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

Thursday 28 February 2013

Les Misérables.

This morning we had planned to move off into the country, but had a change of heart whilst sat in bed drinking the first cuppa of the day. Whilst in Aylesbury we had thought about seeing a show or going to the cinema and we had done neither, so Keith suggested we stay another day ( that is a great song title ) and go to the cinema, but what should we see, as there are some great movies on at the moment. “Song for Marion”, “A Good Day to Die Hard”, “I give it a year”, “Les Misérables”, “Django unchained” ad “Lincoln”. I suggested “Les Misérables”, but I felt it is one of those movies that needs to be seen on the big screen. So that was our choice, but before that we had the usual morning boat chores and dog walking to do. After the batteries were charged by the generator and we had our first coffee of the day, we headed off into the town to stroll around the charity shops and then to enjoy an early lunch at The Bell.

the bell

The Bell is a Wetherspoons pub. They took on the pub in June 2010 and like with all Wetherspoon pubs the food was very good. We had two meals for £6.95 which is such a brilliant deal. After an early lunch we then had another stroll around the town before heading off to the Odeon Cinema.


Les Misérables was being shown in screen 6 and we had seats right on the back row in the middle, so had no one in front of us but the steps it was perfect. I reckon I was the youngest person in the cinema which was not full by any means but there were a fair few people seated for the movie. Neither of us has seen the stage show, so had no idea what to expect as we had only seen the trailers on TV, but OMG we were not disappointed. This film adaptation of the stage sensation, was truly breath taking. It is set against the backdrop of 19th century France, the film tells an incredible story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption. Ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is hunted down over decades by policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks his parole agreement. Valjean agrees to look after factory worker Fantine's (Anne Hathway) daughter Cosette, the film tell of their lives and how they change over the years and the sacrifices made by them and others. It is such a moving film and I was pleased no one could see me crying for most of the movie. Many of the songs in the film I already knew and they always make me cry. I can totally see why Anne Hathaway won “Best supporting actress”, she was fantastic and Hugh Jackman wow what a singer. It was a treat to see actors out of their comfort zone and it showed what they really can do. I was really pleased we made the effort to go and see the movie. Keith was even more pleased because he got in with the senior rate, oh the joys of being 60 years old. I will have to wait a while for that joy.

Having wiped my eyes, we left the cinema and walked back to the boat to find another boat moored in front of us, it was Stein and Jacquie on NB Like Ducks 2 Water. Stein was busying himself on the towpath, so we had a quick chat and will be catching up with them later over a glass or two of something.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

New door mats and cushions.

An overcast start to the day again, although it does feel somewhat warmer than of late and if the weather forecasters are to be believed by the end of the week it will feel more like Spring. The snowdrops and Daffodils are out in places so maybe they know Spring is almost upon us?

My morning began with the screaming sound of some emergency service vehicles going past with their sirens blaring away. There was something amiss somewhere. Paddy ran up and down the saloon and galley in his usual frantic manor when sirens go off. He has such acute hearing that it drives him made. He used to be really bad, but over the years he has grown calmer.

After doing all the usual morning chores, Keith and I headed off back into town to get a few items for the boat. I wanted some new Coir Mats for the engine room, because the old ones have had their day. We had already done some price checking online and B&M were the cheapest, so that was our first port of call.


We bought three with “Home is where the heart is” on them.


And a welcome, goodbye one for the door way into the boat. These will be put down once I have painted the engine room floor when we are in dry dock at the end of March. Newly painted floor deserves new mats.


I also bought a couple of new cushions for the saloon. This ones Keith’s.


And this one is mine.


Marmite soon decided that she liked the Home Cushion and so tried it out for comfort, it has to be said she did not look that comfortable.

After lunch I realised that we did not have a TV paper for next week, so I walked back up into town to get one. Before getting there Tom Hill who delivers our coal arrived to supply coal and gas to the basin, so Keith and I had a quick chat with him as he unloaded the lorry, I then left Keith to natter whilst I walked back into town. The town was pretty busy with the small market taking place in front of the county court. Aylesbury is a lovely town and I am so pleased we made it here.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Aylesbury Town Centre.


After a funny old nights sleep where I dreamt about shooting someone in a cowboy movie and I beat a professional sports man at his own sport, I was up and off the boat with Paddy at 8.30 am. We had a walk up the towpath and back again, he was not to bothered about walking to far.

After breakfast and we had run the generator, we walked up into a quiet town centre.  Aylesbury is known as a bustling market town located just north of the Chiltern Hills, today it was not so much bustling but meandering along.


The farmers market was on and is always held on the last Tuesday of the month.


We paid a visit to St. Marys Church, which from the outside looks big, but on the inside it is quite small but very pretty.


The houses surrounding the church are Almshouses, which were donated to the town by Thomas Hickman in his will dated 1695. Thomas gave land for the poor and five cottages to be used as almshouses. The trust property consists of a house and shop in Market Square, a house in Church Street and about 16 acres of land. Not sure whether the land is still there, but the houses are and still in use.


We paid a visit to the Museum, which we both found interesting. There is also a Roald Dahl children’s gallery, which we did not visit.


A statue  Benjamin Disraeli stands in the cobbled market.


There are plenty of shops, places to eat, charity shops and places to visit. I really like this lovely town.


We had a fabulous lunch in the Peking Inn. The place is immaculate and the food is very scrummy.


Waterside Theatre, unfortunately they are not showing anything we fancy seeing, which is a shame as we both fancy seeing a play of some sort, but I am not into ballet.


In front of the theatre is this statue of Ronnie Barker. We just had to have our photographs taken with him.

aylesbury 2013 

I really must stop frowning.  The Bronze statue of Ronnie was unvailed in September 2010. Ronnie Barker made his professional debut on 15 November 1948, at the old County Theatre in Aylesbury's Market Square, with a small role playing Lt Spicer in JM Barrie's Quality Street. The hoarding behind is the new Waitroseand Travelodge they are building between the theatre and the canal basin. A lovely day, in a lovely town.

Monday 25 February 2013

Going back.


Well no sooner we arrived in Aylesbury, I sent my camera off to be repaired. It will arrive at the company tomorrow apparently, so fingers are seriously crossed that it comes back just as quick, because I am having withdrawl symptoms on not being able to take wildlife photographs, today I missed out on taking a photo of a fox grrrrrr.

Tomorrow we are off to Argos to take back our toaster, which we have had less than a month and it does not toast bread even on the highest setting. The bread comes out barely beige, so that will have to be replaced as well.

I now have to hope that there is not a third thing and if there is it is the batteries, which we know have to be changed.

Puttenham Top Lock to Aylesbury Basin.‏

Map picture

Travelled 5 miles, worked 7 locks in a time of 2 hours 55 minutes.


We left our mooring at 9.15am with deep anticipation of what was to come, because it was to be my first time in Aylesbury. It was a chilly morning with drizzle in the air, but it was no where near as cold as the previous couple of days.


There was no lack of water.


Whilst I closed the bottom gates on one side, when in bridge ‘oles Keith closed the other side for me, meaning I did not have to walk all the way round the lock again with the towpaths being so muddy.


We past by Bates boatyard, which specializes in wooden boats and got a wave from a couple of gentlemen working there.

On our journey we saw a pair of Buzzards, a Kingfisher and a dog Fox, which was walking a long the towpath. SAM_4497

Work on the new moorings for the Aylesbury Canal Society boats is coming along nicely, they hope to be moving there in May.


It really looks impressive and will be a nice addition to the Aylesbury Arm.


Flowers had been left at the second to last lock at Broughton, I always find it very sad to see flowers by the canal, because you know something dreadful must have happened.


We had arrived at Aylesbury Basin.


Winding was a little tight, but we managed to get round. We had not been told how tight it would be LOL.


We reversed into the arm and moored up on the 14 day moorings. The downside was the amount of dog poo alongside the boat, so I will have to clean that up before settling in.

We are looking forward to having a wander around Aylesbury and see what it has to offer.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Keep Calm

Now there's an idea.

We have been Googled.


We have been googled. This was taken at Chirk tunnel last year, when the google team were out on the towpath. It has only recently appeared on the google map. Yes that is me on the stern ;0)

Busy start to Sunday.

Brrrr and cold start to Sunday. –4.5c over night and it is still below freezing at 10.52am. It must have been cold this morning at 3.30am when Keith got up, because he got out of bed and Marmite climbed in beneath the duvet for a warm, she was soon ousted out when Keith came back, much to her disgust.

7am cuppa in bed and discussions on allsorts of issues, many of them boating, but I will not bore you with my ranting.

8.45am up and dressed, with Paddy waiting for his walk, which took place across the field near the boat. Paddy went off like a scolded Rabbit in search of anything worth sniffing at. Whilst we walked on a very chilly morning, Keith got on with grilling large Mushrooms and Bacon which we had on toast. I do love it when my breakfast is cooked for me, it is always a perfect way to start a Sunday. Having eaten a scrummy breakfast, I relit the back cabin stove and riddled the saloon fire to get it going again. With the back cabin stove roaring away, I put some Lamb chops on for dinner, once they were fired, I put them in a dish covered with Lamb gravy and then put them in the oven to cook slowly for the day. Next job for my Sunday morning, was to get coal in from the hold for the back cabin and the saloon fires. On the gunwale was snow like little Polystyrene balls, so before standing on the gunwale I cleaned the snow balls off. A bag of coal filled with loose coal and the coal scuttle filled with house coal were then deposited on the back counter ready for use. Our loose coal is going down slowly and as soon as it is low enough I will bag the remaining coal up, we can then take on more bagged coal, which will be for sale. Back inside a nice warm boat, I had a pile of hand washing to do, which got hung in the shower room to drip dry, once most of the water had drained out, I will then hang it in the back cabin to dry, which is one of the best drying places when the stove is going, I know by the end of the day I will be folding the clothes up and putting them away. I am beginning to think I do not need my washing machine after all, but I know as soon as it comes to getting the duvet cover washed and the crochet blankets I will be glad of it again.

As I type the chops are cooking, I have just stewed some Apples for a crumble which we will have for tonight’s pudding. Phew now I wonder what I should do for the rest of the day??

The cold I mentioned yesterday seems to have died a death, which I am grateful for, but I do still have a bit of a headache, so not sure what that is all about.

Well done to England yesterday, they beat France in the 6 nations. It was not a pretty match but we did what we had to do, so well done lads.

Ant and Dec are back for “Saturday Night Takeaway” yayyyy. What a fantastic nights entertainment. Robbie Williams looked fantastic, he looks so well these days, married life and having a child clearly agrees with him. Great show and looking forward to the next 6 weeks.

Saturday 23 February 2013

Marsworth to Puttenham Top Lock 10 on Aylesbury Arm.

Map picture

Travelled 1.2 miles, worked 9 locks in a time of 1 hour 55 minutes.

I cannot remember the last time I got a cold, but yesterday evening I began to feel like I had a gravely throat and a head full of cotton wool, which meant a cold was on its way, so I dosed myself up with Paracetamol and was in bed just after 9pm. I slept really well until 5am and having got up with Keith also awake, I made us a cuppa and then went back to sleep until 8am. I got up with a mushy head, but my throat was not bad and my cough was pretty quiet, so having walked Paddy, eaten breakfast, made up the fires, we made a move in the snow.


Keith reversed the boat from our mooring and back to the junction, we then turned on to the Aylesbury Arm.


We fell west through the first 9 locks, which were all pretty easy to use.


There was no lack of water. Three of the locks we had to leave a bottom paddle up to keep the lock empty.


It is said that it is remote and isolated, in many ways it is, there are lock cottages and houses and a shop at Wilstone. We saw plenty of walkers with their dogs and the odd cyclist. It is very pretty even at this time of the year.


By the time we had done lock 9, I did feel as if I was beginning to wilt with what I think is a cold dragging me down. We had been told by the Aylesbury Arm chairman that we can moor above lock 10.


We were lucky that there was a mooring at the end of the pilling above lock 10. There is a boat in front of us, which is all locked up, but we are moored in the middle of nowhere, with snow flurries still falling.

We will stay here for the rest of the weekend and then head down into Aylesbury Basin on Monday.

Friday 22 February 2013

1st full day at Marsworth.

A cold start to Friday with a frost and a light dusting of snow. We were awake early, so as per-usual we sat in bed with a cuppa and chatted whilst watching the BBC news. One of the big discussions was about hospital food and how the UK is lagging behind as far as standards over food are concerned in our hospitals, I think this topic has come about because James Martin is about to begin a second series of Operation Hospital Food which begins on the 25th February at the Birmingham's Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. In the first series he was at Scarborough General Hospital. I personally have not had a reason to complain about hospital food when I have been in hospital, but I have seen people in hospital having food bought in by friends and family because they could not eat the food the hospital supplied. When Keith was in Kettering Hospital, there food was very good.

What do you think of hospital food??

Once up, I relit the back cabin fire and left that to get going whilst I took Paddy for his walk past all the moored boats. On returning to the boat the fire was roaring nicely, so having put on more coal I shut it down and began cooking chicken for dinner, which will be a Chicken Pasanda with Rice. After breakfast I loaded up our coal trolley with the toilet cassette and a bag of rubbish and headed for the sanitary station, which is still in operation on the old BW yard despite the building work going on. I did discover though having emptied the cassette, the water tap is not working, so I presume they turn the water off whilst they are digging up the ground with the digger. So if your coming this way for water, you may not get any.

After our first coffee of the morning, I suggested we go out for a walk around the reservoirs. Because my Canon camera is not working we took Keith’s out with us and set off up the towpath. There was a bracing breeze and a few snow flakes falling, but on such a lovely morning it seemed a shame to sit on the boat, when we could have a walk.


Whilst walking on the opposite bank Jacqueline put her head out of the galley window to say “Hello”, we had a quick natter before heading off for our walk and said we would call on her and Les on our way back.


We crossed the lock and walked around Startops Reservoir.


The footpaths are well kept and are ideal for wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters. Part way round there is a hide which looks over the reservoir, today there were Swans, Canada Geese, Coots, Tufted Ducks and Grebe, none of them close enough to get decent photographs, I did however get a ice photograph of this Robin.


This Robin was ringed which you do not see very often.


The reservoir passes The Anglers Retreat and back to the car park, we walked back on to the canal towpath to NB Valerie and paid a visit to Jacqueline and Les, where we enjoyed a coffee and a couple of hours of good old nattering. It is always such a pleasure to sit and chat to them both, they are a real joy. We first met Les back in 2005 on the Caldon Canal, which now seems like a lifetime ago. We look forward to seeing them again when we head towards Uxbridge. Having taken up so much of their time, we say our “Goodbyes” and left them in peace. Back on the boat dinner was cooking nicely in the back stove, the smell was devine. Paddy and Marmite had clearly been asleep as they both looked a bit bleary eyed.

With the boat shut up against the cold breeze, I have no plans to go out again.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Marsworth walk.

Keith and I took ourselves out for a walk around the village.


The old BW yard and the site of a former concrete batching plant is no more, I first spoke about this in 2010. The site is going to become a housing development with 12 new dwellings and conversion of the BW building. Website.


We walked along the towpath to the road bridge and then walked up into the village.


Someone’s spelling leaves a lot to be desired.


The Old Manor House is a grade 2 listed building, timber framed with brick infill. It is rather stunning.


All Saints church is from the 13th-14th Century, built of stone and flint. A lot of renovation was carried out by Rev. Wragg in the 19thC. What is interesting is there is no wall or railings around the church.


The Red Lion is low-beamed partly thatched 18th-c pub. What is interesting is the thatched part of the pub because the front part of the roof is tiled, this is not something I have seen before. Maybe they ran out of thatch LOL.


These stocks are opposite the Red Lion Pub, I wonder if they put drunks in them.


Having done a circular walk around the village, we ended up back at the road bridge and the White Lion pub. It seems it closed under a cloud. With so many pubs closing this is just another one to add to the list. As I said in a previous posting we ate there and it was expensive and not a real boaters pub. If you want a real pub then go to the Anglers Retreat.


I love the fact that the Gents toilet is an outside loo. They do have their own pond.


The pub is on the Buckinghamshire side and if you walk across the road your in Hertfordshire.



In between your in no mans land. After a good old stroll, it was back to the boat, where my liver and onions were cooking nicely. Coffee was enjoyed with a few shortbread biscuits and the TV went on. During the afternoon it has been trying to snow, so we may be doing the Aylesbury are with a touch of the white stuff.


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