From Potters Brook to Galgate, via Two Woodpeckers, Ellel Grange and One Ginger Cat.

Some days are absolutely perfect! Others are a complete and utter Hell on Earth! Other still are ‘sort of good, could have been a bit better weather-wise, you’re not quite seeing th’ Owd Lanky at its best at this time of year, but it’s still rather excellent in the right light’! Today, as you’ve probably gathered, was one of the latter. It was, on the whole, give or take the odd bit of overcast sky here and there…mainly here, but the sun came out at one point and the whole canal became infused with colour…I’ve lost track of what I was typing now. Sod it, here’s one of Michelle’s photographs instead.

It could almost be spring, if it wasn’t.

Even at this time of year Ellel Grange has a manicured, Stanley Park look to it, adding an extra layer of the surreal to our cruise. It’s a Christian Healing Centre, apparently, whatever one of them is. But I can see how it’d work wonders on the soul. According to some book I read, there are rare green woodpeckers round Ellel. We saw two ordinary, vanilla flavoured ones instead – the sort with black freckles and red caps that look as though they’ve dipped their crowns in tomato sauce. Given that, up until Forton a couple of weeks ago, I’d only ever heard woodpeckers in the distance but never seen one, this was something to write in my diary. Unfortunately I don’t have a diary. Michelle didn’t manage to photograph the woodpeckers either. So here’s something else.

Eight out of ten cats prefer narrowboats.

This young lady had just returned home to her boat when we passed her, having taken her cat for a walk along the towpath. It’s good to see fellow cat owners along the cut. It means we’re not the only ones daft enough to even contemplate it.

Galgate – it has a shop and chippy!

Here’s Galgate Marina, looking a bit like Steptoe and Son’s back yard, only with more colour. And boats. And countryside. Actually it’s nothing like Steptoe and Son’s yard. Forget I wrote that.

I wasn’t ‘ere, right!

Here’s me, in the red waterproof coat, not entirely successfully hiding behind Janet and Jim because I don’t like having my photograph taken. We’re parked up just north of the Glasson turn off. I think Jim’s adding sweeteners to his brew.

A perfect winter’s dusk…

Michelle took almost eighty photographs today – quite a lot for such a short trip, really. But to be honest, I’m well tired now and I need to round up our own cats and get them in before bed, so I’ll probably leave it at that.



4 thoughts on “From Potters Brook to Galgate, via Two Woodpeckers, Ellel Grange and One Ginger Cat.

  1. Just caught up on your (mis)adventures, Brian. It has been quite a mixed bag of weather, hasn’t it!

    We left our Marina in the throws of Storm Eric. It was probably silly of us but the helmsman wouldn’t listen to me. Anyway, we did, and outside of Beeston lock, Storm Eric threw itself full force at our little home. While I was closing the lock gates, the helmsman did his best to bring ‘her’ in alongside the wall approach to the weir. When I came down the steps, my hapless helmsman was hanging onto the centre rope, while our great iron sail threatened to drag him off the wall and take him, the boat and all our possessions down the weir.

    I did one of your James Bond leaps into the disappearing stern and put the boat into reverse to try to bring her and the helmsman out of danger. It was a terrible fight to get our humble vessel into the wall. The wind had other ideas and at one point the helmsman had tied the center rope to a bollard (just because he couldn’t hang on to it any longer) and the boat threatened to overturn in the maelstrom. I have to admit that I felt my life flash before my eyes… And the boat was too far away from the wall for the helmsman to attempt anything more than flapping his arms and yell instructions that I couldn’t hear over the wind and roar of the water. Oh… did I mention that the river was in flood and navigation not advised?
    Eventually, I got her in, and the helmsman tied her up with four ropes to keep her on the wall (fortunately they were mostly new ropes as our old frayed ones likely wouldn’t have held).

    I think I shook for at least an hour afterwards.
    I spent two days just a little fretful until that terrible wind abated. The helmsman just shrugged off the whole experience.

    Weather inclement and cold now. We are on the Erewash cut and rain has stopped play.
    The helmsman, in a moment of madness yesterday, during a particularly heavy hail storm, booked a last minute cruise to go to Norway for 15 days. So now we have to take the boat back to the Marina and looking at the weather forecast, we are going to face similar conditions when we get to that weir again. How unlucky can one get? 🙄


    1. We have to move the boat tomorrow, and I’m keeping a close eye on the Met Office. It’s very windy out there at the moment, but the boat needs shifting otherwise the CRT will be sending me threatening emails again. Fortunately I’ll have a crew on board, which always helps to drag the boat into the bank. If there’s no posting by weekend you can assume we sank with all hands. 😛


      1. We can beat that one. We were trying to get back to our Marina, but the river Trent (confluence with River Soar and River Derwent) has gone into a ragingly fast flood and all flood locks have gone into operation for an indefinite period. We have been stranded for three days. We are supposed to leave (on Saturday) for a one month holiday abroad. We asked at two local marinas but they are both full, already harbouring refugees in their few remaining spaces. We have thrown ourselves on the mercy of CRT and asked for permission to leave the boat on the cut for the month (it is a two day mooring allowance here and we have already been here three days).

        At least we are safe up here. There are poor souls tied to the locking wall and floating pontoon in the maelstrom, on the flooded River opposite the giant weir. It can’t be pleasant.
        The flood gates have been shut for four days. CRT says that it will be several more with no clear end in sight. 🙄


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