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

Friday 8 December 2017

Merry Christmas Cheer.

Hello Dear Friends and Readers.

Who stole this year?
I do not know about you, but this year has flown by despite the fact we did very little cruising. My Nan told me that as you get older the years seem to fly by quicker, and whilst when I was younger I did not believe her, I do now.
So here we are at the business end of the year, especially if you are selling something. With Keith now signed off by the physio today, we are going out on the boat for Christmas. We are having Christmas dinner with a friend and to get there we are taking the boat. I love Winter cruising, so it will be a matter of wrapping up warm and away we go soon.

I am pretty much done with all the Christmas preparations. Gifts and cards are bought, I still have the cards to finish. Food is piling up in the freezer for over the festive period. I still want to get a couple of things, such as a Gammon joint which we will have over Boxing Day. The Christmas decorations are up and so all is well in my world. Over the past few years we have cut back on the Christmas card sending. This is not because I am a scrooge, I just prefer to hand my cards out in person where I can. Thinking about it though with the price of a stamp, I think a lot of people are cutting back on sending their cards. I think there is nothing nicer than receiving a Christmas card from someone you have not seen or heard from in ages and I especially love it when they come with a newsletter. With e-mail and social media the writing of cards and letters has dwindled, but I am still a lover of pen to paper. I will be posting my cards and presents in the next few days.

You may have noticed with the coming of Winter, the temperature has dropped, so much so we had some snow this morning and more is supposed to come on Sunday. This is making me one very happy lady, because I adore the snow and always have. If we do get a substantial amount, I will be out with my camera. Anyway with the thought of the cold weather coming, I thought I should sweep the flue to the saloon stove, only to find it was partially blocked, only leaving a small hole for the smoke to escape through, this explained why the Carbon Monoxide light had been flashing red of late. I tried to clear the obstruction with the flue in place, but that did not work so to get it cleared we had to take the flue out. Our flue is extremely heavy to it took the both of us to man handle it out of the boat and onto the pontoon. With a bit of brute force and ignorance we finally got it unblocked and back into its rightful place. The fire was relit and although the fire was working better, I was still not 100% happy so when we went into town we went to our local hardware store and bought some sorcerer flue and chimney cleaner. It was so simple to use and hey presto it did the trick, we now have a cleaner flue. I suspect I had not been burning the fire hot enough and this caused a build up of tar and soot. The fire is open more and it is extremely toasty on board, but this should keep the flue cleaner. We have never had this problem before and it is not the fuel, because we have always burnt Supertherm, so the only thing it can be I have been keeping the fire shut down too much. Anyway we will see what happens. Both Paddy and Marmite are happy with the extra heat. Because we have minus temperatures today, I have both stoves lit.

Well as we are going cruising, I do not know if I will be posting, so I am going to bid you farewell for now.
I will probably see you in 2018, unless the urge takes me to post whilst we are out.

I send you and your families the very best for the festive season.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday 2 December 2017

It's a cats life.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

It sure is.
As the title says it is a cats life. Marmite is one of those cats which does not do cold, she does not even do chilly. She will do anything to be warm, but today she can lounge in our back cabin, because the stove is going and she can share the side bed with her teddy friends. She is one very contented miggy moo. Yes that is her nick name.

So how has it been for you?
I am talking about the past few days. Since we got back from the Model Railway exhibition, it has been a tad busy. Keith's back has improved, so much so that he is no longer on the Morphine and Diazepam, but is still taking the other medication, because his back is still not 100%. Of course his back has never been perfect, but hey he would take 99% right now. He is continuing to go to see the physio, this happens again next Friday. He has an appointment to see the consultant next week, following on from his MRI scan, so that should be interesting. We have had our first games night in the Arm, which actually turned in to a tea, coffee and natter night, because no one wanted to play board games, but were definitely up for a chat and a good old laugh.

I had my flu jab again this year, which I have done for many years and at no time have I had a cold, so you can imagine my annoyance at getting a bloomin cold. I put it down to being at the NEC with all those cold infected people, who are only at the event to give their cold away to some unsuspecting person and that person was me. First came the sore throat, which I absolutely hate, then the runny nose, which was like a running tap for two days. Then there was the cough. What I did not expect was the being sick bit yesterday. I was actually feeling human. I had eaten breakfast and then a lovely cottage pie lunch, followed by toast for tea. Being the 1st of December we put the Christmas decorations up and I was settling down for the evening in front of the TV, when I felt the need to throw-up. I seemed to bypass my tea and went back to say "Hello" to my cottage pie lunch. What was that all about? I asked myself. Anyway having had a good old clear out I felt much better. I cannot figure out why I was sick though. I can only imagine it had something to do with my cold. I am however thankful that I have not got Bronchitis, which used to happen most years before having the flu jab.

Anyway enough of my ailments. So here we are it is December, the decorations are up and the slide to the big day is ever looming. What are your plans for Christmas?
Ours are we are off cruising all being well and Keith's back. We are going to a friends for Christmas lunch and we will enjoy being out on the cut, of course making sure the lock stoppages work in our favour, which they most definitely do. I have been pressie shopping. This came about, because I walked into town to find a few bits and actually came home forlorn that I had found nothing, so we jumped on a bus and went into Royal Leamington-Spa. This proved to be a success, because I managed to get what I wanted and we had lunch at our favourite Chinese Buffet. We do not buy many gifts for Christmas, but I wanted to get a few little things. Keith and I do not bother much for each other either, but we like to get each other something. I already know what I am having from Keith, but you will have to wait to find out what it is.
I am just thinking and I am quite sure you have it all in hand, but do not forget to get any medications you need prior to the big day, because most GP surgeries are closed over the festive period. We have just gotten Keith's all sorted out. I like to make sure we have all we need and this has included things like paracetamol and cough medication, just in case the dreaded cold comes back to haunt me and creep up on Keith.

This coming week is going to be a busy one. We have a hospital, nurse and physio visits, lunch out with some folk from the Arm, more shopping to be done as well.

Today with me feeling tickety boo, we were expecting a visit from David.
David is a vlogger and he has a blog. We chat on Twitter and he asked about filming our vintage engine for one of his vlog posts. He is doing a posting about vintage engines and their owners for the New Year and so I contacted him about our engine, because she is a rare beast. This morning at 10.30am David arrived to see our fair lady. After a cup of tea and a good old natter, David and Keith got down to the task of filming and discussing our engine. I let Keith do all of the talking because i did not want a coughing fit in the middle of filming. A grand time was had by all and we look forward to seeing the results of David labour in the New Year. He still has other engines and their boats to film before the vlog comes out.

So there you have it. We have been busy with life, colds and engine filming. I will do my best to post soon.

Pop back soon xx

Sunday 26 November 2017

Back Update and Warley National Model Railway Exhibition

Hello dear friends and followers.

Well what a time we have had, or should I say Keith has had. Yes I know we thought things were improving after we saw a GP who had been a spinal surgeon, but that progress was also short lived. Having seen that GP on the Friday, by the following Wednesday on his lone medication Keith was in extreme pain and there was no moving him, so I was on to our own GP who happened to be in the surgery for once. He was a little dismayed that Keith had been taken off his pain relief for the Methocarbamol. His instructions were to carry on with the Methocarbamol, but to add the Diazepam and Oral Morphine back in to help with the pain and he was to add Naproxen which is an anti-inflammatory. So there was Keith flat on his back and rattling with all the pills he was now on. We are both thankfully he gets free prescriptions, because this episode would be costing us both our arms and legs. Back to square one and me playing nurse, we had to face the fact that we would not be going to the model railway exhibition, if he did not improve. Gradually Keith was able to get about again and we saw the physio again twice and each time Keith's back was looking much better. I think his desire to get to the exhibition spurred him on to recover. But it has been a long haul this time and it all came down to Saturday morning when we woke at 6am. My first question to Keith was "How is the back?". His reply was promising "It is ok". Up and about we got ourselves ready to go to the NEC Birmingham. We left home at just before 8am with medications on hand to walk to the railway station where we caught a train to Leamington-Spa.
From there the train took us to the NEC. We had stood all the way because the trains were packed, this was alright for Keith, because he is much better standing than sitting most of the time. At the NEC we had to find building 5 and there we found a large selection of stalls and layouts.
There was so much to see. We were mainly interested in the layouts, because we were looking for ideas for our layout. Whilst we have got a plan, it is always nice to see what others have done, especially when it comes to the canal scenes, which sadly did not come up to our high expectations. 
If you know about the historic working boat Spey you will know that this model is so wrong. 
One of our highlights of the day was meeting and chatting to Pete Waterman, who was doing his radio program from the exhibition. What a lovely genuine man he is. He was very interested in our new project and actually recognised Keith from us being on 'The Golden Age of Canals'. 
If he had not been busy I think we could have chatted for ages.
We decided with so many people at the event, we would have an early lunch at the small Wetherspoons, this proved a good idea, because after we had sat down for our meal the queue got longer and longer. 
Back at the exhibition, we did another sweep of the stalls and layouts. At around 2.30pm Keith was looking tired and I had seen all I wanted to see, so we agreed to head off to the station and head home. Once more we had to stand all the way back to Leamington-Spa and back to Warwick, because of it being so busy. It always makes me wonder where people have come from and where they are going too. 
Both Paddy and Marmite were happy to see us. Marmite was screaming for food as usual. Paddy was just glad to have us home. I lit the back cabin stove, because another heavy frost was expected and we would want a little warmth in the back cabin before bedtime.
Keith had not been sat in his chair long before he was snoozing away. It was fantastic that he got to go to the exhibition and that his back had behaved for most of it. I think we may be heading in the right direction now thankfully. Fingers crossed this will last for a while.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Interesting listen.

Good Sunday Morning to you all.

I have been sat listening to Emma Smith. Emma Smith was interviewed at London Canal Museum in November 2014 about her time on the boat during World War II. Emma was an "Idle Women". The nickname was taken by the initials "IW", which actually meant "Inland Waterways. In no way were the "Idle Women" Idle. They were extremely hard working.
Please go to this LINK and take some time out of your day to listen to this wonderful woman.

Saturday 11 November 2017

Up's and Down's

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Well where were we?
Oh yes Keith seemed to be improving. That was sadly short lived. Wednesday onward Keith's back seemed to go from being quite good to bloomin crippling, making him look like an 80 year old John Wayne (Check out how John Wayne walked, Keith was worse). The Diazepam and Morphine just seemed to send Keith to sleep and nothing more, but with Physio coming up on Friday, we hoped that would bring us progress.
Thursday night I set my phone alarm for 6 am Friday morning and I had the presence of mind to set our old fashioned alarm clock to the same time. I woke at 5 am I think worrying that my alarms would not go off. This proved to be the case with my phone, because the Alarm did not go off at all. Thankfully the old fashioned alarm clock did its business and chirped into life at 6am on the dot. Sometimes the old things are the best. I have still to work out why my phone did not go off.
I got Keith up and dressed, because we needed to be at the Physio for 8am (I know bloomin early). My plan was to set off at 7.15am for the walk to the hospital. Now this walk usually takes me 15 minutes, but because of Keith's back, I knew it would take us at least twice as long. We actually arrived at the Physio at 7.50am, so 10 minutes to spare phew. No sooner keith's name was called, the Physio could see how hard it was for him to walk. She spent an over an hour with us, trying to get to the route of Keith's problem and she examined him. She could not however do anything for him whilst he was still in so much pain and she suggested we go back to his GP to get his pain medication sorted out. On returning to the boat, I immediately contacted the GP, who made us an appointment with a new GP for the afternoon.
After lunch and a rest, it was time to stagger to the doctors. The GP could see how much pain Keith was in, but he did not want him taking the Diazepam or the Oral Morphine, because he said "All's they do is send you to sleep and constipate you". This GP was a spinal surgeon and told us he knew exactly the treatment Keith needed and so has put Keith on Methocarbamol 750 mg, two tablets four times a day for a few days and then reduce it to one tablet four times a day and he said these tablets would definitely sort Keith's back out. He also told Keith to rest but also not be afraid of exercise, because keeping his back moving was a good thing. With that reassurance, we left the surgery, went straight to the chemist to collect this magic drug.
Keith had two lots of the medication last night and one dose this morning and the change in him was amazing. He no longer looked like a 80 year old John Wayne whilst walking. With Keith's new found energy and pain back, we were up at 8am, mainly because I had a plan for the day.

Warwick was to be visited by The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge as they do The Ride to the Clyde and so I wanted to be up and ready to go out and take some photographs as they came along our road. We had been following them on their virtual map and it said they were due in Warwick at around 10am. Now I did not know if that was completely correct so I went out with my camera at 9.15am to stand and wait for the Rickshaw to come my way. 10am arrived and went and I was joined by Keith and a small crowd of people wanting to wish them well as they wheeled their way to Cannock their next stop. We heard from one lady that they were at Sainsbury for a stop, so they were not far away. 10.30am we got a sight of them coming off the roundabout.
It was really rather exciting, as I am a big fan of Matt Baker's and The One Show. Every year he puts his heart and soul into the Rickshaw Challenge along with the six young riders, who wheeling their way to their destination to raise money.
 The small crowd and myself shouted our encouragement and clapped as they past us by with a wave.
Cycling alongside Matt Baker was Liv. To read her story please click on the link. LIV
It was clear to see how proud Matt Baker is to cycle alongside these amazing young people. It actually makes me feel very humble, when you consider what they have been and are going through in their lives and yet they are doing this cycle ride to give something back. We all wave them on their way and wished them well, before heading back to the boat to collect Ollie the trolley for an excursion into town to buy fruit and veggies.
Keith felt up to the walk, so we walked to the market just in time to hear a gun go off to signal a 2 minute silence for Armistice Day, where those at the market stopped what they were doing and stood silent for 2 minutes when the gun went off again. You know it does not take much to salute those who lost their lives to save ours in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. I lost relatives in both wars and it always brings a lump to my throat as I think of their sacrifice, so that I can live free in this wonderful if not mad world. Having brought fruit and veggies, I suggested we take a break at Wetherspoons and have a late breakfast. This of course went down nicely, but as Keith has issues with sitting any length of time, we ate our breakfast, drank our tea and left to make our way home. By now Keith was in a little pain and feeling somewhat tired. My order to him was to put his feet up for the afternoon, once he had had his medication. I on the other hand needed to wash some bedding, empty the toilet cassette and nip to Sainsbury for a few items. My Sciatica is still angry, but I am sure it will settle down again, once I have time to sort myself out. At the moment I need to concentrate on Keith and his health. Jobs done and coffee made, it was time to sit and write this posting.
I hope you have found it enjoyable.

Pop back soon xxxx

Tuesday 7 November 2017

On the mend.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

After a week of desperate pain and a lack of mobility, Keith is finally showing improvement with his back problem. He is definitely better when walking or standing. Sitting for to long is still uncomfortable, so he lays in his reclining chair. We have been out for gentle walks. His first walk was up into town, which completely wiped him out. The second was to a friends for tea and this was much more successful. Today we have walked into town again, as I needed to get food and other items. As I type he is snoozing in his chair, so I think I wore him out.

The past few days have been somewhat hectic, because I have been doing all of the chores, dog walking, shopping and being a nurse, which has meant helping Keith to dress and when he is struggling to get up, I have had to take his weight, which when the pain kicks in means he is a dead weight. This has taken its toll on my Sciatica, which is kicking off big time at the moment. Thank goodness for pain killers, they are keeping me mobile. I would not do for us both to be laid out flat. I will be fine, as it always settles down eventually.
Yesterday morning we had the coldest night of the Autumn/Winter so far, with the temperature down to -3c. The mist rising off the water was beautiful and mystical.
I do so love the Autumn and Winter. We have the stunning Autumnal colours and then comes the frost and if we are lucky the snows of Winter.
In the Arm all our Winter moorers are in and snuggled down until March. It is always wonderful to see our regulars and talk about their cruising for the year. This year we have a couple of new moorers and we very much look forward to getting to know them. There is nothing nicer than a walk in the Autumnal sunshine.
Yesterday we met up with a gentleman that Keith had not seen for 40 years. Alan used to work with Keith all those years ago and as he and his partner Michelle were coming through Warwick they came and found us. We took them to The Cape of Good Hope for lunch. It was lovely to sit and natter and by the time they left us, it felt like I had known them for years. Hopefully we will meet up again next year.
Is it me or has the Christmas advertising on the TV started early?
I know the shops begin at the end of August in some cases, but it looks like the TV companies are getting in early as well. By the time December comes, we will all be sick of Christmas. I have always said, that nothing to do with Christmas should begin before December 1st in my opinion.

Anyway I am off now to put my feet up, watch a movie and listen to my snoozing other half.

Pop back soon xx

Friday 3 November 2017

Hospital and Home Again.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Sorry I have been away, but trying to help the other half when he has done his back takes up all of my time and energy.

So as you will have read, Saturday was a fun day NOT. Sunday did not fair any better as Keith spent all day in bed, with his back in spasm. On Monday morning there was no change and if anything he was worse. There was nothing for it but for me to ring his GP. Keith's GP was not in until Wednesday (how inconsiderate ha ha). But I did speak to another GP which Keith has seen before. Having explained to him what had happened and what was going on, I was told to call an ambulance and to get him into hospital, because he needed strong medication. So 999 was rung and I again explained to the lady on the other end of the phone all about Keith and what had happened. She duly dispatched an ambulance, which arrived some five minutes later.
Two lovely lady paramedics turned up and I helped them get onto our boat, where they found Keith in the back cabin in bed. Neither of the ladies had been on a narrowboat before, and were shocked at how tiny our living space was, but they managed to get themselves organised. To get Keith off the boat and into the ambulance it took copious amounts of gas and air. Finally after half an hour we had gotten him into the back of the ambulance and onto the bed.
We arrived at the hospital at 10 am and were put into a trolley bay, because there were no cubicles spare, although they did not seem to rushed off their feet. He was immediately seen and notes taken. His pain level when moved was off the scale. Blood tests and an x-ray were done and finally by five past two we were told he was going to be kept in and a bed had been found for him on a new ward.
Now Keith has been in and out of Warwick Hospital a fair bit and so has been in several different wards. I told him I need to get him a season ticket for the place, and I am sure he wants to try every ward out. I have told him he cannot go to the children's ward or the maternity ward. Anway by 2.30 pm, he was on the ward and being looked after by the nurses. I eventually got home to sort mog and dog out. There was no point me going back to the hospital in the evening, because the ward closes at 7.30 pm.
Tuesday morning the Physios came and got Keith up with a walking stick, they had him walking and he did a step up and down and he felt much better, but by the time I got in which was opening time 12 noon, he was not good on his feet and when I went with him to get him washed, he could not stand at the basin, so I had to get him back to the bed and do a bed wash and shave. I stayed with him until 3.30 pm and spoke to his consultant, who said they wanted to get him mobile and then send him home. I got back to the boat at gone 4 pm, and could hear marmite at the door meowing, because she thought it was her tea-time. "Not for another hour" I told her. I also think she was quite annoyed she had been left with Paddy for the few hours I was away. I sorted her and Paddy out and then I had to go out and sort the boat out, because the water level in the Arm was way down and we had a tilt on.
Cape Locks gates are leaking badly C&RT know and are due for sorting out in January, but we also had a few boats coming up through the locks, winding and going back down, so we were left high and dry with very little water beneath all the boats in the Arm.
With our Winter Moorers coming in, this caused issues for them mooring up on their moorings. C&RT were alerted early on and soon came to see the problems which have been on going all this year.
Having gotten the boat pushed out and on the level, well almost I got on with sorting myself out with food and settled in for the evening. I slept like a log, mosting because of the lack of sleep whilst Keith was in so much pain.
Wednesday morning saw us listing more and the realisation that more water had leaked out of the Arm. I then got a phone call from Keith, saying he was coming home, so I needed to get my act together to go and collect him at 12 noon. So I emptied the toilet cassette, got rid of rubbish, hoovered and washed the floors and did a general tidy up. By the time I had done all of that it was time to head off to the hospital with Keith's clothing and coat. Keith and I wanted till 4.30 pm before his meds arrived and he was allowed home. Now whilst he was mobile, he was still very stiff and in pain, but with the medication we hoped he would be fine. Our dear friend came and collected us, so we did not have to get a taxi and so we got back to the boat, which was pushed out into the channel, to stop us listing. Keith managed to get on the boat and soon he was in his chair for a while, before heading to bed.
At the time of writing this, he is doing pretty well. He has a walking stick and can get around, but is still in pain and stiff. I am doing my nursing tasks and making sure he takes his meds.
We will see how things go over the coming days and hope that we have some water beneath us.

Pop back soon xxx

Sunday 29 October 2017

Back to normal.

Hi Dear Friends and Followers.

We have only been back home for a few days and already things have slipped back into our normal routine.
We arrived home on the Wednesday (25th) and sorted ourselves out, by connecting us back up to the electric, phone and TV. It was then a matter of sorting out the things which needed to go away until March and getting out the things we would be needing until then. Such as the electric kettle came out and the side fenders were hung up on the pontoon. The recycling bags went back on the shelf, ready for me to recycle the tins, paper, plastic etc. I think we take for granted a lot of things when we are out cruising. When we are out we do not use an electric, we use the one on the back cabin stove or the whistling kettle on the gas. We do very little recycling when out, because most of the sanitary stations do not have recycling bins. We do not bother with the TV, we listen to the radio. I do not use the hoover when out, because it would take too much out of the batteries, so I use a dust pan and brush. It is the small things we take for granted.

Anyway having sorted most of the things out, it was time to light the stove and settle in for the Winter months. Thursday it was laundry day. I wanted to get a load of whites washed and hung out to dry, whilst the weather was still fair. The hoover went round and I got down to washing the floors.
Being home means catching up with people in the arm, who do not go out on their boats now. There is always plenty to talk about and before we knew it our second day at home had come to an end. My Sciatica was still a little sore, but jobs have to be done, so I just get on with it and keep taking the tablets. Talking of tablets I am doing just fine off of the HRT and as yet I have not had any ill effects.

Friday I looked at the garden and wondered if I should begin the tidy-up and then I thought better of it. Another day of doing very little was called for and hey we have the whole of the Winter to get the garden tidy again. Well that was my thinking until Saturday came and I decided to make a start.

Saturday morning, began peaceful enough with a good nights sleep and a cup of tea first thing with the BBC 1 news on. Once up Paddy needed walking and breakfast needed making. I then went and did a huge coloured wash and got it hung out on the line, this was when everything began to unravel. Keith had decided he was off up to the bank and whilst climbing out of the boat, his back decided to go out. Getting him on to the boat, was not easy as he was stuck in the engine room doorway. I had to stand behind him and take his weight, so he could lower himself down. I thein managed to help him to his chair, where he stayed for most of the day. I immediately started him on his Diazepam and Oral Morphine, hoping to give him some relief from the pain, which does have him crying out in pain when it catches him. Throughout the day, I helped him to and from the bathroom, which was not an easy thing. I kept hoping he did not go down, because I would not have been able to get him up on my own and he would end up going into hospital, which we wanted to try and avoid this time, as we have the medication on the boat. Whilst Keith sat and watched TV, I went out and did some gardening. Yeah I know we have all Winter to do it, but I felt the need to start cutting things back and tidying. I managed to get a quarter of our patch weeded and pruned. By the evening Keith was nodding in and out of sleep, so I suggested he go to bed. I managed to get him into the back cabin, I then put the bed down and man handled him into bed, with his cries of pain ringing in my ears, but we could not do things any different.
Thankfully we both had a pretty good nights sleep, until around 3am when he woke up in pain. He did settle back down until 7 am.

Did you remember to put the clocks back?
So here we were Sunday morning, the clocks have gone back and it is the end of British Summertime. Keith decided he was staying in bed, where he hoped that if he rested his back with the help of the Diazepam and Morphine, he would be on the road to recovery again. I rigged up something so he could pull himself up. The gear rod is overhead and with a cord hung over it and tied in a knot it made a good pull me up for him. I got on with the morning. I had to haul Paddy out through the engine room door, so he could go out. Yes I know he felt it was very undignified, but needs must. I managed to get some tidying done in the saloon, I made a vegetable soup and kept keith going with coffees and toast. He spent his time watching TV and being online. Oh the joys of having a small TV in our bed 'ole :-). Before lunch I walked up to Sainsbury for a few items and once I was back I made us some lunch. As of yet there has been no improvement with his back, so I may well need to consult his GP as to what to do next. But we will give it a day or two before we get drastic. Our main issue is getting Keith to the bathroom, this is problematic to say the least. But nurse Jo has a way.
It is quiz night, but we will not be going. I think it maybe an early night for us both.

Before I go. I am feeling rather proud and honoured, because some of my Autumn and Winter photographs are exhibiting at the Boiler House Museum at Foxton. It is the first time I have had my work exhibited.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Back Home.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Yesterday we spent a pleasant time with another Kate Boats hire boat.
The family onboard included the grandparents. Bascote Locks all the way down the Fosse Locks an finally Radford Lock, before we both moored up. They moored up for lunch and we were going no further.

This morning Wednesday, it was a beautiful start to our final days cruising. We started the engine at 8.45am and made an effort to get underway, but the mud kept sucking us back to the bank. Eventually Keith got the better of it and we were soon on our way. First stop was Aldi at Leamington-Spa, where we topped up our food cupboard and fridge. We had hoped to stop at Tesco to get Marmite's food, but all the moorings were taken up, so Keith will need to take a bus trip instead. Whilst underway, I heated up a pastie and sausages rolls, so we could have something to eat before tackling Cape Locks.
Up through Cape Locks and onward to the Saltisford Arm and home.

We have enjoyed our trip out, but it is always lovely some home and to see the changes. We are going to be having a new moorer and then of course our Winter moorers will be arriving at the end of October. I am going to be busy with laundry, tidying the boat and giving her a good clean inside and out and then there is the gardening as well, which needs my attention.
I will try and keep the blog light hearted as I tackle the mountain of tasks.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday 23 October 2017

How was it for you?

Hi Friends and Followers.

So come on how was it for you?
I am talking about Storm Brian?
Did he rattle your nerves or bring down your mood?

Storm Brian was sat out at Bridge 100 outside of Braunston. We were well away from trees or anything which could fly through the air. To be honest yes it was windy, but we were fine. We removed the boat poles from the sheeting, because they were banging on the struts in the hold. Apart from that we did not really allow the wind to bother us. I felt sorry for the hire boaters trying to move, they looked rather miserable as they came past us. But when you hire and give yourself a task to do the Warwickshire Ring, you have to keep moving.
After the so called storm, the sky was amazing, giving me the chance to take these photographs. I am so lucky to do what I do and to live the life I live. Of course it has not been without its difficulties, but I would not change my life for all the money in the world. I am so lucky to have the most wonderful man in my life and an amazing boat. Oh and I should not forget Paddy and Marmite, who brighten our day.
Today's destination was The Two Boats at Long Itchington. We shared the Calcutt and Stockton Locks with a hire boat, which was out for a three day taster. They were the most delightful family and Torin one of their boys, who was 7 yrs old was a total star. He worked so hard on the locks. We left them at the Blue Lias pub as we wanted to get to Long Itchington, where we had lunch and a couple of pints in The Two Boats. We had an excellent afternoon nattering to the locals and the pub owner, who talked to us about the pubs history. What amazed us was that the pub was there before the canal arrived. It is a wonderful pub, so if you are passing do go in.

Tomorrow we will move closer to home.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday 21 October 2017

Homeward Bound

Hello Friends and Followers.

Another miserable start to the day, with incredibly low cloud causing drizzly rain when we set off from Hawkesbury Junction. We passed through Sutton Stop Lock and headed off towards Ansty. We found ourselves behind another boat, who was quite happily pootling, which I do not have a problem with. What I do have a problem with however, is when that pootling boater has seen us behind him and he sits in the middle and makes no attempt to allow us through. he was pootling at 1 mph and we were in neutral and reverse. In the end he drifted to the offside and so we made a run for it up his inside. He did not acknowledge us and we said nothing to him. By all means pootle, but do consider those behind you.
We were making good headway until we got close to Newbold and we join another queue of boats this time we had three in front of us. The boat in front of us was as confused as we were as to why progress was so slow. As we approached the tunnel the lead boat was weaving all over the canal and finally allowed us all through. It turned out they were hirers on their way back base. As we came through Newbold the second boat pulled in and moored up, which left the boat in front of us and us to get underway. It is amazing how quickly you can pick up speed and make distance between you when not held up.

Onward through Rugby, where our good friend Ian and Irene were moored on NB FreeSpirit.
Sadly it as a fleeting wave and a shout of "Hello", as we needed to plough on. Hopefully we will see there somewhere next year, as I am pretty sure we have a lot of chin wagging to do over tea.
The boat in front of us got a gallop on and we only caught up with them at Hillmorton Locks, where they only had one of each set of locks open, due to a broken beam on one of the middle locks. I had a nice chat with the volunteer lockies and the boater in front of us, who had helped with coal boating back in the day and was interested to know if the two boats he helped on were still going strong. I was able to cheer his day by telling him Elstree and Lyra are still on the canal and Lyra is still working. By the time we cleared the locks they were gone into the distance with Braunston being their destination.

After another long day we moored at Bridge 100 on the Grand Union/Oxford Canals link west of Braunston. The plan was to wait out Storm Brian, which was promised and to possibly stay the weekend. Over night the wind most definitely got up a head of steam and there were waves on the canal. The plan to stay put was a good one, as we have watched the Napton hire boats going out and really struggling. One of them managed to clobber us as they tried to make headway.
Hopefully tomorrow will be calmer.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday 19 October 2017

Boating in the rain.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Well what a day.
There was a song 'Singing in the rain'. Well I have renamed it 'Boating in the rain'
I'm boating in the rain
Just boating in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the towpath
With a happy refrain
Just boatin',
Boatin' in the rain

The morning began like most mornings, with a cuppa in bed, with Marmite on my lap and the radio blaring out. The weather forecast said that rain would set in about lunchtime, so we knew we would get a fair way before the supposed rain arrived. We were up just after 7am, because we wanted to top the batteries up with distilled water. By the time I had walked his lordship (Paddy), fed him and Marmite and made our breakfast, the time was getting on towards 8am and I still had the back cabin fire to light. Once that was achieved, Keith got on with checking the five domestic batteries and topping them up. We are thinking we may need to get new batteries for next Spring, as these batteries are over 4 years old and we think they may not be holding their charge properly. Anyway batteries sorted, floor back down and all was well with the world.
We were ready to set off from Alvecote at 8.40am. The sky was dark and gloomy and very threatening. By the time we reached the Atherstone flight of eleven locks the rain was falling steadily and so we were in for a wet day. The first lock was against us and so this did not bode well, but hooray a boat was coming down, so as we cleared the first lock, the boat going down went in. Joy of joys every lock there on was with us. The rain did not let up through and by half way my first waterproof jacket, was soaked all the way through, so onto jacket number 2 and although the body was keeping me dry my arms were soaking, so jacket number 2 was not very waterproof either. I bought it as a waterproof jacket last year, so I am more than a bit disappointed to find out it lets the rain in. Just as well it was not that cold with the rain and so being wet did not bother me at all. I really enjoyed the whole jaunt. We met a group of fishermen, who were getting soaked but were having fun and we had a laugh with them. On a wet day it is guaranteed that there will not be many boaters moving unless they have too and so for us it was brilliant.
Our cruising day finished at 3.50pm close to Hawkesbury Junction. We closed the boat up and dried out. I had my hair plaited and I could wring the water out of it. Jackets and hats were hung in the back cabin, which was toastie warm. There was a fabulous stew smell coming from the stove, with the remains of our Sausage Stew, this went down rather well after such a soggy day.
After dinner, I needed to find a post box, so we walked down to The Greyhound Pub at the junction, to ask where the nearest post box was and were given very good instructions on how to get there. Whilst in the pub, we thought it would be rude not to have a half and to sit down and admire this beautiful pub. Neither of us has ever been into The Greyhound before, but we will definitely go again and next time we will sample their pies, which we have been told are incredible.
So that was my day. I am of course hoping for something a little drier tomorrow.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Homeward bound.

Hello Friends and Followers.

You will need to bear with me over the next few days, because I may not always have a signal. At the moment my signal is at snail's pace, so I will not always be able to upload any photographs until I have a better signal.
At the moment we are moored at The Samuel Barlow, Alvecote, having left Stone on Monday after a fabulous weekend. There will be more on that when I am at home.
On Monday we had the red sun all day.
It was rather spooky.
I dropped off a card order in Great Haywood to a friend, before we made our way. We had quite a scare when we were coming into Weston. A woman cycling along the towpath, decided to stop in the bridge 'ole and she over balanced whilst putting her foot down. In slow motion she and her bike fell into the canal, alongside our boat which was moving through the bridge 'ole. Keith's quick thinking, meant he put Hadar into neutral. I shouted at the woman to hold onto the bank and I would get off and help her out. Now as you may remember it was blowing a hooley on Monday, so getting into the bank was a challenge, but Keith managed to get the stern in enough for me to leap off. I ran to the woman in the water, who was quite calm. I had to pull her bike out first, because she was still on it. Once I had gotten her bike out, I then helped the lady out, who was thankfully not to heavy. She was sincerely grateful for my help, but wanted to be on her way. I offered to dry her out and make her a hot drink, but she said she was going to Stafford. I tried to explain to her that she was going in the wrong direction, but she was convinced she was going the correct way and was fine. It was at this point she realised she was missing a shoe, which had been dragged down into the mud. I did not get her name, but she was Dutch and sopping wet. I wish she had allowed me to help her more, but before I could do anything else she was on her bike and gone. I just hope the lady is fine :-)

Yesterday Tuesday we had a long day and another drama, when I spotted a young Heron on the bank.
The Heron flew up and followed behind the boat, where I noticed there was something wrong with it's right leg. The leg had been severed by probably fishing line and the leg was hanging off. The Heron landed for a short time, before flying behind the boat again. I am unsure what will happen to this beautiful bird with only one leg, but I do have someone keeping an eye on it for me and if they are concerned they will contact the RSPCA. Nature is beautiful, but it can also be so cruel.

Today with just a short jaunt, has been less eventful thankfully. It is extremely overcast at the moment. We had a fantastic lunch and a pint in The Samuel Barlow, which was well deserved after our long day yesterday, when we did not stop until gone 5pm.

HRT update: I have taken my last tablet as of Tuesday, so we will see what happens now.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

What a difference a day makes.

Hello Dear Readers.

Having had a peaceful nights sleep, I was awake early courtesy of Miss Marmite. For such a small lady, she weighs a lot when she is lying on my legs, which hampers my turning over. Now awake, there was only one thing to do and that was to get up and make a cup of tea, but of course that annoyed Marmite, because it meant she had to move again.
Tea made, it was back to bed with the radio on. Marmite decided she would climb beneath the duvet by her dad and snuggle down for as long as our cup of tea lasted. When I got up, I opened the back cabin door to see the amazing view above. The sunrise was beautiful and to make it more special were the Swan family who came to say "Good Morning".

Up and about, Paddy and I went for a morning stroll enjoying the sound of a Buzzard overhead and a Heron flying up cut ahead of us.
Back onboard, I lit the back cabin stove, filled the copper kettle and placed it on the stove. I love the smell of proper coal when it is burning and the wafting of the smoke into the morning sky.
8.40 am we were all set for the off, so I untied the forend and off we set, destination Stone, which is of course Hadar's birth place.
What a difference a day makes, because today we had the locks with us for a nice change and there were other boats on the move. It had been so quiet on the cut, but being back on the Trent and Motorway, I should of guessed there would be more boats.
We arrived in Stone, which always brings happy memories of when Hadar was built ten years ago. We always enjoy coming back.
We winded and moored up. We had leaden skies and now they were sending us rain, which would last for an hour and more, before drying up again later.
I am looking forward to a couple of days rest, before we set off again.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Locks against us.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Before I begin my ramblings, I must apologise, if you have left me a comment and I have not replied I am sorry. It seems that blogger has forgotten to send me an e-mail to tell me I have comments. I received one today and when I checked my comments, It is fair to say I had a few. Because I have had so many, I will not be able to reply to them all, but know that I will read them all and I thank you for taking the time to send me a comment. In future I will be checking more closely to see if I have any comments to be published.

Right well what a fabulous day weather-wise. It was a tad nippy this morning, which explained why Marmite felt the need to sleep on my legs for most of the night. I had let the saloon stove go out, because it had been warm, but with the temperature drop overnight, Marmite was clearly put out, and decided to take it out on me all night. Everytime I needed to change position, she complained then curled up again. I reckon she got more sleep than I did.
We left Cross Green at 8.40am and the sun was doing its best to burn off the low cloud. First locks of the day were worked at Gailey.
We were clearly not in luck when it came to the locks today, because they were all against us. Thirteen locks and not one was with us. There were more boats on the move today, which was nice. Lunch was again eaten on the move. At Penkridge, we met up with Carol and Bob on NB Falmouth, who winter moored in the Saltisford Arm. Falmouth has had a brand new paint job and looks fantastic. This year Carol and Bob are mooring her at the Stafford Boat Club, so we will not be seeing them. We got to Tixel Wide and there was Kit Alcott waving, so we had a quick "hello" and then onward to Great Haywood junction at 4.30pm. On his mooring at Great Haywood Marina Mark was on his boat waving. It is always lovely to see people we know and to say "hello" to those we have never met before, although some are a tad grumpy. I cannot do grumpy, so usually make more of a point of speaking to the person, in a hope that I will at least get a smile.
Our cruising day ended at Br 78 Ingestre Bridge, with the temperature dropping and the light fading.
Having moored up, I cooked us Bubble and Squeak for dinner and made a coffee, because we were both in need of something to eat.
HRT Update, for anyone who is interested.
It has been going well. I am now down to just one a week for the next two weeks and then that will be it, I will have come off of my HRT tablets. It will then be interesting to see if I have any issues. As of yet I have felt fine. My joints have been aching, but that is probably due to all the work I have been doing this past couple of weeks, well that is what I am hoping. We will just have to see how it goes.

See you tomorrow I hope.
Pop back soon xx

Monday 9 October 2017

Sunday at BCLM and moving on.

Hi Friends and Followers.

Sunday morning dawned bloomin early with the valves for the back boiler on the stove going on and off. Which meant the fire was low. I tried so hard to close my ears to it, but sleeping was hopeless, so I lay there listening to Keith sleep, with a gentle snore and the valves going off. 6.30am and it was brew time and the radio on. Marmite decided she needed to get into the bed and climbed beneath the duvet on Keith's side of the bed. She made her way to the bottom of the bed, curled up and snoozed, until she either got to warm or the oxygen ran out. her little head appeared in the corner of the bed 'ole and a squeaking meow announced that she really thought we should think about getting up. 7.30am we gave in and folded the bed away into the bed 'ole and closed the door for the day. This obviously meant to Marmite that she was getting fed, but first of all paddy got his morning stroll. I opened the back cabin door and there on the bridge behind the boat sat a Squirrel. Its tail perked up and wagged as if to say "Good morning", it then bound off along the top of the bridge and was not seen again. Paddy was disinterested in the furry critter and was more than happy to walk off down the towpath get his business done and head back home for breakfast. As usual Marmite was sat on the back step waiting for us. Not because she wanted to greet us, but because she wanted feeding, despite the fact she has a bowl full of dried food. marmite loves her meat first thing in the morning and wo betide if she does not get it before paddy gets his biscuits. Paddy on the other hand is happy to wait patiently for his biscuits.
We have been having feeding problems with Paddy and have tried numerous ways to get him to eat. The last attempt was to change his bowl to a pyrex dish and so far, it seems to be working, although he does appear to be showing signs of going senile, because he looks at me and his food, as if to say "What am I supposed to do with that". Once we show him his food and feed him by hand he gets the message. I guess at Thirteen and a half it is to be expected.
We decided to get our Aldi food shop shop done, so headed up the hill to Aldo for 10am when the store opens. When we got there, there was a queue forming, so like all good Britains we joined the queue and waited. Five past ten and we were still waiting, no one seemed bothered. It got to 10.15 am and a gentleman who had just got out of his car, walked up to the doors which opened and he walked in. We had all be queuing for no reason and no one from inside the store came to say they were open. I did have to giggle.
Shopping done, we were home just after 10.30am. I got on with stowing away the food whilst Keith headed into museum. I joined him a short time later and we got on with nattering to staff and the public.
At midday I got us a portion of Fish and Chips for lunch and cut it into two portions, which was enjoyed in our back cabin and followed by fruit and yogurt. Later in the afternoon, Keith bought us both a pint. It is thirsty work chatting to people and taking photographs.
One of the young men who works at the museum is Robert and he was baking the bread, which smelt amazing. he really has a talent for baking bread and is a thoroughly nice young man, who Keith and I have gotten on well with. Everyone we chat too at the museum is so lovely. The day went all to quickly and it was soon time to retire to our not for the evening.

Monday morning and it was moving on day, but not before the usual boating stuff, which also included filling up with water, getting rid of rubbish and emptying the cassette. 
We said "Goodbye" to the BCLM for this year and headed off to Wolverhampton and the 21.
We did not see another boat on the flight, which was easy to do, even though all but two were against us. 
We managed to do the flight in Three and a half hours.
Our cruising day ended at 4pm at Cross Green, where I was only to happy to put my feet up after a nice hot shower. 

Pop back soon x


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