Sunday, 28 August 2016

slowly heading north

But not too quickly!
I seem to be recovered from my tummy aberration thank goodness so Thursday we set off to position ourselves at a suitable place for Emma and Dave.   We managed to find a place on the 48 hour moorings in the centre of Saul Junction.  Not ideal for Barney as he likes to sit outside and there are two many cars passing by.  However it is close to the loos and showers which is a bonus when there are 4 of us on board!
Emma and Dave arrived soon after 9, which wasn't bad going as the traffic out of London was heavy.
Barney was a spoilt dog as he was allowed up on their bed
whilst early morning tea was being drunk!
I took advantage of Dave and the car on Friday morning as we needed to go to the vet with Barney and his gungy ears again!  He also took me out to Maplins to get a new lead for one of our radios...this has saved me a 2 bus ride next week.
We then took them to the Three Horseshoes to sample their 3Shu Pie........Dave managed the large one!!  We were just a pause on a longer journey for them so after lunch they set off for Haverfordwest.  Short but sweet visit.
I had occasion to return to the pub on the Saturday morning as I discovered I had mislaid my favourite cardigan.  I reached there just before opening time but the door was open so I went inside to enquire.  Unfortunately I was met by a rather rude gentleman who informed me that they had not found anything and that the pub was not open......and very abruptly ushered me out of the door.......this rather tainted my impression of the pub which had been favourable until then.   We had visited it 3 times for their 3shu pie.  It also somewhat ruined my rather pleasant walk......politeness costs nothing.
After I reached Petroc we set off and moved further up the canal to position ourselves for church on Sunday.  We moored by Rea bridge again which is also handy for the bus into Gloucester for me on Monday as I am visiting the grandchildren for a couple of nights.
Today, Sunday we went to St James church in Quedgeley a lovely traditional and quite high service.
As I write this we have just had an almighty downpour.  Since it is so warm we had everything open on the boat so it was a mad dash to make us watertight!!!  It was very short lived, probably what you would describe as a cloudburst......
We have had a few showers lately, even thunder yesterday, but nothing lasted long and plenty of dry in between.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Last two days at this end of tne canal

One way of taking the dogs for a walk!
Our last two days in this peaceful spot at the Sharpness end of the canal, somewhat marred for me by somehow picking up a tummy bug.   Cannot have been anything I ate as Geoff is perfectly fit. However I am back to eating small amounts of bland food tonight.

Feeding time for the swans this evening just in front of Petroc
The nights are drawing in
Back to Saul tomorrow to position ourselves for the arrival of Emma and Dave for the night.
We plan to set off early before it gets too hot.  However we have the promise of thunderstorms tonight and maybe in the morning so we shall see.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Still lingering on the G&S

Moored adjacent to Splatt bridge.  River Severn in the distance.
Another week gone by on this wonderful canal.  There are so many lovely places to moor, enough boats about but we are not inundated with them.
It has also been a week of visitors off and on.  
We eventually left the far end at Sharpness on Wednesday and found a congenial mooring near Splatt bridge.  
Thursday was shopping day so we did the run up to Sainsburys at Gloucester.  We were lucky as the two shoppers moorings were free.  We had originally intended to stay down this end until Friday but the forecast was for wind and rain so we decided to hightail it back to Splatt bridge.
En route I did my usual trick of squeezing a quart into a pint pot as far as the fridge is concerned!
The trouble is that once I have removed all the extraneous packing from the food I have filled the rubbish bin up again.....such a lot of wastage, with packaging far larger than the contents they contain.

We found a good spot near Splatt bridge again and settled in for the next 5 days.  It is about a mile to walk to the community shop in Frampton on Severn so quite handy.  Tony & Di came for lunch on Saturday (after a visit to the Three Horseshoes.....)  Weather was as forecast, wet and windy.

Geoff and I had tested the food at the pub there to see if it was suitable for our weekend guests.  We had to sample their much advertised '3SHU PIE'.   This is a pie with 3 horizontal layers, creamy cauliflower cheese, mash & veg and then finally the meat of your choice.  The choice is large, I went for the minted lamb and Geoff the steak and kidney.  The whole is topped of with home made puff pastry and was quite delicious.

Sunday saw the arrival of Anne & Graham and another visit to the Three Horseshoes.  I had the same pie but this time Geoff tried the Liver & Onion.  As good as the previous time.   The only problem was they had one of my favourite puddings on the menu but I couldn't manage it.  (Steamed syrup sponge!!)  They stayed overnight in the Bell in at the other end of Frampton and we lunched aboard Petroc again.  Sadly, although the weather had improved somewhat, it was not sitting out weather.

Today we have moved back down to Sharpness to have our final couple of days here for this year.
I did the walk to the shop this morning which was considerably lengthened as I discovered when I was almost back at Petroc that I had left my hiking stick in the about turn and go all the way back.  It was beginning to heat up by then and even Barnaby was not sure he wanted to turn round!  So instead of a 2+ mile walk I had a 3.5+ walk...much too far for me especially when it is hot.

He was forced to pause at one of the several ponds on the village green
If he was a typical Labrador he would have gone in for a swim,
 but he wont ever go out of his depth
Now moored at the end again and sheltering in the shade below until it cools off later.  

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Still in Sharpness

We have been blessed with delightful weather for this sojourn at the end of the canal
For some boats it is not the end of course.......for the bigger sea going boats you can go out of the lock and down the Bristol Channel into can even do it by narrowboat if you have a pilot......but that is not for me....I am content to linger in the peacefulness of the moorings here at the end.   There are not may facilities but there is water just before Sharpness marina which is just around the corner.   We had stocked the fridge well before coming down this end and there is a small shop in the docks about a mile away which has a very limited range but we have been content.

Sue came down again on Monday and we had another good natter...Geoff is at a loss to know what we find to talk about!!!   Since we spent out time sitting on the towpath he was not privy to our conversation!

From the end of the marina you can look down the Bristol Channel
and in the other direction up towards Gloucester.
This wide expanse was once crossed by a railway bridge as you can see in these pictures

Just down from our mooring stand the remains of this side of the bridge
and a plaque telling the history (click on photo to read)
or click this link
It has been quite delightful down this end but we must move back a bit tomorrow....the fridge is beginning to look a little bare........

Saturday, 13 August 2016

To the end of the canal in slow time

After a pleasant meal in the Ship at Framilode on Wednesday Anne & Keith departed Thursday morning having dropped me on the road into Gloucester to catch the faithful No 12 bus which runs every 10 minutes.  I was able to meet up with two more friends Gill & Ronnie.  We had a good catch up but a rather indifferent lunch in the Cathedral cafĂ©.  Paninis with a very sparse filling and staff that needed a shake up!   Such a shame in a beautiful cathedral.  Ronnie then drove me back to Petroc and stayed for supper.

Friday was domestic and relaxing day........filled up with water and fuel.......emptied rubbish and loo!!!   Luckily the manoeuvring required to accomplish all those tasks were accomplished in the morning which was a bit blowy....but by the afternoon, despite the sunshine it was blowing a hooley.

On Saturday morning it was still blowing quite strongly and if we had not arranged to meet Sue Fletcher at the far end of the canal we would have stayed put.  She is staying with her sister who lives not too far from Sharpness and we had arranged a meet up. 

It was well worth the effort as despite the wind it was a very pleasant temperature and Sue & I were able to sit out on the bank and have a good catch up.  The wind did eventually die down to a more gentle breeze.  We talked our way through coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, pimms at 6, all followed by supper of home made pizzas which Sue had brought and semi home made crumble!   The crumble was blackberries picked by Geoff, Ronnie & myself and apples from Gill & Geoff when they visited last Sunday.  The topping was provided courtesy of Tescos!!!!!  What a cheat.....

When Sue departed Barney and I walked part way with her and enjoyed the beautiful evening.

A solitary wind thing at the end of the canal

The sun setting over the Severn.
 Sat trip
 Total distance:5.99 miles
 Elapsed time:1h46m31s
 Bridges:6  (A slight hold up at the two Purton bridges.  They are manned by a single bridgeman and he had to wait for a farmer to take a flock of sheep over....or it may have been a herd of cows....can't remember what he said when he apologised for the delay!)      
Average speed:3.37 mph

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Still Pottering on the Gloucester & Sharpness

Moored just beyond Saul Junction
We eventually wandered back through Saul and partook of another cooked breakfast in the Stables cafe.   Then I am sad to say we had a thoroughly idle day!!!!  I read a whole book.......good going.

Sunday we went to church in the Big Top.  We had been told about this the previous week when we went to Fretherne Church and it sounded different.  

It was a lovely service performed by the local Open the Book team and the story of Joseph was interspersed with lovely hymns.  Since I am involved with our local Open the Book when I am at home in the winter it was very interesting to see.

Later Geoff & Gill Smith call to visit and we all went out to lunch in the Ship Inn at Framilode.

A fantastic display by these young lads
The circus that was in town was Giffords Circus.   I had no intention of going to the actual circus show as it is not the sort of thing that appeals, however after several local people told us what a magnificent show it was and not full of animals as I remembered circuses, we decided to buy tickets for the last performance on Monday.   Wow...what a show, it was fantastic and we would definitely go again.

Tuesday saw the arrival of Anne & Keith Hall who are staying nearby for a couple of nights.
A very enjoyable catch up and supper on board Petroc.

Wednesday we took a short trip (all of 3.4 miles each way) as far as Slimbridge.   Keith and Geoff walked both ways as Keith does not travel well on the water but Anne & I took a more sedate trip on the boat.   There are a few boats around but it is not really very busy.   On our return we found the space we had vacated earlier in the day.   A leisurely afternoon with what was left of it followed and the plan is to take ourselves down to the Ship for supper.......

Friday, 5 August 2016

Towards Gloucester.

Sainsbury's 2 hr shopping mooring
Looking towards Gloucester
We did move on Wednesday as the wind had slackened and the weather overall showed some improvement.   We cruised back to Rhea bridge, surprised to find the moorings almost empty.   It is a convenient place to catch the bus into Gloucester.  In fact I needed to get to Maplins which is a two bus ride but it was relatively painless, especially with a bus pass!!!
Returning into Gloucester I stopped off and had a browse in the Outlet centre of Gloucester Quays.

Thursday was Geoff's turn to have a wander into Gloucester.   He was gone several hours but only purchased one item of interest.  We needed to replace the small rucksack we take with the necessities for clearing up after Barnaby.  He found what he though was a suitably small rucksack failing to notice that it was in fact a child's bag and the straps, even at their longest, were nowhere near long enough for him to get it on his back......

This morning we departed early to shop at Sainsburys and were lucky enough to find space on the moorings right in front.   I departed to do the shopping and was doing my normal putting away act, ie getting a quart into a pint pot, when we had a surprise visitor.  Angela, otherwise known as the Reverend Angela from our Benefice, was passing by and had spied Petroc.  So a pause in the shopping capers for a welcome coffee break.  It turns out that she had a parish near here at Hemstead for 6 years and she was back visiting friends.

Geoff made a second visit to Sainsburys for the booze....we are expecting several visitors in the next 10 days!!

A couple of hours gentle cruise brought us back to a good open mooring about a mile short of Saul. (Surrounded by fishermen)
The plan is to move further up Saturday cooked breakfast at the Stables cafe beckons......

Total distance:9.12 miles 
Elapsed time:4h1m1s (includes shopping and coffee!)
Average speed:1.70 mph (1.70 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Still in the same place

well we had planned to move on Monday but it we planned to move on Tuesday but it we plan to move tomorrow...........we'll see!!!!!
Two very quiet relaxing days, a spot of work(accounts) for me, a spot of walking to please Barnaby.......and I continue to play Scrabble online quite time consuming but it keeps my brain active!!