Friday, 30 September 2011


It has taken us long enough but finally on Saturday last we took ourselves off for a day on the famous Severn Valley Railway.  We exercised the dogs before leaving them aboard Caxton ( the dogs were less than impressed about this turn of events) and then driving into Kidderminster to get our train to Bridgenorth.  It was a special event weekend and all the stations enroute were heaving with train buffs and their camera equipment.   We had a first class carriage that we shared with four others all of whom were ex British Rail people and extremely knowledgable about all things railway; there was a lively discussion about the pros and cons of proposed High Speed Rail link between London and Birmingham - apparently there is already a railway line, a redundant four track, that could be used.  If that is the case it beggars belief that anyone is proposing to tear up so much beautiful countryside to save 20 mins on a journey - unless of course that group have a vested interest in securing large goverment contracts...

Anyway, on to steam trains.

This is the engine that hauled our train on Saturday - and, as I was about probably about the only person on the train, on the platforms or standing in the fields all along the route taking photo's, that is not a train buff, I can't tell you what it is - shame on me.

 And yet another chuffer - with smoke deflectors this time.

We had another dose of trains yesterday afternoon because we drove out to Highley to see the Engine House - Joe saw the Engine House, I sat in the sunshine with the dogs taking photo's of passing trains.

 A packed Highley Station - there was an excited rabble of school children, all dressed as evacuee's for the day.

And here's their train

And there goes their train - built at Crewe in 1934.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Dogs discover desirable dead deer...

Yesterday being another gloriously hot day in this 'Indian Summer' of ours we thought a woodland walk would suit both the dogs and our rather warm bodies.  The Wyre Forest is only a 12 minute run in the car so we headed off to find carpark and vistor center for the start of our walk.   Having paid to park the car and then paid to get a trail map we set off on the 'blue route', a 4.5mile circular walk.  
It was lovely as you can see from the photo below.

However, as we neared the halfway point two dogs did a disappearing act returning a couple of minutes later accompanied by a god-awful stench.   Odour of dead deer, adornment of rancid fatty deposits and fawn coloured hair and mud, mustn't forget the mud.
On arriving back at the boat, somewhat faint from the confines of the car journey with the smelly pair, we hurriedly set up the hose and filled a bucket with soapy water and then set about drowning washing them.  It was several hours before they were allowed anywhere near Caxton and if that meant sitting outside in the evening sunshine, well that wasn't too bad a price to pay was it? 
But why do they do it?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Going in circles....again

We have been taking ourselves off walking with the dogs of late - you may note that I say WE, as opposed to I... Yes, indeed, Himself has been joining the us in our explorations.  I have found some more circular walks we have tried and I have taken it into my head to walk the length of the River Severn - in bite \sized chunks though.
We came across this charcoal burner in the woods

 and the heap of prepared wood to go into it.

This magnificent oak by the banks of the Severn had a diameter of at least 6 feet - any guesses at how old it is?

Our walks along the R Severn from Bewdley north towards Bridgenorth is often in the company of a Severn Valley Railway steam train.

This lovely bridge across a tributary to the Severn was built in Coalbrookdale

The lovely wooded banks of the Severn

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Lovely Worcestershire but Oh my knees

Yesterday having decided that visible progress on our new boat, Yarwood,  would minimal we took ourselves out on a circular walk around the village of Abberley.   The clever Tourist Information Office have published a series of leaflets on circular walks here abouts (It may be a National initiative for all I know) and I persuaded himself (who doesn't much like exercise) to give it a try.  We set off in the car to find Abberley village and the starting point of the Village Hall carpark.   Clutching leaflet in hand  off we went for this 5 mile jaunt that took us across farm land, down village lanes and UP, yes UP, onto wooded Limestone ridges. 

Just setting out and we find ourselves walking along the edge of a field of semi- harvested hops

The mechanical hop harvester - no more tribes of inner city families employed to harvest the hops as in days past

Take a look at that wooded ridge in the distance - that's where we are headed but my knees don't realise it yet

Ewes enjoying the shade of a yew tree

Worcestershire spread before us

And after completing the walk and taking heed of the leaflet about buying local produce we enjoyed a pint of Wye Valley bitter while the dogs tucked into a packet of pork scratchings!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

A circular route or what?

Last Friday I took Joe into Kidderminster which has the nearest Hospital, small injuries unit, A&E to Stourport.  The idea was to arrange an appointment to have the cast removed from his broken arm. 
He came out 40 minutes later with an appointment to see a 'bonologist' at The Royal Worcester Hospital; they don't do bones... fair enough.

Today, Monday, we were up bright and early and I took Joe to The Royal Worcester Hospital to see said bone doctor. 
He was out 40 minutes later with an appointment to see bone man/woman at Kidderminster Hospital to have his cast removed.....

Don't ask.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Signed ON

I have 'signed-on' with the Doctors' Surgery here in Stourport.  I made enquiries and found that this practice was prepared to accept us using our boat name and Stourport Basin as an address.  They have taken an email address and telephone number as a point of contact.  Now at least we have a Doctor that we can get to with a boat should we ever need longer term medical treatment. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011


We returned last week having spent best part of a month away from Caxton initially in Norfolk and then in Suffolk.  Our visit to Anglia was extended because of Joe and his broken arm, it requiring three visits to the nearest hospital which happened to be Colchester in Essex.  

We thoroughly enjoyed Suffolk with its many beautiful villages and small market towns.  The evidence of its prosperous past is everywhere in the size of its churches and the number and grandness of its timber-framed houses - WOOL, valuable WOOL for that is the commodity in the middle ages that provided the finances that built enormous churches and fancy houses and those in the wool trade.

The tower of Lavenham Church

Hadleigh Church

Me in the morning,....... afternoon and evening

The Tudor gate house of the Deanery in Hadleigh.  Sadly the 'Dean' ran out of money before he could build the house to go with it!!!

We managed to get a flying visit in to see family in south Essex before I had to hitch up the shed (caravan) and drag it back to its base in Lincolnshire overnighting with friends before returning to Stourport.  With Joe out of action with a broken right arm I have been doing all the driving including towing the caravan, filling water bowsers, emptying cassettes etc.  The extended driving (180 mile trips) was getting a bit of a trial for me, gone are the days when I could drive for 4/5 hours, do a full days' work and then drive home again.  But we are now back at base and hopefully Himself will have his cast off in a couple of weeks time.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

What are you thinking of!

I received the following comment from Anonymous about my last post on sample cabinet doors for Nb Yarwood,

 "What are you thinking of!"

As it is posed as an exclamation rather than a question I wasn't sure how to respond..  Do they actually want an explanation of our rationale for getting sample doors made or are they trying to say something else perhaps?

OK the comment is a trifle, shall we say, curt.   But I can put that aside.  And yes OK, the writer of the comment hasn't owned it by adding their name, it arrives anonymously.  But in the spirit of civility I will treat it as a genuine question rather than a than as a exclamation of horror from a member of the taste-police.

So, what we are thinking is:
We should get some sample doors made so we can decide what we want fitted in Yarwood.

The first sample, burr walnut and sapele, as shown in my last post has been rejected - far too dark.

As soon as is convenient we will revisit the door options and have a another couple of samples made using different veneers and keep on until we get the one we like.