Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year.

Having shaken the dust of Plymouth from our feet we made it back to the boat on Monday. Of course at Norbury Junction there is no signal so today is the first opportunity I've had to get t'internet.

This is the scene which greeted us when we arrived back. Armadillo was well and truly iced in. It didn't take long to get the stove blazing and warm her through but that made no impression on the inch of ice up the arm where we were moored.

Next morning things hadn't improved and it looked as though we were not going to make it to the New Year celebrations at The Anchor, but this morning they had to push a boat up into the dry dock and lo, they broke all the ice. It didn't take us long to take advantage and we were soon out onto the main line and heading up through Grubb Street cutting. We are now moored outside The Anchor and it looks like it is going to be party time. So I will wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year before the Wadworth's 6X kicks in.

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

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas.

This morning it looked like Santa had been on overtime. after a hurried breakfast (Several bars of chocolate from the Xmas Stocking in the case of Esme and Elliot) it was time to rip into the main business of the day.

Wrapping paper going in all directions and soon the pressies were emerging.

Meanwhile in the kitchen.

The turkey is looking grand and we've had the sprouts on for a week so they may be ready in time.

Aaargh!! Who gives a five year old boy a drum kit? But luckily,

How thoughtful.

So Happy Christmas to all and sundry and if you don't celebrate Christmas, Happy Yule or whatever is your choice of festival.

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

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The art of tree embellishment.

Last weekend was our last at The Anchor before Christmas.

Sunday lunchtime, a gathering of friends for good beer, good craic and the occasional pinch of snuff, for those who care for it. It is truly the last pub left on the cut.
Yesterday Jill and I piled our hire car with Christmas goodies and set off for the trek down to Plymouth. We arrived just in time to assist in that most important affair, hurling quantities of baubles etc. at a poor inoffensive fir tree.

 Here are some simple instructions in this esoteric art.
First of all the lights must be artistically draped upon the boughs.

Assistance may be required at this stage. A drop of decent malt usually helps.
The important part is to then go through the entire set of lights to discover why they aren't working. Next procure another set of lights as the first set will not be long enough. They won't match but to an artist this just represents a challenge.

Now is the time to call in the troops and give them free reign.

And then that great moment when the artists stand back to take the applause.

Which is when the sense of pride is shattered as the audience points out that you have forgotten the fairy on the top.

We remained undaunted. I am still combing needles out of the facial adornments.
So I will leave you with a moving old Christmas poem:

A fairies life is very hard
Up where the tree light flickers.
Sitting here all Christmas long
With a pine tree up your knickers.

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

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Quiet times.

We will be getting C&RT on our backs soon, the way we are going up and down.

We are back at The Anchor, again. On Wednesday we are due to pick up a hire car, three cheers for Enterprise, on Friday we park the boat up the arm at Norbury Junction and on Saturday we are off to Plymouth for the festivities.

Meanwhile I am enjoying Jill's pre-Christmas treats. We've got a dozen mince pies waiting to be consumed and with the pastry offcuts she has made cheese straws, two of which can be seen warming on top of the stove.

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

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Curry Inn is now open after a major refurb.

The Curry Inn is now up and running and twice the previous size.

This has been Sam's dream since he took it over seven years ago. We discovered the place when he had only just got it up and running and now we would no more go straight through Brewood without stopping than we would pass The Anchor without dropping in.

The proud proprietor behind the bar,

and two well satisfied customers. The surroundings may have changed but the food is as excellent as ever.

It was well after midnight by the time the celebrations wound down. It was a great evening.
If you are ever passing through Brewood give it a try. No, he's not sponsoring this post but I may try for a couple of free poppadums next time we drop in.

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

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Winter wanderings.

Very difficult to find anything much to tell. We are on our way back to Brewood for the grand re-opening of the Curry Inn tomorrow. We had a good weekend at The Anchor, as usual, and our eldest turned up with partner and offspring, had a really good meal in The Boat at Gnosall on Saturday and a super Sunday lunch at The Navigation, lucky they've got a car.
Yesterday we moved back up to Little Onn through the wind and rain,

Lowering skies over a Staffordshire farmhouse, they promised rain and they delivered.

Just another view of The Wrekin and as a grand finale,

Two views of this morning's sunrise.

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

Thursday, 4 December 2014

A hazy shade of winter with added kingfisher.

Our slow meandering up and down continues, from Little Onn down to Norbury yesterday, with a stop at Gnosall for shopping and water. Our B.S.C. had nearly expired and Simon had promised to put us in touch with the local examiner.

It was frosty when we set out but a clear winter sun soon saw it off.

 Over to the west the Wrekin was just visible through the haze. It brought to mind the wonderful Simon and Garfunkel song "A hazy shade of winter".

Mind you it wasn't quite so pleasant through the cuttings just before Cowley, I think dank is probably the word I am looking for.
But as we came across Shelmore embankment Jill finally realised one of her long held ambitions.

A kingfisher deigned to stay long enough for her to get a photo'.
After arranging for the B.S.C. examiner to turn up Friday morning he actually turned up this morning. Caught us right on the hop but no harm done, Armadillo passed with flying colours so that's that for another four years.
Tomorrow we're moving down as far as The Anchor for the weekend, now there's a surprise.

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