Monday, 31 August 2015

A good weekend with family

Monday 31st August
We are currently moored at Nantwich and got here on Thursday but haven't been here all the time as we had visitors on Friday. Kev's son Lee & his girlfriend Vicky came to stay for the weekend and so on Friday afternoon we had a cruise to The Barbridge Inn and moored on their moorings, we went for a meal in the evening and although it was nice as far as we were concerned there wasn't a great deal of selection on the menu and we wouldn't rush back there to eat.

Vicky, Lee & Kev 

The view of the pub from our mooring
On Saturday morning Lee & Vicky took Jaz for a walk while Kev & I got things ready for us to leave.
Jaz is really enjoying her walks now
Once they were back on board we headed off towards Barbridge junction so we could turn around and we then headed for Hurleston junction where we turned right towards Llangollen, Lee & Vicky went to the flight of 4 locks and emptied  the first lock for us as there were no boats coming down that we could see, then as the lock had filled, Kev got off the boat and went to help them as we got up into the 3rd lock we could see the volunteer lockie helping a boat that had just got into the top lock so I waited in the 3rd lock while they came out of the top lock and we were able to pass each other in the pound. Once we were through the flight of locks we stopped at the water point where we filled the tank with water, emptied the cassette & got rid of rubbish. 
 Lee & Vicky getting the lock ready

Lee at the tiller with Vicky
We didn't pass many boats but when we got to Swanley lock number 2, there was a queue of 3 boats ahead of us so we had to wait a while.
Our crew keeping fit between locks!
We had decided that we would moor for the night at Wrenbury and so Kev rang the Cotton Arms pub to book a table for something to eat as it gets busy there as there is a caravan site behind the pub and with it being bank holiday weekend we thought it better to make sure we could get a table & they got us booked in for 6.45pm. We managed to get moored on the visitor moorings before the electric lift bridge and we all got ready and headed off to get something to eat and I must say the meals were all excellent! 
Yesterday morning while Kev went to turn around at Alvechurch boat yard I walked with Jaz to the  manual lift bridge & waited for him there and once he was through I lowered the bridge and both Jaz and I got back aboard. Along the way back we noticed a couple of swans looking a bit worried and then we saw 3 men on the towpath who had 4 large cygnets, 3 of which had their legs tied but they didn't seem stressed, the other cygnet was being ringed by one of the men & having its wing measured. One of the other men was recording the  details & number on a clip board

We had a nice journey back to Nantwich and managed to moor up close to the slope that heads down away from the canal where there is a lay-by at the bottom and where Lee had left his car. I cooked us something to eat while Kev helped Lee & Vicky pack there things back into the car and once they had eaten we took Jaz with us to see them off on their journey home to Hull. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Good moorings at Cool Pilate

Wednesday 26th August
It wasn't a bad start to the day yesterday morning and was dull at times but dry, we left our mooring at Market Drayton about 8am (which seems to be our usual time just now) and only went through bridge 62 where we stopped to top up the water tank as we hadn't filled it up when we were at the last water point at Tyrley locks. then with the tank full we set off and it wasn't long until we noticed a boat we knew...
Nb Piston Broke 
We hadn't seen this boat for a while and we know it had been sold as the previous owners had a blog.
It was a busy cruise as we went down through the 5 Adderley locks with a boat ahead of us and nothing coming up we had each one to fill! The weather was still dry and was quite warm when the sun decided to show itself and by the time we got to the start of the 15 locks at Audlem the boat that was ahead of us at Adderley locks was now still ahead of us at these and so we had to fill the first 3 locks up before a couple of boats came up which made things a bit easier. After lock 11 we found a space to moor and stopped for  a bite to eat before setting off once again to finish the last 4 locks in the flight of locks here. It started to drizzle as we got into lock 13 but we carried on through the last lock with a boat still ahead of us. It was still raining when we got to our present mooring at Cool Pilate between bridges 83 & 84. After we had moored and all sorted Kev started to read some blogs and noticed that on Nb No Problems boat was a blogger that was actually moored in front of us! Nb Bendigidig! Kev took Jaz for a little walk and had a chat to Eric & Elsie but he never got a photo, they left today before I could get our camera out.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Moored at Market Drayton

Monday 24th August

On Sunday we went to The Junction pub for Sunday lunch and we both had the roast beef carvery and it was very good and we couldn't fault it, we had booked a table when we were in the pub on Friday evening and we were glad we had as it was very busy. We had sat outside the pub too on Saturday afternoon and there was a boat moored outside the pub and a woman got off with a parrot on her shoulder!
The parrot was very friendly and talked a lot too I think he was called George.
I have never seen a woman with so many tattoos! But she was very nice & Jaz liked her too!

On Saturday we could hear the music coming from the V Festival but couldn't make out what it was as we were too far away but it must have been loud as in Wheaton aston people said they could make out the songs clearly, mind you just after 5pm the heavens opened and it absolutely poured with rain and then along came the thunder & lightening so the poor people watching the bands would have got a real soaking!

After we had eaten our Sunday lunch we walked back to R&R and we then left Norbury Junction and had a short cruise to the Anchor pub and moored  a few yards away from the pub gate! Later on in the evening we went for couple of pints and got chatting to some caravanners and a boater too called Mal  who has a permanent mooring across the other side of the canal. We have met the boater a few times before he has been on TV  showing how he made rope on his narrowboat but that had been a few years ago now. 
The Anchor Inn

The beer garden looking lovely 
R&R moored outside the Anchor pub
This morning it was a bit misty when we got up but it wasn't long before it cleared and the morning was quite pleasant as we left our mooring about 8am.

Travelling along Grub street cutting 
When we arrived at the top of Tyrley locks we stopped to fill with water but it was very slow so when a boat came up in the lock we decided to stop filling the tank and I went to the lock while Kev brought R&R into the lock and start the flight of 5 locks

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Big Fish at Gailey

Saturday 22nd August
On Thursday morning I noticed 2 moorhens across the canal so I opened the galley window and threw them some bread which they took across to the other side of the canal and didn't come back for any more bread which I found strange and then all of a sudden there was a big noise in the water and a large fish took a piece of the bread. I threw some more bread out and watched to see if it came back, and it did along with his friends! We counted 5 of them all together and I am no fishing expert but think they were Carp, Kev & I both laughed as my brother John is in Ireland taking part in a fishing festival that is a yearly event and we think he would have loved to catch one of these......

The fish were around for quite a while and the moorhens only came back when they had gone so I gave them a little bit of bread before we got ready to leave. 
Gailey top lock 
Through the narrow cutting
We moored just before the turning at  Autherley junction for a bite to eat and take Jaz for a little walk and then we left and turned onto the Shroppie and through the stop lock with a small cruiser coming towards us I left the gate open for them and got aboard R&R and there wasn't much activity boat wise.

Jaz in what now is her favourite position
A lovely little boat
We moored for the day between bridges 7&8 where there are rings to tie onto so we didn't need to use our hooks or pins. Yesterday morning we left about 8 am and went the short distance to Brewood where we moored through bridge 14 and went for a walk to the shops for a top up of provisions, it is about a 10 minute walk to the village shops and it is a lovely place, there is a shop that sells really lovely cheese and one in particular is a favourite of mine & it is called Black Bomber so I bought some of that! We took Jaz for the walk with us & she is doing really well, she loves meeting people & dogs & she is getting well socialised, she even sits at the kerbside of the roads(well most of the time) The medication the vet gave us seems to be working finally the rash is almost gone and the itching has almost stopped too. Anyway when we returned to the boat with our shopping I put it all away while Kev let go of the ropes and we were on our way again.
Passing over Stretton Aqueduct

The boat above was owned by a couple (as we think it is for sale) who made a TV documentary a few years ago about them crossing the English channel on their narrowboat and ending up at the Mediterranean although this is not the original boat as we believe that it was destroyed by fire on their subsequent return to the UK.

More boats in the same boatyard
And this little wooden one
When we got to Wheaton Aston Lock there was a boat coming up so we didn't wait long to go down  and we stopped at one of the water points here and filled up the tank. Once we were all filled up we headed off again we noticed the price of diesel at Turners at bridge 19 was 55.9 pence per litre. We hadn't had any rain until we passed through Gnosall but it didn't last and the sun came out and it was lovely and warm as we arrived at Norbury Junction where we moored for the day. We had a walk with Jaz to the pub and sat in the beer garden but there were loads of wasps about so we drank up and had a walk round to the shop where the small chandlery is. We will stay here over the weekend.
Our mooring at Norbury Junction

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A short days cruising

Wednesday 19th August
We took Jaz to the vets as I had said previously with the itching and rash she has. I must admit the veterinary practice was very good and the vet was lovely too, he gave us antibiotics and also I had wondered if she had a mite and he said he would cover everything and gave me a sachet of Stronghold to put on the back of her neck to eliminate the chance that she had a mite. Also I said she had previously had a steroid injection and he did say that it may have been too much for her and that he would give us steroid tablets so she could have them slowly and as she is waking up in the night scratching he gave me some Piriton tablets and she is to have one in the evening and this will make her drowsy and help her to sleep and will stop her scratching for a while! So hopefully we will get her sorted! Thanks for your comment Carol we hope to catch up with you & George next year as we hope to be heading for the Thames!
Kev went to the chemist to get something to help his eye get better while I returned to R&R with Jaz and after a cuppa I went to the lock to set it for Kev. Yesterday when we arrived at Penkridge we managed to tuck in between two boats and Kev spoke to the man on the one ahead of us and he showed Kev his engine on his boat which he informed Kev was only one of eight steam driven narrowboats in the country but Kev didn't get a photo of the engine. The man told Kev that the boiler needed stoking with coal every half a mile!
We went up through Penkridge lock and stopped at the services that are situated just after the lock where we emptied the cassette,filled with water & got rid of rubbish before heading off for Gailey.
The weather was holding on and we didn't get any rain although it got a bit breezy, after we had got through Otherton Lock the canal got quite shallow and the levels in the pounds seemed to be down a good 6 inches and as we were approaching Rodbaston lock we noticed there seemed to be some orange mesh along the lock landing so Kev put the bow to the towpath and I jumped off and as I walked towards the lock 2 CRT men came walking along they were in the process of cordoning the whole lock landing off from being used. Mind you it would have been very dangerous to try to tie up on the lock landing or even get off as all the concrete with the bollards on had collapsed down towards the water, so if any of you are heading in the same direction please take care. We decided that once we had come up Brick Kiln Lock we would moor up for the day and we were glad we did as it started to rain jus after we had tied up.

Moored at Penkridge for appointment with the vet

Wednesday 19th August
We left Alrewas on Sunday morning in good weather and headed towards Fradley and didn't meet any boats until we got to Fradley, the volunteer lockies were at most of the locks so it made things easier.
Lovely new thatched roof on this cottage in Alrewas
Kev wanted to get the poles & gangplank painted so we wanted a mooring that wasn't close to houses so he could use his grinder & his mouse to sand them down without disturbing people so we found a spot at Handsacre where we moored for the day.
 Jaz having a walk with Kev
Kev managed to get the primer & undercoat on but had to leave the topcoat as it was too late, so he would leave it until we moved. 
Looking back from our mooring at Handsacre
Jaz very comfy on Kev's jacket

On Monday morning we left Handsacre and stopped to do some shopping at Rugely, we then carried on and managed to get moored near Taft Birdge, where Kev managed to get the poles & gangplank finished. We needed Diesel & gas so yesterday morning we moved across to the diesel boat moored alongside the small holding, as we were getting alongside Kev took the rope and got onto the diesel boat and as he did the young lad who lives on the boat came out to us and we filled up with diesel @ 60 pence a litre and a gas bottle @ £22, with the wallet a lot lighter we set off towards Gt Haywood and as we got to Colwich Lock there was a boat coming down so that was good and then there were several boats on the move. We turned onto the Staffs & Worcester canal and had a pleasant cruise to Penkridge where we are moored at the moment. We needed to get here as we have once again got to take Jaz to see a vet! She still has a rash and spots that are itching her like mad and she has had a steroid injection given to her by our vet at home but the problem is still there, my friend Gail had said that clear Aloe Vera would help to sooth the itching so I got some when we were in Alrewas and I must admit it has helped her a lot. We have an appointment at 9.20am so once we are back aboard we will leave here and head for Gailey. Yesterday as we were going through a bridge Kev got a bit of grit in his eye and he was suffering all day as we couldn't get it out in fact I couldnt even see anything, he tried all sorts and still his eye was very painful and swollen, so when we got moored up here yesterday I poured loads of water into his eye & we think it has got it sorted as this morning he said he can't feel anything but his eye is puffed up with all the rubbing he did.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Chance meeting with villagers!

Saturday 15th August
Yesterday was absolutely miserable weatherise, it rained most of the day with a brief break in the afternoon so we took Jaz for a walk into Branston village and after we got back to R&R the rain started yet again! We were sat having a beer when Kev noticed a boat coming passed, the people looked very familiar to us and then we realised who they were. It was a couple who live in Roos where we have just moved from, Pete & Julia on their boat nb Dignity! They moored up just a couple of boats away from us and they came aboard so out came a few beers and we had a good chat for a while before they went back to their boat for the evening. By this time I couldn't be bothered to cook so Kev went off to the Chinese takeaway in the village and very good it was too!
This morning it was a lot brighter and no rain thank goodness, so we decided to make a move but first we popped to say goodbye to Pete & Julia.

Pete, Julia & Chester

It was lovely to see fellow villagers and now fellow boaters! We will see you both in Black Horse, Roos later in the year!
We got back aboard R&R and left our mooring and we got to Tatenhill lock and with no boat in sight coming down I went & emptied the lock for Kev.
The Lock House B&B

Our Jaz growing up now!
We got up through Wynchor lock and onto the river section towards Alrewas and the river was flowing quite fast against us. 
The weir flowing fast
Finally moored in Alrewas!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Back on board

Friday 14th August
We are currently moored at Branston Water Park visitor moorings, we had left home on Tuesday morning and arrived at Shardlow Marina late morning. My brother John is over in the UK for several weeks, he lives with his partner Marcella & daughter Beatriz in Brazil. Every year he goes to Ireland to a fishing festival that he has been going to for many years. While he is in the UK he stays at our mams house before leaving for Ireland and as he had hired a car he brought us to the marina as we have left our car at home while we are out on the boat until November time. We didn't want to leave it on the marina as where our mooring is it can sometimes flood & also Kev has left it plugged into a battery charger & it has a fitted cover on it. While we have been at home Jaz had her final vaccinations and loved the garden but unfortunately she seems to want to chew at everything in the garden! There is an Ivy hedge that separates us from a neighbour and I had cut it and she had some ivy in her mouth, she then developed a really bad rash which made her itch like mad. When I took her to the vet for her vaccination I told the vet who gave me some shampoo to help relieve the itching, as she was unable to give her any medication at that time as it would interfere with vaccination. We bathed her a couple of times and it did ease it slightly but she was still scratching and the rash looked very sore so I took her back to the vets a few days later and she was given a steroid injection and it is slowly going and she isn't scratching much now, and it is not keeping her awake in the night! She had got toxin from the sap in the ivy and I never gave it a thought when I cut the hedge as when we had Buster he had never touched anything like that, you seem to forget what puppies can get upto when it has been 14 years since Buster was a pup.
Anyway she is now on a lead and isn't impressed when we put her harness on but is fine once we are out with her and she now sits when I give her a treat or her meals and she has grown quite a bit too.
On Tuesday after we had got sorted on the boat our John took me to Long Eaton for some shopping, and then about 6pm we had a walk to New Inn pub for something to eat, which I have to say was very nice. On Wednesday morning we were up very early as John needed to get back to Hull to take our mam to a doctors appointment and after a bacon butty he left @ 5.45am! He was home by 8am, Kev managed to get both sides of R&R washed before we left the marina mid morning. The weather was good and we got to Willington and moored for the day not far from the Dragon pub, there were quite a few people in the beer garden so we decided it was time to take Jaz to her first venue! The Pub! We sat outside with her and she was very fussy trying to get to as many people as her lead could reach!
Yesterday morning we were up & ready to leave Willington at 7.30 am, we were planning to moor at Branston Water Park and as we came through the the bridge next to the Bridge pub there were plenty of moorings and we noticed a boat moored a little way along and the man on the towpath next to the boat looked familiar and so too did the boat! The man was Terry and the boat was Roosters Rest! We had just been wondering where Pam & Terry where and how odd that the last time we were moored with them it was here, only a few weeks ago. So once again it was lovely to see the two of them, they were planning to leave Branston yesterday and they left later in the afternoon. We hope to see them again soon.