Saturday, 29 March 2014

Goodbye, again.

IMG_5813 IMG_5814 Lock 1 IMG_5822

We received a call from Ruth saying that they were leaving the next day, would we like to have a farewell evening meal together at The Boat House. We talked over just about anything and everything while we had dinner, and pudding, a real treat. Setting off ahead of their boats the next morning we had the bottom lock-gates open ready for them to glide into. C&RT chaps had been and fixed some extra wood across under the lock beam to stop boats lifting the gates off. This has happened a couple of times recently down on the Kennet and Avon Canal. The butty was towed on a long line to the lock, then breasted up with the motor for the rest of the ascent cross-strapped together.

IMG_5832  IMG_5839 Tea time  IMG_5835

With Paddy and Ruth taking it in turns on the boats, three of us made steady work of operating the locks. Lister was well behaved as he walked up the locks and patiently lay down while we were working. Soon we reached the top lock with it’s lovely cottage with it’s garden draped in Primroses, perfick! In fact all the lock side cottages have been lovingly renovated and are now occupied. We stopped briefly for a very welcome cup of tea before waving them goodbye again as they headed for the tunnel.

So look out for them at Foxton when they will be part of the Historic Boat gathering there on the April 19th. Take a peak at their website to see some their wares on

Friday, 28 March 2014


IMG_5722 IMG_5802 Webb Elliss IMG_5803 Rugby IMG_5804

Whilst at Hillmorton we enjoyed a lovely home cooked roast lunch at the On recommending it to Paddy and Ruth they also went there for a big breakfast and were very impressed. They have a varied menu and everything is freshly cooked by Ian and served up by Leslie, who make a brilliant husband and wife team. They have been there many years and have just adopted the stretch of canal between Kent Road Bridge and the Moors Bridge. Canal Chef acts as a base for the 33 volunteers that have made a big difference to the area already. Well done to them all, we have noticed the improvements already which attract many visitors. We waved goodbye to Paddy and Ruth as they set off into into the early morning mist. These are a few pics I took when I popped into Rugby for supplies. The statue of Webb Ellis stands near the Lawrence Sherriff School which has some fine carved stone details adorning it.

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Then it was time to pick up our car from Enterprise who have now moved into a more accessible spot near the centre of Rugby. We left early morning to head off down south as we had been invited to our grandsons 5th birthday party. Mr Niggles kept the children well entertained with his lively music and ingenious antics all afternoon. He even brought his own brief snowstorm which was a nice surprise for everyone! We all joined in the fun and games of course, until it was time for party food and birthday cake, after which we all left thoroughly exhausted. We noticed  that the man came along checking on the water levels in the canal.

Friday, 21 March 2014


IMG_5721               120 Tom Maud ploughing with Darby Stout on Offas Dyke 

When I was a little girl I spent time on my Grandparents farm up on Offa's Dyke just over the border in Wales. They worked a small holding of 60 acres with a few cows, sheep, geese and chickens. They had three horses, Blossom who was used for small jobs including transporting hay etc around in the cart.  Derby and Stout, pictured above in the 1940’s I think, were used to pull the single furrow plough. I have kept one of their horseshoes over the years which was languishing in the front locker of the boat. As Ruth was painting her own horseshoes for sale I asked her if she would paint this one for us. The cabin boy sat out on the towpath and cleaned all the rust off it, then Ruth took it into her workshop to work her magic on it. We were very pleased with the result.

Thursday, 20 March 2014


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Scooby must be the most interesting little character who lives on the waterways, unless you know different of course. It was lovely to spend time with Richard and Ruth who always seem to be busy woodworking and painting. However, we did all go into Rugby, they cycled while we caught the bus. After completing our shopping we met in Wetherspoon’s for a rest and a drink together. We left at the same time on our different modes of transport wondering who would make it back to the canal first! While we detoured around the houses they cruised back mainly downhill and overtook us as we walked under the Railway Bridge. As the sun was out we made the most of it and sat out on the towpath for our tea and partook of evening drinks aboard each others boats, perfick.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Good Dog Nigel!



An appropriate picture displayed in a boaters window.

Especially useful for all those dog owners who cannot read!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A walk on the Canalside.

IMG_5687 Jessie  IMG_5703  IMG_5686  IMG_5713 Thames

Jessie is 13 years old, a nice pair and a non-swimmer!  Who made Thames trucks then?

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It’s a hard life here on the canals! Some sleep, some fly through, and some exude their perfume in the warm sunshine ahhh.

Monday, 17 March 2014


11  IMG_5689 CN and Echoes  IMG_5692 Lister

We spent the weekend with Jacqui and Tony on Timewarp who are now trading from their boat. They do painted canal-ware, home made wine, rustic wooden mushrooms and brass tiller pins. We bought a nice piggy one from Tony’s varied selection of well made tiller pins. Khali liked stretching out on the grass enjoying the sunshine. We waved them off early ish  in the morning it was nice to have company and chat about our travels on the canals.. Then we had a text from Paddy and Ruth on mb Comfortably Numb and Butty Echoes. asking if our offer of helping them with the locks was still on. So off we went with our windlasses and met them watering up. Lister was rather ponderous about jumping ship by himself.

IMG_5694 Scooby  IMG_5697  IMG_5701  IMG_5708 Echoes

Meanwhile Scooby had to keep his eye on the food, just in case a morsel was dropped! Then we were off and had the gates open as the two boats approached. Fine judgment was required by Richard to release the butty at the right moment. Then they each glided straight into the locks. Scooby was acting as lookout from the roof of the butty with Ruth. After they moored up we were treated to a guided tour of their newly stretched butty all fitted out beautifully by Richard and expertly painted by Ruth.. Butty Echoes has a neat back cabin with a Jotul stove, double cross bed and a couch. Then there is a workshop and the next section is the shop from which they sell their painted handiwork, canal side, and at boat shows.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Misty Moisty Morning.

IMG_5637 IMG_5647 Hillmorton IMG_5649

We left the sheep to enjoy their greens and cruised along to fill our empty water tank. Meanwhile as the water was hot I had a quick shower. It took a while as the water was spraying out from the hose connection at the tap!

IMG_5652 IMG_5651 IMG_5654 IMG_5656 Badsey Angel

There always seems to be a boat moored on the lock landing above the bottom lock. Anyway, it wasn’t busy so we stayed in the lock while we took our rubbish to the bins. Volunteer lock keepers have taken the time to spruce the place up with some colourful flowers, perfick. The ivy has begun to be peeled off the walls of Lock Cottage here. I thought the big window could easily be enlarged and a little balcony added as it is south facing. I could sit there dreaming,with a glass of wine watching the boating world go by, if only it were mine! Canal Chef was now open after their winter break. Outside Angel’s large wooden tiller was propped up against the wall undergoing some tlc. We heard on the ‘grapevine’ that the 6,200 houses are to be built over the hill where the Rugby Radio Station is at Hillmorton. So, very soon the whole canal-scape will be dramatically altered around here.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


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Saturday’s are 60s, 70s music on the radio days and while I am listening I usually clean the inside of the boat. I had bought some ‘magic’ cleaning sponges from Wilco’s. So I tried them on the shower cubical and they worked a treat! Another acquisition was a small non-stick frying pan from Ranges. This is just right for making my breakfast egg sandwich. They just need to make a square one now so it’s a perfick fit!

Friday, 14 March 2014


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Another misty morning, but several boats were on the move. A nice shiny boat passed our side hatch and we then recognised the name ‘Verulam’. It was Stein aboard his newly acquired narrow boat  We helped him through the locks which he glided through without touching the sides, Then we  were invited on board to see his tidy new home and treated to a glass of wine while we chatted, lovely! Bon voyage Stein!

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The lovely old boat on the left was ‘Tyrley’ and had a pleasing deep chugging engine. Just look at this faithful boating dog, watching his masters every move.

Thursday, 13 March 2014


IMG_5638   IMG_5646   IMG_5639 The Lichgate Cottages

The advert in the bus shelter seemed cheap enough as we caught the bus up to Rugby. Graham from nb Shirley Ann was already aboard so we chatted to him en-route. Then we changed onto the Coventry bus which took c50 minutes.On arrival it was time for a welcome coffee in W’s ‘The Flying Standard’ (the building in the centre picture), named after the car that was once made here.The fine old timber framed buildings to the right are the restored Lichgate Cottages.

IMG_5642   IMG_5641   IMG_5640 Coventry

I popped into Holy Ttrinity Church nearby to have a look at the stained glass. The west window and a couple of details in two others were very pleasing. The elephant symbol on a red and green shield appeared on the Coventry coat of arms as far back as 1441. We perused several shops and passed through the circular marketplace where we bought some vegetables and spotted this useful Rickshaw. 


Then it was on into Ikea to get some new memory foam pillows. Of course we had to have our mid-day snack on their top floor restaurant with it’s wide sweeping views across the city. It was fun to watch the people in the street below rushing about like tiny ants while we enjoyed our lunch. We walked back across the city to catch our bus. The bus stops are in a mess as they are still in the process of being refurbished. On returning to Rugby we found the hourly bus was taken off at 3.40 for the school run, so we had to go by ’shank’s pony’! All in all it was continually warm and sunny, which made for a grand day out...