Friday, October 29, 2010

Fastest Sawer in the West - not me !

(late post this week as no signal where we moored Wed and Thursday.)

This week we have done …  Audlem to Adderley ---- all of 3 miles but 18 locks!

Yes, slightly more boats out this week - (a) because its half term and (b) the weather ---- lots of sunshine with a couple of frosty mornings.  

Nothing much to report this week ----- no excitement to call any and we haven’t been very far !    One thing we have noticed this week though is lots of owls a-hooting in the evenings.    In fact one night at Audlem they were obviously having a big party !

Got a brilliant wood haul today ---- Dai went off with Foxxie (routine thing that Foxxie has to have a walk along towpath when we first moor up somewhere) and discovered a mega branch which had fallen.    It took us 2 trips to carry it back and then hours to saw it up.    I do try to do my share of sawing but won’t win any prizes for Fastest Sawer in the West.

Since last blog we have done …  3 miles and 18 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 822 miles and  829 locks
Dai taking a minute

did the axe slip Dai ??    Naw - its a lamb neck bone (guess what we had for dinner that night??)
Good haul of ash

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

of no fixed abode !

spot the hot air balloon !!

This week we have done …  Nantwich  to Audlem ---- all of 7 miles and 4 locks!

We are now officially “of no fixed abode” --- I won’t say homeless cos that’s not true as Jandai is our home.   Sale of the house was completed last Friday.     Mixed feelings ---- I am relieved it has gone before winter kicks in, but at same time, didn’t really feel like celebrating.    Not that I have any second thoughts, it’s just that the house was built just over 100 yrs ago by my family and has been in the family ever since.   Still, we can now say that we are true boaters !!!

First frost this week when we woke up on Sunday and this morning.     It was Sod’s Law Sunday morning though.   For a while we have been looking out for some paint for the fire to do some touching up and found some.   So Sat evening was cloudy when we went to bed so decided to let fire go out as it obviously needs to be cold to paint and so we get the first frost !     Fire had to stay in since Sunday though and will probably be in now until next spring !!  

I have just today finished crocheting my second Christmas blanket so now Samuel and Millie (nephew and neice) have one each ready to send to Santa.    Sam’s is in blues and Millie’s in purples and yellow --- or rather, gold, as Millie told me that gold is her favourite colour (ha ha, week before it was purple).    Gotta decide on my next project now, maybe I’ll start a new craft for me ---- a rag rug.    I have the special tool, just need to get some “rags” now which think will mean a visit to charity shops at our next town stop which will be Market Drayton.  

Still lots of boats around but number is definitely going down now --- expect to see a few more hire boats out next week as it’s school half-term.

Since last blog we have done …  7 miles and 4 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 819 miles and  811 locks
taken on Oct 17 - wonder how many more days I'll be able to dry washing outside this year ?!

here's that balloon getting a bit closer (you can even see the flames if you look closely!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

200 Days Today

This week we have done … Quoisley Lock, Wrenbury, Hurleston Locks on Llangollen. Then turned south on Shroppie and are now moored at Nantwich.

We spent a total of 26 days on the Llangollen Canal. Last year when we did same canal during a 2 week holiday we spent the grand total of 5 days …. We are definitely slowing down !!!

Just can’t believe the weather this last week. It is October isn’t it ---- yet I’ve been sitting topping up my tan every afternoon since last Saturday!!! Mornings are misty and the evenings cold cos we now have to have a fire every evening ---- but afternoons - well, could it last a bit longer please!!!!

This week we have had a battery management system fitted to Jandai. I won’t go into all the technical details (ha ha ---- cos I can’t) but do understand that it means the batteries charge up quicker therefore our fuel consumption will be lower. Dai has worked it out that in theory, it should pay for itself in around a year and give the batteries an extra year of use before we have to replace them, so that’s all good news. We have six leisure batteries as we are running a fridge, freezer and washing machine as well as usual things like a telly, charging up laptop, phones, toothbrushes, etc. Then there is an additional battery for the engine start up. So that’s about as “technical” as I can get !!

I had my hair cut yesterday ---- about 4 inches off and thinned out, so my balance was a bit wobbly for a while until I got used to not having so much weight on my head. It was getting a bit wild I must admit. Still growing out the blonde - looks a bit like I’m wearing a brown with streaking silver coloured cap. Ar well, another six months and the blonde should be all gone.

Talking about 6 months ---- today is Day 200 of our New Life - think we’ll have to celebrate that tonight don’t you ?

Since last blog we have done … 14 miles and 10 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 812 miles and 807 locks.------ miles now more than locks for first time for ages and ages.
misty october 11 sunrise at nantwich on shropshire union canal

misty october 11 morning at Nantwich on the Shropshire Union Canal looking north

Foxxie and an invisible Janice sunbathing that same 11 october afternoon

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yorkshire Puds - Yeah!

This week we have done … Ellesmere Arm, Prees Branch, Grindley Brook and today moored just through Quoisley Lock.

Seems to have quietened down a bit from last week although boats were in and out of the Ellesmere Arm while we were there for several days. One of the hireboat companies told us the other day as we passed that all their boats were out until the end of October. BW’s winter moorings (1 Nov to end March) have been announced this week which for first time this year you have to book on the internet. We are planning on continuously cruising though and not holing up somewhere for the winter. If it gets too bad then we will go into a marina but counting on the fact that we can’t have two extreme winters in a row !!

We’ve had some very warm and sunny days this week - in fact, better than most of August!

Dai had a fun day out last Friday - went to the pub with Keith off Diamond Jack at lunchtime and staggered back 5 pints and 4 hours later!! I was invited but find I just can’t drink at lunchtimes - I need to sleep afterwards and then feel groggy rest of day so just not worth it.

Adam - a fellow blogger from NB Debdale - introduced himself to us when we were in Ellesmere. It’s always good to know who’s reading your blog !

For first time since living on the boat, Dai did Yorkshire puddings with our Sunday roast this week. He’s not tried them before cos cooking with calor gas is different to house gas as the oven doesn’t get so hot. Anyway, we bought a lovely piece of beef from the butcher in Ellesmere so he decided to risk the Yorkshires. Yes - they worked so expect Toad in the Hole will be on the dinner menu one day soon now.

Managed a bit of “yellow pencil” this week ------ that is, cruised a new bit of canal for Jandai ---- the Prees Branch, as we were on the lookout for diesel and saw an advert by the canalside for Whixall Marine selling at 72p a litre. As it turned out it was actually 68p without any tax, so we filled up. Good diversion then for 2 good reasons.

Nearly got total miles and locks equal this week - if we’d gone through Marbury Lock about a mile from where we are moored then we would have. Hang on, no we wouldn’t cos then we’d have had another mile done! Aw well, this is about the closest we have been to equal !

Since last blog we have done … 17 miles and 9 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 798 miles and 797 locks.

Saturn is a unique canal narrowboat. She is the last horse-drawn Shropshire Union Canal Fly-boat in the World – originally built to travel non-stop, day and night, carrying perishable goods. Over 100 years old, she has been fully restored to her former glory; not only to preserve her for posterity but to educate present and future generations about our waterways, narrowboats and horse-boating.   Here she is moored at Ellesmere.

Here I am being supervised by Foxxie operating Allman's Lift Bridge on the Prees Branch which was mightily hard going!
Our mooring today just after Quoisley Lock - in the middle of nowhere with the sun shining.

Original warehouse at end of Ellesmere Arm - there are development plans for the end so hope they are going to do something with this building and not knock it down.   The only building so far developed is a new Tesco which is very handy for boaters even though we don't like the fact that Tescos have world-domination in sight.