This is Mercia Marina not Morroco! 

Having taken up the invitation of a trade mooring at Mercia Marina in the winter of 2015, we got to know the office staff there quite well. Barry more than me which is just how it is while I’m a regular member of the ‘sandwich’ generation and consequently often absent from Areandare.

Once we left in January 2016, the idea of holding a ‘Floating Market’ there was postulated. Tony Preston and I chatted amiably about how if could work, but it wasn’t until it actually happened that we could highlight the challenges and the possibilities.

This year we were the only trade boat who returned – for a variety of reasons. A number of traders chose not to go back because of the narrowness of the ‘finger’ pontoons. They felt unsafe in there precariousness. And two boats had traded from one pontoon which made it more challenging. Continue reading


A crazy Christmas with RCTA and Calendar Club

The Roving Canal Traders Association Floating Christmas Market finished on Sunday, after nine days of trading. I suspect that’s a record that will be hard to beat!

Jenny and I made it to The Mailbox in time for the Radio WM breakfast show (you can listen in to the show by clicking this link, Jenny is 19.30 minutes in – but only for another 25 days!). It was touch and go for a while, as the security person was invisible and we almost left thinking we’d gone to the incorrect entrance. Fortunately the show producer, Dean, found us in time and let us in.

As previously promised, here’s Auntie Wainwright’s last two days of reflections on the Floating Market and the SIFA Fireside table (it’s very uplifting to read what occurred on Sunday) … Continue reading

Our first boating festival of 2015 – Middlewich

It’s been an interesting journey up to Middlewich, dozens of locks in succession (I believe it’s called Heartbreak Hill, which is understandable!), coupled with some rather challenging weather including gale force winds, driving rain, sleet and hail storms. Barry and I have kept the cold at bay kitted out in waterproofs, hats, gloves and sturdy footwear, and the fire’s been on daily.

Today though it’s warmed up a little thank goodness, as we’ve moored up for the Roving Canal Traders Association Floating Market this easter long weekend.

I’d forgotten how many locks there are on the way up north. It’s not a problem though, as our next festival is in Stone on 25th and 26th April, so there’s a three week gap. Plenty of time to move.

What we hadn’t realised though until recently, is just five days later we’re trading at St Richard’s Festival in Droitwich! It’s likely to be a long and arduous trip with some big days. The other challenge is I’m booked in for grandson care duties for a couple of days, from 27th April, so Barry will be boating alone. He’ll be seeking help I think …

Facepainting easter bunny

Pink easter bunny

Nose art easter bunny

Pick your nose easter bunny


Easter chick

Easter chick

We’ll be trading this weekend as The Home Brew Boat and Funtastic Facepainting by Sandra – really grateful to have a position right beside the pathway I face painted from at the Middlewich FAB festival in 2014. I’m told it’s likely to rain tomorrow, so facepainting may be postponed – fingers crossed for dry weather the remainder of the weekend.

Next week I’m also off to grandson sit for a few days, so Barry will be chilling and enjoying the peace and solitude!

In the meantime we’re expecting a productive and fruitful weekend with fellow boating traders and looking forward to meeting and reacquainting with customers.

Wish us luck!