Thursday, 5 April 2012

Family, a horse, trains and snow. Whatever next?

On Monday daughter Cairstine and grandsprogs Noah and Jonah arrived. We had booked a trip on the cruise boat over Pontcysyllte aqueduct for Tuesday, well I have no intention of steering over it again for a while, so after breakfast it was off up the A5 to Llangollen. As usual when we have visitors it started to rain, nothing like a wet day in Llangollen to cheer everyone up. Having parked the car we strolled up to the wharf.

It was not impressing the boys so far.

But when they brought the horse out signs of interest were observed. Now the horse was called TOG but it did not strike me as a Wogan listener.

It struck up a conversation with Cairstine although she never divulged what was said, perhaps it was bemoaning the end of the morning programme.
The aqueduct trip was completed uneventfully, I was much happier being inside the boat than being up the back steering. To be honest the boys did not seem overly impressed but they made all the right noises.
We arrived back at Llangollen just in time.

Great Western pannier tank 6430 was just pulling in, I was off like a long dog, down onto the platform, camera at the ready.

Just to prove where we were.

The boys watched with awe, plus a little bewilderment, as the driver clambered up and they took on water. Steam engines do not usually impinge on their lives. Jill was immediately dispatched to the booking office to acquire the requisite tickets and we took our seats for the seven mile trip to Carrog. We selected a compartment (apparently as seen in the Harry Potter films) which was declared impressive and then off we went.

After Grampy, that's me, had convinced them that the sign saying "DO NOT LEAN OUT OF THE WINDOW" was purely for decoration two little heads were poked out. The effect was instantaneous, the sight, the smell and the sound, not to mention the face full of soot, had them entranced.They then discovered that they could stand between the carriages on the corridor connection, bliss.

The overall effect was solemnly declared to be "awesome", just about as high a praise as they can offer. I don't honestly think a G.W, pannier is that impressive but who am I to disagree with their description.

Future footplate crew?
The final verdict was that the aqueduct was alright but the train, oh wow!!
We rounded the day off with fish and chips, perfection, or, perhaps, awesome.
Plan A was that they were returning home on Wednesday and we were going to set off toward Hurleston, mooring somewhere for the weekend to avoid the traffic.  But when we rose from our slumbers Wednesday morning.

Right, where did that lot come from? Plus it was blowing a gale. So much for spring.
Well the family set off somewhat gingerly, not only was the weather lousy but the sat. nav. had gone belly up and the daughter is somewhat navigationally challenged. We were glad when we received a text saying they had arrived home safely.
We stoked up the stove and sat it out. Good old English weather, it'll get you every time.
This morning it was off early and we are now moored out in the country watching the continuous stream of boats passing.
Lunch today? Hot soup, it's still flippin' freezing.

Watch this space..............

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