*****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, 9 December 2016

Christmas is coming.

Hi Friends.

You would need to be on the moon if you do not know by now we are getting closer to Christmas Day and all it brings with it. Eating to much, drinking to much, snoozing through the Queen's speech (how dare you), family rows and mountains of toys and presents which will never get played with or used. Ha ha ha I jest honest.

My Christmas preparations are pretty much done. We have what we need and if we do not then tough we will go without, because we do try not to go over the top. It is after all one day, or two if you count Boxing Day or Three if you count Christmas Eve. I am no one of the Bah Humbug group, but I do feel we all go over the top.
Ok enough of that.

After the cold snap we had, now we are having Spring like weather, it has been really mild this past couple of days, which has begun to confuse plants, birds and even the local ducks, who were definitely in the mood for love. I did try to explain to them it is December, but the Drake was definitely not listening. Luckily the Mallard flew off, she had a narrow escape bless her.

Today began like every day. A cup of tea in bed, watching BBC1 news and catching up with what is happening in the world. Marmite then came in to ask if we were actually getting up. It was rather dull and dark out, even at 7.45 am. On getting up, I stripped the bed to do the laundry, this is always a bit of fun as we kind of sleep in a cupboard and it can take a bit of acrobatics to strip and then remake the bed, especially with a double duvet cover, but it was soon all stripped. Cupboard door shut and washing in the laundry bag, it was time to walk Paddy and then feed both him and Marmite. Now I know they are both different animals, but their approaches to being fed is so different as well. Paddy sits in his bed all patient and waits for his biscuits. Marmite runs about and then jumps up on to the worktop meowing constantly, until her meat is put in her dish, it is only then she shuts up. Dogs have a lot more patience, well Paddy does anyway.
The usual narrowboat stuff was done, the saloon stove was riddled, ash taken out and then the stove was made up for the day. I was then off to the laundry to get the bedding washed, whilst in the laundry, I sat down with a fellow resident in the Arm to talk about the C word, yes Christmas and what his plans were. I think we managed to also cover most of the news topics of the day and how to lose things on our boats, that we never find again. In our case it was a pair of Keith's walking shoes, which we have never found. The laundry is a great place to catch-up with people for a natter whilst our washing does an express wash in 32 + minutes if we are lucky, which is not bad for a £1.
Laundry done and hung up in the engine room, I then had to turn my attention to preparing something for lunch and today it was to be Liver and Onions, which we both love. By cooking it early, it can sit on top of the stove and simmer to its hearts content, whilst we drool over the aromatic smell wafting around the boat..... ok maybe not aromatic, but we both love the smell of Liver and Onions.
Yesterday I sold one of my cards on Ebay, so that got parceled up and posted to its new owner. I was so cuffed to have sold my first card on Ebay. I am hoping it is the start of something good.
My afternoon was spent doing some pruning in our garden and nattering to just about anyone who would listen. If you know me, you will know I like to natter.
As the afternoon, dissolved into the evening and the dark blocked out the daylight, we closed the boat up and the Christmas lights on. The fire was glowing, Marmite and Paddy were settled for the night and I have had a lovely day one way or another. It does not take much to make me happy.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Laundry, Food and Freezer.

Cute picture for the day.

Hi Friends.

The thaw has taken place and now we are back into Summer like temperatures. Ok I know I am exaggerating a little, but having lit the back cabin stove yesterday morning, by the afternoon we were sweltering with both stoves going, so today I only have the saloon stove on, which seems to have upset Marmite, because she has been sat close to the saloon stove. Obviously she is feeling a tad chilly. 

Our day began early, because Keith had an appointment with the practice nurse reviewing his medication. He had to be at the surgery for 8.20 am, so we were up and about just after 7 am. Paddy was confused, because he does not get out of his pit until gone 8 am and then off for his walk. I had him out of the boat at 7.30 am, which confused him, but then he did get his breakfast early, which also pleased Marmite.
With Keith off to the nurse, we had notification that our new freezer would be arriving between 2 pm and 3 pm, so I cleaned the shelf down ready for the freezer to go in. I then got on with the morning's chores, which included sorting the stove out, getting the coal in. Floors swept and washed, laundry sorted and ready to wash. I usually get a lot done when Keith is away from the boat, I have no idea why. 
Keith came home to a coffee being made, so I went and did the laundry. Whilst doing the laundry, the post man arrived bearing lots of post and parcels, so I sorted them out and put them in their places for people to collect. Keith's railway building had arrived, so he was really chuffed.
Keith is looking forward to starting his railways layout in the hold. You can follow the story on his website

Our Tesco delivery was due between 11 am and 12 noon. At 10.45 am as I was leaving the laundry, reversing into the car park was my Tesco van and my food delivery. I do so love it when they are early. This delivery contained some of our Christmas goodies, which I bought with our Christmas vouchers. I am really feeling festive now and so looking forward to it all this year. 
Food stowed away, I made us some lunch, which was washed down by half an Old Speckled Hen. I am not drinking much alcohol because of the tablets I am on, but I figured a half would not hurt me and I was right, I felt fine. I will however be a good girl over Christmas.
Our new freezer was due to arrive with DPD between 2 to 3 pm. Keith was following the tracker on the DPD website. We knew it was close, but it actually arrived before it turned up on the tracker. Keith stood in the hold, whilst I passed the boxed freezer under the sheeting. We then man-handled the freezer into the galley and put it on the shelf where the old freezer had been. Before we could turn it on, we had to leave it for at least 3 hours to settle down, because of the coolant needed to settle down. We will turn it on so it runs in overnight and hopefully tomorrow we will have a new working freezer. You can find out the outcome tomorrow :-).
TV viewing this evening will be the follow-up program for 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here'. Where we will get to see what they got up to once out of the jungle. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

It's Fixed.

Cute photograph for today.

Hi Friends.

Christmas is coming don't you know?
Yep it is going to be a good Christmas this year, I just know it is. For me it cannot be any worse than last year, when I was very poorly throughout Christmas and the New Year. I am so looking forward to this one and it was made all the better by the visit of our fridge/freezer repairman. As I told you in my last posting, our freezer has died and the hope was he could repair our fridge/freezer. He thought it was the thermostat and so came armed with a new one. Having looked at the back of the fridge/freezer and heard Keith's explanation on what happened, it turned out not to be the thermostat at all. A connector had broken and just needed replacing phew. So instead of having to fork out hundreds of pounds we got the bill of £40, which is a huge bonus. We both are feeling much happier now. Having let the appliance get down to a proper temperature, we have stowed all our goodies back into the fridge and the freezer. Honestly we are mad, because we have been watching the temperature going down with the use of our indoor outdoor thermometer. At one point it was not switching off, so we turned the thermostat down till the light went out and then there was panic, because the light did not come back on arghhhh. I told Keith to leave the fridge door open for a couple of minutes and hey presto the light clicked on and all was running well again. You do become a little paranoid when everything around you begins to go wrong all at the same time.

The rest of my day has been a little more relaxing thankfully. It was another cold and frosty start. I woke at 7.45 am to see a red glow coming in through the pigeon box portholes. The sun was coming up and giving us a red sky.
I got up to make a cup of tea and could not resist sitting inside the engine room doors and taking these photographs.
With ice on the cut and a beautiful sunrise, I just knew we were in for a good day. This is why I love the cold weather. I love ice on the cut and the cold mornings. I just wish Paddy felt the same way. He was less than interested in going out this morning. it was as much as I could do to get him out of his bed, but I guess at the age of 84 he has every right to be lazy. Once out and off the boat, the fresh smells soon got his interest and he felt the need to cover them all. I have always wondered how he goes from 6 pm till 8 am in the morning. I still think he has hollow legs.
No sooner we were home, it was animals breakfast time and time for me to light the back cabin stove, because as Marmite kept telling me with her constant meowing, it was parky in there. As you have probably realized she does not do cold at all. 
Last night we missed 'I'm A Celebrity', so we caught up on it on iplayer and congratulations to Scarlett, she was fantastic, as were all the celebs. We did think she would win it. Now I am looking forward to the coming out show on Wednesday at 8 pm. I know a lot of people have moaned about there not being any row in the jungle this year, but it was actually a nice change to have them all getting along on the whole. Here's to the next one.
With John the repairman coming, I got on with lunch early, so we would have it done and dusted before he arrived. I almost made it, we had just about eaten lunch when he knocked on the side of the boat. 
After John had left, I popped into the office to have a natter with Jack about all things Christmas and the Arm. We are so looking forward to sharing her first Christmas in her cottage. She is a wonderful friend and I think of her as my sister, because we are so alike. We always have a lot to natter about and have a good laugh.
As we have been watching our fridge/freezer, time past me by so quickly, it was time for a hot shower and then feet up for the evening.
What joys would there be on the box tonight and if all else fails I can watch the first series of 'Game of Thrones'. We do not have Sky and so I have not seen any of this series, but so many people I know have raved about it, so when I saw the first series on DVD in a charity shop for £2.45 I just had to get it. I am hoping it lives up to what I have been told. If I like it then I will be looking out to get the other series. If I don't like it, then the five DVD's will go back to the charity shop or in our laundry room where we have DVD's people can take for a donation. I was thinking of saving it till Christmas, but if TV is boring, then I will dip into early, after all Christmas is not far away now.

First Sunday of December.

Cute photograph for today.

Hi Friends.

It is the first Sunday of December and it all began with a heavy frost and the temperature of -4.4 C. 
Having had a couple of days of warmer weather, the cut had defrosted, but this morning it was frozen over again. I do so love to see ice on the cut. I know, I know it is not good when you need to move and especially if you are worried about your blacking. But I love it anyway. When we were doing the coal run on the Leicester Line, no one was bothered by their blacking as long as we made it through with their coal. We did not have a vehicle, so the only way was by water and when your feeling cold and miserable, the sound of the coal boat crunching through the ice is a welcome sound. We would regularly take the blacking off, so our policy was when the boat was high in the water we would slap the blacking back on, ready for her loading and her hull being back down low in the water. It worked perfectly and of course she got blacked every two years as well.
With ice all around, the sun was coming up and casting a warm glow, enough to warm the cockles of anyone's heart. Paddy however was non to keen to go to far this morning and so did what he had to do, then he did an about turn and legged it back to the boat to the warmth of the cabin. Marmite was being very vocal for her breakfast as is usual for her, she is not a cat that likes to wait for anything, but particularly her breakfast.

Yesterday evening I did something to my back, which meant I was walking a little lopsided, thankfully this morning it had eased and although my Sciatica has kicked in again, at least I am more comfortable. Oh the joys of the body telling me I am not a teenager anymore. As for my other issues, they have settled down a little. Having had a week of taking 20 mg Amitriptyline a day, I am now back to 10 mg again and so far so good. I am on them until the New Year, when I hope that my pain will have ceased and I can come off the tablets, but we will of course cross that bridge when we get to it.

News on the freezer and fridge/freezer front. Sadly we received a phone call from the repairer to say that our small freezer is leaking gas and is not repairable. This is bad news indeed, because we have had it no more than 3 years. We are still waiting for the repairman to come and repair our fridge/freezer. We can but hope there is better news on that front, otherwise it is going to be an expensive time. We have not sorted the generator out yet, but have asked that someone come and look at it for us. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

First Day of Winter.

Cute photograph of the day.

Hi Friends.

Welcome to the 1st of December and the first day of 
the Meteorological winter. With temperatures getting down to -5.8 C, it has been a tad nippy, but as all boaters know we are snug as bugs in rugs. 

With it being the 1st of December, it was time to get the decorations out of the hold and to get them up.
Who remembers paper chains?
I remember as a child making them out of crepe paper and glue. These days they are patterned and have a glue strip already at the end of the strip. Some I have seen have self adhesive strips, so no having to lick them. The ones we bought for £1 at the Original Factory Shop, have a glue strip on them and you have to lick them like a stamp, but easy to do and quick drying. I really enjoyed putting them together, it bought back happy memories of making them at primary school.
 Keith helped me put up the fairy lights and the paper chain decorations. I then got on with dressing our tree, which maybe small, but is beautifully formed. In such a confined space we cannot have a big tree. Marmite would most certainly climb it if it was any bigger.
Our fairy lights are flashing ones, but I tend to have them either static or slow flashing, because they make my eyes go queer if they flash to fast. So this will be our saloon for the month and we hope Santa appreciates everything we have done to welcome him on Christmas Eve. 
Although it was not as cold this morning, clearly Marmite did not agree, because having lit the back cabin stove Marmite was determined to get as close as she could to the heat.
I know cats do not like the cold, but she really takes it to the extreme. Looking at this photograph, I really must get on and clean the back cabin over the weekend.
Decorations up, lunch eaten it was dentist time. Yes the appointment I hate going to every year. I am not a lover of the dentist and this all stems back to my childhood, when at primary school we have a dentists lorry come into the car park and we would visit the dentist in his van. We all called it the death wagon, because we always saw children go into the van, but never saw them come back out. What we failed to realize was, there was another door out of the back of the van. Anyway I had to have a tooth out. I was given gas an the tooth was pulled out. I felt so ill afterwards and the dentist was horrible. He had big bushy eyebrows and menacing eyes. Well that was how I saw him as a child. The whole experience scared me and meant that I have always been scared of going to the dentist. Over the years, the fear has eased mainly due to the fact the dentists I have had, have been so lovely and this applies to the lady dentist I have now. 
Having arrived at our dentist, I was called in first. She was incredibly gentle and reassuring, which puts me at my ease. Joy of joys all's I needed was a quick clean. If I do not have any problems, I will see her again next year. After the dentist, we walked into town to get Keith's prescriptions and to do a bit of shopping. The town is really gearing up for Christmas now, with the shop windows full of Christmas trees and goodies. I must admit I am really looking forward to Christmas this year, because last year I was very poorly for the whole of Christmas and the New Year, which ended with me losing seven kilograms and being up on two very strong antibiotics. I am really looking forward to eating and being merry.
Home to the warmth of the boat, with both the stoves generating lots of lovely heat. Marmite was snoozing in the back cabin and Paddy was in his bed. 
Dinner was Cheese on Toast (I know exciting). I will be feet up and glued to the TV for 'I'm a Celebrity' again. I wonder who will go tonight?
I was a bit surprised Carol Vorderman went last night. I was never that keen on her, but have seen her in a whole new light, whilst she has been in the jungle. She was definitely the mother in the camp. I reckon Scarlett or Larry could win it now. I love the pair of them. 
I do have a quandary, because 'Who Do You Think You Are' is on at 9 pm, and 'I'm A Celebrity' starts at 8.30 pm and goes on till 10 pm, so I am going to have to watch one of them on iplayer I think. 

Time to go. Stay safe and warm out there my friends.


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