Thursday, 26 September 2013

Our neighbours in Loughborough basin as seen through the kitchen window!

Well this finds us once again in Loughborough having spent a very pleasant interlude with friends.  Dave and Joan joined us as Cossington Lock on Sunday.  A lovely warm and sunny day.  We cruised 3 locks with them arriving in Birstall late in the afternoon.  This was followed by a lovely roast lamb dinner with all the trimmings, with apple pie for desert at their house in the evening.  Monday morning Dave took Paul with him to the flying field and Paul got his hands on the joysticks for a while.  Whilst he was away Sheree and Alec arrived.  So after lunch we winded and headed northward once more.  We thought that the trip back to Loughborough would be much more picturesque than a trip to Leicester.  Also we have time before we need to be at Debdale for blacking in October.  We were lucky enough to see kingfishers as well as heron whilst they were on board.  It was a lovely couple of days with them on board.  It will seem quiet over the next few days going back over the same locks without them.  We will be heading out, back towards Birstall tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Made it into Loughborough on Wednesday after 4 of the big locks on the Grand Union.  Had forgotten how big double locks can be and there wasn’t anyone around for us to pair up with.  Loughborough has a basin within the town with all facilities.  Tesco just a short walk and Thursday was market day.  We moored up and had lunch and as I was about to wash up I looked out of the window to see another boat coming in.  It was Elysium Days, another boat from the June BCN Explorer Cruise.  With Chris and Sue on board.  Had we but known they had been following us up the locks.  We had seen them briefly just coming out of a lock as we set off after a coffee break, but at that point they stopped for lunch so didn’t catch us up.  Too far away to see each other clearly.  So we all spent 2 nights in Loughborough before setting off together yesterday.  Came through 2 locks, so much easier with two.  Not only help with working the lock but with 2 boats in the lock neither boat moves as much.  We are now spending our second night here at Sileby.  It has been a very pleasant interlude sharing time with friends, albeit new friends. 

Sharing Mount Sorrell Lock with Elysium Days

Over the next couple of days we will be catching up with ‘old’ friends.  Tomorrow Paul’s flying buddy Dave and his wife Joan are joining us on board for a short cruise.  They live nearby and we are ending the day with a meal with them.  Weather forecast is good so what could be better.
On Monday Sheree and Alec are joining us for a couple of nights.  All the way from Plymouth.  Via Boston USA!  They seem to think Leicester is on the way home from Heathrow!!  It’s their second visit to us so we must have got something right the first time. 

We will be moving around to and fro the Leicester, Loughborough area a bit over the next couple of weeks.  Falcon is booked in to have her hull blacked on 14th October at Debdale so we have to get our timing worked out!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Didn’t realise a whole week has gone by since I last wrote here.  We have spent a couple of nights in Mercia Marina.  There is a Midland Chandlers there so we managed to spend a lot in there!  Then Paul had the less than pleasant task of replacing the seal on our toilet.  I ‘helped’ by keeping out the way and going off to the launderette to catch up with the washing!  By the time I got back he had finished.  We also caught up with Tony and Jane on The Pearl who we met on the BCN Explorer Cruise back in June.

Looking up the River Trent away from the Canal
So Friday 13th saw us moving on again, arriving on Saturday at Shardlow.    Saturday was quite a busy day for us as having cruised in the morning, after lunch we had a walk to the shop in the village.  Then another walk along the River Trent and back along the Trent and Mersey Canal.  Along the way we picked some blackberries and even found some apples to go with them.  Ending the day with a meal in The Clock Warehouse.  To make up for all that exercise we didn’t go anywhere yesterday!   

So this morning on the move again, along the River Trent, past the mouth of the Derwent and on to the Soar.  The River Soar is part of the Grand Union (Leicester Line).  Tonight we are moored at Kegworth and on our way towards Loughborough.  

Monday, 9 September 2013

Stocked up in Rugeley, Morrisons and Aldi both fairly close to the canal.  Moving on the next day for Fradley Junction.  Where the Trent and Mersey Canal meets the Coventry.  A short cruise along the Coventry would have brought us back to Tamworth where we were in April.  However we are staying on the Trent and Mersey. 

Fradley in the sun when we arrived
We spent 3 nights at Fradley.  The first day it rained a lot although we did get out for a walk in the afternoon in a clear break.  Also managed to pick lots of blackberries which were yummy. 

Armed Forces Memorial

On Saturday we got out the bikes and cycled to the National Memorial Arboretum which is home to the Armed Forces Memorial.  Very humbling to read all the many names of personnel who have died in conflict since the end of WW II.  Yesterday saw us moving on to moor at Alrewas.  We went to the George and Dragon for Sunday lunch.  3 courses for £6!  We know how to live.  It was delicious.  Today, after a visit to the butchers, we are heading on again towards Burton on Trent.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

We set off from Weston on Saturday morning and after 2 locks and a right hand turn at Great Haywood Junction we arrived at Tixall Wide in time to moor for lunch.  Tixall is a favourite place from when we were hiring.  As Wide suggests it is an area of very wide canal, almost like a lake.  We moored behind another boat which was also flying a Devon flag.  Narrow Boat Inca, with Gary and Carolyn from Paignton.  We spent much of the time there chatting to them.  Gary, no I still haven’t looked at your blog but feel you are watching me write this!!
We were busy too for the two and a half days we were there.  Paul painted the hull one side then we polished the side and cleaned the windows.  Then this is where the wide bit comes in, it was easy to turn and moor again to do the same again on the other side of the boat!

So this morning we left Tixall and are now headed towards Rugeley where we will once again stock the cupboards and the fridge.  All this fresh air does give you an appetite.