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.