Wednesday 22 July 2020

A long day but worth it

So we left Kidderminster after I had returned three pairs of jeans to M&S and brought a quite different fourth pair.  David's 85th birthday fast approaches and we had brought all sorts of edible goodies for his "Birthday Week", I had a birthday week last year and now he wants one.  I shall be extending mine to a Birthday Month next March (Its a WHOPPER!).

It was finally a really lovely day, we did retrieve the sun cream too.  Below is a most attractive lock that I have certainly photographed before, is it Falling Sands Lock or the other one? Either way its pretty impressive.
The sun shone, hardly another boat anywhere and everything in the garden is rosy.

WaL coming into the lock, is that faded red paint I can see?  Maybe we should have her repainted....

Looks like the paving stones have been replaced but I hope these are protected, I love these echo's of former lives spent on the canals, by folk with a lot harder lives than we have.

I was hopping on and off here, trying to get a shot of WaL coming through the viaduct, its not a bad shot I guess but then walking on a bit I realised that I had missed out the original canal bridge out so here's another.

So faded......

We carried on to Stourport, the chandler shop has still got stock in it but not open, so you call them and go find them in a warehouse away a bit.  Evidently the lease is up on the shop and they are not renewing.  The business will go all online.  

We filled with water and departed the way we came.  Back through Kidderminster, quite a few boats there now.

The iconic church view here.

Around the corner at Sainsbury's was a very recognisable boat, NB Chuffed, home to Dave and Debby,    HERE
I look upon Debby as my Wild Flower consultant identifier, she has commented many times on this blog to help me out, Debby I was sorry that we couldn't stop and meet properly but next time!

NB Chuffed and Debby.

Below this is James, he works all week he told me but he does not want to sit in a pub all weekend so he bikes out to help with locking, today he was here at Debdale Lock but sometimes he cycles over to the Delph Flight or the Stourbridge Flight to help any boater.  Lovely chap, broad Yorkshire accent and he wants to retire to Scarborough.
Say hello if you meet him.

James, Lock helper.

We have friends in Kinver and we were delighted to receive them onboard for dwinks and even more delighted to be invited for supper at their cottage too.  Sarah and Chris, a very interesting pair, Sarah also has blogged about their time afloat  HERE , she is currently working on her blog and will update it soon.

Lovely to have caught with you both, next time we are down the supper will be on us.

The next morning very early at about 8am, we were up and at 'um, as we pulled away a boat moored just in front of us had its captain on deck preparing also to pull away, we had come up behind them yesterday and they weren't fast, so we were delighted to have the lock advantage this morning.
The Vine pub was closed last year, its had a chequered recent past, but today it has new umbrellas and a lick of paint too, looking very much smarter.  Good luck to it.

The Vine at Kinver.

So looking at the boat below, its moored on the CART line moorings, I object to the paint which is totally flaking off into the canal and later into the sea from an environmental position, I had thought as we passed it on the way down it was deserted but no, its someone's home, but how long till it sinks and becomes a major environmental problem? 
Who's problem then? 

Glorious sunny views across open meadows, a few boats here today.  

He's listening to the cricket!

He always copies my ideas and beats me to Instagram to post them....

There's something about how the canal disappears around the hill here just north of Swindon that I love.

I absolutely believe in free will but I still was surprised that this man was washing the outside of his fence.... Nice garden and all but the outside of his fence...? 
Strange I call that. 

Now if someone can tell me if this below is Japanese Knotweed, that introduced and highly invasive weed that cannot be pulled out or destroyed by any known means to man, then we do have a big problem as its all though this patch of woodland growing unchecked....

We pushed on, a five hour cruise, unheard of for us but we did it for them....
Joe and Lesley of now NB Steadfast.  HERE  We have had a bucket full of adventures with them in the past with them on their other boat NB Yarwood  HERE this was when we crossed the Wash back a few years....

NB Steadfast looking totally glistening David after their repaint!

Supper was a great feast together with much giggling again after a long while.


  1. The pink plant is Himalayan Balsam, an introduction, pretty but it shades out a lot of natives, and when it dies in the autumn there is less vegetation to stop the bankside washing away, and obvs bad for wildlife. There is a website to report sightings, but as the wretched stuff is all along the canal and the river Stour if they don't know about it by now what's the point in reporting?
    I LOVE your Birthday Week idea. I have a big birthday in about 6 weeks so I think I will borrow it. I must start drip-feeding the notion to my best beloved! I hope the weather keeps fine for the rest of your cruise
    Debby xx

    1. Well I know that Himalayan Balsam is terrible but can it be killed? I have no idea, but the dreaded Japanese Knotweed is indestructible, god knows how that will end up.

      Birthday Weeks are much more fun, you can cram so much more into them... Presents, theatre, outings and lunches with best girlfriends all rank very highly with me. I hope you get all you wish for, (I find it helps to supply a list)
      Lisa x

    2. In many places they organise Balsam Bashes, you pull them up and stamp on them. It can work, you start upstream and it takes years. The seed pods explode and chuck the seeds about, great fun to play with - we innocently did this when the children were young so comtributed to the problem :(

  2. Congratulations on turning 85 David. Lisa what do you feed your Toy Boy to keep him looking so young?

  3. Yes, it is Japanese knotweed. Caroline

    1. Thank you Caroline, its a particular menace for sure.

  4. Hi Lovelies, Was spesh to see you both last week. David certainly is sprightly for 85, if I'd known he was no spring chicken then I would have driven you back to Whittington Bridge. Thx for the truffles, my Birthday Boy will be getting a message from the Queen today. I finally published blogspot Lady Lock-n-Lol, yesterday. Love Sarah xx