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!
Friday, 7 December 2018
What a bloomin saga I have had with the courier service Hermes. If you have been reading my posts you will know that they have been messing me about over the delivery of a rug, which was supposed to be out for delivery on Tuesday, but someone decided it was to big to deliver. The rug is 120cm x 160cm not big at all. Anyway having spent many hours in the cold, online and tearing my hair out, finally this evening the rug arrived.
From what I am learning Hermes are not the only ones not doing their job properly. I have been told about DPD and UPS today as well. Why oh why can they not get things right?
I do not get stressed, because there is very little point. I just wish when you ask someone to do something they would do it correctly. I will have to consider if I will ever use Hermes again.
My day has been filled with waiting for this rug, so I have no other news at this time. I am going to take my shoes off and soak my toes into the new rug. I am so very pleased with it.
Pop back soon xx
Thursday, 6 December 2018
We are another day closer to Christmas and I for one knows that for retail it is a nightmare, as I worked in retail for a while. I also know that for couriers it is difficult getting all the parcels delivered, so I should be a lot calmer about my delivery than I am. If you read my post on the 1st of December you will know I bought and sent back a Red rug, which did not match anything described or the photograph. I am pleased to say that has all been resolved and I have my refund and they have their shoddy rub back. I decided to have a nosey on Amazon for a rug, low and behold I found exactly what I wanted at a good price, so I went ahead and ordered it from them and waited for them to tell me it was on its way. On the 4th December I heard from Amazon that my rug was on its way and I could track it as it was coming via Hermes. This immediately rung alarm bells, because we have had issues with them before. Anyway, I thought it will be find Keep Calm. On the 4th December on the Hermes site it said that the parcel was with them, but it had been too big to deliver. What I thought, it is only a small rug 120cm x 160cm. Surely that is wrong. Anyway waited for an update and yesterday (5th Dec), the website aid it would be with the courier and delivered to me between 5pm and 9pm, which again rang alarms bells, because the site gate is locked at 5pm. But again keeping calm, I went onto their live chat to ask that the courier rings me when he is close by, so I can be there to open the gate. The gentleman I was chatting with said.
Thank you for the details. I will forward all the instructions by sending a message to the courier and also forward your contact number to call you before the delivery so that the parcel is delivered successfully,although we can't guarantee the courier will receive it on time for the delivery, every effort will be made to follow the instructions given.
I thought I had done all I could to make sure my parcel arrived without any inconvenience to the driver. I also decided I would wait at the gate just in case, he did not get my phone number. There was I wrapped up against the cold and rain with my chair, sat by the gate waiting and waiting and waiting. The OH even bought me a cup of coffee. I sat there from just before 5pm to gone 9pm and there was no sign of the courier. At this point cold and damp I went back to the boat and checked online to see what the site said. It reckoned he was still delivering between 5pm and 9pm. I was up till 10.30pm watching 'I'm a celebrity' and there was phone call.
This morning imagine my surprise when I went onto the tracking page to discovered the driver reckons he tried to deliver the rug at 9.46pm. I never got a phone call, if I had I would of gone to the gate. Why oh why do they want to deliver at that ungodly hour anyway?
So this morning I have been back online to the live chat. I should say you cannot ring this company, they want you to use their live chat. I was 240 in the queue. I eventually got through to yet another person and complained politely and told him what had happened. He told me it was back out with the courier, but at present it does not say so on their site. I have yet again told him to give the driver my number. So here I sit, waiting again I guess all day. I most definitely will not be sitting outside again tonight.
With the live chat I am pretty sure it is not from this country, so goodness knows if I will ever get my rug delivered. I have written a formal complaint to the company.
Pop back soon to see what happens xxx
Monday, 3 December 2018
Have you found that everything comes in threes?
I usually find when it is bad luck or something going wrong, it always comes in threes. As you will know from my post on the 1st of December, it was decoration putting up day and you saw the photograph of the tree finished. I was so proud and happy with the tree, but that began to fade as we stepped into Sunday. The transformer in the plug began to make a funny noise, which was like a droning sound and got louder and louder. Not liking the sound, I decided that the lights would have to come off and be thrown away, because for all I knew they could of caught fire. Now I was trying to take a short cut, by hoping to get the lights off the tree without having to take everything off. I cut the lights off in stages, which meant they definitely went into the bin. As for new lights, we had some Red berry lights, so I put those on without taking the baubles and bits off of the tree. I switched them on and woo hoo all was good for all of a few moments, when suddenly half the lights went out grrrrrr. I stripped them off of the tree and the OH repaired a broken connection. Before putting them on the tree, I did switch them on and they were working a treat, but no sooner I put them on the tree, half the lights failed again. This was beginning to get annoying. I took the lights off and left them for the OH to look at again.
This morning, whilst I went into town to go some bits, the OH repaired the lights. I also bought some new lights at half price, just in case I was left with no lights. Although the lights had been fixed, I did not feel the urge to put them on the tree again, only for them to fail again, so I decided to put the new lights on the tree. This time I stripped everything off of the tree, put the lights on and then put all the bauble and bits back on.
Going back to this morning. As I walked down the path alongside the boats, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted movement on the offside bank. I turned around to see a beautiful Fox making its way along the bank. Sadly it was lame on one of its front legs. I really hope it is going to be alright and I will get to see it again. I think it may have been a female, because it was not very big. Such a stunning animal.
Pop back soon xx
Saturday, 1 December 2018
Here we are it is December and the countdown begins to the big day when the big guy tries to wiggle his way down our chimney and if I am a really good girl, he may leave me a present or two. I do believe I am not on the naughty list this year, but hey I could be so wrong and I will end up with nothing. The thrill of Christmas is still there for me if I ignore the commercialisation of it, plus the fact some seem to think it begins in October or earlier.
The children of today are bombarded by the advertising and peer pressure which I do not ever remember having when I was a child. I actually think it came into being when my children were growing up, so for my grandchildren it is full-on when it comes to advertising and keeping up with the watcha me call its. Due to circumstances beyond my control Christmas is not a huge family affair these days, but the OH and I do get to share it with friends, who are our family in so many ways. I bet we all have sadness in our hearts at this time of the year and of course we have lost loved ones this year, including Marmite and Paddy. I do not see any point in being maudling though, because Christmas is meant to be a happy time of the year and I for one enjoy the true meaning of Christmas, with a glass of wine and mince pie thrown in. We are spending it with one of my best friends this year and if the weather is kind we will be out cruising on the boat. So Winter weather giver, if you could refrain from anything to dramatic until after the festive period, I would be oh so grateful.
The 1st of December means decorations day. The OH and I swing into action and put the fairy lights up, the Christmas tree is left to me to decorate. This year we bought a new tree off of Ebay. I was so pleased with my 3ft, £10 purchase, but of course one never knows what it will be like until it is dressed in lights and baubles.
This coming week, I am hoping to get my cards sorted out and presents finished. I absolutely hate with a passion, doing anything last minute when it comes to Christmas. Get it done and relax is the way I like it. I never understand those who love to do it all last minute. I know you can get some bargains, but it is only a bargain if you really want it. I would not want the panic and pandemonium. There is something to be said about having an organised and quiet festive time.
Who of you uses Ebay?
I do not use it that often, yes I bought the Christmas tree from there and it is fabulous. Last week I ordered a red rug for the saloon. It was described as being plush and of good quality. It arrived on Friday and it was anything but plush and good quality. Not only that the Red was so in my face, that I immediately put it back in its bag and sent it back and asked for a refund, which has been given. I have however found a rug on Amazon, which I have ordered. I now hope that it lives up to the photograph and description, otherwise it to will be going back from whence it came. I suppose really it is better to actually see what you are buying when it comes to anything like this, but I do not have the time to go traipsing around numerous shops looking for something I may never find. My fingers are crossed this rug is going to be exactly what I want. I definitely will not be buying another rug off of Ebay.
Pop back soon xxx
Sunday, 25 November 2018
We are another week closer to Christmas and another New Year. I am still trying to fathom where this year has gone. It has been a blink and you will miss it year, but it has also been a year where we have said goodbye to to many good friends. Those who have left us, left too soon after ill-health and this includes our furballs.
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
I have had a few days of doing bits and bobs.
I have begun another blanket for the Border Collie Trust GB. I think I am addicted to crocheting because when I am doing nothing, I have wool and my crochet hook to hand. It definitely means more blankets are going to be made, as long as the wool keeps being donated.
Monday saw me visiting the dentist, which is never my favourite thing to do. We only go once a year, because we are normally out cruising. I have never been a fun of the dentist and this came about from when I was a child. When I was at Primary school, we had the dentist come to the school in a wagon. We used to call it the death wagon, because you would see children go into the wagon, but you never saw them come out through the same door. I know now there was a back and a front door doh. I had a dreadful experience, when I had to have a tooth taken out. The dentist was horrible, or so I thought as a child. Hence my not loving the dentist. Anyway thankfully the dentist I have now is a lovely lady, who is very gentle and always makes sure I am relaxed. Thankfully I had nothing to be done this time, so that is over for another year.
Tuesday was laundry day, so I spent an hour in the laundry getting the washing done and then hanging it in the engine room and back cabin to dry. With the back cabin stove lit, it does not take long to dry the laundry. The rest of Tuesday was spent, doing stuff on the boat and of course crocheting.
Wednesday (today). I have had the most wonderful day. After the usual morning jobs, I left the boat at 9.30am and walked into town to do some shopping in general and some Christmas shopping. I then met up with some ladies from the Arm for a coffee and a natter. In the Arm we have Winter moorers, some have been coming in for years. We all thought it would be nice for us ladies to get together for a coffee and a natter in town. We had a fabulous time and plan on doing it again before Christmas. Sometimes it is nice to get away from the boat for a couple of hours and have female company. After we left the coffee shop, I went and finished my shopping and headed back to the boat, where the OH was working in the railway room. Job for the afternoon was to put up some guttering under the gunwale, in case the sheeting should leak. If we do get a leak the water will go into the guttering and not onto the railway. I know it sounds extreme, but for us having a wet layout is worse. We completed one side and will do the other side tomorrow. With that all done, I then got on with cooking us a Chicken Korma for dinner. I had not eaten all day, so was really looking forward to my curry and rice. There is nothing nicer than a good homemade curry.
Tonight will be TV time. I'm a celebrity is back on and I always get hooked on it. This years celebs all seem to be getting along at the moment. I sincerely home Anne Hegerty from The Chase stays in for the duration, because she is such an inspiration, having talked about her Aspergers. Everyone in the camp is supporting her and I so hope she stays, because it is so out of her comfort zone. Tonight's excitement will be when Noel Edmonds joins the camp.
Pop back soon xx
Sunday, 18 November 2018
This year we have been blessed with such amazing weather, which has seen fit to continue into November, although it has to be said that last night was a little chilly around the edges. This morning I did not wake until 7.15am, but as usual we enjoyed our morning cuppa in bed, whilst watching the news. Once up, the routine has somewhat changed since our darling boy Paddy walked over the rainbow bridge. There is no early morning stroll, so instead I make up the stove and wonder what I can get on with. It is incredible just how much time is taken up with pet things and when your pet is no longer there, the time is empty space where that pet once was. I decided that I should get out in the garden.
With my dander up, I made and early start in the garden. I took my CD player out with me, to keep my spirits up. I love Paloma Faith, so had The architect playing first of all, whilst I dug out some old grass, which has spread and yet gives us no pleasure. I then turned my attention to the hedge, which had been allowed to grow, so that we would have Blackberries, but now they have finished, I needed to tame the brambles back into some sort of order.
The fire is roaring, my feet are up and the afternoon is drawing darker as the night progresses closer. I wonder what Monday will bring?
Pop back soon xx
Saturday, 17 November 2018
Well they say time heals and I know this to be true, after many things I have gone through in my life so far. I have always come out of the other end stronger and wiser. Of course losing our angel has been upsetting, but we know we did what was best for him and not what was best for us. Keeping a pet going, when you know they are suffering is not my way and never has been. I had to let Chester my Golden Retriever go when he was four and half due to liver cancer, and I did not want him to suffer. So for me saying "Goodbye" to Paddy was heartbreaking, but I have channeled my upset into something worthwhile.
When I was not finishing the blanket, I was up in town looking around the market. I also had a nosey around one of Warwicks antique centres. It is clear to see, everyone is gearing up for Christmas. There were also a lot of shoppers out and about, no doubt Christmas shopping. I will get my act into gear come the 1st December. I do not even buy mince pies until the 1st December.
Since losing Paddy, the boat has been so quiet. There is no stepping over him as he lies across the floor in the saloon. No listening to him squeaking his ball, or listening and watching him dream of rabbits running across the field. But I am getting things done and planning things. I am planning to repaint the engine room. My decision has to be whether I do it now or in the Spring. I also have the ceilings to paint in the bathroom and saloon, which will wait till after Christmas, because I have the decorations to hang. If I fill my time with jobs, it gives me less time to think, which is a good thing right now.
Tomorrow I am thinking about gardening.
Pop back soon xx
Thursday, 15 November 2018
Today has been Day two without Paddy. This morning having woken up at 7am, I got up to make a cuppa and the first thing I did as I always did was look to where his bed used to be. Of course he was not there and I knew that, but it did not stop me looking. When you have pets, you get into a routine, when they are gone, so has the routine. Such as 8 amish was walking time, with breakfast to follow. During the day there would be further walks and play and then at 12 noon lunch, followed by dinner at 5pm and walkies at 6am. I have found myself sitting wondering what to do at those routine times. I know I will fill the voids, but for the next few days and weeks, it will be difficult.
Today was food shop day. So Keith went off food shopping, and I got on with cleaning the boat. I began with a hoover through, which meant sucking up lots of Paddy's fur, which would roll along the floor like tumbleweed. I will miss this so much and so will the birds, who would use his fur for their nests. Floors were washed and surfaces cleaned and polished. The flue was cleaned and checked, all is well in that department. On boats checking the flues is so important at this time of the year. By the time Keith came home, I had also bought in the coal and repaired a hole in our sheeting. I will tell you about that in a bit.
Shopping was stowed away in the cupboard, fridge and freezer. I am already preparing for Christmas with nibbles being put in the freezer. I always think that by getting them now, I will save money, because I am sure everything goes up in price closer you get to Christmas.
After lunch, I got on with crocheting another blanket. This blanket will be blanket number Eleven, which will be donated in Paddy's memory. I spent some of the afternoon down in the office nattering and playing with a furball. Seeing other people's dogs has actually helped, with losing Paddy, although none of them have been Collies. I am not sure how I will get on with a Collie. I guess time will tell.
Pop back soon xx
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Please accept this posting as my sincere thanks for all your lovely messages about our darling angel Paddy, who sadly went to sleep for the last time yesterday. Your messages have really helped, more than you can ever know.
His favourite toy was a squeaky ball or a tennis ball. Paddy could go off the lead and would come back with many a tennis ball. At one point I had a carrier bag full, and gave them away to a dog charity.
I thought I would share this poem with you that was sent to me by Bernard. It is so lovely.
"If it should be that I grow frail and weak
Or pain should wake me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle can’t be won.
You will be sad, I understand,
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand,
For this day more than all the rest
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We’ve had so many happy years,
What is to come will hold no fears,
You’ll not want me to suffer, so,
When the time comes, please let me go.
Do not grieve that it should be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We’ve been so close, we two, these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears."
Pop back soon xxx
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Over the years I have posted many photographs of our crew, Marmite and Paddy. As you will all know we lost Marmite back in July and so to lose our other crew mate is cruel.
We all know that our pets are with us for such a small part of our lives, but they leave huge holes when they are gone. Paddy was such a gentle soul and he did not have a evil bone in his body and that is why it hurts so much to let him go. His health has declined a lot over the past few weeks, with his fits becoming more and more and his bladder had a mind of its own, which was due to his back legs failing. We know we have done the very best for our boy, but oh boy it hurts.
Sleep well sweet man.xxxxxxxxx
Sunday, 11 November 2018
Don't let me die.
Friday, 9 November 2018
How amazing it is, that we are into November and the weather is still incredibly mild. I do however wonder, if we will pay for this at some stage. My thought is, bring it on, because I am ready for whatever is thrown at me. Coal is bought, gas is full, plugged into the electric, water on tap and nice and snug onboard. I have never been one to worry about what the weather does. I will just take whatever comes and deal with it.
The title of my post 'When is the right time' is concerning Paddy our handsome Border Collie Paddy.
I have been through this difficult time once before when my Golden Retriever had Liver Cancer at four and half years of age. The vets were all for keeping him going on tablets, but he had no quality of life and for me that is what it is all about. If the animal has no quality of life then they should be allowed to go. I cannot see a pet in pain or miserable and of late Paddy has not looked happy. I fear that a decision is coming, but we will see what happens this week.
What would you do?
Have you ever had to make the decision?
Pop back soon xxx
Tuesday, 6 November 2018
It was a while ago when I was moaning about the fact that for some shops Christmas arrives in August/September and there am I ordering a new Christmas tree and Baubles in November. I personally think nothing about Christmas should start until December 1st. But as we always put our decorations up on December 1st, I had to order a new tree, because our old one has had its day. This morning our new 3ft tree arrived. There is a slight issue, that it will not stand up on its base, but I will find a solution to the problem nearer the time. We only paid £11 for the tree, so I was not expecting to much. I will not spend a fortune on something that only gets used for a few days at the end of a year. The tree is actually lovely. It will look fabulous with the decorations on it. I have ordered new Baubles from Wilko, because I know darn well if I leave it till the last minute, I will not get the ones I want.
The past couple of days, I have spent time in the garden, pruning and cutting back ready for the Winter. I still need to cut the hedge, but I need to be in the right frame of mind to be attacked by brambles and I am not there yet.
Paddy news. He has an appointment at the vets next week for his vaccinations and a health check. We are still having problems with him and so we need to discuss with the vet where we go next with him. He is still leaving puddles and not eating properly. I am trying not to think of the worst case ending, but with him being almost Fifteen years old, we know that day is drawing closer. Anyway we will see what the vet thinks.
Pop back soon xx
Sunday, 4 November 2018
There are times in our life, when something amazing just makes us go wow. That day came for me yesterday (Saturday).
We had gone into town to visit the market and I wanted to go to St. Mary's Church to see the Poppy display, which so many people have been making Poppies for.
He volunteered in August 1914, and was later drafted to
France, where he served in the Battle of Ypres, Loos and
Vimy Ridge, and also took part in the engagement at Hooge.
He was twice wounded in action, and as a result of his wounds
And shell-shock, discharged 1 Feb 1917. SWB Number 23028., holding the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.
Albert Cosser enlisted in the Army in Winchester and when killed was a Private in the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Service No: 25849
His record states:04/08/1914 Colchester: 11th Bde. 4th Div. 18/08/1914 Harrow. 23/08/1914 landed at Havre. 11/11/1918 11th Bde. 4th Div. France: Haspres, N.W. of Solmes.
He was killed in action on 21st December 1916.
Albert is remembered with honour at the Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetary, France.
Sailly-Saillisel, standing at the north end of a ridge, was the objective of French attacks in September and October 1916, and was captured on 18 October. The village remained in Allied hands until 24 March 1918 when it was lost during the German advance, but was recaptured by the 18th and 38th (Welsh) Division on 1 September 1918. The cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in isolated positions chiefly south and east of the village and from small burial grounds.
Frederick Charles Cosser.
Frederick fought in WW1. He was attested into the Army on 23rd February 1916, joined the Army Reserve on 24th February 1916 and was Mobilized on 17th May 1916. His regiment was the 2nd L.Gds, Machine Gun Regiment. He was a Machine Gunner and fought in France from 31st March 1918 to 14th February 1919. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on 15th March 1919.
We will remember them.
Pop back soon xx
Thursday, 1 November 2018
Here we are, November is upon us. I always class this as the downward spiral to Christmas and a brand new year. I do however ask myself, where 2018 has gone. This year has absolutely flown by and I guess that is because we had so much fun.
Since being home, we have been sorting things out on the boat. Today I took down the curtains in the back cabin, because they need washing and putting away for the winter. I will turn my attention to the blankets as well. We have begun to sort out appointments. Coming up for me is the GP and dentist. I need to get my Costochondritis medication sorted out, as I have a medication review, which should have been done last year. I also need my hernia medication sorting out as well. It feels like I am falling apart, but I am not, I am just getting older and with it comes ailments, which to be honest I can do without. I do however count myself lucky, as I know there are others out there who are far worse off than myself.
Today I spent the morning, cleaning and tidying the boat, whilst Keith went shopping. The stove flues got a clean, which will be done at the beginning of each month, whilst the stoves are lit. After Keith had come home with the food shop, I put that away, then made us some lunch, which was homemade Lamb and Veggie soup. Most of the afternoon was spent at the bank trying to sort out why I cannot do an online savings account. I was however pleased that it was not just my inability to do things online which had caused so much trouble, because the gentleman at the bank could not set it up for me either. There seems to be an issue with their side, so he set something else up for me instead and fingers are crossed that it should all work. This had been doing on for a couple of months, starting with me proving who I am. Living on a boat, means we do not have household bills. I do not have a passport and gave up my provisional driving licence sometime ago, which means it is hard to prove I am who I am. I decided that I would go for my provisional driving licence again, which took weeks to arrive and I used a letter from HMRC and hoped they would accept this as proof of who I am and where I live. Thankfully it did the trick, but blimey I had to jump through so many damn hoops. This was despite the fact that I have been with the same bank for 17 years. I know you could not write about it, could you. I am just pleased it is now all sorted out. Having spent my afternoon in the bank, I did very little for the rest of the day, because the light is fading fast now.
Tomorrow I am hoping to get out in the garden.
Pop back soon xx