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!
Saturday 22 December 2018
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.
Have a wonderful time, I know I will.
See you in 2019 xx
Friday 21 December 2018
We have left the Arm for our Christmas holibobs.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
What a bloomin saga I have had with the courier service Hermes. If you have been reading my posts you will know that they have been messing me about over the delivery of a rug, which was supposed to be out for delivery on Tuesday, but someone decided it was to big to deliver. The rug is 120cm x 160cm not big at all. Anyway having spent many hours in the cold, online and tearing my hair out, finally this evening the rug arrived.
From what I am learning Hermes are not the only ones not doing their job properly. I have been told about DPD and UPS today as well. Why oh why can they not get things right?
I do not get stressed, because there is very little point. I just wish when you ask someone to do something they would do it correctly. I will have to consider if I will ever use Hermes again.
My day has been filled with waiting for this rug, so I have no other news at this time. I am going to take my shoes off and soak my toes into the new rug. I am so very pleased with it.
Pop back soon xx
Thursday 6 December 2018
We are another day closer to Christmas and I for one knows that for retail it is a nightmare, as I worked in retail for a while. I also know that for couriers it is difficult getting all the parcels delivered, so I should be a lot calmer about my delivery than I am. If you read my post on the 1st of December you will know I bought and sent back a Red rug, which did not match anything described or the photograph. I am pleased to say that has all been resolved and I have my refund and they have their shoddy rub back. I decided to have a nosey on Amazon for a rug, low and behold I found exactly what I wanted at a good price, so I went ahead and ordered it from them and waited for them to tell me it was on its way. On the 4th December I heard from Amazon that my rug was on its way and I could track it as it was coming via Hermes. This immediately rung alarm bells, because we have had issues with them before. Anyway, I thought it will be find Keep Calm. On the 4th December on the Hermes site it said that the parcel was with them, but it had been too big to deliver. What I thought, it is only a small rug 120cm x 160cm. Surely that is wrong. Anyway waited for an update and yesterday (5th Dec), the website aid it would be with the courier and delivered to me between 5pm and 9pm, which again rang alarms bells, because the site gate is locked at 5pm. But again keeping calm, I went onto their live chat to ask that the courier rings me when he is close by, so I can be there to open the gate. The gentleman I was chatting with said.
Thank you for the details. I will forward all the instructions by sending a message to the courier and also forward your contact number to call you before the delivery so that the parcel is delivered successfully,although we can't guarantee the courier will receive it on time for the delivery, every effort will be made to follow the instructions given.
I thought I had done all I could to make sure my parcel arrived without any inconvenience to the driver. I also decided I would wait at the gate just in case, he did not get my phone number. There was I wrapped up against the cold and rain with my chair, sat by the gate waiting and waiting and waiting. The OH even bought me a cup of coffee. I sat there from just before 5pm to gone 9pm and there was no sign of the courier. At this point cold and damp I went back to the boat and checked online to see what the site said. It reckoned he was still delivering between 5pm and 9pm. I was up till 10.30pm watching 'I'm a celebrity' and there was phone call.
This morning imagine my surprise when I went onto the tracking page to discovered the driver reckons he tried to deliver the rug at 9.46pm. I never got a phone call, if I had I would of gone to the gate. Why oh why do they want to deliver at that ungodly hour anyway?
So this morning I have been back online to the live chat. I should say you cannot ring this company, they want you to use their live chat. I was 240 in the queue. I eventually got through to yet another person and complained politely and told him what had happened. He told me it was back out with the courier, but at present it does not say so on their site. I have yet again told him to give the driver my number. So here I sit, waiting again I guess all day. I most definitely will not be sitting outside again tonight.
With the live chat I am pretty sure it is not from this country, so goodness knows if I will ever get my rug delivered. I have written a formal complaint to the company.
Pop back soon to see what happens xxx
Monday 3 December 2018
Have you found that everything comes in threes?
I usually find when it is bad luck or something going wrong, it always comes in threes. As you will know from my post on the 1st of December, it was decoration putting up day and you saw the photograph of the tree finished. I was so proud and happy with the tree, but that began to fade as we stepped into Sunday. The transformer in the plug began to make a funny noise, which was like a droning sound and got louder and louder. Not liking the sound, I decided that the lights would have to come off and be thrown away, because for all I knew they could of caught fire. Now I was trying to take a short cut, by hoping to get the lights off the tree without having to take everything off. I cut the lights off in stages, which meant they definitely went into the bin. As for new lights, we had some Red berry lights, so I put those on without taking the baubles and bits off of the tree. I switched them on and woo hoo all was good for all of a few moments, when suddenly half the lights went out grrrrrr. I stripped them off of the tree and the OH repaired a broken connection. Before putting them on the tree, I did switch them on and they were working a treat, but no sooner I put them on the tree, half the lights failed again. This was beginning to get annoying. I took the lights off and left them for the OH to look at again.
This morning, whilst I went into town to go some bits, the OH repaired the lights. I also bought some new lights at half price, just in case I was left with no lights. Although the lights had been fixed, I did not feel the urge to put them on the tree again, only for them to fail again, so I decided to put the new lights on the tree. This time I stripped everything off of the tree, put the lights on and then put all the bauble and bits back on.
Going back to this morning. As I walked down the path alongside the boats, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted movement on the offside bank. I turned around to see a beautiful Fox making its way along the bank. Sadly it was lame on one of its front legs. I really hope it is going to be alright and I will get to see it again. I think it may have been a female, because it was not very big. Such a stunning animal.
Pop back soon xx
Saturday 1 December 2018
Here we are it is December and the countdown begins to the big day when the big guy tries to wiggle his way down our chimney and if I am a really good girl, he may leave me a present or two. I do believe I am not on the naughty list this year, but hey I could be so wrong and I will end up with nothing. The thrill of Christmas is still there for me if I ignore the commercialisation of it, plus the fact some seem to think it begins in October or earlier.
The children of today are bombarded by the advertising and peer pressure which I do not ever remember having when I was a child. I actually think it came into being when my children were growing up, so for my grandchildren it is full-on when it comes to advertising and keeping up with the watcha me call its. Due to circumstances beyond my control Christmas is not a huge family affair these days, but the OH and I do get to share it with friends, who are our family in so many ways. I bet we all have sadness in our hearts at this time of the year and of course we have lost loved ones this year, including Marmite and Paddy. I do not see any point in being maudling though, because Christmas is meant to be a happy time of the year and I for one enjoy the true meaning of Christmas, with a glass of wine and mince pie thrown in. We are spending it with one of my best friends this year and if the weather is kind we will be out cruising on the boat. So Winter weather giver, if you could refrain from anything to dramatic until after the festive period, I would be oh so grateful.
The 1st of December means decorations day. The OH and I swing into action and put the fairy lights up, the Christmas tree is left to me to decorate. This year we bought a new tree off of Ebay. I was so pleased with my 3ft, £10 purchase, but of course one never knows what it will be like until it is dressed in lights and baubles.
This coming week, I am hoping to get my cards sorted out and presents finished. I absolutely hate with a passion, doing anything last minute when it comes to Christmas. Get it done and relax is the way I like it. I never understand those who love to do it all last minute. I know you can get some bargains, but it is only a bargain if you really want it. I would not want the panic and pandemonium. There is something to be said about having an organised and quiet festive time.
Who of you uses Ebay?
I do not use it that often, yes I bought the Christmas tree from there and it is fabulous. Last week I ordered a red rug for the saloon. It was described as being plush and of good quality. It arrived on Friday and it was anything but plush and good quality. Not only that the Red was so in my face, that I immediately put it back in its bag and sent it back and asked for a refund, which has been given. I have however found a rug on Amazon, which I have ordered. I now hope that it lives up to the photograph and description, otherwise it to will be going back from whence it came. I suppose really it is better to actually see what you are buying when it comes to anything like this, but I do not have the time to go traipsing around numerous shops looking for something I may never find. My fingers are crossed this rug is going to be exactly what I want. I definitely will not be buying another rug off of Ebay.
Pop back soon xxx