Monday, 3 October 2016

Broken Cross (back from a week long holiday on dry land)

We were so lucky on our holiday in Scotland; it was unseasonably warm and we had hardly any rain.  The heaviest rain was during a morning that we were taking it easy in our AirBnB flat whilst Jo was doing some stuff at uni.

Almost a 180 degree rainbow looking east from the flat

It did get very windy on some days but that just made our walks more invigorating.

Plenty of white horses on the Firth of the Forth and hair all over the place – Buddy ignoring the wind of course

Karen’s other children, Catherine and Matthew, joined us at the end of the week.  Matthew is in his final year training as a doctor in the Czech Republic and is spending a two month placement at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford.  He came back to the boat with us on Friday so he could catch a train down to Oxford on the Saturday.  Catherine stayed up in Edinburgh with Jo for the weekend to help her to continue celebrating her 21st.

We went out with Toby and Ellie and their son Bertie one evening.  It was a really nice evening and good to have time together on our own with them.  Toby is my sister’s eldest son and is currently living in Edinburgh.  On another evening we went to Linlithgow to have dinner with my youngest brother, Richard, and his family.  We had hoped to meet up with Mel and John (I used to work with Mel) who moved to Scotland a year or so ago.  Unfortunately they were on holiday too and, ironically, were touring around the south including Stratford upon Avon which is in the area where we are currently continuously cruising.

Before we left we had a final walk along the beach at Aberdour where we stayed

On the way back home we called in to see my parents in Yorkshire and picked up a couple of shelving units that my Dad had adjusted to fit the new boat.  The weather was still being kind to us and the skies were cloudless - you will also notice that we have been moored right outside a pub so we went for a quick drink with Matthew in the evening.

Where we left the boat during our holiday in Aberdour in Scotland, outside the Broen Cross pub in Rudheath

On Saturday we dropped Matthew off at Macclesfield station and then popped into the boat yard to see the new boat.  All was looking good and it is booked to be dropped into the water this coming Wednesday and we will move in on Friday when Karen gets home from work; she will spend the week at a B&B in Leamington as we are too far north for her to travel daily.

A lot had been done in the last week – we had seen her on our way up to Scotland.  There is very little left to do and most of it should be complete by Wednesday.

Oak floor is now laid (the walls still looking orange in photographs rather than the pale ash that they really are)

Cratch boards installed

Kitchen nearly finished – just some silicone to finish off.  As it’s a smaller boat where we are shorter on space each tread of the steps lifts off to reveal additional storage space

As this was hopefully our last weekend on our current boat we took things easy and mainly just went out for walks. On Saturday we met up with Karen’s cousin, Dave, and Barbara for a drink in Middlewich.  Dave and Barbara had kindly helped me down the long flight of locks leading down from Kidsgrove to Wheelock a couple of weeks ago.

On Sunday afternoon we popped down to Acton Bridge on the River Weaver where a steam fair had been in place all weekend.  It was only about six miles away and it brought back happy memories of when we were on the River Weaver last year.  The steam fair was a mixture of traction engines and steam driven boats.  It’s fantastic that people are still prepared to spend time and money preserving these wonderful machines.

A couple of traction engines underway – we both love the smell of the coal fires burning

Steam boat Daniel Adamson (aka Danny) moored before the bridge

The Danny is a steam tug built in 1903 and used to tow strings of barges on the Rivers Weaver and Mersey.  She is fully restored and available for corporate and party hire which subsidises the maintenance and restoration.

Danny was moored just before Acton swing bridge which is one of many swing bridges on the Weaver.  They are not often opened these days as freight is hardly ever transported along the river.  Pleasure craft like us can easily fit under the bridges.  We have never been lucky enough to see them in operation but they must have been swung when Danny came down from Manchester during the week.

When we got back from the steam fair we repotted most of our pots with spring bulbs and winter pansies then went for a walk in the balmy October weather.

Heron on an unusual perch

Karen was up and away to Leamington by five this morning and I had to be up by six as the winter moorings went on sale at that time today.  I have booked a mooring near Leamington for December, January and February.  We may not use it much but at least we have somewhere close to Karen’s work where we can stay if we don’t feel like moving on every two weeks. 

As there are no services available (it's just on the towpath in the countryside) it is a very cheap winter mooring compared with those that have access to things like water, electricity and pump outs, so we feel justified in taking it. I had to book it under the current boat as the new one isn’t licenced yet and will now have the hassle of transferring the mooring permit and getting a rebate as the cost is calculated per metre length.

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