Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Lunch Again

Eric's tipple as he watched Wales

Eric's watching the Six Nations while I enjoyed  a film for 99p courtesy  of an offer on Google  Play.  I picked ' The Light Between Oceans' a drama about a childless lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue a ship wrecked  baby drifting in a rowing boat. I enjoyed my film. Watching the shambles at the end of the Wales v France rugby  match.......I didn't enjoy that.

Lying in bed listening to the howling wind and hoping the  satellite  dish is still there this morning. We haven't  got anything on the roof other than a boat hook, a pole and a plank anyway. The plank has gone rotten after ten years and will be replaced with a metal one once the boat has been repainted. We keep  stuff that would be stored on the roof in a box made to fit the front of the bow deck by Des who also makes lovely roof boxes. He's currently  at Whixall Marina but begins his travels  in April and needs some work. So if you want a lovely roof box or one for your deck look out for him.

Time to take Ben out for his first wee of the day. I must get showered and dressed ......I don't  want to frighten the neighbours.

We're  off out to lunch at our favourite place 'The Cotton Arms' in Wrenbury. Definitely never fails to please. I wasn't  impressed  with last week's Sunday lunch despite it's good  review, but maybe they were having an off day!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Another Week At Whixall

We've had some lovely warm, sunny days with no coats needed for our dog walks in all the usual places in Shropshire. The work on the Prees branch of the Llangollen Canal is nearing completion, the canal is open although the towpath is currently still blocked by fencing. Walking alongside the River Severn at Quarry Park showed how much rain had come down in the Welsh hills it had covered the pathway in places on the opposite side of the river. We couldn't have a very long walk as the riverside walk was blocked by a locked gate across the footpath due to the water level inches from the level of the pathway. Ben the dog loves being out but sleeps as soon he gets back on board.  

The nights have still been a bit nippy but last night was the first night I just let the fire go out overnight as it was just too warm for me. Just relit it now to warm up a chilly boat. We've had a little walk around the marina first thing and all is quiet. The swans have made a nest and last years seven offspring have finally left the marina. We'll miss their noisy flight practice and occasional thump on the boat roof as they misjudged their landing, until the next brood are ready to learn to fly.

We've had a visit from Chris Jones, the Beta engineer to do a few little jobs including replacing the ten year old gear cable which had gradually got stiffer over the years.  Eric didn't seem to realise how stiff it was but I found it a struggle when I steered the boat. He also checked the fuel again and sucked out 5 litre of fuel to get rid of water at the bottom of the fuel tank due to a failed seal on the fuel filler cap. There was about two litres of water in the fuel he took out and then it was just red diesel, so all ok now.  No sign of the dreaded diesel bug either.

A few weeks to go before we head off to Aqueduct Marina for the paint job so we're clearing anything we won't need and storing it in our onsite storage box, one of the perks of being residential. I sold my bike as it was just sitting there unused taking up space. I didn't feel safe on the country lanes and the towpaths drive you nuts because of punctures. I couldn't ride it with Ben anyway or one of us would have been swimming in the canal.

Have a good weekend, we're off out for Sunday Lunch at The Leaky Tap in Cockshutt with Nick and Liz,  so Ben will be home alone for a couple of hours. I'll have to bring him back a doggy bag!

Thursday, March 02, 2017


Eric celebrated his birthday on Monday the 27th of February, another year older!This photo was taken in Cornwall, I think it was Sennen. We're going there again in April while the boat is having a paint job. and I am really looking forward to it. I'm a bit concerned about the dust and dirt created by shot blasting the exterior of the boat. We'll put away what we can and cover things with plastic dust sheets, No good worrying about it with another month before  it happens.

On Tuesday we had pancakes cooked in my new frying pan so they didn't stick. I used the recipe on Chris Evan's Radio 2 show for easy pancakes and  they turned out fine. Ingredient were easy  200 grams flour; 300 mls milk and two eggs all beaten up so it was lump free. Delicious with lemon juice and sugar too. Eric had golden syrup......he has a sweet tooth! After Ben's walk in Ellesmere by the Mere we had a lazy afternoon listening to the rain washing the outside of the boat.

On Wednesday it was St David's Day so we just had to have homemade  bakestones or Welsh cakes cooked in a heavy iron pan.  We had a walk around Dearnford Lake in the morning with Ben the dog, the sun was shining too.  Ben managed to stay fairly clean other than his muddy feet. We had a coffee in the dog friendly cafe.

Gwen as Betsi Cadwaladr
It's Welsh week in Gwen's school and they are celebrating all things Welsh. Gwen dressed up as Betsi Cadwaladr  a famous Welsh nurse. Lisa took the photograph.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Happy Birthday To Me

Feeling old at Mamma Linas in Rogerstone

Yesterday we started the day with a visit to the  dentist to get a small filling for me, it took a while for the feeling to come back but by lunch time I was fine. I wanted to see the sea which is several hours away from our boaty home in Whixall but not so far from Newport.  We went for a walk on the seafront at Porthcawl. where the waves are usually crashing and  Storm Doris was making them bigger, but the camera phone didn't  really capture that. It was difficult to hold the camera still in the wind so we hid  in a seaside shelter and watched the waves.

Crashing waves at Porthcawl

Gwen at  Porthcawl. ..... it's  cold! 
Ben the dog was certainly having the wind through his fur and we had the wind through our hair. a seaside visit however short wasn't complete without sausage and chips from the chip shop by the park. We waited for them to open and got Ben the dog a sausage too. You could feel the wind on the M4 as Eric drove us back to Newport not that it slowed down the usual speedy drivers.

Lisa and daughter Gwen

Our granddaughters Scarlett and Gwenllian

In the evening we went out for a meal at Mamma Linas in Rogerstone , an Italian restaurant housed in the old Jolly Roger building. Eric remembers standing outside waiting for the school bus as a youngster  while Lisa remembers some time spent in the pub many years ago. The food was delicious and  thanks for a lovely birthday treat. Thanks to Lisa for the photos.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Walk By The River Severn

The crocuses around the monument 
Today we went to the Quarry a recreation area alongside the River Severn. It's  a great place to walk the dog as it's  mud free. There's  a lovely place there called The Dingle where there are lovely flower beds and a small lake with fountains. There's a monument in the gardens to Perry Thrower  who was head gardener. Today  it was beautiful  with  all the crocuses.  There are beds with daffodils, hyacinths and tulip leaves peeping through amongst the flowering yellow polyanthus, so in a few weeks it will be even lovelier.

The children's  play area was busy with shrieks delight. You could hear them before you could see them. During the winter the coffee cabin was missing  but now it's back so Eric  had a  coffee  and a had a very  nice hot chocolate.

Back on the boat the water tank is filling as the wind blows. After all  we're  in windy Whixall.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It's Wednesday

Dearnford Lake, Shropshire 
We'll another week's gone by, it's been  a cold one but it feels a bit warmer today. Monday was surprisingly sunny and we went to see Dearnford Lake. We'd seen the  sign on the Tilstock road but had no idea if we could walk the dog there. Yes we could and the coffee shop even has a dogs allowed section which was full when we went.  From April onwards it's  a wild swimming lake too not that I fancy swimming in cold water. Looking on the Internet  the lake came into  being when a huge hole caused by materials needed for the construction  of the  Whitchurch bypass were extracted. The owners decided to use the whole in the ground. 

Yesterday we did the food  shopping  in Ellesmere where I walked the dog alongside the canal. It was very muddy in places. Eric fancied fish and chips for tea from the chippy in Wem, so we went  to get some at the shop by the Coop. The fish was cooked while we waited and we ate it in the car rather than let it go cold driving back to Whixall.  Ben the dog  had his sausage which was gone in seconds.

Today I need to do some washing and take Ben the dog for a walk. I think I'll go and see what's going on up on the Prees Branch. The canal is now closed for several weeks as the contractors need to use some heavy machinery to knock in the pilings. They haven't  started yet as you can't hear the banging.

The gas cylinder has been smelling all week which tells us it's  going to run out.......usually when it's dark and raining. We have a small spare until we pop to the marina office to get a new big one. It's just moving the satellite dish pole to get into the  the gas locker.

Time for breakfast.  Have a nice day!


Today on the Prees Branch
The big plant has arrived and is now banging the pilings  in.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Snowdrops At Attingham Park in Shropshire

Today we decided to go and walk in Attingham Park hoping the snowdrops  were out in the grounds. They were flowering   and looked beautiful growing naturally  in the woods. Ben enjoyed his walk too. We were glad of our scarves and gloves but Ben was warm enough in his fur coat.