Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lift bridges

No less than four on our journey towards Ellesmere. Ann and Carol plus the two Mollie’s walked ahead to lift the first two.
Carol did the next at Tilstock then Geoff lifted the one at Morris.
We all stopped near the Prees branch for one night feeling cut off with the lack of phone and Internet signals. In the afternoon we walked down the two-mile branch to find the marina occupying an old clay pit.
At some point near a lift bridge there was an old beehive offering honey for money but there was none in the bank!

After some early rain we set off next day against a biting cold wind and managed to get to Cole Mere.
We warmed up with some soup and sandwiches and set off to walk round the mere in sunshine.

We returned after about an hour to set up the satellite dish, finding a gap in the trees. It is a quiet spot and one of our favorites along this canal.

Sadly no time to hang about as our food stock is low and we needed to get on to Ellesmere for the shops. But first we stopped at the facilities for water and disposal of the unwanted. As we reversed off to head down the arm, Seyella arrived at the water point. After finding a space to moor, Rock n Roll arrived followed by Seyella. So by lunchtime we were all back together and visiting the new Tesco here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Barbershop Roast

The Engineer came early so we all rushed about to get all three boats through when the bridge was raised for us at Wrenbury.
It was a fine day when we moved so we pushed on up the staircase locks ay Grindley Brook. The expected wind arrived and we were being swayed by it. The trees on the windward side offered some shelter and we had made sure that items on the roof were as secure as they could be. The storm lasted at least three days.

Then it was the weekend and time for a special Sunday Roast. All six of us, and three dogs on board M2L. All members of the group provided contributions of food n drink. Four of us sat at the table and two had lap trays. An enjoyable time eating together after that storm. For some reason after the meal I found myself being scalped by Ann with our hair trimmer set to a short length. And that was before we had left the table! Then they all went for a walk and left me to do the washing up! “Talk about persecution!”
It was then a short hop to Whitchurch but a long walk to the shops.

Our website at Web-Mania is threatened with closure because they are not accepting renewal payment. It should be OK till the end of March but you never know as the host may just close down. So I am sorry if it goes. Naturally steps are being taken with Sue’s help to move the site to another host.

Friday, January 20, 2012

'Life With a Narrowboat' Chapter 16, 2011

At last we can announce that the latest chapter is published. You can all find it on our website at
Pictures may be added at a later date.
We have also changed the background colour so we hope it is better for our readers. Do please let us know of any problems you may find on the site.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Other things to do

We all moved on to Nantwich and did some shopping. It is a long walk to the shops at the other end of town. Parked the boat near that aqueduct. Sunny days and cold nights are normal now. The gang got together and decided to head for Wales. “Well, why not, it is open and less likely to get icy due to the flow of water from the river Dee.” We all moved on picking up water and diesel on the way. Great to be all together helping each other up the Hurleston locks.
Now we are on what was called the Ellesmere Canal when it was first built.
A few days later we arrived at Wrenbury where there are two lift bridges. We had passed through the three locks at Baddiley. Rock n Roll were the first through and had to break the ice inside the lock.
Water constantly flows past the lock in the by weirs. There is some work going on at the second lift bridge so we will have to arrange a time to go through. Mean while we go for a walk and wait for post.
I am trying to read up about my ancestors and how they lived in the 17 th and 18 th centuries. They led very different lives then. Most were members of the cloth or in the armed forces. Others made their fortune in the wool or cotton trade. At least one famous lady wrote books. Inevitably research into the family tree involves a bit of social and political history. Many family members wrote about their lives and memories and these documents are an absolute treasure. Seems I cannot stop this writing habit so blogging will continue. Over the year all the blogs get together to create a chapter in our book “Life With a Narrowboat”. It is a bit of a task to get all the words reformatted to be up loaded into our web site .
During these cold days the domestic batteries on board need as much charging as they can get. The charging voltage can rise to 14.7 and the current as much as 100 amps to a bank of batteries. Resistance in the wiring can reduce the charge voltage resulting in under charged batteries. When fed from one end there is a risk that the furthest battery gets less than the nearest. One way to improve the situation is to feed from both ends.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We return to the boat

After birthday celebrations we returned our hire car and got the train back to Stafford. The prearranged taxi was waiting to take us to the boat at Market Drayton. Geoff had kindly got the radiators on so the boat was warming up a bit when we arrived. The fire took a while to get going due to the gusty wind. Geoff n Margaret invited us on board Seyella for a very welcoming bowl of hot home made soup. Then we set about unpacking and taking down the decorations.
Next day we moved back a bit to get the diesel tank filled before chasing after Seyella. Geoff, ever helpful, assisted us down the five locks at Adderley where we stopped at the bottom. The expected storm arrived with gale force winds and rain over night and continued the next day. Our fire was turned off in the middle of the night for fear that it got blown out. The only problem with our oil burning fire is that the oil continues to drip in even when the fire is out! It was so windy that our satellite dish moved a bit and the terrestrial aerial actually got blown off the roof!
More help from Geoff got us all down to Audlem where Rock n Roll had arrived a few days earlier.
Once settled it was not long before we all met in the Shroppie Fly for an evening meal. Water was taken on to fill the tank before moving on down a few more locks, this time with George’s help. Geoff and Margaret had moved on the previous day. We all met again at the Pilate moorings. Our thanks to the Shropshire Union Canal Society for providing so many moorings with picnic tables and mooring rings. Another boat called Armadillo, travelling the same way, has stopped here as well. Graham & Jill are currently suffering from winter colds so we wish them both a speedy recovery. “Don’t get too drunk on the medication you two!”

Friday, January 06, 2012

Christmas and birthdays

With our three boat convoy stationary over the Christmas period we have arranged gatherings in each. Rock n Roll on Christmas Eve, Moore 2 Life on Christmas day and Seyella on Boxing day. Carol n George made a wonderful dish with chilly and thoughtfully a separate dish without for Margaret and Chas. After that a chocolate cake with cream. Then Geoff and his quiz entertained us all.
On the day we had Venison with a red wine sauce. The cooking instructions found on the Internet! Our local friends John and Sue had taken us to the butcher a few days earlier. The rich meal almost defeated us that included the usual roast potatoes and parsnips, with Brussels sprouts and carrots. Ann’s famous pudding with a sprig of holly to follow. Hot flaming brandy was poured over it and served with home made brandy butter. Perfec. Classic FM provided the carols in the background.
The gang came round for the evening. Our ‘Towers of Hanoy’ puzzle invented by a French man captivated Geoff. Readings from my father’s ‘Stuff book’ kept us all entertained with his jokes and stories. We made a punch with red wine and herbs and fruit that went down well with various cookies, puddings and mince pies. Geoff and Margaret had us all on board Seyella for Boxing Day evening. This time Geoff had created a quiz on his computer based on ‘Catch Phrase’. Once again we all contributed food n drink so there was still plenty to go round. Margaret made a turkey pie.
Between Christmas and the new year I face up to a bit of a mile stone in life with a naught and a seven to indicate my age. “Mum cannot believe it.” “More behind than in front as some would say.”
Ann and I have been boating since the mid 90’s and have enjoyed every minute of it discovering and exploring the waterways. It has all been recorded in our book ‘Life with a Narrowboat’ published on the Internet in our web site ‘’. This year, 2011 will be the 16 th chapter! “Should I get it printed and stop?” We left the boat in the care of Geoff to head south and celebrate my birthday and the New Year. Our grand son Ben will soon be 7 and I 70.