Wednesday 23 August 2023

And now the end is here..

So you might have gathered Reader that we are now home.  Frequent Flyers to this blog may remember that come August we have a run of family birthdays all within five days.   
My mother comes first (Don't tell her I told you but she is going to be 93).  

Then my own daughter who was born mid harvest, I was to have been taken in at 7am the following morning to be started off but during that afternoon I started labour naturally, I was well overdue,  but when David came in mid evening to find me properly in labour, head on arm leaning up the wall deep breathing and counting he was heard to have said something like oh bloody hell Lisa I've just arranged for the men to do the combining tomorrow and now I'll have to go and change it all, where upon he stomped off out again, but it mattered little as he was no use to a women in labour, he was so tired he slept in a chair in the corner but blamed that on the heating, I almost enjoyed myself on the laughing gas, it's funny what you remember.  

Then three grandchildren all have theirs, two four year olds and a two year old.  
August is a busy time around here.

Anyway, after we slipped away in sunshine from Penkridge, it was a lovely run through to firstly stopping at Acton Trussell on the long straight, we got there mid morning and managed to secure a natural recess in the hedge so we could comfortably put the chairs up and also get some shade.  I helped maintain it by doing some extra cutting with the shears.  A disappointment here in that the dairy cows were elsewhere, David loves stock judging, its a dairy farmers thing.

 Barely any boats considering how lovely the weather was but then again the weather has been dire so maybe boaters have gone to Florida instead?

It was here that David remembered that although we had been meaning to sand down the cratch frame all summer and re varnish it, it hasn't been finished, in fact it hasn't been started so we did so today.  

Just this minute I've discovered that my camera wire I've used for the nine years I've been doing this blog has been inadvertently left on WaL and not in the camera case where it lives.  So not many new pictures for you.
Sorry about that, not at all annoying.  

But below is one of the blue skies we enjoyed that day.  So novel I'd almost forgotten what they are.

I always feel so smug when passing under a major road.

Well the cratch frame was sanded down quite easily, in fact David did what he could reach from the towpath.  As I'm the expert I told him what David Lewis had told me "Don't sand the paint and don't sand the glass"  He didn't, unlike me who did both first time.

In total I managed to get four coats on.  I really only wanted to do a rough job and finish it in the spring but it looks pretty good enough.

We had been trying to get together with our Famous Friends the ex-Boat Sharers but they have had a busy time, some of it boating on their really gorgeous boat NB Caxton but stuff happens as it does so we finally decided to nip over to them at Fradley by car.  We had a lovely trip to the National Memorial Arboretum, David and I went by bike about ten years ago taking our lives in our hands having to cross the A38 but they have now got access without certain death.

Its a beautiful place well worth a visit which is free but donations.  Very thought provoking and peaceful.  This below was one I particularly liked.  Very good farming friends of ours in Devon were there because the Land Army girl sent there in the war fell in love with and married the farmer.  Sadly she is no longer with us but how Mollie would have loved this.  


If you can't quite make it out, it's a dead rat in a trap.

  Amanda's son is in the RAMC, there was a fine and touching statue which I failed to photograph, these below are for the VC's which were earned in the First WW and the Second WW.

HERE  For the story of Harold Ackroyd

HERE  For Major William Babtie

HERE  I remembered this case, no medal but a touching memorial.

As soon as I saw this one I remembered it clearly.  HERE

It's a very thought provoking place deeply touching but not sad and busy with visitors.

We had a lovely picnic in the grounds and later returned to Fradley enjoying a drink in the Mucky Duck pub aka The Swan.

Amanda with David

And me with the man I love.

 We'd had a lovely couple of days with the ex-Boat Sharers, not cruising together as originally planned but that will happen next year, right now it's boating France and Canada for them.

Back at Great Haywood where we were moored after popping into the marina for water as the two water points here are out of action with signs on saying please ask at Anglo Welsh ????  Astonishing, on the busy weekend Anglo Welsh had a man out with the hose I wonder who paid his wages?  When we passed two were waiting so to our marina we went.

It's been a fantastic summer for me, I have absolutely loved the Macckie, the Peak Forrest and the Llangollen canals, we've met lovely people, enjoyed wonderful scenery and learnt a lot.  Frankly I could just do it all again next year.

Finally time to pack up and go home, we did things slightly differently this time,  going into the marina in the middle of the day, we packed up in the afternoon and loaded most of it into the car, then set off at 08:30 the next morning arriving home early afternoon, the first good run home in ages.  It took all the stress out of the packing and last minute things we always forget like turning off the gas....

Waiting here at home was David's repaired car... it's been three months in the fixing mostly due to the difficulty of getting parts.  He's very happy with it and that the hire car has gone back.


So that's us pretty much done now but the boat isn't winterised so maybe in October we'll be up again and pop upto Stone and visit all those pubs we like so well.

We've a new experience coming up in September, it's a group trip to the Italian Lakes, it's an art trip so we'll see how David fares with these arty types on a coach, I've said there's one to Venice next year "God let's see how we go first shall we with this one?"  Well don't worry about him Reader, he can stop at the hotel over looking Lake Ieso on day two if it's blue murder.

In September beloveds arrive for a visit, that is to say youngest daughter and husband Mitch from NZ, just a holiday that is, they'll be returning to NZ again, that is if no one burns their passports ahem.


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