Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Post Christmas

The day after our guests left was a bit colder and it had snowed overnight. Our water tank was half full and two cassettes needed emptying. There was a good possibility that more snow would fall so we decided to move up to Sutton Wharf. It may get colder later so left early. Ploughed through slushy ice in places along the canal and it did snow again. "Hope it doesn’t get any worse cos we want to get back to the mooring". Managed to turn and back up to the water tap by pushing the thin ice away. The tap was frozen so got the kettle off the stove and poured hot water over the pipe to melt a plug of ice.

Water tap, Sutton Wharf

While the tank was filling I emptied the cassettes and Ann dumped the rubbish. The sun came out to make a cheerful warm run back and several boaters were out moving up and down the canal as well. But by the time we had returned to our mooring the grey clouds blocked out the sun and it was snowing again.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pre Christmas week

We had moved up to get water on a mild sunny day. On the way back we stopped so that Sue n Vic could cut up some more wood for their fire. Then the temperature fell to zero and ice formed on the cut over night. So we were forced to stay put. Sue came round with another of her 'walk maps'. "Come on Annie, we're off with the dogs to explore". "Please get back before it gets dark" I pleaded. Vic and I are left behind to look after the boats and make our own sandwiches. Passing the time reading our favourite books. The girls returned by 3:30 just as the sun went below the horizon.

Is that Father Christmas?

Next day John and Jean arrived by car from Braunston in less than an hour, a full 5 days by boat! Good to see them again and we talked about plans for next years cruising.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Saint Nicholas

He was a 4th century bishop in Asia Minor and is buried, circa 346 AD, in his cathedral at Myra. He has become a patron saint to many categories of people over the years. He is honoured throughout the canals of Europe as the boat peoples special saint. In Britain he is known as Father Christmas while in America they refer to him as Santa Claus. In France he was called Papa Noel.

The giving of presents results from the saint learning of a poor man who considered selling his three daughters. St. Nicholas visited the property anonymously and tossed a bag of gold through the window. It landed in a stocking hanging up to dry.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A winter day

The sun rose at about 8 this morning and slowly made its way along the horizon not getting much higher than the trees before dipping down and setting at about 4. The day was clear bright and warm as the girls went for their walk with the dogs through the country side. The fire was allowed to go out to be cleaned and relit just as the temperature started to dip down with the sun. On the other boat the chimney was modified during the day. The girls returned with wet dogs having made them jump in the canal to get clean. As the boat warmed up inside we all enjoyed a hot cup of tea and the dogs dried off in front of the fire.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas shopping

The village of Stoke Golding claims to be the birthplace of the Tudor reign. Crown hill is where Henry Tudor 'found' his crown and became Henry VII in 1485.

We were able to moor on the off side where we can gain access to the village. The Post Office was very busy with people and their Christmas mail in a never ending queue. Next day we went to Nuneton to do some shopping. An interesting ¼ of an hour trip through the countryside and villages in a small bus. Thankfully a dry mild day making for a pleasant trip. We saw a statue of a lady called George. George Eliot was born Mary Ann Evans in 1819. I wondered what she would have thought of this town now. Much changed since the loss of the coal mining industry.

Monday, December 05, 2005

'Gosty Hill'

Iain & Alison came up the Ashby with their coal & diesel supply boat 'Gosty Hill'. Recently back in the water after having a new bottom fitted. Plying their trade on the Coventry Canal and coming up the Ashby when called. Their price is considerably cheaper than the local marina. Both No Problem and Moore 2 Life needing at least a hundred litres of diesel each.

Hang on Sue

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Not Moving

Still moored between bridge 17A and 19 just north of Hinckley. We had left No Problem behind and next day the ice prevented Sue n Vic moving the boat up. Only 2 miles apart and next day they both walked up to visit for tea and sandwiches. Vic did very well walking that distance and was very stiff the next day. Then No Problem managed to move up through a channel of broken ice made by a hire boat moving down earlier. Hire boat companies have been making the most of the relatively mild winter so far.

Snow on roof

Air pressure is very low making for unsettled stormy weather. But at least it is mild with no ice now. The girls have been out exploring the countryside and coming back with two dirty dogs. The tow path has been chewed up by the hedge cutters during these damp days. A dangerous job now as in places the path is a bit narrow and the vehicle could slip towards the canal!

We have contacted a coal / diesel supply boat which is expected to return here next week. There are of course plenty of boats on private moorings on the canal. Some are occupied by their owners who have cars to go to work. They are therefore able to get rid of their disposables.