6. Jan, 2018

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL

But first our journey over the summer

We have done

806 miles

548 locks

8 swing/lift bridges

10 miles in tunnels.

We have visited London, Aylesbury, Leicester, Hertford, Bishops Stortford, Nottingham, Newark, Lincoln and Boston to name but a few.

We have been back in the wharf for a couple of months so I must apologies for not blogging sooner.

My excuse, as usual I have been working and the festive season came a long a lot faster than I expected.

Work has been different this year and I have not been able to return to Parcel Force, and my friends in the international hub, due to the lack of work. So instead I have made new friends and learnt new skills working at Toys R Us. A simple job packing single items for the internet, but the place was so disorganised. When I started I just had to start re-organising things. The Captain did advise me to wait until I had been there a week, and I did take his advice to a point. I am hoping to return in the New Year, just waiting for the phone call. If not I will find something else.

As for Christmas it just came round too fast. Planned weekend visits to Ripley (my family) and Wigan (the Captains) meant that the present and card shopping had to be done early. This accomplished it was left to the Captain to wrap the presents, and write the majority of the cards. My job was to write and stick the gift tags on. Once this was done we could relax and plan our Christmas.

Once again the Captain has out done himself decorating the interior and exterior of the boat. We look like a true fairy grotto outside and in, and our little Christmas tree with its presents round it looks amazing.

Instead of a Christmas lights competition on the wharf this year, it was decided to have a Christmas curry for the moorers and friends. We suggested a Christmas party of some kind to Keith when we returned at the end of October, and he organised a fantastic evening of Christmas cheer and a very good curry. We were able to help serving food and drink on the night, and washing glasses and pots next day. It was lovely to get together with our boater friends.

Swan Lane Wharf is a happy community to be part of and we always look forward to returning after our summer cruise.

Continuing in this theme on the Saturday before Christmas, and the day after the party, we went down to Coventry for a drink with our neighbour Jenny, Twisted Barrel brewery first, were another moorer Sam, joined us before heading off to his family for Christmas day. We finished off in the Windmill of course.

Christmas day on the wharf was a quiet affair as most moorers went to visit family for the day but the Captain and I enjoy a quiet day together. Starting with presents ,and we were truly blessed this year with some lovely gift, then a walk to the Bricklayers for a couple of pints before returning to the boat for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. The best way to spend the day.

The Captain has been spending his time helping out round the wharf. He has also been helping Col with things on his boat including bits for his Boat Safety Certificate (BSC). This is a bit like a cars MOT and has to be done every 4 years. One of the main things it deals with in the gas installation on boats, and unfortunately for Col he had more than a few issue with this. I am pleased to say that everything is now sorted.

Another problem that Col had was that whoever fitted his boat out (nothing to do with Col) didn’t give anything thought to things that you might need access to, like water and gulper pumps (these pump the water out of the shower tray). They had hidden them behind tiles and cupboards which meant a lot of work for Col when things went wrong. Again I am pleased to say (touch wood) that everything is now sorted. They are hoping to move into the wharf when a space becomes available which will make us neighbours.

We have booked to go to Benidorm for a few days in April just before we leave, maybe not the obvious choice for us, but we have our reasons. We both visited when we were quite young, me at the age of 8 in 1972 and the Captain also aged about 8 in the early 60’s. So we are returning to see the changes which we know are substantial. (We watch the famous TV program Benidorm you know.) We are staying in the old town, I really didn’t fancy staying in one of the high rise hotels in the new town, so we have a little B&B down a narrow side street. It will be fun and I dare say we will visit the Neptune bar of the said famous TV program.

And now an insight into our plans for the 2018 cruise. Starting mid April we will be heading for London via Milton Keynes to see the Captains sisters as usual, and hopefully when there join the St Pancreas cruising club on a little jaunt down the Thames to the barrier and beyond. A return to the wharf in early June is a possibility, as the Captain is due to become a granddad on the 14th.

Then on to the Erewash and Langley Mill for the beginning of July, this is my input to the journey as I want to go to the Elvaston Steam Rally near Derby, and hopefully the Captain will be able to use his Christmas present, if you remember I was getting him a microlight flight over the Derbyshire dams.

Then it will be up the tidal Trent, taking in the Chesterfield canal, and then the Sheffield canal before joining the Leeds Liverpool canal and going across the Pennines. Wigan and Manchester next before going into Liverpool. Then I am not sure about our journey back to Coventry and Swan Lane, but no doubt it will be via Birmingham.

Well the decorations are down and the first week of 2018 has passed and I still don’t have a job but I have applied for a few and I am waiting to hear back from them. It does mean I get to spend time with the Captain, which is lovely, but I do need to get active and hopefully lose some more weight.

The Captain has the Boat Inspector coming next week to do our BSC and we have everything crossed that the good ship Avalon Two will fly through without any problems.

That’s all for now folks.