Sunday, 29 May 2011

farmers' preferred choice of holiday ???

Virgin stuck on bridge. Just as we went beneath, it moved off. Poor Finlay.

Some days since I blogged, so Thursday night we had a nice mooring after we had shopped at Rugby. However, that night we seemed to have a lot of nightlife………………………….on top of Trundle, even some tapping on the door in the early hours, and even though it made me jump, I knew it would be a bird, and yes it was, left its calling card all over our back deck. Tch tch !!!!

This is what freaks Finlay out. Trains. See pic. A virgin stuck on a bridge( there must be a joke there somewhere ).

Friday we had a lovely rural mooring north of Braunston, nice enough for some washing to be put out to dry…..Scooby Alert. !

Reading the Towpath Talk( free paper for boaters). The NB we had a holiday on, and had wanted to buy-Driftweed is up for sale at Cowroast Marina. We ended up with Ragweed, now Trundle, and would not swap her for anything.

Now we are on the really lovely Oxford Canal, and going as far as we can befor we have to turn around. We might just make it to Isis Lock, then return. Who knows. IF, IF the weather becomes really warm, we will haul up for a few days perhaps.

Loads of help at Napton Locks. This is Daniel, Sean, Paul and Catherine. Thanks a lot.

The moorings along here are wonderful.Rural with sheep and cows etc. and some idiots want to put another High Speed Train through it all./ ! Just what is not wanted. Can’t folk get to places quick enough as it is???? Anyway there is a petition to sign if anyone cares to. HSP2. co uk. Or something like that.

We also saw a boatname that always makes us smile. called Pooh Sticks. !!!!

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Fueled up at Ashby Boats marina ( 83p per litre), and while Mick did that, I went of to the farm-shop for some bbq meat …….. yeah. Yeah, but on Sunday afternoon, come hell or high water we are going to have a Barbie. So some red dexter beef, and some gloster old spot pork sausages. Went into the bag, with some large free range heggs, and some new tates picked that morning.

It was a showery trip towards Rugby, so after getting soaked, we moored up at a lovely mooring nr easenhall bridge.

So a Big shop-up, and then to go an explore a bit of the Oxford Canal, down towards Banbury. Not sure how far we will get, as we have to be off the canal around 15th June.

ooooohhhhh Ying tong, ying tong ying tong piddle I Po......

I am turning japanese if you please

I don't like you anymore, let me off !!!!!

aaaahhhh Freedom. yippeeeee

Finlay get back here !!!! Finlay? Is that you ?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Drunk? or effects of the wind?

So down to the Ashby canal, very rural no locks and a pump-out for £13. ! we will also top up the fuel for 83p per litre, last year we were paying 68p !!!!.

Anyway, after pumping out, we went and had a pint and a personal pump-out in the pub.
We eventually moored up in amongst some hippy types, and as it was very, very windy a beardy type came out of his boat and helped and then scuttled back again. Their boats may be as scruffy as them, but sometimes they are the nicest folk you could wish to meet.

Next day moved on to Battlefield Moorings, and walked to the site of the Battle Of Bosworth Field for a bit of history. A great walk and looking around the fields and hills,one could imagine Ricky 3 and the big H, having a dust up.

Spoke to my mate, Sue ( in spain), and that reminds me, Susie. We have seen quite a few LABRADOODLES , and we have seen a COCKAPOO. Now you know you said you would like a Bernese Mountain dog crossed with a poodle and you said it would be a doodleberne, well, in fact, it would actually be a Bernypoo, wouldn’t it ????????

Took this photo of a depressed looking sheep on a bridge and wondered if this could be a……………………………………………………………WOOLLY JUMPER, bum!bum!

So, it would seem that it’s a time for falling in the cut. Mick slid in at Hawkesbury Junction, Scooby fell in at Oxford( again keeping his mythical wallet dry) and………………………………………….I fell in, today, at BARTON ON THE BEAN. ! (this is the closes village to our mooring, what a lovely name ). I was moving our wrought iron snail( from Yorkshire), from the hatch cover to the middle of the boat,stepped onto Trundle and she weren’t there !!!!! and down, down( deeper n down) I went. Twixt side of canal and Trundle. How embarrassing, I couldn’t get my feet onto anything to help me get out, and it took Mick and another bloke from his boat, and tween them they heaved me out( with much giggling ). Hm, Hm. .Yet another colourful bruise to add to my collection. We have a wedding to attend in July, I reckon I might wear a burka. !

Thank you Sharon and Sue, for registering as followers.

Friday, 20 May 2011

This is the little fella that was "done in" by Finlay( moorhen murderer !)

Finlay freaking out as a train passes by .( moorhen murderer !!!)

Wednesday we left the lovely rural mooring, and made a note of the bridge number for the next time we are here. Nice wide towpath, so that Finlay could have
a ball chase, quiet and plenty of birdlife.

On the way to Rugeley for a shop-up, we had locked through with some London types. The older lady said to me in a very refained voice “ we are from Southgate, London. Do you know it ?”. “No”, says I, “I am a country gal and not familiar with the workins of cities at all. !” Oh, I thought you were Orstralian? WHAT ?

I know what a baaarby is, and I know what a stuffed snag is, but after that …… who knows, cobber !

Mick’s Aunty Ivy had texted me to ask if was going to bid for that ridiculous hat that one of the ugly sisters wore for the wedding. Cor, not likely. Only drag queens need apply, I reckon.

Onto Lovely Fradley Junction, and then down towards the ashby canal. Very, very rural.

I love Fradley junction for loads of reasons, but this time here, we saw the 1st cygnets of the season.

Mick wanted a haircut and I found a NB ( cuts on the cut) doing hairdressing, but he prefers my cuts……. They don’t cost owt . ! even though the old shears are falling to bits and he has to stick a screwdriver in it to get it working.

Walking along the towpath with Finners, we spied these baby moorhens scuttling along, alas the pic of the one on it’s own is now a memorial. As I bent closer to look it raced into the reeds, swiftly followed by Finlays lolling tongue. I pulled him back and poor little moorhen had jumped into his mouth. . Baby moorhen was still alive with mashed legs etc. and I just put him back in the reeds and hoped he would pass away with fright. ! Stepmum Sue has now told me how to break their necks, humanley. Fingers around the neck and shoulders and then flip them over. ! They are so fragile it should do the trick.

We are now back at the bottom of the Atherstone Flight, which is where we said adios to J&M+2, about 17days ago. They are at Lymm with their other set of chums now. I think they have a few pals other than us. And I know they are reading the blog, which is why I put that in. !!!!!!

Anyway, its that time again. PUMP OUT !!!!!. we have been trying some new stuff as recommended by J&M+2, however, although I like it and its easier to use than “BLUE”. It’s not keeping the odour down. So we are looking to get pumped out, and then we will try again with the remainder of the pack. The marinas are a bit naughty with their pricing. We would expect to pay about £12- £15 per P/O, but when I have phoned to enquire, I have been asked “ what Canal are you on”( does it make a difference then?), and one marina( the receptionist didn’t cover the mouthpiece properly) said “ should I say £15?” and the reply was “ yeah….. err no tell ‘em £18” .Tch tch. And another marina said £20. !!!!! another was £15.30 . EH? Whats the 30p for ???? AnywaY, I phoned ahead to Hinckley Marina on the ashby, and the nice gent quoted £ 13. I double checked that he hadn’t said £30 though.

So, that will be about Monday possibly, so if we run out of room in “ the dunny”, we will just have to go to the pub. ! I am sure you all found that very interesting……not !

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Mooring nr. Acton Russell

We left lovely Kinver and headed off on our NEW route, but not before Mick stood in some dog muck, that some owner had let his dog deposit right by the side of the boat.
This sort of thing makes me very cross, as a responsible owner myself, I never go anywhere unless I have poop-bags for Freaked Out Finlay. Anyway, while I am on my soap box.

I had an encounter with a lady and her dog on a clean tow-path. She had passed us whilst I was sorting a lock out, And had walked over a bridge. The towpath was used by walkers, cyclist etc and quite busy. Anyway as I walked over the bridge, there it was, right in the middle.! I looked along the towpath to see where she was,and spied that she had turned around and was heading back very slowly( She may have heard me shout to Mick “ that woman has let her dog crap and not cleared it up”). I was ready for her. “ Excuse me, here is a bag for you. I think your dog has left a deposit on the bridge” “Oh no < I always carry a bag” not to be deterred I said “ Yes , but its very fresh and there have been no other dogs along here”. “ Not me” she said and showed me her poop bag attached to her belt. And off she went. So , in summing up , there are those owners who simply carry a pooop bag, and then there are those owners that carry and use the poooop bag. I will now climb down from soap box. Thanks.

New Route .

We have forsaken StewponeyLock and Junction for Bumblehole Lock. The committee has decided that we have had enough of urban and city cruising and want to get back to the beloved countryside. So we are now going back via the Staffs and Worcs Canal to Great Haywood etc. This will only mean something to fellow narrowboaters who read the blog.I think.

We really enjoyed Brum and all it had to offer, but I feel a lot happier going back the new route. We know it quite well, and there are some l.ovely mooring spots.

We have moored Sunday night at the top of The Bratch, (a lock flight with side pounds that is manned by a lock keeper,) and for Mick, it is opposite a cricket pitch with a match going on, so he will have a wander along the tow path to have a look.

Gosh, this part of the canal is just so pretty, and we have earmarked a mooring spot for the future. DimmingsdaLE lock, I think it was.

Lots of boats on the move around Penkridge, but we have moved on and found a lovely spot opposite a farm., We would have gone to Tixall Wide, but not feeling we want any company tonight. Tixall Wide is nearly always full of boats, as it is like mooring on a lake. Hence “Wide”.

Tomorrow, Rugeley and a good shop-up. We just about out of WINE. ! Yikes. I will just have to have a large gin tonight, then. !!!

AND NO Sue Saunders, I did NOT doctor that pic of the pom-pom duck. !!!!! That was him in all his glory and Thank you, Ivy for lookng in 2 bird books. Can anyone else help ?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

So we left Worcester and onto the River Severn. Not a lot to report, except that it was a little bit boring, not a lot to see except trees, trees, trees. Although meeting the Edward Elgar trip boat on a corner gave us a start.

Another boater starting off had waved us ahead, and I shouted across to say “check out our boat name- Trundle” we do not go fast, so you please go ahead. He replied that’s ok, I go slow as well, and am in no hurry. 10 mins later he overtook us. !!!! we all had a laugh about it, and it worked out better,, as they knew how to handle the big locks along this river. They go in first and tie up, and then we strap ourselves to their sides. A very nice couple. We parted company when we got to Stourport on Severn. They decide to moor on the river and we went into the basin to……..
Wait for it…………………………………..PUMP OUT !!!!!!
The first one since Northampton. And no it wasn’t pongy. However, our earlier travelling companions J & M + 2, on Barron, gave us info on another type of tank additive, so we are trying that. Sorry for you folks who not sure what I am talking about. When one has a holding tank , one needs to put an additive in so that it copes with the added extras, so to speak.

Hey what about the duck with the pom-pom? We spotted him/Her after we had Pumped out, and got moored up. I have been trying to send it in to Springwatch, but you have to sign up to Flickr and the instructions are all in dutch.

Friday( yesterday) we moored at Whittington. What a lovely lock and the houses are incredible.
Today we have moved about 20 mins to a place called Kinver. Lovely town, great mooring, with a park nearby for Freaked-out Finlay. Mick has a signal for the Footy, and a Solo boater on NB Beau, gave us info on a pub called The plough and Harrow, that does a lovely local beer for £2.15 per pint.( we have been paying £3 – much to Micks disgust) He says it wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t matching him pint for pint. He has asked if I would be happier with a glass of tap water/ !

Tomorrow we will take a right at a place called Stewpony Lock. !!!!!

This was a bit of a surprise coming around the corner ! If only the "ugly sisters" had worn a pom-pom hat for The Wedding, like this. !!! Does anyone know what sort of bird this is?

Recognise any of these, Sue ???

A lovely mooring after Tardebigge.

Tardebigge flight of 31 locks was brilliant, once Mick and I had sorted out our rhythm.! It always starts off with a load of shouting and being rude to each other, but eventually we each take a job. E.g.Micmk closes down the lock whilst I am opening the next etc. and to top it all, we had a pub at the bottom.

Sunday we stayed at the bottom of Stoke locks, and went for a pint and a baguette, beer was soooo good we had another pint.! Especially as the bloke undercharged Mick for the first pint. It took him all of 3 seconds to decide as to whether he was going to tell him or not. ! tch tch.

Has anyone ever seen the Mr Bean goes on holiday film? Where he is trying to get down a staircase and keeps coming across an elderly lady in front of him ?

We had the same situation at the next set of locks..

On Monday, we were preparing to leave, the lady on the hire boat in front of us was also preparing to leave, she took one look at us and started flying about untying her ropes, shouting at her husband to “get off the phone and phone later, come one lets get going”. Away they went, we leisurely got ourselves sorted and away we went to the lock. The Hire boat still in there, and the lady was walking very , very slowly. In fact, I thought it was a different boat, as this lady seemed to be very frail & elderley in deed.

So to give them some breathing space, we decided to stay in the lock above and have breakfast = 20 mins, also I started my washing, and then we moored up and topped up the water another 20 mins. When we arrived at the next lock………………………they were just leaving. So we had this all the way down, and when we eventually passed them,( they got the last good mooring at a pub> Ghrrrr) she was neither elderly or doddery, had a bit of a jaunt in her step. Well I can understand folks working carefully around locks, but that was painful, and with more locks coming up, we got in front and moored up in the countryside to get ahead. Didn’t want to try that pub, anyway. Na na nee na na.

Dennis phoned to say that they were watching Julia Bradbury’s Canal Walks, and it was the stretch that we had just done. Cor, if we were there earlier in the year, we could have had our mugs on the tv. !!!

By the way,dropped me windlass into the lock. After I had nearly fallen off the balance beam. The lock paddle was VERRY stiff. So got the sea search magnet from the boat, and did the very same thing that we did the last time we went trawling for a windlass. Started yelling that I had retrieved it, only to find that I had caught myself a whole paddle mechanism, and then the magnetic was stuck solid. So a bit of jiggling, tugging, pulling and it came free, and I left it to Mick to get the windlass, which he did. He likes searching for lost things, and seems to have a knack of finding them. And No Comments about wallets…………Scooby !

Wednesday we met up with Sue Saunders’ mum and Dad, May and Derek. They bought me some more bizzy Lizzies as mine had caught the frost and died on me, and came and sat on the boat( well done, May !.... she was a bit nervous) and had coffee and biccies.

We also has some over-enthusiastic ducks hanging around looking for bread etc, and as we left to go into Worcester, they were flying all around May’s head. Looked like a scene from The Birds. !
we went off into Worcester and had lunch and a good catch-up. What a lovely couple they are. And thank you for looking after us in your lovely city. I know Sue will pass on the message. Diglis Basin and Worcester, are great places to stay and visit. If only I had been able to find Mick’s wallet. ! The cathedral was magnificent. I am sure we will return.

So Thursday onto the River Severn and upto Stourport and onto the Wonderful Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Wast Hill Tunnell. Not xsure what happend on the last post. But, we did this tunnell behind a load of drunks on a day-hire boat,. As we passed them, they were nearly all elderley and quite sozzled. Honestly, what is the world coming to. Perhaps being a coffin dodger wont be so bad after all. !! hee hee

Wednesday we moored outside the dog n doublet at Curdworth. Mick treated us to a meal. Mmmmm

Early start next morning. The minworth 3 locks we had done no surprises there. Then it was the Aston 11 into Brum. Depressing area. And then it waS the Farmers flight of 13. these were strange and interesting, going further into Birmingham, beneath tall buildings etc. It felt like being in the bowels of the earth at times. By the time we arrived at Gas St Basin, we were very tired and not too impressed with what we saw……HOWEVER after a night out with Debs-( Sue Saunders cousin= Sue is my great friend who lives in Spaino). We had changed our minds. Firstly a big thank you to Debs. We had a great time and thank you al,so for all your offers of getting us some shopping. Hope your hair dresser treated you gently, what with a sore head and all. !!!!!

Birmingham is amazing. Moorings everywhere, beautifully kept and no numpties. !! We will be back through on our way home. I mioght even have a look on a website and see if there are any concerts we fancy.

As we left, there were quite a few hire-boats with young folk in fancy dress passing us, most were in various strengths of inebriation. !!! That guy standing on the top, nearly fell off, when the bloke at the tiller hit the side. we also did Wast Hill Tunnell ( 2,760 yards) behind

Sat evening and we are moored at the top of the Tardebigge flight of locks ( 31 locks). Down to Worcester and a catch-up with Sue Saunders mum and dad( Derek and May). By the way, thank you for the comments Melva and Scooby. I had been forgetting to look at them.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

this labby appeared at the window when I was getting Finlay's dinner ready. Typical !!!!

We moored up for the wedding week-end, opposite a field of ewes and lambs, and each morning we were treated to the sight of about 3 to 13 lambs having races along the bank, with a few high-jumps thrown in for good measure. So funny. A lovely mooring with lovely weather.

Tuesday morning we left Hawkesbury junction on the Coventry Canal, but not before Mick took an early bath !!!!!
I was just rolling up the side of the cratch cover when I saw micks head passing by the other side.! OMG! On investigation, he was waist deep in the canal, he had missed his footing and very slowly slid in. Friend Jim helped him out, whilst trying to keep a straight face. Wish I had been quicker with the camera!. Macho Mick said that the water wasn’t that cold, anyway. And more importantly, he managed to keep his wallet dry !!!!!

We passed quickly through Nuneaton- YUK. ! Down the atherston flight- absolutely lovely and moored at the bottom of the flight with J&M+2. This would be our last night of Towpath Tipples with them, as we are going in a different direction tomorrow , and as it was Jim’s turn to “do” the drinks, we had 3 !!!!! It was extremely hot, so the washing was in the hedge-row, and I will try and get a photo on for Scooby. As he always seems to have a comment about our washing. !

On towards Birmingham, and hopefully a meet up with Sue Saunders’ cousin Debs.