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!
Saturday 27 March 2010
I apologise that I have not been around for a few days. It has been a hectic week, one way or another. The week began quietly enough, which can be dangerous. I got on with stripping down our back cabin. Having let the stove out, I wanted to paint the back cabin ceiling, which was looking rather drab. Having taken down all the ribbon plates, curtains and lace. I rubbed the ceiling down and applied some white undercoat. Whilst that was drying all the plates needed washing and drying. They then had to be stored away for safe keeping, because some of them are old ones. I then set the washing machine going to get all of the back cabins linen washed. It was no so much dirty, but dusty from the stove. So this was the start of what I had hoped would be a productive week. Tuesday I got a coat of gloss on the ceiling and it was looking a lot fresher. Whilst I got on with boat jobs and Spring cleaning, the other half was not feeling so great.
3am Wednesday morning, I dialled 999 because K was feeling poorly and in a lot of pain. By 4.05am we were in A&E. Now if you know about A&E, you will know that they have a 4 hour turn around time. In this time they must see you, diagnose you, refer, treat or send you home. So having been seen by one doctor, we waited to find out if they were going to admit him, only for me to notice that on the treatment boat opposite our room, they had written home in the referral box, which annoyed me, because K was in so much pain. With just five minutes left on K's turn wound time, the doctor and sister were stood in A&E arguing about whether K was being sent home. The doctor said no and he wanted more tests, the sister was shouting "you have five minutes to sort him out". She was only worried about her target times and no my K. I was appauled that they stood in front of everyone, including me and argued about my husband. The decision was taken at 10 minutes past the target time to admit him the SAU (Surgical assessment unit), and on the board the sister wrote time for referral 8ish, just so she could cover up the fact that they were over time grrrrrrrrrrr. So we went up on to SAU and there he stayed. They tried killing his pain with a Morphine Injection and a Paracetmol drip, but they did nothing at all. I came home absolutely exhausted and was in bed by 8.30pm. On Thursday morning he was seen by his Consultants Reg and was told that they could do nothing else until he has his operation, so he could go home. The Reg was going to try and get his operation bought forward. I arrived at the hospital at 10am, having gone up by train to find K sitting waiting to go home. I was not amused. The hospital could have let me know. I had dragged all his things up to the hospital, because they had told me he was staying in arghhhhhhh. I felt like screaming. Is it me or has the NHS gone to pot?
So we are back home on the boat and trying to control K's pain once again. I have almost everything crossed that he goes in early for his operation, but I am not holding my breath, because we know that the Consultant is going on holiday for mush of April. Surely if someone is in pain then they should be finding out why. This has been going on for 5 months now.
Yesterday even though he was not feeling wonderful, we moved our boat to anothyer mooring spot, because our spot was needed. I actually prefer this spot as it is quieter and we have a bit of a view. I am hoping for a somewhat quieter weekend. I have re dressed the back cabin, which is looking nice once more. There are still a few things I want to do in there, but they can wait.
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.
Monday 22 March 2010
I am on the hunt for a nice blog template, but my search seems to have been in vain. Either I do not like them ot I cannot get them to work on this blog. Maybe I am just doing something wrong when I put it in the template.
Does anyone know of some good template sites that I may try. Preferably easy to use ones.
Over the past few days, I have been kept busy with painting the back cabin and guests coming to pay us a visit. Guests are always welcome onboard, as it gives us a chance to catch up with old friends and newly made friends. I even found time to bake a cake the weekend.
It is blowing a hooley today, so the boat is rocking and rolling a bit, which means painting is no fun. I even found time to do some brass cleaing this morning.
I have no idea what the rest of the day will bring, but I hope that your having a good Monday.
Tuesday 16 March 2010
I realised this morning, it is darn good job that women can multi-task, because otherwise nothing would ever get done. I seem to have been here, there and everywhere this past couple of days. What with all the usual everday stuff to get through, I have also been the one doing all the shopping and boat duties as well, with the other half not well. I reckon if every woman had a step counter and checked it at the end of the day, they would have walked miles upon miles. I walk miles just going to and from the town, as I have just done. I think the chemist is getting to know me very well. When I first went in, I was just another customer. Now he greets me with a smile and a kind word. He is probably thinking "Not her again, she must be a druggy on all this Morphine she is collecting". Still he is a nice person and I always have a cheery word for him as well. It is usually Thank you when he hands me another bag of pills. At least walking into town today was lovely, with the sun on my back. It is truly Spring like. I even got my sunglasses out.
As I type the cat is lounging on top of the cooker in the sunshine. we have a lid on our stove and I usually cover it in a tea towel, so Miggy Mo loves to sprawl on it in the sunshine. Its a cat's life once more.
I was on facebook this morning and a friend posted this. I thought it was wonderful so decided to post it here.
A mum has the strengths that no one will ever know. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens... She holds happiness, love and opinions... She smiles when feels like screaming. She sings when she feels like crying, cries when she's happy and laughs when she's afraid... Her love is unconditional! There's only one thing wrong with her, she sometimes forgets what she is worth... [Author unknown]
Saturday 13 March 2010
Overnight I had let the back stove go out, because out back cabin was like a furness last night. Maybe that was why both K and I slept better, because it was cooler in the cabin. It may just have been we were shattered, from little sleep the night before. With P walked I made K and I toast and a cuppa for breakfast. K got his breakfast in bed and I set about planning the morning's jobs. Having made up the saloon stove and washed up the breakfast things. I headed down into town to do some food shopping. We needed bread and milk. I also wanted to get some sausages from the indoor market. The butcher there does two packs of their own sausages for £5. I picked up a pack of Pork and Leek and a pack of Farmhouse sausages, which we will have in the week. There sausages are wonderful. When cooking they cook as if dry. There is no major fat content, it is all meat and proper ingredients. Supermarket sausages I find are full of fat and water. The town was very busy with shoppers, many of them probably in town for the French Food Market, which looked very busy. I trudged back up the hill to the boat, with the sun on my face, I was glad I took my sunglasses with me. The sun had some warmth in it, maybe this is the start of Spring after all. For the first time, I noticed Daffodils poking out of the ground, with any luck they will be showing off their sunshine yellow blooms very soon. Shopping put away and a coffee made, the next job on the agenda for the day was to deliver coal to friends on their boat NB Balmaha. So I unloaded 6 bags of Supertherm, and delivered them to Mo who was home alone. Nessa was shopping with her daughter for a dress to go to her daughters wedding. Having delivered their coal, it was nice to pass the time of day with Mo. You know how it is, you just have to try and put the world to right in one conversation. I love both Mo and Nessa, they are a wonderful couple and very good friends. They will be leaving again on Monday for a few weeks. But we will still be here when they come back. It has been a busy day for coal, kindling and toilet blue. Do these people know something I do not. Maybe Spring is not going to kick off after all lol. I have had a few customers today, all of which love to pass the time of day. Boaters are very good at chatting. It is a good way to find out what is going on. They call it the Towpath Telegraph.
At the moment, I have a load of washing on and I am contemplating what to do for tonights dinner. The life of a boatwoman is full of decisions. People know me as the boatwoman or the coalwoman. I suppose that some would say I am neither, because I was not born into either. I have come into them through the back door so to speak. But I love this life and I have thrown myself into it whole heartedly. So I feel like a tradtional boatwoman and a coalwoman. There are not many women on the canal who hump and sell coal. I think we are rare. But I am sure someone will tell me otherwise. I think of myself as a modern day boatwoman, who has all the trapping of the modern day, but likes to keep to tradtion as well.
As I type the sun is pouring through the side window. I reckon Spring is finally putting in an appearance.
Thursday 11 March 2010
It is another Spring like day and yet there is not a sign of a daffodil anywhere here. I guess they are still in hiding. We have got Snowdrops but nothing else yet. Someone yesterday, that there was going to be a shortage of Daffodils for Mother's Day.
If the weather forecast is to be believed, it is going to warm up nicely for the weekend, which willbe nice as there are jobs that need to be done. I made a start this morning on some paintwork, but before that the usual daily tasks had to be done. P needed his walk and then he and the mog got fed, as did K and I. I then had the fires to make up. Before I could make up the back stove, the chimney needed cleaning again, because smoke was blowing back into the cabin last night. Because we burn house coal on the back stove, the chimney gets blocked with what can best be described as tar. It goes has hard as a brick when cold and yet when hot, you could lay it on the road. Because the fire was almost out, the tar in the chimney was hard and terefore difficult to break off. But after half an hour of work, the chimney was clean enough to re-light the stove. Once that was relit, I put a joint of Pork in to cook slowly. There is a wonderful smell, wafting through the boat. I will do some potatoes and veg with that for dinner tonight, and afters will be an Apple Crumble. I am a woman who likes to do a lot of home cooking. We very rarely have have ready meals. I was bought up to do my own cooking. Thankfully K likes good, simple, wholesome food. So with those jobs done and dusted, I decided to get some of the boats paintwork done. Having painted the white band on the stern, I touched up the Red and the Black bands, so now it looks nice and tidy for five minutes. The Red on the bow needed touching up as well, but that is proving more difficult, due to the signwriting, so I did the best I could. A blind man would be glad to see it, I reckon.
Lunch consisted of Cheese and Onion toasties, which were very nice indeed. K then thought it a good idea to run the engine for a while, as she has not been started for over a month. Our elderly engine of course had other ideas, she was not for starting. After a few goes, K coaxed her into life, but she is only running on one cylinder, so there maybe a fuel blockage somewhere. It looks like another job, which will need doing at some point before we can move off, whenever that will be.
There is still no sign of an appointment from the hospital for K, so we are still sitting and waiting. The only good thing about this situation, is the fact that I can get jobs done, whilst we are on the electric. The washing machine has been on and the drier has just completed its cycle, so another thing to cross off the list for today. K is watching 'Ride The High Country' on Channel 4. I like a good Western and this is about average, but it is something to watch. Is it me or is there very little of interest on the TV at the moment. I have been enjoying 'Lambing Live' on BBC 2. Coming from a farming background, it has been lovely to watch the lambs coming into the world. But it has also shown how hard life is for the farming community. Great program, I wish there were more like this on TV.
Wednesday 10 March 2010
It is an overcast day, and no sign of the sun appearing, so I am not doing any boat painting today. It is gonna be a day of doing very little I reckon. I do not have many days like that, as I like to keep busy. So not having much to do, I thought I would comment on the big story from yesterday's news. This was the news that dog owners may have to microchip their dogs and take out third-party insurance, in case their pooch should bit another dog or person. The legislation is supposed to weed out all dangerous dogs duhhhhhhh. Does the government really think that those people with dangerous dogs, are going to take their dogs to the vets to get them microchipped. Some of these people do not even have their cars insured, so why would they bother to get their dogs insured. I see this as another way to penalise good dog owners. It seems to me that law abiding people are always the ones to get penalised. we end up footing the bill for those who think it is their right to do as they like. We have a dog as you know and he is microchipped. The rescue centre did it before he left them.
With us living on a boat, we get to see all sorts of dogs on a daily basis. It has to be said that it is not just the dogs on the dangerous dogs list that are actually dangerous. Any dog can be dangerous. All dogs have the ability to bit in the right circumstances, even our daft looking collie.
There is a saying that there is no bad dog, just bad owners and I believe this is partly true. We know that some breeds of dogs are known to be incredibly dangerous. But on a regular basis we see ordinary dogs which get nasty when passing our boat. I have even walked past other people boats and felt that I am walking the gauntlet, because they allow their dogs to jump off their boat at people and other dogs. Our dog was a nervous wreck a few days after we got him, because the owner of a 7 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, allowed their dog off the lead to jump on our collie and push him to the ground. Our collie could not move and was getting distressed and yet the dogs owners thought it was funny. I however did not and was very annoyed at their behaviour. They did eventually put their dog on the lead, after I shouted at them. But our collie has not forgotten that incident and when he sees a Staffie of the same colouring, he hides behind me.
"The vast majority of dog owners are responsible, but there is no doubt that some people breed and keep dogs for the sole purpose of intimidating others, in a sense using dogs as a weapon."
Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 prohibits four types of dog:
1. Pit Bull Terrier
2. Japanese Tosa
3. Dogo Argentino
4. Fila Brasileiro
I bet we could add other dogs to this list, but those are the 4 which are said to be the worst.
Surely the need is to take these dogs off of the streets and I cannot see the new legislation doing this, can you???
Tuesday 9 March 2010
Marmite leads of a life of luxury compared to a lot of cats. As you can see from the photograph, she thinks she owns the back cabin. Marmite loves nothing more than relaxing in the back cabin, especially when the stove is going, as it is today. Of late she has taken to sleeping on the side bed most days. Then when it comes to our bedtime, she climbs on to our bed and curls up. For three nights, she had tried to sleep by my head, but her purring keeps me awake, so she has to shifted to the bottom of the bed. When she decides it is time for us to get up, she walks over both K and I, meowing and creating a fuss. She knows it always works. It is definitely a cats life.
Monday 8 March 2010
So why was my weekend indifferent?
The answer to that question was because of the way I felt, when I found out that one of my girls had just had her hen night and is getting married in two weeks time. No one has let me know. I did not expect an invite, because it was I who walked away from the family home 10 years ago (Long story). My ex is supposed to keep me informed about what the children are doing. This was agreed in our divorce, but he never keeps to it. My heart today is aching, because every mother wants to be a part of their childs wedding. I know that it could be said that I gave up that right when I left the family home, but that was done because if I had not I would have had a breakdown. I so wish I did not feel like this, but I would love to wish my daughter a happy wedding day. I am so proud of my children and the adults they have become. I am a mum with an aching heart.
Saturday 6 March 2010
I could have posted at least a dozen of photos, which contained dog faeces, all directly in the walking line.
OLM occurs when a migrating larva reaches the eye. It causes a granuloma to form on the retina, causing significant visual impairment and in severe cases even blindness.
There are about 12 new cases of OLM diagnosed annually in the UK. That is twelve cases to many in my opinion. I know first hand the damage OLM can cause, as I knew a family whose little girl was blinded in one eye and only has partial sight in the other. That little girl did not ask for this illness, but unfortunately she will have to live with her blindness for the rest of her life. Due to a selfish dog owner, who probably did not bother to worm their dog. Dogs should be wormed regularly, every three to six months. Use a prescription wormer from a veterinary surgeon.
Friday 5 March 2010
It is another fabulous day, after another heavy frost over night. I love mornings which are cold and frostie, because you are then pretty much guaranteed a lovely day.
Today's Survey was 78% of parents say their children have poor what??
Now once again there could be lots of answers to this one, but the answer was Poor Table Manners. Firstly I am surprised that this 78% of parents even admitted that their little darlings have this behaviour. Surely if your child has poor table manners it is your fault, because as a parent we are supposed to teach our children the rights and wrongs. So if your child has poor table manners, it is your fault.
When I look back to my childhood, I always had my meal at the table, with the rest of my family and was corrected if I did something wrong at the table. I guess the problem these days, is that families rarely eat at a table, let a lone together. I admit that on the boat we eat with our dinners on our laps, and this is maninly due to the fact that there is very little room for a table. I think for many it is purely because they are to lazy to even set a table. The kids of today sit in front of the TV whilst eating their food, or even worse in their bedrooms with the computer on. Table manners have to be taught at home. I was taught table manners as a child and it really does annoy me when we are eating out, that parents allow their children to do what they like.
Arghhhhhhhh its almost the weekend and I have gone off into a Friday rant. I will blame the local radio station for bringing up the survey hahaha.
Thursday 4 March 2010
Having had a restless night, as hubby was so good through the night. We were disturbed once more at around 7am, by a crash, bang wallop on the roof above our heads. My first thought was a duck. So when I climbed out of the boat to walk P, I was not surprised to see a Mallard lying on the roof. We reckon she had probably landed heavily on the boat, to get away from an randy Drake. On closer inspection, I noticed that she was in fact limping. What I did not know was the injury caused by landing on the roof heavily or had she got this injury somewhere else. The decision was taken, to leave her be and just keep an eye on her. If she became distress or her limp got worse, we were prepared to call wither the RSPCA or the local wildlife rescue. She stayed put for most of the morning, but close to lunchtime, she walked to the edge of the roof and leapt off. Her limp did not look to bad, so hopefully she will be fine. I will keep an eye open for her over the next few days.
Wednesday 3 March 2010
I am going to start with todays survey, because I think people are taking the cowards way out with this one. 34% of people have done what by email?
The answer was end a relationship.
That says a lot about our society doesn't it?
What ever happened to dumping someone face to face?
I would be mortified if someone dumped me via an e-mail or text. But I guess that is the world we are growing old in.
It is on the chilly side today after a slight frost over night. But jobs have to be done no matter the weather. The usual morning routine began at 8am this morning. Bed was rolled up and hidden in the cupboard. Back cabin stove was riddled into life. Breakfast was made and eaten and then P got his walk. He got to meet and greet the dog population here, before making a be line back to the boat for his breakfast. M was sat at the door complaining because she wanted feeding. P always sits and waits patiently for his breakfast biscuits, but M will not stop meowing until you put the food in her dish. So with tranquility restored, it was time to tackle the first job of the day, which was cooking steak and kidney for a pie for dinner tonight. That is now cooking slowly in the back cabin stove. A new delivery of coal is planned for the end of the week, so I needed to restack some of the coal to make more room. It is never a clean job, but as the housecoal is dusty I always end up looking like I have been working down the coal mine, when in fact I was in the hold for half and hour. Still it is all done now and when the coal arrives I can stack it neatly away. Having done that the coal boards needed changing, because I am not selling Pureglow anymore, because customers do not like it. The last few remaining bags, we will burn as it burns well on our saloon stove. Oh talking about coal. Yesterday afternoon I had a customer come for coal and I offered to wheel it up the towpath for her, as she wanted 3 bags. She put on bag on her trolley and I had the other 2 bags. I guess it was over half a mile to her boat along the towpath, which was not a problem. Anyway we arrived with the coal and I stood chatting to her and her husband for a while before walking back. During the evening there was a knock on the door and there were the couple and their two dogs. They had bought me some chocolate to say thank you for me taking their coal up to them. I told them it was all part of the service and I really did not mind. They said that not many would have done that. But surely it is all part of the job. I think so anyway. But it was nice to be appreciated. The chocolate was comsumed whilst watching TV. I have some really lovely customers. It really put a smile on my face.
I have just eaten lunch and I am now wondering what to do next. I should get the hoover out, because there are dog hairs everywhere. In fact the boat looks like a bombs hit it. Because we have two coal fires, we do have to put up with a lot of dust. I am looking forward to letting the fires go out. I can then wash everything down and get rid of the dust properly. That will mean a huge Spring Clean, especially in the back cabin, beacuse I have ribbon plates and lace to wash as well. I actually really enjoy Spring cleaning and seeing everything looking fresh and clean. If the weather begins to warm up that will be the next major task to tackle, along with the painwork.
Ok lunch over and coffee almost finished, I must shut this computer down and do something. Have a lovely day.