*****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, 31 August 2017

Cards all done.

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Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

A stunner of a morning with the mist on the water, but there is a definite Autumnal chill in the air, so much so the OH has got his fleece on this morning. I am still in my shirt sleeves as I do not feel the cold like he does. But if it carries on like this, we will be lighting the fire. So here we are at the end of August and according to the meteorologists it is the end of Summer as they know it. It is a scary thought that we and the shops are on the countdown to the C word (Christmas). Shops are already showing Christmas cards and stock, this annoys the hell out of me, because I do not think anything to do with Christmas should be on the shelves before December 1st. But that is just my opinion.

Anyway enough of Christmas, this morning I finally finished off my cards and sorted them into their groups. I have got a good selection I think now and therefore hope they will be liked at the Heritage Weekend.

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These are my Winter collection.

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Nothing nicer than snow.

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Hoping these will be bought as Christmas Cards. Yeah I know I said nothing should be seen until December 1st, but needs must.

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Birds, Beasties and others.

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All things boats.

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I am really pleased with my efforts. All photographs were taken by me and all cards were made by myself as well, so I am seriously chuffed.

Pop back later xx

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

How hands on are you?

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

It has been a wet Wednesday and from my galley window all I can see is wet, wet, wet ( There is a song in there somewhere). The forecast was for the rain to clear, which it did by mid-afternoon. On days like this why bother moving unless you absolutely have too. As we are still on our mooring, we can just stay indoors and do nothing if we felt like it, but that is not my way. OH can quite happily sit playing on his laptop, but I get itchy feet (there is cream for that I know). So for me it was walking the dog in the rain this morning, which I just adore, especially when there is a warmth to the rain. Paddy was not impressed, but that is his way.
Back home, I hung the washing in the engine room to dry, made a coffee and contemplated my next move. I had the choice of making more cards or knitting dishcloths. I am in production mode for the Saltisford Arm Heritage Weekend, which is coming up next month, and I know jolly well I will end up panicking at the last minute, if I do not get a handle on making these things. So I knitted a couple of dishcloths out of 100% pure cotton. They sell like hot cakes, because with a knitted dishcloth you can boil it bleach it and miss treat it and it will still be useful months and months later. I would therefore be leaving the card making till after lunch,
I got on with card making yesterday afternoon, in all I made over 150 cards and so I felt very virtuous at the end of the day.
With lunch in the oven, it got me thinking about the jobs I do on our boat. I seem to be a Jack of all trades, but of course a master of none.
I fill the water tank every 2 weeks.
I take my turn emptying the rubbish and toilet cassette.
I can strip down our engine and put it back together.
I check and fill the gearbox.
I do most of the paintwork on the boat inside and out.
I can clear the propellor through the weedhatch.
I can steer, stop and moor our boat up.
I can steer in and out of locks.
The list could go on, but that would probably bore you to death.
There are a number of ladies who single hand their boats and so have to know all of these things, but how many ladies do nothing on their boats, it is the man who does all the jobs?
More recently a very good friend of ours Jacqueline on Narrowboat Valerie, has become a single hander, after the loss of her devoted husband and our good friend Les. Jacqueline had a wonderful teacher in Les and she is coping on her own, with a little help from friends as she cruises the cut.
So if you were in the situation of being alone and single handing would you be able to do it?
I know for a fact that I would be able to cope, because I have had a wonderful teacher in the OH, who has let me tackle all of the jobs on our boat.
I do know and have met many ladies who do absolutely nothing on their boats. I met a lady some years ago who lived on a widebeam boat with her husband. They were moored behind us and we got chatting as you do when moored up with other boaters. I asked her whether she steered the boat and the look of horror on her face was priceless. She told me she does absolutely nothing on the boat, her husband does it all and I somehow knew that would be her answer after I saw her beautiful nails.
My next question to her was. "What would you do if you were cruising and your husband suddenly collapsed on the deck".
Her reply was "I would scream for help".
I said to her "You are in the middle of nowhere and there is no one around to hear your screams".
Her reply was " Then I do not know what I would do".
To me it is so important, if you do nothing else on the boat, at least learn how to get your boat to the bank and learn how to moor it up, because at the end of the day it could save your partners life.
I love tinkering on the boat and learning how things work. We have a new generator and so I am now learning all about it, just in case I have to deal with a problem with it and the OH is not around. These days you can go on an RYA courses for narrowboats if you are concerned. They are priceless in giving you confidence on how to move your boat and how to tackle problems as they arise.
I remember when we had our other boat and the OH had chest pains. I had to get the boat into the bank and moor it up, which I did without panicking. Thankfully the OH was fine after spending some time in hospital.
It really pays to know as much about your boat as you other half does. Not only that it is fun to both have the same interests, well I think it is, which probably makes me rather odd.

Anyway back to my card making. After lunch I did get on with finishing my cards which made me feel very accomplished, because I did not have to worry about getting them done at the last minute. All I need to do now is make up labels for my products and I am ready for the Heritage Weekend in September.

Pop back soon xx

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Getting it done.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Finally Summer came back for a few days at least and so it was time to dig out the paint and brushes yet again. As you will probably be aware our cruising season was curtailed by the generator dying and having a new one installed, so we have been stuck on our lovely mooring in Warwick. if we had to be stuck anywhere, then this is the place I am happiest.
So here I am grafting away with a paintbrush. Our slide needed a lot of TLC. We really need a new slide, because the underneath of our one is rotting, but it has lasted 10 years, so it has done well. I am hoping we can get another year out of this slide, so I rubbed it all down and began painting it. Above is the finished article and I am pleased with it.
The cabin side and doors were next to get my attention. It was mainly just touching up, but all the jobs take time to prepare them and then begin the job of painting. I finished the day with a coat of gloss on the blue parts. I still have the White and Red to tackle, but with rain forecast for the next couple of days, rain has stopped play. The next major paint work to be done is the hatches over the engine room doors. To do these they need to be taken off, so I need a few days of lovely weather to get them done.
Whilst I was busy working, Marmite was taking it nice and easy. She is very good at watching, but hopeless when it comes to doing anything constructive. The only time she is really interested in anything is when food is involved, and this was the case when it came to lunchtime. I decided because it was hot, I would do us a Tuna salad. Marmite was asleep when I began opening a tin of Tuna, but no sooner it was opened, she was inside the boat and meowing at me as if to say "Please can I have some Tuna please mum". She did those tiny meows, which was telling me she was in fishy heaven as I put her a small amount of Tuna in her bowl. It does not take much to keep her happy.

Paint work done for the day and so I thought I would go out and photograph the butterflies, which were enjoying the flowers in the Arm.
The Red Admirals, were enjoying our Buddleias as were the Small Tortoiseshells.
I have only seen one Peacock Butterfly this year in the Arm, which is surprising, because there are normally more than that. 
The Brimstone Butterfly seems to be out in force as well this year.
My Bee homes are proving popular to the Solitary Bees. I find it fascinating how they line and fill in the holes.
We have had a few boaters coming to the Arm to stay, which is always welcome. It is always wonderful to see old friends and to make new friends, who we hope will come back in the future.
I am busy at the moment helping to organise our Heritage Weekend on the 9th and 10th September. Jacky our administrator runs the event and I am her number 2. Our event is only a small event, but it takes some organising. Jacky amazes me how organised she is with it all. It certainly would not run so smoothly if it was not for her. I still have cards to make for the event, which I need to crack on with. I usually like to do it when Marmite is out on her lead, because she will insist on walking over my bits and bobs. I am sure she thinks she is quality control and therefore must inspect everything. This is not a help, when I have glue and stuff around. I think I will get on with some more cards either today or tomorrow, when the weather is up to no good. 

For those of you who have been wondering how I am getting with coming off of my HRT, it is going well so far. I am now not taking it on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Next week I will add another day. I have not felt any ill effects, which is a total bonus, but we will see when I get further along the coming off slowly journey. If it goes horribly wrong, I can always start taking the HRT again. But for the moment all is fine.

Pop back soon x

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

It works.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

I hope your day has been a fun packed day?

Our day was filled with getting our generator going and putting the engine room back the way it was.
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Rob from kate Boats arrived just after 9.30 am having run me earlier to say he would be with us today. We made sure the engine room was already for his arrival. Before we could start the generator Rob had to bleed the system through and make sure it was already for the big switch on. Above is the video of it running with its silencer cocoon on.

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The second is without its cocoon on. There was a huge difference.
This Fischer Panda is so quiet compared to our old generator, so we are well chuffed. 
Having made sure it also ran under load, we thanked Rob for all his help and hard work as he went back to work. I then did us some lunch and a coffee.
Having allowed our lunch to settle we then got on with putting everything back in the engine room. The back cabin doors were put back on. The shelf over the generator went back on and Keith's tool boxes went back on top of the shelf. It has been a long haul, but we have finally got our new generator up and running HOORAY.

Pop in again xx

Monday, 21 August 2017

Time to cook.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Here we are into another week and creeping towards the end of August. Please tell me if you can, where this year has gone?
I am at a loss as to how quickly this year has disappeared and we have hardly done any boating. On the bright side there is always next year and the canal are not going anywhere so to speak.

News on the generator. Hopefully all being well it should be completed this week. I know this may sound a little crazy, but I am looking forward to hearing what it sounds like and to whether it is quieter than our last one. I am hopefully that it should be a lot quieter, but we will see. I will post the outcome when it happens.

With the past few days being so up and down with the weather, I felt the need to cook today, so this morning having walked the dog, fed him and the cat and sorted a few boat things out, I got on with the job of deciding what to cook.
First on the list for making was a Cheese and Potato Bake. Now I know there are many different ways to do it, but this is my way.
I firstly peeled three good size potatoes, sliced and diced them and put them on to boil. I then made a plain white sauce. My way is to add a heaped dessert spoon of butter to a pan and melt. To that I added a heaped dessert spoon of flour. I mixed it until it looked a little like breadcrumbs. I then took it off the heat and added a little milk at a time until it was creamy. I put it back on the heat to cook through, stirring all the time. Once it was bubbling I removed it from the heat and added grated cheese to my tasting. By the time this was done, the potatoes were cooked, so I drained them and left them to cool. In a pan I then added a diced onion and sliced leek and allowed them to brown slightly, before adding them to the cooled potatoes. The white sauce was then poured over the potatoes, onions and leeks and mixed together.
Once the potatoes were coated in the sauce, it was poured into a oven proof dish and ready for baking. Before putting in the oven I added sliced tomato to the top and ground pepper.
Next to make was a Cornbeef Hash pie. I sweated off some diced onion and sliced leeks, whilst this was happening I opened a can of cornbeef, sliced and diced it and then added it to the pan of sweating onions and leeks. I allowed this to cool. I then made some pastry, for this I used 3 oz of butter and 6 oz of self-raising. Having rubbed them both together and added water, it was time to roll out the pastry and line a dish.
I then rolled out the cover for the pie, forked the edges and put a few vent holes in the lid to allow the steam out.
Once cooked or baked which ever you think this was the outcome and lunch was done. I added some veggies and hey presto a dull days cooking was done and we have some left over for a couple of days. I always think the cheese and potato bake is better the second day.
With lunchtime done and dusted, I spent time in the office talking over the details for the Heritage Weekend, which is held on the 9th and 10th of September. It is only about three weeks away, so coming along fast. No sooner we are all set up for it, the weekend will be over and we will begin organising for the next year. I still have cards to make for the event, so I need to get a wriggle on with that.
Over the past few days Marmite has begun clawing at things, which means her claws need cutting and this afternoon was the afternoon to do it. I have always cut her claws since she came to us at 12 weeks old, so she is pretty good at sitting on my lap and letting me cut her claws with nail clippers. I often think she is thankful that I do them for her, because she then stop clawing at the door curtain and rugs.
It has been a quiet day really, which has not been helped by the weather. I have such a lot I want to do painting wise, but unless I know we are going to have at least two or three days dry, there is very little point me painting or beginning the process.

Is it me or are we becoming an angry world?

I am noticing more and more how angry people are getting. This is not just in the real world, but on Facebook and Twitter. I belong to a couple of groups on Facebook and I am seriously thinking of leaving them due to angry people and the abuse they give others. There is absolutely no need for it and I for one do not do angry very well, but neither do I tolerate it. I have been there done that, got the t-shirt and DVD and so it is not going to be part of my life again.

What annoys you and would you become Mr and Mrs Angry over it?

Pop back again x


Saturday, 19 August 2017

It is painting time.

Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Since we came back from dry docking and the blacking of the boat's hull, I have been trying to get some paintwork done, but the weather has not been to favourable. I finally managed to doing the touching up on the starboard side and so we turned the boat back around. It was sods laws that when we decided to turn around boats were coming in and going out, so we had to wait our turn. Back on our mooring and for us the right way around, I was hopeful that I could get on with more touching up, but yet again the weather has been playing her part. I did manage to give the cabin side a polish ready for the Autumn and Winter weather. I also managed to get the galley doors rubbed down and re-varnished, as they need to be done pretty much every year. I am hopeful that I will get some painting done next week.
Before we managed to turn Hadar around, we were also having issues with depth of water in the Arm. it got so bad that we had to get the gangplank out in order for us to be able to get off of the boat. Paddy was less than impressed at the fact there was a huge gap to jump. He hates gaps and jumping, especially at his age. Anyway with the wet weather and the help from C&RT, our water level is back to normal and fingers crossed painting will take place next week.

I have been volunteering in the Arm doing the gardens, ever since we took up our mooring. I feel as a resident I should help out to keep the place looking nice for the visitors, whether it be by boat, car or foot. So yesterday I was cutting back bushes, strimming long grass and nettles down and cutting up dead branches and stacking them neatly by the weed bins. Whilst doing this I saw a rustling in the leaf mulch and there was a beautiful frog trying to find shelter. Because I was clearing branches, I did not want to step on the frog, so I moved it to my pond for safety. I looked in the pond this morning and froggy has disappeared, so I am unsure as to whether it was hiding, or it may have climbed out and made a hop for it. Anyway that was my good deed for yesterday. I enjoy volunteering in the Arm as it is always lovely to how beautiful our surroundings look when the jobs are done. We have a couple of new young volunteers, who are a joy to work with as well, but like with any place open to the public more volunteers are always needed.

If I am a little quiet on my blog, it is because there is very little going on at the moment, but please do come by for a nosey to see if I have posted.

Pop back soon x

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Classic Car Show.

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Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

What a beautiful day?

After the past few days of chillier weather and no sunshine, it was a joy to wake up to sunshine and some warmth. This would be a good day for painting, well that was my thinking. So up at 8 am and already painting by 8.45 am. The second gloss coat has gone one, which has given me joy. I did have an ulterior motive to getting things done early. Keith and I wanted to go to the Classic Car Sow in the centre of Warwick. We went to last years event, which was brilliant and so were looking forward to having a nosey.

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The sky was blue and people were already gathering to pick over the classic cars.

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This beautiful car was for sale.

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For the engine lovers.

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Who remembers the Panda Car. This one was still working on the bet until 1973. A blast from the past when he sounded the siren.

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This little beauty really caught my eye. It was immaculate.

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The town was buzzing, which was really wonderful to see.

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An old girl, but still beautiful.

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This Rolls Royce we felt should have been in the centre of town, instead it was down a side street. A stunning car.

We like to go to these sorts of things early to avoid the crowds, because it is so hard to get photographs with people walking in front of the car and camera all the time. Having walked half way around the event, we went to The Tuckery for a cup of tea, which then ended up in us having a breakfast. They were run off their feet and I was so tempted to offer them a hand, even if it was just with the washing up.

Having walked around the other half of the event, it was back to the boat for the afternoon and a Sunday film. Todays delight was Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston. it is one of my favourite films.

Pop by again x

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Buzzy old day

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Hello Dear Friends and Followers.

Hooray we have a spell of dry warm weather. Anyone would think that it had been October, but of course we all know it is August. I have finally begun doing some of the mounting list of paintwork. Thursday I did the preparation work and Friday and today I began slapping some paint on. I am only touching up, so nothing mega exciting. When painting I like to get up and start early, so it has all day to dry, so I was up at 8 am and was painting by 9 am, this gave the paint all day to dry. I am hoping to do the second coat of gloss tomorrow.

Having done the painting, it was time to do a spot of weeding and planting of some Sweet Williams, which had seeded in a pot and were now ready to go out. They will not flower this year, but next year they should be lovely, well that is if they survive the Winter.

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About a month ago we rescued this bird table from the canal. This morning we finally got round to repairing it and I found a spot for it in the garden. It may not last forever, but is sits nicely in the shrubbery.

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Marmite was having a nice afternoon snooze out on the pontoon, whilst we did all the hard work. It is most definitely a cats life.

2.30 pm it was time for a coffee and a Saturday afternoon movie. I am a sucker for Westerns and todays offering was Rage at Dawn on Spike.

Following are a few photographs I took whilst out in the garden.

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Thank you for popping by x

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