Our Magazine Page:
Here I post articles,
from time to time, that may be of general interest to our clientele and
the boating fraternity at large. I'm not always too politically correct
and the content is very much my own 'take on things'.
Delightful message from our Town
Cryer: (27th June, 2015)
What a lovely poem by recent guests Faith & Chris.... (Chris a
renowned 'town cryer')
our time on Willow comes to an end
Nick and Irene our thanks we extend
can't forget Skye who amused us each day
for a bonus with Faith she did play
Nick was on tiller at the stern he did stand
worked in the galley and her food it was grand.
times off the boat Irene would hop
down to Tesco with her rucksack she'd shop.
the intercom Nick's voice would sound true
information on what we could view.
wasn't all sailing as walks we did take
Chris wore his shorts - it was a mistake
on one of these walks he picked up a tic
lucky for him it was removed by Nick.
visited the Kelpies and Edinburgh too
open top bus ride we had splendid view
trip to Britannia, saw how royalty fare
Botanic Gardens with species so rare.
highlight of our journey and it was quite surreal
travelling up and down on the Falkirk Wheel
come to the end of this rambling verse
so I'll finish as the rhyming gets worse
many thanks we give to you two
you all the best for venture new.
Our Collie Pup 'Skye': A Happy New
Arrival (13th November, 2013).
Our new crew
dog is border collie 'Skye'. She
was born in September from working parents on a hill farm in the
follow Meg, Skye has big boots (paws) to
fill - but she's a border collie so I'm sure she'll do her very best.
Only a month since Meg left us but we need the dog crew training time -
ready for the new season starting April, 2014.
Skye at 9 weeks (born Sept'13).
Skye was born at Immeroin Farm, deep into the hills at Glen Buckie
Balquhidder village in the North Trossachs. What a stunning setting to
be born in.
For us the training/socialisation processes will start even now. At the
moment (until her injections get completed) we have her at our
Tillicoultry Flat, but soon she needs to get used to a narrowboat home
with a big Perkins D3 engine running in an engine room. Getting used to
a home that both floats on water and moves with great regularity. Tying
up with mooring ropes - Locks (not to mention the Falkirk Wheel) and
passing through tunnels will need to become the norm. Lots to learn and
get used to. All of that, together with learning all the normal puppy
Visitors to this website, may already have guessed we are daft on our
Collies. But, we don't want to bore those more interested in boating on
the Scottish Canals. For those of you that are interested enough, just
click on Skye's photo (left). That will open her own web page - which
is quite indulgent of us - but it is also quite a good way for us to
keep a photo record of how she progresses.
Our Collie Meg - 1998-2013: A Very Sad
Time (12th October, 2013).
Regular Guests will be
sad to learn that we no longer have Meg with us. Her poor old central
nervous system had stopped working properly and it prevented her from
being able to stand properly - she had stopped eating and drinking.
Thanks to the Vets Practice at Falkirk High for their help with that
final act of kindness. For 15
years, my constant companian on the back of Willow - or wherever else I
happened to be.
|Meg and Nick
at work on the English canal network, summer of 2009.
|14 yr old
Meg in September, 2012. Still liked a game of stick (or bark) throwing.
Aqueduct from the Air:
Around the time of taking the
kingfisher's photo further down this page, we came across Peter
by Scottish Canals). He was also taking photos and we got
chatting. He has a commission to re-do autumnal aerial photos of the
Avon Aqueduct. It is to be re-done because there were no boats crossing
the aqueduct at the time - you've probably guessed that we've
tentatively agreed to conveniently have Willow crossing for his new
photos next autumn. In the meantime Peter has given us permission to
use the current versions - here's one of them......
Marriage Ceremony Aboard Willow (August'12)
think this was a first for a narrowboat, never mind a hotel narrowboat.
Janet and Paul joined us at Linlithgow for a seven day cruise, but it
was a cruise with a difference. Both Janet and Paul had separately
enjoyed a number of canal hireboat holidays and, coming
after previous marriages, they wanted a quiet wedding. Of course Scots
Law in respect of weddings has always been different to England - and,
with a special licence, a ceremony on Willow at the Falkirk Wheel would
be much prettier than Gretna Green.
So, the following morning (Thursday 2nd
August) we cruised the Union canal from Linlithgow to the top of the
where we paused for a while to fit white ribbon and a decorative
to the front of Willow's bow cabin. Internally floral decorations were
added to the Bow Cabin table and at about 1.30pm we were joined at the
by local Registrar Kay. Irene and I were to be the witnesses. Weather
was dry and with some sunny spells.
entered the Gondola (the transiting water tank) on the Falkirk Wheel.
Scottish Canals staff obviously knew what was going on (and had been
very helpful), so the descending 'rotation' of the 'Wheel' magically
stopped half way round. This
'pause for thought' gave plenty of time for Janet and Paul's marriage
ceremony to take
place (and a charming and moving ceremony it was too). From up on the
'Wheel', the view through Willow's bow cabin windows out over the plain
below to the Ochil Hills formed a magnificent backdrop. When the
complete, Brian, the Scottish Canals 'Wheel' escort, was given the nod
and the 'Wheel'
continued it's rotation and Willow's descent. By now the Visitor centre
staff had announced to members of the public what was happening, and
the congratulatory cheers and clapping from the public drifted up from
the ground level below. Boats in the basin below the 'Wheel'
Seagull Trust boat skippers and the Scottish Canals Trip Boat
showed their support and congratulations with suitable sounding of boat
horns. Thanks to the guys because it added that little bit
of 'something special'. Willow's horn replied in celebration.
Photo Credit - Angela Finlay (Scottish Canals) - Thanks also to Angela
for the signs and Rosette.
We came out of the 'Wheel' and backed Willow straight onto our Falkirk
Wheel Basin mooring. Janet, Paul,
Irene and I later went for a very pleasant (and posh) celebratory
meal to nearby Glenskirlie
Castle. The whole wedding ceremony was very much a first for us -
pleasant and, for Irene and I, it was a privilege.