To leave a comment, scroll to the end of the post,click on the word " no comments" and it will open the comment option for you. Type in your note and choose your Profile. If you don't understand the choices under Profile then choose Anonymous but PLEASE type your name and location at the bottom of your comment so we know who you are!

Monday, 28 April 2014

No boats just buses,trains and car

As we are now payed up for the next 13 months in this marina, I decided that I would travel back home to get the car, as we are in the middle of nowhere, just a little village called Napton on the hill, I got up early and walked to the nearest bus stop which was a fifteen minute brisk walk, after three quarters of a hour wait the bus came and it was an half hour ride into Leamington Spa to the train station, here I caught the Newcastle train and got off in Birmingham New street station, then ten minutes later the Cardiff train arrived which I boarded and back to Wales I travelled, it was another bus from Cardiff centre to our home in the suburb of Rhiwbina.

Our maisonette was all fine and intact so I quickly checked the mail and then set off back to marina in the car and back to the boat, tomorrow we plan to go back home for a few weeks, so won't be updating the blog till we back on board ESSENDEE.

See you soon......

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Our new marina for the year

After a night of debating the pros and cons of having a home mooring, we have decided to take the plunge and have a marina for the next year,so our new second home will be Wigram Turn Marina on the junction of the Grand Union Canal and the South Oxford Canal. The marina itself seem quite nice, and should be central for our next few trips.

Today we haven't really done much the weather is sunny and showery but its gone a little bit cooler, we are staying in the marina till I go home on Monday to pick up the car, and all going well, we will all return to Cardiff on Tuesday for a couple of weeks.

This happened over the marina this evening, a double rainbow,so hopefully it's a good omen for us to be at this marina.



Friday, 25 April 2014

Shouldn't of cleaned the boat as it's raining today

A swan trying to attack the boat to protect its nesting partner.

Left our mooring this morning and the heavens opened, can't understand the British weather, yesterday basking in the sun, today wet n cold, because of the weather we decided not to go far and as we were passing a marina which we were interested in we decided to moor overnight in Wigram turn Marina, so we are hooked up to electric tonight, though no telly to make use of it.
We were low on provision the lady in the marina reception said there was a shop about half a mile away, so off we set on foot, about two miles later we found it, so we got some bits and then returned to the boat as the weather  was awful, so we lit the fire and settled down for the night. A bonus is that they have on site showers, so it's brill standing under the water for a long soak, not like on the boat where we have got to be careful with the water.
We are undecided if we want a home mooring in  a marina as the idea of having the boat was to cruise the canals and rivers, but on the other hand it's good to have a base, so it's somewhere were we can leave the boat safely when we go home and also somewhere to leave the car when we are off boating.
The only thing is that's its pricey for a marina mooring, it great if you are in the marina for a long time and making use of the facilities but we want to be out and about on the canals ....we will have a long think and a discussion about it before we decide.
See you 
Tipping down with rain.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Again not much distance but on another canal

A murky misty morning which turned out to be a cracking sunny day, we left our mooring and heading down the Oxford canal, passing unusual ridge and furrow field patterns this is evidence of medieval farming, where each villager cleared forest land and ploughed individual strips throwing the soil to the centre, all running parallel to each other made up of a furlong, a dozen of these furlong were the fenced off.

We carry on pass the village of Braunston and then our time on the Oxford canal is complete as we now turn on to the Grand Union Canal, at this junction I pay a visit to The Midland Chandelier and purchase a couple more canal guide books for our future travels.

We moor up in an idyllic spot, and I paint a bit of the boat, the bits which gets scraped as I enter and leave the locks, we also give the exterior a clean, before settling outside in a lovely sunny afternoon, with the odd boat passing, otherwise just the sound of the birds to keep us company.

Soon it dinner time and again another night without television, just music on the iPod, speak to you tomorrow.


A poor boat that's seen better days .


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Not far again

Left our last nights mooring to a cloudy day, we have decided not to go so far today, as in the next week we want to reach Leamington Spa so I can catch the train home and pick up the car before returning back to the boat, and at the moment we are too far ahead in our schedule, so only moving little steps for this week.

We stop for a top up of water here we hear an almighty crash, as the television has come off its cupboard and unfortunately has been broken so no telly tonight,so another night of talking to my wife .........

We then set off down the canal and Denise must dust of her lock key as its not been used for a while, but at the first lock help is on hand, as its manned/ womanned by a lock keeper. The other two locks she must work though as no help, so again on we plod for a few more miles and we find a nice place to moor, but after looking at the map we find just behind the hedge is a prison, H.M.P. Rye Hill to be precise a category B prison, might book myself in for the night as I notice they have play stations available for use .


Prison in the distance

So listening to the IPod and doing crosswords tonight.

See you tomorrow


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Rugby at Rugby

Today woke up to an overcast day, had some breakfast before going to Rugby town centre, we caught a bus and once in the centre we had a look around the town which is a nice area.We then went to the Webb Ellis Rugby Museum, which is of an interest to us as we like the sport, Rugby is where the birth of the sport is supposed of started. William Webb Ellis a pupil of the famous Rugby school ( Tom Browns Schooldays a book which was written about the school) was reputedly during a football match, supposedly instead of kicking the football , he picked it up and started running with it.....and the birth of rugby football as we know it started. We must say that it well worth the visit and a bonus it free, also Rugby' s museum about life around Rugby is also free and worth a visit.,_Warwickshire

We then did a bit of shopping before returning to the boat, where we had some lunch and set off for a little way before mooring again for the night .

Rugby School Gates


Monday, 21 April 2014

Not very far

This morning the sky was grey but the sun did shine through in the afternoon, we filled up with water again and set off, and soon we stopped, on the outskirts of Rugby, so we only traveled about a mile, so we moored up and Denise gave the inside of the boat a clean, and then we read, so another boring blog, which I must apologise for. Hopefully it bit more news tomorrow .

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A short blog today

Happy Easter to everyone.

We decided to not to move today as they  promised rain, and they are right, so a boring day the highlight was a walk to the post box to post a few birthday cards. back to the boat and Sunday dinner then watching telly and snoozing, hopefully weather  forecast will be a little better tomorrow and we can make a move.

See you tomorrow



Saturday, 19 April 2014

Sunny day but wet


The skies were grey first thing this morning, but later it became sunnier, Saturday means bacon sandwich for breakfast day, and that's what we had,we then left our mooring and meandered down the canal. We passed Stretton Wharf and its swing bridge, here they hire boats out to the public (Rose Narrowboats) , we pass open country side and farm land but on one side we are never far from the busy main railway.

At Brinklow marina we stop to have a pump out and to take on more diesel, this marina is in a pretty area and seems quiet friendly , back on the canal we go through 189M Newbold tunnel here at the other side we stop and moor up for the night, as its got two pubs adjacent to the tunnel. "The Boat inn and next door the Barley Mow"


The wet in the title, doesn't mean at that it was raining, but that I fell into the canal, not really fell as slipped. As I was trying to tie the bow mooring rope I slipped and straight into the water up to my knees......what a plonker. Glad nobody was taking a picture at the time, other wise it would of been on " you been framed "


Friday, 18 April 2014

Another Canal finished

We left our mooring to another sunny but cold morning, our plan today was to do the last bit of the Coventry canal, it's a five mile spur that ends in the heart of the city.This part of the canal has definitely an industrial feel to it, but also have signs of regeneration with new house and apartments being built around the canal. This part of the canal twist and turns into the city, between bridge 3 and 2 is "Cash Hundred houses "an elegant row of weavers cottages, where the living accommodation is on the lower two floors, with the top story being occupied by the looms.

Once we reach the basin we turnaround and the retrace our path back to Hawkesbury Junction, stopping for supplies at bridge 8 where there is a handy Tescos right next to the canal. Saying that, everybody from Coventry must of been in it shopping for the Easter weekend.

The basin at Coventry

At Hawkesbury, Denise has to dust of her lock key and use it, to open the lock at the beginning or End how you look at it on the Oxford canal.

We were planning to stop at bridge 4 for a pint, but the pub "the elephant and castle "has now been converted into a house, so our next plan was to stop at the village of Ansty where the "rose and castle" pub is, but unfortunately no mooring spaces with what it looks like a lot of overstayers using the mooring plots.

So on we travel till we reach Stretton Wharf and moor up, with a long walk to the pub so we won't bother and stay on the boat and have dinner then settle down for the night.


Oxford Canal


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sent to Coventry

Yesterday (Wednesday ) we left the Ashby canal and rejoined the Coventry Canal again and traveled pass the district of Coventry,Bedworth before coming to our next overnight mooring spot of Hawkesbury Junction.

This Junction is also known as Sutton Stop after the name of the Toll clerk who use collect the payments before entering the canals.Its a busy junction, with the Oxford canal branching off, their is also a fascinating pub The Greyhound  besides the junction, with lots of canal memorabilia, it is a very popular pub and serves good food and ales, which we had to sample.

We were going to take the boat to Coventry Basin and moor overnight, but because we wer moored in a nice spot, we decided we would catch a bus into the city centre, which we did. So up earlyish this morning and off we set to catch the bus, which took us to Coventry, and we did the tourist bit today. We went to visit the Cathedral, but unfortunately a service was being conducted so we only had a chance for a peep of the inside, but the remains of the bombed part of the church was available for us to see.

We also went to the transport which is well worth the visit and as a bonus it was free, inside was an exhibition of the World War Two blitz where the German air raids destroyed most of this city as it was a major part of the manufacturing of war armaments.

We also saw Lady Godiva Statue, who rode through the streets of Coventry naked as an act of defiance.








Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Another canal done..

Up this morning to another lovely sunny morning, we left our mooring and not a too far journey today,we pass more farmland with sheep, and cows grazing the lush grass before mooring just beyond bridge 3, in open country.

So that's nearly the end of this part of our journey, Ashby canal on reflection is well worth the visit, a very pretty if a bit shallow in places canal, with the added bonus of no locks, definitely would recommend it.

Whilst moored we spotted this Moorhen with her very little chick, try to spot it in the photo.


So not a lot to write about today, so see you tomorrow


Monday, 14 April 2014

The Bleeding Tombstone

Another bright morning, but a bit chilly, but not complaining, left our over night mooring and off we set passing the villages Dadington, home of the Dog and Hedgehog pub,and Stoke Golding where the 13-C church spire dominates the landscape.

And on pass farmland with its yellow rape crop fields brighten the landscape.

And then we arrive at tonight's mooring just outside Trinity Marina at the hosiery town of Hinckley, a town that can boast of having installed the first stocking machine in Leicestershire in 1640.

Also at st. Mary's Church Is the mystery of the bleeding tombstone, in 1727 a twenty year old Richard Smith joined a crowd surrounding a army recruiting Sergeant who was trying to persuade the crowd to sign up, was heckled by the young Richard Smith. The Sergeant lost his temper and ran him through with his pike, killing Smith.So every April since this deed was committed the tombstone is suppose to ooze a red substance. An suggested explanation is this occurs due water dripping on a peculiar red sandstone and causing the tombstone to Sweat

The inscription reads

A fatal Halbert his mortal body slew,

The murdering hand God's vengeance will pursue

From shades terrestrial, though justice took her flight

Shall not the judge of all the earth do right

Each age and sex his innocence bemoans

And with sad sigh laments his dying groans.

The church also had a few other interesting curiosities.

Today at ,Hinckley was market day with stall running up the main shopping area, where we bought a few more provisions, we also went to Tescos for more food shopping before catching a taxi back to the boat.

We moored net to a marina so had to pay £ 5.00 for the privilege, a nice mooring next to a Brewers Fayre pub. So we spent the afternoon given the outside of the boat a wash and clean, before dinner and settling down for the night again.

A bit of good news is that Firkin went outside today for the first time, only on the back of the boat but its a start.



Sunday, 13 April 2014

Battle day

Today we were awake early again,not the cockerel, or the gardeners but the bloody cat,04.30 she was scrathing and meowing at our bedroom door, so up we got at went through the tunnel to the end of the canal, so that's another canal completed.

Turned around and retraced our tracks, pass the village of Shackerstone again, and this time we moor at Sutton Cheney Wharf. We change and then visit Bosworth Battle Centre, which is good exhibition of the battle of the War or the Roses, and worth the admission fee. We then get back to the boat have our Sunday. Dinner and settle for the Evening.