Thursday, 30 April 2009

Battyeford Lock, Aire and Calder Navigation

Here is a sign for Granny Buttons. He was looking for ambiguous signs. We came across it today. The sign the other side of the bridge said PLEASE KEEP TO THE LEFT RIGHT! We are still not sure if we went through it on the proper side.

Yet another early, grey start to a very grey day. But at least it didn't rain until this evening.

We spent the morning popping on and off the river onto canal cuttings. Some of the landings off the river were fun, especially with little fat legs and a sore Achilles Tendon. The old life jacket was being put on and taken off - it is such a nuisance for doing the locks in, but I'm not going to have the words "She had a life jacket but it was in the cupboard" on my tombstone.

These three photographs are of the Figure of Three Locks (though there are only two!)

A big cavity in the lock swim embankment.

What is left on the balance beam on the top gate.

And a "botch" fill of an obvious breach. Two locks which seemed very unloved and neglected.
We are now above Battyeford Lock and ready for the run into Huddersfield tomorrow.

And two cards. A photograph of speedwell growing in the side of a lock wall. In the original I just mounted it onto silver card and put it onto a white card.

But I thought it needed something. So I added this embroidered blue butterfly. What do you think?

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Broad Cut Locks, Calder and Hebble Canal

This is the vortex of water filling Broadreach Lock. Pretty scary. Don't know what the dog bowl is for though.

It was misty and dank when we left at 6 this morning. Stanley Ferry was busy with boats and it was nice to see a BW workshop with lots of lock gates outside waiting to be moved to their locks.

As we reached Fall Ing Lock and Calder and Hebble Navigation the sun came out and and it was lovely, although the lock was very deep and the bottom gates were so heavy it took two of us to open and close it.

We ended up between the two Broad Cut Locks and had decided to have lunch at The Navigation. David said the beer was good, but the food was very disappointing. Still the landlady is a big MU fan and she has invited him to watch the match tonight with her - so he's happy (well, until they lose that is).

Can't remember where I got these bits from, but they are all sparkly. I stuck them onto card and cut them out and then stuck them onto a dark blue shiny card with sticky fixers.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Woodnock Lock, Aire and Calder Navigation

After another two quiet days in Leeds we left very early this morning.

Everything was going so well until we got to Knostrop Fall Lock. I put the BW key in the lock, turned it, opened the sluices, opened the lock and David came in with the boat. I then closed the sluices and then the lock gates. But when I tried to turn the electricity off and remove the key it was stuck!

One telephone call on the emergency number. Nothing! So phone the local office and get an answerphone telling me to phone the emergency number. So I tried again, this time actually getting a real person who almost knew what we were talking about.

About 3/4 hr later a nice BW man came and looked at the key, tried to remove it, walked over to the sluice arm thingy, looked at it, covered something and told David to take our key out. That worked!

He kindly saw us through the lock and we were on our way again with no more escapades - though I did keep my fingers crossed every time I needed to remove the key. We turned right (eventually) at Castleford and headed towards the Calder and Hebble. Not quite sure where the Aire and Calder turns into the Calder and Hebble, but it is around here somewhere and as it had begun raining we moored up on a piece of piling just past the landing stage at the top of Woodnock Lock. And it rained all afternoon and is still raining now.

The picture is of Mr David looking very tiny in Woodnock Lock thank goodness everything was electrified the paddle gear was huge.

We have bitten the bullet and booked the Sandedge Tunnel for next Wednesday. BW need 24 hours notice to book the passage but 48 hours to cancel! At the moment there are 2 stoppages on the Huddersfield Narrow and one on the Calder and Hebble - so were shafted whichever way we want to go. Fingers crossed!

The base for this card was bought in a closing down sale for The Stationery Box and has this pretty blue gingham type strip. I used a peel-off sticker of Eyore which I stuck onto some white card and then cut around it. I then fixed it to some pink mulberry paper. The flowers, leaves and butterfly were then added.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Clarence Dock, Aire and Calder Navigation

A photo of Clarence Dock. It suddenly filled up this afternoon with boats taking a weekend trip out from Lemonroyd Marina.

Lots of sunshine again, but a short shower heralding a change for the weekend.

I took the grey-haired bus to York for most of the day. There was standing room only and probably only about 10 people actually paid their fare.

One of the lovely permanent moorers here sold us another electricity card - so I have got all the washing done, and if I pull my finger out, the ironing too.

The horseshoe is ceramic and I bought it at a Christmas fair in Budapest. I stuck it to some tartan card which was matted onto gold card, then stuck to a red card base. The sentiment is made from peel-offs.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Clarence Dock, Aire and Calder Navigation

Thanks to Robbo for your comment. It seems we are neighbours for a couple of days!

Unfortunately we went to Scarborough for the day and didn't get back before reading your message and by then the BW office was closed for the weekend. So if you have a spare card we could purchase we would be everso grateful.

Had a lovely day (hour or so) by the sea. Caught the Coastliner which goes through York on the way (and was free for us old fogies). York looked lovely as usual and I may return tomorrow.

By the time we got back (a three hour journey each way) we didn't feel like cooking so we visited Mumtaz, a Kashmiri restaurant that is based behind us at the moorings. It is also a non-alcoholic establishment. I am not a curry person, in fact a polo-mint is too hot for me and they promised not leave off the spices. David had a biryani which he loved and I had a lamb dish with rice which I can honestly say was wonderful. To drink we had a pitcher of pear juice and it was freshly juiced and all frothy on top, lovely. We ended the meal with qulfah, a kulfi ice cream and on the way out we bought various halwa cakes from the shop part for later.

Love this card, even if I did make it.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Clarence Dock, Aire and Calder Navigation

Not happy about this getting old bit. I was in bed last night by half past eight and slept until 7.30 this morning - and that was after only 12 locks and 3 swing bridges. David was off by 0745 so there was no time to get any electric cards from the lock-keeper at Office Lock.

We did the first lock and then did the River Lock with another boat who had spent the night in Granary Wharf. David then went off as the pick up can be a bit tricky with two boats coming out onto the river. I followed along on foot by the river to get to Clarence Dock.

There ware lovely moorings here. BW have put in pontoons with water and electricity on each one. There are no signs anywhere though, and nothing to say where you can buy cards to use the electricity, or how long you can stay here.

There was a bit of electric left in our stanchion, which was lucky as the cards we already have don't seem to work here. I put the washing machine on and we then caught a bus back into town and I "did" the shops.

We were told that there is usually a man who sells electricity cards in the lock building by the Royal Armouries, but there was no sign of him today, so I walked all the way back to Office Lock. The BW man who was there was no help. Said that I could get cards from Apperly Bridge (which we passed 2 days ago!) and that there was no electricity around here anyway!

Fortunately David chatted up a nice man on Four Seasons opposite who had a spare card and sold it to us - so I should be able to get the rest of the washing done.

Needless to day, after all that walking I am ready for bed again, and it's only 7pm! And no time for any photogoraphs.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Leeds, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

We've made it to Leeds and I can almost have a rest.

Again we did all the locks with Drentel, with help on the two 3-rise locks. Even so, at Forge Locks all the gates were brand spanking new. Consequently everything was stiff and I have mangled my hip again trying to close the bottom lock gates. Even the lock keeper couldn't open the top gate paddles!

Mooring up above Office Locks at 1130, I then slept for 2 hours. Granary Wharf (where we usually moor) is being redeveloped and so there is no mooring down there at present. But the photographs of the projected development show that boats will be mooring there again, but that just may artistic licence. I am sure the residents of these posh new apartments won't want boats anywhere near their shiny copper balconies.

A phone call from Me and My Shadow with, hopefully, an order for Christmas Cards - so here is another card I made of the boats, this time at the bottom of the Bingley 5-rise locks. Hope it makes them decide.

As usual a matted photo with two panels behind. The blue one I Cuttlebugged.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Calverley Wood, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Now it is officially Spring. I saw two more swallows today!!!

We did the first 3 lock staircase before the BW lock-keeper arrived and moved on to the next swing bridge. In my Nicholson's guide it is noted (by me) that the bridge was "Heavy" (meaning hard to push open or closed). You'll be pleased to know that BW have done something about it. The have put up yet another notice to show me how to do it. Actually, it wasn't too bad this time and if I hadn't stopped half way through closing it to photograph an adorable "Thelwell" pony it would have closed with no problems.

By the time we got to Dobson 2 locks Drentel was ready to set off so we did the locks with them and then when we got to the electric bridge below a BW engineer was checking it out and he worked it for us.

I spent the afternoon making some more cards as I have managed to get rid of nearly all my waterways ones.
This card I made by covering two foam hearts with handmade paper and sticking them together with a pink feather and a paper rose.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Field 3 Locks, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

The sun was shining, the cold wind had dropped so we set off with coats this morning.

By 0800 we were in the top lock at Bingley with Drentel and were expertly escorted down the two sets of locks by the BW lock keepers.

At Dowley Gap Staircase we saw this BW van. More money well spent by BW. On looking at the picture more closely I could see that it was taken from The Mailbox in Birmingham, looking towards our mooring.

On looking even closer I noticed that you could just about see Mr David in the background. Very faint and completely out of focus.

We stopped off at Saltaire as we wanted to try out a restaurant called The Tram Sheds. When we lived in Budapest our "local" was always called The Tram Sheds, though it was actually called Szep Ilonya, but it was by the tram sheds. Unfortunately, like most of the rest of Saltaire it was closed on a Monday.

Although one swallow does not make a Spring. Today I saw my first swallow/swift. Honest! So Spring must be just around the corner. David also saw a family of goslings and in Salt we saw a Woody (North American Wood Duck) look-alike. Thought about kidnapping it to take it back to Birmingham for company for Woody but when I went back to look for it for a photo I could not see it anywhere.

An Anniversary Card. I started with a lilac card base, adding a panel of white card with some stringy type ribbon wrapped around it. The two cats are cut out from holographic card. Finally I added the peel-off sentiment.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Bingley, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

SWING BRIDGES. I HATE THEM! Well, some of them anyway. I especially hate 192 on the L&L. If David had not come to my rescue we would still be there. First I could not get it to open 1" and then I could not close it. David had to bring the boat back to the off side, climb up onto the bridge and help me push it closed. We eventually got it closed but not closed enough to put the chain and padlock back on.

So if it should have swung open in the meantime - sorry BW. But I don't think so.

Then it was this electrified bridge (electric box pictured), can't remember the number (I'd lost count by now). I took this picture at my eye height. The instructions are in that little box at the top, angled slightly but so tiny that I could not read anything even if I could have seen it.

Still - not all bad news. Why is this sign not erected every 500 yards along ALL the towpaths? Not that a single cyclist can read or obey any rules. I'm thinking of having a sandwich board made with code on it for when I next walk the towpath.

Apart from that a beautiful day, bluebells and cuckoo-pint flowering, ducklings everywhere and hardly a moving boat.

We got to the top of the Bingley 5 at 1030 and moored up. It was really cold so we lit a fire. Of course the sun soon came out and it has been a glorious day.

An apple blossom card. A photo matted onto silver, pink and more silver card. A pink organdie ribbon tied in a bow with a butterfly sewn onto each end of the tail.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Silsden, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

How can you tell it's a hire boat without seeing the name on the side?

Apart from the bow wave? People on the roof and others standing along the gunwales.

The only thing missing from this scene is a man with the pole.

A lazy day today. David watched the trials for the Grand Prix and then we set off doing 7 swing bridges nearly catching 1 car and a van on the two electric ones. Not my fault, they both tried to "run the barriers". One stopped short and the other shot through and missed the barrier with millimetres to spare.

After the busy weekend last week it has been surprisingly quiet. Only three boats have gone past all day.

I walked back into Silsden this afternoon and found the new edition of Canals and Rivers. That is one of David's photographs on the front page. He will have one on next month's too.

Inside there is an article he wrote about being filmed in Gas Street and there is a lovely picture of Mr David with a Roman soldier on the roof!

This is an early card of mine. A "Babe" sticker fixed to pearlised turquoise card and matted onto green and yellow card. I used silvery sequins for decoration.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Skipton, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

We left Gargrave very early with the sun peeking through the mist, but it didn't last long. Soon it was really cold.

Arriving in Skipton we initially had to moor up with just the stern and the centre ropes tied up but eventually as boats moved off we manoeuvred ourselves opposite to the boatyard.

Wednesday was a "rest day", and on Thursday we took the train to Carlisle up over the moors. A spectacular trip and well worth the detour.

Today we got the electric button panel fixed on the toilet and two new taps in the bathroom washbasin, we also replaced the gas bottle (finally), had a pumpout and got some diesel. Then we were visited by Janet and Kevin who came over from Holmfirth and we took them out for lunch. Janet designed Mr David and Kevin and his crew built it - and we are still all friends after 10 years!!

While we were up on the top in the windy bits of the canal I saw this post. The round pole was able to turn like a rolling pin. I didn't really think anything about it, but as I was walking back I was following a couple of blokes and one was explaining to the other what it was. It was to protect the wall from the rope being pulled by the horse!

After our visitors left we moved off into the countryside as the locals all said that Skipton now gets a bit rowdy at the weekends. What a shame. It is such a lovely town and used to be one of the safer places to moor up.

After only 3 days in town the Spring was really springing. Lots of trees were now bursting and there were at least 3 sets of ducklings in the water on the way.

Three cards - all on the same theme really. Eller is Ian's boat (Pennine Cruisers) and is a modern built Leeds and Liverpool Short Boat (I think that's what it's called).

I cut out the frame on the CraftRobo and just added some red ribbon.

This is a picture of the hotel boat that works from Skipton. It is called Me and my Shadow. Shadow being the little butty on the back. That way they get a 70ft boat (ish) in the short locks on the L&L.

The yellow card was Cuttlebugged and matted onto blue card. I tore the bottom edges at an angle and wrapped some blue cord around it.

Finally a picture of Leo the small trip boat that goes up to the castle. The big green panel was Cuttlebugged again.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Gargrave, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Poster No 2. I have found 4 different ones now.

Yet another early start. The sun was just up and you could feel the heat. All the locks except the first one were against us and two of the Bank Newton pounds were very low.

We had help with the bottom lock from a BW guy and another one again at Anchor lock on the Gargrave flight.

By the time we got to Anchor lock the sun had gone and it was really chilly. We had decided to go on into Skipton in case the toiled packed up completely, but decided to chance it and moored up. After all these early mornings and all those locks I am absolutely knackered.

Since we last visited Gargrave the bank has been piled and infilled. But why the big piling? Some metal mesh has been put along the top so that people don't fall down the gaps but it is 2" short of the edge so that when moored up the fenders do not work so we scrape and bump every time a boat goes past. Also why oh why did they not put some mooring rings in while they were building it? This is a very popular overnight mooring and I am sure that people banging in mooring pins all the time made the bank so unstable in the first place.

Still, a walk into the village to do some shopping in one of the great shops around here - IT WAS CLOSED Easter Monday and Tuesday! So the credit card was safe today. There was a flee-market in the village hall though and I got a simply lovely and very tasty home made simnel cake.

As I have no photographs today here is a card I made with a photograph of a lock. I think it is on the Rochdale, but I can't remember.
I stamped the flowers and butterfly onto a white card blank, wrapped around some green gingham ribbon and tied it in a knot. The photo is matted onto silver, grey and green card and fixed at an angle.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Langber, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

The view from the bottom lock at Greenberfield, the canal now twists and turns back on itself for about 4 miles. (We are travelling East but at the moment the boat is definitely facing West!).

We were into Foulridge Tunnel for 6.30am and safely across the border and into Yorkshire by 9am.

A lovely sunny and warm day and we spent most of it moored up and sat outside with views across the valley to distant hills, pheasants, plovers and some sort of snipe calling to each other and lambs bleating. I even sold 3 cards!

The only downer - the flush on the toilet decided not to work!!!! David swore at it a lot and hit it a lot more and fiddled about and has got it to work - but it is hanging by its wires. He emailed Pennine Cruisers at Skipton about getting a new control panel. They emailed back almost immediately to say that they had a used one but could order us a new one. They are expecting us in a few days. Excellent service (though they have always been helpful to us before).

As we are sharing the towpath with the Pennine Way, I thought a card for a walker might be appropriate.

It was made for someone I once worked with who was a keen mountain walker. I made a collage of maps and photographs, some boots and a compass; then printed out the clip-art walker onto card and cut him out, fixing him to the card with sticky fixers.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Barrowford Top Lock, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

'Barrowford Pier" - one of the off-side moorings above the top lock.

Such a lovely day. An early start, shopping in Morrisons at Nelson then up through the Barrowford Locks with another boat and help from the lock keeper.

At the top there was a lovely surprise. The people who bought the lock keeper's cottage have opened up a gallery and little teashop. It must be the only ex lock keeper's cottage where the owners are actually putting something back into the canal and not building walls all around themselves and looking the other way.

Anyway, we bought two bacon butties and moored the boat up amongst the vast expanse of empty Long Term moorings for the rest of the day. Later on we had an ice cream each. That's the second time this week.

This lovely little 'poor' bear is Australian. He was stamped onto watercolour paper and coloured in with watercolour paints. I then matted him onto blue, red gingham and black card. I then used a peel-off sentiment and matted that in the same way. I then added the two embroidered flowers.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Reedley, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Saw my first ducklings today - of course David says he saw some two days earlier!!

A dash to get on before it rained, but not very successful. By the time we got to the BW services at Rose Grove it started to rain.

So we stopped just past the new Reedley Marina which looks as if it has only just opened. There seems to be lots of room still. At least they are going to have their services actually on the canal so they will be easy to get at.

One thing that did make we wonder thought. They have put all the pontoons in with room for 2 narrowboats between each one. Now the Leeds and Liverpool is a wide canal and there are more and more wide-beam boats up here. That means that a wide-beam boat is taking up 2 mooring spaces. Couldn't they have put some of the pontoons in with a wider space. They could have saved money with less pontoons, and got more boats in. Or are my maths all wrong?

Lots of boats out today and hardly any of them slowed down when they went past. Hope they sleep well.

This is one of my early, early cards. I knitted the "jumper" and then put the knitting onto cocktail sticks with a bead stuck on one end of each. (Someone once asked me if it was difficult knitting with cocktail sticks!!).
I wrapped some pretty gingham ribbon down the left hand side and mounted the knitting onto some silver card with a brad in each corner and fixed this on the card at an angle.
I then added a black peel-off sentiment on white paper and matted onto silver card below the topper.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Clayton-le-Moors, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Goodness knows where the rest of the car went!

We were off early again, and through Church (one of these days I'll get to visit the church at Church to see the 2 Burne-Jones windows) and on through the swing bridges and past nesting swans.

Gardener (see Granny Buttons here) was not performing this morning - too early and too cold I suspect - and The Albion was not open.

We were moored up by 0900 at another of our favourite spots - just past the Foster's Swing Bridge. There are three bollards there, though the wind is so strong we probably don't have to tie up at all. The views are stunning and if you ignore the vehicle noise from the motorway it is almost bliss.

The Spirit of the Wind went past in the afternoon and there is now another boat moored up behind us, but apart from that we have not seen another boat on the move all day.

So - a pink card base; a peel-off flower in a vase stuck onto some acetate and painted with glass paints (and Snowpake for the white bits!). A brown ribbon across the card and the acetate matted onto brown and gold card.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Rishton, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

After a windy, wet night we decided to stay put for the day. That lasted until lunchtime when David and Jean on Raggle Taggle went past. We hummed and haaahd a bit and then finally set off.

We caught up with them just as they were leaving the first of the Blackburn locks, so they kindly waited for us at the second one.

I can safely say that EVERY lock paddle I turned and every gate I opened and/or closed was HARD, HARD work and I am suffering now, and will be stiff tomorrow; that's for sure.

Blackburn was at its worst. We scraped our way all the way along the canal. Sailing over goodness knows what had been thrown from the bridges. The local landfill site must be closed! There was rubbish everywhere, in the water, on the towpath, in the footpaths leading to the towpath, everywhere you looked.

We stopped off at Asda for a big shop. Then shook the dog shit from our shoes and moved out of Blackburn as fast as we could.

The waterfowl are beginning to nest. We saw geese and moorhens sitting on nests today. The hedgerows are bursting with green and white, and we can just see the hills in the distance. Spring is definitely comming.

What do you think of the waves on the canal today?

A little bear bringing a box of hearts. White card blank, red mulberry paper and decoupaged bear.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Riley Green

An early start because the weather forecast said "rain all day". They lied. We got away with it.

Caught up with a boat in the Johnson's Hillocks Locks and we did the final 4 together. Going to meet up with them tomorrow to do the Blackburn Locks.

Finally got a decent Vodafone signal for the Internet, though the laptop is on top of the big vase and I am having to stand up to type it.

Yet another decoupage card. This is a set of several "big" ladies. I just adhered her to some lilac mulberry paper and then onto a lilac card.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Heath Charnock, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

What is it with boatyards? Do they have no customer care? This time we stopped for coal, gas and pumpout. David had to get his own coal from the yard behind the shop and then get his own gas from the compound and get them back to the boat. He had paid for everything and then found that there was no gas!!!

"Oh! I forgot we'd run out, we got hammered yesterday."

We saw 2 boats on the move. Some hammering!

Then we had to do our own pumpout - of course.

When this one goes bust because they have got no customers, don't blame us. We did try. In fact half of the old chandlery shop has been turned into a knicker and bra shop - hope the ladies (and men) shopping there get better service.

We moored up by the sign saying "Frederick's Ice Cream". David went and bought two large tubs; peppermint and chocolate chip and rhubarb crumble. I am eating mine while I type this. East your hearts out!

A red corset. A card for either male or female. I decorated the cut-out corset with gold peel-offs and punched small holes down the centre and threaded them with gold cord. Then it was matted onto gold, black and more gold paper and finally fixed onto a red card blank.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Haigh Hall, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

We met Joe and Lil at the bottom of the Wigan flight and at the second lock the BW man was around and he offered to go ahead and set the locks for us!!
That never happens when we are on our own.
Half way up we met Perewinkle the hotel boat coming down and another BW guy went on ahead to open the rest of the gates to the top. We did it in 3 1/2 hrs.

After saying thank you and goodbye to Lil and Joe we went on to one of our favourite spots up here, opposite the golf course at Haigh Hall. The views across the valley are spectacular.

I slept for 2 1/2 hrs in the afternoon (poor old thing!) and then went to bed at night listening to the frogs croaking their mating calls.
This sign was found on the 2nd lock on the flight. It says Water Saving Tip 4 - so there must be more. Can't wait.

A decoupage card. red swirly panel on white card, yellow dressed lady decoupaged onto yellow card with the edges scalloped. Blue gems in had and for earrings and a blue ribbon across the bottom of the topper. Then, three more gems in the bottom right hand corner.