*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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

Sunday 30 September 2018

Happy Days and Gripes.

Hello friends and followers.

Here we are on a nippy Sunday morning. The back stove is lit, cuppa drunk and dog walked and already I feel myself wanting to rant. This is not a good start to a Sunday, but I will save my rant for later on in this posting, because I would hate to get your day off to a poor start.
We really enjoy our time at the Black Country Living Museum. There is something that draws us back each time and of course it is always lovely to catch-up with the people we know and to find out how life has been with them, since the last time we met. Each time we come here, we meet new and wonderful people, who work or volunteer at the museum and are the lifeblood of the place. I can seriously say, if we lived closer to the museum, we would definitely volunteer on a daily basis, because it is such an amazing place. I spent a lot of time talking to the public about the place and answering any question they had. It is a place of joy.
Yesterday they had the steam hammer running, which drew a large crowd. It will be running again today, so more photographs will no doubt follow. Today will be our last day at the museum for this year, as we will be heading off for Stone, Staffordshire. We finished our day off in the museum with a pint in the pub, after all it would have been rude not too.

Ok so here comes my rant for the morning. Most of you will know I get very annoyed at the amount of rubbish littering our canals and towpaths, well this morning whilst walking the dog, I spotted something which is the lowest of the low in littering. Some disgusting person, had obviously had an accident of the bowel and so just left their soiled underpants on the towpath. Not only is it something no one wants to see first thing in the morning, it could be a health hazard I am presuming. I would like to think that person would be ashamed of their actions, but I know that will never be the case, because they would never have done it in the first place. I am seriously finding people disgusting these days and no I am not tarring everyone with the same brush.
Rant over.

Pop back soon xx

Friday 28 September 2018

Moved on.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Yesterday (Thursday), began with a beautiful start. I opened the back cabin doors to the sunshine pouring in. Birmingham looked beautiful. At the moment Birmingham is preparing for the Conservative Conference, so it has been busy with security and fences have been going up, so if you are going into Birmingham and around the ICC you will find lots of security on.
It was time for us to move on yesterday, so at 9am we untied and headed off into the wide blue yonder.
We enjoyed Heron flying in front of us, Cormorants above us and a Buzzard alongside us, with fish and Pike beneath us. It goes to show that urban wildlife is thriving even though people still see fit to dump their rubbish.
This lot made my blood boil. It is clearly a business dumping this rubbish long the bank. They are throwing it over a wall above this photograph and yes I have reported it. We headed up through Factory Locks and made our way to the BCLM (Black Country Living Museum).
We moored up and had homemade soup for lunch, we made our way into the museum, to catch-up with folk we know. The place was busy with school groups and my dander was up with one such group. They were standing on the steps by the sweet and bakery shops and also by the canal. I saw a paper bag from one of the shops floating in the canal, so I fished it out and as I did so, someone through down a screwed up paper bag. My immediate reaction was to shout. "Who threw that bag down". All the kids gathered looked at each other and then a small voice from the huddle said "He did". A young lad standing on the steps, went very red in the face. I told him to come and pick his litter up and put it in one of the many bins provided on site. I explained to him he should never drop litter. He said absolutely nothing, but who knows he may have learned a lesson. I do however think that those in charge of the school groups should keep an eye on what their charges are doing. I had no issue with telling him off.
A good day was had and a quiet evening on board was enjoyed.

I will post more later, so pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Having a fine old time.

Hi Friends and Followers.

Brrrr of an evening or first thing in the morning. It has been a tad nippy around the edges and I have lit the back cabin stove to take the chill off the cabin. We have spent the past couple of days mooching around Birmingham and of course a bit of retail therapy has taken place. On Tuesday we walked into the city to the market, because I wanted some extremely strong cheddar off of the outdoor market and I was not disappointed. They had a new extremely strong cheddar and a smoked cheddar cheese from the Mull of Kintyre. I bought both of them, because they are both amazing. I know of no where else I can get cheese that strong. I wanted to get some vest tops from Primark, but I lucked out, because they only had a couple of colours and none of them were in my size, so I will have to wait until I can get them from somewhere else.
Last night we went to our friends for a fabulous meal. There was a lot of chatter and laughter. In fact we had so much fun, it was gone 10.30 pm before we realised the time. They say time flies when you are having fun and it certainly did last night.
After a relaxing start to the day, we walked into the city to have some lunch at Tamatanga . The Indian restaurant had been recommended to us by our friends, who we met up with last night, so we thought we would give it a try. If you ever come into Birmingham, or you actually are reading this whilst in Birmingham, go and have a meal there, it is brilliant and we will definitely be going back again, when we are in the city. Fabulous food, friendly staff and a really pleasant place.
After a fabulous lunch, we walked into the city, to enjoy the vibrancy of the place. Yes there is a huge amount of building work going on, but it does not take away the fact that Birmingham is a beautiful city and it is in my blood, because of family connections. I have the Black Country and Birmingham in my blood. It is a city which makes me smile, but you also cannot ignore the fact that there is poverty on the streets. Everywhere you look you will see someone sitting with a cap or a cup out in front of them asking for loose change. There are people sleeping on the streets, which is incredibly sad and in this day and age so wrong. No matter what these people have been through in their lives, living on the streets is no way to live or survive. I am of course aware that some have chosen to live that life style and they would probably not want to be anywhere else. I just feel sad that they seem to have little choice.

Tomorrow we will be leaving Birmingham and heading off.

Pop back soon xx

Monday 24 September 2018

Weekend over.

Hello friends and followers.

Well that is the weekend at Tipton done and dusted. We woke this morning to a cold cabin and it was still rather dark out, which meant it was too early to be awake. I checked the clock and it said 6.30am. No point trying to go back to sleep, so I got up and made a cuppa. I also re-lit the back cabin stove, because it was a little nippy around the edges. Keith feels the cold more than I do, so I know he was happy that the stove was lit early doors. By the time we got up sunshine was pouring through the pigeon box portholes, which bode well for the day. Yesterday evening some of the boats left the gathering and this morning it was time for us to set off, but not before Paddy got his walk and was fed. We also had to move the boat moored on the outside of us and moor it back up, because its owner was not coming back to it for a few more days. I still find it rather odd, that you would moor up at a festival and then not be there, but hey ho that is just me.
9am and having sorted the other boat out, we waved everyone left at Tipton goodbye and headed for Factory Locks. They were set against us, so I set the locks and we worked out way down the three locks in lovely warm sunshine.
It was onward.
There were a lot of boats about today and many of them were hire boats out for a last fling, before everything shuts down for the Winter I suspect.
A bot more of the local artwork.
We were once again back in Birmingham.
We went round to Cambrian Wharf first to take on water, get rid of rubbish and empty the cassette. Whilst there, I spotted narrowboat Tawny Pipit II, so went and had a natter with them. We usually see each other but only in passing, so it was nice to have a proper chat for a few minutes, whilst our water tank filled. Also whilst we were there, we met up with Richard Parry the CEO of the Canal and River Trust and had a quick chat with him as he made his way into Birmingham. He always amazes me how he remembers peoples names and he is such a lovely gentleman.
After everything was done, we winded at The Flapper and headed back out to Sheepcote Lane Bridge.
We will be here for a day or two, whilst we visit friends and do some shopping.

Pop back soon xx

Sunday 23 September 2018

Tipton Canal and Community Festival.

Hiya Friends and Followers.

As you know we were at Tipton for the festival and Saturday was going to be a tough day for everyone, because apart from first thing, it rained pretty much all day. It went from drizzle to heavy downpours and yet lots of folk came out to enjoy what was on offer. There were quite a few stalls for charities and some crafters. The Home Brew Boat was doing what seemed to be brisk business as was The Jam Butty Boat and Towpath Tipples. They were just three of the trading boats at the event. Keith and I spent a fair amount of time wandering around natter on the Saturday. I did not cooking we had our lunch from a burger van. Keith had the burger and I had the chips. It was a great day, despite the weather.
Sunday morning dawned and yes it was once again raining, but there was the promise of something much brighter by 11 am. All the stall holders and fairground rides prepared themselves for another day, with the hope that the sun would shine.
None of us were disappointed. We did get some sunshine and out came the public for another day of fun and laughter.
We have had the most wonderful weekend and look forward to doing this festival again in future.

Pop back soon xxx

Friday 21 September 2018

Change of venue.

Hello Friends and Followers.

Blimey what a night we have just had. Talk about lashing it down. I reckon it was lashing, on top of lashing all night. I kept waking up due to the wind and rain. I was amazed this morning to see the place in one piece to be honest it was so bad. Thankfully all was well on board and there was no damage around about. I hope you all coped ok with Storm Ali and her antics?

Another morning and what a change. The wind had dropped and the sun was shining. It was as though Ali had been nowhere near us. Up with the lark, it was out with his lordship for his first walk and then I headed into Tipton, to drop some bits off at one of the charity shops. Of course I had a quick nosey around, but there was nothing there to take my fancy.
With boat jobs done, we spent another lovely day in the BCLM (Black Country Living Museum) and for the most part it was dry and sunny, but there was a definite Autumn chill in the air. After lunch we decided to have a pint in the pub and got chatting to a lovely lady and her brother-in-law. He was over from Australia and she had lived in Birmingham for over 50 years, but had never been to the BCLM until today. She said she would definitely be coming back again.
Come the end of the day, I was making us something to eat, when I heard a boat winding and thought I would be nosey. It turned out to be Narrowboat Tardibigge, who had come into the moorings looking for us. They had found us a mooring at the festival site.
So without a to do we untied, said "Cheerio" to BCLM, winded and headed into Tipton and our mooring for the weekend.
When we got there there was a boat moored up, but we slipped up his inside, because he was not booked into the event and I found out from the boat owner, he was not going to be there for the weekend anyway, which seemed a little odd. Why moor up at a festival, if you have no plan on being there. His instruction to us was "When you leave, can you just put our boat in your place", which of course we will do and he did apologise for taking our festival spot. So here we are for what will be our first Tipton festival, which I am very much looking forward to. I just hope the weather plays fair for everyone.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday 20 September 2018

More BCLM fun.

Hello Friends and Followers.

I know yesterday's post was short and sweet, but that was all I had time for after  busy old day. Our day ended with a visit from Ian and Irene off of Free Spirit. We sat drinking coffee and having a good old chinwag about anything and everything. They also got to see Keith's railway up close and personal. I do so hope it will not be so long before we see them again.

Today began as pretty much most days begin and that was with the first brew of the day and a natter about what the plan was for the day.
It began damp, as we had had some heavy overnight rain and to be honest it went downhill from there.
Once up, Paddy got his walk and breakfast. He is still giving us concern over his water works, but he is elderly and so we must expect these things.
Storm Ali made her presence with copious amounts of rain as the morning moved into the afternoon and the wind was picking up, so it was a good day to look around indoors at the museum and the houses, followed by a fish and chip lunch.
Lovely vehicles in the dry.
It was then onto the cottages and the roaring fires on such a nasty wet day. I felt so sorry for the school parties walking around the site. There were going to be some very soggy children going home on the coaches.
With is spending time in the cottages, there was lots of catching-up done with the people we have gotten to know at the museum. I honestly think if we lived closer to the museum, I would love to work there, with everyday being different. We could volunteer, but it is too far to come. However we do sometimes help out with the boats, because we both have a lot of knowledge to pass on. Tomorrow I think we will be doing the same if the weather forecast is correct. At the moment it is lashing it down outside. I have lit the fire and now we are nice and snug inside the boat.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 19 September 2018

At the BCLM.


Hi Folks.

We left Birmingham this morning in breezy conditions and made it to the Black Country Living Museum..


Pop back soon xx

Monday 17 September 2018

In Birmingham.

Hi Friends and Followers.

Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time and that was me last night. It was around 8pm and I took Paddy out for a wee. The sun was setting and so it was dusk. I walked down the locks and then on the way back in the disappearing light, I watched the Bats darting here and there, catching their prey. I stood on the towpath and smiled. It was such a wonderful moment.
We spent a lovely weekend with our friend Jacky, so it was a shame to have to leave. This morning we said "Cheerio" and headed off up through the top lock at Lapworth. I worked the first of the two swing bridges, we then took on diesel at Swallow Cruisers.
We managed to get served before the crane put two boats back into the water. It is Autumn and the trees are beginning to show their Autumnal colours. The old Oaks and the handsome Ash are turning. There is an abundance of berries about. Blackberries, Hawthorn and Sloes. Hopefully the wildlife will not go hungry this Autumn.
Interesting boat at Lyons boat yard. Is it coming to a canal near you?
On the side of this lifeboat, it said it can take 66 people. I reckon it will be a bit of a squish.
Guillotine Lock at Kings Norton Junction. Sad to see it covered in so called art work.
We arrived in Birmingham after a busy day cruising, with lots of boats on the move. Before finding a mooring, we emptied the cassette at the elsan. It was then onward.
University students celebrating their graduation.
Legoland has come to Birmingham it seems. So here we are for a few days. Tomorrow is a special day. I will post more tomorrow.

Pop back soon xx

Sunday 16 September 2018

Still here.

Good morning friends and followers.

I am still here. Since mooring up on Friday, we have been spending our time with our good friend Jacky, who lives in a fantastic lock cottage, which has been in her family for a couple of generations. She was actually born in the cottage. Friday night was spent drinking wine and having a right good chinwag. Although we see her twice a week when we are at home, there is always plenty to natter about. Saturday, I finished my 3rd dog rescue blanket and have begun my 4th. I am going great guns, but will be getting short of wool soon. At 11am Jacky and I went off to Tesco to buy an Indian take out meal for the evening's meal. Tesco were doing a great deal, they had knocked £3 off a meal for two, so I bought 2 box meals and Jacky bought the wine. That was dinner sorted out. I then spent the afternoon crocheting and just literally chilling out, until we joined Jacky for another evening of laughter and chatter. We ended up watching some of the old bits of Strictly Come Dancing, because Keith and I have never seen it properly. We then went on to Dad's Army, which always makes me laugh. That was made when humour was not crass or full of bad language. Oh for those days of great programs.
So here we are on Sunday and to get it off to a good start, I made us a bacon sandwich for breakfast. Paddy for his first walk of the day as well. He seems a little all over the place at the moment and not sure what is going on. Yesterday I am pretty sure he wet his bed. I am just hoping he is not losing control over his bladder, because we know it could be part of him losing his back legs gradually and he has this neurological thing going on, which also can have an impact on his bodily functions. So we will need to keep an eye on him.
Today I will be doing more crochet and possibly I will do a few boat chores.
I hope your day is a good one.

Pop back soon xxx

Friday 14 September 2018

Onward and upward.

Hello friends and followers.

After a brilliant nights sleep, I was up at 6.45am putting the kettle on the gas for the first brew of the day. Tapping on the side of the boat, were Mr and Mrs Swan and their five cygnets. I fed them yesterday, so they obviously thought they should come and ask for breakfast and it would have been rude to refuse them. So having fed them, I crept back to bed with my cuppa in hand.
Once up, Paddy got his walk and it was then time to get the boat ready for the off. We did not set off until almost 8.30am, which is late for us. It was a beautiful morning and for the time of year very mild. We chugged past Silver Sun and headed for the junction on to the Stratford Canal.
We soon realised we could not go up through Lock 20 due to damage it was was closed. So we made a detour through lock No.21 instead, first time through No.21.
There is nothing like a detour to brighten the day. It was so pleasant, that I do not think anything would have annoyed me, but that was to change come lock 5.
All the way up the flight, we were following C&RT volunteers moving a workboat up the locks. Lovely gentlemen, great fun to chat to. I was having a lovely time nattering and helping them through the locks.
We got to lock 5, where I helped the C&RT volunteers through with the workboat and yay there was a boat coming down. I thought what joy to have a boat finally coming down, but then the gentleman opened his mouth and I through oh bugger. He did nothing but moan and rant. Firstly about the volunteers working the boat, and then he went on to moan about all things canal. I do sometimes wonder why people are on the canal grrrr.
Anyway I was not about to let him spoil my day. So I smiled sweetly and wished him a good day.
We are moored below Lapworth lock No.2 on the northern Stratford canal. We will be visiting a friend whilst here and will probably stay here for the weekend.

Pop back soon xxx


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