*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Monday 31 May 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy.

Hi Folks.

Us dear old Brits associate Bank Holiday weekends with one thing............ Yep you guessed it rain. And Saturday we were not disappointed. It absolutely chucked it down. So what did we do for the day you ask?
We went to the Crick Boat Show and walked around in the rain looking at all thinkings boaty. The one really lovely thing about Crick was the fact that we got to catch up with a lot of friends, we had not seen in a while. The Crick Boat Show has certainly taken a downward turn in the past three years. There are less stalls and marques, and this year there were even less exhibition boats. It was however nice to see some of the historic boats back in the marina, where they belong.

Yesterday (Sunday) I had the most wonderful day at Launde Abbey. It is situated in the heart of the East Midlands. You need to look behind the scaffolding to see a truly beautiful religious retreat. Now I am not religious, but friends asked if we would like to go to the flower festival and fair there and I am not one to turn down a day out.

The rain from Saturday had gone and it was replaced by sunshine and strong winds, which caused havoc with the tents for the craft fair. There is a very picturesque chapel attached to the beautiful house. I could see why people would want to retreat to this place.
We spent time looking around the gardens and the fair before having a buffet lunch.
A good day was had by all.
I reckon I could happily retreat to Launde Abbey, in a time of reflection if need be.

I trust that this Bank Holiday Monday is going to be kind to you and yours?

I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning. Infact the dawn chorus had just begun. I could hear one bird singing to its hearts content and then one by one more birds joined in. There is nothing nicer than hearing the first birds of the day. So there I was laying awake, trying not to think about the pain in my frozen shoulder and the other half woke up as well. I am pleased that I was able to go back to sleep until 7am. I am not good when I do not get enough sleep.

Waking up at 7am we lay in bed chatting, until the cat came a calling. I knew exactly what her problem was. She had no food. So I got up and dressed. Whilst I took the hound for a quickie wee, the other half did us both poached eggs on toast, which is always a nice way to start a day. We always have the local radio station on and try and have a go at their competitions. You don't win anything for the 3 of a kind comp, but if your in the top three you can have a record played. Now I never win anything, so was excited when I got an e-mail saying I was 3rd. wooooooo hooooo. I got to choose a song on the radio. So I went for No Regrets by The Walker Brothers. I bet your think, who the bloody hell are they?
The Walker Brothers were an American 1960s and 1970s pop group, comprising Scott Engel, John Maus, and Gary Leeds. Now do you remember them???
They had hits such as "No Regrets", "Make it easy on yourself" and "Were all alone". Come on you know them now surely?

Having had that nice surprise, it got me in the mood for getting some work done, so I attacked all the cupboards and draws. No not literally. I mean I have Spring cleaned them, got rid of all the rubbish and old tat. I am a bit of a horder unfortunately. But when it comes to to a point that I cannot keep them tidy anymore I will sort them out. So I now have nice clean cupboards and draws.
Today has been an odd sort of a day for me, because I have had my daughter in my thoughts. She would have been 25 years old today, had she survived. Sadly she died 8 hours after her birth. I really don't know where that 25 years has gone. But I do wonder if she was a live today what would she be like, what would she be doing with her life?
So it has been a mixed day for me really and yet I am not a maudling person. I have learnt to get on with my life, but she is never far from my thoughts.

Thursday 27 May 2010

Three In A Bed.

Good afternoon.
Because we have been stuck here for so long, we get to watch a lot of TV. Over this past couple of weeks we have been watching 'Three In A Bed'. In case you have no idea what I am talking about. 'Three In A Bed' is all about Bed and Breakfast owners, who throw open their doors and take turns to stay with one another. They then pay what they consider fair for their stay. We have stayed in a few B&B's, all of which were very nice. We do not agree with paying huge amounts for somewhere to sleep and a meal and you look at some of the places already shown on this Channel 4 program and they are asking silly money for a simple concept.
This week it was the turn of Mike and Susie Skinner of West Sussex, they took on Steve and Nikki Dick of Arbor Low in the the Peak District, and Ray and Julie Bright of the Ashleigh Hotel in Bournemouth. It amazes me how nasty people can get about other peoples B&B's. Mike and Susie Skinner, had the most beautiful home, but Susie in my opinion was a nightmare, especially after a couple of drinks. She would insist on putting flower petals everywhere, including down the toilet arghhh. They did a nice breakfast, but even that had feathers sticking out of the Tomato ewwww. I did not like their over the top behaviour and they were very patronising about the others. Nikki and Steve had a pretty ordinary looking house, which they liked their guests to treat as a home from home. You even got your own lounge to use as you wished. It was what a I thought a lower end B&B, much more our taste. The downside was you did not get a Full English Breakfast and had to make your own toast. When we go away for B&B, we do expect breakfast to be served. Ray and Julie's seaside B&B, was actually a 10 bedroom hotel, but it was really nicely done out and they did a fabulous serve yourself Full English Breakfast from a buffet, which was excellant. Of course Mike and Susie the snobs I call them, picked loads of holes in both the other B&B's and it was really nothing constructive. They really wanted to win, even though Susie said she did not. That woman needs to get a reality check. In the end Nikki and Steve whose house is in the beautiful Peak District won the plague. I was just glad that the toffs from West Sussex did not get it. Susie was atotally over the top and I actually think she did not do her business any favours at all.

What did you think??

Chips Glorious Chips.

According to the The Mail Online. There are 16 different types of chips. It seems that the Supermarkets stock 16 different sorts of chips in their freezer departments.
Surely a chip is a chip?
Why do people feel the need to buy chips, when you can make your own???
I know your gonna say convinence, to me it is laziness.
The Supermarkets are just keeping up with what we the people ask for it seems. There are homestyle chips (oven ones that go crispy), crinkle homefries, chunky oven, crinkle oven, straight cut oven, thin and crispy oven, homefries (chunkier, with a fluffy texture), crispy French fries, chunky homefries, rustic oven (with skin on one side), beer battered, curly fries, golden fries (with a turmeric and paprika coating), steak cut oven (long and straight), frying chips (small and thin) and low-fat oven.
On the boat I very rarely do chips. Many a boat fire has been started because of a chips pan. Not only that we do not eat chips that often and when we do, it is usually when we are eating out. If I were to cook chips, i would peel potatoes and make my own.

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Eyes lids of lead.

So as I posted before, it was not a good night for either of us. Keith is going through withdrawl symptoms big time. He has aching limbs, the shakes and the sweats, which is not nice. But hey he at least he now knows what it is like for me with the Menopause ;0).
At 12 midday, a Tesco van arrived with my food order. It is an absolute godsend, having our supplies delivered to the boat. The young man even carries the shopping to the boat. Unfortunately he did it with a limp today, as he had pulled a muscle whilst out running last night. He thought it a good idea to take up running to get fit. It could not be futher from the truth. Running is not that good for you really. Swimming is much more affective and puts less strain on the body. Anyway he managed to get down the steps to the boat and I unloaded the boxes, whilst Keith stacked the shopping on the worktop. I then had the usual job of stowing the shopping away, in what is now a very tidy food cupboard. Tidy because I got down on my hands and knees this morning and sorted it out. Even the freezer is tidy as well. So a lack of sleep did not totally mess up my day.
I think today we have both been getting through the day on auto pilot. My stuff certainly strutted off at around 10am this morning. It however returned about an hour ago, when Terri and Dave from The Narrowboat Trust made a surprize visit to Keith and I. It was wonderful to see them both and to get chatting about everything we have all been through, because they have been through an awful lot over this past year health wise. So between Keith and Terri, they had a lot of medical history to natter about, and in amongst that we of course chatted about boats.
I am pretty sure I am gonna be going to bed early tonight, as my eyes are so tired today. The only thing that has kept me from napping, has been the looking out for the hire boats which are due back in today, ready for tomorrows turn around. All the private boats that were in for a couple of days, left this morning early, so we have space for a couple more private boats, should they wish to come into the basin, but it is now 5pm and no one has been and asked. I think they are either out on the towpath or they have got to their destinations. That destination is probably the Crick Boat Show, which takes place this Bank Holiday Weekend. We will not actually ever take our boat to the show, because when we asked last year about going, they wanted to charge us over £90 just to moor on the towpath, and this did not include the entrance fee for the site, which was £16 each for the weekend. Why would we want to pay that much money for a show, when we can go to smaller shows for just £10 for the boat and have a fabulous weekend.
I have just fed Paddy and Marmite and now it is time to put our dinner on, so I am off to raid the full fridge for tonights dinner. It is time for me to sign off.

Way to early for this.

Morning All.

I must be completely barking mad blogging at 3.14am, but hey I am up and have been since just before 2am. Infact I have had very little sleep so far tonight.

Why your ask????

The answer to that question is because of Keith. The poor man is going through withdrawls, having come off of Dihydrocodeine, which he has been on since February. Now we saw a GP last Monday (ours is away) who told Keith to reduce his tablets by one for a couple of days, then to stop taking them. But I thought wooo that is to quick so we reduced the two 30mg tablets 4 times a day, down to 1 30 mg tablet 4 times a day for a couple of days and that was fine, and then half a 30mg tablet 4 times a day. I then suggested stopping the remaining tablets one by one, so over the week he reduced them to nothing. But now the withdrawls have really kicked in. He is suffering with the sweats, pain in his arms, which means sleeping is not good. He is also suffering with a runny nose and sneezing, all symptoms of withdrawl. I don't think there is really any easy way of coming off of opiads. But it would have been nice if the doctors had explained what could happen. During the day he is absolutely fine, these problems are only occuring at night, which is of course when we both need to sleep. So for the third night running we are up drinking tea. I am on the computer because I cannot sleep and want to keep an eye on him. Here's hoping that I can go back to bed in a minute and get some sleep, otherwise I am going to be a zombie for much of Wednesday.
My worry is that he has come off of these tablets to quick and that this will go on for ages. One thing I do know is that if he is still not doing to good by Friday, I will get him to see a GP, as ours is away on holiday. Keith say's he is ok coping as he is, but it is upsetting to see him going through this. It is amazing at how quickly something prescribed by your Gp can become so addictive.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Kicking up a Rumpus.

Hi everyone.

Today has been a fabulous day. It all began with the usual walk along the towpath with Paddy. I have begun to take my camera with me again and oh boy was I glad I did, because there was a lot to photograph. The first thing I came across were these moorhens going at it hammer and nail. In fact there were two pairs scraping with each other, but I thought I would upload just one photo. It was like a boxing match with feet. The rumpus went on for five or more minutes, and ended with neither side winning.
No sooner had that rumpus died down, the swan family put in their first appearance on the water and to my surprize there were Nine little fluff balls. You can only see Eight in the photograph, but there was a Ninth, hiding behind the Pen, to shy to say hello it its public. It is so wonderful to see this family, after the disaster last year.
With Paddy walked and breakfast done. We decided that we would go down to the local radio station Hfm to say Happy Birthday to one of its presenters, who we have got to know really well. Before heading the station, we sent and bought a couple of boxes of cakes to help the celebration along and then caught a taxi to the radio station. Keith is still not 100%, so I did not want him over doing it. We were welcomed at the station with cups of coffee and a slice of Birthday cake from the Birthday boy. We also got the chance to sit in on Dave Smith's radio program. Now I do not want to make Dave big headed, but he is a fantastic DJ. As a local radio station Hfm is one of the best we know. They play such a diverse amount of music for all ages and always encourage the local community to get involved. We were as always made very welcome.
Having enjoyed a fanatastic morning with the gang, we took a leisurely stroll into the town and to Han the Chinese Restaurant where we enjoyed a sumptuous lunch. A two course meal for £8 each.
Having enjoyed our lunch, we got chatting to one of the young ladies who served us. She was fascinated by the fact that we live and work on a narrowboat, so we gave her a history lesson about the canals and invited her to come and see our boat. But whether she will is entirely up to her. By the time we had walked back to the boat, there were people having a picknick lunch on the Sanitary Station moorings. They were very pleased to see us, as they needed a pumpout card, to empty their pooh tank and with the office closed we were the nearest port of call for a pumpout card.
I am now sat watching 'Deal or no Deal'. I have always loved Noel Edmunds, ever since his days on 'Swap Shop' on Saturday mornings. It is going to be a chillout evening I reckon. So have a good day everyone. I am off now.

Monday 24 May 2010

We have Cygnets.

Yesterday I was told that the local Pen and her Cob had at least One Cygnet, so of course it was great excitement, because last year their eggs never hatched. This was due to a combination of the weather and the fact that neither of the Swans were well. The Cob had a fishing hook in its neck. Which meant the RSPCA were called out to give them both a health check, as they were also very thin. Thankfully after removing the hook from the Cob's neck they were given the all clear.
This morning I walked Paddy down the towpath with my camera hanging around my neck in anticipation that I would get a photograph of the new addition. When Paddy and I got there, there was a couple already watching the nest. Apparently they had been there since 7am and it was now past 8am. Surprize, surprize the pair have at least Six Cygnets and two eggs in the nest, so they well end up with a family of Eight. I never ever get fed up with seeing the wildlife's offspring. We were hoping she would take them out on the water, but with two eggs still in the nest, she settled back down on them and her young and went to sleep. So we will have to see what happens over the next few days.
An Update on our Mallard and her ducklings. Well she started out with Thirteen and sadly they have been disappearing. We think they have either been taken by the Pike or the Mink, which we are know are around here. So mum now had Five very healthy Ducklings, which are now getting big. Each evening they come to the engine room door to be fed. We are hoping that these five survive and grow into healthy adults, as there are very few ducks down here.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Hot under the collar.

Good afternoon Peeps.

Woooo it is certainly a hot one. Now the other day I said I would try and post a photo of our Moorhen family. Well here they are Mum, Dad and Seven little babies... On so cute. Actually Moorhen chicks look like little aliens when they are tiny. I am hoping that they manage to keep all Seven, but the Mallards have been losing their young so I am not holding out much hope.
Other exciting news is that the Pair of Swans have at least one baby...... yippee. I was told by someone close by that she had seen one little head pop out from under the Pen. So that will be my next task to take a photo of the new member of the Swan family. It is exciting to see new life on the canal.

Now you maybe wondering why this post is titled 'Hot Under The Collar'. It is not because it is mega hot outside, Oh no that would be to easy. This is all due to a private boater, who thought he could do as he pleased. But then he did not bargain with seeing me hahaha. Because most of the hire boats come back on a Sunday for a Monday turnaround. The basin has to allow enough spaces for them to come in. So with five private boats already in, including us I was asked to not allow any other private boats in overnight. So when this boater came in and actually moored his boat on BW private moorings, I just knew I would have to ask him to move. I should say at this point that as you come into the basin, there is a large sign which ask you to go to the office to ask about moorings before you moor up. But it is rare that anyone actually does what the sign asks. Not only that at the Sanitary Station it also asks the same thing. But this guy ignored all of that and moored in BW private moorings, which is not allowed, as these moorings are paid for by boaters. So when he came around to the office to see about mooring up overnight, I had to politely inform him that there were no overnight moorings and he could not stay on the BW private moorings either. I tried to explain to him that we were waiting for the hire boats to come in. He asked "But why are these other private boats in". I explained to him three times that they had booked ahead to stay for a couple of days, but he was not having it. In the end I had to stay I am sorry sir we cannot accommodate you for tonight, but if there are any moorings on the towpath, you more than welcome to moor up out there. His reply was "I did not want to buy any of your coal anyway". I calmly walked away. What has buying my coal got to do with him and an non existant mooring????? I am amazed I remained calm, because he was really quite rude. Which in a way made me giggle, because about half an hour before another boater was telling me, that they thought private boaters had got very rude over this past couple of years. You know I agree with her, they really have. This has affected more than one of our boating friends, who have actually sold their boats and moved back on to dry land. Which I feel very sad about. Nothing is going to stop us staying on the water. Rude boaters or not, we are here to stay. So moving on from the gentleman who was rude to me. I saw he and his wife sitting on a bench in the basin eating and ice cream and all the hire boats began arriving back. At least he could see I was not lying. I am never intentionally lie to anyone, I was just doing as I was asked. And should he ever wish to purchase a bag of coal from me, I will smile sweetly and sell him a bag of coal.
All is now calm in my world as I have just done my food shop online with Tesco, so we will have something to eat over the coming week. With a Bank Holiday coming up, I dare say it will rain, so we will be off of the salads again and back on to hot food. Tonight's dinner is a rice meal, with added bits mmmmmmmmm.

Friday 21 May 2010

For Sale !!

Good afternoon.

Phew it has been rather warm today. Now I am not complaining, really I am not. After all we had a long winter. But with this country it is all or nothing when it comes to the weather. So due to fact that it has been rather warm, I have left any painting till later on when the temperature drops hopefully. I hope that by getting my shorts out, I am not going to frighten the sun away this weekend, because it has been manic here with all the hire boats going out. I always want those hiring boats to have nice weather, because afterall they have all paid for their holiday on a boat. So with no painting to be done till later in the day Keith and I took a stroll into town. Yesterday Keith had said he fancied a Ginger Beer, but of course we did not have any in the fridge. So we strolled down the town to pick some up from Tesco. I dare say we will be enjoying a Ginger beer with dinner tonight. Whilst down in the town we went to the in door Market and on the notice board I spotted this advert.
Now either someone has a Two Nan tent really for sale or they are clearly strugggling with their English. As you can see there are some other spelling issues as well. It just struck me funny that if they were selling the Two Nan tent, what were the Two Nan's going to use on their holiday's now?
And what about the Grandads, do they also have a tent?
Due to the weather we will be having another salad for dinner tonight. I have just made some homemade Coleslaw, which we will have with our salad and a nice glass of Ginger Beer to wash it down.
If it cools down enough later, I am going to paint the gunwales on the Starboard side. it can then dry overnight. So on that note I am off to feed mog and dog. Have a good evening.

Living Proof

Good morning friends.
Here is living proof that we or should I say our photograph appeared on The One Show last night. Keith was particularly pleased because Hayley Mills was on the sofa, and he has loved her since he was a wee boy. If you did not see it, you can go into the address below and see it. Our photograph is towards the end of the show.
My text messages were red hot last night. Thank goodness I have 25 free text messages so I could message back phew.
Sorry if I sound like an excited child, but nothing has ever happened to me like this before. It is no big deal for some, but at my time of life it is a huge deal.
We were even mentioned on the local radio this morning by Chris Jones on HFM. HFM is a fantastic local station. They play such a diversity in music and that is why we love it.

Thursday 20 May 2010

Rickmansworth Tug Of War Day 1 Highlights

One Show Fame

We now know how it feels to be famous. We had our few seconds of fame on The One Show tonight, Matt and Christine asked for people at the beginning of the show to send in photographs of when trophies were won. So I sent in this photograph of Keith and I at the Little Venice Cavalcade, when we won the Vic Trott Trophy for being the Best Dressed Boat People in May 2009. I never expected it to be shown. I have always thought that when they ask for photos to be sent in, they were fixed. I was proved wrong tonight, because they showed our photograph. My phone has been receiving text messages from friends and family and my Facebook page has been busy. I guess this is what fame feels like Ha ha ha ha.

A Good Tern.

Boat jobs are all done for the day. I got varnishing done on the galley doors and the back cabin doors, so they are all protected now against the weather. I also painted the back counter, so that is looking spik and span now, well that is until the dog digs his claws into the paint ans scratches it. I keep threatening to pull his claws out.
Over the past few days we have had a welcome visitors to the basin. They are Common Tern's. They have come to steal the fish in the basin. For those who do not know about Common Tern's. They feed by plunge-diving for fish, from either the sea or freshwater lakes and large rivers and in our case the basin. Everyday they have come and taken fish for what must be a growing family. It is an absolute pleasure to watch them going about their lives. We also have a new family of Moorhen babies. Mum and Dad have at least 6 young on the last count and I will try and get a photograph of them.
Whilst I was busy with the varnishing and painting. Keith was huffing and puffing over our engine, which is only firing on one cylinder. She is giving us cause for concern at the moment, especially as we had hoped to go to the Leicester River Festival, but that is now unlikely, as we need to sort the engine out first. I love getting my hands dirty and always try and help with the engine, after all I can learn a lot with being hands on. But there are times when it is best to stay well away and that is when Keith is getting stressed out, because of dog hairs on everything. Yes having a long haired dog, means his hair gets everywhere and I mean everywhere. So with the engine all opened up, it is not ideal to have Paddy's hair sticking to everything. But Paddy cannot help it and we have to deal with it. So it is back to the drawing board over the engine.
As it has been so hot today, we are having a Salad for dinner tonight and Yoghurt for afters. Then I am going to settle in front of the TV, until bedtime, because I did not sleep to well last night again, due to being to hot and my shoulder. Lets hope I can sleep better tonight.

Squirrel Capers

Good Morning.

Thought I would do a quick post, before I get on with boat jobs.
I was walking his lordship.... No not Keith, this is Paddy I am talking about. In the morning's we tend to walk along the towpath, as he likes to have a bit of a run once we have got past the moored boats. So I let him off of the lead and off he went. Paddy never goes out of my sight, otherwise he panics. He likes to see me at all times. Whilst he had his nose in ever bush and blade of grass. I stood and watched a couple of squirrels chasing each other across a manicured lawn. Once they had run across this beautiful lawn they both scooted up a tree and chased each other round and round the trunk. It was one of those smile moments. I know, I know squirrels are seen as pests, but they are so cute and funny. I never get bored of seeing them on my walks, or watching their antics. Love them or hate them they are part of Britain's countryside.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Varnishing, Painting and sunshine

Good afternoon.

It has been a sublime morning. The sun was out early, which meant that I got lots done on the boat. When I mean lots, I mean outside of the boat and not inside. It was way to nice to be stuck inside hoovering and cleaning. That can wait for a wet day. I was up like a lark, dressed and already to take Paddy for his morning stroll. I left Keith in bed, as he was not feeling quite to hot. It probably has something to do with him coming off of his painh killers. It will take a few days before he will feel normal again. I then sorted breakfast out for Keith and I and the usual morning cuppa, before I started rubbing down the galley doors for varnishing. I like to varnish them at least once a year, twice if the weather allows. With my right shoulder partly out of action. I find lifting it above my head a no, no. But rubbing down and varnishing is agreeable with my shoulder, so there is no point in sitting around doing nothing. That would just mean I am online all day, which is no good for anyone.
With the window doors done, it was time to move on to the boats Blue and Red paintwork, which needed touching up on the bow and on the engine room doors, where it gets a lot of punishment. Keeping on top of any shabby paintwork, means it will never get out of hand. After that was done and dusted. I turned my attention to our Ash Carrier, which was a present from Mo and Nessa on NB Balmaha. It is made out of Galvanised Steel and so could probably cope perfectly well without being painted. But I thought it would be nice to give it some added protection. Not only that Keith can then put the boats name on it, so it is personalized to us. It was then time for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is going to be spent doing very little.

Monday 17 May 2010

Just when you think!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi folks.

Having enjoyed an up and down weekend with my shoulder. Here we are on a Monday and things are still not going right. Over the weekend, I think I told you on Saturday the Diclofenic was making me poorly, so I stopped them. This morning Keith and I both had appointments at the doctor's. Keith had good news, because he can start coming off of his pain killers. We will then really know if he is actually completely pain free. The doctor was pleased with his progress. There was nothing we did not already know in the letter to the doctor from the hospital, so we have to now wait for the biopsy results. Because we had over an hour to wait until my appointment, we decided to go and have a coffee in the town and to stroll around the Charity shops, as we always do. We then made it back to the surgery for my appointment with my doctor. I am to have some Physio, to see if they can free my shoulder up a little more. I could have a Cortisone , but the doctor who does them is stuck in Ireland, due to the Volcanic ash cloud. He has tried coming back by ferry, but they are booked solid. So my doctor is gonna ask him if I could benefit from having one. At the moment, it is fine if I do not move it quickly or at an odd angle. So there will be no swinging from the light fittings for me for a while. I will give the Physio a go and see if that helps. I also have some exercises I can try to see if that will release the joint. One good bit of news, was the fact that my blood pressure was down. The doctor had me lay back and think of peaceful things, which was more than the other doctor did. He had pulled my arm this way and that and then he took my BP, so no wonder it was high.
Having spent most of the morning down the town, we decided to have some lunch out, so went to the Waterfront, which is becoming our local for meal out of late. As always we both enjoyed our meals, before heading back to the boat. Keith decided that he was going to try and sort out the problem with the engine. When I say problem, I mean the problem with her only firing on one cylinder. We thought by having the fuel injector repaired all would be well, but oh no, nothing is ever that simple when it comes to us. So the new course of action was to strip the engine down again and remove the Copper washer, clean them, heat them up and put them back on the engine and hopefully that would do the job, as Keith reckoned we were getting air in somewhere.
Did it work??????????
No it did not. So we are still scratching our heads. The other thought that Keith has had, is that the Copper washers have had it and we need new ones, so this will mean limping to Braunston to Tony Redshaw's to get some replacements. None of this can happen until Keith gets the all clear for his biopsy results. So we put it all back together again and will leave it alone. Something is telling me that we are destined never to leave Market Harborough. I know that sounds stupid, but that is how it feels. Don't get me wrong I like Market Harborough, we have everything we need here, but Keith and I like to move as much as possible.
As the day draws to a close, I think I am going to be taking it easy and will see what tomorrow will bring. I hope your Monday has been a good one.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Plucky Duck.

These ducklings were born near the boat a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately the Mallard only has Eight little ducklings lift. They have either secomed to predation or died during the cold nights we have had lately. We have Pike here and they love a nice juicy duckling. Also there is a rouge Mallard, who has been seen attacking ducklings, so maybe she has had them.
I was sad to read this report online from the Evening Telegraph about a Mallard and her babies. http://www.northantset.co.uk/news/Plucky-ducks-survive-perils-of.6295028.jp It made me wonder if the cars had been going slower who the mother have survived and was she killed by a speeding motorist, because the ducklings survived and are now doing well. I am so glad we no longer have a car.

It's a cat's life.

Good morning.

It is a nice Sunday morning, but with rain forecast, it is gonna be a day to stay inside I think. This will definitely be the case for Marmite, because like most cats she hates getting wet.
Recently a friend came to visit and bought me some beautiful Yellow Tulips, which really brightened up the galley. They were so bright, that they of course caught the attention of Marmite, who thought they would make great food. I had to tell her off for chewing the leaves a few times. Which meant she would go off and sulk. However I took this photograph of her looking at the Tulips, as if she was admiring their beauty. Either that or she was wondering if the petals would taste nice ha ha ha
Marmite is a bag and box lover. So when a dustbin liner was left on my chair she could not resist getting into it. The first I knew of her being there, was when I could not find her, so called her name and firstly out popped a paw and then a nose. She was one very sleepy pussy cat.

Everyday Marmite makes us laugh. She is such a character.

Saturday 15 May 2010

Sleepy Saturday

Hi folks.

The weekend is here and I wish I could say I felt fantastic, but I don't. I think that I have had a reaction to my Anti-Inflammatories. I feel like I have cotton wool as a brain, my throat is furry and it feels like my heart is pounding out of my chest. So as of this morning I have stopped taking them, until I can speak to a doctor on Monday. This of course will not help with my frozen shoulder, but it is better to be safe than sorry. As for the other half, he is doing really well and still has no pain. Even the stinging when peeing has stopped, which is excellent.
I have done very little today. I visited a friend who has had a foot operation, and watched the F1 qualifying from Monaco, but that is it. Oh I did a wash and then dried it all in the tumble drier. That is as much as my brain and body can cope with today. I actually feel like I could sleep for a week. Thankfully my shoulder is not giving me to to much jip. It is just painful if I try doing to much. There is no chance of me doing my bra strap up, or pulling clothing over my head, but I can manage without doing either for the time being. When you cannot use a limb, it really makes you realise, just how much you rely on it. So I am going to have a sleepy Saturday and hope that I feel more myself tomorrow.

Friday 14 May 2010

Here's to the heroes.

I was recently sent this in an e-mail from a friend, so thought I would share it with you.


Here's to the heroes. Especially for all of the young ones we have recently lost…

The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, just old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent Comprehensive School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.
He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before
dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.
He has two sets of fatigues; he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humour in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.
He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.
In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the BRITISH Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.


He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.
As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . .
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

Please sit for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq, because they are risking their lives so that we may remain free ...

Giving Little Away.

Hi. It's me again.

As I am unable to go to far today, because I have to keep my eye on Keith. Boredom has set in for both of us , so I have been surfing the net for answers. I do however realise that I should not take what I read to literal because all cases are different. But it does make me see that doctors really don't tell us much. They only seem to tell us what they want us to know.
So as we have a GP's appointment booked for Monday, I am going to make a list of things I now want to know, these will include:

What is my husbands PSA count?
Because this has never been discussed. Prostate cells produce a small amount of a protein that is known as prostate specific antigen (PSA). An elevated PSA does not automatically mean a man has prostate cancer. Conditions other than cancer, including an infection or a benign enlargement of the prostate, can result in higher-than-normal PSA levels. This would also include Prostatitis, which is what he was told he has with Prostatic Extensions. At no time have we been told if his level is normal.

Prostate Massage was this the right action?
Now I know that self diagnosis is never really the thing to do. But alarm bells ring when you read things like this.
In recent trials, prostate massage was not shown to improve outcomes compared to antibiotics alone. As a consequence of these findings, prostate massage is not used in the treatment of any medical disorder today, and prostate massage should never be performed on patients with acute prostatitis, because the infection can spread elsewhere in the body if massage is performed. Now Keith has been told he has Chronic Prostatitis, so why did they do it on him?

Geesh I have more questions than answers now. But when doctors tell you nothing, you need answers from somewhere. I find it frustrating that when you husband/partner etc comes out of a procedure, there is never a doctor around to answer your questions. The nurses are just left to pack you off home, with a letter for the GP. In this day and age, I do not think this is acceptable. I was chatting to a friend, who went in for a hernia repair and gall bladder removal and the doctors could not have been more accomadating. Not only that, they said if she was at all worried, she could ring the treatment centre and ask for advice or even go back in. We were told if he had any worries we had to contact our GP or NHS Direct. There seems to be patchy service across the country when it comes to the NHS.

Welcome progress made.

Good Morning Friends.

Hip Hip Hooray. We are making some progress at long last. This past couple of days have been some what nerve racking, because I had been dreading a phone call from the hospital saying they were cancelling Keith's exploritory operation. But yesterday morning we heard nothing, so my dear friend T, came and collected us and took us to Kettering Hospital, where we sat and waited for Keith to go up to the Day Case clinic. We were told at 12 noon to make our way to the Pre-Op room and wait to be called. So we sat and waited with all the other people who had Day op's. Some looking very apprehensive. Keith was just eager to get on with it. At 12.30 pm he was called through to check in and I had to say cheerio to him at the door, which was not easy. T and I drove back to Market Harborough, where we had some lunch in the Waterfront. It was wonderful to catch up with T, we had so much to gossip about. After some lunch I rang the hospital at 2.30pm to see what the situation was, to be told he was just going down. So with that T and I strolled around the town, as she had never been to Market Harborough before. I bought a pair of jeans from New Look, as my old ones were to big for me and had gone to the charity shop, some days ago. After seeing the delights of Market Harborough, we walked back to the boat, where we settled down with a coffee and the wait for a phone call to say we could collect Keith. That phone call came at 5pm, so we locked the boat up and head back to Kettering, which is around a 30 minute drive. When I got on to the ward, Keith was all dressed and drinking a cuppa. I had to sign a form to say I would take him home. The surgeon did a Cystoscopy and a Prostatic Manipulation. During the Cystoscopy, he took another Biopsy and we will get the results of that in 2 weeks time. I am not expecting it to be any different from the ones they took back in October, they came back negative. having had the Prostatic Manipulation Keith was pain free, which was fantastic. But it did have me wondering if that was just because of the pain killers they had given him in theatre. With him now home, he rested during the evening and enjoyed a resonable nights sleep. We were in fact drinking tea at 3am this morning, because we were both wide awake. The good news is he is still pain free at the moment. The only discomfort is from the Cystoscopy, because they used a rigid camera in case they could do anything whilst they were in there. So he does have some blood and discomfort when peeing, but that should go in a couple of days. I have the job of making sure he keeps his fluids up. Keith has a letter for the GP, so we are going to see him on Monday and see what the letter says and to begin the process of getting Keith off of the Dihydrocodeine, which has to be done slowly. So all in all it has been an emotional couple of days, which is now over. I was so very grateful to T for coming with me and spending the day with me. She is such a special person and a genuine friend. Over the next couple of days Keith has to take things easy, so we will not be going anywhere. Not only that I am supposed to be resting my shoulder. Yesterday I bought some very smelly cream, which is supposed to help relax the muscle in my arm and give me a warm glow. It smells flippin dreadful, but does ease the muscle, which is a plus at the moment.
I am going now, as i need to get some jobs done.

Today is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day, so keep those who are suffering in your thoughts.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Wet Wednesday.

Hi folks.

Well what can I say. It is wet outside, so a day to stay indoors I reckon.
This has been an Election free zone on purpose, because I find it all rather boring. All the coverage has got very Americanised, which may be great for America, but for us Brits it can bore us senseless. On saying that, I did watch the coverage of Gordon Brown resigning last night and of David Cameron taking over the keys of No10. Which although long winded was important news for everyone in the UK and across the world. So when I read that people complained about the coverage, I was a little bemused. It seems some people think that a soap opera is far more important, than who is running this fine country of ours.
"The BBC received over 100 complaints over delaying EastEnders for live coverage of the prime minister resigning, reports claim.

The BBC issued the following statement:
'We apologise for having to postpone EastEnders and appreciate it has a large fanbase who wish to keep up to speed with the lives of Albert Square residents, but as a public broadcaster we have a duty to ensure to public are aware of important news when it happens.'
I fail to see why the BBC felt they had to apologise, when this piece of news was important. Would this 100 people have complained if something had been blown up and it was suddenly reported. I bet not. Isn't it sad, that some people live their lives around the soaps. My first thought to that was GET A LIFE.

Ok rant over.
So here we are it is Wednesday and tomorrow Keith goes into hospital for his exploritory operation, hooray (I shout). I am so hoping that they find the cause of all his extreme pain. But neither of us are holding our breaths. Today we are going to be taking it easy. I need to get a few things organised for him to take with him. At the moment he is down as a day case, so he should be home later in the afternoon if all goes well. I will let you know on that.
I am trying to rest my shoulder, having been told I have a partly Frozen Shoulder. Resting it though is easier said than done, when I am right handed and it is my right shoulder which is affected. I do not have my arm in a sling, which I am told can make it worse. The best position is to let the arm hang naturally, so I am trying to do this as much as possible. Last night I slept with a pillow under my arm, which seemed to help and I will keep taking the tablets. Poor Keith is now having to do the lifting of heavier things for me, which is not helping him any. I am not one to be sitting around, especially when there are a lot of boat jobs that need doing still. But I have to be a good girl otherwise I may suffer for longer, which would not be good. Actually thinking about it. Should I even be typing on here????
If anyone knows can they please let me know ;0)

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Busy Tuesday.

Hi friends.

Phewwww what a day it has been so far. Having had a much better nights sleep than of late. I woke up with a spring in my step. Maybe it was the anti-inflammatories that knocked me out. Whatever it was, it felt nice to wake up feeling refreshed for once. I was up at 8.30am and before I even laid up breakfast Paddy got his walk, as the poor boy was crossing his legs. Marmite was still snoozing in her bed. She lays awake most of the night, looking out of the porthole at the birds, so she needs to sleep allday.
With Paddy walked, I sorted breakfast out and a cuppa, whilst Keith was getting himself organised. Having set the mobile into life, I immediately got a text from Tesco to tell me our shopping was arriving between 11am and 12pm, so that meant I knew what time I had to play with, before the van arrived. I actually spent most of it chatting to Steff  on NB Annie Wright. We began with chatting about coal and ended up chatting about our other halfs and their health issues. It is nice to meet another boater. 11am came and so did our shopping, delivered by a young man who has been to us a few times now. Oh how grateful I am at the moment for my shopping coming by van, especially with this shoulder situation. So with the shopping stowed away, it was then lunchtime. I did Keith some soup and bread and butter, whilst I made myself a crisp sandwich. Yep a sandwich with Ready Salted Crisps in it. Every now and again I love a crisp sandwich. Was trying to eat my lunch when Hilary and Andy turned up, they were out with friends, and were going for some lunch in town. So we had a quick chat, before they went off to find somewhere to eat. I finally finished my lunch and hung out a board on the boat, explaining that we were not selling coal at the moment, I then headed down the town myself, as I needed to go to the bank and then to get some veggies. I also dropped off some clothing to Cancer Research. Over this past year I have lost some weight and some of my clothes have got to big for me, so it was time for them to go. It now gives me a good excuse to buy something new. I want some new jeans, but have not seen anything I like yet. It has now gone past 3pm and I feel like I could do with a nap. But if I sleep now, there is no way I will sleep tonight. Arghhhh napping in the afternoon, must mean I am getting old hahahaha. So it has been a busy morning. I am planning on a quiter afternoon and evening.

The funniest thing I have read today is about the Celebs, throwing their toys out of the pram, because Twitter wiped their fans of their Twitter pages LMAO. It seems that Twitter had a bug, which wiped everyone's followers back to zero. Are celebs honestly that shallow, that they throw a hissy fit at losing their followers?
I am quite sure, if these people are real followers, they will soon find their celebs again and the whole process can begin all over again. 

Monday 10 May 2010

Told to take a break.

Hi Folks.

As if it is not hard enough having Keith poorly, I am now joining him. After pain in my shoulder and arm for the past few weeks.  I took myself off to the doctors this morning and have been told I have Adhesive Capsulitis, which to you and me means a frozen shoulder. Mine has not frozen completely yet, but I have been told if I do not rest it for 3 weeks, it may go that way and that will mean upto 2 years of problems. So like a good girl I am going to do as I am told. I have been given some Diclofenic tablets, which are anti-inflammatories, which should sort the problem. If they don't, I will have to have a Steriod injection Ouchhhhhhhh. I do not like the sound of that. So with a heavy heart I have taken down our sale boards and have shut up shop for the 3 weeks. With Keith also going into hospital, it seems like a good idea to close up, as we do not know what is going to happen as far he is concerned. I know what has caused my shoulder problems. It has been the extra work over the winter with the coal, because I have done all of the hauling of the coal. This not normally a problem, but obviously for some reason my shoulder has said ok, enough is enough.

I sat in the surgery waiting room at 9.20am this morning and just watched what was happening around me. On the wall there is a huge sign which reads. Please Switch Off Your Mobile Phone. Now either some people are blind or they are really stupid, because two people were talking on their phones in the waiting room. Also there was a young mother with her daughter, sat a few seats away from us. The mother was listening to her ipod with her feet up on the seat, whilst her daughter played on her Nintendo DS. Surely she should have been setting a good example to her daughter, by keeping her feet on the floor. After all someone else has to sit on her seat after she has left. Where are peoples manners? As I have said before, I am a terrible people watcher.

I am not into celeb gossip as such, but could not help but read this. Linda Nolan actually considered suicide, when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2006. Linda had a breast removed and due to her treatment, went to a very dark place in her life. Thankfully she came through her treatment and is well now. Unfortunately her sister Bernie has now been diagnosed with Breast Cancer as well. Reading this really made me think about how important it is to check my breasts at least once a month. You can never be to careful. I wish Bernie lots of luck with her treatment.

Saturday 8 May 2010


Good afternoon.

I say good through gritted teeth, because it is actually pouring with rain and cold for May. Someone has defintely stolen the warm weather, we were having. Still as a Brit I am used to the rain and when you live on or have a boat, rain is just par for the course.
The piece below was sent to me this morning in an e-mail, so I thought I would share it with you.

A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him.
She says hello. He's rather taken aback because he can't place where he knows her from. So he says, 'Do you know me?'
To which she replies, 'I think you're the father of one of my kids.'
Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, 'Are you the stripper from the bachelor party that I made love to on the pool table with all my buddies watching while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery???'
She looks into his eyes and says calmly, ‘No, I'm your son's teacher.'

Moral of the message: Always understand what a person is saying before responding.


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