Wednesday, 19 July 2017

On familiar ground


Well I do hope that someone is reading this although its great therapy for me, its like writing a diary though I have never been disciplined enough for that, I have tried many a time but after a few days it becomes boring. however just like this it does give you a chance to reflect on what you have done and importantly what you have not done.
My Birthday was a brilliant weekend We moored in a place called Trentham just outside Stoke on Trent  (if anyone 10 years ago said I would celebrate my 70th in Stoke on Trent I would never have believed them)  all the kids and Grandkids came they they all stayed in the hotel in Trentham gardens which is a very nice country park supplying all our needs for a big family weekend
I have said it before that God gives us Grandchildren as compensation for getting old. Prior to my birthday I have never felt 70 but after a weekend with three full on grandchildren I Did

In my engine room I have two of those boxes you can get from IKEA that have many little draws. Mine has a rather a large bottom draw that I have filled with nothing but junk, old discarded keys,  a wrist badge of rank, 7.62 shell cases, a SS gunners badge, champagne cork, Rabbit snare, whistle, paint brush, half pens, You get the picture well when Matthew was very young he always made a be line for it and would spend hours rooting though and asking "whats this" now me being me I would always give a story for each item Now Pippa has found the box and is doing the very same thing though she is very astute and I must tell the same story every time for each item otherwise I am told off for deviating from the original.
We have left the Midlands now and well on our way hope, To escape the Midlands you have to take the boat down what is called Heartbreak hill this just a section if the Trent & Mersey canal Noreen and I did 40 locks between Stoke on Trent and Middlewhich It also entails going through the notorious Harecastle Tunnel  which is a 25 min trip in complete darkness. Now before entering the tunnel you must check all your equipment lights, horn etc  Ti my horror the head light would not work I tried everything but soon realised that it was a dead duck I do carry one of these large rechargeable lamps that I normally keep with me at the back "just in Case" well its time had arrived to step into the breach it was hurriedly strapped to the cratch beam convincing the safety officer who allows you into the tunnel that everything would be fine Knowing full well I had no real idea how this emergency set up would work as you cannot test a lamp functionality in day light
So off we go now to test the light you have to go at least 50 metres into the tunnel before you can set it here we go with Noreen on my instructions twitching it left right higher Lower we managed between us to get a light I could steer by with every light on the boat on and me steering with a small torch in my mouth we made it Now in the past with the correct lighting I have managed to knock off a chimney however with this improvised lighting we made it without touching the side once. On exiting the tunnel we had the biggest high five every boaters waiting to go through must have thought us two old crack pots instead of two very relieved boaters.  

This weekend are on the River Weaver, We go down the lift tomorrow on Friday Maryanne will bring Maurine (Noreens friend ) who will be staying with us until we reach Manchester that should be next Friday where we will then pick up Thomas as its the second week of the School hols

It could be that I have now reached that 3 score years and Ten that I have nothing to rant about Maybe just Maybe I have reached that mellow time in my life BUT I hope not its good to get things off your chest, clear the air and to try and see the funny side of everything maybe that's my military black humour but if you believe that everything has a reason then why not find a funny side.

Noreen have also   decided that before we return to Fettlers we should take another trip into Liverpool so today I have booked our passage for the 11th Aug we have been to so many places we are now required to do revisits this does mean that I know the way and don't get as lost.

Please take the time to write a comment as I said it is therapy for me but to know that someone else is enjoying it Now that was a bit presumptuous expecting that you ENJOY reading it

God Bless

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Time to Relax


Well our Keith and Carol have been and gone, We had a great time as we pulled into Barton Turn Marina we had lovely visitors moorings right outside the pub, Yes a pub on the marina it also has a shopping esplanade containing Butchers, deli, various ladies shops (non that actually sold ladies} three eating places and a cinema So as you can imagine it was a hectic few days, We did however manage to fit in a trip to the National Arboretum  memorial I always go when in the area just to visit old friends Kieth and Carol both find it quite moving. no matter who you are even if you have never had anything to do with the forces I can guarantee that a member of your family will be remembered in there, there is everything from Land girls, trawler men, Miners, Fire service, Ambulance service, Police every walk of life is represented in some way well worth a visit to  reflect just how many people look after us and the great nation,

We are now on the homeward leg, we have rested up over the weekend in Rugeley  where it is only two mins walk to Morrisons, Tesco, and Aldi with the town inly five mins walk its a boaters stop over there are boats coming and going all day all picking up essential supplies.
We had a day away from the boat today we visited Lichfield Cathedral However to get there we travelled on the bus. not such a daunting task I hear you say But I do believe a way of gaining world dominance in formular One racing, all we have to do is send all our up and coming drivers to the Ariva school for bus drivers each one of these racing drivers in charge of a bus of thirty people have scored highly in the academy of maniacs. Our "driver" today was a dower Scott who was intent in breaking all records from Rugely to Lichfield to do so he when at a hair raising speed between stop as this was NOT an express there was quite a lot of stop this entailed the "driver" coming from 60pmh to a dead stop in a matter of 100yards, After the first emergency stop I realised the most of the passengers were regular travellers on these buses because everyone held on to the seat in front like grim death and nobody stood up to get off until the bus actually STOPPED, this of course saved them from being catapulted through the wind scene On finally arriving at Lichfield (5 minutes early)
I thanked the driver and asked did he do Rally Car at the weekends. He did say something in his native Glaswegian tongue but to an Englishman it was lost in translation but I got the drift.
Lichfield is a lovely city with quaint arcades and shops wonderful building going right through the ages But we were there to see the Cathedral it isn't the biggest in the country or the most spectacular but it does have a charm in its compactness. Today however they were getting ready for a performance tonight. it is a performance by a Deaf Percussionist She plays is quite famous and apparently her performances are legendary BUT I went to see the cathedral and as half was blocked off being prepared for the evenings entertainment and the fact that this lady was actually practicing. Now don't get me wrong I am not one for complaining BUT there were people n there who just wanted a bit of peace and solitude I wanted to relax and reflect in a place of calm Not to listen to a drum kit get the shit kicked out of it!!!!!
Anyway the rest of the day went well we even found the tackle shop and got some Maggots, Weatherspoons provided us a very nice lunch then it was time for the return journey, waiting at the bus station the Ariva stage coach pulled up the doors opened and YES you got it the Dower Scott Driver as I placed my bus pass on the scanner our eyes met and I got the message "if you coming was bad see what I can do with this trip"" it was only 3.00pm so the bus was quite empty all I can say is Phewwww Noreen of course blames it all on me for having a go in the morning I accepted her criticism and bowed my head in shame

Tomorrow we set for Stoke on Trent  and eventually home

God Bless

Barton Turn Marina

Barton Turn Marina

Lichfield Cathedral

National Arboretum Memorial

The Masonic Garden of remembrance at the Arboretum
Barton turn marina
The Waterfront Bar