Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back Home Again


We hired a car from Enterprise and travelled down to south Wales on Christmas Eve to stay with my daughter Sally and her fiancee Bob. Bob made us a lovely chilli con carne while Ben and Sam got to know each other. Ben's not good at sharing so we had to watch him! We went to see Eric's sister Paula for a hour or so but it wasn't easy as there either as Ben didn't want her dogs anywhere near me. Bed was calling so we went back to Sally's and I went to bed and Ben came and slept on the bedroom floor. I found it difficult to sleep in a strange bed with different noises. Afterall I'm more used to hearing hooting owls than traffic.

Christmas morning finally came and we exchanged presents, had some breakfast before heading off for a ball throwing session in Tredegar Park. Lots of dads with the children on their new bikes and dogs of all shapes and sizes which Ben ignored as he only wanted to chase his ball. He discovered the River Ebbw next to the park and couldn't resist dipping his feet in and taking a drink. I suppose at least he washed his muddy feet!

Next stop was picking up my dad to take him with us to have Christmas Dinner with Lisa, Gerwyn, Gwenllian and Clare. My granddaughter Gwenllian was enjoying her first Christmas with lots of presents, but needed help to remove the paper and packaging. Ben enjoyed some turkey and vegetables before I walked him along the canal to the 14 locks in Rogerstone. Clare came for the walk while Eric took my dad home for a quiet evening watching TV. He didn't want to go with us to Paula's house. Paula put her dogs upstairs for a while so we didn't have to act as referee. We enjoyed a lovely buffet tea and felt decidedly stuffed. Later we went back to Sally's house and Ben went to sleep!

We spent Boxing Day visiting again and walking the dog and decided to drive back to Llangollen in the evening when Ben would sleep for the journey. It took three and a half hours which was really good time with a fair amount of traffic on the road. I was looking forward to my own bed and Ben was soon fast asleep catching up after a busy couple of days.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seasons Greetings

Just a few lines to wish boaters and landlubbers!
A Very Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year
Let's hope 2009 is a better year for everybody!
PS - I'll blog again after Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Llangollen Gets Festive

Overlooking Llangollen

Christmas decorations are up in Llangollen so we thought we'd get festive and put up some lovely flashing blue lights and baubles in the windows. Lots of other boats are getting festive too with NB Henry having a blow up Santa, baubles and lights. NB Blue Diamond is currently the best decorated with roof top lights,a blow up Santa, a decorated Christmas tree on the bow as well as more lights in the cratch too. Ben the dog gives the blow up Santa a wide berth as he passes by on his walks.

We had a lovely Sunday lunch at The Bridge End with Alan and Eiddwen. It was nice to have a few drinks, a meal and some pleasant company. We all sampled the turkey and it was delicious and as I was feeling a sweet tooth moment we had desserts too. It was very busy in there today as lots of people visit Llangollen at the weekend for the steam railway, boat trips, walking and the nice little shops.
Monday came and time to order some more coal to be delivered Wednesday so we have plenty to keep us cosy over Christmas. Eric had a haircut to get rid of his curls - he didn't want to be mistaken for Father Christmas! Ben the dog and I had a good walk along the towpath towards Trevor and it was pretty muddy. We met a pair of border collies and Ben enjoyed a play for a while before we turned around to come back to the boat.

On Wednesday we had a run in (again) with a black male labrador at the field by the mooring basin who just appeared and just went into attack mode. I grabbed Ben and put him on his lead and tried to keep the black beasty away until its owner arrived. She said it wouldn't bite even though it was snarling at Ben and not to worry, but as it was the second time it had had a go at Ben when he was just playing ball, I decided to play safe and keep him on his lead until she was gone. We then continued our ball throwing without any further incidents.

Today (Thursday) we've done a bit of shopping in the local Somerfield and walked the dog a couple of times. Other than that we've been lazing around today. I'll have to tidy up tomorrow!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Visit To Trevor

This week has been busier than usual. On Monday I had a Tesco delivery to a nearby house and the driver rang me to find us so I met him by the steps leading to the canal. The delivery was mainly dry dog food and tins to save my arms. The local Somerfield's dry food is restricted to chicken and veg or chicken and veg and I am sure Ben likes a change. No doubt I'll have another delivery in a few weeks.

We looked at the weather forecast and decided Wednesday was the day for our outing to Trevor to get some diesel from Anglowelsh. Nice and scrunchy underfoot but nice and sunny most of the way. Eric basked in the sunshine and shivered when the sun was behind the hills. Ben and I enjoyed a lovely walk ahead checking out the narrows but nobody was about so it was full steam ahead. It took under four hours there and back.

At Anglowelsh we squeezed in the narrow channel between boats moored four abreast and found a man to sell us diesel. He said we could self declare what we liked for propulsion so we said 10% as we had only recorded ten engine hours since we last filled up. He then found another man to work out the cost as it was too complicated for him. It actually worked out cheaper than the prices we paid near London in the summer as diesel was 75p a litre for domestic purposes. We also managed to get rid of our used oil (cost £1) and filters which was good as Eric needed the empty containers for the next service before we set off on our travels at the end of March 2009.

On Thursday we had a trip into Wrexham to get a few bits and pieces. I got a haircut in the salon by the bus station which suits me as it's a walk in hairdresser unless you want a perm or colour. The price was good at £9.80 for a cut and I was pleased with the results. We didn't join the huge queues in Woolworth's for the 50% closing down sale but it was certainly worth a queue if you wanted bigger items. I bought some frozen food in Iceland before we caught the bus back to Ben who was home alone. As usual he had been a very good boy and was very pleased to see us.
On Friday about 11 o'clock Ben and I set off for a nice long walk along the muddy towpath. As we approached Sun Trevor Ben spotted Connie and her owners and ran off to meet them. We joined in their walk and ended up walking about five or six miles getting back to the boat about 2 o'clock. Ben and Connie had a great time chasing each other and running along the towpath but Connie had a cold dip in the canal when she fell in. Nik and Liz fished her out and she wasn't bothered at all- she just shook herself and carried on playing. Ben was tired when we got back and actually had a sleep!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Greygal On The Llangollen

This week's nearly over- time just flies by. Although I can't say I like the long winter evenings. On Monday Eric caught the train to Newport for a couple of days and I was home alone with Ben the dog. He managed to get in lots of visiting in those few days. The train was delayed for an hour by a broken down goods train so he arrived in Newport later than planned. He met up with an old friend Lyndon who he hadn't seen since 1969. Needless to say they didn't recognised each other at first but enjoyed several hours in the pub catching up on nearly forty years. Eric stayed with his sister Paula and managed to fit in a visit to see my dad and a visit to see daughter Lisa and grandaughter Gwenllian. She has two teeth now and is such a happy baby that Eric enjoyed his grandad afternoon. Clare visited him too when she finished work.

What did I do when he was away you ask? Well Ben and I enjoyed lots of long walks and ball playing sessions in the field by the marina basin. On Wednesday we had a surprise on our walk when fellow blogger Greygal came by on NB Greyhound. She had ground to a halt by a bridge hole so we had a quick chat before she reversed back and managed to get on her way again. She said she was going nowhere fast which is not unusual against the flow on this section of the Llangollen Canal. As usual Ben the dog was recognised before me but it's not surprising as I was disguised with woolly hat, scarf, gloves and several layers of clothes. I didn't see her five greyhounds they must have been all inside. They were travelling up to the basin to get some water and get rid of the rubbish. They must have decided to stay the night as they passed our moored boat on Thursday morning going a bit quicker this time with the flow rather than against it. Greygal waved goodbye and said we'll no doubt see you again.

Ben had a fright yesterday as he hates the sound of guns. He was freaking out and dragging Eric back to the boat so hard so he had to let him off his lead. Ben arrived back on the boat without Eric who returned several minutes later. He slept most of the evening to get over his fright- Ben the dog not Eric! This morning he'd forgotten all about and we walked as far as Sun Trevor along a very scrunchy icey towpath. We got back in time to cook lunch and Ben had another sleep- what a life!