Saturday, March 29, 2014

Another Week Gone By

Another week has been and gone, doesn't time fly by. This week it's been the usual jobs whether on a boat or in a house, that's shopping , cooking, washing and cleaning. Other than that we've been out in the car and dog walking. One day we went to have a walk on the Montgomery Canal towpath after following road signs to Lower Frankton. We ended up doing a bit of food shopping in Sainsbury's in Oswestry. We've also walked the usual walks down the Prees Branch, in Ellesmere and the  Whixall Mossses.

Today we went by car to Ikea,  Birmingham as I wanted some new fitted sheets, I checked that they had what I wanted online and Google Navigation took us there via the A49, A5, M54 and M6 junction 9. I could spend hours in Ikea but Ben was in the car so it was just a quick the sheets and a new quilt too. If we stayed longer we would have only spent loads of cash.

It's been a lovely sunny day .....British Summer Time begins tomorrow so we lose an hours sleep but it won't affect Eric as he'll be still there at ten o'clock.....not a morning person!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hello Paula

I've had a complaint from my sister in law Paula that I'm not blogging enough to keep her entertained. Since we are currently moored up in Whixall Marina there isn't anything particularly interesting to blog about so I'll bore you with what we've done today.

My day started with a hot shower and getting dressed to take Ben the dog out for his first wee of the day, I didn't want to frighten our neighbours by going out with bed hair, pyjamas and dressing gown. Ben has an excellent bladder and lasts from 10.30pm until after 9.00am the next day......I wish I didn't have to get up in the night.

I then potter about getting breakfast and coffee sorted before Eric wakes up....he's not a morning person.Once Eric was up, fed and watered we wondered what to do today. We were feeling a bit cabin crazy and went for a drive into Ellesmere so I could walk Ben the dog for an hour. Eric has a painful heel at the moment so walking for him isn't much fun.

We picked up the Sunday papers and headed back to the boat by car as I had some lamb steaks to cook for lunch with fresh vegetables and Auntie Bessie's roasties. That was followed by home made rice pudding and a lazy afternoon where the only activity was  feeding the fire with coal and wood, listening to Shropshire radio, playing games on the tablet and reading the papers. We did have to play ball with Ben the dog once he had his after dinner nap. He likes meat and vegetables too.

So Paula not a very eventful day but we're happy....I hope your day was good too.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Just A Few Photographs

Ben in Ellesmere

Ben waiting for me to catch up

New sculpture by Ellesmere Tunnel

Ellesmere Tunnel
Yesterday Ben and I were out for hours as we did a circular walk starting from Whixall Marina along various country lanes to Waterloo and then back along the Prees Branch. It did involve almost crawling under a fallen tree branches on the towpath which Ben got through quite easily. He did sleep for an hour when we got back. The weather was tremendously windy but it did manage to stay dry until we got back to the boat.
Today we went for a walk in Ellesmere and I remembered  to take a camera so the photos were taken today.......and there was actually a boat on the move. The Llangollen Canal is still closed at Hampton Bank so they couldn't have been going far. Ben was watering the  plants while I took the photograph. We met Eric in Tesco's car park so Ben stayed in the car while we did the food shopping. I made a shepherd's pie for tea.....delicious!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Enjoying The Sunshine

Ben on the Mosses

Following the peaty paths

A Wales/England marker post

A view of the Mosses

Across  the Mosses
Today we've been for a two hour walk from Whixall Marina and along some peaty tracks on the Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses. These photographs were from the Summer but it looks much the same other than the tree being leaf less at the moment. Ben was on the end of a long lead too, as it's the breeding season.  The only wild life we saw  other than dogs and their owners were yellow brimstone butterflies enjoying fluttering in the sunshine.  We passed the anglers along the Prees Branch  enjoying their fishing in the sunshine although they hadn't caught many fish.

Yesterday was a less energetic day as Ben and I went for a walk down the Prees Branch before he had to stay behind on the boat as we were off out to lunch. We met Nick and Liz at Poacher's Pocket, near Chirk, a popular canal side pub. Soon they'll be off on their travels when April 1st comes, as they leave their winter moorings in Llangollen.  We have another trip to Newport in April, for birthdays and prescriptions and a visit from our daughter Lisa and granddaughter Gwenllian in the Easter holidays before we begin our first cruise of the year.

Gwenllian and Lisa crossing Pontsycyllte  Aqueduct

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Goodbye Newport....Back Soon

On Sunday we made the three hour journey to Newport and our first port of call was grandaughter number one Gwenllian and her mum Lisa so cuddles all round. I took Ben for a walk around the nearby park to stretch his legs before we left Lisa and Gwen  and went up the hill to Clare's house. Ben was holding Poppy the puppy when  we arrived as all she wants to do is play and Ben the dog's basically not interested and soon warns her off if she gets close. As usual it wasn't an easy couple of days.

On Monday we had a walk around Tredegar Park near my dad's house before visiting him.He wanted to go out to lunch so we dropped Ben the dog off at Clare's house and tried the Rhiwderin Inn which had some good reviews on the Internet. The food was lovely and we had a good catch up chat with my dad. There was 20% off the main meals ( if you had a bus pass) so that was an extra bonus. I had a lovely ham salad with thick cut cooked ham just how it used to be before wafer thin ham was invented.

Back at Clare's I made a curry for tea but I was still full from lunch so I didn't have any this time. Later on we went to see Eric's sister Paula with Ben the dog so Poppy could run freely round the house rather than just have the kitchen with a baby gate to keep Ben the dog away....not that she's quiet, she barks  as she just wants to get to him and he's a grumpy old dog.

On Tuesday it was time to pick up our prescriptions from the chemist to keep us going for another month and another dog walk. A quick phone call to daughter Sally confirmed they were home and we go and visit grandaughter number two Scarlett who's nearly three months old and  doing well on her mother's milk. She was enjoying some exercise on her play mat waving her arms and legs about just like she did on the video Sally sent us.

Today we're heading back to Whixall leaving Poppy the puppy, daughter Clare and her partner Ben to a little peace and quiet. Before we go I'll have to take Ben the dog for a walk alongside the River Ebbw in Tredegar Park. We'll be back in four weeks as it's birthday time for Gwenllian who will be six and my dad, her great grandad who will be eighty seven years young.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

A Walk Into Whitchurch

Today I had a late start not waking until 9.30am,  so after a shower it was a quick walk up the lane outside the marina with Ben the dog before breakfast. He was fast asleep until I got up ....he's obviously got a good bladder! Eric's was soon up when he heard us going out.

After breakfast Eric dropped me off at Grindley Brook so Ben and I could walk into Whitchurch along the towpath , down the Whitchurch Arm  following the route to the Park where we met Eric. On the towpath above  Grindley Brook there was a Cafe Boat and a Sweet Boat but I didn't have any was in my shopping bag in the car.

We walked through the Park into town where Eric had parked the car in Tesco's car park. After putting Ben in the back of the car we did a little bit of shopping. We didn't need  much as tomorrow we're off to sunny Newport in south Wales for a visit. Look out Poppy the puppy grumpy Ben is on his way.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

We Have Wheels

Our car has been repaired at Roden's garage just round the corner from Dobson's Bridge, a short walk from Whixall Marina, so now we have wheels again. We didn't really miss it over the last few days as we had plenty of food onboard and didn't have any drives planned other than visiting Newport at the weekend.

Today we decided to go to Prees Heath Common Reserve where dogs are allowed but have to on the lead in certain areas where nesting birds could be disturbed. Running down the middle of the site is an old airfield. Heathland and grassland vegetation is being restored across the site and at the right time of year there'll be butterflies as it's a butterfly conservation area. Google it  for  more  information and directions of how to get there. 

Ben had a good run and is now fast asleep.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Thanks Mr AA Man

Today started off well, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and Eric dropped me off in the car park above Ellesmere Tunnel so I took Ben for a walk. We had a lovely walk arriving back in the Tesco car park at Ellesmere an hour later where Eric was waiting for us.I put Ben in the back of the car and we did our shopping.

Ready to go but the car wouldn't start! I rang the AA breakdown service and explained where we were making sure she knew it was Ellesmere, Shropshire not Ellesmere Port. The estimated arrival time of the engineer was  90 minutes so I took Ben for another walk. A very nice AA man arrived to help us 90 minutes later and found the faulty fuel pump. He gently tapped it with his hammer to get it going and followed us to the garage near Whixall Marina....we were ok as long as we didn't turn off the engine. He even brought Eric and all the shopping back to the marina while Ben and I walked the short distance back to the marina.

So our day didn't turn out as planned but it could have been so much worse if we'd  broken down on the way to Newport next weekend.