Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last Night on the Cut

Just got back on the boat after dinner at The Anchor Pub, which is just north of Nuneaton on the Coventry Canal.

Tomorrow we have to be back at the hire base at 8.30am!

It has been a fantastic trip with great weather, I even have a tan, something I avoid at all cost back in OZ, we have done 115 miles in the week so am feeling a bit buggered! I feel when you hire a boat you have to keep moving as much as possible, we have stopped at pubs every lunch and dinner time.

I envisage when we live on a boat as a CCr it will be a lot less hectic with a lot more time to have a look around towns and villages that you pass.

Really enjoyed seeing lots of dogs on the boats, being walked along the towpath and being in most of the pubs.

Tomorrow I pick up a hire car and are off to Luton to catch up with old school friends, Saturday is mothers surprise 80th Birthday party and then Sunday off to Macclesfield.

One thing that I have really noticed is that with the strength of the Aussie dollar, England seems incredibly cheap, Its like going to Bali!!  

I will post pics and do a more detailed account of my week on the hire boat when I get back to OZ 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cruise day 5

We turned last night and stopped outside the The New Inn on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Up early today as we head off back to Nuneaton.

Having a great time but no time to blog properly as we have to make the most of each day and the last thing I want to do is sit writing and down loading photos.

I will put the photos on when I get back to OZ.

My phone has gave up the ghost so I will get a new one on Friday when we are back in civilization.

Really  bad news about Tom and Jan and NB Waiuroa, Ben Harp and Co are really nasty pieces of work, why would you trash the boat! His business is dead in the water.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

NB Dove Valley

We are on the third day of our narrow boat adventure - so far so good, we are having a ball !

We are in a pub at Weedon at the mo and they have high speed internet so I can blog at last, but I left the camera cable on the boat so I cant add any pics.

A bit of excitement today as we were rammed by a private boat today who pushed us into another boat, but no damage done and he did apologise.

So this is the first time we have seen any news as we haven't listened to any TV or radio. Looks like we missed some pretty bad news what with The Norwegian Nutter and poor old Amy Winehouse.  Our biggest news story was that yesterday we saw a bull with the biggest bollocks I have ever seen!!!

I will try and put some pics on when we can get the dongle gadget working  I've got some good pics of me driving the boat side by side from lock to lock with a private boater; first time I have done that, certainly saves time.

More to come later..... Oxford UK

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rough Start to UK Trip

We live about 35ks from Sydney airport and normally I get a cab to the airport, but as I had a late afternoon flight and was in no hurry I thought I would use public transport.

Had a bit of a lie in and then we took the dogs for a walk down to Manly and had a nice breakfast. Just after 12.15 El took me down the wharf and I got on the Manly Ferry to the city, I have done this trip hundreds of times over the last 30 years and always enjoy it. They have a standard PA announcement about staying inside if its a bit rough, but today the captain came on the PA system and said they everyone must be inside and all doors would be locked due to very rough seas between the heads. The heads are the entrance to Sydney Harbour, North and South Head, and as such the area between the heads is open to the sea and can get very rough! He basically said that it will be be very rough so don't panic and HOLD ON!! Man he wasn't kidding it was bloody great it only lasts for about 10 minutes out of the 35 minute trip but it is just the best roller coaster ride, and all for $6.00.

After that is is a very short walk across to the railway station and a quick trip to the International terminal.

It then got a lot better as I got upgraded to Business I am up on the top deck with the flat bed etc, so I will get a good sleep.

I am writing this from the business lounge with all the free trimmings as in beer, wine and food etc

I am going to enjoy this flight.      

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

UK Trip

I am off to the UK tomorrow courtesy of Qantas, not a bad flight only 23.05 hours!!

The main reason is my mothers 80th Birthday.

We have also hired a narrowboat out of  Nuneaton for 7 days, don't know where we will go yet.

Hopefully I will bring the Aussie winter with me...its blue skies and 20 degrees here today. But if the weather is crap who cares, I am on my hols.

We haven't got a lap top yet so blogging  may cease for a few weeks but I am sure Elaine will put a few Aussie stories on it.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Balmoral Beach

We took the dogs for a Sunday afternoon stroll along Balmoral Beach.
Balmoral is one of Sydney Harbour's more affluent suburbs, which is situated on the harbour across from Manly.
It has a nice boardwalk to walk along and is normally very busy on a Sunday, but today's weather was a bit 'how-ya-goin' (Aus slang for a bit dodgy) so there were not many people about.
It has a very nice harbour pool which is protected by a shark net! There has not been a fatal shark attack on Sydney harbour since 1963, and she probably would not have died if the ambulance hadn't got stuck at the bottom of a very steep hill leading down to the harbour.  Poor lady died of blood loss by the time she got to hospital, mind you it did bite her leg off!  Since then all of the harbour pools have had protective shark nets installed!
Also at Balmoral beach are a couple of very nice (and expensive) restaurants, Anthony has said he will treat us to a Sunday lunch before he returns to the UK, should only set him back about $500.00!!   (Is that OK, Trev?)

Walking dogs on beach....hanging offence!!
Middle Head lighthouse
Manly Ferry crossing Sydney Heads
Its warmer in the water!!!
View along part of Balmoral Beach
looking across to Manly
Large Fig Tree, plus Ant, Elaine, Bombo and Sam!
Balmoral Harbour pool
El and the boys
Bathers Pavilion Restaurant
Shall we jump the gap?
So, why can't I go on the beach?
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Huge Sydney Surf

We have had 7 days of massive surf, coupled with an offshore breeze makes for some fun days for the intrepid surfers.

Also makes for a nice bouncy trip across the harbour on the Manly Ferry.

The swell is supposed to get bigger by the weekend, I will go and get some shots if it does.

looks like fun.....not

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Monday, July 11, 2011

UK Trip

I am off to the UK next week to surprise  my mother on her 80th birthday.

It will be a nice change to go in July as for the past 12 years I have been going over there every November!
Not that I chose November but that is when the Marine trade show METS is on in Amsterdam and if I am going to travel 12000 miles I may as well make the most of it and catch up with family and friends back home in the UK. It is always a rush though as we also catch up with a few suppliers in the UK.

So this trip will be different as there will be no work whatsoever - just fun, fun, fun - which will entail a week on a narrow boat with family plus catching up with old school friends in Luton and other friends in Macclesfield .

I have put some pics below of our last canal holiday.....The K&A  in November 2009

Nice Hire Boat virtually new

A Bit Wet!

Brother Russ on the tiller
Perfect place to live

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Poor Old Geoffrey

The hot sun in OZ can be very damaging to us humans and Australia has one of the highest incidents of skin cancer in the world.  But at least we are well educated on the subject and are encouraged to "Slip Slop Slap" as in "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat" when venturing out in the sun.

Our poor old furry friends are not as smart, especially the cats, who love laying in the blazing sun at every opportunity.

Geoffrey our oldest puss has been doing this for the last 18 years and is now paying the price!  The problem is he is a ginger and white cat, making the sunburn problem much worse - especially on his ears and nose which don't have a lot of protective fur.

About 5 years ago he had the tips of both ears removed because of skin cancer but just recently it has come back with a vengeance to his starboard ear (nautical link).  Yesterday he had radical surgery to completely remove the said ear. The vet was very positive and reckons we should get another couple of years out of the old boy.  He was purring away when I picked him up from the vet, he is such a strong and lovely puss.

One thing is certain, he wont get burnt to a crisp in the English summer!
Geoffrey with a full set of ears

stbd ear gone

The fur will grow back

He is still a handsome boy
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Monday, July 4, 2011

A weekend away ...

This weekend, Paul, Anthony, Bombo and Sam (2 dogs!) and myself (Elaine) went down south for a bit of a mini- break - and to show Anthony (our nephew here on a 'working holiday') some sights other than this end of town!

So - on Saturday morning we headed off for Sussex Inlet (click this link for more info!)  Sussex Inlet is about 3 hours drive from our place - so it was a little 'road trip' too !

This is a pic of the view down the coast - when we stopped for a cuppa (and a guilty cake!)

... and here is our lovely - doggy friendly - cottage.  We stayed at a place called Calm Waters Holiday Cottages which are 5 restored 1940's classic beach style cottages with panoramic water views. 

The view from our cottage !
Sussex Inlet is set on a waterway between St Georges Basin and the sea.  Much of the town is built around a system of tidal canals (just to get our canal fix before we can get to the UK !) 

Anthony capturing the moment !
Ah - the serenity !
Black Swan

Bit of local wildlife !  Last time we saw them along the edge of the water ... 
... but this time they were in the 'bottlo' car park !!!!
We took a little boat out on the water ... it was such a beautiful 'winter's' day - as you can see the dogs have their winter woolies on as it was just a bit breezy when we got goin ... !
Ant and Paul (plus 'crew-dogs' Sam and Bombo)

 The local rescue boats ... 
I (Elaine) had a go at driving the thing as Paul reckoned it was similar to the way a Narrow boat feels - well, let's just say I am not a 'natural boater' and I didn't much like driving that little vessel !  However, I am assured that Narrowboats handle very differently ... hmmmmm !  An had a drive too but he was really good - just a few pointers on speeding and 'not creating wash' from Paul !
Pelican ... can't be a comfy position??
Ant and Sammy 
Percy Pelican in flight ! 
and again !  They really are dinosaurs aint they ?
Capt Paul and Sam and Bombo 
Rescue boats again 
Elaine and Sammy
Sam was loving checking out the wildlife !
We drove back home via Berry and Kangaroo Valley (click links for more info) - Ant was flagging by the time we got to Kangaroo Valley and was snoozing with Bombo in the back of the car (these poms just can't handle the 'road trips'!!)   In Berry we always stop at our favourite shop - Barking Mad, Berry - which is a brilliant doggie boutique !  We couldn't resist (well I couldn't) buying Sammy a 'bubble' coat for when we get into the cold weather of the UK !  He looks so cool in it .. has a little fur lined hoodie too (detachable, of course) !!!  He will be the talk of the cut ! We will get Bombo a doggie Driza Bone as he has a lot of fur to keep him warm, whereas Sammy is a bit sparse in the fur-department ! 
Whistler Chocolate Hoodie
Sammy's new coat ! 
I know - I'm sad - but it is soooo cute !  Mind you, I can't remember seeing any dogs wearing coats in the UK last year !  They will definitely stand out like the pampered pooches they are, trotting along the tow path ! 
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