I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday 23 June 2023

June 2023 - Otherton Boat Haven

Otherton Boat Haven (Staffs & Worcs) – Sunday 18th June

We finally returned to Mary H today with fear and trepidation!  Richard realised about a week ago that, when we left the boat, he had turned the 12v off as we had mains.  The shock and horror dawned on him in the middle of the night that the freezer runs on 12v   I, for one, was not looking forward to opening the boat door.

As it was Richard who had left the freezer on, I decided that he should go first, so Muffin and I stayed in the car till the all clear was given. However, as I got closer to the boat, I could smell it, it was rancid.  I hate to think what the smell had been like when Richard opened the door. He had bagged up all the mouldy food which included meat, chicken, fish, all our frozen veg, and the meals that I had made last time we were here, the freezer with almost full.  The smell would not go away, so in the end Richard had to put the freezer out on the back deck.  He had already cleaned the floor but later on I realised that the shelf the freezer had been standing on was stained with smelly juices, I suppose you could call them.  Fortunately, once the shelf was out of the boat, smells slowly dissipated. I thought that we would have to eat out tonight but, in the end, Richard made me a salad and he had a ready meal and we went to bed.

Otherton Boat Haven (Staffs & Worcs) – Monday 19th June

When we woke up the smell had almost gone, however Richard opened the freezer door, which was still on the back deck, and the smell permeated through the boat again.  It was at this stage we decided we couldn't use the freezer again, and that we would have to buy a new one.  The price of new 12 Volt freezer was over £500 but we were able to order almost the same 240 Volt freezer from Currys for £79 pounds. 

Our first port of call this morning was to go to Cannock pick up a Click and Collect food order from Sainsbury's. We also had to dump the old freezer at the tip in Cannock and Richard needed to buy a new shelf for the cupboard.  We returned to the boat, put the shopping away, and set off to Stafford to collect the freezer.

Richard's job in the afternoon was to install the new freezer ready for our departure on Wednesday. 

As we drove through Stafford in the afternoon, I thought what a lovely little town it is.  I always used to think that Stafford was a big Midlands sprawl like so many all, but stop it certainly isn't.

In the evening we drove over to Gnosall to meet up without friends Steve and Diane. We had a couple of drinks with them and returned to the boat.  We will see them again on Thursday when we go up the 21 locks at Wolverhampton.

Otherton Boat Haven (Staffs & Worcs) – Tuesday 20th June

Richard had to take the car back to Dunchurch Pools today and I had a list of things I wanted to do.  In the end all I did was planning for our big holiday next year.  We know very little about San Francisco, so it's become quite difficult to find a hotel.  In the end I decided that we wanted to be near the water (of course!) and near to where the trams turn round.  I think, and hope, that I have found the right hotel - anyway it's booked, but it can be cancelled, of course!

So, what were we doing when we were at home.  We arrived home just before the Bank Holiday weekend and had a busy time with family.  We also took our caravan to the Longleat Caravan Club site where we met up with my son Robert and his family.  Sadly, Victoria and James were not able to come with us as they had a prior engagement. The site is a big one however it was very nearly empty, this was Thursday of half term week! I guess it may have been fuller over the actual Bank Holiday, but I was surprised to see it so empty during a half term break. Tobin and Bobby my grandsons loved it as they could hear the lions roaring and the sea lions barking from their tent.  On the Friday I had bought tickets, with my Tesco vouchers, to go into Longleat.  Richard and I with Robert and the boys went to Longleat while Laura had volunteered to work from the caravan and dogsit.  We  set of the safari in the car but we were going to miss out the monkeys.  However, Richard decided that we would go through.  My little grandsons absolutely adored it.  There were monkeys on the roof, monkeys hanging from the wing mirrors, from the back windscreen wiper and one decided to actually eat one front wipers - well a small little nick out of it. Sadly all the big cats were asleep, it was a lovely hot day plus it was midday so really we shouldn't have expected anything else. We returned to the car to the caravan site, turn left on foot and walked the 100 yards to the entrance to the rest of the park.  After lunch Richard returned to the caravan while Robert and I took the boys on the boat on the lake. A guide took us over to the sea lion area and said we have we had 5 sea lions until today. I thought, oh no she's gonna tell me that one of them has died, but it was far from that as they now have 6 sea lions.  One Mum had given birth that morning.

On the Saturday we drove over to the East Somerset Steam Railway where we had a lovely lunch and a ride on the steam train.  It was the first time the boys had been on a steam train, well Tobin had been on one when he was six months old, needless to say he doesn't remember much about it! 

Sunday was very hot, so we drove to Warminster where Laura had found a park with play equipment for the boys and a splash area.  While the boys and Laurs were in there Richard, Robert and I walked around a lake with the dogs and then sat and just enjoyed the sunshine and the lovely view of the lake. 

Robert and Laura went home on Sunday evening while Richard and I went home on Monday morning. 

My sister Penny and her husband Jim arrived on the Thursday, it was Jim’s 85th birthday on the Sunday it was also my youngest grandson, Bobby’s, fourth birthday on the Saturday. Penny and I went over to see Bobby on his birthday and Laura and the boys came over to us for a BBQ on the Sunday (Roberts was working). 

Penny and Jim left us on the Wednesday which gave us a few days to sort ourselves out pack up drive back up to Mary H.

All the photos for this post are from our time at Longleat.

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