Well we've just clocked up the 10,000th view of our blog.
It might have taken two years from our first post back on 14th April 2012 when becoming 'Liveaboards' or more correctly named for us I think 'Continious Cruisers' had not even been considered. All that changed though and just six months after that first post that was exactly what we were and are today.
We don't know how many regular viewers we've got, or whether a large majority find us by mistake, but on hindsight a blog with 'boys on tour' in it might cause it to crop up in searches for boy bands! For our 'regulars' though, thank you for taking the time to follow us on our travels and although our blogs may not be as regular as some, we hope that we provide some intermittent interest in between the others you may follow.
The top three places that our blog has been viewed from is the UK (5,447) United States (1,676) and in third place good old Jersey (444).
After about twenty photo's this was the closest we got to getting a good picture. Not the easiest thing to do with two dogs who get excited when you start running towards them, the camera beeping away on timer behind you, to settle down, try to get them to face forward again when all the action is now behind them and not get caught trying to tell them there's something far more interesting in front of them! But I suppose the end result wasn't too bad.
We stopped for a couple of days at Penkridge on the Staff and Worcester Canal for what turned out to be a nice spell of good weather. When we brought our boat we'd chosen to go for a cruiser stern for two reasons. Firstly so there was enough room at the back for the four of us when we are travelling and secondly so we've got somewhere to sit outside when it's nice that's off the towpath. Sometimes you do get quite a wide tow path where you can sit comfortably without getting in anybody else's way, but even then it doesn't seem as private. So this was the first time this year we'd used the stern for it's second use and there's been a few more since then as well.
We knew the top half of the Shroppie quite well and have found the lower part of it and the Staff and Worcester Canal to be mostly a nice rural canal with plenty of nice places to stop along the way. I think the Middlewich Branch, Shroppie and the Staff and Worcester canals make three quarters of the Four Counties Ring with the final part of it being up the Trent and Mersey and is a choice for some holidays. We're lucky to be in our situation though as we took about six weeks to do just these bits where the holiday norm is for about two weeks for the whole ring.
So after leaving our last mooring spot on the Staff and Worcester Canal at Tixall Wide
we took a right turn at the Great Haywood junction and headed down the Trent and Mersey. Didn't get far though, moored just opposite Shugborough Hall that was about a mile from Tixall Wide
where we started, but it seemed like a good time to stop :-) for a cuppa. Ended up there for a few days and is where the self portrait photo above was taken on one of the walks around there.
We also stopped at Rugeley for a few days
and were in supermarket heaven with a Tesco, Morrisons and Aldi all within about a five to ten minute walk of the canal. Given the choice we tend to go for Aldi if there's one close by and find the meat in particular to usually have very good dates and always of a very good quality. They do a 1.3kg joint of gamon for less than a fiver and with about a three week date so we usually pick one of those up and it can sit in the fridge until we run out of fresh meat with no reasonably priced shops about.
After that it was a few night stop at the top lock at Fradley Junction and took the opportunity of taking a walk down the Coventry Canal where we'll be heading down after our sons have been over on holiday. Getting to the time of year now where the swans have made their nests and dad's on patrol.
Pictured here is mummy swan on the nest in the left of the picture with daddy swan near the bank a bit further up the canal and gives The Boys a good old hiss as they pass by.
We set off from our mooring at the top lock with the plan being to get water two locks down, but as there was a queue for the water point we just decided to moor up for the night and walk The Boys instead of just hovering for water. When we filled up with water later that day it was no wonder that there had been a queue as our water pump on the boat has probably got more pressure than the waterpoint. Didn't help that it had been nearly a week since we last topped up as we needed a good fill aswell. After that, a stop at Alrewas and just above Branston Water Park
continued our journey towards East Midlands Airport to collect our sons and their other halves who are due over.
Currently moored just west of Swarkestone Locks on the Trent and Mersey Canal and with some time to spare now, I think I'm about to be sent outside with a bottle of polish and some rags :-(
And so in signing off,
Day 503 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 1018 miles and 438 locks further on from when we started.