Thursday, June 30, 2011

Going Down......Atherstone Locks

Approaching Atherstone Bottom Lock
An early start for us today at 9.30am as we had the  eleven Atherstone locks to work through. Luckily these locks empty quickly although they take an age to fill up. As we were going down the flight and there was lots of boats coming up we did the flight in two and three quarter hours. Ben and I walked from lock to lock and he was keen to get on the boat at the bottom of the flight.The raised bricks shown in the photo are a great help when opening and shutting the heavy gates on this flight.

We met Anne and Iain on NB Dreckley going up the flight, Anne reads my blog and of course recognised Ben and the boat name. Iain told me they do a blog so I googled it to find it and I've added it to my blog list.

We continued on our way and moored in the countryside before Polesworth all on our own we thought but by 7.00pm there were three more boats in our peaceful spot!

A Telegraph Pole On The Coventry Canal

One on the Coventry Canal
Everyone  takes a picture of the short telegraph pole in a bridge on the Shropshire Union Canal but I've just noticed another much bigger telegraph pole. It can be found south of Hartshill at Boon's Wharf and is particularly impressive with it's side arms and some insulators still intact. A reminder of bygone days when there was a network of telegraph poles.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Marston Junction To Hawkesbury- Plans Change Again

Leaving the Ashby-remains of the stop lock

Turn left for Hawkesbury Junction
The Greyhound at Hawkesbury Junction
The mannequins at Charity Dock
More mannequins!
Last night we had another change of plan as I needed to go to Newport next week. We decided to go down to Hawkesbury Junction to use the services before turning around and heading back up the Coventry Canal towards Fradley Junction. We decided we'd rather go back to some familiar territory  where it was much easier to catch a train.

This morning we were up and away by 10.30am, no need to rush! Ben and walked to Hawkesbury Junction and it was a bit traumatic for him because of an unknown 'yellow thing' flying in the sky. Actually it was a yellow air ship attached to the ground, probably advertising something but I didn't get to see what as Ben turned tail and ran in the other direction with me following at a much slower pace. Eric meanwhile was unaware of the problem and carried on his way until he realised I wasn't behind him anymore.

Eventually Ben came back to me with his tail between his legs and it was a case of him being dragged on his lead past the airship and finally catching up with Eric who had pulled in to wait for me. We continued our walk to Hawkesbury Junction where we filled up with water at the slowest tap I've ever was a trickle!  Eric did the cassettes while I went to the shop over the 'Wings over Water' bridge. I posted a card to my cousin Christine who has reached her 60th birthday.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTINE.

Back on the boat we went to the junction and winded (turned around) and now we're on our way to Hartshill for a nice mooring for the night. I had to take some photos of the mannequins at Charity Dock which always make me smile. Needless to say Ben was on the boat as we passed the 'yellow thing' flying in the sky!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Look Who Came For Afternoon Tea

A Tufted Duck!
Eric and I have never noticed this variety of duck before although they're common in the UK. He came for afternoon tea.......Hovis 'seed sensations' today.

Much Cooler Today.......Still On The Ashby

We found a spot to moor without waist high greenery!
We had a quiet day Monday, it was still very hot until later in the afternoon. We only cruised for about half an hour and it was so hot Ben didn't want to go for a longer walk once we'd moored up the boat. He just flaked out by the bed and stayed asleep for hours. It rained later and it cooled down a bit- I was glad I can't cope with intense heat.

Today it was much cooler......Eric was on the back of the boat in his coat. Ben and I enjoyed our walk alongside the boat. We passed Trinity Marina, the visitor moorings are for 'casual moorings' now and full of locked up boats which appear to have been there a while. If you wanted a meal in 'The Marina' pub/restaurant you've had it. There's a space to stop for fuel etc and a useful shop.

No room at the inn !(pub)
We're moored on the Ashby Canal a few bridges away from the junction with the Coventry Canal. There's a lot of moored boats on this canal so it's been hard to find somewhere without waist high greenery and soft banks, but we  found a spot so we're OK.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What A Scorcher Of A Day.......Visitors On The Ashby Canal

Rosie & Jim are going to Newport!

Gwenllian with her life jacket on

Lisa and Gwenllian
Today the weather has been glorious and we made our way to moor on the one hour mooring at Sutton Cheyney Wharf. Shortly afterwards Lisa, Gwenllian, Sally and a friend arrived. We've had a lovely day cruising to King Richard's Field (see photo below) and then onto Bosworth Wharf where there was room to moor. Gwen sat on the roof  talking to her grandad sporting her new life jacket and looking at the wild life on the canal and in the fields. We turned around at Bosworth Wharf and headed back to moor opposite King Richard's Field for a spaghetti bolonaise tea. Ben and I went down the path to look at the field and found a memorial with  this plaque on.

Later we cruised back to the wharf where the car was parked and our visitors started their journey home by car while we headed off to find a space to moor for the night. It had been a very busy day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Busy Day- On The Ashby Canal

BW Hartshill Yard (May 2008)
Having arranged to meet our visitors on the Ashby Canal, we had to get there so we cruised from 10am until 4.30pm. We passed BW Hartshill Yard today and since I didn't have my camera ready ( it was on the boat) I looked back at one I took in May 2008. The  boats moored two abreast on the water point were no longer there, so you could actually get to the water point but we didn't stop there today as we planned to fill up later after the washing machine had finished its load. Ben and I had a good walk and we even managed to stay dry.  Today there weren't any boats moored at the BW Hartshill Yard as you can see in the photo on NB Briar Rose's Blog.

We followed another boat for a while which kept running aground, it must have had a deep draught as we were OK. Eric helped by pulling him off with a rope, and he let us pass him by. Beside the Hartshill Yard towers a huge spoil tip made from the local quartzite quarry, although you actually pass it  by, near Nuneaton. We didn't stop at  Nuneaton although we have stopped in the past to use the local shops at Bridge 21. Nuneaton town centre is  a good walk from the canal although it has an Asda if you need a big food shop.

Finally it was a left turn at Marston Junction and we were on the Ashby Canal. There are boats moored everywhere on this canal so progress was slow, not that you could go any quicker as the non towpath side banks look delicate in places. Ben had several paddles in the reeds on the soft sides as we had another walk and came out with all black legs, which were washed later on a reed free section. We passed Visitor Moorings all full up and any Armco sides also had boats attached. We finally found a space  a few bridges down from our planned rendezvous tomorrow, so we'll go and pick them up in the morning.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Delay At Atherstone Locks (On The Coventry Canal)

Queues at Atherstone Locks

 We're getting the lock ready to go up
Hurray nobody woke us at the crack of dawn as they passed our mooring. We were still ready to go by 9.30am. First of all it was walk the dog time alongside the boat as Eric cruised to our first stop of the day at Bradley Green to use the services. We  were in a convoy of four but the first two boats passed by  so we had room to moor at the waterpoint. Soon we were ready to carry on with our cruise.

Ben  and I headed off to the start of the climb up to Atherstone. The water levels in the pounds were low and after two locks we had to wait an hour while BW let some water down to refill the pounds. Apparently the low levels were caused by paddles left open overnight. We needed to go as far as Atherstone to stop at the Coop to shop for the weekend. We're off up the Ashby Canal as we are having visitors on Sunday......Sally, Lisa and granddaughter Gwenllian are coming to see us. Gwenllian's first visit to the boat, so it should be fun. We decided to take a diversion because there is a Historic Boat Rally at Braunston this weekend and we'd have trouble finding anywhere to moor.

We moored to shop on Atherstone Visitor Moorings and when we'd put the shopping away there was a tap on the window, Adam and Adrian from NB Briar Rose going to buy a cork screw as they had wine but no cork screw. Adam wasn't  expecting us to be on the Coventry Canal and yes....... we chatted about the problem with the Travel Power. They were moored further down the lock flight.  We've also passed  a boat called Harnser and NB Piston Broke  on our travels this week. We decided to have a meal and do the five locks later and we were still moored up near Hartshill by 7.00pm although we did end up locking in the rain. Edited as Adam tells me NB Harnser isn't on the Coventry Canal! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pit Stop At Polesworth, Moored In The Countryside

This morning the historic boats were on the move at 5am, waking me up.......could I get back to sleep...NO! Another one came by at regular intervals. Needless to say we were up early so Ben and I had a lovely walk in the Nature Reserve called Alvecote Pools which runs between the canal and the railway line before we set off. It occupies the land where Alvecote Colliery opened in 1873 so that the coal was shipped by rail and canal. The Alvecote shafts were abandoned in the 1950's and years of mining caused subsidence and lakes formed from the floodwater of the River Anker. Lots of tracks to follow creating circular walks with the canal towpath and Ben and I only met one young lady with her dog.

It decided to rain just as we left but we didn't have far to go, just as far as Polesworth where 'Ken Cox Autoelectrics' were bringing back our Travel Power Box and Generator and fitting them. All working now so I can finish that washing but our bank account has suffered another blow. Ben and I had another walk when we moved off the Polesworth Visitor moorings out into the countryside.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Moored Past Alvecote Priory, Coventry Canal

Waiting below Glascote Bottom Lock

Not a particularly quiet night near Streethay Wharf as there's an A road nearby, so in went the ear plugs. In the morning we were woken by the distinctive sound of an old working boat going past at 6am. We had a pleasant cruise in the sunshine through the leafy corridor which is the Coventry Canal. Of course we met other boats in awkward places, nothing new there although the overgrown trees and bushes on the non towpath side made the channel narrow in places.

Arriving at Glascote Locks we met a queue of boats in front of us. These locks fill slowly but empty quickly and we were lucky as by the time it was out turn to go up the lock a boat was coming down so we didn't have to empty the lock before we could use it. The crew in front were Norwegian and enjoying a lovely holiday on a Viking Afloat, we had a nice chat while we helped at the lock.

We passed the Samuel Barlow pub, where lots of historic old boats were being pampered with polish and brasso, on their way to the Historic Boat Rally at Braunston there'll be no room to moor there this weekend. We continued on our way and finally stopped after Alvecote Priory next to a wooded area which Ben and I will explore later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Pit Stop In Rugeley - Problems With Our Travel Power

We've been having a few problems with the Travel Power which gives us 240v on the move so I can use the washing machine. It decided to go off half way through a load of washing, I managed to spin it using the invertor so I can take it out of the machine, but it hasn't been washed. As its bedding I'll have to wash it when the problem is fixed. I rang Ken Cox from Atherstone so they sent an engineer to remove the Travel Power box and generator to be bench tested. A phone call then this afternoon to tell it was the generator and not the silver ready on Thursday. Another change of plan , now we're going down the Coventry towards Atherstone to save paying as much in mileage charges. I don't know why we plan ....something always comes up!

We did use the time in Rugeley waiting for the engineer quite wisely as we'd already planned to stop near Morrisons for a big food shop as well a visit to Wilkinsons. So at least one thing went as planned.

Fradley Junction
We left Rugeley and cruised further along the Trent and Mersey Canal passing Armitage where the toilets are stacked up in the yard of Armitage Shanks and later  Kings Bromley Marina. Reaching Woodend Lock  I got off the boat to work the paddles to refill the lock as we were following an old boat bound for Braunston, the photo shows it moored at Fradley Junction. Ben had a  walk  down to Fradley Junction as we worked the other two locks on the way.  The junction wasn't busy at it was late, I opened the swing bridge to get onto the Coventry Canal. We ended up mooring near Streethay Wharf at Bridge 85 where a sign tells me a new marina is being built.


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Trent & Mersey Canal - Great Haywood To Bridge 69

Bendi waiting at Great Haywood Lock

On our way to Colwich Lock
Today Ben and walked down to Great Haywood with Eric steering the boat- our first port of call was the Anglowelsh boat yard where we filled up with fuel and did all the other things required. They were kind enough to let us fill up using their hose avoiding the queues at the BW waterpoint. Then we were on our way passing all the moored boats at Great Haywood to join the queue for the lock.

I then walked to Colwich Lock with Ben the dog and we queued again- good really because there was plenty of people about to help when one of the bottom gates needed shutting. Nothing's changed it's always been a pain to shut! Lots of people to chat to usually starting with 'what part of Wales are you from?' We got on for a ride and stopped just after Bridge 69 usually a quiet spot but there's a line of boats here. We are opposite the pig stys, it's smelly ......depending on the direction of the wind!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Weekend At Tixall Wide

Tixall Wide - a nightime view of the Gatehouse

Since Friday we've been enjoying the peace and quiet of Tixall Wide, there's only a few boats here so it's even quieter than usual. On Saturday I escaped to the town of Stafford on the hourly bus from Great Haywood leaving Eric with Ben the dog. I needed a haircut and the walk in service at 'Supercuts' in the Guidhall Shopping Centre was just what I needed.

Then if was off looking for a new phone- I wanted a Samsung because I'm used to the way the menu works and I didn't want an all singing and dancing one just   nothing elaborate. My previous Samsung was a flip phone which survived two watery dunks in the canal by me  shutting it off straight away,  removing Sim, removing battery and leaving to dry out.Whether my new slide phone will survive any dips is yet to be seen! As I've a Sim only deal with Vodafone I chose a Pay as you talk phone. I hadn't realised quite how bad the speakers on my old phone had it's much easier ......I can actually hear what callers say!

The only energetic thing we've done this weekend is walking the dog, you can't count turning the pages of  my book or tapping the keyboard on my laptop. Tomorrow we need to get some diesel from Anglowelsh, fill the water tank and empty the cassettes......we're heading off towards Burton on Trent on the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Friday, June 17, 2011

On The Move - Radford Bank To Tixall Wide

After stopping to go to Midland Chandlers we continued cruising until we reached Radford Bank as I wanted a lovely roast dinner from the Radford Bank Inn. A long cruising day (for us) of six hours and there was actually room to moor. We enjoyed an early meal at 5.30pm rather than later as it gets pretty busy. Suitably full......we had hot chocolate fudge cake for dessert.... we had a lazy evening.

On Friday morning we were up and ready to go by 9.30am as we wanted to get to Tixall Wide before the forecast rain, but it's 1pm and still  no rain so we needn't have got up so early. Ben and  I walked all the way taking about an hour and a half  ( I needed to walk off that pudding!) while Eric steered the boat. We're so early there's plenty of room to moor at Tixall Wide, but at the weekend it soon fills up.

The rain came in the end about 4 o'clock no need to water the plants tonight!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Look What's Waiting For Gwenllian

Today we cruised from Gailey to Park Gate Lock where we bought  a child sized life jacket as Gwenllian is coming to visit with her mum Lisa and Aunty Sally.......very soon we hope. We worked through loads of locks and walked miles with Ben the dog on a lovely sunny day. Leaving one lock we were greated with hellos from the crew of NB Gypsy Rover, the new owners of the boat are Australian and they read my blog. I've added them to my blog list  so I can follow their travels.

Jobs Done Ready To Cruise Further Afield

NB Bendigedig's New Cratch
Yesterday the cratch cover was fitted while we were moored near the 'Fox and Anchor' near Coven. We're pleased with the result although it'll take a bit of getting used to. To tie up the boat I now need to get on the bow and to jump off at bridge holes I need to stand on the gunnels before I can jump off. Ben's enjoying looking through the there'll be dog nose marks to clean off.

Once the job was done it was down the winding hole annoying all the fisherman on the way and turning around..... annoying them again. So we headed towards Gailey for the night as below the lock there usually plenty of room. We moored up and much later another boat moored up too, with a Great Dane onboard which was very distracting for Ben when he having a wee in the hedge!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Lovely Sunny Tuesday

Today (Tuesday) the sun is shining and it's not windy ......a good painting day, but Eric had lots of rust removal and sanding to do first. Also the roof will need to cool down before he can paint anything. The sanding was made easier using a Black & Decker Mouse Sander, which he says is brilliant.....but I'll take his word for it.

Ben and I set off to walk to Coven, it took me two hours there and back and boy was I hot when I got back. Ben of course has had several paddles in the canal, and lots of drinks. I needed a Father's Day card for my dad and found a well supplied Coop. I didn't get any food though as I didn't fancy being a pack pony today. I found a post box , wrote the card and posted it......I know he'll get it early, but you never know when I'll be near a post box.

Back on the boat the phone rang and it was Wilson Covers ringing to ask where we'll be tomorrow to fit our cratch  cover. So we'll meet them near the ''Fox and Anchor' which is canalside. This means a change of plan (again) as we'll turn around in the winding hole after Coven and head back to Great Haywood, no need to go to Kinver!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Moored On Sunday, Cruising Monday.

It's definately not a show boat!
I thought I'd show you the interior of the boat with our recent changes. We now have a Wilson's Thames Sofa Bed which we are very pleased with. It took just four weeks from ordering and the service was excellent.We just need some new cushions now.  We also have some new arm chairs so we have a choice of places to sit. Ben cant't make up his mind where to sleep now. As you can see it's no show boat.....towels drying next to the radiator, duvet cover airing on the other radiator and the removable cratch windows on the floor.....but it's home.

The weather was dreadful with the rain and wind so we were glad we'd decided to stay put on Sunday. I did don the wet weather gear and take Ben for a walk but we were only out an hour. Ben was quite happy to get back on the boat and have a rub down with a towel. Eric had lit the fire so we soon dried off. The plants on the roof were taking a battering so Eric put them on the front deck until Monday morning. We had a lazy day and of course Eric watched the Grand Prix and was pleased Jenson Button gained first place.

On Monday we went up  Brick Kiln Lock and Gailey Lock before we used the services.  All the rain means the water levels are much better on the canal. Ben and I walked  with the boat getting back on at Hatherton Junction. It wasn't long before we moored near Moat House Bridge, a lovely spot with no roads or railway noise to contend with. Another boat came and moored up nearby with a collie cross on board so Ben was delighted to  find a play mate. I had a chat to couple  onboard while Eric resealed the mushroom over our bed which had started dripping during the heavy rain.

Back on the boat we listened to Radio 2 and played ball with Ben. It's been a very different day from yesterday as the sun is shining!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Back On The Staffs & Worcs Canal

Mooring up for Teddesley Lock
Today(Saturday) we woke to sunshine so we cruised. Ben and I walked for an hour before going onboard for elevenses. Lots of boats about today and the water level is certainly down between Deptmore Lock and Penkridge, in places we scraped or got grounded when a boat needed to pass us. We queued at all the locks following boats coming out of Stafford Marina as it's the weekend. No room to moor in Penkridge where we could get a satellite signal so we  did a few more locks and moored above Boggs Lock. We did get caught in the rain but it didn't last long. Tomorrow we can walk up to Gailey to get some papers, milk and bread. Eric wants to stay put to watch the Grand Prix.....the weather forecast doesn't look too promising here either.

We decided to cruise the Staffs & Worcs Canal  towards Kinver as Wilsons are fitting the cratch cover this week. The photo shows our new cratch board, it's clever as the windows fold in so we can get to the gas locker and tie up more easily. When the cover's done we will be heading back to the Trent and Mersey Canal at Great Haywood then on our way towards Burton on Trent. Our plans have changed(again) as we are going to Nottingham on the River Trent to see my friend Anne before we go south on the River Soar, all of which is totally new cruising ground to us.

Anne and I were in college together over forty years ago........doesn't time fly! Looking forward to seeing you  'Grannie Annie' !

Friday, June 10, 2011

Escape From Great Haywood

Cuddle time.....3 generations

Plenty of room above Deptmore Lock
Yesterday Wilsons of Kinver came to fit the cratch while we were moored in Great Haywood Marina. Today they delivered our new sofa bed so now we now have visitors. Deliveries done we escaped from the marina this morning. Eric has been suffering from static electric shocks every time he got on the boat while we were moored on the floating pontoons even went he rubbed the rubber mat before he touched metal. Poor Ben had a shock too when Eric took off his lead! I was OK as long as put my feet on the rubber mat first. We stopped on the empty water point and picked up some lovely pots of trailing petunias from the Farm Shop so now the roof of the boat is adorned with flowers.

Finally on our way  we went slowly past all the boats moored at Tixall Wide including NB Karla who are  blog readers. We then cruised for several hours working through Tixall Lock and Deptmore Lock before mooring up above the lock. While Ben and I were walking Ben went in the canal and came out with black legs, luckily he went paddling further along and came out clean! Now he is  having a snooze's a hard life being a dog.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Back Onboard NB Bendigedig

Wednesday  soon came and we were going back to the boat after saying our goodbyes to Clare......she's got her house back now. I expect her first job was to get rid of the hair left by Ben the dog. But first of all we had to take Ben for a run around Tredegar Park and a final dip in the River Ebbw (if there's water he has to have a paddle!) before we headed for Asda to get some food shopping to take back with us. Eric decided to use the A roads rather than motorways other than the M54  and it was a slower journey but at least we could stop a few times for comfort breaks and to let Ben stretch his legs.

Finally back on the boat with everything unloaded Eric was busy putting our new chairs together so we could sit down and I was unpacking the cases and sorting out the pile of washing we'd brought back. Ben was quite happy asleep in the corridor after he'd eaten a big dish of dog food. He didn't even hesitate when it came to walking on the floating pontoon to get to the boat at the marina.......he was glad to be home!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Another Busy Day ......A Visit To The Seaside

Mum and Dad's pain in the arse! (photo by Clare)

Today started  early, we were at the doctors by 8.45am for our six monthly checkups and then our repeat prescriptions to be collected from the chemist. We know have three monthly repeats which makes life easier as we now collect three months medication  rather than having to get a repeat each month.  Our daughter Clare looked after Ben for us as leaving him in the van is a no go as the alarms go off when you lock the doors. By the time we got back Clare had had enough of playing ball with Ben! She put his picture on face book with the above caption.

I then took Ben for a walk along the footpath through the old Tredegar Park Golf Course to the Tredegar Park and Eric met me the other side of the underpass for the M4 motorway after he parked the van. We played with the ball thrower for half an hour before deciding to go to the seaside...... I love to see the sea so Eric took me to Penarth. The sea there was muddy brown but it's been a lovely sunny day with views right across to Flatholm and Steepholm as well as Brean Down and Weston Super Mare. It was surprising the number of people out and about enjoying the seaside. Of course we had to sample some Thornton's ice was delicious.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

It's Sunday, Sunday Lunch

Gwen's happy face! (Eric took this photo)
Today started with a run round Tredegar Park, Ben not me! I just walked while he ran around sniffing and peeing on anything vertical. Next came a bit of shopping in Tesco then a lovely roast lunch with Lisa and Gwen. Eric's sister Paula came visiting too with a pile of mail for us, which has been sorted to be kept or burnt on the boat fire- who needs a shredder with a fire. Ben enjoyed playing with a ball and Gwen enjoyed playing with her grandad and nanny. We've been busy glueing and sticking amongst other things....takes me back to my nursery teaching days!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Busy Saturday In Newport

Lots to do today but first of all Ben needed a good run, so off to Tredegar Park we went where there was plenty of room to run and chase a ball. Surprisingly enough Ben remembered there was water there too as the River Ebbw runs alongside the park. I spent my childhood in this park as I lived just five minutes away. Ben found it hot and sheltered under a tree puffing and panting with his tongue hanging out. Ben suitably exercised we visited my dad  who was pleased to see us. He's recently had a hearing aid and it was certainly much easier now to have a conversation.

Next was a visit to IKEA while Ben stayed at Clare's house and had a quiet afternoon. We enjoyed our shopping and bought some Poang leather chairs after testing loads of armchairs for comfort and know why they are a familiar sight on lots of narrow boats. Of course we came back with lots of bits and pieces including paints, brushes and a roll of  paper  for Gwenllian. Eric chose a big soft toy dog for her too.

Back in Newport we collected Ben and then went to visit our daughter Lisa and granddaughter Gwenllian. At first Gwenllian was unsure of Ben but very soon they were playing ball or should I say she was throwing the ball for Ben to bring back. Of course Eric and Gwenllian had to try out the paints and  she really loved the toy dog........he/she was very cuddly. Gwenllian kept her grandad busy looking at books and building with bricks but he only had a goodbye kiss on the cheek as he has a moustache....I was surprised she knew what a moustache is! I had a proper kiss. We'll see them again tomorrow as Lisa is cooking Sunday lunch.

Panting in the shade

Friday, June 03, 2011

NB Bendigedig's In Great Haywood Marina, We're In Newport!

On Friday it was only a short hop to Great Haywood Marina but as we were unsure where to go we headed for the main building and found Steve the mooring manager to tell us where to moor. He came aboard and directed us over to the floating pontoons, oh dear did  I have fun getting Ben off the boat to walk on plastic that moved and made a funny noise. Once he was dragged off unwillingly he saw green grass and decided to come for a walk around the marina. The piers are protected by gates with pin numbers, OK as long as I don't forget it. The boat on one side of us weren't particularly friendly, they came to take their boat out for the weekend and made a point of telling us we were connected to the electric point they normally use even though they weren't going to be on shore power. We had four unmarked sockets on the bollard and we chose theirs! Our side hatches faced each other but my hello was totally ignored!

Other moorers chatted and were friendly as we loaded the suitcases and bed settee (in pieces) into the van hired from Enterprise. The bed settee was going to be our bed for when we go to Newport visiting and we're going to buy some leather chairs from IKEA.

The journey to Newport took four hours as we avoided the motorways after listening to the traffic news and went on the A roads. There wasn't much room in the front of the van with Ben the dog but he was a very good boy. We stopped a few times to stretch our legs etc and were very glad when the journey was was so hot! Before we could go to bed though we had to put the bed settee back together!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Deptmore To Radford Bank- Shopping In Stafford Again

Today Ben and I walked to Radford Bank while Eric steered the boat. Once there we moored up and caught a bus into Stafford while Ben looked after the boat. It was good to be in civilisation for a change and do a bit of shopping......yes this time they had knickers in my  size! We bought Ben a rope tug with a ball on but the ball was soon shredded leaving the rope for him to play tug and chew. Lunch was courtesy of Greg's while we sat on a wall as all the seats were full.

We sampled the Carvery at 'Radford Bank Inn' for tea with a roast at £3.69 each  and a no fuss pay for the meal and take your ticket to the Carvery there was no waiting involved. Excellent value and no dishes to do either. Back on the boat after a few beers we had a lazy evening ...if you don't count playing ball with the dog.

Gwenllian (photo taken by her dad)

Down to Tixall Wide tomorrow for an overnight stop then NB Bendigedig is going in Great Haywood Marina while we have a week with family including visiting my granddaughter Gwenllian.