Friday is for Gran & The Fiddlehead - Part 7

Today's post is dedicated to my Gran Betty and her canal boat called The Fiddlehead. This regular Friday post documents a recent two week family vacation taken by 35 family members on 5 narrow boats, with folks ranging in age from 8 months to 91 years old (Gran herself!)

This was Day 7 as recorded in my faithful moleskin journal. We had just spent yesterday at Warwick Castle (pictured below) otherwise known as "Britain's Ultimate Castle" according to their website. It dates back almost 1,100 years to 914 AD when Ethelfleda (cool name!), daughter of Alfred the Great, ordered the building of a 'burh' or an earthen rampart to protect the small hill top settlement of Warwick from Danish invaders.

Some English sayings I gathered along the trip:
Blighty (used especially by troops serving abroad, means - Britain; home.)
"Bob loves tatties and winkies" (written on someone's van-take a guess what it means!)
Give Way (a street sign that means "Yield")
Shandy with bangers and mash (good food and good drink; ie. pub grub.)

Me and my good buddy, the court jester at Warwick Castle (can you tell I'm a flautist?)

Friday is for Gran & The Fiddlehead - Part 6

This is my weekly letter to my Gran who now resides in Ottawa. This post commemorates a recent family reunion along the canals and waterways of England - we were thirty-five family members in all, ranging in age from eight months old to ninety-one (Gran herself!) We toured the Leicester Loop on five narrow boats seeing the middle of England at three miles an hour - the perfect speed ... indeed!

Daily sketching kept me occupied. This was Day Six from my moleskin journal - depicting the route to Coventry - where Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets on her horse. The rooftop sketches in the lower right hand corner of my journal (pictured above) are what's known as the Weaver's Cottages in Foleshill, a suburb of Coventry. Skilled jacquard silk weavers called Huguenots escaped persecution in Europe and settled here and soon thousands of local people were employed in this cottage industry.

Gran's boat held seven people in total and was equipped with a special ramp for her wheelchair. One night I tucked her into bed by saying, "Sleep tight - don't let the bed bugs bite" and quick as a whip she answered back, "If they do get out your shoe and beat them black and blue!"

Friday is for Gran & The Fiddlehead - Part 5

Friday's post is dedicated to my Gran Betty who lives in a nursing home and used to own a canal boat in England called The Fiddlehead. This is my weekly letter to her. This post also commemorates a recent family trip taken by thirty-five family members as we motored five canal boats (at three miles an hour) along the Leicester Loop in England on a two week vacation sponsored by Gran herself. We ranged in age from eight months old to ninety-one (Gran herself) and it was a trip I shall never forget!

This is me casually steering a several ton canal boat - no worries, just watch out for ninety degree angles that require turning whilst going under a curved brick bridge - oops! (I guess anyone can make a mistake on their first day out!)

Two pages from my sketchbook, painted hastily (well as fast as one can while scenery whips by at two miles an hour from the deck of a boat!)

This is Jackie, one of my ship mates (and engaged to my cuz, at the time this was taken) swabbing the deck - those Virgos do love to be tidy! (And I should know, 'cause I'm one of them.)

Just a regular canal boat dinner. We all took turns pairing up to cook. That's me on the right and my hubbie across from me (in the front,) with Jackie next to me and my two cousins alongside. We all shared this particular boat (unofficially known as the 'party-boat,') along with my brother Pete (who was taking the picture.) Everyone really went all out with the cooking - buying meats from small village meat shops, veggies from small supermarkets, good wine and all the fixings; all trying to outdo each other, but we were the envy of the other four boats, I can tell you that much!

Gran - Part 1
Gran - Part 2
Gran - Part 3
Gran - Part 4

Friday is for Gran & The Fiddlehead - Part 4

This post is dedicated to my Gran - it is my weekly letter to her and it also commemorates a recently family reunion and trip taken along the Leicester Loop in England during which time we rented 5 narrow boats and spent 2 weeks steering ourselves around the English countryside. A trip I will never forget! It was one of the best times of my life; waking up to see the water outside my window, to hear the motor starting up, and to know we were off on other day of sight seeing around the English countryside with 35 family members all in tow! Below are pages from my Moleskin sketchbook.

Taking a break to dock, read a book, make a meal and tour the area.

Many a walking trip was spent touring Old English Churches and cemeteries where I collected little flowers to tape in my sketchbook.

Gran Part 1
Gran Part 2
Gran Part 3

Friday is for Gran & The Fiddlehead - Part 3

Friday's post is dedicated to my Gran who now resides in a nursing home. She was the proud owner of the Fiddlehead, an English narrow boat, also known as a canal boat. In 2007 she treated 35 family members to a memorable family reunion on the Leicester Loop in England. We were 5 narrow boats in all, and we ranged in ages from 8 months to 91 years old (Gran herself!)

Gran, my hubbie and me, eating one of our favorite meals, the Ploughman's Lunch along with a pint of Bitter. Gran said it wasn't up to par though, due to the pasta side. I also learned to say 'Bitter' not 'Bitters' and that there is no tipping in England, instead you buy the bartender a drink!

I spent most of my time sitting on the bow of the boat painting, sketching and writing in my Moleskin Journal - here are some watercolors from Day 2 of our two week trip.

If you need to catch up, here are Parts 1 and Parts 2 from our trip.