Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brr It's Cold Outside

We woke this morning to temperatures of minus 5 C but warm and cosy in the boat. A flick of the heating switch before I got out of bed ensured the shower room was warm too. Eric had gritted the pier back to solid ground so Ben and I managed to stay upright going for his first wee of the day. He's gone back to sleep and Eric is still asleep!

We've lost one of our circular dog walks as the towpath on the Prees branch it closed as is the canal for piling work as part of the winter stoppage programme. No sign of anything being done about the broken lift bridge which lies forlorn on the offside of the canal.I expect it involves lots of permission hoops to get it done.

We had to walk at Grindley Brook where the staircase lock is surrounded by barriers on Saturday but no work being done at the weekend. The cafe is all shut up for the winter too so no coffees for us. Ben enjoyed his walk although it was cold and foggy, it cleared later in the day.

Ellesmere has been visited a few times as it's where we usually shop as we can walk the dog alongside the Mere or along the canal while we're there. We passed   a few boats paying the winter mooring fees to stay on the Ellesmere Arm, fewer than usual as the price has gone up again. Basically they are paying not to be hassled as they sit tight for the winter and still have to run their engines for electricity and move to get water. It's the same price as a stay on Llangollen Wharf and there you have electricity as long as it's working and a water tap next to each boat.  It seems to be a winter mooring in a marina is becoming a better deal and we have quite a few new moorers in Whixall taking advantage of special deals.

Large expanses of ice have appeared in the marina so I expect the Prees Arm is frozen, we'll have to go an have a look. At least we wont be muddy with the crisp frost on the ground.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It Rained All Day

Ben had a very short walk yesterday as it rained heavily all day. We were warm and cosy and didn't need to venture out other than to take Ben out for a wee, ..so a quiet day was had by all. I had my head in a book!  Obviously not that quiet with the wind  and rain hammering on the roof. It finally stopped after dark for a short time so I could venture outside to get rid of the fire ash in the dustbin supplied by the marina just for ash.

Today it's a much nicer today so we'll pop to Ellesmere to do a bit of shopping and top up the food supplies as well walk Ben the dog. We need to get some coal and logs too from the marina  to fill up our storage box while it's dry. Cold weather is forecast!

If all goes to plan some low loaders are bringing CaRT workboats to be craned into the water from the marina carpark today for the planned winter work. Seems an unnecessary expense when they could have come by water if they did it before the stoppages shut the canal at Grindley Brook. Everyone was informed so that parked cars wouldn't be in the way.

The swans will have to vacate the slip way too, it's their favourite spot.  Flying lessons are still going on, one surprised us by landing on the roof with a bang and falling onto the pontoon between the boats.....apparently none the worse for wear......the youngster went back to his mates by water.

We watched the  boats being carefully craned in over the hedge and here's some photographs taken by Eric. Due to my slow internet I can't upload any more.

The crane arrives

The huge crane lifts the workboat over the hedge

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Time Flies By

Since we came back to Whixall we've had one very frosty morning making the piers slippery but soon salted and gritted so no one ended up falling. Other than that the morning temperatures have been about 10 degrees C which is definitely warm for halfway through November. So dog walking has been a treat with no scarves and hats needed just yet.

On Monday we decided to find a new doctor in Whitchurch as up until now we've gone back and for to Newport for repeat prescriptions.Our old doctor has retired and  it's been nothing but hassle to get our repeats with items missing .....I think they expect you to just stay in Newport and go for prescriptions every 28 days. We found a surgery willing to take us on with some only covering a five mile radius of Whitchurch where we had to prove our identity and address, so we're registered and given forms to fill in before our new patient medicals. We can remember our medical history but have no idea of dates.

We've been finishing off the Christmas present shopping in Shrewsbury yesterday leaving Ben home alone. We took him for a long walk before we left so perhaps he had a sleep. Nobody complained that he howled and he was pleased to see us when we got back. Leaving the car park surprised us as we paid the fees after the ticket was scanned and the barrier raised to let us out without putting the ticket in the machine.....it must work on camera recognising the car registration number. 

Today it's raining so it's mud larking in the rain. We noticed the city smells in Shrewsbury after all we're more used to the countryside smells around Whixall......mud and manure! 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Back From Wales

On Monday we headed down to South Wales,  a three hour trip by car with a stop at Queenswood Country Park to walk the dog in the woods.  There's a cafe with delicious egg and bacon toasties as well as toilets and a gift shop. You need to pay to park at a pound for an hour. We enjoyed the autumn colours with the reds of the Japanese Maples lovely to see.

Time to pick up prescriptions but we've decided to change to a doctor here in Shropshire so we won't need to get our medicines from south Wales in the future. We had time to see our three daughters and two grandchildren although  Scarlett slept most of the time, a lovely afternoon nap! She's nearly three and thinks bedtime is when it gets dark and is then up before six in the morning which is not so good. Catch up time  too with Eric's sister Paula with coffee and cakes.

Thanks to Ben and Clare for letting us stay and making us very welcome. Poppy their collie enjoyed morning walks with Ben the dog down Tredegar House Park Country Park. This morning she jumped in the back of the car as we prepared to come back to Whixall, perhaps she wanted another holiday with her best pal Ben the dog.

Arriving back at the marina, of course it was raining heavily. The boat was cold but soon warmed up with the fire lit and the diesel heater heating the radiators and hot water. The bags are unpacked, had something to eat so it's time to relax. We're back home again until December when we will be back in Newport for grandparent duties before Christmas when Gwen finishes school. We'll be spending Christmas with our family too of course.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Autumn Leaves At Colemere

In the woods at Colemere

The week started badly with Eric needing to get a doctor's appointment as his cold had gone to his chest over the weekend....easily recognised by a dreadful cough. We tried to get to see a doctor and rang several surgeries, one had the system in place where you rang and then waited for a call back to see if you could have an appointment, another in Ellesmere told us we were not in their area although as a visitor you can go to any doctor. Anyway to cut along story short we ended up at the 'Walk In' at Shrewsbury Hospital which provides an excellent service  of  care when you need it and can't get a doctor's appointment. The doctor said another two days without any treatment would have resulted in being admitted not committed into hospital, so he now has antibiotics for a week. We were seen within an hour too, which was amazing.

Yesterday we decided to wrap up warm and have a walk around Colemere. The trees were amazing but the photo taken on the phone didn't do it any justice. Other than that Ben and I have been out walking everyday leaving Eric in the warmth of the boat. Don't fret Aunty P we're fine.....see you next week.