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

Friday 31 January 2020

End of the week and being in European Union.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Well I told you yesterday, I was going to be watching 'Snowpiercer' made in 2013 and I would let you know what I thought of the movie. The movie is kind of very apt at the moment, with all the talk about climate change and how we need to save this planet one way or another. This movie is all about a failed attempt to save the world and therefore everyone dies, except a lucky few who board this train the snowpiercer. The train travels around the globe fully self sufficient, but there is a class system where if you were lower class you were at the back of the train and just about surviving. Whereas the upper class were at the front of the train living the high life. The train was built and run by Wilford (Ed Harris), who lives at the front of the train and controls everything and everyone on the train. A rebellion takes place where Chris Evans as Curtis starts a move towards the front of the train and as he and the others do so, there is a lot of killing and violence. They realise as they move forward in the train the difference in the classes and what they have been missing out on. They eventually get to the front of the train, where Curtis meets Wilford. The train comes off of the rails due to an avalanche and the only two surviver's, see a Polar Bear and know that life can survive outside of the train. To me the plot was a little thin and fragmented, so not really my type of film, but then I am a Romcom and Western girl. Of course just be cause it was not my cup of tea, does not mean you would not like it. After two and a half hours of watching the film it was time for bed and a night of wonderful sleep.

Friday morning dawned, we were greeted by another dull, mild start. We had our usual cuppa, whilst listening to the radio in bed. The news is full of the UK leaving the European Union and asking how people will be celebrating. I am not sure celebrating should be the right word, because not everyone is happy about the fact we will no longer be ruled by Europe. I think that we should just carry on as usual, until it is all finalised. After all we have another 11 months of negotiations to go through yet. I just hope that people are kind to each other, even if they are not happy with the situation. None of us truly knows what is going to happen, but the UK is a great country and it will remain so and who knows if it all goes well, other countries may follow suit.
With the mild start it got me thinking that It looks like this Winter is not going to be dreadfully cold, which must be a huge disappointment to all those who were saying it was going to be the coldest Winter in 100 years. Mind you they say that most Winter's and get it wrong. I am guessing one of these days they will be right. The one good thing with not having a particularly cold Winter, is we do not burn as much coal, which is good for us and the planet.

Talking of the planet have you heard of Ecobricks? Boating friends introduced me to them and how to make them out of a plastic bottle and the rubbish we throw away. Please go and have a read, it is brilliant.

First on my list of jobs to do today was a laundry wash. I like to get it done early. I get to sit in the laundry and it gives me time alone to thing. I also love to stand in the doorway and watch life pass me by. At the moment the view is of the huge road works going on, on the Birmingham road, where they have taken out a roundabout and are putting in traffic lights. It is suppose to help the congestion we get along this part of the road during peak times. We will see if it works, when it is finished in a few months time. The birds were singing loudly above the noise of the works going on. There were horns beeping, people shouting, music playing and I thought to myself. This is life, just going about its daily business. No matter what is going on in the world, this is our world right now right outside the laundry.
Washing finished and hung up in the engine room, it was time for a coffee and a thought about what we would be having for lunch. I made a Leek and Potato Soup, which was boiling away on the top of the stove and we will be having this for dinner. I put some fish cakes in the oven for lunch. We are trying to cut down on how much we eat, by cutting our portion sizes down. I am also watching my Nickel intake, whilst taking my Vitamin C and Iron twice a week. So far I seem to be on top of things, because my Hives have stayed away, thank goodness. I am hoping my system is on its way back to being normal.
After lunch, I decided to do a spot of baking, because the cake tin was empty. I have always enjoyed baking and usually do this on a Sunday, but for some odd reason I never got round to it this past Sunday. Anyway cakes baked and filled with jam and butter icing mmmmmmm. Because I never got round to my walk this morning, I took myself off for a walk around the block, just to clear the cobwebs away and keep my fitness levels up. It would be so easy to just sit on the boat and do absolutely nothing. I will be doing a spot of that over the weekend, because the Six nations rugby starts on Saturday and I do so enjoy watching all the matches. So feet will be up and as hubby has bought sweets, I will be tucking into those. Hubby had to go to the dentist this morning with a troublesome tooth. It turns out he has an abscess and so is now on antibiotics for five days. Life is never boring on board our boat.

Pop back soon xxx

Thursday 30 January 2020

Brexit Eve.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Good evening from a nice cozy boat. I just had to post the picture at the top of my rambling tonight, because it had me giggling. I reckon we all need a good giggle at times. Someone posted it on my Twitter feed and so thought I would share it.
Here we are on the eve of Brexit (British Exit). Tomorrow evening at 11 pm we will no longer be in Europe.

I have had a day of running about, feeding the wildlife and us, plus chatting to lots of boating friends.
We have finally found out what is wrong with our TV signal. Hubby got his thingy out. I have no idea what it is really called, but it measures how much signal you have. We took measurements from two of the junction points and there was a signal going to them both hooray we both thought. But when we measure between the second point and our point, there was nothing. So the problem is between those two points. It is not the actual box, it is the cable. We suspect it has got trapped under our bunker, which was built by the previous moorer and has probably worn through or maybe the rats have been eating at it, because in the 40 ft which it runs to the junction, it is under the pontoons. Anyway we need to replace 40 metre's of it, which is on order already. Hopefully this will solve the issue and we can have our TV signal back, because we both enjoy sitting in bed of a morning with a cuppa, watching the morning news.

Once we are up and about of a morning, the boat chores are done and one of my first jobs is to put the bird feeder out. I bring it in every night, to stop the rats nicking the food. So each morning I hang the feeder over the water and who is always sat waiting? That would be Mr Robin, who sits on either the bunker of the fence waiting for breakfast. He is getting so brave that he will try to get on the feeder before it is hung. I am still trying to tempt him onto my hand. The reason we hang it over the water is so that any food dropped by the birds goes into the water and not onto the pontoon or garden, where the rats can get to it. I did leave the feeder out once and when laid in bed, we could hear a rat or rats on the feeder over the water. They had climbed along the rope and chain and down onto the feeder. They are such cunning little devils and whist they do not frighten me (I grew up on a farm with rats), they are not encouraged and yet they are where ever any of us live, we just do not see them in the daytime.

The one lovely thing about being on our mooring for the Winter, is I get to chat with our Winter moorers and other residential boaters, because we are all in enjoying the fact that we are on the electric and have a nice place to moor. Our residential mooring is such a wonderful place and it is so peaceful. Today I got to natter to a few of the moorers, we got to put the world to right and chat about our Summer cruising plans. It is about this time of the year, that we all get itchy feet (a boating term, when stationary for to long). We are all looking forward to getting out onto the cut and cruising.
As the day wore into the evening, we were gifted a superb sunset over the Arm. My evening will be spent catching-up with online things and the 9 pm film which tonight is Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell. I will let you know what I think about it tomorrow.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Leamington-Spa here we come.

Dear family, friends and followers.

I hope this rambling finds everyone in fine fettle?
You know you can leave me messages and I will reply as long as you leave your name with them. It is always lovely to hear what you have to say. it also makes me feel I am not alone :-)

Wednesday dawned after what was a restless night. I had something on my mind when I went to bed and it must have bugged me all night, because I could not stop thinking about something that had been said to me during Tuesday. I am the sort of person, that when I am told something, I never repeat it to anyone unless told otherwise. It is just the way I am. So when you find out that someone else who was also in the know has been gossiping about things said, it is very annoying. It is even more annoying when it is hurting someone else's feelings. Why people have to be so cruel I do not know. There is enough sadness and spite in the world, without it being in my life as well. Anyway this issue kept me tossing and turning, because I have to decide what too do. I have to decide whether to keep schtum and see what happens, or to wade in and have my say?
What would you do?
Once a wake with a cuppa in my hand. It was time to decide what the day would bring. The forecast for the day was nice after another frost, so we thought we would get the bikes out and cycle into Leamington-Spa. Before anything though we had to get ourselves up and about. The fire needed sorting and other boat chores had to be done. 10.30 am we got Hetty (my bike) and hubbys bike out of the locker and put the wheels on. I have to pump the tyre's up on Hetty, because to get the wheels off we always have to let the tyre's down. To get to Leamington-Spa we cycled down the towpath towards Leamington-Spa. The towpaths were muddy with puddles and in places rather narrow, so I was not for hurrying. I let hubby go ahead, because I knew he would be much faster than me, although he did keep stopping to make sure I was alright. My behind is really not used to a bike saddle, even though this one is padded, it still hurt. Once we got close to Leamington-Spa we moved onto the road into the town centre. We found some bike racks near the town hall and chained both the bikes together. My legs felt a bit like jelly for a while. I am not as young as I used too be. Anyway I soon walked it off, as we did the charity shops walk. The only thing I came away with was a book, 'The Narrowboat Girls' by Rosie Archer. I have not read this one before, so it will be an interesting read. We had lunch at our favourite Chinese buffet, before heading back to the bikes and the cycle home. We decided to go via the roads back to Warwick and whilst no mud or puddles, we did have a couple of hills to climb puff, pant, puff, pant. I really need to get fitter. I got totally cut up by a 4x4, who was being impatient, but I am just a cyclist, so what does it matter? Some people need to chill-out a bit and allow others to also use the road.
We got back home, put the bikes away and I made us a much needed coffee. Hetty has now had her second outing and hubby and I both enjoyed the day out. It is something we will do again and it does save me bus fare. Because we will soon hopefully be heading out cruising, we will need to go to Leamington-Spa again to get a few stock items, which we take with us. I reckon we will be cycling in again sometime soon.
As the afternoon wore into the evening, I found myself being more sedentary. It was just so easy to stay sat down in front of the TV with my feet up. It will be interesting to see if my legs ache tomorrow. The joy of being sedentary is I also got to catch-up with e-mails and this rambling. Tomorrow will be a day of getting out there and doing something, because I am not one for sitting for long as you all know.

See you for some more rambling soon xx

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Brexit week.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Another week, but this is like no other week. This is the week when the United Kingdom leave Europe. Oh I know I do not get political on my blog, but this is a monumental thing which we are doing, so much so that on Friday a new 50 pence coin is coming out to celebrate the occasion.
Apparently there are those who wanted to remain in Europe, who are going to refuse to accept these coins in their change. Some are even saying they will throw them away. REALLY? Come on folks it is money. Since when does anyone throw money away. it is just a coin. They reckon that it could take as long as Six months for them to filter down into our pockets and purses. If I am fortunate to get one, I think I will hold onto it for a while, but eventually it will be spent, because we are not in the group who can afford to throw money away. With Friday being the day we walk away from Europe, their rules and regulations, for us it will be just another day. Ok Politics done.

Monday morning dawned after a night of heavy rain. It rained so hard it came into the engine room through the doors somehow. I have to admit I did not hear it all night, because having stayed up to watch 'Cliff Hanger', I slept like a baby. Still no TV signal, so we listened to the radio whilst enjoying our first cuppa of the day. Once up and about, I went for my morning stroll. The roads were rather busy this morning, with impatient drivers beeping horns and playing very loud music from their cars. I have never understood why people feel the need to play the music so loud with the windows open. Do they have to open the windows, because they have the music so loud. Or are they just showing off. What they fail to realise is, not everyone will like the music or how loud it is. I suppose it could be classed as noise pollution?

Back home to the peace of our boat. It was time to get some chores done, the first being the fire. I like to get that done first and all cleared away. We then had the job of changing the seal on one of our toilet cassettes. Of late it has been leaking a lot and therefore needed changing. Because the toilet is over 12 years old, the seals do not work as well anymore, so to help with the sealing process, we have added a cork seal underneath the rubber one to boast it a bit, so it connects with the rim of the toilet. I tried using sealant, but that did not stop the leakage. But we have tried the cork on the other cassette and it seems to make things a lot better. The other option is to buy a new toilet, but they do not make the one we have anymore. It is all basically wear and tear over the years, so the sealing process is not so tight. Anything as they say is worth a try. Toilets are a big talking point among boaters. Nearly all conversations end up with natter about toilets.
The rest of Monday was pretty uneventful, it was all about watching TV, eating and then off to bed.

Tuesday dawned with a bit of a frost and a definite drop in temperature outside, but at least the sun was shiming. The plan for the day was to get an early laundry wash in and then get back to the boat to stoke the fire, eat breakfast and enjoy a coffee and that is exactly how it all turned out. Whilst I did all of that a beef stew was warming through on the stove, ready for dumplings to be added for lunch. Hubby went to check out a junction box on a neighbour's mooring for our TV, but we are still without a signal, so we will have to think again. After a lovely stew and dumpling lunch, I walked into town to get my old pair of glasses tightened up and to pick up hubby's prescription from the chemists. I then joined the ladies for an afternoon coffee. Over the Winter months the ladies who Winter moor in the arm and I get together for a coffee and a natter once a month. It is always great fun, with many topics being discussed. It is also a chance to get away from the boat for a couple of hours and have a bit of female company. There is always a lot of chatter, which does not including boating or toilets.
It has been a fabulous day in many ways and tomorrow we are another day closer to Brexit.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday 27 January 2020

Weekend work.

Dear family, friends and followers.

A dull weekend, weather wise. Saturday began fine enough, but the sun never got to shine all day. I decided that the weather was not going to put me off getting some work done outside. The hedge up the steps by us was getting overgrown, so I took the shears to it. I cut it back and then swept the steps to make it clean and safe for the walkers who use the steps on a daily basis.
After a coffee break, I took myself off down to the Sensory Garden we have in the Arm. I took my loppers, secateurs and wheelbarrow with me, with a view to doing a couple of hours of cutting back.
This is the before I started.
Unfortunately nothing got done to the gardens last year, which has ment they have been let go a bit. But I like a challenge.
I got the right hand side of the garden done before I stopped to go and cook some lunch. Already the light in being let in to the beds, making it much nicer. I cooked us some lunch and then got chatting to a friend who popped in to see us.
After lunch, I spent the next hour clearing the left hand side of the garden. It will need digging and all the leaves need clearing away, but I can see the wood from the trees now, which is 100% better than it had been. I had done a couple of hours, which was my plan, so it was back to the boat to wash-up and have a coffee, before settling down to watch a couple of Westerns. 
Having been out in the fresh air and got some gardening done, I felt so much better in myself. Hopefully over the coming week, I will get the rest of the work done.
As the afternoon drew into the evening, it is noticeable that the evenings are getting much lighter. Spring will soon be here. The evening was spent watching westerns. I am a lover of everything western. One of the evenings films was Open Range starring Kevin Costner, who also directed the film. It was very good. I did not stop up to watch all of Centurion, because I felt shattered.

Sunday morning dawned and a cuppa was consumed in bed, whilst listening to the radio, because the TV is not getting a signal again, so we need to do more investigating as to what is going on. It was a bright start and very mild out. Once up and about, first job of the day was to change the water pump,  because yesterday it began to sound like it was dying. We always have a spare for such issues. The spare is actually one we repaired some years ago, because it was leaking. Hubby swapped the pumps over and all was well in the water pump world. I stoked the fire and got that going. I then got on with preparing veggies for a roast lunch. On today's menu was Chicken fillets cooked in butter and garlic, roast parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes, steamed sprouts and to finish it off stuffing and gravy. All washed down with a beer.
Lunch as it turned out was a huge success (of course, I would day that, I cooked it), it was all the better for the beer to wash it down. Today being Sunday means an afternoon of films, beginning with 'The Parent Trap' starring Lindsay Lohan. The brightness of the day was replaced with rain, which was forecast. During the morning I had put some food out for our Bank Voles.
They really are the most amusing little creatures. It was very clear that breakfast was not going to be shared and so a small fight broke out. I really must teach them some manners or to share. It is lovely watching them though. There antics are really funny and could brighten anyone days (only if your not scared of them).
My Sunday ended with me watching films. Before bed we watched 'Cliff Hanger' starring Sylvester Stallone. We have not see that film for years, so it was nice to get a refresher.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday 25 January 2020

Philosophical mood.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Of late I have been doing a lot of thinking, which has meant putting life into perspective. This has come about, because of losing wonderful friends to illness, all of them far too young to go so soon. Everyone at some time goes through tough times in their lives. How we deal with those tough times, can end up defining who we are and how strong we are. I know because of the things I have been through in my life, some have left their mark, but others have definitely made me stronger and tougher. I have learnt to be more independent, mainly through the help of hubby, who has always made me stand on my own two feet, which I love him for. His philosophy is that because he is older than me by Ten years, he is likely to go first and so he wants me to be independent and able to cope should he go first. Of course we all know that does not always happen, because age is not a marker for when you will die, but it has made me sit back and really think about my life and how much I cherish each and every moment. Good things happen as well as bad things, but for some reason we always tend to remember more of the bad things. These shape our lives in many ways.
The saying in the picture at the top of the post says " Cutting people out of my life doesn't mean I hate them. It simply means I respect myself". This for me is so very true. I have cut people out of my life, because I could no longer have them in my life causing me pain. We all only get one stab at this life (as far as we know) and I for one do not like confrontation. To avoid this, I chosen to cut ties with certain people. I do not hate, because hate maybe a small word, but it has a huge meaning. It just means that I do not wish to have toxic people invading my space. Now that may seem really harsh, but this is my one shot at life and I plan on having a peaceful space to live out my days.

However sometimes in life, someone will come along who you just click with. They will add sunshine to your day. And happiness to your heart. And you'll wonder how you ever got through life without them. They are your sunshine on a dull day and laughter in your heart. These are the people who deserve to be in my life. I do not have room in my life for people with ulterior motives. But I will share my life with those, who respect me for who I am and what I have been through.

Pop back soon xxx

Thursday 23 January 2020

Curry, stew and coffee.

Dear family, friends and followers.

I have come to a time in my life where I am at peace with who I am, what I am and how I am a firm believer that I always treat others the way that I want to be treated and I do unto others as I want done to me.  I like to think I am a polite and genuine person. Of course I have my faults, but then don't we all. I have seen enough sadness and gone through enough upheaval in my life to now be grateful for every blessing which comes my way.
I am in my way now just bimbling along and what happens happens. It is impossible to know what the future holds, but one thing I do know, is I am going to make the most of every single day with those who truly care about me and love me for who I am, because I cannot cope with negativity in my life anymore.

Today it has been a decidedly yuck kind of day weather wise. Although the frosts have gone for now, they have been replaced with dull, mild and miserable weather. The whole day has been under a blanket of low cloud, which is enough to give anyone the miseries. On the upside the garden is alive with plant growth.
Bulbs are coming up all over the garden. We are looking to see what flowers we have, because this will be the first Spring for us on this mooring. I have a feeling that some of the bulbs maybe old ones and may not flower, but that means I can replace them this year. Some of the leaves poking through the soil look like Daffodil leaves, which is very exciting.
We inherited a plant in a pot, so once the garden was dug over I took the plant out of the pot and popped the plant in the ground, with a hope it would show us what plant it is. I have the wonderful news to say the mystery plant is a Rhubarb plant and it has its first leaf. I am overjoyed, because I adore Rhubarb, especially if its in a crumble. This of course means we may have two Rhubarb plants, because I moved one from our old garden. Happy days, twice as many Rhubarb crumbles.
The heather's are looking fabulous across the garden, giving off a bit of Winter colour.
Some of the shrubs we moved, are already beginning to sprout leaves, which means they have survived the move. I think we were so lucky, that when we moved gardens the weather was wet, so all of what we moved was watered in well. Now we can sit back and enjoy the garden and colour, once things flower.
I moved our bird feeder and hung it above the water. The reason for this is any food dropped by the birds, will fall in the water and not on the ground where rats can feast on it, because we do have a rat population here in the Arm, just like anywhere else. Rats are a fact of life and can be seen anywhere, I just choose not to feed them. So far the Robin and the Blue Tits have found the new position for the feeder and do not seem to mind. I am still feeding the Bank Voles though, because they eat everything I put out for them within an hour.
Jobs for the day, were to give the boat a clean inside first thing. I managed to find a crock clip, which the other half had lost in the engine room and despite looking forward it, we thought the borrowers must have taken it. I found it whilst hoovering in the engine room, which was a good thing, because other wise we were going to have to buy another, because it is part of hubby's special meter, which he uses for reading electrical connections. 
I had taken out a large packet of diced Beef from the freezer over night and today I turned it into a Madras Curry, with leek and mushrooms and a Beef Stew with leek, carrots, mushrooms, sweet potatoes. Both will be enjoyed over the coming days. I am going to box the stew up and put it back in the freezer until required. The boat has smelt really yummy all day. Whilst I did all that, hubby went food shopping to Aldi using his bus pass.
After he had returned home, I had stowed everything away and we had eaten lunch, he got on with putting LED lights in his O gauge display cabinet. The lights are run off the USB, so idea and quite effective. it will look great with the main boat lights off in the evenings. 
Because of the doom and gloom with the weather today, I reckon we will be heading towards night time much earlier. Hey ho we are nice and snug inside the boat with the TV on. 

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Being treated.

Dear family, friends and followers.

That is Winter done then. After a few days of below zero frosts, we are back to mild and dull. Off I went for my walk in my padded jacket and oh boy did I regret that. I came back sweating like a piggy. It was so incredibly mild again this morning and unfortunately a miserable start to Wednesday came with it. No sun shine, just low cloud and that feeling of gloom. I did however enjoy my walk. No one to natter to this morning, but still had a nice time, clearing away the cobwebs. Sometimes going for a walk is a good way to put life into perspective. I like to take good deep breaths of what is partially clean air. Warwick at the moment, has a lot of road works going on, so there are queuing cars on the narrow roads, which must be such a pain for anyone in a queue and for those people living on the streets, which are normally quiet. Anyway my walk was a nice one and on returning home, the kettle went on for a coffee, I also stoked the fire in the saloon. There was no need to light the back cabin stove, because of it being so mild.
I spent the morning being rather lazy once the boat chores were done. I am not usually one for sitting around, but this morning I did just that and caught up with stuff online. I am researching Nickel and how affects the body. I have a Nickel allergy which has been kicking off recently. When I was diagnosed in 2001, there was very little out there,. These days you can find out most things. I have actually joined a Facebook group, who have been helping me out no end. I also now have the Nickel Navigator app on my phone, so I can keep track of how much food I am eating with Nickel in it and what to avoid. So far, so good things are improving.
The title of my rambling is being treated and that was what happened at lunch time. Hubby treated me to a Thai lunch at our favourite Thai restaurant Totally Thai in Warwick. They do a meal deal at lunch time and so we enjoy going there for the wonderful food and service. Being retired means we have more time to eat out, but we do not go over board, because we are living on a tight budget. We are living on hubbies pension, so we do have to watch the purse strings. We do not gamble, smoke or drink loads, so a meal out is our treat.
After such a wonderful lunch, we went for a walk around Warwick and then back home for a coffee and time to put our feet up before dinner time.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday 20 January 2020

Exercise time.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Another nippy, frosty start to the day, this day being Monday. Yes folks the start of another week. Jack Frost delivered another frost and temperatures not to -3.9 c. There is always something so refreshing about having a frost. The air seems cleaner somehow.
My morning got off to the usual start, with a cup of tea and listening to the radio, because we still do not have a TV signal. The news is still full of poor old Meghan and Harry. I listen to the media and realise why Meghan and Harry are doing what they are doing. I do not read newspapers and have not done so for many years, because a lot of what is published is rubbish and that is being kind. The media on the TV are as much to blame for the situation as the press, because they cannot let people live their lives without hounding them. The fact that this couple have chosen to say "enough is enough" has infuriated the media and press, because they will not be able to stalk them to within an inch of their lives. Well done to them for standing their ground and doing what they feel is best for them and their son. I personally wish them all the very best with what ever they go on to do. Just my point of view.
Ok rant over. Once up and about it was time to get my walk in.
With the frosty start, came the sunshine, which although not that warming was still beautiful. Whilst walking, I got chatting to a lady who was off to work. I think we probably put most of the world to right whilst we walked and talked. There is nothing nicer than at least say "Hello" or "Good morning" to people that you meet along the way. We parted at the junction to where she worked and I carried on with my walk. I like to stride out to get my heart working and my lungs heaving.
The local allotments, were looking rather chilly under their carpet of frost. I love the idea of an allotment, where you get to meet others gardening around you and you can share tips and plants.
A freight train rumbled beneath me and the driver gave a toot of his horn. I wondered where he was heading for and what he was carrying. So many things get carried by train these days.
In the distance is the local church peeking through the mist of the frosty morning and I was working up quite a sweat.
I passed by the Master's or Priest's House on the site of the Leper's Hospital. Over the past few weeks, the house has been going through a transformation, with scaffolding going up and a roof, because finally some work is going to be done to save the building before it falls down and is lost to the the country. The remains of a Medieval hospital founded by Roger Earl of Warwick, about the end of the reign of Henry I (1100-1135). Its small endowment was originally intended for the benefit of lepers. Information on wardens and the history of the Hospital exists from 1275. In 1535 it was given to Richard Fisher in exchange for rent and the provision of money and four beds to the poor. Philip and Mary revived the religious character of the foundation. The last known master was appointed in 1557. It is classified by English Heritage as a scheduled monument. We certainly are looking forward to see what work is carried out to save this unique building.
Back home there was so cat ice in the winding hole. The sun had not reached the grass, so it was still thick with frost. Once on board, I re-lit the back cabin stove and stoked up the saloon stove, to keep the boat nice and toasty. I did not do any baking yesterday, so I turned my attention to baking a few muffins to last the week. One of my boat shores once a fortnight over the Winter is to change the disposable nappies I lay under the floor in the back cabin and galley. Why you ask? Well they soak up the condensation that always gathers under the floor through the Winter months. I buy the cheapest nappies, but they do a wonderful job and it means that we are not living with water under our flooring for the whole of the Winter. Another job done, it was time to cook lunch, check the post and natter to other boaters on site. I am not a soap opera lover, but I reckon we could have our very own soap opera in the Arm and it would be a hit, with all that goes on around here.
Monday has been a wonderful day. I will be ending it with my feet up and a coffee in my hand.

Pop back soon xxx

Sunday 19 January 2020

Finally some cold weather.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Wooo hoooo woke up on Saturday morning and we had a full-blown frost. The temperature had been down to -3 c over night and Jack Frost had left his calling card. It is so wonderful to have some proper cold weather after all the mild temperatures we have had. The birds were all waiting for their breakfast, even Mr Robin was waiting on his usual post, tweeting away as if saying "Good Morning, please feed me". Who am I to ignore a tweet for food. I also fed my our Bank Voles, who were in silent slumber in the wood pile. They did not get up till gone 10 am, by which time Mr Robin, the Blue Tits, Wood Pigeon and other birds had had their breakfast and were going about their daily mooching. We had have issues with the Wood Pigeons and Magpie eating all the food, so I came up with a cunning plan to help the smaller birds get enough food. I have put some large hole Chicken wire around the feeding area of the table, which means the Wood Pigeon and the Magpies cannot nick all the food. This completely confused the Wood Pigeons, and they still have not worked it out. I am hoping that his allows our smaller birds get to enjoy more of the food from now on.
After the frost had lifted and it was warmer out, we finished off some more of the pontoon with the smaller hole Chicken wire. We have not got enough to do the whole thing, but what is fine, because a bench covers some of it and pallets for the coal covers the rest. I am so pleased to have got this job done and hope that there will be no more slipping over on my part, because my hip is still sore.

With all jobs for the day done, it was time to put feet up and watch the afternoon movies, with a coffee in hand. Of course being someone who can multi task, I was also on line chatting to one of my girls and then playing Candy Crush.
Sunday morning dawned with another frost. The temperature got down to -4.5 c over night, leaving us with another heavy frost. Before crawling out of bed for the day, I made us a cuppa and crept back beneath the duvet. For some reason this past few days we have had no TV signal, so we have been listening to the radio instead. Once up and about, I re-lit the back cabin stove again and made up the saloon stove. After breakfast, I put some food out for our garden visitors, who were all waiting for me to put some seed out, when I say all the Bank Voles were still in bed.
Mr Robin with his shiny Orange breast, was very chirpy as I put some meal worms on the bird table. I would like to think he was saying "Thank you" for the food I was about to give him.
About 9.40 am the first Bank Vole appeared, grabbing a peanut for its breakfast. It did not take long for their food to go. I think they must have a food store in the log pile somewhere and a nice snuggly bed. Ok I know I am being a little romantic with my love of the dear little Bank Voles, but they are so very sweet. I have a friend Joanna in Canada who writes books about mice and the fun they get up to.
I rather like to think that my Bank Voles would be getting up to just as much fun.
After lunch, it was time to stoke the fires, wash up and get a few jobs done. Sunday as you know is my day of doing very little, but boat chores always have to be done, otherwise we would not function.
As the morning wore into the afternoon, the frost and the clear sky dwindled and it was replaced by fog rolling along the canal. We are expected to get another frost tonight. TV went on and I sat down to watch 'Meet Joe Black' another of my favourite films. I am not one for horror films. Give me romance and flowers any day, along with westerns. I am a John Wayne fan, I love his movies, especially the cowboy ones. I think we all have our favoured actors, actresses and directors.
Here we are almost at the beginning of another week as we hurtle towards the end of January and the UK leaving Europe on the 31st of January. I know, I know I do not do politics on my blog, but it is most definitely going to be a defining day in the countries history, whether it be good or bad. We will all just have to wait and see.

Pop back soon xx

Friday 17 January 2020

The weekend is almost here.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Where did the week go?
We are well over half way through January and I am already wondering just where Christmas went, it seems such a long time ago now. I always remember my Nan telling me that the older you get, the quicker the years fly by. As a child you think, don't be daft. But it is oh so true, the years are flying by. This week has been a whirlwind week, and yet nothing mega has happened really.
The weekend is almost here and I have not a clue as to what I am going to be doing. I think it may include watching films though.
Remember this little chap, I spoke about on Wednesday, well this morning I held out my hand with some meal worms in it and he was so tempted to come and sit on my hand to get his breakfast. I am going to keep working at it and who knows I may get photographic proof of it. I sent the hubby off to Tesco this morning to spend some money we were given as a gift at Christmas. We decided to spend the £10 on a Chinese ready meal box and extras. Why you ask? Well Tesco is doing a deal on a meal for two in a box for £5, where as Sainsbury's is £8, so a no brainer that the other half should get on his bike and cycle to Leamington-Spa. Of course he could of just caught the bus with his bus pass, but I think he required the exercise. Any way he arrived back with a back pack of goodies which will do us for a couple of meals. My Friday has so far included doing a laundry wash, sending hubby off on his bike and me comforting a lady by our pontoon.
I had come back from the laundry room and was just about to empty the ash pan contents into the metal bucket, when I saw this woman standing at the stern of our boat near our pontoon, she began walking towards me and said "I hope you do not mind I have put some flowers in the water". I told her it was absolutely fine. Through floods of tears she went on to tell me it was for some one who was being cremated as we were talking. I gave her a huge hug and asked why she felt she could not be there ( I think family issues). It turned out she had only heard about the cremation at midnight and as it was up country she could not get there in time. I hugged her even tighter, at this point because otherwise I was going to cry. She said that leaving the flowers by our boat felt like the right place after she saw the glass hearts hanging in our trees. She said "It felt like a sign". Oh my word, somethings really touch the heart. I invited her in for a cuppa, but she wanted to be on her way, but thanked me for my kindness. It made me realise how special life is and how we should hug those we love, because one day we will leave them or they will leave us. I just hope she is alright and that she will find peace, because that is all any of us truly want in our lives.
With the feast of food delivered by bike by hubby, it was then time to fire up the oven and decide what we would be having for lunch. I went with the spare ribs, chicken chow mein, with nibbles. It was indeed a real feast all paid for by a dear friend and we will do it all over again tomorrow, because there is enough for two days.
The forecasters had said we would be getting sunshine today, they said nothing about rain, but yes it rained. The garden is so sodden, I cannot get out on it and I have outside jobs which need doing. But until it dries up a bit all those will have to wait.
As the day has worn on the sun really did not come out that much, so no gardening for me today. It has been an indoor day, so I got on with crocheting and tidying the boat. Even though there is only two of us now on the boat, it still gets dusty and untidy and I cannot abide clutter. When you only have such a small living space, you have to be tidy. I do need to de-clutter a bit, but that can wait for warmer weather, because I need to get into my end of the hold, where my shop will be built. As we have a fire in, we have coal in there and that needs to be gone before I can start to strip things down. I am very much looking forward to getting my shop up and running. Then I can get more stock ordered.
Yesterday I was playing around with some of my photographs and the photograph above came out like this.
I do sell my photography on Redbubble.

Well that is enough rambling on for one day and I have battered your ears enough. Have a fabulous weekend.

Pop back soon xx

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Stormy old time.

Dear family friends and followers.

I hope this rambling finds you all keeping well and if you are poorly may it brighten your day.
Today has been more like April with sunshine and showers.
This is a view from our engine room doors, showing how moody the sky was at times, then all of a sudden it would chuck it down with rain. If I was one for being outside this afternoon, I would have been in out, in out and shook it all about, as it was I did my walking this morning when it was dry although cloudy. At least we have gotten rid of storm Brendan who did his best to have us rocking and rolling. The only thing we did notice was the rain and our wind chimes doing a merry dance. I actually took them down and put them away, so they did not get broken and the noise did not keep us awake or our neighbours. I think we can probably say that this Winter has been extremely wet, in fact I am trying to think of a wetter one and I cannot. If only we could send our water down to Australia, where they are desperate for some substantial rain.
After a lovely walk this morning, it was back to the boat to sort the stove out and to empty the ash pan. I then fed the wildlife which visits our garden on a regular basis.
The Bank Voles always get fed first, but they always seem to be the last up to eat. I reckon they are snoozing and are only woken by the smell of food for free.
Mr Robin comes and visits everyday. Of course I cannot be sure it is the same one, but he is very friendly. I am hoping to get him eating out of my hand at some point. He loves the meal worms I put out for him.
The Blue Tits then caught wind of the fact that there was free food available, so they came in their numbers to enjoy breakfast, before the hungry Wood Pigeon came and took most of the food.
Now I am a lover of all wildlife, but the Wood Pigeon and the Magpie always bully the other smaller birds off of the food, so I am going to have to take action. I am going to put some wire around the table which only the smaller birds can get through. I am hoping that this will stop the larger birds nicking all the food so quickly.
Whilst photographing the birds, my attention was drawn to the Squirrel on the opposite bank, who was tucking into an old loaf of bread left out by a fellow moorer.
I learnt something new this morning, because I have never seen Squirrels eat bread. This Squirrel certainly enjoyed tucking in and was not a bit bothered by me watching or photographing it. Not sure if the moldy bits are going to be very good for its health though :-(.
Wildlife fed and sorted, it was time for coffee and a catch up with e-mails and Facebook. I am very fortunate to have many wonderful friends on Facebook, but I do wonder why people send me friend requests that I have never heard of and they do not seem to have any of the same friends I have. The one thing I do is bin them. I will not add people I do not know unless they tell me where they met me or which friends we have in common. I am well aware there are lots of scams going on out there and so it is not worth taking any risks. I can actually say that all the friends I have, I have actually met at one time or another. I am in fact hoping to meet up with some of them this year when we go cruising, whenever that will be, because until I get my hospital appointment, we cannot make any firm plans. Hey ho that is life. I am quite sure if we do not go cruising as early as we usually do, we will find lots to do, like my on board shop, which we have been planning for a couple of years. Watch this space to see what happens.
I am back to my crocheting and have been given some lovely donated wool by friends, which has kind of kick started my crocheting habit again. I had a break over Christmas and the New year and then found it hard to get going, but I am back on the case.

Yesterday I had to go and have my eyes tested as it had been 2 years since my last test. I have reading and long distance glasses these days, so it is never a cheap affair and yesterday proved to be the case again, as I needed both sets replacing. It has made a huge difference to me though, because for years I have struggled with things blurring together and odd things happening like me walking left (I kid you not). I finally found an optician who knew exactly what one of my issues was and has put it right. I need reading glasses anyway, but they also needed a prism in my right lens and this has changed my life. I now have one in my long distance glasses as well, so I no longer walk left. You can only imagine how dangerous it was when walking along the towpath or pavement :-). So after having had all my measurements done, it was confirmed new glasses required. As we paid over the money, I gave a sharp intake of breath. The saving grace was my second pair were half price, but needless to say it still emptied the bank balance yet again, which has meant January has been very expensive on way or another.

As Wednesday draws to a close. I am thankful that I have my health (pretty much) and the love of a good man and my immediate family, because we have friends going through so much at the moment, what with life limiting illness and family bereavement. It puts our own lives into perspective and makes me especially realise how lucky I am.

Hug the ones you love, because tomorrow is not certain.

Pop back soon xx

Monday 13 January 2020

Winter... What Winter?

Hello family, friends and followers.

The title of this rambling kind of say's it all for us in the UK. Winter, what Winter. We are into January and it is so incredibly mild for the time of year.
Already the bulbs are coming up and their are buds on the bushes in our garden.
Even our Heather's are in flower.
Even the Heather's we moved in October are in flower. The only problem is, if we get a cold snap the flowers and bulbs will be in for shock. The only weather on the horizon for us is a storm named Brendan, which is supposed to hit us overnight and into tomorrow. There maybe some rocking and rolling going on tonight, so I will make sure everything is tied down.
This morning we were awake with the Larks, because we were getting a new set of Five batteries. Our old batteries are over six years old and are pretty much dead. We ordered the batteries just before Christmas from Warwick Batteries, which is just across the road from us. Up and dressed, we stripped the flooring out of the back cabin and took up the flooring. We turned off all the electrics to the boat and undid all the batteries. Keith then passed them to me out through the back cabin doors and I lifted them onto the pontoon and lined them up for removal.
Having stripped out all of the old batteries, we then put them in the wheelbarrow two at a time and wheeled them to the steps where we carried them to where they were being picked up. Keith then phoned the battery company, they delivered our new batteries and took away our old ones.
By the time we had reconnected the batteries back up and turned everything back on we have whiled away 2 hours. Jobs a goodun though and we should be alright for at least another six years all being well.
Living on a boat, means these jobs have to be done and it pays for you to be able to do it yourself, otherwise you also have to pay for someone to do it for you. yes we paid for the batteries, but the time was our own.

Pop back soon xx


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