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Narrowboat 'wilvir'

by wilvir

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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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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

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Waiting Out the Rain

Tixall Wide, Staffs & Worcs Canal. Monday 14Oct2013.

1. Just us as usual.
2. I came across this old lady looking very sorry for herself, hobbling around as if her hips were giving her jip and her udder looking uncomfortably low. I informed the RSPCA and an inspector called the next day to say he was at the location and about to seek her out. She's in good hands.
3. Red sky at night........
4. Tixall Wide.
5. As we like it.

In the shadow of Shugborough Hall lies Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal, a picturesque village that reaches out to the hall via a bridge over the canal and the very atmospheric 'Essex Bridge' that crosses the confluence of the Rivers Trent and Sow leading on to the Hall. We spent two nights below Haywood Lock just south of the junction where the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal meets the Trent & Mersey Canal. Earlier that day, while we were taking on supplies at Rugely we were overtaken by Jim and Helen aboard 'M' who stopped to say hello having caught up with us after leaving the River Soar. It had been a miserable day thus far and they were both soaked to the skin, with Jim actually shivering in his boots as we spoke. So rather than delay, we untied and met up again at Great Haywood where we caught-up on what we'd all been up to since parting on the Grand Union Canal. They left the next morning to get back to their mooring to lay 'M' up for the winter, and then home.

On Friday we made the turn onto the 'Staffs & Worcs' and tied up just west of Tixall Wide for the weekend. This is a truly delightful, picturesque, rural area where the canal opens out to lake size proportions. And then we decided to wait out the rain. Come this morning, monday, it was still raining, so I decided to walk back to the junction boatyard to buy a spare alternator (just in case) in the hope that the rain would stop by the time I got back. Not a chance, so we stayed put. Come hell or high water we leave in the morning regardless.
15th Oct 2013, 00:05   comments (0)

In the Company of Owls

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Handsacre, Trent & Mersey Canal. Tuesday 08Oct2013.

1. From this.....
2.To this!
3. Twilight descends as I sit fishing from the bow with the warmth of the day and the caress of a gentle south westerly breeze carrying the aroma of autumn hay.

The little oak tree in the right of the top picture is overweight with acorns as so many are at this time of year (more so it seems for the 'proper' year we've had). Moored alongside avenues of oak-lined towpath with squirrels darting to and fro in the branches above or foraging amongst the leaf-litter to stock-up their coming winter store is amusing to watch. They squabble noisily with each other too as they leap effortlessly, and sometimes precariously from branch to branch, Gunner below inciting them to rush about even more as he tries to bark them down. Wind and the squirrels also conspire to catch me unawares as what appears to be yet another purposefully aimed acorn lands on the roof or 'plops' into the water close by.

As dusk quickly turns to twilight, owls begin to hunt silently above the stubble and freshly turned soil of recently harvested fields, seeking out an unwary meal; only making their presence known when calling to each other amongst the darkening almost invisible trees. There is something comforting about the call of a wise old owl. For me they convey a sense of well-being when they choose to make their presence known.

Lynn and Steve flew back to Australia on Friday as their month here came to an end, arriving home after a twenty-five hour journey, laden with such things as a mercedes van light cluster and 10kg of chocolate. Lynn called me the morning of their departure to say farewell, which left me with an unfathomable sense of loss, but, at the same time, a sense that she and Steve love and embrace the adventure of life much as we do (too many unfortunately don't). To know Lynn again is priceless.
8th Oct 2013, 11:07   comments (1)

Rest Awhile and Admire

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4th Oct 2013, 16:56   comments (0)

That's What Friends Do

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Brinklow, North Oxford Canal. Thursday 26Sep13

Our good friends, Hilary and Andy hove into view at Brinklow after an eight hour cruise to spend a couple of days with us before we parted company going in opposite directions for the winter.

As always it was great to catch up and share a meal together accompanied by one or two of Andy's excellent bottles of homemade wine. It really is that good.
3rd Oct 2013, 10:13   comments (0)

Once Upon a Time

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28th Sep 2013, 08:57   comments (0)

Proper Job

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We spent a couple of days at Olney on the North Oxford Canal where we met with friends Jackie and Ivan who we first met on the River Weaver a year ago.

Since then they have had a sign-writer paint the name of their narrowboat on the side of the stern cabin along with the little chap perched on the lettering.
27th Sep 2013, 15:09   comments (1)

My Year Begins with the Autumn Equinox

The weather is showing off in its effort to display what I love about this, my favourite time of year. Having passed the autumn equinox, that astronomically heralds the arrival of shorter days and even longer nights, the low sun and long shadows paints the landscape with Autumn golds on a backdrop of canvas rich with an azure blue sky dotted with clouds of cotton-wool masquerading as puffs of smoke.

The fast ripening fruit in the hedgerows seems to swell with pride, becoming a feast for birds and bugs as well as a larder for those who make wines, jams, preserves, chutneys and syrups before the ground begins to harden with the coming frosts that spoil natures more delicate seasonal offerings.

It is beautiful here.
22nd Sep 2013, 19:52   comments (4)

'Linear' Shopping

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This charming and adventurous couple, Kat and Adam, stopped by this evening to admire Ginny's earrings as they made the return journey home to Rugby from Braunston. Have a great life you two.
22nd Sep 2013, 19:34   comments (2)