Tuesday 28 June

After hearing the Referendum result on Friday morning we took Max for the long walk into Waverton as we had an envelope that needed posting at the Post Office.  That took care of the morning and we were due at Laura’s in the afternoon.   We packed for an overnight stay there.  Marc was planning to climb Snowdon on Saturday and Laura had asked if we would babysit as she was keen to support him.

They went off early on Saturday morning and we had a fun but exhausting day with the grandchildren as we were on the go non-stop from 6.30 am.   After breakfast we strapped Summer onto her bike and Joseph into his pram and we took Max for his morning stroll to the shops to buy the paper. Afterwards we didn’t get a moment to read the paper, because once we were back home Summer was keen to play out in the garden and when not playing we were busy making sure everyone was fed and watered.  It was a wonderful feeling of relief when we managed to get both grandchildren bathed and into bed and asleep by 7.30pm.

Laura and Marc came back clutching certificates to say they’d reached the summit of Snowdon, despite atrocious wet and foggy weather conditions.  This was hard to believe as we’d enjoyed a warm and sunny day.   We shared a curry with them before leaving to head back to the boat for a good night’s sleep.

We spent Sunday on our own. We had a drive out into the countryside in the morning while it was fine and then in the afternoon, while it rained, we caught up on Saturday’s papers and I made a loaf of bread and some scones.

Laura rang early on Monday morning to suggest I take Joseph to his baby music group.  I think Laura was a little stiff after her Snowdon adventure.  Storm said that he would move the boat from our mooring to the Cheshire Cat where I could meet him after lunch.  Joseph and I had a lovely relaxing time enjoying the singing and sensory experience of his music group.  Storm made it to our rendezvous in good time.

We’d planned to watch the England/Iceland match on our TV but we couldn’t get a signal so instead we listened to it on Radio 5 live.  What a disappointing waste of time that was!  Well done Iceland!   We went and drowned our sorrows in the pub afterwards.

Why does home made bread taste so good?

Why does home made bread taste so good?

 

This morning we woke to rain and while we waited for it to pass, I made another batch of bread dough.  By 10.15 am though we were on our way into Chester by boat.  We had 8 locks to do and we shared four of these with one of the Time Share ‘Boat Club’ boats.  The crew were very experienced having been with the ‘Club’ for ten years.

We descended Chester’s staircase lock on our own, but were helped through by CRT staff who were inspecting a damaged cill.  The damage was quite dramatic and we couldn’t work out how this had occurred.   The cill stone was split with a large section of it jutting upwards and had somehow lifted above the steelwork protecting it.   CRT plan to close the lock and carry out the repairs overnight tonight.

That black rock in the foam should be flat!

That black rock sticking up in the foam should not be there!

We were three minutes late arriving into the basin as the heavens opened just as we were about to tie up.  In the seconds it took us to moor, we both got soaked and our shower cubicle now looks like a Chinese laundry as our clothes have been hung up to dry!

We’d planned to cycle back to the Cheshire Cat to collect the car this afternoon but instead we’ve decided to postpone this until tomorrow when hopefully it will have stopped raining.

Tomorrow afternoon we hand our boat keys to Taylors who will replace our damaged prop and black our hull in their dry dock while we pop home for a week.   Laura and the children are coming with us this time and we’re looking forward to meeting up with friends and family again.

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Wednesday 22 June

We knew that we wouldn’t be at home for the Referendum and so we’d applied for a postal vote. We were beginning to think that our application had gone astray but the papers finally arrived and we filled them in and put them straight back in the post on Monday morning.

Storm worked on his motorbike in Laura’s garage in the afternoon while she and I went shopping.  He was really chuffed with himself as he’d got it going and had ridden it down the street and back.  There is only one problem with it though apparently – it won’t turn off.  The brakes all work so at least Storm didn’t have to keep riding round the street until he ran out of fuel.

Red sky at night.  Good weather tomorrow ...?

Red sky at night. Good weather tomorrow …?

Tuesday morning, between showers, we headed into Chester to make final arrangements for dry docking the boat next week for propeller replacement and bottom blacking.

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I spent the afternoon sewing while Storm attended to emails and in the evening we headed out to The Institute for a drink.  I’ve yet to see another woman in there, although I’m assured there are lots of female members.   We’ve never been on a Friday or Saturday night so perhaps they only come out at weekends.

Today we got up early and headed to Leeds.   We’ve had our eye on a plot of land for sale in the centre of Chester which was going under the hammer at an auction at Elland Road stadium (the home of Leeds United) today.   We’ve never been to a property auction before.  We got there early and registered to get a Bid Number, satisfied the money laundering regulations and then we were allowed to view the pitch and the stands from one of the hospitality boxes before taking our seats for the auction in one of the suites.   The auction began at 12.30pm and the auctioneer began by setting out the rules for placing a bid.

It was soon evident that we weren’t the only people interested in Lot 2.   We didn’t even get a chance to use our Bid Number.  It finally sold to a telephone bidder for three times the guide price and for more than double the price we were prepared to pay.    By 1pm we were on our way to IKEA where we consoled ourselves with a plate of meatballs.

Back on the M62, we hadn’t gone far when we ground to a halt with all three lanes gridlocked.  The radio TA announced the congestion was due to a sheep on the motorway.   We were in a Baa B Queue!   Just as suddenly as we’d stopped, the traffic set off again after a wait of half an hour and we travelled back to Chester without further incident.

Monday 20 June

Our week in Beverley whizzed by and when we got back yesterday we tried to remember all that we’d done.  I know I’ve used some muscles I’ve not exercised in a while as I’m very stiff.

We started our week at home with a trip to the new Weatherspoons for a bite to eat and whilst there we bumped into a familiar face – one I see most Saturday’s in the colour supplement of our Saturday newspaper trying to sell Life Insurance!  I know Rob Angel from my days at Hull Truck Theatre and the last time I met him he was in a play in the village hall in Frampton on Severn near Gloucester.   This time he was in Beverley rehearsing John Godber’s latest play The Empty Nesters’ Club.   We promised to get tickets for Monday’s opening night performance and when we got there it was a nice surprise to find that some of my favourite Truck friends were there too.  We enjoyed the play which resonated well with us.

Storm also spotted his old school friend there who invited us to join him and his wife in the pub after the show.  It was quite late when we finally headed home.

During the week we visited James and Ali in their new flat a couple of times, saw my Mum a few times, Max & I met up with Cheryl and Poppy each morning for a walk on the Westwood and we finished off the week seeing other good friends over the weekend.

In between I spoke with the Estate Agent for an update on the sale of our house, we viewed a couple of other properties for sale,  visited the dentist and came away without needing anything doing, caught up on some chores, tidied the garden, repotted a couple of shrubs and Storm paid a couple of visits to his one remaining client to see how work was progressing on site.

We got back to Chester yesterday afternoon and after unpacking the car we headed to Laura’s for a lovely Father’s Day dinner treat before returning to the boat for an early night.

Sunday 12 June

From Tuesday this week, if our plans had worked out, we should have been getting up early enjoying long days cruising back from Liverpool to Chester via Wigan and Manchester as we were needed back in Chester yesterday for some babysitting, but instead we’ve been very lazy and have been sitting around enjoying the sunshine all week.

The sunshine ended yesterday afternoon though when we experienced monsoon conditions and we were glad to spend the night at Laura’s.

Today, we left at lunchtime and headed home over the Pennines back to Beverley where we’re going to be for the next week.  We stopped off to visit James & Ali who gave us a guided tour of their new pad in Brough.

 

Sunday 5 June

We returned to our mooring on Friday afternoon as we’ve now agreed a time for the works to the boat to be done in early July.

Cadging a lift on a floating island

Cadging a lift on a floating island

We’re now making plans to go home a couple of times before then.  We have quite a few things to attend to and arrangements to make, not least a trip to the dentists.

This week though we’ve been enjoying the sunshine that friends in other parts of the country don’t seem to be having.

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Constructive water play!

Thursday

Yesterday we travelled under the Mersey by train to meet up with James & Ali who’d come to Liverpool to see us and we had a lovely time in the sunshine exploring the sights of Liverpool.  James’ friend, Neil, came and joined us and showed us some of the alternative tourist sights.

Unfortunately this is the only way we’re going to cross the Mersey this week as we’ve discovered that we have two bent blades on our propellor which has caused us to forego our plans to join the Mersey convoy on Friday.   We need to be as sure as we can be that our boat is in tip top condition when entering tidal waters as you never know what other craft you might meet on the river.

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Not to be messed with … a Cruise liner moored up in Liverpool

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For an idea of scale – look at the oil tankers trying to refuel it!

Today, we waved goodbye and wished a safe journey to those who are hoping to make the crossing tomorrow and we headed back to Chester to see if we can replace our damaged prop anytime soon.  I don’t know if we’re unusually unlucky but this will be our fourth prop in six years!

The prop is quite well protected when going forward by the boat and has a metal plate underneath it that stops things rising up and hitting it, so the only way it can get damaged is by things attacking it from the rear or from the side and we can’t recall hitting anything.

We arrived back into Chester just after lunch and it wasn’t long before we had visitors who seemed excited to see us.

We’re now just considering options and waiting for quotations to see whether the work can be carried out locally or whether we’d be better off heading back to our mooring at Waverton.