Thursday, 28 June 2012

 Lemonroyd lock.  deep but gentle.

 Rain drops keep my wine glass. !
 That gave us a good rocking. !

 Its Behind You

 This met us, as the lock doors opened.
 Kirkstall Visitor Moorings.  Now you understand why  BW tell you to keep going.
 The lovely bunch of teenaagers from Canada

 Asda HO. from The Aire

 .... and sandbagged. !!!!
I SEEM TO BE HAVING  a real problem posting some pics.

We spent 2 great days in Leeds. In the armouries mooring.  Mick did the Museum, yet again, but there are only so many spears and fancy pistols I can gaze at.

 I went off window shopping, but we both did the Leeds Market.  Bought some of the best ham I have ever eaten, tasted great and was cut thickly .It was also from  the outlet of a very good yorkshire butcher, well so they said, but having sampled their produce, we were happy to agree.

We decided to leave on Thursday. We had thought about hanging about until Saturday and sunday for the Waterfront Festival, but voted against it. Don’t ask us why. !!  we don’t know. Maybe we are sad. !

So a long day ahead of us on the Aire and Calder Navigation, with its enormous locks ( most will take 15 x 60ft narrowboats), and its possibilities of meeting “summat big” on each corner. ! It has the odd commercial traffic. They have priority at all times.  Oooh, its quite exciting. 

It’s a normal big river, a little boring, with trees and vegetation right down to the waterline, but it still has a remote beauty about it.  We saw kingfishers, and flocks( or dives) of young cormorants, grebe etc.

Also a great river for the 1st mate to go below and do housework, make a cake and all that sort of stuff.  By the time you have cleaned the boat, made him a Lemon Drizzle cake, prepared lunch and poured him a beer, you haven’t really missed much.

Most locks are electric and push button.  Then you arrive at Castleford. Every time we have done this stretch, we have sanksedoodled straight through the ‘open’ flood lock, but with the rain we have had. Not this time,pal.

Lockie put us through this very big lock, but it has a very small drop. Some woman on a boat wanting to come through was having a chat with the lockie, and she went away muttering, but when the gates opened to let us out, this big guy was on his way in. As she said/ “ I don’t want  to go in  there with him”.   Nothing personal, of course.

So onto Castleford Cut and  down to Bulholme lock, well its  not very far, but could we make up our mind as to go on, or moor up. NO.

But then ,  Mick said “ whats the matter with the lock-keeper?”  “ he opens the gate, then he closes it, now he’s opening it gain, and now he’s closing it” whats goiung on?.

Then I turned around.    Aaaah.  Maybe that was some sort of signalling on the lockies part, sort of “  Get out of the bloody way, “  perhaps.

Finally moored up at Old Whitley Bridge.  Its lovley, and  2 big barges have been passed again to give us a bit of excitement. Then Iooked over the hedge. DOH !.  It seems to be some sort of yard, with big security lights. Mmm yes, and there are big articulated lorries parking up(  don’;t  they move early in the morning ?), and the other side of the yard are…………………………………2 train tracks.  One for the local passenger/commuter train( small), the other is for FREIGHT( don’t they move through all the ungodly hours of the night and morning ?)

Right, pass me another glass of wine.  Hey ho.  Tomorrow, Stainforth. 
sorry, but i am having a real problem putting photos on.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Left Apperley at 9am, after receiving a phone call from BW, to say that The Aire and Calder navigation was now open, as the river level had dropped.  Well, when we left the Leeds/Liverpool canal at River lock, Leeds, you are then on the River Aire and it was only just in the green.

The next lock , then leads on to the Aire and Calder. BUT, just before this lock you turn right into the lovely Clarence Docks and The Armouries. A great place to stop, and they have a flood gate, so if the river rises, they shut the gates to keep us safe.

Outside the ASDA headoffice( I once went trawling off here with all my shopping bags, only to find it was full of office wallahs !), you can see the sand bags.  Now if the river reached there that would be a rise of 12 foot. !!!!   oooeeerrr.

I am trying to be concise with details here as I am aware that NB Renaissance is following behind, and reading notes from my blog, to help them on their way.  I hope I am doing a good job, John and Jan, and Snoopy the dog. !  ;)

Anyway the trip down was uneventful, but it is a long day.  Once you leave Rodley, you then have to go straight to Leeds.  Definitely,  no stopping overnight, especially Kirkstall. There are lockies at some of the staircase locks, and they make sure that you know you are to carry on to Leeds.

Swing bridges are very heavy, but all the locks work well, although there is a lot of unlocking and locking of the hand cuff locks attached to the paddles.

Everyone you see on the towpath is very friendly and helpful, so it seems stange that all these bad things happen. I guess the “ferals” come out after school to do their mischief.

At one of the lock flights, they had decided to burn the lockies shed. !

Then, just as we came into Leeds, we met this lovely group. They are from Toronto, and are a group of 15-16year olds. And they from part of the youth wing of the research-art-atelier Mammalian Diving Reflex. Their idea whilst in Leeds, was to organise Nightwalks with Teenagers, for adults and local teenagers, to get together. A great idea, they were a great bunch as well. I would have been interested to have ago at this, but I think we may be gone by Thursday, which is the night that they are walking.

It would be lovely if all youngsters were like this bunch.  Good on ya !  and have a great time visiting the UK.

So, we are hooked up to leccy and water. BW office is just across the river, so we will go see them tomorrow, to see if we can get a Chart for the River Trent, etc.

Mick is going to haunt The Armourys, whilst here.  I may go and find the Henry Moore institute and Museum, its free. !  and then I may do a little window shopping. Etc..

Having trouble loading pics, so will try tomorrow.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Apperley Bridge( not) Forever.

So, due to the Aire and Calder being in flood, we are now stuck for a while.  We caught up with Chris and Mike, over the week-end, which was lovely and great to see you both.
So this morning we thought we would trundle off to Leeds.  No chance.  Talked to BW, and as long as we do not have any heavy rain, we will be able to move ,perhaps mid to end of the week.  I think we may pass straight through Leeds this time, although we love to stay a few days in the armouries. We now can't afford to get stuck anywhere for too long, due to family committments.

Had a situation at the lock here on sunday.  Bearing in mind this is right beside BW offices and maintenance yard. Some feral kids had purloined a windlass, and the handcuff lock on the top paddle was BROKEN, so they filled the locks and stripped off and swam and dived from gates etc.  They had a high old time. We had just watched a big old bull, have a long pee and a huge pat into that water, all the good dog owners throw the poop into it, plus  the rat urine.  Well, anyway , the hire boat rew didn't fancy taking the chance of going through, and BW said they should phone the fuzz and state that they were being harrassed. BW can't do anything, as they just get abuse, and then find that their offices get trashed. !   Anyway, PC Plod turned up, by which time the female had ditched the windlass.  He knew them apparently, and was going to go and tell their mummies and daddies.  Huh, in my day, it would have been a clip around the earhole, but of course, you are not allowed to touch the sweet little pests.

As he said, they have no resepect for anyone or anything, and no respect for themselves.  shame.

Afterwards, I went off with a sea search magnet, and my sniffer dog.  No joy. The locks are too deep to find anything, and old Finlay is too old to be bothered. and my eyes aren't what they were !!!!!
Mind you, I have two and they are pointing the same way.

So, today we have moved..........................through the locks, through the swing bridge.  Thats it.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Hi Jan,

I have replied yo your comment.  I tried to send an email, but can't seem to get it to work.  Jen

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Whilst watering up in Skipton, a couple watching us and looking at Trundle, started laughing. They said that they had a niece called Trundle !!!   yer what ???? Well, since she was baby her mother had nicknamed her Trundle, so it was “ our Trundle did this” and “ our Trundle said that”.  Poor woman.  I asked if it bothered her, and they said they didn’t think so, as she was now in her thirties, and still called Trundle.  Strange. !!!!

Now we come to FARMING DIARY, and if my cousin John and his wife are following this, they may be able to help.  We seem to have had our own muck-spreader following us. Now then, cousin John, to the water and poo mix do they add anything else ???? drugs ??? or mind-altering stuff ???

I tell you why.   Mick and I have been having some strange dreams.

The other night I dreamt that we needed to “diesel up”, and couldn’t get Trundle( our boat, NOT that unfortunate woman) to the diesel pump, so we filled FINLAY with diesel.

Poor little sod.  The same night Mick dreamt about red, hopping tortoises. !!

Last night’s dream wasn’t quite so weird. I was eating a small animal, while it was still alive, about the same size as a quail,(I think it may have been a lion)  whilst viewing some native types installed behind a glass panel in a cave wall.  Now that I have typed that down, I think it is just as weird.

Neither of us has ever had such odd dreams and before anyone says owt, it is nothing to do with beer, wine, chocolate etc.

Stopped at BRADLEY and went off to The Slaters Arms.  Had an incredible meal.Excellent.

The woman at the next table should have stayed at home, however .

Either the bloke she was with was incredibly boring or she was very, very tired, but he went to get her another drink, and when I looked she was asleep. Then her food arrived, and she almost had her nose in her spuds,  I watched her fork make its way, hesitantly, towards her mouth, and she made it, JUST. I think they may have had a few cocktails before they arrived at t’pub. ! ;)

Anyway, we have moved onwards this morning, with it being officially SUMMER, in the pouring rain and high winds, to the other side of Silsden. And there is not a muck-spreader in sight.  So tonight = sweet dreams, hopefully.

We had a tricky situation at a swing bridge.  And this is where the fun in narrowboating comes into play. Through the bridge, and the wind blew us onto a cill, that runs just below the waterline on parts of the canal. Well and truly stuck. Tried pushing with the barge-pole, tried pulling with the centre rope.  Then I had a brilliant idea, why not hook the stern rope through the railings of the swing bridge, then I will open it and we will use the momentum of the opening bridge to pull us off.   Whey Hey, it worked. !!!! took us 45 mins, but it worked.

No photos, as you can’t see the wonderful views because of the RAIN.
 except this one, a may fly, comes out when its sunny and no rain.  have seen 5 in total. "!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Well we left Skipton and went as far as a place called Bradley.  There is now another great hostelry for our list of favourites.  The Slaters Arms.  Nice people, dog lovers, beautiful pub and on Wednesday we are going to try the food.

We are hanging around here a bit, so that we can catch up with Chris and Mike, next Sunday, before we head off to Leeds. 

Anyway at Bradley, Mick couldn’t get a signal for the footy, and some old boy walking by with is old dog, and his collie ( sorry, not funny), said to Mick that “ It could be summat to do wi’ yonder ‘ill. “.  Yep. So Mick had to watch it on the computer, so not so bad.

So after a lovely long walk up “yonder ‘ill”, and trying to get my leg over dry stone walls, and then passing by The Slaters, we arrived back at Trundle and decided to come back towards  Gargrave for a few days.

We had company through the swing bridges, with a day hire boat. They had visiting family from Australia with them, and the 2 children were very engaging and talkative, which I like in kids. Anyway, when I found out what the little boys name was, I just had to take a pic.   FINLAY, his sister Ellie, and our FINLAY. !!!   he enjoyed them as they threw his tennis ball for him.

Lovely mooring, listening to curlews, oyster catchers, sheep, cows and one particular cow that hates narrowboats.  When it saw us moored up, we thought it was going to come through the fence, and what a racket. It wasn’t a nice MOOOO.  It sounded more like it had stomach ache or more appropriately wind. !!!

Mick watched footy, and I watched the birds and then this hire boat passed by.  I called out “ Isn’;t it a lovely evening?” and the reply came back     Senk you,  end thee sem to you “    EH ? I think they were germans. …………….and I didn’t mention the war. !

Tomorrow back to Skipton, water up and de-rubbish and then back to Bradley and The Slaters Arms.  Yippeeeee.
 a curlew
 theres a lot of this going on at the moment, thankfully we are down wind.  although come to think of it I did feel a spot or two of rain.  or was it ?

 the white building is the pub,

 View of the Aire valley from The Slaters Arms

  Mine host giving all the labbies a treat, and Finlay got one, as well.

 We walked to the top of this 'ill.

 How are we gpoing to get over this ?

 Lovely walk.

 mmmm Beer, mmmmm

 These three old gits look like they have been to the pub, as well. !  Sue Saunders:   these are puppets, they are not REAL. OK ?

 FINLAY, Ellie and......FINLAY

 Mick took this.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Skipton and it keeps on .......RAINING. !  oh well.

Football last night, so as we couldn't get a signal, we went off to a wetherspoons for a steak and a bottle of wine.  The footy was good, apparently. I took a book, but I didn't get much of it read, due to my eyes being like organ stops. !  According to Mick it was " Grab a Granny" night.    Well there were these 3 women, who looked like they had been around the track a few times, and they were trying to get off with these young chaps.  oooeeerrr.  From the back one of them looked good, long legs, short skirt, long hair, but when she turned around... Oh dear.  The young fellas were getting nudged by their mates, but they were taking it all in good part. I wonder if the grannies managed to pull. ?????

An embarrassing moment in the heart of Skipton. Mick and I were perusing the pubs to see which had a TV with live football( we normally avoid these like the plague, but when needs must.), I dragged Finlay accross the road behind me, and this voice boomed out " EXCUSE ME !"
Yes ? says I
"Hope you are not going to leave that !"

Oh no, Finlay had done a line of poop and I hadn;t noticed. Gulp.
The bloke laughed and said that he could see I was a scooper, due to the bag being attached to the lead, and I showed him a pocketfull of poop BAGS. !

And here is the difference in Skipton.  We left the umbrella on the back seat by the side of the towpath and it was still there in the morning.  No toe rag had even thought of nicking it !

Now.......TO THE MARKET......IN THE RAIN. !!!

We may go to a Gun Dog Scurry at a farm tomorrow.  whats one of those ???? No idea. !

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Monday we moored at the bottom of Greenberfield Locks with lovely views. From here on we are descending towards Leeds. Strangely enough for being out in the sticks it was like Piccadilly circus, with runners, joggers cyclists etc.

Tuesday we decided to move along about I hour just through a bridge and we saw this view and thought “ Woa, that’s it for a few days”.

Bill and Viv on NB Cygnet caught up with us.   They had a good result with their lost prop. Young man from Altham Engineering of Burnley came along, went back to the lock, drained the pound by another 4 foot and found their prop. !!!  This has allowed them to carry on with their trip( they could have been out of the water for 4 weeks), and it saved them buying a new one at £300. !   what a good guy. Well done to him.

Had 2 lovely days at this spectacular mooring and we will most definitely be back

Never expected to see a pair of curlews and oyster catchers up here, but there are marshy areas,which they like. Buzzards, jays, woodpeckers etc.

  Finlay and found loads of walks and bridle ways.

 So while Mick had a fish we had a yomp. Took some pics of horses for my chum Bridget, and then over a bridge leaping and bouncing came…. A little stoat. I saw, Finlay saw it, Finlay strained to get after it, I was trying to see it again. But away he had gone into the undergrowth.

The canal is high here, and above the surrounding fields of sheep and horses. And last night I sat on the back of the boat and heard 2 young ladies clip-clopping along astride their ‘osses, and one of them started to sing?( for want of another word) the theme from Titanic . I did get the giggles. She really could not carry a tune in a bucket, for sure. But what a lovely pastime, as the sun is setting, trotting along with thee nag and singing at top of thee voice, wi’out care in t’world. !!!

 We have now moved down to Gargrave.  Mr Hargrave @ Gragrave. Tee hee.

 We had spotted a hire boat passing us, so we slotted in behind them, as its always good to do double locks with others.   A really nice family.  They live and have a business on the Isle of Skye teaching kayaking etc , all outdoor pursuits etc.  sounds great.  They were really nice folks and we enjoyed doing the locks with them.  Their daughter is  now thinking that when she goes to university, she could possible live on a narrowboat.  Loads of  folks do, so we hope it all happens for her

We were going to go to the Masons Arms, tonight for a meal. But having tried a pint of Timothy Taylor( and the most we have paid is £3 per pint), when he asked for £3.35 per pint, we thought, Aaaah, now is that because we are not locals.. So, we will NOT be going for a meal. If it had been £3, we would have. Some times you have to stick to your principles. We will hang out until we get to Skipton, where we know that it is a bit more realistic, price-wise .   ahhh Lovely Skipton.

 Trunmdle gets some paint......... and a few flies.

Monday, 11 June 2012

 Sundays mooring

Sorry Melva, I have now gone back to this lay-out as I didn't like the other, and yes you are right " we don't like change!.
Friday we spent the night at a place called Rishton, on BW 48 hour moorings. The write up in the book calls it a " grey lancashire town", well they were right. Didn;t really have a nice feel about it, but we were wet and tired. !   I did get the giggles watching a bloke lurch accross the bridge, clutching a pizza box and singing at the top of his voice.  He was going at such an angle,I felt sure that he was going to keel over.
We are in sort of roughty-toughty areas now, with all the industry of Blackburn and Burnley.  The old mills are fascinating, and still in really good condition.  such a shame that some wealthy person can't do them up. etc.
Saturday, and another choice mooring. !   Behind BW locked gates this time. Grim. enough said.
Sunday a shop up at Morrisons, BEhind locked gates AGAIN. !
But by the afternoon we had reached the summit of the Leeds and Liverpool, its really beautiful and we will slow up a bit now to enjoy the views.

Saw a shnoozle. !   Can Sue Saunders guess what it is ?????    a cross twixt a Scnauzer and a poodle.  He was very cute. all black. Gettin g stuck into some sheep droppings, and then he found a bit of sheep wool ro race around with.  Finlay came out of the boat and barked at him, and off he went

 another cat for Yorkshire Chris.

 I have help with the 1st swing bridge

 Burnely Embankment. Numpties like to hang out here with bottles of tramp pop.

 Wheres, Albert, Ena and Minnie Caldwell. and more importantly wheres the ginger and white cat. ?????

 Views are getting better. !

 that blob was a mink. Wheres the air rifle ??

 Oi, you, cow, get off me boat, you'll scratch the roof. !!!!!

So a few hours ago, we passed from Lancashire and into Yorkshire.  and do you know what?  all of a sudden everyone has started speaking and smiling again. !!!

Friday, 8 June 2012

I have changed the design.  hope you like.

we have done the Blackburn 6. phew, will tell all tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

So we were at the bottom of the Wigan 21, and Mick slept like a baby. I didn’t, as I was listening for idiots, but I still didn’t hear the little git, who took our boat hook from the top of our boat. !!!  However, the tale ends happily, as 6 locks up, and sticking out of the water like Excalibur was …………….our boat hook.  Therefore, the Wigan Wally a) didn’t know what it was for, and  b) didn’t really know what he was going to do with it now that he had attained it.

We had lock companions called Bill and Viv on Cygnet.  Bill is a Scot, we do keep attracting these Scotsman, and once again we were able to offer assistance. I wonder if our chum Jim( a bonny Scotsman) is reading this. 4 locks from the top, and with the end firmly in our sights, Viv brought Cygnet through the lock, we all heard a clanking sound, and she lost reverse power, Mick asked if she could go forward….NO. Oh dear, on investigating Bill found that the prop, shaft and pin, had all gone.  So we strapped them to us and did the last locks, and deposited them on a nice little mooring to get sorted.

The Wigan 21 is a great flight of locks, gives you a good work-out, and I did miss my mate, Maralyn, We do a flight of locks well, together.

 But I have to say , in these days of dog –owners clearing up after the pooches, and you know where I am going with this, it’s a shame that there was so much dog-shit all around the locks.  They are kept lovely ,the locks not the other, and with the grass growing a bit, some of the crap was hidden, so you had to really watch where you put your feet. Locks are hard enough to do at the best of times, without having to pile-hop about. !!!

Had a good shower at the BW facilities… least the lights stayed on and the water was hot. Yiiipppeeeee.  Shame about the NB Aldo, they have decided to set up their mooring right on the water point etc.  They have made it really difficult for folks to fill with water and do what they need to do before decscending the locks. Shame on them,selfish people.

So we have trundled off in t’rain. We are now in Lancashire. Moored at the top of Johnsons locks, right by the side of a CAMRA pub, so went in to try a pint, had such a good time had another. The old chaps in the pub were AKA Last of the summer wine, and were having a reet good banter wi’ landlady, who gave it back as only a good landlady can.  We are going back tonight, for more Timothy Taylor beer, food and they have a group on …. They are shoved in a corner of this great pub. But  Foggy or Compo or Clegg( can’t rememeber which one) have said “ not the same as in our day- are they ever?- and we will be tucked up with ‘us cor cor, pipe n slippers. Areet “.

 lovely Wigan locks

 Trundle to the rescue

ol Mick's tadpoles. !!!!! no naughty remarks, please.

  bottom of Wigan 21

 the sides are too high for the ducklings to get out for a sleep, , so they have to go to sleep in a patch of floating weeds. aaaahhhhhh