Category Archives: Boat cats

Metropolis. 1st June

Lockdown Mooring 3, to the shade and back again

Tilly was given an hour this morning before we wanted to move. A few calls after we’d finished breakfast to encourage her home along with starting to wash the fertan off the gunnel worked a treat. I’d only just started and she pounced out of the friendly cover back onto the towpath where she was promptly picked up and passed inside.

They are growing fast

We made our way to the shady spot again where the washing continued. The gunnels were already quite hot from the morning sun so dried off very quickly as I put my dungarees on to do the priming. I started at the bow working towards the stern which had absorbed more heat before we’d moved, it had cooled down by the time I reached it. Job done for the day.

Mick had walked up to the mill Shop for some bread, only plastic white frozen variety available, whilst I worked. The water point was busy, two boats filling and more waiting their turn. Today C&RT were aiming to have the network open again, so Continuous Cruisers can start to move around again. This has meant a lot more boats on the move and few of them coming past twice.

NB Islonian once topped up with water came past winded and found themselves a space on the 48 hr mooring, another boat had pulled in behind where we’d been moored, but there was still space for us. After lunch we reversed back to where we’d started the day, tyre fenders out to keep the newly applied primer away from the edge.

The bathroom floor is a nice cool place on a hot day

By mid afternoon more boats had arrived the visitor moorings now full and the straight stretch behind us only showing a few gaps. The boating world is on the move again.

I had intended to do some jobs inside this afternoon, but instead I decided to do a bit of research for a possible project with Dark Horse early next year. #unit21 is set in a world where as you reach the age of 21 you are assessed on your adulting skills. A world of uniformity.

Amy, writer and director had said she’d been influenced by German expressionism and films such as The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari, Metropolis and George Orwells 1984. I’ve seen the first two a very long time ago when at college and surprisingly never 1984.

Ten hour clock

A free version of Metropolis was on YouTube, so some of the afternoon was spent watching this iconic 1927 silent film. Not a short film by any means, this version had every scene reinstated. Directed by Fritz Lang it portrays a beautiful cultured utopian world above a bleak underworld where the populace are mistreated. A privileged youth, Freder discovers the underworld and falls in love, instantly clutching at his heart, with Maria a rebellious teacher. His father is none too impressed and orders that a machine man (robot) is made in the image of Maria.

Maria

The world is so deco, planes turn corners without having to bank and the work force battle hourly to stop the machines below ground from exploding all arriving at work in a trans like state, leaving exhausted after a ten hour shift. Makeup and the acting are as dramatic as you will ever see. The remainder of the film awaits for in between coats of paint or the possible rain forecast from Wednesday.

Deco lift doors

0 locks, 500 yards, 1 side washed, 1 side primed, 2 many boats, 1 full stretch of moorings, 1 water world on the move again, 445 deaths missed, 10 hours, 1 popped cat.

Blue And Red Jobs. 31st May

Lockdown Mooring 3 and a bit that way, then winding, then there and back a bit too

Malvern our nearest neighbour

Tilly had an hour of shore leave whilst we had breakfast. As we waited for her to return I gave the gunnel a wash down to remove the fertan, hoping it hadn’t been too hot yesterday for it to do it’s job. Well there were a few places where there was still a touch of orange where I hadn’t quite managed to sand it well enough along with the fertan having dried a bit too quickly. Maybe I should have given those bits a second coat, but that would delay the repainting by a day. They will do for now, we’re considering taking Oleanna out of the water later in the year to check her blacking, so a better less knee killing job can be done then.

Oleanna with a go faster stripe

With the gunnel steaming away nicely and Tilly back on board we sought the shade again. Time to give the primer a good stir before applying a coat to any bare metal. This didn’t take long. I was now ready for the starboard side, so we pootled down the cut to Bunbury winding hole.

Where have all the hire boats gone?

For the first time a boat was pulled up alongside the towpath whirligig and just about all the hire boats had vanished. They had been two abreast right up to the locks before, but now only a couple were visible. On our last trip to Chester they had all been moored below the locks and had taken a bit to squeeze past. Maybe they have all been moved back there to make them ready for when hire boats can go back out.

I love this owl

We pootled back to the shady mooring, tied up all ready for me to start again! My poor knees!!

At least this side had been sanded back towards the end of last year, so there was less general sanding required, but a few new rust patches and the rubbing strakes needed loose paint scraping away and a good sanding down. Then a rinse off followed by more fertan.

Blue job

I wasn’t the only one being kept busy. Mick inside had decided to give the oven (or both of them) a good clean, a blue job. The glass fronts were cleaned as best he could with Bar Keepers Mate and Pink Stuff. They didn’t end up looking like new, but far better than they have for a while. The hob also got a clean just ready for me to spill cheese sauce on this evening.

It’s the same as this morning, just on the other side of the inside!

The crew have lost it again! They think they can fool me, but I’ve got their number. They thought I’d be pleased with three outsides in a day again, but two of them were the same as yesterday just on the other side! She thought I’d be confused and run off the wrong side of the boat, but I am far too intelligent to do that. I’d already taken note of which side the outside was on!

A nice bit of shade

0 locks, 0.38 miles maybe (didn’t have the trip computer on), 1 wind, 3 outsides, 1 side primed, 2nd side fertanned, 2 knees owing, 1 tasty friend consumed, 1 oven bright and twinkling, 2 wings, 1 cauliflower cheese with bacon, 3 glasses of wine well it is Sunday!

Two wings

Three For One. 30th May

Lockdown Mooring 3, then that way a bit, then there, then the other way a bit.

There had been two birthdays this week in the Geraghty family and there was much talk of basket weaving as Marion has a visit this coming week from an Occupational Therapist. We’re waiting to see what creations she comes up with.

Then it was time to take down the dinette table and pull out the boat painty box that lives below the seating. It’s really a shame that the cupboards didn’t get sliding doors on them, as they hinge downwards and the desmo legs of the table stop them from opening fully, hense having to take the table down to get big things in and out! We have the table up all the time, which the builders most probably didn’t consider at the time. One day we’ll get round to altering them. It’s not too much of a hardship removing the table as what is stored there isn’t needed often.

Painty Pip

With Tilly back on board we headed backwards, just off the 48hr mooring to a patch of handy shade. The bank was an okay height for working on the gunnels and I gave the nettles and long bits of grass a quick trim with our shears before starting.

My painty dungarees came out, knee pads added and a kneeling mat for the floor, this would fend off soar knees for a while. Having worked in a theatre in the round painting floors for years, my knees do not like me. I know I’ll be hobbling around for a while, but Oleanna will have nice looking gunnels again.

Sanded

A few weeks ago Mick had got me some new rolls of sandpaper and I expected them to fit the electric sander. But sadly they are too big, They’d need trimming down and with all the faffing with extension leads out of windows, I couldn’t be bothered so got the sanding block out and did it by hand instead.

The port side first. This side got a coat of paint before I headed off to do a weeks painting on panto last Autumn, so shouldn’t have been too bad. But a few bubbles of rust have shown themselves after knocks and scrapes.

Fertan applied

I had to stop a couple of times to remove some doggie downloads, but the job was soonish done. The dust was rinsed off with canal water and left to dry whilst we had some lunch and awaited the return of our second mate. She was far too busy to return home on her own, so I had to be interesting. The fertan (rust convertor) came out and so did Tilly.

Something’s missing!
Where did that tiller go!

Job done, everyone back on board, we could now reverse to the water point under the bridge. A cruiser was just pulling out so we waited for them to pass, he thanked us for being patient whilst he ‘pratted about’. Once they were out of the way I headed up to the bridge to see if the cut was clear and gave Mick a thumbs up. He backed Oleanna up past the moorings and we filled the tank.

Backing up to the bridge

The canal has been a lot busier today, most boats passing us twice which suggests they are leisure boaters out for the day. After the announcement regarding more relaxation of lockdown on Thursday C&RT had updated their guidance to boaters. From Monday much of the network will be open again and Continuous Cruisers will be able to move further, however for Leisure boaters there is still no news on being able to stay overnight on their boats.

and beyond

News came through yesterday that C&RT are aiming to reopen the Macclesfield and Leeds Liverpool during July and August, the peek of the boating season. Our original plan for this year was to cruise both canals to head back towards Yorkshire. We’d still like to cross the Pennines on the L&L, maybe seeing friends at a distance on our journey. We just don’t want to get stuck part way across the top if lack of water closes locks again. Fingers crossed.

Is this new?

Once the water tank was full we headed back under the bridge choosing to moor on the other side of the 48hr moorings in the sun. The shady patch had been full of flies who had wanted to take up residence inside Oleanna! Tilly got to see her third outside of the day (all within 200 meters of each other) and soon returned with a friend. The next boat along didn’t seem too fazed as they ate their barbecue as she munched her way through the poor rodents head just a few meters away.

Time to hunt out some friends

0 locks, 0.25 miles, 3 moorings, 1 side prepped, 2 wide sandpaper, 2 aching knees, 2 piles of pooh, 1 friend at least, 1 forgotten tiller, 1 prat, 1 possible change of plan.

Frying Pan Or Plate. 29th May

Lockdown Mooring 3

I woke to an email from Amy regarding my illustrations. Penny who is editing everything together was impressed with the resolution of them, so no further action was required from me. Just have to wait now for the trailer to be done and then the final production. If the show had been going ahead rehearsals would be starting in a weeks time. The set would already have been delivered to Dark Horse and I would be doing my best to get costumes finished so that everything could be used in rehearsals. It’s a bit strange not knowing quite how it will all come together. I’ll just have to be patient.

Tilly managed to find a patch of shade

So what to do with myself now? Gunnels? The sun was already beating down on Oleanna and would continue to do so until late evening. I didn’t fancy getting burnt to a crisp, we’ll need to find some shade if the weather continues like this for me to do outside jobs.

Winter packed and ready to deflate

One thing that has needed doing for a while now was getting summer out from under the bed. So before we put the bed away this morning we pulled the mattress right over to reveal the storage and pulled out the summer vacuum bag. Tilly is an unwanted addition to such jobs as the holes in the bed base are just big enough for her to climb through. Summer clothes were released. Cupboards and drawers were edited, winter put into the bag ready to be reduced later in the day. A couple of old t-shirts were kept out for another job.

Did all that really go in there?!

In the afternoon we braved the sun and walked up to Calveley Mill Shop which sits alongside JS Bailey Cheese Ltd. Over the last few months we’ve meant to go into the shop to see what there is, other than cheese, but we tended to come past on a Saturday when they are closed.

Moo!

We arrived too late for the cafe, you can pre-order at the moment and take away, but the shop was still open, filled with all sorts, mostly gifty stuff that we don’t need. We wanted to try some of their cheeses and also wanted a bit of bacon to go with broccoli and cauliflower.

Cheeese

The choice of cheese was extensive, we chose Wensleydale with cranberry and apple and a Bonfire smoked cheddar. We only went for small quantities but could have bought breeze block sized pieces, but we just don’t have the fridge space now. Bacon, 6 to 8 rashers would do us, but it only came in huge packs. 2.27kg packs infact! Would we use it? Could we freeze it? Was there enough space in the freezer? We’d give it a go.

Cheeses and a slab of bacon

Back at Oleanna I seperated the bacon into 4 rasher quantities, greaseproof paper between them and two bags of rashers went in the freezer, leaving us with enough for a couple of meals. The freezer is now very full!

A years worth of bacon

Next job, masks. When we start to cruise again, we’ll end up having to go into supermarkets, so I want us to be prepared. I’ve spent a bit of time looking at patterns for masks and the general consensus seems to be that they will stop you passing the virus on but won’t stop you from getting it. That is unless your mask is properly fitted and made from specific fabrics and filters. But a homemade mask will cut down the risk.

Sheep gave the thumbs up to the frying pan

Neither of us were wanting to give up an old shirt, but t-shirts come and go, they also meant I wouldn’t need to get the sewing machine out from under the dinette. The pattern called for a 25cm diameter circle, my compass lives next to the sewing machine! Time to hunt round for round things. A plate was too big, cake tin too small, the quiche tin the right diameter but with a crinkly edge. But our pancake frying pan was bang on.

His and her circles

Circles cut out , I then cut them into four, paired them up, sewed round the curved edges, trimmed one centre and sewed both bits back together, leaving a gap for a filter. The suggestion for ear loops was to use hair elastic bands. I finished mine off and tried it on. Fine for me for short periods of time, maybe I would change the hair bands for some elastic that can fix to my glasses with buttons, plus I think I may add a nose wire for an improved fit.

Masks or posing pouches?

Then we tried it on Mick. He has a bigger face than me and the hair bands most certainly would not go round his ears without folding them in half! A larger mask was needed. One of our plates became a new template giving about an extra inch overall. This one will definitely need proper elastic as my suggestion of shoe laces for ties, of which I have a white pair, was firmly rejected.

Make it cooler again!

So still work in progress. Once we are happy with them I’ll make two each, one to wear the other to wash.

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 shade, 1 winter wardrobe packed away, 1 summer wardrobe brought into daylight, 1 cat through the holes, 2 cheeses, 40 rashers, £10, 2 t-shirts, 1 frying pan, 1 plate, 2 masks, 1 hot cat, 6 years since our leaving do in Scarborough.

Jam And Scrambled Eggs. 28th May

Lockdown Pickup mooring to Lockdown Mooring 3

Despite being so close to the road last night we both managed to sleep pretty well. The layby here was chocka when we arrived yesterday, but luckily emptied out over the evening making room for the Sainsburys van. This morning we watched as vehicles came and went, twitching the curtains when ever we thought it might be the veg box man.

Playing pen in the spotlight of a porthole

After baking bread there were two egg yolks in the fridge that needed using along with half a pack of bacon. Mick set too in the kitchen adding a couple of the many tomatoes we had. Two things we are certain to get in our veg box, tomatoes and carrots. He did refrain from adding jam to our toast though.

Num num num

It was then time to introduce the printer to the new laptop. How hard could it be? No need for IT support, I thought! Plugged in turned on, I waited for them to say hello. They needed prompting but then they acknowledged each other. Only thing was I had no means of scanning from the computer. Looking round for an ap or programme or whatever, I downloaded what was suggested. Time to scan my illustrations.

Oh! All the subtleties had gone and the greens now fluoresced off the pages at me. Not what I wanted. The old printer scanner had done a much better job (before it died) and to think of it the new one with the old laptop had done too with a different programme. I down loaded another programme but that was no use! IT support was required but that would have to wait until later. I uploaded the images and emailed Amy explaining. The original plan had been to send the paintings to Penny who would photograph them before compiling the play.

A touch too bright

After jumping at every sign of a dark grey people carrier, we finally spotted the right one around 1pm. There was time for a short chat with the chap as he handed over this weeks £15 veg box. Next week might be our last one before heading eastwards, we may have to order extra to keep us going!

This weeks box

Asparagus and sweetcorn were in there, that made up our minds what we’d be having tonight to make the best out of them. The rest of the week would take a bit of thinking about.

Last weeks giant red onion with this weeks mini one

Where to head now? I need good internet in a few days time and after an email from Val in Scarborough (Hello!) we’ll be taking another trip to the house as it has now had a deep clean. But more importantly we needed a good outside for Tilly. Decision made Calveley.

A touch too close

First we had to get past the fishing people who were busy setting up in front of us. The lady asked if we were moving because of them. They weren’t the reason, but they were far too close to us even in normal times! I could only just keep 2 meters away when untying us, current guidance is to treat moored boats like others who are fishing and to try to keep 15 meters away!

More boats pulling up on the side of the reservoir

A toot on the horn as we approached the flag bubble and time for a chat before we carried on. Several boats were at our ‘home’ mooring, we’re saving their for later. Under Bridge 97, the visitor moorings now empty but the off side filling up with more boats. I wonder where the chap from Hebden Bridge headed? At Barbridge we carried straight on. Here the weed is growing again, long lengths swaying as we passed, the sort that fouls props.

We pulled in on the 48 hour moorings and let Tilly out. The sun was high and maybe a touch too warm for her as she seemed to prefer the bathroom floor to the sideways trees.

That’s better!

IT support did it’s thing and found the programme I needed. Having a choice of what original I was scanning made all the difference. Even though the scans were a touch smaller in size they were far truer to the originals. I forwarded a link to Amy. I now had the nerve wracking hour or so where I wondered if she preferred the more garish version, but fortunatly she came back with ‘I see what you mean, they are even better!’ PHEW!!!

The asparagus was threaded onto skewers, sweetcorn chopped in two and a couple of turkey fillets marinaded for the barbecue. With a lack of shade by Oleanna Mick positioned everything close to the boat, hoping the sun would move over soon. The wind direction was indeterminate and we really could have done with a Lazy Susan for our chairs and the barbecue, a gentle constant spin would have worked perfectly.

As we enjoyed the evening sun, Tilly enjoyed it getting cooler. It took quite a bit of mad cat woman in the field below to entice her home, but she eventually sauntered back from where ever she’d been.

Just before sunset!

0 locks, 4.15 miles, 2 straight ons, 16 illustrations scanned twice, 1 thumbs up twice, 6 tomatoes, 7 potatoes, 1 small red onion, 2 onions, 11 spears, 1 cob, 1 cauliflower, 1 brocolli, 1 red pepper, 1 courgette, 12 radishes, 1 lettuce, 2 parsnips, 5 carrots, 6 mushrooms, 1 weeks menu to plan, 1 sunny barbecue, 1 tyre in London!

Just Like The Old Days. 27th May

Lockdown Mooring 5 to Lockdown Pickup Mooring

Yummy chestnut and oat toast

When to move today? We had a Sainsburys delivery booked at Henhull Bridge, but not until 9pm at the earliest. This morning the ideal position by the bridge would be full as NB AreandAre would be there picking up their veg box. Should Tilly be allowed shore leave or not? I decided that it would be mean to keep her in all day so she was given a couple of hours shore leave as Emails were checked and breakfast consumed. She returned bang on time and the doors were closed.

A beautiful morning for a cruise. We winded and headed back towards Nantwich. Flag Iris dip their toes in the water, Michaelmas Daisies are taking advantage of cracks in the concrete edging and Dog Roses cling to the trees.

Nantwich Aqueduct

Boats had moved about. Some from the 48hr moorings were now just outside town where restrictions end giving them 14 days. Other boats still sat where they have been for months, well past 48 days now. We wondered whether the emails from C&RT had been clear about visitor moorings also reverting to their times when the 14 day rule was brought back in, I had checked in the FAQ section. But we don’t know what everyone’s situation is, they may be shielding and have asked to stay for longer. Just how many though are interpreting the guidance to their benefit?!

Get your coffee here

NB Islonian and NB Myrtle were on the embankment hoping for more trade whilst the second mate considered a dip to catch the passing fish.

Myrtle’s second mate

Two boats were on the water point, we’d still got a pretty full tank and didn’t feel the need to loiter to top up so we carried on past.

Passing boats

Just coming under Acton Bridge was NB AreandAre having just picked up their veg box. If we’d known our paths were going to cross we could have shared a delivery slot, but it wasn’t guaranteed so we’d both gone solo this week. One advantage was that the pickup mooring was almost certainly going to be empty for us to pull into, which it was, our spikes dropping straight into the well established holes.

The cast

This afternoon I continued with The Garden portraits and finished them off, I also added a touch more to the fireworks. I’ll look at them again tomorrow, but I think they are now finished. They’ve taken longer than I was expecting, some I’m quite pleased with, just hope Amy is too! The chap top right, is currently playing Josh (the best man) in The A word on TV.

After we’d eaten this evening we didn’t feel we could settle down to watch TV as there was still our delivery to arrive. We had one glass of wine with our meal and waited. At 9.30pm an orange coloured van pulled up into the layby, Sainsburys!!! Just like old times.

Ohh and orange van!

The chap was very friendly and informed us that the rules with regards to substitutions had changed. This morning we’d received an email from them informing us of only one item having to be substituted, some bread flour for some spelt flour, everything else was as ordered! I was happy with the flour as I can still make bread for Mick with it. But if I hadn’t wanted it we could mention this to the driver before anything came off the van and he would return it for us. It just has to stay on the van. Handy to know, shame we couldn’t return the pudding rice.

Just like old times

Mick asked him about the delivery slots that were now coming through. Sainsburys had stopped offering slots to anyone who wasn’t shielding and at risk. But Mick has been checking every so often, click and collect started and now delivery slots. The chap thought it was down to two things, an increase in drivers therefore slots and things now settling down so fewer being needed for those shielding. We can still only book one slot at a time and only a week in advance, but that is just fine.

Once everything was sorted, quarantined items were put in the bow and everything else disinfected we could settle down for what was left of the evening, oh and a second glass of wine!

0 locks, 3.88 miles, 1 wind, 2 hours, 0 friends consumed, 1 panto email, 2 many at the water point, 2 waves to AreandAre, 2 pirates, 16 illustrations finished, maybe, 1 noisy road, 1 jaunty mooring, 1 orange van, 2 boxes wine, 1 more handwash, 2nd glass of wine and relax.

Leaving Home. 25th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Lockdown Mooring 5, Hack Green Winding Hole

Blimey I’m going to have to remember how to do maps now!

Saying goodbye to Tilly’s field

Our 48hrs were up this morning as the 14 day mooring rule was brought back in on Saturday, I know that doesn’t quite make sense unless you understand the mooring rules on C&RT waters . I could look back and count the actual amount of days we’ve been at Lockdown Mooring 4 and 4A, but I’ll save that for another day.

Bye bye ‘Home’

We’ve enjoyed our time at this mooring. I’d been aiming to get the gunnels repainted as it’s a perfect spot for the job, but general life, lack of motivation and the matter of 16 illustrations have all been keeping me busy and stopping me from sanding and painting. I’m hoping we may return ‘home’ for a couple of days before we leave for the east. There is also the matter of the Wheelie Shoppers!

Tatties growing

Pushing off just before 11am, boats had already started coming past, with the sun out we could tell today was going to be a busy one on the cut. The flag bubble have had a move around, NB Plum has headed off to fit some solar panels and the bubble has been joined by another boat that’s been up and down the pound for a while now. We waved to Sandra, Kim and Barry, we’ll be back in a few days time.

The potato field is doing well, wonder how long before they are worth digging up?

Then round the next bend the local swan family came swimming towards us. Dad at the front, Mum bringing up the rear. But hang on! Quick, slow down!!!

One is catching a ride

Dad was giving one lucky cygnet a lift on his back. Such a wonderful sight, we’d thought the cygnets were too old for this, but obviously not. Sometimes there is space for a couple to catch a ride, but this cygnet wouldn’t leave much space for a second one.

Not much space
Riding high

One of those special moments in life.

We chatted with Heidi from the pirate boat as we passed, saying where we were aiming for. She and Jacki had tried the other side of the aqueduct but it was far too busy for their liking, so they’d returned to Henhull. We’d still go and see what we thought, we could always come back this way instead.

The pooh boat

A boat was just pulling of the services as we approached so we hung back leaving them space to get through the bridge and past the moored boats on the 24hr moorings. A washing load had been done this morning, so our tank was quite depleted. Tilly got a fresh clean pooh box, I think only her third of lockdown, she has after all been using shorebased facilities as requested.

Plenty of boats came past, some stopping to do the necessary and others waiting for water. Then once filled we pushed off leaving the tap for another boat that had just pulled in.

NB Myrtle’s second mate sat under the A frame

Nb Islonian was selling coffees and across the other side of the aqueduct was NB Plum and NB Myrtle, the later with big flags out trying to drum up trade. As we passed I spotted their second mate taking shelter underneath their A frame. They sell jams, chutneys, dog treats, but nothing for our feline friends! Tilly was not impressed, I suspect neither is their second mate!

Busy today

Boats came towards us, not many we recognised. Were they boats that have been pootling about at this end of the canal, just like us at the other end of this pound? Were they boats from marinas out for a jaunt for the day enjoying the bank holiday sunshine? Who knew, there were just plenty of them.

Keep the
tiller straight

At Marsh Lane, Mick kept a very good hold of the tiller, despite Oleanna wanting to wind to return to our ‘home’ water, we wanted to go further, we wanted to go straight on. We were now back on water we’ve not been on since the 19th March, pre-lockdown. The last time we cruised this stretch in this direction was just shortly after the Beast from the East back in 2018 when the water was icy in stretches, today no ice to navigate through, just sunshine and fishing rods.

Fresh water

Onwards we forged with a slight sense of freedom.

Fishermen out in force

Someone else was enjoying some freedom too. A Jersey cow was trotting along the towpath towards us, an occasional kick high into the air. She carried on past us thank goodness as we were wanting to moor up and didn’t really want a nosy cow peering in through the hatch or nibbling at our ropes.

Hack Green bottom lock and a cow!

Two chaps asked if we’d seen a cow, we pointed them down to where her friends had come across the field on the off side to say hello to her.

Hello
How do

I need to take back my recent criticism of the crew on board Oleanna. Today they finally have managed to break the circle the they seem to have been stuck in for months. Today they finally managed to tie up a whole new, different, exciting outside! One with extra cow for good measure. She wouldn’t let me out until the cow had gone past. But then I was free to explore and find myself some tasty friends. Would I know where to come back to? Don’t be stupid of course I knew.

Ooo a new outside!

My sour dough starter was still looking a touch flat. I’d pepped it up with a touch of maple syrup this morning and later on I added a touch of bog standard gluten free flour in with the brown rice flour, this worked the last time, fingers crossed it does the trick by morning.

Not a bad vista

Plenty more boats came past us, few familiar. We soon noticed that the majority were actually just coming to wind and return back towards Nantwich. A few came from the locks and a few continued on up them, but I think the majority of boats out today were out for a day trip to check things over before returning to their home mooring. Currently Leisure boaters can visit their boats and go for a short a cruise, but as yet no overnight stays are allowed.

This will do

By the end of the afternoon I had just about finished my illustrations, painting in blossom and fireworks. Sideways trees now with more detail, although when I looked back at them they were starting to upstage my actors, so a bit of water and some kitchen towel tamed them down a touch, fading them into the background.

The final light tonight

0 locks, 4.49 miles, 1.78 miles of fresh water, 1 home mooring left behind, 1 piggy back, 2 pirates, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish left on board, 1 clean pooh box, 1 straight on for a change, 1 sky filled mooring, 1 jolly Jersey, 1 happy cat, 1 friend from the friendly cover, 15 illustrations complete? 1 eye test required, 1 punctured tyre fender, 1 shelf again.

So much for a map! Google won’t let me drop a pin!