*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Yelvertoft to Sparford Bridge No.41, near Welford Junction.

Map image

Hi Folks.

Yelvertoft to Sparford Bridge No. 41 near Welford Junction. 8 miles in 2 hrs 55 mins.


After a chilly night in a warm boat, I slept like a log and woke up full of va va voom. After an early morning cuppa and discussions on what to do next, we decided that we would move today towards Foxton.


Before leaving we spoke to Brian and Shirley and said we would see them again at some point, which will probably be after the Foxton Festival on the 17th and 18th September.

With the strict restrictions in place at Foxton Locks, it was a very A very quiet, but pleasant run this morning, we saw 6 other boats on the move, 3 private ones and 3 hire boats. There was a couple of spots we could have moored, but they were already taken up by boats, which never seem to leave the Leicester Line. IMG_5406

Now which do you think came first the barn or the bales of straw???? The barn is new because it was not there when we left the line in May, but it does look as if they have trying to build the barn around the bales.

We have moored near Sparford Bridge No.41 as there was no one there, hopefully we should have a nice quiet mooring here just for a change, rather than at Welford Junction, which is just round the corner. The lovely thing about where we are moored is the towpath here is wider than at the junction, so Marmite is already running around outside and enjoying the freedom. Paddy is on the back counter and feeling a little sorry for himself, because he has thrown up twice this morning, so not sure what is wrong with him, but he will not get fed for the rest of the day and I will keep an eye on him. Usually when he is poorly it is because he has eaten something which has upset his delicate stomach.

Whilst typing this, I am sat eating Sausage and Onion sandwiches, which were cooked in the back cabin stove and taste mmmmm. It is a little dull outside, so maybe we will get some rain. If we don't then I will be going out with my camera.

Chat soon xx

What have I been telling you ????

Hi Folks.

Finally there is some publicity about the lack of water. Ok so it is in a local paper but it is a start.

I can see this section being closed down for the winter to hold on to the little drop of water they have left if there is no rain and lots of it soon.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

The body alphabet.

This should make you smile!

New Alphabet :

A is for apple, and B is for boat, that used to be right, but now it won't float!

Age before beauty is what we once said, but let's be a bit more realistic instead.

Now The

A's for arthritis;

B's the bad back,

C's the chest pains, perhaps car-di-ac?

D is for dental decay and decline,

E is for eyesight, can't read that top line! 

F is for fissures and fluid retention,

G is for gas which I'd rather not mention.

H for high blood pressure -- I'd rather it low;

I for incisions with scars you can show. 

J is for joints out of socket, won't  mend,

K is  for knees that crack when they bend.

L's  for libido, what happened to sex? 

M is for memory, I forget what comes next.

N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low.  

O is for osteo, bones that don't grow!

P for prescriptions, I have quite a few, just give me a pill and I'll be good as new!  

Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu?  

R is for reflux, one meal turns to two.

S is for sleepless nights, counting my fears. 

T is for Tinnitus; bells in my ears! 

U is for urinary; troubles with flow; 

V for vertigo, that's 'dizzy,' you know.

W for worry, now what's going 'round?  

X is for X ray, and what might be found.

Y for another year I'm left here behind,  

Z is for zest I still have in my mind!

I've survived all the symptoms, my body's deployed,
and I'm keeping twenty-six doctors fully employed!

Crick to Yelvertoft.

Map image

Hi Folks.

Crick to Yelvertoft 1.8 miles in 1 hr 20 mins.

With the Bank Holiday weekend at Crick over, it was time to move on, so after enjoying a cuppa in bed whilst watching the TV, we were up, but at our leisure. Paddy got his walk after I ate my breakfast and then on my return to the boat Paddy and Marmite got fed. Keith took the rubbish to the bins and I then strolled up to the post office to pick up some stamps, post a birthday card and to get some bread, which should see us through until our next Tesco delivery. I made us both a coffee, before we slipped our mooring to head for Yelvertoft. The canal seemed very quiet this morning after a busy old weekend with boats on the move from the marina's. On our approach to Yelvertoft, we first pulled into the water point to top up the water tank, because I had done a couple of washes over the weekend and even though I know we can go two weeks, if we see a water tap which is empty we tend to top the tank up. As we were about to leave the water point another boat pulled in to use it. The gentleman on board commented "Where is the sun, after 3 days rain we need some sun". Keith replied "No we do not, we need the rain, otherwise we will not be moving anywhere". I think the couple them took the hump, because we did not get another word out of them. I am sorry to say that people just do not have a clue, with the water situation, just because they can move in and out of their marina they think that everything is hunky dory. Well it is not and I will repeat myself again and again.


Naseby Reservior like a beach.

We need rain and lots of it, to refill the reservoirs, otherwise next year we will see canals close then those moored in marinas who only come out on sunny days and holidays, will find themselves going no where, but still complaining that they have to pay their mooring fees and licence. STOP MOANING ABOUT THE RAIN. 6

Watford Locks pound.

We left them to take on water and we carried on to look for a moorings, as we approached the visitor moorings we noticed Brian & Shirley on nb “Golden Valley were moored here, and there was room for us to moor too whoooo hooo its a miracle, so we pulled in and moored up, and had a quick chat with them to catch up on their news. We have never moored at Yelvertoft before, because normally the moorings are full, so I plan to make the most of this opportunity. The bonus is we have a 3G signal here as well, so I can play on the computer more deep joy.

Chat soon xx

Monday 29 August 2011

Everyday a holiday...

Hi Folks.

Another day of no photographs. The signal at Crick is so poor that I could run quicker to generate a signal in a Hamsters wheel.

So here we are another Bank Holiday Monday and it is a little chilly and dull outside. Yesterday I did very little in the way of boat jobs, because the weather was sunshine and showers. I did light the back cabin stove, so I could dry our Donkey jackets, which were still very wet and beginning to smell like a wet dog ewwww. Marmite was the first to find a cosy place in the cabin, she knows where the warm places are.

So another Bank Holiday, which really makes no difference to us, because everyday is a holiday in my world. I am on a constant Honeymoon. For the second morning running Keith did us both a cooked breakfast of Bacon and Mushrooms on Toast mmmmm. I relit the back cabin stove because it is chilly and feels like Autumn is coming early. There has been a steady flow of  boats on the move, which is a little surprising because of the restrictions, I can only think they are boats which have come out of the marina's on this stretch just for the weekend.

I had a list of jobs to do in my head and they include some brass cleaning and then need to get rid of the dog hair which is gathering as if it were having a party. With the amount of hair Paddy sheds, he should be bald by now. After breakfast, I put out the for sale signs and laid out some Kindling, Firelighters, Brasso and Toilet Blue on the roof, hoping I would get at least one customer, this proved to be a good idea because I did get one customer who bought some Brasso and Firelighters which was very kind of them. Job two was to take the toilet cassette over to the sanitary station to empty it. Keith passed the cassette out to me and I put it on the small trolley and wheeled it over the bridge to the sanitary station. Walking over Crick bridge is always like taking your life in your hands because their is no footpath and the traffic is very unforgiving. But job two achieved, so it was on to job 3 cooking a curry for dinner, which spent most of the afternoon in the back cabin stove simmering away. Whilst the curry cooked, I stewed some cooking Apples and made us an Apple pie for pudding tonight. I was told sometime ago that cheese in the pastry goes very nicely with Apples so have given it a go and will tell you what I thought tomorrow. Job 4 was to clean the brass outside and in the back cabin, which was done and dusted for another few days or until the rain ruins it. At this time of the year I begin the wind down on cleaning the brass because it discolours so quickly. I will however make sure it is sparkling for the Foxton Festival. Job 5 I stripped the bed, so that I can wash the sheet and duvet later this evening when the generator is running. Not sure if I have told you, we have an inbuilt generator, which was put in when the boat was built. It stands in the engine room and when running sounds like a standard boat engine, so it is not to noisy and therefore cannot annoy anyone.

The temperature outside is still on the chilly side and there is a definite feel of Autumn in the air. People moving on boats and walkers coming past the boat all have woolly hats, coats and gloves on brrrrrrrr.

At the moment we are watching "Mutiny on the Bounty" on Channel 5. The afternoon is wearing into the evening and I now have dinner to organise, pets to feed and a bed to make, so I will say cheerio for now xx.

Sunday 28 August 2011

This is why.


Over the past few days whilst we have been on the move, we have had people asking "why are the restrictions are on", and I should add the majority of these have been other boaters, who have taken no time to read any of the restriction notices on the boards or lock gates. I think this photograph says it all really. This is Naseby Reservoir and it is not the only one looking like this. Saddington Reservoir is the same as are others across the country. So if your a boater and your reading this, please read the restriction notices, they are there for you benefit and then you will understand. May I also say please stop moaning about the rain, because if we do not get more of the wet stuff, none of us will be moving anywhere because the canals will be shut.

What has bought on this Sunday rant your thinking? It is bought on by a couple I met this morning, who jokingly said "Thank goodness the rain has stopped, that orange thing in the sky is the sun I think". I almost lost it. It is sad to say that there are some who only think about themselves and their own movements on the system. It is not all about one boater, it is about all of us, continuously cruisers, those who work on the canal to try and make a living and those who are on moorings who want to wake up in the mornings on the straight and narrow and not leaning over with everything falling out of their cupboards.

Ok rant over. Have a Happy Sunday xx

This is why.


Over the past few days whilst we have been on the move, we have had people asking "why are the restrictions are on", and I should add the majority of these have been other boaters, who have taken no time to read any of the restriction notices on the boards or lock gates. I think this photograph says it all really. This is Naseby Reservoir and it is not the only one looking like this. Saddington Reservoir is the same as are others across the country. So if your a boater and your reading this, please read the restriction notices, they are there for you benefit and then you will understand. May I also say please stop moaning about the rain, because if we do not get more of the wet stuff, none of us will be moving anywhere because the canals will be shut.

What has bought on this Sunday rant your thinking? It is bought on by a couple I met this morning, who jokingly said "Thank goodness the rain has stopped, that orange thing in the sky is the sun I think". I almost lost it. It is sad to say that there are some who only think about themselves and their own movements on the system. It is not all about one boater, it is about all of us, continuously cruisers, those who work on the canal to try and make a living and those who are on moorings who want to wake up in the mornings on the straight and narrow and not leaning over with everything falling out of their cupboards.

Ok rant over. Have a Happy Sunday xx

Saturday 27 August 2011

If I Knew.

If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute or two to stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming, you would know I do.

If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, well I’m sure you’ll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there’s always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything right.

There will always be another day to say our “I love you’s”, and certainly there’s another chance to say our “Anything I can do’s?”

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I’d like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, and today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?

For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day, that you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, whisper in their ear, tell them how much you love them and that you’ll always hold them dear, take time to say “I’m sorry,” “please forgive me”, “thank you” or “it’s okay”.

And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.

From author unknown

Braunston Top Lock to Crick.

Hi Folks.

Braunston Top Lock to Crick, 8.5miles, 7 locks in 3 hrs 30 mins.

We had a later start planned this morning, but this did not stop me from waking up early. I was awake before 5am mainly because the rain was lashing it down outside. There was nothing for it but to get up and make a cup of tea for us both.

So having drunk our tea, it was then time to get up as we wanted to get through the tunnel and on to the Leicester Arm at Norton Junction because we knew that Watford locks would be opening at 9.30am, so we set off at 7:20am to arrive at the bottom of Watford locks just after 9:00am. When we got there, there was already a queue of boats waiting to go up, so we joined the back of the queue and Terry one of the two lock keepers on duty called Terry said that we could come up through the bottom lock and moor in the 1st pound, so once the queue cleared to us we climbed up through the first lock and moored up to await the 2 boats to come down, by this time it was gone 9.30am. We joined nb Waffle in the pound, which was about 2ft down on water, so we had to keep the stern in the lock entrance so we could get on and off the boat. Whilst we waited for boats to come down I made us both a coffee and we got chatting to the couple off of Waffle, who we had come up the Atherstone Flight with. Once the 1st boat came down through the lock 10.25am the pound came up enough for us to get in against the bank and I could tighten the centre line, as we awaited, the 2nd and final boat down at 11.45am , then Waffle set off up the locks and we followed close behind. Hadar’s bow got a free wash from the leaking lock gates, all we needed was the shampoo and the whirly brushes and it would have been like a car wash! We finally got to the top at 11.25am, which considering the queue was not to bad. I enjoyed a good old natter with both the Terry's who had been telling of the goings on at the flight this past few days since the restriction had begun.

One such story was of a boat we did not read any of the signage to sign in with the lockie first, they just emptied the first lock and went in. When the lock keeper what they were doing, they were completely oblivious that there were three large signs telling them they had to sign in first. They then went on to argue the point of going up through the locks. When they reached lock 3 the lockie asked them where they were heading for and was told the Erewash Canal. In a calm voice the lockie told them they would not be going to the Erewash unless they had a home mooring because Foxton Locks were closed to only essential traffic. They did not have a home mooring but were determined that they were going on to the Erewash. But the lockie eventually made them understand it was not going to happen. They then realised they had to turn around in one of the pounds and head back down the two locks they had come up through. The lockie told them if they had signed in as they should have, he could have told them they were going to have to turn around before they started up the flight. Why oh Why do people not take notice of signs, notices and lock keepers arghhhhhhhh.

Once through the locks we pressed on through Crick tunnel, and then had a wonderful surprise because we found a mooring at Crick, one boat up from the bridge ‘ole. We were just about to pull in when the heavens opened, and I did not have my jacket on (deep joy), but no sooner we had moored up the sun came out again and I did not take long to dry out. We will spend the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend here, because we are unsure as to what moorings will be like further up.

Keith found out that the good news is that despite the problems with the Leicester locks and Foxton locks, Watford locks will remain open without restrictions because they are back pumped. This means that now we are on the summit for the Foxton Festival, we should still be able to get to Stoke Bruerne for the “Village at War Weekend” whatever else happens stoppage wise. So going to keep my fingers crossed on that point.

Sorry there are no photo's again today, but my GPRS signal is not good at all.

Chat soon xx.

Friday 26 August 2011

Hawkesbury Junction to Braunston top lock.

Hawkesbury to Braunston Top Lock 10 hrs 30 mins, 9 locks, 23.78 miles.

Hi Folks.

Sorry there are no photographs today because I only have a poor GPRS signal, which is a shame because I took some photographs of the Seven Spires at Brauntson, they are only there until the 29th August.

Wow what a day. I think it is safe to say it was an epic day for us. Luckily I went to bed at 9pm last night and I  slept like a baby because today was going to be a long day. We got up at 5am and set off at 5.55am, with lots of lovely rain falling, but I know that it is just a spit in the ocean compared to what we need right now, with the reservior's being so empty. We are going to need so much more of the wet stuff. We got a wonderful start to the day with nothing else moving, but it still took us 10½ hours to get to Braunston top lock. The first thought was to at least get through Hillmorton locks and possibly moor up for the weekend but there was no mooring space there, we gave a wave to Nick Wolfe on Aldgate who was moored up. With no room to be had we carried  on to Braunston, the rain was still falling so I said to Keith I would do lunch when we get to get to Braunston, but again there were no moorings to be had, so we  had no option but to carry up the locks, which was not at all what we wanted and I was really feeling hungry and wet, despite wearing my wet weather gear. As we approached the bottom lock, there were 2 boats in front of us, so no one to share the locks with there as always it seems for us. Of course we waited in the lock for a while for someone to share, but then a boat came down so we had no choice but to carry on up on our own. Halfway up the flight Keith noticed a boat behind us, they must have pulled out from the moorings below The Admiral Nelson. He called back to them that we would wait for them at the next lock. This decision we now wish we hadn’t made, due to their behaviour with the locks and paddles. So there we were waiting in the next lock, and we waited, and we waited. Things then got worse because the 2 boats in front decided to whip a bottom paddle up for us at the next lock. I then noticed that there was a hell of a lot of water coming down, so much so that it was coming over the gates on the lock we were waiting in, so I ran up to see if there was a problem to find they had also left a top paddle up as well! Whilst this was all going on the boats there were then boats waiting to come down, so they were queuing up, and we still waited and we still waited!!!

Eventually the boat we waited for arrived, and by now it was quite obvious they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. I tried to remain patient even when another boater began to have a go at me for turning a lock around, I told him that it was not my doing and if he wants to have a go at someone, he should run after the boats that just went up. I then explained to him that they had left top and bottom paddles up and I was still calm. The gentleman realised then that it was not may fault so got off of his high horse. I bet he would not have spoken to Keith like he did to me, but I was firm and calm at the same time. I felt very proud of myself. This was just the sort of thing I needed and we hadn’t even had lunch yet. We finally moored up above Braunston top lock at 4:25pm and I made us both some yummy Bacon Butties, sorry if your a veggy, but I was so hungry I could have eaten the whole pig.

I do seriously wonder why some people are on boats and it makes both of us wonder if some people are worth waiting for, we will in future seriously consider not bothering. I know that you should wait for other boats, especially at the moment, but as we have been moored up there have been single boats going down the flight, so British Waterways need to get someone out here to stop it. There are big enough notices on the gates, but it seems people do not read notices.

Ok that's enough from me, I am off to dry my hair and think about my bed. Not sure what we are doing tomorrow, because we normally do not move at weekends, but we do need to get through Watford Locks in case they shut them down, so watch this space. xx

Thursday 25 August 2011

Polesworth to Sutton's Stop, Hawkesbury Junction.

Map image

Hi Folks.

Polesworth to Sutton's Stop, Hawkesbury.

Junction  12.12 miles  12locks in 7 hours, 10 mins.

Another early start, because we wanted to get to the bottom of the Atherstone flight early as we knew with the restrictions in place it would get busy. When we woke up it was throwing it down with rain yayyyyy I thought this is exactly what we need, because we do need lots of rain right now. By the time we left at 6am the rain had stopped, but we both still put our wet weather gear on just in case.


There were blue patches of sky trying to show through, but we were plagued by low cloud and some rain whilst we cruised to Atherstone bottom lock.


We arrived at the bottom of the Atherstone flight at 7am and moored up on the lock moorings, we had to wait for the lock keeper to arrive to unlock the gates at 8.30am. The only other boat there was a hire boat on the 48 hour moorings and they were all still in bed. Moored up I made us some coffee and toasted Muffins. Just as I stepped off of the boat another boat pulled in behind us called Waffle, they moor in the marina at Crick over the winter. So we had a few things in common to chat about. The lock keeper arrive just before 8am and unlocked the gates, at this point the gentleman on the hire boat asked if they could go first because they had been moored up overnight. I told him that mooring up overnight does not mean you get to go up the flight first, not only that his crew were still in bed. I told him if he wanted to go first he should have been on the lock moorings earlier. The lock keeper then waved us in and we were on our way. Soon after setting off a hire boat pulled out in front of us in one of the pounds. They were so slow Keith thought we were going backwards. At times it felt like we were pushing them up the flight. 3 hours to do the flight says it all really.


I know they were on their holiday, but when  you have boats waiting top and bottom of locks you do have to get on with the job in hand. Once we were clear of the locks we were moving more freely.


But as we approached Hartshill, we found ourselves in a convoy of 4 boats in front of us, with the hire boat in front and slowing everyone up. Due to the slow pace by the time we reached Nuneaton we had at least 2 boats behind us. IMG_5359

It seemed that we all met every oncoming boat in a bridge o'le which made for some fun. Because we were going to have a longer day, I made us some sandwiches and a cold drink for lunch, so we could keep on the move.


Eventually the hire boat moored up, as did one of the others, then the other 2 turned onto the Ashby Canal at Marston Junction, for ages we thought we would all be heading for Sutton’s and that would mean queuing for ages.


We passed by my favourite boat yard Charity Dock, with it quirky manikins around the yard.


For once there was plenty of room to moor before the junction, but we thought we ought to get through the turn and lock today rather than at 6:00am in the morning, I don’t think the householders would be too pleased with Hadar’s engine working hard to make the turn that early in the morning, you see we do care about others, which is more than some do.


We made the turn on to the Oxford and said goodbye to the Coventry for at least another year.


At that point The Greyhound was looking inviting for a pint after the day we had just had. But we still had the lock to do and to hopefully find a mooring, both were achieved I am pleased to say.


We are moored on a bit of a bend on the 7 day moorings, but it will do for tonight, we will be off again tomorrow morning at 6am. Right now I have to think about tonight's dinner and then I am going to put my feet up with a beer. I am so glad I have some cans on board because I could really sink a pint right now.

Chat soon xx

Wednesday 24 August 2011

More Restrictions.

Taken from the waterscape site. www.waterscape.com

Restriction: Between Atherstone Lock No 1 and Atherstone Lock No 11

24 Aug 2011 until further notice

Associated Regional Office: Central Shires Waterways

Customers are advised that navigation between Atherstone Lock No 1 and Atherstone Lock No 11 is to be restricted to within the hours 08:30 hours and 16:00 hours each day.

Unfortunately, these measures need to be introduced to conserve water due to the current low water levels on the Coventry & Ashby Canal summit pound and the Oxford Canal which supplies water to the summit. British Waterways will continue to monitor the levels and will advise customers as necessary.

The following locks will be padlocked to prevent passage and conserve water; Locks 1, 6 and 11. If you wish to navigate the flight and complete it before the closure you must be either at Lock 1 or Lock 11 by 12:00 as it takes approximately 4 hours to navigate the flight.

British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

(Enquiries: Telephone 01827 252000 during normal office hours.)

Restrictions tighten.

Taken from the Waterscape site.

Restriction: Grand Union Leicester Line Foxton Locks

24 Aug 2011 until further notice

Associated Regional Office: South East Waterways

With effect from Friday 26th August passage through Foxton Locks will be restricted to essential passage ONLY.

Essential passage is defined for those boats who have a home mooring or are a hirer based between Foxton Locks and Kings Lock 38 (GU Leicester Line) Passage will continue to be allowed between the hours of 9.00am - 4.00pm daily.

Lock Keepers will have lists of boats in the above categories and will be enforcing strictly against this.

Further Information - Saddington Reservoir is the main feed for the current restricted section (between Kibworth Top Lock and Kings Lock) on the GU Leicester Line.
Existing stocks at Saddington will last only 3-4 weeks based on current use, when this supply is exhausted a full stoppage will result in this location.

We would advise that only boats with a draft of 2ft 4inch and less attempt to navigate through this restricted area given restrictions in supply and fluctuating levels.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

(Enquiries: Steve Morgan 01908 302500)

A stroll around Polesworth.


Saw this and giggled.

After lunch Keith and I strolled into Polesworth, because it is a place we have never visited before. It is a nice little village with all the things a boater needs, such as butcher, food stores, hair dressers, post office etc etc.


The village has a wide and varied history, with some interesting building, such as this one which used to be the police station, hence the blue light over the door.


Gate House to the Abbey.

The Gate House was probably built in the 14th century and is very pretty. It is a Grade II listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.


Keith found the Hobbits doorway.


Polesworth Abbey was a Benedictine nunnery. It was founded in the 9th century by St. Modwena and King Egbert. The first abbess was Edgytha (daughter of King Egbert, now St. Editha). Whilst we walked around the Abbey grounds, we saw that there was some excavations going on. We found out that the dig is to last five weeks and started on Monday 8th August, it  is supported financially by a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund. This year one large area to the west of the present vicarage will be excavated, together with five smaller areas including the Mound in the Churchyard. They are trying to find other parts of the Abbey.


Two years ago they revealed extensive remains of the medieval Abbey including the cloistral areas and the outer precinct.  Also the Elizabethan manor house and gardens and subsequent developments on the site, which is very exciting. All's they needed was the Time team there with their camera's.

As you may be aware I love to look around church yards and today was no different.


I spotted this headstone, which made me feel very sad for the family because all three brothers lost their lives in the First World War.

Lieut Harold Belfit Hill. Was killed in a flying accident on the 6th September 1918. After a bit of research I found out that he was in fact an instructor at Montrose and it was his pupil who crashed the plane, apparently only from 100 feet. Harold lost his life, but his pupil 2Lt E B Mathews survived the crash.

Lieut Arthur Moberly Hill, was killed in the Battle of Arras 9th April 1917. Age 22.

Lieut William Reginald Hill, was with the Durham Light Infantry and died in a prisoner of war camp in Germany on the 6th November 1918, which is so sad because the war was so close to ending. Such a tragic few years for their parents William and Katherine.

We should never ever forget the sacrifices these and all the brave men and women made and are still making for us, so that we can be free. On that note did anyone else watch the program last night with Prince Harry and the injured servicemen walking to the North Pole? I thought it was a brilliant program and I hope to watch part 2 tonight.

After a lovely stroll, I invested in a few birthday cards at on of the shops and a couple of ice creams, which were much needed because it got hot for a while. Back at the boat, we put out the chairs and I got on with knitting some more dishcloths, whilst Keith did his crossword.

Time for me to think about tonight's dinner, so I will say cheerio for now xx.

Huddlesford to Polesworth.

Map image

Hi Folks.

Huddlesford to Polesworth, 11.6 miles 2locks in 5 hours, 15 mins.

The alarm clock sprang into life at 5am, but I was not that eager to crawl out of bed this morning, I have no idea why, just wanted to snuggle up and stay put for a bit longer, but with an early move planned, there was no time for snuggles, so I had to wrestle myself out of bed. All dressed and breakfast eaten it was time for Paddy's walk. We crept past the moored boats in semi-darkness. The radio mast at Lichfield was lit up like a Christmas tree, with its red lights. A lone Buzzard was calling above the noise of the motorway traffic and the railway, then other birds began to join as dawn was in full swing. I did think perhaps they are saying to each other " Good morning, nice morning for the middle of August".

With the boat all prepared for the off, I just stood on the back counter and listened to a new morning unfold. The Buzzard was still calling in the distance and the traffic was roaring along the motorway, it made me think just how lucky I am to be living the life I do.


Having left the mooring, we cruised past the entrance to the Wyrley and Essington Canal, we did try and walk it yesterday, but could not get down on to the canal, so gave up after walking a long the main road.


With the sun coming up, the mist began rolling a long the cut. It was very atmospheric.


There was not a breath of wind, so we saw some stunning reflections on the water of the cut.


There was plenty of wildlife about, which included flocks of Canada Geese on route to the feeding grounds for the day.


For some of them the stopping point was in front of our boat as we moved towards Fazeley Junction.



We stopped at Peels Wharf to take on water and to empty the toilet cassette. The hosepipe began to leak, first one hole appeared then a second hole appeared, so we cut the bad piece off the hose put it back together and began filling the water tank again, and yet another hole appeared, something tells me this hosepipe will be heading for the bin very soon.


We headed off past Fazeley Junction on to the Coventry Canal and up through Glascote Locks with two boats behind us and one boats waiting to come down the pair. Boats were beginning to move now.


It was not long before we were passing The Samuel Barlow at Alvecote.


After The Samuel Barlow, we passed the remains of the Alvecote Priory, looking spendid in the sunshine.


Destination Polesworth almost achieved, my stomach was thinking of lunch, even though we had tucked into the biscuit box and had coffee a couple of times on route. The moorings at Polesworth were a little full, but we have squeezed in on the end for now, if a boat moves off we will move backwards on to the moorings properly.

Chat later xx

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Quote of the Day:

Perhaps the best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
--Dean Acheson

Great Haywood, to Huddlesford.

Hi Folks.

Great Haywood to Huddlesford, 16.3 miles 4 locks in 6.5 hours.

Up with the dawn chorus and arghhhh it was dark. This means we are on the downward slope as far as 2011 is concerned and this was made more evident as we cruised. We were up at 5am and Paddy was walked in the dark, which is not my favourite thing to do. I am not very good in the dark it has to be said, but did feel happier with Paddy by my side. Back at the boat I readied her for the off, so took down the TV aerial, which was as much use as a box of chocolate frogs, because we had little or no signal, so ended up watching "The Pride and the Passion" before heading off to bed early. Boat all ready we left our over night mooring at 5.50am and trundled past all the moored boats over looking Shugborough Hall.


By 6.30am we were at Colwich Lock I stepped off of the boat in the railway bridge o'le to I could set the lock, but when I got there it was already full, so I only had to open the gate. As we were descending the lock, a gentleman with his early morning cuppa came and joined us outside at the lock cottage. He gave us a cheery wave and a good morning as we went on our way. It is nice to see people up just as early as us.

We were then moving through the Trent Valley and there was more evidence that Autumn was just around the corner.


The leaves on the trees are changing colour already to golds, reds and yellows, this does not bode well and yet it did feel quite warm to begin with, that changed though and I could feel a cold front coming over me followed by light rain, so I dipped into the back cabin to put my wet weather gear on.


At Wolseley Bridge we passed Ivor and Mel Batchelor on their working pair Mountbatten and Jellicoe. Ivor had just come back from taking their dogs for a walk. He asked " Are you to wicked to sleep", my reply was "Most definitely, this is the best time of the day". We waved cheerio to each other and we went on our way.


We then got our first sight of Rugeley Power Station.


It dominates the skyline.


We then passed Enseabee, which moors at Roger Fuller's yard. The boat belongs to our good friend Nigel, he and Anne are out for a few days. Nigel gave us a wave and a thumbs up as we passed by, I am sure we will see them both again sometime.

As we approached Brindley Bank Aqueduct, I took over on the tiller. I thought I was doing a fabulous job until I tried to make the tight turn at the bloody steps, no that is not me swearing, that is what they are called. They are named the Bloody Steps after the death in 1849 of Christina Collins, a female passenger who was travelling by canal from Liverpool to London. She was attacked and raped by the boatmen and her body was thrown into the canal. It was found here and carried up the steps to a nearby public house, hence the name. Well I did not make the turn so the bow was heading for the reeds as I put the boat into reverse, at this point Keith took over. I think I need a little more practice at that corner. Whilst Keith got us back on the straight and narrow I made us both a coffee. By 9.10am the rain had stopped and the sun was showing signs of coming out, so I ditched the wet weather gear. We cruised along the Armitage Tunnel, with me walking in front of the boat in case something should decide to come towards us and before we knew it we were at Wood End Lock, which was once again with us. By the time we were leaving the lock there was another boat behind us, so the canal was beginning to get busy. At Fradley Locks, although they were against us, there were no queues, so we had an easy decent to the junction with the Coventry Canal.


As we turned on to the Coventry I stepped off of the boat to open the small swing footbridge. We then decided that we would not moor up at Fradley.


So we carried on to where we are now moored and that is at Huddlesford. We are not far from the junction with the Wyrley and Essington Canal.


Another sign that 2011 is drawing to a close is the fact that the farmers are gathering in their harvests. This farmer was very busy getting his bales in before more rain. I remember those days well, but we used to do bale cart by hand and the bales were tiny oblong ones then. These days it is all high tech and the bales are huge, so huge that if one fell on you, you would be dead. I prefer the old days I am afraid, when life was so much easier.

So here we are all moored up in the sunshine. I think we may take a walk up the Wyrley and Essington Canal which is being restored. The restored canal is to be renamed as the Lichfield Canal and it is hoped to be completed by 2026, so we may see some progress.

Chat later xx

Monday 22 August 2011

Shugborough Hall.

Hi Folks.

After our lunch, we took a stroll to Shugborough Hall. The house is now owned by the National Trust, it previously belonged to the Earls of Lichfield, the Anson family. The estate was gifted to the National Trust by the Anson family in 1960 in lieu of death duties


The family stayed in the private apartments in the house until April 2010. But following the death of Patrick Lichfield on 11 November 2005 the private apartments were opened to the public in March 2011. It is a stunning place to visit. We did not pay to go around the house or gardens we just walked around the estate part which is free. Our walk took us to the Walled Garden, which we like to see when we are in Great Haywood. When we first visited it, they had just opened it up, so there was nothing growing in there, but it is very different now.


It had been derelict until 2006, when they began to restore it. Pigs were introduced to the land to clear it, because it was so over grown. The walled garden was designed by the famed architect Samual Wyatt.


Whilst there I purchased some Potatoes and some French Beans grown in the garden. We got chatting to one of the gardeners, who told us that it is hoped that they will be able to restore the glass houses.


They are trying to gain major funding so they can continue the restoration of the gardens, glasshouses and buildings to their former glory. It is already beautiful, but if they do manage to finish it, I can see it being fantastic. We always love going there. There is also a Blacksmiths in the garden but it was not working today.

On the way back I could not resist taking this photo of a rather sleepy sheep.


Despite the shortage of water at the moment, the river Sow and Trent were flowing nicely through the grounds of the Hall.

By the boat we have our very own bird table.


Someone has obviously made it and left it here for people to use, so I put the remainder of my bird seed on it, so we will see what comes to the table as the afternoon wears into evening. After getting back from the hall, I went out with my camera, I strolled up hill and down dale but it was slim pickings, mainly due to the fact that there were to many people about, the bird life was in hiding. I have put a few photos on Flora and Fauna. I could hear a Buzzard chick calling, but I could not see it which was a shame. My feet began to tell me to stop, so I called it a day with the camera. I actually think my feet were still recovering from me wearing heels last night to go to the Thai restaurant last night, I do not get to wear heels very often.

I have had a lovely day one way or another, dinner is cooking, we are going to enjoy some of the Potatoes and French Beans I bought at the Walled Garden with cold meat I think, then it will be an early night, because we are off early in the morning. Rain is expected so it could be a soggy cruise tomorrow.

Chat soon xx


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