This Month's Totals and Average
31.94 miles 0 locks 12.37 hrs 2.58 lmph

  February 2016

Monday 15th February ~ Travel Home

Up promptly and set about shutting "Paws" down until after the wedding. Heavy frost so expected delay in departure. Loaded the bike, then found I needed things I had packed. Couldn't get out of my own road. Eventually ready so put on the tonneau cover, unfortunately unclipping my mobile phone allowing it to fall in the water. Used boat's internal phone to call Pat but couldn't get through (same with Fhi), but eventually got a mesage to Kenney. Eventually left, about an hour late, and without a means of contact. Got as far as Burton-in-Kendal and sustained a puncture. Was forced to use a public telephone (horrendous job!) but managed to get an uplift organised. Had to change trucks at Southwaite as driver had run out of hours on his tachograph. Eventually got home at 21:30. A day I'd rather forget!

Last entry in diary until I return to "Paws" after the wedding. Look forward to our avid readers returning around the end of March. Please come back to follow us on this year's Big Summer Cruise.

8th-14th February ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

Torrential rain and gale-force winds overnight as storm "Imogen" tracked over UK. Heavy showers and wind continued throughout Monday. Spent most of day doing an upgrade to the software I use to create output from my genealogy database. Now ready (I think) to do some CDs for family members.

Tuesday dawned sunny with little wind, if feeling a little cooler - and stayed that way all day. Shopping trip in the morning, then completed the genealogy software task. Work has started at the marina on the new pedestals for electricity, water and pontoon lights. Their projected finish is about two weeks (we'll see!).

Another lovely day on Wednesday despite a few overnight showers. Went for a walk in the morning up to Glascote. Had a very pleasant chat with Victoria, one of the CRT team working on Top Lock. Work on Top Lock complete (replaced facings on all gates and investigated leak into cellar of adjacent cottage). Word is they will have a look at Bottom Lock as well before moving on to Atherstone Bottom. Quiet afternoon pottering, including getting new gas bottle. (Stoppage notice received for the work on Glascote Bottom Lock, so 'the word' was right)

Sun streaming down again Thursday, but a heavy frost first thing. Work-force getting on well with the new pedestals. Another quiet day.

As part of our RCR  "Gold" membership, we get a free annual engine and battery healthcheck, and an option on a reduced-rate service. As agreed earlier in the week, Bill turned up to do the work Friday morning. The rain touted in the forecasts at the beginning of the week had fizzled out and we got another sunny day for the work. With all the work completed, "Paws" is now ready for her Big Summer Cruise, so I am now looking for a good day for my run north to the house for "the wedding".

Saturday was dull and damp throughout, with a breeze developing and light rain arriving by late afternoon. Cleared as much washing as possible ready to head home, cleared unopened items from the fridge into the freezer where I could. Currently looks like the best bet will be Monday.

Sunday was another sunny day, although colder again with a frost to start the day. Went to St Andrews church in Tamworth - on the bike, not a church one would normally walk to from the canal. Lovely service, everyone very friendly. In the afternoon took "Paws" across for a top-up on fuel. Preparations for heading home.

Sunday 7th February ~ Day-trip out to Tamhorn and back

The rain and wind ceased around midnight, and day dawned with sunshine. Decided to take "Paws" to church by way of a round-trip to Hopwas. Got away promptly and arrived just in time for the service. Small church but almost full (more here than in the centre of Burton!). Had lunch before departing again to continue to the next winding hole at Tamhorn Farm. Turned and returned to base. Uneventful trip back, although the cloud was increasing and the temperature dropping. Very cold when we got back late afternoon. Rain returned shortly after we got back - good timing, got the best of the day.

9.38 miles 0 locks 3.47 hrs 2.70 lmph

Saturday 6th February ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

Heavy rain overnight continued throughout the day, and on into the evening. Already missing the noises from the corner. Couldn't settle to any project, so ended up doing very little.

Friday 5th February ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

Early rise to allow Fhi to get away promptly. Stripped Smokies cage and packed Fhi's car (Smokie going back to house until after the wedding. Convenient to move her now, I'll follow shortly). They got away by 09:00 - now very quiet aboard. Marina power went off around that point so washing, vacuuming and dishes postponed until power restored. Tidied everything else back to "single occupancy".

Power back late morning so caught up. Shopping after lunch. Got word just after 16:00 that everyone was home safe. Wind increasing and cloud thickening. Forecast for next few days not great.

Thursday 4th February ~ Day-trip out to Kingsbury and back

Another long lie took us to a dull and damp start to the day, but warmer than of late. By the time we had finished breakfast and checked the forecast, there was hope for improvement so we let go for a trip to Kingsbury and back. Damp slowly cleared as we chugged outward and winded before mooring below the locks. Had a leisurely lunch, by which time the sun was poking through. Let go and returned to the marina in ever-increasing sunshine. Moored up and cleared up, took water.

5.20 miles 0 locks 2.10 hrs 2.47 lmph

Wednesday 3rd February ~ Day-trip to Tamhorn and back

Lovely quiet night, with both of us getting a good night's sleep. Day dawned clear, with wall-to-wall sunshine. Took our time getting moving, but eventually elected to take "Paws" out for a run towards Fradley. Nice start to the day-trip, but the wind started to pick up and it grew cooler. Stopped at Hopwas for lunch, then continued on. Unfortunately, it got very windy and unpleasantly cold by the time we got to Tamhorn Farm, so abandoned our plan to go to Streethay and winded. Returned towards Fazeley. Rain came on for a short period, which left us even colder. Tied up again at the marina by late afternoon (rain and wind cleared by this time), with the intention of going for another spin tomorrow if the weather suitable. Got the boat and ourselves heated back up, and had another quiet evening, chatting about the forthcoming wedding.

9.40 miles 0 locks 3.87 hrs 2.43 lmph

Tuesday 2nd February ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

After a wild night, day dawned sunny and relatively warm. Last minute clearing up and prep before visitors arrived.

Fhi made good time coming down the road, arriving by 14:00. Did the shopping for the mini-break, then settled in to catch up on gossip.

Monday 1st February ~ Streethay to Fazeley

Mostly sunny, not too cold, should have been a lovely day to be out and cruising - the wind completely ruined it!

Had an incoming call from daughter, finalising tomorrow, so was slightly later than planned getting going. Had difficulty getting off the mooring due crosswind. Crabbed my way along most of the day fighting the wind, boat leaning over due to the wind - the section through the military firing range and Hopwas Wood was a pleasant respite. Stopped at Hopwas for lunch, then continued back to base, arriving mid-afternoon. Didn't get a lot done once moored up so will have to get motivated tomorrow morning.

7.96 miles 0 locks 2.92 hrs 2.72 lmph

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