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

Saturday 26 March 2016

Blowing up a hooley.

It was so quiet last night, that I slept like a baby as did Keith. I actually slept in till 7 am, which is not like me these days. Having enjoyed our morning cuppa in bed, Marmite declared it was time to get up by jumping all over us. She is a cat that once she wants feeding nothing will stop her from telling us so.

Up at 8 am and Paddy was ready for a walk and to do his business. The wind was blowing and fine drizzle was beginning to blow in on the wind. Oh the joys of a Bank Holiday Weekend. We do not have much planned for this weekend, but I did want to take advantage of using the Basin’s laundry. They have American Whirlpool washing machine and tumble drier. I got a card from the shop for £2.50 and put a full load on to wash before lunch. I could have done the washing on the boat, but it would have taken two loads and probably used up our electric card, so decided to do it in one go. Washing done and well spun, so it should not take long to dry.

Lunch was had. Today we had fish cakes, crinkle chips and peas with strawberries and yougurt for pudding. We are both trying to keep our weights down having both lost weight. So we are on small portions.

With the wind blowing up, the boat is rocking and the fenders are squealing against the boat next door. I reckon for any event taking place this weekend, they will be praying tomorrow will be better, because today is not good.

We have so far enjoyed chatting to people here including a lovely gentleman named Joe, who was born on the boats and he worked for Stewarts and Lloyds. I reckon I could sit and listen to his tales all day. He sadly moved onto the bank because his wife back then did not like being on the boats due to not enough space, so he gave up his life afloat and moved into a house. He clearly misses it, but spends his time making fenders.

Hawne Basin is owned by the members of Coombeswood Canal Trust and is surrounded by trading estates on all sides, so it is well hidden away from the outside world. It is a huge contrast to the hustle and bustle of modern life and society and well worth a visit by boat, if you can negotiate the Gosty Hill Tunnel, which has challenges of its own. In the late nineteenth century, Hawne basin was a hive of activity, but that was when the Black Country's industrial hd its heyday.  It was originally a railway interchange station, where thousands of workers woud have been unloading millions of tonnes of steel and minerals that passed through the basin via water and rail on a monthly basis. Sadly in 1977, with the decline of the manufacturing industry, owners Stewarts & Lloyds closed the site and Hawne Basin was left to decline and decay. But today after a lot of hard work it is a beautiful place to moor and work.

There are a couple of nice walks but with the weather so awful today, we are staying put. I can but hope the weather improves, so we can get out either tomorrow or Monday.

Friday 25 March 2016

Cracking day for cruising.

Today we left the centre of Birmingham, hving had a lovely meal at a friends house last night. The mooring was a little noisy near the Mailbox, but hey ho it was just for the one night.

This morning we set off for a new destination and that was Hawne Basin, which we have never been too. Before we even got started we had to clear the prop because it had a plastic sheet wrapped around it, so not a great start, but the majority of the trip was problem free. It was slow going in Gosty Hill Tunnel though, but we have made it to Hawne Basin and have been made very welcome.

You can see the photographs and read more on our boat blog www.hadar.org.uk

Tuesday 22 March 2016

A City of Contrasts.

Birmingham is an amazing vibrant and busling city and yet it also has such a huge constrast in the way that there are those who have, and those who have not and you really do see it all here I have noticed.

I know that many towns and cities are just like here in Birmingham, with the void of money and no money. In Warwick of late I have also seen the difference. It became apparent when I saw a man sitting on a wall by Sainsbury asking for change. When he had left, he left behind all of his rubbish, which I found very distasteful.

In Birmingham I have seen lots of men walking around the city with their sleeping bags wrapped around them or they are sitting on street corners asking for change.

Why is it mostly men?

When did urinating in public become acceptable?
Men urinating in public, in full view of young children, this cannot be acceptable. The stench is very pugnant and certainly lingers in the nostrals, which is very unpleasant.
I am sure when we came to Birmingham a few years ago, there was no where near as much of this going on, or maybe I was just blinkered and never saw it.

There also seems to be a huge amount of rubbish lying around in the centre of Birmingham.

Is this due to cuts?

Along the canal in Gas Street etc it is all very tidy, because a cleaning team goes out and tidies up before the crowds arrive, but if you stroll around the back street, litter is piled up and blowing along the streets like tumbleweed. It is sad to see our country as a rubbish bin, because that is how it comes across and I am sure that is how it must look to our visitors.

We have spent the last few days doing a lot of walking around Birmingham, our step counters have been on over drive, which is great. If you want o catch-up on where we have been please go to Hadar’s blog http://www.hadar.org.uk/ Keith keeps her blog up to date.

Friday 18 March 2016

A day in Birmingham.


After a good night on our overnight mooring, we watered up and move the boat to opposite the Barclay Card Arena, with the Sealife Centre in the background.


We walked into the city for a nose around and I wanted to visit the rag market to try and buy some material for blinds. I actually found something close to what I was looking for and paid a fraction of the price I would of spent had a bought some material online, so I was extremely chuffed. I am all about saving a few pennies here and there.


The old Library coming down piece by piece. Some people hated the old Library, saying it was an eye sore, but it had its place.


Waiting to feel its fate from the front.


The new Library, reminds me of a three tier cake.


Birmingham has some amazing architecture, new and old you just have to look up.


The Back to Backs. Whilst there we spotted Adrian Chiles and the Birmingham Historian Carl Chinn, who were filming for the BBC.


Live pan pipe music.


Lunch was eaten at our favourite Chinese Buffet, in the Chinese Quarter.


Have your tarot read.



One of Birmingham’s two Cathedrals. St Philip’s was consecrated as the parish church on the 4 October 1715


It was absolutely stunning inside.


The set of stained-glass windows are stunning and were designed by Birmingham born pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones and manufactured by the firm of William Morris & Co. They are absolutely stunning.


Adam and Eve.



Birmingham is so vibrant and there is a lot of work going on all over the city. We had a fabulous time. The day ended with us having afternoon tea with some friends of ours who recently moved to Birmingham.

Thursday 17 March 2016

Lapworth Top Lock to Granville Street Wharf, Birmingham.

We had a fabulous trip today into Birmingham, and we are now moored at Granville Street Wharf, Birmingham. The mailbox is in front of and to the right of us.


We did stop at Bournville for a while and wandered around part of the Bournville village. We passed on Cadbury World as it would have cost over £27 for the 2 of us!


Our temporary mooring at Bourneville with the Cadbury factory in the background.


Staff sales shop at Cadbury’s.


Bournville Baths


Bournville Baths again.


Cricket clubhouse.


Cadbury’s factory as seen across the playing fields.


Quakers church, the Cadbury family were Quakers.


The shops at the Green.


The Bournville Rest House, now the visitor centre in the middle of the Green.


The Carillon on top of the school. There are 48 bells of varying sizes out in the open underneath the weathered copper roof. The largest bell weighs 7.5tonnes.


Because we did not bother with the Cadbury experience we went into the paper shop and bought a bar of Cadbury Milk each. I know how to have a good time Smile.

Monday 14 March 2016

Cracking Day.

Day 4.

What a beautiful Spring day again. We have been blessed with wall to wall warm sunshine.

Our day began at 6 am with the sound of traffic along the road, which runs alongside the canal. It was actually quite calming, because we are used to hearing the traffic at our mooring. I got up and made a brew, which was enjoyed sitting in bed. Marmite was on her bed in the engine room.


She ignores her engine room bed througout the Winter, but no sooner we get out on the cut, she is back on her bed and watching the wildlife through the porthole. Paddy was still snoozing in his bed. He never gets up until I get up and dressed.

With all the usual morning jobs done, we got the trolley out of the hold and began to load it up with our friends garden pots. Oh I should explain. Our neighbour at Saltisford has moved off of her boat and into her families lock cottage, which she has been doing up for a year since her mother passed away. We offered to move her garden furniture and pots by boat for her. So today we unloaded it all and took it down to her beautiful cottage. We sat outside and enjoyed a coffee and a good old natter in the sunshine. The cottage is south facing and so gets the sun for most of the day, which today was lovely and warm.

After a quick lunch. I got on with sawing some wood, which I bagged up ready for this coming Winter. I like to be forward thinking Smile. I then moved some of the coal forward in the hold as well.

It has been a fabulous day.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Tom o’the Wood to Lapworth Top Lock.

We were woken by the dawn chorus and the Rookery which was beside the boat. Listening to the Rooks was really amazing. They were having quite a conversation.


Before I go on about today. To end yesterday’s wonderful cruise, we went to the Tom o’the Wood pub, which is beautiful. A nice pint of Doobar was enjoyed in the pub garden.


Early evening and a familiar sound pulled alongside us. It was Kate and Bob on NB Glenfield. After a lovely chat they decided to pull in at our bow and spend the night.

Ok back to today. Having been woken by the Rook’s, we lay in bed with a cuppa. The sound of Glendfield’s engine starting up, silenced the Rooks. Bob and Kate set off just after 6 am for their cruise to do Hatton Locks.


Once we were up, Paddy got his morning stroll. He is certainly enjoying lots of new smells and the freedom of the towpath, although he does not spend much time off his lead.


It was so calm that the reflections were glorious.



Having set off we turned on to the Stratford Canal at 9.15 am and we had wall to wall sunshine.


With the locks now being single, I got to play at the tiller.



Keith took over lock wheeling, so I could have a play. I am getting much better at taking Hadar in and out of locks. It is like everything it gets better with practice.



We had a wonderful climb up the flight, with boats coming down.


At times it was a little tight, but with some instruction this boater got it right.


We are now moored up above the top lock at Lapworth.

Saturday 12 March 2016

Hatton Locks to Tom o’the Wood.


Stunning sunrise this morning. We were awake really early, minly due to how quiet it was and the different sounds.


I walked down the locks with Paddy to see this amazing sight.


Stoke was lit.


Shrewley Tunnel.


We were so fortunate to see a Barn Owl fly across the bow of the boat this morning. Such joy.


Pair of Little Rickmansworth Wooden boats, needing lots of TLC.


Moored at Tom o’ the Wood.


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