19. Nov, 2017

After our lie in we set off for Wigram Turns and managed to buddy up again with another boat for the locks. An Aussie couple Fearn and Diane on NB Into the Groove, they were heading back to Ventnor Marina were they would leave the boat and head back to Oz. They spend a good part of the summer cruising our waterways.

They were very nice and gifted me the plants on the top of their boat, well Fearn gave them to the Captain and I had to do a double take when I spotted them on our boat it looked so different.

Then disaster struck, I was winding up a paddle and was in a little world of my own when the windlass suddenly stopped and was knocked out of my hand. The paddle fell and the windlass handle hit me in the mouth and on the wrist. It was a huge shock and very painful. These paddles don’t have ratchets which stop this happening and you have to secure the paddles with a ‘c’ shaped locking mechanism by hand when it is fully open. Not very safe in my opinion.

So I stood with tears in my eyes and blood coming from somewhere and nobody noticed so I had to walk to the back of the boat. The Captain was very concerned and jumped off the boat to see exactly how bad it was but I wouldn’t let him. I was desperately feeling at my teeth to see if any had been damaged. Fearn had tissues to hand and was very sympathetic. As it turned out I was very lucky and no lasting damage was done. The blood was from my nose and my teeth were fine. I think the windlass must have hit my wrist first which took some of the force out of it when it connected with my upper lip. I had a lovely bruise inside my mouth but nothing really to show anywhere else even my wrist only went a light shade of yellow after a couple of days. But boy was my mouth sore for a few days.

After 2000+ locks it had to happen

We moored at Wigram Turns and I felt very sorry for myself but this passed when I discovered our friends Linda and Martyn off NB Bluewater were moored in the marina and we arranged for them to come aboard next day for a chat. We last saw them when they were moving aboard Bluewater at Whilton marina back in May. They have had a lot of trouble with the boat but touch wood it seems fine now and they are very happy with life aboard.

Whilst we sat chatting on Saturday morning a boat cruised by and someone shouted a loud hello and waved madly so we all waved back. Later on I discovered it was Jean Cooper a FB friend who was just returning to their mooring after 2 months out. Then later in the day another friend who we met on the Aylesbury arm Helen Pritchett messaged to say they were in the area but unfortunately our paths didn’t pass as they went into Dunchurch Pools marina and we passed by without realising they were there.

Sunday and we had to be in Rugby for 2pm as the Captain just had to watch the Malaysian Grand Prix and in our way were Hilmorton Locks. There are only 3 and they are side by side singles last time we went through there were 10 boats waiting at the top as one of the locks was out of action. On this occasion there was only one set of locks working, for various reasons they had shut the others. On the good side there weren’t as many boats waiting to use the locks and we were 4th in the queue so of course I jumped off and went to see who I could help and the Captain came to help as well. There was a volunteer lockee on but he was more concerned with the water levels in the connecting pounds. It didn’t take long to get us down and on the last lock there were a father and son just helping out so I could jump back on the boat while they did the lock. We made it to Rugby in time but the TV signal wasn’t great so after the grand prix we moved and went through the Newbold Tunnel and into the middle of nowhere for the night.

Monday, and a favourite haunt of ours the Greyhound at Hawksbury Junction. The beer is always good and the food even better but we didn’t have a meal on this occasion.

Tuesday and back to Swan Lane wharf for a couple of days. One of our neighbours, Jenny invited us to the pub to celebrate her birthday and of course we couldn’t say no. It was great to be back in the Bricklayers and the staff where pleased to see us and we had a lovely time.

Wednesday and off I went to sign up with the agency. The security guard recognised me and just sent me on my way as I knew were to go. I was pleasantly surprised to see 2 of the young people I worked with last year now manning the office and dealing with new staff. They both were very helpful and I was soon signed up however it was not all good news I have always worked in the international hub. Last year there was loads of agency staff in there but no longer. Apparently there is very little work and all the agency staff had moved to the national hub. This I do not want to do so will have to wait and see what the situation is when we return to the wharf at the end of October. I have started putting feelers out just in case.

On my return we went to Ikea not a favourite place of mine at all but we needed some kilner jars for the crab apple jelly we were making. So £20+ later we found our way out with lots more than we intended on buying including this year’s Christmas tree.

We managed to catch up with Keith the guy who runs the wharf and complimented him on the improvements which had taken place over the summer. The car park had been resurfaced and new main gates and fencing fitted, the gates are a lot better as they have been recessed. Unfortunately a couple of days after the fence was put up a car ploughed into a section and destroyed it, the driver didn’t hang about so no insurance details were forth coming to claim against. Paul off of The Forest Oak has taken over the garden and is making good progress and has repotted our 2 christmas trees and they are coming along nicely but are now too big for the inside of the boat hence the new one from Ikea. We have new moorers too who we will get to know over the winter I hope.

And now my favourite day of the week, Thursday and the beer festival at the Windmill on Spon Street. They had 6 beers on the bar and a stillage with 10 and another 10 in the wings. We had to try most of them, only halves of though. My favourite was Fair Lady by Dhillons and the Captain enjoyed Hot Dog Chilli Stout by Binghams and Mutiny on the Bounty a milk stout by Campervan. Unfortunately the beer we would have liked to try the most wasn’t on until the next day and that was Cherry Dark by Titanic.  Feeling a bit peckish we had the festival special of pulled pork cobs with all the trimmings mmmm

Friday and a good shop as the Ashby canal were we are heading is a little sparse on the supermarket front.

So off up the Ashby, next time folks.

7. Nov, 2017

Right, moored in Cambrian wharf in the middle of Brum, good for the cats and as it turns out to catch up with some friends from the wharf, Pete and Ange on Miss Mollie.

They left the wharf just before us at the beginning of the summer and had taken quite a different route to us, spending a lot of time on the Kennett and Avon and the west side of the country whilst we had spent most of our time on the east side. But our paths crossed in Brum, we had kept in contact on FB and I knew they had been there a couple of days earlier so a message was dispatched and lo and behold they were still moored in Gas Street basin so of course we had to meet up for a drink. It was great to see them and swop stories of our journeys the good and the bad, luckily there weren’t many ‘bad stories’. It was all over to soon but we will see them back in Swan Lane at the end of October.

Wednesday, and the weather wasn’t great so I caught up with a bit of cooking. whilst the Captain looked for something for us to do or see in Brum. And oh boy did he come up with something great...... we went to the library. I know this doesn’t seem to be very thrilling but Birmingham Library is amazing. Opened in 2013 its nickname is the bedsprings due to its rather unusual outer design. It has 11 floors with escalators providing access to most and being open plan means you get a stunning view as you travel on them. There are 2 gardens on floors 7 and 9 with amazing views of the city and beyond. On the top most floor is the Shakespeare Memorial room. The room was designed in 1882 to house the considerable Shakespeare collection held by the library. When the original library was demolished the room was dismantled and then reassembled in its present home. Not what you would expect to find in such a modern building. I will say it again amazing.

And then he took me out for tea pizza at the local Wetherspoons The Figure of Eight on Broad Street.

Thursday it rained

Friday, and time to sort out a new phone for the Captain. We called in the 3 shop and looked at their offers and then went to Carphone Warehouse to see what they had to offer. After what seemed like an age and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing the Captain decided on a Moto G5. After purchasing it we had to have a drink and called in The Old Joint Stock near the Cathedral it had amazing ornate Victorian interior. Whilst in here we found out about the Birmingham Weekender which was taking place that weekend so we decided to stop an extra day and it’s a good thing we did but not for that reason.

After a look round the Cathedral we returned home and the Captain played with his new phone.

Next morning and a rather shocking discovery. The phone he had been sold was not the one he wanted and even worse it was over £100 more. He had not seen the price as the sales assistant had pressed accept amount before handing him the card terminal and put all the paperwork in the bag which we never thought to look at until now. He had been sold the Moto G5plus rather than the Moto G5, not a lot of difference apart from the price. As you can imagine he was not a happy bunny.

So we returned to the shop after checking that the Plus model was not on display (it wasn’t) we spoke to the manager and I must say the customer service was excellent and the phone was swopped and a refund organised in no time. The mistake shouldn’t have been made in the first place I know but we can’t complain about the service we received.

We stayed in the centre of Brum to experience the Weekender which was a celebration of dance which embraced all cultures. We saw the Birmingham Royal Ballet in the Bullring, Thai dancers in the street and in Victoria Square on the main stage, swing and lindy hop dancers. There were street artists and the most amazing mechanical elephant called Harminder walking through the street.

We finished the day off at the floating market were we bought some very tasty Lancashire cheese from NB Periwinkle.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to catch up with Trina and Paul off NB Bearwood Boster who live in the area, next time.

Sunday and we left Brum via Bourneville, we spent the night in the middle of nowhere, Monday and we stopped off at Hockley Green and tried a couple of pints in the Wharf.

Tuesday was a busy day with 19 single locks for me to do and we were following another boat with nothing coming the other way and we had a hire boat behind us. The boat in front after they had left the lock was raising a paddle to start the lock filling for us and I was doing the same for the hire boat behind. Then I spotted what I thought was an angel but turned out to be a volunteer lockee and he was no angel well not towards me. There were 4 volunteer lockees on the flight but they gave me no help at all in fact one just seemed to want to stand and chat. I know they volunteer and give their time up for free and in most cases are a great help but oh boy not this day.

Now for new friends, Wednesday and 20 double locks in front of me before reaching our destination, the Saltisford Arm and Warwick. As we approached the first lock a NB Ceilidh was filling up with water and we asked if they would like to share the locks with us which they did Yippeeee.

As usual whilst the men steered the boat and chatted like 2 old women on the back, I got to know the crew, Annie. She was lovely and we got on like a house on fire. I mentioned that we would be going to the pub when we reached Warwick and was very happy when she asked if they could join us. Captain Pete and Captain Ken hit it off too. A great night was had by all.

They are from the Kennett and Avon and were heading back there for the winter, they enjoy foraging as much as we do and we were soon swopping this and that, blackberry vinegar and scones from us and crab apple jelly and damson jam from them. They do a lot more preserving and wine making than we do and their boat is full of jars and bottles.

We decided to go on together the next day but only as far as Lidl in Leamington Spa for us as we needed to do a shop. We did however catch up with them at the second lock as Ken had somehow mislaid his windlass at the first lock and had to go back and retrieve it from another boat who had found it. So we buddied up again all the way to Long Itchington we had intended to call at the very good pub the Two Boats but instead we had a drink on their boat and a very pleasant evening. Ken seemed very impressed of our knowledge of the pubs in the area. They have a lovely little dog called Peggy but I don’t think Bubbles was too impressed when she tried to say hello. Bubbles was in hunt mode on the towpath as we left their boat

Next morning we parted company, they were off down the Oxford and we were heading for Coventry. They tooted goodbye as they set off but we were having a lazy lie in before heading to Wigram Turns.

That’s all for now folks.



29. Oct, 2017

Before you read our latest instalment I have a confession, we are actually back in Swan Lane wharf for the winter but there are still a few more adventures to be shared of our latest cruise.

The leaves on the trees are changing from the deep green of summer to the beautiful rich orange yellow and browns of autumn and there is a slight dampness in the air but I dont mind I enjoy all the seasons they all have their own place in my heart.

However I dont enjoy the storms and they had forecasted a right doozie for Tuesday night. We cruised to Alrewas, we had moored here last year on the hottest day of the year and met a lovely group of boaters and a very lively dog called Howmuch. But the weather forecast for the night was terrible high winds rain and everything that goes with it. The Captain ensured that everything on the roof was secure and we batoned down the hatch to sit it out. But I think it must have passed us by as we never heard a thing and our bits on the roof never moved.

Next day we decided to stay put and have a quiet day, a fellow boater tapped on the side hatch and sold me a cryptic quiz, she was raising money for a local hospice. I handed it to the Captain as he is good at cryptic clues where my expertise is in general knowledge. He has 3 questions out of 50 to work out before the end of October.

Next day and we cruised on to Fradley Junction we have never moored here as it is a very busy area and there has never been room. This meant we had never tried the pub, The Swan so of course once moored up off we went. At first it appeared there were no dark ales for the Captain but then I spotted Titanic Stout on tap so we had a couple. We sat outside and got chatting to another couple of boaters who had a tiny dog with a very loud bark who thought he could take on any other dog that came along never mind its size. 

After the said couple of pints we decided to come back later for a meal as they had a special on 2 steaks and a bottle of wine £25 and live folk music. We had a fantastic night the steaks were so tasty and tender, the wine was very quaffable and the music just finished the night off splendidly.

And on to Fazeley, now every time we have moored here we have been drawn to the excellent Fazeley Chippy for a kebab but not this time as the local tatty looking social club, which we have never been in, had been taken over and the makeover was amazing and it had become The Fazeley Inn. They had a mild on tap so we had to try a couple. They also do food so we tried the baguettes which come with salad and chips and at £4.25 they didn’t break the bank.

Next day and off to the middle of nowhere for the night but not before disaster struck as the Captain phone gave up the ghost, it just stopped working. He tried various things but to no avail. It was very sad to see him sit there twiddling his thumbs rather than playing Candy Crush and checking out facebook especially first thing in a morning when having his cuppa in bed.

Being in the middle of nowhere meant that Bubbles and Sam could go hunting and Bubbles was a little rotund when he returned in the morning, a very successful night obviously.

Next night and we stopped at Star City we have moored here a couple of time but this was the first time we had neighbours and then next morning of to Brum.

At Ashed locks we were surrounded by a group of teenage students. We think they were doing some sort of art project as most were sketching away and the teachers were talking about the difference between being out in the sunshine or going into a small tunnel that led to one of the locks. They were an interesting bunch but oh boy did they get in the way.

At the little tunnel I made the mistake of getting back on the boat not realising there was no gap before the lock for me to get off again, so the Captain having longer legs than mine had to climb over the fence and I had to take the boat into the lock but it was so narrow I couldn’t get it wrong.

We moored up before Farmers locks outside the new university buildings. As the Captain decided I had done enough for one day and he took me to the pub. First we tried the Gosta Green which was obviously a student orientated bar but they had a great selection of beers on and surprisingly a dark for the Captain. Just beyond it was the Sack of Potatoes (I don’t know who comes with these name) so after one pint we went to try it. It was definitely more of a locals pub but unfortunately there were no darks on for the Captain and I don’t know why but it lacked atmosphere so back to the Gosta Green and a very interesting chat with the barman who told us that both pubs are owned by the same group.

Later as we sat watching tv with the front doors open Sam jumped onto the front and looked to jump up the cratch cover to get on the roof, she does this on a regular basis. However on this occasion she didn’t quite jump high enough and we watch as she slid inelegantly down the cratch and into the water with a big splash. Luckily there was a ledge just below the waterline and she managed to jump out. Now this is how much she has changed always in the past she has run off and not returned until she was dry and regained some dignity. This day she jumped back on the boat through the side hatch and allowed the Captain to towel her dry, like I said a changed cat.

Next day and the 13 locks to take us into Gas street basin and the centre of Brum. At the first lock and I spotted a familiar face, Heidi Manning captain of the Pirate boat, we met her last year at the Tipton festival and have followed her progress on facebook. She was heading for Huddlesford for a vintage gathering. She is a water trader and as the name suggests she sells pirate goodies for young and old. We had a bit of a chat before parting.

I was even more pleased to see a volunteer lockee on the next lock helping the Hippy boat down they were heading for the vintage gathering to and again the boat name says it all about what they sell. This was followed by the sweet boat again pretty obvious what they sell.

After he had helped the last boat down Brian the lockee joined us for the journey up the locks, it made it a very enjoyable trip up the locks and we were soon at the top. It turned out we could not moor in Gas Street Basin as there was floating market on over the weekend and the moorings were reserved for the trading boats.

We did find great moorings in Cambrian Wharf and spent a lovely few days in Brum.

More next time.

16. Oct, 2017

As you know we share our travels with Sam and Bubbles our 2 cats. What you probably don’t know that the cats were mine way before the Captain came along and he has adopted them as his.

The adoption of him on their part has not been so easy but since being on the boat Bubbles, (the ginger tom), has become a reformed character and is nowhere happier than snuggled down on the Captains lap or sleeping on his laptop whilst the Captain is writing his log.

Sam however is another story and until recently would not entertain the Captain, unless food was involved and she has always been frigid and stand offish with most people. In the evening she would sit on the arm of the sofa next to me, head butting my hand for attention and purring away like a miniature steam engine but that was as far as it went and as for the Captain she simply ignored him.

Well..... I don’t know what the Captain said to her in the last few weeks but she is a changed character and has started to edge her way slowly but surely on to the Captains lap until last night she was all the way on and she stayed there much to our surprise.

However this is causing jealousy issues with Bubbles who in no way or form wants to share his ‘lap’ with anyone. He did try sharing it once but obviously was not happy. So there has been a couple of incidents were they have gently nipped each other but I can see it turning into all out war in the future, will keep you posted.

Most of our blogs are about the places we have been and the beer we have drunk but I thought for a change I would write about some of the things you need to live aboard.

Planning as in any walk of life is important but when you live somewhere with no mains electricity, water and gas. A toilet that isn’t plumbed into the sewer, permanent dustbins for our rubbish and an engine which requires diesel to work planning takes on a whole new dimension. We spend a lot of our time checking were the facilities we need are on the system to ensure that we are in the right place at the right time to fill up with water or pump out the toilet. The Captain has to think when we moor up about the amount of shade we are in so that the solar panels are in the sun which ensures we have electricity for the evenings TV and also when mooring up were the TV signal will be strongest. We always say time on the cut is unimportant and we plod along at our own pace but it’s down to the excellent planning by us both that lets us live this way. Whilst the Captain organises the above I am in charge when it comes to ensuring we have food beer and wine and anything else we need from a shop. We work together and usually our plans come together nicely. Sometimes we do get caught short but there is usually a solution to be found.

Many people on the boating pages on facebook ask about what you need to live a board and travel continuously and I would say you need to be practical, dont panic and have a less than romantic view of life aboard. If you can take whatever is thrown at you in your stride and work through it and learn from it then it’s a great life but if you panic easily and see the problem rather than the solution then maybe it’s not for you. We have had engine problems, water pump failure and even had the propeller fall of more than once but working together and keeping our heads has meant a solution has always been found.

Right back to our travels

On Thursday we planned to moor above Sawley lock and visit the Lock Keepers Cottage a little micropub which had come highly recommended but it was not to be as the owners after a busy summer had closed up shop and headed a way on holiday. A shame, but one for next year.

So instead we headed for Shardlow which we knew had a couple of very good pubs. We came up through a couple of locks with NB Cutlass and a lady single hander but parted company at the last as I spotted my first damson tree and of course we had to stop and pick some. We met up with Cutlass again when we moored in front of her outside the Malt Shovel and got into conversation with her Captain(sorry didn’t get her name) and board with her were 2 beautiful husky pups, 13 weeks old and absolutely adorable but very naughty, as pups are. She was in a bit of a dilemma as much as she loved the pups she knew she really couldn’t keep both if any of them (boats and big dogs, not a lot of room). She had some friends who wanted the boy pup and had room for him but she was torn as her young son had really taken to the pup. We chatted for a while before leaving her to clear up the mess the pups had made inside the boat.

We saw her again in the Malt Shovel and she only had the girl pup with her, sadly but for the best she had let the boy go to her friends and was still unsure about keeping the remaining pup. I hope she is happy with whatever she decides.

They had Hobgoblin (see always comes back to the beer) on in the Malt Shovel and the menu strangely was Thai food but it looked and smelt lovely but we only stayed for the one before trying the New Inn and a very very happy Captain, they had Titanic plum porter on so a couple in there. They also do good food.

We spent Friday moored in the middle of nowhere and Bubbles supplemented his diet with a couple of well caught mice.

Saturday and Willington, we have stopped here a couple of times in the past and the last time we very impressed with the Dragon pub as it had a stout on called Tuffars Old from Boot Brewery but it was not to be this time so just the one before walking down to The Green Man. Last time is this pub we found it very dated but to our surprise it has had a face lift and very nice it is too. A selection of real ales and the food menu was interesting and reasonably priced. To finish of the night we called at the local chippy mmmmmmmmm proper chips.

Sunday and off to Burton on Trent after a lovely lunch of pulled pork and all the trimmings cooked and served by moi and the transformation of Sam first became apparent much to our surprise and delight.

Monday and we caught the bus into Burton. We have never visited the town centre before, last time we just went to the Brewery museum and then back to the boat. The centre has all the normal run of the mill shops and of course a Wetherspoons, The Lord Burton and as the weather was bad we had to give it a try. With Hobgoblin on tap the Captain was a happy bunny. A new addition to the menu is pizza so feeling a bit peckish we tried the meat feast which at £6.95 was very good value and very tasty.

Thats all for now folks


8. Oct, 2017

For those of you who don’t know about boats I will explain. A steel narrowboat needs to be taken out of the water every 2/3 yrs to have its bottom cleaned and blacked. This involves pressure washing the bottom to remove any growth, barnacles and bits of rust/muck. Then 2/3 coats of bitumen is applied to protect it for the next couple of years. The Captain had decided to not only do down to the bottom, but the sides up to the gunnels, and the tunnel stripes of red and white on the back too.

So we are at Langley Mill, and on Tuesday morning Vicky guides us into the dock and pumps out all the water, so now we are ‘high and dry’.

Vicky with her husband Dan took over the running of Langley Mill boatyard last year, and are doing a great job in restoring it. They live on 2 boats in the yard with their 2 young daughters, who love the life. Dan still works part time, so the everyday running of the yard is left to Vicky, and very good she is too.

After she had pressure washed our bottom, the Captain took a look round and rubbed down a few bits. I then convinced him that after the festival, and the weekend with Di and Mick, we needed to have a quiet day, and that we could work together next day and get it done.

It was not so quiet for Sam and Bubbles, as Snap, a big black tom from the yard stalked Bubbles. Bubbles being the laid back cat he is just ignored this attempt to intimidate him, but Sam was having none of it and snarled and hissed a warning. There was not all out war strangely, and they soon settled down to their own territories.

However next day there was a big problem as it rained in the morning, and you cant apply the bitumen to a wet surface, so the Captain started stressing out, I did my best to assure him that everything would work out fine, before heading off to Asda to get a new mop. An hour later I returned.

I know an hour to buy a mop, well in my defence I saw a number of people I knew, so got chatting and the time just flew. First I met Pat and Julie, Pat I worked with at Denby, he was the fork lift driver and we got on well. He told me a few horror stories about work, which made me glad I had had the chance to leave when I did. As we were saying goodbye I spotted Maurice, we had lived on the same street for over 40 years (he still lives in the same house) and he had been a very good friend of my Dads, his wife Sandra was about somewhere and he went off to find her. We met again in the veg aisle to continue our chat. Then, as I left the security guard caught my eye, Clive from Rotaract, an organisation I had been involved with in my 20’s and I had known his Mum for a long time to. So of course had to stop and catch up.

When I eventually returned to the boat it was now dry enough to start the painting. It was not easy as you have to work the bitumen into all of the little nooks and crannies, but after a few hours hard graft we had got it done and the rain held off to let it dry.

Next day and the bottom got its second coat courtesy of the Captain, whilst I painted above the water line and up to the gunnels. Not quite so back breaking which was good, as by now our backs felt they were breaking

We didn’t feel that bad later so had a walk to the Bunny Hop, unfortunately there was not really a dark on the suited the Captain, so just the one.

Friday, and whilst I put my new mop to good use the Captain finished off the last of the painting, and when he had done our home looked wonderful, and all the worrying about the rain came to nothing.

Now we were ready to party at Heath and Jennifer’s silver wedding. Adam very kindly chauffeured us to their front door (the M1 was a nightmare) and it was great to see them. We were staying at theirs for the night, and after a quick drink we headed off for the pub were to party was being held.

When we got there it was already busy with their friends and family. We had a lovely time, and the buffet was amazing. But what amazed me most was the numbers of gins available and how many Jennifer tried. 

A great night was had by all, and we slept great in their son’s bedroom, thanks Ethan for giving it up. After a very nice bacon butty, we watched as they opened some beautiful presents. Mainly bottles, I think people know they like a drink, but a trip round a winery and brewery looked really good too.

We have plans a foot for them to come to the boat and visit Coventry when we return in October.

Adam (bless him) came and picked us up.

I think we could have done with a quiet night in on the Saturday, but it was not to be as I had arranged to meet Di and Mick in Ripley. So off we went and met up in the Old Cock Inn. Titanic Plum Porter for the Captain, so we had a couple in there. The Bear and Monkey micro pub on Oxford street has recently changed hands, and the alterations to the pub had much improved it, and the beer was great too. As we sat and talked my friend Kerry from Denby walked in, and we had a great catch up. I hope she remembered me to everyone.

After a pint in the Crompton Arms and the Pear Tree we caught a later than intended bus back. It was a good night.

Sunday and our precious home was returned to its rightful place in the water. As a big thank you to Adam for running us round we took him and Julie to Lotus Lounge in Alfreton. Its an all you can eat chinese buffet, but rather than having to get up and fetch your own food, your order is freshly prepared and bought to your table, the selection of starters is ‘to die for’, and the mains selections is also wide and varied. Our favourite is Yuk Sung mmmmmmm. And at only £9.50 each you cant complain at the price either.

To finish off our stay at Langley Mill, Chris who had poked his head in at the festival, came for a visit and a long chat and catch up. He is the quality guy who works in the warehouse, so could fill me in with all the gossip, and sadly from what he said, it is not the place it used to be and once again I was so glad to get away. He also told me he follows my blog which to nice to hear, and he bought us some blackcurrant sundaes as a treat. What a friend.

Now it was time to leave Langley Mill and head.........

Well we are not quite sure where or when we will get there.