Friday, December 28, 2012

Cracker jack

Our family tradition is to pour burning brandy over the pudding that Ann made.  Some of the holly burnt to ash which had to be scraped off!

We pulled a cracker.
Q. Where do fortune tellers dance?     A. At the crystal ball.

Anybody got a better joke?
 This cheeky 'monkey' is pinching the birds nuts!
We moved on down a few locks on Boxing Day.
Anyone for cake?  It is OK cos Ann made that as well!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Print or Publish ?

At the end of each year I  convert this blog into a chapter for my book.  I am now about to work on Chapter 17 which will be titled 'Moore On Rivers' which covers 2012.  In the past I have been encouraged to continue and struggled on.

I will continue with the blog but wish to print or publish my book.  All the chapters are available to read in .

If any of you kind readers have any advice about what to do about the next step please get in touch.  Converting the text for an e book may be a possibility but a paper book could be distributed to family and friends.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Preparations for a birthday

Once again we filled our larder with goodies even though it is some way to the shops at Whitchurch. This time we got some festive fair - a three bird roast, mince pies, crackers, brandy butter, nuts, box of wine etc. Ann has made the special pudding as always and the cake of course.

We bid farewell to Colin n Tina on Go For It as we set off for Wrenbury. A dry mild day encouraged the move. Just stopped at Grindley Brook for a water top up and to loose the unwanted. It maybe our last chance before the great day when we celebrate a birthday!

The post arrived and we have decorated the boat with the Christmas cards that have arrived so far.

*** HAPPY CHRISTMAS *** to all our readers where ever you are!

We wish you a good New Year

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cracking glass

We had turned at Ellesmere so it was a sideways move to the facilities. Once we were 'full n empty' we were off in sunshine and showers all the way to Prees. Quite a surprise to find thick ice down the arm as we went for diesel. Very noisy all the way wondering how we would get the boat to turn onto the wharf. It took several goes to break up the ice and push it away.

People in their boats were taking pictures! "Like they've never seen a boat come in for diesel?" It was easier getting out but it still sounded like breaking glass. Ann had made soup using one of those butterburs and other vegetables. By the time we had got out of the arm and moored it had gone 2 pm before we could eat it!

There was no phone or Internet signal so next day we set off early even though it was a Sunday! The sun came out making it a good trip to Whitchurch.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Plan B, turn at Ellesmere

What happened to plan A? Long-term plans can be broken if they do not work out. We had dipped our toe into Wales and stopped at Cole Mere.
Our mooring among the trees being protected from the frost.
The sun came out and we walked round the Mere.
Only an hour among the trees along a well made path.

Friends rang to beckon us off the Ellesmere canal, as the Shropshire Union is now open. The Ellesmere will close in January so we would not get off till March. John on Epiphany had told us that they were asked to get off the Montgomery because that was closing. Careful planning now required ensuring we are near facilities as winter closes in.

After a refreshing drink we set off for Ellesmere in sunshine and were lucky to find a space opposite the facilities. The short arm into town was full of boats and ice. We got an evening appointment for Molly to see the Vet. "Just a booster, worm pills and a manicure." A chance for us to walk through the town to see the seasonal decorations all lit up in the streets.
A few frosty days followed so we will stay a while.

Look after your batteries while it is cold, as they may need charging twice a day. If your system has temperature compensation the charging voltage may well be as high as 14.8 volts.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

The more you look, the more you see

After the weekend we moved down the Prees Arm for diesel, just two bridges to lift and one mile to the marina at the end. "Just as well that the pump was self service because the office was closed." The pump was switched on once we had inserted our debit card! No declaration was signed because the price was set at 95 pence a litre. This marina is owned by C&RT. We asked a local if we could use the other facilities. "OK by me but they are really for the moorers here."

Once that was done we set off back to Whitchurch in sunshine with the washing machine doing the cleaning. The new Sainsbury's has opened and found up the hill behind the church. The town has more to offer than first meets the eye. Although it is a 20 minute walk it is worth going. It now supports Tesco, Sainsbury's, Iceland, Lidl and Argos. We even found car spares, pet shops and a vet. Fiona's café by Tesco provided us with food n drink at lunchtime.

A wet n windy night followed the sunny day but we woke to sunshine again. Go For It was heading for the facilities at Grindley Brook so we followed. It proved quite tricky to turn with the wind and the river flow. After a chat with Colin n Tina we all set off back to Whitchurch. While they went back down the arm we continued on intending to get to the Prees Arm. But it got wet n windy so we stopped short. Unfortunately there was no net signal so after lunch we moved on. Once again the wind made it difficult to stop and tie up. "It took all our strength to keep the boat against the side."

A sunny day followed and we set off for a walk. Then Epiphany drifted by. John n Fiona chatted for a while before moving on.
After our walk we settled down to a quiet weekend in the middle of nowhere after moving to visitor moorings at Whixall Moss.  Here the new gritty tow path is great for walkers but it gets into the boat!  Ann is feeding the birds.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Short hops

While it was dry we got up the locks at Grindley Brook. That top lock was full of rubbish. Leaves, dead animals, twigs, branches, shoes, plastic bags and goodness knows what else. It proved difficult to keep the prop clear as we crawled out. While Ann was dealing with the water supply I was in the weed hatch pulling out that plastic bag. "A large bag that at one time had contained horse feed!"

Once clear and full we moved on to Whitchurch and got the TV tuned in before it rained. Must not complain but why is it that within two miles some channels are not now available? We saw Colin n Tina on Go For It on our way to the shops. Apparently a new Sainsbury's is to open soon.
 C & R T men doing some work on the bridge

Another few days and we were off again to stop near the Prees Branch. It was a very cold but sunny day and many fields were flooded with icy lakes. Originally they were peat bogs but now a Nature Reserve.
If only we had kept them as bogs so that all the rainwater could drain away.
We have stayed long enough to put out the bird feeders. Within hours they were visited by various song birds and a large male Pheasant!
Ah! Mince Pies, deep n delicious.   We don't get that very often!