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Whispers on water - a photo journal of our life on the 'cut' dedicated to keeping family and friends informed of our whereabouts.
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Helping to keep our waterways litter-free: www.litteraction.org.uk/narrowboat-wilvir
Drought, pollution and illegal fishing all threaten our waterways. Spotted something that looks wrong? See it, say it, save it. Call the Environment Agency (EA) Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70
Photo: Hidden amongst the trees at Sandon Hall's 'Monument Plantation' above the Trent & Mersey Canal northeast of Salt Bridge is this evocative memorial to William Pitt.
After leaving Weston-upon-Trent Monday morning, we night-stopped at Barlaston (near the Wedgewood factory) before heading through Stone, Stoke-on-Trent and the Harecastle Tunnel onto the Macclesfield Canal at Kidsgrove where we night-stopped between the two aqueducts above the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Over the weekend prior to leaving Weston we, by chance, met Don and Dawn Amery who are both in their eighties and live close to the canal. Don and I had got chatting on the towpath and discovered we both came from Bexleyheath and were born within streets of each other, albeit thirty years apart. Don invited us to their home for 'sun-downers' where we had a great evening reminiscing and discussing the local landed gentry. Don is also a very accomplished model engineer of the old school and it was a real treat to see some fine examples of his work. Dawn too, had some great tales of her life and travels growing up within an army family and later of her experience as a nurse and life in general. Salt of the earth people in my book and a real honour and a pleasure to have met them both.
At Kidsgrove, Just before the evening light faded to darkness, we heard the familiar klaxon of narrowboat 'Alton' as she hove into view having come up the Trent and Mersey from Middlewich. It was great to see Brian and Anne-Marie after a gap of over two years since we'd last been this way. We bought our first supply of coal from them as the evening chill is beginning to set in now that the warmer weather departs and is replaced by the warming glow of the stove. It's also reassuring to know that 'Alton' will be plying her trade as usual this winter and keeping us supplied with fuel.
Yesterday we began our journey up the 'Maccy' to moor just above Scholars Green for the weekennd.
7th Oct 2011, 12:35
Photo: Etruria Top Lock (Trent and Mersey Canal).
6th Oct 2011, 09:33
Moored at Weston-Upon-Trent just above Bridge 81 on the Trent and Mersey Canal.
1. Heading for practice.
2. Forming up in front of team 'goose'
3. The routine begins! (coach is out of shot)
4. An appreciative audience.
2nd Oct 2011, 09:58
This is us moored above Weston-Upon-Trent enjoying the warmth and beauty of the evening skies this past week. We'll be continuing north again after the weekend.
1st Oct 2011, 13:58
This is a view from the hill overlooking the canal last evening. Exploring the footpaths and less trodden tracks through the woods is a sensory adventure and great fun! Gunner loves it too.
Few venture off the beaten track into large woods these days for fear of getting lost under a darkening canopy. The first rustle out of place and they're running for the hills, scared of their own shadows. Mind you I do surprise a few amateur 'survivalists' who think they're invisible when they're camo'd up; forgetting that you can smell Lynx deodorant, cigarette smoke, nicotine residue and dope, amongst other things, for miles.
Me and Gunner have great fun tracking them as they wander noisily around with their silenced air rifles or, in one case, a guy I came across sometime ago firing 7.62 ammo from a hunting rifle. It's like 'deliverance' in some areas except that these guys couldn't find a track on a record let alone track a muntjac deer, they just want to shoot things without going to the trouble of getting permission from the landowner. Most of these illegal shooters don't have a clue about shooting near public rights of way and the 15 metre rule, even with permission, and are a real threat in some areas to unsuspecting walkers. Using an air rifle/pistol in a back garden is illegal too within 15 metres of a public right of way (few know that either). I've even come across guys trying to entice Jack Russells or Staffordshire Bull Terriers down holes or into old 'blind' traps that have never seen hide nor hair let alone a rabbit, fox or badger - clueless!
Having wondered why I've just written the above, I realised it was in response to a guy I came across with a rifle slung over his shoulder and smoking a joint, emerging from a rudimentary hide he'd constructed next to the River Anchor near Polesworth. I just happened to mention that I could smell his joint a mile off, to which he replied 'it settles my head'. I wonder what it does for his aim?
You can see where we are or get in touch by going to our location link in the box to the left of our latest post where you'll also find our twitter address.
22nd Sep 2011, 15:57
21st Sep 2011, 19:23
opposing views from wilvir's bow looking east and west.
18th Sep 2011, 19:48
Photo: Rain, hail, swirling clouds, gusting winds and lightning, followed by a parting clap of thunder. Great stuff.
I walked back along the towpath at one point with a loud hiss of heavy rain pouring down and near zero visibility just a few yards away in the field on the other side of the hedgerow. Me and Gunner eventually got back to the boat soaked.
17th Sep 2011, 19:19