Friday, November 27, 2009

A Quick Update

Since I last blogged I have been swimming- no not in the canal -in the nearby leisure centre. I have also been walking the dog with Liz and Connie- Ben's best pal. I've had wet feet several times but now I've got my new walking boots which feel rather stiff but hopefully should soon soften up. Thanks Paula for keeping the mail.

I had an early birthday present of a walking pole from Connie with a note attached saying it was to ensure I reached the big 60 as it'll help me up and down the slippery slopes. I also had a letter telling me how much my old age pension will be and I just find it hard to believe that you have to pay tax on it. What is the point of the government encouraging you to make voluntary contributions to increase your pension and then taxing you even more if you happen to have a works pension.

This week I've been visiting to Newport to see family and friends- it was nice to see my dad, my girls and granddaughter Gwenllian. The journey down to south Wales was uneventful although it was cold on the train, but coming back to Llangollen the train was packed as it only had two carriages. I was lucky enough to get a seat but there were lots of people standing. Needless to say the train back was much warmer. I had flu and swine flu jabs at my doctors because I have asthma, so now I have two sore arms! Even us lesser mortals get asthma!

Now I'm back home on the boat and Ben was certainly pleased to see me and so was Eric as his back is very achy and I can take over the dog walking again!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting Active!

Horseshoe Falls (November 2008)

On Monday I had a text from Liz asking if we were going walking- she expected a different reply as the weather was not good, but I said OK but not too far! We ended up walking along the canal to 'The Chain Bridge Hotel' and then going to Valle Crucis Abbey and walking in the hills east of the abbey. The dogs had a great time and the rain stayed away until we got back to the boat.

On Wednesday we tried a new activity 'Aqua Aerobics' and it was good fun. Before we went it was find the swimsuit mine hadn't seen the light of day for years- yes I said years! The pool at Plas Madoc was lovely and warm and Maggie, Liz and I were soon getting active. I'm not particularly co-ordinated but I did my best and nobody could see what my legs were doing any way. It was fun and nice to do something different. We had a go at Line Dancing on Thursday but it wasn't for me - my feet are definitely both left!

Today we had a walk along the towpath in the rain to see Horseshoe Falls which was pretty spectacular with all the flood water coming down the Dee- very different from this time last year. It's a weir near the place where the feeder comes off the Dee to feed the Llangollen Canal. Liz and I got rather wet- I had soggy feet! The dogs were wet and mud splattered until they had a dip in the canal to clean up where the side of the canal is a grassy bank. Connie had a swim and Ben just paddles but they came out much cleaner.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Wandering Sheep


Bendy Moored Up

Ben Playing Ball!

Here's a picture of 'Bendy' on Llangollen Wharf- most of the leaves have been blown away and will soon be all gone if the weather forecast is anything to go by. There's a flood warning in Llangollen at the moment but as we're afloat on the canal it doesn't really affect us. We've had lots of rain but Ben and I enjoyed a walk this morning along the canal towpath and it wasn't raining! We had a surprise on our walk though Ben spotted a sheep which had escaped from a field and was down the steep bank near a busy road. I was concerned it could cause an accident if she went walkabout on the road so I walked up to the nearest farm and knocked on the door. The old bloke who answered the door gave me a phone number to ring -he couldn't ring he was going out! I rang the number and someone came to retrieve the sheep and return her to her field, once I showed them where she was amongst all the trees and bushes! Ben and I walked back to the boat to have some lunch.
Today is Alan's Birthday- so HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN- another year older!
Hello Jen Frew- I see you're a new follower of my blog!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still Walking The Dog(s)

A View From Walk 3

Yesterday Liz and I took the dogs for a walk along the canal towards the Horseshoe Falls and then returned to the boats via a walk in the hills opposite Dinas Bran. The dogs enjoyed the three mile walk but we were planning another longer walk for Thursday- weather permitting and I was choosing! I had a look at 'Kittiwake Walks Around Llangollen' and decided on Walk 3 a six mile walk exploring an area south of Llangollen overlooking Pengwern Vale. Eric and I had walked it before but he said never again! Liz was game so we set off with our packed luches as it was a long way and I knew we wouldn't be back for at the very least 4 hours. The dogs thoroughly enjoyed the walk through Pen-y-coed wood exploring all the smells, although it involves a climb up and then back down to cross fields with sheep in near a caravan site. The route involved a very boggy piece of ground and I soon had one wet foot as I need some new boots. Liz's walking poles stopping us getting stuck in the mud and the dog's didn't care about the mud.

The next section involves a long climb up a track used by mountain bikers- I needed lots of stops to admire the scenery ( get my breath back) but we finally reached the top. Oh no - a field of cows ahead so we stopped for lunch before we faced the herd! All I can say it it was a dung and mud covered track and we got filthy as did the dogs. We walked straight ahead with the dogs on short leads- no stopping to admire any views and got out of that field as quickly as possible- Liz going under what used to be a stile and me going over it. We didn't open the gate as a cow was looking at us! As we left the field a tractor went by and then the farmer reversed back to ask 'what was wrong with the gate?'- we said 'nothing was wrong' and he said 'well why didn't you use it?' He obviously didn't realise we just wanted to get out of there!

Back on the road we walked along a country road and finally turned right to take a lane which turned into a rough track down into Llangollen. I remembered this bit very well and the track was very wet, very rough , very muddy and very steep just as I remembered it. The dogs would need a hose down as did our boots when we finally got back to the boats. To put it mildly we were filthy, wet and tired but it was so much better being outside enjoying the countryside. I just needed to get cleaned up and put my feet up while tea cooks in the oven- Ben is fast asleep- for a while!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pulling The Plug At Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Peaceful Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Merely A Trickle!


Spectators Watching Below

A week has gone by here at Llangollen and what have we been doing. Well the weather has been rain, rain and more rain but we've still been out walking everyday with Ben the dog. I've also been out walking with Liz and Connie and come back suitably squelchy but Ben doesn't care- a quick rub down with a towel and he's game for more fun-playing ball on the boat!

We've met lots of dogs- some he remembers with affection and he'd like to eat or they'd like to eat him. The black Labrador is still around so we try and keep our distance but it's hold tight of the leads if they see each other. There's a new dog on the wharf- Tilly on NB Spadger keeping Ian company since he lost his wife to illness in the Summer.

I've been going to get some new walking boots from Millet's and went into Wrexham to find Millet's had gone. I tried the other shop at Eagles Meadow but no brown leather boots in size 8 to be found. I tried in Llangollen but they only had size 7 at my price range! I ordered them online in the end from Millet's. I also had a haircut in Wrexham, so it's nice and short again.

On Monday we got us really early- and set off for the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct as they were pulling the plug to drain it for checks and necessary maintenance. It took two hours to walk there in really misty cold weather but at least it wasn't raining. We got rather muddy and arrived far too early as we had varying tales of the time it was happening. We enjoyed a cuppa from Anglowelsh and sat down and waited- nobody around at all. Gradually people began to arrive and BW put down the stop planks to isolate the aqueduct. Then at 12.30pm a pupil from a local school pulled the plug to send a trickle down into the River Dee below. Soon after it was a torrent. The event was covered by BBC Wales and Eric saw a glimpse of us in the crowd on the news! Nick was kind enough to give us a lift back to Llangollen so we didn't have to catch the bus. We just couldn't face another two hour walk.
Photographs taken by Eric.
Thanks Jen for your comment- I hope you're feeling more yourself.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Walking The Dog Around Llangollen

Eric has gone to Newport to visit family and do the doctor and dentist checkups leaving Ben and I on the boat. So we've had plenty of time to go for some lovely long walks which Ben loves. I enjoy being out and about too, but have to take my time on the hills- old age doesn't come alone. I see to get a bit more achy after a long walk but otherwise I'm still going strong- after all I hit the big 60 in February. Ben just comes back and goes to sleep- the sign of a good walk!

On Monday we were had an four hour walk to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and back to Llangollen about eight miles and all flat. It was lovely as Ben could run free other than the section near the road. We met a few collies with their owners including a boater called Eric who'd just done the Ribble Link and his pair of collies. Ben loved meeting all the dogs. No bikes about and no runners- it was a lovely walk and it stayed dry although it was rather windy.

Today we sampled the delights of Dinas Bran the castle ruins which overlook Llangollen and Ben is fast asleep. I am not good on hills so it was a slow process with Ben patiently waiting for me as we got to the zig-zag path up to the castle itself. Rather than retrace our steps we clambered down the other side of the hill facing Trevor Rocks. At the bottom a bench waited for me to have a breather before we sent off down the lane which is Wern Road-downhill all the way! It took two hours in total. Now I'm drinking coffee and eating my lunch and Ben is still asleep until NB Henry arrives when no doubt he'll wake up to see his best pal Connie with her owners Liz and Nick. They've arrived and moored up in front of us and Connie came to call for Ben! They are now charging up and down the towpath and rolling in the leaves!