Off we go again

Half term and grandkids are with us again for a week. We have taken boat out as kids easier to handle canalside! We have done some exploring in the local woods outside marina.

Noel fishing.

Charlie posing.

Interesting tree fungi.

Obviously poisonous variety!

And another.

Monkeying around.

Some serious fishing.

Kids were knocking out many various sizes of perch. Apparently there was an angling competition further down cut and many experienced fisherman were not catching anything, but at our end this is what kids were catching.

Biggest perch hubby has seen in a long while!

Today we moved along to Shobnall fields (again).

Very windy day

Decided to stay indoors today as yellow weather wind warning. And my how it has howled, rocking the boat madly on it’s mooring. Nothing for it but to bake…

And here is the result. Only thing is we want to eat it now. Maybe a small but with some cheese and chutney for supper!
Looks like it will be better tomorrow so we may explore Derby.

Back in marina

Reluctantly we have come back in to marina. We have enjoyed our little jaunt and are in a bit of a quandary as to whether to stay for the winter or cruise sooner. We have another month booked here anyway to decide.

The weather is dry but quite windy. Yesterday coming back in was challenging but Charlie managed it using the wind to help move the boat. I did try getting it through the tight marina entrance but failed due to turning too soon.
We spent the day cleaning and had a meal at the new Boardwalk restaurant to look forward to.
Evening sky. Beautiful.
The Boardwalk has had some good write ups so we were naturally keen to try it. The prices were reasonable and the portions huge.
Starter of pork belly…yum. and chips…huge. Many nice dishes to choose from but this looked good. Tasted good also.

Pudding..sharing trio of desserts. Just about managed to eat it.

Needless to say we haven’t eaten anything so far today as still full!
I am going to give them a good write up as it was excellent.

3 days and back at Willington

From Alrewas we gently moved down canal. We stopped at Branston water park where we saw a kingfisher but sadly it flew off before I could get a photo . Next we stopped at Shobnall and did some shopping.

Entrance to kingfisher trail at Shobnall. Next best thing to previous siting of real kingfisher!!
You wouldn’t think A38 was to the right of this picture. Lovely blue sky.
Longhorn cattle 
Now we are back in Willington.

Back to Alrewas

Despite the poor weather, yesterday we decided to head to Fradley junction to take on water, empty elsan and rubbish. We were turning around at Fradley as we need to get back to marina, as I have signed up for some ladies tuition given by more experienced ladies, and the first meeting is on Monday. 

Travelling towards Fradley in the wind and rain.
Luckily not many gongoozlers around as our turn wasn’t perfect!
Never mind we managed it and I took Breakaway into a lock (first time and no bashing).

Coming down through lock 16.

Keepers lock 

Common lock

Back at Alrewas.

Today weather better though overcast. Busy putting away summer clothes and getting out the winter ones!!

Alrewas to next mile post!

We had a bit of trouble with our solar panels, which after conversations with the fitters turned out to be a loose connection from the control panel. Charlie fixed it and we are now producing a bit of solar power.

We walked along to Fradley junction as it was a lovely sunny afternoon. We will be turning around there tomorrow so we checked out water point/rubbish/elsan. 

T&M just past Fradley junction.

We decided we would move along a mile for Sunday so Charlie could do some fishing. Only a 1 mile cruise through 1 lock, but as it was very foggy we were glad we had decided not to go any further. So whilst my man is occupied fishing, I am busy cooking roast lamb and veggies. Yum.
Great excitement as aforementioned fisherman caught a large perch and I was summoned to photograph it.

National Memorial Arboretum visit

Today we awoke to lovely sunshine so walked into Alrewas to have a look around. Lovely village with lots of desirable residences. Small array of shops and a lovely butchers (bought bacon,sausages and pork belly).

The village name derives from the word aller which is the old name for alder. Translated it means alder wash. Apparently many of these trees lined the river Trent as it frequently flooded in past times. I found this plaque in the arboretum.

After a coffee on board we decided to walk the mile along the main road (scary) to the National Memorial Arboretum. It’s founder David Childs had the idea in 1988 after visiting the arboretum in Washington DC. In 1994 John Major started an appeal to create one in the UK. 82 acres was gifted by Redlands aggregates who quarry the area and who have since gifted a further 70acres. It was opened in 2001. Many photos now follow of a few of the 300 memorials.

Armed forces memorial

The 2 photos above are inside the armed forces memorial with sculptures designed to embody loss and sacrifice. The gap has been designed to allow a shaft of sunlight to penetrate the heart of the memorial on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month. It is a moving tribute when you see all the names inscribed.

Polar bear memorial 49th infantry West Riding division.

Parachute regiment


Polish war memorial

Shot at dawn. The most poignant of all dedicated to the 306 British and commonwealth soldiers shot during WW1 for desertion, cowardice, sleeping at post or disobedience amongst other things. Many names had ages unknown due to the fact many lied about their age to enlist. All if these were posthumously pardoned in 2006.

British legion garden of remembrance 

Wrens memorial

POW memorial

Military police

Veterinary corps

Showmans guild of Great Britain

The rail industry

The Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

Children’s woodland area dedicated to babies and children who have passed away. Wind in the Willows characters.

This site is free to visit and well worth it. We certainly didn’t realise how big it was. And it is being added to all the time.

Barton Turn to Alrewas

We set off at 9am as didn’t sleep very well due to the proximity of the A38. Never mind, if we hadn’t stopped when we did we would have been caught in a really freaky wind and rain storm. Again weather was raining whilst travelling so we had geared up in wet weather clothing in anticipation. This journey is the furthest we have travelled so far in Breakaway. Wychnor lock was the first we went through.

Wychnor church.

Next was getting past the weir before Alrewas, where the River Trent merges briefly with the canal. We then negotiated the bends in the canal to Alrewas lock. We decided to moor in the 14day moorings just past bridge 47 so we can explore at leisure (providing our batteries hold out). We had a little walk along the towpath between the showers and bridge 48 was sporting this fine graffiti.

What has happened to the weather?

We set off from Willington yesterday morning and cruised to Shobnall fields. Weather showery and a bit windy but otherwise ok. We stopped here in the summer when we were entertaining the grandchildren as there is a play park nearby. This time though we only needed shopping and Lidl is only a 10 min walk. Also tackle shop nearby so Charlie purchased some maggots for fishing.

We set off today rather early as we were woken by one of our alarms going off! A bit disconcerting at 06.30. We decided we would have an early breakfast and set off . It was dry when we set off; then had a few light showers, followed by torrential rain. We did have waterproofs on but nevertheless still got soaked. Finally we decided to stop at Barton despite being beside the A38 and it still hasn’t stopped raining.
Below is Branston lock. I fished a fender out which happened to belong to a boat coming down as they had lost it 1 week earlier.

Above is  Tattenhill  lock with Breakaway entering in the rain.

Out and about

We were getting a bit stir crazy in the marina so decided we would venture out. Didn’t expect the torrential rain first thing though. We were giving our old fridge away as we had bought another with a bigger freezer. When the rain subsided (after lunch), we set off to obtain our new fridge/freezer from Midland chandlers as we could moor outside. We then ventured out turning right towards Burton. We know this section really well now as done it a few times. Weather won’t be great but we need to sample this sort of thing if we are to survive continually cruising. We have moored up for the night just outside of Willington. Clouds looking a bit ominous.