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

Friday 31 December 2010


Hi Friends from across the world.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year. May 2011 bring you good health and happiness.
The lurgie is doing its best to keep me down, but I am fighting the good fight as all us women do. Today I managed to get up at 11am and have had breakfast and some lunch, which is a bonus. Keith went and collected our Tesco food delivery and I waited for him to return, so I could unload it into the boat. I don't feel as bad as I did yesterday thankfully. The most annoying thing now is the persistant headache I have. I thought it was due to my hair needed washing, so I washed it but that has made no real difference. I have probably got a temperature, which is making it seem worse. I will keep taking the tablets and hope that I will feel better for the 1st day of 2011. I think it is highly unlikely that I will see the New Year in, but who knows. Normally we see the New Year in with a tot of Whiskey if we can keep our eyes open long enough.
It seems that nearly everyone on my Facebook, has either got the lurg or has a family member with it. I have a feeling a lot of New Year parties will be put on hold.
As I have felt a little more with it, I have discovered Skype for the first time. Friends use it a lot, but for some reason my computer would not allow me to download it. But Keith loaded it on his new computer and he managed to take the file off of his laptop and put it on mine, so I now have the delight of working out how Skype works. I hope it works better than Messenger, which I gave up on a long time ago.
Keith has a dine a sterling job, keeping things ticking over on the boat. He has discovered just how much needs to be done each day, before you can sit down and play on the computer. 
Right I am off back to bed to see if I can get rid of this flippen headache.
Happy New Year, see you in 2011 xx

Thursday 30 December 2010

The lurgie has hit the fan.

Hi Blog fans.

It is New Year's Eve, eve and yep the lurgie has hit home. Yesterday's sore throat may have gone, but now I have a head which feels like it has been in a vice and ears full of cotton wool the size of clouds. This is what happens when people just have to spread their germs arghhhhh.
I went to bed at 10pm dosed up to the eyeballs and did not wake up until 2am, when I got up and dosed myself up further. The next thing I knew it was 7am and time to take another load of medication and throat pastilles. Keith reckoned I was moaning a lot in my self. I was probably cursing the person or persons who felt the need to share their bugs with me and goodness knows how many other people, who are down with this lurgie as well. Keith got up just after 8am and did the morning chores, of walking Paddy and stoking the fires. I was left in bed curled up beneath the duvet, where I was sweating my eyeballs out.
Keith bought me toast and a cuppa, which I consumed in bed. I cannot remember the last time I had breakfast in bed. It was probably the last time I was poorly, which would have been some years ago. I am not one to linger in bed, I get bored very quickly, but I did stay put till 10.45am. I then got disturbed by someone knocking on the boat. Keith got up to see who it was. It turned out to be some kid out walking with his family. The child did apologise for needlessly knocking on the boat and went on his way with his mother telling him not to do it again. I needed to get up and so decided to sit in my PJ's and have a hot lemon, whilst reading e-mail's etc.

I have no desire to pass my germs on to other's so I will not be going far today. I only hope that Keith does not catch it off of me. maybe I should get a face mask ha ha ha.
Having had a sore throat, I have been left with a deep husky voice, so very sexy. It would make a great radio or phone message voice, so if anyone wants to hire it out, I do not charge much. Take advantage of it quickly, because it will not last. Right back to my bed with my hot lemon. Have a good day everyone xx

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Thank You So Much.

Hi folks.

Guess I should have one final moan before 2010 is done. So I want to thank the person or person's who sneezed or coughed over me yesterday, because now I have a sore throat arghhhhhhh. Yep I know there are worse things that happen in life, and I will be fine, but it is not something I need when I am trying to deliver coal to customers. I will keep taking the tablets and carry on regardless as all good women do, but making sure I have the courtesy not to sneeze or cough over other people ;0(.
When I was growing up, I was taught to carry a hanky and if I needed to sneeze of cough to use that hanky to cover my mouth and nose. These days hankies seem to have gone by the board. The best you will see the younger generation us is the sleeve on their hoodies. Infact do the younger generation actually know what a hanky is?
I always have one in my pocket. I bet I could go to any coat or bag and find a hanky.
I really hate having a sore throat and being sick. I can cope with the cold bit and the coughing, but sore throat annoy's me for some reason.
Today will be spent dosing myself up to stop it going any further. I still have coal to deliver to customers, but Keith will give me a hand.
May come back later if I feel the urge. have a good day everyone xx

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Oopsy Daisy Gently Does It.

Hi Folks.

When I left the post this morning, little did I know how bad things had got outside. Having led in bed drinking tea, it was time to roll up the bed and shut the cupboard door. Once all dressed, Paddy had to venture out up the towpath. No sooner I stepped off of the boat, I knew I was in for a delicate walk. The towpath was lethal and I mean lethal. It had been covered in compacted snow for days, and then for it to rain in the early hours, this has made the compacted snow turn to glass. To actually make it a long the towpath without ending on my rear, I walked along the edge of the path. Paddy decided he was not keen on the skating conditions, so was quick to do his business, turn around and walk gingerly towards the safety of the boat. Like me Paddy is a woose. I have no desire to fall down and break a hip. Back onboard, Keith had laid up breakfast, which was soon eaten. The stoves were then raked out and stoked up. Next chore was to refill the Copper Kettle which stays on the back cabin stove and keeps hot all day incase we have visitors. Having checked e-mails etc online, we then ventured back out to walk into town, making sure we kept to the edges of the towpath. Once off of the towpath the path around the basin and down into the town was fine.
My first stop was the Little Bra, Big Bra shop (click), where I was hoping to get a new fitting done. But as today is classed as another Bank Holiday, it was one of a handful of shops which was closed. No problem I will go there another day.
Second stop was Peacocks where they only had one Gillet (ClickBody Warmer) in the shop and thankfully it was in my size wooo hooo. Keith also wanted a new Waistcoat (Click) and yep you guessed it, they only had one of those as well and it turned out to be in his size as well. Someone must have known we were coming.
Third stop was Steffan's the Jewellers (click) to take Keith's pocket watch back. Three weeks ago I took it in to be repaired, as it was failing to keep time. They had the watch Three weeks, charged us £50 for the repair work and it is still not keeping time. Whilst we booked it back in, I made sure we would not be paying anything further for the repair, because the watch only cost £60 in the first place. We were assured we would not have to pay for any further work to be done, so we will see.
Fourth job, which was unplanned, was to go and see what DVD's were available in Block Buster. We were actually interested in seeing if they had Avatar, but as before Christmas they only had the extended version, which we do not want. We have no need for the directors cuts etc, etc. But whilst in the store Keith spotted The Pacific, which is kind of the next in line from Band of Brother's and Saving Private Ryan. It was directed by Steven Spielberg. We saw the previews for the film on TV, and it looked good. It comes in 6 DVD's and with over £20 off of the price, it seemed well worth the purchase. I bet it is full of blood and guts, which does tend to turn my stomach. But once I know where the nasty bits are I can cover my eyes ha ha ha.
With all jobs acheived or almost acheived, we trudged our way back up to the basin, which is still covered in ice and now has a layer of rain on top, so if it freezes again, then the ice will be even thicker. We got chatting to Don and Gill off of NB Idunno for a few minutes. Light drizzle was now beginning to fall again and lunch was calling my name, so we said our goodbyes and headed off along the still icy towpath.
Lunch done, we are now settled in to watch the afternoon films. I have decided for the safety of myself and my customers, I am staying shut today. I will deliver coal ordered tomorrow, when hopefully the towpath has thawed a bit more.
I hope you have a wonderful day xx

Hug the ones you love.

Hi Friends from around the world.

Live every day as if it were your last and make sure to tell and show your loved ones how much you care, treat yourself well, pursue your dreams, and jettison the life-wasting debris in your life. May we all live our lives to the fullest.

I do not know if you are the same, but at this time of the year, I do get a little philosophical and I reflect on things that have passed throughout the year. The one thing that has made me really think today is the death of Joanna Yeates (Click). I have tried to imagine what her family and friends have been going through since she was discovered missing and now of course since her body has been found. Christmas is supposed to be a time of great celebration, and yet for the Yeates family it will only ever been seen now as a time of tragedy and this goes for all the other people across the world, who lost someone over Christmas. I sincerely hope they catch whoever did this appauling thing to a beautiful young woman. My thoughts go out to her family at the dreadful time. If I had my way a life for a life would apply. There is no place in this world for someone who takes a life. Just my opinion of course. I have girl's and the thought of a similar thing happening to them, does not bare thinking about as far as I am concerned.
Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of Christ's birth and he is supposed to take care of us all. I do have to wonder if any of this is really true and I am sure Joanna's parents must be wondering the same thing.
If he cares so much about his subjects, then why does he allow this and other huge tragedies to happen?
Of course this is just me thinking out loud. Keith and I had this discussion whilst drinking our early morning brew this morning in bed. We do talk about some odd things whilst sitting in bed. Having put the world to right in our own minds, we then went on to discuss, what we will do when we can no longer move the boat, do locks or feel the need to move anymore. Neither of us has any plans to move back on to dry land, we have always said we will see out our day's on our boat. We will take a mooring one day that we do know, but as yet that is not needed. But one should never say never and if for health reason's we should find the need to leave the boat, it would be a difficult decision. For anyone living on a boat it is a decision that may have to be taken at some time. Some have already begun to take steps to move back on to dry land and that decision has come about because of the two Winter's we have experienced in one year. I am full of admiration for anyone who has taken the decision and I know it will not have been taken lightly. We must all do what we feel is right for ourselves and not be swayed by other's. Of course we can listen to other's advice, but at the end of the day we are the ones who must make the decision and be happy with it.
See told you I am in a philosphical mood.
I always like to treat people the way I like to be treated myself, this comes that in a hope that one day when I need someones help, they will be there to offer me a helping hand and on that note I am off down the town to see if I can buy a new Gillet (body warmer) for working in, as my old one has given up the ghost. So have a fun day everyone and remember to hug the one you love xxx

Monday 27 December 2010

Man's penis freed from metal pipe with industrial grinder | Metro.co.uk

It seem's no where is off limits.

Man's penis freed from metal pipe with industrial grinder | Metro.co.uk

Taking a risk.

Now I am no kill joy. Mind you after you have read this you may think otherwise. But I am going to have my say anyway. For two day's running whilst out walking Paddy, I have seen footprints on the ice. These footprints have been walking up the centre of the canal where we are. If only the person or persons knew just how dangerous their actions are. This stretch of water although frozen, did actually have a boat moving along it just over a week ago, so the ice is not the same thickness all the way across and infact up the centre where these people have walked is at its thinest. Believe it or not I was a young person once, infact I still am young. I did silly things, like climbing trees etc, but never once did I ever walk on frozen rivers, ponds or canals. The danger is staring you in the face. Of course have fun, but do it safely and do not put the lives of others at risk. If someone falls through the ice, the rescue services are then going to put their lives at risk to rescue the person who has fallen through the ice. It is a tragedy waiting to happen at the moment and already this Winter there have been tragedies on frozen ponds and canals. Frozen rivers, canals and rivers always look tempting and offer an idyllic setting. But ice is not normally thick enough to hold your weight and the chance of falling through are extremely high. The water temperature is very cold at the moment, a person’s body will go into cold water shock almost immediately, which can lead to death.
You only have to see the TV news and read the papers to see the tragic consequences of doing out on to frozen water.
I really don't want to spoil anyone’s fun if they are taking advantage of the snow and ice to enjoy themselves, but this is clearly very dangerous behaviour.

Another problem is the fact that dog walkers do not keep an eye on their dogs when out walking. Their dog goes out on to the frozen water and the owner feels the need to go out on to rescue it DON'T. (Please Read). More often than not the dog will get out unhurt and yet you will not. Keeping your dog on its lead is a must when walking near frozen water.

Sorry if I am being a killjoy, I just do not want to read or hear about another tragedy.

Sunday 26 December 2010

The morning after the day before.

Dear Friends.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas Day?
I can honestly say, I had the most wonderful day with Keith. I have just enjoyed a wonderful Boxing Day cooked breakfast, thanks to Keith's wonderful cooking. He does a mean brekkie.
Yesterday started off very quietly, we did not hurry up because it was for us a day of rest. As we were not being visited by family or friends, we took a relaxed approach to the morning. Breakfast was toast and a cuppa, this was due to the fact that we would be eating a Seven course lunch at the Angel Hotel, in Market Harborough. (Click). We were booked in for lunch at 12.30pm, so had plenty of time to kill. I opened a present from a dear friend. I now have some nice smellies to use when showering. I reckon she is trying to tell me something.
Of course the usual chores had to be carried out, so the dog got walked and the fires got stoked and then I could get dressed up. There was no point in dolling myself up to stoke the fires. Living on and working our boat means I do not get the opportunity to get dressed up to often. So it was a real treat to get the high heeled shoes out of the mothballs and my posh clothes. I seem to spend most of my life in tatty trousers, shirts and jumpers, which is perfect for my job,  so when I get to dress up it is a real treat and I can really feel like a woman for a change. I actually do not scrub up to bad. Even Keith looked very smart in his shirt, tie and trousers. He always looks very dapper when dressed up. This was what impressed me when we met for the first time. I remember that day so well. He wore dark Blue jeans, a White shirt and a Yellow Fleece. Yes I did say Yellow. it was infact Canary Yellow, but looked stunning on him. From that first meeting in person I was hooked to this most wonderful man.
Opps sorry am I boring you, I can see you yawning from here.
So back to Christmas Day. Having got my glad rags on, I thought it better to take my high heels with me and wear my walking boots to walk down to the hotel, because the towpath was still covered in snow and ice. It proved to be a very wise move, because not only was the towpath icy the pavements were really bad due to no salting. We made it safe and sound to the hotel and were welcomed in by one of the staff.
Firstly we stepped into one of the Lounges, where I changed my shoes. We then were offered Festive Nibbles and a drink. We chose to have a bottle of wine, which was then taken to our table. Our order was taken for dinner and we were shown to our table, which looked really festive. The Angel Hotel's attention to detail was wonderful. On the table not only did we have huge crackers, we also had a Christmas card written to us a wrapped box of Cadbury's Roses, a festive balloon and a festive table decoration. It was very welcoming. The menu for us was as follows:

Festive Nibbles
Julienne of Duck, complimented with Orange Segments on tossed leaves dressed with Raspberry Dressing.
Wild Mushroom Soup.
Succulent Oven Roasted British Turkey
Served with Chipolata and Bacon Roll,
Cranberry Stuffing and Roast Potatoes,
Fresh Season Vegetables.
Tangy Lemon Tart, with Orange Segments and Cream (I had Ice cream)
St Nicholas Christmas Pudding with Brandy Custard Sauce (Keith's pud)
English and Continental Cheeses with Fruits, Pickles and Biscuits.
Fresh Filter Coffee with warm Mince Pies.

That was just the choices we made. You have Five choices for starter, main and pudding, so something for everyone. It is the best Christmas meal we have ever had and to say we were stuffed was an under statement. We certainly needed the walk home, because we were really full. On the walk up the hill, it was amazing to see the main Leicester road completely empty, there were no cars on it, such bliss.
The rest of the day was spent vegging out in front of the TV like a couple of beached Whales. Neither of us ate anything for the rest of the day, because there was no room for anything else and even when I woke up this morning I still felt pleasantly full. But I did manage to find room for Keith's cooked breakfast. I think we will spend the day picking at nibbles and maybe have a bit of boiled Bacon for dinner tonight. It spend the past couple of days slow cooking in the back cabin stove, so is lovely and moist.
Our Christmas day was a quiet and yet wonderful one. It did not stop me thinking about the people in my life who I would not be sharing my Christmas Day with, but I still had a fabulous day and count myself lucky to be with the person I love more than life itself.
Today (Boxing Day), will be another quiet day. There are plenty of films on the TV, food in the fridge and something to drink, so we will be like pigs in muck.
Have a lovely Boxing Day xx

Saturday 25 December 2010


Good morning and a very Happy Christmas.

The big man has been and I hope you are now enjoying Christmas with your loved ones.
I would like to wish everyone a wonderful festive time. Especially to my other patient half Keith and of course to Mog and Dog.
Merry Christmas to all of our customers, family, friends and of course my blog readers. Thank you for supporting me and keeping me sain.
I am going to have a wonderful day with my beloved, so I am off now to get dressed up for the day xx

Friday 24 December 2010

Cat in a Vase

Gifs at Giftube.com

This is the sort of thing Marmite would do.

Where is Santa??

If you want to know where Father Christmas is right now you can track his every move right here (Click). As I type he is in Australia.... Happy Christmas to my friends in Australia. He will be coming to your house, so do not forget to put out something to eat for Father Christmas and his Reindeer, because he has a busy night ahead.

Radio and Red Wine.

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone.

What a start to our day. Awake early, so a cuppa was made and drunk in bed, whilst discussing the fact that it is Christmas Eve. Now we had planned a quietish day, with possibly a few customers arriving wanting their coal. It was also going to be a day of tidying the boat and doing some cooking. Having drunk my tea, I then checked on Marmite.
Why you ask?
Well Marmite and Paddy were play fighting last night and Paddy got a bit over excited and hurt Marmite's tail. It does not seem to be bothering her to much, but she is not flicking it around like usual and it is hanging a little limp, so I need to keep an eye on her and it. If it does not improve, she will be visiting the vet.I am hoping Paddy has just bruised it, but as Marmite cannot talk, I have no idea if she is in any pain.
With Marmite checked out, it was time to get up and dressed. First job on the list was to walk Paddy along the frozen towpath. When we got back to the boat, toast was on the go and the generator was on charging the batteries. Everyday we enjoy the local radio station Hfm (Click). This morning they were doing a competition where they would ring a number and if the person answered saying 'Ho, Ho, Ho, I'm a silly Santa' they won a bottle of Champayne. We were not fortunate to be rung, but Keith did win us a bottle of Red Wine. A few days ago we both answered the radio station's survey as to why we love it and Keith's name was drawn out of the hat. So I thought I would ring the radio station up and say thank you, little knowing that I would end up live on the radio arghhhhh. I got to speak to the lovely Dave Irving, who does a fabulous show from 7 to 10am. We chatted live on air about us being frozen in and what we had planned for Christmas and of course I wished everyone at the station a very Happy Christmas.
Having got off of the phone, I was then contacted by a customer, who required some fuel, So it was then time to don the donkey jacket and head out in the cold to unload some coal. Keith headed off to the sanitary station with rubbish and toilet cassette, whilst I sorted the coal out. Just as I was about to lock the boat up and trudge down the towpath, Keith arrived back, so we set off to deliver coal together. Whilst heading for the basin another of our customers was coming to meet us also wanting coal for Christmas, so we did an about turn and headed back to the boat to unload more coal, which got put on the sack trolley. One thing is certain, I am never going to be unfit humping all this coal around. Coal dispatched from the hold and on to the trolley, we set off again along the towpath to the car park, where we put two bags of coal into the customers car. Just as he was leaving our other customers arrived, carrying our bottle of Red Wine from radio station, they had very kindly collected it for us as they had cards and presents to deliver to the radio presenters. They saved us a hike to the station, which was very nice of them. Not that we did not mind walking over mile to get to Hfm, because today they have lots of choccies and cake going free ;0).
It looks like that is our last Coal delivery for Christmas, so we are now going to put our feet up. Well that is until I have to put the bacon in the back stove, feed us both for dinner tonight, stoke the stoves, washup etc etc etc. A woman's work is never done, especially of you live on a boat. Have a lovely Christmas Eve everyone x

Thursday 23 December 2010

Footprints in the snow.

Footprints on the ice.
Hi friends from around the world.

We have another very chilly day ahead. This is the norm now it seems and I am not complaining just yet. I know many are really fed up with this weather for many reasons. I suppose I should feel the same, after all we are stuck and have been since the 26th November, but I really love this weather and appreciate the fact that this is how a Winter should be.
The one thing I have noticed is how the wildlife are coping with this weather and for many here they seem to be doing just fine. The ducks are being fed on a regular basis by the people who live by the canal and by walkers. Even the birds are enjoying lots of food from bird tables and hanging feeders. Even the cheeky Squirrels are enjoying a feast of food supplied by us and others. There has been no sign of the Kingfisher, but who can blame them. They have probably gone to the rivers or coast to find food. Although a local gentleman said last year they were visiting his bird table, so maybe they are not far away. There will of course be casulties due to this cold weather which is very sad.
This morning whilst walking Paddy, I was fascinated by the footprints on the ice. I could not help but wonder, where they had come from and where they were going too. We have Ducks, Moorhens and local cats. I have also spotted Fox prints and a Rabbit. They seem to be using the frozen canal as a way of crossing the canal. This is fine whilst it is frozen but for cats this may put them on the wrong side of the water when it thaws and this will mean more signs going up for lost cats.
So far today, I have:
Folded the bed away.
Stoked the fires.
Swept the floors.
Washed up the breakfast things.
Delivered coal.
Thawed out the water tap and filled tank.
Discussed with a gentleman about the pro's and con's of living afloat.
Put Sausage Rolls in the oven for lunch.
The problem with this weather is, it means easy jobs take twice as long to do, but hey I have all the time in the world. There is always another day to get jobs done, if I run out of daylight hours.
There are only two more sleeps until I get to go out for my Christmas Dinner and I am so excited. Being waited on hand and foot is my idea of luxury. Mind you I will not be able to wear my new shoes if it is still icy. I will have to wear my walking boot's and take my shoes with me to change into, otherwise I am going to break an ankle. Wear a plaster cast for christmas is not my idea of fun.
So as the morning drags itself into the afternoon, I am going to do some lunch before settling down to watch the afternoon films. So have a lovely day xx

How To Wrap A Cat For Christmas

Wednesday 22 December 2010

White Christmas.

Careful what you wish for.

Hi Friends from around the world.

Not long to go now, I hope your all ready for Christmas Day and then the New Year. I am pretty much sorted out now and then once I have my bread etc, that will be it I will not be venturing out until Christmas Day for our dinner. I am not one for shopping at the last minute, when it is crowded, yesterday was nice in Leicester because we were just browsing. I am now glad we went yesterday, because it is chaos on the roads today.I asked for it and now I have got it wooooooo hooooooo. Yes at 4am this morning, we were woken up by what sounded like golf balls landing on the roof of the back cabin. Keith opened the back cabin doors to see snow falling finally in Market Marborough. Today was always going to be busy, with people wanting coal for Christmas, so having got up and done all the usual morning jobs, I then had to go out and clear the snow off of the holds sheeting and on the towpath. I need to be safe when lifting coal off of the boat and Keith needs to be safe on the towpath to receive the coal from me. So I swept the towpath alongside the boat and sprinkled salt on the ice to melt it. It was not long before our first customer arrived for his coal and then another customer came from Welford to pick up some coal. It is always nice to see people we supply fuel to, we got to have a chat and wish them all the very best for Christmas. We hope that come the New Year we will be able to deliver to them on the water, but it is not looking hopeful at the moment.It is a snowy scene here today, which makes everything feel more festive. The waterfowl are not to impressed with the conditions though. A Robin has finally found our food, which we have put out for the birds. I am hoping to get a photograph of it on the bird feeders.
Whilst waiting for customers to arrive for the coal, I have made a Mince Beef and Potato layer for dinner tonight, it is ready to go in the back cabin stove and smells devine. At some point I need to go down the town to pick up bread, fruit and veg, but I may wait till tomorrow now, just in case other people arrive for coal.
Time for lunch, so I am off to delve into the fridge to see what we have xx.

Santa in Court.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Father Christmas and Faggots.

Hi Friends from around the world.

Yep you already guessed it, we had another very cold night. It was down to below -8c, so yes we are frozen in hard again. It all looks very festive and I am so hoping we get some snow to top it all off for Christmas.
Because it has been a busy time making sure our customers have fuel, we have not had much time for ourselves, but that all changed today, because we took a day off.
We took off for Leicester this morning. We wanted to go and see the christmas lights and to soak up the festive mood, so we were up and waiting for the bus at 9.45am. The journey into Leicester was about 55 minutes and what was noticeable to us, was the further we got away from Market Harborough the whiter it got. The landscape was white all over as we got closer to Leicester. As we approached the centre of town the temperature was -6c, so we were in for a chilly day. Thankfully we were both wrapped up against the cold. I had on base layers under my jeans and shirt and with my NorthFace jacket, hat and gloves on I was toastie warm. Keith even had two pairs of trousers on. It did pay off to wear a lot of layers. Leicester did look very festive. In the Haymarket Shopping Centre, Father Christmas was in his sleigh high above the shoppers. The sleigh, reindeer and of course Father Christmas really did look life like and put me in the festive mood. Even the tree next to the Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower looked very festive.
We both wanted a new garment to go out in on Christmas Day, so I bought a new blouse and Keith got a new shirt. I know the last of the big spenders. The problem is we do not have a lot of room on the boat, so no point having to many clothes. But it will be nice to go out looking our best on Christmas Day.
Lunch was at a Chinese Buffet. We have been to it before and as before we enjoyed our lunch very much. The only downside was the place was not particularly warm, even the staff were standing in front of a heater from time to time to get warm. Thankfully the food was hot.
Our day in Leicester drew to a close and it was time for the journey home. we made our way to the bus station and were pleased to see our bus was waiting for us. I picked the seats at the front of the bus and I was so pleased I did, because a gentleman got on the bus and coughed all the way to his destination. The coughing would not have been so annoying had he put his hand or a hanky in front of his mouth, but he just caughed his germs over everyone. So if I come down with the dreaded lurgy, I will blame him. Every time he coughed I covered my mouth and nose with my scarf, hoping it was enough to stop the germs getting through. I could of said something to the gentleman, but he probably would not have understood me because he was foreign and knew very little English.
We walked back to the basin and there was a hosepipe thrown across the ice. With all the taps frozen around the basin. The only tap working is in a cupboard on the Sanitary station, so extreme measures were being taken to get water to the boats. The boating community knows how to pull together at times like this. Everyone will hopefully get their water tanks filled before darkness fall. We are now back onboard our cosy boat, and settling in for the evening.
I hope your day has been as nice as ours xx.

The indoor market is huge and is on different floors. You can buy everything you want from the market. I was looking for Faggots, so we made a b-line for the meat level. At first we could not find the Faggots. Infact we found everything but. There was of course Turkey's, Pheasants, Venison, Beef etc etc. After looking once, Keith suggested we should go round again just in we had missed them. Low and behold we had missed them, they were didden in a small corner of a meat display. A dozen Faggots for £3.40 is a bargain. I will make three nice meals out of a dozen Faggots. A nice warming food for these wintery days.

Monday 20 December 2010

Do you have it????

Hi friends around the world.

Ok come on, own up, who has it?
You know what I am speaking of, who has the White stuff????
It seems everywhere around us is getting lots of snow, but it seems to be missing us again WHY?
Maybe if I scream and rant it will come our way. I know your thinking, I am crazy wanting snow, but I am just a big kid when it comes to the White stuff. I love to go walking in the snow and if we were to get enough I may even build a snowman for the bow. All my friends on Facebook have snow falling as I type, so I am asking could you possibly blow some my way, so I do not feel left out.

Overnight the temperature dropped to at least -9c, so when I stepped off of the boat this morning we had a fantastic hoar frost again. I know many will be getting bored with my postings about how cold it is, sorry if I am boring you, but for us Brits this does not happen to often, so we like to make the most of it.

After doing all the usual morning jobs, Keith and I wrapped up against the cold and walked down into town. We had a few things we wanted to do. One of those things was to find some Chocolate tree decorations.

We love to hang them on the tree, then starting from Christmas Day, we take one each off of the tree and devour it. The odd thing is the packs contain 9 chocolate squares or circles wrapped in foil, why not I thought?

Then my braincells kicked in. The manufacturers know full well that if they only put 9 in a pack it means you have to buy to packs to get an even number. So yep we bought to packs for £3.98. It is actually a bit of a rip off, but it is our Christmas treat. We managed to find some in Sainsbury's £1.99 a pack or 3 packs for £5. No where else in town was selling them which is a little strange. You can get the chocolate money in bags but nothing else.

Who watched The Apprentice Final last night? (Click)

Congratulations to Stella English, for taking the top job last night. She was my favourite right from the first episode. I think Lord Sugar has got himself a treasure there. I also think Chris Bates will end up with a job with Lord Sugar. It was indicated by Lord Sugar last night, that the door was open for Chris if he should feel like walking through it. If I were Chris, I would run for the opening and grab a job with both hands.

Of course the news is full of the weather and the disruption it is causing. But as usual there are horror stories of people walking on icy ponds, lakes and canals and losing their lives (Click). I repeatedly tell people that even though the canal is frozen it is not safe to walk on. Not only are you putting your life at risk, you are putting the lives of those who have to come to rescue you at risk as well. If your dog goes out on to the ice, DO NOT go out to get it. Your dog will make it back on its own. Better still keep your dog on a lead, then it will not run on to the ice. Please do not leave loved ones sad this Christmas.

Other sad news today was the death of Brian Hanrahan (Click). Many will remember Brian Hanrahan for his coverage of the Falklands War. He has sadly passed away at the age of 61 after a short battle with Cancer. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Congratulations goes to Matt Cardle, who has secured the Christmas No1 with his debut single, When We Collide (Click). I know there are many who were hoping that the X-Factor show would not get another No1, but when there is no one else bothering to try, I think good on them. We do not have Christmas songs like we did years ago. I wish Matt every success with his music career. Apparently he will have a book out soon as well. This will tell of his journey to the X-factor and beyond. I imagine that will sell well too.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Wintery Walk.

With it being such a crisp morning, it was ideal for a nice walk along the towpath. There were quite a few people out walking with their dogs, but I seemed to be the only person with a camera. I sometimes wonder if people walking actually ever look at the countryside and wildlife around them.
Paddy most certainly had a spring in his step. He was not paying much attention to the wildlife, he was more interested in the Police sirens going off. I caught a glimpse of a couple of Fieldfares (Click). They spend the Winter in the UK and can be seen in all over the British Isles. The Squirrels were out in force, probably searching for the food they had buried before this cold weather took hold. I reckon they will need a stick of dynamite to dig up their nuts now, because the ground is rock hard.The Wintery sunshine reflected off of the frozen waterway, making for a beautiful scene. Paddy and I strolled across the field where the Traveller's horses are tethered. It was a little dodgy under foot in places because being a marshy field there were puddles of frozen water. But we made it across without falling through the ice. This foal was so cute, it had the most wonderful coat to keep out the cold.
In all the walk took us an hour and it was pure enjoyment for me, not sure if Paddy felt the same. he is now collapsed in a heap by the fire. I am now off to do us something for lunch, so I will wish you a happy Sunday xx.

Bed room chatter

Hi Friends from around the world.

I am afraid it is the same old as far as the weather is concerned today. The temperature got down to -7.5c overnight and so we are locked in tight now, but I am not worried at all.

This morning I peered at the clock bleery eyed to see it was only 6am. Why on earth would I want to be awake at 6am on a Sunday morning?
Keith got up and paid a visit to the smallest room on the boat, so it was my chance to open up the stoves. I raked the old ash out of both of them, stoked them up and waited for the heat to start permiatting around the cabin's. Whilst the heat was building, it was time for an early morning cuppa, which of course we drank in bed. This morning's topic of conversation was school day's. It is fascinating that once you begin talking about something, how it brings back memories. I went to three schools in my early years. The first was Hurstbourne Priors Primary School, that got closed down due to lack of number's, so we got moved to Longparish Cof E School, which I stayed at until 11 yrs old. I then went to Testbourne Community School for the rest of my schooling. At my school we were put into houses and they were all named after birds of prey. Merlin (Yellow) Hawk (Red), Kestrel (Green) and Eagle (Blue). I was in Merlin but cannot for the life of me think who was head of house. The headmaster at the time was Mr Davis and he was a very fair but strict head and everyone loved him, well those who behaved lol. Those who misbehaved felt the force of the cane, either dished out by Mr Davis or Mr Walters known by everyone as Jock. We then got into a discussion about what happened at Christmas. I recall we had house parties, where we were allowed to take in party clothes, which we would change into part way through the day. We would also take in some party food and share out with other house mates.
I wonder if they still do this?
My favourite lesson's were English with Mr Pascoe and Domestic Science with Miss Hack. I loved cookery and still do to this day all because of Miss Hack who was my favourite teacher. She taught me all I know today. I also loved Drama with Mr Jones and yes he was Welsh. I hated Math's even though my tacher Mr Salter tried very hard to help me take it all in. Despite extra lessons by him I still failed Maths miserably. Physical Education with Miss Woolley was lovely when it was warm, but in the Winter it was perishing. I recall the days in a PE skirt, playing Hockey on an ice pitch at the top of the playing field, with the wind blowing a hooley. It was not pleasant. In the early days we were not allowed to wear tracksuits. Before I left tracksuits were bought in, which was an absolute blessing. Ohhhhh school days, they do bring back good and bad memories. Keith has similar memories of his life at school. I was never a grade A student, but I did not do to bad for a country girl LOL.
With our tea drunk, we settled back down under the duvet for another hour. It was then time to get up and venture out with Paddy. Whilst I took him for a quick walk, Keith cooked breakfast. This morning's delight was Sausage, Bacon, Poached Eggs on Toast and very scrummy it was too. It is now 10am and I am trying to decide what to do with myself today. I feel a walk coming on, if I can get myself motivated.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Christmas shopping.

Hi Friends from around the world.

Brrrrrrrrr it was bitterly cold out this morning. The temperature got down to at least -7.4c last night, and yes we are still frozen in. But do I care................................ NO.

I woke up this morning to the sound of the church bells pealing in the town at 7am. Apart from the bells not even the birds were chirping, but then who can blame them when it is this cold. Maybe their beaks were frozen shut. I really do feel for the wildlife when the weather is this cold. I do realise that to some this is not cold, but for the UK it is freezing. Although we are very cosy on the boat. Due to the fact that it is a Saturday, there was no hurry to get up, so before I made us a cuppa, I stoked up both stoves to bring the temperature inside the boat up a bit as it was a little chilly. We then sat in bed drinking tea and talking about what the day would hold for us and if there were any plans to do anything. By 8.30am we had a visitor, Paddy crept up to the back cabin and laid his head on my lap. I took this as a sign he needed to go and visit the little boy's room outside. I clambered out of bed and did not waste anytime getting dressed, because the engine room was cold. Marmite then joined the party on the bed, hoping to find a nice warm place to snuggle down and go to sleep. She loves all the warmest places like most cats, unfortunately she lucked out because the bed was rolled up and put away.Before breakfast Paddy got his walk along a very crispy towpath. The temperature gauge was still reading -4.5c when we stepped off the boat. There is something so refreshing about walking in a heavy frost. It is as though the air is all new and fresh and you are the first to inhale it. I love to take a few deep breath's to clear the tubes. I would be quite happy to walk miles in this sort of weather, but Paddy never likes to go to far, because he knows his breakfast is waiting for him back on the boat. So no sooner he has done what is needed, he does an about turn and legs it along the towpath back to the boat, where he sits and waits for me to open the engine room doors, where he jumps back into the boat.

After we had eaten breakfast, Keith and I wrapped up warm with hats, coats and gloves ready to head down into the town. As we walked down the hill, Santa's sleigh passed us on a trailer, being pulled by a white van. Maybe Santa thought it was to dangerous to bring the reindeer. When we got down into the town we saw that Santa had joined his sleigh and was waving to all the passing traffic. We headed for the indoor market where we bought five packs of meat for £10, an absolute bargain. We then went into Wilkinsons and bought some bird feed.

Having done all we needed to do and fought our way through the Christmas shoppers we made our way back to the boat. The bird feeders are now hanging on the swan neck and I hope that the birds will take advantage of some free food. When we had a garden we used to have a bird table and allsorts of feeders, but with living on a boat it is not as easy to put food out as we have no where to really hang it. But as we are not going anywhere at the moment the swan neck will do just fine.

Talking of Christmas shoppers. There seems to be a me-first seasonal confusion which manifests itself in shopping rage at Christmas time. People feel they have the right to push and shove their way through, using their elbows as battering rams. Whatever happened to the words excuse me please?
I feel for any shop worker because I have been there over the Christmas period. I used to work for M&S and still remember the queasy feeling that arrived on workday mornings in December, because I just knew what was coming. Even before the store opened, a horde of customers would be waiting outside the locked doors. Some would bang on the glass and point at their watches. Others would scan the aisles already mapping out their frantic dash. Whilst most of the encounters with Christmas shoppers were pleasant, every so often shopping rage would drown out the seasonal cheer. Remember to be polite, it costs nothing, but could be very rewarding when your looking for that something special. I can now laugh about this misplaced fury. But at the time, it felt like I was the one and only person shoppers could vent their rage at. It felt unnecessary and entirely at odds with the spirit of the season. Shop assistants are human too.

So with exactly one week of shopping left until Christmas, I wish you success. I hope you find everything on your list and you come out of it with your sense of humour in tact.

So with us back on the boat in the warmth, the snow has begun to fall, and I hope it is here to stay for a while. Stay safe and warm out there xx

Friday 17 December 2010

Here we go again.....

Hi Folks.

Here we go again, I feel a song coming on.

The temperature here at the moment is almost -4c and the canal is solid, but if your living on a boat you will already know all of this. I think we can safely say that this is a hard one. We have had two Winter's in one year and for some it is a Winter to far. We are however prepared for what this cold snap has to throw at us. If the online forecasts are correct, then this is going to continue until at least Christmas and who knows it maybe a White Christmas for a change. It has been a blessing for us being moored in the right place at the right time, in our case Market Harborough. We have been stuck here ever since we ploughed through ice from Foxton on the 26th November. Gosh it seems like an age ago. The downside to being frozen in, we cannot get to our customers at Crick or Welford, but we have been in touch with them and given them other alternatives if they are in need of fuel. We do not like letting people down, but unfortunately there is nothing we can do about the weather. No sooner we can move, we will be back on track with our deliveries.

A Girlie Day Out.

Hi Friends.

It has been another very cold day today, with the temperature having dropped to -6c overnight. We had no further snow unfortunately, but the ground was very hard and icey.
It is not often that I get to go out on a girlie shopping trip, but today was such a day. I joined Gill on NB Idunno and Chrissie on NB Digitalis for a day of pure girlie shopping. It all began at 10am when we met at Gill's boat. We settled ourselves in Gill's car and tried to program our journey into Gills Sat Nav, but like all computer gadgets it would not play the game, so after 15 minutes of arguing with the Sat Nav, we ignored it and set off towards Leicester regardless. Like all women we nattered along the way and enjoyed the view of snow covered fields. We then relaised we had gone the wrong way, so had to do an about turn and head back the way we had come. It was then we got in a queue of traffic, but at first no evidence as to why we were in a queue. It soon became evident that there had been an accident and the crime scene officers were on scene, so obviously it was not good. An hour and half after setting off, we arrived at Fosse Park and managed to find a parking spot, despite it heaving with Christmas Shoppers. We were not there to Christmas shop, but to browse and just have a nice day out. After parking up our first port of call was the Coffee Shop in Marks and Spencers. Chrissie very kindly bought us all a Coffee. I also had a toasted sandwich and Chrissie a toasted tea cake. The food is prepacked and when you pay for it they take it away and toast it for you. So you know when your food is ready they give you a tab, which flashes and vibrates. Chrissie reckoned you should wear it down your trousers. Now I know why she likes the M&S Coffee Shop. I think we must have put the whole world to right all within a couple of hours, it was then time to get down to some serious browsing. I was looking to buy a pair of shoes. But was open to suggestions as to what to buy. Some of the heels on the shoes today are extremely high and not for me. The highest I have ever worn have been 3 inch heel and that was when I was in my teens. These days I wear sensible shoes and will go up to an inch and a half inch heel. I like to feel comfortable when walking in shoes. Whilst in M&S I also bought some of their Caramalised Onion Chutney, which I adore. Because I do not get to an M&S very often, I bought 3 jars. The Chutney goes really well with Cheese and Boiled Bacon.
We all all enjoyed our look around M&S, so we then moved on to the other stores at Fosse Park. M picked up a nice hat in River Island for £5, it was in the sale and is normally priced at £19.99, so a bargain. I will be wearing it when we are cruising in the Summer. I can honestly say I really enjoyed my time out with Gill and Chrissie, we had a lot of fun looking at the latest fashions and lingerie. M&S, Next and New Look have some beautiful Lingerie in store at the moment, so if your reading this and fancy buying some undies for your loved one men, remember to find out the right size of your partner. I think that some stores could take on what The Little Big Bra Shop in Market Harborough is doing. They are building up customer details and keeping a record at each fitting so that men can refer to these details when buying lingerie sets for their partner, which a fabulous idea, and would save the partner having to return the goods after Christmas, which happens so often. After a fantastic few hours together, Gill, Chrissie and I made our way back to our boats. The roads were very busy with the rush hour traffic.
The temperature is dropping like a stone at the moment and is as I type it is down to -3.4c, so we are in for another cold night and yet more ice on the canal. Stay safe and warm out there xx

Thursday 16 December 2010

Flu-jabs and Snow Showers.

Hi Friends.

We stepped another day closer to Christmas and a step further away from actually moving, because the weather has taken a turn for the worst as forecast.

This morning I slept in till 8.30am, which has to be some sort of a record for me. The day started as always with me taking Pad out for his walk. I went further up the towpath to see if there was any progress with the canal thawing, but just from looking at it, I could see it was still some three inches thick, which we could break, but what is the point in being stuck in the middle of nowhere, I am then no use to my customers.
Back onboard it was a Porridge morning. I love Porridge, because it warms the bodies core and is a good source of energy. Keith loves Syrup on his, I am a sugar lover.
Job of the day were to top up the water tank, ready for the forecast freeze. Whilst the tank was filling, I unloaded a bag of housecoal for the back stove and a bag of logs for the saloon stove. I am all about being prepared. The tank took half an hour to top up, this was mainly due to the fact that the flow is so slow. Tank topped up, I then got asked for 6 bags of coal to be delivered to Gill and Don on NB Idunno, so that was my next task. To make the job easier Keith put the new wheels we got yesterday on our old sack barrow, so we split the bags of coal between us and set off for the basin. Gill very kindly offered us Coffee and neither of us like to refuse an offer of Coffee, so whilst Keith took the trolley back to the boat, I settled into a nice warm cabin with Gill for Coffee and a chat. Keith and I spent an hour nattering with Gill, we then headed back to our boat for lunch.

Lunch over with we set off down the town to get our Flu-jabs. Mistry's in the town is offering them for £15, no appointment needed. Gill told us that she had been for her's there and with so many coming down with the flu around us, we decided it was a good idea to obtain the flu-jab. I used to have one every year until a couple of years ago because I always ended up with Bronchitis. But my GP stopped me having it because for two years the Bronchitis stayed away. He did not see any point in me having the flu-jab, which was fair enough. But with my job I feel I need to keep well. I am no good to my customers if I am laid up in bed with the flu. To get the flu-jab it was so easy. We filled in a short form, walked into an office, rolled up our sleeves and had the needle stuck in. Nothing to it . I must admit I feel a lot happier knowing I am protected from the H5N1 flu and Swine flu. I already know someone who has a mild does of Swine flu. With a couple of other things done down in the town, we walked back to the boat in the snow. It was coming down pretty hard, much earlier than forecast.

Back at the boat we left the closed sign up and were about to settle in for the evening, when I got a phone call from one of my customers who is stuck at Kilby Bridge, he wanted to come and collect some coal by car, so I donned my donkey jacket, hat and gloves. Unloading coal in slippery conditions and dusk can be dangerous, but I managed to do it without breaking my neck. With the snow now falling down heavily I wheeled the sacks around the basin and waited for my customer to arrive. There was something magical about standing under a street lamp watching the snow fall. It drew my mind to 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' and the scene with the lamp in the wood. Customer arrived on time and very grateful to me for coming out in the snow. I told him "It is what I do".
Tomorrow we had hoped to be moving up through Foxton Locks to supply our customers at Crick and Welford, but that is not going to happen, because the canal is still frozen solid and is set to freeze even more. I absolutely hate letting people down, so have come up with some alternative suppliers. I just hope that I can offer them some help in this period of bad weather.
Dinner tonight is once again Oxtail stew, but this time we are having it with Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts. Stay safe and warm out there xx

Wednesday 15 December 2010

On a go slow.

Hi Friends.

We are creeping ever closer to Christmas Day and the weather is pants today it has to be said. It is cold and damp here today. But if the forecasters are correct, we will be back in the freezer again by the end of the week, so I am making sure we are stocked up on everything.
This morning began like every other morning, so I am not going to bore you with those details again, I can already hear you yawning, or did you have a late night?
Yesterday I ordered some new wheels with anti-puncture tyres, and they were due to arrive either today or tomorrow, so having walked the mutt and eaten breakfast I was all set to wait for the delivery, should it have been today. The back stove fire was on a go slow, so I left it to decide on what it wanted to do. I loaded up our small fold up trolley with a full toilet cassette and rubbish and headed for the sanitary station, once that was all sorted out, I stood in the drizzle by the hire boat office waiting for my wheel delivery. I was not actually expecting it to arrive today, because knowing my luck I could have been stood waiting for hours and nothing woulod arrive. But it must have been my lucky day, because 10am my phone rang and a gentleman on the other end said "I have a delivery for you madam and I will be with you in 10 minutes". Woooo hoooo it was my lucky day. True to his word he was no more than 10 minutes. So thank you Tuffnells for a prompt delivery service. I now have two sack trucks to deliver coal with. It is such a relief to have trucks which actually do the job.
Back at the boat, with the new wheels stowed away, the phone began ringing for coal orders, so it was going to be a busy afternoon. But before all of that I needed a coffee and a thaw out. The drizzle and the cold had got into my bones.
Keith wanted to get a job done in the engine room, so we stripped out all of the shelving, tool boxes etc. He has added a non-return check valve to the back boiler to calorifier pipework. This should stop the hot water in the calorifier gravity feeding back into the shower room radiator when the circulation pump isn't running. His first attempt ended with a leak, so we had to strip it all down again and reseal the joints. The problem with any job, is you then have to put everything back from whence it came. But it does look tidier now, so a good job was jobbed once again.

After lunch I began delivering coal to customers in the basin and on the towpath. it seems everyone around me is ill at the moment, with colds, sinus infections or tummy bugs. I really do not need to get any of them, so I am staying at arms length, because the last thing I want is to be poorly. Like with any delivery I make, I like to stand and have a chit chat. More often than not we end up putting the world to right, but that is the fun of my job and living on the canal. I feel so lucky.
Yesterday I spoke about Oxtails cooking, well they did cook and last night before bed, I stripped the meat off of the bones. In the back stove at the moment the veg, onions, potatoes and gravy are all cooking and before dinner tonight, I will add the meat and dumplings. The smell coming from the back cabin is very scrummy.
Paddy is as I type having his paws trimmed, which he does not mind. It means he does not get the mud clogged up in between his pads.
Right off to make a coffee, so see you tomorrow xx.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Last Food Shop and a lost dolly.

Hi Folks.

I actually managed a lie in this morning woo hoo that is a miracle and a first for a while. Maybe my brain was so tired from spending hours apologising to friends about the morons who were using my e-mail address to spam my dear friends, that is decided it needed its sleep. Anyway I was up by 8.30am and Paddy was the first to get my attention, because the poor boy must have been crossing his legs. Every morning he always heads for the same BW post. He has set out his territory and likes to mark it out each and everyday, ready for the next dog to come along and do exactly the same thing.

Breakfast over and done, it was time to stoke the fires again and put the Copper Kettle on the back stove ready for the days hot drinks. Today was Tesco day, so all jobs had to be sorted before I headed off to wait for the Tesco van to arrive between 11am and 1pm. I put some Oxtail's in the back stove to stew with an Onion, Carrot and Garlic Cloves. They will cook slowly all day, ready for a stew for tomorrows dinner. Keith headed off with John off of NB Acen to Hams Hardware in Market Harborough to buy a couple of plastic water containers, just in case we should run out of water. He also bought some engine oil, as we used the last of ours yesterday when we did an oil change on the old girl. Keith said that Hams was an aladdins cave full of goodies. So next time I will have to go with him for a nose around. Afterwards he went to Welland Valley Feeds to get a bag of Paddy's dog food. We like to buy his food in the large 15kg bags, it makes it cheaper and of course means we are not constantly stocking up on feed. I sometimes get Marmites food from there as well, but it is just as easy for me to get her Whiskers food from Tesco and let them do the carrying. Whilst he was doing that, I was then setting off along the towpath to wait for Mr Tesco to arrive. Half an hour had gone by and Keith and John were back from there shopping trip. Another hour passed before the Tesco van came around the corner, by then we had chatted to several people going about their day, including Don and Gill off of NB Idunno, who had been to Debdale Marina to get some cans filled with Diesel. 70p a litre they were charge there, but another boater went to North Kilworth and got charge 85p a litre. Someone is making a killing. Thank goodness we hold enough diesel for a year and filled up in October.
Delivery stacked on to the trolley's we wheeled it back to the boat and I then stowed it away. That is the last big shop from Tesco before Christmas for us. If I need anything else I will walk down into the town. I know I will need things like Bread, Fruit and Veg, which I am happy to put in my rucksack and trudge up the hill.

Talking of the hill, I had to nip down the town to use a public phone box, because an 0800 costs to much to use on a mobile. Why pay for a free phone call when you do not have to I thought. By the time I got to the third phone box I was beginning to think I should have used my mobile. The other two boxes were out of use arghhhhhh. Phone call made and new wheels ordered for our other coal trolley, I began the trudge up the hill, and there lying on the footpath was this dear little dolly.She was laying on the cold footpath, lost and forlorn. So I gathered her up in my arms and took her to the Police Station near to where I found her only to be told they were not interested in taking her in. So much for Christmas Spirit. I was told they generally only take in wallets and keys these days. Long gone are the days when you could take any lost and found into a Police Station and they would keep it for 3 months, then either dispose of it, find it a home or give it back to the person who found it. So for now she will be living on the boat with us. I have sent a message and a photo to the local radio station and tomorrow I will go to the school down the road and see if anyone there has lost Fifi the Flower Tot doll. I would hate to think of some little girl crying all night because she does not have her Fifi. I will keep you posted as to whether i find her owner. I think we all had favourite cuddlies when we were tiny, I know I did and I would have been heartbroken if I had lost it.

The smell coming from the back cabin is extremely yummy and is making my mouth water. The Oxtail's are cooking nicely. I will leave them in the oven until tomorrow morning, when I will then strip the meat off of the bones and make a Oxtail and Vegetable Stew with Dumplings, this will last us for a couple of days and will taste better the longer it is left, so all the flavours come to the fore. I have some cooking Apples so I think I am going to make an Apple Crumble for afters. Ok now I am hungry, so I am off to organise tonights dinner. have a nice evening everyone xx.

Monday 13 December 2010

Hate the spammers.

Hi Friends.

I want to personally apologise if you have received an e-mail from my e-mail address and there has been nothing in the subject. If you do receive an e-mail from me without anything in the subject line. PLEASE do not open it. It seems that someone is using my e-mail to contact all my e-mail friends. To say I am livid is an understatement. My blood is boiling. I have received messages on my phone, e-mail and Facebook asking if I have sent out messages and of course I have not, so I think I am going to be spending the day apologising for something which is not my fault.
Spammers should be shot at dawn.

Sent to a deserted island, with only the clothes they stand up in. Better still with no clothes.
Be hung drawn and quartered.

Any other ideas would be welcome at this point, because I am happy to do all of the above. I am normally a mild mannered person, but this has really annoyed me. But it seems it is easy for spammers to get your e-mail address Clickety Click for advice.
I have spent the past hour or so changing all passwords and info and hope that this will stop the problem.
So once again I apologise if you have received an un-invited e-mail from me.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Christmas's past and present.

Hi Folks.

None of you can have failed to have noticed that Christmas is literally just around the corner and it got me thinking about my childhood and what Christmas was like for me all those years ago. I now have to wipe the cobwebs off of my brain to go back that far, I can honestly say I do not remember much about the days leading up to Christmas, because like most children, I was to busy hoping that Father Christmas was going to come to our house and of course rehearsing for the Nativity play at school (I never played Mary), although, I know it was a busy time for the family, what with deciding who was coming to stay, shopping and baking. I am not even sure I ever went Christmas shopping with my parents, I actually think my mother did all the Christmas Shopping, because my father was always at work. Oh I should say, we lived on a farm and my father was the cowman, so was on duty for much of the time. For some strange reason he would always work on Christmas Day. Maybe he knew something we did not ha ha ha. It is also true to say that I do not remember ever going to see Father Christmas, but then my memory could be failing me.I do have memories of the excitement on Christmas Eve, when the extended family would arrive, and chaos would take over. Usually my mother’s sister, mum (My nan) and children would come down from Birmingham for Christmas, which was lovely because I loved my Nan, she was always the life and soul of the party. The party usually began when they arrived. We would have to settle everyone in and then go through the rituals of hugs and kisses all around. Then everyone would tell their news, followed by festive drinks being served, of course us children had to have Orange juice. After all that we would be sent off to bed at an early hour so that Father Christmas could call (That is what we were told), when really it was just so the adults could have a party, which we were not invited too. Of course like any child at Christmas my brother and I would be tossing in our beds until eventually we would drift off to sleep and yes when we woke up hey presto there were presents at the foot of the bed and around the Christmas tree. I remember creeping down to the living room to see if Father Christmas had eaten the Mince Pies and drunk the Milk. Mother would not put out anything stronger, because she did not want Father Christmas getting drunk.

Even though everyone was up early, we were only ever allowed to open one small present, because Dad was always the last to arrive in the morning, as he had been milking the cows. Carols would be playing and mother would be preparing the vegetables and roasties for dinner. When Father did eventually get in, we would all sit around the tree and hand out a present each to someone else. There was always a lot of ripping of paper and screeches of delight, when we got what we wanted. I always thought Father Christmas must have thought I was a very good girl.

When there was nothing left but piles of Christmas paper and ribbons, Mother would get a Black bin bag and gather up the rubbish and stash it in the coal shed ready for the binmen. It became the norm that any toy that needed batteries was always the last thing to be played with because someone had forgotten to actually buy the batteries in the first place. So we would have to sit and look at the toy until some batteries could be either found or bought. I think we all remember our favourite toy and mine was a walking doll which I named Penny. She stood 3 foot tall and had long blonde hair. She wore a pink dress and even had underwear on. To make her walk you pushed down on her shoulders and her legs would move. She was so special to me and I remember her to this day. Of course I have had other wonderful presents. Like the Bay City Rollers Album, Yes I was the No1 fan and I put tartan on my clothes. I know how sad that must seem and I dare say some of you reading this are think “Who the hell are the Bay City Rollers”. But they were my big love along with David Cassidy and Donny Osmond. I also remember having my first brand new bike, which caused huge excitement, my brother also got a new bike that year. Just before lunch was due to be served Father and the male members of the family would walk down to the pub on the corner of our road for a Christmas drink, which usually ended up being a session, so one of us would have to go down to the pub to tell them dinner was ready. Mother was always then a little cross, because she had been slaving over a hot stove, whilst they had been out enjoying themselves (You know how it goes). Everyone would be seated in their places at the dinner table and Father would carve the Turkey. Toasts would then be given and lunch eaten. As a child I was never a fan of Sprouts, but was always told at Christmas I had to eat at least one Brussel Sprout and I could leave the rest. I now absolutely love Brussel Sprouts (How odd is that).

The years have passed and I am of course a grown up and, I have done all of the family stuff with my children and parents. I was the one making all the decisions on what to buy and who to invite for the big day. It was a huge part of my life and I loved every moment of it. Nowadays I take a back seat when it comes to Christmas and all the hype. Keith and I spend it quietly on our own, which is just the way we like it. We do not bother with presents or cards for each other, because there is very little room on the boat for all of that, but we do have decorations up as you have seen on the blog. We have a lovely time all the same, it comes without the stresses and strains of a family Christmas, because I know that some will know where I am coming from when I say that Christmas also bought arguments and tantrums when I was a child. I remember the rows the adult members of the family would have. I still recall my father being so drunk that he lost his false teeth down the toilet. They do say that Christmas can bring out the worst in family members, because you do not see each other all year and then you are suddenly thrown together for a week or more. Tensions arise and the arguments begin, well they did in our household. So a quiet Christmas in front of the TV is preferred by both Keith and I these days.

I can really say I do not envy anyone at Christmas, because it has become too commercial and people seem to get so stressed out just to keep others happy. All we will be doing is eating out on Christmas Day, letting someone else take the strain of cooking dinner. We will then be relaxing in front of the TV watching all of the cheesy Christmas films. There will be Mince Pies and Sausage Rolls in the oven, for us to pick at and nibbles a plenty, so we will have a wonderful festive time. We do not have the gift giving stresses, and I won’t be bothered with crazed shoppers and the Christmas party. I am getting a good deal.

So I do hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that it is not to stressful or mad and that you get from Father Christmas whatever your heart desires.
Yes of course I still believe in Father Christmas and he can call at our boat if he likes. I will put out the Mince Pies and a little tipple, because unlike my Mother, I believe Father Christmas deserves to get drunk, because he works hard to make sure all the children across the world get their presents for Christmas Day. HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.


Related Posts with Thumbnails