*****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.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

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


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