Thursday, 27 August 2009

Technical Business!

At the risk of boring you all to tears ........ (NO _ Nothing about amps I promise!!)

Since Monday we have been to-ing and fro-ing to a boatyard to have some work done on the fuel system. First of all we have had a water separator and sedimentor filter fitted! Impressed or what?!! Hopefully, this will prevent water and the dreaded diesel bug from reaching the fuel filters.
This happened last year and we conked out in the depths of the Chirk Tunnel!

Secondly, a replacement fuel lift pump has been fitted. This was necessary because the old one was leaking diesel into the engine and out of the engine. Not good if you are an old Gardiner engine ...... or a wife with a whiffy nose for diesel!

£££££ Londoners alert! You know how we are led to believe that things are cheaper outside of London? Well, they're not and that includes the price of labour! However, John is very relieved that he hasn't had to do this himself as it certainly wasn't a straight forward job and there were lots of complications - unfortunately for us, all on an hourly rate!

We have also had a new isolator switch but that's by-the-by. See .................... it's not ALL socialising and exploring!

The Dreaded Diesel Bug! We have been struggling to get rid of this for about 4 years!!

Nicer news:- Yesterday Rodney and Gill drove all the way to Saul Junction to come and spend the day with us. It was great for me to be able to spend time with my very special mate - we went for a walk all around Frampton for about 2 hours. The wall-to-wall rain that was forecast didn't actually happen.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Severn Bore

Creating our own wave!

When I was a teenager my dad told me all about this natural phenomenon. I never expected to be in the right place at the right time but on Friday evening we (John, myself, Mick & Lynn) were, so we just had to go and see .......didn't we?

I had researched the times etc and it seemed that the best place was at Newnham because it seemed the only chance of seeing it in the light at 20.44 pm.! A 4 **** Bore. Apparently the best you can get is a 5 ***** but there are none of those expexcted this year. I thought we might be 4 lonely little people sitting by the estuary. WRONG!! There were soon hundreds of spectators on both sides of the river!

THE Wave!

We counted 36 surfers, 8 canoeists and 4 lads in a dingey all ready to tackle the bore.

Surfing the wave.

Glad we made the effort to go and see it. Apparently, if they go ahead with the proposed Severn Barrier, it will exist no more.

Introducing ...........

At least it's not raining so umbrellas are not needed!
Windshield ...... yes please!

Friends for forty years ...... Bless!

Not Generator Man today - Barbecue Man! Or to be precise - Barbecue Men!

On Thursday we cruised up to Sharpness so that Mick & Lynn could see the sunken boats and Sharpness Dock. The day (weather wise) turned out to be a lot better than expected. It WAS windy at Sharpness. Hence, "Barbecue Man" needed to make a superior windshield!
A good day.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

On Holiday with Friends

Well, Mick & Lynn are now safely ensconced in "Juniper Cottage" in the village of Uley and it is really lovely.

The cottage itself is situated next to an old woollen mill and there are fabulous views from the back door.

Up in the hills

Unlike last year, the weather(so far!) is being very good to us so we are meeting up every day and doing a lovely walk with the dogs - sometimes along the River Estuary and canal; sometimes up in the Cotswold Hills. I think this could be a first for us - barbecues without the need for an umbrella to shelter from the rain!!
By the Estuary

It's just like the old days ...................... with the added bonus that we don't have four young children to entertain all the time!!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

All in the name of 'Friendship'

Yesterday we cycled overthe M5 to Uley on the edge of the Cotswolds. Why? Because in a week's time Mick and Lynn are coming to find us. They have booked a cottage for the week in the village of Uley and we wanted to find out how easy/not-so-easy it was going to be for us to reach them.
Eight miles there - the first five were fine but the last three, because it was then uphill almost all of the way, were quite treacherous!

However, we did it! In an hour and a half!

We found the lovely old village pub called "The Crown" - good food, good beer, good cider and a nice little beer garden.
We found the lovely little Post Office - friendly Post Master, well-stocked shop and Mick .................. he sells papers!
We didn't find 'Juniper Cottage' because we weren't that organised but we did find this one!!
"Petrol Pump Cottage"?

John, (alias Thor) the Prince of Thunder,
Went riding on his Brompton.
"I'm Thor", he cried,
The bike replied,
"Well where's your superior sized, gel-padded thaddle thilly?"!!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Close Encounters of the Wild Kind!

Today, for my excellent behaviour, I was granted some reprieve! I was also given some spending money!! Not a moment too soon it would seem as himself has apparently been dreaming about me falling into the deep mud of the River Severn head first when the tide is out and waggling my little short, fat, hairy legs!! (They are NOT hairy!!)

Beswick Swan


So did I celebrate my get-away? I went off to find creatures one would not expect to find (at least not easily) along the environs of the canal system.

I went to Slimbridge!

So, what did I think? I'm not sure! There was every conceivable type of duck, swan and goose and, for sure, many of these I will never have the chance to see out of captivity. HOWEVER, the ducks that ARE indigenous to this country and I HAVE seen in the wild like smew, eider, mergansers, goldeneye? In captivity? As I say, I'm not sure. The enclosures were fine and they didn't have to worry about finding food or safety but ...... ? Endangered species - they are keeping some safe and breeding them so that has to be a good thing.

It was the only way I am likely to see these lovely, adorable creatures in the for-see-able future.
They have just introduced a female otter and her cubs + some beavers + some water voles in an area called "Back from the Brink". The numerous visiting children were really excited about all of these so if they grow up with a passion for the protection of these animals that has got to be a good thing .... doesn't it?

Watching birds in the wild from a hide? In my opinion the RSPB wins hands down.

So how did John spend his "time off"? He fettled and fa*ted! My entrance fee? "A small price to pay for a peaceful day", I can hear him say!

Thursday, 6 August 2009


There is a section of river bank from a place called Purton to Sharpness where old barges have been deliberately beached in order to protect the bank from erosion. This one didn't make it as far as the bank!

Good old estuary mud! The birds love it! This was at low tide at the entrance of the old lock.
Looking up the estuary from Sharpness.
Looking down the estuary from Sharpness - the two bridges across the Severn into Wales can just be seen.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Friends drop by for Sunday Lunch

Gerald, Ron and Jane Cole joined us for Sunday lunch at "The Bell Inn" at Frampton-on-Severn.
Gerald lives in Addlestone and Jane and Ron live in Southampton but, fortunately for us, they each know people who live in Gloucester! John went to school with Gerald and Ron who, as is given away by the photo, are twins!!

Also fortunately for us all, it was a rare, lovely, warm, sunny day!

We all agreed that it was the best Sunday roast any of us has ever had in a pub. The pub overlooks the largest village green anywhere in England (or so the book says!) and, it was no surprise that out came the cricketers! Like policeman, some of them seem to be getting younger and younger!

It was really good to see them - all looking very well - even Jane who is recovering from having her appendix removed!! Thanks guys (and Jane!) for making the effort to come and see us.

We have moved on since to Sharpness where there are truly magnificent views of the estuary but I will not attempt to download any at the moment because internet connection here is very weak.