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

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

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

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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

Friday, 14 January 2022

A week of phone calls and portals.

Hi everyone.

There are days and times, when we all just wonder why we were put on this earth. No matter what we do or say, nothing ever seems right. But we must all strive to keep going or what is the point. I know, a lot of people have been struggling so much over this past couple of year's because of the pandemic and everything it has entailed. It does feel like sometimes, we are fighting a losing battle. I think, I am pretty lucky, because I do not tend to let too many things get on top of me these days. I have had some really tough times and I have thankfully come through them, with the help of hubby and friends. The biggest thing, you can do if you are struggling, is to talk to someone about what the problem is. There is no disgrace in saying "I am not coping". A young woman, I am following on Twitter really struggles with her mental health and confidence, she has even been sectioned. In December she decided that she would run 24 half marathons in December to raise money for Mind. Charlie aimed to raise £500, but instead raised over £40k. The confidence this has given Charlie is amazing and from it, she has now started an online Twitter Sunday walking group, where we all post our walks and photos with hashtag walk with Charlie. It is such a simple idea and already it is making a difference to people's lives. Being outdoors is great for our mental health, even when the weather is cold and wet. Providing you wear the right clothing and footwear, it feels great to be outside in the fresh air. Do not suffer alone, please speak to someone, anyone if you are struggling. 

This week, started off with the usual boat chores. Usually for me that means sorting the boat stove or stoves out, depending on how cold it is. I then fill up the coal scuttles for the day and get rid of the ash. Once a fortnight the water tank gets topped up, then during the Winter, I check the under the floor in the galley for damp and relay disposable nappies and the same is done in the back cabin. I usually change the nappies every two weeks. Our daily walk takes us in different direction.

We like to walk, where it is quiet and away from folk at the moment, as Keith wait's for his operation. Tuesday, began like most day's with a cuppa in bed watching the news, which at the moment, seems to consist of Downing Street parties or no parties or Djokovic playing or not playing Tennis in Australia. Neither are of any interest to us. There is a lot of world news which never get's mentioned, which is far more important. I really despair at the bias from some of the media, but hey that is a whole new blog and I am not getting political, because it just opens a can of worms, which I would rather not open. Not only that, it would probably have you running for the off button. Tuesday, we spent some chatting with number 2 daughter on Portal. They had finally got there's, which we had sent them. It was lovely to sit and chat properly from TV to TV. They do not live close to us, so having online chats is nice. Daughter number 1, who is expecting, has broken one of her wisdom teeth. She tried Seven different dentists and not one could see her as an emergency, even though she is 36 weeks + 2 days pregnant. She tried 111 and they got a doctor to ring her only to tell her she needed a dentist. (No kidding Sherlock). Anyway, come Wednesday morning, she rang her dentist again early and hey presto they fitted her in at 10.30am. But they cannot take what is left of the tooth out for her, because it is down in the gum and the gum is going to require cutting. She now has to wait for an appointment with a special unit and sadly her dentist did not know when that would be. The best they can offer is to keep washing her mouth out with salt water and if it gets infected they will give her antibiotics. They reckon it would be best for her to wait until baby is born to have the tooth out. Which will come first the infection or baby?
Thursday, and we woke up to another heavy frost. and the prospect of knowing when little man will be joining our family, because my daughter was having a scan and seeing her consultant. My day began with a cuppa, getting up and stoking the fire.  
I phoned my daughter to see how her appointment went, with the consultant and a decision has been taken as to when little man will arrive. He will be joining our family around 38 weeks, which means that from the 23rd January, she will be given a date to go in for her C-section. I would not be at all surprised if he does not arrive the day Keith goes in for his operation. It is all very exciting and we cannot wait to meet him. 
After a quick lunch, I had to do the bilge and underfloor checks and change the nappies to keep it dry. I then filled the coal scuttles, sorted out rubbish and had a general tidy up. Whilst the sun has been out, it has been a cold day. During the afternoon, I got out the sewing machine and repaired a few things in my to do pile for mending. I also shortened the sleeves on a couple of shirts. I am not one for long sleeves, I always end up pushing or rolling them up, so on shirts and blouses, I end up cutting the sleeves shorter. Sometimes the off cuts get used for other things, or go into a bag for when I need bits of material. 
Friday, and the end of the week. Where has this week gone? Up late for us, but we still had our morning cuppa in bed and watched the BBC news. I often wonder if there is any other news going on in the world, because we seem to be stuck on Government parties, Djokovic and Prince Andrew. What about the other important news going on across the world? I do think the media gets blinkered at times. Anyway, after our cuppa, the bed was rolled up and put away for the day and it was time to get on with the day. Outside it was -1.5C, the canal was frozen over and it was very foggy out. There was an eerie silence on our morning exercise and it had nothing to do with us walking around a cemetery. I am a nightmare on my feet when it is slippery, which means I am always super careful, because I do not want to fall and break anything. I am a little like Bambi on ice. Walk done and back home, fires were stoked, coal scuttles filled, ash taken out and the boat cosy again. Lunch was going to be a minced beef Madras Curry. I call it a Cowboy Curry, because it contains baked beans. If you are at all interested here is what goes into it.

Cowboy Curry.

2 medium onions fried off.
250grams of minced beef fried with onions.
2 dessert spoons of Madras Curry paste.
1 tin of baked beans.
1/2 tin of tinned tomatoes
1 beef oxo cube.
2 dessert spoons of raisins. 

I let it simmer away on top of the stove until cooked. We usually have it with Rice and Naan bread and I add a teaspoon of Mango chutney when on the plate. It was one of my mum's favourite curries to make and I have carried on making it. I usually make enough for a couple of days. It always tastes nicer on the 2nd day. With lunch done and no sign of any sunshine today, I decided to stay in and do as little possible. It was far nicer to stay inside, near the fire and watch films. Sometimes, it just has to be done. I did have a phone call with my daughter and as always we end up putting the world to right. We are now heading head long into another weekend. I wonder what it will have in store?

Pop back soon x

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