Thursday, July 20, 2017

Through Harecastle Tunnel To Kidsgrove

Harecastle Tunnel southern portal

Harecastle Tunnel northern portal

Approaching a duplicate lock
This morning we left Westport lake behind and headed for Harecastle Tunnel. A much cooler day to start and decidedly cold in underground delights of the tunnel. We were lucky as we arrived to no queue and went straight in the tunnel after the safety briefing, When the doors closed and the fan came on drawing out the fumes  it was like being in a fog and incredibly noisy. Soon we were going through at a good speed and looking out for the lower roof sections where Eric needed to duck.

Ben the dog wasn't bothered about tunnels he just settled down to sleep at the bottom of the steps. Forty minutes later we emerged into the light. the difference in the colour of the water never ceases to amaze me with the orange colour due to minute particles of ironstone rock according to Pearson's Canal Companion.

Duplicate narrow locks  with the occasional single narrow locks are the feature of the Cheshire locks  known as Heartbreak Hill  probably because they come tick and fast. Usually one chamber is ready for you but you don't know until you get there which one. Just after the junction with the Macclesfield Canal  we met the start of the locks taking us down to Wheelock. 

We pulled in at the Red Bull Visitor Moorings in the last available space ready for our appointment with Chris Jones a Beta engineer as it's service time again. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Up The Locks To West port Lake

At the top of Stoke Locks 
Today we climbed the locks up to Stoke on Trent  and it was unbelievable hot. The gates were heavy as they are deep locks and the paddle gear was stiff so I'm melting!

Heading for West port Lake to moor up.....hope there's room to moor  up. Yes there was and another boat moved up a bit so the solar panels  were in the sun

Monday, July 17, 2017

Up The Locks To Barlaston

The Star Inn alongside Lock 27 (Stone Locks)

First  job of the day was topping up the  water tank  then it was up the first of eight locks planned for today.  The Star Inn was shut so we didn't have an audience as we did the lock. Ben  waited patiently for his walk tied to a bench as there were lots of cyclists on the towpath today.

We stopped for diesel at Stone Boat Building Chandlery. Leaving with an A4 piece of paper confirming the split I chose  as well as a receipt. I noticed  the boat's name was spelt   incorrectly  despite repeatedly spelling it letter by letter, but it didn't matter the number was correct. Next job the cassettes needed emptying so we were  soon moored up below the next lock  to  use the Elsan.

Ben and I walked up to the Meaford Locks and worked  through those. Lock 33 was unbelievable slow to fill but had a notice that C&RT were aware. Boats coming down the locks as we came up them so time to have a chat to the crew.

We moored up on the outskirts of Barlaston, you can't really get away  from the noise of the trains with the Stafford to Stoke line running  alongside the canal. Never mind the sun is shining , the sky is blue and all is well onboard NB Bendigedig

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Weekend In Stone

Welcome to Stone
On a mission this morning to moor at Stone so we left a little bit  earlier  than usual at 9.30 am. By eleven we were moored up at the end of the visitor moorings.  The first place we came too.

Just Aston Lock to work through so a leisurely morning. Ben  had his walk when we walked into town to have a look at the shops in the town and do a food  shop in Morrisons.  I should have said look at the charity shops as there were more charity  shops than anything else.

Food shopping done while Eric had a coffee and a sausage roll in the cafe with Ben the dog. They have seats and tables outside which was good. Ben enjoyed  a bit of Eric's sausage roll. He's  now fast asleep on his furry mat.

We're  staying put tomorrow  as we don't  need to be the other side of Harecastle  Tunnel until Friday when the engine is being serviced by Chris  our friendly Beta  engineer  hopefully  at Red Bull.

Friday, July 14, 2017

On The Trent And Mersey Canal.....Towards Stone

A nice quiet spot near Burston

We decided not to stay another night at Tixall Wide because Ben was finding it difficult to get on and off the boat as the towpath is low. A good place to touch up the battered rubbing strips on one side at least because we won't have a towpath on this side for a while.

Getting to the services at Great Haywood at the junction was the usual chaos so we had to queue. We really needed to get rid of the rubbish and recycling. I don't know why I bother to separate recycling as there was nowhere for it to go. Some places you can recycle but it's not easy to find room to keep it on a boat.

A right turn at the junction and we're heading towards Stone with a few stops on the way. By the number of boats that have passed up today we'll be lucky to find a space tomorrow.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Just Two Hours To Tixall Wide

Tixall Lock Cottage

Approaching Tixall Lock

Moored at Tixall Wide
Up bright and early ......well 9 o'clock! We  took Ben for a walk as far as B & Q and on the way back I did the shopping at Aldi  as it's close to the canal.  I had a lot of shopping for my money so you can see why it's a busy store. Eric and Ben the dog walked back to the boat while I did the shopping rather than stand and wait an age for me.

Back onboard I filled the fridge and put some ice-cream in the freezer compartment for those hot times when an ice-cream cornet would go down a treat. We do have a freezer under our bed but I haven't used it for a while as the noise drives me nuts. I  like peace and quiet not a constant hum and the thermostat clicking on and off.

Just one lock today and we were soon moored at Tixall Wide. Ben the dog wasn't too keen on jumping off as it's quite a jump to the ground, I got growled at but that's nothing new. He's a grump at times! He's currently stretched out fast asleep as it was quite a long walk for him this morning.

I took my boots off as my feet were hot and a cheeky horsefly bit my little toe as I stood on the back of the boat. Antihistamine cream to the rescue as I bought a new tube in Stafford.

I must make a mention to the boaters' who passed  us as we travel telling us they read my blog......Thank you for reading it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Little Retail Therapy In Stafford

This morning we thought we'do try our luck and see if we could moor up at Radford Bank as I wanted  to go shopping . For the last three weeks I've missed having a look around the shops. Today I discovered a new M&S in Stafford so I bought a couple  of T shirts and a new pair of long shorts to replace my tatty ones.

Of course it was raining as Ben and I walked down to Deptmore  Lock. Just one lock to work through  today . We ended up mooring on pins  before the Visitor Moorings as they were full. OK  as long as the boats went past fairly slowly. Eric did  have to knock them back in a few times as the ground was fairly  soft.

Tomorrow  we're  going to take Ben for a walk on a footpath which comes out opposite B&Q as we need a few bits and pieces. We've  got a leak around a window frame where the screw needs replacing  as it couldn't  be tightened up. It's  actually snapped in the hole and was kept in by a blob of silicon  so needs drilling out to be replaced.

After that I need some food shopping  and Aldi is very close to the canal so that's  where I'll be shopping.  Then we're  off   cruising as far as Tixall Wide to enjoy peace and quiet.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Gailey To Acton Trussell ....Seven Locks!

Leaving our mooring in the rain but it soon stopped. Lots of locks today but with boats coming in both directions no real holdups. Most people  were chatty and helped each other,  but some of the paddles were rather stiff. By the time we get back to Whixall my arms will be used to all this exercise. It's a very noisy section of the canal as the M6 runs closeby.

We passed through Penkridge today with just a quick shop for milk and lemonade at the shop near the lock. Eric topped up the water tank while I got the shopping,

We  decided to have a look in Midland Chandlers for a new fridge as things are going off in our old fridge even though its running continuously. I  planned to buy a Shoreline Fridge  but  decided on a Lec Inlander fridge with a three star icebox at £495 it was much cheaper than the Shoreline similar sized model at £575.  We could only buy it if they would take the old one away and they do! They delivered it onto the boat for us at Park Gate Lock and took away the old one so I was very pleased with the service. Good news we only took a few minutes so didn't  upset the boaters waiting to come up the lock.

We're currently moored at Acton Trussell as far away as we can get from the M6. Inside the boat you can't hear it. We may be here tomorrow too if the weather forecast is to be believed.

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Stopover At Below Gailey Lock

A familiar picture of Gailey Round House
Waiting above Gailey Lock
The Staffs & Worcs canal follows the contours of the land so there are lots of bends and if you meet a boat  you usually meet it at a bridge hole. Very hot boating today good job there was only two locks to work through taking us to a good spot below Brick Kiln Lock further away from the A5.

Of course I  just had to take a picture of the Round house alongside Gailey Lock. originally  a toll  clerk's office now a canal gift shop. I was pleased to see it as I wanted some ice-cream. A quick stop at the services since there was room to pull.

After a salad for lunch as I was too hot to cook anything we are finally cooling down a bit. The fridge is really struggling this maybe on it's last legs,

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Towards Great Haywood On The Staffs & Worcs Canal

NB Bendigedig at Autherley Lock

Turn left for Great Haywood!

Bye Bye Shroppie

Leaving our mooring near Bridge 8 we made our way towards Autherley Junction in the sunshine, Ben and I had a walk too. At the lock Eric pulled in before all the moored hire boats while I got the lock ready. Just an few inches difference in levels between the Shroppie and the Staffs and Worcs Canal so a quick one to get through although you're sometimes unsure which paddles to open to level the water. Turn left for Great Haywood today under the bridge and an awkward turn for a long boat but room today as nothing was coming.

The narrows to get through at 'Pendeford Rockin' the old boatman's name for the shallow narrow cutting hewn through a solid band of sandstone. Lucky  today we didn't have to pull in to a passing places as we didn't meet a boat, under the M54  and onto Coven. We moored passed 'The Fox and Anchor' in the sunshine to give the solar panels some sun.  Lovely and quiet except for the occasional train passing by on a nearby line.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Wheaton Aston To Brewood

We were glad of the little bit of shade on Wheaton Aston moorings  keeping the boat a little bit cooler yesterday  but it was still 80 degrees F. Just three boats moored before the bridge so quiet too.

We popped down to the Hartley Arms to sit in the pub garden with a pint of bitter and a packet of crisps for Eric anyway.....I was quite happy with coke as I don't need a headache from alcohol. Ben the dog just watched everyone....he was on house water!

This morning we went under the bridge to the services, tanks filled or emptied and rubbish disposed of. There was room in the recycling skip too so that was good as I couldn't  get rid off recycling at Norbury Junction all the skips were  full and  overflowing.

Next stop Brewood  for shopping before we moored up further on. The butcher's  sells lovely pies so we have a steak and kidney  one for tea. Much cooler today with a breeze too,  so the crew of Bendigedig are feeling much more comfortable.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

As Far As Little Onn

We left Norbury Wharf after a nice  catch up chat with Maggie and Bernice (NB Blue Diamond ). Yes we did have cake.....two slices of Victoria sponge to take away.

Ben and I had a walk as far as the stop lock which is there to isolate the section of canal if necessary.  It was hot and he'd had enough as he was just slowly following me.

Back on board time for coffees before we reached Gnosall where we stopped to visit the bakery. It's  a convenience store selling  all sorts of things including strawberries and cream. We had a pasties for lunch and an hour later we moved on.

We stopped at  Little  Onn before Wheaton Aston because it's  quiet and we didn't  want to moor under trees on the visitor moorings at Wheaton Aston. The heron was fishing in front of the boat not at all bothered by us mooring up.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Goldstone To Norbury Wharf

Bridge 39 with its mini telegraph pole
Today we left Goldstone Wharf after topping up the water tank. A lovely slow sunny cruise past lines of moored boats but I enjoy looking at all the names. Ben and I had a walk along the grassy towpath until we hopped back onboard at a bridge hole, Ben won't attempt to get on a moving boat now and makes no attempt to get off unless he has his lead on.

Arriving at Norbury Wharf we pulled in for diesel and spied a new chimney in the chandlery, much cheaper than anywhere else at £23.99 for a 6x12 double-skin with one brass band. We had to wait ten minutes while a new pipe was put on the fuel pump too. The cakes in the cafĂ© looked delicious I've resisted temptation so far.

A place to moor too, so we pulled in for an overnight stop. The fat rope fenders we recently bought have been great against the concrete sides of the mooring. I'm still thinking about those cakes!

Monday, July 03, 2017

White Water At Tyrley Locks

White water below Tyrley Bottom Lock

Trying to get in the lock!

Oops! minor collision with red sandstone cliff

We made it using a bow rope

No mooring in the pound
We left Market Drayton after lunch and arrived at the bottom lock (5) to white water, we've never seen it so fierce. When we got further up we found out why. Apparently something was stuck in the lock and CaRT  employees let a great deal of water down to clear it. It came down so fast it flooded the towpath in the pound below the top lock much to the surprise of the boat waiting to go up the flight. Maybe someone should have walked down the flight to tell us.

Going through Woodseaves Cutting
It was lovely and peaceful  going through the cutting just the sound of the birds and the hum of the engine. We moored up at Goldstone Wharf  just in time for tea.......homemade chicken curry.

Tea was with a bump at a training boat 'Shropshire Lass' decided to reverse past us and bumping us with its bow.When we complained the trainer who was  reversing said it was only the rubbing strip so he's training new boaters it's OK to make contact with another boat. Has he been watching too much TV.

Adderley Locks And Pie For Lunch

Moored in Market Drayton

Well we've left Coxbank and worked through the top two locks of the Audlem Flight. Ben and I had a lovely walk to the Adderley Locks. Just five locks closely spaced and everyone set for us with boats coming down the flight, it was our lucky day. At the top lock is Adderley Farm Shop with meat available at the farm and a canalside stall with pork pies amongst other things in the fridge. Ice creams too in the freezer just right on a hot day. We chatted with the farmer and his wife, she said they couldn't make enough pork pies. Lunch on the go was sorted then with some pickle of course.

A few hours later we were moored up at Market Drayton just before the bridge before water point. Houses on both sides of the canal and a favourite dog walking route but still very quiet overnight. This morning I walked as far as Asda to get Ben some Wag complete dog food as they only had Bakers in Audlem. A few pork chops and some vegetables for tea and we were sorted.

We waited for a space at the water point  and I put a  quick wash load on to wash while we waited. It had finished before we got to fill up. So we're off to  Tyrley Locks now. I really must take some photos.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

A Stop In Audlem Before The Locks

After our overnight stop just before Overwater Marina it was only a short trip to the start of the Audlem  flight of locks. We were in luck as a space was available  above the first two locks.

Time to take the shopping  trolley and visit the Coop near the canal. In the recreation  ground behind The Shroppie Fly they were getting ready for a party in the park event on Saturday.  We would probably have heard  the music from the canal side moorings but the 10.30 pm Fireworks Display meant a freaked out dog if we stayed put.

Saturday morning and  sunshine was good with the locks to taking us to moor at Coxbank if there was room. Progress was very slow with boats going up but nothing coming down until a few locks from Coxbank. It got even slower when a single handed bloke who'd stopped for a tea break joined the ascent of the flight. Other boaters helped him but it was still slow as he was new to boating. In all it took three and a half hours  to do eleven locks.

We're currently moored at Coxbank as there was a space......relaxing!  It's nice and breezy too so the boat is keeping nice and cool.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Good Morning It's Not Raining!

Des who trades on the canal as 'Stow-Away' made me a lovely window box to match the new paint job. He also makes  super 3ft maintenance free  roof boxes complete with covers. (07866099097)

We've just spent a couple of  days in Nantwich mainly because the weather has been wet. We did go into Nantwich later for  a Morrisons shop. The 'Shop on the Canal'  in Nantwich basin was useful for bread and milk when we stopped at the  services.

Yesterday we moved five  miles so we were far enough away from the noise of the clay pigeon shooting as Ben won't  get off the boat if he hears guns. We worked through Hack Green Locks with people coming down in such a hurry   they turned the lock against us as we approached in the short pound. It takes all sorts!

Today were moving on a little way hoping to stop at Audlem if there's room for some milk. Maybe we'll do the Audlem 15 locks........if we're feeling energetic and it's not raining.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On The Shroppie

Ben the pup April 2007

Looking through all the old photos on my laptop I came across this one of Ben the dog as a new pup ten years ago. Where have all those years gone? Now he's a big boy and at the moment not at all keen on going for a walk although we walk alongside the boat. After half an hour or so he's quite happy to get back onboard.

We had our Sunday lunch at 'The Cotton Arms' and headed back to the boat with no room for a pudding. Ben was waiting for his meat which I kept for him from my lunch. We expected the pub  to be busy but most the parked cars were for the Elvis Tribute Event in the caravan park.

Monday morning we set off with the last two lift bridges for a while. A pair of wagtails had chosen the nest in one of the bottom lock gates on the Baddiley flight of locks. One waited patiently with food in her mouth until we'd gone through the lock to feed the young in the nest. Just the Swanley Locks to do and we were moored up at Bridge 5, the boat next to us didn't like the country smell but I didn't even notice it. We must be used to it  living at Whixall Marina.

Tuesday morning Ben and I walked to Hurleston Locks. We started off at eleven in the morning and by twelve we'd topped up the water tank and gone down the flight of locks. The two lockies on duty were great as they  prepared the locks and opened the gates for us as it was so quiet. As I opened the bottom lock a boat came to go up so that was good too. The Elsan at Hurleston hasn't been repaired yet, I wonder how long that will take?

Turning right  Eric picked me up at the bridge and we cruised to Nantwich finding a space after the Nantwich Aqueduct. We walked into Nantwich with the shopping trolley to top up the food at Morrison's, Ben came too. It's quite a way so we were all tired and Ben had a sleep. We planned to stay put today with the rain coming as forecasted. We'll be on the move tomorrow.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ellesmere To Grindley Brook

We took the boat to Ellesmere but couldn't moor on the arm to get the shopping. It was no different the following day so I bought a new shopping  trolley so I could stock up the cupboards. I didn't buy much for the fridge as it was  having trouble getting cold enough and the milk went off. Now the weather's cooler it's back to keeping between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius. So we're  ok for now if that heatwave was the only exceptionally hot weather this Summer!

Leaving the madness of Ellesmere  on a windy morning was fun and we stopped  off by the Prees Arm to get the post and pick up the car so we could pop into Wem  to get fish and chips at 'Fry Day'  by the Coop. Ben the dog had his sausage.

Today after 5 lift bridges and the six locks of the Grindley Brook  I'm tired. My arm's  and wrists aren't used to all this exercise.....I have trouble opening jars! Quiet at Grindley Brook so we only had to wait for  one boat  to come up the staircase locks. The lockie was his usually chatty self......I'm joking!

We're currently staying at the bottom of the locks  and heading for Wrenbury tomorrow. We couldn't get there on a Sunday and not have Sunday Lunch at the Cotton Arms.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

We've Escaped Whixall

Yesterday we left Whixall Marina on the  boat to  visit Ellesmere. Boats  everywhere  but  we stopped  at  Hampton  Bank as  it   was so  hot! Moored  near us  was   Sarah  and  Darren  on their boat.

We kept Ben the dog cool by covering him with a wet cold towel as he was panting so much we were worried. He stopped panting and  went to sleep still covered by the wet towel.

Today it's  a bit cooler actually quite nice to  be out  boating. The  coolest  place  we  found was in Ellesmere Tunnel but we had  to come  back out into the sunshine.

As expected  we couldn't get   anywhere   near Tesco  to get  the shopping so  we'll  try   again tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's So Hot In Whixall Marina

We're currently not enjoying this heat's just too hot for me. It's OK if you're up to your neck in a lovely blue sea somewhere nice or even in a paddling pool.  Ben currently  had a fan blowing on him when he decides to sit by it. We've  been sitting under the tree as well as it's  a bit cooler there.

Eric's gone to Shrewsbury Hospital for another outpatient appointment  as he has an inflammation of the  eye called iritis. It all started a week ago with an urgent appointment at the doctor  followed by a same day appointment at the Urgent Eye Clinic in Shrewsbury Hospital. Hopefully he won't need to go back again but will have to finish the course of eye drops.

We're hoping to go out for a  cruise this week so watch this space.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's Windy At Whixall As Usual

It's  windy at Whixall but the satellite dish is staying fixed (so far) to the roof by it's suction base now that we have a shiny roof. The wind always makes it difficult to get in and out of our berth but we're not going out yet so it doesn't matter.

We're  feeling thoroughly lazy this afternoon although I've been busy this week making the rest of the boat curtains. They're  all on their poles now without any hooks or rings thanks to the heading tape from Ikea which fits straight on the pole.

Still some jobs on the to do list for this week such as  tidying up and resealing the inside of the windows where they've  been taken out for painting and put back in.

Ben the dog and I have been  out walking mostly missing the rain. He wants to go out but just plods along......a bit like me when I don't really want to go either.  He only speeds up when we're  on the way back to the marina.

Tomorrow the part of Alders Lane up to Whixall Marina is being repaired  but it  does says we'll be able to get past. It was damaged by a huge crane as it was reversing up the narrow road, which came to lift the CART work boats out onto low loaders.

So another week's gone by. Eric's had a haircut so looks less like Father Christmas  and mine is being cut on Tuesday at 'No 4' in Wrexham so it looks like it'll be fish and chips for lunch as there's a lovely cafe nearby.

The red arrows have just flown over us here at Whixall which Ben's hiding......he hates the noise of jet engines.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Back In Whixall Marina

A view from the side hatch

We're  currently back in the Marina with a few things we wanted to do before we go out cruising. I've been making new curtains and have three more pairs to make. We needed four pairs of porthole sized curtains, a door curtain for the front doors and five pairs of curtains for the saloon and galley windows so it's been quite a task.

The new curtains in the saloon

The new port hole curtains in the bedroom

Yesterday during the torrential rain we had a leak and wondered where rain was getting in. Luckily we were in waiting for the rain to stop, as it came through in big drips where the TV and broadband hub was. Somebody hadn't sealed around the wooden block on the roof when they put our boat back together. Clear sealant used by Eric soon sorted the problem.

I've been catching up with a washing mountain this week too. It's  always windy here but today it's really windy. Last night the noise from the rain on the roof was really loud so I found it difficult to get  to sleep until I found my ear plugs

We've  had the central heating on as it's  been cold after the hot weather we had last month. There's  smoke coming from quite a few chimneys. Eric feels the cold anyway while I'm usually hot.

Just a note if you want fuel at Whixall Marina it's only available Tuesday to Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Escape From The Paint Shed

 A view fom the stern, we love the sign writing by Robin 

From the bow, the cratch will be refitted later

Today we finally escaped from  Aqueduct Marina with our very shiny new paint job. Unsure of whether we liked the finished colours  as it's  very different from blue with just a mustard coachline. It's  growing on us. I thought I'd better take some photos before it gets bashed in the locks on the Llangollen Canal  as the side weirs  don't  make it easy to get in the locks unscathed. Aqueduct Marina is another windy marina so we were pleased to wake up to just a breeze.

I've been busy making a new set of curtains for the boat after ten years the others were faded. I am pleased to say the interior of the boat had been cleaned  ........I was dreading the dust after the shot blasting.  I covered everything inside in plastic sheeting  which had to  be removed leaving a clean boat. Eric had issues with his dirty engine which he had asked them to cover while the work was done, but after a complaint it was all expertly cleaned. An excellent paint job though and we're  very pleased with Phil the painters expertise.

Ben the dog is happy to be out of the marina as its easier to get off the boat when there's grass to land on.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Sign Writer's Busy Today

On Monday we made a trip to Whitchurch for reviews at the doctor's, we'd  planned to be back afloat by then. All sorted with no fuss and we have two months medication sorted  for our Summer trip out on the cut.

We also visited our boat in the paint sheds at Aqueduct and we're extremely pleased with our shiny boat. The painter was due to finish on Wednesday and the sign writer was due to be there on Wednesday and Thursday.  He rang with a few queries and told us he did the sign writing when our boat was new ten years ago. So it is nearly done and we'll  have to be patient a  little longer.

On Wednesday  our day started earlier than planned when Eric had a really  bad pain in his chest and collapsed on the bathroom floor. To cut a long story short  the ambulance came in ten minutes and we had a day out in A&E and he was thoroughly checked out.  It was angina but still very frightening.

So we're  still waiting but we should hear from Aqueduct very soon. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Another Week Gone By

We're  into the sixth week waiting for the paint job to be completed and a few other  jobs done including sorting out the tiller  bearing. Aqueduct phoned to check on the size of the panels with the boat's name on so hopefully it won't  be too much longer.

We've  been up to Goytre Wharf a small marina on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.  We were reminiscing as over thirty  years ago we had a little Norman Cruiser moored in this marina. It was very basic and more like camping on a boat. Water had to heated on a camping gaz  portable camping stove and the loo was more like a covered bucket. But we had some fun with our three small children!

On Sunday we went to Porthcawl to see the  sea, the Bristol Channel's water is nothing like the blue/green water in Cornwall but it was nice to see the waves and walk along the promenade. There's also a lovely fish and chip shop opposite the park so we had to have some. We sat on a bench watching the  world go by  as we ate our lunch. Ben likes fish so he helped me eat mine.

Back in Newport  we had a Sunday Roast at teatime and  we were  stuffed.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Different Boats In Cwmbran

At the boating lake were many lovely model boats moving gently on the water.  Another lovely sunny day for walking the dog. Ben enjoyed the children giving him a stroke.

Ben was left for a few hours last night with Lila for company while we went to my uncle Dave's 90th birthday party in the Sergeant's  Mess at Raglan Barracks.  A chance to see family we usually  only see at funerals also or the occasional wedding.

We've  not been busy this week although  the staff at Tredegar  House have been pleased when we walked the dog in the lovely grounds as they get  £5 everytime they scan our National Trust Membership cards towards the upkeep of Tredegar House.

Shepherd's pie in the oven cooking for Sunday Lunch after that we're  just having a lazy afternoon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Back In Newport Just Waiting!

The journey back from Cornwall to Newport was amazing with no traffic jams or delays. We stopped at the services to give Ben time to stretch his legs. Time for coffee for us and a toilet break.

We're currently staying at our daughter Lisa's house at the moment. My  cough and cold has finally eased so hopefully it'll  be gone soon. I hope I haven't shared it with Lisa and Gwen. I've  already passed a cold onto Eric!

We were hoping the  work on the boat would be finished by the 8th of May but it's not going to happen. It's going to be another two weeks later. It's primer grey at the moment but Aqueduct have promised to keep us informed.

Today we went for a walk in the grounds of Tredegar  House  with Ben the dog and then I went and had a haircut in Joseph's in Newport as it's  a no appointment salon.  I even did a bit of shopping mainly because the strap of my shoulder bag  parted company with my  bag so I bought myself a new one.  Luckily the contents of the bag did not end up all over the floor in Debenham's. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Boats At Boscastle

We went to visit Boscastle  and had a look at the boats in the harbour. In 2004 Boscastle was flooded as the swollen river met the sea and buildings were destroyed and cars washed away. Today you would never know it happened. A lovely quiet place this time of year and we enjoyed a little walk alongside the river as well as having a look at the boats in the harbour.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Visit To Trengwainton Gardens

First thing this morning we took Ben the dog down to Sennen Cove for a walk on the beach. It was freezing down there today with the cold wind so we returned to watch the crashing waves from the car. We has a take away coffee to warm us up.

We'd looked at that National Trust App to find places near us we could visit with a dog and decided on Trengwainton  Gardens near  Penzance. It was much warmer in the sheltered gardens where azalea, camelia  and rhododendrons  flourished. I loved the huge tree too. There were bluebells and the white flowers of the three-cornered leek all mixed in together. 

A lovely walk up to the terrace overlooking the bay and a view of the house which is private. Water loving plants flourished along the stream through the grounds too. An unexpected  surprise it was lovely there  and they even gave Ben a biscuit which he didn'the want to eat!

Lunchtime At Lizard Point

Yesterday we visited Lizard Point, which is Britain's most southerly point and managed by the National Trust. The weather was lovely and we were surprised to find The Polpeor Cafe was dog friendly as well as an extensive menu. We decided to have some lunch overlooking the sea. After a nice lunch we went for a short walk along the coastal path   before returning to the car.

Lots of flowers on the cliffs Including large swathes of stone crop showing as orange on the pictures.  We thought the  plant growing amongst the bluebells was wild garlic, but it was three-corned leek (Allium triquetrum) with the crushed leaves smelling of onions rather than the strong garlic smell of wild garlic. A lovely bit of countryside and well worth a visit.