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













Thursday, 23 March 2017

What can we say?

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Hello Friends and Followers.

Nothing that we are going through right now, can compare to what happened in London yesterday. Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to those who were caught up in the attack yesterday and our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones and to the loved ones who are still in hospital. The emergency services did such an amazing job yesterday and one police officer made the ultimate sacrifice, with loss of his life and he will be forever remembered.

Having been home for a few days, we are still trying to work out what is wrong with our generator. Keith is in contact with the company who distribute this model and we are seeking help from others, who know about generators. Hopefully we can find a solution to why it will not start, so that we may get on with our cruising season.

Whilst at home, we are also addressing the loose bolts on the prop shaft, because they had come loose again. We think we have a solution to this problem and today our friend Simon came out to see if he can help us with that solution. So all is coming along nicely and we should have a solution by next weekend.

Yesterday’s weather was not pleasant, with plenty of the wet stuff, so I did very little all day, which suited me. It is kind of nice to have day’s when you just chill out. Most of the afternoon was taken up with watching the news and the unfolding situation in London. Today the sun is shone with a chilly breeze, after a frost overnight and we spent the day getting on with looking into the electrics of our generator. I am the kind of woman, who likes to know how things work, so I have been the one holding the lamp and passing over tools, while Keith tests circuits and fuses. So far nothing has become obvious as to why we cannot get our girl to work, but I am sure we will prevail and all will be working soon. Our friend Simon is also going to see if he can find out what is happening, so between us we should find an answer. I had made a Beef and Mushroom pie for lunch, but we decided to go to Wetherspoons for Curry lunch and a pint. I do love their Curries and there is nothing nicer than a pint of Ruddles, when one is much needed. The place was heaving with people, so lunch was delayed, but with lots going on with us and our boat, we had plenty of time to chat and decide on what to do next.

Back home, I got on with putting the boat back into some sort of normality, because we had the floor up in the back cabin and the shelving out in the engine room, all this needed sorting out. I made the decision not to put the shelving back in the engine room above the generator, because we would only have to take it out again, so I stowed that away in the hold for the time being. I covered the exhaust with a cloth, so Marmite does not get any of the fibres from the exhaust cover in her paws. She is a little put out that she cannot sit on the tool boxes and look out of the porthole, but she will get over that in time and it is not forever.

I am looking forward to The Great Pottery Throw Down Final tonight. Tonight’s finalists are Clover, Ryan and Richard. I cannot guess who will win, because it is so close, but good luck to the three of them.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Woman’s Work.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

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At home and the home fires burning. Yesterday evening was spent hooking up power, telephone, TV and settling back in. I was so ready for my bed at 10 pm. Doing the Hatton Flight really did me in and makes me realise I am not getting any younger. My joints we aching and my ribs were sore, so bed was welcomed with me hugging my pillow and drifting off into a deep sleep.

Tuesday morning came at 6.30 am and a cup of tea and BBC1 news, we were home and back to a normal routine. Marmite paid us a visit, before diving beneath the duvet for a bit of warmth. Luxury this morning was having toast in bed, before getting up to begin the day’s chores.

8 am I was off walking with Paddy and posting another card sale from my Ebay page. My Long Tailed-Tit card is proving popular. Back from our walk, both Paddy and Marmite got their breakfasts before I went off to the laundry to get a wash done. Whilst I did the laundry Keith set off with our new trolley to do a food shop. Laundry done and hung up in the boat, I then got on with re-lighting the back cabin stove and making up the saloon stove. The hoover was put around and the floors washed. With having our residential mooring and a landline, I have the joy of being able to use a hoover. Paddy moults all year round and his hair blows like tumbleweed up and down the saloon floor, so it is a joy to be able to hoover it up, rather than getting on my hands and knees with a dustpan and brush. It is the small things that make me happy Smile.

I got on with doing some vegetables for roasting with sausages, which all go into a pan together and went into the back cabin stove to roast to their heart content. Keith came home, looking unimpressed. He only had one wheel on his wagon. Our new trolley had failed, one of the wheels had broken off. Thankfully it happened just outside the Arm’s gate and so he did not have far to get home. There seems little point in taking the trolley back, because the fare alone would cost more than the trolley did, so we will keep the bag and buy another trolley. Groceries stowed away and lunch cooked and eaten, it was onto taking up the back cabin floor, so Keith could take a bolt off the gearbox. With bolts coming loose we have decided to try and stop this happening again, so Keith was going to go to Torry’s the hardware store in Warwick to get longer bolts and nuts, so we can add a locking nut on the end, this should solve the problem. When he came back we thought we should speak to an engineer about our poorly generator. The engineer is in Plymouth, but we were prepared to pay for him or one of his colleagues to come up to Warwick, but it was clear having listened to their conversation, that this was not going to happen. For the engineer to come out it was going to cost a lot of money, the suggestion was to find someone closer, who knows about our make of generator which is a Kohler inbuilt generator. This is looking like a longer job than we had hoped, but hey ho what will be, will be. I am not going to get wound up about it, instead I just went online and did some searches. I have found a couple of places who maybe able to help us and we have e-mailed them.

During the afternoon, I turned on the TV and out signal had gone completely. I checked all the connections and nothing, so thinking logically, I borrowed our neighbours satellite connection, to see if it was our wire and I was right, something was amiss with our connection. I then undid the aerial from the boat and on inspection it was corroded, so I did some cleaning up, made a brand new connection, screwed it back into place and yay it worked. I am a capable woman with a spanner. During the afternoon I spent a couple of hours catching up with my neighbour and other boaters still here after the Winter. Mind you it still feels like Winter, with the wind today. Spring has sprung as far as the Daffodils are concerned, so here is hoping the sun comes out and warms my bones a little more over the next few days, weeks and months. The rain forecast has now arrived and it is expected to stay with us all day tomorrow. I think it will be an indoors day tomorrow with films.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Best Laid Plans.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

I wish I could say I have good news to brighten your day, but alas I do not. We are back home in Warwick.
I am pretty sure there is someone out there with a voodoo model of Hadar or a doll of Keith and I and they are sticking pins in this model or doll. The reason I say this is because if it is going to happen it will happen to us.
On Thursday (16th March), Keith and I went into the Birmingham City to get a few things. I wanted some new PJ’s from Primark and we wanted some bits from the market. Whilst having lunch in the Big Wok, we discussed Keith having a smart phone, because we do not have one. Yes I know we need to get with it. I personally do not feel the need for one, but it could be an advantage for one of us to have a smart phone, so after a delightful lunch, we found one of four Carphone Warehouse stores in Birmingham and learnt all there was to know about having a smart phone. For 99p extra to what we pay already with BT, Keith could be up and groovy with a new smart phone, so we decided to do it. Now we were told with this phone you cannot possibly go over your allowance for internet data and the phone was easy to use for someone new to being smart. Back on the boat, Keith soon got to grips with his new phone, but having downloaded a few apps he found he had gone over on his internet data. But we were told he could not do that, another trip to the store was called for, but that would be for another day. There were niggles with setting things up on the phone, but nothing that between us we could not solve.
On Friday we had arranged to go out with friends Margaret and Nigel for lunch. They had very kindly cooked for us twice, so we thought it would be nice to treat them to lunch. We walked into the city as I wanted to get some pasties from the market and Keith paid another visit to Carphone Warehouse. Having got what we wanted we walked to Margaret and Nigel’s place and decided between us that they would like to try the Big Wok, as they had not tried it yet, so we made our way to the buffet, which was pretty packed when we arrived. Both Margaret and Nigel really enjoyed the food and are sure to visit it again. After a lovely lunch and chatter we went back to theirs for coffee and yet more nattering. They are lovely friends and we love spending time with them both. 5.15 pm we said “Cheerio” to them both and walked back to the boat, where both Marmite and Paddy were waiting patiently for their dinner, which is not easy for marmite, because she likes her food on time. I suggested Keith put the generator on for an hour to charge batteries. Try as he may he could not get her to start. She then started for around a minute and stopped never to start again. We had plenty in our batteries, but her not starting was an issue, because we do rely on her when we are not moving, mainly because we do not like to run our vintage engine when moored up, because she is old and loud. Also if something should happen with our engine, the generator gives us power and hot water until the engine is fixed, which would take a while, because we have to have parts made for her. So what to do?
After discussions we decided that we would make our way back to Warwick, where we could get the generator engineer to come and look at our girl. Getting the generator fixed we felt was more important than doing the BCN Spring Cruise or anything else we had planned, because we need her to be reliable, especially with the trip we had planned for this year. Both of us were looking forward to the BCN Spring Cruise, as we have not been to Walsall Town yet and it was a chance to catch-up with people we know. After what was a pretty sleepless night on Friday night, we got up Saturday morning and made Hadar ready to set off, or I should say I did, because Keith went back to Carphone Warehouse to ask them about being over charged for the data and he wanted to know how to turn the data off, because in the instructions it does not tell you how to do that. Whilst he was gone, I got the boat ready for the off, lit the stoves and got rid of rubbish. We said “Cheerio” to Birmingham at 9.55am and set off the top of Lapworth. We got to Bournville and had to stop because Keith suspected out alternator was not working properly, so whilst he tightened the fan belts I cleared plastic bags off the propeller. We had felt something go onto the propeller and we were right. Hadar tends to tramp when she has something on her blades. Half an hour later we were underway again and actually had a lovely cruising day to Lapworth, where our friend Jacky lives. Having moored up at 4.50pm and cooked dinner we joined Jacky for a coffee and a catch-up. Both of us slept incredibly well Saturday night, although it was warm in our back cabin, because the stove had not gone out. Nothing though was going to stop me sleeping.
Sunday morning we were awake at 6am with no plan to set off until 9am, as we did not wish to wake anyone to early. I got on with boat jobs, such a sweeping the saloon stove chimney, lighting the back cabin stove, washing-up and sweeping floors. 9.25am we left the top of Lapworth and set off down the Twenty Locks. Some of the paddle gear on the locks is really hard to work, even though it is well greased. We did get some help from a volunteer lock keeper, who although he has a C&RT badge, he does not wear the uniform or a life jacket, which I did comment on and was told by him “They have not got me wearing one yet and they never will”. Anyway I did thank him for his help. We over took a hire boat which we had been following, as they pulled in for water. At Twelve noon we turned at the junction and so were back on the Grand Union Canal. Our destination for Sunday was Rowington and the Tom O’ the Wood pub for lunch. I felt we deserved a Sunday Roast and a Pint. The pub was very busy and because we had not booked we had an hour and half to eat lunch, before the table we were given was required for people who had booked. So if you want to eat at Tom O’ the Wood, book a table. Keith ordered Beef and I had Pork and oh my goodness it was fantastic. We had heard the food was good and it certainly was. Lunch was washed down with a pint of Windrush, which we had not tried before, but that as fabulous. As not to hold anyone up, we were done with lunch in an hour and I did thank the lady for fitting us in. Great pub, amazing food and service. Well worth popping into. Pleasantly full we waddled back to the boat, which was nice and warm from the back cabin stove, I had not lit the saloon stove because it was so warm. By the time we got to 5.30pm, there was a definite chill in the saloon, so I relit the saloon stove, having swept the chimney in the morning. The cabin was a little foggy for a while, because the flue was cold, but once the fire got going all was snuggly and warm for the evening. We have been gripped by ‘Game of Thrones’ and are now on series 3. I am so looking forward to getting the other series in the future.

Monday morning and it was raining lightly, so we left Tom O’ the Wood and headed for a mooring above Hatton Locks. With the rain getting heavier, we moored up to see what the weather was going to do, because the forecasters had said it would clear up during the afternoon and you know they were right. At 2.15pm we set off down the Hatton flight. At lock three, I could see someone waving at us. There was a boat up front and he was waving to say they would wait for us, which was very welcome. We share the rest of the flight with a lovely German couple, who were hiring their boat for a week. They had been over for the past couple of years cruising the canals of the UK and were very good. The gentleman went ahead and set the locks, whilst his partner moved the boat with Keith moving Hadar and I closed the lock gates behind. it worked like a dream and at 5.40pm we were back home on our mooring.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Fur Balls.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

In the photograph above, it looks like butter would not melt in Marmite’s mouth, but believe me she is not all sweetness and light. This morning whilst I was slumbering in beneath my duvet, Marmite was coughing up a fur ball right beside me on the floor. If you have never heard a cat coughing up a fur ball, go and watch Shrek, when Puss in Boots does exactly that, or I bet you can find a video on You Tube. It is not a pleasant noise and especially when you are woken from your slumber. I am glad I looked over the bed, because otherwise I would of probably stepped into her parcel of fur and having done that a couple of weeks ago, I had no intention of doing it again. Having coughed up her present to me, she then leapt on the bed and demanded we get up and feed her. Yeah like that was going to happen at 6 am in the morning. The only thing I did was make Keith and I a cup of tea. Marmite had to wait for her breakfast and that usually happens once Paddy has come back from his walk. Whilst we are out walking, Marmite will sit on the back cabin step and wait for us to come home, she will then screech at me to feed her, before she expires. This is despite the fact she has dried food in her bowl at all times. This little madam likes her tinned fish and nothing will stop her demanding it or your attention. Once she is fed and has had her morning wash, she will then retire to fed for the day, until 4.45 pm when she will begin to ask for her tea. He meowing will go on till 5 pm when she will get fed alongside Paddy, who just sits and waits in silence. I think he realises with all the noise Marmite makes, he would not get a woof in either way, so he will sit and wait until it is his turn and then wags his tail in appreciation. Demanding cats are known to be, but blimey Marmite takes it to the top and then some.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Finding Sarah Ann Thacker.

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Hi Friends and Followers.

We are back in Birmingham and moored just inside the Oozells Street loop, outside the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham City centre.

This morning I was on a mission. I wanted to find the final resting place of my Great Grandmother Sarah Ann Owen (Thacker). From the information I have she was buried in Key Hill Cemetery.

SARAH ANN OWEN (THACKER): At the time of her marriage to Alfred Evans Owen in 1874 her residence was stated as Stour Street, Birmingham.

The 1911 census states that Alfred and Sarah had in all 15 children but by the time the census was taken 4 of them had died.

CENSUS NOTES:

1861 - Lived with parents and siblings at 4, 3 Court, Ryland Street, Birmingham.

1871 - Lived at Bishopsgate Street Court, Birmingham, with parents and siblings.

1881 - Living with husband & daughters Amy, Rose and Millicent at 56 Chester Street, Birmingham.

1891 - Living with husband & children at 14 Tindal Street, Birmingham.

1901 - Living with husband & children at 9, Caroline Street, Birmingham.

1911 - Living at 3 Regent Place, St. Marks, Birmingham with her husband and children.

When son Harry joined the Army in 1916, Sarah was stated as his next of kin and her address was given as 99 Hingeston Street, Brookfields, Birmingham

Birth 23 Mar 1854 • Birmingham

Baptism 30 Sep 1855 • Leamington, Warwickshire, England

Residence 1861 • Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

Residence 1871 • Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Relation to Head of House: Daughter

Marriage Sarah walked to the church from her home in Stour Street. 23 Mar 1874 • St.Mark, Birmingham, Warwickshire Alfred Evan Owen (1853–1911)

Birth of Daughter Amy Louisa Owen(1892–1976) 03 Oct 1892 • Birmingham

Residence 1901 • Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

Residence April 1911 • 3 Regent Place,St.Marks Street, Ladywood, Birmingham 1911 Census

Death of Husband Alfred Evan Owen(1853–1911) Jun 1911 • Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Death 1936 Dec after a fall on the dark cramped stairs in her home at the age of 84, she was buried in Key Hill Cemetery.

Sadly we did not find her final resting place, which means she is no longer looked after. I would have so liked to have found a headstone and left her some flowers.

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