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

Saturday 22 December 2018

Day 2: Christmas Holibobs

Hello friends and followers.

Ok I know I said I would see you on the other side of New Year, but hey I have a signal and some pictures to post, so thought why not.
We enjoyed a peaceful night at Tom o' the Wood. The weather was somewhat wet thought, at one point I thought the rain was coming it because it was so heavy. Anyway a good sleep was had and the aching joints were able to relax overnight, ready for the day ahead of us.
We set off at 9am and headed to Kingswood Junction.
The Lapworth flight was then the order of the day. I was on lock duty.
Because lock one is still out of commission, we had to turn on the next junction and use locks 21.
It was then onward and upward.
We did stop before the main flight, for a quick coffee and cake break. I needed every bit of strength I could muster for some of the paddle gear. We got a couple of locks up the main flight and there was a fisherman sitting on the end of the lock with his catch net hanging over the lock beam. Clearly that is what they are made for. Not only was that wrong, but he should not have been fishing in the pound. As soon as I asked him if he could remove his keep net (politely of course), he remarked that he was just leaving anyway. Onward up to lock 8 and we met a boat wooo hooo. The first and only boat in two days. I have to say I was a little worried about the gentleman, who was none to steady on his legs and smelt of drink. He assured me he was fine and that he had left all the locks set for us, which meant only one thing, he had been leaving all the bottom gates open. He was single handing and worried me as he climbed down the ladder to get back on to his boat. His cratch board and window, were smashed on his front deck, so I enquired what had happened, only to be told he smashed it off at the lift bridge. Such a worry. I helped him through the lock and he went on his way. I really think some folk should not be on boats. Anyway none of my business, so we carried on up through the top lock at Lapworth and through the swing bridge.
I stayed at the swing bridge, whilst Keith went and winded the boat and came back.
We are now moored up for Christmas and that means I will not be back now until the New Year, I promise.
Have a wonderful time, I know I will.

See you in 2019 xx

Friday 21 December 2018

Christmas Holibobs.

Hello friends and Followers.

We have left the Arm for our Christmas holibobs.
On our way out from the Arm for a week or more.
Up the Hatton flight.
Taking a breather whilst the lock filled.
Moored for the night at Tom O' the wood. After doing all the Hatton locks, we had a well earned pint in the pub.

Merry Christmas to you all. May your Christmas be filled with love and laughter. I will see you on the other side of New Year.

See you in the New Year I hope xxxx

Sunday 16 December 2018

Lovely weekend.

Hello friends and followers.

We creep ever closer to Christmas Day and New Year, knowing all the time that we have prepared for weeks for it all to be over in the blink of an eye and the only thing we will have to show for it is several inches on the hips and gifts we will never find a use for. But on the other hand, it is a good excuse to veg out in front of the TV and eat what we like, knowing full well we will deal with the extra pounds in the New Year. I for one will definitely be looking to shed the pounds in the New Year. I will not be wasting my money on going to the gym though.

I have had a fabulous weekend. It all began on Saturday morning, with my usual cuppa in bed whilst watching the news and weather. The weather was all doom and gloom, with freezing rain and strong winds forecast. Oh joy of joy and there was us going out for lunch. Having gotten out of a nice warm bed into a cold cabin, I wasted no time in getting dressed and lighting the back cabin stove, which soon got the cabin nice and snug. Even on freezing mornings, like Saturday morning, I always loved walking our boy Paddy. I really miss not walking him in the mornings. Having sorted both fires. I turned my attention to making some homemade soup, which would be eaten over the weekend. There is nothing like a nice homemade soup to warm the cockles of the heart.
We were eating out for lunch, so I dressed warm and for the occasion. We left the boat at 11.30am and walked into town to meet up with our friends for lunch at Ask Italian. It was a superb meal from their festive range, with a glass of prosecco thrown in for good measure. Three hours flew by as we ate, laughed and chatted over our meal and drinks. There is nothing like getting together with friends at this time of the year. I am not one for huge parties, but small get togethers are so lovely. Whilst we were so busy enjoying ourselves, we failed to notice that the weather had taken a definite down turn, because it was throwing it down with rain. Our walk home was a wet one, the only upside was it did not turn into freezing rain, otherwise we would have skated home or broken a hip whilst trying to skate home. Back on the boat, our coats, hats and gloves were hung in the back cabin to dry, the kettle was put on for coffee. We settled down in front of the TV for the rest of the day with our feet up. I for one was full to the brim, and rather mellow.
During the night we had a heck of a lot of rain, which tested out our new sheeting perfectly. The sheeting passed with flying colours.
Today (Sunday), began as every morning does with a cuppa. The forecast was much more encouraging. We did have a frosty start, but the temperature was set to rise. Both stoves lit and the kettle on the boil, today was going to be a day of doing very little. The OH was busy working on his railway and I got on with finishing another blanket for the Border Collie Trust.
The blanket was made with donated wool and is my last blanket of 2018. I will begin making more blankets in 2019. I already have four blankets ready to send in the New Year. I hope to make many more blankets next year. I want to thank everyone who has sent or given me wool this past few months. I could not make the blankets without the donated wool, so a huge thank you.
Whilst crocheting the last blanket for 2018, I watch Battle of Britain and The Green Berets. I am not watching Christmas movies just yet, otherwise I will be bored stiff with them by the time the big day arrives. We are still hoping to go cruising for Christmas, so I will post when we are going out.

Pop back soon xx

Friday 14 December 2018

Getting closer.

Hello friends and followers.

Many of us are now counting down to Christmas Day and I am one of them, because we will be heading out on the boat for Christmas, because it looks like the weather maybe good. Last year when we went out, it was cold but sunny when we went out. We did Forty locks for Christmas dinner, which was had with a friend. The weather forecast for the return journey was not so good, so Boxing Day we set off back towards home. We stopped half way down the Hatton flight for the night, because the light was fading. When we woke up the next morning, there was two inches of snow and lots of ice. This made for a rather exciting return home. I had decided I was only opening one paddle and gate, this meant I did not need to cross over the icy gates, but that soon changed as we got to lock three. There was so much water flowing over the gates I could not get the gates open on one paddle, so gingerly I crossed the gates in order to open the second paddle, thus meaning I got the gates open. Because the snow was melting, there was water everywhere, including across the towpath, which I could no longer see. OH had to pick me up at the bottom of each lock, because it was not safe to try and walk the flooded towpath. Neither of us had seen so much water, not only was it across the towpath, it was across the fields as well. We had an exciting trip home, which we would like to avoid this year and yes I know we could avoid it all together by not going out, but we love going to our friend for Christmas, but will continue to watch the weather forecast. If things change for the bad, then we will put off going out. I am however at this time hopeful that we will be going out for Christmas.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day, so we went into Leamington-Spa to do a bit of retail therapy, lunch and then food shopping. It was not to busy, so we had a nice nosey around the shops and managed to get the things we wanted. Lunch was eaten at our favourite chinese buffet, we then walked to Aldi to do our food shop for the week. By the time we got home it was late afternoon. So I stowed away the shopping and made us some dinner, before we settled down for an evening of TV in front of the fire.
Today has been a much quieter and colder day. It was -5.5C overnight, so we had a very heavy frost, but no ice on the water. It was a day for staying in, but I had to walk into town to pick up a prescription and I wanted to buy some new mugs, which I had seen in one of the shops in the town. I made us some homemade vegetable soup for lunch and then spent the rest of my day was spent crocheting in front of the fire.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Physiotherapy and sheeting.

Hello friends and followers.

It has been a busy old day. It began as is normal with a cup of tea in bed whilst watching the BBC news and weather. It has to be said that there is very little good news around at the moment, but hey ho I still like to know what is going on. I finally climbed out of bed just after 8am, and was getting dressed, when there was a knock on the side of the boat. The PVC sheeting I had ordered yesterday had arrived. Excellent service from Allplas. Having completed getting myself dress, I turned my attention to the chores in hand so stoked the fire and put some toast on for breakfast.
At 9.30am we were then off to the hospital, because the OH was having some physio to try and sort out his pain. He had an x-ray back in September, which ruled out his hips being the cause for his pain, although he does have wear and tear on both of them, but was told it was alright for his age. So having been on Ibuprofen for weeks and not really getting any better, he was hoping the physio could show some light on his pain. Having been bent in every known direction, it seems he has an incredibly tight hamstring, which needs working on. So with exercises to do we left the hospital happier than we went in. We have absolutely no idea why his hamstring is doing this, but hopefully it will improve with the exercise he has to do once a day for the next three weeks, we then have to go back to see the physio again.
Back home, with a need for coffee and an early lunch, because we wanted to get the new sheeting on the hold. It is hoped that this will stop the water getting into the Railway room once and for all. We measured, cut and added eyelets to the sheeting, before threading it under the sheeting and down to the gunwale. With the one side done, we then had to turn the boat around to do the other side. By the time we finished it was almost 2.45pm. We winded the boat and got back onto our mooring. Plugged ourselves in and settled down with another coffee. We are both pleased with the new sheeting. We will just have to see if this is the final solution to our problem.
Our railway is coming along so well, it is going to be amazing when it is finished.
After a busy old day, I have no plans to do anything during the evening. I am putting my feet up and watching the TV.

Come on folks, are you ready for Christmas?
Have you done all your pressie shopping?
I am pleased I am done. The only thing to get now is the final bits of food and possibly drink, but that will be done the week before Christmas. I have never been one for leaving it till the last minute, mainly because I hate crowds. Of course Christmas is not all about the presents. It is about spending time with those you love and I do not always mean family, because there are those of us who are not close to our families, through no fault of our own in my case. I count my close friends my family. It is sad when families do not see eye to eye, but sometimes you just have to walk away and make your own way in life. I am fortunate that I am close to the OH's family, but they live a long way a way, so it is difficult for us to see them.
Talking about families, I was recently talking to a close friend who does not see her family and she told me that they have totally wiped her out of their lives. There is no mention of her, not even a photograph is on show. How does she know this, well she is still in touch with a member of her family from a distance. I find this so very sad and yet she is such a gentle soul, who has been dealt a cruel blow by those who gave birth to her and bought her up.
No one should judge anyone, unless they have walked in their shoes for more than one day, because life is cruel and then some.
Christmas is not a happy for some people. Remember to check on those spending their festive time alone this Christmas.

We will see what tomorrow brings.

Pop back soon. xx

Monday 10 December 2018

Getting closer.

Hi friends and followers.

You cannot have failed to notice that Christmas is drawing ever closer. I am so pleased I am all done. Yes I have bought and wrapped presents, written and posted cards. Then we will blink and it will all be over for another year. We will then dive head first into 2019 and all it has to offer. I am not going to get political, because I really do not think those of you reading this wants to know my opinion on Brexit. But we all know we will be heading either towards Brexit or away from it, if the politicians can get things sorted out once and for all. I will cross each bridge when I get to it in 2019. The one thing I do know is I will live each day, as if it were my last. But first we need to get Christmas out of the way. We may be heading out on the boat for Christmas, a lot depends on the weather. I am not going to go cruising if it is freezing cold, because there is no point and it can be dangerous around locks in the ice. So you will have to watch this space, to see whether we do actually go out cruising.

Since finally receiving our rug, I have certainly enjoyed having it under foot. It has also given the saloon a lovely warming glow, with the Christmas tree lights on. Over the weekend, I put up a few more decorations in the galley, so we are definitely more festive now. All the usual jobs got done on the boat. I had to plug a leak in the sheeting, which was dripping onto Keith's railway. We think we have cured the problem for now, but we have come up with a more permanent solution, which if it works you will hear about it later in the week. If you want to see the railway layout please visit the Railway blog. It is coming along nicely.

Sunday was spent relaxing, watching films and crocheting another blanket. I have always felt that Sunday should be spent doing very little. When I was growing up, Sunday was a day for going to church. I used to be in the church choir when I was younger. These days though people are working, or busy shopping. I am still unsure whether it was a good idea to have shops open on a Sunday. I know it has been a thing since 1994, but I still feel Sundays should be a day for relaxing, to spend with loved ones. I am an old soul at heart.

Today with the weather still all over the place, I walked into town to do a few things, which included having my hair trimmed. I go to a lovely gentleman who takes the ends off my hair for £10. I do not have my hair washed at the saloon, because of allergies to some shampoos, so having a dry trim is brilliant. I cannot believe though how different the prices can be for a dry trim. I have been quoted as much as £30 for a dry trim. I have long hair, so it is literally a matter of taking off the ends, which takes all of five minutes. Anyway Dave does a wonderful job and I do not even need to make an appointment. Hair trimmed, tasks tackled, it was back home to a coffee. The fire was stoked and lunch was cooked and eaten.
I wonder what tomorrow has in store for me?

Pop back soon xx

Friday 7 December 2018


Hello friends and followers.

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.
This morning the delivery time was 11am to 3pm, but after lunch the time went to 1pm to 5pm and I thought oh heck here we go again. I spent hours online yesterday trying to get some sense knocked into Hermes. All's I wanted them to do was ask the driver to ring me when he arrives if the gate to the Arm is locked. I was told that they had done this. So this afternoon, I decided at 4.15pm to don my hat, coat and gloves and go and stand outside and wait and wait. But then suddenly a white van turned into our road and better still into the gateway of the Arm, so I literally ran up the car park waving my arms, so he did not drive off. I said to the driver "I am so pleased to see you". I asked him why he had not phoned me and his reply was "I was not given your phone number". So Hermes lied to me yet again. having asked them five times to give my phone number to the driver, they did not even bother. Thankfully the driver knew where we were, because he had previously worked on the Industrial Estate. But I fear that if I had not been outside in the car park, my rug may well have gone back to the company I purchased it from.
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

Could not deliver my a**e.

Hello friends and followers.

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

Third time lucky?

Hello friends and followers.

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.
Phewwww what a saga just for Christmas. The Red berry lights are hanging in the back cabin, so if they should go wrong again, they will be easy to take down. That is it, the tree is decorated and I am not going to do it again.
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

1st December.

Hello friends and followers.

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.
Ta da. I am loving our new tree. I also purchased some new baubles, because the old ones had seen better days and because we wanted something different. This year we have gone with warm white lights, which will flash and do other flashy things. I actually like it static, because the fairy lights we have along the ceiling flash, so too much flashing is not good for anyone. Now that the decorations are almost finished, I think we deserve our first mince pie of the festive season. I am slo very tempted to have a whiskey later on. I know, this woman knows how to live :-).

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

A testing week.

Hi friends and followers.

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.
On Friday, we went back to the vets to collect our angel Paddy and to bring his ashes home. So just when you think you have accepted something, collecting his ashes woke up deep emotions in me.
Paddy's ashes were in this lovely box with his name on.
In the box was a cardboard tube, which contained Paddy's ashes. It is all biodegradable. We also had his plaque come from the engravers. This was our final act of kindness, we bought him home.
Paddy and Marmite have been reunited and lie next door to each other in our garden.

Life for any of us can be challenging. We all have to make the most of what we have and make the most of every single day, because none of us knows when it will be our last. So when life throws crap your way, dust yourself off and move on with your shoulders back and a smile on your face, because no one else will live your life for you and you do not get another chance, as far as we all know. 
Whilst on the thought of life being challenging, a dear friend has made the heartbreaking decision to sell her beloved home and move back to the United States. For those of you who are blog readers you may have read the Narrowboat Valerie blog and got to know Les and Jaqueline. We knew Les before he met Jaqueline, but loved them both dearly. Sadly Les died from Cancer a couple of years ago, but Jaqueline has lived on the boat and continued to cruise. It is now time for her to sell up and move on. This decision has been a hard one, so hopefully Valerie will find a wonderful new owner, who will look after their beautiful home. 

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Getting together.

Hello friends and followers.

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

Gardening Sunday.

Hello friends and followers.

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.
You know I said how amazing the weather has been, even in November, well we still have Strawberries growing. I am just wondering if I bring them in and put them with a banana, whether they would ripen. I hate waste and these would go nicely with some yogurt.
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.
I am not someone who wears gloves when gardening, so it was me against the thorns and I eventually won. I finally got the hedge tamed and the brambles in order, ready for next years growth.
With the warm weather, comes flowers which are still in bloom. Our Clematis that grows up the bird table is still producing flowers and the Marigolds are in full bloom.
The poached egg flowers which normally produce flowers in the Spring are also flowering again.
The mahonia japonica, is also out in flower, which it should be as it is a winter flowering evergreen.
Before we went out on our six weeks cruise in the middle of September, I cut it back sharply, which has definitely not affected it. Garden all neat and tidy again, I got on with making lunch, which today was to be sweet and sour chicken, with a twist because I like to add sweet chilli sauce to it. Pud was fruit and yogurt, all washed down with a coffee. Jobs done for the day, the TV went on and I am sat with my feet up watching films on Sony Movie Channel. It is very high brow today with Nicholas Nickleby and Sense and Sensibility, with Julia Roberts films on later, I am in film heaven. Oh the joys of a good Sunday afternoon movie.
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

Channeling my energies.

Hello friends and followers.

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.
I have sat and made another blanket for The Border Collie Trust GB. When I have ends of balls, I join them all together and make a rainbow blanket and that is what I have done in Paddy's memory.
Making this blanket has given me something to focus on. I am so pleased with the colours and I hope that which ever Collie gets it, loves it and feels lovely and cosey in it.
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

Day 2 with Paddy.

Hello friends and followers.

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

Thank you.

Hello Friends and Followers.

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.
He is running free with his best mate Marmite, after crossing the Rainbow bridge. That is of course if she let him in :-).
Paddy came into our lives in 2004, when he was 11 months old. He came from a working farm, but because of his owners poor health and moving he had to let Paddy go into the care of The Border Collie Trust UK. Fortunately for him and us, he went into the Trust on the Saturday morning and came home with us the very same afternoon. When we went to see him, Rachel one of the Trust workers, bought him out to meet us and he was so excited he lost all bladder control and tinkled on the floor. At that moment we knew he was coming home with us. What we did not know was he hate travelling in cars and so slobbered over every inch of the inside of the car and that also included me. Just as well the car was going for scrap after that, because we did not need a car and a boat to move. Paddy very happily lived on our first boat and thought nothing of it when we moved onto the boat we have now. He always took everything in his stride. His only dislike were the emergency service sirens. There was a particular pitch which drove him batty. When he came home with us he came with a bag full of teddies. We soon realised what they were for, when the sirens went off, Paddy ripped the heads off the teddies. The vet reckoned a certain pitch drove him nuts. Anyway over time we managed to get him to ignore the ones on the TV and he even accepted the ones on the roads. When last year he began to go deaf, it meant he could not hear the sirens, which was a blessing for him. I have so many happy and funny memories of our angel, which will see me through the sad times. He was very good at giving cuddles when required. He also liked to round Keith and I up when we first got him. he hated us being apart, which always made us giggle.
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.
He will always be in our hearts and thought, but we know we did the right thing in the end. His fits, bad back legs and eating issues, were more than he should have to bare, so he is now at peace and enjoying running free.
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

"Goodbye" to an angel.

Hello Friends and Followers.

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.
This morning Keith and I took Paddy to the vets for his vaccinations and a health check. After a long discussion with the vet, it was decided the best thing for Paddy was to put him to sleep. So we said "goodbye" to our darling boy Paddy. He has walked over the rainbow bridge to be with his best friend Marmite.
We sat on the floor with him, hugging him as the vet gave him the injection, which would end his life. Putting him to sleep, he has taken a big part of our hearts with him. He joined our family at the age of 11 months old from The Border Collie Trust. He was almost 15 and had a fantastic life afloat. Paddy bought so much unconditional love and joy into our lives, we are both going to find it so hard to be without him, but it was his time to go and join Marmite. Sleep well sweet man.
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

Never Forget.

I wrote this poem a few years ago, for a more modern day conflict. But I think it is still apt to the memory of all the fallen soldiers of conflict. Of course there was no mobile phones in WWI or WWII, but wanting to survive and go home is inbuilt in all of us and particularly for those involved in wars and conflicts.

Don't let me die.

I Scream in fear as I feel the pain
Please do not let my life be in vain.
I know I am hit, but cannot look.
What part of my body has the bullet took.
Distant explosions of the enemy I hear.
I know death is something I will never fear.
I let out a cry, for my buddies to hear
Please someone come I am laying here.
Echoes loud as my voice carries in the night.
I must look such a frightful sight.
Blood is seeping, I can feel it run.
I am scared to think what the bullet has done.
My chest hurts I know it is bad.
But yet I have no will to get mad
I lay here alone my body is racked in pain.
I know now my life will never be the same.
Vulnerable all alone where is everyone
Will I see another day of sun?
Scared will I be left here to die alone.
This is when I wish I had my mobile phone
Helpless I lay here, with a mortal wound.
I can only think my life is doomed.
Waiting for the moment of death.
Is my time coming for my last breath?
I am too young to die, hear my plea.
Can someone please come and find me
I let out one last feeble howl
In case my mates are on the prowl.
Someone come I do not want to die.
I want to be able to look upon the sky.
Footsteps are coming in this direction.
Shout's of hey you, said with affection.
Patched up, morphine given for pain relief.
My thoughts of death now seem oh so brief
I guess my prayers were heard today.
Thank you god for allowing me to stay.
My thoughts turn to those who will never see the sun.
For them their duty has been done.
God bless all those who died today.
In our memories you will always stay.

By Jo Lodge.


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