Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How much can you see?

Chas, Moore 2 Life has had reports from some of his readers that they can only see 2 of his postings on his blog at any one time (instead of a page full).  Chas thinks that he's 'doing something wrong' because he's posting on a MAC and not via Windows.

I have been using a MAC now for about 9 months and have had no reports from my readers of any problems viewing my blog.

To help us both - please can you leave a comment at the bottom of this posting to inform me of what you can see?  This would be very much appreciated.  
Thank you.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Santa Dash

A colourful sight in Stafford on Sunday ...
... as over a hundred men, women and children competed in a Santa Dash to raise money for Katherine's Hospice.

Our Heroes

George and I went into Stafford yesterday to get some bits and pieces and as we entered the town square were met by crowds of people lining the main street ... what was going on? Then I remembered ... there was a home-coming of our forces - and I'd not brought my camera along .. typical!

The parade brought tears to the eyes - most of these brave soles are but children.

Our Heroes indeed

Stafford yesterday (27th November 2011) 3rd Mercia Regiment come home from Afghanistan

(picture used is from last nights Express and Star - click below to read more)

Sunday, 27 November 2011


A really dramatic sky
taken just after 5 yesterday afternoon

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Leaves stop traffic ...

... or delay trains, hinder the infrastructure of any vehicles on the move ...
... including boats on the canal!
We woke this morning to a bright, blustery day with the canal running quite fast and not a leaf in sight on the water .... until .... we ascended Gailey Lock to take advantage of services at the top and could not get out of the lock!  During the windy night leaves had gathered above the top gates and of course once the gates were opened to allow me out the leaves came in ... it certainly took a lot of pulling and pushing from the crew ((my) George and Ann from Moore 2 Life) and a lot of 'chucking back' of the propeller to release me from the clutches of those leaves!

Still at Gailey Lock

Off for a walk with Ann and Chas ...
... Moore 2 Life and Rock 'n' Roll below Gailey Lock
Looking back from Littleton Colliery (disused railway) Bridge at what appears a peaceful scene, but the incessant roar of M6 traffic which passes the other side of the trees on the left makes conversation almost impossible.
We shall stay here a few more days hopeful that Mags and Geoff on Seyella will catch up with us before we have to leave the 14-day moorings; we can then together plan where our winter cruising will take us.  After the last two winters being so hard and coming so suddenly, I'm sure that we're not the only continuous cruisers a little apprehensive about the next ice age and hoping that we can be in a suitable spot if or when it comes - all part of the experience!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Party Day

Our son Mark's 40th
BBQ (like Father like Son) starts before the guests arrive!
We had a great time yesterday at his birthday bash - good food, friends and family in abundance!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Blue at last!

Yesterday (Thursday) morning at 11am at Gailey
Blue sky and sunshine - wonderful!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Nearly party time

Visited Penkridge market this morning before we upped sticks and set off ...
... arriving at Gailey at 4pm

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It was too dark for pictures of our mooring area last night, so here is bridge 69 and Stafford Boat Club through the 'ole ...

... the ground to the towpath side of the boat is just a bit rough and wild! 

... and the view to the front looks quite  promising, weather-wise!

Deptmore Lock Cottage has received some very Tender Loving Care ...
new double-glazed wood-framed windows and new guttering ... looking good ...

... and very useful extension on the back ... it's good to see! 

Open countryside to port (left) ...  but that promise of sun hasn't yet come to fruition 

Acton Trussell in the distance ...

... and really thick leaf soup in Shutt Hill Lock - it took some help from George pushing the boat to enable me to leave it!

Park Gate Lock ... and the sun has come out to play ... wondeerful! 
Midland Chandlers on the left where we've spent some money on essentials wants/needs today ...

... and Teddesley Boat Company which has fairly recently changed hands and is much cleared up - including what appears to be mooring spaces with leckie and water provided. 

Approaching Teddesley Park Bridge looking into the autumn sunshine ...

... and looking back at the at the sun on the trees ... 

... and the lovely bridge.

No, this bridge is not particularly pretty; it's the M6 bridge, but wonderful!  The reflection of the sun on the water is itself reflecting onto the roof of the bridge - absolute magic!

... and now on the roof is the shadow of ... Rock n Roll!

Moored now for tonight in the visitor mooring below Penkridge Lock.  

I think I wouldn't mind living in one of these little prefabs when we finally decide the time is right to retire - but no - a wide-beam on the Forth and Clyde/Union Canals still beckons as favourite!
Onwards to Gailey tomorrow.

Rock n Roll

The photographs below were kindly sent to me by Mike Wall, a boater who, on the 31st of August this year was taking a tour of the SS Great Britain which we passed as we turned in Bristol Harbour at the end of our stay ... I love them ... thanks Mike.
 This is so typical of us - Molly is in her very favourite spot, George is on the tiller and I've got the camera in my hands snapping away ...
... and still snapping as we pass by SS Matthew.

Off to a party!

Dental appointments kept - neither of us need any work done so that's good news!  We're off to a party at the weekend and need to be at Gailey on the Staffs and Worcester by end of play cruise on Wednesday so we're pulling the pins at Great Haywood ...

Whilst George had his gnashers looked at I took Molly for a walk, over the junction bridge past the Anglo Welsh base - it looks like all their boats are at home now

I took this picture of the River Trent on Sunday but felt that it didn't show the small weir to its full advantage ...

... so I took this one today, on 'sports' mode on the camera - much better!

... the walk continued through the trees...

... to the other side of the river; the canal is just to the left of the river and if you look closely (click to enlarge) you can see moored boats...

... I walked down the river and turned at the end of the field walking back past Shugborough Hall's Victorian Farm and the 'Tower of Winds!

Returning to those trees you can see the remains of the original bridge across the River Trent into Shugborough Estate; the railings you can see above would have led the coach and horses along the curved drive ....

... probably to these gates here on the current driveway and gate lodge...

... where I turned right back across that beautiful bridge over the river and back to Rock n Roll; it's time now for my dental check!

Reversing from the water point into the middle of the canal to point the bow into Great Haywood Junction bridge leaving the Trent and Mersey Canal and entering onto the Staffs and Worcester ...

... where we reach Tixal Wide, which is well ... still ... wide ...

... and the lodge is still where it was when we last came this way.

Milsom Bridge is a cross-over bridge which takes the towpath to the other side of the canal.
When canal boats were horse-drawn the horse would be led up this walkway and over the bridge to the other side ...

... this type of bridge would prevent the boatman from having to un-hitch the horse whilst he is led over the conventional bridge and re-hitched on the other side saving lots of time and effort.

We decided to cruise on until 3:30pm and start to look for a suitable mooring as soon after as we could - we eventually moored at 4:45 when it was nearly dark just past bridge 96.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

It came, and then it was gone!

If I'd had an internet signal when we arrived at Great Haywood on Friday I would have called the blog 'I wish I could see a bit of blue sky'.

Because when we left Rugeley it was yet another grey, grim day; the sky was just a big grey blanket as I set off to walk a while ...

... I've walked far enough and here comes George on Rock n Roll following on close behind

The River Trent runs alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal as we continue on our way towards Great Haywood junction

Waiting to ascend Colwich Lock ...

... a lovely view behind me with the local church on the left

Canal memorabilia on Colwich Lock House

A pretty row of canal side cottages ...

... the one on the right was once the Stonemason's Cottage (1710)

Our first glimpse of Shugborough Hall through the murk at just after 1pm 
Anyone who knows our Molly knows that she always sits looking the way we are cruising ... and yes she is here too!  We've been up to Haywood Junction, filled up with water and diesel and here we are reversing, we've come stern first down the lock to another of our favourite mooring spots (albeit without an internet signal!)

Saturday morning 9am we've woken to brighter skies but a low mist ...

... but at least I can see that 'bit of blue' up there! 

10 past 10 and my goodness me! It's the sun trying to get through! 

What a difference it makes too - Saturday was a pleasure!

Same time, same place on Sunday morning ... and the grey is back! 

 ... but hang on there - half an hour later and the sun is trying to show its face ...

We've moving up the lock again for water, moored up and set off for a walk around Shugborough Estate with Ann and Chas (Moore 2 Life

We seem to have seen lots of pigs over the last few days ... these little fellows caught our eye ear making a hell of a row over in far field on the estate ... wild boar perhaps?

... returning to the canal ...

... over the very pretty river bridge ... 

... a family of swans glide under ... 

... to emerge on the other side.
A lovely day!

Dentist appointments tomorrow!!