We are now moored up in Shardlow on the Trent and Mersey Canal, a place we came through in early June last year, within a few hours of setting out from Sawley Marina on our very first cruise. Needless to say, there was very little that was familiar to me this afternoon when we retraced that section – I remember being so tense and concerned about handling the boat back then, that I wasn’t looking at anything apart from the river, the canal and the locks that day. I am sure the same was true for the following few days, so the next few days of this cruise will be a surprise too!
Since last posting, we have been to Beeston and back.
Cruising up (or is it down?) the Trent towards Beeston, was lovely – very quiet with almost no other boats, almost no signs of civilisation viewable from the river. However there is a large nature reserve alongside it and a few people were out walking their dogs. But given Tuesday was pretty cold there were fewer than there were when we came back in sunshine today.
|This is just after we left the Beeston Lock - the river is very wide and open|
|And looking back towards Beeston Marina - a long in-line marina with heaps of boats|
We have passed Barton in Fabis and on the way to Beeston we had a brief calling out conversation with the people from whom we bought Waka Huia (then known as Mistress). We had wanted to drop in a see them for a catch up today but they appeared not to be home.
|This summer house reminded me of the first bach that we** built at Tongaporutu - ** being Dad and Mum assisted by friends.|
|This is the summer house that the former owners of our boat have built since we took her over. Their new boat wb Duchess looks to be the same colour as Waka Huia. It is for sale. I bet it has a bl**dy huge alternator ...|
|In Cranfleet Lock - it's quite deep. For some reason the locks on this stretch have windlasses welded to the paddle mechanism. However they also have a nice wide platform to stand on, so David isn't being gung ho by not holding on.|
|This is where I waited today (before the photo above) clearly, given the height of those posts, the Trent can get severely flooded!|
|This was me waiting for David to come back to the boat when we came through Cranfleet Lock on Tuesday - note I am wearing my VERY warm fleecy. The lock landing is terraced to take account of flooding.|
Today it has mainly been warm with the occasional breeze on the river. But it was very chilly when we started out this morning – I had my dad’s jersey on plus David’s dad’s fleece-lined leather driving gloves and a merino scarf. The gloves and scarf didn’t last long, but the jersey was on and off throughout the morning.
|The ubiquitous power station coming into view again - we saw it from the castle walls in Nottingham yesterday too.|
We have lucked on to a lovely mooring here – the man on the boat in front moved up about 12 feet so we could be out from under the willow tree, and we now have plenty of sun on the panels to keep the batteries topped up and to dry the washing.
Yesterday we became tourists for the day – we were nearly beaten at the beginning by being so unused to the noise of traffic, roadworks, building works. The cacophony had to be adjusted to in the centre of Nottingham.
David’s touristing commenced with visiting the cave exhibition while I, wuss that I am, found a map of the city, got help with identifying the places we needed (Post Office, restaurant for dinner, …). We then walked through interesting pedestrianised streets to the castle and wandered through and around it. It has been rebuilt a few times over the centuries, from when it was first built for William the Conqueror back in the late 1060s. Part of the old city walls still exist and they are impressive – easy to see why the castle was originally built there and why it continued to be rebuilt on the same site – it is so high up that it would have been pretty impregnable.
I had difficulty looking over the top of the walls – not because I am short! But because my legs go all weak when I am confronted by high places and steep drops. The hardest was looking over and through the glass wall that is in place at one point. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
|Over the wall - I held the phone out and shot blind - no way I can look over there easily! You can see the road down below on the bottom RHS of the photo|
The map given out by the tourist info/customer service people in the shopping centre was excellent and after visiting the castle, we easily found the Post Office – two large letters containing disks of old family photos were sent off to Molly and Tonya using the self service counter which had a person giving help and advice. That was far preferable to being given a number and waiting to be called up to the counter…
I had a little retail reward session after the Post Office sortie – I have lost more than a stone and decided I deserved a few new items of clothing. So one pair of jeans and two tops later (no point in more as I still have another stone to lose), we walked up Mansfield St to the Royal Thai restaurant. It was everything the reviews said it was – wonderful food, excellent service and very reasonable prices. And they had an NZ sauv blanc (Old Coach Road) which went very well with the spicy food. If you are coming to Nottingham, go there!
Then it was a bus back to Beeston and a walk back to the boat – isn’t it great having a mobile phone that has a map app on it? Instead of blundering about in the dark not knowing where to go, we could find our way easily, AND do a bit of grocery shopping on the way!
Tomorrow we have the solar panel man coming to swap out one of the panels that has a manufacturing fault in it, then I think we may just sit here for the day, but who knows? There is more sanding and rustproofing to be done, and that may be undertaken. We will wait and see.
I thought I would add some photos of the work going on at Lesley's place. Apart from the painting she's been doing inside, the back garden is taking shape. Some changes from when the guys were there before the conservatory went up, as she decided that a water feature was the go. A man called Marc has created the water feature for her and sculpted concrete on the brick surfaces. The water feature isn't stone/rock - it's concrete. Pretty impressive! This is a small piece of work for him - he has done lots of much larger installations in the US and has moved back to the UK.
|David and I might be avoiding boat maintenance work, but it's been all go at Lesley's place. That water feature, as photographed from upstairs, is the dog's bollocks! Planting is to happen after the winter now.|