Saturday, 26 February 2011

Trolly Bridge.

The title refers to Masters Bridge (58) on The Oxford Canal near Rugby. It seems to attract more trolleys being thrown into the canal than anywhere else on the system. Paul pulled two out and we dragged those back down the path to Tescos. We did chat to a BW man who comes regularly to throw a rope with a grappling hook attached to trawl stuff out from under this bridge. This is one he found earlier which looks like a boat has run over it.


Also during the heavy rain muddy water gushes down from the road drains here straight into the canal. No wonder the canals get so silted up. The towpath is not much better at the moment, as it is just a long line of large muddy puddles for us to negotiate. We don’t mind it being freezing cold, or very hot, then at least it is all dry. It’s just when everything is so muddy that we get a bit bogged down and walking anywhere is not so much fun.

A Slippery Question!

Why is it that men wear their slippers until the insides are worn out, there are holes in the toes and the soles are hanging off? They casually say that they will have to get some new ones, but never do! So, we go out and buy some new ones for them , then they will not part with the old ones.

The solution is to sabotage their slippers when they are not looking rendering them almost un-wearable. 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A faster mode of transport.

Yesterday we hired a car for a days outing to visit Bottles parents as it was their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. What a great achievement, today not many people manage so many happy years together, do they?  We had the added advantage of having sat-nav in the car and were directed on our way by a  ladies voice who politely asked us to ‘please’ turn at the next junction etc. On the way back she forewarned of traffic congestion on the M1 and guided us on a more scenic route back which didn’t take any longer than the trip down via motorways. We took them out for lunch, then returned for a long chat over tea and cake.

Today our friends eventually arrived after overcoming the evil ‘Diesel Bug’ that was residing in their boats fuel tank. They were fortunate enough to grind to a halt near Clifton Cruisers wharf where they received excellent service. They drained most of the diesel from their tank, added Soltron to control the bugs, then refilled the tank with fresh diesel cleaned up and fitted all new filters.  Clifton Cruisers treat their tank that they supply boaters from. Our friends arrived here bringing the sunshine with them. As usual we gossiped over afternoon tea and tomorrow we will hopefully celebrate the end of their troubles over a meal at the pub together.

Being a sunny day and also half term everyone has been along the canal-side feeding the ducks and seagulls. Unfortunately when the gulls flew off over our boat they spattered it with their droppings, ugh! So some of the boat got washed this afternoon, the rest I will do tomorrow. The weeping willow trees are sprouting new leaves and the squirrels have been practicing their acrobatics over them.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

These Boots were made for Walking.

IMG_0001 Sketchers Boots

Well I just had to treat myself to a pair of these after reading all the bumf on them.

The labels proclaim ‘Leading Podiatrists, Fitness Experts and Medical Research have confirmed that proper footwear may reduce stress, increase weight loss, relieve tension, tone muscles and burn calories! A great alternative to the gym. Wearing a pair on your daily routine, every step may have a positive impact on your legs and buttocks, maximising your calorie-burning potential while strengthening underused muscles.’

As I do a lot of walking I thought these were ideal and they are extremely comfortable and keep my feet very warm too. I don’t know if they will do all that is claimed of them as I noticed they slipped in the word ‘may’ do all of these things. Well I have tested them out and they are brilliant, so what are they called I here you ask, Skechers Tone Ups.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie.

IMG_0002Yesterday we took a circular walk around Hillmorton and look how beautiful the flowers are under the trees in the churchyard. Then up to the excellent little shop for a few necessities.


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The church looked rather weather-beaten in places and this patched up wall contained quite a variety of brick and stone.


IMG_0001Today was rather windy, cold and showery at times so we stayed in to make one of Bottles favourite dishes, lemon meringue pie. It was a joint effort and it must have been good. The gang came round  in the afternoon and devoured the lot, then asked for more!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Rag Rug.

IMG_0004 Rag RugMy rag rug is progressing very slowly as you can see. Every two rows of the same colour represents one tee shirt. Having chopped up our old ones I am now having to trawl the charity shops hereabouts for more material. There are a good half a dozen shops in Rugby and in Daventry, some of which have 50p rails outside, so there are some real bargains to be had. I bought the metre of hessian and a rugging hook for a fiver when we were down in Leighton Buzzard. I tried the hook which wasn’t a great success as I think it is really intended for making wool rugs. So I tried a crotchet hook which was a bit better. Then I saw this weird handle with a wire loop attached ( another CS acquisition) and it is brilliant for speeding along the rows. Here is a 50p  lavender colour nightdress already chopped and ready to go. So we are looking forward to next winter when I hope it will be gracing our saloon floor, maybe!

Has anyone else had a go at rag-rug making, if so how did you get on? It is a very satisfying and calming thing to do in the evenings by the Squirrel.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Surprise, surprise!

When Betty and I returned from Rugby this afternoon we all thought it was our turn for the afternoon get together. But, no Paul said he had been busy in the kitchen and had a cake in the oven. So we all piled into his boat, and when he he took the cake out of the oven it was a surprise to see that it already cool and had layers of cream through it!  We were treated to coffee, cake, and afterwards alchofrolics too. Well done Paul, we knew you had hidden talents.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Moving on.

After a week near the building site at Rugby being sandblasted by the wind blowing dust and sand all over Oakfield, we decided to move on. We stopped at the watering hole to fill the empty camels humps and wash some of the sand off the boat, turned by Willow wren, then made our way southwards. It was an ideal day for cruising along in the sunshine, made even better because the wind had dropped too. It felt so good as we drifted along sipping hot drinks and nibbling biscuits. Other boaters had obviously thought the same thing and we met quite a few on the move today.

IMG_0004 Hillmorton Bottom Lock We arrived at Hillmorton Bottom Lock to see that BW were just finishing off the installation of the lock gates and beginning to pack everything up. 

IMG_0003 Cast Iron Lockgates £40,000The bottom pair of cast iron  lock gates were removed last October and taken away for refurbishment at a cost of £40,000 so the BW workman told me. They are grade two listed and only one other pair are still in existence, the others are at Claydon. They were installed 170 years ago, will they last as long again I wonder?  Btw a set of new oak lock gates costs from £15,000 to £20,000 to make.

IMG_0005 BIG BollardHe was just fitting the new metal handle to the top of the beam as we passed through the lock on the far side. Looks as though BW have done a good job here, don’t the new gates look splendid? Now that is what I call a nice substantial bollard standing in the foreground of this picture! We were just enjoying afternoon coffee with ‘boat cake’ when Gosty Hill came alongside to tend to our fuel needs. We commented that this is one of the rare occasions when he has visited us during daylight hours! After chatting awhile we saw them off with a big chunk of boat cake for their tea, as they work such long hours.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Coventry 4.

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This Elephant carrying a Castle on it’s back appears on Coventry Cities Coat of Arms and signifies strength apparently. The Latin inscription underneath reads “Camera Principis” which translates as the Princes Chamber. Some remains of the 11 century castle and it’s wall are still visible.

IMG_0056 Golden Cross Inn c1583 jettied upper floors IMG_0055 Bayley Lane c1500 Medieval

We meandered down Bayley Lane and saw The Golden Cross Inn a medieval timber framed building with oversailing or jettied upper floors. Further down the quaint cobbled lane stood another cottage built c1500 with lovely carved woodwork.

IMG_0047 The Flying Standard

This magnificent building is The Flying Standard and is one of  Wetherspoon’s Inns. The inn sign had a painting of a Standard car on it.

From here we ventured up to see the two Cathedrals', there was a charge to go into the new one so I went in by myself. The old Cathedral had been bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940 and was just a shell.The new one was completed right next to it on an unusual North South orientation in 1962. Everything about the new building is very modern, the large tapestry above the alter, the religious inscriptions on big stone tablets along the walls and the huge southern glass wall etched with angels. There were two circular side chapels one of which had an angular mosaic floor. The stained glass windows contained many small square or rectangular slabs stretching from floor to roof. Below the baptistery window was the font, a large round boulder brought from Bethlehem with a shell cut into the top for holding the water. On my way out a lady in a long beige robe asked me if I liked what I saw and I said no, it all looked rather extravagant and overwhelming. She said, “oh that is sad”, so I asked her why and how much had it all cost. She didn’t know, so I told her I would rather visit a tiny remote chapel somewhere a little more modest and meaningful. Sorry there are no images for this as photography was not allowed. We then strolled around the peaceful remains of the old Cathedral which would be a great place for a picnic on a hot summers day.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Covenrty 3rd Selection.


We liked this busy little garage complete with all it’s enamel signage.

IMG_0020   IMG_0013 

There was a small section of the museum devoted to war and the effects of all the bombing. It was fairly dark with flashing lights, sound effects and smoke which made it feel quite realistic. The cycling sign reminded me of  an old friend who had been taken to court for not having any lights on her bicycle and fined 2/6d.

IMG_0039 Rover 3.5  IMG_0040 Jaguar

Here are two more posh cars for you all to swoon over. The 3.5 litre Rover was immaculate, had only done 50,000 miles and was taxed until the end of January 2011.

Well the wind is still rocking us and the washing is gently swinging itself dry on the rails. The Squirrel seems to be burning better though with a good breeze whistling around the chimney. We toddled along the muddy towpath with our friends for an enjoyable evening meal at the pub yesterday. Needless to say the portions were larger than we are use to, so we won’t be eating much today!

When we came up here we passed the new marina at Barby which has been dug out but now at a standstill. There are plans to build one not that far from it at Onley too. Now nb Epiphany reports that there are also plans to build one on the Oxford Canal at Cropredy. Marinas seem to have been springing up like mushrooms in the last few years. Many marinas that we have passed in our travels seem to lacking in customers, so how many more do we really need? If boaters are no longer working persons, how are they to afford the high prices that marinas are charging anyway? We try to avoid re-fuelling in marinas too as their prices are also far to high.  Long may the fuel boats continue to trade providing us with reasonably priced fuel and coal, even though there are moves for them to pay an even higher licence.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Coventry 2nd Selection.

Well it has all been very rock and roll on the boat since the wind got up yesterday. So we are staying in the warm being cosy for most of the the day.

IMG_0045 BentleyHere are a few more cars from the Transport Museum trip for you, another Bentley.

IMG_0036 Tyrell A Tyrell unusually sporting six wheels which I understand was not very successful.

IMG_0033 Kieft 1954 Turner 500cc engine

    IMG_0032 Hazlewoods

This little car is a Kieft built in 1954 with a 500cc Turner engine. The complicated looking Motorbike is by Hazelwood's.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Yesterday we walked the mile or so over the railway bridge into Rugby to catch the Coventry bus. On arrival there we made our way to the Transport Museum. The first car we saw on entry was this rather splendid Bentley in racing green. I would have enjoyed a ride around the country lanes in that I think.

IMG_0044 Bentley

Entry to the museum is free but donations can be made at various places en-route. So we did as we found the museum was brilliantly managed and laid out with plenty of information accompanying each exhibit.

IMG_0042 Swift

This nice little two seater Swift had a winding handle at the front which brought back happy memories of my father struggling to get his car engine to turn when it wouldn’t start! The displays are laid out brilliantly and we mingled with several school groups who were very excited and making drawings and descriptions of the exhibits. I think we managed to see everything in a couple of hours, then we were ready for a coffee. To my surprise the coffee shop had a used books corner for a donation to charity I found My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, so I was very pleased. The friendly enterprising young lad running the coffee shop also organised cycle rides for charity according to the news cuttings and photos of him on the notice board.

Afterwards we walked across the city in the direction of the cathedrals passing by the statue of Lady Godiva. She was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia in the 11 century. Coventry people complained of the high taxes he imposed on them and Lady Godiva pleaded with him to reduce them. He replied that she could ride naked through the town before he did so. She accepted his challenge and this statue was erected in 1949 commemorating her famous ride.

Lady Godiva