Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Friday 30 August 2013

Waiting in Willington

Arriving in Willington on Tuesday gave me the opportunity to jump on a train into Burton-on-Trent and visit Specsavers.  I had dropped my prescription sunglasses in the lock immediately before Leicester, managed to get a last minute eye test in Loughborough a couple of days later but didn't have time to wait around for two weeks to get anything made up...until now that is.   As we are planning to moor Yarwood at Barton Turns Marina for a week so we can go off and visit family it puts me in the Burton area over a two week period so a flying visit into Town to get glasses selected and ordered was doable.  Having got the train in I got the bus out as it saved a tramp back out to the rail station and a long wait for an infrequent rail service. 

On Wednesday we had arranged to meet up with Geoff and Mags of Nb. Seyella as they flew through to Mercia Marina to get their replacement inverter.  We blockaded the canal and forced them to pull in and share a cuppa with us. We haven't seen each other for almost two years so it was good to catch up and we also got the chance to view the newly liveried Seyella and VERY VERY smart it is too!

 Geoff and Mags and the new look Nb.Seyella
 Cake and tea, how civilised..
Geoff and Mags
 Geoff and Mags dog Meg...making herself at home
 Off they go for a date with Midland Chandlers and a new inverter
As soon as our visitors had left us we pulled across the cut and serviced Yarwood and then moved out into the countryside for a couple of peaceful, relatively peaceful, nights away from railway lines and the traffic noise that blight Willington a bit.
Nobby no mates

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Weston to Willington

We have been following the Fast Diet now for best part of ten months and yesterday was a fast day, or 'skinny day' as they have become known.  As we  always find it easier to ignore the lack of food if we are busy and active we decided to move again and set off at 7.40 towards Willington.  It was a cracking autumnal morning with a fine coating of dew on the boat and just a shady mist enveloping everything.
 Leaving Weston the dogs and I walking and..
 Himself bringing up the rear

 Misty reflections
 The sun soon saw off the mist and we were blessed with a stunning day and a lovely walk along the Trent and Mersey canal.

 Lots of harvesting still to be done

 Joe waiting for another boat to join him in Swarkestone lock for a lift of 10' 11"

 Exiting Swarkestone Lock
 Does it get any better?

Gates that don't open fully 
Stenson lock where the two bottom gates wouldn't open fully... so getting into the lock is okay providing you are sharing with a short boat that allows you to manoeuvre into position.
Moored in Willington on the 48hr visitor moorings
The cruise/walk today, eight miles and two locks.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Shardlow to Weston

We were up with the lark dogs on BH Monday and decided to move on towards Weston-upon-Trent, stopping to fill the water tank at Shardlow wharf before hooking up with another boat for a couple of double locks.

 Trent Mill, aka Clock Warehouse, the centre piece of the canal architecture in this former inland port
 Filling with water at Shardlow

 Shardlow Lock, our first lock of the day

 Approaching Aston lock
 Moored up at Weston, all of 4 miles, 3 locks and only a couple of hours after starting out.
We took full advantage of the tank of piping hot water that the engine had produced on the short cruise and had long and luxurious showers before changing into something tidier and walking up into the village to try out the local inn.  The dogs came too and this allowed Joe to see Floyd's Style Performance.  Nothing new for me having to hoick five and a half stone of Labrador over a style/gate/fence but Joe had yet to participate in this activity and here was his chance as I stood back and let him manhandle our dozy dog over the two styles en route to pub. 

Cooper Arms Weston circa 1633
The Coopers Arms, formerly Weston Hall, is just on the edge of the village and is one of those 'destination venues' rather than a local.  A fine early 17th C building, formerly the Big House and now a pub/carvery with lots of seating outside beside a carp lake/fishery.  It was a lovely sunny day and there were plenty of families enjoying lunch though we gave that a miss as I had agreed to cook a roast...
and that on one of the hottest days of August!

Monday 26 August 2013

What a little lager can do...

Things have been quite busy at the lower end of the Trent and Mersey Canal over the weekend, lots of boat activity through Derwent Lock, lots of walkers, dog walkers and just a few cyclists. We have also been entertained/horrified/annoyed by two separate groups of idiots on small GRP cruisers.  The first group were 'merry' and getting 'merrier' by the moment and determined to 'spread the luvve' with as many of their friends as possible - loading the boat with so many people that it wallowed rather than floated and capsize seemed imminent.  A boat that would have been comfortable with four and coped with six was laden with a dozen adults and three children
Beggars belief.

Locking whilst under the influence
Later in the evening, around dusk, the second cruiser came screaming along the canal from the direction of the lock.  Going past Yarwood they attempted to turn the boat and hit first the bank then a moored boat and then the bank and boat again before scrapping past us again.   Nine or ten  aboard this time, way over the safe limit for the vessel and all quite inebriated.  Off they went again towards the lock, happily shouting and squealing as they then attempted to lock themselves down onto the River Trent and Derwent Mouth.
Presumably they made it.
This time.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Leaving Nottingham

After four days/nights in Nottingham it was time to leave so Friday morning sharpish we prepared the boat and headed off to North Street lock where we would drop down and wind (turn) Yarwood by the Fellows Morton and Clayton Brew house and then come back up through the lock again to start our journey back to Cranfleet, Sawley and all points west.

 Yarwood approaching North Street lock which has been prepared by ME, supervised by Fletcher and Floyd.
 North Street Lock, note the bridge and where the towpath drops down below the bridge to the right..

 Polite instruction joke to Nottingham cyclists to dismount on the blind access to the towpath below the bridge
 The approach to this access way is blind from either side of the bridge

I watched 43 cyclists while Yarwood went down and then up in the lock and not one, not a single one, got off their bike and most barely slowed down.  Given that the towpath is 'shared space' they showed a cavalier attitude to the safety of others but aren't these are the people that shout loud and long about other road users lack of consideration?   Too many cyclists along this stretch of canal/moorings were head down pumping the pedals and pedestrians were obviously deemed just a bloody nuisance. Rant ends.

We had planned to service the boat at Beeston lock where full services are conveniently located but when we arrived, me on foot with two dogs and Himself with floating home, there was a Dutch barge servicing and no room for another boat so we continued on, through Beeston lock and out on the R.Trent.

 View from the side hatch as we head up stream towards Cranfleet lock.
At Cranfleet lock there was a volunteer lock keeper on duty so working Yarwood through was easy going with Lockie and I working together. More services at this lock meant that we were able to get rid of the rubbish and fill the water tank but no elsan point here so another stop was necessary at the next lock, Sawley.

 Watering at Cranfleet Lock, slowly watering as there was little pressure
With Cranfleet lock done and dusted we cruised along Cranfleet cutting back onto the River Trent passing the entrance to the Erewash canal.
 The start of the Erewash canal

 Going upstream towards Sawley
 On the lock landing at Sawley
 Sawley lock complex. Two double locks but only one operating while the second is under repair

 Joe holding Yarwood on the centre line while I operate the automated gates and paddles - press button B!! (those of a certain age will remember 'button B') 
Once through the lock we got on to a service point, again, and emptied the cassettes and then set off once more through the flood lock and back on to the River, passing under the M1 motorway and getting tooted by the lorries passing high overhead.
 There be the M1

 On towards Shardlow and the start of the Trent and Mersey canal
Our weekend mooring settled in ready for the Belgium Grand Prix

Friday 23 August 2013

Tramping Nottingham

We have enjoyed a four night/day stay in Nottingham and as well as a bit of retail rambling I have been out and about exploring with the dogs.  On Wednesday I walked the boys along the towpath of the Beeston and then Nottingham canals towards the R.Trent.   We were moored in the heart of the city  about a mile, mile an a half from the river.

 Meadow Lane lock leading up on to the Nottingham canal from the R. Trent
 Trent Bridge
 Embankment moorings in front of County Hall
 A very impressive and ornate War Memorial over looking the R. Trent
 Commemorating those of Nottingham who gave their lives in wars 
We walked along the river embankment which gave the dogs a chance of a cooling swim before wending our way back through housing and retail estates until we regained the boat. 
Looking on Memory Map for an alternative walk on Thursday I came across mention of a deer park at Wollaton Park which looked inviting so we set off to find this green oasis. 

Wollaton Hall, an Elizabethan Renaissance pile completed in 1588 (the year of the ill fated Spanish Armada) for a Sir Francis Willoughby, mine owner.
 The house was open to the great unwashed, which qualified me,  but as I had the dogs with me we were excluded from the chance to rootle around with the masses.

 But the park was ours to explore
 And the deer were posing

That's the way the money goes..

I mentioned yesterday that our stay in Nottingham was costing money and here is part of the expenditure..
We have treated ourselves to a new vacuum cleaner for Yarwood.  Our wish list was that any replacement cleaner  had to be an upright that will beat the grit, dust and dog hair out of the carpet tiles but  it had to be compact enough to store in the space we have available.  So after much searching and a bit of trial vacuuming in store we settled on this mini model which is purported to be the smallest, lightweight, bag less upright on the market with a 1200w motor, a 1.5ltr dirt container and a bunch of fancy filters.
Vax Mach Air u91-MA-B

Thursday 22 August 2013

A taste of Nottingham City

We have been enjoying an extended stay in the city of Nottingham...and spending too much money to boot. 
On our first day in the City Joe went walk-about and I rested up recovering from a hectic few days that had taken their toil on my energy levels; time was  needed to recharge the batteries.
On our second day in the city I went walk about and sight seeing and then met Joe and the dogs at the famous Old Trip to Jerusalem Inn.
Here is a taster.

 The 1930's canalside grade 2 listed warehouse in British Waterways livery
 The remains of a wharf that now fronts the new Magistrates Courts
 Fellows Morton and Clayton Brewhouse (1891) now a pub-restaurant
 A Nottingham tram.  A new tramway system was opened in 2004 at a cost of £200m and it covers 14km with 23 stops

A medieval merchants house formerly owned by John and James Severn Wine Merchants 1735 and now known as Severner

Robin Hood

 The Nottingham Castle bailey gate
 Ratcliffe power station from the castle mound Nottingham
 Nottingham Castle 1649 version, sitting on a sandstone bluff
 The Old trip to Jerusalem Inn c1189 and built into the sandstone below the castle.  Real ale drinkers, if you have ever enjoyed a pint of Old Trip.. this be where the name comes from.

 A view from the top
 Here be the Revenue Men...HM Inspector of Taxes resides here.  You can just make out the 'window cleaners' on the roof..
Extreme sport high level window cleaning

Pickfords former warehouse next to the canal