Saturday 20 October 2012

A day in port - Ellesmere

Still at Ellesmere
Total to date : 30 miles, 21 locks, 8 lift bridges, 1 tunnel

Ellesmere is a lovely place to moor for a couple of days.  We've really enjoyed it.  We had a good sleep in and woke to a pleasant morning.  Mick got up to turn on the heating, remove the bungs from the portholes and got back in bed.  We'd often do so at home so we could enjoy the view.  Hmmm... I'm thinking maybe it's not such a good idea on a narrowboat after someone walked past and peered straight in at me reading my book!

We got everything organised to have a cooked breakfast only to discover we've no gas left.  Oh well, cereal it is.  Mick went off into town to find somewhere to buy a bottle of gas.  He was huffing and puffing by the time he returned lugging near on 20 kilos of gas bottle.  I think the next time we see gas sold close to the canal we'll be replacing the spare bottle.

Late morning we headed out for a walk around the town.  We checked out almost every single shop and I had a win in each of the two antique stores.  Browsing for antiques isn't quite the same when you can't buy anything but we'd talked about it when we arrived and decided I could look for a sampler (which I collect) to put on my office (dinette) wall.  I'm also a keen collector of other old sewing things, in particular "tartanware".  It isn't often I stumble across either samplers or tartanware so imagine my surprise when Mick found a lovely sampler in the first store and then I saw a tartanware bookmark in the second store.  Both of them were much cheaper than the prices we'd have paid at home - the bookmark only a 5'er (it's not in fantastic condition but I don't have an example so couldn't pass it up).

We chatted with the lady in the antique store and she suggested we walk down to The Mere and have lunch at the Boathouse.  It sounded like a great suggestion so off we went to find it.  We enjoyed our lunch and a wander around the visitor centre before heading back.

Mick's feeling much better today but by the time we were heading back my throat was sore.  It's persisted all afternoon so I have an awful feeling I'm going to wake up feeling poorly.  We had a huge dose of veg for dinner - bubble and squeak with lots of garlic - and a big glass of orange juice.  Time will tell.

We are moored only a few spots from the end of the Ellesmere Arm and have a building site on one side.  Mick quite enjoys that.  The Tesco neon sign also reminds us we're in the midst of civilization but the sunset was still worth a photo.  There's some old buildings and "canal" history on the opposite side so that's a nice contrast.

The boat is starting to get a bit tidier as the little jobs get done and we find suitable hidey holes for things.  We have cupboard doors back on, perspex measured up for "double glazing", all the "under gunnel" rails done, I have a little cradle for my mifi to hang in front of a window for better reception, and Mick's in a great mood for having been useful today.  He even said it out loud; "I'm really liking this lifestyle!".  He really does seem to be finally relaxing.  I'm sure the glorious weather today helped our mood.  It was sunny most of the day, and the weather forecast is predicting the next few days will be dry too. Excellent!!

Our Aussie flag has been down as we've used the pole for the tv aerial (it's original purpose).  Mick was bemoaning the fact and it reminded me that I'd packed a little box of  "Aussie" stuff I'd bought after Australia Day when they were extremely cheap.  I dug around in the tardis cupboard which is in the dead corner of the galley and accessed from behind Mick's armchair and found the box.  There was a couple of sun shields that you stick on a car window with suction cups.  We put them on both windows in the lounge area and immediately started getting comments from passers by.  There's a lot of foot traffic here - both walkers and people from the narrowboats moored way down the arm.  We got chatting to a lovely couple who are wintering over here in Ellesmere on the BW winter moorings.  We've arranged to go and see their new solid fuel stove tomorrow.  Don't narrowboaters just love a chat.

Photos from today :
1. Our Ellesmere mooring
2. Lovely old building on the other side of the canal to us
3. Antique store on a street so narrow I could barely take a photo of it
4. A very floral pub in Ellesmere
5. The basin at the end of the Ellesmere Arm
6. Front of the building above with the writing on it
7. Not the best of photos with the flash so obvious but here's my prize for today (stitched in 1890)
8. & 9. "Stuart" tartan bookmark
10. Out the galley window - red sky at night


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