misty start but then the sunshine and decided to come out and so  decided we would move to The Black Country Living Museum for the weekend. It was just a short hop for us and only one space available.
The sun and the warmth, warmed my bones which was so lovely.
I love photographing odd things and the museum is a great place for this.
Lunch was fish and chips, after all it is Friday.
We had a catch up with people we know and even had a pint in the pub. Tomorrow I am going to have a cracking day, no matter how I feel, so do come back again to see why and what I got upto.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Day 26: Under the weather.

Hello Friends and Followers.

After the last couple of days of hard work and lots of down the weed hatch time, today it was stay put day.
Both of us were worn out last night and for me it was bed at 9.30pm with a headache making me feel rough. I put it down to being tired. So having slept like a log, I was displeased to wake up with the same headache and a cough keeping it company. Joy of joys both us us woke up feeling rough.
Most boaters know that living on the canal can come with its dangers and one of them is contracting Weil's Disease and with us both feeling the same, we decided we needed to get checked out.
Before popping into the medical centre, I had to walk Paddy, who I chivvied along a bit this morning, because I was not at my best. He normally does what is needed and wants his bed, but this morning with lots of new smells about he wanted to take his time. We eventually got back to the boat, I fed him and Marmite and then we headed to the medical centre to see if we could be seen by a GP. The receptionist took our concerns very seriously and booked us in for an afternoon appointment.
With the whole day ahead of us, I did a small amount of handwashing and hung it out on the back counter. That just about washed me out (no pun intended), so it was feet up and a coffee for the morning, until I had to cook lunch, which today was a Buttered Chicken Curry with Rice and a Naan Bread, followed by Fruit and Yogurt.
3.10pm we were seen by a GP at the medical centre and she was very good taking all our details, checking temperature etc. Weil's Disease is rare and she did not think that either of us was suffering with it, but she did think we may have picked up a virus. Her advice was if our symptoms should get worse then to go back or go to A&E. I am a little relieved because a friends partner died of Weil's disease and therefore it was uppermost in our minds. Hopefully tomorrow we will feel more ourselves. I will dose up with Paracetamol and have another early night I think.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Day 25: A devil of a job.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Wow well what can I say?
We are both absolutely knackered. After the issues with the mattress yesterday, once we arrived in Walsall and got ourselves organised, it as late when I did us something to eat. Both of us were in bed before 10pm and there I was thinking we would sleep like logs. Ha ha ha, how wrong was I. We both had such a restless night and it had nothing to do with problems with the locals, it was all down to the wind blowing a flippen hooley. Keith was feeling a little unwell, which caused us concern because of Weil's disease, which is something all boaters should be aware of, especially when the water is filthy, which it was yesterday. We were drinking tea at midnight, listening to the wind howling around the boat and waves lapping against the stern.
With us both having a fretful nights sleep, we wee awake early doors for another cuppa. We discussed what we would do with the day and decided that we would take an early walk around Walsall.
My first job was to walk Paddy and then feed him and Marmite. I then made us some Porridge for breakfast. We then closed the boat up and took a walk into the town centre, which is just a short walk from the Waterfront.
Walsall Town Centre is really rather plesant and quite a surprise. It is larger than I thought it would be and really quite clean.
Sister Dora statue. Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison, better known as Sister Dora (16 January 1832 - 24 December 1878), was a 19th-century Anglican nun and a nurse in Walsall, Staffordshire.
Having had a nosey around Walsall, we got back to the boat and prepared to leave in rather brisk winds.
I literally had my fingers crossed that we would not pick up anything major on our prop today. We made it phew to Ryders Green Locks without a hitch which was a godsend. Up through lock 8 and I walked up to lock 7 to set it. Keith and the boat did not follow, so I went to see what was going on, only to see Keith waving his arms. He was stuck fast on the bottom and in a pound littered with Asda shopping trolleys, so I sent him some water down and finally Hadar was underway again and soon in the lock.
A couple of locks on and we stopped to check the prop, only to find rope, bags and numerous other things wound around the prop. The Walsall Canal was proving to be a test in more ways than one. I was actually relieved to get to the top of Ryders Green and onto the main line again.
We went up through Brades Hall Locks and are now moored up for a few days at Neptunes Wharf, Tipton. I think we both need a couple of days to recover from the last couple of days.
The sad thing is I actually like the Walsall Canal, what I cannot be doing with is all the rubbish. In some places it was Rubbish Soup. If they got rid of the rubbish and dredged more boaters may use it. Walsall is so worth a visit, but maybe not by canal if they do not do something about the rubbish.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday, 16 April 2018

Day 24: Walsall Canal.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Today I could have mistaken it for Friday 13th, if I did not know better.
We had one hell of a day.
We firstly said "Cheerio" to our weekend mooring at the Titford Pumphouse.
We had lovely sunshine, but there was a chill to the breeze.
Top Lock and we are off.
We got down to lock one and the pound above it was empty. Now we could of very well sorted it out ourselves, but three C&RT guys were coming down the flight, so they sent down loads of water to get us on our way.
Cowslips were in evidence down the locks.
We did Spon Lane three and on to Ryders Green.
Part way down the locks were these pallets. Guess where they are ending up?
Having done Ryders green, we were on the Walsall canal and the rubbish began to get worse.
It is so sad that people do not love their environment.
We passed under Bull Lane Bridge and the engine died and came to a stand still. There we were drifting about. Keith checked the prop and we had a blade full of a Spring Mattress.
To begin with we tried to get the thing off ourselves, but it became clear it was on to tight for us, so I rang C&RT and they sent out two guys immediately. They helped us try for another hour and we were still struggling, so they rang to get more help. We had four C&RT guys helping us to get the mattress off. Three hours later, we were finally almost free from the darn thing, so we thanked the guys for all their hard work, they were excellent. Not far along, we then encountered some little darlings who thought it funny to throw stones at us and the boat. This made our day complete one way or another.
We finally arrived at Walsall Waterfront at 6.10pm, exhausted.
I am pretty sure we will both sleep very well tonight and hope for a better day tomorrow.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Day 23: Clean out day.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Wooo hooo we woke up this morning to sunshine. Hooray the sun has finally come out and Spring has finally sprung.
We had nothing really planned for the day, so we ended up helping out in the Arm.
We had a fantastic day today helping Geoff, Mike, Phil and Robert from the BCN Society to empty their two workboats of the rubbish that was collected on the WRG's clean-up weekend 2 weeks ago on the Curly Wurly.

I supplied the teas and coffees, whilst Keith got down and dirty. We then joined them at the Court of Requests for a debrief, some beer, and even some food. Even the sun shone today, happy days.

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 13 April 2018

Day 22: Oldbury and West Bromwich.

Hello Friends and Followers.

It would be nice to say I woke this morning to sunlight beaming through the porthole, but sadly that would be a lie. The sky was the colour of Pewter and yes it was raining again. But rain does not stop this woman, so it was up and out with Paddy for his walk. We let ourselves out of the Titford Pumphouse gate and strolled up the towpath towards the pools. I was all for walking a good way, but Paddy was having none of it. He did his business and stood there looking at me. The expression on his face, said it all really, he wanted to go home and get in the dry.
Animals fed, fire stoked up, showers had in the sanitary block, we were ready to go out for the day. Now the sanitary block at the Pumphouse is very good, but the shower does need attention. More water comes out of the pipe than the shower head. So I feel a report coming on to C&RT. Anyway we closed the boat up and walked down into Oldbury.
Oldbury Council building.
The Court of Requests, Wetherspoons where we had a nice cup of tea.
Oldbury is part of the Black Country and like a lot of towns and cities it has shops closed down and some parts looking a little sad, but the people are very friendly.
This memorial interested me. Theodore was only 16 when he died.
Our next destination was West Bromwich, which neither of us had visited before. So we climbed aboard the 4 H Diamond Bus. I had a return ticket for £2.80 and of course Keith used his bus pass. Most of the busses do not take cash anymore, you have to use your card to pay. It is all very new to me, because cash is king in Warwickshire. Anyway we arrived in West Bromwich and headed off around the shopping centre.
Lunch was an early breakfast at the Wetherspoons Billiard Room. I had my usual Vegetarian Breakfast and Keith had a Traditional Breakfast. Both of them had raw Tomatoes on them, which according to a letter by Tom the owner in the Spring magazine should not be happening. So I spoke to the young woman serving us and pointed out the letter in the magazine on our table. She took the magazine to the chef and then came back to let me know that they would be making sure the Tomatoes are cooked in future. This is the second time I have bought up this problem. I have also now written to Tim Martin the owner of Wetherspoons, asking that he makes sure that his chefs know the Tomatoes should be cooked in his opinion. So we will see if I get a reply.
Having enjoyed a nice time out in the dreary weather, we caught the bus back to Oldbury and then walked home to the boat.
That is two more places to cross off the places visited.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Day 21: Titford Pumphouse.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Before I tell you about our jaunt today I am feeling rather chuffed, because I have had two of my photographs excepted for the 2019 IWA Calendar. If you would like to vote for your favourite photographs, please follow the link. The vote is for the overall winner of the photography competition. My photographs are the cover and January. VOTE
It was a pewter coloured sky that greeted Paddy and I this morning as we went off for our walk and so this did not bode well for our short jaunt. As we were in no hurry to move, we waited to see what the weather was going to do, because it had begun to rain heavily. After about half an hour the rain stopped and so we set off.
Now the weather forecast was for showers today. Showers? One very long shower!
We came out of Netherton Tunnel and the heavy rain began to fall, so by the time we got to Brades Locks I was already rather soggy. The only upside was it was warm.
So with a damp run up from Windmill End through to Brades locks, all the way to the Titford Canal. Thankfully the rain did stop for our run up the locks.
Atlas & Malus where moored at the bottom of Oldbury locks, for their crew to dry out.
Oldbury No.1 lock alongside BCNS Titford pump-house.
We reversed up the arm and are now moored at BCNS Titford Pump-house for the weekend. Looking forward to exploring Oldbury which we did not have time to do 10 years ago when we came up here for the first and last time on the BCNS explorer cruise in 2008, which was our introduction to the BCN, and we have enjoyed it ever since then. Of course the Black Country and Birmingham are in my blood, due to my family history, but I do love the canals in Birmingham and in the surrounding area.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Day 20: Back to Bumble Hole.

Hello Friends and Followers.

We both had a good night's sleep, despite me being rather worried about the lowlife around the area. No one disturbed us or any of the other boats moored up on the embankment, so when I woke at 6.30am, I felt refreshed.
After the morning cuppa and a chat with Marmite, who always has a lot to say first thing in the morning, it was time to get up and dressed. Paddy was up early wanting his walk and then breakfast. Rain was once again gently falling and so another wet day was about to begin, but this was not going to stop us do our task for the morning.
The task was to walk up into Brierley Hill to see if we could find some Lino for the railway room. Last year we got a new piece for the back cabin, so we were ever hopeful of finding a piece 17 ft by 6ft. We looked at the first couple of places and they had nothing long enough, so we did the charity shops on the way up, crossed the road and came back down the otherside to the last flooring shop and low and behold, stood up outside was a piece of Lino 18ft by 6ft. We were both so chuffed and it only cost us £40. To get it back to the boat we each put an end on our shoulders and walked back down the hill to the boat. I can well imagine people passing by, must have thought us a little crazy, but it was needs must. With the Lino stowed away on the boat, we had a quick coffee, untied our mooring ropes and headed off.
It as goodbye to Merry Hill for now and Bumble Hole here we come again.
The low cloud was making everything look so dreary.
Up through Blower's Green Lock.
We then began to encounter young lads under bridge 'oles and on bridges. The ones on bridges always unnerve me because you never know what they may do. On this occasion, I had a feeling something was coming over the bridge and I was right. One of the lads spat on Keith. Why oh why do they think this is funny?
There was another large group of lads in a bridge hole all huddled together and you get the feeling something maybe coming, but thankfully they were fine. I had visions of them trying to jump on the boat, but it never happened.
1 hour and 35 minutes later we arrived at Bumble Hole and moored up. The visitor centre was open, so I let them have some of the books I have read and I let them have all the postage stamps I have been collecting. They collect them for the blind. We had a lovely chat with the ladies running it today and were horrified to hear they had a break-in the other morning at 2 am. Someone had broken one of the shutters and the window, but could not get in because of the bars on the windows. Again why oh why do people think this is acceptable behaviour?
I am beginning to feel like the whole world is going mad and people have stopped caring about the world in general. It is plain to see that people do not care about their surroundings or other people of late, with all the rubbish, graffiti and bad behaviour. I really feel sometimes that I have had the best of times, even though I have had my personal issues, I always treat people with respect and my surroundings with love. I just wish others were the same.
Sorry that was a bit of a rant.

Pop back soon xx

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Day 19: Off to Merry Hill.

Hello Friends and Followers.
We were woken up this morning by the noisiest dawn chorus I have ever heard. It seemed like every bird woke up at once and decided to shout about the rain which was falling. I did however sleep really well, which was lovely and it was so quiet overnight. With the raining falling we decided to wait for it to abate as we weren't in any hurry to get moving.
10am and the rain had gone, leaving a lead coloured sky, but we thought we would risk it and make headway. On our way we came across Ann a C&RT volunteer who knows us, she was with her colleagues cleaning up rubbish at Primrose Bridge. As we went through the bridge hole we picked up a blade-full, so we pulled in around the corner and Keith cleared it all and took the rubbish back to Ann to dispose of. Ann and the other volunteers really have their work cut out keeping the cut clear.
We stopped briefly above Blowers Green lock to take on water, empty the toilet and dispose of rubbish, this included me changing the disposable nappies under the floors. Keith got chatting to one of the CRT staff clearing the water of rubbish, and he knew of Pisces, which Hadar is based on, as her used to be down in London. We had a short chat until a boat wanted to come up the lock, so we had to say "Cheerio" and head off.  We are now moored on the embankment, Merry Hill. After a quick change of clothes, we locked the boat up and went for a stroll around the Merry Hill shopping Centre and the only thing I came back with was tin foil.

Pop Back soon xx

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