Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back To The Doctor Again

Eric's been full of cold and now it's turned into a chesty cough so we're back at the doctor's today to get him checked out. As our doctor has a walk in surgery system it's much easier to see a doctor in Newport so that's where we are today. 

Ben didn't whinge in the back of the car as we travelled down yesterday which made a pleasant change. Although he's not a happy dog at Clare's house when Poppy the puppy came home, so he's in the lounge  with a baby gate separating them.

Today as Eric set off for the doctor's in the car, I set off on foot to walk the dog down to my Dad's house. It took me an hour and a quarter to get there so Ben's had a nap when we got there. Eric picked me up later as he wanted to keep his germs to himself.....he has another chest infection.  We had fish and shared a bag of chips for lunch then Eric took Ben back to Clare's house while I had a haircut in Newport.

Going home in the morning, thanks to Clare and Ben for letting us stay. Ben the dog will be pleased to get away from Poppy the puppy!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Seven Years Onboard.....Some .Memories

This week we've been living on NB Bendigedig for seven still says six on my profile but for reasons unknown Blogger won't bring up the page to let me edit it.

Our boat ready to go

We remember our first cruise where we picked up the boat at Northwich Boats and the fun we had getting our stuff aboard. Lots of our van load never got on the boat as there was just too much. Living on a boat there's limited storage space so if you don't need it we don't keep it. You can have too much stuff!
Misty at the lock above the Mill
Our first night was spent near a mill above the boat builders and I can remember the amazing array of stars visible through the side hatch and the start of our new life. That winter we got frozen in after we passed through Harecastle Tunnel but we had all we needed and just stayed put. Nobody bothered us! I didn't enjoy that first tunnel and it was a big surprise to see all the ice on the other side. The next day the snow came to surprise us too.

In the ice at Harecastle
We soon learned the routines of living onboard and I remember well the phone calls to ask the boatyard questions .......we didn't know about the three way switch for electric and had no power because it wasn't in the right position.....but it was a steep learning curve.

Above Wheelock, the start of Heartbreak Hill
We slowly made our way down the Trent and Mersey Canal towards our marina berth at Barton Turns with all those locks called 'Heartbreak Hill' by the old boaters' to get through but we made it. Our time in a marina was short as we decided to continuously cruise. So we've come full circle and we have a mooring again, but we intend to go off for cruises when the weathers warmer but it's nice to have a base to come back too. 

I know I've said it before but we love it at Whixall Marina and if you're looking for a residential or leisure berth there's plenty of room! 

Our berth at Whixall Marina

Today our daughter Sally celebrates a special birthday and she shares her birthday with her other half Dave. Happy Birthday!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just A Photo!

Asleep! Scarlett at 4 weeks old.
I just had to share a photo her mum Sally put on Facebook. My granddaughter Scarlett is now four weeks old weighing in at eight pounds. She's keeping her mum very busy at the moment!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

In Newport Again

Happy Birthday Lisa
The journey down on Monday  seemed slower than usual but we got there in the end. We picked up a birthday cake for Lisa on the way down as she was going to be at Clare's with her daughter Gwenllian. I bought the ingredients for spaghetti bolonaise for tea was us all, knowing it's good not to have to cook when you get in from's Gwen's favourite too. 

Ben ran away grumbling from puppy Poppy when they met this time, If she managed to escape she made her way upstairs where Ben was with me keeping away from her.He just doesn't appreciate being jumped on. Ben doesn't do play with other dogs. He's certainly grown since he was a puppy.

Ben at a pup

Poppy the puppy

Tuesday started with a dog walk in Tredegar Park before leaving Ben home alone for a few hours while we took my dad out to lunch before we went clothes shopping with him. So far the neighbours haven't complained that Ben howled!  Dad's now got some clothes that fit him better, whether he'll wear them is another matter but at least he's got a new outfit for Clare and Ben's wedding althought no date is set yet.

Tuesday teatime we spent with Lisa and Gwen of course Ben the dog came too....he had Gwen playing ball with him.  My Dad was quite happy to go home rather than have tea with Lisa, as he didn't want to miss his favourite TV programmes.  After tea we visited Eric'sister Paula before going to Clare's house. Back at Clare's the two dogs were a little better managing to stay in the same room with each other without Poppy barking. Poppy was on the sofa while Ben was on the floor by me.

On Wednesday it was dentist time and I'm pleased to say my treatment is finished until my next checkup. Drinking was fun until my mouth came back to life. A drive to Abercarn followed to see our daughter Sally and new grandaughter Scarlett who is growing fast, she's put on two pounds since she was born three weeks ago. Eric enjoyed a cuddle and she was soon fast asleep on him.

Tomorrow we're going back home, it's been a busy few days.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Quite A Quiet Week

Nothing much going on this week other than the muddy dog walks trying to avoid the showers. We've had some pretty cold mornings but it warms up a bit during the day.       While I'm out the cleaning fairy  (Eric) usually does the dishes and puts the vacuum cleaner around saving me doing it. I just get the dusting and the bathroom to sort out. One advantage of a boat is much less to clean and you soon get used to living in a smaller space.

We've been food shopping in Whitchurch and Ellesmere and today we went out for lunch with Nick and Liz to the Poachers' Pocket which is canalside near Chirk. Since we last there it's been refurbished under new ownership and we had a lovely meal with excellent service definitely worth a return visit. This afternoon we're suitably full and relaxing watching tv on the boat.

Tomorrow we'll be in Newport again  with hopefully my last dentist appointment for six months. Time once again to catch up with family. My dad wants some new clothes, so we're having lunch together before we visit M & S. It's always nice to see our three daughter's and two granddaughter's and they get far more visits since we've had a car and a mooring.

As I've said before we love the peace and quiet of Whixall Marina and the Shropshire and North Wales  magazine  Yattar Yattar wrote an article on Whixall Marina called 'Plain Sailing'.They rang me to ask about the marina so my name is in print! Follow the link to view the article.

Last but not least today is my youngest daughter Lisa's birthday, so we'll be having cake tomorrow.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Visit To Llangollen By Car

On Saturday we decided to make the best of a dry day and go to Ellesmere to do the dog walking  and then go to Ellesmere to visit Liz on NB Henry on the Llangollen Winter Moorings.I love a trip to Llangollen by boat or car as I love the scenery with all the hills.  We were lucky to find her at home as she'd been out for hours walking Connie from Poacher's Pocket, Chirk to Llangollen. Connie let Ben the dog on her boat and he behaved himself!  We had a coffee and a good catch up chat and decided to go out for Sunday lunch at Poacher's Pocket next Sunday. Liz tried to book a table but they don't allow you to book in advance,  you just have to wait for a table if there isn't one free. Hopefully we won't have a long wait. Llangollen was very busy in town and along the towpath there were loads of walkers and dogs......Connie and Ben were grumbling as they passed NB Henry.

We woke on Sunday morning to find a thin layer of ice on parts of the marina and very frosty pontoons. Luckily the pontoons had been gritted the night before so not as slippery as they could have been. I took Ben for a walk and in places the Prees Branch was also iced over, but by the time we got back from our walk the ice on the marina was gone....good news indeed. The longer we are ice free the better as the water pipes will probably freeze if it gets too cold. I still remember carrying water containers when we got stuck in Ellesmere a few years ago.

Today we made a quick trip to Ellesmere to get some shopping after Ben and I had a walk in the mud down the Prees Branch. We didn't take Ben but brought him back a little tray of Caesar as a treat.....hopefully he didn't howl while we were away.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Back In Our Floaty Home

On Wednesday it was time for my dental appointment for a crown preparation and she also did a temporary repair on a broken filling until she can fix it next appointment. After that we headed back to Whixall Marina, our floaty boaty home. We stopped at Tesco's for sandwiches and drinks although my mouth was numb for quite a while.

The journey back was tedious with lots of lorries,  slow traffic and of course tractors. Ben the dog had eaten his food as we travelled along. He's had a funny few days being particularly whingey and not letting me out of his sight, but he's fine now he's home. Clare's neighbour told us the day we popped up to see our new grandaughter Scarlett he howled for an hour!  He's never done that before.

Back on the boat it was time to warm it up, the diesel heating fired up on my second attempt and the coal fire was soon lit. As the immersion heater is on the calorifier under the bed, we turned it on to get some hot water and warm the bed. Then it was time to cook some tea after the gas was turned back on, we always turn if off if we're away for a few days. Ben the dog settled himself on the settee and went to sleep,  and a quiet night followed.

Today  we went for the usual muddy walk before leaving Ben on the boat while we did some food shopping. We listened out of sight for a little while but no howls. We went to Whitchurch along the country lanes with flooded sections giving the wheels a wash!  So the fridge is full and we're ready for the weather with plenty of coal and logs to keep us warm. The marina provides us with a useful padlocked storage container as we have a residential mooring so we only have the bags  we're using on the deck of the boat.

So it's all quiet here at Whixall, the stars can be seen tonight and I can see Jupiter from the sidehatch....identified by Google Sky Map. Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Back In Wales By Car

On Sunday we drove down to Newport once again, it's doctor's, dentist and visiting family time again. The roads going south were quiet and the road signs warned of floods which were no longer on the roads. The fields were often flooded though near rivers after all the heavy rain.

In Newport the River Usk  flooded Shaftesbury Park and some businesses near the river but Lisa's house was not affected which was great news. Watching the news some devastating damage had been done along the coast of Wales. The gondolier on Newport's Transporter Bridge over the Usk was very close to the river, but not damaged by the combination of flood water and high tides.

Our prescriptions weren't ready for us at the doctor's as the order forms hadn't arrived by post although posted on Thursday but hopefully we'll be able to get them sorted tomorrow. You can't order them by phone only by post or in person.

We've been catching up with family with a visit to my dad and then my daughter Lisa and grandaughter Gwen as well getting as a haircut in Newport.  She was feeling tired after her first day back in school and was ready for bed by seven o'clock. We also collected our post which Eric's sister Paula kindly keeps for us, not that we get much nowadays. The boat insurance is due so that letter waiting for us.

Later today we'll hopefully get the prescriptions sorted and then visit daughter Sally and new grandaughter Scarlet now about a fortnight old. Ben the dog will have to stay at Clare's for an hour after he's had a long walk. Poppy the puppy goes to work with Ben and Clare so it'll be OK to leave him in the house. Ben the dog is not sure about the pup so we're still keeping them apart, he'll sniff  her but then turn away..... he doesn't want to be jumped on at seven he's a grumpy old man.

Well I really must try and get some sleep it's two o'clock in the morning and I'm having trouble hence this blog. Every one else in the house is fast asleep, there's no howling wind or rain lashing on the windows but I struggle to get to sleep most night's, even when I'm in my own bed. Goodnight all.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Glad To Be Afloat

What a week weatherwise, most of our dog  walks have been in the  mud and  we have had only two walks without rain.  Yesterday we did the Colemere circuit in sunshine and it wasn't cold either but Eric and I met loads of other dog walkers with the same idea. Loads of welly wearing children enjoying a walk too, probably glad to get out after days of rain.

Last night here at Whixall the weather was horrendous with high winds and  very heavy rain hammering on the boat but we were afloat so didn't have the worry of floods. The pontoons here are floating anyway so raised water levels are not a problem. We have had to negotiate a flooded section of road when we went shopping in Ellesmere but large puddles which nearly meet in the middle and muddy lanes are the norm here, hence the 4x4. This morning's walk down the Prees Branch Nature Reserve with Ben the dog involved climbing over a fallen tree, while Ben just went underneath.Once again is was the usual muddy walk but at  least it stayed dry.

In Newport last night there was a severe weather warning for the area where my daughter Lisa lives with grandaughter Gwenllian so they put what they could upstairs and went up to stay with sister Clare who lives on top of Barrack Hill, as they started to evacuate the Crindau area. Clare's fiancee Ben has a workshop in that area so he went down to move stuff to a high level  just in case, but luckily it stayed dry.This morning Lisa found out she escaped the flooding, so we've got our fingers crossed her house or Ben and Clare's work place is not flooded in the 8.30 pm high tide or tomorrows morning tide as the severe weather warning is still in place.

Looking at the news tonight.....I'm glad to be afloat!