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

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.

Friday 9 November 2018

When is the time right?

Hello friends and followers.

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.
We have had Paddy since he was 11 months old. He came to us through The Border Collie Trust from a working farm and he has been an Angel on four legs. The people who had to let him go due to ill-health, sent a letter with him and at the bottom it said "Paddy does not have an evil bone in his body". That was true then and has always been true. He has never shown aggression towards anyone or anything. He has been the perfect boat dog.
His favourite position has always been horizontal. He even loved it when Marmite our tabby cat curled up in his coat.
Sadly with age, his health has been going down hill. He is coming up to his 15th year and we are getting to the point when we must make a difficult decision. Over the past year his back legs have been failing. He has been having some weird turns and getting him to eat has been a major issue of late. Over the past few weeks, we have been getting wet beds, which is either due to his back legs going or the funny turns he has. Next week we are taking him to the vets for his annual vaccination and a health check. We both feel that if Paddy is suffering, then we will make the decision, but we will of course speak to the vet and see what she suggests. My question was 'When is the time right'?
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

There am I.

Hi friends and family.

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 Baubles we have are elderly and some are even broken, so I think it is time we updated them and added something new to the tree. Next I need to buy some new lights. It sounds like I am already in the Christmas spirit, I'm not I just like to be organised.
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.
I have been busy also with making myself a nice cosy scarf with a woggle. I was taught the block crochet pattern by my good friend Sue and decided to make something for the Winter. I used sock wool, which is 4 ply and I love it. The colours are very Autumnal don't you think?

I completed blanket number Nine for The Border Collie Trust GB. All the blankets I make are made from donated wool. I will be starting blanket number Ten shortly. I am not one for sitting around doing nothing, so making blankets keeps me nice and busy, when I cannot do anything outside. As the nights draw in, the time spent in the garden is becoming less and less.
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

The Poppies at St. Mary's, Warwick.

Hello friends and followers.

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.
We walked into the church and were greeted by a soldier made of Poppies and a guide to show us around if we wanted. We were happy to wander around in awe at the stunning display put on. 
It made you stand and reflect on those who gave their lives, so that we could be free.
It is so hard to describe my feelings at seeing so many wonderful Poppies. But it did bring a tear to my eyes, to think that in family there were losses in WW1 and WWII and none of us should ever forget what was sacrificed.
When I was at school, we never really did anything on the 1st and 2nd World Wars, which really saddens me, because this is our history. This is what needs to be remembered, so that we do not make the same mistakes again and then lose so many people.

OWEN C.  Rifleman, Kings Royal Rifle Corps.
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

Brand new month.

Hello friends and followers.

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


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