Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Off we go!

Bit of a monologue today, trying to catch up: We finally ‘set sail’ at 4pm Sunday, after loading the wood onto the roof, and watching the F1 Grand Prix. Button 2nd, so worth waiting for. We’re “spot the live-aboards” traversing the cut, huge amounts of wood covered with plastic sheets, though the flowers seem to lessen the impact. We knew the weather would change for the better, as se swapped our summer clothes for winter outfits from my Mum’s loft, and retrieved all the wooly jumpers, hats, scarves, gloves, wellies & sou’westers. The weather is glorious, and we’re appreciating it in our vests.

We made it to the Lion Quays & had a mediocre meal served in a poncy bowl. Is it too much to ask to have a dinner on a plate? There were a lot of boats on the move & still a queue coming up New Marton Locks on Monday, no problem for us going down. No doubt there’ll be a queue Wed morning coming down when they all return from Llangollen. We moored in our favourite spot at the end of Blakemere Monday evening, for me to admire the sunset over the mere, whilst Dave walked back to the White Heart. Good news - after a few years of temporary managers and periods of closure, the pub is open and serving great beer with 4 hand pulls. The current Landlord has sold his house, given up his day job and moved in full time and wants to make a go of it. I just hope the brewery don’t do their usual trick of doubling the rent as they start to make a profit.
The queue to go up New Marton bottom lock

People have been lovely over the last few days. The usual dog walkers, pram pushers & locals have been shouting across “not long now till you’re off”. “You’re like swallows” said Elver, the old guy who walks his very fat choc lab past every morning, “be glad to see you back next year - I’ll know summer is on its way”. A local spotted us passing his canal side house on our way to the winding hold, and was waiting for us on our return, arm outstretched with some eggs from his bantams “for the journey” Very kind. We’ve also had people shouting at us “keep blogging”, which was very encouraging. Thanks all.

As we passed Frankton Junction, the two planks - sorry - Oak & Ash Hotel Boats, were being tethered together after having come up the locks. We then quickened our pace, as we didn’t want him tailgating us all the way to Ellesmere. He passed our mooring last Friday morning, again shouting abuse at a passing hire boat (who was desperately trying to get out of his way) and unnecessarily hitting their bow whilst holding his hand on the horn for ages. No need for that.

We had a “Hoot off” last night at Blakemere, with quite a few owls calling to each other in the trees above our heads as we sat on the front deck in the darkness. I wanted to grab my phone and record it all, but was afraid of moving in case I disturbed them.
View from the front of the boat this morning at Blakemere

The optimist in me says, If it continues to be as good as it has been over the last few days, then we’re in for a wonderful cruise. Life doesn’t get better than this. The Pessimist says: I hope we haven’t peaked to early!

the House at bridge 62 has finally been sold, its so overgrown now, so no doubt will be completeley transformed by the time we return next April ...

We’ve stopped at Colemere while pall Bill has a look at our unreliable bubble stove & hijacked his broadband connection.  Bloggers Bendigedig went passed on their way up to Llangollen for the winter.

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