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

Sunday, 20 July 2014

After a foray into Chester, we headed off towards that lovely mooring above the Shady Oak( rubbish, in our opinion )pub. In the evening we watched a barn owl hunting over the fields. You could have set your watch by him/her. Mick caught quite a few fish including a 2.5lb bream. So he was happy.

I enticed Mick and Finlay to come with me to Beeston Castle ruins.Mick is not into long walking, but he really enjoyed it, and it was quite challenging with quite a few ascents here and there.  Views fantastic, and found a walk where wilds  raspberries grew. So they were picked and put into a sponge. Well, there is only so much booze one can make!!!!. 

On the way back the farmer had altered the path slightly, as they were moving cattle, so ELECTRIC fencing had been put in place during  our travels within the ruins.  On the way back, we had to open and close and lock a gate, and I had just said to Mick “ watch that electric fence “ when there was a low buzzzzzz sound followed by an “OUCH” sound.  The fence beat me to it.  5 mins later I said again “ don’t forget that fence “ when there was a low buzzzzz sound followed by a “ for fu**s sake” sound.  Hmmm.  Anyone  ever see that SIMPSONS episode where the whole family are having therapy and they all have electric buzzers to buzzzzz each other ?????

Saturday and I felt the Need for a Telegraph, so informed Mick that I was just off up the towpath to Beeston to find a paper.  An hour and a half later, drenched from the rain, I found myself in Bunbury( LOVELY, absolutely lovely village), and finally found my paper. The folks in the shop were amazed that I had walked from the Shady Oak. One nice lady said that there was a shorter route by Beeston Castle. OK. Great.  
So off I returned back through the lovley village, when this nice lady whizzed to a stop in a rather nice white low-slung vehicle. I’ll give you a lift partway, get in. oh, ok, thanks. Tried the door and it wouldn’t open. Oh, is it april 1st ???   No, its just a modern motor and you have to switch motor off to open doors. In I get………………….bucket seats.  I’ll re-phrase.  In I fell. !!! So laying almost flat on my back, we chatted away briefly, until  we came to a a large muddy puddle that filled the back road to the castle, and she looked at it in dismay. !!!! I looked at her, smiled, and said, look I have my walking boots on, I can get through that large muddy puddle, no problem.  Are you sure? She heaved a sigh, I think. So it was quite an adventure, really.

Monday tomorrow, and after a lovely Sunday lunch at Ye Olde Barbridge Inn, and its off to Nantwich.

Oh, yes, we did the “Bunbury Shuffle” at the locks !!!!!.

Melva, that boat was sooo beautiful . a shame that it wasn';t on a lovley river somewhere, really. and No, there are no row boats at Peterborough anymore.  Don;t you ever get the pull for some boating with you family history ???

and to Julie, who I do not know, thank you so much for you comment. 

 Twixt Ellesmere Port and Chester, and we had a couple of young buzzards for company.


 a. bream.

 bbq man

 electric fences. buzzzzz

oooh Jenny what big ears you've got ! 
 he's got his hand on his ass ????

 Do I have a wheel chair bound relative ??? anywhere ???? cor what fun. !!!! wheeeeeeee 
 Finlay still has it ! just can't give chase anymore.

 Bunbury Shuffle. 1 boat down, 1 up, and in t'middle top boat crosses over . !!!   get it ???? 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

So, on the way to Chester, we did a “crossover” in the staircase lock, which was quite exciting. We have only done this once on a 2 lock Staircase, but this one in Chester has  3 locks.  One boat was already In  the top lock, and one was in the bottom, so we couldn’t share. Top boat went down and Crossed over with boat at the bottom in the last lock. We then entered top lock, and crossed over with the boat coming up in the 2nd lock. Or summat like that anyway. Good fun.

At the bottom of the locks, on some waste ground, I watched 2 druggies. Tis the first time that I have cried at the sight of 2 people so beholden to a chemical.  He was completely out of his skull,. At one  point he was whistling an imaginary dog.

But he  was being very tender towards the girl. Making sure that her collar was turned up against the wind , and holding her very gently, as she wobbled and shook. Then he came to help with the lock. !!!!!  I said that I was ok, and asked if his lady was ok.  He said that she had been in hospital on a catheter, but he reckoned she had been dis charged too soon, as she was in pain. I could see her holding her side. I doubt if she could see anything. He helped with the lock anyway, and I noticed blood stains on his fingers. I said, that perhaps it would be best if he took her back to hospital.  She was so young, and I suspect he wasn’t that old, but was so ravaged by drugs.

Ellesmere Port. !  Wow. What a fantastic place to stay and visit. The Waterways Museum is truly brilliant and so interesting, and just as a little aside, there were some damson trees  that were dropping their fruit and no-one was picking them . !!!!!!!  Can you guess what we have made ????? Answer at the bottom.

It was a funny feeling being moored so close to the sea. !!!  We had the Manchester ship canal, by the side, and we found a beachy bit for Finlay, and over the bank was the Mersey Estuary. Wonderful.

On the way back to Chester, I had, just HAD to stop at the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet  facility.  Cor. And Cor again.  Great Set up .   Although , all I came away with was a nice pair of troos, for the winter.  I STILL cant afford anything from Phase Eight or Jigsaw, even in the bloody sales.  A thin stripy  t shirt, reduced from £79 to £49 seems a bit much to me.  And Saddo, that I am, I am looking forward to trawling around the Charity shops, when we get back to Chester.

DAMSON GIN. !  well, what else would it be ???? a pie ???  well, now I come to think of it. I have some golden damsons left over.  Hey, I hope they are damsons. ! Do they come as a golden variety??? Anyone ????

 Crossing over in a staircase lock.

 Manchester ship canal. The other side of that bank is the seaside, well almost.

 Ellesmere Port Waterways Museum

 Gorgeous boat. mmmmm

 I dont think that swan wants to be throttled, Mick. 

 Well, tell him to keep his undercrackers on., please. we'll have none of that.

 Man Ship Canal and a bit of play for Finlay

 stop giggling, you lot. !!! 
 the last No 1 working boat.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Well, coming through Middlewich locks, we were in the top lock, when a boat appeared ready to come down, I informed the boat behind us to leave their gate open on the lock they were leaving.  I informed the “lady”, and she snapped back “ huh, I would have gone down and told them,anyway” “ well, I have saved your little legs a job then”. She replies “ well, you have to leave your gate open anyway”, to which her husband and I said “ no, we are talking about the next lock down”. She was a right old cross-patch, but managed to wish Mick a nice day.

HOWEVER, 2 days later I am walking back from a lock, having been studying the path up to Beeston Castle. Mrs Angry is stalking along to the lock, and as I go to say “hello”, she very pointedly,looks away and boy what a face, talk about turning milk sour.  I said hello to her man, and he replied. Back at the boat I got my binoculars out and trained them along to their boat, and she was looking.  She waved, I waved and then…………………………………………………she tapped the side of her head !!!!!!

Now,    a) Was she indicating that she had a bad head?
              b)  was she trying to tell me that she is , in fact, a nutter?
             c) was she telling me that she feels that I am a nutter ?
I could not stop laughing. I found it very amusing.

Saw them in the pub in the afternoon, and although we had spoken to her husband, she stalked passed.   The game is on. !  I am now on a mission to get her to say hello to me in a civil and friendly fashion.  They are now in front of us, on the way to Ellesmere Port.Wish me luck. !

Another boat that is in the vicinity also has some strange ideas. When asked as to where we were mooring up, I replied “ through the bridge, and on the right. Lovely 48hour moorings”. To which this posh bloke replied “  oooh, please save a place for us”. I must have given him a strange look as he then said “ if anyone else turns up, just glare at them “.  What ????  I said that I am not good at glaring, and that there were plenty of spaces. There are some funny folk about all of a sudden.

Have been seeing loads of grebes, which must mean that the canal is in a reasonable state, although you still wouldn't want to fall in.

Where we are moored at the moment, is right by the side of a cricket ground, with a fishing tackle shop nearby.  So Mick is listening to cricket, watching cricket, fishing, watching football and the golf begins next week.   I am off shopping. !

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Saturday we arrived in Lymm, AFTER Mick had to go and pay homage to Man United stadium.
We love Lymm, marvellous bakery( CAKES like you have never seen), and fantastic beer. Sat it was off to the Saddlers for some J.W.Lees, excellent beer, and Sunday we tried the Brewery Tap, for local brewed ales. Excellent again. Not much to report really. Just had an enjoyable time.

One of the lovely houses by the side of the Canal, belongs to Sooty’s Dad’s son. Matthew Corbett, and by the side of the canal is a bit of waste ground belonging to Manchester Ship Canal.  They have planted a bit of purple loose strife( a tall purple wild flower/weed), and he has set up the rest with wild flowers, poppies, foxglove, yellow flowered stuff.  Very pretty and absolutely full of bees. HOWEVER< Man Shit, I mean Man ship canal, say that he has to dig it up, cos its not his  to do owt with. !!!!!!  Can you believe it.  Now if I were him, I would take dear old Sooty or Sweep or Sue, come to that, put my hand inside and give the old teutonic gesture. As we left, he was watering and planting up more stuff.  Good for you, Matthew.

So Monday, and a quick trip to bakery for 2 fresh loaves and some fishes,no I mean 2 scrumptious cakes, and we are on our way. Preston Brook, and over the next few days, some locks down to Middlewich.

 At Church Minshull we said goodbye to our travelling companions. We have been with them since Barrowford Locks on the L&L, and have tried some excellent beers and pubs. Have had a very enjoyable time with Marie and Martin on Deolally. Apparently this is the proper spelling of Doolally. They have friends to catch up with and we want to slow up so 'tis time for us to be on our own.  We are now heading very slowly to Chester and Ellesmere Port.

Hey, Ger, does that mean I cannot expect to receive a bottle of Cava ????? boooooooo( I prefer cava to champagne !)

 "Man United da da dee da da" 

 Sooty's garden of wildflowers


 Dutton, just after Prston Brook.

 Zzzzzzzzzz grhh, woofzzzzzzz

 Bramble Cuttings

 Church Minshull. Walked through a wood and a field to get to The Badger for excellent Tatton ale.