Saturday, May 01, 2021

Back On The Cut!

Well, we finally got back out on the cut and it was lovely!

Our Moorhen lodgers had left but sadly out of the eight chicks only three survived and left the nest. On reading up on it on google it's quite common for only a few of the chicks to survive. Thinking about it all the years I have been on the canal I have never seen a Moorhen with more than three or four chicks so it must be quite common that not all of them survive. It's really sad but that's nature I suppose.

I spent a week getting the boat cleaned inside and out before our trip out and it felt so nice knowing that we can now take the boat out as and when we want. It seemed like an eternity waiting for restrictions to be lifted but finally, we were off out!

Parbold is a favourite place of mine to moor overnight, it's not far but feels like we have travelled a long way. It's perfect when we only have a weekend off as we can get there and back in no time and it's so peaceful and picturesque. It was Al's first time there on the boat and I think he is a firm fan of the place now too.

We stayed in the Marina on Friday night then set out on Saturday and headed for Parbold. The weather was absolutely perfect which made our post lockdown cruise even better. We planned on maybe stopping at a pub for a bite to eat, but we enjoyed the boat so much we were quite happy to eat on the back deck in the sunshine.

I am ashamed to admit I don't really do locks. In all the years I have had the boat I have always been at the helm so have never needed to learn. Al is becoming quite good at steering the boat and his confidence is building more and more each trip out. Once he is confident enough, he will take the boat into locks so I really need to start doing the locks too!

There is a deep lock in Parbold and Al had never done one so this would be his first. The plan was to moor at the bottom of the lock then go and gongoozle to watch how it was all done. It turned out that a couple we met at one of the bridges was going through the lock, so I asked if Al could do the lock with them. I knew he would grasp the concept straight away and he didn't disappoint which was just as well as he had to lock me back down! He did it perfectly and I felt very safe considering he was a lock virgin so he is hired!!


                                              A silhouette of my new " Lockie"  :)

Tickety Boo started the first time after so long sitting idle she didn't let us down apart from a squealing belt. It was slipping and making a bit of a racket but after a short sharp blast of power it soon stopped and the rest of the trip was trouble-free.

                                             So nice to be out again.

It was such a lovely weekend and bliss to be out on the cut in the glorious sunshine. Typical of me after a lockdown I wanted to be in the middle of nowhere! Most people after lockdown want to party and go where there is lots going on but I was more than happy it was just Al and me in the beautiful countryside.

         Some lovely gardens on the way through Burscough.        

                                   Plenty of liquid refreshment, and why not?

      A lovely view from the Galley window, nice to wake up to.

My new job is brilliant, it doesn't feel like a job at all. I only do an hour or so in the morning from 8am and the same at three pm doing the school run with a lovely little boy, he is adorable and so well behaved. He goes to a fabulous school called Bluebell Park, he goes in with a smile on his face and comes out the same. I have all those hours in between the morning and afternoon run to do with what I please, it's bliss. I can spend lots of time going to the boat and being in Al's lovely house too. I feel like I have retired early!


                     Masses of Bluebells in Parbold.

Doing this job has really opened my eyes to just how many children have learning difficulties of varying degrees. Bluebell Park is an amazing school and caters for all the children's different needs. To be honest it makes me feel quite humble. I feel quite honoured to be working in such a caring worthwhile job.

So our next adventure! I thought I would try and book a passage through to Liverpool for a few days at half term in June. I didn't think for one minute we would get in but surprisingly there was plenty of slots. Another first for Alan and I am sure he will love it. You see such a different world travelling along the Canal to Liverpool and staying in the Salthouse dock is great. Nice to just meander into town shopping having nice meals and being able to have a drink without worrying about getting home as home is in the dock! I am really looking forward to it.

So now I have a Skipper and a Lockmaster onboard what more can a girl ask for! Oh and being the star he is he painted the engine bay too....don't know what I did to deserve him!

I have ordered a new vanity sink unit for the bathroom so photos to follow once fitted. The Bathroom on the boat needs sprucing up a bit to match the new decor in the rest of the boat so a few tweaks here and there and it will. Looking forward to tidying it up, new coving trim around the top of the walls, new flooring that will match the floor in the Galley and new fan and shower led lights, oh and a hand wash wall dispenser... get us!! There won't be enough room on the new sink for a hand wash so a wall-mounted one will solve that problem. I can't wait to have a porcelain sink in the bathroom, I have had a stainless steel "salad bowl" for far too long!

It's May Bank Holiday weekend so a nice three-day break. Household chores have kept me busy today as Al is working so now all chores out of the way a free day tomorrow to go boating!

It's a huge relief to feel that things are slowly getting back to a near normal. I have always loved and appreciated the boat but now more than ever after lockdown.  Having somebody special to share it with too. Life is good!

            ( For those who don't know to Gongoozle or be a Gongoozler is to watch boats and activities on the Canal especially at Locks)