Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Middlewich (there and back again)

Final score!
We got back to the boat on Tuesday morning after nearly two weeks away.  Poor old Buddy had never been in kennels for so long – he was so excited when we picked him up but Sophie reckons he looked like he just wanted to kill us when we sent her this picture of him in the car.

Buddy in the car after being picked up from the kennels

Our first few days away were spent visiting Jo in Edinburgh and also my youngest brother Richard and his family in Linlithgow.  One of the highlights was our visit to Murrayfield on the opening day of the Six Nations.  This was the first time Karen and I had been to a rugby match together and the result was worthwhile!

Before the match we visited Aberdour with Jo and I was thrilled to see the word ‘outwith’ on a sign in the car park.  I have only ever heard Scots use this word and it always makes me smile as to me it is a spatial version of an onomatopoeic word.

"Outwith" in print
It was a very windy day as can be seen here as we looked across the Forth from Aberdour to Leith and the rest of Edinburgh.

A choppy Firth of Forth
After our visit north of the border we jetted of to the Canaries. I booked this up in the week before we let the house out and it took a few days to realise that I had bought flights to the wrong island but we just counted this as part of the whole adventure.  Mind you when we tried to drive onto the ferry to get to the island where our villa was we fell foul of our dreadful lack of Spanish.  When I booked the ferry online I didn’t know the registration of the car so made it up.  Mr Ferryman wasn’t happy but fortunately the girl in the ticket office understood the problem and sorted things out for us.

When we go to a country where we cannot speak the language I always fall into a stupid mixture of French and English and Karen goes all American and speaks louder in English.  Our villa was in a tiny village in the middle of Fuerteventura where very little English was spoken.  This made our daily trips to the Panaderia fun as we never really knew what we were going to get and always rushed out in embarrassment before looking in the bag handed to us by the baker lady.  Our children did point out that we never seemed to have problems ordering beers at bars though.

As you probably know, the Canaries are volcanic islands and this is the view of one (la caldera de Gairia) from our villa – it became ‘our’ volcano as we never saw anyone near it or on it…

La caldera de Gairia
 …so on our last day we decided to climb to the top.  At least there wasn’t the issue of sudden changes in weather and the chance of being lost in sudden mist or a rainstorm as can happen when hill walking in the UK.  This is looking down into ‘our’ crater.

The cater of la caldera de Gairia
Once settled back on the boat we decided to set off on our trip to Chester.  It was good to be back on board and smell the stove as we cruised along.

Trent & Mersey - heading north from Bramble cutting
As we were facing the wrong way we had to head north for a few miles to wind the boat at Billinge Green Flash (yet again).

Winding at Billlinge Green flash
There were a lot of boats on the move but we suddenly realised that it was half term so families were taking time out on their boats.  Buddy was back to his normal tricks of squirrel watching on the wrong side of the cut – one day he’ll forget and go crashing into the water.

Buddy squirrel watching
We moored up at Middlewich and made sure we were secure as strong winds and heavy rain are forecast for all day Wednesday.

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