Friday, 7 April

Since our last blogpost we’ve travelled back to Yorkshire for another four nights, and have also spent six days babysitting .

We spent the days in Yorkshire knocking down walls, burning paint off the front door and checking on the progress of the various contractors we have working in the house.  We’re in demand in the evenings too when we try to see as many friends as possible before we collapse exhausted into bed.

On Sunday we drove back via Ikea.  I was wanting to buy curtaining and matching bedding for our new house.  The Leeds store didn’t have what we wanted. We’d strolled through the whole store pretty much before we discovered that Leeds is a ‘small store’ and only has a limited fabric supply.  I persuaded Storm to stay on the M62 another junction so we could call in at the Warrington store. Storm opted to take Max for a walk instead of battling his way round another store.  I was in and out like the SAS having achieved my objective of buying 12m of lining and 12m of main fabric.  I must learn to check the website before I go shopping next time!!

While I’m babysitting, Storm is kept busy working on Laura’s house.  He’s now on to his second room.   Laura had been finishing off the playroom while we’d been in Yorkshire and on Tuesday we were there to let in the carpet fitter and to take delivery of some new furniture.  One room down,  three to go before the wedding in June!

It was Joseph’s first birthday on Wednesday and we’re going to be celebrating this this weekend.

We both took a day off on Thursday this week, when we moved the boat from The Shady Oak to the top of Hurleston Locks ready for James and Ali to take to Trevor.  The Shady Oak has changed hands in recent times and we’re happy to say that the atmosphere is much improved, as is the beer.   They apparently do a roaring trade at weekends with their roast lunches.

Storm steered the boat and Max and I walked to Wharton’s Lock and made it ready.  Afterwards we walked back to the pub before heading back to pick up the car and we drove from lock to lock.  We caught up with Storm as he stopped for diesel at Chas Harden’s boatyard.   We knew our tank was nearly empty. We only have the one diesel tank which also fuels our central heating system.  The central heating failed to come on on Wednesday night which is the first sign we have that we’re getting low (that is unless we dip the tank).  The price of diesel has gone up by 10p per litre since we last filled up – ouch!

Driving from lock to lock was quite fun as we had to work out how to get to each lock by car.   A guy from CRT kept appearing at locks just after me, but didn’t seem to notice that he’d seen me three times already when he kept asking me if I was alright!

We met up at Calveley where Storm stopped to use the facilities and while moored up we had lunch and loaded the car with a few boxes from our cupboards to give James & Ali some space for their belongings.

We then went our separate ways again and met up again at the bottom of Hurleston Locks.  There was a volunteer lock keeper on and he’d seen me approaching from the top with windlass in hand and wondered where my boat was.  He didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Today, Storm & Max headed back off to Laura’s to finish installing some steelwork and I finished off the spring clean I’d started two weeks ago.   I took some time off this afternoon to walk round part of Hurleston Reservoir.   It was glorious in the sunshine.   The reservoir is high up above the junction with the Llangollen and Shropshire Union Canals and from the top you get terrific views of Cheshire.  Jodrell Bank Observatory is just visible in the distance.

The reservoir has a capacity of 85million gallons and gets its water from the Llangollen canal which in turn gets its water from the River Dee.  The water is used for both drinking water and to supply water to the Shropshire Union Canal.


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