Sunday, 31 January 2010

Yet more ice and snow

Wednesday 20th - Sunday 31st January 2010

We hoped to move from Great Haywood tomorrow so we took a walk to Tixal Wide to see what the water was like ...
although the Wide was clear there was a lot of thick ice floating on the top of a sheet of ice so we decided that we'd stay a few more days.
Spring lambs already! taken at Tixal Lock where we turned back to the junction - the towpath was atrocious, thick gluppy mud!

Saturday 23rd
Off we go, after mooring on the towpath at Great Haywood for a few more days we upped sticks, filled with water and turned right onto the Staffs and Worcester Canal through Tixal - Molly in her usual spot warm in her sheepskin
leaving Tixal behind us.

We cruised on to Park Gate Lock and moored up just past Midland Chandlers for a few nights and eventually upped sticks from there on Wednesday 27th to travel to Penkridge.

Whilst at Penkridge on the Friday afternoon we were just off to take Molly for a walk and opening the front canopy was met by 2 lovely collies whimpering for attention - it was Lucy and Meg from NB No Problem just pulling in to moor a couple of boats behind us. Although I've followed their blog from before Rock'n'Roll was completed I had never met them so I was delighted to be able to do so now albeit for just a few minutes - I hope we meet up again in the not too distant future.

The same afternoon whilst on the boat, a couple of children walking home from school stepped onto the gunwale of Rock'n'Roll rocking her, George banged on the window but they took no notice and instead the two of them picked up our boat pole from its stand on the roof, George banged harder on the window and shouted to them to 'GET OFF', this time they did having dropped the pole very quickly, fortunately back onto the roof not into the water - the little s*ds!
Saturday 30th - Ice had formed on the canal last night so we decided to move on again before it became any worse - this picture was taken from the water point just above the lock as we filled up before leaving. I took Molly for a quick walk whilst the water was taken on and noticed the buds coming on the hawthorn; Molly found the young nettle shoots and spent the next hour or so biting at her feet to get rid of the stings! leaving Rodbaston lock through the ice
Boggs Lock
in the directors chair taking note of everything going on
looking back from Boggs Lock - the sun was very strong
and eventually arriving at Gailey Bridge where we moored up

Sunday 31st
Woke up to a covering of snow this morning ..
I had to drag a couple of yards of the inevitable BW orange 'fencing' out of the water as we were mooring yesterday to prevent it getting entangled in the propellor
the view above top lock
a pretty picture
Molly's best sit! On our walk this afternoon we came upon some 'boys with their toys' - flying model airplanes and watched them for a while - I was surprised how big they were when they landed - we had watched them from the boat when we passed this way last but not from so close quarter. On the way back we got caught in a snow fall and arrive back at R'n'R looking as if we'd been seived with icing sugar!
It's definitely a Deja Vous moment for us as it's 12 months and 3 weeks since this happened to us here at Gailey; we were stuck here for 10 days then, the forecast isn't great either - snow and temperatures below freezing at night for the next 5 days! It's 17:45 as I'm writing this blog and it's already -1degree, so we shall probably stay here for the duration with all the services to hand that we may need.

Friday, 22 January 2010

The Great Escape

Saturday 16th - Thursday 21st January 2010
Ann (Moore2Life) with my Molly, Ann's Molly and Meg and Lucy (No Problem) after a walk by the river.
Tuesday 19th Great Haywood Marine Services need to move the shared ownership boats today and had to break the ice to continue with their businessWhen we said to one of the men that we were dying to get out they very kindly broke the ice up to the entrance leaving us to reverse through just a small area of still quite thick ice to escape.
we thank them from the bottom of our heart!! We usually get cabin fever after 4-days, and we'd been stuck for 16!

Sunday 17th the snow has gone but the ground is rather soggy on the towpaths so we walked today in the fields and woods on the non-towpath side; a chilly day but bright sunshine.

looking down the hill towards the canal..
.. a dead end - we had to turn back the way we had come!
looking over the canal to the grounds of Shugborough Hall
back to the bridge looking south - you can still see ice on the left
and to the north towards the lock is free water - it's a start anyway!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Wednesday 13th January 2010

The temperature yesterday stayed above freezing and the snow thawed from the pontoons, but when we stepped out of the boat this morning there was a covering of about 1" of fresh snow.
We set out on a walk with Molly, out of the marina, down the towpath, over Shugborough bridge, past Shugborough Hall, then turned back over the railway bridge into Great Haywood to the pet shop (shut) and back home.
Saw lots of boaters - Chas (Moore 2 Life), Contended Souls (Matilda Rose), Lesley from Caxton and Ann (Moore 2 Life) and some wildlife so it took a while!

a heron waiting for service at the Lock Cafe
the jewellery boat below the lock with the ducks and swans taking advantage of the free water
this is where the River Sow meet the River Trent
Shugborough Hall
and a cheeky robin
taken through the window.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Friday 1st - Monday 11th January 2010

To all those that we've not already told .....
George and Carol on nb Rock 'n' Roll
wish all out there
A Peaceful, Prosperous and fun filled 2010

We returned to Great Haywood Marina on New Year's day to find everything still frozen as we expected it would be, it is always great to visit family, but it's oh so good to be home!
Saturday 2nd the snow came and settled ...

Thursday 7th 9:50am still no change in the frozen marina or canal
Monday 11th - the temperature hasn't dropped below freezing now since Saturday and the water looks just a little slushy on the top, unfortunately it's forecast just below freezing for the next few nights so I don't think it's over just yet!
Tuesday 22nd - Thursday 31st December 2009
We spent Christmas and New Year at our son's house in Codsall, Shropshire.

Molly, as well and the grandchildren and ourselves of course enjoyed opening Christmas presents! Thanks Ange and Mark for the lovely food and company.
.. and New Year's Eve bought the Blue Moon photographed by our granddaughter Lucy - well done Loos! whilst Mark
cooked a wonderful BBQ - a real meat feast!
waiting for the food to be ready, Molly curled up in my lap keeping us both warm and with drinks to hand of course - a great evening!

Friday 11th - Monday 21st December 2009
we upped sticks on Friday and cruised our way to Atherston mooring above the top lock and on Saturday met our son Mark and family at the Red Lion in Atherston for a very enjoyable early birthday lunch after which we returned to the boat and played on the wii.

Monday 13th we moved on down the locks ...
... to moor below lock 11 to another fine sunset.

Monday 14th off we set again through Grendon, Polesworth and Fazely Junction to moor by Dunstall Bridge and yet another memorable setting sun.
The weather today was very similar to that we experienced on our way south through here between the 9th/11th February this year!
Onwards and upwards (well north anyway) on a very cold Tuesday 15th to The Plough at Huddlesford for our evening meal - great! Saturday 16th saw us moored at Fradley Junction on the Coventry Canal by the swing bridge.
Thursday 17th we turned right onto the Trent and Mersey, down Junction Lock, moored opposite the BW shop and Cafe and put up Rock'n'Roll's Christmas decorations
it was a very cold but beautiful sunny day with occasional light snow showers at Fradley looking towards lock 17 whilst we waiting for the Tesco man.
The canal had a thin layer of ice on it when we woke up on Friday 18th but we decided to move on as we needed to be at Great Haywood before the weather became any worse. We arrived in Rugeley late in the afternoon and managed to get in the last space beyond the railway bridge.
The ice didn't seem too bad on Saturday so we ventured off only to come to a standstill just beyond Brindley Aqueduct; we had to reverse back half a mile or so and hope that either the weather would improve or another boat came through. Our prayers were answered on the Sunday when two boats passed us late morning; they had travelled from Wolesley Bridge, so off we set. We reached Great Haywood, moored just below Shugborough Hall and walked up to the Marina to ask if we could take up our mooring 2 days early. It took a lot of persuasion to allow us in as most of the boaters in the marina had recently had their hulls blacked and did not want the ice to damage the boats. Anyway they did eventually agree; it took us over an hour and a half to break the ice and tie up, it was after 4pm by then, we'd had no lunch yet, were freezing cold, tired, not in a very good humour but so glad to be here! As I was waiting outside the marina office I glanced over the slipway and saw Moore to Life - Ann was waving out of the window so we went over to say hello.
Monday 21st - this was the scene we woke up to this morning, where we had broken the ice to get to our berth yesterday afternoon had now frozen over again.
nb Moore 2 Life is in the distance in front of the van