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!
Sunday, 31 March 2019
What an incredible weekend we have had.
Sunday dawned and of course the clocks went forward by an hour, so we were all up an hour earlier and ready for the Sunday, Mother's Day clean-up.
CRT and the BCN Society. The rubbish was then put into huge skips and taken away. I know on day one we collected around 20 tonne. Just think if this had not been dumped, how much cleaner the canals would be for us all to enjoy. It amazes me that the wildfowl still lives on our canals despite the weather. At the moment Coots can be seen nesting along the canals and they are actually including rubbish into their nests. This cannot be right and should not be allowed.
Today being Sunday was an early finish, but we all had a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed slinging a grappling hook all weekend and finding things in the canal. it actually becomes a competition, to find things. If your hook rides over things, you become determined to get whatever it is out.
The ITV news cameras came down to film the clean-up and I did a short interview to camera, not that I will see it because we do not have the TV when cruising. Getting involved with a local clean-up group, is such a wonderful thing to do and a great way of meeting wonderful folk. It is a very satisfying cause, to keep our canals and waterways clean. Do a little good and meet like minded people. Not only that it will keep you fit. If you have read my posting, and feel you want to get involved, then why not look up a local clean-up group or contact The Canal and River Trust. If in Birmingham, you can also contact BCNS. Many of the people on this weekend we already knew, but we did meet some new lovely people.
Now it is time to put my feet up and have a quiet evening.
Pop back soon xxx
Friday, 29 March 2019
Yesterday, we had such a wonderful time at The Black Country Living Museum.
Later in the afternoon, more people arrived. I volunteered to go and help Lewys up Brades Locks with his Dad and Steve off Swallow.
Pop back soon xxx
Wednesday, 27 March 2019
I am pleased to say we did sleep last night. We did here voices, but they were not to loud, so I for one did not get a disturbed nights sleep.
Up and ready to leave at 8.55am. We turned left out of the Oozells Street Loop.
We did not see another boat on the move all the time we were cruising. Clearly not everyone is out cruising yet.
Pop back soon xxx
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Tuesday dawned and it was so quiet. The only thing that woke me was the heating pump going off. We had forgotten to turn it off before going to bed. Up and cuppa made, which was enjoyed beneath the duvet, whilst listening to the morning news, as depressing as it was and yes it was all about the B word. This is a B free zone by the way.
It was a relaxing start to the morning, having gotten up and done the boat chores, we spent the morning doing very little. At 12.45pm we left the boat and headed towards the Mailbox to meet friends at Tamatanga Indian Restaurant for lunch. Food in a bowl at lunchtime costs £9.95 and comes with a drink. It is scrummy and well worth giving it a go if you are in Birmingham, but I recommend you book a table, because they get extremely busy. I had booked a few days previous. After enjoying a lovely lunch, we went back to our friends apartment for afternoon coffee and cake. We managed to spend a good few hours chatting and laughing. The time really flies when you are having fun. Before we knew it, the time was 6pm and it was time to head home back to the boat.
On returning to the boat, there was a huge queue outside the Arena Birmingham, so I came online to see what was going to be on. It turned out to be Panic! at the disco (no idea who they are). They were on with Arizona and MO again not heard of them, but from the noise which was coming out of the building they were loud. Looking at the write-up for Panic! at the disco, is an American rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2004. We knew were would be in for a loud night, because the concert was not due to finish until 10.40pm.
Whilst listening to the loud noises coming from the Arena, I made us some dinner and a coffee and settled down for the evening.
Pop back tomorrow to see whether we got any sleep. xxx
Monday, 25 March 2019
Sunday morning dawned and there was silence from the industrial estate. The birds were singing and the Canada Geese were honking. A Wren was singing a merry tune alongside out boat and the sun was out, but we were still awake early.
After our usual cuppa, we were up and moved our boat alongside the C&RT workboat, because Phil was coming back with his boat Valerie. We had said to him, to let us know when he was at the bottom of the Oldbury Locks and we would help him up the locks. I got on with the boat chores and cooked up some meatballs for lunch. 11.30am we got a text from Phil to say he was at the bottom lock, so we down tooled, grabbed our windlasses and headed off down the locks to do some lock setting. We found the pound below lock 4 empty again, so I went ahead to help Phil, whilst Keith let down some water. There is clearly a leak in the pound, because it was bone dry. Once we had helped Phil up the locks, I made us some lunch and then we joined Phil for a couple of pints in Spoons (Wetherspoons). It was so lovely to catch up with him and chat about his new boat Valerie, which had belonged to good friends Les and Jaqueline. Sadly Phil lost his boat in a fire along with his dog and was in need of a new boat, so we put him in touch with Jaqueline, who had her boat up for sale. Phil is so happy with Valerie and has really settled in well with her. It was so lovely to see him and to see him so happy. For me seeing Valerie was a bitter sweet moment, because we had always know her as Les and Jaqueline's boat and we know how happy they were on their boat. But she has gone to a lovely man and he will love her and cherish her as Les and Jaqueline did.
Having enjoyed a couple of pints and a good old chinwag, we walked back to our boat, where Keith gave Phil a guided tour of the railway. We then had dinner, before visiting Simon, Tracey and little Harry on their boat Evelyn's Joy.
Monday morning dawned and so did the noise from the industrial estate. It is one of those noises you get used too. For us it would be moving day though and so we got up early to get a few jobs done. I topped the water tank up, whilst Keith emptied the toilet cassette. I then lit the back cabin stove and got rid of the cold ash and rubbish. Whilst we got the boat ready Phil kindly set the locks and filled the low and empty pounds.
Pop back soon xxx
Saturday, 23 March 2019
We woke to a sunny, mild Thursday morning and the sound of the industrial estate waking up across the cut. The Canada Geese were doing their best to drown out the noise from the estate, but were failing miserably. They start working at around 6 am and the banging around begins. Just as well we are awake early. The radio went on as did the kettle and we enjoyed our first brew of the day.
The thought for the morning was to walk down into Oldbury, so after 9.30am, we locked the boat up and headed off. Oldbury has a Sainsbury and an Asda. It also has some smaller shops, but like a lot of towns it is suffering from closed shop syndrome, which makes the place look very sad. I did pop into Sainsbury's to get some Vegetable Suet, because you cannot get it at Aldi and I do like dumplings with my stews. I bought two boxes, so I have one on standby. After a wander around what is a small town, we wandered back to the boat.
I decided the rubbish bin needed emptying, so took the bag to the skip, opened the door to see a bag moving in the bottom of the skip. Out popped a rat, who sat on the bag and looked at me as if to ask "please can you help me out of the skip", because it was a good three foot down in the skip. I closed the door to and headed back to the boat to see if I could find anything to get the rat out, but we had left our fishing net on the mooring. On walking back to the skip a C&RT man appeared and he said he had a net. We both went to the skip opened the door, only to find the rat had managed to scrabble out of the skip itself. I was quite prepared to help the animal. I am not scared of rats, I grew up with them and we have them around where we moor, so they do not get me in a panic. Anyway I hope it was alright.
The rest of Thursday was spent, cooking cleaning and doing more crochet.
Friday morning and on time the industrial estate began early with their bashing and crashing. Cuppa in hand at 6.10am and the radio on. There is little point in trying to sleep. Up by 7.30am and all boat chores done nice and early as well. I got on with also polishing the mooring side of the boat. I like to polish the paintwork twice a year, which helps keep the Red nice and bright. It has worked well for Twelve years, so I will keep it going for as long as possible.
I made a Chicken Casserole with dumplings for lunch and then settled down to finish another Collies Rainbow blanket.
Saturday I woke to silence, yes I thought, we will have a quiet start to our mooring. I was still awake at 6.10am, so got up to make a cuppa and then came the crashing noise from across the cut. I am not adverse to noise, because we have traffic noise at our mooring. I think it is just the loudness of the crashes and bangs, which wakes me up. Anyway it did not last long and we were up just after 7am.
The BCN Society were moving their boats Phoenix and Crow down to pick up rubbish, so we offered to lock wheel them down the six locks. The pound above lock four was empty again, so we needed to let water down in order to get the boats through and the paddle gear on the top gate at lock Six was locked and none of us could undo it with our keys, so that will be reported to C&RT. Having done the bit of lock wheeling, I cooked us some lunch and then settled down to doing a bit more crocheting and reading my latest book The Summer Maiden by Dilly Court. I am very much enjoying this book. I do love the way Dilly Court writes.
I have no idea what the rest of the day will bring, but I will keep posting, when I have something to say.
Pop back soon xx
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Happy Ostara. It is the first day of Spring and the sun is out. What a beautiful start to the Spring Equinox. It is mild and the sun is lovely. Yesterday having got ourselves settled on our mooring, we had our friends in for coffee, with their gorgeous 10 week old son. He is adorable and looks so much like his dad. It was so lovely catching up with Simon and Tracey, because we last saw them at the end of last year, before their son was born.
Waking up in a strange place is always so different. This morning we woke at 6am to the sound of heavy plant being moved on the industrial estate just across the cut. Obviously they start early over there. The only thing for it was to get up and make a brew.
After getting ourselves up and sorted, with boat chores out of the way, we took the granny trolley and headed off to find Halfords. We walked a couple of miles up the towpath to where the Aldi was and then under the motorway bridge, where we found the road to Halfords. The reason for finding Halfords was because we needed some oil to do an oil change on Hadar's engine. Having got what we needed, we walked back along the towpath in the Spring sunshine. It was a good day for a walk.
Oil change completed, it was time for lunch and another coffee. The afternoon for me will be spent crocheting with my feet up. I may even be tempted to sit out in the Spring sunshine, because we are on a nice mooring.
Pop back soon xx
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Finally the wind has dropped and this morning it was warmer and wind free. We set off for Aldi first thing to do a much needed food shop. It is all uphill to the store, but a blessing of all downhill with a full granny trolleys. I stashed all the food away, in its rightful places, before we got ready for the off.
We set off at 9.55am with the sun shining and me in my shirt sleeves, that is how warm it was this morning.
Monday, 18 March 2019
After the fun and excitement of the St. Patrick's Day parade and all the walking we did to see the graffitti around the custard factory, I slept like a log last night. I was in bed just after 9.45pm, feeling everso slighting shattered.
This morning we both woke just after 6am. I looked out of the engine room door to see a pretty sunrise. With us being awake early, I got up and made us a nice cuppa. We were up around 7am and got everything ready for the off.
We did Brades Locks and headed towards the BCLM.
This Spring/Summer cruise is the first one without Paddy and Marmite. It is really strange not to have them onboard and I know that at the BCLM it will feel incredibly odd, not walking him twice a day out onto the park. They both bought us so much love and joy and I for one still really miss them both.
Pop back soon xxx