Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I've Done The Christmas Shopping

This year I decided to start the Christmas shopping early and got some lovely offers online for delivery or click and collect. Yesterday we went to Wrexham to finish off the shopping with  stuff I wanted to see before I buy. So it's all done and I'm pleased about that. Parcels to pack and we're  very ahead of ourselves.

We stopped  for lunch and sampled the food in the M & S Cafe and it was lovely. I had Quiche and salad while Eric had their all day breakfast. I was feeling tired and the food revived me.

This week we've  made the most of our National Trust Membership  and visited Erdigg near Wrexham  to enjoy a walk in the grounds. They do allow the dog as far as the picnic benches outside the restaurant so we had coffee and scones as I needed a sit down.  I've never really fancied  their sandwiches with their unusual fillings.

Ben the dog was yet again reluctant walking but there was lots of new smells to sniff. He enjoyed meeting some lively  young dogs but he's not interested in jumping around or play for that matter. There was quite a steep walk back to the car and I was definitely flagging, I  must be feeling my age.

This Thursday  we're  off to look after Gwen for the weekend while her mum has a mini break in Stratford on Avon. Lila the sprocker spaniel enjoys Ben visiting but for him the shiny floors are a bit of a nightmare and stairs are difficult.

All is well  on NB Bendigedig. We've  had a few more boats come to moor at Whixall Marina but there's still room if you want to join us.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Happy Monday

Well another week's gone by and we've been enjoying our life as usual. There's  always the normal day to day activities such as buying coal and logs from the marina. It differs from life in a house as we need to keep the water tank topped up  from the tap at the bow of the boat and empty the cassettes at the Elsan point. We don't mind this as it's  great to live on a boat.

We have peace and quiet in abundance, the delights of living in the Countryside. We love watching the antics of the family of swans in the marina as  the cygnets learn to fly. They no longer crash land on  the water!  We often see a  kingfisher sitting on the tiller of a nearby boat.

We're quite happy to go shopping by car to Ellesmere, Whitchurch or Wem. This week we've been to Ellesmere to get the food shopping. In the summer we can go  there by boat.

A few days ago we went for a lovely walk with Ben the dog in the  woods and the deer park at Attingham Park  and saw a couple of stags with huge antlers in the deer park. We had a long walk for us and were feeling hungry so we sampled the butter  curry and flatbread from the cafe menu  for our lunch....very nice too.

This morning the pontoons were frosty so I spread some rock salt and grit to get from our pontoon to  the green before I took Ben out. It was 0 degrees Celsius but it's warmed up to 5 now.  We decided on a walk at Alderford Lake  with a warm up in the cafe with some lovely  hot chocolate before the drive back to  Whixall.

We're warm and cosy with our the stove burning with logs and coal. Having lazy afternoon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Getting Ready For Winter

Today we purchased some secondary double glazing from Sainsburys Homebase, it's basically a pack with clear film and double sided sticky tape. It works very well in keeping the windows fairly free of condensation. Sometimes they mist a little bit and it definitely seems to keep the boat warmer. I left some windows so they can be opened.

Condensation with no film

No condensation  just rain outside

The cratch cover is looking good. Yesterday morning it was covered in frost with the first frost of the year at Whixall Marina. It was gone by the time I took Ben out.

Today it's wet outside so my new walking boots will get an outing and I'm hoping I have dry feet ( update  feet dry).The dog has a new coat to keep him warm and dry and he surprised us by being happy to have it on when we tried it for size in the Countrywide store in Whitchurch. It kept his back nice and dry just a wet head and legs. Do they do hats for dogs?

Sunday, November 05, 2017

I've Been To Barry Island

We've just spent a week in south Wales on granny duties as it was half term in Wales. We'd already had half term in England a week earlier. Most of the week was warm and sunny and we had a trip to Barry Island. We didn't run into Nessa, Gwen or Uncle Bryn from 'Gavin and Stacey' but we were on the same spot as Nessa played the slot machines in the Amusement Arcade and granddaughter Gwen had chips from 'Boofy's Chip Shop the favoured chip shop. Eric and I sampled the baguettes and paninis from a nearby cafe.  Barry Island  was the favoured place in my younger days......long before 'Gavin and Stacey'. I always remember the numbers painted on the promenade walls so we knew where to find our family as in those days the beach seemed huge. Now it's so much smaller.

We walked the dog at in the parkland at Tredegar House  although as usual he was on a go slow until we turned around to head back to the car.  Tredegar House  is undergoing restoration on it's roof but it looks to be nearing completion as the covers are off and the scaffolding from the front of the house has been removed.  The National Trust took over the management of Tredegar House, it's gardens and Parklands in 2012 from Newport Council, Access to the park grounds and children's play area is free  but you do have to pay to park unless you are a member of the National Trust.  We have been in the house itself but usually it's a dog walking destination.

On Friday afternoon we had a late lunch at the 'Rock and Fountain' in Penhow with Lisa and Gwen, The food was delicious and we'll be making a return trip. Perhaps a good venue for Eric's 70th in February. We'd barricaded the bottom of the stairs with chairs at Lisa's house to stop Ben falling down the stairs and returned home to find it had worked with no dogs upstairs.

On Saturday we returned home to Whixall to the boat with its's new fitted cratch cover. Thanks to Tony Saunders at Bethsaida Covers  for an excellent job. Ben can't try to jump off the water side of the boat now.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sunshine In Llangollen

We had some condensation on the inside of the boat windows after a cold night. Soon it turned into a beautiful sunny day.

Let's go out in the car we thought and ended up in Llangollen. I always enjoy a visit to Wales with the lovely view of Castell Dinas Bran sitting on the top of the hill. I didn't have the energy to walk up there today.  We had a coffee, looked at the views and sat and watched the white water rafts coming down the River Dee. Plenty of  water in the river today.

After a very nice freshly made ham salad roll from Chatwins we made our way back to the car and came back to Whixall. Ben had a taste of the ham!

A few things to do before we spend next week in Newport. Eric's  cleaning the car inside and out. I'm doing the washing in the laundrette. We've  just got to pack some bags tomorrow   and then we're going  on Sunday.

Monday, October 23, 2017

All's Well At Whixall

NB Bendigedig on her berth

Well ex hurricane Ophelia came and departed from Whixall Marina causing little damage with just a small  tree falling on the green. The oak trees had branches which moved rapidly in the winds which survived too. Since the storm the large branches overhanging  the boats have been removed by  a man with a chain saw and a man with a tractor with a lift on it. A large oak tree came down near the social centre   on Post Office Lane blocking the road for a day but  there's always another lane taking you where you want to go. It's easy to get lost in Whixall too. Someone told us you need GPS in Whixall.

After the storm

Storm Brian seemed to have passed us by with just strong winds. It just seemed like any other windy nIght and we're  used to wind in Whixall. Other areas definitely had a battering and the news showed the lighthouse at Porthcawl with the huge waves crashing.

We found a new place to walk the dog called Brown Moss. Paths run through a wooded area and there's  a peaty lake to walk alongside. A small herd of cattle roam there so we did have to divert to avoid them. A lady with a large husky dog did the same saying it wasn't a good idea to take her dog near cattle. Apparently it's a site of special scientific interest  and there's  lots of species of plants there  but in Autumn all we saw was leaves.

Nothing much happening here on NB Bendigedig at this moment. The coal fire is glowing in the stove and the fan is spinning on top. Ben the dog is fast asleep.

Eric took the photos of Whixall marina, here's a few more.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ready For A New Cratch Cover

Eric's been busy repairing and painting the cratch board and now it's refitted  and ready for its new cover.  Tony from Bethsaida Covers came to the marina today to see what we wanted and measure up if the wind eases off. It's  windy Whixall  today! He works from his boat at Shebden Wharf on the Shroppie   with the butty all kitted out.

Another week's  gone by and we've been out and about on foot and in the car. On Monday we enjoyed the mile walk at Attingham Park  in the sunshine, Ben seems to liven up a bit when we're on the way back to the coffee shop. I had a look at the lovely stuff in the National Trust shop but we've  no room for more ornaments.

We've also been enjoying our usual walks  alongside the Mere at Ellesmere and around the lake at Alderford Lake. Of course we regularly walk along the Prees Branch from the marina with Ben the dog on a go slow until we're on our way back.

The flowers in the  window box on the front of the boat have been replaced with Winter pansies hiding  daffodil bulbs planted ready for Spring which seems so far away at the moment.