Friday, 31 October 2014

Lovely weather for cruising

Thursday 30th October

This morning we moved over to the services and emptied the cassette & got rid of our rubbish and then I walked to the lock whilst Kev brought R&R to the lock, a Canaltime hire boat which had been moored behind us had set off first so we were following them and as there were no boats coming up into the lock I had to fill it for Kev to go in. It was another lovely morning and quite warm especially as it is almost November! The hire boat was in the next lock as we came out of the previous one and so I went to help them as it seemed to be a man on his own with a lad about 9 years old working the locks so I told the man and the lad to get on board their boat and I would shut the gates. We followed them through several locks with either myself or Kev helping them as the small lad seemed to be struggling with the gates while his dad was on the boat, mind you I bloody struggle too at times so I can't imagine how this young lad could manage. Then when we got to Tatenhill Lock we were behind them again and the lad was at the lock so I went to help him and his dad brought the boat into the lock but as he was coming 2 teenagers appeared at the stern with him! I thought that they would get off to help me close the gate but they stayed on the boat while I did it!! The man got off in the lock to help empty the lock and the teenagers took the boat to of the lock then picked the young lad up & the father too! I wasn't very happy and told Kev we would not be helping them anymore, it is only courteous to help other people I think but these were taking the....! Anyway I am not getting at hire boaters as there are plenty of lovely people on hire boats. Anyway we decided we were going to moor at The Bridge pub  near the Branston Water Park as we wanted to give the food there a try as it is now an Italian and so later on we got ready and had a walk there and very nice it was too.

Friday 31st October

Another lovely morning again and still warm & it was a really warm night too and I have to admit that the duvet was on and off all night! That I am sure is unusual for this time of year as the heating is usually on, we have had a good year weatherise as I am sure plenty of people will agree but I just hope that it doesn't mean a bad winter! Just as we were about to leave the mooring we saw a boat leaving their mooring not far behind so we waited while they passed before we left but I walked to the lock (Branston Lock) and Kev once again stayed aboard R&R. We had a lovely cruise and stopped for a late cooked breakfast just passed the entrance of Mercia marina Willington, and once we had eaten Kev did the washing up while I popped Buster for a walk and then we both had a walk over the footbridge to Midland Chandlers in Mercia Marina for some bits and pieces and had a look at the new boardwalk they are doing there. We got back on board R&R and then left the mooring there and set off to Stenson Lock where a boat was waiting to go down so that was good for us as we could share the lock with them, and then we got as far as Swarkestone where we moored up for the day through bridge 15. We took Buster for a walk down to the Crew & Harpur Arms pub for a pint, it is close to river Trent and we sat outside in the beer garden looking onto the river, there are some lovely properties here and quite old ones too it was worth the walk which only took about 5-10 minutes and the pub does food too if anybody fancies it. We will probably give it a try at some point but not today. I am going to carry on reading Lynda Bellingham's book "There's Something I've Been Dying To Tell You" which I downloaded from ibooks yesterday, I am not a reader usually  but I saw Lynda on Loose women before she sadly died recently and she was talking about her book so I though I would like to read it & so far it is very good.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

About Turn!

Wednesday 29th October

We had a quiet evening at Taft bridge on Monday apart from there seemed to be quite a lot of goods trains  through the night which we could hear and we have moored here before but we never seemed to hear the trains so much. Anyway yesterday we decided  that we would get to Gt Haywood and we would turn around at the junction of the Staffs & Worcs canal, we had intended to go to Penkiridge but we would be rushing to get back to Shardlow before the stoppages on Monday and besides I have a dentist appointment next Monday!
Approaching the entrance to the staffs & Worcs Canal where we turned

It was quite breezy but a fine day we were hoping to get rid of our rubbish but there were 2 boats on the services so we didn't bother. So we headed back to Gt Haywood Lock which would have been ready for us to go back in but a boat that was moored on the visitor moorings decided to leave and they beat us to it! 

As we approached the small holding at Taft Bridge we spotted these piglets, they were quite funny running about, very comical!  The diesel is still 79pence per litre here! We carried on until we got to the visitor moorings in Rugeley and moored up for the day and we had a walk to Morrisons and I got my lottery winnings £25!! So it had to be treat time with all my winnings lol so we bought some lovely fresh jam & cream scones "lovely"also we got 2 vanilla slices too, what can I say! We had the vanilla slices with a lovely cup of coffee and put the scones into the fridge. We stayed the night on these moorings and this morning we didn't leave Rugeley until 10.20 am as Kev had a Skype call with someone in India at 9.30am and we didn't want to risk moving on and have no signal on our mifi.
Once that was sorted we got set off but the weather was very dull and we had some rain along the way but we had a lovely cream scone with a  cuppa  to look forward to and yes we had them on the way and very nice they were too! A few boats about again and as we arrived at Woodend Lock there were 2 boats behind us and 1 in front so we were queueing by the time we got to Shadehouse lock and we moored once again in Fradley opposite the water point at 2.30pm.

Monday, 27 October 2014

A nice cuppa with nice people!

Monday 27th October

It was quite warm this morning first thing and there was plenty of boats on the move again, I took Buster for a walk round the wildlife reserve and the small lake was very tranquil.

Kev had a walk to take the rubbish & empty the cassette and then we had a walk round to see Pam & Terry before they left and as we walked to the junction of the Coventry Canal we saw Pam & Terry on nb Roosters Rest just winding (turning) to go back through the swing bridge, they had been moored near nb Seyella but needed to be facing the opposite way as they would be heading for Hopwas later today. 
Pam is keeping a lookout!
Whilst Terry manoeuvres the boat!
We then walked along the Coventry Canal to see Geoff & Mags for a cuppa and we were then joined by Pam & Terry once they had moored ahead of Seyella. (In case any of you boaters are not aware that soon you will need a BW key to operate the swing bridge here.)
What a lot of lovely smiles!!

We all had a good chat and a good cuppa too nice to see you all, we left Seyella and headed back to R&R and there were still quite a few boats about and I went to get the lock ready while Kev moved off the mooring and along to the lock landing where he waited behind a boat that was already waiting to go into the lock. There were volunteers on the locks today at Fradley so it was a bit easier doing the locks. We were late getting away today after our visiting and it was around 11am when we set off, we stopped briefly at Rugely as I needed to pop to Tesco for a few bits and pieces and then we finally moored at 4.30pm at Taft bridge. 

Mucky Duck with blogger friends

Monday 27th October

We left Willington yesterday morning early as we wanted to get to Fradley to meet Pam & Terry, in fact we left just after 7am which would have been 8am if we hadn't put the clocks back one hour! It was a dull morning and quite cool mind you it is October, we decided to get through Dallow & Branston locks before stopping for a cooked breakfast close to bridge 34 near Branston water park. There were quite a few boats about  & several of them were hire boats, the only problem was that we ended up following a boat so we had to wait at each lock until they moored up after Alrewas lock. We finally got moored in Fradley opposite the water point at 2.50pm and we called Pam to let her know we were here, she was with Mags Nb Seyella so we arranged to see Pam & Terry in the Mucky Duck at 3.30pm. We stayed in there for a few beers and we ended up having something to eat before coming back to R&R for a final drink and a chat.
Pam, Kev & Terry
They are moored on the Coventry Canal and will be leaving this morning and so is Geoff & Mags on Seyella so Kev & I will have a walk round to see if we can catch them all before they set off.
Thanks Pam & Terry for a few laughs and see you both soon.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A final trip & remembering loved ones

Saturday 25th October

We have had a busy time lately and so now we decided it was time to have a week away on the boat as there are stoppages at the beginning of November. Yesterday I took my mam to the pier in Hull on the river Humber to lay some flowers for my late dad Jack. He was an Ocean Going Tug master for many years and worked originally for a company called United Towing which had their offices close to the pier. The docking/ river tugs used to tie up alongside the pier so it is fitting that we lay the flowers each year here, my dad died the year (2008) we had our first boat 4EverMoore built and never got to get aboard her. After my dad died my brother John and myself asked Paul Escreet who is one of the directors of SMS Tugs,  if we could take dads  ashes onto the Humber to scatter and he willingly took us out on a tug to do this and we thanked him greatly, he knew my dad very well and said it was his way of showing his respect for him.
The Deep is in the background
The Minerva pub in the background & Sharrin my mams dog!
looking towards the Humber Bridge 
Also looking towards the entrance to the river Hull & the tidal barrier

There has been a lot of sad news just lately and our thoughts go out to Del & Al on Derwent6 and to Sue & Vic on No Problem as they all have lost loved ones recently.
Anyway back to boating! We left home early this morning and got on board Rock & Roll around 8.15 am and once we were all unpacked we were ready to leave the marina at  We didn't really expect to see many boats today but there have been quite a few boats on the move, it was quite cool at times but was at least a fine day and after getting through Shardlow lock on our own. When we were approaching Aston lock we noticed a hire boat inside the lock ready to go up and then the gates started to close so we sounded the horn to let them know we were there and they then heard us and opened the gates for us to go in and we shared the lock with them and also shared the rest of the double locks and finally we moored on the 48 hour visitor moorings at Willington. We are now getting ready to go out for a pint or 3 and maybe something to eat! Tomorrow we will head for Fradley to rendezvous with fellow boaters Pam & Terry on n.b.'Rooster's Rest' for yet another pint or more!!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sam is 16!

Saturday 11th October

We have had a busy time recently as it was Sam's 16th birthday on Monday 6th October and his mum Kirsty flew over last Thursday (2nd) to be here for it.
Kirsty with my mam's dog Sharrin & Sam
Thanks for sam's cake Helen!

We had a lovely weekend as a few friends and family popped round  last Saturday as Sam's birthday was on Monday which was a school day!  Kirsty flew back to Majorca on Wednesday so there were a few tears  from her but she was glad to have been here for his birthday, Kev took her to Manchester airport and Sam went too. We had bought Sam a Gilera Runner 50cc for his birthday but he wasn't able to have it until today as he had to do his CBT so early this morning Kev took him into Hull & dropped him off at the training centre at 7.30 am, the bike dealership delivered his bike to the training centre and when he finished at 3.45pm Kev was there to meet him on his BMW bike to follow him back to Roos. I would like to thank Nigel for the super gift of a new helmet, jacket & gloves what a lovely present Thanks again Nigel!

A happy lad back from  his CBT safe & happy biking now you have a bit of independence Sam!
Kev is going to the boat tomorrow for a few days to do a few bits & pieces and check all is well and hopefully we will get away for a week or so before any stoppages.