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!
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Not such a noisy start to the day, but the roadwork was still going ahead. Up and about, today was all about getting our food deliveries. We had a meat delivery coming from The Meat Room and a fruit, veg, bread and milk delivery from a local pub The Four Penny Pub coming.
The sun was out and above the roadworks, the birds were singing. I decided that today was the day to start the weeding.
Come midday, we were just sat down tucking into our lunch, when our site manager rang to say there was a parcel being delivered for me at the gate and so I had to drop lunch (not literally) and run out to the car park, where The Meat Room delivery van had just pulled up with my order. Order handed over and many thanks exchanged, I did ask why he had not rung my phone number, because the site manager is not on site. His answer was " They did not put your number on the bag". I had given them my phone number three times, with strict instructions to ring me. Anyway no harm done, apart from ringing the site manager at home. I guess we have to give them a bit of slack, because they had 270 deliveries to make today. Back onboard I got all the meat wrapped and put into the small freezer we have onboard. I have a feeling the freezer is going to come in handy. Lunch finished, it was time to think about doing something else and that was crocheting blankets for the Collies at The Border Collie Trust GB.
Whilst crocheting, I got a call to say our fruit and veg order was 10 minutes away. I put down the crochet and headed out to the car park to await our delivery. For any deliveries we have to unlock the gate and then lock it once the delivery has been made, so that we keep the general public out.
1 Lemon and Lime. (cakes to bake)
2 Baking Potatoes.
Small bag of new potatoes.
2 large Onions.
This will last us a few days at least, along with the meat delivery.
Crocheting put on hold, I took a trip to the on site laundry to get a large wash done. I can wash the smaller things onboard, but our small washer does not like the towels, bedding and heavier clothing.
It has been a good day in so many ways today.
To finish with I copied this from a friends Facebook page and it kind of say's it all.
Just imagine when all this is over, imagine the day when Boris Johnson comes on TV and says 'lockdown is over, its lifted, as a nation we've done it.'
Imagine the British public running outside their houses, hugging each other. Imagine ringing your nan & saying 'Pop kettle on, I'm on my way.'
Imagine been able to see your family face to face rather than through a window or a face time call.
Imagine going into the pub and; grabbing a pint... Sitting in the beer garden taking in the rays (or the rain, cause sods law it'll rain)
Imagine walking into supermarket and; been able to buy toilet roll, pasta and; all other life's essentials that we always took for granted.
Imagine driving down the road and; being able to pull in at Maccy D's for your Big Mac fix. Or going to your favourite restaurant.
Imagine going to the cinema and out for food on date night.
Imagine all the street parties, the first day of doing what you want.
Cause it might be awful right now, but if there's anything that will get us all through... It'll be how we will all feel when it's all over ❤️
And I cannot wait for this day!, its only been a week and I miss my family, friends so much ❤
Pop back soon xxx
Monday, 30 March 2020
Here we are into a new week and we are all probably going a little stir crazy being in lock down, but remember if we all stay within the confines of out own houses and gardens we can make a huge difference. I know there are still those who are flouting the guidance, because they think it does not apply to them. I would ask them to really think about whether your trip is necessary.
We woke up this morning to the sound of lorries and diggers. I kid you not. There is a big road work program going on outside of the Arm and up towards Stank's Island. They are doing huge road improvements and because of the roads now being so quiet, because most people are staying at home, it for them is a good time to get on with the job, because they were getting behind the schedule. Now we are told that they are observing the government guidelines to keep each other safe, so we did not hear birdsong this morning, it was replaced by the sound of digging and lorries. Just hoping none of the workmen get this virus or give it to anyone.
Watching the news over our first cuppa of the day and yes of course it is all about the virus at the moment. The BBC breakfast gang are social distancing on the couch, which is quite surreal and there are no guests in the studio, everything is being done online.
How on earth did we ever manage without the internet?
Just think we would not know half of what we know now if it were not for the internet. For many at the moment the internet is their lifeline to keeping in touch with family and friends across the world with Skype etc. We are certainly making good use of it and of course it means I can still ramble on my blog. It has certainly made me think about how they ever coped during the wars. Of course there is always a dark side to everything and there are those taking advantage of people on the net, as there are a lot of Coronavirus scams going on. Please be careful out there.
Whilst the other half did his morning exercises, I went and changed the water for the birds to bath in and drink. It was actually quite nice out, with the sun popping in and out. Gardening was definitely on my to do list for the day, but first job was to give the boat a wash down, because I never got the chance to do it on the day we arrived home. I am not one who likes it all nice and shiny, but I do like it clean. The paintwork is over 12 years old and still going strong. Hopefully I can keep it going for another few years, before we need to get her repainted.
As you know gardening was on my list and that is was exactly where it stayed, because it decided to rain after lunch, so no gardening for me today. There is a plus side, I will be able to get out and do it tomorrow weather permitting.
The blessing with being back on our mooring at this time of the year is, I get to see what is growing in our new garden and I will see what survived the move from our old garden. At the moment, I have only spotted a couple of plants which I think may have gone to the garden in the sky. Some of the bulbs which were planted by the previous moorer are not flowering, so I will be digging those up and replacing them with new bulbs in the Autumn. That is another job which will be keeping me busy.
As the weather warms up, I am very much looking forward to sitting outside and enjoying the garden. Just wondering if the road noise will still be as loud as it is today? I am guessing because we have had peace and quiet for a few days, it now seems so loud outside.
May you all be keeping yourselves safe and well.
Pop back soon xxx
Sunday, 29 March 2020
Have you noticed how quiet it is of a morning?
Having put the clock forward, we woke up at 7 am (was 6 am). We heard the first plane for days, but no traffic on the road what so ever. Then the Magpie decided to have a chat from the tree above our back cabin. The Robin and Wren joined in with the chorus and then a Wood Pigeon thought it would be nice to end the song with a Coo. With everything going on and no traffic, the sound of birdsong is absolutely wonderful. I was wondering if they are having to sing so loudly now they must know there is no other noise for them to fight against?
We sat in bed with our cuppa, watching the news and hearing what is happening around the world, with the USA the most infected country, although we do not seem to be hearing much about China anymore, so who really knows.
Up and about, with the bed rolled away and the cupboard door shut on it for the day. It was time to think about daily chores and what I could occupy my day with. I fed the birds and the Bank Voles, who are still living in our wood pile. I know this because the food disappears very quickly. They are probably so relieved to have us back, so they get their food treats. I will try and photograph them over the coming days. Having fed the birds and the Bank Voles, it was time to feed ourselves. We only had cereal this morning, with milk of course. I do not know about you, but we have found ourselves eating less since the Coronavirus kicked off?
Talking about food. I finally managed to get a delivery slot for a food delivery. It is not until the 9th April, so we will manage until then, with bread and milk coming on Tuesday with meat and vegetables. The 9th April delivery will be for tea, coffee, butter, cheese and things we most definitely need. There is no bulk buying because you are limited to how much you can purchase, which is absolutely right under the circumstances. There is not even toilet rolls on the list, because we have enough for the time being. I am kind of hoping people will get the message not to bulk buy or stock pile and things will even themselves out for everyone out there who is struggling.
After lunch and yet another coffee, I nodded off. Yes I actually feel asleep in my chair, which is totally unheard of for me. I think those three and a half days getting home finally caught up with me. Feet up, I sat and watched 'The Glenn Miller Story'. I love that film and it is perfect for a Sunday afternoon watch.
The sun has been shining today, but there has been a bloomin cold wind. I know the wind had a bite to it, because I had a quick stroll around our end of the Arm. We all need to exercise, preferably close to home, otherwise we are going to end up overweight and couch potatoes. I will do a short stroll each day and some other exercise. I am hoping to do some weeding as well, but not when it is blowing a hooley and cold.
Sunday on a whole was a lovely day of doing the bare minimum. Monday will see me up my game and I will be getting on with jobs, because it will be so easy to be a couch potato and that is not me at all. So I will see you on Monday all being well.
Pop back soon xxx
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Here we are day 2 of what was going to be self-isolating, but having spoken to our site manager this morning, we can move around the site, which is locked to the public and is shut to boats and boaters unless they moor with us. The main thing we wanted was our post from the post room, which we have been allowed to get. Because the site is on lock down, the postie cannot come in, but our amazing site manager is collecting the post from the sorting office twice a week. Now whilst we have been told we do not have to self-isolate, we will be making sure we keep our distance from other moorer's in the Arm, which is not difficult because we are an end mooring. None of the other boaters here have any symptoms, but I for one want to be careful because we do have elderly and those with suppressed immune systems. We have moorer's who have come back from Spain and Egypt and they are all fine, but even so I am cautious. I will be out doing our garden, so be prepared for lots of gardening posts. But today I am still in recovery mode from our dash home to our mooring.
This morning we were awake early listening to the sound of a Wren warbling away and a Robin joining in. There was no traffic sound at all, which was wonderful. Whilst we do not want Coronavirus or anyone to die, this lock down will be doing wonders for getting the pollution down to a minimum. With every minus comes a plus they say. Wildlife will be walking across roads safely and wondering where all the traffic has gone :-). I made us a cuppa and yes we did as usual when we are on the mooring watch the morning news. Of course it is all about the virus at the moment and to be honest it is depressing news when you hear about all the deaths across the world. So many families losing loved ones. It is all so tragic.
Up and about, I got on with using the other half of the mince I cooked off yesterday with the last of the Carrots and Mushrooms. I added some tomatoes and made a stock. Today's lunch will be a cottage pie, which will do use for two days.
Talking about food. There is a definite issue with getting a food delivery from any of the supermarkets, so I have been shopping local whilst getting home. We used small shops. Now we are home, I am going to do the same. Our local butcher does deliveries and we can order online, so I have placed an order for next week. Also a local pub is delivering fresh fruit and veg, plus bread and milk and I am going to try and get an order placed for that as well. Yes we will pay a little more, but it keeps local businesses going and they deliver, so no need for us to leave the security of our mooring. Deliveries will be placed at the gate, and we can then collect them. We will see how this works and I will of course post the results. We have a freezer, so we can freeze it until required. I am not bulk buying, I am getting just what we need for a week or two. Shop local if you can because it may just save a business.
Shopping update: We have a fruit, veg, bread and milk order coming :-). A lovely lady rang me and sorted it all out. If this works well we will keep it up. Of course we will still have to find away to get things like tea, coffee, cereals etc, but hey one step at a time. I will keep trying to get a supermarket order in, but I am less worried now.
The afternoon was spent watching 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves' with my feet up. I could of gone out and done some weeding, but to be honest I could not be fagged. The news that over 1000 people have now died in the UK from the virus, is so upsetting. My heart goes out to all their families and friends at this incredibly difficult time. Even those who have underlying health issues, it is to early to die. I will say this again as I did yesterday PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO AS YOU ARE ASKED by Boris Johnson, because this is the only way we will get through this crisis and it is a crisis. We all now know that even Boris is not immune from getting it, so look after yourself and your family, by doing what is right.
Pop back soon xx
Friday, 27 March 2020
Here we are Day 1 of self-isolating. You may ask why we are bothering to self-isolate when we are on a secure mooring at the end of an arm. We took the decision to self-isolate because in the Arm we have elderly and poorly people living on their boats here. We are both 100% sure we are not carrying anything nasty, but to be certain we want to make doubly sure for the peace of mind of others. We will sit out on our pontoon and potter, but for us it is the right thing too do. Once we have done our self-isolating, we will then wander around the Arms grounds. I am not actually sure I want to venture out of the Arm even for shopping when the time comes. We do have a Sainsbury just a five minute walk up the road, but there will no doubt be queue's and that I am not going to inflict on myself. At the moment we have enough supplies to last the 14 days and a friend who has had the virus has offered to get us supplies, as she is now immune. But we will see what happens as the day's go by.
This morning we had a nice leisurely wake up, with a cup of tea in bed, and the TV on for the news. My legs are certainly telling me to do very little today. Having crept out of bed gingerly, I stoked up the fire and turned my attention to food. I decided to batch cook some mince beef out of the freezer. First of the batch meals is a Madras Curry, which will do us at least two days. I have some Naan bread in the freezer plus Onion Bhaji's and Samosa's in the freezer as well, plus plenty of rice. The rest of the mince will probably make a cottage pie and a pie, but we will see. We are a little low on vegetables, so I may need to use the frozen vegetables for a while. I am all about making use of everything I have available.
It has been another glorious day, with wall to wall sunshine. I did venture out to sweep the chimney and get rid of rubbish, but today was all about relaxing. I may feel more up to doing more tomorrow. I have realized my knees are not as young as they used to be and so need some TLC for a day or two.
This virus has made me realize that life is cheap and then some. It does not care if you have wealth, housing, fancy clothing or the latest car. It is impacting on everyone's lives, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do as you are asked by Boris Johnson. Not even he is immune we now know. Stay at home and look after your loved ones. Potter around the garden and do the jobs you have been putting off, but do not pack a picnic and think you can go off trekking because your life is worth so much more. There will always be time for fun when this is all over and it will be over. The more we do as we are asked the quicker this will go away.
Pop back soon xx
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Travelled 2.9 miles. Worked 21 locks in a time of 4 hours 10 minutes.
It was a very frosty start for us this morning.
It is now time to self isolate and relax.
Pop back soon xx
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
After a very quiet night in Birmingham and a really goodnight's sleep, we woke up early to silence, which is unheard of in Birmingham. I got up and made us a cuppa and we sat listening to the latest virus news. None of it is ever good news at the moment sadly, but if we all do our bit, we will come out the other side. Yesterday we learnt that two of our friends have been battling with the Coronavirus. Both have are getting better, but they were both very poorly. Then today one of my Facebook friends, sent me a message to say that she and her husband have also both been going through it. They have had a mild version of it and caught it off their son. Boaters are NOT immune to this virus, even if you may think you are.
Anyway, having sorted ourselves out, we set off at 7.35 am and headed out of Birmingham, which was eerily quiet.
On a plus side though, lots of folk are staying home and working in their gardens. We have had lots of children waving to us from their houses and gardens, which always makes me smile and yes we always wave back. It is so easy to be down at the moment, but there is always a plus to every minus.
Pop back soon xxx
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
After what was a very restless night for me (worried), we woke before 5 am and I made us a cuppa. Listening to the news again this morning after Boris Johnson gave us his talk last night, it is clear to us that we are so doing the right thing by going home.
6 am the alarm went off, which meant it was up and at them. Early breakfast and boat chores. We set off at 6.55 am and headed for Autherley Junction and then Wolverhampton 21. My hope was that we would not meet any one hanging around the locks, because I honestly was feeling I would lose my rag with them. It actually turned out we met a boat coming out of our first lock of the day. They had come down the flight yesterday, moored up three locks from the bottom over night. On hearing Boris, they decided to wind and head back to Alvechurch. They very kindly allowed us to go ahead of them whilst they winded. As we worked our way up the flight, I set the lock for them to come up behind us (observing the 2 metre social distancing). It all worked really well, albeit a lot slower than we would usually be. We did meet people walking, cycling and running, but I was thankful they kept their distance. We did meet a CRT man checking the water levels and he was saying that CRT are working on a skeleton staff now and are only doing water checks and emergencies. He also told me about what happened to his wife yesterday. She works for ASDA and yesterday she had to help stop someone from taking more than they needed out of the store. The man coughed in her face and told her that he hoped she dies. What the hell is wrong with people? Anyway she is handing in her notice, because the CRT man said we do not need that sort of behaviour or the extra money. I feel so sad that mankind can be so awful at times.
We stopped at Neptune's Wharf in Tipton to get some supplies, using two small shops, which had everything we needed. I am really trying to keep away from supermarkets, whilst people are being so ridiculous. Having got our supplies we then headed towards Birmingham. I really think that people did not listen to Boris last night and understand how bad this is getting and will continue to get, because every man, woman and dog were out today either walking, cycling or running. At Brades Locks there were even people drinking beer and soaking up the sunshine. Please, please, please stay at home and listen to what you are being told.
We are moored in Birmingham and will make another run for home tomorrow.
Pop back soon xxx
Monday, 23 March 2020
This morning, we sat in bed this morning drinking our tea and listening to the news on the radio. There was an overwhelming need to go home, because we feared an impending lock down coming. Having discussed it, we decided that we would wind the boat and make for home.
When we came out on the 6th March, none of this was looking likely, but as we all know people have not been getting the message about social distancing or self isolating and this has been causing major problems all over the country. I had this feeling of foreboding this morning when I woke up which made me aware that we should go home. Only this morning I read a friends Facebook post on how they had issues at locks because of crowds of people standing watching, none of them social distancing and when she asked them to do so they got aggressive. I really wonder what the mentality is of people who would put their day out before their health and the health of their families?
On our long day today, we met a heavily pregnant woman, her three other children and partner walking the towpath with others passing them by closely. I felt like screaming. it makes me so angry and sad that people fail to listen and this will end in a lock down.
I know some may say we are panicking. Well the way I felt this morning, I was panicking because I can see what is coming. It is a shame that we must head home, but we will be able to sit on our mooring, connected to the electric and we will have plenty to do once we have done our self isolation.
Please, please stay safe out there and stay well.
Judith sorry we could not stop for a chat, we wanted to get as far as we could. You both stay safe and well xxx
Pop back soon xxx
Sunday, 22 March 2020
My Mother's Day has been a blessed one with lovely messages from afar from my girls. It is not how we imagined our first Mother's Day together in many many years, but it does not matter, because just having them in my life is all that matters. We can celebrate at a later date, when the Coronavirus has gone away and we can arrange a time to be together. My story is a long and at times a painful one, but having my girls back in my life along with their partners and my grandchildren is all that matters now. I have those people in my life that really matter, especially when we are going through this medical crisis. So remember to love those who love you back and when you can, hug them tight.
This morning dawned with lots of wonderful birdsong and the sound of a Moorhen clearly not happy with the world. Being awake meant time for the first brew of the day. I am trying to make sure we use as little milk as possible until I can buy some more hopefully tomorrow. So breakfast once we were up was Porridge made with water, which I normally do anyway.
Back on the boat, I started to put together the Lasagna I had begun cooking yesterday.
Tomorrow we will be on the move again all being well.
Pop back soon xx
Saturday, 21 March 2020
Being the weekend, we are staying put in the middle of nowhere, with just the birds and other animals to keep us company. Actually that is not strictly true. There is a house just along the cut a bit, but it is so very quiet here. We have had four boats go past and one cyclist today. This is self isolating with a view.
Last night as I lay in bed, I realized there was not a sound outside. There was no cars, no planes, no bird song, absolutely nothing. The stars were shining brightly though.
This morning, I woke to the sound of a Woodpecker knocking seven bells out of a tree not to far from us. There was also the sound of the birds singing in a new day.
Before breakfast, I took myself off for a walk down the locks.
Pop back soon xx
Friday, 20 March 2020
Travelled 6.7 miles, worked 5 locks, in a time of 2hrs 40mins.
We woke to sunshine pouring through the pigeon box port holes this morning. It was so nice to feel the warmth of the sun after the weather of late.
I sincerely hope that you as my readers and followers are keeping well and safe. If you are self isolating and want a natter, please do leave me a message and I will answer when I can :-). We are both keeping fine. Boating in the middle of now where is probably the best place to be right now.
Pop back soon xx