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

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Day 67: Moored at Sharpness.

Hello Friends and Followers.

So here we are moored at Sharpness. Having moored up yesterday, we went off for a stroll down to the docks.
The views along the River Severn Estuary are stunning, even with the weather being a little on the misty side.
There are a number of sunken boats long the estuary call the Purton Hulks, which I will write about on another day as we go and visit them all. Mary is at the end of the Sharpness arm. She was beached in 1958. She is now at one with nature and I am sure a perfect home for fish and wildfowl.
Whilst Gloucester Docks is still used. The days of it being full of boats is long gone. There was only one boat in for unloading.
We went looking for the Vale of Berkeley Railway, which is being restored. It goes around and through the docks and they hope to restore it all the way to Berkeley.
The track is still down, which is a good place to start from.
A lot of time, money and hard work are going to be required. But like with any restoration project, they will get there in the end without a doubt.
Having enjoyed a lovely stroll, we walked back past the Dockers Club, but sadly it was closed. It does not open during the day Monday to Thursday. It is only open during the evening 7-11pm. Then the rest of the week it is open at lunchtimes and evenings. Maybe we will go there another day whilst up this neck of the woods.

Today the weather was not very impressive. It was raining when I woke up at 5.30am, so I put my head under the duvet and went back to sleep until 7.30am. Yep it was still raining when I got up to make a cuppa. The thought for the day was to see how it went, but that soon change to going for a walk anyway, because I wanted some fruit from the little shop down by the docks. So with waterproof clothing on we headed out into the gloom and spit spots of rain. The shop is open from 6am to 1pm. I am presuming this is for the dockers going to work. I did not get any fruit as there was none, but I did buy three DVD's for £1 each. So it as not a deadloss. Keith wanted to take more photographs of the railway, because yesterday he forgot to put his memory card in his camera, so was merrily snapping away for nothing.
On the stroll back to the boat, we called into the small marina chandlery and then strolled on home, where I made lunch and a coffee. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing very little. My mind was elsewhere. A friends husbands funeral was taking place, which we sadly could not get too. With lunch we drank a toast to our friend Derek and hoped that he had a smooth and clear road ahead. This year has been a year of sadness with friends passing away, due to ill health or tragedy and it is only coming up to June. Life is so precious and fragile, we must make the most of it whilst we can. On that note I am off.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Day 66. Moving on down.

Hiya Friends and Followers.

So how was your Bank Holiday Weekend?

Ours was lovely, even with the funny old weather. Saturday began quiet enough, but then we were treated to a huge thunderstorm and a copious amount of torrential rain, which you would of thought would have cleared the muggy air, but no it did not. Once the storm was over, the sun came out and oh boy it was hot.
Sunday was a quiet day for us, we did very little. I did photograph the House Martin's nesting above the bridge keepers hut.
I am always in wonder of these little birds, who fly thousands of miles to this country to nest and then they fly back again. This pair were rebuilding a nest. I think due to the shortage of rain lately the nest was in need of repair, but with no mud they had left it until it rained. Anyway I had a lovely couple of hours watching them.

Bank Holiday Monday dawned and hooray the sun was shining, which meant we were going to Slimbridge, Wildfowl and Wetland Trust for the day. I did the usual morning tasks and then busied myself with making a picnic and drinks. Camera's were in bags and we were ready for the off at 9am.
We walked there and still made it ten minutes before they were due to open. Once the doors were open, we and a few others paid for our tickets and were off into the throng of the place. There was wildfowl everywhere, with the geese and their goslings begging for food. You can buy a bag of duck food for £1.50. I reckon that at this time of the year the staff do not need to feed the birds much, because the paying public do it for them.
On the way in you see this glorious Hare, which is part of the Haring Through the Seasons. He was a stunning fellow and beautifully designed by Sarah Vonthron-Laver.
When it comes to wildlife I am completely in my element and so would happily spend my whole life in this place, watching and photographing the birds and mammals.
Our mission was to go and spot the Cranes, which have been re-introduced to the UK with a breeding program. This year one pair has produced young and we were hoping to find them. We went to the Hogarth Hide and could see the parents in the distance, but my photographs did not turn out to well because of the distance.
We did however spot a pair which were much closer to hand on our walk around the site. With it being Bank Holiday Monday, the place was packed, but not rammed, which was a joy for us, because we could get some nice photographs.
I especially wanted to photograph the Otters. Minnie, Ha ha, and their mum Flo. Flo came to the Trust, when her home was being closed down. What they did not know was she was already pregnant, so they gained Minnie and Ha ha. They are so lovely together and certainly drew a crowd.
To photograph the Otters, you have to do it through the glass of their enclosure, which is shame, but I still had a lot of fun taking their photographs.
Lunchtime we found a bench overlooking a pool and ate our lunch, before carrying on with the wander. In all we walked over 6 miles and by the time we left, which was around 4.30pm, my feet were screaming STOP.
We went back to the boat to put our camera's away, and then we went to the Tudor Arms for dinner and a pint. I felt we had earned a treat and I was paying.
Bedtime did not come quick enough for me and my feet and knees. They ached so much that it took me ages to get off to sleep. I had twitchy leg syndrome until I nodded off eventually.
This morning we left Patch's Bridge and are now down at Sharpness for a few days.

Pop back soon xx

Saturday 26 May 2018

Day 63: Sitting it out.

Hello Friends and Followers.

So here we are with another Bank Holiday and it is damp, wet and miserable.

On Thursday evening, Keith and I joined Carole and Adrian for a meal in the Tudor Arms. It was absolutely scrummy and we can completely recommend it. We had a main meal and a pud for £9.95 and it was fabulous.
Friday we woke to mizzling rain, which lasted all day, so we did not go to Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust as we had planned. Instead we stopped inside and I did some rock painting.
I have joined a Facebook group named Love on the Rocks UK. I have found four rocks so far and re-hidden the, which gave me the idea to paint my own and hide them as part of the group. It is all a bit of fun and children love taking part. I will do it more when we get home, because Warwick has its own group. I think I am finding my artistic side all of a sudden, although I am not as talented as some of the artist I have seen.
I adore these two I have seen on the Facebook page.
Later on Friday afternoon the rain did finally subside and so Carole and Adrian waved us goodbye and set off back to Saul Junction. It has been wonderful spending time with them.

Saturday morning dawned and hooray it was not raining, but it was overcast and the threat of rain was apparent, so no Slimbridge today either. Instead I did boat chores, nattered to the bridge keeper, whilst visiting the bins as you do. I then suggested as to not get cabin fever that we should go to the Black Shed for a coffee and a possible wander, which we did. The Black Shed is brilliant for food, drink and supplies. I think they cater a lot for the caravan park. It is a warm and friendly place though, so well worth a visit. I am not sure what the rest of the day has in store, but we will see how it goes.

Pop back soon xxx

Thursday 24 May 2018

Day 61: Winter has returned.

Hiya Friends and Followers.

Brrrrr, who switched the heating off?
It seems that someone decided we had been given enough sunshine and so turned it off, because today it has felt more like Winter all over again.

I was woken up from a lovely sleep at 1am by the wave on the canal slamming into the stern of our boat and the wind was blowing a hooley outside. I lay awake listening to Keith snoozing and the wind blowing, thinking that the weather was trying to get in. Just as well I know it cannot. I drifted off to sleep eventually, only to then wake up again to the sound of heavy rain stomping on the roof of the back cabin. Yes we need rain, so it was most welcome, but it was a deluge. I was expecting thunder and lightening as well, but that did not materialise. having then dozed off again, the next thing I was aware of was Marmite jumping on me announcing "why are you not awake". It was now gone 7am, so a cuppa was much needed, whilst Marmite shouted that she was in need of attention. So whilst the kettle sang on the stove, Marmite got a cuddle, making her purr and then some breakfast.
With it still raining when we got up, and no need to move off early, we stayed put until the wind and rain had stopped.
We eventually set off and said "Cheerio" to Saul Junction for the next few days.
There are some incredible boats to see along the canal.
A Great Crested Grebe swan past, taking no notice of us at all. Normally they duck beneath the water when a boat moves by.
Bridge Keepers Cottage.
As we approached Patch's Bridge another quirky boat.
We were fortunate to get the last visitor mooring at Patch's Bridge, where we were met by Carole and Adrian on NB Rypeck. After mooring up we joined them for coffee in the Black Hut at Patch's Bridge. There was a lot of catching-up to be done, as we had not seen them since they helped us out when our starter motor died. We are spending a few days here.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Day 60: Framilode walk and lunch.

Hello Friends and Followers.

The morning got off to a noisy start at 6am with canoeists coming past, with their wash slapping against the stern. The only thing for it was to get up and make a cuppa.

It was definitely a chilly old start to the day, with a brisk breeze. There was no sunshine until 10am. With the sky overcast, Paddy and I went out for his walk of the day at 8am and were greeted by the sight of a Great Crested Grebe swimming alongside us. Such an elegant bird, with a air of being posh as it holds its head high, as if putting its nose (beak) in the air.
With boat chores and jobs done and the sunshine popping out, we decided to go off for a walk down to Framilode.
We wanted to walk along the Stroudwater Navigation, which is disused. We thought we had found the right footpath, but we ended up walking into Saul and then onto Framilode along the road. We then stumbled across the towpath by a bridge, so rejoined the towpath down to the River Severn Estuary.

The views across to Wales are truly stunning in the sunshine. I can well imagine that in the Winter it is a bleak place to be. But for now we have the sunshine and the wow factor.
We had a nosy around St. Peter's Church, Framilode.
Such a pretty little church. It is an early Victorian church and a real gem. The ceilings and paintings are absolutely amazing. They have a book club there, so I picked up a new book and gave them a donation.
We walked back from whence we came and stopped off at The Ship Inn for lunch and a pint. Harry and Caroline who have owned the Inn since 2016 were very welcoming. The food was lovely as was the pint. After enjoying a nice natter with them both, it was time to stroll back to the boat and this time we found the right footpath, which took us to the boat club and onto the towpath. On returning to the boat, it was coffee time and time to sit down and finish Soldier Girl by Annie Murray and start War Babies also by Annie Murray. Another fabulous day.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Day 59: Saul Junction.

Hi Friends and Followers.

Welcome to get another day of hot sunny weather. The thought for the day was. Move or not move?
Back to last night. I climbed into bed at almost 10pm and the OH followed soon after. As we lay in bed a Tawny Owl was calling from the tree outside of our boat. Sadly it did not get any answers to its calls, but it was a lovely way to end the day.
Ok back to today and yeah I know we have hard decisions to make sometimes. The decision was taken to move.
So we had a short run, just 1.8 miles to Saul Junction. Some great views of the Forest of Dean across the River Severn. Whilst mooring up a red Kite put in an appearance overhead. I always smile broadly when I see a Red Kite. That is the second one we have seen on this trip, so feeling blessed.
We decided to go for a wander over to Saul Junction Marina. It is a huge marina, with boats of all shapes and sizes in it. We got nattering to Cheryl at the marina and it turns out she knows someone we know in the Arm. The world is such a small place at times. Our walk back took us across the swing bridge and back along the towpath.
I spent the afternoon reading yet another book. Soldier Girls by Annie Murray is on the go at the moment. I love Annie's books and how she writes.

Tomorrow are staying put.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday 21 May 2018

Day 58: Fixed and moving again.

Hello Friends and Followers.

As I reported in my last post we had broken down and were moored at Lower Lode Inn. Well a fair bit has happened since then, so if you are sitting comfortably, with a cuppa I will begin.
We were made so welcome at Lower Lode Inn. The owner Samantha was so helpful in allowing us to use her facilities on site as she has a campsite. We made friends with Julia and Brian who own a static caravan near the Inn. They took me food shopping in Tewksbury and were so lovely. Before Carole and Adrian left us, we had a meal with them in the Inn which was excellent. The food and beer make this such a popular place, so you can sometime wait a bit for the food, but it was so worth it.
Carole and Adrian left us and went on their merry way, because they were on their two weeks holiday and we were on our own, waiting for Paul Redshaw our engineer. Paul built the broken down starter motor when the engine was put together almost 11 years ago, so we gave him the job of doing us a new starter motor. Whilst we waited I did some brass cleaning and a bit of painting as well. When I was not busy I was taking photographs of the Mouse family living in a breeze block.
They were very entertaining and the next day they were gone, they had moved out. We also had the pleasure of seeing a Red Kite flying with four Buzzards.
Friday morning dawned and having heard from Paul on Thursday, he said he would be with us on the Friday hopefully. He was good to his word and arrived about 11am. I was off out shopping with Julia and Brian, so I left Keith to help Paul with the job in hand, but I did have my fingers tightly crossed. When I got home the news was good and bad. The good news was the new starter motor which Paul had to build for us was working brilliantly. The bad news was out starter battery had died. Mind you it was 11 years old. The shorting out of the starter motor had killed it. So we were going to have to jump start the old girl using our leisure batteries, which was fine because we have a special switch in the system for that.
To celebrate I bought lunch in the Inn and yes it was followed by a pint. We also had a pint in the evening with Julia and Brian. With all of this going on I was keeping in touch with C&RT, letting them know progress or lack of it and so on Friday afternoon I was able to say to them that we would be off on Saturday morning and thanked them for their help.
Saturday morning we said "Cheerio" to everyone for now, as we will be going back. We were off to Gloucester.
We left at 8.30am and were followed by Magda and Lawrence on Wea-ry-tired. They had joined us at the Inn Thursday. It had been nice seeing them again as they had been in the Saltisford Arm last year. Magda stayed in the Arm on the boat whilst Lawrence was off playing golf. There was plenty of catching-up to be done between us all and yes a pint of two were enjoyed. We arrived in Gloucester and locked up with them and a posh boat.
We spent the remainder of Saturday walking into the city and then Saturday evening Magda and Lawrence invited us to a meal out with them at an Italian restaurant which was lovely.
Sunday was spent looking for water filters for our water jug. Eventually we got some from Boots. After lunch we walked around the dock and went into the Waterways Museum to see the changes made in the refurbishment. We could see very little change, but we still enjoyed the visit. I went out later on with my camera and took lots of snaps.
This morning (Monday) we left Gloucester docks and headed off into the wide blue yonder, well that was after we went shopping at Aldi for food. On our return we did the loo thing, got rid of rubbish and topped up with water. The we set off.
The bridges are all operated for you, so I had nothing to do, but make coffee and take photographs.
We are moored up in the countryside. Not sure if we will move tomorrow or not, but whatever I hope I will see you on the other side.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Day 53: Broken Down.

Hello Friends and Followers.

I knew it was all going far to well.
We had a fabulous couple of days at Upton-upon-Severn with our friends Carole and Adrian who were moored on the outside of us. We enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch at Ye Olde Anchor Inn washed down with a pint of Doombar Ale.
I had been looking around the town for rocks and came across three.

They will all be re-hidden on our journey.
We set off Monday morning to head towards Gloucester, enjoying a beautiful sunny cruise.
Having arrived at Upper Lode Lock, we entered the lock with our friends and another boat. Whilst we waited for the lock to empty we turned our engine off to allow the lock keeper to chat to the other boaters who were going into Gloucester Docks. Our problem came about when we tried to restart Hadar's engine. The starter motor was not working properly and therefore did not get the old girl going. Thankfully our friends Carole and Adrian breasted up with us and got us out of the lock and down onto the pontoon moorings at Lower Lode Inn. Adrian and Keith tried to find out the problem with the starter motor, but it was dead and was not going to revive, so we had to phone the engineer who fitted it almost 11 years ago. He had said that he would be with us either Tuesday or tomorrow (Thursday), so we will keep our fingers crossed. He is on the case which is the main thing.
The owner of the pub and caravan park, has been very kind at allowing us to use her Elsan and we have water on the pontoon. We have plenty of food on board, but I can always get a tesco delivery if all else fails. Oh the joys of boating. Hopefully we will be on our way soon.

Pop back soon xxx


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