Thursday, April 30, 2009

Al headed south

Another early start as Al was hiring a car to go down south to see her parents Pam & Alf... Enterprise picked her up at 9.15am and Del walked back to Derwent6 and then lifted the engine covers to check the levels and change the gearbox oil. We still have this awful smell coming from the bilge due to the fact we changed the rubbers on the waste pump. So while the covers were off we bleached everywhere to try and get rid of it. You just can't get everywhere, so we will have to see if that cures it. Del also did a few other jobs which needed doing before Al arrived back at 8.00pm with loads of shopping! (and some beer of course)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Downtown Hinckley

We woke up to more bright sunshine today so pulled the pins from just the other side of Stoke Golding and made our way a couple of miles further on to Trinity Marina. We stopped right outside and got talking to a guy who was doing his own fitout. Derwent6 must have a bit of a Wow factor, because when we let this bloke look inside, it blew him away.
We were getting some bits and pieces from the Chandlers and noticed the price of diesel, 57p a litre and any split, well best fill it up then.....We only need half a tank, but it feels good when the tank is full, and at the right price.
We carried on just round the corner to Hinckley, as we wanted to see the town. We spotted this little punk rocker duck on the way.
Don't be deceived it was a good mile and a bit to walk into town, but you do walk past some nice gardens. We were a bit disappointed with Hinckley, as it looked a bit down in the dumps and we felt it needed sprucing up a bit. It did have all the shops and a Weatherspoons at £1.55 a pint..rude not too!
We didn't feel like walking back, so in the evening we found a pub with Sky Sports on to watch the football.........

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Heading South via the Market town

After the awful day yesterday with rain, we woke up this morning with the sun trying to poke through. So we set off early (well 8.30am, early for us) and thought we would try and beat the rain forecast. Leaving early gave us the chance to see loads of wildlife activity, including this Heron and we managed to see some chicks born today, but couldn't get a photo, as we didn't want to frighten the mum. We managed to get to Market Bosworth at around 11.00am with the sun beating down on us. We walked the mile up into the town and grabbed a coffee and something to eat for lunch in the Courtyard. We then had a good look around looking in all the shops including the butchers, fruit shop and newsagent. We then had a look at the country park and the church which was part 13th century and 18th century. We walked back to Derwent6 still with the sun shining and then filled with water. We decided to set off and see if we could get to Stoke Golding but as we were arriving a massive storm was brewing behind us. We were a bit frustrated as we noticed all the same boats moored on the 48 hour moorings at Stoke Golding and it was just spiting with rain. As the rain started to get a bit heavier we just moored up.....Good job we did, because it chucked it down just after we set up the satellite dish for the football tonight.

Steak is on the menu tonight, courtesy of the butcher in Market Bosworth

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eccles cakes

I've had several requests for the eccles cakes here it is!!


1 packet ready to roll puff pastry (or you can always make your own!)
3 oz butter
5 oz soft brown sugar
7 oz mixed dried fruit
1 tsp cinnamon
milk and caster sugar to glaze

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and then stir in the brown sugar, mixed fruit, and cinnamon. Leave to cool and the mixture will also set slightly.

Roll the pastry out to about 3mm thickness, and cut out 8cm rounds. (You can use a smooth cutter or a glass for this).

Put a teaspoon of the filling onto each round, and dampen the edges with water. Seal the cake by bringing the sides together, and then the ends, and pinch together well. Turn the cake over, (so the seam is underneath) and roll gently to flatten out to about 1/2 cm.

Place on a greased baking sheet, and mark 3 gashes on the top of each cake to let the steam out. Brush with milk and sprinkle with caster sugar, and bake in a hot oven (220 degrees or equivalent) for about 15 mins until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Now all you have to do is enjoy!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Biking the Ashby Gap !!!

Got up this motorsport morning to see the Moto Gp and then the Grand Prix. We then had lunch before putting our bikes together and setting off to find the other half of the Ashby canal.
We headed out from the terminus across the fields between the hedgerows. It was easy cycling until we came to a road where an aqueduct will be required. We continued up the road following the canal route until we came to a crossroads. You could see the canal marked by a new fence diverting across a field to our left. We continued on to Measham which is an old coal mining town. It has a few shops including a Tesco's Express, Fish & Chip shop, Newsagents and one of those good old fashioned sweet shops.
As we cycled down the hill you could see the bridge which used to go over the canal and could easily be opened. Then by the Library you pick up the cycle path which is a disused railway, if you look down to the right you will see the canal path which is very overgrown. It is easy riding with pleasant views along the way, passing over and under bridges. You then cross the road at Donisthorpe and after 300 metres you can pick up the Ashby again with water in it which has been made into a small basin.This then goes on for a few kilometres where it goes to Moira Furnace, which is a fantastic musuem, and to Moria lock before getting to Conkers. Conkers is a large basin with toilets, coffee shop, restaurant, and a big play area for the kids, they also hold quite a few shows there. There are loads of walks into the forest and around the Ashby canal area. There is also a miniature train which goes out into the forest. It was quite busy with people out on bikes, fishing, and walking, a lovely place.....

It will be great, not if, but when, these two canals are linked, for our canal system and our heritage..

We retraced our steps to get back to Derwent6, and just put our sore bums and feet up.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dealing with Jobs

We could hear the rain pelting down on the roof this morning, so the walk we had planned will have to be put off until tomorrow. This is the time to do those jobs you put off for a rainy day...and you will see why!

The manual pumpout had stopped working three weeks ago and we were sent a new seal and valve kit from a Fernwood supplier. It was time to have a go at replacing them, so hold your nose......
First we had to dismantle the cupboard just to get to the pump. We then had to disconnect all the hoses (not a nice job) and then dismantle the pump (even worse)

But the good news was that we found a small piece of foam insulation, which must have fallen into the tank on build, stuck in the rubber valve. This is the second time that the pump has stopped working after finding swalf from inside the tank, first time. This had distorted the rubber valve, so we had to replace it.

After putting this back together it started working much better. It took longer to disinfect the cupboard and the bilge when we had finished.
We then pumped out the rest of the tank, but the gauge still didn't work. We have now got more freedom on journey planning, by not having to worry about the waste tank.

This took up most of the day with stops to watch the Grand Prix qualifying, lunch, etc

The weather brightened up late in the afternoon, but we didn't feel like doing anything.

Al made some lovely cheese scones and some eccles cakes

There's alway's tomorrow!!!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The end of the Ashby

We left this morning at around 10.00am and set off on a slow journey to the end of the Ashby. We were expecting it to be very shallow but there appeared to be quite a lot of water. We were not picking up much in the prop and with not much wake. It all became clear when we got to Market Bosworth where the was a hive of activity. A water main had burst, and the water board along with British waterways were scurrying around trying to stop a fountain of water going into the canal from above a bridge. Also the water point below the bridge was out of action. We just managed to get a picture as we went past.
The canal here is just stunning and feels so peaceful, we only passed one boat all day and the other thing we noticed was the towpaths were in such good condition.
We noticed this fellow and found it funny, when we went through some woods.

We eventually came to the Snarestone tunnel which is another tunnel with a kink in it. It is also very low at the northern end so it was watch the chimney again. We manged to get through ok but coming back may be tricky as the low end was on the opposite side of the chimney.We then came to the terminus and we were a bit worried about turning due to the sharp alcove where hire boats and the like had turned not worrying about their boat. But we managed to turn ok even in the strong winds which had got up. This probably helped us.
We will explore tomorrow! Weather pending!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

St George's Day with friends

Woke up this morning to another beautiful day. Don't want to tempt fate, but is this the start of a lovely Spring with hopefuly a great Summer to follow?

We had visitors today, Joy & Steve arrived at 11am with gifts of a plant, wine and chocolates Perfect!!!!! and after a quick tour of Derwent6, we headed off to the Bosworth Battlefields a good thing to do on St Georges Day. It's a lovely circular walk taking in all the history of the War of the Roses (White & Red) It was the big battle of Henry Tudor and Richard the third where Richard was killed and Henry became Henry VII. It was a bit disappointing that this battle only lasted two hours, but had a major impact on our history.

The walk has boards telling you points of interest like the battlefield, Richards drinking well, and the spot where he was slaned.
We had lunch in the cafe next to the musuem, and then made our way back to Derwent6.

We sat in the cratch for a couple of hours before having tea just watching the odd boat go by.
It started to turn dark at around 8.45 and that joulted us into thinking it was time for Joy and Steve to go. Yes it was another lovely day....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pylon on the miles

Another beautiful day, so we thought a days cruising was in order. We set off at around 10.30am and made our way up to the Limekilns and filled with water. We noticed these lovely caravans parked in someones garden on the way. We moved on up through Trinity Marina and then on to Stoke Golding. It was so pretty with the rape fields turning yellow and the trees turning greener. There are a lot of pylons here and they were working on them as we passed by. If you look closely on the top stanchion, you will see this guy working very high up.We then pressed on to the battlefields moorings and was lucky enough to get the last one. We then got out the chairs and chilled with a few beers as n.b. Gosty Hill the coal boat went by, but we didn't need anything...Typical. We then went for a short circular walk into Shenton village while a casserole was cooking. Think we will be just sitting and watching a bit of telly tonight.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We won't be breaking the land speed record

It was up early because we wanted to try the Country Trust Tearooms which is in the Nicholson guide and they do a breakfast for £3.75, but it was supposed to open at 9.30am. We were there at 9.45am and it still wasn't open so we went into town. We wanted to go to the British Transport museum in Coventry and right along side was a lovely coffee shop. We had coffee and a panini before heading up to the entrance of the museum. We were surprised to find it was free to go in and what a great museum it was. They had a Doctor Who exhibition taking place and Al is a fan, we had to have a look around. They had loads of British made cars, trucks and buses all in fantastic condition. They also had every make of motor bike and push bike. It took you through all the centuries including the blitz and right up to the present land speed record breaker Thrust 2. You could even go on a simulated ride of the land speed record being broken at 753 mph, well worth doing!
When we came out of there we went into Sainsburys and picked up a few provisions before heading back to Derwent6. The basin was quite full but as we arrived someone was trying to turn and would have side swiped us all but Del jumped on and pushed them away with instructions on how to steer.

After cleaning the prop and taking off a coal bag, we set off with great care...

We moved very slowly and still picked up three things on the way, there is so much rubbish in this section of the canal and it will put people off if something isn't done about it. We passed another boat coming towards the basin and he cleared the way for us to get back to Hawkesbury Junction. Things got a lot better then as we made our way up to the Ashby canal. After a difficult turn in, it just got better. It was so pretty along this section, but narrow and a bit shallow in places.

After a couple of miles we decided we would moor up even though it was shallow. We couldn't get right in, but it was a lovely spot.