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!
Tuesday, 30 January 2018
What an amazing start to the day today.
Today was bulkhead day. So after doing a laundry wash, sorting out something for lunch, walking the dog, stoking the fires and coffee, we made a start.
It has been a brilliant day and we are both so pleased with the way it has gone. I will be completely honest. I really did not think we would get it done so quickly and so well, as neither of us are carpenters. But we both think things through, which I think has been the reason for the success of this project. The last thing we did today was to insulate under the gunwales, because they have been condensating. I think possibly by the weekend, I will have sealed all the woodwork and filled in any gaps and we will be ready to paint the room out.
Pop back soon x
Monday, 29 January 2018
We have been busy in the railway room today. I am actually amazed at how well we have done with building this room ourselves. I am pretty useful with a power tool, but Keith is the one who is good with measurements and how things should fit together.
Pop back soon x
Saturday, 27 January 2018
Hi Friends and Followers.
It is a very wet and miserable Saturday, which gives me the chance to catch up with things. All the boat jobs got done over the past couple of days and then it was full steam ahead with the new room.
The wall panels have been going up thick and fast.
With such a small space to work in, we have managed to move the materials around with a bit of pushing and shoving.
This morning we put up the remainder of the panels.
Tomorrow we can start on the ceiling, which will be interesting. We have kept the head room quite low, as neither of us are tall. This will help with keeping the warmth in and the lighting.
Of course other things have to be done, whilst we build our new room and this has included all the boat jobs, keeping the fires going, cooking cleaning etc. This morning before we got on with the room, we went to the opticians. I wanted anti-glare put on my new glasses. I told you that I was going to be a full-time spectacle wearer. Yep I no longer just have reading glasses. Now I have never bothered with the anti glare before, but I have found that with my new glasses, I am getting headaches and can see glare on my lens, so I took them back to have the coating added. Another hole in my pocket with another £39 forked out, but they need to be right if I am wearing them all the time. I only wish my eye problem had been picked up sooner, but hey ho that is life. I will make the most of being able to see straight from now on.
With being so busy with the room, lunch today was a pizza, followed by fruit and yogurt. It suited us both to have a quick lunch, so we could get back to the room. Tomorrow I will do us a proper Sunday lunch.
With the wall completed, it was time for a coffee and a catch-up with e-mails and social media. These days I am becoming more and more disillusioned with social media. The amount of fake news out there is scary. One of the things that upset me this week, was the report early in the week that Ken Dodd had died, when it was a complete lie. He is in hospital due to a chest infection, but he is definitely not dead. What gives people the right to put out such dreadful lies, which would cause so much upset to others? I am seriously thinking of giving some social media a wide birth. This I know would upset those who follow me and like to interact with me, but I have begun to fall out of love with it all.
Pop back soon x
Thursday, 25 January 2018
Hello Friends and Followers.
I thought I would bring you up to date on our model railway room build.
On my last post about the room, we had lined the hull sides and put the plywood in place. We have stepped on a pace since then. Having finished the plywood installation, I painted a sealing coal of paint over both sides.
We then had to wait for another delivery of timber for the roof. This came a few days later.
We cut the roof supports and I painted them.
The roof supports and bracing timbers were screwed into place.
It was then a matter of measuring the plywood and cutting it to size for the ceiling.
This morning Keith went food shopping and I got on with boat chores. After lunch we got on with the railway room build again.
Today the first of the roof panels went up.
Today we got two up and more to follow tomorrow.
Pop back again soon x
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Hello Dear Friends and Followers.
Here we are week 3 of January and already it has been hectic for me.
Monday began with all the usual boat chores. I reckon I could do them in my sleep, because I do them so often.
The day was tinged with sadness as we found out that a boating friend had collapsed and died on Sunday. It really shaped my day, as I was rather deep in thought. It made me re-evaluate my life and what I should be doing with it. Because the boating community is small and caring, we will all be caring for our friends partner.
Tuesday we had a rude awakening. We were rudely woken up during the night by a loud crashing. Keith climbed over me to find out what had happened. Marmite must have been sleeping on the ledge, fell off and knocked the electric kettle off the worktop.
The ledge is only 2½ inches wide, but she loves to sleep on it.
Having gone back to sleep, I woke again at 7.40am, which is late for me. Keith made us both a cuppa, which was enjoyed in bed. Once up it was the usual jobs and sorting the animals out. Paddy needed his first walk of the day. It takes longer these days, as his legs stiffen and fail him. Marmite was at the door waiting for our return, with only one thing on her mind and that was food.
After breakfast, I had a laundry wash to do in the Arms laundry room, which took me just over an hour. Whilst there, I took in the post and nattered to the Winter moorer’s who passed by. After an early lunch Keith headed off to his new home Screwfix. This place has been a godsend since we have begin the room building in the hold. He also went to Homebase for paint and brushes, because I want to get some paint on the hull lining to get it sealed. After lunch I had to go and wrestle a Spaniel. Yes you did read that correctly. Jacky our administrator and my dear friend, wanted me to help her with her Spaniel Poppy, who needed to have her ear washed out. Poppy had had an operation on her ear and it needed cleaning. To do this job it would require the both of us, because Poppy is a struggler. I was in charge of holding Poppy still whilst Jacky worked on the ear. The ear cleaning went well, but we could not redo the cone of shame back up, so plan B was to get her in the car and up to the vets. Thankfully the nurse sorted out a bigger cone and we now know how to put it back on. I will be helping out for the rest of the week, which I am now calling Wrestle a Spaniel Week.
Tuesday evening was spent in the presence of the other trustees and directors of the Arm. It is always very informative and a good chance to catch up on what our objectives are.
Wednesday dawned and it was a tad nippy in the back cabin. We had had a smattering of snow on the pontoon, but nothing to write home about. Oh wait a minute I am home . No sooner the first chores of the day were done, I relit the back cabin stove and put a chicken in the oven to slow cook for lunch. I was then in charge of putting a sealing coat of paint on the new wall in the hold. 1 part water to 5 parts paint went on with a 2” brush. Because of it being chilly, we put an electric fire on to add the drying process. I managed to get the painting done before lunch. The roast chicken lunch with Yorkshire puddings was scrummy. Bread and Butter pudding followed with ice cream. Lunch over, it was time to fill the water tank, get the coal in and wrestle a Spaniel.
Since before Christmas we have been running a small freezer alongside out fridge/freezer, but now that the Christmas food has all gone, I have turned the small freezer off. There is no pint running two half empty freezers. Not only that the freezer is a mains one, where as out fridge/freezer is 12 volt. I cannot see us having it running again until the end of the year again in time for Christmas.
Pop back soon xx
Monday, 15 January 2018
Hello Dear Friends and Readers.
At the start of every new year, I see lives shattered by disasters, death, accidents and poor health and I always think, it would be nice to have a happy start to a new year. 2018 is proving to be another sad beginning to a new year. Friends have had bereavements before and after the new year and only this weekend a friends husband collapsed and died. It really does focus the mind onto living your life to the full and not allowing anything to spoil ones happiness.
As far as any of us know, we only get this one and only chance at life, so we should all be making the most of it to the very end when our clock stops ticking. I am a simple soul, who requires very little to make me happy. I am not one for holidays abroad or expensive goodies. I just want a quiet life, doing what I enjoy the most and that is boating and taking photographs. So I am not asking for much. Of course through out my life I have regrets, but I cannot live my life in misery and none of us should do that. There are things I want to do with my life, if my age and health allows, but if I was never to achieve those things I would not be disappointed.
I have found that when someone you know loses their partner suddenly it does make you think. It makes you think about your own life and whether changes need to be made. In my case I am happy with my lot and I have a lot to look forward to as long as my clock carries on ticking.
Never put off till tomorrow, what you could do today my friends and readers, because none of knows what tomorrow will bring.
Pop back soon xxx
Saturday, 13 January 2018
Hello Friends and Followers.
You may recall from the last post, we had the insulation arrive for the hold and we got that all fixed in place and were waiting for our timber to arrive. The said timber duly arrived and we loaded it into the boat. The following day we set about cutting the battens, which were screwed to the steel uprights. Now this should have been easy because we used screws that actually drill into the steel and secure themselves, but it did not work like that. We kept mangling the screwdriver bits, so we thought ok, we will drill a pilot hole first and give that a go. It did work better, but we still struggled, so Keith went off to Screwfix and bought a box of screwdriver fittings and wham bam thank you mam, they worked a dream. We got the starboard side battened out.
We then cut the ply and began to fix that into place, screwing it to the battening. Now it is not fancy, but it will do the job we require. As the week has progressed, we got on with doing more in the hold, but as everyone knows life takes over and I had my opticians appointment to go too. As of this coming week, or when my new spectacles arrive, I will be wearing specs full-time, because my long vision is getting worse, mainly due to this eye issue where I need a prism. I was in the opticians for sometime, whilst the optician tried to work out the best prescription for me. All being well the specs should arrive this coming week. I was tempted to go for varifocals but chickened out and have gone for two separate pairs. If I find them to much of a faff, then I may try varifocals. Specs all done, I got my tablet prescriptions filled by the GP and what with having my hair trimmed, I am in fine fettle now. The next thing to be done, should be my boob scan, to check for any lumps. I am sure that is due this year. That will complete my MOT for 2018 hopefully.
So here we are on Saturday evening, with ‘Lord of the rings’ on the TV and my day has been action packed.
This morning we began to batten the port side and then line it out.
After lunch, we finished off the lining out and Keith did the electrics and so the hull is complete. We need to measure up for the roof and bulkhead timber next and get it ordered on Monday. So far it is all going pretty well thankfully. It has been a good day. I am of the thinking that the roof and bulkhead should be straight forward, but then I am always one to think positively.
Pop back soon xxx
Sunday, 7 January 2018
The New Year is now a thing of the past as we countdown to 2019. Yes it will go that quickly.
We are going to have a busy few months, before going out cruising. We are building a railway room in our empty hold. The last time our hold was empty was when she was built in 2007. We have always carried coal, but no more. The plan for our empty hold is to build a model railway, but before we can do that we need to build a room, hence the insulation in the top photograph. We measured not once for several times to find out how much insulation we would need and ordered it online. A couple of days later it arrived.
Did you know that Travis Perkins does not do delivery on insulation?
You do now. We have no idea why they do not deliver, but it was their loss. We have ordered our timber from them though.
You can follow the big build on the Railway Blog.
The past few days have been rather busy, what with the room building, having an early Spring clean and getting personal stuff done.
With the New Year comes getting ones life in order, so I have had my hair trimmed and I have an opticians appointment booked. I suppose the third thing will be seeing the GP, but I will put that off until I absolutely have too. Normally I go to the hairdressers and he takes off the very ends of my long hair, but this time I was so brave and let him cut off all of half an inch. I have not made any new years resolutions, but my goal this year is to not cut my fringe. I am aiming to let it grow out again. I am a naughty girl, because I let my fringe out and then for some stupid reason I end up cutting it back in again. My goal is to be a good girl and leave it well alone. If you see me with a pair of scissors, take them off me, because I may just be about to cut my fringe back in. Fringes are a pain in the butt really. It is fine in the Winter, but in the Summer, I always end up with sticky fringe and that is not a good look. So no more fringe. I was told by someone last year that I look to severe without a fringe, so I cut it in again. Well I am taking no notice about being severe. I am going fringeless. As for my optician appointment, I have glasses for close up work, but I am finding my long vision is struggling. This is mainly due to I need a prism in my glasses for my right eye, which struggles to find the light. Yeah I know sounds odd, well apparently this should have been spotted when I was a child, but it was not. I only started wearing glasses in my forties and even then Specsavers did not pick up that I needed a prism for my right eye, despite me telling them my problem of seeing double or things crossing over. Anyway since having our home mooring, I have changed to Vision Express and when I explained to the optician, she knew exactly what my problem was and hey presto I can now see properly. Why did no one spot it before, which meant I thought I was going mad? Anyway I am off to the opticians this coming week, to see what I need to do next.
It is Sunday 7th January now and like on most Sundays there is a lot of jobs to be done. Due to -4C temperatures overnight, I relit the back cabin stove and made up the saloon stove. I then had the disposable nappies to change under the back cabin floor and under the galley floor. In case you are new to my blog, every Winter I put down disposable nappies under the floor, so they can soak up any condensation. I usually change them every couple of weeks during the Winter and it works like a dream. Nappies changed, rubbish gathered and a cassette which needed emptying, made its way to the rubbish room. Whilst I was busy doing all of that, Keith was sorting out the electrics for the Railway room. 10 am time for coffee and a chat about what we need to do next. Lunch was put on the stove to warm through, we would be having the leftovers of yesterday's curry. Keith got back to his electrics and I pottled away at boat chores.
After lunch I had thought I may go out into the garden, but with it still be very cold and the ground like concrete, there seemed little point and it is Sunday after all, so the afternoon was to be spent watching films. This girl knows how to have a good time.
Tonight we want to watch 'The biggest little railway in the world' on Channel 4 at 8pm.
Pop back soon x
Tuesday, 2 January 2018
Hi Dear Readers and Followers.
So come-on tell me how was it for you?
We had a wonderful Christmas, which began for us on the 19th of December, when we left our mooring to head to our Christmas destination. To reach our Christmas lunch, we had to do Forty locks. Up the Hatton flight first and then the Lapworth Flight.
We did stop in between. We stopped first at Tom O’ the Woods and then half way up the Lapworth flight, where we had lunch at The Boot Inn. It is rather a posh pub, with Bentleys, Range Rover, the odd Porsche and BMW parked outside, but never the less we had a fabulous meal and a pint, whilst still in our boating gear. The pub was busy with people having pre-Christmas drinks and meals. Our trip continued up the remainder of the Lapworth locks until we had winded and moored up at our Christmas destination.
First job to be done was the loading of another load of bricks for ballast. This task was tackled by Keith, Jacky and myself and we had it all done within 2 hours. Great teamwork.
Christmas Day dawned and Keith and I were awake early. We had our usual cuppa in bed, before getting up and exchanging presents. Breakfast was something small, because we knew were would be eating a hearty lunch. Christmas lunchtime was spent in the company of wonderful friends and an absolutely amazing Christmas lunch. In fact Keith and I spent the whole day with Jacky, enjoying a nice evening meal as well and of course watching Christmas Day television programs.
Boxing Day dawned and with it a stunning sunrise. We said our goodbyes to Jacky and started to wend our way home.
Back down the Lapworth flight in the Winter sunshine. We had made such good time, we decided to carry on to at least the top of Hatton. The thought was we would do the first Eleven locks on the Hatton flight and then moor up.
It was late afternoon, when we moored up, but there were still plenty of people out walking off their Christmas food. The weather forecast was for heavy rain and then snow. The heavy rain came and come the morning we realised the snow had also come as well.
Come the next morning Keith, Paddy, Marmite and I were awake at 4:00am, this is due to the clumps of snow falling on to the cabin top off the trees! Having had a cup of tea in bed, there was nothing for it, we decided to get up and wait for sunrise before setting off for our home mooring. Marmite was very unhappy with what was going on outside, it seemed to upset her, whereas Paddy was laid in his bed, wondering why the heck were we up so early. I decided to start preparing a Turkey curry, which would be cooking in our boatman's cabin stove as we head home. Eleven locks in the snow, cannot wait as I just love the snow. I am like an excited child when it snows.
Time to go home.
I walked on ahead to set the first of the locks, making sure I was careful with my footsteps as it was slippery underfoot. The good thing was it was virgin snow so I was not walking on ice.
Having descended the first couple of locks, I was aware that getting the gates open on just one paddle was becoming more difficult, and this was because of the amount of water flowing down the flight and poring over the gates.
The only thing to do was to gingerly cross the lock gates and open the other paddle. Now this had not been in the plan when we set off. The plan was for me to just work one paddle and gate. So much for plans. I never learn that our plans never work.
I was beginning to realise that we had another issue going down and this was because of the sheer volume of water coming down with us, the towpath was flooding.
This meant I could not walk down the towpath to the next lock without getting soggy. But Keith could not get the boat into the side either, so I had to accept soggy feet and get on with it. Keith did manage to pick me up at one lock. The water was also flooding out into neighbouring fields. I had never seen anything like it, but we were fine.
Some two and a half hours later we finally arrived home. Instead of winding we just went straight onto our moorings and winded a few days later. The Eleven Locks had taken us the two and half hours, we could normally do the whole flight in that time.
So back home, that evening it froze solid down to –4.3C. We were so glad we had decided to come home when we did. Since being back we have been enjoying the fact that we are able to watch TV and chat to friends and neighbours about the Christmas and we have seen in the New Year with a tot of Whiskey as we always do. We have been shopping and enjoyed a walk around our home town on a cold and frosty morning.
I wonder what 2018 will have in store for us all.
Happy New Year and please pop in again x
Monday, 1 January 2018
So here we are 2018. Another brand new year of challenges, ups and downs no doubt. I would like to wish you all the very best for the coming twelve months and should you feel the need for a boating fix, please do pop in and say "hello".