Monday, 27 March 2017

Great Haywood Junction

Well we got the water heater fixed and returned again to Rugeley, arriving on Friday. Only spending 1 night there before moving on.

Can you spot the kingfisher?
We have had some lovely weather for a few days. Yesterday we  went for a walk around the Wolseley Garden Park where the above photo was taken. After lunch we moved on a short distance to moor in sight of Shugborough Hall. A lovely large National Trust property that we have passed many times but have not visited. We plan to go tomorrow. Then on Wednesday will go into Great Haywood Marina to leave Falcon whilst we head off to Plymouth as our tenants are moving out. So probably won't be writing again for a while. Will catch up where we can but are planning to do some work on the bungalow. After 5 years of renting there are a few things to do.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Arrived at Rugeley

Arrived at Fradley Junction on Thursday in time for lunch. We know this area quite well having been here several times in our hiring days! Friday was spent working one swing bridge and  2 locks to bring us to the other side of the junction. Paul spent most of Saturday watching the rugby. A disappointing end for England!


Site of Armitage Tunnel. 
Sunday saw us moving on again as far as the marina at Kings Bromley where I did lots of washing. There were even washing lines so I was able to peg out! Not often I get that opportunity!
We have a problem with our water heater, so yesterday we called in at a boatyard to see if they could help. They have to order parts so we have come to Rugeley to restock the cupboard. One of the ordered parts has been sent from Plymouth!
The picture​ was taken at Armitage. The tunnel has been removed but the canal isn't wide enough to pass and as there is a bend I had to walk through to check all is clear.
Tomorrow we will turn and head back to the boatyard ready for the work to be done on Thursday.
After a sunny start this morning we had hail earlier. Wonder what is in store tomorrow!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Out of Tamworth

Well for once we stuck to our plan. We spent the weekend in Tamworth. Got our bikes out a few times. The canal is a short distance from the town with good cycle paths so off we went. Been a while since we last used them so Paul had to do a bit of maintenance.

Gary and Carolyn on Inca
 We also did some maintenance on Falcon, giving her a wash down on both sides.
Yesterday morning friends​ Gary and Carolyn came passed us on their boat Inca. Not seen them for a couple of years. We had a matter and they
Paul's fish and chips!
Moved on. We are headed in the same direction, so we may see them again.
We had to stay put as we had booked cinema tickets for that afternoon. Odeon Silver Screen. If you are over 55 its only £3 for ticket and cuppa with biscuit! Love a bargain! We went to see Sully. The story of the plane that landed on the Hudson River back in 2009. Tom Hanks played Sully, the pilot that landed it. Very interesting and thought provoking film.  We both thoroughly enjoyed it.
So this morning we moved on and have returned to The Plough for lunch and internet. As you can see large portions. Paul is concerned as he hasn't got his tartar sauce. Only problem, not enough room for desert!
Well with the sun shining we will stay here tonight and move on in the morning.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Return to Tamworth

We left Tamworth on Tuesday having found that our waste tank was rather full and we needed to move on to Kings Orchard Marina for a pump out!  in the end we didn't get there until Wednesday as we didn't have time to reach them before closing time!

No its not upside down, its a picture of the water!
So Tuesday night we stopped at Huddesford and on Wednesday morning we visited The Plough where we had a lovely breakfast.  It was so lovely that we didn't eat again until the evening!
Having reached the marina I decided to do some washing and then we decided we would return to Tamworth for a couple of nights.  We are still waiting for Colwich Lock to reopen so we can continue northward.


Getting water by Fazeley Junction
We spent a night at Hopwas on the return trip.  A small village, no shops but 2 pubs! One each side of the canal.  So now we are back in Tamworth and will probably be here until Wednesday.  At the moment Paul is watching the rugby.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Coventry Canal

At the moment the weather seems to be very changeable.   We seem to get one lovely sunny spring day followed by a day of pouring rain. Not a complaint though as we have a rest day followed by a cruising day!

Look carefully at the white dots. They are swan not sheep!
We have traveled the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal all the way from Birmingham to, yes you guessed, Fazeley!
Over the 5 days we have come down another 17 locks. There are a few more
Market Drayton footbridge. The theme park is just alongside the canal.
Not open until Easter.
Boats on the move, not sure if that is due to the weather or the area.
Having left evidence of the big city behind us since Thursday afternoon
Fazeley Junction, just joining the Coventry Canal

The scenery has been very rural. Passing just small villages and a very large water park made from disused gravel pits.
Just before lunch we turned at the junction onto the Coventry Canal which will lead us on to the Trent and Mersey. We are on the outskirts of Tamworth, so tomorrow it will be down with the bikes and a cycle off to the shops!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Leaving Birmingham

Working down the 13 Farmers Locks
Well for once we stuck to the plan, leaving Birmingham yesterday. It was dry when we started out down the Farmers Locks flight of 13 locks.
It is sleeting. Look carefully Falcon is there!

It wasn't long though before the rain started! Which at times turned to sleet. The locks were all empty too which meant we had to fill them first, just takes a bit longer. We completed all 13 in 2 hours so were very pleased with that. Stopped for lunch, some very welcome hot soup. Whilst there we had a video call from Lorraine. Yesterday was her birthday. It was lovely to chat and see her too.
The rain had stopped meanwhile, just about long enough for us to get going again for the remaining 8 locks of the Ashton flight.
Having worked very few locks since November it was in at the deep end!
Not going anywhere today, although we have walked to Aldi this morning. (Other supermarkets are available). Moving on again tomorrow. More locks ahead but more spread out.


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Away and back again


Our mandarin neighbour
We finally set off out of Birmingham on Thursday getting as far as Bournville. Yes the chocolate village and home to Cadbury World. We have been there before so didn't venture that side of the canal. On Friday we got the train to the NEC to the 50 Plus Show. We were more interested in seeing the NEC really but it
Lisa came to visit
was a good day out.
Spent the next few days cruising southwards towards Alvechurch arriving there on Monday. The lovely mandarin duck was our neighbour for a few days. My cousin Carole came
Tonight's mooring
to see us on Wednesday with her friend Sandra who lives near Alvechurch.
Thursday saw us heading back towards Birmingham in the midst of Storm Doris. All was well until we came out of Wast Hill Tunnel to find a tree across the canal. CRT were unable to help until the next morning so fortunately we were able to cut our way through as neither of us wanted to spend the night in a cutting with trees either side of us. So with another overnight stop at Bournville we arrived back in Birmingham on Friday morning.  Just in time as Lisa arrived in the afternoon to spend the night. She came with our mail and in the evening we went to see A Judgement in Stone at the Alexandra Theatre.
At the moment the plan is to stay here until Tuesday and then start slowly heading north. But weather forecast could change all that!