Tuesday 15 March

Laura and I headed to the Warrington branch of IKEA to pick up a Hermes shoe cupboard.  This came in two flat pack boxes and I was needed as our car is bigger!  We managed to get it home by folding the back seat down.  The afternoon was spent with a screwdriver each, a hammer and an allan key putting it together.   We’re thinking of hiring ourselves out as IKEA furniture makers.

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Storm stayed at the boat  so he could do some painting and take advantage of the dry warm weather once he’d taken Max for his morning stroll.

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Monday 14 March

Today we spent our time –

  • being a house cleaning fairy for Laura while I waited for her machine to finish my load of washing.
  • grocery shopping at Morrisons
  • tinkering with Guy the Garelli for a few hours
  • being a boat cleaning fairy and blacking the stove which we’d allowed to go out today as it was so warm and sunny.
  • making a couple of cushion inners and filling with wadding ready for the two quilted cushion covers.

Sunday 13 March

Is Spring finally here?  Sunshine at last – hurrah.  An added bonus is that the BBC are suggesting that the warm weather may be here for a while.

This weekend we headed south for the weekend and have had  a lovely time partying.

We’re hoping for three relatively quiet weeks now to recover and to get into shape for  our next big social event!

Friday, 11 March

Yesterday I tried out Chester’s Park & Ride.  Parking in the town centre is expensive and spaces are limited.  This worked well and the £2 fare was excellent value.  All the shops I wanted to visit were within a 200 yard zone of the drop off/pick up near Tesco.   I also managed to do my grocery shop and although the bags were heavy, I didn’t struggle.

In the afternoon Laura and I took Summer to the park where we played hide and seek as well as playing on the equipment.

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This morning turned out warm and sunny once the frost and fog disappeared and it was so nice to be able to leave the doors and windows open.

I finished off the second cushion cover and Storm spent time tidying the hedge and bank beside the boat to create a bit more space.

After lunch we went to see Summer who was so excited to see us.   She was on really good form and after having worn us both out she was happy to sit quietly watching Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” from start to finish.

Wednesday 9 March

Our hotel booking included breakfast and we were up in good time to enjoy a full English before heading homewards.

The weather was atrocious and the rain torrential and I didn’t enjoy being the designated driver this morning.  Thankfully I was able to follow a large lorry as far as Kettering which cleared A6 of the worst of the standing water and I didn’t actually aquaplane.

The A14 to the M1 was no fun at all with three busy lanes of fast moving traffic.   As a rule I’m used to moving at no more than 4 miles an hour and maintaining a speed of 60 was really quite stressful!

Rather than turning on to the M1 we joined the M6 and headed for the M6 toll which would take us close to Burton on Trent.  We’d arranged to pop in and see Pip and Mick on NB Lillyanne so we could meet their new crew member.  They’d pulled in at Branston Water Park to make it easy for us to reach them by car.     Tilly was a little shy at first but she did let us stroke her before we left.

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Pip had baked a delicious cake for the occasion and and it was good to see them and catch up on their plans.

We chatted for a couple of hours before we headed off back out into the rain.  The rain began in earnest again once we were back in the car but with Storm driving this time we made it back to Chester in an hour and a half.

The boat was very cold but we soon had the fire going and turned on the central heating for an extra burst of heat.   We went to collect Max who I think had missed us despite being thoroughly spoilt while we’d been away as he’d been allowed into the sitting room for cuddles.

Tuesday 8 March

 

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Yesterday was a beautiful day weatherise and led us to hope that  Spring had arrived but today the grey skies were back.

This morning we were up early and away.

We took Max to Laura’s yesterday where he will stay for a couple of nights and today we drove to Bedford which involved driving over various canals that we visited last year.  We drove beside the Shropshire Union Canal, the Trent & Mersey, and the Grand Union Leicester Section.

Last year, for Father’s Day, Laura and James bought Storm membership to the Airlander Club.   This club offers members an opportunity to see the latest hybrid air vehicle and Storm had been offered a tour this afternoon.  He was forbidden to take photographs but if you click on the link above, hopefully you can see what he saw today.

While Storm was looking at Hybrid vehicles I visited The Higgins Bedford Museum & Art Gallery.     Here I explored Cecil Higgins’ collection of fine and decorative arts, including world-class watercolours and prints, amongst which was the gallery’s collection of Turner masterpieces.  The gallery also had collections of archaeology, ethnography, social and natural history and I learnt much about Bedford and the surrounding area.  The gallery is is situated in the Castle Brewery and one time home of Cecil Higgins.  It was Cecil’s wish that his collections were displayed in his family home and he was keen to show how the middle class lived in the late 19th century.

Thankfully I was in charge of booking a hotel for the night.  Yesterday Storm said he’d found somewhere for £35/night but on closer inspection I discovered this was in Bedford, Idaho.  Bless him!

Sunday 6 March

Mothering Sunday and both James & Laura thoroughly spoilt me with prezzies and cards.  Marc brought us both coffee and bacon sandwiches in bed and Summer came in for a cuddle.

Laura & Marc then treated us to Mother’s Day Brunch out after which Storm and I returned to the boat.

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I spent the afternoon finishing off one of my cushion covers as the quality of light was good.  I’ve another identical one to yet complete.  As it was quiet Storm managed a snooze and he’s now preparing our evening meal while I update the blog.