Monday, 24 December 2012

All lit up.

IMG_2459 lights up

We have gone all Christmassy at last with our colourful led lights up and tiny tree, which you may just be able to see on the left. On Friday we met Paul and Lynne at our favourite watering hole to enjoy a cooked breakfast together, Daventry was buzzing, with shoppers everywhere especially around the street market. The bus was held up through Rugby and the abundance of traffic made the bus quite late arriving back. 


After continuously raining Friday night and all day Saturday it was nice to have a dry day on Sunday. So, we decided to go for a long walk round. The stream running through the golf course had overflowed reaching right up to the horses field, No playing golf for a while then!IMG_2452 track laying train

Because the towpath was fairly muddy in places we walked along Butlers Leap Road and under the railway bridge. There are many disused railway tracks all around Rugby and this track laying train was being stored on one of them. The river running alongside the road was quite swollen with the muddied water was running pretty fast. We finally reached Tesco's car park where we were heading to take our glass jars for recycling. It is a shame that there aren’t more recycling facilities along the canal for boaters to use,

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas.

Greetings to all our family, friends, fellow boaters and bloggers, hope you have plenty of good cheer on board to keep you warm and cosy over Christmas and New Year! We will be thinking of you all and will be raising a glass aboard here on our own-some. Here’s hoping we can all meet up more often during 2013.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Hair on the Cut!


Whilst continuously cruising it is difficult to find a good hairdresser, but now I can recommend one to you after my visit there yesterday. I picked up a leaflet about it when we went into Clifton Cruisers new cafe, which serves excellent coffee and home made cake, btw.  Have a look at Kate's website to see what she has on offer,

Her little salon is situated at Clifton Wharf which has handy mooring spaces right opposite it. Her prices are very reasonable and she did an excellent job of cutting and re-styling my thin, flimsy hair. You can call her mobile on, zero seven 854 025 seven nine four ( number ‘disguised’ to stop unwanted calls) to make your appointment.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Tesco’s .

It was just over a year ago when I e-mailed Tesco's HQ and visited their Rugby store situated near Masters Bridge 59 at Brownsover about the problem of their trolleys ending up in the canal.. Paul and Bottle pulled out about five trolleys then and we dragged them back in to the shop to show them what happens to them when boats squash them! We took pictures of the pile and posted them on Oakfield's blog. I suggested two possible solutions to their manager, improving their trolley barrier or securing the trolleys by the pound in the slot idea. Sadly neither options have been taken up by them. Whenever I go to shop there I take any stray trolleys back. The last one I took I filled with all the takeaway rubbish that I collected en-route down the footpath.

I walked along there last week and an old working boat ‘Admiral’ had snagged on something lurking in the water under the bridge. and nb Beefur was kindly helping to tow it back to free it from the obstruction. With the two boat engines revving fully they managed to move it.

Then we saw the photos of what had been pulled out of the canal by ‘someone’ and piled on the towpath. There are pictures of the mangled pile of trolleys on nb Derwent 6 Blog and also on nb Like Ducks to Water  blog.

Several boat owners have reported snagging their boats on trolleys under this bridge, but still Tesco refuse to resolve their problem. I despair, as all they seem to be interested in is their profit, but how much is this reduced by losing so many trolleys, I wonder?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Blogging friends 4.


              IMG_2447 Ben           IMG_2449 Rugby

I was a bit taken aback when I opened the side door this morning to find our neighbours friendly dog Ben was waiting there  hoping to play games. Lovely dog isn’t he?

We had had a call from our blogging friends moored ooop north wanting to meet us for a Christmas get together. They had a hired a car to visit their family and we arranged to meet in our favourite watering hole, Wetherspoons. Lynne and Paul from nb Piston Broke were also joining us. As it was a lovely bright dry morning, so we decided to forego the bus journey and walk into Rugby. It only took us half and hour and was quite a pleasant walk. Of course we saw that many of the big houses along the route were competing with each other displaying Christmas trees in their bay windows. Rugby was busy as usual, the street market is held on Monday. The little book shop was reminiscent of  'Dickens Old Curiosity Shop’ with its bow windowpanes sprayed with snow.

IMG_2448 Betty and Graham After six years of living afloat, continuously cruising on their narrow-boat Tranquility Graham and Betty have decided to become landlubbers again. We have spent quite a bit of time cruising with them and enjoyed mooring up together overwinter too, so we will miss them. Anyway the six of us had plenty of news to catch up on, so it was over two hours later when we emerged to go our separate ways. We took the opportunity to visit Morrison's and Asda while we were there, then to my surprise Bottle suggested walking back, so we did!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Hunkering down.


          IMG_2433 frostpatterns                IMG_2436

As we have been in the firm grip of the icy canal we stayed put inside Oakfield with our books and internet for company. There were lovely icy patterns all over the cratch (front) window which took ages to eventually melt, but we were warm and snug inside.

      IMG_2435   IMG_2438               

Our water pump located under the front step had been making a different noise than it usually does. We were glad that we had fitted an isolating switch at Paul's suggestion and would recommend that all boats should have one. It is the white thing in the foreground that can be easily flicked off in order to carry out repairs. So out came the toolbox and Bottle had it in bits and discovered the tiny water leak had been causing the problem. This kept him ‘amused’ for most of the morning, Paul rang up and offered his advice on the matter. (Thanks Paul) He also told us that a mans body had been found, early that morning, in the icy canal at Crick Wharf, poor soul.


Although this scene across the field looks like it is covered in snow, it is in fact thick white frost. 

IMG_2443 Butty Thule with its engine boat Ultima make a nice pair!

The ice melted a little yesterday and narrow-boat Tui managed to scrunch it’s way through towards Hillmorton. Today it has warmed up a bit, but the rain and the winds are so strong that we will not be moving just yet.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Blogging friends 3.


IMG_2426 Christmas bday lunch

On the twelfth of the twelfth at twelve o’clock, eight of us met up to celebrate two Birthdays and enjoy an early Christmas lunch together. We joined Del and Al of nb Derwent6 and took two buses over to Crick and met up with Paul and Lynne, nb Piston Broke and John and Angela, nb Ellen. So, here we are having pulled our crackers, suitable imbibed with lovely hot mulled wine, about to enjoy our succulent Turkey roast. The two Birthday boys are deep in conversation at the far end of the table, I wonder what was so important?

IMG_2429 Red Lion Inn

The Red Lion Inn was all cosy and warm with the colourful festive decorations all around. A big thank you to Lynne for organising a table for us all on this special occasion, which we enjoyed very much.

             IMG_2430 Crick               IMG_2427

There was a quaint little coal fire glowing over in the corner with the emblem of the pub warming himself on the mantle piece above. The picture on the right is a mystery item which was hanging on the wall above our table. Can anyone guess what it is ?

IMG_2421 bus shelter

When we left mid afternoon it was still freezing cold, even the spider webs were still looking like strings of pearls in the bus shelter. The fields, trees and bushes had all turned white and stayed that way all day. Maybe we will take it easy tomorrow and spend the day on board and keep our glowing Squirrel company!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Blogging friends 2.


             IMG_2412 Stein_Jacquie               IMG_2420 Brownsover Tap

As we were about to move on, we noticed that narrow-boat ‘Like Ducks 2 Water’ had pulled in and went along to say a quick ‘hello’. Jacquie and Stein then kindly invited us on board for coffee and to see their lovely new boat. It was beautifully furnished and looked very cosy with all the Christmas decorations up, Of course we chatted about our various cruising experiences and other boaty things. It was lovely to meet them at last and we hope to see them again on our travels.

IMG_2414 Bronsover Tap

Despite reporting the state of the bank by the water tap at Brownsover last year, nothing had been done about it. Perhaps I’ll have another try and e-mail the Canal and River Trust before this muddy bank erodes away any further. We decided to pass on by and fill up the water-tank on our way back.

IMG_2416 Willow Wren Bridge

So, we carried on along to turn by the Willow Wren Bridge seen here in the distance. There were five boats resting on their winter moorings here between the two narrows.

IMG_2413 Brownsover

There are Elsan and waste facilities here in the park at Brownsover. We managed to scrape the bottom of the boat on something when we passed under Masters Bridge. I wonder what that could have been?

IMG_2410 Mr Kiplings roundabout

On walking past Mr Kipling's roundabout we found his cup cakes were looking very patriotic and Christmassy!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Blogging friends.


We waited for Mark on Callisto to come by with some coal and diesel for us before moving on. He said he had been breaking ice in some places to get through. We really do  appreciate his services in wintertime. but will buy from him all year round whenever we are on his route.



Nb Valerie had past us earlier on and we found that they had moored just around the corner. We follow their travels via their blog and had only been within waving distance on previous occasions. So we hoped we would meet up properly further on. They did catch us up the next day and came aboard for a long chat over coffee. It was lovely to meet Les and Jacquie at last and get to know each other a little bit. It was very interesting to hear about their recent travels to America and how our two countries differ in many ways.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Icy chill.


Red sky in the morning, Shepherds warning, so they say.  Well Jack Frost had run his icy fingers over everything during the night.

               IMG_2377          IMG_2388

However the sun appeared and a hire boat came past later nice and slowly, breaking the ice, which meant the swans could paddle along in search of food.

            IMG_2381        IMG_2386

The Longhorn cows and calves even came around to do a bit of sunbathing later. They seem to move very slowly and we were pleased to have such unusual neighbours.


After my lovely roast dinner aboard I had a brisk walk along to Tesco in Rugby. The towpath was hard and still frosty, so no squelchy mud to negotiate. The layer of ice over the canal had melted away in most places.


Derwent 6 was looking cosy with smoke curling out of the chimney, then I met Del and Al  who were down in Tesco. Unfortunately their calorifier (hot water tank)  has sprung a leak and they will be replacing it as soon as possible. Not really the time of year to be doing this sort of thing, anyway we hope it all goes well for them.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


      IMG_2358 Clifton-upon-Dunsmore 2000 IMG_2363 St Marys 13c IMG_2365

We had a walk up the hill into the village, en-route we could see the Rugby Cement Factory busy in the distance. As we approached we saw the village Millennium plaque set into a large stone and the Church of St Marys dates back to the 13 century.

IMG_2359 Thatched Cottage

This type of image used to adorn boxes of chocolate, this lovely thatched cottage stands right beside the main road.

IMG_2361 Bull Inn b1598Further on was The Bull Inn originally built as a farmhouse in 1598, but made into a pub some time later. Opposite are three shops, General store, Beauty and Nail Parlour and a Hairdressers. 

IMG_2366 Pill Box

                  IMG_2369 dis railway viaduct

A WW2 Pill Box stands guard over the towpath near Bridge 66 and a disused Railway Viaduct spans the Golf course. It is a shame that these have not been turned into useful cycle-ways as we have seen in other parts of the UK. Maybe they all will when motoring becomes too expensive in the future.

       IMG_2367 near B66                   IMG_2368

The towpath hereabouts is in a sorry muddy eroded state in places.

Friday, 30 November 2012


IMG_2355 Barby MarinaBarby Marina still looked unfinished when we cruised past. Some boats were moored around the edges because the pontoons still haven’t been built up. It looked like the facilities provided consisted of three large red wheelie bins! We said hello to David and Liz as we cruised past them on their permanent mooring along Barby Straight.

IMG_2357 Tarrys bridge 74

Just past Tarry’s Bridge 74 the little row of once derelict outbuildings  have now been completely renovated. We have been keeping an eye on progress whenever we have cruised past.


……and we think they have done  a superb job. Maybe next time we will be able to photograph the little  train and vintage lorry standing in the garden!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Moving on.

IMG_2333We left our lovely mooring in Braunston as we were draining the bottom of the water tank and needed to refill it. We will miss the sheep as they gently wandered too and fro all day nibbling at the grass. Most of them had colourful bottoms, which meant the ram had been busy creating  next years lambs. However we will not miss the quagmire that is the towpath and comes over your boots in places. It is truly amazing just how many people and dogs trample along the towpaths everyday.

IMG_2353Here is a nice example of  of what the canal artist is capable of producing. We wonder if it their dream to cruise along that canal someday, as we also hope to.

          IMG_2322 Snowberries                      IMG_2327 dinner on

It was great to smell the steak slowly cooking all day in our cast iron pot on the Squirrel, yum. I will also be putting some jacket potatoes wrapped in tin foil to cook for 2 hrs down in the ash pan, double yum..