Tuesday, 2 September 2014

One out and one in.

So we left Fradley or to be precise the village south of the junction.  We needed water after having guests you know how they use all the water up....  So two boats were departing as we arrived.  Lovely.  I went off on a short trek to drop the rubbish off and David did the water. 
On my return I noticed an old boat was about to make the turn onto the Coventry where we were.  If Reader you are a stranger to this busy intersection, its a T junction from the Trent and  Mersey canal with the Coventry canal and immediately there is an easy peasy swing bridge which moves very easily. I went forward to do the bridge for this boat as I like old boats so much. 
I took a few photos of NB Dove, but no word of thanks or an acknowledgement of small favour done (Not that I wanted thanks) so he wanted water too, not a problem as two water points there and in any case by now we were almost done.  So Reader our boat was almost nose to nose with this one, David asked me to push the front out but I think you can see that he has not a button on his nose and we didn't want to scrape us or him.

No button on his nose and The Swan Pub behind him (Known also as The Mucky Duck)

Nice smiley lady onboard too.

Lovely boat horrid man.

 As I walked past the two gentlemen filling their water containers, one was moaning for England about something it was hard to tell what exactly as his accent was so broad I couldn't be sure what he was moaning about but on and on he droned.   He had the same type of accent as the men that came to do my mother's new gas pipes, I had thought them to be Polish however they were from County Durham!

Now the boat had moved forward a bit from when I took this photo and were almost touching us, so I signalled to David on the back and he gave a quick whoosh on the cissy button to get us out of his way, well Reader you should have heard the old moaner carrying on about that, this gentleman was of the firm opinion that bow thrusters should be banned throughout the world, he shared his views without hesitation with my husband, he claimed that they ruin the canal banks, we would not have disputed this, however we were on armco and wanted to avoid him. Cissy buttons are brilliant for that.  
Reader I was very proud of David who after getting out of his way proceeded through the swing bridge and away with just a "Good morning enjoy your day" as a farewell for this miserable old scroat who was still yelling general abuse to us and well, lets just say I am glad I am not spending the weekend in a confined space with that man, like the two cheery ladies onboard.

So away from him and David made the turn and we headed left, that is to say northwards.

All calmness on WaL

David onto the next lock while I scampered after.

 We wanted to get to a place on the map that I had marked clearly as having good afternoon sunshine and good telly reception and a bridge.  I was beginning to think that the trees have grown a lot as this place had disappeared. There was quite a lot of...
"You've made a mistake here" and 
"You've got this all wrong"  but we carried on and then a
"Oh well done darling this is a lovely mooring"  
We ended up past Kings Bromley Marina a way but did actually get TV reception, but the sun did disappeared too early.  

We had just passed by NB Don't Panic HERE   I Hellooooo'ed as we past by to Mandy who was busy cleaning her boat. 
Now the car was parked at Fradley village, so we fetched bikes out and cycled back to Fradley Junction on the roads to have a catch-up with friends Graham and Jan from another Fernwood boat 
NB Huff n' Puff they have they boat on a line mooring at Fradley in the most lovely spot, so after a quick text then we met them in the Kingfisher café there for afternoon tea.   Much later on to the car and scooted to Lichfield to pick up a beloved daughter from the train station.  Amazingly we actually found the boat again too.  Daughter announced that she wanted to go on an eight mile run this evening.  David went on the bike to keep her company and I made supper.  She is in training for a half marathon in October,  her training is pretty scientific and all on her phone, I just thought you went running to practice...

Next morning, a boat went past as we were getting ready to move off, David was pleased that they went past very slowly, most considerate.  
We pulled the pins and set off just after them, but they were out of sight.  Curious I thought to myself, but at least slow past moored boats.  Not too much later we came upon Rugeley, it proved quiet as we have found other parts of the system,  but we carried on slowly carefully as its narrow.  
I mentioned to David that if we had stayed with that passing boat earlier we could have followed them through Plum Pudding Cutting as I call it, its a very very narrow ex tunnel that has had its roof removed.  Last year we used a most useful set of walkie talkies given to us so that I could run on ahead and signalled to my boat to come through, however Amanda threw one of them into The Caen Flight in May this year handily.

We did eventually follow this boat

Only room for one, who would want to reverse?

Under the road bridge

Well as it happened we did catch sight of them and tried to keep close so that any boat coming through the cutting would see us and hang back, no chance, they were moving apace.
Anyway onwards and fuel filling at the farm north of Rugeley at a goodish price.
Very pretty section here, bendy, nice meadows and farmland.  The next stop was Colwich Lock.  A bottleneck here usually as hardly any locks so boats all do catch up here.
We were the fourth boat to arrive.  David dropped me off with the windlass so I could go and help and try to contribute to keeping the kettle boiling so to speak.  But I found that there was the speedy boat there at the front of the queue.  I was surprised to see it again after we had brought fuel too but here they were. 

All carfuffle here at Colwich then cows too

The lady crew was closing the bottom gates as I arrived and I went to the top paddles to open in due course, the lady shut the gates and when I got the captains eye I opened the paddles gently at first all well so I thought, but it took ages and after the penny dropped I thought there must be something wrong and went back to look, yes twitty woman had left one of the bottom paddles open.  So just managing to save the pound emptying, my mother has an expression for times like this, "Pissing in the wind".
Well she looked guilty, but they were experienced boaters who should have known better.  Then blow me down on exiting the lock she had done the top gates and left that paddle open too.  Daft, mad or just a menace?
The boats behind them had not helped at the lock as twitty woman's boat had taken 15 mins to moor up with all three ropes on the lock landing!!!!   Then the twitty woman had gone forward to look and not even taken her windlass with her.  All this reported to me by the following boats who insisted they had now decided to moor up rather than risk following them through the next lock!  Didn't bother me as we were heading to moor in view of Shrugborough Hall, we did get a good view of it for daughter Kirsty, but she and David cleared off to get the car and leave me in peace to drink tea.

Selfie, Kirsty and me stretched out reading

Later friends John and Louise on NB Bluemoon 
(Now actually NB Fiona) arrived as arranged, parked behind us and after a grand viewing of the new boat which is just lovely, we all went to the pub The Clifford Arms here for a good supper, phew, not sure breakfast will be required tomorrow.


  1. Lisa, you let me down, you didn't tell us what you were having for supper! Paula

    1. Sorry Paula, its so long ago that I have forgotten!! I will be on stream properly very soon now.