*****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 October 2016

Scary stuff.

Hi Folks.

Happy Halloween if your into it and commiserations if you are not a fan like me.

Halloween has its origins in pagan festivals held around the end of October in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. it was believed that, at this time of year, the spirits of the dead would come 'alive' and then they would walk among the living. Oddly they thought they should dress up in costumes, as this may help them avoid being harmed by the spirits. Perhaps this is the origin of the Halloween costumes seen today. Halloween celebrations were outlawed, in Puritan times but they were revived in later years. Halloween used to be called All Hallows Eve, or the day before All Saints' Day, observed on November 1. As I have said I am not a lover of the celebrations called Trick or Treat, because it is not always done with the best intentions and this can frighten the young and old and everyone in between. When we lived within four brick walls, we used to lock the doors, close the curtains and take the batteries out of the doorbell and nothing was going to make us answer the door. Now living on our boat, thankfully we do not get bothered by trick or treat.

Along with Halloween comes Bonfire night, when there will be fireworks going off from every direction. I do absolutely love watching fireworks and have been to organised events which have literally rocked the ground with the thumps and thuds. Last night we had fireworks going on opposite our boat, which was a bit of a worry. Mog and Dog thankfully were not to bothered by the noise, over the years they have begun to ignore the bangs and whistles. When we first got them both, they would really panic. Marmite as a kitten panicked so much, that she crawled under the engine.
Always my main worry is for our sheeting, but it was fine thankfully. November 5th is coming and so is the big firework and bonfire do locally, so we will turn up the TV and hopefully keep Mog and Dog calm. I do so feel for anyone's pets who are absolutely petrified of fireworks.

If you are having a bonfire and fireworks, please remember to check the bonfire for Hedgehogs, especially if you have had your bonfire built for a while, because Hedgehogs love to curl up and go to sleep in them.

Have a safe and happy Halloween and Bonfire night, but do think of others.

Sunday 30 October 2016

Life moves on.

Hi Folks.

We have been home since Friday morning and already I have been so very busy. Friday I really just got the boat straight again, and put things back where they should be. The hoover came out, which was so needed, because Paddy bless him moults all the time. I actually felt really pleased with what I had gotten done.

Yesterday (Saturday), was a day of doing the laundry in the Saltisford Arm Laundry Room, which has almost recovered from the fire we had a few months ago. The only thing to be done now is for the redecoration to take place. Anyway washing was done and hung out to dry, this turned out to be not such a great idea, because there was no wind and low cloud all day. I ended up turning the back cabin into a Chinese laundry, later in the afternoon. After lunch, we had coffee with our good friends Dawne and Stuart on NB Teazle, who always come into the Arm for the Winter months. It was fabulous to have a good old chinwag and a catch-up over tea and biscuits. I know over the Winter we will have many more days of chatting. Little else was done yesterday, because once we arrived back at the boat, it was time to watch a film or two and then the F1 qualifying.

Clocks turned back an hour, this morning (Sunday) began as yesterday had begun with low cloud and still. Today was the day I would get lots done and the jobs began with the sealing of the saloon chimney collar, which I had noticed had its sealant curling up, so the only way to cure that was to replace it. That job was soon put to bed and it was onto the next one before coffee at 10 am. I wanted to sort out the remaining coal in the hold. I wanted to put a stash of it in our bunker, but before I could do this the bunker needed clearing out, this was a great chance to get rid of rubbish and those things I thought I would need, but have never used. Whilst clearing out the bunker, I had company.
This Mallard is one of the Arms youngsters and she is very friendly. Apparently she has been in the shop and office and she has also been on Dawne and Stuarts boat. Yesterday she introduced herself to me, by pecking at my shoes, today she was clearly wanting to help me with moving coal.
I have named her Geraldine. She inspected the bunker whilst I was unloading coal from the hold.
I think I got her approval, as she left behind a present. I reckon I will be seeing more of her over this Winter.
I stowed away 24 bags of coal in the bunker and then turned my attention to the hold itself. Keith came and helped me in the hold and we moved 65, 20 kg bags of coal towards the fore end to bring the bow down a bit and then stacked the remained of the 25 kg bags towards the stern of the hold. I then swept the hold out and moved our storage boxes around to make it easier to get into the hold.
The title of this posting is life moves on and that is because we are no longer going to sell coal. I have a couple of health issues going on. I was diagnosed with a Hiatus Hernia and Costochondritis, which is inflammation of the ribs and sternum cartilage. Humping coal around is making these conditions worse, so I have stopped selling coal as of Friday. The plan for the hold is one that will keep Keith very busy, he is going to build his railway layout in the hold eventually, but before that can happen we need to burn the coal, clean and paint the hold out. The main task will be to line the hold out making a room and then he can begin building his layout. So when one door closes another opens of course and for me I am going to use my photographs. I am going to make cards etc, so watch this space for further updates on our new ventures.

Friday 28 October 2016

Back Home.

Hi Folks.

After a fabulous month out, we have arrived home to our mooring.
We spent the night out on the towpath, because we had some coal for a friend, which he was going to collect this morning.
Before anything this morning, we had a stunner of a sunrise over the Arm.
The cloud formation was so beautiful. I like to think it was our welcome home present.
Having sorted the coal out for our friend, we headed back into the Arm at 10.15 am, winded and then moored up on our pontoon. It was so lovely to be home again.
With coming home, the list of jobs to do is always long. We connected up the landline and our inverter purred away merrily, as our batteries enjoyed a bulk charge. We then connected our Satellite TV up again. It will be nice to have the TV back on and to catch-up with programs we have missed. I got on with hovering, because despite using a dustpan and brush whilst out, it does not get up all the dust and dog hairs and believe me Paddy throws out a lot of hair, he moults all year round and it can look like tumble weed rolling along the cabin. I made us lunch and then sorted out coal out for the Winter. I like to have a few bags stacked by the back cabin, so if it does get icy I do not have to climb in and out of the hold along the gunwale.

Now we are home for the Winter, I will try and keep posting and try to make the posts entertaining, so please keep popping in.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Almost home.

2.5 miles 21 locks in 3hrs 25 mins.
After a torrid nights sleep for us both, with no explanation as to why, we were drinking tea at 4.40 am. Breakfast was had at the Hatton locks café at 9 am to give us sustenance before setting off down the locks.
Last chance to see the Autumn colour at the top of the locks.
Having had a lovely cooked breakfast it was time to start working it off.
Goodbye to the café.

Down we go.
We had Narrow boat Independence with Lesley and John join us 6 locks down, which made life a lot easier for all of us.
There was plenty of water coming down the flight.
We really did have a lovely time with them both. They very kindly bought four bag of coal from us, which was nice. We said our "Goodbyes", as they were heading to the Cape of Good Hope for a meal.
We are now moored at Budbrooke junction, just a stones throw from the Saltisford Arm and our home mooring.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Hatton Country World and a cuppa.

After some lunch, we took a stroll along the main Hatton road to Hatton Country World. The last time we visited the place was in 2008, so we were looking to see what hand changed. The walk along the road can be a little dodgy, because there is no pavement and some cars did not want to give us a lot of room. One gentleman gave me the look, so I did exactly the same back. Feet were made before cars, so I was not about to be pushed into the hedgerow.
With it being Half-Term week, the place was very busy with families enjoying a day out and what better place to do it.
Something tells me Halloween is almost upon us.
It is Halloween Week and there are scary things and Pumpkins everywhere. They have a field full of Pumpkins, where families can go and chose their own Pumpkin and it looked popular.
We enjoyed a nice stroll around the outlets, before walking back down the road to the canal, where we decided to head for the Hatton Locks Café.
I know I am sorry yet another Autumn colour photograph. I am just in awe of the colours this year.
We had a pot of tea and a couple of Caramel Shortbreads and sat outside.
The last time we did this at the café, was almost two years ago, when Keith was recovering from his illness. I had said to him if we made it to the top, I would treat him to a cuppa. Wow those two years have flown by.
After enjoying a cuppa and watching the boats go down, we walked back to the boat, where the afternoon sun began to set.
With the clocks going back at the weekend, we will all be in darkness much earlier and Winter will be creeping ever closer.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Circular walk.

Hi Folks.

It has been our policy to get in as much walking as possible on this trip, especially as this part of the canal has been new to us. So after some lunch and a coffee, we locked the boat up and headed up to the road bridge, we turned left and headed up through Lapworth Village.
The village does have a few small shops if you should need to fill the cupboard or fridge. It is a spread out village, but never the less very pleasant.
The pavement came to an end and we had to walk up through this wooded glade, which was stunning with the Autumn colours.
We re-joined the canal at bridge 31 on the Stratford-On-Avon Canal.
Such a lovely easy walk.
Yet another lock.
Bridge 32, next to lock 7 and the superb lock cottage owned by Lesley and Keith.
We spent over an hour chatting to Lesley and Keith. Keith used to work for BW as C&RT was then and they have lived in this beautiful cottage for almost 43 years, so lots of tales to tell.
After what was a wonderful natter with Lesley and Keith, we went on our way down the locks.
It seems fishermen think that it is acceptable to fish off lock moorings still.
Approaching Kingswood Junction.
At the junction, we turned left.
Our circular walk ended at the Navigation pub, where we both felt we had earned a pint of Lapworth Gold.

Eventful Morning.

3.4 miles & 5 locks in 2hrs 25mins
Marmite was keeping watch this morning when I took Paddy out for his walk.

Eventful morning to say the least. We left our peaceful over night mooring at 9.20 am to start the decent of Knowle Locks.
It was such a still morning, there was not a breath of wind to be had. We stopped at the sanitary station to empty the cassette and get rid of rubbish, before I set the first two locks, which went fine.
We got through lock two, discovered that two hire boats who had come up the Knowle locks before us had managed to drain one of the pounds on the Knowle flight of locks, but it did expose the remains of one of the old narrow locks, which is normally hidden.
We then met a boat coming up through the bottom lock, who were lock virgins and it showed, so I gave them a swift lesson on how to work locks.The worrying thing was the woman told me they had bought the boat four days ago and they had almost burnt the boat down already, scary really.
Another stunning show of colours.
We passed the Black Buoy Inn which looks nice. We then met a Braunston hire boat, who well and truly clobbered us, they did nothing to try and avoid us. We are now moored opposite the The Navigation, Kingswood.

Monday 24 October 2016

On to Knowle.

Hi Folks.

We are now moored in Knowle, having left our weekend mooring at a leisurely pace, with only a short distance to travel. We in fact travelled 2.85 miles, with no locks in 1hr 30mins. Having not done this bit of the cut before, we were not sure where the moorings were, and we ended up having to reverse back from Kenilworth Road Bridge No.71 quite a distance before it was deep enough to moor up.

Having moored up and done a few things, we locked the boat up and walked down the towpath to the road bridge, where we walked into Knowle.
We dropped into Stephen Goldsbrough Boats first, to see if we could book their dry dock for next year, as Hadar is due to be blacked but Ian who we needed to speak to was not there, so we will have to give him a ring.
Church of St. John the Baptist, St. Lawrence and St. Anne.
Knowle is described as a village, but it is a small town with shops, eating places etc.
Chester House, which is the Library dates back to Tudor times.
Behind the Library is this stunning little knot garden.
We had a lovely carvery lunch at this Toby Carvery and it was most definitely nicer than the meal we had yesterday at the Chef and Brewer. The meal was washed down with a pint of course. Two roasts in two days, we really have pushed the boat out this trip. But why not, it is not as though we spend a lot of money on anything else.
Before we went back to the boat, we walked down the Knowle Locks to have a look at what we would be coming down. The locks are really rather lovely and well looked after. Whilst walking we spotted a Kingfisher going about its business, so once back at the boat I went out with my bigger camera and tried to take a few photographs, which is easier said than done, when they are such a nervous bird.
I did get a few snaps.
Success it had caught its lunch.
The Seagulls were in good voice on the lock gates.
Our wildlife never ceases to make me smile.



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