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

Monday, 7 June 2021

We are open.


Dear family, friends and followers.

It has been a crazy few days, but the Arm is now open to boaters and the public. We opened the gates on the 1st June and welcomed in our first visiting boaters. Everything is being done to keep everyone safe from Covid-19. Having had my second vaccination, I like so many am feeling much happier, but neither Keith or I are eager to get out and about, because the world and his wife has been descending on Warwick. On the first of June, we did have a bit of excitement, when we were asked if we would be interviewed by ITV news for a piece about life afloat and why people are buying boats in big numbers at the moment. We did an hour and half with the reporter and cameraman for a few seconds at the end of the piece. It was good fun and they were both lovely. Everything was done within the government guidelines for Covid-19. It is not the first time we have appeared on TV, we have been on ITV and the BBC. I personally hate seeing myself on TV, but if we can help to get a message across about the canals, then we are happy to do it. 

In March, I began to strip off the rotten timbers of our staging, which goes across the top of our garden which is on a slope. The staging was unsafe and had to be replaced. We have a quote from friends and awaited the time when they could fit us into their busy schedule.
Today was that day when we would start to get a new staging down. We took up the old uprights and cross beams, because they were also rotten. Les and I started drilling the holes for the new posts and then Simon cemented them in with postcrete. Keith began the task of cutting up the new timbers, which were recycled from the fencing we have replaced in the Arm. I am all for recycling and the wood is in great condition.
The first of the new panels is in place, so we can get our levels, because we are going to have to go uphill, otherwise we will have to dig out too much soil to get it level. 
Tomorrow, we will get on with more of the digging and ground preparation, now we know the levels. It is going to be much safer for me to do the hedge and I will also work to smarten up the bank in front of the hedge. I feel happily pooped tonight. I cannot wait to see it finished. I am hoping to get it all done, ready for a special visit later in June, which I will post on after the event. But to say I am excited is an understatement. 
I hope you are all keeping safe and well out there?

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Time to open up.

 Dear family, friends and followers.

We all know what a long year it has been because of Covid-19 and the pandemic, and how businesses and people alike have suffered and struggled. Where we moor, has had its gates locked since March 2020, and we have not allowed any visiting boats or the public into the Arm, mainly because we have elderly residents who have poor health living amongst us. On the 1st June, we will hopefully be opening up to visiting boats again and to the general public, who come onto the site to enjoy everything we offer. Of course we will be taking every precaution to keep ourselves safe as residents and masks will have to be worn in the office, shop and laundry room. It is going to feel a little odd, having complete strangers in and around the Arm again, but like the rest of the country, it feels like we need to get back to some sort of normality, even with the Indian Variant causing concern. I am waiting for my second vaccination and I know I will feel much happier once I have had it. I am still going to take all the precautions needed to keep us safe, which includes doing the free flow testing. I had to do a prescription run on Friday, so picked up a couple of packs ready. 

I have continued with my morning walks. It really has helped me throughout this pandemic.
I love to take different routes and see the changes from Winter to the Spring and heading towards the Summer. The greenery has really sprung, with the rain and warmer weather.
My walks usually involve crossing the canal somewhere along the walk. There have been a fair few boats on the move, heading up and down the Hatton flight of locks. I have not yet ventured up the flight on my walk yet, because I felt it would be too busy. 
I still enjoy walking through the cemetery and have seen the changing of the seasons, just by the flowers which are growing in the wild areas of the cemetery. 
When I have not been on my walks, I have been helping out in the Arm, with the gardens and lately with the new security fencing we are putting up around our car park area. This has come about, because of the theft of a wood chipper a couple of weeks ago. It seems nothing is safe these days. Some people seem to think they can just take someone else's property without consequences. Thankfully the chipper was covered by insurance. Theft in any shape or form causes no end of stress and upset to the person or business, which has been broken in to. 

I hope that where ever you are, you are keeping safe and have had your vaccinations. Here's to some sort of normality going forward. 

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

May to December.


Dear family, friends and followers.

I am right in thinking it is May? Today's weather has made me question the fact that I welcomed May in my last post, because after a May start to the day, it has turned into December this afternoon.

At 9am, I set off for my walk in lovely warm sunshine. The birds were singing and the wildflowers were blooming and all was well in my world. 
My walk took me through the cemetery, where the birdsong was glorious and it was all I could hear, even the road noise was cancelled out by the birds. I spotted two Green Woodpeckers, which I had not seen there before. I have not seen the Buzzard for a couple of weeks, so I am wondering if they have moved on, or they are nesting in one of the many trees.
I left the cemetery to walk over the canal. There have been a few boats out and about over the past couple of weeks. We are still closed to visiting boats, until the middle of June, but people can ring to use the elsan, pump out and rubbish bins. Anyway I carried on my walk.
I walked down past the allotments, along the winding path through the trees.
The winding path, took me onto the playing fields, where there was one person using the exercise equipment. he was the only person I saw on the whole of my walk. Walking first thing in the morning, is always so much nicer. Back home, I decided it was time to do a spot of clearing out. I have a few things which have not been used and are taking up room, so I bagged them up ready to go out to the bins. I can feel a cupboard sorting day taking place, because the weather decided to revert back to December weather, with sleet and rain just before lunch. I have already put my Winter clothing away and bought my Summer things out, but I am now wondering if I need to get a couple of jumpers out? To be honest the rain is very much needed for the garden and the canal. But we British are very good at moaning about the weather. I tend to go along with the flow, because we are lucky to have such diverse weather. The fire is still going and we have been getting hot water from the back boiler. We changed the valves and all is working well now. It also means we do not need to use the emersion heater all the time, which puts the electric bill up. The back cabin stove has been out for some weeks, we just need the saloon stove going to keep the chill off, until Summer kicks in properly.
Off to sort my cupboards and to get rid of things which will never get used anymore.

Pop back soon xxx

Monday, 3 May 2021

Hello May.


Dear family, friends and followers.

April will soon be a distant memory and May is now here. The garden is blooming and all is calm within my world at the moment. 
Since my birthday, it has been full on busy. We have been helping out with jobs in the Arm and the last few days of April, we helped move the belongings of one of our residential boaters, who has had to come off their boat and moved onto the bank. It got me thinking, that although we have always said we will only come off our boat in our boxes, health or disability may change that reasoning. For our elderly resident, it was a case of no longer being able to cope on their boat and finding life as a whole difficult, due to ill-health and lack of mobility. Their family found them a wonderful place to live and then it was a matter of removing their belongings from their boat, bunkers and shed. A few of us got together to clear everything and to careful pack them into a van, which made three trips. Once all of their belongings were taken to their new home, we then cleaned out their boat, which will be surveyed and put into a brokerage soon. It was with great sadness that a fellow boater, should have to leave their boat in this way, but it has already proven to have been the right move, because they are already so much happier and looking forward to life again and hopefully making the most of the years left to them. 
At some point all of us living on a boat, may have to make that decision and I hope that when the time comes, we will make that decision for ourselves and not leave it up to the family, as was the case with this resident. I hope that we have the strength to know we must make the right decision and be able to find somewhere we will be happy on the bank. Life afloat is a unique lifestyle, which you will find no where else and so that is why it is so hard to leave. We have many friends, who have come off of their boats, for many different reasons, and pretty much all of them miss this way of life and would come back to within a heartbeat if they could. In fact one set of friends did just that. They moved onto the bank, then 18 months later, bought another boat and are back cruising again. Life afloat is addictive, to those of us who have it running through our veins. We have said, if the time comes and we can no longer cope on and with the boat, we would sell up and move into a mobile home some where in this wonderful country. Hopefully we have many happy years ahead of us, but none of us knows what life will throw in our way. 
With the move complete, my body over this Bank Holiday Weekend has needed a rest. I think, I have found all the muscles I have not used for the past year, due to Covid-19 and the lockdowns. On Saturday, I ached so much I was having a hard job turning over in bed. Oh the joys of hitting 59. The mind is always willing, but the body is screaming "STOP". I still do things physically that I did in my teens and twenties, forgetting that I am not that young anymore. 
The one thing I did get done, was to plant the Apple tree given to us by our resident neighbour, who is not landlocked. They wanted us to have it and because it was planted in a pot, it was easy to move. It will now hopefully produce Apples for us and be a constant reminder of the friendship we had. 
Our garden is in bloom and I am loving all the Blue.

The bees are loving all the Blue blooms. We have Bluebells, For-get-me-nots, Cornflowers and a couple of others, which I do not know their names, because they were here when we took on the mooring. The previous resident, loved Blue like me. 
Gooseberries are already forming and there will be more than last year.
The Rhubarb is coming along nicely and I will give it another manure feed in a few days.
I am really pleased that our Hosta survived the Winter. In all I now have four different varieties and will photograph the others as they spring into life. This one is early.
Today being Bank Holiday Monday, it is now wet and windy, so nothing much getting done. This morning, I sorted out some rubble and got rid of that and then got my sewing machine out to make some alterations to a few items in the sewing pile. Keith bought us both bathrobes and the sleeves on mine are ways too long, so I took scissors to the sleeves and have shortened them. I needed to hem some trousers as well and mend another couple of things, which have all been done in one go. I tend to let a few things gather on my sewing pile, before getting the machine out. 
It is now 3.35pm and we are watching 'Dances with Wolves'.

Have a wonderful day and week ahead.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Where has the time gone.


Dear family, friends and followers.

Today has been my 59th Birthday arghhhh. I have no idea where the time has gone, but I am now one step closer to the big 60. As we are still in some form of lockdown, it has been yet another quiet birthday, but that is fine. My darling girls, their partners and grandsons sent me some gorgeous mini rose bushes and cards and I had cards from family and friends. Keith bought me a lovely Taurus charm for my Troll Bracelet. I have done very little today, because it is my Birthday. I did walk to town for the prescriptions and I ventured into Greggs to get some Belgian Buns for a treat. Hey its my Birthday and I deserve them, well at least one of them. This afternoon, I went for a walk around one of my favourite places, the cemetery. I have actually spent most of my day answering tweets and facebook messages. 

Dinner was a Panang Curry with Rice and Noodles from our local Thai restaurant Totally Thai, who do the most amazing food and have been our go to takeaway throughout this pandemic. John has been delivering to us, sometimes a couple of times a month. They are a family run business, who have been here for a long time and we want to help keep them going. With another Birthday, shared with the Queen over with, I wonder what the next year has in store? I am hoping it will bring me my second jab and us getting out and about a little more. But we are still not boating until the end of August. Some may say we are being over cautious and that is there opinion, we just prefer to wait and see what happens with the numbers and the new variants doing the rounds. I personally have plenty to keep me busy and still have to see others in the NHS, which means staying on our mooring is preferred for now. 

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday, 17 April 2021

I'm still here.


Dear family, friends and followers.

I am still here. Apologises that I have not blogged for a while, but even in lockdown, I have been busy of late. I would rather not post for a while, then come come back with something to say. 

Who has had both their vaccinations?

I am waiting for number two. Keith has had his second one and I should be getting mine in the next couple of weeks I reckon. The reason for thinking this is because Keith had his second one earlier than the Twelve weeks given to him and that has applied to everyone here in the Arm. But we will see what happens. It makes no difference, because we are still not going anywhere. I had a hospital appointment  to see a skin specialist and he explained what is happening to my skin. I have allergies and It appears or or two are kicking off. But It could be due to the issues with my Liver being angry and no one knew why, because I rarely drink. Anyway I came home from the hospital with ointments, creams and a wash cream and have to try it for 3 to 4 months and then he will review it. In the meantime I am still waiting to see Gastrology.

What have you been doing for the past few weeks then?

I have been extremely busy in the Arm. We, when I say we I mean the site manager and other boaters here have been helping to transform the Arm. 

The first job was to take out a raised bed and dead hedge in our carpark. The raised bed which was home to plants, had become so hard to dig and we could not keep the weeds down, because of ground elder and bindweed, so we decided that it would be taken out, this took us a week having hired a digger and dumper. 
We then made a small rose bed near the Elsan, where some of the climbing roses from the car park bed were then planted. 
Top soil was then put in a heap for me to sift through and shovel into the Sensory Garden raised beds. The Sensory Garden has now been renamed the Memory Garden, in memory of people we have lost in the Arm this past year. Once the top soil was in the beds, I then replanted it with more of the car park roses and other plants, which I saved. 

I am really pleased with the newly named Memory Garden and I am now hoping it will be full of flowers for the Summer. It was hard work, but as I am the only gardener, it was down to me to get it done. I have kept the herb patch in the bed and that is going to be newly planted out with the herbs boaters love. Because our visiting boaters enjoy using the herbs we supply. Fingers tightly crossed, we will be re-opening mid-June to visiting boats, but that will depend on what happens between now and then with the virus and the behaviour of it and people. 
With the groundworks done, it was time to chip what was left over from a dead and dying hedge. This became a problem on Wednesday morning, when I discovered that 10ft of the Arms fencing had been broken down and the Chipper, which belonged to our resident tree surgeon had been taken in the early hours of the morning. It was all captured on CCTV and reported to the police. They had broken in through the fencing, and had wheeled the chipper up the bank and out of the site. It makes me so angry that some people, seem to think that they can take what they like and it does not matter the issues it causes. Thankfully we have sorted something out and we will be back chipping very soon. There was a time when you could leave your doors open, but these days even if it is nailed down, padlocked or even in a building, it can still get nicked. The area we have cleared, is going to be turfed and picnic tables are going to put there, plus a couple of memory trees. It should look really lovely when done. 
You can see, I and the others have been very busy and yet when I have had some spare time, I have been continuing with my family tree and writing my own life story.

You ask, why write your life story?
Well I started it along time before my Mum passed away, but had put it on the back burner for some time and decided recently to have another go at it, because the death of Mum has bought up good and bad memories, which I want my children and grandchildren to know. Not only that, it is a good way of reliving some of the amazing things I have done and it has put me back in touch with friends from the past. At the rate I am going, I will be able to fill a book. Not sure it would be something everyone would like to read though. 

We have also been working on our garden. We are still waiting for our staging to be built, but in the meantime, we have continued to work on the steps to work their way up the steep bank. 
A few weeks ago I constructed the 1st two stone steps alongside our bunkers up to where the new staging will be, using recycled materials.
I then put step number three in.
A week ago, we put the fourth step in, with the intention of going straight up, but I was never truly happy with it, so today we made some changes.
We have moved the fourth step to go around behind the old tree stump covered in Ivy and it looks much better.
I have now begun to landscape the garden. We stopped play for Prince Phillips funeral, which was very moving and yet simple. It is hard to believe he is gone, but he had a truly amazing life. Her Majesty the Queen, looked so lonely sat in the Chapel. May he rest in peace until it is their time to be reunited.
I will be back gardening tomorrow.

Pop back soon xxxx

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Gardening and Cake.


Dear family, friends and followers.

How is everyone doing?

How many of you have had your vaccinations and did you have any ill-effects afterwards?

After I had mine, I got about 5 hours in and the headache kicked in and lasted all day Sunday. I also felt a bit under the weather, but come Monday morning, I woke up absolutely fine. This morning, I got a text from our medical centre to say they would be letting us know when our second vaccinations are due.

I have been busy doing jobs. We collected more wood for a garden staging, which we are still waiting to have built. I have tended to our garden, because things are beginning to bloom, now that we are into Spring. Today it was a change of garden for me. I went to work on the Arm's raised beds in what we have called the Sensory garden. 

We have decided to strip the beds down and replant them with other plants we have in other raised beds in the Arm. So this will not be a Sensory garden anymore, but just a raised bed. One of the car park raised beds is going and all the plants in it will be heading in to these raised beds. As I am the only gardener here, it is down to be to get the job done, before the digger and dumper truck arrives to take the old raised bed out. Yesterday I made a start on digging the bed over and today, I began transplanting the plants. I have also been splitting them up, so they go further. I start this morning at 8.30am and finished at 2.20pm. 
Having hung up my fork for the day, I then had to make some Lemon Drizzle Muffins, because our cake tin was empty. After a much needed coffee, it was time to go and do the laundry. Phew it has been a busy day, but so satisfying.
Where has that year gone?. A year ago today, we were all told in the UK to stay at home. We began the journey through this Covid-19 Pandemic and little did we know then at how devastating it was going to be for everyone. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one due to Covid-19 and to those who have long Covid. I am thankful that friend Steve from Narrowboat AmyJo, is doing great. He has been home for over a week and today, his oxygen was turned down to One. Hopefully it will not be long before he is off of the Oxygen and can get back to his boat with Chris. I know some people think that this whole situation has been a hoax or exaggerated, but having seen what it can do first hand, I can tell you it is very real. With everyone being vaccinated, hopefully we can get back to some sort of normal very soon, but I for one am not hurrying out and about just yet. 

Pop back soon xx

Saturday, 13 March 2021

V Day.


Dear family, friends and followers.

Today was my V Day. I have been vaccinated and I cannot tell you about how happy I am to have gotten the first one done. I now wait for the call in 12 weeks for my second. 

There has been so much said about whether or not to have the vaccine, but I have always been of the mind to have it done. I have the flu vaccine every year and it has protected me, so I always knew I would have the Covid-19 vaccine. It was a simple and painless thing. Our local vaccine centre is a drive through, where they have two lines of cars and people working both the lines to take details and then someone to do the vaccination. It was totally painless and i feel fine. Please if you are not sure whether to have the vaccination, please do get it done, because it will protect you from the worst of getting Covid-19. I have friends who have had Covid-19 and I am so thankful none of them have lost their lives, although a couple have come very close. The latest friend to get Covid-19 is our friend Steve off of AmyJo. Poor Steve has been very poorly with the virus and although he is now home with his daughter, he is still on Oxygen. He cannot go back to the boat yet because the oxygen cylinders could be a fire risk, so he and Chris are staying with their daughter. Steve did a short vlog yesterday on Facebook, to let everyone know how he was doing. Steve has a long haul in front of him, to get off of the Oxygen, because his lungs are scarred by the virus. This virus is really no joke and I wish Steve all the very best for a good recovery. 

Do not think about it, make sure when you are offered the vaccination, take it.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday, 6 March 2021

For the exhausted woman.

I didn't write this, but I feel its important to share.

For the exhausted woman who showers a few minutes longer to cry with the water...

For the person hidden in the bathroom, because she needs a few minutes of tranquility while slipping tears from her eyes.

For the woman who is so tired that she feels she can't continue, that she would give anything to feel like herself again...

For the woman who cries in her room when everyone leaves the house and for a moment she let's go...

For the woman who desperately battles with self Confidence when wearing denim pants because she wants to look pretty and wear them to feel better but everything just climbs over or can't close...

For the woman who orders pizza for dinner because she didn’t have the time to make dinner again as she expected... Because she's tired.

For the woman who feels alone, even when she's accompanied.

You're worth a lot.

You are important.

You are enough.

You are wonderful...

I love you...💯


Thursday, 4 March 2021

Happy Saint David's Day and boat jobs.


Dear family, friends and followers.

Welcome to March everyone and Happy Saint David's Day. February saw snow, winds, rain and another month in lockdown. The weekend however was glorious, with lots of Spring sunshine and warm from the sun, which meant time to get some jobs done. 

Saturday morning began with recovering the timber which was the old pontoon on the non-residential moorings opposite our mooring. We are going to use it to rebuild the staging in front of our hedge, which is now rotten and leaning and is dangerous to walk along. We hooked the timber with a boat hook on the bank and I caught the wood and threw it into the work boat.
Keith then ground the old nails off, to make the wood easier to stack, which was my job.
I stacked the wood on our patio area, so it is ready for our friends to come and build our new garden staging.
This is our old rotten staging.
A couple of weeks ago, I ripped off the top timbers, to see what was underneath and also to see what would need to be renewed. With the recycled timber all stacked and ready to go, we spent the rest of the day recovering. It had certainly given Keith's back a good workout, and he came through with flying colours. I spent the afternoon finishing off a blanket for our grandson, because his old one is now too small.

Sunday the only real job we did was put up a light.
We put up a new solar light to illuminate our patio area, which we hope we can use more of a dark evening during the Summer, with a light now installed. I began weeding the garden. Weeds never stop going do they? Luckily in this garden we do not seem to get as many weeds as we did in the other garden and at the moment no bindweed, which was a nightmare in the other garden. After fabulous morning in the garden, enjoying the sunshine, birdsong and just the chance to be outside, I did a little bit more family research in the afternoon and watched the Sunday films. After all Sunday is my do little day.

Monday morning dawned, and it was a foggy start to Saint David's Day, with no chance of sunshine according to the weather forecast. First job of the morning was to have a cup of tea in bed, whilst watching the news. We seem to have sorted the TV signal problem out partially, with putting in a new cable, but Keith thinks the issue maybe the TV, only time will tell. With Mr Tesco coming between 9am and 10am, I left the boat chores until after he had been. He arrived at 9.15am and we quickly changed over the trays and he left. Shopping stowed away in the fridge, freezer and cupboard, it was time for coffee. 
Having put the oven on for lunch to bake some Steak and Kidney pies, I decided to try out a new recipe. Muffnuts is part Muffin and part Doughnut. A friend baked some and they looked so scrummy I decided to have a go. I will let you know how they taste, when we have them at teatime. With it being the 1st of the month, we ran the engine and the generator for a while and Keith topped up the batteries, which is done every three months. That was the boat jobs done for at least another month. I will now begin my Spring clean, which would of normally been done by now, because we would of been setting off on our Spring, Summer cruise. But because of the virus, we are going no where at the moment. At the moment boats are only supposed to move for essential shopping, repairs or emergencies. Hopefully that will change come the 12th April, but we will not be moving anywhere until later in the Summer, this is our choice. Not only that Keith needs to have his second vaccination and I have not had my first one yet. We are quite happy to stay put and enjoy our mooring and garden.

Pop back soon. 


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