Category: Boat Update

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Sliding and splashing through Staffordshire

Stoke – Stone – Tixall Wide – Rugeley: 25½ miles, 20 locks ‘Thank goodness for gaiters’ has been the unspoken thought these last few days.  What was forecast to be a dry morning on Friday became a raw downpour by mid-morning. That was the Etruria (top of the six Stoke locks) to Stone day. In the event, full waterproofs were donned mid-cruise, and Friday and Saturday nights were spent at a star (pun alert…) mooring just above Star Lock and the...

3

Name dropping at a Middleport mooring

Trace the history of the English canals and you’ll soon appreciate the link between industry and the transport of goods (china clay, coal and pottery). The Trent and Mersey Canal, 97 miles long, stretches between Shardlow in the East Midlands and Preston Brook in the north west.        Its very first sod was cut by Josiah Wedgewood in 1766 at the area now known as Westport Lake (besides which Cleddau was moored on Wednesday night). Ceramics enthusiasts will...

2

Down the Macc and through the Harecastle…

Higher Poynton to  Westport Lake 26¼ miles, 13 locks, 1 tunnel “There’s always something to do on a boat…”  Hear that observation accompanied by a sigh and you’ll recognise that the workload on a boat can prove onerous. Often though the Captain says it with glee, briskly even – there are amendments to be made, jobs to be done, projects to be completed… And, last weekend, with the boating season about to start, there were a couple of front deck...

2

Birthday walk for a four year old…

Up in Cheshire, up in Hill Country, a birthday has been celebrated… Remember The Library in the Landscape, conceived in a poet’s head, then created and installed in a sheltered hollow just below the summit at Tegg’s Nose? Each year since March 2013 Techno Son-in-Law (the Countryside Ranger in charge of Tegg’s Nose) and Ailsa Holland (Macclesfield’s very own poet) have led an anniversary walk out to a rather unconventional Library. “Some people expect a massive building,” Techno Son-in-Law remarked...

4

An open roof sort of day…

Prior to the England /Wales rugby match on Saturday pundits were in a dither about whether the match at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium was to be played with an open or a closed roof. A closed roof apparently favours the Welsh crowd as the atmosphere and hwyl are intensified… No matter what the decision (though pity about the outcome) the Cleddau crew were intent on an open roof sort of Saturday. Irked by weeks (nay, months) of non-boating, a gap of...

4

Roses in strange places

To Stratford in January for a glut of plays and theatrical experiences… This habit of galloping off to Stratford-upon-Avon early in the year for some theatre performances seems to have become a tradition. “When are you going to Stratford this year?” folk asked. “What will you be seeing?” Months ago (at least six!) a deal was brokered, ten tickets for The Tempest to be booked for a January Saturday matinee,       a matinee so that the Cleddau and...

3

Forty Seven

“So what number is it then?” asked Local Nephew. “47…” “47. Phew…” Here he took a long breath. “That’s a lot!” Is it a lot, 47 years of married life? Google a search for special anniversary names and there’s nothing between 40 (a Ruby Anniversary) 45 which in the States is referred to as a Sapphire Anniversary and 50, widely known as a Golden Anniversary. So, carry on, carry on… Down in South Pembrokeshire 47 years to the day since...

5

Aftertaste

In the period of jet-lagged post-US dis-function memories swirl through the brain, rather like unexpected aftertastes following a spicy meal… Despite numerous visits to Southern California some things still provide a surprise. There are words on official signs and notices that must be read: Poison Oak leaves (sign at Discovery Lake park) Cliff edge warning (Point Loma) Sign on the doorway of a Laser Tag venue    While wandering near the hospitality cottages in Balboa Park work staff indicated the...

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The taming of territory

First visit to Southern California’s San Marcos was 13 years ago in 2003. What looked like a new town about twelve miles inland from the Pacific Ocean was designated then as a city that would grow – and grow it has. Settled by the Spanish in 1840 San Marcos was a few farms scattered across a broad flat bottomed valley.  The railway arrived in 1887 and water was first pumped to the valley from the Colorado River in 1956, at...

2

Thanksgiving ingredients

In the build up to the last-Thursday-in-November-festive-feast there are several traditional ingredients. First, the schools have a week’s break. (Think half term nightmare for working parents). Children whose parents are at work will go to Camp (holiday supervision) unless there are other family members to care for them. Down at Balboa Park in San Diego on Tuesday both forms of childcare were apparent. When a YMCA leader was shepherding his flock away from the play park         ...

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