Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Timothy Spall - Tonight (Tues) BBC4 at 7.30pm

"Somewhere at Sea / Back at Sea", the voyages of the Princess Matilda is on the telly again tonight, following Timothy & Shane Spall as they navigate their widebeam barge around the coast of Britain.  Yes, I know it's a repeat of a repeat, but tonight it's the episode in which they arrive at Porth Dinllaen on the Llyn Peninsular in North Wales.  After watching this programme, Dave and I decided we just had to go and visit for ourselves - hence the holiday we've just had.  Simply stunning.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Generator running till midnight - GRRRRR

We had a rather unpleasant experience at Merry Hill the other night - the NB 'Alaska' decided to run his generator till 5 minutes to midnight.  This may be normal practice for him, but it annoys the hell out of us.  When Dave knocked on his boat at 10 past 10, and politely asked him "would he mind turning off the generator", he replied "when I'm ready, I'll turn it off".  Generator Man then said "you shoud try living on a boat mate"  - to Dave!!!  Dave then said "I do, and have done for 20 years", to which, Generator Man took exception & started ranting, so Dave just said "thank you very much, good night" and came inside.  G.M. then also disappeared back inside his boat.  Generator Man then emerged again at 1/4 to 12 and started chopping logs!  All the while ranting and shouting eff this and eff that, and "I'd have a go at you if you weren't an old man!" and "I can just cut your effing ropes".  He then turned off the generator at 5 to midnight & Dave opened the door to thank him.  This didn't go down very well & G.M. started ranting again.  Dave said "thank you, and good night", shut the door and left him effing outside.  After a few more minutes of shouting, he eventually went back inside his boat.  We awoke this morning still tied up in the same place, no ropes cut & no damage done, which was nice - but it does leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

The amusing part of this is G.M.'s comment  "you should try living on a boat mate".  Dave's been living aboard for 20 years, and the boat we travelled here with - 37 years!!!!  So "mate", it's you who's the problem - not us.  Why can't you adopt at least some etiquette of canal living?  Fine - run your engine till midnight if you want to, but make sure you're well out of the way of anyone else, and not moor in a popular mooring site - like the middle of Merry Hill!

Incidentally, the only mooring available was next to this boat, surprise surprise, as there were boats moored here who've been here for weeks and weeks.  G.M. ran the generator from the back of the boat, so no doubt the noise didn't bother him up the front. 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Happy Anniversary Dave - 20 Years Living Afloat

Congratulations are in order - Dave's been living afloat now for 20 years today!!

Dave bought Sans Souci when he took early retirement from the RAF, and has been living afloat ever since.  6 years ago we sold the house and bought a second boat, Beefur, and travelled with the two boats, both of us single handed.   We sold Sans Souci last year, and now (both!) live aboard Beefur, which makes life a bit easier.
It was difficult, when looking for a photo of Dave, to find one without him pulling a funny face, or being grumpy 'cos I'm taking a photo of him, however I did find this one, taken on the sly!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

UPDATED - Stourbridge Open Weekend (PICS)

The Stourbridge Open Weekend and boat rally to celebrate the 50th anniversary of "The battle of Stourbridge" took place last weekend.  The Battle of Stourbridge saw a group of boating enthusiasts take on the government over their right to navigate inland waterways - a battle they won which prevented closure of much of the network.

Amost 100 boats attended a wonderful weekdend.

Here we are, moored behind the fence, up the arm, still with flowers on the roof!

Brightly painted work boats, lots of them, with lots of chin wagging!

Henry Hollingshead with NB Cetus
His brother Joe, with NB Nansen
Boats moored right up to the Wollaston road bridge


Old Canal Company offices, now occupied by the Stourbridge Navigation Trust

The Bonded Warehouse, I should have taken a picture from the winding hole/canal side, as its such a beautiful building, and nice to see it being used by local groups.

Cobbled Canal Street

 Luckily, the weather was kind without the promised rain.  We met up with old friends and had a great time.  It coudn't have gone any better.  I had to prize Dave away from the Royal Exchange, and his favourite beer in all the world - Bathams.  Yes, he did have a tear in his eye.  Never mind, we'll be back next year.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Nant Gwrtheyrn & Yr Eifl (5 of 5)

I told you I had lots of holiday photos - here's the last lot......

We had spent the first few days of the week mainly looking out of the window at the spectacular views - in between dog walking.  The weather had been so good we were able to sit outside on the balcony, even if it was with a jumper on.  It had been a couple of years since we'd been up this way, and as we don't have a car any more, we tend not to visit, even though we are only in Llangollen (ish) for 6 months of the year.  It was fantastic to drive through Snowdonia to get to the Llyn with spectacular views of sea and mountains, and the aromas of the sea.  Welsh is the first language in this part of the world, which was wonderful to hear. Dave did buy a welsh phrase book, but couldn't get his tongue around the "LL" sound.  Here's a couple used:

Pryd mae'r bar yn agor? 
Pronounced:  preed mayeer bahr uhn agor
When does the bar open?

Fe hoffwn i gael gwydraid o jin os gwelwch yn dda   
Pronounced:  veh hophoon ee gaheel gooidrehd o jin os gooehlooch uhn tha
I would like to have a glass of gin

Oes cysylltiad rhyngrwyd 'da chi?
Pronounced:  oys kuhsuhlltyad rhuhngrooeed da chee ('hard 'ch' as in scottish loch)
Do you have an internet connection?

Ble mae'r ty bach?  Pronounced:  bleh maheer tee bach.  Where is the toilet?

Oose cot ees tha jah kit - Excuse me sir, you appear to have left your gillet over there

Mum and Tony joined us in "the hut" for the last few days of the week, so we did a bit of sight seeing and walking as they're not ones for sitting still for too long!  One walk took us to Yr Eifl (The rivals), a mountain with three summits, which we had been looking at through our window for the last few days and below it, Nant Gwrtheyrn a former quarrying village, which after many millions of pounds spent on renovation, is the National Language Centre, offering welsh language residential courses.    Dave, Carole and I visited the place earlier in the week for a 'reccy', as a place Mum & Tony might enjoy visiting later in the week with a view to walking up a mountain.  Derek the Weatherman recommended it (though not to us personally) when it was featured on the telly welly wales programme "Weatherman Walking".
Off we go...
up there ..... (gulp)

Looking down on Nant Gwrtheyrn

Still smiling, half way up.  We had our only day of rain, the day before (Thurs) resulting in lots of streams cascading down the mountain side
That's where we're staying, the hazy property in the middle of the pic

porth dinllaen
one of the quarry faces

The views from the top were spectacular, looking up the coast as far as Anglesey

We got the map out, as we couldn't believe how far we could see!


That there's a chough, you can just about make out his red legs
Carole & Peaches
Dramatic waterfall
Down into Nant Gwrtheryn, for a well earned cuppa!

Old quarry workings halfway down the mountain

Old cottages, now derelict

Beautifully resored old quarrymen's cottages, some of which can be hired out for holiday accommodation.

The place is also a venue for weddings and conferences.

Authentic mountain goats
Carole and I, taking in the views
That's it folks! Thank you for your patience in browsing these photos, but friends and family wanted to see them. Back to boaty things in the next blog.
Roedd e'n ardderchog.  (royd ehn ardder chog)
It was excellent

More Seaside Holiday Pics (4 of 5)

We took a trip to Aberdaron during our trip to The Llyn.  We used to come here with Carole & Trevor for holidays.  Carole was very brave & said she would like to revisit the place.  The sea was just as wild as it usually is, we love the place, and we will be coming back here next year for a holiday in our "usual" cottage, which is bit more salubrious than the house we had this time.
Aberdaron beach
Dave and Carole

Y Gegin Fawr, one of the oldest buildings in Aberdaron, once a communal kitchen where 13th century pilgrims could claim a meal on their way to Bardsey Island
Trevor painted a picture of Y Gegin Fawr, which takes pride of place in our boat

Walking on the beach at Porth Colmon

On to Porth Oer, or Whistling Sands as its better known as.  The sand really does make a whistling sound as you walk accross it.

up Mynydd Mawr, with fantastic views across to Bardsey Island


Aberdaron in the distance