Monday, October 20, 2014

He's In......Ben Falls In!

Back on the boat it felt a  little damp and cold but the heating was soon on and the place warmed up. It felt  strange in bed as I could feel the motion after being on dry land for nearly four weeks. Back to peace and quiet though with no roads or boats going past in the early hours.

In the morning the windows were running with condensation  but the next morning it was drier. I had a mountain of washing so I headed for the laundry in the marina which made light work of it with the large machines and excellent driers. My drier in the washer drier on the boat is definately not as good although I do tend to use the low heat as it doesn't damage anything delicate.

Back to boat maintenance the blacking, repainted tunnel bands looked good but we needed to replace the back door padlock as we had great difficulty getting it open when we got back as we could get it to open and had to borrow a pliers to raise the pin and the key was a bit bent.  As the fridge and freezer had been emptied as we wouldn't be on shoreline in the dry dock we had some shopping to do. We'd only brought something for tea when we came back.

Now last and not least Ben the dog fell in the marina in front of the bow, luckily he had his harness on and was attached to his lead so he was OK although he's heavy so my yells brought Eric to help pull him out. He wouldn't have fallen in if he'd not being trying to get at Whixie the dog on the boat opposite us and tried to cut the corner!  The shivering dog was soon dried off and running down the boat playing ball. He needed a wash so his coat is all fluffy after his dip. He went to sleep near the fire.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Going Home At last To Whixall

The last few weeks have been busy to say the least and I didn't feel I wanted to blog about the problems we've been having in Newport with my dad at the time, so in a nutshell......he's been unwell and had a few bad falls involving hospital visits and a stitched  hand. Add to that numerous doctor's,  hearing aid and optician's appointments as well as mobility problems.Getting him in and out of the car has been a nightmare.He's decided to sell his house so it's now up for sale and an offer made on a nearby bungalow but he doesn't seem to realise it's not a quick process as he's lived in one house since he was three years old and is now eighty seven and has never been involved in the moving process..His ongoing health problems means he could do with some help but  he refuses to have anyone in the house and without his consent nothing can be arranged. Even me who he calls his next of kin rather than his daughter gets shouted at if I try to help him in the house.

Clare and Ben had a lovely honey moon and Ben's made a new pal in Poppy the puppy who constantly gives his big licks. They even curl up together on a blanket on the sofa.She seems to have livened him up and they've enjoyed their morning walks together although we often get in a tangle of leads. I never thought I'd see the day when he'd share food and water bowls although there are two water bowls and two food bowls put down. They even play ball together although Poppy is much faster but lets Ben have it sometimes even though he'd rather just carry it in his mouth. We usually take two balls one for him to carry and one for Poppy to chase after. He's been good for her too as she now goes outside rather than leave a puddle in the kitchen. What we find strange though it that we can be out in a park and Ben waters anything vertical but Poppy doesn't do anything until she gets home to her back garden.

Back to the boat on Friday .....the spiders will have to vacate the premises. Bendy has had her bottom blacked and tunnel bands repainted so she should look a little smarter. I can't see the roof being tackled this year after all. Maestermyn have kept the boat keys for us in Oswestry as we forget to take the spare keys with daft is that! Good job I rang them to tell them not to leave the keys inside when they put the padlock on the back doors.The bill awaits us too!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wedding Photos Take Two

Clare, Ben, Scarlett and Gwenllian
The guard of honour
Ben & Clare with her parents, grandad and neice Gwenllian

Clare and Gwenllian

Nick Thomas was kind enough to share these photos of our daughter Clare's Wedding to Ben on Facebook. Thank you Nick.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Lovely Wedding Day- Clare & Ben

A very happy Clare & Ben (Jane's photo)

Arriving by jeep

Clare with the vicar Ben's twin brother

Ben, Jane, Clare & Gwenllian

Ben arrives by jeep

Just some photos taken by Clare's friend Jane of our daughter Clare and Ben's wedding no particular order. We had a lovely time and Eric took hundreds of photos but I won't to be able to share any until we get back to the boat as I need my laptop and the lead for the camera......we always forget something.

I actually wore a dress and  the heels lasted a couple of hours before I changed into flats as feet are more used to walking boots! The bride had sense she wore flats to start with.

Mr & Mrs with niece Gwenllian off to the reception
(photo from Dog Company Replicas)

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Catch Up Blog

A week has gone by  and what have we done? Eric's been busy painting the stern of the boat after sanding it down. It's had primer, undercoat and two coats of gloss and it looks so much better. Luckily the weather has been good so he could get on with it. The next painting job is big with the sandpaper covered roof needing a lot of attention where the wet has gone under the paper. We'll have a spotty roof and then it'll all be painted oxford blue instead of cream which never stayed clean.

We had a couple of days in Newport getting our three months prescriptions and catching up with family. Then we returned to the boat and managed to eat the food left in the  little chest freezer under our bed over the week as we needed it empty as the boat was going in for blacking. It's surprising the makings of meals we had in there and over the week we had shepherd's pie, sweet chilli chicken, chilli con carne, fish and rice, beef curry and fish and chips.

Now we're back again and this time it's for about ten days as we've got a wedding in the family and we've got the task of looking after Poppy the mad collie pup while they have a honeymoon. Ben makes Replica WW2 jeeps and this photo was taken on one of their open days. It's no surprise then that they'll be arriving at the venue in replica jeeps.

Our daughter Clare is marrying Ben

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back To Whixall Marina

After a comparatively quiet night at Whitehouse visitor moorings we left to  do the two tunnels and Chirk aqueduct. No queues at Whitehouse tunnel but we had to wait at Chirk Tunnel for a stream of boats to come through, then it was our turn with about six boats behind us. At the other end a queue had already formed it's been so busy for September even though the children are back in school.

Soon we were over the Chirk Aqueduct and making our way slowly towards New Marton Locks. Slowly because at every bridge hole we met a boat. We passed Chirk Marina where the golf course grass  is no longer closely cut ready for action. As we approached the locks a queue stretched ahead, when we arrived we were 14th and it took three and a half hours to work through those two locks. I went down to help at the locks until it was our turn, we met some happy holidaymakers as well as we ll as some grumpy ones on their own boats.

Ben and I enjoyed a towpath walk and we finally stopped just short of Ellesmere. We knew it would be busy there with the Floating Market on the canal arm so we stayed just after the turning point. I walked into Ellesmere with Ben to get a paper and some bread while Eric continued with his painting of the rear doors, counter and hatch. 

We moved on the next day heading back to Whixall we didn't need to join the queue for the was chaos at the junction with the arm into Ellesmere. Three hours cruising on a much quieter section of the Llangollen and we were back on the Prees Branch. Out came the windlass time to give those arm muscles a workout with the two lift bridges ahead of us. No wind today so it was easier to get alongside our berth and tie up. Soon we were back on shoreline and settled for a lazy afternoon.

Eric still has loads of painting to do but tomorrow's another day.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Llangollen And Back

A view of Castell Dinas Bran
This week we've meandering towards Llangollen trying to get some painting preparation done. We stopped in a nice quiet spot and Eric was busy being noisy with an electric sander and a hire boat pulled in for lunch, so we had lunch as well and resumed sanding once they'd left. The next day we decided to spend the weekend in Llangollen and had a pleasant trip up on Saturday morning with very few boats moving.
It's still strange visiting Llangollen at this time of year and we had a very pleasant few days. On Sunday we sampled an Italian style lunch with roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables and new potatoes at  Fouzis and of course we had to have Tiramisu  since they had some.
Before we left on Monday morning we met up with Liz and Nick  who were visiting Llangollen by car, for a coffee at Fouzis. Nice to see you both and we hope Connie is sorted soon.
We untied the boat and headed towards the basin to turn the boat around and decided to follow the trip boat which was leaving in a few minutes through the narrows. Unfortunately a very slow boat pulled out in front of us and we had a frustrating two hours cruising to Trevor. All I can say is the man on the bow was using a boat pole to fend off as the steerer was definitely not very good!
Here's a few photos as we crossed the aqueduct still following that slow boat. We'd had enough and pulled over at Whitehouse visitor moorings while he continued on his way.

A view of the River Dee from the Pontysyllte aqueduct
Railings on one side only

Misty hills in the distance

A view from the aqueduct showing the Railway Viaduct