Monday, February 29, 2016

Scaredy Cat, Scaredy Al

It is just so quiet here! We laid in bed and thought we would have one of those lazy days today.. It was a lovely sunny day, all be it very cold, but we never had a frost...
We opened the doors to let our new member of the family out to the world and he just sat on the gunwale and watched the world go by (till a dog walked past lol)
He was a bit of a scaredy cat and run to the engine room on Derwent6 shaking till he built up enough courage to have another go.. Last night we did have the hands of our clock chewed in the galley (the white bits on the hands are chew marks) and a few things knocked over, it's like having a dog really..
Del oiled the cratch board and cleaned out the bilge, while Al tided the inside which made us a bit thirsty, so we decided to go for a walk.
There is a lot of history around this place with Richard III settled up the road fighting battles.
We found a nice pub out of the three pubs in Stoke Golding called The George and Dragon and we had a couple of pints before we continued our walk back to Derwent6..
Al then cooked a lovely Sunday Chicken Roast Dinner that went down so well after our beers at the pub..
Del watched the football late in the afternoon, and at Dusk, Tooty was getting a bit braver as he was difficult to see..
He ventured off along the towpath and then Al was the one who got scared, worried he might leap into the cut chasing a duck, not realising it was water.. The last thing we wanted was to be groping around in the dark with a fishing net getting a soggy cat out.. (early days)
In the evening we watched some telly with a eager cat trying to get back out...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The tidy Ashby

We set off from Hawkesbury Junction and had our first lock for ages all be it Sutton Stop Lock at only a foot deep..
We then took the turn onto the Coventry Canal and headed north..
It was still so quiet and we idled pass the moored boats till we were on the open stretches being watched closely by the Stig in case we were speeding..
We manage the turn which doubles back on itself without touching the sides which was a bit of luck, but then we were clear to go up the Ashby Canal.
Our first impressions were Wow! They had done the towpath, cut back the hedges and trees and left all the wood for the boaters, Bingo!
There was plenty of moorings with everything cut back, and it made cruising very easy, but it was still a bit shallow in places..
This canal is so pretty with its old castle stone bridges and it's lovely landscape, we love it, it just never seems very busy here..
Hinckley had changed a lot with a lot of new houses in the area, and a big clean up operation had been carried out with the graffiti on the bridges removed. We soon got to Trinity marina and it was busy as usual at the Brewers Fayre.
It was then back out in the countryside and by this time we were looking for somewhere to moor because it had turned a bit colder.. We passed the Ashby Boat Company hire fleet and squeezed through.
We pushed on to Stoke Golding and found a mooring which ticked all the boxes..
It was so inviting when you open the cabin doors, freezing cold, and the heat hits you where the log burner had been ticking away all-day, no wonder Tooty (the cat) had been snuggled up by the fire the whole trip.
We then watched the Rugby and Al made a lovely chicken curry to finish the day nicely.. At dusk the Tooter had spotted some ducks outside and tried his best to get to them. As it was getting dark we thought it wouldn't be a good idea, he still spent his time standing up on the table for a better view..
Tomorrow might be his first adventure on the towpath, and the net is ready!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tooter's first Cruise

Well we were up nice and early with the intention of setting of early but with breakfast and other things we manage to get away and out of the marina at 9.15am.. Oh it felt so good to be cruising again and Derwent6 was enjoying making waves and purring like a kitten..
Oh talking of kittens, Tooty (or Tooter's as we call him) was very apprehensive once we got into gear and the prop was spinning, in fact that kitten turned into a little mouse..
We turned left on the Oxford and travelled up towards Hawkesbury Junction.. We saw our first lambs which do seem to be very early this year.
It is quite a while since we have done this stretch and you forget how pretty it is and how quiet it is at this time of year as well..

We pushed on to Ansty and still we hadn't passed a boat and there appeared to be loads of mooring everywhere..
After four hours cruising we arrived at Sutton Stop, but not before passing this restriction of a sunken boat just before we got there.. It's so sad to see.. Gosh that would have finished us off at this time..
We had a very light lunch and Del then did some jobs.. The fuel gauge was out of calibration as when we filled with fuel it was only showing at half full.. It was a small job of bleeding the pipe that drops into the tank and then adjusting the gauge on the resistor till it showed the correct reading..
We had a table booked in at The Greyhound pub on the Junction at 5.00pm. We booked it early because we couldn't get in any later, it is very popular, and when you eat there you will see why!
Our food was fantastic, and wow do you get you moneys worth.. What we loved about it is it wasn't a dressy up place, but it was excellent food by a warm cosy fire.. We will deffo be going back there (if we can get booked in)
So Tooter's was left for a bit and  he was fine, meowing as we opened the cratch cover and very pleased to see us..

We were knackered, with full tummies and a few beers inside us, cruising most of the day and not used to it again, so it was bed at 9.30pm..

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Just another Chapter

Hi guys it feels so good to be back, so what has happened?..
After Al lost her Dad, a decision had to be made as to who was looking after Al's Mum.. This decision was an easy one as we had both agreed with Al's Dad before he passed away that we would do anything to make sure that her Mum stayed in her own home, something her Dad had done..
So our lives were turned upside down and Derwent6 was rested in a marina and plans were made for us to live in Kent..  Christmas 2014 was not a happy one with losing Alf and looking after Pam who had Alzheimer's.. We did manage to take her out on Christmas Day, but she kept falling asleep and was very sick on the return journey, and we were not able to take her out again from that day on..
So we were carer's and tried to take it in turn's to care.. We did manage to go swimming and get out when we could, but separately.. We also had some respite from a company called Crossroads and they gave us some time together on a Monday afternoon for two and a half hours and every other Friday for three hours.. Without this we couldn't have done it..
Del could only cope for about three weeks and then had to get some de-stress time back home on Derwent6, to recharge his batteries, as well as the ones on Derwent6, before he could do another three weeks.... Al could only get away when her sister or friends could look after her Mum.. We must stress that Pam was very easy to look after, even though she was immobile and had to be hoisted everywhere. We had carers coming in three times a day to help us and the local surgery and district nurses were also brilliant, we had so much support..  All these things kept us going..
We lost Al's Mum on the 4th January 2016 and we thank her so much for getting through a very difficult Christmas 2015.. It was the first time we had not had a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, as Pam took a big dip, but funnily recovered on Boxing Day to manage to eat our turkey and she even managed some Christmas Pudding, which she really enjoyed bless her..
Even at her bedside on the 4th she managed to mutter out the word's " Thank you for looking after me" we both cried..
We had some lovely moments with Pam, she made us laugh and gave us some fantastic memories that we will treasure. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease and takes all those memories away from us all but we did have a lovely "Long Goodbye"..
Another good thing we did was get a new addition to the family. We got a kitten and called him "Tooty" as all Pam's cat's were called Tooty. We hoped she might remember his name if we kept using it, she never did! He was a ugly little thing when we got him and was the last one in the litter as no one wanted him.
Pam loved the cat, watching him play, climbing the sofa and the curtains and feeding him cheese on toast when we wasn't looking.. The cat helped Al when Del wasn't there, and gave her someone to chat to and comfort her in the evenings..
So what we up to now? Well, we are sorting out probate and also the house in Kent. Del is having his knee looked at and we are getting back to Derwent6 when we can.. We just want to say that Brinklow Marina have been brilliant in helping us out through this difficult time..
The house is a difficult one for us as Al was born there, and all our courting was done in the area, 37 years ago, and we have quite enjoyed the village life, not that it beats the boating life... I guess we just have to let time take it's course..
So we are now back on Derwent6 for a few days and loving it.. Del has done his brasses and Al is back to reading her books and keeping the log burner topped up, lovely!
Today we have filled with diesel, had a pumpout, and filled with water and Yes! we have Tooty with us..  He loves it! He has turned into a lovely well loved cat, and I'm sure you will be hearing a lot about his antics in the future..
We will blog when we can or when we are back home but look out for us, we might be out a lot more now..
Yes it was just a chapter, a moment in time, and we have lost some lovely people in our lives, and that loss will take some time to come to terms with, but life still goes on, and it just reminds us you have to enjoy it while you can...