Tuesday, 31 May 2011

On the move at last

We were going to start heading towards Chester yesterday, but the weather was so awful that we decided to postpone until today.

We made rather a late start and it was lunchtime before we had finished dumping our rubbish and taking on water at the services but then it was off down the cut, which of course was when it started raining. Luckily it didn't last long and we were soon cruising in alternating shade and sunshine on towards Barbridge. It was a bit unusual for me to be cruising somewhere that I know better by car, but until we got to Bunbury we were in what was my area while I was working on the census.

The Shropshire Union is uninspiring between Barbridge and Calverley as it keeps close company with the A51, if I wanted HGVs for company I would use the car! After Calverley you escape the road but are soon joined by the railway, but at least there aren't too many trains.

The canal banks are a herbalist's delight with a great variety of plants growing wild, they could also be a poisoner's delight as I spotted foxgloves and belladonna!!

After an uneventful journey we moored above Beeston Stone Lock for the night. Nimue and Gwyn decided to go visiting other boats as usual but unfortunately decided to jump on one which had only stopped to pick up their crew after coming up through the lock. They both had a slight panic when they realised the boat was moving off, as did the lady on board. Nimue managed to jump ashore but Gwyn jumped and missed so ended up a soggy moggy!!

This evening the cats are spending their time stalking ducks and hunting, Gwyn managed to catch a young rabbit, it appear unharmed and there wasn't enough meat on it so we made her let it go. If she can catch a full size one it will be rabbit stew for dinner

We plan to visit Beeston Market tomorrow before we move on so probably won't get very far.

Today's journey was 8.4 miles and 3 locks

This year we have travelled 67.2 miles, 68 locks and 13 lift bridges.

Since Ray retired we have travelled 805.6 miles, 710 locks, 55 swing bridges, 17 lift bridges and 25 tunnels.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Freedom, well almost

I have to confess to feeling a little bereft. My contract with the ONS, working on the census may have only been for a few short months but now it is over (apart from the final collection of laptop etc) I realise I will miss the great team of people I was working with. Hopefully, we will stay in touch.

Morgana is now almost free of census "stuff" and life can return to normal. We are now embarking on a round of visits to friends and family while we still have the car and then we will be heading north to Ellesmere Port. In a way I'm glad we weren't planning to go anywhere today, it is extremely windy. I realised it is nearly eight months since I have really cruised with Morgana as most the time I have been driving the car while Ray cruised. My waistline has suffered from the lack of lock wheeling and walks along the towpath and to the shops.I'm sure I'll soon be back in the habit of walking everywhere.

We haven't travelled at all since my last post, we should have moved on today but as the census stuf is being collected tomorrow we will be here for a couple more days at least.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Work and more work

The past few weeks have been mainly work and more work. At least now the end is in sight and we can start looking forward to some travelling next month. My contact finishes at the end of May and then we will be off on our travels again. We have managed to have a bit of time to do what we want to do but it hasn't been easy.

We enjoyed a few beers and some music at the Nantwich Music Festival, paid a visit to Kathy and Co. for Scott's birthday and visited Ellesmere Port (by car) to see the working boat gathering on Easter Monday.

As ever our plans are flexible but heading up to Ellesmere Port is in the plan, so is going to Llangollen and also cruising as much of the Montgomery canal as is possible. Apart from that we might go back to the Trent and Mersey to cruise the stretch between the Macclesfield canal and the Middlewich branch which we missed last year. At the moment our plan is to head south for the winter, but that could change.

Since my last post we have travelled 3.3 miles and 4 locks

This year we have travelled 58.9 miles, 65 locks and 13 lift bridges

Since Ray retired we have travelled 797.2 miles, 707 locks, 55 swing bridges, 17 lift bridges and 25 tunnels.