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

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Homeward Bound

Hello Friends and Followers.

Another miserable start to the day, with incredibly low cloud causing drizzly rain when we set off from Hawkesbury Junction. We passed through Sutton Stop Lock and headed off towards Ansty. We found ourselves behind another boat, who was quite happily pootling, which I do not have a problem with. What I do have a problem with however, is when that pootling boater has seen us behind him and he sits in the middle and makes no attempt to allow us through. he was pootling at 1 mph and we were in neutral and reverse. In the end he drifted to the offside and so we made a run for it up his inside. He did not acknowledge us and we said nothing to him. By all means pootle, but do consider those behind you.
We were making good headway until we got close to Newbold and we join another queue of boats this time we had three in front of us. The boat in front of us was as confused as we were as to why progress was so slow. As we approached the tunnel the lead boat was weaving all over the canal and finally allowed us all through. It turned out they were hirers on their way back base. As we came through Newbold the second boat pulled in and moored up, which left the boat in front of us and us to get underway. It is amazing how quickly you can pick up speed and make distance between you when not held up.

Onward through Rugby, where our good friend Ian and Irene were moored on NB FreeSpirit.
Sadly it as a fleeting wave and a shout of "Hello", as we needed to plough on. Hopefully we will see there somewhere next year, as I am pretty sure we have a lot of chin wagging to do over tea.
The boat in front of us got a gallop on and we only caught up with them at Hillmorton Locks, where they only had one of each set of locks open, due to a broken beam on one of the middle locks. I had a nice chat with the volunteer lockies and the boater in front of us, who had helped with coal boating back in the day and was interested to know if the two boats he helped on were still going strong. I was able to cheer his day by telling him Elstree and Lyra are still on the canal and Lyra is still working. By the time we cleared the locks they were gone into the distance with Braunston being their destination.

After another long day we moored at Bridge 100 on the Grand Union/Oxford Canals link west of Braunston. The plan was to wait out Storm Brian, which was promised and to possibly stay the weekend. Over night the wind most definitely got up a head of steam and there were waves on the canal. The plan to stay put was a good one, as we have watched the Napton hire boats going out and really struggling. One of them managed to clobber us as they tried to make headway.
Hopefully tomorrow will be calmer.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Boating in the rain.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Well what a day.
There was a song 'Singing in the rain'. Well I have renamed it 'Boating in the rain'
I'm boating in the rain
Just boating in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the towpath
With a happy refrain
Just boatin',
Boatin' in the rain

The morning began like most mornings, with a cuppa in bed, with Marmite on my lap and the radio blaring out. The weather forecast said that rain would set in about lunchtime, so we knew we would get a fair way before the supposed rain arrived. We were up just after 7am, because we wanted to top the batteries up with distilled water. By the time I had walked his lordship (Paddy), fed him and Marmite and made our breakfast, the time was getting on towards 8am and I still had the back cabin fire to light. Once that was achieved, Keith got on with checking the five domestic batteries and topping them up. We are thinking we may need to get new batteries for next Spring, as these batteries are over 4 years old and we think they may not be holding their charge properly. Anyway batteries sorted, floor back down and all was well with the world.
We were ready to set off from Alvecote at 8.40am. The sky was dark and gloomy and very threatening. By the time we reached the Atherstone flight of eleven locks the rain was falling steadily and so we were in for a wet day. The first lock was against us and so this did not bode well, but hooray a boat was coming down, so as we cleared the first lock, the boat going down went in. Joy of joys every lock there on was with us. The rain did not let up through and by half way my first waterproof jacket, was soaked all the way through, so onto jacket number 2 and although the body was keeping me dry my arms were soaking, so jacket number 2 was not very waterproof either. I bought it as a waterproof jacket last year, so I am more than a bit disappointed to find out it lets the rain in. Just as well it was not that cold with the rain and so being wet did not bother me at all. I really enjoyed the whole jaunt. We met a group of fishermen, who were getting soaked but were having fun and we had a laugh with them. On a wet day it is guaranteed that there will not be many boaters moving unless they have too and so for us it was brilliant.
Our cruising day finished at 3.50pm close to Hawkesbury Junction. We closed the boat up and dried out. I had my hair plaited and I could wring the water out of it. Jackets and hats were hung in the back cabin, which was toastie warm. There was a fabulous stew smell coming from the stove, with the remains of our Sausage Stew, this went down rather well after such a soggy day.
After dinner, I needed to find a post box, so we walked down to The Greyhound Pub at the junction, to ask where the nearest post box was and were given very good instructions on how to get there. Whilst in the pub, we thought it would be rude not to have a half and to sit down and admire this beautiful pub. Neither of us has ever been into The Greyhound before, but we will definitely go again and next time we will sample their pies, which we have been told are incredible.
So that was my day. I am of course hoping for something a little drier tomorrow.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Homeward bound.

Hello Friends and Followers.

You will need to bear with me over the next few days, because I may not always have a signal. At the moment my signal is at snail's pace, so I will not always be able to upload any photographs until I have a better signal.
At the moment we are moored at The Samuel Barlow, Alvecote, having left Stone on Monday after a fabulous weekend. There will be more on that when I am at home.
On Monday we had the red sun all day.
It was rather spooky.
I dropped off a card order in Great Haywood to a friend, before we made our way. We had quite a scare when we were coming into Weston. A woman cycling along the towpath, decided to stop in the bridge 'ole and she over balanced whilst putting her foot down. In slow motion she and her bike fell into the canal, alongside our boat which was moving through the bridge 'ole. Keith's quick thinking, meant he put Hadar into neutral. I shouted at the woman to hold onto the bank and I would get off and help her out. Now as you may remember it was blowing a hooley on Monday, so getting into the bank was a challenge, but Keith managed to get the stern in enough for me to leap off. I ran to the woman in the water, who was quite calm. I had to pull her bike out first, because she was still on it. Once I had gotten her bike out, I then helped the lady out, who was thankfully not to heavy. She was sincerely grateful for my help, but wanted to be on her way. I offered to dry her out and make her a hot drink, but she said she was going to Stafford. I tried to explain to her that she was going in the wrong direction, but she was convinced she was going the correct way and was fine. It was at this point she realised she was missing a shoe, which had been dragged down into the mud. I did not get her name, but she was Dutch and sopping wet. I wish she had allowed me to help her more, but before I could do anything else she was on her bike and gone. I just hope the lady is fine :-)

Yesterday Tuesday we had a long day and another drama, when I spotted a young Heron on the bank.
The Heron flew up and followed behind the boat, where I noticed there was something wrong with it's right leg. The leg had been severed by probably fishing line and the leg was hanging off. The Heron landed for a short time, before flying behind the boat again. I am unsure what will happen to this beautiful bird with only one leg, but I do have someone keeping an eye on it for me and if they are concerned they will contact the RSPCA. Nature is beautiful, but it can also be so cruel.

Today with just a short jaunt, has been less eventful thankfully. It is extremely overcast at the moment. We had a fantastic lunch and a pint in The Samuel Barlow, which was well deserved after our long day yesterday, when we did not stop until gone 5pm.

HRT update: I have taken my last tablet as of Tuesday, so we will see what happens now.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

What a difference a day makes.

Hello Dear Readers.

Having had a peaceful nights sleep, I was awake early courtesy of Miss Marmite. For such a small lady, she weighs a lot when she is lying on my legs, which hampers my turning over. Now awake, there was only one thing to do and that was to get up and make a cup of tea, but of course that annoyed Marmite, because it meant she had to move again.
Tea made, it was back to bed with the radio on. Marmite decided she would climb beneath the duvet by her dad and snuggle down for as long as our cup of tea lasted. When I got up, I opened the back cabin door to see the amazing view above. The sunrise was beautiful and to make it more special were the Swan family who came to say "Good Morning".

Up and about, Paddy and I went for a morning stroll enjoying the sound of a Buzzard overhead and a Heron flying up cut ahead of us.
Back onboard, I lit the back cabin stove, filled the copper kettle and placed it on the stove. I love the smell of proper coal when it is burning and the wafting of the smoke into the morning sky.
8.40 am we were all set for the off, so I untied the forend and off we set, destination Stone, which is of course Hadar's birth place.
What a difference a day makes, because today we had the locks with us for a nice change and there were other boats on the move. It had been so quiet on the cut, but being back on the Trent and Motorway, I should of guessed there would be more boats.
We arrived in Stone, which always brings happy memories of when Hadar was built ten years ago. We always enjoy coming back.
We winded and moored up. We had leaden skies and now they were sending us rain, which would last for an hour and more, before drying up again later.
I am looking forward to a couple of days rest, before we set off again.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Locks against us.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Before I begin my ramblings, I must apologise, if you have left me a comment and I have not replied I am sorry. It seems that blogger has forgotten to send me an e-mail to tell me I have comments. I received one today and when I checked my comments, It is fair to say I had a few. Because I have had so many, I will not be able to reply to them all, but know that I will read them all and I thank you for taking the time to send me a comment. In future I will be checking more closely to see if I have any comments to be published.

Right well what a fabulous day weather-wise. It was a tad nippy this morning, which explained why Marmite felt the need to sleep on my legs for most of the night. I had let the saloon stove go out, because it had been warm, but with the temperature drop overnight, Marmite was clearly put out, and decided to take it out on me all night. Everytime I needed to change position, she complained then curled up again. I reckon she got more sleep than I did.
We left Cross Green at 8.40am and the sun was doing its best to burn off the low cloud. First locks of the day were worked at Gailey.
We were clearly not in luck when it came to the locks today, because they were all against us. Thirteen locks and not one was with us. There were more boats on the move today, which was nice. Lunch was again eaten on the move. At Penkridge, we met up with Carol and Bob on NB Falmouth, who winter moored in the Saltisford Arm. Falmouth has had a brand new paint job and looks fantastic. This year Carol and Bob are mooring her at the Stafford Boat Club, so we will not be seeing them. We got to Tixel Wide and there was Kit Alcott waving, so we had a quick "hello" and then onward to Great Haywood junction at 4.30pm. On his mooring at Great Haywood Marina Mark was on his boat waving. It is always lovely to see people we know and to say "hello" to those we have never met before, although some are a tad grumpy. I cannot do grumpy, so usually make more of a point of speaking to the person, in a hope that I will at least get a smile.
Our cruising day ended at Br 78 Ingestre Bridge, with the temperature dropping and the light fading.
Having moored up, I cooked us Bubble and Squeak for dinner and made a coffee, because we were both in need of something to eat.
HRT Update, for anyone who is interested.
It has been going well. I am now down to just one a week for the next two weeks and then that will be it, I will have come off of my HRT tablets. It will then be interesting to see if I have any issues. As of yet I have felt fine. My joints have been aching, but that is probably due to all the work I have been doing this past couple of weeks, well that is what I am hoping. We will just have to see how it goes.

See you tomorrow I hope.
Pop back soon xx


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