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

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

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

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Thursday 28 May 2020

Peony's and the veg plot.

118: Baby steps forward.

Dear family, friends and followers.
I saw this on my daughters Facebook page and thought I would share it with you.
As we start to open up...

You do You, I'll do me. That's what we should be about. None of us have the same circumstances (medically high risk child/family member or a business about to go under, etc.). Let's all stay in our own lanes and keep the judgment down as we begin to reopen. No one should feel pressured either way.
Just a thought...As government are trying to figure out how to ease back into normal, please remember:
๐Ÿ›‘ Some people don’t agree with opening...that’s okay. Be Kind.
๐Ÿก Some people are still planning to stay home...that’s okay. Be Kind.
๐Ÿฆ  Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening...that’s okay. Be Kind.
๐Ÿ’ฐ Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes...that’s okay. Be Kind.
๐Ÿ˜ณ Some people already lost their jobs and businesses. Be kind.
๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพ‍⚕️Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off...that’s okay. Be Kind.
๐Ÿ“ Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job...that’s okay. Be Kind.
๐Ÿ˜ท Some will wear masks for weeks...that’s okay. Be Kind.
๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป Some people will rush out to get their hair or nails done...that’s okay. Be Kind.
❤️ The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be Kind.
We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home...But Be Kind .
If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and Be Kind!
Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental states than we were months ago. So remember, Be Kind.
Please copy, paste & post if would like to.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Day 116: Bank Holiday in the sunshine.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Sunday morning and I enjoyed a bit of a lie in. I did not wake until 8 am, which for me is late. Sunday's for me is a day to do as little as possible, not because I am religious, but because it is how I have always thought. Who remembers the days when Sunday's were a day of rest?
There were no shops open (like now). You went to church first thing. In my case as a child it was to sing in the church choir. Yes I was one of those in a cassock, surplice and ruff. Blimey those ruffs used to chaff, because they were starched. I always felt like I was being strangled. Singing in the choir was always such a joy, because I loved to sing and still do. I sound like a strangled cat, but who cares. If you enjoy singing then just do it. Do you remember the pubs used to open at lunchtime for a couple of hours and then close again. Now they are open all day, well not at the moment, but hopefully they will be again soon. Sunday was always a day to either visit family or stay at home and watch the Sunday afternoon movie. How the times changed and yet in a way we are back to those days due to the Coronavirus.
We began our day as always with the first brew of the day, which was enjoyed whilst watching the BBC 1 breakfast news. The news was still dominated by the virus and an MP was being pushed into quitting, after they supposedly broke the lockdown rules. It made me think about how everyone interprets the lockdown rules. We are all human with differing ideas as to what the rules mean and I think this is why so many people have become judgemental and angry. I am not an angry person and even if I was, I would certainly not take it out on others, because as we all know life is way to short. This does not however mean we cannot have an opinion. We are all entitled to express our opinion, but I think it should be done is a guarded way and not with vitriol.
After enjoy the first cuppa of the day, it was time to climb out from beneath the duvet and start the day. I began with cooking up Lemon Chicken, which would be consumed at lunchtime. Whilst preparing and cooking that, I made us toast for breakfast. I like a bit of multi-tasking.
Having enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch and coffee, I felt the need to do something, so I went out and began to weed the path which runs along side our boat. The plants on the edges were already there when we moved onto the mooring, and I love them, they are a mix of rockery plants and forget me nots. The weeds in the middle are getting to much and had to go. With the aid of a cushion, tiny palate knife and a bucket, I managed to do up just past the first planter, before stopping for coffee and the making of tea.
I was sent the poster above by a friend, who asked me to post it on my Facebook and Twitter page. Most people would not even think about how this self distancing for the virus would affect the blind and their dogs. I hope this makes everyone think a little and if you are on social media, maybe you will share it around. There are those out there who must be finding this all dreadfully difficult and a little compassion and patience is definitely called for. Sunday on the whole was a quiet affair, as Sundays should be.

Bank Holiday Monday we once again awoke to sunshine. We have been fortunate that in this lockdown the weather has been so lovely. It has made the whole thing more bearable, because a little sunshine can brighten any spirits. We are also fortunate to have an open space to enjoy, which has no walkers, cyclists or runners passing by. We listen to BBC CWR every day when on the mooring. I was telephoned by the radio station and asked if I would do their daily quiz, which is called snake escape. It is based on snakes and ladder. You get a question right, you climb the ladder. You get the question wrong you slide down the snake. At 11am the radio station rang me and I took part in the quiz with the lovely Vic Minett. Sadly I did not fare too well. I got a question right, then one wrong. I played my bonus which gets you 5 points and the next question I got wrong. I ended up with one point, which matched what Keith had done a couple of weeks earlier. I enjoyed a lovely chat with Vic who we have gotten to know well over the years we have been here. Vic likened Keith and I to Terry and June. I reckon she may well be right in some respects and I am happy to have that title, because I used to love that program. Because it was another hot day, we spent most of the afternoon outside under the parasol, enjoying the peace and quiet. There was no roadworks and even the road seemed quieter, although there were a few people walking, cycling and running going over the bridge.
Tuesday and yes you guessed it, the sun was shining and the roadworks were back on. We were actually awake before the roadworks got underway and drinking tea at just after 7am. I wanted to be up earlier anyway to start some more painting jobs. I had noticed that there were a few rust spots appearing around the mushroom vents and decided they would get my attention today.
Another job that needed doing more urgently was our slide runner. The slide needs replacing when we can get hold of some timber. The underneath is rotting and one of the runners had a hole in it due to rot. It had been like it for at least a couple of years.
The hardboard is pretty rotten and is only held together by the aluminum top and sides. Keith was a little worried about doing the job, in case it went wrong and we were left without a slide, but I assured him it would be just fine. As it turned out, he did a good job with my help and so we replaced part of the rotten runner, screwed it all in place and I have undercoated it. Hopefully once we feel it is safe to go out shopping, we can get some new hardboard and do a proper job. But for now it will surfice.
Mr delivery man bought me a pressie. My three tier greenhouse arrived.
Now to put the jigsaw together.
A five minute job and hey presto a small green house to play with. I have already potted up some dwarf beans. I am hoping to grow a lot more things over the coming months and years. I would like to think I can get a veg plot going, in order to help feed us. I love gardening and now I have this, it will encourage me to do more. We have cable tied it down, so it does not blow away with one puff of wind.
It is now mid afternoon and time to put my feet up and watch some John Wayne movies. It would have been his birthday. Sony Movies is doing a John Wayne Birthday bash.

I hope everyone is keeping safe and well?

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday 23 May 2020

Day 113: Painting, Gate and Magnum's

Dear family, friends and followers.

How is everyone doing?
How are you getting along with the new normal or whatever you wish to call it?
Have you gone back to work or are you still at home?

We are still at home and have no plans on going anywhere, anytime soon, so more jobs are getting done.
As you will know if you have been reading my posts, I have been working on the gas locker lid. After a couple of days of preparing the metal work and under coating, I finally got round to doing the gloss coats.
After a coat of primer undercoat, I have done two coats of gloss on the red, white and blue. It is not 100%, but it will do for now and will keep Mr Rust at bay.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was so darn hot, that I spent the rest of my day after painting sitting outside under the parasol. I called it my office for the day. It was an absolute joy to sit outside listening to the bird song and the flippen roadworks, which seem to get louder and louder everyday.

With the boat painting on hold for a couple of days due to it being windy, I decided to turn my attention to painting my wooden box from the saloon.
This box I put together myself. It used to be a bigger box, but did not fit in the saloon, so I took it apart, cut it down and put it back together. A couple of years ago I painted it cream and varnished the corners, but it is now looking a little tired and requiring an update.
I rubbed it down and opted to repaint it sage green. It is the same green I have used in the back cabin and I love it. I have not finished the box yet, because the weather has decided to blow a hooley and dump some showers on us, but hopefully it will be finished in the next few days. I think I maybe obsessed with painting. if you see me with a paintbrush in my hand, move quickly, because you may end up being painted. I have always done the paintwork on the boat. I am unsure how or why that has happened, but Keith is more than happy to leave me too it. I do remember the one time he helped with painting he found it very hard to let the brush flow and is more or a rubbing the brush into the paintwork, which is not a very good look. To be honest I love painting, even though I am not that good at it. I am not an artistic painter, but hey painting a boat is not that difficult.
Having sat under the parasol, keeping out of the hot sun, it gave me loads of time to catch up with e-mails, Farm Town and Facebook. What has struck me of late is how little other news there is out there, since the virus struck. I am sure there must be lots of other news going on around the world, but we do not seem to be hearing it. I wonder why?
Thursday dinner, was a Thai takeaway from Totally Thai. They had text us to say we had not had a meal with them for a while. We actually had a meal with them on my Birthday in April. They offered us a 10% discount on a meal, so it would have been rude not to have ordered from them. There food is wonderful. I love the subtle flavour's of Thai food and it is always so beautifully cooked.
Friday dawned and the sun was pouring through the porthole, which meant another lovely day, but the downside was it was blowing a hooley. It was most definitely not a day for sitting out under a parasol, painting or even gardening. What to do? I took it upon myself to go through the food cupboard and given it a good clean and line everything up in its rightful place. I know, I know I must be going ever so slightly stir crazy, when all's I can find to do is clean the food cupboard, but hey it looks fabulous now. All tins are stacked with labels showing at the front, just like I used to do when I worked in retail. I found a basket for the vegetables and potatoes and the UHT milk is all neatly stacked in date order. There was a reason for doing this, we were expecting a Tesco delivery and I wanted to make sure that everything was rotated properly.
The food delivery was book for between 9 pm and 10 pm. Our phone rang at 8.30 pm, Mr Tesco was sitting outside the gate with our delivery. He actually apologised for being early.
One of the essential items in the shopping this time was a box of eight Magnums. We would of preferred Mint Magnums, but with none to be had, we settled for the classic. Oh my goodness it was so nice to have been able to get them, because they are our treat until the next delivery. We are allowing ourselves a treat in each delivery whilst this lockdown is still on going.
Saturday was a dull affair, with a chilly breeze blowing down the Arm. Job for the day was to put a new gateway into the fence on our pontoon.
We have a gateway at the other end of the pontoon and now have a new gateway at the stern of the boat, so we can use the other steps up to the gate. At the moment it will come in handy when a delivery arrives, because I have to sprint along the pontoon through the gate, up the steps and then sprint to the gate before the delivery driver leaves without leaving the parcel. I kid you not, some of the delivery drivers do not even bother to stop. They see the gate is shut and just leave. There is a notice on the gave saying we are closed due to the virus, but they should ring the telephone number and someone will collect the parcel. Unfortunately some drivers are to lazy to bother reading the notice, so just go away. On Thursday, I had been on the boat making a coffee, when I heard someone shouting. I dived off the boat, to hear a man shouting at the top of his voice "Is there anyone around", I shouted back "Hang on, I am coming". There I was legging it along the pontoon, along the pathway, up the steps to find this parcel force gentleman standing at the gate with a parcel. He thanked me for being there. I explained to him about the telephone number on the notice. I then said "If all else fails, look over the bridge, if my back doors are open, just shout out and I will come up. He thanked me for my help and left me with a parcel for boaters who were at the other end of the Arm. I strolled down the Arm and delivered the parcel. I classed all of that as my exercise for the day.
What is the flippen point of putting a notice on the gate, if people do not read it. The ones that have read it, use the phone number to our site manager, who then rings me and i go and collect the parcel. It is not rocket science. The worst of the delivery companies seems to be Hermes. My grey undercoat, was delivered supposedly twice and I bet they never read the notice. Thankfully the third time we were in luck and I got my paint. I of course realize that delivery drivers are on a set schedule, but with the roads quieter, there is no excuse. If Mr Tesco can turn up early, then the delivery drivers must be finding it easier to get around, especially as everyone is supposed to be at home.
Anyway this is the gate which will be hung once the brackets and catch arrive, not by carrier, but by Royal Mail care of our site manager, who goes and collects the post twice a week.
With this job done, the rest of my day has been spent watching films on 5Star. Death Becomes Her, Beaches and First Wives Club all fabulous movies. At 9 pm Pretty Woman is on. My idea of film heaven for the day.
On that note I will wish you a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend. Stay at home and stay safe :-).

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Day 110: Sunshine and paintwork.

Dear family, friends and followers.

It is another beautiful week weather wise. There has been a nip in the air for the past few days in the evening and morning but that has now gone. This morning it was a warm start right from the get go. It was going to be another painting week for me as I continue to smarten the boat up and keep the rust at bay. Before getting on with the first paint job, I wanted to rub down the galley door frame and re-varnish it. It had been some years since this one had been done, so it needed a bit of work with the sandpaper, but once all sanded down and the dust cleared away, I did the fist coat of clear external gloss varnish. I wanted to do it first thing, so it would be dry enough to close the doors overnight.
Once the galley frame was done, I turned my attention to the gas locker lid and surround. The lid is made from chequer plate, which makes it a pain to rub down, so I used a wire brush on a drill, to help make life easier. I also have a trusty old chisel which I used to scrape off the flaky bits.
By the time I had rubbed it all down it was too hot to start painting, so I left it and got on with a bit of weeding and crochet to wait for the sun to go around to the stern of the boat and the heat to dissipate. Four o'clock and it was cool enough to put the first coat of primer undercoat on, this would dry overnight. Since I began the job on Monday, it has come on and I am now onto painting the gloss coats. The galley door frame is now finished.

As the country and the world begins to get back to some sort of normality, it has certainly got busier here. There are more cars on the road and people wandering about. The Arm though is not open to visiting boats or anyone wanting to use the services. We have vulnerable people living here at the moment and as we are in the leisure industry, we will not be open before the 1st of July at the earliest. Our gates remain closed to the public for now. Even when we do open up, there will be a lot of restrictions and rules, in order to keep everyone safe. I can see this going on for sometime to come. This period does however give us time to get jobs done. They say there is a plus to every minus and I agree there is. We may not like the minuses but at some point a plus will follow. I hope the plus is that people are kinder to each other and we learn to be nicer to each other, because the one thing this situation has highlighted is that there are some truly not very nice people out there and yet on the plus side, there are some absolutely amazing people, doing some extraordinary things.
Take for instance Captain Tom Moore, who inspired the world and most of all the nation with his 100 laps of his garden for the NHS. Today Tom has been given the amazing honour. He is now Captain Sir Tom Moore. He is such an inspiration and his words of wisdom always make me smile. This morning watching him with his daughter Hannah speaking to BBC Breakfast, really got the day off to a wonderful start. This great man like all of those who fought in the wars, shows a true stiff upper lip mentality and lets nothing defeat him. I can imagine when he eventually gets to see the Queen, they will have a lot to talk about, if given the chance. Congratulations to Captain Sir Tom Moore and thank you for inspiring a nation.

Today is a big day in England. Organ donation opt out comes into effect. For anyone who does not know about it, this means that if you wish to be an organ donor you do not have to give specific consent, it will be presumed that you are willing to do so unless you say otherwise. I personally think this is wonderful news. Just for the record I state right now that if there is any part of my knackered old body that is useful to someone else after I have finished with it I would consider it an absolute privilege for those parts to be used to help someone else. I have carried a donor card for many years. Once I leave this mortal coil I will no longer need my bits, so they may as well be put to good use. If you have never spoken to your relatives about this subject, it is something you really should express your wishes, so that when the time comes everyone knows what you want to happen. Saving another's life is the last act of kindness any of us will be able to do when the clock stops ticking for us in their world.

Have a wonderful day.

Pop back soon xxx

Sunday 17 May 2020

Day 107: Be kind.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Here we are about to start a new week and I find myself wondering why I am actually writing my blog at the moment. I started this blog as a diary of my everyday ups and downs. Over the years I have written about all kinds of things, but mostly about our cruising around this wonderful countries canals. Of course we are not cruising at the moment, because of being in lockdown. We were fortunate to go out at the start of March, when we were not in lockdown and cruising was allowed. At that point no one knew how this virus was going to take over this wonderful country of ours. Of course our cruising got cut short and we took the decision to come on home, we could of stayed out along with so many other boaters who are out there at the moment, but for us coming home was right and with the help of CRT we made it home safe and sound. We will not be going out again this year, that has also been our decision. I know CRT maybe opening up the waterways again on the 1st of June all being well, but we feel it maybe too soon. If it happens everyone will be chomping at the bit to go cruising and that is their choice.
We all have the right to make our own choices and we all should have the common sense to know which decisions are right and wrong. I hope that once this virus is done with us, we will have learnt something from it all and have no regrets about the decisions we made. I have friends who have family members going though the virus at the moment. A couple of them are very poorly in ICU and my thoughts go out to them and I wish them a speedy recovery. I am thankful that my family have so far stayed well.

This weekend has been a sunny one. The mornings have begun rather nippy, but I have still got on with painting the boat. When I say painting, I mean touching up the paintwork. We had some small rust spot appearing under the red on the cabin sides, so it was time to get them rubbed down and treated. It has taken three coats of gloss to get a decent covering. It is not perfect, but it at least protects the cabin sides from further rust. With the side of the boat finished, we winded the boat and are now back around the right way for us. I can now concentrate on getting the bow painted and any other bits that need doing.
After lunch, I gave Keith a hand with sorting our gate out. The plan is to put a second gate in at the other end of our mooring at some point, when we can get some timber. There is no hurry though, we have all the time in the world (here's hoping).
This morning mother duck bought her five ducklings in to visit us. They spent a couple of hours snoozing the morning away. We think she may have had as many at fourteen ducklings at the beginning, but only these five have made it.
We have not seen many ducklings and have very few ducks coming into the Arm, which is a real shame. Having these little bundles of joy around over the weekend was such a joy.

How are you all doing out there?
How have you coped with this lockdown and now with the new guidelines?

I am not a person who stresses out. I just go with the flow on the whole. I however know that some people have been finding this situation difficult to cope with. I use Twitter and Facebook, where I see how friends and family are coping and how some are managing just fine and others are really getting depressed. Everyone needs a hug at some point and even though we cannot actually hug people close-up at the moment, who are not in our own home, we can give them a virtual hug from a distance. Being kind throughout this whole situation is key I feel. I have read some truly abusive posts and comments towards people, who dare to have an opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and even though we may not agree with it, we have no right to be abusive towards that person, because no one knows what that person maybe going through. As an old quote says. “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

As Sunday draws to a close. Dirty Dancing is the order of the day on TV.

I wish you all a truly wonderful week. I will post at some point in the week no doubt.

Pop back soon xx

Thursday 14 May 2020

Day 104: Carry on Regardless.

Dear family, friends and followers.

We are coming to the end of another week of this dreadful Coronavirus and we are still in lockdown. The Arm at the moment is remaining shut, despite some businesses re-opening and people beginning to go back to work. For us here, we have vulnerable and elderly people living on their boats here, so we need to be more careful. CRT are allowing boats to move now, but only minimal distances and boaters should not use locks unless necessary, so for us we are still going no where and will not be going anywhere this year. We have decided that we will write this year off at least, because we want a working vaccine before we go out and about boating. It is our choice our decision. I know many of our boating friends are chomping at the bit to get moving, but we just do not feel it will be safe enough for sometime to come. So all my blogging for the time being will be home mooring based. I do hope it will not bore you to much. I will try to keep my postings fun and informative.

I am still in painting mode. I am doing some touching up on the red paint on the cabin sides. I am hoping to get that finished in the next couple of days. I can then turn my attention to varnishing the galley doors and frame, which have not been done for a couple of years.
We did a repair to our Winter chimney. The brass handle was very cracked and had been like it for a couple of years. A few years ago I took the brass strips off the top of the chimney because they were constantly getting tarnished throughout the Winter with the smoke from the stove. I gave up trying to keep them clean. So we now have a Winter chimney with no brass strips for the Winter and a Summer chimney with brass strips. I kept the brass strips and today they helped to make a new handle. In order that this one does not crack, we doubled the strips to make it thicker. We could not pop rivet the strip back on, so we used self tapping screws instead. It is not ideal, but it has done the job.The hope is it will last a good few years. I now need to rub the chimney down and give it a couple of coats of black paint.

On the wall of the pump out building, we put up a trellis and have had one of our Clematis growing up it.
Today the biggest of the buds opened and is beginning to show us its colour. The Clematis appears to be very happy in its new home. Looking forward to seeing how many blooms we get on it this year.
One our our bee hotels is almost full. The bees have been so industrious, they are truly amazing creatures. Of course now we will have to wait to see how many of these nests hatch out.
In the fruit patch. The Gooseberries are really filling out. Keith will be enjoying these little gems soon hopefully. I will stick to the Strawberries and Rhubarb.

This afternoon, we had a food delivery, which has topped up the fridge and the cupboard for another week. It would be nice to think at some point we will be able to return to Keith shopping at Aldi on the bus, but not for the time being. It is funny how a food delivery is one of the highlights of the week or fortnight. It is normally something we take for granted, but not anymore. There are so many things in our lives we have taken for granted and yet now we look upon them as exciting and a way of brightening our day.
News on the Robin pair. This morning we saw a Robin in our hedge. It was not Mr Robin who I feed, but I think it was his partner, so I am thinking now that maybe they have a nest with either eggs or youngsters in it. If either of them cares to call, I have some meal worms for them, which I am sure the brood would enjoy. I will keep you posted on any news of them or their family.

Quite sometime ago, I mentioned I was suffering with Hives and I thought I had them under control, well it seems that is not the case. My skin at the moment is not happy. I am taking anti-histamines and putting creams on, to try and stop any outbreaks which I last suffered with in 2001. Because I am allergic to Nickel, Cobalt, Thiarim and Neomycin any one of them could be causing the skin issue. I have a feeling it may have something to do with the dust from the road works going on outside of the Arm. Something in the dust from what they are using and digging up maybe affecting me, because I am allergic to cements, I know this from when we had building work done on the house and I came up with a rash all over, which nearly put me in hospital. So we will see how I go, but I may end up having to go to the GP for further help, which will mean steroid creams and alike.

For anyone following Keith's railway. He adds something new everyday to his blog. Hadarford

Pop back soon xx

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Day 102: Gardening and delivery.

Dear family, friends and followers.

How are we all doing?

I think I have been remarkably good throughout this whole Coronavirus lockdown, where we were told to stay at home and now we are told to stay alert. For us it will be still stay at home. Just because we know we are safe where we are for the time being.
My daughter posted something on Facebook, which I thought was brilliantly written and easy to understand with the new rules, which Boris Johnson laid out at the briefing, so I thought I would share them with you.

Simplifying what Boris said:
๐Ÿ”ด STEP 1 (not before Wednesday 13th May)
๐Ÿ”ด Outdoor exercise is now unlimited as long as you socially distance.
๐Ÿ”ด You are now allowed to visit parks, walk, sunbathe and even BBQ as long as you socially distance.
๐Ÿ”ดYou can now drive to other destinations in England - no distance stated - (not Scotland or Wales) to exercise as long as you socially distance.
๐Ÿ”ดYou can now play sports, but only with people from your own household to reduce the chance of infection from others.
๐Ÿ”ดFines to be increased for people who ignore social distancing rules and take part in social gatherings.
๐Ÿ”ดYou can now start going back to work, only if u can't work from home and social distancing can still be met - manufacturing and construction work were mentioned.
๐Ÿ”ดYou should try to avoid public transportation where possible, ideally walking or cycling to work if practical, if not then drive.
The above new measures will be monitored BEFORE moving to step 2 if there is no major increase in infections. Such an increase will result in the reinstatement of lockdown conditions.
๐ŸŸก STEP 2 (June at the earliest)
๐ŸŸกThe phased reopening of retail and some shops.
๐ŸŸกLook at getting primary schools back. Reception, year 1 and year 6.
๐ŸŸกSecondary school pupils will get some time with teachers before the holiday regarding exams.
Steps 1 & 2 will be closely monitored before moving to Step 3 which will only happen if there is no major increase in infections. A major increase will result in a return to lockdown status.
๐ŸŸข STEP 3 (no earlier than July 2020)
๐ŸŸขStart to look at reopening hospitality and other public places that attract larger gatherings such as restaurants, cinemas and leisure etc.
The above is to be staged over the next two months.
⛔Social distancing rules stay in place and must still be followed.
⛔Visiting other households is still not permitted.
⛔Social gatherings are still not allowed.
⛔You do not have to return to work if your place of work is not yet allowed to open or your employer chooses to remain closed.
⛔Restricted movement is NOT over, it has just been slightly relaxed to see if doing so has an effect on the reinfection rate (R value)
⚠️Boris made it clear if the steps are not met then social distancing and restricted movement will carry on until the steps are met!
Remain aware and diligent that the virus is still a threat to your health and the health of others.
Continue to control the spread of the virus by adhering to social distancing guidelines, avoid or restrict contact with outside of your household.
Do your part to help stop the spread of the virus to yourself and others.

We cannot wait to see the family and grandchildren, but none of us will do this until we know it is completely safe. Because we have all made sure we have stuck to the rules so far, so why break them now? I am most certainly looking forward to hugging my family.

Now onto more normal things at this time.
This morning the sun was shining and the chilly wind from the past couple of days had dropped off, so I got out in one of the Arm's gardens and did some digging. There was an ulterior motive, I was waiting for a delivery. The Arm's beds have become very overgrown with weeds. I used to do a lot of work in them, but with my ribs and sternum issues, I cannot do heavy digging anymore, but I did manage to do some light digging and got rid a few of the weeds, which were becoming enormous. There is still away to go though.
This was what I was waiting for. Yes more paint for the boat. My stocks are almost depleted and so we had to send out for more supplies. I am still waiting for undercoat and some white spirit, but at least I can get going with the paintwork again. I did carry on with a bit more gardening, just to tidy it up a little.
After lunch, I spent some time in our garden, pulling out a few small weeds and trimming bushes.
Our garden is now pretty weed free, because we are at home. If we had been out cruising, we would not have seen the garden until July and so it would have been overgrown and plenty of work to do.

I am a little worried. I have not seen Mr Robin at all today. He is normally waiting in the morning for his breakfast and pops in and out all day asking for food, but I have not seen anything of him or his missus today. I am hoping they are both alright. Maybe they are nesting somewhere, or they have found a better food option. Hoping he comes back soon, maybe with his family. I have grown quite attached to him.

On Sunday I said I made Butterfly cakes and Scones. Thought I would share some photographs.
I am not a fancy cook or baker. I am what I call a plain, homely cook. I keep us both fed, which is all that matters. I like to make good wholesome food, with a mind to everything in moderation, when it comes to cakes. On saying that, I bought us both a bar of chocolate, which we have polished off during the last couple of evenings. I think at this moment in time, a few treats are what is needed, if only to keep us sane.

A quiet day in many respects. I am making sure I do not overdo things, otherwise I will leave myself nothing to do in the future weeks. I am still crocheting and have books to read, when the mood take me.
I hope that you are all staying safe and well?

Pop back soon xx

Sunday 10 May 2020

Day 100: May in our mooring garden.

Dear family friends and followers.

A new garden video for you to watch.

Here we are, it is 100 days since the Coronavirus came to the UK and we are still in lockdown, but what will Boris have to say later on this evening. You can see what the next step is at 7 pm on BBC 1 this evening. The press as usual have been speculating on what is going to happen. I am happy to wait and see. I do however hope this lockdown is not going to be lifted to quickly and we then end up having another deadly wave of the virus. The way I see it is, there are still to many catching the virus and to many dying of it. Every death leaves another family heartbroken and seeking answers. I sincerely hope that we all stay safe and carry on doing the right thing, unlike those who were out over this weekend in parks having picnics with friends and family and not self-distancing.

Did you commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day?

We commemorated it with a beer and had a couple of flags out on the mooring. We should never forget the sacrifice our loved ones made, so that we could be free. I know I had relatives, who fought in both world wars. My grandfather on my mother's side fought and although he came back from the war, he was never to be the same again. What saddens me is I never really knew him and have no photograph of him. In fact I do not have any photographs of either of my grandfathers, which is very sad. I can only remember meeting one of them and that was only once. I wish I had been able to get to know them. But family issues, stopped that from happening. Now the only way to find out about them is by using family search pages.
The past couple of days, I have been kept busy painting the boat. I am now getting low on paint, so we have had to order some more, which should hopefully come in the next few days, when hopefully the weather will have warmed up again, because after the past few days of wonderful heat, the only heat we have today is from our fire. Yes I have re-lit the fire, because we have some cold weather coming down from the north. I do not feel the cold that much, but Keith certainly does these days. The slightest chill and he is diving for his thick fleece, whilst I am still in my shirt sleeves.

I got on with some baking this morning and made some butterfly cakes and scones. These will keep us going for a few days. I like to have cake in the tin, usually in case anyone visits, but of course that is not happening at the moment, so the cake is purely for our own enjoyment. I dread to think how much I will weigh after this virus is over, because I am sure not exercising enough. I am not going out of the Arm for exercise, because there has been too many people wandering about. We even had someone jump over the gate the other evening. I had gone out to lock the bunker, I heard the little gate and there was this man standing at the top of our steps, all dressed in lycra and running shoes. I asked him what he thought he was doing. He said he wanted to run along the towpath. I told him the gates are locked due to the virus and he should not be in the Arm. I made sure he was aware he was not welcome and that he could jump back over the gate. Some people have a flippen cheek. He obviously did not read the poster on the gate, which says we are in lockdown and so the gates remain locked.

Anyway as we walk towards another week in this weird world we are living in at the moment. Take care and stay safe. Do what you have to do to remain well.

Pop back soon xxx.

Wednesday 6 May 2020

Day 96: Boat painting, moving and strimming.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Have you noticed that because it has been so much quieter of late the birds are singing louder, or rather we can now hear them?
Well as I have said before we have road works going on outside of the Arm. It is all part of the Stanks Island road works and yesterday and today, they have been drowning out the birdsong with their jack hammers. It was so bad yesterday there was no way I could of sat outside.
Yesterday I got on with some strimming work in the Arm, as we fight to keep the weeds at bay and the grass cut. At the moment it is a battle which is being lost in the weed department. I can keep on top of the weeds in our garden, but doing the whole site, there is not a chance. Anyway I will do my best to help out where and when I can. If all else fails I have the strimmer.
I sat in the car park for a couple of hours waiting for a delivery from Argos. When we arrived home for the lockdown phase of the virus our electric kettle decided it was a very good time to die. I thought we would manage with our little travel kettle, but it takes too long to boil, so Keith suggested we order a new one from Argos. Yesterday was the day of its arrival. The delivery slot was from 2pm to 6pm originally, this got cut down to 2.45pm to 4.45pm. They were supposed to e-mail or text us when they were close, but knowing what delivery companies are like, I thought they would probably not bother, so I sat out in the car park and waited. I was chuffed that I only had to wait till 3.30pm. The delivery driver dropped the parcel (not literally) outside of the gate for me and whilst he drove off, I retrieved the kettle, which I am glad to say works brilliantly and is a darn sight quicker than our travel kettle.
I helped one of our vulnerable moorers with their shopping delivery. We have a number of vulnerable boaters here at the moment and moorers of a mature age. I think I am one of the youngest moorers in the Arm at the moment. I know I am certainly the youngest of our residential moorers.
After what was a busy day, it was nice to have a relaxing evening, in front of the TV. 

This morning we were woken up by the roadworks guys, banging and crashing around with their tools. We had our morning cuppa before getting up to wall to wall sunshine. 
One of my first jobs of the day, was to top coat some of the paintwork, I have been working on over the past few days. I am not a professional painter, so I would not want anyone looking to close at my paintwork, but I do like to make a good job of it and I am pleased with how it has turned out so far. It at least keeps the boat nice and tidy. Because of the lockdown a lot of boating friends are painting their boats. I have visions of very tidy and shiny boats on the canal when this lockdown is over and we all go cruising again. 
After lunch, we reversed out of the Arm, winded the boat and reversed the boat back into her mooring, so that I can do the paintwork on the other side. I know I have a bit more work to do on this side, so we may be moored this way round for a while. This is how we used to be moored on our old mooring, so I must remember to get off the boat on the right side. The reason we have not moored this way on our new mooring before is because the pump out shed is right by the stern of the boat and we know it can smell at times. But because I want to do the paintwork we will manage. If we find it is not smelly at all, we may well stay this way around. Watch this space to see what happens. Of course at the moment we are not doing many pump outs, due to the lockdown. With the heat of the day in full swing, I took the decision to not do any more painting today. I will make a start again tomorrow, when it is cooler in the morning. Instead I went out with my strimmer, to finish off what I had started yesterday and to strim some grass for a fellow boater along side their boat. With my good turn done for the day, it was back to the boat and a much needed coffee, which Keith very kindly made for me.
A lovely day and a lot done. Tomorrow the painting will begin.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday 2 May 2020

Another day in the garden.

Day 92: Food and garden.

Dear family, friends and followers.

How quickly this year is already going. You would think with us all stuck at home, the time would go so slowly, but for me it seems to be flying by.

Today I spent the morning in the garden, pulling out more weeds, which seem to grow over night. One minute they are not there, the next morning there they are. How come weeds grow quicker than all other plants?
Having weeded the garden again, I topped up the water tank on the boat. I have been doing a lot of washes in our small washing machine, so the water tank is being depleted quicker. We can actually go three weeks without filling the tank, but I like to top it up every two weeks. Whilst waiting for the tank to fill, one of the moorers popped down to give me some tulip and hyacinth bulbs, which she had growing in a container on her boat. Now that the flowers have ended, she thought I may like to put the bulbs in our garden. Social distancing was adhered to at all times and hand washing was done once the bulbs were planted. 
Having some of our Winter moorers still with us during the lockdown has been really nice. It gives us all more time to chat from a distance and they feel safe with us in the Arm.
Today was Tesco delivery day. The delivery slot was from 4 pm to 5 pm, but at 3 pm the landline rang and it was Mr Tesco, informing me he was out side the sites main gate and he hoped I did not mind he was early. Mind of course I did not mind. With less traffic on the roads and everything being delivered in bags, he told me he is getting around his deliveries much quicker. There is always a plus to a minus as I always say. We are so grateful for our deliveries, because we do not have a car and Keith will not use public transport at the moment. We have a responsibility to keep well for the others in the Arm, because we have elderly and ill people living here at the moment. Having a delivery also gives us the opportunity to shop for anyone who needs supplies.
It has been a lovely day and everything in the garden is blooming.
The Iris is a Purple/Blue. I cannot wait for it to open properly.
The Clematis on the bird table is in bud and will be out soon.
Loving our garden. It is my sanctuary at the moment.

As Governments are trying to figure out how to ease back in to a 'new normal' please remember:
๐Ÿค” Some people don’t agree with the 'reopening'.... that’s okay - Be kind.
๐Ÿก Some people are still planning to stay home.... that’s okay - Be kind.
๐Ÿ˜ฏ Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening....that’s okay - Be kind.
๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ›’ Some are sighing with relief that they can go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes....that’s okay - Be kind.
๐Ÿ™ Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery, medical or dental treatment that had been postponed indefinitely...that’s okay - Be kind.
๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ’ป Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job....that’s okay - Be kind.
๐Ÿ˜ท Some will wear masks for weeks....that’s okay - Be kind.
๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿƒ‍♀️ Some people will rush out to get their hair or nails, eyelashes, waxing or tattoos done....that’s okay - Be kind.
❤️ The point is we can have different opinions, feelings and fears and that’s okay - Be kind.
We each have a different story so
If you need to stay home, stay home - Be kind .
If you need to go out just respect others and keep your distance when in public - Be kind!
Don’t judge others because you are not in their story. We all are in different mental and emotional spaces than we were just a few short months ago and we are trying to adjust to our 'new reality' so remember - Be kind. ❤

Pop back soon xxx

Friday 1 May 2020

Day 91: Baked Potatoes and TV.

Dear family, friends and followers.

Happy 1st of May.
The UK is in day 91 of the Coronavirus and according to the Government, we have now past the peak, which is if true brilliant news. All any of us want is for this to be over and a touch of normality returns to our lives, although we will be in restrictions for sometime to come and to be honest I would expect nothing different, if we do not want a second round of this virus, which is killing those we know and love.

I make no apology for my rant on day 89. I take exception to those who are not sticking to the guidelines, when millions of us have stuck to them from day One. If we want to see an end to the restrictions in the future, we must all play our part. Going to parties, having gatherings or driving miles to collect things is not playing the part and I will happily call anyone out, who thinks it is. I am the most chilled out person I know. The lockdown as far as I am concerned is fine and I am happy to keep going whilst it is making a difference. Even when the restrictions are relaxed, I personally will be sticking to them until I myself feel safe to go out and about. Boating for this year has been called off and we hope to go out and about next year.
We have had some lovely rain over the past couple of days, so the garden is really sprouting at the moment, which also means the weeds are very active. I have been out this morning, getting the weeds out and making Mr Robin happy, when I offer him a small worm. I know he is feeding his partner, because I have seen her sitting in the hedge waiting to be fed. She clearly feels she cannot feed herself, or maybe she likes being waited on hand and foot.
Lunch today was baked potatoes and tinned Chilli. Some years ago, I fell out of love with baked puds for some reason, but over this past month, I have fallen back in love with them. We have had them with homemade Coleslaw, Cheese and Chilli. I know it is lazy using tinned Chilli, but hey we are only pouring it over baked potatoes. I had a couple of tins of Chilli in my emergency supplies, which required eating and this gave me the right opportunity to use them up.

Have you found it is the small things which bring you pleasure at the moment?
This morning I received a package from Savers and opening it bought a smile to my face. I ordered paracetamol, antihistamines and toothpaste online. Ordering online, means no going out, which is the bonus. Another thing which I am finding makes me happy is just being able to go online and play games. Years ago I used to play Farm Town, quite a lot, but what with cruising and only a dongle for the internet, I kind of let it go. I am now back playing Farm Town, because of the lockdown and having broadband on our mooring, so another little thing which is making me happy. It also means I get to chat to new people all over the world and see how they are coping.

What TV are you watching at the moment?

According to the local radio station, the soaps Emmerdale, Eastenders and Coronation Street are running out of new episodes to show. Love Island and I'm A Celebrity Get me Out Of Here are put on hold.

Would it bother you if the soaps came off the TV?

Me personally, would not be bothered at all. I have not watched the soaps for over 20 years. I cannot abide the screaming, shouting every single week. It is all so same thing on each soap. Deaths, destruction, rows and marriages or divorce. We have enough going on with everyday life, without watching it on TV. The last time I saw Emmerdale it was still Emmerdale Farm. I used to love that program, but not anymore. I used to love Coronation Street, when it had Hilda and Stan in it, but not anymore.

What program would you love to see come back on TV?

I would love Follyfoot to either come back on TV or be remade. I love that program with the lightening tree. Belle Sebastian and the Horses is another one.

The 1st of May has been a day of April showers, gardening, laundry, cooking and playing games online. It is now time to sit back and watch a film.

This was sent to me by a great friend

Lockdown lingo - are you fully conversant with the new terminology?

The ups and downs of your mood during the pandemic. You’re loving lockdown one minute but suddenly weepy with anxiety the next. It truly is “an emotional coronacoaster”.

Experimental cocktails mixed from whatever random ingredients you have left in the house. The boozy equivalent of a store cupboard supper. Southern Comfort and Ribena quarantini with a glacรฉ cherry garnish, anyone? These are sipped at “locktail hour”, ie. wine o’clock during lockdown, which seems to be creeping earlier with each passing week.

Le Creuset wrist
It’s the new “avocado hand” - an aching arm after taking one’s best saucepan outside to bang during the weekly ‘Clap For Carers.’ It might be heavy but you’re keen to impress the neighbours with your high-quality kitchenware.

As opposed to millennials, this refers to the future generation of babies conceived or born during coronavirus quarantine. They might also become known as “Generation C” or, more spookily, “Children of the Quarn”.

Furlough Merlot
Wine consumed in an attempt to relieve the frustration of not working. Also known as “bored-eaux” or “cabernet tedium”.

An overdose of bad news from consuming too much media during a time of crisis. Can result in a panicdemic.

The elephant in the Zoom
The glaring issue during a videoconferencing call that nobody feels able to mention. E.g. one participant has dramatically put on weight, suddenly sprouted terrible facial hair or has a worryingly messy house visible in the background.

Quentin Quarantino
An attention-seeker using their time in lockdown to make amateur films which they’re convinced are funnier and cleverer than they actually are.

Covidiot or Wuhan-ker
One who ignores public health advice or behaves with reckless disregard for the safety of others can be said to display “covidiocy” or be “covidiotic”. Also called a “lockclown” or even a “Wuhan-ker”.

The sudden fear that you’ve consumed so much wine, cheese, home-made cake and Easter chocolate in lockdown that your ankles are swelling up like a medieval king’s.

Antisocial distancing
Using health precautions as an excuse for snubbing neighbours and generally ignoring people you find irritating.

Coughin’ dodger
Someone so alarmed by an innocuous splutter or throat-clear that they back away in terror.

Extra make-up applied to "make one's eyes pop" before venturing out in public wearing a face mask.

The 10lbs in weight that we’re all gaining from comfort-eating and comfort-drinking. Also known as “fattening the curve.

Pop back soon xxx


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