Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Nikita came to stay

As it’s half term holidays from school, Nikita came to stay for a few days while we are at Rufford. Tuesday was bright with a brisk wind, which wasn’t quite as strong as over the weekend, so we went for a cruise up to Tarleton, where Nikita met one of her friends while we were pushing the swing bridge. We nipped up to the village while we were there to get some treats. We topped up the water tank at Sparks Bridge where all the CRT work boats were obviously having a day off, in fact, it’s easier mooring against them to get water than the bank, as it’s got huge bolts sticking out.

Monday this week was quite busy, we caught the bus and train to Wigan so John could have his back manipulated by the chiropractor. He put his back out picking up his t-shirt last week!!!! Then back to Burscough on the train to give blood at the mobile centre set up at the Royal British Legion hall. This was a new experience for us as we’ve only ever donated blood at Edgware and Luton which are main centres where John used to give platelets. John now has to donate whole blood, as to be a platelet donor you need to be able to commit to a couple of hours each week at the same main centre. Last September we donated at Leeds which was also regional centre. Then we got the bus back to Rufford for Heather to drop off Nikita.

Last week we went to Liverpool on the train. Mark, the chap that fell in the canal at Wigan, is spending winter in Salthouse Dock. We gave him a knock and went aboard for a cuppa. He invited us to join him at The White Star pub for his weekly sea shanty session. We had ‘scouse’ (we’d call it stew though!!!!!) for lunch and couple of pints at The Baltic Fleet pub. Mark had another surprise visitor that day, Peter one of the Wigan lock keepers that had helped us down the flight had dropped in too. We chatted to a chap that played the uilleann pipes, which is a 7 reeded instrument that’s powered by an elbow bellow. It was an excellent afternoon and evening.

Heather dropped the boys off at the boat mid afternoon while she took Nikita to the dentist last week. I asked Magnus to pick up some toys and he said “I’m too tired”. I suggested he lie on the bed and to our shock he fell asleep and then Lance did too. Heather was amazed when she got back. 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sunny Saturday in Tarleton

Yesterday was amazingly sunny, warm and still, (storm Doris had hit us a couple of days ago) so we took advantage to spruce up the outside of the boat. We wiped it down, cleaned the windows, polished all the brass inside and out. John rubbed down and touched up some of the blemishes in the dark grey paint work. Plus, I sat on the bow and did some knitting until the sun went behind the new houses. 

Edmund was up for the weekend and Heather, Jason and the kids went to Rydal Water in the Lake District for the day. If we had gone too, they would have had to take both cars.

Today we got up nice and early to stroll up to Heather’s to prepare breakfast. It’s pretty cosy and mad with the 3 kids and 5 adults on the boat. After breakfast we all went to Southport to do 10 pin bowling, before all saying our good-byes to Edmund as he had to catch the 14.30 train.

 We had a small fishing competition by us today and they were just packing up when Heather dropped us back to the boat. We were fascinated to watch the weigh in and the wriggling roaches put back into the canal. The chap behind our boat won with 11lb 10oz total weight of his catch.


Heather’s birthday seems a long while ago. Ada & Dale were up for the weekend. As a birthday treat from us Heather & Jason stayed in a hotel on Albert Dock in Liverpool. Ada & Dale joined them but returned to baby sit the children and take them to their child care on Monday.


Last week we caught the bus to Preston to do some shopping. We also strolled along the Lancaster Canal from where it starts in Preston to the new Ribble link that was constructed on Savick Brook. The link was opened in 2002 to connect the Lancaster Canal with the main canal network via Tarleton (where we are now), along the River Douglas and River Ribble. Some of the newly constructed locks are on some tight bends which means narrow boats need to enter them backwards. 

Photo by Colin of the Wool Boat

 I enjoyed a lunch last Thursday at The Farmers Arms in Burscough to celebrate the 6th birthday of the knit and natter there.

We have had two brief encounter with lovely birds. One evening we were walking up the lane to the village and a Tawny owl was flying really low and had to swoop up to miss our heads. This evening a kingfisher was on our bow rope, but of course neither were caught on the camera.

Tomorrow we are heading to Rufford for a couple of weeks. On the way we’ll be stopping at the water point as our water tank’s pretty low after more than 2 weeks.