Saturday, 26 June 2010

Sells Green, Kennet and Avon Canal

Stuck here because a lock gate on the Caen Flight has been broken by a boat. New gate could take 4 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, lousy internet connection. What can I say?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Bath, River Avon

David set off down the locks to fill them, ready for our descent early this morning and then discovered that the top lock was padlocked closed. It seems there is a leak in one of the chambers and if the lock is left full it will flood one of the houses on the flight.

So we had to wait until 0800 before we could start. When we did, we were joined by a boat full of young men (who, incidentally, came from Solihull) and although they didn't really know what they were doing, they had lots of brawn and could jump about the locks.

We also had help from BW with the big one (19ft deep).

When we got to the river, David decided to turn right and moor up near Poultney Bridge. When we got there the moorings were full, but one boat was just about to leave, so we slotted in. Not a cheap mooring, this one, £9.00 per 24 hours (48 hours max).

This is the view, and the boat leaving.

Tonight the boats are all breasted up in twos.

We have decided not to go on into Bristol - £42.50 for 2 days. Which is a bummer really. We could have turned around before the locks this morning, saved ourselves 10 locks and £9.00. But hey! this is a lovely spot (apart from the drunk who is putting the world to rights).

Midway through the year today. Night's will be starting to draw in. How depressing. Still it was lovely and sunny and hot today and David enjoyed the girls in their shorts and t-shirts. So a card for him.

A Bratz sticker. I covered the bottom 1/3 of a yellow base card with some home-made backing paper. I made it in Word using dingbats and the words say "Girls just want to have fun". I covered the join with a fancy peel-off strip. Then I added the stickers.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Bath, Kennet and Avon Canal

I have seen lots of "pirates" on narrowboats in my time, but this is a first.

A real, live, parrot on the shoulder of the tiller man!

We are spending a 2nd day on these moorings in Bath because they are good, and close to the city.

Fathers' Day today. Don't have any actual Fathers' Day cards, but this could be adapted.

He came as a clipart from somewhere and I matted him on silver and green deckle edged card before
sticking him onto a square, white card.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Bath, Kennet and Avon Canal

A Hobbit boat! Can you see the two side hatches/doors? They are just the Frodo's front door.

This is a very worried stag party just about to do their second ever lock and not quite sure what to do. (They are also watching what the girls (see below) are doing.)
Strangely enough, they shared the lock with a boat full of hen party girls - though not the same wedding.

We left Dundas as usual, around 6am and were in Bath for 9am. There was just one mooring, so we nabbed it quick.
There is now a Tesco shop above the bridge which came in very handy for shopping, though the walk down the hill into Bath proper is not too strenuous.

White card blank. Black, handmade paper, silver hessian type mesh, white handmade paper, blue ribbon, three silver heart shaped beads tied up with silver cord and three silver, punched leaves.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Dundas Wharf, Kennet and Avon Canal

Some of the sights of the Somerset bit of the K&A:

Two out of date licences do not make a current one

Are boats cold in Winter?

Yet another tedious cruise, hardly out of tickover all the way. Four miles in two hours. We stopped at Dundas Wharf to be out of town for the football match and we knew we could get the satellite dish to work there.

A white card base. The stamp is Australian and was stamped onto watercolour paper, coloured with water colours and cut out, then matted onto green and black card.

Then a green and white gingham ribbon was tied in a knot and wrapped around the card, fixing the ends with double-sided tape.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Dundas Wharf, Kennet and Avon Canal

All the swing bridges on the western side of the summit have this sign on them.

But someone or some people have stolen all the padlocks!
It does make opening the closing of the bridges so much easier now. No more getting onto hands and knees (on the wet ground) to get a key into a padlock.

The Kennet and Avon canal is a wide canal - except hear when there isn't even room for two narrowboats to pass.

This is the (or will be, hopefully sooner rather than later) the entrance to the Wilts and Berks Canal. It will, one day, go up to Abingdon to join the River Thames.

Nine miles, seven locks, five swing bridges and five hours to get to Bradford-on-Avon.

Now for a completely different canal. One of the Llangollen lift bridges. The photo is matted onto silver, blue and lime green card. The blue mat is scalloped. The lime green mat was cut longer at the bottom and I wrapped a blue and green spotted ribbon around it and tied it in a knot. The base card is blue.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Foxhangars, Kennet and Avon Canal

Some of the many signs littering the lock flight

Two for cyclists, 1 for dog walkers. Don't think I've ever seen so many dogs being walked along a towpath!

More information for walkers!

And, finally, some for boaters.

On this one, the shop, for the shop in Rowde, says that if you telephone them with an order, they will deliver. Now there's service.

We did the three locks down to the flight early, arriving at 0645 and waited on the lock landing until the gates were unlocked at 0800. There were two other boats on the overnight mooring, a widebeam and a trailable Otter.

The lockkeeper unlocked the gates at 0800 but there was no sign of life from either of the boats so we set off. All the locks are emptied at night to prevent flooding (or stop the flooding because no-one has fixed the leaks), so they were all against us; but at about half way down we came upon a couple of lockkeepers and were helped down the rest of the flight. We were the only boat using the lock flight the whole time we were traversing it, so we were glad we didn't wait the 30 minutes for another boat to come along, 'cos none did.

There are actually only 16 locks in the flight and it is possible to stop at either end, but only overnight. Unfortunately, the moorings at the bottom have collapsed and are unusable so we had to go on another 7 locks to get here - so that made 26in all - though we joined Esther for the last 6. Then it was a quick lunch and a long snooze and early to bed.

Here is a decoupaged granny card. The base card is pink and I added some cotton lace along the bottom half. The decoupage is fixed onto a gold panel which has been deckle edged with scisssors before being stuck to the left hand side of the card. Three glass gems are added to the top right hand corner and a "sewing kit" to the bottom right hand corner.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Devizes Wharf

Don't have any pictures today, so here is a card made with a photo of Devizes Wharf during the Wharf Festival several years ago.
We are gathering up our strength for the Caen Flight tomorrow, so are resting here for the day.
I took a bus into Salisbury to see how. It is alovely ride through beautiful villages and over the downs, just missing Stonehenge.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Devizes, Kennet & Avon Canal

Two sights today. David didn't notice the head sticking out of the back of this boat. He was having his breakfast fag.

And this one is on a 48 hour visitor mooring. Notice the stuff on the towpath and the duck house. Some 48 hours!

It was a very early start as we had an appointment with Richard at Devizes Marina to look at the gearbox. It is only 10 1/4 miles but it took us 3 3/4 hours because there are so many boats moored precariously along the towpath that you can hardly get out of tick-over.

The "o" ring was replaced, along with oil in the gearbox and we managed to just squeeze into a space on the moorings at Devizes wharf at 1pm.

A sunny, sunflower. That is to remind us that it is June, and it is Summertime, and there should be sunshine. But there isn't.

The card began with a silk sunflower, bought in a bunch from a charity shop. I cut off the back and stuck it onto a die-cut circle and then stuck that onto a white hammered card blank.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Pewsey, Kennet and Avon Canal

And yet another boat being relieved of its moorings.

We arrived at Wooton Rivers by 0845 and were going to spend the day and night on the moorings there, and have lunch in the pretty thatched pub, but there was no TV reception and no shop to get a Sunday newspaper. So it was "on-on" to Pewsey. So we are now on our way down again.

Pewsey is about as close as I can get to my old home where I grew up, so lots of happy memories around here.

This boat was on the moorings at Wooton Rivers.

Just for a change, not a canal themed card.

I think the bear came free with a magazine. I stuck it to a panel of pink card with sticky fixers and matted that onto lilac card. It was then stuck to a yellow card base. A lilac bow was fixed to the bottom right hand corner of the topper.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Crofton, Kennet and Avon Canal

My favourite bridge. It is called New Bridge, and the trees are covering the parapet, which is crumbling away. Not that new a bridge after all.

Lots of hard work today. 13 locks and 2 swing bridges. We were just coming up a lock when a boat began getting ready to set off. Good! I thought. Help is at hand. Then the lady came out onto the stern and she was wearing a creamy yellow top and a pair of WHITE trousers! S***! I thought. You'll be doing the locks yourself then. And do you know what? I did! She was a lovely lady though, a real Barbara Windsor look-alike, all friendly and bubbly and hadn't got a clue.

The moorings below the Crofton pump house were a welcome sight. We had lunch in the cafe there which is run by the K&A Trust and in the early evening my brother and sister-in-law came up from Blandford for a quick visit.

A card for the histerics among you. President and Kildare. A photo matted onto silver, red, black and red card and stuck to a white card blank. Two lines of silver (or black - can't remember now) peel-off strips are added each side.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Hungerford, Kennet & Avon Canal

The brickwork in one of the locks hereabouts. And Mr Evans says the canals have never been in better condition.

Decided to have another rest day as I'm going to bed at 7.30 at the moment!

I took a bus from Hungerford into Marlborough, through some beautiful countryside and villages and Savernake Forest. But I'm local, so I'm biased.

So a card with a picture of the bridge after 1st lock outside Hungerford (going towards Newbury). Haven't got the Nicholson's by the computer to check the name.)

I matted the picture onto silver and blue card. A blue ribbon is tied horizontally on the left hand side and tied in a knot and two blue "dew drops" fixed to the bottom right hand corner. They do not look that wonky in real life!

Thursday, 10 June 2010


Rant of the Day: Impossible lock to cross. It is like doing a tightrope walk. The handrails stick out and the rail wants to push you out into the water. Not good for little fat people with sticky-out bits.

On arriving at Hungerford Wharf we found another loose boat. Don't know how it managed it as there are rings all along the wharf for tying boats to. Anyway Tricky Nicky was living up to it's name.

A boy's card today. The topper is a twisted decoupage (though it is not clear from the photo) and it came in a pack with the sentiments and decorative strips. I just stuck them onto a light green card base.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Newbury, Kennet and Avon Canal

It rained today, so we decided to have a rest day and stayed at the Pitstop.

So a bit of washing, and a wander around Newbury and that was about it.

Coming back from town we saw Rainbow being serviced, not seen them for ages, so we had a coffee and flapjack and a good old natter before it began to rain again and they had to set off.

The picture is one of the locks around here. Some of them do not have a walkway, but a sort of stirrup fixed by the rail under the beam to help you step up onto the top of the beam. So, for a little fat person like me I have to really struggle - with the windlass in one hand I have to haul myself up onto my knees on the beam and then stand up. Getting off the beam at the other end is probably even more difficult because there is at least a 2ft drop or a fish around to try and find the step.

This lock didn't even have a stirrup step and the top of the beam was groin height. I only used one paddle on this lock!

I bought this topper from Lakeland, a set of 4, you had to make up the bunches and assemble the pieces; white and lilac handmade paper, lilac hessian, dried and paper flowers, tissue and silver thread.
I covered the left hand side of a white hammered card with lilac spotty paper and added a fancy silver peel-off strip along the join. Then added the assembled topper.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Newbury, Kennet and Avon Canal

There seems to be one disadvantage of travelling early in the morning: You always come across an empty pound before someone else has been able to fill it.

This time it was the long pound between Monkey Marsh Lock and Widemead Lock. The picture shows how low the pound was.

We phoned BW and were told that someone would be out in about half an hour and that it was OK for me to walk on to the next lock and run some water down. No problem there as it was river above the lock, so lots of water up there to fill the empty pound.

So I walked the almost two miles to Widemead Lock and opened up all the paddles. About 30 minutes later three men turned up (see the picture) and studiously ignored me. Poking around with an umbrella in the puddles, looking at the lock landing and the black box on the other side of the canal.

Only one man spoke to me, the one with the BW lifejacket when he asked me to move out of the way so they could walk over the lock gates. None of them asked me why I was stood there with all four paddles open and no boat in sight.

Later on we came upon two BW workers moving a dredger and I mentioned the empty pound. The reply was "Not again!" So the other three must have known the pound would be empty which is why they never bothered to speak. But what happened to the man who was supposed to be coming out I don't know, 'cause we never saw him.

All in all it took us about 6 hours to do 3 miles, so it was great to draw into Bev and Geoff's Pitstop at Greenham Island. They provided us with a mooring (and electric hook-up) plus some diesel and we caught up with the gossip of Gas Street and Newbury.

I love flowers, and love photographing them. I wrapped some lilac ribbon around this photograph and tied it with a knot then matted it onto silver card which I trimmed with scalloped scissors. Then it was matted onto patterned paper then onto light lilac and dark lilac card. The four brads were then added before I stuck the picture onto a white card base.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Woolhampton, Kennet and Avon Canal

Lots more hard locks today. This is one of the balance beams at Aldermaston Lock - nothing to hang on to. It took two of us to close the gate!

There are several swing bridges and one lift bridge in this stretch. Fortunately most of them are now fully electrically operated. No rushing to one end of the bridge to put the barrier down and getting to the other end and a car comes along. Just close your eyes and press the button. Sod the motorist!
The lift bridge at Aldermaston is a real traffic stopper. It cannot be operated between 0800 and 0900 and 1700 to 1800. One year I managed to separate a car and it's police escort.

To finish off the morning there is Woolhampton Swing Bridge followed by Woolhampton Lock. Between the two the fast flowing River Kennet joins the navigation at a right angle just before the lock. The trick is to open the lock gates before letting the boat through the bridge.
Mission accomplished. David did it perfectly. But that was because there was no-one looking on.
There was room at the moorings above the lock so we moored up and had a lovely lunch in the Rowbarge pub by the bridge.

While nosing around a Poundshop and saw a string of these puce Gerber flowers. Naturally, I bought them and cut them apart for attaching to cards.
With this card, I covered the left hand side of the front of a white card base with floral paper and added a lacy, flowery, ribbon (with gems in the centre of each flower) down the join.
Three more gems were added to the top right hand corner and the flower to the bottom right hand corner.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Theale, Kennet and Avon Canal

Fobney Lock! I hate Fobney Lock! It is huge; it is hard work and

that river landing!!!

Fortunately a boat had just come out of the lock and left a gate open, so that was part of the hard work done.

Then, there were two canoeists camping by the lock and one of them helped me with the top lock (after scrounging some water and offering to pay for a windlass (if we had a spare) as they had lost theirs. David found them one we'd rescued with the Seasearcher.

The locks at this end of the K&A seem very unloved and in need of some TLC.

At Garston Lock I had a feeling I was being watched. Call me silly, but those two eyes followed me everywhere I went.

After my first swing bridge at Theale (completely electrified, thank goodness) we stopped at the 24hr moorings there and I walked into town for a newspaper.
(No letter to Mrs Mills from David published this week!)

A photograph on one of the K&A locks leaking like mad. It is matted onto silver, dark lilac, holographic silver and lime green card.

The base card is a light lilac, and I wrapped some lime green ribbon around the right hand side of the card and tied it with a bow. The three lime green dots were made form the lime green card and covered in Crystal Glaze.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Reading, Kennet and Avon Canal

Because all the locks are now available to use "out of hours" we left Wallingford at 0600. The weather was perfect, sun was shining again
and there was lots of wildlife in, on above the water.
We reached Reading at 1045 and found a mooring just past Blakes Wharf.

My favouritest type of boat.

I don't seem to have any cards with photos of the Thames on (must remedy that). So here is a picture of Dunworkin which we passed at Beale Park.
I just matted the photo onto white and red card and stuck it to a white card base.