Thursday, 22 July 2010

Fledgling in the wind

This fledgling Swallow has been blown down onto the jetty by the very strong winds that we've been having
he is clinging on for dear life you can see the wind blowing his feathers upwards
he has turned towards the window of RnR where I'm taking the photo's from .. I wonder if he can hear the motor of the camera lens?
he seems to be getting his breath back and testing his wings ready for flight
back on his feet again and a second later... he was away into into the air!
A scary moment!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Deserting the Leeds and Liverpool

     A few days ago a couple came up to us in the car park here at Tattenhall Marina to ask us about the cost of electricity here as they were looking to move from their current marina and whilst travelling the area to look at prospective new moorings they had heard that these charges differed considerably between marinas.   We told them that we considered the charges here to be reasonable and asked them where they were moving from. 
     "The Leeds and Liverpool" we were told, as they were "fed-up with the lack of water" and that the "situation was getting worse each year". They had cancelled their summer trip to York because they were concerned that they would not be able to return to their home mooring when they needed to.
     I have also read somewhere very recently (sorry I can't remember where now) that there are some boats moored on the L&L that can only cruise a 6/7 mile stretch between closed locks (albeit a very scenic stretch)!
     Very difficult times for them.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Alice's Birthday

Hi, Alice

from this sweet face
to this beautiful
10 year old!
Happy Birthday
lots of love from Nana Carol and Grandad

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Stoppages, Restrictions, Water Shortages ... and all that ....

For more information on the current situation click here.

There can't be a boater out there who has not heard about the serious water shortage and resulting canal restrictions, especially on the Leeds and Liverpool, Rochdale and Huddersfield Canals and the situation regarding the Chasewater Reservoir.

Mac and Jacquie on SKYY  are experiencing the problems as we speak - on their recent blog update you can see some of the problems.  In true British spirit though, the problems for Mac and Jacquie appear to have been just inconveniences as it seems that they are still thoroughly enjoying their cruise - as I'm sure lots of other boaters are too.

So, what can be done?

The majority of boaters are very aware and diligent about ensuring that sluices and gates are properly closed and locked if appropriate, doing all they can to keep navigations open and safe.  But then we hear of inconsiderate boaters who seem as if they couldn't care less and carry on regardless! And the vandals - the scourge of the earth - the worst of all - who think it's a laugh to do stupid acts that cost others pain, trouble ... and money to fix.

So, what can be done?

New Marinas ... are opening all over the system, and lots more at the planning stage.
Do we need them?
When a new marina is in the planning stage I'm assuming (??) that British Waterways is consulted with regard to the requirement of canal water to 'float' it, after all a marina with no water is not useful at all!

  • Before agreeing to provide water to a new marina does British Waterways take into consideration the effect of the loss of water to the canal system?

  • How many miles of empty canal would there be if the canal was not replenished from further up the system and reservoirs after supplying a new marina with water?

  • Do the companies that build these new marinas pay BW for the water taken from the canal system and its feeding reservoirs?

  • If they do, does that money go towards for example, providing more pumping facilites to move water around the system or fixing leaking lock gates to prevent even more loss of water?
The long range weather forecast doesn't promise us much in the way of rain, so that is not the answer to these probems; in fact if we have another dry(ish) winter and spring we shall be in dire straights.

  • Will canals have to be closed completely?

  • Will we only be able to cruise up and down the same pound between locks?

  • Will the new marinas be able to 'hold on' to the water currently being used?

  • Will they put stoppage planks across their entrances to prevent boats from leaving or entering and so prevent the loss of 'their' water?

  • Will we on the canal, or in the marina end up 'in the mud' as it were as water levels decrease?
I apologise if this blog is gloomy, but that's the way I'm feeling about the water shortage problem; it's not going to get much better, and what are (we) going to do if it gets worse?

If anyone has any bright ideas, answers or solutions - I'd love to hear them - especially if they cheer me up!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Adam's 17th Birthday

Happy 17th Adam
My eldest grandson Adam was 17 yesterday!
He's currently inNamibia on a project involving a primary school there
and doing lots of trecking in the area too.
This is Adam and my daughter Sharon collecting their medals last year
after they absailed the Falkirk Wheel to help raise the funds Adam needed to go out to Namibia
Adam (leaning against the table) and his pals checking their back packs in the local church hall prior to an early flight the next morning (25th June)
click here to view the video his mad family put on his facebook - I do hope he's seen it!
Sharon, Joe, Louise, Alice, Joanne

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Future of British Waterways

Thanks to Andrew Denny of Granny Buttons for writing today about the debate in parliament yesterday which obviously concerns us all -
Read the future of British Waterways debate here

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Diamond Wedding Celebration

 No, not ours (although we've only another 18 to go though)!
This was the 60th wedding anniversay of Auntie Win (my late Mum's sister) and Uncle Ted (my godfather)
the happy couple
anniversary cake - and a greeting card from the Queen
this really is 'Royal Mail'
the Queen's message

60 YEARS AGO - 17th JUNE 1950
(these are photo's of photo's)
they are so beautiful
the wedding guests - that's me in Dad's arms on the right (about 18 months old)
my older twin brothers are Garry held by Auntie Doris on the left of the picture and Alan, if you look very closely his little face can be seen just below where the left arm of the archway meets the wall
the table settings were a delight
there was even time for a quick rock n roll with Uncle Ted
Win and Ted with some of the original grown-ups at their wedding
the cutting of another cake
I wonder what he's saying to Win? It's certainly made her smile!
there was hardly a dry eye in the room when Ted finished singing 'If you were the only girl in the world'
a rare photo of me and George
It was lovely to meet up with our cousins Lynne, Susan and Pauline
and all their sons - and Kate - and Win and Ted's great grandson Beck.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Flippin-eck it's cold today!

Where has the summer warm weather gone?  Wherever it is I hope it's back soon!
Tattenhall Marina being in the middle of the countryside is very exposed to the wind ...
... and when it's blowing like it is today, you know it!

it's blowing from the north/north-east ...
the clouds are ominously dark ...
 ... the water is choppy
and nb Rock 'n' Roll is a rockin an rollin!

but one of the attractions of Tattenhall Marina is that you can see for miles over the Cheshire countryside
(I wont bore you again with the views of Beeston and Peckforton Castles)

Friday, 2 July 2010

Lazy Days

Lazy days ..... that's what most days are whilst George is at work.
Baring just a few showers (the very occassional heavy one) the weather has been glorious;
sometimes too hot indeed for me.
We've had quite a few misty mornings which turned into beautiful days
the picture above and the one below were taken at 05:13 on 16th July after the alarm had gone off
and these two at 06:25 just after George had left for work
it's been very relaxing sitting in the 'conservatory' (under the pram hood) and watching the world go by
especially the graceful silent swans gliding by, this on also taken on 16/6 in the evening at nearly 9 pm
visiting friends in the area on 19th June - best mates for nigh-on 45 years!
on 23rd June  I decided I didn't want to cook so when George came home we set out for the *Sportsman's in Tattenhall village as we'd had very nice steaks there on the evening we arrived here; unfortunately they had been so busy with meals and BBQ during the day (England playing) that the chef had gone home and they would not be doing meals that evening! 
(*no specific link to the pub, but this looks a good walk if the weather is dry)
Thoroughly disappointed we decided to find the Pheasant Inn at Higher Burwardsley which lies on part of the Sandstone Trail and we're glad we did! It was a lovely evening and the views over the Cheshire countryside were breathtaking (the picture doesn't do it justice taken into the setting sun on my phone camera).

When possible we've been out of the marina at weekends either staying over on Saturday night or just for the day on Sunday
a very close-up of Beeston Castle taken from below Wharton Lock
on the evening of 26th June
and one of Peckforton Castle too... of course!

Thursday, 1 July 2010


It was a lovely surprise on Tuesday 1st June to see SKYY with her beautiful roof display of pansies and herbs cruising into Tattenhall, it was really good to be able to spend some time getting to know Jacquie and Mac and I was quite sorry to see them continue on their way a week later. 
I've been following their current journey with interest as we have still not yet attempted 'rivers' but the Weaver and SKYY's experiences do sound inviting - we'll get there yet!! Certainly hope to meet up with them and Duggie again in the not too distant future.
Tuesday 8th June brought Phyllys May II into the marina.
I went to say hello to Terry and Monica Darlington and met narrowdog Jim and his companion Jess.  I told the author how much I enjoyed Narrowdog to Carcassonne; how much it made me laugh out loud; and the amount of times I had to say to George (hubby) 'I've got to read this bit to you' were too numerous to count!  He informed me that he is currently writing his third book.  I asked where his current journey was going to take him - and he told me that Monica had arranged a crossing of the Mersey and that they would then continue northwards to Lancaster.  It was nice to meet them both but I was sorry that I'd loaned out my copy of Narrowdog and so could not get it signed by him; never mind there may be another opportunity.
the hydrogen fuelled boat Ross Barlow came into the marina ready for the marina's open day on 19th June and will be one of the main attractions at the Tom Rolt Centenary Celebration rally at Chester Tower Wharf on 26/27th June which has been organised by the IWA.  The Ross Barlow was developed by Birmingham University and is apparently seen as the future propulsion for narrowboats. (??)
the Beta Marine Diesel Hybrid Chelonian came to moor along side too
preparations underway to erect a marquee for Saturday's open day - helped by Dave and his wife from Great Haywood Marina
the Jaz Band in action on the day
this small hydrogen fuelled trip boat silently carried visitors around the marina

... and a not altogether welcome visitor at 8am in the morning - she hopped up onto the gunwale whilst I was getting my breakfast and stuck her head through the open galley window, she stayed still long enough for me to grab my camera and take the picture  -  cheeky mare!
Ross Barlow preparing to set off to the Tom Rolt Centenary Celebrations taking place at Tower Wharf today (Saturday 27th June 2010)
in the meantime ..... not sure what he's doing - he set up this ariel type structure, fiddled about on what I presumed was his computer set up on the BBQ stand, raised the post and lowered it again, rested on the haystack seat for a while, dismantled it, packed everything away and left!
Everyone now on board - some in fancy dress, Ross Barlow leaves the marina
(I can't zoom in with my phone camera - my coolpix battery had run down!)
whoops, an escaped balloon!
the pied wagtails are a delight to watch but very difficult to photograph when they are swooping up agains the sides of RnR to catch insects in the evenings, but last night (29 June) 3 of them were sitting on the pontoon for long enough to snap them.