*****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 26 June 2016

It is all coming a long.

I had a late start today, as wel slept in till 8 am, which is unheard of on board, but I guess we both needed the sleep. Having taken Paddy for his walk, then fed him and Marmite, Keith made us Poached Eggs on Toast for our breakfast. I then got on with a second coat of Black Tile paint on the tiles behind the stove.


I then got Keith to use his wire brush on his drill to clean the flue up before giving it a coat of paint.


Whilst all the paintwork dried, it gave me another chance to do some more gardening. Keith tackled his fruit bush area, whilst I got on with the rest.


We have done a couple of days of gardening and already there is a huge difference.


The biggest problem is bindweed. It comes out of the hedgerow and covers everything. With that and the Blackberries, it has kept me busy with Keith helping.


I put some straw around the Strawberries. Sadly we have lost a few, whilst we have been away, but hopefully we will get a few more over the coming weeks.


Herb patch is looking good, although the Sage had died, so I need to get another one.


Room to start digging soon.

The garden is now getting there and we do have some wildlife living in it.


The bug log which Keith made, seems to have something now living in it. They could be solitary bees, but I have not seen anything yet, so cannot tell.

I have had a lovely day nattering with our new neighbour Maria, who we know very well and just getting back into the swing of things being home.

Saturday 25 June 2016

Happy to be home.

We have been home for a couple of days now and we are almost settled back in.

Our trip this year took 14 weeks 6 days, we travelled 454.7 miles, passed through 305 locks in 230 hours, oh and we must not forget the numerous lift and swing bridges.

Yesterday I made a start on our garden and have so far cleared half the weeds, ready to start the digging.

Today has been spent working indoors. We took the flue off the saloon stove and put it out on the decking. Keith took our saloon stove out and I helped lift it out of the way. Whilst Keith went off to buy a spanner, from our local DIY shop Torrys, I got on with the preparation of the tiles and walls, ready for painting. I painted the tiles behind the stove first. They were cream, but they are now becoming black. I need to do a second coat tomorrow. I then turned my attention to the walls, which I have painted in Moonlight White, which will brighten things up nicely. I had hoped to do the flue as well, but the heavens opened and the thunder clapped, so there will be no painting outside today.

Jobs done and lunch eaten, it was time to settle down to an afternoon of football with a coffee and a packet of sweets.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Back home.

Short trip from Radford Semele to Leamington Spa, where we went for a celebratory lunch (to celebrate having had a great trip) at our favourite Chinese Buffet.


We then moved an even shorter distance to moor outside Morrison's, but went shopping at Aldi. I put the shopping away whilst we moved on to get home.


Then we set off on our final leg to our home mooring in the Saltisford Arm. As much as we both have had a great time this year, it is nice to be back home. The garden is a jungle, so I will be busy getting that sorted out. Lots of jobs to do on the boat as well.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Busy couple of days.

Tusses Bridge to Napton Junction

A long day today, nearly 10 hours cruising. IMG_8406

The weather was at least kind.


Love the trees at All Oaks Wood.


Newbold Tunnel.


Hillmorton Locks where a lock keeper was on duty.


Braunston Church.

We made a short stop at Midland Chandlers in Braunston to pick up the items we have had a list of for the past year, so we can get jobs done when we get home.


We left Braunston, where the Historic boat rally takes place this coming weekend.

Our overnight mooring was just short of Napton Junction.

This morning we left at 8.25 am to turn towards Warwick and to do the locks.



The weather was a bit indifferent, with drizzle falling off and on.


The drizzle actually proved to be refreshing as I began the locks. Calcutt Locks and we met two boats going down ahead of us, we also had an empty pound, so we had to let water down so they could move. Both boats turned in to Calcutt marina and we were on our own. We arrived at Stockton Locks, there was an Anglo Welsh hire boat on the lock mooring. The gentlemen on board were having their breakfast as you do, but NOT on a lick mooring. So I told Keith to run alongside them and I would step across their boat. No one on that boat came and asked what was going on or sorry we are in the way. With no other boat insight, I worked down the first lock. We were just going into lock 2 and I spotted a boat behind us, so went and let them know that we would wait for them. The gentleman was less than pleased about the hire boat, so he went and had a polite word and was told “we will move in a minute”, which they did. We did the Stockton Locks with Wild Rose, before they stopped for water at The Blue Lias. We were then on our own with all the locks still against us, due to paired boats ahead of us.

We arrived at Radford Semele at 3.05 pm after a long slog.


Monday 20 June 2016

Lovely Boats



Atherstone Bottom Lock, to Tusses Bridge No.4 on the North Oxford Canal, Just South of Hawkesbury

We woke to the rain pounding on the roof of the back cabin and so we took the decision to not hurry off up the flight. We had hoped that it would possibly slow down or even stop. At 9.50 am with the rain still falling, we left our overnight mooring and set off up the flight behind another boat. We were then joined by a boat behind us, so we had ourselves a convoy.

We each helped the other with setting locks, which was a help in the rain. I was wet, but because it was warm it did not bother me. I did however find out that my steel toe capped shoes have died, because my feet were very wet. We made it to the top of the flight with the help of three volunteer lock keepers who were on duty.

The sun was doing its best to come out and by the time we reached Nuneaton we had warm sunshine warming our backs and drying me out. Keith was fine because he had the heat from the back cabin stove, which I had lit to cook our dinner and we could dry our clothes out if needed.



On our way through Nuneaton we met up with Martin Fuller on Cutter and Joe Fuller on Pinner, they had been to the Coventry Steam rally.


We passed by my favourite dock. Charity Dock is so special, there is no where else like it on the cut.


You have to look out for their dummies and what they are dressed up in.



Each time we have been past, they are always different.


We did not moor up until late, but the evening is now glorious.

Sunday 19 June 2016

Alvecote to Atherstone Bottom Lock.

Hi Folks.

Having had a wonderful night with friends, today although it was a Sunday we were going to move, because we have a cooling problem with our generator, which is either a blocked pipe or the water pump has failed. We are leaning towards the blocked pipe theory as it has gradually got worse, and if a water pump is going to fail it usually starts squealing, well in cars it does. We can easily sort it out once we get back to our mooring in Warwick.


The Poppies were out in their glory today.


Now moored below Atherstone bottom lock.

Fabulous time had by all.

Hi Folks.

Thursday we left Hopwas on a late start due to the weather and moved to Alvecote.


At Fazeley Junction it was so lovely to see that the properties had been finished, after standing empty for such a long time.

We arrived at Alvecote and moored opposite the Samuel Barlow.


I suggested we have lunch at the Samuel Barlow, so once we had locked the boat up we walked round to the pug, bought a pint each and ordered our lunch. The food and the beer were fantastic as always. Having had a great lunch meal at “The Samuel Barlow” we sat watching the England – Wales football match on the big television. Well done to England for winning.

After the match finished we went and had a cuppa with Rod on “Biddie”. He and Tracy are friends and a lovely couple. We were to see them again over the weekend.


That evening the storm clouds gathered and it looked like we were in for one hell of a storm, but it actually did not come to that much in the end. It certainly looked good though.


Saturday We went walking down to Pooley country park, whilst the weather was being kind. It is a lovely walk through woodland and the old slagheaps which mother nature has taken for her own. We walked a long the towpath on the way back.


We also crossed over the canal and went to the Benedictine Priory. It was founded 1159 by William Burdett and dissolved in 1536. The surviving building remains date from the 14th century. A ruined medieval dovecote is also present on the site.



Saturday evening we caught up with Rod, Tracy, Viviee and Paul in the Samuel Barlow for a drink in the evening, which was fantastic fun. We had not seen Rod and Tracy for about three years and Viviee and Paul we saw last year at Braunston, so there was a lot to catch-up on. It was so much fun that we did not leave until midnight.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Late start.

Hi Folks.

I think those of us who have been experiencing this dreadful weather, can only ask that it stops now.

We woke this morning yet again to heavy rain thumping on the roof of the boat. So with that sound ringing in our ears, we decided that we would be staying put.

Paddy as always did not enjoy his morning walk. He did what he needed to do and then did a swift about turn and legged it back to the boat. The towpath was extremely soggy under foot, which did not improve Paddy’s mood. He always looks depressed when he gets wet bless him.

Breakfast was eaten and coffee drunk and there was still no let up in the weather. By lunchtime we had resigned ourselves to not moving, but then low and behold the rain stopped after lunch and the sky began to show signs of brightening up.

We did move after 1 pm, which is very late for us. A head of us dark clouds were beginning to gather and it was almost certain rain was on its way, because in the distance I could see rain falling.


We made it to The Tame Otter moorings and it began to rain, so we pulled in and as we moored up the sky opened and dumped yet more rain on us. Luckily neither of us got totally drenched, but we would have done if we had carried on moving, because the rain was lashing it down.

Welcome to the British Summer.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Black over Bill’s Mother’s.

We had a later start than normal. It was all due to the weather. On waking at 6 am, all’s we could hear was rain thumping on the roof. It was the perfect idea to stay in bed and drink tea until 8 am when I had to get up and take paddy out for his walk. He hates getting wet and once back on the boat, he sulked in his bed until he had dried out.

By 10 am the rain had pretty much stopped, so having lit the back cabin stove, we decided to leave Rugeley and head off towards Fradley Junction. We had a good run on the whole to Fradley Junction, we decended the locks and then left the Trent and Mersey Canal and turned on to the Coventry Canal, where we stopped for water.


Black clouds were beginning to merg and it was clear a storm was looming.


On approaching Streethay Wharf, it was getting darker and so we were glad to have moored up outside King's Orchard Marina, south of Streethay Wharf on the top end of the Coventry canal. No sooner we had closed the boat up the heavens began to open and the thunder kicked in.

Monday 13 June 2016

From Etruria to Rugeley and everything in between.

I know, I know I apologise for not posting. The signal has not been great and so I postponed posting until now.

After the Etruria weekend, which was so much fun. Monday we headed back to Stone with the help of volunteer lock keepers doing the first three locks for us and Rob the cycling lockie helping out as well. When we arrived in Stone we went to see Roger Fuller about our new top plank which he very kindly ordered for us. It was to big to carry back to the boat, so we would pick it up on the following morning.

Tuesday 7th June a good start to the day, picking up our new top plank from Roger Fuller. We loaded the top plank on to the roof of the back cabin before having a quick chat with Martin, Roger and Joe Fuller at the yard. Having said our goodbyes to everyone we realised that we were joining a queue at the locks. What was supposed to be a short day ended up as 6½ hours! By the time we reached Great Haywood it was well into late afternoon. The one lovely thing was Stuart and Dawn were moored at Great Haywood junction, where we had moored for the night, so we had tea and cake with them when we got there. It was wonderful to catch-up yet again.

We planned to stay at Great Haywood for the floating market which would be taking place over the weekend. We walked to the walled garden on the Shugborough Estate to see if it was open this time.


Hooray it was open and so we got to see the changes. The Blacksmith had sadly gone. But they have introduced a meadow and piggies.


Rarebreed Midland White piggy.


The glasshouses have not been restored yet.


Shugborough was to play host again to Iron Man UK and so the marquee’s were going up and the start and finish boards. It was going to be a busy weekend, what with that and the floating market.


The evenings sunset was made even more special with a Barn Owl quartering over the field.

The week had flown by and with Friday now upon us the floating market was set to get going.


We took a walk along the floating market, chatting to the various traders, many we already knew.


I also got to make some new friends. Jane and Paul on NB Pania are lovely Jane makes bags and hats, which are devine. We had a lovely time with them both.

At lunchtime we went to the Clifford Arms for something to eat. We were both rather fed up with the idea of having yet another salad. Instead we had Steak and Ale Pudding, which was scrummy. Keith returned to Hadar to pick up our 2 axes for Dave on Anon to make us some leather axe head covers. Dave did a fantastic job. I also bought a new wallet and coin purse. As the afternoon wore on the looming dark clouds began to drop their contents and then the heavens opened accompanied by thunder and lightning, and despite our best efforts we got drenched. Kay on the Oatcake boat very kindly gave us an umbrella, but we still were soaked by the time we got back to the boat.


Saturday the weather was to play up yet again later in the day. At the Iron Man UK it was the children who got to have their race.

On Sunday it was rain and more rain. The Iron Man UK event was done in the rain and many of the floating market boats did not bother to open up. It was not until much later in the day that the rain did stop, but by then it was closing up time and some of the boat had already left to go to Middlewich. We did however have a lovely weekend.

Today we left Great Haywood and are now in Rugeley, where we have shopped at Aldi and Tesco, walked around the town, visiting the charity shops as we always do. The weather once again has been hit and miss.

Monday 6 June 2016

Busy weekend.

We had the most amazing weekend at the Etruria Boat Festival.


With the weather being so fantastic on both days it really bought the crowds out.


We went out on the parades both days and had some fun boating with the others.


I spent a lot of my time photographing the Owls.


It was great to catch-up with lots of friends old and new.

A great festival.


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