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

Tuesday 31 December 2019

Hetty's Big Day Out.

Hello family, friends and followers.

By the time some of you drop in to read my ramblings it will already be 2020 and you will probably nursing a hangover, so I will not shout too loud. HAPPY NEW YEAR. Oppps sorry I could not resist.

It is 14.29pm on the 31st December and I am on our boat, waiting for the new decade and year to arrive. But before that, here is an update and the reason for the post title.
A friend of ours Kate, sent out a message on her Facebook page asking if anyone was heading up the Hatton 21 on the 30th December. I feeling at the time like we needed to get some fresh air and work off some of the festive excess, answered her call and said that we would be available to help her with the locks. Keith then suggested we use our bikes, which had not had an outing as such since getting them. We had committed ourselves to climbing the stairway to heaven and I had committed Hetty (my bike) to a cycle up the hill with my festive weight on her saddle. Now baring in mind I have not really ridden a bike for probably 12 years, this was going to be a baptism of fire for the both of us. On the 29th December Kate popped over on her bike to come and see us once she was all moored up outside of the arm. It was lovely to see her and to show her around Hadarford (the railway). We caught up over coffee and biscuits and discussed what time we should start the climb up the locks on the 30th.
Monday morning arrived and we were up early to get the bikes set up. Because we stow them away off the boat, we have to put their wheels on and pump Hetty's tyres up. At 9.30am we headed off to find Kate's boat, which was moored just outside of the Arm. Keith then went ahead to set the first lock.
Keith would set the locks and I would close up behind Kate, once she had exited the locks and was on her way to the next one.
Hetty and I were doing amazingly well, I think she realised I had not ridden a bike for sometime and so she was being gentle on me, although the saddle was not as soft as my behind would have liked and I was pretty sure that the next day I would be walking like John Wayne on a bad day. I had gotten used to the gearing and was actually managing to cycle up the side of the locks without getting off and walking. This old girl was fitter than she had thought.
We made it to the top two and half hours after setting off, with the promise of lunch and a cuppa in the Hatton Locks Cafe. Once Kate was moored up, we headed back to the cafe and enjoyed a lovely Baked Potato lunch, washed down by a cup of tea. The cafe was very busy, with walkers, cyclists and gongoozlers all out to try and work off some of the festive food no doubt. We had a fabulous day with Kate. The cycle home was somewhat quicker being all down hill, although we did have to stop half way down, when my saddle decided to move. Thankfully I had carried the bicycle tools with us, so Keith soon had us underway again. Back home Hetty and Keith's bike got a well earned wash down.
It was fabulous to be out on a bike again and I know that Hetty and I will be going out and about a lot more over this Winter.

New Years Eve, saw my replacement laptop arrive and the broken one sent back to the company, who have been brilliant. My new laptop is not new at all it is a refurbished one but it is a business laptop from Dell, so is a bit more high spec. The company he bought it from have been really good. I am looking forward to seeing how this laptop works out. One good thing is this SD card reader works.
As New Years Eve draws to a close. It is time to reflect on what 2019 has taught me and to wonder at what 2020 and the new decade will offer me. I hope that it brings you good health, happiness, love and laughter.
I will definitely see you in 2020. Have a wonderful day everyone.

Pop back soon xxxx

Friday 27 December 2019

How was it for you?

Hello family, friends and followers.

Here we are heading towards a new year and a new decade. I wonder what it has in store for us all?
I know, I know I said I would see you in the New Year, but then I thought, heck I will be writing a novel to you all by then. So here I am earlier than thought.

How was it for you?
For us it was quiet for a nice change. On the run up to the big day, we had finished all our shopping on the Thursday before Christmas, which meant we had no rushing around at the last minute. It was all peace and harmony on board. Christmas Eve our neighbour bought a gift over, to say "Thank you" for looking after his lovely Spaniel. It was a nice bottle of Highland Park single malt whiskey, it just so happens to be one of our favourites. I am not one for accepting gifts for doing something which was an absolute pleasure, but it was such a lovely thing to do and we will celebrate the New Year with a tot or two. We did not do much Christmas Eve, we stayed in and watched TV and I prepared the veggies for Christmas lunch. I made a broccoli and cauliflower cheese, peeled the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and brussel sprouts. I even cooked the chicken, stripped the meat of the bones and then stewed the bones, so I could use the liquid for the gravy and for a chicken and leek soup.
Christmas Day dawned and we got up very leisurely, but with the thought that I had a list of things written down that needed to be done, in order that we would have a fabulous lunch at midday. We did not bother with breakfast, because we knew we would have a good size lunch and a pudding. Presents were opened and then I got on with boat chores, which always included doing the fire. I am the fire goddess it seems, because it is one of my many jobs. The fire get riddled, so that she (yes she) fires into life. The ash pan get emptied and then I refill the grate with fuel to make the little stove happy for a few more hours, after all she (yes she) gives us warmth, hot water and a top to cook on. Ten o'clock and I began to sort the food out to go in the oven, because we wanted to eat at noon (I know many eat later on Christmas Day). By the time we got to noon, everything was cooked to perfection, even if I do say so myself. Chicken cooked in gravy, roast spuds, roast parsnips and carrots, broccoli and cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puds and stuffing balls. I was so chuffed with how it had all turned out. I opened a nice bottle of rose wine and we enjoyed our lunch in front of the TV, because we do not have a proper table to eat from on the saloon. Dessert was Lemon tart (no I did not make it) with Vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with chocolate.
As always once lunch was eaten, I then got on with the washing-up (I am the dishwasher). I then got a video call from my girls, who wanted me to share in something very special. Something I have not been able to do for many years and which really made my day. I got to see flowers put on my daughters grave. Having my darling girls back in my life along with their partners and our grandsons is so very special and was the best Christmas present anyone could have ever given us.The rest of Christmas day was spent vegging out in front of the TV with sweets and wine. After such a large lunch, we had Chinese nibbles for tea, I warmed up some mulled wine to finish of our wonderful day.

Boxing Day dawned, with me having had a dreadful nights sleep. I actually thought I was going to have to wake Keith up and get him to call an ambulance, because I was in so much pain. No it was not for my cooking or from eating to much, but from Liver Cysts, I am waiting for this to be confirmed by my GP in the New Year.  Not wanting to wake him, I got up had a wander around and went back to bed, where I sort of slept and tossed and turned. I will be glad when I get my scan results, so I know what is going on properly. Anyway once properly awake with a coffee in my hand, I watched the morning news before crawling out of bed to decide what to do with the day. It was a damp start, with more dampness forecast, so going for a walk was now not top of my to do list. The leftover chicken was put into a Chicken korma curry with nibbles on the side for lunch. Whilst that was cooking, we had a video call with the girls, their partners and the grandchildren. They had all spent Christmas day together, which was so wonderful. As they were off home on Boxing Day it was nice to chat to them all together and to hear all about their day. Our grandsons will be grown up all to soon and we will all treasure the little moments of when they were small and enjoyed Christmas as we had once done as children. I know for me now being a grown up Christmas does not have that sprinkle of magic. I always think these days it is for the children, who show the excitement in their eyes on Christmas morning.

December 27th and we are in that space between Christmas and New Year. So what do you do when you meet someone. Do you wish them a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year?
Thankfully I had a better nights sleep. I think the Mulled Wine may have helped. Well it had to be finished and we were happy to oblige. It did say on the bottle that it had to be consumed within two days of being opened. Anyway after a much better nights kip, we did not wake until 8 am. I made us a morning cuppa and we sat in bed watching Match of the Day, which is a little odd, because we are not huge football fans. Cuppa enjoyed and football watched, I finally got up just before 9 am and got on with doing a laundry wash. Yes even though its the festive period, the laundry still has to be done. There is no laundry fairy who does it when we are sleeping.  We had thought of going out on the bikes, but my laptop decided that it had other plans, because the flash drive would not work, so Keith was onto the company's helpline, who were excellent at trying to help us online, but after a few hours of trying different things, including a complete reset we all admitted defeat and so the new/secondhand laptop has to go back and they will deliver a new one. Nothing ever quite goes to plan especially for us. Hey ho at least I have my old one, which yes I am writing this rambling on. Oh for Windows 7, when life was so much easier. Anyway I am supposed to get another laptop come Tuesday, so we will wait and see if that one works. To be fair the guys really did try and help us.

So followers from across the world, this is me up to date. You have probably fallen asleep over your coffee, but if you have enjoyed my rambling, please pop back again soon xx

Friday 20 December 2019

Merry Christmas.

Hello family, friends and followers.

Not long to go now. I hope that you are all ready for the big day?

I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

We are all done. The final food shop has been done and we will not be seeing a supermarket until after the New Year. I am not one for barging my way through crowds or dealing with rude people, I did all that when I worked for M&S, so we have chosen to make sure we have enough food in for the whole festive period. We are spending Christmas on our own this year on our mooring, which is fine, having been out cruising for Christmas the past few years. There will be plenty of eating, drinking and TV watching. If the weather is kind we may even get our bikes out and go for a cycle. There does not seem to be any prospect of snow, which means no winter walking, but we may still go out for a nice long walk over the hollibobs, but of course that does depend on the weather. This year has been such a special year for us. It has given us something so precious and we will be forever thankful to have another chance. Cherish those you love and hold them tight, because they are the light in your day and the happiness which surrounds you.

At this time of year, I tend to think about all those who have to work over the festive season and we all know that hospitals are once such place that is open twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year. Some many people work to look after those in need of medical attention over the festive period. Please do not go to A&E unless it is an absolute emergency. Sadly A&E tends to these days be used by people who could just as easily gone to their pharmacy or GP for advice. It would be nice to think that A&E will be quiet over the festive period, but I am doubting it very much. My heart goes out to everyone who works over Christmas and the New Year. I thank you for all your hard work :-)

I will hopefully see you all in the New Year all being well.

Pop back in 2020 xxxxxx

Sunday 15 December 2019

Counting down.

Hello family, friends and followers.

Ten days to go, and some of us will all be stuffing ourselves with food and drinking to much. Then the opening of the presents. Or do you open your presents first?

Now for anyone who reads my ramblings, you will know I do not get political on my blog, because that is not what my blog is about. This past few weeks has seen so much vitriol in the papers (we do not buy), on the radio and TV, why on earth would I want to add to all the garbage that has been spoken about. Thursday I along with the other half went and put our cross on the voting paper and made our choice. Now my choice may well not have been yours, and that is fine. What drives me mad is that people are now arguing about who voted for who. It does not flippen matter, we are all entitled to vote for who we like and if at the end the party that wins is not your party, get over it and move on. There are some who did not bother to vote and again that is their decision, but do not moan when he party that gets in was not what you expected. You could of voted and changed the result. If you did not vote you have no right to moan, you will just have to go with the flow for the next five years and perhaps then you will do like the other 67% of the population at the election you will go and cast your vote and make it count.
Ok enough politics.

Christmas as we all know is almost here. For many it is a time of sadness and loneliness. Not everyone enjoys the festive season for many different reason. If you know someone who will be alone this Christmas, please go and check on them and give them a few kind words, which will probably make their day. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be alone at Christmas. Of course I know some people prefer to be alone and if it works for them then fine. But it is still nice to just check on them and say "Hello".

Yesterday we had our residential Christmas lunch at Ask Italian. It was wonderful and the food was excellent. There was a lot of laughter and fun. We spent over three hours enjoying each others company. As we slid ever closer to Christmas Day, I am already working out how I am going to be cooking Christmas lunch and what the rest of the day will bring. For both of us, we are looking forward to a quiet and chilled out Christmas.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Fifteen Sleeps.

Hello family, friends and followers.

The countdown is on and who has finished their Christmas shopping (not including the food)?

I can actually say I have finished shopping for Christmas. The only thing left to do is to is the final food shop, which will be the week before Christmas, because I really do not think Keith will want to be standing in queue's on Christmas Eve. Yes I know we are a nation of people who enjoy a good queue, but not at Christmas, because it will be a nightmare. Not only do people get incredibly rude, they also enjoy nothing more than passing on all their germs to everyone else and I for one have had enough germs over the past few weeks. So we will do our final food shop the week before the big day and then manage until the New Year all being well. I have never been one for leaving everything till the last minute. I know some people revel in doing everything last minute, but to me that just causes issues. Cards and presents have been posted as well, because again I do not like leaving it to the last minute and then finding the gift has not arrived. Royal Mail has enough to do over the festive time, so I choose to send my bits off early. Now I can sit back and enjoy the run up to the big day.

I am still coughing a bit, but I do not sound like a dog anymore, which a definite bonus. I think this cough may hang around for a bit. There seems to be a lot of nasty bugs around.

We have discovered that what we thought were Wood Mice are in fact Bank Voles. They are still very much enjoying our wood pile. They seem to use it as an assault course in the mornings. I put them out a few bits of peanut and then watch them from the galley doors. They always bring a smile to my fact. Nature is a wonderful thing.

Pop back soon xx

Monday 2 December 2019

Who let the dogs out Woof Woof.

Hello family, friends and followers.

The title say's it all right now. I sound like a dog when I cough. I have the ability to scare anyone away who knocks on the boat. That has its pluses at times of course. On the good side, I am actually coughing less. On the down side I still have hives. Friday I went to the nurse and had an arm full of blood taken for loads of different tests, so we will see what happens with that. As the saying goes "The only way is up".

Whilst I have been suffering with all the darn bugs, life still has to carry on and jobs still need to be done and I am the only capable person at the moment to do lifting and carrying. Why? you ask, well Keith's back is playing up and has been for the past couple of weeks, so he is on his medication, which means he is not completely himself most of the time. Why is it that some medications leave you feeling so sleepy or spaced out? Anyway his back is clearly having an episode and therefore I am it when it comes to lifting and carrying. So I am in charge of everything from empty the toilet cassette to getting the coal in........ Oh hang on, I do that most of the time anyway, so no change there then :-). I would not have his back for all the tea in China though. Hoping now that he will be fine for the run up to Christmas.

Yes I am mentioning Christmas now, because once the 1st December arrives, Christmas preparations take place on board our boat. It all began yesterday with the me baking a large mince pie.
After lunch, it was time to get out the decorations and begin the dressing of the Christmas tree. I love dressing the tree.
Keith helped me put up the ceiling fairy lights. I then did the rest of the decorations. I always think it is so cozy when the decorations are up. So here we go folks, head long into the festive period.
This morning all cards and parcels were posted out. I like to get it done early and to beat the rush. In fact the post office was almost empty this morning. I can imagine on the run in to the big day it will be very busy. The only cards I have left now are the ones I had out in person. I still have some bits to purchase, but nothing big and then I am done.

Now you may remember from a previous posting, we moved our log pile from our old mooring to our new mooring. Well we have wood mice already living in the wood pile. Every morning I watch them from our galley doors and they make me smile and giggle. Now I know there will be those of you who do not like mice, but these are so cute........... really they are.

Pop back soon xxx


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