A Blog at last!

I have found 5 minutes to update the blog at last, as we have had a mad couple of weeks. On Saturday 16th July the grandchildren were dropped off to us at Stratford. We spent the day in the sunshine, and had a walk along the towpath into Stratford basin with the children, partaking of an icecream whilst we were there. Our daughter and son in law left early afternoon, and they were to return the following Saturday to collect the children. We left Stratford on Sunday and headed back toward Wilmcote. We filled up with water and did the necessary sanitary at Valley Wharf and we were on our way. We had help through a few of the Wilmcote locks by volunteers. This flight is where we had a problem with one of the paddles the week before, but all went well this time. The weather was glorious and we decided to stop after lock 43 (within a 12 lock flight), as it was midday and getting hotter.

the grandchildren helping with the locks!

the grandchildren helping with the locks!

The children had helped with the locks and we all needed a shower to freshen up. It was a handy place to stop as along the flight of locks is a good concrete towpath so they could ride their scooters downhill along it. Later in the evening when we went back for playtime scooter riding, we helped another boat through, and they moored in front of us for the night. We had seen a hire boat go down earlier dropping the paddles as they went. Even my grand daughter knew this wasn’t the correct way to lower the paddles, and she is only 9! Monday and we had 3 locks to do before stopping at Wilmcote and Mary Arden’s Farm. 1  boat coming down and 2 of us going up. Should have been easy but one of the lock gates took 4 adults and 2 children sitting on the beam to get it to open. Many of the locks along the Stratford canal are either broken or leaking or both! Anyway we eventually made it to the 48hr mooring for access to the farm. I had promised the children I would take them in the afternoon, so leaving Charlie behind we set off, purchased a family ticket and proceeded to look around. Weather getting hotter!!

Tuesday and Charlie came with us to the farm this time. He was in charge of the camera so now I have many pictures to share. The children were amused by the falconry display, the goose herding, tudor dancing and the play area and woods. The latter being a lovely cool place to have a picnic.

Mary Arden's farm. Supposedly Shakespeare's mother was thought to have lived here, but in recent years it has been found she lived 30 yards away at Glebe farm. The buildings seen as her house weren't built until after she died.

Mary Arden’s farm. Supposedly Shakespeare’s mother was thought to have lived here, but in recent years it has been found she lived 30 yards away at Glebe farm. The buildings seen as her house weren’t built until after she died.

Maid working in the kitchen

Maid working in the kitchen

Cooking range

Cooking range

Dining area

Dining area

Upstairs bedroom  with cot at the foot of the bed

Upstairs bedroom with cot at the foot of the bed

communal sleeping area. The floor in this room was very bowed

communal sleeping area. The floor in this room was very bowed

Back of the house

Back of the house

Basket making area

Basket making area

Hay rick used for drying the hay. note the granite mushrooms.

Hay rick used for drying the hay. note the granite mushrooms.

Wednesday we moved the boat along further as we had stayed 48 hours on the previous mooring. The towpath was a bit wider here so we had a BBQ. I took the children to the farm for a couple of hours. I now know this farm very well, and have memorised the times of the activities!  Thursday back again to the farm as the weather was still very hot, and the children were enjoying the activities. In the afternoon Noel was invited to demonstrate the Barn Owl  with the falconer; unfortunately I didn’t have the camera.

Millie the Barn owl

Millie the Barn owl

Talia the Eagle Owl. The children did have their picture taken with this magnificent bird

Talia the Eagle Owl. The children did have their picture taken with this magnificent bird

Blacksmith

Blacksmith

Milking the cow

Milking the cow

As you can see everyone working at the farm dresses in Tudor clothes and take on the tasks as they would have been done in Tudor times, even talking in a Tudor manner.

Friday we didn’t go to the farm much to the children’s disappointment, but moved to Wootten Wawen ready for them to be collected at the weekend.

Back to Wootten Wawen

Back to Wootten Wawen

We moored just before the winding hole with no time restrictions. When my daughter arrived on Saturday we went to The Navigation Inn for lunch, which was very reasonable and the food was good, also a children’s play area which helped to keep kid’s amused. The family stayed overnight and left on Sunday after a huge cooked breakfast. We stayed there until today. We washed and polished one side of the boat on Monday. Turned in the winding hole and washed and polished the other side on Tuesday. Wednesday saw our first day of rain for a while, so we cleaned the inside thoroughly, and did some washing. Today we topped up with water at the Anglo Welsh hire base and are now back at Wilmcote, ready to meet our friends from London who are coming on Friday for the weekend.

Quite pleased with myself today as I steered the boat over the big aqueduct without having a panic attack as I don’t like heights. Think the concentration helped.DSC02266

Only 1 lock today, but had to clear the weed hatch after it as the contractors have been cutting the edges and most of it is in the canal. Also had word from our son that our computer is fixed and back with him (faulty power pack).

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