Saturday, 21 July 2018

Dashing Home

Hi all

We are on the Weaver and getting some fishing in as well as plenty of R&R However that was the plan it has all now changed. It is expected now that the Leeds and Liverpool is being closed from Wigan to Gargrave what they have not said and what I cannot find out is if the locks going through Wigan are to be closed. SO tomorrow we  have booked a passage up the lift off the Weaver then we head for home with any luck we should be through Wigan before any closures. I will miss a week on the Weaver Thomas is coming tonight and he was going to work the boat on the weaver now he will have to work it on the canal as a "flyboat man" luckily we have no locks until Wigan so we should make good headway
I am not sure what is going to happen but I will keep everyone informed
God Bless


Weaver is still a beautiful Place (maybe next year )

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Birthday

Hi
Well that's it heartbreak hill over and done with Noreen and I have only one lock to do (small 3 inch drop of the stop lock at Preston Brook before we get to Wigan.
We are now heading for Anderton  and the river weaver where we are looking forward to a lot of catching up with visitors.
The trip down Heart break hill was relatively easy everyone was helping each other and being very courteous which made the task so much easier not quicker but easier. Even when we arrived at Wheelock mooring where there was room for our 60ft boats moved back and forward to get us in, that's how boating use to be its very nice to see that boaters are getting back to the essence of boating and managing to leave all the rushing, panicking, stress and worry behind and just enjoying life
I had a great Birthday yesterday our Kieth and Carol came to help celebrate my Birthday and in true Hodgkinson  fashion Kieth and I had a frivolous  oaps afternoon in a gudgeon catching competition (Gudgeon are the smallest fish in the canal) but its something we use to do as kids and there is nothing in the book of living that's says sensibility comes with old age why should we be sensible and stoic just because we are showing a few signs of age our skin might be getting a few wrinkles but the rest is still ready to plays stupid games and LAUGH
After our competition we all went for dinner then back to the boat for bed time drinks I do believe that Kieth is getting a liking for the Port
Now as I said tomorrow we get to Anderton then Thurs we hit the weaver Thurs we have Matthew, Friday we have Maryanne and the kids and Sat Thomas joins us for a week the first of his big break before starting Big School. then we start the trip home the slow trip home
God Bless
Heartbreak hill on the Trent & Mersey canal starts as yo leave the Harecastle Tunnel and consists of 24 Paired narrow locks that means that every set of locks has two locks one on the right and one on the left it can get confusing to the first visitor to these locks but I always tell people to use the most convenient one. and always check what other boats are doing More confusion is caused by not all the sets have two locks as some have been filled in instead of being repaired probably in the 50s
Its a very unique system and works wonderfully well I can imagine when the canal was in full swing there was a system and it would have speeded up the journey of boats heading to and from the Weaver   

Friday, 13 July 2018

Relaxing few day

Hi Eeveryone

We have been moored up for a couple of days in Tixall wide, I am not sure what tixall wide is or was, its just a great wide opening in the canal its like being on a lake Its very popular with boaters who want a few quiet days to clean the boat down, knock off all the dust and do any repairs. which is what we did. we also caught the bus into Stafford, its an Arriva bus so one does have say a few Hail Mary's and carry your St Christopher as they can be a little scary, we went primarily to get some bait for fishing looking on the map it was only about a 1 mile walk to the shop from the bus station however these on line maps are not all that accurate are they? in fact it was a good half hour walk we eventually found the bloody place, only to walk through the door and here a voice shout if its maggots you want we have sold out (S----) was the only reply I could think of. Still it was a nice walk through the back streets of Stafford. Stafford is one of those towns that has a centre but that's all it has unlike Stone which is where we had dinner last night Stone still retains many of its old features and any new builds have been sympathetically built making it a very pleasant little town.
We are now only doing 4/6 locks and 8/10 miles a day as the canal in very quiet so we are taking it easy. though after Harecastle Tunnel we are on Heartbreak hill which is a bit of a gruel but its soon over its only 26 locks in 8 miles but to pro's like us its a doddle
We are now moored in Trentham where I had my big Birthday party last year. Tomorrow we will make the Harecastle Tunnel  and wait until Sunday to go through first thing. We are waiting on news of two locks that have been put out action by being struck by a boat they are at the moment still out of use we need them to get repaired soon.
Those are our very loose plans We don't really like plans as when they go which inevitably they do you have to start again planning. we like the more relaxed approach, I know when we need fuel water and pump out they do have to be planned within a few day. its not that we are laid back we are just very relaxed.


Tixall wide in the morning mist

Tixall hall no derelict



Monday, 9 July 2018

Black Country Museum

The Black Country Museum

We decided to call in to the black country museum which is turn right at the top of the Tipton.
Really heavy and this even with full power we were just moving we cracked on but now with the engine overheating and the weed getting thicker plus were  only about a mile away so I decided to call a halt to the weed cutting exercise and just moor up which is what we did. the following day we walked up to the Museum and had a great day its well worth a visit the chip shop is especially good cooking with lard and fresh cut chips even with temp of 28 they still tasted extremely good
The following day we were ready to set off to Wolverhampton a place I cannot say I enjoy. We needed some supplies so we went into town and I must admit I struggled as the place was full of screaming football fans. Sorry to football supporters  but I just don't get it Nobody wants England to win more that me but to go screaming through the street like that anybody would think they scored the bloody goal personally why get drunk because someone scored a bloody goal. the police were at it all night sirens screaming so called fans puking everywhere WHY can some fan of this stupid game explain it to me,
The next morning we decided to start early as the day was going to be another very hot one so at 06.30 we pushed off and hit the locks there are 21 in total we had a very good run and by 11.30 we were already moored up at Autherley Junction with the Wolverhampton flight of locks behind us, we join the Staffs and Woster canal a very pretty canal lots of twists and turns but as I said very beautiful I have always like this canal,
We are now moored up at Gailey on our way to Great Haywood where we rejoin the Trent and Mersey canal.
I have just had my best evenings fishing with a bag full of big Bream just a lucky evening

God Bless everyone  


BLACK COUNTRY MUSEUM


No email then

Noreen found the Old Bakery

Now this is a SHOP I could spend all day in here

And of course the 1900 Chippy

Nice Bream 21.00hrs

Thursday, 5 July 2018

ANOTHER GRULING DAY

Well that was hard work!  If anybody tells you that cruising is easy just send them to me
It started so easy, lie in left the last location by 09.00 heading for a pump out, that I had already booked at Shearbourn Warf which you would think would be situated in Shearbourn Wharf but oh no this is Birmingham after squeezing Buggerlugs though the narrow passageways into the wharf only to be informed that the pump out had moved and is now is relocated on the main line (the Main Line is a canal that is wide enough to get the QE2 down, anyway this now meant that Buggerlugs had to put a TUTU do a pirouette and return through the same passage we had just come down
After that all was great the Main Line is a lovely big wide canal with lots of tradition and history we worked our way up to Tipton locks here there are three the only ones before the Wolverhampton flight, By now I had noticed that the canal was getting very shallow and after dropping Noreen off to start the lock it happed, One big thump and we were attached to the bottom  it took us half an hour to shift her, after freeing her and getting into the first lock the next two were not as difficult. however on leaving the last lock we had to do a very sharp left turn down the Dudley canal towards the boat museum which now we will walk to tomorrow because the canal is so thick with string  weed and lilies travel ia very difficult with overheating engine and propeller  blocked with weed
All this was accomplished in the hottest day here yet by 2,30 we were knackered and decided that enough is enough,, I had managed to get us turned around and ready to return so tomorrow we are walking o the museum its safer
However that may sound horrendous but its all in a days boating it keeps us fit


There are some narrow bits which are really narrow
but who cares its a nice day


this is how badly weeded it is
even my jungle training is no use in this

now this is easy cruising



Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Birmingham

Hi
Well as the last bog said we climbed up the Hatten flight and managed to get the Buggerlugs squeezed into Lyons Boat Yard that was last Saturday Maryanne collected us Sunday dropping us off at Fettlers Wharf to collect the car, we spent three days at a Travel Lodge in Blackburn  soaking in a bath its strange when we lived in the cottage I very rarely had a bath it was always showers but to just simply lie and relax well it was very nice spent lots of time with Thomas and watching him play Cricket baby at the Pippa and Zac weds and Thurs funeral Friday which I may say was a very nice one hundreds of people to give Russ a really good send off `Sat we baby sat the kids again even took them to the zoo there must have been thousands there all complaining that the animals weren't out I tried explaining to one irate lady who said "its otter that this were they come from" I did point out that most animals in here were born here and not use to the extreme heat she went away muttering about stupid people, well maybe I am.
Now we are back on Buggerlugs we brought her into Birmingham on Monday but then we both went down with a tummy bug its now Weds and it looks like we are over it anyway out for an Indian tonight that should sort the men from the Boys
Now unfortunately we have to go to another funeral next Tue its a friend of ours from  Church we are hoping to find a secure spot to leave Buggerlugs and get a hire car for the day its only 2/3 hours from here which is only a 24 hr hire.
after that we are still just toddling along no rush just enjoying the weather, Though I am getting more and more anxious about loosing any more water out of the canal its now very low and I am wondering where the first stoppage will be  I hope its near a pub and  Aldi

Just returned from dinner remember I said we were off to have an Indian well we just come back from the Handmade Burger Co Noreen's choice cant say  much as they had ran out of chips nobody had taught the Chef? how to peel spuds I offered but was refused access to the kitchen (WHY)
Anyway this is a great place to stop over as food sellers are everywhere and by 11 its all over and everyone is in bed.

Speak soon
Buggerlugs

         

    

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

What a Day

Hi

Well as the title says what a day, It all started quite normal with a  good 07.45 start a quick cruise to the first locks that are about a mile from the main section of the Hatten flight what normally happens is you hang around until another boat arrives then you go together as I said yesterday it saves water and lightens the load. as we arrived at the bottom lock we were caught up by a young guy who asked if he could go along with us, he also said he had never done locks before and he was single handed. Well I must admit Noreen and I were not excited about doing the flight with a rooky as they are hard enough with experience crew But everyone has to learn and as far as locks are concerned you couldn't get a better teacher than Noreen things went fairly well for the first lock but it was very slow I offered to butty the two boats and take them through leaving him free to do the locks with Noreen. This he declined as he wanted the experience which we both agreed he deeded on the forth lock out of 22 he decides to inform us he is only going to lock 5 Noreen took it in her stride I hit the roof and explained that he should have informed us of that fact at lock 1 then we could have waited for a boat going the whole way Now we have to do the rest all 18 of them on our own thereby wasting water and doubling our work load. Anyway we parted having taught him the etiquette of locking. now the first five took 75 mins making about 15min a lock the next 18 we averaged 9 min a lock  but at top lock there is a little cafe where we had to get lunch and a brew but we were very proud of ourselves Now we at a few miles further on watching  Holby City
We have also managed to get a birth in a marina whilst we go back home where we are needed. It just so happens to be the same boat yard that Noreen stayed at when I was in Hospital in Birmingham quite Bizzar really Buggerlugs always ends up there in a crisis However they are great people and have remained friends ever since Noreen's enforced stay I have course remember nothing about that stay the first 10 days I was in a comma you should try that best sleep I have ever had it should be given free on the NHS ???
All things considered we should be in there by Sat Morning


The horrifying view of the Hatten flight from half way point