Sunday, 2 December 2012

Ducks go Quack, Swans go Crack!!

Sunday 2nd December 2012

Pretty cold is the best way to describe the weather last night; the thermostat kicked in a couple of times last night to get the heater going and keep the boat from freezing completely – well at least it kept it above 10C inside whilst outside the temperature plummeted (dropped like a rock I say) to -4C.
Mr. Frosty has cast his white wand around the boat

and the marina too!!

As the cold (very cold) light of day showed there was a significant amount of ice in the marina and also out on the canal.

A dusting of icy frost everywhere
The ice was about 3mm thick – certainly not too thick that you couldn’t cruise through it – we did see a couple of boats on the move today – never a bad time for a cruise.

The ducks had no problems with the ice – they easily scoot along it as they come into land, but the swans did have a few of their own – the ice gave way under their weight and the distinct ice cracking sounds were loud and clear.
the swans crack through the ice on the water

One of the cygnets - 5 in total

Mum and Dad and two of the "billy lids"

We decided that we would walk together to get the Sunday paper – usually I am despatched with the dog (after coffee and other sustenance is provided whilst Diane is in bed awaiting our return) – this morning we were all up and ready for a walk – plan changed shortly after leaving to going into Stone and back again.
just a part of the icy awakening this morning

It was such a very nice day today – crisp but not excessively cold by the time we were underway; no breeze at all and with just a hint of sun trying to break through – all in all a very good day for a walk – and via the towpath.
ice across the width of the canal as well

The beauty of a cold crisp icy morning and the towpath is that any mud and/or water, along the way, is frozen so no slush on the boots just a need to be a little careful on the frozen puddles as they can be slippery.

Of course once in Stone we had to have coffee – Costa is conveniently open on a Sunday morning – sitting outside (as we had Banjo) we were talking to a lovely elderly lady, Jill, seated in her mobility scooter – talking about dogs and the merits (or lack) of David Cameron (I didn’t vote for him so not my problem); the lack of funding for preserving old buildings and any number of other things that seemingly come up as things of complaint.

We feel a little sad at the state of the nation and the general feeling by so many people that they do not have any real say in the running of the country; no real chance to make improvements in their lives; the real feeling a sad decline of a once proud country – it is a constant theme that we hear in talking to so many on our travels.

We had purchased the newspaper, which contained a sizeable amount of despair similar to our chat with Jill – sometimes I wonder why we bother buying the paper, seems only for the sports results which contain some form of hope.

The walk back to the boat was pleasant and uneventful; we arrived back at the marina in time to catch up with Sam, who was taking his dog Angel for her walk – Sam along with Cheryl and Angel are aboard their boat Calon Lan.

We had usually exchanged hellos to Sam and Cheryl as they headed off to work, but this morning we had a bit of a chance to talk – it seems that Sam and Cheryl run a pub in Stafford and in talking with Sam, I got a real sense of a person with direction in his life; a life plan that they were following; someone who knew he had a future – maybe the type of person that this country needs more of – looking forward and progressing, not backward and hoping.

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