Wednesday, 31 October 2012

We've got it!

Now I've just got to persuade George that even though it does make an extra seat, I would prefer it in the bathroom!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Monday, 29 October 2012

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Last night

Braunston at 6:15 pm
 Moon Rise

and Sunset

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Surprise, surprise!

 08:13 and there's ...

 ... frost on the rear seat ...

 ... as we leave our mooring above Marston Dole

 Connaught racing cars above Napton Top Lock (George was fascinated with these because he had a Connaught dinky toy when he was a lad!)

 I was surprised that George was able to open the bottom gates of lock 15 at Napton with all this water coming through the top ones!

 What a view at Adkins Lock!

We passed a number of families on hire boats ...

... working locks for the first time (it's half-term) ...

The view from lock 9 looking down at Napton Bottom Lock just after 10:30
 The windmill on Napton Hill

Approaching Napton Junction as we cruise towards Braunston

Left at the junction would take us to Warwick
... and a few minutes later surprise, surprise it's NB Valerie - there's Les; and Jaq at the window - she's just asked if we've time to stop for a cuppa!  I ask you - is the pope catholic??

We have been intrigued about Jaq's birthday present and after a catch-up of the updating to Valerie that she's talked Les into (and very professional they are too) we had a detailed tour of that present - the composting toilet!
Since we read the posting on their blog we've become rather excited about it all (being the sad people we are) and have decided that it's actually a 'no brainer' - we must have one! 
We've currently got a macerator toilet with a huge waste tank under our bed and have been having problems with malodorous emissions from the system and a composting toilet would eliminate this for good.
It will also provide us with a huge storage area once the tank has been removed, it will save us well over £350 per year on pump-outs and will save water too.  We've already been in touch with the sales guy near Hillmorton and arranged a visit for sometime next week - so watch this space!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Back on the cut!

It's been slow today (well anything is slow after 70 mph on the M6!)

We left Fenny Marina yesterday morning and moored just outside whilst George did some minor alterations suggested by Leesan Ltd to our toilet plumbing and hopefully we can now moor upwind of others without being embarrassed!

 Leaving Fenny Compton this morning passing the Wharf Inn where we've had several good meals before and since we were away

 It's been a dull day but it doesn't detract from the lovely scenery on the South Oxford

 Any boater on the cut will tell you how much slower travel is at this time of year ...

... because of the fallen leaves on the surface of the canals, but there's no hurry.

We've cruised just 7.5 miles today, no locks, and are currently moored just above the Napton Flight of Locks - something to look forward to tomorrow!

It's good to be home!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The West Coast and home

That's the Scottish west coast around Largs where our daughter Sharon and her family live...

We took a walk with the dogs towards The Largs Pencil which stands on a headland jutting into the Firth of Clyde nearly 2 miles from the town centre. (picture attributed to Dave souza)

It was close by the Pencil that we watched this huge Korea Line tanker coming in from the sea ...

... and coming to moor up to load/unload its cargo at Hunterston Power Station Quay

No, they're not seals ...

... they're Sharon's labradors - Aero (chocolate lab) and Diesel (the black one)

Grandaughter Alice (left) and her friend Kharis at the window of a 'castle' ruin on Largs waterfront
Portencross Castle is a short drive south from Largs ...
 ... at West Kilbride - the castle was originally built around the 1360's

... and it is said that the area has been inhabited for thousands of years as there have been archeological finds from the Iron Age which lasted from 800 BC to 100 BC.

Sadly the castle was not open when we visited but I understand that it is very interesting inside

 The castle harbour

Views from the castle are truly magnificent 

... pretty shoreside cottages, and lovely daughter Sharon with Joanne and Alice just disappearing from view


The west coast ...

... is certainly rugged!

 ... and the sunsets are spectacular too!

We met our eldest grandson Adam's girlfriend Robyn at last - a lovely girl.

We arrived back at Rock 'n' Roll at Marina Fenny Compton Marina yesterday evening after a long journey and will leave here later today.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Archimedes Screws at Falkirk

A trip out took us to the canals ..

Falkirk Wheel - the junction between the Forth and Clyde Canal which starts at Bowling on the west coast and the Union Canal which ends in Edinburgh in the east.

Alice found a friend straight away!

Alice is pumping water by bicycle power and Joanne is standing in front of a 'flat' Archimedes Screw which operates on the same principle as ...

... this one 

It makes a good workout for Alice

Gotcha Joanne!

 Goerge and the girls are 'doing the wheel' and I've walked with Molly up the hill to the top ...

... and they're waiting for the previous trip boat to return on the boat lift

Views from the towpath at the top of the wheel ...

... are amazing ...

... with the sun shining on dockside industries on the River Forth

The trip boat descending to pick up the gang

 A hire boat arrives from the Union Canal which is behind me and waits in the caisson to descend as the trip boat ascends - just check out that view of the Ochil Hills - and think of the sheer drop on t'other side of that metal sheet!!

Here they come and sitting right at the front too!

Approaching Rough Castle Tunnel ...

... there they are

The boat winds (turns) on the bend ...

... below the lock

Returning to Rough Castle Tunnel as seen from the trip boat ...
... and approaching those beautiful arches from the north basin

I've started to walk back down the hill as the trip boat enters the caisson of the wheel ...

The boat is now sitting in the water of the caisson just behind that sheet of metal ... 
... and this is what George and the girls can see over that metal barrier - the lock takes boats down onto the Forth and Clyde Canal

Half way down (the wheel turns clockwise) ...
... looks like it was a good trip too!