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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hall Green

This is looking down to the Trent and Mersey as we approach point `D` on the last blog.


Just a mile and we reach Hall Green stop lock. There were 2 locks here, one belonged to the Macclesfield and one owned by the Trent and Mersey. The difference in water level is just 12 inches. It was originally 6 inches but I believe the level was lowered to make navigation through the Harecastle tunnel easier. Ahead the Macclesfield stretches 26miles and passes through 12 more locks in a flight at Bosley.













These lovely Mileposts mark the full and half miles all the way to Marple.


From memory there are three movable bridges, one hand operated, one electric and this one that is usually left open. It has a length of chain attached that can be used from the towpath by walkers to swing the bridge across the canal.

So begins another cruise into the countryside dodging the rain in what has turned out to be a really wet summer. Never mind it could be worse at least we can move on the dry days.....if we feel like it. It never ceases to amaze me the sheer luxury of the life we live. Luxury? depends how you look at your lifestyle. Our view is we have the freedom to roam the canal system at will.  We own our time and are not tied to a boss. We want for nothing. We have health  happiness and most important each other. Jaq keeps having pinch me moments and to be honest so do I. I like our address; Towpath mooring, UK.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Onto the Maccie.


Decisions,decisions..........You land based folk just don`t realise the stresses we boaters are put under occasionally. I know deciding which way to go at a junction is not a regular decision on a boat unlike in a car perhaps there might be thousands of possible ways to go if you count all the streets you pass as you drive along a main road. Also on a boat the chance to leave a canal and cross over it Flyover (Overpass) fashion is not a regular occurrence. This will now happen as we are leaving the T. and M. and going on the Macclesfield canal.




The aeriel picture above is the right hand section of the road map on the left. The lower aeriel picture is the left hand side of the road map.     The Trent and Mersey canal in both pictures is the light Brown colour like strong tea caused by iron ore in Harecastle Tunnel seeping into the water. On the left we are going from A via B and C to  D. and the aerial pictures are also marked.                                                         Leaving `A` we pass under the Aqueduct that carries the Macclesfield canal, our destination, over the Trent and Mersey. This is actualy called Poole Aqueduct but is often referred to as Red Bull which carries the Maccie canal over a road just a few yards further on just out of picture. Next is the first lock that will lift the canal 8` 8" about half the height needed to get us up to the Maccie. Just before point `B` is the second lock lifting us 9 feet and the same height as the Maccie. As we turn under the bridge at `B` we are 17 fee 8inches above `A`. The Trent and Mersey carries on to the right of `B` towards Stoke-on-Trent via Harecastle tunnel.


OK so that all might seem a bit boring for boaters but for the benefit of non boaters and Jaq`s friends and family the pictures will help to make it all clear. A picture is worth a Thousand words! 
Talking of words; The opening ceremony of the Games could be described in many ways but to me the best part came at the end. The lighting and coming together of the Olympic Cauldron was fantastic. Whoever designed that part should get a medal.
As of Sunday afternoon USA have 7 medals and GB have 1. Congratulations but it`s early days yet.




Thursday, July 26, 2012

AbeBooks: A Reader's Olympics

"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me."
~ C. S. Lewis

    I first discovered AbeBooks about ten years ago in a Walden Books outlet at the Palouse Empire Mall in Moscow, Idaho. I had asked for a particular book and after searching their inventory was told they did not carry it but they would find it for me. As the clerk logged in to the 'Net she told me about AbeBooks: "All bookstores--be they chain concerns or local, private owners, use the same web site to locate books they don't carry in their stock. You can go online as well and order directly from the site too..." and the clerk--a university student with spiky green hair, several piercings and a nose ring, wrote down the URL for me. I never looked back!
    While I believe in supporting local shopkeepers rather than chain stores, I also hold with using the Internet to make certain things personally more accessible. Color me surprised to find this AbeBooks has a co.uk page as well. It's a great site to locate textbooks for classes far cheaper than buying new from university bookstores; it offers rare books as well and has an online community of book lovers, of which I am a part. I subscribe to their online newsletter which arrived in my email this morning with what I thought was a brilliant idea: a literary tour of London in honor of it being the site of the 2012 summer Olympic games.
    There are several lists offered here: Novels Set In London, which included a few I've read such as Clare Clark's The Great Stink, and The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene; and range of which I was not familiar, such as Up the Junction by Nell Dunn and Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark. From this list I have authors known and unknown to me from which to read such as A. N. Wilson's My Name is Legion, A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch, and Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark; Adrift in Soho by Colin Wilson and Fowler's End by Gerald Kersh.
    I am salivating with expectation and delight as I scroll to the bottom of the page and find several other London/British related book lists such as Top 10 Funniest Books According to the British. Now there are several authors and books on the list which puzzle me and underscore the difference in Brit wit and American humor. I can only conclude that the British have been practising humor far longer than we in the U.S. and therefore have had longer to sharpen their teeth on subtle satire and irony. Heller's Catch-22 is an example.
    As I perused this list I found the following book description which did make me laugh out loud for obvious reasons: "Tom Sharpe fans love Wilt's antics with a blow-up sex doll and also Zipser's bedroom encounter with the middle-aged Mrs. Biggs resulting in the deadly condom explosion." I'll have to read Wilt in Triplicate now yeah?? I hope Tom Sharpe does me proud!!
    At the top of the newsletter on the right was a link to Britain in Pictures. A click opened a whole new world for me!
Morale & Preservation: Collecting the Britain in Pictures Series-"With most of Europe in Adolf Hitler’s hands, Britain was in a grim predicament in 1941 but that year Collins, the publisher now known as
HarperCollins, launched a remarkable series of social history books called Britain in Pictures.
   
The books were designed to boost morale but perhaps also record the British way of life in case the Germans completed their European campaign by successfully crossing the English Channel. The books were slim volumes with distinctive elegant covers, but it was the star-studded array of authors that made the series really special." (R. Davies, Morale & Preservation: Collecting the Britain in Pictures Series, AbeBooks newsletter; Copyright © 2012 AbeBooks Inc. Suite 500 - 655 Tyee Road, Victoria BC, V9A 6X5, Canada, accessed 07/26/12 online.)
    These amazing books undertook to capture and chronicle every facet of British life at a time when this country was preparing for war and facing an uncertain future which brought bombs, death, destruction, and fifteen years of austerity during and after World War II. I sit amazed at the foresight of a country which can think so far ahead in the face of overwhelming danger and tragedy.
    The books in this series are a collector's item ranging from a few dollars to several hundred depending on the title and author. AbeBooks has an incomplete set and links to an expert on the collection. "These slim volumes were a morale booster as well as capturing a way of life--such as the canals and their builders--which rapidly disappeared after the war." (R. Davies, AbeBooks newsletter; Copyright © 2012 AbeBooks Inc. Accessed 07/26/12 online.)  
   Another link on the newsletter page offers collections by British publishers such as Faber & Faber, including such literary stars as T. S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Lawrence Durell, Ted Hughes, and Alison Uttley. AbeBooks has provided me with a veritable Olympic pantheon of authors and great reading to pursue. So many books--so few lives in which to enjoy them all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Heartbreak Hill

This section of the Trent and Mersey canal is known as `Heartbreak Hill`. Over 6 miles or so 25 locks are encountered. Personally with all the time in the world to travel the canal system I suffer no heartbreak. I expect in the days of working boatmen the large number of locks was an obstacle to overcome in delivering the goods on time so i can understand the name if they indeed named this section. I thought they called them Cheshire locks so maybe `Heartbreak` is a modern day term.

Mostly the locks are paired single locks. U.S this means a single boat can use either lock. Some like the one above has no gates and is used as a by wash.
Others like this one have just been neglected although I have seen some  that were on previous trips un-usable but now are fully functional.











This to me is a blatant example of erasing history in fact almost as bad as the demolition of canal side buildings. Why does the original stone bridge number not just have a modern metal plate fixed into it`s masonry but also re-numbered. There must be, and Milton Keynes is in my mind, plenty of extra bridges built over the canal over the years that have been numbered with just an `a` added to the previous bridge number. Milton Keynes being a new town has many new bridges and from memory a,b,c,d,e have been used. So a lot of expense for new numbers when perhaps an `a` and `b` here and there would have solved the problem. One of the metal plates has been removed perhaps by a disgruntled boater like me or perhaps someone who lives at 145!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cruising in the Rain...Again??

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” ~ Roger Miller

3 miles, 2 furlongs, 11 locks

    Chellshil was a fine place to rest for a day or two while we kept a weather eye out for a break in the rain. I made a large pot of Minestrone soup, which also necessitated making a batch of fresh Pesto--Mmmm!

My Minestrone recipe calls for pesto and with summer supposedly readying itself for an appearance just any day now here in England, a batch of Pesto couldn't go wrong. I can always freeze two-thirds of it and thaw it into pasta some ungodly hot day in the future. How's that for thinking positive?? I made 8 cups of delicious soup--enough for dinner and lunches for several days. I figure until summer shows up, soup will go over good in the cool, wet weather.
After a few days we cruised leisurely through several double locks until the rain threatened again. We moored up for the afternoon just around the bend from Church locks as thunder bumpers formed around us. A pan of Rhubarb Crisp with Grand Marnier custard took the sting off the drizzly day.
We woke in the morning to a lovely sky--blue and bright with wisps of cloud, bees buzzin' and birds singing--until we decided to move at which point I noticed the world had gone quite still outside. No birds flew aloft--they hunkered down in the fields and shrubs; the bees had disappeared--not even a fly could be found.
Red Bull Service point
    Off to our right, across the fields huge, dark storm clouds were stacking up against one another as rain fell in the distance across the corn growing green and tall.
Dear Sir decided he wanted to have a bachelor weather moment--when he stuck his head out the door and if it wasn’t raining he moved until it did, rather than turning on the computer and consulting the Met Weather Office as I do. All righty then!
    Off we went and fine rain fell by the time we reached lock 46--the second of three we had between us and Red Bull Services. As the lock filled, a honey bee, exhausted from flying and taken by surprise by the drizzle, landed on the roof of the boat. I watched as she took deep breaths, resting. As the lock gate opened, off she flew for home.
   By the time we reached the service point it was well and truly raining, although not for very long. While we filled up with water, dumped the rubbish and emptied the loo cassettes, a boat went on and space opened up behind us. We decided to moor here for the day, just across from a canal side cottage with the most lush and lovely garden. As the changeable British weather is wont to do, the clouds parted a bit and it warmed up and became muggy.
Les and I walked into town, past Tesco’s and up to the Post Office to mail a belated birthday gift to a FABULOUS woman in Pullman, Washington. Sandy Field we mean you!
With ice creams in hand we meandered back along the towpath, chatting to other boaters. We will stock up on groceries, pick up a weekend Daily Mail television guide, cast off and cruise into the countryside. We need to decide where to go next--Caldon canal or the Maccie. It is a sublime thing to have several wonderful choices in front of us.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Into the jungle, it`s raining.

Mooring up a bit quick because of a sudden downpour of rain  seems to be normal this summer and we have ended up moored against some very overgrown towpaths. The plus side of this is others tend not to stop so you get an exclusive mooring. Looking out the galley window gave the impression we had moored in the Amazon jungle but Jaq said  she loved the lush colours and not to cut it back. The views across the canal were open fields affording plenty of light in the boat.  Getting on and off the boat is easily solved, the solution is to cut yourself a path with a pair of hedge trimmers at the back and front of the boat to make access easy.
So where has our summer gone? We made a move today about 1pm after a morning of rain and just 3 hours later the rain drives us to moor up. Several times we have moved short distances because of the rain. I am thinking i might change our status from Continuous Cruiser to Live aboard Cruiser. As we don`t see the need to cruise in the rain it seems that lately there is nothing Continuous about our cruising although we are covering a lot of ground albeit slower than normal.

Looking across from our jungle mooring the unpredictable weather and the last rays of the Sun as it sets produced some nice views. I don`t think the pictures do justice to the views we have in this wonderful life.

I think we might go on the Caldon next but we have yet to confirm dates with visitors from the U.S. as we think the Macclesfield will be easy to access by train from London.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Bluebird of Happiness...

"I wish you bluebirds in the spring, To give your heart a song to sing ...
- I wish you love..." ~ lyrics  and music by A. A. Beach & C. Trenet, 1946


Malkins Bank, Bridge 150 to Chelshill Bridge, Trent & Mersey Canal

2 miles, 2½ furlongs of narrow canals; 9 narrow locks

   We spent a day and a half moored up at Malkins Bank, taking advantage of a break in the weather to dry some laundry. We were hanging about the general area because I wanted to visit Sanbach on a recommend from Rita Talbot (Festina Lente).
   After breakfast coffee (and biscuits for Les), we walked up the towpath, crossed over the bridge and caught bus 78 into town. It took about ten minutes total, and we disembarked at the top of high street. We came fairly quickly to the old town square with its two ninth century Anglo-Saxon crosses. It is believed they were thrown down, and scattered across a wide area either during the Reformation or the English civil war. In 1816 after the pieces were collected and put back together the crosses were erected in Sandbach's old town square.Directly across the square from a bench is the Godfrey C. Williams & Sons specialty grocers (Deli). This fine foods purveyor carries something from nearly every country in the world. I finally found Fontina cheese (Italian) at last! It melts delicately and tastes incredible on a pizza or a savory tart. I also found the steel cut oats I love for my morning oatmeal.
   Down the road we came upon Demeter Wholefoods LTD.--the best health food and herb store I've found in England to date. They carry nearly everything a good herbalist--or a Green witch like myself--might need.
   I purchased beeswax so I can make my Comfrey and Calendula healing salve and skin cream. I also found sachets of ground Cardamom and ground Chipotle peppers. Guess who is a happy camper??!!
   After lunch and a quick trip to Lidl's for a couple of grocery items we caught the bus back home to the boat. It was really a lovely afternoon--do rain, warm, slightly muggy, with sunshine peeping through the slow moving clouds every now and again.
   We decided to cruise onward toward the Caldon canal, so we upped sticks and off we went, leaving the double narrow locks behind as we climbed up Heartbreak Hill as it's known. There are a lot of locks on this part of the Trent & Mersey but they are stretched out across beautiful countryside and many of them have long pounds suitable for mooring up for a cuppa, lunch, or a stop overnight.
   Les did the locks while I drove the boat. We were the only folks moving along this part of the canal! He walked on ahead to set the next lock while I brought the boat out of the current one, lowered the paddles and closed the gate behind me. We were both aware of what a splendid team we make, laughing and joking as we went along.
   The wind ruffled my hair and cooled my cheeks as we moved. At one point I spotted the Bluebird of Happiness on the towpath!! It was Les in his blue striped shirt, windlass in hand, arms out, weaving along!
   We stopped for the evening along a quiet country stretch across from a fenced field of cattle. As we sat our on the bow, coffee cups in hand watching the aerial acrobatics of the local community of Martins wheeling and diving for insects--some flying just past our heads--I was filled with a supreme sense of happiness.
   We enjoy some of the best landscape views in England without paying millions and billions of pounds for them; we have all the time in the world to do whatever we choose; Les and I share a partnership of true equals. We love one another's company and we enjoy each other. Life is simple and simply doesn't get any better than this! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wet, wet wet.

Once again the rain falls and we stay moored. Just because we are Continuous Cruisers does not mean we must move in such conditions, although plenty of boats do and they are not all hire boats. As we tend to moor mostly away from the busy spots we have a 14 day window for moving, so rain do your worst--Jaq and I will just laugh and joke the days away until it dries up. I mean let`s be honest retirement is meant to be relaxing, slow, happy--and I will add dry--so standing on the stern getting soaked is not on my fun list.
At the moment we are close to Sandbach and Jaq wants to visit on market day (Thurs) so the rain means we will not have moved too far come Thursday. We left Middlewich and stayed one night at Wheelock. The weather for yesterday looked promising so we set off to find a good spot to catch up on the laundry.

Two locks and half a mile on we found a wide piece of towpath to set up the washing line without obstructing the walkers passing by. The clouds darkened as the sun (remember that hot thing shining down from the sky) kept popping behind the clouds but the rain kept away and Jaq got three machine loads dry. Oh well it was nice while it lasted a whole day without rain. So now we both sit here working on our Laptops with no desire to go anywhere.

 When we moored up well away from the locks we had the towpath to ourselves in both directions but within two hours it had turned into a mini marina with 3 in front and one behind.      The one in front is about 35 feet away but that didn`t stop the lady on board walking back as I sat on the front deck to check if her engine was noisy for us. When you get people like that it endorses the community within which we live. I just love this stress free life, to quote Jaq, bliss. 
We had a basic plan to go on the Caldon canal but my worry is that with all this rain the section the River Churnet shares with the Caldon will be impassable.

Just an update on the Cyst; With Jaq`s hot compresses it has opened up and is draining daily. Yuk! that`s all you want to know other than Jaq is taking good care of me. Thanks to everyone for your concern.




Saturday, July 14, 2012

While the Cat's Away the Mouse will Play and Our New Charging Station

"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship." -- Buddha
   Les caught the bus to Crewe train station early on Wednesday to begin his journey down to Watford and his physician's appointment. Before leaving my husband thoughtfully moored the boat in a safe and fairly quiet part of Middlewich near the town center for my convenience; he tuned in the satellite for TV, and switched out the toilet cassette so it wouldn't hit FULL in the middle of the night.
   Les left carrying a large blue IKEA bag full of wrapped birthday gifts for the grandchildren. I needed to stay with the boat so I sent my love along in the form of packages of freshly baked chocolate chunk cookies for everyone.
   While down south Les had a few errands to run and our mail to retrieve from family. He spent the night at his daughter-in-law's and visited with family Thursday morning before catching a series of trains and buses to come home that evening.
   I felt strange after Dear Sir left. I came to the realization that months of functioning as a couple had caused a subtle alteration in me. I'd gotten used to letting Les do certain things such as putting up wind genny and tuning in the satellite TV.
   I decided it was time to make my first vertical ascent of the boat roof to set up the wind genny on my own. I stepped out onto the stern and sat a awhile looking at the roof. I have a fear of heights combined with really short arms and legs which makes me a great candidate for accidents.
   Some years back I read Laurence Gonzlales' book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why. Gonzales makes a very convincing argument that most human disasters are pre-planned. He deconstructed several very well known events and illustrated his point perfectly. Out of hubris, haste, greed, anger, or fear so many disasters take place when humility, patience, thoughtfulness, accompanied by a calm demeanor while reviewing the situation can remove one's fear and allow success to occur.
   Ever since finishing Laurence's book It has stayed with me and whenever I attempt something which stretches any of my personal boundaries I think of that book and I slow down, take stock of the situation, and my actions and behavior. This is my human behavioral version of that old carpenter's maxim, "Measure twice and cut once."
   Using the stool Dear Sir made for me to stand on while steering, I climbed up  slowly and carefully staying in the middle of the roof whenever possible. The turbine and blades were heavier than I expected. An audience of young teenage boys playing football in the adjacent park kept watch to see if the little old lady on the boat roof managed to fall in the canal! No joy there.
 Slowly, surely I lifted the genny on its post, slipped the lynch pin in place, and took my time attaching each of the guide wires to the roof. I climbed gingerly back down, and hit the ON button. I did it--all by myself!
   Why, you might ask??? Simples!! It is important that Les knows I can take of myself and our floating home in a crisis; I need him because I love him--I don't love him because I need him.
   As the day moved forward I found myself reverting to the tough, determined single woman I have been for many decades. It was great to know she is still alive inside, underneath all the loving care Les lavishes on me as my partner.
   I washed two loads of laundry and hung it to dry, then took a walk into the town center for a few bits and bobs and stopped at The White Bear pub for dinner. If you are ever in Middlewich make sure and take the opportunity to eat at The White Bear. If you enjoy fine food, well prepared and reasonably priced you won't be disappointed.
    The chef sources his vegetables from a local organic farmer and purchases all meat from a local butcher. The chefs are professionally trained and the wait staff are friendly and fun. This isn't a traditional boater's pub but one with a young attitude--Indy rock music plays on the sound system--but not too loud--and the atmosphere is one of youthful energy.
   We seldom eat out as it is difficult to find places with food prepared better than I can cook myself. I don't mind paying a few bob for a really good meal but I detest spending one pound or dollar for crap food. So it was a joy to tuck into my meal at The White Bear (Wheelock Street, Middlewich, Cheshire; 0606 837666; hello@thewhitebearmiddlewich.co.uk.) The owner has a web site up at www.thewhitebearmiddlewich.co.uk however it is not fully functional yet. 
   Thursday morning dawned bright and amazingly without rain!! I spent three and half hours cleaning the boat from top to bottom, bow to stern while rocking out to a two DVD mix I made called Flashback. (The play list is available at the very bottom of this post.
   I made the bed with clean sheets. Wrestling with with the thick inner spring mattress in such a small space made more it difficult to do than putting up the wind genny!  I aired the down comforter (duvet) outside in the rare English sun, and washed all the windows--inside and out.
   In the afternoon I baked a fresh cherry almond custard tart for dessert and caught up on work related issues online. I was thrilled the Writing Center wanted me to continue instructing ENGL 102 and UCOLL 302 for fall.
   When Les came home Thursday night his freshly groomed wife greeted him with a dinner of boiled bacon, Champ, and glazed carrots. He was thoroughly chuffed I put up the wind genny; Dear Sir was full of admiration  for my "if he can do it, I can do it" spirit--to quote him directly.
   Today we finished up our charging station which Les began building over the past month as we cruised along. Les picked up parts along the way from Nantwich to Chester.
   We originally sat down together and I drew up a model of what I thought might work for us. Les and I tweaked it as we went along, he doing most of the work with a few basic tools, great determination, and an in depth understanding of electronics wiring and gadgetry of which I know nothing. 
Inside the charging station
With the door closed

   The idea was to have a central cupboard from which to charge our laptops, phones, the Internet pointer and other items needing a good electrical charge. It was my hope this cupboard would stop the insanity of cables plugged in everywhere around the dinette which imprisoned one in a cat's cradle of criss-crossed wires.
Les picked up a laptop power supply for his Lenovo laptop in Chester, and we ordered one online for my Toshiba. These are permanently in place in the cupboard, plugged in to 12 volt cigarette lighter sockets wired to a simple on/off switch on the outside. 
   These are basically mini inverters with the capability of increasing voltage  from 12 to 24, according to the power requirements of the item one is charging.
   The charging station is compact in order to fit tucked under the boat gunnel at the end of one of the dinette benches close by where we sit with our computers but not impeding the use of the dinette for seating or breaking it down into a bed for guests.
   I found charger cable tidys online at Moore Industries, which led us to a supplier: Lakeland online store. We ordered and paid for them online and  selected the 2Click and Collect at Your Local Store" option. Les picked them up at Lakeland in Watford. These little beauties work perfectly to keep the cords and plugs under control--and they are made in England!
   The rain has found us once more, pouring all day to a greater or lesser degree. Tomorrow we will make one last foray into the town for some DIY bits and a Daily Mail TV magazine, fill up our water tank and be on our way down the Trent & Mersey toward Wheelock and Sandach.
The charging station is hidden by the pillows, left.



   Flashback playlist 





  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Back from the Docs

I am now back on the boat following my appointment with the doctor.

It all started about 18 months ago when a pea size lump appeared on my neck. After being bullied by all the girls (daughters in law) and from Jaq 5000miles away I went to the doctor to be told it was a Sebaceous cyst. No need to worry unless it increased in size as it would either disappear or remain pea size forever with no problems.

So i`m happy the girlie's are happy(although it was nice they worried about me) thanks girls and life just carried on  and life was good for 18 months. Over the past 3 weeks it suddenly grew very large and this time the doc says it is infected and put me on Antibiotics. Evidently they can be infected through the skin pores as well as what is travelling through your body.

At the moment it has gone down a little but Jaq says a head has formed which means it might be ready to drain. When I looked using 2 mirrors my thoughts were of the boils I suffered as a youngster.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Entering Manchester, Castlefield basin

The famous Manchester United football stadium canal side.

First glimpse of the Manchester Ship Canal from the Bridgewater canal.


A little further on and a Metrolink tram crosses the canal on it`s way to Salford Quays.


Pomona lock on the left goes down to the ship canal. On the right Hulme lock the original route to the ship canal.


High rise blocks of flats(apartment buildings) from the canal
 and from the air.



 Dominating the skyline as we enter is the Hilton hotel towering 47 storeys and 550feet above the Manchester skyline.
Only the first 22 floors make up the hotel above this are apartments.
How about a 2 bedroom on the 35th floor for £239,000 ($358,000). Not quite good enough?
 Ok a 3 bedroom Penthouse is for you at £795,000 ($1187,000) Well I am sorry if your still not happy but you are to late. I have bought the 3 storey apartment on floors 44 to 46 for £3,700,000 ($5.5million) give or take a dollar.






Middle warehouse in the basin.

We are moored 3rd on the right. Just to my right steps lead up to street level and 5 mins walk into the heart of Manchester.

This is towards the end of the Castlefield basin and was once Grocers Warehouse. It was partly rebuilt in 1987. Below is how it would have looked. The goods would be lifted from the boats that
.were moored inside the arches through hatches(picture right) up to the required floor.
This was all done by a water powered winch.