Monday, April 20, 2015

Bosley Locks Revisited

Dot and Gordon are heading back Bolly way so I stupidly gladly offered to give them a hand up the Bosley lock flight.

It really is no hardship as I.M.H.O. it is one of the nicest flights on the canal system.

Rendezvous time was 11.00 am. at the bottom lock.

I  arrived a few minutes early and sat for a while enjoying the quiet and serene atmosphere.

The peace was shattered with the noise of the mighty Beta 43 on full song steaming into view.

It wasn't really it was whisper quiet and they were doing about one knot!

Today was probably one of the nicest days of the year so far, it was shorts and tee shirt weather.

Dot still has a gammy leg so she steered the boat whilst Gordon and myself worked the locks.

I left them at the top lock and headed back to base, they headed to Gurnett aqueduct for the night.

Dot also gave me a goody bag full of smoked salmon and cheese (Smoked on the boat) an incredibly yummy chocolate cake and truffles, all very much appreciated.

I received a call from Dot later as she had arranged an appointment at a Macc Dr to check out the aforementioned gammy leg. The Citroen was quickly converted  to to its patient transport mode and away we went. The patient was quickly transported from boat to surgery and back to Sutton Hall  for a cooling recovery ale.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bloggers Boat, Footy and Formula 1

I spotted NB Cleddau on the morning dog walk, she was moored up on the Bolly aqueduct, we have waved at the owners before when we had Caxton and we showed some friends of theirs around Caxton when they were thinking of buying a Barn Owl boat.

I didn't spot any signs of life. mind you it was early 11.00am.

I noticed the roof has a step up or down depending which way you look at it, I dont recall seeing that on a boat before, perhaps its two boats joined together and it didn't meet in the middle.

I stopped and watched a bit of Sunday footy on the way back to base, it took me back a few years, I played up until I was 53 and loved it, but a neck injury put me out to pasture.

They had no spectators apart from me and the two dogs, we used to pull a crowd of about 30, which mainly consisted of the two teams that had finished before us or the two teams that had a game after us.
Elaine would come and watch very occasionally, but her friend came along and watched quite a few games, the lads always thought that I had two women on the go.

It was fun to watch, listening to the banter and a bit of handbags thrown in, ahh the good old days.

Not much else to report, I made up an ebay ad for the dining table as we are getting closer to the off, we might as well try and get some of our money back on the second hand furniture.

I even watched the Bahrain formula 1 race, it is the first race  have watched in years, I was a regular at the Adelaide Grand Prix right from the start until they lost it to Melbourne in 1995. Keke Rosburg won the first one in 1985 with Damon Hill winning the last race. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rudyard Lake

Twas a lovely day and far too nice to sit in the cottage, so we decided to take the van for a spin to Rudyard Lake near Leek.

Although the sun was out it was still a bit chilly.

After a little walk we decided to head to......

.....Cheddleton home of the Staffordshire steam railway, the trains wern't running but you can still walk around the station, I just love Cheddleton railway station which luckily escaped demolition in 1974 and is now a Grade 2 listed building.

We parked the motorhome in the deserted station carpark so it was an ideal time to check out the alarm on the van, it is the only thing that I haven't checked thoroughly, I am pleased to say the alarm works very well on the doors, bonnet, garage doors and internal sensors. I couldn't really try it at the farm.

We drove back through the superb Staffordshire countryside.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Euro Camping and Aires Books

Today all our Euro trip books arrived, we ordered French Passions, which list vineyards etc to overnight in France, you stay for nothing but hopefully you buy some of their produce,  cant see that being a problem. 

Aires Spain and Portugal  which list sights where you can stay for free or a nominal charge, the idea being you will spend a bit of cash in the village or town, once again not a problem.

ACSI camping card, which lists thousands of sites throughout Europe where you pay either 12, 14, 16 or 18 euros a night and includes the van, passengers, dogs and elec hook up, you cannot use the card in the peak season which is basically July and August.

Aires France which once again is a list of sites which are either free or a nominal charge, you can also empty the waste and fill with water at the aires sites, some charge a few Euros for water. The Aires France book is now so big it is split into 2 books, only motorhomes can stop at Aires the caravanners must stop in official caravan sites.

We also have a Britstops book in the van which list hundreds of mainly pubs but also garden centres and farms where you can stop overnight in the UK for no cost, but once again it is polite to pop in for a pint.

With all these at hand there really is no need to plan a journey, as you will always find somewhere to pull up for the night. 

I have also bought a new Tom Tom euro version as the last one was becoming problematic, Tom Tom is my best friend when out on the road, it makes driving so much easier, especially with the new lane guidance when on multi lane roads. We do take a proper map and use that to get an idea of which way we want to go then pop the info into Mr Tomtom and the rest is a piece of cake.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On Yer Bike!

I took the doggies for a walk up White Nancy this morning, brother Russ said when he went up there he zoomed in on a Vulcan bomber, so I had to check it out.

There it is in the distance an old Vulcan bomber, it is parked up at the old BAE factory at Woodford. The Vulcan bombers were made here along with another famous aircraft the Avro Lancaster.

The site is now owned by JCB and is going to be developed, the white Vulcan is hopefully going on static display somewhere in the development.

Max zoom through the heat haze......yes heat haze!!

Had a chat with a lovely little lamb on the way back.

As I was in a fitness mood I decided to break out the treadlie, I went for a ride along the Middlewood Way, being an old railway line it is flat!

I ended up at Marple 7.5 miles away.

Proof that I made it.

The start of the Macc canal.

I started to tire on the way back, mainly the legs I hadn't ridden a bike in anger for years, so 15 miles on the first run was maybe a bit too ambitious.

By the time I got back I felt quite ill, admittedly I am still recovering from my wog so that may be part of it.

After a good afternoon nap all is well again.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What A Fantastic Day

We left Aynho yesterday and drove back to Bolly, we programmed Tom Tom to avoid motorways and enjoyed a nice run back.

The dogs loved the huge dashboard at the bow to watch the world go by.

I'm not sure that the old bill would approve, we will have to find them another perch.

Later yesterday afternoon Ray and Diane from NB Ferndale arrived, they were sleeping over as today we had a day of great excitement planned.

Thanks to Ray and Diane we had tickets to go and watch one of the most important fixtures of the football season....Man Utd vs Man City at Old Trafford.

This my fourth visit to Old Trafford, but nothing matched the atmosphere of today's game.

The noise inside the packed stadium is deafening, I have never experienced anything like it in any sporting code. 

My skin horripilated with the excitement.

It was a fantastic game.....

.....With the good guys winning 4-2

Game over it was time to join the throng and head back to the car and Bolly.

Once again I cannot thank Ray and Diane enough, it was a most splendid day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Wandering Around Aynho

Our plan for today was to move somewhere between here and Bolly, but I still felt crappy this morning so we decided to stay put.

I even got out of bed early to get an early morning shot of the canal.

Later in the morning we headed off up the canal for a walk, once again it was a stunning sunny day.

The River Cherwell was very calm, we helped a few boats through the lock and had a chat befor heading off up the hill towards the woods.

Our path was blocked by some killer cows, so we back tracked behind the gate, they had calves with them so were in a very protective mood. 

I backed off with the boys while Elaine bonded with the bovines. 

I was happy a few metres back waving at the trains passing on the line below!

On the way back to the van Elaine filled up a bag of litter, its pretty good around here but some dirty bastards still litter.

When we got back to the van I had a play with the self seeking satellite as I couldnt get a fix or pic  last night, I tried to download a manual that apparently contained a virus, so Elaine has spent a good couple of hours cleaning up my laptop.

I moved the van to try a different location to try and get a fix, it was doing my head in until I looked at the control box, it is split into three sections, Northern Europe, Central Europe and Southern Europe, Bollington was Northern Europe and I was trying to lock onto a satellite up north, I hit the Central Europe button and hey presto two mins later Elaine was watching Home and Away! I wasted two hours of my life because it couldn't see the bleedin obvious!