*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Monday 9 March 2020

Day 4: Catherine de Barnes to Birmingham Cream Crackered.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Yesterday (Sunday), we decided to stay in Catherine de Barnes. I had had a restless night for some reason, so felt like I had hardly slept. We sat in bed drinking our first cuppa of the day and listened to the radio with all the local news. It seems that Coventry has it first case of the Coronavirus which is very sad and one can only hope that the person makes a full recovery. One of the big stories from this virus, is the fact that people are bulk buying toilet rolls and other items WHY?
The hype and scaremongering surrounding this virus is absolutely ridiculous. As long as you wash your hands and catch sneezes and coughs in a tissue and then throw the tissue away, you will be fine. Most people who catch this virus will have a very mild form of it. The most at rick people are those who have underlying health issues and the very elderly. Another thing that is selling out is the anti-bacterial gel WHY? Use soap and hot water and wash your hands thoroughly. It makes me wonder how people ever managed before anti-bacterial gel was made..... We used soap and hot water.

Ok enough of that. Once up and about, I got on with the usual boat chores, although I did not relight the back cabin stove, because it was warm enough on the boat. I cooked some minced Beef, onions, mushrooms and carrots which made us a nice pie for lunch. I enjoy cooking, but I am not a fancy cook. Good old honest food is what I am in to. The pie would be eaten along with mashed potato, steamed leeks, peas and sprouts. After lunch we went out for a walk, which took in a circular route around the village. It was such a lovely afternoon in the sunshine and so I felt we should not waste it.
Once back on the boat with a coffee in hand. I finished 'The Narrowboat Girls' by Rosie Archer and it is not probably a book I will read again. The reason being although it was a book of fiction. I felt the author could have researched the Idle Women more and the language of the waterways. If you are going to write a book involving the Idle Women, you do need to understand the routes they took more and how the boats worked and the living space. Which I felt the author had not done. But if you come across the book do read it and make up your own mind. I think if I knew nothing about the canals or the working boats, Idle Women and how it all worked I would of believed the book, but sadly I know to much to really have enjoyed the story. Having finished the book I turned my attention to 'The Best Boomerville Hotel' written by Caroline James. It is about a hotel owned by Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo. They have a vision of a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. There are of course shenanigans, dubious characters, love interests and rumpy pumpy and I am already hooked. It has had me giggling. I will keep you updated to what I think of this book, but so far I love it.

So here we are Day Four: Monday.

What a day we have had! It all began so nice. The sun was shining and all was well with our world, until we got to Camp Hill top lock and I found the pound below was empty! 
It took a while to fill it, but once on our way the rest of the locks were fine.
We then got to Ashted bottom lock, the pound above that was empty!!
Fortunately a nice C&RT man who was there to look at one of the locks, gave us some assistance with running water down. We got to the top lock and stopped to clear the blades and have lunch.
I always love the approach to Birmingham, no matter which direction we arrive in.
We made it halfway up Farmers Bridge locks before it started raining. 🌧 Got to the top and I suggested we empty the loo, only to find it was closed for refurbishment!!! 😭. It will be closed for a couple of week from the 2/3/2020. I did get rid of some rubbish though, so that was a plus on what was an adventurous day.
Moored up opposite The Arena Birmingham drying out now having done  11.4 miles, 25 locks, 1 tunnel in 7 hrs 35 mins :-) To say I am cream crackered is an understatement. I think I found every single muscle in my body and am looking forward to a nice hot shower after dinner.

Pop back soon xxx

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