Sunday, 31 May 2009

Gas Street Basin

The sun has certainly shone since we got back. Another hot, sunny day.
The Canada Geese have been producing prolifically (of course), though this one is quite cute (at the moment!).
Tom was powerwashing their sh*t off the end of the pontoon on Friday and was told by a BW Health and Safety man that he was not supposed to be doing it.
Health and Safety were around because a blind woman had fallen into the canal earlier in the morning. Missed that one. Also missed whoever it was who jumped the lock the night before and left copious amounts of blood on the ground. Hope it hurts! What we didn't miss though were the two naked men walking down the towpath at 4 in the morning!
Another "Dunworkin" card. A photo of the Buckby can, matted onto gold, blue and red card with a photo corner in the bottom right hand corner. All on a white card.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Gas Street Basin

I have started catching up on the days when the computer was down and I ampublishing them in date order - so they stay in sequence. They will show up below these posts from Gas Street. Does that make sense?

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Gas Street Basin

We got back around mid-day yesterday after a gruelling few days travelling 8-10 hours a day with an overheating engine.

It was nice to get back and were welcomed at 3am by a drunk/druggie banging on the roof. He sloped off and David went out to check for any damage to find that he'd left his wallet, telephone and inhaler on the top of the boat. So Max Anderson, we know who you are and we know where you live!. We then had to telephone the police. Of course they hadn't made it a crime, so today when we discovered that the electric junction had been damaged we had to call them again.

Today we bought a new computer and are all set up again. But I can't find the photographs that we backed up from the old one before it died. So you'll have to wait for an update of the last few days. Sorry.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Gas Street Basin

We were woken 0445 by a boat going past in our direction! How dare anyone beat us to the locks! We caught up with it filling up with water at Autherley Junction - wasn't going up the locks anyway!.

There was a heron stood on the signpost at the junction. We have seen it (or one very like it) there before. David took lots of photos.

Most of the locks on the Wolverhampton flight were for us. We past a Viking hire boat after the 2nd lock there was no sign of life when I walked past, but they were raring to go and were out at the lock before we had got through. Fortunately they had a large crew, so they closed the lock gates behind us.

The canteen wagon at Lock 10 had gone. No more bacon butties to fortify one for the rest of the flight. Hope they are just on holiday and not moved off to a more profitable spot.

The lock keeper opened some more locks on the way up and then that lovely lady who lives in a boat at the top (and fosters dogs and cats, though I don't know her name) set three more locks for us. We did them all in 2 1/4 hours.

While filling one of the locks we did it too fast. The boat shot to the back of the lock, hit the back gates and then shot forward and hit the top one. It opened the gate slightly and water shot in. The gate then closed with the pressure of the water and a tidal wave swept over the bow of the boat. Fortunately the front doors were closed, so only a jumper got wet.

On through to Factory Locks and we came across lots of children in canoes. There is a sign on the bridge about a canoe club, but this is the first time we have actually seen any.

We had to nurse the boat back here as the engine was overheating a lot. I ended up feeding the bottle thingy with ice cubes to try and keep the temperature down!

Still it is good to be back and see everyone again. One more boat has left us, Temaraire, so the basin is looking very sparse.

A little yellow lamb with a garland of pink flowers. I mounted it onto green card with a gold frame, yellow, green and floral paper, with two photo corners. The white card was half covered with patterned paper and a patterned ribbon stuck down over the join.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Park Bridge No 8, Shropshire Union Canal

We passed two boats today. One had a sign in the window saying "Licence in the Post". The old licence in the window ran out in March 2009. Then the second one had a licence which ran out in October 2008. Now I know the Post Office have a few problems. But they usually manage to get the mail delivered within a couple of days. Or is it BW being tardy?

Following Doris , this morning, we came upon a skip floating across the channel. We managed to get it into the bank and re-tied it up with the knots they used for rope. Doris then set off and we waited for a boat to pass travelling in the opposite direction - then we set off - at which the knots broke again and the skip swung around across the channel yet again. Suffice to say, we left it this time.

We queued for diesel at Wheaton Aston (only 3 boats today, and we were No 2), and then cruised on to the visitor moorings at Park Bridge for the rest of the day ready for the locks tomorrow.

I don't usually make DL cards - mainly because they are more difficult to store. I printed the words: Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. Then I covered the bottom of the card with stripy paper. I tied a ribbon with a bow along the join and then added three yellow gems in the bottom left hand corner.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Market Drayton

We had the Audlum locks all to ourselves (starting at 5am) and they were all for us! There were lots of boats moored up again - apparently there was a festival on in the town.

We were too early for a newspaper from the new Co-op, so we went on and up. At the lock where there are usually some flowers and fruit or veg for sale, there was just this sign!

I thought I heard a cuckoo this morning. Then I heard a pigeon and now I'm not so sure.

We went on up through the Adderley Locks and stopped in Market Drayton for water and a pump out, then moored up at the visitor moorings for the rest of the day.

Something for someone going off to a new school (teacher or pupil). Our daughter needed lots of these. She went to 1 American school, 1 English school and 1 Scottish school before finally going off to boarding school in Somerset at the tender age of 7 1/2! I know it seems cruel, but I couldn't bear leaving her at the school gates all on her own yet again and she then stayed at her boarding school until she was 18.
I cut some gingham paper with wavy scissors and then matted it onto silver paper and cut in the same way. Then I added the ready-made toppers. I printed the sentiment off on the computer and matted that up with the gingham paper and silver card. This time doing the stamp edged scissors. The insert read "Good Luck!)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Hack Green Locks, Shropshire Union Canal

It was wall to wall boats along the Middlewich Branch. I don't think there was a point when we could not see a boat either moored in front or
behind us all the way.

We had the usual early start, though this time in the mist, but we were not early enough to sneak past the Shropshire Union Canal Society's lock wheeling at Cholmondley lock. Not that we mind giving them a donation as they do so much good work and all their moorings across the whole Shroppie systems are marvelous and always just in the right spot.
A really hot, sunny afternoon which we spent above the locks at Hack Green. Still haven't visited the Bunker yet though!
This poor little bear with a plaster makes a lovely get well card. He is stamped and handpainted on watercolour paper and fixed with sticky fixers onto a white background which I matted onto gold, green and red card. The sentiment is a silver peel-off which is matted in the same way. The base card was white.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Normans Bridge No 26 - Middlewich Branch, SU

A picture for Michael. The football ground for the Northwich team he supports plus the Manchester United Reserves. We are not worthy!

Yet another 0500 start. Passed the Fudge boat at Anderton (facing the wrong way yet again).

Last night we were passed by a Claymoore hire boat crewed by pirates. They were all dressed up and were "Yah hah-ing!" and "Yo hoh-ing!" everyone in sight. We caught them up at the Big Lock this morning and while David helped them through with advice etc (their first lock), I walked to Tesco's for some shopping.

I was waiting for them at the bottom of the three locks. David had persuaded the pirates that they should let him go first so that they could close the locks. They bought it - so we got to go up the rest of the locks before them. Not that it did us any good as there were 2 boats already in front - though a very keen set of other hireboaters also set the locks and opened and/or closed the gates.

There was the usual queue at Wardle Lock with one boat crew complaining about the wait (but not helping with the locks). Further on we met with No Problem but they didn't recognise us and then later David saw Valerie sail past. Again no response. We are obviously not on their blog rolls.
This card started out with a red card blank. I cut out a square of gold paper and then stamped out the heart border down two sides. Finally I added a bought topper with a gold heart with string and a flower.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Dutton Stop Lock, Trent and Mersey Canal

Left at 0515 aiming for Lymm as there was a restaurant there that we wanted to try out. Whilst passing through Altricham we noticed lots of boats missing from the moorings. We found them all in Lymm for a boat meeting. There were no visitor moorings - couldn't even stop to get a pint of milk. So it was "on on" to Moore for some goodies, a 10 minute wait to go through Preston Brook Tunnel (there were 6 boats going through, mostly from the marina at Preston Brook) and a queue to get through the stop lock.

We moored up on the pilings again, just past the stop lock but this time we couldn't get the satellite to work for some reason

Starting with a white card, I made 2 slits in the spine of the card and wrapped two strips of ribbon around the bottom of the card, criss-crossing them and adding a knot where they crossed.

Then I matted the sticker onto blue and red card, cutting around the sticker before fixing it to the centre of the card.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Astley, Bridgewater Canal

How have we managed for the last 200 years using a lock with only one ladder?? All the double locks on the L&L are having another ladder cut into them on the opposite side to the original one. Can't fix the broken paddle gear though!

We left the mooring at 0600 and got to the top lock for 0630. There were boats parked everywhere, on the waterpoint and even on the lock landing.
It rained all the way down but we had a Phantom BW lock operator for last 10 locks! Someone set the locks for us and opened a gates, though we never saw anyone doing it and the little BW hut was all closed up when I went past.
Then we managed to arrive at Plank Lane while the operator was at lunch, so David had a short rest, and then another one while I went shopping at Aldi in Leigh.

I saw yellow flags in bloom, and at one spot I saw several orchids.

A pretty floral card. The flowers are made from handmade paper (not by me!), wrapped in crepe paper and tied with silver string. I matted it onto some lilac sacking, lilac handmade paper and silver card.
I covered the bottom half of the card with white spotted (with a green edge) lilac paper and a silver peel-off border along the join.
Finally, I added a sentiment made from a peel-off on white paper and matted onto silver card.

After 23 locks and the shopping I was completely knackered so I slept for 3 hours and then went to bed at 0830.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Haigh Park, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Yet another long day, leaving at 0545.

Coming down Johnsons Hillocks, David decided to go on ahead at Lock 64 to get the bottom lock ready. There was nowhere to tie the boat up so he left the centre rope along the bank (like here in the picture on the lock above). The boat was not moving an inch, so I decided to go around to the other side of the lock to open the opposite gate. As soon as I got to the far end the boat suddenly went into top gear and shot across the lock. The rope went straight into the water before David could get back on and as the pound between Locks 63 and 64 is big and wide the boat went straight into the middle, turned around 180 degrees and just sat there laughing at us. The wind eventually brought it back to the bottom gates of the upper lock and David managed to slide down the steep bank and jump onto the front of the boat. Fortunately no one was around to see all this - and you won't tell anyone will you?

Then it was on through Chorley and Adlington and arrived here around 1330 and spent the afternoon watching the golfers opposite, dodging the showers..

A card for the boys this time. I covered the card blank with the bubbly paper and added the brown card bands around the edges. Then I just added the stick on toppers.




Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Engine Bridge No 84, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Another early start to get through Blackburn before the children get excluded from school. I must say that my e-mail to the Mayor seems to have done the trick. The locks were imaculate. There was a very young lock keeper who didn't know much about locking, but was very keen and helped us down all the locks.

This is a picture of him opening the paddles behind the lock gear. Complicated? You need to be fit to either crawl under it or jump over it!

We were moored up by 1230 - so another long day!

This elephant made from an Australian stamp. He is wearing a party hat and carrying a baloon. I coloured it with watercolour paints and matted it onto yellow torn paper and red card before fixing it to a white card blank. The sentiment at the bottom of the elephant is "Party Animal".

Monday, 18 May 2009

Fosters Swing Bridge, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Another blustery day. David brought me a cup of tea while I was still in bed and set off at 0530 while I snoozed until we got to Gannow Tunnel.

We were planning to go a bit further today, but there was a mutiny at the back and we are now moored to the bollards up here.

I must say, I do love this spot. We have been watching the weather roll over the landscape, now sunshine, now rain, now sunshine again.

We seem to be back in the quiet end of the canal. There were lots of boats on the move yesterday, yet today we have only seen 3 boats, and they are all travelling in the same direction as us.

Two gypsy ponies, photographed when we went down the River Nene several years ago. I matted the photograph onto white and green card. I wrapped some

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Reedley, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Waiting for the Greenberfield locks to open. Lovely views, all the fields were full of cows or sheep; and the sun is shining.

There are five (5) notices on this lock beam. Slight overkill maybe?

More sunshine and showers. We did the first three locks to the summit with Heather and after getting diesel at Lower Park Marina just managed to catch Foulridge Tunnel at five past noon. We managed a bacon butty from the kiosk at the top of Barrowford Locks and descended with another boat (sorry don't remember the name) - getting thoroughly drenched on the way. A quick shop in Morrisons at Nelson and on to Reedly for the night.

A thank you card. I know I am getting forgetful in my old age, but I can't remember who I was thanking so very, very much. The photograph is of Roach and partner in Gas Street Basin. It is matted in silver, red and green, as is the sentiment (which I did on the computer). I tied a stripy red and green ribbon around the card and another piece around the sentiment, both tied in a knot.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Hulber Hill, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Just about to go through Highgate Swing Bridge with a view of the dales behind. It is 0715 and a glorious day.

Then it all went ratsh*t. We had had a Waterscape notice about the Barrowford Locks being closed until 10am and the notice did say from Barrowford Bottom Lock to Holme Bridge Lock. What I hadn't twigged was that Holme Bridge Lock is the bottom of the Gargrave Locks.

So we arrived at 0730 to discover everything that could be locked up was and we had a 2 1/2 hour wait. Of course, by then it was raining hard.

I had planned a trip into Gargrave whilst David got water and emptied the porta-potti etc. But as we had joined up with another boat and they were going on through we tagged along and I missed visiting that lovely shop, and getting some food in.

We shared the locks in sunshine and showers with either Heather or Tiberton, a hire boat, and had help from lock keepers on all but one lock through the Gargrave and Bank Newton Locks. So now we are back on "the bends" amongst the sheep and curlews. Bliss.

I forgot to mention. Having asked David if we needed diesel in Skipton I was told that we had half a tank. Just after the second swing bridge out of Skipton the engine died!!!

Jolly/Paper Nation have some lovely decoupage figures. This couple with their new baby is so sweet. I matted it onto blue and silver card and fixed it to a white card blank.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Skipton, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

David has made the front page of Canals and Rivers again (two months in a row!). There is also an article inside which we wrote about the costs of owning a boat with three pictures of our gorgeous boat.
We can certainly recommend Pennine Cruisers for help when the boat lets you down. Ian has fixed the toilet and tightened the fan belt so we can be off tomorrow. We just have to find somewhere to keep the porta-potti now we don't need it.
Hope the weather is better than today. It didn't stop raining until 5 o'clock.
Not sure I like the lady in the medallion of this card. She looks a bit haughty to me. Anyway she was matted onto red and green card and I added some Diamond Glaze to make it shiny. A yellow ribbon and bow was tied across the top and the picture fixed on top with sticky fixers. Finally I added the 3 square, red gems.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Skipton, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Having discussions with several lock keepers yesterday we all came to the same conclusion. There are hardly any ducklings and cygnets around so far this year. Then today we saw three swan families, a goose and gosling. and loads and loads of ducklings!!

This black swan lives at the top of the locks at Bingley.

We are now back in Skipton for a bit of R&R. Ian is going to sort out the toilet (hopefully) and tighten the fan belt (which David tightened a couple of days ago and is worse now than before he started). So with luck we might get home without anything else going wrong.

I have not made a new card for so long. This one must be about 5 years old. I fixed the pink rose onto a piece of silver card and added a pink sheer bow. I then matted this onto another piece of silver card before fixing it to the yellow card blank.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Brunthwaite Swing Bridge, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Have you noticed how some years different flowers seem to proliferate. Two years ago there was an abundance of wild orchids. Last year it was violets. This year it's bluebells. Or, maybe we just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

We left at 0800 and shared all the locks and swing bridges with Bowman and Jan on Rivendell, managing to get here and moored before the rain.

Speaking to a couple of lock keepers today, they were saying that the canal was very quiet at the moment and that there were no movements at all through the locks at Bingley on Monday. But even so, the number of boat movements this year was already up by 50%. Odd! Though, we have seen several boats moving today, especially above the locks. This included friends on Ellie May who of course, were going in the opposite direction.

Two cards here - both using the same picture which is of one of the of one of the three-risers around here. Can't work out which one, but I am sure someone will tell me.

This one began with a green and white marbled type card. I stamped the red band and cut one side with fancy scissors. The photograph was matted onto silver and red card and also cut with the same scissors. I added three red cardboard dots on the left hand side and a paper daisy to the top right hand corner of the photograph.

On this one, the picture was matted onto silver, red and green card and fixed over a red and white dotted ribbon with a knot on the right hand side. Two corners have faux green photo clips fixed to them.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Above Field Three Locks, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

I think this has been the longest day we have ever done on the boat. We left Clarence Dock at 0715 and finished here, 10 miles, 18 locks and 7 swing bridges later at 1515. I shall certainly sleep tonight!
We stopped off at the BW sanitary station by the BW offices. The Downey Two Rise locks outside were in an appalling state. Paddle gear not working etc, etc. You can usually tell when you are near BW offices - unlicenced, overstaying boats and the locks don't work. This picture is of the rubbish collection point. The two orange bins were empty - all the rubbish was scattered around them.
Obviously no bonuses for cleanliness or upkeep!

A Big Wishes decoupage card. She is fixed to some yellow mulberry paper on a white card.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Clarence Dock, Aire and Calder Navigation

There you are trying to discourage "hoodies" pushing things into the canal and they go and put this up.

Today the bog broke again. We have had to go out and buy a new "porta-potti" for use until we can get the proper one fixed.

Starting with an old cigarette card mounted onto green, red and silver card, I stuck it onto a white card base. The name and age were made with peel-offs and matted in the same way as the picture and added at an angle with sticky-fixers.
When I gave the card to the man who ordered the card for his brother, he could tell me the name of the car, the driver and the year! Very impressive - and I had no idea - just thought it looked around the right age.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Clarence Dock, Aire and Calder Navigation

Back in the great metropolis of Leeds. We left Lemonroyde yesterday at 0530 and got to Clarence Dock at 0800, just as the wind was begining to blow.

Also, we went back to Mumtaz for another very, very, very milk curry (for me) and a hotter one for David. Can't recommend them highly enough.

Today we have just been resting and getting the washing done. David found a bar showing the football, so he's happy.

Lilac card, white mulberry paper with little lilac strips in it. a silver butterfly from a hair ornament and an organdie and satin bow flower thingy and three lilac glass jewls.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Lemonroyde, Aire and Calder Navigation

Wakefield Flood Lock it's there somewhere!

Ah! the joys of the Aire and Calder. Electric locks and proper barges!
For us, a long, long day. Even so we reached Lemonroyde by 11am and decided to stay as the wind was gale force. Good job we did. It started to rain almost as soon as we tied the ropes up. Then it was a couple of hours sleep to get over our exertions.

Pretty lilac card with lilac gingham ribbon, lilac mulberry paper and a decoupaged bear matted onto more lilac card.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Above Broad Cut Top Lock, Calder and Hebble Navigation

"Where the Hell is the lock?"

On the right - just after the bridge. Believe me.

Thornhill Flood Lock -and it should have been open, but it wasn't. I had to climb up a vertical ladder from the deck of the boat to get the gate open so we could get through. Where is Health and Safety when you need some?

We took the left turn at Coopers Bridge and are now on our way back to Leeds. This is the first time we have been "down" the Calder and Hebble and it is a lot more difficult than going "upstream". Apart from having to wiggle about in the locks to get the bottom gates open getting back onto the boat on the river sections can be quite tricky, what with the current, lack of decent mooring opportunities and those damn flood gates which should be open but are partially closed. Going up you can nudge them open, but this way you can't get away with that.

The sun was out today and everything looked so pretty. Acid green leaves, wild flowers, butterflies, birds, ducklings and lovely smells wafting through the breeze.
There are faint traces of the old industrial use of this canal. Here are two huge bollards amongst the trees. No sign of what was once there, or what they were used for.
I have also noticed today lovely new black signs on all the bridges. They are BW black corporate colouring with the little white boxes down the left hand side like the licence and a white bridge in the bottom right hand corner. The name of the bridge is then printed in white. Very useful. BUT there is no number! Our Nicholson's only shows bridge numbers. So we are lost! Does no-one in the office have any idea what it is like from a boaters' point of view?

A Tigger Card. I can't remember now, but I think it was a peel-off sticker from one of those big rolls, which I stuck onto card and then cut out. The orange and black gingham was some wrapping tissue paper with was distressed around the edges. I then added the various flowers and bug which were also stickers.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Kirklees Top Lock, Calder and Hebble Navigation

After deciding last night that we didn't want the hassle of the Rochdale Canal we had to wind the boat somewhere this morning. The Nicholson's did not show anything before the Salterhebble top lock and the Geoprojects map showed one below the previous lock - but we could not see anything obvious.

So we set off early hoping to find somewhere to wind before the Salterhebble locks and managed to turn by the slipway in between two moored boats in Ellend Basin - so we only had one lock to do twice.

The weather was foul again, wind and drizzle but we persevered and ended up back at Kirklees Top Lock. Tomorrow we toss a coin and decided which way to go - Leeds or Huddersfield!

Charlotte's 21st Birthday Card. A square white card. The bottom 1/3 covered with sprigged paper and a lilac ribbon across the join. The girl was paper pieced from a template from one of the cardmaking magazines. I added a gem necklace, a balloon with silver 21's stuck to it and a silver 'confetti' goblet. The happy birthday and Charlotte were done with peel-offs and finally 2 lilac flowers were stuck on the ribbon.

Then for the box. I made it with blue pearlescent card and printed off the sentiment on the computer with lilac ink. I matted it onto blue and black card and stuck it to the box with some lilac feathers fixed underneath it and a paper flower in one corner.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Colliers Arms, Calder and Hebble Navigation

We've just had a pig of a day.

It was raining when we got up, so we decided to leave it a bit to see what happened. Around 1230 it was looking good, so we set off. It promptly started to rain again.

We'd planned to moor between the two locks at Brighouse if possible, but there was another boat there, so no room. So we took on water at the top and moored up by Sainsburys as we were expecting a visit from Irene, an old friend.

David needed the television to work so that he could watch the football tonight, and of course we wouldn't get it on these moorings, so when Irene left we moved of. It started to rain again.

This part of the Calder and Hebble is beautiful, but thickly wooded on both sides. We tried several times to find a mooring with enough clear sight of the satellite (in the rain) with no success and finally decided to make a day of it at the pub moorings just before Ellend Lock. At least the pub would be showing the match, wouldn't it?

No! David went for a drink and to find out; he came back saying that he was lucky to get the drink! Anyway he kept persevering with the satellite and finally got it to work. So he's OK now. Just need the right result.

I have been reading Captain Ahab's Watery Tales and decided I couldn't face the Rochdale again. So we are in a bit of a quandary as to how we are going to get back across the Peninnes. Of course we have just passed the only winding hole around and will have to go on up to Salterhebble to the next one (that's 6 locks away - including the guillotine one that BW are manning at the moment!)

A handmade paper heart matted onto white and red card. Four gemstones in each corner and fixed to a white card. The two roses are made from paper (but not by me).