Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Warwickshire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Warwickshire. Show all posts

Monday, 24 June 2019

Saturday 22 June 2019 (and Sunday) - The Canal Crew Visit Stratford

After the excitement of the family picnic, Sue and I moved on to track down 'The Canal Crew', who this year were pootling about on the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, which seems to stray into the River Avon.
We found them near some locks at Bishopton, just north of Stratford. Sue embarked on the difficult choice between Pimms, beer or both, while I tried to identify an orchid. I settled for an Early Purple - that's the orchid, not the drink.
Lurking in his bedroom (aka the galley) we finally managed to locate one of the invisible trio who had successfully evaded us during the recent TGO Challenge walk. Roger was rather coy about his invisibility, which he hoped would continue on this trip when breakfast took place whilst he sleeps off the previous night's excesses.

I left him watching Louise concoct an experimental meal, and returned to the back of the boat, which was moored next to a house that had recently spent £1.5 million on redecoration (there must be a rich decorator nearby!) and was warming up for a party.
As usual, Robert was complaining about the lack of headroom, but at least there was a hatch that allowed him to stand up, albeit in just one position.

It was a lovely evening, and we were sad to have to return to Sue's parents' house whilst the Canal Crew tested Louise's culinary experiment. The barge didn't move much while we were there, but I think they floated it away from the noisy party a bit later.
Next day we parked at a convenient spot in Stratford and wandered beside the River Avon to the point on the canal where the Canal Crew were engaged in relieving themselves.
There are lots of swans, Canada geese, mallards, greylag geese and Aylesbury ducks in the Stratford Basin.

We found the Canal Crew near the lock shown below. The toilets had got blocked and a machine was being used to evacuate them. It was a smelly operation. Sue and I wondered whether the culprit was Louise's experimental meal.
After taking on yet more water - they had spent ages doing that last night - the barge was at last on the move, down a series of locks to join the River Avon in Stratford Basin.

Being near the centre of Stratford, there were lots of people around, including many tourists who, one assumes from their conduct, had never seen a barge before.
Gerry and Stuart were on their best behaviour and failed to lasso any tourists, most of whom were very small, with slitty eyes.

Here, a moment of relaxation before the final descent to the river.

The entry lock to the basin took two boats - there was a very smart 25 year old privately owned barge just behind us.

Once on the river, there was loads of space for everyone and the fleshpots of Stratford soon disappeared in our wake as Robert and Chris steered us towards some rapids.

Robert suffered a wardrobe mishap. I made more coffee. We all ate Stuart's millionaire's shortbread. Large pieces of it.

Suddenly the boat swerved to the left, sending kitchenware flying, as we took evasive action to avoid  getting stuck on a weir. Chris had spotted a convenient lock, and luckily the boat was low enough to fit into the steel cage provided, though Robert had to take care not to bash his head again.

Senior Management looked up with relief.

Very Senior Management played with one of the lassos that seemed to be strewn around the boat.

Gerry confirmed that she is bidding for promotion from Senior Management, to Official Photographer and Lassoist.

Sue and I could see that being a Contentious Issue, so we decided to abandon ship.
A group photo was taken, the success or failure of which could have a bearing on Gerry's promotion. I'll add that to this posting if the current Official Photographer decides to place it on general release.
Here it is - thanks, Chris.
And so, we left the seven mariners to float on in the peaceful surroundings of the River Avon, then I dropped Sue off at a Spa for a couple of days and returned home to sunny Timperley.

The map below shows our movements on Sunday, which tot up to over 10 km, and the boat icon shows where we joined the Canal Crew at Bishopton on Saturday.

Thanks go to the Canal Crew for having us along, and I hope the poetic licence taken in the above narrative doesn't cause any untoward upset - we wouldn't want any more toilet blockages...

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Saturday 22 June 2019 - Another Family Picnic

Was it really two years since ? It seems so!
Anyway, about thirty of Sue's vast family turned up for a very pleasant afternoon of sunshine and chat. It was good to see everyone, but a little disturbing to realise that most of the babies and small children who were present when Sue started to organise these family gatherings are now away at universities. Time really does fly past.

The park is next to the River Avon. I went to the bridge to look for some friends who we knew were somewhere nearby. There was no sign of them, but there was an impressive castle that we should visit sometime.

This bug took a liking to Sue.

Some huge bubbles were blown, and frisbees (out of shot) were thrown.

Sue stayed away from home with her camera, so I may add more pictures to this posting when I find the camera dumped next to this computer.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Saturday 17 June 2017 - Another Big Birthday

Yesterday was a big day for Sue''s dad. The previous day we had lunched lavishly at Hogarths, and then on his actual birthday we enjoyed a picnic in St Nicholas Park, Warwick, with about thirty family members.

That was after exhausting ourselves at Brueton parkrun. Results are .

The company, the picnic and the cakes were all excellent. 

As was the weather!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

A Family Picnic

After a week saddened by attendance of the funeral of one of my closest work colleagues, Chris Neilson, and an assortment of computer and household issues/mishaps that cause regular frustration, together with news that Marian P had unfortunately broken her leg in Italy and has had to drop out of a forthcoming trip together with husband Mike (pause for breath), etc, etc, it was a delight to spend the day in St Nicholas Park near Warwick Castle with about 25 members of Sue's extended family.

There are usually more of us, but many of the regulars had good reasons to be absent and that meant that everyone who did come was able to sit in a big circle on the pleasantly sunny afternoon. It really was very relaxing.

The pictures don't show everyone, as some of the party were engaged in football, mini-golf, pedalos and other distractions. It's a short walk from the Park to the castle, which I understand merits a full day's visit.

Chris, in particular, was busy playing mini golf, practicing for a Challenge. On Monday he and three others will be trying to complete four rounds of golf on a full size course, all in one day, in support of the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. We hope they succeed in this formidable challenge.

It was good to see everyone and enjoy this most pleasant picnic in the park. A lovely way to spend a day.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Grand Union Canal at Knowle

On a short Sunday morning stroll with Sue in lovely weather before her mum's 75th birthday  party.

Sent en route to Timperley

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sunday 22 December 2013 – Knowle Locks


Whilst visiting Sue’s family in Solihull, we managed a short walk along the Grand Union Canal towpath with Helen and Jacob, on one of the lovely sunny mornings that have been interspersed between short bouts of wet and windy weather of late.

I have to say that the southerly wind is so much warmer than the cold easterlies that we suffered from at length earlier in the year, that in my book it’s well worth the occasional accompanying shower.

Here are a few images from the 5 km stroll past Knowle Locks to Bakers Lane and back.


Originally Knowle Locks were a series of six narrow locks, but one lock was removed and the remaining five were modernised into wide locks during the 1930 Grand Union Canal Improvement. The remains of the old narrow locks are still evident. Knowle Locks are the northernmost wide locks on the Grand Union Canal - from here going north into Birmingham, all of the Grand Union Canal Locks are narrow.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Saturday 20 August 2011 – A Family Picnic at Charlecote Park

Charlecote Park
After last year’s successful visit to Charlecote Park, attended by 52 members of Sue’s family, by popular demand the usual biennial arrangement was scrapped and another visit was arranged for this year.  Whilst a few couldn’t make it, for understandable reasons such as essential harvesting on Bec and Charlie’s farm, 32 assorted family members and hangers on did enjoy an increasingly sunny afternoon in the park.

Charlecote Park - garden

Sue and I wandered around the house before others arrived.  It’s an interesting place.  Here’s a window from inside the Great Hall.

A window in the C16 house

We enjoyed a sumptuous picnic and an assortment of ball games, before the arrival of a large herd of Fallow Deer, following which we were asked to desist our noisy game of rounders as “it may frighten the deer and stop them coming to this part of the grounds”.

They looked happy enough to me…

Fallow deer in the grounds of Charlecote Park

Anyway, the deer couldn’t put a stop to a family photo.

A family snap

There’s a slide show that has been sent to family members – let us know if you want that particular link.

We first went to Charlecote in 2008, after various other biennial venues in earlier years.  Charlecote seems to be in a satisfactorily central position and is ideal for picnicking and (subject to the deer) ball and other games.

Thanks everyone for coming, and we hope to see you all again next year.