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













Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Day 9. Still catching up.

Hello family, friends and followers.

It is getting busy here at Alvecote, with boaters turning up for the coming Bank Holiday Weekend rally. I have spent a lot of the past couple of days catching-up with friends I have not seen for ages and I mean ages. I have also been given wool for my Collie blankets and given wool that I cannot use to other boaters, who will make good use of it. It is all about sharing in the boating community.
I am going to be a little boring, because there is very little news. It will all kick off on Friday and over the weekend, so I will not bore you with my cleaning and boat sorting out. After all there is only so much brass cleaning anyone can cope with and so I will skip that for now and move on to today.
This morning I finished blanket number 15 for the Collie's at the Border Collie Trust. I have already started number 16. After lunch, we headed over to The Samuel Barlow, to help with the boat moving. I say we, in fact Keith did the helping and I did the chatting and drinking of beer, which was great fun. It was so pleasant to sit in the bar with like minded people and enjoy a chat over a pint. It was also wonderful to catch up with a couple of friends I have not seen for two years. The joy of a boaters life, is you do not see someone for a long time, but when you get together it is as though you have never been a part. With the boat moving done, we both enjoyed another pint and loads more chatting and laughter. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to this weekend and the weather is supposed to be good, but shhh do not tell the weather that.

Pop back soon xx

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Day 6: Catching up.

Hello family, friends and followers.

What a difference a day makes. After the wet and windy weather of yesterday, today was sunny and calm.
After the busy day yesterday, I decided that I needed my bed at 9.30pm last night. Every bit of me was aching and I was so tired, that my head hit the pillow and I was out like a light. I did wake to the sound of music and shouting men, because there was a party going on upstairs in the Samuel Barlow, but having told myself to go back to sleep, I did just that until 7am. I lazily stayed cocooned beneath the duvet, with the knowledge that I did not have to hurry out of bed. The only thing calling was the toilet, so having put a foot out beneath the duvet, I got up andmade us our first cuppa of the day.
We finally got up at 8.30am, which is quite something for us. With so little on my to do list. I opened up the boat and stepped out into some wonderful morning sunshine. Also up and about was Leon on Narrowboat Old Bovine. We had not seen Leon for years and so as boaters do we stood on the towpath, having a good old catch-up. He is staying for the rally, so we will definitely be spending more time nattering.
Whilst nattering, I noticed that Swallows were swooping in and out of a nest built under the eves of The Samuel Barlow. They were using a friends swan nect to perch on from time to time. They are such happy, chatty little birds and I look forward to watching them further.
After lunch, I took myself off to the Priory for a nosey around. it was where Benedictine Monks once lived.
On the site is also a Dovecote, which was built around the same time as the Priory. Sadly the door has been broken off and people have been lighting fires in this truly wonderful building. I will be contacting someone to do with looking after the site to see if something can be done.
Once back home. I made a start on cleaning the back cabin brasses. The outside ones can wait a few more days, just in case it rains again and ruins all my hard work.

Pop back soon xx


Friday, 16 August 2019

Day 5: Hartshill to Alvecote.

Hello family, friends and followers.

Wooo hooo I have a hot spot. Nooo not that sort of spot. I have some free Wifi, so you may actually hear from me for a few days. We cannot sort our hub out until we get home, so I will be relying on hotspots and free wifi.

We left Hartshill this morning at 8.05am and it was dry but very overcast.
We past the old BW yard. The clock never reads the correct time. I am not even sure if it still works.
The rain then decided it was time to start spit spotting. It was not hard to begin with and we are hardened boaters, so a drop of rain was not going to stop us.
We arrived at the top of the Atherstone locks just after 9am and waited for a boat to come out of the top lock, before it was time to descend the locks.
All the locks but one were with us.
We left the bottom lock and headed for the sanitary station, where we topped up with water, emptied the cassette and got rid of rubbish.
After an eventful mornings cruise, we arrived at the Samuel Barlow at 1pm. We locked the boat up and went cross for lunch and a pint.
Back home and it is now raining heavily, so maybe this is the weather the forecasters have been warning us about. Anyway we are fine and snug, so let it do its worse.

Pop back soon xxx

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Day 4. Bridge 79 to Hartshill.

Hello family, friends and followers.

After a good nights sleep, we were awake at 6am, so sat in bed drinking tea, whilst listening to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. The sun was shining through the porthole, which meant we were in for a good start to our days cruising.
We left the over night mooring at 7.30am and headed for Hillmorton Locks.
We were joined by Narrowboat Myrtle, so I helped set their lock, whilst working our lock. That is the joy of having two locks side by side. 
We were down the locks in no time and on our way.
It was lovely to meet Maurice one of the volunteer lock keepers, who I see on Twitter. Tomorrow they will all be on duty for the Macmillan Cancer Charity Coffee Morning, where the volunteers all bring cakes along to sell and make money for a wonderful charity. Last year they raised over £500. 
This time of the year is known as the silly season by many boaters and it is easy to see why. We met no end of boats and overtook a couple of boats as well. Unfortunately some boaters, do not seem to know which side of the canal they are supposed to be on, when taking a bend and others seem to think they are still on the motorway. But we just carried on regardless.
At 1.50pm, we took the turn at Hawkesbury junction and glided onto the Coventry Canal. 
Our cruising day ended at Hartshill at 4.30pm having done 26.5 miles, 4 locks, 1 tunnel in 8hrs 50mins. My legs ache and I know I will sleep well tonight. We will be off down the Atherstone flight tomorrow.

Pop back soon xx





Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Day 3. Soggy start.


Hello family, friends and followers.

As suggested by the weather people, it was a soggy old start to Wednesday morning, but this did not deter Keith from catching the bus into Daventry. He was hoping that the staff in the EE store could sort out why my laptop will not connect to the hub, which we had repaired back at the beginning of July. Whilst he battled the weather, I stayed on board and got a few jobs done and some cleaning. The joys of cleaning the oven could wait no longer. I also got on with cooking lunch, ready for when Keith would get home.
The rain at times was coming down in such a deluge, I had visions of Keith coming home a drowned rat, but in fact he was not to bad. The issue of the hub and my laptop was not solved. We need to ring a 0800 number and speak to their customer services centre, who should be able to help, so we have decided to leave it until we return to our home mooring. So you will need to bare with me for a few weeks. I may or may not post.
After lunch the rain was beginning to diminish and at 2.00pm we decided we would make a move. We untied and set off towards Braunston Marina, where we winded.
Whilst Keith winded the boat, I was dumping a bag of rubbish in the bins by the toll house.
Once winded, we headed off into the dull, overcast yonder with a few boats on the move. 
We decided to stop at Bridge 79, Onley Wood Bridge, where there is a nice single mooring. it will do us for the night. We will see what tomorrow brings, in the way of weather and how far we decide to travel.

Pop back soon xx


Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Out and about. Day 2.

Hi Folks.

You will have to bare with me. I am having to use Keith's laptop, because mine will not connect to the EE hub we have. We sent the hub away to be repaired and now for whatever reason it will only allow Keith to connect to it. It does not even allow our phones to use it. So I am going to be a little late posting.

This is Day 2 of our Summer/Autumn cruise. We left Saltisford yesterday morning and stopped at Long Itchington overnight. As we were there we called into the Two Boats for a pint and some pork scratchings. It would have been rude not to have done so.
This morning we left Long Itch and are now at Braunston, where we may stay for tomorrow, because the weather is supposed to be foul. Not only that Keith his hoping to go into the EE store in Daventry, to see if they can figure out why I am not able to see the hub. Well I see it, but it will not allow me to connect to it grrrrrrr.
I will keep you posted and hopefully if it is fixed, I will post pictures.

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 9 August 2019

On your marks.

Hello family, friends and followers.

We are on our marks, for our Autumn cruising, which will begin very soon. But in the meantime, I have been getting lots of things sorted out. In my last post, I cemented the new smoke box into place.
After a couple of days of drying out, I painted the new smoke box, flue and stove, with stive blacking. I sorted the plates out and rehung the curtains. I had been waiting for some curtain hooks to arrive, but when they did not show, I found some at our local hardware store, which work just fine. Sods law a couple of days later, the ones I ordered online arrived, so I have spares, should any break.
The Copper kettle got a clean as did the lamp and the top of the stove was laid.
I love it when the back cabin so all dressed. It feels so much like home. I even went out and bought some wool in different Greens to make a new blanket for the side bed. The idea for the pattern, came from the blankets I make for the Collies, who I am still making blankets for.
We have loaded the boat with coal for the cold weather when it arrives and done and oil change on the generator and engine. I still have the water tank to fill and a laundry wash to do, but we are so close to being ready for the off again.
We have five events, which we are booked into, so it will not be a busy time, but an enjoyable time.
I will catch up with you all, when we leave our mooring.

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 2 August 2019

New Smoke Box.

Hello family friends and followers.

This past few days, we have been blessed with cooler temperatures and copious amounts of rain, which are causing issues in Derbyshire, particularly around Whaley Bridge, where we have friends. Fingers are so tightly crossed that the dam does not burst and everyone stays safe.

For me it has been a few days of getting the boat ready to go out again. You may remember me posting about our smoke box breaking. Today we received our new smoke box.
Having searched the internet for a new box, we found someone on Ebay selling a smke box for a Nipper stove, which was also suitble for Midland Chandlers Classic stove, so we contacted him with our measurements and he actually the right smoke box for our stove. Not only that he also does his own casts, so he is someone to keep on our friends list. If anyone is in need of a smoke box for the MD classic, let me know. We did a bit of fettling to make sure it was a perfect fit.
I then got on with the job of cementing it all together. Once the cement is dry I will then give the stove, smoke box and flue a repaint. Our old smoke box has gone off to see if it can be repaired and it will be a spare if it comes back fixed.
We are preparing to go back out, so this morning we received engine oil, for an oil change before we leave. I will be checking the gearbox oil, to see if that needs topping up. We are in the process of making sure we have any medication we need onboard and I am stocking up up bits and bobs. I am a woman who likes to be prepared for almost everything.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Cooling down.

Hiya family, friends and followers.

If you are reading this post, you must have survived the mini heatwave we experienced the other day. When I was a teenager, I could literally lie out in the sun all day, but not anymore. Now I stay indoors, close the curtains, turn on the fan and watch films. That is how I have spent the past few days.
So this morning, when I woke up, I was so pleased to see it raining and the temperature a lot cooler. The good old British Summer, likes to throw curve balls into the mix and the mini heatwave was it. The one thing us Brit's are good at is talking about the weather. We hate it when it rains, we hate it when it is too hot. For me the rain is so welcome, because the farmers, reservoirs, canals, garden and wildlife need it. Of course it is nice to have sunny days thrown in, but we do so need the rain. The one thing about this wonderful country of ours, is that we have such a diverse weather system. We are fortunate to have Four seasons, which give us all sorts of weather. I personally would not change it for the world. I have friends who live in countries where it is just hot, hot, hot all year round. So although I will say it was too hot for me, I appreciate what we have in the way of different weather.
Thursday, I did nothing, not even painting. I slobbed out and watched films. Friday I was back whelding a paintbrush, but this time I was varnishing the doors in the back cabin. The doors have Roses and Castles painted on them and they need protecting, so I clear varnish them at least every couple of years. I have not hung the curtains yet, because I am still waiting for my curtain hooks to arrive, so you will have to wait for a finally finished photograph.
Today being Saturday, it has as I said at the beginning been raining pretty much all day. I have spent the day cooking, cleaning and crocheting, whilst watching films on Film4. Because it is the school Summer holidays, the range of films has been great today. We had Ice Age, Puss in Boots, Mrs Doubtfire and next is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. All I really needed was Popcorn and a glass of something cool.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Coming on a treat.

Hiya family, friends and followers.

Phew isn't it hot?
I reckon I have sweat buckets over the past few days. But time and tide waits for no man and as I have started, therefore I must finish. I am talking about the back cabin. Having done the prep work on Sunday, I got down to the hard graft on Monday.
Monday I first coated the walls and ceiling in the bed'ole area. With it being so warm it did not take long for it to dry, so I was able to second coat the walls in the afternoon. The ceiling got a second coat on Tuesday. In between painting and sweating, I put my feet up and watched films, because it was way to hot to go gardening and I was pooped.
Come Tuesday, with the ceiling drying, I painted the gear rods Red Gloss and then began to redress the front of the cabin.
First of all Keith, put the curtain rods back up for me. I then started arranging the plates on the wall. I was so glad I took a photograph before I took them down, because there was absolutely no way I would of remembered where they went.
Plates, brasswork and bits all back in place, it was time to again stop, as the heat was getting to much. We put the fan on in the saloon and sat and watch films. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, we were treated to a huge thunder and lightening storm, followed by copious amounts of lovely rain. Now my thinking was it would cool the air, but on getting up this morning (Wednesday), it was very soon apparent, that it was hot before 8am. Today I have second coated the gear rods and port holes and that is it. The heat is to much, so it was back into the saloon, feet up, fan on and watch The Borrowers. I am waiting for some new curtain hooks to arrive. As soon as they get here, I can rehang the back cabin curtains and the back cabin will be complete. I am so happy, I painted it English Sage and Magnolia. My next task is to make some new cushion covers to go with the decor.

Pop back soon xx

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Back Cabin. Day 3.

Hello family, friends and followers.

Having second coated the ceiling, walls and shelves, this morning having checked the paintwork, I decided it needed one further coat, to make sure it was covered properly.
Really pleased with the results. It will hopefully look amazing once the cabin is back together again.
We are both really happy with using the English Sage Green in the shelving, it is a nice contrast.
Tomorrow, I will turn my attention to the bed 'ole area, which needs attention.
Having taken down pictures and the shelf, it became apparent that it needed repainting. I rubbed down and undercoated the Red edging, so I should be able to get away with just two coats of Magnolia. We will see how that theory holds.
News on the broken smokebox. We have hopefully found someone who has some. If this is the case we will pick it up when we leave our mooring in August to continue this years cruising.
Having done all the painting for the day. It seems like a good time to sit down and have a coffee. It maybe Sunday, but I have had a busy day.
The garden requires my attention, but to be honest I am done for today. It will still be there in a few days time. The weeds will have grown a foot taller, so they will be easier to get out. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

Pop back soon xx

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Back Cabin Day 2.

Hello family, friends and followers.

Yesterday you may have read, I prepared the back cabin by rubbing it all down and undercoated the walls, ceiling and shelves in white undercoat. Today was top coat day, but not beofre the first cuppa of the day, whilst watching breakfast news on the BBC. Overnight we had some very heavy rainfall, which the garden would of loved and the of course the canals. I am not sure at what time we both got woken up, but there was a crack and a bang. It turned out to be the smoke box on our stove.
Somehow it had cracked and fallen apart. I would of expected it to happen if it was to hot, because of a fire, or because the cabin was to cold, but there was nothing to cause this to happen. So we are now on the hunt for a new smoke box. Another expense we could do without at the moment :-(.
Anyway after all the overnight rain, when we woke up properly the sun was out and it boded well for a lovely day to do some painting.
Once we were up and dressed. I opened the boat up, made breakfast and then cleared up with mess left behind by the broken smoke box. Having been in touch with a few people about a new smoke box, we can relax, because we have hopefully found a replacement. Unfortunately Midland Chandlers do not do them anymore and that is where we got the stove from 12 years ago.
My first painting job of the day was to paint the ceiling with Moonlight White. I then began painting the shelves with English Sage Green and the walls with Magnolia.
The first top coat was all finished by lunchtime. So time for a break, I cooked lunch and made a coffee. Mid-afternoon, I second coated the shelves and walls. Tomorrow I will second coat the ceiling and then decide as to whether I need to coat the shelves and walls again. It is looking so much brighter and we love it. I wanted to do the shelves in a contrast colour, to make them stand out and the Green is lovely. I have really enjoyed today. I love having a paint brush in my hand.
Tomorrow will see this end of the back cabin finished.

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 19 July 2019

Back cabin time.

Hello family, friends and followers.

Hooray it has been raining pretty much all day. The garden, the reservoirs and the canals are thankful for a drenching. Of course it will not last, as we are heading for temperatures into the high Twenties next week, but at least it is a start.
Having finished the engine room. it was time to turn my attention to the back cabin. A couple of years ago, I painted the bed 'ole area Cream and we love it, because it is nice and bright. With the scumble now suffering in the rest of the back cabin, we have come to the decision to repaint the whole thing. This morning we took down all the plates.
I took these two photographs, to remind me where the plates go when I come to putting them back up.
Once all the plates, curtains and other bits were removed from the back cabin it was time to sand down the walls, ceiling and shelves.
I have decided on a two tone colour scheme. English Sage Green for the bottom half of the cabin and Cream for the top half. I was very thankful to the little mouse sander I have, because it made my job so much easier, than rubbing it down by hand.
Over the years the scumble has gotten darker and so I decided to paint the walls and ceiling in White undercoat first.
Tomorrow I will be putting the first top coat on.
Inbetween rubbing down and painting, I cooked Spagetti Bolognaise for lunch and did a large Whites wash, which included all the back cabin lace, curtains and cushions. I have a feeling we may need sun glasses to sit in the back cabin when it is finished :-).

Pop back soon xx

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