Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tuesday we had a good old pump out, and water up and de-rubbish at Calveley.

The boat In front of us had just finished pumping out and asked if we wanted the tube leaving out, we said thank you that would be great.  When we  looked again, their little westy was licking around the outside of the pipe and wiping his neck around the opening.Yuck.  the lady on the boat looked like she was going to throw up, and the bloke who owned the dog asked us if we wanted him. !!!!

This was our last night with Nb Salamander, as they are waiting for family to join them for a few days. Had a great time with them.

So  we have had a long day for us today.  On to Middlewich, quick shop at Lidl for Scotch, vermouth, dark choccy, Jars of cherries and raspberries etc.

We are now at Bramble Cuttings 48 hour moorings which is so beautiful. It’s the site of and old clay pit, that they used to make the canals with. Totally enclosed by private land,. BUT we still have to keep an eye on you-know-who. Its so  nice here, that as long as we can get tv for springwatch, and if the weather is nice, we may stay another day and night.  Yiiiippppeeeee. !

Have decided that we are NOT going to do the Ashton Canal in Manchester.  We met another couple who did it a week ago, and they said NEVER EVER AGAIN. Its vile. Filthy, all the locks are very hard with the anti vandal mechanism, and the sub human kids jump all over your boat.  I thought all this had been cleared up, but I guess with the ferals they are always going to trash other people’s possessions.

I just looked up from typing this to see Finlay across the other side of the canal !!!!!

I had just taken my walking boots off, so in silly flip flops I had to traverse a cow meadow to the next bridge and this involved the help of a lady walking her dog on the other side.she put him on her lead, led him to the b ridge and over he came.  He’s 10 years old, for gawds sake.  So our little escapologist is now thethered.  I hate doing this, as he is just exploring and doing what dogs do. But my feet have been pricked by thistles, OUCH,, covered in mud, at least I think its mud, and then I stubbed my toe on a rock. Only an hour until large , icy g&T time. !!!!!

 Cousin John and Sue, this one's for you.  Can you guess where it is ??? 

 Today's mooring.  Bramble Cuttings

 Finlay !!!!   Get back over here. !

 GOTCHA> and tethered. !

So we went to Chester and back.  Another great canal. We had forgotten how nice it was.

We had stopped at the moorings across from The Shady Oak, so obviously had to go and sample the brew.  There was a Blokes only 50th birthday hire boat,sort of sensible, however the same cannot be said of the next Bloke Only boat that passed.

All young chaps dressed in pirate gear, and Roger the Cabin Boy was sat on the top of the boat in a chair.  He had his beer goggles on, so we hoped that he had seen the bridge-hole approaching.  I tell you, only just. They swerved out of the way of an approaching boat and then he saw it.  Phew

When we passed both of these boats the following day…. They were quiet, and drinking a lot of…………………..water.

I accidently “washed n squashed” a spider. !  I think he was in our quilt cover, so he went for a wash and then a spin and when I flicked him into the canal, he left a mess on the cover. Doh. !

After due consideration, and as we could not stay down in the basin at Chester, we decided to move back up 3 locks, to a far nice mooring.It was cooler and cleaner.  There were a few numpties beering it up, so best to keep out of the way.  And it gave us a nice walk back to Chester the next day.

I had an altercation with 2 boats coming up to the locks.

Well it was like this. One boat in front of us manned by a young chap with his very elderly mum and dad on board.  He left the lock and closed the gate, so I started filling it.

Then as we left the lock, the boater waiting informed me that I had stolen his lock. I stated that I could not see through brick walls on the bridge, and that the boat in front had closed the gate, so assumed it was ours.  He said “ well I was here at the lock”. I replied “ well, where were your lock crew?”.  “ if you want the lock get someone up there to inform othewr boaters”. He kept on about us closing the gate, and all this is going on as we drift further and further away, to ends up in a shouting match. !!!!  If, as we suspect, he was coming up to the lock, and the gates were closing, he should have given us a warning toot on his hooter, and we would have happily opened the gates again.  Some people.

 Nice mooring by the cricket ground lock in Chester.

  mmmm, smelly dead fish.

 now can you tell what I am growing on top of Trundle ????

Sunday, 27 May 2012

This is a little face that peered into our b oat as she passed.  5months old. !

Bridge ?, ….?hr mooring on the Llang, is one of the lovliest, EVER.  We will be back.

Met a boater called Roger with his wife Lin on NB Iollaire( Scottish gaelic for eagle), and he told us about this farm that makes its own Ice cream.  So, we were  a bit like Dad’;s Army  with Roger as Capn Mainwaring leading the way.  Around 3 large pea fields, following the white posts( for the blind?), and traversing about 8 stiles.  Roger had had a hip replacement, his wife had a dodgy foot, I had Finlay, who would do the occasional “up and over”, but wouldn’t go through some of the stiles. Mick, Keith and Jan were wandering or wondering, even, if this was a good idea in the blazing sunshine.  There were lots of “ how much further?” and “ How long does it say in the book?”.  Well, the book said 10 min walk.  It was a good 30 m ins. !   some of the white posts were hidden in the undergrowth, or was it that most of us need better specs. ?

HOWEVER, we arrived and what a surprise. There were grannies and nannies and grandads and grandkids, bikers in leathers, executives on their way home etc, and all were queuing up to buy this wonderful ice cream.  There were so many different flavours, and some of us, NOT ME, had a triple ice cream. Jan had Turkish delight, a coconut and a strawberry , one scoop on top of another. I had raspberry pavolova, mick had raspberry ripple, and I can’t temember what the others had. I am not a great fan of ic e cream, but I have truly never tasted any as wonderful as these. Oh and Finlay, had a bowl of water and then proceeded to hang around until he got to try some.

Snugbury Jersey Ice Cream..   and well worth the trek.   Mick and I were going to go back the following afternoon but a) it was tooo hot, and b) my trousers are tight.

The 2nd day at the lovely mooring, meant a chores day. Roof needed washing, windows etc. the washing machine was one. And then it was down tools as it got very hot again.

We sat there minding our own business, when Keith nodded and winked at Mick and said “ don’t turn and look at whats coming along the towpath”.  Of course, we waited a micro second and then all turned to look.   A gawky young man with no top on, accompanied by a pretty young lass, wearing flip-flops, a teeny weeny dress covering her bikini  . they seem to be exhausted even though she was smoking a spliff, . She said he was her cousin and had suggested a short walk.  They had come from Nantwich !!!!!

I would have shoved him in the canal, I think. Anyway, Good old Keithgave them a cold Fosters to drink, and we suggested that they turn back the way they had come.

Its funny, but I am sure I saw 2 middle aged bellies relax as she turned away. J

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Said goodbye to Ellesmere, and as we know we have great weather coming, we plan a few more lengthy stops on this wonderful canal.

Onto the Prees branch, and as its so lovely and rural, we stayed 2 nights.

Just after we had moored up, Finlay was doing a bit of growling and woofing. When I investigated, I had this view from the galley window. Does my bum look big in this?
 The washing was hung in the hedgerows and I had a walk down the disused arm of the canal. Lovely and so pretty. A bit Wind in the Willows’ish.
Saw the 1st cygnets, and the little one said “ Roll over”. Him at the back kept pecking mums feathers. I don’t think there was room for him.

1st mayflies are just coming out.
I like the lockie at Grindley Brook Staircase locks. He always puts his flags out, is very cheerful and helpful.  So much so, that I have him a bar of choccy for being a jolly nice chap.
Yet another great mooring with fields and a big mansion set in farmland.
The blokes did a bit of fishing.  But they are no good. Unfortunately.
The next day we went just a couple of hours to the top of the locks. It was hot, so out came the Barbie and THE WINE.  Do you know, drinking wine in the sun does you know good whatsoever.
2 Unsuspecting walkers were given a saussie by Keith.He only gave them 1, so they broke it in half. I think they rather enjoyed it.

Look, this is what happens when the weather turns good. !!! This bit is the bottom half of that bit above,

Friday, 18 May 2012


So to explain.  Brocks House.  The tree had natural striations in its bark that made it look like a round doorway, so someone had painted around it in yellow, put in a door handle and painted "Brock's House" over the top of the door. 

Mick had set up the bbq under a lovely leafy tree, and at one point had flames of about 8 inches high.Hence a possible call out of the fire brigade.

So,wet and miserable at Ellesmere.  so we will move on and as we have some 20 degree temps. next week, I think we had better get back to the Shroppie Main Line, and find some nice m oorings.

K&J+2, are still with us at the moment.


On the way to the Marvellous Montgomery, we passed Brock’s house. !!!!

This is such a lovely little canal, and will be stunningly beautiful when the whole 30 or so miles are restored.  We can get down as far as Maesbury.  So after a perfect pump-out, we  moored up in the country.

We heard the 1st Cockoo, saw the 1st dragonfly and had our 1st bbq.  Fancy Mick setting it up under this tree.  We could have had the 1st fire brigade call out, as well.

I went off to pick some lettuce from my grow bag to find that it had turned into CABBAGE. !

This is a bit of Wicky. !( mick’s old mate).  Every year, when we are getting ready for the off,  he tries to get us to take some cabbage plants that he has grown from seed. I always say Than ks but no thanks. Anyway, this year he caught us. !  he passed them off as lettuce plants. !  little monkey, Roger.  Note:  remember to hide his whisky when in Scotland. !!!!

Now, not all you see on Countryfile is true.  Farmers don’t always plough AROUND lapwings nests.  Sometimes they plough over them !  saw it.  Sad.

Other sightings down this lovely waterway:  Vole racing DOWN a hole at the bottom of a tree, at the same time as a squirrel raced UP it.  Who was doing the chasing. ?

A bunny dozing in a patch of weeds, in front of his burrow.

Finlay getting into a field of sheep after rabbits. Yikes.  Glad the farmer wasn’t about.  Perhaps he was ploughing a field.

I did a massive load of washing and was able to hook it up into the trees to catch a breeze.  I have to say it looked a tiny bit pikey-ish. Especially as 2 local ladies, very well spoken, asked us how long we were staying ????  Hee heee,  I reckon she thought we had set up for the summer.

After a lovely day and  night, we moved off to the Queens Head Public House.  We were dining there o. n Thursday night.

At the last lock I had a mis-understanding with 2 geese. ! well, I was walking along to the lock, swinging my windlass and they made a dash for me. I was pecked on my gloved hands, I was pecked on my feet, legs and erm, erm my derriere. Does this mean I have been goosed????  That’s not rude, is it?  Anyway, it did not hurt, but I wasn’t quick enough to grab one for the pot.  I rather like Roast Goose.

I had some really good pics, as well.
Annoyed in the rain at Ellesmere

Monday, 14 May 2012

Arrived Llangollen Basin on Saturday, for 2 nights. We had a great 2 days and on Sunday Mick, Finlay and myself walked the 2 miles to Horseshoe Falls.  It was a lovley walk, and the weather was very good to us.

Finlay tried a drink out of his new hiking dog bowl.  That seemed to work.

Went in to a local butcher and bought some welsh lamb for lunch.  COR. That was so good and so tender, and then I heard bleating!....... and I just put a bit more mint sauce on my plate.  SORRY. 

K&J+2, decided to bbq  .As well as Breezy the Dalmatian, they have Scooby( not to be confused with our chum, Scooby. He’s a bloke, married to Rita Rose and has a narrowboat called Festina Lente), who is 12 months old, he is a cockerpoo or is that a Poodlecock?, has a really bad haircut and looks like Rolf off The Muppets .  (No, sorry, still cannot be confused with Scooby, well. Ooh I dunno know).

HOWEVER, Scooby was whistled and made a mad dash from his NB, and misjudged the distance, and ended up in the water.  Didn’t seem to bother him
 Next time we come here, we know to moor in a different place to get the most of the scenery. We couldn't see a blinking thing. !!!!

 BBQ time and Finlay has stopped snarling at Scooby.  finally.. 

 Finlay has the wind in his ears as we cross back over to ENGLAND. !!!!

I just had an early bath. !!!!   but I ain't bothered.

Now on our way to the head of The Montgomery Canal, and on the way, we managed to pick up a manky old blanket in the prop. Well, if we are going up The Rochdale Canal we had better get used to that.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

What is it with older men?  Old Keith on NB Salamander, is always chatting to some woman….. “ ooh, what a lovely smile” or “ what a nice dog etc etc”.  Not to be outdone, Mick then wanders over to join in.  This poor woman yesterday, got entangled with these 2, and after about 10 mins Jan and I said we were off inside as it was cold.  This woman had to endure another 20 minutes of these two ‘erberts laughing and flirting with her. The stuff they got to find out about her

Left Ellesemere on Friday , very early.  On the return we will stock up on the bacon and bap deal, and also some lovely pate from the deli.  Mmmmm

Anyway, I had a sad find at the rubbish bins.

1 x beautiful new dog-duvet- large

2 bowls- one being an anti-spill bowl.( Not sure if Fin will get his snitch in it, though)

Half a pack of poop bags

And a brand new, still with the ticket on, pet water bowl, that will go in a rucksack. 

So, I took the cover off the duvet and washed it, even though it wasn’t dirty and there was not much of a doggy smell  .  Finlay had a sniff of the bed, and duly did the round, and round and round bit, before settling down.

So, a nice find for us , but I keep wondering if there someone trundling up the cut, crying, and what happened  to their pet ????.

  Stopped at the Poachers Pocket last night(PUB).  Not bad.

Once in Wales, and just after we came out of a tunnel, Mick and I sang Men of Harlech to our chums following behind.  Well we don’t know the words so we “dee-dee-deed” it. We followed this with “there’ll be a welcome in the hillside”.  Our friends were appreciative and so was a bloke, who came out of his boat to conduct us. I reckon he was a Taff.  I asked if he liked it and he gave us a thumbs up.

Loads of bunnies and squirrels and buzzards.

We are now at Llangollen Basin for 2 days( that’s all you is allowed).  £6 per day and that includes leccy and water.

I am off to the Horseshoe Falls tomoz( Sunday).  Looks like I am going on my own. Its 4 mile round trip.  I don’t even think I will take Finlay, as its too much for him these days.

No walking on this side. Well I suppose there are some numpties that would.

A pic of a cat for Chris.  Can you see the doggy in the window?  I wonder how much he is ????
Don't look down Finlay

Flying the Lincolnshire flag in Wales. ooooo errrrr

Thursday, 10 May 2012

SHORT post today.  we are hoping to move off towards Chirk tomorrow. ANYWAY, I woke up at about 5am, and lay there. I opened the window, and waited.  No, no footsteps of the Phantom Pot Plant Pincher( Melva, thats really good ). So I have ammended my thoughts to it being a narrowboater coming back from the pub.  so, I will now cast a beady eye over all the bloats or even boats that we meet, just to see if I can see my wee pot.
 Its warmer today, but not as warm as Spain. ! Tch Tch.

Oh, and Finlay is feeling better.  We caught him sitting under a picnic table on the moorings eating fag buts. or is it butts? and yesterday he was reet poorly. However, it may have passed on through as he is more the ticket today.

Tesco, here has mucked up again.  They are knocking out 6 litre bottles of water for 52p. !!!! Loads of folks are buying water at this price, and I said to Mick "quick, give us 52p and I will get us some".  then Mick pointed out that we get our water FREE on t'canal.  DOH. !

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Monday we left Grindley Brook.  Bought 2 x BW Poop Out Cards @ £14.75 each. Last time we bought them they were a tenner. See?  Prices are going up even for the most basic of things. !!!!

Pretty cruise to Ellesmere.  Th e last time we were here we had some tw…. Numpties trying to steal Mick’s fishing rod off the top of the boat, without success.  This time though, the sub-humans stole my plantpot. That was all set up with freesias and bizzy lizzies.   . They see something, want it, and take it. !  I heard footsteps at about 6am, ish.  So I guess someone going to work.  I plan to be up and awake tomoz morning, just to see. And I will challenge them, but I will apologise if I get it wrong.

Anyway on a lighter side. 4 of us trawled off into Tesco, and as we arrived at the Reduced section, the young employee there, starting trying to get us to buy pizza, reduced to £1.08.  I pointed out that they were only reducing it by about 25p. “ How about 50p?” says I.  “ ooh, I dunno about that, lets see”. “ ok, how about 75p?”. He says “ will 72p be acceptable?”   “Very”, says I.  and by this time, we had an audience and they were all buying rather nice( as it turns out) pizza for 72p.. Our travelling chum, Kieth had bought his at the first price, so came rushing back to get another price ticket on it. !!!!

Also, the last time we were here, there is a lovely, deli cum cake shop cum bakery. That was doing a deal of …..1lb of double back bacon + 6 floury baps……oh please, grow up. !   for £2.80.  and they were doing it again. !   so we have all had a floury bap stuffed with bacon for lunch.  With brown sauce, of course. !

I like Ellesmere, (apart from that git who stole my plant), its like being on the set of Gavin and Stacey.  I even heard, now you may not believe this, but I heard someone say “whats Occurring?” and the other phrase that Uncle Bryn says, but I have forgotten it, damn. !

Jan and Keith’s( NB Salamander)  wee washing machine blew up last week, but again we had a result.  We saw a 2ndhand shop and found them a 2nd hand machine that had been used just a couple of times .  As I say we all happy, but not with that git who stole my plant pot.  And the weather could be better.  Its raining again. But hey ho.  Bring on tomorrow morning.  I’m gonna get ‘im. !!!   grrrhhhh. I will set my rotweiler on him. !   and then I will set Finlay on him. !!!!

bird having a bath, just in case you not sure what it is. !!!

So we are not to enjoy ourselves, then ?