Perfect Harmony

Perfect Harmony
Moored at Huntingdon

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Tuesday 30th May '17

Got off to an early start today - about 9.30 and put on slightly warmer clothes than we've been wearing recently.

The sky was a bit heavy and the dark and brooding hills in the distance were the ones we'd be climbing when we got to Atherstone.

We stopped for general boat type things like getting water, disposing of rubbish and emptying elsan cassette at the bottom of the locks and I took the boat into the first one at 11.10. By then the sun had come out and I'd done a quick change into shorts and strappy top.

The moss and other plants that manage to grow inside the walls of locks always fascinate me and this was a particularly drippy bit of moss still hanging in there. You'd be surprised at the number of flowers that survive just at the water line in a lock. I'll try to look out some interesting ones.

Much sunnier skies here, John is just about to take his jumper off which shows how the temperature had risen!

Then what goes and happens? Dark clouds suddenly appear and in no time are on top of us. My jumper went back on and I had to put the camera inside for a while as it was trying hard to empty on us, but luckily missed it's target. I heard another boater telling John that they'd had some rain where we were heading towards, but it missed us.

Looking up the Atherton, from about the half way point. Up to now the locks had been in sets of two with a bit of distance between them, but towards the top they are much closer and we were able to see the one ahead and in most cases leave ours open so that we passed the boat coming down and I was able to go straight into their empty one.

An unusual gongoozler! more attractive than most!

We got through the 11 locks in 2 hours and 10  minutes, not bad going for locks that take ages to fill but empty quickly. We were lucky that more boats were coming down, meaning we didn't have to waste any water emptying just for us. We rose 80' in that distance and are now on a summit that will take us past Nuneaton tomorrow.

We cruised on about a mile or so out of Atherton and have moored in the country with this view from our side hatch. We got settled just before a short shower hit but now it is dry if still rather overcast. Tomorrow we hope to get to Hawkesworthy Junction, always an interesting place to turn 180 degrees to get onto the Oxford canal. We're thinking of visiting the pub there, as we haven't been inside for years. I think it's the Greyhound, but I'm happy to be corrected. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Bank Holiday Monday 29th May '17

So in the way that the weather seems to be going, we had a wet day today. Luckily we didn't have to go far and we managed to do it in the brief dry patch we had this morning.

We are at Polesworth, and I've been to the Slimming World group and lost 1/2lb, which may not seem a lot but is going in the right direction.

Earlier we took a walk around just before the rain started properly and discovered the Abbey which wasn't open on a Monday, but at least we saw the lovely grounds.

While crossing the bridge over the river Anker, we saw a swan with three cygnets on her back, unfortunately the photo doesn't really show them that clearly, mainly because I didn't have my camera with me and had to use my phone.

Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter as we are going to be going up the Atherton flight, which has been quite eventful for us in the past, so fingers crossed.


Rhododendrons in bloom and looking lovely.

Beautiful laburnum seen in the Abbey grounds.

The gatehouse to the Abbey.

The very early Norman Church that is all that remains on the Abbey site.

The swan who DID have three goslings on her back, although you need to believe me, they're there honestly.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Sunday 28th May '17

The British weather is SO unpredictable. Today has just got better and better (presuming that you like hot that is.....if you like arctic conditions then I guess you'd be pretty disappointed).

I got out for my walk yesterday and although I didn't quite get my 10,000 steps in, I was pretty close. Paddy is loving it, I didn't have to put his lead on once and he made the most of the chance to run along the towpath.

The wind never let up at all yesterday and although it shifted direction it continued throughout the evening. We were very pleased we called it a day when we did. I walked up past King's Orchard marina and it is quite full now and looks better than it did a couple of years ago, doesn't tempt a move though. People moan sometimes about the security on Mercia.... they need to look no further than this marina to see how lucky we are. There are two gates leading straight off the towpath into the marina, close to the boats. In fact when I took Paddy for a walk past there this morning, it looks as if the dog owners just bring the dogs out, let them poo on the towpath and then take them back again. Disgusting.

Anyway we got underway at a reasonable time and headed down the Coventry with little excitement, apart from getting into the bushes on the off side when the boat refused to turn left after one bridge. John is going to check the weed hatch to see if it's a bit bunged up....must remind him about that.

We came across the Floating Market at Fazeley and we saw Barry on the Brew Boat. I complimented him on the Whiskey Profile kit we had from him and are still enjoying the fruits of. For those who don't know, it's a selection of small bottles of magic that turn cheap vodka into very acceptable Malt Whiskey. We've had ours a couple of years and there's still plenty left. Maybe we don't drink enough?

We got through the two locks at Glascote with the help of two volunteers who are having to use a jack to lift the top gate because someone cannoned into it and took it off it's hinges. They are supposed to be repairing it on Tuesday so anyone coming that way, check for stoppages.

We have moored at Amington, just outside Tamworth, before bridge 70. Much to my joy I've been able to hang the first lot of washing out for this year! Makes me very happy.

I've had a good walk down to the Tesco Express which is a few bridges away, which is good, but I'm afraid I had a Magnum on the way back, which is bad. I'm hoping to visit the Slimming World group at Polesworth tomorrow. It's only a mile or so away so we'll have a lazy day there, doing some walking and exploring. I need to go to the groups along the way for a while until I get the last few pounds off. I feel so much happier and healthier at this weight so it's worth working at it a bit.

The canal sides are lined with beautiful shows of yellow flags, So beautiful at the moment.  The air is laden with fairies (seed heads apparently is what grown ups call them, but they were always fairies when I was a child and that is what I think of when I see them). The water is covered in a film of them, it's really rather lovely.

You can just make out the shape of an old WW11 pill box. There are still lots of these along different stretches of canals, because they thought that an invading force would use the canals as a way of getting troops and munitions around the country.

This is our life, a beautiful stretch of empty canal in the sunlight. What more could anyone ask for?

Barry on the Brew Boat. If you see him, it's well worth looking around and chatting to what he can offer. Especially if you like whiskey! He thinks he's going to Fradley next but you can check where he is on his web site.

Now for a bit of peace and quiet before I roast us a chicken with all the trimmings. I love Sunday roast, even in this heat.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Saturday 27th May '17

Its a bit early really for this but we have stopped for the day.

The weather forecast promised showers on one programme then thunderstorms on another so we put the pram cover up just in case. At 7.40 this morning we were woken with rain on the roof, so felt vindicated for our decision.
Then a bit later when we got up it had stopped but as I went to take Paddy out it started again. He was a bit confused as to why we were stood in the cratch and he had his lead on but nothing was happening. I finally popped an anorak on and got him out for a short time so that the business of the morning could be taken care of and by the time we got back (about 5 minutes later to be honest) it was dry again.
After breakfast I headed into the village to get bread and a lettuce. Came home with bread but only iceberg lettuces available so I went without. Nasty tasteless things.
By the time I was back John had pretty much got the boat ready for the off and the sun was shining so off we went. The locks were kind to us and so was the weather until we turned onto the Coventry at Fradley Junction.
To be fair the wind had been getting up once we were out of Alrewas and it had clouded over a bit but suddenly it got really windy and the clouds became darker so since we're not in a hurry and don't like cruising in the rain, we moored up. Just beyond Streethay and before Kings Orchard for those who know where we are. We have pilings to moor on, the rain has arrived and we're sat inside with iPads and the computer and that's where we're staying!

Proud dad with Chloe (no it's not about the cruise but so what?)

Jane and Gerry - Jane will hate me forever for putting this on, but it's the only one I got of her. This was outside the most amazing church that had been carved out of the rock in the hillside.

From yesterday at Burton. Some PROPER native geese. Unfortunately as you can see they had one gosling with them, further on we saw a pair of Canada's  with 21, yes TWENTY ONE goslings. Ours don't stand a chance do they?

I've already cooked our meal for tonight and am hoping it eases up enough for me to get some walking in. I've got 6lb to lose until I reach my target weight and am determined to do it. BUT I'm not going to walk along a wet towpath in the rain for anyone!

I can only say that it looks and sounds horrible out there, hope everyone's having a better day at Crick (its the Boat Show and we have friends there).

Friday, 26 May 2017

Wedding photo as promised!

26th May '17

It's been a while but we have had a busy time since we returned from our cruise last summer.
A brief resume......

28th August - John's surprise 70th birthday party.

The party was at the Brewery Museum in Burton and we took the boat up there so that people could come down afterwards for a continuation of the day. A lovely time was had by all, and John's expression when he walked in the room to find about 50 friends and relations there was a picture for everyone to remember!

March 16th
My surprise 65th birthday party that John organised at the ukulele group. I didn't know a thing about it and so John managed a first! I loved it, I'd always hoped to have a surprise party and finally I got one! The only photos I've got are not on the computer apparently, I'll try to put one on of the cake at some point as it was amazing. Made by the same person who made John's, Rebekah Preston, highly recommended, both looked and tasted brilliant.

Visiting my cousin Anthony, who I discovered through Ancestry. We went to Salzburg and then he took us into Germany to meet his family at Hershing an Amersee (possibly not the right spelling) but we had a brilliant week.

THE wedding of the year. Our daughter Chloe was married to her lovely Sam. It was a wonderful weekend, spoilt only by the fact that her sister Katie was unwell and unable to come. Again photos not yet on the computer, I need to beat John up for this.

After the wedding we went over to France to visit John's cousin Jane and her husband Gerry. We were fairly lucky with the weather and had a brilliant time doing pretty much nothing. I shall have to get this blog open on my iPad and then I can add photos. I forgot my camera and John hasn't yet got his photos on the computer (see above).

Right that brings us up to now.
After John had completed all those little 5 minute jobs that had to be done yesterday, he was totally exhausted yesterday so we decided to leave today instead.

It's been an amazing day, the sun has been shining brilliantly all day and we've managed to get to Alrewas, always a favourite place. We are heading towards the Thames and have a week booked in Little Venice in July so we're looking forward to that.

Leaving the Marina behind at an amazingly early (for us) 9,30am.

Spotted the black swan not too far from the marina.

Brilliant sunshine and Wychnor Church on the hill as we go through the river section.

Two damselfly's making use of our pram cover - a bit cheeky of them we thought!

We're going to be checking the weather forecast tonight as thunder storms have been predicted for tomorrow, we shall see.