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

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

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

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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

Friday 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding.

Hi Friends.

What a truly amazing day, which will go in the history books.

Today was a day that many millions if not billions will never forget. I like many of those millions sat and watch the Royal Wedding (CLICK).
I had only planned to see the highlights, but could not resist putting the TV on at 8am, just to have a sneeky peek at what was happening. Before I knew it I had pretty much watch the whole thing, including the kiss on the balcony.
I thought that the whole thing was stunning, from Catherine's dress to the floral decorations in the Cathedral, everything was completely perfect. I do not think they could have planned it any better. It was so wonderful to see them looking both happy and relaxed. I imagine now that every bride will want a dress like Catherine's. It really does make me feel proud to be British.

So due to the fact that I have spent all morning watching the TV, little else has got done. Keith did check the oil level in the gearbox and I put some cat litter down under the floor in the back cabin to soak up some of the greasy water which has collected there over the winter.
Not everyone was watching the Royal Wedding, because there have been a lot of boats passing us, whilst the ceremony was on. If these people thought it would be a good day to move, they got that very wrong, because lots of others also thought the same thing.

Thursday 28 April 2011

The M25.

Hi Friends.

After mooring up a couple of days ago, it seemed like we were on the M25, because every few seconds a boat would come past, some going slower than others. It is clear that there are some boaters out there who have no idea what throttling back is, so pass us at speed, just as well we are moored up properly. I watched boats of all shapes, sizes, colours and names go past, some have thump, thump engines and others sound like a lawn mower. But they all have one thing in common, they are all out for the weekend.
It was amazing how many boaters missed the wedding yesterday because they were out boating. I would not have missed the wedding for all the tea in China. Today William and Catherine head off for their honeymoon, I hope that the press leave them a lone, so they can enjoy it in peace. But some how I think they will find out where they are grrrrrrr.

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.
I stepped off of the boat to open up the hold sheeting to find the workbench and who should walk around the corner but Mortimer Bones (CLICK) and Boots her beautiful Greyhound, Kate her friend was steering the boat NB Bones. It was a wonderful surprise to see Mortimer again as it has been quite an age since we last saw each other. I walked and chatted with Mortimer towards the bridge, which was where I said cheerio. They are heading for Banbury. Hopefully it will not be so long before I see her again.
The first of the jobs to be done was to rub down and paint the back cabin coal box. It had been scumbled, but that was peeling off due to it getting damp over the winter from wet coal. So I decided to paint it dark Green to match the panels in the back cabin. I also lightly rubbed down the front picture panel and varnished it, this gives it some protection. With that done Keith took up the flooring, so we could see if the cat litter had done its job, by soaking up the grease. We had had some success, so preceded to do some more at the stern.
I got on with the job of washing the back cabin lino, which was looking a little grubby. Next job on the list was to sort the hold out. Whilst tidying it up we found our bike panniers, which of course we no longer need, so we will be selling those over the summer along with some sleeping bags. The hold was soon swept out and tidy ready for a coal delivery at the beginning of May. I then had a brain wave, because our back cabin stool needed a coat of varnish, but because it was looking a little tatty, I decided to give it a full paint job. So I rubbed it down and painted it in grey undercoat.Coffee time called, as did the thought of dinner, so I made us a coffee and cooked some diced Turkey in a Sweet and Sour sauce which will be enjoyed with rice.
Before lunch, I was on my hands and knees in the back cabin. I was in fact kneeling on the battery bank, cleaning out the cat litter we had put down earlier in the morning, it had done its job, so I got up most of the grease which has been under the floor all Winter. All these jobs take time, you also have to be prepared to get dirty.
Before we knew it, lunchtime had arrived, so I got on with preparing us something to eat. As I looked out of the galley window, I noticed a dark green boat passing by. I then realised it was Pete and Lisa on NB Pickles No 2 (CLICK). I only had time to put my head out of the engine room door to say "hello" and "how are you", when they disappeared into the distance. Once again it has been an age since we last saw them. They were heading for the Ashby Canal for a couple of weeks.
Lunch over with, I added a top coat to our back cabin stool. It will need at least another coat, which I may do tomorrow.
After getting a few jobs done, it is now time to sit and watch some Saturday afternoon films on Channel 5. This is the life.

Chat soon xx

Norton Junction to Bridge 103.

Hi Friends.

It was yet another cold start at only 5c, it was also an early start at 6:00am for us. I do however prefer early starts in the Summer months. We left our mooring creeping past other moored boat and turned at Norton Junction heading for Braunston. Braunston tunnel was warm, it was in fact warmer than outside.
Only the top lock at Braunston was against us which makes a nice change, and we met a few boats travelling up the flight, so that made life a lot easier.
As we cruised towards Napton Junction, we passed a old wooden boat which has been sunk for sometime and has still not been recovered. It is sad to think that this old boat has ended its days in this state.
We moored up near Brass Farthing, the bike shop boat Tiller Cycles (CLICK), which was moored between Bridge 108 and Napton junction, and waited for Graham to arrive, which he did very soon. We sold Keith's bike to him, chatted for a bit, then Tom on Archimedes arrived and I chatted briefly to him, ordering some toilet blue to be delivered with our next coal delivery. Tom zoomed off, as he has to be in London tomorrow, not bad as he only set off from Ellesmere Port Tuesday morning. He and James are doing 12 hour shifts, running both day and night. James has the night shift. Of course they both have youth on their side, I dare say if I was as young as them I would do twelve hour shifts as well NOT. We said cheerio to Graham before heading off to wind at Napton junction. Out intention was to find a mooring for the weekend and no sooner we set of to do just that we met up with Andy and Lyra coming towards us. I am sure we will see Andy another time, when we can have a catch up on all the news.We have moored up near bridge 103 with a great view across the countryside for another long weekend, all we need now the the weather. I made us some lunch and whilst doing so, I could smell something horrible coming from outside. It was either something burning or a chemical smell. It turned out to be coming from the farm near by and it smells like burning tyres. Oh well could be worse I guess. We have a great TV signal for the Royal Wedding tomorrow.
"What I hear you cry"
Come on you cannot tell me you have not heard that there is a Royal Wedding tomorrow, where have you been, it has been plastered over everything.
I am not going to watch it all, but I dare say I will watch the important bits.
Another thing you may like to look out for on Monday is on BBC4, Julia Bradbury is doing canal walks. (CLICK). As we have a digital signal, we will have a look see.

Ok off now to see what jobs need doing.

Chat soon xx

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Crick to Norton Junction.

Hi Friends.

Another day, another new place to be, but today was special because we were going to be heading past the winding hole where we have winded all winter, so for us pastures new for 2011. It makes no difference that we have to come back for blacking, it was just nice to know today we were escaping for a few days.
Our first port of call was the sanitary station, after a later than normal start, and who should be moored opposite but Chas and Ann on NB Moore2Life. it has been ages since we have seen them both. We managed to grab a quick word as the water tank filled with water and we got rid of rubbish and emptied the loo. Both Chas and Ann are in fine form, which is always wonderful to hear.
Moore2Life is looking splendid with the roof repainted. It looks very nice.
We waved goodbye to Ann and sped on our way into Crick tunnel, where we were behind Rob on NB Novea Vitea. We met a couple of boats coming towards us, and on the first of them a gentleman was shouting something at Keith, but we could not hear a word he was saying. It may have had something to do with the fact that another boat entered the tunnel. I adore tunnels and how they are constructed. Crick tunnel is a very wet tunnel and our boat always comes out looking washed.
I just had to take this photo of a boat we passed on the way to the Watford Locks. How many fenders do you actually need on any boat. This was a Sea Otter, but not even they need this much overkill. If they leave those fenders down going in and out of locks, I dread to think how much their fender bill is every year.
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.
After an hours wait we were finally in the top lock, heading down the flight behind Rob on NB Novea Vitae, who is heading for the Ashby Canal. I locked him through the first two locks and then the volunteer lockie took over. Having left the bottom lock on the Watford Flight it was 12.15pm and my stomach was on the rumble. We decided that we would stop at Norton Junction for the day, just as we passed a garden mooring, this little guy made me smile.

We arrived at Norton Junction at 12.55pm, moored up and I then made us some salad wraps for lunch. The plan to go on to Napton Junction, has been put on hold until tomorrow morning, when we will set off at 6am. I love early starts, as it is the best time of the day and no one else is moving.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday 26 April 2011

No Appreciation on the Navigation.mp4

On Sunday whilst we were selling our wares, Dave from the Narrowboat Trust boats Nuneaton and Brighton and his friend came along and played some music for us. I am hoping next time they will stay for longer.

Foxton top lock to Crick.

Hi Friends.

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

Has been a GOB Day.

Hi Friends.

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

A Woman.

Thank you Phil for sending me this.

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

Happy Easter.

Hi Friends.

I know it is a little late in the day but HAPPY EASTER. I hope you did not indulge to much with the Easter eggs. I can say with all honesty we did not have an Easter egg between us, so no Easter eggs passed my lips. But I hope you enjoyed your day, whatever you did.

We set up shop again on a cooler morning. The day began very slowly indeed, infact there was more excitement watching the boats queued up for the locks than there was waiting for people to browse our wares. The lockies actually locked up and down 40 boats today, which is pretty darn good. We did very little trade today, so it was very quiet. But hey ho, you always have good days and bad days. Keith and I spent quite a lot of time chatting to the public and to other boaters queued at the locks. I got on with the job of knitting some dish cloths as my stock is getting a little low.During the afternoon, Steve and Heather winded their boat and moored up on the towpath, it was lovely to see them again and their two boys William and Joshua who have grown such a lot since the last time I saw them. A welcome visitor was Dave from the Narrowboat Trust Boats (CLICK). He was visiting the locks with his friend, who had not seen them for some 30 years. With them they bought their instruments and having been down the flight to the Bridge 61 pub, they came back to Hadar and played a tune for the passing visitors. It was lovely to see Dave again, and hopefully we may see him again through the Summer. The afternoon wore on and I gave up with the Poetry book signing, because no one was biting. I also got extremely annoyed when a dog owner allowed their dog to pee up the side of our stock box. Infact dog owners were on my hit list today, because there are signs up on all the dog bins and yet people still allow their dogs to run wild. A group of people were coming a long the towpath with three dogs running off the the lead on what was a crowded towpath, so I asked them to put their dogs on leads, as it was what was called for and not only that the lock keeper would shout at them if they did not put them on leads. The older woman of the group huffed at me as she walked past, so I just ignored her as they she and the group went on towards the lock. I was later to learn from the cafe owner that the boxer dog was let off the lead at the top of the flight, but the lockie was quick to shout at the woman to put it back on the lead.

What is it with people, why do they not read notices????

Are people blind???

Or can they not read?

It is like on the boat where we arrange the china, I have a notice which asks that if you wish to view an item you ask for assistance, because all breakages must be paid for. Despite this sign, people still insist on picking up the china and totally ignore the notice. I would not dream of ignoring a notice if it was in front of my face. Maybe I am nit picking. I need a chill pill ;0).

4pm came and I decided that it was time to pack away the stall for the day, and infact for the rest of the weekend, because tomorrow we are having a day off. I am going to sit and enjoy the weather and wander around the locks to see what others are doing.

What did you do today???

Chat soon xx.

Saturday 23 April 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot.

Hi Friends.

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

Time to say goodbye.

Hi Friends.

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

Loch Garten Ospreys Live.

Hi Friends.

If your a wildlife lover then you may wish to have a look at the video page of the Osprey's live. So far they have 3 eggs and no more are expected. (CLICK)

Birthday serenade.

Hi Friends.

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

For Sale.

Hi Friends.

Did you watch "The Boat that Guy built", on BBC 1, well if you have some spare cash, you could own it as it has been put up for sale. (CLICK)

It needs some work as you will no doubt know if you watched the program, so be prepared for some work or extra money needed to get someone else to do it. But hey you could own the boat which appeared on BBC1, not sure I would want to be that noticed hahaha, especially after all the boats it hit.

My word of the day.

Hi Friends.

My word of the day.


Wednesday 20 April 2011

Grass cuttings and wet paint.

Hi Friends.

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

What's a cat to do???

Hi Friends.

Marmite so wanted to go outside yesterday, but due to the paint being tacky she and Paddy had to remain inside until the end of the day. But as the afternoon drew to a close, Marmite was allowed out on her lead through the galley window.
She began with lounging in the sun on the grass, but that was not good enough so she pinched my chair.
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.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Fat bottom girls.

Hi Friends.

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

Washing Machine and Painting.

Hi Friends.

I am not going to start with the weather, because there is no change (oops sorry I mention the word weather). Instead I am going to begin with our washing machine which as you now know is poorly, it was was collected this morning by a very nice man from Appliance Corner (CLICK). Whilst we waited for the man with a van, Geraldine and Michael on NB The Cheese Boat came past us, heading for the basin so once the man with a van came and went we walked down to see if Geraldine and Michael were in, sadly they had gone off shopping. We did however go and see if there was any mail for us and had a natter to everyone at the hire company. With the washing machine gone for at least a few days, we decided to head out into the countryside to await its repair. Having moored up at Gallows Hill, we had some lunch before I changed into my painting clothes and got down to rubbing down the blue paint work ready for its new colour, Keith and I managed to get a first coat of the new blue on the starboard cabinside, which is the last bit that needs painting. Well when I say last, not quite, the cants need painting, but we can't do them until we go into dry dock and have to take the rear fenders off.

With the first coat on the starboard side, and apart from a further 2 coats to go on, and the cants, Hadar is now looking like she should do, and we are so glad we decided to change the blue.

Just before we started to paint we received a phone call about our washing machine, they had found the spider (whatever that is) was corroded and needed replacing. One has been ordered and we await the phone call to say it has been delivered and fitted. The bill for its repair is not going to be cheap.

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.

As we were drawing to a close with the painting Geraldine and Michael on NB The Cheese Boat came past heading for Blisworth. We had a quick chat before they headed off into the distance. We will see them next in October, when we go to the Village At War Weekend at Stoke Bruerne (CLICK).

With the painting done and dusted, it was time to erect the ariel to see if we had a decent signal for tonight's TV. Low and behold we have digital and Film4 so I am now a very happy girl. Dinner this evening is going to be Fish Fingers, Mash Potatoes and Peas, so nothing special. As we are staying put for a couple of days, I hope to get a few jobs done, so keep your fingers crossed for good weather.

Chat soon xx.


Thought you may like to see what happened at the Battle of the Dj's with Hfm. It was a brilliant evening and we had so much fun.

Sunday 17 April 2011

Painted Boats pt 1

A wonderful film about life on the cut. Enjoy each part as they are numbered.

Painted Boats 2

Painted Boats 3

Painted Boats 4

Painted Boats 5

Nesting and blossom

Hi Friends.

It has been a beautiful sunny day with the temperature up to 19C. I have not donned my shorts yet, but many people walking past the boat are in shorts and t-shirts, it is a little early for me to be showing my legs ;0).
This morning we started the day with a cooked breakfast, I got to cook it for a change, we then set about moving the washing machine out of the galley, so that it can be picked up tomorrow for repair. Keith managed to pull the machine out and with my help we lifted it into the empty hold. Whilst the machine is out of action, Keith has put in two new sockets for the tumble drier and washing machine, so it is easier to unplug them when we need to remove them from their housings. With the washing machine ready for collection tomorrow, I then took down the galley blinds and nets and gave them a wash. They were extremely grubby, due to the dust from the fire all winter.
Sunday should of course be a day of rest, but there is always something to do on a boat as anyone living on one knows. Before long it was lunchtime and the towpath traffic was building, cyclists, walkers, boys fishing and dogs all parading past the boat. The outside of the boat is covered in a film of dust, but there is no point washing it off until we move to somewhere where there is no dust or traffic.
Today was the London Marathon and the F1 Chinese Grand Prix, both which were exciting as always. I am no runner or jogger, so if I was to do the marathon, I would be walking round. I am total admiration for anyone who does the marathon, so congratulations to them all for taking part to raise money for their chosen charities.
At Market Harborough, they have a couple of elderly Swans, I have called them Morris and Martha. Apparently they have been here many years. Two years ago they did not nest because they were both poorly and people feared they would not survive. Last year they shocked everyone and had Nine cygnets. This year once again people were wondering if they would nest because they had not gone to their usual place. A few days ago we spotted them from the galley window building the beginning's of a nest at the bottom of a garden. Today I walked up to see how things were progressing and the nest is growing nicely, so it looks like they may have young again this year all being well.
With Spring comes the Apple Blossom and the Apple tree's are full of pretty white flower's. It looks like another good year for Apple's.
The Dandilion's are looking extremely vibrant at the moment.
Now I am not a fan of the colour Pink but when it comes to Cherry Blossom it is the best.

Well another weekend is almost over and we look forward to the coming week. I hope that what ever your doing next week it brings you happiness.

Chat soon xx

The T-Mobile Royal Wedding

With the Royal Wedding happening on the 29th April, I thought this rendition was very funny. Just had to share it.

Saturday 16 April 2011

What a blast.

Hi Friends.

Last night we went dancing wooo hooo. Before getting dressed up for a night out, we ran the generator as always for an hour to charge the batteries and so I thought I would put a wash on. The wash did its thing and so I uncrossed my fingers, but wish I had kept them crossed when I opened the door, because smoke poured out of the door. Now it was not fire smoke as such because there was no heat with it. I am not explaining it very well, because I do not understand it myself, but I can say it smelt like rotten eggs. No sooner the smoke was there it was gone. I have a feeling that it is connected to the stuff we have been getting out of the filter and is on the drum, so when there is washing in the machine and it is in a fast spin there is friction which causes the smoke, but hey I am no washing machine engineer, so we will have to see. We were supposed to be going off today, but I am so worried about the machine catching fire we are going to wait and get it sorted first. So machine drama was put on hold because we were going to Battle of the DJ's at the Conservative Club in Market Harborough We turned up early in order to get a table, infact we were so early the club was still closed. After about 10 minutes others arrived and the club doors were opened. We were the first to find a table and a drink. The DJ's from Hfm and their families arrived and the music began. Each Hfm DJ had to do a stint on the music deck and we all had to vote on their record choice, presentation, naff record it was an amazing night. Keith and I have not been to a disco for quite a few years and I realised why when we got to midnight. My ears were ringing due to the noise. We did enjoy a dance and I danced with friends, I still have it, what ever it is ha ha ha ha. The evening was organised to raise funds for Hfm the local radio station which is truly local. Due to all the cuts, they have had their funding cut and have to now raise £50,000 themselves every year. I personally thought the evening was a huge success, it was fabulous to put faces to the names we know and love at the radio station, many we already know and have become great friends with. It was very funny to see these people letting their hair down, some of the antics would make great Youtube footage, but sadly I did not take my camera. One of the Dj's David Irving wore his kilt after he took on a challenge. He told everyone live on the radio that is they sold 100 tickets for the event he would wear his kilt and if they sold 120 he would wear nothing under his kilt. I had it from a reliable source that he was wearing nothing under his kilt, like all good scotsmen should. We did not leave the club until gone midnight and I stepped outside I felt as if I was deaf due to the loud music, but as we walked back to the boat my ears then began to ring. I can honestly say neither of us were drunk we only had a couple of pints each. It was however quite funny to watch others getting drunk, and yet remain sober ourselves. I bet they all woke up with hangover's this morning. Even after such a late night for us, we were still awake early, so with no hurry to get up, I made us a cuppa. When we did eventually crawl out of bed, Paddy got his morning walk and then I enjoyed my breakfast. The first thing on the agenda was to see if we could get our washing machine repaired, so Keith rang Appliance Corner and spoke to Jerry, who could not do anything for us until Monday because he was in the office on his own, so with that we moved the boat off of the 48 hour moorings and back to Logan Street Wharf where the machine can be collected from. I am dam sure there is a huge magnet in Harborough basin, which keeps trying to pull our boat back in, because we seem to be stuck here, last year it was because Keith was very poorly and now this year it is the washing machine. Just as we left the 48 hour mooring, my phone rang, it was Debbie from the office to let me know we had some post, so once we moored up I walked back to the office to pick up a couple of letter. It was lovely to stand and have a natter with her, because normally she is always so busy with the hire boats. The weather is stunning today, the sun is shining and it is lovely and warm. Not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but I know I am watching the F1 qualifying at 1pm. Have a lovely weekend. Chat soon xx

Friday 15 April 2011

Royal Wedding.

Hi Friends. The Royal Wedding between Katherine Middleton and Prince William is getting ever closer and whilst I am unsure if I will be watching it as we maybe cruising, I am interested in what's going on. Today they have given further details on how the day will pan out. If your interested then why not go and take a peek http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13097243 I know many who are going to street parties or are holding bar-b-ques. I just have no idea where we will be on the day. I sincerely hope they are very happy and that Katherine is not hounded like William's mother Diana was. I reckon that William will have a strong point of view on the press after they are married and rightfully so. Good luck to them both. So what are you doing and where will you be????

Hair cut and polishing.

Hi Friends. Well let's begin today’s post with how are you? I do appreciate the fact that you take the time to come in and read my ramblings and I trust that they do not bore you too much? With the weather on the up, people are shedding their winter woollies and the shorts are coming out, which means white legs, white socks and sandals, the only things missing are the knotted hanky on the head and the deck chair. I have refrained from wearing my shorts yet, but they are in the cupboard ready and waiting. This morning began a little on the chilly side and it could be felt in the back cabin as I snuggled beneath the duvet. Keith got up so I put the kettle on for cuppa. Of course we sat in bed drinking our tea and we discussed what plans we had for the day. Keith’s plans numbered none. Mine however were to get my hair trimmed ready for summer cruising, I also has to shop for some fruit, veg and raffle prizes, obviously not all in the same shop ;0). I found myself trawling around the charity shops looking for interesting things, but these days the charity shops have become so expensive. I went to my favourite fruit and veg shop Frutas and got some of their very juicy oranges, the ones I bought from the market stall last week turned out to be very dry and not very nice. I had a wander around shops I do not normally go into before heading to the hairdressers for my appointment. Charlotte my hairdresser will not be there when I return in October as she is having her first baby in August (I know your going awwwwwwww). She already knows the sex so is buying up Mothercare to make sure her baby has some lovely things. I explained to her not to buy to many small size, because babies grow so fast, let family and friends buy the early sizes as a treat. She did a lovely dry trim on my hair, I paid the bill, wished her luck and went on my way. By the time I left the hairdressers the sun was out and it was much warmer. I was beginning to wish I had left my waistcoat on the boat. The town was packed with cars, so was not sure if there was a hold up somewhere, but there were cars everywhere. I was glad to be on foot and not driving. I walked back up the hill to the basin and our boat. Coffee was my first port of call. Next job on the list was to wash, t-cut and polish the red panels on starboard side of the boat. I do not like to use t-cut too much, because it does take off the paint over time, but the red was so dirty. I managed to work up a sweat with the polishing, but it was very rewarding because it looks smart now. Before I knew it lunchtime was calling and so was my stomach. Cheese and Pickled Onion rolls for lunch and of course another coffee. I am now debating what to do next as it is lovely outside. Keith noticed this morning that the pair of Swans who are at the basin every year have begun nesting opposite us, but whether it will be their final nesting place we will see, because they are nesting in a garden where the owner has a dog. Chat soon xx

Thursday 14 April 2011

A little bit of retail therapy.

Hi Friends. Now every man knows that a little retail therapy is good for a woman’s soul. Ok I know it is not good for his wallet, but I am fortunate that Keith loves shopping as well, so we can share the damage to the wallet equally. This morning we were awake early, so I got up to a very chilly boat and made us a nice warming cup of tea. The discussion was about going up to Leicester to buy a few bits and bobs. Once up and dressed in my finery, Paddy got his walk, for some odd reason he did not want to go far, so did that he had to do, did an about turn and headed back to the boat. Just after 9am we left and headed for the bus stop. We did not have long to wait for the 3X. Almost an hour after setting off, we arrived in Leicester. We have had a lovely day in Leicester today. Keith upgraded one of our internet dongles, as the original one that I had been using was a bit temperamental at times, and hopefully the new one, which Keith is now using will run better with Windows 7, which it seems to be doing so far. I now have Keith’s dongle, which performs much better on my laptop than my old dongle, which has been consigned to the drawer as a spare. We had lunch at our favourite Chinese buffet restaurant, excellent as always, one of only a few I know that can actually cook their beef dishes, and it isn't chewy like rubber. There was a continental market going on today, and there were lots of stalls in the main streets, selling their wares. Although the stalls looked so inviting, they are always so expensive, so we rarely buy from them, we did however go into my favourite stores Marks and Spencer and Primark to buy some much needed new clothing for the forthcoming summer, socks, underwear and polo shirts, which was the major reason for our trip to the city. I know I like to shop from one end of the price scale to the other. I also went into Claire’s and bought some more bands for my hair, as I am down to just two now and they are on their last legs. On the way home we shared the bus with Peter who, with Ann his wife, live in one of the apartments at Union Wharf. Having got back to the boat, I made us a much needed coffee. The water tank needed filling, so whilst Keith played with his dongle, I sorted out the hosepipe etc and left the water running to fill our tank. Because the water points on the towpath are so slow, I had time to go to the bins with rubbish and on my return the tank was still not full, in all it took an hour to fill the water tank. But that job is done and I am now listening to the generator charging our batteries for the evening, with Hfm blasting out its music in the background. Because we have a very poor signal here, I reckon we will be watching the DVD that Keith bought today. Apparently it is very good and yet I have never heard of ‘Dr Strangelove’, I was only two when it came out, so maybe that is why. I will let you know what I thought of it tomorrow. Chat soon xx

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Hotel boats and blossom.

Hi Friends. The chilly, dull and then wet morning, did change to a warmer dry afternoon. Keith went down the town to buy a new axe, so I stayed onboard the boat to tidy up, I also put a new zip in my waistcoat, having done all my little jobs it was time to get the trolley and boxes out ready for my Tesco food delivery. Now because he sometimes comes early, I set off around the basin in plenty of time, stopping to sit and admire the view. Whilst I sat and contemplated, I could not help but notice Hotel boat Takara (CLICK). The name did not ring any bells, so I thought it must be a new hotel boat. The boat looks lovely in fresh colours, which are different to any other hotel boat out there. 3.30pm and my Tesco delivery arrived, as I was putting my groceries into the boxes on my trolley, a gentleman came struggling up the footpath laden down with shopping bags. He expressed a real interest in my Tesco delivery, and explained that he was off of the hotel boat. Dean and Chris who run Takara have changed the name and colour scheme and that is why I did not recognise the boat. She used to be called Wood Owl and we had seen here lots of times on the Trent and Mersey.I explained to Dean how to go about getting a Tesco delivery, so they are now going to give it a go. It would make their lives so much easier if they could get their shopping delivered. For any hotel boat food delivery is a godsend, because they get through a lot of food. I am sure we will see them again on our travels and hope that their season is a good one. For anyone reading this who does not know about hotel boats, they are fantastic, if you want the canal experience without the work. The choice is yours as to whether you help out with locks etc. You may choose to just sit back and be looked after. For many this is a great way to enjoy the waterway's. There are plenty of hotel boats out there, some of which I have listed below. Takara. (CLICK) Snipe and Taurus (CLICK) Duke and Duchess (CLICK) Willow (CLICK) Tragara (CLICK) Oak and Ash (CLICK) The Cherry Blossom is out and it is truly stunning. The trees seem to be full of flowers making them look wonderful. Spring has well and truly sprung and for some flowers it seems to have bought them out early. Along the towpath there are already Bluebells out in flower, which is early I am told. Today has been pretty darn good. The Lasagna is cooking in the oven. Marmite is snoozing on my footstool and Paddy is in his bed, so all is well with our world today. I wonder what tomorrow will bring??? Chat soon xx.


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