Thursday, January 26, 2012

send more sea sick pills please .....

Blooming wind again !!    Two days of it this time.   Started evening time when we were moored between Marbury Lock and Bridge 24 (about 3 miles after Wrenbury towards Ellesmere) last Friday.   Saturday morning Dai decided it wasn’t fierce enough to stop us upping pins and moving on ---- yeah, right !!    We went about 100 yards and came into land again just through Bridge 24 where we stayed rest of Sat and all Sunday.    Not that it was such an hardship as very lovely countryside.      Wind gone Monday so we went on about 3 miles and 9 locks - three of the locks being the 3-lock staircase at Grindley Brook.      I’ve never done this staircase before without the lock-keeper directing operations so I chanted the “bottom lock empty; middle and top locks full” mantra as I left Dai on the boat after the first 3 locks in the flight to check no-one coming down and then set them up for Dai to ascend.   Bottom lock was already empty so I had to fill the top 2 chambers before opening the bottom lock gates for Jandai to come up.    Chanting the mantra worked and we were up the staircase in no time!     Moored at the top and stayed there until this morning - tonight we are at Bettisfield ----- (oh no, we are not!    Couldn’t get enough internet power last night to post this so am posting today but stats below are as last night.     Tonight we are moored in the Ellesmere Arm.)

Since we hadn’t had a meal out since before Christmas, we decided to go to the Dusty Miller while in Wrenbury.     Eaten there a few times before and it’s always been good food albeit a bit on the pricey side.     Since we were last there (July 2010) it has been “done up” (although it wasn’t really run down before) and extended at ground floor level into what was living quarters which has meant the bar being turned around and made longer.    They have made a lovely job and the meal and service very good - albeit still rather pricey!     

Nature really is now thinking it is spring - we saw our first daffodils last week and this week have spotted cherry blossom and snowdrops.

Since last blog we have done … 14 miles and  10 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1577 miles and  1257 locks  

the ducks came down next on their surf boards

BW men working on the lift bridge at Wrenbury for
a few days but they were raising it on request for boaters

cherry blossom on 23 January, 2012

if this is your fender, you'll find it on the
towpath by Wileymore Lock after Dai
had to cut it from our propellor

Janice raising New Mills lift bridge
just before the Whitchurch Arm

All lift bridges we have come across so far
have been painted black and white.
Did BW give in to the local property owner at
Tilstock Park so it blends more into the background?

"Stop and Shop" property at Whixall by the moorings
between Bridges  43 and 44 up for sale.
Must do a roaring trade in the summer months
but always shut out of season

Much lying water on the Whixall Moss site
just before the Prees Branch.

Here's me snapping you !
Geoff of NB Seyella's Journey as we passed by

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



Daffodils!    Yes, we saw first one in bloom on Sunday as we came up Hurleston Locks at start of Llangollen Canal which was one day later than when we spotted a hawthorn in new leaf with blossom !!    Didn’t have camera with us at the time and when we went by on the boat the next day, couldn’t get close enough to take proof as the tree was well into the back of the towpath.     

We have just had our first bad frost of this winter - awoke Sat, Sun and Monday mornings with it white over but today its been very mild - I even had to take off my gloves and hat doing the locks!    Some thin ice over the Shroppie we noted when walking around Hurleston Reservoir Tuesday morning and also a covering in the Hurleston pounds but none out on the actual canal.    We have heard the Llangollen hardly ever freezes because of the amount of water pouring down from the River Dee at the top - however, it did last year but hoping it won’t this !

Have joined a convoy since Nantwich!!!     Four other “blogging boats” heading up the Llangollen so undoubtedly we will keep bumping into Armadillo; Rock ‘n’ Roll; Seyella’s Journey; and Moore2Life as we all progress up the canal.    Today we are all at Wrenbury.

As mentioned last week, this is Dai’s list of “what wouldn’t you be without on the boat?” 

  • Ipod
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone
  • Radio
  • Bow saw (for cutting wood found on foraging expeditions)

Since last blog we have done … 8 miles and  9 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1563 miles and  1247 locks  
These frosty evenings give loads of
sunset photo opportunities

saves on the pegs I suppose

First daffodil of 2012 spotted on Hurleston Locks Flight

Taking a towpath walk early one frosty morning.
I even had to wear furry hat Amy gave me as she
definitely doesn't need it in Thailand !

Looking down Hurleston Locks Flight

Dai rigging up the fat ball feeder using an
ingenious pulley system designed for those
pesky high branches
Our first mooring on the Llangollen Canal
NB Armadillo just in front of us

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Someone asked me the other day “what wouldn’t you be without on the boat?” which got me thinking and my list would be (in no particular order).   I'll get Dai to tell us his list next week!

  • Ipod
  • Dry shampoo (after extensive research Amy recommended Batisse which is brilliant for when hair needs washing but daren’t risk emptying the water tank)
  • Laptop with Three dongle
  • Needles for sewing and knitting
  • Hooks for cro-shitting
  • Woolly furry hat
  • Table
  • Shopping trolley

Not having to put lights on now until about 1630 so days are getting longer!!    In fact, this morning I was woken up by birds singing.    Soon be lambs bleating, ducklings a-quacking and snowdrops appearing ------ ok, ok, I know, there’s still plenty of time for snow, frosts and icing-in.     (I’m trying to cheer myself up as I hate January and February.)

We are now in Nantwich which is a very interesting town actually.    There is a lot of architecture and old buildings to look at as you wander around.   The other night we had a pint in two of the pubs - both different with good real ale.  I was looking at a couple of websites on Nantwich generally and found this item quite interesting about nantwich aqueduct

Since last blog we have done … 4 miles and  2 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1555 miles and  1238 locks  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bobbing About

----- like a cork in the surf!    At least that’s what it’s been feeling like these last few days with the gales and winds.    We are all on our lonesome at Coole Pilate - there was one boat here when we arrived on Monday but they left a couple of hours later.    Only a couple of boats gone by and one of them was a hireboat from Overwater Marina which is only about half a mile away from where we are now.

Saw the New Year in watching firework display in Audlem which, for a little village, was quite spectacular.   Foxxie has never been fazed by fireworks and this was no exception - she sat with us watching them all.

We had visitors last Friday - Dai’s brother Glyn and Linda - so we spent a couple of hours in the Shroppie Fly sampling some very good real ale.

Spent a bit of time reflecting on 2011 - as you do - and share with you some of our thoughts:

  • Bottle cupboard still as full as when we set out one year and 278 days ago
  • Not killed each other yet
  • No illnesses or emergencies
  • Met some great people, some of whom have become firm friends
  • Sleeping more in tune with the seasons
  • Had a great “holiday” moored up in Long Eaton catching up with family and friends for just over 8 weeks
  • Dai still not grasped the concept of “hunter” although his “gathering” is quite good
  • No life-changing dramatic events like there was in 2010 ---- expect for Amy going to live and work in Thailand (and I miss her so much, thank god for Skype and Facebook Chat)

Since last blog we have done … 2 miles and  2 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1551 miles and  1236 locks