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

Monday 31 March 2014

A busy day in the garden.

A bit of a dull start to the day, but with the promise of sunshine, Keith and I decided it would be another day in the garden. So after doing all the usual boat chores and morning stuff, Keith and I walked into town to buy 2 large pots for our Clematis plants. Keith is finding walking a little easier since having his t-tube out, but he still gets tired easily and must not over do things. We went to the Factory Shop and not only did we buy pots for the Clematis plants we also ended up buying some rose bushes, another Clematis, and some chilli & pepper seeds. Keith also wanted a Blueberry bush and with them all being £2 each we decided it was worth the money.





After planting the Clematises and the roses, I then spent the afternoon digging the shrubbery garden belonging to the trust. I have volunteered to keep the raised beds tidy, but to get them there, they need a lot of weeding and sorting out. Whilst I dug and weeded, Keith collected more pebbles and stones for our rockery, which is now looking good.


The rockery now just needs a few more plants.


Yesterday I planted out our Runner Bean plants. So I am hoping they will thrive and we will have plenty of beans. I still have Lettuce and Carrot seeds to go in. Now that the soil is warming up I hope to get them in over the next few days.


There was a casualty today. Marmite decided to try and jump up on to the roof of the boat and she missed. So we ended up with one very soggy moggy, who was so unimpressed with being wet. Thankfully because she wears a harness and a lead when outside, I was able to grab old of her harness and pull her out from underneath the pontoon where she had swum. I dried her off with a towel, which did not please her either. She looked like a very pathetic pussy cat.


Jack our neighbour very kindly gave us a couple of Gooseberry bushes, which I planted along side the steps. I am not a lover of them, but Keith is so, he will be beating them alone should they fruit.

All in all it has been a busy old day in the garden.


It was not until later this afternoon, that I noticed that the roof of the boat was covered in a film of dust. It turns out that this dust has come from the Sahara Desert. Unusual atmospheric conditions have blown up a sandstorm from Africa over 2,000 miles away and the UK got hit. It is supposed to rain, so hopefully it will get washed away.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Thunderstorm and tea.


Blimey yesterday was a shocker. There was nothing in the forecast about a thunderstorm, but come the afternoon the sky turn as black as your hat and then the thunder and lightening began. At one point it was over head and poor Paddy almost jumped out of his skin when the biggest boom went off. The boat certainly shock.


The thunder and lightening subsided and the rain was followed by hailstones which rattled on the roof and the pontoon. Late yesterday afternoon, in fact it was 6 pm when a boat came down the arm with its hooter blowing. I was walking paddy when I looked over the hedge and saw The Milly M coming in with Maffi and Molly. having directed Maffi to the visitor moorings, I said I would put the kettle on if he would like a warm cuppa. Maffi had come down the Hatton flight in the thunderstorm, so was a tad wet and cold. We spent a lovely evening nattering about all sorts of things. It was so wonderful to see him again as it had been quite sometime since we had seen him.

This morning (Saturday), the sun was shining and the birds were singing. We sat in bed and watched the start of the F1 qualifying from Malaysia, before getting up and watching the remained of the qualifying in the saloon. I got on with making us something for lunch. Chicken and vegetable casserole and dumplings went in the oven. At 10 am we went out and pottered in the garden for a while. Maffi turned up, he was having a problem with the washing machines, so I offered to go and give him a hand. After sorting out the machines I made us all a cuppa and we sat out on the pontoon in the morning sunshine.


Paddy clearly enjoyed having someone else to pet him and Maffi had found a new friend. I think we managed to have a conversation where toilets did not get mentioned or spoken about which makes a change for boaters.


Marmite was loving the sunshine and the basket which is being used as a planter.


She even found it useful to lean against to soak up the sunshine.


Keith enjoyed pottering around in the garden. He did some weeding and collected some stones for the rockery. All in all it has been a fabulous day.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

A rough night.

If you read yesterdays post you will have read Keith has his T-tube out yesterday, which was amazing because he has had it in since the 15th January. He was fine when we left the hospital and got back to the boat. He was still so hungry I made him Ravioli on toast. But as the time moved on he developed the shakes and felt hot and cold. I took his temperature and that was fine, so I reckoned his body may have gone into shock having had the tube removed. Keith was also in a lot of pain from the wound, which is internal and external. Before bedtime I relit the back cabin stove, so the back cabin would be warm enough for him and he took himself off to bed at 9 pm and I was not far behind him.

Throughout the night Keith was waking up in pain and shaking, so we were both awake on and off all night. I got up and made myself a cuppa when Keith was finally snoozing in the early hours, before heading back to bed. Thankfully when we had both managed a little sleep, Keith woke up feeling much better, however he was still in some pain, which is to be expected. Tea and toast in bed for breakfast, before we got up and started out day. Keith’s day would be playing with his Bayko and watching the TV and mine was to pot on my Runner Beans from their propagation box into bigger pots, until I can plant them out into the garden.


At the moment we are still having frosts, so I will put them away at night to keep them frost free. I also planted some poached egg seeds, which can be normally be put straight into the garden, but with the soil still being so cold, I have chosen to start them off in the seed tray.


My Strawberry plants are coming along nicely. Every evening I cover them up to protect them from the frost, but I am so looking forward to having my own Strawberries this year.


Jobs completed in the garden, I turned my attention to finishing my latest crochet project. This blanket is going in the back cabin on the seat which helps to make up our bed. I will have to find some more wool from somewhere now to start anything else.

12.45 pm Mr Tesco man arrived with our food delivery. For the first time ever he was actually early, because he was due to arrived between 1 and 2 pm. With the food stowed away on boat, it looked like weather was going to take a downward turn, so I put my herb pot in the bunker along with my Runner Beans and covered up the Strawberry plants, because they are forecasting a frost tonight.

As the day has worn on Keith is coping much better with his pain. There is some discharge from the wound, but not a lot, so hopefully it is sealing itself off.

I reckon we will both be looking to an early night tonight after last night, but I want to try and keep my eyes open for as long as possible, otherwise I just wake up way to early in the morning.

Tuesday 25 March 2014


Do you have any left over knitting wool, that you are happy to donate?
Do you want to give it a good home?
I am looking for knitting wool to use for crocheting blankets.
Any colour. No amount to small.

If your coming our way or are happy to either deliver it or post it, I will make great use of your wool.

T-Tube Update.

Off to the hospital we went this morning on the bus. We take the £4.60 each dayrider, because it is cheaper that way.
We arrived just after 10 am for an 11 am appointment, but I prefer to be earlier rather than later. It paid off because Keith got his blood test done nice and early, this time it was done by Phil the Naval doctor. We then had to wait for the results and if the results were good they would take the T-tube out.
Whilst we waited we went and had a breakfast in the restaurant. About an hour later Phil and Tom the other doctor came to get Keith, it was good news the T-tube was coming out, Hooray, Yippee and so on.
The T-tube was successfully removed, and I Keith did not  feel  a thing. He was a little suprised on how long it was though. The old bag was replaced with a new one to catch any seepage which may come from the wound, so now Keith just has to wait for the hole to seal up and heal. We have an appointment to go back in a fortnight for another blood test and for them to check the wound. Progress has been made at long last.

Monday 24 March 2014

I despair.

I really do wonder how on earth the NHS manages to survive. As you may have read previously Keith had his Liver blood test 2 weeks ago and was told they would send an appointment for his t-tube removal through the post. To be doubly sure they would not forget, I rang the ward clerk to check they had put in for the appointment to be told "Oh yes it has been ordered". We have sat and waited patiently, because we realise these things take time, but when your told they will take the t-tube out in a week or two, you do expect to get an appointment quickly. So two weeks on we have heard nothing, so with nothing in the post this morning,  I rang the ward again this afternoon to see if an appointment had actually been booked yet. The ward clerk was not there, but the ward manager (sister) told me she would ring me back after she had spoken to a doctor, which she did within 15 minutes. I was told by the ward sister, that according to the booking clerk nothing had been booked (which is odd, she told me 2 weeks ago she had booked it), so the ward manager then rang the consultants secretary to be told there was nothing till May :0(. BUT if we wanted to go to the ward this week they could do it. (Confused, why can they do something this week, which will take till May in Out Patients). So we are going to the ward tomorrow for a blood test first and if that is ok, they will remove the t-tube. (Fingers Crossed).
Now why could they not book that in the first place, when we were there 2 weeks ago?
Why oh why make Keith more and more anxious. I despair I really do.
This morning Paddy jumped up at Keith completely by accident and caught his tube and bag, which caused Keith a lot of pain, so that was a worry. Thankfully that has settled down. But the sooner the tube comes out the better. May is not an option, because they told us it would come out in a fortnight after his last blood test. Left hand, right hand comes to mind.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Green shoots.

My Runner beans are coming on a blast. They will need to go out and be hardened off, but with the frosts coming back, I will need to look after them until I can let them out on their own.
My flowers seeds are just popping up. My Sweet William and Nemesia are up but the Golden Rod is being slow, so fingers crossed that comes up because I love Golden Rod, it brings back memories of my Gran and the cottage garden outside her kitchen window at the home she was in service at. Funny how things being back memories from the past. My Gran was in service all her life, right up till the day she died when she was knocked over crossing the road to the house she worked out in 1977. She had lived in the servants quarters for many years, but was then given an Alms House which was right opposite, but sadly she was to meet her death crossing to go to work. The old house was an old rectory and had a traditional cottage garden outside the servants quarters, with privet hedges and lots of hiding places. I can remember many happy hours playing hide and seek in that garden and the rest of the grounds of the house in Liss. 

Thursday 20 March 2014

First Night.

Last night was my first night of sleeping on our new mattress and the first thing I noticed was how firm the foam mattress was, which was so different from our memory foam mattress. Keith reckoned he would sleep much better, but I was not quite so sure, as I am not used to such a firm base, but I was up for the challenge. I settled down beneath the duvet and put my head on my pillow, I then did not know anything until I woke up at some stupid o’clock with my ear aching, now this could not possibly be due to the mattress, but it did wake me up. Once the ache stopped I did go back to sleep and then woke again at 6.30 am, so I guess the mattress must have given me a reasonably goodnights sleep. For me it will take a few days to get used to the firmness, so watch this space to whether I think I am liking it.

After breakfast and a cuppa in bed, whilst watching the BBC news, it was time to get up and walk his lordship. That is Paddy not Keith Smile.

Whilst we were out I took some cuttings off a twisted Willow tree. I bought some rooting powder, and now I am taking cuttings from things I like to see if I can get them to root. I can see our garden being full of all sorts of weird and wonderful things later on in the year.

10 am coffee and I then decided I was going to walk up the Hatton Flight to see if I could find our friends Irene and Ian on NB FreeSpirit. Irene and Ian are moving an Anglo Welsh hire boat to Oxford and we were hoping to meet up. I walked up two of the locks and saw a boat in the lock, but it was the wrong colour, it turned out to be NB Verity, but a further two locks up there was Irene and Ian just going into the lock.


Ian clearly spotted that it was me walking up the towpath with camera in hand, because he began waving at me. I text Keith to let him know I had found Irene and Ian, because I had left him back on the boat, as we thought the walk up the locks maybe to much. It was absolutely wonderful to see them both again and to help them down the remaining locks.


I got a windlass from Irene and whilst she steered, Ian and I worked the locks whilst natter away. I made a suggestion that perhaps they would like to join us for lunch at the Wetherspoons in the town, which did not take much discussion between them both, as it would mean Irene would not have to cook for their evening meal.


As we got to the final lock who should appear but Keith.


He had decided to take a slow stroll to come and find us, which was wonderful.

Having cleared the last lock, Irene and Ian moored up and then they walked to us once they were all sorted out.


Irene, Keith and I went for the Thursday Curry Club meals and Ian had the Ham, Egg and Chips. We had a wonderful time catching up and finding out their plans for the Summer. Because Keith and I are not moving this year, we will enjoy hearing about other peoples cruising. Irene and Ian are such wonderful friends and we are so like minded, we always have a great time together natter about all sorts of things. The last time we saw Irene and Ian was in October when we ate out for Ian’s Birthday, so there was plenty to natter about. After a fantastic lunch, we walked back to the boat, where we said “Goodbye” to Irene and Ian who needed to get underway again. I will keep up to date with their progress on their blog. After all the walking, Keith was looking a tad pale and worn out, so the rest of the afternoon will be spent relaxing for him and I dare say a nap.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

On the mend.

It has been a busy couple of days for us and particularly me. After helping out with the work party on the Saturday, I carried on with working on the rose bed on the Sunday. Ian who looks after the grounds in the arm and does all the maintenance went and got me some bark chippings. These were put around the roses and spread across the bed to help keep the weeds down.


Having worked on the rose bed, I then turned my attention to the wildflower bed, which needed some weeding, because there were not many wildflowers in it, but hopefully that will change this year, because I have scattered some new wildflower seeds, so I will have my fingers crossed that they come to something.


Monday was a day off for me from gardening, but I did walk down to Torry’s the Hardware Store. I wanted some bean canes for the Runner Beans I am going to have in the garden this year. The poles were 50 pence each, which I did not think was unfair and they will last me year on year. I also got some flexible wood filler and a new mooring ring for our mooring, because Keith wants to add a couple of tyres to our pontoon instead of using our rope fenders.

The rest of Monday was spent doing some washing and a general tidy up. Tuesday was a quiet affair for me in many ways. I did the usual boat chores and then rubbed down the bathroom ceiling as you do. I wanted to fill in the grooves between the tongue and groove boards, so with the filler I bought from the hardware store, I filled the grooves in the ceiling and then waited for it to dry, which was not long because the radiator was lovely and warm. Once the filler had dried, I rubbed it down and then put the first coat of White paint on it. I am not a huge lover of the smell of paint, because it sometimes give me a sore throat, but I would have to put up with it.

Today Wednesday was a earlier start, because Keith had a GP’s appointment at 8.50 am. We left the boat early to give him time to take a steady walk up to the doctors. We now know that Keith lost 3 stone in weight whilst in hospital, but I he has put a bit back on which is great news, because he was skin and bone, which is not a nice look. After leaving the GP, we walked into town to get Keith’s prescriptions and had a coffee, whilst we waited for his medication to be put up. With nothing further needed in the town we then walked back to the boat, which was Keith’s longest walk so far.

Back on the boat, I sorted out some lunch. I then did another coat of paint on the bathroom ceiling. Whilst working on the celing there was a knock on the boat. It was a delivery man and he had come to deliver our mattress for the back cabin.


After lunch I set about swapping our old mattress for our nice new one. The mattress for the back cabin bed comes in three pieces to make it easier to store it away in the cupboard. The mattress looks fantastic, so Thanks to Foam for Comfort, we should now both get a good nights sleep.

In the post this morning were my Strawberry plants which I bought off of Ebay, so they got planted out and when I checked my propagators my Runner Beans are showing through the compost wooo hooo I have not lost my touch.


I normally only do one wash a week, but with a brand new mattress I rewashed the sheet, duvet, pillowcases and mattress protector, which I then hung out on the line to blow in the breeze for a couple of hours. There is nothing nicer than seeing washing blowing in the breeze. So a busy few days, but all so worth it.

Saturday 15 March 2014

Saltisford Arm Work Party.

Today we woke up to sunshine and Spring warmth, which was just what was called for because today was work party day at the arm, where several of us planned to get some important jobs done.


The lock gates which were sunken into the ground at the beginning of the year were going to be finished off and have a new pathway and gravelled.


Painting and staining the back of the gates.


The same thing with the front of the gates.


The new pathway began from the middle gates.


Great to see men at work Smile.


Gridded pathway goes down.


Gravel gets rakes on top. Great job done.

Lunch was eaten and tea and coffee supplied, which was very much needed before we got down to more work.


Wendy and I got on with weeding and digging over the rose bed.


Tony got on with repairing the leaking roof.


I then helped Alan with the Sensory Garden, we planted new shrubs and herbs.



Looks fantastic now.



The arm has a flock of Sparrows who use a nest box to nest in and live in all year round but it has seen better days. Today the Sparrows got a new hotel.



The new hotel was put up. You will notice that the old one has the bottom dropping out of it, so we are hopeful that the Sparrows will use the new one sooner rather than later.


One of the last jobs of the day was to put the new benches in place.



Bench two then gets installed.


Some of the work party who worked hard on the new pathway.


Keith enjoyed himself today, he helped out with some of the painting and he took some of the photographs on today’s blog, so thanks to my dear man.

A great job done by all.


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