Monday, 18 August 2014

So Saturday we moored down before wood lock ? and sunday we moved up some locks to Long Itchington, we like it here, and found a pub or two for a lunchtime ale.  Once again we are missing a blinking beer festival.  It starts next week end at The Two Boats, Grhhh. 

 Always time it wrong.  However buddied up with a nice couple for the locks, and may see them tomorrow to get through Braunston. 

 Now heading towards Aylesbury, as we haven’t been down that arm for  a few years and perhaps as far as Berkhamstead, if we get time. And then sadly, end of September, we will be making waves down the Nene and home.

Havent had a run in with many cyclists this year, thank goodness. Although a woman I was talking to at a lock, moved backwards, and not knowing that a cyclist was racing by, managed to “get him off” his bike,. “ oooh” she said “ I didn’t know you were there”.   Well, if he had dringed his bell, he wouldn’t have ended up entangled in his bike, with his head pointing down the ramp towards the towpath.  he was frightfully well spoken, and more embarrassed than anything. He confirmed that he was ok, but I bet he had a few bruises later. He was one of our dusky brothers, so would his bruise show up ?  is that  PC ? .to say that ?  hey ho.

The next fun thing occurred at Bascot staircase lock.  This woman rushes up to me and says “Hi, haven’t seen you in ages,how are you”?   Err sorry, who are you ? Its M…..  No. Sorry don’t think we have met. Whats the name of your boat, its P…. V……. .  Nope, sorry, I don’t think we have met. Anyway I will get on the fill the top lock for us to come in the bottom lock. Says I  Oh no, you mustn’t do that, says she. It will flood all over the place.  We’ll how are we to lift the boats up to the next lock, then?  She was most insistent, so the other woman and I let her have her way, and we continued getting the lock ready for ourselves.  The lady calle M….. was very confused, and had entered the top lock of the staircase, without emptying the bottom lock of the staircase, so hence water, water everywhere and everyone flummoxed.  She was totally confused as to who was who, and seemed to think that I had 2 chocolate Labradors etc.  I am so glad that I am not the only one to have these moments.

Now moored out in  the sticks near Wolfamcote.  Buzzards are about, and hopefully there may be some owls again. Like last night.  We had one wheezing and hooting in a tree near the boat.  Aaaah.

 todays lovely mooring, just before it rained. !   Envious, Sue in Spain ???? x

 that blue boat is another Trundle !!!!

 Steph, Midge on the top, and Mike poking his head out. Steph was crushed by a cow a few months ago. She is a lucky lady to have got away with bad bruises

 Finlay crossing Warwick racecourse

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Through Knowle Locks, lovely locks, lovely setting, lovely village. ! BIG houses. Phew !

Off to the Hatton flight of locks, which I normally love doing.  However, I found 2 volunteers who couldn’t have been more helpful, plus the boat we travelled down with, had a lady who kept doctoring me with Arnica Tablets. So even though I tried to help, I really , really should have stayed on Trundle, as I did more damage to my ribs. Hey ho.

HOWEVER, we are in the wonderful, truly wonderful Saltisford Arm, for days.  We have borrowed a liveabords  mooring as they are away until September. All is great.  In fact, we both said, it would be worth it to become Liveabords to live somewhere as lovely as this little waterway.  Ian the guy in charge, is just the best. Tis just a short walk into Warwick town, itself, and great walking around the racecourse and golf course. Finlay isn’t much bothered these days, but I am sure it helps his Arther Ritus, to keep moving. !!!!

Met up with Steph and Mike, and they are here also on WitchBoy. Had a night out at the Cape Of Good Hope, last night.  It was nice, but sadly it has gone a bit up market, and has lost its true “ boaty” atmosphere.

Will be moving off on Saturday morning and I will try and work 4 locks. or should I get Mick to do them ?????? yeah, that might be a better idea. Sorted.


 This is on the mooring that we have borrowed. handmade, except for the boats.

 Our borrowed mooring

 is he trying to break in. ????  I'm telling. !!!  nah !

Sunday, 10 August 2014

So we spent some time on Cambrian Wharf in Birmingham, 2 pontoons away from dear Rita and Scooby. Hugs all around.  And an invite for supper onto The Maple Knot . These two are real foodies and we had some great food, Devilled Eggs with our Cava, sitting in the sun. Gambas Pil Pil, followed by chicken with mushrooms and olives, rice and some sort of Chinese green that we found in the fantastic market. Tasted great, but still don’t know what it was.  I supplied Eton Mess for dessert. Quite a bit of wine was also consumed. Thursday was a quiet day, so we went to the new Library of Birmingham .impressive.

Friday was a final trip to markets for stocking up, and over to Sparkbrook to Al Faisals excellent indian restaurant.  Very, very good. And we came away with leftovers for lunch on “the hoof” the next day.

Our route , chosen by me, took us through Small Heath and Catherine de Barnes towards Warwick, eventually.  We haven’t done this route for about 6 years.  It was ok. All the locks worked and paddles were well greased.  Then, at a lock,  we heard that 2 days before a couple on a boat had pot shots taken at them by 2 ferals, hiding behind a board. The bloke had a grazed shoulder, and the woman had taken off after these idiots and they shot at her, and fortunately missed. The fuzz were all over, but whether they caught them, who knows.  The other lady, on a hire boat and listening to the conversation, then said “ I work with these kids, I am a social worker”” its not their fault”. I smiled and walked away.

 It was too nice a day to get into a heated debate about why teenagers  haven’t got the mentality  to equate that a gun pointed at another human being and the trigger being pulled is a BAD BAD thing, …….man.
I did manage to say , however, as I walked away, that maybe the women churning out one kid after another, perhaps should be sterilised ???

So we had a long, long day to get to Copt Heath Wharf to sit out the bad weather on Sunday.  Sadly there isn’t a pub. !!!!! so Monday, and off towards Warwick.   

 Leaving Dudly

 Leaving Bum. 

 Bye Bye Reet Petite. ! 

 Fantastic Cambrian wharf

 Mick  has a new mobile phone. ! I think he needs a new trolley

 Inside the lovely Maple Knot.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Today, Tuesday 5th august is our second day at the Merryhill Centre at Dud-lie.

Have really enjoyed the bit of the Staffs and Worcs canal.  Lots of trees and very quiet. Mick said that  it felt like we were up the amazon. Has a been there whithout telling me ?????

After the Stourton locks at STEWPONY. Love that name. We pulled up next to some large blackberries.  These have now been joined by some suger, and vodka, and are sloshing about in a container ready for a nip of two in the winter.  We also have another container. !  This contains gin, sugar and what I thought was Damsons.  Having now seen what a proper damson looks like. I think we are making some sort of ornamental plum liquer.!@%?!!!!.  However, I am sure it will be drinkable..  Any willing guinea pigs ???

Helped a couple of vintage boats at the locks. The big old 1936 one got stuck in the mud, so I was doing a bit of “flushing” here and there. The lady on the other lovely boat is on the CRT water management team. ! 

We had a great trip up the Stourbridge 16 locks.  Started early, and most of them were in our favour. Result.  Then on to the Delph 9.  Some 30 something boaters coming down had left every single lock gate open.  Great for us going up, but not so good for the saving of water. !!!  hey ho.  Had there been a boat following them down, I feel it may have been a different story.

So move off tomorrow for a meet up with Scooby and Rita in Birmingham.  Really, really looking forward to seeing them . !!!

 Super Staffs & Worcs

 Up the locks. about 8.15 am

 Retail Therapy

 Wetherspoons is that way.  Sadly, it was a rather dreary one, but the beer was good.

 The folks who live in the houses have made lovely gardens beside the towpath and its 5day mooring, so next time we are here, I think this would be lovely. Just like having your own garden.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Now then, some ( well one) blog follower has commented that there doesn’t appear to be much going on at the moment. True, Anyway, Pete the Barefoot Boater, I have a wee story for you.

At some point in the future there may well be one very disappointed doggo In  this area.  Finlay came back from a walk with his master the other day, and he had sniffed out and dug up a…………………………. rubber bone.  Brought it back, ‘twas rather manky, so I gave it a scrub, and Finlay took it off to have a bit of “gnaw and play”. After a while, and all suspiciously quiet, and went looking, and found that Finlay had completely EATEN said bone!!!!!,. 
 I collected a few crumbs and had a sniff myself, and they smelt of mint, so it turns out it was a tooth cleaning bone. Hey ho. And No Finlay didn’t get us up in the night with tummy ache.   How about that then ???

Have had 3 wonderful days here.  Trundle has been washed and waxed, painted  and tidied. I have walked a bit of the South Staffs disused railway walk, and found some blackberries, which have been put into a pie for His Nibs. ! Mick has listened to his cricket and fished.

Tomorrow, its onwards.  As we are going towards Brum, we will be in the vicinity of CRT services at Greensforge Locks, so will have an empty of the compost, so that we are sparkling and clean , and will not have to think about toilets for another 7 weeks. !

Eventually, over to Warwick, and a cratch repair AGAIN ! GRHHHHH in Braunston, before off down to Aylesbury, and Berkhamstead, before we turn back for the Nene. However, that’s not for a while yet.  Whhoooo whooooo.

 bye bye Shroppie, turn right here and say heloo Staffs and Worcs.

 Is this a kids narrowboat ?????

 Very Desirable Mooring.



Monday, 28 July 2014

Not a lot to report at the moment. Just going along from one shady bush/tree/hedge to another.

Goldston Bridge with the Excellent Wharf Tavern, was a great 2 day stop over. Lots of lovely shade.

Norbury Junction was the next 2 day stopover, and an excellent Sunday lunch at the pub. Also some excellent ale, but a bit pricy at £3.25 a pint . !!!

Have made it to Brewood for shopping. After fuelling up at Wheaton Aston, the best place on the whole system for fuel.  A smashing bloke and a good price for diesel..   so over the next few days, we will enjoy a bit of the Staffs and Worcs down to Stourbridge, before turning for

Dudley and Brum. Yeah. !!!!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Had a lovely visit to Nantwich. Such a pretty town, full of flowers,
and good shopping also .Namely , getting stacked up with Hopping Hare ale from Aldi. !

Saw the owl rescue people, there and they had a selection of owls that had been rescued from various awful places.  The birds will no longer be able to fend for themselves in the wild, so these folks take them out and about to try and teach the public about them. Little owl, scops, 2 barn owls, eagle eared owl, and a baby screech owl.

Onto to Coole Pilate mooring, which was anything but cool. Phew, busy too. But had a lovely bbq and then watched the sunset and an accompanying barn owl going about his business.

On the  way to CP, we did some very bad boating indeed, and I still can’t believe we did it, what on earth were we thinking?. A woman on her NB and towing a small tender behind her, had signalled that we could overtake her as she was just ambling along. Through a bridge-hole we went and then increased speed to pass, having completely ignored the fact that there was a small blue springer type boat moored up.  He hammered on his window as we shot passed( quite rightly so).
The next day, and sitting on the back, in the shade, I felt the full force of his anger.( mick was having a snooze !!!) .  I was given a very sound telling off, and informed that our stupid action had caused £20 worth of damage inside his boat.  I apologised profusely, a couple of times, by which time he had gone off up the cut. It was a very stupid thing to do on our part. I do wish he had pulled up in front of us , and showed us the damage, as we would have been happy to  make recompense.

Audlem locks, my favourite, although not Micks, They have a powerful side wash, that pushes the unwary boater all over the place, namely smashing into the side of the lock.  We got caught on one big time, and the big hairy boater coming up behind us, gave his poor wife a right telling off to the tune of “ for f****s sake, woman, watch what yer doin’ “ !!!!.

Half way along the lock flight,the lovely lady who leaves her excellent produce out with an honesty box,has been diagnosed with cancer and has just weeks to live.  Her and her husband are retired vets. I was lucky to see Chris, her husband and thank them so much for putting out their surplus veg and fruit and flowers, and also to say how sorry we ALL are to hear the bad news.  He is the one, who actually grows the produce, so has said that it will help him in the coming weeks, months etc, and will carry on with it. 

Reached the top of the locks, and a farmers wife, has set up another wee stall with honesty box, that offers, wonderful homemade cakes, bread, farm ice cream( you have to go just inside her shed, and the ice cream is stored in the freezer). This ice cream is amazing. So natural and not a bit sickly. We all love it, especially Finlay, if he is lucky to get some !!!!!  into small paper carriers she places 2 Scones, small pot of jam, and then you help yourself to clotted cream from the freezer.  This is £3.50.Everything is under a shady tree with an awning and some pretty bunting.  Its really super.

 leaving Nantwich

 its a BARN OWL, honest !!!!!

 Top of Audlem