Sunday, 28 June 2009

Sunday traffic

We wouldn't, normally, move on a sunny Sunday due to the amount of weekend traffic. However, we had moored by bridge 5 (west of Shardlow) as there appeared to be good walks off of the bridge in both directions, only to find that they were closed to the SE due to quarry workings; I'm not talking temporary - these were closed over with massive concrete blocks. By the time we pulled pins at 11ish, 9 boats had passed us heading for the close by Aston Lock, but we thought we'd join the queue & have a natter and a cuppa. Amazingly we were just in time to drive in as the second of a pair & we never had to wait at a lock all day. Masses of spare crews and gongoozlers around so all I had to do was walk the dogs (until they got too hot) and make sure paddles were opened and closed in the right order - also stopping the over enthusiastic winders who were, at times, determined to wack open both ground andgate paddles simultaneously!!!

Walked into Swarkestone to look at this 18thC bridge which carries the road over the flood plains all the way to Stanton - ironically, it's beauty was spoilt by the shere volume of traffic and it was just too hot for tarmac and cars.

After a bite to eat, we were heading for Willington but we were seduced by a shady bank and moored up 2 miles earlier.

Whilst we are delighted that Daisy is moving around more, we are having to keep windows and doors Daisy-proofed as she cannot go out.

Daisy sleeping on her back with her paws protecting her new hurty lumpy bit (in amongst the clean washing of course).

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Walkies into Kegworth

These photos are a bit late going up (due to nursing Daisy & G taking the opportunity to reclaim his blog!) but this is such a gorgeous area on the River Soar that they should still have their day. I am completely sold on River cruising, when they are in benevolent mode of course, and don't want to go back on the canalsjust yet - but himself keeps muttering that we don't have a big enough prop for rivers.

Baxter is finding this lovely weathera little tiring.

A quick drink and a freshen up..........

....and on into Kegworth

At 2.00am this morning, Daisy decided she was feeling a lot better and woke me to tell me all about it. I have never been so pleased to be used as a pin cushion. She has also eaten today, so things are looking better.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Daisy is home...........

................and lives to fight another day. The official veterinary diagnosis is that she has a dislocated sternum which, they also tell me, is not possible! Can it be fixed? No. They can't put it back 'cause it would pop out again and they can't pin it because it needs to move as her chest expands and contracts to breathe. So Daisy will live on morphine for 2 or 3 weeks whilst her chest settles into this rather weird new shape. It's like a sort of bony hernia at the top of her 6 pack. They are fairly sure that the lurchers didn't actually get hold of her and that the damage was done when she hurled herself onto the roof of MR to escape - this is good news in that there should be no risk of infection. In defence of Daisy's street cred she would want you to know that I saw one lurcher limping and bleeding. Where does this leave us? Well, with one still rather poorly puddy cat who doesn't move and isn't eating. I saw the x-rays and they were amazing - her chest has a whole new profile.

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Daisy took on 3 lurchers on Monday evening, and unlike her she came off the worst for wear. She had no visible signs of injury, no puncture wounds, yet she has been very poorly, so much so that we have had to take her to the Vets in Long Eaton. We have been syringing electrolite into her since Monday but all she has wanted to do is lie down, she wouldn't even get up to go to the litter tray.
So whilst I am typing this we are awaiting the results of an X-ray. Thank the lord for insurance, today has cost us £100 excess but Tesco £350. In the past we hadn't bothered with animal insurance but since moving onto the boat, we have saved a small fortune by being insured.
We have been moored up for the last couple of days at what we think has to be one of the most beautiful sites on the system, not by name, Devils Elbow, but the area and the river Soar there was just wonderful.
The Vets have just rang, the X-rays do not appear to show any breaks, but on examination it would seem that she may have dislocated her sternum, although not something the Vet says is possible, she is going to have to consult with colleagues in the morning.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Bollywood on Soar

Normanton on Soar is a lovely stretch of riverside
but is not boat freindly, there are moorings at the Plough Public house but non elsewhere. However, just around the bend is Zouch, where moorings are plentiful and the pub 'The Rose and Crown' is very welcoming. Matilda Rose is moored up behind thePub's prettily adorned trip boat, a bit of Bollywood on the Soar.

Our mooring this afternoon is at Devils Elbow, I wish I knew why! but is very lovely.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Took a trip into Loughborough basin to reprovision for the next 10 days, not much had changed since January this year except the basin was full of rubbish.
Jill was worried that we would miss Windsong, but on leaving Graham had to go back to B & Q to get some compost and on his way he found Windsong having a few mods being done just on the south side of the Junction bridge.

Roger and Windsong, doesn't he look happy?

Windsong reversing through Loughborough Turn, Jill thought only Graham did such things!

Les on another Beacon Boat, this one is N0 8 NB Merryweather

Loughborough Lock

Wetlands & wildflower meadows


Locked down with a really nice couple on one of the 3 Navy boats (we've enjoyed the company of various of their crews before; "The Andrew" on the Stratford last September-although 8 burly blokes wanted me to break the Guiness Book of Records 'shortest time to do the Lapworth flight,' when I wanted to pick blackberries and forage for wood-and "Emma" earlier this year on the Oxford (who, inexplicably, appeared to have lost half of their crew - lost whilst out yomping?). I took the above photos around Cossington Lock & Cossington Mill whilst waiting for them to catch up.

At Sileby lock we encountered a Day Boat under instruction - "you'll all fit in there if we hold her off the cill," he says. Probably, but will we get the gates open? Yep & we all had a laugh, unfortunately, the same day boat with much less pleasant a crew was destined 2 haunt us over the next 2 days - but I will not moan.
Now it's not in flood any more, I love being on the river. The water is clearer and wider and the flora & fauna so much more diverse. We swooshed up through the wetlands to spend a couple of nights south of Loughborough so that I could walk the wildflower meadows and he could watch GrandPrix things. Leicestershire is just gorgeous at this time of the year with it's well marked footpaths and well oiled gates.
We stopped in Barrow on Soar for a bit of shopping and an excellent bite and a pint on the way through at lunchtime.

Loads of visitors over the weekend!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Watermead Country Park

Stayed here a couple of nights and it was nice to have a day to ourselves as we'd travelled everyday since leaving last Saturday. Had a bit of a clean up and walked through the park lakes and boating lake.

This feller settled down on a log on our roof to do a bit of sun-bathing.

We stopped off at the Hope & Anchor at Syston & enjoyed a pint - but the weather started getting very iffy - these photos would have been glorious in the sun. Seemed to spend most of the day getting changed in & out of summer & winter clothes.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Through Leicester in the sunshine

Having stayed overnight on the Castle Gardens pontoons in the centre of Leicester last January, we decided to shoot straight through. As we pulled away from our moorings below Kings Lock at the Packhorse Bridge, we immediately picked up another boater to lock through with. That's the great thing about the canals at this time of the year, they're packed with hire boats full of surplus, willing, happy locking crews to whiz you through the double locks - unless you're MR who attracts single-handers like magnets. So, for the second consecutive day (different single handed boat) I crewed 2 boats through the locks; but who cares, the sun was shining and I needed the excercise after my debauched living in Norfolk. It was so warm that I had to put the dogs back on the boat after a couple of hours.

The centre of Leicester is really rather grand as you swish up through the wide waters and under the ornate bridges passing the football ground. The only really grotty bit is from North Bridge to Limekiln Lock (less than a mile). The gates of the latter have been re-coated with non-slip; they were lethal in the ice last January & poor Fletcher fell in (Labrador crew from NB Caxton). Worth making a note that just before this lock (heading North), on the opposite side to the tow path, by the old Memory Lane Wharf is a water point (the only one we've found in miles & not marked in either our Pearson or Nicholson guides. Out passthe Space Centre and you're back into parkland and the River Soar winds gently into wetland and water meadows - a very different scenario from the flood water last winter!

So, change of plan; we're definitely (probably) not doing the Erewash, but will probably (definitely) do something with the Peak Forest. We also fancy the River Weaver, but will we find Daisy-safe moorings (must speak with Dogs on Tour - they've done it recently).