Friday, 6 November 2015

No signal and the mangle

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday.  We started the day with a weak and intermittent internet signal which gradually got worse until it was non existent by late afternoon.  At least we had a TV signal  (Yes Judith [nb Serena], we went out and had a look.  We were moored on the blue mark!)

The large timber products factory In Chirk certainly makes its presence known by dominating the skyline.  We were moored sufficiently far away to avoid the noise.

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Oh, and yes Favourite Mother In Law…….. I know it’s a mangle rather than a washing machine! Smile

I remember mum had one along with a ‘copper’ when we lived in Waiouru.  The copper was a very large deep round tub made of copper.  It would be filled with water and a fire lit underneath.  The dirty laundry would be boiled in the copper and then once clean, rung out by passing it through the mangle.  If I recall correctly it didn’t take long before she had an electric washing machine!

The poor internet coverage outside Chirk Marina accelerated our plans and we decided to move.  The first task was to go into the marina and have a pump out.  We made an error during the preliminary discussion about the pump out and told the staff we had a macerating toilet.  As a consequence they didn’t do a rinse.  Lesson learned, next time I will tell the boatyard we have a dump through system!  The pump out wasn’t essential, but we considered it a good idea as we will be going up through the ‘narrows’ on the final approach to Llangollen and have read that it Is shallow.

The canal now clings to the side of the valley with the River Dee below.  The area is rather attractive, although the leaf soup at this time of year can make the going slow.

20151105_153751 This part of the canal follows Offa’s Dyke.  The construction of the dyke was ordered by King Offa of Mercia.  It’s a linear earthwork which roughly follows the Welsh/English boundary. The dyke consists of a ditch and rampart constructed with the ditch on the Welsh-facing side, and appears to have been carefully aligned to present an open view into Wales from along its length.  Wkipedia states the reasons for constructing the dyke are unknown.  It might have been Offa’s way of defining the border with Wales or a first line of defence against the Welsh.

The canal takes a 90 deg turn at Froncysyllte to cut across the Dee Valley.  The large canary yellow building at Froncysyllte is The Aqueduct Inn.  Originally built as a coaching inn in the 17th century it looks like there may be great views from the beer garden, although the colour scheme might put us off our food.

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When last this way in 2001 we think the pub was white.  Lemon… Yuk!

A decision was made to moor before the bend only to discover the internet signal was even worse than yesterday.  I took the phone for a walk further along the towpath and discovered it could get four bars signal strength 200 metres further on, so we moved.  There’s now good internet coverage, but the dot in the sky has been lost along with most of the terrestrial TV channels.

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