Sunday, 27 November 2011

Aston or Bust - wait up we are here

Monday 7th November to Sunday 13th November 2011

5 Miles, 9 Locks – for this week

Totals: 973 Miles, 806 Locks, 28 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 20 Swing Bridges

This week has seen our last travel for a while as we enter into Aston Marina for the winter.

We are not as experienced in the trials and tribulations of English winters as most other boaters would be and decided a while ago that we would make sure that we had a few creature comforts over the colder months – like electricity and water.

We spent a few days in Stone after cruising along from Barlaston and made sure to stock up on the heavier grocery items – like tinned goods and extra dog food and on some of the alcoholic beverages.

Thursday was our pre-determined day to go down the last two locks and the last mile.

We moved into the marina; moored up on the visitor moorings whilst we sorted out access to the pontoon; some pump out tokens and I think there was some payment of money as well in there somewhere.

I am not going to regale anyone with stories of perfection with the reversing into the space between pontoon and neighbouring boat – mainly because it didn’t happen.

The smallest of cross-winds seemed to move the front right around and we ended up having to pull the boat in most of the way – Diane making sure to limit the bumping with the other boat to a minimum.

Banjo had found himself on the pontoon – Diane was on the boat – naturally he wasn’t happy being separated from his mistress – and he really doesn’t have this distance perception licked yet – not even close to leaping onto the boat, so whilst I was with rope in hand hauling the boat, I suddenly needed to keep control of that and also fetch the dog out of the water (yet again).

All settled finally; dog bathed and shampooed; electricity plugged in and cosily inside and time for lunch.

We have reaffirmed the reasons why we selected Aston Marina – coffee on the deck or inside; a beer and lunch as we see appropriate; perusal through the farm shop with purchase of a few selections and many temptations yet to come.

We have continued with the self-double glazing and another window in place – this time a porthole and working very well and very dry – the amount of hand-cutting is justified when it works and works well.

So only another 9 to go – leaving the bathroom porthole out of the equation as we do open this regularly.

Sunday lunch at The Three Crowns was a bit of a disappointment – not from the taste of the meal – a bit from the value, with an attempt at traditional fayre at a new-age restaurant interpretation. But we did enjoy it none-the-less and part of that was enjoying the company of a new friend – Stella from nb Isobel – we had met Stella and partner Mike a few weeks ago when we popped in to deliver documents to the marina and started chatting – very nice people they are – unfortunately Mike is down south with work – earning enough to keep Stella in the manner…

Banjo enjoys the open space here and the longer walks that it affords – also a half kilometre walk for the paper – so some good exercise for both of us – she remains in the warmth under the doona whilst we battle the cold and winds and rain and sleet and snow – OK, not quite that bad just yet.

apologies for being a bit late in posting this.

1 comment:

  1. Aston is a nice marina, and I was impressed with the cafe and the farm shop (although not cheap!) How busy is it now? We may need to use it for a week or two next year, and wondered if they had plenty of space still. It had very few boats at all when I visited a year or so ago.