Saturday, 12 November 2016

Our world is always the better for spending time with our friends

Monday 7th November to Saturday 12th November 2016

For most of the week we could be described as being in the really boring mode – not much was happening – I know that I was busy with work and Diane has been busy with some craft work; we ventured out for each of the days, but really for not much of a walk – the truth was that we were just too comfortable and cosy inside the boat and had no real reason to go outside.

There were a couple of days in there where we had good reason to be out and about – Tuesday saw the return of nb Much Gigglin’ and we had a lovely meal over at The Boat House with Tone and Julie before they needed to be moving on towards Hilmorton where they needed some electrics seen to, but it was simply nice to sit and talk with them for a while – the previous Thursday was a bit rushed as they got through the locks.
These guys were the very first boaters that we encountered back in 2008 and we worked down the Hatton Flight with them – us being complete novices with barely 3 days experience under our belts; they helped us and showed us so much – most of which has stayed with us all of these years; we had a lovely meal at the Cape of Good Hope at the end of that day and we learnt what it was to be a boater in England (not that we could have classed ourselves as such way back then).

Love these guys - it will be too long until we see them again
We bid them farewell as they cruised off – this time with at least an hours daylight in front of them.

Come Thursday we had a very busy day – first of all we decided that we had to clear away some things that needed to be done – elsan and rubbish heading that list; after that we did decide to take a longer walk – heading along the towpath past the junction we came off at Bridge 89 – through a couple of gates and past a paddock full of sheep – at least for Diane they were better than cows – then up the hill and we came out on the other side of the church – we hadn’t been that way before.
The views from the top across the canal and away to the north-west were completely different to what we have seen before.

It is almost as good as I saw it; the brilliance of the sun behind the cloud

This was the prelude to what we had been waiting for – Bev, Dot and Roly had driven down from Stone for a visit – it was catch-up time with more dear friends – part of the best group of friends that anyone could wish to have.

Crazy people - there should have been a warning on the packet -
(from L to R) - Bev, Dot, Roly, me and Diane
We had pre-lunch coffee and tea in The Boat House, followed by lunch and then back to Ferndale for more the drink and eat – Roly just loves Diane’s Welsh cakes – there were presents and cards handed over each way – we won’t see them again this year and probably not until April next year at the earliest.

Roly and Bev - see Roly, Bev really does love you and we love them both
It was sad to see them go, but we have a schedule of things to do for ourselves now, which must be done before we too can head off.

Friday morning and we untied early-ish; watered up; winded and then headed north on the Oxford. We were planning on going only as far as some mooring just above the Hilmorton flight and then spend Saturday there as well – there was rain that had been forecasted for then.
Along the way we planned to fill all of the diesel tanks and cans at Hillmorton Wharf, but after mooring up, we found that it was closed (on Fridays); mmm, we were down on diesel, so the decision was made to carry on; down the locks and we filled at Clifton cruisers, and although the diesel was a bit more, it was a pleasing feeling to have everything full again, and with that we eventually moored up at Brownsover (Rugby).
Number one issue was always going to be TV signal – afterall it was Friday – Strictly was the prime concern to the top management – luckily that was all OK, so settled in we did.
Lunch - Staffordshire oatcakes (courtesy of Roly) -
at the bottom with sausages cheese and bacon;
the top with tomato and cheese - mushrooms on the
side for both - simply lovely
Friday night and Saturday early morning were as predicted – at least the boat was geeting a bit of a clean. It seems to be that Saturdays are becoming a bit more relaxed for both of us – we had no need to rush out for anything, so we took our time; went out and picked up a few things that we needed and for the rest of the day it is in the boat, cosy and warm and doingas little as possible.
Saturday - McDonald's day and the big kid was let out again -  here with
her new Troll and a book of stickers
Well that has been the essence of this week – the last thing to do is to wish my aunt, Brenda, a very Happy Birthday – she is just a few years older than me, so we spent a lot of time together when we were much younger –so have a Happy one!!

10 Miles, 3 Locks
YTD:  798 Miles (1284 km) , 447 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 21 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4593 Miles (7392 km), 3146 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 66 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

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