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

Sunday 29 December 2013

Christmas and an Update on Keith.

Hi dear blog readers and friends.

As you know Keith came home from the hospital on the 23rd December in time for Christmas and what we hoped would be a fun time. Forget the fun time and Christmas, there was no Christmas dinner and festivities, because poor Keith was poorly. An hour after returning from the hospital he began being sick and then the Diarrhea kicked in. Oh deep joy he had picked up a bug from his time in the hospital. I rang the ward to let them know he had gotten a bug, so they could get their infection people involved in finding out where it had come from. I suspect it was the moved on the Sunday (22nd) from Hatton Ward to Dugdale Ward in the middle of the night. Dugdale ward was an overflow ward which had been closed down. They had to re-open it because A&E was full, as were the other wards. Because Keith was not a serious case, he and others due to go home were moved. So I think the bug came from Dugdale Ward. Christmas Day came and he got up for a while, but was soon back in bed where he began having the shakes and so was confined to bed. He did manage to eat something Boxing Day, but then he seemed to go down hill. Friday night (27th) he had the shakes four times and was seeing things, which meant he had a high temperature. I tried sponging him down and doing all the usual things to get his temperature down. On the Saturday (28th) December I rang 111 again and a doctor rang me back. He asked me to take Keith to the Out of Hours GP Surgery at the hospital. Now I was not happy at having to move him because of his back and the fact that he was as week as a kitten, but I got him dressed and up and Jacky our neighbour very kindly drove us to the hospital, where I had to wheel him in a chair to see the doctor. Keith was diagnosed with a water infection to add to his back pain. So he now has Antibiotics to take on top of the other tablet he is taking for his back, he has however been told to stop the Diclofenic, which may have been something to do with the water infection.

Today Sunday (29th).

Both Keith and I slept better, we were only up twice, and he has eaten some scrambled egg for breakfast. He still has a temperature, but hopefully the antibiotics will kick in today.

When I was leaving school, I had a desire to be a nurse. I never did go ahead with it because things changed as did my mind, but I did do First Aid classes, which included nursing and oh boy it has all come back, even to the point of doing bed baths. The only thing I do not have is the uniform. Mind you with Keith being in his present condition, me wearing a nurses uniform may just put his temperature off the chart, so we will forget that.


I do hope that you all had a fabulous Christmas?

We are looking forward to a good New Year. So may I wish you all a Happy 2014.

Monday 23 December 2013

Hospital and back home again

In the very early hours of Friday morning, Keith was rushed into hospital with acute back pain, it was the worst he had have ever had. His back kept going to into spasms which meant I could not move him without him being in extreme pain. It was beyond control, so I called 111 and they sent an ambulance out. It took the paramedics a while to get him sedated enough to get him out of the boat and into the ambulance. Keith was rushed into hospital, where the doctors in A&E tried to settle his pain. The hospital staff were excellent, but because they could not stop the pain and the spasms within the 4 hour window he was admitted to allow the concoction of drugs to take effect. By Saturday he was up and walking, but had to wait until today, Monday, to be released this evening. It is great to have him back home where he belongs. Christmas can now begin on-board.
He needs to have an MRI scan early in the new year, but we also hope to have a chat with my local GP to discuss keeping a stock of suitable medicines on-board so that we can treat it when the problem occurs and hopefully save having to be admitted into hospital again. This year his back has been giving him more and more problems. But for now he is pain free and home.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday 12 December 2013

A Very Lucky Man.

Living on a boat, like with living on the land comes with its dangers, but we never take our safety for granted and this is especially thought about at this time of the year, when things become slippery and the water is extremely cold.
This piece in the Northampton Chronicle sent shivers down my spine, because it can happen to anyone on a boat and especially if it is your home.

Safety is at the top of my tick list in the Winter. Sadly we have heard of to many people drowning having fallen from their boats. So Please, Please stay safe out there. 

Friday 6 December 2013

A surreal day.

It has been a day of great sadness for so many across the world.

Last night I put a Lamb Shank on the saloon stove to cook overnight, this was to prove not such a great idea, because I spent the night waking up to the smell of the Lamb cooking. I have to say it did smell wonderful with the herbs wafting up the boat to the back cabin. Having had an indifferent nights sleep, we woke up at 7 am and I did the usual morning thing and put the kettle on for our first cuppa of the day, which was as always enjoyed in bed whilst watching the news on the BBC. The sadness came with the news that Nelson Mandela had died overnight at the age of 95 years old. Even though I had never met the man like many millions of people, I had watched his life unfold through the media. Mr Mandela’s struggle is his legacy to the world and will be ever lasting. I had tears in my eyes as the reports spoke about such an inspirational man, who will be sadly missed by all those who loved and knew him. The world has lost an incredible man.

8 am and it was time to fold away the bed and to get on with the day.

Paddy always gets walked first, after all a dog has to do what a dog has to do, so we walked along the towpath and back again. There was a lorry parked up on the road and as I turned to look at the gentleman standing by the side of the lorry, I realised his was having a pee up the front wheel. I though only dogs peed up tyres, but clearly not. It struck me funning that he was happy to carry on in front of passing cars and with me approaching, clearly this was not the first time he had done this in full view of those passing. Thankfully there were no children walking to school, their parents would have had some explaining to do Smile.

After smiling to myself after seeing that gentleman it was back to the boat, where I re-lit the back cabin stove. I had let it out yesterday due to the very high winds. So the stove was re-lit and the saloon stove riddled and replenished with coal. Marmite and Paddy had their breakfasts and then we had ours. Yes we know where we are in the pecking order on our boat Smile.

After doing the usual boat chores, and a Lamb Shank Casserole, which was put in the back cabin stove, we walked up into the town with a pair of my boots to see if I could get them repaired. They are leather boots and hardly been worn, but they are coming apart, so need sorting out, thankfully I was told they could be repaired and I will pick them up tomorrow (Saturday). I failed to ask how much it would cost, so I have to hope it is not an arm and a leg. With nothing else required in the town, we strolled back to the boat and to a very warm back cabin and the wonderful smell of the casserole wafting out of the cabin.

Lunch time came and went, so Keith put one of our Star Trek DVD’s on. He recently purchased all the films, so we will be ploughing our way through them. Whilst the film was playing, I got on with folding up yesterdays washing, which was now nice and dry. I do very little ironing on the boat, in fact I only iron clothes if we are going out some where nice. There is no room for an ironing board, so I use the work top in the galley.

4 pm the dumplings went into the stew and as I type are cooking nicely. Today seems to have flown by and now it is dark again and so the Christmas lights are on. Paddy and Marmite are waiting for their dinners and I am now waiting to watch The Paul O’Grady Show and later on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. I have loved this series.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

A day out in Leamington Spa.

So often I am dressed like someone has dragged me through a hedge backwards, because when working the boat, it pays to look that way, but today I decided none of that as I had filled the water tank yesterday and got the coal in, so I was going to have a clean and tidy day and a bit of a smart dress day.

On seeing how nicely dressed I was Keith asked “Are we going somewhere today”.

My reply was “No, I just want to look a little smarter today”.

His reply was “Shall we go into Leamington then”.

So we did, we caught the bus into Leamington. £8.90 for a day ticket for us both.


The weather was lovely, with the sun shining and it was mild for the time of year. Our first port of call was T-Mobile or EE to upgrade our dongles for our internet access, our data limit has doubled to 2Gb a month and the download speeds are way faster, for only 1p a month more! So that is a major result, it only took an hour plus to sort it all out, but it was worth it.

With lunchtime approaching we went to the Oriental Star Buffet for lunch, we have eaten there before when we were in the town a few years back, so it was time we gave them a go again and it was well worth it. £7.90 and you can eat as much as you like.


After lunch we walked down to the museum and art gallery where we had a look around.


I do so love the town with its tall white buildings and stunning gardens. It looks so clean, smart and well loved. With the streets mapped out like a grid there is plenty of walking to be done to see all the shops. On previous visits we have not seen some of the town, so today we made up for that and of course visited the charity shops, which were very expensive.

Is it just me or have some of the charity shops begun to out price themselves. I noticed that they were asking £1.95 for a 100g ball of wool, that is day light robbery because I can go in a wool shop and buy the same wool for £140. I do feel some of these shops are over priced. I realise the money is for their charity, but people will not pay these prices if they keep going up.



The town is like every other in the country at the moment, it is decked out in Christmas decorations and I have to say they are beautiful. I think they must look truly amazing in the dark.

We did not spend much money, but we had a wonderful day, we came back with our new dongles, a calendar and some fairy lights, but more importantly it was a lovely day out for us both, so dressing up this morning was well worth it.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

It’s that time of year.


Hasn’t 2013 flown by or is it just me?

We are now officially into Christmas mode with the tree and decorations coming out from their box and they are now adorning the boat. I do so love fairy lights.


Marmite has taken up her spot next to the tree and she has already shown interest in the baubles, so I can see her having some fun with them over the next few weeks.

I realise some may think we are early in putting up our decorations, but we always put them up on the 1st December.

I am so ahead of the game this year, I have already posted the cards etc to avoid the queues at the post office, well that was the idea, but when I got to the post office the queue was very long, but because I was in no hurry I did what us Brits are good at and I joined the queue and waited my turn, which was so Fifteen minutes later. My main worry about being in the queue was catching all the germs being coughed and sneezed whilst I waited. I found myself hold my breath every time someone coughed and then hoping I did not catch anything. What is wrong with people these days, they do not seem to know how to cover their mouths and noses when they cough and sneeze, and I did not see a hanky used by any of them. I always have a hanky or tissue to hand. Anyway I seem to have avoided their germs and I am so pleased I have done all I need to do. Now I can sit back and enjoy the run up to the big day.

What are you doing this Christmas and are you ahead of the game?

Tuesday 22 October 2013

New Blankets.


Pram, buggy or car seat crochet blanket, No 3 project completed.


Cold knees, then a lap blanket to keep you toastie this Winter. No 4 project completed.


I am completely bumfuzzled. It is my new word, don’t you just love it, ok it would be just as easy to say confused, but I like bumfuzzled much better. So here I am bumfuzzled at how much coffee costs when you go into cafes. There seems to be such a huge difference depending on where you drink coffee. For instance on average people spend £1.92 when they drink in either Starbucks or Costa Coffee. I have only ever drunk in Costa Coffee once and if I remember rightly the coffee was £2.25 for a cup of coffee and a biscuit on the side. I did wonder if I asked to have the coffee without the biscuit whether it would make the coffee cheaper?

I am just a decaf, instant cup of coffee girl. I am not into these Expresso’s or Latte’s, so I prefer to find the cheapest place to have a coffee, which is usually an indoor market cafe, where you can get a mug, yes a good old fashion mug of coffee from between 80 pence and £1, which to me is much more realistic.

The other day we went into a cafe, which already had it Christmas decorations up and they were charging £2.20 for a coffee. It was extra for a decaf coffee, we walked out of the cafe and said “No thank you”. Just a short walk along the street and another cafe was serving coffee for £1.40 a cup. The coffee was the same, so why such a huge difference in price?

I suppose it could be said that some of these places are actually ripping us off, because they know they can.

Monday 14 October 2013

Time with friends.

Hello blog readers out there, who have been missing my posts. I am still alive and kicking, but have been busy with lots of new things going on in my life.

Irene and Ian 12-10-2013

On Saturday, Irene and Ian arrived and came to us for coffee and cake, I had made a Victoria sponge filled with a Lemon Curd and butter icing. With it still feeling warm we sat out and laughed and giggled, whilst we caught up on some of ours and their news. Saturday evening Keith and I went out for a meal with our dear friends Irene and Ian who live on board NB Freespirit. Both Irene and Ian are such wonderful friends and we had a very enjoyable evening in a Thai celebrating Ian’s birthday. Yesterday (Sunday), we had coffee and cake on board Freespirit, before Irene and Ian had to leave for pastures new, but it was wonderful to see them and to catch-up on all their news.

Today (Monday) like in most areas of the country it has been pouring with rain and when I say pouring I mean lashing it down at times. So whilst Keith went off to sort out his mobile phone sim card, I decided I would take the Summer curtains down in the back cabin and all the lace, because they get covered in dust and soot with the back cabin stove going, not that it is lit at the moment, we only have the saloon stove lit at the moment. Back to Keith’s mobile phone, unfortunately it has ended up in the canal, but thankfully he has a spare handset, so he just needed a sim card. Curtains taken down, I got on with making a Winter pair of curtains, the Winter ones do not have any lace on them, so they do not trap the dust and soot so much. By the time Keith got back to the boat, I had finished the new curtains and got on with making us some lunch. With the rain still falling, I went to the laundrette to wash the curtains and lace, which came up all nice and clean, but the tumble drier did not completely dry them on the money I had put into the machine, so I have hung them up in the boat to finish drying. The back cabin looks like a Chinese laundry.

I have been busy with my crochet, and I will post photographs of my new projects. My only worry now is I am going to run out of wool again grrrrrrrr.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Little regard.

As I lay in bed listening to the church bells chiming 7am and hearing a cyclist speeding past, it got me thinking about how some people have no social etiquette.

I find swearing is so unattractive and makes anyone just seem barbaric and uncultured. Throwing a cuss word in between every other words doesn’t make you any more attractive, and most definitely doesn’t make you look more intelligent, I think it does someone no favours, but it is something I hear a lot when people are walking along side the boat and they probably think we cannot hear what they are saying and yet we hear every word. Most people who know me I hate the use of the F and C word. The worst your will ever get out of me is Bloody Hell.

Stepping on to someone’s boat uninvited, in my opinion is a no no. The other day we were talking to a guy, who preceded to try and step on to our back counter, in order that he could take a photograph of our back cabin and engine. We asked him nicely to step off and the reasons for why, I then thought to myself, would this gentleman like us to go to his house and just open the door and walk in? To me it is no different, as our boat is our home. I never step on to someone’s boat without asking first , it is just a common courtesy in my opinion.

Living on the canal means the towpath and surrounding countryside our garden and therefore, I want it to look nice. But every time we moor up, we have to litter pick and scoop the poop. Now for those people who drop their litter and do not scoop the poop, do they have gardens which are littered with litter and poop, because to me again it is no different.

Etiquette applies to using the canals as well, but that is another posting for the future.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Crochet project No 2


I am well and truly hooked now and have just completed blanket number two. This one is for a pram or buggy and is crocheted in chunky wool, so will be lovely for chilly days. Now I just need to find someone who would like it.

Paddy at speed.


Paddy is not one for rushing around, but occasionally he will run along the towpath.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Autumn has arrived.

Well howdy there, yes I am feeling the need to post again.

Today (Sunday) is the Autumn equinox, the sun is rising later now, and nightfall comes sooner. The leaves will be showing their autumn colours and the wildlife will be in full view. I do so love the Autumn and all it has to offer and yes that does include the cold winds, frosts and wonderful sunsets. Autumn also means the back cabin stove comes into its own, as I begin to cook stews and curries, with the smell hanging in their air. I will soon be swapping my Summer clothes for my Winter fleeces and long sleeves shirts, the shorts will be put to bed for another year and the tan will soon fade, but Autumn is such an amazing time of the year. Christmas (arghhh) is getting closer and Halloween will soon be at our door.

But how can you not love this time of the year?

I woke this morning to the sound of cows mooing and the ducks quacking. The sun was out and I had, had a good nights sleep, which was the first of the week, because I have been having IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) issues for a few days, I have to say they have been a little self inflicted. To much spicy food which has sent my allergy to Nickel into overdrive. I will lay off the spices for a few days and I will be back to normal again, what ever normal is Smile.

After a nice cuppa in bed and a natter, it was time to get up and about. Paddy and I walked up the towpath in the warm sunshine. He had his nose to the ground and I had my face being warmed by the Autumn sunshine. When we got back to the boat, Keith was on breakfast duty, with it being a Sunday and so I relit the back cabin stove, filled the copper kettle with water and tidied the side bed. I do like a tidy back cabin, with the cushions plumped and in the right place and the crochet blankets neat and tidy, including the new one I have made. Breakfast cooked and enjoyed, this morning it was scrambled eggs on toast, Keith also had some bacon. Marmite having had her breakfast, retired to the back cabin side bed and the warm, whereas Paddy curled up in his bed. I have never known a Collie sleep as much as he does. Having slept all night, he was soon snoozing again. I reckon he must be the most laid back Collie in the world.

I have no real idea what my day is going to deliver, but I have Marmites claws to slip and the gearbox oil to check, so that will keep me busy for all of 15 minutes, after that I will get on with my crochet projects and then see what the rest of the day brings. May your day be filled with joy and laughter. xx

Friday 20 September 2013

First attempt.


I bet there are things in your life you wish you had done or could in fact do well Crocheting was one of mine. No one in my family ever crocheted and so I never learnt. I am not the sort of woman who can learn by reading a pattern or the beginners guide to crochet. I needed someone to show me how and that someone was Cynthia on NB Guinevere. Whilst at the Alvecote gathering on the 24th August, Cynthia showed me how to crochet. I sat down with her and we went through each step together and within an hour I had it by George I had it. I sat for every spare minute and got on with my Grand Union Blanket and the photograph above is the result of a couple of weeks work woooo hooo. I never ever thought I would do it, but hey presto I have made my first blanket and I am so proud of myself. I have already started my next project, so watch this space.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Such Fun.

See told you I would be back if something interesting came up.

This past weekend we have been enjoying the Village at War at Stoke Bruerne, so I thought I would share some of the photographs from the event with you.




We so love this event.



The boats were in.


I have nearly finished it.


Off to church.


Time to go.

The weekend was not spoilt to much by the weather, which did close in on the Sunday. As like every year we chatted, laughed and enjoyed the company of many people who return each year for a splendid weekend of music, re-enactments and some amazing outfits. Here is to next year.

Saturday 31 August 2013

Taking a break.

I know that my avid blog readers will be disappointed to read the title of this posting, but it is time for me to have some time off from posting. Of course on the other hand those of you who find my nattering boring anyway will be glad I am off for a bit LOL. At the moment we are covering ground we have covered a couple of times already this year, so I am going to have a blogging break.
Now having said that if something exciting happens, which I think you may like to read I may well post, so do not abandon me completely.
I love blogging, but like with all things it takes up time and can be a little boring when your covering the same ground and chatting about the same things.
As Arnie say's " I will be Back".

Friday 30 August 2013

Rugby to Norton Junction.

Map picture

Travelled 14.28 miles, worked 9 locks in a time of 6 hours.


We left Rugby at 9.30 am having been to Tesco food shopping and we emptied the cassette and got rid of rubbish.


We passed the Canal and River Trust boys who were very busy.


We approached Hilmorton Locks.


One out, and we came in at the bottom of the flight with a volunteer lock keeper there to lend a helping hand.


I walked to the second lock, past the fantastic cafe.


Second Lock. It was all like poetry in motion, one down and we came up, nothing better.


No sooner had we got past Hillmorton Marina, we were in a convoy of four boats.


The harvest is safely gathered in and the farmers are busy cutting their crops.


Braunston Church comes into view.


We stopped off at Midland Chandlers, as I wanted some paint and there was 15% discount till the end of August.


Onward past the stop house in Braunston and up the locks with NB Dragonfly.


Gates open ready for two boats waiting to go down.


New raised paths along the towpath towards the tunnel.


You will still get your feet wet though as they have not done some of the worst parts where the bank is leaking across the towpath.


In to the tunnel.


We found a mooring space near Norton Junction and this will be home for the weekend.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Cathiron to Rugby.

Travelled 2.5 miles, no locks, 1hr 40mins.
Short jaunt for us this morning after a restful nights sleep.
Even thought the railway runs close by and the railway beidge was behind us, it did not disturb my sleep, what did disturb me was Marmite who wanted to find a warm place to sleep for the night, so she curled up on the bottom of the bed by my feet. I reckon she is already in Winter mode, if she is feeling the cold already.
We stopped off at Yates Boat Yard Newbold to take on 200 + litres of diesel, it seemed rude not to with it being only 78p a litre, which is far cheaper than anything else we had seen of late. It is fabulous to see the yard up and running again.
Having had a lovely chat whilst filling up with diesel we said cheerio to the owner and headed off through Newbold Tunnel.
A boat came past us and warned us that there was a boat across the cut as his bow rope had come adrift, by the time we got there his bow rope was also adrift and so the boat was floating free. Unfortunately we could not get the boat back into the bank as it had drift on to the shallows on the opposite bank and  it was to shallow for us, to even attempt helping the boat back to the bank, we could see ourselves running aground as well, so we had to warn the next boat heading towards it that there was a boat free from its mooring. We guess they have gone for a walk around Newbold Quarry.

We arrived in Rugby and found one mooring available to to us on Broughton Park, so we moored up, locked up and headed off to get some dog food and cat litter. Keith also wanted to go to Maplins. James Wellbeloved dog food has certainly gone up in prices £50 for a 15kg bag. Just as well Paddy does not eat much and it will last him sometime, otherwise I will be sending him out to work for his board and lodging.
When we got back to the boat, Michael and Geraldine on the Cheese Boat were moored opposite us, they had caught us up. We will be shopping at Tesco’s tomorrow morning before we set off, as Keith does not get his pension until tomorrow.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Spring Wood Haven to Cathiron.

Travelled 17.25 miles worked 1 lock all in a time of 6 hours 15 minutes.


Amazing isn’t it, you get used to one lot of sound and sleep like a log and then when it changes you keep waking up. That was me last night. Over the past few days I have gotten used to generators, music and people enjoying themselves and yet I slept through it all. Last night all I could hear was Owls and the odd train and I kept waking up. Maybe I sleep better the noisier it is??

We left Spring Wood Haven at 8.15 am, there was a heavy dew on the boats roof and a mist over the railway. There was also an Autumnal chill in the air, but I guess that should be no surprise, because it is heading in our direction fast. The farmers are bringing in their harvests, the Blackberries are ripe on the bush and the Apples are thick on the trees, which is a sure sign that Autumn is almost upon us.

We headed off through the land of the Allotments, which is Nuneaton.


A new form of water transport maybe?

There was a steady stream of boats on the move towards us all day and so when we got to Hawkesbury Junction we were in a queue of three boats to go through the lock at the turn. Having got through the lock, I made us some lunch and a cold drink as the heat was beginning to mount.


Looks like this boat has been down under.

Then at All Oaks Wood we came across another.


NB Chase has had that sinking feeling that is the third boat in two days we have seen sunken.


At 2.30 pm we decided to stop at Cathiron, just in case there were no moorings at Newbold. It was a very pleasant days cruising, even with all the boats on the cut. We met up with a couple of boats we knew and had a quick natter. But now I am looking forward to putting my feet up and having a relaxing evening.


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