Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter

What a mix of the elements this last week and now we are plunged back into “winter” with sleet, snow, frosts and gale force winds !  Good job we have plenty of coal and wood.

We have ‘done’ Market Drayton, Goldstone Wharf, Norbury and today are moored at Gnosall.    This stretch of canal is, for us, a blackspot for both internet and phone - hence the late posting of blog this week.   We have a 3 dongle which is brilliant 95% of the time and Vodaphone phones which is brilliant about 90% of the time - it just seems to be this stretch of water although here at Gnosall, internet access is back on.

Must say that we don’t like staying in Market Drayton - it seems to be such a sad place, rundown and it is the only place we have ever had any trouble.   Once we were moored here and were untied in the early hours of the morning. Well, almost because Foxxie suddenly went loopy about 3 in the morning and obviously woke us up.   Dai looked out of the window straight into the face of a young scrout who had untied the front rope and then proceeded to jump on the back to untie that rope.   Dai let Foxxie out and this waster legged it down the towpath at a great rate of knots!    This time we were there, Dai had his fishing rod pinched off the roof.   Ok, he really shouldn’t have left it there but it had been so for about a year.   Luckily it was a really cheap one he had bought - his ‘proper’ ones are safely stored indoors.   The canal is about 15 mins walk from the town with a big Morrisons supermarket about another 10 minutes away.   There is now an Asda but it is very small and not good enough for a Big Shop.    They have re-done the indoor market but, to be honest, it looks good but is now half empty (must be that they have upped the rent since revamping).  Talking to other boaters about Market Drayton, most seem to tie up for shopping and then go.    

We are noticing now a real upsurge in boat movement which, we predict, will only get more so on the canals north of about Birmingham due to the water shortages anywhere further south and then too is the Olympics this summer so a lot of boaters will be clogging up the canals we prefer!   Ah well, such is life - will have to cruise early and look for a mooring earlier before all the hire boaters want to stop!   Seriously, we do think there could well be a bit of the old argey-bargey this summer with more boats on fewer canals, more queues at locks and hire boaters struggling to find moorings in the more popular spots.    I am already counselling Dai to keep calm, breathe and keep his mouth clamped!!

No ducklings spotted yet - in our first year of cruising it was April 2 and last year April 4.  We did however have first sighting of a blackbird on our hanging fatball feeder yesterday!  It’s different types of tits 99% of the time.

Have a lovely Easter everyone and let’s hope the sun shines!

Since last blog we have done … 16 miles and  12 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1698 miles and  1323 locks  

owners of this boat don't have any
problems keeping indoor plants alive!

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