Friday 2 October 2020

LONG overdue update, a bit (well lot) of a moan, a broken toe and a dislocated shoulder!

 Righty ho - I'm finally back here for a catch up.... not really with any spare time as such, but we've stopped early today due to Storm 'Alex' making progress difficult and bloody miserable!  

WHAT'S been happening I hear you ask? - well, having merged two trips together so as to enable a returning guest (who's barmy but lovely  who's great fun)  to celebrate her 70th Birthday on 'Ellis'   BEFORE then however, we took another trip down the Anderton Boat lift to enable easy mooring of the the boat near the supermarket to stock up - NOT before the lady had met us in Lymm at the pub to buy us lunch AND bring two caldrons of plants ( a few days before her trip) that were shortly going to be bursting into flower - we do get em!

I think you'll agree, they looked nice enough on the roof of the boat as we waited return passage up the lift.

In typical ginger style, whilst leaping back on to the boat like a fat ginger lump the athletic gazelle I am, I clonked my middle toe on my left foot on the dolly and apart from pushing the nail back through the bed and causing it to bleed profusely for days, I think (from the ongoing pain) I must have broken it.  Having consulted 'Dr Google' the consensus being nothing can be done other than strapping it to another to until it heals...  suffice  to say, nearly a month on it 's still blooming painful - NOT that I'm moaning about it so much now and after the initial 3 weeks of not being able to wear anything on it other than crocs, I can now at least tolerate a trainer.

We did our 'covid clean' (which is just the same as a normal one tbh) and collected our guest near The Old Broken Cross at Northwich.  After the usual ching wag and glass of fizz, we began our trip to Llangollen.

AS you'll know if you read this (and yes I admit I've been really crap lately at writing it... so much so in fact, the other day a woman passed by on another boat and shouted " I still read your blog but you need to pull your finger out" ) you'll know, GENERALLY I'm quite forgiving of hire boaters doing silly things...  HOWEVER, just as we ascended our first locks of the trip in Middlewhich, we encountered  hire boat "mid hand over" who 'stole our lock' just as we'd come up and one had come down in the middle pound...  meaning I had know where to go in the wind other than the far side - the so called expert (the chap doing the hand over from the bank side) then shouted at me that I'd need to move as the boat was 70 foot long and needed the space to turn... I'm afraid I shouted back and explained what a poor example of boating etiquette HE'D just demonstrated to the hirers... and have to admit to sulking about it for a fair few hours after.


Next day I was in a better mood and we stopped off at Church Minsull where, we took a walk into the pub for a lunchtime glass of vino - OVER priced at £19.50 for 3 glasses!

Still, the "socially distanced" toilet in the loo did give me a giggle.

AND the scramble back up though the woods was pleasant enough.

We continued our journey and after a detour up the Shroppie to Calverley Services (to dump some rubbish that Venetian Marina wouldn't take when we filled up with diesel) and were soon on the Llangollen canal again... our trip was interesting as we encountered several hire boats without the first clue of how to work a lock - the result being queues of 5-6 boats soon mounting up.  

LUCKILY, the bosun is now well versed with bossing people about at providing assistance, so he and Chrissie went to the front of the queue to sort things out and in Much less time than it could have been, we were making reasonable progress.  We went a bit further than we'd planned to (once the hirers had stopped so as not to be behind them again the following day) and due to an early start, there was even time the following morning for an impromptu "zoom" Zumba session - on the towpath...  luckily, the captain had enough sense the night before NOT to agree to join in... unlike David. 

It was an exercise theme to continue throughout the rest of the trip lol.  OUR 70 year old not behaving like a 70 year old AT ALL!

The weather was behaving itself quite nicely so we decided to take a segway down the Monty branch...  Chrissie insisting on working the locks and remembering about the "blow holes" I was ready with my camera when we began our descent.

 I'd forgotten HOW shallow it is down there... not so bad when you are in the middle of the channel but whenever you meet a boat coming the other way, BOTH parties get grounded quite often.  Still, the journey to the end of the navigable section was enjoyable and we spent a lovely while down there... 

We even  went exploring on the kayak...NOT quite so sure where we'd stand insurance wise (although the kayak IS licensed properly) but you can't keep a game bird down with trivialities like that so we did it anyway...  NO Matter.  It was a lovely change from the chug of the engine.

Once our sojourn down the Monty was over with, we continued up stream - NOT before I'd been made to walk nearly 6 miles STILL with a broken toe to a pub for a drink... I barely moaned about as you can imagine...IN my crocs - them being all I could tolerate at the time!

A little farther on, I threw an "I'm sick of cooking" tantrum so we went out for tea in the Poachers Pocket in Chirk...  nice enough, a crappy selfie but these days you can't ask someone to take a photo  - apparently!

On route back to the boat we bought some eggs (as you do) and then had a "gin tasting night" .... the next day us ALL thinking the former was perhaps NOT the greatest idea we'd had!

Still, we had an easy day planned with a ramble along the aqueduct and picnic lunch down by the river underneath - David took his drone and this photo was the best quality he could take due to the fact he'd forgotten to put a memory card in it! - it IS us 3 having a lovely picnic though... my toe was really hurting so I'd been swigging oramorph on route  .

.. the result being me having an afternoon nap on the rocks by the river as they drank bubbles.

The remaining trip up from Trevor to Llangollen Basin was as interesting as usual with lots of chaotic moments including hire boaters AND live-aboards - all in great spirits.

Spending 2 nights in the basin, we were able to celebrate Chrissie's (I never know whether it should be Chrissy?) birthday with a surprise "unicorn cake" we'd kept hidden... and a rather dangerous candle which claimed to be safe for indoor use - we took no chances and I think the expression on her face, rather captured ALL our thoughts about said candle!

What this photo doesn't show is ME in  behind the camera with a fire-extinguisher to the ready!

We ended our trip with a birthday meal in the Cornmill Restaurant  - the usual one way system meaning that if you want a wee you have to go out the back door, round the outside, back in the front door and then repeat to get back to your table ... it's all a bit silly really but the sheeple seem to think it will stop covid spreading...  AND given how brainwashed we've all become, folks walking their dogs down the towpath wearing masks seem to think it'll make a difference.

Oh dear - If I'm not careful I'll end up on a rant about it...

MOVING away from that - we said our goodbyes following 2 weeks of laughs and adventurous japes - the down side being we only had 1 day to turn around and get the boat prepped for our new guests who were due on at Chirk the next afternoon... in the (rushed) process of mooring up, I took a tumble into the canal between the bank and the boat - only up to my groin and dislocated my shoulder during the attempt at not falling further...  this meant more pain (well i suppose it distracted me from my toe for a few days) but it went back in without too much hassle as I have quite lose shoulders...  FINALLY something useful about being genticially flawed lol

With new guests on board, we began another trip up to Llangollen Basin and then on to Ellesemere before returning 4 days later.  We had fun with them too but my photos seem to be missing...  no idea what I've done on my phone but hey ho.  It was their first trip on a narrowboat and they've booked to come again next year which is lovely... 

When they left, we had another next day turn around (5 loads of washing and drying being a bit of a schlepp  on a boat) but we did it and all was fine... I'll up date about that trip next time.  RIGHT now, time is cracking on and I've got dinner to cook.

until next time...


Barbara said...

I was that woman! �� I shall enjoy reading the rest of you blog with a glass of wine xx

Carol said...

Good to see you blogging again - we've missed you!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back. Missed your antics. You are accident prone. We have just arrived in Skipton for a couple of days then heading back. I smashed my nose with a windless on the second day ... not concentrating. Who is in the most pain ... lol. Hope you are ok.

Sue, David & Bertie xx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

I concur with the previous comments--it is good to have you back blogging again! I am sorry for your toe. I hope by now it is feeling much better. Lovely pictures!! Stay safe, stay well.

Biggs big hugs to you both,

Jaqueline Biggs xxx