Mooring pin with welded handle
Bollington, Maccy canal
Marine Cadet Ashley
Sea Cadet Alex
Les Lobbs Diary
April 2013
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In a medieval poem, who killed Sir Guy of Guisborne?
A group of chaps, all aged 40, discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because the waitresses had big breasts, & wore miniskirts.

Ten years later, at age 50, the friends once again discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because the food and service was good and the beer was excellent.

Ten years later, at age 60, the friends again discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because they could dine in peace and quiet and it was good value for money

Ten years later, at age 70, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because the restaurant was wheelchair accessible and had a lift for the disabled.

Ten years later, at age 80, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch.
Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Bridgnorth because they had never been there before!
April Fool's Day again, doesn't seem five minutes since the last one.
Well it's been like the lawnmower derby round here, first few sunny days and out they come. Dawns toes seem ok and she has had a few walks with Max, Ju's black lab.
I'm getting about a bit without my crutches now, and Tuesday we are going over to the van to see if I can remember how to drive it. If all goes well we are aiming to go back to the boat the weekend after next; what we do then is anyone's guess. The Macclesfield canal is one we haven't tried, so that might be a start, leading onto the Peak Forest canal.
This month's music is for Gloria
Sad news....from the Nestle factory today as a man was crushed to death by hundreds of boxes of chocolate. He tried in vain to attract attention, but every time he yelled 'The Milky Bars are on me!' people just cheered!!!
An automobile mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Honda Accord when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop. The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his Mercedes Benz when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?" The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the Honda.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I opened its heart, took the valves out, repaired or replaced anything damaged, and then put everything back in, and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how is it that I make $24,000 a year and you make $1.7M when you and I are doing basically the same work?

The cardiologist paused, leaned over, and then whispered to the mechanic "Try doing it with the engine running.
Which actor is the younger brother of Shirley MacLaine?
A beautiful sunny start so, when Dawn gets back from walking Max, we're off to the van; there shouldn't be much to sort before it's ready for the road.
The door/security handle was seized on the van so we ended up taking it off completely and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to get off the grass we were away. We had a good ride out to Burnham and parked in the special Motor home bays at Morrison, where we met Barrie, a friend from Weston. Dawn bought fish & chips at Bridgwater on the way back and we ate them in a lay by before returning to the campsite. My knee stood up to it well and was only slightly swollen when we got back home; so look out now, there will be no holding us.
We've just had a letter from the doctor; because my latest blood test was not good, I've got another appt with the nurse on Tuesday. The weather is still bright and sunny and if that cold wind would go away it would be ideal.
pm - Clouded over now, we visited Mum and she's looking well; we've got to get someone in to put up a new fence at the end of her garden, so I'll be on t'internet this afternoon. We are taking the van in later this afternoon, ready for MOT and service tomorrow, then we collect it tomorrow evening. (fingers crossed!)
Two businessmen in the centre of Weybridge Surrey
were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be opened, new shop...

As yet, the shop wasn't ready, with only a few shelves set up.

One said to the other, "I bet any minute now some pensioner is going to walk by, put their face to the window, and ask what we're selling."

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious old woman walked to the window,
had a peek, and in a soft voice asked,

"What are you selling here?"

One of the men replied sarcastically,
"We're selling arse-holes."

Without skipping a beat, the old dear said,

"Must be doing well... Only two left."
Yesterday morning we had a ride to Burnham and sampled one of their famous pork and apple baps .. proper 'ansome. The van was done by 15.00, so we picked it up and took it back to the campsite; we need to go over and fix on the replacement door handle and do a few minor jobbies, but we've got all next week for that. The sun is out and it looks as though we're in for a good day. In answer to the many queries, Dawns feet are fine now and show no signs of being "run over".
Got an "Irish" theme to the music links for this month; we both love Irish music and there's some great stuff out there.
A Russian couple walks down a street in Moscow when the man feels a drop hit his nose.
"I think it's raining," he says to his wife.
"No, that feels like snow to me, dear," she replies.
Just then, a communist party official walks towards them.
"Let's not fight about it," the man says. "Let's ask Comrade Rudolph whether it's officially raining or snowing."
"It's rain, of course" Comrade Rudolph says and walks on.
But the woman insists, "I know that felt like snow."
To which the man quietly says, "Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear."
The Blue Grotto is a noted sea cave on which Italian island?
A hungry traveller stops at a monastery and is taken to the kitchens.

A brother is frying chips.

'Are you the friar?' he asks.

'No. I'm the chip monk,' he replies.
What is the colour of a 50 Euro note?
We're getting the hang of this riding around now; today we visited Weston, to have a look at the new pier. When we saw the car park charges we didn't stop; well hardly worth taking out a new mortgage at my age. It's been another bright but cool day, just hoping it keeps dry till the weekend. Latest plan is to drive up to P'boro on Sunday to visit Family and friends and from there onto the marina.
Yesterday I had my last trip to the docs, for a while, and we visited Mum.
I had a hell of a shock in the afternoon, 'erself decided to have her hair permed .... forty seven bl***in quid; my coconut style takes me 5 minutes with the clippers, costs nowt and
I don't get problems with my fringe. Still on the bright side, while she's stuck in that chair she's not buying shoes.
Meeting Ivan & Jean for lunch today, after taking some stuff to the van.
G&T - Are you home yet?
I was at the swimming baths yesterday and had a sneaky wee in the deep end.
The lifeguard noticed and blew his whistle so hard I nearly fell in!
I was sitting on the seawall at Weston, enjoying the sun and watching the world go by, when this gorgeous young blond girl came jogging towards me. She had no top on and just wore a tiny bikini bottom. As she jiggled past me I nearly had a stroke .... but she was just too far away.
I used to eat a lot of natural foods, until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
Wednesday, we had a good meal again at the Maypole; I had a fish pie with crusty bread and it was deeeeelicious. (you would have loved it Barry)
We have fitted the new door handrail on the van and moved things around into travelling mode; we'll have forgotten something and there'll be a bang as something flies free at the first roundabout.
We've got no car today, so I'm backing up the computer and shifting a lot of stuff onto an external hard drive, because the computer is getting a bit too full. Dawn is sorting out last minute things to take with us.
Gt Haywood
We got to P'boro in the early hours and had a peaceful night, parked on the road in front of BC's bungalow. After visiting family, we had a steady run up to Stafford, and what a picturesque trip it was. The A14 near Kettering is so colourful, with polythene, paper, fast food boxes etc. all brightening the roadside and blowing onto the carriageway - a bit off-putting as you try to avoid the cracks and potholes, but pretty in its own kind of way.
The first mate has gone down to the boat, to check it out and turn the fridge on; I'm waiting till later, when my knee settles down a bit. It's blowing a b*gg*r here and has just started raining - I think they call it jolly boating weather - still mustn't complain, we're moving again.
A woman was sitting at a bar enjoying an after work cocktail with her girlfriends when Steven, a tall, exceptionally
handsome, extremely sexy, middle-aged man entered. He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes off him.

This seasoned yet playful heartthrob noticed her overly attentive stare and walked directly toward her. (As any man
would.) Before she could offer her apologies for staring so rudely, he leaned over and whispered to her,
"I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no matter how kinky, for £20.00...on one condition..."

Flabbergasted but intrigued, the woman asked what the condition was. The man replied, "You have to tell me what
you want me to do in just three words."

The woman considered his proposition for a moment, and then slowly removed a £20 note from her purse, which
she pressed into the man's hand along with her address. She looked deeply and passionately into his eyes, barely
concealing her anticipation and excitement, and slowly and meaningfully said -

"Decorate my house."
We're on the move and bugger it does feel good! The rain never appeared, so we set off this morning and did the grand total of 3 miles and 2 locks and are tied up at Weston for the night. The old girl was real sluggish till we blasted some of the vegetation off the prop but now she's handling OK. Last year I welded a couple of long handles to our mooring hooks, this means that I can now remove them if I want to do an early start and leave the crew abed; the other advantage is that the crew does not have to kneel down in the wet grass and dog poo to wriggle them free. I don't think we are going to be doing long days for a while yet, not that we used to do marathons before!
Seven o clock start in an 'orrible wind with a little drizzle. We didn't meet another boat until Aston lock where a C&RT (new name for BW) workboat was coming down. After that it was a clear run to Stone, where we filled and emptied before completing the Stone locks and mooring up. Lots of swallows and martins about and saw a few lapwings but nowhere near the amount there was when I were a lad. There were a couple of swans sitting on nests and another one busy building a new nest; we also saw a mallard with new chicks following her. Dawn is missing her walks with Max, so is going for a stroll round town later on - not to buy anything of course. I've fitted the new CO detector and changed the remaining lamps from halogen to LED to give us a bit longer battery life.
Westport Lake, Stoke
It seemed colder when we set off this morning, but someone had lifted a bottom paddle on all the Meaford flight which made life very easy for us. We saw no boats moving until we reached Trentham lock and found a boat in it, going the same way as us; it took the best part of half an hour to fill as only the gate paddle was working and the ground paddle was locked and taped up - good start to the season. As we left the lock, a hire boat approached and that was the only on coming vessel we met the whole trip - too cold for um, big girls blouses!! I don't know if it's possible, but Stoke seems even worse than on our last trip here; there is rubbish everywhere and the place looks like a tip. Tomorrow we start with the Harecastle tunnel and, just after that, we turn onto the Macclesfield canal, virgin territory for us.
Macclesfield Canal - Red Bull Aqueduct
There was frost on the roof when we set off at 07.00 for the tunnel and the ropes were crunchy. We were the only daft buggers about so we were first through the tunnel when it opened at 08.00 and were out t'other end at 08.40. The junction for the Macclesfield canal is only 10 minutes from the tunnel, just before the first locks of heartbreak hill, so we hung a left onto it and now we are heading for the Peak Forest canal. The sun is out and has some warmth in it, so we have stopped just after the Red Bull aqueduct, which takes the Maccy over the T&M. Head of craftwork is sitting out knitting and chatting up the passers by - in the hope that they'll buy a blanket.
Another cool but sunny morning when we set off; there is rain forecast for this afternoon so we've stopped a mile or so short of the Bosley locks. We seemed to spend ages on the silly little gauging lock at Hall Green, they always give us more aggro than the "real" locks. There was a water point just after the lock, so we filled the tank and the large plastic container that Dawn uses for the washing machine. This stretch of the canal is very rural and passes through some fairly wooded countryside with lots of pretty stone bridges. The Bosley flight consists of 12 single locks spread over about a mile and will be our last lock before Bugsworth on the Peak Forest canal which, like the emu, is flightless.
Nr Macclesfield
This morning started with glorious sunshine, so Dawn did a few loads of washing while I motored to the flight at Bosley. It took us 2 hours to complete the flight; they were good locks but access across was only at the bottom end of the lock via a small bridge. They were all ground paddles at the top and they worked well with the usual gate paddles at the bottom. The plan was to stop after the flight, but the canal is so shallow that we were not able to get into the side until we reached the Royal Oak swing bridge, which is where we are now moored. The whirligig is out on the aft deck and giving passersby a good display of our shreddies; typically the sun has disappeared, but there is plenty of wind, so they shouldn't be long drying.
We set off just after six this morning and went through the electrically operated Royal Oak swing bridge with no problems - there were four boats held up yesterday when it threw a wobbly. The canal seems to be getting shallower and I have to keep the boat in the middle of the canal or we find bottom very easily; this makes mooring difficult with only the designated mooring areas having enough depth for us. Shallow water also means slower speeds, or we drag our bum on the bottom. By setting off early we met no oncoming boats, which would have grounded us for sure, and when we found a mooring spot in Bollington we grabbed it. Dawn is off into t'village to replenish the larder, lord knows what she eats when I'm asleep, but it doesn't seem to last long!
Royal Oak swing bridge
Yup, we're heading back to the T&M; a waterways chap told us that the canal was silted up a lot worse ahead of us, so we decided it wasn't worth the aggro. It was dry when we headed for the winding hole just before six and, of course, the wind was in the wrong direction, but after a bit of shunting and not a little swearing, the bow came round and we were off. It started to drizzle as we left Bollington and has continued on and off all morning. I saw a mink dragging something out the water and as I got closer I realised it was a dead mallard; he wasn't the least bit fazed by the boat and was yanking away at the feathers, probably thought it was Xmas. If the weather is OK tomorrow, we'll do the Bosley flight and get back onto the lower level.
Bridge 60
We set off just after six and filled and emptied before going into Bosley top lock at 07.10. All the locks were full, which meant an easy run down and we exited the bottom lock at 08.40; 12 locks in an hour and a half, not bad for a couple of wrinklies!
We saw a few glimpses of the sun, but it has clouded over now; at least it's dry and not too cold. We should reach the Trent & Mersey in the next couple of days.

Julie sent us this couple of pics of Ashley and Alex in their cadet gear.
Poor old Norris took a hammering yesterday, when Dawn decided to use a hot blowy, curling thingy on her hair; he normally only has to charge the laptops while we are motoring. I suppose if you pay that much for a haircut you've got to look after it; I don't have that problem! We've got a small leak from one of the kitchen roof vents which I'll soon have to sort out, I've already done all the others. They have been fixed with self tappers, so I'll tap them out and fit 4mm stainless screws instead; that and a good dollop of mastic should cure it. We're getting a list of jobs that need doing, like stern gland adjustment and the fuel filters need changing; I'm a bit reluctant to climb into the engine bay, in case I can't climb out again! We just had a short run this morning and are tied up at Congleton wharf.
John went to visit his 90-year-old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of West Virginia .
After spending a great evening chatting the night away, John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.
However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking, 'Are these plates clean?'
His grandfather replied, 'They're as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal,Sonny!'
For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, 'Are you sure these plates are clean?'
Without looking up the old man said, 'I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!'
Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass.
John yelled and said, 'Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car'.
Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted, 'COLDWATER, GO LAY DOWN NOW, YAH HERE ME!!!'
We've decided to stay here for a day's rest!!
One of the Wild Camping forum members lives near here so I got in touch and they, David and Brenda, came onboard. We had a good chat over a cuppa; it came up that we had never tried Staffordshire Oatcakes so they kindly bought some for us and dropped them off on the way to Bugsworth. We've just had them for brekky with melted cheese and bacon, all rolled up like a crepe; another taste sensation we should have tried years ago - thanks David and Brenda.
17.30 - Change of plan; the batteries were getting low and, with housing close by, I didn't want to run the engine, so we pootled down to just before the gauging lock and tied up below Bridge 92. Bright and sunny now, smell of sausages coming from the kitchen/galley, what more could I ask.
Thurlwood Bridge 140
We're back on the Trent & Mersey and have done eleven of the locks on Heartbreak Hill. There are not many boats moving, a few hirers and a few nutters like us; there's a really cold wind this morning, so I suppose it's not very inviting weather for boating. We had the last of the oatcakes when we stopped and chef has got some smoked haddock out for a risotto tonight. I've still not tackled any of the little jobbies, cos it's too cold to be messing about outside and besides I'm an idle beggar at times. We see some odd things on our travels, like the cow pictured here.
Nr Sandbach
Sunny, cold and windy here, but it didn't stop us doing 14 locks this morning - extra gruel for the crew tonight!! With the season just starting it makes us wonder what sort of condition the locks are going to be in after a summers use; there are paddles that even Dawn couldn't open and there's not much stops her. The rods that lift the gate paddles are bent on some of the gates which makes them b***dy hard work and we have often used one only and settled for a longer emptying time. We have still not met an oncoming boat but fortunately most of the locks were full which made life easier. I saw a couple of oyster catchers in a field near the motorway but have yet to see a kingfisher.
06.30 - A cracking start to the day. I looked out at 5.00 and everywhere was white and still, no wind, mist coming off the water and a moorhen bustling about in the reeds. We've got the stove on with the kettle just coming up to the boil, so soon have a brew on.
Some of the paths and slopes at the locks are cobbled which, while being hard wearing, are slippery when wet and positively lethal when frosty, so we'll stay put until it warms up a bit. The sun showed itself over the bank just after six so it shouldn't be long melting the frost.
We've got 4 locks and about 8 miles to Middlewich, where we usually spend a day and management tops up the store cupboards; just hope there are no sales on at the shoe shops!
14.00 - Now tied up in Middlewich and Dawns off re-vittalling. We met nb Acton, "The Coalboat", as we neared Kings lock so we topped up with diesel; I prefer to support these boats as they are about the only real commercial craft on the cut now.
Dawn stayed off the boat when we left Kings lock and walked round the corner to the first lock on the Middlewich arm of the Shroppy. I turned in under the bridge below the lock and before I could get off the boat with a line they opened the paddles to empty the lock; this slammed the boat against the bridge and sent me hurtling (perhaps a bit of an exaggeration) backwards. The outcome was that the cratch frame was damaged and the Perspex window broken; it looked worse than it was and we soon had the cratch frame repaired but need a new piece of Perspex for the window.