Friday, 18 November 2016

Buckets of hail stone being thrown at the roof!!!!

We’ve been moored in Wigan since Sunday, we had planned to take a couple of days to get here with a stop over at Crooke. However, there was a 3 MILE fishing competition last Sunday. Boaters have the right to moor anywhere and the fishermen have to move for us. We had to pass all the chaps close to the bank so as to reduce disturbing their catch too much. They were telling us it was a league competition. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to get, probably 5 or 6 of them to shift, so we ended up in Wigan. We decided to cruise here to see the chiropractor as we’ve neglected ourselves over the last year, as we always used to have a routine manipulation every few months.

It’s a good job we didn’t need to leave Wigan this week as we’ve both had a rather nasty tummy bug, which lasted a couple of days and vandals opened the paddles on the two locks directly below us, completely emptying about 2 miles of canal. It’s taken 3 days to refill the section which has due to reopen tomorrow.
And, today the weather’s totally pants, it sounds like someone’s been throwing buckets of hail stones at the roof since the wee hours of the morning and on and off all day long.

This has given me the perfect opportunity to get on with making my first boaty Christmas puds, cakes and mince meat. I’ll let the fruit steep in rum over night and cook them tomorrow and jar the mince meat. Earlier in the week John made some raspberry, cherry and mixed fruit vodka, which we are shaking everyday. We just need to peel & pickle the onions I brought last week, may be tomorrow. There’s only about a couple of measures of rum left in
the litre bottle, so best have some with coke this evening.

While we’re close to Heather she’s taking the opportunity to do a good bit of overtime and we are baby sitting the boys. Plus, we’ve been to the McMillan coffee afternoon at Nikita’s school, where we won a huge cake in the raffle. The following morning we attended Nikita’s class’s Remembrance assembly.

I went to the knit ‘n’ natter at the Farmers Arms at Burscough, organised by Carole from the Wool Boat a few weeks ago. I had attended it way back in May and had met most of the girls at the Burscough Wool Festival. I’m trying hard to finish all my half completed knitting projects. So far I’ve managed a shawl which grew amazingly once I blocked it. Lots still to do though.

Heather and the boys (Nikita had a party to go to) helped us up the 7 locks on their Rufford Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, when we were heading for Wigan. It’ll be good when Lance can get his life jacket on and help too.

We’ve had some spectacular sun rises and sun sets these last few weeks and the super moon was behind the clouds as it came up at it’s largest. It looked beautiful through the willow tree in front of the boat but didn’t come too well in a photo. Sadly we missed an amazing photo opportunity last week, a kingfisher doing his morning ablutions on a branch oblivious to us chugging by.

Next week we’ll need to head back and go up the Rufford Branch as due to the planned winter stoppages we won’t be able to wind (turn around) beyond Burscough. So that’ll be us on the branch until the stoppages are completed in mid March. It is going to be a very different winter this year, last year we were ‘locked’ in on a 28 mile stretch of the Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals. We are going to be limited to a 5-6 mile stretch between Tarleton and Rufford, but a short stroll from Tarleton to Heather & Jason’s though.

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