Wednesday, 30 June 2010

some pictures

Instead of talking of visitors I thought I would let you see what we are up to and the places we go.

Waking up to a view like this everyday

Devils Garden Mooring

Frodsham Viaduct

Weaver Navigation

5.30am waking to a mist on the water

Sun set at Vale Royal

5 boats in Vale Lock

Old Tug in Hunts lock

Moored at Hunts Lock

Have a nice day


Sunday, 27 June 2010

Great Weekend

Thomas's fish best of the weekend

This is a nice Bream from last week

Hi what a great weekend

We thought we had left the heat and sun behind in Australia but today it has been as hot here as any we had over there. "By ek its ot" This weekend we had the company of Mat, Lorraine and Thomas this wekend,
The mooring here in Nothwitch is fantastic the shops are only mins away, as is the water and pump out point, the moorings are safe and quiet, we have just done a weekend no trouble sat night and no problems when England lost to Germany. Also the fishing is quite good. So all in all its been a very good weekend.
The tepmerature at night has been unbearable we have had to have all the hatches open on the boat now there are not many moorings were I would feel safe enough to do that. I am not complaining about the weather though its very nice to be able to sit out side, drink, eat and fish untill 22.30, without even a shirt on "but that fish slime makes a mess on the hairs on my chest". Talking of fish Thomas caught the biggest of the weekend, much to the anoyance of his dad; though with the looks on their faces I do not know who was the proudest Matthew or Thomas.
We are now going to get some deisel top up with water and then head on up to hunts lock until thursday when we will return here so Noreen can go to the hospital for a check up on her arm.

Be good be kind

God Bless


Friday, 18 June 2010

Bad Day

the crew

Thanks to Marjorie and Geoff for helping with the last six locks through Middlewich Marjorie dropped Geoff off at the boat then took Noreen off for a trip around town. Geoff and I managed the last locks that seemed to be endless because of the amount of canal traffic we had to queue at every lock. we eventually managed to get to big lock which is the last one before Wigan here we met the girls for a well earned pub lunch
You all must have had one of these days, Before I set out in a morning I normally have a vague Ida of what I would like to achiev to be or even do. today I had mainly three objections one to get a pump out, two get down onto the Weaver, three arrive at the very nice caravan site we stayed at last year. Object number one, set out early 07.30 in order to get the pump out and arrive on the mooring for going down to the Weaver by 09.00 The pump out station was out of order "again" this I thought would no be a problem as we can get a pump out at Northwich on the Weaver. So having nothing to do we arrived at the mooring for the lift an hour early, eventually we were ushered onto the lift though the boat we were going down with was 5 mins late more hanging around, we were directed as usual into the chamber only to be told that the electrician had been checking things out and done something wrong now the whole thing was out of action.
it took 90mins to discover that a fuse had blown, now every one knows that electrics are not my forte but come on a bloody fuse. Also you all know that I am an affable type of chap and will talk to anyone however we shared the lock with some Australian woman who insisted on giving me a potted history of the English canal system and guides on how to handle my boat. I had this for the hour we were stuck in the lift, But you will be very proud of me as I did not tell her to shut her big Aussie Gob as she was talking a load of sh---- So we were now eventually going to get
Now that sounds bad against all my Australian friends Who are some of the most generous, helpful, unassuming people on this planet but you always get the bad apple spoiling it for the rest just like our binge drinkers in Spain, the world has all Brits as beer swilling slobs just because of a few. Now moving and away from Mrs Matilda and her runaway mouth.
As there are no speed limits on the weaver I left Anderton at a breakneck speed, hoping to get a pump out at Northwich. It now no longer exists, by this time I was on top note ready to explode, We now had two locks to negotiate which we did without incident.
We motored on to the caravan site and arrived about 3.30pm only to find that it had not only gone down hill in the past year but almost disappeared the beautiful manicured lawns had now become toilets for the geese which meant walking around the mooring was like walking on an ice rink Anyway here we are and to be honest I am too tired to be bothered moving.

I have had one of those days you want to forget.

Some pics of our last crew member's I could not get on last time

Be good


Monday, 14 June 2010

Birmingham to Wolverhampton

Hi Again
At last we are out of the midlands, Noreen and I set off on our own to do the 14 miles and three locks to Wolverhampton, quite an easy trip wide canal and easy to handle locks even single handed. by doing this it meant that when Danny and Rach join us at Wolverhampton we would have gained a day and the three days they are with us we can make Nantwich.
Staying two days in Wolverhampton was a bit of an experience, trying to find the supermarket was the hard part, normally we just ask the first person we see however in Wolverhampton trying to find an English speaking person was harder than finding the shop Noreen even tried pointing at this woman's Salisbury's bag and throwing her had (she can only use one) air in a gesture of unknowing bewilderment but even that had no response I tried my best Russian and Swahili but that didn't work But as usual I would have to ask the English speaking man who was a complete nerd and insisted on giving us a potted history of the place whilst guiding us through a labyrinth of alleyways, but it did find us a supermarket.
Danny and Rach joined us on Saturday night (whilst waiting for them at the station I was propositioned But I said even though I was flattered I was two weeks behind at home and would have to decline her offer)
Sunday morning we were up early and hit the first locks with a Noreen in charge of her second novice crew we were going great guns at 7 mins a lock until we hit lock 12 when the BW man told us the pound was empty and we would have to slow down whist he got some water down, that was the only real incident on the trip except for the afternoon rain that came down in buckets eventually I gave up, we moored up just the other side of Norbury had a lovely dinner and then went fishing Rach caught her first fish and then another 7 a very pleasant evening.
Again today was a early start but it has worked out well as we have got an early finish added to the fact I can get on the Internet her. We are now just below the Audlem flight which we will in he morning then it is on into Natwich a very remarkable three days sail.
Noreen's arm is becoming a Bone of contention as she keeps trying to use it so we are having a few altercations over it not long now before the pot is off.

Keep smiling


Pic to Follow

Maryanne with all the work infront of her

Old Broken Wing

This is out of date it was wrote when we were in Birmingham but now we are just outside Nantwich I will do a catch up tonight (hopefully)

Warwick to Birmingham

Right we are back in Birmingham
Maryanne arrived on Friday in fact I just realised that she has become our “Girl Friday”
We pulled out of our of our long stay mooring in Warwick with some sorrow for we had made some nice friends there who either walk their dog or kids to school, and our now friends over at Kate Boats, But onward now to Birmingham this is a journey of 30 miles and 51 locks which in canal language is 30+51=81 81over 3= 27 hrs we did it in 20 knocking of 7hrs not bad and I did not break the speed limit (the canal is so shallow you couldn’t)
I want to sing my praise to our, when starting out novice crew yet on completion experienced crew Maryanne she has been promoted to first mate. It was a long and grueling trek, yesterday was the better of the two days as we went through some very nice country and the Hatton flight of 23 locks are very very nice. We also joined up with another boat crewed by a girl about Maryanne’s age which made the flight a lot easier than doing it by yourself. Noreen insisted on doing her bit and managed to give instruction and swing open the lock gates, these need a certain knack of balancing weight against water a knack learnt from swinging hundreds of gates.
We stayed last night at a place called Catherine-de-Barnes this sits on the outskirts of Solihull, which to us is on the outskirts of no return. I remember going through here on the way out it is definitely hostile country or as we use to say in Ireland Bandit country.
To that end I decided to get a very early start and as the first locks were 2 hours away I set off at 06.30 leaving the rest of the crew a few hours extra kip, like all generals I was very pleased that my battle plan worked and caught all the little scrotes sleeping Saturday off and we had a clear run. Though I do despair BW (with the help of my license fee) have made an excellent job of providing the inhabitants of Solihull a though fare of green natural history full of fauna and flora for all to enjoy. Yet the inhabitants of this fare town seem to have lost the idea of this beauty that has been bestowed upon them, it has become a place to let you Dog Sh—anywhere it wants, a place to discard that old arm chair or loose leave table, mattresses and why take cans, bottles, oil drums, chip trays, and plastic bags home when the good old BW has provided you with such a huge depository for them. It is a pity we missed the Solihull festival of throwing the Christmas tree in the cut Oh what a colourful occasion that must be. I thank the inhabitants of this crappy place for making me stop three times to clear the Prop of bloody rubbish. Oh if you have recently lost a cat, dog, chicken, favorite parrot you will no doubt find it floating upside down in the grand union canal Solihull. Though saying all that this state of affairs is only aprox 3 miles out of the thirty traveled.
Yet here we are only 15 miles away from that pit called Solihull in the centre of Birmingham that is clean, save and very lively. Two worlds apart
The last set of locks coming into Birmingham had been painted overnight, which meant you could not get anywhere near them without getting covered in paint, the quote of the day was the lock keeper saying to Maryanne “do you always have wet paint on your trousers or is that off the locks” Next move is to make Wolverhamton on our own single handed I only have three locks but this will give us three days of Danny and Rach and that should then get us through to Nantwich which will be great.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Broken wing

Noreen seeing the funny side (I wish I could)

Catastrophic News

Noreen was away at school camp this weekend Teaching the arts of Canoeing, Abseiling, Orienteering, Gorge walking and the more realistic of craft of,, Wrist Breaking! or Practical First Aid
Yes, Noreen has managed to break her wrist. Apparently, Noreen was just walking through a stile when she slipped on wet grass and that was that, one broken Wrist. Having been carried off to the hospital and being covered in plaster she, like the stalwart, she is carried on and came home with the kids yesterday. Matthew brought her back to the boat last night; we considered that the train journey would just be too much even for Noreen.
So now Noreen is know as broken wing or the Kentuckian.
It will take at least 6 weeks before Noreen can use the wrist to any degree, so we have decided to return to base and maybe go out again towards the end of the summer. Now this throws up even more problems it takes two to crew the boat. Oh I know all you boaters will be saying you can do single handed, and I have done locks by myself. However with a knee that will not bend climbing in and out of locks is not the safest way to travel and I do safety first. To that end Maryanne is coming to crew us back to Birmingham and then Danny and Rachel are coming to crew us beyond Wolverhampton after that we will have to see.
Noreen has a hospital appointment on Friday they will decide then if it needs plating or not, so keep your fingers crossed. Hanging around in Warwick is not so bad it is a very nice place to be hold up so we will just have to make the best of it. I am doing the best I can looking after Noreen, the cooking, cleaning, shopping, Ironing, Washing and boat maintenance, But I will cope, I can here you all now saying or-----r poor little bugger.

So! if anyone wants a few days’ holiday on the good ship Buggerlugs and feel like doing it bit of crewing and doing a few locks give us a ring, all I can offer is bloody good food and drinks

I will keep you all informed of Noreen’s progress

Keep her in your prayers