Saturday, 24 September 2016

Back Home

Sunday 25th September
We were back in our marina last Friday, a day earlier than we had planned. On Sunday morning we went with both dogs to meet Lee & Vicky, who were on their way back from their holiday and their flight into Manchester Airport was at 6.15 am and so they finally got to Shardlow at about 9am and we met them near the Navigation pub, where Marley was very pleased to see them! After plenty of fussing Vicky walked the dogs back to the marina with me while Kev drove back with Lee. It was a bit chaotic on the boat for a while with Marley & Jaz very excited with Lee & Vicky being on board! They soon settled down and after we had something to eat I gathered all Marley's things together and they were all on their way home. Jaz didn't know what to make of Marley leaving but she soon settled down again. I had a good clean up on the boat and Kev did a few jobs and as it was a glorious day with the sun shining and it was warm too so after lunch we had a walk with Jaz to the Malt Shovel pub in Shardlow, and there were plenty of people about. We managed to get a table outside the pub and sat in the sunshine with a pint. People were making the most of the fine weather and the other pub close by The new Inn was also full of people sitting in the sun enjoying food & drink. Jaz had come into her second season on Tuesday 13th so we had to keep an eye on other dogs, but it was fine as she wasn't really receptive at that time. 
On Monday we packed our things into the car and after making sure everything was turned off on the boat we left and headed back home to Roos. So that is us for the next few months, we have quite a lot happening, with Kev's daughter getting married in April. We will probably get back to the boat for a weekend and Kev will go back on his own in the next week or so as he still has some painting he wants to try to get done weather permitting. As usual we have forgotten a few things so he will bring them home! We have had a good few months cruising and it was lovely meeting up with George & Carol on WB "Still Rockin", Sue & Vic on their new wide beam "No Problem XL" and Mags & Geoff on NB "Seyella"on the Thames. Although there was some sad news that Elaine (The Manly Ferry) lost her fight against cancer, and Paul her husband managed to give her a lovely send off. 

Friday, 16 September 2016

Heading slowly back to our marina

Friday 16th September
On Tuesday morning after we had let both dogs have a good run about in the field close by we set off and headed for Fradley, we moored before the water point on the Coventry Canal and took the dogs for a walk and then had a bite to eat. We then pulled onto the water point and topped the water up.
Filling up the water tank.
Once we were all full Kev took the windlass and walked to open the swing bridge for me and then he went to our first lock of the day, Junction lock, where there was a boat already going down in it. There was a volunteer lockie there, I pulled over onto the lock landing and waited while the lock was filled again as there wasn't a boat coming up, and we were soon down through the lock and Kev walked on to the next lock, Keepers Lock. Here again there were no boats coming up, it was pretty quiet for Fradley.
Approaching Keepers Lock
Marley, not fazed by the locks, although he is tethered!
A close up for Lee & Vicky!
Just waiting for Kev to get the gates open.
By the time we had got to Alrewas we still hadn't had any boats pass us, it had been a lovely sunny cruise and we moored in Alrewas. Once we were all tied up we had a walk with the dogs and then I went to the shop for a few bits. Later on about 4.15pm the sky turned black and we had to put the lights on inside, it wasn't long before the heavens opened and it poured with rain along with thunder & lightening! 
On Wednesday morning about 6.30am we took the dogs out for a short walk towards Alrewas lock to do their business, and as we were getting close to the water point Kev pointed to something swimming across the canal from the towpath side to the other side, it was a Mink! Later on that morning we had a walk into some fields with the dogs and there was a man jogging and we mentioned to him about the mink and he told us that there used to be a man called Tom who used to trap the mink but he died and so now there seem to be quite a few of them about, he had seen one swimming in  the canal with a rabbit in its mouth! It is strange that I had said to Kev that we hadn't seen any rabbits about! These mink are real killing machines!
After we had got back from our walk we had a cuppa and then we got ready to leave Alrewas & I took the windlass and walked to the lock while Kev followed on the boat, the lock was full so I only had to crack a paddle open to open the gate for him. We stopped at Branston Water Park for lunch and walked the dogs around the lake. As we set off once again and as we got through Branston bridge we saw.....
Both sides of the canal!

The land is being cleared for the building of 3,500 new homes & a school! More countryside lost to development!
We finally moored for the day at Shobnall fields and I had sent a text to Ben & Michelle, (who bred Jaz) to let them know we were there and so they came to see how Jaz was doing. They brought one of there dogs with them and all 3 dogs got on really well. Reggie is 10 months old and has won several shows and Ben & Michelle are hoping that he can qualify for Crufts! So good luck to them.
Marley, Jaz & Reggie all chewing on a log! 
Yesterday morning was quite foggy and was still quite misty as we left Shobnall fields about 8.30 am. I walked up to Dallow lock to get it ready for Kev. Once again the canal was very quiet and we only had one boat passing us. When we got to Willington, Nigel was waiting for us as he was going to Midland Chandlers at Mercia marina. So we moored just through the road bridge outside the Green Dragon pub and Nigel came aboard for a cuppa. We were there for a while chatting and so as it was getting near lunchtime, Kev asked Nigel if he wanted to have a bite to eat with us. So while I got some food ready Kev & Nigel took the dogs for a walk. The sun had come out by this time and it was lovely and warm. After a bite to eat Nigel said his good byes to us and he left and so did we and headed for our first double lock at Stenson. Kev had to fill the lock, which takes quite a bit as it is quite deep, as I was going into the lock another boat came up and shared the lock with us. When we got to Ragley Boat stop we moored for the day and sat outside at a table close to the boat and Kev went to the pub and got us a nice cold beer, while I sat with the dogs.
 Jaz & Marley sat with Kev

Our mooring.

Monday, 12 September 2016

A new passenger, and a brief chat at Hopwas

Monday 12th September
Last Monday we moved across to the water point & topped up with water & emptied the cassettes at Rugby, we decided that we would move onto Hawkesbury Junction to meet Lee & Vicky, who were bringing their 7month old chocolate Lab called Marley for us to look after for 10 days!
These two swans were busy eating at the water point.
Swans are lovely but very much in your face!
We managed to get moored at Hawkesbury Junction on the last mooring before the stop lock. We had given Lee the postcode for the Greyhound pub, as usual Lee was running late and they didn't arrive at Hawkesbury until after 9pm! We had hoped that they would get there before it got dark to enable Jaz & Marley to get to know each other on the grassy area close by. So it was dark when they came but Kev took Jaz to meet them. It was a hectic night to say the least, both dogs got on really well and it was fun when we made the pullman up for Lee & Vicky to sleep in. They were staying the night as their flight to Mexico was at 10am from Manchester the next day. We closed off the door between our bedroom and the bathroom and all we could here was Marley crying to get into Jaz, it was funny hearing Lee trying to get Marley to go to sleep, but eventually all was quiet!
Our new passenger "Marley"
Once Lee & Vicky had left at 6am we took the dogs for a run together but we didn't let Marley off his lead as we needed him to get to know us first. Later on after our breakfast we headed to the stop lock and I fastened Marley in the back and we kept the doors closed and he was fine. We were soon on the Coventry canal and we spotted a diesel boat so we flagged him down and we pulled alongside the towpath and he pulled up alongside us and he filled the diesel tank up and we also got a gas bottle.
All done.
We were on our way again and got through Nuneaton and then we moored before bridge 27 and stayed there for the night. We had some good walks with the dogs and we even managed to get an ice cream from Springwood Haven marina! 
On Wednesday we managed to get down the Atherstone locks quite well as there was a couple lockies at the top lock and the next 2 locks there was a lockie at each. The next 6 locks were all in our favour was there was a couple of boats coming up. When we got through lock 9 we pulled over before bridge 47. There was a few stubble fields for the dogs to have a good run in.
On Friday we moved on to Polesworth and moored on the visitor moorings and Kev went to get a takeaway from one of the Chinese takeaway's there. The weather had turned a bit and we had quite a bit of rain  and wind but on Saturday lunchtime we set off from Polesworth, I stayed down below in the boat with the dogs as it was still raining when we left but it was that fine rain and kept stopping and starting but by the time we were approaching Glascote locks it had stopped and so Kev got off the boat to go and do the 2 locks there. It was quite good as there was a boat nearly ready to leave the first lock as I was approaching it so we just passed each other & I went straight into the lock, the next lock was the same with another boat coming up too. When I got out of the second lock Kev got back on board, we didn't go much further and we moored opposite Peels Wharf.
Yesterday morning I put a wash on and then we pulled across to the services and topped the water up etc and we were soon on our way again and we moored at Sutton Road Bridge so I could walk to Asda for some shopping while Kev stayed behind with the dogs. We won't leave them on the boat as Marley is a bit of a rascal! I have moved all my ornaments off the shelves as when the two dogs play Marley's tail wipes everything out in its path, he also can be a bit prone to chewing wood and so I wasn't prepared to risk leaving him. He is getting better with his behaviour though and he needs to be told! Lee said Marley will think he has come to boot camp! He has no manners and the second day he was on the boat he took my bread roll off the work top! So every time he was naughty he got a good telling off then was tied up at the back, he is now a lot better and starting to behave. 
Anyway after I had got back from the shop Kev had took them for a walk so they would settle down when we set off again.
When we were passing through Hopwas there was a boat coming towards us and the couple were pointing at R&R, I just thought they were pointing at the little dog we have on the table in the cratch as a lot of people point to him as we call him our lookout! Then Kev shouted to them as he recognised the name of the boat, "Second Star On The Right"and as they passed it was Philip & Janet. We had met them at Kev's mams 80th birthday party a few months ago and Philip is the brother of Kev's sister Angie's husband Ian, they are from Oz and come over in our summer months to cruise the canals on their boat, they were on their way back to Northampton marina where they moor the boat and then they will be going back to Oz. We didn't get a chance to have a talk as usual there was boats on the move and there wasnt much room to stop.
Nice to see you both again.
As we got through Hopwas School Bridge there was a family walking on the towpath and they shouted over to us that they had just seen a large Terrapin sat on the other side of the canal.
Quite a big one too!
The weather was quite nice today and we managed to only wear T- shirts, as I wanted to get my washing hung out to dry when we got through Tamhorn Park bridge there were some nice moorings so we pulled over and got tied up. Kev still had a bit of painting he wanted to finish and it was a nice open spot with a field for the dogs to play in. We could here a band playing quite loud and very good they sounded too, and we had a walk with the dogs and a man from one of the houses told us it was one of his neighbours 80th birthday party. The band went on for most of the day and by the evening it sounded like a disco was on.
Kev with the dogs in the field ( no crops)
They are fighting over a bunch of reeds!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

A few days alone with Jaz, and we are expecting a new passenger!

Sunday 4th September
We are still moored at Brownsover, when we arrived on Monday we were moored next to the car park  but I asked Kev to move over to the towpath side as it is better for going to the shops.
Moored next to the car park.
We moved to the mooring that is opposite the red boat in the photo above. As I was going to be on board with Jaz for 5 days  I preferred to be on the towpath side as sometimes there are youths in cars on a night in the car park. Although we have never had any problems with anybody here I still wanted to be on the other side. On Monday afternoon once we were sorted we had a walk over to the Bell & Barge pub for something to eat and very good it was too!
On Tuesday afternoon Kev got ready to leave as he was going home to take the bike home and also we were having some coal delivered, he also had a dentist appointment but the main reason that he had wanted to go home was to go to the Freedom Festival  with his uncle Alan on Saturday. 
After Kev had left and I got back on board the boat, who should cruise past heading in the same direction as we were facing, but "4EverMoore" and I managed to have a quick word to the owners, who I have never met before as Kev dealt with them when we sold them the boat. They were just passed so I never got a chance to have much of a chat, but the man did say that the boat was going to Hillmorton the next day for painting. Wasn't he going in the wrong direction then! He shouted to me that the boat would look good once it had a new paint job! I just thought that if he had taken the trouble to look after it in the first place it wouldn't need one! I can understand that they would like to change the name but when I think that 4EverMoore was built the same year as "Rock & Roll"and the paint on here only needs a touch up here and there. But each to their own. Then on Wednesday  they passed again but this time they were heading to Hillmorton, but then on Thursday 4EverMoore came passed again this time with a woman at the tiller and I managed to shout to her to ask what the new name was going to be but she didn't know. So where she was taking the boat to I don't know but I assume it may have been going somewhere to be shot blasted before being painted at Hillmorton, who knows!
So I have been having some good walks with Jaz and also had a mooch around the shops that are close by. The weather has been good too although yesterday was crap! I felt for Kev & Alan at the Freedom Festival as it did pour with rain there. I have spoken to Kev this morning and he said it was still very good and he had a good time although he can't remember getting to his mams house with Alan. He stayed at his mams and left the car at her house as she lives in Hull so it was easier than getting from Roos as he would have had a messing about with transport.
Kev was driving our car to our marina at Shardlow today and then walking into Long Eaton to catch a train to Rugby. 
The car will be at the marina for us when we get back to return home, which will be in a couple of weeks as we have a 70th birthday to got to, and I need to be home for doctor appointments. As Kev gets into Rugby about 7.15 pm I will take Jaz for a walk to meet him and then tomorrow we will pull across to the water and fill up before heading to Hawkesbury junction where we hope to get moored as Lee (Kev's son) and his girlfriend Vicky are coming tomorrow night and bringing their 6 month old chocolate lab "Marley" for us to look after while they go on holiday! So that should be interesting, in fact I have moved most things from the shelves as Marley is into taking things and his tail may knock things off too! Lee said that Marley will think he has come to Boot Camp! Anyway we will hopefully sort his behaviour out and we will probably need a holiday after he has been lol.