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!
Saturday 31 August 2013
Now having said that if something exciting happens, which I think you may like to read I may well post, so do not abandon me completely.
I love blogging, but like with all things it takes up time and can be a little boring when your covering the same ground and chatting about the same things.
As Arnie say's " I will be Back".
Friday 30 August 2013
Travelled 14.28 miles, worked 9 locks in a time of 6 hours.
We left Rugby at 9.30 am having been to Tesco food shopping and we emptied the cassette and got rid of rubbish.
We passed the Canal and River Trust boys who were very busy.
We approached Hilmorton Locks.
One out, and we came in at the bottom of the flight with a volunteer lock keeper there to lend a helping hand.
I walked to the second lock, past the fantastic cafe.
Second Lock. It was all like poetry in motion, one down and we came up, nothing better.
No sooner had we got past Hillmorton Marina, we were in a convoy of four boats.
The harvest is safely gathered in and the farmers are busy cutting their crops.
Braunston Church comes into view.
We stopped off at Midland Chandlers, as I wanted some paint and there was 15% discount till the end of August.
Onward past the stop house in Braunston and up the locks with NB Dragonfly.
Gates open ready for two boats waiting to go down.
New raised paths along the towpath towards the tunnel.
You will still get your feet wet though as they have not done some of the worst parts where the bank is leaking across the towpath.
In to the tunnel.
We found a mooring space near Norton Junction and this will be home for the weekend.
Thursday 29 August 2013
Short jaunt for us this morning after a restful nights sleep.
Even thought the railway runs close by and the railway beidge was behind us, it did not disturb my sleep, what did disturb me was Marmite who wanted to find a warm place to sleep for the night, so she curled up on the bottom of the bed by my feet. I reckon she is already in Winter mode, if she is feeling the cold already.
We stopped off at Yates Boat Yard Newbold to take on 200 + litres of diesel, it seemed rude not to with it being only 78p a litre, which is far cheaper than anything else we had seen of late. It is fabulous to see the yard up and running again.
Having had a lovely chat whilst filling up with diesel we said cheerio to the owner and headed off through Newbold Tunnel.
A boat came past us and warned us that there was a boat across the cut as his bow rope had come adrift, by the time we got there his bow rope was also adrift and so the boat was floating free. Unfortunately we could not get the boat back into the bank as it had drift on to the shallows on the opposite bank and it was to shallow for us, to even attempt helping the boat back to the bank, we could see ourselves running aground as well, so we had to warn the next boat heading towards it that there was a boat free from its mooring. We guess they have gone for a walk around Newbold Quarry.
We arrived in Rugby and found one mooring available to to us on Broughton Park, so we moored up, locked up and headed off to get some dog food and cat litter. Keith also wanted to go to Maplins. James Wellbeloved dog food has certainly gone up in prices £50 for a 15kg bag. Just as well Paddy does not eat much and it will last him sometime, otherwise I will be sending him out to work for his board and lodging.
When we got back to the boat, Michael and Geraldine on the Cheese Boat were moored opposite us, they had caught us up. We will be shopping at Tesco’s tomorrow morning before we set off, as Keith does not get his pension until tomorrow.
Wednesday 28 August 2013
Travelled 17.25 miles worked 1 lock all in a time of 6 hours 15 minutes.
Amazing isn’t it, you get used to one lot of sound and sleep like a log and then when it changes you keep waking up. That was me last night. Over the past few days I have gotten used to generators, music and people enjoying themselves and yet I slept through it all. Last night all I could hear was Owls and the odd train and I kept waking up. Maybe I sleep better the noisier it is??
We left Spring Wood Haven at 8.15 am, there was a heavy dew on the boats roof and a mist over the railway. There was also an Autumnal chill in the air, but I guess that should be no surprise, because it is heading in our direction fast. The farmers are bringing in their harvests, the Blackberries are ripe on the bush and the Apples are thick on the trees, which is a sure sign that Autumn is almost upon us.
We headed off through the land of the Allotments, which is Nuneaton.
A new form of water transport maybe?
There was a steady stream of boats on the move towards us all day and so when we got to Hawkesbury Junction we were in a queue of three boats to go through the lock at the turn. Having got through the lock, I made us some lunch and a cold drink as the heat was beginning to mount.
Looks like this boat has been down under.
Then at All Oaks Wood we came across another.
NB Chase has had that sinking feeling that is the third boat in two days we have seen sunken.
At 2.30 pm we decided to stop at Cathiron, just in case there were no moorings at Newbold. It was a very pleasant days cruising, even with all the boats on the cut. We met up with a couple of boats we knew and had a quick natter. But now I am looking forward to putting my feet up and having a relaxing evening.
Tuesday 27 August 2013
Wow what a weekend we had at Alvecote. It was incredible and a huge thank you goes out to The Samuel Barlow and the Burge Family for putting on such a wonderful gathering.
There were approximately 58 historic boats and other boats at the gathering.
Keith and I went out on the parade with Derek and Allyson who have Birmingham and a jolly old time was had by all.
There was a winding competition ever day which had its fair share of bumps.
A small funfair was laid on for the children and trading boats Draco and the Cheese boat were on had has was NB Comfortably Numb and the Candy Boat. Every evening we went to the pub for a couple of pints, which is not like us as we are not used to drinking for four evenings in a row, but we were having the best time. I do not think I have chatted and laughed so much at a boaters gathering as I did over the weekend. On Sunday the new Chief Executive of the Canal and River Trust dropped in for a visit and I hope he enjoyed himself, he joined Geraldine and Michael on the Cheese boat for a chat.
This is short and sweet, because I have dinner to cook, but I wanted to let my readers know I am fine and well, but have been busy having a good time. Today we left Alvecote and are now moored near Spring Haven Marina.
Monday 19 August 2013
This was last night sunset at Alvecote. There was not a breath of wind and all was still.
Yesterday was a nice day, we got a few jobs done. I cleaned all the brass and whilst doing so got chatting to Lisa and Fred off of NB Chyandour. We had a fabulous natter about anything and everything and look forward to seeing them again over the weekend as they are here for the Alvecote gathering this weekend. Later in the day came a knock on the boat and Caz off NB Time Please had walked up to pay us a visit. It is wonderful when people take the time and make the effort to come and say “Hello”. Caz follows Hadar’s Facebook page, so it was lovely to put a face to the name and to have a chat over a cuppa, before she had to walk back home.
Today is going to be another day for jobs, already Keith has changed the impellor on the water pump for the engine, to see if it is that which is making a dreadful noise when we are on the move. He then painted the back of our hold doors and I got on with touching up our back cabin doors. Once the primer undercoat is dry I will add the first red top coat.
I may go off out with my camera later on, as the weather is set fair. I hope you have a wonderful day. x
Saturday 17 August 2013
Well we have been here for a couple of days now and there are a few historic boats here, but we are expecting more to arrive over the weekend.
Keith and I are enjoying our stay so far. On Wednesday evening we went to The Samuel Barlow with Caroline and John off of NB Vanyar and enjoyed a fabulous meal with a couple of pints. The food was fantastic, Paul the chef did us proud. It was a very busy evening for him with over 60 covers, which he was not expecting. It was great to chat to people we know and to say “Hello” to those we have just met.
Caroline and John left us on Thursday morning and so we are now on our own and enjoying the peace and quiet. We took ourselves off for a walk through the Pooley Nature Reserve.
It was so peaceful with hardly anyone about.
I took lots of wildlife photographs which you can find on my other blog. We were out for a couple of hours and walked up to the Pooley Park. I am quite sure we will be doing it again whilst we are here, if the weather allows, as it is set to rain today.
Yesterday (Friday) I took myself off over to the Priory.
The Alvecote Benedictine Priory was founded 1159 by William Burdett as a dependency of Great Malvern Priory. Apparently after he returned from a crusade, Burdett accused his wife of being unfaithful, he went on to stab her, and as penance founded the monastery. Today it is just a ruin, but it can still evoke thoughts of its history.
Hidden in the under growth is this small building with a gate. I wonder what it was for? Perhaps a jail or for storage.
Whilst I was there and hidden in the grass, I heard the tinkling of bells and on the wall of the priory saw a Harris Hawk. Wondering where it had appeared from, I went to investigate. There was a young man wearing all the falconry gear calling the bird. She is 6 years old and absolutely stunning. I had a quick chat with the young man, but left him to his training as I did not want to disturb him and his stunning bird. I went back to hiding in the grass. I should say I was standing in the long grass, so I could get better shots of the Butterflies which you will find on my other blog. I love going out with my camera, I love even more when you get to take photographs of something very unexpected, like the Harris Hawk.
Wednesday 14 August 2013
Travelled 6 miles, worked 2 locks in a time of 3 hours 55 minutes.
Yesterday we stayed at Hopwas and caught the bus into Tamworth.
What a delight town it is.
Flowers for the Town in Bloom competition.
Castle and bandstand.
View from the Castle.
Sometimes you get pre-conceived ideas about a town, and mine were blown out of the water, because Tamworth is beautiful.
It was market day and it was very busy with people and plenty of stalls. So many times we have said we will pop into Tamworth and have never had the time, but I am so pleased we did because it was lovely and we will definitely go back.
So back to today.
We left Hopwas at 8.35 am after a disturbed night, with lads shouting rather loudly in the early hours as they walked past the boats. One of them shouted to his mate called Dan “Oh look this boats a shop, shall we knock on the boat”. I am thankful they did not because it was the early hours and they would have got the rough end of my tongue had they done so.
We stopped at Peels Wharf to take on water, empty both cassettes and get rid of rubbish. But before we could do so we had to pull alongside NB The Andrew, who was already taking on water. We had a nice chat with the gentleman on board, before he moved away and we took his place. We then had a boat come alongside us, they also wanted to use the facilities, it was very busy. The couple apparently read Hadar’s blog, unfortunately I did not get their names or the name of their boat, but if your reading this then “Hello, it was nice to meet you”.
At Fazeley Junction the homes are still not complete, it looks like a ghost town which is very sad.
Just heading beneath bridge 76 and there was a Canal and River Trust motor and hopper across the canal, fortunately there were a couple of C&RT guys walking along the towpath towards us, they asked if we were stuck because we slowed right down, Keith explained to them the problem and so they went to investigate and between them they managed to pull both craft into the bank to allow us and two other boats through.
Always smile when I read this sign as we head to Glascote locks.
There was a plastic cruiser ahead of us, but with boats coming down it did not take long before we were leaving the second of the pair.
We left the gate open for the boat heading down and sped on our way.
A Willow in need of a hair cut. As we got closer to Alvecote, we pulled in before the boat yard, I stepped off to walk up the towpath to see if there was any room opposite The Samuel Barlow, which there was, so we are now moored up just past the pub, with a fair few Historic boats already in there moorings for the gathering on the 24th and 25th August.
Just before the Samuel Barlow moored up were our friends John and Caroline on NB Vanyar. As we passed by they waved and Caroline said “I will put the kettle on”. So once moored up, we walked back to them to have a lovely natter and a coffee. It was fabulous to catch up with them and all their news.