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Grumpy Old Men

Sorry about the short delay; until now I have only been able to write while online, so having faith in that there must be a way around this, I searched the Ubuntu repository and found a plethora of available software and bish bash bosh, here we go.

It was the intro music to Strictly that jolted me to “move away from the tele” and now was a good time to write something. I know, lots of people love it, but lets be honest, it is the quintessential chick flick of reality TV, Ann Widdicombe to win.

Is Bruno Tonioli on drugs? Is Bruce Forsyth going to do a Tommy Cooper on stage?

So what’s been happening, well if you were following the blog before you will know that we cruised the Llangollan canal (North Wales), from there down the Shropshire, making our way to the South Oxford on which we continued down past Banbury until turning around and coming back up to Braunston, there we turned right, and continued up past Market Harborough to Leicester, before turning left to Fradley junction, then making our way back up the Macclesfield to the Peak Forest Canal for the winter…There, I hope that wasn’t too boring.

We are currently moored at one of our favourite spots; “The Strines”

Current mooring

I think I’m going to start a grumpy old men corner, I don’t know if anybody has watched this series, but I quite like it, and can relate to it 100%; so if anybody feels like airing their grumps about any of the topics then lets hear about it. For this post tell me your views on reality TV. for instance, have the judges got any reason at all to complain about the results, when viewers pay for the call,  personally I don’t think they care, so long as people phone in and they get your money. I think they are now getting so far up themselves that they feel it appropriate to play this biblical music as they strut out.

I’m going to call it a night now, I can still get this post published before it gets too late.

Next Grumpy subject: Is it time to drop the “Right Honourable” title for MPs?

Rise from the ashes

Hi everybody

As anybody who followed the blog will know, I have not posted since the Spring. There are two reasons for this; the main reason was a lack of usable speed on our Orange mobile broadband, I’ll talk about their catalogue of miss selling later. The second reason was down to a loss of enthusiasm, I may talk about this later, if I can be bothered.

I have lots information to pass on to you, news to tell and topics to talk about, and we’re going to be bold and controversial; but we have visitors this weekend, so it will be Monday before I can sit down and try to be creative.

Watch this space !!!

The Explanation

Since the last post we had to abandon our planned rendezvous with Charlotte & Tim as they were going to spend the day with us at Sandbach when they were to collect Lily following her week on board during the Easter break from school, however she developed chicken pox last Monday and was covered from head to foot in horrible blistery spots, so Charlotte came over early for her and we re-arranged our plans. If Lily reads this post we hope you are well on the mend chicken and enjoying your longer Easter holiday xx.

We have now turned North onto the Trent and Mersey, then West and we are now heading down the Middlewich canal to join the Shropshire Union.

We were moored up next to two boats near Middlewich, John & James were obviously well acquainted. I thought the character in these two men was worth a photo. I have no idea what he is explaining, but it would be interesting and fun to get your thoughts on this. Feel free to make humorous suggestions, but keep it clean.

What is he explaining........Comments please

On the move again

We successfully passed our safety inspection on Tuesday, and so we bid farewell to the High Peak following the long hard winter, and are currently on our way down the Macclesfield Canal.

Grahame  has been on Easter leave and spent a week with us which was a great help down the Bosley flight of twelve locks. I feel sure he enjoyed his week onboard, and Jack found a new friend to take him on walks.

As we passed just North of Congleton we met up with Andy & Sally off narrow boat “Puzzler”. We got to know this couple as we were moored up next to them at The Strines, a big thank you Sally for the haircut.

We are now at the Red Bull Junction, which is where the Macclesfield canal joins the Trent and Mersey canal. This is one of the strangest junctions I have come across and I have put a link to Google maps for you to see. The red colour water is due to minerals seeping out of Harecastle Tunnel following extensive work to remove the towpath through the tunnel, this improved height in the tunnel for the boats as the narrow boats now run more central.

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.08963,-2.251017&spn=0.005902,0.01929&t=k&z=16

Finally let me remind everyone that the “Subscribe to this blog” on the front page will send you an email when there is a new post; as far as I know that’s all it does, and I haven’t had any complaints from the viewers who have signed up.

Bosley Bottom Lock

The Strines

This is another of our favourite moorings, it is about 1.5 miles out of Marple, the area is known as The Strines.

We were planning to move off this week down the Macclesfield canal and head for the Llangollan Canal, but have decided to hang around here for another few days. The reason is that we are due to have our boat safety inspection, our current certificate expires in May; this is like an MOT for boats, it comes around every 4  years and ensures that things like gas, ventilation, battery compartment, electrics etc are safe. One of the other boaters has arranged to have an inspector visit and if he can do 4 boats in a day he will do it for £90 each, which is quit a saving. It will save us having to arrange it ourselves and rendezvous somewhere; all in all this will be much more convenient, and that’s it out of the way for another 4 years.

Yesterday about 100 yards from us, British Waterways cut down some branches of a tree (ash) that was over hanging and becoming a hazard to boaters . They cut the wood into short manageable lengths and left them at the side of the tow path for boaters to help themselves. So, knowing that it will not be around for long we reversed the boat and moored beside it and loaded as much as we needed onto the roof; returned to our mooring, and got out the chain saw.

A favourite mooring

Take a guess at what this animal is (comments please)

Solar Panel Tilt-omatic

I’ve got patent pending on this Gromit.

The solar panel, previously mounted flat on top of the top box is now capable of tilting in all four directions, plus lying flat. This will greatly increase the power from the solar panel and can give up to double the current.

The frame consists of four pieces of wood and some basic plumbing components that can be bought easily and cheaply.

A frame made with 22mm copper pipe is affixed to the solar panel using closed clips fixed to the frame using self tapping screws. This frame then lines up with open clips mounted on to the wooden batons screwed to the top box. A small piece of pipe can be clipped into place opposite the tilt to use as an anchor for the strut. Total cost, about £30.00

Spring at New mills

Well spring looks like it has finally arrived; we took a walk round New Mills and came across these lambs by the farm in the Torrs Riverside Park soaking up some rays on their mamas back, they were so unafraid of us that they came running up to the fence to say  “hello”, Jack wondered what they were, but couldn’t understand what they were saying to him as he doesn’t talk sheep!! We carried on through the park by the river & came across the Millenium Walkway which was built when they installed the Hydro-Electric plant in New Mills, the walkway is very impressive and skirts round the town with several paths that lead up to the town centre.

We are currently moored in the Strines which again has magnificent views across the Goyt Valley, we are about 1.5 miles from the market town of Marple,  just a nice walking distance away to enable us to get some materials for Grahame to adapt the solar panel; this adaption will be posted separately at a later date. In a couple of weeks we are hoping to move off from this area as it would appear (fingers crossed) that we have seen the last of the freezing weather, hopefully the necessary work  on Bosley Locks will be completed by British Waterways by the end of March. The Llangollen Canal in Wales is looking favourite for our next venture as we speak.

I can see our house from up here

You look like a nice Wolf

The Millenium Walkway at New Mills

Lily next to the hydro electric installation at New Mills