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

Wednesday 27 August 2014

More Paddy news.


We took our boy to the vets again this morning. He had another blood test taken for his PCV Assay and was a brave soldier. He had his temperature taken which was 101.4 degrees F, which is fine. His weight is still an issue though as he had gone from 13.8 kg to 13.0 kg. the vet has put him on another months worth of Prednisolone (Steroid) to see if we can improve him further. But if he does show any signs of not coping then we have already made the decision to let him go peacefully. The likely hood is he has a condition call Myelofibrosis, which is terminal. Later in the afternoon Paddy’s vet rang me to say there was a small improvement in his PCV level, it had gone up from 24 to 26, so much better, but that is due to the Steroids. We must now see how he goes and make sure his quality of life is as good as we can make it.

No one wants to see their pet suffer and so we will know or he will let us know when he has had enough.

Friday 22 August 2014



The news on Paddy’s blood tests had a small amount of good news and a lot of bad news.

The good news was his kidney and liver function were fine.

The bad news was his white cell count was through the floor and he was not making enough red cells, which is very worrying. Along with his high temperature. Normally a dogs temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). Paddy’s was 40.9 degrees Celsius, so a huge worry.

The vet has said she is unsure what his problem is, but I think she may have ideas. One of them is an Auto-immune problem. She has put Paddy on some Steriod’s to try and get his temperature down and to stimulate his appetite, because he has not been eating much.

Today his temperature seems to be down a little. I had to take his temperature and let her know what it was. He has eaten, but only if Keith or I feed him, so we are not out of the woods just yet.

We have 10 days worth of Steriod’s and then he has to go back to the vets. But if he gets worse before then we have to go back. So the news is a bit hit and miss on Paddy.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Paddy is not well.

Our pets are very special to us and so when they are poorly it is a real worry.


We have owned Paddy since he was 11 months old and the only time he has ever been to the vet has been when he was castrated and for his vaccinations. Today though we ended up taking him to the vets because he has not been eating properly over the past week and over the past couple of weeks he has not been himself. He has slowed right down and although he is not a hyper active Border Collie, I have felt he had slowed to a snails pace. Of course that can happen with age and he is 10 years old now. His eating has been dreadful and we thought it may have been due to his food being changed in someway, because the packaging has changed. So this morning I went out to the Trust Pet shop to ask if they knew of any changes to the food, but they said “ If there had been any changes to the food they would not be told, however some other owners had said their dogs were not eating the food like they used to”. So that had me thinking maybe he did not like the change, so I bought a small bag of original James Wellbeloved, which is what he has hoping he would eat it, but sadly tonight he did not think much to his food again. It was then I called the vet, who said to take him up to the surgery. She took a blood sample, to see if it shows anything and weighed him. He has not lost a lot of weight from last November, but I think he has lost weight over the  last couple of weeks and the vet said he had lost muscle. he is clearly not himself. Tomorrow evening we will know hopefully what the problem is because he is running a high temperature, so something is going on. Poor old boy.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Knitting mad


As you know if you red my ramblings, I have been crocheting like crazy ready for the Heritage Weekend. Well I have also been knitting scarves. The one in the photograph is a Boatman’s Winter Scarf. A friend gave me the pattern, she knits them for the RNLI and thought they would be easy enough for me to have a go at. Easy has to be the way to go, because the last thing I knitted was a matinee jacket for my son who is now 31 years old. That jacket took me the whole 9 months to knit. I am not good at following patterns, so this was easy for me to have a go at. I am hoping to knit a few for the stock on the boat and who knows I may even sell one or two.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Warwick Regatta.

This morning (Saturday). I needed to go to the Post Office to drop off a couple of parcels for Keith and thought I would take the opportunity to go and see some of the Warwick Regatta down on the river at St Nicholas and Myton Parks. Keith was staying on the boat as his back was a bit creaky, even though I had done my kneading job before he got out of bed.


The Warwick Regatta, has the most amazing backdrop. The start of the races is from the base of Warwick Castle and finishes in between St. Nicholas and Myton Parks.


The novice single skulls, was something to watch, as for many of them this was the first time they had raced in anger. The gentleman in the photograph above was racing in a wooden boat.


He managed to get over half way, then his boat sprung a leak. He was sinking sadly. He did manage to get into the side before his boat went down and so the racing continued.

Keith rang me to let me know he was going to walk down after all to see some of the events. It would do his back some good, because keeping mobile is what is called for. Even with my Sciatica, it is far better when I am on the move.


The Coxed fours were very good. Listening to the cox shouting his instructions was interesting.



On the Myton Park side they had up a tent for tea’s, coffee’s cakes etc.


Before heading to the start in front of the castle, they were held riverside.


The lady in the photograph above was amazing. She was being guided by the gentleman in the boat with the hi-vis jacket on as she was partially sighted.


There had a been a few close races and some which were won by a country mile, as some of the boaters had taken detours into the trees or reeds. A great event though and so pleased we made the effort to go.


There were some interesting cloud formations over the river.


This one looks like something shooting out of the sky.


Having enjoyed our first Warwick Regatta, Keith was ready to walk back to the boat, where I prepared lunch, the TV went on and feet went up.

Friday 15 August 2014

Twice in one week.

This past week has seen us going to the hospital twice. Now I should give you an update from last week. Keith went to see his Physio Fran and after a good session with her, he was putting his shoes back on whilst she got his appointment for this week ready and darn it his back went. His session was over so there was nothing that could be done Keith managed to hobble home, where I greeted him.

So now to this week. Wednesday Keith had his CT scan appointment. he had to drink some contrast drink over an hour and then was called in for his scan, which normally takes 10 to 15 minutes, but not in Keith’s case. They could not get the cannula in, despite two nurses trying, so a doctor had to be called in. Eventually they had success and his scan went ahead. After an hour he was finally done and dusted. We now have to wait for the results, which we hope will show up why he is still suffering pain under his ribs.

Today was Physio day again, after a week of struggling with his back pain, we managed to walk to the hospital. Fran got to work on Keith’s back and I was then called in to see how to do the kneading against his spine, which is supposed to help relax the muscles. I am now in charge of doing these twice a day. I feel like the nurses uniform will be making an appearance again (Not likely). Keith actually walked out of the session much better than he walked into it, so Fran his Physio was much happier with him. He goes back again in a couple of weeks, so we must try and make some progress before then.

That’s his news out of the way.

Paddy our Border Collie is clearly showing his age of late and I have noticed he is slowing up. Over the past few days he has not been eating that much, which is a bit of a worry as he is not a big eater anyway. I had thought it was due to the spell of hot weather we have had, but now I am beginning to think it is his age as he is 10 years old (70 in doggy years). Tonight he did not want his dinner at all, so I walked to Sainsbury’s to get a tin of Chappie, so see if I could get him to eat something, and blow me down when I got back he was eating his dinner slowly, but he was at least making an attempt. Eventually he ate it all, so fingers are crossed this continues, otherwise we may have to pay a visit to the vets.

Marmite is fine thankfully.

Me well, I am me and I just get on with getting on. I am seeing the community practitioner at the start of next month about my HRT, because I do feel it is not the right dosage, because the initial success, seems to have tailed off, which is disappointing, but patience is required in this matter. My sciatica keeps popping up, which is making my foot hurt, but I carry-on regardless. I have little time to be under the weather and one of us has to get on with the boat chores. I am also busy with the gardens and there are plans afoot for the coming Autumn, which I will elaborate nearer the time.


The Arm’s Mandarin Ducks Rosie and Jim are still here which is giving everyone great joy. They seem to be very happy here and are always close by at feeding time.


Last night George and Mildred the geese, were contemplating on whether they could move into Rosie and Jim’s old home. We are hoping to get some more ducks at some point, so the home will be used again soon we home.

I have been busy knitting boatman’s winter scarves, which is a pattern my best friend showed me how to do and I have also been crocheting more blankets with wool given to me by wonderful friends. But I always need more wool, so it your coming our way and have wool you no longer want, I will happily take it off your hands to make things with. Oh and old t-shirts are also welcome for Keith’s rag rugs. Any colour and pattern he is not fussy.

Since being here, there has not been a dull or boring moment. Of course we both miss cruising, but we had so many wonderful people come into the arm that we know. At the moment we have Christine and Richard on NB Mandalay. We also have Kathleen and Richard on NB Pea-Knuckle and Jenny, Mick on NB Trundle and Pauline and Simon on NB Lady Galadriel. Lots of chatter and catching up has been going on over the past few days and I dare say a lot more will be happening over the weekend.

Monday 11 August 2014

Tad windy and Carrots.

Well how did you fair with ex hurricane Bertha?

We had plenty of rain and then the wind kicked in yesterday afternoon. Come 3 pm there was a heck of a bang outside, so we went to investigate, only to find our girl heading off to the other side of the Arm, which I spoke about yesterday.


This is the nice new mooring ring we have had fitted by Ian. We hope that this one will last.

The wind blew into the evening and no further problems thankfully.

This morning we woke to sunshine and a gusty breeze. The sunshine is very welcome, the blustery showers we could do without. Before the showers, I walked Paddy and then headed off up the town to get a couple of things from Sainsbury and some size 10 needles from the Myton Hospice Charity Shop. Now I say Charity because that is what it is, but with some of the prices on their goods you would think they were a main retailer. I am pretty sure that Charity shops have gotten more and more expensive, or it may just be my imagination, or maybe I am becoming a scrooge in my mature years. Some of the Charity shop prices are silly. A top I saw and fancied from TU (Sainsbury’s) was £5.99, which to me is way to expensive for 2nd hand. So that stayed on the hanger.

Leaving us this morning were John, Caroline and Beren on NB Vanyar, NB Meanders and a stunning narrow Dutch barge Etoile du Nord.


I know they pop in to read the blog. So it was lovely to meet you and thank you for reading my ramblings. Sadly with a brain like a sieve I have forgotten you names. Maybe you can let me know please.

Lunchtime seemed to come round quickly. Yesterday I had cooked Braising Steak and Mushrooms and so I put that into a pie case. We had potatoes, home grown beans and our home grown carrots.


Our first picking. I just love the quirky shapes.

The sun is back out and I am in knitting mode. I am trying to knit a new pattern for a boatman’s scarf. If I pull it off I will post a photograph.

Sunday 10 August 2014

Bertha showing her teeth.

Blimey what a wet morning we have had. Bertha is reminding us that mother nature is in charge.


Yes it really was this dark at 10 am this morning. It was lashing it down with rain. Not a good day for us or the ducks who were less than impressed with the weather.

The water level rose and the wind began to blow. We then heard a bang. Diving out of the or hobbling in Keith’s case (more on that in a mo), our bow was drifting rapidly in the wind across the arm, so it was a matter of getting a rope on and heaving her back into the side. Ian the site manager happened to be coming along and asked what the problem was. He soon had it fixed with another mooring plate and ring, to replace the rather rusty old one. Just as he was about to fit the new one the heavens opened again, so he got his second soaking of the day. His first had come with him taking the day boat out. Even in the weather this morning the people who had booked the day boat were determined to take her out and as always Ian takes them out of the arm and towards the first lock.

So mooring ring fitted, I tied us back up and left a centre line on just in case the mooring ring should pull through the soggy wood. Hopefully it will last until a proper repair can be done, as we also need some new pontoon boards which are rotten.

Back to Keith. On Friday he had his Physio’s appointment at the hospital, I did not see the point in going with him, because I have to sit in the waiting room whilst he is seen, so I stayed on the boat and cooked lunch for when he got back. His Physio went pretty well, the Physio gave him a new exercise to do to replace a couple of the old ones which were not helping his back. The Physio went off to do the paperwork for his next appointment went off whilst Keith got dressed and whilst she was gone, Keith went to put his shoes on and wam his back goes. He managed to hobble home (poor man) and is now back on his tablets and struggling a bit. he has to be fit for the coming week, because he has a CT scan and more Physio, so we will have to see how things go.  His back is a real worry, as I cannot see it ever being right again.

As for me well I am fine (Just as well one of us is). The HRT situation needs tweaking. It works to a point and I have noticed a bit of a difference, in so much as the symptoms are not as bad as they had been, but I think I need to up the dosage to get a better outcome, so I am seeing the community practitioner on the 1st September, so see where I go from here. I know for any woman reading this who is also going through the Menopause, HRT is not for everyone, but when you have suffered for 7 years and things have gotten worse, I can see no point in struggling on without help. It drives me mad that I am not my normal self and I am frustrated in more ways than one, because it does upset me, but of course I cannot show that side, because I have to keep going regardless. Anyway I will be fine, I just need to be patient.

Thursday 7 August 2014

What a lovely couple of days.

I truly love days when you can expect the unexpected and the past couple of days have been like that.
Yesterday I did not do anything particularly exciting, but whilst chatting to Valerie and her husband on NB Enid, Caroline and John on NB Vanyar arrived in the arm, so I waited for them to moor up bank side and then Keith and I were invited on board for coffee and to meet their very handsome new edition to the boat Beren. He is adorable and I will try and get a photograph of him.
Later in the day we saw NB Persephone go past the boat whilst we were watching a film. It was Lyn and Phil Bassett. Phil owns and runs Boatshed.com, should you feel the need to either sell a boat or indeed buy one. Lyn and Phil joined us on our pontoon for coffee and a long catch-up, which was really enjoyable to hear all their news. It had been quite sometime since we had seen them and so you can imagine there was a lot of chatter and laughter going on. They left us today on to pastures new, but hopefully we will see them again.
Today NB Paneke with Roger and Jane on board arrived and so I had a good old natter with them as I made my way up to the town to post yet more parcels for Keith. he has been selling some of his old railway stuff on ebay and it has sold really well, so I can see him buying more Bayko. After lunch we then welcomed NB Waterways Routes into the arm. It was lovely to see Paul, Christine and Susan again, as they had been in on 11th June, but we did not get time to have a natter as they were recording for the latest DVD. I can completely recommend their DVD's of the system. After they had filmed the arm and moored out on the towpath, they came back in to see us and we enjoyed yet more nattering over a cuppa of course and some very scrummy biscuits which they very kindly bought with them. I have been so overwhelmed by the amount of people who have been into the arm and have taken the time to come and see us and to see how Keith is doing. It really does warm the heart to know how much people care. The kettle is always on and a warm welcome to everyone is given in our little bit of heaven, known as the Saltisford Arm. It has been a really enjoyable couple of days meeting and greeting.

Monday 4 August 2014

I Will Remember them.

Like with so many families in the UK and across the Commonwealth. I had family members who packed their kit bags and went to war, not knowing if they would ever return home. This war was like no other and so many brave men and boys never returned to their families. 
The people below are members from my immediate and distant family and I will remember them 100 years on.

My Great Grandad. On my Mother's side.

Caleb OWEN .  Rifleman, Kings Royal Rifle Corps.
He volunteered in August 1914, and was later drafted to
France, where he served in the Battle of Ypres, Loos and
Vimy Ridge.
He also took part in the engagement at Hooge.
He was twice wounded in action, and as a result of his wounds and shell-shock. He was discharged 1 Feb 1917. SWB Number 23028., holding the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.


Served in WW1 he served in the Worcestershire Regiment and was killed in France on 10th April 1918 aged just 19 years old. He is in the photograph above. Many of the Owen men served in the Great War.

Family members on my Father's side.

Albert William Cosser was killed in action in World War 1.
He enlisted in the Army in Winchester and when killed was a Private in the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Service No: 25849

His record states:
04/08/1914 Colchester: 11th Bde. 4th Div.
18/08/1914 Harrow.
23/08/1914 landed at Havre.
11/11/1918 11th Bde. 4th Div. France: Haspres, N.W. of Solmes.

He was killed in action on 21st December 1916.
Albert is remembered with honour at the Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetary, France.
Sailly-Saillisel, standing at the north end of a ridge, was the objective of French attacks in September and October 1916, and was captured on 18 October. The village remained in Allied hands until 24 March 1918 when it was lost during the German advance, but was recaptured by the 18th and 38th (Welsh) Division on 1 September 1918.
The cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in isolated positions chiefly south and east of the village and from small burial grounds.


Albert was killed in WW1.
He enlisted in Bournemouth and joined the Gloucestershire Regiment, 13th (Service) Battalion (Forest of Dean). His regimental number was 37304 and he died of his wounds on 24th March 1918. He is Remembered with Honour at the Blargies Communal Cemetery Extension. Blargies is a village and commune in the Department of the Oise. the village of Blargies take the first left. . The Cemetery Extension stands on the north-east side of the Communal Cemetery, in an old apple orchard.
Blargies became in 1916 an important centre of British and native labour attached to the dumps and depots at Abancourt; and in the same year it was found necessary to open an Extension of the Communal Cemetery for the burial of men who died in the hospitals of the Camp. The Extension was used until 1920. There are now nearly 250, 1914-18 and a small number of 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site. The grave of a Bermudan soldier was brought in from the COMMUNAL CEMETERY after the 1918 Armistice; and those of twelve German prisoners, four Italian laboureres and one American Y.M.C.A. worker were removed to other burial grounds. Extension covers an area of 1,998 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall on three sides.

Fredrick joined up in 1916. he fought in WW1. He was attested into the Army on 23rd February 1916, joined the Army Reserve on 24th February 1916 and was Mobilized on 17th May 1916.  His regiment was the 2nd L.Gds, Machine Gun Regiment. He was a Machine Gunner and fought in France from 31st March 1918 to 14th February 1919. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on 15th March 1919.


Harold enlisted, in London, on 22nd September 1915 into the Kings Royal Rifle Corps 18th (Service) Batallion. At the time his address was stated as 34 Hyde Close, Winchester and his occupation was Schoolmaster. He was unmarried. His regimental number was G/7129 and his rank was Rifleman.
He was wounded in action on 15 the September 1916 in France/Flanders and died of his wounds on 24th September 1916 aged 31.
 His Grave/Memorial Reference is X1.A.11A at the Etaples Military Cemetary, France. (Etaples is a town about 27 kilometres south of Boulogne. The Military Cemetery is to the north of the town, on the west side of the road to Boulogne.)
His sister, Eleanor Frances received his British War Medals on behalf of her mother on 15th February 1921.


A few months ago the Arm took in some new residence. They were a pair of Mandarin ducks. Tony one of the residence here made then a lovely home which they have gotten used to. But yesterday it was release day.


Tony unscrewed the drop down flap.


Now we were all expecting Rosie and Jim (yes that is their names) to dash out, making a break for freedom, but they were having none of it.


Our resident Swan paid them a visit and invited them to come out.


Our young Moorhen even popped for a bit to eat and showed them how to get out, but no they were staying put.


They clearly enjoyed their home and were not for leaving. Then later in the evening the female finally ventured out into the wide blue yonder, but Jim did not come out to gone 10pm when it was getting dark, which worried us all. Both Rosie and Jim seemed none to worried about being out of their home, which was left open in case they felt the need to return to the comfort provided.


This morning they were happily swimming around in our winding hole, which is good news, because if they stay in that area then visitors will be able to see and feed them there.


The next worry was how would they get on with getting out of the water, because they have had their wings pinioned so they cannot fly far. They appear to have made friends with this female Mallard, but haven’t worked out how to get up onto the bank where she is.


We need not have worried, because this afternoon they were out on the bank by the winding hole soaking up the sun and having a snooze.

We really hope that they stay with us and perhaps breed next year.


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