Sunday, 30 May 2010

Change of Plan - Barbridge, Bunbury, Beeston &Tattenall

Due to lack of decent internet access it's a while since I was last able to further my blog.
Our big news is that York will have to wait for us for a while as whilst we were cruising up the Shroppie on our journey to that fair city George (hubby) received a 3-month job offer; the salary for which was difficult to refuse ..... so we are now in the new Tattenhall Marina just south of Chester (Crows Nest Bridge 113).  George is out working his socks off and I'm doing ... well not a lot ... if I can help it!!
So what have we been doing since the 2nd of May you may ask (or may not as the case may be!)

By the way, I'm now the proud owner of a new camera - we decided on a Nikon Coolpix S8000 - it's got lots of features which I have yet to master but so far I'm pleased with the results.

We were in the Audlum area for well over a week decending the locks a few at a time and then mooring up for a night or so; we're whiling away time to the weekend of the 15th when we needed to be at Barbridge to collect a hire car to attend our niece's wedding reception in Stone.
a lovely sunset just below the bottom lock at Audlum just after 20:00
a peaceful pastoral scene below lock 15
a very pleasant courtyard of properties in Audlum - shame they're behind bars!!
Audlum Church in the distance overlooking the town (camera phone picture)
Saw my first ever goslings as we travelled towards Nantwich
excellent moorings at Coole Pilate (bridge 83)
We took a walk back up to the Shroppie Fly for a drink and caught this family off for a walk -
... along the grassy verge ....
... across the lintel of the lock
oh no.... she's sending them in by the weir at the top of the lock ..  I couldn't look any more!
when we walked back to RnR we saw them all safely (I hope) tucked in!
We'd walked past Overwater Marina whilst moored in Audlum
and later decided to take a mooring here whilst we had the hire car and sorted out details of
George's new job
our mooring at Overwater Marina -
a very friendly place with two attentive, helpful members of staff to welcome you at reception
Janet and Sue); we would certainly recommend a stay here.

My neice Emma and her new husband Adrian at their weddding reception
We had a lovely time that evening meeting our relatives and old friends and neighbours.
Sandra (my sister and Emma's Mum) and husband John had done them proud,
they'd certainly given them a great day.

After a hectic few days getting sorted the hire car was returned and on Thursday 20th May we set off from Overwater and continued northwards.  It really was a hot day!
an early start at Overwater - sunrise taken at 06:45
and a hot air balloon taking advantage of the warm thermals at 08:00
a very strange traffic jam indeed seen as we travelled towards Nantwich
We saw SKYY moored up at Nantwich but no-one was on board - sorry we missed you Jaquie.
Hurleston Locks on the Llangollen as we passed the junction.
After a very hot days travelling we moored for the night at Barbridge and went into the Inn for our evening meal.  We understand that it has recently been taken over/reopened, but they certainly hadn't changed the place much, the menu was sticky and dirty with most of the dishes crossed through with a thick black pen and the floors and tables inside were the same (dirty and sticky that is) so we decided to sit canal-side.  Fortunately the actual food we ate was good - Cod and Chips - the batter on the fish was thin, light and very tasty - I just hope they get their act together soon and spruce the place up.

We continued on our journey the following day - a bit more breeze today - through Bunbury Staircase locks - I was alone in the top lock and was informed that another boat was coming up - fine!  Then I was informed that two boats were coming up - not so fine!  I was informed that we (the royal one) would do the Bunbury Shuffle and from this I expected that the bright spark who suggested it would actually do the 'shuffle' but no, when the time came it was me who had been 'volunteered' to make this manoeuvre - great!  I perfomed the feat with great aplomb even if I do say so myself but I would never have chosen to do it.  So I can now say that I'VE DONE THE BUNBURY SHUFFLE but I'm not shouting about it.

We stopped for lunch below Beeston Iron Lock and stretched our legs .....
looking towards Iron Lock from Stone Lock
another one of Stone Lock
what a lovely place to live
horses on the skyline

We set off once again and saw these deer on the hill (on the towpath side)
king of the castle!
an unusual sight along the canal side
there doesn't even seem to be much shade there either
Blue Bell wood on the other side of the canal
what a very pleasant sight
Beeston Castle in the distance
A Heron doing it's best to keep cool
testing the camera for colour (my cabin-top garden) not to bad at all!
Molly also trying to stay cool, stretched out in the shade on the stern deck.
And then we arrived at Tattenhall Marina where we were warmly greeted by Chrissie who introduced us to the marina facilities and told us to go and choose our preferred mooring - excellent!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Calamity - my camera won't work!

We're currently moored just below Adderley Locks and will go through to Audlum tomorrow when the weather is supposed to be better!
Just before we left Market Drayton Jacquie from SKYY caught up with us whilst walking Duggie and SKYY also passed us again yesterday with their visitors continuing down the Audlum Locks - it was great to talk to you Jacquie, I'm sure that we'll meet up again soon.
Yesterday morning I picked up my camera to take a picture from the galley window but it wouldn't switch on; it had been on charge so it should have been ok.  George checked it out and the charger was working ok so we can only surmise that the battery is caput.  I've had it now for quite a long time and it's had a lot of use and recharging over the last 2 years or so; we're now looking on the internet for a replacement rechargeable battery for it. 
In the meantime I'm using the camera on my phone - although I don't think these results are too bad --
the rural and very peaceful view from the galley window
it had forecast heavy rain for the afternoon so yesterday morning we took a walk down the locks.
It's over 30-years since we visited Audlum Mill - it was rather run down then but I remember buying us buying a sweatshirt each and we had them for many years!  The mill is very different now - the only thing that was the same inside were the wooden selves that the sweatshirts were stored on all those years ago.  I got talking to the 'new' owner - she's been there just 3-years now. When she purchased the building it was apparently almost derelict and the whole of the inside has been renovated to a very high standard keeping and repairing the original hoppers and converting the top floor as her home. It was very interesting talking to her, we had a lot of things in common; the only thing I was disappointed in was that I couldn't replace those sweatshirts as they are mostly a craft business now.  Well worth a vist though.
I'm sure everyon knows the Shroppie Fly!
this very well painted boat was moored on the 5-day rings opposite the mill and pub - impressive!
looking up the locks on the way back to RnR
The rain hadn't started when we got back so we decided to have a BBQ at lunch time - it was spur of the moment and very enjoyable.  The rain eventually came at about 7:15pm and coninued for most of the night.