Friday, 30 October 2015

Peace, between the M52 and the Manchester Ship Canal

 Sounds grim doesn't it. Not at all! We are moored in the basin at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port.

The apartments from £55k to £130k

We can't see the motorway, just a faint buzz from traffic,if you listen for it. It's actually so peaceful
we decided on a third night. Costs are £6.50 per person the first night. This gives free access to museum. £4 per boat per night after that.


I had, yes had, to go to Cheshire Oaks Outlet Village, yesterday to collect Alistair's birthday present. Not stocked at the outlet shop but they ordered it at 1330 on Monday. There at 1300 yesterday. Cheshire Oaks.....well.....half term.......bought a couple of Christmas presents, two mugs to replace recent breakages and a wok. All on my mental shopping list!


The nighttime view. Followed by pic of the best Cape Bobotie ever. Take away from South African restaurant in the basin. The topping is egg, not cheese. 10/10

The view at

Monday, 26 October 2015

I'll call him Sunny Jim

A sunny and quiet cruise into Chester. At least that is what it seemed like as we st off. Came up to Now or Never at our first lock. New boaters out from Tattenhall. At the second lock, a single hander. Just opened the paddles and about to climb back onboard. I said that we would take over. Which we did. He asked for both gates to be opened. I thought it odd but we were both there. Then he sat and sat and sat. Making no attempt to leave the lock. His engine wasn't even running. Then he threw some rubbish up onto the tow path. The respective male crew arrived. Had he got a Dud he want pulling out of the Alistair said enough is enough and untied his rope. Engine started and much shouting up that he would 'have' Alistair at the next lock. Al then picked up the rubbish and threw it back down on the roof!! More shouts and threats. Alistair did ask why wait...why not just pull over now! 

So, as you'd expect. There was no rush to help him at the next lock. Respective kettles went on. We benefitted from some custard brioche ...from bakers at Tattenhall...scrummy!  Of course only one paddle opened by Sunny Jim. And so on. 

New boaters on Now or Never. They've now met their first awkward boater...not us!

A boat with no name...let's call him Sunny Jim.

He pulled over before the staircase then came down after us. Now moored. A few minutes ahead.,

Not all bad though.

Friday, 23 October 2015

is this the life you chose....or the life that chose you?

A rare early knock. But we were up. OK,  early for us. Can you spare me a flask of boiling water. Well of course we can! And the kettle is just about to boil. Next question from there anything else you need? A modest list of some sugar, biscuits and as an afterthought....some gaffer tape. No to anything else. Then this gentleman was on his way. Stopping at the picnic tables ahead to have his brekkie.

He had passed us last night in pitch darkness as we took LJ for a final stroll. On our way back, rustling in a copse indicated where he was bedding down for the night. To paraphrase Jason listen to him if you like singer songwriters....'is this the life he chose or the life that chose him'.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Staircase Shuffle

i gave myself a pat on the head today. Not only did I manage to work the staircase lock at Bunbury without the need of guidance. In fact when I got the ...what are you doing question...what I was doing was right!! I then persuaded the single handed coming up, who thought we should let him go first as bottom lock was empty and top lock was full...err yes...that's how they work...and we are coming down so need top lock full!! Where was I, oh yes, persuading him that he could enter the empty bottom lock and rise and shuffle into a newly emptied top lock as we came down and into full bottom lock. We all smiling.

Not getting too smug, as the last time we went down the flight at Chester I made a total hash of it. Still, that is a few days away so not yet made the worry list.

Certainly quieter now we have passed Barbridge Junction with just a few boats around. Moored in Beeston Castle area. i think we might be having a day off tomorrow!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A day off already?

Out of Nantwich after lunch yesterday. Meds collected. Dental appointments made at My Dentist on Welsh Row ...ta King NHS patients if anyone interested! So, with our  Captain isorted for  a while we so helped as far as...Hurlstone!

A day off today. We are on a slow cruise to Ellsmere Port via Chester but don't want to be in Chester over the weekend so it's a very relaxed approach. We might have to put a spurt on coming back to get out in the country for bonfire night. Should that be plural? Already fireworks in Nantwich.

We easily got the mooring we were pushed off a couple of weeks ago and left room behind for another boat. Just call us considerate!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

When a plan comes together

An off QISMA weekend for me. A trip that included dentist and catch up with friend of 30+ years in Mikton Keynes. Two overnights at Premier Inn Nottingham...bargain ...trip to Yorkshire to see my Dad and say farewell to Team NZ, Eilen Jewell show in Nottingham with two of  Team Stigers.  Arrived back in Nantwich yesterday lunchtime totally shatters!  Thanks to splitting my rail tickets the travelling part of the trip cost £38! I think National Rail offered it to me at the £150 mark!

So....drum roll.....some rare photos! Easier to take a Kingfisher shot!!

The Mikton Keynes section of the trip was pic free so we start with Nottingham city centre at 0650 on a Sunday morning. 

By lunchtime it was Rotherham Lock. It can't remember what buildings surrounded the lock when I grew up there but I had never seen the lock before! Cab driver told me 1 minute from the station. Who knew? (In me defence station wasn't here in my time!). 

Peter and me.

 Vicki and me!

Affectionately known as Team NZ. Vicki the scones were not only 10/10 they were the best savoury scones I have yet to eat. Didn't last long enough for a pic. It's been great to catch up with you on your travels with MUSSN GRUMBLE. You are in fact 'proper boaters'.

By 1900 caught up with my Stigers pals. Had meal and were at The Maze ready to see Eilen Jewell who lives in Boise and is friend of....... Mr Stigers who we raised a glass to ...well it was his 50th
 birthday and he had asked us to! 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Snazzy title!

Short Term Mooring Framework.....not the first search selection you would type into Googke, other search engines are available, to learn if the information CRT gave you was correct.

Via social media, I'd heard that, in answer to VMs reverting to 14 days over the winter, one region had said 'not happening' we will enforce restrictions. Hmmmm not what I had been told.

Even though I had found the document before it took a while before I tracked it down again. But hey, I'm a CC....I had nothing better to do!

So, I hope this will help. Below is the link that clearly states unless there is justification to do otherwise ALL VMs will be 14 days 1 Nov -31 March.

I'm having a bit if a CRT day because signs on the towpath in Nantwich show a long section as Winter Moorings fees apply that, according to the 2015-16 winter mooring site, are NOT in fact WM at all.

Four years since we were in Nantwich. A few changes. Noticeably the new canal side housing development oh...and the new fuel jetty! (71p) Town centre was vey familiar. We'd wintered in Swanley Bridge and had transport. We'd like to bring the car up here but, after the catalytic converter was stolen this Spring we need to find a garage and that has proved impossible.

Our other want is for a carpenter to build new top boxes for us. We,thought we had one but he is proving.......elusive!  Suggestions welcome in Shroppie area. No advice on easy it would be to do it ourselves needed!!

Right. Better come up with some pics.

Not my pic but it the Vulcan did fly overhead on Saturday on its farewell tour. Technical Authority is Can no longer support its flying. The last of the last.

Hurlerstone Locks ...we will be going up before Christmas when the winter works programme is complete.

The,little blobs are all seagulls'll have to zoom in!

I would say ladies that lunch...there were 14 in all but they had a token male!!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Winter cruise frame of mind

hoping for more good weather...of course! But, arriving on the Shroppie seems to have clicked a gear in my head. Our winter plans include extended cruising on the Shroppie and Llangollen so our pace of life, will slow even further. How can that may well ask! Stay with us and see. 

We were lucky with our weather yesterday. Only 90 mi Utes of rain and 3 dry walks for LJ. 

Getting on for dusk last night when the coal boat came along. Doing good business. We saw 3 other boats use him in the short stretch in view and 2 more on long term moorings as we walked LJ. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

We're on the Shroppie!!

Always sung on arrival to the tune of We're in the Money......for those old enough to know what I'm talking about. The rest of you....please forget I spoke!

It hadn't been our plan to move.... Why would we when we were here...

But with bad weather forecast we decided to push on through Middlewich.

Only the fifth boat in the queue to go up the flight. Two complete novices at 2 and 3. Lovely team on Oh Be Joyful in front of us.  A volunteer appeared but left when one boater asked why he'd lowered a paddle before the lock was full. I think it was home time anyway! First volunteer we'd seen since the Coventry!

No-one joined behind us and with only one boat coming down I'd helped work the bottom lock ...however many times it was before we got in. Those bottom paddles are a...nightmare?

Then onto the Shroppie. Always makes me think of our pals from GOLDENGIRL. Sadly no longer boating. Even worse...back at work in their hotel. If you ever need B&B in Snowdia let me know!!

About 1715 when we got the pins in. Shattered. How quickly we get soft. It was early to bed to read.

Woke to bright sunshine. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Too laid back?

If there is such a thing as too laid back...well that's us after our 12 days on the River Weaver. Blessed with near perfect Autumn weather.

Friends came to join us for the lift back to the T&M. Totally fascinated by it. But really how could you not be? They really enjoyed their first experience of being gongoozled!

Turned on Saturday to start our Winter cruise And the day ended at Billinge Green Flash