Saturday, January 19, 2013

I probably won't be posting for a while.    But as I know some of our regular readers and friends might be wondering why this weekly posting is late ......  Dai had an acute heart attack last monday while out walking Foxxie dog along the towpath and died.   He hadn't had a days illness in his life.   We are moored in birmingham and thank god our boatie friends fred and lisa are moored up right behind me.    please forgive me if i havent talked to you personally.   I have been overwhelmed with love, kindness, care and support from family, friends and complete strangers.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

God Bless our Livers and Them Who Stole our Cake

…. They had more work to do this last week than for the whole of 2012 I think!!   And two ladies who took off with the remainder of the cake I had baked ---- you know who you are!

We have had some extremely good nights this last week with boatie friends Martine & Phillipa and then Fred and Lisa.   Well, we were late celebrating the New Year with friends but boy, have we now made up for it !!!   Off the pop now for ever!!  (One late New Year resolution that won’t last very long me thinks!).

So we spent a few days at Alvechurch and then came back up to Birmingham where we are now moored behind Fred & Lisa on NB Chyandour.   We’re all going to stay here for a day or so --- are waiting for some weightlifting equipment to be delivered to Argos.   Why?   Well, we have never seen a “Gym Boat” and think it could be a winner - how much would you pay for a canalside session?

Of course, Dai has done his loitering in the Bullring Meat Market and we got some fruit so today has been jam-making.   As we didn’t see any damsons on our travels last autumn, we have decided to go for some different flavours so today it was pineapple & kiwi fruit.   While we can pick up really cheap fruit in the Market, then it’s a good time to restock the jam cupboard don’t you think.   Might do some mango chutney as well.

Noticed for first time tonight that daylight is getting a bit longer - or maybe its just that there are no nasty rain clouds above?   Weather is forecast to drop quite a bit from tonight.   It’s been so mild just lately - in fact, last night it was 29 degrees inside and I had to threaten Dai that I’d have to do a streak down the towpath if he didn’t damp the fire down a bit - yes, that certainly did it!!

Since last blog we have done … 15 miles and 0 locks  
Total since Setting Off ….. 2130 miles and  1768 locks  

kissie, kissie
Jandai and Chyandour
part of new lock gate being fitted on
Farmers Bridge which has some carved poetry.
Sorry you can't really read it very well and
Dai forgot to make a note of the words!
I'll have to go and read it myself and let
you know next week
same lock gate
guess what!
action picture - so fast I had to warn towpath
walkers to beware!
now I got it in position,
Let's see what can be done with it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Slavering and Drooling

Yes, Dai can still steer the boat!!    After far too long static in Birmingham, we cast off today (because it wasn’t raining) and moved !    Nine miles down the Worcestershire/Birmingham Canal to Hopwood.   It is sooooo nice to see green instead of bricks and mortar.   In fact, when we moored, Foxxie was dashing about like a deranged demon (rather like all the folks in the Bull Ring both pre and post Christmas!!), relishing soft grass (or should that be mud?) under her pads instead of concrete.

Dai did his usual thing of racing through tunnels at full bore as we went through Wast Hill Tunnel.   I was inside with Foxxie (you only have to say “tunnel” to her and she’s inside the boat like a flash of lightening and then sits at the bottom of the steps slavering and drooling) and thought we must be passing a flotilla in full battle formation as suddenly I was rudely awakened from pondering a particularly nasty clue in the crossword I was doing attempting.  There is hardly any boat movement right now so guess what happened in the Tunnel?   Yes, another boat coming in the opposite direction.    Dai had spied lights ahead and so slowed down but the other boat didn’t resulting in a big “coming together” as the boats bounced off one another and then into the wall.  Oh well, these things happen and no real harm done.

Talking of tunnels/Foxxie panic - we also had to come through Edgbaston Tunnel which is, I think, the only tunnel we have done which has lighting down the centre.    Not nice lighting - quite horrible orangey neon - but lighting nonetheless.    That really did confuse Foxxie !      She didn’t know what to do - a tunnel but lit.    In the end, she stayed uptop with Dai still slavering and drooling but safe in the knowledge that she could see her Master!!    (Of course, I was inside doing my Domestic Goddess thing - someone has to wash up pots eventually.)

We are on our way to see friends who are moored in Alvechurch; then the plan is to turn around and go back up into Birmingham by which time we are hoping other friends have arrived there after being stuck for ages near Burton on Trent waiting for the River Trent levels to subside (and in any case, we will have run out of meat by then so can stock up again in the Bullring Meat Market which is Dai’s most favourite place in all the world).

Since last blog we have done … 9 miles and 0 locks  
Total since Setting Off ….. 2078 miles and  1701 locks