Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Shops and Castles - Wednesday 27th March 2013

Awoke to a nice sunny morning but still with that biting easterly wind so June opted to polish the brass whilst I took Phoenix on her morning walk.
On my return we decided to go out in the car and explore the local retail parks of which there seem to many around Coventry. Afterwards we headed for Malt Kiln Farm Shop at Stretton-under-Fosse where we made some purchases of local produce from the excellent Butcher.
We then headed for the local pub for lunch followed by a look around Brinklow, discovering Brinklow Castle in Ell Street.
Brinklow Castle
Brinklow Castle is a Norman earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by Robert de Mowbray. The large and impressive 11th century motte, is encased by a wide ditch, with a counterscarp bank. A high rampart, with a wide ditch surrounds the large bailey, which is separated into two wards, by an inner rampart and ditch. This well preserved earth and timber castle, was probably abandoned by the 13th century
The mount has a diameter at the base of 260', and has a flat top 50' across. It rises 60' from the bottom of the 40' wide, 20' deep ditch which surrounds it. The castle occupied a site of significant strategic importance on the Fosse Way and is associated with the campaigns of William the Conqueror. Brinklow Church Brinklow's most notable topographical feature is the imposing grassy mound behind the church, known locally as "The Tump", or "The Big Hill". We however, like the village green with its Red Telephone box which is still in use and the old thatched cottages. Brinklow Village Green

Getting Ready for the Off - Tuesday 26th March 2013

With the heavy weekend snow, we decided to leave getting the boat ready for our first trip of the year, until today and left home with a fully loaded car plus Phoenix who was determined that she was not going to be left behind.
We left our snow covered garden, and 18 inch icicles hanging from the roof heading east. As we reached the M6 it was apparent that we had had far more snow than they had had just 5 miles away and on reaching the marina we were surprised to find virtually no snow and the daffodils beginning to come into flower. There was still a cutting easterly wind but the sun was shinning and the birds singing.
First Daffs
First Daffodils
After unloading the car and then nipping off to the local pub for lunch, whilst the Hurricane warmed up the boat, we found the local supermarket and returned to the boat with more food than we had planned.
We fixed the embroidery pictures which June had made over the last year of Warwickshire and The Inland Waterways to the wall panels between the windows and I must say they look very nice and make the boat more homely. What it is to have a talented wife!!
Embroidery Pictures of Warwickshire and the Inland Waterways 
During February the boats in the marina had had a move around and we were thus able to move up the pontoon to be adjacent to the bank which makes it so much nicer when unloading the car and taking the dog for a walk, particularly as the boat who was moored next to us was a share boat and was thus rarely at its mooring making it an ideal spot for the local ducks to gather.
New Mooring
New Mooring
The rest of the day was used to fill up the water tank, check all the systems were working, clean the inside and air the beds. Despite the icy wind we did find time to chat to some of the other boaters who were preparing to go out on Friday, both heading off towards Banbury. After tea we settled down in front of the roaring fire to watch the TV.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Can You Believe it - Saturday 23rd March 2013

Can you believe it
This was us in March 2012 enjoying the sun and temperatures of 25 degrees just outside Birmingham on the Fazeley and Birmingham Canal
WinterMarch 2013
What a difference, this is March 2013
Top Left - Phoenix enjoying the snow in our garden.
Top Right - The path in our wood is blocked by trees fallen with the weight of snow on their branches.
Bottom – Our Snowy Garden, at least it looks as good as our neighbours.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Murder in the Snow - Friday 22nd March 2013

We had planned to start our summer cruise this weekend but with the snow and cold winds, together with the Rivers Cherwell, Thames, and Kennet all in flood we have decided to stay put until the weather improves and we know what is happening to the rivers. Will probably spend the time getting the boat sorted out and doing those last minute little jobs which would have been put off until we were on our way.
We can’t believe that this time last year we had decided to head north because of the drought down south and were sitting on the side of the canal drinking G & T’s with Graham and Carolann in temperatures of 25 degrees. But I suppose that is English weather.
June has turned out to be a MURDERER for the third time!
Last weekend we had a Murder Mystery evening on the Siberian Express with a group of our friends and for the third time June has turned out to be the murderess. It is making ne very worried that she may be planning something I don’t know about.

Murder 4
Miss D Meaner and Major Titcher