Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Long Weekend in Great Haywood and Tixell Wide

2nd - 5th May

The boat is now finally moored at Great Haywood Marina, with thanks to Matty for taking the boat from Copredy to Great Haywood for us.  Somewhat faster than we could, or would, have :)

We left for Great Haywood on friday evening after work. A quick 2 1/2hr drive via the A34, M40 and M6 Toll, so not too onerous, arriving at the boat just after 9pm.  We unpacked while the kettle boiled. Over a cup of tea and an ale, Andrew got the fire going.  Or at least tried to. In the end, with smoke filling the interior we decided that we would survive the night under the winter duvet and Andrew would clear the chimney in the morning :)

After the necessary visit to the marina office on Saturday morning, we topped up the water tank and headed out. Yippee :)

nb Ashdown's parking spot :)

Heading Out

We turned left out the marina, heading past all the on-line moored boats and slowly made our way towards our favorite spot.  Hanging a right at the bridge we tootled along reaching our destination to find that it was pretty full. And we thought that we had started out reasonably early just after 9am.!  Turns out that a large number of the moored boats had all started out at the same place we had!  As no touching up is allowed in the marina, everyone was using Tixall Wide as a pull up DIY spot :O  Naturally we joined in :)

Andrew at work
  Andrew started on sanding down the rusty bits in preparation for some rust proof and the rest.  He then did a wash down the side and I cleaned the outside of the windows and polished the side.  All up the boat has now had a bit of a clean on the outside and the start of a serious clean on the inside.  I am just waiting for the warmer weather so that when I wipe down all the shelves and bits on the inside they do not get covered in fine ash again !
Lucky for Andrew, Matty had done the engine service and resealed and painted the stove for him.  Now I just need to give Matty a list of the jobs that I would like done :)

All in all we had a lovey couple of days relaxing and pottering (in that order) in the gorgeous weather.  Although it was a busy towpath weekend with so many boats moored there and people walking about.  We are still looking forward to the next long weekend in a few weeks :)

There was a bit of a nature watch going on to, which is only natural (haha did you see that :) ) when I have a camera about

Canadian Geese

This poor Canadian Goose was a loner and constantly being chased away by the swans

Late evening Balloon ride

Our noisy neighbour

Golden Sunset

The loner at the hatch

and the swan
Monday morning Andrew did a quick swivel in the wide and moored up facing back the way we came.  We did a wash down and window clean before heading back to the marina.

What we spied as we were about to swivel:

nb Whitefield
Turns out to be a highly spec'ed boat which has changed hands, as the people we saw on it looked nothing like the original owners depicted on the boat builders website.

After a final tidy up, vacuum and pack in the marina, we said goodbye to nb Ashdown for a few weeks and headed off to Stone.  We have to say that everything looks so different from the car and soooo much closer too :)

In Stone we wondered down to the Floating Market above lock 30, where we were visiting our friends on nb islonian.  We spent a good few hours catching up, drinking tea and coffee.  Sheila and I worked out that 8 months had past since we parted ways at Hurleston Locks at the bottom of the Llangollen Canal.  A fair few miles, winter and work has all got in the way since then. 

We took our leave eventually and headed back to Andover.  Andrew decided to take the Alternate Route, without toll and we ended up coming back via the M6, M5 and then off just after Gloucester, past Cirencester and Swindon towards Salisbury. Turning off along the way towards Andover.  We did enjoy the drive, taking us through some new scenery.  What was not so great was the stop off at MacDonald's on the way into Andover! Now we remember why we have studiously avoided entering there for the past 2 years :D  After parking up and ordering a take-away inside, we waited for at least 15minutes for our burgers (we had ordered the latest special burger).  We would have been better of going through drive through but Andrew was getting cramp in his leg.  He is not used to driving such long distances anymore.  We will have to give him more practice me thinks O:D  But back to the burgers, I got to the point of saying that if the burgers were not presented soon I wanted my money back.  I think that I should have insisted on my money back, we would have been better off.  Cardboard, tasteless burgers are really not something to recommend.  But it was something to fill the stomach which by then was pretty peckish.  But not something that we will do again.  Next time we eat at the pub in Great Haywood BEFORE we leave and then a snack when we get home.  A much better proposition I think.

So there we have it another few delightful days on board and SOOOO looking forward to the next time :)


  1. It was fabulous to meet you both! There's a photo on tomorrow's blog of you on board Areandare (would love you to change the url on your site to our new wordpress blog if possible?)

    Hope you get back on board soon, I know what it's like to mis being on the cut ...

  2. Thanks Sandra. I have updated our link to your new blog now too :)