*****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 30 September 2011

Almost there.

Hi Folks.

To say it is sweltering is an understatement, it is boiling here at Stoke Bruerne and I imagine the water is evaporating out of the reservoirs as I type this arghhhhhh. Although there is no update on the water watch site so not sure if thats a good thing or not. Anyway before I go off on to one, I will change the subject to that been happening so far today.

Awake early, which was mostly bought about by Marmite who decided to sleep above my head all night, so every now and again I would hear a purring pussy cat awwww bless her. She then got up and used her litter tray, which almost stank us out of the boat. I reckon she wanted us both up and she knows that using her tray will pretty much achieve this because Marmite is a cat that has never learnt to cover up her doings, so I always have to do it with a spade. She can did a hole no problem, in fact at times we think she is digging for Australia, but she has never got the hang of covering up afterwards. So I got up to do the necessary and to make a cup of tea. It was then my mind began to think of the days jobs. With all the brass done yesterday, today was going to be a baking day.

After doing the usual morning stuff, I donned my apron and got stuck in to some cooking. With the weather already warming up for the day, I made us an Orange Jelly, which we will enjoy later, I then got on with melting some milk chocolate, to which I added rice crispies and raisins, this was then put into a shallow tin and allowed to cool in the fridge. Once cooled I cut it up into nice size portions, and put it back in the fridge to stop it melting.


With the oven turned on, I made a Lemon Drizzle Cake and a Scone Round, which did not take to long.


The Lemon Drizzle cake will be enjoyed over the weekend, by anyone who should call in to see us.


The Scone Round has already been cut into for lunch with some Cheese. On the subject of cheese, we bought three different cheese's from Geraldine and Michael on the Cheese Boat. I love their Welsh Cheese. I am quite sure we will be tucking into them over the weekend.

Boats are arriving for the weekend and being directed to their mooring positions by Graham on NB Joseph and by David who own Historic Working Boat Cyprus. So far Graham has only had one irate boater down on the long pound who was non to pleased to be told that the moorings were reserved and if he wanted to stay for the weekend, he only need to pay £5, to which the gentleman got on his high horse and declined the invitation. I feel one argument is one to many, because there are signs up saying reserved moorings for the Village at War weekend. Not only that Graham is only doing his job, and does not deserve the abuse. But some people think they can shout the odds even when they know they in the wrong. Whilst I prepared Keith and I a coffee, Nick off of Aldgate arrived, so I made him a cuppa and we caught up on all his news and told him some of ours. I do love this catching up lark. The last time we saw Nick was at the same event a year ago.

Keith and I have just enjoyed some Scone Round for lunch and a coffee. I am now contemplating what to do next, as it is to hot to do much outside.

Whilst I contemplate, I will say cheerio for now xx

Thursday 29 September 2011

To hot to handle.

Hi Folks.

Wow it is certainly hotting up here at Stoke Bruerne and I am not just talking about the weather. Boats are arriving and the weather is hotter than it was in the Summer.

No sooner I got off the boat with Paddy this morning, the heat was already rising, but with a mist on the surface of the canal it did look lovely. Sorry no photo of that as I did not have my camera.

Jobs for the day were to include more painting, polishing the brass and tidying the back cabin. So before I could get the paint brush to work, I had to wipe the boat down to remove another heavy dew. At least it washes the boat down. After it had all dried I lightly rubbed down the back cabin doors and gave them a varnish.


I then painted the Red on the door sill, next was the red on the bow, this was its second coat.


I then turned my attention to polishing the starboard side of the cabin, which had not been done since the Spring, I could only do up to the engine room doors, because Keith had touched up the sign writing yesterday. Geraldine and Michael on the Cheese Boat moved closer to us, so we went and had a nice natter to them for a while, but then it was back to the hard work, before it got way to hot to work.


I gave the polished paintwork another rub over with a cloth and there was a definite improvement on how shiny the Red looked, I do like to keep the paintwork in good condition and especially the Red because red fades very badly if not looked after. With that done, I gave the gunwale a second coat of paint, so that is now finished for another year yayyyy. Whilst I was busy with painting Ray and Jayne off of NB No Direction, they are moored on the long pound for the weekend. Ray commented on how I am always busy doing something, that is just the way I am, I can always find something to do on the boat. I am sure we will see them over the weekend for a longer chat. Brass cleaning in the back cabin was next on my to do list, First I did the stove, then all the other brass which had become a bit tainted. I finished off the brass cleaning with doing some of the engine, leaving us less to do tomorrow. Whilst I was busy doing all of that Keith cleaned the Klaxon and the exhaust chimney for the engine. He had also been out and about looking for someone, but to no avail. My very last job for the day as far as boat jobs are concerned was to rub down and varnish the handles on the water cans and to teak the cabin step.


In between doing all of this I made coffee and lunch, and a cold drink to keep our fluid levels up, because it has been so very hot today.

After all that hard work it was time to do something a little more relaxing so I went out with my camera, whilst Keith relaxed in the back cabin with his crossword book.


The first thing I saw was this cheeky squirrel peering around the branch of a tree.

I was then fortunate to capture a Brambling.


A stunning little bird which comes here for the Winter. They are from the Finch family and very pretty they are too.


With the hot weather, it seems the Dragonflies are hanging around a lot longer. Having been out for just over an hour, I returned to the boat for a cold drink and to put my feet up for a bit. I think dinner tonight will be pasta, because it is easy to cook and does not need the cooker on, which in this heat would not be a good move.

The signs have gone up to reserve the moorings for the weekend, so I reckon tomorrow will be a very busy day boat wise as they all arrive and try to find places to moor. If it is the same as last year, the historic, working and trading boats will be above the lock to the tunnel and all the other boats go down on to the long pound, but we will see because already people are not reading the notices and are mooring up where they like. The harbour master will be here Friday, so he will have it all sorted out ready for a busy weekend no doubt. We are happy to go where ever he puts us, at the moment we are moored where were were last year.

Right time to think about something to eat and then a decision will be made on what we will do tonight. I can see me sitting with my feet up after having a very busy day work wise.

Chat soon xx

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Painting and photographs.

Hi Folks.

Phewwww what a warm day, this really does not help the reservoirs and I fear that unless we get some much needed rain soon canals will be closed. There has been no update since the 6th September on the Water Watch Diary, but that does not mean decisions are not being made behind the scenes. The other issue is if we have a dry Autumn and Winter, this will mean the canals will be in an even worse state, so I think we may need to prepare ourselves for no cruising next year.

Anyway on to today's exploits. Up early after an early cuppa, Paddy got his walk through the wood, he and Marmite then got fed and I enjoyed my breakfast. On my to do list for the day was to get some paintwork done, this included the starboard gunwale, and to touch up the paintwork on the gunwale, but before any work could take place I had to wipe the boat down, because we had a very heavy dew overnight. Boat wiped down, I waited for it to dry, then I rubbed down the paintwork, whilst I started undercoating the bow, Keith touched up some of the sign writing, which had been scratched by a branch we think. Bow done, it was time to paint the gunwale, all of this was done before 9.30am, giving the paint time to dry before the public started turning up to walk along the towpath.

With the brushes washed out, I made us both a coffee, I then went off with my camera to take a few more photographs. I walked up above the tunnel and followed a signed footpath, which lead me to a field, as I turned around to head back to the top of the tunnel a voice called out.

"Excuse Me"

I Replied "Hello".

I turned around and saw a gentleman in a buggy like landrover.

I said "Hello, can I help you".

He then said " Why are you walking here".

I told him "I am following the signed footpath".

He then said a couple of times "No your not".

I explained to him I had followed the path signs and was now going back. He was sure I was not, so he got out of his buggy landrover to have a look.

He then said "I am sorry, I did not realise the signs were there".

I said to him "It was fine, I always stick to the footpath signs".

I think he actually felt dreadful for quizzing me about where I was coming from and where I was going, because he then struck up a conversation about the local wildlife and where I can find certain birds. From what he was saying, he regularly gets people walking all over his farmland and they have no respect for his property or the wildlife. I reassured him that I am a huge wildlife lover and always try to do the right thing, which put his mind at rest. I left him walking back to his buggy landrover and said that it had been nice to meet him. I then carried on walking back to the tunnel, where I took yet more photos.

Back on the boat it was time for some lunch, which we enjoyed on the back deck whilst chatting to people as they walked past the boat commenting on how lovely our boat is. After lunch I put the first coat of Red gloss on the bow and whilst it dried I went off down to the nature reserve, the only photos I got was of a couple of Dragonflies, because it was very hot and dry there. When I got back to the boat, Keith had a can of beer in the fridge for me mmmmm that was much needed. Whilst I sat on the back counter enjoying my beer, I could hear a Bolinder engine coming through Blisworth Tunnel, it turned out to be Michael Pinnock Jr on Emu and young Daniel. Following was Hare steered by Michael Pinnock Snr and Maureen. They were on their way back to London having been to Birmingham for a festival. It was wonderful to see them all again.

Later in the afternoon Geraldine and Michael arrived on The Cheese Boat for the Village at War weekend, we will catch up with them tomorrow and hear all about their summer's ups and downs.

Our day drew to a close with Sweet and Sour Chicken for dinner. I now have my feet up and the TV on.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Why do???

WHY DO MEN BECOME SMARTER DURING SEX? ( hello because they are plugged into a genius) 2. WHY DON'T WOMEN BLINK DURING SEX? ( they don't have enough time) 3. WHY DOES IT TAKE 1MILLION SPERM TO FERTILIZE 1 EGG?they don't stop to ask directions) 4. WHY DO MEN SNORE WHEN THEY LIE ON THEIR BACKS? ( because their balls fall over their butt-hole and they vapor lock) ( you're laughing!!!!) 5. WHY WERE MEN GIVEN LARGER BRAINS THAN DOGS? (so they won't hump women's legs) 6. WHY DID GOD MAKE MEN BEFORE WOMEN? (you need a rough draft before you make a final copy) 7. HOW MANY MEN DOES IT TAKE TO PUT A TOILET SEAT DOWN? ( don't know.... it never happened) (C'mon guys, we laugh at your dumb ass jokes) And the personal favorite: 8. WHY DID GOD PUT MEN ON EARTH? ( because a vibrator can't mow the lawn.) keep it going!!!!! :~)))

Magical Mystery Tour.

Hi Folks.

Summer has returned and the temperature is going to be rising this week. I hope it is nice for the weekend.

Today was my day for dressing up and putting a small amount of make-up on, which does not happen very often, as I am not a huge make-up wearer, but when we go out I like to look a little bit human.

Your thinking ok, so where were you going??

No where terribly exciting Northampton to be exact. We have never been there before and as we like to visit new places, this was on our list of places to visit. So after getting the morning jobs done, we left the boat and headed for the bus stop to catch the 10.10am Daventry Dart. The title of my posting is very apt, because the bus took us on a mystery tour of the local villages, we passed through Roade, Blisworth, Collingtree into Northampton. We got off at the1970's Greyfriars bus station, which is dark and a little depressing, but the town centre made up for that with its beautiful buildings from all era's. Before setting off around the town we had a coffee in the Market, which was very welcome.


All Saint's Church.



Stunning looking building The Fish.


The Guildhall was constructed mostly in the 1860s in Victorian Gothic architecture, and extended in the 1990s. The one thing I have learnt when walking around villages, towns and cities, is to always look up, because although most shop front look the same, the same cannot be said about what is above the shops. You do see some fantastic architecture if you look up. Whilst taking photographs a gentleman stopped us and gave us a quick history lesson about Gold Street. He told us that in the Second World War a British plane came down in Gold Street, it actually missed All Saint's Church though. He reckoned that if you stand down the bottom of the street and look up the road, you can sometimes still see the scaring on the buildings. Northampton had a large Jewish population in the 13th century, which was centred around Gold Street.

After enjoying a wander around the town, we had lunch at a Chinese Buffet called Aroma which was very nice and only cost £6.80 each for all you can eat.

You may know by now we are charity shop lovers and Northampton has a large selection of them, but there were very few bargains to be had, so we came away with only a tablecloth. Before coming home we had a coffee in the cafe in the Market and I went into Supercuts to get my hair trimmed. I had not had it trimmed since April, when I had it done in Market Harborough, so I asked the young lady who was working how long would I have to wait, she told me half an hour which was fine, so I sat and waited my turn, because Supercuts is a walk in and wait hair dressers. For a dry cut you pay £13.95 which is really god value. Whilst sitting there I watched this woman having hair sown into her own hair and thought that not only did the man doing her hair have to be a hairdresser he also had to know had to sew, because otherwise it could all fall out. The woman seemed to be incredibly fussy and the hairdresser doing her hair was looking very frustrated, but the customer is always right I thought. Whilst she was having her hair done, the other hair dresser on duty was working her socks off. It then became evident that the lady having hair extensions sewn in was actually a Supercuts employee, because she got up and began cutting a ladies hair who was being looked after by the young hairdresser who was working her socks off.

Now I maybe wrong , but when you have people waiting for their hair to be cut surely your hair should be done out of hours?

I had to sit and wait half an hour, whilst this woman a member of staff had her extensions sewn in, when she should have been working and the gentleman doing her hair should have been cutting customers hair. Naughty, Naughty Naughty, in my opinion. By the time we came out of Supercuts there was only a small amount of time left, so we waited at the bus station for our bus home. We were on the only ones on the bus for our return journey. We have had a lovely day, and now I am aiming to put my feet up for the evening, but this will come after I do something for dinner. The generator has finished, as has a load of washing, so I now have to hang that up in the engine room. Keith is off to walk Paddy, so I am going now.

Chat soon xx

Monday 26 September 2011

The heat is rising.

Hi Folks.

I did not post yesterday, because Sunday was pretty much like Saturday, we did the usual early morning stuff, then set up shop, sold a few items, packed it all away and settled in for the evening, so not much to chat about as far as Sunday was concerned.

Monday has been a day of walking, photography, chatting to friends and relaxing all in that order.

The morning began with a cup of tea in bed, after a fantastic nights sleep. After getting up and dressed, Paddy got his walk up through the wooded walk, which he always enjoys when we are at Stoke Bruerne. The birdsong was incredible as we strode up the pathway. Unfortunately Paddy does not appreciate birdsong, so it was left to me to marvel at the sounds being made by the bird life. On the way back to the boat I got into a conversation with Cynthia on NB Guinevere about one of the usual boaters subjects dog poo and the amount there is along the towpath at Stoke Bruerne. I know, I know I go on about it, but when you are a boater, there is nothing worse than stepping off your boat into a pile of poo and this is what happened to Cynthia. I should say that Cynthia has a dog and she picks up after her dog, she just wishes the person who owned the dog which dumped its load by her boat had done the same. After putting the world to right, I headed back to the boat for breakfast, which Keith had already laid out. Marmite and Paddy got their breakfast as well. After breakfast I lit the back cabin stove, filled the Copper kettle and put that on the stove to boil ready for coffee. After washing up and tidying, I went out with my camera and tripod, to try and photograph a little bird which I have wanted to photograph for a while, to see the photographs from today go to my other blog. I had a good days photography today. I spent an hour out with the camera before going back to the boat, where I got Keith to come out with me to wander over to the Nature Reserve, which was a former brick works and is managed by the Wildlife Trust. The old brick works was started after 1792 by the Grand Junction Canal Company to provide material for the canal locks, walls and the Blisworth tunnel, but today it is a haven for wildlife.

nature reserve

We sat by one of the ponds and watched the Dragonflies darting over the water and the ducks enjoying a bath.

After having some lunch back on the boat, I went back out with my camera again and back to the nature reserve, because I wanted to see if I could get some photographs of the Dragonflies, you can see my attempt on my flora and fauna blog, I did have a lovely time.

After spending a couple of hours playing with my camera, I began walking back to the boat when I heard a familiar voice coming from the towpath. It was the voice of Pam off of NB Mona Lisa, she and Mac had arrived for the "Village at War"weekend. I had a few words with them, before walking up the towpath with them, as they went to book-in at the museum.


Pam and Mac then joined us for a cuppa at our boat. We discussed the new proposed trading license and rules etc, the other boaters topic of conversation was never mentioned (toilets). It was great to see them both again and catch up on all their news and I know we will do a lot more chatting over the next few days.

With my day drawing to a close, I cooked dinner, had a lovely hot shower and then put old ash on the back cabin stove fire, because it is a tad warm on our boat and with the temperature expected to rise over the coming days, I think I will be leaving it out. Summer seems to have come back again.

So on that note I will say goodnight. Chat soon xx

Someone once said,

Someone once said, "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living." .Being alive is a gift, living a happy life is a choice!..

Sunday 25 September 2011


Dear Wife.

I’m writing you this letter to tell you that I’m leaving you forever. I’ve been a good man to you for 7 years & I have nothing to show for it. These last 2 weeks have been hell. ... Your boss called to tell me that you quit your job today & that was the last straw. Last week, you came home & didn’t even notice I had a new haircut, had cooked your favorite meal & even wore a brand new pair of silk boxers. You ate in 2 minutes, & went straight to sleep after watching all of your soaps. You don’t tell me you love me anymore; you don’t want sex or anything that connects us as husband & wife. Either you’re cheating on me or you don’t love me anymore; whatever the case, I’m gone. Your EX-Husband

P.S. don’t try to find me. Your SISTER & I are moving away to West Virginia together! Have a great life! ——

Dear Ex-Husband Nothing has made my day more than receiving your letter. It’s true you & I have been married for 7 years, although a good man is a far cry from what you’ve been. I watch my soaps so much because they drown out your constant whining & griping Too bad that doesn’t work. I DID notice when you got a hair cut last week, but the 1st thing that came to mind was ‘You look just like a girl!’ Since my mother raised me not to say anything if you can’t say something nice, I didn’t comment. And when you cooked my favorite meal, you must have gotten me confused with MY SISTER, because I stopped eating pork 7 years ago. About those new silk boxers: I turned away from you because the $49.99 price tag was still on them, & I prayed it was a coincidence that my sister had just borrowed $50 from me that morning. After all of this, I still loved you & felt we could work it out. So when I hit the lotto for 10 million dollars, I quit my job & bought us 2 tickets to Jamaica But when I got home you were gone.. Everything happens for a reason, I guess. I hope you have the fulfilling life you always wanted. My lawyer said that the letter you wrote ensures you won’t get a dime from me. So take care. Signed, Your Ex-Wife, Rich As Hell & Free!

P.S. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but my sister Carla was born Carl.
I hope that’s not a problem!

Saturday 24 September 2011

Wedding Night.

On their first night to be together, the newly wed couple
go to change. The new bride comes out of the bathroom, all
showered and wearing her beautiful robe.
The proud husband says, "My dear, we are married now, you
can open your robe."
The beautiful young woman opens her robe, and he is
astonished. "Oh, oh, aaahhh," he exclaims, "My God you
are so beautiful, let me take your picture."
Puzzled she asks, "my picture?"
He answers, "yes my dear, so I can carry your beauty next
to my heart forever."
She smiles and he takes her picture, and then he heads into
the bathroom to shower. He comes out wearing his robe and the
new wife asks, "why do you wear a robe? We are married now."
At that the man opens his robe and she exclaimes, "oh, oh, my,
let me get a picture."
He beams and asks, "why?"
She answers, "so I can get it enlarged!"

Busy Old Day.

Hi Folks.

After a fantastic nights sleep, it was up and atom to a busy old day ahead if we were lucky at Stoke Bruerne. First thing we did was move the boat back about 6 foot off of a slight bend, this also gave us a better TV signal, so it is a win, win situation.


Keith and I set up shop  nice and early in a hope that we may get some customers and it was not long before we were selling bits and pieces. I think it was probably the best day we have had selling out summer items. I sold a couple a crocheted blanket and a cot quilt, which I am so pleased about. We also sold some playing cards and other bits and bobs.


Marmite and Paddy were out and about on the back of the boat, Marmite decided that she needed to test out one of Keith's rag rugs. She certainly found them very comfy to lie on. The one great thing about setting up for a day of selling is we get to chat to lots of interesting people, who love to talk about their lives, hobbies and most of all about how to put the world to right, which really makes the day pass very quickly. Keith thinks they were probably attracted by the smell of our lamb casserole cooking in the back stove for tonight's dinner. I have added some dumplings and I may even have to open a can of beer to wash it down.

With the "Village at War" weekend only a week away we are expecting other boats to arrive soon. All's we need then is some nice weather to make it a fantastic weekend, but for now I am enjoying this weekend and all it has to offer. If the weather holds we may set up again tomorrow. Right now I am looking forward to my dinner and an evening in front of the TV.

Chat soon xx

Friday 23 September 2011

Flore to Stoke Bruerne.

Map image

Hi Folks.

Flore to Stoke Bruerne 9.6 miles in 4 hrs 25 minutes.

Awake early, I got up and made us a cuppa and lit the back cabin stove, because it was on the chilly side and then climbed back into bed. We were then up, dressed not long afterwards. With breakfast done, Paddy walked and Mog and Dog fed it was time to set off from our overnight mooring, so at 8.45am we left Flore, on what was a bright but chilly start to the day.


Flore Wharf Bridge has a lovely Willow over hanging it, which always looks beautiful.


Beside the bridge is some wonderful topiary, of what looks like a foot ready to push the boat away from the bank. There is also something which looks like a rabbit. It never fails to make me smile.

We stopped at High House Wharf and pulled alongside our friends Elaine and David on NB Patience, who invited us in for a coffee and of course a catch up on all the news. There was so much to chat about that we will be calling in again on the way back to finish all the news. Whilst at the wharf Keith went and spoke to Colin and Kevin of Spiderworx who do boat painting and sign writing. Keith was hoping they may be able to put the gauging number back on the side of the boat. It had been painted out when we changed the blue. Colin gave Keith a quick quote and we agreed to let Colin do the work, but it meant winding the boat into a better position and to achieve this I needed to pole the bow into position, whilst Keith reversed the boat to the bank. Once I had got the bow in, I then was close enough to throw the bow rope over a dolly on a boat moored in the wharf, which then meant I did not have to hang on to the pole. Whilst all this was going on, Jules on Towcester came along side to drop off coal etc to people at the Wharf. It was nice to see her again and to hear she is keeping busy, we will see her again at The Village at War Weekend. Colin got on with the sign writing job on port side, we then winded the boat again and then pulled in behind his paint shed for the starboard side to be done.


From this.


To this, which looks great. It means Keith does not have to do it himself. I think it is always best to let a professional do the work.By the time we had drunk coffee with our friends and got the sign writing done it was 11.20am, so we said our goodbyes and set off for Gayton Junction and the sanitary station.


My favourite sign at Bugbrooke.

When we arrived at Gayton Junction sanitary station, there was already a boat there, so we pulled in front of them and waited for them to finish filling their tank with water. Once they left, we pulled Hadar into a better position, I got the hose out and set it up to fill the tank, whilst Keith emptied the toilet cassette and got rid of rubbish, all of this was done whilst chatting to a gentleman from the boat yard.


Jobs all done, so we set off for Stoke Bruerne. Blisworth was very quiet with only a couple of boats moored up. One thing I had noticed was there were a lot of boats on the move today and that became more evident in Blisworth Tunnel where we met four boats coming towards us. Why is it that people try to talk to us when we are in the tunnel as we pass? Don’t they realise we have ear plugs in and can’t hear them! LMAO so funny.

We emerged from the tunnel and had just started to wind in the winding ole, when Mike appeared on the trip boat Charlie, so Keith abandoned the turn and pulled back alongside the towpath until he had completed his trip into the tunnel mouth, reversed out, and turned to return to the Museum for more passengers. Once clear we completed the winding and reversed into a mooring.

Stoke Bruerne (2)[7]

In fact we are moored in the same place we were last year when we attended the Village at War Weekend.

If you know this bit of canal we are opposite the narrow bit, where they can’t moor the historic pairs, so we are nicely out the way. I have really enjoyed today, it has been great fun.

I once again have dinner to cook, Fish cakes are cooking in the back cabin stove at the moment. I am now off to peel potatoes and sort some veg, so chat again soon I hope xx

Thursday 22 September 2011

Crick to Flore.

Map image

Hi Folks.

An Autumnal start to the day, but because we would be going into Crick tunnel I did not light the back cabin stove. I did make it up ready though, so no sooner we were out of the tunnel I could set a match to it.

At 7.55am we left our overnight mooring and set off for Crick tunnel.


I have lost count of the number of photographs I have taken of Crick tunnel and yet I always take more.


On entering the tunnel, I climbed down into the engine room and stood with my head hanging outside of the doors. I love tunnels and enjoy looking at their construction. Crick tunnel this morning was not for anyone with a Bat phobia, because we saw plenty of bats flying up and down as we cruised through.

We arrived at the top of Watford Locks, where NB Helena was taking on water whilst waiting to descend the locks, so we pulled into the side and moored up.


Keith went and booked in with Terry the lock keeper and we waited for the clock to strike 9am, which is when the padlocked are taken off and passage is allowed. NB Helena went first and we followed on behind her, keeping a lock between us, because they leak so badly that a 70ft boat gets a back cabin full of water if you follow to closely. I enjoyed a nice chat with the volunteer lock keeper, who is very good at his job and clearly enjoys it. By 10.15am we were at the bottom and on our way towards Norton Junction. Whilst we made headway, I ducked down into the back cabin and made us both a coffee as we were both a little parched.


At Norton Junction we turned left and were amazed to see all the moorings empty. We were further amazed to see a boat waiting at the top lock for someone to share with. Wendy and Richard on NB Ethel had been there for about an hour with the lock keeper, who was making sure people shared locks. I seriously thought we would get there and have to wait for a boat, but it was our lucky day. Neither Keith or I would have minded waiting, I would have made us an early lunch and got some jobs done, but that did not happen so whilst Keith and Richard moved the boats, Wendy and I worked the locks and got to have a chat as we walked down the flight.


Having exited the bottom lock at Whilton, where there was no lock keeper to be seen, we wished Richard and Wendy well as they cruise back to their home mooring.

A gentleman on the marina bank asked "Have you never heard of a silencer".

My reply was " She is exempt".

His reply "Is it pleasant listening to that".

My reply " Certainly is"

He said no more, but got on with what he was doing. There is nothing wrong with the sound of our engine, we love it and so do hundreds of other people who comment on how much they love her sound. But I am well aware that you cannot please all of the people all of the time. I waved goodbye to Richard and Wendy, who moored up to let their doggies off, to do what doggies must do.

The canal skirts alongside the motorway and the sound of the traffic is deafening, I am so glad we do not have to travel on the roads, I really prefer the speed we do now. Just before Weedon Wharf I spotted NB Maisibert, but neither Andy or Hilary were on board, so maybe we will see them another day.

We are now moored up near Flore Bridge, which is a new place for us to moor overnight. I notice from NB Albert's Blog they like the mooring here. I now have dinner to think about and then it will be time for bed again. Tomorrow we will be heading for Stoke Bruerne.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Foxton to Crick.

Hi Folks.

Foxton to Crick 17 miles and 1 tunnel in 6hrs 25 minutes.

We are on the move again yippee.


It was a cloudy and rather chilly beginning to the day, but there was not a breath of wind to be had. I lit the back cabin stove nice and early to warm the cabin up a little before we ventured outside. Paddy enjoyed a run up the towpath before he and Marmite had their breakfast. Once we were ready to set off Keith fired up the engine which coughed and spluttered a little, as it so often does when it has been stood for a few days. But once we were underway she settled into her stride, chugging along .


10am I made us a coffee and warmed some sausage rolls in the stove to ward off the rumbling tum until lunchtime, before we entered Husbands Bosworth Tunnel. We arrived at Welford Junction at 11.05am and headed from Leicestershire into Northamptonshire. The sun finally began to put in an appearance and so did the wind, which was getting up to a strong breeze.


With the harvest all gathered in, the farmers are now turning their attention to ploughing the land which had given them such a wonderful harvests. Gone are the fields of gold and back are the fields of brown soil, but before I know it we will see new shoots from a brand new crop.

As we approached Mountain Barn, we spotted NB Moore2Life, Chas and Ann greeted us with a "Hello" and we had a quick chat as we slowly cruised pasted them. It has been some time since we had the chance to talk to them properly, maybe we will do that when we return from the "Village at War" weekend, if they are still on the Leicester Line.


We passed Kerala and Karnataka the Bywater Hotelboats. It is the first time we have seen the pair and very nice they looked.


A frog swam past as we made our way towards Crick, it was heading for the reeds and away from our propeller. It was not long before lunchtime arrived, so I made us some sandwiches and a coffee which we ate on the move a long with a piece of homemade Victoria Sandwich. I really love eating on the move, but it does limit what you can eat.

Today we have seen lots and lots of Kestrels and Buzzards, we also caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher as it flashed before us.


We cruised past cracks Hill and I spotted Mark on Callisto coming towards us loaded with coal and diesel. He is obviously heading towards Foxton. Was nice to see him again and the boat looking very neat and tidy. He will be taking on many of our coal customers this winter, so I hope he manages to deliver to them all. I sold two bottles of toilet blue today to a friend, so we had one sale which is always welcome.

We are now moored up at Crick opposite the Marina for the night, with an excellent digital signal, so we can watch a decent picture tonight yayyyy. I now have dinner to think about, before settling down for the evening.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Up and down, there and back.


Hi Folks.

I meant to post this photo from the other day, the other day, but completely forgot it was on my phone, so here it is today. The rainbow was a complete rainbow and it looked stunning shining over the top of the top lock cottage at Foxton Locks.

So here we are on Tuesday evening and I am now feeling shattered, I have been up and down, then up again, plus there and back again, so my sore foot is now complaining a little, although the blister is getting better.

The day began as always, but then I thought I would light the back cabin stove, but before lighting it I checked the chimney which looked a little clogged with soot, so without further a do I swept the chimney and gave the fire a jolly good seeing too.


I got half a bucket of soot out of the chimney so I was so glad I looked before setting a match to the fire. Chimney cleaned the stove was lit and Marmite took up her position on the side bed to get warm.

Keith then left to go into Market Harborough to put our letter box up at the wharf. He had tried to do it yesterday, but the holes he had drilled were to small, so he went off on the bus and left me on the boat to get on with a few jobs. Job one was to take the toilet cassette and rubbish down to the sanitary station, which is quite a hike from the boat, but needs must. Having loaded up the trolley, locked the boat and with my MP3 player going, I set off along the towpath, down to the sanitary station to do the necessary, on the way back I called into the museum to hand over a disc with all the photographs I had taken of the festival for Ann and took the opportunity to have a quick natter with her to find out how she thought it all went. The signs look good that they made some money, which is always a plus. Breath back and chit chat over, I headed back up the hill to the boat, where Paddy was sitting in the back cabin waiting for me. Job two was to give the boat a sweep through, Job three was to wash up, Job four was to put some sausages in the back cabin stove for lunch, as I fancied sausage sandwiches for lunch, Job five was to wash and polish the towpath side of the boat, which needed doing to help protect the paintwork for the winter. Lunchtime came along and so did Keith, who I saw walking back up the towpath. He had put the letter box up, so we can now have post delivered yayyyyyy. I made sausage sandwiches for lunch, which went down nicely.

After lunch I received a text from Tesco to say my shopping would arrive between 3pm and 4pm, so 2.30pm I gathered the trolley, my boxes and bags together and set off once again along the towpath, to meet the Tesco van at the top of Foxton Locks entrance. Luckily I had remembered to take my MP3 player with me, because I had to wait till almost 4pm for the man in a van to turn up. Anyone passing me whilst I wanted must have thought I was a nutter because I was dancing a long to the music on my player and at times singing, which I know sounds like the cats choir, but I do not care. As the Tesco man unloaded my food, I placed it in the boxes and bags, signed my name on his hand held computer and said cheerio. I was then off back along the towpath to the boat where Keith was waiting to help me load it into the boat. All of this was done in the rain, which we so need. Having put the trolley in the hold, I then had to stow all the shopping away in the cupboard, fridge and freezer. The shop included a winter supply of Fray Bentos pies, which cook a dream in the back cabin stove and are part of the staple diet of a boater in the winter.


One things certain we will not be going hungry.

Dinner is cooking in the back cabin stove, Marmite is in the back cabin, Paddy is in Marmite's bed and Keith and I have the TV on, with a rather fuzzy BBC1 picture, we are about  to sit and watch "Pointless", which we both enjoy. After dinner it will be time to sit back and unwind before bedtime. Tomorrow we will be on the move.

Chat soon xx

Ginger McCain

I was very sad to hear the news that Ginger McCain had died at the age of 80.
Mr McCain was responsible for me having my first betting experience. In 1973 my parents put a £1 bet on Red Rum for me for him to win the Grand National and I actually won and my love affair with Red Rum began. I also put a pound on him in 1974, 75,76 and 1977 when he won for the third time. The only other time I put a pound on a horse was when Minnehoma, since then I have not bet on another thing. Mr McCain was a fantastic trainer and he will be sadly missed.

Monday 19 September 2011

Harborough Towpathers Update.


From this.


To this.


All done by the Harborough Towpathers.

litter picking.

Keith and I doing our bit.

Volunteer Day.

Hi Folks.

Today it was Harborough Towpather's Day. This is where a group of us gets together and looks after a mile stretch of the towpath from the Union Wharf Basin, Market Harborough to Bridge 14 a footbridge at the Old Union Canal Society Moorings. This was the first time we had been able to get involved because of us being away. Before setting off, I did all the usual morning things plus I padded out my blister, because it was looking a little angry and the last thing I wanted was to make it worse. At 9.30pm Myles from Paws4Walking came and collected Keith and I at the Foxton Locks turn off. We arrived behind the Waterfront Restaurant where we met up with other volunteers and with Geoff from British Waterways. Whilst we waited for others to join us, I collected the post from the hire boat office. The mail included our new license and my brand new watch yippee. So I am now sporting a new watch, after mine went around the country by post and never got to be repaired. Once everyone had arrived for the volunteer day, we all signed in and did our risk assessment and health and safety, before making our way to the Old Union Canal Society Moorings, where some of us would be painting the footbridge No14. With so many of us there, Keith, Polly (Paws4walking) and I set off with litter pickers and bags to collect the litter along the towpath, leaving the others to paint the bridge. But before we left we had to put on our high vis jackets and life jackets ;0).


As we walked the towpath we collected all sorts of rubbish, drinks bottles and cans, fishing line, sweet papers, a bucket, a hub cap and 35 dog poo bags with contents, which had been thrown into the hedgerows. It really does annoy me that people take the time to pick up their dogs poo, but then thrown the bag into the hedge, especially when there are three poop bins on that stretch. I lost count of the amount of poo we threw into the canal along the way. In the end we had two dustbin liners full of rubbish by the time we got back to bridge 14. As we turned the corner it was clear to see they had all been working very hard.


Some were taking a lunch break, whilst others continued to paint. Geoff and Alex (father and son) were getting stuck in as well. They supplied hand washing facilities from one of the vans for us all.


Having enjoyed the sandwiches and crisps I had packed for lunch, it was decided that we would head back to the boat, because there was nothing else for us to do on this occasion, so Polly very kindly gave us a lift back to Foxton. As we walked up the towpath Keith was dead on his feet and I was nursing my huge blister, I have not taken the padding off yet to see today's damage. Back on the boat Marmite is laying on her bed in the engine room, with the door open and Paddy is laying on the back counter, so all is well in their world. I now have to decide what we will be having for dinner tonight. I have a feeling we will be having another early night.

Chat soon xx

Sunday 18 September 2011

Foxton Festival Weekend.

Hi Folks.

We have had a very busy and interesting weekend. It all began on Saturday morning bright and early, when I went to retrieve our hosepipe from one of the exhibitors who came ill prepared for filling up their pool for Waterwalkerz. So I lent the organisers my hosepipe as did others. The pool would take at least eight, yes eight hours to fill, so it was fingers crossed that it was full when I went to get my hosepipe back.


Luckily a vintage fire engine had come to the rescue and filled the pool before the owners got there. Who goes to an event and expects others to do all the running around for them, whilst they go off home. Anyway got the hosepipe back after some searching. The festival opened at 10am and we all kept our fingers crossed that the weather would hold.


The craft tent looked fantastic with the stalls all filling up and people coming in to browse and hopefully buy, all our hard work on Friday had paid off.


We got to meet up with a lot of people we knew and people we had never met before but they follow us either on Hadar's blog or Facebook. It was lovely to meet Elsie from Elsie Barge Boaty Bits, she follows us on Facebook.

The festival site had a large fun fair which was very popular with the children, but probably not so popular with the parents because it was a drain on their pennies.


To go on the bumper cars alone was £4. I so loved watching the Gallopers, they looked so majestic and bought back childhood memories.


There were a lot of people there on Saturday, the food stalls were doing a roaring trade, even Keith and I had pasty and chips rather than walking back to the boat. In the beer tent they had live music, which was a little loud for the both of us. After we left the festival and walked back to the boat, moored in front of us was Gill and Don on NB Idduno, who were on their way back to their winter mooring in Market Harborough, but were staying for the festival, it was fantastic to catch up with them over a piece of Victoria Sandwich, which I had baked Friday night. We had arranged to go down to Bridge 61 pub that evening with Heather and Tony (fudge boat) and Tim and Ali (Antique boat) for a drink or two to celebrate Ali's birthday, so we invited Gill and Don along. After dinner we made our way down to bridge 61, where we had a fantastic evening, of chatter and laughter, in fact I have not laughed so much in ages. It also turned out not only was it Ali's birthday, it was Keith's today (Sunday) and Tim's Tuesday, so we celebrated those as well. We did not get back to the boat until gone 11pm and it was straight to bed.

Sunday and another lovely start to the day.

We were awake early, so I made us a cuppa and then set about making the back cabin fire up, which still had a few hot embers in the grate. With it being Keith's birthday, I cooked him a large breakfast which would keep us both going until lunchtime and beyond hopefully. Because it was Sunday I put on my 1930's Sunday best and at 10am we walked up to the festival site where the Vikings were revolting.


No I do not mean due to the smell or look they were getting into character to act out a battle over sheep or something. The crowds gathered and were very entertained by the battle and the encampment which was set up. We enjoyed another  nice wander around the craft tent chatting to some of the stall holders, who all seemed happy with how the event had been going.

Lunchtime arrived and we wandered back to the boat for a coffee and some cake, we were both still full from the large breakfast, but cake filled the gap. Andy a fellow boater came and said hello and joined us for a coffee. I then wanted to go and take some more photographs, because I had promised them to Ann who was the event director. Keith stayed on the boat and did his crossword.


The Fudge Boat was busy.


The Book Boat had customers.


Ali and Tim were enjoying another good day.


Trevor Maggs had the only historic boat at the festival, which was a little sad, but with the restrictions it was expected.


I fell in love with this beautiful carriage, which was here to advertise for weddings etc. Although I loved it, I could not see me on it to be honest, but hey it costs nothing to look. The company were taking people for rides down to Foxton Village on their other wagon.


A few times some very dark clouds came over and threatened. We had a few drops of rain during the afternoon, then as the event drew to a close the heavens opened, so all in all the weather behaved pretty well.
It was a great event, which we would come to again. So a huge thank you to the organisers.

I am now cooking some dinner. The generator is on and the washing machine is doing a load for me, so all is going well so far this evening. I have a feeling we will not be late to bed tonight, as I am already feeling shattered.

Chat soon xx


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