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

Thursday 31 December 2020

Happy New Year.


I want to wish my family, friends and my blog followers 

A Very Happy New Year. 

2020 has been tough for us all and for some very tough. It is certainly a year I am looking to see the back of for many reasons. Yes 2020 has also bought me joy, which I hope will continue for many years, but I think I can safely say the minuses out way the pluses this time.

 May 2021 be kinder to us all, and allow us to get back to some sort of normal once we have the vaccinations. I for one am looking forward to going cruising and I so want to see my family and hug our grandsons.

Keep safe and well, lovely people and I hope to see you in 2021.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 23 December 2020

From our home to yours.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Keith and I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and hopefully a better New Year xxxx. 

I know so many of you have had your plans for the festive season disrupted and the same has happen to our families. Of course we all want to see our loved ones at this time of the year, but the best present we can give anyone this year is their and our own good health. No one wants to take the virus to a loved one and especially those who are at high risk.

We have been ready for Christmas for a few weeks. I knew with everything going on, I would need to be ahead of the game, in order to beat the queues. Cards and presents were done and posted early, and over the past few weeks I have been buying Christmas nibbles and food and putting it in the freezer, so that there would not be a last minute panic, because I had no intention of standing in a supermarket queue, when we are all supposed to be socially distancing. My preparations have born fruit having seen some of the news items and messages from friends, when they have gone shopping. One such story came from our local radio station. One of the radio presenters went into a well known supermarket beginning with S to buy pigs in blankets. When he got to the isle, he noticed there were only two packs of pigs in blankets left, which made he speed up a little to his prize. He got to the shelf and was about to pick up one of the two packs, when a little elderly lady dived under his arm to grab the other pack. He was so surprized, his only response was "Well whatever happened to social distancing"?. He got no reply. This is why I am glad to have had my food shopping delivered, whilst we remain in lockdown. We are not having a traditional Christmas lunch, we are having Peking Duck and pancakes, followed by Chinese nibbles, Sausage Rolls and Mince Pies, with other nibbles thrown in. I know it is not conventional, but hey who cares this year. Neither of us is feeling exactly festive and I am quite sure many of you feel the same way. But we will make the most of it and will make a toast to those who we lost this year. I sincerely hope 2021 will be a much kinder year to all of us.
Now I am not a person who lies in of a morning. If I am awake, I like to get up and make a cuppa, which I will take back to bed in order to watch the news. If I wake early, I tend to fidget and get restless, so getting up is the best thing for me to do. This morning however, I did not awake until 8.45am. I know, that is so late for me, but I am guessing I must have needed it. The problem I have with sleeping in is the day is wasted, and I end up being behind with everything and not one for rushing around to play catch up. The first thing that I was behind on was administering Keith's medication. Everything was put forward by at least one hour. I find I get discombobulated, when a normal morning routine is all over the place. I am by no means OCD about anything, I just like the mornings to get off to a good start. I know I could always put an alarm on, but one is never usually required. 
It has been dreadful weather today. Wall to wall rain, which made me take the decision to not bother with my morning walk. I will catch up with that tomorrow. Having caught up on the boat chores finally by lunch time, it was then time to eat and have a much needed coffee. With little else to do, I got on with more family tree things. Today's research has been into Tom Henry Cosser. Tom is my 1st Cousin 3x removed. He was born in 1854 and the first ship he sailed on was Aurora at the age of 10 years old. The last ship he sailed on was Vernon in 1892. 
On the 21st April 1874, he  sailed for a year on the Duke of Wellington. He actually sailed on her three times in his Naval career. In all he sailed on thirteen ships. What I have not found out yet is when he died and whether it was at sea or on land. I also do not know if he ever married. I really am enjoying finding out the history of my family down the years. 

I hope that wherever you are in the world, you will keep yourself safe and well and I will post again after Christmas.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday 21 December 2020

Winter Solstice Blessings.

Dear family, friends and followers.

With everything going on around the world and in this beautiful country of ours, we must look to a new beginning.

I send to you all blessings and joy on the shortest day and longest night, as we celebrate the return of the light. One way or another it has been a very dodgy and upsetting year and this is not how we all imagined the festive season would be, but we will carry on regardless and celebrate anyway and remember those who will not be with us this year. The wheel of the year turns and we look forward to spring.

It is at times like these I can totally understand the urge to hibernate. If you or someone you know is struggling with the long dark nights and lack of human contact please reach out. I cannot promise to be there in person, but I am a good listener and never judge.

The Solstice of the 21st December is special this year for two powerful reasons. Firstly, the original people of Australia will be conducting a ceremony at Uluru (formerly Ayres Rock) to initiate a new relationship between the Sun and the Earth, and to initiate a New "Dream" for the Planet in the place of the "Dreamtime". They are calling for support and connection globally as they realign the "Rainbow Serpent" of the Earth with the Sun. This will involve a powerful cleansing and realignment that will be felt on the Earth as we move into 2021.

Then, also, on the day of the Solstice, the power planets Jupiter and Saturn will be conjunct at 0 degrees of Aquarius, which is believed to be a potent symbol of the start of the new "Age of Aquarius". This conjunction will be visible in the sky as the two planets will seem like one bright star. A new "Christmas Star" signalling the return of the Christ Consciousness to Earth. I will be outside to see if I can see it, but as it is very overcast here at the moment, I am sadly not holding out much hope. If you get to see this amazing scene, make a wish and hold it to your heart.

Pop back soon xx


Thursday 17 December 2020

The Train


I was sent this on Facebook and thought I would share it with you, because it is so beautiful and very true.


At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel by our side. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, strangers and even the love of your life. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. Others will step down over time and leave a permanent vacuum. Some, however, will go so unnoticed that we don't realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

I wish you a joyful journey for the coming years on your train of life.  Reap success, give lots of love and be happy.  More importantly, thank God for the journey!

Lastly, I want to thank you for being one of the passengers on my train!  ❤️

Wednesday 16 December 2020

500g of Mince.


Dear family, friends and followers.

As we continue to live in these uncertain times, I am frugal person with most things. I am a hater of waste, particularly with food, because like with most things it costs money. I was bought up that everything on the plate should be eaten and if not then it is re-heated for the next day. I defrosted 500g of British Minced Beef and then thought how far can I get this to go. I normally cut it in half and use half for a cottage pie and the other half goes into a curry. This time though, I thought I would cook half for a cottage pie, which did us for two days. 

In it I added onion, carrot and half a tin of tomatoes, along with garlic, beef oxo cube and mixed herbs. 

The second half I cooked in a similar way, but this half was going to make three meals. The first was with dumplings and the rest was put into a pie which will last us another two days.

I managed to get five meals from the 500grams and I actually think the cottage pie could have done us another day, if I had cut the portion size a little. All were eaten with veg and potatoes. I know some would probably not want to eat the same meat five days in a row, so you can always freeze a portion of the cooked mince for another day. It does not bother either of us, because it was all different sorts of meals. 
Who is ready for Christmas?
I can say we are pretty much all sorted. Cards written and posted. Presents bought, wrapped and posted. We have the last food shop before Christmas, coming tomorrow and that will be it. Monday I had to pop into town and collect the final prescription run before Christmas, which means I do not have to mix with the Christmas shopping rush, which we all know will still happen despite the pandemic. We are at home for Christmas, because with the virus still very much here and the numbers rising, we feel it would be wrong to mix with others. I completely understand, why some feel the need to get together with family and friends, especially aged parents or those with terminal illnesses, because it maybe their last Christmas, but we are not prepared to take the risk with our health or that of our family and friends. Hopefully there will be time to do some celebrating, when we have had the vaccination and the virus has gone. All of which are going to take time. It is all about having a little patience and behaving responsibly. Of course it would have been wonderful to see the family and the grand-children, but with one of the family being high risk, it would be wrong to put them or ourselves at risk. We will see them all next year. 
We have decided we are not having a traditional Christmas dinner. There seems very little point in cooking it for the two of us. In past years we have eaten out, but this year we are going to be having Peking Duck and lots of Chinese Nibbles, along with the traditional Mince Pies. I will even be doing Sausage Rolls and Cheese and Onion Rolls. It means I can cook a whole batch in one go and I can then sit and enjoy a festive time with the TV and a glass of something nice. 
Life in the Arm, has been pretty quiet. We are still locked in, which has made most people feel safe during the pandemic. Some boaters have stayed with us throughout and others have come in for the Winter. Everyone has been doing their bit to help each other out. Deliveries are made to the car park gate, which is locked. If people are not waiting for their delivery at the gate and the delivery company can be bothered to ring the number on the gate, the site manager will ring me, and I will collect the parcel and deliver it to whoever it belongs to, because we are closest to the gate. It is great because it becomes part of my daily exercise. I am not very good at sitting down for long. I like to try and keep busy and active, but also making sure I wear my mask, keeping the space and washing my hands when off the boat. If I am not doing the boat chores, then I am in the garden, because even this late in the year, things still need to be done. Have you ever noticed, that weeds never stop growing?

Time to make a coffee and then do some more to the family tree. I will post a bit more about it next time.

Pop back soon. Please stay safe and well xxxx

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Who remember's.

 Dear family, friends and followers.

I hope that everyone is staying safe and well. With the vaccine now being rolled out, eventually we will all hopefully receive it and be able to get a bit more normality. Covid-19 has touched the Arm, with a member of staff sadly catching it away from the Arm. We all wish her well in her recovery. It really does bring it home, when someone you know gets it, so please stay safe. None of us in the Arm have come into contact with the member of staff, and so we have no need to worry.

Own up who, used to or still writes a paper diary?

I know I could possibly call a blog a diary, so that is why I ask about a paper diary. I remember having those lockable diaries, but I was hopeless at keeping it up. I would start out with the best of intentions and then it would wain, probably because I had nothing interesting to say. A little like blogging, which sometimes is hard to write. It got me thinking because a couple of years ago, I began writing my life story and I had completely put it to one side. It was only when Mum died in August, that I found out from my brother, that our Mum had written her life story and so it got me thinking that I really should carry on with mine, for my family to read when I am gone. I am very much looking forward to reading Mum's and to learn things about her I never knew. If you wrote a diary, what was the biggest secret you wrote in it?

Yesterday I received a data card, with Mum's funeral and photographs on it. My brother had edited all the footage he took and has made a wonderful video of her final journey and of his Eulogy. Mum would have been so proud of what he said and the video he made. I sat with a coffee and tissues and watch the whole thing and this bought back so many memories, happy and sad. 

Mum is now reunited with her Mum and I like to think of them having a good old natter over a cup of tea. I know one day I will join them around the table with my coffee and biscuits.

On Facebook I am a member of a group that looks back to our childhood. It got me thinking about the things I used to play with as a child, I then remember Fuzzy Felts. Do you remember them and did you play with them?
My childhood was very sheltered growing up on a farm and money was tight, but Mum always made sure we had something lovely at Christmas. We would have something we wanted and a surprize. I am not so sure that Christmas is the same for the children of today and that in some respects is sad. I certainly feel like I had the best of times, as to my freedom and what I was allowed to do. 

Pop back soon xxx

Sunday 6 December 2020

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Boat chores and Christmas Decs.


Dear family, friends and followers.

Here we are in December. Where has the year gone?

Even with everything that has been going on this year, it still seems to have flown by. With us all sliding ever closer to Christmas, I am doing my best to get in the festive spirit.

Yesterday afternoon, I put the tree up. I decided I am not putting the fairy lights up along the ceiling this year, we will just have the tree lit up. I am quite sure as the day gets closer, I will be more excited by the thought of a few days of eating, drinking and chilling out in front of the TV, which is what we will be doing. Sadly so many will be spending Christmas on their own due to Covid-19. I know the government is giving us 5 days grace over the Christmas period, where we can pretty much do as we like including being with loved ones, but many will not feel it is the right thing to do during this pandemic and we feel it is unsafe to spend time with our families, just incase we should take the virus to them or them give it to us and so we are all staying home on our own. Of course we will do zoom and phone calls, which as always will be nice. Until we have the vaccine, it is safer to stick to the rules. I have sorted out presents and the grandson's presents are already posted. I have Keith's presents, I just need to wrap them and I also need to sit and write cards. Food is ordered, as is any drink, so we are ready for what ever comes our way. 
What are you doing this Christmas?

Today, was check the bilges day. I replaced the disposable nappies under the back cabin floor, but the ones in the galley are still dry, which means I will check them again in two weeks time. Before coffee this morning, we did our three month check on the batteries and top their water levels up. Keith them ran the engine and the generator, which we like to do once a month over the Winter. Living on a boat, always means there are jobs to be done and checks to be made. A boat does not look after itself. After coffee, I filled the coal scuttles with coal, emptied the cold ash buckets into an empty coal bag and disposed of the ash. Each evening when I empty the ash pan into the buckets, I make sure I stir the bucket to get rid of any heat from the ash. This usually means the next morning, I can empty the ash bucket. It always pays to check the ash is cold before emptying, otherwise the bag will melt. If we were out cruising, I would empty the ash pan in the hedgerow, which is something all boaters do. You should never empty the ash into the canal, as I have seen some boaters do. The reason for this, is the toxins in the ash can kill the fish and takes the oxygen out of the water. Not only that with the canals silting up, emptying ash into the water, just makes the silting worse. 

Our once a month treat, whilst in lockdown, has been to have a Thai takeaway from our favourite Thai restaurant. Totally Thai, is in the square in Warwick and does the most amazing food. John always delivers it on time and the food is always exceptional. It is something we always look forward to and through these difficult times it is helping to keep this family run business going. 

Whatever you are doing, stay safe and well.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday 30 November 2020

Christmas is coming.


Take a couple of years ago.

I borrowed this poem from a friend on Facebook. I think it sums up the year really well :-(

T'was a month before Christmas,πŸŽ„

And all through the town,

People wore masks,😷

That covered their frown.

The frown had begun☹️

Way back in the Spring,🌷

When a global pandemic 🌍

Changed everything.

They called it corona,

But unlike the beer,🍺

It didn’t bring good times,

It didn’t bring cheer.🍻

Contagious and deadly,☠️

This virus spread fast,

Like a wildfire that startsπŸ”₯

When fueled by gas ⛽️

Airplanes were grounded,πŸ›¬

Travel was banned.

Borders were closed

Across air, sea and land.πŸ›«πŸ›₯🚘

As the world entered lockdownπŸ”

To flatten the curve,↩️

The economy halted,

And folks lost their verve.πŸ›‘

From March to July

We rode the first waveπŸ„‍♀️🌊

People stayed home,

They tried to behave.🏑

When summer emergedπŸ–

The lockdown was lifted.

But away from caution,

Many folks drifted. πŸ•⛱🩳🩱

Now it’s November🌨❄️❄️

And cases are spiking,

Wave two has arrived,🌊🌊

Much to our disliking.

Frontline workers,

Doctors and nurses 🩺πŸ₯ΌπŸ‘¨πŸ»‍⚕️πŸ‘©πŸΌ‍πŸ”¬πŸ‘©πŸ½‍⚕️

Try to save people,

From riding in hearses.πŸͺ¦

This virus is awful,😒

This COVID-19.

There isn’t a cure.

Not yet a vaccine.πŸ’‰

It’s true that this year

Has had sadness a plenty,😭

We’ll never forget

The year 2020.🧻🧻🧻🧴

And just ‘round the corner -

The holiday season,πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸΌ

But why be merry?

Is there even one reasonπŸ‘©πŸ½‍🍼✝️

To decorate the house 

And put up the tree,πŸŽ„

When no one will see it,

No one but me.πŸ”ŽπŸ‘“πŸ€¦‍♀️

But outside my windowπŸͺŸ

The winter now calls,🌨

And I think to myself,

Let’s deck the halls!☃️⛄️☃️⛄️

So, I gather the ribbon,πŸŽ—

The garland and bows,πŸŽ€

As I play those old carols,

My happiness grows.πŸ₯°πŸ€©πŸ₯°πŸ€©πŸ₯³

Christmas is not cancelled⛪️πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸΌ

And neither is hope.

If we lean on each other,πŸ‘¨‍πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘¦‍πŸ‘¦

I know we can cope ❤πŸ’š

Friday 27 November 2020

Christmas, Camera's and family tree's.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Here we are creeping ever close to Christmas, yes I said Christmas and to be honest I am finding it hard to get excited about the whole thing. I think because of Covid-19, Christmas is just going be another day for us. I will put the decorations up, but we are not having a Turkey meal this year, we are going down the nibble all day route. We will be nibbling on Chinese and Indian Nibbles, Mince Pies and what ever else take our fancy. 

I am well aware that people love to celebrate Christmas and I love it as well, but it is going to be so different for many this year and so it should be, because getting together in large family groups will end is disaster for some as they spread the virus between them. To many will be spending this Christmas without a loved one, because Covid-19 took them too soon. I honestly think for one year Christmas should be a quiet affair, just to make sure we all stay safe. Sacrificing a big Christmas for one year, is something we should all think about. So many people have already had to make sacrifices for our benefit. Muslims have not been able to celebrate Ramadan, Hindus and Sikhs had to forgo Diwali, Jews could not celebrate Yom Kippur and many other religions gave up their festivals and celebrations to keep everyone safe. I have American friends who have just celebrated Thanksgiving and they kept it small and quiet this year. It is a small gesture, which I think could make a huge difference, if we all stayed in our own homes and helped to save lives. I personally want to see my children and grand-children next year and I want to keep them safe.

Changing the subject.
Today I received an early Christmas present to me. As many of you know, I love taking photographs and have had a couple of Canon cameras, the 350D and the 1100D, well I have upgraded to the 2000D. It is still a beginner camera, and that is fine by me, because it is nice and simple to use. My 1100D was 12 mega pixels whereas the 2000D is 24 mega pixels, so a huge difference. Everything else is pretty much the same, so I will not have to learn how to use it, I can just snap away to my hearts content. 

No sooner it arrived, I took this photograph looking down the Arm from our mooring. I got it off of Ebay. It was a little used camera, at an excellent price and came with a lens, which Keith has been making good use off on his camera, so he can take close up shots of his railway. 

Life on the mooring has been quiet, as the arm is still in lockdown. With the hedge and garden tidy for the Winter, I have been helping out with some of the other gardens in the Arm. I go out for a walk once a day and not to far away. I usually go before everyone is out of bed.

By walking early, I then have the rest of the day to do what I want. A lot of time is being spent working on family trees, because I invested in a subscription to Ancestry. It has gotten me hooked. I have already found out that we have family which goes back to William the Conqueror and the Queen is in our line as well. I knew my Birthday was on a special day. It is wonderful to discover what my ancestors did for a living and I have a lot of journeymen, farmers, burnishers, glove makers and much more. Now that I am getting some real characters coming to light, I may well write about them and what they did from time to time. If you have ever been interested in your family history, do think about using Ancestry or one of the other family tree providers. Family Search got me started and this year I started with Ancestry to find out more. 

On that note, I am off to make a coffee and put my feet up. Stay safe and well please.

Pop back soon xxx


Friday 13 November 2020

Miss our boy.

Dear family, followers and friends.

Today marks 2 years since we said "Goodbye" to our beautiful boy Paddy. He had such an amazing life with us, having come to us from The Border Collie Trust at Rugeley. He chose is when he was 11 months old and gave us joy everyday, with his funny ways and gentle nature. 

There was never an evil bone in Paddy's body, he loved everyone and always wanted to please. There will never ever be another like him and we are thankful that he allowed us to be part of his wonderful full life. 
Continue to run free little man, you are in our hearts forever xxxx


Thursday 5 November 2020

Hedge Stripping and cutting.

Dear family, friends and followers. 

I have been stripping (behave). I have been stripping our 70ft+ long hedge. When we moved onto this mooring just over a year ago, our tree surgeon neighbour cut the hedge back for us, because it was overgrown. I had every intention of cutting it back further and then stripping out all the rubbish in the middle. I did not really appreciate how big a job it was going to be when I started it a couple of weeks ago. 

This morning early doors, I finally finished the stripping. I found that the centre of the hedge was full of dead branches and leaves, which has been building up over the 25 years the hedge has been there, chocking the hedge and not allowing any light or air in. With the stripping done and coffee drunk, it was time to take the top out of the hedge.
I had put our hedge trimmer on charge over night, so it would be ready for use this morning. Wit the weather set fair for the day, I set about taking over a foot off the top of the hedge. Only the top foot had been growing, so my hope is now I have taken the top off and the light can get in, the whole hedge will Spring into life next year. 
Job done, to the best of my ability. Now the clean up begins. I have been tidying as I have been stripping the hedge, but the final few feet I left to do at the end with all the hedge trimmings. Having had a full day of working on the hedge, I will leave the clearing up till tomorrow, when I have the energy to get it all done in one go. Right now I am shattered and in need of a coffee.

Well as thought right from the word go, we are back in lockdown. It is said it will only be for a month, but I would not count on it. It is sad that so many people not doing the right thing have caused us to be back in this situation.

Boris may have got things a bit wrong 
But did he organise illegal raves?
Did he tell everyone to fill the beaches in the summer? 
Did he invite your mates to your garden for a BBQ? 
Did he tell thousands of people to protest for weeks about an incident in the US? 
Did he tell all the pub goers to congregate outside in big groups or fight after they close? 
Did he instruct Billy Ten-Men not to wear a mask and tell everyone to p*** off if he was challenged?
It's funny how people are quick to blame one person for this mess, and not the minority who did any of the above mentioned.

Pop back soon xxx

Friday 23 October 2020

Waffling and DNA

Dear family, friends and followers.

How are you doing?
How are you coping right now?

It looks like parts of our beautiful country are in lockdown because of Covid-19, because of the high numbers of infection and are in tier 3, or others are now going into tier 2. We are still at medium risk we are, but with Coventry going into tier 2, it is creeping closer to us. It feels a bit like DΓ©jΓ  vu, and I feel like we have been in lockdown forever, because we have stayed in our bubble since this all kicked off. I really feel for anyone who is struggling, with losing their business, home and for those who feel this is affecting their mental health. I sit and watch the news and it makes me so angry, because a lot of this could be avoided if people just did the right thing and follow the rules and guidelines. The reason people are losing their jobs etc is because of those people who refuse to do what is right. I am not political at all, and I know that there are things that can always be improved on. But this purely comes down to the fact there are some who are just not following the rules and they are the ones to blame for the infection continuing to climb again and therefore the rest of us are struggling. If a loved one loses their life to this virus, it is the fault of those who continually flout the rules. If someone's business goes to the wall, it is the fault of those who continually flout the rules. If someone loses their home, because they cannot pay their mortgage, it is the fault of those who flout the rules. The Government have given out so much help to businesses and anyone in difficulty, but they cannot help literally everyone. If only it was possible to give money to everyone, but nothing is 100%. In a perfect world none of this would be happening. It is going to be a difficult Christmas for so many. I personally cancel Christmas etc, so we can all save out money, but then again businesses would suffer, which is a knock on situation as with most things in life there is always a consequence. 
Like so many, we have done everything that has been asked of us and I sincerely hope that we all go into a New Year and there is better news. I would like to think we will be able to go cruising next year. I know many of our boating friends have been cruising this year, we decided that for us it was not safe enough and that is why we came home. We all make our decisions and have to decide what is right for us. I just get annoyed when there are those who are saying, "I am alright Jack sod you". We all have to consider others around us. It is about looking after each other.

Anyway, having got that off my chest, I have kept myself busy of late with doing more to our family trees. It is amazing what you find out. Who would have thought that some of my ancestors came from Denmark and we had distant relatives who walked the plains of Utah back in the day. I would if they were alive today, what they would think of what is going on now? Joining Ancestry has been such a good idea and we are considering doing a DNA test on hubby, to see if we can sort out a family mystery.
The story goes, Keith's great-grandmother Mary Ann Eliza South was in service to a family named Middleton, when the son of the family, we think was Alfred decided to have his wicked way and he got her pregnant. So at the age of 18 in 1874 she gave birth to Keith's Grand-father Alfred James. 
A year after he was born in the Union Workhouse, Pope's Lane, Colchester, Essex, Mary married Alfred Lodge, he was prepared to take Alfred James on as his own son. The only other information we know about Mr Middleton is that he was possibly in the Royal Hussars. It has been so difficult to find out any information on Mr Middleton, so we can fill in the blanks, this is where a DNA test may help, because it will prove whether Keith is a true Lodge or is a Middleton. 
Have you done the DNA test or are using Ancestry?
I am fascinated by family history and all it entails and have already met online a couple of cousins.
The clocks go back this weekend, so we are allowed an extra hour in bed. I know for a fact we will just be awake earlier, because that is how we roll. The nights will be darker earlier, which I am not fond of at all and we slide towards the end of a year, which has been absolutely incredible in so many ways. 
With the weekend knocking on the door and the weather set to be stormy, I can see me sitting down and doing more to the family tree. I will have the TV on and set to a films channel.
May your weekend bring you sunshine and laughter.
Thank you for popping by and reading my waffle.

Pop back soon xxxx


Monday 19 October 2020

Time to get busy.


Dear family, friends and followers.

At the moment we are all going through such an uncertain time. I like most are doing the right things to keep safe and well. I have been a little sedentary of late, what with mum dying and other things happening in my life. I have been going for my morning walks, which were much needed. I have also been spending a lot of time working on my family tree. I decided that in order to get the answers I was looking for, I needed to join Ancestry, and get their help especially with Keith's side of the family, which has a bit of mystery about it. Joining Ancestry, has meant I have been sitting glued to my laptop for hours on end, researching the family and finding out some interesting things, which I will tell you about over the coming days and weeks.
This morning, I decided that it was time to get out and work on the hedge at the back of our garden. The hedge was allowed to overgrow and the centre of the hedge was full of dead wood. When we moved onto the mooring, we just tidied it up, with the view to give it a good going over and that time has come.
Our hedge is over 70ft long, so it is going to take me a while. I have begun to cut the hedge back by about a foot and now I am stripping out the dead wood. My hope is that next Spring, there will be new growth and the hedge will fill out again. I also want to drop the height of the hedge down a bit as well, because it is too tall for me to trim the top. I want to take it down by at least a foot once I have finished stripping it out. A bit job, but I hope well worth it. Being out in the fresh air, has given me a lot of satisfaction and it is where I am happiest. 

Thank you for popping by. xx

Tuesday 6 October 2020

A 35yrs in the making Reunion....2020..... Tim & Joanne.

A very special weekend for me and my brother and one which Mum would have been so pleased to have seen.

Sunday 4 October 2020

An amazing weekend.


Dear family, friends and followers.

I am doing my best to climb down off cloud Nine, but after the weekend I have just had it will be very difficult. Most of us know that Storm Alex came in on Friday, bringing us copious amounts of water. I reckoned that the angels had had enough showers for the rest of this century, with the amount of rain we had. The rain however did not stop the excitement and fun to come on Friday, with the arrival of my brother Tim and his wife Melba.

Tim and Melba drove up from the south in the lashing rain. They came across two lots of accidents and a caravan on fire, so their journey was not without incident. Having got themselves settled they came and met us and we all walked to The Cape of Good Hope pub, where we were booked in, because of Covid-19, I had to book a table and we had to wear a mask until we were seated at our table. If at anytime we left the table, we had to put our masks back on. They supplied each table with hand sanitiser and you could either order on their app or someone would take your order and they were all masked up. Having been seated at our table, and our order taken, we had one heck of a lot of catching up to do, because Tim and I had not seen each other for 35 years, yes I did say 35 years. It is a long and sometime very painful tale and I will not bore you, except to say family issues. Anyway we have been in touch with other for years on Facebook and then with the death of our wonderful Mum, it spurred us into action and a meeting was arranged. We both say it my Mum's last act of love for us, to make sure we got back together. We had a wonderful evening, of chatter, laughter, beer and a fantastic meal. After two hours we had to leave to allow the next customers in who had booked our table, because the table and surrounding area had to be sanitised before they could sit down. Back onboard the boat, we carried on the chatter until gone 10pm, Tim and Melba then went back to their hotel for the night.

Saturday the plan was to take a walk around Warwick and the sights, but as you will see from the photographs it was extremely soggy, but we did not let this stop us. We donned our coats, picked up the umbrella's and off we went.
We wandered around the market, whilst Keith picked up his glasses from the Optician and then headed off to get a coffee at Coffee #1. We then thought we would take a walk down to the bridge over the River Avon which gives you a great view of Warwick Castle. 
By this time the rain was lashing down and the motorists were playing a game of soak the pedestrian. I can honestly say we were well and truly soaked and so decided to call it a day and head home. Tim and Melba went back to their hotel to dry out and change and we sorted ourselves out on the boat. I was wet from head to foot, mainly due to motorists splashing me. Later in the afternoon, Tim and Melba came back to the boat, where we enjoyed an amazing Thai takeaway from our favourite restaurant Totally Thai.
We even opened a bottle of Champagne and gave a toast to Mum. It was a bottle of champagne bought for her 82nd birthday, but she could not drink it as she was in the hospice and very poorly, so we drank it for her. Yet another wonderful day getting to know my brother again and his lovely wife. Tim is Fourteen months younger than me and is over a foot taller than me, which always makes me giggle. It was once again late before they left to get to their hotel.
This morning they came back to the boat for breakfast, because Saturday's breakfast at the Premier Inn was not at all good. I cooked us a full English breakfast with toast and coffee and we were all set up for the day.
It was sod's law that about fifteen minutes before they left us to travel home the rain finally stopped and we were able to take some photographs outside.
So happy to have my brother back in my life and we both know that Mum would be over the moon and then some.
Melba is such a delight and so good for my brother. It is wonderful to have her in my life and I cannot wait to get to know them both more over the coming weeks, months and years. Being estranged from ones family through no fault of your own is just the worst thing and makes you feel as though you are totally worthless. I missed out on so much because of it and I will not let it happen again, even if someone else has other ideas. I am so grateful to have this chance with my brother and his wife, we are going to bring so much joy into each others lives and hopefully at some point they can meet up with my family and we can celebrate again.

Having family issues is something we probably all go through at some point in our lives. It can wreck the love that you had for those you love. If you are going through a similar thing and really wish you could be back in touch with your family. I will say do not leave it too late. Just do it, even if some in your family try to stop you, because one day your loved one will be gone and you will never get that chance again.

Pop back soon xxx

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Looking forward to Friday.

 Dear family, friends and followers.

How are you all doing?

We are all living through strange old times and yet there are those who are carrying on as if nothing is happening. There are those who believe this is all a figment of our imagination. I know many know exactly what we have been going through since March, because some will have had this darn virus and some will have lost loved ones because of it. We have taken the virus incredibly seriously, some may say we have been over safe and that is fine, that is their opinion. I have even had people question me as to why we did not stay out and cruise. Again that is their right to question. We did what was right for us at the time and it remains the same and we would not have done anything any different. I want to protect us for as long as I can and I will do whatever it takes. For months, neither of us left the Arm. I then ventured out to the pharmacy for prescriptions and occasionally to the post office. I usually go because I am 10 years younger than Keith and I really dread him catching the virus. This past couple of months, I have been taking myself off for a morning walk. I decided that I needed to do more exercise than walking around the Arm could offer. Not only that seeing something different really gladdens the soul and mind.

I usually walk over the racecourse and St. Mary Land's a couple of times a week.
The views are stunning and I can walk around the racecourse without hardly meeting a soul. I see dog walkers, joggers, walkers and sometimes cyclists, but none of us needs to get close, because of the huge area we have to walk in. 
The media go on about doing things for the good of our mental health, well I am not one who suffers from poor mental health, but the walking has given me a chance to think and it has also blown the cobwebs away. I need to exercise for the sake of my waistline, which has been expanding of late. Each week we allow ourselves a treat at weekends. It could be a bag of Doritos or a bar of chocolate. Yes I know we know how to live the high life. We will also allow ourselves a Thai takeaway from our very good local Thai restaurant, who have been doing deliveries throughout the pandemic. When we got to ten takeaways, we were allowed a free meal up to the amount of £26 and like every meal from them it was truly excellent.

Throughout this pandemic it has always been good to try and find something to look forward to. Well this coming Friday, something wonderful and exciting is happening for me. I am not going to spoil the surprize by telling you now, but will post more when it has happened. I will say it has been a long time coming and will change our lives forever in a fabulous way. 
Have you had a flu vaccination yet?
Keith and I always go to our local pharmacy in Warwick to have ours done. I e-mailed them at the beginning of September, to find out when the vaccines would be in, to be told that I could as for an appointment after the 21st September. On the 22nd I e-mailed asking for an appointment, because that is how they are being done this year due to Covid-19. By return e-mail, I had the online forms to fill in for both of us and our appointment was for the 28th September, which was yesterday. We had no queuing, we just walked in answered a few questions about whether we thought we may have the virus and then having answered everyone No, we were given our flu vaccinations. It is well worth doing, especially this year. Now we must wait for a Covid-19 vaccine, so that we can get our lives back to some sort of normality.

May you all remain safe and well.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Summer Vacation on a Narrow Boat... 12 Sep til 19 Sep 2020

My brother Tim, his wife Melba and crew on their boating holiday last week. They had amazing weather and a fantastic time.

Getting there.


Dear family, friends and followers.

How is everyone doing, in such uncertain times?

As those of you who read my blog, it has been a difficult time for me of late with the death of Mum. There has been so many things to work through emotionally, but I am getting there and it has bought my brother and I closer. As we all know sometimes families can be difficult and we all go through tough times. My family story is no different, but through no fault of my own, my mum was kept from me for a number of years and so when my brother contacted me to tell me about mum's Cancer and that it was terminal, it bought back so many memories happy and sad. There are a lot of regrets, but I will deal with them in my own time. What I am grateful for is the chance to have seen and talked to my mum before she died. I wish I could of been there to hold her hand till the end, but that was not possible due to Covid-19 and other family issues, but she knew how much I missed and loved her and we got to see each other. No one wants to die with regrets or alone and I sincerely hope she is now smiling from her cloud and having a cuppa and a natter with her mum. The one thing I do know is mum would not want my brother and I moping about, she would want us to get on with enjoying our lives. Mum was such a cheerful, happy go lucky, upbeat woman, who was always the life and soul of any party or gathering and that is how I will remember her and carry on living my life in the same way. 

As we are all living in such uncertain times still, we all have to do our part to try and curb Covid-19. The majority of people have been playing their part since March like we have. I saw this on Facebook, posted by a friend and it summed up exactly how I feel.

I have been wearing a mask in shops and limiting my shopping trips & being careful where I go since March!  I’m not sure how being considerate to others for the common good is now being mocked by some who are calling it “living in fear”, but it needs to stop....

When I wear a mask over my nose and mouth in public and in the stores/Supermarkets/Pharmacies/Offices/Churches - I want you to know the following:

πŸ“· I'm educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and still give you the virus.

πŸ“· No, I don't "live in fear" of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

πŸ“· I don't feel like the "government controls me". I feel like I'm an adult contributing to the security in our society and I want to teach others the same.

πŸ“· If we could all live with the consideration of others in mind, the whole world would be a much better place.

πŸ“· Wearing a mask doesn't make me weak, scared, stupid or even "controlled". It makes me caring and responsible.

πŸ“· When you think about your appearance, discomfort, or other people's opinion of you, imagine a loved one - a child, father, mother, grandparent, aunt, uncle or even a stranger - placed on a ventilator, alone without you or any family member allowed at their bedside...  ask yourself if you could have helped them a little by wearing a mask!

The virus seems to have taken over our lives and our conversations and everyone has an opinion, including me. I would like to think that we can say what we are thinking and others do not take offence or take it the wrong way. Keith and I have not been out to the pub or restaurants. Sadly we have not seen our families, including our grand-sons, not because we do not want to, but because we could both be asymptomatic and therefore take the virus down to them. We have zoomed, which has been an absolute godsend. But I long to cuddle my girls and the grandson's. Both the boys are growing up so fast, and I now look forward to seeing them hopefully next year, when we are all taking a family holiday together. I cannot see us meeting up this year, with the new guidelines being put in place all the time, because of the numbers rising. I completely agree with what has been put in place and if I were in Government, I would have gone further and maybe that will happen if these latest measures do not work well enough, or enough people are not curbing their behaviour. 

Lets all do the right thing and stay safe and keep our families safe.

Sending hugs xxxxx


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