Wednesday morning was frosty and overcast but the temperature soon lifted and the frost went but then the rain started. We knew that later in the day it was going to get too windy to steer the boat safely so decided to cruise just a few miles to Hartshill. This area is dominated by old quarries and spoil heaps. From the Roman times, manganese and quartzite have been mined here and a lot of the area has been converted to open public spaces – ideal for a good walk with Buddy.
We moored at the old British Waterways boatyard, had lunch and then went for a long walk. Here is Buddy watching me steer through the yard…
… and here is the yard.
We soon came across one of the old spoil heaps; this one is called Jees after the family that owned the associated quarry.
In Hartshill woods the terrain is nearly all man made as the woods are situated in old quarries. Buddy was in his element; here he is in squirrel tracking stance.
We came across a stream and we taught him how to leap it. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a decent picture of him in mid air but he is airborne in this picture.
We came out at the top of a hill with fantastic views across Warwickshire (well they would be more stunning on a clear summer’s day and with a decent camera).
On our way back to the boat we came across a derelict abbey which unfortunately is closed to the public.
I have to mention our new heat dispersing fan; it is brilliant. We bought it recently and it is paying dividends already. It sits on the back of the stove and drives hot air along the boat so the heat rises further along rather than going straight up. We were sceptical about them when we first heard of them but having questioned other boat people we decided to go for one. The fan is also totally silent and runs entirely on the heat generated by the stove.
As the blades spin very fast here it is sitting on a work surface instead.
If you have a stove at home that you feel should heat more of your room then one of these is a good investment.
Finally, before we sit down to our roasted vegetables and mixed sausages listening to the strong wind rocking the boat, here is an old railway notice that Karen found amusing on a house she walked past.