Monday, January 30, 2012

The Snowdrops At Llantisilio Church

Ben at Horseshoe Falls on the River Dee

Today Liz and I headed up towards Horseshoe Falls with the dogs as we wanted to see if the snowdrops were out in grave yard of Llantisilio Church actually called St Tysilio's Church. The carpet of snowdrops is spectacular, well worth a visit. I hope you enjoy a glimpse with the photographs.  The church was built in the 15thC and it has a fine medieval roof, a rare medieval oak eagle lectern and a sculpted font according to David Berry in our much used walks book called Walks Around Llangollen And The Dee Valley.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Sally and David
Tomorrow is my daughter Sally's birthday, no numbers she'd kill me if I divulged her age! She's currently suffering with no voice due to laryngitus and a cough as she has a chest infection too! I hope she feels a bit better tomorrow.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Australia Day 2012 On Llangollen Wharf

The shark's back in the canal
Eric all wrapped up
Today the Australian flag was flying on Llangollen Wharf as we celebrated Australia Day. We even had two Australian holiday makers Adam and Jack on a hireboat who'd extended their stay in Llangollen to come to the barbecue. Although it was bitterly cold in the wind and at one point  hail stones delighted the Aussies, something new to them. Lots of  different sausages tasted delicious and the dogs hoped for a taste which they got when the adults were full. The 'grog pot' was a treat and helped ward off the chill but I  left them all to get warm back on the boat.......I know....... a wimp but I was so cold.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A New Walk- Plas Newyd And Cae Madog Wood

Looking across Llangollen
The last few stiles and we're back in Llangollen
Yesterday we made the most of a dry day and tried out a new walk from 'Walks Around Llangollen And The Dee Valley' by David Berry. We warned Nick and Eric we'd be gone a few hours and didn't get back til after one o'clock. The walk started with a route up to see Plas Newydd home of the 'Ladies of Llangollen' and then up Vicarage Road to  a path into Cae Madog Wood which skirts Barber's Hill. According to the walk book the hill was named after a barber who was hanged on the summit for killing his wife in 1739. The dogs enjoyed the woodland and Connie was soon nose down following scents.

We decided not to walk the country lanes skirting the Vivod Estate and did the shorter walk which meant following the road towards Glyn Ceriog and then taking the signed bridleway back down to Llangollen via some unusually high stiles.  Lovely views from the bridleway which climbed down into Llangollen but it started to drizzle which was a pity. Checking the route in the book meant it took us longer than it should have but then again it was nice to walk a new route. Next time it won't take so long.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Upcoming Events........ A Barbecue On Llangollen Wharf

Liz, Nick and Connie are back after visiting a friend Heather on the Chesterfield Canal. They'd been called on to do a bit of lock wheeling as there were loads of locks. Liz said Connie looked at her dried food after being spoiled by a taste of  Heather's cooking. It didn't take her long to eat what was on offer as she rarely leaves food for long while Ben leaves his food until he feels like eating it.

A view on our Valle Crucis Abbey walk

Yesterday we did the Valle Crucis Abbey walk......again but this time we squelched in mud and didn't see anyone else. The road back to the mooring basin seemed to be longer than ever and then the dogs had a very necessary wash in the shallow section of canal used by the horse drawn boats in the warmer months. On the way back we noticed that there didn't appear to be any sheep on the hill with the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran on so  today's walk was soon planned.

The low lying mists

Today we walked up the hill......lots of puffing and panting.....with lovely views of the low lying mists. No sign of sheep so we walked around the back of the hill but there was loads of mud. We walked a short section of road down hill and then back across some sheep fields to follow a track then back down the hill and alongside Dinas Bran School and back to  the boat. As we didn't come back  via the canal dog washing place it was out with a bucket of warm water which ended up mud brown. I had plenty of mud on me too.

Nick and Liz are hosting an Australia Day Barbecue alongside the boats (NB Henry & NB Bendigedig) on  Llangollen Wharf on Thursday 26th starting about midday. If you're in the area come and join in. The 'grog pot' ( a hot punch) of NB Blue Toad fame will be awaiting contributions. Unfortunately Mike and Moira who started the trend in 2010 are back home in Tasmania ........just a bit too far away! I know quite a few bloggers are heading up to Llangollen but they've not got here yet! They're too far away as well when you can only move slowly by boat.

Australia Day 2010

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Walk In The Woods With Eric And Ben

Another view of Llangollen looking towards the mountains
Llangollen again
Today I was fed up with towpath walking so asked Eric if he could cope with a walk in Pen-y-coed Woods. He didn't really know what he was letting himself in for as it's a climb but I knew we'd be fine as long as we had pause for breath moments. It took us about an hour and a half to complete a circular walk but he did it! Ben had a lovely time off his lead keeping an eye on us to make sure we were still following the track. Nobody else in the woods perhaps it was too chilly for them today.

On the way back we stopped for some shopping in the Coop as Ben waited outside attached to a convenient post, cowering if any lorries went by. Back on the boat we had a plougman's lunch and later I made some chocolate  chip cupcakes as I've bought a new recipe book 'Cupcakes and Muffins'. Other than that we had a lazy afternoon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Lisa

Lisa is the blonde one!
Thirty years ago today my little bundle of joy arrived safely nearly ten pounds in weight. Today she celebrates her birthday......................doesn't time fly!  Eric says I sound like a real old granny writing that.......well I'll admit to the granny bit but I'm not that old!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where Have I Been?

I've been on a visit to Newport as I had a dental appointment today and now have to go back for a filling and a crown.......£179...... it's not cheap on the NHS! Luckily Arriva's Club 55 is back on until March 28th so at least my two visits will be £17 a time instead of £40 ( with a senior railcard). I didn't stay long just an overnighter giving me time to meet daughter Clare for coffee in the afternoon and then down to stay with my dad. Paula popped in with the mail so we now have up to date boat licences displayed on the boat as well as new insurance documents. The TV licence made me smile it's valid until 2016 as long as we continue to pay the direct debit to save paper. You can now receive it by email and view it online or print if off yourself.

My dad

My cousin Alison had a family get together at her house in the evening, organised as we only seem to meet these days at weddings and funerals as we'd had no weddings for quite a while. My Dad whose 83 was the oldest member of the family there, as his older brother isn't up to evenings out. I don't know how much he heard of the conversations as he also leaves his hearing aid at home.......deliberately. Lots of catch up chats with some of the the family, we'll have to do it again. Hello to Jen and Malcolm who read the blog, nice to see you both and thanks for the lift back to dad's house.

Eric stayed on board NB Bendigedig and had the job of taking Ben walking in the rain this morning. It's my turn tomorrow let's hope it's dry and warm.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The First Frost Of 2012

NB Bendigedig on her Winter Mooring
Today we woke to temperatures of -3C and quite a heavy ground frost and the inside of the cratch had a coating of ice. The rabbits were under the bird table after some the seed we'd left for the ground feeders, while two robins sat on the table eating dried meal worms. They stayed until the blackbird came and then he was scared off by two big black birds- don't know what variety!

Nick was off hedge laying down alongside the Montgomery Canal so Liz and I were going walking with the dogs. We decided to walk the Valle Crucis Abbey circuit and it was a lovely crunchy walk rather than thick mud which made a pleasant change. It was great to see blue skies and sun after all the rain we've had.  The fields were white although we did have to walk through one which had been visited by the farmer's muck spreader. Lots of people out walking and we could hear a hunt in progress. A few of the dogs came down the hill to us, one hung around calling as he didn't know which way to go but eventually heard the horn and off he went. Another dog got caught up on a fence by his foot and was yelping but managed to free himself so I hope his owner looks after him when he gets home.

The rest of our walk was uneventful and the dogs were nice and clean so didn't need a wash in the canal. Just as well as the water would have been very cold today. Back on the boat at lunch time, with the sun streaming in through the's been a lovely day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Walk In The Woods And An Afternoon Out

Yesterday Liz and I took the dogs to some woods the other side of town and it was lovely as we had them to ourselves so the dogs had a really good run. We were out about an hour and a half as we had plans to go out to lunch somewhere different- Nick and Liz were taking us in their car. We enjoyed the journey taking in the scenery around the Horseshoe Pass and arrived along a pot holed road to Bodidrid Hall. Very nice inside with oak beams and an open fire where they looked at us and said £5.95 menu...usually they just give you the menus! Apparently in the lounge it's a  that price, dearer in the restaurant but no one told you about this. Eric asked to see the other menu with two courses at £9.95, three courses at £12.95.  Not a lot of choice  but we chose our meals and enjoyed the pleasant surroundings. Service was leisurely but the meals arrived and a few drinks and a pudding later we were ready to leave the warmth of the log fire. Brr it felt cold outside! Nick took us to have a quick look around Mold- a place we've never been to but we weren't there long as it was so cold Eric  had the shivers. Thanks To Nick and Liz for a lovely afternoon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Walks Around Llangollen

Another view of Llangollen
Yesterday Liz and I took the dogs up around the back of the hill on which Castell Dinas Bran sits. It ended up being mostly an on the lead walk as there's sheep everywhere. So today we decided to walk on the other side of the valley, where the dogs could run free once we were off the roads. It's been a lovely day and so warm walking up the hills that the jackets soon came off. We came down the road to cross the A5 at Berwyn and walk back over the bridge crossing the River Dee near the Chain Bridge Hotel and then  back along the canal towpath to the boats. Ben had a nap while Eric made  us some lunch!

Llangollen and Castell Dinas Bran

Monday, January 09, 2012

Mooring In Llangollen

Llangollen Mooring Basin (48 hours only)
Yesterday Eric and I had a walk through the Mooring Basin to play ball with Ben in the field. There's just one boat moored up as it's 48 hours only despite our winter mooring permit saying the moorings are in Llangollen Basin. Actually they're online and have been for the last five years but obviously BW don't know this. Ben had a few dips in the canal with his ball, played for a while before we headed to the shop to get the Sunday paper and then headed back for lunch and a lazy afternoon.

This sight made me smile
Today Ben and I headed up past the school on the footpath towards the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran, but I  didn't want to go to the top of the hill, so we followed another footpath leading past the houses and a farm house before walking back down the country lane to Llangollen. One of the ladies in the houses has chickens and she showed me one of the chicken houses destroyed by the high winds. Luckily it was empty at the time. Walking back to Llangollen I had a smile when I saw the sheep on top of the hay, making sure she didn't miss out!

Back on the boat I cleaned up Ben's dirty feet before leaving him with Eric as I was off to get a haircut in Wrexham. I usually go to Hair Station by the Bus Station as you don't need an appointment and they are quite happy to cut it short. Yes, it is short but that's how I like it!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Thursday, Friday And Saturday

On Thursday Liz and I took the dogs on the bus to Trevor and then we walked back along the towpath to Llangollen. Ben's used to buses now and hops on willing and sits himself down on the floor. My feet were hurting by the time we got back from the walk but I soon recovered on the boat. Ben enjoyed a nap after his walk. Eric had been busy doing the boat chores, emptying the cassette and filling up with water as well as doing the dishes. He even had a cup of coffee waiting for me. It was really cold and the wind was blowing in our faces so I had very rosy cheeks from the wind. In the afternoon the wind dropped as forecast which I was pleased about as the tremendous force of the gusts of winds we'd been having overnight worried me as I lay in bed listening to the row.

On Friday we were up bright and early as Eric was going on a day trip to Newport, south Wales for his appointment at the Eye Clinic. His train arrived at Ruabon on time but there was a delay in his journey due to someone being taken ill on the train in front of his. He was OK as he had an hour before his appointment. The good news is his eye is much better and he just has to slowly reduce the number of drops he puts in and they don't want to see him again unless he has a problem. He arrived back in Llangollen just a few minutes after Ben sat on the front step.......did Ben know he was nearly home?

On Saturday Eric and I went into Wrexham on the bus after we'd taken Ben for his walk.  We did some shopping before having lunch in Les's Fish Bar. You can't fault this cafe for excellent fish and chips, courteous service and prompt attention. They go out of their way to help the older folk with their walking frames- although we're not like that yet! After lunch we walked to Asda to do some food shopping before returning on the bus to Llangollen. Ben was waiting -we'd bought him some chew sticks, and as usual he was pleased we were back.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Mud Larking Near Valle Crucis Abbey

Valley Crucis Abbey (November 2011)
Today we decided to don the waterproofs and the walking boots and head along the tow path as far as the bridge by the Motor Museum and follow the walk near Valley Crucis Abbey. Liz and Connie were up for it and prepared for the mud, just as well as there was certainly plenty of it! No living sheep in the field we walked through, although we saw one dead body or should I say what was left of it. Other fields had dead sheep only. They must move all the sheep to other fields when the weather is bad. At the moment there's lots of sheep grazing on the hill on top of which are the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran, which is something we've not seen before. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our two hour walk and the wind certainly blew the cobwebs away. We managed to escape the  rain but I got incredibly muddy as did the dogs. They had a wash in the canal when we threw some sticks, my clean up had to wait til later although we used the puddles to get the mud of our boots.

The photo was taken when the sun was shining in November 2011, today it was dull and overcast and I didn't take the camera.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Sunshine In Llangollen- A Walk To Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls on the River Dee
Just come back from a walk in the sunshine, which makes a pleasant change from all the rain we've been having. I must remind myself it's much better than all the snow of ice of last Winter. Liz and Connie came too and  the dogs got filthy with all the mud and puddles on the towpath. That section of towpath hasn't been resurfaced yet. There's plenty of water in the River Dee and a few canoeists were braving the rapids. Even in the sunshine the wind was cold but we were wrapped up so it didn't matter. The cold didn't stop the dogs having a wash in the canal by the marina basin when we threw sticks in the shallow edges. It was the quickest way to get rid of the dirt. Back on the boat for a towel dry and Ben was happy.

We met some walkers looking for the waterfall- we hope they weren't too disappointed to see the weir at the Horseshoe Falls!