Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas In Newport

A very lovely time this Christmas but a strange one. It's the time of year that you really feel the absence of family members you didn't get to share another Christmas dinner. We had lunch with Clare's husband's family and many thanks to them for sharing their Christmas with us.

Our grandchildren Gwen and Scarlett had loads of presents so they must have been very good girls. Scarlett's been having fun with a box of tissues as her mum's picture on facebook shows.......much more fun than all her new toys.

Eric's sister Paula had a new arrival just before Christmas of the four legged variety. He's a very cute Yorkie- Chihuahua cross and so tiny, she named him Rockie. The baby gate doesn't keep him in  the kitchen, he can fit through the bars, but he has his own special cage which he quite happily goes into and curls up on his bed and goes to sleep.

Rocky sat on Joe's hand

There's another new arrival due on the 8th of January, again it's the four legged variety. Gwen is pictured here happily holding the new pup at the breeder's house. We met the puppy's mum too. She's a Sprocker which is a cross between a Springer and Cocker spaniel  called Annie at the moment but that may change. I am sure she'll bring lots of fun.

Lisa took this photo of Gwen with Annie

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year

Gwen with Father Christmas and Aunty Clare

We arrived in Newport today much later than planned due to us both having a  bug, so we missed Scarlett's party but we're here for Christmas. Scarlett's birthday was Tuesday so she had her present from us on her actual biithday. Just one more sleep until Christmas, it's Christmas Eve!  Time to get together with our family and make some new memories.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Hello Again

Our view from the sidehatch
Looking at NB Valerie's blog  saying about the closeness to other boats in their marina I thought I'd share our view.Here at Whixall we are lucky to have a corner spot with a triangle of water as our view from the sidehatch. On the other side of the boat is a pontoon and another boat but I can open the sidehatch and enjoy the view. Huge carp come here to be fed on dry dog food too. Ben doesn't mind he's got loads.

My favourite photo of the marina
We're finding is very quiet here at the moment but it's soon going to be hectic with Christmas just around the corner. We've done the Christmas shopping and it's all parcelled up and ready to go. The bags have still to be packed and we're off tomorrow as my grandaughter Scarlett is going to be one and having a party on Sunday, so it's going to be fun and no doubt very noisy with loads of one year olds into mischief.


We've topped up the electric meter so NB Bendigedig won't be too cold without us. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NB Bendigedig Gets A Pass

On Monday we popped into Maestermyn  and asked who they used for boat safety and they arranged for him to contact us and he did. So today we had the boat safety test and we passed with no advisories either........Yippee!

Ben and I went for walk while the boat was being examined  but we weren't  out long as he didn't want to go any further.  It's been a cold, dull and foggy day but nevertheless a good day onboard NB Bendigedig.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Floating Again At Whixall

Dad at his 87th birthday party
Looking back through photos I came to this one at his 87th birthday lunch this April.....he always wore that tie and jumper when we went out for a meal. The gardening cake was amazing. 

On Saturday we came back to our boaty home for a few weeks before we go back to Newport for the dentist appointments and to continue with the task of clearing his house. We've done a lot but there's a lot more to do.

The boat was nice and warm as we'd left some heating on low. The fire was soon lit and the central heating fired up and we unpacked the bags. I brought back loads of washing but it was soon sorted in the laundry on Sunday morning.

Today we need to get some fresh food as we just picked up milk, bread and something for tea on the way back. I made a paella for Sunday lunch  as I had prawns and chicken in the freezer, I like meals that all go in one pan they're so quick to do.

The piers outside are covered in frost except where Eric put the salty mixture from the container near our pier. The thermometer reads 0 degrees so it's cold and I need to get showered and dressed to take Ben out a wee! So bye for now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

R.I.P My Dad Fred Lane 1927-2014

Today the final piece of the puzzle has been put in place with my father's funeral. I couldn't put into words the last  month which started with a fall, admission to hospital and his death on November the second.  He had a lovely send off with lots of happy memories from me his daughter, his grandchildren, nieces, nephews and a lovely eulogy by the vicar.His friends at St Thomas' Church  were amazing and worked so hard to make his fish amd chip lunch provided by Sheppards at Maesglas a great success. Fish and chips was always my dad's favourite food.We'll miss him dreadfully but at last he's with my mum.

Monday, October 20, 2014

He's In......Ben Falls In!

Back on the boat it felt a  little damp and cold but the heating was soon on and the place warmed up. It felt  strange in bed as I could feel the motion after being on dry land for nearly four weeks. Back to peace and quiet though with no roads or boats going past in the early hours.

In the morning the windows were running with condensation  but the next morning it was drier. I had a mountain of washing so I headed for the laundry in the marina which made light work of it with the large machines and excellent driers. My drier in the washer drier on the boat is definately not as good although I do tend to use the low heat as it doesn't damage anything delicate.

Back to boat maintenance the blacking, repainted tunnel bands looked good but we needed to replace the back door padlock as we had great difficulty getting it open when we got back as we could get it to open and had to borrow a pliers to raise the pin and the key was a bit bent.  As the fridge and freezer had been emptied as we wouldn't be on shoreline in the dry dock we had some shopping to do. We'd only brought something for tea when we came back.

Now last and not least Ben the dog fell in the marina in front of the bow, luckily he had his harness on and was attached to his lead so he was OK although he's heavy so my yells brought Eric to help pull him out. He wouldn't have fallen in if he'd not being trying to get at Whixie the dog on the boat opposite us and tried to cut the corner!  The shivering dog was soon dried off and running down the boat playing ball. He needed a wash so his coat is all fluffy after his dip. He went to sleep near the fire.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Going Home At last To Whixall

The last few weeks have been busy to say the least and I didn't feel I wanted to blog about the problems we've been having in Newport with my dad at the time, so in a nutshell......he's been unwell and had a few bad falls involving hospital visits and a stitched  hand. Add to that numerous doctor's,  hearing aid and optician's appointments as well as mobility problems.Getting him in and out of the car has been a nightmare.He's decided to sell his house so it's now up for sale and an offer made on a nearby bungalow but he doesn't seem to realise it's not a quick process as he's lived in one house since he was three years old and is now eighty seven and has never been involved in the moving process..His ongoing health problems means he could do with some help but  he refuses to have anyone in the house and without his consent nothing can be arranged. Even me who he calls his next of kin rather than his daughter gets shouted at if I try to help him in the house.

Clare and Ben had a lovely honey moon and Ben's made a new pal in Poppy the puppy who constantly gives his big licks. They even curl up together on a blanket on the sofa.She seems to have livened him up and they've enjoyed their morning walks together although we often get in a tangle of leads. I never thought I'd see the day when he'd share food and water bowls although there are two water bowls and two food bowls put down. They even play ball together although Poppy is much faster but lets Ben have it sometimes even though he'd rather just carry it in his mouth. We usually take two balls one for him to carry and one for Poppy to chase after. He's been good for her too as she now goes outside rather than leave a puddle in the kitchen. What we find strange though it that we can be out in a park and Ben waters anything vertical but Poppy doesn't do anything until she gets home to her back garden.

Back to the boat on Friday .....the spiders will have to vacate the premises. Bendy has had her bottom blacked and tunnel bands repainted so she should look a little smarter. I can't see the roof being tackled this year after all. Maestermyn have kept the boat keys for us in Oswestry as we forget to take the spare keys with us......how daft is that! Good job I rang them to tell them not to leave the keys inside when they put the padlock on the back doors.The bill awaits us too!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wedding Photos Take Two

Clare, Ben, Scarlett and Gwenllian
The guard of honour
Ben & Clare with her parents, grandad and neice Gwenllian

Clare and Gwenllian

Nick Thomas was kind enough to share these photos of our daughter Clare's Wedding to Ben on Facebook. Thank you Nick.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Lovely Wedding Day- Clare & Ben

A very happy Clare & Ben (Jane's photo)

Arriving by jeep

Clare with the vicar Ben's twin brother

Ben, Jane, Clare & Gwenllian

Ben arrives by jeep

Just some photos taken by Clare's friend Jane of our daughter Clare and Ben's wedding day.in no particular order. We had a lovely time and Eric took hundreds of photos but I won't to be able to share any until we get back to the boat as I need my laptop and the lead for the camera......we always forget something.

I actually wore a dress and  the heels lasted a couple of hours before I changed into flats as feet are more used to walking boots! The bride had sense she wore flats to start with.

Mr & Mrs with niece Gwenllian off to the reception
(photo from Dog Company Replicas)

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Catch Up Blog

A week has gone by  and what have we done? Eric's been busy painting the stern of the boat after sanding it down. It's had primer, undercoat and two coats of gloss and it looks so much better. Luckily the weather has been good so he could get on with it. The next painting job is big with the sandpaper covered roof needing a lot of attention where the wet has gone under the paper. We'll have a spotty roof and then it'll all be painted oxford blue instead of cream which never stayed clean.

We had a couple of days in Newport getting our three months prescriptions and catching up with family. Then we returned to the boat and managed to eat the food left in the  little chest freezer under our bed over the week as we needed it empty as the boat was going in for blacking. It's surprising the makings of meals we had in there and over the week we had shepherd's pie, sweet chilli chicken, chilli con carne, fish and rice, beef curry and fish and chips.

Now we're back again and this time it's for about ten days as we've got a wedding in the family and we've got the task of looking after Poppy the mad collie pup while they have a honeymoon. Ben makes Replica WW2 jeeps and this photo was taken on one of their open days. It's no surprise then that they'll be arriving at the venue in replica jeeps.

Our daughter Clare is marrying Ben

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back To Whixall Marina

After a comparatively quiet night at Whitehouse visitor moorings we left to  do the two tunnels and Chirk aqueduct. No queues at Whitehouse tunnel but we had to wait at Chirk Tunnel for a stream of boats to come through, then it was our turn with about six boats behind us. At the other end a queue had already formed it's been so busy for September even though the children are back in school.

Soon we were over the Chirk Aqueduct and making our way slowly towards New Marton Locks. Slowly because at every bridge hole we met a boat. We passed Chirk Marina where the golf course grass  is no longer closely cut ready for action. As we approached the locks a queue stretched ahead, when we arrived we were 14th and it took three and a half hours to work through those two locks. I went down to help at the locks until it was our turn, we met some happy holidaymakers as well as we ll as some grumpy ones on their own boats.

Ben and I enjoyed a towpath walk and we finally stopped just short of Ellesmere. We knew it would be busy there with the Floating Market on the canal arm so we stayed just after the turning point. I walked into Ellesmere with Ben to get a paper and some bread while Eric continued with his painting of the rear doors, counter and hatch. 

We moved on the next day heading back to Whixall we didn't need to join the queue for the waterpoint.........it was chaos at the junction with the arm into Ellesmere. Three hours cruising on a much quieter section of the Llangollen and we were back on the Prees Branch. Out came the windlass time to give those arm muscles a workout with the two lift bridges ahead of us. No wind today so it was easier to get alongside our berth and tie up. Soon we were back on shoreline and settled for a lazy afternoon.

Eric still has loads of painting to do but tomorrow's another day.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Llangollen And Back

A view of Castell Dinas Bran
This week we've meandering towards Llangollen trying to get some painting preparation done. We stopped in a nice quiet spot and Eric was busy being noisy with an electric sander and a hire boat pulled in for lunch, so we had lunch as well and resumed sanding once they'd left. The next day we decided to spend the weekend in Llangollen and had a pleasant trip up on Saturday morning with very few boats moving.
It's still strange visiting Llangollen at this time of year and we had a very pleasant few days. On Sunday we sampled an Italian style lunch with roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables and new potatoes at  Fouzis and of course we had to have Tiramisu  since they had some.
Before we left on Monday morning we met up with Liz and Nick  who were visiting Llangollen by car, for a coffee at Fouzis. Nice to see you both and we hope Connie is sorted soon.
We untied the boat and headed towards the basin to turn the boat around and decided to follow the trip boat which was leaving in a few minutes through the narrows. Unfortunately a very slow boat pulled out in front of us and we had a frustrating two hours cruising to Trevor. All I can say is the man on the bow was using a boat pole to fend off as the steerer was definitely not very good!
Here's a few photos as we crossed the aqueduct still following that slow boat. We'd had enough and pulled over at Whitehouse visitor moorings while he continued on his way.

A view of the River Dee from the Pontysyllte aqueduct
Railings on one side only

Misty hills in the distance

A view from the aqueduct showing the Railway Viaduct

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

One Job Done.....Droopy Fender Replaced

Before the sad  rear fender

Moored on the Ellesmere Arm was a trading boat 'PJ Fenders' so we managed to replace our droopy rear fender for a very good price, much cheaper than our previous one from Nantwich Chandlery which began to droop very quickly. Looks good so fingers crossed it stays looking good.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Surprise Surprise We're Cruising

Whixall Marina

Today NB Bendigedig left her mooring at Whixall Marina and we're out cruising.  Eric wants to do some painting and he didn't fancy painting when there's no land next to the end of the boat.  All the pontoons at Whixall are shorter than our boat.  There's an open weekend at Whixall this weekend.

Ben and I enjoyed a walk while Eric steered the boat and then we got back on at a bridge hole. Just those two lift bridges on the Prees Arm to give my arm muscles some exercise and it's about three hours cruising to Ellesmere. Not many boat's on the move. We found a space on the Ellesmere Arm and moored up and did a bit of shopping. It's busy here but it's ok for an overnight mooring.

Tomorrow we'll head out to a country mooring away from the  constant foot traffic past the boats.It's been a lovely day with wall to wall sunshine so  it's good to be out cruising.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Visit To The Quarry in Shrewsbury

A view of the Dingle  
Ben posing of course!

The goddess of the River Severn

another view of the  garden

I loved the cart full of sunflowers

Today we went to Shrewsbury and looking for a place to walk the dog we followed a brown road sign with trees on to The Quarry. We paid to park the car and went to have a look. It turned out to be a parkland of 29 acres in a loop of the River Severn. We enjoyed a walk alongside the river and then explored The Dingle not knowing what to expect. It was beautiful.....a formal display of flowers created by Percy Thrower during his 28 years as park superintendent according to the plaque on the sculpture in The Dingle.

Looking on google I found out some information on the Shropshire tourism site. It says that the area used to be a rough place where tanneries were sited and stone was dug but the fine gentlmen of Shrewsbury changed it into a place the Regency ladies could walk. I'm sure we'll be visiting The Quarry again...........next time the rain won't get us we'll remember to take the big umbrella which was in the car!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Going Home Again To Whixall Marina

After over three weeks in hospital Paula's so much better so we decided to go back to Whixall. We'd had a busy two weeks including helping our daughter Lisa move house.......will a mattress go in a freelander?  Yes..... as long as the back door is open!  Luckily the new house is only ten minutes away. Ben the dog watched the goings on and settled down to sleep once the rug was put down in the new house. Paula will hopefully be out of hospital soon.

Clare and Ben have been great letting us stay for two weeks but we miss the boat  and the peace and quiet of our country life. City living is so much noisier. Ben the dog is fast asleep on his furry mat and hasn't moved for hours......he's had a busy few weeks too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Nanny And Grandad Day

Today we went to Porthcawl with our grandaughter Lisa and Ben the dog came too. Gwen started off with a play in the park with battered sausage and chips to follow while we had pie and chips. Ben the dog helped me eat my pie and a bit of sausage off Gwen. Next came a walk through the town to the beach where dog's are allowed. Gwen threw stones in the sea while  Ben paddled getting rather wet as the tide came in unexpectedly.  We walked back back along the promenade to the fair. I must admit I hate fairs but she enjoyed it and found room for some candy floss. 

All was quiet on the way back.........she was fast asleep!

Friday, August 15, 2014

In Newport Again

We're back in Newport at the moment and Ben is enjoying all the space in Tredegar Park. We play ball with a brightly coloured green and orange tennis ball but once he's got it he's not keen to give it back, so he ends up carrying it for the duration of the walk. Poppy the puppy was delighted we've returned and is so pleased to see us.......she's gets so excited definitely comes into the category of mad collie. 

In the afternoons we've been visiting Paula hoping she'll get better soon and go home once again.Somehow it's much easier to chat  when you're not in a hospital  room. She often drops off to sleep as night time in hospital is never  that quiet and getting any sleep is a problem.

Ben was waiting for us watching at the window when we got back to Clare's house.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Eric's photo of Gwen and Scarlett 

Eric's been in Newport staying with Clare so he can  visit his sister Paula who is still in hospital but now there is improvement. He sent me this lovely photo of our two grandaughters. Today we chatted on the phone and he's coming back to Whixall to pick me up as I said I was going to take the train down as I was feeling lonely.  We've just celebrated 43 years of marriage  and seven and a half years afloat so I think we're used to being together.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ben And Connie

Liz took this photo of Ben and Connie out for a walk
Eric has gone to Wales leaving me with just Ben the dog for company. Yesterday I had a phone call from Liz and Nick offering to take me out for Sunday lunch at the Cotton Arms in Wrenbury which was good news indeed......so lots of time to chat. Connie came too and came on the boat to see Ben the dog......they sniffed each other and both went back to sleep. There was a time when he wouldn't let her on the boat!

Today we walked up the Prees Arm to meet Liz and Connie for a walk. Connie is now on 30 minute timed walks after a knee operation and quite happily walked along joined to  Ben by her lead on the wider towpath. Ben walked a lot further today with a  friend for company. Back on NB Henry Ben had a sniff and a chew at Connie's plastic chicken while she stayed at the other end of the boat. Probably thinking Ben had taken over her boat leaving his smells behind. After more chats and  a coffee Connie had her space back.
What's she doing now?
I cooked some salmon for lunch and the sweet chilli sauce didn't stop Ben wanting a taste accompanied by some vegetable rice. He's now having an afternoon nap.......what a life.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Back To Whixall

What a week we've had with a dog walking in various places including a visit to the seaside at Porthcawl  with Lisa and Gwen coming along too. We left Eric and Lisa sitting on a bench overlooking Rest Bay while Gwen came with Ben and I for a walk, when we came back they were gone......sheltering from the rain and waving madly at us, but we didn't see them at first.

The afternoon's have been busy too visiting Eric's sister Paula in hospital.She is still very poorly with an infection but today she looked a little brighter. We've come home for a few days as I needed more tablets for Ben the dog....I only took enough for just over a week. Eric is going back to Newport on Sunday  while Ben and I stay on board.  

Thanks again to Clare and Ben for letting us stay and the mad dog Poppy for our early morning wake up calls!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

A Visit To Newport

On Wednesday we packed the car and headed down south to Newport in south Wales as it was visiting time again. The letters were also accumulating at Paula's although we knew the contents of most of it......letters from the pet insurance and bills from Leahurst which had already been paid when we took Ben for his appointments. A few more still to pay but we haven't had them yet. Leahurst claims the money direct from More Than and then we get a bill for the 10%  of the cost the insurance company doesn't pay. We are so glad we had insurance with the total costs nearing £3,000.

We've had a busy few days catching up with family, dog walking and shopping. It was great to see a very smiley grandaughter Scarlett and her mum and dad of course. We enjoyed looking after Gwen one day and went out for lunch taking my dad, her great grandad too .....he always enjoys going out out but he doesn't eat much these days. Lisa cooked us a roast for tea which was lovely and Gwen cleared her plate. 

We planned to go back to Whixall today bringing our daughter Lisa and grandaughter Gwen with us for a holiday but anything planned never seems to happen. Paula is seriously ill in hospital so we are staying for a while and Lisa has to go into work on Thursday so that put paid to her holiday plans. We'll just have to wait and see.....no  good planning anything.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Good News

Ben the dog may not make it to the  top of Castell Dinas Bran again but he has been cleared by the neurologist  at the University of Liverpool Small Animal Teaching Hospital, so we're delighted.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sshhh ! At The Mere, Ellesmere

Yesterday we headed for Ellesmere for a quiet walk in the woodland area next to the Mere. It was lovely and cool under the trees and at the end we had a photo by the sshhh wooden sculpture.....this time of me and Ben the dog.
We took some bits and pieces to the charity shop as we'd been sorting through cupboards this week to get rid of stuff we don't need. With limited storage you really need to keep just the things you use. On the way to the charity shop we passed a cafĂ© with seats outside......someone was eating bacon sandwiches .......very tempting so we sampled some  on the way back.
Back on the boat it was another warm afternoon with temperatures of 80 degrees F with all the windows and doors open. The fan was working hard but I don't think it made a great deal of difference other than creating a breeze when it was very still outside. It's supposed to be a bit cooler next week......I hope it is.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Walk Around Colemere

A view across Colemere
Today we headed for Colemere by car as we knew a walk in the woods surrounding Colemere would be cooler than a towpath walk. I acquired one horse fly bite.....they just love me, but I'd already taken antihistamines for hay fever it shouldn't swell up.
Colemere is one of Shropshire's  meres or lakes formed by rain water accumulating in deep  hollows caused by glaciers in the Ice Age. It's a peaceful place to walk the dog and we didn't meet many dogs either. It's a long walk as far as Ben's concerned and he did well with no problems, just enjoying the difference places to smell and water as dog's do.
Eric & Ben at Colemere

The ride back to the marina was with all the windows open so it was lovely and cool. Back on the boat we had all the windows, side hatch and doors open to try and keep the temperature down. I've had enough of this heat now...I'm ok at 70  but over 80 degrees F I melt!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Walking In The Rain

Connie & Ben playing

Looking through some photos I came across this one when Ben was quite happy to play with Connie.....now he's just not interested. At present Connie is recovering from an operation on her knee and wouldn't be up for a rough and tumble anyway.

Since we been back  at the marina it's been unbelievably hot on the boat so we've been sat underneath the  big oak tree  in the marina grounds to cool off. Ben and I have had some short walks and yesterday we had a walk in Ellesmere while Eric took the shopping list to do the shopping......he did well too.

Last night we had  the forecast rain with some thunder and lightening and of course Ben came to sleep under the pullout part of the bed.  He spent most of the night there until the torrential rain eased. 

This morning we ended up walking in the rain but it was so much cooler I didn't really mind. Ben had a rub down with a towel so he was happy too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back Home To Whixall

Whixall Marina

Today we left our mooring at Grindley Brook and cruised for about two and a half hours  with five lift bridges to do before stopping on visitor moorings just before the Prees Branch. We stopped so Eric could finish polishing the side of the boat. Now both sides are shiny and we have a nice painted front deck but there's  still have an endless unwritten list of jobs to do.

Once the polishing was done we did the final run down the Prees Branch to the marina.....two more lift bridges too. We stopped to fill up with diesel and get the mail.....a package of tablets for Ben the dog from the animal hospital. Now we are moored up and  back on shore power. We enjoyed our three week cruise but it's nice to be home.  I entered the photograph above in the BWML photo competition.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Marbury To Grindley Brook

Ben tied up waiting for me 

Today we worked through the three locks before the six at  Grindley Brook. At Quoisely Lock we bought some lovely duck eggs from the man who always helps us through the lock. He now sells bottled water as well as fresh veg, bacon, eggs and bread. At Willy Moor Lock the pub was shut as it wasn't yet midday. 

As we approached the bottom lock  of Grindley Brook a moored hireboat pulled out in front of us, not that it mattered as most of  the boats were climbing the locks anyway and we had to turn some of the locks. Two locks up we met a boat coming down and then we were amongst the next three boats going up the staircase once I checked with the lockkeeper.

Above the locks we did the filling, emptying and getting rid of rubbish before mooringnup just past the waterpoints. Then it was just a short walk to the '@29 Cafe' for a coffee and a scone with cream and jam.......very nice too. There's some very cheeky sparrows in the cafe garden that  sample your cake before you do, if you don't keep your eye on it. They are very tame and take crumbs from your  hand.

It's certainly blowy up here but it's not raining yet so maybe Eric will get a bit more polishing done on his very own 'Forth Bridge'. (because it's endless).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just A Little Further

We left a very busy Wrenbury behind after Ben and I went to the village shop for a paper. In the shop something went bang and everything went off including the electronic till so it was back to basics with paper and pen recording the items sold and the cost.

No plans to go very far after we worked through Marbury Lock as the towpath had changed sides and Eric wanted to wash that side of the boat before polishing it. He did the final coat of paint on the deck before lunch as I am a messy painter......I always end up with it on my hands although this time he did too!

Ben enjoyed running back and for between us on the towpath alongside the boat before he jumped back on the boat, luckily a shouted "No" stopped him front jumping onto the wet paint. It's a bit cooler today but still plenty of sun on the solar panels.

Eric's setting up the satellite dish for the cup final, thank goodness for i player then I can watch something else.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Onwards To Wrenbury

Yesterday evening we got a coat of undercoat on the front deck, and today it had a topcoat once we were moored up at Wrenbury. We've wanted to paint the deck as it had lots of rusty patches but we couldn't do it easily in the marina as we always moor up bow in as it's easier to get Ben off the front. If he jumps too far onto the stern deck he ends up in the canal.

Today's cruising included five locks and one lift bridge with no queues today so we arrived at Wrenbury at lunch time and found a boat sized space.Once again plenty of boats on the move and we usually met them at bridge holes, but it made locking easier as no gates to close on exiting a lock. It's always good when the lock gates are open ready to go in too.

We took a walk with Ben to the village shop for essentials- bread, milk and ice cream! It's been so hot! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Back On The Llangollen Canal

The entrance to the Llangollen Canal (dirty mark on camera lens)
Today we set off about eleven as I didn't wake up until 9.30, I went back to sleep after a wake up call at six when an early rising boater went past. It shouldn't have taken us six hours to get to Bridge 5 on the Llangollen but we hit queues firstly at Minshull  Lock with five boats ahead of us. I went up to help at the lock and by the time it was our turn there was still eight boats below the lock.

At Cholmondeston Lock we had just two boats ahead so not bad but there was a queue waiting to come down. Most waiting boaters came to help but of course when it was our turn to go up  the next boat down just sat on their hire boat and watched until the gates were open ready for them. Eric was tempted to shut the gates behind us and then one bloke came to sit on the open lock gate.......he must have heard Eric's remarks!

But our luck changed at Hurleston with a  very slow boat in front of us didn't turn right for Llangollen and a boat was descending the bottom lock just as we got there. In fact  all four locks had descending boats so there's a stroke of us luck, just passing in the pounds. I couldn't believe there wasn't a lock keeper on a Friday afternoon, as the two centre pounds were  low making it difficult to get out of the locks.  Stopping for water it was so slow Eric said he could pee faster!