Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Well we have been back five days and it has been non stop the weekend was busy with visitors and taking Tom to church on Sunday yesterday our Keith came bearing gifts Carol has made some great covers for the top box and Ladder rack Keith stayed for a few days fishing, you can see the results of that on the pics below, Mat also came yesterday he too was bearing gifts in the shape of a piece of perspex I am turning into a window for the hatch. and today we had Bob and Katie visit us, Boaters we met doing the Wigan flight. So as you can see nothing changes we are still as busy as ever.
Speak soon
Big Al

Thomas helping us moor up we could not have done it without him

Keith trying out the fishing on the new mooring Ghost Carp 5lb

Nutters Row our new mooring

Friday, 25 September 2009


We are back

The nights are drawing in, the trees are changing colour, there is a different smell as dawn breaks, the Rowan trees are heavy with berries, there is a bumper crop of sloe fruit on the Hawthorn (this normally means a very cold winter ahead) all the harvest is in and the fields are full of stubble or ready ploughed. Many birds are now on the migration trail or fattening up for the winter days ahead. This is the countryside as I see it; changing and putting on its winter coat. So must Buggerlugs get ready for the winter.
As you guessed we are now back in our moorings in Rufford having had a great six months out on the water. It has also been great to share our adventures with you; those of you who have joined us and those who have followed us on the blog. We have met some wonderful people on the way and had some great laughs. On reflection I didn't think it would be a physically hard as it has been or maybe I wasn't as fit as I thought I was, Noreen has fared much better than I have and she is fitter now than when we started out.
The Boat or the Bugger as she is know now really needs a good going over we have lots to do before tripping off to Australia in November so we will not be idle for the next few weeks.
Other news is that we have moved our mooring we are still at Fettlers wharf but now we are on "Nutters Row" tucked in the corner on the left, We have always wanted this mooring and Alan has graciously give it to us. ring when you get here for directions.

Thanks for staying with us on the blog. I thinking of doing the same from Australia what do you think? please let me know via the comments if you would like a blog from Aus.

Just a few facts from our trip for you to ponder over

Miles Canal 702
Miles River 52
Locks unmanned 373
Locks Manned 6
Tunnels 16
Swing Bridges 91
Guests 42

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey & Little Bollington

We have just had two days walking in the Cheshire country side walking through the woods and exploring the local area, it’s a place I am not that familiar with so I had to use a map now there’s a first. The area is lovely and I was able to do a bit of coppicing and gather some walking stick staffs for witling through the cold winter nights “ oh sorry I wont be here will I, silly me”
Dunham Massey is a lovely park and house 18-c, it belongs to the National Trust so you have pay however the car park is cheap and that gets you in to the grounds and deer park but with all NT if you want to tour the house and Gardens you have to pay again. I know a bloody rip off but all the NT is.
We walked from there to the little hamlet of Little Bollington were there is a nice pub serving very good food “The Swan with two Nicks” but next door is the real little treasure that could be easily overlooked, it's a old world country farm house just opened as a B&B and tea rooms absolutely beautiful the type of place you would take your granny or favorite aunt the food is good the ambiance is wonderful the setting is fantastic and the people wonderful and charming. Next week they will be starting Sunday lunches that sound excellent. As you all know I do not give out recommendations out for eating establishments but this guy knows what he is talking about. Everything about the place is quality the bedrooms have four posters its well worth a visit.
So! it’s called the Ash Farm Country House in Little Bollington Cheshire For Boaters reading the blog; 26A Bollington underbridge on the Bridgwater canal walk up towards the village about 250 yards. Keep right at the folk.

Thats all for now we are spending the weekend in Stretford with Tom & Shirley then its off to Rufford and we should be in the mooring by Thurs

Speak again from Fettlers Warf.

Ash Farm

Off the Weaver

Here we are again

I have already given you a rundown on the past ten days on the Weaver However I just thought I would recap. Since Keith and Carol left Noreen and I decided to take it very easy, the weather was great and the river in perfect condition so we spent another 4 days just meandering along the river, I had a slight accident getting on the boat in Northwich that left me with a very bruised rib cage and a scar on my belly which has now started to heal. As I said the river is beautiful, it is one of the loveliest rivers in the country and so quiet. Anyone wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of life should take a few days on the Weaver and recharge the batteries. It was made better by the fact that the kids are back at school and the season is just about finished so it was very quiet with very little traffic.
Most of the river is tree lined and you can now see that summer is coming to an end with the autumnal colours, long shadows, migrating birds and misty mornings. I have tried to capture the scenes on camera but you can never do it justice you cannot capture the early morning mist with the smell and the silence it is sometimes just magical one of the great moments of boating. One of the reasons why we love it.
We are now off the river we have come up the boat lift and are now on our return journey
to Rufford
I will try and download some of the pics but they will not do the river justice but they are with a look

Everyone be good


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Hi Everyone
Here I am again, we are still here at the bottom end of the river weaver we have been here six nights now and its been great, since my last communique our Keith and Carol have been, remember I said we were having our annual fishing competition well we did and I have to report that I lost; not only did I loose but I as out fished, out maneuvered and out classed. our kid deserved the trophy and well won it was. I know you will all be saying How did I loose and it must have astounded you all to think that I could be beat, but everyone has to loose sometime and the Idea is to loose gracefully. the rotten Ba-----
We had a bit of excitement on Tues night, it was howling a gale, Keith said he had seen a narrow boat pass and it had moored in the middle of the flash it wasn't until we met a Anderton hire boat man at the gate saying he had had a distress call from one of his boats saying that they had gone aground on the flash, the Anderton man said he would have to call the helicopter and fire brigade out and the people on the boat would have to pay for it all as they had specific instructions not to enter the flash, anyway it all ended quite quietly as the wind was so strong it blew the boat into deep water were he was able to be instructed on a safe passage out.
We have had a great time the past few days Carol and Keith are great fun and the weather has been fantastic. last night we went out for dinner it was a bit of a ploy really as we have no TV reception here on the boat but the pub did and of course it was England v Croatia last night so we were able to watch that, Now you all know that Noreen is not a fan of football but give her her due she sat as was prepared to watch the match everything was going well until they started showing the replays Noreen started cheering again thinking that England had scored another goal and wonder why it looked the same as the last one. Then of course she had to air her professional views on how the game was progressing and why on earth did we have an Italian Manager. And why could England could afford to loose the next matches and still go through, whats the bloody point in that! she demands, so you can see with Noreen's expertise England will now go on to win the world cup (with her help) Keith and I were glad to leave and leave the pub thinking "who the hell was that"
Tomorrow we are leaving here and heading up river for the weekend not sure were we will just trust to luck on moorings and see were we end up.

Speak soon

Buggerlugs in the mist

Beautiful Autumnal Morning Mist

Keith concentrating on Winning

Carol on Guard

Sunday, 6 September 2009

River Weaver

We are now at the very bottom of the River Weaver on Winsford Flash in fact we are about 2000 yards beyond what the map and BW say is navigable however talking to other boaters they said with and care and the boat in the hands of a good skipper it could be done. and I'm here to prove it. however overnight the flash has lost about 6inch of water which left us high and dry, but with a bit of pushing and shuffling we managed to shift it. and are now afloat again.
On the way down here we had to go through two river locks anyone who has been in a lock with us will wonder at the size of these locks, the last one Hunts lock the lock keeper told me that he can get 16 boats of my size in the lock at one time, we went in on our own I felt very lonely, the rest of the journey was great the weaver is a lovely river its very wide and calm and most of the time is in a valley sheltered from the wind.
Here on the Flash we are moored on a caravan site which is different and a very nice change for us.
We have had Mat Lorraine and Thomas from last night they have just left Thomas is now quite good on the boat and loves the engine room. Mat managed to beat me at the fishing but I will regain the crown next time. Kieth and Carol come on Tues we are fishing for the trophy over two days look for some good news ??????????
Speak soon

How is this for a lock

Some of the other river traffic

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Manchester To Chester

Here we are again

Since my last blog we have had a few guests on board. It started with Maurine she joined us at Preston Brook last Tues and sailed with us through to Chester, that same evening we had a bit of a get together when Silvia, Marjorie, Geoff and Alan came for a few drinks. Setting sail the next morning we headed towards Chester the trip was great, going down the through Middlewich and the Shropshire link were the canal is very pretty, as we are going back the same way I have marked a few interesting spots on the map were we can spend a few days exploring, the weather was kind and we even got a bit of sun. We arrived in Chester on Thurs evening ready for the bank holiday weekend; Chester is a great place for boats because you can moor in the centre of town I found a mooring only 10 yards from the city wall 200 yards from the Cathedral and the same from Tesco and Iceland how good is that. Friday we did the shops and the wall we almost did the cathedral but they wanted 5.00 entrance fee and you know I refuse to pay to enter a house of God, but you will all be pleased to know I did not go off on one and insult everyone or tip up the tables, I just left very quietly. I know Noreen was amazed also. But I made up for it the following morning by having a go at three boats that decided to reverse past us at 7.30am, noisy bloody weekend boaters, well one has to show ones displeasure does’t one.
Saturday we were joined by Maryanne and Ella for the day, Ella did a bit of fishing, Painting, dressing up as a Roman soldier and a bit of shopping. Maryanne Ella and Maurine left by train about 3.30 then at 4.30 Mat Lorraine and Thomas arrived they stayed until Monday evening and we had a great time, Thomas is such a bundle of fun he never stops I think he is powered by those ever lasting Batteries, He is at that stage when he is like a sponge he soaks everything up, and never forgets anything. Noreen and I are now knackered.
It has been a very hectic weekend but well worth the effort I hope everyone has had a good time I know we did. The weather was a bit rough but hey who cares when you have family and friends around.
We are now at Barbridge junction near Nantwich, yesterday we had a day off and walked 4 miles up to the top of Beeston castle the view from the top are fantastic you can see the Welsh mountains the Pennines, the Dee and Mersey estuaries as well as the fast Cheshire plains its was a hard climb getting to the top but well worth it.


Ella doing a bit of fishing and painting
Top of Beeston Castle

One that didn't make it