Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Orangutan Arms

It’s a wonder I can type tonight ---- walked about a mile up the towpath, through an industrial estate to Morrisons where we wanted some milk and a pumpkin ready for Halloween.   OK, no problem so just took a couple of shopping bags instead of the wheelie bag normally used for shopping.   I really should know better.   Ended up with two full bags so heavy (several good offers), I could hardly lift either of them.    If Dai was a true husband he would have carried them both but no, I had to carry one so my arms are a foot longer than this morning.  Need some TLC so we’re going for an Italian meal at the Bridge Inn (canalside at Bridge 34) - one of our favourite Italian places on the system.

Left Weston-on-Trent last Thursday up to Willington where we stayed until Monday and have been here at Branston (just through Burton-on-Trent) at Bridge 34 since.    Depending on weather tomorrow (heavy rain is forecast) we plan to travel to Alrewas.

Lovely walk around Branston Lake which is, we would estimate, about two foot down in water level so Foxxie not too impressed as she normally has a good stick fetching game in the lake!    It is a reclaimed gravel pit with a maintained footpath all the way round.   It's only about half-a-mile round but nothing to stop us doing a few circuits!

Had a lovely meal on Jandai last Thursday evening when friends Andy and Stephen joined us for a veggie curry, homemade Welsh cakes and real ale - a good time.

Super sunny weather this last week although the nights are cold so fire in full swing from around teatime.

Since last blog we have done …  6 miles and  6 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1433 miles and  1171 locks  


Branston Water Park - right next to the canal at Bridge 34

The Bridge Inn, canalside by bridge 34.   Fab Italian food 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chucks Away !

Yes - we have upped sticks (or rather pins, rings and bollards) from Trent Lock and set sail once more.

Many thanks to John and Mick at Kingfisher Narrowboats for all the work they have done for us and letting us moor there - much appreciated.

We got the new hinge for the gas locker lid from Piper Narrowboats by post on Monday and got it welded on but trouble was by then it was soooo windy that we decided not too sensible to go down Trent Lock onto the River Trent.   So spent Monday night being buffered to sleep!    The wind had calmed down enough Tuesday morning to resume cruising operations so off we jolly well went.    Yes, it was still windy but we braved the River, then through Sawley back onto the River, across Derwentmouth and onto the Trent & Mersey.      Sorry to friends who we missed before leaving but sure you understand that we had to “take the window of opportunity” with the winds and also wanted to get off the River just in case the levels rose as we didn’t want to get stuck on the Erewash.

Tonight we are moored at Weston-on-Trent in the middle of nowhere and just heard the weather forecast which is for a widespread frost tonight.   I looked back at my diary and last year, first frost of 2010 winter was on Oct 17 so two days later this year!!

Don’t mention the rugby …… we was robbed.      I just can’t tell you on here Dai’s reaction to Sam Warburton being sent off (but am sure you can imagine!!).

Since last blog we have done …  6 miles and  6 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1433 miles and  1171 locks  

opposite Trent Lock on River Trent
we have gone onto the Trent and Mersey

our solar panels
(think I've already posted this but Fred wants to see them again!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Still Here !

Slight change of plan and we are still here at Trent Lock !     One of the hinges on the front gas locker has kaputted ---- another on its way from Piper Narrowboats but latest it’ll be here should be Monday.    Once received we will be on our way.

Amy is now in Bangkok Thailand having flown out there Tuesday morning.    Was all a bit traumatic for me.    I am so very proud of her having the confidence and guts to do this.    But I think all you mums and dads out there will know how I am feeling.    I just have to keep telling myself that we’re living our dream so Amy needs to live hers.    We will of course go out to visit her but not sure when yet - pity we can’t get there by narrow boat !!

Dai now on tenterhooks for Saturday morning - the Wales v France rugby.   At least kick-off is at 0900 not the silly times the previous games have been!   I’m crocheting him a Welsh Leek outfit which I’m convinced will be most fetching ----- and then I have a cunning plan for the Final which I can’t divulge on here cos it’s a Big Surprise                       (think sheep) ……………..

Since last blog we have done …  0 miles and  0 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1427 miles and  1165 locks  

looks good doesn't it?
not sure if it'll fit though

Amy and Rosie at Heathrow on Oct 11
as they go to catch aeroplane to Thailand

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Come on Wales !

When I write the blog next Wednesday we should be back cruising - not made definite plans where to go yet.    Amy got her working visa for Thailand now so its all systems a-go-go for her leaving next Tuesday.

The weather’s been really glorious but has changed these last couple of days and is decidedly more chilly today so Dai now preparing to light the fire.

The horrible water fern is still with us here at Trent Lock although it did clear a bit earlier in the week for Dai to get some more fishing in (and he caught 5 reasonable sized ones in a row late last week).

Last Thursday we went about 20 minutes up the Erewash Canal to tow back to Kingfishers Boatyard their latest narrow boat for fitting out.    This is Cat’s Whiskers - Roger and Pat are planning on retiring and living on their narrow boat as from next April when it’ll be ready to sail away - don’t worry, if John and Mick said April, then you will get it in April just like we did !!   It was kindof nice for one boat fitted out by Kingfisher to be towing their next bespoke boat.     First time Dai has towed another boat so now he’s breasted up with broken-down boat and towed ----- what’s next as a new experience???

Today I have started on my latest project - a knitted Aran jumper for Dai.     Probably be ready for winter 2012 !!

Come on Wales ----- they’re still in the Rugby World Cup --- and we’ll be up at crack of dawn for their next game on Saturday ---- 0600am kickoff against Ireland.

Since last blog we have done …  2 miles and  0 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1427 miles and  1165 locks  

carpet of water fern at Trent Lock
on the Erewash Canal 

Mick securing Cat's Whiskers to Jandai
ready to tow to Kingfisher Boatyard for fit-out

Captain Roger takes the helm of Cat's Whiskers
for the first time !

John untying the two boats after arriving at Trent Lock
 ready for Cat's Whiskers to start her fitting out