Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ellesmere To Grindley Brook

We took the boat to Ellesmere but couldn't moor on the arm to get the shopping. It was no different the following day so I bought a new shopping  trolley so I could stock up the cupboards. I didn't buy much for the fridge as it was  having trouble getting cold enough and the milk went off. Now the weather's cooler it's back to keeping between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius. So we're  ok for now if that heatwave was the only exceptionally hot weather this Summer!

Leaving the madness of Ellesmere  on a windy morning was fun and we stopped  off by the Prees Arm to get the post and pick up the car so we could pop into Wem  to get fish and chips at 'Fry Day'  by the Coop. Ben the dog had his sausage.

Today after 5 lift bridges and the six locks of the Grindley Brook  I'm tired. My arm's  and wrists aren't used to all this exercise.....I have trouble opening jars! Quiet at Grindley Brook so we only had to wait for  one boat  to come up the staircase locks. The lockie was his usually chatty self......I'm joking!

We're currently staying at the bottom of the locks  and heading for Wrenbury tomorrow. We couldn't get there on a Sunday and not have Sunday Lunch at the Cotton Arms.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

We've Escaped Whixall

Yesterday we left Whixall Marina on the  boat to  visit Ellesmere. Boats  everywhere  but  we stopped  at  Hampton  Bank as  it   was so  hot! Moored  near us  was   Sarah  and  Darren  on their boat.

We kept Ben the dog cool by covering him with a wet cold towel as he was panting so much we were worried. He stopped panting and  went to sleep still covered by the wet towel.

Today it's  a bit cooler actually quite nice to  be out  boating. The  coolest  place  we  found was in Ellesmere Tunnel but we had  to come  back out into the sunshine.

As expected  we couldn't get   anywhere   near Tesco  to get  the shopping so  we'll  try   again tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's So Hot In Whixall Marina

We're currently not enjoying this heat's just too hot for me. It's OK if you're up to your neck in a lovely blue sea somewhere nice or even in a paddling pool.  Ben currently  had a fan blowing on him when he decides to sit by it. We've  been sitting under the tree as well as it's  a bit cooler there.

Eric's gone to Shrewsbury Hospital for another outpatient appointment  as he has an inflammation of the  eye called iritis. It all started a week ago with an urgent appointment at the doctor  followed by a same day appointment at the Urgent Eye Clinic in Shrewsbury Hospital. Hopefully he won't need to go back again but will have to finish the course of eye drops.

We're hoping to go out for a  cruise this week so watch this space.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's Windy At Whixall As Usual

It's  windy at Whixall but the satellite dish is staying fixed (so far) to the roof by it's suction base now that we have a shiny roof. The wind always makes it difficult to get in and out of our berth but we're not going out yet so it doesn't matter.

We're  feeling thoroughly lazy this afternoon although I've been busy this week making the rest of the boat curtains. They're  all on their poles now without any hooks or rings thanks to the heading tape from Ikea which fits straight on the pole.

Still some jobs on the to do list for this week such as  tidying up and resealing the inside of the windows where they've  been taken out for painting and put back in.

Ben the dog and I have been  out walking mostly missing the rain. He wants to go out but just plods along......a bit like me when I don't really want to go either.  He only speeds up when we're  on the way back to the marina.

Tomorrow the part of Alders Lane up to Whixall Marina is being repaired  but it  does says we'll be able to get past. It was damaged by a huge crane as it was reversing up the narrow road, which came to lift the CART work boats out onto low loaders.

So another week's gone by. Eric's had a haircut so looks less like Father Christmas  and mine is being cut on Tuesday at 'No 4' in Wrexham so it looks like it'll be fish and chips for lunch as there's a lovely cafe nearby.

The red arrows have just flown over us here at Whixall which Ben's hiding......he hates the noise of jet engines.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Back In Whixall Marina

A view from the side hatch

We're  currently back in the Marina with a few things we wanted to do before we go out cruising. I've been making new curtains and have three more pairs to make. We needed four pairs of porthole sized curtains, a door curtain for the front doors and five pairs of curtains for the saloon and galley windows so it's been quite a task.

The new curtains in the saloon

The new port hole curtains in the bedroom

Yesterday during the torrential rain we had a leak and wondered where rain was getting in. Luckily we were in waiting for the rain to stop, as it came through in big drips where the TV and broadband hub was. Somebody hadn't sealed around the wooden block on the roof when they put our boat back together. Clear sealant used by Eric soon sorted the problem.

I've been catching up with a washing mountain this week too. It's  always windy here but today it's really windy. Last night the noise from the rain on the roof was really loud so I found it difficult to get  to sleep until I found my ear plugs

We've  had the central heating on as it's  been cold after the hot weather we had last month. There's  smoke coming from quite a few chimneys. Eric feels the cold anyway while I'm usually hot.

Just a note if you want fuel at Whixall Marina it's only available Tuesday to Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Escape From The Paint Shed

 A view fom the stern, we love the sign writing by Robin 

From the bow, the cratch will be refitted later

Today we finally escaped from  Aqueduct Marina with our very shiny new paint job. Unsure of whether we liked the finished colours  as it's  very different from blue with just a mustard coachline. It's  growing on us. I thought I'd better take some photos before it gets bashed in the locks on the Llangollen Canal  as the side weirs  don't  make it easy to get in the locks unscathed. Aqueduct Marina is another windy marina so we were pleased to wake up to just a breeze.

I've been busy making a new set of curtains for the boat after ten years the others were faded. I am pleased to say the interior of the boat had been cleaned  ........I was dreading the dust after the shot blasting.  I covered everything inside in plastic sheeting  which had to  be removed leaving a clean boat. Eric had issues with his dirty engine which he had asked them to cover while the work was done, but after a complaint it was all expertly cleaned. An excellent paint job though and we're  very pleased with Phil the painters expertise.

Ben the dog is happy to be out of the marina as its easier to get off the boat when there's grass to land on.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Sign Writer's Busy Today

On Monday we made a trip to Whitchurch for reviews at the doctor's, we'd  planned to be back afloat by then. All sorted with no fuss and we have two months medication sorted  for our Summer trip out on the cut.

We also visited our boat in the paint sheds at Aqueduct and we're extremely pleased with our shiny boat. The painter was due to finish on Wednesday and the sign writer was due to be there on Wednesday and Thursday.  He rang with a few queries and told us he did the sign writing when our boat was new ten years ago. So it is nearly done and we'll  have to be patient a  little longer.

On Wednesday  our day started earlier than planned when Eric had a really  bad pain in his chest and collapsed on the bathroom floor. To cut a long story short  the ambulance came in ten minutes and we had a day out in A&E and he was thoroughly checked out.  It was angina but still very frightening.

So we're  still waiting but we should hear from Aqueduct very soon. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Another Week Gone By

We're  into the sixth week waiting for the paint job to be completed and a few other  jobs done including sorting out the tiller  bearing. Aqueduct phoned to check on the size of the panels with the boat's name on so hopefully it won't  be too much longer.

We've  been up to Goytre Wharf a small marina on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.  We were reminiscing as over thirty  years ago we had a little Norman Cruiser moored in this marina. It was very basic and more like camping on a boat. Water had to heated on a camping gaz  portable camping stove and the loo was more like a covered bucket. But we had some fun with our three small children!

On Sunday we went to Porthcawl to see the  sea, the Bristol Channel's water is nothing like the blue/green water in Cornwall but it was nice to see the waves and walk along the promenade. There's also a lovely fish and chip shop opposite the park so we had to have some. We sat on a bench watching the  world go by  as we ate our lunch. Ben likes fish so he helped me eat mine.

Back in Newport  we had a Sunday Roast at teatime and  we were  stuffed.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Different Boats In Cwmbran

At the boating lake were many lovely model boats moving gently on the water.  Another lovely sunny day for walking the dog. Ben enjoyed the children giving him a stroke.

Ben was left for a few hours last night with Lila for company while we went to my uncle Dave's 90th birthday party in the Sergeant's  Mess at Raglan Barracks.  A chance to see family we usually  only see at funerals also or the occasional wedding.

We've  not been busy this week although  the staff at Tredegar  House have been pleased when we walked the dog in the lovely grounds as they get  £5 everytime they scan our National Trust Membership cards towards the upkeep of Tredegar House.

Shepherd's pie in the oven cooking for Sunday Lunch after that we're  just having a lazy afternoon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Back In Newport Just Waiting!

The journey back from Cornwall to Newport was amazing with no traffic jams or delays. We stopped at the services to give Ben time to stretch his legs. Time for coffee for us and a toilet break.

We're currently staying at our daughter Lisa's house at the moment. My  cough and cold has finally eased so hopefully it'll  be gone soon. I hope I haven't shared it with Lisa and Gwen. I've  already passed a cold onto Eric!

We were hoping the  work on the boat would be finished by the 8th of May but it's not going to happen. It's going to be another two weeks later. It's primer grey at the moment but Aqueduct have promised to keep us informed.

Today we went for a walk in the grounds of Tredegar  House  with Ben the dog and then I went and had a haircut in Joseph's in Newport as it's  a no appointment salon.  I even did a bit of shopping mainly because the strap of my shoulder bag  parted company with my  bag so I bought myself a new one.  Luckily the contents of the bag did not end up all over the floor in Debenham's. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Boats At Boscastle

We went to visit Boscastle  and had a look at the boats in the harbour. In 2004 Boscastle was flooded as the swollen river met the sea and buildings were destroyed and cars washed away. Today you would never know it happened. A lovely quiet place this time of year and we enjoyed a little walk alongside the river as well as having a look at the boats in the harbour.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Visit To Trengwainton Gardens

First thing this morning we took Ben the dog down to Sennen Cove for a walk on the beach. It was freezing down there today with the cold wind so we returned to watch the crashing waves from the car. We has a take away coffee to warm us up.

We'd looked at that National Trust App to find places near us we could visit with a dog and decided on Trengwainton  Gardens near  Penzance. It was much warmer in the sheltered gardens where azalea, camelia  and rhododendrons  flourished. I loved the huge tree too. There were bluebells and the white flowers of the three-cornered leek all mixed in together. 

A lovely walk up to the terrace overlooking the bay and a view of the house which is private. Water loving plants flourished along the stream through the grounds too. An unexpected  surprise it was lovely there  and they even gave Ben a biscuit which he didn'the want to eat!

Lunchtime At Lizard Point

Yesterday we visited Lizard Point, which is Britain's most southerly point and managed by the National Trust. The weather was lovely and we were surprised to find The Polpeor Cafe was dog friendly as well as an extensive menu. We decided to have some lunch overlooking the sea. After a nice lunch we went for a short walk along the coastal path   before returning to the car.

Lots of flowers on the cliffs Including large swathes of stone crop showing as orange on the pictures.  We thought the  plant growing amongst the bluebells was wild garlic, but it was three-corned leek (Allium triquetrum) with the crushed leaves smelling of onions rather than the strong garlic smell of wild garlic. A lovely bit of countryside and well worth a visit.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Walk Along Sennen Beach


We popped a few miles down the road  to have a look at Sennen  Cove thinking we'd  have to just look with no dogs signs posted. We'll the ban on dogs starts on May 1st so today we could walk the dog  on the beach. Lovely blue water been enjoyed by a few surfers.  Another beautiful day we've  been so lucky with the weather.

We decided on a pasties for lunch from Warren's  in St Just and went back to the cottage just five minutes away for a lazy Friday afternoon.  Dog's asleep so I'm  going to read a book on my Kindle.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Some Big Boats At Falmouth

Yesterday we tried to visit St Ives but the huge car park was full, change of plan needed.  Leaving St Ives we noticed a park and ride at Lelant Saltings Railway Station to  St Ives, so we'll try that next week when the children have gone back to school.

We ended up in Falmouth and enjoyed  looking at all the little boats in the harbour and the big boats or should that be ships in the docks. On the pier you could have a boat trip but we settled for a ham and salad roll in a crusty  cob freshly made at the Rowes bakery. We didn't  feel like a pasty today. 

Today we headed for  Penrose, an estate with wooded countryside around Cornwall's biggest lake. The grounds are run by the National  Trust.  We had quite a long walk along a bridleway to see Loe Bar which is a huge sand covered shingle barrier separating Loe Pool from the sea. Lovely views from the headland and the weather was amazing. It's well worth a visit and you can download  a map of the walks on the estate on the National Trust site. There's  a cafe and toilets on site too.....makes a good ice cream stop.

We're  back in the cottage and Ben's ate his food and is now fast asleep on his furry mat. Eric's also asleep!  I think I wore the pair of them out. I'm enjoying no dishes to wash as there's  a dishwasher. There's  also a bath with endless  hot water so feeling rather pampered.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pain Killers And Pasties

It's  quite a drive from Sennen  to Polperro but it was one of those places on the to see list.  We took Ben for a walk up the last hill in Cornwall called Chapel Carn Brea, which is near the farm we are staying. From the beacon at the top are some lovely views of land and sea.

Plenty of windy roads and very steep down to the car park at Polperro where we paid the minimum stay £4 for three hours. The machines in the car park don't accept pound coins, so that's  their way out of the change over to the new  £1 coins.

We walked down to Polperro harbour through the narrow streets  looking at the lovely cottages lots of which are holiday rentals. Coaches were parked in the car park so it was very busy. We heard German and American voices as we walked.

Eric's must have cracked a rib when he fell as he's needed pain killers. The pharmacist  just said they don't  do anything for cracked ribs! He advised him not to drive with the tablets containing codeine  so it's  paracetomol  while we're  out and about.

We found the Polperro Bakery and continued to try and find the best traditional steak pasty in Cornwall. This one was definitely the best! We kept it mostly wrapped and hidden from the sea gulls as we ate the visible end. Ben had a taste of the steak too and he agreed they're  the best!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

It's Sunny In Cornwall

Yesterday we arrived in Cornwall and we're staying in a lovely holiday cottage near Sennen. It's  a one level property which means no stairs and it's  really lovely with all modern cons including a dishwasher, fridge freezer, washing machine and Internet. The bed is a four poster and  it's  very  comfy. It's the second time we've  used holiday cottages online and both times the property has been lovely. We even had a cream tea waiting for us. 

Today we went on a long walk (not to be repeated) following a footpath  to Gwynver beach. It took us through horrendous rutted muddy fields with no visible footpath. We came to Trevedra Farm, Sennen which looked a really good place for caravans, motor homes and camping.  They pointed us in the right direction for the footpath to the beach.

Gwynver is a beautiful unspoilt dog friendly beach but it's  extremely  steep to get down to it. Ben the dog struggled with the uneven steps and sand. He'd already needed  to be lifted over stiles....which is why the walk won't be  repeated. 

The day got worse firstly I got a bee sting on my neck which Eric quickly removed and the shop at the campsite had antihistamines. Then Eric took a tumble and banged his face. We survived and Ben the dog is out cold on his mat.  Let's hope we have a better day tomorrow. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bendy's In The Boat Shed

NB Bendigedig is currently  in the sheds at Aqueduct Marina undergoing  preparation for a paint job. We spent last week making our way from Whixall and trying to clear as much stuff as we could. The cupboards are crammed. The fridge has been emptied and the surfaces, bed and chairs covered with plastic sheets.

Leaving the boat moored up on Monday morning we lifted Ben the dog  onto the pontoon as it was too narrow  to jump down onto. The car was packed and we were off  with at least four weeks on dry land ahead of us. The boat will look very different when we get back as the blue will be gone. We've chosen mid grey panels, light grey  surrounds with an ivory coachline. Roof and decks will be raddle red. Let's hope they spell Bendigedig correctly on the sign writing! 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A New Tiller Pin

We're just outside Aqueduct Marina on the tow path side. We could go on the moorings by the marina but it's  a long way for Ben to jump and we bang every time a boat goes past.

The tiller pin boat came past so we bought a daffodil tiller pin as he didn't  have any Welsh dragon pins. He said we didn't want a leek! He had some super fat side fenders  too so we bought a couple to replace  the flattened pair of plastic fenders.

We often get called the Welsh boat because of the name, so now we are a little bit more  Welsh! 😊

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Cruising Towards Hurleston Junction

Today  was a bit chilly  when the sun went in but we enjoyed it. Ben and I had a good walk alongside the boat. Eric enjoyed having reverse gear again and the boat was moving much better in forwards too. 

We passed this lovely pair of old boats all sheeted up. Obviously they were able to get through the narrow bottom lock of the Hurleston Flight. A boat due to join us at Whixall Marina could get through this lock.

We were in luck today as I had only one lift bridge to wind up and down, the other two were done for me. A kind man offered  to do the electric bridge at Wrenbury for us.......thanks again. Another boater did the one with its footpath across to the church. 

We worked  through the three locks at Baddiley with no problems, no sign of sticking out bricks just a gap where it must have been.  Swanley lock number two must have a huge void behind the towpath side  wall with the amount of water pouring out as we emptied  the lock. It was like it before the winter, it seems nice towpaths are better value for money in some places. Between Wrenbury and Baddiley Locks the  towpath was a bog in places with a collapsed section of Armco and it's been like it years!

Currently moored a few bridges up from Hurleston all on our own enjoying  the peace and quiet. Last night we had  some noisy ducks near Marbury ! Hope they're  quieter here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

On Our Way To Wrenbury

The boat's going great making locking easier with reverse gear working properly. Ten locks to Wrenbury but we stopped before Marbury lock as it was already five o'clock. I took a few photos  today. Ben the dog has been enjoying  his walks while we're  out on the boat.

This Boating Lark's Expensive!

Whixall Marina 

Leaving Whixall in the wind is normally bad enough but yesterday  morning we had trouble going drive at all and lots if black smoke before the engine cut out.With the help of a few boaters and Phil the marina manager we were pulled backwards so we could leave.We thought it might be an intermittent problem and decided to get as far as Grindley Brook anď ring Chris Jones our helpful Beta engineer for help. We were ok as long as we didn't need reverse and met nothing at bridge holes. Mooring up in the terrific wind was hard going but we managed it. 

On with the tale of the gear box......Neil another Beta engineer  from Whitchurch came out to diagnose the problem checking the propellor for junk or damage. The shaft was turning slowly in neutral too. We'd had some smoke from the gearbox so he separated it and found the wanted to be in forward gear regardless of the gear selected so that's what caused the engine to cut out......forward and reverse at the same time doesn't work.

A very quiet night above Grindley Brook locks, it seemed strange after  five months in the marina. My arms had a good workout with six lift bridges to raise and lower. Ben the dog walked miles so he was soon fast asleep. 

Chris Jones came today with a gearbox and he's currently down the engine hole fitting we'll soon be on our way. Those arms will be getting another workout on the locks at Grindley Brook.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Bye Bye Whixall

The original marina being built year 1971?

A clue J registration 1971
Another photo from Shropshire Archives

We're  leaving Whixall  Marina today as we're  off to Aqueduct Marina for the long awaited paint job. Of course I look  out of the window and it's raining......but it's  early yet. 

It's  all happening at Whixall with BWML selling the marina to Whixall Marina Leisure Ltd.  We'll have to wait and see what changes will be made. We'll be back in May.

The winter moorers  have left the marina leaving lots  of spaces so we moved over to the next pontoon where it's  a bit lighter with no boats moored alongside. Eric has been busy dismantling the cratch ready for the paint job and storing some of it in our storage box, the rest is stored in the marina lock up as it's  too big for the box.

I've been finishing off all the washing  getting  ready for four weeks  off the boat on dry land. Eric took the car to Aqueduct Marina  so it's waiting for us and had a chat to the boat yard manager about our arrival  next week end. Nick   kindly brought Eric back to Whixall Marina, thanks you saved us an expensive taxi fare. Ben the dog had a visitor too as Connie  came  with Nick and she didn't  eat his food either!

Nobody's leaving Whixall Marina this morning by car, Alder's Lane is currently blocked by a crane slipped off the road..... oops! The crane was due to load the CRT vessels onto lorries to take them away now the Prees Branch work has been completed.  Hopefully it'll be cleared soon.

Yippee it's nearly ten o'clock and the sun is shining

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Just Some Pictures From Quarry Park, Shrewsbury

Today we went to Quarry Park in Shrewsbury. After a walk alongside the  Rivery Severn we walked up to see the flowers in the Dingle. The fountains  were spraying water and the magnolia was in bloom. Percy Thrower  had tulips around him rather than crocuses. The smell of the flowers was amazing. Ben was a reluctant walker today, he wanted to turn around as we walked alongside the river. Nice to walk on paths rather than muddy towpaths.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Good Morning It's Friday

We'll I've just woken up on this comfy I really have to go out now? I've had some nice walks this week but I think I'll  go back to sleep.

Yesterday the sun was shining so we had a walk in Ellesmere before we did the food shopping. The daffodils  in the park were lovely so I took a picture. Walking along the canal towpath with a few boats on the move was pleasant enough although still pretty muddy in places. The wind was making waves on the Mere so it looked like we were at the seaside.

The work on the Prees Arm should be finished today so we may be able to walk further up the arm on the towpath. Although there was a diversion route it involved stiles  which Ben can't jump  over anymore.  The canal itself is open to boats so we will be able to leave in ten days for our trip to Aqueduct Marina for the paint job. Then it's down to Newport before we have a holiday near Sennen in of my favourite places.......I love being by the sea. I'm so excited!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Lunch Again

Eric's tipple as he watched Wales

Eric's watching the Six Nations while I enjoyed  a film for 99p courtesy  of an offer on Google  Play.  I picked ' The Light Between Oceans' a drama about a childless lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue a ship wrecked  baby drifting in a rowing boat. I enjoyed my film. Watching the shambles at the end of the Wales v France rugby  match.......I didn't enjoy that.

Lying in bed listening to the howling wind and hoping the  satellite  dish is still there this morning. We haven't  got anything on the roof other than a boat hook, a pole and a plank anyway. The plank has gone rotten after ten years and will be replaced with a metal one once the boat has been repainted. We keep  stuff that would be stored on the roof in a box made to fit the front of the bow deck by Des who also makes lovely roof boxes. He's currently  at Whixall Marina but begins his travels  in April and needs some work. So if you want a lovely roof box or one for your deck look out for him.

Time to take Ben out for his first wee of the day. I must get showered and dressed ......I don't  want to frighten the neighbours.

We're  off out to lunch at our favourite place 'The Cotton Arms' in Wrenbury. Definitely never fails to please. I wasn't  impressed  with last week's Sunday lunch despite it's good  review, but maybe they were having an off day!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Another Week At Whixall

We've had some lovely warm, sunny days with no coats needed for our dog walks in all the usual places in Shropshire. The work on the Prees branch of the Llangollen Canal is nearing completion, the canal is open although the towpath is currently still blocked by fencing. Walking alongside the River Severn at Quarry Park showed how much rain had come down in the Welsh hills it had covered the pathway in places on the opposite side of the river. We couldn't have a very long walk as the riverside walk was blocked by a locked gate across the footpath due to the water level inches from the level of the pathway. Ben the dog loves being out but sleeps as soon he gets back on board.  

The nights have still been a bit nippy but last night was the first night I just let the fire go out overnight as it was just too warm for me. Just relit it now to warm up a chilly boat. We've had a little walk around the marina first thing and all is quiet. The swans have made a nest and last years seven offspring have finally left the marina. We'll miss their noisy flight practice and occasional thump on the boat roof as they misjudged their landing, until the next brood are ready to learn to fly.

We've had a visit from Chris Jones, the Beta engineer to do a few little jobs including replacing the ten year old gear cable which had gradually got stiffer over the years.  Eric didn't seem to realise how stiff it was but I found it a struggle when I steered the boat. He also checked the fuel again and sucked out 5 litre of fuel to get rid of water at the bottom of the fuel tank due to a failed seal on the fuel filler cap. There was about two litres of water in the fuel he took out and then it was just red diesel, so all ok now.  No sign of the dreaded diesel bug either.

A few weeks to go before we head off to Aqueduct Marina for the paint job so we're clearing anything we won't need and storing it in our onsite storage box, one of the perks of being residential. I sold my bike as it was just sitting there unused taking up space. I didn't feel safe on the country lanes and the towpaths drive you nuts because of punctures. I couldn't ride it with Ben anyway or one of us would have been swimming in the canal.

Have a good weekend, we're off out for Sunday Lunch at The Leaky Tap in Cockshutt with Nick and Liz,  so Ben will be home alone for a couple of hours. I'll have to bring him back a doggy bag!

Thursday, March 02, 2017


Eric celebrated his birthday on Monday the 27th of February, another year older!This photo was taken in Cornwall, I think it was Sennen. We're going there again in April while the boat is having a paint job. and I am really looking forward to it. I'm a bit concerned about the dust and dirt created by shot blasting the exterior of the boat. We'll put away what we can and cover things with plastic dust sheets, No good worrying about it with another month before  it happens.

On Tuesday we had pancakes cooked in my new frying pan so they didn't stick. I used the recipe on Chris Evan's Radio 2 show for easy pancakes and  they turned out fine. Ingredient were easy  200 grams flour; 300 mls milk and two eggs all beaten up so it was lump free. Delicious with lemon juice and sugar too. Eric had golden syrup......he has a sweet tooth! After Ben's walk in Ellesmere by the Mere we had a lazy afternoon listening to the rain washing the outside of the boat.

On Wednesday it was St David's Day so we just had to have homemade  bakestones or Welsh cakes cooked in a heavy iron pan.  We had a walk around Dearnford Lake in the morning with Ben the dog, the sun was shining too.  Ben managed to stay fairly clean other than his muddy feet. We had a coffee in the dog friendly cafe.

Gwen as Betsi Cadwaladr
It's Welsh week in Gwen's school and they are celebrating all things Welsh. Gwen dressed up as Betsi Cadwaladr  a famous Welsh nurse. Lisa took the photograph.