Sunday, 29 April 2012

PUB was nice but landlords depressing.

Market Drayton is great

Today, Sunday, its  AWFUL. I think we will stay until tuesday. we can then get watered up and de-pooped and be on our way.    24 wonderful locks in front of us. including one of my faves.  The Audlem Flight.  I wonder if that old lady still leaves produce out for purchasing????  her goosegogs were wonderful the last time we were up here

I forgot to mention that when we were “doing” the Wolverhampton flight, I had looked back at the lock we had just left and saw this bloke also looking back, then he ran back, then he threw his bag to the ground and ran across the lock.  Summats Up, as they say in Yorkshire, so leaving Mick , I ran back( he later mentioned that he hadn’t realised that I could run- cheeky) and found this bloke getting out of the empty lock with a very small, hairy and wild-eyed little dog in his arms. In his brummie accent he told me that his wife would kill him as it was her little dog. I offered to dry rat-dog off on our boat, but he said that he only lived across the park. Make sure he has a bath, says I, as the canals are teeming with microbes of one sort or t’other. Rat-dog will now be on a lead, I reckon.

Its  lovley is the Shroppie, and after a night and morning of heavy rain we all decided to move off and find a country mooring.  Next day off again and as we sailed around the corner, we found a large tree across the canal. There were 2 boats in front of us, pulled up, and we found out that BW blokes had been out and had a look, but  they did not have  a boat??? What BW = no boat?  How strange. Anyway, they said that they would be back. Yeah right, what in a few days ???  but low and behold, 40 mins later they were back with a chain saw and a winch, and soon we were on our way, but not before some bloke who was LAST in the queue decided to jump past 5 boats.!

Mick – Hey, you, there is a queue, you know, and I believe you should be at the back?

Queue Jumper – eh? Don’t know. Mutter mutter

He just carried on, with no apology.  However, as he entered the lock , he made a right mess of it. It was like watching a pinball machine, first he hit the right side, then the left, and then the right.  Hey ho.

So we are watered up and fuelled up.  The last time we fuelled was down at Weedon on the Grand Union. And as most boaters know. Wheaton Aston is brilliant for its fuel price and the owner of the garage is a real nice chap, as well.

It was the Last Supper with J&M+2. We went to the Hartley Arms and had a great meal, and 3 of them had deserts. !!!  pigs !. look at the size of them

See you in the autumn.

Next morning we were off on our todd. And as we were trundlin’ along in the rain, look what was sitting in a tree.   Now birders, is it a scops owl or a tawny. The pics not that clear and it was to telephoto lens.

Moored Shebdon and guess what its Friday- Poets Day. And we are near a pub, AGAIN.  This has to stop. !!!!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Sitting out the rain at Oxley on the Shroppie.Hopefully, we will move tomorrow.  Not sure about our chums, as we are about to come to a parting of  the ways anyway.  We will be going on and thay will be hanging about waiting for their other friends to come up from the south.

So what else did we do at the BCLM.  went for a pint, of course.   the barman said if we could pay with a white fiver we could have out pint for 3d.  we couldn't, however, and had to pay £3.40 per pint. grrhhh.
Went on the Cake Walk, now as this was Mick's era he managed it with n o problem. I didn't and could hardly move for laughing.  Mick and Jim went down the pit, while Maralyn and I travelled by tram. It was so good, we stayed on for the return trip.

In the afternoon we had done it all and decided to move the boats accross to the BW facilities.  we watered up and we were going to use the BW washing machine, until I discovered that it was a very large SINK. ! Had showers in the huge bathrooms, and then watched a hire boat crewed by coffin dodgers proceed to wind( turn their boat) backwards into a winding hole. ! Absolutley NO.  I knew it was going to go wrong, when I heard the lady ask " Is there a little turning circle here?"  EH? WHAT?

They left and hour before us the next morning and we still caught them up half way down the flight. !!!!

The Black Country Museum was………………….FANTASTIC. !

A complete village moved brick by brick and rebuilt on 26 acres, with shops, foundries, forges and the people actually get paid to work here, although they have to fund their clothes from the Edwardian era to the 1930’s.

 We knocked on house doors that were on “the sneck”( know what that means?), ajar, and lady sitting by her black lead grate with roaring fire would ask us in and then tell us who lived in the house and what work they did.  Some were very poor and some were a little more up market, but all had a toilet “out back”. There was so much to see and do.

Riding on trams and old busses etc. what a hoot the tram was

 We went and had a school lesson from 1912.  Jim, our travelling chum was told “ You, boy at the back, remove your cap at once. “   very amusing !!!!.  The school children re-living what it would have been like to be taught in this era, were a bit bemused to start with.  There is so much here, that I would urge anyone interested to go and have a day there and for lunch, make sure that you have the fish and chips cooked in dripping.  And I have to say, Chris and Mike in Yorkshire, they even bettered yours “ up there “. And they take some beating, I can tell you.  We had them 2 days running. !!!!!!  it was a good thing that the Wolverhampton flight was coming up, as we were able to work off all those calories.

The canal from Dudley to Wolverhampton was a bit grim,but then that’s typical of canals around towns and cities, that do not have any interest in their waterway system.

An M.O.T, CENTRE right by the side of the canal, and guess what BW were dragging out of the bridge-hole????   Tyres etc.  If a boat prop picks these up, they make a right mess, I can tell you.and it takes ages to get it all off the prop.

We did pick up some rubbish ourselves, but it was only plastic washing line and a plastic bags.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

We arrived in Birmingham and moored by the NIA.
Guess who was appearing for 3 nights ?
Guess who didn’t have a ticket?
Cirque du soleil and me.
Its now on my bucket list !!!!!

Spoke to my chum in Spain, Sue, and here is a pic of us just
after we had spoken to you. ! X
This little lock with a guillotine gate was interesting.
J&M+2, had gone in front of us, and they have done this bit before, so knew
what was going to happen , and they stopped and watched…….with glee ?
Bump, bump bumpety bump.
It was like being in a pinball machine, as we hit one side, then the
next etc. Mick agreed that he had gone at it too fast. He is such a speed merchant. !!!!
Ended up 2 nights in Brum, due to the fact that we do NOT
want to do the Wolverhampton flight of 19 locks, when the numpties are about.
Wait until they go back to school, if, indeed, they do. Ha.
Anyway, we found a wetherspoons and decided tyo go “out on
the town”- cor Friday night in Birmingham.
HOWEVER, we were back at the boats at about 8 o’clock,, just as all the
youngsters were going out. !!!! We live life to the full, you know. Nightcap on
friends boat was …. Err a bourbon.
Don’t like it, and I had a bit of a head the next day.

Have now moved down to the Black Country Museum in Dudley. A
canalside village set up as a living museum, with coal mine, glass blowing, old pub….mmmmm and
a 1930’s fish and chip shop. !!!! No
roast dinner today, Sunday. Will just have to be fish and chips. Done in beer
batter and cooked in dripping. Blimey,
better have some veggie dinners over the next few days to compensate.
On the way to Dudley, our travelling chum led us down a
different arm to get to Dudley, but we couldn’t get through the first lock, as
something was stuck on the cill. Sooooo, we had to reverse all the way
out. That took about an hour, and we picked up some
rubbish on the prop. Photos later.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

just photos

Kingswood Junction. 3 canals leave from here. very pretty.

Finlay received a major bit of ear-tickling today from 2 young ladies. they thought his facial expressions were amusing, - sorrowful, fed-up, etc. little do they know how spoilt he is. tch !

Saltisford Arm at Warwick was a great place to stay. We really enjoyed it.
Although these 2 old boys do not look happy. I suggested a walk around the cemetary, they wanted to go down to the pub, but I held out for the cemetary.

Onwards to the Hatton flight of locks.21 Double locks and very pretty, most lock
flights are tiring, but at the end when you are moored up somewhere nice and
enjoying a vino callapso, you feel good.
Its like having an all-over-body
workout. !!!!
Also my locking chum Maralyn, is an older lady, but very
strong and quick, and it really makes me step up to the mark, as they say. We seem to get through them like a dose of
Stopped at the top of the locks. Knackered !!!!!
The next set of locks will take us towards Brum. Lapworth flight of locks 19. And very. Very pretty. Now we are into single locks. J&M+2,are
in front of us, and a very slow are careful boat in front of them. There was not much coming from the opposite
I had a bit of a run-in with a northern lady about why we
had let the water out of a lock behind us.
In my bid to be helpful, I had thought we could get a hire boat up one
lock before this boat came down. Wrong. Yes, I was in the wrong.!
She gave me a right ticking off, Mick rectified the
situation and I told her to “keep her hair on and have a nice day. “

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Stockton Locks, on the way to Warwick. A lovely set of locks, and great fun.
Of course, when we are on the move, there is not a lot of opportunity to let Finlay off , and have a real good run off the lead, and here he tells us exactly how he feels. 'Twas a lovely mooring for us , though. Aren't we selfish ?
Anyway, we arrived at the Saltisford Arm, and have moored up here for a few days, so that we can explore Warwick. A nice place and nice folks, here. Had a good meal and beer at the Cape of Good Hope pub.
Tuesday is pump out day and Hatton Flight Day. by the time we have got to the top, we will be stopping again. I think there are 20 some odd locks in this flight. but who's counting.
The daft dog in the canal, was a Springer Spaniel. He evaded his owner down in the nature reserve, ran up on to the towpath, ran about half a mile, jumped in after a duck, went passed us at a fair rate, barking at the mallard, got out at the lock, jumped in again and was off up the canal. Taking no notice of anyone or the owner. I am still wondering what happend to it. Reckon it needs a bit of training.
ok. Who likes the tv programme MERLIN ???? well, it was all cracking off at Warwick castle. all sorts of magic and wizardry going on, I can tell you. There were a few hunks dressed up as knights, as well. although not this bloke on the horse, I was only taking a pic of Neddy. this knight looks bit grumpy?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

First ducklings. !
We had about 30 mins of this before the heavens opened. !

View - yesterdays mooring-Norton Junction.

I am sulking a bit, so I will rest my head,
upon my folded-up bed.
Photo taken at 5.15pm.
aaah. now thats better.
Photo taken at 5.16pm.

Had a nice quiet night( at last) at Norton Junction. We have now moved away from the A1 and train
lines, well for a while anyway.
It was out turn for chums to come and have a pre-dinner
drink with us,Ben and Tallie always come along, too. However, they are small
enough to get on a knee apiece, and Finlay decided to make his feelings known
too one and all.
Left early for Braunston Tunnel and flight of locks, which
are now busy, as we have restrictions for the time they can be used. We don’t
mind, but Hire boats only have so much time.
We followed a boat load of numpties down the locks. All the adults left one 9 year old kid doing
all the work, unfortunately he didn’t have much of a clue.

Then we met vintage boats “Nutmeg” and “Raimund”, being
taken down the Grand Union for a bit of a spruce up. Wow,, these boats are 76
years old, and Mick and I have become “anoraks”, due to the fact that we now
love old engines. The engine in Nutmeg is a Lister summat-or-other, but it has
a ,lovely soft clunkety-clunk sound
Now we are at a favourite mooring site on the way towards
Napton Junction and onwards , slowly, to Leamington Spa( royal, you know.) and

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter Monday. Hope you all had plenty of eggs. the chocolate variety.
We are just below the Buckby Flight, and will move up there later for water, de-rubbish etc, and then wait to start up the locks in the morning.
Its been great just hanging around doing a few jobs. Lettuce is set in the growbag, but I awoke with a start, when I heard a pheasant sounding off. Oh no, he isn't eating them, is he? No, thankfully. we are moored opposite a small holding, where the bloke sells led lights for boats, called Bedazzled. They also sell fresh produce in season and a selection of Free Range eggs from Happy Hens. We can vouch that the hens are extremely happy. watching them has been a delight, they have feathery legs, so they look like they are wearing plus fours, and they kick out one leg ,and then the other looking for gubs. I can now do quite a good impression myself, actually. we have also watched the cheeky squirrels. and some goldfinches right by the side of Trundle. they had found some soft nest building material, and were collecting it for their nest. aaaah.
At this small holding, they also sell books and stuff like you would find in a charity shop. so, Mick had a find. ! A BAROMETER. so now, each and every morning, he checks the weather on the computer, on the tv and now he is Tapping his barometer, and its working. so if the computer and the tv and everyone else gets it wrong, Mick will get it right. whey hey.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Ist morning waking up on the Grand Union Main Line. and what a morning. The top of the boat was icy and sparkling, but by the time Finlay and I came back from our walk, the sun was shining( not for long, though), and it was a "good to be alive" sort of day.
The trip up the flight had not been as bad as we had thought it would be, but friends behind us on Salamander, had a bad time,.no water, dry pounds and it took them 6 hours.
Its quite a busy junction, this one, as it takes boats to the north, south and east.
Skipper Mick was dawdling about at a bridgehole, and I was rummaging at the front under the seats for something or other, when this tinkling laugh rang out and a female voice said " oh thank you so much for waiting" and the reply " I never mind waiting for a pretty girl" !!!! groan. she was pretty and young, steering her big boat, and my old boy, bless him, says " oooh , I've still got it". not sure what "it" is, anyone want some ???
Anyway, I diverse. We trundled up to Weedon, and went for a 2 for £10 meal at a local Marston pub. Excellent. Our chums enjoyed it as well. and we finished off with coffee and a single malt on their boat. better still.
Stepmum and Dennis had given me some easter chick tea lights, but when I opened them, they were so sweet, that I haven't the heart to set light to them, so they are part of the deco, on Trundle now.
Finlay escaped this morning. !!!!!!!
We were walking the dogs, Finlay, and cairns Ben and Tally, and I decided, in my wisdom, to let Finno have a bit of a run wi'out lead. Mistake. Down the steps, he shot, to the rabbit infested cemetary. I followed not so fast , telling Jim to carry on back to the boats, However, Wee Ben, would not leave without his chum, so they hung around watching me try and round Finlay up. Those of you who knew Finlay as a pup, well can you remember when he used to curl his ears up and top of his head( like a set of rollers)? It usully meant trouble . Well he was in the next field staring at me, with his ears curled up on the top of his head. so I played my trump hand and picked up a stick( no not to thrash him although its an idea), but as a tempter for a bit of a game.. SUCKER...., it worked, he came racing back, and was promptly back on the lead.
Now we have moved just around the corner, but a nice young man said are you staying tomorrow, not sure, says us. Well look in next field. It turns out its a bit of a motocross track for the local biker boys. we will move. !!!!!
Buckby Flight of locks. due to water restrictions, last boat through at 1.30pm. until the next day.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Aye up, We're up.

Onto the Grand Union. Hurrah. It wasn't such a bad trip up, some of the pounds were a bit low, but we managed to get through. A boat in front, had a bloke, a woman and 2 youths, but the bloke was doing all the work. and as he left his boat to do locks, paddles etc, his boat was going aground. I , kindly, suggested that he, as skipper, should stay in the middle of the pound with his boat and let the 2 chunky youths do some work. it fell on stony ground, probably thought I was a nelly-no-it-all, but we do this flight twice a year. ! and me thinks he was perhaps showng off to the lady on the boat. oh well.
We neared the top, and along came our chums- M&J+2, to help with the last few locks. what mates, thank you. and wee Ben the cairn was very pleased to see us, and as we trundled along , he kept glancing back to make sure we were coming. yep. we're here, now lets see what the canals have to offer up.
Tonight we are mostly eating Morrisons Steak and Ale slice. mmmmmmm. and yes Melva, I have your comments, thank you. :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


messing about with blogger and seem to have set up a new look. yuk !

what have I done ???

Up to the Canal Tomoz. !!!

So, we are at Northampton. Yesterday, we ( 2 boats) were really steaming through the locks, so decided to get all the way to N'hampton, and then the heavens opened.
It had been a sad start off, as whilst at Irthlingborough we had met Sue and Vic on No Problem( their blog is Retirement with No Problem). Lucy their 13 year old border collie was not too well, and that morning Sue came to tell us that the vet was coming out, and, yes, as you can probably guess, it culminated with Lucy going off to sleep. I have just checked out their blog, and bless them, thay have 56 messages from well-wishers. They are such a nice couple.They have young Meg,another border collie, and she is missing her chum. hey ho. all us dog owners know the heart break , don't we. ?

Anyway, our cruising companions decided to do the Rothersthorpe Flight today. I had told them of the impending bad, really bad weather, but was told by M, that her crystal ball said it was going to be ok. Well, I can tell you I have scoured N'hampton to try and find her a newer model, as the one she is using is RUBBISH . Haven't heard from them yet, but I reckon they must have got soaked. We will be off up tomorrow, in the sun and cloud, and will meet them for Towpath Tipples later. yippee. we will turn right at Gayton, so Rick and Val, if you should be reading this, we will be going to the pub at Weedon for 2 for £10. ( last of the big spenders, are we !!!!). so if you want to meet up, let us know.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Well, on our way again this morning, and it was cold and sunny. Apparently we will have snow tomorrow. !

It was Finlay's birthday yesterday and he was 10. He received a teeth cleaning bone from us( that gave him wind), he received a charcoal biscuit from M&J+2( that stopped the wind), and he had a good walk. Obviously, from the way he is sulking on his/our bed it was not enough. !!!
Whippets! me likee.
We are now at Rushden and Diamonds mooring, with absolutely NO FACILITIES, tut tut Environement Agency. We are 2 days away from Northampton, where we will have a frantic shop at Morrisons, I will get my ear-hole investigated( it hurts.) and then 3 to 4 hours later should be on the Grand Union Canal. Hurrah.
Have just met up with NB No Problem( Sue and Vic). They are off on to the Ouse for the summer. she does a real professional blog about narrowboating , with loads of info. Reading her blog, whilst still in Spain, waiting to sell our property really kept us going, I can tell you.
Have made my 1st cake this season in my Very hot and Hot oven. Burnt it, so now it sleeps with the fishes. !!! 2nd cake ( victoria sandwich) has turned out looking more like a frisbee, HOWEVER, it ain't burnt. !!!!