*****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..*****

Saturday 30 April 2016

Day One. Liverpool getting our bearings.

Brilliant start to our day, the sun was shining.

Paddy and I enjoyed a lovely walk around the Salthouse Dock.

yellow submarine

In the dock are the Yellow Submarine and the Titanic hotel boat next door. You can book apartments on them for the whole experience.


Hadar looked tiny in the big dock.

Back on the boat, we decided we would get our bearing on our first full day in the beautiful city. I made a picnic lunch and we set off to have an initial scout around Liverpool to find our bearings for the rest of our week here.

We headed for the Information Centre close to Salthouse Dock where we are moored to pick up a local map, which has proved very handy. We had our first look across the Mersey.


There were storm clouds gathering for the first ferry trip out.


Love the colour scheme.

Then we set off into the city centre, found the Chinese Buffet which we will visit sometime this week, rude not too really. We popped into Lime Street station, one which Keith have travelled to a few times in his youth.


During the mid 1970’s Keith occasionally worked in the main telephone exchange in Liverpool. On the map we got from the Information Centre we noticed the street name Old Hall Street, the memories came back, this was the street the exchange was in, we wondered if it was still there. We found the street and walking a long it and Keith spotted this plaque, and the name rang a bell.


This was the telephone exchange, the building is still here, and at present still owned by BT.

From there we headed back to the water front, to the new canal link in front of the Liver Building, which we travelled along yesterday.

3 graces

The Three Graces standing proud.


We finished our walk around with a visit on the tug Brocklebank, which was fascinating as she was built at Yarwood’ s in Northwich, where “Pisces” was built.


Keith enjoyed nattering about engines. Brocklebanks engine is 8 cylinder.

We had a fantastic day.

Friday 29 April 2016

Litherland to Salthouse Dock, Liverpool.

Hi Folks.

Blimey what an eventful night weather wise. I think we had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at us in the early hours. The hail storms were so loud, I thought they were going to come through the roof. Of course I am jesting, but you know what I mean. Both of us were awake early and so there is always only one thing for it and that is to have a cup of tea in bed and listen to the wind and rain howling outside.

The sound of the wind and rain howling outside did not bode well for our jaunt into Liverpool. It occured to us that we did not know how long our pontoon was in the dock, so we rang Vicky (C&RT) to ask if we had a 70ft mooring, it turned out that the pontoon only came up along our boat to the engine room, which was not long enough, for me to get the hosepipe down the boat to fill up the water tank. Vicky very kindly found us another longer pontoon and whilst it was not 70ft it was longer, so we would manage.

We had to be at Stanley Locks for 1 pm, but as we have never done this trip before we decided to make sure we left our mooring early to give ourselves plenty of room time wise in case anything should go wrong. The trip down to the locks was wet and windy.

sanley locks

We moored up and waited for the C&RT guys and whilst we waited, I made us some soup for lunch and a coffee. John turned up with his boat and when the C&RT guys Andrew and Sid arrived we were off.

stanley locks

John was great company and a mind of information on getting into Liverpool and the city itself, because he has been many times. Sid nd Andrew saw us down the four locks and we then were on our own.


We had a very choppy ride, with the wind blowing at 20 mph, but Hadar was more than up to the job in hand.

liver building

It was a special moment when the Liver Building came into view. My first words were wow, wow, wow, because it is stunning. We negotiated our way into the Salthouse Docks and moored up where we were put, which turned out to be next to John.

liverpool mooring

It is really stunning in the dock and I cannot wait to go investigating.

Thursday 28 April 2016

Haskayne to Hancock’s Swing bridge, Aintree.

Hi Folks.

Despite being moored alongside The Ship Inn over night, we had a really peceful night, but neither of us slept particularly well and we have no idea why.

I was woken in the early hours to hail pinging off the back cabin roof. We really are having allsorts of weather thrown at us on this trip.


It was a beautiful start to the day. Paddy and I enjoyed a lovely walk along the canal listening to the Skylarks and Plovers. A Dipper flew ahead of us, skimming along the surface of the water.

Back on board, animals were fed and fires stoked, we set off at 7.50 am, with a cool breeze in our faces.

The one thing along this stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is the swing bridges. They are all worked in different ways and you need your handcuff key and C&RT key.

maghull swing bridge

We got to Maghull, Methodist Swing Bridge and it was not working. I inserted the key and did as I was instructed, but no flashing lights, absolutely nothing, but to make sure I was not a complete numb skull, I repeated the process and still nothing. So I rang C&RT and spoke to Linda, who said she would get a crew out to come and help us. Within 15 minutes two gentlemen arrived to assist us in getting the bridge open. Apparently it was electrified 6 weeks ago and they are having a few problems with it. Trust us to be the ones who have the problem, still they soon had us on our way. In all we did six swing bridges and all of them were operated in different ways. It keeps it interesting.


We are now moored at Hancock’s swing bridge, Aintree. We moored up just before a very heavy rain shower arrived, we could actually see it coming from a distance.

Lunch is cooking in the back cabin stove and all is well in my world today Smile. Lunch eaten and decisions to be made as to whether we move through the two C&RT operated swing bridges or wait till the morning. Decision was made to go for it a long with a boat that had joined us. You have to wait for C&RT to operate the bridges between the times 9 to 10 am and 1 to 2 pm. Two boats were coming the other way. When the C&RT gentlemen turned up, they were the same guys who helped us through the swing bridge in the morning. 1.50 pm we set off with the rain steadily falling.

With both the C&RT manned swing bridges negotiated, it was on to Litherland. Now the rain was coming down in stair rods and both of us were a tad soggy by the time we reached the last swing bridge, which allowed us into the Litherland moorings, which are right by a Tesco Smile.


Wednesday 27 April 2016

Wigan to Haskayne


Yesterday after we moored up at Wigan Pier, the storm clouds gathered.


We then had sleet, snow and hail thrown at us with strong winds. Winter is not quite done with us it seems.

We had a latish start to our day and no it was not a lie in, because we were awake at 6 am, but Keith wanted to pop into Halfords for some oil additive for our elderly engine. We got off at 9.30 am and headed off into the sunshine and cool breeze, although it was warmer than yesterday.

We waited at a lock for half an hour for boat behind us to catch us up, Jo even walked back and couldn’t see them, but low and behold halfway through emptying the lock they turned up. We didn’t bother to wait at the next lock.

lock mooring

This is what lock moorings are for apparently?

There was copious amounts of Bluebells and Wild Garlic in the ancient woodland along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The scent wafting across the canal to us as we passed by.

After what was a good days cruising, we have moored up at the Ship Inn, Haskyne, the first canalside pub to be built alongside the Leeds & Liverpool canal.

We decided that we would enjoy a beer and a meal and we were not disappointed.


The Boatman’s Bitter was very good as was the food, we can definitely recommend a meal at The Ship Inn.

After the lovely meal and chatting to the friendly staff, I got on with cleaning the brass, before retiring to the boat to watch a DVD.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Astley Green to Wigan.

A cool day weather-wise. But with the sun out and Paddy needing his morning walk, I gathered up my camera and head out to walk through the wood above our boat.

coal mine

There was a lovely view of the coal mine gear.

coal mine 2

There is a railway which runs alongside the wood, which is used by the mine still.

We left our over night mooring and set off in a freshing breeze. The sun began to disappear and so the temperature dropped. Both of us were wrapped up in our Donkey jackets against the bitting breeze.

We had a couple of locks to do on the Leigh Branch and oh boy I found them hard to work. It was mainly problems with moving the bottom gates. I reckon old age is creeping ever closer or they are just hard work.

We got to Wigan and moored between the 2 locks 86 & 87, and had some lunch.


After lunch, I got our rucksacks out and we then set off to book our passage into Liverpool and to do a food shop at Asda. We met Vicky at the CRT office who booked our passage for this coming Friday and our return a week later. We are now both looking forward very much to the journey, knowing we can actually get through. It is true to say I am extremely excited. We returned from Asda’s with 2 rather full rucksacks of food to find Hadar was listing at a jaunty angle, the water level of pound between the 2 locks had gone down and she was sitting on the bottom, so we decided to move below Bottom lock, to Wigan Pier. With the wind now blowing up a gale and with sleet, and snow mixed in with it, I did struggle pulling Hadar into the mooring, but got there eventually.


This is Wigan Pier, not the original, but a replacement as the original had been sold for scrap!


I am not sure how impressed I am supposed to be.

Monday 25 April 2016

Darn that Cat.


Darn and double darn our cat. 3.40 am she had me up with the sound of her coughing up a fur ball. I must be such a light sleeper to have heard her and of course I got up to make sure she was ok and to make sure the fur ball was picked up so I did not step in it later in the morning. She always does everything in the early hours of the morning, which of course wakes me. She then spends the rest of her day sleeping, lucky old her Smile.

Getting back off to sleep was almost impossible from that point onwards, until in the end I got up and made a cuppa.

We were up and about and ready for the off at 8.30 am. it was a bit damp and there was a stiff breeze, but we wanted to move on and so we headed off.

Like with most place we have been through of late, there have been a fair few changes, with lots of building work going on. New homes and business premises going up, times must be improving Smile.

We had showers on and off throughout the morning and the breeze was one that could of so easily chilled us through to the bone, had it not been for the fact we were wearing our Donkey Jackets.

We arrived at the Barton swing aqueduct just as they were swinging it back to the canal.


We passed an old friend.

misty lady

Our old boat Misty Lady.

tom and jan

We then passed Tom and Jan on nb Waiouru just after Worsley heading in the other direction, so a brief hello and goodbye.


Since arriving at Astley Green the sun seems to come out more permanently. Unfortunately the Astley Green Colliery Museum is not open today.

Great weekend.

Saturday 23rd April.

Friday evening at Bollington saw me have a nice hot shower, only then to realise the boat was somewhat chilly, so I suggested we light the stove, but to do that we needed some coal fetched in, so yes I went out in my PJ’s and wet hair, climbed into the hold and got a hod full of coal. Fire lit and warmth restored to the cabin, we settled down to watch the last of P.S I love you and then Outlaw Josey Wales, before heading off to bed at around 9.40 pm.

My morning began at 4.45 am, I know stupid o’clock. I was woken by the sound of bells. I thought someone as playing around with our terrets on the pigeon box, so dived out of bed and switched the light on in the engine room only to discover Marmite was sitting in the ash bucket and the mooring chain was banging against the bucket, giving off the sound like bells. Why on earth Marmite felt the need to sit in the ash bucket I can only imagine, but as you can deduce I was non to pleased with her and gave her a telling off for waking me up.

Back to bed and thankfully I was soon back into the land of nod. I then woke at 7 am to the sun coming through the pigeon box portholes. It was another beautiful morning.

Before doing us a scrummy Porridge breakfast Paddy got his walk along a frosty towpath and a nip in the air. The nip in the air was not really noticed because the sun was so beautiful.

Porridge was made and eaten and then I got on with getting dinner made, so it could sit cooking on the stove cooking whilst we went out. I then got on with making us a packed lunch, because we were going to walk to the Dunham Massey Deer Park and spend the day photographing the wildlife. From where we were moored it was a short walk to the underbridge, down the steps and onto the track, which took us past The Swan with Two Nicks pub and past the Old Mill which is now apartments. You are then in the ground of Dunham Massey House and the Deer Park. We were there early as the park opens at 9 am and I wanted it to be visitor free to get in some early photographs. We were fortunate that the Deer were also up early and were everywhere we looked.

If you have never visited Dunham Massey you really should. The park is free to walk around, you only pay to walk around the house and garden, which we did years ago, so we just wanted to see the Deer again and they did not disappoint.


Lunchtime we found ourselves a nice log to sit on alongside one of the ponds. We ate our picnic whilst watching a Little Grebe dive for its lunch, a Swan watching over its nest and the Coot family feeding their five young and all around us Deer going on with their day. By the afternoon the grounds were very busy with people and children and that was our time to go, because it was getting to busy.


Having taken all the photographs we walked back to The Swan with two Nicks and had a half pint each of Bombadier, which went down a treat after all the walking we had done.

Back on the boat, I got on with a bit of hand washing and watched as dark clouds began to crowd the sky. It looked like rain was coming and so we were fortunate to be back on board and in the warm, because the stove was still ticking over from last night. Keith was going to offload his photographs from his camera to his laptop, only to discover he had forgotten to put the card in his camera, so he had no photograph grrrrr.

Dinner had cooked whilst we were out and all’s I then had to do was some Garlic Bread. The meatballs were really lovely even if I say so myself. I used up two crusty bread rolls which were really dried out to make garlic bread, they turned out alright as well, after adding some butter and garlic to them and softening them with a sprinkling of water. I never like to throw anything away.


It seems that all the walking etc is wearing us out, because we started watching a film, but both retired off to bed at 9.30 pm.

Woke at 6.30 pm and made a brew.

Paddy got walked after breakfast, which was toast and Marmalade in bed, a touch of luxury. I am so easily pleased.

Jobs for the day, were to change the disposable nappies under the engine, under the floors in the back cabin and galley. As it turned out the only ones which needed changing were the ones under the engine, everything else was bone dry. Winter is officially over if the floors are dry.

Next job was to clean the brass outside, which included the four portholes I had not done since before the Winter. They were all gleaming in the early sunshine.

Jobs fast being ticked off the mental list. Next job was to polish the towpath side of the boat as the red was looking a little dull. I almost got the job complete when rain began to fall, so rain stopped play. The rest of the day was a total washout, so I just pottered on the boat getting a few boat chores done, until during the evening we watched ‘We were Soldiers” before heading off to bed

Friday 22 April 2016

Birthday…. Moving on.

Yesterday was my Birthday and so we spent it at Anderton.

Jo anderton lift

We spent the day walking around the Anderton Nature Park and at the lift itself. It was a cracking day weather wise and for taking photographs of the bird life. In all we covered over 8 miles during the day.

Keith took me out for my birthday meal at the Stanley Arms, which was nice. The food and beer were very good, unfortunately their card machine was broken, so it was just as well we had enough cash on us. So like the Queen another Birthday has slipped by, mine was somewhat quieter than her majesties day, but I dare say he had a lovely time, I know I did.

We left Anderton and headed off on what was a chilly start to the day. We soon got through the three tunnels and Dutton Stop lock at Preston Brook. Midland Chandlers was our first stop to buy a new handle for our bathroom door, because the old one sheared off in my hand. Handle bought we headed off once more in the hope we could moor up at Bollington over looking Dunham Massey. we arrived late in the day and were glad to see there was still room, although we have had to moor on pins, which we do not like doing, because with Hadr being heavy, pins can pull out. Boats along here do not slow down, so we have made sure they are secured with our rond anchors as well.


All moored up, dinner was had and then a nice hot shower. it has been a long day having done over 19 miles today. This will be our mooring for a couple of days.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Harecastle Tunnel to Wheelock.


We had a sunny day which started chilly after an over night frost, but it soon warmed up. We had an 8am start through Harecastle tunnel, we were the only boat, so we had it done and dusted in 30 minutes. Whilst Keith took us through the tunnel, I got a wash done and did some hand washing as well, because his cords are to heavy for our washing machine.


A good run down through the bulk of the Cheshire locks, 26 done today. We had company. Linda and Gerald on NB Millie Anne were ahead of us, so we shared all the lock work on the paired locks. It was an absolute joy and it did not feel like 26 locks. Whilst waiting at one lock a lady came and gave me some wool and t-shirts for our blankets and rag rugs. Which was so sweet of her.


We are now moored between Bridge No. 156 and No.157, just west of Wheelock.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Stone for the weekend.


Oh the joys of waking up in the early hours and listening to the rain thumping on the roof, knowing full well the cap was not on the chimney and there for the rain would be washing the tar down the chimney, which would then run on to the stove top. Yes that is what greeting my thinking at round 4 am. Not being able to then sleep, I had to get up and put the cap on the chimney, just for my own piece of mind. Of course to do this I had to climb over Keith, who was also woken up mainly by me being on the move. Chimney covered, there was only one other thing to do and that was make us a brew. Thankfully after a brew, we both managed to settle back down beneath the duvet and get some sleep until 7 am. I am sure that with mature age comes the problem of sleeping some nights.

Because we were awake, Marmite wanted us to know in no uncertain terms she was feeling chilly, because I had allowed the saloon stove to go out, because we were getting to warm and because I had cleaned the fire out and replaced the fire rope around the chimney I did not bother to relight it. Because Marmite was feeling he cold, she crept beneath the duvet for a warm before I got up at 7.45 am.

It was still raining when it was time to take Paddy out for his walk. Paddy’s face said it all really, he was not a happy boy. He has never enjoyed getting wet, but needs must, so I dragged him off the boat and took him for a quickie.

Once the rain had desisted, we took a stroll into Stone to see if there had been any changes and it also gave us the chance to catch-up with people we know. The town has certainly changed and we did not feel for the better. There were empty shops and the ones that had been empty were now taken over by charity shops. Stone is a small canal side town and yet it now has ten charity shops. This to me is way too many for such a small place and it does actually over power the town. Stone is now a town of charity shops, barbers, hairdressers and places to eat. The pet shop which we liked went about a week ago and a Heron Foods shop which opened three years ago has already gone. Sadly the town has lost it friendly feeling, which it always used to have. Something is now clearly missing. Having spoken to someone in the know, I was told that the rental on the shops was so high, no one could afford to take them on, but charity shops are rental free. There has to be something wrong with that surely?

There are some very good independant shops still in the town, but they are being over powered by the charity shops etc.

Having been depressed with what we saw in the town, we walked up the canal towpath back to the boat, calling in to Canal Cruising to say “hello” to Pete, Karen and Charlie and then onto to Stone Boat Building to say “hello” to Kath and Brian. It seems that all in their own way are stepping back from their businesses and letting the next generation of their families take over. I guess we are all of the same age, when getting on with living is more important than money and business. Some of it has been bought on by the fact that we have lost people we know this past year and it really brings home to us that we need to make the most of everyday. Work and money are not the be all and end all.

We are still in Stone having caught up with lost of people we know including Roger (boat builder)and Teresa. We went out with Tina and Rob for a lovely meal on Friday night in Wetherspoons, it was Fish night, so it would have been rude not to have had the Fish and Chips, which was excellent. Unfortunately going to bed on a full stomach did nothing to help my Hernia. But never mind, we hd a lovely evening catching-up.

Saturday we walked into Stone, as I wanted to get some fruit and vegetables from All Seasons and Keith wanted a compass, which he needed for his new railway layout design. he is now on design number four.

Today being Sunday I got to catch-up with Clare on NB Foxglove, before Keith joined us and then Roy, Clare’s husband came and caught up with us, he has been working on their Historic Working Boat Admiral. Beautiful day today, after a very heavy frost this morning.

Tomorrow we are heading off.

Friday 15 April 2016

13-04-2016 Great Haywood to Stone.


A foggy old start to the day. It was like pea soup when we left our mooring at just past 8 am. Our friends Dawne and Stuart came and saw us off and helped with Great Haywood Lock. We then stopped at the water point, to top up with water and get rid of rubbish. I had removed the nappies from under the floor, so we were able to dispose of them as well. I do like to get everything done in one go if I can. With the fog still thick, we headed off into the eerie gloom. Being back on the Trent and Mersey (Motorway), we met a few boats coming towards us. Three made me giggle, because they had their tunnel lights on. They are absolutely no use at all in the fog, so I could see no point in them having them on. Funny thing though if they were doing it so on coming boats could see them, then they should have also had a fog light on the stern for those boats following them LOL. Waste of time having your tunnel light on in the fog. Hoo Mill Lock we had a boat coming down as we did at Sandon Lock as well. The boat going up before us also had me giggling under my breath. He lady working the lock, said “Please do not do the lock for us, because the lady on the tiller likes me to do it”. My reply was “That is absolutely fine”. So I stood back and watched. She then said “ I get told off if I do not wind the paddles really slowly”. So there she was winding the ground paddle so slowly and then the steerer shouted “Its to fast” So the woman winding the paddle shut it down. If she had gone much slower we would have been there all day. Honestly I do wonder why some people are on the cut. Of course I understand when people want to work their own lock and I am only o happy to stand back and let them get on with it, but some people take the biscuit.

We had thought of stopping above Sandon Lock, but it was only around 10.30 am and with the sun now out and warming the skin, we decided to carry on to Stone. We were chased by a male swan. He had a go at our back fenders and my trousers. It does not bother me at all, after all he is just protecting his mate and nest. This was not the Aston one, who was happily sitting on the nest. For those who do not know the Aston Cob is known for chasing boats and anything that actually moves when he and his Pen are nesting.

Up through Aston lock and on to Star lock, which was with us as a boat had just left it. We met Nick on Aldgate, so I left the lock ready for him, whilst I walked up and got Yard lock ready. Newcastle road lock and Lime Kiln lock were also with us with a boat descending Lime Kiln lock. We moored up opposite Roger Fuller’s boat yard and the birth place of our boat. After getting a few things done, we walked round to the boat yard and had a coffee with Roger. It was lovely to catch up with him and to find out his plans for the future, because Roger is not building anymore new boats. He is going to take a step back and enjoy life a little more. He will still be taking on other work though and we reeled off a few things we needed looking at whilst there. I got to catch-up with Tina our boat painter and good friend. It was so wonderful to see that some things never change. The Stone part of the cut looks like it has been stopped in time, because nothing had changed. I had a quick chat with Nigel on Enseebee. Nigel is selling his lovely Dutch Barge after many happy years of cruising. It was also lovely to see Clare and Collie Wish. I expect we will see Roy over the next few days.

We will be staying for a few days, so lots more chatting and catching-up to do I expect.

Rugeley to Great Haywood. 12-04-2016.

After an evening of rain, and possibly rain over night, we woke to a very over cast morning. Birdsong and traffic noise woke me and so at 7 am I slid out of my nice warm bed to make a cuppa. Marmite had not bothered to come and wake us. Marmite was way to busy watching for prey through the port hole. Of course she would never have the chance to catch it, because as a boat cat she does not go off the boat on her own. I am not entirely sure she would know what to do with the prey once she had caught it, or maybe instinct would kick in, anyway she and I will never know.

Having got the back cabin stove going, I turned my attention to doing some hand washing, whilst Keith went off to Tesco to buy some toothpaste with a voucher he had. Tesco were offering £1.15 off of the toothpaste which we use, so it was well worth the walk back down the towpath and it gave me the chance to get the boat jobs done. I washed Keith’s corduroy trousers, shirt and pullover, which were all to heavy for our compact washing machine. Washing hung in the bathroom to drip dry, I turned my attention to getting the boat ready for the off.

We left our over night mooring and headed off towards Great Haywood. I do so love the countryside on the run to Shugborough, it is set out in the huge Shugborough estate and lovingly looked after. At Colwich Lock we met another boat coming down, which was great. The towpath was so incredibly muddy up and around the lock, thus making it all a bit slippery. It is made all the worse by the cattle which are in the field right on the bridge and where they have been trudging across the bridge the mud was particularly bad. Lock done, we headed off to moor at Shugborough. With a great deal of surprise there were only four boats moored up and so we decided to moor on the visit moorings below the lock. After a quick cuppa, we walked across the river bridge and into Shugborough Hall grounds we were hoping to see the walled garden.


We first saw the walled garden when they had just dismantled the green houses and the gardens were all over grown, so it was work in progress. We visited it a few years later and all the beds were in place and full of vegetables and flowers, they also had a Blacksmith making garden furniture and other items there. The greenhouses were still not repaired, but it was an ongoing project. So the point of this visit was to see if they had done any further work. Much to our disappointment we discovered that it is closed on a Tuesday. The place is only open Wednesday to Monday 11 am to 5 pm, darn and double darn we were going to miss it this trip. There was nothing else for it but to head back to the boat and for me to do us a stir fry for lunch, using up the cooked chicken we bought yesterday.

After lunch I suggested we go for a walk up the canal to see who was about above the lock. There were only a couple of boats moored up and neither of them we knew, although one of them was a trading boat who did clocks and barometers, which we had not met before. We walked up past the water point and on to the road. We crossed over to the Canalside Farm Shop, where you pick your own Strawberries. As of two years ago they have built a Café canalside and a fabulous shop which sells all local produce. It had amply parking and really well set out, so well worth a visit. Having left the Farm Shop we turned left and walked into the village and then back to the boat.

I wanted to go and try and take some photographs of the bird life, so headed off out again with my camera, only to be spotted by our good friends Dawne and Stuart on NB Teazel, who were moored the other side of the bridge from us. We were invited for a cuppa, which turned into two cuppas and of course we put the world and his wife to right and yes the topic of toilets was spoken about as is always by boaters. Dawne and Stuart are so lovely. We always look forward to spending time with them. Dawne makes the most wonderful things she is making bags at the moment. Stuart does beautiful painted items. I did a book swap with Dawne and came away with a lovely knitted bag as well, which was a gift. The time today has really flown by so fast. Looking forward to our cruising again tomorrow.

Kings Orchard Marina to Rugeley. 11-04-2016

We have had a busy old time, but with not having any data allowance left I have not been able to post until now, I apologise.

Having enjoyed a lovely weekend outside of the Kings Orchard marina it was moving Monday. A chilly yet dry start, so whilst I like just cruising in shirt sleeves, I did put my donkey jacket on.

Over the weekend we had sold some coal and met up with people we knew. On Saturday the historic working pair Nuneaton and Brighton stopped. Barry, Colin, Peter and Peter’s son all stopped for a cuppa. The cakes I had made earlier came in handy for the hungry men. Peter had also made some cookies which were yummy. They left us mid-afternoon and we then got chatting to a lady who moors in the marina, she was bored and thought she would go for a walk, her walked stopped with us. It turned out she was on the same Facebook group as me. Over the weekend we sold a few bags of coal some of it to Bobby and Tom on NB Rowan. I know Bobby from a Facebook group I am on, but this was the first time we had met for real. I also got to meet up with NB Tawny Pipit II, who we have been leap frogging. On Sunday Mike on Historic Working boat Victoria, he was heading down towards London, to take on a towing job. It is always lovely to catch-up with people and it makes for a wonderful weekend.

But as I said at the beginning, it was time to make a move for Rugeley. It was lovely going over old water and seeing the changes of which there were many, mainly due to lots of house building going on. We had a couple of close encounters with shared ownership boats, one on a tight bend and the other coming out of a bridge ‘ole. Just as well we knew what we were doing, because they certainly had no real idea.


At Fradley Junction we met up with Dawne and Stuart on NB Teazel and Nigel on NB Eagle. Stuart very kindly opened the swing bridge for us and whilst Keith did the turn, I walked up to the lock and had a lovely natter with the lock keeper who was on for the day. His usually partners were not there due to the fact he had been taken ill and was on his way to hospital. So I hope all was well with him. At Woodend lock it was nice to see the cottage bring lived in again because the last time we came through it was empty and looking sad. Unfortunately the lock is now sad because there was only one paddle top and bottom working, this made for slow going.

As I said before, around Rugeley there is a lot of home building going on. Family homes of 3,4 and 5 bedroom homes. I just wonder if they are affordable for the average wage earner?

We arrived at the Rugeley moorings and I walked ahead to see if there was anything nearer the bridge, we were in luck there was a space big enough for us, so having moored up, we locked the boat up and set off for the lovely new Tesco, which is right near the canal on the bank. I wonder if Morrison’s have noticed a difference, now Tesco and Aldi are in Rugeley. Tesco is a lovely big store with a café and selling everything from food, clothing and garden stuff. We had shopped with in an hour and so whilst I put the shopping away Keith moved us further out of Rugeley and onto a ringed mooring, which would do for the night or so we thought. Having had a rest we decided to take a walk into Rugeley. I usually remember places we visit, but Rugeley seems to escape my memory and I have no idea why. The only bit I can remember is a small indoor market, which has an eclectic taste in stalls. The rest of Rugeley is a blur. Like so many towns and cities it has a lot of empty shops and is looking forlorn. Hopefully with all the house building going on, it will bring life back to the town. We did our usual thing and that was we visited all the charity shops. I am looking for a wooden box to use for my sewing bits and bobs, because my old one is falling apart. I have not found anything yet, but I live in hope.

We arrived back at the boat at 4.30 pm to the sound of a machine running in the nearby factory and it was right by our back cabin. We both thought if this machine runs all night, we will be getting no sleep, so we moved out boat to the other side of the main road bridge and onto piled moorings, it was going to be much quieter.

Dinner was a curry we bought from Tesco on the cheap shelf and very nice too. After a lovely shower we settled down to watching ‘Brave Heart’

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Barclay Card Arena, Birmingham to Wiggins Hill Bridge, Minworth.

Today was the day we left Birmingham, having had a wonderful time all told. Although some youths threatened to change that last night. We were happily watching ‘The Woman in Black’ when I felt the boat move and noises on the roof. So I was out the back cabin door quicker than you can say Boo. Fove of the little darlings were trying I think to remove our life buoy, but having shouted at them they thought better of it and ran off.

This morning the sun was shining and all was well with our world. We set off at 7.40 am on a trip that I had not done down the Birmingham and Fazeley and as you will read on Hadar’s Blog, it had been a long time ago since Keith had come this way, but we had a wonderful cruise down Farmers Bridge locks, Aston Locks and Minworth locks, 27 in all and non of them to difficult.

I cannot post photographs at the moment, because my data allowance is low, but you can see a few on Hadar’s blog.

Monday 4 April 2016

Catching up to do.

I apologise for not posting, but we have had a busy few days, what with all the fun of fair being in Birmingham and then Hawne Basin. Tipton, Bradley Workshop and back to Birmingham, so if you want to catch up with what we have been up to. Go to our boats blog. You can find out all the latest news.


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