Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Suntan is Coming Along Nicely

Moved from Gargrave today --- up to Salterforth (just after Barnoldswick).    It was awfully chilly yesterday but the hot sunshine is back again today so can’t grumble cos we’ve had days and days of glorious weather and the suntan is back!    Makes up for those weeks during the Ice Age last winter!

Had a cracking night out in The Old Swan at Gargrave last Friday - Black Sheep bitter for Dai and Black Sheep Ale for me and great company with some locals and boaters singing and dancing.

Gargrave is a lovely village and so I’m putting some pictures on today’s blog below.  

Noticeably more boats out and about now - make the most of it if you’re on the Leeds & Liverpool and if you’re planning on coming this way, better hurray up as still  no rain and the water levels in some places are looking dicey.   After this coming weekend we are making our way off this canal onto the Trent & Mersey (via Bridgewater Canal of course).    I need to start psyching myself up for those Wigan Locks!!

Dai just been trying to get telly reception and no joy ----- he’d better sort it out for the Wedding on Friday otherwise I’ll be using a lot of boat battery to watch it on the laptop  (watching live TV on laptop definitely takes more power that the telly.)

If you’re in the UK, enjoy this long Bank Holiday Weekend and don’t forget to keep waving your flag on Friday for the marriage of our future King and his  Queen-to-be.

Since last blog we have done …  8 miles and 10 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 1126 miles and  959 locks  

there are 2 sets of stepping stones across the River Aire in Gargrave - at either end of the village

you needed to stand well back each time Foxxie had retrieved her stick out of the river!

There are now 2 tearooms in the village but was this the original (no longer serving any tea, tobacco or cigars).  Was it called "The Copper Kettle" ?? 

One of the 2 tearooms now open in Gargrave

I really liked this light on the road bridge over the River Aire

unfortunately no Roman ruins left in Gargrave now

All the bunting out in Gargrave High Street for Easter and the Royal Wedding

Passed this new steam narrowboat today "Whisper Down the Wind"  - marvelled at his Big Chimney !

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

shorts and shades

Beautiful hot sunny days - so out have come the shorts, sandals and shades - yes, even Dai is wearing shorts (but not sandals after last year when he did and burnt his ankles badly!).

Had fish and chips twice this week from Bizzie Lizzie’s in Skipton - once when moored there and today when we walked 4.5 miles there and 4.5 miles back along the towpath - well they are good !!   

We are now moored at Gargrave and spent last 3 days walking (1) on part of the Pennine Way (2) towpath to East Marton (next village to West) and (3) to Skipton (next town to East).    Tomorrow I am insisting on a rest day just sitting in the sun!     Lovely walks though as we are in the Yorkshire Dales and where better for glorious scenery.

Now we are proper liveaboards ---- I have two planters on the roof.    One with pansies and one with that “cut and come again” lettuce.    Oh, and we also have a smaller planter with thyme as Dai uses so much in cooking.    

Heard this last week that BW are starting water restrictions from May 3 on the Leeds & Liverpool, so reducing the amount of water pumped in from the reservoirs and putting time restrictions on flights of locks as and when necessary.      They certainly need to do something as we have definitely noticed the water levels are fluctuating by as much as 6 inches from day to day.    A lot of the lock gates are leaking like fury and in a stretch of “bendy wendy”canal  just up from Gargrave there are signs every few yards saying “bad leak”.  We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this particular canal closed again this summer just like it was last year because of lack of water, especially as there hasn’t been a lot of rain these last few months.

Counted one mammy duck yesterday with about 30 babies (give or take one or two as they were flitting all over the place).    Never seen so many with one mammy - think she must be the auntie who babysits all day!

We’re going to stay put in Gargrave now until after Easter (we are on a 14 day mooring) as no doubt it will be mega busy over the long weekend.    Enjoy the Holidays everyone and don’t eat too many Easter Eggs (send them to me instead as I bet I won’t get even one otherwise!!)

Since last blog we have done …  5 miles and 3 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1118 miles and  949 locks  

one reason the Leeds & Liverpool Canal has water shortage problems

Foxxie loving the sunshine ... but where's yer shades??

ice cream tug at Skipton

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Back and Forth and Back Again

Back and forth and back again!    Last Thursday we moved to Skipton for services and supplies and then back to Kildwick Friday and today back to Skipton !     So we have actually done 15 miles but only moved 5  on our return trip on the Leeds & Liverpool.    Three reasons for this strange behaviour:
1.   We need to go slowly as we don’t want to hit the Nelson-burnley-Blackburn-Wigan run until after the Easter holidays when the kiddiewinks are back at school …. And
2.   Dai has to travel to Birmingham tomorrow for his mum’s funeral so we needed to be by a railway station  
3.   Where we are now is the most beautiful part of the Leeds & Liverpool so we want to make the most of it

Oh boy - what smashing weather last weekend ---- it was really hot.    Out came the sunglasses, shorts and sandals - hurray, no socks and jumpies!!   We even had salad for dinner ---- then it all disappeared and we had really cold winds.    Nevermind, such wonderful sunshine is brilliant for a couple of days in April.

My cousin Alan and his wife Nicola saw the arrival of their first child end of last week - many congrats and a big big welcome to Sophie Mary.

Don’t think there is much else to tell you this week so here’s some Spring time photos …..

Since last blog we have done …  15 miles and 0 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 1113 miles and  946 locks  

err, excuse me mrs duck - one "normal" duckling and one fluffy yellow one?   What you been up to then?!

the lambs are nearly bbq-ing size

not a bad back garden from the kitchen window - now you can see why we liked it so much at Kildwick

me and foxxie just soaking a few rays just before Dai starts sawing more fuel for the fire (still getting a bit nippy in the evenings)

"gimme a leg up mammy - I've had enough of this swimming lark"

on 23 Sept 1943 during a training flight, a Wellington bomber HZ251 and its Polish crew crashed into the bank of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near swingbridge 183 between Kildwick and Skipton.    All seven members of the crew were killed.   This memorial was unveiled on 22 April 2007

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ducklings and Blossom - First Sighting April 4

Millions of swing bridges this week --- lots of wind, some sun  --- first sighting of blossom and ducklings.

We left Skipton last Friday, through Kildwick,  Silsden, Keighley to Bingley Five Rise Locks.    We had decided not to go down the locks as didn’t particularly want to go into Leeds and from Bingley it is pretty much built up.    So we turned at the Five Rise and started the journey back the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.  Tonight we are moored at Kildwick with great views across the Airedale Valley one side and the moors the other with fields of lambs around us.    

We now plan to stick around this area (Kildwick, Skipton, Gargreave, Barnoldswick) until after the school Easter Holidays as we would prefer to run the stretch from Foulbridge to bottom of Wigan Flight as fast as possible when the kiddies are at school which in this neck of the woods is around April 25-ish.    We are gearing ourselves up to be in “hireboat” mode ---- ie, long days of moving until we get onto the Trent & Mersey.    I have to say that from Foulbridge to Bingley is a really beautiful stretch of canal in the Yorkshire Dales but am sorry to say that from Foulbridge to bottom of Wigan Flight is not somewhere we want to meander through.   

Since last blog we have done …  20 miles and 0 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 1098 miles and  946 locks

Beautiful Yorkshire Dales

Blossom - spring is definitely here !

Canalside homes at Silsden

First moorhen nesting this year.   I just love moorhens, they are so industrious