Thursday, 20 March 2014

A Different Horse power!

Thursday 20th March
Well we got back home on Saturday afternoon and got unpacked etc, we had a great first trip as the new owners of R&R apart from the business with the weed hatch but thats boating! Kev went back to work on Monday  but had to take his motorbike to a garage a few miles from us and left it there while he is away as it needs an MOT.  We are looking forward to our next trip on the boat which will be  about 11th April and we are hoping Kev's friend Nigel will be joining us on his boat NB Tomorrow.
Meanwhile I have been busy giving the grass it's first cut this year and also this morning I went down to muck out my friend Pam's horse Stella and turn her out into a field close to the farm, I have been helping her with Stella through the winter as she struggles a bit as she is manager of a pub in the next village to ours. Actually Stella belongs to her daughter Mayanne who is working near London as a groom so it is left to mum to make sure the horse is looked after!
Stella enjoying her brekkie!
A different sort of horse power to Rock & Roll!

Part of our garden with it's first haircut!!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

And into Gt Haywood marina

Saturday 15th March

It was foggy first thing yesterday a couple of boats came past with their headlamps on, by the time we were ready to leave our mooring about 9.30am it was clearing.
Only a short journey this morning to Great Haywood Marina, we are leaving Rock & Roll there for a few weeks while Kev is offshore.
Haywood Lock is our last lock this trip

Anglo Welsh hire boats through the bridge at the Staffs & Worcester canal
And finally entering Great Haywood Marina

Once we were in the marina we were given a temporary berth while they sorted a berth for us so I took Buster for a walk & Kev emptied the loo & got rid of rubbish (all good fun eh!) Our car was still at Droitwich Marina & Kev's BMW motorbike is here in the carpark, and so we both went on the bike to Droitwich so Kev let George know we were going so we could pop & see them. 
When we arrived there Carol had kindly made some sandwiches and a cuppa so we sat in their caravan chatting for a while, it was nice to see Molly back to her old self too.
Anyway after a while we said our goodbyes to George & Carol and I set off in car & Kev on bike back to Great Haywood and Kev went back to see Steve in the office to see where he wanted us to move the boat to, we got a berth sorted and got tied up on the pontoon moorings.
About 7pm we had a walk down to the towpath at Anglo Welsh to see if we could spot Sue on No Problem as we were going to say hello but no sign of them! So we had to go to the Clifford arms instead! Hope to catch you another time Sue!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Down the hatch again!

Friday 14th March

We moved a short distance yesterday from Wolseley  Bridge and moored near Shugbrough Hall, the fog was lifting slowly.

Kev went back down the weed hatch yet again to find....

Kev has been down the weed hatch this trip more than in all the time we had 4EverMoore!
Just unlucky I expect.
Once he had cleared the weed hatch he managed to wash the other side of the boat.

We took Buster for a walk to the junction of the Staffs & Worcester canal and there were quite a few Anglo Welsh hire boats as usual & they are all ready for customers!! We then walked back to the boat & the sun was out so we sat in the cratch with a lovely cold beer. There had been a steady flow of boats about yesterday & is nice to see people on the move.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Slowly making our way to Gt Haywood

Thursday 13th March

On Tuesday we left our mooring at Sutton road bridge and headed to Fradley, as we got to  Huddlesford junction we saw 2 swans one of which was on a nest.

The male was checking his mate was keeping her house in good order!
As we carried on up the Coventry canal we saw a new marina.

This is Kings Orchard Marina

There were a few boats moored there, it all looked pristine!

We headed on to Fradley and moored just before the water points before the swing bridge at the junction. We had a walk to the rubbish point then walked back & went for a pint at the Swan we even sat in the sunshine outside the pub! We returned to the pub around 8pm for a couple of drinks, there was a couple from a shared ownership boat that had tied up in front of us in there having something to eat and we were chatting to them for a while. They would be leaving Wednesday morning to head to Great Haywood marina where they would be handing their boat over to the next shared owners & said they would try not to wake us, but we said we are early risers so we would probably already be up!
Anyway yesterday morning (Wednesday) we moved froward to the water point where we filled up with water and then we left the mooring, I headed off to open the swing bridge for Kev and with windlass in hand I set off to get the first lock ready for Kev. It was quite a cold morning and didn't brighten up till we were close to Rugeley, we wanted to moor in Rugeley so I could pop to Morrisons,   as I went up to the bridge 65 I noticed there was a new Tesco supermarket (well new to me as it wasn't there last time we were on the canal) Once I had returned from Morrisons we had a bite to eat then set off and around 3.30pm we moored just through Wolseley bridge 70.
We went to the Indian restaurant which is only a short walk where we had probably the best Indian meal ever and the staff are friendly and efficient too so if anybody is passing this way and enjoys a nice indian then The Shimla Palace is worth the visit.
As we walked back to the boat it was foggy and this morning (early Thursday) when I let the dog out it was very foggy, mind you I did a really silly thing I forgot the towpath had changed and I unzipped the cratch cover to let Buster jump out and just in time I saw that I was only going to let him jump into the canal!! I did stop him in time then let him out the towpath side Phew!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Our first visitor

Monday 10th March
There was a lovely sky just as it was getting dusk at our mooring at Wiggins Hill bridge

It was lovely and peaceful here after being in Birmingham & was nice to let Buster off on the towpath with no other people or dogs about.
This morning Kev set about washing the side of the boat (towpath side) & I helped him polish it! 
We left the mooring just after and made our way to Fazeley  as we were going to get our first visitor at Drayton footbridge. Kev's friend Nigel has recently bought a boat and was looking forward  to come and see ours.

Kev & I had  a bite to eat (although Nigel had already eaten Fish & Chips!!) so we all had a cuppa. Kev showed Nigel the parts of the boat he is most interested in.... the engine etc!! Once Nigel had left we headed off to Fazeley junction & turned left onto the Coventry canal we moored just before bridge Sutton Road Bridge about 4.15pm. We had a walk to Asda & also went into Maplins for an adaptor as Kev had some VHF radios he had got from work and we had been unable to charge them as they are Chinese and so the plug was a flat pin one anyway success we got one.

Our mooring at Drayton Footbridge with not a very good photo of Kev at the stern but if you want somewhere to park your bike?......

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Temporary New Crew Member

Saturday 9th March
Well what a lovely morning it was to wake up to so different from yesterday, we had a cooked brekkie before leaving the mooring in Birmingham. We stopped to top the water up at the services just before the start of the Farmers Bridge locks and the water was quite slow but we were away from the water point around 9.40am  and Kev got the first lock ready for me. We had hoped to get an anti vandal key from the BW office there but it is now closed! Not a good start as we would need one anyway we had to press on. When we were in the second lock of the flight a man came & decided to help us which was very kind of him (A new crew member) Kev spoke to him and found out his name...
Jim Shead
Most of the boating fraternity will know him as he has a website:
What a lovely man and when Kev told him that we needed an anti vandal key he went home to get us one as had 2 so we bought it from him, problem solved!! he brought back his windlass too and stayed doing the locks 

People looked amazed at this man of 70 years spritely going across the locks & opening & closing gates like a youngster!
not a very good photo of this lock under a bridge

Finally a boat coming up at the second lock on the Aston flight so this was time for Jim to leave us, mind you he had to be back home to take his wife to lunch!! Jim is a regular helper to boaters  so if you are lucky enough to get his help I am sure you will be glad of him what a star!!

Here I am bringing Rock & Roll in one of the later locks on the Aston flight while poor Kev is getting the locks ready for me & with his gout starting to play up too!
We carried on getting through all the locks we were going to do but as we left the last lock at Caters Bridge Minworth we had a problem.....

We had no propulsion and had to pull over to the towpath where Kev had to go down the weed hatch and Kev found electric wire, a t-shirt and other plastic bags which he cleared. We then were able to set off and then we finally got away from there and carried on then moored @ 4pm before  Wiggins Hill Bridge. Still in the sunshine what a glorious day it has been weatherise that is!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

No locks today

Saturday 8th March
We were shattered yesterday after we had our tea & showers we just slumped down on the settee & never made it to the pub! (very odd for us lol) But we had a good nights sleep and were looking forward to no locks whatsoever today. We set off from our mooring at 8.20am and I must say it was quite cool and it was raining & miserable but were weren't miserable!! As we were leaving we had 2 passengers on the roof.

We passed this lovely place "Who lives in a home like this"

We had the canal to ourselves for a while until we were close to Hopwood where a boat passed us and we smiled & said good morning to the man at the tiller and he never cracked his face or acknowledge we were even there (what a miserable *** unlike us) Thank goodness most boaters are friendly & happy in their lives eh. We had a few more boats pass us & quite happy to say good morning, anyway as we got to bridge 80 we moored up so we could pop to the Sainsbury's which was only a short walk to top up with provisions.
Once we returned & Buster had a brief walk we had a bite to eat and carried on to Birmingham Gas street Basin
Cadbury's could be my favourite place! Well I am a chocoholic (no stopping though)

It seemed to take a long time to pass the university as it is vast!
Just approaching the sharp left turn into Gas Street Basin

plenty of people about

Our mooring

We were moored up about 2.30pm, we went for a walk around and went into a pub called The Malt House and won't go there ever again! We went to the bar and there was one person serving a customer to our left and another serving a customer to our right,then the barman finished serving the customer at the left of us and said to us there was a queue system on our right and Kev said we were already there and there was no queue or even a sign to say to queue anywhere & he wouldn't serve us unless we went and queued behind some people that had turned up after us! We walked out and we have never encountered such rudeness in a pub before we will never go there again they also lost the food sale as we were going to eat there too!! We went to a couple of other pubs then went to a place called Red Peppers where we had lovely food, and after woods went back to the boat but will be going out later tonight for a few beers, there is a really nice atmosphere here.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Tardebigge open lets go!

Friday 7th March
Last night we got ourselves ready and went over to The Queens Head pub which was just over the bridge where we were moored, I have to say George & Carol were not wrong when they said it was a good pub. It was lovely and we decided to eat there, there was an offer on for a Thursday which was happy hour from 5pm to 7pm plus 25% off and as were in the pub around 5.30pm that was us sorted! Kev ordered a burger and I ordered a beef & mushroom pie and there was a salad bar which we were told to help ourselves to and we did!!I have to say the food was lovely and that was the best  beef & mushroom pie I have ever had! We had a couple of beers but were too full for pudding so only had an Irish coffee each, we left there not long after wards as we were shattered.
After a good nights sleep we were up and about this morning early (as usual) We wanted to go for a walk up the Tardebigge locks to see the workmen and find out if we would be able to get up the locks today if they were finished working.
We got up to the reservoir close to bridge 54 and spoke to some workmen in a lock on a workboat and they told us they would be finished by 4m and that we could start to make our way up the locks.Thank goodness for that so we walked back to the boat and had a cuppa then prepared to leave the mooring @ 11am.
The Queens Head
Kev set off with the windlass after letting the ropes go on Rock n Roll to prepare the first of 30 locks on the Tardebigge flight 
We worked through the flight of locks stopping briefly in lock 49 for a cuppa and Kev went to check if we were able to carry on to the end! The workmen said that all the locks were now open so we carried on and finally moored passed bridge 61 near to the Crown Inn Alvechurch
Our mooring opposite some new looking homes, the Crown Inn is to the left of the houses and we will be having a walk there later! 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

This is goodbye for now

Thursday 6th March
Well today is the day we left Droitwich marina on our first journey as the new owners of Rock & Roll! We had travelled from home yesterday morning & arrived at Droitwich marina to meet up once again with George & Carol for what would be the last time we would see them for the time being.
We got our car unpacked with another load of things from home along with some clothes, groceries oh yes and Buster ( our staffie)
We arranged for George, Carol & Molly to join us later in the day to have a farewell drink & toast our future on R&R & their new boat Still Rockin
Cheers everybody!!
Poor Molly isn't well & so they had to leave not long after George set the camera for this photo, Carol will explain about molly I am sure on her blog, but I hope Molly feels better very soon. We know ourselves how upsetting it is when your pet is unwell as they can't tell you how they feel.
We were up early as usual this morning & looking forward to getting on our way & at this point we would both like to thank George & Carol for everything and wish them all the best for their future they have been very helpful to us.
We were about ready to set off after 9.30am & George & Carol turned up to help us on our way,Carol took Molly back to the caravan & George kindly came to give us a hand with the first 3 locks!!
George & Carol  as we reversed out from the mooring
Our first lock, George set the next lock up ready for Kev to go straight in.

Anyway once we were through the 3rd lock George said his good byes to us and we were on our way, how strange it must have seemed for George seeing his boat go off without both him & Carol aboard we will take good care of R&R.
We headed off and after we had got through Astwood top lock we decided to stop for a bite to eat just after bridge 41. We stopped for about an hour and then continued on and moored just  through bridge 48 opposite The Queens Head pub where we will be popping to later for something to eat & maybe a couple of beers, the pub was recommended to us by George & Carol so we will have to try it!
George had told us that Tardebigge  locks had been closed for work to be carried out but that they should be open tomorrow, so Kev & I took Buster for a walk up them & as we were so far up the locks a woman jogger went passed & she thought that the workmen were still working on them, OH DEAR!! Anyway I left Kev to carry on walking up the locks & I retuned with Buster to the boat to put the kettle on, when he returned he said that the woman jogger had come back down towards him after she had been further up the locks & said there was fencing and the locks up there were empty. Kev has rang C&RT up & was told they will be open Saturday so we are going to ring them back tomorrow to check but we will walk up them ourselves tomorrow & hopefully see the workmen & hopefully get an answer to whether or not they will be finished. Fingers crossed.

This is our mooring oppositee The Queens Head, Buster itching to get back onboard Rock & Roll.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Rock&Roll handover

Saturday 1st March
Well today is the day that Rock & Roll would finally become our narrowboat, Kev should have been home but unfortunately he had to do an extra week and is in China but will be home next Tuesday 4th March.
This morning I was up early & got Sam (the grandson) up too as he was going to Droitwich with me, it was foggy when we left at around 7am and by the time we were on the M1 the sun was out. We were taking a steady ride to Droitwich we didn't want to get there too early and get George & Carol out of bed!! Anyway we stopped at Trowel services so I could have a break with a pot of tea & Sam had a lovely hot chocolate with marshmallows whilst we were sat there I had a text from George & Carol to say they were ready when we were so I wasted no time in getting back into the car and on my way(with Sam too lol)
We arrived around 10.30 am to find George,Carol & of course Molly were waiting for us and we parked up the car which was fully packed with stuff for the boat and went on board Rock & Roll to find Carol had done a fantastic job of getting it ready for us. It was strange to see it without their belongings inside. George was kind enough to unpack my car & got Sam to help him and Carol helped to unpack for me!!
Once everything was onboard, I made my first cup of tea on Rock & Roll oh yes I made George & Carol one too! George then set about setting up our new TV, free view & freesat which I must say I am glad he did it & not me, but he saved Kev a job.
Once he had it sorted George,Carol & Molly left & I carried on sorting things, Sam got comfy on the sofa to watch some footie & to make sure the TV was working (yeh right)
                                                      Sam in position!!
I set about making the bed and I have to say my first nights sleep in it was very comfy.
Kev & I will be back on Wednesday and we will spend the night in Droitwich Marina then we are leaving on Thursday and heading off  in the direction of Birmingham to end up back at Great Haywood  on the 14th March where we will leave Rock & Roll for the time Kev is back at work.
We are really looking forward to getting back into the swing of the canals as we have missed it very much.
   I had 2 visitors this morning but unfortunately they didn't know this boat was under new management & I had no bread to give them, Carol will have to let them know she has moved!!
Once sam was up and about we got ourselves sorted and once again George came to do another little job for me, he shoed me how to light the diesel stove as on 4EverMoore we had a log burner.  Once George had left to go back to Carol in the caravan Sam & I got our things together locked up Rock & Roll and drove off but stopped at the caravan to say our goodbyes to George & Carol.
Thanks to you both once again for all your help and we will see you Wednesday.