Not much to report at the moment, as we haven't visited Kelly Louise since 16th January. She is in the good care, while we are not there, of the landowner who allows us access to our mooring. He has a direct view of her from his lounge window, and he is very conscientious when it comes to his moorers.
We intend to start using her for weekends again from 18th February, when, hopefully we will be able to leave the fresh water system charged and ready for use without too much risk of it freezing. I am currently busy planning our holiday cruise. Last year we did The Shropshire Union down to Autherley Junction. The year before it was The Llangollen as far as Trevor Basin, (we arrived there on a Saturday, mid summer, and I was put off from completing the last narrow section to Llangollen itself by the sheer volume of (chaotic) traffic at Trevor, Saturday being a changeover day for the hire cruisers based there. This year, we are thinking of perhaps taking the Middlewich Branch of The Shroppie to meet the Trent and Mersey going South, and then perhaps have a look up the Macclesfield Canal. That should be a change, I will have a look at my planner! In the meantime, our favourite weekend cruise is to Wrenbury, Wrenbury Village website , a beautiful little typically English country village, on The Llangollen canal. It is a fantastic rural village, with 48 hour moorings right outside The Dusty Miller ,or if you prefer less formal, The Cotton Arms, a country pub with food available, just across the road. This cruise is just long enough, and provides enough interest with lift bridges and locks, that it is our favourite when friends visit. For those who would prefer to stay overnight for the cruise back with us, there is Sproston Hill Cottage, a delightful farmhouse B&B 100yds up the road.
Until then, both our BW licence and mooring fees expire at the end of February, and I have already received the renewal notice for the licence. I can't work out why they don't arrive together, saving postage, as they both expire together! This years renewal letter states:
Up to and including 1st March 2011: £687.86 (prompt payment rate).
From 2nd March 2011 until 31st March 2011: £764.29 (full fee).
On or after 1st April 2011: £914.29 (full fee plus late payment charge).
They certainly do now seem to be getting to grips with the non-payers at last!
I am expecting the BW mooring fee to be a similar amount, and the both of them are paid by direct debit, so I can forget about the painful task of manually relieving myself of the cash! I also note that BW, in line with a lot of other retail outlets, are now making a £7.50 charge to use a credit card to pay. It is all well and good the banks wanting to replace cheques with plastic, but why should the consumer have to pay for the privilege? We also pay the landowner a similar amount for secure access, parking, water and electricity.
The insurance is also due in March, so an expensive time all round! But, I really do get "withdrawal symptoms" when we are away from the boat, and I am looking forward to getting to grips with all the little jobs I want to do when we go for the first time, and will no doubt be posting here.