*****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..*****

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Being Positive.

Now anyone that knows me. I like most people enjoy a grumble every now and again, after all I am a woman. I have been known to take the P ocasionally. And I am not above being sarcastic or down right angry ( I tend to keep angry hidden)

But every now and then I like to take a deep breath and count my blessings for what I have had and have now. so here goes -

I have a partner who loves me unconditionally.
I have some truly wonderful friends.
I am living the dream.
I do not have to worry about working.
My body behaves itself most of the time and is not too shabby.
I still have all my own teeth, even if a lot of them are filled.
I still have my own hair.
I live on the boat of my dreams. (Actually my other half's dreams)
I get to go where I like, when I like.
I do not have to worry about household bills.
I get to see stunning countryside and wildlife everyday.
I have a comfortable life.

In fact, if I think about it, I dont have much to compain about - darn it!
But I am a woman so that may not last for long.

It would not take much...

..... to make a grumpy old woman happy ...

Good Morning.


Cold, dull and no ice on the canal as yet. I was rudely awoken at 6am by Keith as he stepped over me to visit the smallest room on the boat. As he was up he made us both a cup of tea, which we drank whilst watching the BBC 1 news. They were on about the school league tables and how the government have cut the value of more than 3,100 vocational qualifications. Apparently courses such as horse and fish husbandry can be worth the same as four GCSEs. WHAT!!!

When I was at school you did the core subjects. English, Maths, the Sciences, History and Geography, these in my opinion should be the ones which schools are judged on in the league tables. All the other stuff they recognise should never have been scored on, because not all schools do subjects such as nail technology. If your going to do it in one school, it must be across the board. Other subjects at my secondary school were Cookery, Needlework, Religious Education, Metal Work and Woodwork and of course German and French and Physical Education. That was our choice. I do think these days they have taken it all to far. Maybe they should think about getting back to basics, so they can then really see how schools in Britain are doing. I am not against vocational education, but they need to stick to the core subjects first. Just my opinion.

I have a Lamb Shank stew to prepare, having allowed the Lamb Shank to stew yesterday, I am going to strip the meat off the bone today, add lots of vegetables and potato and then return it to the back cabin stove to cook for tonight's dinner. That will be my morning taken care off.

Chat soon.

Monday 30 January 2012

Eccentric Leeds U-boat captain held over £1m fraud - Main Section - Yorkshire Post

Eccentric Leeds U-boat captain held over £1m fraud - Main Section - Yorkshire Post

A short jaunt.

Map image

Bottom of Foxton Locks to Black Horse Bridge, Foxton village. 0.7 miles, 1 swing bridge travelled in 1 hour 5 minutes.

Another cold start, as the temperature dropped down to -2c over night. I peered out of the porthole and saw a layer of ice on the surface of the water, which told me how cold it had been brrrr.

There was no hurry to do anything this morning, as we did not have far to go, so we leisurely drank our first cup of tea of the day in bed, whilst watching Challenge TV. Marmite were up early running up and down the boat chasing each other, so they definitely had a spring in their steps. The spring in Paddy's step continued as we walked down the towpath for his first walk of the day. Although it was a cold start, it was stunning to see the ice on the canal again.


After Breakfast I sorted out both of the fires and did a general tidy up, before we decided to move over to the water point to take on water at Bridge 1A. It is the only tap they have working from November to March.


Whilst the tank filled with water, Keith got rid of rubbish and emptied one of our toilet cassettes, he also posted a birthday card for a family member, as there is a post box next to the Foxton Locks Inn, which is always very handy. Tank full, I opened the swing bridge whilst Keith reversed the boat. It was then onward to Foxton Village.


We are moored up near Black Horse Bridge, with a view across a field with horses in.


We have moored here before, as we are away from the noise of the road and of the barking dogs in a house on the opposite bank of the canal. They seem to bark at anything and must drive the neighbours mad. With there being no wind, the reflections on the water are stunning today. I may just have to go out and photograph some of the reflections.

Before having had a coffee, I climbed into the hold with the coal scuttle to get in the coal for the back cabin and the saloon stove. Whilst I shovelled the coal, Keith emptied the scuttle into the coal bin in the back cabin, it can take two and half scuttles to fill it, I then filled the scuttle with coal for the saloon fire, so that if it is icy out in the morning, I do not have to do it then. I have baked some bread for lunch, we will be having bacon rolls for lunch. In the back cabin stove there is a Lamb Shank cooking slowly, which we will have for dinner tomorrow. I am not planning on doing much for the rest of the day, so may post later, but may not lol.

Chat soon xx

Sunday 29 January 2012

Sunday Happenings.


It was a calm evening last night, so I got a lovely photo of the pool at Foxton last night, with the Foxton Locks Inn all lit up and Bridge 61 Inn. All was still and quiet.

This morning we had a cold start, after a heavy over night frost, there was even some ice in the middle of the pool. The chill was soon taken off the back cabin, once I got the fire opened up. After I got back from walking Paddy, Keith had a lovely cooked breakfast on the go, this morning it was poached eggs on toast, with bacon and hash browns mmmm and very yummy it was too.

Having made sure both fires were st0ked up, I prepared pork chops on the back cabin stove for dinner, they were to spend all day simmering in the oven. I then set off up the towpath with my litter grabber and empty coal sack to collect yet more rubbish. I had already got half a coal sack full and was not more than half way along the moorings, when a gentleman called Jim got chatting to me about the state of the litter lying in the hedgerows. Jim I was to find out owns NB Moonshadow, which he has had for almost 3 years. Jim and I must have spent over half an hour nattering about all things boatie, whilst also putting the world to right. He picked my brains on things, which of course I was only to happy to help him with. If if you ever meet up with Jim on his boat, give him a hearty wave and if you have time have a chat with him, he is a lovely guy. With my rubbish bag full again, I set off to the bins, Keith put his head out of the engine room door and ask "Would you like a coffee". I of course said yes please.

After lunch the rest of our afternoon was spent chatting to passers-by and boaters moored at Foxton. Hire boats came down the flight ready to return to Market Harborough. Foxton Locks was very popular with walkers and cyclists and a few lads fishing. I got on with making butterfly cakes and keeping the fires burning. The temperature has now begun to drop 15.44pm and people are beginning to go home after a nice day out. We are now back inside the boat, with a coffee and "Carry On Dick" on Film4.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Great day.

Yesterday afternoon I went out with the camera to see if there was anything out and about that I could photograph.


There were plenty of Rabbits and all's I could think was Rabbit stew mmmmm.


Then Squirrel stew.

The wildlife as a bit thin on the ground in the cold wind.

This morning (Saturday), we woke to bright sunshine, but a cool breeze. Paddy loved running along the towpath off his lead, conce we were past the moored boats. I do not allow him off his lead until we are past moored boats, because I do not want him to wee on boaters ropes, or up the side of their boat, which has happened to us before now. I also know that he is under control, should a dog jump out of a boat at him which has also happened before now, on the past two occasion, Paddy has been duffed up through no fault of his own. So past the moored boats he sped off along the towpath like a puppy. On the way back he was not in such a hurry.

Back on the boat, Keith had prepared breakfast, which was enjoyed after I had fed both mog and dog. I then had both the fires to sort out. With jobs done, I took my litter grabber and a coal sack and started picking up the rubbish in the bushes along side the boat. Just in the length of our boat I collected to coal bags full of rubbish.


The rubbish was not just the general publics rubbish it was also boaters rubbish, which is now in the bin where it should be. I collected a further bag full walking up to the swing bridge in front of the Foxton Locks Inn. Tomorrow I will head in the other direction, where I know there is plenty to collect. I find it appalling that in such a beautiful and historic place that people do not pick up their litter. Whilst out picking up the litter a gentleman on a hire boat asked me about using the locks and if someone was their to help, because he and his partner were terrified of doing the flight on their own, so I offered to help them up the flight and to show them what to do, this offer was gratefully accepted, so I told him to come and knock on the boat when he was ready to leave.

Litter picking done for the day, Keith made me a coffee, Keith and I then donned our windlasses to help Dave and Carla up through the Foxton Flight. Carla steered the boat and Keith showed Dave what to do. Once Carla got the hang on the boat she was a natural. On getting to the top, we wished them well for the rest of their holiday and they thanked us for our help. Whilst on the flight I met up with Rob and his partner who were heading to their NB Novae Vitae. As we were walking back down the flight having seen Dave and Carla off Rob was coming up the flight. We called in to see Gary at the Top Lock Cafe to collect some new stock for the Summer selling and then headed back to the boat, where it was now time to enjoy some soup for lunch. As I was about to do the back cabin stove I opened the back cabin door to see NB Quo Vardis coming through the Rainbow Bridge 'ole, so I stepped off the boat to chat with Ian and Liz, who moored in front of us. They were off to Bridge 61 for a Bacon Roll and a coffee, so Keith and I joined them for a coffee and a huge catchup on all their news and gossip. I do so love catching up with people we know and yet see occasionally. The clock was ticking and Ian and Liz had to get off back to Debdale marina, so we parted company, knowing we would see them again sometime.

I am now back on the boat, fires stoked up, mog and dog chilling out and the TV on with an old cowboy film screening. I have just made a batch of fairy cakes which I will finish for tomorrow when we are expecting a friend to call. It has been a stunning day at the locks with the sun out.


In the sunshine it has felt almost like Spring.

Chat soon xx

It's a cats life.


Just trying out Dad's rag rug.


Just chilling out on Mum's clean bath towel.


I can see ducks from here.


Time to relax.


It is so warm in the back cabin.


Just read Towpath Talk and now I have Paddy where I want him under my paw.

Friday 27 January 2012

Debdale on to the bottom of Foxton Locks.

Map image

Debdale to Foxton 1.3 miles travelled in 50 minutes.

It has been so quiet where we have been moored, that I have slept really well, not only that we have not seen another moving boat, walker or cyclist, it has been heaven.

Yesterday (Thursday) was a day of sunshine and cloud with a brisk cold wind, but this did not stop Keith and I walking the 1.5 miles from the canal to the Kibworth Shooting Ground down a track then a road and then along a main road, which was busy with traffic speeding along. I am not a lover of speeding cars along a road that has no pavement, thankfully the verge was wide enough to walk along. Keith has had an air rifle for the past few years, but has not been able to use it because he did not have a proper sight for it, so we walked to the shooting ground so that he could purchase a telescopic sight for his air rifle, which we of course took with us. The intention of having the rifle on the boat is to shoot game, to eat, but of course when he shoots game he wants to make sure he kills and not wounds. When we arrived at the shooting grounds, shotguns were going off and clays were being broken, this bought back memories of when my eldest son used to do clay pigeon shooting, he got so good that he could have shot for Hampshire. Richard Faulds also used to shoot at the same place, Richard went on to win the men's double trap at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. The shop was a bit busy with shooters signing in, and getting gas cartridges recharged, but as we were in no hurry and getting our breath back from the walk we waited until we could be seen.

Keith was  recommended a Hawke Sport-HD IR (3-9x50 AO Mil Dot model) which according to the Hawke website normally retails at £94.95, but we got it for £50, a bargain, and it was fitted to his rifle. The shop being located at the shooting ground was ideal as he could test out and adjust the sight whilst there. Keith was given a target, which he could used on the air rifle range. Despite trying to set the sight up he was struggling, but with a bit of friendly assistance from some shooters already at the range, he soon got the sight approximately zeroed to start with, now it just needs practice which he can do in his own time and on a warmer day, because I was sat freezing my fingers and toes off. I am looking forward to our first kill, which I can put into the cooking pot. Keith is hoping it will save us a fair bit in food costs with meat being expensive. I am just looking forward to the cooking side. So watch this space for exotic recipes. Having packed the rifle away we made our way back the way we came, by this time the wind had strengthened and it had got decidedly colder, just as well the walking kept us warm. Back on the boat it was time for some much needed lunch and a coffee to thaw me out. I had some Sausage stew left over which I made into a soup. The rest of yesterday was spent on the boat watching a film. Both of us were ready for bed by 9.30pm.


This morning we set the generator going at 8.30 to charge the batteries, I took Paddy for his walk and Keith went online to check emails. He had a message from a friends saying he would be coming to Foxton over the weekend, so would like to catch up with us, so Keith suggested we move to Foxton today in order to get a mooring, because we know it gets busy at weekends, so at 9.35am we set off for from our lovely quiet mooring to head for Foxton locks.


We passed by Debdale Wharf which was quiet, we will be back there in a few days for diesel. When we arrived at Foxton, Keith tried to moor the boat on the 14 day moorings just before Rainbow Bridge, but they are too shallow for us to get into, and we didn’t want to risk getting stuck with the water situation at present in this area. I suggest there needs to be a bit of dredging doing on, especially as this is a designated mooring. With the other places further forward not big enough for us to get into, we were fortunate though to get into our favourite mooring place through Rainbow Bridge, at the junction. Having moored up and checked the fires we popped into Bridge 61 for a coffee and a chat with Annie, who was on duty today. We are now looking forward to our weekend visitor and anyone else who cares to come and say hello.

Just before lunch, I took a bag of rubbish to the bins and on the way back met up with Dan who owns NB Jenor and his lovely new dog Alfie. I was sad to learn that not only had his other dog been killed by a train, he is yet another boater leaving the water after just a couple of years. Work commitments and personal reasons are taking him off of the water and back on to the land. It is always sad when you see people you know leave the water, but we all have our reasons for doing what we do. After a lengthy chat with him, I wished him well  in case we did not see each other again.

So that is my Friday posting. I hope you have a wonderful weekend xx.

Thursday 26 January 2012

Should have checked the window

Obviously someone did not check the sighting of this advertising poster at Waitrose in Abingdon. I wonder if it will get changed?

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Smeeton Aqueduct to Debdale Wharf.

Map image

Smeeton Aqueduct to Debdale Wharf. 2 miles travelled in 45 minutes.

Having spent a couple of days at Smeeton Aqueduct, we decided to make a move towards Debdale Wharf, where we will be taking on some diesel.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a quiet affair because the weather was not very nice for walking, which is what we had planned on doing. It was raining cats and dogs for most of the day, which of course is more than welcome. We had thought of walking up to Saddington Reservoir, but did not see the point in plodding across muddy fields to go and check on the water level, so instead we stayed in all day and did a few things on the boat, including making a Sausage Casserole, which we enjoyed with large Dumplings. With so much sitting around, I was ready for my bed at 9.30pm. I think with Keith snoozing beside me in his chair it made me feel tired.

This morning (Wednesday) the rain has gone and we had a overcast start to our day. Paddy and I went out along the towpath for our walk. On a regular basis we see missing dogs and cat poster, but this morning I spotted this missing person notice.


Stuart Taylor has been missing since the 13th December. I have seen the posters at Foxton and in Market Harborough, but non of them had the heart felt message on them from Stuart's partner Lorraine. I have to say it left a lump in my throat. I sincerely hope Stuart is found safe and well very soon. If your reading this and think you know where he is Please contact one of the numbers on the poster photograph above, or contact your local police. My thoughts at this time are with his partner, family and friends, who must beside themselves with worry.


Having eaten breakfast, stoked up the fires, charged the batteries, had a coffee and tidied up, we left Smeeton Aqueduct at 9.55am and headed towards Debdale Wharf. It seemed as if there was no one else on the move, but then we saw a hire boat coming towards us through a bridge 'ole. The hire boat allowed us through the bridge 'ole first, which was very nice of them.


Over the past few days we have not seen another moving soul, everyone seems to be stuck to their moorings and going no where. Maybe that is why we love Winter cruising so much.

We are now on a one boat mooring place near Debdale Wharf, the bird feeders are up and already the Blue Tits and Great Tits are tucking into an early lunch. The TV aerial will be going up after lunch and I am quite sure I will be finding plenty of things to do job wise, however I am not over doing things because of the wrist, which is slowly getting back to normal, but I am aware of it when lifting the coal bucket and emptying the ash, so I have to be careful, as i do not want to mess it up for the rest of the cruising year.

Chat later maybe x

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Foxton to Smeeton Aqueduct, near Saddington.

Foxton to Smeeton Aqueduct, 3.9 miles, 1 swing bridge, travelled in 1 hour 35 minutes.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a pleasant day. I got a load of washing done at the laundrette, the load included lots of small towels and flannels, so doing them in a big machine was a bonus, because our machine only takes 3.5 kg. Whilst the washing was doing its thing we went and spoke to Gary and Jenny at the top lock cafe, having enjoyed a nice chat with them both, we walked back down to check my washing and had a coffee in Bridge 61. Washing all done we began walking back to the boat, and as we walked over Rainbow Bridge, I spotted a pair of Foxes out in the field.

So having dropped the washing off at the boat, I took my camera and went and took some photographs. Sadly non of them were that great because the Foxes were to far way for my camera. Back on the boat I hung the washing up in the back cabin and engine room, so it had a good chance of drying with the stove going.

After lunch, with no decent films on the TV, we closed the boat up and walked up to the top of the Foxton Locks to see Caroline and John on NB Vanyar who we have become very good friends with. Caroline welcomed us on board and made us all a coffee. Keith and I spent a lovely couple of hours chatting to both Caroline and John, I think we managed to cover pretty much every topic.

By the time we got back to the boat it was 4.30pm and I needed to think about dinner, which consisted of a homemade pizza, potato and peas. The evening was spent watching "Dancing on Ice". I do love Chico, I reckon he is going to be fantastic if he stays in.

Monday morning began early, with Keith getting up just after 5am. I then was up, so with no prospect of either of us going back to sleep, I made us tea and toast in bed, with of course the TV on.

8am I was up, dressed and off the boat with Paddy in the early morning sunshine. There was not another living soul around, so we enjoyed a quiet stroll along the towpath, with Paddy sniffing down every Rabbit hole he came across. Before we left our weekend mooring, Keith went off with the trolley to empty one out of our toilet cassettes, whilst he was away I prepared the boat for the off and by 8.45am we were ready to set off. Whilst Keith moved the boat, I walked down to the swing bridge to open it. Keith picked me up at Rainbow Bridge, we were then on our way to Smeeton Aqueduct. All the mooring places at the bottom of Foxton Locks are pretty much empty and any boat that is there has either just got there or has a patrol notice on it because it has been there to long. This is quite a surprise because, normally the moorings are clogged up with boaters who over stay. There had been a number of boats on the moorings when we came down the Foxton Locks a couple of weeks ago, and these boats had been there for months. So obviously the enforcement officer had clearly had enough. Some of the boats have now moved to the top of the locks, which in my opinion is not far enough. Others have gone off completely. I do not think I have ever seen Foxton Locks so empty. But it is about time that the enforcement officer did his job.

We really enjoyed out morning cruise, we did not see another moving boat, so winded with ease before Saddington Tunnel. We are now moored up at Smeeton Aqueduct, which is where we will stay for a couple of days. No photographs today because my signal is rubbish.

Chat soon x

Saturday 21 January 2012

Making herself comfortable.

Over the past few weeks Keith has been making another rag rug to add to our stock. Marmite decided she needed to test it for comfort.


The other day I wrote about a Humanists funeral and how they use wicker coffins, well today I came across another sort of coffin. I am not being morbid, but we will all go someday and therefore a coffin will be needed, unless you have another idea. Narrowboat World reported on a narrowboat coffin. The narrowboat coffin was designed and made by Crazy Coffins. It just goes to show you can have anything you want these days. I personally like the wicker coffin.

Etta James

Soul legend Etta James passed away yesterday at the age of 73 following a length battle with leukaemia. My all time favourite song of hers is "At Last". I love to sing along to that song. She will be sadly missed.

Little irish girl Becky calls a demolishion company and asks

Is it funny or in bad taste???

Friday 20 January 2012

It say's it all.

 dog poo

Thank you to Tracy Arbon for letting me post this photograph.

Barbara, River Trent Volunteer Lock Keeper.m4v

Gill, Caen Hill Flight Volunteer Lock Keeper.m4v

Gallows Hill to Foxton.

Map image

Gallows Hill to Foxton 2.35 miles, travelled in 1 hour.

Last night having settled down to watch the TV, there was a clattering noise on the roof of the boat, it sounded like hundreds of fairies tap dancing on the roof, but it was actually hailstones. However the fairy bit would have been much nicer. The hailstones were coming down heavily for a few moments, followed by rain and strong gusts of winds, which the aerial did not like, so the TV picture kept going off. Eventually the wind went away and the TV picture settled enough for us to watch "The One Show" and other delights. By the time we went to bed, I was beginning to wish I had lit the back cabin stove, because the temperature had dropped, but it was to late for that, so we just had to snuggle down beneath the duvet.

Having enjoyed a good nights sleep, we were awake early as usual, so Keith got up and made us our morning cup of tea, and I made us some toast, which was of course followed by watching old game shows on Challenge. I am sure they must pick the thickest people to go on to these shows. On "Family Fortunes" name something associated with Superman, so this gentleman says "His black hair" duhhhhhhh. Of course that was incorrect. Still it does make me giggle at seeing the fashion and hair styles.

Paddy had a rather damp walk, because it was raining when we stepped off of the boat. I stepped off, Paddy had to be dragged of kicking and moaning because he does not enjoy getting wet. So he did what he had to do and then legged it back to the boat, where I stoked up the saloon stove and relit the back cabin stove. Having fed Mog and Dog, I watched as the rain continued to fall steadily, the decision was then move or not move, we decided to move rain or no rain, it really does not bother either of us what weather we cruise in.


This was Keith a couple of years ago when we cruised in the snow, so a little rain is nothing.

Having got our boat ready for the off, we set off for Foxton in light rain. When we got to Foxton Village I  had a problem getting the swing bridge to register that it was shut to release the gates, once Keith had got Hadar through, so I had to do it a couple of times to get it to work, it eventually clicked into place and we carried on to Foxton locks. We moored up at our usual spot before the swing footbridge, just as the rain was getting heavier, did we care NO bring it on I say, as we need lots of rain!

We are going to be here until at least Monday, after that we will see. I am looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend.

Chat soon xxx

Thursday 19 January 2012

Market Harborough back to Gallows Hill.

Map image

Market Harborough to Gallows Hill, 2.8 miles travelled in 1 hour.

It was moving day today, but not until we had done a few things. After all the usual morning chores, Keith and I went down into the town to change our address with the doctors, dentist, and opticians, so we will get any updates required, I also booked a hair appointment for when we are back in Market Harborough, so it is all neat and tidy for the Summer. Keith contacted Royal Mail about stopping all the junk mail that is put in our tiny postbox. The fact is we have so much junk mail that the postman cannot get our proper mail into the box, so takes it to the hire boat office, which is ridiculous. All junk mail these days is classed as first class mail and the postman is required to put it through our letter boxes or he could face the sack believe it or not. Which I think is complete and utter madness.

With everything done in the town, we had lunch on the boat and then started to organise ourselves so we could move off from our mooring. Whilst waiting for another boat to wind in the basin I got chatting to a lovely lady off of NB Paneke (stupid me forgot to get her name). But I know she and her husband both read our Hadar blog. We got chatting about cotton dishcloths and how I got her via the blog into knitting her own. I am glad to have been of service.


The first thing we did was wind in the basin, before mooring at a spare pontoon to empty our toilet whilst there was still a Canal Boat Club boat at the sanitary station. After nattering to a few people in the basin, the sanitary station was available, so we pulled away from the pontoon and on to the sanitary station mooring, where we took on water and got rid of rubbish.


We then set off in glorious sunshine towards Gallows Hill , where we will spend the night.


With the sun shining, it was giving everything a warm glow.


This rather bare looking tree looked lovely in the late afternoon sunshine.

We arrived back at Gallows Hill and moored up with the sun slowly setting. Mog and Dog were happily snuggled up in the saloon as the fire is going and the kettle was hissing on the stove, so I made us a coffee whilst Keith tuned the TV in. Dinner tonight is a homemade mince beef curry, which we will have with cous cous, which we enjoy instead of rice occasionally. I am now looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the TV.

Chat soon xx

Volunteer lock-keepers needed to help new charity

With the New Charity status coming in this year British Waterway's are making a big thing about volunteers.
If you love the waterway's and have a few hours to spend out in the fresh air then why not get involved.

In Market Harborough they have the Harborough Towpathers who look after a mile stretch of towpath, from the Wharf to br14 The Old Union Canal Society moorings. The group go out and pick up litter, painting, cutting back shrubs and will be doing hedge laying and path laying. It is a great way to meet people and to look after a stretch of waterway near them. Keith and I have helped out and enjoyed every moment.

If you feel you can help have a look at the British Waterway's site. http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/be-part-of-it/volunteering

MP asks Minister about viability of Canal and River Trust — Waterway Watch

MP asks Minister about viability of Canal and River Trust — Waterway Watch

Canal & River Trust in call for volunteers to carry out historic waterways role of lock keeper - Need to Read - News from @walesonline

Canal & River Trust in call for volunteers to carry out historic waterways role of lock keeper - Need to Read - News from @walesonline

Homeless 'pirate' took millionaire's yacht | News

Homeless 'pirate' took millionaire's yacht | News

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Gallows Hill to Market Harborough.

Map image

Gallows Hill to Market Harbrough 5 miles travelled in 2 hours.

Today was dentist day for Keith, he had to have his first round of treatment for a new crown, so we were going to be moving, but that was not before we woke up at 6am. The wind and rain actually woke me up, followed by Marmite dreaming on the side bed. Marmite was growling in her sleep, which was hilarious because she is a cat. I have never heard her growl before. After the usual early morning cup of tea, we were up and about. Paddy and I set off a long the towpath in a very light drizzle. This was such a change from the previous few days weather, where it had been crisp and cold. There was still ice on the surface of the canal, so we knew we would be breaking ice.

9.25am we untied the boat and slipped our mooring, which was very much enjoyed over the past few days.


The ice was anything from half and inch thick to an inch thick, but Hadar was not bothered by that, she coped admirably with the task.


After an uneventful 2 hour cruise we pulled into a piled mooring outside of the 48 hour moorings, and I walk up to see if there was anything available near the wharf, which there was so I waved to Keith to let him know and he bought Hadar down to the 48 hour moorings.

Having moored up, I did a quick change of clothing from my boating tat to something a little more respectable, because Keith had his first appointment at our dentist, to have his tooth prepared for a crown, so we went into town for some shopping and had lunch at Pizza Express, before going to Keith's appointment. I did not go in with him, as I am not keen on the dentist, although I do go for my appointments like a good girl, I went off to get some more anti-inflammatory tablets for my wrist, then went back and sat in the waiting room of the dentists. I sat watching Sky News for an hour whilst Keith had his tooth prepared for his crown and he also had a filling done, so it will be soup for his dinner tonight. After Keith was all sorted we walked back to the boat, where we will be spending a relaxing evening in front of the BBC, because that is all we can get.

Chat soon xxxx

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Why Oh Why.


Another stunning morning, which began at 6am with Keith climbing over me to go to the smallest room on the boat. With him being up, he made us a cup of tea, so I also got up and stoked the back cabin fire up to get some heat into the cabin. We sat in bed, drank our cuppa and watched Challenge as we now do most mornings when out TV signal allows. Many of the programs are a blast from the past, this morning we had "Family Fortunes" with Les Dennis, plus "WipeOut" with Bob Monkhouse. I enjoy seeing the fashions and hair styles from those years, they do make me giggle. I put my head out of the engine room door to take the photograph above as the sun was coming up. It really was a stunning sunrise. I also made us some Porridge and a coffee, which was also enjoyed in bed. Breakfast in bed is such a luxury. Marmite then came and got beneath the crocheted blanket at the bottom of the bed, so she must have been feeling the cold. The temperature did get down to -4.3c over night and even when I got up it was still -4.1c out.


Up and off the boat, Paddy and had a lovely walk along the towpath, there was no sign of another human being, just us and the wildlife, now that is a perfect way to begin the morning. So when I came across more stupid dog owners and their poo bags I was outraged.


Why oh why do they bother to pick up their pooches poo, but then see fit to hang the bag in the hedgerow.


The bags were hung where they could be seen, so was this or these dog owners hoping the poo fairy would come along and remove them? It is not rocket science, take it home and bin it or find a poo bin and put it in. Along here if your walking to Gallows Hill Bridge their is a bin and if you walk in the other direction to Bowden Hall Bridge there is a bin, so there is no flippen excuse. If you do not want to pick it up then take a small spade and flick it into or over the hedgerow, that way it will bio-degrade. Leaving the bags hanging in the hedgerows is so irresponsible, because it will not bio-degrade in a bag and is actually dangerous to other animals. In this particular field there is a flock of sheep, now if the sheep should happen to eat one of these bags, it could endanger their lives. STOP BLOODY DOING IT. Opps sorry for my outrage, but it makes me spit.

During the morning whilst I got on with sweeping up the dog hairs and dirt throughout the boat, Keith went off litter picking, and he actually collected those dog poo bags.


For a change there was not much litter to collect.

Along this stretch there are a couple of trees which always catch my eye.


This one I have named the Lightening Tree. The name may ring a bell with some people because there used to be a series called "Folly Foot", which had a lightening tree in it. The series ran from 1971 to 1973 and it was one of my favourite programs as a child.


The other tree is this Pine tree, which always looks glorious in the early morning sunshine.

When I had finished the sweeping up, I went out along the towpath and picked up sticks for my stick bucket in the back cabin, these will be used tonight to dampen the fire down in order to keep it in over night. With Keith back from his litter picking duty, it was time for some lunch and another coffee, whilst eating luch we were listening to BBC Radio Leicester as we could not pick up Hfm grrrr. Whilst listening to Jonathan Lampon, who was talking about a Humanist funeral he went to yesterday. Now it was not something I had heard of before, but I like the sound of a non-religious funeral. I am not particularly religious, even though I was in the church choir as a child and I was baptised and confirmed. It is definitely something I would look into doing when the time comes. I also did not realise it is Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday, so a big Happy Birthday to him.

Right time for me to close this down and to watch a film or two, if there is anything good on.

Chat soon xxx


Monday 16 January 2012

Walk to Great Bowden and back.

Map image

Having had lunch and a coffee, I was in need of a walk, so I suggested we walk to Bowden Hall Bridge and back to stretch our legs.


The sun was shining and with not a breath of wind, it was the perfect day for a walk, so with walking boots and fleeces on we left the boat with Paddy who was determined to come with us. He had been bouncing around the cabin like an excited puppy. Off we went along the towpath to Bowden Hall Bridge, once there Keith suggested we walk up into Great Bowden, because we have never walked up there before.


As we walked along the road into the village the views across the valley were stunning.


The village is a very pretty little village with a large green.


In the old days there would have been stocks on the green. They could probably be put to good use even today. There is a couple of pubs in the village, plus a couple of shops and a post office. We almost stopped for a coffee at Welton's, but then realised we only had just over £2 between us and they wanted £1.50 for a cup of coffee, so we carried on with our walk. But should you need supplies then both shops were useful.


The church is St Peter and St Paul. It is a lovely church and was built in the 13th century and was restored in 1887.


The Old School was built in 1838 by Charles Shuttleworth, sadly he died before it was completed. In 1983 the school was changed into the church hall when a new school was built in the village.


The Round House is rather splendid and is a Grade II lisred building built in the early 19th century.


The village hall was built in 1903 to commemorate Edward V11’s coronation and is where the Old Union Canal Society holds its meetings. Maybe one day we will get to go to one of their meetings as we are members.

After a lovely walk, we made our way back through the village, along the towpath and back to the boat collecting a broken fishing rod and an old umbrella all disgarded by their owners, who were to lazy to take them home and bin them.


Both Paddy and Keith were beginning to flag, so once back on board Paddy retired to his bed and Keith and I enjoyed a cup of coffee.

Dinner tonight is Lamb Chops, which have been cooking slowly in the back cabin stove, so should be nice and tender. We will have them with mashed potatoes and veg. Off now to get on with a few more jobs before the light fades outside.

Chat soon xx


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