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

Thursday 28 September 2017

Perfect Day.

Hi Friends and Followers.

How was your day?
I dare say someone to send me a message to tell me. I do love to read and answer your comments.

My day began with the usual morning cuppa and whilst out listen to the radio. We do not bother with the TV when out. At 8 am I was up and out walking Paddy along the embankment, along with the Canada Geese, which spend their time leaving message on the towpath. I know many people are not keen on the geese, but they do make me giggle with their head movements and chuntering.
9.30am we locked the boat up and walked down into Merry Hill Shopping Village. Now whilst we have moored here before, neither Keith nor I can remember visiting the shopping village. It is fabulous in my opinion. It is large, airy and loads of room to stroll about without bumping into people and them in to us. We did a bit of retail therapy in Primark, because Keith desperately needed a couple of shirts for best. He has pretty much used all his shirts for working in now and the two better looking shirts are donkey's years old, so we got him two new ones along with some socks. I bought a new mattress cover, as our old one has definitely seen better days and I have washed it to within an inch of its life, so it was time for a new one. Having done Primark and wandered around other shops, we had a brew at Greggs and then a further wander.
11.45 am we headed for the Odeon Cinema to watch 'Dunkirk'. We had seen the reviews for the movie and seen clips on the TV and thought we would like to see it. Keith gets in as a concession now, so he is chuffed. I still have to pay full price, but hey ho. We settled in with a bag of sweets. The 15 minutes of adverts came first and then they showed the new movies coming up. The finally the film began. It was most definitely worth going to see and we were most certainly not disappointed. It is worth seeing it in the cinema for the sound effects. It was also thought provoking and made me think of how it was at Dunkirk all those years ago and how scared those men must have been. You may know that Harry Styles from One Direction is in the movie and I thought his performance was excellent. He has a talent for acting, so I hope he keeps it going. Movie over and emotions in tatters, we walked back to the boat to get rid of the shopping and then headed to Wetherspoons Waterfront Inn for a Curry and a Pint. This for me was a perfect day.
My perfect day has ended with the second running of our new generator, which is behaving perfectly.
I wonder what tomorrow has in store.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Time to leave.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Yesterday (Tuesday) we spent another wonderful day in the BCLM. If you pay to get in, your ticket covers you for the whole year, so you can go in as many times as you like in that year. So having paid to get in, it would be rude not to make the most of it. We have gotten to know quite a few of the people who work and volunteer their, so it is always lovely having a good old natter with them. We have also found ourselves helping out the general public, who think we work there. I actually feel very at home at the Museum, it kind of gets to your soul.

Today we were saying "Cheerio" to the BCLM for now. But first we went shopping in Aldi. You walk out of tunnel car park and turn left and walk up the hill to Aldi. We took our trolleys and hiked it up the hill. We had a shopping list, so kept the shop to a minimum as we had used very little. After getting back to the boat, I stashed the food away whilst Keith got the boat ready for the off. Before leaving we pulled over on to the sanitary station, to top up with water and empty a cassette. I also got rid of rubbish, so we were all sorted for a while.
We set off at 10.20am waving "goodbye" to the museum. We went down factory locks and almost demolished the splitter on our exhaust. Normally when we come down the first lock the pound is down and we have never had a problem, but this morning the pound to the second lock was well up and we did not quite clear the bridge, which was new to us. Thankfully I managed to push the splitter back into shape and no one would be any the wiser.
Our cruise today was fabulous all the way. Whilst cruising through Netherton Tunnel, I did some hand washing, which I then spun in the machine. We then continued on to Brierley Hill, Merry Hill. It has been some years that we have been to this neck of the woods, and it was really lovely to see the canals again.
When we arrived at Brierley Hill we moored in the waterfront, meeting up with Marion and Ivor Chambers. As we were both there for the same event, we both reversed onto the embankment and moored up. 
Once moored up there was lots of catching-up done, before the rain drops began to fall. There is a promise of Hurricane Maria paying the UK a visit. Of course not with the dangers that other places have faced, but we are supposed to get some strong winds and rain. Having all retired to our boats, it was a chance to catch-up with e-mails and some dishcloth knitting. 
We are both looking forward to our stay here and hope to do some retail therapy whilst here.

Pop back soon xx

Monday 25 September 2017

Ploughed on to an excellent weekend.

Hello Dear Readers.

Wow what an amazing few days we have had.

On Saturday morning we were up at 5am, we left Drawbridge at 6am in the dark and headed off for Birmingham.
It was quite eerie in the dark, but the Little Owl kept us company.
After a fabulous morning's cruise we arrived at Neptunes Wharf, Tipton at 12.30 pm and moored up. After some lunch we walked to The Black Country Living Museum to find lots of Historic Boats moored in the Museum and more outside.
The weather was a little overcast at times, but thankfully the rain stayed away and the general public were coming in to see the boats and enjoy the living museum.
We had an amazing day chatting to friends old and new. Saturday evening we joined Allyson and Derek on Birmingham to have a Chinese Take Away with others. It was a brilliant evening, with lots of chit chat and laughter. The food was excellent as was the company.
Sunday dawned and some of the historic boat owners were already leaving with their boats. They obviously had places to be early in the morning. We were up by 8am and the sun came out. After breakfast we walked to the museum to get in an early natter with boaters. The museum was soon alive with people wandering around looking at the boats and the museum. Keith and I decided we would have the Fish and Chips from the museum chips shop for lunch and we also decided to go and queue early, so at 11.30 am we stood first in the queue. The door for the shop opened at 11.40am and we were the first through the door. On the Saturday they had people queuing for two hours, so we were not going to get caught out.
After our fish and chip early lunch, we went to the Bottle & Glass for a pint of their best beer and sat outside to watch the world go by. It was an amazing time, made all the better by catching-up with friends. We will definitely come to this event again. At 4pm a lot of the historic boats were on their way and everything was winding down. We eventually got back to the boat, where we were met by mog and dog, who wanted their tea. I was still stuffed from lunchtime, so did not bother with much.
it was early to bed for us both as we were both shattered.
An amazing weekend.

Pop back soon xxx

Friday 22 September 2017

Lapworth Flight and Bricks.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Last night we were treated to a beautiful sunset at Kingswood Junction. Whilst out with Paddy for his last wee's I heard a Little Owl calling, but there was no response, so I am guessing it was all alone. There is nothing more wonderful than hearing an Owl.
This morning we were treat to a beautiful misty, sunny start. It looked as if the water was steaming.
We set off at 8.40am, with the Lapworth Flight ahead of us. Another boat beat us to the first lock, so we had to follow on behind, which did not prove a problem, because they were setting the lock for us and I was setting the locks for a boat behind us. We arrived at our friend Jacky's cottage below the top lock at 11.20am. We were there to collect bricks, which will be the ballast in our hold. Jacky was busy with her garden gang, who are redesigning her garden, so Keith and I got on with moving 11 cubic foot of bricks on our sack truck. I lost count of how many journeys we made back and forwards, but it was all done and dusted by 11.55pm. We have loaded the bricks in the hold and stacked them, so they can dry out, because of the weather yesterday they got soaked. We will lay them under the shutts when we get back to our mooring.
Having said our "Goodbyes" we were off at 2pm, I did the last lock and the first of two lift bridges. The second lift bridge was worked for us, which was a bonus, because I was feeling everso slightly shattered.
Our cruising day ended at 4.45 at Drawbridge, Solihull, where we had fish and chips at the Drawbridge Inn, before a nice hot shower and feet up.
It has been a long day, but a satisfying one.

Pop back again xx

Thursday 21 September 2017

On the road again

Hello dear Friends and Followers.

Yes we are on the move. We are heading for Birmingham. Before leaving Saltisford, Keith had to go and collect his medication from the chemist. Yesterday he went and had his free flu jab at the surgery, but his medication was not ready, so he had to go back for it this morning. Oh I have not updated you. Since I last posted we have celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary and Keith's 65th Birthday. For our wedding anniversary we went and had a meal out at Chopsticks in Warwick. For Keith's Birthday we went to Stratford-Upon-Avon for the day and then a meal out in the evening at Chopsticks, because Mr India was closed.
So back to the here and now.
We said "cheerio" to our mooring this morning at 10.30am and set off for Hatton Locks.
When we set off it was very overcast, but dry which was a bonus because rain had been forecast.
By the time we got half way up the flight, the rain began to fall. At first it was just a drizzle, but by the time we got to the top of the flight, it was pouring down. We did the flight in 2 hours 45 minutes, which was pretty good considering the weather and with some of the locks against us.
When it rains and you are wet, the best thing to do is make Bacon sandwiches. I had lit the back cabin stove first thing this morning, so if we did get wet, we could dry all our stuff out. It also served to keep a kettle boiling and of course the cooking of the bacon.
At 3.05pm we arrived at Kingwood Junction on the Stratford Canal and moored up. A good days cruising, even though it was wet.
We are now drying out nicely in a snuggly boat.

Friday 15 September 2017

Hold Finished.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Another week is drawing to a close and another step closer to the C word.
I have days when I have a job in mind and no matter what I am determined to do it and today was one of those days. I was determined to get the hold finished this morning and so at 9 am having done all the jobs on and off the boat, we set about finishing the hold.
Keith got on with lagging the water pipe as I cleaned and scrapped the base plate. Once scrapped off, I hoovered.
I then had the job of brushing used engine oil over the base plate, this will help to stop rusting. Fortunately the base plate is in really good condition and it will most certainly outlive us, especially as it is 15mm thick. Once I had oil coated two sections we could put the shutts back down.
We worked our way towards the bow, clearly one shutt at a time, oiling and replacing the shutts, it worked like a dream.
By lunchtime, we had the job done. We are all ready to go and collect bricks which will go under the shutts as ballast. We are hopeful to get underway on Wednesday all being well.
Lunchtime was a chance to sit down and enjoy another portion of the cottage pie I made yesterday. My Sciatic nerve has been complaining about the work we have done in the hold, so I will give it a rest for a day or two, so I am fit for moving on Wednesday.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday 14 September 2017

Such a wonderful book.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

I have had one of those days, when you have so much to do, but cannot be bothered to do any of it. Today was food shop day, so Keith went off early to catch the bus to Aldi to get the weekly shop, so whilst he was gone, I got on and made a cottage pie for lunch. It is big enough to last for 3 days. I love eating things a couple of days after they have been made, because the flavours are so much better. So cottage pie made and cooking, it was time to tackle the boat jobs and first on the list was the bathroom. Now the bathroom may only be two foot by four feet, but it still needs cleaning. I like to get into all the nooks and crannies. Bathroom tackled and conquered in double quick time. Next it was onto the saloon floor, which looked a little like a muddy pool, what with the dogs foot prints and ours because of the wet weather, thankfully we have laminated flooring, so it is wipe clean.
10.30 am ish, Keith was back with the shopping and I had the job of unpacking the contents of his rucksack and trolley, whilst doing this I made him a coffee and kept an eye on the cooking cottage pie.
Lunchtime came and went and so did some of the scrummy cottage pie. We then decided we needed to sort out a leak on our sheeting. We noticed water running down the wall in the hold, where I took the shutts up. The only place it could be coming from was the sheeting, so to have a look we pushed the boat to the pontoon opposite our boat, which is empty at the moment. Yep we had found the problem. The wood which was between the sheeting and the steel work had rotted and so was letting in the rain. Now it is not a good time of year to be taking the sheeting off and sorting the timber out, so for now we have filled the gap with sealant and hope this will hold until next Spring, when we will have to replace the rotten timber. Sealant sorted and holes plugged, we pushed the boat back onto our mooring.
Back on the boat for a coffee, this was the scene that I found in the saloon.
Marmite has decided that she wants to read 'A Street Cat Named Bob' by James Bowen. I have started reading it, but it looks like I may have to fight Marmite for it now. Or we could just share it.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Hold clearing day.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

So how did you fare against Storm Aileen?
I was woken up by one of our outdoor chairs blowing over, but that was it. I feel like I have so little to moan about when you see what is happening in the Caribbean and the USA. I can only imagine the suffering those poor people are going through right now.

This morning with all the usual morning things done, it was hold day today. Because we stopped transporting and selling coal last year, we have sort of filled some of the hold with junk and boxes and today we had to sort it out, so we could start on the work to turn our hold into a model railway room. Yes we are having a model railway running around our hold. The layout is going to be called Hadarford and yes it will have a canal scene, so if you wish to watch the progress, please go to Keith's blog.
We started preparatory work for the building of Keith's model railway room in the hold. First we ploughed our way through the rubbish, which meant be ruthless, what we did not need or want, went in the bins, then moved everything as far forward as possible, which allowed us access and remove the first two rows of shutts (floorboards) from the bulkhead at the saloon end of the hold.
The state of the base plate looks worse than it actually was. It is in better condition than we thought it might be.
I set about scraping and removing the loose bits. I then used a wire brush on Keith's drill to move more stubborn bit of rush and coal dust. I had expected there to be a lot more coal dust under the shutts, but there was very little. Whilst I hoovered up and painted the base of the walls, Keith went to Screwfix to by some lagging for the water pipe which runs along the floor.
It is already for oiling tomorrow morning, then we can do under the next 2 shutts. When Keith got back from Screwfix, he got on with lagging the pipe. Hopefully this will stop the condensation which appears to have been happening.
It is so nice to have made the start and I am hoping the rest of the hold will be much easier, we will find out tomorrow.
As the afternoon drew into the evening, I went out and did some strimming and hedge trimming. Everything seems to be growing like crazy with this funny old weather we have at the moment. I can see I am going to have to get out in the garden and pull a few weeds up and then there is the cutting back to do, now that we are into Autumn.
It is 8 pm and it is now dark, arghhhh I am not a lover of the nights drawing in.

Pop back soon xx

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Fun Weekend and Anniversary.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Wow what a busy time I have had. The 9th and 10th September loomed and even though I was totally ready for it, the weather was not what we wanted.
Friday was set up day, so it was all hands on deck so to speak, to get the gazebos up and the stalls sorted out for those joining us on the Saturday morning. My last job of the day was to hang the bunting, which I did with the help of Keith.
Saturday morning and it was rather grey out, but fingers were tightly crossed that we would get through most of the day without getting wet.
I set up my stall, I was so pleased with my new card holders.
I laid out the blankets I had made and with the laying down of the last blanket the sun popped out. Would this be a sign of the day to come I wondered.
The other crafters set up their stalls in the Cedar Room and then it was a matter of waiting for the public to arrive.
In the gazebo with me was Sooz who does face painting. Now in all the years I have been on this earth, I have never had any face painting done, so I decided to give it a go.
I was so pleased with the outcome. I had one done on the Sunday as well.
People began to arrive, which was a promising sign. But then the weather took a turn for the worst as the morning drifted into the afternoon, rain began to fall and fall some more, getting heavier. The inside wall of the gazebo looked like a waterfall for a while. Eventually the rain stopped and once again people drifted into the Arm, but we did not get the numbers we had hoped for. I was actually happy with how I did on the day, because I sold a blanket, cards and some of my dishcloths. Everyone on site had a good day despite the weather.

Sunday dawned, with the sun coming out.
We had a couple of new stall holders, one of them being the Greyhound Trust, with their gorgeous doggies.
Off the Beat'n Track Samba Band from Coventry had a wonderful time out on Saltie II our day boat.
The weather was much kinder to us on the day and we did have more people through the gate.
The Glass Barge with Pam and Andy had a good weekend, which was so nice, because it was the first time they had been to our event. They make such amazing things. I was treated to a heart shaped necklace for my Wedding Anniversary, which you will hear about.
After a much better day, we began packing things up at 4 pm and it was then the rain decided to pay us another visit. By the time I took the bunting down I was soaked through. Thankfully we had managed to get all the gazebos down before the rain came, which was a phew moment, because wet gazebos are not a nice thing to pack away.

So with the weekend event out of the way, we could all breathe again until next year. It was a huge well done to everyone who helped out.

Monday and Keith and I were celebrating Thirteen years of wedded bliss. Wow where did those Thirteen years go?
Now we do not buy presents for each other, we choose to go out for a meal instead, well that is what I thought. Keith had other ideas though. Our evening was spent in Warwick at Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant down Swan Street. It opens at 5 pm, so we thought we would leave just before then to walk to the restaurant, the only problem was it was absolutely throwing it down with rain. But needs must, we donned our wet coats and set off for Swan Street. By the time we arrived at our destination we looked a little like drowned rats. We were shown to a table and given the menu's for the wine and food. Between us we chose a bottle of Rose Wine, which was really lovely. The menu was excellent and the food was the same. Both Keith and I love Chinese food and this was excellent food, to the highest standard.
The restaurant is a buffet with a difference, because it is cooked to order.
Whilst eating our meal, Keith produced a piece of lace and inside the lace was a heart necklace from The Glass Barge. I was so very pleased with my present, but did feel rather guilty that I had failed to get him anything. I did try to find something, but what do you get a man who has everything? Anyway he has an important birthday coming up, so I will make an effort for that. We had a fantastic meal and can totally recommend Chopsticks in Warwick. Our walk home was thankfully in the dry.

Pop back again sometime x


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