*****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 30 September 2021

Where did that go?


Hi family, friends and followers.

It is a thoroughly miserable day out and more rain forecast, with strong winds added into the mix. Having put the new glass in the stove door yesterday, this morning I relit the stove, because it is rather nippy. In fact we were both chilly last night, but I wanted to make sure the rope glue had gone off, before lighting the fire, so last night we just added another layer of clothes and wore snuggy PJ's to bed. 
This morning on my Facebook page, I had a memory come up from 8 years ago and today is the day we moved onto our first residential mooring in the Arm. Where on earth has that time gone? I remember that day so well, because we were both so excited to have been offered the mooring with the garden, which was in desperate need of sorting. I wasted no time in getting stuck in. Within two weeks, I had the garden stripped and began sorting it out. We soon had it looking better and we actually loved our garden there, we had got it just how we wanted it with a pond, rockery and lots of planting. Coming up is our 3rd anniversary of moving to our new mooring in the Arm. This past three years has certainly flown by and been very different, what with Covid-19 and the lockdowns. We came home to our new mooring early, because our generator had failed whilst we were out. 
Having our home mooring, has been a precious thing for us, because if we had been still out selling coal, Keith would of died in the January of 2014. I am a huge believer that things happen for a reason and we were meant to have our mooring and Keith was meant to survive. 

As the day has worn on and the fire has made the boat all cosy, we discovered that our galley tap was leaking again. We had changed a washer on the cold side of the mixer tap, but now it was leaking from around the actually tap head. I tried to sort the problem, but failed so I phoned Simon, who is in the Arm and is our go to man when we need something done. Simon is a blacksmith by trade, but does all sorts of work on boats and not on boats. For instance, he helped with the building of our wooden terrace at the top of our garden. He can turn his hand to most jobs and every boater in the Arm calls on him, when a job needs doing. Keith would do the tap himself, but what with his hernia and back, it is just not possible. After lunch Simon popped up to have a look at the mixer tap and it was decided that after over 14 years of use, it needs replacing and he reckoned he had one at his work shop, so we are now waiting to hear back from him as to whether he does have one or he needs to get on. In the meantime, I am putting tea towels behind the tap to soak up the water dripping from the joint. There is always something to do on a boat. The mixer tap has certainly done its job and the hope is a new one will last just as long. 

It is still miserable out, but we did get a quick walk in. The plan now is to stay indoors and watch films for the rest of the day.

Pop back soon xxx

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Best laid plans.

 Hi family, friends and followers.

Yes, I know two posts in a week. Please do not faint, I do not want to be responsible for you bumping your head on the way down.

Well, I said in my last post, that if it got chilly, I would light the fire and yesterday was that day. It was a thoroughly miserable day weather wise and so Summer is now done with and Autumn has finally come to our neck of the woods. I lit the stove and we were soon nice and snug. The warmth took the edge of the chill and the damp feel you always get on the boat when the temperature begins to slide. The plan was to let the stove out during the evening, because we did not want it too hot to sleep. As the afternoon, drew into the evening, I noticed that the stoves glass had cracked along the bottom of the glass, which was not good news, especially as the fire was not out yet. To be fair, the glass is a good few years old, and nothing last forever. 

Another thing we also noticed was although the radiator in the bathroom was warm, it was only warm in one corner and even though we turned the bleed key, no air or water was coming out, which meant there was an issue with the radiator. My thought was a massive air lock. I checked the header tank in the cupboard and topped it up, but it did not make any difference with the radiator.
This morning, we firstly tackled the stove glass and door. After some chiselling, wire brushing and a few choice words, we were able to get the old glass out. I walked down to our local hardware shop Torry's and bought some new fire rope and glue. When I got back, I redid the fire rope and put the new glass in the door.
With this job done and the door refitted, it was time for lunch and a chance to ponder what the issue was with the radiator. After lunch and a coffee, it was time to play detective. We checked all the valves, to make sure nothing was turned off. All was on and the pump was working. I then suggested we crack a join on the radiator connectors to see if there was any water in the pipes, so Keith did that and yay we had water in the pipes. Having done it all back up again, he then tried the bleed key again and hey presto it worked and we had water coming out of the bleed. We have absolutely no idea what happened, but I can only think we had a massive air lock somewhere in the pipework. A major problem, was all sorted out in no time at all and sanity has settled in once more. I am now hoping that, we will have no further issues and our replacement glass, which will be our back up glass arrives in one piece. We always keep a spare. 

Pop back soon xx

Monday 27 September 2021

It is that time of the year.


Hi family, friends and followers.

I am sat here, having had a shower, ever so slightly chilly. I am thinking, I should of lit the stove to take the chill off, before having a shower. I then got to thinking, where has this year gone? We have all been through another difficult year, due to the joys of Covid-19 and so why has the year flown by? It is not as if we have been cruising the cut or doing exciting things and yet we are on the downward slope to Christmas arghhhh. I remember my Nan telling me once, that the older we get the quicker the time goes and as a child, I thought don't be daft, time is time it cannot go quicker. But the older I have gotten, the quicker time does seem to fly by, even when doing nothing exciting. This does not bode well, if this year has flown by and I am approaching my 60th year. This means the rest of my days will spiral into oblivion. It is a scary thought, that life is flying by and there is still so much to do. 

Next year, yes I am already talking about 2022, because we will have the joy of a new grandson in our lives. My daughter is expecting another boy, bringing her family total to three amazing boys. We are so blessed to have Oscar and Orion in our lives and we are all very excited about greeting another little man, who will bring yet more joy into our lives. The joy of grandchildren is unmeasured. I feel so blessed to be able to hug them and watch them grow up into wonderful individuals. 

Today, was Flu vaccination day. We go to our local chemist for our vaccinations and for the first time, being 50+, I got my vaccination done free. For the past, goodness knows how many years, I have been paying for them, but yay this one was free. We now await our Covid-19 booster vaccination appointment. We are both still making sure we keep away from lots of people, because neither of us wants Covid. Yes I know we are vaccinated, and yes I know it is highly unlikely, that we would be really unwell with this virus, but neither of us wants to get it, especially having seen what long Covid has done to some of our friends, who have had the virus. Because I had years of Bronchitis, my lungs are not that great, when I get even a cold, so if I were to catch the virus, I am thinking my lungs would be pretty angry. Even the damp weather, which is creeping upon us, makes me cough in the mornings. I sound like I have smoked 60 fags over night. So many people have stopped wearing their masks, but we will continue to wear them, for as long as it takes. 

As we approach October, the bags of coal are stacked ready for use and the stoves are overhauled and cleaned, waiting to be lit. If it continues to be damp, I will light up and take the chill off of the inside of the boat. It always feels so nice and cosy, when the stove is lit. I also have to think about Keith, who suffers from the cold more than I do. 

Jobs for this week, are meant to include washing our hold string, but the forecast is not looking favourable. I did not wash them last year, so I really do need to get them done. We will see how that goes. I have gardening, which needs to be done. Cutting and pruning back needs to commence. Bulb planting to do and we also need to sort out the long pile bug hotel, which is having a makeover, pictures will follow. 

The laundry here in the Arm, will be getting a lot of use over the next few days, because I want to get all the heavy bedding, curtains and blankets washed and dried. I love using the laundry, when no one is around, because I play the music on my phone and I can sing along happily, without anyone bothering me. Oh yes, I do sound like the cats choir, but hey I really do not care. I love to sing. When I was a child, I joined the church choir, so that I could sing. I find myself being so happy when I sing out loud. What brings you joy?

Right it is time for me to a Mr Freeze Jubbly and to sit and watch a film. Sending you all hugs.

Pop back soon xxx

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


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