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!
Friday 29 April 2011
Thursday 28 April 2011
Saturday morning and there we were awake at the crack of dawn, listening to the lambs bleating for their mums. That reminds me. If you have a dog, please keep it on a lead when passing fields with lambs in. Yesterday morning I was awake listening to the Ewes and lambs going crazy out in the field by us, I then heard a woman screaming repeatedly at her dog to come back. It was plain to hear that her dog was in the field with the Ewes and lambs. A farmer has the right to protect his livestock and therefore can shoot a dog worrying his sheep, if all other attempts to get them away fail., of course there would have to be proof of worrying such as death or injury to his livestock. This would then involve the police. So if your out in the countryside near sheep and do not want any hassle, please keep your dog under control and that means on a lead.
Back to this morning, after a cup of tea, I was up just after 7am with a list of jobs in my head which needed to be done.
Wednesday 27 April 2011
Having arrived at the top of Watford locks, we were 4th in the queue to go down, which was not a problem as we were in no real hurry. We took the opportunity to chat to the lockies on duty today and the other boaters waiting to go down the flight. The Lock Keepers hut was all decked out in bunting for the royal wedding, it looked really lovely and nice to see someone taking the trouble. As the boats in front of us moved forward, I untied Hadar and pulled her forward as Keith was nattering to the volunteer lockie. Keith's back is much better, and I want to keep it that way.
Tuesday 26 April 2011
Just a quickie today because I have a dreadful GPRS signal here at Crick and for anyone who has ever moored at Crick they will know how bad the signal can be.
After such a fantastic weekend weatherwise, what a difference in the weather today, we are back to winter conditions and winter woollies, brrrrr. We set off from Foxton locks at 8:00am and arrived at Crick at 1:45pm, not a bad run, despite every man and his dog out on the water, especially at bridge 'oles. I think many people are taking advantage of the extra few days holiday due to the Royal Wedding on Friday. Whilst on the move, I made us Sausage sandwiches for linch on the run and lots of coffee. When we arrived at Crick and had moored up in one of only two spaces left, we visited Richard and Chrissie on NB Digitalis to pass on a letter that had arrived at Union Wharf for them, yes we now into postal services, :-). Chrissie very kindly made us a coffee. It was lovely to catch up with them and their plans for a new life in Kings Lynn. We then walked into Crick village to do some shopping at the Post Office and Co-op. I love the bread the Post Office gets in everyday, but they only had a small insliced loaf left, so I grabbed it.
We may not have a good online signal, but the TV signal is not to bad, so I can at least watch the TV this evening.
Tomorrow we will finally get off of our Winter coal run patch and head for pastures new, we just need to clear Watford Locks tomorrow morning, but I am expecting to queue as there are a lot of boats about at the moment.
I am off now to find something for dinner.
Chat soon xx
Monday 25 April 2011
I hope that your Easter weekend has been a wonderful one?
Today was a day off, we did not bother setting up the stall.
For me it has been lovely in many respects. Today however as the day wore on I became a GOB. I know your thinking what is a GOB, well I will tell you. GOB stands for Grumpy Old Boater. I will explain more later, because the start of my day was absolutely fine. I was awake early, so made the decision to strip the bed and take the sheets, towel etc down to Tony Matts Laundrette at Bridge 61. I know we have our washing machine back, but it is still sitting in the hold, because of Keith's back. So having done the usual morning stuff, I packed my large rucksack with all the washing and set off down the flight to the laundrette, hoping I would catch it as it opened. I got there at 8.50am, but was still to late to be first in the queue, because the cafe and pub had got there first. I asked how long they would be and was told 45 minutes, so I decided to stay put, otherwise there was the chance that someone else would take my place. I settled in on the bench outside the laundrette and watched the world and his wife go by. Eventually the cafe and pub washing was done, and I could put my load in, I also offered to dry their washing whilst mine was washing, so they handed over the tokens for the drier and left me to it. It was my good deed for the day.
Keith came down to see how things were going and bought me a coffee whilst we both waited for the washing to finish. I did not bother with drying it, because I was going to hang it all in the hold. Whilst we waited for the wash to finish, a gentleman, his daughter and grand-daughter sat opposite us with their dog Rosie, sporting some wonderful saddle bags. Apparently she has them on because they keep her calm when she is out. I had to giggle when I took this photograph, because it looks like she is standing in a queue for the shower ;0).Back at the boat, I made us some lunch and a coffee before heading out with my camera. I wanted to capture the crowds that have flocked to Foxton Locks today and over the weekend. The fields across the valley were paved with Gold, as the Rapeseed shone in the glorious sunshine. A lot of people hate the stuff, but you cannot hate the wonderful colour it brings to the countryside. Both the Foxton Locks Inn and Tony Matts pub Bridge 61 were packed again today. I think theyboth had a very successful weekend, with food and drink.I met Gail and Trev who have the Candy Boat Shop. This is there first season selling sweets and chocolate from their narrowboat and if this weekend was anything to go by, they will do very well indeed this summer. It is always nice to meet a new trader who is actually trading officially with the trading licence. While we chatted and a queue gathered a couple of male cyclists tried to cycle past the queue, so I asked them to dismount from their bokes, because there was no cycling on site, and did they not read the signs. I got a smirk and a nod from one of the guys, as they went on their way. Grrrrrrrrr my temperature was rising.Tony Matts trip boat Vagabond, was very popular again today. Over the whole weekend it did over 30 trips. Everywhere you looked there were people. Even the Lock Keeper said it had been much busier than they have seen for ages. It was so busy they had to open up the overflow car parks which also filled up. I think the lockies will be glad when it all gets back to normal tomorrow, because even they have had canal rage to deal with over the weekend, which is very much out of order.The Foxton Flight was crowded with visitors from bottom to top and this is where the GOB bit comes in because I walked back to the boat and was pushed and shoved by people who were not looking where they were going. I then got back to the boat and saw a couple of dogs off leads coming towards us, so I politely asked the women to put their dogs on leads, because it is required on the site. Now I have gone on in the past about the younger generation being rude, well you can now add the mature generation to that list. Keith even backed me up with my request, but these two women were decidely off hand with the both of us. Now I could of taken the decision to say nothing, but that is what everyone seems to do. No I decided that saying something was the best policy, because I knew if I did not ask nicely, then they would have been shouted at by the Lock Keeper. Maybe next time I should allow them to get shouted at. The two women did put their dogs on their leads after sometime, but clearly the women were not happy at having to do so. Do these dog owners not realise that not everyone likes dogs coming at them off the lead, especially young children and because it was so crowded at the locks dogs needed to be on leads for safety reasons.
Ok, Ok off my soapbox.
With that confrontation over with, I then withdrew back into the boat, mainly because I was feeling like I would literally explode at the next person who came past either on a bike or with a dog off its lead. I put the TV on and watched 'Independence Day' and 'True Grit', whilst knitting dishcloths, Keith stood out on the back counter chatting to the general public with Paddy and Marmite. I was much happier staying inside.
As the day has drawn to a close and I have had dinner and a shower, I am much more chilled out and looking forward to getting underway tomorrow, when we will be in the middle of nowhere heading to Crick.
Chat soon xx
Be very careful when you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears.
The woman came from a man's rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head, for him to be superior. But from his side, to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved.
Ladies, pass the word, if you agree!!!
And guys,if you're any kind of man, you will believe this also, and will re-post too ♥
I love the sentiments of this.
Sunday 24 April 2011
Saturday 23 April 2011
Yesterday ended with Keith's back throwing a wobbly, which it does from time to time. But we could have done without it at the moment. So all bending jobs are left to me at the moment, as is walking Paddy in the evening.
Saturday morning for me began at 5am when Keith's snoring woke me up. He only ever snores when he has a bad back, because he has to lay on his back, so there was I wide awake and wondering whether to get up. In the end I turned over and managed to grab another 40 winks.
I eventually got up at 7am and got on with the morning's chores, which included walking Paddy. Once breakfast was out of the way, Keith and I then set up the Summer stock on the roof of the boat, hoping for a few sales. The weather was glorious and the heat was building, but so were the numbers of visitors to the locks. I put a huge bowl out filled with water for the growing number of dogs who were desperate for a drink. There were some very thirsty dogs, trying to cope with the heat and being dragged up and down the flight of locks.
Last night before closing up the boat, several boats turned up to go down the flight, but as they closed at 6pm, there was no hope of them descending the flight until morning.
This morning by 9.45am the queue at the top and bottom of the flight was such, that there was a 4 hour wait for some boats to descend the flight. All those who where waiting seemed in good cheer. Maybe if it had been wet and cold they would not have been quite so happy, but then again if it had been wet and cold none of them would have left their marina's.
Out Summer stock was laid out to be browsed over and it was not long before we sold a couple of small items. In all we had a pretty good day, which included selling a Replica Measham Teapot.
I had forgotton how tiring it was just nattering to people all day, but it was an incredibly enjoyable day.
As the afternoon drew to a close we packed away the stock and put it away.
Paddy and I walked down the first lock to see the last boat of the day descending the flight, 6pm and the flight was now closed to traffic for another day. We strolled across the pond to the viewing platform, where the view was stunning across the inclined plane and out across the valley where the Rapeseed is in flower.It is now 7.30pm and there are still people walking up and down the locks, I am sat obviously typing up my blog, but relaxing. I have got a lovely tan on the go and reckon I may be a hot bit of stuff in bed tonight, so the duvet will not be called upon. Tomorrow I am going to do a book signing to hopefully raise some funds for Cancer Research (CLICK).
Chat soon xx
Friday 22 April 2011
Thank you all for your birthday messages, I had the most wonderful day, which ended in a fantastic meal at The Waterfront in Union Wharf Basin. Keith treated me to a lovely meal, which ended in Steff and Sandra who run The Waterfront, bringing me a piece of yummy chocolate cake with a lit candle in it. We washed down the lovely meal with a nice bottle of white wine. So a good time was had. Here's to my 50th next year, that should be a blast.
We finally broke free from the magnetic pull, that seems to try to keep us in Market Harborough, it was quite sad to say goodbye, but we will be back in October for the coal run. We cruised to Foxton what was to be a hot and sunny days trip. We have finally seen our first ducklings of the year. This Mallard did have two ducklings, but one went swim about when i took this photo. There was also another mum with ten babies as we went up the flight. Having arrived at the bottom of Foxton locks, it was clear that we would have to join a queue, because there were boats everywhere. We were infect 5th in the queue, awaiting for the boats coming down the hill. The only pace to moor was on the Foxton Locks pub moorings behind NB Will, who was waiting with everyone else. We could have actually had a meal and drank a couple of pints before we were summoned, as it took over an hour to clear the boats coming down the flight. With the wait over, we followed NB Iddons Way up the flight. Jezz was the lockie on duty so we enjoyed a natter as we climbed the hill, we also had lots of people taking photos of us and asking questions about the boat. I even had the help of some of the visiting children, who asked if they could help with the gates. It took us an hour to clear the locks, which normally takes as 45, so not too bad really. On reaching the top Jezz gave me a cuddle and wish me a good summer cruising and he would see us again in September. He is a lovely guy and a very good lockie.
We moored at the top of the locks where we will be for the long weekend, hopefully selling lots of stuff. We managed to sell one of our mountain bikes, which has been cluttering up the hold, I got £20 for my bike, which is better than nothing and a teenage girl is very happy with her new bike, although she cannot ride it for at least another six weeks because she had broken her arm.
It has been a fanatastic day, which ended with watching lots of boats arriving to go down the flight, which closed at 6 oclock, so there are eight boats queued already for the morning decent of the flight.
I hope that you enjoy your Easter.
Chat soon xx.
Thursday 21 April 2011
Need I actually say anything about the weather, it is really glorious out and that suits me fine on my birthday. I feel very proud to share my birthday with her majesty the Queen, who is celebrating her 85th birthday, so congratulations to her.
I have been having a wonderful day so far. Keith and I do not bother with presents and cards, as we just do not have the room for them, but we will be going out for a meal tonight, which is how we always choose to celebrate our birthdays.
The morning began in the usual way of breakfast, dog walking and a cuppa. I then made the most of being on the electric, by getting out the hoover and going through the boat. Because Paddy is moulting his hair gathers in balls and rolls down the boat like tumbleweed. It was nice to hoover up the dust hair and coal soot from the fires.
No sooner that was done our washing machine arrived back at the boat from being repaired.
Our bank balance is lighter by £210 arghhhhhh, but it had to be repaired, he bought the offending drum to show us what had happened. The spider which is the three pronged bar had corroded and actually split in three places. He did not know why this had happened or what caused it, but did say that we should be very sparing with detergents, which I am anyway. We use Ecover and cannot see that this would have caused the problem, but who knows. Still money handed over, we lifted the washing machine back into the hold and we will put it back into the galley tomorrow probably.
I have been overwhelmed by people wishing me happy birthday on my Facebook page and from the people around me. But to top it all David off of NB First Fruits played Happy Birthday to me on his organ, which was so sweet. He did this whilst we wrestled the washing machine back on to the boat. I feel so loved.
With all our jobs done, we moved our boat out of the basin and on to the towpath, where we will be staying till the morning. I then nipped off down the town with my back pack to get some bits from Tesco, just to stock the fridge up on salad things, as it is expected to stay hot for the next few days.
I am now going to take it easy until we go out later this evening. So may I wish you a wonderful day and I will probably post again tomorrow.
Chat soon xx
Wednesday 20 April 2011
I had the weirdess thing happen in the early hours of this morning. I was sleeping like a baby when for some odd reason I woke up with a start, as I lay awake I was sure I could not hear Keith breathing (maybe this was why I woke up). I lay there wondering whether to wake him up, but thankfully he turned over in his sleep and all was well. I have never had anything like that before and hope I never do again.
Another beautiful start to the day, so we got on with adding a second coat of blue to the portside of the boat and to the cant. We have now covered all of the old blue completely and the boat is looking fantastic.
We had done all the painting, I was in the galley making a coffee, when I heard what sounded like a mower, I immediately looked out of the engine room door and saw a man and his mower coming towards us arghhhhh, cut grass and wet paint really do not mix. Keith walked down the towpath to meet the gentleman and asked him if he would mind going around us as we had just painted the boat. he was very accommodating and agreed to give us a wide birth phew.
Keith rang the washing machine repair company to find out if there was any news on our machine, he was told it would probably be next week before it would be done, as they were waiting for the part. So we sat back and enjoyed the sunshine, whilst I contempated my next job, which turned out to be painting one of the walls in the engine room. Keith's phone then rang and it was the man from Appliance Corner telling Keith that the machine part had arrived and our machine would be ready for delivery tomorrow (Deep Joy).
With the portside paintwork dry, I suggested to Keith that we should wind the boat and go back to Market Harborough ready for the washing machine delivery, so we packed everything away and headed off in the sunshine. When we arrived at the basin, we winded and moored on the Sanitary station mooring, Jo from the hore company was waiting for the dayboat to come back, so we asked if we could moor in the basin for the night. Having looked at who was due back, she said we could moor up and hook up to the electric, so we reversed Hadar into our favourite mooring in the basin, hooked her up and began putting things on charge. I went to chat to Viv and David on NB First Fruits, who then offered Keith and I a drink, which we really enjoyed whilst we had a lovely chat.
We have just had dinner and are relaxing. The Waterfront is very busy with customers, so it maybe a noisy evening, because they are all sat outside enjoying the evening sunshine.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to getting our machine back, we can then go off for a few weeks yippee. I am champing at the bit to get going. But before that tomorrow is my birthday, so Keith is going to treat me to a meal out, now all's I have to do is decide where to eat.
Chat soon xx
Now to find the most comfortable position.
Maybe I should make sure there is nothing under the seat.
I wonder if under the chair is the place to be?
No this is much more like it.
Having spent a couple of hours enjoying the comfort of my chair Marmite then decided to have a wander, but she did not get off of the chair like any normal moggy, no she slide off sideways until her front paws touch the grass. She is such a lazy lady, but oh so cute.
Tuesday 19 April 2011
What a fantastic day I have had. Not only has the weather been amazing. I have done allo sorts of things today.
Having done the usual morning tasks, Keith and I got stuck into the painting early. Keith tackled the inside of the engine room doors, whilst I rubbed down the cant ready for some new paint.Having rubbed it down and undercoated some areas which needed touching up, I put the first coat of Blue on and very nice it looks too. This was the last patch of old paintwork to get my brushes attention. The portside cabin side was still a little soft, so we decided not to put a second coat on today.
I got a text message from Jo at the hire boat company saying there was a parcel for us. I text her back and said we would collect it in a couple of days, but then I had a brain wave (I do not get many). I could get my bike out of the hold, where it has been hiding for over a year and ride to the office to collect the parcel. Keith helped me get my bike out and he then put the front wheel on and pumped up the tyres which were flat as it had no use. In fact the last time I used my bike was when Keith was in hospital and I used it to get to the train station. This is part of the reason why we are getting rid of the bikes we just don’t use them enough to warrant keeping them. I left Keith at 11.15am and was at the office by 11.35am, having done two and half miles. The cycling bit was wonderful, but I so wish my saddle had extra, extra padding because it was not comfortable. I should say my saddle does have padding but obviously not enough after all this time. Having collected the parcel, I rode back to the boat, where Keith was soaking up the sunshine. With the paint drying nicely and the birds singing, Keith suggested I should have put the bird feeders up, which reminded me that I had left them at the Clarkes Bridge mooring, which we left some days ago. So yep for the second time in one day, I got on my bike and rode to Clarkes Bridge to see if my feeders were still there. On my way there and back I passed this field which had turn a golden yellow with Rapeseed (Brassica napus), there was also a pungent smell coming off of the field, it really did look splendid in the sunshine.
When I got to Clarkes bridge I found my peanut holder still hanging in the bushes but the seed feeder was no where to be seen. So I had to hunt inside the hedge and there it was. A gentleman was stood on the stern of his boat watching me. He must have thought I was a little odd to be delving in the bushes. I explained to him I had not lost my marbles, I had lost my bird feeder, which I had left behind. He laughed and wished me well. Because I was dressed in my painting jeans and shirt, looking like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards he probably thought I was an a down and out ;0). Feeders found, I was on my bike and heading back to the boat. I could hear lambs calling their mum's, and spotted this lamb with its mum hiding near the hedge. So cute. At Gallows Hill Bridge we have passed this sign a lot, but I have never had the chance to look at it properly. It is a mile post and it celebrated the National Cycle Network, which now has begun to tear up the towpaths. I know I was contributing to it today. It is a shame that Gallows Bridge is still blighted by graffiti. It would be nice if the council would come and clean it off as it spoils the bridge and the view for boaters. Back at the boat, I refilled the bird feeder and hung them in a tree, it was then time for lunch and a sit down. Whilst I enjoyed my cycling, I will not be sad to see the bikes got, I realise now I do not have a bottom for cycling. It bought to mind "Fat bottom girls" by Queen. Not that I have a fat bottom or "I want to ride my bicycle", Not that I am gonna ride naked. I am not that sort of woman ha ha ha ha ha ;0).
It is now almost 2.30pm and I need to decide what to do next. All the paintwork is drying nicely, so hopefully we will get another coat on tomorrow. Marmite is on her lead going in and out of the galley window. Paddy is zonked in his bed. I am now going to look at what else I can do today.
Chat soon xx.
Monday 18 April 2011
Having painted the cabin side, there was much discussion about the cants. We have decided not to wait for dry docking to paint the cants, if the weather is fine tomorrow we will start on them and just paint around the fender chains for now.