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Monday, 21 March 2016

A day of firsts

Three firsts!!!!!!!


What a day of firsts!!!!  
We set off from Chester to moor a few miles from Ellesmere Port.  The third bridge we went under there was a VERY loud twanging, pinging & boinging, almost a tuneful sound from the prop. I managed to leap off the bow to hold the center line while John delved down the weed hatch, where he retrieved a large bit of coiled metal with colourful material attached.  
On closer inspection it was one of those collapsible tunnels kids play with or dogs doing agility go through.  I need to keep a close eye on him over the next couple of days as he got quite a gash on his hand in the untangling process.
And on our way we went.  


 
Within a few minutes our second and third firsts came into view.
A field full of Jacob ewes and their lambs. I was getting a bit worried they didn't have lambs in the north west. Along side this amazing field we saw a pair of kingfishers.  They played 'cat'n mouse' with us for a fair old distance.
 Such a shame we couldn't get a photo of the lambs and the kingfishers in the same shot.
We're now moored near Chester Zoo.  We strolled up the lane that goes straight through the middle of the zoo and we saw camels, donkeys & deers.








Sunday, 20 March 2016

Goodbye Macc, hello Chester


 


This is our second day moored in Chester and it's very spring like. We've walked along the River Dee and sat outside the boat this afternoon. We really love Chester's old city centre.

Our final couple of days on the Peak Forest Canal we spent at Bugsworth Basin where I went to my first knitting group at 'Yarnbirds' an excellent yarn shop in Whaley Bridge. It was so good to meet up with Dorothy, the editor of 'Yarnmaker' magazine.

I steered the boat and John did all 12 Bosley Locks. When we got to the bottom of Bosley locks we came across a couple of swans having a right to do, the course of true love is sometimes a little rough!









We  moored that evening at Ramsdell Hall. where John got some amazing photos of a pair of buzzards and sun set. It's really good to be able to do a nice long journey as it'll take us to 5-6 days to get to Ellesmere Port for Easter.

As we approached the Trent and Mersey Canal the water changed to a very orange colour. We were leaving the Peak District behind and the hills were getting further into the distance and the land scape seemed almost like we'd see on the Grand Union.

We ended up with a 2.5 mile walk when we moored at Hassall Green. Sadly the shop and pub there had closed down. At this mooring we were very near the M6 slightly north of junc 17 and as we headed off we saw the evening rush hour traffic at a stand still.

At Middlewich we filled up with diesel at Kings Lock Chandlery and got some spare alternator belts and throttle cable, just incase we're in the middle of nowhere and they break. I think we'll have to spend a few more days exploring this lovely little town on our way back from Ellesmere Port.

We stopped for water at Calvelery and met a single handed lady boater whose had got her boat the same time as ourselves. Her bow fender attachment had come loose and as she attempted to fixed it she dropped a big link into the canal. So the very strong magnet I got John for his birthday was able to rescue the missing link for her.

I am knitting bunting like mad now as I think we'll need some to decorate the boat for Easter. It's a good way to use up all my odds and ends of yarn.

Tomorrow we are going to start a leisurely run to Ellesmere Port, it should only take 2 ½ hours but we have two days, we go past Chester zoo so maybe we'll stop off and have a look to see if we can see any animals.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Winter Wonderland

 
We've woken today to an amazing winter wonderland and it's still snowing like mad at lunch time. We were chuckling slightly while listening to the traffic reports on the radio. It looks like the kids in Marple are off school today.
White Nancy
Hovis Mill
We had an excellent time in Bollington and walked up to White Nancy where the views towards the Pennies and over Manchester and beyond were amazing much better than at the Cage.
Onto Macclesfield where we spent a week at three different moorings. Visited the Silk Museum and had a tour of Paradise Mill and went to the monthly 'Treacle Market' which was excellent lots of local crafts people and food producers, needless to say we brought lots of things. We just had to have a couple of pints in 'The Waters Green Tavern'.
After a couple of years I've finished my arran cardi which my friend calls my 'Val Doonican' cardican!!!! Also finished the crocheted arm covers for our chairs, I inherited most of the squares from my late friend Julia. I have just about completed a small locker hooked rug for the bathroom. Then onto complete spinning some sock yarn my friend Maggie asked me to try out, again probably 2 years ago.
We are now moored a Marple after a day at the boat yard having some ballast removed from under the bed as we were tilting slightly to the port side. While the lads were under the bed my whole yarn and fibre stash were on the dinette. I need to get a shift on and use it all up before we head to Yarndale in September.
Yesterday we walked to Marple Bridge to see the excavations of a huge mill that was destroyed by fire in the 18th century.
We have booked to go to the Easter Boat Gathering at Ellesmere Port Canal Museum as recommended by the couple who run Alton the coal boat.