Thursday, 31 January 2013

Cuddle time.

IMG_2626 B

We have just spent a few days away enjoying ourselves playing with our oldest grandson and having lots of cuddles with our new grandson. IMG_2625 BTravelling down by train we spotted the canal in many of the places where we had previously cruised  on Oakfield. There was still much flooding in the fields, especially around the Tewksbury area. We travelled backwards on the outward journey, but the return journey was much better as we had forward looking seats. As we had a very early morning start we walked to Rugby Station then on to Birmingham rushing across just in time to board the train for Gloucester. A short walk to catch a bus and then another walk after that, phew! At least the weather was kind to us and we didn’t get wet. On the train back from Birmingham we had to stand most of the way as it was crowded. The first class compartment was almost empty. I think it should be made all one class so you can get the seat you have paid for.

We were glad to return to our boat to get the fire going and warm up and settled ourselves down with a hot drink and some toast before crashing into bed exhausted.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Butlers Leap.


IMG_2597 This was the name of the cosy pub just a short walk away from the canal where we met up with Del and Al for our Sunday lunch together. So, no cooking and even better, no washing up to be done, luvly jubbly! OIMG_2596One of the many sculptures on the shelves there was this one and is what your tummy feels like when you have had lunch … and pudding. IMG_2595 The rain and high winds have now taken over and washed the snow away. The last remaining pieces of ice were floating around on the surface of the canal like small islands. The boat is rocking and rolling a bit and the poor birds are finding it difficult to land for their food.IMG_2568

Friday, 25 January 2013

Still snowy.


IMG_2580 BI took a few more pictures when the birds came down for their breakfast this morning.

IMG_2593 B  We still have quite a bit of snow lingering hereabouts and big chunks of ice spread over the canal. We haven;t been out much as the footpaths are icy with compacted snow in places. Hope that you are all keeping cosy and warm, except for our Australian readers, that is!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Jacket Potato.

IMG_2534I think that I have perfected the cooking of the potato in the ash pan of the Squirrel. Roll it in tin foil and making a couple of ‘handles’ each side which enables me to lift it straight out without burning my fingers. it usually takes a couple of hours, depending on how big or scrunchy you like your potato done.

IMG_2548It is tasty with a variety of toppings. Pictured right with Blue Cheese and Cress with my favourite Beetroot on the side. Usually it is whatever comes to hand from the tins in  the cupboard, or fresh stuff that is in the fridge.           What is your favourite snack?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Golden Man.

           IMG_2558                IMG_2557

The snow still lay round about ,deep and crisp and even this morning as we scrunched our way to the bus stop. The skies are grey and the mist was descending over the fields. luckily the roads are fairly clear at the moment. We met up with the ‘gang’ and chatted in the warm with drinks and snacks in the Lawrence Sherriff. Afterwards we went our separate ways to stock up our food supplies. As we emerged from Asda we saw this golden man pretending to be a statue, Don’t know who he was supposed to be, but he had a replica gun in his hand and one in the holster on the right!

IMG_2561 BWell we remembered to buy the birds food and put it out as soon as we got back and the birds noticed it right away. The Blackbirds and Robins are my favourites.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

I don’t believe it!


IMG_2554This morning this boat came tearing through the ice at top speed. No visible licence number, no name,  no windows and devoid of paint above the gunnels.

IMG_2555 Obviously they don’t mind wasting diesel ploughing through inch thick ice scraping their bottom blacking off. Not to mention all the blacking on all the boats that they passed by. Apparently they were in a hurry to get to Hillmorton, for some unknown reason. Some people are so inconsiderate aren’t they?

Monday, 21 January 2013


IMG_2553 B Del and Al came along to visit and after coffee we had  cheese toasties, one of Bottles few specialities! After much chatter we warmed up the bottle of mulled rum punch that was part of my Christmas presents. This filled Oakfield with a lovely aroma, then of course we raised a glass to our new Grandson, lovely jubbly. It was really delicious and gave us all a warm glow inside. Al told us she was on the bus into Rugby yesterday when there were a few mishaps with skidding traffic including the bus. See for the details.


The Blackbirds keep peering into our porthole reminding me that I must get some food for the bigger birds soon. It snowed all day yesterday, now we have about six inches. It was not the usual fluffy snowflakes, but more like tiny balls of ice that descended en-mass.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


         IMG_2529             IMG_2532

Don’t forget to feed our feathered friends and put some water out for them if you can. I forgot to get any fat balls which seems to be their favourite.


This Pigeon managed to sniff out the food which was under the four-ish inches of snow that we have had since yesterday. It had to do a bit of digging around for it though.


  He looks a bit how I feel when I go out, a bit chilly! Of course it may be a female, how can you tell with Woodpigeons?

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snow fun.


It started snowing during the night and I snapped this scene as we walked up over the bridge to catch the bus into Rugby. Our Houdini hatch in the roof over the kitchen was gathering frost on the interior metal surround, then thawing out and dripping on Bottles head when he was doing the washing up. I had bought some double glazing film and we had stuck it up with double sided tape. So our aim today was to buy a hairdryer to heat the film up to make it fit tight. The lowest price hairdryer in Argos was £3.95, ‘cheap as chips’!  We didn’t trust that one though and went for a well known make.

           IMG_2520                 IMG_2518

The lorries had been out and salted the bus routes, but the resulting slush was quite considerable and slippery. This was the scene opposite the bus stop where there was a funeral group going in accompanied by a Piper in a kilt playing his pipes. Some lazy car drivers had piles of snow on their bonnets and half way up their windscreens, so couldn’t see out properly! Most of the waiting bus passengers stand inside Peacocks to keep warm, so we joined them as it was a coldish wind. The bus didn’t arrive so we walked back. Once out of the town the snow was like cotton wool and walking on it was much easier and more fun.


We arrived back at Oakfield and when we opened the front doors the smell of the bread baking was lovely and was ready to take out of the machine. Now we have plenty of food in the cupboards I think we will go into hibernation for a few days and eat our big tin of nuts.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Mystery Man.

IMG_0997 Tramp

We first saw this chap walking the Sharpness Canal towpath towards Gloucester last summer. Well we spotted him again just below Watford Locks heading northwards. Now, just last week, he passed by walking south on the Oxford Canal heading for Braunston. He must be constantly on the move and cover many miles on foot. He seems to have grown a beard for the winter.  Has anyone else seen him on their travels?

… now for some good news.



Our second grandson has chosen this moment to make his appearance into this white world of ours. Of course we are very excited and cannot wait to meet him and  cuddle him close. His brother is delighted and is very eager to start helping out.

            IMG_2515                IMG_2510

Our resident spider Winston’s web is looking a bit weighed down with all the icicles. He is very persistent and has probably gone into hibernation for a while under the cratch cover to keep warm. This lovely painting of castles in the air is on the butty workboat nearby, just to add a bit of colour for a change.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Life in the Freezer.


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Everything is now covered in beautiful frosty crystals and a thin layer of ice lays over the canal. I like this kind of weather where the fragile ice crystals cling to everything, creating  wonderful natural sculptures.


Scrunching over the icy towpath is quite alright if  you can keep moving with that ‘Michelin Man’ look, having donned several layers of everything to keep warm. Anyway I braved the icy chill to snatch a few pics for you to peruse from your cosy armchair.


Can you hear my teeth chattering now ?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Life in the Fridge.


It is chilly outside and the white stuff has begun to fall, but it is toasty and warm here inside Oakfield. Although we like venturing out for the odd day, we seem to be attached by a sort of invisible umbilical cord to get back inside the comfort of the boat. The canal hasn’t frozen over yet, but it may well do later in the week. We have plenty of thing to keep us occupied on board. The pile of books, acquired while perusing the charity shops, is now shrinking slowly. I am also writing my memoirs on the computer which is much easier as I can alter and insert things as I go. The next job will be to sort and arrange all the old family photos to illustrate my ramblings! Luckily my Mother wrote names and dates on the backs of most of them which is proving to be very useful to me now.


The little Moorhens who have made this patch their home left evidence of their visit to us this morning. We have seen the Fox trotting across the nearby field and the Robins and Blackbirds are now relying on us to provide some birdseed for them.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


IMG_2307 It was time for a get-together and mini-banter again now that our boating friends have finished visiting their friends and families joining in all the festivities. We met up with Del+Al, Paul+Lynne to chew over what we had been doing with a late breakfast in Rugby.Then our plans for the year ahead were discussed, it was lovely to see them again now we are all back to normality aboard.

As it was a nice sunny morning we walked into town and to my surprise Bottle bought some new slippers for himself. Special offer two pairs for £8, amazing value, we’ll see how long they will last him. No need to sabotage the old ones this year now then!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Years Day.

IMG_2500 Rugby

Bottle said did I fancy a walk into Rugby, so I said yes, then he said “See you when you get back then!” Anyway we walked there  and I thought maybe he was going to treat me to something in the sales seeing as I had no present to unwrap for Christmas but, surprise, surprise, all the shops were closed. So we did a bit of window shopping instead. Anyway, we found that Wetherspoon’s was bustling with people so we went in to join them.

IMG_2501 wspns Charles Lutwidge DodgsonMost Wetherspoon’s have interesting montage pictures around their walls. This one was about Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll author of Alice in Wonderland. He had spent three years as a schoolboy in Rugby, which he didn’t care for much.

IMG_2502 Clifton Cruisers

On our walk back we spotted this lovely little Burrell Traction Engine in steam being steered around the boatyard at Clifton. It was lovely to get out on a dry day to enjoy a long circular stroll into town. In all our wanderings we probably covered about 4 miles!

A link to where the traction engine is available, you may wish to ensure you are sat down before you see the price.

We have no connection whatsoever with the company.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


IMG_2473This is Pickle.

We took the plunge and jostled with all the motorists rushing around between Christmas and new Year to visit our families. Most of the time was spent unwrapping our presents and  entertaining our Grandson. After all the festivities and good food washed down with drinks, it was time to tackle the chocolates, hmmm. It was exciting to to try out all the toys, especially the Lego and the Marble Run. Bottle and grandson wanted to compare the size of their hands, only a few more years to go to catch up!

IMG_2466 cards                                  IMG_2496 hands After lunch when the rain had been briefly turned off we went walkabout trying out the wellies stamping in all the puddles, which was great fun, for some! It was lovely to see everyone and as we were kept so busy the time went all too quickly. Then we headed across country to visit Bottles parents via the dreaded M25. Although the traffic was fairly heavy, luckily there were no hold-ups this time. It was nice staying in spacious houses for a change instead of being cocooned in our cosy moveable home afloat. Once back on board we soon got the Squirrel going while we unpacked all our goodies and stowed everything away tidily. Soon we were snug and warm  and settled down for a well earned rest with a hot drink. We didn’t see the new year in as our eyelids began to droop too much.