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To risk is to live!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Home Safe

We got back to our mooring just before the ex hurricane struck! I was glad to be back in one piece, but at the same time, sorry that it was over.

After Chillington we stopped at Tixall Wide again, here is a picture of the

gatehouse there…68 Tixall Gatehouse

Then we stopped again at Wolseley Bridge. It was a beautiful spot in the trees, right by the river (Trent), and popular, as soon after I tied up, a chap in camouflage gear, a bike and a dog came and sat on a log near the boat and didn’t leave for 6 hours! I decided that, instead of being anxious about him, I would introduce myself instead. I ended up giving him a whisky and listening to his views on astral orbs and the dangers of TV aerials. It takes all sorts!

70 mooring Wolseley This was the mooring site and just to the right of this tree was his log and the Trent

74 bon in Trent

The next day, the wind really started to blow and I hauled on my tiller all the way to Kings Bromley. I really had to fill up with diesel and empty my poo tank and the only way of doing that is to turn 360 and reverse onto the marina dock. Doing that manoeuvre in a gale is frankly terrifying, but I was proud that I managed it. The diesel man said he gave me 9 out of 10. he said he couldn’t give me 10 as I was a woman!!!

So we are back and in a few days, back to work. But I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to cruise again, on my own and to have managed it all safely.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

More cruising joy

We are moored at Chillington Wharf for the weekend, right by Chillington woods. The wharf isn’t one any longer, just a winding hole and a handful of moored boats. We are moored in glorious isolation just beyond the wharf.

49 perfect for us at Chillington

The woods are ancient and stunning and Bonny is practicing self control as I have let her run wild after the squirrels and then called her back. She is graduating with honours!

51 ancient trees

50 perfect for Bon at Chillington!

She even came when I called this morning when we found her greatest terror looming out of the mist – a horse and rider. In the past she would have run away and hid and it would have taken me hours to get her back. Now she is finally seeing me as her safe place and she practically leapt into my arms with every hair standing upright with fear!

Here is my little Autumn Cairn

43 My beautiful girl

Monday’s weather is looking grim so I am planning to stay till Tuesday and then make the trek off the Shroppie and up the Staffs and Worcester to Gailey. I suspect we might get wet but it is all worth it.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Loving this cruise!

Yes Autumn has arrived and yes I have got wet and the boat has been blown about a bit and yes it’s a bit chilly, but I love this cruise!!

We are currently moored in the most beautiful spot near Knighton Woods, on the way to Market Drayton. There are fantastic walks in every direction and so far I have had the mooring to myself. We arrived yesterday afternoon and as we did, the sun came out (after a very wet and windy morning). This is what it looked like…

27 peace at last

In front of us

26 best bridge pic

Behind us (the best bridge pic I think I’ve taken)

21 view one side mooring

And beside us. Not bad eh? The forecast isn’t great for the next couple of days so we are staying put and will explore the area. This morning we were walking in the woods at around 7.45am in the rain, when I came across a man sitting in a truck. The headlines immediately flashed through my head… “Decomposed bodies of woman and dog found in Knighton Woods”. “She should never have been out walking alone”, a spokesman said.

We walked on up the track and after a few minutes heard the truck approaching from behind. My heart picked up pace but all was well. It was only the local gamekeeper tending to his pheasants. He helpfully pointed out the right footpath to take and went on his way. Phew!

Back on the boat, and brewed a cuppa. I listened and the loudest noise I could hear was the wing flaps of a passing magpie. No road noise, no voices, perfect peace. Bliss.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

At last!!!

I have been trying to get my blog dashboard to recognise me on my tablet for ages but it kept reverting to a google email address and then said I didn't have any blogs. It was driving me crazy!
Today I tried uninstalling both google plus and google email and have finally managed to sign in with the right details. What a relief!

Autumn Cruising

I love cruising at this time of year. The scenery is lovely – especially when its not raining! There are no lock queues and the boaters that you do meet generally seem to know what they are doing. Moorings are plentiful and it is easier to get away from the crowd. It is, as they say, all good.

Here are examples of what I mean…

7 autumn GHAutumn colours at G Haywood9 tixall mooringMooring at Tixall Wide10 happy cruising dogA happy, off the lead cruising dog!

We are on the Shropshire Union now, on a lovely mooring near the Chillington Estate where there are beautiful woodland walks. We woke to our first rain today, since we came out so that has given us an excuse to light the first fire of the season and stay put. Tomorrow (Sunday) is forecast dry so we will stop briefly in Brewood for provisions, Wheaton Aston for rubbish and possibly the cheapest diesel in the country and then hopefully moor near the Cowley Tunnel where there are more lovely walks.

By the way, if anyone asks the difference between the Staffs and Worcester Canal and the Shropshire Union, here is one…

13 narrow S and Wnarrow S and W

14 wide ShroppieWide Shroppie