Friday, February 27, 2015

Ben's Cream Crackered

Just got back from South Wales so Ben the dog climbed on the sofa and went to sleep over an hour and a half later he's still there,  hasn't moved......he must be cream crackered.

We did stop on the way and have a walk in Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum on the way back to break the three hour journey. It's a great place to stop with a cafe which does lovely hot chocolates and a take out hatch as well as toilets and plenty of pathways for dog walking. Plenty of mud too but that's life in the countryside.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Back To Newport

Scarlett's on her feet
On Wednesday Erice woke up with a painful eye so our plan to visit Newport next week was due to change to a week earlier. The earlier iritis is treated the better so we packed some bags and had some breakfast. I took Ben for a walk while Eric turned off the gas and packed  the bags in the car. No appointments left at the doctor for the afternoon but the doctor has a walk in surgery in the morning. Three hours later we were picking up our post at Eric's sister Paula's house  and having a cuppa and a chat.

In the morning Eric got up and went to the doctor's and I thought I'd have a half hour before I got up myself, but once again it wasn't to be. The phone rang to tell me the alarm was going off at my dad's house and I needed to go and reset it. Clare's husband Ben was my taxi service to get there. Ben the dog and I walked back  over the Gaer to Clare's house as Ben needed some exercise, while Ben went on his way to work taking their dog Poppy with him.

Later in the day we went for a wander around the lake in Roath Park in Cardiff with Ben the dog, with loads of swans who didn't want to get off the path and out of his way either. We had a trip to Go Outdoors to get another pair of walking boots. It's been a lovely warm sunny day, quite a change from the shivery days we've been having.

We went to see our daughter Sally and granddaughter Scarlett who's now walking, she seems so little to be on her feet. We took strawberries  which she loves too.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Birthdays To Us

Clare and Ben's Wedding

Looking for  photograph of the two of us I thought I'd reuse this one of a very happy day last September. This week we celebrate our birthdays, another year gone by with lots of good memories and some sadder moments.

Nothing much happening here at Whixall Marina, note the spelling ITV's 'Barging Around Britain' spelt it Wixall. I did watch the Llangollen one but found it rather disappointing but then again they only had twenty minutes. They could have shown the locks at Grindley Brook or even mentioned the Mosses as they passed them by several times.

We've had frost in the early morning followed by hail stones, sleet and snow all in one day. Ben wasn't keen in walking in the hail stones so we sheltered under a canal bridge until it stopped. Ben walked he had to stay home alone......I hope he didn't bark or howl for long. 

We decided to go shopping in Shrewsbury for a change, it's such a busy town with lots of shops. All we really wanted was another Three MiFi as Eric's finished his Three phone contract which tethering on, which was useless in Whixall for the internet or phone calls. The MiFi has a much stronger signal and at £20.10 for 15G It's a good buy with enough data to watch iplayer, films and of course You Tube.

I bought some new jeans, a boater's essential and we had lunch out in M & S, toasties and a side salad with coffees.....very nice too. Eric's exciting buy was some new vests as Tesco's failed in their length, the new ones actually were much he modelled it to show me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Fenn's & Whixall Mosses History Trail

The walk route with numbered posts

On Valentines day we decided to go for a boggy walk on the Mosses and it was certainly a much wetter walk underfoot that our previous walks on the Mosses. The photographs are from the excellent pamphlet found in a little weatherproof box near the start of the route.

We started off at the Shed Yard car park deciding to walk it in reverse starting by heading towards point 17 just to confuse me a bit more as I studied the pamphlet to find out the route but luckily the route has numbered posts so you can be sure you're not going to get lost. Apparently there was  WW2 bombing range here and later we came across the metal baskets laid out to look like burning houses and factories as decoy fire baskets when lit..the starfish site.

Near the English/Welsh border the peat cutters found three bog bodies which the bog water had preserved their hair and skin like tanned leather but you can only imagine life in this bleak place. The layers of peat tell their own story of climate change. The pamphlet  shows a picture of 'Tollund man bog body'  named after a bog body found in Denmark according to Google. Two hours later we were back on board Ben the dog had a long sleep, it's the longest walk he'd had for quite a while.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Wednesday On The Mosses

We've been quite enjoying having  an ice free marina and the Prees Arm is also clear again which means those who wish to escape the marina can. At present we're waiting for warmer weather before we leave our safe haven.

On Monday we went to  Wrexham with a hair cut followed by a  fish and chip lunch in mind. I'd booked the appointment so Eric didn't have to wait long for his lunch. Ben really didn't want us to leave him and had a bark as we left but he must have been quiet as our neighbours would have mentioned it if he howled.

We've been out walking the dog every day in the local area and today we walked up to the Mosses and walked one of the marked routes.It waa great to walk on the peaty tracks rather than roads as it's easier on the feet.  We looked less wrapped up against the weather as it was a bit warmer  as the icy wind has eased. 

When we came back Eric ran the engine for an hour as it hadn't been run for a few weeks, next job is changing the oil and filters  ready for our escape. A lazy afternoon is our plan for today. 

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Surrounded By Ice

For the last few days we've been held fast by ice most nights with the groans and crunches as the boat breaks free in the morning. The ice in the marina came quickly leaving a patterned surface but today there's a sign of a melt with the icy wind easing it's grasp.

Although our water tap is frozen there is one nearby that is working so we've managed to keep the water tank topped up. We've been using the laundry here in Whixall Marina as it's so much quicker with the large capacity washers and driers and saves filling up time. The cupboards have been kept stocked, as well as the fridge and freezer with shopping trips to Ellesmere, so we certainly won't go hungry.

Eric and I have been out crunching along the towpaths with Ben the dog which means a clean dog after a walk......a bonus. If we both go out walking we get a longer walk, when I go on my own Ben needs lots of encouragement to keep going. Needless to say the thermals are getting a workout, roll on the warmer weather, but then I'll probably say it's too hot when summer actually comes.