Thursday 29 April 2021

Cold, oh so cold, mad swan and friends again.

I've been remiss.  Since my last posting we made it back alive to the marina and then back home proper.  Whereupon we had our second covid jabs as did my mum and now we are as fully protected as we can be, until the boosters appear.

So now we have returned to the boat from the south coast where we have endured two weeks of horrid horrid strong east winds freezing the cockles of your heart and my feet.  David kept telling me that's it was warmer up north and he was right.  I couldn't quite believe that it was raining the first night in the marina either.

The next day we set out in the teeth of a gale.  It was all action in the marina with reports of a man holding his own rope had been pulled into the water well and truly dunked.... he was rescued by two other handily placed men thank goodness.

I can testify as to the temperature of the canals in April and yes its breathtakingly cold, I found out for myself some years ago.  I blame Amanda one of our "Boat Sharers", she had been polishing WaL very effectively and as I went to hop off at a bridge hole I just slipped straight down like a burial at sea.

The "Boat Sharers" did redeem themselves admirably by fishing me out in seconds.  I did what I had been instructed to which was to strip off all my clothes quickly on deck and have a hot shower below deck.

Anyway lets hope that poor man recovered himself.  The wind continued to blow and thankfully for our bow thrusters we made it out of the marina unscathed, as WaL emerged from the entrance, on the tow path opposite a male swan (Cock?) was holding six people and three dogs at bay, one brave woman ran the gauntlet, the swan wasn't quite ready but he was for the next couple taking a chunk out of her dog and narrowly missing her bosom as he lunged in for a second attack! 
I advised from the safety of the bow and across the canal to stick yer boot in, but that's farmers wives for you.

As punishment for my anti-swan sentiments God sent a extra strong gust that blew out our newly mended Lockgate.... not at all annoying, another three hours or so till it cools down to light again.

We headed south, this accompanying wind was perishingly cold but it places along the canal we were beautifully sheltered, but after Colwich Lock the open meadows down to Rugeley were something else.  I feel the cold more as I get older and moan louder that's for sure.

Well hours later and after gawping at all the new building developments along the way, (Don't they build them close together?????) a boat came into view well know to me, it was NB Lady Aberlour   HERE
Carl and Linda and Tricky, these two always make me laugh so if you like laughing go read the blog Hedgerow Jottings.

We almost moored on the delightful open meadows south of Armitage and Handsacre but didn't.  

David is the kind of driver that, when asked to stop at the next lay-by or Ladies Loo will just keep going and say I didn't think that was one! or I didn't hear you, just the same at the pretty, open and pleasant meadows, 
"I don't think we can get in there" we have moored there plenty of times "I thought you wanted to go to Fradley"   well finally we rocked up at Fradley village as Fradley junction was completely full. 

Last thing to say was that we moored up to a Portuguese boater, I've never met a Portuguese boater before I said to him, "Neither have I" he replied!

The three of us after our second jabs- No cameras allowed!!

Shrugborough Estate have introduced these English Longhorns, rich mans pets.

The foothills of Cannock Chase get left behind as we head south.

NB Lady Aberlour I should have snatched a photo of Linda but I was too busy shouting greetings.

New builds, if it rains you can reach to get your neighbours washing in for them without leaving your own garden

Best patch of bluebells seen so far.... 

Floral shot of WaL coming past the Mucky Duck at Fradley, it was cold and windy but some souls were sat outside chortling and having a pint.  

Nicely lined up for the swing bridge that marks our turn from the Trent and Mersey Canal and onto the Coventry Canal

Is this called Knitting Bombs? I have mixed views, pretty and all that but is it polyester wool, where will it end up?

Wood End Lock, HS2 is acoming to a charming lock and cottage for sure, they've taken out many mature trees but they sure have planted more.  I have mixed views on HS2 as well.

Lunch was curried parsnip soup that made my eyes water as David used up the last of the chilli flakes when making it, then cheese on toast for supper, Boris Johnson's recipe, with stilton on the top, I underplanted the cheese with sliced mushrooms.  Lockgate on again and I turned the dial up higher this time, over six hours cruising today, a mamouth day, bed at 20:00, lights out at 20:10.



  1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment on the Chuffed blog! We seem to have had a brief less-cold spell aboard (I can't really say warmer) and we just got back to the marina before the wind really got up. David's question re wild garlic, no it's not the same plant - the proper wild garlic is far stinkier and has broad dark green leaves and starry white flowers. If you get down towards Nuneaton you will smell it in the woods between Hartsill and Springwood Haven marina.
    Debby x

  2. In response to your question mark, a male swan is a Cob, a female swan a Pen.
    Jo ex n/b Sarah Kate.

    1. Dear Jo,
      Thank you for that, you'd think I would know but I have Covid Brain, that is being at home for the best part of a year doing not a lot I can't remember anything.


  3. Male swan is a cob — and the female is a pen.

  4. Thank you Adam, I can remember "A Murder of crows" or is it Rooks or even Jackdaws?
    Getting dafter am I.

  5. Thanks for the mention Lisa. Thank goodness you missed taking my photo. I still have lockdown hair and a moon face from eating too many lockdown treats. I shall be thin as a whippet soon, if my knees hold out. Isn’t boating Such Fun! ��

    1. I have had my hair done (Thank goodness) it made me feel like a new woman.