Friday, 30 November 2012

On the move again ...

… after 2 weeks at Great Haywood having lots of dental treatments and man flue a heavy cold (George) it was good to be on the move again.  The day dawned very cold, -3 at 8am and only reached +6 all day.  We needed water and fuel before leaving but as well as one boat having an engine fitted on the junction, 2 boats were already on the water points and another plus us, waiting.

So it was 12:15 before we set off properly but the amazing colours today were well worth a few pictures …

Arriving at Hoo Mill Lock …

 … and looking back at this pretty lane leading over the bridge …

 … and this was the first time we’d noticed this old steam engine on the other side of the lock.

We occasionally saw ice particles on the shallower bends of the canal …

… but we also saw some sunshine too!

Lots of colour at Wharf House just south of Weston were we’re currently moored for the weekend with a Tesco shop due on Sunday.  We’re now hoping that the next few nights aren’t so cold that the canal freezes over completely so that we will be able to move on on Monday.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Trent in flood ...

… at Shugborough
 The stream that joins the River Trent from the left is usually a footpath

 The confluence of the River Trent (on the right looking upstream) and the River Sow (middle water); the ‘river' on the right is ornamental for the Shugborough Estate.

 The field where we usually walk Molly is now a lake

 River Trent on the left and the lake on the right

 Looking over the ‘lake’ to the Tower of Winds

 Essex Bridge built in 1550 for Queen Elizabeth I when she came to visit - now only 14 of the original 40 arches still exist.

NB Rock ’n’ Roll on the Trent and Mersey Canal just a couple of meters from the river.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Boat in the mist

It was good to meet up with Geoff again yesterday afternoon at Great Haywood on his journey to Mercia Marina to make a winter home mooring for Mags to recuperate.

We spent a lovely evening with Geoff and Simon who travelled up to Stone from London where he lives aboard his boat on the River Lee.  Simon enjoyed his day out doing ‘real’ boating on a ‘real’ canal - good to meet you Simon.

 Half eight this morning and Seyella appears out of the mist …

 Oh no, I’ve only just got out of bed - I don’t think I want to see that picture!

… and away they go into the mist heading for Rugeley to drop Simon off for his train back to London and to collect Ray who has offered to help Geoff today on his way to Fradley Junction.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Sunshine after the rain!!

On the Trent and Mersey Canal at Shugborough ...

and on the swollen River Trent ...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A lot to do ...


A brand new working boat moored by the pig farm on the way to Great Haywood
 One of my most favourite mooring places (Shugborough Hall)

 Half past eight this morning! …

… and 1 o’clock this afternoon as the gale blew

Just over 2 weeks ago under our bed was a tank full of … well you know what!
Now it’s a super new storage place!  George has done a fantastic job.

As well as being a carpenter whilst we’ve been here at Great Haywood George has been undergoing some rather painful dentistry on both sides of his mouth which won’t be finished until the end of November, after which we will be heading north to Wales and the Llangollen - weather/ice permitting!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The sky over Ikea ...

... at Birmingham at 4pm today!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Stop over

 We've had a 48-hour stop over in Rugeley (here passing Armitage Shanks on the way) - we've been doing all the tidying up of the bathroom walls after removing the old toilet pipes and electrics - it looks good now.  
We've had visitors too ... Georges brother Dave and wife Bev came last night for a fantastic Cantonese meal from what was a pub earlier in the year (at the rear of Morrisons) and now called HK - the very best oriental take-a-way we've ever tasted - do try it when next in Rugeley!

 Yesterday the ducks were having a great time ....

... in the sunshine!

Off to Great Haywood this morning, we're hiring a car for some retail therapy and will call at our son's house to celebrate his birthday over the weekend.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Before work began ...

 ... it was beautifully tranquil and quiet in the early morning sun ...

 ... after the rain, hustle and bustle, noise and mud yesterday when we had the now redundant grey water tank removed from Rock n Roll at Streethay Wharf ...

... and then the did day begin!

The boatyard lads were having problems turning this boat past ours ...

... so George went out to help by bow hauling it along our gunwale.

Just missed the galley window!

A few interesting boats around here too .....  the butty Ethel ...

... couldn't see the name on this one ...

... and GUCC Fulbourne

... and Granny Buttons arrived to moor in front of us in the dark last night ... but no signs of life Andrew Denny this morning when we left.

Alrewas River Section is open as normal - but not from here! 

Fradley Junction Botton Lock is undergoing repair and is closed ...

Men at work ... 

Not a view we see often - apparently there is an open day for visitors this coming weekend if anyone out there is in the area!

We've collected water from the top of the Coventry Canal and turned left onto the Trent and Mersey Canal heading north.

More working boats here too ...

BW Merchant

... FMC Minnow

and FMC Dove and Archilles

Two locks today Fradley Middle Lock and Shadehouse Lock in the distance ...
... where I spy a lovely mooring just before that last boat - perfect!

All the hard work has been done now in relation to the installation of the composting toilet and the removal of the pump-out system; we're now left with the tidying up!  

We did an ok deal with the boatyard making Rock n Roll a bit lighter and our pockets a bit heavier - an all round deal!

We had to empty the wardrobe onto the dining table to enable the old pump-out hoses and pipes to be removed and I've been varnishing the insides of the wardrobe this morning; they're still a bit sticky so will have to wait until tomorrow before putting it all back together again because we're off to the Mucky Duck just now for a pint and a pie steak - lovely!