Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.
I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Before I go off on a ramble, I said I would give you my thoughts on Conan the Barbarian which we watched Thursday night. It starred Jason Mamoa from Game of Thrones, Aqua Man et cetera. Now as I said Jason Mamoa is very pleasing on the eye and that still stands in this film. The film from 2011 has a lot of violence and bloody scenes in it, which I am not usually that good with unless they are in context with the film as in this case. Yes some of it was a bit over the top, but on the whole very good. Conan (Jason Mamoa) was left without family and his tribe when they were all killed by warlord Khalar Zym and his tribe. He was after the last piece of the Mask of Acheron which had been broken up and scattered to keep it from causing harm. If Khalar Zym had gotten hold of the last piece of the mask and put it back together he would have the power to rule the world. Conan was seeking revenge for the death of his father and tribe and therefore to stop the mask being found. In all of this Khalar Zym was searching for the pure-blood of Acheron, which would activate the mask for evil. The mask was put back together, but of course Conan saves the pure-blood Tamara and defeats Khalar Zym in the end destroying the mask in the process. It was so much better than the Arnie film and was definitely more believable. I will say I did enjoy it, but could of done with less violence and blood, but that is just me.
Once we had consumed our morning cuppa and watched the morning news, which at the moment is full of the flooding and coronavirus or Covid19 as they are calling it now, which is spreading across the world, we decided it was time to fold the bed away and to get on with the day. I began with putting the feeder out for the birds. There was no sign of Bob the Robin. I reckon he was sheltering out of the rain somewhere. The next thing to be done was getting a laundry wash done. We are lucky to have our laundry room in the Arm. I like to sit and wait for the laundry to finish, it gives me some me time and a time to think and contemplate. I always find things to wash when it gets close to leaving time. I like to get all the big things done in the laundry, because we only have a 3.5 kg washing machine on board. Today I got the towels done and some of the heavier items. This is another consideration when cruising. I tend not to wear jeans when we are out cruising, because to wash them in the machine, they are quite heavy. So I will either hand wash them or wear lighter trousers. This year I acquired a couple of pairs of denim dungarees, which will be to heavy to wash when out cruising, so they will be going into the storage box until we get back. Laundry done and hung up to dry, there was a definite chill in the back cabin, so I decided to relight the stove to keep the damp air away. Living on a boat, it can sometimes feel damp in the air inside the boat and so the lighting of a stove can make all the difference. It does not take long to warm the cabin and we are soon feeling snug again. The bilge nappies got changed, taking any water away which can also cause it to feel damp. I do not use expensive nappies. At the moment I am using Aldi newborn size nappies. Time for a coffee and a catch-up with e-mails and social media and family.
Lunchtime, and it was still pouring with rain. We were waiting for an Amazon delivery. Two cans of Oil were due to arrive between 12.30 and 2.30 pm. This oil is for the engine oil change we will have to do when we are out cruising. We still have the oil for the generator to arrive, that is coming from someone else. During the afternoon, I had hoped to go shopping for further items we need before we head off, but with the lashing rain I decided it was not worth getting soaked for, so that will have to wait for another day.
That another day came today (Saturday). We had a wakeful Friday night. At 4 am Saturday morning we were sat in bed having a cuppa whilst watching the International news and listening to the wind and rain. I had been tossing and turning on and off, but was happily sleeping when I felt Keith get up and open the back cabin doors. I turned on the light to find out what on earth he was doing. Apparently he heard creaking outside. It was the boat creaking on the mooring in the wind. So now we were both awake and the only thing for it was to have a cuppa. We did settle back down under the duvet and woke at 7.30 am and another cuppa was enjoyed.
Plan for the morning was for Keith to walk to the post office sorting office to pick up his parcel and for me to walk down to Torry's our local DIY shop, where you can buy a nail, screw of something bigger. It is a brilliant little store. We had ordered some stove blacking. I set off after Keith had left and made it to the racecourse, when the rain began to fall slowly to begin with, but then it got heavier and was accompanied by strong gusts of wind. Before I made it to Torry's I was soaked. As I walked through the door of the shop my glasses steamed up so I could not see a flippen thing. I asked about the stove blacking and was given a tiny 100ml can of the paint, which was nowhere near big enough, so I decided to leave it. I did however come away with some black sealant, which I could not get in leamington-Spa, so it was not a completely waited trip. I then walked up into town and down to Sainsbury's to pick up a few items we wanted before we head off up the cut. These are things we cannot get in Aldi, such as shredless Marmalade, because I do not like the peel in the ordinary Marmalade. By the time I got back to the boat, I felt a bit like a drowned rat, but it was lovely and toasty in the boat, which meant it did not take me long to dry out. Keith had come back with his parcel wet through, so we looked a right pair.
Having cooked and enjoyed lunch. I baked some Lemon Drizzle Muffins for tea and got the washing up done. The rest of my day will be spent watching afternoon movies and waiting to see what Storm Jorge will do.
Pop back soon xxx
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Ok, who forgot us when the snow fell overnight?
We did not see so much as a flake, which has made me very sad. Everyone I have spoken to on facebook, has had at least a dusting of the glorious white stuff and yet we did not see a thing. Diddly squat as far as snow, but we did have yet more rain. Once we were up and about the rain stopped, allowing a bright orange ball to shine. It seems a while since we had any significant sunshine, but today we were blessed with lots of it and when the breeze dropped it felt like Spring had sprung.
I am still in getting ready mode, which meant today's task was to get the hold ready to take on coal. To take on coal, I needed to do some tidying. I took out all the things we would not be needing on our trip and stowed them away else where. I hoovered the hold out and then began to put things in we will be taking with us. The coal will be the last thing to go in. It also gave me an opportunity to get rid of things which have not been used and are never likely to be used again. I always find it so refreshing to throw things away. I even got rid of a couple of old camping chairs. With the hold sorted, I turned my attention to lunch and coffee, which contemplating what my next job would be.
After lunch Keith took himself off to Leamington-Spa to pick up some bits from Halfords. We like to make sure we have plenty of oil for the engine and generator on board because we will need to do an oil change whilst out, he also stocked up with de-ionised water for the batteries, because they will need topping up whilst we are out. Whilst he was out, I went out and did a few bits in the garden.
My afternoon in the garden ended with me filling up the water tank. I will be on dinner duty soon and then it will be feet up for the evening. I know we have on Film4 tonight Conan the Barbarian made in 2011 with Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones fame. He is very pleasant on the eye, so I think we may give that a watch tonight. It has to be better than the one Arnold Schwarzenegger did in 1982. I will let you know what I thought in my next posting.
Yesterday (Wednesday) evening we watched Daddy's Home and Daddy's Home 2 on Film4. Now I was really unsure as to whether I would enjoy either of these films, because normally anything like that is really daft and annoying, but I have to say I did find them both quite funny. Mel Gibson who was in the second film is most definitely looking old these days, or someone did a brilliant make-up job on him. Anyway I did enjoy both films.
Oh joy of joys. We had Ciara and Dennis and now we have Jorge coming for the weekend and no he is not coming on board our boat. It is yet another blooming storm. Geesh we have had more than enough rain. This will make things so much worse for all of those who are dealing with the floods. My heart goes out to anyone who is dealing with being flooded out. There is so much going on all over the world at the moment, what with the Coronovirus, flooding, dust storms, fires, wars and everything else, anyone would think someone hates this planet and is trying to end it. One can only hope that for everyone around the world, things settle down to some sort of normality.
On that thought provoking note, I will sign off for today.
Pop back soon xxx
Sunday, 23 February 2020
It is the Six Nations Rugby again and after losses by Italy and Wales. England would be hoping to beat Ireland. So a must see during Sunday afternoon.
As I was keen to sit and watch the England match. I got all the chores done first thing. I cooked and baked before lunch and made sure I was going to be sat down ready for the match.
2.15 pm and the run up to the England v Ireland match began, so it was time to settle down for the match, which would see England take the lead early doors and play like a team possessed. Ireland really did not get going and were forced into a lot of errors, which meant England came away the victors 24-12. It was a very good performance by England. The Six Nations could be within their grasp. Next up will be Wales. France are leading the table at the moment, so we have to hope that Scotland can beat them in their next match.
After watching the rugby, it was time for dinner and then to settle in for the evening of movies. First up is 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves. We have seen this movie before, but it is definitely worth another watch.
Whilst the weekend has not been wall to wall fun, it has been a good one because of the rugby. We not move into the last week of February and a step closer to us heading off cruising.
Pop back soon xxx
Friday, 21 February 2020
Thursday, 20 February 2020
I do not need to tell you the weather is foul and what devastation it has caused to so many around the UK, you only need to see the news or online footage to know how bad things are in some parts of the UK. Our water level has gone back to normal for now and for that we are thankful, but those who are still injuring flooding and storm damage, my heart goes out too you, because I cannot imagine what you must be going through right now. Of course in all of this turmoil the most important thing is to stay safe and look after ones life. When you see your home and businesses swept away by water, you think about the material things you have lost and wonder how on earth you are going to recover. Most material things can be replaced, whereas human and animal life cannot. I think I would find losing family photographs, precious things the children have made or family heirlooms really difficult to deal with, because you will never get those back. Keeping all precious things up high would always have to be a priority when flooding is possible.
When going through such turmoil, we can all help others who maybe going through worse than ourselves and it is not that we require something in return, it is just an act of kindness which could make that persons day, month or year and actually only costs our time. None of us knows when we may require someone's help.
So as the rain continues to fall, I have been getting on with small jobs on the boat, with the hope that at the beginning of March we will be off cruising. I am already getting items washed, which will be put away until we return to our mooring. I have started to sort through the Winter/Summer box to see if I can send items to the charity shops. The same goes for the boot box. There is absolutely no point in cruising around the country with. excess baggage. Not only that I may well end up purchasing new things whilst we are out and so old and unused things can go now. I will soon be putting the curtains back up in the back cabin and washing the plates around the stove. The cabin will have a Spring cleaned as well. I have spent time wrestling the mattress covers, which all needed washing. We sleep in our back cabin and have the mattress in three parts, so that it can be folded away in the cupboard. Today I washed the third part having wrestled the cover off. The company who made the covers did not leave a lot of wriggle room for getting the covers off and then back on again.
In between the rain, I went out and checked on the garden and gave some of the plants their dose of tea leaves.
Good news today. I spoke to my GP and she is happy for us to go cruising. My blood test results came back and although one of them is still abnormal, it is coming down. It is thought my Liver may have been struggling with a virus and therefore was upset. Anyway Liver function was normal for the second time and I am hoping the gamma side of the test will soon be back within normal range which is 5-50, mine is 64 from 115. Cruising here we come at the beginning of March. I have cancelled the hospital appointment, because there is no point taking up an appointment, that someone else really needs. I will now get into full cruising mode, because there are jobs which need to be done before the off.
Pop back soon xxx
Sunday, 16 February 2020
Before I go on my usual ramble, I wanted to say " No one ever knows what someone is going through in their life, so before you say a nasty word, or do a nasty thing to someone, think".
The news at the moment is full of the death of Caroline Flack. I did not follow her, I did not watch 'Love Island', but for someone so young to take their own life, it has certainly made me stop and think. Everyday out there someone takes their own life needlessly. When you are going through depression, you cannot see a way out of your situation and everything seems to make your life feel so awful. It is not helped when you are being hounded by those who see fit to want to ruin your life. This therefore just makes the depression even worse and for some the only way they can see out of it is to take their own lives. The family and friends are left behind wondering what they could have done to change things and are left picking up the pieces. So please be kind. If you cannot say something nice, then it is better to say nothing at all. My condolences go out to Caroline's family and friends. Both the press and the media how a responsibility to act in a proper manner and we who use social media should do the same. It is making me feel more uneasy being on social media and yet we have so many wonderful friends who use social media and that includes our families. I am finding myself being more choosy about what I read and write and who I allow to read what I post. Which is very sad. We are entitled to an opinion, we are a country of free speech, but not when it is to the detriment to someelses well being. My one hope from this tragic needless death is it changes things. Let her death and that of others like her make a change for the good. I know I maybe hoping beyond hope, but where there is hope there is a chance.
Here we are on Sunday, post Storm Dennis. It was definitely worse than Storm Ciara on the rain front. We had more than enough rain dumped on us overnight.
The water level has dropped through the day, but we are still high out of the water and with more rain forecast, we will probably be going up and down for a while yet.
With the weather being so wet, there was no walking or gardening to be done. Instead I have spent my Sunday watching films and being online catching up with photograph sorting and social media. I am now longing for the day we take off cruising and sunnier days. Come the Summer we maybe praying for rain when we have none, but for now I think we have had enough and my heart goes out to all those who have suffered flooding and damage due to the Storms of the past two weekends. There is someone always worse off than ourselves and that we should all be mindful of.
As the day is moving towards the evening, the sun finally came out and the rain stopped, which is welcome. I am watching 'Dances with Wolves' which is a film I could watch over and over again.
May you hug the ones you love closer than ever and speak a kind word to those in need.
Pop back soon xxx
Friday, 14 February 2020
Friday 14th February a day for lovers all over the world and a day for commercialism to go mad once again. We do not show love for just one day a year. Love is for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year and yet it seems that we spend a fortune on the day. I say we, but we do not. From when we celebrated our first Valentine's Day together, we have never gone overboard. The odd card or gift, but more often than not we will go out for a meal.
Today we went to our favourite Thai for lunch. Again we do not go for a set Valentine's Day menu, we eat what we want too eat. Also eating at lunchtime it means it is quieter. Neither of us are cheapskates, but why go for all the hype.
I guess Valentine's Day hype is really aimed at those who are smitten on someone or those who have just got together, not happily married folk like us :-).
Our day began like most others, sat in bed with a cup of tea and the news on. There is something that annoys me about the news these days and that is the fact that the reports feel the need to use puns to get their point across. There is absolutely no need for it. I want the facts and the truth, not puns. The political reports are the worst. They also like to make mountains out of mole hills, when there is absolutely no need. I wish they would just stick the facts of the story and not put add-on's to help fuel their careers.
All too soon, it was time to roll the bed away and close the door on the bed 'ole. Boat chores were sorted out and then I got on with a laundry wash. The bedding wash is always the largest wash I ever do, but once done it is always hung up in the boat to dry. Stove stoked and ash gotten rid of, it was time for coffee. By the time we got around to heading out it was 11.30 am and I was very much looking forward to lunch in our favourite Thai. Totally Thai does the most beautiful food, which is always cooked to a high standard and the service is excellent. After lunch, we had a walk around the town, hubby got his glasses fixed at Vision Express and I was the last of the big spenders and bought a new loo brush from the Factory Store ( I know how to spend big). The reason for the new brush is because the old one has broken and anyway we could do with a new one. It was a breezy walk back home, it feels like Storm Dennis is brewing up, the temperature had also dropped. We will be battening down the hatches again over the weekend. I have made sure everything is tied down again just in case. We are expecting a lot of rain as well, so we may need to slacken off the ropes as well. Oh the joys of Winter.
It is now time for me to put the kettle on and make a coffee.
Stay safe out there and have a lovely weekend. I will be back rambling after the weekend.
Pop back soon xxx
Thursday, 13 February 2020
Another day closer to going cruising I hope. Being a boater who goes out cruising, I do a lot of walking, whether it be working locks, or just enjoy a good old stroll, so I need walking/hiking shoes which are comfortable and sturdy. Over the years I have tried all sorts of footwear for this task and have had varying degrees of success. My recent footwear however, which I bought from Mountain Warehouse a couple of years ago, was not a success. Although they felt great when I bought them and did so for a few months, they soon lost their waterproofing and became uncomfortable. I had been on the lookout for another pair of walking/hiking shoes which would not break the bank, but nothing was floating my boat (excuse the pun), until I spotted a pair of Peter Snow leather shoes on Ebay.
What are your favourite shoes?
Do you have a favourite maker and colour?
I am a lady who does not do fashion. I only ever buy for comfort. I cannot abide wearing shoes which make my feet hurt or I feel unsafe in. I have never been a fashion ikon. I wear clothes I feel comfortable in as well. I do not have the legs or the body shape to do fashion and anyway fashion and boating do not really go together. I do not even own a pair of high heeled shoes, mainly because I cannot wear them. I think the last time I was wearing anything fashionable was in the 1970's when I had a pair of red and white hot pants and I thought I was the bees knees. There is absolutely no way I would wear anything like that these days, but I am a more mature woman now a days and have more sense. Boating clothing and footwear has to be sensible and useful in all weathers and conditions. Boating clothing is usually bought from charity shops, because it can get ruined and thrown. Shoes and wet weather gear is always bought brand new and has to be fit for purpose.
Pop back soon xxx
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
What a stunner of a day, we have had?
Well when I say we, I mean I have had in the sunshine. It actually felt like Spring had sprung.
We woke up to a bit of a frost, but because I kept a bit of a fire in overnight in the back cabin, we were really snug when we woke up. I made us a cuppa and we sat in bed watching the morning news and weather, which of course was all about the impending new Storm Dennis, which will be with us this coming weekend. Once up and about, I took myself off for an early morning walk in the sunshine, which really made it feel like Spring.
There is something so lovely to stand in your garden and see everything growing. I do so love out little plot, because it is full of life, from the wildlife to the plants coming along in the garden. I am looking forward to sitting out with a coffee and just soaking up the sunshine soon.
The afternoon is now stepping into the early evening and I am about to sign off and go and cook dinner. But before I go. Hold those you love the closest and smile at those who may have done you wrong, because life is oh so short. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring.
Pop back soon xxx
When life throws Lemons at you, make Lemonade.
I do sometimes think it is so easy to take life for granted. It is so easy to always think of ones self, when close by there maybe someone who just needs a shoulder to cry on or a smile to make them smile. I have always tried to treat others the way I would like to be treated myself. So when someone you know and have respected treats you like you never existed it hurts. My attitude now is to walk away from confrontation, because it gets you no where and only pulls you down to the other persons level. The only way to deal with things like this, is to walk away and hold onto your own self-esteem. As far as we know, we only ever get this one life and it is so very short, so live your life to its fullest, love like you have never loved before and be with those who love you in return. Never allow someone into your life, who does not live by your values, because they will undermine your life, it maybe millimeter by millimeter, but it will drain your very soul if you allow it.
Always be respectful of others. Sadly the world seems to be losing its respect for others bit by bit. I think social media and the internet has a lot to do with this and that saddens me. A little respect can go such a long way and can change so many lives, if it is allowed to blossom. Of course it can be so easy to loose respect for someone when they have done you wrong, but you have to see past that and respect yourself, because you are stronger than you think.
Pop back soon xx
Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Storm Ciara left our shores, but it seems she wanted to leave some of us a little extra something. Many of our boating friends have had snow. We however have not seen so much as a flake of the white stuff, this greatly saddens me, I have to say. The wind did get up a little yesterday afternoon and we were washed with yet more rain. The upside of the rain is the canals, rivers and reservoirs are full of water. The downside is it is flooding people out, which is always distressing to see. Mother nature has a way of kicking off in ways we could do without, and there is nothing we can do about it sometimes. Of course there is the thought it is all to do with global warming and therefore if that is the case, we need to do more to change the way we live on this beautiful planet of ours. Whether Storm Ciara was anything to do with global warming we will never truly know.
Have you noticed, how much the evenings are drawing out?
It is so nice to see the lighter evening once again. Spring is on it's way, after what has been an odd Winter in many respects. It has been mild and wet, with the odd storm thrown in for good measure. The garden is really not sure what to make of this odd Winter. Bulbs are ready to show their colours and shrubs are in bud. The birds are singing for longer and longer each day, with the evenings getting longer second by second. I for one am happy to see the lighter evenings. I have never been one for the dark nights. With the lighter evenings and warmer days, we will be off cruising or if home spending time in the garden. We are now expecting Storm Dennis this coming weekend, so it will be a matter of battening down the hatches again :-(. Of course for many including me, storms during this time of the year never had names when I was growing up, it was just known as Winter. But everything seems to have to have a name stamped on it these days.
Anyway, whilst I wait for Spring to appear, my garden is already in Spring mode.
Tuesday has been a day of sunshine, showers and a strong breeze, we even had a couple of snow flurries. Winter seems to be making its presence felt at last. Just hope the garden plants do not go back into hibernation.
The afternoon is drawing towards the evening, it is time for me to stop my rambling and decide what we will be having for our dinner, so I will say "cheerio" and see you again soon.
Pop back soon xxx