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

Sunday 31 January 2010


I thought this mayb be fun. Every time I post I am going to add TODAY I SAW. Why not join in and tell me what you see.

TODAY I SAW. A pair of Kingfishers sitting on a branch snuggled together.

Not a pretty sight.

Good afternoon friends.

Another cold morning after -4.6c overnight. So picture this. It's 6.40am you get up to visit the bathroom, when walking into the galley, you step into something cold and wet. Oh yesssss. Having put the light on, I learnt the full horror beneath my foot. Paddy had given me back his dinner from the previous evening. Deep joy. The poor boy now has the enjoyment of an upset stomach to go a long with throwing up. I know exactly what has caused it. He has a hide bone once a month and for some reason, he has not digested it properly, so it has upset his stomach, resulting in a lovely mess. Tonight he will be having some yoghurt in his dinner.

Having cleaned up after him. I did manage to go back to bed for another couple of hours, by which time the saloon fire was almost out, so that had been revived with some sticks and a firelighter. It is now nice and cosy in the saloon, as is the rest of the boat. Sausages are cooking in the back stove, for tonights dinner. They will be going into a casserole. I did get the towels washed and dried this morning. This is the luxury of being on a landline, you can use the washing machine and tumble drier as much as you like. Unlike when we are on the move and I use the washing machine sparingly. The drier does not get used at all, because the engine room is wonderful for drying, when the engine is running.

Due to the heavy frosts from the past couple of nights. The canal is frozen again, but at the moment it has not stopped people moving. Boats were moving yesterday and this morning a newly painted hireboat arrived back from Alvechurch. By the look of the weather forecast, it is going to remain cold for the next couple of days at least. We even had a quick flurry of snow. I was of course hoping for more, but it was to no avail.

Sunday's always seem so dull in comparison to the rest of the week. But we forget that years ago, Sundays were purely for going to church or spending with family. These days, people work, shop, go to church and much more, so how on earth can Sunday's be considered dull and boring?

Friday 29 January 2010

Spam Mail.

Hi Folks.

I read a fellow bloggers page. Lady Banana's page to be exact this morning and it got me thinking and actually getting slightly hot under the collar about Spam Mail. We all get it and wish we could get rid of it. I then opened my e-mail box to find a dozen pieces of Spam mail in my Junk Box, because that is where it deserves to be. LadyB was commenting on an e-mail she had about her hotmail account and how the person at the other end wanted her to supply them with her.

User name:
Date Of Birth:
Do these people think we are completely brain dead?
I never supply any of my personal details to anyone in hotmail. I never open anything, that I know nothing about. I do however have a friend, who sadly opens anything that comes into her mail box and has suffered many a time from viruses of every discription. She never learns bless her.
So having checked through mail that was important to me. I scanned over the Junk stuff for a good laugh. The usual stuff arrived, such as HSBC and Abbey asking for me to confirm my banking information. I once had an e-mail from my bank asking the same thing, so I forwarded it to my bank and they sorted the spammer out. Never Ever give your personal info to rogue e-mails. If in doubt contact your bank etc first.
The spams that do make me laugh are the ones that ask me to enlarge my manhood.... LMAO I am a woman, I do not have any manhood, so your wasting your time with that one. Lately I am getting facebook spam, and even though I use facebook, I never open the messages which are supposed to be from them, because I know that someone is being very naughty. So becareful out there.

What is the funniest Spam Mail you have received???

Thursday 28 January 2010

Not so glamorous

Hi Folks.

If you ever see a narrowboat and think that life on the waterways must be so glamourous, you can defintely think again. Because most of the time you are covered in dirt, or grease from a locks paddle gear. I grew up a tomboy. I was always climbing trees and getting dirty knees. So moving on to our working boat was never going to be difficult for me. I am not adverse to hard work. I am not a woman who loves handbags or high heel shoes. In fact I do not even wear a lot of make up and in my job these days, make up is not at the top of of my must wear list. These days I spend my life in cord trousers and baggy shirts, with steel toe cap shoes. I have never had my nails done, and looking at them today they would need a magical spell cast over them to make them look half decent.
Lets take today. I have spent much of my morning in the hold moving coal bags from one end to the other, ready for a new delivery next week. Not only that I have been delivering coal to customers, so high heels and short skirts would never work. Thinking back the shortest thing I ever wore was in my teens when I had a pair of hot pants. They were Red and White ones. (Funny what you recall). I love my life and would not do anything else, but it is not for everyone. So if you like high heeled shoes and pale clothing, this life may not be for you.
I recall an incident a couple of years ago, when we were waiting to use a lock. There was a hire boat entering the lock at the time. Two women got off the boat in White trousers and Pink tops, with manicured nails and sling back shoes. I took one look and thought that this is going to end in disaster. One of the women was trying to operate the paddle gear whilst chatting on her phone. Now I know women can multi task, but this was so dangerous. Anyway as she finished her phone call, a holla of horror went up. Her friend asked her what the matter was and the reply back was " I have broken my finger nail". That told me everything and I still think to this day, they will never hire a boat again.
If your thinking of hiring a boat or even buying your own boat. The best clothing you can have is old clothing. Buy stuff from a Charity Shop, because if you trash it, you can then bin it. Always have good waterproofs and non slip footwear, or good walking boots. Ok you may not look glamorous, but you will be comfortable, warm and dry. Save your high heels and posh clothing for another time.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Star of stage and screen hires a narrowboat.

We love living on our boat and are always so happy to welcome new people on to the water. So it is a warm welcome to Keira Knightley who is hiring a canal boat in London.
It seems over the years many a star from stage and screen has hired or owned a boat. In 2004 Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart hired a narrowboat and crusied the Llangollen Canal. Timothy West and his wife Prunella Scales own their own boat. There are many others who enjoy the tranquilty of the water. Do not be fooled into thinking that boating on the canals is just for the rich and famous. It is not, we are not rich or famous and yet love the life like thousands of others. It was thought that there are over 30,000 boats on the system. Most of them are in marina's for most of the year, which is just as well, because if they all came out on to the system, no one would be moving. The waterways would end up like the M1 or M25, clogged with traffic and stressed our steerers. ;0).

Tuesday 26 January 2010

A first time for everything.

Hi Folks.

Today has shown me that there can a first time for anything in ones life. Today was the first time I have ever been to an auction. I like most people have watched auctions on the TV shows, such as 'Flog It' and 'Bargain Hunt'. I actually had some friends who were on 'Bargain Hunt'. Anyway today hubby and I went to our first auction at Gildings Auction House, in Market Harborough. We had been down to the auction house on Monday to have a look at a couple of items and thought that we would go along today to see if we could bid for four pieces of Measham Ware and a selection of ten ribbon plates. It was over an hour before our first lot came up. This was the four pieces of Measham Ware, which included a large teapot (damaged), jug, kettle and bowl, Estimated at fetching £140 - £160. We were bidding against someone on the Internet. Sadly we were out bid by the person with no face. We had set a limit at £200, because the teapot amongst the four pieces was damaged and we were not prepared to pay anymore. Oh well never mind we will keep looking. Another three quarters of an hour passed before our second lot came up. This was a selection of 10 Continental ribbon plates, were estimated at fetching £40 to £60. There were a couple of other people bidding, but we got the plates for £25 whoop, whoop. It was really quite exciting. It really amazed me at what things sold for, many under their Estimated values. We will most definitly be going again, it was great fun.

Monday 25 January 2010

Just another Manic Monday.

So often I hear people saying they hate Monday's, but why?
Is it because they know they have to go to work and possibly take the kids to school?
Or is it just because they have heard others say they hate Monday's. I like everyday, because everyday is precious. This life is we have is no rehearsal, this is the only life we will ever get, so we should make the most of everyday.
This Monday has been a little manic. We were up early, as hubby had a 9am appointment with his GP, to update him about our hospital visit. We have a 3 week wait until we see the consultant. Once that was over we walked up to Gildings Auction House to have a look at the Measham wear they have for sale tomorrow. It looks lovely. There is a little damage, but nothing that will bother us to much. So we may go to the auction and see if we can purchase the four pieces, but alot does depend on what it goes for. We will set our price and not go a penny more. I have never been to an auction before, so I am quite excited about going.
Back on the boat, I made us a coffee, before tacking the chimney. The darn thing needed sweeping, because smoke was blowing back into the cabin. So with brush in hand, I climbed on to the boats roof and set about plunging the brush down into the dark hole. Once the brush was pushed all the way, the problem then came with getting the flippin thing out, without falling overboard. It took all of 10 minutes to sweep and 1/2 an hour to clean up the mess. But at least the chimney was swept and the fire relit, so we are nice and warm again. It is really important to keep boat chimneys swept regularly. No sooner that was done, friends who had been moored at the basin for six weeks, were heading off into the wide blue yonder. They came and bought a 2 bags of coal and we said our fond farewells and waved them goodbye. It was sad to see them go, as it was lovely to have their company. But like us they are continuous cruisers and therefore do not stay in anyone place for long. Once hubby is well again we will be on our way once more, but we have to wait for the hospital to get their finger out. In the meantime we are moored up on a landline and everything we need.
Lunch was Chicken Soup and bread and butter, with a nice hot coffee to wash it down. I am waiting for a customer to call and pick up his coal, once he has come I am off down the town to get some supplies in, as the fridge is looking a little on the light side, not to mention the cupboard.
Hubby had a couple of CB radio's fixed by a DJ on HFM, the local radio station. He came a calling to return the now mended radios, and was amazed at how much room we have on our floating home. I think he was quite taken with the idea of living and moving around on a boat. So Monday has been a little manic and it is still only 2.20pm. I dare say an awful lot more could happen by the end of the day.

Here is another Brain Teaser for you.

I have T at my start,

I have T at my end.

I have T in my middle,

And it comes through my bend.

What am I?


Sunday 24 January 2010

A Close Encounter.

Hi Folks.

One of the most wonderful things about living on a boat, is the fact that we get to greet and meet allsorts of wildlife, so in a way I was not to surprised by my close encounter last night.
My phone had been ringing whilst I was eating dinner. Now I am one of those people who does not answer her phone whilst eating. If I had been out eating, my phone would have been switched off, but as we were at home enjoying a nice Lamb dinner, I let it ring. Having enjoyed our meal and washed up, I then checked to see who wanted me to urgently. It turned out to be a very dear friend, who understood when I explained to her that I was eating when she rang. To use my phone, I have to stand outside on the back counter, which is freezing at the moment, so I normally stand on the back step, with the doors closed behind me, so that I can get the warmth of the fire up my legs. Anyway enough about my legs, which are not that glamourous. I was nattering away to my friend, when out of the darkness came a four legged animal. At first I thought it was a dog, but as it drew closer I realised it was a Fox our on his evening ramble. He walked past me, as if he had not even seen me standing on the boat. My only regret was the fact that I did not get a photograph of this most majestic creature. I am so hoping that he comes back again, as Foxes are creatures of habit, so he may well pass my way again, and this time I will have my camera at hand. It made my evening seeing Mr/Mrs Fox.

Saturday 23 January 2010

Change of plan.

Hi Folks.

Before I begin rambling, I will give you the answer to the Brain Teaser. It was MONEY.

So what have I been doing this past few days. Well it has been a somewhat hectic time. I said in my last post that I get bored when not moving, well that may get worse, because we are now not moving for sometime, because hubby is waiting to go into hospital for an operation, but we are waiting for the hospital to get their finger out.
Hubby has been taking his Morphine at 30mg, four times a day, but that did nothing, so he has been taking 60mg, four times a day, which has given him some relief from his pain.
Thursday we got the chance to speak to the canal basin manager and she agreed to give us a mooring for the duration of hubby's treatment. So having moved a couple of boats around, we fired up the boat and moved her into the basin and on to a mooring, which gives us a landline, water and a sanitary station to use. I now feel happier, because if hubby goes into hospital, I know I have all I need. Hubby had to go to the dentist, because two of his filling had decided to fall out. He knows he is totally to blame for the expense his teeth cost us, because he never looked after then when he was younger. I reckon the money we have spent on his teeth, this past couple of years, could have paid for a holiday abroad ;0).
Friday we were up at 5.45am to get ready for a trip to Kettering Hospital. We got up had breakfast, I then walked the dog and at 7am we set off for the Railway Station on foot. It is a 20 minute walk from where we are. We caught the train and arroved at Kettering Station 15 minutes later. From there we caught a taxi to the hospital. As we were early we went and got a coffee. We booked into the Urology Clinic and hubby had his test done. We then got the chance to chat to the Charge Nurse, who was concerned about the amount of pain hubby was in and so she managed to get us an appointment with the consultant, but that is 3 weeks off. But at least it is progress. We left the hospital feeling much happier knowing he will be seen. As we had time to kill before the train home, we walked around Kettering in the rain, before having some lunch at a Chinese Buffet, which we have used before. £6.50 each for all you can eat. The place was empty when we arrived, but then a party of thirty from a funeral turned up and the place was heaving suddenly and we felt the need to rush to the buffet to get served, before we were standing at the end of a very long queue LOL. The food was excellent and we came out of there pleasantly full. The stroll back to the Railway Station helped us to walk the meal off. By the time we got to the platform, it was raining heavily. So having arrived back at Market Harborough, we caught a taxi back to the boat, as there was no point us getting soaked to the skin. We both felt totally worn out. No sooner we had settled in for the evening, there was a knock on the boat, from someone wanting coal. It was as much as I could do, to get out of my chair to serve them. But a customer always comes first. As the evening wore onI had a job to keep my eyes open and by 10pm I was off to my bed.
This morning (Saturday), after a lovely sleep. I do feel somewhat refreshed and ready for whatever the day has to offer. Firstly the dog needed his walk. Then came breakfast and a nice cuppa. We spent sometime chatting to the other boaters in the basin, who wanted to know how things had gone at the hospital. It makes a change to chat about something other than boating. Talking of boating. Two hireboats left the basin, heading to Alvechurch for painting and were said to be breaking ice on their way to Foxton, so it seems there is still ice around. Having made it back to the boat, I loaded the washing machine with another load of washing. Because we are on a landline, it gives me the chance to get all of our washing and drying done. it is such a treat, but I know I must not get to dependant on it, otherwise I will not want to leave ha ha ha.
Last week we upgraded our phones and I got the Sony Ericsson T700, which after a couple of days, decided I did not like it, so O2 said they would exchange it. I rang the shop and they said my new phone was in. I have gone for the Sony Ericsson W595 like hubby. So we walked down and collected it. I would not have dragged him out, but as it is his contract he had to sign for it. I also picked up a new cooking pot for the back cabin stove. Because the stove cooker is tiny. It is more difficult to find suitable pots, but I found one in a local coooking shop. Back onboard, it was time for lunch, which consisted of Tomato soup, bread and butter, with a slice of fruit cake afterwards. Being on a landline has given me another treat. The use of a hoover, is only ever reserved for when we are on a landline. At all other times I use a dustpan and brush. I hoovered the back cabin, engine room and through to the saloon, it was heaven to see the floor, dog hair free for a change. At the moment the tumble drier is on the go again. This time it is drying towels and flannels. I have a lamb joint cooking in the back cabin stove and the smell is mmmmmm yummy. We will have that with veg and potatoes for dinner this evening. I am now uploading all my music on to my new phone, which is fabulous.
This past couple of days seems to have been manic, so I am hoping for a quieter week next week. I know Monday we have an early appointment with the GP for hubby, after that we will see what the week has to offer.

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Something to do.

I am sitting here bored out of my brain. This is how I get when we are not moving. So I have spent most of my day surfing the net and playing on Facebook. I really must get a life LOL.
If your feeling bored, why not have a go at this brain teaser.

To most I am everything,

Yet to many I am missing.

To most I give power and health,

Yet to many I bring grief and death.

What am I?
I will give you the answer tomorrow.
A dear and valued friend down in Hampshire text me and told me it is snowing hard down there, and it makes me so jealous. I would love more snow to come here. After all if we have to be stranded, then we just as well go the whole hog and be snowed in as well. It is very grey outside, so grey infect that we have our lights on in the saloon. But no signs of any snow just yet.

What's in a word????

Hi Folk's.

I have been reading comments on The Dancing on Ice Facebook page about one of the contestants. And the use of the word hate crops up over and over again.
My question is.
How can you hate someone that you have never met let alone spoken to?
These people are saying they hate this contestant, only because of the things they have read in the media. I say you should not judge a book by its cover and certainly not because of what is read or heard in the media. It maybe that this person has done things in her life that we may not agree with, but everyone deserves a second chance. It is not for us to judge her on what she has done previously.

The definition of Hate is:

1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.

I feel that some are using the word to liberally. Without really knowing this person or there life.

Just my point of view.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Coming and going.

Hi Folks.
Well what a couple of days we have had.
Lets begin with yesterday. Having done all the usual morning jobs. I delivered some coal to customer and we then made the decision to move.
Due to the fact that the basin here has thawed and so has some of the canal, we decided we would take a run to Foxton. Ha ha yeah well that was the idea. We set off and all was fine, until we hit some ice about 1 inch thick was no problem. Our next problem then turned out to be a boater, who was visiting another boater on his boat. He got very uppity about the fact that we were going his way and did we know what we were doing. Our reply to that was "Yes, we knew exactly what we were doing and his boat would be perfectly safe". He began to shout about the fact that his boat is 30 years old and we would sink it by going past it with ice on the canal, which is just not so. There was a lot said, but it boils down to the fact that this person, does not maintain his boat and has his licence paid for by the council, plus the fact he does not move enough. He admitted that he cannot afford to maintain his boat. Well that is not our problem. If that is the case then he should not be on the water. Moving when the canal is frozen is not a problem if you know what you are doing, which we do. Not only that we like all the other coal boats out there have people to serve. So we carried on our way, leaving him to mull over what we had said. As it turned out we never reached his boat, because after 2 hours of moving, we gave up because the ice was getting thicker and thicker. By the time we stopped it was 3 inches thick. So that was yesterday.
This morning the ice was no thinner and hubby was not feeling that great, so having done all the jobs, I went of stick collecting, as our supply was very low, we then untied the boat and set about winding her, so that we could go back to Market Harborough. The winding part was not to bad, as we had broken the ice up yesterday. It only took us an hour to get back to the mooring, and because the man from the day before was not around it was a lot quieter as well. I am not one to do confrontation, but he was really out of order. So we are back on the mooring and hubby has a call booked with our GP. I have a feeling today may end up at the hospital, but I will keep you informed.

Well we did not end up at the hospital. But we did have to go and see our GP, who has not put hubby on some stronger tablets. He is now on anti-inflammatories and Morphine. Our GP had tried to get Keith into hospital, but the doctor said they would not take him in at this time, as they wanted to do more tests. Surely they could have done those with him in hospital. Our GP was not happy with the way Keith is being treated by the hosptial, and I have to say that I do feel like they are stalling. Keith has to have an operation, we know that, so why are they not getting on with it?
So he has more tablets and a letter for the hospital, should we have to rush him in. Having done that we went and up graded our phones at O2, so now have new Sony Ericsson phones. I hope that my T700 is as good as my old phone. It is now bedtime, so I will bid you a goodnight. Sleep tight and stay safe.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Sunday and all is well.

Hi folks.

Where is January going?
It seems that the older we get, the quicker the time goes. My Nan always used to say the older your get the quicker your time flies, so make the most of every day and she was not wrong there. But of course as a child i never believed her for one minute. Now I am in the Summer of my life, I know exactly what she meant. With all the things happening around the world, it does make yoiu sit up and take stock of ones life. I guess in many repsects I am lucky because I am living the dream and I have a wonderful man beside me. I do wonder what my life would have been like, if I had done the things I had planned to do when I was a teenager.
When I was at school, I had planned to become a nurse. I wanted to go to college and study nursing, with a view to working as a nurse or a midwife. That never actually happened.
Why not your thinking?
It never happened, because I met my first husband and that for some reason changed my life. As it turns out, my life took several turns, which has led me to the life I lead now. The life I am leading now, is the dream and I do not waste a moment of it, because I know that one day it will end.
Today, began at a reasonable hour, having taken some Nytol last night. I slept to 3.15am, after that I dozed on and off until 8am, when I decided I would get up. Pad needed walking. So having put on my nice warm down jacket. It was warm because it had been hung by the stove over night. There had been a frost over night, which left a thin film of ice on the puddles from yesterdays rain. But it was not long before the sun was out. Once back onboard the boat. it was time for breakfast for Pad, Marmite hubby and I, with a nice warming cuppa.
On the jobs list for the day. Tidying the hold was No1. So there was nothing for it, but to get in the hold and restack the coal and do a bag count, as we will be needing a top up soon. Whilst stacking the coal, people came calling for their coal, which meant less bags to stack. After that job was done. We decided we would try and turn the boat in the basin, as the ice was thining. It turned out that we winded easily and were then back on our mooring for the night. The plan is to move tomorrow. Next job on the list, was to top up the water tank. The taps here are very slow. So having connected the hosepipe, I had time for a coffee and a natter with passing walkers. In all it took about an hour to fill the tank. It has been a productive day in many way's. Even dinner is cooking in the back stove, so I do not have to think about what we are going to eat. Tonight it is Chicken Casserole with Dumplings mmmmmm. So on that note, I am going with the thought that we should never take anything or anyone for granted, because one day, it may all be taken away.
God bless all those people in Haiti.

Saturday 16 January 2010

Sleep is needed.

I went to bed having taken four Kalms tablets. For anyone who does not know what Kalms are, they are a traditional natural plant remedy to help promote natural sleep. Yeah right. Not in my case they don't. I would normally take Nytol, but having run out, I reverted back to Kalms, giving them another chance to help me get a proper nights sleep. I have periods where I sleep really well, then 3 weeks or so where I wake up constantly. This is my second week of having nights of disturbed sleep and it really is beginning to grind. I tend to put it down to the change (No not loose change, the life change), but not sure that is really it. So an hour before going to bed, I took four of these tablets and thought yippee here comes a good nights kip. So I was more than annoyed to find myself awake at 12.30am. Not only was I awake I was lying in a pool of sweat (Yuk). I lay there for 15 minutes listening to my other half sleeping (geesh that is so annoying), before getting up for a drink. It has to be said that it was pretty warm on the boat, so whether that was the reason for my soggy state or the fact that I am menopausal I really do not know. I do know however that on going back to bed, I tossed and turned until 7am, when hubby got up to go to the bathroom. So there was nothing for it but to get up and make a cup of tea, which we drank in bed. At 8.30am I gave up on trying to sleep and got up, because mutt needed to go out. I so hate it when I cannot sleep. I may have to result to getting something else to make me sleep, or I could ask hubby to knock me over the head with a mallet, I am sure that will make me sleep LOL.

Friday 15 January 2010

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Howdy. We are still in the grip of a cold snap. I am not calling it the big freeze like the media, because to me, for it to be a Big freeze, it would need to be going on for at least a couple of months. This has been a few weeks. I absolutely love this weather and all it has to offer. This morning's offering was to chuck a huge amount of rain on us, but it has not drained away. it is now just sat on top of the ice, making walking around a little slippery under foot.
I am hoping that this is not the end of the wintery weather, because it is oh so beautiful.
Having got all the boat jobs done, I went for a walk, looking across the fields made me smile, because they are still covered in snow, despite all of the rain we had this morning. They are saying that come the weekend, the temperatures are going to go up to +6 c and therefore the thaw should really get underway, but we will have to see.
Sitting around for over 3 weeks, has made me a little lazy. I should be getting on with crafty things, but have not felt the urge. I have peg loom rag rugs to make, but I really have to be in the mood. Hubby has been getting on with his rag rugs. My time has been filled with daily duties and coal deliveries. This morning I had a customer call for his coal and I am sure that there will be more over the weekend. I do need to get into the hold and restack the coal, because I am going to need to order more. Dinner is in the back stove, we are having chicken in a Mustard and Honey Sauce and we will have it with potatoes and veg.

Safety First.

The thaw has begun as the rain falls outside, but no one should be under any allusion, that the ice on lakes, canal and some rivers is safe enough to walk on.
Yesterday it was announced on the news that another person has died after going out on to the ice of a lake.
This time it was a lady trying to rescue her dog. Her dog was found safe and well, but the woman was later found dead.
How many times do people have to be told?
The ice is not thick enough to walk on. Why do people fail to listen to these warnings?
Over this cold snap there have been to many lives lost and to many familes left grieving for their family members.

Thursday 14 January 2010

Never a dull moment,

There is never a dull moment with living on a boat. This morning yet again we woke up to a frozen canal, but this time it was also very foggy. But life goes on and things have to be done. At least I slept better last night and did not wake properly until 7am, when hubby was climbing over me to get to the toilet. Because we sleep in the Boatman's cabin, he sleeps closest to the stove, which means he has to climb over me to go anywhere. I would be no use me sleeping by the stove at the moment, with the menopausal night sweats that I am getting. We were up by 8.30am and Paddy was walked a long a slushy towpath.

I am not so keen on this weather when it turns slushy. I prefer it hard and frostie. The weather people are saying we are now heading for a thaw ;0(.
So with the mutt walked and a cuppa downed, we headed off to collect post from the office. We had ordered some games for our nintendos and they were in. After a nice chat with everyone in the office, we headed down into town for a Full English breakfast, which we had won on the local radio station.

I have to say it was absolutely fabulous. We really did enjoy it. It was such a treat having breakfast cooked for us and no washing up to do yippee. On our way home we were invited on to a boat for a coffee with some winter moorers. They have just had this boat built and were happy to give us a guided tour.
But with a treat comes hard work and no sooner had we got back to the boat, I had a voicemail requesting coal, so we donned our Donkey jackets and delved into the hold to unload 6 bags of Housecoal, we also took off two bags of Taybrite for a customer who is coming to collect it later. Being frozen in has not stopped coal sales for us. People have been only to happy to come to us by car. Having loaded the customers car with his coal, it was back to the boat to clean up. I tend to look like I have been down a coalmine most of the time.
Being a coalwoman means I do not have my nails done, or wear expensive clothing, because it would all get totally ruined. Thankfully I am not a girlie, girl and these things do not bother me.
With deliveries done, it is now time to sit down with a coffee and a chocolate bar. Ohhhhhh mmmmm the pleasure.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Just when you think !!!!!!!

Hi Folks.

Yesterday there was I thinking, this is it. The BIG thaw has begun, as the towpath and pavements had turned to slush and the snow was disappearing from the gardens and rooftops. So you can guess how surprized I was to wake up this morning to see snow falling once again and it has not stopped falling. Allbeit not very heavily, but it is lying all around once again. We have now been frozen in for 23 days woooo hooo. I am loving every moment of this weather. I know it is dreadful to get around in for many, but for me it is like going back to being a child.
So being awake again early hours due to the bloody menopause sweats, I lay awake thinking about all sorts of things, including my childhood. I am attempting to write a book about my life so far. It may not be of interest to many, but it will give me a chance to say things how they should be said. Now that sounds crap huh. Anyway Eventually I got up and made us both a cuppa, before getting back into bed for another hour. Once we eventually got up, I sorted out both of the fires, before taking the mutt for a walk in the snow.
The snow has been falling all day, I only wish it was thicker. I would love a few feet of the white stuff. So if anyone has some out there they want to get rid of, can they send it my way.
During the morning, I did a swift tidy up, as we are expecting visitors this afternoon. I generally only ever tidy up once a week, because we only have a small space to keep tidy. I will try and update later after our visitors have gone.
As promised I am back to update. We spent a lovely afternoon with friends Chris and Richard. We chatted about allsorts and not all things boatie. After they had gone, it was time to get a few boat jobs done, before settling in for the evening. So not much more to add.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Careful what you wish for.

No one can have failed to know how cold it has been of late. You would have to be on another planet not to realise. I wanted snow and I got snow. it was not as much as I would have liked, but at least we have had some. With the temperature not getting much above freezing at the moment, I am trying to make sure everyone is kept warm by selling coal, so when a young man and his dog came calling last night for a bag of coal, I climbed out of a nice warm cabin and deposited a bag of coal on the towpath for him. I did offer the services of my barrow, but he felt sure he could make it back to his boat with the coal on his shoulder. I actually think his dog could have pulled him a long the towpath at the same time.
Having closed the door behind him we settled in for the night, with bugger all on the TV. It was time for yet another DVD. This time we sat and watch Outlaw Josy Wales. After that was done, we headed off to bed in a cosy back cabin. Not a peep was heard until the other half climbed over me to head for the bathroom. Once I am woken that is it, I am awake. So I then got up and riddled both fires and stoked them up, so that we were nice and warm. The kettle was soon boiling for an early morning cuppa. As I lay in bed, I could here the Swans moving around on the ice. They are now down to a pool of around 4ft square. Luckily for them people are feeding them on a reguarl basis. We both snuggled down and dropped off to sleep again until 8.15am, when I knew it was time to get dressed and get the morning chores done. First was breakfast, which consisted of cereal this morning. Next the dog needed walking in the winter wonderland. By golly it was cold as there is a breeze today. After all of the chores were done, we walked down the town to pick up a breakfast voucher that we won on the local HFM radio. We will be enjoying a full English breakfast at the end of the week for free at The Bell Inn, Market Harborough. Whilst at the radio station we were given a guided tour by Dave and Moley two of the stations DJ's. After a nice coffee and a long chat we had to be on our way, as we were in need a food, because the fridge and cupboards are looking bare. Having got back from the supermarket, there is always the job of putting it all away. I always find that the boring bit.
If I think about it this past few days have been extremely busy for me. I had to collect my glasses, which were in after having new lenses put in. With old age, comes failing eyes it seems. Going down into town can be a dangerous affair. The council may have been gritting the roads, but the pavements are absolutely lethal at the moment. For the elderly or infirmed walking around in the town would be so dangerous. You feel like your taking your life in your hands. Hubby then had to go back to the doctors and was told to prepare himself for an operation. He is back on antibiotics until his next hospital visit. I seem to be have been doing a lot of things but getting no where fast.
Do you ever have that feeling?
I had to clean the back cabin stoves chimney. I like to do it every couple of weeks, to stop the build up of tar and soot, as it can block the chimney, especially as we burn housecoal on the back stove. I always end up looking like I have been down a coal mine, when I have finished the task. But thats just one of the chores of a boatwoman.
I went stick collecting. At night when I have made up the back stove, I always put a layer of sticks on top of the coal, which helps to keep the fire in overnight. I therefore go out collecting sticks from the headrows. I am sure people think I am a little mad, but it really does work.
So now that the weather seems to be warming up everso slightly, we will have the thaw and along with that will no doubt come flooding. Oh the joys of the British weather.
I think I have rambled on enough for the moment, so I am now going to get myself another coffee, before thinking about tonights dinner.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Where is the snow.

Good morning.
I was so hoping to wake up this morning and find myself surrounded by loads of snow, but as I opened the back cabin doors at 6.45am all's I saw was a heavy frost and a dusting of the white stuff ;0(. It seems all around me is getting plenty of snow. Oh well I can but live in hope that it will dump some my way. Hubby and I love this weather. I do realise that it is not great for getting around in, but it is oh so beautiful. The boat is frozen in, and so for yet another day we are going nowhere.
Hubby was in the bathroom at 6.45am, so I got out of bed and saw to both of the coal stoves. I riddled them into life and fed them with fuel, so that it would be once again nice and warm inside. Next job was to put the kettle on for a warm morning cuppa, which would of course be enjoyed in bed. The cat decided that we were obviously awake and she needed feeding, so she was running to and fro across the bed trying to get our attention. That failed and so she bit hubby on the arm. 8.15am it was time to get up and get dressed, because dog needed his morning walk. But before that was going to happen, I made us some warming porridge. There is nothing nicer than a bowl of hot porridge on a cold morning. I then donned my NorthFace Jacket, hat and gloves and ventured outside to have a stroll with the mutt. It is so wonderful to walk on the crisp ground. Strolling back the snow began to fall yippee, but it lasted all of five minutes. It was still wonderful to see it though, as I know other places around me have had loads.
I am hoping my glasses are in today, if they are I will be taking a walk down the town, so I will update later.

Tuesday 5 January 2010

A New Year. A New Start.

So here I am sitting thinking about what I should write. For starters I am not from a boating dynasty. I am from a farming background, where hard work was at the top of the list of daily duties. Bad weather was next, as more often than not it rained, was cold and dirty. So in some respects it was the perfect audition for being a boatwoman. I never realised that this would be my destiny, but in 2005 it became my life and in 2007 I became a working boatwoman, lock, stock and barrel. It is hard work, but also rewarding. I get to view the world through those so called rose coloured glasses and love every moment of it, because it is true I do love it all, even those days when I ache all over and am black from head to foot from the coal dust. So this is going to be my journal of how this modern day boatwoman copes with the trials and tribulations of each day. You will have to cope with the spelling mistakes and bad punctuation and if it bothers you to much then I will understand if you do not come back. So I hope you enjoy reading my journal, which in some respects will be my life history from now on.
2010 is here and we have said goodbye to the noughties, which was infact good to me in many ways. It gave me a divorce and a marrige, the marriage to my 2nd husband being the best thing that ever happened to me. It also gave me a hysterectomy and a knee operation, now some may feel thats not good, but for me they were both excellent, because they gave me the chance to get on with living life to the full.
Living life as a Boatwoman is not easy. Infact it is bloody hardwork, but I am not worried about that. I love humping coal....... NO not that sort of humping..... I mean lifting and throwing bags of coal. I may only be 5ft tall, but I can cope very well with 25kg bags of coal. This winter alone I have humped over 8 tonne of coal and we still have a lot of the winter to go. At the moment I am frozen in and going no where, but hey there are worst things in life. Being stuck does not stop me doing my job. There are also things on the boat that need tending to. The first of them was today. I took down the Christmas decorations, and down with them came the dust... cough, cough. The boat now looks bare, but clean.
So here I am for 2010. I do hope to blog daily, but that will depend on time and signal, so don't go to far away. Stay safe in this weather.


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