*****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, 23 September 2021

Never a dull moment.


Dear family, friends and followers.

This past 18 months, for everyone has been difficult and for those who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19, their lives have been turned upside down. Getting back to some sort of normal, has been important on so many levels and yet, we are still not pushing too many boundaries, because the virus is still very much with us. We are waiting for our next Covid-19 jab to back up the two we have already had and we are booked in for our flu jabs next week. We could have them both done together, but I did not like the thought of having them together, so have booked the flu jab separately. I do not usually have any issues with the flu vaccination, but who knows how it will react with the Covid-19 jab. Anyway, we will make sure we are fully vaccinated and then wait and see what Winter brings. 

Since my last posting, I have been busy with the garden and with helping out in the Arm. There is always something that needs attention. If I am not doing the gardens, I am wielding a paintbrush to coat the woodwork in preservative. After the making of the new flower beds in my last post, work began on taking out a hedgerow down on the visitor moorings.

The old hedge, needs replacing or not, which is yet to be decided, but it has had its day and is now just full of ivy and brambles. It also blocks out a lot of light. 
Keith and Nigel got on with chipping the old hedge, whilst I helped to gather all the branches and greenery together for them to chip. Whilst we had the chipper out, the trees in the car park got a prune, because, every time a large van or lorry came through the car park gate, they hit the lower branches of the tree, causing damage to them and the trees, so we took out any low hanging branches, giving vans and lorries plenty of clearance. We have a lot of Ash trees on site, which considering many Ash tree are stricken with Ash dieback, ours are looking incredibly healthy. 
As I type this entry into my blog, I am taking the day off from working on site. I feel as though my get up and go has got up and gone. I may have overdone things a little. In this past week alone, I have locked wheeled up Hatton on Monday. 

My brother, his wife and friends hired a boat and were doing the Warwickshire Ring. They spent Sunday night in the Arm, where we joined them for Tim's homemade pizza and apple pie. We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, laughing, drinking and talking about old times and our lives. Monday morning 9am, we helped them up the Hatton flight.

We had a real laugh for 2 hrs 45 mins, which is how long it took us to get up the flight. Keith and I then had lunch in the Hatton Locks Cafe, which was scrummy. Keith and I then took a leisurely walk back home. Tuesday, Keith and I spent racking soil and mud, which was dredged out of the Arm at the end of the visitor moorings. Because we are an Arm, we have a dead end, which fills up with silt and dead leaves, this then begins to smell and gives off Methane. Ian our site manager dredges it every few years and the stuff he gets out, is spread on the raised beds. This has to be raked out and that is what Keith and I did all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Along with all of that, we walked up into town to get prescriptions and to book our flu jabs. 
I think today (Thursday), my mojo has gone. I literally have no energy. I did some baking this morning and that has been it. All I really want to do is fall asleep. In my head I am still a spring chicken, but my body is saying I am an old boiler. I guess, I need to start taking better care of myself. 

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 10 September 2021

Covid-19, working and holidays.


Dear family, friends and followers.

Well, what I can I say?

It has been a manic couple of months for me and us as a family. To be honest, I have no idea where the times has gone since my last post. Life took over and posting, I have to say was not at the top of my priority list.

Both daughters and their partners have had Covid-19. Thankfully they all came out the other side completely fine. They all had it differently. Both the girls, had it worse than the lads. The main thing is they were alright. Our main concern was for Becky, because she is pregnant and we did not know how Covid-19 would impact on her or the baby, because she was only able to have one jab. Covid-19 has left her tired and so rest is going to be important for her, but both her and the little one are fine.

Our garden mooring, continues to grow and improve, with more work to be done over the Autumn and Winter months. We have also been very busy working in the Arm.

We have been helping to install new security fencing around our car park area.

The decision to replace the old wooden fencing came about, after we had a theft at the Arm and our resident tree surgeon had her chipper stolen. The thieves had the nerve to break down the wooden fencing and then wheeled her chipper out of the Arm over a steep bank. The new fencing has gone up really well and we have had great fun helping to put it up.
Next task, was to dismantle an old rotten picnic table and use the good oak table top to make a new planter. 
The one planter grew to three, as we recycled other timber on site. We then had the job of filling the planters with top soil, which was delivered in large builders bags. I think I now have arms like Popeye. During the Autumn, we will plant bulbs for Spring colour and then next Summer some bedding plants will go in. It will brighten up the visitor moorings no end.
We have been out for a weeks cruise with family. They hired from the local hire company Kate Boats for their first boating holiday and our first family holiday all together, which was going to be very special. We met them there on the Saturday and during the afternoon, we all set off together for a week of fun, laughter, tears and mishaps.

The aim of the holiday, was to spend some quality time with our family and for me to get some wonderful time with my girls. As we only had a week, the plan was to get them at least to Braunston and anything else was a bonus. We were not going to hurry and as it turned out, because the canal was so busy, we were glad we had set no firm targets. 
On day tow, our eldest grandson had his first boating accident, as he slipped with the well deck and hit his ribs and leg on one of the side benches. He was trying to help me, with topping up their boat with water and he over stretched and slipped. Thankfully, he was was not hurt too badly, but did have bruises to show for his bang. On the double locks, we breasted the boats up, meaning there were more hands to work the locks. A part of any holiday, there was time to eat out. We had two pub meals and due to the pandemic, we took every precaution. Our first meal was at The Old Plough in Braunston. We had wanted to go to The Boat House, but they were not doing food, due to Covid-19 and staff shortages. Our second meal out was at The Blue Lias pub on our way home. The family, now appreciate what we do everyday when we are out cruising. Each evening, we would moor up and enjoy dinner together. I would do some of the preparation and cooking on our boat and then transport it onto Charlotte (hire boat). By the end of each day, we were all suitably tired. We were tired, because we had not been boating for some 18 months and for them it was more physical exercise than they were used to and for them a change of air. They got to experience two tunnels and two lots of staircase locks, because we did Bascote and Watford Locks. Yes we got further than Braunston, which was surprising, because the cut was so incredibly busy, all the way to Braunston. There ere wall to wall boats moored and on the move. It seems Covid-19 had made people take a staycation and the hire companies had certainly done well, with people experiencing boating for the first time, when normally they would holiday abroad. We had a toilet emergency on the way to Crick and had to call out one of the Kate Boat engineers, when it was realised that there was no fixing it ourselves. We moored at Crick and the engineer was quick to come out, he was with the family in three quarters of an hour. The pipe work on the toilet had become blocked. I will not bore you with the details, but it seems it was not the families fault. With the job completed, we decided we would not reach Welford and so Keith helped the family wind the boat at Yelvertoft. Yes he had to go all that way to wind, because the Braunston winding hole was too shallow. 
Back in Crick and moored for the night, we all settled down to a family meal with laughter and some board games for the boys. Our homeward journey was a bimble. We wanted to stop off an allow them all the experience the countryside and just enjoy what we have always enjoyed about boating life. Our final evening on the Friday we stopped off for fish and chips at Sydenham. Pete's Plaice next door to the Fusilier Inn. Oh my word, the food was wonderful, but the portion sizes were huge. We definitely recommend the food and the prices are very reasonable. Definitely going there again, but will go for small portions. One small portion of chips is plenty for two people. On the Saturday morning our holiday with the family came to an end at 9am, which was when the hire boat had to be back. We waved our special little family off as we wished them a safe journey home. 

We came home to our mooring and cleaned the boat and stowed everything away for the Winter, because we will not be going out again this year. We are waiting for a surgeons letter, to say that they will see Keith and get his Hernia sorted out. Keith was in a lot of pain during the holiday, but was determined not to allow it to spoil the holiday. We were supposed to be going out again this month for an event, but have changed our minds. We have no idea, who long we will have to wait for the hospital to contact us, but we know there are no appointments at the moment. With the boat now in Winter mode, I will be turning my attention to getting boat jobs done and the garden sorted out. 

I hope that you are all keep well and safe.
I will pop back again soon xx

Friday, 16 July 2021

Happy Birthday Mum.


A Very Special Heavenly Birthday to my Mum. 

As you walk amongst the Angels, you will always be missed on earth.
May the winds of heaven whisper in your ear, how much you are missed your by family and friends ❤❤❤. 
I will always think of you, until we meet again xxx

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

A painting day.


Hello family, friends and followers.

It has turned into a glorious day, after a cloudy start which suited me just fine, because today was fence painting day. 

Yesterday Keith cut some off the bottom edge of our small bunker door and whilst it was off he painted it Forest Green. 

I then went on to paint both bunkers Dark Brown. 
This morning I finished off painting the larger bunker, then we both painted the fencing around our pontoon and finally I finished off with painting the garden edging and giving the bench a much needed coat of Forest Green paint. 
It looks nice and fresh now. I love painting, but painting the fence is not at the top of my to do list normally, because it can be brain numbing. Anyway it is all done for another year. I may add a second coat to the bench tomorrow morning, but we shall see. 
Time for a sit down 🙂.

Pop back soon xxx

Friday, 9 July 2021

Isn't it funny.


Dear family, friends and family.

This past couple of days have been emotionally fuelled, by the fact that no matter how much you try you cannot please all of the people all of the time. I am pleased to report that my daughter, who has been battling Covid-19 is getting better and can now taste things and actually did some work, as she is working from home. It is such a relief that she and her partner, have not had the virus really bad, although she was poorly. Covid-19 is deadly serious and no one should be taking any risks with their health. In our area the numbers are rising. Figures for this week show that we have 371.49 per 100,000 people and still rising. Masks, space and continue to wash your hands and do the right thing.

Today, I have pottered in the garden. 
I have been pondering which part I am going to tackle next and have decided that the bed closest to the patio area is in need of some attention and the bug hotel needs some attention. All I need now is some get up and go. For some reason, my get up and go had gotten up and gone. This may have something to do with how emotional have felt this past few days. I am hoping once I start a new project, it will spark something in me to make me feel 100% again. But I have a feeling that I need to address my emotions to get my mojo back. Anyway, the garden is looking pretty good. 
I am in the process of deciding what to plant along the bed which is at the top of our terrace staging. I want it to be low maintenance and yet looking lovely all year round. I also need to be able to cut the hedge, so I cannot have anything too high. It is another work in progress. 

The title of my post 'Isn't it funny' is because when not pottering in the garden or chatting to the neighbours, I have been working on the family tree. My family is so fragmented, I actually wonder sometimes why I am doing this. I am ever thankful that I have my girls, their partners and our grandsons in our lives, because the older members of the family who are still with us are not in our lives and sadly are never likely to be. I then think, I am doing the family tree, because I want to learn about the members of the family who were never mentioned or hardly seen. I only met grandad on my mum's side once and that was briefly and I can never recall meeting grandad on my dad's side. I knew both my nan and grandmother or so I thought, because whilst digging with the help of a friend, I have discovered that one of them was not as white as the driven snow and this in fact shocked me, because what she did, I would never have through possible of her. When I read the newspaper clipping, I had to see the funny side, but could not condone her behaviour and she was punished for her crimes. All I can however see is a grey haired, sweet old lady. They do say that you can dig up all sorts of things, including finding a few skeletons hiding in the cupboard. I have been learning such a lot about both families, which will be passed on to my children and grandchildren. We should all know our family history, whether it be good or bad. I know that family was hardly ever spoken about and photographs have come to light of great great- grandparents, which I knew nothing about, but have learnt a lot by doing their family history. If you want to learn about your family tree, please do talk to your family, if they will talk about it. I am learning the hard way to find out about my family, but I am getting there slowly. I am thinking about doing my DNA, because some parts of the family are proving hard to learn about. I am hoping the DNA test may provide me with some answers. 
Have any of you done your DNA? 
Are you doing your family tree?
There must always be an air of caution, that if you do not want to know about any skeletons, then maybe it is not for you. 
Doing my tree, has bought me new family members. I have discovered new cousins and an uncle who was never spoken about, although I knew of him. There is always a plus to a minus. 

Have a wonderful weekend.
Pop back soon xxx

Monday, 5 July 2021

Thank You.

Dear family, friends and followers.

At the time of typing, I can say we are still negative and we do not expect that to change after our families brush with Covid-19.

Thank you so much for your lovely message, they have meant a lot. Again as I type this posting youngest daughter Steph is getting better. She has a nasty cough, which is making her breathless, but she say's she is improving. Dan her partner, seems to be having a milder case of this dreadful virus, which is a blessing. As a mother, it has made me feel quite helpless, because I could not be there to help them, but hopefully they are over the worst. 

This country of ours is expected to drop all restrictions on the 19th July. I am seriously wondering if this is the right decision? I realise that at some point, we need to get on with our lives and as some have said we need to learn to live with this, just like living with the flu. But this is not the flu and it has been a real killer. 

Today we are thanking our 73 year old NHS for all their hard work and wishing them a happy birthday, and I just hope we are not heading towards inflicting yet more work on them, with the virus getting out of hand again. It is amazing to think that our NHS is 73 years old. How incredibly lucky are we to have this wonderful service? I am incredibly humble and thankful for their help over the years. They saved my husband in 2014 and they helped to bring my children into the world over the years. They were there when my daughter and mother died and looked after them to the end. It is so easy to take what we have for granted. The Queen has awarded the George Cross to the National Health Services of the UK and it has been hard earned, especially over this past 18 months. I say and very sincere "Thank You" to everyone who works within the NHS.

Because Keith and I have been self-isolating, we have not really been out in the garden, although we can. Because we have a footpath alongside our mooring, which the public can use, we have chosen to stay inside for most of the time. Keith has done his walking up and down the pontoon, which he has to do for his back pain. I have been out late in the day to empty the cassette, take on water and get rid of rubbish, making sure we have kept away from the other moorers here, even though we know we are negative. I may venture into the garden later to do some dead heading and to check for weeds, because have had a lot of rain and thunderstorm this past few days. The rain was very much welcomed, but the weeds I can do without. I am looking forward to getting back out there and joining in with work in the Arm, because we have new fencing to put up and the gardens will require attention. The one thing being in self-isolation has got me to do and that is to get rid of my sewing and mending pile, so there is always a plus to a minus. I have shortened some dungarees, mended some shorts after they split, repaired Keith's old shirts and mended a boat flag. I actually fancy getting some material and making a quilt, so I may just have to have a nosey on Ebay for some fabric. 

Does anyone know anything about Fibromyalgia? 

The reason I ask, is because I have some of the symptoms. I have read the stuff online, but want to hear from anyone going through it, before I bother the GP, who I know is over run at the moment. I suffer with Costochondritis and have done for a few years, which I control with medication, but these other problems have come along and it is looking like Fibromyalgia. I would be interested to hear about it from someone who suffers.

Pop back soon xxx

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Covid-19 comes a calling :-(


Dear family, friends and followers.

I am hoping that this posting finds you all keeping well?

The title of this post, tells you everything, but what took place to get to this point. Last Sunday 27th June, we had a much anticipated visit from our family and grandsons. We had all be so careful over this past 18 months and on the run up to their visit. 

The day arrived and I had been very busy baking, tidying and getting everything ready for the visit, which had been over two years in the waiting. We last saw them all in June 2019 at Foxton and so this was going to be so special. They all arrived not long after 11.30am and we enjoyed a walk around the Arm, chatter and laughter before lunch. I laid out a buffet lunch for us all, which we enjoyed on our patio. After lunch we then walked over to the common, so the grandsons could play and we could have a game of kick about. The family visit was over way too soon, when they left to go home just after 5pm. It was wonderful to see my girls, and to enjoy the company of everyone again. We are going on a boating holiday at the end of August, and the get together gave us a chance to talk about our hopes and plans.

Monday morning dawned and all was well for us all. I got on with some gardening and tidying up from the weekend. It was not until Tuesday, that Steph my youngest daughter began to feel unwell. Both she and Dan her partner did lateral flow tests and they were both negative. Then on Wednesday she rang me to say she was still feeling unwell and that her lateral flow test had shown a faint positive line, so they were both going to get a PCR test. All of us then did the lateral flow tests and we all came back negative. Poor Steph continued to go down hill and was feeling very poorly with flu-like symptoms and no sense of taste of smell. Thursday and it is confirmed she has Covid-19, which means we must all go into self-isolation. We had already done so on the Wednesday. Dan was still testing negative with his PCR and lateral flow tests, but as of this morning (Saturday) that has changed. Dan's lateral flow test, showed a faint positive test and he is now feeling poorly. The rest of us are still negative. Steph went over, and over where she had been on the run up to their visit and the only thing that singles her out for the virus is she visited a BP garage toilet on the way to us. They had been out on the Saturday, but none of their friends from then are poorly. So it looks like she caught the virus from a garage toilet. It just goes to show that not everyone is keeping up the hygiene rules through this virus. Keith and I are doing tests every couple of days as is Becky and her family, but none of us expects to get ill, because we were outside throughout their visit and did not have close contact. Steph only became contagious the following day from her visit. 

This virus knows no bounds and so first of all please get vaccinated when called and secondly take every precaution you can to stop this thing getting you. Where we are at the moment, we have some of the highest numbers in the country, because the virus is attacking the 11 to 25 year olds. The university students here are all isolating, because it has hit their campus and many of them have not been vaccinated yet. It does make me wonder if fully opening up on the 19th July is a good idea. I know we have to learn to live with this thing, but until everyone has been vaccinated, the numbers will continue to rise. 

Stay safe. Pop back soon xx

Saturday, 19 June 2021

More work being done.


Dear family, friends and followers.

There is never a dull moment in my life. I am not one for sitting about and so again today, Keith and I have been outside working on our terrace staging. 

Keith and I have fixed more shuttering in place. We have run out of screws, they should arrive Monday. The final shuttering has been cut and is ready to be fixed when the screws arrive in the post.
Keith cut the front posts to height and we have fixed a rope handrail attached at the top of the posts. I am thinking of getting some lights to go along there as well.
We still need to put fillers in at the front of the steps, so we do not snag our toes.
I did some more digging out to finish off the shuttering on top of the bank. This will all be fixed in place next week and then I can back fill behind the shuttering. It has been hard work, what with all the digging out of the soil and the working out and fixing everything down, but it has been so worth it.
Tomorrow I will be looking at putting down chicken wire on the treads to make them non-slip in the Winter. We are almost there.😊

Pop back soon xx

Friday, 18 June 2021

Lots going on.


Dear family, friends and followers.

Rain has stopped play for me today. It seems like an age ago, that we have had lots of rain, but it rained all night and it has not stopped. It is still chucking it down and we are now at 14.43pm. 

Back earlier in the year, I took up the terrace staging across the top of our sloping garden, because it was rotten, dangerous and leaning. 
All's I left was the the bearers, which were also pretty tatty. Two weeks ago, we finally began the task of putting new terrace staging in, so that I can cut the hedge safely. We asked two friends to come and help us, because with Keith's back, we could not depend on him being able to get the job done.
We had to dig out a lot of ground to drop the level down by over a foot, which meant new posts and bearers going in.
All our timber is recycled from a pontoon and fencing on site, which was a blessing, because the timber would of cost us a fortune. Les and I worked well together, she is very much of the same mindset as me and was happy to work on till 8pm two days running, which helped us crack on.
Whenever a snag cropped up, we were able to work it out together. Keith did all the sawing of wood for the floor with the rotary saw and I then took over for the shuttering boards.
Yesterday we finished off the floor in the rain, but it was something we wanted to get done and we also concreted some more posts in.
Keith has been cutting more shuttering boards, which I have been screwing into place. Les left us last night and so Keith and I will carry on to the end of the job, which means more shuttering, cutting to length the posts, adding the rope and then I will get on with trimming the hedge and planting out. We are so pleased with what has been done so far and oh boy have I worked hard. I have dug out tonnes of soil, sawn and screwed timber. I have found muscles, which I have not used before. It has been great fun working with Les and Simon has helped out a bit. Keith and I always work well together, we have an amazing partnership. I will post photos when it is all finished, but this is what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. Oh and in between doing this huge job, I have been weeding the gardens in the Arm and seeing friends who have popped in for a distant cuppa and a natter. It has been lovely to meet up with friends, but we are both still be careful, because even though we have had our vaccines, the numbers are creeping up again. I long for the day, when we no longer have to talk about Covid-19.

Pop back soon xxx

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


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