Monday, 21 October 2013

The little lady has arrived.


Well,as many of you know,the reason for our remaining here,on or close too,the Ashby Canal,since the beginning of September,has been the expected arrival of our new Granddaughter at the beginning of this month.I can now proudly announce that she arrived,after quite a few uncomfortable hours for her mum that is,at 18.00 hrs. on Friday 18th September.Mum,Dad & the little lady are all very well,and Granddad and Granny are over the moon thank you,the little one is adorable.

For the last week we have been moored on the 14 day moorings,just East of Bosworth Wharf,near to the Market Town of Market Bosworth,on the Ashby Canal.We’ve caught the bus,to get to Coalville and Swadlincote,on a couple of days because there are a number of bigger stores and banks in those towns.One of the things we have been trying to get,for our life on the canals,are Bus Passes,and we first applied back in June last year ‘cos we knew we would be without a car once we set off on our travels.Anyway,after a few months our initial application was rejected so I resolved to enquire in person,when we got the chance,in Swadlincote,where our application was processed.I know I shouldn’t count our chickens just yet,but things look a little bit more positive now.Also,in the last few weeks,Lisa and I have joined The Association of Continuous Cruisers,which has been recently formed to provide support for it’s members,and low and behold,one of the first aims is to help to provide assistance for those entitled to a bus pass.

I would like to add that,in my opinion, anyone who feels they could qualify for membership of the ACC,should give the above link a click and take a look.So far I am more than impressed with the associations approach to some of the,should I say unusual situations,experienced by people who enjoy being on their boat for extended periods.There are already a number of things that I wasn’t aware of that could benefit Lisa and I.They also have a Facebook page should anyone wish to access them that way.

Right,back to what else we’ve been up too.Not a lot I have to say,but we have been over to Aldi in Coalville because the number of special offers that Aldi,do that are of use to people on boats,is amazing.This week I got myself a sack truck ‘cos the gas bottles,bags of coal and cassettes don’t seem to be getting any lighter,or could it just be me not getting any younger.Anyway,the truck has got to be handy for Lisa to transport our things along the towpath,instead of carrying them on her shoulders.A bit closer to our home here,near Market Bosworth,is something we always try to patronise wherever we moor,the local Butcher.This one here is as good as any anywhere,the beef,faggots,sausage and the rabbit have all been excellent.We’ve also managed to give Chyandour a good wash while we’ve been here and that just about covers our weeks experiences.Not a dull moment I here you say and you would be correct,life is just brilliant.

Market Bosworth 1 002 Market Bosworth 1 006

A proud Granny and a Proud Granddad with the little one this afternoon.

Market Bosworth 5 007 Market Bosworth 5 011

Just a couple of shots taken today of yours truly as we moored up to go and visit the new arrival.Yes,it rained,but I was well wrapped up and well supplied with big mugs of tea so what more could I want?

Sorry,but that’s all for this week,a bit sparse again I know,but we’re on the move again at the weekend so next week could be better.Since last Monday we have done no Locks and 14 Miles,half of that today,giving us a grand total of 480 Locks and 810 Miles since October 2012.Take care everyone.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Our first anniversary.


Well,as the title says,it has now been one whole year since we set off on our little adventure on the canal network of the UK.It was a year ago last Saturday,to be precise, that Kingfisher Narrowboats handed Lisa and I the keys to our new narrowboat,Chyandour.Since then I can only say that we have had an absolutely fabulous time,in fact,our first year has been like one long holiday.We’ve met some lovely people, who we know will remain friends for life,and with whom we’ve had some really great times,the weather,over the last year,has been better than we would normally expect for the UK,and Chyandour has performed faultlessly.It really has been a wonderful year.Have Lisa and I had any harsh words? Yes,a few,but nothing that has made us regret our decision to embark on this journey,in fact we are looking forward to the next twelve months.

Over the last twelve months we’ve used over 700 litres of diesel cruising a little under 800 miles through 480 locks.To keep warm we have burnt 1,375 kgs of coal,and quite a bit of wood,on our solid fuel stove,and for cooking,we have used five 13 kg bottles of Propane.I’m not going into detailed statistics as to what we have done and used,I can only say that we are more than happy with how things have gone for us.

Shackerstone 002 Shackerstone 001

Lisa filling our water tank at the waterpoint at Limekilns near Hinckley.A couple of goats that took Lisa’s eye in the field next to the waterpoint.

We left the mooring at Bramcote Road Bridge last Tuesday and made our way to Hinckley where we went into town to get a few bits and pieces and then stayed the night before moving on the next day.We are still cruising on the Ashby Canal because our Granddaughter hasn’t  arrived yet,she was due at the weekend but you know what girls can be like when it comes to being on time.Over the weekend we stopped in Shackerstone because,as well as the expected new arrival,I had my 65th Birthday to celebrate.The Rising Sun in Shackerstone is ideal because as well as doing very nice food,they serve Pedigree Bitter,my favourite,and it’s but a short stagger from there back to the canal.We’re now moored at the end of the navigation just past Snarestone in the company of friends,Peter and Jeanne,on their boat Castellan.They walked into the restaurant at the Rising Sun as we were having a celebration lunch yesterday.

Shackerstone 003 Shackerstone 007

Pete on Castellan.I’m just pulling away from the towpath with Castellan in tow.To avoid travelling a long way on the Ashby Canal to Wind,i.e. turn,we decided to tow Pete’s boat back a couple of hundred yards to the winding hole behind him.Reversing narrowboats is not the easiest task,especially on shallow canals like the Ashby,so we opted for the simple life and I gave him a tow.As you can see from the right hand pic’ it was lashing down with rain and,what you can’t see,blowing a gale too,neither of which help when reversing.

Sorry this weeks blog is a bit sparse,be gentle ‘cos I’m now a pensioner and anyway,we are going over old ground at the moment,I’ll try harder next week.Since last Monday we have done 0 Locks and 18 Miles,giving us a grand total of 480 Locks and 796 Miles in a year.Please take care everyone.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Back on the Ashby.


This week our blog comes to you once more from the Ashby Canal.We’ve come back here to await the arrival of our Granddaughter who is due to be born in a week or so’s time.Our mooring here is about 650 metres past Bramcote Road Bridge,near to Burton Hastings in Warwickshire.This is one of those out of the way places where Lisa and I like to moor so we can get on and clean and rearrange things on Chyandour.It’s quiet here,there’s no other boats,there’s plenty of room on the towpath and the weather is fine so we can do our chores without interruption.There is also a good TV signal so Lisa can get her fix of “Strictly”.We’ve been here since Saturday morning and we’ve just about finished all that we hoped to do,so tomorrow,we will be away in search of another quiet mooring.It’s my Birthday on Saturday so our plan is to be at Shackerstone for then so we can celebrate with a pint or three of good old Pedigree Bitter in the Rising Sun.It would be nice to wet the baby’s head at the same time but I’m not building my hopes up too high,I’ll be happy if mum and baby are fine whenever the little one decides to put in an appearance.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday were spent looking around Coventry,we walked quite a bit out of town too,going out as far as Gallagher retail Park,to get some bits from Maplins and Alvis Retail Park,for Curry’s and B&Q.Coventry Basin,it seems,is quite handy for getting bits and pieces from the bigger stores.On Wednesday though,we spent almost the whole day in the Motor Museum.This museum is a must see for anyone going to Coventry,the exhibits are amazing.There are,what seems like,thousands of bicycles,motor cycles and cars,all with an account of their history.The highlight for me though was the Thrust SSC simulator,this showed Andy Green,the driver,set a,still unbeaten,Land Speed record of 763.035 mph at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.It was awesome to sit in the cockpit as he did it even though it was just a simulation.

Coventry 3 002 Coventry 3 004

One of the murals on the road which runs alongside the Coventry Canal.The Local Authority & the local people have done a lot to improve the canal over the years & it would be nice if more boaters were to use the canal as a way of saying “Thanks”.The people we spoke to were proud of Coventry’s Canal & Basin.There’s Chyandour moored in the basin,a few boats did stay while we were there.

Coventry 3 003 Coventry 3 011

The Whittle Arch outside the Motor Museum,this is a tribute to Sir Frank Whittle who invented the Jet engine in the Rolls Royce factory in Coventry.just a few of the exhibits at the museum,sorry about the quality of the pic’,I couldn’t get the flash to work.I think Lisa will get me a new camera for my birthday.

Coventry 3 013 Coventry 3 014

Thrust 2 and Thrust SSC at the museum.Again sorry about the quality.

On Thursday we left Coventry Basin,after the usual ritual of emptying the loo and filling the water tank and made our way North towards Hawkesbury Junction,where we intended to stop a while.We made one short stop,near the Ricoh Arena by Bridge No 8 on the Coventry Canal.Here,Lisa went off to do a bit of shopping in the Tesco Extra store that overlooks the canal,while I chatted to people passing on the towpath.Lisa says that this Tesco is an Extra,Extra store,it’s massive,bigger than the more usual Tesco’s.From there it was but a mile or two to the junction with the Oxford Canal,where we were to stay for a couple of nights and to also enjoy the delights of The Greyhound pub.We left there on Saturday morning to do the five and a half miles to where I’m sat now as I write this weeks blog.

Coventry 3 020 Burton Hastings 001

Me doing a few measurements,notice the ever present mug of tea on the toolbox,and our mooring near Burton Hastings.

That’s all again for this week folks,next week I will officially be a pensioner,so be gentle.Since last week we have done all of 11 Miles and 0 Locks,giving us a grand total of,480 Locks and 778 Miles since October last year,it’ll soon be our anniversary.Take care everyone please.