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

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Coming back as a cat.


Hi Friends.

Soggy old day. It is definitely milder, because I am back to wearing my waistcoat when going out instead of my down jacket. But with the milder weather comes rain and more rain, plus heavily laden skies, which means no sunshine to warm our bones.

I was talking to a neighbour this morning and he has been abroad for a week. He had a week of sunshine and warmth, which I think all of us would crave right now.

You may remember if you read my blog regularly a post called ‘Getting your just desserts’, where a lady named Linda, had posters put up about her cheating husband.


Well it seems she has not forgiven him, because there are new posters around Warwick.


This time she mentions a dating site, which at first it was thought was fake, but it seems this site does exist and clearly Linda is really getting back at Graham. Warwick still has no idea who this couple are and the intrigue goes on.

How would you get back at a cheating spouse or partner?

With it being so miserable this morning, I was not exactly jumping out of bed and was only to happy to sit in bed drinking my first cuppa of the day, whilst watching the news, which is depressing watching as you will all know, I do not do politics on this blog, but it seems that the world has gone mad.

Once up Paddy and I headed out for our walk and at this point the rain was just about holding off. We like to go a different route everyday, which confuses Paddy no end. Today was pavement walking to keep his claws down. On the walk back we waited at the junction to cross the road a van from a local company passed us and I noticed the driver was on his phone as he pulled out away from the junction, this bothered me all day, because it is against the law to be on the phone whilst driving. Penalties for using your phone while driving. You could get 3 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100. Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500, so to see this man on his phone really annoyed me as it always does when I see this. My first thought was to go and speak to the company, but instead I decided to e-mail the company. I for one would hate for this man to be involved in an incident, where injury or death could occur, or he could lose his licence, which could ruin the rest of his life. It just takes one careless moment. We will see if I get a reply.

Home and it was laundry day, so with my £1 coin for the machine and a bag full of washing, I walked up to the laundry and set things in motion. There is something therapeutic about watching ones washing going round and round, but I had boat jobs to do, so I locked up the laundry and headed back to the boat, where I sorted out the fire and put the second half of the Sausage casserole on top of the stove to start warming it through, before adding Dumplings. The ash bucket on the pontoon was full, so I emptied the cold ash into an old coal bag and got rid of that in the bin room, at which point may alarm went off to say my washing was almost done. Washing was hung in the engine room and back cabin to dry and a coffee was made. At this point it was a good time to sit down and catch-up on e-mails and social media.

Lunch was the second half of the Sausage Casserole with added Dumplings. I am a lover of Dumplings, I tend to use Vegetable Suet these days. Rain was now huffing it down, so I waited for a while before taking Paddy out for his afternoon stroll. I am non to worried about getting wet, but Paddy hates getting wet, and a soggy doggy on a boat is not pleasant for either of us. Marmite has spent most of her day sleeping in her basket, which was my planting basket, but she has decided she prefers it for sleeping in, so for the time being I have lost my basket to her.


I will get my basket back eventually, because Marmite has fads. On week she will sleep in the back cabin on the side bed, then she goes off that and sleeps in the engine room and her bed of choice at the moment is my basket.


She always looks so cosy in it and therefore I try not to disturb her. It is definitely a cat’s life on this boat. She gets fed when she screams, played with when she meows and sleeps where she likes. I am coming back as a cat Smile

Monday 30 January 2017

Miserable Monday.


Hello Friends.

It’s Monday and the weather is miserable and mild. I think you probably know me by now, I prefer the cold and frosty days to this miserable weather, where we do not see the sun for days.

Anyway it is Monday and I did not have anything major planned. So having done all my usual morning boat chores, I decided it was a good time to wash our Donkey jackets and hats ready for when we go off cruising. yes we are planning our cruising, having hopefully fixed our generator. We will be going into Birmingham for the Spring Cruise at the beginning of April, which we are both looking forward too. Both our Donkey jackets weigh quite a lot when wet, so I thought it best to wash them in the laundry machines. They only needed a quick £1 wash. When washed and spun they and our hats came up looking brand new. They were hung in the back cabin to dry.


Whilst walking back to the boat, it was lovely to see our Sparrow population using the Sparrow hotel, which was put up for them a couple of years ago. They have been over wintering in the hotel and we may even have babies from there this Spring.


On the boat, both Paddy and Marmite were snoozing. Marmite was curled up in her basket fast asleep. She always looks so lovely when she is sleeping.

After the morning coffee, I did a nappy change under the back cabin floor and under the floor in the galley.


The nappies were doing a fantastic job of soaking up the condensation. For the sake of spending £1.50 these value nappies, mean I do not have to mop out under the floors. It is a win, win solution.

After lunch and watching Bargain Hunt, Paddy and I went for a walk around the cemetery. I know it sounds a bit odd, but the Warwick Cemetery is beautiful.


The Snowdrops were out, brightening the miserable day. Usually when we do this walk, we see at least two squirrels, but today they were not out and about, they were probably snoozing. Paddy and I had a nice stroll, before heading back to the boat and another coffee, before putting my feet up and doing more of my crochet. Blanket number one almost finished.

As you know from my posting the other day about the sad death of our friend Les. Yesterday we heard of the sad death of another boater we know. Such a tragic loss to her husband and family and we are keeping them in our thoughts. January has not been a good start to 2017 so far with people we know dying. We can but hope the rest of the year is better.

Sunday 29 January 2017

Time to Crochet.


Hi Friends.

Saturday was one of those days, I had plenty to do, but I just did not have the energy or the wear for all to do it. So I decided I would listen to my body and do very little.

First thing in the morning, I made up the stove and cleaned the glass. Many people suffer with blackened glass and can never get it clean. I tend to use a wet piece of newspaper. I dab it in the ash and then rub that over the glass. Once it is clean then wipe it over with a clean cloth, this usually does the trick. You can also open the air wash at the top of the stove door, this helps keep the glass clear. We do not tend to burn much wood on our stove, it is usually smokeless coal. Stove sorted it was time for our local marine engineer to arrive to have a look at our 4kw built in generator, which has been playing up.


When we went out for the month of October, it began not starting, and when we did get it started it would cut out and not start again. We changed the fuel filter, because we thought it may have been that, but it still did the same thing, so I suggested we get some help. Our local marine engineer heard the tale of the poorly generator, he suggested it sounded like a fuel problem and perhaps air getting into the fuel line. A quick check around with a couple of spanners, he discovered that the pipe fitting on the top of the fuel tank, which is underneath the generator, was a bit loose. Having explained that we had replaced the pipework for the cooling system at the start of his visit, he wondered if It had loosened it accidentally when fitting the new pipework, which was very close to the fitting, and Keith did struggle to get the new pipework in around that fitting. This tied in, as the problem had started after we changed the cooling pipework. He also tightened a few other joints whilst he was at it. Hopefully this has fixed the problem. We will know when we set off hopefully next month for our Spring/Summer cruise.

Because lunch had passed, we just had a sandwich and I would cook for dinner. I made a Sweet and Sour Chicken for dinner and put it on top of the saloon stove to cook slowly over the afternoon. Whilst that was cooking, I started a new crochet blanket as one of our Winter moorer’s is expecting twins in her family and would like a couple of baby blankets in neutral colours, because they do not know the sex of the twins. So I rifled through my wool box and came up with some white and pale green wool. Now putting wool in a bag and standing it on the floor is a game to Marmite. She cannot help herself, she just has to jump in the bag, so we had a lovely game for a while, before she ran out of energy and went back into her basket for a nap. By the evening, I was half way through making a baby blanket, I stuck at it till 9.30 pm. 10 pm and it was time for bed said Zebedee.

Sunday morning and it was brr in the back cabin. We had a substantial frost overnight, there was ice on the canal and the car park was slippery. Paddy and I went out for his morning walk and he was a little like Bambie on ice, so we abandoned the tarmac and headed on to the grass and yes I know they say you should not walk on the grass when it is covered in ice or snow, but it was either that or one of us breaking a limb. Back on the boat for breakfast, which for us was Porridge made up with Raisins for sweetness and mog and dog got their usual morning treats.

The frost did not really last very long, before it was washed away by the rain, which had been forecast. Both stoves were going, I had to re-light the back cabin stove because I had let it go out. But the saloon stove was still pushing out the heat and hot water. Being a Sunday and wet, there was little else to do but stay indoors and watch films. ‘Herbie The Love Bug’. I had not seen this film for years. A nice Sunday of doing very little.

Friday 27 January 2017

Friday, It’s almost the Weekend.


Hello Friends.

I hope this posting finds you well and not to cold, because this morning it was –5.4 c outside and all was crisp under foot and the canal had ice on it again wooo hooo. I do so love my life on the canal and no I am not being flippant, I really adore my life and would not change it for the world.


This past few days, I have been a little reflective after the loss of our friend Les. Yesterday I sat and read Jaqueline’s latest posting on their blog all about Les and his last few days of life in what looks like an incredible Hospice. Everyone there was so caring. It is an inspirational read, but tissues were also needed, so if you feel you are up to reading all about Les and Jaqueline please do go and read their blog. Both Les and Jaqueline fought the good fight with such grace and determination and to the end, they have both been so inspirational. Talking about death is something we do not do enough and that is why Jacqueline’s latest posting ‘Death Is Hard Work’ is beautifully written.

Friday and yes it is darn nippy this morning. I do not normally worry about the cold, but this morning I was only to happy to put my duvet jacket on and gloves, so it must have been cold. The air literally took my breath away, when I stepped off of the boat with Paddy. He was very spritely this morning whilst out for his walk, either that or he was just in a hurry to get back in the warm. On our return to the boat, I re-lit the back cabin stove and stoked up the saloon stove, to keep our little piece of heaven nice and cosy.

There was very little excitement to my Friday. I got to go to the recycling bins at Sainsbury. Yeah I know, I lead such an exciting life. Recycling has to be done and when our two bags are full, they need to be emptied. The one good thing is, it gets me out for a walk in the fresh air.


More fresh air was taken in, when I decided to get off my bottom and take Paddy for a walk up to Lock Two on the Hatton Flight. There is no way Paddy would have gotten to the top. He may have reached the top, but I would of been carrying him home, so we walked up to the second lock and then did an about turn.


The Bottom Lock cottage is looking fabulous. it was sold at Auction for £165,000 towards the end of 2016 and the people who bought it, have really made a lovely job of its renovation. It will be nice to see people living in it and enjoying it. The only draw back for this cottage, like so many other lock cottages, is it does not have road access. You have to cross the lock gates to reach the cottage, so it could prove fun in the bad weather because the carpark is over the lock gates. I absolutely love the cottage.

Back to the warmth of the boat, I got on with emptying the engine room.


Well Saturday morning, Rob from Kate Boats, is coming to look at our generator and hopefully he can find out what the problem is with it and best of all fix it. We will then make firmer plans for this years cruising. We know where we would like to go, but if the generator is not working right, we will just stay put. You are probably thinking, why is the generator so important? Well our engine is a rare vintage engine and a loud lady to boot, so when moored up for a weekend or more, we do not like running her. She is much happier running on the move. The built in generator is quiet in comparison, and so we would prefer to have it working properly. So fingers will be tightly crossed for a good result.

After lunch, it was noticeable that the temperature was creeping up and the ice on the canal was melting, so it looks like the milder weather is on its way for the weekend, which means rain and lots of it.

I am still busy doing the family history. I have been going between my family history and Keith’s. I made a discovery in my family history. Walter Owen was born in 1882 and died in 1945. In 1901 he was a boatman in Birmingham, working with or for Thomas Beresford, who was the head of a boating family. Walter and I are first cousins three times removed. I know it is tenuous but I just knew I had someone in my family who was involved on the water. If you have watched ‘Golden Age of Canals’ you will hear me say “I feel like I have come home” and knowing that he was cruising the canals makes me so happy.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Deep sadness.


Today is a sad day, because the waterways community has lost another fine and honourable boater.


We received the news from Jaqueline this morning, that we knew was coming, but it does not make it any less painful. Les off of Narrowboat Valerie passed away at 9.09 am this morning (Tuesday 24th January) after a bravely fought battle against Cancer.

Les was one of the first people we met in 2005, when we took our boat up the Caldon Canal. We moored up in front of  his boat Valerie at Consal Forge. Les was a kind, warm hearted friend, who was always welcoming.

When Les married Jaqueline in 2011, his life was complete, he had found his soulmate. Life is so cruel to those who deserve much more time together. Heaven has claimed another angel way to soon.

Be at peace my dear and we will see you on the other side.

It's my time to go.
-·=»‡«=·-<< ~~*~~ -·=»‡«=·- ~~*~~ >>-·=»‡«=·-
It's time you know, I have to go,
The time has come I think you know,
He is now calling so I have to go,
I love you so my love my life;
I wish it wasn't so that I have to go,
I wish I could stay to see you grow,
I don't want to go but my time has come,
You're my best friend, lover and soul mate,
So kind and gentle, always there I know,
I'll never forget the day that we met,
I was so lucky to become your mate.
You opened you door and showed me your heart,
I'll never forget you; we'll never be apart,
You loved me and cared for me over the years,
You taught me everything and took away my fears.
He is calling now so I must go,
But before I go I want you to know,
I know it hurts to lose my love,
But I will be here right by your side,
And making plans within your mind,
I will be there when you make your coffee,
And when you sleep at night, in your dreams,
Think sweet things of me, for I have never left.
He is now calling so I have to go,
I love you so my sweet love,
It's my time to go.

Written by Jo Lodge

Sunday 22 January 2017

Crisp and Frosty.


Cold and frosty start to Sunday morning in the Arm. The temperature got down to -4.9 c over night, which has given us a perfect start to the day. Ice on the canal, birds singing and the ground crunches beneath the feet, what better way to say "Hello" to a Sunday morning.


There is nothing nicer than seeing ice on the cut and the sun coming up. The back cabin was a tad chilly, but beneath the duvet all was snuggly.


All to soon it was time to get up and out with Paddy and this time I remembered my camera. I was so cross yesterday at missing the Buzzard which was sitting in a tree near the Arm.


There would not be many boats moving today with ice on the cut. When we were doing the coal run on the Leicester Line, we would push up to 3 inches of ice to make it through to our customers, as we did not have a vehicle to transport the coal by road, so it was by boat or not at all. The sound of ice crashing against the hull is still a magical sound to this day.


In the Arm, most of the boaters were still snug in their beds, whilst we were walking.


Back on the boat, we had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, before I got on with stoking the fires, getting rid of ash and doing a general tidy. I then got on with making a beef stew. In the stew was obviously stewing beef, onions, carrots, sweet potato, mushrooms and peas. Later in the day I would add the dumplings. Nothing nicer on a cold winters day. The stew was put into the back cabin stove to slow cook all day.


After a sandwich lunch, both Keith and I got on with our family trees. I am now trying to discover more about my grand-father on my mum’s side. I only recall meeting Joseph Harris once and it was only for a minute or two. My brother and I were sent out of the room. From what I can remember he and my Nan had split up. I am told he served in WWII in the 8th army with Montgomery, but like so many other men he did not come back the same man and this lead to their split. I often wonder what became of him. I learnt today he died in 1982. I wish I had known him better and seen more of him, but as it is with a lot of families secrets are hidden and families split. In fact both my grand-fathers are a mystery. I am going to have to do a lot of digging.

We are fortunate to have many friends on the cut and I am keeping some of them in my thoughts right now as they fight ill health. My thoughts are with Les and Jacqueline Biggs on Narrowboat Valerie at the moment.


Keith and Les on Narrowboat Valerie.


Jacqueline and I laughing about something. Love and many hugs to them at this time xxx

Friday 20 January 2017

How to silence a scammer.


Hi Friends.

It was a stonker of a morning when I opened the back cabin door, I was greeted by a frost and clean air.


The air was so still that the reflections on the water were so clear. I love mornings like this. For a change we had sunshine to follow, which we have not had for some days. Paddy had a spring in his step, when he climbed out of the boat and jumped off the back counter to head off for his walk. It was rather slippery under foot, so whilst he was not bothered by the ice, I was being a little more careful. On our return to the boat, Marmite was sitting on the step waiting for us to return, knowing full well she would get her much needed breakfast. Anyone would think she was never fed. Animals sorted, fires sorted, next I had the bed to strip, as it was bedding wash day today. Whilst the bedding was washing, I got on and remade the bed with a crisp, clean duvet cover, sheet and pillow cases. There is nothing nicer than climbing into clean bedding. After the washing was done, it was hung in the engine room and back cabin and did not take long to dry, with the stove going.

It was 11 am and time to start thinking about something for lunch. I had decided on doing Singapore noodles with Chicken, this is a dish we have had at Wetherspoon’s, it is in the menu for two meals for £7.99. I began preparing the veggies and the chicken. At 11.30 am the phone rang. I answered it and a gentleman told me he was from Microsoft, I listened to his Indian voice and though nah this is not right, so put the phone done. No sooner I got into the galley the phone rang again, but this time Keith answered the phone. The following is what happened next as told by Keith.

Just had an interesting 1½ hour conversation with a scammer. He said we was from Microsoft and was trying to tell me that my computer was causing errors. He knew and quoted my CLSID, which he then got me to look up according to the description below, even pointing me to the errors as also quoted. Despite telling him I had worked with computers since 1982 as a computer engineer, and knew more about computers then he, I was passed to 2 other colleagues, 1 supposedly an engineer and the lady was in registration, all coming out with similar statements, especially emphasising that my Microsoft licence would be revoked and my computer closed down!

Whilst all this was going on I was cooking lunch which got spoilt, but I did have a giggle at Keith picking thie scammers apart. . At this point Keith asked the man to ring back so we could eat our lunch, and during this time Keith did some research on-line and found the following:-
"A CLSID is a Class Identifier stored in the Windows Registry — at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID, but I don’t recommend that you go digging into the Registry unless you really know what you’re doing. Fortunately (from the point of view of interfering with Registry entries), the scammer doesn’t need you to edit the registry to find the CLSID he’s looking for. He simply has to persuade you to run the ASSOC command. It’s easy to do: you click on the Start button, Run, type in CMD to get to the command prompt (DOS prompt) and type ASSOC. That runs through a long list of file associations, telling you (for instance) that “.xltx=Excel.Template”.
Since it’s a long file it scrolls straight to the bottom, but if you’re really interested in seeing exactly what it contains, you can get it to go through page by page by typing in “assoc | more”: however, the scammer wants you to go straight to the bottom so that you’ll see this entry:
That’s the CLSID on all PCs and is not unique to your computer. Amazingly, it’s also the one that the scammer quoted. And I bet that if you have a recent version of Windows and go through the same steps you’ll find that you have it too. In other words, the scammer can’t see your CLSID or anything else on your PC, including your Event Viewer logs. Unless, of course, you fall for the scam and give him remote access with AMMYY or LetMeIn.
Event Viewer? That’s the tool he uses to persuade you that the transitory errors inevitably flagged in its logs are “evidence” of a system problem or malware infection. Of course, they’re no such thing."
I did not think we would hear anything else from these scammers, how daft was I because one of them rang back Keith told him that he had sent an email to Microsoft and that until he had a reply to it he was not going to proceed any further, to which he hung up and so far has not rung back. I must admit they were very convincing and it was disturbing when Keith was threatened with my pc being closed down, but fortunately he knew what they were trying to do. Now don't get me wrong but considering all 3 that he spoke to said they were in San Francisco California, they all spoke with an Asian accent, and when he asked to speak to an American to prove they were from Microsoft in America, none of them could do so, surprise, surprise. So please be warned about these phone calls, and pass on, or share if you wish, as less suspecting and savvy folks than us may get caught out by it as it does sound very convincing. If you do get a similar call even if you ask for names they give you names, the two I was given were Richard Harrison, and Anne Johnson, bearing in mind the accents were Asian!

I have already spoken to a friend, who also had the same thing happen to her, thankfully she was not taken in. These people were so persistent, I am glad it was their phone bill and not ours. I wonder how many people they do actually manage to scam each day?

After such an exciting morning, the afternoon was really boring, so I will not bother to send you to sleep.

Thursday 19 January 2017

It’s a cat’s life.


Hi Friends.

I know, I know you are all going awwww to the cute picture of the day. I did exactly the same. I know for a fact we would never have gotten Marmite in boots and a cat when she was a kitten.

The title of this post is because I think I am coming back as a boat cat in the next life, because marmite has the perfect life style. She usually stays awake a lot through the night looking out of the port holes. She keeps a vigil in case there is any activity outside that she should know about. I suspect she is watching for rats and other cats which come past the boat. We know other cats patrol the area, because I see them most days. Once Keith and I are awake and having our cuppa in bed, she see’s fit to come and pay us a visit. She is mainly checking to see if we are getting up, because in her opinion she should be fed no sooner we are awake. Once we decide we are getting up, she then wants to play sheet wars with me. I roll the duvet up and put it in the cupboard and then roll the bottom sheet up, but usually before I can do this Marmite has dived under the rolled up sheet and is attacking it with all four paws and her teeth and woe betide if my hand gets in the way, she may only have Eleven teeth left, but she still puts them to good use. I have to wrestle the sheet off of her, which is of course a huge game. When she has finished, she them wants Keith to pick up up for a cuddle, this means I can then put the bed away and close the door on the cupboard.

Cuddle with Keith over, she starts meowing and meowing for her breakfast and she does not stop. I usually take Paddy out for his walk, before feeding either of them, so when we come back from the walk, she is sat on the back cabin step still meowing her disapproval at not being fed. At this point I feed her her fish and at last we have peace. It is not as though she has no food, because she has dried food in a dish, but she always likes her fish in the morning and evenings.


After breakfast, if the back cabin stove is lit, she will head into the back cabin and sleep on top of my sewing pile, this is a pile of things I need to either adjust or mend. Marmite loves sleeping on clothes. She will stay there for most of the day, sometimes only putting in appearance when the end music for Tipping Point comes on, because she knows it is then teatime.

Yesterday I emptied a basket with plants in I had been given, I scrubbed it clean and hung it above the stove to dry. This morning I put it on the box beside the fire and Marmite immediately thought “Goodie”. She climbed into it and went round and round in the basket trying to get comfortable. Because the bottom of the basket was rough and uncomfortable, tis went on and on, so me being soft I put my old sweat shirt in it for her.


She has been in the basket ever since all snuggled up and looking like the cat who got the cream.


This will be her favourite place for a few days, she will then get fed up with it and move on to somewhere else. Keith made her the rag rug under the basket, she slept on it a couple of times and now she does not want to know it.


Marmite is the cat that rules our boat and she rules us and Paddy. Paddy put his nose up to the basket and Marmite made it quite clear he was not to come near. She will stay there until teatime and then we will have the meowing all over again until she gets her fish. Marmite is a fish cat, she does not like meat. We tried her on Chicken, Beef, Rabbit etc, but she turned her nose up. No sooner we gave her fish, she was one very happy cat.

She definitely has a Cat’s Life.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

X-ray and the Kingfisher.


Hi Friends.

It is another drab and miserable day. I do not tend to let the weather bother me, but when it is so miserable, it can drag you feeling to rock bottom and I know some suffer during the Winter months. For me I am a very optimistic person and never let anything get me down for long.

This mornings excursion was to the hospital for a chest X-ray. They say that the NHS is failing us with its delays, well there was no sign of that. I made the appointment yesterday, when I got back from the GP and my appoint was for 8.50 am this morning, now that is what I call quick. Warwick Hospital is known for its very good appointment system. We both walked to the hospital, the first hurdle to get over was actually crossing the road, because it is a nightmare in the mornings, with the rush hour traffic. We were fortunate this morning, because a very kind driver allowed us to cross in front of him, so thank you to that gentleman. There are going to be big road works done this year outside the Arm, we went to see the road layout at the library and asked if a crossing of some sort could be put in along the road, to make it easier for us and many others who want to cross. We were told it would be looked into, but it was not planned for this new road layout. So we will see what happens. Anyway we crossed the road and walked to the hospital and into the X-ray department, which was very quiet. I had literally just taken my coat off and sat down, when I was called through. I did not have to gown-up, I was told to take my bra off, but leave my jumper on and in I went and had my X-ray done. All done and dusted in 10 minutes, I reckon that is amazing, when we are in an age when the NHS is being stretched.


On our way back to the boat, we stopped to chat to a couple of our Winter moorer’s and the Kingfisher put in appearance. It is always such a joy to see the Kingfisher. I hope to get out with my camera and get a better photograph.

Back home and I headed off to the laundry to do a wash. Whilst the machine did its thing, I came back to the boat to prepare lunch, which was going to be steamed cod fillet with roasted vegetables. I am trying my best to eat healthy. To be honest I do not eat a lot junk food. I am not into McDonalds etc. I like homemade food. There is nothing nicer than preparing a meal, cooking and then eating it. So the roast veggies were going to be Sweet Potatoes sliced, Onion, Red Pepper, Mushrooms, Carrots and the remaining Sprouts, which were looking a little sad, but would be fine.

With lunch cooking and the wonderful smell spreading throughout the boat, I re-lit the back cabin stove, because there was a distinct chill and damp feeling coming from there. No sooner the heat began to permeate around the cabin, Marmite curled up on my jumper on the side bed and that would be where she would stay until teatime.

The whole day stayed miserable, there was not one glimmer of the sun, so our solar lights are pretty dull now that the darkness has taken over. But it did stay lighter long today, so the lighter nights are coming and with it Spring will follow. We already have Snowdrops out and the Daffodils are beginning to push up through the grass. If we get anymore frosty weather they will be knocked back, but it is mild at the moment, so everything has gotten confused.

The day has ended with me doing my Daily Steps chart and today I have done 6149 steps, so not 10,000, but I will strive to get there by the end of the week.

Monday 16 January 2017

Wet, wet, wet.

Hi Friends.

The picture at the top say's it all really. It has been a wet old day and miserable to boot.
This morning we were awake at 6 am, now this was not planned, I had set my phone alarm for 6.30 am, but it seems that because I did not have my glasses on at the time, I set our little alarm clock for 6 am, so the alarm went off at 6 am and awake we were. The reason for the early morning call was due to the fact I had a GP appointment at 8.30 am. Because of the early hour, I made us our first cup of tea of the day and the TV went on. I did not need to open the back cabin door to see the wet weather, because Carol Kirkwood as always gave us a very concise weather forecast and yes it said it would be wet, this meant a wet walk to the surgery. I do not drive and we have not had a car since 2005. The GP surgery is about a 15 minute walk from the boat and when the roads are busy it can take longer, because crossing the road can be a bit of nightmare.
Having drunk our tea and listened to the news, which is pretty much all about Donald Trump and him being swore in as the 45th president of the United States later this week, it was time to turn the TV off, roll the bed up and close the cupboard door. Dressed and off walking Paddy by 7.15 am, which Paddy was so pleased about NOT. He took one look at the rain and thought Arghhhhh no mum, please do not make me go out in this. But needs must, he had to go out. Because it was still dark, I took a torch with me, in order to make sure I could see what I was picking up. With leaves on the ground, it can sometimes be hard to see where he has gone. Paddy was quick to do his business, because he was desperate to get back on the boat. Paddy and Marmite then got fed and whilst they ate I got on with stoking the fire up for the day. With having two coal stoves on board, we do get a lot of dust, so that needs clearing away every day, this I do with a damp cloth. Using polish is a waste of time and money, because it just spreads the dust over other things I have found and to be honest using a damp cloth does the trick.
8 am it was time for me to don my waterproof jacket and head out into the doom and gloom of a wet morning. The traffic was horrendous outside the Arm, which is pretty usual on a weekday morning. I was however very lucky because the nice drivers out there allowed me to cross the road between the cars, which was very kind of them. The walk was rather soggy, what really annoyed me more than the rain, was the speed in which cars came past me, because the puddles on the side of the road, then found themselves all over me, even though I walked right away from the edge of the pavement. Some drivers I am sure do this on purpose. I arrived at the surgery a little sodden, my trousers came off worst from the puddle drenching. I had 15 minutes to wait to see my GP, this gave me time dry-out a little, so when I met him I did not look like a drown rat.
8.30 am I was seen by my GP, and I have to go for a chest x-ray tomorrow. I also have to stay on the Amitriptyline for another month and then stop taking them to see if the Costochondritis has settled down. I am still having problems with pain, which I think is associated with my Hiatus Hernia, so I am still on Omeprazole twice a day and  to add to that I am taking Ranitidine twice a day, to see if that works. I have a month on the Ranitidine which is supposed to help with Acid reflux and this associated with stomach issues. We will give it a go, because it would be nice to be totally pain free.
The GP I am seeing is so nice, he is with the practice until August and I hope he stay's because I prefer him to the one I registered with. He was the one who told me to take Ibueprofen, which is not good for people with stomach problems. He has done a couple of things which I now question, so have decided I am not seeing him again. So I do hope my new GP stay's.
8.45 am I left the surgery and walked into the town to go to the chemist, but with it not being 9 am, I went to the Tuckery cafe for a coffee, whilst I wanted for the shops to open. The Tuckery is a common cafe, non of this expensive tea or coffee, just good old plain drinks and food. I cannot abide Costa or Starbucks, they are over rated and over priced, give me a common old cafe any day.
9 am off to the chemist to hand in my prescription and came out £25.20 p poorer. I had a 10 minute wait for my tablets, so went for a wander around the charity shops. After a wander around the charity shops, I collected my tablet and wandered home in the drizzle.
I booked my appointment for my x-ray on returning home and made a nice hot coffee. Marmite was the first to greet me. It always feels like she is is giving you a dressing down, because you have been out without her, either that or she just wants to know where you have been and what you have been doing.
I spent the afternoon doing more to the family tree, this time I am doing Keith's family tree, so keep watching, I think I may find some interesting things, because there seems to be an awful lot of Lodges who came from High Easter, Essex.

Sunday 15 January 2017

Change the nappies.

Hi Friends.

Here we are on a Sunday and the weather is a little yuck. Gone are the cold frosty days and are replaced with rain and more rain. I love the cold and frost more and if we have some snow thrown in that is even nicer.
Yesterday was a day for doing very little. It began as it always does with the cuppa, walking the dog, breakfast, stoking up the fire. I then did a laundry wash. Keith went off up to the Royal Mail sorting office, because the postman had left a note to say that they had a parcel for him which the postage had not been paid for. So off he went in the rain to collect the parcel and pay the £3.00 owing. The parcel was more trees for his railway layout. Laundry done and the time passing, I made a coffee and contemplated what to do next. Lunch was next on my list. The remains of the cottage pie were heated up and I did a few veggies and gravy. I am a big believer in using everything up in something, I and Keith hate waste. I never throw any food away unless it has gone totally rotten, I am not into sell or use-by dates, they are a load of hogwash.
After lunch, I decided I needed to stretch my legs and so walked into town to pick up Keith's nasal spray, which they did not have when I went in Thursday. Being a Saturday, the market was on in the centre of Warwick and because of the weather it was all rather quiet. I do not think the stall holders did very well. I collected Keith's spray and had a quick wander around the town, which helped with my steps for the day.
On my steps for the day. I try to do 10,000 steps a day, which equates to around 5 miles of walking a day. Both Keith and I started this after he was very poorly in 2014 and have kept it up ever since. Being honest, I do not always achieve this, but I do my very best.
Back home in the warmth of the boat, Keith was still working on his laptop. So I got on and made a coffee and then sat down and tackled the family tree again, this time I was looking at Keith's family, which has an interesting spin on it. Keith's great-grandfather found out when he was 15 years old that he did not have a legitimate father, so I am trying to find out more about his real father, who had the name of Middleton. This may prove to be problamatic, but I will give it my best.
Having done as much as I could for the evening, it was time to put the mouse away and put my feet up for a while. With the dark night still very much with us, all's I want to do is watch the TV in front of a roaring fire until bedtime.

So back to the beginning and it being Sunday. A day of rest it used to be called. Ha ha not when you live on a boat, because there is always things that need to be done and that was definitely right for me. My list of jobs for the morning, were to do the usual stuff, dog walking, breakfast, fires. But after all of that I lifted the floor in the back cabin to change the nappies. Yes there is where the title comes in. Before Christmas, I changed the nappies, which I put down to catch the condensation which gathers under the floors during the Winter. If I do not put nappies down then at the end of the Winter, I can end up bailing out over an inch of water from under the floors. I suspect many boaters do not realise this happens under their floors in the Winter. To get under the floor it means moving the coal box, which was almost empty, taking up the rag rugs and lino and then lifting up the wooden floor. Yep the nappies were well and truly sodden. Not sure if you can remember when toddlers walk around with heavy sodden nappies, they hang low. Well these nappies were well and truly sodden. I replaced them with nice dry ones and then put the flooring, lino and rag rugs back down. The coal box was then put back in place and a new bag of house coal was poured into it. I like to start the back cabin stove off with house coal. House coal does not burn as hot as some of the smokeless fuels. Back cabin all back to normal, with Marmite watching on from the side bed. All's she wanted, was for me to light the stove, but that would not be done till much later in the day. Next job was to get rid of the soggy nappies, fire ash which once cooled goes into old coal bags and to empty the good old toilet cassette. Out came the small trolley, I sat the cassette on it first, then the bag of soggy nappies and the ash bag on top. I trundled to the Elsan and bins to dispose of them all. I know not many ladies on boats likes doing the toilet cassette, but it has to be done and it has never bothered me.
Whilst I got on with all the jobs, Keith was trying in vain to load Adobe Photoshop on to my new laptop, unfortunately because the disc is old and scratched it would not load on to my laptop, which was odd, because it loaded on to his alright. It looks like we are going to have to buy a new disc.

The weather did not improve, so the rest of my day was spent, cooking doing the family tree, stoking the fire, doing the family tree.

Friday 13 January 2017

Finally it arrives.


Hi Friends.

Firstly I hope you have been staying safe out there?


Last night we had a fabulous moon.


It had a beautiful halo, making it quite mystical.

We woke up at 6 am, mainly because Keith was sneezing and sniffing and no he does not have a cold, he has a nasal issue, which no one seems to know what is causing it and the consultant, say’s there is nothing wrong with him. Ha ha he should try living with it. Anyway we were awake, so yes you guessed it we had our cuppa in bed watching the BBC1 news. Blimey the end of the world is coming, if you believe what they are saying about our weather. It is just a bit of ice and snow on the roads, not mountains of the white stuff. I remember back in 1982, when the snow was above the hedgerows and it hardly got mentioned. These days there is a dusting of snow and the whole country comes to a stand still. I think people need to get a grip. Of course I understand it is difficult to get around in and we all need to stay safe, but I wish they would not be over dramatic.

The first thing I did was open the engine room door, to check if we had been blessed with snow and was excited to see although it was only a dusting, we have had our first snow of the Winter.


I could not resist going out and taking a photograph. It was icy under foot, so I went out with salt. I put some on the back counter of the boat and on the pontoon, because Paddy would find it slippery.

Up and off the boat at 7.30 am with Paddy, who was not to impressed with the conditions, but needs must he had to go for a walk. We did not bother leaving the Arm this morning, he was just happy to go up on to the grass, do what he needed to do and head back to the warmth of the boat. With both he and Mrs Mog fed, I looked out of the back cabin door to see snow coming down yippee said I, only to then think, we are going out in this on the bus.

At just gone 8.30 am, we locked up the boat and trundled up to the bus station, we left early just in case the footpaths were a nightmare, but we need not have worried, because the gritters had done the roads, some of the grit had found its way onto the pavements, so we were actually at the bus station early. Our bus the X18 was due in at 18 minutes past 9 and that time came and went, so we got on the X17, which takes you around the scenic route. We explained to the driver we had hoped to get on the X18, but it was late. We bought our tickets from him, but he said that is the X18 should arrive, whilst he was in the station, we could get on the X18 and low and behold after a further five or so minutes the X18 appeared. He had obviously been held up in the traffic. The snow had now stopped and the trip in to Coventry was problem free, in fact they had hardly had any snow, Warwick had had more. We arrived in Coventry at 10.15 am and quickly made our way to our destination which was BBC Coventry and Warwickshires Radio Station, where we were joining in with Vic Minett’s Open House. Also there were ‘Sons of Pitches’.  In 2015, they became the first winners of BBC2’s The Naked Choir hosted by Gareth Malone.


The show was brilliant as were Son of Pitches, they are in fact brilliant. Also there were some of the ladies from Silver Lining Barbershop Singers, chatting about what they are all about. Having enjoyed our visit to Vic’s show, we headed off into the city to do a little light shopping. I was the last of the big spenders as always 2 bras from Primark and a heart shaped wreath from Wilko’s, we also had lunch at the Chinese Buffet, before getting back on the bus to come home.

I have relit the back cabin stove, because we are in for another chilly night. Mrs Mog was really interested in the bag I bought home, so she felt the need to investigate. With nothing of interest for her, she was soon out of the bag and back in front of the fire. Anyone would think it is cold living on a boat Smile. Paddy was more interested in going for a wee, so off we went and once again he was quick to do an about turn and head back to the boat. I really do think we have a couple of wimpy pets on our boat.

I have been back on the family tree hunt and came across the brother of Frederick William John Seaborn.

WALTER WILLIAM GEORGE SEABORN. I have discovered that he was a Fireman on H.M.H.S. "Asturias" (Belfast).

HMHS-Asturias (3)

His regiment was Mercantile Marine, and he Died on the  31-03-1917, age 28. The cause of death was as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine. Asturias was torpedoed by UC 66 on 20th March 1917.
How incredibly sad for his parents Alfred and Adelaide. His name is on the Tower Hill Memorial in London


H.M.H.S. "Asturias" (Belfast), was built in 1907 for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. Sailing between Southampton and Buenos Aires.

When war was declared with Germany in 1914 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty, who converted her into a Hospital Ship. On completion she was handed over to the Army soon making regular crossings bringing back the wounded from the Western Front. She was converted to Accommodate 896 patients.

During the Dardanelles Campaign she served in the Eastern Mediterranean returning wounded from Gallipoli, Egypt and Salonika to the U.K.
The ship was unsuccessfully attacked on February 1st 1915.

After the March 20th 1917 (see above) attack she was declared a total loss. Even with extensive damage Asturias was towed to shore and beached off Salcombe. Later being towed to Plymouth and used as a floating Ammunition Store were she stayed for the rest of the war.

In 1920 the hulk was towed away and rebuilt as a Cruise Liner renaming her “Arcadian”. Operating Mediterranean and West Indies cruises until 1930. This was a short term project the ship being finally scrapped in 1933.


Thursday 12 January 2017

Fruity pud and trees.


Hi Friends.

Hooray, I have my Open Live Writer back. This came about because I have a new Laptop and I am loving it and Windows 10. I felt lost when my Windows 7 would not allow me to use the Live Writer, because it allows me to do a lot of things with my posts. So yes I am one happy bunny.

Have you got it yet?

Well we have not. I am talking about snow. We have had rain, which has been with us pretty much all day. The temperature has dropped throughout the day, so maybe just maybe we will have a covering in the morning. I am like a child when it comes to snow, so I do so hope we are lucky to have some this Winter. I know it is not great for getting around, but it is special.

My day began at 7.30 am with a cup of tea. I love the morning brew, as it is usually my only cup of tea of the day due to my Nickel allergy. Did you know Tea and Chocolate are extremely high in Nickel? I have learnt all of this over the years of being allergic to Nickel. Many people are allergic to Nickel which is in cheap jewellery, jeans buttons etc. You know that feeling when your ears itch or you stomach itches, well that is a skin Nickel allergy. I have that but far worse is the allergy to Nickel in food, which changed my way of eating over 14 years ago. If I have to much Nickel in my diet over a day, my insides get incredibly sore and I can feel pretty rough. So my cup of tea drunk, it was time to climb out from beneath a warm duvet to get dressed and take Paddy out for his morning stroll. Each day I try to take him a different route, because he gets to know which way we are going and expects the same everyday, so I like to mix it up a bit.

Back home, Paddy and Marmite had their breakfasts and Keith and I had ours. Keith was off shopping in Aldi today, which meant I was left to get on with the boat jobs, but before I did the boat chores, I walked up into town to pick up Keith’s prescriptions, unfortunately Keith will have to go back up to the chemist, because they did not have his nasal spray in. So I only half did him a favour.

After a coffee, I got on with stoking the saloon fire and lighting the back cabin stove. I also checked the flue again on the saloon stove, which has been blocking for some odd reason. It has never done it like this before, and it is not the coal, because we have always burnt this fuel. Anyway job done, fires pushing out their heat, I got on with making lunch. Today it was homemade Cottage Pie, with Sprouts and Carrots. For pudding we would be having fresh fruit and yogurt.


Today’s fruit was going to be Banana, Raspberries, Strawberries and grapes with a couple of dessert spoons of yogurt. Keith was soon back with the shopping, which I always put away. His surprise buy today was a large Pizza for just 89p, so we will be enjoying that sometime over the weekend.

With the morning having flown by, the afternoon was spent doing more of my family tree. Today I was adding the Budden’s, Thacker’s and Owen’s. The one thing I have really noticed is about how big the family were. It was nothing for them to have 10 to 15 children and sadly many of them died young. One of the families had two sets of twins who both died. I am getting to the bit now where some of my distant family lived in Warwick. Once I have added them to my tree I am going to Records Office in Warwick, which was very kindly suggested by Caroline off of Narrowboat Sonia Louise. I very much look forward to meeting Caroline and Martin sometime. I am really enjoying doing my tree, but have realised once I start, I forget the time and this means I forget to tend the fire and make coffee etc. Yes it has taken over my life. I am back to the 1800’s on one side of the family and I did find a photo online of one of my relatives.


This is Frederick William John Seaborn and he was born in 1893,  to Alfred Seaborne and Adelaide Seaborne (born Bessant). He sadly died at the age of 47. Smile

Frederick served in India from September 1914.  Military records state a that at the time of his enlistment on 2nd September 1914  his address was 7 Craven Street, Southampton and that he worked for the Royal Mail. He was a Private in the 1/5th Battalion Hampshire Regiment and his Regimental Number was 240708.

From his discharge documents dated 12th May 1919 its obvious he suffered badly from Malaria.
Hosptial admissions as follows:
Cawnpore, India 8/11/1915 to 18/11/1915, Tonsillitis.
Delhi, India 23/09/1917  to 27/09/1917, Malaria
Agra, India 12/11/1917 to 04/12/1917, Malaria
Agra, India,10/01/1918 to 21/01/1918, Malaria
He was hospitalised again with Malaria from 12/05/1918 to 23/05/1918.

A brave man.


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