Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eric's Birthday!

After getting myself up yesterday I set off to take Ben the dog for a walk leaving Eric to get up and do a few boaty jobs. I'd bought him some new brooms- a soft one and a hard one as he wanted to clean off some green algae flourishing on the stern of the boat. Also the water tank needed filling after all my washing.
As Ben and I passed NB Henry, Connie escaped under the cratch cover to come and play. Liz decided to join us on our walk so Ben and Connie had a lovely time play fighting and running. Connie was delighted she didn't get a soaking as Ben sometimes knocks her in the canal when they're running along the towpath. Liz and I enjoyed a good chat and returned two hours later to our respective boats. It's a wonder the blokes didn't send out a search party.
Eric and I decided to go to the Bridge Inn and have lunch- they do a very nice chicken curry.We had a few celebratory drinks to celebrate him reaching the grand young age of 61 years. Eric had some lovely cards, birthday texts and phone calls and at least my dad didn't sing 'happy birthday' to him as he always does to me! We then went to get some shopping before returning to the boat where Ben was happy to see us back.
Eric took Ben out to play ball in the field where he was jumped on again by a snarling (Rupert the Labrador from hell) even though Ben was on a lead walking through the basin minding his own business. The women owner said 'he's never done that before' so I think she has a memory problem as this is the fourth time now. Anyway no damage done and she did apologise and put him on a lead when she came back though the field. It just annoys me as we usually put Ben on a lead if it's an unknown dog or people are coming towards us. Not only that some people are scared of dogs and don't want to be greeted by a bouncy collie although he means no harm.
The evening was lazy and as we were still full from our curry we just had a snack later on. Eric watched France v Wales at rugby and Wales lost so the least said about that the better.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I don't know what it is but the sun is out so I decided it's time to wash the curtains and clean the windows. Out came the rotary line for the first time this year and it was great to see the curtains blowing dry. Spring flowers are appearing with the arrival of yellow celandines and here there are clumps of daffodils on the opposite bank which will soon be flowering. Today I saw loads of snowdrops one of my favourite flowers. I decided to take Ben for long walk on nearly the same route as I walked on Monday as I was confident I wouldn't get lost as we'd walked it before with Eric. I cut out the steep bit through the wood as it was difficult to walk as the path was poor and covered with a deep layer of fallen leaves. The sun was shining and it was lovely to be out and about. Two hours later we were back on the boat and the curtains were dry and ready to be ironed. They were soon hanging at the windows smelling lovely and fresh.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Birthday Walk

On my birthday I had lots of cards- one told me 'Happy 60th Birthday' but I am only 59! I'll have to keep it for next year!
I had bought a book of walks "Walks Around Llangollen And The Dee Valley" and on my birthday we decided to try the first walk in the book(4 miles). All the walks are circular which suits us fine and the first walk was classed as easy! I like the way it describes the route so it's easy to follow and has a little map of the route. It included a steep walk along along a woodland path which meant we needed to stop to get our breath back- we're not good on hills! Ben the dog loved having new places to smell- he didn't need to stop but waited patiently for us. We followed the route enjoying the viewpoints and beautiful scenery along the way and the benches for a short rest. We should have taken the camera as the view of Dinas Bran was amazing. Eventually the route went downhill to the A5 and we were near Berwyn Station. We decided to stop at 'The Chainbridge Hotel' for a drink and then we followed the route along the Llangollen Canal and headed back to the boat.
I'd bought the ingredients for paella so that's what we had as a birthday meal- with lovely juicy king prawns. I was quite happy to have a quiet night in as we'd had a meal out on Sunday.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Busy Few Days In Newport

The trains were busy and rather full on my journey to and from Newport. I just found a seat rather than hunt for the reserved ones. Later I went walkabout and found they hadn't reserved the seat numbers I was given. No problem as long as I had a seat. In Newport I met Wendy and Dilys for a pleasant lunch and a long chat, then went off to do a bit of shopping. Eric needed some new jeans and luckily M&S had the ones he likes in his size. Next stop the chemists to collect prescriptions and then a walk down to my dad's house just in time for tea.
The following day I went for a dental checkup where the dentist scaled, cleaned and polished my teeth with no other work needed this time which makes a change. The dentist is near a Pets at Home store so I went to buy Ben the dog a hide ring- his favourite. I walked into town and caught a bus up to see my daughter Lisa and granddaughter Gwenllian. Gwenllian (ten months old) gave me some funny looks- it's a month since I last saw her- but was soon back to her smiley happy self. My daughter Clare was busy fixing the exhaust on Gerwyn's car, so I got to see her too. We had a spag bol for lunch and soon felt full up. Paula ( my sister-in- law) brought up the mail including the parcel with the engine filters in and a birthday present for Eric and I. I'll be 59 and Eric is 61 this week- I don't feel my age at all! A few more lines and wrinkles but who cares.
Later on I caught the bus back to town to get another bus back to my dad's house as he was expecting me for tea. Clare came down to see her grandad, which she does every week so I don't have to worry when I'm on the boat. Dad and I keep in touch by telephone- aren't mobiles a wonderful thing. I often wonder how we managed on various boating holidays with no mobiles and phone boxes few and far between.
In the morning I caught the train back to Ruabon loaded up with my rucksack, shopping and parcels. I also had a pile of birthday cards which were waiting for us at my dad's house. Two and a half hours later I was back in Llangollen getting jumped on by Ben who was delighted to see me. Eric missed me too! Nice to be back on the boat.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Where Do The Days Go?

We celebrated Valentines Day with a home cooked meal followed by a nice box of chocolates for dessert. I can't believe how the time flies by. I admit I'm not an early riser and Ben is quite happy as long as we're out for a walk by eleven in the morning. I usually get caught taking him out for his first wee of the day in my dressing gown by the other boaters moored here. So I suppose by the time I get back from our morning walk half the day's gone. Ben's been a bit off for a day or two (not eating) but he enjoyed playing ball in the field this afternoon and tonight he's just eaten his bowl of food so he must be feeling better. The fine weather has brought out the walkers and three boats have actually passed our boat today. Tomorrow we've been invited for coffee and a chat on NB Libertybelle by Angela and Trevor so I'll have to move myself and get out earlier with Ben the dog. We've just changed the gas bottle as the other one ran out- why does it run out when it's dark! This week I'm off on the train to Newport visiting family, friends and the dentist. Eric is staying on the boat with Ben the dog- I hope Ben behaves himself!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rainy Days In Llangollen

Today I woke up to pouring rain. I enjoyed the lovely hot shower- getting an immersion heater was definitely a very good idea. After breakfast I donned my wet gear and headed off for the morning walk with Ben the dog through mud and more mud. The ground is very wet here but after watching the floods in other parts of the country at least we are flood free. We had a lovely walk and we met Liz (NB Henry) and Connie on the way back to the boat and the dogs chased each other, had play fights and got even muddier. Ben had his feet and legs washed on the bow of the boat as he was so muddy. I had plenty of mud on my boots too!
The rest of the morning was spent with boaty jobs such as tidying up the boat and filling up with water. The washer drier was kept busy too. Later I went down to the local library to change my books and get some fresh fruit and vegetables from the greengrocers.
In the afternoon I decided to take Ben up to the field by the mooring basin to play ball- yes in the rain- I must be mad! He had a good time though and paddled in the shallow canal to have a drink and in doing so cleaned his feet and legs which saved me a job. The mooring basin was totally empty as it's only 48 hours mooring and there are no boats on the move this week. Next week it may be different as it's half term. The stoppages on this canal have certainly reduced boat movement.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Walking The Dog

Bendy in the snow

I've just come in with a muddy Ben after our afternoon walk. Some of the towpath is slushy ice and snow and the rest is mud and puddles. Needless to say Ben walked through all the mud and puddles. The snow is still falling but failing to settle at present as the ground is too wet. I expect we'll have a covering overnight when the temperature goes down again.There weren't many people out walking towards Horseshoe Falls this afternoon- perhaps they're watching the rugby. Eric is watching the rugby- Wales v Scotland and Wales are winning! Today he's not shouting at the television.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Still Snowing

Ben and I have had lots of snowy walks and it's been quite a change not to have to wash the feet of a very muddy dog. He still got filthy yesterday though as we went for walk and Liz and Connie the dog from NB Henry came too. Ben loves to play fight and chase with Connie and he was shattered after an hour and a half's walk as they were tearing up and down the towpath. Connie was equally dirty and both dogs needed a wash with buckets of water on the bow of the boats.
I ordered some oil and air filters for our beta marine engine and they arrived today at Eric's sister Paula's house. We already had fuel filters. Thanks Paula -we've now got all the filters we need for this years servicing. We just need to get some engine oil as the engine will need a service before we set off on our travels at the end of March.
This year we are heading north and exploring new territory with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal as one canal that's totally new to us. Our route is being planned by Alan from NB Shush and will include the Trent and Mersey Canal, Bridgewater Canal, Rochdale Canal, Calder and Hebble Navigation, Aire and Calder Navigation and the Macclesfield Canal. We are looking forward to being on the move again with NB Shush.
Well it's time to go out again- a snowy walk with Ben the dog and Eric is coming too. We'll wrap up warm and be fine and Ben already has his fur coat on.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Snowy Llangollen

A Snowy Narrowboat

We woke up this morning to a few inches of snow and Ben waiting to go outside. So I donned by wellies and opened the front doors and Ben carefully put his paws on the white stuff. I went first and he followed and was soon enjoying the snow with it on his nose as he sniffed. After a lovely breakfast of porridge Eric and I took Ben for his morning walk past the narrowboats covered in snow. Below is a snowy picture of NB Shush and the snow is still falling!

Snowy Shush

We had a pleasant walk along the towpath towards Trevor and Ben was very good at catching snowballs that Eric threw! Few people were braving the weather so Ben could run free finding sticks and sniffing everywhere. An hour later we were back in the warm of the boat toasting by the coal fire.

From Our Window

Later on we'll have to go out again for another snowy walk but for for now we are enjoying the view from the window as the snow continues to fall.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Clare (& Ben)

Ben about 12 weeks old!(wearing a cat collar)

I thought I'd tell you all that Clare my middle daughter's birthday is today- no age on show- she'd kill me. Ben has his official birthday as we are unsure of the exact date and he doesn't care if the whole world knows he's two years old today. He's great with us, but can be a bit of a naughty boy with some other male dogs- he'd like to fight especially is they're Labradors- too much male hormone ( can't spell test.........). He doesn't like some smaller dogs too, so he remains on his lead unless we've met the other dogs before. Eric says Ben's bits days are numbered- those pockets will be emptied! Ben and I just enjoyed a cold but pleasant enough walk up to the Horseshoe Falls and he did manage to sit and wait while joggers and cyclists passed as I distracted him with a stroke on the head and told him he was a good boy. Now he's spending time snoozing (the dog) while we have a homemade cottage pie for lunch. No I haven't sung happy birthday to him either!