Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Monday 6 July 2009

Sunshine and showers

Well the weather’s turned into a typical British summer now. The temperature's dropped 10 degrees, and it’s been periodically sunny then rainy throughout the day. We both walked around the Fradley Pool Nature Reserve right next door to our mooring. It’s a ‘Site of Biological Importance’ for the floral composition of the woodland and lake, the dead wood and associated vertebrates. I still find it incredible that all these lovely places were just a few miles away from where I used to live and I didn’t know!

Lovely little lake formed from filled in gravel pits. All the planking on the jetty and walkway is a plastic composite

All regenerated trees

You can fish in the lake though it has one or two restrictions!!
A two headed swan. No - it's not a lake filled with nuclear waste!

The line up at Fradley Junction

Waiting for a lock

Our end of the canal thinned out a bit this morning
And just to show it is the most photographed pub on the canal... more photos

Right, that's enough of 'The Swan'

Another shot of the craft boat

Another Fordson for Lee. A 1957 model
We went to The Swan (aka The Mucky Duck) for lunch and a pint of Abbey Ale and a Welsh Cider. It really is a very quaint and unspoilt canal-side pub and the lunch was great. Two large pieces of real bacon (not the streaky/fatty sort you can be fobbed off with in many places) in my cob topped with cheese and Barry had a beef and onion baguette full of prime steak. Good value and again friendly staff, hurrah!

What! nothing for you Barry - "Yeah Right!"

The bar could tell some stories!

Not the first person to have to lean against the exit
We’ve sort of made a plan for the boat painting – start at the back and work forwards gradually! Barry’s been chipping away removing old and flaky paint as we travel along; we reckon the previous owners may have just painted over the old paint rather than actually stripping it down and doing a ‘proper’ job. Ah well, it’ll keep Barry out of mischief over the next 11 weeks! We haven’t been able to access the ‘cheaper’ paint shops which are a good car journey away as we haven’t wanted to ask family or friends to drive us—everyone’s working so hard we’re sure that the last thing they would want to do is take a couple of hours to drive to a paint shop and back. Never mind, we’ll just have to pay Chandelry prices once we find what we need …

Our only stop today was at Barton Turn Marina, but unfortunately we got there after 5pm and everywhere, apart from the large pub there, was closed for the day! Badly timed on our behalf, we don’t know where the time flies to! It looked like a lovely place, I especially liked the beauty and massage parlour - that's just what you need when you're living on a boat, and there was a hairdressers too. They must have a lot of women living there to get sufficient customers!
Dark clouds over Barton Marina
We carried on to Branston, purportedly where Branston Pickle originated, and will carry on to Burton-on-Trent in the morning and explore the town if it isn’t too far away. Barry hopes to find the brewing museums and get a few hints and tips, though I reckon he may be able to pass on a few of his own!
Not sure if it's a pot plant holder or a strange arial!

Another fine patch between showers

What's pural for more than one gaggle of geese
We had a very pleasant walk around a filled in gravel pit here; full of birds, ducks, rabbits and the occasional fisherman. And a red sky at night, so fingers crossed the weather forecast of more rain is incorrect ...

Haven't included a photo of a rabbit yet so here we are
This fella looked very bored perched on the pillar entrance of someone's house

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