Sunday, 27 July 2014

Further pictures

This is the start of the Bratch Hill flight of 3 locks called a staircase because there is no pound in between. One lock leads directly into the lock above.

 Some of the flights of locks. These all have a very short pound between. But once you start a flight of locks, you have to keep going (even through thunder and lightning).

 Some photos of the lock being worked and Nell inside the lock

 Some of the glorious scenery

The light at the end of a very long tunnel

Goodbye to Little Nell (for now)

After a few frustrating days, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong, Little Nell was finally loaded onto a trailer to be taken to a boatyard at Semington in Wiltshire, where she will hopefully find someone to love her as much as we do.

It seems an appropriate moment to revisit some of the trips we had on her.

We bought Little Nell over 13 years ago from Chirk Marina. She had to be taken out of the water and trailed to Tewkesbury and then sailed to her mooring in Gloucester.

She was first moored at Quedgeley on the banks of the Gloucester Sharpness canal...a not altogether pleasant experience as the new, very expensive outboard that we had on her was stolen within the first few weeks.

We have taken Little Nell along the River Severn, cruised the River Avon and Stratford canals (we completed the Avon Ring in 9 days one year by cruising and working locks from 6:00 to 20:00 every day). We have completed the Worcester and Birmingham canal and some of the Brimingham Canals Network. We've been along the Staffs and Worcester canal well past Bratch triple staircase locks and detoured to do some of the Grand Union canal. We've also completed the Stourbridge canal. She did us proud.

In the course of this, we have completed Tardebigge locks, a flight of 30 narrow locks, several times and the final time I managed the whole lot on my own in 3.5 hours!! We also conquered the Stourbridge flight, Black
Delph and another long flight on the Stratford canal. I always did the locks while Rod steered! We also negotiated some very long tunnels such as Netherton , Wast Hill and Tardebigge.

The final couple of years on other canals were not so much fun. The wet summers meant the rivers were in flood or flowing very quickly and it got scary at times. The River Avon flooded unexpectedly and we got stuck several times for days and only got as far as Evesham in 10 Days.

So with Rod's balance and walking problems and my deteriorating health, we decided to stay on the Sharpness canal for future holidays.
Little Nell at Quedgeley

Friday, 25 July 2014

Cross stitch

I started a cross stitch of my darling Dad last year which I had every intention of finishing for Mum's 80th birthday in September last year. Unfortunately, I realised what a big project it was going to be, 12000 stitches, and with the best will in the world, it was not going to be finished in time. I was also not in the best of places to tackle a large cross stitch project and then later in the year, I took on the TEFL course.

This summer, I have done a lot of reading and decided that the cross stitch would fit in with this. It has been so hot, that I have been able to work out in the garden for some of the time too. I have now completed about 2000 stitches which is a sixth of the entire project.

I chose a photo that was taken of Dad a few days before he died, sitting in his favourite chair. As money is more of an issue now, I chose a free online program to convert the photo to a cross stitch. Because his face was slightly in the shadow, the cross stitch is much darker than I would have liked, but the more I stitch, the more I can see my Dad.

Here is the photo that the cross stitch is based on.