Loo views

Loo views

Saturday 29 October 2016


We have moved again due to Bonny disgracing herself, if only for a short time. We were really enjoying the mooring at the wetland nature reserve and had had long walks. At tea time Bonny was outside the boat on, what I call, her tether. It is actually just a length of cord with a flag on the end. If she is dragging it around, she thinks she can't run off, particularly if I have told her to stay near the boat and if she is in a bush I can see where she is, thanks to the flag.

I had popped inside to get her supper but when I brought it out, she was nowhere to be seen! I grabbed her lead, shut the boat and walked to the bridge where there is an entrance to the reserve. There she was, haring down the side of the hedge, dragging her tether behind her, chasing a squirrel. I told her sternly to 'Come Here!' Her response was to turn on to a side path and run off into the undergrowth! Being that there were countless acres of undergrowth and every danger her tether could get caught up in it, effectively trapping her, my blood ran cold. Chasing her is never a good option as it just sends her crazy, so I stopped at the head of the side path and waited.

Within a couple of minutes I could hear the sound of frantic barking so I walked down the path just in time to see my little terror dragging herself out of a bog! She saw me and I could see her trying to decide whether to run to me for comfort or run away because she had been naughty. I turned and walked away from her, back towards the boat. Running through my mind were all the times this had happened in the past and the countless hours I had spent trying to get her to come home. There was only an hour or so of daylight left, if she ran now, we were in trouble. I glanced behind to see her following me, albeit in a very hesitant way. I walked slower and slower until she had almost caught up. I told her to come and she stopped and then buried her head in a bush so she couldn't see me approaching! This is her way of giving up. I quietly put her lead on and very nearly wet myself with relief! The whole incident took no more than ten minutes. In the past it would have taken several hours!

Exhausted Bonny
I couldn't stand the stress of staying another day there in case she managed to go off again, so this morning I cruised to Curdworth and turned in a pencil thin winding hole. We then wandered down to Fazeley Junction, where we watered up, before cruising back to Hopwas. There may be huge woods here but at least she is better at staying near the boat where we usually moor. I feel the need for a day off so we shall stay here tomorrow and return to Fradley on Monday.

Friday 28 October 2016

All better

Fishers Mill Bridge
I am completely restored! We had a lovely afternoon, exploring Hopwas Woods and then another romp this morning. Bonny was allowed off the lead in the woods, with squirrels everywhere. She was hysterical with excitement but still managed to retain enough self control to come whenever I called her back.

Then, after a restorative cuppa, we cruised through the woods, past Hopwas and down to Fazeley where we turned right onto the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. Just a few miles up is Fishers Mill Bridge, one of our favourite moorings as it is right beside a huge watery nature reserve. Having checked the fridge, I've decided to extend our mini cruise by a day so we can stay here for a day or so and return to Fradley on Monday.

It is miraculous what just a day cruising can do for my mood. All those worries that threaten to overwhelm me when I am stuck in one place, just melt away when I'm moving. All that matters is the water in front of me, my propeller keeping clear of obstructions and my ability to operate my boat safely and with consideration to others. I will have to remember how flimsy my worries are during the winter as I won't be going anywhere for at least two months when we are locked in due to stoppages.

Thursday 27 October 2016

At last, a view!

It has been a ridiculously long time since I have written anything here. This is mostly because I set up the blog to photograph and write about the different places I moor up when I'm out cruising. But since I got back from Devon, I haven't been anywhere! Instead I have been working hard to set up my dog walking venture.

This has been slow going and quite frustrating and over the last couple of days I recognised that I was in a bit of an emotional slump. Only one easy cure for the blues - go cruising! So I chucked some coal in my cratch, Bonny on the roof and off I went this morning. We have just moored up in one of our favourite spots near the woods at Hopwas.

What really cheered me up was the evidence here of a victory by the 'little' people. When we were last here in April, the entrances to the woods were barred by tall metal fences, barbed wire and Keep Out notices as a gravel company was planning to dig up the beautiful and ancient hillside. We, along with most of the locals ignored the barricades and continued to walk the woods. Petitions were signed and protests held. Six months later the metal fences, barbed wire and notices are all gone, to be replaced by an attractive wooden gate and footpath sign. The locals won and the gravel company have retreated (unfortunately, it seems, to my neck of the woods at Fradley Junction). So local communities can occasionally trump big business!

I'm only out till Sunday. I might toddle on to the Birmingham and Fazeley and moor by the water park, or I may stay here. Already my spirits are lifting.