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













Monday, 11 October 2021

Bug Hotel building.


Hello everyone.

How has your day been?

My day has been a busy one out in the garden. But before all of the garden fun, I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee in bed, whilst watching the news of the day. Once up and sorted out, we went off for our morning walk.

We had the 28 acres to ourselves on our walk. Well when I say to ourselves, we did meet up with a few Squirrels, a couple of Rabbit and we heard the Buzzard over head.

Back on the mooring and today was the day our old bug hotel was going to get a revamp. We moved the hotel from our old mooring and I was never really happy with how stable it was. It was only held together by 4 temporary posts and a tarpaulin roof.

We dismantled the old hotel, stick by stick and log by log. 

At the bottom of the hotel, we came across one of the residents, who we moved to a safe location, whilst we worked on making the Common Toads home safer.
Once, I had cleared some of the soil away, we began to construct our new hotel. We recycled some of the old wooden fencing, which was taken down on site. I am all about recycling where I can. 
Once the walls and the roof were on, it was time to rebuild the hotel.
It did not take long to fill the new hotel up with the logs and sticks.

With the hotel almost finished, we added more bee hotels for the solitary bees we get every year. We are both so chuffed with how it has turned out. We look forward to inviting our new residents into their new home. 

Pop back soon x










Sunday, 10 October 2021

We all struggle.

 

Hello one and all.

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I bet every single one of us has struggled at some point in our lives with how we feel mentally. I know, I have had some very dark days and times and to be honest the only way I have gotten through them is to talk. Talking, is such an amazing healer. There is an old saying "A problem shared, is a problem halved" and this is so very true. 

Never feel like you are on your own, because you are not. There is always a listening ear available. Never sit alone with your worries and fears. Reach out and ask for help.

Pop back soon xx



Saturday, 9 October 2021

A dedicated follower of fashion?

 

Hello family, friends and followers.

Firstly, how are you?

Here we are another step closer to the time of year where the adverts on the TV are already centred around on big day and the shops are gearing up to crazy season. Yes, I am talking about Christmas. Mid September, I saw my first Christmas TV advert arghhh and the shops have been putting out Christmas things including food already. Sure some of the food will be out of date, by the time we reach Christmas Day? I am not one for a the hype, but I will say I have already bought two presents, just because they will not be available again and I wanted them. So, if you are like me and think Christmas comes too soon, because of all the hype say "Yay, I am not alone".

Another, thing that I do not go with is fashion. I am most definitely no fashion icon and never have been. The last time, I was anywhere near fashionable was in the 19070's, when I had a pair of Red and White hot pant and I felt like a million dollars, or should that be pounds? I always wanted the tartan strips on my jeans when Bay City Rollers were all the craze, but never got them. It is true to say I like comfort over fashion and that is why I am going to share with you something that has changed my life, as far as comfort is concerned.


A couple of weeks ago, we went into a charity shop to get Keith a pair of trousers, any trousers his size, because one of his old pairs were threadbare and were only any good for doing the dirty jobs on the boat, such as blacking or changing the oil, or for working in the garden. We picked up a lovely pair of Regatta walking trousers and a pair of M&S Blue Harbour Chino's. Both pairs fitted him like a glove and so they both came home with us. I then got to thinking how comfortable the Chino's looked on him and wondered whether they would be comfortable on me. I find buying trousers a problem, because I am short and I do not like drop waisted trousers. I like high waisted trousers and jeans, but fashion today dictates I cannot have what I want. Anyway, I decided I would try on his Chino's and woo hooo I was hooked. They are the most comfortable trousers, I have ever worn. They fit perfectly and I love them. Okay they button up differently, but hey who is gonna notice, when I have a blouse of a jumper over them and to be honest, I do not care. It is sad to say, that much of ladies fashion is purely to look good, it is not about the comfort. I am all about the comfort and I am not bothered about wearing men's trousers, if I feel comfortable. Because, I was so comfly in the Blue Harbour Chino's, I bought myself a pair on Ebay and I think I maybe living in them, until the end of time. I also have a love for dungarees. Maybe the dungarees bit, is because again they are comfortable and you do not have to worry about the waist bit. This woman is for comfort. If There were decent Chino's made for women, I would buy them, but they are either drop waisted, straight leg or just not comfortable. Where as the men's are perfect, so thank you Blue Harbour for making this woman very happy.

Changing the subject. We have been busy again in the garden. On our patio area, we had two tubs, containing Honeysuckles in the corners. They have been in the pots for 8 years and were definitely pot bound. My thought was to remove the tubs from the corners, take up the two paving slabs, and plant the Honeysuckles in the ground. This would give the Honeysuckles more room to thrive. First task was to get the slabs up, to see what was underneath. This took a crowbar, a shovel and brute strength and a few choice words. But, between us we managed to get the slabs up. Thankfully, underneath there was soil and not loads of concrete, although the previous person, had put dabs of concrete on the slabs, which actually did nothing. 

My next job, was to get the Honeysuckles out their pot. It was fair to say, I struggled to get the plants to vacate their pots. In the end we had to tip the pots up and prize the plants out kicking and screaming. The tubs did not fair well and are destined for the scrapheap. 
When replanting the Honeysuckles, I put some manure in the hole first and watered it well. 
With both Honeysuckles in their new homes, I gave them a good watering and asked them to thrive. Now is a good time to move shrubs etc. I have a lot of plant moving to do in the garden this Autumn, which I will post about when the time comes. 

Boat news. I have been taking the hold strings off and washing them bit by bit. They get so grubby and stiff,. Washing them softens them and also makes them look a lot cleaner. Next week we are off out for a Boating Buddies day, with two ladies from Canal and River Trust. We have done this on two previous occasions. With most of C&RT's staff  being office based, the organisation wants their staff to experience life afloat for a few hours, so they set up Boating Buddies, where those of us who live afloat, take out the staff for a days cruise and introduce them to what we do everyday and we also get to tell the history of the waterways and the things which need improving. As I said, we have done it twice before and it was fantastic. The weather for next week is looking good, so fingers crossed the ladies should have a great day with us. If you are a boater, and think you would like to get involved, why not contact C&RT Boating Buddies. Now that Autumn is officially here, we have the stove lit. The immersion heater has been switched off, because our stove gives us hot water as well as heating and stove to cook on. With energy prices going up at the moment, the chance to save money on the electric is a welcome one. I bought our fuel in the Summer, at Summer prices, which means we benefit from a cheaper price. The amount of fuel I bought, will last us the Winter. We do not need any diesel, as we are almost full. Autumn evenings are chilly, so it is nice to have the stove lit, but at the moment during the daytime, it has been unseasonably warm, which has meant we have had the doors and windows up, because it has been too warm on the boat. It is a fine line, when keeping the fire in or letting it out. 

What has your week been like?

It is now the weekend and this morning, we walked up into town. The market was very busy, but having donned our masks we felt absolutely fine and I had the hand sanitiser with me. We sat outside for a coffee at the Tuckery, then got a few items off the market for Keith. We then went to a jewellers to get a ring enlarged, so that I can wear it. When I get it back, I will tell you the rings story. By the time we got back to the boat it was getting on for 11am and my thoughts turned to lunch and what I would be doing for the rest of the day. I will share that with you another time. 

Have a lovely day. Do pop back soon xxx


Monday, 4 October 2021

Strange bangs and an opps moment.

 

Well hello one and all.

Here we are into a new week and moving onward through October. Yes I said October. I know, I am still trying to work out where 2021 has gone, especially as we seem to have spent so much of it at home. But enough of that, I think we can all say we have had enough of Covid-19 and what comes with it, even though we are still being very careful.

In my post title, I have written strange bangs and that is because, when you are woken up at 1.20am by loud bangs early hours of a Saturday morning, it is going to set your brain a racing. I almost shot upright in bed, which woke poor Keith up. At first there were four loud bangs coming from close to our boat. I lay back down and wondered if I should go and investigate. I am not the bravest of people, but I was having thoughts of someone breaking in on site, or someone in distress. It went quiet for a few moments, when there were four more loud bangs. I decided to be brave and jumped out of bed and donned my slippers. To make sure I did not disturb anyone who may be around outside, I opened the engine room doors very quietly and crept outside. Our security light came on, but the banging continued. The sound was coming from by the main gate, which had me wondering was someone trying to break in? I crept up the steps and kept low, as to not draw attention to myself. I could hear voices, so I kept low and managed to look between the hedge and the gate post. I saw a car and three men. One was lying on the floor, with two others bent over with torches and it appeared that they were trying to either change a tire or repair something to do with a wheel. At this point, I kind of realised they were not up to anything naughty, so I would leave them to it and head back to my nice warm bed, because I would be absolutely no use to them in my PJ's and slippers. As I got back inside the boat, Keith was just getting himself sorted to come out and see what was going on, which was not needed. Back in bed, there was the banging again and they began shouting. I was almost tempted to go back out and ask them to keep the noise down, but then thought, maybe that is not what they wanted to hear, but at 1.20am in the morning some people need to realise they need to keep their voices and noise down, because noise seems to travel when it is so quiet. On reflection, I could of asked if they needed any help. But the sight of me in my tartan PJ's and slippers, may have been more than they needed to see and Keith would have been no use. Anyway, about half and hour later, the banging stopped and I heard a car drive off, which could only mean they had fixed the problem or decided to carry on regardless (There is a movie title in there somewhere).

The weekend, was spent actually having an Autumn clean out and a bit of pruning. The weather was not the greatest, because we have had a lot of rain, which has made the ground very muddy under foot, but I wanted to get some cutting back and pruning done. I wanted to plant some bulbs, but the ground was too wet. With the gardening jobs done before lunch, I turned my attention to having an Autumn clean. Yes I know, we all try and do this in the Spring and I did it in the Spring, but I felt the need to go through the cupboards and drawers and have a tidy and clear out. I hate keeping things I have never used or worn for more than six months. I had a dustbin bag full of rubbish and a bag with things for the charity shop. If someone else can get some wear or use out of anything I am getting rid of, I am glad. These days we throw away far to much stuff, when in fact someone else would probably love the items. The rest of Sunday was spent watching movies. I love a good movie on a Sunday, because I like to relax on Sundays. Movies for the afternoon were 'Sweet Home Alabama' and 'How do you know', both films starring Reese Witherspoon. 

Here we are Monday and it is a day of sunshine and showers. No gardening, even though the sun is out, because the soil is too wet. We got out for our morning walk. This morning it took us around our local cemetery, which is 28 acres and is beautiful. The workmen were there busy trimming bushes, putting up scaffolding and cutting the grass. There was a notice on the gates, saying they will be turfing new graves soon. There is always something to do. Back home, I riddled the fire and made it up for the day, made a coffee and carried on with my sorting out. Lunchtime was calling and I decided we would have jumbo fish fingers, with peas and potatoes. I opened the freezer and pulled out the fish fingers and grabbed a bag to get the peas out. The bag I grabbed was the sweetcorn, the one big problem was the plastic sealing clip on the bag had come undone, so as I pulled the bag out of the freezer, the clip came off and the sweetcorn went all over the place.

There was sweetcorn all over the place. I managed to save most of it, but sadly I had to sweep some of it up with a dustpan and a brush, so it had to be binned. I hate binning food, but this had to go in the bin. Note to self: Check food bag clips before taking things out of the freezer. Along with our fishfingers, potatoes and peas, we ended up having some sweetcorn as well. On the plus side we had two of our five a day and the floor got a good wash. 

As the afternoon has worn into the evening Facebook is down, as is Intagram and Whatsapp. I wonder who pulled the wrong plug out? Castaway is on the TV tonight. Oh I do love a bit of Tom Hanks. Time to put my feet up and contemplate tomorrows jobs.

Pop back soon xxx


Thursday, 30 September 2021

Where did that go?

 

Hi family, friends and followers.

It is a thoroughly miserable day out and more rain forecast, with strong winds added into the mix. Having put the new glass in the stove door yesterday, this morning I relit the stove, because it is rather nippy. In fact we were both chilly last night, but I wanted to make sure the rope glue had gone off, before lighting the fire, so last night we just added another layer of clothes and wore snuggy PJ's to bed. 
This morning on my Facebook page, I had a memory come up from 8 years ago and today is the day we moved onto our first residential mooring in the Arm. Where on earth has that time gone? I remember that day so well, because we were both so excited to have been offered the mooring with the garden, which was in desperate need of sorting. I wasted no time in getting stuck in. Within two weeks, I had the garden stripped and began sorting it out. We soon had it looking better and we actually loved our garden there, we had got it just how we wanted it with a pond, rockery and lots of planting. Coming up is our 3rd anniversary of moving to our new mooring in the Arm. This past three years has certainly flown by and been very different, what with Covid-19 and the lockdowns. We came home to our new mooring early, because our generator had failed whilst we were out. 
Having our home mooring, has been a precious thing for us, because if we had been still out selling coal, Keith would of died in the January of 2014. I am a huge believer that things happen for a reason and we were meant to have our mooring and Keith was meant to survive. 

As the day has worn on and the fire has made the boat all cosy, we discovered that our galley tap was leaking again. We had changed a washer on the cold side of the mixer tap, but now it was leaking from around the actually tap head. I tried to sort the problem, but failed so I phoned Simon, who is in the Arm and is our go to man when we need something done. Simon is a blacksmith by trade, but does all sorts of work on boats and not on boats. For instance, he helped with the building of our wooden terrace at the top of our garden. He can turn his hand to most jobs and every boater in the Arm calls on him, when a job needs doing. Keith would do the tap himself, but what with his hernia and back, it is just not possible. After lunch Simon popped up to have a look at the mixer tap and it was decided that after over 14 years of use, it needs replacing and he reckoned he had one at his work shop, so we are now waiting to hear back from him as to whether he does have one or he needs to get on. In the meantime, I am putting tea towels behind the tap to soak up the water dripping from the joint. There is always something to do on a boat. The mixer tap has certainly done its job and the hope is a new one will last just as long. 

It is still miserable out, but we did get a quick walk in. The plan now is to stay indoors and watch films for the rest of the day.

Pop back soon xxx




Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Best laid plans.


 Hi family, friends and followers.

Yes, I know two posts in a week. Please do not faint, I do not want to be responsible for you bumping your head on the way down.

Well, I said in my last post, that if it got chilly, I would light the fire and yesterday was that day. It was a thoroughly miserable day weather wise and so Summer is now done with and Autumn has finally come to our neck of the woods. I lit the stove and we were soon nice and snug. The warmth took the edge of the chill and the damp feel you always get on the boat when the temperature begins to slide. The plan was to let the stove out during the evening, because we did not want it too hot to sleep. As the afternoon, drew into the evening, I noticed that the stoves glass had cracked along the bottom of the glass, which was not good news, especially as the fire was not out yet. To be fair, the glass is a good few years old, and nothing last forever. 

Another thing we also noticed was although the radiator in the bathroom was warm, it was only warm in one corner and even though we turned the bleed key, no air or water was coming out, which meant there was an issue with the radiator. My thought was a massive air lock. I checked the header tank in the cupboard and topped it up, but it did not make any difference with the radiator.
This morning, we firstly tackled the stove glass and door. After some chiselling, wire brushing and a few choice words, we were able to get the old glass out. I walked down to our local hardware shop Torry's and bought some new fire rope and glue. When I got back, I redid the fire rope and put the new glass in the door.
With this job done and the door refitted, it was time for lunch and a chance to ponder what the issue was with the radiator. After lunch and a coffee, it was time to play detective. We checked all the valves, to make sure nothing was turned off. All was on and the pump was working. I then suggested we crack a join on the radiator connectors to see if there was any water in the pipes, so Keith did that and yay we had water in the pipes. Having done it all back up again, he then tried the bleed key again and hey presto it worked and we had water coming out of the bleed. We have absolutely no idea what happened, but I can only think we had a massive air lock somewhere in the pipework. A major problem, was all sorted out in no time at all and sanity has settled in once more. I am now hoping that, we will have no further issues and our replacement glass, which will be our back up glass arrives in one piece. We always keep a spare. 

Pop back soon xx


Monday, 27 September 2021

It is that time of the year.

 

Hi family, friends and followers.

I am sat here, having had a shower, ever so slightly chilly. I am thinking, I should of lit the stove to take the chill off, before having a shower. I then got to thinking, where has this year gone? We have all been through another difficult year, due to the joys of Covid-19 and so why has the year flown by? It is not as if we have been cruising the cut or doing exciting things and yet we are on the downward slope to Christmas arghhhh. I remember my Nan telling me once, that the older we get the quicker the time goes and as a child, I thought don't be daft, time is time it cannot go quicker. But the older I have gotten, the quicker time does seem to fly by, even when doing nothing exciting. This does not bode well, if this year has flown by and I am approaching my 60th year. This means the rest of my days will spiral into oblivion. It is a scary thought, that life is flying by and there is still so much to do. 


Next year, yes I am already talking about 2022, because we will have the joy of a new grandson in our lives. My daughter is expecting another boy, bringing her family total to three amazing boys. We are so blessed to have Oscar and Orion in our lives and we are all very excited about greeting another little man, who will bring yet more joy into our lives. The joy of grandchildren is unmeasured. I feel so blessed to be able to hug them and watch them grow up into wonderful individuals. 

Today, was Flu vaccination day. We go to our local chemist for our vaccinations and for the first time, being 50+, I got my vaccination done free. For the past, goodness knows how many years, I have been paying for them, but yay this one was free. We now await our Covid-19 booster vaccination appointment. We are both still making sure we keep away from lots of people, because neither of us wants Covid. Yes I know we are vaccinated, and yes I know it is highly unlikely, that we would be really unwell with this virus, but neither of us wants to get it, especially having seen what long Covid has done to some of our friends, who have had the virus. Because I had years of Bronchitis, my lungs are not that great, when I get even a cold, so if I were to catch the virus, I am thinking my lungs would be pretty angry. Even the damp weather, which is creeping upon us, makes me cough in the mornings. I sound like I have smoked 60 fags over night. So many people have stopped wearing their masks, but we will continue to wear them, for as long as it takes. 

As we approach October, the bags of coal are stacked ready for use and the stoves are overhauled and cleaned, waiting to be lit. If it continues to be damp, I will light up and take the chill off of the inside of the boat. It always feels so nice and cosy, when the stove is lit. I also have to think about Keith, who suffers from the cold more than I do. 

Jobs for this week, are meant to include washing our hold string, but the forecast is not looking favourable. I did not wash them last year, so I really do need to get them done. We will see how that goes. I have gardening, which needs to be done. Cutting and pruning back needs to commence. Bulb planting to do and we also need to sort out the long pile bug hotel, which is having a makeover, pictures will follow. 

The laundry here in the Arm, will be getting a lot of use over the next few days, because I want to get all the heavy bedding, curtains and blankets washed and dried. I love using the laundry, when no one is around, because I play the music on my phone and I can sing along happily, without anyone bothering me. Oh yes, I do sound like the cats choir, but hey I really do not care. I love to sing. When I was a child, I joined the church choir, so that I could sing. I find myself being so happy when I sing out loud. What brings you joy?

Right it is time for me to a Mr Freeze Jubbly and to sit and watch a film. Sending you all hugs.

Pop back soon xxx




Thursday, 23 September 2021

Never a dull moment.

 

Dear family, friends and followers.

This past 18 months, for everyone has been difficult and for those who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19, their lives have been turned upside down. Getting back to some sort of normal, has been important on so many levels and yet, we are still not pushing too many boundaries, because the virus is still very much with us. We are waiting for our next Covid-19 jab to back up the two we have already had and we are booked in for our flu jabs next week. We could have them both done together, but I did not like the thought of having them together, so have booked the flu jab separately. I do not usually have any issues with the flu vaccination, but who knows how it will react with the Covid-19 jab. Anyway, we will make sure we are fully vaccinated and then wait and see what Winter brings. 

Since my last posting, I have been busy with the garden and with helping out in the Arm. There is always something that needs attention. If I am not doing the gardens, I am wielding a paintbrush to coat the woodwork in preservative. After the making of the new flower beds in my last post, work began on taking out a hedgerow down on the visitor moorings.

The old hedge, needs replacing or not, which is yet to be decided, but it has had its day and is now just full of ivy and brambles. It also blocks out a lot of light. 
Keith and Nigel got on with chipping the old hedge, whilst I helped to gather all the branches and greenery together for them to chip. Whilst we had the chipper out, the trees in the car park got a prune, because, every time a large van or lorry came through the car park gate, they hit the lower branches of the tree, causing damage to them and the trees, so we took out any low hanging branches, giving vans and lorries plenty of clearance. We have a lot of Ash trees on site, which considering many Ash tree are stricken with Ash dieback, ours are looking incredibly healthy. 
As I type this entry into my blog, I am taking the day off from working on site. I feel as though my get up and go has got up and gone. I may have overdone things a little. In this past week alone, I have locked wheeled up Hatton on Monday. 

My brother, his wife and friends hired a boat and were doing the Warwickshire Ring. They spent Sunday night in the Arm, where we joined them for Tim's homemade pizza and apple pie. We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, laughing, drinking and talking about old times and our lives. Monday morning 9am, we helped them up the Hatton flight.

We had a real laugh for 2 hrs 45 mins, which is how long it took us to get up the flight. Keith and I then had lunch in the Hatton Locks Cafe, which was scrummy. Keith and I then took a leisurely walk back home. Tuesday, Keith and I spent racking soil and mud, which was dredged out of the Arm at the end of the visitor moorings. Because we are an Arm, we have a dead end, which fills up with silt and dead leaves, this then begins to smell and gives off Methane. Ian our site manager dredges it every few years and the stuff he gets out, is spread on the raised beds. This has to be raked out and that is what Keith and I did all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Along with all of that, we walked up into town to get prescriptions and to book our flu jabs. 
I think today (Thursday), my mojo has gone. I literally have no energy. I did some baking this morning and that has been it. All I really want to do is fall asleep. In my head I am still a spring chicken, but my body is saying I am an old boiler. I guess, I need to start taking better care of myself. 

Pop back soon xx


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